Is there any among us who picks up a mystery story and reads just a couple of chapters in the middle? So why accept teachers who limit eschatology just to Daniel?
Anyone who had to take the dread course Statistics in college understands that the only way to understand the complex code at the end of the course is to begin at the beginning, learn each of the simple segments of the equation, and fit them in the right order.
And the only way to get the right answer is to get every single element of the code correct. That’s why this blog book began at the beginning and ground its way through the entire Bible before tackling the end.
Take Jeremiah’s prophecy of 70 years.
“the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon…Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah…saying…the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings.,,Therefore…because ye have not heard my words…[to serve me, ye] shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” (Jeremiah 25:2-11)
This came to pass on schedule, but because the objective of turning to the LORD was not fulfilled by the rulers, i.e. the other signatories to the covenant, it was then extended under Daniel to 70 x 7 years as per standard practice.
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants…Shouldest not thou also have had compassion… even as I had pity on thee?” (Matthew 18)
Forgiving means paying the price for someone else’s wrong. Not demanding justice now.
“The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty,(Numbers 14:18)
The Lord isn’t able to establish peace for our time until his anointed ones fall in line behind him.
“If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” (II Timothy 2:12-13)
“He raiseth up…to make them inherit the throne of glory…He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (I Samuel 2:6-10)
- “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering / obedience / submission / bowing of the people be.” (Genesis 49:8-12)
- “Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel…Wherefore…I give unto him…and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.” (Numbers 25:10-13)
Do we get what this means? For the last 3,000 years and counting there has always been a descendant of Phinehas who could fulfill this prophecy. But hasn’t.
“There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard…and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another...last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw / recognized! the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him [knowing he is quoting Jeremiah] He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons…Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matthew 21:34-44)
So when Jesus wraps up his tirade on these wicked men with “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,“ we should recognize the stress driving his anger.
We shouldn’t visualize him shouting a curse like a political radical, but weeping in heartache, as he is escorted off the premises by security.
The Lord Jesus Christ was not only warning his adversaries of disaster, but directing their attention to their own well-known, legally witnessed plan of rescue from what would be disaster after disaster of their own making.
“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God…
- The Lord liveth;
- and blessed be my rock;
- and let the God of my salvation be exalted / lifted up….
- yeah, thou liftest ME up …
Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.” (Psalm 18)
Did you catch that? The purpose of leadership in the kingdom of heaven and earth is to witness of God’s love for the whole world.
Joseph’s leadership in the Egyptian Empire as a Melchizedekian priest-king for all people from all nations is an unarguable precursor to Jesus the Christ’s. See the post The Order of Melchizedek for details.
“Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt…and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt…And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands…And Joseph said…God…hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:41-44, 57; 45:8)
Like Joseph, Daniel’s people are the Hebrews. That includes us Gentile believers, folks. See the posts Father Abraham and Everything New is Old Again for details.
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Sing unto the LORD new song, and his praise from the end of the earth,” (Isaiah 42:1-10)
This applies to Daniel as much as to Jesus the Christ, as proven by the rest of Isaiah’s prophecy.
“neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters. (Isaiah 56:4-6
Isaiah’s message that God would make a place for eunuchs “in mine house” is a new covenant, because:
“He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 23:1)
“And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death…cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.” (II Chronicles 26:21)
As a eunuch, Daniel was disqualified from leadership in the Israelite theocracy.
If Daniel’s condition is an unknown factoid readily dismissed for its disturbing sexual content, check out Daniel chapter one where his status is stated no less than seven times.
Castration was an overwhelmingly common practice in ancient times. It’s primary purpose in warfare was to eliminate potential revolutionary leaders from the conquered nation’s royal household, while preserving valuable ministers as slaves to the conquerors. Of course, the practice in general slavery also provided sex slaves for not only homosexual but the common bisexual men.
