Good Shepherd
Initiative

FREE Since 1983

Sid Galloway BS, M.Div. (Biograhical Information)
Just an OLD sheepdog
of our Good Shepherd Creator Christ

Ask the animals,
and they will teach you,
.. Which of all these
does not know
that the LORD's hand
has done this?
In His hand is the
soul (nephesh)
of every creature and the breath of all mankind"
Job 12:7-9

Worldview
of your
Good Shepherd
Creator: Christ
Human Trafficking & Slavery
Don't Just Happen
(Jesus said in Mark 7:21-23)

Would a "good" God design
"survival of the fittest"
as His WAY?
(Isaiah 65:25)

Rights - Any discussion about human rights (slavery, oppression) or animal rights (cruelty, abuse) must first address our Creator's rights. He has the right to command how we treat both His people and His animals.

Scotty the Good Shepherd
Service Sheepdog


3 Videos Animal Friends * *
Otis ----- Zoe ---- River


Suzy service-dog genius
(more below)

Responsibilities - Jesus said the root cause of suffering in this world is a distorted view of and/or the rejection of the true WAY of our Creator. (John 8:1-59)

sidotter


"Squirt" the Otter


Releasing rehabbed critters


Atchafalaya Swamp

Mistakes - Man's self-serving, misguided, mischaracterizations of God have historically led to personal and cultural conflict, corruption, and collapse.

Hope - Discovering the WHO?, the WHY?, and the "WAY"? of origins is the foundation for true transformation.

Mike's "service-frog"


Therapy Zorse & Zeedonk

Change - Truly lasting change for individuals and cultures must begin at the cornerstone - the Creator of creation.


Darwin's Self-image
by Mike Galloway


Formal"Boatie" - Lizaboa

"Then I looked again
at all the acts of oppression
which were being done
under the sun.
And behold I saw
the tears
of the oppressed
and that they had
no one to comfort them;
and on the side of their
oppressors was power,
but they had
no one to comfort them."
Ecclesiastes 4:1


Wild Rory - paralyzed by gun shot yet grateful
for loving care

raccoon_river_sidarms


L'l River raccoon


"Flower"


Candy-cane corn snake


Opossum Brothers:
Tom & Jerry


Brother Tom


Animal-Assisted GSI



Scotty my service dog
assistant :-)


Scotty doing his job well


God's living teddy-bears


Missing the old days


My Proverbs 31 wife
meeting my old girlfriend, elephant "Jean"


Old friends Jean & Panya meet my daughter


Jean meets her keeper's son



Mandy Clouded Leopard who saved me from suicide


My morning greeters
Akela & Rakshi
Back in the den they'd beg me to rub their heads
to start the day.


Shiva -my PTSD leopard
raised by humans, terrified of other leopards


Bratar:the cowardly lion


Rani: Bratar's sister :-(

Banu - my favorite comedian who loved to prank people


Candra, Banu's mom


Banu teasing Candra


Byomi asking for a treat


Ali the bitter black panther who learned love


Zoe: disabled squirrel
born with no tail / only 3 feet
- even more lovable


Scotty meets his first gator


Marriage in Christ


Suzy protecting her rescued puppy


Molly the semi-blind Opossum Lady


Little Blue
- transferred to Fed. rehab


Big Red
- gunshot wound


Baby Huey acting tough


Scotty's piggy


Rescuing Stubby
(see his Facebook page)


Audubon Zoo memories


Lizaboa Animal Assistant


David & elephant Panya


Mr. Galloway
Old Sheepdog


Charlie
Russian Legless Lizard


Hawk - Barron
powerful talons


Otis - hit by car


Little River as a baby


Little River
working on the lock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

GSI - Good Shepherd Initiative - Homepage

HIS JUDGMENT
Your Destiny

PROPHECY? END TIMES?
-
Hype or Happening?
- Learn what the Bible says.
- Then watch and see as time unfolds.


ANIMAL MORALITY:
Evolved? or Designed?

MACRO-EVOLUTION?
M & M's Made Everything?

(See also: Forgiveness, Autism, Disability Purposes, DisabilityResources - Bullying, Personal Counseling, Family Counseling, Suicide Hope)

Recommended Book: 2011
WITHOUT EXCUSE, by
Dr. Werner Gitt PhD
Head of the Department of Information Science. Director & Professor of Technology at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology.

WITHOUT EXCUSE is primarily about coded biological information - DNA, epigenetic - as evidence for God. Yet it includes an excellent section on the prophetic proofs in Scripture for who Jesus is - God become man for us.
Dr. Gitt demonstrates the statistical impossibility that the hundreds of already fulfilled biblical prophecies could have been coincidence:

“…. many different [religious books] that are claimed to have divine origin.  Is there an absolute test that can verify if a text is divinely inspired?
Yes, there is such a test.”
“…. Scientific laws allow mankind to predict future events but only within a very limited range in time and space.”
pp. 207-208
“…. if a text incorporates many predictions of future events that do occur despite intervening decades, centuries or even millennia of time, then that would be a clear sign of supernatural omniscience.”
“…. The one striking feature that distinguishes the Bible from all other world literature is , without doubt, the many prophecies that have already been fulfilled in time and space. … [over] 3,000 prophetical statements … fulfilled…. The Bible is peerless as will be shown in this section….”
probability, P = 1.7 x 10 -984 ”  
pp. 207-212

* See other recommended books at the end of this article.

“Thus says the LORD,
the King of Israel, ...
I am the First and … the Last; 
... who can proclaim as I do?
... the things that are coming
and shall come.”
Isaiah 44:6-7

Prerequisite Principles for "Biblical Exposition"

Epistemology in a Post-Modern World -
* See also Dr. Al Mohler's article, "Is Truth Really Plural".

From Inerrancy to Hermeneutics to Exegesis to Exposition:

The following lengthy quote from Dr. MacArthur sets the foundation -
http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A228

"First, the true text must be used. We are indebted to those select scholars who labor tediously in the field of textual criticism. Their studies recover the original text of Scripture from the large volume of extant manuscript copies which are flawed by textual variants. This is the starting point. Without the text as God gave it, the preacher would be helpless to deliver it as God intended.

Second, having begun with a true text, we need to interpret the text accurately. The science of hermeneutics is in view.

As a theological discipline hermeneutics is the science of the correct interpretation of the Bible. It is a special application of the general science of linguistics and meaning. It seeks to formulate those particular rules which pertain to the special factors connected with the Bible .... Hermeneutics is a science in that it can determine certain principles for discovering the meaning of a document, and in that these principles are not a mere list of rules but bear organic connection to each other. It is also an art as we previously indicated because principles or rules can never be applied mechanically but involve the skill (technmae) of the interpreter. (Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation, 11)

Third, our exegesis must flow from a proper hermeneutic. Of this relationship, Bernard Ramm observes that hermeneutics,

...stands in the same relationship to exegesis that a rule-book stands to a game. The rule-book is written in terms of reflection, analysis, and experience. The game is played by concrete actualization of the rules. The rules are not the game, and the game is meaningless without the rules. Hermeneutics proper is not exegesis, but exegesis is applied hermeneutics. (Ibid.)

So exegesis is the skillful application of sound hermeneutical principles to the Biblical text in the original language with a view to understanding and declaring the author's intended meaning both to the immediate and subsequent audiences. In tandem, hermeneutics and exegesis focus on the Biblical text to determine what it said and what it meant originally (cf. John D. Grassmick, Principles and Practice of Greek Exegesis, 7). Thus, exegesis in its broadest sense will include the various disciplines of literary criticism, historical studies, grammatical exegesis, historical theology, biblical theology and systematic theology. Proper exegesis will tell the student what the text says, what the text means, and how the text applies personally.

Fourth, we are now ready for a true exposition. Based on the flow of thinking that we have just come through, I assert that expository preaching is really exegetical preaching and not so much the homiletical form of the message. Merrill Unger accurately noted:

It is not the length of the portion treated, whether a single verse or a larger unit, but the manner of treatment. No matter what the length of the portion explained may be, if it is handled in such a way that its real and essential meaning as it existed in the light of the overall context of Scripture is made plain and applied to the present-day needs of the hearers, it may properly be said to be expository preaching. (Merrill F. Unger, Principles of Expository Preaching, 33)

As a result of this exegetical process that began with inerrancy, the expositor is equipped with a true message, with true intent and with true application. It gives him preaching perspective historically, theologically, contextually, literarily, synoptically and culturally. His message is God's intended message.

Now because this all seems so patently obvious, we might ask, "How did the church ever lose sight of inerrancy's relationship to preaching?" Let me suggest that the current drift is nothing other than the legacy of liberalism."


Dr. MacArthur's explanation above is consistently logical, showing the "organic" (inseparable) connection between biblical inerrancy, interpretation, and belief. In contrast, the following quotes from the secularly acclaimed, pulitzer prize winning, Jon Meacham in AMERICAN GOSPEL, illustrate the inconsistent, confusion-producing methodology of liberalism:

"If anything, competing scriptural citations stand a good chance of exacerbating tensions and fueling unhealthy, possibly destructive passions, for if both sides fight with what each considers the inerrant word of God, it is difficult to see how such battles can be reasonably settled. What is essential - and what has long been part of religious intellectual traditions - is to draw not only on scripture but on reason and on experience . . . ." (p. 127)

Note that Meacham makes at least three serious logical errors by assumption. First he assumes that "battles" over interpretation are due to the doctrine of inerrancy, when the battles actually come from self-serving hearts (James 4:1-3). His second erroneous assumption is that Christians who believe in biblical inerrancy do not use reason or historical context in their hermeneutic methods. Meacham's third assumption is that whatever "science" claims at any time must be truth. While he rightly says that human interpretations can be wrong, he only applies that caution to interpretations of the Bible not to scientists interpretations of science evidence. The reality is that the history of science is filled with hypotheses, theories, and even scientific laws that were found to be wrong interpretations.

