SIGNS OF CHRIST’S RETURN

©2012 Dr. Irene Bonney Faulkes DD


CHAPTER I

NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL

All Christians should be vitally interested in the matter of the promised second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Israel is a major point with most today, we should look at the place this nation stands in relation to His return.

 First of all, there cannot be found any verse that implicitly says Israel would be restored after Jerusalem and the Temple were totally destroyed in AD 70 and her people killed, enslaved and scattered to the ends of the earth. Jesus did not say such a thing in either Mt.24, Mk.13 or Lk.21. Paul omitted to say this in Romans 9-11. Peter does not mention it in his second epistle as an occurrence before when he said the earth would be consumed by fire. A second restoration for the nation is not mentioned in the whole of the Old Testament. Perhaps most of us have in the past overlooked this aspect.

Jesus told a parable in Lk.12:35-40 to warn all His followers to be ready for His return.  He stated clearly that we were all to be ready, for He would be coming in an unexpected hour.  This indicates that there are no signs that will point to His return.

When Moses prophesied the destruction of Israel obviously by the Romans in Deut.28 and 29 he did not prophesy that it would be restored afterwards. Prophecies in later times regarding a restoration of Israel were always in relation to a return from the seventy years of captivity in Babylon. Even then only a remnant did return. After that, there never was another king to reign over them until King Herod the Great came on the scene with his evil dynasty. He it was who rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem that was of magnificent splendour as also evidenced by what the disciples said to Jesus in the above chapters of the gospels.

Of course, many do take the stand that there will be a second fulfilment. They cite it all as being similar to two mountain ranges. The first, being smaller, is evident but behind it lies a similar mountain range larger in the background. The foremost range types a fulfilment in relation to the first time Israel was judged and taken into captivity. The one in the background is like the fulfilment that will come at Israel is restored as a nation. It amounts to the fact of there being two fulfilments for one kind of prophecy. This is a fallacy if we are looking for two natural fulfilments.   There can be no similarity in any two natural fulfilments of prophecy.

The point we have missed over the years is that there are indeed two fulfilments but one is natural and the other supernatural or spiritual.  We take as an example Ezek.36.  This was given before Israel’s return from exile in Babylon.  The first fulfilment was when they returned.  The second fulfilment is spiritual.  It speaks of the land waiting to be replenished and filled with inhabitants.  To understand the spiritual, we need to look at the history of Abraham.  He is the Jews’ natural father but the believers in Christ have him as their spiritual father as Paul says in Galatians.

Abraham was given the promises to inherit the land, the natural land.  However, his eyes were on the supernaturally given heavenly place God had in mind for him and his spiritual descendants.  Faith bade him look not at the seen that is but natural and temporal.  Rather, faith in the Christ to come carried him into Spiritual realities.  He had more regard for his spiritual descendants than for his natural ones.  His gaze was on the unseen that is eternal.  The Divine principle that what is seen is temporary but what is not seen is eternal must have been etched into his very being by his God, whose friend he was.

 Despite dwelling in the land, he did not consider that to be the real fulfilment.  It was the natural fulfilment.  The real one was as is said of him there, 'He looked forward to the city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God' (Heb.11:8-10). The foundations of the city are contained in the gospel message.  He himself preached that gospel, as Paul said in Galatians.

  The city with of course the land, is that eternal one depicted in Rev.21:1,2, when John saw the new heavens and the new earth or land.  He viewed the holy city, as the Bride of Christ that is the New Jerusalem.  It is no wonder that Abraham jumped over the promise that would be fulfilled naturally.  His heart was filled with the revelation of the heavenly city, the temple built of  redeemed people, who would become the eternal habitation of their God. We the children of faith also must have this vision.

This is how we are to understand natural fulfilments of Old Testament prophecy where it relates to Israel, Jerusalem, the people and the land.

The Scriptures themselves indicate the fact of a once only judgment or event, when we consider among others things, the judgments that fell upon the earth in the Old Testament. First there was that borne by the earth and its inhabitants as a result of Adam’s fall into sin because judgment came upon him and through him upon the whole human race. It was a once for all judgment.

We can look at the occasion of the flood when nearly all of the millions of mankind were destroyed and the earth’s make-up changed. Never again will it happen and to show us this, God has placed in the heavens His rainbow of promise. There are, however, types of what will happen in the end of time.

Later  on there was the judgment that came upon the people at the time of the Tower of Babel. Such a thing was never repeated.  We look at the judgments on Egypt and later on, other idolatrous nations.

 During those periods, prophecies were given in relation to them as well as with regard to the nation of Israel and then Judah and Israel. These were always once for all time events and judgments. The same thing occurred with their kings. All the prophecies were fulfilled. They were never repeated and never would be.

Why should we then expect a repetition of the fulfilment of prophecies against the nation of Israel that were fulfilled at the time of the captivity in Babylon and the return of the remnant?

In passing we make the comment that Ezekiel was probably one of those mentioned by Peter who said, 'Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory' (1 Pet.1:10,11).  He in particular, with Isaiah, saw the glory in visions given them by this same Spirit.

The visions and prophecies in the Old Testament were always based on the prophet’s own personality, national institutions of religion and his known environment and situation.  For example, Ezekiel was in captivity in Babylon among the Exiles.  He was of a priestly family so his prophecy is of priestly things and the Temple.  His prophecies end with judgment on the Temple.

Then there is to be a new society with a new kind of temple out from which was to flow a rivers of water that became deep enough to swim in.  He saw in a vision the river of the Holy Ghost in the temple of the redeemed of  Christ in the form of the kind of temple he knew.  It is momentous that on the Day of Pentecost when the river began to flow the disciples were in an upper room of Herod’s Temple that had features of the temple Ezekiel saw. 

He had seen in vision the valley of dry bones and at the end, after resurrection life from Christ caused life, he prophesied Christ, His servant David, would be king and the only Shepherd.  Christ came declaring 'I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep'.

God says He will make an everlasting covenant, one of peace and that His dwelling place will be with His people forever.  This points to the New Covenant with Christ as Mediator.

CHAPTER II

SOME FULFILLED PROPHECY

Daniel, on the other hand was a prisoner in Babylon.  He was not a priest, but a prophet only.  His prophecies were pure predictions of future kingdoms, rulers and events with the major one being that relating to his people, Israel.

