Pro and Con 171, Updated 9-5-98, AM
Incoming Email ...This e-mail is in reply to your e-mail to me regarding mine to you about "the problem of the shortened days."...
Let me first say that we will keep your husband in our prayers.
I could identify with your statement about not being a prophet. The following is typical of what I have myself often said or written: I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet. I am a student of GOD's Word with "the Spirit of truth" dwelling within me (John 14:17) just as I am sure He is in you, if you have been born again (John 3:3). And, as such, it is He that guides us "into all truth" (John 16:13), as we each study GOD's Word according to 2Tim. 2:15....
Regarding the shortened days you wrote: "I do not think a day will be less than 24 hours. That would destroy the literal count of 1260 days, which equals 42 months or 3 1/2 years in Rev.11:2,3; 12:6,14. A Jewish year must equal 353, 354, 355, 383, 384, or 385 days and there must be grain to harvest on the Feast of Firstfruits. Each kind of seed ordinarily requires a certain number of 24-hour days to be ready to harvest on time."
I am not sure I follow your reasoning at all here. I do not see how a day made up of say 20 hours, would change the literal count of a certain number of days. And if the literal count of the days cannot be changed, the "shortened" days can only mean a cutting of hours in a day. Also, it seems to me that you are doing the very thing you yourself said cannot be done because it "would destroy the literal count of 1260 days"
I not only believe that the hours of a day can be changed without destroying that literal count, I also believe that we are told in GOD's Word that they will be changed. And we can even understand why they must be.
As you know, a day is determined by how fast a planet spins around on its own axis. The Earth takes just over 24 hours to complete one day. While some planets take more earth hours to complete one day, others take less earth hours to complete one day.
First let me point out that while the Jewish counting of years have been the most important system for keeping track of time ever devised by any man, I do not believe we can use their counting of years where Bible prophecy is concerned. And I am sure that you know why their counting is so complicated, so I will not get into that.
As you know, according to Dan. 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
We have a very strong statement here. Each one of those 70 weeks "are determined" by GOD to take place for each of the reasons listed. To tell us in one place that a certain number of days "are determined" to take place in order "to seal up the vision and prophecy" and then in another place tell us that that number of days will be shortened, may at first appear as a clear contradiction. But we know that the Bible does not contradict itself.
As you know, those 70 weeks are equal to 490 years (one week = 7 years; 70 x 7 weeks = 490 years). These are GOD's prophetical years. Question is: How many days are in each one of those prophetical years? Are we to believe that each could be as different as the Jews of today count them?
GOD's prophetical years are made up of perfect number of days that does not change from one year to the next. That number is always 360....
We also see the term in Dan. 7:25, where we are told that the antichrist shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time .
I believe that what I am about to point out will even explain why the antichrist will "think to change times" (years).
It was recorded by two witnesses (Matt. 24:21-22 and Mark 13:19-20) that it was Jesus Himself who said very plainly that "those days shall be shortened." And also "except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved"
Is it really all that plain? Admittedly, If all we had to go on were these words, it would be hard to prove from the Bible that GOD actually intends to shorten the length of a day. After all, from the very beginning of creation, has not the length of a day always been 24 hours?...
Paul wroth in 2Cor. 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established....
This means that no prophecy is to be understood by itself. We must find at least one or two more references (witnesses) to a subject in order to establish GOD's word on that subject.
Getting back to the meaning of the "shortened" days. If Matthew and Mark are two witnesses, then in the book of Revelation we find our third witness. We read in Rev. 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
These are cause and effect words. They are just as plain as those of our first two witnesses, Matt. 24:21-22 and Mark 13:19-20. And they are also about "shortened" days. In fact, they tell us how long the Earth's new "shortened" days will be.
At this time the Earth has 12 hours of day light and 12 hours of night time. If the 12 hours of day light are to be cut by "a third part of it," the Earths new length of day light will be 8 hours long. Almost as an after thought the following words were added: "and the night likewise."
That is as if to say: "Oh yes, by the way, this will also cut the ours of "the night likewise." The Earth's new length of night will also be 8 hours long. The total length of the Earth's new day will only be 16 hours long.
Question now is why would the LORD want to shorten the hours of the day in this way?
Here we remember again that Jesus Had said that "except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved" Connecting these words with Rev. 8:12, we see that He will shorten the hours of the day so that "flesh" (mankind) will be saved right here on the Earth.
Now another question arises: What was about to happen that could have destroyed all flesh?
It has traditionally been assumed that the days will be shortened in order to keep mankind from destroying himself. I believe that GOD's Word has a different explanation.