The truth is that all recognized scholars who believe the Bible is inerrant have clearly written about and demonstrated in practice that logical analysis and historical context are essential to accurate hermeneutics. Remember Dr. MacArthur's explanation of inerrancy and interpretation quoted above, and see the transcript of Larry King's interview with MacArthur and Meacham:
http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/mac-lkl6.htm

Sadly, Meacham's view of Scripture and how to know the truth degenerates as he continues his discussion in AMERICAN GOSPEL. He uses the common misrepresentation of history regarding Galileo and the "Church" to justify his exaltation of man's reason over God's revelation:

". . . . if reason leads humankind to discover a truth that seems to be incompatible with the Bible, then the interpretation of scripture should give way to the rational conclusion. . . . Guided by these lights [scientific and social advances], believers however slowly removed the biblical support for the ideas that the earth, not the sun, is the physical center of the universe . . . . " p. 127-128.

Once again, Meacham ers by multiple assumptions and either unintentionally or deliberately mischaracterizes and misrepresents both history as well as Christians who believe the Bible is inerrant. First of all, during the days of Galileo, it was the politically correct scientific leaders of his time that stood most strongly against his heliocentric views. (See the technical article, "The Galileo Affair", by Thomas Schirrmacher). Second, Meacham continues to assume that Christians who believe in biblical inerrancy do not accept reason and scientific methods. The fact is that systematic, scientific methodologies arose out of the Judeo-Christian cultural mindset, due to the Bible's command to think logically and believe based on evidence (Prov 14:15; Heb 11:1).

The question for all of us is one of epistemology. Who or what is the ultimate authority for truth? Is it man's mind or God's graphae (written Scripture)? Is it both of these sources equally or is it one just a little bit higher than the other? Is it possible that the Bible really is God's inerrant Word to His creatures, which though not being a science textbook, is accurate when it speaks about scientific issues?

These are not minor issues, for they are the very foundation upon which to build any system of belief and practice, whether theology or science. If God really did guide the writing of the Bible, i.e. the consistent recording of His message through 40 unique authors over a period of 1,500 years, without allowing the infection of human error, then it alone is the absolute authority over man's feelings and opinions. It is the a priori standard by which man's ideas should be evaluated.

Does an inerrant Bible still require interpretation by fallible people? Absolutely! That is why the careful, prayerful, logical process of hermeneutics must be applied. Interpretive iron sharpening is actually good and necessary, not destructive as Meacham claims. When biblical inerrantists debate their interpretations and compare their hermeneutical evidences in humility and love, it has historically served to ensure the correction, integrity, and accuracy of biblical belief.

In glaring contrast, Meacham's liberal, post-modern view that the Bible is in error and not "the" truth makes man the ultimate authority on truth. This post-modern worldview and epistemology is what leads to battles, confusion, uncertainty, and eventually to absolute relativism - where every man believes and does what is right in his own eyes (Prov 21:2).


History (His-story)
from the Beginning to the End

Eden/Rebellion/Flood/Babel/Israel/Cross/Church/Judgment/New Earth

Genesis -------------------------- The Revelation

Click here for a helpful TIMELINE of His/story at CMI.org

While the Gospels focus on Jesus as the central core of Scripture, any student of His-Story would do well to begin at the beginning, Genesis. The first book of the Bible, especially the first 12 chapters, is the foundation of the rest of God's Word.

After reading Genesis, a focus on the Gospels as the centerpiece in the Bible's jigsaw puzzle of history points the spotlight on Messiah Jesus. His unique person and work was prophesied hundreds of times before He entered space and time as a man, fulfilled before eyewitnesses, and recorded for us in the Gospels.

After reading the Gospels, it can then be helpful to fast forward to the end - Revelation. Jumping to the end can actually help provide the full scope and context in which God's plan will sovereignly unfold.

Beware of the modern anti-Christian propaganda promoted on many popular TV shows and movies that portrays the God of the Bible as an out of control, vindictive tyrant. In contrast, remember, that God's primary consequence for man's rebellion throughout history is that He partially withdraws His Hand of protective provision (1 Peter 5:5-9). God holds all things in order (Heb 1:3) and has given responsible choice to man. When man chooses to turn away from God's Way and instead wants self-deification, God honors that choice and withdraws. To whatever degree He withdraws (separates from sin) is the degree to which disaster naturally results. The wages of sin is devolution: that is, death, decay, escalating entropy/disorder (allowing the second law of thermodynamics to go beyond its original function, becoming a cosmic cancer). 

*  The second law of thermodynamics was functional before Adam sinned, such as in the process of digestion, chemical processes, etc., but death and disease were not. For example, the harmony of Eden degenerated into violent dysfunction, as Adam's sin began a separation of the world from God.  The global flood in Noah's time resulted from God letting go even further, allowing the breaking up of the original supercontinent and a rapid series of catastrophic surface destroying events:

- See technical articles, by Dr. John Baumgardner, one of the world's foremost geophysicist (Los Alamos Laboratories) describing an amazingly accurate "Flood Model" instead of the old "Vapor Canopy" model. They involve Catastrophic Plate Tectonics, Runaway Subduction, and Super Heated Steam Jets. So keep in mind that the old Vapor Canopy model may be an inaccurate interpretation

- Also see the book, GENETIC ENROPY, by Dr. John Sanford of Cornell University, showing the long ages recorded in Genesis as fitting the mathematically calculated lower mutation load of the human genome thousands of years ago.

When Israel sinned, God withdrew His hand of protective provision, and allowed locusts and enemy armies to invade.  Two thousand years ago, in order to pay in full the penalty (absolute separation) that we all deserve, God the Father withdrew His Hand of protection from Jesus, and allowed men to kill "the Lamb of God". 

At the end of this corrupted age, the ultimate consequence will involve an exponential escalation of entropy/disorder (Luk 21:25-28; 2 Peter 3:1ff; Rev 6:1-18), when even the forces that hold the cosmic and atomic structures together will be allowed to degrade into chaos (terminal entropy).  Then God will, as He promised, recreate new heavens and a new earth, in which the lion, the wolf, and the lamb will once again lay down together in peace and harmony (Isa 11:1ff & 65:1ff; Romans 8:1ff).  And who knows, maybe then I'll get to go back to my favorite job, a zookeeper!

The Devolution of God's Creation

(The Downward Socialization Sindrome that Dishonors His Image)

Deception >
           Doubt >
                      Disloyalty >
                                 Disrespect >
                                            Disobedience >
                                                       Disorder >
                                                                  Dysfunction >
                                                                             Destruction >
                                                                                        DEATH

Yet God's sovereign mercy and grace always made a way to fulfill His plan and its promise (Rom 8:28-29)! God will bring out of this dying world, a remnant of followers, by grace alone through faith alone in the person and sufficient work of Messiah, Jesus, the prophesied seed of a woman, the root of Jesse (Gen 3:1ff; Isa 52:1ff-53:1ff).


Biblical Prophecy
A Jigsaw Puzzle

with Pieces throughout the Bible


OUTLINE OF THIS PAGE:
* A Jigsaw Puzzle with Pieces Throughout the Bible
* Interpreting Prophetic Passages: Different Views with Consequences
* Why "Normal" Interpretation is Key to Prophetic/Apocalyptic Passages
* Daniel's 70th Week: Primary Corner Piece in God's Prophetic Puzzle
* Introduction to THE REVELATION
** SEE ALSO the "BELIEFS" page (Mr. Galloway's doctrinal positions)


Core Principles To Help Frame the Prophecy Puzzle (Eschatology):

God, Himself, claimed He would use prophecy to prove His authorship of His Word  (Gen. 3:16; Isaiah 41:22-23; 44:6-8, etc..)  No other religious material on earth claims 100% accuracy in hundreds of predictions of the future to prove that its author is the God who transcends time and space. 

Isaiah 44:6-7
" Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, ... 'I am the First and I am the Last;
... And who can proclaim as I do? ...
... the things that are coming and shall come."

Almost 30% of the Bible prophetically proclaims the future. (For example: Gen 3; 12; 15; Psa 2; 22; 53; Isa-Mal; Mat 24; 2 Th 2; 2 Pet 3; The Revelation)

God Promises that the Revelation unveils the Old Testament mysteries about the future, so that they can be clearly understood.  The Revelation was not given to hide or obscure God's plan from His people.

The Big Picture (His-story) merely takes time & diligent effort to put it together.  And like any jigsaw puzzle, its always best to put the edge pieces (the outline) together first.

The Key to understanding the Bible’s prophetic timetable is to interpret prophecy normally, just as any other writing. (Literally unless the context demands a metaphorical interpretation)

Even huge jigsaw puzzles are not really complicated, but simply require patience, diligence, and time to put them together. And when you finally put this one together, the picture is awesome and will draw you to your knees in humble worship - singing "Thou art worthy"!  Not only is the study of Bible prophecy like a jigsaw puzzle in a general way, but even some of the specific principles of jigsaw puzzling are applicable to a proper study of prophecy.  By "jigsaw puzzle" I do not condone the common error of merely gathering proof texts out of context and cramming them into a preconceived framework.  To do it properly, each piece, whether it be a word, sentence, or paragraph must be prayerfully and carefully studied in its full context.

The Process of Puzzle Solving: 

1.  First, you gather and lay out all of your pieces.
(For example, Gen 3:15; 12; 15; Isa-Zech; Mat 24; 2 Th 2; Revelation, etc.)
2.  Second, you set in order the outline and corner pieces. 
(The normal, literal, grammatical-historical and contextual method of interpretation)
3.  Third, you group together pieces with similar content
(all the blues, or dark greens, etc.). 
(Messianic prophecies, references to 3.5 years/42 months/1260 days, Anti-Christ's titles, etc.)
4.  Fourth, you methodically put the puzzle together, piece by piece, and section by section.
(Systematic exegesis seeking to fit all pieces into a coherent, consistent picture)
5.  Fifth, eventually you will end up with a few difficult pieces that at first don't seem to easily fit into your general scheme. 
So you have to examine those pieces from different perspectives.  Sometimes you will discover that by just looking at it from a little different angle it perfectly and beautifully fits into a spot you didn't even see before.
(Isaiah 61:1-3 split between Jesus' first and His second comings, in light of Luke 4:18-19.)
6.  Finally, if you end up with your puzzle looking kind of buckled up and bent, with some extra pieces that absolutely will not fit anywhere, then you need to seriously consider that you've been forcing a lot of pieces together.
(Eisegesis, like claiming Mat 24:21-22 and all of Revelation were fulfilled before AD 70 ..........)

