Category Archives: Biblical History

Of Superstitions and Unknown Gods

Temple-Minerva-AthensAre you superstitious?  Whenever I think about superstitions I can’t help but think of the Apostle Paul and his speech to the men of Athens. By all accounts, Paul was quite a character. I can just picture him standing on the ancient Areopagus (Mars Hill) of Athens nearly two thousand years ago calling out to those gathered at the famous altar to the Unknown God:

“Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.”

I admit, I would like to have been there for that speech. To see Paul in his billowing robes challenging the highly educated Atheneans about their unfounded superstitions would have been quite a sight. Anyway, Paul goes on to explain to the men of Athens that the God they ignorantly worship was the living God of the Bible. If the Apostle Paul was here today, I can just see him chiding our generation with similar advice.

Let’s take the number 13 for example. Even among Christians this number has a certain evil connotation about it. Have you ever wondered why the number 13 has such a superstitious aura? What if I told you, that like the ignorance of those men of Athens concerning the altar to their Unknown God, the superstitions surrounding the number 13 are but the vestiges of a similar story that involves that same “Unknown God”?

Back in Time
So let’s look for the Unknown God in the superstitions surrounding the number 13. To do that we need to go back in time. Back before Mary Kay become engrossed with the number 13; before Sarah Winchester spent her husband’s rifle fortune on a mansion with chandeliers of 13 candles and stair cases of 13 steps; before Napoleon Bonaparte, J. Paul Getty, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt became superstitious; before 13 became associated with American Masonic lore; before Jacques de Molay was murdered on Friday the 13th; before the Knights Templar; before Yeshua and His 12 apostles—back nearly five hundred more years to a biblical story of revenge, betrayal, murder, heroism, and the number 13.

You see this story begins nearly five hundred years before the apostle Paul stood on Mars Hill and challenged the superstitions of the Athenians. Our story begins with a bitter vengeful man named Haman casting pur (lots) in order to find a good day in which to kill the Jewish people. It began in the month of Nisan of the 12th year of a Persian King Ahasuerus and for the next 13 months, Haman sought the advice of the gods by casting his pur. Haman got his answer in the 13th year of Ahasuerus exactly 13 months after casting his first pur. It was the month Nisan, on the 13th day of the 13th year of the Persian King Ahasuerus and it was decreed throughout all the land of Persia that on the 13th day of the final month of that very same year, the Jewish people were to be destroyed.

And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. Esther 3:13

We all know how that turned out. The Jewish people are still here, despite Haman’s nefarious machinations, thanks to the courage of a young Jewish woman and the love of the living God of the Bible. You see the history of Jewish people forever changed on the 13th day of Adar. Thanks to the Persian queen Hadassah’s (Esther) heroism her people were given a mandate to defend themselves against the unjust hatred and jealousy of the culture of their day. For the past 2500 years they have honored those events with the celebration of Purim.

An April Fool
But there is more to this story. About the same time this biblical story was unfolding, Persian tradition records the commemoration of a day of ill omen and bad luck. The Persian New Year celebration of Nowruz, literally “new light,” begins in the spring about the time of the spring equinox. This New Year’s celebration is twelve days long, leading up to the 13th day of the Persian new year. On this day, Persians celebrated Sizdah-bedar, which literally means “getting rid of” or “getting past” 13. You see, they believed that if they could get past the 13th day without anything bad happening, they were home free for the rest of the year. In modern times, Persians celebrate the day by visiting the countryside and playing practical jokes on each other. This has led some to speculate that this day may be the origin of April Fool’s Day.

Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded…. Esther 3:12

In stunning irony, Sizdah-bedar was the very day upon which King Ahasuerus granted Haman permission to kill all the Jews of Persia. In true April Fool’s fashion, the joke was on Haman. An entire race of people (of 13 tribes) were marked for death on Sizdah-bedar, the day of “getting rid of 13,” due to the hatred of one man—a man we now know as history’s greatest April fool.

So next time April Fool’s Day and Sizdah-bedar comes around, give a thought to an ancient Persian superstition regarding the number 13 and how YHWH used a pur (a lot) to mark this day in infamy for the Persian people. A day meant for the death and destruction of the Jewish people instead became a celebration of deliverance that they have commemorated every year, for over two and a half millennia.

The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of YHWH. Proverbs 16:33

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13 and Jewish Tradition
But there is even more to this story. You see, to the Jewish people the number 13 has never been a superstitious sign of evil. Maimonides, one of the most respected rabbis of Judaism established 13 principles of the Jewish faith. His 13th principle is a “belief in the resurrection of the dead”.

In the Babylonian Talmud (the rabbinic writings that help explain the Torah), the number 13 is featured prominently, especially as it relates to the Torah and the temple service. Here are a few examples:

  1. Circumcision is mentioned 13 times in the Torah, and is in consequence regarded as the 13-fold commandment.
  2. There were 13 trumpet-shaped chests for offering in the temple court of the women.
  3. The 13th trumpet was for the free will offering
  4. The priests made 13 prostrations in the sanctuary. During the days of Gamaliel and Hananiah, 14 prostrations were made.
  5. 13 prostrations were made toward the 13 gates of the temple.
  6. There were 13 tables in the sanctuary.
  7. There were 13 kinds of mercy attributes to YHWH.
  8. In a leap year, there are 13 lunar months.
  9. There are 13 public and general feasts.
  10. The land of Israel will be divided among 13 tribes, with the 13th portion going to the “Prince of Israel . . . whom men of all the tribes will serve . . .” (The Babylonian Talmud, Annotated. The Publication Society of America 1895. Kindle Edition.)

13 in Biblical Tradition
It may come as a surprise to some, but seeing the number 13 in a positive light is not just a Jewish Rabbinic tradition. Sadly, the Christian scholar E. W. Bullinger in his popular book Number in Scripture poisoned the well for many Christians when he claimed that the number 13 was associated with rebellion in the Bible. What’s disappointing to me is that most stop reading there. Bullinger goes on to explain how the number 13 in the Bible is also associated with atonement. In fact it may shock some of you to learn that the very names of God as given in the Bible: YHWH, Adonai, and Ha-Elohim all are multiples of 13.

For those who may not be familiar with the subject, in Old Testament times they didn’t use Arabic numerals. Each Hebrew letter was assigned a numerical value. This gave each Hebrew word a numerical value in addition to its normal written meaning. For instance the personal name of God as used over 6500 times in the Old Testament has the numerical value of 26 or 2 x 13.

YHWH26

How many of you remember the Apostle John’s words that “God is Love”.

And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:14-16

Or how about the famous chapter on love in the Bible which ends with this wonderful summary:

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Did you know that in the Old Testament one of the Hebrew words for love is ahabah. Ahabah is first mentioned in the Bible in relation to Jacob’s service for Rachel because of the ahabah or love he had for her. Would it surprise you to learn that the Hebrew letters in the word ahabah equal 13?

Love13

And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love [ahabah—13] he had to her. (Genesis 29:20)

Yeshua as the Atonement Sacrifice
The New Testament writers make it very clear that because of His love for us Yeshua’s made substitutionary atonement and forever paid the righteous penalties for mankind’s sin. Did you know that the Biblical feast days of Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, Yom Turah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkoth each have 13 sacrifices associated with them in some way? I encourage you to check it out and see for yourself. The symbolism is amazing!

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Romans 5:10-11

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. John 1:29

 

Matthew and the Lineage of Yeshua
You know it’s kind of ironic that for centuries scholars have argued about the supposed “mistakes” the apostle Matthew made when he wrote out Yeshua’s lineage in Matthew 1. You have to admit, they seem to have a legitimate concern. I mean Matthew did leave out four Old Testament kings from Yeshua’s lineage. But instead of a mistake, consider the implications if he did this intentionally? What if he was trying to convey a deeper symbolic truth? You see by leaving out four Old Testament kings from Yeshua’s lineage, Matthew made the list only 41 names long (41 is the 13th prime). This in turn has the effect of making Yeshua the 13th generation (what I call the 13th Enumeration). Here take a look:

 

Here’s the point. Matthew’s record of Yeshua’s lineage never was a mistake. He purposely arranged it to illustrate a greater symbolic truth. By making Yeshua the 13th Enumeration, Matthew illustrated with numbers that indeed Yeshua was the promised redeemer; that eternal sacrifice promised from the very beginning of the world.

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:20-21

YHWH is ONE
There are many other examples of this type of symbolism in the Bible, but I end this article with just ONE more.

There are few verses in the Old Testament Scriptures that have a more central role in defining the nature of YHWH, the living God of the Bible, than Deuteronomy 6:4. In Jewish tradition, this passage of Torah is recited every morning and evening as part of the “Shema, Yisrael” prayer:

Hear, O Israel: YHWH our God is one YHWH (Deuteronomy 6:4)

More literally, the verse above would read:

Hear, O Israel, YHWH our God, YHWH is One.
Shema
The Hebrew word for “one” is echad. Represented mathematically, echad has a numerical value of 13. YHWH has a numerical value of 26. “YHWH is one” has a value of 39 (3 x 13). Another way one might express this phrase is to say 39 equals 1.

YHWH26

One13

For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. (1 John 5:7, emphasis mine)

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Here is the numerical value of Yeshua’s full name written in Hebrew.

Yeshua

YHWH is 1 indeed!

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus [Yeshua] every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus [Yeshua] Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9–11)

My dear readers, YHWH the living God of the Bible loves you. He became flesh as our Yeshua (Salvation of YHWH) so that He might reconcile all of us to Himself. We shouldn’t let our ignorance and superstitions blind us to how He reveals Himself in his word. I leave you with those now familiar words of the Apostle Paul to the men of Athens.

Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription,

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you…
Acts 17:22-23

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FREE Book Download:
For those of you who would like to learn more about the symbolism of 13 and 14 woven into the Bible’s redemptive message I encourage you to read my book The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic SymbolismIf you would like to learn more about Biblical history and Bible prophecy, you might also appreciate my other books in the Prophecies and Patterns series.

