Note: It sure was nice to see Michael Weiss skating to The Lord's Prayer in the Keri Figure Skating Championship.
After reading PC 608 and coming to the realization that the Lord's coming may be nearer than we first believed, I happened to think that Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement will take place this coming Sunday. This particular solemn occasion was to be a time of repentance and offering of sacrifices to God. It was to be a means of reconciliation, associated with sacrificial offerings to remove the effects of sin. The Day of Atonement was the only day of the year the priest entered the holy of holies to make sin offerings for himself, his family and the "assembly of Israel." It was to be observed on the 10th day of Tishri.
Lev. 23:23-32 establishes the Day of Atonement as a time for introspection, for "afflicting" one's soul: 23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God. For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people. Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.
Even more noteworthy is the reference to the Day of Atonement in Lev. 25 where the year of jubilee is mentioned: 9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession.
You are of course aware that bondservants were released from servitude at the beginning of the year of jubilee. If a bondslave chose to return to his master and serve him for the rest of his life, that bondslave would be taken by the master to the gates of the city where the ear his would be pierced. This would indicate to all who saw him that he had been "earmarked" to serve his master forever (See Ex. 21:1-6 and Lev. 25:1-17).
I believe that Christ will come to gather those servants who are watching and waiting for him. He will be seeking those who are accounted worthy to go with him to "marriage supper of the Lamb." The Lord is coming for those who have established a deeper relationship with him, those who have maintained the deepest level of commitment to serve him, those who are "earmarked" for his service.
The jubilee year begins with the day of atonement which demands an "offering made by fire unto the Lord." What is the greatest sacrifice a believer can offer to the Lord? God doesn't desire burnt offerings and sacrifices of animals or produce. Paul beseeches us by the mercies of God that we present ourselves "a living sacrifice." To prepare ourselves to be such an offering we must purify our souls, by maintaining our fellowship with God through Jesus Christ His Son. We must maintain the proper level of oil in our lamps. Our heads should be anointed with oil, and our cups should be running over with the fullness of God's spirit.
The Psalmist David reminds us of God's desire in Psa. 51:16,17: For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
In Psalm 40 which you have noted refers to the Rapture, in verse 6 David makes a similar statement regarding what God is really looking for. "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required."
The phrase "mine ears hast thou opened" refers to the piercing or boring of the ear of a bondslave. Unquestionably David was a man of deep commitment to God. He was a man after God's own heart. In a similar way Paul said, "...I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." True servants of Lord are marked out for service to God who will send His Son to redeem them. Lu. 12:36-38: reminds of our hope: And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.
For such servants of the Lord, the year of perpetual jubilee could begin with the shofar's sound at the start of the Day of Atonement which begins at sunset Sunday, October 8. Paul reminds us:
4:1-5 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
I do believe that "the time" is at hand. I remember older people in the church where I grew up remarking that "time ain't as long as it used to be." Certainly they were just echoing the words from Revelation 22:10-12: "And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."
Marilyn, what do you think of the Day of Atonement as a possibility? Whether the trump sounds this Sunday or not, each day we live finds us closer than ever to the Return of our Lord.
In closing, here are words of encouragement from I Peter 5:10-11: "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
> > Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement will take place this coming Sunday.
It will start Sunday evening at 6:00 PM. Monday, Oct. 9 is Tishri 10. It is to be celebrated from even to even.
> > He will be seeking those who are accounted worthy to go with him to "marriage supper of the Lamb."
We will eventually get to the Marriage of the Lamb and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, but I think they will take place right after Christ's Coronation as the King of kings and Lord of lords on the 1st day of the millennial Day of the Lord, on the 2300th day of the Tribulation (Dan. 8:13,14). In the interval between the Pre-Trib Rapture and the "general assembly" in Heaven (Heb. 12:23), I think we will visit our habitation. Job 5:24 says, "thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt VISIT THY HABITATION, and shalt NOT SIN." Once the Rapture takes place, we will not sin.