While every student of the Bible should try to approach it exegetically rather than eisegetically, no student of the Bible is totally unbiased.  We all come to Scripture with some measure of preconceived notions.  So that you'll know where I'm coming from up front, I believe that the Scripture teaches a futurist, premillennial, pretribulational eschatology.  If you want to examine the alternative views, which I am convinced by the evidence are incorrect (i.e., amill, and postmill), you might want to read Kenneth Gentry's, "He Shall Have Dominion", R.C. Sproul's The Last Days According To Jesus", Anthony Hoekema's The Bible & the Future".  At the links below, I've listed many authors who support the position I believe is the most consistent and faithful to the Bible. 

After comparing the writings of the best scholars from all camps, I believe you will see that the premillennial position most consistently interprets the Bible "normally", and is therefore able to harmonize all of the jigsaw puzzle pieces (Bible verses) together into a coherent picture of God's culmination of His-story. The other views are sincere and should be respected, but they end up having to "mythologize", "spiritualize", and allegorize huge portions of Scripture in order to fit them into their preconceived theologies.  This is the same error found among those who do not accept Genesis 1-11 as literal history.  Those who reject the historicity of Gen 1-11 see it as a series of myths that merely teach some general truths about morality and the flow of history.

Instead, we should simply take God at His Word, normally (literally) as it is stated, in the context of the entire Bible.  By literal, I am referring to systematic and consistent use of macroliteralism not microliteralism.  (Please see the notes for, "Why 'Normal' Interpretation is the Key to Prophetic & Apocalyptic Passages"  for an explanation of macroliteralism - a term coined by Dr. Thomas Ice to refer to the normal, historical-grammatical method of interpretation.)  This issue is not a matter of semantics, but is in fact the heart and core of prophetic study.  Certainly on occasion, the Scripture uses figurative language (symbol or analogy), but the majority of prophecies - both those that have already been fulfilled as well as those yet to be realized - are given to us as literal, historical, people, times, places, and events.  For example, in Daniel 9, the first 69 of the 70 weeks of years were already fulfilled in an amazingly literal manner regarding Jesus' first coming, and this fact is accepted by scholars from each eschatalogical camp.  Given this, the only normal, consistent interpretation for the 70th week of Daniel is that it also will be fulfilled in a historically literal manner.  And as we will see in our unfolding study of the Revelation, the majority of the book is referring to Daniel's 70th week.


How to Interpret Prophetic Passages:

Four Different Views with Important Consequences

Four Different Perspectives: (Preterist, Historicist, Mythacist, Futurist)
(I believe the evidence best supports the futurist view.)
** Keep in mind the fact that what each of these views believe about the prophecies in the Revelation, also applies to the parallel prophecies found in the rest of Scripture (Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Matthew 24; etc.).

I. Preterists: Believe all  or most of Revelation was  fulfilled in the past.
Past  (Revelation is interpreted as literal history, but of the past not the future.)

II. Historicists: Believe Revelation is a general overview of church history.
Present (Revelation is interpreted symbolically, regardless of the context)

III. Mythacists: Believe Revelation is just a spiritual picture of good vs. evil.
No Time (This view is a generic variation of the historical view.)                             

IV. Futurists: Believe Revelation 4-22 will be fulfilled in the future.
Future (Literally, except as the context demands a symbolic understanding.)
-- This is the view I am convinced is consistent with Scripture
* The futurist simply uses the normal method of interpretation used for all human language.

A more detailed examination of the four views:

I. Preterists: Believe all  or most of Revelation was  fulfilled in the past.
Past (Revelation interpreted as literal history, but of the past not the future.)

The preterists believe that all or most of the events of the Revelation were fulfilled in the past, and refer to the first century persecutions of either Nero or Domitian.  They believe the book was written before AD 70 and the destruction of the Jewish temple by the Romans, and that its purpose was to encourage Christians.  Some are "full preterist", who believe that all of the Revelation was fulfilled in the past, and others are "partial preterist". 
This view requires some great leaps of assumption to fit various prophetic statements into the past.  Note what Jesus says about the time following the "abomination of desolation" spoken of by Daniel, when the Anti-Christ will proclaim self-deification.  Matthew 24:21-22 "'For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened."' 
Jesus said this time would be the worst persecution of Jews ever to occur, yet the holocausts of both Hitler and Stalin surpassed that of Nero and Domitian both in quantity as well as quality of suffering.  Also, never in human history has man been capable of destroying "all flesh", until today with the presence of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction.  If preterism is true, then the plain and simple statements of Jesus were wrong.  Few modern preterists would say that Jesus erred, so they must claim that Jesus did not mean what He so clearly said.
The preterists also often fail to recognize the many "double fulfillments" common to prophetic passages, in which one prophecy describes two events separated by vast time spans.  Preterist agree that double fulfillments exist.  For example, they accept that when Jesus stood and read the scroll of Isaiah before the religious leaders of His day (Luke 4:17-21), He only read half of Isaiah's sentence, because His first advent as the suffering servant would only fulfill that first half of the prophetic statement.  The second half would be fulfilled at His second coming in power and glory to rule over the earth, so Jesus stopped mid-sentence.  The book of the Revelation reveals the culmination of many similar double prophecies in its portrayal of the final days.

II. Historicists: Believe Revelation is a general overview of church history.
Present (Revelation is interpreted symbolically, regardless of the context)

This theory and method of interpretation assumes the Revelation (and related prophecies elsewhere in the Bible) are being fulfilled during the present church age, from apostolic days to the end.  Yet the very name of the book and its claimed purpose present it as an unveiling, not a hiding or obscuring of truths. 
The subjective method of interpretation used by historicists opens the door to an unlimited number of possible meanings for the "symbols" found in the same prophetic passages.  For example, the very same passages could be interpreted to be the rise of Islam or the rise of the Roman Catholic church.  Such a subjective process is not an unveiling, but in practical reality a form of guaranteed confusing of the Body of Christ.
Historicists believe Revelation was written primarily to edify, exhort, and encourage Christians, not Jews.  Most do not see national Israel as a future focus of God's plan to reveal His glory to the World.

III.   Mythacists: Believe Revelation is merely a spiritual picture of good/evil.
No Time (This view is a generic variation of the historical view.)

This theory is often called the "Spiritualist", "Historical-Spiritualist" or "Idealist" perspective, and assumes that Revelation and parallel prophecies are referring to no real time chronology.  It's a variation of the "Historical" theory.  I think of this view as the "Mythacist" perspective, because it unwittingly reduces the Revelation to a vague and mystical allegory that merely portrays an ageless battle between what is holy and what is unholy.  As a result, the Revelation is presented as a mere myth, not an unveiling of future events as the book actually claims.  For example, some holding to this view believe that the two beasts in the Revelation symbolically refer to imperial and provincial Rome, rather than individuals.  Daniel 2 and 2 The 2 and other parallel passages clearly and consistently present these "beasts" as individuals who will head the first and final, global dictatorship.
Mythacists believe Revelation was written primarily to edify, exhort, and encourage Christians, not Jews.  Most do not see national Israel as a future focus of God's plan to reveal His glory to the World.

IV. Futurists: Believe Revelation 4-22 will be fulfilled in the future.
Future (Literally, except as the context demands a symbolic understanding.)
-- This is the view I am convinced is consistent with Scripture
*  The futurists simply use the normal method of interpretation accepted for all human language.

The futurist view believes that Revelation and parallel prophetic passages primarily refer to future events beyond our current day.  It is a natural outgrowth of using the normal method of interpretation for all written human language.  The text is interpreted with the basic historical, grammatical approach, accepting the author's statements at face value.  The assumption is that the author of the book says what he means, and means what he says.
Therefore, the statements are seen to be literal, unless the context forces a symbolic interpretation.  Even then, the symbols represent real events, real people, and real nations in the real world, plainly laid out in real time frames of real chronological order. 
This normal method of interpretation is able to take the many prophecy puzzle pieces from throughout the Bible and put them together in a coherent and obvious chronological order.  The result is a beautiful picture of His-story.  It is the story of our awesome and sovereign God, who proves His authorship of His Word by proclaiming the future and then bringing it to pass (Isaiah 41-48).
Futurists believe Revelation and other last days prophecies across Scripture are written to convict, guide, and encourage primarily Israeli Jews during the tribulation, who will believe in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and the World.  They recognize that many Gentiles during the Tribulation will also come to believe that Jesus is Messiah.  Futurists, therefore, see a clear distinction between national, ethnic Israel, and the Church which is the Bride and Body of Christ.

Important doctrinal consequences depending on the view:

* Is the Church a replacement for national Israel, or are they distinct?
THE ANSWER IS NO! Please see the sermon notes for Gen 15, for a detailed outline of the evidence. Genesis 15:1-21

* Should we submit to secular government or try to dominate it?

Please see the following articles:
- Rule of Law:  The Cure for America's Election Confusion, and for Its Many Dysfunctional Pseudo-Churches
- © God's Way Home: Humble Hypotasso (The Way of The Son 1 Cor 15:27-28)
- Safety Under God's Hand of Authority: The Backbone of all Relationships
- The Luciferic Lie: Global trends toward a pyramid of centralized power. The making of a new, international "Tower of Babel", apart from God and His authority.
- Why Government Can't Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism, by Dr. John MacArthur.  This important book will challenge you to choose a truly biblical response as the world turns increasingly toward global governance and universal spirituality.  Beware of the fleshly tendency to demand our rights, rant and rail at lost sinners, instead of presenting the humble, heart of holy love that is the character of Christ.

*  Is Christ's return premillennial, postmillennial, or amillennial?
(Many variations)

    Amillennialists: 
Believe that there is no literal 1,000 year millennium.  (Jay E. Adams, G. C. Berkouwer, Louis Berkhof, William Hendricksen, Anthony A. Hoekema, Abraham Kuyper, Bruce Waltke, Edward J. Young.)