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$500 Reward to Help Solve the Artaxerxes Assumption

I need some help. For nearly two decades now I’ve been searching the works of some of the most respected Biblical scholars, looking for answers for what I’ve termed, the Artaxerxes Assumption.  As I’ll explain in a moment, the Artaxerxes Assumption is a pivotal piece of Biblical history and to date I’ve only found a few scholars who have attempted to addressed the subject. I’ve come to realize, as much as I hate to admit it, that I can’t read every book or publication that might have been written on the subject so I’m asking for your help.

Here’s the offer. I’m offering $500 to the first person who can help me find one of today’s leading  Biblical authors who has (at some point previous to 1/25/2018 ) addressed several pertinent subjects which have direct bearing on the Artaxerxes Assumption. For right now I want to focus on the list of authors provided at the end of this article. If this challenge is successful I may expand the search at a later date.

Note: If you are one of these authors in the list below, and have not addressed the challenges related to the Artaxerxes Assumption, but would like to have the opportunity to address the subject I’d be happy to post your thoughts on the subject at this blog and at my site www.danielsseventyweeks.com. (Please note your explanations will not qualify for the $500.)

 If you are an author not listed in this article and would also like to have an opportunity to share your thoughts on the Artaxerxes Assumption I’d like to hear from you as well. (Please note your explanations will not qualify for the $500.) There are some additional terms and conditions, but I’ll explain them below.

The Keystone of Bible Prophecy
For a better understanding of the importance of the Artaxerxes Assumption, let me give you a brief overview of the subject. Most Christians have heard of the prophecy of 70 Weeks found in Daniel chapter 9. This prophecy is an amazingly specific prediction of when the Messiah will come. In fact, it is the only prophecy in the Bible which provides a specific chronologically verifiable starting point from which we can determine a date for the coming of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). No other prophecy in the Bible provides this information. To give you a sense of the importance of this prophecy, here are a couple of quotes from two highly knowledgeable and respected prophecy teachers:

“The interpretation of the revelation of Daniel concerning the seventy weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) constitutes one of the determining factors in the whole system of prophecy…. The interpretation of this passage inevitably colors all other prophetic views, and a proper understanding of it is the sine qua non of any student of prophecy.” – John F. Walvoord

 “I am convinced that in the predictions of 70 weeks, we have the indispensable chronological key to all New Testament prophecy” – Alva J. McClain

Pretty powerful statements, don’t you think? Not only does this great prophecy tell us when the Messiah will come, but as these two scholars acknowledge, the 70 Weeks prophecy is in fact the basis upon which much of our eschatological (end times) understanding rests. In other words, our understanding of the 70 Weeks prophecy is largely responsible for how we see the 1st and 2nd coming of the Messiah. It influences how we see the end of this age, the great (7 year) tribulation, the rapture, the Anti-Christ, the Jewish people’s return to the Promise Land, and even the millennial reign of Christ.

So with this heavy theological weight resting on it, it is only reasonable to expect that the starting point of this prophecy would be established upon a rock solid incontrovertible foundation, so that the eschatological interpretations we build upon that footing can be confidently shared as proof of the exceptional nature of the Bible’s prophetic record.

The Artaxerxes Assumption
This is where the Artaxerxes Assumption enters the picture. Today, the vast majority of interpretations of the 70 Weeks prophecy rests on a well-meaning assumption about the chronology of Ezra, Nehemiah, and a Persian king named Artaxerxes Longimanus.

Surprisingly, this assumption about Artaxerxes Longimanus didn’t originate in our generation. In fact, this intriguing chronological conundrum originated nearly 2000 years earlier with the Messianic expectations of the Jewish people in the 1st century BC & AD.  300 years ago one of most renowned scientists of all time had this to say about the subject:

Those Jews who took Herod for the Messiah, and were thence called Herodians, seem to have grounded their opinion upon the seventy weeks of years, which they found between the Reign of Cyrus and that of Herod: but afterwards, in applying the Prophesy to Theudas, and Judas of Galilee, and at length to Barchochab, they seem to have shortened the Reign of the Kingdom of Persia.”   

Anyone care to guess who made the quote above? It may come as a surprise to some, but it was Sir Isaac Newton who wrote those words in his book Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended. What’s fascinating about Newton’s discovery is that those early messianic expectations resulted in a series of assumptions which caused the Jewish people to eclipse over two centuries of Persian history.

Now two millennia later those assumptions are still influencing how we view the Bible and the chronology of the 2nd temple era. As Mark Twain is purported to have said,

 “History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme”.   

To get to the real root of the problem, it is imperative to understand the prophecy within the context of the 2nd temple era. The starting point for the prophecy of Daniel 9 (which was the basis for each of the failed messianic claims noted by Newton) began with a “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem”.

 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks,… (Daniel 9:25a)

As explained in my article A Divine “Command” to Return and Build Jerusalem and in my book Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy there was only one “commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem” the Jewish people would have readily recognized.  That command was the Divine command given by YHWH, proclaimed by Haggai and Zechariah and witnessed by Ezra 6:14.

Here is how the “Artaxerxes Assumption” enters the picture.  The Divine command “to restore and to build Jerusalem” was given in the 2nd year of Darius who was also known historically as “Artaxerxes”. (Newton incorrectly attributed the commandment to Cyrus). When the Asmonaeans calculated the 70 weeks of Daniel from the 2nd year of Darius (Artaxerxes) it allowed them to claim that Judas Maccabaeus was the promised messiah. When Judas failed to usher in the Messianic kingdom, the prophecy was recycled for the next Jewish messianic figure.

Since the Divine command was given in the 2nd year of Darius also known as “Artaxerxes”, the next generation of Jewish messianic expectants just shifted the prophecy to the 2nd year of another Persian Artaxerxes so they could make their calculations work.   With the end of the Bar Cochab rebellion in the first part of the 2nd century, the use of Daniel 9 to claim the start of the Messianic era had run its course, the Rabbinic calendar was reset,  and 241 years of Persian history were erased from Jewish history. Along with that rewriting of 2nd temple history, the chronological context of the prophecy of Daniel 9 was left hopelessly muddled.

To this day, the Rabbinic calendar still reflects the chronological mistakes originating in the expectations of those early messianic believers.  Unfortunately, the “Artaxerxes Assumption” of the 1st centuries BC/AD set in motion the chronological confusion which our generation has inherited. It seems many Christian chronologists today have borrowed some of the historical errors of the early messianic expectants, most being unaware of the Biblical facts and chronology that gave rise to those errors.

This confusion was further compounded around the turn of the twentieth century, when a Scotland Yard investigator named Sir Robert Anderson wrote a wonderful book on the 70 Weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 entitled The Coming Prince. In his explanation of this great prophecy, Anderson revitalized the “Artaxerxes Assumption.” This time instead of erasing the Persian chronology like his Jewish predecessors, Anderson stretched the Biblical chronology of Ezra and Nehemiah by inserting a 58 year gap between Ezra 6 & 7. Like his 1st century predecessors, Anderson borrowed the title of Artaxerxes from Darius ‘the Great’ and applied it to the Persian king Longimanus. Today, Anderson’s chronology is the basis for most scholars’ writings on the subject of Daniel 9. Regrettably, his good intentions were a little short on reasonable chronological evidence from the Bible.

First, Anderson ignored the contextual relevance of YHWH’s command “to restore and to build Jerusalem.”  Unlike his 1st century Jewish messianic predecessors, Anderson saw no reason to begin the prophecy with the words of YHWH the living God of the Bible.  Next, Anderson assumed the “Artaxerxes” of Nehemiah and Ezra was Artaxerxes Longimanus because that was the only way he could show that the prophecy of 70 Weeks was fulfilled in Yeshua (Jesus). Unfortunately, Anderson did not base this assumption upon any real Biblical evidence that he was willing to share, but instead upon a single well-meaning but unsubstantiated statement of the Christian historian Rawlinson, found in Rawlinson’s translation of Herodotus, vol. 4, p.217 . This quote as taken from Anderson’s The Coming Prince is as follows:

Artaxerxes I. reigned forty years, from 465 to 425. He is mentioned by Herodotus once (6. 98), by Thucydides frequently. Both writers were his contemporaries. There is every reason to believe that he was the king who sent Ezra and Nehemiah to Jerusalem, and sanctioned the restoration of the fortifications.” – RAWLINSON, Herodotus, vol. 4., p. 217.

“Every reason to believe” even coming from a Biblical historian of Rawlinson’s stature does not exactly constitute proof that Artaxerxes “was the king who sent Ezra and Nehemiah to Jerusalem.” But that statement is the sum of Anderson’s arguments for his Artaxerxes Assumption.

Anderson, by all accounts, was an exceptional Biblical scholar. To be fair to Anderson, his assumption was understandable, considering Ussher, Newton, Rawlinson, and Josephus were of the same general opinion concerning “Artaxerxes” and his contemporaneous relationship to Ezra and Nehemiah.

I mean, what kind of person argues with the opinion of some of the greatest Biblical chronologists of all time? Okay, I must admit this homeschooled high school educated plumber is raising his hand timidly from the back of the room. But with all due respect to these great men, it seemed to have been a case of each thinking the other had done his homework.

In the case of Daniel 9 and the Artaxerxes Assumption, it seems their messianic zeal, like their 1st century Jewish counterparts, have caused them to make an assumption which so far seems to be unsupported by a reasonable rendering of the Bible’s chronology.  I appreciate the fact that so many well respected and incredibly intelligent scholars believed Ezra and Nehemiah were contemporaries of Artaxerxes Longimanus and I understand the convenience of this assumption, but is that sufficient proof upon which to establish the most important prophecy in the Scripture?   Where is the reasonable Biblical evidence for such a pivotal determination?

