<![CDATA[Die Lewe - Stoel van Moses/Moses\' seat]]>Fri, 05 Oct 2018 02:24:38 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[In the Beginning]]>Tue, 27 Feb 2018 15:39:42 GMThttp://dielewe.org/stoel-van-mosesmoses-seat/in-the-beginningWhat does it mean when the Bible says: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”? There is a serious doctrinal difference of opinion on this, chiefly because of what we want it to say. In general what you believe about the timeframe of creation, determines your understanding of this verse. A study on how the Hebrew word for it is used in other instances in the Bible, would certainly clear up any doubts and reveal whether the translators of the Authorised Version (and in fact most other Bible versions) made a fundamental mistake in the second word of their translation of the Bible or not.


A search through the Bible for the word “beginning” yields that it appears in a 108 verses, of which 57 occurs in the Old Testament, using derivatives of two different Hebrew root words. We are particularly interested in the first, since that word is used in the first verse in the Bible.


Explained by the Strong’s Concordance, the two words used for beginning are as follow:
  1. רֵאשִׁיתּ
    1. Transliteration: Re’shiyth (Ray-sheet)
    2. Noun, Feminine
    3. Meaning: the first, in place, time, order or rank (specifically, a firstfruit)
    4. Strong’s Number: H7225
    5. from רוֹאשׁ
      1. Transliteration: Ro’sh (roshe)
      2. Noun, Masculine
      3. Meaning: the head (as most easily shaken), whether literal or figurative (in many applications, of place, time, rank, etc.)
      4. Strong’s Number: H7218
 
  1. תְּחִלָּה
    1. Transliteration: Tchillah (Tekh-il-law’)
    2. Noun, Feminine
    3. Meaning:
      1. a commencement
      2. rel. original (adverb, -ly)
    4. Strong’s Number: H8462
    5. from חָלַל
      1. Transliteration: Chalal (Khaw-lal')
      2. Verb
      3. Meaning:
        1. (properly) to bore
        2. (by implication) to wound, to dissolve
        3. (figuratively) to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge")
      4. Strong’s Number: H2490
      5. denom. (from H2485) to play (the flute)


A search for the Strong’s word code, H7225 (רֵאשִׁיתּ), brings up a result of 49, which by nature of the obvious fact that it is a Hebrew word, only appears in the Old Testament. So this particular root and its derivatives are used in 49 verses in the Bible. There are two verses where it appears twice in one verse; Deuteronomy 18:4 and Ezekiel 44:30. So it brings the total to 51 actual instances where it is used. Let us examine each one of them in the Hebrew text and compare it to the English translation of the King James Version.


To understand what we are trying to achieve in this study, let us define clearly what the problem is. Essentially the core issue here is the lack of a visible definite article in the Hebrew word. In order for the “old earth” approach to work, it is assumed that the Hebrew word, בְּרֵאשִׁית, is missing the linguistic trace of the prefixed letter ‘hey’ in order for it to be translated as “in the beginning”. This leaves the possibility that there could have been many beginnings for the earth and that בְּרֵאשִׁית only means in a beginning and not in the beginning in this case. This linguistic trace is explained below.


In his book, “A practical grammar for classical Hebrew”, Dr. J. Weingreen wrote in section B on page 28 of the second edition, the following:


When the inseparable preposition is followed by the article, e.g. ‘to the king’ (which we should expect to be לְהַמֶּ֫לֶךְ), the ה of the article (is scarcely audible and, in fact,) falls away, surrendering its vowel to the preposition, thus: לַמֶּ֫לֶךְ. In the same way, ‘to the man’ (לְהָֽאָדָם) becomes לָֽאָדָם, ‘to the darkness’ (לְהַח֫שֶׁךְ) becomes לַח֫שֶׁךְ, and ‘to the dust’ (לְהֶֽעָפָר) becomes לֶֽעָפָר.


Just as לְהַ׳ becomes לַ׳, so בְּהַ׳ becomes בַּ׳ and כְּהַ׳ becomes כַּ׳
Just as לְהָ׳ becomes לָ׳, so בְּהָ׳ becomes בָּ׳ and כְּהָ׳ becomes כָּ׳
Just as לְהֶ׳ becomes לֶ׳, so בְּהֶ׳ becomes בֶּ׳ and כְּהֶ׳ becomes כֶּ׳


So from the above mentioned rules we may deduce that for Genesis 1:1 to mean “In the beginning...” it should have said בָּרֵאשִׁית instead of בְּרֵאשִׁית. (Notice the different vowels used for the ב, the first letter of the word. Qamets instead of sheva.) However, looking at the normal usage of the word רֵאשִׁית, it is found to be generally used in the Bible as if it already contains the definite article, although hidden in this same particular way as in Genesis 1:1. Be aware that it is not always translated as beginning, but sometimes rather into a comparable word, appropriate for that particular instance.


Note also very carefully in the study below that in all of the 17 times where Moses used this word’s derivatives (i.e. in the first five books of the Bible), it is never with the definite article in Hebrew, but always translated with it in English.


Verses without the definite article but translated with the definite article:

בראשית 1:1 בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ׃
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

בראשית 10:10 וַתְּהִי רֵאשִׁית מַמְלַכְתֹּו בָּבֶל וְאֶרֶךְ וְאַכַּד וְכַלְנֵה בְּאֶרֶץ שִׁנְעָֽר׃
Genesis 10:10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

בראשית 49:3 רְאוּבֵן בְּכֹרִי אַתָּה כֹּחִי וְרֵאשִׁית אֹונִי יֶתֶר שְׂאֵת וְיֶתֶר עָֽז׃
Genesis 49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

שמות 23:19 רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ תָּבִיא בֵּית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹֽא־תְבַשֵּׁל גְּדִי בַּחֲלֵב אִמֹּֽו׃ ס
Exodus 23:19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

שמות 34:26 רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ תָּבִיא בֵּית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לֹא־תְבַשֵּׁל גְּדִי בַּחֲלֵב אִמֹּֽו׃ פ
Exodus 34:26 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

ויקרא 2:12 קָרְבַּן רֵאשִׁית תַּקְרִיבוּ אֹתָם לַיהוָה וְאֶל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ לֹא־יַעֲלוּ לְרֵיחַ נִיחֹֽחַ׃
Leviticus 2:12 As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. them, they).]

ויקרא 23:10 דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּֽי־תָבֹאוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וּקְצַרְתֶּם אֶת־קְצִירָהּ וַהֲבֵאתֶם אֶת־עֹמֶר רֵאשִׁית קְצִירְכֶם אֶל־הַכֹּהֵֽן׃
Leviticus 23:10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. reap the harvest thereof, a sheaf of, of your harvest).]

במדבר 15:20 רֵאשִׁית עֲרִסֹתֵכֶם חַלָּה תָּרִימוּ תְרוּמָה כִּתְרוּמַת גֹּרֶן כֵּן תָּרִימוּ אֹתָֽהּ׃
Numbers 15:20 Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave offering: as ye do the heave offering of the threshingfloor, so shall ye heave it.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

במדבר 15:21 מֵרֵאשִׁית עֲרִסֹתֵיכֶם תִּתְּנוּ לַיהוָה תְּרוּמָה לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶֽם׃ ס
Numbers 15:21 Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the LORD an heave offering in your generations.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

במדבר 18:12 כֹּל חֵלֶב יִצְהָר וְכָל־חֵלֶב תִּירֹושׁ וְדָגָן רֵאשִׁיתָם אֲשֶׁר־יִתְּנוּ לַֽיהוָה לְךָ נְתַתִּֽים׃
Numbers 18:12 All the best of the oil, and all the best of the wine, and of the wheat, the firstfruits of them which they shall offer unto the LORD, them have I given thee.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. of them, they).]

במדבר 24:20 וַיַּרְא אֶת־עֲמָלֵק וַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלֹו וַיֹּאמַר רֵאשִׁית גֹּויִם עֲמָלֵק וְאַחֲרִיתֹו עֲדֵי אֹבֵֽד׃
Numbers 24:20 And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

דברים 11:12 אֶרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ דֹּרֵשׁ אֹתָהּ תָּמִיד עֵינֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּהּ מֵֽרֵשִׁית הַשָּׁנָה וְעַד אַחֲרִית שָׁנָֽה׃ ס
Deuteronomy 11:12 A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.