With regard to the book of Daniel its prophecies have been fulfilled perfectly. Because many of us have failed to recognize this, we all have missed out on the privilege of being able to point out the wonder and marvel of such fulfilments. Here is an ineffable wonderment. David also would rejoice in seeing his prophetic word of Psalm one come to pass – “The wicked will not stand in the judgment – for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous”.

The nation of Israel and its institutions were destroyed for ever in fulfilment of the prophecies of Deut.28 and Dan.9 through to 12. This ch.12 of Daniel is still about the destruction of Jerusalem. V.7 even shows a certain man swearing, 'that it would be for a time, two times and half a time', i.e. the time of three and a half years it took, from AD 66 to 70.  V.11 mentions how the offerings would cease, this in the middle of the week.

   We should understand that chaps. 10 and 11 foretold the history that would befall the Jews until “the end of those days”. This history reveals that there was first of all, the Medes and Persians and the kings after Cyrus such as Xerxes.  Then appears Alexander the Great who died at an early age, his kingdom being divided between his four Generals. After that there was Ptolemy to Antiochus the Great. A daughter in v.17 can be identified as Cleopatra. Egypt is in the picture and Mark Anthony. Then arrives Antiochus Epiphanes, the Maccabees and also King Herod the Great, the final one.  He was King of the Jews, even though an interloper, the only person who could be called king in the whole list of eminent rulers.

 These chapters can never have another fulfilment to justify the belief that there lies a higher mountain ranger behind this first, it to show fulfilment of prophecies supposedly about a restored Israel in the End time.   It is a matter of history that Daniel 11 was fulfilled, statement by statement and year by year, in every detail.  The chapter covers a period of around four hundred and fifty years beginning from the Babylonian captivity until the reign of Augustus Caesar.  This fulfilment literally, is the most amazing chapter in that regard throughout the whole range of Old Testament and even New Testament prophecy.   These hundreds of literal fulfilments are enough on their own to prove the infallibility of the Bible for those who refuse its authenticity. 

 Regarding the matter of the Great Tribulation that many say is to come. Jesus referred to this in Mt.24:21,22, 'For then there will be great distress, tribulation, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now – and never to be equalled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened'. This tribulation was fulfilled from AD 66 to 70 under Vespasian and then his son, Titus. 

The Jewish historian, Josephus, has recorded correctly many of the events of those days. He describes bestialities, cruelties, tortures, cannibalism, murders and the slaying of many by the Romans and in the end through fire. What he has described is unheard of in other wars as far as actual atrocities are concerned. In addition, the number of inhabitants of the whole land was greatly minimised, few being left there. Every trace of Jewish past was totally obliterated. Cities were demolished and in the case of Jerusalem, there was not one stone left, with an area surrounding it to the extent of ten miles, also being laid bare.

The remains of a wall standing in Jerusalem known as the Wailing Wall was not part of the Temple.  Dr. Ernest Martin, M.A. in Theology and PhD. In Education, of Associates for Scriptural Knowledge, has been Lecturer, Archaeologist, Writer  and Academic Supervisor for 450 college students at the excavation of some walls and a Tour Guide in Israel.  He states that the remains there are not of the Temple but of Hara mesh-Sharif (the Noble Enclosure).  It is “the modern scholars who are wrong” about this.  These stones are not remains of the Temple.  It was completely destroyed as Jesus said would happen and “He included the stones of the outer walls that enclosed the Temple as well as the buildings of the inner Temple”.    He used the word “heiron” that means all of these.

The Wailing Wall is part of the Camp of the Romans that existed, known as Fort Antonia, to the north of the Temple.  It is today regarded  as the Temple Mount and is in actuality misnamed.  The Dome of the Rock is not sited on the mount where the Temple stood.  It is in the middle of Hara mesh-Sharif (Fort Antonia) and that was the property of Rome.   This Fort was never owned by Jews.  It seems that the Moslems, the Jews and Christians are all wrong in thinking that area was where the destroyed Temple had once stood. 

Jesus in Lk.19:43,44 prophesied the total destruction of the city of Jerusalem, saying there would not be left one stone upon another.  This also was fulfilled as history reveals.  The reason was as He said that they did not know the time of their visitation from God.

The prophecy in Mic.3:12, around 700 BC was about the same destruction.  It also was fulfilled.  It read, ”Therefore because of you Zion shall be ploughed as a field; Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins, and the mountain of the house a wooded height”.  History records that as the ground where the whole of the Temple, including its walls, had been levelled, a certain person ploughed it up as a field for crops.

The prophecies of Jesus regarding complete destruction were fulfilled.

Jesus said these words, 'Never to be equalled again' and in the KJV, we find this, 'Then, there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be'. This means there can never be another great tribulation. It has already occurred. Jesus did not mention two great tribulations. We know it has happened not only from history but from the Christians’ obedience to the words of Jesus in the previous verse when He told them to pray so that their flight would be at a good time. He was speaking to that generation about the Roman Army, the abomination, that would cause desolation as spoken by Daniel. When they saw the Army set down outside the walls of Jerusalem to besiege them, they were to take the opportunity to flee. Most Christians did just that. They escaped that terrible great tribulation. History tells us they had about two days only in which to escape.

Can we not see that He said there never would be another great tribulation? This that occurred AD 66-70 was the time of Jacob’s Trouble that many are looking for in the future. Why indeed would God restore the nation at the end of our gospel age only to pour down upon it again, a repeat of this terrible tribulation that occurred at that time?  Jesus actually spoke against this happening in those words above.

Many are looking for the Great Tribulation because of a lack of comprehension of Jesus’ prophecies and their fulfilment in the destruction of Jerusalem.  Most do not even know that history.  There is a looking forward to future natural fulfilments because of failure to see the spiritual.  It seems that the Church is repeating the sin of Israel when it looked for a Messiah who would restore their headship, remove the yoke of Rome and rule as their natural King.  Because of this belief, they crucified their Messiah.  They failed to see the truth.  Let us not be guilty of failing to see the Truths of the gospel and of the New Testament.  The New is contained in the Old and explains the Old.  If we wish to know the truths about Israel, Jerusalem, Restoration and the land, we need to understand them in the light of the New Testament.