Since I learned of Newton’s discovery and its associated Artaxerxes Assumption, I’ve been trying to understand how other authors and scholars who have studied the subject of Daniel 9 have reconciled the Bibles 2nd temple era chronology with an interpretation of Daniel 9 which sees Ezra and Nehemiah as contemporaries of the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus. What Biblical evidence is there for this association?  How did they reconcile the chronological statement of the Bible and secular history which seem to refute this assumption?

Your Help is Needed
So this is why I need your help. As I said before I can’t read every article or book ever written on the prophecy of Daniel 9, nor can I email, tweet, or facebook every author who has written on the subject asking if they would be willing to share with me the Biblical evidence they used to solve their Artaxerxes Assumption.

So I’m hoping with your help we might be able find out how these authors solved the Artaxerxes Assumption in their own explorations of the subject.

Here is what I’m looking for in order for you to win this challenge. In any of the currently existing written works of the authors listed in the table below I am looking for examples where they have explained (Scripturally) the chronological challenges posed by the following six Biblical subjects related to the Artaxerxes Assumption:

Biblical Challenges to the Artaxerxes Assumption

  1. The statement of Ezra 6:13-15 and the identity of “Artaxerxes”
  2. The identities of the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra 4:7, 8:1; Nehemiah 2:1
  3. The age of Ezra whose father died in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar
  4. The age of the priests and Levites of Nehemiah 10 & 12
  5. Nehemiah 12:26 & the age of the 2nd temple porters of Neh. 11:19 & 12:25-27
  6. The chronological flow of Ezra 6 & 7

In order to collect the $500 you must be the 1st person to post in the comments section of this blog post, excerpts from the currently existing works (as of 1/25/2018) of any one of the authors listed in the table below which clearly explain how they reconciled the above six Biblical challenges to the Artaxerxes Assumption. In order for your entry to be considered valid the excerpted explanations you present from one of these authors must adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The quotes provided must adhere to fair use guidelines and must be referenced.
  2. The author’s interpretation quoted must adhere to the Golden Rule of Bible interpretation as described by Dr. David L. Cooper:

“When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” – Dr. David L. Cooper

  1. The author’s answers cannot contradict another passage of Scripture.
  2. The author’s explanation must adhere to the Exponential Decay Curve as explained by Ed Hindson and Thomas Ice in their book, Charting the Bible Chronologically – unless a reasonable argument, with supporting Biblical evidence and examples, can be made as to why an exception to this rule is justified in the case of any 2nd temple era individuals or groups.
  3. Any quoted explanation which uses as its basis an explanation which questions the integrity of the original Biblical texts will also be disqualified. (This does not include reasonable questions regarding differing interpretations of the text.)

Additional Prizes:
In addition to the $500 reward I’m also offering a free printed copy of one of my Prophecies & Patterns series books (your choice) to the first 25 readers of this blog who can find an author listed in the table below who has answered any two of the six Biblical challenges related to the Artaxerxes Assumption. (You must post their explanations in the comment section of this blog post.) I’ll send the printed book anywhere in the world the US postal service delivers. Same terms, conditions, and guidelines apply to these answers as are required for the $500.00 prize.

Stewardship as the Time Draws Near
In closing, I wish to stress that for those of us who are earnestly looking for the return of Yeshua, an accurate understanding of the prophecy of 70 Weeks is of paramount importance. As faithful stewards of Yahweh’s prophetic words, it is imperative that as this age draws to a close our prophetic worldview be based upon real Biblical evidence that does not call into question the credibility of the Biblical record.

My hope is that this challenge, will ultimately result in all of us holding each other to a higher standard of prophetic interpretation. No prophecy in the Bible is of any private interpretation and must find its foundation in the inspired words of the sixty six books we call the Bible.  I’m asking for your help to ensure that the 70 Weeks, the Bible premier prophecy, is established upon such a secure foundation.

I hope you’ll join me in this worthy endeavor.

Maranatha!

Further Terms and Conditions:
This challenge is void where prohibited. You must be 18 years or older to participate.  The $500 dollars reward will be sent as a check anywhere in the 50 US states or its territories. If you live outside the United States and would like to participate I will award the money in your name to a Biblically based charity of your choice (I reserve the right to exclude any charity that I do not approve of).

Authors Who Wish to Respond
If you are an author who has written about the prophecy of 70 Weeks (listed in this article or not)  and would like the opportunity to share your perspective on the six points related to the Artaxerxes Assumption, I’d love to hear from you. All I ask is you abide by the five guidelines above, you answer the six points, and you keep your explanations on topic, respectful, and as brief as possible. I also ask that you use your real name. If your explanation abides by all the terms outlined in this article I will provide you a dedicated blog page in your name where you can share your perspective.

Any explanations or comments that do not adhere to the above guidelines or that are in any way derogatory towards an individual or group will be rejected without explanation. Authors can email their explanation of the following six point of the Artaxerxes Assumption to me at williamstruse@danielsseventyweeks.com

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing the subject through your eyes.

Reminder:
To have your explanation published on this site please explain the following six points as they relate to the Artaxerxes Assumption, using the guidelines outlined above:

Biblical Challenges to the Artaxerxes Assumption

  1. The statement of Ezra 6:13-15 and the identity of “Artaxerxes”
  2. The identities of the “Artaxerxes” of Ezra 4:7, 8:1; Nehemiah 2:1
  3. The age of Ezra whose father died in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar
  4. The age of the priests and Levites of Nehemiah 10 & 12
  5. Nehemiah 12:26 & the age of the 2nd temple porters of Neh. 11:19 & 12:25-27
  6. The chronological flow of Ezra 6 & 7

Further Research on the Artaxerxes Assumption:
For those looking for more information on the Artaxerxes Assumption you can download my book Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible prophecy for free by clicking on the following link: Book Download. You’ll also find several articles I’ve written about the subject in menu listed on the right side of this page.

 For a different point of view on the subject I would also recommend Dr. Floyd Nolan Jones’s book The Chronology of the Old Testament. Dr. Jones is one of the few Biblical scholars I’ve had the privilege of corresponding with who has tried to solve the Artaxerxes Assumption. Though I do not agree with his ultimate conclusions, he at least acknowledges the importance of the subject to Biblical history and Bible prophecy.

For another perspective, David Austin at Creation.com has written an excellent article on the subject. Although I do not agree with his conclusions regarding Daniel 9 and a shorten Persian chronology, his article Darius is Artaxerxes provides a lot of good information on the subject. 

List of authors who may have written about the Artaxerxes Assumption:

·         Alan Kurschner ·         Joel Rosenberg
·         Andrew B. Ray ·         John Hagee
·         Andy Woods ·         John MacArthur
·         Arnold Fruchtenbaum ·         John Walvoord
·         Barry Horner ·         Jonathan Bernis
·         Bill Cloud ·         Jonathan Cahn
·         Bill Koenig ·         Joseph Farah
·         Bill Salus ·         Josh McDowell
·         Billy Crone ·         Ken Johnson
·         Billy Hallowell ·         Larry Spargimino
·         Bob Theil ·         Mark Biltz
·         Brian Godawa ·         Mark Hitchcock
·         Britt Gillette ·         Mark Toben
·         Bryant Wright ·         Matthew Hagee
·         Carl Gallups ·         Michael Heiser
·         Charles Dyer ·         Michael Brown
·         Chuck Missler ·         Michael Rydelnik
·         Dave Williams ·         Michael Vlach
·         David James ·         Michael Youssef
·         David Jeremiah ·         Mitch Glaser
·         David Limbaugh ·         Nathan Jones
·         David Reagan ·         Paul McGuire
·         Derrick Gilbert ·         Perry Stone
·         Don Perkins ·         Rabbi K.A. Schneider
·         Douglas Hamp ·         Randall Price
·         Douglas Stauffer ·         Ray Bentley
·         Douglas Woodward ·         Robert Jeffress
·         Ed Hindson ·         Rodrigo Silva
·         Frank Turek ·         Ron Cantor
·         Gary Stearman ·         Ron Rhodes
·         Greg Laurie ·         Russell Stendal
·         Hank Hanegraaff ·         Ryan Speakman
·         Jack Kelley ·         Samuel Whitefield
·         Jake McCandless ·         Sid Roth
·         James Prasch ·         Stan Guthrie
·         James White ·         Terry James
·         Jan Markell ·         Thomas Horn
·         JD Hall ·         Thomas Ice
·         Jeff Kinley ·         Tim LaHaye
·         Jim Fletcher ·         Troy Anderson
·         Joel Richardson ·         Walid Shoebat

7 Weeks until the Messiah

If you’re a Christian, during this past month of December you’ve probably thought about the twelve days of Christmas or the Advent, two countdowns which lead to the commemoration of the birth of Christ. If you are of Jewish or Messianic faith, the eight days of Hanukkah and the festival of lights were in your thoughts during this wonderful time of year. Today, I’d like to tell you about a prophecy in the Bible which connects these two traditions in a wonderful way. What I’m talking about is the prophecy which tells us that there would someday be 7 “weeks” until the Messiah. Here take a look:

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks… (Daniel 9:25a)

Authors Note: This article was meant to be posted a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been having some email issues and had to change email service for my blog subscribers.  I’ve also just been extremely busy with family and work. I’m sorry for the delay and any inconvenience my email issues may cause. If you are one of my long time subscribers and don’t like the new email service you can now subscribe directly through WordPress at my blog. Or if you just want to unsubscribe you shouldn’t have any trouble doing that either.  I hope you’ll continue the adventure with me, so let’s get back to it.

