In the preceding 3 posts I have established beyond any doubt that the miscalled “churches” in The Apocalupsis of John are in reality assemblies or congregations of Jews, members of the Nation of Israel. To give you an example of how unsound some believers can be, a woman, whose blog I used to follow, said to me, “If Jesus called them churches, then that’s what they are!” Unfortunately Jesus has had nothing to do with how translators have chosen to translate most of the words in the Bible. Out of 17 Bible versions or translations in my PC Bible program only these 3 translate ecclesia properly:
John to the seven assemblies that [are] in Asia:
YLT- Young’s Literal Translation
4 John to the seven assemblies
4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia:
WEB- World English Bible
If you are a serious workman of the Word or want to be you must invest in some PC Bible program or buy a lot of Bibles! On my way home from NY last Sunday by way of Chicago I had the opportunity to sit next to a young Jewish girl who had recently become a Christian. She was very well versed in the “mainstream” doctrines of Christianity. She was surprised to hear many things I had to say about beliefs she held and took a copious amount of notes on her phone. I was able to show her from the Scriptures (on her phone) passages which substantiated what I had to say, but she could not find one Scripture to substantiate anything she believed! Everything she believed hear-say and much of that was heresy!
She was even astonished to see from 1 Corinthians 10:32 that the apostle Paul established that there are only 3 types of people in the world; Jews, Gentiles and the Church of God. She was equally surprised to see these verses:
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
She was insisting that she was a Jew for Jesus. What an absurd belief. I tried to explain to her that once a Jew or a Gentile became born again of the spirit of God by confessing Jesus as their Lord and believing God raised him from the dead, they became members of the Church of God. She could not let go of her ancestry and she could not understand how I could be of the seed of Abraham. She really imploded when I told her that Abraham was a Gentile and not a Jew!
Abram is first mentioned in Ge. 11:26; his name was changed to Abraham in Ge. 17:5. Jacob isn’t mentioned until Ge. 25:26 and his name was not changed to Israel until Ge. 32:28. The word Jew is not mentioned until the book of Esther and then it applied to a descendant of Judah. Abraham is called a Hebrew in Ge. 14:13 which means a descendant of Eber. Eber is first mentioned in Ge. 10:21. Eber lived 464 years; see Ge. 11:16.
I could go on and on, but the point you need to see is that the word Hebrew had nothing to do with Jews or Israel originally; that Israel did not exist in Ge. 11. Therefore Abraham could not have been a Jew, but rather a Gentile.
The most astonishing thing that this young Jew for Jesus had to say to me was that no one could be a Christian or a member of the Church of God without confessing and believing that Jesus was God incarnate. I asked where she got this from in the Scriptures and she did not know precisely. I showed her Romans 10:9 where it says to confess Jesus as Lord which she said means God, because God is the “Lord” God. I proceeded to show here in Acts 2:36 that God had bestowed His title as Lord upon Jesus. Jesus is my Lord, my master. Nowhere in the Pauline Epistles does it talk about the Lord God or the Lord our God. They show God as our Father and Jesus Christ as our Lord! Lord is used 241 times in the Epistles which are written directly to the Church of God and never is the title attached to God!
To the Jew God will always be the Lord; but to the Christian, Jesus is our Lord, not our God. Here is what Lord means, in case it is not clear yet:
NT:2962 kurios, kuriou, ho
he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has the power of deciding; master, lord
a. used universally, of the possessor and disposer of a thing, the owner Matt 20:8
is a title of honor, expressive of respect and reverence, with which servants salute their master, Matt 13:27; 25:20,22; Luke 13:8; 14:22, etc.;
c. this title is given:
to God, the ruler of the universe Matt 1:22 (OT, Gospels and Revelation)
to the Messiah; and that:
to the Messiah regarded universally: Luke 1:43
to Jesus as the Messiah, Acts 10:36
d. of Christ (In the Epistles)
(from Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Don’t be afraid to comment; I will not delete any comments but will publish all.
(More on Revelation in the next post).
The following is copied from Bullinger, E.W. (2011-08-21). The Apocalypse or “The Day of The Lord”: Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 402-404, 414-421). Trumpet Press. Kindle Edition.
THE CHURCH NOT THE SUBJECT OF OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY.
“Closely connected with this foregoing point, that the book (revelation) is Hebrew in character, and intended specially for Hebrews, is another undoubted fact, that the Church of God is not the subject of the Old Testament , either in history, type, or prophecy. Passages, etc., may be found there and used to illustrate what is subsequently revealed. But this can be done only by way of application, and not by way of teaching or of interpretation. Because, of the “Mystery” or the secret concerning the Church of God, we are told that it “was kept secret since the world began” (Rom. xvi. 25). That “in other ages it was not made known unto the sons of men” (Eph. iii. 5). That is, “from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God” (Eph. iii. 9). That it “hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to the saints” (Col. i. 26). These statements are “the true sayings of God,” and not our own. We have no choice but to believe what He says. If any hold that, in spite of all this, the Church was not “hid in God,” but was the subject of Old Testament prophecy, then we have nothing more to say to them; for, if they will not believe God, it is not likely they will believe us.