When all the saints are to be gathered to the "general assembly" in Heaven, Mk. 13:27 tells us, "then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth (the Pre-Wrath Rapture) to THE UTTERMOST PART OF HEAVEN" (those that were caught up to Heaven in the Pre-Trib Rapture). Evidently we will be scattered from one end of Heaven to the other while visiting our habitation. On Christ's Coronation Day, all saints, "small and great," will be gathered to the assembly before the Marriage of the Lamb, the Judgment Seat of Christ (where rewards are handed out, Rev. 11:18), and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb take place.
I think we will be gathered to the assembly in Heaven just before the Coronation. Rev. 19:1 speaks of "much people in heaven, saying Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God." Verses 4-6 say, "the four and twenty elders (that are our Representatives in the government of God) and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, ALL ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."
Dan. 7:12 says, "behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion."
The Marriage of the Lamb follows the Coronation ceremony just before the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb follows the Judgment Seat of Christ.
> > The jubilee year begins with the day of atonement
I think the Sacred Year begins Nisan 1. In the 7th month, 10th day, of the 49th year, on the Day of Atonement, the NEXT year is pronounced the Jubilee. The Jubilee year starts the following Nisan 1. They wouldn't have a year starting with Nisan 1, then a year starting with the 10th of the 7th month, then another year starting the next Nisan 1.
> > what do you think of the Day of Atonement as a possibility?
I certainly would not rule it out. After all, it is the day the Jews were either accepted or not. However, if Song of Sol. 2:10-14 applies to the Rapture, it will be when winter is past and the rain is over and gone. If next Pentecost/Feast of Weeks is the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel, next Ascension Day seems a likely day for the Rapture.
Like Jacob's ladder that reached to Heaven, this is THE SECRET OF THE STAIRS. Song of Sol. 2:10-14 says, "My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds (of birds is omitted in the Heb.; this is probably the new song sung after the Rapture in Rev. 5:9) is come, and the voice of the turtle (lit., turtledove) is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away. O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock (i.e., in Christ), in the secret places (places is omitted in the Heb.) of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely." Agape
I have to say that I agreed with both the contributor to P & C 601 who rightly in my view classified the five virgins as something other than the bride of Christ. Numbers in scripture are there for a reason, and I agree that it goes against the general biblical teachings on marriage to have the bride described as five virgins. Why five, and not some other number?
The Jewish pattern of marriage must be borne in mind to understand this passage. The virgins were attendants of the bride queen in the typical Jewish system, not the bride. When you said to the person (' would the Bridegroom come and not take his Bride with him, only attendants? ) I think you missed his or her point in that the marriage has already taken place by the time the inclusion or otherwise of these virgins is discussed. This is the point that I think you missed when I last mailed you on this subject. The marriage itself takes place in Heaven at some point during the tribulation, and the reception, or the marriage feast is held sometime later at which the virgins are either admitted or not admitted.
The correspondent in P&C 600 also makes the same mistake when he or she says,'what bridesmaid goes in with the bridegroom to the marriage and the door was shut, that is the rightful place of the bride only.' Again here confusion is between the nuptials and the reception. The bridesmaids go to the reception, not the nuptials. Please read Esther chapter 2.15.... , a good example of the virgin attendants.....' And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. So Esther was taken unto the king into his house royal in the tenth month (possibly a reference to the timing of the first rapture???) .. and the king loved Esther above all the women and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. THEN THE KING MADE A GREAT FEAST UNTO ALL HIS PRINCES AND HIS SERVANTS...AND WHEN THE VIRGINS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER (AT THE GREAT FEAST) THE SECOND TIME, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.
The virgins were not the bride in that case nor are they the bride in Matt 24 and 25. Why does everyone seem to have a problem with this?
The key to understanding this is the typical old style Jewish wedding form on which many articles and books have been written.
There was a contract, for a price, made by the father. They poured a ceremonial cup of wine and the bride drinks if she is agreeable. The groom made a speech which included the words 'I now go to prepare a place for you'. Then there was a waiting time (on average, a year)., during which the bride is veiled as a notice that she is bethrothed. The bride is then 'stolen' (when the time was judged to be right by the father of the groom). The bride would keep an oil lamp next to her bed as the groom normally came at night. The lamp was also a sign to the groom that she is serious and ready.When close enough to the house, one of the groom's party shouted so as to give the bride a chance to get ready. The bride is then whisked off to her wedding NUPTIALS, which last for seven days. AFTER the marriage, seven days later both the bride and groom return to celebrate the RECEPTION with all the other guests. At that stage the bride is UNVEILED.
This format is absolutely brimming over with clear parallels to the church, and the price paid for it, the lamps, the speech Jesus made, the secret stealing of the bride, the fact that she goes away hidden and comes back unveiled, and to the order of events of the tribulation (7(ish) years). Ask any Jew who knows the old system and they will confirm that the western system of nuptials following the reception is completely different to the Jewish system of nuptials preceeding the reception. Jesus would have been speaking to people who did not know the western system.
Mixing up the virgins with the bride means that you also get in to all sorts of other contortions trying to explain the bad virgins and that leads to all sorts of problems about 'being counted worthy' applying to the true believers in the church.
The timing of the reception is alluded to in Rev 19.7 to 21., and is clearly at the end of the tribulation.
Lastly, on the subject of who Jesus is talking to in Matt 24, and whether it is referring to the church or some other group. Like you often do , I say let the bible speak for itself. Here we go then....
The beginning of the chapter says that he was talking to his disciples, who were Jews and not the church. (One of their number was not even saved and therefore cannot be a picture of the church) .The whole passage includes these as the listeners. How therefore do you come to the conclusion that this passage is being spoken to the church, when the church was not actually in existence until the Holy Spirit indwelt them at Pentecost ? We are also told in verse 20 to 'pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the SABBATH day.' This is a clear reference to the Jews. It would be no problem for 99.9 percent of the church to exceed a lawful sabbath day's journey, even if they picked the right day of the week to count as the sabbath! See you soon, anyway
> > Numbers in scripture are there for a reason, and I agree that it goes against the general biblical teachings on marriage to have the bride described as five virgins.
In II Cor. 11:2, Paul said to "the CHURCH of God which is at Corinth, with ALL THE SAINTS which are in all Achaia" (Greece) (1:1), "I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you AS A CHASTE VIRGIN to Christ."
> > Why five, and not some other number?
I think the number 5 means division. Lu. 12:51-53 says, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather DIVISION: For from henceforth there shall be FIVE IN ONE HOUSE DIVIDED, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." Therefore, the use of the number 5 to show the division of the wise from the foolish virgins makes good sense.
> > When you said to the person ('would the Bridegroom come and not take his Bride with him, only attendants?') I think you missed his or her point in that the marriage has already taken place by the time the inclusion or otherwise of these virgins is discussed. This is the point that I think you missed when I last mailed you on this subject.
The marriage itself takes place in Heaven at some point during the tribulation, and the reception, or the marriage feast is held sometime later at which the virgins are either admitted or not admitted.
I expect the marriage of the King of kings to take place right after his Coronation on the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord. I think it's the 2300th day of the Tribulation (Dan. 8:13,14). The division of the wise and foolish virgins is before the Tribulation starts.
Right after the Marriage of the Lamb is the Judgment Seat of Christ. All his saints, "small and great" (Rev. 11:18), are present in Heaven to receive their rewards. I think the Marriage Supper of the Lamb follows that.
> > The virgins were not the bride in that case nor are they the bride in Matt 24 and 25. Why does everyone seem to have a problem with this ?
I have a problem with it because Jesus was talking about the Rapture being as the days of Noah in Rev. 24:37f. One would be taken, the other left. He ended Mt. 24 by saying of the unwise servant, "shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites (Lu. 12:46 has 'unbelievers'): there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. That is at the Pre-Trib Rapture. The very next verse starts off with "Then," meaning at the Pre-Trib Rapture, "shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins."
> > Mixing up the virgins with the bride means that you also get in to all sorts of other contortions trying to explain the bad virgins and that leads to all sorts of problems about 'being counted worthy' applying to the true believers in the church.
Lu. 12:46 says, "The lord of that servant (i.e., the unwise believer, v. 42) will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers."
We, the church, must be "ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE." Lu. 21:36 says, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
In his messages to the churches, Jesus told the church of Ephesus to "REPENT, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will REMOVE THY CANDLESTICK OUT OF HIS PLACE" (Rev. 2:5). That means that their standing with Jesus in Heaven is in jeopardy. He told the Laodiceans, "I will spue (emesai, vomit) thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:16). We must repent. In Rev. 3:19, Jesus also tells the Laodiceans, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT."
> > The timing of the reception is alluded to in Rev 19.7 to 21., and is clearly at the end of the tribulation.
I think it is at the end of the shortened 2300-day Tribulation.
> > The beginning of the chapter says that he was talking to his disciples, who were Jews and not the church.
There were 120 Jews in the upper room on Pentecost. Therefore, the first members of the church were those Jews.
> > How therefore do you come to the conclusion that this passage is being spoken to the church, when the church was not actually in existence until the Holy Spirit indwelt them at Pentecost ?
Are you prepared to say that nothing in the Bible applies to the church until Acts 2? not even the days of Noah mentioned in Mt. 24:37? Jesus was talking about the future in the Olivet Discourse. II Tim. 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
How would you interpret I Cor. 10:11? It says, "Now ALL these things happened unto them (Israel) for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world (lit., consummation of the ages) are come."
> > We are also told in verse 20 to 'pray that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the SABBATH day.' This is a clear reference to the Jews
When the foolish virgins see this happen Mid-Trib, they will know that the "great tribulation" (Mt. 24:21) is beginning.
Please get ready and stay ready. We will reap what we sow. There are foolish Laodicean virgins that will get spued out of the Body of Christ. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mt. 25:30 says, "cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Take heed. We must be wearing spiritual white robes. Mt. 22:11-14 says, " And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness (outside the door darkness), there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but FEW ARE CHOSEN." The Philadelphians have the "open door" set before them in Rev. 3:8. The Laodiceans face the closed door. We must take heed or we will weep and gnash our teeth.
Rev. 17:14 says, "he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful." We need to be faithful servants wearing white robes. We can learn this lesson now, or we can learn it in the Tribulation. By the 2nd Rapture, the foolish Laodicean virgins will have washed their robes in the blood of Christ to make them white (Rev. 7:14). I want to learn my lessons the easy way. How about you? Agape
PS: Lu. 12:35-37 says to us as the 10 virgins, "Let your loins be girded about, and your LIGHTS BURNING (i.e., have enough oil of the Holy Spirit, i.e., be a wise virgin); And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from (ek, from the place of, Thayer, p. 189) the wedding (gamos, marriage festival, Thayer, 109, i.e., he will return from Heaven); that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find WATCHING: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them."
Researchers using the testbed interferometer at Palomar Observatory have achieved the best-ever distance measurement to a type of star known as a Cepheid variable. The new results improve the "cosmic yardstick" used to infer the size and age of the universe.
In the September 28 issue of the British journal Nature, a group of astronomers from the California Institute of Technology, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center announce that the distance to the star Zeta Geminorum in the Gemini constellation is 1,100 light years. The degree of accuracy in the measurement is about 13 percent, meaning that the star could be as close as 960 or as far away as 1,240 light-years. This represents an improvement of a factor of three over previous measurements.
The improvement is due to the use of the Palomar Testbed Interferometer, of which JPL engineer Mark Colavita is the principal investigator and codesigner.
"This has been a bit of a Holy Grail in the field," says Benjamin Lane, a graduate student in Caltech's planetary science program and the lead author of the study. "The measurement of accurate distances to Cepheids is widely considered to be a principal limitation in determining the Hubble constant."
Cepheid variables for several decades have been an important link in the chain of measurements that allow astronomers to estimate the distances to the farthest objects in the universe -- and ultimately, the overall size and expansion rate of the universe itself....
The Palomar Testbed Interferometer was designed and built by a team of researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena led by Colavita and Michael Shao. Funded by NASA, the interferometer is located at the Palomar Observatory near the historic 200-inch Hale Telescope.
The device is intended as an engineering testbed for the interferometer that will soon link the 10-meter Keck Telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
The Keck Interferometer has been funded to find and study extrasolar planets. The Navy and the NSF are also funding the development of interferometers for astrometry and stellar astronomy....
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