For that explanation we must turn first to Isaiah and then come back to Revelation.
Read the following very carefully: Isa. 30:26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound. Isa. 30:27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
Isa. 30:28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err. Isa. 30:30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.
Look at some of those words again. All this will be "in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his peoplethe LORD cometh from far, burning with his angerwith the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones."
Also in those verses we are told that "the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days"
Could it be that GOD will do to the Earth the very same thing that "Nebuchadnezzar full of fury," did to the furnace where he had cast Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
(Dan. 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.)
Jer. 23:18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? Jer. 23:19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. Jer. 23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.
Returning to the book Revelation, we read in Rev. 16:7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. Rev. 16:8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. Rev. 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
GOD's Word makes it clear that "these plagues" are going to be very bad on those that are still here. Yet we also know that some people will make it through that time and be those that we will rule in the Kingdom....
I believe that the LORD will indeed shorten the hours of the day in order to keep some "flesh" alive. In His "wrath" He will "remember mercy."...In the LORD
My reply I think that since the 483 years of Dan. 9 have been made up of 24-hour days, the extra seven years (making the total 490) will also be made up of 24-hour days.
There is one exception. I do think that Tishri 1, 5768, the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord, will be Jesus' long day. On that day two pieces of an asteroid will impact Earth (Rev. 8:8,10) and turn it upside down (Isa. 24:1). The smoke from the impacts will darken the sun, moon and stars. It is the Feast of Trumpets and the day of "thick darkness" (Joel 2:1,2).
If many days were shortened, as you say, to 16 hours, the wheat and barley would not mature in time for the spring feasts. Crops need a certain number of 24-hour days to mature. They even need a certain number of hours of sunshine to mature on time.
The Jewish calendar is a 19-year cycle. That 19 years, taken as a whole, will almost exactly equal a similar 19-year period on our calendar. This is because even the Jewish calendar has to be adjusted to the sun. The only possible deviation is one or two days in a century.
> in Rev. 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the
> sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the
> stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a
> third part of it, and the night likewise.
The word translated "shone" is "phaino," which according the Thayer's Lexicon, means "to shine, shed light," also "to appear, be seen" and "to meet the eyes, strike the sight." The smoke darkens the light of the sun, moon and stars, causing them not to shine for part of that day. It does not mean that the day is a 16-hour day. The word "darkened" tells us what really will happen on that day. It is the day of "thick darkness" (Joel 2:1,2) caused by the asteroid impacts.
> "except that the Lord had
> shortened those days, no flesh should be saved" Connecting these words with
> Rev. 8:12, we see that He will shorten the hours of the day so that "flesh"
> (mankind) will be saved right here on the Earth.
Mt. 24:21,22 says, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days (the days of the Great Tribulation) should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." The Tribulation is shortened to 2300 days (Dan. 8:14).
I think the reason for the shortening is that if a whirlwind did not cause the binary asteroid to impact Earth early, it would hit it square-on and blow it apart like Satan's planet split apart and formed our Asteroid Belt. By hitting Earth on an earlier flyby, it strikes a more glancing blow. This broom of destruction will come in at an oblique angle and sweep Earth from Babylon to Egypt, twisting the face of the Earth, but not blowing it apart. Fire will even burn in the land of Magog.
Incoming Email Your response to the further questions about whether Enoch and Elijah will be the two witnesses was very well thought out and backed up by scripture. Can you also back up with scripture your assertion that the verse (paraphrased): "your old men will dream dreams" (also discussed in P/C 169) will occur after the second advent? I was always under the impression that the verse referred to the time of the tribulation. Thanks!
My reply Here is what I said in #169:
In Acts 2:16,17, Peter said, "But this is (following the First Advent) that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; AND it shall (in the future millennial Day of the Lord, following the Second Advent) come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams."
In Joel 2:27,28, the Lord said, "And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel (the Second Advent), and that I am the LORD (YHWH) your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed (in the Millennium). And it shall come to pass AFTERWARD (after the Second Advent), that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions."
This can't take place during the Tribulation for until the Millennium, Israel can "be ashamed." This phenomenon will take place after the Lord is physically in the midst of Israel, and probably after Satan is chained.
I think the forty days and forty nights of Armageddon will end on Iyar 25, 5768 (our May 30, 2008). Satan will probably be chained and go down on this 40th day, the anniversary of Christ's ascension. Ten more days from Iyar 25 is Pentecost, an excellent time for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit again. God's plans are logical.
The pouring out of the Holy Spirit took place in the first century, after the First Advent, and will take place after the Second Advent. Both are in the "last days." There are seven 1000-year days of man's test being mortal and knowing both good and evil. These "last days" are the 5th, 6th, and 7th 1000-year days, those past the half-way mark. These embrace both of Christ's comings.
