Let It Be Me

I do not in any way want to be offensive with what I am about to say. Anybody who knows me at all knows that my heart seeks God. I truly want to be the best person I can possibly be. But some concepts of the traditional view of God just don’t make sense to me.

Most Christians with whom I am acquainted think God is torturing some of their family members right this minute. It may be because their loved ones drank too much alcohol, ate too many brownies, had the audacity to praise God with the use of a piano, or simply lived their lives by their own rules–nothing outrageous.

But these same people, who supposedly love their family as they love themselves (or should, if they follow the Bible), turn around and praise God for little blessings he throws down to them–their car starts on a cold morning, they find the $20 they lost, their baby gets over his cold, their pot roast turns out perfectly. God is torturing their beloved, but he gives them a good hair day so God is great!

Something, surely something, is wrong with that. Seriously, if I am good to my friends and cruel to my enemies, how am I a good person? Even the “publicans” love their friends, right?

Matthew 5:46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

If God is burning a member of my family, my friend, or even my enemy right now, his present blessings to me do not make him good. And I should understand that unless I am completely and totally narcissistic, shouldn’t I? Or perhaps I think I never eat too many brownies; or that God will stop being good to me too once I die, and start torturing me like he is tormenting my loved ones, but, hey, I’ll thank him while he’s being good to me?

Oh, and I’m supposed to spend my life learning to be tenderhearted and compassionate, even toward my enemies, only to unlearn it all after I die so I can rejoice while I dance around on the ashes of my friends and family that weren’t as good as I was in this life (Matthew 5:44, Malachi 4:3). Maybe Hitler was onto something. Maybe he had it right. Maybe he developed his torturous cold heart for a purpose as he warmed up the Jews for God to throw them into the eternal, seven-times-hotter fire. Hitler might truly enjoy the day of judgment if he should happen to be on the good side of God.

Please don’t bother telling me that I just don’t understand how heinous sin is or how holy God is. I have a brain, and, although I have lost my sense of smell, I sniff the rottenness coming out of Denmark. Why is it wonderful to have compassion in this life but empathy is a detriment in the next (1 John 3:17)? Why is it a beautiful trait to be tenderhearted and weep with those that weep in this life but we must harden our hearts in the next life in order not to suffer with those who are being punished (Romans 12:15 )? Why is it godly (godly?) not to seek vengeance in this life while we cry out “how long, O Lord?” as we crave the day when God will destroy anyone who has mistreated us (Revelation 6:10 )? Why is it sinful in this life to seek a place of esteem if we are supposed to, secretly, look forward eagerly to the day when we will be highly exalted above others (Philippians 2:3)?

People obey God, and persuade others to obey God, because God tortures humans when they die if they don’t obey his every command while alive. But it seems to me that if we love God because he has threatened to torture us, God is a monster. If I threatened to burn my own children if they didn’t obey my every little wish, I’d be a monster, wouldn’t I?

Others encourage people to love God because God will reward them when they die–they will be glorified and get to enjoy sliding around on a street of gold and wear a crown on their heads–when they aren’t casting the crowns down at God’s feet (Revelation 21:21, Revelation 4:10). If I love a man because I want a diamond ring or money, I am a prostitute. Doesn’t that make me a prostitute if I love God because I want a golden crown, because I want to be high above others, because I want a life of ease while my fellow human beings are greatly diseased?

These are thoughts I have had for some time and just decided to share them. I have found the emperor to be naked and want to say so. If even one person–even one–is to be cast into a bottomless pit to weep and gnash his teeth for all eternity, then I want to give up my crown and jump into the flames with him (Matthew 8:12).

Why? Because that’s what my Lord has taught me to do. To do otherwise would be disobedience to the command to love my neighbor as myself , to esteem others better than myself, to lay down my life for my brother (James 2:8, Philippians 2:3, 1 John 3:16 ). If only one person must be punished, let it be me. I’ll give myself for the sins of the world–have them all put on me.

But somebody already did that. Didn’t he?

6.19.13

Advertisements

Hope of Israel

Most Christians who are my acquaintances believe that God has terminated His covenant with Israel. To end that covenant He would have been required to fulfill all the promises contained within it. One promise God made to Israel was a resurrection from the dead.

