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Mark 13

MARK 13
Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,Mark 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
ON VIDEOS-
MARK 13- https://youtu.be/vYBGKqDp5aE
https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/7-18-17-mark-13.zip
https://ccoutreach87.com/7-18-17-mark-13/

FRIENDS- https://youtu.be/-NmAm67q4BU
[Made the 2nd video the other day with some friends- figured I would post it now]

.Olivet discourse [End times]
.Herod’s temple
.Ventriloquist
.Demon possession
.Signs of the end
.A.D. 70- Titus
.Qumran community listened
.Dead sea scrolls
.Anti- christ
.Preterism
.2nd coming
.Rapture?
.What generation?
.Hal Lindsey- Harold Camping
.Prophetic clock?
.End of age [not world as you might think]
.Man of sin
.Reductionism
.Salvation from what?
.John Nelson Darby
.Tacitus- Josephus
.End times- according to Jesus

FRIENDS-
.Furman- Andy
.George- Craig
.Cassie
.2 Bobby’s?

NEW-
Jesus predicts the destruction of the temple- which took place in AD 70 under the Roman General Titus [who later became an emperor]-
Mark 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
In Mark’s Gospel the disciples ask ‘when will this be’- talking only about the destruction of the temple-
Mark 13:4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
In Matthews gospel they ask 3 things-
Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Luke follows along the line of mark-
Luke 21:5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,Luke 21:6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.Luke 21:7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?

John’s gospel has no end times passage- possibly because he wrote an entire bible book on the end times- Revelation.

Jesus gives us the basic signs that most of us are familiar with.
Wars- persecution- those who endure to the end will be saved.

Jesus also speaks of his second coming-

And he says this happens after the tribulation-
Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,Mark 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

He sends forth his angels and they gather together his people-
Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
On the video I tried to explain the various ways bible teachers have approached the end times teaching.
Some view the fulfillment as having happened in the 1st century [Preterists].

The historic belief of Christians is there will be centuries of difficulty for the church.
The gospel will go to all the nations-
Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
There will be a great shaking of many things.
After all these things- Jesus will come back again- bodily- and there will be a Resurrection of the dead-
KJ21
And I have hope in God, which they themselves also hold, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Acts 24:15

All will stand before God and give an account-
Revelation 20:12
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

There will be a new heaven and earth- all will be made new-
New International Version
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. Rev. 21:1

There will be no more curse-
Revelation 22:3
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

There will be many false prophets- men who claim to be Christ himself- we are to avoid them-
Mark 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:Mark 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

The only one who knows when Jesus will come back is God the Father-
Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
We are to avoid setting dates for the 2nd coming.
There have been many wicked men in the history of humanity that have been types of the anti- christ.
There will be more to come-
John himself said he [the spirit of anti christ] was already in the world- in the 1st century-
1 John 4:3
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Our eyes should be fixed on Jesus- we should not become fixated on the figure of the anti- Christ.
We should live our lives as if Jesus could come back at any time.
Mark 13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.Mark 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:Mark 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Because even if this event does not happen in our life time- we might die any day- and will also have to give an account to God-
Hebrews 9:27
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
On the video I also tried to show you the different views of ‘This generation’ –
Mark 13:30
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

In your life- you have about a generation- 40- 50 years- in which you will fulfill your destiny.

You will go thru great struggles in life- there will be a time of trouble like never before- you will be hated by people-
Mark 13:12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mark 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

But if you endure thru all this- then you too will have a role in publishing the good news in all nations-
Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
You too will send out ‘angels’ [messengers] to all the ends of the earth-
Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
You too will be able to show your self alive after your suffering by many infallible proofs-
Acts 1:3
To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

And even in your life- you will have the honor to complete the mission God has given you- and then shall the end [outcome] be-
Matthew 24:14
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

PAST POSTS- [Past teaching I did that relates to today’s post- MARK 13]
http://corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com/2017/07/rock-city-c.html
https://ccoutreach87.com/588-2/
https://ccoutreach87.com/romans-updated-2015/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/07/07/acts-16/

MARK-
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/02/28/jersey-city-ride-mark-1/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/03/02/mark-2-north-bergen/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/03/04/mark-3-isaiah-61/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/03/14/mark-4/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/03/27/mark-5/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/04/05/mark-6/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/04/16/mark-7/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/04/30/mark-8/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/05/14/mark-9/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/06/07/mark-10/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/06/22/mark-11/
https://ccoutreach87.com/2017/07/14/mark-12/

