The 1000 Years: Four Charts and a Couple Ancient Quotes


I appreciate all the feedback I’ve received after posting a presentation on the 1000 years of Revelation 20 earlier this month. In case you didn’t see that presentation, I’ll summarize by saying that I’ve come to believe that the “1000 years,” a.k.a. “the Millennium,” covered the time period between the First Great Revolt (AD 66-73) and the Second Great Revolt (AD 132-135). The text in Revelation 20 is certainly challenging, and I’m not finished thinking through it.

The last two weeks I had the privilege of further discussing this topic with Pastor Michael Miano (of Blue Point Bible Church in Long Island, New York) on his radio program, The Hairy Ticks Variety Show. In last Tuesday’s episode, we referred to three charts that I created in an effort to continue thinking through these things and to hopefully see more clearly what the text is saying. In this post I would like to share those charts along with one additional chart (“The Order of Events in Revelation 20:4”), a couple of quotes from early church authors, and an interesting observation from a friend about “Gog and Magog.”

Outline

A. Four Charts
         1. The Reign of the Saints – Spiritually Versus on Thrones
         2. The Order of Events in Revelation 20:4
         3. Contrasting the “Short Time” (Rev. 12:12) & the “Little While” (Rev. 20:3) of Satan
         4. Deceiving the Nations to War (Satan Led This Effort Twice)
B. Two Quotes from Early Church Writers
1. A quote from Eusebius (Attributed to Luke)

         2. A quote from the Apocalypse of Paul
C. An Observation from a Friend about Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39 and Rev. 20:8)

A. Four Charts

1. The Reign of the Saints – Spiritually Versus on Thrones

Saints Reigning Prior to AD 70

Saints to Reign After AD 70

The saints were reigning (spiritually) after the Day of Pentecost. These texts seem to reveal that Christ first returned in judgment, the beast was defeated, the resurrection took place, and the saints inherited the kingdom. Then the saints sat on thrones to judge.
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. 11 “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:7-11).
23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth,
trample it and break it in pieces. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute[a] the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. 26 But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. 27 Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him’” (Daniel 7:23-27).
27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” 28 So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:27-28).
“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods” (Matthew 24:45-47).
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory” (Matthew 25:31).
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” (I Corinthians 6:23).
“If we endure, we shall also reign with Him” (II Timothy 2:12).
“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nationsHe shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces‘ – as I also have received from My Father” (Revelation 2:26-27).
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4-6). To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).
“…To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:5-6). “…You have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ… But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (I Peter 2:4-10).

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. …they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).

It was not my intention to leave out any passages which could be placed in either column in the chart above. If you can think of any additional passages, please let me know and I’ll try to edit them into the post. To be clear, I acknowledge that Christ was already reigning well before AD 70 (e.g. Acts 2:29-36) and I believe He still reigns today (e.g. Revelation 11:15). This chart is simply about when the saints, especially the martyred ones (Rev. 20:4), would sit on thrones with Him to reign and judge for 1000 years.

Regarding the timing of “in the regeneration” (Matthew 19:28), I’ve noted the parallels between this verse and Matthew 25:31.

[1] “So Jesus said to them, ‘Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel'” (Matt. 19:28).

[2] “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory” (Matt. 25:31).

If Matthew 25:31 was fulfilled in AD 70, which is most likely a consensus view among preterists, then the same is true of Matthew 19:28.

2. The Order of Events in Revelation 20:4

(Which came first – the mark of the beast or the 1000 years?)

(Note: In the “Time Frame” column, I compared my view with the Transmillennial view [red font], the view that the 1000 years took place between the cross and the Jewish-Roman War)

PASSAGE

TIME FRAME

NOTES

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them…” (Rev. 20:4a). AD 70 –>
(My view)

(AD 30 –>)(Transmillennial view)

As the chart above reflects, my understanding is that before these thrones were set up, Christ returned in judgment, the beast was defeated, the resurrection took place, and the saints inherited the kingdom.
“…And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands…” (Rev. 20:4b). AD 66-70
(My view)AD 64-68? AD 66-70?(Transmillennial view)
I’m basing this time frame on my understanding that the beast of Revelation was Israel and the Zealot movement, and that this was the 42 months of the beast’s authority (Rev. 13:5). See this ongoing series for more details. Rev. 13:4-17 describes the enforced worship of the beast, his image, and his mark. I have not yet posted on this in my series on the beast.
“…And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4c). AD 70 – 132
(My view)
(AD 30 – 66)(Transmillennial view)
Those who were especially singled out to reign with Christ for the 1000 years were those who had been martyred (beheaded) for refusing to worship the beast. Rev. 15:2-4 portrays them as victors and overcomers.*

*The Transmillennial view says that the 1000 years began around AD 30, ended around AD 66, and then the “little while” of Rev. 20:3, 7-10 took place from AD 66-70. However, I would respectfully point out that, if it’s acknowledged that Rev. 20:4 draws directly from Rev. 13:4-17, then this position has those souls being martyred after the 1000 years ended. Thus, they would [1] first reign for 1000 years and [2] then be martyred by the beast, which appears to be the opposite order of what we see in Revelation 20:4. In order to reconcile this view with the text, it would seem necessary to demonstrate that the mark, image, and worship of the beast was enforced (upon penalty of death) prior to AD 30, but of course this is not possible and I’ve never seen anyone attempt to do it.

In my opinion, this view excludes the very people (the martyrs) who were explicitly named in Rev. 20:4 from participating in the 1000 years. On the other hand, I believe the text shows that the saints were beheaded first (AD 66-70) and then reigned with Christ (after AD 70).

3. The “Short Time” (Rev. 12:12) & the “Little While” (Rev. 20:3) of Satan

(Are they the same or are they different?)

Revelation 12:7-12

Revelation 20:3, 7-10

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while

Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where[a] the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

In Rev. 12:7-12, Satan was cast out of heaven and came “down” to the earth and the sea, having great wrath. In Rev. 20:3, 7, Satan was cast into a bottomless pit and later released from his prison in the bottomless pit.

I made this chart in response to someone’s comment that the “short time” of Rev. 12:12 and the “little while” of Rev. 20:3, 7-10 are identical. My conclusion is that they are very different.

What about Satan’s fall from heaven (Luke 10:18) and his judgment (John 12:31) spoken of by Jesus in the gospels? These statements may very well be parallel to Revelation 12:7-12. “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18). “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:31). Did Jesus mean that this had already happened when He made these statements, or that it would happen almost immediately (perhaps at the time of the cross)? Or was Jesus stating that this would happen at the end of the old covenant age, i.e. closer to AD 70? In the case of John 12:31, it seems to be a reference to what would happen at the end of the age since it’s coupled with “the judgment of this world” (compare with II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2, Eph. 6:12; etc.). My understanding is that that world was judged at the end of the old covenant age (around AD 70).

4. Deceiving the Nations to War (Satan Led This Effort Twice)

(Note: The time frames in the middle column of this chart reflect my understanding.)

PASSAGE

TIME FRAME

NOTES

“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:9). Prior to the First Great Revolt (AD 66-73) When John wrote Revelation, Satan was presently deceiving the whole world.
For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:14). The First Great Revolt (AD 66-73) The nations were being deceived into joining a tragic battle.
“He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20:2-3). After the First Great Revolt (AD 66-73) or at least after Jerusalem fell in AD 70 Satan was captured and bound so that he could not deceive the nations during the upcoming “1000 years.” What kind of deception was he prohibited from carrying out during the 1000 years? Was it “deceiving to war”? I think so, because that’s what he did before the 1000 years, and that’s what he would do again –briefly – after the 1000 years.
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea” (Revelation 20:7-8). The Second Great Revolt (AD 132-135)

After the 1000 years, Satan was released and briefly allowed to deceive the nations to war a second time.

Rev. 20:8 speaks of the effort to deceive the nations “to gather them together to battle.” This very closely mirrors what took place leading up to the First Great Revolt: “For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of Almighty God” (Revelation 16:14). There are those who would say this was recapitulation, i.e. restating the main points of the same story. However, I believe it’s clear in Revelation 20 that the nations were deceived to war before and after the 1000 years. So that would mean the same story wasn’t told twice, but rather there were two different stories.

B. Two Quotes from Early Church Writers

1. Eusebius

I recently came across an interesting quote from Eusebius (AD 263-339), known as “the father of church history,” concerning the timing of the 1000 years in relation to the resurrection of the dead. What caught my eye is that he attributed a teaching to Luke, the author of the book of Acts, that the resurrection of the dead would come before the “1000 years.” This doesn’t prove anything, but it’s insightful when it comes to how the very early church may have viewed the sequence of the 1000 years in relation to the resurrection. Speaking of Luke, Eusebius wrote (“Church History,” Book III, Chapter 39.11-12):

“The same writer gives also other accounts which he says came to him through unwritten tradition, certain strange parables and teachings of the Saviour, and some other more mythical things. To these belong his statement that there will be a period of some thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth. I suppose he got these ideas through a misunderstanding of the apostolic accounts, not perceiving that the things said by them were spoken mystically in figures” (emphasis added).

2. Apocalypse of Paul

The Apocalypse of Paul, part of “the New Testament Apocrypha,” proposed the same sequence for the 1000 years. This book states (chapter 21) that the destruction of the first earth (II Peter 3:10, Revelation 21:1) would come first and then Christ would rule for 1000 years. This is supposed to be Paul’s testimony of what he heard when he was caught up to the third heaven (II Cor. 12:1-4):

“And [the angel] brought me down from the third heaven, and led me into the second heaven, and again he led me to the firmament, and from the firmament he led me unto the gates of heaven. And the beginning of the foundation thereof was upon the river that watereth all the earth. And I asked the angel and said: ‘Lord, what is this river of water?’ and he said unto me: ‘This is the Ocean.’ And suddenly I came out of heaven, and perceived that it is the light of the heaven that shineth upon all the earth (or, all that land). And there the earth (or, land) was seven times brighter than silver. And I said: ‘Lord, what is this place?’ and he said unto me: ‘This is the land of promise. Hast thou not yet heard that which is written: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth? The souls therefore of the righteous when they are gone forth of the body are sent for the time into this place.’ And I said unto the angel: ‘Shall then this land be made manifest after (lat. before) a time?’ The angel answered and said unto me: ‘When Christ whom thou preachest cometh to reign, then by the decree of God the first earth shall be dissolved, and then shall this land of promise be shown and it shall be like dew or a cloud; and then shall the Lord Jesus Christ the eternal king be manifested and shall come with all his saints to dwell therein; and he shall reign over them a thousand years, and they shall eat of the good things which now I will show thee.’”

I haven’t come across any quotes from early church writers stating that the 1000 years would take place before the resurrection of the dead or before the destruction of the first heaven and earth, but if you find any please feel free to share them.

