Until Seventy Times Seven

Friday, July 25, 2014

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven(Matthew 18:21,22 KJV).

What is Jesus Christ really communicating in today’s Scripture when He says, “Until seventy times seven?”

The Bible student should always be mindful of every word in the King James Bible; when God’s Word is specific, it is for a reason. Today’s Scripture is such an instance where Bible specifics, not just “general fundamentals,” are important. When the Apostle Peter came to Jesus and asked Him how often he was to forgive his brother (any Jew) who sinned against him, Peter inquired, “Till seven times?” In Scripture, seven is the number of perfection or completion (the creation week, for example, is the first time Scripture mentions the number seven; cf. Genesis 2:1-3). Nevertheless, Jesus answered, “Until seventy times seven.” It is our firm conviction that Jesus did not randomly select this number; He was teaching a doctrine about a special completion.

In Daniel 9:24, the angel Gabriel explained to the Prophet: Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” It would take seventy weeks of years—or 490 years—to cleanse the nation Israel. For 490 years, God would patiently deal with Israel’s sins and purge her of all wickedness (to be followed by Jesus Christ’s earthly kingdom, the latter part of the verse). Verses 25 and 26 explain that 69 weeks of years (or 483 years) were fulfilled before Calvary, and the final seven years (verse 27) are still awaiting fulfillment (the future seven-year Tribulation).

What Jesus was saying in today’s Scripture was (paraphrased), “Peter, you are to forgive your Jewish neighbor to the extent I forgive your Jewish nation.” According to the foregoing verses, the schedule of Daniel 9:24 was operating when Jesus spoke those words to Peter! Amazing! 🙂

Aerial Attack! #11

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines(2 Samuel 5:24 KJV).

Some 3,000 years ago, Israel had aerial military support, and it is only a preview of the “fighter jets” yet to come!

Remember Psalm 68 enumerates Jesus Christ’s Second Coming, to redeem Israel and restore His headship in the Earth. Notice verses 17 and 18: “[17] The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. [18] Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.”

The Apostle Paul quoted Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8. Understand that these two verses are not describing the same event, but two similar events in two separate programs.

Read Ephesians 4:7-10: “[7] But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. [8] Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. [9] (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? [10] He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)”

After Jesus Christ ascended into heaven (Acts chapter 1), He then “ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.” He began the Body of Christ with Saul of Tarsus (the Apostle Paul) in Acts chapter 9, and “gave” (notice, past tense) the members of the early Body of Christ spiritual gifts (listed in Ephesians 4:11), gifts to disseminate a body of doctrine (verses 12-16) that would form a group of mature saints (Body of Christ) who would fill up “all things” (governmental offices in heavenly places [see Colossians 1:16-20] which Satan has polluted [Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12]).

Jesus Christ will restore His headship in the heavenly places, similar to how He will reestablish His authority on Earth….

Aerial Attack! #3

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines(2 Samuel 5:24 KJV).

Some 3,000 years ago, Israel had aerial military support, and it is only a preview of the “fighter jets” yet to come!

Isaiah 31:5 says, “As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.” The context indicates this is Messiah, the Lord Jesus, returning to planet Earth at His Second Coming, to deliver Israel from the Antichrist’s oppression. Compare this with Deuteronomy 33:26 and Psalm 68:4,33 (which we read earlier). Jesus Christ will fly over Israel’s land, to defend His nation against—and rescue it from—Satan and his policy of evil.

Over 700 years later, the Apostle John continued Isaiah’s narrative: “[13] And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan], and out of the mouth of the beast [the Antichrist, a global political leader], and out of the mouth of the false prophet [the Antichrist’s global religious leader]. [14] For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. … [16] And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:13,14,16).

Psalm 83 speaks of 10 Middle-Eastern nations that will unite against Israel during the seven-year Tribulation to “cut [Israel] off from being a nation” (verse 4). The Antichrist will head these nations, and they (along with other kingdoms), in the final months of the Tribulation, will gather their armies in the Valley of Megiddo (also called the Plain of Esdraelon, or Jezreel Valley, southwest of the Sea of Galilee) to destroy Israel. John called this “the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). What a battle it will be, as it will dwarf that of today’s Scripture….

A Prophet in the Wilderness #4

Thursday, June 12, 2014

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:1,2 KJV).

Why is John the Baptist “preaching in the wilderness?”

Over 700 years before Christ, the Prophet Isaiah wrote of John the Baptist: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (Isaiah 40:3; cf. Matthew 3:1-11; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-18).

The Prophet Hosea elaborates regarding Israel’s restoration to God: [JEHOVAH speaking] Therefore, behold I will allure her [Israel], and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her…. And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi [“My Husband”]; and shalt call me no more Baali [“My Master”]. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever… Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God” (Hosea 2:14,16,19,23).

