Chris White

Fellow Prewrather, and podcaster, Chris White, took a 4 year hiatus but is back in action.  He blogs about the end times, specifically pointing out arguments and counter arguments for differing rapture positions.  It seems that he has returned with a fresh new energy for getting information out to all of us.  Note that if you scroll down through his blog, there will be essentially a 4 year jump in the dates.  Here is a link:

The reason I noticed this is I got a pingback for my blog from his.  (I made that confused look that my wife likes to make fun of.)  I got over to his blog and saw the link, listened to the corresponding podcast, and realized he posted the link to provide his listeners with more information that he did not have time to delve into.

The article on my blog that he references is Revelation 14:14-16 Pictures the Rapture.  I had been putting forth this idea on different forums that I participate in and wanted one central post where all of the information could be found by anyone who wanted to read on this subject.  I had searched and had not found any article or any person who had something like what I envisioned.  So this post that I wrote took a lot of time and was motivated by faith.  Since that time many people have supported this idea that I have set forth in the article.  One of the subjects that I discuss is the parallel language between Revelation 14:14-16 and the parable of the wheat and the tares.

Chris White’s podcast has mainly to do with the parable of the wheat and the tares and the idea that this is the resurrection and rapture because of the resurrection language used in Matthew 13:43 which parallels Daniel 12:1-3.  I examine this as well in my article but my main focus is the language of Revelation 14:14-16.  In the final two minutes of his podcast Chris sent his readers/listeners to “The Orange Mailman which I highly recommend.  It’s one of the best Bible prophecy blogs on the internet.”

If you want to hear this high praise, or better yet, hear a podcast on how Matthew 24-25 cannot consistently support pretrib throughout the entire passage, and how Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares) must refer to the resurrection and rapture which occur after the time of tribulation because of the Daniel 12:1-3 parallel, then take a stroll over to this podcast right here.

Thanks for the hat tip, Chris.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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#4 ~ The Harvest of the Kingdom (Judgment Day)

#4 – March 24th ~ The Harvest of the Kingdom (Judgment Day)

It should come as no surprise that the Kingdom of Heaven comes with an aspect of judgment. John the Baptist and Jesus have been using language that suggests judgment and punishment. Verses that we have already covered include Matthew 3:10-12, 8:12, 10:15. As we are looking at the seven parables of the kingdom of heaven located in Matthew 13, we see that two of them have the interpretation that the judgment will occur at the end of the age. Before we get to these two parables, though, let’s look at language that Jesus has been using about Judgment Day, or The Day of Judgment.

It seems that the phrase “The Day of Judgment” originated with Jesus. There are hints of it in the old testament scriptures, but the phrase “The Day of Judgment” simply does not appear there. Some scriptures that are worth noting are Psalm 76:8-9, Ecclesiastes 12:14, Daniel 7:10, Malachi 3:5, but especially Psalm 96:12-13 echoed by Psalm 98:8-9 (which Psalm 92-99 seems to be one grand psalm portraying the coming of the Messiah). John and Jesus introduced the preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven and along with that there is this event that Jesus terms The Day of Judgment. Matthew uses the phrase the most, but it is also used by Mark, Peter, John, and Jude, see Matthew 10:15, 11:22, 11:24, 12:36, Mark 6:11, II Peter 2:9, 3:7, I John 4:17, and Jude 6. Paul has a very close equivalent worth mentioning found in Acts 17:31. Before we get to the parables, let’s look at two key passages in which Jesus uses this language.

Matthew 11:20-24 ~ Jesus condemns Galilee. For context, this is after the twelve disciples go forth from town to town preaching the gospel. Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum were all located on the north side of the Sea of Galilee. These towns have had ample time and evidence to repent at the presence of the Son of God. Jesus describes a future judgment when cities which had experienced past destruction from God will be present as well. Tyre and Sidon had twice experienced God’s judgment. Isaiah 23 had foretold a destruction which came to pass in 722BC. Ezekiel 26-28 details a complete destruction which occurred at the hands of both Nebuchadnezzar II (a 13 year siege from 586BC-573BC) and Alexander the Great (332BC then later by Antigonus in 315BC). Sodom had experienced the wrath of God in Genesis 19. Given the wide time span here, how is it possible that all these cities will be present together on The Day of Judgment? Is it fair that Sodom was already punished by God but still must face The Day of Judgment? For those who want to study the cross reference of Ezekiel 26-28, there is a parallel language that Jesus uses to the language of Ezekiel. Tyre (Tyrus) was exalted to heaven, Ezekiel 28:12-19, but will be cast down to the lower parts of the earth, Ezekiel 26:19-21. Capernaum also was exalted to heaven but will be brought down to hades, or the realm of the dead.

Note: In the class it was generally agreed upon that the only way for all of these generations to experience judgment day together was the resurrection.

Matthew 12:38-45 ~ The Witnesses on The Day of Judgment. The cities that Jesus mentioned in the previous passage were recipients of God’s wrath. In this passage, the men of Nineveh escaped judgment because they repented. They will “rise in judgment” alongside the present generation to whom Jesus was speaking. They play the role of condemning the generation of Jesus. The Queen of the South refers to the Queen of Sheba which story is told in I Kings 10. She came from another country to seek out this king that God had set on the throne. The people of Capernaum didn’t have to travel anywhere, but instead the Son of God came to them. Jonah didn’t do one miracle, yet Nineveh repented. The Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon and rearranged her entire kingdom to find out the truth. The people of Galilee heard Jesus speak and witnessed countless miracles yet were not repentant.

Based on these two passages, what will The Day of Judgment be like? How does Jesus describe it?

In the class I led an activity. I gave three different sheets of paper with facts on them about a certain person. The first person was someone who had lived in Nineveh and had repented at the preaching of Jonah. I asked them a series of questions like, “So you don’t know very much about God?” “Yet you heard this Jonah person preaching to repent, is that right?” “Why did you repent?” The responses were something like, “I thought this God might give us a second chance. I heard we were going to be destroyed.”

The second one was the Queen of Sheba. I asked questions like, “So you lived in a faraway land and traveled all that way? Why did you make that long journey?” “Didn’t that take a lot of time and effort to travel all that distance?” “What did you find once you got there?” “Did you feel your journey was worth that long trip?”

The third one was a person who lived during the days of Jesus but had never repented. “So you know who Jesus of Nazareth is?” “Did you ever witness a miracle?” “Have you ever heard Him preach?” “What was the message that you heard?” And of course, “Why didn’t you ever repent?” The answers were something like, “Yes, I saw a miracle. Yes, I heard Him say that we needed to repent.” “I never thought it was that serious of an issue.”

Then I turned to the man from Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba. What do you have to say about this person? Both of you went through repentance or traveling a great distance to hear the truth. This person had the Truth walking through their own neighborhood and never repented. Is there any reason to withhold judgment?

Matthew 13:24-30 ~ The Parable of the Tares. This parable has some things in common with John’s parable of the threshing floor. In John’s parable the separation was between the grain and chaff on the wheat. Here the separation is between wheat and tares. The tares are darnell which is fake wheat. In both parables there is a gathering of the wheat into the barn. There is also a burning of what is thrown away, whether chaff or tares. Does it seem reasonable to apply this parable to The Day of Judgment about which Jesus has been speaking?

