Deathisdefeated

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

RACHEL and LEAH a once-upon-a-time story of the 2 covenants

         "...The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel:"  (Ruth 4:11)

     This post involves some observations of the likenesses between the story of Jacob's marriages and the Old and New Covenant relationships God developed with His people.

     Taking the verse from Ruth above, we read that the two women, Rachel and Leah, were given the distinction of building Jacob's family - the "house of Israel".  If you understand this "house" to represent the true Israelite children of God's own family over the centuries, both Jew and Gentile, you can begin to see just what role each of these two sisters played in the drama of redemption.  

     Jacob's name of Israel (prince of God), given to him by the angel, is significant in that it identifies him as a type of Christ.  It isn't difficult to catch a reflection of Christ in Jacob's actions as he is forced to leave the wealth of his father's house behind with nothing but a staff in his hand.  ("Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor...")  For lack of a dowry, Jacob turned shepherd for a wife, as Hosea 12:12 reminds us. This "similitude" is a perfect example of Christ the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, serving in this humble capacity to secure a Bride for Himself. 

     The bride Jacob originally intended to win with his labor is the beloved younger sister, Rachel.  Both Rachel and the 4 children she and her handmaid eventually give to Jacob are types of the Old Covenant made with national, ethnic Israel.  Rachel was born after Leah, just as the Hebrew nation comes into being under Moses' ministry - far down the timeline of the history of nations.  Rachel is the one of first choice, just as the children of Israel were blessed with the favor of God's first selection to receive the revelation of Himself and His ordinances at Mount Sinai.  Before this, no other nation had been privileged with such condescension, such demonstrations of power on their behalf.  Similarly, Jacob's devotion for this younger sister is so complete that the 7 years of grinding labor for Laban is as nothing to him.  

     Of course, we know that Leah was substituted for her sister at the end of Jacob's 7 years of service, and both of them became Jacob's wives at that time.  God's ultimate intention never was for the Hebrew nation to be the sole means of building the "house of Israel" - His children of faith.  The children God blesses Leah and her handmaid to bring to her marriage with Jacob outnumber those of Rachel the favored one - 2 to 1. Even though she is painfully aware of Jacob's hatred for her, she is still granted the gift of children, just as God had children of faith among the nations both before and after He established a Sinai covenant with His chosen people.  There is an echo of Leah's heartbroken rejection in Isaiah 54:6:  "For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken, and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God." This rejected, desolate one is promised more children than the married wife in Isaiah 54:1.  Numerically speaking, the children of faith coming from all the nations under the New Covenant outnumber the faithful remnant under the Old Covenant.  (Romans 9:27-29 compared with Isaiah 54:1-3)

     Eventually, God does grant Rachel conception of a long-desired child of her own - Joseph.  Jacob's partiality to this son predictably brings out resentment in the older brothers, just as there has been animosity between Jew and Gentile time out of mind.  The dying plea of Jacob to Joseph is particularly poignant.  He sends a message through the older brothers, begging Joseph to "Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin: for they did unto thee evil:" (Gen. 50:17)  There is an echo here of Christ's prayer just before His own death.  (John 17:20-21) "Neither pray I for these alone, (the disciples) but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they may all be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us;..."

     Joseph's godly response to his father Jacob's request acknowledges the sovereign hand of God in Gen. 50:20.  "Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive"   Paul expresses the same concept in his epistles:  first in Rom. 11:30-31 when he describes how the grafting process of all Gentile believers into the "olive tree" of God's family is an accompaniment to unbelieving Jews being broken off:  next, in Phil. 1:12-14 when he explains the benefits of his imprisonment for the furtherance of the gospel, even under Caesar's very nose.  God has used the antagonism between Jews and Gentiles to actually multiply the effects of the gospel, just as the sibling rivalry between Rachel and Leah was an incentive to out-produce the other sister.  Good has been alchemized out of evil.

     Even Rachel's death after giving birth to Benjamin (son of the right hand) is a type.  This last child of the beloved wife (ethnic Israel) is born near Bethlehem, only a few miles from Jerusalem.  "Benoni", Rachel calls him - "son of my sorrow" - just as 70 AD Jerusalem suffered during the death of the Old Covenant.  In her death throes, however, Jerusalem gives birth to one last child of the Old Covenant:  the 144 thousand sealed out of all the tribes of Israel.   "Fear not", the midwife tells Rachel in the middle of her hard labor, "Thou shalt have this son also."   The 144 thousand are thus assured of a place at the father's right hand, after they are redeemed from the earth.  (Rev. 14:3)  

     It may be a cause for debate, but there is a distinct possibility that the seal put upon this group of 144 thousand is one that ensures their physical death before the close of the Old Covenant, so they can be included in a bodily resurrection of the house of Israel at Pentecost in 70 AD.  After all, one of the peculiar judgments visited upon those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads is that they will seek for death, and will not be able to find it in those particular days.  So death, which would be temporarily denied to those worshipers of the beast,  would be a blessing granted to the faithful - an inclusion in the first resurrection of Rev. 20:6, even at the 11th hour of the Old Covenant.  

     Here is another indication that the sealing of this 144 thousand implies their death.  It seems obvious that the Exodus period and the 40-year wilderness wanderings of the children of Israel were meant to picture the 40-year transition period for 1st-century Christians until the 70 AD holocaust.  Jericho's annihilation mirrors Jerusalem's.  The destruction of both of these cities precedes an ushering in to a "promised land".  Significantly, every single person counted in Moses' 1st census dies before the 40-years' period of wandering has expired.  Only two witnesses remain - Caleb and Joshua.  A totally new generation has the honor of entering Canaan and claiming the promises.  

     In the same manner, it would appear that this last 144 thousand must pass away, before a new generation of believers can sweep into the promised land of the New Covenant.   And again, coincidentally, God has 2 witnesses operating during the transition (Rev. 11:3), whoever or whatever you understand those 2 witnesses to be.

     One further observation on the marriage of these 2 sisters to Jacob.  This concept may seem to stretch the boundaries of a covenant type, but perhaps not.  When Laban is called on the carpet to explain why he deceptively abused his role as the Father of the Bride/Brides, he utters this curious statement:  "Fulfill her week, and we will  give thee this also (Rachel), for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet 7 other years."  In other words, Jacob was simultaneously given both sisters as a wife at the end of his initial 7-year term of service.  One wife (Leah) was in an "already, but not yet" position of covenant with Jacob.  She was a wife put on Jacob's "credit card".

     Some partial-preterists have voiced objections that God must have only one resurrection of the dead planned to coincide with the end of history, because God would never think of resurrecting His Bride in stages.  However, if Rachel and Leah are a type of the entire house of Israel - the children of faith - then their story would be a representation of how God has divided His Bride into 2 stages.  We, the nations of the New Covenant (Leah), are already united to our husband Christ (Jacob), and are bearing many children of faith for Him.  Our last child, coincidentally, will be named Zebulun (Dwelling), because then our husband Christ will dwell with us in the fullest sense of the word - body, soul, and spirit.  At this one day in our future, the end of the second 7-year period of labor will have been accomplished, which will culminate in our bodily resurrection, just as our sister, OC ethnic Israel (Rachel) has already experienced hers in 70 AD.

     And we will all live happily every after.

     

     

     

     

Views: 495

Comment by Internet_Troll on March 28, 2014 at 11:24am

Patricia,

You wrote:

 In the same manner, it would appear that this last 144 thousand must pass away, before a new generation of believers can sweep into the promised land of the New Covenant.

Who do you find the 144000 to be?

Comment by Patricia Watkins on March 28, 2014 at 4:28pm

Hi Jefrey,

This is the "remnant" which is first spoken of in Isaiah 1:9 concerning Judah and Jerusalem, "Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah."  This very passage is quoted by Paul in Rom. 9:27-28, where he says that the Lord will " finish the account, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth."   This sounds very similar to Christ speaking in Matt 24:22, "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: (doesn't mean they are prevented from dying - it's talking about a bodily resurrection) but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened".   Here is another in Joel 2:32, where it speaks of the "terrible day of the LORD" coming.  "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: (this deliverance is their being "redeemed from the earth" - again, bodily resurrection) for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."  If all these references are discussing the same event and the same group of people, then that points a finger at the particular time period this group is coming from.  Paul also says in Rom. 11:5, (speaking of the believing Jews), that "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."  So some of this remnant group existed in the days of Paul writing this verse, and extended into the very last moments of the Old Covenant at Pentecost 70 AD.

The amount of 144 thousand represents an idealized count of an actual number of believing Jews from those final days of the Old Covenant.  I believe members of this same "remnant" are being spoken of in Rev. 11:13, just before the last trumpet of the 7th angel sounds, and just before the judgement of the dead.  We know there is symbolic song this group of 144 thousand sings which is exclusive to them alone in Rev. 14:3.   In some way or another their experience is unique from all others, separate from the great multitude in Rev. 7:9 which no man could number that appears just after we have been introduced to the 144K.   

Since there is a very detailed listing of which tribes in Israel this group is composed of, it seems too exact to dismiss their identification as a mere metaphor.   For example, we don't find the tribe of Dan or the half tribe of Ephraim mentioned.  Chilton's "Days of Vengeance" noted the exclusion of Dan, and offered a possible interpretation that the elimination of the tribe of Dan is on an equal footing with the elimination of Judas from a list of the apostles.   Not sure if that is relevant or not, and it doesn't explain why Ephraim is left out.  What is obvious though, is that only  believers from ethnic Israel seem to be under discussion, so that is who I take them to be.  They are the "fellowservants and brethren that should be killed" in Rev. 6:11.  Just as the souls under the alter of Rev. 6:9 are the "great multitude which no man could number" of Rev. 7:9

Sorry, Jefrey, you were probably just looking for a one-word answer.

Comment by Internet_Troll on March 31, 2014 at 2:31am

Sorry, Jefrey, you were probably just looking for a one-word answer.

I dont mind, it helps with the understanding.

I understand you as saying the 144k are the Christian Jews, did I get you correctly?

How do you understand the reference to them as "first fruits"?

Comment by Patricia Watkins on March 31, 2014 at 2:36pm

Hi Jefrey,

Everywhere Paul traveled, he had made it his stated claim not to try to build on another's foundation (Rom. 15:20).  He tried to break new ground for the gospel in every city he entered on his missionary journeys.  Firstfruits in every city was his goal.  And as his practice was, the local synagogue would usually be his first pit stop (Acts 17:1-2).

One reference to some of this firstfruits group is in I Cor. 16:15, where it refers to the house of Stephanas as the "firstfruits of Achaia", the region where Corinth is located.   In a vision, God tells Paul in Acts 18:9-10 that he had "much people" in that city.  Apollos eventually settled in this region also, and was able to "mightily convince the Jews" of Christ's gospel (Acts 18:28).

We know that Paul and Barnabas said in Acts 13:46 that "it was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you (the Jews)," and then when they had judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life, Paul and Barnabas would turn their focus to the Gentiles.  There is a real sense of urgency in that word "necessary".  If the bodily resurrection for the house of Israel was an imminent event on the calendar, I can understand why even Christ would concentrate his ministry to the lost sheep of the house of Israel first.

I believe the title "first fruits" is simply meant to describe the initial success of Christ's gospel when it was first presented to the lost sheep of the house of Israel in every city during that first century.   Whether you wish to apply the beginning of this first fruits to the time of John the Baptist's ministry onward, or from the time Christ launches his ministry in 30 AD, or from the days of Pentecost under Peter's leadership, I'm not going to be dogmatic.   

Also, the designation in Rev. 14:4 of this firstfruits group being "virgins" is no different than Paul saying to the believers in 11 Cor. 11:2 that he wants to "espouse them to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ".   This is just another way of saying they are presented "blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:8 and Rev. 14:5).

Comment by Internet_Troll on April 1, 2014 at 11:46am

Patricia,

You wrote:

I believe the title "first fruits" is simply meant to describe the initial success of Christ's gospel when it was first presented to the lost sheep of the house of Israel in every city during that first century.

Does that not then imply that all Jewish Christians would be sealed i.e. killed? Or do you see those first fruits as only the first Jews to convert in a given location?

I just curious as to how historically accurate such a conclusion is (if it be the necessary conclusion).

Comment by Patricia Watkins on April 1, 2014 at 9:56pm

Hi Jefrey,

In a broader sense, perhaps the 144 K firstfruits can also be named that on account of their being some of the first of ethnic Israel to be grafted into Christ's "olive tree".  God was in the process of grafting them in then, and will continue to do so into the NC as well, only under a new name.

If all of this 144 K group is destined to perish before and during the 70 AD holocaust, that doesn't mean that all Jewish believers in the first century without exception shared the same destiny.  In the Resurrection post you started, I think is where I made comment that I can see a purpose in God having some of the Jewish believers left alive after 70 AD as "gleanings in the field" - standing grain left to benefit the Gentiles - even as the harvest gleanings in the OT were to be left in the field for the poor, widowed, and strangers to partake of.  