Many say God ended His covenant with the Jews at the cross. Then they tell us that several weeks later, on the day of Pentecost, Joel’s prophecies were being fulfilled. It is true that the prophecies of Joel were fulfilled that day, but what does that say about the end of the covenant God had made with Israel? It tells us very clearly that God had not in fact ended it at the cross. It is not legal to renege on a covenant or agreement, calling it null and void, and then come back later and attempt to pick back up on it.

As for the resurrection, what did Paul say about where he learned about it? Notice the following:

Acts 28:20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.

Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Acts 26:6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

The resurrection was the hope of Israel, and was the promise that God would raise the dead. Israel was spiritually dead. But God had promised to revive her—to raise her from that death. Then He would make a new covenant with her.

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Ezekiel 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves . . .  25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

When God made a new covenant, that is when He was going to bring the Israelites out of their graves. (And that is why death ended when the law ended, 1 Corinthians 15:56.) Jehovah would be their God and they would be His people (2 Corinthians 6:16). He would multiply them and they would dwell in the land with David as their king, along with their children and grandchildren, forever. Hosea talked about it; Daniel prophesied of it; Zechariah and Ezekiel foretold it. In fact, all the prophets spoke of this, and they spoke of the last days that occurred in the first century.

Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

From Samuel to all those that followed after him, the prophecies were “of these days” in which Peter was living. Please stop just a minute and take that in. ALL the prophets, from Samuel and those that followed him—all of them, as many as had SPOKEN—FORETOLD OF THE DAYS IN WHICH PETER LIVED.

God promised the resurrection to Israel and He had to fulfill that promise before He ended His covenant with the Jews; otherwise, again, He would have been a covenant breaker. Also, the whole law had to be fulfilled for any part of it to pass (Matthew 5:18).

So the resurrection Paul taught was the resurrection spoken of in the law and the prophets. Therefore, it was a promise of God within the covenant that God made with Israel.

Paul showed in another place that the resurrection was a promise of the covenant of God with the Jews. Notice:

1 Corinthians 15:54  So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Of course, Paul was quoting from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14. Had God ended His covenant with the Jews without fulfilling this promise of a resurrection, God would be a covenant breaker. And, once again, God could not end the covenant and then come back later and try to reinstate it so He could finally fulfill the terms of it. Therefore, either the resurrection is past or God still has a covenant with Israel–it didn’t end at the cross or on the day of Pentecost and is still, today, in force.

If we believe something about the resurrection that makes it occur after God ended His covenant with Israel and made a new covenant in Christ, we are wrong in our belief. We must “let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

Tina

9.10.12

Jews and Gentiles Don’t Exist

There is neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11). God makes no distinction between people and no longer recognizes nationality.

When speaking of the new heavens and new earth Isaiah said:

Isaiah 60:3  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. . . 5  Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. . .

Obviously the sea represents the Gentiles since the fish aren’t converted, and the Gentiles no longer exist as we see in Revelation 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. [There is neither Jew NOR Gentile.]

Back to the Isaiah passage:

11  Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. . . 15  Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. 16  Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. . . 18  Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. 19  The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 20  Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. [See Revelation 21 for the fulfillment of this passage.]

This is obviously something that was to happen when there would be “generations.” So it’s not heaven in the sweet by and by. But we see the gates not being closed, no more darkness, no more crying–all things we see in Revelation. We can tell that this was to come when the Gentiles came to the light (Isaiah 60:3). And that is, of course, what Jesus said!

Matthew 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. 

Romans 10:18  But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

We know, because the Bible tells us, that the gospel was indeed preached to all the world and every nation. We know the abundance of the sea (the Gentiles) was converted to the Lord. We know Jesus said the end He referred to, when the Gentiles would come to the light, was coming in the first century (Matthew 24:34).

Someone will say there will be “multiple fulfillment.” I would ask how the Gentiles are to come to the light again.