Note: There is a clear connection between the preaching of John the Baptist and that of Jesus. They were both prophesying a judgment by fire, or about The Day of Judgment.

Matthew 13:36-43 ~ The Explanation of the Parable. Jesus defines each symbol. (Note: This is a SS lesson designed to get people to search the scriptures for the answers.)
The Man who sowed good seed –
The field –
The good seed –
The tares –
The enemy –
The harvest –
The reapers –

What is the destination of the wicked? What is the destination of the righteous?
Note that we have encountered resurrection language twice in these passages. The men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South will “rise up” as in a resurrection. Here the righteous shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of their Father, which would be the kingdom of heaven. Compare this with Daniel 12:2-3. This parable should give us great hope as far as our destination at the end of the age.

This parable seems to solve the problem of whether the kingdom of heaven was present during the ministry of Jesus or if Jesus was speaking of a kingdom that was completely in the future. The kingdom work is in the here and now in the field. Yet the kingdom is not completely pure. The judgment will occur at the end of the age and will include the righteous inheriting the earth while the wicked are cast out. The people of faith sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven but the wicked get thrown out into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. The answer to the question of whether the kingdom of heaven is present or future is yes.

Matthew 13:47-50 ~ The Parable of the Dragnet. We have another parable of the kingdom of heaven which occurs at the end of the age. This parable was designed for the fishing village in which Jesus was living and the surrounding area. At least four of the disciples of Jesus were fishermen. This would have been a familiar sight to anyone living on the Sea of Galilee. Jewish fishermen practiced the Jewish law and separated the clean from the unclean creatures, see Leviticus 11:9-12. Gentile fishermen did not do this, therefore Jewish fishermen had a larger clientele. Simon, Andrew, John, and James had walked away from a very lucrative business to follow Jesus of Nazareth. The good get gathered into vessels akin to the wheat being gathered into the barn. The bad are thrown away and the interpretation here is the same: they are thrown into a furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Again, the righteous (also termed the just) get to remain while the wicked are thrown out.

We are living during a time when the wicked and the righteous live side by side. How should these two parables affect our daily living? How should this future event affect our daily living? Have you ever had a time when you wished God’s judgment would come now? Do you think someone has wished God’s judgment on you? Is there anyone that you love that will experience God’s judgment on The Day of Judgment? How do you feel in the here and now knowing that some of your family and friends will be thrown out into the outer darkness? If you are called as a witness against someone that you love on the Day of Judgment, will you be able to say that you warned them? Based on everything we have studied today, what will the Kingdom of Heaven be like?

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

Posted in Day of Judgment, Eschatology, Judgment Day, Parables, Parables of Jesus, The Kingdom of God, The Kingdom of Heaven | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments


A riddle in the classic style. If you know the answer, instead of typing it in the comments, please like or share the post. Thanks.

I cut off the head
of Lahmi’s brother.
Wrapped in a cloth
to wait for another.
Served with holy bread
to my new owner.
He took me to Gath
like a crazy loner.
Wielded by a man
who liked to sing.
Cut off the corner
of the robe of a king.
Can you be brought
to say my name?
If the answer is yes
you win the game.

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#3 ~ The Preaching of the Kingdom

#3 – March 17th ~ The Preaching of the Kingdom

Just a note before you read this: Please read each scripture passage before reading my commentary. God’s word must take precedence before my words. In the opening passage here, the two things I emphasized in the first lesson that Jesus did that John the Baptist did not do are miracles and going forth to the people. John the Baptist stayed out in the wilderness and in order to hear his message, everyone had to go out to him. Jesus went to the people.

Matthew 9:14-17 ~ The New Wine of the Kingdom of Heaven. Last week we saw two new things that Jesus did that John the Baptist did not do. What were these two things? Jesus gets criticism for His style of ministry. In response, Jesus points out that it would be highly inappropriate to fast while at a wedding banquet. We have already seen banquet language in reference to the Kingdom of Heaven, see Matthew 8:11-12. Jesus then tells two parables to explain how He is doing something new in the lives of His disciples. Remember, the original question related to His disciples (Why don’t your disciples fast?). He came to give them new wine. New wine was unfermented wine (non-alcoholic) but with the potential to be explosive in power. It would rip apart old wineskins. Essentially, Jesus is saying that the new wine that He is giving to His disciples would rip apart the old system. Only new wineskins would be able to contain the explosive power of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Matthew 10:5-15 ~ Jesus sends forth the twelve. Instead of relying on the crowds to come to Him, Jesus and His disciples go forth to where the people are to preach the Kingdom of Heaven. The message is simple, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” This is accompanied by the power to heal. This preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven is the new wine of which Jesus spoke. Jesus didn’t give this power to the priests at the temple, He didn’t give it to the disciples of John the Baptist, and He didn’t give it to the scribes and Pharisees. He gave it to His disciples that He personally chose. There are also consequences if people do not receive the message of the disciples, but not to be reckoned until the day of judgment. Chapter 10 gives the entire context, but these verses are pointed out to show that the disciples are participating in the preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Yes, it’s not just Jesus. The disciples are there and preaching the gospel.

Matthew 13:1-9 ~ The Parable of the Sower. In Matthew 13, there are seven parables of the Kingdom of Heaven. I believe there is significance in the number seven. Matthew places these seven together for a reason. Some of them are unique to Matthew, but Luke includes them at different points in his ministry and it seems that Mark has an additional parable [which we will review] that is not included in any other gospel. The main point that we will see in this first parable is that the power of the Kingdom of Heaven is in the preaching of the word, specifically in the preaching of the gospel.

Matthew 13:10-17 ~ The explanation of the explanation. Before Jesus explains the parable of the sower, He has an explanation as to why He speaks in parables to begin with. This is the explanation that will explain why He needs an explanation for any parable. The short answer is that they (the people to whom they preach) are spiritually blind and deaf. The people that were flocking to see and hear Jesus and His miracles simply could not comprehend the message. In context, the reason is because they did not repent and believe the gospel, see Matthew 11:20. For all the multitude that gathered, very few understood the power of the Kingdom of Heaven that was present in the person of Jesus and His disciples. Notice how Jesus pronounces a blessing upon His disciples after explaining about the spiritual blindness of those on the outside, see Mark 4:11. Compare this statement with the phrase “outer darkness”.

Because Jesus quotes Isaiah 6 in His response, our class also examined the original context of the passage that Jesus quoted. This too gives insight into the preaching of the gospel.

Isaiah 6:8-10 ~ The Call of Isaiah. To sum up Isaiah 6, Isaiah sees a vision of God’s glory, he confesses the sinfulness of his own mouth and the sinfulness of his people, then God pronounces his sins as covered. Then there is a question from the Lord. Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? Notice the two aspects of the question. There is God’s part in sending someone. There is the person’s part in accepting the call to go on their own. Isaiah accepts the call and says that he will go. In response to that, God tells Isaiah the following. Go and give the message. They will hear but not understand. They will see you, but not repent and be converted. If you were Isaiah and had just accepted the call to go to the people, how would you react to this news that they will not repent? Do we fail to tell people the word of God because we think they will not repent and believe?

Matthew 13:18-23 ~ The explanation of the parable of the sower. There are four results of the sowing of the seed. What is meant by each type of situation?
#1 – Along the path.

