Matthew 24:4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.
Jesus’ disciples, like any other Jew of the day, would have seen the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. as impossible. However, the first-century Jewish historian, Josephus, tells us 1,100,000 Jews were killed in the destruction of Jerusalem, with another 97,000 taken captive. (War VI. 9.3) Therefore, here in advance (33 C.E.); Jesus wanted his disciples to be on the watch, to not be misled, as though the destruction of Jerusalem (66-70 C.E.) also meant “the end of the age,” i.e. his second coming, the kingdom, and the millennial reign.
Matthew 24:5 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.
Yes, this would be one of the ways that many coming in Jesus’ name would have led the disciples astray, claiming to be the Christ (Hebrew Messiah), namely the “anointed one.” Therefore, it would not be Christians alone, who would be filling this role as false Christs/messiahs/anointed ones.
“From Josephus it appears that in the first century before the destruction of the Temple [in 70 C.E.] a number of Messiahs arose promising relief from the Roman yoke, and finding ready followers … Thus about 44, Josephus reports, a certain impostor, Theudas, who claimed to be a prophet, appeared and urged the people to follow him with their belongings to the Jordan, which he would divide for them. According to Acts v. 36 (which seems to refer to a different date), he secured about 400 followers. Cuspius Fadus sent a troop of horsemen after him and his band, slew many of them, and took captive others, together with their leader, beheading the latter … Another, an Egyptian, is said to have gathered together 30,000 adherents, whom he summoned to the Mount of Olives, opposite Jerusalem, promising that at his command the walls of Jerusalem would fall down, and that he and his followers would enter and possess themselves of the city. But Felix, the procurator (c. 55-60), met the throng with his soldiery. The prophet escaped, but those with him were killed or taken, and the multitude dispersed. Another, whom Josephus styles an impostor, promised the people “deliverance and freedom from their miseries” if they would follow him to the wilderness. Both leader and followers were killed by the troops of Festus, the procurator (60-62; “Ant.” xx. 8, § 10). Even when Jerusalem was already in process of destruction by the Romans, a prophet, according to Josephus suborned by the defenders to keep the people from deserting announced that God commanded them to come to the Temple, there to receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. Those who came met death in the flames.
Unlike these Messiahs, who expected their people’s deliverance to be achieved through divine intervention, Menahem, the son of Judas the Galilean and grandson of Hezekiah, the leader of the Zealots, who had troubled Herod, was a warrior. When the war broke out he attacked Masada with his band, armed his followers with the weapons stored there, and proceeded to Jerusalem, where he captured the fortress Antonia, overpowering the troops of Agrippa II. Emboldened by his success, he behaved as a king, and claimed the leadership of all the troops. Thereby he aroused the enmity of Eleazar, another Zealot leader, and met death as a result of a conspiracy against him (ib. ii. 17, § 9). He is probably identical with the Menahem b. Hezekiah mentioned in Sanh. 98b, and called, with reference to Lam. i. 17, “the comforter [“menaḥem”] that should relieve” (comp. Hamburger, “R. B. T.” Supplement, iii. 80). With the destruction of the Temple the appearance of Messiahs ceased for a time. Sixty years later a politico-Messianic movement of large proportions took place with Bar Kokba at its head. This leader of the revolt against Rome was hailed as Messiah-king by Akiba, who referred to him. The Jewish Encyclopedia lists 28 false Messiahs between the years 132 C.E. and 1744 C.E.
Matthew 24:6 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for those things must take place, but the end is not yet.
There have been religious leaders that have been misled by the two Great Wars of the 20th century, World War I and II, associating each of them with the “end of the age.” The First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 C.E.), at times called The Great Revolt, could have misled the disciples into thinking that the end was imminent. Therefore, Jesus tells them that they should not be alarmed and that the end is not yet. This counsel of Jesus has had to be applied from First Jewish–Roman War to the two Great Wars of the 20th century, every time a war came along, which seems to be an end all for humanity. Nevertheless, this one sign alone is not enough to signal the end, because imperfect humans are prone to war.
Matthew 24:7 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Here Jesus expounds on his previous comments about war because the conflicts of humankind have been so pervasive that there was a need for a reference book, Dictionary of Wars by George C. Kohn. Therefore, while we should take note of current events, wars, rumors of wars and even kingdom against kingdom is not enough alone to suppose that the end is here. Therefore, Jesus adds yet another two signs, famines, and earthquakes. These two have also been a part of humankind’s history. Of course, the impact is going to be far greater with seven billion living people on earth, as opposed to a hundred million in 100 C.E. Nevertheless, these are just the beginning.
Matthew 24:8 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
8 But all these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Wars, rumors of wars, kingdoms against kingdom, famines and earthquakes are just the beginning of the things to come. However, they are not the goal post that the end is imminent. Such tragedies being merely a “beginning of the birth pains,” the end was “not yet.” Men likely cannot appreciate this verse, because the woman only knows the pain of giving birth to a child. It is the most natural thing in her life and yet the most painful. Therefore, consider that what comes after this metaphorical concept is going to be far more painful for humankind. These pains will grow in severity until the birth of the end of the age, and the return of Jesus. Nevertheless, like any other birth that has finally reached the end, the joy of a newborn child makes one forget the past pains. This is true after the tribulation; the joys of the Kingdom will outweigh the previous pains.
Matthew 24:9 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name.
Verse 9 of the new section, 9-12, begins with “then” (Greek tote), which brings the reader into another section of signs, offering us more of the lines in the fingerprint, i.e., the full picture that we are in the time of to the end. “Then” can have the meaning coming after, or at the same time, or it could mean simply, therefore. It would seem that “then” is best understood as meaning ‘at the same time,’ because these signs, as well as those that we covered in 4-7, and those coming in verse 10 are of a composite sign. Meaning, we are looking for a time when they are all taking place and on a worldwide scale.
