Posted by: biblestudyseattle | March 6, 2020


Whatever the true situation with 2019-nCov is, it will lead to more people understanding the true nature of viruses and disease.  Satan routinely overplays his hand leading to truth leaking out.  People have to be wondering, is this really as bad as the media is telling us?  65,000,000 dead?  All of the major disease outbreaks in history have arisen in really dirty conditions.  Now that the developed world has clean drinking water, sanitation and sewer systems, cases like the Black death can’t happen.  This ‘pandemic’ seems to this author a little fishy.  Consider:

Whatever the source, the hysteria being drummed up follows a now well-worn pattern where the population is kept in a perpetual state of anxiety and fear about microbes so that drug companies (aided by federal health officials) can come to the rescue with yet another expensive (and potentially mandatory) drug or vaccine.

Back in 2005, headlines warned the U.S. was facing a cataclysmic extermination event with a calculated 2 million Americans succumbing to the bird flu; the best-case scenario had a calculated death toll of 200,000. The same scare tactics were used during the 2009 swine flu outbreak.

In 2014, we were told Ebola might overtake the U.S. and then it was pertussis outbreaks.23 In January 2015, it was measles in Disneyland. In January 2016, it was zika, followed by more news about pertussis outbreaks.24 In 2017 and 2018 it was influenza,25 then back to measles again in 2019.26 Now we have coronavirus.

January and February appear to be a favorite time to launch a global disease scare with the dutiful assistance of corporatized media. It’s convenient, seeing how usually by the first Monday in February every year (Feb. 3, 2020), the president sends the U.S. Congress the administration’s budget requesting funds to be allocated to federal agencies for the next fiscal year’s budget (Oct. 1, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2021).27

Each time there’s a public health scare, the Pharma and public health lobby is able to vie for a larger slice of taxpayer money to pay for drug and vaccine development.28

Equally curious is the fact that Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored a novel coronavirus pandemic preparedness exercise October 18, 2019, in New York called “Event 201.”46 The simulation predicted a global death toll of 65 million people within a span of 18 months.47 As reported by Forbes December 12, 2019:48

“The experts ran through a carefully designed, detailed simulation of a new (fictional) viral illness called CAPS or coronavirus acute pulmonary syndrome. This was modeled after previous epidemics like SARS and MERS.”

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is the biggest recipient of research grants from federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and Department of Defense and has received millions of dollars in research grants from the Gates Foundation.50 In 2016, Johns Hopkins spent more than $2 billion on research projects, leading all U.S. universities in research spending for the 38th year in a row.51

If research funded by federal agencies, such as the DOD or HHS is classified as being performed “in the interest of national security,” it is exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Research conducted under the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) is completely shielded from FOIA requests by the public.53 Additionally, agencies may deny FOIA requests and withhold information if government officials conclude that shielding it from public view “protects trade secrets and commercial or financial information which could harm the competitive posture or business interests of a company.”54

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that its mission is “to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S.”55 Clearly, it will be difficult to obtain information about government-funded biomedical research on microbes like coronavirus conducted at major universities or by pharmaceutical corporations in biohazard labs.

How likely is it, then, that the coronavirus outbreak making people so sick today “suddenly” emerged simply because people ate bats and snakes in a Wuhan market? It looks more like a biosecurity accident but, until more is known, inevitably there will be more questions than answers about whether this latest global public health emergency is a more ambitious tactical “sand table exercise,” echoing unanswered questions about the 2009 swine flu pandemic fiasco.

  • – From Joseph Mercola
Posted by: biblestudyseattle | February 12, 2020

Length of Days

God created the world in six days then rested the seventh.  How do we know how long the seventh is?  “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son…”  Hebrews 1:1-2

At Pentecost, Peter declared, “In the last days, God says,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions,
    your old men will dream dreams.
Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy.”  Acts 2:17-18

Last days can mean anything after the halfway point.  Since Adam’s fall was in 4126.25 BC and Jesus was crucified in 32.25 AD, the seventh day can be no longer than 8316 years.  According to Moses, “A thousand years in your sight
    are like a day that has just gone by,
    or like a watch in the night.”  Psalm 90:4

If a thousand years are a watch in the night and a thousand years are as a day, it follows that a day can be up to 8,000 years long.  (There are 4 watches in the night, a night being half a day).  A day could also be 7,000 years long.  The declaration that first century Christians were in the ‘last days’ proves that God’s seventh day rest cannot be some huge period like 100,000 years or so.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | January 5, 2020

Magi visiting

To get the order, you must read the Luke birth account before the Matthew account.  Luke 2:4,5 says Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.”  Then Mary was required to be purified: “The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: When a woman becomes pregnant and gives birth to a male child, she will be unclean seven days, as she is during the days of her menstrual impurity.  The flesh of his foreskin must be circumcised on the eighth day.  She will continue in purification from her bleeding for 33 days. She must not touch any holy thing or go into the sanctuary until completing her days of purification.”  Leviticus 12:1-4  So he was circumsized in Bethlehem.  Then, “And when the days of their purification (40 days) according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (just as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord.and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons).  Luke 2:22-24  “When her days of purification are complete, whether for a son or daughter, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old male lamb for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove for a sin offering.  He will present them before the Lord and make atonement on her behalf; she will be clean from her discharge of blood. This is the law for a woman giving birth, whether to a male or female.  But if she doesn’t have sufficient means for a sheep, she may take two turtledoves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. Then the priest will make atonement on her behalf, and she will be clean.”  Leviticus 12:6-8  

The fact that they offered doves or pigeons shows that they were poor, and had not yet received the gold, frankincense, and myrrh from the magi.  Jesus was 40 or 41 days old when he was presented at the temple.  It’s notable that Jesus’ post resurrection ministry was also 40 days: “After He had suffered, He also presented Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God.”  Acts 1:3  Then, “When they had completed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.  The boy grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace was on Him.”  Luke 2:39-40

So he grew up in Nazareth!  He only spent 40 days in Bethlehem.

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born.

“In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet:

And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the leaders of Judah:
because out of you will come a leader
who will shepherd My people Israel.

Then Herod secretly summoned the wise men and asked them the exact time the star appeared.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. When you find Him, report back to me so that I too can go and worship Him.”

After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen in the east!  It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure.   Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  And being warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by another route.”  Matthew 2:1-12

It’s most likely that Jesus was at Nazareth, which is about 80+ miles north of Bethlehem.  Given the speed of camels, it may have taken the magi 4 or 5 days to find Jesus.  Then, “After they were gone, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Get up! Take the child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. For Herod is about to search for the child to destroy Him.”  So he got up, took the child and His mother during the night, and escaped to Egypt.  He stayed there until Herod’s death, so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled: Out of Egypt I called My Son.”  Luke 2:13-15

Then we get the hint about how old Jesus was.  “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been outwitted by the wise men, flew into a rage. He gave orders to massacre all the male children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, in keeping with the time he had learned from the wise men.”  Luke 2:16

So Jesus was upwards of 2 years old when the magi came.  But how would Herod have known his age?  The magi must have told him.  And how would they have known approximately how old he was?  Perhaps they were familiar with Daniel’s prophecy.  “Seventy weeks are decreed
about your people and your holy city—
to bring the rebellion to an end,
to put a stop to sin,
to wipe away iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most holy place.
Know and understand this:
From the issuing of the decree
to restore and rebuild Jerusalem
until Messiah the Prince
will be seven weeks and 62 weeks.
It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat,
but in difficult times.”  Daniel 9:24-25

If they were Persians, they may have discerned that the issuing of the decree was in 455BC (454.25 to be exact).  Sixty nine weeks of years is 483, which brings you to 29AD (28.75 to be exact).  Thirty was the age of wisdom as seen in the counting of the Levites who served in the tabernacle (Numbers 4).  Thirty was also the age that Joseph, Saul, David, and Solomon began their reigns.  Thirty years earlier than 29AD brings you to 1 or 2 BC.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | December 22, 2019

Millennium Summary

The following is a comment to a pastor regarding the Millennium. We assume that the seventh ‘day’ of creation is 7,000 years long, and that the last 1,000 years of that is a Sabbath reign of Christ: “I liked your comment about the two in the field.  I think the Left Behind series gives people the wrong idea.  I tend to think the two in the field bit is about a terrible time where one is taken captive, as in war (Luke 17:26-37).  Jesus will not visibly intervene until matters are completely desperate as in the parting of the Red Sea.  Maybe that’s the time Paul refers to when he says we will meet the Lord in the air.  I’m glad Jesus said he will come at a time when we do not expect.  Probably because Christians expect the wrong thing.  Everybody wants a strong God.  But Jesus specializes in subtlety.  His second coming will start as quiet as the first.  He says he comes as a thief – to catch the owner of the house (Satan) unaware.  He will be placed on the throne as Joseph was – completely unknown to the Jews (and most Christians).  There will first be a time of plenty.  Jesus, like Joseph, must first gather the extra wheat (Christians) into the barn (Heaven) to be disbursed when the famine comes.  We are living in that time of plenty right now.  When the famine (of believers) comes, the Jews will probably gather at Israel(?)  There, after some tough times, Jesus will reveal himself corporately to the Jews alone. And they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child (Zech. 12:10).  The Egyptians (world) will sense something but not fully know what it is.  After a time of amazing multiplication, Moses (Jesus) will lead them out of Egypt (the world) toward the promised land (eternal life).  The crossing of the Red Sea probably foretells of the horrible battle at Armageddon.  After that will be the glorious phase of Christ’s 1,000 year reign where the wolf will feed with the lamb, etc.  

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | December 12, 2019

Sin’s Definition

What is Sin? Many Christians define it as separation from God. But what does that mean? How does that help me lead a better life? It reminds this author of the definition of usury. Usury is usually defined as excessive interest. But interest is merely a symptom of usury. Usury is theft, financial theft. It is the act of creating money or credit from nothing usually through a fraudulent loan. Whether the interest is 1% or 33% is beside the point. Clearly we are all separated from God. Wasn’t even Jesus separated from God?? Yet he had no sin! Separation is not the main problem. Death is. A better definition of Sin is this: Sin is anything a person does to accelerate death in themselves or others. Sin leads to death. And yet, would sinless Jesus have lived forever if he wasn’t crucified?? No. He was living in a sinful world with death all around him. Sin drags us down even if we’re not adding to the problem. We need more than a sinless life to live forever. We need the trees of life and a sinless world as well.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | November 24, 2019

Two Salvations

Here is a very excellent article about the initial two salvations from the bible students of central Ohio:

What we regularly hear preached as the Gospel is only half of the story of salvation. An examination of this topic has proven that there is actually good news (Greek definition) in a fuller sense than most Christians have ever dreamed! 

In Galatians 3:8 the Apostle Paul makes an astounding statement: “…foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” That the Gospel message was presented in the Old Testament is not a generally appreciated concept, however, at the core of traditional Judaism is a belief based upon this Gospel preached to Abraham.

This belief is basically that Messiah will come and bless all humanity through Abraham’s children or seed. This blessing will include not only the living, but in addition, through resurrection, all those who have died. What a beautiful Gospel—promising that all mankind would be blessed! Gen. 12:3, 22:15-18

The traditional Christian teaching of the Gospel sees only a heavenly resurrection which is offered only to believers in Christ, while all others are condemned. The teaching of Judaism is more compassionate and encompassing—including all men in a resurrection here upon the earth. The concepts of Judaism and traditional Christianity are both partially correct, but each separately is incomplete.

Judaism received its belief from God’s own prophets, and we would indeed be presumptuous to ignore that testimony. Jesus, who was a Jew, never disputed the Gospel as preached to Abraham. Still, we must also acknowledge that Jesus taught that only faithful Christians will go to heaven. These two versions of the Gospel are not inharmonious. Judaism never learned about the Christian half of the Gospel, and Christianity forgot about the Judaism half, but both of these are true. By rightly dividing the word of truth, we learn that, to accept the complete Gospel message we must accept both versions.

We have found that the Gospel in its entirety is summarized in God’s promise to Abraham: “…I will multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore… and in thy seed shall all nations be blessed…” (Gen. 22:18) What does this mean? Notice that it involves two distinct and separate parts: 1. Abraham’s seed, and  2. all nations of earth.

The Apostle Paul defines this seed of promise: “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29) This is the key to our understanding. It states that faithful Christians are counted by God as being Abraham’s seed or children. It also states that because of this they become heirs according to the promise. What promise? The promise was that the seed would bless all others. Thus, if faithful Christians are the seed, God’s eventual purpose for them is to bless all the nations of the earth, both the living and the dead. Herein is the harmonious concept of the two versions of the Gospel: 1. those who go to heaven will 2. bless those here upon earth!

Both halves of the Gospel are required for scriptural harmony. Acts 15:14-17 clarifies this point: “God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name [the heavenly seed or stars of heaven]…  After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof [the earthly seed or sand upon the seashore], and I will set it up; that the residue of men [all the nations of the earth] might seek after the Lord…”

God’s plan of salvation is in progressive stages. The first half of the Gospel offers salvation now to the heavenly seed—true Christians who will comprise the Church. The second half offers salvation through this heavenly seed to the remainder of mankind—all the nations of the earth. The first of these nations will be the earthly seed of Abraham, the nation of Israel. Jesus confirms this thought in Luke 22:28-30: “Ye [the faithful disciples] are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Paul also mentions two opportunities for salvation in 1Timothy 4:10 where he says “…we trust in the living God who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.” It is clear that Paul still had in mind the seed and all men as being the two parts of the Gospel because he says that salvation is: 1. for all men, and 2. especially for those that believe.

The New Testament states that the resurrection will be a two stage process. The Church of Christ will receive the first resurrection to heaven. (1 Thess. 4:16, Rev. 20: 5, 6) The second resurrection, to God’s kingdom on earth, will be accomplished by Christ and his Church when they raise the remainder of mankind from the grave to a period of education and then judgment. God “hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained [Christ]; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised him from the dead.”

As death came by the first Adam, so life comes by Christ, the second Adam. Everything that mankind lost through being in the first Adam is to be restored to those who believe into the second Adam. “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” (1Cor. 15:20-23) When awakened, with the advantage of experience with evil, which Adam lacked, those who thankfully accept the redemption as God’s gift may continue to live everlastingly on the original condition of obedience. Perfect obedience will be required, and perfect ability to obey will be provided under the righteous reign of the Prince of Peace.

Here is the salvation offered to the world. Many have adopted the erroneous idea that God placed our race on trial for life with the alternative of eternal torture, whereas nothing of the kind is even hinted at in the original penalty. Death, not eternal torment, was the penalty for sin.

As surely as Jesus died for all, they must all have the blessings and opportunities which he purchased with his own precious blood. Hence we should expect blessings in the Millennial age upon all those in their graves as well as upon those not in them. It is because of God’s plan for their release that those in the grave are called prisoners of hope. Zech. 9:11, 12

Enlightenment on the subject of the true Gospel and the hope it brings sheds light on frequently asked questions:

1. Why did God create the earth and mankind? God created men and angels because one of His primary attributes is love. True love generates the quality of giving. Therefore he formed the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) by perfect human beings who would love and serve Him freely and to whom He would freely give blessing and life. This creation was not in vain. There will be harmony throughout all of God’s creation when God’s plan is complete. His word will “not return unto Him void but it shall accomplish that which He pleases…” Isaiah 55:11

2. What is God doing in the earth today? At present, the Lord has one primary plan being carried out at two levels. His ultimate goal is to bring all who have ever lived into harmony with Him again. One part of accomplishing this goal is to permit evil to have full sway in the earth so that man will be fully able to see its painful results. Eccl. 1:13; 3:10

