Are There Three Classes of People at the Judgment?

At the Judgment, all the nations are gathered before Christ (Mt 25:32), and He commissions His brethren (1 Cor 6:2) to separate the nations into two classes:  the sheep (the approved) and the goats (the condemned).  Christ pardons the sheep (Mt 25:34) and consigns the goats to torment (Mt 25:41, 46) after His brethren have finished the separation into the groups of the sheep and goats.  This shows that there are three classes of people at the Judgment:  the lost, the nations, and the elect brethren of Christ. 

The logic of Christ’s promise to the faithful that they will rule with Him (Rev 3:21) requires that a servant class must exist.  Likewise, the five foolish virgins simply being locked out but not punished implies they will be in a servant class in eternity (Mt 25:12).  The one talent man simply having his talent taken away from him (Lk 19:24), but not being punished further implies he will be relegated to the servant class.  The ignorant man that did things worthy of stripes, but who was only punished with few stripes (Lk 12:48) implies there is forgiveness for some sinners at the judgment, for the punishment of some is limited to a temporary punishment of few stripes, but an outcome where punishment is temporary is different from what happens to the wicked among the nations at the Judgment who are told, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire” (Mt 25:41).  These people with few stripes also suffer temporal punishment after death in Hades (Lk 16:24, 28), but their outcome is different from the sons of God that go heaven when they die (II Cor 5:8-9, Php 1:22-23).  These differences imply there is a servant class in eternity.

The Bible deals mainly with how to become a Christian and how to please God, and so it is understandable that the two-state theology (you go either to heaven or hell) has emerged, because there is no instruction given as to how one might choose to be only good enough to just inherit the earth.  Given the fact that Christianity generally teaches a two-state theology, that limited outcome causes men to question the justice of God and in an attempt to justify His punishing ignorant sinners, it causes men to question the literal reality of hell.  Among believers who wonder about God’s justice in condemning the ignorant, you often hear the question, “But what about those people that never heard about God?”  If you accept a three eternal destinies theology, it satisfactorily answers the question of “what about those that never heard”.

Sometimes people object to God saving those that never heard, for salvation (eternal life) is conditioned upon belief in Christ, for Christ said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  However, if men see the power of God when He comes, and believe He is the true and living God, and believe they have been wrong, God is justified in saving these believers, for Christ died for all (II Cor 5:15).  Enoch says that God will be just and graciously grant those that did not know about Him the chance to believe in Jesus at His coming,

The righteous shall be victorious in the name of the Lord of Spirits: And He will cause the others [those that are not the righteous] to witness (this) That they may repent And forgo the works of their hands.

3 They shall have no honour through the name of the Lord of Spirits,
Yet through His name shall they be saved,
And the Lord of Spirits will have compassion on them,
For His compassion is great.
4 And He is righteous also in His judgment,
And in the presence of His glory unrighteousness also shall not maintain itself: At His judgment the unrepentant shall perish before Him.
5 And from henceforth I will have no mercy on them, saith the Lord of Spirits. (I Enoch 50:2-4)

The Bible teaches the three state theology, but it is subdued, because you cannot consciously choose to just be good enough to inherit with the nations (the sheep, Mt 25:34).  God’s grace places men among the sheep, and an individual cannot determine the miniumum amount required to receive just enough grace to inherit the earth, and even the effort to do so might prove fatal to the plan (Mt 25:25-30).  The sheep are those that failed to do good enough to inherit with God’s sons (Mt 25:12), and those that knew not the master’s will, but did things worthy of stripes (Lk 12:48) and who are willing to believe when they find out better (1 En 50:2).  Paul also implies the three-state theology when He says, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?” (I Cor 6:2).  Jesus likewise implies it when He says, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne” (Rev 3:21).  Obviously, Christ and the elect must have subjects over whom to rule.  In the world to come, the kings of the earth (the elect, 2 Ti 4:8) are permitted entry into New Jerusalem (Rev 21:24), but the saved of the nations may not enter into it (Rev 21:24). John admonishes his readers to so live that they might receive a full reward.  He implies it is possible to receive a reward that is less than full (II Jn 1:8), which would imply that some just receive a lesser reward, such as inheriting the earth.

Matthew 25:31-46 speaks of the Judgment of the nations.  In these verses the nations are judged.  Someone separates the nations into two classes: the sheep, and the goats.  Jesus then addresses the sheep and bids them enter His kingdom based on their kindness they showed toward Him.  The sheep reply they don’t remember ever seeing Him.  He then replies, “Truly I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  In this verse are three entities: “I”, “you” and “these”.  You can see the situation Jesus describes in pictorial form in the diagram.  The picture shows that while there are two destinies for the nations, there are three possible destinies for those that would serve God. 

Traditional theology is right about there being the saved and the lost.  The saved rise from the dead and never die.  The lost may or may not rise from the dead, but are cast into hell, the Lake of Fire, which is the second death.  However, there are two classes among the saved: the sons of God and the nations.  These are the antitype of the Jew/Gentile dichotomy that has prevailed on earth since Moses.  When you consider the two states of the saved, you see there are a total of three possible outcomes.  The chart below lays out the various possible states:

Servants of God Can: References
Be adopted as God’s sons (Mt 25:10, Gal 4:5, Rom 8:23, Col 3:24)
Inherit the earth (Mt 25:10-12, Mt 5:5)
Be cast into the Lake of Fire (Mt 25:30)
The Nations Can:  
Inherit the earth (Mt 25:34, Mt 5:5)
Be cast into the Lake of Fire (Mt 25:46, Rev 20:15)


Matthew 25 describes all five possible conditions, and these conditions are illustrated in the drawing. 

The sheep and the goats at the Judgment

By having three eternal destinies, you explain how the elect are said to rule when Jesus has promised all of the elect that they will receive the reward of being rulers (II Ti 4:8), because the elect will have the nations over which to rule.  The three eternal destinies solution also explains how God can be just and save people that never even heard of Him until He comes again (Rom 3:26, En 50:2).  If they believe in Christ when He comes and are willing to repent, God will grant them grace, but no glory (1 En 50:2-3).  It works much better than the two-state theology, and it is more faithful to the scriptures.

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Chronological Outline of Revelation

As the text is laid out in Revelation, the events described there are not in chronological sequence.  This diagram attempts to outline the major sections of Revelation in a more chronological sequence of events.  The major portion of Revelation (Rev 8-22) is Christ exercising His power over the 7th seal, His control of the course of human history. 

Parallels Between Exodus, Crucifixion, and Second Coming

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Adam Clarke and Matthew 16:28

Matthew 16:28 is often used by the preterists in an attempt to show that the Second Coming was the destruction of Jerusalem. They do that by reading Mt 16:28 where it says, “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” They claim that “coming in His kingdom” is the Second Coming, and it would happen in the lifetime of His auditioners. They point out that it is not even possible that this verse is talking about the apostle John (one of those standing there as Jesus spoke) remaining until the end of the world (Jn 21:23), because “some” is plural. They claim that Matthew 16:28 has to be Christ coming in wrath at the destruction of Jerusalem and therefore, the Second Coming has already happened. If the Second Coming has already happened, then the resurrection, the inheritance, the Judgment, the new heavens and new earth, the bloody moon, the black as sackcloth sun, and any other end time prophecy has already been fulfilled.

