Ezekiel 38 speaks of massive forces whom God brings against his apparent defenseless own people (v16) only for them to be destroyed. Revelation 20:8-10 reveals more with Satan being the chief instigator of this move to destroy his church in the last days. This spiritual battle has been going on since the incarnation but will culminate in the Antichristian kingdom under Antichrist but the outcome is not in doubt. Christ will just speak and Satan, Antichrist and his forces will be overthrown (2 Thess.2:8,9) and his saints will enter their eternal rest of pure joy.
THE IMAGERY OF REGENERATION
Sung Psalm 87
|Again||New Heart of flesh||Birth||Quickening|
|From above||Circumcision of H||Heart|
|Of the Spirit||Law written on H||Man|
Regeneration is a covenant blessing (Jer.31, Ezek.11:19,20)
Regeneration brings you into the Kingdom of God (John 3:3, 18:37)
Regeneration brings you into the church (one heart, Jer.32:29, Col.2:2)
Regeneration is a new creation (Matt.18:28, 2 Cor.5:17)
Regeneration includes the regeneration of the world or new birth of the world (Matt.24:8, Rom.8:22, James 1:18, Is.65,66, 2 Peter 3:13, Rev.21:1)
Regeneration means spiritual resurrection (of the whole church) (Eph.2:1,5, Ezek.37 (dry bones).
Regeneration guarantees bodily resurrection (1 Cor.15, Rev.20:5,12)-the first resurrection is when we die and then the general resurrection.
As I watched the millions of green leaves in a tall tree rustling in the breeze yesterday, they appeared to be clapping.
The inanimate creation does, it seems, respond to its creator! viz:
“Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad;
let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein:
then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord:
for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth:
he shall judge the world with righteousness,
and the people with his truth” (Psalm 96:11-13).
To this Paul agrees in the New Testament : “ For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now ” (Roman 8:18-20).
All creation and especially we who are part of the new creation await the renewal of all things at Christ’s return, the ultimate fulfillment of this, the most joyous Old Testament feast, when God dwells with men.
Thanks Marco Barone.
This quote is as long as beautiful.
“None sees God the Father immediately, who is ‘the King eternal, immortal, invisible;’ Christ is the ‘image of that invisible God,’ by which he is seen by all elect creatures. ‘The only begotten Son that is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him,’ and manifested him. None has ever immediately seen the Father, but the Son; and none else sees the Father any other way than by ‘the Son’s revealing him.’ And in heaven, the spirits of just men made perfect do see him as he is. They behold his glory. They see the glory of his divine nature, consisting in all the glory of the Godhead, the beauty of all his perfections; his great majesty, almighty power, his infinite wisdom, holiness, and grace, and they see the beauty of his glorified human nature, and the glory which the Father hath given him, as God-man and Mediator. For this end, Christ desired that his saints might ‘be with him, that they might behold his glory’ (John 17:24). And when the souls of the saints leave their bodies, to go to be with Christ, they behold the marvellous glory of that great work of his, the work of redemption, and of the glorious way of salvation by him; desire to look into. They have a most clear view of the unfathomable depths of the manifold wisdom and knowledge of God; and the most bright displays of the infinite purity and holiness of God, that do appear in that way and work; and see in a much clearer manner than the saints do here, what is the breadth and length, and depth and height of the grace and love of Christ, appearing in his redemption. And as they see the unspeakable riches and glory of the attribute of God’s grace, so they most clearly behold and understand Christ’s eternal and unmeasurable dying love to them in particular. And in short, they see everything in Christ that tends to kindle and inflame love, and everything that tends to gratify love, and everything that tends to satisfy them: and that in the most clear and glorious manner, without any darkness or delusion, without any impediment or interruption. Now the saints, while in the body, see something of Christ’s glory and love; as we, in the dawning of the morning, see something of the reflected light of the sun mingled with darkness; but when separated from the body, they see their glorious and loving Redeemer, as we see the sun when risen, and showing his whole disk above the horizon, by his direct beams, in a clear hemisphere, and with perfect day.” ~ Jonathan Edwards, True Saints are Present with the Lord, sermon preached on October 12, 1747, at David Brainerd’s funeral.