#2 – Rocky ground, shallow soil.

#3 – Among the thorns.

#4 – On good soil.

Mark 4:26-29 ~ The parable of the seed. This is a parable only found in the gospel of Mark. The power of the Kingdom of Heaven to change lives and produce fruit is in the preaching of the word of God. The entire world revolves around the wisdom of God in the growth of a plant from a seed. All our food supply comes from seeds. Why does a seed grow? Scientists do not know why seeds grow. They just know that they do. As recipients of the word of God, we also cannot fully explain why the word of God produces fruit. We just know that it does. As we go forth to proclaim God’s word, we do not have a reasonable explanation for why it will work.

Preaching versus preaching the gospel. The Greek word which is translated “preach” in many places is kerusso which means to be a herald or to proclaim something openly. Here are the instances in Matthew’s gospel where this word is used, Matthew 3:1, 4:17, 4:23, 9:35, 10:7, 10:27, 11:1, 24:14, 26:13. The word that is translated as a phrase “preach the gospel” is euaggelizo. We get our word evangelize from this word. It is comprised of two words, eu and aggelos, which mean good and messenger. Eu is seen in other English words like eulogy which means good word or euphemism which means good sound. Aggelos is seen as angel which we know as a messenger from God. To put it succinctly, the word means to good message, although we don’t talk that way. It is interpreted to preach the gospel which is a very good dynamic equivalent. In Matthew’s gospel it appears only in 11:5, but it appears in many places throughout scripture, see Luke 1:19, 2:10, 3:18, 4:18, 4:43, 7:22, 8:1, 9:6, 16:16, 20:1; Acts 5:42, 8:4, 8:12, 8:25, 8:35, 8:40, 10:36, 11:20, 13:32, 14:7, 14:15, 14:21, 15:35, 16:10, 17:18.

Matthew 10:16 ~ I am sending you out. The mindset of most churches is to come to church and sit and listen to preaching. This can be fine for the purposes of fellowship, discipleship, teaching, ministering to the needs of other Christians, and worship. However, for the purpose of proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven as being at hand, for the purpose of evangelism, the mentality of come to church and sit is the exact opposite of the ministry of Jesus and His disciples. The new wine with explosive power that Jesus gave to His disciples would compel them to go forth to other places in order to proclaim and evangelize. The idea of “invite people to church” is the exact opposite of the method of Jesus and the early church. We say we are disciples of Jesus. But are we? The ministries of Evanston should fall into line with the ministries of the new testament church. In order to do evangelism, we must have the new wine that Jesus gave to His disciples to go forth to where the people are and not make them come to us. The present power of the Kingdom of Heaven is in the preaching of the gospel. When the church does not preach the gospel, the power of the Kingdom of Heaven is not present.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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#2 ~ The Healing of the Kingdom

What is meant by the gospel? What difference has it made in your life?

I opened the discussion in this way because many people associate the gospel with the good news that Jesus Christ has died for our sins. However, the gospel was being preached by Jesus Christ years before this happened. The gospel of the kingdom is the good news, but it is the good news encompassing more than just “Jesus died for your sins.”

Matthew 4:12-25 ~ Jesus enters public ministry. Jesus began His public ministry with the same words that John the Baptist spoke, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This shows a continuity with the message and preaching of John. However, there are some new things that happen with the ministry of Jesus that did not happen with John’s ministry. John confined his ministry to the wilderness and all of Judea went out to meet him in that deserted area. Jesus comes to Capernaum (where the people are) which was a well-known fishing village and seeks out people to follow Him. In light of the message of John the Baptist and Jesus that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, how would you have felt about Jesus calling out to you to follow Him? What do you think the future would have in store for you if you had left everything to follow this man who claimed that the kingdom of heaven was at hand?

What is meant by the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom? What difference has it made for you?

Note: I drew on the markerboard behind me an illustration of one man out in the middle of the desert and everyone going to him. Then I drew an illustration of Jesus going forth to each town. I pointed out that the preaching of the gospel beginning with Jesus Christ means that we take the gospel to them. The idea of “come to church” is not truly gospel oriented. Gospel dictates we go to those that need to hear it.

Matthew 4:23-24 with Greek words depicting the sicknesses that Jesus healed. And healing all manner of nosos and malakia among the people. And they brought unto Him all kakos people that were taken with various nosos and basanos, and those which were daimonizomai, and those which were seleniazomai, and those that were paralutikos. Translation of these Greek words. Nosos = sickness or disease. Malakia = bodily weakness. Kakos = miserable or ill. Basanos = torments or torture. Daimonizamai = under the influence of a devil or demon. Seleniazomai = Under the influence of the moon, lunatic, epileptic. Paralutikos = paralyzed or disabled.

Jesus begins healing all kinds of people including those that are possessed by devils. Verse 24 gives a wide variety of sicknesses and physical ailments that Jesus healed. The point seems to be that there was no condition which Jesus could not heal. If you were hearing the preaching of Jesus that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and then witnessing Him healing all manner of sicknesses, what would be your view of the kingdom of heaven? What do you think are the purposes of the healing miracles?

Matthew 8:5-13 ~ The Faith of the Centurion. This story gives us insight into the authority of Jesus over sickness. Up to this point, Jesus has been physically present at every healing described in the gospel of Matthew. [It is possible that John 4:43-54 occurred before this, but most people were not there to witness that miracle.] The centurion comes with a request and Jesus immediately wants to come and be physically present to heal his servant. The centurion responds that Jesus does not need to come and be physically present because of His authority. Jesus is genuinely surprised at the man’s response. He draws attention to the centurion’s understanding of His authority stating that it took great faith for him to stop Jesus from physically coming to his home. Can you imagine the walk home for the centurion? He had no proof that his servant was healed, yet he was confident in the authority of Jesus that his servant would be completely healed when he arrived. How often do we have this confidence when asking Jesus for our requests? What are things that we can ask with that confidence?

Jesus points out that the faith of this Gentile was something not found in all of Israel. This Gentile put the entire nation of Israel to shame. Jesus continues with the first hint of banquet language which will serve as foundational to other parables. What can we learn about the kingdom of heaven from this language? Who will be in the kingdom of heaven? Who is thrown out of the kingdom of heaven? Is the kingdom of heaven present in the person of Jesus or is it future with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? This is the first time out of six that Matthew uses the phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth”; 8:12, 13:42, 13:50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30. The phrase “outer darkness” appears in three of these passages; 8:12, 22:13, 25:30.

Gathering language from the prophets. There are hints that Jesus was alluding to other prophecies when using His language of being brought into the kingdom of heaven. Narrowing our search to passages which use the closest language that Jesus used will lead us to Isaiah 43:5-6 and Isaiah 49:12. While the context of Isaiah 43:1-6 would have been that of the nation of Israel, the passage further portrays a gathering of all nations in Isaiah 43:7-10. The prophecy seems to shift to include language not limited to the nation of Israel, but uses terms like “my sons”, “my daughters”, and “even every one that is called by My name.” When Jesus tells of this gathering into the kingdom of heaven from the east and west, He makes a point of Gentile inclusion. The language of Gentile inclusion was present in Isaiah 43:1-10 and it is present in the language of Jesus. Not all Israelites will be welcomed in, and not all Gentiles will be shut out. Isaiah 49 is more complex, but a simple reading of the passage noting verses 6 and 22 shows that verse 12 should include Gentiles being gathered into the kingdom of heaven.