Because Adam Clarke, who wrote a famous whole-bible commentary, believes Matthew 24 contains a prediction of the utter destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem, and the subversion of the whole political constitution of the Jews, he is a darling of the preterists ( I introduce Clarke here, because he presents significant evidence against the preterists’ position on Mathew 16:28. Clarke says four Greek manuscripts (Syriac, Coptic, Ethioptic, and Saxon) plus one copy of the Itala and several of the church fathers read “glory” instead of “kingdom”. Also, three of the manuscripts and the versions mentioned add the words “of His Father”, so the text would read, “There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in the glory of His Father”. Clarke says that this reading harmonizes better with the idea presented in Daniel 7:13-14, which reads,

Daniel 7:13 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

Notice that the context of Daniel 7 is Christ coming with a the clouds of heaven TO the Ancient of Days. Jesus left the earth in cloud (Acts 1:9) on His way to the Father (Jn 16:28). He therefore came to heaven to the the Ancient of Days with the clouds of heaven. Then is when Jesus got the kingdom (Acts 2:34-35). He was crowned, received the Holy Spirit (Jn 15:26), and sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost. That Day of Pentecost is when Clarke says Matthew 16:28 began to be fulfilled.

Clarke says in reference to verse 28, “This verse seems to confirm the above explanation, as our Lord evidently speaks of the establishment of the Christian church after the day of Pentecost, and its final triumph after the destruction of the Jewish polity.” So, we can gather two things from Clarke that damage his position: 1) Christ’s coming in the glory of His Father has to do with Christ’s coming to the Father in Daniel 7, and 2) the coming of Christ in the glory of His Father began on the day of Pentecost.

So, according to Clarke, the coming of Christ of which Jesus spoke was NOT the destruction of Jerusalem, but was a process that began at Pentecost with the establishment of the Church. Furthermore, the coming was Christ coming to heaven, not Christ coming at the destruction of Jerusalem. Clarke says the “coming” in Matthew 16:28 is a process, and he thereby admits Matthew 16:28 is not “the day” that the Bible describes as “the day of the Lord”. Clarke’s evidence therefore is that Matthew’s process of the “coming in His kingdom” is not the same thing as the singular “day of the Lord” of which the prophets speak (Isa 13:9, Joel 2:1, etc.).

When Jesus comes again, He will come TO the earth, not TO the Father (Lk 19:12. Micah 2:12-13). Paul says that the coming for which Christians wait is the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, and it was a day for which Paul in AD 54, when he wrote 1 Corinthians, was still waiting.

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Parallels Between the Exodus, the Crucifixion, and the Second Coming

The Exodus, the Crucifixion, and the Second Coming

Parallels Between the Exodus, the Crucifixion, and the Second Coming

Here is the Google Doc version

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The Location of Mt Sinai and the Location of the Red Sea Crossing

The location of Mt Sinai and the location of the Red Sea crossing are closely related. The traditional site is in the middle of the Sinai peninsula and the choice of Red Sea crossing points has mainly been driven by the presumed location of Mt. Sinai. However, the traditional site of Mt. Sinai at St. Catherine’s monastery in the south central part of Sinai was chosen by Queen Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine in AD 315 on the basis of a dream. Most of the places she chose based on her dreams have been proven to be wrong, and that also seems to be the case with the location of Sinai and the travels of Israel that depend upon its location.

Israels Wilderness Wanderings

Where is Mt Sinai and Where Did Israel Cross the Red Sea?

We can arrive at a more objective identification the location of the events of the Exodus through the use of a topographical map and a careful consideration of what God said about them in the Bible. Our first objective should be to pin down the location of Sinai, for certainly the route of Israel’s travels will be constrained by the location of their destination. We can gain a clue as to where Sinai is located by recalling the events following Moses flight from Egypt into Midian. Midian is a land east of the Gulf of Aqaba (see ISBE on Midian and map above).

During the forty years Moses was in Midian (Ex 2:15), he tended the sheep of his father in law, Jethro (Ex 3:1). While Moses was tending Jethro’s sheep, he had the experience with the bush that would not burn out. When Moses turned aside for a closer look at this strange event, God spoke to him out of the bush and made him a promise. God said, “When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain” (Ex 3:12). The mountain where Moses saw the burning bush presumably was in the region where Jethro lived, since Moses was pasturing Jethro’s flocks there. The traditional Mt Sinai is over 300 miles by land from Jethro’s home in a region where there is very little water or pasture. Also, to make an Arabic location of Sinai more certain, the Bible specifically says that Horeb (Mt Sinai–Dt 4:10), where Moses had the experience of the burning bush, is in Midian (Ex 3:1).

Of course, if Sinai is in Arabia, that location offers many more choices for crossing the Red Sea than a location for Mt. Sinai (Mt. Musa) at St. Catherine’s, for the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aqaba) is the border between Egypt and Arabia for hundreds of miles. Besides specifying that Sinai is in Midian, which is in what was Arabia during the time of Paul (Gal 4:25), the Bible gives many indications that Israel crossed the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aqaba, not Lake Sirbonis or Bitter Lakes or North Suez. These latter sites are too far north, do not provide any reason why Israel should have been trapped there, and do not take into account the elapse of 25 days from leaving Egypt to the Red Sea crossing. Also, the New Testament makes explicit what the Old Testament implies. Paul says that Mt. Sinai is in Arabia (Gal 4:5), and Israel had to cross the Red Sea somewhere at the Gulf of Aqaba in order to stay out of the Promised Land and to get to Arabia (Ex 14:22, 19:1).

Scholars have supposed Israel departed from Egypt anywhere from Zoan at the mouth of the Nile near Goshen to all the way to Heliopolis near modern Cairo at the southern border of ancient Egypt (ISBE Definition for ‘RAAMSES; RAMESES’, article by C. R. Conder). Those are widely separated locations. Some proponents of the Heliopolis location cite as evidence the enormous constructions of Pharaoh Rameses II (the largest of all the pharaohs’ constructions except for the Pyramids of Giza) that are found there, for enormous amounts of slave labor were required for their construction, and the slave labor of captive Israel would be a solution to how Rameses could afford to build such structures. However, Gen 47:11 places Raamses in Goshen (Gen 47:27) on the Nile delta where Israel settled when he moved to Egypt. Since the Bible says Raamses was in the delta, we believe that’s where it was.