[Art by Full of Eyes]
God’s timetable is Jewish! Christ was crucified at Passover, rose on First-fruits, poured out his spirit on Pentecost and personally I believe that he was born and have an inkling, though no man knows the day or hour, that he will return at Tabernacles!
Our God is a Consuming Fire
This phrase occurs thrice in Scripture:
For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
This is said in the context of the sin of God’s people where they are threatened with destruction if they become idolatrous, which they did!
Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee.
This is in the context of the imminent conquest of Canaan where God promises to destroy the heathen by the Israelites under Joshua.
for our God is a consuming fire.
This final use is in the context of the destruction of the known universe at the end of the world when sin, all the polluted work of men and the earth and created universe will be burnt up and renewed in perfection under the Lord Jesus Christ.
Taking them together it can be seen that God, as a consuming fire, destroys his and his people’s enemies and ultimately so in hell. This needs to be distinguished from a purifying fire as in other places where he purges his people of their sin (Mal.3:3, Acts 15:9,Tit.2:14). Noteworthy that the burning bush representing the Jews in Egypt and now adopted by presbyterian churches worldwide, were aflame with persecution but NOT CONSUMED just like the three men in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace.
However he also threatens destruction to those who call themselves his, but prove to be otherwise i.e. hypocrites, as was seen in the wilderness wanderings. All these instances reveal his utter holiness, holiness that burns in wrath to consume sin, sinners and a sin-blighted creation! I should add that the consumption of sin in his people and creation is absolute and once for all BUT for the reprobate wicked the destruction is everlasting and they continue to be wicked-what a terrible fate, no annihilation! (Matthew 25:46, Revelation 22:11).
1) Symbolizes the unity of God (there is one God) (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4: Gal. 3:20). The number also represents the unity between the Father and the Son (Jn. 10:30), the singular sacrifice of Christ, and Christ’s being the one Mediator and Shepherd (1 Tim. 2:5; Jn. 10:16).
2) Symbolizes the duality of man, consistent of both spirit and flesh (Gal. 5:16-18). The number two also represents the union of two parties, the verification of two witnesses (Mk. 6:7-13; 1 Tim. 5:19), the union between Christ and the church (1 Cor. 12), and the Old and New Testaments. The number two can also represent comparison and contrast between two things.
3) Symbolizes the triune nature of God. By no surprise, three can also represent completeness. Three may also represent God’s perfect design as there are three heavens (2 Cor. 12:2), three time frames (past, present, future), three points of measurement (beginning, middle, end), three kinds of sacrifice (sin, peace, and praise), three kinds of laws (moral, ceremonial, and civil), three things that were placed in the Ark of the Covenant (Ten Commandments, Aaron’s staff, and a jar of manna), three gifts of grace (faith, hope, and love), and three parts to salvation (justification, sanctification, and glorification).
4) Symbolizes the creative work of God and universal truth: 4 corners of the earth (Rev. 7:1); 4 rivers of Paradise (Gen. 2:10); 4 winds of heaven (Jer. 49:36); 4 acts of judgment (Ezek. 14:21—sword, famine, evil beasts, and pestilence); 4 horsemen (Rev. 6); and 4 winds (Matt. 24:31); and four guardians of God’s throne.
5) Represents God’s goodness and grace upon humanity and teaching. There are two divisions of five in the Ten Commandments; five offerings given to God (Burnt—Lev. 4; Sin—Lev. 4; Trespass—Lev. 5:14-19; Grain—Lev. 2; and Peace—Lev. 3); the five divisions of Psalms; and the five books of the Law (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy).
6) Represents the fallen nature of humanity. God created human beings on the 6th day. Six days were given to work. 666 is the number of Satan. Babylon used heximal system of counting (see Ezek .40:6, Daniel 3:1) and represents the antichristian world rule of antichrist.
