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Is “the woman”, Virgo?

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Research Paper

January 29, 2017

Concerning the Rev. 12 Great Sign and astronomical events on September 23, 2017.  Scottie Clarke has done a remarkable work on this; moreover, understanding the historical description of Virgo reconciles the question of, “Is the woman, Virgo.”  The question to ask concerning Rev. 12 is, “What Woman?  Who is this Woman, and is she Virgo?”

Proponent: Scottie Clarke https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsa5IqNLzmFDegks07EuLyq1Z-gfB5vMY

Biblical references: Genesis 1:14, Psalms 19:1-5, Job 9:9 & 38:31-32, Amos 5:8, Revelation 12.

Scottie Clarke holds to the view that in Revelation 12:5 the phrase”caught up” is in reference to the Rapture of the Church.  How does one know that the male child is representative of the Church?  Revelation 12:17 inferences this correlation by saying, ”went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.“  Clarke cites the following historical sources for the interpretation that the woman represents’ Israel and the male child represents’ the Christian Church: G. H. Pember (c. 1876) .pdf (online version– see page 467) and this Michael Svigel article.  At least a dozen other well-known theologians and pastors such as John Nelson Darby, Harry Ironside, William Kelly, William Blackstone, David Wilkerson, and Chuck Missler have taken this view.  Furthermore, the word translated as caught up in the Greek is “harpazo” that is exclusively used in regards to the rapture doctrine that is applied to the Church.  This interpretation is not what is being debated here, nor the astronomical event of September 23, 2017.  Rather, what is being considered here is the Zodiacal and planetary correlations to the Great Sign.  I pose the question, can one equate or represent the woman as Virgo?  If the woman is not Virgo, then one cannot interpret the celestial event as being the Great Sign, the logic must flow.

Problem:  Scottie Clarke is purporting that the woman of Revelation 12 is Virgo.  This research paper is bringing to light a potential problem with the above theological interpretation of the Revelation 12 Great Sign as associated with the celestial observations.  While the astronomical events of September 23, 2017, are factual, the Virgo aspect is not a real association, that is, there is no real Virgo depiction in the heavens; thus it poses a theological problem.[0]  The other problem is that Virgo imagery is depicted as holding wheat; whereas, in Revelation, the woman is depicted as a mother.  One must beg the question for Clarke’s interpretation of Rev. 12, “Is astrology (mythology or mystic) being mixed with astronomy (secular science), and possibly being misunderstood as astronomy?”  A distinction of astrology and astronomy should be made.  The Bible explicitly condemns astrological divination (See: Isaiah 47:13; 2Kings 23:5).  Clarke’s premise hinges upon the Virgo woman.  Clarke then goes on to correlate the Virgo woman is the woman in Rev. 12 and her child as being the Church that is caught up or raptured.

The same association must be true with regards to the male child representing the planet Jupiter and the garland/crown of twelve stars representing the constellation Leo, of which problems I address in addendums A and B at the bottom of this article.

Constellation Virgo

Constellation Virgo

The Bible says we are not to look for a sign, yet the Bible also makes reference to terrestrial and celestial signs that we should be aware of in regards to prophecy.  One has to beg the question; Is it possible that God might use an astrological depiction to reveal a prophetic event?  Is this fulfilling Genesis 1:14, and or simply a means in which God is reaching man at man’s level, written at a time of limited astronomical knowledge more commonly then referred to as astrology? Might there be a historical aspect of astrology that is not mythological or mystic that can be used in understanding or correlating the woman of Revelation 12?

It should be noted that there are other eschatological interpretations, for example, that the woman is in reference to Jesus’s mother, Mary, and or it is a supernatural event.  However, this essay is not debating what interpretation is correct but, rather, performing the role of a Berean (Acts 17:11) and historian by only presenting, assessing, and evaluating the problem above.

A look at astrology:

It was the astronomer Johannes Kepler, with the discovery of planetary motion, that are we able today to calculate the position of celestial bodies.  It is with these principles that the program Stellarium uses for its calculations.  Interestingly, Kepler was a devout Christian who attended seminary.

Historically, it is reasonable to state that astrology (telling of the stars), to a degree, was astronomy (a study of heavenly bodies) for the ancients based on their limited knowledge.  Later, astrology became perverted by man, influenced by Satan, over time far back in history.  Yet, is there an aspect of astrology (say a pictorial Zodiac image) that is simply a means of describing an astronomical constellation?  Astrology directly has to do with calculating future events.  Modern astronomy has dismissed, and rightfully so, the mythological or mystical perversions but continues to calculate the heavenly bodies and refer to the constellation names.  Some have asserted that the Gospel is presented in the stars, but this essay is not going to be concerned with addressing that topic.

Astrology became perverted in the following two predominant ways:  Kabbalistic astrology, while not biblical, associates the Mazzaroth with birth-months that point to character traits.  Whereas, pagan astrologers, while condemned in Scripture, use horoscopes to depict planetary placements to influence daily activities.  Then there is the Greek and Roman mythological gods associated with the constellations as well.

This would be similar to the animal entrail divination of pagan Greek Mythologies.  Likewise, it is similar in practice to the Jewish High Priest’s Urim, Thummim, and breastplate, only this was truly of God.  On the other hand, the Bible makes reference to some constellations and Mazzaroth (Zodiac), even referencing that He created them.  See: Genesis 1:14, Psalms 19:1-5, Job 9:9 & 38:31-32, Amos 5:8, Revelation 12.

Tablet of the stars of the heavens.

Tablet of the stars of the heavens.

The zodiac, in its simplest form, is a pictorial circular belt of 12 equal sectional divisions of star constellations within 8° on either side of the ecliptic including apparent positions of the sun, the moon, and most familiar planets.  At a point in Sumerian history, figures were given to depict these constellations: (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) as evidenced in Tablet of the stars of the heavens long before the Apostle John wrote Revelation.[1]

The Torah says this concerning the zodiac:

“The early Sages divided the ninth sphere, which surrounds everything, into twelve parts.  Each part was given a name appropriate to the pattern of stars it contains.  The names of the Zodiac symbols are:  Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Saggitarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.”[2] (Torah 3:6)

Thus, this is something the Apostle John would have been aware of.  Imagery ignites the imagination, and God uses this kind of vivid imagery throughout Revelation.

Historical written descriptions of Virgo:

My research is not concerned with the mystic or mythological aspects of Virgo, neither does it appear that Scottie Clarke is applying such in his interpretation or understanding, rather, he is correlating the constellation of Virgo to the Great Sign.  The question lies in whether or not the woman can be interpreted as Virgo based on features.

I researched the word Virgo in ancient texts, and they revealed written descriptions providing details of the Virgo depiction.  In all ancient texts, it is clear that Virgo is a woman (female).  My research results, in the cited ancient texts, revealed specific references to the “feet of Virgo,” “Virgo’s hair,” and the “garment of Virgo” denoting those features with Zodiac figure or imagery depictions of Virgo, and corresponded with the depiction in Revelation12.[3], [4], & [5]  In Revelation 12 it makes specific mention of “a woman clothed” and “her feet.”[6]  Interestingly, the sun is near the tip of her hair and clothing when viewed in Stellarium on the 9/23/17 date, see this citation.[7]  Consequently, it is plausible that originally she (Virgo) was depicted with very long hair covering much of her body.  Whatever the case, what are the odds of all these specific references and only these specific references being found in regards to how Virgo was depicted?  That is, I did not find references to her nose or hands, but only the very same bodily descriptions described in the Bible.  This is certainly indicative of a correlation of information or knowledge being transmitted over the years, and something God would know of concerning man’s imagination of Virgo.

Virgo is depicted as having three differing roles: maternal (fertility), harvester (grain), judicial (scales).  Barry Setterfield’s study of the star names that make up Virgo, denoted that rather she had a maternal role.[8]

The word Virgo is not in the Bible, and the Virgo depiction is not an astronomical reality, that is you don’t see a woman in outer space; however, based on:

  1.  the Revelation 12 contextual association “in heaven” dressing “the woman” in a metaphor of similar astronomical events (the sun, the moon, twelve stars) occurring on September 23, 2017.
  2.  the above historical descriptive references (feet, garment, hair, woman) of Virgo concur along with the maternal role while having also had a representation of virginity.

This seemingly and potentially may be alluding to the woman as being the constellation Virgo.  Yet, theologically this is not unequivocal since a portion of the premise (Virgo) is extra-biblical.  Pastor JD Farag provides a good approach theologically: https://youtu.be/GyC4q1ob7fA

However, based on ancient texts, I can unequivocally conclude that the historical descriptions of Virgo are that of a woman whose features are consistent with the features of the woman in Revelation 12.  While the human features are common, the interesting find was that the ancient texts and Revelation make the same specific and exclusive references.

Addendum A:

Is the “male child,” the planet Jupiter?

It should be noted that the word Jupiter is not mentioned in Revelation 12 and the planet Jupiter does not look like a man-child.  However,  Etymology and ancient texts confirm the planet Jupiter is named after the mythological god. (Citations too numerous to list here.)  In Roman mythology, Jupiter (Zeus, Grk.) was a supreme or king god, not only male but is specifically and more commonly depicted as an adult “man” (with fatherly references) in regards to his humanness.  There are ancient textual references of Jupiter having been “born” of a “female” as well as being a “child.”  Jupiter’s mother was Ops (Rhea, Grk.), not Virgo; however, there are similarities and possible origin correlations as to the goddesses over the varying ancients’ narratives.  That is, the story lines may cross over the varying ancients, which I suggest has happened, as perversions, seen based on similarities.  For example, there is a relief of Rhea riding a lion; this is similar to that of Leo the lion crowning Virgo’s head.  More detailed and extensive research of the varying ancient cross over relationships could reveal much more information.