The Bible gives us information that enables us to calculate that there were 44 days from the time that Israel left Egypt until they came to Sinai. After Israel crossed the Red Sea, they came to the wilderness of Sin fourteen days before they came to Sinai. We can use this elapsed time and the location of their objective to calculate approximate locations for places named along their route of travel. We also assumed that the places named in the Bible were descriptive of unique features of the local geography.

Though Moses never promised that Israel would come back once they left, Pharaoh expected them to return (Ex 14:5). Israel successfully “borrowed” (Ex 12:35) valuables from the Egyptians, probably due to the Egyptians’ expectation that Israel would have to return, because a body of travelers the size of the Exodus could not live long term in the wilderness. In Pharaoh’s estimation, a trip of three days out and back plus the celebration should have taken no more than two weeks max. During this time of the Hebrew sacrifice the Egyptians were mourning the death of their firstborn. Probably, the more they mourned, the more angry they became, and when two weeks had passed and Pharaoh received word that Israel had fled and was not returning (Ex 14:5), he was of a mindset to set out after them. It appears from his heedless pursuit of Israel into the depths of the sea that Pharaoh was very angry at Israel and was driven more by an overwhelming desire to take vengeance on Israel for the death of his firstborn ones rather than any rational behavior.

That fact that Israel did not come back after a reasonable time may not have been sufficient cause in itself to have initiated Pharaoh’s pursuit. After two weeks Israel could have been anywhere, and Canaan, their most likely destination, was easily accessible in that amount of time. However, Canaan was inhabited by fiercely independent tribes protected by giants and strongly fortified cities (Num 13:33). If Israel had gone to Canaan, they very likely would have been destroyed or driven back to Egypt. God also agreed that Israel was not ready for an immediate assault on Canaan (Ex 13:17), and sent them to the Promised Land “through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea” (Ex 13:18). Pharaoh also knew that whole armies that ventured into this howling wilderness had perished in the barren waste. If Israel was dumb enough to go too far into the wilderness, Pharaoh knew that the wilderness might do his dirty work for him. It was indeed a lack of provisions in the wilderness that required God to miraculously supply food and water for His people (Ex 17:6). Knowing these things, Pharaoh may not have thought it necessary to pursue Israel since the Canaanites or the wilderness would likely eliminate Israel for him. Since Pharaoh did set out in pursuit of Israel about two weeks after they left, something must have happened to cause him to set out in pursuit.

The event that triggered Pharaoh’s pursuit after Israel was a message to Pharaoh via signal fire or carrier pigeon that Israel had fled (Ex 14:5), likely from the Egyptian outpost at Migdal (Watchtower) on the southern tip of Sinai. In whatever way Pharaoh got the message, the Bible says that Pharaoh was told that Israel had fled, and he knew where to take his army to go find them. Israel was in a location that indicated that they had fled from him, for it was more than three days journey away and they were moving away from Egypt. The message from Migdol would lead Pharaoh to believe due to the location of Migdol at the end of the wilderness that Israel was trapped in the extremity of the wilderness (Ex 14:3). The location by Pi-hahiroth satisfies all of the constraints that the text supplies. The name Pi-hahiroth (Mouth of Water) describes a unique mouth shaped bay at the southern tip of Sinai. There is really nothing else like it on the Sinai peninsula. The location by Pi-hahiroth is such that Israel would be able to travel from there to the wilderness of Sin by the 15th day of the second month, as the text requires (Ex 16:1). This camp at the Red Sea northeast of Pi-hahiroth between Migdol and Baal-Zephon placed Israel by a natural underwater land bridge that spans the whole Straits of Tiran at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba. Archeologists have found the remains of an Egyptian settlement with a watchtower at the southern tip of Sinai. The Bible repeatedly speaks of a remote location, Migdol, as being at the extremity of Egypt, and the Watchtower at tip of Sinai certainly was (Ezk 29:10 NASB, 30:6 NASB, Jer 44:1, 46:14). This garrison would serve to notify Pharaoh of Israel’s whereabouts and the fact Israel was landlocked at Pi-hahiroth between the mountains at the end of the land and the Red Sea, but how did Israel get to such a remote location at the at the uttermost extent of southern Sinai?

Israel left Egypt in a hurry (Ex 12:11), and no doubt was anxious to put as much distance between themselves and Egypt as possible, but Israel had asked for permission to go a three days journey into the wilderness (Ex 3:18), so we would expect Israel acting under God’s guidance to do exactly what they said they would do. Since the Bible says that at some point in their journey they crossed the Red Sea, and they were headed toward the Promised Land, they would have had to travel east out of Egypt. Since they were not using the short Way of the Philistines and were not yet going into the Promised Land (Ex 13:17), they would have had to stay south of the River of Egypt (Wadi el-Arish, see map) that was the southern boundary of God’s land promise to Abraham (Gen 15:18). If God had led Israel across the Sinai wilderness south of the River of Egypt, they could have crossed into Midian across the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba, but they would not have been entangled in the land nor shut in by the wilderness (Ex 14:3) (See map above and also Steve Rudd’s book on the Exodus at Wherever the Red Sea crossing point was, it was a location that once Israel crossed the Red Sea, Israel was finally and forever free from the pursuit of Pharaoh (Ex 15:13-14). The only route that fits all the Bible constraints is the route along the west coast of Sinai (“the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea” Ex 13:17) to the land’s end at the Straits of Tiran on the Red Sea.

“The way of the wilderness of the Red Sea” that was Israel’s way to Pi-hahiroth would have been along the coastal plain that extends all along the west coast of the Sinai peninsula. Except for fifteen miles of rocky soil, the way is broad and easy, and provided for good travel, even with carts, livestock, children, and old folks, though there was no caravan road along this route, for it did not go anywhere where very many lived. The way was in a howling wilderness (Dt 32:10). Israel left Egypt from Raamses and went to Succoth, but the Bible does not say where Succoth was nor how long it took them to get there, but let’s reason from the record.

Israel’s deal all along with Pharaoh was to go a three day journey into the wilderness and hold a sacrifice (Ex 3:18). Since Succoth is their first camp (Ex 12:37), it probably was where they got to after a marathon three day journey. The three day forced march is likely on several grounds. One factor is that since Israel’s deliverance from Egypt serves as type of God rescuing His people from the slavery of this sinful world, God would likely want Israel to provide a type (Col 2:17, Heb 8:5) of what God’s people would be like when He rescues them at the Second Coming. At Sinai God even said that He bore Israel up on eagles’ wings (Ex 19:4), an apparent reference to their extraordinarily swift passage through the wilderness. Walking and not growing weary would serve as a type of God’s deliverance and glorification of the righteous at the end of the world (Isa 40:31). Also, Israel no doubt desired to put as much distance between itself and Egypt as possible, but they had promised it would be a three day journey, and God always keeps His word (Titus 1:2). Israel began its journey just before sunset (Ex 12:16). This is a very peculiar time to begin an arduous journey, if it was going to be the normal sort of journey, and this night journey followed a journey of the night before when they had traveled from all over Goshen to Raamses. The Bible also requires that the journey would not be leisurely but arduous, for God miraculously preserved Israel and kept them from getting tired and kept their feet from swelling (Ps 105:37-39, Neh 9:21). Based on these considerations Succoth probably is a location that was achieved as a result of a arduous journey encompassing three 24-hour days. Israel could accomplish this prodigious feat because God miraculously strengthened them. Further, in a wilderness that was deadly hot by day and pitch black at night, they could still travel continuously, for God gave them shade with a cloud by day and lit the way with a pillar of fire by night (Ex 13:21).