Ok- the ruling empire at the time of Christ was Rome- just prior to the appearance of Jesus- the Roman Emperor- Caesar Augustus- consolidated the Roman Empire under his rule-
Rome was ruled by a senate- some famous names from history were in it- Cicero being one.
Caesar Augustus was the nephew of Julius Caesar- his real name was Octavian [Octavius].
After the death of Julius Caesar- there were some power struggles that took place- between some other famous people.
Marc Antony being one of them [Cleopatra too- he was in love with the girl for sure].
Now- we read about Augustus in the New Testament- and we read in the book of Revelation about the Mark of the Beast- and that those who don’t worship- give homage to the Beast- they will be killed.
So- Many Christians would be killed because they would refuse to give homage to Caesar Augustus [meaning son of the Divine].
‘Wow- how did he get a name like that’ [there was more than one Caesar by the way- as well as more than one Herod- who did play a part in these power struggles- it can get confusing- even to me].
When Octavian defeated Marc Antony at Actium [32 BC].
Herod [The Great] had a problem- he had previously sided with Antony and found himself on the losing side.
Yet he was smart- did some ‘brown nosing’ as we say-and patched things up.
Herod had 3 sons- who would eventually take positions of authority in the Roman government at the time of Christ.
Herod Antipas was over the region that we read about in the New Testament where Jesus did most of his ministry- Galilee.
Ok- Octavian claimed deity because of a heavenly sign associated with his rise to power- and this is how he became called ‘Caesar Augustus’.
He sort of saw himself as a ‘re-incarnate’- of his great uncle Julius Caesar.
‘John- what in the heck does this have to do with the Dead Sea Scrolls’.
Ok- good question.
The Jews had various responses to the empires that ruled over them during various times.
Alexander the Great instituted Hellenization- a sort of cultural compromise over the people he conquered.
They could keep their religious/cultural roots- but would be subservient to Alexander and Greek rule.
Some Jewish people rejected any compromise- we call them the Essenes- they moved out of town- so to speak, and lived in what we refer to as the Qumran community.
This was a few centuries before the time of Christ- and this was where the Dead Seas Scrolls were found in the 20th century.
A Bedouin boy was looking for his goats- threw a rock in a cave right off the Dead Sea- and that’s how we found the scrolls.
The scrolls might have been hidden there by the Essenes-
Now- when my friends asked me about them- I told them that it’s been a while since I read up on any of this- but to the best of my memory the thing that made them significant was the fact that they were very old manuscripts- from the bible- and they backed up what we had had all along.
I did read up this week- and basically had it right.
The earliest Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament we had previously dated back to around 900- 1000 A.D.
These manuscripts went back about 1000 years earlier- and they contained portions from almost every book of the Old testament- and some complete books.
The only book missing was Esther.
So- this was indeed a very significant find for scholars.
But the Scrolls also contain some of the writings from the Essenes themselves- things we never had before- so this too was significant.
There were Jews at the time of the first century who tried to ‘get along’ with Rome- and with the person in charge of their region [one of the sons of Herod the Great at the time of Christ].
These are referred to as Herodian’s in the bible.
Some wanted a revolution to rid Rome from Jerusalem- these were the Zealots [one of Jesus disciples was in this group].
Some thought if they returned to a legalistic obeisance of the law- that this would bring in a deliverer- like the stories we read about in the Old testament- these were the Pharisees.
And some took more of a political compromise- these were the Sadducees.
Eventually a war with Rome would be fought [By the way- Josephus- the famous 1st century historian- fought on the side of the Jews in the war- and after Jerusalem was sacked in A.D. 70- he went to Rome and wrote his great works- thinking he would make a case for the Jewish people with the Romans. This is why we have his works today- which are very valuable to scholars].
NOTE- In time I’ll try and cover how we ‘got our bibles’ [called the Canon- meaning Rule/ Measurement].
Frankly- there is a lot of confusion in the general public about conspiracies [like the Catholic Church had some type of plot to keep certain books out].
Or stories about how the Church taught Mary Magdalene was a prostitute so they could discredit her.
Actually- we read in the gospels that Jesus cast out ‘spirits’ from a woman who was probably living this type of life-
And Jesus had a ministry to the down and out- it is indeed possible that Mary was one of these women-
And if true- it would not demean her in any way-
That’s how this tradition more than likely developed- But- we don’t know for sure.
So a few years back the Church officially said ‘we don’t know’.
Ok- Plot?
No- just being careful.
So there are other misguided beliefs like this- that sincere people have- and over time I hope to get to them.
I’ll do one more in keeping with this post.
I mentioned above that Caesar Augustus did indeed take the title of ‘son of God’.
And some critics of the Church say ‘see- there were all types of religions that had Sons of God’.
I watched one show a few years back- and it stated that these religions had ’12 disciples- a leader named Lord and Savior- and he healed and claimed to be God’s Son- and rose from the dead’.
Ok- that show was ‘fibbing’ to put it lightly- they went too far [historically speaking] in trying to diminish the Christians claim of Christ by doing this.
Now- is there some truth to this at all?
Yes- like I just mentioned above- Octavian did indeed claim deity- a ‘son of god’.
So- how do we explain this?
In the book of Galatians the bible says ‘in the FULLNESS of times God sent forth his Son’.
Jesus came at a set time in history- in fulfilment of the Jewish Prophets- to be who he was- and to do what he did.
Now- this is not special pleading here- but I find it a masterpiece that God’s Son came at a time when the Roman Empire had one sitting on the throne- who too claimed deity.
Yet Jesus was in a region of the lower class- his men were not highly educated- and his followers were people under oppression.
Augustus lived in the wealthy and influential capital of ‘the world’- he had all you could ever ask for- he was worshiped as a god.
Yet in 3 short centuries- one of the heirs of the empire- Constantine- would have an experience – not with a former Caesar- but with a vison of a Cross-
He would convert to Christianity- and declare Christianity to be the religion of the realm.
[parts]
I quoted from these too- on today’s video-
https://ccoutreach87.com/hebrews-updated-2015/
https://ccoutreach87.com/1st-2nd-samuel/
https://ccoutreach87.com/nehemiah-isaiah/
RAPTURE- 2ND COMING- 2 EVENTS?
https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/6-10-15-second-coming-rapture.zip
I was thinking about starting a new study and covering 1st, 2nd Thessalonians.
Instead I decided to just copy a few passages about the 2nd coming of Christ and talk about that.
I’m not covering everything you can on the subject .
My purpose in this short study is for you to see the simple- plain language when the New Testament covers this subject.
Many good men- scholars- do read these passages as speaking about separate events.
And this study gets long [convoluted in my mind] and digresses into different details [like the last trumpet sounding- or other different details of the same event].
And some have developed an intricate ‘system’ of how these same passages- that in my mind speak of the same event- are actually talking about 2 different events-
One called ‘The Second Coming’ and another- called ‘The Rapture’.
And to justify this belief- they will teach ‘there is only one Second Coming- but it’s in 2 parts’.
Yikes!
To me- that means you are saying there are 2!
Others say ‘just like in the Old Testament they did not realize the prophets were speaking about 2 comings of Jesus [his birth- and the Second coming- true].
So in the New Testament- there are also ‘2’ comings [meaning a Rapture- then later- a Second Coming].
Now- in the simple field of Logic- these good men do not realize that this in itself is a contradciton.
Why?
Because they themselves are admitting that in the Old Testament there are ‘2’ events spoken about [the first- and the SECOND] meaning there are not THREE.
So- if you actually have a separate Rapture event spoken about in the New Testament- well- that makes 3 events [Jesus birth- the Rapture- then the Second Coming].
Understand- When you read the few chapters posted below-
Paul is penning these letters to these churches- who were actually doubting the resurrection of the Body [Corinthians]-
Or fearing that their dead loved ones would be left out of the hope of Jesus’ return [Thessalonians].
So he is comforting them by saying when Jesus returns- their dead relatives will be raised- and they too would ‘meet the Lord in the air’.
Now- I do believe this event will happen someday- it will happen when Christ returns.
The dead will be raised- those that ‘have done good’ [believers] to the ‘resurrection of life’-
Those that ‘have done evil’ –will face judgment.
Those who are alive at this event- the second coming- or if you want to say the term ‘Rapture’ you can.
We too will ‘be caught up’ to meet the Lord in the air.
But- as I read these passages- we don’t go away for 7 years [which you see in the very popular End Time movies of our day].
But we THEN are changed- have our resurrection bodies- and yes-
There will be a new heaven and earth- all tears wiped away-
And we will be with Christ and our loved ones- in actual resurrected bodies- for eternity.
To read these passages- and to ‘see’ 2 different events- taking place over 7 years-
It’s not ‘heresy’ per se- but it would be very confusing for the early church- who were getting these letters-
Separately- to make any sense out of Paul using the same language- and talking about the same themes [we will be raised from the dead- don’t fear that your loved ones will miss out- Jesus will return- we will get new bodies- etc.]
And then to think he is actually talking about 2 different events-
I mean these young churches were questioning the resurrection from the dead- wondering what happened to their dead relatives.
See?
Paul is correcting them about some fundamental Christian beliefs- and for him to be ‘introducing’ a 2 staged ‘2nd coming’ – well- that’s just doesn’t make sense to me.
As a student of Theology- I am familiar with both sides of this issue [Dispensationalism versus Historic view].
In this post I’m giving you the view that the early church held- and the view that most Christians hold today.
In the past I covered how the Rapture view came about [1800’s- John Darby- few others].
And I could go over all that again.
But- for this short study- I just want you- yourself- to read these chapters.
Does it sound like the Apostle Paul is speaking about 2 different events to you?
Below I’m pasting some of the main sections [not all] that talk about the 2nd Coming-
I want you to see the context.
Over the years as I simply read these passages- it was obvious to me that some who teach these verses- are actually missing the main reason why Paul brings up the 2nd coming- and the resurrection of the dead.
In the Thessalonians portion- some say Paul is speaking about 2 different events [the Rapture- a secret coming- 1 Thess. chapter 4. Then the ‘day of the Lord’ and the 2nd coming- a whole other event].
If you simply read it- he is saying ‘the Second coming- the Day of the Lord- it is still yet to come- and your loved ones will not be forgotten’ [1st Thessalonians].
Then- in 2nd Thessalonians- it seems as there might have been a fake letter- written to them- claiming to be from Paul.
H says ‘don’t be disturbed- either by word- OR A SO CALLED LETTER FROM US’.
Don’t be disturbed that the Day of the Lord [or the Second coming] ‘is at hand’- or already happened.
Then in chapter 2 he goes on to talk about the Wicked one being revealed 1st [antichrist- which we have much to say about in the future].
Paul is basically covering the same ground in 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.
He taught them that Jesus will come back- and our dead loved ones will not miss out on the future kingdom- they too will be raised from the dead- and we will all be together with the Lord.
Then in 2nd Thessalonians he is saying ‘wait- don’t get fooled- again. Jesus did not come back yet- some stuff must happen first’.
Those who teach the Rapture have Paul talking about 2 different events here.
One- a secret Rapture- then- the 2nd coming.
Remember- this church was obviously having some serious doctrinal problems.
And it would make no sense for them to have received these 2 letters [not in a book form- like the bible we have today].
And to ‘figure out’ that Paul is talking about 2 different events- using the same basic language that he uses in his letters to the other churches- about the 2nd coming of Christ.
And for them to have discerned that this was a whole new ‘secret’ thing God revealed to Paul-
Well- it simply makes no sense to me.
As you read the passages below- see the language Jesus himself uses ‘after the days of the tribulation- THEN shall the sign of the coming of the son of man be’-
Jesus says the angels will be sent forth- gather together God’s elect-
All the language about the 2nd coming seems to be speaking about one event in the New Testament [trumpets- etc.].
Those who each the Rapture- as a secret 2nd coming- they ‘see’ the trumpet language [which is used about all the events- even those who say they are 2 different ones].
As ‘another trumpet’ and so on.
There are pro and con verses that both sides use in this debate.
I think the main point is- the language used about the 2nd coming- or ‘the Rapture’ is obviously speaking about the same thing.
So- we start from there- then- if you develop an End Time view of things- no matter how you see all the other future events to come-
You don’t ‘add’ another- secret- 2nd coming in there-
To me- that’s going too far.
1Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1Thessalonians 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Thessalonians 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Thessalonians 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Thessalonians 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Thessalonians 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
2Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2Thessalonians 2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Thessalonians 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Thessalonians 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Thessalonians 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Thessalonians 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Thessalonians 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

