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Cheerfulness October 21, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in doctrine of distribution, Non-accumulation.
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So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”  - 2 Corinthians 9:7

2 Corinthians 9:7 is probably among the verses that come to mind when someone is considering the doctrine of distribution.  It certainly appears, at first blush, that if we are COMMANDED to give, that our giving would be “of necessity.”  This, it would seem, would be a trap door out of the obvious requirements of Luke 12:33.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, perhaps a brief consideration of Luke 12:33 would be in order here:

Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.”  - Luke 12:33

This is presented as a “category 2″ command – something Jesus said to His disciples in a teaching context.  Jesus was giving His disciples – and us – specific direction regarding accumulated possessions.  The most literal understanding of this command is that we are to sell off our accumulated possessions and give the money to those who need it.  It does not restrict the amount of money we earn, nor does it require us to sell things we need.

I know this is a “hard saying.”  But what else can we conclude?  If Jesus doesn’t really mean “don’t accumulate,” then what exactly does He mean by this command?  What is He telling us to do?  And similarly, if Jesus would have wanted to forbid the accumulation of earthly wealth, how else could He have said it?

As I pointed out yesterday, this is not because Jesus wants us to live lives of deprivation and hardship.  He said He came to bring us abundant life (John 10:10).  The presumption is that those following Jesus are interested in eternal things:  eternal life, citizenship in an eternal kingdom, and eternal wealth. 

It is toward those objectives that Jesus taught His disciples some basic Kingdom truths with which we are all familiar (though sometimes we struggle with the implications) – that this life is temporary, and that the way to Life often runs counter to the “wisdom of this age.”  It also runs counter to the desires of the flesh.

Having said that, let’s consider those purposes in our hearts. 

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”  - 1 John 3:17

A relevant rhetorical question – obviously, the Apostle John sees this as prima facie evidence that the love of God does NOT abide in such a one.  It appears that this refusal to extend charity springs from a heart that is “shut up.”

This is, at its core, a love issue.  Do we love our “stuff” or do we love our fellow men?  With the visible increase on our streets of people with cardboard signs, can we honestly say we are unaware of these desperate needs?  With our attics and garages full of clutter, most of which we will never use, can we honestly say we don’t have the resources?

Today’s Action Step:  Review the action step from What Is A Doctrine? and identify an item or two that you would not have replaced.  Look on eBay or Craig’s List for a similar item and determine its dollar value. 

Imagine one hundred times that amount being deposited in your “heavenly bank account” and then answer this question:  If you were to actually sell the item and give the money away with the knowledge that you were pleasing the Lord, living in obedience, helping someone who truly needed help, and laying up treasure in Heaven, could you do so CHEERFULLY?

“Yea, hath God said …?” October 20, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in Discipleship, doctrine of distribution, Non-accumulation.
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Before Jesus departed, He gave His disciples some specific instructions.  One is recorded in Matthew 28:19-20 where He said that, based on the fact that all authority in Heaven and on earth had been given to Him, we are to:

… make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…”

This two-step procedure is well-known among disciples, though the average church-goer tends to defer both tasks to the clerical “experts” in the church.  (By the way, if you are a disciple and you have not been baptized, what are you waiting for?)

Clearly, if Jesus has ALL authority in Heaven and on earth, then He can command anyone, anywhere to do anything and they can properly be held accountable if they do not obey.  For our purposes, if He is LORD and we are His disciples, then He can command us and we will be held accountable for our performance.

We need to always bear in mind, however, that Jesus does not exercise His authority because He wants to “throw His weight around” or make our lives difficult.  On the contrary, His intent is to shepherd us in the way of blessing, to make our lives joyful (even in persecution or difficult circumstances), and to be glorified in our lives by displaying His character through us.

We are to observe (this means OBEY, not “memorize” or “watch others when they obey”) all things that Christ commanded, AND we are to teach others to do likewise.  How can we know what Christ has commanded?

The commands of Christ can be divided into three categories.  First are commands that He gave to specific people in specific circumstances.  For instance, when He raised the 12-year-old girl in Luke chapter 8, He then commanded that she be given something to eat (verse 55).  No one seriously construes this as a general command to feed 12-year-old girls, and accordingly, commands in this category are not binding on us.