Where was this important first camp where Moses sanctified the firstborn and God gave Israel the first law? Obviously, it was in the wilderness, and, as we described, lay at a distance achievable by a 72-hour forced march from Raamses. Since the word “Succoth” means “block” or “stop the approach”, it probably was a geographic choke point. Rudd places it about midway down the eastern shore of the Gulf of Suez at a location where the coastal plain narrows and the rocky soil of the northern beaches gives way to a broad sandy plain that is easy to traverse. This location is 180 miles from Raamses, and it could have been achieved by a people enduring a non-stop 72 hour forced march in which they were supernaturally empowered by God to walk 60 miles a day.

When Israel arrived at Succoth, some important events transpired. First, God commanded that Moses sanctify the firstborn of both man and beast (Ex 13:2). The sanctification of the firstborn was the same thing as sanctifying the firstfruits, and the day that Israel arrived at Succoth (the first day of the week) and sanctified their firstborn was the event that serves as the basis for Feast of the Firstfruits, and is a type of the resurrection of the Christ and the 144,000 (Mt 27:52-53), which are the firstfruits of God (I Cor 15:20, Rev 14:4). Sanctification of the firstborn/firstfruits required either redeeming the firstborn by substituting another offering for the first born of the flock (it was to be redeemed with a lamb–Ex 13:13), or in the case of an unclean animal, such as a donkey, that would not be redeemed, its neck was to be broken. In the sanctification of the firstborn at Succoth, therefore, God kept His word that Israel would hold a sacrifice to the Lord. Later we find that Israel’s sanctified firstborn sons were redeemed by giving God the Levites in lieu of the firstborn of Israel and redeeming with money the 273 firstborn not covered by the number of Levites (Num 3:46-47), but that was a redemption of those that had already been sanctified, that is, set apart for God. God also give Moses a first law at Succoth (Ex 13:1-16). The events at this camp were also the prototype of the days of unleavened bread, so Israel probably remained in camp until the 8th day. The time required for Moses to receive the commandment of sanctification of the firstborn, to give this law to the people, to identify the firstborn, and to offer the sacrifices also suggest that Israel spent some time in this camp.

The calendar for the year of the Exodus matches the calendar of the year of Jesus’ resurrection. Based upon the requirement for two Sabbaths on the year of Jesus’ crucifixion, the need for Jesus to be in the grave 3 days and 3 nights, and the fact no gospel records any events on Wednesday if Jesus was crucified on Friday, then we conclude Jesus died on Wednesday afternoon at the time the Passover lambs were being slain (Mt 27:46-50). Jesus was in the tomb night and day Thursday, night and day Friday, and night and day Saturday (3 days and 3 nights). He arose very early on the first day of the week before sunrise. In the same way Israel died to Egypt that Passover night and spent the next three days in the “tomb” of the wilderness from which God supernaturally raised them up to camp at Succoth and consecrate the firstborn.

When the days of unleavened bread were complete, God turned Israel further away from Goshen and led them deeper into the howling wilderness (Ex 13:20) in order that He might finish the deliverance of His people. They journeyed for another seven days to arrive at Etham on the edge or “the end” of the wilderness (Ex 13:20).

Wilderness Wanderings Times Succoth to the Red Sea

At Pi-hahiroth at the end of the wilderness, God turned Israel up the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba toward Etham. Etham (Hebrew: “shut in”) is a cul-de-sac on the east coast of Sinai where the coastal plain ends at a mountain range that extends to the sea. At this point Israel realized the true extent of their dependence upon God. Hemmed in by the mountains and the sea, Israel realized they were trapped, and God ordered Israel to turn back by the way they had come and pitch camp by the sea. Israel went half a day’s journey (9 miles) back to a location they had just passed and pitched their camp northeast Pi-hahiroth (“Mouth of Water”) and across from the island of Baal-Zephon. Their camp was a deserted location on the shore of the Red Sea between the Egyptian watchtower at Migdol and the Straits of Tiran (Ex 14:2). Here they waited for Pharaoh and his army to catch up and for God to show them what to do. At Pi-hahiroth God prepared Israel for an epoch deliverance from evil men by means of water by which He foreshadowed the deliverance and exaltation of the elect by means of fire at the end of the world. As Israel was baptized in the sea to emerge as a free people in a new world, so God’s elect will be delivered from the armies of the Antichrist on the day when they are baptized by fire (Lk 3:16) and emerge as the free sons of God on His new earth.

The scriptures do not say how long Israel encamped by the Red Sea, but we can estimate the time based on the 44 days they took to travel from Goshen to Sinai (Ex 12:51-Ex 19:1). After crossing the Red Sea they entered the Wilderness of Sin fourteen days before they got to Sinai (Ex 16:1) and thirty days after they left Egypt. Counting the camps backwards from the Wilderness of Sin, we find there were five travel days from the crossing of the Red Sea. Counting back from Israel’s arrival at Mt. Sinai, we can establish the following events:

Arrive Sinai 0 days before Sinai 44 days since Egypt
Arrive Wilderness of Sin 14 days before Sinai 30 days since Egypt
Red Sea crossing 19 days before Sinai 25 days since Egypt
2nd arrival at Pi-hahiroth 28 days before Sinai 16 days since Egypt
Arrive at Etham 29 days before Sinai 15 days since Egypt
1st arrival at Pi-hahiroth 30 days before Sinai 14 days since Egypt
Arrive at Succoth 40 days before Sinai 3 days since Egypt
Leave Goshen 44 days before Sinai 0 since Egypt

Counting their camps backward from the wilderness of Sin, we calculate that they crossed the Red Sea on the first day of the week five days before they entered the Wilderness of Sin. They stayed there before Pi-hahiroth seven days while God waited in the pillar of fire for Pharaoh to catch up with them. Israel’s camp by the Red Sea was in a boxed-in place where they would be trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the sea. The boxed-in location of Israel at Pi-hahiroth is typical of the servants of God making their last stand at Bozrah against the armies of the Beast at the end of the world (Bozrah—the sheep pen, Micah 2:12-13, Jer 49:22).