C. An Observation from a Friend about Gog and Magog

Revelation 20:7-8 states that when the 1000 years would expire, Satan would be released from his prison and gather the nations, “Gog and Magog,” to battle. There was some discussion under my last post as to whether or not the gatherings of “Gog and Magog” in Ezekiel 38-39 and in Rev. 20:8 refer to the same event. I do not believe they are identical references. As this post reveals, I believe Ezekiel 38-39 was fulfilled during the days of Esther. Ancil McBarnett, who I was able to meet this year and last year at the Blue Point Bible Church conference, agrees and had this to say:

“Ezekiel [38-39] happened during [the time of] Esther. Revelation seems to refer to that to register a similar occurrence on a wider scale. The big clue is Ezekiel describes a war after the people were displaced and then return and then this war took place. In Revelation it’s the same. It describes a war after the people were displaced [in] AD 70, then returned, [and] then this war took place” (Ancil McBarnett, Facebook, April 21, 2018).

In other words, the “Gog and Magog” attack of Ezekiel 38-39 took place after the Babylonian exile, while the “Gog and Magog” attack of Revelation 20:7-10 took place after the Roman exile. That’s the idea anyway, and personally it makes sense to me.

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36 thoughts on “The 1000 Years: Four Charts and a Couple Ancient Quotes

  1. Interesting work, and I like the balance and thoroughness.

    Your reference to ‘Rev. 21:8’ should be Rev. 20:8.

    Regarding Ez. 38-39 and Gog and Magog, you may wish to listen to Michael Heiser’s 2 podcasts starting here: http://www.nakedbiblepodcast.com/naked-bible-152-ezekiel-38-39-part-1/ . His analysis is in summary that the prophecy relates to eschatological and cosmic evil, which would mean that the Esther event is not the fulfillment. Another interesting aspect of this is the exile and the tribulation, see http://www.nakedbiblepodcast.com/naked-bible-101-jesus-the-exile-and-the-tribulation/ where Heiser claims that the exile was not considered to be over nor resolved for two reasons: the messianic kingdom has not arrived and most of the people of Israel, especially the Northern 10 tribes had not returned to the land. Again this suggests that the prophecy of Ez. 37-39 was yet to be fulfilled and that in Rev. 19 and 20 the writer is not echoing this source as representing something like the earlier prophecy and fulfillment, but was saying that the original fulfillment was in his near future.

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  2. Your point about the lack of a sequence of “1,000 years and then the new heaven and new earth in early church writers is important. I think a great deal of what we draw from them is anachronistic, assuming the paradigms we eventually codified were in their minds at the time. Again, I’d suggest reading Kurt Simmons’ website thoroughly and both of Duncan McKenzie’s books for background on a post release of Satan 1,000 year reign. In addition, you might want to look at Regnum Caelorum by Hill for insight into early church patterns of eschatology. You will probably find yourself learning things that aren’t part of his thesis, but are nonetheless useful.

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  3. There is another issue and text to consider here and that is the visibility of the kingdom of God at its coming. The kingdom of God, Jesus said, was not then visible, but it still existed (Luke 17:20-21). However, when it came, it would be visible (Luke 17:24). The visibility of this coming was in the gathering together of the vultures to dispose of the corpse (Luke 17:37), which would be at the time when the flood/fire came and ‘destroyed them all’ (Luke 17:26-30).

    The same thing is in the parable of the minas. The parable was told because they supposed that the kingdom was to appear immediately (Luke 19:11). Note that the problem was not that the kingdom was to exist immediately, but that it was to APPEAR immediately. The parable confirms that the man of noble birth going away to receive his kingdom and THEN to return (Luke 19:12). I.e. the kingdom is received when the master goes away, but it is not made visible until he returns. And at the return of the nobleman, the kingdom becomes visible by the destruction of the enemies who did not want him to be given the kingdom (Luke 19:27).

    The enthronement of the king happens before the visibility of the kingdom (Acts. 2:30-33). Christ is exalted but the ‘glory’ happens when he is revealed in power and exercises his authority visibly in the kingdom, as the devil offered him (Mat. 4:8), as Solomon had exercised (Mat. 6:29), and as the Son of Man was to do when he came with his angels in the glory of his Father, and will repay each man according to what he has done (Mat. 16:27), and when the tribes of the land would mourn (Mat. 24:30-31). See also Mark 8:38; 10:37; 13:26; Luke 9:26 etc. The term glory is associated with the manifestation of authority and power e.g. in the transfiguration and John 2:11; 11:4, 40. Importantly, the glory of the son is to be visible in heaven as stated in John 17:5. Not on earth! This is what Stephen saw in Acts. 7:55 it was the glory of Jesus at the right hand of the Father that he saw IN HEAVEN. This glory the saints join when they get what they were then seeking (Rom. 2:7; 8:18, 21). The glory of the man is REVEALED and made VISIBLE by the hair on the woman’s head (1 Cor. 11:7,15). The heavenly bodies reveal their glory since they shine from heaven to earth (1 Cor. 15:40-43). The point of all this is that the term ‘glory’ is associated with the revelation of power and authority, rather than its existence.

    The glory of the kingdom was hidden in heaven and not revealed on earth until the destruction of the enemies. So, when the bible talks about sitting on the throne of glory it is not necessarily saying that the person was not enthroned earlier, but that the power and authority of the person is being revealed.

    Now notice that the two passages that refer to the present heavenly seating of the saints and present kingly and priestly ministry of the saints do not say that those saints are glorified on the earth or even that they are glorified at all. I think this is significant: it shows that their enthronement and authority and power is hidden, as is the kingdom in Mat. 13:44. Paul explains the connection between the hidden life of the kingdom and its revelation in glory later in Col. 3:

    If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Col. 3:1-4).

    So the hiddenness of the kingdom and of the resurrection life of the saints and their enthronement with Christ is temporary because it was in heaven at that time. This ends when Christ and his power and kingdom are made visible, which is by the judgement and destruction of the enemies, at Christ’s appearing.

    This analysis throws a spanner in the works of the focus on the word ‘throne’ and the identification of Rev. 20 as a second battle: Rev. 20 never refers to the saints enthroned with Christ as being on earth, nor as amounting to their glorification or revelation of their authority on earth or in heaven. It is just not there! There is NO reference to either them being on the earth or being glorified or of coming or appearing or being made visible at that time or event.

    The saints in Rev. 20 are DEAD. They are in the graves, they are visibly dead and defeated. John looks into heaven and sees a vision of their true status, their ‘souls’ meaning their life-blood, their witness to Christ unto death, is what is visible, but only to those with spiritual eyes. John’s vision shows us the resurrection life of the martyred saints from the perspective of heaven, and it is spiritual in nature.

    The scene in Rev. 19:11f is different in its perspective: it starts in heaven but it shows the revelation of his authority and power via coming with the armies of heaven to tread the winepress of the fury of God Almighty, i.e. to strike down the nations and to destroy his enemies ON EARTH. It is on earth that the beast and the false prophet are active and where the war takes place.

    Both Rev 19:17f and Rev. 20:7-10 are absolutely and necessarily sourced from Ez. 38-39, which, as my previous comment suggests the ultimate battle in which cosmic evil and Satan are destroyed are in view in both visions. I still think the best approach is to see the two visions are seeing the same thing from two different perspectives: earth and heaven.

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  4. You stated that you didn’t intend to leave out any passages about the saints reigning and would welcome others that should be included if you did.

    I think you have left out 1 Pet. 2:4-11 which describes the saints in the same language as Rev. 20:6, compare:

    Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

    with

    you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. … But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles …

    The second text states that they were, before the fall of Jerusalem, a royal priesthood. This is absolutely synonymous with priests of God reigning with Christ.

    The second text states that they were, before the fall of Jerusalem, called out of darkness into his marvellous light. This is resurrection language, the same as Rev. 20:4-6, albeit in slightly different wording.

    The second text says they were sojourners and exiles. This matches with the dispossessed status, i.e. they are yet to inherit the land. They are travelling towards the promised land, they are on the exodus. In Rev. 20,

    The second text says they were the temple. In Revelation, being built into the temple is associated with the New Jerusalem in heaven, which comes to earth later the book at the consummation (Rev. 3:13). The temple’s location in heaven is repeated in Rev. 7:15; 11:19; 14:15-17; and implied in Rev. 16:1-17. So, the living saints before the fall of Jerusalem are also spiritually part of the heavenly temple. The temple is where priests serve, and so the priestly service of the Christian saints is, in a sense, in heaven’s court, throne and temple.

    In summary, this passage does seem to be a significant parallel with Rev. 20:4-6.

    Connecting back to my previous comment about glory: 1 Pet 2:4-11 never mentions that these saints were glorified in their royal priesthood. To the world, they were sojourners and exiles, their reign was not manifested, just as in Rev. 20:4-6.

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    • Thank you, David. I added that passage from I Peter 2 to the chart. Thanks also for your comments about the divine council. That’s something I’ve been gradually paying attention to during the last year.

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  5. The deception of the nations before and after the 1000 years is a valid point that you make, Adam, however, I think you may be missing some insight from the Unseen Realm as understood by the ancient writers in the Second Temple period that Michael Heiser writes and speaks about a lot. (David Curtis also studies and teaches this perspective to a significant extent in our community.) I feel his study is quite relevant to this question.

    In brief, the story goes that the heavenly watchers in the divine council had some rebellious members, the divine beings, gods, the Sons of God. By the time of the Second Temple period, this was developed into the concept of ‘the devil and his angels’ (e.g. Mat. 25:41; Rev. 12:9). The devil was Satan and the dragon and the ancient serpent (Rev. 12:9). This divine being deceived Eve and Adam, however the story continues with the Sons of God corrupting the seed of the woman before the flood (Gen. 6:1-4). In the Second Temple period this was THE major focus of the evil in the world and evil humanity was because of this event, not just the fall of Adam in the garden. Next, after the flood, humanity was told to spread out and fill the earth, but again the fallen watchers, the sons of God, brought together humanity to build the tower of babel. God then judged the 70 nations by giving them over to these 70 fallen divine beings. So the deception of the nations is not something limited to A.D. 66-70, this is an ancient story from Gen. 11.

    The story of redemption, is the story of reversing that deception of the nations via a new people, beginning with Abraham. Abraham was called out of the nations to be a new people for the redeemer to come through. Abraham’s people, his son of the promise, Jacob, was not to be under the gods of the nations, the fallen sons of God, but was to come back under YHWH’s direct rule, the people of Israel were YHWH’s own possession. See Deut. 32 for example:

    When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
    he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.
    But the Lord’s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.

    This is the summary of the story: the nations are under the sons of God, the fallen watchers, but Israel is YHWH’s portion, his special possession. But through Abraham’s seed, all the nations of the world would be blessed. I.e. God’s plan was to judge the divine beings who ruled the nations, and bring them all back under him, via his Messiah. We see this, for example in Ps. 82:

    God has taken his place in the divine council;
    in the midst of the gods he holds judgement:
    2 “How long will you judge unjustly
    and show partiality to the wicked? Selah
    3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
    maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
    4 Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
    5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
    they walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
    6 I said, “You are gods,
    sons of the Most High, all of you;
    7 nevertheless, like men you shall die,
    and fall like any prince.”
    8 Arise, O God, judge the earth;
    for you shall inherit all the nations!

    This is pretty clear: God has a place in the divine council, as the chief god, and he would judge the other gods for their misrule of the nations he put under them, resulting in those other gods dying like men and God inheriting the nations.

    Perhaps this is enough to show the importance of this story to the Revelation story of the nations and Satan being judged. This makes the idea that Jesus bound Satan, the strong man, in his personal ministry, from Mat. 12 more of a natural match for the story of Satan being bound in Rev. 20. Satan deceived the nations back in Gen. 11 at the tower of babel and gained possession of them. Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil, and that started in his personal ministry with exorcisms and revealing the truth in his teaching, raiding the nations and taking back possession of the strong man’s goods. But, before the final defeat of Satan, he would be released to deceive the nations again, but only for a short time.

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  6. Yet another interesting issue is the relationship between the unlocking of the abyss in Rev. 9:1-2 and the release of Satan from his prison at the end of the 1000 years in Rev. 20:7. The language is extremely similar, suggesting that the two passages are describing the same event. Unless we are to have Satan imprisoned twice in the abyss?

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    • I agree that there’s an interesting relationship between Rev. 9:1-2 and Rev. 20:3,7, as the same bottomless pit is mentioned in both passages. I only have Satan imprisoned in the bottomless pit once. I don’t see Satan’s imprisonment (or release from prison) in Rev. 9:1-11. Even though these two passages describe the same place, I’m not convinced that they describe the same event.

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      • If you have a look at Rev. 20 you may notice that the angel with the key to the abyss, threw the dragon in and locked it and SEALED it over him. After this he must be released (i.e. unSEALED) for a short time.

        Compare the scroll in Rev. 5. which is SEALED with seven seals. When the SEALS are broken, the judgements on the scroll are unleashed (Rev. 6:1-17; 8:1-5). The seventh SEAL unleashed the seven trumpets, which is where we find the unlocking of the abyss with the key by the angel (the exact opposite of the action taken in Rev. 20:1-3) at the fifth trumpet (Rev. 9:1-2).

        The pattern is that the unSEALING reveals various Last Days judgements, tribulation, famine, war etc. which in turn gives way to the coming of the Kingdom of God, at the seventh trumpet. The individual seals, trumpets and bowls do not seem to be particularly chronological or sequential, but they do seem to build up to the consummation, at the final battle, when Babylon falls and when Christ comes with his glory, and defeats the beast, false prophet and the dragon, and ushers in the new heaven and earth and the new Jerusalem.

        Given that no where else in the book is Satan bound, locked or SEALED, we have to ask whether the temporary SEALING of Satan is before or after the unSEALING of the scroll with its judgements.

        Within the overall theme and structure of the book, the failure for Satan to be totally and finally destroyed at the coming of the Kingdom of God is unexpected. The Jewish eschatology, as I understand it, had a final battle in which Satan is killed and his body is consumed at the great feast (Refer again to Heiser’s podcasts on Ez. 38-39). So I think we could say not only would it be unexpected, it is unprecedented, there is no other contemporary or prior work that describes Satan surviving the tribulation and the battle to have a second battle after the Kingdom of God comes.

        If Rev. 20:1-6 are something of a flash-back, showing the restraint of Satan before the scroll is unSEALED, that makes more sense as a big picture, because it keeps the expected ending in tact.

        Another interesting thing to notice is that the casting down of the dragon in 12:7-11 is portrayed from the perspective of the DEAD martyrs in HEAVEN, just like I have suggested for 20:4-6. There seem to be a lot of stars, angels etc. thrown from heaven to earth in the book as well as mountains removed and kingdoms falling. How Satan seems to be portrayed both sealed in the abyss and accusing the brothers in heaven I don’t know, if that is what is happening. In the same way how the dead martyrs are a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, and dead in Sheol and witnessing things in heaven I don’t know either. I used to hold that the dead saints are always portrayed as dead in the grave, but I am more and more seeing them portrayed in heaven.

        I wonder if any attempt to locate the dead and Satan in a cosmic and geographical sense are doomed to failure and if the references might be too metaphorical or figurative to allow construction of a scheme of locations and movements.

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      • Hi Adam,

        David’s suspicions in his May 9th comment below are correct in that the abyss (or bottomless pit) is not a “cosmic and geographical” LOCATION. The “abyss” (abysson) is not a location but a CONDITION or status. Or, we could say, a NON-FUNCTIONING status. We see this in the description of the Scarlet Beast of the wilderness in Revelation 17:8 which “WAS” in existence at one time, and at the time of John’s writing “IS NOT”, but was soon “ABOUT TO ASCEND” out of the abyss (the abysson); that is, it was about to arise from out of a non-functioning condition. When this condition changed, it would once again be operating as it had done before.

        We find a reference to the term “abyss” also used in Romans 10:7. In this context, it is describing Christ who had descended into the “abyss” (abysson) at His death. “…Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep” (the abysson) “(that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)” Here, the abyss is linked directly with Christ’s state of not being alive – that is, He was in a condition where His incarnate body was not functioning at the time – not that His lifeless human form had disappeared, but that it wasn’t operating in a living way as it had done before.

        Similarly, in the flash-back presented in Revelation 20:1-6 (and yes, it IS a flash-back), when Satan was cast into the abyss (the abysson), he was put into a condition where he was not functioning as he had done before: in other words, his chief activity of deceiving the nations was cut back drastically when he was bound with that chain. The “seal” the angel used also indicated that Satan’s status of being chained did not change at all during this time until that seal was removed among the UNSEALING of Revelation’s disasters. And it would only be removed for a “little season” and a “short time” until Satan and the demonic realm would be destroyed in AD 70.

        I still maintain that the beginning of this exact 1,000 years of being “sealed” or “bound” started with the foundation stone of Solomon’s temple being put in place. I believe an aging Psalmist was anticipating this particular 1,000-year period in Psalms 102:11-22:

        “My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass” (the Psalmist was reaching his senior years).

        “But thou, O Lord, shalt endure forever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: FOR THE TIME TO FAVOR HER, YEA, THE SET TIME, IS COME.” (this speaks of an “appointed time”, especially selected by God on the calendar, when Zion would begin to enjoy a season of God’s particular favor).

        “For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.” (speaking of the delight God’s people took in the city of Jerusalem itself).

        “So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory.” (because the pagan nations would hear of God’s glory manifested in Solomon’s kingdom in Jerusalem and in the wisdom God gave him. Like the Queen of Sheba, they would be inclined to fear the Lord who had blessed His people to such a degree).

        “He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.” (the Psalmist’s prayer was targeted for “the generation to come”. When they recognized that this “appointed time” had come for Jerusalem’s Zion to be built up, they would praise the Lord for his mercy to them).

        “For He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;” (because part of Satan’s biography as a “murderer from the beginning” was that he had “the power of death” – Heb. 2:14 ).

        “To declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms (kings in the LXX), to serve the Lord.” (God’s praise would be declared in Jerusalem when the people and the “kings of the earth” / the high priests were gathered together to serve the Lord in the temple ceremonies, once Solomon had started building it).

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  7. The only person specifically said to be beheaded in the New Testament was John the Baptist, and that was early. Combine this with the unified body of martyrs in Mat. 23:29-39 and Heb. 11, we can see them as united in martyrdom and enjoying the reign with Christ in heaven, not on earth. The ‘souls’ under the altar are in a temple, but it doesn’t seem to be the temple on earth. Would this not make them under the altar in the temple in heaven? These dead saints, like Abel, are crying out for vengeance and vindication. This legal petition is in heaven’t court and not on earth. Although the blood of Abel was shed on the earth, the voice and the life of Abel came before God’s throne and court in heaven.

    In like manner, you identify the Fourth Beast as Israel, who is responsible for the blood of the prophets and saints, so, it does seem possible to cast the two parts of the passage as additive as follows:

    Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. [the whole body of martyred saints from Abel]

    Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God [including John the Baptist],

    and those who had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands [all the martyrs but particularly those who suffered under the persecution of the beast whose actions are being described at this particular time].

    They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

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  8. ““Ezekiel [38-39] happened during [the time of] Esther. Revelation seems to refer to that to register a similar occurrence on a wider scale. The big clue is Ezekiel describes a war after the people were displaced and then return and then this war took place. In Revelation it’s the same. It describes a war after the people were displaced [in] AD 70, then returned, [and] then this war took place” (Ancil McBarnett, Facebook, April 21, 2018).”

    I have heard this theory before and think it has no scriptural support.

    I made a parallel chart, in part, to remove any doubt as to whether John the Revelator in chapter 20-22 is referring to fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecies. Some of these parallels are the exact same prophecy being fulfilled from the different perspective of the two prophets. The similarities are unmistakable. While some of Ezekiel is not in Revelation because it is for Ezekiel’s day, there is no reason to deny much of it finds its fulfillment revealed there.

    Ezekiel is prophesying to a REDEEMED, post-70AD (after the OC 12 tribes were united) Israel aka the church who possess their own land that becomes invaded; showing it is not OT prophecy or prophecy being fulfilled before 70AD. It would stand to reason this should not be unusual since OT prophecies find their fulfillment in the NT. Both books parallel each other and are filled with symbolism that progressively lead to the same predictions in a historical systematic manner.

    Note that the “first resurrection” and “the thousand years” of Rev 20 flows perfectly with the theme of “the dry bones” in Ezekiel 37 (the first resurrection being the first harvest raised in Christ, see 1Th 4:16). The parallels consistently resume all the way to the river of life and the temple-like city in Ezekiel and Revelation. Besides the parallels, John’s use of Ezekiel envisions the resurgence of evil after the millennium that is not eradicated until God becomes “all in all” after the GWTJ with the conclusion of Rev 20.

    Keep in mind that the Revelation at times recapitulates, so not every chapter must be chronological in the broad historical sequence, although the final chapters in both books are sequential. Here is the parallel chart:

    https://tinyurl.com/y9dpcdrx

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  9. Hi Adam,

    You know I am a firm supporter of you and this exceptional website, but on this occasion, it seems as if you have wandered into the weeds a bit when you try to connect any of Revelation’s prophecies to the Bar Kokhba second revolt.

    There is one major difficulty in this proposal that appears insurmountable to me. How is it possible for the events of the second revolt taking place before and during AD 132-135 to meet the internal requirements of Rev. 1:1,3,19 and Rev. 22:6,10 that limits the fulfillment of any unsealed prophecies in Revelation to the time that was THEN AT HAND? The gap of time between Revelation’s date of composition and AD 132 puts the Bar Kokhba second revolt far beyond the boundaries of the things that were “near”, soon”, “shortly” or “quickly” to happen, “ABOUT TO BE hereafter”, and especially “AT HAND” (or present) to John’s readers (which, I believe from internal scripture evidence, was written sometime between late AD 59 and early AD 60).

    The destruction and elimination of Satan and his angels in the Lake of Fire is INCLUDED within those temporal brackets of Revelation’s “AT HAND” events. If we ignore that fact, we are being inconsistent with the imminence indicators of Revelation. Satan was not in existence post-AD 70, and so could not have instigated the Bar Kokhba revolt with his deception. Whatever evil acts have been performed on earth from AD 70 onward are now the sole responsibility of mankind’s own sinful impulses. For those who deny the sin nature of mankind that he is born with, this is a problem. For those who DO admit such a sin nature for mankind, it should be simple to see that any evil presently in this world does not need the existence of Satan to instigate it.

    Adam, you state that you find Rev. 19 and Rev. 20 to be chronological, when MUCH of Revelation is presented as repetitious parallel accounts of the same events – a recapitulation pattern – as you yourself have mentioned before. Similar to the way David Hillary’s comments above have covered this point, Rev. 19 primarily tells the story of the AD 70 era from the EARTHLY perspective of two beasts from the land of Israel that end up in the Lake of Fire, while Rev. 20 tells of the same events from the AD 70 era based on the SPIRITUAL aspect of Satan’s perspective, who also ends up in the Lake of Fire along with those two beasts. Try comparing this to two parallel documentaries about the Battle of Gettysburg; one written from the Union’s perspective, and the other based on the Confederate’s perspective. Both documentaries would cover the same battle, though. (I will leave it up to each reader’s opinion as to which side the devil would be assigned to represent – whether Union or Confederate.)

    As another commenter noted already on your other post “The 1,000 Years and the Two Wars of Rev. 20…”, your position doesn’t make enough of a time distinction between a figurative 1,000 years of Satan’s being bound between the first and second revolts (lasting about 60 actual years) and the “short time” or “little season” that Satan is loosed. There really should be a greater difference between the millennium and the “little season” time spans than your proposal allows, since scripture treats them as appreciably different from each other.

    Also, with your presentation, that “little season” (which you say was just before the Bar Kokhba revolt), would have to conclude with Satan being sent to the Lake of Fire in Bar Kokhba’s Jerusalem. Is that the time you believe Satan was imprisoned in Jerusalem, along with every unclean spirit, according to Rev. 18:2? How is that time frame possible, if Revelation’s time indicators limit that imprisonment of every unclean spirit in Babylon the Great / Jerusalem to a time that was then “at hand” for John’s readers, according to Rev. 1:3 and 22:6,10?

    Do you also assign the “Great Tribulation” period to the AD 70 revolt or to the AD 132-135 revolt? If there is an approximate 60-year gap of peace-time between these revolt periods, do you propose a peace-time gap in the middle of the “Great Tribulation” as well? If so, how could that be, if the “Great Tribulation, when once it began, was not to be duplicated ever again afterwards?

    Where on your timeline do you place the time when “the power of the holy people” would be shattered, which was supposed to be when all Daniel’s prophecies would be finished (as in Daniel 12:7)? What if this “power” of the holy people being shattered actually has to do with the Jews’ “POWER to become the sons of God” (John 1:12), rather than their military or national power to exist as an ethnic people? What if this “power” has to do also with their “sanctuary of STRENGTH” (the temple) being destroyed in AD 70, as Daniel 11:31 calls it? Once that “sanctuary of STRENGTH” was shattered in AD 70, then all the prophecies of Daniel were FINISHED (Daniel 12:7). This would eliminate any significance for the later Bar Kokhba revolt, or even the AD 73 Masada episode.

    Also, what termination point on the timeline do you assign to Daniel’s 1,335th day under your proposal (as in Daniel 12:12)? If you link the Bar Kokhba revolt with “the end” (as in Daniel 12:13), then there must have been the blessing of a resurrection to life for Daniel and the saints on a 1,335th day at the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt. Are you aware of any outstanding event on the calendar dated 1,335 days prior to a Bar Kokhba related resurrection; an event which would have occurred with “the abomination” being set up during the same season when the daily sacrifice was taken away? As far as I know, 1,335 days prior to anything in the Bar Kokhba era ends up in no-man’s-land for this, prophetically speaking.

    And as another commenter noted, how can Paul’s promise of the saints crushing Satan under their feet “shortly” to that time (Romans 16:20) also apply to the years AD 132-135 or thereabouts, if Romans was written around AD 60? That would amount to 72-plus years later that the saints would have had to wait for God to crush Satan under their feet, which doesn’t seem to qualify as “shortly” to me. However, the relatively short time from AD 60 to the AD 66-70 era sounds like a more probably fit for this.

    Another question: if Satan was to be loosed TWICE, and this “short time” of release in Rev. 12:12 was just the first time he would be loosed to deceive the nations, why would he have had such “GREAT WRATH” during this time, if he knew he had a SECOND opportunity of being loosed before the Bar Kokhba revolt? Seems to be that his “great wrath” would be due to his knowing that this was his ONE_AND-ONLY last chance to deceive the nations before his destruction in the Lake of Fire at the end of AD 70.

    I’m sorry, Adam, I just see far too many scriptural difficulties with having Satan released TWICE to deceive the nations and to gather them to battle TWICE. For me, the ending of the millennium of Satan’s being bound in Rev. 20 is definitely linked to the “First Resurrection”, which is absolutely identified as belonging to “Christ, the FIRST-fruits” and the resurrection of the other “FIRST-fruits” – the 144,000 Matthew 27:52-53 saints raised with Him. When Christ was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, He announced to those who arrested Him that “THIS IS YOUR HOUR AND THE POWER OF DARKNESS” (Luke 22:53). Satan’s condition of being bound was coming to an end at that time, when he would be cast out of heaven (John 12:31) to wreak havoc on the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea (the land of Israel and the Gentile nations) for that “short time” in Rev. 12:12, once the Lamb’s blood was shed and then offered on heaven’s mercy seat on Christ’s resurrection day. I believe Satan’s “short time” and “little season” after the literal 1,000-year millennium’s end were terms that both described the same period lasting from AD 33 through AD 66, when he and his angels were imprisoned in Jerusalem until their destruction in AD 70.

    As for the Gog and Magog war applying to the story of Esther’s time, there is one main reason I can’t accept that as a match. Gog’s battle of Ezekiel 38-39 would be a time when “EVERY MAN’S SWORD SHALL BE AGAINST HIS BROTHER” (Ez. 39:21). This did not happen in Esther’s days as queen. The Jews were absolutely unified against Haman’s plans to destroy them. Neither did it happen just before Bar Kokhba’s revolt, since you have written that the Jews were in almost unanimous support of Simon Bar Kokhba during his revolt against Rome. However, the AD 70 era was notorious for civil warfare, with Jesus predicting the start of that civil war discord in Luke 12:52 when He said, “FROM HENCEFORTH there shall be five in one house divided, three against two and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son and the son against the father…” In the parallel passage to this in Matthew 10:34, Christ said that he came “not to send peace, but A SWORD”. This dates the Gog conflict to those first-century days, and to the people of Israel fighting each other. It also matches the description of Gog referring to the nation of ISRAEL ITSELF, as Balaam’s prophecy in Numbers 24:5-9 in the LXX tells us.

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  10. The time of Satan’s final destruction, besides being shortly after Paul’s letter to the Romans (Rom. 16:20) is placed by Isaiah 27 at the time when the world would be filled with fruit by Israel’s regrowth and when Israel’s sins would be atoned for at the destruction of the temple, when the fortified city would become a ruin, when the wood would be dry, at the time of the resurrection harvest when the great trumpet would be blown. Jesus placed the fulfillment of these events at the fall of Jerusalem in his generation in Mat. 23:29-39; 24:1-35; Luke 23:28-31.

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  11. Hi David,

    I also agree that a study of the “divine council” is absolutely essential for understanding when the demonic realm was disposed of. Understanding some of the details about the divine council helps to explain why Daniel’s ENTIRE statue of different metals was destroyed SIMULTANEOUSLY by the rock striking the feet of the image in Daniel 2:34-35. Since the various empires represented by the statue fell at different times throughout history, and the 4th empire representing Rome actually lasted far beyond AD 70, then the simultaneous destruction of the image’s metals must mean that the fallen, demonic members of the divine council which had operated WITHIN and OVER those nations were all obliterated at one time in AD 70. In other words, it wasn’t so much the empires themselves that were all destroyed together, but the demonic divine council members that had operated within those empires that were crushed to dust and blew away on the winds at the close of AD 70.

    Another point that makes sense when considered side by side with the topic of the divine council: Hebrews 2:5 (Interlinear) says “For NOT TO ANGELS did he subject the habitable WORLD WHICH IS TO COME, of which we speak”. This was speaking in Hebrews 1:10-12 of a time when the heavens and earth would “wax old”, “perish”, and “be changed – the New Heavens and New Earth soon to come in the age after AD 70. It was also speaking in Hebrews 1:14 of a time when the saints were “ABOUT TO INHERIT salvation” in an AD 70 resurrection. Angelic divine council members would no longer hold the nations of the world in subjection after AD 70 – neither the righteous members of the council, nor the demonic ones (and there had been some of both). It would have been redundant for God to keep employing angelic divine council representatives to implement His plans for the nations when every single believer was a mobile ambassador for the kingdom of God in every nation of the world. They would carry the Spirit of God Himself within them everywhere they went, so angels acting as divine council members became an unnecessary, outdated task for them after the New Covenant Age was fully established.

    The AD 70 destruction of all the evil divine council members, along with their leader Satan (who had been given all the kingdoms – plural – of this world as Luke 4:5-7 said), would also explain why Revelation 11:15 (at the 7th trumpet) says that the kingdoms – plural – of this world had then become the kingdoms – plural – of our Lord and of His Christ. Once Satan was crushed, his kingdoms of the world became Christ’s, and all the divine council powers over the nations were passed to Christ. It is also significant how the newly-ascended Christ in Daniel 7:14 was given a SINGLE everlasting kingdom on that occasion, as well as the Son of Man wearing a SINGLE crown in Revelation 14:14 when He harvested the Matthew 27:52-53 saints out of the earth with that first sickle. Later on, in addition to this single crown, Christ is eventually presented as wearing MANY CROWNS on His head in Revelation 19:12 at the close of the AD 70 conflict, once all the kingdoms of the world, along with the powers of the divine council, had been taken from the destroyed demonic realm and given to Christ.

    David, in your studies of the divine council, have you ever noticed the connection between Satan and the “prince of Tyre” in Ezekiel 28:12? This divine council member, the “prince of Tyre” in Ezekiel 28:12, (NOT the other HUMAN prince of Tyre in Ezekiel 28:1-10) was the “anointed cherub” who had been in Eden. This was definitely Satan, acting as a prince of the divine council over the city of Tyre in those days. God promised that this prince of Tyre, Satan, would be “cast to the ground” (as Satan was cast out of heaven to the earth in Revelation 12 after Christ’s ascension). God would afterwards bring forth fire from the midst of this prince, which would devour his celestial body form (as Paul had described angelic flesh forms in I Cor. 15:40), and turn him into ashes upon the earth (Ezekiel 28:18). This was the final result of Satan’s Lake of Fire judgment in AD 70 Jerusalem. His ashes would be some of those ashes trodden underfoot in the “great and dreadful day of the Lord”, as Malachi 4:3 promised to those that feared the Lord. Sounds like a fulfillment of the saints crushing Satan underfoot “shortly” in Romans 16:20.

    In addition, God promised that Satan’s existence would be destroyed forever at this point, when He predicted to Satan, the prince of Tyre, that “NEVER SHALT THOU BE ANYMORE” (Ezekiel 28:19). This destruction of Satan, the prince of Tyre, sounds like a duplicate of God slaying the “dragon” and the “serpent” in Isaiah 27:1, which would take place in the day of the resurrection (Isaiah 26:19).

    David, if you are at all interested, you may want to read my extended comments on this subject in a post someone called “The Cherub that Guarded the Garden, in Eden”, found in the theology forum on the gracecentered.com website. Another post in their theology forum you would probably find some agreement with I titled “The origin of devils and the divine council….some observations”. In the first post, I listed some of the reasons that Satan had an intense, particular interest in being the evil divine council member of influence within the city of Tyre. Some of his reasons had to do with the millennium that started with the foundation stone of Solomon’s temple being laid down in 967 BC – exactly 1,000 literal years before Christ’s crucifixion and ascension. Another reason had to do with the Tyrian shekel, which I believe was used as the mark of the beast in Revelation 13. I’d be interested to see if you could find agreement with any or most of those comments.

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    • Patricia,

      Thanks for the kind comments.

      Have you seen Adam’s work on the identification of the Fourth Kingdom, identified as Israel rather than Rome?

      The simultaneous destruction of the beasts / statue is somewhat mysterious and your proposed explanation is worth considering.

      The divine council concept and narrative is somewhat new to me, and I feel the implications and elements of the story interact with other areas of doctrine and the biblical text in ways I have yet to identify or consider how to make sense of at this point. I have noticed the passages you referred to concerning the plurality of the kingdoms in Rev. 11 but I hadn’t connected it to the temptation passages as you did, and I think it is probably a valid connection there. I hadn’t noticed the Hebrews passage you quoted about that, but I agree it is probably a valid connection there too. I’ll have to look into the singular and then plural use of crowns, thanks for the suggestion.

      I find Ez. 28 somewhat difficult and perplexing as to how it switches between the figures being discussed if that is what is happening, although I have to agree the second description is very much identified as a divine being.

      One of the connections I would like to explore is the identification of the sons of the resurrection as sons of God and like the angels, as this relates to the nature and timing of the resurrection, and the manner of entering the resurrection — apparently by new birth as a son — and what it means in terms of divine council membership or participation or in becoming divine, and whether this constitutes a joining with or a displacement of the angelic divine council members.

      I will look at the resources you mentioned and hopefully get closer to answering these questions!

      Back to Adam’s question about the binding and release of Satan, I think we need to also look into other material of that time that talks about the imprisonment of the fallen angels / spirits, and about the abyss and so on to try to understand the point or the implications of the text in Rev. 20.

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  12. Hi Adam,

    You asked above for any other verses to plug into the chart about the reign of the saints before AD 70. How about Romans 5:17 ? “For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall REIGN IN LIFE by one, Jesus Christ.” Paul went on to explain that particular type of reign for the saints in Romans 5:21; “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace REIGN THROUGH RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE by Jesus Christ our Lord.” In other words, this state of “living and reigning” by Jesus Christ is a condition that has been true for every child of faith living in every generation since creation. As a child of God, “living and reigning” with Him during our natural lifespan is part of the salvation package deal.

    According to this idea of any saint from creation onward being able to “reign in life” by having imputed righteousness (such as righteous Abraham), the Revelation 20:4 verse about the souls who had “lived and reigned” during that 1,000 years doesn’t have to be a type of reign exclusive to them. They just happened to be part of the group of various souls who had lived on earth at some point during those 1,000 years when God had bound Satan by limiting his deceptive powers over the nations. The text doesn’t demand that they all reigned simultaneously from start to finish during this 1,000 years – just that at some point during that time, they participated in sharing in a part of Christ’s reign during their natural lifespan while on earth.

    We know that God has ALWAYS reigned in glory on His throne, as is also true of the second person of the Trinity. (Psalms 93:2 – “Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.” compared with John 17:5 – “…glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”) However, there have been times throughout history that this glory of a reigning Lord has been manifested more openly to mankind in His judgments, as well as in vision form revealed to various prophets such as Ezekiel, Isaiah, and perhaps even that unnamed individual mentioned by Paul in II Cor. 12:2-5 that saw visions and revelations of the Lord.

    One of these times when God’s glory was more openly manifested to mankind was the period of 1,000 literal years of established worship in a physical temple setting – a precursor and an antitype of the ultimate spiritual temple which was later set up in the New Covenant at Christ’s ascension after the “First Resurrection”. With the initial establishment of Solomon’s temple and kingdom, Satan’s ability to deceive the nations was curtailed, when the knowledge of the God of Israel began to spread abroad in those days – especially under the ministry of the many prophets testifying and writing during that 1,000-year period from 967BC – AD 33.

    Hannah prophesied of this soon-coming time when Satan would be bound when she predicted that “the Lord will WEAKEN HIS ADVERSARY”, in the LXX version of I Samuel 2:10. Also, the last prayers of David in Psalms 72 were a prophetic prayer for his son Solomon, who would “BRING LOW THE FALSE ACCUSER” (Satan, the accuser of the brethren from Revelation 12:10). David predicted of Solomon that “In his days shall righteousness spring up, and abundance of peace, till the moon be removed.” David also spoke in Psalms 72:16 LXX of the temple Solomon would build: “There shall be an establishment on the earth on the tops of the mountains” (the mountains round about Jerusalem) “the fruit thereof shall be exalted above Libanos, and they of the city shall flourish as grass of the earth”. All of Psalms 72, most especially noticeable in the LXX, is a prediction of the start of the Revelation 20 millennium. It would begin on the day the foundation stone for Solomon’s temple was laid down in 967 BC.

    As for the Revelation 20:4 text, there were actually two categories of souls that John saw. One group was definitely martyred, but the other category has no mention at all of them being killed by the Beast. The first category of faithful saints who happened to live on earth sometime during this literal 1,000-year period of Satan’s limited deception when God’s reign was being openly manifested were martyred for their testimony of God’s words. Included among this category were the majority of Israel’s prophets, martyred through the centuries by their own people for their faithful witness. Those in the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” that were slain for their faith would also qualify as “living and reigning” at some point during this 1,000 years. John the Baptist beheaded for his witness in AD 30 certainly qualified as a member of this martyred group of souls John saw in Revelation 20:4.

    On the other hand, in addition to this group that John saw who were martyred for the word of God, John also saw ANOTHER category within this group of dead saints who were NOT necessarily described as martyrs, but who could have died a natural death – those who during their lifetime had never worshipped the beast and his image or received his mark. These were different from the other “beheaded” category. Some of those who qualified for THIS category of faithful souls that John saw were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who never bowed down to Nebuchadnezzar’s image during the time the Chaldean empire was in power, even under threat of death in the fiery furnace. Daniel himself is an example of one who refused to pray to Darius of the Persian empire, and continued to pray three times a day to Jehovah, even under threat of the lion’s den. Mordecai also is another example, by his refusal to bow before Haman, the representative of Ahasuerus’ Persian empire, even in spite of Haman’s plans to destroy all the Jews.

    In the days of Christ’s ministry, when the Roman empire was in power, there were those who tried to trick Jesus with questions about the tribute money given to the Roman version of the Sea Beast. He very wisely held up the coin with Caesar’s image and inscription and told them to “render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s”, thus drawing a fine line of distinction between rebellion to a lawful authority, and giving homage to pagan Rome, the then-current face of the Sea Beast character.

    All these are examples that illustrate that the Sea Beast itself existed over a lengthy span of time, and not just during the concentrated period of conflict around AD 66-70.

    Adam, you have stated on this post that you have never encountered anyone who attempted to prove that “the mark, image, and worship of the beast was enforced (upon penalty of death) prior to AD 30” That’s what I’m doing right now. The Sea Beast John saw in Revelation 13 was an amalgamation of lion, bear, and leopard – all subsumed into one creature, as found in Revelation 13:2. The number of this Sea Beast we know was 666. I now believe that this 666 number represents the AGE of this Sea Beast. In other words, 666 represented the YEARS this Sea Beast had existed in the world as of John’s writing Revelation.

    I have gone to great lengths of personal study to prove from internal references in Revelation and other scriptures that Revelation was written no earlier than late AD 59, (because of the tribulation John was experiencing after the 59 Ephesus riot), and no later than early AD 60, (because John’s letter to the Laodicean church had to be written before the devastating AD 60 Laodicean earthquake). Back the calendar up 666 years prior to AD 59, and you get the year 607 BC – the year Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem for the first time and deported Daniel and others of the Jewish nobility – the “good figs”.

    The year 607 BC was also the first year that began the 70-year period of exile for Daniel and his people. Daniel managed to confirm the dates for this exile period by reading books like Jeremiah’s that predicted the exact starting and ending year of this 70-year exile for the Jews. (Dan. 9:1 compared to Jeremiah 25:12-13).

    We know that Nebuchadnezzar was the “head of gold” on Daniel’s interpreted vision of the metals-man statue. The pagan empires represented by the different metals that composed Daniel’s statue of a MAN (remember, 666 is supposed to be “the number of a MAN” in Rev. 13:18), lasted for exactly 666 YEARS until John was writing Revelation in AD 59. John’s readers who had wisdom were to CALCULATE the number of the beast by counting backward 666 years from the time they had received John’s letter, at which point they would recognize that Daniel’s statue of a MAN represented all the pagan empires that had ruled over the Gentile nations ever since Nebuchadnezzar had first come to Jerusalem and taken them captive.

    Notice especially the description of the first beast – the lion – in Daniel 7:4, which was supposed to represent Nebuchadnezzar’s empire: “The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as A MAN, and A MAN’S heart was given to it.” This tallies with the description of the Sea Beast in Revelation 13:18 which had 666 as “the number of A MAN”.

    Rome, the then-current representation of the Sea Beast in John’s days, was pictured as an amalgamation of all the former empire beasts (leopard, bear, and lion). All the resources and power of these empires had over time become subsumed into one “dreadful and terrible” beast representing Rome – which is why John saw features of lion, bear, and leopard included in the Sea Beast of Revelation 13:2.

    Conclusions: Understanding that the number 666 was the calculated AGE of the Sea Beast accomplishes several things.
    #1) It dates Revelation precisely to AD 59.
    #2) It confirms that the 4th beast of Daniel represented Rome.
    #3) It shows that this Sea Beast of Rev. 13 had been operating from the days of Nebuchadnezzar’s first arrival at Jerusalem in 607 BC – the beginning of the 70 years of exile.
    #4) It shows that both the Sea Beast and later on its mark came from a period MUCH EARLIER than the 42 months that the one “little horn” on this Sea Beast would have “made war with the saints”. The little horn of Dan. 7:21 and Rev. 13:7 may have “made war” for only 42 months, but the Sea Beast which provided the origin of the little horn had existed long before that time.

    As for what that actual mark of the Sea Beast is, unless someone persuades me otherwise, I am still convinced it is the silver Tyrian shekel coin that was minted in Tyre (hometown for Satan, the divine council “prince of Tyre” in the days of Ezekiel – Ez. 28:11-19). That pagan coin with its abominable images forbidden by God in Deut. 7:25-26 was so highly prized for its consistent silver content that the priests REQUIRED its use for all temple tax payments and for buying and selling sacrificial animals at the temple. When Rome came to power, this Tyrian coin was issued with the initials “KP” and the Roman eagle on the back – initials that stood for “kratos Romaion”, or “power of the Romans”. The enforced use of the pagan Tyrian shekel by the 2-horned Land Beast, (the Pharisee and Sadducee parties of the religious leadership), was how they compelled their fellow Jews to give homage to the Sea Beast, every time a temple transaction was made. I can actually purchase one of these marks of the Beast online, if I want to fork over about 700 to 800 bucks.

    In reality, there were a couple reasons that God forbad the use of coinage such as the Tyrian shekel with the image of the half-god / half-human Hercules image on the obverse side. First of all, nothing could have been more offensive to God than to put an image of a hybrid half-human / half-god on a coin minted in Satan’s hometown of devil-worshipping Tyre. It was like slapping God in the face, to bring up a remembrance of the fall of the Genesis 6 Sons of God who had married the daughters of men and begotten the race of giants. This was the hybrid race of the Nephilim, which required Noah’s flood to kill them all. Even after God purged the planet of them once, the same problem had repeated itself by the time the Israelites came to take the land of Canaan. They were then given the job of purging these cities by killing all that breathed of this hybrid angel / human race. For Israel to actually REQUIRE in the temple the use of this coin commemorating a mythical example of this hybrid race – there could not have been anything more offensive or abominable to God.

    In addition, the prohibition against the use of such coins harks back all the way to the days of Moses and Joshua in Deut. 7:25-26. Moses first gave God’s command restricting the use of any precious metals that had been associated with idol worship. It was an “abomination” and a “cursed thing”. Later, when Joshua and Israel attacked Jericho, God commanded that every vessel of GOLD, SILVER, BRASS, AND IRON (the same metals in Daniel’s statue) were to be collected and consecrated to Him (Joshua 6:19). Not a single Israelite was to take of these “accursed things”. These vessels of different metals were to be purified by fire (as proscribed in Numbers 31:21-23), and then they would be considered “clean”, to be put in “the treasury of the Lord” (Joshua 6:19).

    As we know, Achan disobeyed and took silver coins and a wedge of gold with a Babylonian garment for himself, thereby bringing a curse on the entire nation of Israel. He and his family paid for this offense by being stoned to death and then burned. God meant what He said about His people not using precious metals that were connected with idol worship. It was for the same reason that Moses burned and ground up the golden calf into dust, dumped it in the water, and made the children of Israel drink it – thus insulting their idol by turning it into human waste (Ex. 32:20).

    It was for this reason that Israel was not supposed to have forged any alliances with the pagan nations represented by the GOLD, SILVER, BRASS, OR IRON in Daniel’s metals-man statue. God intended Israel to embody the antitype of the saints being “IN the world, but not “OF the world”. Balaam’s prophecy brought up this “separated” status of Israel when he prophesied in Numbers 23:9. “The people shall dwell ALONE, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” Just as in Deuteronomy 32:8-9, all the nations were divided up according to the angels of God’s divine council to be watchers over them, but Israel was made into GOD’S exclusive inheritance upon which He lavished His special care and attention.

    Adam, this is why I don’t see the 4th iron kingdom being Zealot-led Israel, which you have emphasized heavily here on your website. Israel was not represented by ANY of the 4 metals in Daniel’s statue, because these metals represented PAGAN nations. Instead, Israel was the CLAY in Daniel’s statue that had compromised its separated status from the other pagan, metal components that made up this statue. By forcing their own people to give allegiance and homage to the Sea Beast, they corrupted themselves by mixing the CLAY of Israel with the IRON of the idolatrous Roman Sea Beast. Since they insisted on blending themselves with these other pagan metals, they shared the same fate of destruction that befell Daniel’s entire statue.

    In judgment for corrupting their separated status from the pagan nations, Israel’s Jerusalem had the ENTIRE demonic realm imprisoned within its walls in the AD 66-70 era. Since the leadership of Israel wanted so badly to be connected with those other pagan, devil-worshipping nations in order to preserve their financial prosperity, etc., God transferred into Jerusalem every demonic entity that had ever operated as part of the divine council in any other Gentile nation. It’s just as they say: “Be careful what you wish for – you may get it”.

    One more proposal, Adam. The scenes of Daniel 7:9-14 I believe are all being played out at the time of Christ’s ascension. The “thrones that were set up” in both Daniel 7:9 and Rev. 20:4 were the 12 apostles being given the 12 thrones that Christ promised them at His resurrection (the “regeneration” of Matthew 19:28). Just as in OT times when the “thrones of judgment” were set up in Jerusalem for the people to resort to in cases that were too difficult to settle ordinarily (Deut. 17:8-13 cp. with Psalms 122:5), the 12 apostles had been given the same type of “thrones of judgment” in Jerusalem over the infant church in first-century Jerusalem in those early days after Pentecost. The 12 apostles’ authority over the “12 tribes of Israel” lasted until the end of Daniel’s 70th week of his prophecy. That 70th week expired in AD 37 (a “week” of 7 years in which Christ had “confirmed the covenant with many” from AD 30-37), after which time the gospel through Paul was concentrated on going to the Gentiles.

    When Daniel 7:10 says that “the judgment was set, and the books were opened”, it says NOTHING about the DEAD being judged. I believe this is SATAN being judged after Christ’s ascension. Remember, those that dwell in heaven “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY”. This was testimony given in a court setting, with a trial and judgment for Satan and his angels in heaven after his war with Michael and his angels. After this trial, the judgment was that Satan and his angels had no more “place” in heaven, and they were cast out of heaven down to earth for that “short time” and “little season” of great wrath.

    This “judgment that was set” for Satan in Daniel 7:10 is also referred to in John 16:8. “And when He (the Comforter) is come, he will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, AND OF JUDGMENT: …OF JUDGMENT, because THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD HAS BEEN JUDGED”. In other words, once Christ had ascended and sent the Comforter to His people, it was proof that Satan, the prince of this world, had ALREADY BEEN JUDGED in heaven – and cast down to the earth afterward, as Christ predicted in John 12:31. “NOW is the judgment of this world, NOW shall the prince of this world be cast out.” The judgment that was passed upon the world was done by having Satan loosed to freely deceive the nations once more without constraint at this point.

    The Daniel 7:14 account goes on to present the newly-ascended Christ being brought before the Ancient of Days, when Christ was given *A* (singular) kingdom that was everlasting. In other words, Christ was given the high priesthood (after the deathless order of Melchizedek), and seated as a king (a high priest) upon His throne of the mercy seat in heaven, with the same glory restored to Him that He had shared with the Father before the world began (John 17:5)

    Okay, Adam, I did it again with another dump-truck load this time – can’t seem to help myself. Thank you for letting me think out loud here…

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    • Hi Patricia,

      You mention that “Rome, the then-current representation of the Sea Beast in John’s days, was pictured as an amalgamation of all the former empire beasts (leopard, bear, and lion).”

      If Daniel’s 4th kingdom and the Sea Beast of Revelation both represent the same entity, why isn’t the sea beast of Revelation just refered to as a terrifying and frightening beast as it was in Daniel 7? Daniel’s 4th beast wasn’t presented as a combination of his previous 3 beasts. Do you have any theories as to why John would change the imagery like this?

      Thanks,
      Carmine

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      • Hi Carmine,

        The Rev. 13 Sea Beast with combined features of leopard, bear, and lion IS a depiction of a “dreadful and terrible” beast, as Daniel 7 described it. There is no contradiction here between Daniel’s vision and John’s – just further details given of the same creature, because John presented this Revelation 13 Sea Beast from his perspective, which was, of course, further down the timeline than Daniel’s perspective. These kingdoms of lion, bear and leopard had already come and gone by John’s time, so he was presenting them as fulfilled history – kingdoms whose power and resources had been subsumed into the 4th kingdom.

        And there ARE hints of these combined features in Daniel 7’s “dreadful and terrible” beast: it is described in Daniel 7:19 as having IRON TEETH and also BRASS CLAWS (the iron teeth of the 4th beast being a connection with the 4th iron kingdom of Daniel’s image, and the brass claws of the 4th beast representing the absorbed Greek influence of the 3rd kingdom of brass within that Roman kingdom of iron).

        If you have his book “The Four Kingdoms of Daniel”, you might want to check out John Evans’ comments about the significance of these brass claws. He states the following on p. 394-395: “…the metals bronze and iron seem perfectly appropriate for Greece and Rome, respectively, because of their historical association with those metals, and I have suggested on several occasions that the passage about the ‘iron teeth and bronze claws’ of the fourth beast found in Daniel 7:19 beautifully recalls to mind the historical connection between the raw power of the Roman military and the cultural influence of Greek civilization.”

        The description of this “dreadful and terrible” Daniel 7 beast also emphasized that its little horn would have the “EYES OF MAN’ (remember, the Revelation 13 Sea Beast’s number is that of “A MAN”), and this little horn would also have a “MOUTH SPEAKING GREAT THINGS” (which is why the Revelation 13 Sea Beast’s image is also described as having the power to speak). So, this Daniel 7 set of 4 beasts includes features of “A MAN” in that it has human feet (Dan. 7:4 LXX), a man’s heart (Dan. 7:4), a man’s eyes (Dan. 7:8), and a man’s mouth which speaks (Dan. 7:8); all of which human characteristics match the Sea Beast with the “number of A MAN” (Rev. 13:18).

        Paul himself in II Timothy 4:17said that he had been delivered from the “MOUTH of the lion” – a subtle way of saying that, during his first answer when brought before the emperor (Nero), he was released from Nero’s imperial custody. Paul was writing this comment in either AD 66 or AD 67, just before his approaching execution after his second imprisonment. His language about the “MOUTH of the lion” I believe is a reflection of John’s EARLIER AD 59 description of the Sea Beast in Revelation 13, with its features of a leopard, a bear, and its “MOUTH OF A LION”.

        Both John and Paul knew their Old Testament Daniel scriptures very well. They both borrowed from it in their own individual ways to refer to the Sea Beast, which at that point in time was in its final phase of existence under Roman representation.

        I also believe it is very significant that the point of origin for every one of Daniel 7’s 4 beasts was to come up from out of “the great sea” (Daniel 7:2-3). This “sea” illustrated their pagan, Gentile nations origin. This is why I am still firmly convinced of the existence of 3 different beasts in Revelation: one beast from the sea in Rev. 13, with those combined features of leopard, bear, and lion coming from pagan, Gentile origin, and two beasts from the land of Israel (Rev. 13’s land beast and Rev. 17’s scarlet wilderness beast). Having two beasts from the land of Israel which are both rooted in a Judean identity more accurately depicts the Ezekiel 38:21 “brother against brother” aspect of the Gog warfare (which was Israelites against Israelites) in those waning days of the Old Covenant Age.

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  13. The John the Baptist connection to Rev. 20:4-6 is also possible along another concept: prison.

    John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod, and then beheaded. He is the only one in the New Testament who is expressly said to be beheaded.

    Satan is imprisoned in Rev. 20:1-3. Although the word prison is not used, the concept of imprisonment is.

    Look at the similarity of language:
    For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison

    And he seized the dragon … and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him

    Both cases have the exact sequence: seized, bound, imprisoned.

    Barabbas is another character that was in prison, and he was a murderer and insurrectionist, and yet he was released, just like Satan, and just like the beast that came up out of the abyss.

    There seems to be a narrative here about imprisonment as the means of persecution or subjection. The sons of God who formerly disobeyed were put in prison, and Christ’s death and resurrection is proclaimed to them and their defeat is seen in the ascension of Christ to the right hand of God, with angels, authorities and powers being made subject to him. (1 Pet. 3:18-22)

    Another parallel is the demoniac who was bound with a chain, yet he broke free. The story even has the liberated demons mass into beasts, who in turn are driven into the sea and die (Mark. 5:1-13). In Luke 8:26-33 version of the story even features the abyss. The parallels with the Revelation narrative are fairly numerous!

    In summary, there seem to be a lot of parallels with the topics of binding and imprisoning and releasing of Satan, demons and angels (e.g. Rev. 9:14) and nothing to suggest it is something relevant to after the fall of Jerusalem and quite a bit to suggest it is an ancient story, with some connections to the Sons of God in Gen. 6:1-4.

    I hope to study more on the topic of the ‘spirits in prison’ as I think it would shed quite a lot of light on this, although I think I would also find some of the material difficult to accept or fit into my current framework. Hopefully my framework is flexible enough to allow revision and modification if that is required.

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    • Hi David,

      If you are going to delve into a study of imprisoned spirits, if you haven’t already, you should take note of the Isaiah 24 prophecy and its Revelation 18:2 companion text. This was timed to be fulfilled specifically during the AD 70 Jerusalem siege, when the “host of the high ones” (the evil angelic divine council members) were “shut up in the prison” (Is. 24:21-22) along with “the kings of the earth” (which is Bible lingo for the high priests of the land of Israel). “After many days” (which I believe lasted from AD 66-70) of this imprisonment for the evil host of “high ones” and the “kings of the earth”, they would all together be “found wanting” (which is Bible lingo for not existing anymore).

      If these were all to go out of existence together, and we know that all high priests of Israel disappeared after the AD 70 conflict, then the “host of high ones” were also destined to disappear at the same time. This means demonic evil didn’t last beyond the close of AD 70. Revelation 18:2 also predicted the soon imprisonment of EVERY UNCLEAN SPIRIT in an AD 70 Jerusalem prison.

      This all aligns perfectly with the Zechariah 13:2 prophecy that said the unclean spirits would “pass out of the land” in that day of Jerusalem’s AD 70 siege (described in the entire Zechariah 12-14 context of “IN THAT DAY” events.

      I tend to believe that the Revelation 9 release of demonic evil “locusts” from the abyss by the “star fallen from heaven” was accomplished by none other than Simon Magus (mentioned in Acts 8). This sorcerer who coveted Peter and John’s power of conferring the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands I believe was given the key of the abyss and allowed to release the swarm of demonic evil on that generation. After all, that generation specifically was prophesied to be plagued with evil spirits 7 times worse than when Christ was casting out unclean spirits in His day (Matt. 12:45 – a contrast between the period when Satan was still bound in Christ’s days, compared to a period when he was released for a “little season” and a “short time” from AD 33-66.)

      David, if you are at all interested in this proposal about Simon Magus the sorcerer fulfilling the release of the imprisoned evil spirits that ended up tormenting those in Israel without God’s mark for 5 months (which I believe was May-Sept. of AD 66), you might want to check out my comment to Adam’s post called “Wormwood” (Revelation 8): an OT based judgment upon unfaithful Israel”.

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      • Interesting stuff, I was meaning to study more of the extra-biblical material from the Second Temple period for clues as to the line of thinking connecting the ‘spirits in prison’ with the Sons of God in Gen. 6:1-4 (or not!). The actual biblical material seems too scant and ambiguous to piece together without a lot of help in this case.

        The biblical material also appears to be mixed, with Satan, for example, free and bound, in heaven and on earth and under the earth seemingly all at the same time. Possibly there are multiple and metaphorical representations not intended to be harmonised, or perhaps there is a single narrative to unite them. I study the biblical material and I find it quite allusive and fragmentary.

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  14. Perhaps this passage in 1 Enoch 10 is most relevant to the time-frame and concepts of:
    1. The binding of Satan for 1000 years
    2. The release of Satan for the battle
    3. The defeat of Satan and those with him and throwing them into the lake of fire, and
    4. The new heaven and new earth:

    1 Then said the Most High, the Holy and Great One spake, and sent Uriel to the son of Lamech, 2 and said to him: ‘Go to Noah and tell him in my name “Hide thyself!” and reveal to him the end that is approaching: that the whole earth will be destroyed, and a deluge is about to come 3 upon the whole earth, and will destroy all that is on it. And now instruct him that he may escape 4 and his seed may be preserved for all the generations of the world.’ And again the Lord said to Raphael: ‘Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the darkness: and make an opening 5 in the desert, which is in Dudael, and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks, and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever, and cover his face that he may 6,7 not see light. And on the day of the great judgement he shall be cast into the fire. And heal the earth which the angels have corrupted, and proclaim the healing of the earth, that they may heal the plague, and that all the children of men may not perish through all the secret things that the 8 Watchers have disclosed and have taught their sons. And the whole earth has been corrupted 9 through the works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.’ And to Gabriel said the Lord: ‘Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy [the children of fornication and] the children of the Watchers from amongst men [and cause them to go forth]: send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in 10 battle: for length of days shall they not have. And no request that they (i.e. their fathers) make of thee shall be granted unto their fathers on their behalf; for they hope to live an eternal life, and 11 that each one of them will live five hundred years.’ And the Lord said unto Michael: ‘Go, bind Semjaza and his associates who have united themselves with women so as to have defiled themselves 12 with them in all their uncleanness. And when their sons have slain one another, and they have seen the destruction of their beloved ones, bind them fast for seventy generations in the valleys of the earth, till the day of their judgement and of their consummation, till the judgement that is 13 for ever and ever is consummated. In those days they shall be led off to the abyss of fire: and 14 to the torment and the prison in which they shall be confined for ever. And whosoever shall be condemned and destroyed will from thenceforth be bound together with them to the end of all 15 generations. And destroy all the spirits of the reprobate and the children of the Watchers, because 16 they have wronged mankind. Destroy all wrong from the face of the earth and let every evil work come to an end: and let the plant of righteousness and truth appear: and it shall prove a blessing; the works of righteousness and truth’ shall be planted in truth and joy for evermore.

    17 And then shall all the righteous escape,

    And shall live till they beget thousands of children

    And all the days of their youth and their old age

    Shall they complete in peace.

    18 And then shall the whole earth be tilled in righteousness, and shall all be planted with trees and 19 be full of blessing. And all desirable trees shall be planted on it, and they shall plant vines on it: and the vine which they plant thereon shall yield wine in abundance, and as for all the seed which is sown thereon each measure (of it) shall bear a thousand, and each measure of olives shall yield 20 ten presses of oil. And cleanse thou the earth from all oppression, and from all unrighteousness, and from all sin, and from all godlessness: and all the uncleanness that is wrought upon the earth 21 destroy from off the earth. And all the children of men shall become righteous, and all nations 22 shall offer adoration and shall praise Me, and all shall worship Me. And the earth shall be cleansed from all defilement, and from all sin, and from all punishment, and from all torment, and I will never again send (them) upon it from generation to generation and for ever.

    The parallel with Rev. 20 is obvious, with the following equivalences:
    Azazel = Satan
    Darkness, the opening in the desert = the abyss
    Bind them for 70 generations = Satan bound for 1000 years
    send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in battle = Satan gathers the nations for battle
    The abyss of fire = the lake of fire
    all nations shall offer adoration and shall praise Me, and all shall worship Me = the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it

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  15. Further to my comment based on 1 Enoch 10, we could use 1 Enoch 10 to define the 1000 years and its beginning and its end as follows.

    Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam (Gen 5:3-18, 1 Chron 1:1-3, Luke 3:37-38; Jude 1:14). 1 Enoch 10 states that after the pre-flood violence, Azazel was to be bound for 70 generations until the day of their judgement. Luke 3:23-38 sets out 7 generations from Adam and Enoch, and 70 from Enoch to Christ, meaning that he placed Enoch’s generation as the beginning of the binding and Christ’s as the end of the binding and the time of the final judgement.

    So, if the 1000 years of Satan’s binding = the 70 generations of Azazel’s binding, the 1000 years begins with Enoch’s generation and ends with Christ’s.

    Noah’s story states: Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” Noah was 3 generations from Enoch, so we could take 120 years as a short-hand for 3 generations of 40 years, meaning that the judgement was that the flood would come in 3 generations from Enoch, i.e. in Noah’s generation.

    Matthew’s genealogy sets out 3 sets of 14 generations from Abraham to Christ. If we count back from Abraham to Adam using Luke’s genealogy, we also get 70 generations in total back to Adam rather than 70 to Enoch and 77 to Adam.