Some of you may recognize the above verse as part of Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy, one of the most well-known prophecies in the Bible. Yet, at least among Evangelical scholars, this first part of verse 25 is almost always ignored. When I say ignored, what I mean is that this section of the verse is not taken at face value in the most reasonable and normal rendering, rather these 7 “weeks” are instead added to the 62 “weeks” described in the remaining portion of the passage and then that combined period of 69 “weeks” is calculated to determine the advent of the Messiah. Here take a look at the entire verse:

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (Daniel 9:25)

Today, let’s look at this passage from a more focused point of view. Let’s take Daniel 9:25a at face value and see what wonderful prophetic insights it has for us to discover. In order to do this though, we need to understand a bit more about the context. It’s a bit involved, but really not that complicated. Bear with me here, because this is one of the most thrilling prophetic passages in the Bible and if you stay with me you’ll see why two of this past month’s most cherished holidays are connected by this wonderful prophecy. There are three parts to understanding this passage:

1. The word “weeks”
2. The starting point of the prophecy
3. The reckoning of “time” used

7 “Weeks”
Let’s start by exploring the term “weeks”. First of all, the term is a bit misleading. The word in Hebrew is pronounced Shabuwa (shaw-boo’-ah). In Hebrew it means seven or period of seven. So in other words the verse might better read,

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks sevens… (Daniel 9:25a)

But there is something even more amazing about the word shabuwa as it is used here in this passage. In this passage the plural masculine form of the word is used. Now, if you are like me, when I heard that for the first time you probably thought that it sounds a bit over your head. As you’ve noticed if you are a regular reader of my blog, I have a hard enough time with English grammar, let alone Hebrew so you’re good company.

But here is the deal. The first Hebrew word in the chart on the right is the normal spelling for the Hebrew word shabuwa (sevens). In Daniel 9:25a though the plural masculine form of shabuwa is used which changes the spelling of the Hebrew word (see the 2nd row of the chart).

What’s really neat about this is that phonetically the plural masculine form of shabuwa is the same as the Hebrew word shib’iym which means 70. The only difference between the two words are the vowel pointings which were added by the Masoretes hundreds of years after the prophecy was given.  In other words, the Masoretes took a Hebrew word that would have normally been read shib’iym or 70 and changed it to shabuwa which means “sevens” so that Daniel 9:25 would make more sense in the overall context of the passage.

So the bottom line is that here in Daniel 9:25a the word shabuwa (sevens) could be read in two different ways. One way the text could read 7 sevens (7×7=49) and another way it could be read 7 seventies (7×70=490).

Intriguingly scholars have often wondered if Daniel 9:24-27 is describing one or two messianic figures because verse 25 talks about the Messiah coming after 7 shabuwa, yet verse 26 states the Messiah is “cut off” after the 7+62 (69) shabuwa.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: (Daniel 9:26)

The following chart shows the challenge:

In fact, this challenge is one of the major objections traditional rabbinic scholars and Jewish anti-missionaries have to the Evangelical interpretation that Yeshua (Jesus) fulfills the prophecy of Daniel 9 because they say Yeshua couldn’t have fulfilled both aspects of the prophecy.

Their argument goes something like this:

If Yeshua really was “cut off” after the 69 sevens in roughly 30 AD as many Christians claim, then who is the messiah of the first 7 sevens, which came hundreds of years earlier?

This is a reasonable objection Christian scholars have long tried to ignore. One notable exception is Messianic scholar Dr. Michael Brown in his book Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus: Messianic Objections. In the book Dr. Brown does acknowledges the challenge of this passage although he doesn’t seem to find a satisfactory answer to it.

Yet the answer to this puzzling challenge has been there all along. Shabuwa, as used in Daniel 9:25, could reasonably be read as either 7 or 70. In others words, when shabuwa, as given in Daniel 9:25, is read as part of the larger prophecy (verses 24-27) the text implies a value of 7 sevens. When read as given in its immediate context, (taken at face value unprejudiced by vowel pointings) this verse simply states that the Messiah will come after 7 seventies or 490 periods of time.

So for today’s exploration of the subject let’s take the passage at face value assuming it means what it plainly states, i.e. 490 periods of time until the Messiah.

The Starting Point
This brings us to another interesting aspect of the prophecy. Since we have a general idea of the period of time involved, i.e. 490 units of unspecified time, we now need a starting point for our countdown to the Messiah. Daniel 9:25 tells us that this starting point is the “commandment to restore and build Jerusalem.”

In Daniel 9:25 the English word “commandment” comes from the Hebrew dabar, which quite simply means – word. In the Hebrew Bible dabar is used roughly 1439 times. Of those, the vast majority refer to the word or dabar of Yahweh. In Daniel 9 dabar is used 4 times. Of those, in keeping with the usage in the rest of the Old Testament, 3 of the occurrences of dabar clearly refers to the word of Yahweh. (Dan. 9:2, 12, & 23)

Today, most scholars and teachers tell us that the “commandment” or dabar of Daniel 9:25 is one of four Persian decrees to restore and build Jerusalem. You’ve probably never heard of it, but did you know that there is also a divine “commandment” or dabar to restore and build Jerusalem. In fact this divine dabar is mentioned in Ezra 6:14-15 as being confirmed by the two prophetic witnesses, Haggai and Zechariah.

Let me ask you something: If sometime back in the unfathomable expanse of eternity when Yahweh decided His “word” was going to become flesh in an effort to redeem mankind from their sins, and further He decided that there was going to be a specific command or dabar announcing this wonderful event, wouldn’t this commandment have the most credibility and authority if it was His divine word which began this countdown to the messiah. And further wouldn’t this word of Yahweh be given even more credibility if it was witnessed by not one but two of that era’s most respected prophets? Of course it would. With these thoughts in mind consider the words of the apostle John when he talks about Yeshua the “word” of God:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God…

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-2, 14)

So today, in honor of the Yahweh’s wonderful redemptive plan for mankind, let’s look at His divine word to restore and build Jerusalem for the starting point to His countdown to the Messiah, that pivotal point in human history when His word became our Yeshua, that is our Salvation of Yahweh. Here take a moment to read this dabar or “commandment of Yahweh”.

Therefore thus saith YHWH; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith YHWH of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. (Zechariah 1:16)

According to Zechariah 1, this divine word to restore and build Jerusalem and the temple was given in the 2nd year of Darius. The Biblical evidence shows us that this Persian king was Darius ‘the Great’ Artaxerxes whose 2nd year of reign began in 520 B.C. This divine command was repeated by Zechariah’s contemporary Haggai and recorded by Ezra, the priest and scribe. Here take a look:

In the second year of Darius the king [520 BC], in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of YHWH by Haggai the prophet …

Thus saith YHWH of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith YHWH. (Haggai 1:1-8)

And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and even Artaxerxes king of Persia. (Ezra 6:14)

So there you have it. A Divine word to restore and build Jerusalem centered around the one event which in the eyes of the living God of the Bible defined “building Jerusalem”, that is the restoration of His house, the one place on this earth where He chose to meet with mankind.

A Biblical Reckoning of Time
Now that we know when this divine word was given (520 BC) and a general idea of the period of time used (7 seventies), let’s now turn our attention to “time” in the Bible. You know it really isn’t all that easy to step out of our own context and into one that is different than what we‘ve experienced. This is especially difficult when dealing with a context that is centuries removed from the present.

But to accurately understand the prophecy of Daniel 9:25a, we must step back in time. Back to a period when there were no computers, fancy wrist watches, or atomic clocks. We need to go back in time to when “time” in the Bible was kept based upon the heavenly gears in Yahweh’s celestial Rolex.

You see when Daniel was given the prophecy of 70 Sevens or when Yeshua walked those ancient stones of Jerusalem, the Jewish people kept time based upon a lunar/solar calendar. The day to day side of this calendar was regulated by the rising and setting of the sun. The prophetic side of the calendar which ordered the Bible’s mow’ed or sacred festivals was regulated by the cycles of the moon. These two aspects of Yahweh’s Rolex were the gears that drove the calendar through a Biblical “year”.

What is unique about the Biblical year is that these two gears are not sized proportionally. In other words, they don’t match up perfectly at the end of a solar year. The solar year is roughly 365.24 days in length and the lunar month is 29.53 days in length. 12 lunar months are only equal to 354.36 days.

This makes for roughly an 11 day difference between the two calendars each year. That means, if left unchecked, the lunar side of the calendar would wander backwards in time through the seasons much in the same way that the Islamic calendar does today.

To reconcile or intercalate the two sides of the Biblical calendar a 13th month was added every three years or so. Now lest you think this is a totally strange idea just remember in our own calendar we also have to intercalate our year. We call it a leap year.

As most people know, our year is 365.24 days in length. Because we don’t account for the .24 of a day in our typical calendar year, every four years we have to add a makeup day to our year (4 x .25) We call this a leap year. So with the Bible’s lunar/solar calendar it is basically the same idea just a bit more dramatic. Instead of just a single day every four years the Biblical calendar adds an entire 29.53 day lunar month every three years.

What this means for our exploration of Biblical time is, that a “year” as understood by Daniel, Zechariah, Haggai, and even Yeshua was not a certain number of days rather it was a certain number of lunar cycles. In other words, the Biblical year often has12 lunar cycles of 29.53 days each making a “year” of only 354.36 days, but once every three years the Biblical calendar had special year of 13 lunar cycles which made that “year” 383.89 days in length.

For our exploration of Daniel 9:25a today, we are going to use a 13 month Biblical “year” to calculate the length of time from Yahweh’s divine word until the coming of the Messiah. (For more on the messianic symbolism of the number 13 please see my book The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic Symbolism or my YouTube series: The Spirit of Prophecy)

So from Yahweh’s divine command in 520 BC, we will calculate 7 seventies (490) periods of time multiplied by a 13 month Biblical “year”. This gives us a total of 515.02 solar years. This takes us from 520 BC to the year 5 BC.