7) 7 is one of the most important numbers in the Bible. It symbolizes completion, perfection, God’s covenant and rest. God finished creation in 7 days. There are 7 great land masses. 7 colors of the rainbow. 7 notes make a perfect scale. 7 days in the feast of Passover. 7 weeks between Passover and Pentecost. 7 days for the Feast of Tabernacles. God had 7 covenants with humanity (Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Levitic, Davidic, and Messianic). In Revelation, one finds 7 churches, 7 letters, 7 candlesticks, 7 stars, 7 angels, 7 Spirits of God, 7 Seal Judgments, 7 horns, 7 eyes on the Lamb, 7 trumpets, 7 thunders, 7 mountains, 7 bowls, 7 kings, and so on.
8) The number eight is also of great importance as it symbolizes new life, resurrection, a new covenant, and new beginnings. God spoke 8 words to bring forth creation (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26). Jesus rose on the 8th day—the first day of the week (Sun. Apr. 5, 33 AD). Eight people were resurrected besides Jesus’s own resurrection. If you take the numerical value of Jesus’s name, it comes to 888.
9) Nine, a multiple of three, symbolizes the finality of faith or divine completeness. Christ died in the ninth hour (3 pm). Yom Kippur occurs on the 9th day of the 7th month (Lev. 23:32). The fruit of the Spirit consists of nine qualities (love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control—Gal. 5:22-23).
10) Like 7, 10 symbolizes completion. For instance, there were Ten Commandments. In the end times, 10 kingdoms will exist. 10 spies were sent out (Num. 13:32). 10 men were needed to form a quorum in the Sanhedrin.
11) Represents chaos, disorder, and judgment. The number 11 is used twenty-four times in Scripture and “11th” can be found 19 times, all denoting chaos. John saw 11 things connected to the final judgment (Rev. 20:12-14).
12) Another major number in Scripture, 12 symbolizes God’s government. God brought about 12 tribes from Jacob’s 12 sons. There are 12 lunar cycles corresponding to 12 months of one year. Jesus called 12 apostles (Matt. 10:2-4). 12 is seen quite frequently in Revelation.
14) Implies a double measure of spiritual perfection due to the fact that it is seven doubled and that there are three sets of 14 generations in Jesus’s lineage.
20) May imply a time of waiting. Jacob had to wait 20 years to marry his wives and be freed from Laban’s control.
21) May imply great wickedness and sin. Advocates hold that Satan is released on the 21stday of the seventh Hebrew month at the end of time. Satan will rise and will finally be defeated once and for all.
22) May imply disorder, chaos, and disorganization since 22 is 11 doubled.
23) May imply evil. Jezebel, an evil woman, is mentioned 23 times compared to Eve who is referenced 19 times.
24) Implies priesthood and the worship of God. 24 is a multiple of 12. David divided into 24 divisions (1 Chron. 24).
25) Implies grace doubled. In Ezekiel’s vision of the future temple, which was seen in the 25thyear of captivity (Eze. 40:1), he gives 5 measurements of the temple which are 25 cubits long (Eze. 40:13, 21, 25, 29-30).
30) Represents a person’s calling. Aaronic priests were dedicated at 30 years of age. Jesus was around the age of 30 when he began his 3 ½ year ministry (Lk. 3:23).
33) May imply the promises of God. Often, 33 may be linked with divine judgment. 33 is the numeric equivalent of the term amen. Other links are found with 33 in the 33rd use of a particular name in Scripture (e.g., 33rd time Abraham is mentioned, he had Isaac).
40) Symbolizes testing and trials. Genesis notes that it rained 40 days and 40 nights upon the earth during the time of Noah’s testing. Moses was in Egypt 40 years, in Midian 40 years, and served God 40 years. Moses was on Mt. Sinai 40 days as God gave him the law. Saul, David, Solomon, and Josiah ruled for 40 years. Israel was in the wilderness 40 years. Jesus fasted in the wilderness 40 days. Jesus taught his disciples for 40 days following his resurrection.
42) Symbolizes the antichrist and time cut short. The antichrist will be allowed to have authority for 42 months (Rev. 13:4-5) half of 7 years.