CHAPTER III

THE INHERITANCE

The New Testament is not about the earthly city of Jerusalem but about the heavenly city.  Paul tells us in Gal.4:26 'But the other woman (Sarah and not Hagar) corresponds to the Jerusalem above, she is free, and she is our mother'.  He says in 3:29 'And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise'.

The promise given to Abraham has this spiritual fulfilment.  There was a natural fulfilment in the Old Testament to the promise.  It was fulfilled totally.  However, once fulfilled, it can never be implemented again in that way.  Instead, the promise carries over into the New Testament under new conditions.  These are that the heirs must come in through faith in Christ alone.  There are no other heirs for any promise to Abraham under this New Covenant.  Instead, the promise to Abraham carries over to a new form.  The promise is that of the Spirit and not because of added Law to the faith embedded in it for those who could see.  The fulfilment is completely spiritual and never to be natural again.

Believers in Christ, as children of Abraham, consist of Jews and Gentiles.  All receive the promise to Abraham in the same manner.  This is that we are all heirs together of the grace in Christ and the gospel.  It is of spiritual concern.  We have come into the Kingdom of God, that is 'not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit' (Rom.14:17).  This kingdom has now begun.  It began on the Day of Pentecost.  There will be no other kingdom.  It is one not of this earth but of heaven.  Its alternate designation is the Kingdom of Heaven.  We are born from above. 

The inheritance instead of being natural is spiritual.  We follow the faith of our father Abraham and we look for a city that has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.   Our city is the New Jerusalem.  The old one was destroyed.  Its reconstruction has never ordered by God.  The present day Jews in Israel are not there because of Divine commands or supernatural intervention declared by God to be so.

  He is building a different one for believers in Christ, including believing Jews.  They need not look for a restoration of their nation, city or land on this earth.  There is not to be a restoration but an entirely new city, nation and land.  The city is heavenly, the nation is holy in Christ and the land is that new earth that Peter says will be made. 

When we read Mt.24 and the other gospels and see what was to happen to Jerusalem and the country and see that indeed it did occur according to history, we need not wonder when the writer of Hebrews says, “Our God is a consuming fire”. He is a God of love but also a God of holiness and justice.

 Severe warning is the feature of  Heb.12:,29, 'Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire'.

 When we consider how God judged Israel for all her idolatries and sins and for her greatest sin of rejecting and crucifying their Messiah, we should indeed have godly fear. He who endures to the end shall be saved!

CHAPTER  IV

SIGNS OF CHRIST’S COMING

For the first time in all my years of listening to sermons, yesterday on the Australian Christian Television channel, I heard a Pastor, Pastor Joseph Prince of Singapore, venture to say that the destruction of Jerusalem was a fulfilment of these Scriptures. He obviously has an Assemblies of God background and sadly has opted to follow a few of the current new doctrines that seem to be accepted by the majority in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles.

We need to realise that Mt.24:1-34 concerns the nation of Israel, the Temple and Jerusalem. Jesus indeed made this plain in v.34 when He said, 'Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place'. All those words were for that generation. He said this around AD 33.  The fulfilment began in AD 66 during that specific generation. Similarly Mk.13:1-30 mainly concerns that generation, as also does Lk..21:1-33.

Thus we see there were signs given beforehand as to what would occur during that time and previously. Daniel 9-12 is also very specific about such things when what he prophesied was fulfilled in detail during a couple of centuries B.C. until the beginning of the book of Acts and then during the period AD 66-70.

However, for the second coming of Christ, which is a different subject entirely, no signs have been given to let us know when this might occur. This probably comes as a shock to most. I was reared to believe in all those signs mentioned today around the churches. After years of prayer in the Spirit and study, I can see the Bible truth about signs.

Jesus Himself said in Acts 1:7 'It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority', when the disciples asked Him about restoration of the kingdom. They were still looking for an earthly kingdom with the Messiah ruling upon a restored Israel.

After Pentecost, their minds were opened, their understanding invigorated and never again did they ask such a question or make any reference to the restoration of a national Israel with the Messiah as King. We know this by reading their epistles. They were silenced in relation to times and they were given the correct revelation by the Holy Spirit who 'led them into all truth' as Jesus had promised. They then knew God had a different programme than what they had thought. Their opinions had to be revised. We know this by what Peter, James and John wrote and the absence of any reference to such a kingdom restoration.

Jesus had earlier said in Mt.25:31 about His throne being one of glory and not of this earth, 'When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory', but obviously they had forgotten it. They had also forgotten that He had said, Mt.24:36, 'But of that day and hour no man knows, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only'. In another verse, He shown His own ignorance as the Son of Man concerning the time, in these words, 'neither the Son of Man knows'.  They should not have expected to know.

Heb.9:26 read: 'To them who look for Him, shall He (Christ) appear a second time without sin unto salvation'. Cassirer’s translation is: 'So Christ, will appear a second time – sin having been done away with – to those who are waiting for him to obtain their salvation'.

The criterion for having Him come for us individually in the second coming is 'to be looking for Him'. This continuous action is tied in with the result of our having our spirits, souls and bodies sanctified, as in 1 Thess.5:23, 'May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ'.

CHAPTER V

PARABLES SAY ‘BE READY’

There is no mention of any signs indicating His coming. In fact, Jesus said in the three gospels that there would be no signs.

We mention these portions. The first one is Mt.24:36-51. He speaks about His second coming, and about even the Son not knowing the hour of His return. He shows the godlessness that will prevail in the world and possibly in the church. Then He warns us all in v.42, 'Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming'.

Then He mentions how the thief comes at night at an hour unknown.

Also He gives a parable about the master and slave left in charge of the household. This slave does wrong. Jesus said, “The master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know”.

We look at Mk.13:31-37 that also speaks of His second coming. He says as recorded again in v.32, 'But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come'.

Can these words be clearer? Not one of us will know the time and yet so many are trying to find out and many preachers make declarations about the return of the Lord.  All of these predictions are made in the face of Jesus’ words, 'You do not know when the time will come'.

To show the unexpectedness of His return, He then gives a parable about a man going on a journey and who will return unexpectedly.

He warns us all in vv.35-37, 'Therefore, keep awake – for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.  And what I say to you I say to you all: Keep awake'.