For those who would like to calculate an even more precise date for this divine command, consider this second dabar or word of Yahweh given to the prophet Haggai in the 24th day of the 9th month in the 2nd year of Darius. This date was right in the middle of the two “commandments” to restore and build Jerusalem given by Yahweh through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah that we talked about earlier in this article. So right in the middle of that six month period of time we have the following:

In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word (dabar) of YHWH by Haggai the prophet, saying…

And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of YHWH:…

Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of YHWH temple was laid, consider it…
from this day will I bless you. (Haggai 2:10-19)

 

If we do as the text suggests and consider or count 515.02 years from the 24th day of the 9th month in the year 520 when the Divine word to restore and build Jerusalem was given by Yahweh, we come to the final days of the 9th month in the year 5 BC.

For the sake of argument let’s assume the coming of the Messiah mentioned in Daniel 9:25a means what is says. This would mean that the most literal interpretation of this coming of the Messiah could refer to the point when the Son of God became human flesh. If this is the case then according to the natural order of things, 40 weeks later in fall of 4 BC during in the 7th Biblical month, the Messiah would have been born and dwelt (tabernacled) with mankind during the Biblical Feast of Tabernacles.

 

The Course of Abijah (Abia)
This is confirmed in Luke 1 where it describes the priestly service of Zachariah during the course of Abijah. As it tells us in Luke’s account, Mary conceived six months after Zachariah’s wife, Elisabeth.

As you can see from the following chart, this information places the conception of Yeshua at the end of the 9th /start of the 10th month during the Festival of Lights and thus His birth would have taken place during the 13/14 priestly course of the 7th month during the Feast of Tabernacles. In confirmation of the prophecy of Daniel 9:25a. For a more detailed explanation of this subject seem article: The Course of Abijah. or my free book Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy (This assumes the priestly courses run after the same manner as the other services arranged by King David as given in 1 Chron. 24 & 27. There is no direct Biblical evidence to assume otherwise.)

The Real Miracle of the Messiah
You know, if you think about it, by focusing exclusively on the birth of the Messiah we miss the real miracle of Yahweh Salvation (Yeshua). The real miracle of the Messiah was not His birth, but His conception, that point when Yahweh’s spirit became flesh in a young maiden named Mary.

One = Hebrew echad = 13

This was the pivotal point in mankind’s history (as indicated by Daniel 9:25a and Luke 1) when the Spirit of Yahweh (7) and man (6) became ONE (13). Thus In the winter of 5 BC during Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights the hopeless darkness of the present world was pierced by the Light of the World.

Over the intervening centuries due to the animosity between the early followers of Christ (both Jewish and Gentile) and the religious leaders of the Jewish people, the early Christian church began to distance itself from the “Jewish” roots of its faith. Thus it is likely that the conception of the Messiah in fulfillment of Daniel 9:25 during the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) in 5 BC evolved into the Christian holiday of Christmas which in the Roman gentile world of that day also marked the birthday of Sol Invictus Mithra, the unconquered sun god. Keep in mind, that this Roman birthday celebration conveniently fell on December 25 at the very same time of year as the Jewish Feast of Dedication (Festival of Lights or Hanukkah) which the Jewish people also celebrated starting on the 25th day of their month Kislev.

Yahweh’s Gift to Mankind
In honor of the spirit of the season, let me wrap this up in a beautiful package for you. From the beginning Yeshua was the Word of Yahweh.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

In 520 BC that Word went forth from Yahweh as a divine command (dabar) to restore and build Jerusalem.

Therefore thus saith YHWH; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith YHWH of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. (Zechariah 1:16)

In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word (dabar) of YHWH by Haggai the prophet, saying…

And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of YHWH:…

Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of YHWH temple was laid, consider it…

from this day will I bless you. (Haggai 2:10-19)

515.02 years later in the winter of 5 BC that Word became human flesh, what the apostle John described as the “light of the world” during the Jewish Festival of Lights.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:6-9)

And the Word was made flesh [conceived], and dwelt [tabernacled = his birth] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

Nearly 33 years later in the winter of 29/30 AD, just a few months before his death and resurrection, Yeshua was walking in Solomon’s porch during the Festival of Lights and made this enlightening statement:

Then spake Jesus [Yeshua] again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life…

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication [Festival of Light/Hanukkah], and it was winter. (John 8:12 -10:22)

Consider From this Day Forward… I Will Bless You
Now to bring you full circle, I give you the wonderful words of the Apostle Peter spoken to his own brethren after the resurrection of Yeshua, words which bring new meaning to Yahweh’s promise (Haggai 1:10-19) that from 24th day of the 9th month in 520 BC that He would bless the Jewish people.

And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets [including Daniel] since the world began

Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus [Yeshua], sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. (Acts 3:17-26)

What a Blessing Indeed!

So next year when the month of December comes around, won’t you give a thought to the ancient prophecy which told us there would be 7 “weeks” until the Messiah. A Messianic redeemer which ALL the prophets from the very beginning of Creation, told would come to reconcile mankind to Yahweh their Creator.

And won’t you also give a thought to that ancient Jewish Festival of Lights when that prophesied Jewish man named Yeshua (Yahweh’s Salvation) stood in Solomon’s porch and proclaimed to His Jewish brethren that He was the Light of the World, on the very anniversary when He, that blessed light, first appear among mankind nearly 33 years earlier.

Jesus cried and said,

He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (John 12:44-46)

Related study material:
Christmas and the Course of Abijah (Abia)
Calendar Confusion and the Basics of Biblical Time
The Spirit of Prophecy (YouTube)
Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy

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The Flood, the Exodus of Israel, and the Coming Messiah

Noah-offering-sacrifices

Noah Offering Sacrifices

In my last blog post, The Story of Halloween, we looked at the fascinating history of Halloween and the flood of Noah. Today I want to share with you how those events are related to Israel’s exodus from Egypt, the Biblical calendar, and the promise of the coming Messiah.

The Descendants of Seth
First let’s travel back to the time of Christ and a Jewish historian named Josephus. Nearly two thousand years ago Josephus had this to say about the flood:

Now this Seth, when he was brought up, and came to those years in which he could discern what was good, became a virtuous man; and as he was himself of an excellent character, so did he leave children behind him who imitated his virtues…

They also were the inventors of that peculiar sort of wisdom which is concerned with the heavenly bodies, and their order. And that their inventions might not be lost before they were sufficiently known, upon Adam’s prediction that the world was to be destroyed at one time by the force of fire, and at another time by the violence and quantity of water, they made two pillars, {e} the one of brick, the other of stone:

they inscribed their discoveries on them both, that in case the pillar of brick should be destroyed by the flood, the pillar of stone might remain, and exhibit those discoveries to mankind; and also inform them that there was another pillar of brick erected by them. Now this remains in the land of Siriad [Egypt] to this day…. (Antiquities of the Jews 1:68-71)

Interestingly in Isaiah 19:19 such a pillar is mentioned in the land of Egypt in a future messianic context. Here take a look:

In that day shall there be an altar to YHWH in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to YHWH. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto YHWH of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto YHWH because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. (Isaiah 19:19-20)

XVIII_700pixYou see, nearly two thousand years ago the Great Pyramid in Egypt was already considered a monument built by the descendants of Seth to monumentalize a warning to mankind that judgement was coming. Some even claim this pillar has messianic significance. A discussion of whether this tradition is true or not will have to wait for another article, but we do know from the evidence of the Great Pyramid itself, that it was built in such a way that it marked the first day of November (and the Flood) in a very special way. I’ll get to that in a moment, but first let me describe this monument in a little more detail. For context’s sake keep in mind that Goshen, where the children of Israel lived for several hundred years, was only fifty miles or so from this great monument. In a moment you will see why the Great Pyramid was known to the ancient Egyptians as Ta Khut “The Light” and why it is still one of the greatest man made wonders of the world.

Now let me paint you a picture of the Great Pyramid as it was during the time of Israel’s sojourning in Egypt. The base of the Great Pyramid was 365.24 cubits squared covering 13 acres. This stone structure was laid out in relation to the cardinal points of the compass with the precision of a modern observatory. Its base circumference was 36,524 inches and its height was 5813 inches or nearly 484 feet. Quite literally, it was a man made mountain. For perspective, you could take the stone mass of the Great Pyramid and it would make a wall one foot thick and four feet high stretching from New York to San Francisco. Now that is big!

Air_Photograph_Showing_HallWhat really stood out about the Great Pyramid was its covering. The four slightly concave triangular sides of this incredible monument were covered with a casing of pure white polished limestone and fitted with such precision that today engineers and archeologists have no conclusive idea how the task was accomplished. Oddly enough, the capstone or ‘head corner stone’, as it might be called in Biblical terms, was never placed on the Great Pyramid. In antiquity it was considered a stone rejected by its builders and it is likely the  historical source for King David’s quote to that effect.

The Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus, observed that in his day (56-60 BC) the Great Pyramid was complete without any decay, but it lacked its capstone. (Diodorus Siculus, Book I, 63.4-64.14)

The Greek geographer Strabo who lived as a contemporary of Siculus is said to have stated that, “It seemed like a building let down from heaven without the aid of human hands.”

So we have a massive manmade structure with highly reflective sides fixed precisely to the cardinal points of the compass. This arrangement then produced reflective beams of lights and shadows marking the limits of the astronomical year with a brilliant display, hence the Egyptian title, “The Light”. Among its many characteristics the Great Pyramid was in fact an astronomical almanac. This purposeful design marked the 1st of November and the sowing season with a specific reflective effect which was used by the Egyptians to begin their agricultural cycle as well as their New Year. The chart below comes from Davidson’s Pyramid Records and it shows what the children of Israel likely saw during their captivity. In the far right of the chart note the reflective design which was seen on the 1st of November.

Egyptian_Calendar_Year_And_

 

So okay, this is all a neat bit of history you might be thinking, but what does this have to do with Israel? Well, this is where it gets really amazing in my opinion. The Great Pyramid defined Egypt’s agricultural calendar and seasons with its reflective effect. This was the calendar system under which all Egypt operated during Israel’s captivity, one which reminded them of a great destruction of mankind.