Summary: Etymology and ancient texts connect the planet Jupiter to the mythical god.  Jupiter (the god) is historically depicted as a “man,” having been a “child,” that was “born” of a “female.”  It is, therefore, logical to conclude that a “man-child” of the biblical narrative could represent the planet Jupiter as explained by Scottie Clarke.

Conclusion:  Therefore, based on ancient texts, I can unequivocally conclude that the historical descriptions of the planet Jupiter and mythical god are representative of one another.  Furthermore, the god Jupiters’ textual description, includes that of a “man” whose humanness depicts the traits of being “born” as a “child” from a “female.”  This is consistent with the Revelation 12 “man child” who likewise is to be “born” of a “female.”  Whether it is representative of Christ and or the Christian Church is left for interpretation, nonetheless plausible.

Addendum A source: Too many historical documents verify this information than I care to list here.

Addendum B:

Is the “garland/crown of twelve stars,” the constellation Leo?

First, it should be noted that the word Leo is not in the Bible and the constellation Leo looks like a Lion, not a garland or crown. However, among the ancients, Pliny the Elder wrote a book titled The Natural History. In it, he describes the mythological origin of the presentation of crowns. As he describes this, he says that crowns were “never given to an individual… [rather] upon his country” (Perhaps a nation, Israel, 12 tribes?). He reports that “this people has more varieties of crowns than those of all other nations put together.” He associates it with achievements in battle, as well as signifying liberty and triumph. He explains that Ivy leaves were especially given to the “gods of heaven.” He cites as his source, Pherecydes (an ancient Greek cosmogonist none the less), as saying that among those mythical gods that were awarded a garland or crown, was Leo. This possibly provides an indirect association for representing Leo as the “crown” in Revelation 12:1.

At best, Leo is correlated with the garland/crown of 12 stars by associating the Lion of the Tribe of Judah and 12 tribes of Israel; however, this is a matter of biblical interpretation and not historical correlation.  Also, there were 12 apostles.  Historically, the only association could be, as mentioned in the paragraph above, is that Leo is referenced in an ancient text as having been crowned.  If a correlation cannot be made with Leo, then neither can it be associated with the celestial alignment on September 23, 2017.  One has to consider that Revelation 12 is painting a celestial picture and the question is, is it literal and where or what is that picture?  Among all the celestial correlations, Leo is the most difficult to make arguments for representation of the Garland/crown of 12 stars.

Addendum B Source: 1) Jewish Concepts: The Lion, Jewish Virtual Library, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-lion-in-judaism, and 2) Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Book 16 Chap. 4 THE ORIGIN OF THE PRESENTATION OF CROWNS. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.02.0137:book=16:chapter=4&highlight=leo

In a nutshell, I have some reservations yet at the same time, I find the “Great Sign,” as associated with September 23, 2017, quite plausible, and many potentially convincing aspects to it.  Also, read my associated article: Jesus is expected to rapture His Church, when?

John DiCesare, Historian

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[0] Soothsayers of the Second Advent. http://scatteredsheepreport.blogspot.com/2017/01/soothsayers-of-second-advent.html

[1] Is There a Gospel in the Stars? http://www.setterfield.org/stargospel.html#virgo

[2] Maimonides: The Laws and Basic Principles of the Torah. https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/rambam-yesodei-hatorah.txt

[3] The story of Icarius who entertained Dionysus: Eratosthenes in his Erigonê. Page search Ctrl-F “Virgo”: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:2008.01.0219:section=9&highlight=virgo

[4] Vitruvius Pollio, The Ten Books on Architecture. Page search Ctrl-F “Virgo”: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.02.0073:book=9:chapter=3&highlight=virgo

[5] Jami (1414-1492 CE): Joseph and Zuleika, c. 1470 CE. Page search Ctrl-F “Virgo”:  https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/1470jami1.asp

[6] New King James Bible https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+12&version=NKJV

[7] Is There a Gospel in the Stars? http://www.setterfield.org/stargospel.html#virgo .  Stellarium  http://www.stellarium.org/

[8] Is There a Gospel in the Stars? http://www.setterfield.org/stargospel.html#virgo

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Written by johnsbibleblog

January 29, 2017 at 10:06 AM

Jesus is expected to rapture His Church, when?

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According to the Apostle Paul, “Concerning the times and the seasons” (1 Thes. 5:1) Christians are to comfort one another with the knowledge that Jesus is coming soon.  When caught up, believers will forever be with the Lord.  The Bible says Christians will avert the judgment to fall on unbelievers and evil.  The context is a rescue.  All of Gods promises will be fulfilled, and one will experience love, peace, joy, grace, and mercy in the presence of the Savior Jesus Christ.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [rapture] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air… Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thes. 4:16-18 See also Rev. 12:5

rapture_timeline_chart

Rapture Timeline Chart (Click to enlarge)

The scriptures call Christians to be readywatch, pray, and wait for Jesus. Don’t be among those who “did not know the time of your visitation” (Lk. 19:44).  Jesus admonishes Christians to “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware” (Luke 21:34).

“Therefore you also be ready…” Luke 12:40

Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36

“do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.” 1 Cor. 1:7

Are Christians to know when Jesus will return for His Church?  Jesus wept over Jerusalem and for the Jews for not knowing that He was the Messiah to come.  It is clear that believers are not going to know exactly when but does He want believers to know potential times that He will return?  The Scriptures provide some clues to that.

“you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:44

“You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?” Luke 12:56, Mat. 16:3

“But what if the servant is evil and thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk?  The master will return unannounced [to him] and unexpected” Matthew 24:48-50 NLT

“But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief… let us watch and be sober.” 1 Thes. 5:4,6

The following is based on three prophetic interpretations:

  1. Parable of the Fig Tree
  2. The Feast of Trumpets
  3. Twinkling of an Eye.

The aim here is to bring these three prophecies together for a more complete picture since they are typically addressed independently.  This article is not addressing the details of each prophecy only bringing them together as they relate to one another.  Here are some sites that address them in more detail:

Old Testament Feasts are clearly linked to prophecy and Christ: Colossians 2:16-17 says, “regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

No One Knows the Day or Hour – but is there also an enigma to this?

Qualifying Factor – predictability.

While no man knows the specific and singular day or hour of Jesus’s return, is there an enigma to this?  This phrase of not knowing is reinforced by, but yet better understood as being a Jewish idiom in Jesus’s day with regards to a betrothal process referred to as kiddushin.  This idiom is the outlook a groom had for his bride during the waiting of his father’s approval (bridalcovenant.com/wedding1.html).

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” Matthew 24:36, 42, 44.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Mark 13:32

And or, it is also said that this is an idiomatic reference to the Feast of Trumpets since the day is not known.  Furthermore, other scriptures, examined below, appear to give a span of years, probable months / days, and probable hours, that are all in the plural, thus known yet undetermined.

Do enigmas exist in the Scriptures and or Jewish thoughts and ideas?  Yes, they do, more commonly referred to as a parable.  Jesus many times spoke in parables, and so it is that prophecy also reflects this kind of thought.  Additionally, for idioms, one only has to point to Song of Solomon.  Furthermore, there are metaphors, take, for example, the Church (believers in Jesus) are the bride of Christ.

Furthermore, notice that these verses do NOT mention “year” nor “month” but only “day or hour” so scripturally one may potentially be able to predict the year(s) and or month(s).

Another way of potentially understanding no man knows the day or hour is by understanding how day and night are described in scripture.  Genesis 1:5 “God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.”  Then one has to understand that night and day do not correspond to the date; there is an overlapping of DAY time referred to as twilight.  Jewish date goes from the middle of twilight to the middle of the latter twilight; whereas, day begins at the start of twilight and ends at the close of twilight or light, so night is about two hours less than day.  Hence the colloquial phrase, ‘no man knows the “day” or “hour”‘ because of this overlapping.  So the phrase can be taken lightly not literally, as it is used informally because of this overlapping of daytime.  One can also accept both imminence and appointed time by reconciling the two as discussed below in the Twinkling of an Eye section.

Note, the approximations below are only a narrowing down of what the scriptures provide for knowing Jesus’s return.  This is NOT a day or hour being set.  NO SINGLE SPECIFIC YEAR, MONTH / DAY, OR HOUR ARE BEING PREDICTED BELOW, THE LIST IS INCLUSIVE!

Parable of the Fig Tree

Year – Fulfilled.

Based on the prophecy of the Parable of the Fig Tree we can determine approximately what years Jesus Christ will rapture the Church (arewelivinginthelastdays.com/article/generation/generation.htm; https://youtu.be/HH4k74AN_uc?t=5m20s).