Who are “they” that deliver Christians up to tribulation? It would be those Christians of verse 5, who were led astray, abandoning the Christian faith. The last 50 years have truly brought about the abandonment of Christianity, as well as much tribulation for those that have remained faithful. This is primarily a reference to liberal Christianity (80 percent of Christianity), who has abandoned the biblical truth, for the lie so that they can maintain a good relationship with the world, and progressivism. Christianity has never been more hated than it is today. Sadly, conservative Christians have been deeply opposed and persecuted by liberal Christianity, atheists, not to mention Islam and other religions.
Verse 9 says “they will deliver you up” (ESV), or “they will hand you over” (HCSB), “to tribulation.” If one is ‘handed over,’ he must first be seized and then delivered to those, who are seeking to do him harm, even death. Why are the Christians hated so? Former Christians (now agnostics and atheists), as well as liberal Christians hate the stand that conservative Christians take as they truly live by God’s Word, in the world that is anything but. Radical Islam is simply trying to impose themselves on everyone who stands in their way of dominating the world. Thus, being handed over is a result of one’s true faith in Jesus Christ.
“There are about 1.6 billion Muslims, or 23% of the world’s population, making Islam the second-largest religion. … Muslims make up a majority of the population in 49 countries around the world.” It has been estimated that 5 to 15 percent of all Muslims are radical. However, let us be generous and say that it is only 01 percent. One percent of 1.6 billion is still 16,000,000 million radical Muslims. However, one must realize that in survey after survey, the majority of Muslims support radical views.
Shariah Law is Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both religious and secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for lawbreaking. It has generally been supplemented by legislation adapted to the conditions of the day, though the manner in which it should be applied in modern states is a disputed between Islamic fundamentalists and modernists. Today Sweden is the rape capital of the world because of their Muslim population. Why? Under Shariah Law, it is not a sin or crime to force an infidel (i.e., non-Muslim) to have sex. This is what is missing from the debate. It is the culture, the worldview, the ideology, of a the Muslim people that conflict with God’s Word, the US Constitution, The UK, Canada, Germany, Sweden, namely, human moral values of a civilized society.
Under Shariah Law women are viewed as property not humans. A wife can be beat for anything. She can be stoned to death for a number of things. A daughter could be killed for dating a non-Muslim, which is called an honor killing. A thief can have their hand or foot cut off. There are many horrific aspects to Shariah Law, but we will just look at honor killings as our example.
An honor killing is the homicide of a member of a family by other members, due to the perpetrators’ belief that the victim has brought shame or dishonor upon the family, or has violated the principles of a community or a religion, usually for reasons such as refusing to enter an arranged marriage, being in a relationship that is disapproved by their family, having sex outside marriage, becoming the victim of rape, dressing in ways which are deemed inappropriate, or engaging in non-heterosexual relations.
Refusing an arranged marriage is often a cause of an honor killing. The family which has prearranged the marriage risks disgrace if the marriage does not proceed. A woman attempting to obtain a divorce or separation without the consent of the husband/extended family can also be a trigger for honor killings. In cultures where marriages are arranged and goods are often exchanged between families, a woman’s desire to seek a divorce is often viewed as an insult to the men who negotiated the deal. By making their marital problems known outside the family, the women are seen as exposing the family to public dishonor. In certain cultures, an allegation against a woman can be enough to tarnish her family’s reputation, and to trigger an honor killing: the family’s fear of being ostracized by the community is enormous. In many cultures, victims of rape face severe violence, including honor killings, from their families and relatives. In many parts of the world, women who have been raped are considered to have brought ‘dishonour’ or ‘disgrace’ to their families. This is especially the case if the victim becomes pregnant.
Central to the code of honor, in many societies, is a woman’s virginity, which must be preserved until marriage. Suzanne Ruggi writes, “A woman’s virginity is the property of the men around her, first her father, later a gift for her husband; a virtual dowry as she graduates to marriage.”
Honor killings are often a result of strongly patriarchal views on women, and the position of women in society. In these traditional male-dominated societies women are dependent first on their father and then on their husband, whom they are expected to obey. Women are viewed as property and not as individuals with their own agency. As such, they must submit to male authority figures in the family – failure to do so can result in extreme violence as punishment. Violence is seen as a way of ensuring compliance and preventing rebellion. According to Shahid Khan, a professor at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan: “Women are considered the property of the males in their family irrespective of their class, ethnic, or religious group. The owner of the property has the right to decide its fate. The concept of ownership has turned women into a commodity which can be exchanged, bought and sold.” In such cultures, women are not allowed to take control over their bodies and sexuality: these are the property of the males of the family, the father (and other male relatives) who must ensure virginity until marriage; and then the husband to whom his wife’s sexuality is subordinated – a woman must not undermine the ownership rights of her guardian by engaging in premarital sex or adultery.
We in the United States have known of Al Qaeda especially since September 11, 2001. Throughout 2014 and 2015, we have seen the rise of ISIS, whose slaughter of women, children, men, and older ones, anyone in their way has left us stunned. They have hung people on takes, put men in cages and set them on fire, put cages filled with people in a pool and filled it slowly with water, and have raped and killed a countless number of little girls. What do Al Queda, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, Al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based cell of the Islamist militant group, and many others want?
They want an Islamic State, which is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law, i.e., Shariah Law. They want a caliphate, which is an Islamic state led by a supreme religious as well as political leader known as a caliph and all the Prophets of Islam. The term caliphate is often applied to successions of Muslim empires that have existed in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.