דברים 18:4 רֵאשִׁית דְּגָֽנְךָ תִּֽירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ וְרֵאשִׁית גֵּז צֹאנְךָ תִּתֶּן־לֹּֽו׃
Deuteronomy 18:4 The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.
[Occurring twice in this verse, not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruit to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

דברים 21:17 כִּי אֶת־הַבְּכֹר בֶּן־הַשְּׂנוּאָה יַכִּיר לָתֶת לֹו פִּי שְׁנַיִם בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יִמָּצֵא לֹו כִּי־הוּא רֵאשִׁית אֹנֹו לֹו מִשְׁפַּט הַבְּכֹרָֽה׃ ס
Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

דברים 26:2 וְלָקַחְתָּ מֵרֵאשִׁית ׀ כָּל־פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר תָּבִיא מֵֽאַרְצְךָ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ וְשַׂמְתָּ בַטֶּנֶא וְהָֽלַכְתָּ אֶל־הַמָּקֹום אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְשַׁכֵּן שְׁמֹו שָֽׁם׃
Deuteronomy 26:2 That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

דברים 26:10 וְעַתָּה הִנֵּה הֵבֵאתִי אֶת־רֵאשִׁית פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַתָּה לִּי יְהוָה וְהִנַּחְתֹּו לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ וְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃
Deuteronomy 26:10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first (note the separate Hebrew word for fruits) to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

דברים 33:21 וַיַּרְא רֵאשִׁית לֹו כִּי־שָׁם חֶלְקַת מְחֹקֵק סָפוּן וַיֵּתֵא רָאשֵׁי עָם צִדְקַת יְהוָה עָשָׂה וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ ס
Deuteronomy 33:21 And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

שמואל א 2:29 לָמָּה תִבְעֲטוּ בְּזִבְחִי וּבְמִנְחָתִי אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי מָעֹון וַתְּכַבֵּד אֶת־בָּנֶיךָ מִמֶּנִּי לְהַבְרִֽיאֲכֶם מֵרֵאשִׁית כָּל־מִנְחַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְעַמִּֽי׃
1 Samuel 2:29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chiefest to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

שמואל א 15:21 וַיִּקַּח הָעָם מֵהַשָּׁלָל צֹאן וּבָקָר רֵאשִׁית הַחֵרֶם לִזְבֹּחַ לַֽיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בַּגִּלְגָּֽל׃
1 Samuel 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chief to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

דברי הימים ב 31:5 וְכִפְרֹץ הַדָּבָר הִרְבּוּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל רֵאשִׁית דָּגָן תִּירֹושׁ וְיִצְהָר וּדְבַשׁ וְכֹל תְּבוּאַת שָׂדֶה וּמַעְשַׂר הַכֹּל לָרֹב הֵבִֽיאוּ׃
2 Chronicles 31:5 And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. and of all, and the tithe of all).]

איוב 40:19 הוּא רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכֵי־אֵל הָעֹשֹׂו יַגֵּשׁ חַרְבֹּֽו׃
Job 40:19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chief to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

תהלים 78:51 וַיַּךְ כָּל־בְּכֹור בְּמִצְרָיִם רֵאשִׁית אֹונִים בְּאָהֳלֵי־חָֽם׃
Psalms 78:51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chief to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

תהלים 105:36 וַיַּךְ כָּל־בְּכֹור בְּאַרְצָם רֵאשִׁית לְכָל־אֹונָֽם׃
Psalms 105:36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chief to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

תהלים 111:10 רֵאשִׁית חָכְמָה ׀ יִרְאַת יְהוָה שֵׂכֶל טֹוב לְכָל־עֹשֵׂיהֶם תְּהִלָּתֹו עֹמֶדֶת לָעַֽד׃
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

משלי 1:7 יִרְאַת יְהוָה רֵאשִׁית דָּעַת חָכְמָה וּמוּסָר אֱוִילִים בָּֽזוּ׃ פ
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

משלי 3:9 כַּבֵּד אֶת־יְהוָה מֵהֹונֶךָ וּמֵרֵאשִׁית כָּל־תְּבוּאָתֶֽךָ׃
Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. them, they).]

משלי 4:7 רֵאשִׁית חָכְמָה קְנֵה חָכְמָה וּבְכָל־קִנְיָנְךָ קְנֵה בִינָֽה׃
Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as principal to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

משלי 8:22 יְֽהוָה קָנָנִי רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכֹּו קֶדֶם מִפְעָלָיו מֵאָֽז׃
Proverbs 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

משלי 17:14 פֹּוטֵֽר מַיִם רֵאשִׁית מָדֹון וְלִפְנֵי הִתְגַּלַּע הָרִיב נְטֹֽושׁ׃
Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

ישעיה 46:10 מַגִּיד מֵֽרֵאשִׁית אַחֲרִית וּמִקֶּדֶם אֲשֶׁר לֹא־נַעֲשׂוּ אֹמֵר עֲצָתִי תָקוּם וְכָל־חֶפְצִי אֶעֱשֶֽׂה׃
Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

ירמיה 2:3 קֹדֶשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל לַיהוָה רֵאשִׁית תְּבוּאָתֹה כָּל־אֹכְלָיו יֶאְשָׁמוּ רָעָה תָּבֹא אֲלֵיהֶם נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה׃ פ
Jeremiah 2:3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. of his increase).]

ירמיה 26:1 בְּרֵאשִׁית מַמְלְכוּת יְהֹויָקִים בֶּן־יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה הָיָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה מֵאֵת יְהוָה לֵאמֹֽר׃
Jeremiah 26:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying,
[Usage here is exactly the same as in the first verse of the Bible and in this instance only the translation of it with the definite article would make any sense at all.]

ירמיה 27:1 בְּרֵאשִׁית מַמְלֶכֶת יְהֹויָקִם בֶּן־יֹאושִׁיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה הָיָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֶֽל־יִרְמְיָה מֵאֵת יְהוָה לֵאמֹֽר׃
Jeremiah 27:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
[Usage here is exactly the same as in the first verse of the Bible and in this instance only the translation of it with the definite article would make any sense at all.]

ירמיה 28:1 וַיְהִי ׀ בַּשָּׁנָה הַהִיא בְּרֵאשִׁית מַמְלֶכֶת צִדְקִיָּה מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה [בִּשְׁנַת כ] (בַּשָּׁנָה ק) הָֽרְבִעִית בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַחֲמִישִׁי אָמַר אֵלַי חֲנַנְיָה בֶן־עַזּוּר הַנָּבִיא אֲשֶׁר מִגִּבְעֹון בְּבֵית יְהוָה לְעֵינֵי הַכֹּהֲנִים וְכָל־הָעָם לֵאמֹֽר׃
Jeremiah 28:1 And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,
[Usage here is exactly the same as in the first verse of the Bible and in this instance only the translation of it with the definite article would make any sense at all.]

ירמיה 49:34 אֲשֶׁר הָיָה דְבַר־יְהוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֶל־עֵילָם בְּרֵאשִׁית מַלְכוּת צִדְקִיָּה מֶֽלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹֽר׃
Jeremiah 49:34 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,
[Usage here is exactly the same as in the first verse of the Bible and in this instance only the translation of it with the definite article would make any sense at all.]

ירמיה 49:35 כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות הִנְנִי שֹׁבֵר אֶת־קֶשֶׁת עֵילָם רֵאשִׁית גְּבוּרָתָֽם׃
Jeremiah 49:35 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chief to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

יחזקאל 44:30 וְרֵאשִׁית כָּל־בִּכּוּרֵי כֹל וְכָל־תְּרוּמַת כֹּל מִכֹּל תְּרוּמֹותֵיכֶם לַכֹּהֲנִים יִֽהְיֶה וְרֵאשִׁית עֲרִסֹֽותֵיכֶם תִּתְּנוּ לַכֹּהֵן לְהָנִיחַ בְּרָכָה אֶל־בֵּיתֶֽךָ׃
Ezekiel 44:30 And the first of all the firstfruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest's: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house.
[Occurring twice in this verse, not translated as beginning but rather wisely as first to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

יחזקאל 48:14 וְלֹא־יִמְכְּרוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא יָמֵר וְלֹא [יַעֲבוּר כ] (יַעֲבִיר ק) רֵאשִׁית הָאָרֶץ כִּי־קֹדֶשׁ לַיהוָֽה׃
Ezekiel 48:14 And they shall not sell of it, neither exchange, nor alienate the firstfruits of the land: for it is holy unto the LORD.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. of the land: for it is holy).]

דניאל 11:41 וּבָא בְּאֶרֶץ הַצְּבִי וְרַבֹּות יִכָּשֵׁלוּ וְאֵלֶּה יִמָּלְטוּ מִיָּדֹו אֱדֹום וּמֹואָב וְרֵאשִׁית בְּנֵי עַמֹּֽון׃
Daniel 11:41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chief to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

עמוס 6:6 הַשֹּׁתִים בְּמִזְרְקֵי יַיִן וְרֵאשִׁית שְׁמָנִים יִמְשָׁחוּ וְלֹא נֶחְלוּ עַל־שֵׁבֶר יֹוסֵֽף׃
Amos 6:6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chief to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article.]

מיכה 1:13 רְתֹם הַמֶּרְכָּבָה לָרֶכֶשׁ יֹושֶׁבֶת לָכִישׁ רֵאשִׁית חַטָּאת הִיא לְבַת־צִיֹּון כִּי־בָךְ נִמְצְאוּ פִּשְׁעֵי יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
Micah 1:13 O thou inhabitant of Lachish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.

Verses with the definite article ‘hidden’ and translated with the definite article:

נחמיה 10:38 וְאֶת־רֵאשִׁית עֲרִיסֹתֵינוּ וּתְרוּמֹתֵינוּ וּפְרִי כָל־עֵץ תִּירֹושׁ וְיִצְהָר נָבִיא לַכֹּהֲנִים אֶל־לִשְׁכֹות בֵּית־אֱלֹהֵינוּ וּמַעְשַׂר אַדְמָתֵנוּ לַלְוִיִּם וְהֵם הַלְוִיִּם הַֽמְעַשְּׂרִים בְּכֹל עָרֵי עֲבֹדָתֵֽנוּ׃
Nehemiah 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.
[This example does contain a trace of a definite article in a sense, because of the Hebrew word אֶת before רֵאשִׁית. It is the preposition used before a direct object. So the word firstfruits here could not be translated without the definite article, yet it also need to be plural since it points not only to one fruit offered first of all, but the general offering of all the firstfruits. Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. of our dough, and our offerings, etc.). Note as well that the verse numbering differ here between the two texts for referential purposes.]

איוב 8:7 וְהָיָה רֵאשִׁיתְךָ מִצְעָר וְאַחֲרִיתְךָ יִשְׂגֶּה מְאֹֽד׃
Job 8:7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase.
[Not translated with the definite article yet it clearly contains the definite article ‘hidden’ since it evidently refers to the only one beginning Job could have. Not multiple beginnings or one of multiple beginnings.]