The second category consists of those commands given by Christ to His disciples, usually in a teaching context.  An example of this is in John 13:34 where Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another.  No one seriously argues that this command was just for those disciples who were present when the command was given.  Without question, this command and other commands in this category are binding on us today.

The last category might be called “indirect commands” where we get an authoritative command from the scriptures that was not a direct utterance of Christ, but can nonetheless be received as a command from God to Christian disciples.  One example of this is in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 -

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Paul wrote this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and, while the letter was addressed to the Christians in Thessalonica who lived about 2,000 years ago, we understand that this is a command for all Christians in all places at all times.

At this point, I would like to re-state the doctrine of distribution (“nonaccumulation”):

Jesus forbids His people to accumulate wealth on this earth, but rather commands them to distribute those possessions they do not currently need for the needs of others and for spreading the gospel.”

IF this is a true, Biblical doctrine, then 1) it must be explicitly supported and commanded by either category 2 or category 3 commands of Christ, AND 2) it must not be refuted or contradicted by any commands or scriptures.  THOSE ARE THE CRITERIA! How it makes you feel, what your church or pastor always taught, what your friends or financial counselors assert, what “common sense” may dictate … all irrelevant.  The only important thing is what Christ has said about it. 

And what has He said?  What scriptures support the doctrine of distribution?  Are there scriptures that refute the doctrine? 

Stay tuned.

Today’s Action Step:  Read the story of the “Rich Young Ruler” in Luke 18:18-23.  (This is an example of a category 1 command so no one need feel defensive.)  Imagine you are standing beside the Rich Young Ruler when Jesus spoke to him, and that the young man turned to you for counsel. 

What do you think he might have asked you?
How do you think you would have responded?
Send an email to yourself with your answers.

“Follow” this blog and you’ll get an email notification when the next posting is available.  Comments (below) always appreciated.

What Is A Doctrine? October 18, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in Discipleship, Non-accumulation.
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Before we can intelligently discuss whether or any doctrine is true, we need to agree on the definition of “doctrine.” We’ll go from there to a clear statement of the doctrine of nonaccumulation, and then we will be in a position to compare the doctrine with the scriptures to determine whether it is true or false.

NOTE:  I’ve been using the term “doctrine of nonaccumulation” because I’m relying heavily on Roger Hertzler’s work and that is the term he uses.  I don’t like it.  I prefer “doctrine of distribution” because the Biblical injunction is to distribute to those who have need.  In other words, if one Christian “accumulates” two coats and his brother has none, a “non-accumulation” requirement could be met if he simply burned one coat.  The purpose of the commandment is not to deprive, but to supply (Luke 3:11).  Also, while the word “nonaccumulation” does not appear in the scriptures, “distribute” does, in a passage we will consider as we proceed.

Some dictionary definitions of “doctrine” include:

1. a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group.

2. a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government

3. something that is taught; teachings collectively: religious doctrine

4. a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject

You get the idea. My working definition is that, for our purposes anyway, a doctrine is a statement that is presented as a Biblical truth, and that has moral implications. For example, the Bible says “thou shalt not steal.” The Bible also says that the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand (see Isaiah 37:36). Both are Biblical truths, but the first has a moral imperative and the second does not. That a Christian should not steal is a doctrinal position. There are consequences involved for those who believe this is true, AND for those who don’t.

If a doctrine has been defined well, the decision to accept or reject it becomes a simple”yes or no” question. The answer should be either yes, we accept it as a true doctrine, or no, we reject it as a false doctrine. There shouldn’t be much room for saying, “Well, I accept part of it,” or “Well, there’s some truth to it, but there needs to be some balance.” These statements may be appropriate when it comes to the practical applications of the doctrine. But they are not valid responses to the question of whether we accept the doctrine itself as a true doctrine.

The preceding statement by Roger Hertzler speaks for itself. In subsequent posts, we will look at the doctrine of distribution as stated in my last post. We will see exactly what it is, what it demands and what it forbids, and then we will compare this doctrine with the scriptures and come to a settled conclusion on the question, “is this doctrine true or false?”