Also, if the 144 K are the group mentioned in Rev. 6:11 above, (the fellowservants and brethren of those under the alter), the interlinear again is more precise and sheds more light.  It goes, "And were given to each robes white; and it was said to them (the souls under the alter) that they should rest yet a time little, until shall be fulfilled both their fellow-bondmen and their brethren, those being about to be killed as also they."  This is an imminent time indicator, if the word mello means anything conclusive here, as well as describing a death under persecution, such as the others experienced.  

If you've got some better insight into this, Jefrey, by all means add it to the mix.  I try to hold the scriptures with my hands open.

Comment by Internet_Troll on April 2, 2014 at 2:39am

Patricia,

You wrote:

that doesn't mean that all Jewish believers in the first century without exception shared the same destiny.

That's the clarity I needed. Thanks

If you've got some better insight into this, Jefrey, by all means add it to the mix.

Dont have any, sorry :)

Im still to study the book of Revelation.

Comment by Joy Ackerman on May 30, 2014 at 8:45am
Patricia, you continue to amaze me with your insights, I would have never been able to put all of that together! A question, isn't it a known fact that John was alive well past AD 70? If so, how do you think this affects your idea of all 144K being dead by AD70....gleanings from the field? Also, who or what do you think are the two witnesses of Revelation? Lastly, if there is to be another resurrection for the NC saints sometime in our future, why would that revelation be so obscured from us in scripture?
Seems to me the NC is all about righteousness already dwelling here now, in us who believe, as Christ dwells in us, thereby if we thirst we come freely to drink of the living waters and have eternal life now...that life simply continues after our physical death, but in the spiritual realm and apart from the dogs outside the gate...no need for a resurrection as we are offspring of the bride and Christ and never need to die (spiritually) as did those in the OC?
Comment by Patricia Watkins on May 30, 2014 at 5:15pm

Hi Joy,

For your first question regarding John's lifespan, there is a much-debated point over the authorship of Revelation, the Gospel of John, and the 3 epistles.  I follow the school of thought that there were 2 different men serving the early church by the name of John, and that all the Johannine literature was not written by the beloved disciple, brother to James.  This particular John would have passed away before 70 AD, since Christ himself tells the disciples in Matthew 19:28 that the disciples would sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in the regeneration when he would sit on the throne of his glory (the one exception being Judas, who had Matthias prophetically take his place).  For even further emphasis,  James and John are both singled out in the very next chapter, Matthew 20:20-24, with Christ foretelling their deaths by martyrdom.   Rev. 18:20 shows these apostles, along with heaven and the prophets, all rejoicing together at the overthrow of Jerusalem once God has avenged them on her.  That shows me that their martyrdom has occurred before Jerusalem's final overthrow.

I believe Christ's words in and of themselves, but if further historical record is desired, we have the testimony of Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, quoted in Eusebius.   Papias' introduction to his 5-volume Sayings of the Lord Interpreted  speaks of two different individuals by the name of John - one the disciple of the Lord, and the other John the presbyter.   So, apparently John the presbyter outlived John the beloved disciple.  You may be interested in reading a British work related to this issue entitled St. John of Ephesus by F. F. Bruce at this site - www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/bjrl/ephesus_bruce.pdf  .  He goes into some detail starting on p. 351 about the two tomb sites for John at Ephesus that Eusebius mentions.   If I'm understanding this book correctly, the second tomb built for John was supposed to be an updated, more prestigious monument to house John's remains, and they were going to transfer the body of John to it from the first tomb's location which was nearby.  Unfortunately, they couldn't find the body of John in the first tomb, so I guess there are 2 empty tombs dedicated to John in Ephesus now.  Hmmm.  Maybe, if the first grave site belonged to the beloved disciple, he checked out bodily in 70 AD with the first resurrection  : )  But if the first grave site contained John the presbyter originally, I have no explanation for why his remains would have been missing.  At any rate, I would classify John the beloved disciple as one of the 144K who died before 70 AD, and John the presbyter as one of the "gleanings from the field", for lack of a better word, who would have lived past the destruction of Jerusalem.

