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All verses quoted will come from the Authorized King James Bible. We will continue to make every effort to aid all who are searching for the truth of Jesus Christ our Savior.

You may find the Greek Dictionary helpful in your studies, see left hand column.

 

The other day I happened to be watching Family Feud. A question came up and was asked to 100 women. The question was, “where can a woman find a good man?” There were six answers to the question. My thinking was, “In church” would be first or second, but it was the sixth and last answer. What caught me by surprise was the 4th answer, “a man who dates other men.”

Today I was watching the same show, and the question asked to one hundred men was, “Who would a man buy flowers for?” Again, there were six answers to the question. First was Mom, spouse, and so on. The sixth answer was, “for their boyfriend.”

The support for homosexual activity in America must has reached up into heaven by now and filled the cup of the LORD’s wrath.

How far have the morals in America fallen? With answers like the above, I’d say we have almost reached the bottom. Do you think this anger’s the LORD? A nation who has been given so much, yet like ancient Israel, our politicians and judges have turned their backs on Him.

If we have a rebellious teenager in the house, what would be the best way to discipline them? You can ground them; take away their privileges; let them pay the consequences, or you can befriend them. Hmmmm!

The last two are most likely where the LORD is with so called Christian America today.

America the beautiful: America’s landscapes are unlike anything in the world. Our mountains, rivers, forests, coasts, farms deserts are central to our identity and considered the backbone of our economy, of our communities and our very lives. So what better way is there to begin punishing a rebellious nation then by destroying the enviroment they live and depend on.

In recent years, the topic of climate change has ruled most conversations. The twin crises of climate change and the plight of the many varieties of life in the world can be found on the front page of most newspapers.

A few of today’s catch phrases concerning the pollution of the environment go like this, “The Earth: love it or leave it:” “Be green! Keep our planet clean!” “Be smart. Don’t fart.” “Conserve What Our Children Deserve,” and so it goes.

So, has man become divorced from nature? or have we decided to divorce God? If the second is true, can we look at the many natural causes that effect our environment today, and point our finger directly to man’s sin? Are our sins against God causing nature itself to rebel? Is the planet heating up, or has the LORD’S patients hit a boiling point?

Congress believes they can solve the problem of environmental pollution by spending trillions of dollars on the problem, but can they? Probably not, and here are a few reasons why not.

Massive forest fires are burning away our forest and polluting the air. They create smoke that is filled with harmful gases, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. Besides the smoke, there are tiny particles that cannot be seen, particles of pollution that affects people, animals and the general environment. Fire experts in California have estimated forest fires emit more CO2 in one week than all the vehicles in California do in a year.

There are also some 1500 active volcanoes around the world, many around what is called “the Pacific ring of fire.” These volcanoes, both land and sea are said to generate about 200 million tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Headline today, 8/10/22, the January volcanic eruption near the island of Tonga is now being called the most powerful such event in 140 years. Authorities are still taking stock of the damage — massive ash and water plumes, sonic booms, and a tsunami — triggered by the blast. 

The effects of a tsunamis on the environment are devastating. These are a part of the world’s most dangerous natural disasters that can strike both land and sea. In 2004, a huge tsunami hit in Thailand and Indonesia, killing over 300,000 people, and had an effect on the environment that never was the same.

What causes a tsunami? It’s normally one of the following, a volcanic eruption, earthquake or landslide that occurs under the ocean. Water is displaced, creating the waves that moves across the ocean at a speed of 500 miles per hour. Its force on the land has a devastating effect on the environment. Trees are uprooted, pipelines destroyed resulting in the contamination of the environment with oil, asbestos, raw sewage, dioxides and other poisonous pollutions.

The winds from hurricanes deliver the most visible environmental impact. The canopy layer of a forest and especially a rainforest after a hurricane will be completely gone. This impacts the lives of birds and animals that inhabited the area. Rare species in these areas are particularly endangered when hurricanes strike.

These storms will also change the shape of coastal landscapes by shifting huge amounts of sand. Recently, two storms have caused a major shift in the Gulf of Mexico’s coast. Between Hurricane Katrina and Rita, some 73 square miles of land were lost to the sea.

A tornadoes effect on the environment can be devasting, destroying wildlife, plants, trees, fields of grain, and lives. They cover a smaller area than a hurricane, but their damage is normally more merciless causing harm to property, nature and people. Their high force winds will wreak havoc on the environment.  