When Pharaoh arrived, God protected Israel by interposing the pillar of fire between Israel and the Egyptians (Ex 14:19) while He parted the sea and led Israel safely across. In what must be accounted as one of the most insane actions in the history of the world, the Egyptians that had just experienced firsthand ten devastating plagues, and could see in front of them a supernatural fiery cloud and a supernaturally divided sea, in an attempt to satisfy their bloodlust, rage, and wounded pride (Ex 14:27) decided to defy Almighty God and plunge into the depths of the sea. The rest, as they say, is history. The next day the 600 chariots of Pharaoh (Ex 14:7) were at the bottom of the sea (Ex 15:5) and the dead bodies of the Egyptians washed up on the shores (Ex 14:30).

Israel in the Wilderness from the Red Sea to Sinai

Once the children of Israel got close to Sinai in Midian, they were close to the mountain where Moses had been tending Jethro’s sheep when Moses saw the burning bush. At this point Moses was therefore also close to Jethro’s home. It was when Moses was encamped in the wilderness of Sin in Midian that Jethro, priest of Midian (Ex 18:1), came from his home to meet Moses and to bring to Moses his wife and sons whom he had not seen in several years (Ex 18:5). Perhaps Moses’ reunion with his loved ones foreshadows our own reunion with those that we love and from whom we have been separated by death after we cross our Red Sea in which we are baptized with fire and after which we prepare to enter our own Promised Land.

Time for Exodus--Sinai to the Giving of the Law

It was the beginning of the third month when Israel encamped before the mountain of God in Midian (Ex 19:1). The beginning of the third month is almost three weeks after they crossed the Red Sea. At that time they had been gone from Egypt for six weeks. Only twelve days after they arrived at Sinai God spoke to Israel from the Mount (Ex 20:22). After God gave the law they spent the next several months encamped before the mount of God, and there they celebrated the first Passover since they left Egypt (Num 9:5). Israel left Sinai almost immediately after the Passover and journeyed to Kadesh Barnea (Petra/Bozrah/Kadesh Barnea). There they camped for the next 38 years until God’s curse on Israel had been fulfilled and the generation that came out of Egypt all died (Num 14:32). An interesting type is provided by Israel’s sojourn at Kadesh Barnea/Bozrah. Where they waited at Kadesh Barnea for God’s deliverance so that they might enter the Promised Land is the same as Bozrah/Petra and is the exact same place where the Lord has announced that He will return first (Jer 49:22, Micah 2:13-14) in the “tents of Judah” (Zech 12:7) to save the remnant of His people that await His return at the end of the world so that they might enter into the eternal land of promise.

As we have seen, there is excellent correspondence between the actual geography of Migdol, Pi-hahiroth, Baal-Zephon and Etham, and the Bible’s description of it. Our confidence that we have correctly located Israel’s camp at the Straits of Tiran is greatly strengthened by observing the sea floor topography there. The sea floor across the Straits of Tiran at the entrance to the Gulf is the only place along the Gulf of Aqaba where the sea floor terrain would support the crossing of several million people with herds, children and carts without a supernatural modification of the sea floor, for the Gulf is very deep everywhere else, often over a mile deep along much of its length. In marked contrast the sea at Pi-hahiroth is only about 40 feet deep in places, and there is a strip of land a half mile wide that runs across the entire width of the Strait. On this land bridge there is only one 2400 foot wide channel where the water currently is over 600 feet deep. It appears that the growth of a coral reef in the middle of the straits of Tiran has caused sea-floor erosion of this channel due to tidal currents flowing around the reef. In support of the view that this channel has been eroded deeper in the 3500 years since Moses crossed here, we notice that the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba in Moses’ day was very obscure. Though the Gulf of Suez was well known, the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba was so obscure that it did not appear on maps until the 1800s. Because in Moses’ day the entrance to the Gulf was not well known we might then conjecture that storm tides and eddies around the coral reefs have eroded the channel to a depth greater than what existed at the Exodus. In any event God could easily have silted up the channel in preparation for Israel’s crossing, if He so desired. Even in the one spot that is now deep, the drop to 600 feet is spread over about a quarter of a mile, so there is only about a 27 degree slope to the depth.

From our study we have seen in the Bible that the mountain of God is in Midian and Midian is in Arabia east of the Red Sea. The fact that Moses did not cross the Red Sea for over four weeks after they left Egypt suggests that Israel traveled a significant distance to arrive at the Red Sea crossing point. The geography at Pi-hahiroth at the Straits of Tiran and the sea floor in the Gulf of Aqaba there both support the Bible’s description of the Red Sea crossing. Israel’s journey from Goshen to Sinai via this route was of sufficient length as to require much of the 44 days the Bible says that it took Israel to travel from Goshen to Sinai. After they crossed the Red Sea they crossed into Midian in Arabia, and as they came to Sinai they came close to Jethro’s home in Midian (Ex 18:2-3) at which time Jethro returned Moses’ wife and sons. The description of the events, places, timing, and geography of the Exodus exactly fit a scenario that locates Sinai in Midian at Horeb and the Red Sea crossing at the Straits of Tiran.

Posted in Biblical Studies, Exodus, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Conditions Coming Together for the Day of Jacob’s Trouble

I just read in the Emet Report that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was so exceedingly angry with Obama following his last conversation with Obama that he may have had a heart attack.

The Emet Report said:

[Saudi King Abdullah and Barack Obama] had a serious falling-out on the Egyptian crisis which so enraged the king that some US and Middle East sources reported he suffered a sudden heart attack. Rumors that he had died rocked the world financial and oil markets that morning and were denied by an adviser to the ruling family. Some Gulf sources say he has had heart attacks in the past. [The Emet Report is a subscription only news service]

King Abdullah is a strong personal friend of Mubarak, and he did not intend to sit idly by while Obama sold Mubarak down the creek calling for him to step down. King Abdullah informed Obama that without waiting for events in Egypt to play out or for America’s response, he had ordered the process set in motion for raising the level of Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic and military ties with Iran. Invitations had gone out from Saudi Arabia for Iranian delegations to visit the main Saudi cities.

There are a couple of Bible prophecies that bear on these events. One says, “All thy [Israel’s] lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not” (Jeremiah 30:14). In the past two weeks, Israel has lost its allies of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and the current US regime has demonstrated that it is no friend of Israel and has no commitment to Israel’s security.

There are several prophecies that deal with the Iranian invasion of Israel, but the one that I want to look at particularly is the one in Psalms 83 where it says,

Psalms 83:2  For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves.
3  They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones.
4  They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
5  For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant:
6  The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites;
7  Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8  Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah.

The Bible uses the ancient names for these places, so it is instructive to lay out the ancient places with their modern counterparts.