50) Symbolizes power, celebration, and joy. The Year of Jubilees came on the 50th year (Lev. 25:10). Pentecost occurred 50 days after Jesus’s resurrection, was on the 50th day after the first harvest of grain, and was the time that the Holy Spirit filled believers with his presence. David has a connection with 50 in 2 Samuel 24.
70/72) Symbolizes human leadership and judgment. Moses appointed 70 elders (Ex. 24:1). The Sanhedrin consisted of 70 men. Jesus chose 70 or 72 disciples (Lk. 10:1). Jesus told Peter to forgive 70 times 7.
120 Implies a divine time of waiting. 120 disciples were gathered when Matthias was chosen as Judas’s replacement (Acts 1:14-26). God gave a 120 year period to allow humanity to repent of their evil before engaging in judgment against them (Gen. 6:1-3).
153) May imply God’s overflow of blessing as it is linked with the 153 fish that were caught at one of Jesus’s resurrection appearances (Jn. 21:11).
200) May imply insufficiency. Achan sinfully takes 200 shekels of silver in Jericho (Josh. 7). The Romans escort Paul from Jerusalem to Caesarea with 200 soldiers (Acts 21-23).
390) Represents separation. Ezekiel is commanded to lie on his side for 390 days to represent Israel’s sins and separation (Eze. 4:1-5).
400) May imply a divine time period (time Jews in Egypt)
666) Symbolizes the antichrist and the kingdoms of humanity opposing God. 666 is oddly a triangular number, thus representing a counterfeit trinity. The number is identified as the mark of the beast in Revelation 13:18.
1000) Symbolizes a long time period and the conclusion of a time. Jesus ascended rules in “the millenium” a symbolic time frame between his first and second comings at the end of which Satan will launch one last effort against Christ that will prove fatal for Lucifer (Rev. 19:16; 20:4, 6).
144,000) Symbolizes totality and the church. David’s army consisted of 12 sets of 144,000 in 1 Chronicles 27. More indicative of the numerical meaning is the reference of 144,000 end-time believers whom God saves from the tribes of Israel (Rev. 7:4-9).
More numbers could be given. However, the numbers mentioned in this article represent the most impressive numbers symbolized in the Bible. The intricate detail of Scripture and the numerical connections add to the impressive revelation that is found in God’s word.
A mortal is someone who will die. All human beings are mortal and their physical bodies will one day die and disintegrate. Spiritually speaking an unregenerate person is dead while living-their soul or immaterial part is separated from God and hence as Paul says is “dead in trespasses and sins” (i.e. separated from God, because death by definition separates) (Eph.2:1). God who is ETERNAL LIFE, with no beginning or ending, by his son’s death and resurrection abolished death and brought this life and IMMORTALITY to light (2 Tim.1:10, Psalm 16:10,11). This means all who are in him although mortal physically, are immortal (as far as their soul) and will never die spiritually (be separated from God). All the elect inherit ETERNAL LIFE (a covenant relationship of love and friendship) both now in this life (John 17:3, 1 John 5:11-13) and for ever, the Holy Spirit being their guarantee (Eph.1:13,14). The resurrection body of Christ, which is what we will one day inherit, is incorruptible, glorious and powerful (Rom.8:23, 2 Cor.5:4, 1 Cor.15:53).
The key point, is that immortality in Scripture does not mean never dying or endless existence it means freedom from (spiritual) death. The lost in hell (O.T.Sheol) are forever dying and even after physical death, in the intermediate state, they are in hell’s anteroom! Scripture is clear, physical death does not end anything except physical life, it is often called sleep (I Cor.11:30, Matthew 27:52, 1 Thess.4:13) because the body is as though asleep waiting the last trumpet. The redeemed saint is with Christ (in the intermediate state) after death waiting for his redeemed body (Phil.1:23, Luke 23:43, Heb.12:23).Hallelujah! We are immortal!
Stephen was unique in that he saw precisely where he was going the moment he died (see pic).