After the exodus of Israel from Egypt one of the first things YHWH did was change Israel’s calendar from what they were familiar with in Egypt to a new calendar which began in the spring and commemorated the events of the Exodus.

And YHWH spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house;

…And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…. And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is YHWH’s passover. (Exodus 12:1-11)

Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) (Exodus 23:15)

You see, Israel, while in slavery to Egypt (which can also be seen as a symbol of mankind’s slavery to sin), kept a calendar which immortalized the righteous judgment of God on a sinful world. After the exodus, YHWH directed Israel’s focus away from a remembrance of the flood and towards a calendar which celebrated their deliverance from Egypt and foreshadowed their redemption through the coming Messiah. A messiah who became “the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” Now how awesome is that!

Noon_Reflections_SummarThe Ark and Deliverance
But there is more. Remember how the Bible describes the flood as occurring on the 17th day of the second month of the pre-flood calendar, a day which modern tradition observes in ignorance as Halloween. Have you ever thought about the day Noah’s ark finally rested on the mountains of Ararat? Well, that day was just as symbolically important? Here take a look:

And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:3-4)

Yes indeed, the ark rested on a date which YHWH, hundreds of years later, would commemorate as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. So in wonderful prophetic symbolism Noah and his family were delivered from the flood on the 17th day of the 7th month which according to Israel’s religious calendar after the exodus became the 17th day of the 1st month. In modern calendar terms this would be our March or April.

In other words, the ark rested on the mountains of Ararat on the same day in which Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage. Then over a millennium later on that very same day, Yeshua the promised Messiah, rose from the grave and became the firstfruits of them that slept, thus delivering mankind from their bondage to sin.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

You see, the Israel that lived in the shadows and reflections of the Great Pyramid was only reminded of the judgment of God. The Israel that left Egypt was given the promise of a coming redeemer. How’s that for a new perspective on the Flood and the Exodus!

The Flood and Daniel 9
The above context provides a rather unique perspective on Israel’s calendar system and the promised Redeemer but there is another aspect to the flood story and the Messiah. In Daniel 9 we have the most important messianic prophecy in the Bible. Commonly called the Prophecy of 70 Weeks, the prophecies importance lies in the fact that it is the only prophecy in the entire Bible which gives a specific and datable timeline for the coming of the Messiah.

Daniel 9:25 tells us that after 7 “weeks” the Messiah will come. Keep in mind that the term weeks in Daniel 9 comes from the Hebrew Shabuwa and simply means sevens. The period of time intended by the prophecy is never stated.

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks [sevens],… (Daniel 9:25a)

I won’t go into all the details in this article, but in Daniel 9:26 the prophecy goes on to tell us that the Messiah will be “cut off”. We know in retrospect from both the Old and New Testaments that the Messiah would have a dual role in the affairs of mankind. He would be both a suffering servant as described in Isaiah 53 and a future king as described in Luke 1:31-33. Here in Daniel 9:26 though we have a description of the Messiah as a suffering servant.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: (Daniel 9:26a)

VIII_1000pixNotice in the passage above, it says that the Messiah will be “cut off, but not for himself”. This is where we find an amazing connection between the promised Messiah and the flood of Noah’s day. You see the term “cut off” in Daniel 9:26 comes from the Hebrew karath which means to cut off or cut down. As many scholars have noted over the years, the first occurrence of a Hebrew word in the Bible often provides additional insights into its meaning. Here in Daniel 9:26 we find such an example because the first occurrence of the work karath comes to us from the flood story.

And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off [karath] any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. (Genesis 9:11)

Take a moment to read Daniel 9:26a once again. Notice it says the Messiah will be karath “but not for himself”. Contrast that with Noah’s day were we are told that nearly all mankind was cut off (karath) because of their sins. In Noah’s day mankind paid the required price for their sins. Daniel prophesied that a day would come when the Messiah would pay that price (karath) in place of mankind, it was his blood which would atoned for the sins of humanity.

Not for Himself indeed!

Let me give you a few examples from the Biblical record illustrating how the Messiah was cut off for the sins of mankind:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. (Zechariah 13:6)

So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:28)

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (1 Peter 3:18-22)

Did you catch the analogy Peter made above? The same waters which “baptized” the world and removed sin also lifted the ark and brought deliverance from the death. In a like manner it was Yeshua’s resurrection which brings salvation and deliverance from sin.

And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 7:18)

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. (Romans 6:4)

Noon_Reflections_Solstice60The Flood and the Messiah
So next time you’re thinking about Israel and their exodus from Egypt remember the last surviving wonder of the ancient world. Remember a monument which Strabo described as, “…a building let down from heaven without the aid of human hands.” A megalithic wonder which reminded all Egypt of YHWH’s judgment on a sinful world. A monument which in its own way points mankind to the promise of a coming redeemer.

In that day shall there be an altar to YHWH in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to YHWH. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto YHWH of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto YHWH because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. (Isaiah 19:19-20)

A Berean’s Challenge
For those Bereans out there who love to dig deeper into YHWH’s word, I have a challenge for you. In Daniel 9 there are three Hebrew words which the Bible first uses in describing the events of the flood. We already looked at the word karath which was used to describe mankind being “cut off” from the earth. The other two words are gabar (prevail) and beriyth (covenant). It was no accident that all three of these words found in Daniel 9 are first found in the flood story and the destruction of mankind. See if you can find the connection.

Book2_400x600If you would like to learn more about Daniel 9 and the prophecy of 70 Weeks you might appreciate Book II in my Prophecy and Patterns series, Daniel’s 70 Weeks: The Keystone of Bible Prophecy. In the book we look at this wonderful prophecy in light of its messianic redemptive context.

Remember if you are a blog subscriber you can download the book from this website for free.

It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. (Proverbs 25:2)

Authors note: All the charts in this article come from Davidson’s Pyramid Records (1924)

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Symbols of the Harlot – Part V

How many of you recognize the map headlining today’s blog post? What if I told you, that map, drawn by Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant (a Freemason from the Holland Lodge No. 8 at 66 Crown Street, New York City), was more than just the basis for what would become the most powerful city in the history of the world, but that this map also connected the lives of several influential Americans to an ancient Biblical prophecy in a most surprising way?

Pretty incredible claim, don’t you think?

Well, if you read any of the articles in this series, then you already know that the history we’ve explored together is truly stranger than fiction, but in this blog post we are going to exemplify that axiom in a way that will forever change how you look at Masonry’s influence on early American history.

Today, we are going to explore how Major L’Enfant’s unusual design for the Federal City (later to be known as Washington D.C.), intertwined the lives of George Washington, the first President of the United States, Charles Thomson, the Secretary of the Continental Congress, Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant, and Confederate Brigadier General & Sovereign Grand Commander of Scottish Rite Freemasonry Albert Pike, the famous confederate war criminal, Freemason, and racist.

Major L’Enfant and the Map of DC
Our story beings in 1791 when President George Washington, authorized by an act of Congress, appointed Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant to design the Federal City of the United States which later became known as Washington City and subsequently the federal District of Columbia. L’Enfant immediately set to work under the guidance of a three person commission. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson also advised L’Enfant and the design committee during this time.

click on image to enlarge Jenkins Hill

The focus of the map was centered on Jenkin’s Hill (Francis Pope’s original Rome Hill) which L’Enfant designated with the longitude of 0:0. L’Enfant described Jenkin’s Hill as a “pedestal awaiting a monument”. Later Thomas Jefferson renamed Jenkins hill, Capitol Hill in honor of the ancient Roman republic upon which many of our founders sought to pattern our new government.

It turns out L’Enfant was a rather disagreeable man and after nearly a year George Washington replaced him with Andrew Ellicott. Ellicott made several minor changes to L’Enfant’s map but the overall design was not materially changed.

A Map with Masonic Symbolism
Conspiracy theorists have long claimed that Washington DC was designed with occult symbolism in mind. Like a giant city size dot to dot, pentagrams, compasses, crosses, triangles, pyramids, and other occult patterns have been found but the contextual justification for them being part of a larger “conspiracy” is often lacking. Kind of like a constellation of stars without the story, just a bunch of points, lines, and vivid imaginations.

But there is at least one true story in all the points and lines of L’Enfant’s map. The story begins with Charles Thomson’s seal in 1782. In our last blog post Symbols of the Harlot – Part IV, we learned that Thompson’s design for the reverse of the Great Seal featured a 13 level unfinished pyramid, the capstone of which (the 14th level) hung over the unfinished work with its ever watchful and radiant eye of “Divine Providence”. That’s the official story given for public consumption anyway. L’Enfant’s map provides us with a different version of that story. Here take a look at L’Enfant’s map once more.

click on map to enlarge

As you can see from this overlay, a pyramid centered on the White House can be drawn over L’Enfant’s original design. This pyramid is not arbitrary, as you will find faint lines on L’Enfant’s map which represent it. (click on the map to enlarge) The design begins to move from circumstantial to intentional when you realize that there are 13 levels to this pyramid ending at what we know today as Dupont and Logan circles. Here take a look at a Google version of the map as it is today:

click on map to enlarge

But that’s not the real surprise. Notice in the satellite version of the map that in the capstone of the pyramid there is a rather large building on the East side of 16th street corresponding to the All-Seeing Eye in Charles Thomson’s design of the Great Seal.

Wikipedia.org

That building has a rather interesting history. The building was designed by John Russell Pope in 1910. Construction began in 1911 with the ceremonial cornerstone being laid on October 18, 1911. The building, modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, is 130 tall and surrounded by 33 columns, each 33 feet high. The roof has 13 layers which from street level gives it the appearance of an unfished pyramid. When looking down from above one can see the 14th level is a glass capstone completing the pyramid shaped roof as can be seen in this Google map view of the building below.