Islam’s eschatological (last days of humanity), belief is different from Christianity. Christians believe that an Armageddon (great was of God) is coming at the return of Christ but that Jesus determines when and how that return will take place. Islam, on the other hand, believes that one day Isa (Jesus) will return with their twelfth Imam. They will rule the world from Jerusalem, where all are Muslims living under Shariah Law. Al Queda is trying to facilitate this through conversion, but also a slow process of turning countries into an Islamic majority state. They do so by growing the population until they reach the majority, who can then place Shariah Law on the same footing with whatever legal, governmental system that that country has. After that, the goal is to replace the governmental laws with Shariah Law. ISIS, on the other hand, believes they can simply conquer the lands through military might terrorism. They also believe that starting a World War III will facilitate the return of ISA and the twelfth Imam, i.e., their Armageddon.
The liberal-progressive world that we live in is a catalyst for Islamic growth. It is the political correctness run amuck that is aiding and abetting radical Islam and their silent supporters. Many of those liberals try to shift the blame over to the conservatives, by saying that the United States is Islamophobic and that we are simply a recruitment tool for radical Islam by our identifying them by the phrase radical Islamic terrorists. What they fail to realize is that this eschatological belief of Islam is religious, ideological, and embedded in their very being, which has nothing to do with what anyone says. The liberal-progressive movement will be politically correct all the way up unto the end. Radical Islam and their silent supporters have a murderous hatred for the West, the United States and Israel especially, as well as Christians.
End of Excursion
Matthew 24:10 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
While early Christianity suffered horrible deaths through being martyred for simply being a Christian, the hatred today is just as vile by those that slaughter Christians around the world. Nevertheless, persecution through social media, news media, and by way of lawsuits, and protests in the streets, has become the new form of persecution in the Western world. Many have fallen away from Jesus, becoming apostates toward their former brothers and sisters, loathing their very existence.
Matthew 24:11 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
11 And many false prophets will arise and will lead many astray.
What is a prophet? The primary meaning is one who proclaims the Word of God, a spokesperson for God. Therefore, a false prophet would be a spokesperson giving the impression that he is a spokesman for God, but really he is far from it. These ones are very subtle and deceptive in their ability to present themselves as a person representing God. Some modern day examples would be, Jim Bakker, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, Juanita Bynum, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Pat Robertson, and Joel Olsteen. Of course, these are just some of the televangelists, who are false prophets, with tens of millions of followers. Other false prophet religious leaders have tens of millions of followers as well. Then, there are charismatic Christian denominations that number over 500 million followers. These ones claim gifts of God (faith healing, speaking in tongues, etc.), which clearly are anything but. The true Christians are falling away in great numbers, being led astray by these false prophets, and those who have not fallen away, truly need to remain awake!
Matthew 24:12 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
The world we live in is overflowing with murders, rapes, armed robberies, and assaults, not to mention the wars between nations, as well as the war on terrorism. It has grown so pervasive that many have grown callused to seeing the newspapers, websites and television news filled with one heinous crime, one after another. In looking at just one city in the United States, in 2012, 532 people were murdered in Chicago, with a population of 2.7 million. However, in San Pedro Sula of the country Honduras, 1,143 people were murdered with only a population of 719,447. Statistics from the United Nations report 250,000 cases of rape or attempted rape annually. However, it must be kept in mind that because of the savagery of the times, in “many parts of the world, rape is very rarely reported, due to the extreme social stigma cast on women, who have been raped, or the fear of being disowned by their families, or subjected to violence, including honor killings.”
Verse 12 says that the love of “the love of many will grow cold,” and indeed, it has. There are atrocious crimes against individuals, groups, nations, which would cripple the mind of anyone living decades ago. However, because of seeing it every day, all day long, the world has grown hardened to the lawlessness that exists around them. Christians carry the hope of salvation in their heart, which Jesus addresses next.
Matthew 24:13 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
What are we to endure? We are to endure while we maintain our walk with God through false Christs who will lead many astray, the wars, and the natural disasters. We are to endure while we maintain our walk with God through the loss of many of our spiritual brothers and sisters who fall away, the betrayal of former Christians, and the hatred of humankind who is alienated from God. We are to endure while we maintain our walk with God through false prophets that have arisen and lead many astray, the increase of the lawlessness in this world, and the love of humanity growing colder. Yes, each of us, who survives to the end of the Christian era, to the return of Christ, will be saved from Jesus’ destruction of the wicked. However, we are not to simply sit around; we have work to accomplish that is the last sign of the end of the age. We are to proclaim the good news, to teach biblical truths, as we make disciples.
Matthew 24:14 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
This is the last of the signs that Jesus gave that should concern us as it is directly related to the end of the age, and the return of Christ, namely ‘the gospel of the kingdom being proclaimed throughout the whole world.’ Jesus makes it very clear what he meant by “the whole world,” by then saying “all nations” (Gk., ethnos). What Jesus meant here was more directed toward all races, not so much the “nations” that we know the world to be divided into today. Therefore, Jesus speaking of the whole world was a reference to “a body of persons united by kinship, culture, and common traditions, nation, people.” Today, while, for the most part, nations are made up of different races, the world is also becoming a melting pot.
In the phrase “testimony to all nations,” we find the Greek word martyrion, which was a legal term of “that which serves as testimony or proof, testimony, proof.” The testimony here that is to be shared by Christ’s disciples has to with Jesus and the kingdom. Evidence, proof, testimony has the ability to overcome the false reasoning of those in the world, to win them over, as well as convict those who refuse to see the evidence for what it is. Elsewhere Jesus said very clearly,
|Matthew 11:15 (UASV)
15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
|Matthew 13:9 (UASV)
9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
|Matthew 13:43 (UASV)
43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
John the Baptist Prepared the Way
As many are aware, John the Baptist was the fulfillment of a prophecy from Malachi 4:5–6, which reads, “‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.’” Jesus well knew this, as is evidenced by his comments in verse 14 of chapter 11, “and if you are willing to accept it, he [John the Baptist] is Elijah who is to come.” Nevertheless, many would refuse to accept that John was, in fact, the fulfillment prophecy about Elijah. Thus, Jesus says, “If you are willing to accept it … He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Throughout Jesus’ three and a half years ministry of teaching the people of Israel, bringing the truth to Israel, Jesus interpreted Scripture and told them many things that would be difficult for them to accept, because they conflicted with the religious leaders of Judaism. He did these things because he wanted to sift out those, who were not truly interested in the truth. Those who rejected Jesus and his teachings were unteachable because they lacked a receptive heart and mind. They had hardened hearts, to the point that they were beyond repentance, beyond being able to see the truth, regardless of whether it was the very Son of God explaining it.
Was John the Baptist some reborn Elijah? The Jews asked John who he was, “What then? Are you Elijah?” (John 1:21) John answered them quite plainly, “I am not.” However, the angel, likely Gabriel, said to Zechariah [John the Baptist’s father], before John was born, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for “he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he [John] will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.’” (Lu 1:17; Mal. 4:5-6) In other words, John the Baptist was the new Elijah, or an Elijah-like one, who in a sense did a work very similar to what Elijah had done.
The baptism that John carried out in the Jordan was for the Jews to offer a public display of repentance over their individual sins against the Mosaic Law, a law that was designed to lead them to the first coming of the Christ. Luke writes, “As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness [John the Baptist]: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord.’ (Lu 3:3-6; Gal. 3:24) Yes, John’s work prepared the Israelites for the first coming of Christ.
In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), there is a very common phrase, “the day of Jehovah.” (ESV, “the day of the LORD,” LEB “the day of Yahweh”, or ASV “the day of Jehovah”) This day of Jehovah is detailed in the Scriptures as a time of battle, a day of distress and anguish, a day of darkness, a day of wrath and fierce anger, a day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, and a day to destroy its sinners. – Amos 5:18-20; Isaiah 13:9; Zephaniah 1:15; Ezekiel 7:19; Zephaniah 1:18
The work that John the Baptist did was to prepare the Israelites to accept the Christ, as a day of Jehovah was very near. The apostle Peter quoted the prophet Joel right after Pentecost, explaining that the miraculous events they had just seen unfold, were a fulfillment of the words of Joel, i.e., a fulfillment of the words God’s inspired Joel to pen. Peter showed that the words of Joel were to come to pass before “the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.” (Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32) The prophecy of Joel was fulfilled in 70 C.E. when General Titus of the Roman army, destroyed Jerusalem, executing divine judgment on the nation of Israel for their centuries of rebellion, false worship, and finally, the rejection of the Son of God, in that they had him executed by way of the Roman government. – Daniel 9:24-27; John 19:15.
Acts 2:16-21 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
16 But this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it will be in the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
and your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.
18 And even on my male slaves and on my female slaves
I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heaven above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun will be changed to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.
21 And it will be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’
In all occurrences, prophecy proclaimed in Bible times had meaning to the people who heard it; it served for their guidance as well as each generation up unto the time of its fulfillment. Usually, it had some fulfillment in that time, in numerous instances being fulfilled during the days of that same generation. In looking at Peters quote from Joel, it must be asked, ‘did they see those cosmic events on Pentecost?’ Yes, the cosmic terminology is expressing that God was acting on behalf of those first Christians. A new era was being entered and God did pour out His Spirit, and sons and daughters did prophesy, both in proclaiming a message and in the foretelling of other events. However, let us delve even deeper into prophecy and how they are to be interpreted. Before moving on, let us briefly offer some insights:
- Judgment prophecies can be lifted, set aside if the parties affected repent and turnaround from their former course.
- On the other hand, if God has promised blessings but then that person or group disobeys him and does evil, he will not do what he had said he would do.
- Then again, if one has repented, turned around, and a judgment prophecy has been lifted, it can be reinstated if that person or group returns to their former evil ways.
- Prophets have a license to use prophetic language, cosmic terminology that evidences that God is working or acting within humanity.
- While we do not take cosmic terminology literally, we do discover its meaning, and this is what we are to take literally.
If we are to understand and interpret prophecy correctly, we must first have a grasp of the figurative language, types, and symbols. Walter C. Kaiser Jr. is distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He asks the following questions, which we will address at length,
(1) the extent to which the NT authors also used ancient Jewish exegetical and interpretive methods in their use of the OT; (2) the NT authors’ awareness or disregard of the larger OT context of the passages they quote; (3) the appropriate understanding of the function of typology; and (4) the question of whether contemporary interpreters may replicate the NT writers’ techniques of appropriating and applying the OT Scriptures.
2 Peter 3:11-14 English Standard Version (ESV)
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
Is Peter’s reference to a “new heavens and new earth” the same “new heavens and new earth” of which Isaiah spoke? It could be as we need to be cautious of being dogmatic. However, if Isaiah’s was a prophecy that points to a remnant of restored Israelites, back from Babylonian captivity, who returned to pure worship, might this simply be Peter using Isaiah’s prophecy to tack carry out an Inspired Sensus Plenior Application. It is hard to see Peter’s use of Isaiah’s words as a fulfillment of what Isaiah himself had meant because Isaiah was referring to the return of the Israelites to Jerusalem some 600 years before Peter’s words about the new heavens and a new earth.