“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place.” Matthew 24:32-34 NLT

The fulfillment of this prophecy is commonly understood as the Jewish state of Israel (the Fig Tree) becoming a nation, as it did on May 14, 1948.  Thus it is our “generation” that will see Jesus return who “see all these things” (the fig tree budding and leaves sprouting) come to pass.  So what is a generation in the bible?  Most references seemed to indicate 40 years; however, that has passed in 1988; therefore, most look to Psalm 90:10 that says,

“The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years” Psalm 90:10

If 70 years is added, 2018 is reached; whereas, if 80 years is added, 2028 is reached from the proposed starting date of May 14, 1948.  Then subtract 7 years for the tribulation period, and a 10-year span between 2011 and 2021 is arrived at.  This writing is in 2016, thus it can be narrowed down even further between 2016 and 2021, but still a several year span that “No one knows the day or hour”.  Additionally, the following link (series of five videos) plausibly narrows the rapture down to 2017 with regards to the “Great sign” depicted in Revelation 12 (youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsa5IqNLzmFDegks07EuLyq1Z-gfB5vMY).  It is uncertain if this is the appointed time/year or it is a sign pointing forward but more likely it is the appointed time/year.  Remember, year is NOT disqualified by scripture.

On the other hand, there is a serious question if this Rev. 12 Great Sign, as interpreted by Scottie Clarke, is even correct or biblical.  One has to question the Virgo or astrological aspect.  Astronomically, there does not appear to be a biblical conflict but astrologically there is a problem because the bible condemns astrology. One as to question, is astrology (mystical) being mixed with astronomy (secular) in the understanding of this? Truly, there is no literal pictorial Virgo in the heavens- it simply does not exist.  The next question is that, “Would God use astrology to reveal a prophetic sign?”  Visit this link for my article: Is the woman, Virgo? A historical look.  It is wise that when we don’t know something, to stick with what we do know, especially when it comes to prophecy.

Feast of Trumpets

Month, Day – To be fulfilled.

Biblically it is believed that the Holy Day or “appointed time (moed)” Jewish Festival of the “Feast of Trumpets”, also known as “Yom Teruah”, will be when the rapture occurs, due to its correlated significance in the bible (Lev. 23:24; 1 Cor. 15:52; youtu.be/y7EGkXWnbJk).  This falls on the 7th month called Tishrei of the Hebrew calendar.  Thus, based on the “appointed time” for the annual Feast of Trumpets it can be known that Jesus Christ will rapture the Church on the 7th Hebrew month, and within a several day span (Lev. 23:24; youtu.be/lcJG8766jpM).  This holiday usually falls toward the end of September or beginning of October on the Gregorian civil calendar but can be calculated as to its two-day occurrence with sometimes a one-day variance depending on the sighting of the new moon from Jerusalem.  Because the day cannot be specified, again “No one knows the day or hour”; however, this also narrows down our prospective rapture to the 7th Hebrew month and two days on which this holiday is celebrated.  While the Feast of Trumpets occurs annually, the rapture will occur imminently, once in time, on a Feast of Trumpet.  Again remember, the month is NOT disqualified by scripture.

The Feast of Trumpets is based on a sighting of the new moon, not date (renewedmoon.com).  While the new moon can be predicted astronomically, it is not always visibly verifiable on earth from Jerusalem on the exact astronomical day that pronounces the Feast of Trumpets festival, thus the Feast of Trumpets is never known until the very moment it is visible by two witnesses from Jerusalem, then and only then do the trumpets sound.  It is the 100th trumpet blast that constitutes the last trump.

“”Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation…” Lev. 23:24

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52

Reference links for understanding the Luni-Soler Calendar:

Twinkling of an eye

Hour – To be fulfilled.

It is known that the phrase “twinkling of an eye” refers to evening twilight, and more specifically the moment the sun goes below the horizon and becomes dark with a view from the temple mount in Jerusalem (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp). The Hebrew 24 hour period begins at evening twilight when there is no light (See Genesis 1:5).  Dusk (evening) and Dawn (morning) are regarded as dual time frames of hours within a single date referred as Twilight(s).  Evening twilight from Jerusalem can vary, and roughly be about three hours long (timeanddate.com/astronomy/israel/jerusalem).  Since these time frames are two “hour” periods with a span of hours than “no man knows the day or hour“.

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52 NKJV

“In a rega (moment), in the wink of an eye, at the last shofar blast. For the shofar will sound, the Mesim (dead ones) will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Cor. 15:52 OJB

Extra-Biblical Rabbinical source from Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakoth (Folio 2a CHAPTER I Berakoth 2b) gives an understanding of what the “twinkling of an eye” means: “Do you think that I am referring to the twilight [as defined] by you?  I am referring to the twilight [as defined] by R. Jose. For R. Jose says: The twilight is like the twinkling of an eye. This enters and that departs — and one cannot exactly fix it.” (www.come-and-hear.com/berakoth/berakoth_2.html)

Reference links for “twinkling of an eye” to “twilight” idiomatic interpretation:

This passage describes the order of events:

we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.  For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise firstThen we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” 1 Thes. 4:15-17

Because there are two distinct events first resurrection of the dead, and then rapture of those who are alive, this explains the twinkling of eye and trumpet associated with resurrection of the dead, and the beginning of Tishri 1; whereas, it appears that the rapture occurs several hours later on the same day when the Great Sign of Rev. 12 takes place “moon at her feet” (youtu.be/91F_EseiPkU).  Now does this mean we know the date and hour?  One answer to this question is: Probably yes but possibly no.  If the first part (resurrection) does not take place on Tishri 1 of 2017 then most likely the rapture will not either, and then that tells us we must interpret no man knows the day or hour more literally and not as a colloquial phrase referring to the overlapping of daytime.  In which case these signs are pointing forward to an imminent point and time most likely within the subsequent 5 years.  Another answer to this question is: Yes AND no.  We know the “appointment” but He might show up early.  The latter being more consistent with reconciling imminence AND appointment.  I think we will know more if we see increased birth pains, mid-east wars, destruction of Damascus, a temple being built, and or the resurrection (first part) take place.

Now with regards to the date being probably known, the scriptures compel me to accept His imminent AND appointed time.  Many feel they have to be in one camp or the other, or their pride blinds them to the other because they feel they have to be right and are the only ones who understand.  The fact is that the scriptures teach both, and it is very easy to reconcile the two together if one accepts this fact.  The problem is with people’s interpretation NOT the scriptures.  The scriptures are correct on both, otherwise one has to excuse away the scriptures pertaining to the other.  Furthermore, to add to that, the Scriptures tell us the “Master” will not “delay” (Mat. 24:48) and “this generation shall not pass” Mat. 24:32-34).  So personally, I see the scriptures teach that the rapture will occur any time up to Sept. 23, 2017.  When I have an appointment that I want to attend (oh let’s say a wedding with my fiancée), I will NOT miss that date, but if circumstances permitted, I would gladly make that appointment earlier because I choose to out of love.  Furthermore, notice that 1 Thes. 4:15-17 above says “rise first. Then”.  This is a division in time and thus more likely indicates that that the two events (resurrection & rapture) occur several hours apart on Tishrei 1.

Now, is the moment or hour predictable or known in advance based on the “moon under her feet” (Rev. 12:1)?  Answer, yes we know in the program Stellarium (stellarium.org) the time that will occur; however,  No, because we don’t know the day (see section on day above) and we don’t know if we will, in fact, see or observe the first part (resurrection), and the moon under her feet is the moment it (rapture) happens.  Is it known? yes, but will it happen? we don’t know because it is the very moment of occurrence.

The word watch in the scriptures is used in two ways, 1) as periods of hours, and 2) to look for (biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?search=watch&version=NKJV&searchtype=all&bookset=2&resultspp=500).  With this section dealing with hours, I will address the first.  There are four night watches (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp).  Does this biblical reference to watch give us clues as to the hour(s) since second, third, and fourth watches are mentioned?  (See Mat. 14:25, Mark 6:48, and Luke 12:38)  Answer, no, none of the references to watch appear to be giving a clue.  You will find it is merely referencing them as potential periods, and rather, leaves it open so as to incline the reader to be watchful in the second sense of the word.

“And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.” Luke 12:38

Rapture

Deductive reasoning: Here is what can be known and this is the enigma based on the above prophetic clues that the bible gives, leaving several concrete possibilities of appointed time when Jesus will come for His Church.  Yet, because they are all plausibly correct, the uncertainty of exactly when remains:

2016  October 3rd, 4th or 5th at Jerusalem twilight.

2017  September 21st, 22nd or 23rd at Jerusalem twilight*. Great Sign Rev. 12

2018  September 10th or 11th at Jerusalem twilight*.

2019  September 30th or October 1st at Jerusalem twilight*.

2020  September 19th or 20th at Jerusalem twilight*.

2021  September 7th or 8th (excluded) at Jerusalem twilight*.  However, the 8th is ruled out because it can potentially be predictable.

Furthermore, I will refer to these appointed times as up to dates because of Mat. 24:48 mentioned above. (*Possible one-day variance.)

Exclusion of the 8th: There poses a problem with the day being predictable for September 8, 2021.  If the twilight of the 7th passes then one can know it will be the 8th (predictability based on the past, leaving one certainty, the next day).  Since “No man knows the day or hour” the 8th is excluded.  In regards to hour, the moment, or hour, will never be known because there is a “span of time” factor that “twilight” takes place in.  The 7th remains in play as unknown because one does not know if the Feast of Trumpets will begin on the 6th, 7th or 8th.  If by 2021 twilight of the 7th passes and the Church is not raptured, then thereafter there will be no expected rapture on the subsequently prescribed day (8th) thus making something wrong with the interpretation of one or more of the three prophecies mentioned above.  This is possible due to uncertainties in interpretations of eschatology; however, this is less likely the case with all of the other biblical signs converging.