    Postmillennialists: 
Most believe that there is no literal 1,000 year millennium.  Postmillennialists also believe that Christian influence on the world will gradually make it better and better, with Christ finally returning to a Christianized world.  (Athanasius, Augustine, Greg L. Bahnsen, John Calvin, Rober Lewis Dabney, John Jefferson Davis, Jonathan Edwards, Eusebius, Kenneth Gentry, A. A. Hodge, Charles Hodge, J. Gresham Machen, Iain H. Murray, John Murray, Gary North, John Owen, R. J. Rushdoony, W. G. T. Shedd, R. C. Sproul, Augustus Strong,  B. B. Warfield.)

    Futurists:  -- This is the view I am convinced is consistent with Scripture
(Two Kinds - Historical Premillennialists & Dispensational Premillennialists)

    Historical Premillennialists: 

- Rapture and second coming simultaneous; Christ returns to reign on earth.
- Resurrection of believers at the beginning of the Millennium.  Resurrection of unbelievers at the end of it.
- Judgment at the second coming, judgment at the end of the tribulation.
- Postrib view:  Church goes through the future tribulation.
- Millennium is both present and future.  Christ is reigning in heaven.  Millennium is not necessarily 1,000 years.
- Some distinctions between Israel and the Church.  Israel will have a future, national role, but the Church is now spiritual Israel.

        (W. J. Erdman, M. J. Erickson, Frederic Godet, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, George Eldon Ladd, Papias, Tertullian, R. A. Torrey.)

    Dispensational Premillennialists: 

- Second coming in two phases:  Rapture for the church; physical return at least seven years later.
- Distinction in resurrection:  Church at the rapture, OT/Trib saints at second coming, unbelievers at the end of the millennium.
- Distinction in judgments:  Believers' work at the rapture, Jews/Gentiles at the end of the tribulation, unbelievers at the end of the millennium.
- Pretrib view:  Church is raptured before the future tribulation.
- At the second coming, Christ inaugurates a literal, physical 1,000 year millennial reign on the earth.

(Supported by Gleason Archer, Donald G. Barnhouse, Paul Benware, Lewis Sperry Chafer, J. N. Darby, M. R. DeHaan, Charles Feinberg, Norman Geisler, Harry A. Ironside, Walter Kaiser, Hal Lindsey, John MacArthur, Jr., Chuck Missler, J. Dwight Pentecost, Charles Ryrie, John F. Walvoord, et. al.)

-- This is the view I am convinced is consistent with Scripture

*  Will the Church be raptured before, during, or after the Tribulation?

    Pretribulation Rapture:  The belief that the church will be removed before the time of "Jacob's Trouble" (Jer 30:7; 1 The 4, etc.), because that time is primarily for "Jacob", not the Bride of Christ.
-- This is the view I am convinced is consistent with Scripture

    Midtrib Rapture:  The belief that the church will go through the first half of the seven year Tribulation, but will be raptured before the "Great Tribulation" (the last 3.5 years).

    Posttrib Rapture:  The belief that the church will go through all of the seven year Tribulation.


"Normal" Interpretation

The KEY to Understanding
Prophetic & Apocalyptic Passages
- Having & Using the Right Tools -

For a much more detailed discussion and analysis of the process of interpretation (hermeneutics), especially "literal" vs. "allegorical", please see the following recommended resources:

Pentecost, Dwight.  Things To Come: A Study in Bible Eschatology,  pp. 1-64.
Dr. Pentecost's analysis is very technical, but extremely helpful in demonstrating the many misunderstandings some people have about the "normal", "literal" method of interpretation.

Ice and Demy.  The Truth About The Rapture, pp. 13-18.
Drs. Ice and Demy provide a very simple, yet not simplistic, explanation of the primary issues involved in the debate.  In addition, they present the "macroliteral" method in plain, non-technical language.


** There is simply no way to avoid some of the technical discussions contained in this message, folks.  So please bear with it and don't tune out.  Remember, nothing is more worthy of your diligence than our Father's Word (almost 30 % of which is prophetic).  Building anything worthwhile requires hard work, having the right tools, and knowing how to use those tools! 

For example, the multi-tool pictured at the left could be used to reduce my nose hairs, and the older I get, the more that needs to be done.  But, how I use the tool will make a big difference when I'm done.  I could use the little scissors to trim the nose hairs, or I could use the pliers to grab a bunch and rip them out.  See what I mean.  So please, study the tools below well, memorize them, and practice until you become skilled in using them.

Our Sample Subject & Texts
As We Compare Allegorical vs. Literal Methods:

    "Israel" - See below, the review of "The Church is not Israel".
The term, "Israel", is used 2579 times in the Bible.  It is consistently used to refer to a real person, Jacob, or a real, physical nation, Israel.  Also, next week we'll apply these principles to Daniel 9 and his prophecy of 70 weeks.  The first 69 weeks of years were fulfilled literally in an amazingly accurate manner.  Therefore it is only reasonable to interpret the 70th week as literal.  In fact, many of the OT prophetic pictures and figures of speech are directly explained by the prophet, and these pictures with their direct meanings are later picked up and reused by the NT authors, especially John in the Revelation.

A Review of The Process of Prophecy Puzzle Building:
By "jigsaw puzzle" I do not condone the common error of merely gathering proof texts out of context and cramming them into a preconceived framework.  To do it properly, each piece, whether it be a word, sentence, or paragraph must be prayerfully and carefully studied in its full context.

1.  First, you gather and lay out all of your pieces.
(For example, Gen 3:15; 12; 15; Isa-Zech; Mat 24; 2 Th 2; Revelation, etc.)
2.  Second, you set in order the outline and corner pieces, found in every puzzle. 
(The normal, literal, grammatical-historical and contextual method of interpretation)
3.  Third, you group together pieces with similar content. (all the blues, or dark greens, etc.). 
(Messianic prophecies, references to 3.5 years/42 months/1260 days, Anti-Christ's titles, etc.)
4.  Fourth, you methodically put the puzzle together, piece by piece, and section by section.
(Systematic exegesis seeking to fit all pieces into a coherent, consistent picture)
5.  Fifth, eventually you will end up with a few difficult pieces that at first don't seem to easily fit into your general scheme.  So you have to examine those pieces from different perspectives.  Sometimes you will discover that by just looking at it from a little different angle it perfectly and beautifully fits into a spot you didn't even see before.
(Isaiah 61:1-3 split between Jesus' first and His second comings, in light of Luke 4:18-19.)
6.  Finally, if you end up with your puzzle looking kind of buckled up and bent, with some extra pieces that absolutely will not fit anywhere, then you need to seriously consider that you've been forcing a lot of pieces together.
(Eisegesis, like claiming Mat 24:21-22 and all of Revelation were fulfilled before AD 70 ..........)

A Review of the Four Views & Their Method of Interpretation:
Past         (Preterist)    - Non-systematically literal
Present    (Historicist)  - Allegorical
No Time    (Mythacist)  - Allegorical
Future      (Futurist)     -  Systematically literal (The "normal" method)

Some terms/phrases you need to understand first:

Hermeneutics = "The science (skill) of biblical interpretation, which sets forth the laws and principles that lead to the meaning of a scripture text."  (Dr. Paul Benware, Professor at Moody Bible Institute, in his book, Understanding End Time Prophecy.  Appendix)

Type = "A symbolic foreshadowing of some truth about Christ (usually employing people or events from the Old Testament to prefigure traits or incidents pertaining to the Messiah).  For example, Israel's bondage in Egypt was a graphic foretelling of the infant Christ's retreat from Herod (cf. Hos. 11:1; Mat 2:13-15), and the bronze serpent raised on a pole in Numbers 21:9 was also a type representing Christ's crucifixion (John 3:14)."  (John MacArthur in, The Second Coming, Appendix)

Exegetical = "Having to do with exegesis, the careful analysis and explanation of a biblical text, especially in the original languages."   (John MacArthur in, The Second Coming, Appendix)

Allegorical Interpretation = "A method of interpretation that disregards the historical context of a passage and treats the literal sense of a scripture text as secondary to a deeper, more spiritual meaning."   (Dr. Paul Benware, Professor at Moody Bible Institute, in his book, Understanding End Time Prophecy.  Appendix)

Allegory in the Bible:  The Bible certainly contains allegories, but never do any of the writers of the Bible use allegory to interpret any other part of the Bible itself.  This is an often overlooked and sometimes misrepresented fact.  Dr. Pentecost surveys the history of interpretation from OT to NT, Jewish to Christian, and on to modern times.  There is no justification in the Bible for systematic allegorical interpretation of Scripture.  Even Gal 4:21-31, which is often used as a lone proof text by mythacists (idealists), does not sanction the universal application of their method.  Paul was merely explains a specific passage regarding the covenant family of Abraham, and the distinction between God's Covenant Way vs. Abraham's fleshly effort to produce an heir through the Egyptian maid, Hagar.  (Please see the sermon notes for Genesis 16, Isaac or Ishmael)  Paul was not advocating a systematic method of allegorical interpretation for Scripture.

In fact, Dr. Pentecost list a number of dangerous consequences of the allegorical system: (Things to Come, pp. 5-6)
1.  "The first great danger of the allegorical method is that it does not interpret Scripture."
2.  ". . . a second great danger in the allegorical method:  the basic authority in interpretation ceases to be the Scriptures, but the mind of the interpreter."
3.  "A third great danger in the allegorical method is that one is left without any means by which the conclusions of the interpreter may be tested."

    This is how and why the Roman Catholic institution substituted biblical authority for the authority of the men leading their church (Magisterium).

    Example of allegorical interpretation:  The four rivers of Gen 2 (Pishon, Havilah, Tigris, and Euphrates) are seen as representing the human body, soul, spirit, and mind.

Literal Interpretation = "The grammatical-historical approach to the text of Scripture where the words of the passage are interpreted according to the accepted laws of language."  (Dr. Paul Benware, Professor at Moody Bible Institute, in his book, Understanding End Time Prophecy.  Appendix)

    Dr. Elliot Johnson, in Expository Hermeneutics:  An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990, p. 9), points out that many people fail to distinguish between two uses of the term "literal".