Based upon L’Enfants original design this building resides on the 14th city block from the US Capitol building. Or in other words there are 13 blocks between it and the US Capitol. By now you’ve probably got an inkling of this buildings identity. To save you further guessing let me show you what is written over the bronze entrance door of this impressive building:

“Freemasonry Builds its Temples in the Hearts of Men and among Nations”

The building is called the House of the Temple and is the headquarters of Scottish Rite Freemasonry’s 33 degree Supreme Council also known as the Mother Council of the World. So right where the All-Seeing Eye is represented on Charles Thomson’s original design of the Great Seal we have represented – on a map of Washington, D.C. – a Masonic Temple which is home to Freemasonry’s Mother Council of the World.

Hard to call this all a coincidence, isn’t it?

With what we have learned about Masonry in the last several articles, the symbolism is rather obvious. The Scottish Rite Freemasonry Mother Council of the World sees their organization as the watchful eye, the guiding light, and the protector of the United States government. Their guidance brings with it a world view that is anathema to the Judeo-Christian principles that we and many of our founders held dear. That world view we now know as secular humanism.

I know it is rather difficult to fathom, but Freemasonry, by their own admission, is a secretive organization which by its own traditions traces its origins to ancient Babylon; an organization that proudly believes, it has a responsibility to influence the affairs of our country and guide our nation towards a secular humanist utopia.

Let’s briefly look at this goal of a secular humanist utopia in the words of one of its respected adherents, 33 Degree Freemason, Manly P. Hall. Take a few moments to read the following quotes from Hall’s book, The Secret Destiny of America written in 1944:

The Purpose of Secret Societies

THE DEMOCRATIC TRADITION PRESERVED BY SECRET SOCIETIES.
For more than three thousand years, secret societies have labored to create the background of knowledge necessary to the establishment of an enlightened democracy among the nations of the world … The Creek Dionysians were social and political temple builders, known as the Collegians in later Rome. … The rise of the Christian Church brought persecution of the classical intellectual pattern’s ideology, driving the guilds into greater secrecy; but all have continued searching for human happiness under a variety of rituals and symbols; and they still exist, as the Order of the Quest.

Today’s thinking toward a democratic world state is neither a new trend nor an accidental circumstance; the work of setting up the background of knowledge necessary to the establishing of enlightened democracy among all nations has been carried on for many hundreds of years by secret societies….

Secret societies have had concealment and protection as the first purpose for their existence. The members of these orders were party to some special knowledge, they usually took part in certain rites and rituals not available to non-members, but it was more important that through the societies they were also able to practice beliefs and doctrines in private for which they would have been condemned and persecuted if these rites were made public.

A second purpose for secret societies was to create a mechanism for the perpetuation from generation to generation of policies, principles, or systems of learning, confined to a limited group of selected and initiated persons. (Hall, Manly P.. The Secret Destiny of America, Kindle Locations 547-553. Arkosh Publishing)

Sir Francis Bacon and the New Atlantis

Rawley writes in his introduction to Bacon’s the New Atlantis, “This fable My Lord devised, to the end that he might exhibit therein, a model or description of a college, instituted for the interpreting of nature, and the producing of great and marvelous works, for the benefit of men; under the name of Solomon’s house, or the college of the six days work.” The college of the six days work is, of course, a thinly veiled reference to the perfection of nature through art. The six days are the days of creation by which the natural world was brought into existence, according to the account given in Genesis. As God created the Universe in six symbolic days, so man by art– that is, philosophy–must create the condition of his own perfection by means of six philosophical steps. (Hall, Manly P.. The Secret Destiny of America Kindle Locations 915-922 Arkosh Publishing)

The New Atlantis [Sir Francis Bacon’s] describes the magnificence of the college of the six days work…

It is difficult to understand how this reference to a secret order has passed unnoticed for so long, for it is scarcely less than a proclamation of the Society of Unknown Philosophers. The name of the land in which stood the Wise Man’s City was Bensalem; this means the Son of Peace. Bensalem maintained a trade with all parts of the world, but not for gold, silver, jewels, silks, spices, nor any other material commodity; its merchandise was the Light of Truth. Among the nations traded with was Atlantis, which was declared to be the same as America. (Hall, Manly P.. The Secret Destiny of America Kindle Locations 941-952)

The University of Six Days Work

The great University of the Six Days Work must be built here in our Western world, to become a guide unto the nations. About this shrine to Universal Truth shall rise the democratic Commonwealth–the wealth of all mankind. This is the destiny for which we were brought into being. The plan, which was devised in secrecy long ago, and in far places, shall be fulfilled openly … as the greatest wonder born out of time. (Hall, Manly P.. The Secret Destiny of America Kindle Locations 1763-1767. Arkosh Publishing. Kindle Edition.)

20. THE END OF THE QUEST
In America shall be erected a shrine to Universal Truth, as here arises the global democratic Commonwealth–the true wealth of all mankind, which is designed in the foundation that men shall abide together in peace and shall devote their energies to the common cause of discovery.

… The power of man lies in his dreams, his visions, and his ideals. This has been the common vision of man’s necessity in the secret empire of the Brotherhood of the Quest, consecrated to fulfilling the destiny for which we in America were brought into being. (Hall, Manly P.-The Secret Destiny of America Kindle Locations 1676-1682 Kindle Edition.)

A Masonic Timeline
To be sure not all founders or even all Masons saw the founding of our nation as the “college of six days work” as described by Hall. But it is indisputable that Masonry today does in fact see itself as the guardians of the philosophy which leads mankind to the light of knowledge and liberty. Briefly let’s look at the Masonic timeline of the Great Seal and related events so you understand the chronological context of their powerful influence on America, its government, and institutions.

1782
The Great Seal with its pyramid and All-Seeing Eye became the official emblems of the United States.

 

1791
L’Enfant’s plan of Washington, D.C., incorporated this same Pyramid and Capstone.

 

1911
Scottish Rite Freemasonry added a finishing touch to the map of Washington, D.C., in 1911, when they laid the cornerstone for their House of the Temple. From this date forward they boldly proclaimed their influence on the United States government.

 

1935
Do you know that up until 1935 the reverse side of the Great Seal (the pyramid and eye) was basically unknown to the American populous? For all intents and purposes, it had remained hidden from public view. Then in 1934 Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture (future vice president of the US), suggested to President Roosevelt that he place the Great Seal on a US coin. Keep in mind here that at this time Wallace and Roosevelt were both 32nd degree Freemasons. Here is Wallace’s account:

“In 1934, when I was Secretary of Agriculture, I was waiting in the outer office of Secretary Hull, and as I waited I amused myself by picking up a State Department publication which was on the stand there entitled, The History of the Seal of the United States. Turning to page 53, I noted the colored reproduction of the reverse side of the Seal. The Latin phrase Novus Ordo Seclorum impressed me as meaning the New Deal of the Ages. Therefore I took the publication to President Roosevelt and suggested a coin be put out with the obverse and reverse side of the seal. Roosevelt, as he looked at [the] colored reproduction of the Seal, was first struck with the representation of the ‘All-Seeing Eye,’ a representation of The Great Architect of the Universe. Next he was impressed with idea that the foundation for the new order of the ages had been laid in 1776, but that it would be completed only under the eye of the Great Architect. Roosevelt, like myself, was a 32nd degree Mason, He suggested that the Seal be put out on the dollar bill rather than a coin, and took the matter up with the Secretary of the Treasury.”

Interestingly, it was Roosevelt who placed the pyramid with the All-Seeing Eye in the primary position on the one dollar bill instead of the secondary position where it would have naturally been placed due to its subordinate position on the reverse side of the Seal. In any case, it was 1935, when the Great Seal was represented on our currency and since that day has become the most recognizable symbol of the United States.

1944
Few serious scholars of Masonic history underestimate the influence Albert Pike had on Freemasonry in America during the 20th century. Many consider him the guiding light of American Masonry. Pike was so important to Freemasonry that even though he was a Confederate war criminal and a racist, he is the only Confederate soldier to be honored with an outdoor statue in Washington, D.C.

Pike was the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite Freemasonry from 1859 until his death in 1891. Upon his death, he was buried in Oak Hill cemetery, but in 1944 his remains were exhumed and then reburied (by a special act of Congress) in the House of the Temple in honor of his profound influence on American Freemasonry. Pike’s writings, especially his magnum opus – Morals and Dogma, codified for Freemasonry the enlightened (luciferian) humanist philosophy which has been the driving force of Masonry to this day. It’s perfectly fitting that Pike’s remains now have that honored position in the House of the Temple as a talisman of Masonry’s philosophical humanist enlightenment.

Supreme Court (Wikipedia.org)

1941-1971
By the mid 1940’s, thanks to the appointments of Freemasonic President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Supreme Court was packed with a majority of men who were Freemasons. This court was instrumental in undermining Judeo-Christian principles in the public sphere. This pivotal point in US history was the catalyst which accelerated America’s moral decline and which led to secular humanism as the de facto law of the land.

2008 – It’s No Longer a Secret
It’s rather sobering to realize that Masons like Manly P. Hall see Masonry’s influence in the American affairs as part of a larger effort related to Sir Francis Bacon’s so called “college of six days work”. It’s further sobering to consider that in 2008 the World Council of Freemasonry held their annual World Masonic Congress in Washington, D.C.,and as part of this momentous occasion they issued commemorative coins to attendees which boldly show their view of where Masonry stands in relation to the founding of the United States and their part in the Novus Ordo Seclorum (New Order of the Ages).

Notice any pretexted that Judeo-Christian God was the watchful eye over the American enterprise has been removed and replaced with the masonic symbols of the square and compass. Also notice that on the base of the pyramid the date 1776 has been replace with the year 6008 Anno Lucis (year of the light). This date acknowledges that the college of six days work (six thousand years) has been achieved and now Masonry has entered that prophesied utopian age, its seventh millennium, the prophesied 1000 years have arrived and Masonry and its “god” of knowledge and enlightenment is there to guide humanity into this new age.

The All-Seeing Eye of Masonry
As disturbing as the symbolism is to many of you, I don’t want you to finish this article without truly understanding, how Masonry sees the All-Seeing Eye and the “god” this eye represents – it bears repeating in their own words:

The combination of the Phoenix, the pyramid, and the all-seeing eye is more than chance or coincidence. There is nothing about the early struggles of the colonists to suggest such a selection to farmers, shopkeepers, and country gentlemen. There is only one possible origin for these symbols, and that is the secret societies which came to this country 150 years before the Revolutionary War. Most of the patriots who achieved American independence belonged to these societies, and derived their inspiration, courage, and high purpose from the ancient teaching. There can be no question that the great seal was directly inspired by these orders of the human Quest, and that it set forth the purpose far this nation as that purpose was seen and known to the Founding Fathers. (Hall, Manly P.. The Secret Destiny of America Kindle Locations 1579-1585 Kindle Edition.)

The All-Seeing Eye may have denoted the Divine omniscience. Also, it may have symbolized any one or more of some five or six other truths or ideas. It may have denoted the sun originally, as it came up at dawn – it had been thus used by Shakespeare and many other writers. It may have meant the Grand Master or the worshipful Master, and been a reminder of the fact that wherever a man is and in whatever he may be doing he continues to be a Mason, and the eye of the Craft is on him. It may have stood for enlightenment, wisdom, intelligence ; and it may have been the Tracing Board representation of the Blazing Star in the Tessellated Pavement, in which case it was again the sun, or day-star, which shines on through day and night. (Masonicdictionary.com/eye1.html attributed to Mackey’s masonic dictionary.)

That Osiris and Isis were the Sun and Moon, is attested by many ancient writers; by Diogenes Laertius, Plutarch, Lucian, Suidas, Macrobius, Martianus Capella, and others. His power was symbolized by an Eye over a Sceptre. The Sun was termed by the Greeks the Eye of Jupiter, and the Eye of the World; and his is the All-Seeing Eye in our Lodges…

Osiris was the same God known as Bacchus, Dionusos, and Serapis. Serapis is the author of the regularity and harmony of the world. (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma p.307.)

Roman Coins showing temples honoring the god Seraphis circa 300 BC

 

 

 

 

 

The Masonic World View verses the Christian World View
This series of blog posts has looked at the ancient religion of Mystery Babylon first introduced to mankind by the Serpent in Eden. This new religious doctrine promised mankind that if they eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would become gods. In its essence this doctrine is humanism. It is the belief that mankind outside of the direction, commandments, or instructions of YHWH can attain divinity or in other words mankind, by our own efforts can raise ourselves to be equal to YHWH, the living God of the Bible.

This humanist philosophy has been perfected by the secretive organization we know today as Freemasonry. I want to make clear here that this is not a struggle against individual masons. I have friends and acquaintances who are masons and they are no worse or better people than you and I. The problem is that Masonry as an organization has as its core the religious philosophy of Mystery Babylon and they have promoted that philosophy more effectively than any other organization in the history of the world. Always remember the struggle is not with flesh and blood:

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

Remember Masonry is just one of the many faces of Mystery Babylon. In these articles I’ve used their history as it relates to the founding and influence on the United States, because it perfectly illustrates their goals and their methods and symbols used in achieving those goals.

America is just one of many nations of this world. Our greatness to the extent any of this world’s nations and institutions have any inherent greatest, is directly proportional to the respect and willingness their citizens have to follow the Judeo-Christian principles given by YHWH, the living God of the Bible.

In a quote attributed to the French philosopher Alexis De Tocqueville when visiting America in search of the reasons for her greatness, it is believed he said the following:

“America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

No matter who wrote those words they are definitely worth repeating and remembering because they echo an ancient proverb:

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)

Contrasting the Symbolism of Masonry and the Bible
As you have seen in this article, Masonry and the Bible have competing eschatological world views. These world views, in the not too distant future, will require all mankind to choose sides. So that you are prepared to stand, let’s once more contrast these opposing views.

Masonry’s humanist philosophy is eloquently illustrated by Freemasonic scholar William J. Hutchinson (1732-1814) in the following quote from his lecture entitled The Spirit of Masonry:

Masonry directs us to divest ourselves of confined and bigoted notions, and teaches us, that Humanity is the soul of Religion. We never suffer any religious disputes in our Lodges, and, as Masons, we only pursue the universal religion, the Religion, of Nature.

Worshipers of the God of Mercy, we believe that in every nation, he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted of Him. All Masons, therefore, whether Christians, Jews, or Mahomedans, who violate not the rule of right, written by the Almighty upon the tables of the heart, who Do fear Him, and WORK righteousness, we are to acknowledge as brethren; and, though we take different roads, we are not to be angry with, or persecute each other on that account.
We mean to travel to the same place; we know that the end of our journey is the same; and we affectionately hope to meet in the Lodge of perfect happiness.

Now contrast this with the New Testament’s explanation of how mankind reaches the eternal state of happiness:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:4-9)

Our future dwelling with Christ comes not by our own works, but rather it is a free gift of YHWH. Paul explains that the reason salvation is a gift is so that mankind cannot boast in our own efforts. Do you understand that Paul here is challenging the very heart of Mystery Babylon’s religion? The humanist promises that mankind by our own efforts will become gods and this philosophy is the core of Freemasonry.

To really drive this home, here is a quote and picture from 33rd degree Freemason, Manly P. Hall’s book, The Lost Keys of Freemasonry which represents this philosophy in occult symbolism:

“In this picture is concealed the allegory of the Lost Word. The Master Mason, having completed his labors, becomes a worker on a higher plane than the one in which the ordinary builder is permitted to work. The Master Mason becomes the capstone of the Universal Temple.”

Do you understand how blasphemous this statement really is? Remember when Yeshua spoke to the religious leaders of His day telling them that He was the stone which the builders rejected which would become the “head” or capstone of the corner (building).

Satan’s challenge to Gods authority hasn’t changed since Eden. Just like the religious leaders of Yeshua’s day, today’s Masonry rejects Yeshua as the capstone and in His place they elevate themselves and mankind.

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Matthew 21:42-44)

For those of you who want to challenge the doctrine of humanism as expressed by words and symbolism of Freemasonry, the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, especially chapter 2, is a powerful rebuttal. As quoted above in Ephesians 2:4-8, Paul explains how salvation is not by our own works but by YHWH’s grace through Yeshua’s atoning blood. Paul goes even further in chapter 2 by speaking against one of the chief symbols of Masonry, i.e. humanity as the capstone. He explains how Yeshua, not mankind, is the chief cornerstone.

But there is another powerful symbolic challenge to Masonry in Ephesians 2 and it gets to the very heart of the message that a 13 level pyramid and its 14th level capstone are mankind’s ticket to heaven.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them…

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;…

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:8-22)

Never loose sight of the fact that salvation is by faith, God’s gracious gift to mankind, namely Yeshua (YHWH’s Salvation). Next, Paul explains that because of Yeshua’s death and resurrection (his blood atonement), mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, now have access to God and by extension, eternal life.

For those of you who have read my book The 13th Enumeration: Key to the Bible’s Messianic Symbolism, you already understand the symbolism Paul is trying to express in Ephesians 2:13-14. For those who have not read the book you’ll be thrilled to understand the symbolism Paul is expressing here.

During the 2nd temple only Jewish people could approach the temple proper and by extension the presence of God. The gentiles where prohibited from approaching the temple proper by a wall which had a warning written on it, that any gentile who stepped beyond the barrier would be put to death. Paul explained that by Yeshua’s death and resurrection this barrier was broken down. During the time period when Yeshua and the apostles walked those ancient stones, that barrier was accessed by 14 steps and entry into the temple was accessed through one of 13 gates. 13 & 14 were the symbolic barriers which separated mankind from the presence of God and by implication eternal life.

Now contrast this with Masonry view of mankind’s journey through life (represented by a pyramid of 13 levels) and mankind’s reaching the status as a god (represented by the capstone, the 14th level).

And just in case you don’t get the total picture, the apostle Paul finishes Ephesian’s 2 by explaining that Yeshua (the 13th & 14th generation of Matthew 1) is in fact the capstone under which all mankind is gathered into a “holy temple in the Lord”.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,

Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 

In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

So I have one final question for you …

Who is the capstone (head) of your temple?

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:15-16 )

The Mystery Babylon Series
Part 1 The Mother of Harlots
Part 2 The Religion of the Harlot
Part 3  Babylon and the Harlot
Part 4 Conspiracies of the Harlot – Part I
Part 5 Conspiracies of the Harlot – Part II
Part 6 Symbols of the Harlot – Part I
Part 7 Symbols of the Harlot – Part II 
Part 8 Symbols of the Harlot – Part III
Part 9 Symbols of the Harlot – Part IV
Part 10 Symbols of the Harlot – Part V
Part 11 Homo Deus

* * *

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Conspiracies of the Harlot

So let’s talk conspiracy theories. Over the years there have been so many wild eye, smoke filled room, tin foil hat, black helicopter, alien encounter, conspiracy theories that most reasonable minded observers just tune out the nonsense. Give a conspiracy theorist two or three real facts and they’ll weave 50 more unrelated facts into an intricate salacious tale which has the power to capture the imagination. And that’s the problem with conspiracy theories. Their adherent’s point to a couple of real facts and then the other 50 unprovable facts become the most important part of the story. After all, if all the facts were known, it wouldn’t be a very good conspiracy, would it?

Today, I want to offer for your consideration a grand unified theory on conspiracies. This theory will Continue reading

Babylon and the Harlot

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Think about that for a moment. This city is the responsible for all those slain upon the earth. So not only does this Mystery Babylon represent an actually literal city at the end of this age, but it also transcends Continue reading