Since Jesus is pointing out that Gentiles will be gathered into the kingdom of heaven while Israelites are thrown out, what would many Israelites have thought about this kingdom of heaven that Jesus was preaching? Also remember that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were not Israelites, yet they were considered the patriarchs of the nation of Israel. What was the characteristic for which they were most esteemed? What are the two characteristics that we have now seen which are required for entrance into the kingdom of heaven? See Mark 1:15 and Acts 20:21. (Answers are faith and repentance.)

We also had a discussion on the location of this kingdom. Where are they being gathered to? Is it up to heaven or here on earth?

Matthew 8:14-17 ~ Jesus bears our sicknesses. Matthew again points out the healing power of Jesus. Then he makes a surprising point about fulfilled prophecy. Matthew states that these healings were done to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 53:4. Not all translations render this accurately. Here it is in the Holman Christian Standard Version which helps more so than any other translation [that I have found] when it comes to comparing to Matthew 8:17.

Isaiah 53:3-4
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of suffering who knew what sickness was.
He was like one people turned away from;
He was despised, and we didn’t value Him.
Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses,
and He carried our pains;
but we in turn regarded Him stricken,
struck down by God, and afflicted.

Note: I think some translators had a problem with seeing Jesus as “a man of pain who knew sickness”. That is literally what it says. “He has borne our sickness and carried our pain.” That one is more understandable, but the Hebrew words are the same. “Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” simply does not capture the Hebrew and that is reflected by Matthew’s insight into this passage.

Read Isaiah 53:3-6. Matthew states that the reason for the healing miracles is because Jesus came to take upon Himself everything related to sickness, suffering, and even sin. At the home of Simon Peter this was brought to fulfillment. Some people believe that the word “fulfilled” means completed or in the past. This is not so. It means “filled to the full”. The prophecy of Isaiah was not completed and put in the past because Jesus has many more people He will heal, and He has yet to take the sins of the world upon Him at the cross. Jesus healed these people that we might know His role as the suffering servant to take it all upon Him, sicknesses, pains, and even sin. What does this have to do with the kingdom of heaven? Should we mention the healing power of Jesus when preaching the gospel?

Class closed with a very good discussion on how healing is an essential part of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is healing. The power of the Kingdom of Heaven was being demonstrated by Jesus Christ as there was nothing He could not heal. The Kingdom of Heaven will be a place where nothing cannot be healed.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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#1 ~ The Harbinger of the Kingdom (John the Baptist)

#1 ~ The Harbinger of the Kingdom (John the Baptist)

Discussion. What is the meaning and significance of baptism?

The first two parable of the Kingdom of Heaven are not spoken by Jesus, but by John the Baptist.

Matthew 3:1-3 ~ The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness. Matthew quotes Isaiah 40:3 in reference to John the Baptist. Let’s compare Isaiah 40:3-11 to understand the context. Verses 3-5 talk about preparing a highway for God. Verses 6-8 give the message that the voice is supposed to proclaim. Verses 9-11 tell us that the message goes out from Jerusalem that the Lord GOD will come with might and be a shepherd to His people.

(This was a good discussion and prompted a discussion at the end of the lesson about how closely John’s message paralleled the message presented here. All flesh is as grass and will wither away. John’s message was one of judgment by fire.)

Matthew 3:4-6 ~ Dressed like Elijah. The language that Matthew uses to describe John the Baptist should have reminded his readers of the prophet Elijah, see II Kings 1:7-8. A garment of hair and a leather belt was the trademark dress of the prophet. Note: A garment of hair may have been the trademark of any prophet, see Zechariah 13:4-5. He scavenged off the land in order to eat. This also may have reminded the people of Elijah, see I Kings 17:4-6. The people were baptized and confessed their sins. So how was John helping to make a highway for God?

Matthew 3:7-10 ~ John refuses to baptize the Pharisees and Sadducees. Instead of baptizing them, John publicly calls them snakes. He states that they have not repented because they have not brought forth fruits worthy of repentance. He states that they are not coming because they have been warned of God’s wrath which is to come. John’s response shows what they put their hope in, namely a presumption that they were already children of Abraham. See Luke 3:10-14 for John’s preaching on specific repentance.

(I asked the class the question, “What would happen if someone came to our church to be baptized and we refused to baptize them because we did not see fruits worthy of repentance?” I remember one comment being, “That might come across as judgmental.”)

The significance of the baptism of John. Christ had not been crucified, yet John baptized. What was the significance? The best explanation I have found comes from GE Ladd who picked this up from TW Manson. Baptism was total immersion in water. There was a ritual in the law for lepers being cleansed from their leprosy. The ritual was not cleansing them from that leprosy, but an outward sign that they had already been cleansed, see Leviticus 14:8-9. This applied to almost any other type of uncleanness as well, see Leviticus 15:5, 10, 13, 16-18, 21, 27. By the time John the Baptist started preaching, there were mikveh pools throughout Judea in various places for the purpose of this ritual cleansing. The Jews had also devised a system of proselytization for those Gentiles who wanted to convert to Judaism. Males must be circumcised, all must participate in the Passover Feast, and all must be immersed (baptized) in a mikveh pool to show their complete forsaking (repentance) of worshiping false gods and turning to the One, True God. If John was commanding Jews to be baptized, could they have been offended?

Consider the following quote from TW Manson: If we confine the search to Judaism, the most likely of all the Jewish lustrations is the proselytes’ immersion: and that for two chief reasons. First, the proselytes’ immersion differs from the other Jewish washings in that it is a once-for-all rite that is not repeated: and in this respect it agrees with John’s baptism, which equally seems to have been administered once only to each postulant. Secondly, the derivation of John’s rite from the proselytes’ immersion determines the kind of ideas to be associated with John’s baptism: and those ideas fit admirably into the general picture of John’s convictions and expectations. ~~ It seems to me that the point – and it is a very sharp and stinging point – of John’s procedure is that he deliberately invites the children of Abraham to submit to a rite which had been devised for the benefit of Pagans. He says in effect: You call yourselves Jews, you claim to be the descendants of Abraham, you demand the privileges that belong to Israel. You have no right to the name, no right to the status; you have forfeited all by your wickedness. You have only one chance. You must begin where the unclean Gentile begins – at the bottom. You must rediscover, and re-learn your Judaism from the beginning. Only so can you hope to have any part in the good time that is coming.

The first parable of John. We get to the first parable of John concerning the preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven. The axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. What would this show us about John’s understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven? Does this show a sense of urgency? Do we have that same sense of urgency?

(I tried to utilize this series to prompt our church to do evangelism. If there really is this judgment coming and the preaching of the kingdom of heaven is a warning of that judgment, how urgent are we about preaching this gospel of the kingdom?)

Matthew 3:11-12 ~ The parable of the threshing floor. In Luke 3:15-17, John was saying this to dissuade them from the idea that he is the Messiah. He begins to point to One that is coming. John is unworthy, but the Coming One is Worthy. What are the things that the Coming One will accomplish?