While this evil is being permitted, God is accomplishing the other aspect of his plan—developing the Church of Christ. Having found too few Jews faithful at the first advent to constitute this Church, God is now “visiting the Gentiles to call out a people for His name.” (Acts 15:14) These are experiencing a special testing which will prepare them to implement the resurrection of all others and to rule and teach them with righteous judgment. This people for His name will be those who have faithfully suffered with Christ. “For if we suffer [with Christ] we shall also reign with him…” These will be “priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6) This reigning will be for the purpose of teaching and blessing all the nations of the earth. What a prospect! This is the very reason that James says God is selecting a people for His name: that “after this… the residue of men might seek after the Lord.” (Acts 15:13-18) During Christ’s reign of righteousness, mankind will be capable of making a free and intelligent choice between good and evil—having experienced both.

3. What is the Gospel? There are two primary scriptures which explain the term Gospel. When the angel appeared to the shepherds at Jesus’ birth, he declared: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

Acts 3:19 states that God “shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things [all that was lost in Adam], which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Thus, these two scriptures summarize the Gospel message—good news to man that God’s original plan has not failed, and that mankind will be restored to life and receive God’s blessings eternally on a perfected earth. This is all to be accomplished by the promised seed.

4. Will the faithful of old be resurrected to heaven or earth? John the Baptist died before Jesus gave his life for the world. Jesus stated in Matthew 11:11 “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.” Our Lord’s own words are stating that John will not be included in the first or heavenly resurrection!  (Rev. 20:6) No, John instead will have part in a future resurrection right here on the earth.

In fact, before the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, all of the ancient faithful were not offered, nor did they ever receive, a heavenly resurrection. They all looked forward to the Kingdom of God here upon the earth, with Jerusalem as its capital and Israel (the earthly seed) as the nation from which all blessings would flow to other people.

Acts 7:5 clarifies this point that the promise made to Abraham was earthly: God “promised that He would give it [the land] to him for a possession.” Although this promise is even now in process of fulfillment to Abraham’s natural descendants, Israel, yet Abraham had not received the promise himself: “… none inheritance in it [the land], no, not so much as to set his foot on.” Abraham will return from the grave in the earthly resurrection to receive the inheritance that was promised to him.

This blessing cannot be fulfilled until the still higher heavenly promises concerning Christ and his Church are fulfilled. The Apostle Paul states of Abraham and all those of faith who lived before Christ: “These all died in faith, not having received [the fulfillment of] the promise, God having provided some better thing for us [the true Church], that they without us should not be made perfect.” Heb. 11:13, 39, 40

5. Are all not Christian now lost forever? Certainly not! The purpose of the Church is to bless all those who are outside of the Church! God is not dealing with the world in general now. He is merely choosing out from among them those who will become members of the Church. After the Church is completely chosen and she becomes the bride of Christ during his second advent, then “the Spirit [Christ] and the bride [the Church] say Come; and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22:17

6. Will the Jews be saved? Israel as a nation has forever lost the opportunity of becoming the Church; but Israel never lost the opportunity for atonement with God in the earthly Kingdom. (Rom. 11:25-26) It is through the natural seed of Abraham, the Jew, that God plans to give His New Covenant to the rest of mankind. (Jer. 31:31-34) Israel is now reestablished as a nation among nations. Soon she will be the nation from whom the blessings will flow worldwide—for it is written that “Many nations shall come and say; Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths, for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2-4) Likewise it is said, “Many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to pray before the Lord… In those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Zech. 8:22, 23

7. When will these blessings be? At the birth of Jesus, the angels declared “peace on earth, goodwill toward men.” (Luke 2:14) But the world is certainly not experiencing, nor has it ever experienced, this peace and goodwill First come the troubles also termed birthpangs which will usher in God’s peaceable Kingdom on earth. “… I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come.” Haggai 2:6, 7

Our Lord taught his disciples to pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth…” (Matt. 6:10) Praise God that the complete Gospel, with blessings promised to the Christian, the Jew and the entire world is truly GOOD NEWS!
Posted by: biblestudyseattle | November 1, 2019

Three Sieges

Apparently Jerusalem was under siege three times by Nebuchadnezzar.  In 605 BC, 597 BC, and 587 BC.  It must have been a scary time.  70 years after the last siege, the temple was rebuilt and in operation.  Here is a decent article (although the 931 BC date for the dividing of Israel is wrong.  It should be 980 BC.)