1Corinthians 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
1Corinthians 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
1Corinthians 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Corinthians 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
1Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Acts 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
2Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
2Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
2Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
2Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
2Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2Peter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
2Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Revelation 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
evelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Revelation 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Revelation 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. [NOTE- in these passages I’m quoting ones that say ‘Jesus comes back with the saints- from heaven’- This verse can refer to Angels- Christians- or both. Now- I don’t want to be demeaning here- but a big part of this discussion revolves around ‘see- Jesus comes back with the saints- therefore- there must be a Rapture- or how else did they get there’! Look- read the context of the verses I’m pasting- in Paul’s letters he’s dealing with the fear that Dead Christians might be forgotten about- so- for him to say ‘Jesus comes back WITH THEM’ Well- that fits the whole theme- Not of another Rapture- apart from the 2nd Coming- but when he returns- he brings them back- in short- to answer the question ‘How did those saints get there’- They DIED.]
Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Revelation 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Matthew 24:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Matthew 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not [Jesus is actually warning against those who say he is in the ‘secret chambers’ or a ‘secret coming’. Paul- in 2nd Thess. Does the same thing ‘don’t let anyone trick you into thinking he already came back’- sort of a secret event].
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark [some teach that the Ark here is a symbol of the Rapture- that like Noah was in the Ark- so the Christians are taken ‘out of the earth’ for 7 years. The Ark is a type of Christ- not an earthly escape. So- you escape Gods coming wrath- by being in Christ. Also- the Ark did not take Noah and his family out of the earth- contrary- they stayed in the earth- and miraculously escaped the judgment].
Matthew 24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matthew 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Matthew 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Matthew 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
NOTE- I added these verses in because those who teach the Rapture see these verses talking about different events-
For instance the passages they see as the Rapture- and not the Second Coming- Talk about Jesus coming- and to the unbeliever that ‘day will be like a thief coming’-
Jesus will ‘gather together the elect’-
And we will be ‘taken to him’.
In these verses- the exact same language is used- as in the ‘other’ portions of the bible- that speak about the Second Coming.
So- for those who see these as 2 different events- they have ways of making them fit-
But- the plain language- like Jesus saying ‘AFTER the tribulation of those days- THEN shall the sign of the coming of the Son of Man be seen’-
In normal language- Jesus is saying the 2nd coming happens after the tribulation of those days.
So- the Rapture guys say ‘No- Jesus is not talking about the Rapture- but the Second coming’.
Yet- the same language is used ‘he will gather the elect- some will go- some will be ‘left behind’.
So- my conclusion is Jesus will indeed come back- there will be a resurrection from the dead.
We will indeed be ‘caught up’ to meet the Lord in the air [but we don’t go into hiding for 7 years- while nobody knows where we are].
There will be a resurrection of the unjust-
There will be a judgment of both the just and unjust.
Those that have ‘done good’ will be ‘raised to life’-
Those that have done evil will be raised to face judgment.
All this will indeed happen- but there is only one more coming of Christ.
The passage in 1st Thess. Chapter 4 is indeed the 2nd coming of Christ.
The same event Jesus himself is talking about in the gospels.
The same event we read about in 1st Corinthians 15.
And the same event we read about in the book of Revelation.
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

(1216) lets try and do a few things; first, I read a few more chapters in Wrights book [N.T. Wright] and as much as I really like his writing, I do have a few problems with some of the ways he states stuff. He kinda tries to walk the middle road in the area of the second coming and the physical nature of it. He does say he believes in the real second coming and that it did not happen yet. He does teach that Jesus is ‘in heaven’ [Gods realm] physically- good. But he also says stuff like ‘when Jesus ascended you don’t believe he lifted off vertically from the planet’ [actually I do!] or when Jesus comes back it wont be like some spaceman descending out of space [well I know he’s not a ‘spaceman’ but I do believe he will come from ‘out there’]. It was statements like this that caused me a little concern in the past. He also states that he is not a full Preterist, and distances himself from those who tried to claim him as one. But you can hardly blame them, he really does at times sound like he is one [Preterists believe the second coming happened in a.d. 70- it’s a long story] Wright empathically says he does not believe that. Yet he says all the statements from Jesus on ‘his coming’ do not refer to an actual second coming in the future. But he believes Paul and other New Testament passages do teach a real, literal second coming, but that Jesus never spoke of it. To be frank, I think brother Wright opens up the door to all the accusations and confusion that some people have about his position. I still like Wright, he is an excellent N.T. scholar and 1st century historian, but I think there are some problems with his views on the second coming. He definitely states he believes in a real, physical second coming. But instead of it being ‘Jesus coming down from somewhere’ it will be more like ‘Gods realm [heaven] joining our realm’ and at that time he will physically be with us. Well I do believe that at the second coming ‘both realms unite’ that at that moment we will have a ‘new heavens and earth’ I just don’t see the point in Wright’s language when he seems to make light of the physical aspects of Christ’s return. I also agree with him 100% about the New Testament not teaching a ‘rapture’ he rightfully shows us that the ‘rapture chapter’ [1st Thessalonians 4] is the same as 1st Corinthians 15. There simply is no ‘secret coming’ taught in the New Testament [some will be caught by surprise, but it will be no secret!] All in all I like Wright, will continue to read him, just thought I needed to mention these points. Okay, let’s turn to politics. The climate in the country continues to be really bad at this time [9-09] I watched MSNBC show over and over again a picture of a man toting a sub machine gun on his back at some Obama town hall. Of course this is dangerous and nuts! The problem is Chris Matthews portrayed it along with the mindset of ‘see these white skinhead radicals, these racists who are against change’ his whole rant against the people opposing Obama is done in this vain. Sure enough, another news organization showed you the full picture of the man with the gun on his back; he was a black man. Why mention this? Stuff like this, purposefully not telling the whole story, or taking an incident and being dishonest about it to prove your point, this stuff creates racial tensions all on its own. There is no need to try and fabricate a scenario in order to make it fit your story. There are enough real nuts in the country for the news media to not have to fabricate stuff like this, to make the audience think that the ‘gun man’ was an anti Obama ‘right winger’, he obviously was not. Those who oppose the president should do so on purely political grounds, those who support him should take the same view. To be against or for a person because of their race is wrong, very wrong. But people should not feel intimidated if they want to oppose him for the right reasons. When the country sees this type of race card being played, this breeds a type of racism all on its own. Did the bill being floated on Capitol Hill fund abortions- you bet it did! I know the denials have gone forth vehemently, Obama himself publicly said that his position in national health care would include provisions for women’s reproductive rights; he was point blank asked this question. In no uncertain terms he said it would. But after the heat hit the fan they of course would not say it like this. In essence the proposed bill would have included language for ‘women’s reproductive rights’ but because the term ‘abortion’ was not specifically stated, the politicians said ‘oh no, those who think abortion is in there are misleading you’ they lied to you. So let’s try and pass what both sides agree on; pass laws on making it illegal for an insurance company to drop you if you get sick. Provide funding for those who can’t buy insurance and try and get everyone insured. Do tort reform. Get the stuff done that can get done, don’t create all types of problems by bringing up ‘reproductive rights’ there are too many people [Democrats and Republicans] who are truly opposed to abortion in a fundamental way, leave that language out. And for heavens sake, if the media has a picture of a man with a gun strapped to his back, don’t portray him as some white skinhead, especially if the guys black!

[parts]
(1162) I mailed the materials off yesterday, let me mention one more thing about the letters from my friends in prison. The letter from Leonard, it is full of praise and thanksgiving and glory; it reminds me of the testimonies of new believers. Many times over the years I have noticed good friends of mine come to know the lord, doing things in ministry and fellowship together. Sometimes these brothers struggle for years and go back to prison. The genuine brothers really do experience a ‘mini’ revival when this happens. It’s common for the average person to judge them as getting ‘jail house religion’ they can’t see that the process of chastening and the guys renewing their faith are a real process that brings great joy to them. Believe me, I have seen this happen many times and know that for the most part these guys are not faking. Okay, in Luke 9 we have lots of good stuff; Jesus sends his guys out light ‘don’t take money, extra goods, etc.’ Herod hears about Jesus and wonders if it’s John the Baptist risen from the dead [guilty conscience no doubt!] Lets hit the statement ‘some of you standing here will not die until you see the kingdom’. Over the years commentators have had various views on this, a common view is right after Jesus says this the transfiguration happens and this might be referring to that, it’s possible? The New Testament has various statements like this that the critics of Christianity have used over the years to debunk the faith. The famous atheist Bertrand Russell wrote a book called ‘why I am not a Christian’ one of the reasons stated was the so called missed prophecies of Jesus, these statements in the bible about Jesus coming kingdom that would take place within the lifetimes of those who heard him. Russell also rejected the faith based on a faulty idea from the philosopher John Stewart Mill. Mill said if every thing must have a cause, then God must have a cause, and if God is the first cause, then why not say the universe/world are the first cause instead of God. Russell believed this faulty argument, the law of causation does not teach that every thing must have a cause; it teaches every effect must have a cause. Any way Russell got duped by this fictitious argument and kept it his whole life. But back to those who read the statements in the bible about Jesus coming quickly, the things being written that will happen shortly [revelation] and stuff like that. There is some truth to the Preterists argument that the ‘last days’ that were taking place were speaking of the end of the present age of law and the introduction of the new age of grace. These brothers also link most of the ‘seeing the kingdom come’ verses with a.d. 70 and the destruction of the Jewish temple and law system. There are various views on these subjects. What about Jesus saying that some of the disciples would not die until they saw God’s kingdom? Preterists think the transfiguration happened too quickly after the statement for it to be speaking of that, it’s possible? I think some of the Preterists are too ‘futuristic’, let me explain. Jesus is functioning and operating out of the reality of Gods kingdom, he’s healing people, raising the dead, doing all sorts of things that are contrary to the natural order of things. He is introducing God’s kingdom to his disciples, they are actual witnesses to the events of Gods order breaking into mans order. The greatest events of this kingdom that they will witness will be the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, these ‘parts’ of the kingdom will be the most significant aspects that they will ever SEE in their lives. I prefer to see the reality of God’s kingdom, and the statements about certain followers being alive at the time of God’s kingdom coming, thru this lens. To push the majority of the significance out to a.d. 70 and the destruction of the temple seems to miss the great reality of Jesus death, burial, resurrection and ascension as actual witnessed events of the first century church. So, Russell and others who thought Jesus statements were false prophecies did not really see the reality of these things. I do believe that the events surrounding the destruction of the temple are important, and that you can find many verses that speak of the passing of the old testament order as the ‘end of that world/age’ but I believe the actual work of Jesus in redemption, as being witnessed by the early church, would be a better ‘location’ for the explanation of these types of things. Got it? [note- the main point being the importance the new testament puts on the eyewitness accounts of the disciples to the work of Jesus in redemption, any connecting with ‘the seeing’ of things and the witnesses of those things ‘seen’ has to be viewed thru this lens, the most important ‘seen things of the kingdom’ are without a doubt speaking of the great work of Jesus. This was so important that when Peter mentions the replacement for Judas office, he states that the new apostle must have been a witness of these things from the beginning of Jesus ministry]

[parts]
Gematria- a common use at the time John wrote- which gives each letter of the Hebrew alphabet a numerical value.
Nero Caesar[ 1st century emperor] equals 666.
STUFF HE DID;
1-Made people worship him- as God [2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.]

2-Castrated a boy- named Sporus- then married him.
3-Put tar on Christians- set them on fire and used them as human torches.
Nero ruled as emperor and persecuted the early church- his rule led up to the destruction of the Jewish temple in a.d. 70.
The predictions Jesus gave to his apostles about the destruction of Jerusalem and a great time of wrath [or tribulation] can indeed be seen as having happened during the 1st century.
Many people believed Nero to be the fulfillment of the anti-Christ that the New Testament speaks of.
John the apostle wrote that ‘anti-Christ’ were those who denied Jesus- at the time of his writing [1st century].
John- who wrote Revelation- said ‘the mind that has wisdom’ will figure out who he is talking about.
John sent this letter to actual Christians living in the 1st century.
You would expect that the readers of the letter would have some clue to who he was talking about.
As we go thru Revelation- my intent is not to cover [and debate] all the various views on all the verses in this book.
I simply show you this view [which I think is about the best one out there] Because we live in a day where many of the ‘end times’ teachings seemed to be consumed with a future leader [a famous preacher just prophesied ‘the anti-Christ is here’ the other day] who is still to come-
And that this will set off a cascade of events [most see these events as prophesied in Revelation- and sort of see it as a play book].
So- it is quite possible that the anti-Christ was Nero-
And yes- we live in a wicked world- and sure- we might/will continue to see men ‘rise’ and do wicked things.
But when Paul and John wrote- in the first century- warning the believers about a wicked ruler who would do bad things-
I think it would have been a disservice if he were speaking about a leader- who would not show up- until at least 2 thousand years later.

BELOW- I pasted some various views here- just to give you a flavor of the different ways Christians view some of these things.
At the end I also added some of the passages I talk about on the video.

Here’s a quote from St. Augustine- an early Christian leader- referring to the verse I pasted from 2nd Thessalonians-
“Some think that the Apostle Paul referred to the Roman empire, and that he was unwilling to use language more explicit, lest he should incur the calumnious charge of wishing ill to the empire which it was hoped would be eternal; so that in saying, ‘For the mystery of iniquity doth already work,’ he alluded to Nero, whose deeds already seemed to be as the deeds of Antichrist. And hence some suppose that he shall rise again and be Antichrist. Others, again, suppose that he is not even dead, but that he was concealed that he might be supposed to have been killed, and that he now lives in concealment in the vigor of that same age which he had reached when he was believed to have perished, and will live until he is revealed in his own time and restored to his kingdom. But I wonder that men can be so audacious in their conjectures” (De Civitate Dei, XX.19.3).

I pasted this from another site-
In both ancient Greek and Hebrew, letters also represented numerals (as they do in Latin), their values assigned according to the order of the alphabet, alpha and aelph, for example, having the numerical value of 1. By adding these values, words could be represented as the sum of their numbers. This literation of numbers and numeration of letters was known as isopsephism by the Greeks and gematria by the Jews (which, in cabalistic practice, has been used to interpret Hebrew scripture). If the Greek spelling of Nero Caesar (Neron Kaisar) is transliterated into Hebrew (nrwn qsr), the numerical equivalent is 666.
What is curious, however, is not so much that 666 can be decoded to signify Nero but that the name of the emperor is encoded in this particular number, especially since it could have been represented more readily in other ways. If “Nero” is retained in Greek, for example, the numeration would be 955 or, if “Neron,” 1005; in Hebrew, then 256 or 306, respectively. It only is when the words are transliterated into Hebrew that the numeration adds up to 666 (nrwn qsr, 50 + 200 + 6 + 50 + 100 + 60 + 200). Even so, this is an alternate spelling, a letter in “Neron” being transliterated (nrwn instead of nrw) but not in “Caesar” (qsr instead of qysr), although these forms do appear in both the Talmud and a contemporary Aramaic scroll from Qumran. It is intriguing, therefore, that 666 encodes the name of Nero in Hebrew when Revelation, itself, was written in Greek.
One should appreciate, too, that there were no numbers in Greek or Hebrew and that the “the number of the beast” was not presented as a figure but as letters of the alphabet or written in full. That is to say, it was not expressed as “666” (indeed, discrete Arabic numerals would not be invented for another five hundred years) but as the numerical values of the three letters representing 600, 60, and 6.
For Watt, the significance of 666 is that its expression in Latin is the sequential Roman numerals DCLXVI, which parallels but is the antithesis of the “Alpha and Omega” that John uses to characterize both Christ (22:13) and God (1:8, 21:6). As the Deity represents the beginning and end, so the Antichrist is a reversal of the first and last, D (500) preceding I (1). To phrase this another way, 666 (or rather DCLXVI) signifies the Antichrist because that number signifies Nero, and Nero—who was a matricide, proclaimed his divinity on Egyptian coins as the “Savior and Benefactor of the World,” and the first emperor to persecute the Christians—signifies the Antichrist. Indeed, the procurator of Judea (c. AD 60) refers to Nero as “my lord” (kyrios), the same title applied to Jesus (Acts 25:26).
If the Latin (rather than the Greek) spelling “Nero Caesar” (above) is transliterated into Hebrew (nrw qsr), the final “n” in Neron being omitted (and its corresponding value of 50), the name computes as 616, which is the number indicated in the oldest surviving copy of the New Testament (the fragment illustrated below). If, instead, “Neron Caesar” is correct, it may be that the Latin was transcribed incorrectly, perhaps because the copyist realized that this transliteration did not equate to 666 and so omitted the letter, which changed the sum to 616.
Still, each digit of 666 is one less than seven, the perfect number, and such mathematical play may have tended to establish 666, rather than 616. Regardless of the number, Nero is the only name that can account for both 666 and 616, which is the most compelling argument that he, and not some other emperor, such as Caligula or Domitian, was intended. Too, for the number to have any significance for a reader of the first century AD, it would have to refer to a contemporary historical figure.
Writing a century later, Irenaeus is the first church father to comment on the number of the beast, although he apparently was ignorant of what the number actually encoded. Nor is he correct in assuming that John’s vision occurred “almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign” (Adversus Haereses, V.30.3; a tradition repeated by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, III.18.3, and by the church fathers), which is to say sometime before AD 96, when the emperor was assassinated and just a few years before John himself died of old age. Rather, his presumed banishment to Patmos (where Revelation was written) seems to have occurred almost thirty years earlier, toward the end of Nero’s reign and before the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, which John otherwise would have mentioned.
For Irenaeus, 666 was correct. The Antichrist “sums up in his own person all the commixture of wickedness which took place previous to the deluge….and also sums up every error of devised idols since the flood” (V.29.2). The flood came in the six hundredth year of Noah and the golden image set up by Nebuchadnezzar (who Shadrach, Meshach, and Bednego refused to worship) was sixty cubits high and six cubits wide (Daniel 3:1ff). This being the case and “this number being found in all the most approved and ancient copies….I do not know how it is that some have erred following the ordinary mode of speech, and have vitiated the middle number [L] in the name, deducting the amount of fifty from it, so that instead of six decads they will have it that there is but one” (V.30.1).
Nero, too, was the sixth emperor, counting from Julius Caesar (as did Suetonius, for example, and Josephus, cf. Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII.2.2, where Tiberius is identified as the third). “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come” (Revelation 17:9-10). Of these emperors, it is Nero who had been “wounded to death” but “his deadly wound was healed” and he still lived (13:3)—Nero redivivus.
St. Jerome-“As for the Antichrist, there is no question but what he is going to fight against the holy covenant, and that when he first makes war against the king of Egypt, he shall straightway be frightened off by the assistance of the Romans. But these events were typically prefigured under Antiochus Epiphanes, so that this abominable king who persecuted God’s people foreshadows the Antichrist, who is to persecute the people of Christ. And so there are many of our viewpoint who think that Domitius Nero was the Antichrist because of his outstanding savagery and depravity.” (St. Jerome – Commentary on Daniel; notes on Daniel 11:27-30, — BAKER BOOK HOUSE Grand Rapids 6, Michigan 1958)

Some will suggest that the book of Revelation was written only for those living at the time, and that 666 most probably applies to Cæsar Nero, who ruled Rome from 54 to 68 A.D., rather than someone from latter centuries. This point of view, which suggests Revelation had an immediate application to the first century, is known as preterism. So, just how is Nero linked to 666?
Preterists take Nero’s name, Nero Cæsar and transliterates the Latin into Hebrew.  An “n” is added to conform with the Hebrew spelling and usage of Nero’s name, in a manner similar to the Greek adding an “s” (i.e., Jeremias, Jonas, etc.).  Other names in scripture where the adding of an “n” may be seen are Abaddon, Apollyon, and Armageddon.  Once Hebraicized,  the Latin Nero Caesar becomes “nrwn qsr,” which when using the numeric equivalent of the letters, then adds up to 666 as follows:
Nun  =  50 
Resh  = 200 
Waw  = 6 
Nun  =  50 
 
Qoph  =  100 
Samech  =  60 
Resh  =  200 
An example of this spelling has been recently discovered in one of the Dead Sea scrolls. If you use the same process, but without the added “n” the result is 616. Interestingly, some early manuscripts have 616 rather than 666, but even scholars such as Irenæus [A.D. 120-202] attribute the 616 to only a copyist error (Against Heresies: V, xxx) “this number [666] being found in all the most approved and ancient copies” [of the Apocalypse] and asserts that “men who saw John face to face bearing their testimony” [to it – 666].
 
The Seventy Weeks of Daniel Nine
by Prof. David J. Engelsma
I. The Premillennial Interpretation

A. Who they are
1.They are those who teach that in the near future Jesus will return to set up an earthly kingdom in Palestine for a thousand years.
2.They teach that the literal nation of Israel will then accept Him and be His special people as they were in the Old Testament.
3.They derive their name, premillennialists, from their doctrine of a literal millennium, before which the Lord returns (pre means “before;” millennium means “1,000 years” and is taken from Revelation 20).
B. They hold that the 70 weeks of Daniel 9, the whole prophecy, is exclusively for national Israel, the Jews
1.Nothing here for the church at all.
2.They appeal to the fact that it is “my people Israel” and literal Jerusalem that Daniel has been praying for.
3.They point to verse 24, where “thy people” is literal Judah and “thy holy city” is Jerusalem.
C. They explain the 70 weeks as a definite period of time
1.Not literal, for a literal interpretation would take the period as 490 days—a little more than a year.
2.A week, in the prophecy, is a week of years, they say.
3.70 weeks, therefore, is 70 periods of 7 years, or 490 years.
D. Their breakdown of the 70 weeks, taken as 490 years
1.The starting–point, according to the text, is the “going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem” (v. 25).

a. Premillennialists differ as to when this is.

b. Some say that it is Cyrus’ decree that Judah could return to Canaan; others refer to Darius’ permission to build the temple (cf. Ezra 6); others refer to Artaxerxes’ letter of Nehemiah 2:8.

c. It is important to them to establish the starting–point exactly, so that their definite period of 490 years comes correctly.
2.There are 69 weeks from that date to Messiah Prince (v. 25): “seven weeks and threescore and two weeks” = 69 weeks).

a. On the basis of 1 week = 7 years, a period of 483 years.

1) At this point, premillennialism has a problem and its attempt to solve the problem has resulted in many huge books of dates and numbers.

2) The problem is that it is difficult to get 483 years between a command to rebuild Jerusalem and “Messiah.”

a) Cyrus decreed Israel’s return in 537 B.C.—this is the best date for the going forth of a command to build Jerusalem, but it leaves too many years intervening before Messiah, and is therefore unacceptable to the premill.

b) So, many date the period from 445 B.C., the date of the letter of Artaxerxes of Nehemiah 2; they then carry the 69 week-period (483 years, on their view) to some late (arbitrary) date in the life of Christ.

c). This 69-week (or 483-year) period is divided into two parts, 7 weeks and 62 weeks (v. 25).

1) The 7 weeks, or 49 years, is the time of the actual rebuilding of Jerusalem, ending, roughly, at the time of the conclusion of the Old Testament Bible.

2) The 62 weeks, or 434 years, is the long period between the Testaments, up to some point in Christ’s life. (Some say His baptism; others, His triumphal entry.)

3) It is their view of the 70th week, however, that is the most important aspect of the premill interpretation of the passage and that lies at the very heart of the premill doctrine of the last days.

c. The last week, a definite period of 7 years, is still future.

1) It does not follow the 69 weeks.

2) Between the 69th week and the 70th week lies the nearly 2,000 years of our present age.

3) In the future (from our standpoint), the 70th week of verse 27 will occur.

a) At the end of the present age, the church will be raptured out of this world into the air and Antichrist will arise. (The “he” of verse 27 is supposed to refer to the Antichrist of the future.)

b) For 3? years, or ? of the 70th week, he will make a covenant with Israel, restored to the “Holy Land” of Palestine.

c) Suddenly, “in the midst of the week” (v. 27) he will begin persecuting Israel.

d) For 3? years, national Israel is persecuted—this is supposed to be “the great tribulation” of the Bible.

e) At the end of the 70th week, Jesus will return to destroy Antichrist, save Israel, and set up the millennial kingdom for 1,000 years, during which He reigns with national Israel from Palestine.

f) The importance of this interpretation of the seventy weeks and especially, of the 70th week for premillennialism is evident: this gives them the huge gap (or parenthesis) between the first advent of Christ and the supposed period in the future when Christ shall deal again with national Israel, the gap during which Christ gathers a church.
II. The Correct, Scriptural Interpretation
A. In opposition to the premill view, there are two basic objections as a whole
1.First, they can give no proof that the weeks are definite periods of 7 years each.

a. Often, the premill is quite dogmatic about this, but wrongly.

b. The fact is that nowhere in Scripture does the term week mean “7 years.”
2.Secondly, the passage does not indicate in any way that the 70th week is separated from the preceding 69 by a huge span of time.

a. If you think of it, this is a very bold bit of eisegesis (reading into a passage something that is not by any stretch of the imagination there).

b. To be sure, the 70th week follows the 69th, but at once.
B. Positively, what the 70 weeks are
1.Gabriel tells Daniel of one period of 70 weeks. Literally, it is 70 “sevens” (the Hebrew word for week). 70 is a symbolical number.
a.The premill will object to our taking the number symbolically; he will insist that it be taken literally.

1) Our reply to the premill is: “Do that. Take it literally. Then you have a period of 490 days.” But the premill does not want to take it literally, for he wants to make it 490 years.

2) In addition, we point out that prophecy of the 70 weeks is given to Daniel as a vision (v. 23: “consider the vision”). A vision is characterised by symbolism.
b.Seven is the number of the covenant of God with His people; 10 is the number of fullness. 70, therefore, symbolizes the fulfilment of the covenant of Jehovah, the covenant with Abraham and his seed.
c.The 70 weeks are the period of time from the command to rebuild Jerusalem to Jesus Christ, as the period of the fulfilment of the covenant. In this period, the covenant (7) will be fulfilled (10).

1) Understanding the70 weeks is not a matter of computing dates and figures.

2) We are basically uninterested in juggling dates and figuring calendar years.

3) That it happens to be about 575 years is irrelevant.
2.This one period of 70 weeks ends in an event in which, according to verse 24, six things are realized, the finishing of transgression, etc.
a.All of these occur during the first advent of Christ Jesus (from His Incarnation through His resurrection and ascension).
a.The 70-week period terminates in the first advent of Christ, so that the whole period is from our standpoint past, not at all future.
3.The breakdown of the 70 weeks in detail:
a.The period begins with the going forth of a command to build Jerusalem (v. 25).

1) This is the decree of Cyrus that Judah may return to Canaan in 537 B.C.

2) See Isaiah 44:28 and Isaiah 45:13.

3) This was a crucial juncture in Israel’s history and a wonderful manifestation of God’s faithfulness.

a) Israel is desolate, doomed.

b) God then, amazingly, orders Cyrus to give Israel deliverance, life from the dead.
a.69 weeks takes us to Christ Jesus, “Messiah Prince” (v. 25).

1) This period is divided into two parts: 7 weeks and 62 weeks.

2) The 7 weeks are the period of the troublous building of Jerusalem.

a) Under Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah.

b) This takes us to about the time of the end of the Old Testament canon.

3) The 62 weeks are the period between the testaments.

4) The 69 weeks takes us up to “Messiah Prince.”

a) The premills argue over which event in the life of Christ is meant.

b) It is natural to understand verse 25 to refer to the coming of Messiah, that is, His birth.

(1) When Jesus was born, “Messiah Prince” appeared.

(2) “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” the wise men asked, at the occasion of Jesus’ birth.

c) The 69 weeks, therefore, extend from Cyrus’ decree to the birth of Jesus.
b.Then, the 70th week follows, the “one week” of verse 27.

1) It is the period of the life and work of Jesus Christ that belongs to His first advent, inclusive of the resurrection, ascension, and perhaps, the outpouring of the Spirit.

2) The period of Jesus’ ministry was the 70th week, the period of the fulfilment of the covenant (7×10).
4.Objections against this interpretation of the 70th week by the premill.
a.Basically, there are two objections; both concern verses 26-27.
a.First, the premill points out that Messiah is cut off after the 69th week (v. 26) and before the 70th week (v. 27): the same thing, he says, is true of the destruction of the city by the people of the prince.

1) The latter, all agree, refers to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under the general, Titus, in A.D. 70.

2) The premill argues that both the death of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem occur before the 70th week, not in it, according to the passage.
b.In close connection with this first objection, the premill maintains that verse 27 (“he shall confirm the covenant”) refers to the Antichrist and to a covenant which he will make with Israel at the end of the world, when the 70th week will finally come.
c.Our answer to these objections:

1) It is true that the death of Messiah comes after the 69th week (v.26); it is not the case however, that the text says that it occurred before the 70th week.

2) The one who confirms the covenant in verse 27 is not Antichrist, but Christ: He does this, not in the future, but in the past (from our present standpoint).
5.The truth of verses 26-27:
a.The cutting off of Messiah and His having nothing (as it is in the original Hebrew) is the crucifixion of Jesus.
a.This occurred in the 70th week, which 70th week is the “one week” of verse 27; it is exactly the death of Messiah that makes that week the 70th week, that is, the week of the fulfilment of God’s covenant.
b.The first part of verse 27 refers to the Messiah, Jesus:

1) The meaning of verse 27 will be clearer from a more faithful translation than that given in the King James version: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many, one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and upon the wing of abominations [is] the one making desolate and unto completion and it is determined it shall be poured out on the desolate.”

2) It is Jesus the Messiah who confirms God’s covenant, “one week.”

3) It is Jesus the Messiah who puts an end to all Old Testament sacrifices and oblations by His one sacrifice of Himself on the cross in the midst of the 70th week (cf. Heb. 10).

4) If one asks concerning the rest of the 70th week, it is that which belongs to the first advent of Jesus following His death, namely, the period of His resurrection, ascension, and the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost. One could make a good case, on the basis of the passage, for the contention that the end of the 70th week is the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. It was then that the new covenant as the fulfilment of the old covenant was definitively manifested.
c.Proof of this interpretation, as opposed to that of the premill:

1) It is exegetically incorrect to make “he” in verse 27a to refer back to “prince” in verse 26, and thus to come to the conclusion that the reference is to Antichrist.

a) The fact is that the subject of the phrase in verse 26 is not “the prince,” but “the people of the prince,” that is, the Romans who destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

b) The one, main subject of the entire prophecy is “Messiah Prince” and it is, therefore, to Him that “he” refers in verse 27a.

2) Verse 27 speaks of someone confirming a covenant.

a) The premill explains this to mean that the Antichrist will, in the future, make a covenant with the nation Israel.

b) But as the King James Version shows, verse 27 does not use the Hebrew word that means “make;” rather, it uses a word that means “to confirm;” the reference is not at all to the making of a new covenant but to the confirming of an already existing covenant.

(1) Jesus, “Messiah Prince,” did exactly this by His first advent: He confirmed the covenant with many.

(2) The covenant is God’s covenant with Abraham and Israel, the covenant Israel violated, as Daniel bitterly lamented in his prayer, the covenant which Daniel nevertheless besought God to keep.

(3) Jesus did confirm this covenant by His death and in the conformation revealed it in its full reality as including not only the elect of the Jews but also of the Gentiles.
6.In conclusion:
a.The 70 weeks are fulfilled in the first advent of Jesus.
a.The covenant of Jehovah has been confirmed—for the many elect of all nations.
b.All of the blessings of the covenant, the benefits mentioned in verse 24, have been obtained by Messiah and are now freely dispensed to God’s people.
c.We and all believers live in the enjoyment of that fulfilled covenant and its spiritual blessings, in the new dispensation.
III. Another Interpretation
Another interpretation of the 70 weeks given by some Reformed amillennialists is the following. The 70 weeks are the entire period from the command to build Jerusalem to the second advent of Christ, including the present age. From Cyrus’ decree to the first advent is 7 weeks; from the first advent to the appearance of Antichrist in the future is 62 weeks; the 70th week is the brief period in the future during which Antichrist will reign and which ends with Christ’s return. The interpretation is possible because of another possible reading of the last part of verse 25. It is possible to translate the last part of verse 25 as follows: “… unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks; and threescore and two weeks the street shall be built again” etc. According to this translation, the building of the street and the wall, during the 62 weeks, is symbolic of the gathering of the church in the new dispensation.

This interpretation is wrong for the following reasons:
1.Like the view of the premills, this interpretation supposes that verse 27a (“he shall confirm the covenant”) refers to the Antichrist. Everything said above against the premill explanation of verse 27 holds against this explanation.
2.It does injustice to the plain meaning of the last part of verse 25. By the building the street and the wall of Jerusalem in troubled times, Gabriel does not refer to the gathering of the church but to the literal rebuilding of Jerusalem after the return of Judah from captivity.
3.The most serious and obvious error of this interpretation is its distortion of the statement in verse 26 that Messiah shall be cut off and have nothing. According to this interpretation, this has to be the destruction of the church by Antichrist at the end of the world (“after threescore and two weeks …”). In fact, the text is speaking of the cutting off of the Messiah personally, that is, Jesus’ death on the cross.
4.The translation of verse 25 is correct as we have it in the King James Version. Contents:
I. The Premillennial Interpretation
II. The Correct, Scriptural Interpretation
III. Another Interpretation
[parts]

VERSES-
Mark 13:1 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!
Mark 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Mark 13:3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,
Mark 13:4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
Mark 13:5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:
Mark 13:6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mark 13:7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.
Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.
Mark 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
Mark 13:10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
Mark 13:12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
Mark 13:15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:
Mark 13:16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.
Mark 13:17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
Mark 13:18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.
Mark 13:19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
Mark 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.
Mark 13:21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Mark 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
Mark 13:25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
Mark 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
Mark 13:28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
Mark 13:29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Mark 13:30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
Mark 13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Mark 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Mark 13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

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