Here are some insights into the language that John was using. Wind winnowing is an agricultural method developed by ancient cultures for separating grain from chaff. It is also used to remove hay and chaff or other pests from stored grain. Threshing, the loosening of grain or seeds from the husks and straw, is the step in the chaff-removal process that comes before winnowing. In its simplest form it involves throwing the mixture into the air so that the wind blows away the lighter chaff, while the heavier grains fall back down for recovery. Techniques included using a winnowing fan (a shaped basket shaken to raise the chaff) or using a tool (a winnowing fork or shovel) on a pile of harvested grain.

In Matthew 3:12, the wheat is sunago, which means to draw together or gather together, and even carried the idea of welcoming someone into their home. It is a compound word from “to lead” and “with”. It is used many times in the book of Acts when the church was gathered together for assembly. When John says His (Christ’s) wheat will be sunago into the barn, this is eternal dwelling place language. It is directly related to the word sunagoge which is translated synagogue. The idea is coming together for an assembly. The chaff is to be burned with unquenchable fire. This relates to the parable of the axe and the trees. Based on these two parables now, what is John’s understanding of the Kingdom of Heaven?

(This language should be considered foundational for other passages which talk about being gathered into the kingdom of heaven. There is a gathering for the wheat, but there is judgment for the chaff. All other parables should look back to this one which was preached first.)

Matthew 3:13-17 ~ The Baptism of Jesus. Matthew concludes the ministry of John the Baptist with the baptism of Jesus. It’s almost as if Matthew is saying that once Jesus was baptized, the work of John was essentially done. We know from John 3:25-30 that there was a significant period of time during which Jesus and John were both baptizing people. The arrangement of Matthew makes for a smooth transition for us to focus on Jesus now instead of on John and his preaching. Just before the baptism, John once again admits he is unworthy. Fiery preacher that he was, he knew his own sinfulness. There were immediate signs after Jesus was baptized to show His true identity. What are these signs? John 1:29-34 shows that God had told John ahead of time that when he baptized the Coming One that the Holy Spirit would descend upon Him and remain. When John saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove, he knew that this was a fulfillment of what God had promised him. Jesus is the One.

What is the Kingdom of Heaven? From this story here, we may not have a clear picture. Throughout the coming weeks we will see what Jesus says about the Kingdom of Heaven.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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The Kingdom of Heaven in Story Form ~ Outline

Exploring the Parables of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of Heaven

When someone in my class suggested this series to me, I knew there was no material out there that would teach this the way I would. So I decided to write the material myself. I sat at my kitchen table praying for over three hours. One by one, God would show me a lesson from scripture based on a parable. Ten minutes in prayer for one lesson, fifteen minutes in prayer for another lesson, one by one he showed me what He wanted me to teach. Here is the outline that I wrote on that day. What will follow is each lesson in this series which was taught earlier this year.

#1 – March 3rd ~ The Harbinger of the Kingdom (John the Baptist) – Matthew 3:1-17

#2 – March 10th ~ The Healing of the Kingdom – Matthew 4:12-25, 8:5-17

#3 – March 17th ~ The Preaching of the Kingdom – Matthew 9:14-17, 10:5-15, 13:1-23, Mark 4:26-29

#4 – March 24th ~ The Harvest of the Kingdom (Judgment Day) – Matthew 11:20-24, 12:38-45, 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50

#5 – March 31st ~ The Power and Value of the Kingdom – Matthew 5:2-20, 6:9-15, 33, 13:31-34, 44-45, Luke 13:18-20

#6 – April 7th ~ Doubts about the Kingdom – Matthew 11:1-19, Luke 16:16-17, Matthew 14:1-12, 16:24-17:13

#7 – April 14st ~ The Kingdom is for the Lost – Matthew 18:1-4, 10-14, Luke 15, Isaiah 53:6

#8 – April 21st ~ The Kingdom is a Place of Forgiveness – Matthew 18:15-35, 6:7-15

#9 – April 28th ~ The Workers of the Kingdom – Matthew 19:27-20:28, 12:28, Luke 11:20

#10 – May 5th ~ The Inheritance of the Kingdom – Matthew 21:28-46, Luke 13:6-9, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19

#11 – May 12th ~ The Royal Invitation to the Kingdom – Luke 14:7-24, Matthew 22:1-14

#11 – May 12th ~ The Royal Invitation to the Kingdom – Luke 14:7-24, Matthew 22:1-14

#12 – May 19th ~ The Olivet Discourse (The Parable of the Fig Tree) – Matthew 24:1-35

#13 – May 26th ~ Prepared for the Kingdom (Prepared for the Coming of the Son of Man) – Matthew 24:36-25:13, 7:21-23, Luke 13:22-30, Mark 13:32-37

#14 – June 2nd ~ The Productivity of the Kingdom – Luke 19:11-27, Matthew 25:14-30

#15 – June 9th ~ The Separation of the Sheep from the Goats – Matthew 25:31-46, 10:26-33, 12:33-37, 26:26-29, 64

#16 – June 16th ~ The Church: Working for the Kingdom of God
The Resurrection: Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 1:1-5, Acts 4:2, 33
The Church Preaches the Kingdom of God: Acts 8:12-13, 19:8, 20:24-25, 28:23-28
The Identity of the Church: Colossians 1:13-14, 4:11, I Thessalonians 2:9-12
The Unshakeable Inheritance of the Church: I Corinthians 6:2, 9-11, James 2:5, II Peter 2:8-11, Hebrews 12:25-29
Suffering for the Kingdom of God: Acts 14:21-23, II Thessalonians 1:4-8, Revelation 1:9, 12:10-12
The Future Kingdom for the Church: II Timothy 4:1-2, 18, I Corinthians 15:20-28, 50-58

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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The Kingdom of Heaven in Story Form

So it’s been over a year.  I’m not gone, just busy.  I teach twice on Sundays for the majority of the year in addition to other church duties.  I teach an adult Sunday School class and have been alternating between teaching curriculum and writing my own material.  I have been taking suggestions from the class for what we should study.  A good (best) friend of mine suggested we learn about the parables of The Kingdom of Heaven, especially as a tool for evangelism.  With the help of God, I wrote a 16 lesson series all about the nature of The Kingdom of Heaven as revealed by Jesus through the parables.

What will follow are the outlines that I handed out to my Sunday School class.  Many of these sessions were recorded and I had hoped I could provide links to them.  The discussion was very good and provides additional insight not captured in my pre-typed lesson plan.  However, with such a long delay in getting the messages transferred to the internet, I have decided to simply post my lessons and if the sessions are uploaded to the internet, I will go back and edit the post providing the link to the audio.

Keep in mind, my view of The Kingdom of Heaven is not dispensational.  I believe the word of God teaches very clearly the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven and a lot of people have it wrong.  What follows may not fit your preconceived idea of The Kingdom of Heaven.  Consider these lessons and study the word of God for yourself.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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Who’s the Man?

I haven’t been posting on my blog nearly as much as I did in years past. There is a reason for that. I’m busier in my church now. I am an elder and I teach as well. Starting last September I have been teaching an adult Sunday School class in addition to teaching children in a kids club which runs about from September through May each year. I have taught the adult class every single Sunday except when we canceled church from that blizzard in April. There are other duties I have as well, so that makes me have less time to study these end times things and type them up here.