One final thought before today’s action step:

Whatever it is that Jesus means by His command in Luke 12:33, He does not intend for it to bring us into bondage, but rather to set us free. If we will but submit ourselves to this command, it becomes a doorway into some of the most wonderful opportunities we could possibly imagine.

Today’s Action Step: Go through your home and take an eyeball inventory of all your things. (Don’t do this in your imagination – you need to actually do this.) Next, imagine that your home burned to the ground and all your things were destroyed.

Answer this question: If the insurance settlement would cover 100% of the loss, how much of the stuff you lost would you actually want to replace? See if you can come up with a percentage (if you’re married, both of you can do this and then see if your numbers agree).

Post comments below. We’ll continue this discussion on Monday.

The End At The Beginning October 17, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in Uncategorized.
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My conclusion is that we, as disciples of Christ, are commanded by Christ to lay up treasure in Heaven (yes, He wants us to be rich, but ETERNALLY rich!), and the way to do that is by living frugally, giving lavishly, and NOT accumulating. I want to state this up front so you blog-readers will know in advance where this is going. I believe Roger Hertzler is correct: if you are going to live as a disciple, you cannot accumulate wealth or property.

In Through the Eye of a Needle, Hertzler wrote:

The doctrine of nonaccumulation is not new; it is as old as Christianity itself. However, it is a doctrine that has been lost to most of today’s Christians. The doctrine, simply stated, is this: Jesus forbids His people to accumulate wealth on this earth, but rather commands them to distribute those possessions they do not currently need for the needs of others and for spreading the gospel. In short, Jesus commands us to distribute rather than accumulate earthly wealth.

You cannot “save for a rainy day” that may happen to you tomorrow, when your brother or sister is experiencing that “rainy day” NOW.

“He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord” (Proverbs 19:17) is LITERALLY TRUE. My bottom line is that Christ has commanded us to lay up treasure in Heaven, that He has told us how, and that obedience to His clear command is not a burden; rather, it will bring blessing.

In addition to Bible study and encouragement, I’m adding a few “action steps” that will be both fun and easy.

A word about reward: Jesus told us to lay up treasure in Heaven. The “rate of return” or ROI (“return on investment”) in the kingdom appears to be a “hundredfold.” Most commentators seem to think it’s 100% but I crunched a few numbers and it looks like 500% may be closer. The late C.S. Lovett suggested that one hundred fold is actually more like ten thousand percent.

I don’t know, but we’re dealing with God, and God is lavish. Whatever His rate of return is, it will be more than adequate and it will be ETERNAL.

Today’s action step: Take an amount of money you can give away painlessly; a sum you will never miss. Might be money you forgot you had – turn over those sofa cushions or look under your car seats. Carry it with you and look for a homeless person or other obviously needy person. When you find such a person, connect with him or her as a person, speak to them, and give them the money. Engage in appropriate conversation. Then return to this blog and post a comment on your experience.

This exercise is more for you than for the person you meet. Yes, they need money, but more than that they need to be affirmed as still having value. As you may know, homeless people have become an “issue” or sometimes an ignorable part of the landscape. They are neither: they are men and women made in the image of God. Like the rest of us, some will be saved and most will not. But ALL need love and acceptance … and a little help. We are called to be Christ-like toward them.

If you gave away five bucks in this exercise, imagine having $500 in a heavenly account that can never be lost or stolen. (Note: I don’t believe it’s money – heavenly wealth is a whole lot nicer, as I intend to explore in a future post.)

If you were unwilling to do this simple exercise, you should ask yourself “why?” Perhaps you’re not really convinced that Jesus wants us to sell our stuff and give the money away. Maybe you think it’s “legalism” or that because you give to your church and they have a ministry to the homeless, that you’re covered (“I gave at the office.”). Maybe you think it would be imprudent because the homeless person might spend the money on drugs or alcohol. Maybe you think the doctrine of nonaccumulation is not Biblical, but is a false doctrine??

I appreciate your honesty. Tune in tomorrow.

P.S. “Follow” this blog and you will get an email each time I post.

The Ultimate Prepper October 16, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in Church, End Times, Uncategorized.
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(Note: Many, many thanks to those of you who have been praying for me and writing to encourage me. I realize how much my podcasting effort meant to many of you and I am profoundly grateful to God for His blessing on my efforts. I hope to get back to podcasting in the near future, so please stay tuned and keep praying.