Added 9-3-98, PM:
Incoming Email From Jim Bramlett:
I recently forwarded an Internet prayer request for a 6-year-old girl, Amanda Bundy, who had cancer. Thank you for praying.
Apparently the request had been on the net for a few weeks. I received a report from a brother who said, "The last update was still, I believe, June 26th, at which time Amanda seemed not to exhibit signs of the cancer she had had. Praise God for that!"
Thank you, Jesus! Prayer works even retroactively! Jim
Incoming Email A Letter To Those Left Behind
I am writing this letter to all those who did not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ or had doubts or simply had one foot in this world and one in the other. If I cannot be found or if your loved ones who where in love with Christ cannot then you know we have been raptured and you beloved have been left behind. I sincerely hope that my children, ex-wives, or present wife or any of my loved ones are not reading this letter because that would mean you are about to experience the beginning of the final tribulation. The next seven years will be a nightmare of unimaginable horrors. The Holy Spirit is no longer dwelling among you; the antichrist will emerge, earthquakes, fires from above, wars, pestilence, famine, death (the four horsemen of the apocalypse) and the death of the tribulation saints are just the beginning. But I digress.
Only those who believed in faith that the Lord Jesus Christ was our Lord and Savior,died for our sins and rose three days later to eventually ascend into heaven and sit at the right hand of the Father were raptured. You my beloved must now make yourself right with the Lord. Yes all is not lost. Your Father has infinite love for you, but you must ask his forgiveness and make yourself righteous in his sight. You must also follow his command to preach the Gospel to all the world, because my beloved yourself and others can still be saved, by the infinite grace of God our Father.
WARNINGS: After the Rapture occurs, watch for the one who promises peace! Who unites the world! (one government,currency,religion). He will be the AntiChrist. He will speak of love and the community of mankind while he makes no mention of the Anointed One. He will claim that for himself. He will defile the temple and claim to be the Messiah. HE IS NOT !!! Remember Jesus' teachings about false prophets and false teachings. He, the AntiChrist will be killed but will be raised be Satan from the dead. But remember to study and follow what is in the Word. This is the only truth. Watch for the two anointed messengers (Moses and Elijah). Heed their warnings and repent. They are part of the Last Judgment.
The AntiChrist demand that you take the "Mark of the Beast" (666) in some way. It can be a computer chip in your hand or a mark on the forehead, money card. Stay strong. God will provide. Do Not Be Fooled by the lure of things of this world. A better world awaits you if you stay in Christ. God has promised you eternal life and God never lies or breaks his promises. Stay pure and wait !!!
Jesus has come for his Bride, my child and if you are reading this letter you know now you were not ready. Be ready now. Get on your knees and say the sinner's prayer. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you and your remaining household will be saved. Ask for forgiveness of your sins now and accept Jesus into your heart. He is your only hope and salvation. If you do this we will see each other again my beloved and we will be with Him who made us and loves us forever and ever, Amen.
The books I have left you will explain all in full and help in your studies. Use them. It will be your only hope of survival in the coming wrath.
Incoming Email My boss mentioned that if we do not get caught up in the first rapture, we have to prepare for war. He said we have to buy guns and arm ourselves because somewhere in the Bible, we're supposed to sell our clothes and buy arms.
Do we just lay down our lives when the world government persecutes us or should we bear arms? What does the Bible say?...
Thank you for your website. Your brother in Christ
My reply Joel 3:10 does say, "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong." However, this is right before the dawn of the millennial Day of the Lord. Verse 14 says, "the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision." It is when Israel is about to be attacked by the northern army under Gog.
I know of no other place that indicates anything like this. Isa. 2:4 and Micah 4:3 say to beat the swords into plowshares and is in the Millennium when "nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Mic. 4:3).
Incoming Email I have read your book, Revelations 2000, and there seems to be a great deal of truth to what you have seen. I do, however, have difference with something that you speak of that has little to do with the meat of what you say.....
but it would provide discouragement to whomever is left behind.
You say that the tribulation saints will number 144,000. That these are the sealed servants of God, and they are taken up as soon as they are sealed. The Bible utterly and plainly disagrees with this. The 144,000 servants sealed by God are a group servants to carry out His will on earth once the Church has departed; that the remaining masses might know how to come to Jesus.