In conclusion, the Bible gives us points in time.  The years are determined to occur between now and 2021.  The month is determined as occurring on the 7th Hebrew month and the first day of that month is uncertain.  Lastly, the hours of the resurrected dead in Christ and rapture of those who are alive is determined as occurring at twilight, a span of hours and moon under her feet.

Watchers 

Subject to available Internet, one can watch and listen to the blowing of the trumpets (shofar) on the above dates and times at thekotel.org.  Be aware of the Jerusalem time and variance of dates; one may have to check several days in a row until the crescent moon is observed (torahcalendar.com/HOUR.asp) (See also worldslastchance.com/lunisolarcalendar/web/WlcWeb.html).  Furthermore, download and install the program Stellarium and go to September 23, 2017, to determine the “moon under her feet” (stellarium.org).  Keep in mind all of the cheviots described in this article with regards to this date and time.

Also, note that it would be highly significant if any of the following conditions exist at this celebration: 1) If the Jews were allowed to worship on or celebrate the Feast of Trumpets directly on the temple mount. 2) If the temple is being built, or 3) if the temple is already built, destruction of Damascus or wars neighboring or coming against Israel.  See Israel News:

What about Christ’s imminent return?  Imminence applies only to day and hour.  Imminent is exactly what it means “coming soon”, “coming quickly”, not “every day” but forthcoming on the appointed day occurring once in time (https://youtu.be/GyC4q1ob7fA).  So there is a balance to imminence and knowing when Jesus will rapture His Church, the bible teaches both and they are subject to each other.  What about the “last trump” and “twinkling of an eye”? No problem, this has occurred every year for the last 2,000 years.  The Master has left but He is returning on an appointed day (scripturally Tishri 1 of 2017; month & year not disqualified).  Am I setting this day?  No, that’s what the scriptures indicate but the scriptures also leave a possible reservation to potentially up to 2021.  Could it even be after that? Plausibly yes but seemingly unlikely.  There is a caveat, that schedule is subject to change, He might return earlier but He promises not to be delayed (Mat 24).  So that is why I would think unlikely beyond 2021.  Some may say that Matthew 24 is the Second Coming and that is true; however, in verse 48-50 the context is His SERVANTS, Christian or Jew.  So in a nut shell, we seem to know UP TO the apparent date and that it most likely will not be after the date but still not 100% sure as it could be pointing forward.  While inconclusive, we seem to be VERY CLOSE to the rapture of believers since the Great Sign falls on the Feast of Trumpets, makes reference to “caught up” and falls within the “generation will not pass”.  Could the Great Sign be pointing forward? Yes.  God is not willing that any should perish and from experience, He seems to rescue believers in the last moment so it potentially could be extended, by his grace, up to 2021.  Regardless, I do still think that the resurrection will occur hours prior to the rapture though.  Jesus Said:

“for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Luke 12:40 NLT

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” Revelation 22:7

“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of” Matthew 24:48-50

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise” 2 Peter 3:9

Lord teach us to number our days.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

If you are reading this after the rapture has happened, do NOT get the mark of the beast!

(youtu.be/I9urKtbiXtA)

(Disclaimer: While the above prophetic interpretations are convincing and have a high probability of being correct, I do not necessarily agree with all of the beliefs of the websites referenced; likewise, that does not necessarily make them wrong in everything either; I believe them to be correct on these prophecies.  As with all teachings, one must test with a balance of scripture.  If these prophecies are interpreted correctly, then as sure as the Word of God is, Jesus will return on or before one of those prescribed biblical times.  Among others, here are some opposing points of view websites that I ran across in studying and researching this topic: cogeternal.org/text/004hebrewcalreliable.htm and torahtimes.org/calendar.html.  Furthermore, it should be noted that contact information is not readily available for torahcalendar.com.  Here is another “Creation Calendar” that may be different: https://www.worldslastchance.com/lunisolarcalendar/web/WlcWeb.html .  Thus, month, date, and time is subject to the correct Creation Calendar.

Observed Interactions

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This diagram is some observations I made of practical interactions that impact quality of life.  The reason I called it “Good Life” because these are things that contribute to an individuals well being and happiness.  A balance of these greatly improve ones quality of life; whereas, the absence of one can decrease quality of life.  At the center is the true and living God, man’s spiritual need.  The triangle represents the physical, and mental needs of man, and they are naturally affected by money or wealth.  So why the scientific general relativity correlations?  Because a man’s lifetime and location directly affect the triangle as well.   I welcome any thoughts.

Observed Interactions

Observed Interactions

Written by johnsbibleblog

June 7, 2016 at 1:27 AM

Identity of the Four Horses and Horsemen Unleashed Prior to the Apocalypse.

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four_horsemen

It is often speculated the “identity” of the rider on the white horse with being the Antichrist. Agreed, in that he wears a “crown“, he is an “Anti-Christ Spirit” but seemingly not the Antichrist himself (unless the Caliph is the Antichrist) more so I think him to be the False Prophet.  Caliphs wore “crowns”.  I would associate the ring leader white horseman as the Caliph leading the armies of  the Islamic caliphate.  So often many stop there, not “identifying” the following three horses and horsemen but only “describe” the remaining three as to their judgments they inflict.  If you speculate one horseman, I believe we can speculatively identify the remaining three as well by simply paralleling the passage in Revelation 6:1-9 with the passage in Ezekiel 38:1-6.  Let’s look at the passages with the understanding that the “hook” actually means “bit“. (Cross reference: Ps. 32:9; Isa. 37:29)

Revelation 6:1-9 (NKJV)

Caliphate

Caliphate

Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”  And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow [Muhammad’s bows; see also Ezk. 39:3,9 this horseman IS armed with arrows (modern day missiles?)]; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer [This is the Caliph].   When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.”  Another horse, fiery red, went out.  And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another [anarchy]; and there was given to him a great sword (nuclear weapon?).  When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.”  So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales [Sharia law] in his hand.  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius [famine impacted by Halal and mark of the beast under Sharia law, see Newsweek below]; and do not harm the oil and the wine.  When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”  So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him.  And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.  When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.

Commonalities in Revelation 6:1-9:

  • All revealed by “living creatures” (See: Ezekiel 1:5-10, another parallel referencing to Ezekiel.)
  • All are sealed
  • All have a rider
  • All have horses
  • All bring judgment
  • All are powerful
  • All kill
  • All horses have a color
  • All riders have a form of weapon

Now notice the parallel judgments in Ezekiel 14:21… “How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem— the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence—to cut off man and beast from it?”  This not only happened, attack on Jerusalem by the Caliphate, it will happen again at the beginning of the Great Tribulation according to Revelation 6 as the Caliphate is revived.

Ezekiel 38:1-6 (NKJV)

Ottoman

Ottoman

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,  “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog [Turkey / Russia?], the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him,  and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog [believed to be Caliph], the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal .  I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws [horse bit] , and lead you out [turn back to], with all your army, horses , and horsemen , all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swordsPersia [Iran] , Ethiopia [Cush?], and Libya [Put] are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;  Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.

Magog

Magog

Four predominant Islamic regimes:

  • Magog (Turkey / Russia?)
  • Persia (Iran)
  • Ethiopia
  • Libya

The number four in the bible is indicative of directions.  These four will make up the new Caliphate cavalry.  Anyone in the Apostle John’s day would understand the four horses to be that of war.  Interesting to note that among the most prized of horses in the world is the Persian (Arabian) horse breed.  There are four indigenous species to Persia: Persian-Arab, Turkoman, Caspian, and Kurd.  See Video

Caliphate emblem

Tayyip Erdogan’s new Caliphate emblem – notice the Scales of Sharia, Great Sward, Arrows- indicative of Bow, Spears of Muhammad, green flag of Caliph, Red flag of Ottoman / Turkey.

These horses are Islamic regimes and horsemen are Islamic regime leaders.  This crowned Caliph of these nations is Gog of Magog consisting of a Caliphate (Persia, Ethiopia, Libya and those that go with them).  Today the common denominator of these regimes are religion (Islam), not race (Arab).  The horses and horsemen represent war.  I see a distinction yet interlocking of the Antichrist and False Prophet.  While being a puppet of the Antichrist, the False Prophet is a war machine with Islamic religious fervor headed by the Caliph; whereas, the Beast is an Islamic governmental and political war machine headed by the Antichrist.  See: Rev. 16:13 “and out of the mouth of the false prophet“, Rev. 20:10 “where the beast and the false prophet are“.  It appears this Ezek. 38 Caliphate war against Israel occurs after the Rapture yet prior to the Battle of Armageddon (which involves nations of the world under the Antichrist).  As of the writing of this article we are seeing only the setting up for this religious war but not actually taking place yet.  Who is killing with the sword by beheading today?  Who is trying to “conquer” by war?  All you have to do is take a course in “Caliphate 101” and you will see the correlation of four initial Caliphs.  I was not able to specifically and conclusively associate what Islamic regime is what color but the colors put all together appear to represent Islamic nations since all Islamic flags, Muhammad’s flags, and Caliphate flags, past and present, have the colors or combinations colors of: white, red, black, and or green.  I do believe Russia will be involved, as we know it is an ally to Iran and Syria; likewise, we now see their military presence in Syria- the bit is being applied.  It is yet to be seen what role the terrorist Islamic State (ISIS) plays out in this scenario, wielding their “black” flag.  This appears to be God’s allowing Satan to utilize war to cause Israel to repent.