His words to us all are – 'You do not know when so keep awake and be ready'.

Again we can find similar words in Lk.21:34-38.  He warns: 'Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap.  For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man'.

Let us repeat Jesus’ words, 'Therefore what I say unto you I say unto all, "Watch".'

CHAPTER VI

DANIEL 9:24

The prophet Daniel was given this particular answer in Dan.9:24-27 through a vision.  The whole vision concerned his people, Israel.  The focus was on what would happen to Israel in the future.

 V.24 reads: 'Seventy weeks are decreed for 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 the most holy'.

The seventy weeks represent 70X7 which amount to four hundred and ninety years.    The time count begins like this in v.25.  It began from the time when word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem after the captivity of the Jews in Babylon.   They had  seventy years of such captivity.  Under the edict of Cyrus king of Persia and the leadership of the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah, the remnant of the captives returned to Jerusalem.  The walls of the city were restored. The Temple had been destroyed.

There is promise that Jerusalem would be rebuilt. Indeed it was and so we come to the end of the first seven weeks and then the sixty-two of v.25.  These weeks end but before they do so, the Anointed One has arrived on the scene in the person of the Son of God.  He was born the Messiah.

 This is during the sixty-two weeks but towards its end.  It was only after they ended that there is the fulfilment of 'an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing'.  Truly, Christ was cut off as He died on the cross.  The prophecy that He would have nothing was completed when the soldiers took His robe and gambled for it.  This was in the middle of the last week.  To say it is the anti-Christ figure is sacrilege and blasphemy.

V.24 also did not mention any judgment so the seventy weeks could not include the judgment of Jerusalem and the Temple, finishing AD 70. The prophecy is: -

'To finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity (all on the cross), to bring in everlasting righteousness (for those who would believe on Christ and His death on the resurrection with His subsequent resurrection for their sin)' – then 'to seal both vision and prophet.'  

    The fulfilment was in the birth of Christ and in His death by crucifixion with His resurrection.   We see this in Jesus’ on words of Mt.26:56, 'But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled'.   As well, Paul testified like this:  'the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the Law of Moses and the prophets' (Acts 28:23).  We now deal with each part of the prophecy in v.24 of Dan.9.

  The sacrifice of Christ on the cross dealt with sin.  He paid its price.  He finished it off.  He cried out, 'It is finished' as He hung there.  He was 'offered once to bear the sins of many' (Heb. 9:27.  This fulfilled the phrase, 'to finish the transgression'.  The Law condemned the transgression of the people.  This Law that was against but it  was nailed to the cross (Col.2:14).  He made atonement for sin on the cross,  as indicated by: 'Whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood' (Rom.3:25).  Some versions call it a 'propitiation', the meaning of which according to the dictionary is 'atoning victim'. There is this verse, 1 Jn.2:2, 'and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins' as well as 1 Jn.4:10, 'sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins'.

 Christ brought in 'everlasting righteousness' as that verse also  - 'who became for us righteousness'.   Dan.9:24 includes 'to seal both vision and prophet', meaning as Young says, 'the visions and words of the prophets will come true'.

Also it was 'to anoint the most holy'.  Believers are 'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people' (1 Pet.2:9) and 'a house' (v.5). They have been made a holy temple. This is what is anointed by the Holy Spirit, particularly when He came down on the Day of Pentecost and tongues as of fire rested upon the one hundred and twenty apostles and ordinary believers who were gathered together.

All this was to be accomplished within the seventy year period, without there being a break in time.  No break is mentioned.  It can be seen that the Angel did not speak about  any judgment in this verse quoted above.

Therefore the last portion of v.27, about 'the abomination that desolates' and the 'end of the desolate' does not come under this v.24.  Its fulfilment lies outside of the time of 70 weeks.

 Also, there can be no time gap as many say.  Certainly it is against all reason to expect there to be a time gap of until now, nearly two thousand years.  The Angel did not give any hint that this would be so.

The prophecy applies to the nation of Israel that then existed.  There is no indication of any future Israel here.  At the time of the vision, there were twelve tribes. There had been a bondage and captivity for the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom.  This was the one, called Israel and established by Jeroboam when God split the nation after Solomon’s death because of his idolatrous marriages.  Rehoboam, his son, ruled Judah in the south.   The remnant from the Northern Kingdom, Israel, had gradually made its way back to become part of the nation.  This is all recorded in various parts of the Old Testament.  There were thus no ten lost tribes as many think today.   'The Jews' and 'Israel' were and still are, one and the same people.

We realise that the nation of Israel did cease its national life, its priesthood, the sacrifices and its  special vocation under God as an Old Testament order.  This occurred in AD 70 at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Titus, General of the Roman Army at that time, while Vespasian his father was Emperor after Nero.

 Now a little of unknown history has to be included.  Strangely, the majority including some scholars, for centuries have been objects of one of the biggest deceptions and hoaxes of European history.   We in English speaking countries and in much of Western Europe have overlooked  a major fact of history.  It is that Judaism was welcomed by the King of the nation of  Khazaria, north of the Caspian Sea, around the ninth century.  According to what history relates, he decided he wanted his kingdom to leave its paganism.  He invited three representatives, one  each from Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

  After listening to the explanations by them of the tenets of their respective religions, the King announced his people would take on Judaism. This nation was a major player for a very long time in that area.  It withstood the Moslem nations and perhaps that is a contributing factor to their hatred of Jews, because these people could be called Jews even if only by religion and not descent.

When the Russians overran them, they dispersed all over Europe and were chief architects in the economic and banking world for centuries, to this day.  It is also this kind of 'Jew' who generally returned to the nation of Israel.  Even Gordon Lindsay of the sixties, who ran a magazine covering all the Healing Evangelists at the time of Oral Roberts and T.L.Osborne, wrote an article in it about the then 'restored Israel'.  He was an advocate of End Time events as has been common for decades.  Yet he referred to the fact that the majority who had returned to Israel were not naturally born Jews.

By birth, the Khazars are all Gentiles.  As the people of Israel today consist mainly of them and also of Palestinians, Jerusalem is still trodden down by the Gentiles, as Jesus said it would be.   There is not a verse that describes any time when it would not be so trodden down.