All of that is in addition to working full time. If you didn’t know, I’m a mailman with lots of mailman stories. It’s not like I’m getting paid to write this blog here, so if something has to give, my writing here will be less frequent. I still love to study the end times and not a lot of people will just sit there and talk to me about the stuff I like to dialogue on.

BUT! I did get a chance in between book studies (where we study a book of the Bible as a whole) to present a short three lesson study on Psalm 1 and 2 in the SS class. I titled it “Who’s the Man?” It operates under the premise that Psalm 1 and 2 are one psalm and can give us further insight into the Messiah by studying them together. Also, my church has been recording most of my lessons and making them available on the internet. So for you listening pleasure, I will include links to you can hear my nerdy voice.

What is below is not one of my typical blog posts. This is the material that I presented to my Sunday School class which served as a means to discuss the topic. Included are handouts for lessons #1, #2, and #3. There is also the commentary of Keil and Delitzsch on the subject matter. They do not agree that Psalm 1 and 2 are one psalm, but they take the time to interact with an even older view than theirs (they wrote in the 1800s) which states that the two psalms are one psalm because of parallel language between the two. It’s quite scholarly and contains Hebrew and Latin phrases which I don’t quite know how to translate. But the whole thing is fascinating because it shows that this is something that I am not discovering just now, but has some serious history behind it. Also, I typed up the two psalms in the ESV, so that is included below. I also typed up the Bay Psalm Book rendition of the two psalms. While not the best translation, I thought it interesting because it is an attempt to translate Hebrew poetry into English poetry. Finally at the very bottom, you will find links to the audio of the lessons I taught. Keep in mind it’s a discussion forum where others are sharing different points of view. The “good stuff” is in lesson three where there was less commentary from others and more of me working through Psalm 2, which is where the eschatological meat is primarily located.

So here ya go!

Who’s the Man?

Part 1

This is a study of Psalm 1 and Psalm 2 as one psalm. Those who translated the scriptures added chapter divisions. Sometimes those chapter divisions separated portions of scripture with one theme. Let’s consider some examples in the psalms.

I.  Sometimes consecutive psalms should be considered as one longer psalm.

Example #1- Psalm 42-43.

Psalm 42-43 is one psalm. There is no heading above Psalm 43. See the three stanzas, 42:1-5, 42:6-11, 43:1-5. Each stanza ends with the same verse. If we only examine psalm 42, we see only lament, but including psalm 43 we see the psalmist turning to God as his strength.

Example #2- Psalm 110-118.

Psalm 110 through Psalm 118 is another example. There are no headings above Psalm 111-118. Instead, in between some of the psalms there is the line all by itself, “Praise ye the LORD.” It seems as if the translators took this as a sign that some division must be made there and inserted a chapter division. Psalm 110 begins focusing on the Messiah. Matthew 22:41-46 quotes Psalm 110:1. Peter quotes Psalm 110:1 in Acts 2:34-35. Hebrews 5:5-6 quotes Psalm 2:7 and Psalm 110:4. Hebrews 7:21 quotes Psalm 110:4. Matthew 21:42 quotes Psalm 118:22. Peter quotes Psalm 118:22 in Acts 4:11. At the triumphal entry, the people were singing Psalm 118:25-26, see Matthew 21:9. Hosanna means “Save now.” It is a compound word of Hebrew origin that the Greek language left un-translated. Yasha’ (Strong’s #3467, to be saved or to be delivered, Joshua means Deliverer) plus Na’ (Strong’s #4994, I pray, now, or then). Romans 15:11 quotes Psalm 117:1.

Some conclusions. Psalm 110-118 is about the Messiah and about the Messiah’s people. The Messiah would be a King, but a King must have a kingdom and kingdom citizens. The entire Grand Messianic Opus sings us a song about a variety of subjects that all interrelate to each other. Psalm 117 is proof that the Gentile nations would be in some way a part of the Messiah’s dominion, which began with Israel, see Psalm 114:1-2.

II.  Sometimes what we think is a different subject is really the same subject from a different point of view. Consider Psalm 24.

Psalm 24 has 3 stanzas: verses 1-2, verses 3-6, and verses 7-10. The first stanza states that the earth belongs to the LORD because He created it. The second stanza asks and answers the question, “Who can enter into the presence of the LORD?” The third stanza pictures the King of Glory entering into the presence of the LORD. Handel’s Messiah, Part II Scene 3, is titled “Lift up your Heads,” and is taken directly from Psalm 24:7-10. Handel ascribes Psalm 24:7-10 as being the LORD Jesus Christ. But what about the first two stanzas? Are they related to the last stanza? It is my contention that Psalm 24:3-6 also speaks of the Messiah, but more to His perfect humanity while 24:7-10 speaks of His deity.

Next week we will study Psalm 1 and 2 to see how they relate to each other.

Psalm 24 ~ ESV


The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.

He will receive blessing from the LORD
and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors.
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle!
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The LORD of hosts,
he is the King of glory!


Who’s the Man?

Part 2

I.  The idea that Psalm 1 and 2 could be one Psalm

A.  The definite article. Yes, the definite article is there. “happy is the man . . . ”
Without giving you a whole bunch of grammatical rules . . . The Hebrew definite article is the letter “he (pronounced with a long A sound. Plus the vowel sign (sound) “patach” which is an “A” sound like in “hat.” Thus, HA.
It is always an inseparable prefix and never an independent word.
Its presence is indicated by many different things and changes but is always detectable.
At Psalm 1.1 it is very clear. The letter “he” plus the vowel sign for A (as in father) and the word for man (ish). Thus, haish.

The Hebrew wording is making a point of THE man here. Many times words are anarthrous. This is a fancy word that means without joints, think of arthritis, inflammation of the joints. The word anarthrous means generic, sort of. Many times different languages use definite articles in different ways. For instance, in Greek it is proper to call someone by the first name with the definite article, such as THE George. We drop that in English.

The Spanish language makes a special emphasis with El Niño. This is the warm phase of El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops in the central and east-central equatorial Pacific including off the Pacific coast of South America. It typically brings a warm rain around Christmas time to those countries thus considered a blessing from the Christ child. The original name, “El Niño de Navidad”, traces its origin centuries back to the Peruvian fishermen who named the weather phenomenon in reference to the newborn Christ. In Latin American countries, it is not Santa Claus who brings presents, but the Baby Jesus Himself. Thus, El Niño, accompanied by the definite article, means the Christ Child, or the One and Only Baby.

B.  Keil and Delitzsch commentary on Psalm 1, see attached.

C.  No heading over Psalm 2

D.  The construct of Psalm 24 that we studied last week. Psalm 24:3-6 talks about Who can go into the presence of the LORD. Psalm 24:7-10 pictures the Messiah coming into the gates. In Psalm 1, who is THE man, followed by a description of a righteous man constantly meditating on the Word of God. Then in Psalm 2, “You are My Son,” the Messiah who will smash the nations with a rod of iron. In both settings, the perfect humanity of the Messiah is followed by His deity.