    In terms of a story we have something like this:
    1. Satan rebels
    2. Adam created, deceived, fell
    3. Satan deceives all the nations, and with the other fallen Sons of God, attempts to corrupt the human bloodline at the time of Enoch, producing hybrid giants.
    4. Enoch walks with God, and God binds Satan
    5. God gives man 3 generations until judgement under Noah.
    6. The giants and the wicked men are destroyed with the flood
    7. The spirits of the giants survive as demons
    8. The nations refuse to disperse and are divided, 70 nations given to 70 sons of God, the watchers.
    9. Abraham called to be a new people directly under YHWH, and to redeem the nations, via his seed, the Messiah.
    10. 70 generations from Enoch, Christ comes, Satan loosed
    11. The final battle ensues, and the day of judgement happens, the sons of God are judged, Satan thrown into lake of fire, the demons destroyed.
    12. Restoration of all things, the nations come under the Christ, Christ’s kingdom and rulership over the nations instituted.

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  16. Another source that links together these ideas is 2 Peter 2:4-5

    For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgement; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly

    Peter is referring to an event that can be construed chronologically before the flood (if the judgements of the angels, of the flood and of Sodom are listed chronologically), and associated with the pre-flood sin of the angels, resulting in the same judgement Satan received in Rev. 20, to be cast into the Tartarus (the the deepest abyss of the underworld).

    The parallel between 2 Pet 2:4-5 and Rev. 20:1-3 include the same kind of characters — wicked angels / spirits — the same kind of treatment — being bound with chains — and the same location — the abyss.

    Jude 6 is also a parallel with 2 Pet 2:4-5
    And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgement of the great day.

    Again this is a reminder and a warning from something they and their audience understand happened in their distant past before or in connection with Noah’s flood.

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  17. Thousand years and Gog and Magog refer to the 1000 years between the old Roman Empire and the New Roman Empire, Britain. Gog and Magog are paraded out in Roman uniforms in the Square Mile, the seat of world finance.

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  18. Hi Patricia,

    It seems that cooments can’t be nested more than 3 deep on the blog so I had to respond later in the discussion.

    Thank you for your response and the book referral. I have not read this book by Evans but he has had considerable dialogue about his views on planetpreterist. Much of this interaction has been with one Thomas Sachariassen. This interests me because I suspect my own views on are currently closer to those of Sachariassen. I will read over these and attempt to get me hands on Evans book as well. It seems as though he’s taken it out of print.

    In response to the suggestion about the implied similarities between Revelation’s Beast from the Sea and Daniel’s 4th beast, this sounds reasonable although it doesn’t seem to explain why the Sea Beast of Revelation incorporates aspects of Daniel’s 1st and 2nd beasts as well, while Daniel’s 4th beast does not. Also, that Daniel’s 4th beast would be described using hints at its similarities to the previous beasts seems especially strange considering that the 4th beast is explicitly said to be “different” than all of the preceding beasts (Daniel 7:7).

    Other ways of seeing the references to bronze and iron within the 4th beast could be simply as allusions to 1) the fact that despite the beast’s terrifying power, that power would not be exercised outside of God’s will or control and/or 2) the 4th beast’s claims to have power on the same par as God’s (Daniel 4:15,23; 8:9-12,23-25; 11:36-37)

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    • Hi Carmine,

      I hope you can eventually locate a copy of Evans’ work on the “Four Kingdoms of Daniel”. Even though there are several positions of his I can’t find agreement with, his research is so extremely thorough that there is much benefit just from chewing on what he presents – and there is plenty of meat to chew on. I appreciate his comments founded on a “no-gap” 70-weeks prophecy, which was my basis for a comment on one of Adam’s posts titled “PP9” on the 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel. Also, Evans’ historical references to Menahem caused me to identify that individual with “messianic pretensions” in AD 66 as the “Man of Lawlessness” in II Thess. 2 that Paul warned about. I am also in agreement with Evans’ views showing Israel as the clay component mixed with the iron of the Roman kingdom in Daniel’s image of a man.

      Evans covers each subject of his from multiple viewpoints, accompanied by their pros and cons, which allows his readers to evaluate the different perspectives for themselves. I find it interesting that Evans has said that his background in economics and finances has inclined him to seriously consider how his Preteristic eschatology relates to future economic affairs, as viewed from this mindset. I myself have some definite views of economic expectations in humanity’s near future (in 15 years), based on my understanding of the ending point in AD 33 of the Revelation 20 millennium and exactly where it is positioned on the entire timeline of human history. Although there is no possible way I would ever encounter him, a conversation with Evans upon these subjects would be very appealing to me. As it is, I highly recommend his book on the “Four Kingdoms of Daniel” as a valuable reference tool for anyone studying a Preteristic view of Daniel.

      Carmine, you mentioned that it appears “especially strange” that Daniel’s 4th beast has similarities to the previous beasts, but yet is said to be “altogether different” than them all (Dan. 7:7 LXX). This difference lies chiefly in the MODE OF GOVERNANCE that characterized the emerging Roman REPUBLIC versus the kingdom power of the other beasts which was concentrated in a MONARCHY instead. Adam has rightly noted that an obvious direct transfer of power from the 3rd kingdom (Greece) to the 4th kingdom is conspicuously absent compared to the very obvious transfer of power from the Chaldeans to the Medes and Persians, and from the Medo-Persian empire to the Greeks.

      That absence of an obvious transfer of power from the 3rd kingdom to the 4th kingdom / beast can be attributed to the Roman republic taking a span of time to grow into an empire more influential than the three kingdoms preceding it. Its growth in power was in large part due to its methods of including and utilizing the local governing structures within each nation they subjugated. Generally speaking, as long as each nation paid tribute and maintained submission to the empire, Rome allowed a certain level of autonomy. In other words, the Roman empire and even its military consisted of an eclectic blend of nationalities – which is exactly why this Sea Beast of Revelation 13 was presented with an eclectic blend of leopard, bear, and lion features. Diversity seemed to be the hallmark of this Rev. 13 Sea Beast / the 4th beast of Daniel.

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      • Hi Patricia Watkins,
        Your comments are very interesting and informative. Do you have a certain site or sites where you post your information? Is there a certain group or church that you are affiliated with that have the same info, or is this info just from your own personal studies? Thanks and God bless you,
        Betty

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  19. Hi Betty,

    If Adam has no problem with me listing the sites I frequent, I can give the ones where I have posted at during the six years I have been a preterist. I’m well aware that there are those who have explored these things for much, much longer than I have. That’s why it always amazes me that anyone would give me the time of day when I offer a different position than theirs on preterist views. It’s not just that I like to write – I feel absolutely COMPELLED to write, for some reason.

    My favorite website at the top of the list would be this one of Adam’s. He might possibly wish I would go away sometimes, but I just plain LIKE this guy, even though I have never met him or his wife Jasmine, who I believe might share an equal enthusiasm with me for sewing, since I have done custom drapery for almost 30 years. (Hi Jasmine!! :- ) Greetings from a fellow-seamstress!)

    Another website that I use the most often is the highly pre-mill-flavored http://www.gracecentered.com/christian_forums site. It does have a preterist sub-forum, but more often than not, I just dump my comments anywhere and everywhere under the gender-free username of “3 Resurrections”. I stay anonymous there out of respect for some of the men who I know would take offense at a woman diving into doctrinal issues with them – even one with grey hair. Preterism is abrasive enough for many of them, even without knowing that these views are being expressed by a woman into the bargain.

    Dr. Gentry’s book “Before Jerusalem Fell” was my initial introduction to preterism, He attends a church just outside of my hometown, and for a few years, he has allowed various comments of mine under my real name on his http://www.postmillennialworldview.com website. Lately, however, since some of my comments to his posts have tended to differ with his orthodox positions, he has decided not to put them up, so as not to be distracting to the points he is trying to make, I suppose. As with many of you, I look forward to the release of his new Revelation commentary, as soon as it becomes available.

    Another website I have used in the past under my real name is the full-preterist site http://www.deathisdefeated.ning.com. I am in a definite minority there, since I believe scripture teaches not just ONE bodily resurrection, but THREE. Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, as they say. I have altered a few of the positions I had when I started posting there, but by and large, most of those expressed views I still hold.

    The gentleman who commented above, Carmine Hetrick, has a site that he launched not too long ago at http://www.danielreloaded.com. I have just recently started bugging him there, as long as he is willing to let me ramble on. Carmine had a link to Steve Gregg’s forum that I took note of, at http://www.theos.org. I might jump into a membership there one day if they will have me, since it looks like a very respectful, thoughtful interchange is going on there.

    Betty, you asked if I had a local church that I attend. I was once a member for about 16 years at an independent Baptist church that descended into something akin to a cult. Our family left that one, by the grace of God. Never again, dear Lord. Then spent another 16 years in a kindly, welcoming Southern Baptist church, where I slowly healed inside. Six years ago, I heard the word “Preterist” for the first time. Rocked. My. World. to the foundations. By now, I’ve spent as many hours devouring scripture with this mindset as I would have if I had gone to college and gotten a masters degree as well.

    Grew up in a Christian household and have been a believer ever since 13 years old, but as God is my witness, I have never been able to love my heavenly Father more or felt a sense of his presence more keenly than during these last 6 years studying scripture as a fulfilled record of a promise-keeping God. I LOVE HIS BOOK!! This is not something that can be “put under a bushel” – the joy it gives HAS to be shared with others. However, the kindly SB church was not really comfortable with my doing this, and the unofficial muzzle I had to wear as the wife of an elder in this church became unendurable. My casseroles and interior design contributions were met with great approval, but my conversations were not. More than two years ago, the SB church and I mutually parted ways on amicable terms, which leaves me to plague people on the internet these days. Since my husband is a die-hard historicist with Puritan literature wrapped around his study walls, he studiously avoids reading anything I write, lest he be contaminated, poor man. That means you guys have to put up with me instead….sorry about that : – )

    Blessings on you too, Betty, and thank you for asking.

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    • Patricia,
      Thank you so much for your reply! Do you have an e-mail address, where we might could carry on a conversation there? I do enjoy Adam Maarschalk’s site, also! I will also look up the other sites that you mentioned. There is much to learn! Thanks for your input.
      Many blessings to you and yours,
      Betty

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  20. Hi Betty,

    I would very much enjoy a conversation, since standing alone on an isolated Preterist island in my corner of the world gets rather lonesome at times. I can receive personal messages under my username of “3 Resurrections” from any fellow-member at the gracecentered.com site above. It gives a two-way cushion of privacy there, and I could give you more personal contact information in a pm, if you were not opposed to a membership there. A check mark in a box agreeing with the Nicene creed is about as restrictive as a membership gets there. Lots of traffic flow.

    The deathisdefeated.ning.com address above also gives the option of comments on my personal blog there for fellow-members at that full preterist site. If neither of those are routes you can go through, let me know here, and I’ll list my own personal blog that I have neglected to post in for a few years now, but still works. It’s true as you say, the learning never stops.

    And thank you Adam, for allowing two of your fans to do a quick network here….

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    • Patricia,
      Okay, thanks. I will go over to those sites to see what I can learn there. I will also try to connect with you there.
      Thank you so much, Adam, for your insight about what you believe the scriptures mean. I learn a lot from you, and will continue to Pursue Truth.
      Many blessings from your sister in Christ.
      Betty

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