There is no “sand in the hourglass” as far as I can see. I believe we can be snatched literally at any time, so while attempting to calculate a “likely” date for the rapture is fun, it is now a distraction. The Biblical FACT is that we are on the threshold of our transition, and there will be no makeup classes. What we are when His trumpet sounds – mature or immature, spiritually rich or poor, virtuous or otherwise – is what we will be FOREVER. I don’t anticipate a broad-based spiritual revival, but I do believe each of us can be powerfully revived if we choose to be.)

Belle Ringer of the “Salvation And Survival” blog posted an item entitled Rethinking My Prepper Mindset that leads nicely into the topic I broached in my note above. Arguably, the biggest problem in the visible church today is the idolatry of materialism. We get comfortable with our “stuff” and convince ourselves that having lots of nice things and, more importantly, having funds and resources for the future, is responsible Christian stewardship and in no way in conflict with discipleship.

Apparently, the Laodiceans felt so, too. “I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing …” and we know how that story goes. According to a story in the telegraph on October 14th, “If you have $3,650, you’re among the wealthiest half of people in the world, according to Credit Suisse’s new report on global wealth.”

Scripture does not say there is anything wrong with being wealthy. However, scripture does say that we, as disciples, are to be distributors of wealth, NOT accumulators. I have discussed this previously in the context of Roger Hertzler’s book, Through the Eye of a Needle and that is the direction I will be going in forthcoming blog postings, and also (by God’s grace) on future podcasts.

We need to get this right. Hertzler asserts that a return to a rigorous and radical non-accumulation lifestyle on the part of Christ’s disciples has historically triggered revival, and that a return to a compromise with materialism has always ended it.

I WANT REVIVAL. I want to be totally, radically transformed and I want to be outrageously rich in heaven. Let’s make this transition together.

Hiatus? August 12, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in Uncategorized.
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Sorta looks like it.

“Medical leave of absence” might be more accurate, however. For those of you who have been following the BlogTalkRadio program, you already know I’ve had some challenges. Lately, they have gotten worse, to the point that I simply don’t have the physical energy or mental focus to continue. So I’m taking a break to, hopefully, get back up to speed.

However, as our friend Jack told his wife Rexella: “I’m not setting a date.” Nor can I suggest with any confidence that the Lord wants me to continue. So His will and my ability will shape my future and the futures of the program and the web site.

Please keep me in your prayers. And subscribe to this blog so you will get an email notification if/when things resume.

Final Fortnight Redux August 2, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in Current Events, End Times.
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We’re currently looking ahead to Tu b’Av, beginning at 12:26 PM Eastern time (which is sunset in Jerusalem) on Sunday, August 10th. For what it’s worth, the moment of full moon will be 1 hour and 44 minutes later, at 2:09 PM Eastern time. I’m not giddy … yet.

This past week, the pre-tribbers were accused of being “God-haters” for believing and preaching the idea that there will be a rapture event before God’s wrath is visited on this planet. Leaving personalities aside, it may be that this escalating hostile rhetoric is a sign that we are truly close to the end. I’m not convinced that it’s a “sign” per se, since the mainstream media and the culture at large have not picked up on it, at least not yet.

However, the hostility against Israel has become noticeably more intense and more global. That, to me is significant. They are speaking less of peace than of temporary cease-fires (also immediately violated by Hamas) and of Israel’s objective: to destroy (rather than just “contain” or “restrain”) their terrorist neighbors in Gaza. The tunneling strategy was apparently to be executed on Rosh Hashannah, and it’s seen as Providential that the Jews found out about it before the plan could be executed. In the meantime, Iran and their nuclear ambitions seem to have lost visibility, and the war in Syria is likewise not getting as much attention.

Putin in Russia seems to think there will be a major war in Europe soon. So this could be the “calm before the storm” even though things in Europe are barely calm. Well-orchestrated and well-funded “spontaneous” demonstrations against the Jews are daily news. The liberals in Congress now want to continue funding Israel’s “Iron Dome” project, while the Republicans are dragging their feet because of financial considerations. Congress has become incoherent.