II.  A study of Psalm 1.

A.  What are the characteristics of this man?

1.  Psalm 26:4-5, Proverbs 4:14, Jeremiah 15:17

2.  Joshua 1:8, Psalm 25:5, Psalm 63:5-6, Psalm 119:16

3.  Psalm 92:12-14, Jeremiah 17:8

B.  What are the characteristics of the ungodly?

4.  Job 21:17-18, Psalm 35:5, Matthew 3:12, Isaiah 17:13 as a parallel to Psalm 2 being a judgment on the nations

5.  Psalm 37:10, Psalm 5:5, 9-10 (quoted in Romans 3:13)

6.  Psalm 11:6, Psalm 37:18, Jude 11

C.  Who is this Psalm talking about? Who is THE Man?

D.  Should we apply this to our lives? For instance, should we meditate in His law day and night? Is it possible to live up to this psalm?

E.  When does this judgment of the wicked occur? Within their lifetimes or after death?


Who’s the Man?

Part 3

A study of Psalm 2

I.  The declaration of unbelieving nations, verses 1-3.
A.  Cross reference Acts 4:23-30.
B.  Nations are like the raging sea, see Isaiah 17:12-13.
C.  The nations will gather against Christ in Revelation 19:19, see also Revelation 16:14.

II.  The response of God, verses 4-6.
A.  How to make God laugh. Psalm 37:12-13, Psalm 59:8.
B.  Zion, a guide for biblical chronology, see II Samuel 5:6-10, II Chronicles 6:6, Psalm 132:13-14.
C.  Parallel verse 6 with Psalm 110:2.

III.  The Messiah speaks, verses 7-9.
A.  A shift in voice. The Messiah is repeating what the LORD told Him.
B.  Acts 13:33 names this as the second psalm.
C.  The Messiah is more excellent than the angels, see Hebrews 1:5.
D.  The LORD appointed the Messiah, see Hebrews 5:5-6, as a priest after the order of Melchizedek, see Psalm 110:4.
E.  I will make Him my firstborn, see Psalm 89:20-29.
F.  The Gentile nations as an inheritance, see Daniel 7:13-14.
G.  A rod of iron, Revelation 2:26-27, 12:5, 19:15.

IV.  The Decree to the Nations
A.  Instruction for the leaders, Zechariah 14:16-17.
B.  Fearing the LORD comes through submission to the Son of God, Philippians 2:9-11.
C.  The wrath of the Son, see Revelation 6:15-17.

V.  Conclusion: Now that we have studied the Messiah in His power and glory, what kind of expectations would people have had based on this passage?

If you were waiting for the Messiah in the days of John the Baptist, what would you have expected?

If you believed that Psalm 1 and Psalm 2 both spoke of the Messiah, would that change your view?

Psalm 1 is speaking of THE Man, the perfect Man, who would always meditate on the word of God. This is followed by a description of the Son of God as the Messiah. Psalm 24 has this same progression. Who is perfect enough to enter God’s presence? Who has kept their hands perfectly clean? Only after this do we hear the cry for the doors and gates to be opened for the King of Glory. If what I am presenting has merit, people should have expected the Messiah to be a perfect man first. He would live His life among them, keeping the law, constantly meditating on the Word of God. Only after this would He be installed as the King of Glory on the Holy Hill of Zion.

Mark 12:35-37 And as Jesus taught in the temple, He said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? David himself, in the Holy Spirit, declared,
“ ‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put Your enemies under Your feet.’
David himself calls Him Lord. So how is He his son?”
And the great throng heard Him gladly.

Mark 12:35-37 quotes Psalm 110:1. Jesus poses a question to the scribes. Matthew’s account says it is to the Pharisees. How can the Messiah be both David’s Son and David’s Lord? They have no answer. They found it hard to grasp the idea of a Messiah that was both a descendant of David and the Son of God. But look at how the common people or great throng heard Him gladly. Could it be that the truth that the scribes could not understand were more easily understood by the crowd in general? Did they see some of these patterns in the psalms?

Keil and Delitzsch Commentary

The Radically Distinct Lot of the Pious and the Ungodly
The collection of the Psalms and that of the prophecies of Isaiah resemble one another in the fact, that the one begins with a discourse that bears no superscription, and the other with a Psalm of the same character; and these form the prologues to the two collections. From Acts 13:33, where the words: Thou art My Son … are quoted as being found ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ ψαλμῷ , we see that in early times Psalm 1:1-6 was regarded as the prologue to the collection. The reading ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ τῷ δευτέρῳ , rejected by Griesbach, is an old correction. But this way of numbering the Psalms is based upon tradition. A scholium from Origen and Eusebius says of Psalm 1:1-6 and Psalm 2:1-12: ἐν τῷ Ἑβραΐκῷ συνημμένοι , and just so Apollinaris:

Ἐπιγραφῆς ὁ ψαλμο`ς εὑρέθη δίχ� Ἡνωμένος δε` τοῖς παῤ Ἑβραίοις στίχοις For it is an old Jewish way of looking at it, as Albertus Magnus observes: Psalmus primus incipit a beatitudine et terminatur a beatitudinei.e., itbegins with אשׁרי Psalm 1:1 and ends with אשׁרי; Psalm 2:12, so that consequently Psalm 1:1-6 and Psalm 2:1-12, as is said in B. Berachoth 9b (cf. Jer. Taanith ii. 2), form one Psalm (חדא פרשׁה). As regards the subject-matter this is certainly not so. It is true Psalm 1:1-6 and Psalm 2:1-12 coincide in some respects (in the former יהגה, in the latter יהגו; in the former תאבד … ודרך, in the latter ותאכדו דוך; in the former אשׁרי at the beginning, in the latter, at the end), but these coincidences of phraseology are not sufficient to justify the conclusion of unity of authorship (Hitz.), much less that the two Psalms are so intimately connected as to form one whole. These two anonymous hymns are only so far related, as that the one is adapted to form the proaemium of the Psalter from its ethical, the other from its prophetic character. The question, however, arises whether this was in the mind of the collector. Perhaps Psalm 2:1-12 is only attached to Psalm 1:1-6 on account of those coincidences; Psalm 1:1-6 being the proper prologue of the Psalter in its pentateuchal arrangement after the pattern of the Tôra. For the Psalter is the Yea and Amen in the form of hymns to the word of God given in the Tôra. Therefore it begins with a Psalm which contrasts the lot of him who loves the Tôra with the lot of the ungodly, – an echo of that exhortation,Joshua 1:8, in which, after the death of Moses, Jahve charges his successor Joshua to do all that is written in the book of the Tôra. As the NewTestament sermon on the Mount, as a sermon on the spiritualized Law, begins with maka’rioi, so the Old Testament Psalter, directed entirely to the application of the Law to the inner life, begins with אשׁרי. The Firstbook of the Psalms begins with two אשׁרי; Psalm 1:1; Psalm 2:12, and closes with two אשׁרי; Psalm 40:5; Psalm 41:2. A number of Psalms begin with אשׁרי, Psalm 32:1-11; Psalm 41:1-13; Psalm 112:1-10; Ps 119; Psalm 128:1-6; but we must not therefore suppose the existence of a special kind of ashrê-psalms; for, e.g., Psalm 32:1-11 is a משׂיל, Psalm 112:1-10 a Hallelujah, Psalm 128:1-6 a שׁיר המעלות.
As regards the time of the composition of the Psalm, we do not wish to lay any stress on the fact that
2 Chronicles 22:5 sounds like an allusion to it. But 1st, it is earlier than the time of Jeremiah; for Jeremiah was acquainted with it. The words of curse and blessing, Jeremiah 17:5-8, are like an expository and embellished paraphrase of it. It is customary with Jeremiah to reproduce the prophecies of his predecessors, and more especially the words of the Psalms, in the flow of his discourse and to transform their style to his own. In the present instance the following circumstance also favours the priority of the Psalm: Jeremiah refers the curse corresponding to the blessing to Jehoiakim and thus applies the Psalm to the history of his own times. It is 2ndly, not earlier than the time of Solomon. For לצים occurring only here in the whole Psalter, a word which came into use, for the unbelievers, in the time of the Chokma (vid., the definition of the word, Proverbs 21:24), points us to the time of Solomon and onwards. But since it contains no indications of contemporary history whatever, we give up the attempt to define more minutely the date of its composition, and say with St. Columba (against the reference of the Psalm to Joash the protegé of Jehoiada, which some incline to): Non audiendi sunt hi, qui ad excludendam Psalmorum veram expositionem falsas similitudines ab historia petitas conantur inducere.