What we do know is that if Peter assigns a different meaning to Isaiah’s words, it is his meaning, and it is subjective He has the authority to offer subjective meaning, as he was an inspired Bible writer, who had been moved along by Holy Spirit. Peter was not reiterating Isaiah’s words with the same intended meaning that Isaiah had; he was giving us an Inspired Sensus Plenior Application, a new meaning of Isaiah’s words. This author believes that Peter’s “new heavens” is the Kingdom of God, of which Jesus is the King, and he has co-rulers. The “new earth” is a restored earth, which Jesus will accomplish throughout his millennial reign. Peter did not mean that the earth was literally going to be destroyed, just the wicked. It is the same “new heavens” and “new earth,” which the Apostle John actually beheld in a vision of a future time after first century C.E. It is the same “new heaven and new earth” that Christians are awaiting today. In order to get us back on topic, we will repeat two paragraphs.
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As we learned in the above, John the Baptist was the fulfillment of a prophecy from Malachi 4:5–6, which reads, “‘Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.’” Joel tells us,
Joel 2:31 English Standard Version (ESV)
31 The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
Peter quotes Joel, telling us,
Acts 2:17, 20 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh
20 the sun shall be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood,
before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
Peter writes in his second letter,
2 Peter 3:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), there is a very common phrase, “the day of Jehovah.” (ESV, “the day of the LORD,” LEB “the day of Yahweh”, or ASV “the day of Jehovah”) This day of Jehovah is detailed in the Scriptures as a time of battle, a day of distress and anguish, a day of darkness, a day of wrath and fierce anger, a day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, and a day to destroy its sinners. – Amos 5:18-20; Isaiah 13:9; Zephaniah 1:15; Ezekiel 7:19; Zephaniah 1:18
The work that John the Baptist did was to prepare the Israelites to accept the Christ, as a day of Jehovah was very near. The apostle Peter quoted the prophet Joel right after Pentecost, explaining that the miraculous events they had just seen unfold, were a fulfillment of the words of Joel, i.e., a fulfillment of the words God’s inspired Joel to pen. Peter showed that the words of Joel were to come to pass before “the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.” (Acts 2:16-21; Joel 2:28-32) The prophecy of Joel was fulfilled in 70 C.E. when General Titus of the Roman army, destroyed Jerusalem, executing divine judgment on the nation of Israel for their centuries of rebellion, false worship, and finally, the rejection of the Son of God, in that they had him executed by way of the Roman government.—Daniel 9:24-27; John 19:15.
Now, to tie all of this together, the day of the LORD (Jehovah) that took place in 70 C.E. when Jerusalem was destroyed was just one of many times of destructive judgment by God. For example, we had the first destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Malachi had prophesied that God would send the Jews Elijah-like prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. This came true with John the Baptist coming to prepare the way for Jesus, who prepared the way for the Christians, before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., where one million Jews were killed and one hundred thousand taken captive. So at that time a “day of the LORD” was near at hand. Joel tells us that there would be an outpouring of Holy Spirit before this same “day of the LORD,” which Peter quotes. (Ac 2:17) Again, that “day of the LORD” came in 70 C.E. when God used the Roman army to execute divine judgment on the nation of Israel for their centuries of rebellion, false worship, and finally, the rejection of the Son of God.
However, there is another “day of the Lord” to come. The apostle Paul associated this “day of the LORD” with the second coming of Jesus Christ. Paul writes,
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 English Standard Version (ESV)
1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
The apostle Peter as we have mention associates this same “day of the LORD” with,
2 Peter 3:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
When we look at all of this, we can see a future “day of the LORD.” We know that Elijah prepared the way for “the day of the LORD” in the first century, with his evangelism, as did Jesus. Moreover, Jesus said that Christians would do an even greater work that he (John 14:12). We do so because we are to prepare the way for the greatest “day of the LORD,” namely, the return of Jesus Christ. Let us take a deeper look at the first century one, looking for correlations.
Excursion of “One Meaning”
The idea that the reader is the one who determines the meaning is known as the “reader response.” For those who hold to this position, all meaning is equal to another, and all are correct. We can have a set of verses, and 20 people may give us different interpretations, and many may seem the opposite of others. Those believing in the “reader “response” will say that all are correct. Under this position, the text allows each reader the right to derive his or her own meaning from the text. Again, this is where we hear “I think this means,” “I believe this means,” “this means to me,” and “I feel this means to me.” The problem with this is that the text loses its authority; God and his author lose their authority over the intended meaning of the text. When God inspired the writer, to express his will and purposes, there was the intention of one meaning, i.e., what the author under inspiration meant by the words he used. If anyone can come along and give it whatever meaning pleases them, then God’s authority over the meaning is lost, and there is no real meaning at all.
The grammatical-historical method is a method, which attempts to ascertain what the author meant by the words that he used, which should have been understood by his first readers. It was the primary method of interpretation when higher criticism’s Historical-Critical Method was in its infancy back in the 19th century (Milton Terry), and remains the only method of interpretation for true conservative scholarship in the later 20th century into the 21st century. The grammatical-historical method is objective, meaning that is free of any theological bias or prejudice caused by personal views.
When we speak of interpreting the Bible grammatically, we are referring to the process of seeking to determine its meaning by ascertaining four things: (a) the meaning of words (lexicology), (b) the form of words (morphology), (c) the function of words (parts of speech), and (d) the relationships of words (syntax). In the meaning of words (lexicology), we are concerned with,
- Etymology,e., how words are derived and developed,
- Usage, namely, how words are used by the same author and other authors,
- Synonyms and Antonyms, that is how similar and opposite words are used, and
- Context, i.e., how words are used in various contexts, the words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs that surround them.
In discussing the form of words (morphology), we are looking at how words are structured and how that affects their meaning. For example, the word “eat” means something different from ate, though the same letters are used. The word “part” changes meaning when the letter “s” is added to it to make the word “parts.” The function of words (parts of speech) considers what the various forms do. These include attention to subjects, verbs, objects, nouns, and others, as will be discussed later. The relationships of words (syntax) are the way words are related or put together to form phrases, clauses, and sentences. (Zuck 1991, 100-101)
By “historical,” we mean the setting in which the Bible books were written and the circumstances involved in the writing … taking into consideration the circumstances of the writings and the cultural environment.
