Archive for June, 2011

Christopher Wordsworth on the 1260 days

June 29, 2011 Comments off

The following is a discussion of the numbers in the Apocalypse by Christopher Wordsworth (1807-1885), the Bishop of Lincoln, from his Lectures on the Apocalypse. [1]

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The little horn thinks to change times and laws

June 29, 2011 Comments off

In Daniel 7, four beasts are described, that are easily identified with the four successive world dominating cultures of Babylon, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans.

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John W. Gregson on the flood from the mouth of the serpent

June 28, 2011 Comments off

In John W. Gregson’s interpretation of Revelation 12:15, 144,000 Jews flee across the desert pursued by a turbulent flood of water that threatens to drown them. Apparently Gregson believes that literal water is meant. The water is absorbed in the desert sand. Gregson wrote: [1]

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Ford C. Ottman and the flood from the mouth of the serpent

June 28, 2011 Comments off

Ford C. Ottman (1859-1929) was a Presbyterian pastor in Stamford Conn. In his commentary on Revelation 12:7-17, he  interpreted the woman in this chapter as the Jews, and the flood from the mouth of the serpent in Revelation 12:15 as armies which attack Jerusalem. He said the Jews will flee to a literal desert in order to escape their enemies.

Clearly, the flood from the mouth of the serpent is not an army of men, as the serpent is a symbol of Satan. I suggest that Ottman’s flawed interpretation, presented below, is part of the flood from the mouth of the serpent foretold in the prophecy. His book contributed to a flood of books and preaching promoting dispensationalism during the late 19th and 20th centuries, that carried away the churches, especially in America.

Ottman wrote: [1]
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Herbert L. Peters and the 3 ½ years

June 27, 2011 Comments off

Herbert L. Peters (1946-2007) was the owner of an insurance business in Lake Isabella, Calif. He was the founder of the Bible prophecy website Fulfilled Prophecy. He became interested in Bible prophecy after reading Hal Lindsey’s books. Peters thought that he had found a flaw in the dispensational interpretation of the events in the final week of Daniel’s 70 weeks. He noticed that in Daniel 12:7, the time, times and a half extends to the end of the age. In that period the power of the saints is scattered. This he took to be referring to a final three and a half year tribulation, when the seven seals of Revelation would be opened, and the seven trumpets would be blown. First a treaty of some kind would be made between a European union of 10 nations and the Jewish state in Palestine. Peters tentatively identified this treaty or covenant with an obscure document, called “Recommendation 666,” which involved an agreement referred to as the “European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument” (ENPI). He wrote a book about his idea that this might be the treaty referred to in Daniel’s prophecy. [1] Peters wrote on January 2, 2007: [2]

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The land promise for all nations

June 24, 2011 Comments off

In a blog post a few years ago about What happens to the Land in the NT?, Chris Tilling offered the following five suggestions:

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Observations on the prophecy of Joel

June 23, 2011 Comments off

Structure of the prophecy:

‘A nation is come up upon my land’  –  Joel 1:1-6
The desolation of the land  –  Joel 1:7-20
Description of the army  –  Joel 2:1-2:11
Call to repentance  –  Joel 2:12-17
God’s blessings  –  Joel 2:18-32
Judgment scene, involves all nations – Joel 3:1-15
God dwells in Zion – Joel 3:16-21

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Strange things happen to mountains

June 22, 2011 Comments off

In Genesis, when Jacob blessed his son Joseph, he said that the blessings he had inherited extended to “the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.”  [Genesis 49:26]

In Joshua, the mountains melted in the presence of God, at Sinai.

Judges 5:5
The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.

The mountains skipped like rams, when Israel went out of Egypt, David said. “The mountains skipped like rams, and the little hills like lambs.” [Psalm 114:4]

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The sixth seal

June 21, 2011 1 comment

Two commentaries on John’s description of the opening of the sixth seal in Revelation 6:12-17 are provided. In the table below the middle column contains my interpretation and the column on the right contains comments by Robert L. Thomas. [1]

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Mountains and islands were moved out of their places

June 20, 2011 Comments off

In the opening of the sixth seal, the great earthquake and the events following are taken to be literal by some, and non-literal by others. Some of those who support a figurative interpretation point out that inconsistencies and contradictions are introduced, if the events are literal. The mountains mentioned in Revelation 6:14 must remain, since in verses 15 and 16, men hide in the rocks and dens of the mountains.
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John N. Darby, William Kelly, and the sixth seal

June 20, 2011 Comments off

The sixth seal described in Revelation 6:12-14 includes a great earthquake, and the sun becoming black like sackcloth, and the moon becoming like blood, stars falling to the earth, the heavens departing as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island being moved out of their places.

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E. B. Elliott and the sixth seal

June 19, 2011 Comments off

Edward Bishop Elliott (1793-1875) argued that the earthquake, and the moving of mountains and islands out of their positions, and the sun becoming black, and the moon becoming as blood, and stars falling to the earth, that are all part of the sixth seal, should not be taken literally. He attempted to assign those diverse signs to political changes that had occurred or would occur in history.