Tina

9.9.12

The Gentiles Come to the Light

I think most of us accept that when the Old Testament speaks about the bringing in of the Gentiles it is talking about the coming of Christ when all people would be gathered together as one in Him. We understand that gathering, but somehow we are looking for another, different, better gathering sometime in the future. Let’s take a closer look at the bringing in of the Gentiles and see what else was to happen when they were to be accepted by God.

Isaiah 42

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;

7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

We all recognize that this has happened. We know the Gentiles have come to God. The time of their fulfillment is past (Luke 21:24).

Isaiah 42

9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

A new song? Where do we see this in the New Testament?

Revelation 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Revelation 14:3  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Isaiah said the new song would be sung when the Gentiles came to Christ.

Isaiah 42

16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.

17 They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye are our gods.

18 Hear, ye deaf; and look, ye blind, that ye may see.

Judgment was coming on those that trusted in graven images, but God was going to open the ears of the deaf and the eyes of the blind.

Isaiah 49

6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

What? Raise up the tribes of Jacob? Raise up? That is a resurrection, isn’t it? God was going to raise up Jacob and restore Israel when the light came to the Gentiles and salvation came to the earth.

Isaiah 49

7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

At the acceptable time God would send His Holy One and establish the earth when He made a covenant with the people. What earth was going to be established? Obviously the new one!

Isaiah 49

9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

No more darkness (night), no more hunger, no more thirst. The people would have springs of water to guide them.

Isaiah 49

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the LORD, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.

Sing, heavens and earth! Sing, for God has comforted you! God has gathered you together and you are clothing Him as an ornament that a bride wears! What amazing imagery for the people of God! God has glorified us and makes His home with us and we are His temple!

Isaiah 49

22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

God was going to live among His people and they would be rulers above all men in God’s eyes. They would never have to be ashamed before God again. And that time was when the Gentiles came to the light.

Isaiah 60

1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Arise! Resurrect!

2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

When would the Israelites arise? When would they be resurrected? When the Gentiles came to the light! Some people will agree that these things happened, but they think surely we will see a double fulfillment in the future, after we die maybe. But how are the Gentiles to come to the light again in a double fulfillment? God said nothing at all about any double fulfillment.

Isaiah 60

4 Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side.

5 Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. [See Rv 21:1.]

6 The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD.

7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.

The Gentiles (the sea) would be coverted to God and God would glorify the house of His glory. That is God’s house, the house of God, the one that has many mansions.

Isaiah 60

8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?

9 Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee.

10 And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.

11 Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. [See Rv 21:23-27.]

Please think about these words and consider what they mean. The people fly like a cloud. The gates are open continually as the Gentiles and kings come in.

Isaiah 60

14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

15 Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.

16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

What is this describing? The assembly of the Lord!

Isaiah 60

18 Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.

19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.

21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.

The sun would not go down. It would always be day. Why? Because it is always light now that we have Christ and the Father dwelling with us. We are not in darkness any longer. We have come to the light. The Jewish system is dark, totally dark–outer darkness.

Isaiah 62 (ASV)

1 For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth.

2 And the nations [Gentiles, KJV] shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name.

Here we see a new name being given. Revelation talks about this new name too.

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

This is the city of God (the assembly of Christ) that came down out of heaven. It is the bride. But let’s see what Isaiah says the new name is.

Isaiah 62

3 Thou shalt also be a crown of beauty in the hand of Jehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

4 Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Beulah; for Jehovah delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.

Hephzibah and Beulah. God was going to marry the people. He was going to divorce and destroy His old bride (Judah, whom He could not divorce when He divorced her sister Israel because the Messiah had not come) and He was going to take a new bride.

Isaiah 62

5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee; and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

6 I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that are Jehovah’s remembrancers, take ye no rest,

7 and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

In the earth. Jerusalem (Christ’s people) would be a praise in the earth, not in heaven.

Isaiah 62

11  Behold, Jehovah hath proclaimed unto the end of the earth, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.

12 And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of Jehovah: and thou shalt be called Sought out, A city not forsaken.

I think this is very clear. When the Gentiles came to the light, a new city of new people with a new name, married to the Lord, would dwell upon the earth and be a temple to the living God to shine a light to the rest of the world and be a beacon calling the lost to Christ. The passages above all find their fulfillment in the following verses of the New Testament.

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Acts 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

This is all a part of the gathering of God’s people in the last days, when He said He would gather both Israel and Judah into one.

Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

The End of What?

Matthew 24:14 (WEY) And this Good News of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed throughout the whole world to set the evidence before all the Gentiles; and then the End will come.

The Scriptures talk about an end that would occur when the gospel was preached to the world. What was the end that was to come once the gospel was preached? Has the gospel been preached to the world and has that end therefore come?

Matthew 28 (WEY)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations; baptize them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit;

20 and teach them to obey every command which I have given you. And remember, I am with you always, day by day, until the Close of the Age.”

Christ said He would be with His apostles always. They were to preach the gospel to the whole world and He would be with them, while they carried out their commission, until the close of the age (the KJV says “end of the world”).

Mark 16 (WEY)

15Then He said to them, “Go the whole world over, and proclaim the Good News to all mankind.

16 He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who disbelieves will be condemned.

17 And signs shall attend those who believe, even such as these. By making use of my name they shall expel demons. They shall speak new languages.

18 They shall take up venomous snakes, and if they drink any deadly poison it shall do them no harm whatever. They shall lay their hands on the sick, and the sick shall recover.”

19 So the Lord Jesus after having thus spoken to them was taken up into Heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

20 But they went out and made proclamation everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming their Message by the signs which accompanied it.

Many signs were to accompany believers as the apostles of Christ taught and converted them. If this great commission had been spoken to you and me, then the signs would accompany those who believe us. But they do not because the commission was not spoken to us. Since it was spoken to the apostles and they are dead, did they fulfill the commission before they died?

Romans 10:18 (WEY) But, I ask, have they not heard? Yes, indeed: “To the whole world the preachers’ voices have sounded forth, and their words to the remotest parts of the earth.”

Within the first century the apostles fulfilled the commission Jesus gave to them. The world heard the gospel. Now that the gospel had been preached, the end could come.

Remember:

Matthew 24:14 (WEY) And this Good News of the Kingdom shall be proclaimed throughout the whole world to set the evidence before all the Gentiles; and then the End will come.

Jesus told His apostles to preach the gospel to the world and He would be with them until the end of the age. He said that when the gospel was preached to the world (by them), the end would come.

The end of what? The age that was closing! What age? The age to which Jesus said He would be with the apostles until the end. That would have to be the Jewish age.

Since the Jewish age did not end until the gospel was preached to the whole world, the Jewish law also did not end until the Jewish age ended. That is why the apostle Paul said that when the law ended, death would be over. Without law sin has no strength and death has no sting (1 Corinthians 15:56).

What else was to happen at the end or close of this age?

1 Peter 1 (WEY)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in His great mercy has begotten us anew to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance imperishable, undefiled and unfading, which has been reserved in Heaven for you,
5 whom God in His power is guarding through faith for a salvation that even now stands ready for unveiling at the End of the Age.

Matthew 13 (WEY)

49 So will it be at the Close of the Age. The angels will go forth and separate the wicked from among the righteous,
50 and will throw them into the fiery furnace. There will be the weeping aloud and the gnashing of teeth.”

That is the only end we read about in the Scriptures. The Christian age has no end. God is to be glorified in the assembly of Christ “world without end” (Ephesians 3:21)

Moonbeam

Rolled Together and Departed as a Scroll

Revelation 6:14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

 

For most of my life I thought this was literal. I was expecting to see the sky roll up and disappear. I thought all the mountains and islands would vanish. Is that really what this is saying?

 

Hebrews 12:26  Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27  And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28  Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

29  For our God is a consuming fire.

 

The writer of Hebrews speaks of all made things being shaken and removed. He calls that “heaven and earth” and says that God was going to “once more” shake not only earth but also heaven. When that was accomplished, the kingdom the early Christians were receiving would be left. When did/will this happen?

 

Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

21  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

22  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

25  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

29  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

30  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

31  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

32  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

33  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

 

What do we see here? The kingdom of God is nigh and the powers of heaven are being shaken. We see signs in the sun and the moon and the stars. Heaven and earth are also going to pass away, just as Hebrews 12 says. And when is this going to happen? Sometime during the generation in which Jesus is speaking.

 

Matthew 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

 

Mark 13:25  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

28  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

 

In Matthew 24 and Mark 13 we see the sun darkened, the moon not giving light, the stars falling from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shaken—and heaven and earth passing away. We have to believe this is what Hebrews 12 is talking about too—the “once more” when both heaven and earth would be shaken and removed.

 

Luke 23:28  But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 29  For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. 30  Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

 

Revelation 6:16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

 

The daughters of Israel would be calling to the mountains to fall on them. When? If we go back a few verses in Revelation 6 we see:

 

Revelation 6:13  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

14  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

15  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

16  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

17  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

 

Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew, Mark, and Luke about the stars falling and the sign of the fig tree? Remember how heaven and earth would shake and be removed? Here in Revelation 6 we see the fulfillment of these prophecies—that Jesus Himself said would occur in the generation in which He lived.

 

When the heaven departed like a scroll and the stars fell (and heaven and earth were shaken and removed), that’s the great day of the wrath of the Lamb. It’s when Jesus came (in the clouds) in His kingdom with power and great glory. It happened in the first century like Jesus said it would.

Moonbeam

8.9.11

Heaven and Earth Had to Leave for the Kingdom to Remain

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.

28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

29 For our God is a consuming fire.

What is going on here? Something is fixing to be shaken and removed. These are things that can be removed so that the things that can’t be removed will remain. What are they? We see the answer: heaven and earth. Yes, heaven and earth were about to be removed.

What would remain? The city of the living God. The heavenly Jerusalem. The church of the firsborn. The new covenant.

And what would happen to those who did not listen to this voice speaking from heaven about these things? They would not escape, for God is a consuming fire.

This is a comparison between the old covenant, all vestiges of which were about to be removed, and the new covenant God was making with His people. I think that is obvious. What would remain when this shaking and removing was done, was the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of God.

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

According to Matthew 5:18, till heaven and earth passed, not a jot or tittle would pass until all was accomplished. Hebrews is talking about the passing (shaking and removing) of the heaven and earth that Matthew 5 references. Jesus, in Matthew 5:18, was giving a hint about when heaven and earth would disappear. Not that He didn’t tell the people in other places, such as:

Matthew 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Luke describes this time as the days of vengeance.

Luke 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

In that generation all those events mentioned in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 would be fulfilled–the coming of the Son of man in the clouds, the sounding of a trumpet, gathering the elect from the four winds, stars falling from heaven, heaven and earth’s passing. All of these occurrences would come to pass in that generation. Just because the comment about heaven and earth comes AFTER verse 34 in Matthew 24, that does NOT mean Jesus is saying, “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Oh, and someday a long time from now heaven and earth will also pass.” As we can see, Hebrews says heaven and earth were about to shake and be removed. This happened at the destruction of Jerusalem (when all the vestiges of the law were removed), so that all written things would be fulfilled and therefore all jots and tittles would be fulfilled! When all this was accomplished, the kingdom would remain! It wasn’t going anywhere after heaven and earth vanished away. The kingdom of Christ is eternal and has no end!

Notice this quote from Josephus:

“However, this proportion of the measures of the tabernacle proved to be an imitation of the system of the world: for that third part thereof which was within the four pillars, to which the priests were not admitted, is, as it were, a Heaven peculiar to God” (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 6, Paragraph 4, Section 123).

“When Moses distinguished the tabernacle into three parts, and allowed two of them to the priests as a place accessible to the common, he denoted the land and the sea, these being of general access to all; but he set apart the third division for God, because heaven is inaccessible to men” (Josephus, Antiquities, Book 3, Chapter 7, Paragraph 7, Section 181).

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

This verse fits perfectly with the words of Josephus. The Jews understood what Jesus and the writer of Hebrews were saying. And we know that the first tabernacle had to be removed so that God could establish the second.

Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Notice more in Hebrews:

Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Jesus and the writer of Hebrews are clear about when the end would come. So were the apostles.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

Moonbeam

8.8.11