Early visual images, dating from the fourth millennium BC, from Uruk and associated with Inanna (Ishtar), display three types of human figures: men, women, and what anthropologist Susan Pollock has called “genderless figures,” because they lack hair and genitals. A text dating from the reign of Hammurabi of Babylon (1792–1750 BC ) says explicitly that the goddess of Uruk makes eunuchs…suggests that eunuchs were already by then a widespread phenomena and castration an ancient custom…
In Assyria, eunuchs with such titles as rab sha reshi (“chief eunuch”), rab shaqe (“chief cupbearer”), or sukkallu (“second highest official in the empire”) held the highest recognized authority after the king; and they were often referred to as “the great ones”…from the beginning of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, eunuchs came to dominate civil service. Eunuchs were appointed as governors of major provinces…served as the king’s personal attendants…The royal bodyguard which accompanied the king on his travels and campaigns was made up primarily of eunuchs. Many eunuchs served as army officers, the “chief eunuch” sometimes even replacing the king as supreme military commander on long and dangerous campaigns. Eunuchs were also sent as foreign envoys…Only one official, the castrated superintendent of the palace, had permanent direct access to the Assyrian king…even the crown prince could not come into his presence unless the astrological signs were favorable…
the tradition of using eunuchs as highly-trained and important officers in royal service certainly was passed on from the Assyrians to the Babylonians and then to the Persians…also the Bible relates how, when Nebuchadnezzar first captured Jerusalem in 605, Ashpenaz his rab-saris (REB: “chief eunuch”) had charge of selecting well-bred, handsome youths among the Israelite captives to be taken to Babylon to be made into court servants; and then he oversaw their care, renaming, supervision and training (Dan 1). When Nebuchadnezzar returned again (587) and Jerusalem was totally destroyed the following year, the Babylonian king was again accompanied by his “Rab-saris,” or chief eunuch (Jer 39:3, 13, NRSV)…
in a long passage that the Greek historian Xenophon (c. 435–c. 354) wrote about Cyrus (II) the Great (559–530)…since eunuchs are deemed disreputable by other human beings, they therefore need a master as a protector…if he is trustworthy to a master, there is nothing to prevent even a eunuch from having the first position…It is especially on the ruin of their masters that they have given evidence of their being faithful, for none have shown more faithful deeds amidst the misfortunes of their masters than have eunuchs.
During the reign of Darius I (521–486), after the Persian navy captured the islands of Chios, Lesbos, and Tenedos (along the western coast of Asia Minor), the sailors rounded up all of the best-looking boys and then made the “most-favored” into eunuchs, to bring as presents to the king, along with beautiful girls as well for his harem (Herodotus, Persian Wars 6.31–32). The provinces of Babylonia and Assyria sent as tribute to Darius a thousand talents of silver, along with five hundred boys to be made into eunuchs (Herodotus, Persian Wars 3.92).
“the effeminate eunuch embodied shame, impotence, and social deviance” in the ancient world, and was often viewed as “a threatening liminal figure [neither male nor female],” as “something . . . monstrous [and] alien” (Herodotus, Historiae 8.106). Then Jews, made eunuchs by circumstances beyond their control, were forced to leave their families and religious communities behind, and they had to make for themselves a new home in a new land. As Ringrose notes, “All historical eunuchs were ambiguous figures.” Their services were valued, and yet they were often despised.
Interesting that our society is becoming dominated by effeminate, self-imposed impotent/infertile, until very recently socially deviant, and most of all in spite of the calamitous death-dealing AIDS epidemic inextricably linked to the sexual behavior of male-on-male sex, even to the extent of influencing foreign policy.
Majority Muslim countries stand out for their lack of social progress on issues like gay rights and women rights. Generally, progress on such issues is more related to levels of development…The massive exception is places where Islamic political movements hold sway. Despite high levels of economic development, these places remain socially backwards or massively regress when these movements come to power (Turkey, Qatar, UAE etc…)…
At minimum, it is intolerable that we consider [having Muslim countries as] allies and sell weapons to nations with human rights records like Saudi Arabia.
Isaiah’s promise that he would give eunuchs a “name better than that of sons and daughters” isn’t about respect or a legacy or fame,
It is granting the power of everlasting life.