Now my final one, man! Deuteronomy 20:19, the LORD said, “When you besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy the trees by forcing an axe against them:”

Let’s first talk about conventional warfare, as in what’s going on between Russia and Ukraine today. We can also consider what had happened in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, and especially the two World wars. The effects of war on the environment can be broad and devastating. A perfect example can be found in the Vietnam War when massive amounts of herbicides, some 20 million gallons were sprayed over the forests and mangrove swamps, impacting some 4.5 million acres.  

Wars also cause a mass movement of people, and this movement does have a catastrophic impact on the environment. We are witnessing a movement of people throughout the world like never before, and especially here in America.  What comes with mass migration is deforestation, unchecked hunting, soil erosion, and contamination of land and water by human waste. In the Rwandan conflict, a great deal of the country’s Akagera Park had been opened to refugees, resulting in the extinction of the roan antelope and the eland.

The armies of Rome and Assyria would often sow salt into the cropland of their enemies, making soil useless for farming. Also, the use of military herbicide can have a devastating impact on the environment.

And now for the most devastating of all; modern day nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. The production, testing, transporting, eventual use and disposal of the waste can and will one day have the single most destructive effects on our environment, one that will most likely devastate man’s environment and his way of living.  

But was all this prophesied in Scriptures? Revelation 11:18, God said, He will one day “destroy them which destroy the earth.”

Here the LORD is pointing his finger directly at man for destroying the earth. And as it was in Job’s Day, the devil was turned lose on his world.

What power does the devil have when allowed by God to use it against the human race?

In Job 1, the devil had the power to turn evil men loose on family, friends and workers. Fire came down from heaven in verse 16, in verse 19 a powerful storm killed Job’s family. And upon Job himself came painful boils.

On the Egyptian’s came plagues, pollution, and eventually the death of all of Egypt’s first born, killed by the destroying angel. When David sinned against the LORD, the destroying angel was again turned loose on the people, killing some 70 thousand.

We have been warned about the consequences of sinning against God. Personally, I believe we are less than 5 or 6 years away from what is called the Great Tribulation, also called, “a time of Jacob’s trouble.”

God’s word is true, and He will not be mocked! My next article will cover Daniel and Hosea’s end time prophesies.

Phillip LaSpino

 

If we would observe the title Judge in front of a person’s name, what image would that give us concerning that person? Titles reveal a great deal about an individual. That same judge may also be a Senator and president of a company: we have the same person holding different title; three offices, one man, each title identifying his work and qualifications. 

So also, with Jesus the Christ. The name Jesus, and offices of Christ reveal a great deal about our Lord, by the way, Lord is another title! Have you ever asked, why is the name Jesus at times used without Christ attached, and vise-versa? Yet, there are times when we see them joined. There is a very clear and specific reason for this.

The first verse in both Matthew and Revelation supply us with good examples. Let’s begin with both the proper name of Jesus, and the office of Christ that He alone claims. The verses read’s, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ,” and “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”

What emphasis is placed upon his proper name Jesus, and the title of Christ? First it makes us aware of the person under discussion; the books are a revealing of Jesus the Christ and Him alone. Matthew covers the past for us, and Revelation the future. And both point directly to our Lord; both flow from Him and end with Him.

Concerning the name Jesus, we are introduced to His first office, that of Savior. This is supported by,

Luke 19:10, Jesus is speaking, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 

The name Joshua in Hebrew is Jesus in English, and used mostly in the narrative of the Gospels, and rarely appears in any direct personal address.

So, what importance does the name Jesus have when used alone, and what does it change when the title Christ is added to His proper name?

Jesus is the Savior, Savior of what? His claim, He alone is the Savior of the world. As Savior, Christian’s are brought into a spiritual union with Him and the Father. In Him is our incentive to holy living, and the promise of the transformation of our bodies. We wait patiently for Jesus’ return and for the fulfillment of all things written in this book.

Christ means, the “Anointed one.” He was anointed, meaning sealed with the Holy Spirit at His baptism. Here, a miraculous event occurred, and witnessed by many. Sealed by the Holy Spirit as the Christ, the King of the Jews, and the High Priest of Israel after the order of Melchizedek.

In this there can be no mistake, no opportunity for anyone other than Jesus to make and prove this claim. The nail prints in His hands also mark His physical person as the Christ, the suffering servant; anointed of God, and marked by man.

As teacher, Jesus had a message for His disciples, and for us today, “Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ.”

The title Christ is often emphasized with the definite article “The,” which gives emphasis to the phrase, “The promised Messiah.” He alone is the Anointed One: He alone represents His people as King, High Priest, and Prophet.