1.  "the clear, plain sense of a word or phrase as over against a figurative use . . ."
2. "a system that views the text as providing the basis of the true interpretation." 
(systematic literalism, simply using the grammatical-historical method of interpretation)

    Systematic literalism (macroliteralism) was rediscovered by the reformers in their efforts to counter Roman Catholicism's allegorical interpretations which lead to serious errors in theology. Today, those who use systematic literalism do disagree over whether certain verses or passages are figures of speech (connotative) or denotative in usage.  But there is far more agreement among literalist as they interpret the same passages, than there is among those using the allegorical approach.  Allegorical interpretation becomes every mans guess.

    "The dictionary defines literal as "belonging to letters".  Further, it says literal interpretation involves an approach "based on the actual words in their ordinary meaning . . . not going beyond the facts."  "Literal interpretation of the Bible simply means to explain the original sense of the Bible according to the normal and customary usages of its language." How is this done?  It can only be accomplished through an interpretation of the written text which includes consideration of the grammatical (according to the rules of grammar), historical (consistent with the historical setting of the passage), contextual (in accord with its context) method of interpretation.  This is what literalists mean by consistently literal interpretation.
(The Truth About the Rapture, by Dr. Thomas Ice and Dr. Timothy Demy, p.13).

Examples of systematic literalism:  The term Israel consistently refers to the literal, physical person, Jacob, and/or the nation that arose from him, and not the church.

Figures of Speech =  "Literal interpretation recognizes that a word or phrase can be used either plainly (denotative) or figuratively (connotative).  As in our own conversations today, the Bible may use plain speech, such as 'He died yesterday' (denotative use of language).  Or the same thing may be said in a more colorful way: 'He kicked the bucket yesterday' (connotative use of language).  An important point to be noted is that even though we may use a figure of speech to refer to someone's death, we are using that figure to refer to an event that literally happened."
(The Truth About the Rapture, by Dr. Thomas Ice and Dr. Timothy Demy, pp. 16)

But folks, please note that "kicked the bucket" could mean something very different if the context demands it.  For example, if I said, "Farmer Brown was milking his cow and when he stood up to leave, he kicked the bucket and spilled all of the milk".  In this example the phrase, "kicked the bucket" is denotative and should be interpreted in a microliteral manner. 

The following quotes help to further clarify this issue:

    "When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicated clearly otherwise." (David L. Cooper, The World's Greatest Library:  Graphically Illustrated. pp. 11)

    "Literalists understand that a figure of speech is employed by Isaiah teaching that the Adamic curse upon nature will be reversed in the millennium when he says, 'And all the trees of the field will clap their hands' (Isa 55:12).  This figure is discerned by specific factors in the context in which it was written, all dealing with the removal of the curse upon nature at this future time.  Even though figurative language is employed, it will literally happen in history." (The Truth About the Rapture, by Dr. Thomas Ice and Dr. Timothy Demy, pp. 16)

* A figurative (symbolic) use of language does not require or justify a "spiritualist" (allegorical) interpretive methodology.  Figures of speech in the Bible simply portray real, historical (both past history as well as future history) events through colorful and often graphic descriptions for emphasis.

At the other extreme from a spiritualist method, is the misuse of microliteralism.  Here's a example that shows how even "microliteralism" can misinterpret the simple meaning of Scripture.  Catholicism in most instances uses a systematically allegorical method of interpretation.  But in John 6, Roman Catholicism misuses "microliteralism" where Jesus says that we must eat His body and drink His blood to be saved.  Catholicism misunderstands Jesus' figurative use of language and ends up with the false doctrine of "transubstantiation".  But the context of John 1-7 reveals the need to interpret these sayings figuratively.

Nicodemus (John 3) misunderstood Jesus by interpreting His words microliterally and mistakenly thought Jesus meant he'd have to reenter his mother's womb.  Then the woman at the well (John 4) misunderstood Jesus by thinking He was talking about real water.  And those listening to Jesus in John 6 misinterpreted Jesus' words about consuming His body and blood.  Remember, in John 16:25, Jesus plainly said: "These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father." 

But even though Jesus was then speaking figurative, please note that He was referring to a real need for a real birth, and for a real thirst to be quenched.  Even more important, is the the fact that the context of John explains his figures of speech very clearly.  In John 3 Jesus says the new birth must be from above, and by the Spirit of God.  In John 6 and 7:37-39, Scripture directly explains that Jesus figurative use of "water" in this context referred to the Holy Spirit.

Reviewing the Futurist perspective:

The futurist view believes that Revelation and parallel prophetic passages primarily refer to future events beyond our current day.  It is a natural outgrowth of using the normal method of interpretation for all written human language.  The text is interpreted with the basic historical, grammatical approach, accepting the author's statements at face value.  The assumption is that the author of the book says what he means, and means what he says. 

Therefore, the statements are seen to be literal, unless the context forces a symbolic interpretation.  Even then, the symbols represent real events, real people, and real nations in the real world, plainly laid out in real time frames of real chronological order. 

    This normal method of interpretation is able to take the many prophecy puzzle pieces from throughout the Bible and put them together in a coherent and obvious chronological order.  The result is a beautiful picture of His-story.  It is the story of our awesome and sovereign God, who proves His authorship of His Word by proclaiming the future and then bringing it to pass (Isaiah 41-48).

    Futurists believe Revelation and other last days prophecies across Scripture are written to convict, guide, and encourage primarily Israeli Jews during the tribulation, who will believe in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel and the World.  They recognize that many Gentiles during the Tribulation will also come to believe that Jesus is Messiah.  Futurists, therefore, see a clear distinction between national, ethnic Israel, and the Church which is the Bride and Body of Christ.

        Next week, we'll examine the main corner piece of the whole prophecy puzzle, the 70 weeks of Daniel 9.  The first 69 of the 70 weeks of years have already been fulfilled in an amazingly literal manner regarding Jesus' first coming, and this fact is accepted by scholars from each eschatological camp.  Given this, the only normal, consistent interpretation for the 70th week of Daniel is that it also will be fulfilled in an historically literal manner.  And as we will see in our unfolding study of the prophecy, the majority of the Revelation is referring to Daniel's 70th week, the time of "Jacob's Trouble".

    Systematic literalism forms the cornerstone of the foundation of a Futurist (Premillennial) view of eschatology.  Three more foundation stones compose the rest of that foundation.  Each one leads to the logical acceptance of the next in the systematically consistent process of developing a coherent, theology of last things:

1.  Consistent macroliteral interpretation.
2.  Distinction between Israel and the Church.
3.  Futurism
4.  Premillennialism

A review of the three biblical categories of evidence proving that the Church is NOT Israel.

*  A systematically literal method of interpretation (the "normal" grammatical-historical method) logically demands the acceptance of this biblical fact.

1.  Different Beginnings:  The Church is a "mystery", not revealed in the OT, and it had a unique beginning as an entity distinct from Israel:

- Israel began with the call of Abram in Gen 12, when God promised to make a great nation from his genes.  The rest of the OT records the historical development of that physically ethnic, geographic nation.
- The Church is never mentioned in the OT, because the NT says it was a "mystery" (Eph 3:3-6; Col 1:26), which God did not reveal until its distinct beginning at Pentecost (Acts 2).  It is a new spiritual entity, composed of regenerated, believing Jews and Gentiles (John 7:37-39; Acts 11).
-  Jesus in Mat 16:18 used the future tense when He said, "I will build My church.".
(see also Acts 1:5)
- Jesus is the head of the church and did not assume that role until He ascended into heaven (Eph 1:20-23; Col 1:18).
-  The Church did not begin until the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39; 1 Cor 12:13).  Members of the Church are baptized into the Body of Christ.
- Many specific prophecies in the OT regarding the physical nation and land of Israel have yet to be completely fulfilled, such as Ezek 36-40 (especially 39:29-40:1ff).

2.  Contrasted Consistently:  The Church in the NT is consistently contrasted as distinct from Israel, and the two names are never used interchangeably:

    - 1 Cor 10:32 lists three distinct groups:  Jews, Greeks, and the Church of God.  Even after the Church is in existence, ethnic Israelites are still seen as distinct from Gentiles, and the Church.  The Church is a unique mystery composed of both Jews and Gentiles.  (These same three groups are delineated in Eph 2:11-16.
- Throughout Acts (Israel 20xs and Ekklesia 19xs), the two terms are always used in contrast to one another and never interchangeably. 
- In the entire NT, "Israel" is used 73xs, and it always refers to ethnic, national Israel.
Only three of the 73 are claimed by replacement theologians as representing the "church" (Rom 9:6; 11:26; Gal 6:16).  And two of these three (Rom 9:6; 11:26) are even seen by many replacement theologians as referring to ethnic Israel. 
- Only Gal 6:16 is used by all replacement theologians as their proof text to say that the Church is now Israel.  Gal 6:16 "And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God."  The key to interpreting Gal 6:16 is the meaning and use of the Greek term for "and" in this verse, "them, and the Israel of God".  Replacement theologians set aside the primary meaning of "and" and substitute the word "even".  The verse then reads, "even the Israel of God".  Everyone agrees that the term "them" refers to members of the Church, but the simple, normal use of "and", as well as the context of Galatians, indicates a contrast between "them" and a different group called "the Israel of God".  Yet replacement theologians must assume an abnormal use of "and" in this verse in order to make "them" and "Israel of God" become synonyms for the same group, the Church.
- "Israel of God" in Gal 6:16, according to a normal interpretation, simply refers to the believing Jews.  1 Cor 10:18 in contrast refers to unbelieving Jews ("Israel after the flesh").
- Another verse important to the discussion is Gal 3:229,  "And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.".  What does "Abraham's seed" mean?  Note that the specific term Israel is not used here.  The phrase "Abraham's seed" is used in Scripture for a number of meanings:  physical descendants, believing Jews, believing Gentiles.  Yet the Church is never called "Israel", nor is it even said to fulfill the land promises of the covenant.  The land covenant will only be filled in the millennial kingdom, after the fullness of the Gentiles (Luk 21:24).

        (Rom 11:25-27)  25For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

            "The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
27 For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins."

