List of All Article Series available on this Website

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THE ANTICHRIST IN DANIEL
By comparing the beasts of Daniel 7 and 8, these articles show that the Antichrist came out of the Roman Empire. They also show that the Antichrist cannot be Antiochus IV, as critical scholars claim.

THE 490 YEARS OF DANIEL 9
Discussion of the Four Major Interpretations of the 490 years

IS THE BOOK OF DANIEL A FORGERY?
This is how the academic world views the book.

DEATH, ETERNAL LIFE, AND ETERNAL TORMENT
List of articles on Death, Eternal Life, and Eternal Torment – Will the lost be tormented for all eternity? Or will they be annihilated? Are the dead in heaven as conscious immortal souls? With what kind of body are God’s people resurrected?

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY
Christianity began as a Jewish sect but four major events in the subsequent decades separated it from Judaism:
(1) Receiving the Holy Spirit on Pentecost;
(2) Persecution by the Jews in Jerusalem;
(3) The first uncircumcised Gentile Christians, and
(4) The Acts 15 Church Council.

THE BOOK OF REVELATION

Recommended podcasts: Jon Paulien is a respected Adventist scholar that has spent much of his life studying Revelation. I recommend the following from him: 

ETERNAL TORMENT

CHRISTOLOGY

VERSE-BY-VERSE DISCUSSIONS

OTHER SPECIFIC TOPICS

  • For general discussions of theology, I recommend Graham Maxwell, who you will find on the Pineknoll website.

ROMANS

ROMANS 1
“Unrighteous” man explains “live by faith”. God reveals “His invisible attributes”, but this man rejects God. God then gives the man over to impurity.

ROMANS 2
Romans 2 warns Jewish Christians that they will not be justified by the Law. It announces judgment of deeds, but that is justification by faith.

ROMANS 3:1-8
These verses deal with the same topic as Romans 9 and 11, namely the causes and consequences of Israel’s rejection of Christ.

ROMANS 9–11
An independent and original interpretation of Romans 9 – 11 to identify the Israel of prophecy  Article in Word

ALL ISRAEL WILL BE SAVED
This is a summary of the article on Israel in Romans 9 – 11.  While the main article more or less sequentially works through Romans 9 – 11, this article discusses these chapters thematically.  Article in Word

ELECTION IN ROMANS 9 – 11:
Romans 9-11 contain many strong election statements, but this is election to a mission, not to salvation, as is confirmed by the Jacob-example and others.  Article in Word

ROMANS 14

ROMANS 14:1-4
Some Christians in Rome did not eat meat, namely, Gentiles converted from idolatry, who still believed that meat offered to idols gave idols control over them.

KOINÓS UNCLEAN
The Greek word ‘koinós’ is translated “unclean” in Romans 14:14.  It does not refer to the unclean animals of the Old Testament.

FOOD IN CORINTH
Similarities to 1 Corinthians 8-10 imply that the same dispute existed, namely meat sacrificed to idols.  For the weak Christian eating meat is idol worship.

ROMANS 14:5-6 DAYS
Not the Sabbath – No Jewish elements – Issue is non-Jewish – Would contradict Galatians – Sabbath requires specific treatment – In context probably meat-days.

ROMANS 14:7-13
Judgment Seat of God: Judged by deeds but not be justified by the works of the Law.  The difference is a difference in the Law and a difference t=in the function of the Law.

ROMANS 14:13-23
Rather Abstain: Strong Christians can harm weaker brethren by eating such unholy food, and should not eat meat rather than to cause harm.

GALATIANS 1

1:1-5: Introduction to the letter
1:6-9: Distort the gospel of Christ; Accursed
1:10-12: Gospel received through a revelation of Jesus Christ
1:13-14; Ancestral traditions

1:15-24: Short review of Paul’s history & Overview of Galatians 1

GALATIANS 2

2:1-10
Visit to church headquarters in Jerusalem;
Titus not compelled to be circumcised

2:11-14
Conflict with Peter in Antioch over forcing Gentile Christians to be circumcised and to live like Jews

2:15-16
Church Council in Acts 15; Man is not justified by observing the Law of Moses.  Jewish Christians continued to observe the Law of Moses.