The context in which a given Scripture passage is written influences how that passage is to be understood. Context includes several things:
- the verse(s) immediately before and after a passage
- the paragraph and book in which the verses occur
- the dispensation in which it was written
- the message of the entire Bible
- the historical-cultural environment of that time when it was written. (Zuck 1991, 77)
Some of the truly conservative scholars who have remained faithful to the grammatical-historical method of interpretation are Bernard Ramm, Harold Lindsell, Gleason L. Archer, Robert L. Thomas, Norman L. Geisler, Thomas Howe, Roy, B. Zuck, David F. Farnell, among other select ones. Such ones are referred to as “fundamentalist Protestants,” as though fundamentalism is now a dirty word. Some modern day scholars believe that they can dip their feet in the pool of higher criticism, suggesting that they can use certain aspects of these forms of criticisms, without ending up doing any harm to the trustworthiness of the text, to inerrancy. This is very naïve, as some of them end up swimming in the deep end of higher criticism, while others walk along the edges of the deep end.
Here is just ten of the “tip-of-the-iceberg” of the things that these scholars would agree with:
- Matthew, not Jesus, Created the Sermon on the Mount.
- The commissioning of the Twelve in Matthew 10 is a group of instructions compiled and organized by Matthew, not spoken by Jesus on a single occasion.
- The parable accounts of Matthew 13 and Mark 4 are anthologies of parables that Jesus uttered on separate occasions.
- Jesus did not preach the Olivet Discourse in its entirety, as found in the of the gospel accounts.
- Jesus gave his teaching on divorce and remarriage without the exception clauses found in Matthew 5:32 and 19:9.
- In Matthew 19:16-17, Matthew changed the words of Jesus and the rich man to obtain a different emphasis or to avoid a theological problem involved in the wording of Mark’s and Luke’s accounts of the same event.
- The scribes and the Pharisees were in reality decent people whom Matthew painted in an entirely negative light because of his personal bias against them.
- The genealogies of Jesus in Matthew 1 and Luke 3 are figures of speech and not accurate records of Jesus’ physical/and or legal lineage.
- The magi who, according to Matthew 2, visited the child Jesus after his birth are fictional, not real characters.
- Jesus uttered only three or four of the eight or nine beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12
The Original Meaning
The objective of the exegete in his use of grammatical-historical method of interpretation is to discover what the author meant by the words that he used, as should have been understood by his originally intended audience. Each text has one single meaning. Milton S. Terry wrote, “A fundamental principle in grammatical-historical exposition is that the words and sentences can have but one significance in one and the same connection. The moment we neglect this principle we drift out upon a sea of uncertainty and conjecture.” (Terry 1883, 205)
This author agrees with Robert L. Thomas and John H. Walton in the New Testament author’s use of the Old Testament. I have no problem that the NT author either quotes intending to convey the same meaning, i.e., there is but one meaning for the OT author, and the NT author is simply interpreting it as such. This author also uses Inspired Sensus Plenior Application (ISPA), in that, the NT author will use the OT author’s verse, but not in a grammatical-historical sense (objective), but using his own meaning, which is subjective, and rightly so because he is inspired. Moreover, we do not copy the subjective interpretation process because we are not inspired. All genuinely conservative should be completely of the one meaning camp.
This author ha revisited many author’s chapters and papers that support one meaning and talk about NT author’s use of OT authors. The main problem with Thomas’ chapter, he does not give any real examples in the “one meaning” chapter, he just quotes all of those violating the rule and then says that they are wrong, and in some cases why they are wrong. When he does get to an example, it seems to close out our options of taking Jesus words of Matthew 24:3-28, as anything other than a first-century meaning, referent, and application.
For example, Thomas speaks of Zuck’s saying that Psalms 8, 16, and 22 are David talking about himself, and then the NT author’s use those verses, applying them to Christ, but differently from what David intended. Well, this is simply ISPA, in that they are giving what they mean by their use of David’s words, which is fine, as they are inspired, and can be subjective. However, Thomas says Zuck’s conclusions about these Psalm’s are accurate to the meaning, but they cannot have more than one referent, as that would result in more than one meaning. In other words, David had applied them to himself, and he did not intend them to be prophetic, applying to Jesus. The NT author is using those words as he sees fit, and not acting as though that is what David meant, so the NT author’s meaning of the words are his own, an entirely different referent, but belonging to the NT author. However, Thomas’ words are true; words spoken or written by King David cannot have more than one referent, unless David means to give them more than one referent.
Thomas gives another one, when he refers to Babylon in Revelation, and says some people interpret it as being Rome; others say it is literally Babylon while others claim it is Jerusalem, and even some saying all three and any other city that stands in the way of Christ and his disciples. Thomas goes on to say, it can only refer to one thing, either one of those cities, or a composite of any city in opposition. However, it cannot refer to each, i.e., Rome, Jerusalem and Babylon at the same time; otherwise, we would have more than one referent.
Now to our interpreting Jesus’ prophecy of the desolation of Jerusalem in 66-70 C.E. and his second coming.
Did Jesus’ prophecy (verses 3-28) about
- the signs of the end of the age,
- the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place,
- being cut short for the sake of the holy ones, false Christs, and false prophets,
- those on the housetops, in the field, in the winter, being pregnant, and the like,
Did these apply to what led up to 66 C.E. with General Gallus, his pulling away, and Titus coming back and destroying the temple Jerusalem in 70 C.E. by General Titus? Did these apply to the disciples he was speaking to and the events up unto the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple? If that is what Jesus was referring to; then, there cannot be a second referent, just before and up to the great tribulation, before the second coming of Christ, because we would then have two referents, i.e., two meanings. There are other options, without violating our single meaning, which will be discussed below.