CHAPTER VII

DANIEL 9:27

We now come to Daniel 9:27, which is the end of the seventy years symbolizing four hundred and ninety.  It is quoted:

'He shall make a strong covenant with many for one week and for half of the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease and in their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed end is poured out upon the desolate'.

The seven and sixty two week periods of  v.25, after the  'the word went out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem', were to be until the time of an Anointed Prince.  This one is no other than Christ.    He was anointed of the Holy Spirit when He was baptized in the River Jordan by John.  He is the 'anointed one, v.26, who was cut off'.  This was to be 'after the sixty-two weeks' and it does not state whether at the beginning, middle or end of the last or seventieth week.  He was crucified roughly three and a half years after His baptism.

We should never say that it is the Anti-Christ who is to be the anointed one who was cut off.   To me that would be a blasphemy.   So  Christ is the 'anointed one', v.26, who was 'cut off'.  This was to be 'after the sixty-two weeks' and it does not state whether at the beginning, middle or end.   Christ was 'cut off' at His crucifixion.

He is said, v.27 above. 'to make a strong covenant with many for one week (or seven years)'. This period of the covenant began when He commenced His ministry after His baptism with the announcement, 'The Kingdom of God is at hand' and in another gospel it is recorded, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand'.  These two verses, using 'God' in one place and 'Heaven' in another are ample proof that Darby’s theory is wrong.  He says and it is taught, that the nation of Israel is to become on earth the Kingdom of God and the Church the Kingdom of Heaven up there!  This is to be forever, it is said.

This making of 'a strong covenant with many' was the introduction to the New Covenant that came into full being at His resurrection.   He was presented to Israel by the testimony of God at His baptism, 'This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased'.

 The inauguration of the New Covenant was thus announced and He thereafter preached instead of the Mosaic Law, the matters of the Kingdom of God.  Moses had given the Law as being 'faithful in God’s house'.   Now Christ, who 'was faithful over God’s house as a son', has come down from heaven.  He is declared as the Son who is over God’s house.  It is built by God (Heb.3:4-6).  God’s house, the old house under Moses, with the Law, has ended.  A new house, still God’s house, has replaced it.  We under grace are in that house which is eternal.  He was in Israel as Prophet and Teacher for about three and a half years until His death.  After His resurrection, we read in the book of Acts about the Day of Pentecost.

 V.27 says 'for half of the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease'.  While He was on the cross, God tore the very thick veil of the Temple in two from top to bottom.  This signified that God would not accept any more sacrifices of animals.  That time had ceased forever.  That is how the Anointed One (Messiah) 'made sacrifice and offering to cease'.  In Heb.10:8,9, Christ declares: 'You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings ... He abolishes the first in order to establish the second (Christ's offering for expiation of our sin with cleansing and His mediation)'.

There still remained half of the seven week period that is not dealt with in v.27.   We have to go to v.24 to be able to understand this last period.  We will deal with it later on.

We are still dealing with 'He shall make a strong covenant with many', the first part of v.27. Preaching about the New Covenant to Israel continued for seven years, or one week, (the seventieth), first by the Lord Himself for the first three and a half years.  Then it continued by the Apostles and believers after His ascent to heaven, through the power of the Holy Spirit, until the Times of the Gentiles began.

This all has confirmation in  Heb.2:3 '... It was declared at first through the Lord and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will'.

 The Lord began to preach this and it was continued by the apostles for the remaining three and a half years of the seventy week period given to the Jews as in Dan.9:24 'Seventy weeks are decreed for your people (the Jews)'.  The whole period is prophesied for the Jews and without any gap.

CHAPTER VIII

INTRICACIES OF VERSE 27

V.27 (still in ch.9) said the Anointed One would make 'sacrifice and offering cease'.   We can know this happened at the end of the beginning of the last week.  That beginning was the period from His baptism until His death because while He was on the cross, the veil of the Temple, thick as it was, was torn in two from top to bottom. God indicated that the time for sacrifices and offerings and the Old Covenant was over.

This situation where 'sacrifice and offering' have ceased, continued for the rest of the week, or for another three and a half years, to the last period of the seventy weeks.

Thus the last three and a half years commenced at the time of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascent to heaven. This, the last period concerned the nation of Israel. The time of 'cleansing and righteousness' of v.24, commenced in the middle of the week.  It was when He died on the cross and opened 'a fountain of cleansing from sin and impurity, for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem' (Zech.13:1).  It occurred at the beginning of this last short period.

Let us remember it is all about the nation of Israel.  The book of Acts shows how thousands of Israelites believed on Christ as Messiah.  There were even many believing priests, some of whom would not leave the Temple worship. Sadly, most of the Jews refused to listen to the gospel as its message was preached to them.

Their refusal was the reason Paul could say in 1 Thes.2:14-16 'You suffered the same things as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God.  Thus they have constantly been filling up the measure of their sins; but God’s wrath has overtaken them at last'. 'The anger did come upon them – to the end'.

For the last three and a half years, there were to be no more sacrifices acceptable to God, even though at the times of persecution and invasions by the Roman Army, in AD 66, we know from history there were sacrifices being made in the Temple in Jerusalem.  Instead of accepting any sacrifices, God through His Son, Jesus Christ, would bring judgment upon them.  Then Daniel prophesies in v.27, about the Army of Rome, that was an abomination, due to its idolatry.  This was the Army that desolated the Jews.  It has to do with judgment.  God no longer accepted the Jewish sacrifices. 

The nation, already rejected by God, continued for another thirty years or so.  Obviously, they were still slaughtering animals for sacrifice, which God did not accept.  These sacrifices could not placate His wrath that was about to come upon them.  They had rejected their Messiah, their only hope.  His judgment upon them was certain to come, according to Daniel.

The question for many has been in relation to a supposed gap between the end of the seventy weeks and judgment.  If we look carefully at all of this passage, vv.24-27, and particularly relate v.27 to v.24, we will have no trouble understanding.

V.27 ends with 'and in their place shall be an abomination that desolates, until the decreed end is poured out upon the desolate'.  The verse does not suggest a gap but neither does it affirm there would be no gap. The subject is the dealings of the Messiah, the Anointed One, with the Jews. He is the 'anointed one', v.26, who was 'cut off'.  By His death He 'made sacrifice and offering cease'.