איוב 42:12 וַֽיהוָה בֵּרַךְ אֶת־אַחֲרִית אִיֹּוב מֵרֵאשִׁתֹו וַֽיְהִי־לֹו אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר אֶלֶף צֹאן וְשֵׁשֶׁת אֲלָפִים גְּמַלִּים וְאֶֽלֶף־צֶמֶד בָּקָר וְאֶלֶף אֲתֹונֹֽות׃
Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
[Not translated with the definite article yet it clearly contains the definite article ‘hidden’ since it evidently refers to the only one beginning Job could have. Not multiple beginnings or one of multiple beginnings.]

יחזקאל 20:40 כִּי בְהַר־קָדְשִׁי בְּהַר ׀ מְרֹום יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה שָׁם יַעַבְדֻנִי כָּל־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל כֻּלֹּה בָּאָרֶץ שָׁם אֶרְצֵם וְשָׁם אֶדְרֹושׁ אֶת־תְּרוּמֹֽתֵיכֶם וְאֶת־רֵאשִׁית מַשְׂאֹותֵיכֶם בְּכָל־קָדְשֵׁיכֶֽם׃
Ezekiel 20:40 For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
[This example does contain a trace of a definite article in a sense, because of the Hebrew word אֶת before רֵאשִׁית. It is the preposition used before a direct object. So the word firstfruits here could not be translated without the definite article, yet it also need to be plural since it points not only to one fruit offered first of all, but the general offering of all the firstfruits. Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context, yet still with the definite article. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. of your oblations).]

הושע 9:10 כַּעֲנָבִים בַּמִּדְבָּר מָצָאתִי יִשְׂרָאֵל כְּבִכּוּרָה בִתְאֵנָה בְּרֵאשִׁיתָהּ רָאִיתִי אֲבֹֽותֵיכֶם הֵמָּה בָּאוּ בַֽעַל־פְּעֹור וַיִּנָּֽזְרוּ לַבֹּשֶׁת וַיִּהְיוּ שִׁקּוּצִים כְּאָהֳבָֽם׃
Hosea 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
[Not translated with the definite article yet it clearly contains the definite article ‘hidden’ since it evidently refers to the only one beginning Israel, the fig tree, could have. Not multiple beginnings or one of multiple beginnings.]

Verses with the definite article and translated with the definite article:

נחמיה 12:44 וַיִּפָּקְדוּ בַיֹּום הַהוּא אֲנָשִׁים עַל־הַנְּשָׁכֹות לָאֹוצָרֹות לַתְּרוּמֹות לָרֵאשִׁית וְלַמַּֽעַשְׂרֹות לִכְנֹוס בָּהֶם לִשְׂדֵי הֶעָרִים מְנָאֹות הַתֹּורָה לַכֹּהֲנִים וְלַלְוִיִּם כִּי שִׂמְחַת יְהוּדָה עַל־הַכֹּהֲנִים וְעַל־הַלְוִיִּם הָעֹמְדִֽים׃
Nehemiah 12:44 And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited.
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as firstfruits to make sense of the context. Notice the use also of the plural here to fit in with the rest of the verse (i.e. the portions of the law for the priests and Levites).]

קהלת 7:8 טֹוב אַחֲרִית דָּבָר מֵֽרֵאשִׁיתֹו טֹוב אֶֽרֶךְ־רוּחַ מִגְּבַהּ־רֽוּחַ׃
Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Verses without the definite article and translated without the definite article:

עמוס 6:1 הֹוי הַשַּׁאֲנַנִּים בְּצִיֹּון וְהַבֹּטְחִים בְּהַר שֹׁמְרֹון נְקֻבֵי רֵאשִׁית הַגֹּויִם וּבָאוּ לָהֶם בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
Amos 6:1 Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!
[Not translated as beginning but rather wisely as chief to make sense of the context. The reason for this particular translation of it might be due to the fact that ‘them that are at ease in Zion’ are plural and they collectively ‘are named chief of the nations’. If you had it translated with the definite article it would more correctly be referring to a singular person instead of a group of people.]

Conclusion:

Amos 6:1 is really the only verse of all 51 to be translated in the way of the multiple beginnings argument for Genesis 1:1, and it can be seen that there is a good explanation of why it deviates from the manner set by the other verses. Comparing these verses does clearly show though that viewing the basic meaning of רֵאשִׁית as ‘beginning’ (in effect implying ‘the beginning’) is by far the norm, rather than the exception, and to interpret Genesis 1:1 in the ‘a beginning’ way would honestly be going against all the other similar usages of it and therefore be incorrect.

A verse such as Exodus 20:11 also shows that every created thing such as Heaven and earth and all created things in them, were in fact created in those very six 24 hour days when the earth were created. It would therefore include all of the angels as well.
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

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<![CDATA[The history of The Salkinson-Ginsburg Hebrew New Testament]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:09:09 GMThttp://dielewe.org/stoel-van-mosesmoses-seat/the-history-of-the-salkinson-ginsburg-hebrew-new-testamentEdited from various sources by W. R. Meyer

Isaac Edward Salkinson, later ordained a Presbyterian minister in Glasgow, Scotland, was born in 1820 into a strict orthodox family in Wilna, Lithuania. He was taught to read the Hebrew Bible by the age of four. However his father, Solomon Salkind, passed away while he was still a child and then seven years later his mother also died. He then planned to move to the United States of America to study under a prominent rabbi. On his way he passed through London where he met some of the agents of the London Missionary Society, who presented him with a New Testament and gave him some Christian instruction. He mentioned in a brief autobiography in, The Memoirs of Gospel Triumphs among the Jews, published in 1894 for the Jubilee of the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews, that it was a Hebrew translation. By this means he was led to Christ, and then to confess his faith in Him by baptism. According to a letter of his to Rev. John Dunlop, he was married to a certain lady whom Professor Delitzsch, in the Expositor, names as, Mrs. Henrietta Salkinson.

He became a student in 1849 of the British Society’s College for four years. And they, due to some doctrinal views of his, did not employ him at first. Only after about eight months were these differences satisfactorily settled, and he became a Jewish Missionary for the Jewish Society in Scotland, called “The Friend of Israel,” which was soon incorporated into the United Presbyterian Church. Subsequently he became their missionary while also studying at the Divinity Hall in Edinburgh, till 1859, when he was ordained a Presbyterian minister in Glasgow. A short hiatus in his ministry followed between 1862 and 1864 “in consequence of family affliction.”

His missionary work required of him to write treatises to his fellow Jews and ever since he read that first New Testament, he felt the need for a version in idiomatic Hebrew. Therefore he translated the Epistle to the Romans as soon as he was able to read the Greek of the New Testament. This was published in 1853 according to his autobiographical sketch in the Memoirs of Gospel triumphs among the Jews. Professor Franz Delitzsch remarked that “in April, 1855, an attempt had already been made by Salkinson to produce a new translation of the New Testament. A specimen of such a rendering was published under the title, The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans translated into Hebrew. I gave expression to my opinion of it in my monograph of 1870, entitled, Paulus des Apostels Brief an die Römer in das Hebräische uebersetzt und aus Talmud un Midrasch erläutert.” Salkinson also translated classical pieces into Hebrew as practice and as missionary material. According to an account by Prof. Delitzsch they became acquainted with one another in 1870, when they met at a conference of missionaries and friends of the Jewish Mission.

At the beginning of 1876, Mr. Salkinson removed from Pressburg, (modern day Bratislava in Slovakia) to Vienna in Austria, there he preached the Gospel to the Jews who first settled there in the year of our Lord 1156, and in 1877, he “undertook the work with delight” of translating the New Testament into Hebrew at the behest of the British Society’s Committee. (They at first desired him to write a Talmudic Christology, but he answered that he would prefer, first to make a new Hebrew version of the New Testament.) He wrote that “when the work is accomplished and published, it will be seen that my labours as a Jewish missionary have not been in vain in the Lord. This was the year in which also the first complete edition of Delitzsch’s Hebrew New Testament was published by the British and Foreign Bible Society, consisting of 2,500 copies. Writing from 35, Reivner [Reisner?] St., Landstrasse, Vienna, on June 11th, 1877, he addressed Prof. Delitzsch and requested his opinion on the work done in a specimen of what was evidently at least the first chapter of the book of Romans.

It was finally published posthumously under the title הברית החדשה (Ha-Be-rit ha-Chada-shah, that is being interpreted, The New Testament). He was unable to complete the translational work, and in a letter to Mr. Dunlop of the British Society for the Propagation of the Gospel among the Jews, dated December 10th, 1881, he mentions that the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles were still unaccomplished. However he does write in April of 1882 that “My Hebrew Version of the New Testament is now ready for publication.” (More on the completion of this Testament later.)


In another letter, dated November 3rd, 1882, he writes to Mr. Dunlop the following. “As to the Hebrew New Testament, the translation was a hard task, but a labour of love. Properly speaking, it is the work of the Society, since it was a part of my Mission for which I was sustained by them. It would be well to have it published and make use of it.” And we learn from his letter on the 27th of January 1883 to the same man, that he had some problem with his eyes at that point and that “a Jew who professes to love me on the one side and hate me on the other, said to me the other day, your suffering in the eyes is a due punishment for your work (nightly reading and writing) on the New Testament, with which you are going to dim the light of Israel. I replied, if my present dimness has been caused by that work, I am comforted with the hope that that work will enlighten many an eye in Israel.”