But, believing God, we ask whether the Church is likely to be the subject of prophecy in the Apocalypse, especially when its future is clearly foretold in the Epistles which contain the revelation of the Secret. There we learn what is to be the future and end of the Body of Christ. The members of that Body are merely waiting to be “received up in glory” (1 Tim. iii. 16). They are waiting for their “calling on high” (Phil. iii. 14). They are looking for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change their vile bodies that they may be fashioned like unto His own glorious body (Phil. iii. 20, 21). But all this, we submit, takes place before the Apocalypse opens. There we have, not the coming of the Lord to take away His Church, but, the revelation of the events which shall take place after the Church has been “received up in glory.” These events will take place during “the day of the LORD,” when He shall come not in grace, but in judgement; not in mercy, but in wrath. But this brings us to our fourth point. What is the meaning of “the Lord’s Day,” in chap. i. 9?”–end quote
How could this be, you might ask? It’s really quite simple.When we choose to believe Romans 16:25, Ephesians 3:5, 9 and Colossians 1:26–-that this day and age in which we currently live was kept secret by God from everyone, from every preceding prophet—how could there be any prophecies concerning this time? There cannot be and there is not.one single Old Testament prophecy, which includes the 4 Gospels, that concerns the Church of God which no one prior knew anything about. As Mr. Bullinger says in the last sentence of the 1st paragraph, if you won’t believe what God said in the Epistles about the Secret, you more than likely will not believe me!
Now we will examine the Greek word Ecclesia in greater detail:
THE SEVEN ASSEMBLIES AS A WHOLE (i. 11).
(Taken from Bullinger, E.W. (2011-08-21). The Apocalypse or “The Day of The Lord”: Commentary on Revelation , Trumpet Press. Kindle Edition).
We must here, at the outset, remove the greatest source of all the misunderstandings which have arisen with regard to these seven “churches.” The fact of their being called “churches” has naturally led commentators and students of this book to infer that it is the Church of God, or at any rate the historic Christian Church, which is meant. As a first step toward removing this great evil, let us note at once that the word (…) (ecclesia), rendered “church,” is by no means limited to the restricted sense which is thus forced upon it.
Ecclesia means simply an Assembly: any assembly of people who are called out (for that is the etymological meaning of the word) from other people. Hence, it is used of the whole nation of Israel as distinct from other nations. The Greek word Ecclesia occurs seventy-five times in the Septuagint Translation of the Old Testament, and is used as the rendering of five different Hebrew words. As it is used to represent one of these, seventy times, we need not concern ourselves with the other four words. This Hebrew word is (…) (Cahal), from which we have our English word call. It means to call together, to assemble, or gather together, and is used of any assembly gathered together for any purpose. This Hebrew word Cahal occurs 123 times, and is rendered: “congregation ,” 86 times; “assembly,” 17; “company,” 17; and “multitude,” 3 times: but is never rendered “church.”
Its first occurrence is in Gen. xxviii. 3 – “that thou mayest be a multitude (margin, assembly) of people,” i.e ., a called-out people. That is what Israel was, a people called out and assembled from all other peoples. In Gen. xlix. 6 we read – “O my soul, come not thou into their secret ( Council or Senate); Unto their assembly (cahal), mine honour, be not thou united.” Here the word cahal is used, not of all Israel as called out from the nations, but of the assembly of those called out of form the Tribal Assembly (or Council) of the tribes of Simeon and Levi. Then, it is used of the worshippers, or those called out from Israel, and assembled before the Tabernacle and Temple, and in this sense is usually rendered “congregation.” This is the meaning of the word in Ps. xxii. 22: “In the midst of the congregation will I praise Thee;” and verse 25: “My praise shall be of Thee in the great congregation.”
We ought to use the word Ecclesia in the sense in which it is here used; and not, surely, in the newer and special sense which it acquired, and in which it is used, in the Epistles. In the Pauline Epistles we read nothing about an “angel” as having to do with the churches of God which Paul planted. When the word Ecclesia, in the Apocalypse is rendered “Church,” and the word “Synagogue” in Rev. ii. 9 and iii. 9, is interpreted of the church, it is playing fast and loose with the “words which the Holy Ghost speaketh,” and which He (God) has employed, not only for His revelation, but for our instructions. We hold that the Apocalypse contains a record (by vision and prophecy) of the events which shall happen “hereafter” in the Day of the Lord; that the whole book is concerned with the Jew, the Gentile, and the Earth, but not with the Church of God, or with Christendom; or with the latter only so far as the present corruption of Christianity ……after the Church, the Body of Christ, shall have been removed.
It is interesting to me to notice that the KJV, NRSV and NASB entitle this “book” as “The Revelation to John,” while the NIV entitles it merely “Revelation.” I would have have entitled it “The Revelation of Jesus Christ to Israel and the Gentile Nations.” “Why'” you say? Well, let us look at how it is written and “to whom” it is written:
The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must shortly take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
If you have been reading any of my posts you know that God has a reason for what He says, why He says it and to whom He says it. He does not use words loosely or carelessly. What we see here is that God gave this revelation, apokalupsis, (noun, a disclosure of truth, instruction, concerning divine things before unknown) to Jesus Christ who sent and relayed it by His angel to His bond-servant John.
Rev 1:3 3
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
The words of this prophecy are just that, prophetic, things that will come to pass in the future. Preterists believe that this prophecy came to pass in 70 A.D. Futurists like myself and Fred Price Jr. believe it is still future. Time is the word kairos and means a fixed and definite time: the time occupied by what is written, i.e., the Coming of the Day of the Lord; the days of the wrath of our God. At the culmination of which, we, the born again believers of this Age, will return with Christ for the Battle of Armagedon.
John to the seven assemblies that [are] in Asia:
Young’s Literal Translation properly translates ekklesias as assemblies, not churches. These 7 assemblies have nothing to do with the Church of God to which all born again believers belong, the Body of Christ.
Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come;
Here we have an undoubted reference to, and paraphrase of, the name of Jehovah, as revealed in Ex. iii. 14. It is not from the Father to His children, as in the Church Epistles ; but it is from Jehovah as He was revealed and made known to Israel. This is in perfect keeping with what we hold to be the scope of the book. Three times we have this periphrasis of Jehovah, and yet it is varied according to the emphasis we are to place upon it. Bullinger, E.W. (2011-08-21). The Apocalypse or “The Day of The Lord”: Commentary on Revelation (Kindle Locations 2486-2490). Trumpet Press. Kindle Edition.
and from the seven spirits which are before his throne;
We see from Rev 8:2 that these seven spirits are angels and more than likely the angels of the 7 assemblies as well: “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” KJV Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. KJV
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Grace and peace are given from the Old Testament reference to YHWH, the 7 angels who stand before Him and from Jesus Christ. As we go further in this spoken and written prophecy, we will see beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Church to which you and I belong will be long gone before the unfolding of the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD!
Clarification of The Events Before and After the Revealing of the False Prophet
2 Thess 2:1 was the first verse of Part III Identifying the False Prophet; the Predecessor of the Antichrist.; Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him, WEB
Coming is the Greek word Parousia and there are many aspects of this Coming:
The 1st aspect of the Parousia is our gathering together to him. These 2 words are the one word episunagoge. Look at this word for a minute and you can see epi as in epicenter center and synagogue. Episunagoge means a complete collection, especially a Christian meeting. When Christians come together for a meeting it is usually called a Church, which is the equivalent of the synagogue for the Jewish meetings. Episunagoge comes from the word episunago, which means to gather together besides and in one place.
The suffix of these 2 Greek words is agoo, which means to lead by accompanying to or into a place or destination; to attach oneself to as an attendant.
Verse 3 tells us that the day of the LORD will not come until the “Departure” comes first! 2 Thess 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first, WEB. The word for departure is apostasia, apo, away from and stasia, to stand.
Apo NT:575 is used of local separation, after verbs of motion from a place (of departing, fleeing, removing, expelling, throwing, etc. Luke 22:41 2. used of the separation of apart from the whole; where of a whole some part is taken.* (Translating apostasia into apostasy is not translating at all, but is transliterating it into a similar English word. It is fraudulent and deceptive, as well as lazy).
The verb of motion in this verse that apostasia is used after is erchomai, “except there come.” This seals the deal. It means to come from one place into another! Metaphorically, of Christ’s invisible return from heaven.*
After the Gathering Together of the saints to Heaven (the Rapture) the 2nd aspect of the Parousia is the revealing, unveiling, or uncovering, apokalupto, of the False Prophet.
The 3rd aspect of the Parousia is the Great Tribulation.
The 4th is The Bema, the Judgement Seat of Christ, where all Christians will be either rewarded for what we did with what we had on earth: 2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. KJV
The 5th is the 2nd Coming of Christ with us, 2 Thess 1:7-10 when the Lord Jesus is revealed, apokalupto, from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those who don’t know God, and to those who don’t obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus, who will pay the penalty: eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes to be glorified with his saints, and to be admired among all those who have believed (because our testimony to you was believed) in that day.WEB 1 Thess 3:13 at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
When Christ gathers us together, there is no apokalupto, no angels in flaming fire and none of God’s vengeance. At the Gathering Together no one sees Jesus coming in the clouds. Just look at the contrast here:
1 Thess 4:16-17
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. KJV Caught up is the word harpazoo which means to snatch out or away; proverbial, to rescue from the danger of destruction. You will also see that we meet Jesus in the air. It is customary in Eastern cultures that a host who is expecting company, go out to the edge of town to escort them back to their home. This is the same concept. Jesus does not come to earth.