Posted by: biblestudyseattle | October 21, 2019

Challenges of the early Christians

We sometimes overlook the challenges the early Christians had in convincing people that Jesus was the Messiah.  It is highly instructive for our time.  “As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ,”  Luke 3:15  I’ve never heard a sermon commenting on why the people were in expectation.  It was because of Daniels prophecy, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.  Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.   And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing.”  Daniel 9:24-26

The annointed one here is Jesus.  The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was in 455BC, or thereabouts, so 69 weeks of years is 483 years, which is 29AD.  (Technically 454.75BC to 28.75AD).  Even if we quibble that is was 458BC, it’s still around the time John was baptizing.

But Jesus died.  How are you going to convince anyone that the Messiah who was supposed to conquer the world for good apparently died?  Did he fail his mission?  This was (and is) the stumbling block for the Jews.  Everyone wants a STRONG messiah, not a weak one.  Even now this is the case.  Everyone supposes Jesus will come with thunderbolts and dash the bad guys to pieces.  But first he will come quietly.  As a thief.  “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”  Revelation 16:15  Then, he will privately reveal himself to the Jews.  “Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.  And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it.  And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.”  Genesis 45:1-3  So it will be in a century or so.  Then, and only later than that does Jesus come in mighty power.  “Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.  For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.  On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.  And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.”  Zechariah 14:1-7  This will most likely happen in the days of awe leading up to the great Day of Atonement several centuries from now.  

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | October 5, 2019

Dating Esther

Gerard Gertoux has some pretty neat papers on ancient chronology.  Here he dates Esther during the reign of Darius/Xerxes:

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | September 11, 2019

Beatitudes and Victors

Have you ever read the Beatitudes and thought that the meek get one gift, the peacemakers another, etc.?  Or are these describing different attributes of a saint and therefore all the rewards apply?  Similarly, if we take Revelation 2-3, we might see that different Christians through the Christian age get different benefits.  Or is it a composite of the overcomers that all the benefits apply?  To the church at Ephesus it says, “I will give the victor the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in God’s paradise.”  Revelation 2:7.  To the church at Smyrna it says, “The victor will never be harmed by the second death.”  Revelation 2:11.  To the church at Pergamum it says, “I will give the victor some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name is inscribed that no one knows except the one who receives it.”  Revelation 2:17.  To the church at Thyatira it says, “The one who is victorious and keeps My works to the end: I will give him authority over the nations—and he will shepherd[t] them with an iron scepter; he will shatter them like potteryjust as I have received this from My Father.   I will also give him the morning star.”  Revelation 2:26-28.  To the church at Sardis it says, “In the same way, the victor will be dressed in white clothes, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels.”  Revelation 3:5.  To the church at Philadelphia it says, “The victor: I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God, and he will never go out again. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God—the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God—and My new name.”  Revelation 3:12.  To the church at Laodicea it says, “The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne.”  Revelation 3:21

These victory passages show that the overcomers have many rewards.  The first reward is eating from the tree of life.  This destroys the idea that Christians receive instant immortality at death.  Immortals do not need to eat.  The third reward is similar – the hidden manna, much like the manna that the Israelites ate while wandering about the wilderness with Moses – symbolic of the Millennial Reign.  The second reward speaks of escaping the second death, again in the Millennial Age.  The later rewards speak of reigning with Messiah and being a part of God’s temple.  This speaks of the Millennial Age and also the ages beyond.

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