Notice also that both the Revelation and Ezekiel passages fall chronologically at the beginning of the tribulation period.  I believe these events in Revelation 6:1-9 and Ezekiel 38:1-6 are the same events with different perspectives giving us a more complete prophetic picture.  The Caliph is the white horseman leading his army that represents Islam, and Islam is the whore of Babylon.  According to Akkadian pantheon and language there is reference to a deity named “Alla”.  When the Akkadians traveled from south Arabia to Mesopotamia, they brought along with them their gods Athtar (Venus) and Shamash (the sun). Alla is equal to the Islamic Allah.  The Blackstone in Mecca–originally was dedicated to Allat or Athtar (Venus).  Allat, in pagan religion, was both male and female, and thus equal to Allah.  Mystery Babylon the Great is Mecca.  It has incorrectly been interpreted that the white horseman does not have arrows, the mere absence of the word arrows does not imply he does not have them, the scripture does not say that he does not have arrows.  This interpretation came from someone who does not understand weapon terminology.  When one says, “He has a gun” it is always presumed he has bullets as well, one never says, “He has a gun and bullets” it is always presumed that ammunition is present.  You will see that in Ezekiel 39:3,9 he has arrows.

Fifth Seal

What kind of war took place above? A religious (Caliphate) war…

Revelation 6:9-11… “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”

So this war targets Israel as well as Christians during the Great Tribulation.

Jesus’s Secures Peace and Justice

In Zechariah 1:7-11 and 6:1-8 Jesus ultimately gains victory over the “north”, securing peace and justice; see also: Revelation 19:11,14.

.

Newsweek, How Does ISIS Fund Its Reign of Terror? – Nov. 2014
The Caliphate will take over food sources…

The Caliphate will take over food sources.

Newsweek- The Caliphate will take over food sources.

See also this article: ISIS uses grain to tighten grip in Iraq

Written by johnsbibleblog

August 12, 2015 at 3:03 AM

Messianic Bible Translations?

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ancientpaleohebrewHey Christian friends, the Greek New Testament brought the Word of God in the common language resulting in many translations. While the Hebrew Old Testament brought the Word of God to mankind. There are many “Messianic” churches arising, bringing Christians to a better understanding of our Hebrew roots thus giving new insights of the Word of God with both, the Old and New Testaments, since the New Testament was written in a Jewish time period and arose out of Judaism. I have recently discovered three new translations that you might find interesting in this regard: 1) HalleluYah Scriptures or HS (http://www.halleluyahscriptures.com), 2) Orthodox Jewish Bible or OJB (https://www.bible.com/bible/130/jhn.1.ojb), and 3) Aramaic English New Testament or AENT (http://www.aent.org).  These translations contain the Old and New Testament with the Hebrew flair with an emphasis on the names of God. Both can be obtained free on-line or purchased.  (On the subject of names, here is an article on the Hebrew name for Jesus.)  Allen Horvath does an interesting introduction to this way of understanding the Scriptures, that you can check out on YouTube: http://youtu.be/MCwaN7Dq6S4 . I certainly wouldn’t chuck out other valid translations nor claim these are superior; however, these translations give unique insights into the Word of God.

For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language,
That they all may call on the name of the Lord,
To serve Him with one accord.  Zephaniah 3:9

Ancient Hebrew

Then, there is the transliterated version where you can read the Hebrew pronunciations of the words in English and view the pictographic script all along the English version for even deeper meaning.  Book titled: Hebrew Word Pictures Transliterated Bible – Ancient (O.T. only) (http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Online_Store/Books/Ancient_Hebrew/ancient_hebrew.html).  Furthermore, there is this Interlinear version on-line: http://www.bayithamashiyach.com/Scriptures.html

In addition, there is now The Messianic Prophecy Bible or MPB, http://www.messianicbible.com that emphasizes the prophecies concerning the Messiah.  Lastly, this is an online parallel Old testament with the Paleo-Hebrew inscriptions: http://www.hebrewoldtestament.com/index2.htm

heb_otiotIn English words have meanings, whereas, in ancient Hebrew, you can understand the origin of a word because each letter of a word has a meaning in the form of pictographs.  Understanding of pictographic script (sometimes called ketav Ivri or otiot) is actually relatively easy: http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/3_al.html .  Book titled: Hebrew Word Pictures (http://living-word-pictures.myshopify.com/products/hebrew-word-pictures).  Also, a link to Allen’s book: http://www.alanhorvath.com/otiot.php

Videos:

The Pronunciation of the name (YHWH): http://youtu.be/wRsbSLU9oFA

Language of the ancient hebrews: http://youtu.be/lN-J6f2Z0RI

 

 

alphabetchart

 

An interesting observation…

paleohebrewstars

Credit for the annotated graphic goes to Professor Sarah Heist of Marygrove College.

 

 

Written by johnsbibleblog

November 18, 2014 at 2:04 AM

The Blood Moons

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 bloodMoonsSeqence2
The Coming Blood Moons

A total lunar eclipse “Blood Moon” occurs this Tuesday April 15, 2014 and will be viewable at 12:06 AM to 1:24 AM (Monday night – Tuesday morning).  What is the significance of this?  This is the first of a series of four blood moons over the next year, all of which fall on Jewish holy days, with a solar eclipse occurring in the middle.  Historically, when this has occurred, a significant event occurred to the Jewish people, Israel, and or the nations of the world.  There are also canny prophetic alignments with this particular tetrad and aspects that make this more unique than any other.  The bible says in the last days before the great tribulation and before the return of Christ the moon will turn blood red and the sun into darkness (eclipses).  This is our warning or sign from God that His coming is soon ahead, they point to Jesus Christ; the day or hour we don’t know, and it is to stir our hearts for redemption is near.  It’s like a road sign telling you the road ahead is curvy.  You may skeptically say, “aw we heard that from the Mayans about 2012”.  Well the difference is, this is not coming from the Mayans; this is coming from the bible, God’s Word.  Mark Biltz associated this astronomical events with “things happening to Israel” and John Hagee claimed “something big is about to happen” but these are more sensational than why the bible has prophesied to occur.  I’ll say it again, This is our warning or sign from God that His coming is soon ahead, they point to Jesus Christ; the day or hour we don’t know, and it is to stir our hearts for redemption is near.

The following are some related verses from the bible:  1) “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs [plural] and seasons [plural], and for days and years;” Genesis 1:14.  2) “And there will be signs [plural]  in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;” Luke 21:25.  3) “The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” Joel 2:31.  4) “The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.” Acts 2:20.  The word “before” includes any time prior to the second coming.  Prophetically, it appears the rapture, where Christians will be taken up to be with God, is at hand, followed by God’s judgment on those who reject His Son Jesus Christ.

God has posted His sign in the heavens.

God has posted His sign in the heavens.

If you are not a believer, now is the time for salvation, now is the time to believe in Jesus Christ.  He died on the Cross for your sins and wants to forgive you, just call out to Him.  If you claim to believe and are not living for God but living like hell, it’s time to repent also.  If you are reading this after Christians have been raptured, you can still be saved from eternal damnation but do NOT get the mark of the beast, and realize you may have to die for your faith in Jesus; take hope the tribulation will be over in seven years.  In all cases, get yourself a bible and read it.

You may say, this all sounds grim, well for the unbeliever it is.  For those who believe, it is great news because our “redemption draws near“, so keep looking up.  Be ready; pray that you will be worthy to stand before Him.  Listen for the voice of an archangel, the trumpet of God, and the knock on the door.  Jesus is coming very soon.

The SIGNS in the HEAVENS occur prior to, and then into the tribulation

There are those who argue that, the bible references to blood moons are referring to the great tribulation period only, thus not applicable to the 2014-2015 astronomical events.

For this discussion, let’s review the passage in question, Luke 21:25-28 (in context link).  25 “There will be signs [plural] in the sun, moon and stars.  On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.  26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.  27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Interesting to note that in Luke 21 when asked about what “sign” will  there be, Jesus specifically and directly specifies “astronomical signs” (v.7,11,25), heavenly signs in the sun, moon and stars; then includes earthly signs as well but the word “sign” is foremost associated with “great signs” in the HEAVENS supporting Gen. 1:14.  It is these signs that are associated with the feast days that are a warning to the Jews and Israel the fig tree.  Likewise, to Christians for the imminent season of the rapture.  How do we know it relates to that?  Because Jesus uses the phrase “redemption drawing near“.

Additionally, one must ask is the phrase “sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light” in Matthew 24:29 and Mark 13:24 same as Blood moon references.  I believe there may be a partial reference yet a more distinct astronomical occurrence of the event.