John reminds us in Revelation 2, that the angel sent by God, joined with his own eyewitness, and that of the Holy Spirit bear record of this testimony of Jesus Christ. There shall be no further disclosures or future eye-witness accounts concerning His birth, baptism, crucifixion, resurrection and ascention, except that which has already been written.

Phillip LaSpino

 

Over 6026 Years ago, the first name we find in the Bible concerning God is, Elohim, “In the beginning God (Elohim)-.”

In Genesis 1, we equate the Hebrew Elohim with the Triune Godhead; Triune pointing to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The creation was not without witnesses, for there were three. 

Acts 14:17, “He left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”

Elohim in the Hebrew is a plural word, plural in order to acknowledge all three Persons of the Godhead. From Genesis 1:2 and forward, we find the three-letter word, “God” which is singular.

God meaning the Creator, the Almighty, omniscient, omnipresent, pure and perfect being, who preserves and governs all things. The self-existent, unoriginated, independent, and eternal Jehovah, who has produced all things.

Revelation 1:8, Jesus said, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, — which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

He is the pure and perfect Spirit, he is known and clearly distinguished by the vast and stupendous works which he has made.   

In Genesis 2:4 we come to another name for Deity. It’s no longer “God” alone, but now, the “LORD God.” Note the word “LORD” is in upper case.

All through chapter 1 He is called, “God,” but now in Genesis 2, He is called the “LORD God.” And who is this, LORD God? He is Jehovah, the Son of the Father in heaven, better known to us as Jesus.

These titles serve a purpose; the LORD God knew there would one day be a plan implemented for our redemption. He saw the foolishness of the people, well before Jesus coming in the flesh. He would not only need a plan of redemption, but also someone that could communicate directly with men. So, what did the LORD do? He came down from His throne in heaven to dwell among men.

1 Timothy 3:16, K.J.B. “God (Jehovah) was manifest (appeared or showed himself openly) in the flesh.”

Philippians 2:7, He Jesus “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant; and was made in the likeness of men.”

Matthew 1:23, “And they (the Jews) shall call his name Immanuel, which being interpreted is God with us.”

John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  With verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh…”

The above verses point to the Jesus Christ, who would put into action His plan of redemption.

In Genesis 12, about the year 1900 B.C. Jehovah is seen intrinsically as the God of Abraham. He will deal specifically with the nation of Israel and its people. So, when the Bible reads, “the God of Abraham,” and “the God of Isaac,” it’s referring to Jehovah!

Always keep in mind, LORD and Jehovah are always synonymous. Throughout the Scripture we find that Jehovah is the God of all. Abraham was born a gentile, and in Genesis 14:18, Abraham addresses God as the Most-high God. So, whenever you see the Hebrew term “the Most-high God,” it is making a point that God is, “the God of all.”  

Back to Genesis 2; here God will deal with men under the title of, “LORD,” or “The LORD.”

Moving forward in Genesis, we find Jehovah becomes everything the nation of Israel could ever hope for in both their spiritual and physical needs.

Genesis 22:14: takes place about the year 1850 B.C.  As time passed, we find Abraham is well acquainted with Jehovah; but now, Jehovah has an added title behind it, Jehovah-Jireh. Men had no knowledge of this name until then, it means, “the LORD will provide.”

The LORD provided the sacrifice when He spared Isaac, Abraham’s son. You know the story how God held back Abraham’s hand and kept him from sacrificing Isaac, his son. Question, what did Abraham see in the thicket when he turned around? … a ram caught by the horns in a thicket! So, Abraham called Him, Jehovah-Jireh because Jehovah provided the sacrifice. 

About the year 1320 B.C., Israel comes out of Egypt under Moses, the first thing God promises them (Israel) is, if they would be obedient, He would be their healing. 

Here is another one of God’s name, Jehovah-ropheka, meaning, “He who would be their Healer.” Jehovah would be their spiritual Healer, as well as their physical healer. When the Jews were in Egypt, He said, “None of these diseases that were in Egypt will come upon you.”

Now after the year 1320 B.C., we read the name Jehovah-Nissi in Exodus 15:17. Israel had come up against their first opposition – the Amalekites. Having left Egypt, they were on their way to Sinai, and were fighting the Amalekites.

As long as Moses held his arms up, the battle went for Israel. As soon as they came down, the battle went against Israel. Who came to help Moses? It was Aaron and Hur who held Moses arms up until the battle was won. When the fight was over, they declared that God was their Jehovah-Nissi. He was, “Their Banner.” As long as the banner was lifted up to heaven, the Jewish fighters pressed on.

About the year 1160 B.C., we come to another title for God, Jehovah-Shalom, which in the Hebrew means “peace.” It was Gideon who first received this name for God. Israel had come to a point of decline. The Jews were going after false gods – and the Midianites from the east are overrunning their crops and taking their children captive.

It was then Israel began to cry to Jehovah for help, so the LORD raised up Gideon. He told Gideon, the only way to achieve peace was to turn back to Jehovah and defeat the Midianites with His help; then, indeed, they could have “Shalom,” meaning “peace.”

Now we come to, Jehovah-tsidkenu – “He is our Righteousness.” The Jews had none without Him, so He would one day be all the righteousness Israel would ever need in Christ Jesus.

About 1000 B.C. in Psalms 23, we read the word “roi,” in the Hebrew it means “Shepherd.” “The Lord is my Shepherd.” So, in the Hebrew, “Shepard,” is Jehovah-roi; “I am your Shepherd.” Again, this was an inherent need for the Nation of Israel. Jesus said,

John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd,”   

The seventh title for Jehovah God is found in Jeremiah 23, it’s, “Jehovah-shammah,” Jeremiah was written between 627 and 586 B.C.  This name means, “The LORD is there.” This name has reference to the setting up of His kingdom, He will be present, as Revelation 19, “KING of KINGS, and LORD of LORDS.”

God does everything in sevens; and so, the seven explicit needs of Israel have been met by the seven-fold operation of Jehovah names.

Jesus will fulfill all the needs of his people; He who is,

Jehovah-Jireh:

Who is, Jehovah-ropheka

Who is, Jehovah-Nissi

Who is, Jehovah-shalom.

Who is, Jehovah-tsidkenu

Who is, Jehovah-roi

Jesus also uses the term, “I Am.” He said in the following verses,

  1. John 6:25, “I am the bread of life”
  2. John 8:12, “I am the light of the world”
  3. John 10:7-9, “I am the door of the sheep”.
  4. John 10:11-14. “I am the good shepherd”
  5. John 11:25, “I am the resurrection, and the life.”
  6. John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
  7. John 15:1-5, “I am the true vine.”

Eight in Scripture always speaks of finality. Finality will occur after the seven have been fulfilled.  

The eighth, Revelation 22:16, Jesus said, “I Am.’ —- “the Bright and Morning Star.”

Phillip LaSpino  www.seekfirstwisdom.com

 

How many resurrections are there?

Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

Except for a few examples like Lazarus, Hebrews 9:27 holds true for all others. Judgment means separation, and as a metaphor division, dissension. In a judicial sense it’s a reference to the final judgment, as, the day of judgment.

Let’s examine several verses that will put this puzzle together, that puzzle concerns, “the orders of resurrection.”

1 Corinthians 15:22-23, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (resurrected.) But every man in his own ORDER: Christ the first fruits: afterward (a word of time,) they (the church) that are Christ’s at his coming (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).”

Jesus is called Colossians 1:18, “The first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have pre-eminence.”

Pre-eminence meaning to be the first, to hold the first rank, the highest position and place.  

It is also said that Jesus, Revelation 1:5, is “the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth.” First begotten is the same as first-born.

Jesus is the First fruit: this points to the first part, the earnest, a down payment, a token of what lies ahead.

Romans 11:16, “For if the first-fruits (Jesus’ resurrection) be holy, the (whole) lump (all the saved) is also holy,” therefore, Jesus is the first portion of the whole. Jesus as the first fruit presented himself to His Father, and the Father said he was well pleased with His Beloved Son.

Now for the word order: “ORDER,” as in “every man in his own order.” The word is not used in the abstract, but concrete; concrete meaning existing in subject. So, these verses speak of a sequence of events that will unfold at very specific periods of time, and in a calculated order, Jesus being the first in the year 31 A.D.

Picture three platoons of soldiers 50 men to each platoon. All three platoons, make-up a company totaling 150 soldiers: of course, the captain (Jesus) is in charge of the whole company. Each platoon will represent a specific resurrection (or order in time). The three platoons are told to fall in, one behind the other, so we have three rows or ranks of soldiers. The first rank is told to march off, leaving two ranks. This 1st rank represents those in Matthew 27:52-53, note the KEY word, “AFTER” in the following verse.

Matthew 27:52-53, “The earth did quake, and the rocks rent (thrown about); And the graves (of the dead) opened; and many (a large number) bodies (corpses) of (Old Testament) saints (believers) which slept arose (were raised from the dead). And came out (stood on their feet) of the graves AFTER His (Jesus) resurrection; and (then) went into the holy city (Jerusalem,) and appeared (were witnessed) unto (by) many.”

This was the first order; these were the first fruit of all Old Testament saints who trusted God. These were raised unto the Lord Jesus; as he was the first fruit unto the Father, these are the first fruit unto Him, never to die again. We find this same group in Revelation 7 and 11 referenced as the 144,000.  

Revelation 14:4, “these were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God (the Father) and to the Lamb (Jesus).”

Let’s move on to the 2ed rank of soldiers. The 2ed rank is told to march off, leaving one rank standing. This 2ed rank represents the general resurrection of the body of Christ, the Lord’s bride. It represents all who believed by faith in Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and return, for He is “our blessed hope.” These will have eternal life.

Unlike the first rank, these are caught up in the air before the 7 years of tribulation begins; then taken directly into the third (3ed) heaven where the Father’s house is, the place Jesus promised to build a house for his bride. When He comes for his bride, Jesus’ feet will not touch the ground, but his bride will meet him in the air, 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

The third rank are those we read about in Revelation 20:4, “I (John) saw (with his eyes) the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness (witness is same word for martyrs) of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his (the beasts) mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they (these beheaded saints) lived (were resurrected) and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

These will remain on earth and rule with the 12 apostles (Luke 22:30) and the Lord who will have established his throne atop Mt. Moriah.  Zechariah speaks of these saints and what their mission or calling will be in the 1000 Year reign.

Zechariah 8:23, “In these days (1000 Year reign) it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the (Gentile) nations, even shall take hold of the skirt (sleeve) of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with you (to Jerusalem) for we have heard that God (Jesus) is with you.”  

Isaiah 60:3, “And the Gentiles (who came through the great tribulation) shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of thy (Jesus) glory.” This is the third order, or rank to be resurrected. Now here’s the tricky part, a stumbling block for many.                                       

Revelation 20:5, “But (“but” tells us that what follows is the opposite of what was just said) the rest of the dead lived not (were not resurrected) again until (a word of time) the thousand years were finished.” Then it reads, “THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION.”                          

“THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION” in not pointing to those who are not resurrected but to the 3 orders of resurrection that have taken place, beginning with those in Matthew 27.52-53. The first resurrection has three parts and can be compared to the harvest of one field of barley or wheat that will have three separate pickings.

The first picking represents a very small part of the whole. It consisted of few stalks that have ripened before all the others. These are picked, tied in a sheath and offered to the Lord. These represent those in Matthew 27:51-52. O.T. saints who believed God while under law, and now belong to both the Father in heaven and the Lord Jesus.   

The second part of the harvest is to be the general and largest harvest of this one crop. This represents all who received Jesus from the time of his departure found in Acts 1:10.  

What is left of the field are the four corners of the field. These were left for the poor to pick. This represents those who did not receive the mark of the beast during the 7 years of tribulation. Their choice to receive or reject the mark will determine whether they are taken to serve the Lord or sent to be with their god, the devil.

Three harvests make up the “FIRST RESURRECTION.” Revelation 21:6. “Blessed and holy is he that has part in the FIRST resurrection: on such (these) the second death has no power.”

The 2ed resurrection consists of one final resurrection: Revelation 20:5 begins with “but.” “BUT the rest of the dead (all the unsaved) lived not again until (a word of time) the thousand years were finished.” Who are these? They are all the unsaved from Adam to the end of the age. Read Revelation 20:11-12-13-14-15.

Now at the end of the 1000 Year reign, there will be one final rebellion by the Gentile nations who will be led by Satan. Their defeat will be swift and conclusive.

Those in Revelation 5 will not have their names written in the “Book of Life” therefore they will be judged from the other books as they stand before the Lord on judgement day.

I hope this gives you all a clearer picture of what is in store for the world of believers and unbelievers.

Phil LaSpino 

 

 

 

 

The first 13 chapter of the book, “From ruin to glory” can be found in the index: 

Belshazzar’s end: Chapter 14. 

Belshazzar, king of Babylon came to the throne in 555 B.C. and ended with his death in 538 B.C. when a mysterious hand appeared writing upon the wall of the palace, words of ominous import, words which no man could understand, filling the king’s heart with terror. The queen-mother sooths the king, reminding him of the days of Nebuchadnezzar when the wisdom of God was found in Daniel. 

Daniel is brought in before Belshazzar who speaks to him saying, “I have heard of you, that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom is found in you.”

He then said to Daniel, “If you can read the writing, and make know to me the interpretation thereof, you shall be clothed with scarlet,” a color distinctive of nobility; also, “have a chain of gold about your neck, and third in the kingdom.”

Daniel would reject the king’s offer, but said, “nevertheless I will read the writing to the king.”

Daniel read the inscription: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Peres, Upharsin.” He then proceeded to give the interpretation:

“Mene, God has numbered you reign, and

(Mene) has finished it.

“Tekel, You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

“Peres, Your kingdom is divided.

“Upharsin, And given to the Mede and the Persian (Darius and Cyrus).”

The king heard this terrible sentence: but made no remark further than to command that Daniel should be invested with the promised scarlet robe and golden chain, and that the third rank in the kingdom be assigned to him. “The same night was Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans slain.”

Cyrus’s decree to release Jews:

Cyrus the Great wrote a decree, releasing the Jews from Babylonian captivity. There are many opinions concerning which decree, whom decreed it and when it was decreed that the Jews should be released to do what Daniel had prophesied,

Daniel 9:25, “to restore Jerusalem” and that “the street (open square) shall be built again, and the wall (moat around the city dug out), even in troublous times.”

Four decrees had been ordered over a period of 86 years, the first by Cyrus, then Darius, then Artaxerxes Longimanus otherwise called Ahasuerus, Queen Esther’s husband. These three were all kings of the Persia empire.

The first, Cyrus’ decree in 538 B.C., see 2 Chronicles 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1-4; Ezra 5:13. The Jews were to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the house of God. Obviously, it had not been fulfilled because Darius had to reaffirm Cyrus’s old decree, see Ezra 6:1 and verse 12.

The third decree came from Artaxerxes who ruled from 464 to 423 B.C. His decree came in the seventh year of his reign, 457 B.C.

Ezra 9:9, “our God has not forsaken us in our bondage but has extended mercy unto un in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.”

Desolations here in Hebrew speaks of, “dry places having been laid waste.”

The Hebrew word Ezra uses for wall actually speaks of a moat around the city.

Daniel 9:25, mentions a wall, in Hebrew means the walls of a deep moat around the city. The area around the city was a dry place, so a moat had to be a dry moat, not one filled with water. Recently an ancient moat has been discovered around the city of Jerusalem, it has been estimated the walls of it were 13 feet high, and the width, 56 feet wide.  

The third decree came from Artaxerxes Longimanus in 457 B.C. When Artaxerxes made his decree, the walls of the moat had been neglected for over a hundred years, and most likely filled in by Israel’s enemies and the gates going into the city had been burnt. Also, erosion most likely played a part in the moat being filled in with dirt. So, in order to protect the city form its enemies, the moat had to be dug out again, the gates going into the city rebuilt, and the open square repaired.  

The 4th decree also came from Artaxerxes on March 5th 444 B.C., see Nehemiah 2:1-8. This decree was for timber for the palace and for the walls around the palace, speaking of actual walls, not the moat. The palace was a fortress or tower and may have protected the temple and overlooked the northwest corner of its courts. Herod would rebuild it and named it Antonia. These things had nothing to do with the things Daniel spoke of.  

So, it was the third decree of Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. that fulfilled Daniel’s prophesy. It also makes sense because the king had married Esther who was a Jew, and he had prevented the total extermination of the Jews in all the provinces of the Persian empire from total extermination at the hands of Haman.

Darius, king of Persia:

“Darius the Mede took the kingdom.” Daniel would come into high favor with Darius, madding him first of the “three presidents” of the empire. Daniel’s life with the Babylonians, the Medes and Persians resembled that of a ride on a roller-coaster. Up to the top, only to fall to the bottom.

Because Daniel was preferred over two other presidents in king Darius’s court, a plot was hatched to destroy him. A royal statute was decreed,

Daniel 6:7, “that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.”

When Daniel heard of the king’s decree, he went to his chamber, faced toward Jerusalem, kneeled three times each day and prayed, giving thanks to his god, Jehovah.  

When the king heard, he ordered Daniel to be delivered and thrown into the lion’s den. But the king was pained because of the fate Daniel was to suffer. The following day, the king goes to the den of lions; he cries out to Daniel; and to his amazement, Daniel replies from the pit,

Daniel 6:22, “My God has sent his angel, and has shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me:” Daniel is pulled from the pit, and those who accused Daniel and their children, and wives and cast them into the pit.

Daniel has another vision in Belshazzar’s third year as king, the year, 550 B.C. The vision begins with the Medes and Persians battling with the armies of Alexander the Great. Alexander defeats them, ruling over his new conquests but for only a short time. After his death in 323 B.C., his four generals divide the empire. The four generals were, Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy.

After warring with each other, Seleucus and Ptolemy remained; Seleucus ruled from Syria, Ptolemy from Egypt. Seleucus would Hellenize the empire he now ruled over. Seleucus would be murdered early in the year 281 B.C. His son Antiochus 1st Soter would be become king over the Seleucid empire. For the following 200 Years the family of Antiochus ruled until the Roman Legions drove the Greek armies back to their original borders in 64 B.C.

If Artaxerxes decree for Ezra to return to Israel was in the kings seventh year, the decree had to have been in 457 B.C.

This is important because Ezra was told to return to Israel in order to repair the desolations, meaning dry places, and the places laid waste. A moat around the city in this part of the world would have been a very wide, deep and dry, the walls some 13 to 15 feet high on each side.  

Artaxerxes Longimanus, king of Persian ascended to the throne in the year 464, died in 424 B.C. His reign had been filled with incidences of the utmost importance and interest to the Jews. Certain elements of the Jewish population had returned to Jerusalem after the decrees of Cyrus in 536 B.C., and Cyrus’s decree reaffirmed after his death by Darius.

Certain Jews had returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the wall. Their work stopped by an order from the king, because of a complaint from the Samaritan officers, who reported to the king the citizens had become rebellious, warning Artaxerxes, if Jerusalem were rebuilt and fortified, the inhabitants were sure to rebel against him as they had in former times.

In the third year of Artaxerxes reign, the king celebrated at Susa the sitting of a new king of the Persian empire. At a public banquet, he sent for his queen Vashti, so those present at the celebration might witness her beauty. The order was so repugnant to her, she found it necessary to disobey her king. This infuriated all the wise men of Persia, they held that, to prevent the evil effects of her example, it would be necessary that the queen should be deposed, and that by a decree,

Esther 1:22, “every man should bear rule in his own house!”

So, Vashti was removed; and ultimately, Esther, a beautiful Jewish woman would be promoted in her place. This in the fourth year of the king’s reign. Because of Esther, the king would more than likely have become acquainted with the true character and position of the Jews. In the seventh year of his reign, he indicated that the edicts of Cyrus and Darius be acknowledged and enforced.

Esther and Mordecai:

The money Haman had offered the king to make up any difference the Jews would have paid in taxes was declined by the king. Besides, the amount would have been considerably short of the full amount of the Jewish tribute. The king had been unmindful of the heavy responsibility which was imposed concerning the destroy every Jew in all, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces.

Esther pleaded with the king to “reverse the letters devised by Haman—, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king’s provinces: But the king replied,

Esther 8:8, “the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.” Not even the king himself had it within his power to reverse the law once written and sealed.

But now, Artaxerxes was convinced of the wrong into which he had been led concerning the massacre of the Jews. So, another letter was sent out to the provinces, but this time to the Jews. 

Verse 11, He, “granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” And the king sealed it with his ring.”

On the appointed day, which had been destined to sweep the race of Israel from the face of the earth, they repelled their enemies by force of arms, and in all the provinces seventy-five thousand were slain.

The great deliverance of the Jews has been commemorated by the yearly feast of Purim, also called, Lots, so called from the lots, a form of dice which were superstitiously cast by Haman to find a good omen, and promising good results.

Haman:

Haman was an Amalekite: For centuries, the Amalekites were a firmly established foe of the Hebrew people. Hamon occupied the chief place in the confidence and service of king Artaxerxes 1st. His pride had been irritated by the apparent disrespect he received from Mordecai, a Jewish officer, the uncle to Queen Esther.

Esther 3:5, “And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.”

Haman would soon after hatch a plot for the massacre of the whole of the Jewish nation and the plundering of their goods.

Verse 6, “Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus (another name for Artaxerxes), even the people of Mordecai.” 

Esther 3:13, “And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar and to take the spoil of them for a prey.” 

Haman’s rank and wealth had allowed him to acquire and gratify his barbarous whim, when he offered the king himself a gratuity of ten thousand talents of silver to provide payment in order to make up for the deficiency of the royal revenue the Jews would have paid to the king’s treasury; but now were doomed to die.

The book of Esther refers us to the many particulars of Haman’s plot, and how the crafty schemes of this Amalekite were defeated by Queen Esther, then turned upon the unprincipled inventive Haman himself. Haman was destroyed with all his family, and Mordecai would be promoted to Haman’s position.

Judea’s restoration:

Several questions need to be answered; Why was it expedient the two Southern tribes, both Judah and Benjamin and the city Jerusalem be restored? and being restored, why not the ten Northern tribes territories?

Since the immutable promises that were made by God to the nation, the privilege had been secured in the seed of Abraham for upholding the standard of divine truth, until,

Ephesians 1:10, “the fulness of times.”

Since the nationality of Judah had been secured by the guarantee of the LORD’S promise, and after their punishment and correction, a restricted restoration would be sufficient. And so, the necessity of restoring Judea was that it was from Judah and from the house of king David that the King of King’s was to spring. The Christ who is to enlighten and redeem the world, and to bring in the new creation as the time of this age draws to a close.  

And for the Lord’s identity, our Redeemer promised, it was necessary that the dying struggles of the Jews nationality should not be permitted to end. But, when the “fullness of the times” comes, the nations will hail the coming of “the day-spring form on high” with great joy.

The political sins of Judah could be traced to their disposition to lean on the wisdom of men rather than upon God’s law, beginning with king Saul. Or having relied on the established institution for sacrifice and thanksgiving established by God.

The sin of the ten tribes was greater and merited a far greater severity of punishment because of idol worship. Israel, speaking of the ten tribe’s, their evil had been so hateful, shocking and deeply rooted, that no promise of restoring them could take place at that time. 

What became of the ten tribes?

Cyrus’s decree for the Jews to return had been directed to all God’s people, it being proclaimed throughout his empire, including the paces of the ancient Assyrians. Therefore, there’s no reason for anyone to conclude the ten tribes were forever lost, as implied by the cults. That teaching is sheer nonsense! God knows who and where they are today.

Also, Artaxerxes’s decree, with Esther and Mordecai’s letter concerning the feast of Purim was sent out to one hundred and twenty-seven provinces the king ruled over, provinces where the Jews of every tribe lived.  

Concerning their return home, they would have attached themselves to small caravans of merchants and proceeded to the land of their fathers. Arriving in small numbers and in small companies, their return is not particularly mentioned in history. Also, there may have been many of them in the first great caravan under Zerubbabel; but, whatever; it’s most likely that the citizens of the ten tribes returned in considerable numbers.

They would have returned as soon as they heard of the settlement of their brothers, and the completion of the temple. Also, there arrival was most likely subsequent to the close of the Old Testament canonical history, a time when the nation had pretty much settled in. Also, there were those who were prevented from returning; but even these retained their Jewish identity and heritage, but certainly, they were never lost. 

Those who had not returned, and who still bear the names of the sons of Jacob can be found around the globe, found in nations where they have for centuries resided, keeping their Jewish roots, and their religion intact. Also, their general physiognomy is strongly indicative of a Jewish descent.

Phillip LaSpino

 

Final Countdown, Chapter 3: “How Does God Keep Time?” Posted Jan. 21, 2019.  

Final Countdown, Chapter 4: “This Generation, Daniel 9:27” Posted Jan. 23, 2019.  

Final Countdown, Chapter 5: “Confirming The Covenant of Daniel 9:27.”  Posted Jan. 25th 2019.  

Final Countdown, Chapter 6: “The Decree of 457 B.C.; The Jews Return.” Posted Jan. 26th 2019.

Final Countdown, Chapter 7: “Nebuchadnezzar; His Image of a man.” Posted Jan. 26th 2019. 

Final Countdown, Chapter 8: Bad Boys of Greece and Rome. Posted Jan. 26th 2019.

Final Countdown, Chapter 9: When Was Jesus Crucified? Posted Jan. 26th 2019.

Final Countdown, Chapter 10: 2300 Days of Dan.8:14. Posted Jan. 26th 2019.

Final Countdown, Chapter 11: 6000 Years.  Posted Jan. 6th, 2019

Final Countdown, Chapter 12, 1290 and 1335 Days of Daniel 12. Posted Jan. 26th, 2019.

Final Countdown, Chapter 13, Belshazzar: Posted Jan. 26th, 2019.

Final Countdown, Chapter 14, Hosea 6:2. Posted Jan.26th  2019.

Final Countdown, Chapter 15, The Missing 30 Years. Posted Jan. 26th, 2019.  

Final Countdown, Chapter 16, The Last Temple Sacrifice. Jan. 26th, 2019.

Final Countdown, Chapter 17, God’s Two Witnesses: Posted April 6, 2018.

Final Countdown, Ch. 18: I Thessalonians 4:17-19

Final Countdown, Ch. 19: Is The Word “Rapture” Biblical?

Final Countdown, Ch. 20: Drugs: A Sign of God’s Final Countdown

Final Countdown, Ch. 21: More End Time Signs

Final Countdown, Ch. 22: Who Are The Arabs of Today?

Final Countdown, Ch. 23: A Temple Without God

 

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