2:17-18
What did Paul destroy?

2:19-20
Died to the Law, to live to God

2:21
Nullify the grace of God, which is Christ’s death, by striving for righteousness through the Law

OVERVIEW OF GALATIANS 1 & 2
Arguments for and against the circumcision of Gentile Christians

GALATIANS 3

Galatians is important because it describes the very early power struggle between Paul and Judaising Jewish Christians.

Gal 1:1-5According to the will of our God and Father, Jesus gave Himself to rescue us from this present evil age.

Gal 1:6-9The Galatians accepted a dangerously distorted gospel.

Gal 1:10-12Paul received his gospel directly from Jesus Christ.

Gal 1:13-14The emphasis on outward behavior in Traditions of the Elders shifts the focus away from God to self.

Gal 1:15-24Short review of Paul’s history & Overview of Galatians 1.

Gal 2:1-10Paul took an uncircumcised Gentile Christian to the church leaders in Jerusalem. The church leaders accepted him.

Gal 2:11-14God instructed Peter to accept Gentiles without circumcision but he yielded to the Circumcision Party.

Gal 2:15-16The Acts 15 Church Council confirmed that Gentile Christians do not have to convert to Judaism.

Gal 2:17-18Paul’s teachings destroyed the law; the dividing wall between Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Gal 2:19-20Christians are not subject to the Law of Moses but to the Law of Christ.

Gal 2:21To attempt to earn “righteousness” through the Law is to nullify “the grace of God.”

OVERVIEW GALATIANS 1 & 2

Gal 3:1-5The Galatians received the Spirit without the Law but want to continue in their own power.

Gal 3:6-9Those who believe are sons of Abraham.

Gal 3:10-14No one is justified by the Law because no one is able to comply with the law.

Gal 3:15-18Jesus Christ is Abraham’s true Seed. As such, He inherited the Covenant promises.

Gal 3:19-25When Christ came, He became our Tutor. We no longer need the Law.

Gal 3:26-29There is no need to circumcise Gentile Christians because Israel no longer has a separate role in God’s plan.

OVERVIEW OF GALATIANS CHAPTERS 1 TO 3

CHAPTER 4 – Work in Progress

TRANSVERSAL TOPICS

Galatians represents Paul’s arguments before the Jerusalem Church Council in Acts 15.

The Galatians were at risk of losing their eternal inheritance. What exactly did they do wrong?

COLOSSIANS

Colossians 1:1-8
Introduction of the letter – Paul is the author – addressed to the church in Colossae – the Father is the One Who willed Paul’s apostleship

Colossians 1:9-14
The Father rescued us to share in the kingdom of His beloved Son. The deception in Colossae claimed to have special knowledge.

Colossians 1:15-19
The deception claimed to have received special knowledge from supernatural beings apart from Christ, but all knowledge is found in Christ; the Creator of all.

War in Heaven

Colossians 1:20-22
In the time before Christ, some intelligent earthly and heavenly creatures waged war against God by evil deeds. God was not angry. He ended the war by providing evidence through Christ’s death, which even heaven needed.

Colossians 1:23-28
Paul rejoices in his suffering because it part of the stewardship he received from God. The Lord gave Paul a new message, namely that Gentiles can also be saved.

Colossians 2:1-4
Deceivers in Colossae were merging the church with mystery religions, arguing that Christ is not the only source of supernatural knowledge.

Colossians 2:5-8
The Colossian deception was man-made pagan philosophy; not Old Testament law. It claimed that God’s grace flow to man through various supernatural mediators.

Colossians 2:9-10
The deception claimed that Christians will only be complete if they obey supernatural rulers. But Christians, trusting Christ, are already complete.

Colossians 2:11 – Circumcision without hands
A heart circumcised by the Spirit loves the LORD and His Law and hates sin. Its guilt and penalty for past sins are canceled.