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William Milligan on the sixth seal

June 19, 2011 Comments off

In the opening of the sixth seal described in Revelation 6:12-14, some of the most profound, and perplexing ideas of all Bible prophecy are brought together. The sixth seal includes a great earthquake, and the sun becoming black like sackcloth, and the moon becoming like blood, stars falling to the earth, the heavens departing as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island being moved out of their places. Naturally, Bible commentators have struggled, in their attempts to explain it.

In the light of our modern understanding of astronomy, and the vast distance of the stars from the earth, the idea of stars falling to the earth seems grotesque. Yet one of the basic ideas of modern astronomy is that all the heavenly bodies fall towards each other. This is called “Newton’s law of universal gravitation,” and it states: [1]

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Faith and the land promise

June 17, 2011 Comments off

The Old Testament prophets foretold a return of Israel to the promised land, but little is said about it in the New Testament. Instead, the promises and prophecies about the land are reinterpreted.

The promised land is among the shadows and types of the Old Covenant. It represents the rest, and the truth, into which Jesus said the Spirit of Christ will guide the saints. [John 16:13]

Not recognizing that the land is a type having a spiritual significance, some have claimed that the land promises in the Old Testament about Israel possessing the land “forever” must be understood literally. They claim ethnic Jews have a right to land in Palestine, and justify the dispossessing of the Palestinian population of their farms and homes. There have even been some who have converted to Judaism, and a diet of Kosher food, and observing Jewish holy days and sabbaths!

Another group of Christians assumes that the land of Canaan has simply become obsolete. They believe that the land promises in the Old Testament were all fulfilled in the past. They can’t imagine how the land could again become significant. They discount the prophecies of a future restoration.

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The little horn and the eagle’s wings compared

June 16, 2011 Comments off

In John’s prophecy of Revelation chapter 12 the woman flies to the wilderness, where she is nourished for “a time, and times, and half.”

Revelation 12:14
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

John’s use of the phrase “a time, times and a half” links his prophecy to the 7th chapter of Daniel, where that phrase appears in Daniel 7:25. It is the time in which the little horn, that appears among the 10 horns of the fourth beast, has dominion over the saints.

Below is a table comparing the little horn and the two wings of an eagle that are given to the woman.

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Faith can move mountains

June 15, 2011 Comments off

When Jesus said that even a tiny quantity of faith could move a mountain, no doubt, he referred to the mountains of Israel. They were the subject of many prophecies, including the prophecy of Isaiah 40:2-5, that said all mountains will be made low, and all valleys filled, or exulted, which was a theme taken up by John the Baptist.

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The thousand year reign and the sabbath rest

June 13, 2011 Comments off

What is the symbolic meaning of the thousand years in Revelation 20:4, when Satan is bound, and the saints reign with Christ?

Hebrews 4:8-9 says that there is a rest remaining for the people of God, which is related to the land of promise, called a rest in Joshua 1:13, and also to the seventh day of creation, when God rested.

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Elijah and the church in the wilderness

June 12, 2011 Comments off

John identifies the wilderness of Revelation 12:6 and 12:14 with the place prepared by God for the woman, who in verse 1 of the chapter is said to be in heaven, and she is clothed with the sun. This woman represents the saints, who Paul said “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” [Ephesians 2:6] Does the fact that John puts her both in heaven, and in the wilderness, mean that that the wilderness corresponds to heaven? It is where she is nourished, alluding to the manna which God sent to nourish the Israelites in the wilderness before they entered the promised land.

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Herbert W. Armstrong’s interpretation of the 3 ½ years

June 11, 2011 Comments off

Herbert W. Armstrong’s editorial in The PLAIN TRUTH, June 1967, was written shortly after the Six-Day 1967 Arab-Israeli War. In this editorial, he interpreted the three and a half years of the prophecies of Revelation 11, 12, and 13, as literal years, that he claimed were about to be fulfilled.

Armstrong’s headline was “Jews take Jerusalem!” At a meeting at the Radio Church of God’s college in Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, England, held just a few weeks before the conflict broke out, Armstrong had speculated about the unstable condition then prevailing in the Middle East, where Arab nations were united against a powerful but tiny Jewish state, and its possible significance in prophecy. After the war Armstrong wrote from London, quoting from his earlier talk. [1]

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Henry Alford’s commentary on Revelation 11:1-14

June 10, 2011 Comments off

The Greek Testament

with a critically revised text, a digest of various readings, marginal references to verbal and idiomatic usage, prolegomena, and a critical and exegetical commentary, for the use of theological students and ministers

by Henry Alford.

3rd ed.

Rivingstons, Deighton, Bell, and Co. London, Cambridge. 1866.

Volume IV

pp. 655-664.

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