I went both ways on this prophecy for over six months before reaching my conclusion.  I too, agree this and the other bible references apply to the tribulation; however, I also believe the 4 blood moons appears to be a “signs” (of the heavenly order) of the rapture based on the above passage and here is why.  It appears to me that the above passage has a prophetic dual meaning or application.  We agree as to Luke 21 referring to the tribulation because of v27.  However, we also must realize Jesus is also speaking to his “disciples”, and more specifically the “redeemed” v28.  Remember, Jesus said this to the disciples who never saw the tribulation, that’s a paradox unless it meant exactly what He said for the Church age.  How else could he do that if this was only during the tribulation?  (Rom. 8:23 says “eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body”.)  Is not Jesus instructing us Christians to be looking for Him (in verse 28) for the purpose of “redemption”, that is to occur prior to the tribulation?  Also, notice v28 is a transition where vs.29-36 pertains to things prior to the tribulation.  So the “big event” to happen according to this prophecy is the rapture and second coming of Jesus Christ which we know is imminent.  This would have been one of the imminent signs to the early Church, and more so to Jewish Christians who were more aware of the feast days, before the “rebirth of Israel” prophecy came into play.

The scriptures appear to be speaking of more than one sun/moon event and we have had seven significant sequences of tetrads since the time of Christ and now in our eighth sequence.  It is clear that the “Blood Moon” occurs “AFTER” the “tribulation” Mat. 24:29, Mark 13:24 and “BEFORE” the “awesome day of the Lord (second coming)” Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, this is one event.  However, note the language in Luke 21:25-28; in v.26 “are coming” and “will be” v.27 “will see” v.28 “begin to happen”; the tribulation did not take place yet so this passage is not speaking of the tribulation saints.  You have to ask the questions why would Jesus reveal these heavenly signs to the Jewish people and the Church during the pause between the 69 and 70th weeks of Daniel, if this applies to only those during the tribulation?  To me it seems like v.26-27 is referring to those being judged, while v.28 is referring to believers before the tribulation.  One can easily presume this passage is all referring to tribulation saints but a closer look seems to speak of two groups of people, those being judged, tribes of the “earth” (Mat. 24:30), and the “redeemed” v.28. Thus, making more than one sun/moon event and hey have we not had more than one already occur?

Note “after” references…
http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=moon…
Note “before” references…
http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=blood%20moon…

Here is the catch, these signs are of the heavenly order, like the many other earthly signs we know of, and only among signs as a whole.  It speaks of a season.  “You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. (Mat.16:3)”  We would make a mistake to try to set dates based on it, as many have.  It is like God has posted a “curvy road ahead” sign in the heavens, like one may see while driving.  Jesus said redemption is “near”, no date, just know it is drawing near when you see these signs v28.  They are signs in the calendar not a calendar to set dates by (Acts 1:7).  We are not to seek the sign; rather, we are to seek who the sign is pointing to, Jesus.

What is the significance of the “sun will turn to darkness”?

Thinking about  the “thief in the night” phrase of 1 Thes. 5:2 & 2 Pet. 3:10.  Of course, that phrase is speaking of dark times and dark hearts but then I thought, could there be more to the association of darkness?  How literal would this darkness be?  Could it not only be spiritual darkness but also celestial darkness?  So I went to a moon phase calendar and realized that the moon will be at it’s darkest at the beginning of the Feast of Trumpets.  Then also you have to think of the coming solar eclipses.  Watch the Sun turn Black as Sackcloth on the Total Solar Eclipse March 20, 2015 as seen in Svalbard: http://youtu.be/fJnLXWuGPBw   Matt. 24:20 & Mk. 13:18 makes reference to winter, suggesting darkness, a season when nights are longer.  Sure looks like signs to me. Lk. 12:38-40 “It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” It’s almost as if he is hinting at the “celestial season” as well in regards to “night or dark”.

Written by johnsbibleblog

March 26, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Posted in Bible

Quest for the Land of Eden

with 2 comments


I became interested as to where the Garden of Eden might have been.  As I did my research there were several possible locations and unanswered questions, no one seemed real sure of their own synopsis or seemed to have created a map with the biblical references.  Then I decided to just go back to the Bible and attempt to figure it out myself.  I wanted to start from scratch with an open mind of it being anywhere or even undetermined.

Eden_Ancient_HebrewEden ay’-den; pleasure, delicate, delight, paradise, pleasant, soft; plain.  Jesus is the door (Jn. 10:7,9) and the life “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jn. 14:6.  Jesus said He is the way [door] the truth [knowledge] and the life [pleasure].  The Father (YHWH) want’s us to know Him through the person of Jesus Christ (Yeshua) and we will have that Paradise or Eternal Life; likewise, He can reciprocate.  “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Jn. 17:3.  So Eden is a story of the relationship between God and Man.

First, what does the bible say happened to the Garden?  There was 11 overlapping generations with a span of a thousand years that would have had direct knowledge (person to person) about Eden and the Garden during it’s existence, including Noah and his family.  At least 9 of those generations lived simultaneously with Adam during his lifespan.  The Garden proper, became off limits shortly after it’s existence, then quickly deteriorated in judgment after the fall of man (from it’s pristine condition of less than 100 years) while probably existing until the deluge where it was ultimately destroyed (Gen. 3:23-24).  A remarkable work of dating: Annals of the World.

So my research for the Garden’s location began with the key words “Eden” and “garden” in the biblical text; subsequently, I began to find a pattern that locations were being described as being in the direction of “East”.  The more I researched the more I realized that it was actually mapping it out for me.  But in determining the location, one has to answer the question: Are the current Euphrates and Tigris Rivers the ones described in Genesis?  If so, how would Noah and his family been able to identify them and re-assign the names after the destruction of the flood?

Land of Eden

Land of Eden Map ©

Answer:  Noah and his family would have used the sun, moon, and stars; his knowledge of oceans, mountains, valleys, and lakes, as well as active volcanoes.  With the overlapping long lives of Adam’s descendants (11 generations), Noah and his family would have identified remnants of cities or megalithic remains, additionally would have had God’s revelation.  So with the logical postulation those rivers are in fact correct, one can map out where it was with some light of modern information that the river Pishon is now a subterranean aquifer that runs along the north Kuwait border to south-west of Hafar Al Batain, this is presently known as the Wadi al Batin.  The Pishon runs across Saudi Arabia and forks midway north-west to the An Nafud Desert, and turns west where a prehistoric system of lakes existed (what I will call the Pishon Lakes) at the region now called Jubbah in northern Arabia, as well as being a current antediluvian archeology site.  Similarly, the Gihon River in the opposite direction, would be what is now known as the Karun River.  James A. Sauer, former curator of the Harvard Semitic Museum, as well as, Archaeologist and Professor Juris Zarins holds to the position that this region is the location of the Pishon and Gihon rivers.  Study of Arabian palaeohydrology confirms much of this.  We also know that post-diluvian civilizations encompass the region of Sumeria and Mesopotamia.  This is indicative of the fact that Noah’s Ark did not have propulsion, thus would have had limited drift on the Earth, and thus making landfall not far from the region.  (Plausible new theory on the flood; see also The Waters Cleaved).

Wasn’t Cush in Africa? It should be noted that the “land of Cush” or “latter Cush” in Genesis 2:13 was more likely named post-flood after the son of Ham. It then was used as a reference in writing Genesis 2:13 as to where the Gihon was. Ham, according to the Table of Nations in the Book of Genesis, was a son of Noah and the father of Cush. It is true that Cush’s father Ham lived in the region of Upper Egypt (South) “old Kush” at which time the region of Kush may have derived it’s name. However, Cush (son of Ham) must have then relocated to the Mesopotamia region (where his wife Semiramis was from) and bore his son Nimrod who became King of Shinar (in Mesopotamia). Furthermore, Judges 3:8,10 reference the “Cushan-Rishathaim King of Mesopotamia”. The Shinar, Babylonian/Assyrian regions are much closer to the proposed Gihon River. So it is plausible that there was a second region referred to as Cush (latter) located where the proposed Gihon River was, and as referenced in Genesis 2:13 or what became Elam. It’s also plausible that Cush wanted to return to the Garden region that led him to re-settle at the Gihon river. The adjacent known name locations of Cush’s sons settled in Persian Gulf and Arabia Genesis 10:7 (i.e. Nimrod, Havilah, Raamah) likewise reflect the more easterly region in which Cush himself took up residence later in life, see Habakkuk 3:7.

The more I pieced the puzzle together the better it all fit, even dispelling some myths on subject, and discovering new aspects of it.  Antediluvian geographical regions are referenced as “land of” in Genesis.  In Gen. 2:8,10 it distinguishes the place “Eden” from the “Garden”, “planted a garden eastward in Eden” and “out of Eden to water the garden“.  Also, it stands to reason that with the phrase “garden of Eden” one can postulate that there was a land or place called Eden, in which the garden existed; therefore, when reading the scriptures that distinction must be made.  Now this further raises the question, “Where was the Land of Eden?” My most notable observation was that the land of Eden, encompassed the land that God later promised to Abraham’s descendants from the river Nile to the river Euphrates (includes Israel- Genesis 15:18, 17:8; Exodus 6:8, 23:31; Deuteronomy 1:8) because it would have been westward of the Pishon River and east to the Garden according to the Biblical text; whereas, others have incorrectly put Eden in northern Mesopotamia or Africa.  Since the river Pishon “went out [of the land] of Eden” (Gen. 2:10-11), it would have had the greatest notability or prominence in it’s day among the rivers mentioned in Genesis with regards to passing down the creation story post-diluvian; thus the natural human reaction or tendency would have been to eagerly label, even mislabel that river.  However, that was not the case, all we have labeled are the Euphrates and Tigris, thus indicating that when the Euphrates and Tigris river names were assigned, they were assigned with certainty of identification and credibility.  While this predicates on the above premises it seems to be the most rational and reasonable explanations.  See the Bible references in the box, on above map, regarding the land that Eden encompassed.