In the same letter he also writes of Mr. Ethelbert William Bullinger, the Secretary of the Trinitarian Bible Society [TBS], approaching him about the possibility of them publishing his Hebrew version of the New Testament. Furthermore in February, 1883 he responded to Mr. Dunlop that “I do not intend to sell my MS. [manuscript] and copyright, but to give it away freely. The British Society maintains me; and it was for them I accomplished the work, and this the more so in loving obedience to my covenant Lord and Master who helped me to execute it; for a testimony to, and for the good of, the Jewish people. My work is the Lord’s and I would not like to sell it for money. If the Trinitarian Bible Society take it up of their own free will, and make me some present, I shall gratefully accept it, but not as a price.

Salkinson wrote on 15th of March, 1883 that his sight was better and that Professor Delitzsch was strongly in favour of the publication of Mr. Salkinson’s New Testament. He was informed by Bullinger that the TBS would publish the New Testament on his terms. Dr. Bullinger, now having obtained the doctorate for his Greek into English lexicon, also suggested four passages where he should render the text differently. Mr. Salkinson was reluctant though to accept this advice which he deemed differing from his sources and therefore requested that inquiries be made from reliable quarters into Dr. Bullinger’s Greek knowledge. He then states “it is right here to express myself, that the principal object of my version is not to make improvements in the rendering of the sense, but to render the sense as understood by the best authorities, in a more intelligible, more idiomatic way than the other Hebrew versions. Now if Dr. B. be a scholar and an authority, I shall be delighted in some doubtful passages to follow him.”


According to some unverified sources and also Prof. Delitzsch from page 139 in The Expositor, 3rd Series, Vol. IX, 1889, Mr. Salkinson died before completing the work. He had prepared the first draught of it and only the Acts of the Apostles had not been completed. He passed away on the 5th of June, 1883, at Vienna. After Prof. Delitzsch wrote to offer assistance to his widow, she replied on the June 14th, 1883, amongst other things that her husbands desire for his version of the New Testament was not for it to be a rival of Delitzsch’s but complimentary to it. Delitzsch wrote also that he “shall be greatly delighted if Salkinson’s translation should obtain numerous Jewish readers, and should be the means of leading many to the conviction that Jesus Christ is Israel’s noblest son, the holiest and divinest Man and the Servant of the Lord, who has offered Himself up for His people and for the whole world of sinners; and I consider it a providential circumstance, a gracious dispensation of my God, that the new translation has appeared before my departure.” He mentioned that he had received from it a new impulse in the revision of his own work, and then went on to speak of his 9th edition with corrections in 32mo size [tricesimo-secondo, that is 3.5 inches by 5.5 inches] which recently appeared. This was also to be followed by his 10th edition as a brand new translation, not merely a revision.

Doctor Christian David Ginsburg [more about him in the article, The History of The Ginsburg Hebrew Tanakh] then completed and published the work in Vienna in 1886. A later edition of the Salkinson-Ginsburg New Testament text was digitalised at some point and a BibleWorks edition copyrighted to 1999 is currently available, although the initial 2012 revision can also be found as an unofficial module for other software such as theWord and E-Sword. At the time of this publication, the Society for Distributing Hebrew Scriptures [SDHS] publishes the 2012/2013 edition as a bilingual text in hardback form, of which the aim is to give to every Jewish household completely free of any charge along with a Ginsburg edition of the Tanakh.

Editorial note: It must be said that I cannot find what or who these sources and authorities are which Mr. Salkinson used, although I suspect something along the lines of the sources of the Westcott and Hort critical edition. The Westcott and Hort text was only published in 1881, by which time the Salkinson version might have been almost complete. The text of an edition printed by “Hofbuchdruckerei Carl Fromme in Wien” in the year 1891 does deviate from the traditional Textus Receptus [Received Text] in certain places following the critical manuscripts. Some notable instances found while perusing the text are these:
  • Contrary to all Greek manuscript evidence, Acts 8:32 follows the Tanakh in placing the Lamb first to the slaughter and the Sheep before her shearers (feminine and plural) second as is also found in Isaiah 53:7. The Textus Receptus has the Sheep first to the slaughter and the Lamb before his shearer (masculine and singular) second. [Note that in the Scriptures in general, Greek New Testament quotes are slightly different from their Hebrew Tanakh sources. This is purely a complimentary and explanatory feature written into the Biblical Scripture by it’s Omniscient Author, as will be understood once one study theses passages carefully. Note that Delitzsch however followed the same route as Salkinson in this case.]
  • One can safely assume that the ‘scholarly discoveries’ of the day did have some influence on the final work, although it is not clear which sources was used. For example the word quickly is omitted in Revelation 2:5.
  • The verses usually cast under doubt is also missing in the 1891 edition, such as for example Matthew 18:11 and John 17:21, but have the text in footnotes.

We do not know what type of editing Dr. Ginsburg made, but since it’s understood from various sources that he translated at least the final part of Acts; and since, typical of critical edition New Testaments, the 1891 edition omits Acts 28:29, it may lead us to assume that he at least followed the critical sources in his own work. He might therefore during the mid-1880’s have taken some influence from the recently published Westcott and Hort Greek New Testament before publishing the Salkinson-Ginsburg edition.

It is also not clear what the extent or direction of Dr. Bullinger’s influence was although it can be seen that his own notes in the Companion Bible was definitely influenced by the critical editions and manuscripts. Even so he retained the Textus Receptus through means of his own edition of the Authorised Version in the text. Thus as far as Mr. Salkinson’s sources go, the works by Johann Jakob Griesbach and Karl Lachmann were available as well as the Greek New Testament of Samuel Prideaux Tregelles, published 1857. Then there was also the work of Constantine Tischendorf, such as parts of his Greek Testament’s 8th edition. These might be fair educated guesses as to have formed part of his sources. On page 263 of The Expositor, edited by William Robertson Nicoll, Third Series Volume III, 1886, Professor Samuel Rolles Driver starts to offer some sharp criticism up to page 275, even though according to him, “ability, skill, delicacy of touch, must be frankly and gratefully acknowledged”. Prof. Driver is known to many of us from A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, more commonly known as the Brown-Driver-Briggs or BDB lexicon.

Some revision work was done in the past by some men on the request of the SDHS to bring it closer to the Textus Receptus, yet endeavouring to keep the classical Hebrew it was translated in. I have not studied earlier editions, but in general the versions from 1999 onwards agrees with the Textus Receptus, with the latest revision done in 2012 with a handful of final changes in 2013.
  • For instance in an edition published by the SDHS, copyrighted the year 1966, it speaks of God being manifest in the flesh in 1 Timothy 3:16, whereas the Delitzsch version used by BibleWorks version 9 in this year, 2017 says, Who was manifest in the flesh.
  • It mentions he that loveth not his brother, whereas Delitzsch left out his brother in 1 John 3:14.
  • You will also be glad to know that you will indeed find the strongest verse on the Holy Trinity in the Bible in 1 John 5:7 when you read that beautiful epistle, whereas in the 1891 edition it is omitted.
  • In the later Salkinson’s, 1 John 5:13 also closes off with; “and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” which the Delitzsch and the 1891 Salkinson omit.

It needs to be said though in these comparisons that there are Delitzsch revisions available which are closer to the Textus Receptus than the one used in BibleWorks 9, but that this very edition might actually bear closer to the Professor’s original translation of the text. For instance the TBS has, from what I could tell by looking at their 1998 edition of Delitzsch, corrected these problem passages.
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<![CDATA[Sir, we would see Jesus.]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 14:20:21 GMThttp://dielewe.org/stoel-van-mosesmoses-seat/sir-we-would-see-jesusAnd there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. John 12:20-23

Certain Greeks came with a noble desire, to ‘see Jesus’. In our carnal view they even came to the right person, a disciple of the Lord Jesus, a person near and dear to Him. Seeing the Lord Jesus is a desire all of us have, but for now unto us the answer is the same as to these Greeks... The Lord did not send them an answer, and He also did not grant them their request. The answer and way forward was this; that God’s purpose which He deems fit for now needs to be performed and fulfilled.

Being bombarded lately with discussions of people seeing revelations and apparitions of the Lord or Angels, some even dying and ascending to heaven and there seeing the Lamb of God in Glory then returning back to life to write books about it and make movies which bring tears to any eye, two particular questions arose in my mind? Let us suppose that, all or some of, these manifestations were indeed of God, what is to be His purpose in doing it, and why is it important to people that things like these have to happen now?

Addressing the latter question first, let us regard that if indeed these manifestations were not important to people, then there would be no argument if someone dispel them as untrue. However judging by the vehement defence of these situations when you question them, one can see without a doubt that a tremendous spiritual and faith-depending value is placed on these signs and wonders by many of the modern day professing Christians. So, to come to the second question now. Why would God be doing these things? What is to be His purpose in these supposed Godly acts? Remember that all His miracles and signs done and prophecies given in the Bible were for establishing faith in Him and His abilities and for working man’s Salvation through the Son of God. I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. Ecclesiastes 3:14 and 1 Corinthians 14:22

We the believers of the Bible as God’s own Word, as well as the Record of His workings with man since creation, have all got a natural yearning to actually see this Great Creator of ours. To just glimpse a bit of Him would be glorious, yet we carry a certain fear as well of course, considering we are but sinful creatures and not worthy to be in His presence by any of our own works. Yet being able to have a deeper experience of His presence and seeing Him with our own eyes, is naturally something we crave. We are like those Greeks declaring that we would like to also see this Jesus as the disciples saw Him and witness His miraculous power like they did.

However, and a mighty big ‘however’ it is; He has already given us His written and preserved Word with all the needed instructions so that we might be throughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Throughly, as in, when you clean out a room you cover the whole room. Not thoroughly, since you can clean out the one corner of the room very thoroughly, yet have not started on the rest of the room and thus your room would not be cleaned throughout. Throughly in the sense that: You have in the Bible all the furnishings to cover every distinct facet of life whatsoever you might need. He also gave in this Word all of His wonderful promises for our future, so now the question arises, why do so many people claim to have these wonderful extra ‘revelations’ of God?

I can see why the Biblical prophets like Daniel, Ezekiel, Moses, Isaiah had to see Christ and also why John the Apostle too, since the revelations and prophecies they recorded have a clear purpose in making sure we identify with the correct Messiah when He returns once again. But some of these other situations where people would reportedly ‘die’ and then go to Heaven and see ‘Jesus’ and return to tell us all about it, to what purpose are they? Certainly we agree that all those books they write are very intriguing and the movies they make, very emotional. No one denies it. And also, that Jewish looking Jesus they saw, which incidentally looks a lot like a picture that always stood on their mantle piece, sounds so marvellous. The Lord Jesus seen by Daniel, Ezekiel and John looks quite different from any person you’ve ever seen, fiery eyes, brazen arms and feet, body like unto beryl and his face the appearance of lightning, et cetera. Recently I overheard a person relating how that, since her young son died many years ago, she would, once in a while, ask the LORD for a sign of comfort and then she’d often see these little white feathers fall to the ground when she sometimes think about her son while at certain places like his favourite football stadium. Now please understand that I am addressing this in a respectful and considerate way, yet one still has to ponder (whilst pigeons are shedding a lot of plum feathers, especially where they use them in their nests in the roofs of football stadiums), the question still remains; why would God send His angels around shedding little feathers? Why do people only get to see the feather and not the rest of the angel? How does this revelation contribute to my believe or salvation in God, above and beyond what He has already given in His written Word? Someone else showed her then also a video of ‘angels’ at a church meeting but who were only visible on the video taken of it and were not seen at the event by the actual attendants. Why not? Why did the camera capture the angels and the eyes of those people could not behold them? What would be God’s purpose in doing that?

Our focus and hope must, without any faltering, always be on the written Word of God preserved for us as our source of faith and comfort. Consider this for a moment, that even if the Lord Jesus Himself should appear next to you as you are reading this, you have a duty to question His identity. Why? Simply because He has already promised us that the next time Christians will see Him will be at the rapture of the saints, and then the rest of the World at His second coming and to appear at any other time earlier than that for whatever reason, would be contradictory to His written Record, the Bible. So my hope and faith is not on seeing revelations of the LORD in whatever way, but on reading His Word and waiting for that day, according to His Word, when He shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God shall call me along with the other Saints to meet Him in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

At a recent event in April of 2017 in South Africa there gathered over a million people to come together one day to pray for the country and that God might deliver the country from the evil behind the tremendous crimes in government and populace. Certain video media was shared all around of some people beforehand on the farm where the multitudes would later on be gathered, being told to drill for water in faith, as they realised that such a lot of people gathered in one place need a lot of water. They were told that there was no water, yet they decided to drill. So then after drilling a borehole they did indeed strike water and acclaim it as a miracle. The comparison, however subtly implied, is obviously with what happened to the Children of Israel in the Wilderness on two occasions. There is a big difference though between these situations in more than one way. After a great recent drought in South Africa, it has in fact rained substantially in large parts of the country, and once again raised the water tables, even though in general at the time of writing in may 2017, the drought is still, strictly speaking, continuing. One needs to question though, how did they know beforehand that there was no water? Did they drill? If so, was it before, or after, those big rains? You see in Moses’ case the water was given to a minimum of 2.5 million people along with their livestock to really save them from death by dehydration. Yet at Bloemfontein, South Africa, all the people brought sufficient supplies of their own water and/or sourced it from the city near by, as was requested by the organisers upon purchasing their tickets, to the point that you don’t hear anything about these miraculously supplied waters actually being used by anyone in a significant quantity? Why was this miracle wasted and not used? Those who did not have water to drink had the luxury of driving to a shop and buying any of numerous kinds of drinks to quench their thirsts. A luxury those future Israelites did not have, when stranded there deep in the wilderness. So was this supposed modern miracle really needed in the same way and urgency as in Exodus, or do the miracles come cheaper nowadays? More importantly, would my faith or salvation be affected in anyway if this is not really a miracle? Note also that Moses did not drill with a huge machine, he struck a rock with his staff and enough water gushed out to make a lake big enough so that all of those Children of Israel could be satisfied. And it is becoming well known since recent discoveries that indeed the very same cloven rock with its water damage through its centre is still standing in Saudi Arabia to this very day. So then, are these two events the same kind of miracles?

So shall we continue to look for wonderful revelations and signs from Heaven? For miracles, healings and apparitions of Christ, or angels, or even saints? God forbid, for we have a more sure Word of Prophecy, whereunto we do well to take heed: Our Bible! It is inspired, preserved and yes, even present today in our very own hands. Is His Bible not enough? Do we need more revelations or miracles to fix our faith on Him? Do we need something more to fully secure our salvation? No, we have enough to do all of that, already captured in His Word. If we are truly honest with ourselves, are these revelations we get today not then also additions to the revelations in the Bible, if they are indeed really to be true? We have sombre warnings recorded, in among other verses, in Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6 and Revelation 22:18-19 against adding to God’s written Word. Let us fix our hearts on His Word and forgo the rest, knowing that we shall surely see Him in His might and glory one day; however not in according to our timeframe, but His.

​I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Psalm 138:2
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<![CDATA[That disciple whom Jesus lovedĀ ]]>Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:00:44 GMThttp://dielewe.org/stoel-van-mosesmoses-seat/that-disciple-whom-jesus-lovedPlease take a moment to consider the time and the effort God had spent over these many years to come and make Himself known in your own life. Ponder the countless times He came back after each rejection you gave to His call. The continual, patient knocking and waiting at the door to your heart. This is the great underlying theme of the understanding of God’s love for him, that the Apostle John had as he wrote down his record of the Gospel of Christ. He knew himself to be ‘a wicked, lost, hell-bound sinner’ saved by the unfathomable grace of God through the Son of God. To such an extent was his comprehension of this that he durst not bring any attention to himself, but simply out of a great appreciation and thanks wrote of himself as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’. One would like to think that had yourself been there with the Lord for that last supper, you too would be that disciple that wanted to be so close to his God as to be the one even lying on the Lord’s breast.

The primary theme you get throughout this beautiful Gospel is one where the Father loves the Son (John 3:35; 5:20; 10:17; 15:9; 17:23-26) truly and fully; the Son loves the Father truly and fully (John 14:31); the Father loves us His children, through and because of His only begotten Son (John 14:21,23); the Father loves the world (John 3:16); the Son loves us His friends so much that He laid down His life for us (John 11:3,5,36; 13:1,23,34; 15:13-15). The secondary theme is one where we need to stop loving the world and ourselves (John 3:19, 5:42, 12:43) and fix our love on the Father through His Son and by His Spirit of Truth (John 8:42; 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 1 John 4:6; 5:6-8), this then directly puts us in the position where we are now abiding in the Son, and by inheritance of His position we find ourselves abiding in the Father (John 14:10-23; 15:4-7,10). Abiding in Him is the key. First going to Him each day prayerfully, searching His will through His Word, then going out into the world to live my life. Starting out with the world takes my eyes off Him and my heart away from Him, thus I find myself quickly abiding elsewhere and not in Him (John 12:46). As I abide in Him, the very same love that started out with the Father now forms part of my being and it’s evident result is two-fold: I have a great love for the fellow Christians and I have a great love for the lost and a concern for their souls (John 4:34-38; 13:34,35). Often times we try to fabricate a reason and desire to share the Gospel with others but since it comes from our own selves the desire does not last long. Our zeal impresses many people, but it misses the mark sooner or later because like Paul, the Pharisee, we actually end up doing it carnally all the while telling ourselves we are doing God a great service. But when we abide in Him and He in us, He is the one stirring up our souls with an earnest yearning to see lost souls saved. The Lord spoke stern and hard to the Jews while here on earth, in words they could not understand. Yet even when he spoke to the learned Jew, Nicodemus, and that prominent Gentile, Pilate, He did not make it easy for them by giving the answers they were expecting and wanted to hear, rather He spake in sort of riddles so that they, whom we from the Scriptures can perceive already knew the truthful answers to their questions, had to come to those conclusions and decisions themselves. When He speaks unto plain people who are open to His doctrine He makes it straightforward and to the point, when addressing those who might have an agenda His spiritual talk veils it so that they have to dig for His meaning and they then find it hard because of their carnality. We find however in the end Pilate trying to set Jesus of Nazareth free from the Jews, as one whom he fearfully had to consider as the true King of the Jews (John 18:33-39; 19:19-22) and even as the very Son of God (John 19:7-9). (Note how the Bible only ever ascribes the title, King of the Jews, to the Lord Jesus and not to others such as Herod.) We find also Nicodemus in the end burying the body of the Lord along with the disciples (John 19:38-42). His message did get through to them, yet only God truly knows whether new birth came upon them or not.