3.  Purposeful Tribulation:  The stated purpose of the tribulation is for national, ethnic Israel, not the NT Church:

    - Jer 30:7 "Alas! For that day is great, to that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it."
(Deu 4:30; Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 20:37; 36:25-36; 37-40; Dan 9:24-27; 12:1; Zech 13:8-9; Mal 4:4-6; Mat 24:15-20; Rom 11:25-28; Rev 7:4-14)
- The tribulation (Seven years of judgment comprising the 70th week of Daniel's prophecy in Dan 9) is sovereignly designed for the purpose of bringing Jacob's descendants, Israel as a corporate nation, to repentance and faith in the Messiah whom they pierced, Jesus:

        Zech 12:1-3  1"The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3"And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it."

        Zech 12:10  "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." 

    - Mat 24:21-22 Jesus says the tribulation of Jacob will be a time worse than any other time, both past and present.  This could not refer to the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, since the Jews experienced even worse persecution by Hitler and Stalin.
- The Church is not mentioned in the Revelation after chapter 3.  From then on in the Revelation the focus is solely on national Israel.


Daniel's 70th Week:

A Primary Corner Piece
in God's Prophetic Puzzle
- "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" -
(Daniel 9:23-27)

By "jigsaw puzzle", I'm not condoning the common error of merely gathering proof texts out of context and cramming them into a preconceived framework.  To do it properly, each piece, whether it be a word, sentence, or paragraph must be prayerfully and carefully studied in its full context.

How're you doing?  "Always better than I deserve!"
The man, Daniel, is a model of how to respond to the world system, especially authorities like the government, when persecution and tribulations increase.  Don't forget that Daniel, who was "greatly beloved" by God, was never a political activist.  Soon all believers will stand before the judgment seat of Christ for how we responded to the testing trials God allowed into our lives.

PERSONAL QUESTIONS
*  Do you believe that God has fulfilled many of His biblical prophecies?
*  Do you believe that He is in control of History (His-story)?
*  Then do you also believe that God is in control of the events that come into your life?
*  Do you flip out or fall apart when things seem to be going wrong?
*  Will your children grow up and tell others how their mother or father stood strong, peaceful, and loving even when things around them got rough?
*  Do you open your home to co-workers and neighbors for evangelistic hospitality, and to members of our church for mutual, discipleship counseling?
*  Are you committed to your family at home and to your family at church, or do you withdraw or lash out when you feel rejected or neglected?
*  None of us are perfect and we have all failed, but check and see if you're really growing consistently in these characteristics?
*  If not, are you willing to humbly admit it, and turn (repent) back to God and submit your fears, desires, idols of your heart to His control?
*  What if you or anyone in your family needs help (discipleship counseling)?  Are you committed to go get it so that God will be glorified?

Did you know that some of the people who call me for counseling from other churches say they won't go to anyone in their own church because they don't want them to know that they're struggling!   Is that the right heart attitude of humility or could it be embarrasment rooted in pride?

 Weekly Verse for Memory & Meditation
Daniel 9:24

"Seventy weeks are determined
For your people and for your holy city,
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy,
And to anoint the Most Holy."

The Text (Blue Letter Bible): Daniel 9:23-27
(Strong's numbers, Hebrew-Greek lexicons, cross references, etc., can be accessed from the above link)

Brief Outline, Exposition, and Commentary -

Examples of signpost scriptures & symbols to help you fit Daniel 9:23-27 & The Revelation together (note the literal, chronological context of each):

-  "Middle of the 70th Week"    
(3.5 yrs, 42 months, 1260 days, time/times/half a time)
Dan 9:27; 12:7, 11 & 12; Rev 11:2-3; 12:6, 13:5

-  "Abomination of Desolation"
Daniel 7:25; 11:31; 12:11; Mat 24:15; 2 Thes 2:3-4; Rev 12:6; Rev 13

Background & Summary: 

Three Wise Men -  Daniel's chronologically specific prophecy, literally interpreted, prepared the Magi for the Messiah, the "King of the Jews"
(Mat 2:2)!

[Note - Isaiah 7:14 ff;  9:6 ff; 61:1-2 Double fulfillments separated by a long span of time]

-  Only Mat 2:1-12 tells us of the eastern Magi who came to worship Jesus. 
-  How did they know that the "star" meant the Jewish Messiah had come?
-  We don't know how many Magi came or their names.
-  We do know that historically the Magi became the most respected astronomers and counselors of the
Medo-Persian and Babylonian empires.  (Ester 1:13; Dan 1:4 & 20; Jer 39:3)
-  Daniel (2:48) became the head over all Magi in Babylon, because of God's spiritual gifting.
-  The magi respected Daniel and were not the ones who plotted against him (Dan 6:4-9). 
-  Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy was certainly well known to the Magi, and passed on.
-  They knew the time prophesied when Messiah, King of the Jews, would come to Israel.
-  The star seen from the east may have been the Shekinah glory of the Lord.
-  Star is often used figuratively to refer to Messiah, Jesus (Num 24:17; Rev 21:23).
-  When they arrived at Jerusalem, the capital, they had to ask continually where the new king was born.
-  Herod, with the help of the scribes, sent the Magi to Bethlehem because of prophecy (Mic 5:2).
-  Daniel's chronologically specific prophecy, literally interpreted, prepared the Magi for the Messiah.

A figurative (symbolic) use of language does not require or justify a "spiritualist" (allegorical) interpretive methodology.  Figures of speech in the Bible simply portray real, historical (both past history as well as future history) events through colorful and often graphic descriptions for emphasis.  In fact, many of the OT prophetic pictures and figures of speech are directly explained by the Scripture, and these pictures with their direct meanings are later picked up and reused by the NT authors.

Daniel's prophecies in Chapter 2 Image, Ch 7 Beasts, Ch 8 Beasts, Ch 9 the first 69 Weeks) have been fulfilled in an historically literal manner, . . . and since Mat 24 and the Revelation are clearly connected to Daniel's 70th week, then the logical conclusion is that Revelation should be interpreted in an historically, chronologically literal manner.  Revelation was written after AD 90, so it could not have been fulfilled by the Romans destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70.  Therefore the Revelation's fulfillment must be in our future.

First a look at Daniel’s Visions of the Gentile's Future:

        The "Times of the Gentiles"  Luke 21:24;Rom 11:25; Rev 11:2

The Image
Ch2

The Beasts
Ch7

The Beasts
Ch8

The Kingdoms

Head of Gold

Winged Lion

 

Babylon

Arms/Chest of Silver

Bear

Ram with horns

Medo-Persia

Belly/Thighs of Bronze

Leopard 4 heads & wings

Male Goat 5 horns plus 
1 little horn

Greece
Little horn is Antiochus

Legs of Iron, 
10 Toes of Iron &Clay

Beast 10 horns, then little horn

 

Rome
Little horn is Antichrist

Stone that becomes a great mountain

Messiah & Saints given a kingdom

 

God's Kingdom

Now, Daniel's Prophecy of Israel's Future in 9:23-27 ..........
. . . . the time of "Jacob's Trouble":

"Israel" - (see also the sermon notes showing why the church does not replace Israel - Gen 15).
The term, "Israel", is used 2579 times in the Bible.  It is consistently used to refer to a real person, Jacob, or a real, physical nation, Israel.   The first 69 weeks of Daniel's 70 weeks of years were fulfilled literally in an amazingly accurate manner.  Therefore it is only reasonable to interpret the 70th week as literal. 

 

23"At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; 
therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision:
24 "Seventy weeks are determined (c.f. Gen 29:27)
For your people and for your holy city, (Jerusalem)
To finish the transgression,
To make an end of sins,
To make reconciliation for iniquity,
To bring in everlasting righteousness,
To seal up vision and prophecy, and
To anoint the Most Holy.

 


25 "Know therefore and understand,
That
from the going forth of the command (445 BC)
To restore and build Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8)
Until Messiah the Prince, (Jesus rode into Jerusalem)
There
shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; (69 wks)
The street shall be built again, and the wall,
Even in troublesome times.

26 "And after the sixty-two weeks (7 + 62 = 69 wks)
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; (Isa 53)
And the people of the prince who is to come (Roman)
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. (70 AD)
The end of it shall be with a flood, (Psa 90:3-6; Nah 1:8)
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.

 

27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week (3.5 yrs, 42 mo., 1260 days)
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, (Abomination of Desolation - 11:31; 12:11;
Mat 24:15; 2 Thes 2:3-4; Rev 13)

 

Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate."

Six Purposes of the 70 Weeks:
- 3 Re: Man (end transgression, end sins, reconcile iniquity)
- 3 Re: God (bring right, seal vision, anoint the Holy)
- None of these have yet been fulfilled completely.

The "weeks" are seven years, not days:
- Hebrew "shavuah" means "a seven". (7620 - Strong's #)
- Gen 29:27 has a "week" of seven years for Rachel.

A biblical year was only 360 days:
- Also, India, Persia, Babylon, Egypt, Greece, China.
- Rev 11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5 (42 months = 1260 days)
- 1260/42 = 30 days/month. 30 x 12 months = 360.

Calculate "Messiah the Prince" coming:
- 7 wks + 62 wks = 69 wks
- 69 wks times 7 yrs = 483 biblical years.  
- 483 yrs x 360 days = 173,880 days.
- All decrees were for temple only, except Artaxerxes.
* (see decrees listed below)
- Neh 2:1-8 Decree of Artaxerxes = 445 BC.
- 445 BC + 173,880 days = 32 AD Messiah to come.

Next an event between the 69th and the 70th week:
- The events of v. 26 happen "after" the 7 + 62 = 69 weeks.
- A gap of time is required here by these verses, and others. (Mat 13:34-35; Eph 3:5-9; Isa 7:14 ff; 9:6 ff; 61:1-2; Rev 12:5-6; Luk 9:42 in light of Rom 11:25).  Double fulfillments, types, & gaps.
-  32 AD Jesus enters Jerusalem as Messiah, 
   humbly on a donkey ( Zech 9:9, Mat 21).
- Then Jesus was "cut off" (executed as a criminal).
- Jesus was executed not for Himself, but for us (Isa 53).
- The people who would one day produce another 
   prince (Anti-Christ) would destroy the city.  
- In AD 70 the Romans destroyed the city.
- Israel desolate until 1948 & return of the Jews.

"He", a Roman prince cons Israel mid-way:
- Antichrist will promise protection to Israel.
- Seven year treaty (one week).
- Half way into that week (3.5 yrs), he'll turn on them.
  (Dan 4:16, 23, 25; 7:25)
- He'll stop the temple sacrifices. (Abomination of desol.)
- He'll destroy as many Jews as he can,  until Christ returns to save them (Rom 10-11).
- A pre-pictured type was seen in 167 BC with Antiochus Ephiphanes, who desecrated the temple with a pig sacrifice.  But the events around Antiochus did not even come near fulfilling all of the specifics listed in these prophecies.  And Jesus mention of the Abom. of Desol. in Daniel as a future event in Mat 24 erases Antiochus as a candidate for this individual.
- Israel would remain desolate until the regathering in preparation for the final 70th week.  Israel was a wasteland until the 1948 return, and in 1967 Jerusalem was amazingly reclaimed in a six day war against overwhelming odds.  On the seventh day, Israel rested.
- Until the 20th century it was impossible for all of the details of the 70th week prophecies in Dan., Ezek, Mat 24, & Rev. to be fulfilled in a literal manner.  
** (see the list of current geopolitical & technological parallels below)

Daniel's 70 Weeks:

* Decrees to Rebuild:  (The first three were only for rebuilding the temple)

1.  Cyrus 537 BC        Ezra 1:2-4
2.  Darius                   Ezra 6:1-5, 8, 12
3.  Artaxerxes 458 BC    Ezra 7:11-26
4.  Artaxerxes 445 BC    Neh 2:1-8, 17, 18
(This is the only one to rebuild the city & walls, etc.)

* Current Geopolitical & Technological Evidence:  A literal, detailed fulfillment of the 70 Weeks has never been possible until the 20th century.  The following examples reveal that such a fulfillment could occur now, at any time.

1.  Israel Regathered:  Ezek 36-37.  May 14, 1948 as Nation.  Jun 6, 1967 Jerusalem after the amazing Six Day War.
2.  Temple Being Rebuilt: Predicted in Mat 24:15; 2 Thes 2:4; Rev 11:1-2. Necessary for the Abomination of Desolation.  (see the following web article from the Jerusalem Post)
http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2001/01/08/News/News.18980.html
3.  Babylon Being Rebuilt:  Isa 13 & 14; Jer 50 & 51; Rev 17 & 18.  Babylon will be destroyed in a specific manner that has never before occurred.  Saddam Husein has spent over 20 years rebuilding the city, along with huge pictorials of Nebuchadnezzar.
4.  Revived Roman Empire: Dan 2 & 7.  The European Union Superstate now consists of almost 30 countries, with its own currency and now its own military forces.
5.  Biochip Ready:  Rev 13.  "Digital Angel" is a product now internationally acclaimed for the identification of individuals.  It can be tracked by the GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) system.  This current technology along with the internet, and transnational corporate alliances is capable of replacing cash as the means of monetary exchange.

Digital Angel ®
http://www.adsx.com/frontpage/1,1524,,00.html
"Applied Digital Solutions Acquires Rights to World's First Digital Device Implantable in Humans - With Applications in E-business to Business Security, Health Care and Criminal Justice
PALM BEACH, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 15, 1999-- Inserted just under the skin, with maintenance-free regenerating power supply, miniature ``Digital Angel®'' has multi-billion dollar market potential Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSX - news) today announced that it has acquired the patent rights to a miniature digital transceiver -- which it has named ``Digital Angel®'' -- that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as providing a tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced e-business security, locating lost or missing individuals, tracking the location of valuable property and monitoring the medical conditions of at-risk patients.  In the agreement signed last week, ADS acquired the right to develop this unique product itself for all of its applications or to sublicense the development of specific applications to other entities. A special technology group has been formed within ADS to supervise the development of the device. The implantable transceiver sends and receives data and can be continuously tracked by GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) technology."

6.  Russia & Moslem Extremists (North):  Ezek 38-39.  The attack against Israel by Gog/Magog (a nation far "north" of Israel) in alliance with Syria, Iran (Persia), Libya, et. al. has never occurred as portrayed by Scripture.  And the end result (Eze 39 ? thermonuclear exchange?) of massive defeat against the attackers along with a careful clean up requiring the marking and burying of bones has never occurred.  Yet just this month, Dec 2000, Russia formed new strategic alliances with Iran, Syria, and other Islamic nations, all of whom have publicly vowed to destroy Israel.  Anti-semitism is spreading in Russia at an alarming rate, even espoused by Russian politicians.  And Russia's current state of affairs make it very hungry for control of middle eastern oil, and desperate for a warm water, southern port.
* The New Russian threat,  http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=21248

    Please know that I have many sincere Muslim friends who do NOT believe it is right to abuse, oppress, or kill innocent women, children, or men. While we do not agree on theology, we do agree about our responsiblity to Almighty God to protect the innocent from predatory people, including phony religious and political leaders.

7.  China (East):  Dec 2000, the top Pentagon official, General Shelton, warned that China is becoming at least as dangerous a threat to world peace as Russia.  Reknowned investigator, and reporter for the Washington Times, Bill Gertz, has written a new book entitled, THE CHINA THREAT, exposing the serious danger of China, which is being hidden from the western public by the mainline media.
8.  Weapons of Mass Destruction:  Jesus said in Mat 24:22 that the time of Jacob's trouble, the final 70th week, would be so severe of a geopolitical meltdown that unless God had shortened those days, "all flesh would be destroyed".  Only now, with the destructive potential of modern nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons could such a statement have been taken realistically (literally).  Yet today, the potential of global destruction as a result of another world war is the concern of every intelligent person.
9.  Peace Treaty (Covenant) with Israel:  Dan 9:27.  The whole world is obsessed with the concern that the Israel/Jerusalem problem could ignite into World War III.  Every nation is desparately hoping and looking for someone to arise who can bring peace to the area.  If Israel must use its nuclear weapons (the Sampson Solution) against a Russian invasion in the near future, they will then have no major defensive capability left and will have to depend upon some other geographically close nation (like the EU Superstate) to protect them from other enemies.
10.  New Age Messianic Hope:  Across the globe, the new age philosophy of pantheistic socialism has spread into every major social institution (universities, UN non-governmental organizations like Lucis-Lucifer Trust, World Bank through Richard Barrett, theoretical physics, evolutionary theories of biology and psychology, etc.).  The world is ripe and ready for a pseudo-savior, and ant-christ, who will proclaim himself to be divine, and offer to lead others down the road most traveled (self-deification).  2 Thes 2 calls this "the lie", and it is the original deception of Lucifer.

A Summary review of Interpretation Tools from last week:

    Statements in Scripture are to be seen as literal, unless the context forces a symbolic interpretation.  Even then, the symbols represent real events, real people, and real nations in the real world, plainly laid out in real time frames of real chronological order.  The Bible contains many symbols and allegories, but never does an author of the NT, allegorically "interpret" any portion of the OT.  Paul in Gal 4:21-31, for example, merely explains a specific passage regarding the covenant family of Abraham, and the distinction between God's Covenant Way vs. Abraham's fleshly effort to produce an heir through the Egyptian maid, Hagar.  (Please see notes for the previous sermon on "Normal" Interpretation, as well as the sermon notes for Genesis 16, Isaac or Ishmael)

    Systematic literalism (macroliteralism) forms the cornerstone of the foundation of a Futurist (Premillennial) view of eschatology.  Four more foundation stones compose the rest of that foundation.  Each one leads to the logical acceptance of the next in the systematic process of developing a coherent, theology of last things.

1.  Consistent macroliteral interpretation.
2.  Distinction between Israel and the Church.
3.  Futurism
4.  Premillennialism
5.  Pretribulationism 

** This additional foundation stone is, I believe, a logically inescapable conclusion that grows out of the first four.  The central focus of the 70th week, "Jacob's Trouble", is on national Israel, with no mention of the church on earth in Daniel 9; Ezek 36-39; Zech 11-12; Mat 24-25; or Rev 6-19.  In fact, 2 Thes 2 strongly indicates that the antichrist, the lawless one, cannot rise to power until the church is raptured and the Holy Spirit again serves in His Old Testament role on earth (John 7:37-39).  We'll examine this later in our exposition of Rev 1-5.

How does all of this apply to you and me?

(The final question to ask yourself, whenever you study God's Word)
How are you doing on God's conflict meter?

Giving Up < < < < < < < Standing Firm > > > > > > > Blowing Up


An Introduction to The Revelation
(The Apocalypse) of Jesus Christ:


Background, Introduction, Outline

Weekly Memory Verse (s)

Rev 1:8
"I am the Alpha & the Omega, the First & the Last,
Who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."

Rev 1:19
"Write the things which you have seen,
and the things which are,
and the things which will take place after this."

Every warning, struggle, temptation, promise, strategy, and victory in the Revelation can also play out in your life, your family, and your church!
The choice is yours ................

The Text ("Blue Letter Bible"): Revelation
(Strong's numbers, Hebrew-Greek lexicons, cross references, etc., can be accessed from the above link)

Background:
- Written by the Apostle John, after AD 90 (the last NT book written).
- Written  (After he wrote Gospel of John, & 1st, 2nd, 3rd Epistles of John).
-  Written while John was imprisoned on the Island of Patmos.
- John was there due to persecution against him for preaching the gospel.

Introduction:
-  Genesis, the first book, begins all of history, and every doctrinal subject.
Means you are not your own boss, or protector, or provider. 
You're accountable to the Creator & His Purpose and Plan.

*  The genesis of a perfect creation without dysfunctional entropy.  The rebellion of Adam (Gen 3) and the subsequent escalation of "entropy" (disorder, death, & decay - dysfunctional 2nd law of thermodynamics) is the reason for imperfections as well as the selfish competition, violence, pain, suffering, fear, and death we see in the "wild kingdom" now.  *  The second law of thermodynamics was functional before Adam sinned, such as in the process of digestion, chemical processes, etc., but death and disease were not.
*  The genesis of sin, separation from God, & suffering (exponential escalation of entropy).
*  The genesis of Physical & moral/spiritual/social decay and death.
*  The genesis of God's Way of redemption/salvation begins (submissive faith in His work alone).
*  The genesis of prophecy, Gen 3:15 Seed of Woman - Savior (Messiah) . . .