Your second question about the identity of the two witnesses is something the jury is still out on for me.  I've put a red flag by Rev. 11:13 to help identify the time that these two ascend to heaven.  If we can pinpoint the time this is taking place, it would help to pinpoint the identity of who or what these witnesses are.  I'm not dogmatic about this, but it sounds to me as if this Rev. 11:13 verse is describing the period of time Josephus speaks of when the Idumeans outside Jerusalem take advantage of the horrific night time storm and earthquake to break into the city and kill over 8 thousand that night.  It says that the two witnesses ascend to heaven "the same hour" that this carnage and earthquake take place.  Don't quote me on it, but I see some kind of link to the high priests Ananus and Jesus being slaughtered by the Idumeans immediately following their breaking into the city.  They were  the last of the spiritual leadership in Jerusalem that tried to convince the people to surrender to Roman authority and so have forestalled the destruction of the city.  Their bodies were thrown into the street and forbidden to be buried, coincidentally, according to Josephus.  These men would have been the last symbolic representation of the Law and the Prophets operating in Jerusalem.  To quote Josephus on this 67 AD event, he says, "I should not mistake if I said that the death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city, and that from this very day may be dated the overthrow of her wall, and the ruin of her affairs, whereon they saw their high priest, and the procurer of the preservation, slain in the midst of their city."   I'm open to objections on this point, but it seems a fair contender for an identification of the two witnesses.  And the remnant viewing these events described "gave glory to the God of heaven."  (Rev. 11:13)  Sounds like some of the righteous 144K are actually in the city observing this in 67 AD.  

As to your last question, "If there is to be another resurrection for the NC saints sometime in our future, why would that revelation be so obscured from us in scripture?" I can only say this in response.  Solomon in Proverbs 25:2 says that "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter."  Look at the results of God couching his revelations to us in metaphoric language, patterns, parables, and symbolism - we are all of us on this site riveted to His book, digging for truth as for hidden treasure, which it is.  If He had handed it to us in a step-by-step manual with no mystery attached to it, we would have read the contents in a few sittings, and then tucked it on the shelf to be ignored and to collect dust.  As it is, there is truth in it's pages simple enough to comfort a child and enough depth to perplex the wisest.

I realize I go against the flow of this site to claim an incorruptible bodily resurrection is part of our inheritance.  Hannah's words are too definite for me to deny, though.  "The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up."  I don't know how much simpler she could have phrased it in I Samuel 2:6.  But perhaps a woman's testimony doesn't count????

By the way, Joy, I meant to thank you for jump-starting my study of the Satan and demonology theme with the posts where you introduced this topic.  I have evaded digging into this simply because I got spooked by a book I read when I was 14 on angels and demons - don't even remember the title - and told myself then that Satan didn't need me to give him any more attention since that is what he has craved historically.  Now that I see him as an entity removed from the scene in 70 AD, I have been searching for biblical proof of the demons' removal also, and I think I am getting there with verses from a broad spectrum.  When I get these in a more solid format, I may post them here to see what editing everyone can come up with.  I haven't been able to catch much about this on the archives here, unless I have just missed seeing it (entirely possible). 

Comment by Norm on May 31, 2014 at 6:33pm

Patricia,

I like the way that you are reading a lot of the scriptures and how the stories tie together. I believe that is the intent of the way they were constructed and expected to be recognized by and large. I do have to admit that I’m a bit uneasy with what I perceive as a leaning to exceed the language in respect to the sealed 144,000.  I don’t disagree that it represents the stylized whole of Israel in which we see numbered in Ezekiel 47 along with the sojourner (Nations). I’ve become very comfortable with the “corporate body” view in which “bodies” represent a collective resurrection. That resurrection is the movement from the old “dead bodies” of Israel (Eze 37 dead bones) and the Nations and should not be understood as a physical bodily resurrections.  I believe the 144,000 IMHO does represent those dead in Israel collectively who have been redeemed out of Hades (Rev 20:12-13, while the Nations represent the “dead” from the Sea written in the book of life. Both of these collective groups have attained right standing through Christ as prophesied in Eze 47 and fulfilled in Rev 7. I believe Paul covers them both and so does the Hebrew author.

1 Corinthians 15:51  Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  (16)  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.   Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

Hebrews 11:39-40  And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised,   since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

That perfection is right standing in the Presence of God whether for those still alive post AD70 or those already “asleep” prior to AD70’s consummation.  I think we see the details laid out in Revelation where it picks up Ezekiel’s apocalyptic language and inclusion of both groups.

 

 Revelation 7:4  And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: …. 9  After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, … 3  Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?"  I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. …

15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.   For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

The language is standard apocalyptic fare and we must be careful IMHO of not overstepping its genre and end up physically literalizing language that really doesn’t mean physical but spiritual fulfilment. Of course we could spend a large amount of time discussing how the church and full preterist have a tendecy to over step the meaning of the language. 

I again thank you for your work as I think you present well and I encourage you to continue.

Blessings

Norm 

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