Finally, the Ebola story is crowding its way into the headlines, replacing the invasion from Mexico and Central America (funded, managed and facilitated by the Regime). So lots of bad stuff to keep us distracted as the door of God’s mercy and the Church Age draw to a close. Lots of religious people are about to get the surprise of their lives. Eight days and counting …. Are you ready?

Are Pre-Tribbers "God-Haters"?

With Crimean Crisis, Haaretz ‘Gets It’ June 15, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in End Times, Harbingers, Uncategorized.
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What follows is not from some fundamental Christian web site or kook blog or anything. It’s from the mainstream Haaretz Jewish web site, They are the ones suggesting that the events in Crimea and Ukraine are explicit Biblical (Book of Ezekiel – their Bible is our Old Testament) harbingers. THEY are the ones suggesting that the Messiah is coming very, very soon!

If you’re a Christian, the fun is just beginning: An army of “200 million” men will come from the East, according the Book of Revelations [sic], and there’s only one country that can raise such an army. Then, in quick succession but in a sequence that is disputed by scholars, the End Times really get going: Armageddon, Desolation, Tribulation, Rapture, Redemption, the Second Coming – the works.

Jews, by the way, make do with just the war of Gog and Magog, after which messianic days are here and “swords are beaten into ploughshares” etc. Nonetheless, Christians aren’t the only ones who are getting excited about the standoff in Eastern Europe. According to a report catching fire over the weekend in the haredi press in Israel, the Gaon Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch told his disciples this week that the times of the Messiah are upon us. And who is the source for his amazing analysis? None other than one of the top Jewish sages of all time, the Vilna Gaon himself, the Gra, “the genius of Vilnius”, the famously harsh critic of Hasidic Judaism.

Here’s the link. (You have to “create an account” but it’s free): http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/.premium-1.582663

So, for those of you who may think those of us urging preparation for the return of Christ have spent too much time in the eschatosphere and not enough time in the real world …. well, it looks like Chemi Shalev and maybe a few others in Israel have joined us.

Jesus is coming soon! YOU will see Him face-to-face! Are You Ready??

P.S. Please feel free to post or forward this link.

Daniel’s 70th Half-week May 8, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in End Times.
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It hasn’t been until recently that I started seeing all these end-times scenarios that are based on the idea that Daniel’s final week is already half completed. A simple reading of the text should dispel this incorrect (and unnecessary) notion.

The scripture text is Daniel 9:24-27 and the passage is clearly chronological. Daniel breaks the 70 weeks into three pieces: seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week. It is not seven weeks, sixty-two 1/2 weeks and then a half-week. Messiah was cut off after the sixty-two week piece was completed. Since the text states this was “after” the sixty-two weeks, and subsequently states the final week does not begin until after the city and sanctuary are destroyed, a period of time must exist between the end of the 69th week and the beginning of the 70th.

In verse 27 Daniel has no trouble identifying the “end to sacrifice and offering” as being “in the middle of the week” and had he intended to communicate that Jesus was cut off in the middle of the week, he could have said so. However, we read “after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off.” It does NOT say “after sixty-two and a half weeks”.

Further, we read in Daniel that after the Messiah is cut off, the city and sanctuary are destroyed. After the city and sanctuary are destroyed, the covenant is confirmed and the final week begins. There is no way around it. Messiah was cut off in about 32 AD and Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. The confirmation of the covenant has to take place after 70 AD and there is neither reason nor scriptural evidence that there is a time delay or gap within the final week.

This is NOT to say that if the covenant is confirmed on this coming Pentecost, that Jesus won’t return until 2021. There is nothing in the prophecy that says Jesus will not return until the final seven years are completed. Rather, there are solid Scriptural reasons for believing Jesus will return in 2017 and will be here on the planet supervising the restoration of all things. In other words, the period of strife, testing and judgment we anticipate will not last seven years. It might be only half of that. Review the “agenda items” in Daniel 9:24 and you will see what needs to be completed in the final seven years. Obviously, these things have not been accomplished, and I think it’s equally obvious that if the final week is simply one of disasters, judgment and wrath, by the time the dust settled on the final day of the 70th week, those things would still be unfinished.