-  The Revelation, the last book, ties together all of history & every doctrine, soli deo gloria! It's the only NT prophecy book. An end means that time marches toward a judgment which we cannot escape. Not even a new age hope for time travel into the past, or reincarnation in the can stop God's coming judgment.
- 22 chapters, 404 verses (over 250 allude to OT, yet no direct quote).
- 25% of all references to angels are found in The Revelation.

New Testament Greek Title of the Book
= Apokalupsis = Revelation (Apocalypse) apokalupsis = an uncovering

(from Vine's Expository Dictionary of the N.T.) "is used in the N.T. of
(a) the drawing away by Christ of the veil of darkness covering the Gentiles, Luke 2:32; cp. Isa. 25:7;
(b) ‘the mystery,’ the purpose of God in this age, Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:3;
(c) the communication of the knowledge of God to the soul, Eph. 1:17;
(d) an expression of the mind of God for the instruction of the church, 1 Cor. 14:6, 26, for the instruction of the Apostle Paul, 2 Cor. 12:1, 7; Gal. 1:12, and for his guidance, Gal. 2:2;
(e) the Lord Jesus Christ, to the saints at His Parousia, 1 Cor. 1:7, R.V. (A.V., ‘coming’); 1 Pet. 1:7, R.V. (A.V., ‘appearing’), 13; 4:13;
(f) theLord Jesus Christ when He comes to dispense the judgments of God, 2 Thess. 1:7; cp. Rom. 2:5;
(g) the saints, to the creation, in association with Christ in His glorious reign, Rom. 8:19, R.V., ‘revealing’ (A.V., ‘manifestation’);
(h) the symbolic forecast of the final judgments of God, Rev. 1:1 (hence the Greek title of the book, transliterated ‘Apocalypse’ and translated ‘Revelation’)."

-  Apokalupsis is used 18x in the NT, and all mean "unveling", "uncovering", not obsuring. 

*  Reveals end of sin, separation, & suffering
All rebels will be removed from God's presence.
Even death will be swallowed up in absolute entropy.
J. Vernon McGee calls it "total separation" from God.
*  Reveals God's new beginning of a new Cosmos, without tears or suffering. (Rom 8; 1 Pet 3)

-  Apokalupsis in the NT is used for a person "becoming visible" (Luke 2:32; Rom 8:19; 1 Co 1:7; 1 Pe 1:7).
-  The curtain pulls back to reveal the spiritual battle behind the virtual reality we see every day.
-  Jesus is contrasted against Lucifer the pseudo-Christ, along with their angelic warriors:

* Numerous descriptions for Jesus are listed in The Revelation.
* They reveal a lot about His Person & His Plan:

"the faithful witness" (1:5); "the firstborn of the dead" (1:5); "the ruler of the kings of the earth" (1:5); "the Alpha and the Omega" (1:8; 21:6); "the first and the last" (1:17); "the living One" (1:18); "the One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands" (2:1); "the One who has the sharp two-edged sword" (2:12); "the Son of God" (2:18); the One "who has eyes like a flame of fire, and … feet … like burnished bronze" (2:18); the One "who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars" (3:1); the One "who is holy, who is true" (3:7); the holder of "the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens" (3:7); "the Amen, the faithful and true Witness" (3:14); "the Beginning of the creation of God" (3:14); "the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah" (5:5); "the Root of David" (5:5); the Lamb of God (e.g., 5:6; 6:1; 7:9–10; 8:1; 12:11; 13:8; 14:1; 15:3; 17:14; 19:7; 21:9; 22:1); the "Lord, holy and true" (6:10); the One who "is called Faithful and True" (19:11); "The Word of God" (19:13); the "King of kings, and Lord of lords" (19:16); Christ (Messiah), ruling on earth with His glorified saints (20:6); and "Jesus … the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star" (22:16).
(The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Revelation p. 2)

Key verses = Rev 1:8 & Rev 1:19

Outline of The Revelation:

I.  Character of Christ  for His Father's Glory (Who Was) (Things Seen) Chapter 1
What about your character, & your family's character, & that of your church?
Can other people see Jesus' goodness, unselfishness, & humility through each one?
A.  Introduction (1:1-8) Of Jesus to His servants (1:4 Church) 
(see also 6:1 Israel)
B.  Post-Incarnate, glorified Jesus (1:9-18)

II.  Counsel of Christ for the Church (Who Is) (Things Which Are) 
Chapters 2-3

This counsel also applies to you personally, your family, your local church, & all of "Christianity".
A.  Command to Prophesy (1:19)
B.  Seven Churches Counseled (1:20) ESP-TS-PL 
(Praise before correction!)
C.  Ephesus (2:1-7)              Loveless
D.  Smyrna (2:8-11)              Persecuted
E.  Pergamos (2:12-17)        Compromising
F.  Thyatira (2:18-29)           Corrupt
G.  Sardis (3:1-6)                 Dead
H.  Philadelphia (3:7-13)      Faithful
I.  Laodicea (3:14-22)          Lukewarm (no praise)

III.  Consequences of Christ for the Church, Israel & the World 
Chapters 4-22

(Who is to come again!) (Things which will happen soon!)
Are you ready for your future?  The judgment seat of Christ?
A. Raptured Church (Jesus Rescues His Bride) in Heaven (4:1-5:14)
B. Tribulation of Israel (Jacob's) Trouble on Earth (6:1-18:24)
(Daniel's 70th Week)

1.  Seals (Seven) of Judgments (Rev 6:1-8:2)
2.  Trumpets (Seven) of Judgments (Rev 8:2-11:19)
3.  Players (Seven) on the Tribulation Stage (Rev 12-14)
* These three chapters are an interlude, zooming in for a personal             look at the people.
4.  Bowls (Seven) of Judgments (Rev 15-16)
5.  Babylon's Final Fall (Rev 17-18)

C.  Christ's Wedding & War (19:1-21)
D.  Millennial Kingdom (20:1-6)
E.  Final Futile Rebellion (20:7-10)
F.  Great White Throne & Second Death (20:11-15)
G.  New Heaven & Earth Coming (21-22:15)
H.  Jesus' Promise & Warning for YOU, your family, & your church
(22:16-21)

 


Biblically Theological Worldview Resources:

(Theos-logikos supercedes all realms)

KNOWING GOD, by Dr. J. I. Packer
* Also available as a AUDIOBOOK for MP3 player / iphone/itouch

"A lifelong pursuit of knowing God should embody the Christian's existence. According to eminent theologian J. I. Packer, however, Christians have become enchanted by modern skepticism and have joined the "gigantic conspiracy of misdirection" by failing to put first things first. Knowing God aims to redirect our attention to the simple, deep truth that to know God is to love His Word. What began as a number of consecutive articles angled for "honest, no-nonsense readers who were fed up with facile Christian verbiage" in 1973, Knowing God has become a contemporary classic by creating "small studies out of great subjects." ". . . Author Elizabeth Eliot wrote that amid the lofty content Packer "puts the hay where the sheep can reach it--plainly shows us ordinary folks what it means to know God." Having rescued us from the individual hunches of our ultra-tolerant theological age, Packer points the reader to the true character of God with his theological competence and compassionate heart. The lazy and faint-hearted should be warned about this timeless work--God is magnified, the sinner is humbled, and the saint encouraged."



LESSONS FROM A SHEEPDOG: A True Story of Transforming Love, by Phillip Keller

"What you see is not always what you get – and this true story of a man and his dog is no exception. Woven just under the surface of this simple parable, Keller presents profound spiritual truth.

It is the story of Lass, a worthless animal thought to be untrainable, who becomes a magnificent and valuable sheepdog – not terribly unlike how God's love can transform our worst characteristics into blessings that serve to further His Kingdom. Allow yourself to see Biblical truth in this classic tale of what can happen when you yield to the Master."



Thanks to Amazon, you can quickly survey the writings of the following recommended theologians:

- Excellent book by Dr. Ronald Diprose, ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH: The Origin and Effects of Replacement Theology.
Praise for Dr. Diprose's book:
"Without a clear understanding of the place of Israel in the grand scheme of redemptive history, it is impossible to understand rightly what the Bible says about the future--including the return of Christ, the triumph of his kingdom on earth and the culmination of God's plan for the ages. Romans 11 is emphatic (and many other passages of Scripture affirm) that God is not finished with national Israel. Promises originally made to Abraham are yet to be fulfilled. Ron Diprose masterfully draws together the major threads of biblical prophecy that are tied to Israel and shows why this theme, woven through all of Scripture, is essential to a right understanding of where history is headed." Dr. John MacArthur, President of The Master's College

"Ronald E. Diprose's book is an extremely important and timely contribution to the understanding of Israel's place in God's redemptive purpose."
Dr. Peter Beyerhaus, Emeritus Professor, The University of Tabingen

- Books by Dr. John MacArthur
- Books by Dr. John Piper
- Books by Dr. Mark Dever
- Books by Dr. John Stott
- Books by Dr. J. I. Packer
- Books by Dr. Jerry Bridges

- Master's College and Seminary

- GTY Grace To You - Dr. John MacArthur, Pres. Master's College/Seminary

- Dr. Al Mohler, Pres. SBTS

- Desiring God, Dr. John Piper

- 9 Marks - Dr. Mark Devers

- Friends of Israel

- RZIM - Dr. Ravi Zacharias

Logikos Apologetics

Defending Our Father's Honor &
the Character of Christ our Creator

BELOW is a 7 Part Apologetic Presentation Series
= 7 separate power point presentations
- total varies from approximately 700 to 1000 powerpoint slides
- Evidence supporting a biblical worldview
-
100's of quotations from scholars in science & theology
- 100's of visuals illustrating & critiquing concepts, evidence, & conclusions
- Scores of video clips featuring internationally respected PhD's

The BLUE BOX outline below summarizes the 7-Part Series:
-
Each of the 7 Power Points is linked after the blue box.

7-PART-APOLOGETICS

7 Separate powerpoints below:

1. Logic verifies God
2. Science verifies Creation
3. History verifies Scripture
4. Religion verifies Christianity
5. Prophecy verifies Jesus
6. Time verifies Judgment
7. Action verifies Faithfulness