The belief system at that time held that a man’s life essence lived on through human reproduction.
So if a man died without having a son, that meant not only the end of his family line, but also an end to his human essence in some mysterious and undefined way…It was believed that having a son was the only way a man could ensure his existence after passing away.
This is reflected in ancient pagan practices of making sacrifices to the gods to extend the length, and improve the quality, of their ancestors’ afterlife. Details on this practice in the post Mark of the Beast.
Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD [instead of the political ruler], to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, [instead of trusting in the political ruler for status, safety, prosperity like the eunuchs in ancient courts] every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The LORD God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others.” (Isaiah 56:4-8)
Biblically, this reflects YHVH’s promise that the Adam’s Seed would sacrifice himself to restore all humanity to life.
“For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man / ha-Adam, that thou…crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him.
But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see YHVH’s Savior / the last Adam…bringing many sons unto glory / victory in battle…
- For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one:
- for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto / share your power with my brethren…
- And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me…
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, YHVH’s Chosen Savior; Who was faithful to him that appointed him…whose house / family are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (Letter to the Hebrews 2:5-3:6)
When is that – the end?
If we project the date based on the previous data we see that 70 years was extended to 70×7= 490 years so the next uptick might be 70 to the 7th power, or 70 x 70 x 70 x 70 x 70 x 70 x 70 = 8,230,540,300,000 years which, under the circumstances of current dire warnings that humanity is bringing about the end of the world through ecological as well as political misbehavior, doesn’t hold any predictive value for me.
Let’s just call it “a long time” from the 1st century AD.
The End of this world doesn’t come until God’s ministers are prepared for the transition of power.
Surely we understand this on the lesser level of human government. When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, his existing staff made it possible for him to immediately take over the government.
Concurrently with writing this post, President Trump has been refusing to cooperate with a peaceful transition of power. This raises serious concerns for the ability of the incoming leaders to maintain the stability of the American government.
President Trump declined an opportunity on Wednesday to endorse a peaceful transfer of power after the November election…before saying there would be no power transfer at all.
Democrats are growing increasingly alarmed as Mr. Trump repeatedly…suggests that he might not accept the results if he loses…
“He’s clearly accelerating his effort to set up a challenge to an outcome that is unfavorable to him…”
“Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus,” Mr. Romney wrote. “Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable.”
Surely we understand that on the far more higher plane of existence we mere mortals need to develop our spiritual abilities. Read a few of the Dresden Files books if you are drawing a blank here.
In God’s kingdom, we are meant to transform into the likeness of our Savior by following the same process he underwent – submitting our will to the will of the Father. And it’s not any more comfortable than a drug addict trying to kick a heroin or methamphetamine habit!
It is no different from any child developing social skills and self-control through mastering self-will through ever higher levels of practice, practice, practice. As one of my son’s high school teachers explained, “You decide if you want to work at a fast food restaurant or in a profession by how you apply yourself now.” You have to give up the comforts of sleeping in, staying up late to watch captivating television programs or play video games, and partying with friends. You have to withdraw into your own wilderness to study and acceptance rejection of family and friends who resent your changes. And frankly, only a small percentage of humanity does develop increased levels of ability and knowledge we call professionalism.
I had to quit going to prayer meetings, and every time someone asks me to pray for someone’s affliction, I have to bite back my response. “Please pray for God to….” How about you personally put yourself out to take a meal, spend time comforting and exhorting the afflicted, provide some financial support? God is not a vending machine! Christianity has devolved into a Name it and Claim it magical process even by the most devout.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God…
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office…according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness…Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” (Romans 12:1-14)
So, we are stuck on a hamster wheel until spiritual leadership muscles up.
“And Jesus answered and said unto them…all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet…(Matthew 24:6)
“Comes to pass” describes a circular wheel passing over and over again, as in a printing press.
The past informs our knowledge of the future. The Savior didn’t come up with new prophecy in Matthew 24. This list of catastrophes is the standard MO of biblical chastening of God’s people, whether the geopolitical state of Israel or the international body of believers.