Matthew 24:29-31 Update American Standard Version (UASV)
29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send forth his angels with a great trumpet call, and they will gather his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The prophet is much like the poet, in that he is given a license to express himself in nonliteral language. Generally, he is working with images that are far more effective than words themselves.
The above cosmic terminology need not be taken literally. It is a part of their toolkit, which enables them to make it clear that God is acting in behalf of humans. (See Dan. 2:21; 4:17, 25, 34–35; 5:21) The sun is not going to be darkened, the moon will not stop giving its light, the stars are not going to fall from the heavens, nor will the heavens be shaken. What is being communicated here is that following the tribulation when God is going to judge humans, the righteous will receive life, and the unrighteous will cut off from life. (34-45) While we do not take cosmic terminology literally, we do discover its meaning, and this is what we are to take literally. Moreover, we do not want to be dogmatic in our interpretation either, and will wait until the events have passed to see how much literalness there is from verses 29-31. Stuart K. Weber, in the Holman New Testament Commentary, offers some basic aspects that this author can get behind,
The Messiah’s coming will be accompanied by supernatural manipulations of celestial bodies—or at least manipulations of their appearance, or their ability to give light. These signs in the sky will be such that all people of earth can see them and realize that the Messiah is coming, If only one of these, signs were given, it might be explained away as an eclipse or a meteor shower. But all of them together can be caused only by the hand of God. (Weber 2000, 404)
“Jesus now returns to the question of the sign of his coming. He will return “immediately after” the tribulation of the interadvent period.” (Blomberg 1992, 362)
(Option A) the disciples asked three questions, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) Jesus words of verses 24:3-28 apply to what happened from his ascension up unto 70 C.E., and the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem; this answering question (1). He then began in verse 29 to talk about questions (2) and (3), the second coming of Christ. This means that verses 3-28 would only have one referent, the first-century disciples.
(Option B) Jesus was applying verses 24:3-28 to what let up to 70 C.E., but he then made those words just as applicable to his second coming, starting verse 29. In other words, the disciples asked three questions, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) This author prefers option B.
The first question is legit about the destruction of the Temple complex, but the second and third is an assumption on their part of the disciples, because to them, if the temple and Jerusalem is being destroyed, the end has to be near and the second coming of Christ and his Kingdom must follow.
However, Jesus answered by giving them, in detail what would apply to them. When he uttered 3-28, he was talking about them, what was going to happen to them, which history bears out. Nevertheless, did he dragged those circumstances and events, which he had just spoken of (3-28), from the first century, to also applying just before his second coming. Is he the one that carried out an ISPA to his own words?
- Jesus words were for the end of the age of the Jewish age (Matt 24:3-28)
- Jesus gave them same words a Sensus Plenior Application, starting in verse 29 that were another end of the age, the end of wick humanity and the rule of age (era) of Satan.
If we remove the cosmic terminology, which is evidence of God acting on behalf of humankind, we have the following major points. 24:29-31 foretells us,
- the Son of Man comes immediately after the great tribulation,
- Jesus’ second coming will be with great glory,
- as he will send forth his angels, and
- all the tribes of the earth will see him, in that they will perceive what is taking place, and
- Jesus will gather all of his chosen ones.
Revelation 14:1-4 English Standard Version (ESV)
1 Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, 3 and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb
The whole of chapter 14 is proleptic. As a summary of the Millennium (20:4–6), the first five verses feature the Lamb in place of the beast, the Lamb’s followers with His and the Father’s seal in place of the beast’s followers with the mark of the beast, and the divinely controlled Mount Zion in place of the pagan-controlled earth (Alford, Moffatt, Kiddle).
Revelation 7:4 English Standard Version (ESV)
4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel
Various efforts have sought to determine the significance of the number 144,000. An understanding of the number as symbolical divides it into three of its multiplicands, 12 × 12 × 1000. From the symbolism of the three it is concluded that the number indicates fixedness and fullest completeness. Twelve, a number of the tribes, is both squared and multiplied by a thousand. This is a twofold way of emphasizing completeness (Mounce). It thus affirms the full number of God’s people to be brought through tribulation (Ladd). The symbolic approach points out the impossibility of taking the number literally. It is simply a vast number, less than a number indefinitely great (cf. 7:9), but greater than a large number designedly finite (e.g., 1,000, Rev. 20:2) (Lee). Other occurrences of the numerical components that are supposedly symbolic are also pointed out, 12 thousand in Rev. 21:16, 12 in Rev. 22:2, and 24, a multiple of 12, in Rev. 4:4. This is done to enhance the case for symbolism (Johnson). Though admittedly ingenious, the case for symbolism is exegetically weak. The principal reason for the view is a predisposition to make the 144,000 into a group representative of the church with which no possible numerical connection exists. No justification can be found for understanding the simple statement of fact in v. 4 as a figure of speech. It is a definite number in contrast with the indefinite number of 7:9. If it is taken symbolically, no number in the book can be taken literally. As God reserved 7,000 in the days of Ahab (1 Kings 19:18; Rom. 11:4), He will reserve 144,000 for Himself during the future Great Tribulation. (Thomas, Revelation 1-7: An Exegetical Commentary 1992, 473-74)
These ones are made up of those under the new covenant, the Law of Christ, those called out of natural Israel, the new Israelites, also known as the Israel of God. They are a chosen number that are to reign with Jesus as kings, priests, and judges. Therefore, we ask, what is the other hope? What lies below was already mentioned in Chapter 3 but bears repeating again as a short repetition for emphasis as the thought are new to many minds.
In the O[ld] T[estament] the kingdom of God is usually described in terms of a redeemed earth; this is especially clear in the book of Isaiah, where the final state of the universe is already called new heavens and a new earth (65:17; 66:22) The nature of this renewal was perceived only very dimly by OT authors, but they did express the belief that a humans ultimate destiny is an earthly one. This vision is clarified in the N[ew] T[estament]. Jesus speaks of the “renewal” of the world (Matt 19:28), Peter of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). Paul writes that the universe will be redeemed by God from its current state of bondage (Rom. 8:18-21). This is confirmed by Peter, who describes the new heavens and the new earth as the Christian’s hope (2 Pet. 3:13). Finally, the book of Revelation includes a glorious vision of the end of the present universe and the creation of a new universe, full of righteousness and the presence of God. The vision is confirmed by God in the awesome declaration: “I am making everything new!” (Rev. 21:1-8).
The new heavens and the new earth will be the renewed creation that will fulfill the purpose for which God created the universe. It will be characterized by the complete rule of God and by the full realization of the final goal of redemption: “Now the dwelling of God is with men” (Rev. 21:3).
The fact that the universe will be created anew shows that God’s goals for humans is not an ethereal and disembodied existence, but a bodily existence on a perfected earth. The scene of the beatific vision is the new earth. The spiritual does not exclude the created order and will be fully realized only within a perfected creation. (Elwell 2001, 828-29)
God created the earth to be inhabited, to be filled with perfect humans, who are over the animals, and under the sovereignty of God. (Gen 1:28; 2:8, 15; Ps 104:5; 115:16; Eccl 1:4) Sin did not dissuade God from his plans (Isa. 45:18); hence, he has saved redeemable humankind by Jesus ransom sacrifice. It seems that the Bible offers two hopes to redeemed humans, (1) a heavenly hope [i.e., the chosen ones], or (2) an earthly hope. It also seems that those with the heavenly hope are limited in number, and are going to heaven to rule with Christ as kings, priests, and judges either on the earth or over the earth from heaven. It seems that those with the earthly hope are going to receive everlasting life here on a paradise earth as originally intended.
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:4?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:5?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:6?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:7?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:8?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:9?
- Explain the Islamic Excursion
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:10?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:11?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:12?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:13?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:14?
- How did John the Baptist prepare the way?
- How are we to understand Acts 2:16-21?
- How are we to understand 2 Peter 3:11-14?
- How are we to understand the day of Jehovah?
- Explain the doctrine of one meaning
- What is the Inspired Sensus Plenior Application?
- How are we to understand Matthew 24:29-31?
- Explain the heavenly hope
- Explain the earthly hope
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Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change.
Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers.
Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis-Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars …
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim …
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Islam is making a significant mark in our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers …
…IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, …
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation …
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of seventy-two books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan …
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively …
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on…
God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8 That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions…
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …
…THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …
…The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Translation and Textual Criticism
…THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …
…THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are …
…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of …
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …
…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …
…church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …
…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …
…Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …
An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach.
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air.
Paul counseled, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2) It is, for this reason, Marshall has penned the DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musings From the New Testament, which can help us be protected against Satan’s efforts at controlling our mind and heart. For each day of the year, DAILY DEVOTIONAL provides a Daily Bible Reading and comments for consideration.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior.
…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …
Rachael Garrison knows all the shrewd ways to successfully close multi-million-dollar real estate deals with her father’s famous New York real estate enterprise. But beyond her savvy to rake in huge deals is her premonition that an impending global takeover of the world’s financial wealth is on the horizon by evil leaders of The Great Ten Nations. From New York City to the Irish Hills of Michigan, and into the streets of Detroit her life takes on enormous purpose as
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to …
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.
 Flavius Josephus and William Whiston, The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1987).
 Vol. X, pp. 252-255.
 The Second Jewish–Roman War (132–135 C.E.) Simon Bar Kokba, who claimed to be the long awaited Messiah, led a revolt against Roman Emperor Hadrian (76-139), for setting up a shrine to Jupiter (supreme Roman god), on the temple site in Jerusalem, as well as outlawing circumcision and instruction of the Law in public.
 World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might .., http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/06/07/worlds-muslim-population-more-wi (accessed December 23, 2015).
 An Imam is a leader of an Islamic community.
 Lit be caused to stumble
 Or hand over
 Or in the whole world
 William Arndt, Frederick W. Danker, and Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 276.
 IBID, 619.
 (2009-08-30). Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology) (Kindle Locations 890-893). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
 This would be used on very rare occasions in the extreme, See etymological Fallacy in D. A. Carson’s Exegetical Fallacies.
 (Thomas and Farnell 1998)
 Or the elect
 He does make other comments, such as specifying that this cosmic show will last, i.e., “will extend over many hours.”
 Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 8-22: An Exegetical Commentary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1995), 189.
 Alford, Greek Testament, 4:624; Charles, Revelation, 1:206; Lenski, Revelation, p. 154.
 Bullinger, Apocalypse, p. 282. Geyser is correct in observing that the predominant concern of the Apocalypse is “the restoration [on earth] of the twelve tribes of Israel, their restoration as a twelve-tribe kingdom, in a renewed and purified city of David, under the rule of the victorious ‘Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David’ (5:5; 22:16)” (Albert Geyser, “The Twelve Tribes in Revelation: Judean and Judeo Christian Apocalypticism,” NTS 23, no. 3 [July 1982]: 389). He is wrong, however, in his theory that this belief characterized the Judean church only and was not shared by Gentile Christianity spearheaded by Paul (ibid., p. 390).
 It is unwise to speak of the written Word of God as if it were of human origin, saying ‘OT authors express the belief,’ when what was written is the meaning and message of what God wanted to convey by means of the human author.
 reate anew does not mean a complete destruction followed by a re-creation, but instead a renewal of the present universe.