In Gen. 2:10-11, it sates the river Pishon “became four riverheads” and the two keywords here are “became” and “riverheads”.  One can stand downriver, look back upriver and view the joining rivers (Pishon, Euphrates, Tigris, Gihon) as “heads” to the river downstream.  Then in verse 11 it says “which skirts the whole land of Havilah”; in like manner, the proposed Pision stretches across and skirts Havilah.  Since these four rivers meet in a rather large area, does that seem to be too large to be a garden tillable for Adam?  No, the area is not too large, because God knew Adam and Eve would have children and many descendants to carry out the work. According to the Tanakh or Old Testament Scriptures alone we can definitively draw boundaries of the land of Eden based the following proofs:

  1. The “land” of Eden is distinguished from the Garden, Gen. 2:8,10.*
  2. The Garden and Euphrates, are the east boundary of Eden, Gen. 2:8,10,14.*
  3. The Pishon River is the south boundary of Eden, Gen. 2:10-12.*
  4. The north boundary is as far north as Telassar, 2 Kings 19:12 & Isa. 37:12 (Ref.1, Ref.2, Ref.3);
  5. Even as far north as Beth-Eden (house-palace-temple of Eden-pleasure-living voluptuously or belonging to), Amos 1:5 (Ref.1, Ref.2, Ref.3, Ref.4, Ref.5, Ref.6).
  6. The west boundary is at least as far as Lebanon/Tyre and the Mountain of God, Ezek. 27:23, 28:13, 31:16, 28:14, Zec. 8:3, Exod. 3:1 but should extend to the “River of Egypt” Gen. 15:18.
  7. Southwest boundary would seem to include the Upper Egypt (South) to the delta along the “River of Egypt” (Sorry my map needs to be updated to include Upper Egypt (South), (old Cushite region), Gen. 15:18, Isa. 11:10-11.
  8. The four rivers met in the Garden, Gen. 2:10.*

* = Direct Genesis account proofs; while the other proofs are in the more broader sense “inspired of God” (2 Tim. 3:16) as referenced by scriptures outside of the Genesis narrative.

Other proofs include the following:  A Levitical lineage with the place derived name of Eden associates it to the Hebrew people.  Etymologically, the word Eden is of Hebrew Semitic origin.  Archeology supports the region for the origin of the word Eden, in the form of Babylonian cuneiform tablets containing similar words.  Ezekiel tells us that Eden is God’s Garden, it belonged to God (Ezk. 28:13, Isa. 51:3), yet he entrusted it to man.  Allow me to beg the question, “Where is God’s Land?  Thus, where was the Garden if it belongs to God?”  This region of the world also concurs with the location where the descendants of Adam and Eve would have lived, as the first city named after Cain’s son called the city of Enoch (Uruk) was located in the Land of Nod just opposite of the Land of Eden (divided by the Euphrates), as supported by the biblical text and cuneiform writings.  The region contains gold, bdellium (resin or amber), and onyx as described in Genesis 2:11-12.

Furthermore, the proposed location coincides with better known locations such as: Nod, Havilah, Assyria, Lebanon/Tyre, Euphrates, Hiddekel / Tigres, and Holy Mountain of God.  The region is rich in oil and coal deposits suggesting it was once lush with plants and animals. Furthermore, the region is littered with other evidences.  Five separate similar extra biblical stories in the form of cuneiform writings dating as far back as 2150 B.C. have been found in the exact same region of the Garden, ancient Sumer or Sumeria.  There is evidence that this region is also the origin of the wheel, stone knife, writing, arch for architecture, and mathematics, furthermore various tools of wood, stone and bone are found here.  So, does this area (Eden or area promised to Abrahams descendants) conflict with his later giving of borders to the tribes under Moses in Numbers 34:1-15 and Ezekiel 47:15-20?  I think not.  It is plausible there were to be more tribes that would have encompassed the larger area but there may have been the loss of one or more descendants under Jacob not mentioned in the bible.  Also, it is unknown how tribal distribution and lineage might have occurred under Esau.

Garden of Eden

I will suggest that the post-flood atmospheric catastrophe resulting from the flood was far more impacting to man, plants, and animals over several centuries than the actual flood had on the landscape, altering the climate permanently from it’s original protected canopy by reducing the ozone, oxygen, humidity, and pressure thus increasing solar radiation that ultimately reduced the maximum age of man as well as forest able regions.

A few other points worthy of noting are, since the Garden of Eden was referenced as a garden in Eden, one can postulate the “land of Eden” as a whole, was NOT like a garden.  I also noticed scriptural points that allow one to imagine what it was like from the perspective of Adam and Eve.  Secular Prehistory parallels Genesis 1:26-4:26 in that it explains origins of man and importance of food.  Food production was so important to the beginning of humanity that it likewise is reflected in the book of Genesis as the primary sustenance of life, whereby God assigned man the task of horticulture in the Garden of Eden; foraging likewise is implied, while agriculture followed; and subsequently reveals mans invention of pastoralism.  What was utopian about the Garden and why did God create it?  The answers is actually the obvious, it had not yet been tarnished by sin, and man needed the garden to forage for food.  Adam and Eve would have started as vegetarian gathers as this would have been the simplest form of obtaining food and what God had directed them to eat (Gen. 1:29-30).  Because food was of such importance, it was this that God would test mans obedience with.  After man sinned, death entered the world (Rom. 5:12,6:23) and Adam and Abel discovered eating meat most likely by observing animals eating other animals, thus became hunters and then herdsman as “Abel was a keeper of sheep” and offered sheep as a sacrifice (Gen. 4:2,4 ).  It appears that because the land was “tillable” outside the garden, that it contained less trees than the garden itself (Gen. 2:5, 3:23, 4:2&12).  Likewise, since God so graciously “put” man in the garden one can postulate that he was created outside the garden (Gen. 2:8,15); furthermore, God “sent him [Adam] out of the garden to till the ground from which he was taken” (Gen. 2:15, 3:23).  Both Adam and Cain first tilled the ground in the Garden, then later outside the Garden.  Adam and Cain would most likely have learned horticulture by making observations of seeds naturally sprouting in the garden as they fell from trees and noticed that plants grew better near water.

We see animals existed inside and outside the garden.  Death reveals the consequence of sin (Heb. 9:22,Mat. 26:28), thus, the reason God accepted Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s; Abel’s sacrifice being the picture of Jesus Christ (Gen. 3:15).  It was in the garden that clothing and sewing was invented “they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” most likely by Eve simply stringing a vine through leaves (Gen. 3:7,21).  Again, Eve most likely discovered this by seeing how vines grew intertwining and connectively.  Living in a Utopian world, man most likely did not need fire prior to the fall.  Man would have first observed fire/light from the sun, volcanic activity, (and lightning and forest fires after the fall) also the “flaming” sword that guarded “the way to the tree of life“.  It appears God created man with the capacity to communicate verbally, most likely an Ancient Hebrew (Early Semitic or “Edenic”) language (Gen. 2:23, 11:1).

As the world began to deteriorate, man may have observed a dead log floating in water and realized the invention of a boat.  Lastly, after Eden was destroyed by the flood it was described to have become a desert according to the Scriptures (Isa. 51:3).  Interesting, that subsequently, Arabia and the connecting North Africa is the single largest desert region on earth.  Recent scientific research has discovered that Arabia was once green and quite populated by man and animals early in human history.

The kinds of trees shown in the garden detail map are not truly for certain, only graphics to joggle your mind; however, there are references to the fig, chestnut, and cedar trees, that they were beautiful and very large, so much so, that the Prophet Ezekiel uses them as an analogy against Pharaoh.  One must imagine a world without technologies or modern conveniences as we know them.  To Adam and Eve the life around them (plants and animals) is what was important and must have brought a sense of wonder.  They might have thought, animals were somewhat similar to them but trees were quite different and majestic.  Animals are: animate, fleshly, life forms; whereas, trees are inanimate lifeforms.

What was the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” and the “tree of life”?  While being literal trees; presumably, they both also must have a meaning simply because of their names.  What are their meanings?  One brought physical and spiritual death (Gen. 2:17), while the other life so you could say there was the tree of death and the tree of life.

The first tree:  We’ll look at the descriptives of this tree as “good” then “evil”.  Why would “knowledge of good” bring death?  Knowledge of good here is twofold:

1. to know to do good and do evil deeds “to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17), and or

2. mans deciding to dictate what is good and evil in his own eyes that contradicts what God says.  “lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).  “Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.” (Jn. 9:41).  Essentially calling good evil, and evil good.

“Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Cor. 8:1); furthermore, only God is all-knowing.  “Self-righteousness” by “good works” was not acceptable because it is without faith.  Good works is based on one’s own merit.  The “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (good works and evil deeds), thus meant mans false conclusion (like Satan) that he can live or have life on his own merit without God, instead man wanted to be God.