Colossians 2:11-14
Christians were made complete through the circumcision of the heart, through baptism into Christ’s cross, and by canceling their certificate of debt, which is forgiving all their sins.

COLOSSIANS: SPECIFIC TOPICS DISCUSSED:

HEBREWS

SERIES OF ARTICLES ON HEBREWS’ DEPICTION OF JESUS AS OUR HIGH PRIEST:

How Jesus became high priest.
God perfected Jesus through suffering.  Jesus offered Himself without blemish to God, making purification of sins through death.  Jesus then sat down on His Father’s throne and became our high priest in the tabernacle in heaven.

Jesus is a better high priest.
The Levitical priesthood was merely a copy and shadow of the tabernacle in which Jesus serves, and was for that reason unable to do away with sin.  “Perfection”—a word which Hebrews uses for being put right with God—is only possible only through Christ.

Jesus appears before God for us.
He is sympathetic and merciful.  God promised, “their lawless deeds I will remember no more”, and our high priest Jesus guarantees that promise.

Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, for Jesus is faithful and sympathetic with our weaknesses: an analysis of the introduction and conclusion of the large middle section of Hebrews (4:14-10-31) which discusses Jesus as our high priest.

Impossible to renew them again to repentance Perfected people continue to sin unintentionally and they continue to do things that they do not want to do.  But in spite of those things they remain “perfect”.  But if they go “on sinning willfully”, then there only remains “a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries” (10:27).

VERSE BY VERSE DISCUSSION OF HEBREWS:

Hebrews 1:1-3: Christ’s message is superior to that of the Old Testament prophets because He is superior to them.  He is God’s Son—the exact representation of God’s nature.  Through Him God made everything and through Him, God still holds everything together.

SABBATH

The Seventh Day – blessed at creation, counted by Noah, made a Sabbath by Moses, corrupted by the Traditions, reformed by Christ, and avoided by Paul.

THE OLD TESTAMENT SABBATH

  • Blessed And Sanctified At Creation
    The specialness of the seventh day is part of what God created and permanently engrained into human existence.
  • Evolution
    The view that God created man over millions of years by guiding evolution makes the Bible’s core message null and void.
  • From Creation To Moses
    Evidence exists for a seven-day cycle before Moses, but not that the seventh day was a day of physical rest.
  • The Sabbath in The Law of Moses
    The Sabbath was a Symbol of Liberation, a Day of Rest, a help to Israel remember the Lord and a Test of Obedience. It was not a day for church meetings or a day to seek the Lord.

JEWISH SABBATH TRADITIONS

  • The Jewish Traditions are extremely detailed laws that the Jews added to the Old Testament. It was intended to help them keep God’s Law, but by representing God as a tyrant, it eventually separated them from God.

THE LAW OF CHRIST

The Law of Christ (1Cor 9:21; Gal 6:2)Christ replaced the Law of Moses with a higher law – the Law of Christ. This law existed “from the beginning” and reveals the Father’s heart.

CHRIST SABBATH INCIDENTS

First Two Sabbath Healing Miracles
(Luke 4; Mark 1)Early in His ministry Christ publicly contravened the traditions by healing a man on the Sabbath. This prepared the ground for the later confrontations.

The Man With The Withered Hand
(Matthew 12:9-14 and Mark 3:1-6)Jesus healed the man, saying, “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath”. The Pharisees went out and immediately began to conspire as to how they might destroy Him.

The Crippled Woman
(Luke 13:10-17) – The Pharisees became angry because Jesus healed the woman. Jesus then asked, “should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?

When His Disciples Picked Grain
(Matthew 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28 and Luke 6:1-5)His disciples were accused of breaking the Sabbath. He defended them by saying “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath”, and claimed to be “Lord of the Sabbath”.

The Invalid at Bethesda
(John 5) – He justified the healing by saying: “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working … the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing” (John 5:19).

The Man that was Born Blind
(John 9) – The miracle healings supported His astounding claims, condemned the Pharisees and explained the Sabbath as a day for the “
good works from the Father”.

CHRIST AND THE SABBATH

The articles above each deal with a specific Sabbath incident from the gospels. The current series of articles is a topical overview of the main principles.

Christ Deliberately contravened the Sabbath
The Jews defined healing as work that is disallowed on the Sabbath. Still Jesus deliberately healed on the Sabbath. The message, therefore, is important.

The Real Reason They Killed Jesus
He contravened the Jewish traditions and, therefore, was a threat to the authority of the religious rulers.

Opportunity To teach
The miracles gave credence to His astounding claims, such as that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father, and created the opportunity to teach.

What Jesus taught about the Sabbath
What did Jesus teach may and must be done on the Sabbath?

Jesus taught a different Sabbath.
Moses made rest the goal. Christ shifted the focus to the purpose, namely to free people from Satan’s bonds. Rest is for this purpose and remains.

Is the Sabbath commandment repeated in the New Testament? What are the implications?

OTHER

Christmas: Its Meaning and Origin
God’s willingness to become a human being reveals much about Him, but 25 December was derived from the pagan feast of the birthday of the Invincible Sun.

Eternal Life and Death in Paul’s Letters
Paul never wrote of eternal punishment for sinners.  He consistently warns that sinners will die.

Author
I have no formal Bible training and do not hold a formal office in any church.

WAR IN HEAVEN

War in Heaven – This article has not yet been published.

Rulers and Authorities
Supernatural beings that oppose Christ

Disarmed the rulers and authorities
The Cross was the solution, but what was the problem, and how did the Cross solve that problem?

JUSTIFICATION CONCEPTS

Grace
His merciful kindness

In Christ
A study of the meaning of the phrase “in Christ”, which is often found in Paul’s writings. Christ is the Vehicle through which we are rescued from this present evil age;

Justified
An interpretation of the Greek word normally translated as “justified”. It means to be reconciled to God or put right with God.

Live by
An Old Testament expression that means to be right with God (justified).

Righteousness
A synonym for Justify; to be “put right with God

Reconciled
How did Christ’s death reconcile us to God? Did He pay the price?  Did He pacify God?  Does justice require somebody to suffer? Did He prove God’s judgment?

Metaphors of Salvation

Atonement

THE BOOK OF REVELATION

REVELATION “BY” JESUS CHRIST
Why is the title of this website Revelation BY and not OF Jesus Christ?

REVELATION – A CHRONOLOGICAL SERIES OF EVENTS?
Many people believe that Revelation it is a chronological record of events from start to finish. However, Revelation explains some things repeatedly, and sometimes even reverses the order of events. Article in Word

BEGINS IN THE TEMPLE
Each main part of Revelation begins with the temple which is in heaven.

LITERAL INTERPRETATION
Is it valid to assume that everything in Revelation is literal unless it cannot be literal?

THE SEVEN SEALS (Revelation 4-7)
What book does Jesus open? What are the seals of the book? Who are the 144000? What is the great tribulation? Who is the innumerable multitude?

DOES THE SEVENTH SEAL INCLUDE THE TRUMPETS?
The trumpets have their own introduction, a theme different from the seals and focus on different people.  The seals and trumpets end with the consummation.

REVELATION 12

(1) THE MAIN CHARACTERS
Who are the woman, her male child, Michael and the Dragon?

(2) WHEN WAS SATAN DEFEATED?
When did the war in heaven start and when was Satan driven out of heaven?

(3) HOW DID MICHAEL DEFEAT SATAN?
Christ’s death defeated Satan. Satan deceives & accuses. How did the cross refute Satan’s accusations?

(4) REVELATION 12:11
If Christ’s death defeated Satan, why would “their testimony” also be required?

(5) WHY DOES SIN STILL EXIST?
Why did God not make an end of evil immediately after the Cross?

REVELATION 13

THE BEAST FROM THE SEA (Rev 13:1-2)
The beast is the successor of the beasts of Daniel 7.

THE FATAL WOUND (Rev 13:3-4)
The fatal wound is the sixth head.

WHO IS THE BEAST?
The beast in Revelation is the mainstream church of Christendom.

THE BEASTS WITH SEVEN HEADS
Revelation has three beasts with 7 heads and 10 horns—the Dragon, Sea Beast, and Scarlet Beast on which the harlot sits.  What are these beasts?  Prior reading advised is Daniel’s evil horn–Greek or Roman?  Article in Word

THE SEVEN HEADS OF THE BEAST
The heads are limited to Daniel’s four beasts and 11th horn, but the 11th horn has three phases, and the wound-period is the sixth head.  Prior reading advised is Daniel’s evil horn–Greek or Roman?  Article in Word

BABYLON, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
Who is Babylon?  She exists for all human history, corrupts the people and reigns over the kings, but also destroyed by the kings.

THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES

FIRST FOUR PLAGUES
All people divide into two groups; the larger group persecutes the smaller. The plagues only affect the larger group. How do they react? Do they repent?

THE FIFTH PLAGUE
The fifth plague destroys the Beast’s right to rule. What gives the Beast its right to rule, and how is this destroyed?

EUPHRATES DRIED UP (6th plague)
Euphrates dried up. The way for the kings from the east is prepared.   Demons perform miracles to gather the kings for war at Armageddon.

BABYLON SPLITS IN THREE (7th plague)
Voices, thunder, lightning, an earth-shattering earthquake splitting Babylon into three and massive hail, but still people blaspheme God. Literal or symbolic?

PURPOSE OF THE PLAGUES
Nobody is saved during plagues. Why then does God torment with plagues?  Why has God not made an end to sin a long time ago?

What makes this commentary different?

I was interested in the prophecies from a young age.  For decades now I have, from time to time, studied them and wrote about them. This remains my main “hobby” and a joy.

METHODOLOGY

My approach was to study the texts of the prophecies in depth, rather than to read what other people wrote about the prophecies.  Before the time of the computer tools of today, I made long lists of where the same word or concept would appear in the prophecies, and read the text over and over.  In this way, I developed a perspective on the prophecies that is somewhat independent of the standard views, and in some respects unique.  This in-depth study of the text, in various translations, forms one of the pillars of my interpretation.

VIEW OF GOD

My understanding of God has been influenced by the people I listened to.  Due to a profoundly autistic daughter and other personal issues, I do not attend church much, but I do listen to many tapes and MP3s.  From this I have developed a view of God that is perfect and good in everything He does.  Everything He does is to the benefit of His creation because of His amazing love for His creation.

FREEDOM

His highest creation is His intelligent beings, with the ability and with the freedom to choose between right and wrong, and that freedom is very important to God.  He will not use His infinite power to force their will, because to do so would be to destroy His highest creation.  He will not use fear to force His intelligent beings to conform to He will.  He is love, and He wants us to love Him, and love cannot be generated by fear.  That is why He is “absent” from the earth; namely to allow sinners to continue to do what they want to do, without fear.  That is why sin could develop right in His presence, namely because the first sinner knew that he has nothing to fear from God.

EVIDENCE OF GOD

God wants us to love Him, and to love Him we must appreciate and understand Him.  Therefore, in the beauty of His creation, and in the infinite miracles that are incorporated into life of earth, but particularly through the illustration of Himself which we find in Jesus Christ, He left sufficient proof on earth of who and what He is, for those that want to believe.

In this way, those that want to believe in a beautiful and wonderful God have sufficient proof for their faith, and those that do not want to believe because they want to serve themselves, are able to do so without fear.

QUESTIONS

But eventually, God must make an end of sin.  He does not want the horrible destructive rebellion to persist for ever in the universe.  How can He make an end to sin but still allow people and angels to choose for or against Him, without fear?  Such thoughts have also been fundamental in my interpretations of the prophecies, and I believe the prophecies provide answers to questions such as:

    • Why did God, who hates sin, allow sin to develop?
    • Why did He allow sin to continue for 2000 years after the cross?  What is He still waiting for?
    • Why will a God, that loves His creatures, including His intelligent creatures that chose against Him, pour out His wrath on the people with the mark of the beast when there is no hope of saving them?
    • Why will God resurrect the lost at the end of the Millennium, just to devour them by fire?

REVISED METHODOLOGY

Since I started this website, my work methods changed.  When I start a new topic, I search the web for good articles and websites from all schools of thought.  These articles are summarized, deleting statements that I do not agree with.  Sentences, paragraphs and thoughts from these articles are categorized into subject areas.  The subject areas are, one after the other, integrated into cohesive units, to the best of my ability.  The actual words of the original author are retained, and only adjusted where the language can be simplified or the thoughts clarified.

While I work on a topic over months, I listen to MP3s on the same topic whenever possible.  Through reading and listening, I gain further insights.  The end result of my articles is sometimes very different from any of the authors whose words I used, and in certain instances rather unique.

USE OF SOURCES

In the end, after several months, I cannot tell where a particular thought or phrase came from.  I am very grateful for all that I have learned from various people, and I use their words where it explains my understanding well, but I do not provide quotes, except if it is to confirm something which I do not have the expertise to verify.  One reason for not providing quotes is that I do not justify my views on the basis of the views of other people.  From time to time, I do give credit to the authors that I found particularly useful.

My purpose is to make complex stuff simple, and to make jewels, hidden in complex academic articles, available to ordinary readers.  Having the benefit of a number of good and sometimes scholarly articles, taking what I believe is the best out of them, based on a fair knowledge of the text of the prophecies, and summarizing the main points in simple words, I strive to develop something that is of a high quality but easy to read.

I have not attended any Bible school.  My views have not merely been developed by learning what other people wrote, but on the basis of a personal in depth study of the books of Daniel and Revelation themselves, over a long period of time.  I read commentaries of perhaps all persuasions.  I am not an official of any denomination.  I am a member of a church, but, as I indicated above, I do not attend church regularly.  One reason is that I try to devote as much as possible time to these studies.  My conclusions are sufficiently different from the views of my own church that I am viewed by the church as slightly dangerous.  I am not paid for this work, nor do I strive for academic acceptance.  For these reasons I can claim that I am more independent than most.

But is there a need for another interpretation of Daniel and Revelation?  Commentaries of Daniel & Revelation can easily be categorized into the various schools of thought.  This is an indication of the fact that most Bible teachers have never studied Daniel and Revelation for themselves without preconceived assumptions, but teach what they have been taught.  Since I have spent most of my time on the text of the prophecies themselves, I am able to provide a different perspective on the prophecies, which perhaps justifies the existence of the commentary.

Many people would find this commentary complex, but Daniel and Revelation are not supposed to be easy.  They are designed in such a way that only God’s people would understand.  I am reminded of the statement in Daniel 12:10, referring to the prophecies of Daniel, that “none of the wicked will understand”.   I am not claiming that I am not wicked, or that I understand.  My point is that Daniel 12:10 contrasts the wicked with “those who have insight”.  In “the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase” (Daniel 12:4).  I am trying to argue that the study of the prophecies is important for God’s people.  To provide you with the final conclusions only will serve no purpose.  In the difficult times that I believe lie ahead, and that is described by Daniel and particularly Revelation, God’s people will be persecuted for their faith.  Unless they understand the issues, they will, due to all the pressure and threats of persecution, find it difficult to stand for what they believe.  An in depth study of Daniel and Revelation helps people to prepare for the end times.

My understanding of the prophecies is probably very limited.  When we one day enter the eternal school, I think we would be amazed at how little we understand of the prophecies today.  Even though I feel strongly that my views are superior to many other interpretations, I cannot claim that my interpretations are correct, or even that they really are superior.  I remain a frail human being.

I try never to insult people with different views.  When we stand before God, He is not going to ask us whether we understood Revelation correctly.  He is going to ask us whether we loved our enemies.  It we cannot even love people that also believe in a loving Creator, how are we to respond to God’s question?

This commentary is still under development.  There is a huge amount of material that must still be sifted and prepared for publication.

Andries van Niekerk, Stellenbosch, South Africa

 

 

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