For us, it’s academic. As I’ve said, “we’ve got dinner plans.”

Nisan 10 Prophetic Implications March 17, 2014

Posted by stevekerp in Uncategorized.
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Here’s a brief explanation of the significance of Nisan 10.  If you find this of interest, you may want to share this with your friends (or even paste it in Facebook).

Background:  The foundation of end-times prophecy is usually considered to be the “70 Weeks Prophecy” given by Daniel in the Old Testament and recorded in Daniel chapter 9.  The prophecy was given while Daniel and the Jews were exiles in Babylon, and Jerusalem was literally a heap of ruins following the city’s destruction by King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC (or so; experts differ on the date).

God revealed to Daniel that seventy weeks (literally ‘sevens’) were determined for Israel and Jerusalem to accomplish six objectives.  Each week is actually a period of seven years; 70 seven-year blocks or 490 years total.  The period would begin when a command went forth to restore and build Jerusalem.  The years would not be contiguous, but would be broken into three periods:  the first would be seven ‘weeks’ or 49 years, then a second period of 62 ‘weeks’ or 434 years, and then a final period of seven years.  Daniel also included a significant time-marker after the first two periods (483 years) had transpired:  he wrote that “after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.”  While there may be some doubt as to exactly when this time period began, there is no doubt about when it ended.  It ended just before Jesus Christ was crucified.  It is significant to note that Daniel said Messiah would be cut off “after” the sixty nine weeks, rather than “at the beginning of the 70th week” or something similar.

Where we are now:  We know that 69 of the 70 weeks have already passed.  How can we tell that one week remains; that is, what makes us confident that the final week wasn’t already completed at some time in the past?  We can safely assume that if the final seven years have also passed, then the six objectives would have been met.  Here they are:

  • finish the transgression
  • make an end of sins
  • make reconciliation for iniquity
  • bring in everlasting righteousness
  • seal up vision and prophecy
  • anoint the Most Holy

It seems obvious, just by looking at the world today, at the nation of Israel, or even our own lives that these agenda items have not yet been accomplished.  One week – a final period of seven years – must remain.

When did the clock stop?  Passover always occurs on the 14th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar.  That month is known by two names: ‘Abib’ and ‘Nisan.’  Each month begins on a new moon.  Four days before Passover – that is, on Nisan 10 – Jesus entered Jerusalem to begin his ‘passion week.’  That was the day that the 69th week ended, and it was also when the Jews began their official rejection of their Messiah.  The first 69 weeks were concluded before Jesus was crucified, but the 70th week had not yet begun.

If the 69th week ended on Nisan 10, it would be reasonable to assume that the 70th week would begin on some future Nisan 11.  There are several reasons for believing the final week will begin on this upcoming Nisan 11.  Following is one of those reasons.

Sign in the heavens:  There is a prophecy in Revelation 12 that speaks of a sign in the heavens involving stars, planets, the sun and the moon.  That sign is Virgo simultaneously in near-conjunction with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a garland of 12 stars above her head.  This highly unusual configuration will be observable above the city of Jerusalem during the Jewish Feast of Rosh Hashannah in 2017.   According to Revelation, this sign appears in the middle of this final seven-year period (technically, after 1,260 days).  If you back up 1,260 days, you land on Nisan 11 of this year.  Illustration and more information here:  http://tinyurl.com/nisan11

What’s next?  Daniel also stated that the Messiah would confirm a covenant at the beginning of this final week.  Theories abound concerning what “covenant” may be in view or how this confirmation may take place, but one thing seems certain:  this will be an event that will signal the resumption of God’s covenantal activities between Himself and the people of Israel.  This means it must be a post-rapture event. 

Paul wrote in Romans 11:25-26 that “hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

The Deliverer will come out of Zion,
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

Notice that national salvation for Israel occurs subsequent to the fullness of the Gentiles having come in.  Compare these prophesied activities with the six objectives stated by Daniel listed above.  Notice also that this scripture explicitly mentions God’s covenant with Jacob and the taking away of Israel’s sins.

You may be wondering when Nisan 11 will fall this year on our calendar.  That date is April 11, 2014 – about 24 days from now. 

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