This was to be “after the sixty-two weeks” and it does not state whether at the beginning, middle or end.  However, it clearly indicates that the time of the last half of the week was that under a “strong covenant”.  God would still deal with Israel as His people.

At the end of v.27, after the period of three and a half years, when “sacrifice and offering” ceased there is merely a mention of something that would occur, not necessarily immediately after the end of the three and a half years.

Above explanations after diligent study of the passage, should indicate that this occurrence could come after the end of the 70 weeks.  The probability is very strong  as verse 27 relates one week to the covenant being in force.  It began at the time of Jesus’ baptism in water and ended when Israel’s time finished.  This was then the beginning of the “Times of the Gentiles”, to be dealt with in the next chapter. 

Back to the still remaining three and a half weeks, or years, after the last ones, at the end of which Christ made 'sacrifice and offering cease', v.27b.  These ceased at His death. In view of what the Angel said in Daniel 9 we ourselves understand that this period of three and a half years could not have had a gap of any description before being fulfilled.

One famous writer in his view had said there was a gap from AD 33 (Christ’s ascent) until the period of fulfilment, AD 66-70.  We could see from v.24 two things. Firstly, that there would not be any gap between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week or in the middle of the seventieth week and secondly, that the last half of the seventieth did not include judgment.  This makes the writer’s view to be a wrong one.

 It would appear that most preachers and teachers have never seen an explanation for v.27 in the light of v.24.  This is a major reason for all the oddities and discrepancies, even downright errors, in the present day beliefs of 'End Time' prophecies being fulfilled.   Their books are not backed up by a true understanding of the Scriptures.  'This last 'half a week' as the final part of the last seven years of Dan.9:27 finished exactly in Acts 10 when the first Gentile and his household came into the New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ. It occurred three and a half years after Pentecost

This brought in the 'times of the Gentile'.  It meant that  God was not only dealing with those Jews who would believe.  He had a much wider programme as he had promised Abraham.  Through him all nations of the world would be blessed.

 At the end of this seventieth week, He completes all dealings with Israel, the Jews, as a chosen nation..  He would accomplish this last part of v.27 in judgment, through General Titus, son of the Emperor of Rome, Vespasian.  This is explained in the next chapter.

 After the end of the last seven weeks and indeed the seventy weeks, there is a new period.  God will show His grace and mercy on the Gentiles, who are the 'wild olive shoot' of Rom.11:17 that has been grafted in to the tree, its root being Christ.

 He will include these Gentiles with only those Jews or Israelites, the remnant, who 'if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again' (Rom.11:23).  This is the mystery of the gospel that Paul preached.  The Gentiles were to be called as well as these Israelites and together they would become one.

This is shown in Eph.3:4,6 as  '... the mystery of Christ – that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ'.

CHAPTER IX

THE ABOMINATION THAT DESOLATES

The prophet in v.27 simple states 'and in their place shall be an abomination that desolates until the decreed end is poured out upon the desolate'.  This follows on from 'he shall make sacrifice and offering cease (after three and a half weeks)'.  This does not mean the two events are tied together in time.  Also, there is no indication that this abomination of desolation will be any part of the seventy weeks.  It will come afterwards.

 The sacrifices of animals have ceased before God.  God will not accept such after the death of His Son on the cross.   The Jews  had been offering them to God for centuries.  They cease.  Now something will occur that comes from God or Christ as the Son of Man on the throne with the Ancient of Days (Dan.7:9-11).  It is judgment.  The sacrifices of animals averted final judgment.  They have ceased to atone for their sin.  Therefore, the judgment will come.  It comes not at the end of the seventy weeks but some time future to that.

The desolate are the Jews.  The 'abomination that desolates' would be the Roman Army.  It bore idolatrous pennants.  This was the abomination.  After destroying the land, the Romans came against Jerusalem.  This lasted from the middle of AD 66 until AD 70, by which time the inhabitants had suffered as never before in history.  The end of those Jews remaining was a cruel death, either by starvation, by being killed by Roman soldiers or by being burnt to death at their own doing.  Any who were left alive were taken away as slaves by the Romans, many of them ending up in Egypt as God said would happen.

  Jerusalem and the Temple were fully destroyed to the extent that eventually there was not even a stone left.  All that remained of all these mammoth stones of the Temple and its walls, were eventually taken away by the Romans. 

This also was prophesied by Jesus, as 'When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (Jerusalem) then flee'! (Mt.24:15).  This with Lk.21:20 identifies  the desolation as being due to the armies of Rome, when Jesus said, 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then flee'.

We are now at the last part of v.27.  It is the end of God’s purposes that were declared through his prophet Daniel, in this ch.9.  They all have their fulfilment.

 The popular, current beliefs include  a gap in time  before this v.27.   According to these beliefs, based only on their mathematical reckonings, there is a gap after v.26.  This is called the 'Gap Theory'.  It is only a theory and not Scripturally sound.

 According to this, there will be seven years of tribulation (the last seven weeks) when Anti-Christ is supposed to have sway.  A major problem with this belief is that there is no gap in the Scriptures.  Daniel sets out events in sequence for all of the seventy weeks, without a gap of two thousand years or so.  It is a stretch of imagination to believe that such a long period would elapse between the end of four hundred and ninety years, vv.24,25 and the coming of an anti-Christ, with the last seven years to be worked out.

One famous writer, Philip Mauro, has said there was a gap from AD 33 (Christ’s ascent) until the period of fulfilment, AD70.  I would hope that the detailing of the fulfilment of this prophecy will be a convincing enough proposal for us all to believe.  There can be no gap.

CHAPTER X

THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES

Jesus and Paul both mention the times of the Gentiles. The end of the times of the Gentiles is something also that is not indicated. We are not told much about how and indeed nothing about when this end will occur. 

Also, Jesus in Lk.21:24 says that 'Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled'. It would appear that the end of all things, including a city of Jerusalem rebuilt by Gentiles after the Roman desolation, will occur when these times have finished. This can only be at the return of Christ and the end of the world. 

The 'times of the Gentiles' has to be that period at the end of the times mapped out by God for the nation of Israel.  Israel’s times finish.  Then commences those of the Gentiles. Daniel is the one to whom all this was made known in visions, even though he did not fully understand.