Tents of Edom is the people that live around the southern part of the Dead Sea. These would be Bedoins and the Southern Jordanians.
Ishamelites are the Saudis (Ishmael was the father of the Arabs)
Moab is the Palestinians and Central Jordanians
Hagarites are the Arabs in the eastern part of Jordan and Southern Iraq. These people are the descendants of Hagar, Abraham’s concubine.
Gebal is Hezbollah and Northern Lebanese.
Ammon is the Palestinians and Northern Jordanians.
Amalek is the Arabs of Saudi Arabia in western Saudi Arabia near the Gulf of Aqaba.
Philistia is Hamas of the Gaza Strip.
Tyre is Hezbollah and the Southern Lebanese.
Assyria was a large empire that included what is today Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Egypt will not participate in the Iranian alliance because the Egyptians will be too busy fighting among themselves.  Isaiah 19:2 says, “Isaiah 19:2  And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.
3  And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof”

Those that are in the list in Psalms 83 are identical to those that are enemies of Israel today.  These all conspire together and say, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” They will almost succeed, but God will intervene and destroy their armies. Israel will then inherit the land from northern Lebanon to the Red Sea and from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates.

It appears to me that it is no longer possible for Israel to attack Iran without going on a suicide mission. The Saudis and Jordan are now joining the Iranian confederacy, and will therefore not offer Israel help in attacking Iran. The US will not grant Israel the IFF codes that would get them through Iraqi airspace or across the Persian Gulf. They don’t have enough planes in Georgia and Afghanistan to stage a successful attack against Iran. These planes are now landlocked and will not be available to defend Israel when they are attacked. I do not see any way they could carry out a successful attack and not basically blow out their entire air force. It now is a just of matter of time until Iran invades Israel and almost destroys it.

Posted in Day of Jacob's Trouble, Israel, Prophecy | Leave a comment

The Limit of the Firebird

The Sibylline Oracles predict the time of Antichrist will arrive when “the limit of the time of the Phenix” comes around (Sib Orc 8:184,  The complete number (“limit”) of the firebird is 7.  The first century Roman historian Tacitus reported the 4th Phoenix/Firebird appeared in the days of Tiberius in AD 34 (Annal., vi, 28).  The story of the firebird is this:  The firebirds live 500 years and then they return to Egypt, hatch another bird and die.  The young bird burns his father to ashes, and then rises from the ashes and flies away, not to be seen again for 500 years. 

I know the firebird sounds crazy, and Tacitus, being the careful historian that he was, felt the same way.  In Tacitus’ account of the phoenix he is apologetic for even mentioning it, but he says that he does so because he heard it from so many ancient sources including intellectuals in both Egypt and Greece, and he included it for completeness. Apparently, it caused quite a stir in Egypt because it was so extremely unusual and was witnessed by so many people.  The return of the firebird was very obvious because the firebird came “with a multitude of companion birds marveling at the novelty of the appearance” ( 

Tacitus’ report of the 4th phoenix gives a firm date with which to do computations for the origin of the firebird. Tracing the firebirds backwards (assuming the 3rd one ended and the 4th one began in AD 34), then the first one began in 1466, coincidentally with the time that Israel began its trek to the Promised Land.  A sheer speculation could surmise that the first firebird began by rising from the ashes on Mt Sinai (Dt 4:11).

Based on the Tacitus observation of the 4th firebird, we can also compute the end of the firebird.  If the 4th firebird started in AD 34, then the 5th firebird started in 534, the 6th in 1034, and the 7th in 1534.  The limit of the 7th and last firebird will be at the end of its 500th year in 2034. When the 7th firebird reaches its limit, the Sibyls say the Antichrist/Beast will destroy Rome.  That is about 3 years before the end of the world. 

There is a compelling correspondance with an end of the world computed based on an AD 33 date for Jesus’ resurrection and the death of the last firebird.  Jesus’ resurrection was 4, one-thousand-year days from creation.  Like the physical creation took 6, 24-hour days to create, Barnabas says the world will only last 6 of these one-thousand-year days until the Lord brings all things to an end (Barnabas 15:4,   The end of the 6th day is around 2033, depending on exactly the year in which Jesus was crucified.

Before the Antichrist burns Rome (Rev 17-18) at the return of the last firebird, there are to be a series of four plagues that preceed it (Rev 8:1-13).  The second of these plagues is where a “great mountain burning with fire” is cast into the sea.  Sure enough, an asteroid, Apophis, appears to be on a collision course with the earth in 2029 (  Looks like it’s all coming together for an end of the 6th day.

Posted in Antichrist, End Times | 1 Comment

All Power to the Lamb Is Now in Print

After 10 years of work my commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb, Volume I, arrived from the publisher. It is the only commentary that I know of in the two hundred years of the Restoration that takes a literalist, futurist approach to understanding Revelation. My commentary seeks to avoid telling God what He should have said and strives to understand what God actually meant. My commentary takes the position that God wrote Revelation in such a way that with sufficient effort and intellectual honesty, readers can understand it. Certainly there are symbols in Revelation, but when God does use symbols, He provides inspired interpretations of the symbols. This commentary seeks to avoid the mistakes of the views that use the symbolical approach to Revelation (preterists, continuous historical, spiritualist, and idealist). These approaches suffer from two basic flaws: assuming the text is symbolic when it is not and making up meaning regarding the text based on stream of consciousness word association, much as one would do looking at Rorschach inkblots.

Of all the approaches to understanding Revelation, this commentary is most closely aligned with the dispensationalist view in that it views Revelation from a literalist, futurist perspective. It is different from the typical dispensationalist schema in that it views the seven seals as the powers of the Lamb, understands the exercise of the powers of the seven seals to be simultaneous processes, and casts chapters 8-22 as three parallel prophecies of the Lamb’s power over the course of the histories of Israel, the nations, and the saints. This commentary also makes use of many of the non-canonical works that provide insight into the spirit world and detail regarding the course and end of the present age.

See for more information click here: .

Posted in Angelology, Archeology, Biblical Studies, Canon, Eschatology, Hermeneutics, Personal, Resurrection, Soteriology | Leave a comment

The “Last Days” of Isaiah 2:2 Versus A Parallel in Revelation 11

Don Preston argues that the “last days” in Isaiah 2:2 defines the context of all of Isaiah 2-4 to be the “last days”, which Preston then further defines to be the Destruction of Jerusalem. In the list below Preston takes scriptures from Isaiah 2-4 and finds what he takes to be parallels in Revelation. Then, Voila!, he concludes Revelation is merely a highly symbolic book describing the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. There are a couple of problems with Preson’s approach. First, the context of Isaiah 2-4 is not continuous, and the list of scriptures from there therefore does not speak of a single prophetic event but refers to various times and events. Second, the parallels he draws from Revelation are often not parallels at all, as we show in the comments. Since the prophecies in Isa 2-4 do not pertain to a single event, the comparison with Revelation is relatively meaningless. The context shifts from the “last days” referring to the last 2000 years of the earth (Isa 2:1-4) to the sordid moral condition of Isaiah’s day (Isa 2:5-9) to the Second Coming (Isa 2:10-22) to the day of Jacob’s trouble (Isa 3:1- 4:6).