When things spiraled out of control, Thomas, who I think is a lot like most of us, lost faith for a while. Peter thought maybe he should correct this confusing situation of hopelessness in his own strength by finding a way of providing meat to eat now that the Lord and His miracles seems to be further away than yesterday. But what does the Lord do? He tells Thomas: “Be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:27) The fervent Simon He reminds of the purpose whereunto he is called: You’re not being a strong stone [Peter/Cephas] like I want you at the moment; what are you doing fishing? Can I not provide you in a few minutes with more fish than you and these other disciples can eat? You are supposed to be feeding My little lambs and taking care of My sheep. (John 21) Forget about the world, your own problems and your own solutions, other people’s concerns. “Follow thou Me.” (John 21:19,22)

Our love needs to be set on God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit. Our love needs to be set on the sheep of the Good Shepherd. Our love needs to be to the Jews, God’s chosen People. Our love needs to be set on the Gentiles too. If we abide thus in the Father, we find sharing God’s Word and its glorious message come much more naturally and effective. Make sure that you are not fishing for fish, but fishing for men, but first of all anchor yourself in the Lord Jesus Christ and abide in Him, lest all of your efforts be in vain. Be a disciple that realise the true love the Lord Jesus Christ has for you, and work in that same love to take the Gospel to Jew first and also to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16; 2:10)]]>
<![CDATA[The danger of sitting in Moses' seat.]]>Wed, 01 Feb 2017 16:07:23 GMThttp://dielewe.org/stoel-van-mosesmoses-seat/the-danger-of-sitting-in-moses-seatIt is written of Moses that he was God’s servant, and that he became known as the man of God. Also does Samuel tell us that he was ‘advanced’ by God to a position where he could execute God’s authoritative acts against Pharaoh and before his fellow men. And thus it is that most people from every corner of the earth, today speak with some reverence of this man, whether they claim to believe the Divine Laws given by him or not. God gave him a specific business to fulfil; and that was to establish a recorded way to the Absolute Truth before men and have them believe and follow that way. It was in God’s righteous commandments conveyed by Moses, that the Jews, first of all peoples, were able to see man’s need for complete purity - which is humanly unattainable - to be reconciled to God. It was through his record of the early Messianic prophecies that they were first able to believe like Jeremiah that “The LORD our Righteousness” will Himself work the sacrificial way to purchase redemption for man’s sin. They ended up taking his words so seriously that we are still able today to determine the very words Moses wrote down, sentence for sentence, word for word, letter for letter. None other human writing has been preserved like this. For about three thousand and five hundred years now, preachers and teachers of the Word of God have styled themselves in some way to the likes of Moses, that when they speak, the LORD would speak through them as he did through Moses. Whether they be called Scribes, Pharisees, Rabbi’s, Pastors, Bishops, Elders, Preachers and so forth, the aim is, to speak the truth and have the hearers believe it.


The Incarnate Word of God, Jesus Christ the Lord, recognised that any preacher of God’s written Word do indeed carry some of the authority of Moses, and He declared it in a most interesting way. He said in Matthew 23 verse 2 they “sit in Moses’ seat”. It can still today be found to be amazingly true, in as much as once you are presented to a congregation as a teacher of God’s Word, they immediately assume that you carry a substantial and qualified knowledge of whatever the topic is you are discoursing on. The moment you throw out a Hebrew or Greek word along with a lexicon definition, they revere you as scholar and dare not question you because themselves know far less, (or at least so they assume). This situation of what I’ll call Rabbinical Reverence (because it sounds nice) has a very good side to it, and also a tremendously dangerous side, because we not only offer these hearers something as truth, we also cause them to believe it, whether it indeed be true or not.


Is the lack of a desire for soul-winning in churches not related to decades of pastors telling us that the Bible can be shown to contain the Word of God, but cannot fully be the infallible Word of God? That perhaps God used evolution, that He in His great love don’t really mind if we live in sin, that we shouldn’t be too much of a Bible Basher, that there are culturally no more taboo’s except for preaching about Hell. That a loving God won’t cast an idolator eternally into the Lake of Fire. That Jesus is a way to God, but cannot be the only way. So, we see that because of a love for sin and an unwillingness to repent from it, pastors have steered us away from the Truth, and we allowed them.


The result of Rabbinical Reverence however can cause a wonderful spiritual growth in the church as they listen to their pastor who really studied it throughly and whose aim is to make much of the Bible before his flock. Alas! how much more often do we rather have to suffer a preacher, whom with the yearning of preeminence, makes a careless statement of a supposed translational mistake in our Bible “if the original language is to be ‘correctly’ understood”. All this happens in a fleeting moment and without any disclosure of what his sources for this revelation are, his method of deducing this, nor giving the shocked lambs of the Good Shepherd a fair chance to verify his argument. Nor does he offer them the solution of which Bible is supposed to be the correct one. The poor lost lamb stops listening to the message right there and for the rest of the sermon that flaw in his “Infallible Word of God” bothers him. He loses another little bit of faith in this Bible in his hands. The question of why the churches are empty is surely answered by the lost ones saying, “If the Christians can’t figure the Bible out, how are we supposed to do it?” One thing it does produce and which seems to be the aim in most cases is that the preacher looks very learned in front of the people. We perceive that a pastoral lack of meekness, of which Moses and the Lord Jesus was such tremendous examples, have brought the Church in large on the way of Diotrephes, as is written in 3 John 1 verse 9.


The Lord Jesus Christ addressed this in showing that these teachers do not only cause a spiritual hindrance to themselves but to the hearers too. In Matthew 23 He points out, them distorting the truth and exalting themselves while doing so. We need to ask ourselves: “Why do I utter this statement and what do I aim to achieve by it?” If the answer is to issue the truth in humility so that the hearers might be edified in their faith in God, then we do well.


Now to be a scribe and a Pharisee is not the problem in itself, but what we do with the truth when it confronts us, is. Nicodemus and Paul are good examples. We see it in our own lives that when we are humble before God it is a time in which we get the biggest desire to win souls for God. When we exalt ourselves, we lose that care for the souls of others. A recent interaction with a Jewish neighbour showed to me how misled these children of Jacob can become by starting off with traditional Judaism and ending up in all sorts of eastern mysticism. Only the pure written Word of God offered in meekness can open such a one’s eyes. Is it not written in John 8 verse 32 that we shall know the truth and the truth will make us free? In this dispensation of the Church we have but a short time to still work the works of Him that sent us, before the time comes once again for Israel to raise the standard of Christ’s host over the battlefield in the Great Tribulation. Let us work to stablish people’s faith in the Word of God, not demolish it.]]>
<![CDATA[Comforted by the Rapture]]>Fri, 06 Jan 2017 11:26:16 GMThttp://dielewe.org/stoel-van-mosesmoses-seat/comforted-by-the-raptureHe which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen.
​Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 22:20
Some doctrines in the Bible are very clear and straightforward to perceive when you come across them. Others are a bit like a puzzle you get from the store; you open the box and there are all the pieces apart. However, from years of experience with building puzzles, you realize that they only fit together in a singular way to make the actual intended picture, beautifully created by the original artist. Yet without fail there are always a few pieces cut very similar in size, and matching in colours so that it is easy to confuse the one for the other, but if you misplace the one here, you end up being confused later over why that little brown speck on the corner of another one, just doesn’t appear to fit with the hue of the surrounding pieces. Even if you found places for all the pieces and you’ve finished your puzzle, if there is but one in the wrong place, sadly your puzzle is not the same as the artist intended. The picture is distorted. The only solution is to scan through the whole picture again until you find that correct piece and change them around.

The study on eschatology and in particular, the rapture, is one of those where you must take all the verses and fit them together and make sure they all speak the same thing. Then you know you’ve got it right, otherwise there will always be a verse or so sticking out somewhere. We will consider some verses, and see how they tie into each other and hopefully the reader will come to a personal conclusion, conviction and belief on what the Holy Bible teach concerning the rapture.