John was preaching in the wilderness to fulfill prophecy, but why did prophecy have him preaching in the wilderness? John’s purpose is described in Luke 1:16,17: “And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him [the Messiah, Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Through John, God the Father (John 1:6) was calling Israel away from the apostate, satanic religious system that had so gripped and entrapped her, the system that her religious leaders—those “vipers” (Matthew 3:7; Luke 3:7), those spiritual children of Satan (John 8:44)—had placed upon her and with which they led her away from JEHOVAH’s truth (Matthew 15:1-14).

In order to become JEHOVAH’S wife (Hosea’s prophecy above), Israel had to forsake her idols and vain religion (the center of which was the Temple). The Gospel of the Kingdom that John preached in today’s Scripture was Israel’s chance to escape Satan’s bondage and become God’s chief nation in the earth….

Iniquity Not Yet Full #12

Friday, May 23, 2014

“But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:16 KJV).

Today’s Scripture expressly declares why the God of the Bible “takes His time” when dealing with sinful mankind.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “iniquity” as, “injustice; unrighteousness; a deviation from rectitude.” Derived from Latin, the term conveys the idea of things not being equal or just (fair). God’s standard of rightness (righteousness) is not being met (sin, disobedience to His Word, is present). When God’s righteousness is offended, His justice meets out His wrath, that the balance be restored, that His offended righteousness be satisfied, that the injustice be corrected (that sin be punished).

Today’s Scripture is the first time the term “iniquity” appears in the Holy Bible. According to the Bible study principle of “first mention,” the first occurrence of a word in Scripture generally outlines the Bible’s (God’s) attitude about that term. Today’s Scripture says that God will only tolerate injustice for so long; our Dispensation of Grace will not last forever. Therefore, we must never take God’s grace for granted. While we in Christ will always enjoy God’s grace, today’s lost world will not experience it indefinitely.

The Apostle Paul cautioned the world’s (Gentile) nations: “[20] Well; because of unbelief they [Israel] were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: [21] For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. [22] Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off” (Romans 11:20-22).

One day, God will “cut off” our program, His grace to the nations; He will restore Israel and resume her program (verses 15,23-29). Gentiles who do not get saved during our Dispensation of Grace, their unbelief will cause God to end our program (just as unbelief caused God to interrupt Israel’s program)—our dispensation will conclude when Jesus Christ returns to take us the Church the Body of Christ back to heaven (rapture). Lost Gentiles should accept God’s grace to us in Christ by faith, while He is still offering it to them….

A Heart Transplant for Israel #12

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh(Ezekiel 36:26 KJV).

The Great Physician must perform this surgery if His beloved patient is to live forever!

Read today’s Scripture within its context: “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God” (verses 24-28).

After our dispensation closes with the rapture, and after the seven-year Tribulation, Jesus Christ will return to earth to fulfill today’s Scripture. He will regather Israel’s believing remnant scattered worldwide (Matthew 24:29-31). He will spiritually and nationally circumcise them (separate them from the Gentile nations and Adam/sin). With His shed blood (the New Covenant’s inauguration), He will pay the sin debt they accumulated under the Old Covenant (Mosaic Law) and He will save them (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 11:25-29; Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:15-17).

The Great Physician, wielding the Sword of the Spirit, God’s Word, will extract Israel’s “stony heart [of sin unto eternal death]” and replace it with “an heart of flesh” (today’s Scripture). In her kingdom, redeemed Israel will have a heart God can mold, a heart of faith in and obedience to His Word. She will truly be JEHOVAH’S nation, alive with eternal life! Throughout the countless ages to come, she will reach the nations with the salvation He first gave her. Rest assured, saints, in God’s own timing, Israel shall live again! 🙂

A Heart Transplant for Israel #11

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh(Ezekiel 36:26 KJV).

The Great Physician must perform this surgery if His beloved patient is to live!

Israel’s religious leaders, representative of the nation, wrongly believed that all that was required of them was to be Abraham’s biological children (that is, physically circumcised). They ignored that they had to be “born again” (see John 3:1-8). In addition to the physical birth that God gave Israel when He rescued them from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 4:22; 1 Kings 8:53; Hosea 11:1), they were to have a spiritual birth, salvation from the bondage of sin (see John 3:1-8; John 8:33-59).

Moses, in his final sermon to Israel, said: “If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: and the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live (Deuteronomy 30:4-6).

God’s Word meant nothing to most Jews because they did not have a circumcision of the heart (they were still dead in their sins, headed for eternal hellfire). If they were to be used of God, they had to have the faith, righteousness, and spiritual circumcision their father Abraham had.

Just as the Prophet Jeremiah later reminded Israel that God’s wrath was coming—the Babylonians would take them out of the Promised Land for at least 70 years—Moses said God (Jesus Christ at His Second Coming) would regather Israel, bring her back into her land, spiritually circumcise her, and make her a kingdom of priests, a nation He could finally use forever and ever in the earth. Today’s Scripture will thus be fulfilled….