Isaiah 2-4 compares to

Revelation “Parallel”

James’ Comments

Prophecy for the “the last days” (2:2) 

John was in the last days (Acts 2:15f)

The argument appears to be, John lived in the last days, therefore his Revelation is for the last days. I don’t have a problem with this, except that the “last days” only defines a time subsequent to one half of the total duration of this age. “The last days” does not require fulfillment of all things in John’s day. In fact, most of the events Isaiah mentions that are in the 3000 years of the last days are clustered toward the end of that time.



What are the last days?
The last days are the last 3, 1000 year days. Starting from Pentecost (the 5th day) and including the millennium (the 7th), there were 3 out of 7 days left. The “last days” cannot be limited to the time just before the coming of Christ, because the Lord’s house does not descend until after Jesus returns at the close of the 6th day. The coming of Christ is the end of the 6th day and the beginning of the 7th (“very early in the morning”, cp Mk 16:2). The Lord’s house descends on the 7th day, but the 7th day is one of the last days.



What happens in the last days?
1. The mountain of the Lord’s house is fixed above the top of the mountains (YNG) and above the hills (Isa 2:2)
2. People from many nations will come to it (Isa 2:2)
3. The people from many nations will come to learn of the God of Jacob and to serve Him. (Isa 2:3)
4. God Himself will judge the disputes and settle the differences of these various nations. (Isa 2:4)
5. The time of God’s rule will be peaceful, and war will be a thing of the past. (Isa 2:4)
6. People will enjoy leisure and reap the benefits of their labor. (Micah 4:4)
7. There will not be threats from any source (Micah 4:4)
8. The law of the Lord and His word will go forth from Zion and Jerusalem. (Isa 2:3)
9. God will pour out the Spirit upon men and women. (Joel 2:29)
10. Before the day of the Lord comes, the sun shall be turned into darkness and moon into blood. (Joel 2:31)



11. Before the day of the Lord comes, there will be portents in the heavens and on the earth–blood, fire, and vapor of smoke. (Joel 2:30)
12. God will send deliverance to those that call on the name of the Lord. (Joel 2:32)
13. Mt Zion and Jerusalem will provide deliverance in the last days. (Joel 2:32)
14. The remnant of the Jews will provide deliverance (Joel 2:32)
15. The dishonest gain of the rich men will witness against them when the Lord of Hosts returns in the last days to avenge all injustice against His people. (Jas 5:3)
16. Jesus spoke in the last days after He had been made heir of all things. The things Jesus spoke during His ministry were not of Him, but were of the Father. (Heb 1:2)
17. Lustful scoffers will come before the day of the Lord. (II Pe 3:3) 18. They will ridicule the idea that Jesus is coming again. (II Pe 3:4) 19. They will be willfully ignorant of the creation and the judgment of the Flood. (II Pe 3:5)

Israel guilty of blood-guilt, shedding blood of prophets  (4:4)

Babylon guilty of blood of prophets (16:6f)

Isa 4:4 says not one word regarding the shedding of the blood of prophets. No match here. Rev 16:6 speaks of the third bowl of wrath. This plague is the same as the third trumpet plague in Rev 8:10-11 that involves the Amazon basin polluted by fragments of a poisonous asteroid. Babylon is not mentioned until the seventh plague. There is no logical connection between Babylon that is mentioned in the 7th plague and the blood of the prophets in the third plague of Rev 16:6. The connection between the plagues only exists in the DOJ scenario, but that is the issue to be proven. You can’t assume a conclusion, and then use your assumption to prove your point!

Day of Lord to punish blood-guilt (2:19f; 4:2f)                     

Day of the Lord to punish blood-guilt (6:9-17)

Isa 2:19ff and Rev 6:9-17 are actually parallel. However, Isa 4:2ff is not. God is the Avenger of Blood (Rom 12:19), and on the day of the Lord, He will do just that. Isa 4:2 has a different context. There are several things about Isa 4:1-6 that do not fit the context of the DOJ, the coming of Christ, or the new earth.
1. There are many more women than men, and they are so desperate for children that they are willing to support themselves and their children if the men will only take away their reproach. This event is probably the one that was foreshadowed by Pharaoh’s murder of the males during the days of Moses. At the antitype event described in v 1, like the time of the Exodus, men will be scarce because of their deaths related to protecting the country from the Assyrian invasion. Like it was when Israel left Egypt that Israeli men had multiple wives, so it is here in Isaiah 4 that multiple women will attach themselves to one man.
2. It is time of escape for Israel. That did not happen at the DOJ. Israel was conquered, but Isa 2:2 shows an Israel that escaped the assault made upon them. This verse also does not talk of the Second Coming or the New Earth, because it talks about “survivors”. At the Second Coming, everyone will die.



3. There will be people that remain and that are left and that remain among the living. At the DOJ everyone fled, was killed, or was captured. At the Second Coming, there will be NO survivors or fugitives. All will die (He 9:27, Isa 13:12)
4. The purging of blood from Jerusalem by judgment and burning happens when there are people left in Zion and Jerusalem. That did not happen at the DOJ, and nobody will remain after the Second Coming. The earth will return to primeval silence for 7 days after Jesus comes again.
5. No literal sense can be made of verse 5 with respect to the DOJ. The description of a cloud and pillar of fire also does not describe the new earth, for then floating city of New Jerusalem will be above the earthly Jerusalem. The pillar of cloud and fire are what happened to israel in the wilderness. Isaiah’s description here shows that at some point in the future before New Jerusalem descends, God’s visible presence returns, just like it did before the Exodus when Israel gathered at Raamses to come out of Egypt.



6. No cloud protected or lightened Israel at the DOJ. Also, New Jerusalem will be the light of earthly Jerusalem on the new earth, not a pillar of fire. Verse 6 describes an event that is yet to be when God sets His visible presence over Israel. It will remain there until He comes again. The pillar stood between Israel and the Egyptians before Israel crossed the Red Sea. It will stand between Israel and the nations before God’s people cross into the new heavens and new earth. This time instead of crossing a sea of water, God’s people will cross a sea of fire when Jesus returns to redeem the earth and rescue His people.

Day of Lord time of war against Israel (3:13-26) 

Day of the Lord against Babylon, where the Lord slain (11:8)

Isa 3:1-26 also contains things that do not fit the DOJ, the Second Coming, or the new earth. The term “the day of the Lord” does not appear in this chapter. Isaiah uses the term “in that day”, and you have to determine from the context what day it is. The day of which Isaiah speaks is a day when Judah has fallen and Jerusalem is ruined, but the Israeli people remain in the land and in control of their ruins. On the day of Jacob’s trouble, the Assyrian invaders actually overrun northern Judah and get as far as the suburbs of Jerusalem (Isa 10:24-34) before they are turned back. Only on the day of Jacob’s trouble do you have a situation where Judah falls and Jerusalem is ruined, but somehow Israel survives and remains in control in the land. This is not true of any other historical or prophetic event regarding Jerusalem. 1. Children will rule in Jerusalem (v4) 2. People will live in Jerualem among ruins (v6) 3. Women rule in Jerusalem, even as Isaiah 4:1 describes a population in Jerusalem that is disproportionately women. (v12) 4. Clothes are destroyed, but people survive (v17, 6, 7, 24) 5. Baldness and scabs on the heads of young women is a symptom of radiation poisoning, not the DOJ or the end of the world. (v24, 17) 6. The men are destroyed in the war (v25). At the DOJ everybody died, fled, or was taken captive. At the end of the world, everyone dies. Only on the day of Jacob’s trouble do you have an event where a disproportionate number of women survive.