Then, there was the knowledge of evil, that lead to disobedience and the evil desire to be God (Gen. 3:5,22).  Thus, two reasons to not partake of it’s fruit.  Rather than heeding God’s warning, man did evil by disobedience, and justified that it was the good thing to do because they were told by another that it was good, yet consequentially results in death.  It began with the Serpent’s deception by first questioning what God said, then by twisting the word of God.  So there was two “paths or ways” to this first tree that man could make on his own that would lead to death:

1. knowledge of good or self-righteousness and hypocrisy (doing what was right in his own eyes Judges 17:6) or it’s root sin of the “pride of life” (1 John. 2:16), and also

I will call this “natural sin” where one offends/hurts God; whereas, what follows in the next paragraph I will call “spiritual sin”, where one turns against or becomes anti God.  Both kinds of sins have the same consequence- death physically and spiritually because they are blasphemy and unbelief, thus requiring the forgiveness of sin by salvation in Jesus Christ.

2. blatant evil or it’s root sin of rebellion/defiance, hedonism, and Satanism.

Knowledge of good and evil actually instilled a desire in man known as strict Secular Humanism, or deification of man, and the serpent took advantage of that (Gen. 3:5,22).  This sin of worshiping man and man wanting worship by man, subsequently emerged and manifested in humanity as Kings.  Just as Lucifer wanting power, “I will be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14).  This pits man at war with God.  There is only One Authority- Jesus, He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords who has all power and ability to make law.  God will not share His glory (Isa. 42:8, 48:11).  What is the key to overcoming this? Humility in Jesus.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  Knowledge of good or doing good may be good but it cannot save from sin and thus becomes a snare leading to death.  There is only one who is good, that is God (Mat. 19:17, Psm. 14:3).  It is this tree of sin that will kill you, not God.

In Gen. 3:

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

Paraphrase: “Where are you spiritually?”

10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

Paraphrase: “I heard and am reminded of your word that I should not eat of the tree of knowledge, and my conscious was convicted of my sin so I tried to cover it.”

11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Paraphrase: “Who accused you of sin?” Answer being, the Serpent. Instead of repenting, man blamed others and tried to cover their sin.

Knowledge of good and evil was mans feeble attempt at determining his own destiny.  Subsequently, redemption is revealed in Gen. 3:15 and culminated in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The second tree: The “tree of life”, on the other hand, meant choosing Gods will, and by man’s belief in, dependence upon, and trusting God’s love for man’s life.  The tree of life was the “way” to God.  “In all your ways acknowledge Him” (Proverbs 3:6).  Furthermore, this tree of life, having to remain a mystery until God carried out salvation through love (John. 3:16) by Himself through the person and work of Jesus Christ, from whom true life comes, thus having to be guarded by an angel.  Man could not usurp the Holy Spirit or “live forever” apart from salvation since man had now sinned.  “Eternal life” must come through the Savior; the tree of life was a picture of the things to come through Jesus Christ, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6).  “Yet the law [includes good works] is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”  Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree [wooden cross]”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:12-14).”  Jesus is that tree of life.

He who overcomes, may eat of the tree of life (Rev. 2:7).  Only those who have faith and believe in Christ are over-comers as Jesus has overcome the world (Jn. 16:33).  “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 Jn. 5:4-5).  “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Gen. 30:19).  It is interesting to note that the Tree of Knowledge vanishes from scriptures but the Tree of Life re-appears in Paradise (Rev. 2:7) and that it bears 12 fruits (Rev. 22:2) (another correlation to Israel), for the healing of the nations.  How did Israel heal the nations?  Through the Messiah Jesus.

GardenPic

Before Sin

So why then in Gen. 3:22 does it say, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evilAnd now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”?  Was God holding out?  Not at all, man simply did not have the full nature or attributes of God, nor could he, to live eternally.  Notice the “And now” in this verse, and “become” is qualified by only “like one“.  Put it this way, “And now [that man has sinned]” he is no longer allowed to partake of the tree of life.  Salvation or the way to God was not to be by mans good works but by the grace of God, “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:7-9).

Continuing with Gen. 3:22, the word “like“, is in what form?  Knowing good and evil, yet still short of being God.  Partaking of the “tree of life” in sin would be like, receiving the Holy Spirit without Jesus Christ, much like attempting to obtain life through “ritualistic religion” vs. a willing, loving relationship with God.  In Gen. 7:22 it associates life with the Spirit in the phrase “Spirit of life”.  Continuing with Gen. 3:22, then “one of us“, referring to the triune Godhead, three in person one in essence.  It wasn’t until Adam’s third son, Seth, that man began to turn back to God, “Then men began to call on the name of the Lord.” (Gen. 4:25-26).

So what was so pleasant about the Garden of Eden?  Was it the lush environment, well maybe partly in the physical sense; however, it was mostly paradise because God walked with man, the very presence of God dwelt with man (Gen. 1:28,29, 3:8; Immanuel- “God with us” Isa. 7:14).  This direct encounter Adam had with God was a Christophony (preincarnate appearance of Christ), and would most likely have been the way God imparted the story prior to and including the creation of Adam.  And so then on, this would be the land, Eden, where God would directly interact and dwell (tabernacle) with man throughout history, forward, even making his home (temple) in Jerusalem until the Messiah appeared.

“The Israelites never came close to taking all of the territory God had given them. God had so much for them. He had given so much to them. He had such grand plans for them. Yet they never took advantage of them. I can’t help but wonder, Lord, how much more do You have in mind for me, for my family, for the church?” -Jon Courson.

Ultimately, during the Millennial Reign of Christ, the curse will be lifted from the earth, and all will be made right and good as a “new earth” (Rev. 3:12, 21:1).  Israel will enjoy all of it’s territory under the Messiah’s second advent.  The “New Jerusalem” or city of peace, will come down out of heaven, yes Paradise will return (Rev. 2:7, 21:2), and notice the reference as to the geographical location, “Jerusalem”.  Until then, we can experience His presence, peace, love, forgiveness, power, and have the hope of eternal life now by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through belief in Jesus Christ.

“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:2-4).

This article is not intended to refute other assumed Eden locations but to provide the biblical historical and literal location.  I will say though, based on the evidence provided, all other proposed locations simply do not fit the Scriptures, in fact one would have to divert from the scriptures to assert Eden or the Garden were in:  Africa, North Mesopotamia, Pangaea continent, Temple Mount, or Somewhere else.

However, I will address one due to its uniqueness.  Some hold the unique position that the Temple Mount is the location of the Garden of Eden.  Those who hold to the “Temple Mount Garden of Eden” are correct in that Jerusalem is in the “Land” of Eden; however, it does not fit the scriptures for being the exact location of the original historical “Garden” proper, as described in Genesis.  Distinguishing the “Land” of Eden from the “Garden” of Eden helps clarify this.  Furthermore, it’s plausible, they are also correct with their parallels, more in a prophetic sense, in that the Temple Mount will be the “future” Garden of Eden, or paradise described as the “new Jerusalem” in Rev. 3:12, 21:1.

However, the assertions that the Garden was on the Temple Mount are done so by alluding to parallels and similarities.  This understanding is NOT taking a historical or literal interpretation approach of the scriptures as their basis (Gen. 2:4).  It is interpreting history based on parallels instead of facts reviled in scripture.  Doing so, does not let the text tell the story; it is interpreting the text on the pretext of wanting the “garden” in Jerusalem, when in actuality, it is that Jerusalem is in the land of Eden.  The basis of this interpretation attributes the “river Gihon” as being the “Gihon Spring” (2 Chron. 32:30,33:14); these are two different bodies of water.  Then to add more complexity to the matter, it does appear that the “pure river of water of life” in Rev. 22:1 is in fact a parallel with the “Gihon Spring” but NOT the “River Gihon” in Genesis.  This is where proper homiletics, hermeneutics, and exegesis is critical in rightly dividing the word of truth.

Because God transcends science, we must not allow science to constrain the Word of God, that is, be restricted to science or force God’s Word to fit science; likewise, we need not interpret the Word of God without rational science.  We ought to take the Word of God literally, and when science confirms the Word, then understand it with the light of science.  We must believe God’s Word and accept the fact that we may not fully understand in the natural how God did and does things that may be supernatural – this is faith.

So we see that the bible references Eden as a: land, garden, trees, house, people, and person, all of which lend clues to where the land of Eden and Garden was located.  Due to the patriarchs overlapping long lives the original story could have easily been passed down with accuracy.  All the maps I found didn’t seem to fit the scriptures conclusively, so I set out to re-map Eden and the Garden with the biblical references so anyone can further confirm and if possible further develop upon.

In this article you will see my expandable maps (by clicking on them twice), hope you all enjoy and research the related Scriptures, you will be even more amazed and convinced as I was that the Bible really does tell us where Eden and the Garden was. Never in history were we this certain as to where the Garden of Eden was.  Only to be revealed with aid of internet, Landsat, and earth/natural sciences.  Why, in our day, some six thousand years later can we now know where the Garden of Eden was?   What is the significance of the Land of Eden being the same area of land promised to Abraham?

Foremost, it defines the north and south boundaries of Israel.  Why does that matter?  We know in the last days, God will change the course of humanity by re-focusing on Israel.  God will make one nation of Israel (people and land) without division (Ezek. 37:22) “I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.”  No less than that area belongs to Israel.  God will not allow dividing up His land (Joel 3:1-2; Gen. 12:3, Zech. 12:3) “They have also divided up My land.”,  from the River Nile to the River Euphrates; from Beth-Eden to the Pishon River, it will be Israel.  Who will be that king?  Jesus Christ!

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All biblical references are from the New King James Version of the Bible.  Download PDF version of the map: Garden_of_Eden_Map_1_v4_7

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Quest for the Land of Eden by John DiCesare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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