 He prophesied about the last week during which, for Israel alone, v.27, the 'strong covenant with many for one week' would be in force.   His whole prophecy concerning the seventy weeks finishes there.  The animal sacrifices have  ceased before God.  All of v.24 has occurred.  The 'most holy' church of Jesus Christ has been anointed with the Holy Ghost.

Thus the finale of this whole prophetic vision would not be at the end of the seventy weeks. Rather, it would be at the time of judgment on the desolate, this nation of Israel.

This finale occurs during the times of the Gentiles.  Eventually, the city of Jerusalem was rebuilt and Jerusalem began to be filled with Gentiles.   It remains so to this day and will do so until the end of these times.  The period of the Jews has ended.  We are in that of the Gentiles.

 The end of both the city of Jerusalem and the times of the Gentiles, will occur when the last trump sounds and Christ returns.  He will lead the redeemed, both Jew and Gentile, into glory.  All those who have died and those who are still alive will receive immortal bodies.  This is promised in Phil.3:20,21, 'But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself'.   What a glorious hope!

The sacrifice of Christ availed for the Gentiles and the nation of Israel disappeared as such.  Israel, a chosen race before God ceased to exist.  All of the millions of Jews scattered throughout the world are not in the remade nation of Israel.

The Gentiles had to come in, to be joined with the Jewish remnant of believers in Christ as one body inhabited by God, who is Spirit.    

 After the seventy years ended, Jews still continued with their sacrifices but they were forcibly stopped by the 'abomination that desolates' which is the Roman Army that came upon them and all but annihilated them, totally destroying their city, temple and nation throughout the land.

Daniel prophesied, 9:27 'and for half the week he shall make sacrifice and offering cease'.  'Cease' means 'cause to fail, put away, rid, take away'.   The final failure of the existence of the sacrificial offerings, their being put away by God as well as their cessation occurred when Titus gained his victory in AD 70.

CHAPTER XI

WE DO NOT KNOW!

About those matters of the end of all things, there is little of certainty and understanding given to us in the Scriptures. We are told often about these things but as for detail we are left in the dark. We should not wonder at this because the Bible says four times, 'The just shall live by faith'. We are to walk in the Spirit and in faith be looking for the coming of the Lord. As to the matters of earth, Paul says our citizenship is in heaven 'from whence we look for the Saviour'. The focus of our attention is to be heavenly and in particular to be looking for Christ Jesus our Saviour, to come. As a chorus refrains: 'The things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the sight of His glory and grace'.

We have set out some of the errors that have come upon the church world-wide in regard to the widely believed End-time eschatology. This is the direct result of John Nelson Darby’s teachings from 1830 and Schofield’s Bible that erroneously prints as foot-notes, explanations of many and varied passages of Scripture. These are all in support of Darby’s teachings. He was the founder of the Exclusive Brethren.

His teachings are similar to those of a Roman Catholic Monk who had written about his same view of such matters a few centuries previous to Darby. As well, he used a false revelation from a Presbyterian woman belonging to followers of Irving. They spoke in tongues and we cannot fault that. We do, however, indicate that her revelation was false as it does not line up with what the Bible actually teaches. Nothing can be added to the Word of God as it is.

We should note that at that time, the Aristocratic Establishment of Britain, of which Darby was one, were politically involved in Zionism for Imperialistic ends. Darby visited the U.S.A. on many occasions, persuading the majority of its evangelistic church leaders that his doctrine was the one to follow. Unfortunately, they accepted it and passed it on to millions of students – and to Pentecostals as well as Charismatics.

CHAPTER XII

THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Many would tie in the book of Revelation in its meaning with the book of Daniel. There certainly is some connection, even in relation to a few of the numerical terms used by the Angel in Daniel’s visions. It does relate to one of the events, viz that of the destruction of Jerusalem.

There are scholars who believe Revelation was written around the early part of the decade beginning AD 60.  This means it would have been directed to the Christians in Jerusalem and in Asia Minor and elsewhere, to help prepare them for this momentous event. They already knew what Jesus had prophesied about it. Doubtless His warning to flee was imprinted on the hearts of the believers in the Jerusalem Church.

 It may come as a surprise to us to realise that the church in Jerusalem ceased to exist around AD 68 when those who followed what Jesus said, fled the city during the time of the siege before it was lifted. They thus escaped destruction.

The book of Revelation was addressed to the seven churches of Asia Minor, over which the Apostle John previously had oversight. After his imprisonment, he wrote to them. He would have remembered what Jesus taught in Mt.24, Mk.13 and Lk.21, because after all, as Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit would have brought those things to his remembrance. From that base, he was “in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” when he was given the vision as given by God to Jesus Christ.

We should remember that in all the writings of Scripture, the author under the extra anointing of the Spirit of God, still had his unique personality, unique talents, unique background and unique environment. Thus each book in the Bible is written accordingly. It was also the case with John.

He used apocalyptic writing, a manner customary to the Jews of that day. Such a writing is pictorial and figurative. For example, we cannot expect to see literally, Jesus coming out of heaven on a white horse! When John said the number of man as being '666', he was pointing to Nero Caesar, whose name could be shown as three numbers. He dare not mention him by name. Nero was the god of power of the Roman Empire. All were required to offer sacrifices to his image and worship him. Many Christians refused to do this and were killed. They also hid themselves in caves, living there to escape the persecution.

The terrible things prophesied in the book were really to prepare believers for the terrible persecution to come, which it did not only on the church in Jerusalem but on all who were believers in the Roman Empire. The real object had regard to the destruction of Jerusalem they knew would happen in their generation, as Jesus had said. Jewish Christians had been persecuted in Jerusalem and round about, from the time of Christ until the storming of Jerusalem. During the first two centuries of the church, millions were tortured and killed for the Name of Christ all over the Roman Empire.

John has warnings and promises for the seven churches of Asia Minor, Then he is caught up in the Spirit to see heaven.  It was not that he himself went to heaven but that it was only in the Spirit in vision.  He saw the redeemed singing praises around the Throne of God and of the Lamb. He could see that the souls of the martyrs, whose numbers would increase, were consciously at rest and praying for the Lord to be the God of vengeance on their behalf.

He was informing them all that eventually there would be triumph. Thus the end of the book relates some of the glories of the eternal heaven. This was the promise held out for the over-comers.

CHAPTER XIII

LIFE HAS TRIBULATIONS

Jesus had said while He was on earth that tribulation and troubles would be the lot of believers until He came again. He said this in Matthew 24. He had spoken of 'the corpse' and the 'vultures or eagles' gathering together. This corpse was the nation of Israel in the throes of death and the eagles represented the Roman armies. Their emblem was the eagle and the flags and pennants had this emblazoned on them.

In Verse 29 came His statement, 'Immediately after those days'. He showed how the sun, moon, stars and powers of heaven would be shaken. He was speaking of kingdoms and nations, with their dictators and despots as well. In Hag.2:7 God said He would shake all nations. Jesus also said elsewhere, 'In the world you will have tribulation'. Tribulation is the lot of man.

    It did not cease for anyone after the fall of Jerusalem.  In AD 231, six million people throughout the Roman Empire alone, died from a plague  Rather, tribulation for millions of mankind, including believers, continues until this very day. All of this points to the fact that there will never be another Great Tribulation as we already have shown was fulfilled as in Jesus’ prophecy.

Amidst the toils and problems of life, the believer has the assurance that heaven’s glory awaits him. If he dies he goes to be with the Lord which is far better, says Paul. He will put on his eternal spiritual being as in 2 Cor.5. There in heaven, we will experience among other things, what John saw  in the book of Revelation. He saw the redeemed before the throne in glory. All sorrow and tears were gone. There was no more pain and sickness. This is the promise of God.

Whatever happens in this life, we all can look forward to the wonderful hope of the Lord’s return as is declared in 1 Cor.15:52 – 'For we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable or incorruptible and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability and this mortal body must put on immortality.' Then death will have been totally defeated.

Also the second coming is described as: 'For the Lord himself will descend with a shout or cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet will descend from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air;  And so we will be with the Lord forever'  (1 Thes.4:16,17).

This is our glorious hope. Therefore we look for His appearing.

We say, 'Even so, come Lord Jesus'.

It reminds me of a chorus of seventy years ago that the Pentecostals used to sing –

Changed in the twinkling of an eye

Changed in the twinkling of an eye

The trumpet shall sound

The dead shall be raised

Changed in the twinkling of an eye.

All this will happen without there having been any signs, according to Jesus, Paul, Peter, James and John.

Christ is coming again for those who 'look for His appearing'.

Those who have this hope, 'purify themselves even as He is pure'. Is it any wonder that the Corinthians could say, 'Maranatha' or 'Our Lord is coming'. It was the great hope of those believers. It is also ours.  We are to 'watch' for His return as our ultimate of faith and hope.

As all the current End Time beliefs have as their root Darby's doctrines, and as they all can be proved from history in conjunction with the Scriptures to be wrong, it leaves us all in the church in a deplorable situation.  We have been led astray.  Thus heresies, moves, different doctrines, wrong emphases and a generally wrong slant on the Israel of the Old Testament, have become dominant in probably 90% of evangelical church doctrines.  These conclusions are startling as they were to me when I began to see the truth about the matter unfolding over fifty years of investigations and heart changing because of errors I had embraced and had to unlearn in order to relearn the truths of the Scriptures and not man's inventions.

Now that I have gleaned the wideness of the doctrine at its root, my heart could weep at the utter follies produced.  This is one example.  After seven years in heaven, Christ and the church will descend for a thousand years.  Believers having been judged will be allotted various positions of rule under Christ while the Jews suddenly converted, will go and make disciples of the new gospel.  The doctrine embraces monstrous and ludicrous lies from the pit of hell. Jesus informed His disciples that He was going to prepare a place and that He would come again and receive us unto Himself to be with Him always (Jn.14:1,2).  He is not preparing a place for us here on earth, even for any millennium.  It is heaven.  We will be with Him there always, as He has said.  How then could this idea of reigning over cities, towns, nations on this earth, in this world, fit into those wonderful and comforting words in John's Gospel?  It cannot.  To disengage from earthly and unbiblical stories and take up instead what the Bible really teaches, will demand a price from those who dare.  It is going to take brave preachers who will comprehend the right, make judgments about the current End-Time beliefs and then stand for the Truth.  There would be fierce opposition, derision and unbelief to face!

If we look at the Old Testament with its history, prophecies, nation of Israel and anticipation of the coming of the Messiah and compare it with the New in that respect, there emerges a pronounced distinction as regards the New.  The New Testament as a Divine book, with those verses of prophetic modes finished maybe around AD 65.  There is to be no more apostle to write another letter or leave us with another book.  This has left us with two thousand years or so, without any more Word from the Lord as infallible Truth.  In fact, there is no more Truth that is allowed to be added and nothing is to be subtracted from the Truth we now have.

 In a way it compares to the four hundred Silent Years before Christ was born, when there was no king of David's line, no prophet and no prophetic utterances.  That is the position today, one of that kind of silence from heaven.  After the first centuries of silence, the Saviour came the first time.  Now we have a long period of silence before the Saviour will return a second time without sin, unto salvation.  Before His birth, there had been prophecies indicating the time as Herod well knew when he ordered the Jews to inform him of the date (Mt.2:4).  There is no indication if we can follow the above writings in their adherence to Scripture, as to when Christ will return.  He is coming again and we need to be looking for that return.

  The reason for the silence from heaven and the Scriptures would be the fact that in this dispensation of grace and of the Spirit, we, His followers, are required to live and walk by faith.  'Faith is the assurance ('substance' is a wrong translation) of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen' (Heb.11:1).  Then the writer to the Hebrews in ch.12;1,2 continues with 'Therefore....looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith'.  These statements have it all in a nutshell.  This is a major reason for the silence in the Scriptures and particularly in the New Testament, as to the time of the Lord's return to take us to heaven.  Neither He nor we will return to this earth again because God is going to burn  this present one with fire and make a 'new heavens and a new earth'.  Our life now is to be in the Spirit who is the first instalment of our eternal inheritance.


Rev. Irene & Peter Faulkes
3 Kingfisher Drive
River Heads, Queensland,
AUSTRALIA 4655


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