Tabernacle follows day of the Lord (4:4-6)

Tabernacle follows day of the Lord (21:2f)

Again, nowhere in Isaiah 4 does Isaiah use the term, “The day of the Lord”. He uses the term “in that day”, and the day to which he refers must be determined from the context. The context of “that day” is a ruined Jerusalem where women outnumber men 7 to 1. It is a day when God’s visible presence has returned to Israel after many days (Hosea 3:4-5). It is a day when Israel at last seeks the Lord and their Messiah, David their king (Hosea 3:5, Jer 30:9). Like Jesus was in the cloud that protected Israel in the wilderness (I Cor 10:4), so Christ will return in the cloud in Israel, and Israel will finally recognize Jesus’ claims.



I agree that the mountain of the Lord’s house in Isa 2 is New Jerusalem in Rev 21, but the preterists do not believe either Isa 2 or Rev 21 is telling the truth. They do not believe it is literally a house, but is a symbol for the church. I don’t know how this helps their case that Revelation is all about the destruction of Jerusalem. I do not agree that either of these passages has any reference to the Destruction of Jerusalem. This is another of Preston’s hodge podge of scriptures that he erroneously applies to the DOJ. Acts 2:16-17 says the day of Pentecost was in the last days and thus defines Pentecost and after as being in the last days. Joel says The law of the Lord went forth from Zion and from Jerusalem went the word of the Lord, and that happened with the preaching of the gospel. Preston reasons that since Isa 2:2 is in the last days, the fulfillment of Isa 2:2 follows Pentecost and refers to the DOJ. I agree that the Spirit was poured out on all flesh in the last days (Act 2:18), and the word of the Lord went forth from Jerusalem as fulfillment of Micah 4:2. These things happened in the last days, and the day of the Lord follows Pentecost, but Preston goes on to conclude that not only did the last days arrive in AD 30, but the day of Lord also arrived in AD 70. Preston’s view is excluded by a consideration of Joel’s requirement that the moon is turned to blood and sun to darkness in the last days but before the great and notable day of the Lord will come. Those things did not happen at or before the DOJ. So, Peter says we are in the last days (Acts 2:16-17), but the harbingers of the day of the Lord have not yet arrived.



Preston says the descent of the tabernacle from heaven follows the day of the Lord and cites Rev 21:2ff. John does indeed call New Jerusalem the “tabernacle of God” (Rev 21:3), and its descent follows the day of the Lord, but it is no help to the preterist position that tries to make the DOJ is the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord comes after the moon is turned to blood appearance and the sun to darkness appearance (Joel 2:28), and the day of the Lord is the day Jesus returns (I Th 4:14-5:3, II Pet 3:10). The tabernacle of God comes down from heaven after Jesus returns, cleanses the earth with fire, and resurrects the dead (Rev 20:9-21:3). If Preston is correct, the DOJ would have to happen after all these things. There are three equal periods of earth history: 2000 years of the dispensation of the Patriarchs, 2000 yrs of the dispensation of the Law, and 2000 years of the dispensation of Christianity. The last days are the 2000 years of the dispensation of Christianity. The mountain of the Lord’s house will be established above (YNG version) the top of the mountains. The mountain of the Lord’s house and His tabernacle is New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem literally will descend in the last days at the end of 6000 earth years.

Fulfillment far off in last days (2:2) 

Fulfillment “must shortly come to pass” (22:6, 10, 12, etc.)

The last days probably began at the resurrection of Christ. That was nearly 700 years after Isaiah wrote. However, Isaiah said nothing about the last days being “far off”. Preston injects that idea into the narrative. He attempts thereby to cast the idea of the relative time statements like “must shortly come to pass” in terms of a human lifetime. We have already shown that is not valid through a consideration of the mountain of the Lord’s house that must come to rest above the hills in the last days. The mountain of the Lord’s house does not descend until after Jesus’ Second Coming and the Judgment (Mt 25:31, Rev 20:11, 21:1-27) in the beginning of the 7th day. The present age lasts 6000 years or six days (Barnabas 15:4). Since the end of the sixth day does not come until 6000 years of earth history, and the descent of God’s house does not come until after the sixth day, then the “shortly” terms in Revelation must be evaluated in this light. From a consideration of the fact that we are in the “last days”, from God’s perspective, the time is less than half of the whole 6000 year age of the earth, and from that perspective 2000 years would be “shortly”.

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Is There a Parallel Between Lk 21:20-24 and Revelation 11

Don Preston tries to make Lk 21:20-24 in Jesus’ discussion of the Destruction of Jerusalem parallel with Revelation 11 that describes the Beast taking Jerusalem and killing God’s two witnesses at the time of Jesus’ Second Coming.  He compares a list of features from Luke 21 with a list of features from Revelation 11 and tries to conclude that both passages refer to the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem.  He tries to make both Luke 21 and Revelation to refer to Babylon when neither one refers to Babylon, for “Babylon” is a description of Rome and its apostate religion (Rev 17:9, 18). 

Luke 21 Revelation  11          James’ Comments
Indictment  of Jerusalem (Lk 21:22) Indictment of Babylon Nothing in Rev 11 says or implies “Babylon”.  There is no link here.
Persecutor of the saints                            Persecutor of the saints Rev 11 describes an invasion of Jerusalem in which some people there are killed.  Killing people during an invasion is not the persecution of the saints.  There is no link here.
Doomed to destruction at hands of Gentiles Doomed to destruction at hands of Gentiles Jerusalem was not destroyed in Revelation 11.  It was captured. Also  Egypt, Edom and Tyre are doomed to destruction at the hands of the Gentiles.  Does this prove that Egypt, Edom, and Tyre are Babylon and are the same as the Destruction of Jerusalem?  There is no link here.
Judgment after world mission (Mark 13:10)
Judgment after world mission (14:6f)
Mk 13:10 and Rev 14:6 are parallel.  One is a type of the other.  Mk 13 was where the gospel went forth during Paul’s day (Col 1:23).  Rev 14:6 happens at the end of the age.
Trodden down until times of Gentiles fulfilled Trodden down for 42 months How can you say all prophecy was fulfilled at the DOJ when this prophecy goes on for centuries after the DOJ before it is fulfilled?  No link here.
That generation                                        Shortly and at hand  What generation?  The expression “this generation” follows the parable of the fig tree where He speaks of the fig tree budding.  THEN He says, “This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” The fig tree is Israel.  The budding is when they show signs of life after long dormancy.  No link here.
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