(Note: Vid., Zeuss, Grammatica Celtica (1853) ii. 1065. The Commentary of Columba on the Psalms, with Irish explanations, and coming from the monastery of Bobbio, is among the treasures of the Ambrosiana

Psalm 1 and 2 in the ESV

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the LORD holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will tell of the decree:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rules of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


Bay Psalm Book Psalm 1 and 2

The Bay Psalm Book

O Blessed man, that in the advice
Of wicked doeth not walk
Nor stand in sinners way, nor sit
In chair of scornful folk

But in the law of Jehovah
Is his longing delight
And in his law doth meditate
By day and eke by night

And he shall be like to a tree
Planted by water-rivers
That in his season yields his fruit
And his leaf never withers

And all he doth, shall prosper well
The wicked are not so
But they are like unto the chaff
Which wind drives to and fro

Therefore shall not ungodly men
Rise to stand in the doom
Nor shall the sinners with the just
In their assembly come

For of the righteous men, the Lord
Acknowledgeth the way
But the way of ungodly men
Shall utterly decay

Why rage the heathen furiously?
Muse vain things people do
Kings of the earth do set themselves
Princes consult also

With one consent against the Lord
And his anointed one
Let us asunder break their bands
Their cords be from us thrown

Who sits in heaven shall laugh; the Lord
Will mock them; then will he
Speak to them in his ire, and wrath
And vex them suddenly

But I anointed have my King
Upon my holy hill
Of Zion; The established
Counsel declare I will

God spake to me, thou art my Son
This day I thee begot
Ask thou of me, and I will give
The Heathen for thy lot

And of the earth thou shalt possess
The utmost coasts abroad
Thou shalt them break as Potter’s shards
And crush them with your rod.

And now ye kings be wise, be learned
Ye judges of the earth (Hear!)
Serve ye the Lord with reverence
Rejoice in him with fear

Kiss ye the Son, lest he be wroth
And ye fall in the way
When his wrath quickly burns, oh blest
Are all that on him stay


Audio Part 1  (38 minutes)

Audio Part 2  (43 minutes)

Audio Part 3  (46 minutes)

P.S. As a bonus, for those of you that managed to scroll down this far, I have had a recent conversation whereby I was able to draw a few lines between 3 key passages, one of them being in Psalm 2. So here are some new notes on that discovery.

As pertaining to the wrath of God, I can only find 3 instances in the entire Bible where that wrath is specified to come from Jesus. I believe Jesus to be God incarnate, so in some sense the wrath of God is the wrath of Jesus, but the Bible specifically names the wrath as the wrath of Jesus, or the Messiah in only 3 passages that I can find. Those passages are Psalm 2:12, Psalm 110:5, and Revelation 6:16.

In Psalm 2:12, it is the wrath of the Son, meaning the Son of God as the Anointed/Messiah/Christ, see verses 7 and 2 respectively. In Psalm 110:5, it is the voice of Adonai which in Psalm 110:1 was shown to be the Son of David, the Messiah to whom the LORD, Yahweh, said, “Sit at My right hand.” It is the Messiah striking through kings in the day of His (Messiah’s) wrath. In Revelation 6:16 it is stated to be the wrath of the Lamb, which is a reference to Jesus Christ, see Revelation 5:5-6.

It is also interesting that in all three of these passages that there is a reference to the kings of the earth. In Psalm 2:12 it is an appeal to the kings of the earth, mentioned in Psalm 2:10, to submit to the Son in order to be spared from the His wrath. In Psalm 110:5 it is a declaration that the Messiah will strike through kings in the day of His wrath. In Revelation 6:16 it is the kings of the earth hiding in terror because of the wrath of the Lamb. All of these references can be shown to be at the onset of the Day of the LORD which is a day of wrath.

If we take a composite view, that all the passages should complement each other, we may come up with something like this:

The King is now on the Holy Hill of Zion ruling in the midst of His enemies. The wrath of the Lamb is imminent. Because the LORD will strike through kings in the day of the His wrath, be wise you kings. Yes, hide in terror at the presence of the LORD. Fear Him because just a little kindling from His wrath is all it takes for you to be destroyed. Anyone who trusts in Him will be blessed, but all who refuse the truth will be deceived because they did not love the truth. The nations are gathered together against the Messiah and He will smash them all with a rod of iron.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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Three Views on the Rapture ~ Links

There have been some recent posts that confuse the two positions of Pre-Wrath and Post-Trib. They are two different positions. I understand what some people mean when they say, “Pre-Wrath is like Post-Trib because we believe the rapture happens after the great tribulation.” That’s really not enough to differentiate them. That’s like saying that Pre-Wrath is like Pre-Trib because we both believe the rapture happens before the wrath of God.

It’s not just enough to say the rapture occurs before the wrath of God in describing Pre-Wrath. There is much more to it. And the same can be said for comparing Pre-Wrath to Post-Trib. There is more to both positions than saying they both happen after the great tribulation.

Some time ago (2011? Wow!), I blogged through the book, Three Views on the Rapture. This edition was edited by Dr. Alan Hultberg and includes the positions of Pre-Trib, Pre-Wrath, and Post-Trib. In order to better understand the three positions and the differences between them, here is a post which contains all the links to the articles that I wrote at that time. As always, it’s best to purchase the book for yourself and read it. But for those who want to save time or money, feel free to read the articles I post here.

Please pay special attention to the critiques. Each author presents their position that they represent, but then each of the other two authors gets a chance to write a rebuttal on what the others have written. It is in these critiques that we see how the positions interact with each other. So without further ado, here are the titles to each article with the links embedded.

3 Views on the Rapture ~ New Edition

Pretribulation, Prewrath, or Posttribulation

A Case for the Pretribulation Rapture by Craig Blaising

Two responses to the pretrib position

A Case for the Prewrath Rapture by Alan Hultberg

Two responses to the prewrath position

A Case for the Posttribulation Rapture by Douglas Moo

Two Responses to the posttrib position

Three Views on the Rapture ~ Summary

The Views of Dr. Alan Hultberg

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

Posted in Bible, Eschatology, Posttribulationalism, Pre-Wrath, Pretribulationalism, Prewrath, Prophecy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment