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ultimate false prophecy

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Timothy M.B., Jul 18, 2004.

  1. Timothy M.B.

    Timothy M.B. New Member

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    I remember when I used to believe in the rapture, coupled with the seven year tribulation; along with the 144,000 being literal Jews; as advocated in the "left behind" books. Then the Father opened my eyes and showed me the errors behind that whole fascade. Let me explain (warning: this is long).

    The basis for the 7 year tribulation is based on an interpretation of Dan. 9:24-27 which states:

    Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Dan. 9:24-27.

    These 70 weeks can be equated to 70 x 7 years, or 490 years that were given to Daniel's people to do some things. In order to understand the the true application of this prophecy, one must establish when the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was established. Those who promote the 7yr. trib. refer to the following.

    And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before him: and I took up the wine, and gave [it] unto the king. Now I had not been [beforetime] sad in his presence. Wherefore the king said unto me, Why [is] thy countenance sad, seeing thou [art] not sick? this [is] nothing [else] but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid, and said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah; and a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which [appertained] to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me. Neh. 2:1-8.

    They then state that the 20th year of Artaxerxes was 444 BC. I agree because history testifies to that. After this, they go on to state that since Daniel was educated in Babylon, the 490 years have to be reinterpreted according to the Babylonian reckoning of time which would now make the first 69 weeks equal 476 years. 476 years from 444 BC takes one to 33 AD, the year that Jesus was supposedly crucified. This would appear to fulfill the 69 weeks of the prophecy and leave the 70th week unfulfilled. Finally, the 70th week is the 7 year tribulation that is supposed to take place after the "rapture" where 144,000 Jews will once again be restored to finish the work of the spreading the gospel. People who are intent on believing this will be raptured alright. They'll be raptured into hell, and the rest of the world with them. I'll explain why. First, I'll expose the fallacy of this whole scheme.

    To begin with, there is no decree mentioned in Neh. 2. The documents mentioned would be comparable to a passport and a purchase order for material. This is due to the fact that the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem had already been drawn up and ratified as it is written:

    And there went up [some] of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which [was] in the seventh year of the king. For upon the first [day] of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first [day] of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do [it], and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. Now this [is] the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, [even] a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel. Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect [peace], and at such a time. I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and [of] his priests and Levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own freewill to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which [is] in thine hand; and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation [is] in Jerusalem, and all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which [is] in Jerusalem: That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which [is] in Jerusalem. And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God. The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, [those] deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem. And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow [it] out of the king's treasure house. And I, [even] I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which [are] beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily, unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing [how much]. Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? Also we certify you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them. And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God, that [is] in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that [are] beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know [them] not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether [it be] unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. Blessed [be] the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put [such a thing] as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which [is] in Jerusalem: And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God [was] upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me. Ezra 7:7-28.

    This decree not only gave Ezra permission to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. But it also allowed the Israelites to once again operate under their own law, receive offerings, allow them tax exemption; it provides liberty to educate the heathen, and grants Persian judicial power against criminals. And besides all that, there is a principle regarding Persian jurisprudence that is stated as follows:

    Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians [is], That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed. Dan. 6:15.

    Since no decree may be changed according to Persian custom. A new decree must be issued if the king wanted to alter his original plan. No such alteration is mentioned or explained at all in Neh. 2. Artaxerxes is simply granting Nehehmiah permission to continue what has already been allowed by law.

    With that, let's do the math. If the 20th year of the king is 444 BC and the decree was written in the 7th year of the king, then the decree actually went into effect in 457 BC. As far as the length of the years are concerned, it isn't necessary to interpret them into Babylon reckoning of time because Biblical reckoning of time is sufficient. Besides, it's a contradiction of logic to interpret the first 69 weeks of years one way, then interpret the 70th week another. If one were consistent, they wouldn't call it the 7 year tribulation, it would be the 6 point something something year tribulation.

    Now, I'll break down this prophecy step by step and show its true application.

    1) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city : 457BC-34AD

    2) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times : This rebuilding and trouble was where Nehemiah comes in according to Nehemiah 2:8-17; 4:7; 4:17. Also, The accuracy of the history told in the book has been well established by the discovery of the Elephantine papyri which mentions many of the same names and events with dates. It can be also learned from these papyri that Nehemiah ceased to be govenor of Judea in 408 B.C. (457-49=408).

    3) Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks : There are 483 years (7 weeks + 62 weeks) until Messiah appears. This would be 27 AD. It is written:

    Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age. Luke 3:21-23.

    Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. Mark 1:14-15.

    The only "time" that can be associated with Jesus' statement of fulfillment is the 70 week prophecy. The purpose for these 70 weeks are listed in the prophecy and fulfilled in the life of Jesus as it is written.

    4) to finish the transgression :

    But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Heb. 10:12-14; Isa. 53:5.

    5) to make an end of sins :

    For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb. 9:26.

    6) to make reconciliation for iniquity :

    For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Rom. 5:10.

    7) to bring in everlasting righteousness :

    For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. 5:21.

    8 ) to seal up the vision and prophecy :

    Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Mat. 5:17.

    9) and to anoint the most Holy :

    How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Acts 10:38.

    After these things, the prophecy continues.

    And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof [shall be] with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

    The 62 weeks mentioned here follow the 7 weeks to rebuild the wall. After the 69 weeks are fulfilled, Messiah is cut off during the 70th week. The people of the prince that shall come and destroy the city was fulfilled by Titus and his Roman army in 70 AD when they destroyed Jerusalem. Continuing on,

    And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease

    This one week is the 70th week, the last 7 year period that began at Jesus' baptism. 3 1/2 years later, in the midst of the week, Jesus was crucified. This caused the veil in the temple to split and caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease. At the end of the 70th week in 34 AD, Stephen was stoned (thus closing probation on Judahism) and Philip was now free to preach in Samaria while Paul went to the gentiles (Acts 8:15, 13:46)

    and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate

    Because of the influx of man made ideas and idolatry, the whole Jewish system would be desolate until their complete eradication by the Romans in 70 AD. This desolation would even destroy the desolator. And it has, Rome was fragmented by different peoples until the last emporer, Romulus Augustus, reigned in 476 AD.

    Since this prophecy has been fulfilled, there is no reason for the rapture as it is proclaimed from the pulpits of today. The whole idea behind this rapture is so the Jews can finish the preaching of the gospel and for the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. Part of the reason behind the "war on terrorism" and America's involvement in Iraq is because of the beliefs of many Americans (like John Ashcroft) who truly believe that the OT prophecies will be fulfilled by the Jews and that Jesus will return to the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and rule the world. They see it as a moral obligation to make the middle east safe for the Jews who will be left behind when the "christians" are raptured. This is one of the biggest lies ever told!

    The truth is, all causes are followed by effects; and this cause of "freedom" in Iraq is responsible for the unjustified deaths of God-only-knows how many thousands of people. Americans will experience the effect of this cause because they are partakers of it through their support of America's actions (via flag waving, voting) and through their productivity (i.e. income taxes). Only then will many wake up to shame and everlasting contempt when they see that they have been serving the devil in the name of Jesus by willingly believing a lie.

    Thus the Scriptures are fulfilled which say:

    And for this cause (of "freedom") God shall send them strong delusion (America is a righteous nation that can do no wrong), that they should believe a lie (pre-emtive war based on lies is good for nations that don't obey us): That they all might be damned who believed not the truth (Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, THAT shall he also reap. Gal. 6:7), but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thess. 2:11-12.
     
  2. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Revelation is highly figurative though, don't you think? Meaning that it could be interpreted many ways.
     
  3. Timothy M.B.

    Timothy M.B. New Member

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    ceridwen018,

    Yes, Revelation is figurative and it has been interpreted in many ways. The point of my post is to show that the most popular way that it is interpreted is wrong. And yes, people will be accountable for choosing to believe a lie.
     
  4. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I have some relatives who still believe in the Rapture, It doesn't seem at this point that they will change their minds on that. I have always thought of it as an inner experience.
     
  5. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Greetings!

    You're at least partially correct about the 70-week prophecy in Daniel! I'm a Baha'i, we many of us study these prophecies (and others in Daniel, Micah, John, Revelation, and elsewhere) as they are also very relevant to the beginnings of the Baha'i Faith....

    Briefly, the 69-week prophecy in Daniel points from the second decree to rebuild the temple (Artaxerxes here) to the beginning of Jesus' ministry. The 70-week prophecy does indeed point to His crucifixion. This leaves a span of "one week," of seven years. But there's another prophecy (sorry I can't give the cite offhand; I don't have my notes at hand) that says, as I recall, that Jesus will be "cut off" after half a week. So this shortens His ministry from seven to three and a half eyars, which matches the historical record.

    You can find many details on these and other Biblical propecies if you visit the Baha'i Library website at www.bahai-library.org A book that will likely be of particular interest to you is "I, Daniel," which you can find by clicking on the links: "Books" and (strangely enough :) ) "I, Daniel."

    I wish you good hunting! :)

    Cheers,

    Bruce
     
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