Some questions I would ask are this; why would the servants be sealed for earthly protection, and immediately be swept off the earth? If the Tribulation saints are such that "No man can number" as seen in Rev chap 7 verses 9-14 then how would they be numbered 144,000? And if the 144,000 sealed are the folks who are taken in the second rapture; then why does chapter 9 verse 4 of revelation tell us that the locusts were not given authority to harm those who were sealed with the seal of God; _after_ they had been raptured? Surely the pluage of locusts are not in heaven, but on earth, along with the 144,000 servants of God, who will remain to do His will and help bring the Gentiles to Jesus.
There will be many more Trib Saints than 144,000; and the 144,000 servants will not be raptured immediately after being sealed. Were this otherwise, why would they be sealed?
These servants, who have already been called, sanctified, and justified; are those who have been tested beyond reproach for Jesus; who will be of His army when He returns. ...*love*
My reply > If the Tribulation saints are such that "No man can number" as seen in Rev chap
> 7 verses 9-14 then how would they be numbered 144,000?
The 144,000 of Rev. 7 are not ALL of the Tribulation saints. They are Israelites. Besides them, there is a great multitude. Chapter 6 ends with, "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Then chapter 7 starts with, "AND after these things." The 144,000 and the rest of the great multitude are taken to Heaven just before the Wrath of God is poured out in Rev. 8. They have already done their work during the Tribulation by this time. The 144,000 are probably singled out to show that the ten tribes of Israel are not lost, as some say.
> And if the 144,000 sealed are the folks who are taken in the second rapture; then
> why does chapter 9 verse 4 of revelation tell us that the locusts were
> not given authority to harm those who were sealed with the seal of God;
> _after_ they had been raptured?
This does not have to do with those who are sealed, but those who are NOT sealed. Rev. 9:4 says, "it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass...but only those men which have NOT the seal of God in their foreheads." These are the ones who are left behind after the second Rapture.
> the 144,000 servants will not be raptured immediately after being sealed. Were
> this otherwise, why would they be sealed?
We all have to be sealed until the day of redemption. Otherwise, we are not part of the heavenly assembly.
> These servants, who have already been called, sanctified, and justified;
> are those who have been tested beyond reproach for Jesus; who will be of
> His army when He returns.
Those who are sealed and taken to Heaven in the two Raptures will return with Christ as his army. Rev. 19:14 says, "And the armies which were IN HEAVEN followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."
Added 9-5-98, AM:
Greeting from South Africa (Africa) My name is ----- a fellow reborn Christian.
We all hoped that the Lord would have fetched us 31 May 1998. I dont think
anyone could ever predict when the rapture would take place.
I'm a bit confused, you say this could still take place up to September
this year, its this correct. Please supply more information.
AND HOW MUCH TIME DO WE REALLY HAVE, I KNOW EVERYONE SAYS THE TIME IS VERY
SHORT. I SEEM TO THINK WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AT LEAST ANOTHER 10 YEARS.
Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
I can't see having to wait another ten years. That would place us in the Tribulation. I think the Six-Day War of 1967 fulfilled the fig tree parable of Mt. 24:32-34. Israel was still "tender" (apalos, young), i.e., no more than 19 (1948 + 19 = 1967). That 19 was still considered young was set when the Israelites came out of Egypt. Those males 20 and up were counted. The 19 year olds were not. In the Six-Day War, Israel grew leaves, Sinai, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and West Bank, including the rest of Jerusalem and the temple area.
The year 1967 + 40 (a generation) = 2007, the end of this age. On the Jewish Calendar, it is 5767, and the last day of 5767 is Sept. 12, 2007. I think the next day, the Feast of Trumpets, is the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord. Counting back the 2300 days (Dan. 8:14) of the shortened Tribulation from the Feast of Trumpets, using Jewish inclusive reckoning, we find that the Tribulation probably begins on the Feast of Weeks in 2001. The Pre-Trib Rapture must precede that.
I am now hoping for the Rapture on the Eve of the Feast of Trumpets, Sept. 20, 1998. I think Eve (type of the Bride of Christ) was taken out of the body of Adam (type of the Body of Christ) on the Eve of Trumpets, then this "kosmos" began to operate on Tishri 1, Saturday, when God rested.
This is in reference to P&C 171 where someone wanted to know about
taking up arms during the tribulation. The following from Rev 13: 9-10
should answer the question.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.
10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills
with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and
the faith of the saints.
I take it that no news about Ed is good news. With agape
Thanks for the scripture reference. That is perfect.