It behoves me straightway though to define a few key terms in a short glossary, and pinpointing a rough timeline of events ensuring every reader understands plainly what is being referred to. This list, in apparent order of occurrence, however contains only some of the frequently used terms and events of the last days. (This list and article is by no means an exhaustive study on this doctrine, so do look out for other verses and terminology as you read your Bible.)
  • Doctrine is the name for a teaching with regards to a particular aspect of our faith. And though, in order to avoid controversy, preachers nowadays largely steer clear of most Biblical doctrines, Lord Jesus as well as Paul and John the apostles were quite adamant about doctrine and it’s importance in the life of a Believer. For instance; knowing whether a doctrine is from God (John 7:17), continuing in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42), only to be able to have the Father and the Son if we abide in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 1:9), to give attendance to doctrine (1 Timothy 4:13), and to take heed and continue in doctrine with the purpose of not only saving ourselves but also them that hear us (1 Timothy 4:16), and also to mark and avoid them which cause divisions and offences contrary to this doctrine we learn from the Bible (Romans 16:17).
  • Eschatology is therefore a doctrine specifically about the end-times, which is almost without exception understood to be the time surrounding the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is about the Last Days (Latter Times, Last Times) [1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20; 1 John 2:18] which started in the days of the Apostles and continues on until the creation of the New Heaven and the New Earth, and the Christ, Jesus who is the Lord, reigning from the New Jerusalem. The Bible is from our understanding silent over what takes place in eternity after these great events.
  • The Rapture is the sudden catching away of the true believers from off the earth to meet Lord Jesus in the clouds. I will show in this article that this Midnight Cry that “Behold the Bridegroom cometh” (Matthew 25:6), occurs before the Great Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:17). It is associated with hope and comfort in the Bible and is called the Blessed Hope and the Glorious Appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).
  • The Judgment Seat of Christ (Judgment of True Believers) is only for Christians (2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Romans 14:10-12) and is when Christ judges us not for salvation, which is a matter settled when one is born again (Romans 3:20-26; 4:1-8,23-25; 1 Peter 1:3-5, Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 3:1-7), but rather he judges us on our works for the gain and loss of rewards such as crowns and reigning positions (2 Timothy 2:12; 1 Peter 5:4 Revelation 2:26; 3:21; 20:4) and whether we’ll be suffering shame (1 John 2:28; 2 John 1:8). This is to examine the believer’s service not to determine his or her salvation (1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 4:1-5). The fire that will try our works is the Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29; John 12:48).
  • Great Tribulation is a description the Lord Jesus gave to the period of intense judgment which will occur just prior to His coming (Matthew 24:21). It will be worse than any the world has ever seen, rivalled only by the world-wide flood in the days of Noah which was a more drastic but sudden event. It is also called among others the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, (Jeremiah 30:7) and the treading of the winepress of the Wrath of God. (Revelation 14:10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1,19; 19:15) [It is prudent to note that “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:9,10 {we being delivered already by salvation}; 5:9; Rom 5:9; Revelation 3:10), and also that it is Jesus the Lord Himself who is treading the winepress. Why would He be pouring out His wrath upon His own Church, His Bride, which is what would happen if there is no Rapture and the Church has to go through the Great Tribulation?] The day of God’s wrath will be upon all the world (Psalm 110:5; Isaiah 13:6-13; Revelation 6:17). This time of Great Tribulation is therefore a period when the troubles are focussed on unbelieving Israel as a nation and the wrath is poured out upon the ungodly world and not the Church. During this time the Beast (Antichrist) rules the earth and causes people to need a mark of which the number is 666 in their right hand or in/upon their foreheads to buy or sell (Revelation 13:16-18; 14:9-11; 20:4). [A very eccentric suggestion is that the many calls to legalise and allow chimeric (human-animal) cell research nowadays, which are already permissible for the first few days of the artificially fertilised embryos, might shed light on why he is called the Beast. Such a chimeric individual would convince many of the technological power of humans and their purported independence from God. These technological advancements in biology may also hold a key to how his deadly wound will be healed. (Revelation 13:3,13,14)]
  • The Second Coming (Second Advent) is separate from the Rapture and at the end of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:29,30). This is the return of the Lord Jesus to the mount called Olivet (Mount of Olives) to set up His earthly rule (Zechariah 14). Mount Olivet directly east of Jerusalem is where He ascended from to heaven at His first coming (Acts 1:12, Luke 24:50-52).
  • The miraculous defeat of Gog, the land Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, (Ezekiel 38,39) is a Russian confederacy with Iran, Ethiopia, Libya and Turkey along with what appears to be an European/Germanic-nations component as well, attacking Israel when she is at peace. The lack of Israel’s traditional enemies, the Arabs, in this Ezekiel text and the description in Psalm 83 mentioning them all as well as Zephaniah 2, {See the map} seems to indicate a decisive victory for Israel over the Arab nations well prior to this attack by Gog. The defeat of Gog must be fairly shortly before what is known as the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Great Tribulation, while the Psalm 83 event will likely be at the beginning of the Great Tribulation and might be a key factor in the Antichrist’s peace covenant with Israel (Daniel 9:25-27).
  • The event described as the Battle of Armageddon [Armageddon is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew word for “Mountain of Megiddo”, Har-Megiddo] happens when the Lord Jesus himself reaps the vines of the earth, of all nations (to be cast into the winepress which He himself will tread outside the city of Jerusalem (Revelation 14:14-20; 19:15). The main gathering point of enemy forces appears to be the valley nearby Megiddo, yet the ‘battle’ or rather defeat of them takes place over pretty much the whole of Israel (1,600 furlongs equating to 321.87 kilometre or about 200 miles, Revelation 14:20). The valley is also called Jesreel Valley (Joshua 17:16; Judges 6:33; Hosea 1:5) {See the map}, but is not to be confused with the Valley of Jehoshapat (Joel 3:1-2) and Valley of Decision (Joel 3:13-14) which is an alias of the Kidron Valley between Mt. Olivet and Jerusalem. This is an all-out attack against Israel and Christ by ‘all nations’ and happens at the end of the Great Tribulation, relatively shortly after the defeat of Gog. This is the trigger for the physical return of the Messiah, the Prince (Daniel 9:25) who shall reign as King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 17:14; 19:16).
  • The Day of Christ is the day in which the Lord Jesus takes vengeance in flaming fire on them that know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and when He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all them that believe. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8.)
  • The Judgment of the Nations happens at the Second Coming (Matthew 25:31-46) where all nations are judged by Christ Jesus when commencing His earthly Millennial Reign.
  • The Millennial Reign of Christ (Thousand Year Reign) as the King of all the earth and all nations (Psalm 47:7; Zechariah 14:9,17; Matthew 25:32-34,40; Revelation 17:14; 19:16) starts after the Great Tribulation with the Second Coming and continues for a thousand years wherein Satan is bound in the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:1-3), but to be loosed for a little season afterwards. This period is sometimes also referred to as the Day of the LORD [yet in the main the Great Tribulation period is known as the Day of the LORD (Isaiah 2:10-22), although the Day of the LORD is sometimes also even referring to general times of God’s visitation to man subsequently culminating in judgment (Amos 5:18-20)]. The combination of the two events Great Tribulation and Millennial Reign with the judgments along with it are also enveloped and jointly called “that day” or spoken of as “in that day” (Zechariah 2:11; 3:9; 12; 13; 14).
  • There is another Gog and Magog and All Nations defeat which takes place at the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ. Gog here not being the exact same person as a thousand years earlier but described as Gog and Magog, being thus an identifier of the same nation as opposed to the other nations also present. Deceived by the now loosened Satan, they are defeated when God devours them with fire out of heaven and Satan gets cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:7-10).
  • The Great White Throne Judgment however takes place at the end of the Millennial Reign with the casting of the devil into the Lake of Fire just prior to this (Revelation 20:10-15) where the Beast and the False Prophet already are. This judgment applies only to the unsaved dead, the saints having already been resurrected and are reigning with Christ at this point.
  • The New Heaven and New Earth and New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1-2) follows after this.
I have found that many people approach the discussion around the end times and especially the rapture with fear, uncertainty and discomfort. Very peculiar indeed when you consider that 1 Thessalonians 4:18 speaks about that “these words” should be used for comforting one another. Therefore, if you are a true born again child of God, it is important that pondering these things should leave you in spiritual comfort and you should look forward to it with a kind of excitement, anticipating it any day and in fact praying for it to occur soon.

So what exactly is the Apostle Paul talking about over here in 1 Thessalonians 4? Review the verses and then let us draw a few conclusions.

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 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: 17 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Paul, here now dispelling spiritual ignorance which itself is not welcome in the life of a Christian, expounds specifically on what the situation is with deceased Christians (“them which are asleep”), so that when we do sorrow for our deceased beloveds we do it with a hope. Notice how the Bible speaks of Christians as not dead, but asleep seeing that they were made spiritually alive in Christ, and will also never experience the lake of fire which is the “second death” (Revelation 20:14). Them will God bring with Him at some future moment when he returns in verse 14. The Bible speaks of them which sleep in Jesus, thus not just any dead, but only the true Christians who are dead; and by implication also not the Christians alive at that time. Now, in verse 15 he explains what that event we are focussing on really is; it is “coming of the Lord”, and here we see the second group of people involved, the living Christians at that point in time on the earth. These will not prevent, or in other words, enter into the happenings of this event before, the raising of the dead. But no, as he clarified in verse 16, the dead in Christ shall rise first!

So we see some way markers here: First the Lord Himself descents, while alongside with this there is a great shout which is either His own or perhaps rather the voice of the archangel, and there is heard a mighty trumpet of God. The dead saints are also now brought with Jesus Christ, here referred to as the Lord Himself (v. 16) and God (v.14). Secondly the dead are suddenly raised. But wait a minute, we have just seen them coming from heaven with God a moment ago, yet now suddenly they are rising from the earth? Well indeed this is exactly what will happen; the souls come from heaven and God then raises their physical bodies from the earth. Now a living body of man can never be without a spirit and soul, therefore immediately after returning from heaven, these souls and spirits of the saints are seen on the earth being raised in living physical bodies.

Then the third step occurs as the currently living Christians are then physically - together with the newly raised, formerly dead Christians - caught up in the clouds. This caught up in the clouds phrase does carry a sense of suddenness and therefore we associate the word rapture with it as when a bird of prey, or raptor as they are also known, flies over the surface of the river and suddenly seize it’s prey from a little below the water. The poor fish didn’t know what hit him, and the next thing he knows he’s sailing through the air with a tremendous back ache. He was raptured from the water. We now see the fourth step. The saints, all of whom are now very much alive from a physical earthly perspective, are meeting the Lord Jesus in the air. Then it is stated that, so shall they ever be with the Lord, therefore they will be in His physical presence evermore. Now the continual remembrance of this promising prophecy is to be used by Christians to comfort one another. Just as a side point though, notice that so far in this passage we have not read about the Lord physically coming in contact with the earth as opposed to the coming of the Lord in Zechariah 14 where His literal feet physically touches the mount of Olives and it cleaves in two.

We also find that in John 14:3 the Lord Jesus promises his disciples that He is going to Heaven to prepare a place for them and that at some point they will be with Him there after He has come back to receive them unto Himself. On the other hand we read in Zechariah 14:4 and onwards as well as Luke 1:32,33 and Revelation 19:11-15 that the Lord Jesus does come back (Second Coming), but here He now comes to rule from earth for a thousand years. So the event where Christ receives His saints unto Him to take them to heaven (Rapture) has to be a different event than and prior to the Second Coming.

Let us examine 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 for the next conclusive point. After describing the Second Coming in chapter 1 verses 7-10, he gives a more general summery of what will happen in the end times. We need to work by a process of elimination to place it all in it’s correct place. Speaking about our gathering unto the Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 1) he goes on to speak of the Day of Christ (vs. 2) more particularly and mentions that “that day shall not come” until a time of apostasy has arrived and that the man of sin, the son of perdition, the Antichrist be revealed (vs. 3). But we see that the Holy Spirit whose influence is currently present by God’s Church on the earth and the Restrainer of the mystery of iniquity will be taken out of the way and then shall that Wicked be revealed. If the Holy Spirit is not present on the earth, the Church would surely not be able to survive. The Holy Spirit came into the world on Pentecost in Acts 2 to empower the Church for the Great Commission (Acts 1:8) in this special dispensation. We understand though from Romans 8:9 that the Holy Spirit will have to be present in the personal lives of the believers who come to saving faith during the Great Tribulation (Revelation 7:3-17; 14:1-7), yet He will not be so prevalent in the general everyday politics, business and church as He has been over the last two thousand years. Everything official and social will be absolutely entrenched in an antichrist spirit, the start of which we are witnessing even today. Just go into town, our churches, our schools, read the newspaper or watch the news if you have any doubts about that.

Here are a few more arguments for the Rapture not merely being a separate event from the Second Coming, but a specific event seven years, or very slightly more, earlier, so as to have it occur before the Great Tribulation. This doctrine is commonly called a Pre-Tribulational Rapture or Pre-Trib Rapture for short:
  • The Rapture is the resurrection of all believers who died up to that time (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). We know they are all believers because it speaks about those inheriting the Kingdom of God in vs. 50. Also note that 1 Thessalonians 4:16 speaks about the “dead in Christ”.
    • The Second Coming which takes place with the Battle of Armageddon, when the Antichrist and False Prophet are judged, has only those that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God, and which went through the Great Tribulation not taking the Mark of the Beast, living again and reigning with Christ a thousand years, during which time Satan is bound in the Bottomless Pit; and only then are the unsaved raised to judgment. This resurrection of these Christians is called the First Resurrection yet we have already seen the armies of Christians which were in Heaven, washed clean, following Him on white horses (Revelation 19:13,14,19,20:6,12-15).
  • The Rapture has the bodies of the Saints alive and those resurrected being changed from corruptible to incorruptible, mortal to immortal (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 1 Corinthians 15:50-53).
    • The Second Coming has them coming with Christ, so their bodies are already immortal (Zechariah 14:5; Revelation 19:11-14).
  • In the days of Noah and Lot people were living at ease and enjoying their lives and their sin, not worried by the thoughts of God’s judgment. And so it shall even be before the Rapture (Luke 17:26-30).
    • The Second Coming happens when the World is in the biggest mess it ever was since the flood in our forefather Noah’s time. The greatest time of tribulations and torments are upon the earth just prior to the Second Coming in the form of the Seven Trumpets and Seven Vials (Daniel 12:1,2; Matthew 24:21-22; Revelation 6; 9:13-19; 16; 19:11-21). [It is interesting to note that the description of a vial is even today associated with the container of a small amount of medicine. I have recently read of a particular medicine costing a small fortune per vial (which was the actual scientific term used) of only 300 milligram. So I think that the idea is here that even in this judgment God is still only giving the world it’s medicine in but a measured amount. What must it be like then if He truly comes at us in full force? Dean J.W. Burgon described a vial as follows: “The φιάλη,—if we must needs talk like Antiquaries—is a circular, almost flat and very shallow vessel,—of which the contents can be discharged in an instant. It was used in pouring out libations (drinks poured out as an offering). There is, at that back of it, in the centre, a hollow for the first joint of the forefinger to rest in. Patera the Latins called it. Specimens are to be seen in abundance.” Thus the historic origin of the word (φιάλην) is of a small type of saucer almost, not a bowl as many teach these days.]
  • The Rapture will catch everyone by surprise, even the Church as she is sleeping with very little expectation of her Bridegroom’s imminent return (Matthew 24:36,44; 25:5; Mark 13:35,36).
    • Amidst of the Great Tribulation and world-wide devastation going on everyone are seeing the signs and prepare for the Second Coming of Christ, even the Antichrist is ready to make war against Jerusalem and against the Lord Jesus Christ (Zechariah 14:1,2; Matthew 24:33; Revelation 19:19).
  • The Blessed Hope is another name of our Rapture (Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:2,3) whereas having to go through a tribulation wherein most of the Christians will be dying and having to flee the Antichrist’s militaristic forces whose task it will be to ensure all worship the Beast, can by no means be seen as any kind of hope (Revelation 13:15-17). For the Rapture to happen after the Great Tribulation at Armageddon does also not make sense, because the Lord’s coming then (Second Coming) and the surrounding events only take place in Israel. Another point which would douse the Blessed Hope very quickly is if the Church would regard that if she has to go through the Great Tribulation, she would also be subject to the torment of the locust/scorpion-like creatures in Revelation 9:1-11 for five months which only those 144,000 Israelite men with the seal of God in their foreheads will escape.
  • The early church was taught to expect the Rapture at any moment (Matthew 24:42-44; Luke 12:35-40; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:9,10; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:7-9; Revelation 1:3). Whereas the Second Coming needs the prior fulfilment of certain prophecies before it can occur, such as; Israel had to be back in their land as a sovereign nation, Antichrist has to be revealed and the Great Tribulation has to play out first, etc. () Therefore there has to be a Pre-Tribulational Rapture which can occur at any moment (before the Great Tribulation as the name implies), otherwise we don’t need to expect His coming imminently, we can just wait out the seven years of the Tribulation and then start watching at the end.
  • The Pre-Tribulational Rapture encourages us to purify ourselves as we expect it any moment so that we won’t be ashamed before Him at His coming, because there is no time to waste in delaying the preaching of the Gospel. No more time to live in sin with the expectation to have ample time to repent in a more “convenient season” (1 John 2:28; 3:3). In Matthew 24:48,49 and Luke 12:45-47 we see however what the effect will be if we know that the Lord will only return after the seven year tribulation, we will become slack and careless, because that is just the nature of man and the state of him.
  • When was the last time you have looked up at the clouds and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come quickly, and prayed for His soon return? We are, together with God’s Holy Spirit, to pray for the Lord to hasten His return and to come receive His children to Himself (Revelation 22:17,20), yet there is no pleasure to God in us asking for Him to come and bring the judgment of the Second Coming (Ezekiel 33:11; Amos 5:18-20), as it will be a very dark day with no brightness in it. Should we be required to pray for Christ to return in judgment before or even during the Great Tribulation, we will be requesting judgment for the sin of the Antichrist and the ungodly nations which has not yet come to the full until the Great Tribulation is complete.
  • Two events in Heaven, occurring during the Great Tribulation on earth and before the Second Coming, requires the presence of the Church. These are the Judgment Seat of Christ and also the Marriage of the Lamb to His Bride (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 19:7-9). How do we know the timing of the Judgment Seat of Christ? Well because we see that at the Second Coming the Church is described as the armies of Heaven who have been clothed in fine linen white and clean, returning with Christ. (Revelation 19:14) [Noting that cleansing is something the angels did not need and would be ubiquitous and the description superfluous if the term, armies of heaven, referred to them.] Thus any inspection and judging of the Saints has to happen before this Second Coming to ensure that indeed they are dressed in clean robes by then. By applying the same logic we can only conclude that the Marriage of the Lamb must occur after the Judgment Seat of Christ.
  • The Church will be troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (Matthew 16:18; 2 Corinthians 4:8,9) yet those saved during the Great Tribulation will be overcome by the Antichrist (Revelation 13:7).
  • We find the Church absent from the earth during the Great Tribulation described in Revelation in chapters 4 to 18. In chapters 1 to 3 she is part of the main focal point and then again in chapter 19 she returns with the Lord Jesus to the earth to judge it. In Revelation 6 and 8 we see the prayers of Saints which are calling for the avenging of their blood on them that dwell on the earth. It is intriguing to consider that whereas Israel prayed such prayers many times (see among other places the book of Psalms), the Church was commanded by the Lord Jesus to pray for her enemies, not against them. The main witness for the LORD during the Great Tribulation is also Israel, not the Church (Revelation 7).
  • The Church-age believers are also promised mansions in Heaven (John 14:1-3) which would not be fulfilled if there is not a Rapture prior to the Second Coming, since then Christ comes and sets up His earthly Millennial kingdom and we reign here with Him. We are a heavenly people with a heavenly hope (Ephesians 1; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:1-4).
  • In Ephesians 3:1-11 we discover that the Church is a mystery not clearly revealed in the Old Testament but which was hid in God to make known the manifold wisdom of Him even in heavenly places. Therefore all the Great Tribulation events described in the Old Testament (Gog and Magog, Armageddon etc.) all applies to God’s chosen people, Israel, and not the Church. Israel has been partially blinded until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in (Romans 11:25).
  • The woman in Revelation 12 bringing forth Christ and being subsequently persecuted by “the great dragon... that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” must be the nation of Israel, seeing that Christ established the Church and the Church did not bring forth Christ. So the dragon goes after Israel during the Great Tribulation.

So writing from Athens, the Apostle Paul gave us advice on how to prepare and be ready for this coming Blessed Hope of ours in chapter five of his first epistle to the Thessalonians. Note the emphasised pronouns and what is the situation with Christians versus the ungodly.
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
Mark 13:37

Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Revelation 22:20


Credit goes to Way of Life and The Berean Call ministries for many of these arguments and scripture references.
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<![CDATA[The throne of His father David.]]>Mon, 12 Dec 2016 14:48:38 GMThttp://dielewe.org/stoel-van-mosesmoses-seat/the-throne-of-his-father-davidA message preached showing that Jesus of Nazareth was the true Jewish king and is also the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The message starts off solving the Jehoiachin conundrum of his age at the start of his reign, and showing how it ties into the lineage of Jesus Christ the Lord in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 1.

Listen to it on SoundCloud and compare the diagram for clarity.
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Credit for a lot of the information in this message goes to Dr. Floyd Nolen Jones from his book: The Chronology of the Old Testament.
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