Ed is getting stronger each day. He gets out of bed and walks around the house with his walker then goes back to bed all by himself. Only time someone has to help him is to get him up from the sofa, and that is easier than it used to be. I'm thankful, for my back is hurting. Dave rented Titanic today. We enjoyed seeing it. That is the longest Ed has been up yet, but he lounged on the sofa. Helping tie up the tree in the storm the other day caused me to catch a cold that seems to want to go into bronchitis. Hope Ed doesn't get it. I called to see if I could see my doctor today. No. All have left for the holiday. I'll have to go to Urgent Care if it gets critical. I'm watching my temperature. If it gets really high, I'll go. Don't want to get pneumonia again as I did last December. I am taking cough medicine left from that, Echinacea, garlic, lots of vitamin C, also Alka Seltzer Plus Cold.
What did you mean by the rapture may still be in this Jubilee year, but not
the first day of the year. When is the first day of the year? I'm not sure
about those Jewish dates. I am wondering now - do you think that maybe God
has a DIFFERENT date for Pentecost than what we think of as Pentecost? Is
this possible, seeing that the church is Gentile, not Jewish? Just a thought.
I still feel that 1998 is marked for SOMETHING, just not sure what! If the
rapture, don't know when it would be - now.
Don't you think it interesting that when the Law was given 3000 people died
and on the first day of the church - Pentecost Sunday 3000 people were saved?
Well, on May 30th, I read where the Afghanistan quake killed 3000 people alone
in the village of ShariBersurkh] - a possible indicator that the Age ofGrace
is ending and the Age of the Law is soon to begin??? Odd that this happened
on May 30th. How sad for those poor people of Afghanistan!
In light of all this - what do you think of all the Bible Codes that pointed
to a 5-31 rapture? Do you feel this means they are totally unreliable?
some great things came from my "expectations" of a May 31 rapture. For one
thing, THREE family members got saved! Thanks! Keep looking up!
> THREE family members got saved!
Wonderful. I'm looking up! The Rapture can't be too far away. I'm hopeful that the Eve of Trumpets, Sept. 20, 1998, will be the day.
As I understand it, the Jubilee Year was announced on the Day of Atonement and started the following Nisan, the first day of the Jewish Sacred Year. This year, our 1998, Nisan 1 was March 28. The last day of this Sacred Year is March 17, 1999.
There are several ways to figure Pentecost. It seems to me that the Orthodox way is right. It should always be on Sunday.
Re: Bible Codes. Since every letter in the Hebrew text has a numerical coefficient, there are so many numbers that searching for certain ones may not be too meaningful. It doesn't mean that there are not other things there. See "Yacov Rambsel's books, "His Name is Jesus" "and Yeshua." The name "Yeshua" appears over and over. It is found in virtually all of the OT messianic passages. In Isa. 53, these are all encoded, Jesus, the Nazarene, Messiah, the three Marys, the two high priests, Herod, Pilate, and many of Christ's disciples. In Isa. 53:10, "Yeshua Shmi" appears. It means Yeshua is My Name. Yeshua is Jesus in English.
"In Ezek. 1:16. Starting with the third letter in the tenth word and counting every seventieth letter from right to left spells 'hidden secret'" (p. 154 in "His Name is Jesus").
I found out the hidden secrets of Ezekiel's visions before I even knew this was in the Bible Codes. The "heavens were opened" to his view(Ezek. 1:1). The whirling cloud represents our Asteroid Belt. The "fire infolding itself, and a brightness (lit. sunlight) was about it" (Ezek. 1:4) is the sun. The wheels within wheels are the concentric orbits of the terrestrial planets. They have the appearance of lamps in the sky (Ezek. 1:13). One wheel is "upon the earth" (Ezek. 1:15), so the lively flying things (called cherubim in Ezek. 10:20) are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. Over their heads, i.e., farther out in space, is Heaven. It is symbolized by the "sapphire stone" and has "brightness round about" (Ezek. 1:26,28). On Heaven is "the likeness of the throne" of Christ.
The brightness round about Heaven is like a rainbow, which when seen from the air can be a complete circle. This represents rings. The meaning of sapphire confirms where Heaven is located. It is from the Sanskrit "sanipriya, lit., dear to the planet Saturn, from "Sani," Saturn and "priya," dear.
Ex. 24:10 ties in also. At Sinai (a type or similitude of Heaven), "they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were (symbolic language) a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven (heavenly body) in his clearness."
Rev. 4:6 also ties in. "And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal." The NEB has "a sea of glass, like a sheet of ice." This is a sea of ice crystals, Saturn's ring system.
Zech. 3:9 in the Septuagint says, "behold, I bring forth my servant The Branch. For as for THE STONE which I have set before the face of Jesus, on the ONE STONE are seven eyes" (orbs, circles, rings). The one stone, Saturn, has seven rings of ice crystals. Heaven has a halo.
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