The Apple Of God's Eye

September 29, 2009

Is "First Day Of The Week" The Same As Sunday?

There is a theory circulated among certain Sunday-keeping groups that Sunday became the Sabbath after the resurrection of Christ. As supposed proof, they mistranslate the original Greek phrase, usually rendered “first day of the week,” as “first of the sabbaths.” They claim that the first Sunday after the resurrection became the first “Christian Sabbath” — and that Saturday was the “Jewish Sabbath.” This idea is absolutely FALSE!

No competent Greek scholars accept such a translation. But let the Bible itself disprove this fable. If the Sunday after the resurrection were the first “Christian Sabbath” — which it never could be — then any Sunday thereafter could not be the “first of the sabbaths,” but would of necessity be either the “second or third … or hundredth of the sabbaths!”

Acts 20:7 recorded of  56 A.D. — 25 years after the resurrection! Yet the same original Greek phrase, translated “first day of the week” in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, occurs here! This could not be the “first of the sabbaths” 25 years after the resurrection — since, by their theory, the first of the “Christian sabbaths” would have already occurred 25 years before the event recorded in Acts 20:7. Obviously the Greek cannot mean what they say it does!

Now turn to I Corinthians 16:2. This letter was written in the late winter of 55 A.D. — almost 24 years after the resurrection — and the same Greek expression occurs here. This certainly was not the “first of the Christian sabbaths!” It would be 24 years too late! The answer is that the only proper idiomatic rendering of the Greek phrase is “first day of the week,” not “first of the sabbaths.”

But, it may be objected, is not the Greek word sάbbaton, translated “week,” the same word often translated “sabbath”? Of course it is, but the inspired Greek word may also mean “week” — because the sabbath determines the length of the week. The Greeks had two words for “week”: hebdomad and sάbbaton. Only the word sάbbaton is used in the New Testament. It comes from the Hebrew word meaning “rest,” “sabbath,” “week,” “seven.”

In Luke 18:12 the Greek word sάbbaton is translated properly as “week,” not “sabbath.” The Jews fasted “twice in a week,” Monday and Thursday, not “twice on a sabbath.” That would be foolish! This verse alone proves that the Greek word sάbbaton may mean “week.”

But there is even more proof. The English expression “first day of the week” comes from two different Greek idioms. In Mark 16:9, the original Greek is prootee sabbάton. It has only one meaning: “first [day) of [the] week.” In this verse sabbάton is the Greek singular possessive form of sάbbaton — and means “of the week.” Prootee means “first.”

But in all other cases (Mat. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2) the Greek word sάbbaton, which may mean either “sabbath” or “week,” is in the plural. The Greek expression translated “first day of the week” is, in these verses, mia toon sabbάtoon. It is an idiom and cannot be translated literally into English. It, too, means “the first day of the week,” but it refers to one particular “first day” — the Sunday upon which the wave sheaf was offered — the Sunday AFTER two sabbaths!

Since the Greek word sάbbaton in these verses is in the plural, it may mean either “weeks,” or “sabbaths.” Professor Sophocles, a Greek scholar, indicates in his Lexicon, p. 43, par. 6, that the expression means “[day number] one after the sabbaths.” Which sabbaths? The first high day or annual sabbath and the weekly sabbath falling within the Days of Unleavened Bread! Here is the proof!

The same plural form — sabbάtoon – is found in the Greek Septuagint translation of Leviticus 23:15. In this verse the Greek for “the morrow after the sabbath” is epaύrion toon sabbάtoon and means idiomatically “the day after the sabbaths.” The Greek translators understood that you begin counting Pentecost from the Sunday after the weekly sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread. They used the plural word sabbάtoon, meaning “sabbaths,” to make plain that the Sunday on which the wave sheaf was offered followed BOTH the first annual sabbath AND the weekly sabbath in the Days of Unleavened Bread.

In other words, every New Testament writer was making especially plain which particular Sunday followed the resurrection — the Sunday after the two sabbaths, which in that year fell on Thursday and, of course, Saturday. In all these verses the original Greek, loon sabbάtoon, means idiomatically “AFTER the sabbaths” — and cannot be taken literally to mean “of the sabbaths.” It is a Greek idiom which uses the possessive plural with the meaning of “after.” The Greek translation of Leviticus 23:15 proved it!

Even in Acts 20:7 and I Cor. 16:2, the day referred to was the day the wave sheaf was offered. In 56 A.D., when the events in Acts 20 occurred, the Passover occurred on a weekly Sabbath. The Days of Unleavened Bread extended from Sunday through the following Sabbath. The day of the wave-sheaf offering in that year immediately followed the Days of Unleavened Bread. That was the day Paul preached until midnight — beginning Saturday night immediately after the Festival was over (Acts 20:7).

Those with Luke kept the entire Feast in Phillipi. After the feast, Luke and those with him left Phillipi for Troas (Acts 20:6). Paul left Troas on the day the wave sheaf was offered — before Luke arrived at Troas. Luke does not say “when we came together, Paul preached unto us” — he clearly states “when the disciples come together, Paul preached unto them.” Whenever Luke includes himself he uses the “we” form (Acts 20:6, 13).

Some translations incorrectly insert in Acts 20:7 the pronoun “we.” The overwhelming majority of New Testament Greek manuscripts have “they,” not “we.” The original Greek of Acts 20:13 indicated that Paul “had left arrangements,” prior to Luke’s arrival at Troas, for Luke to proceed in ship to Assos in order to pick up Paul.

I Cor. 16:2 also refers to the day the wave sheaf was offered at Jerusalem — just another indication that what was laid in store was fruit of the field, not money in a church offering-plate! The time those Christians began to harvest was “upon the day after the sabbaths” — upon Sunday after the early-morning offering of the wave sheaf.

This precise history, not usually understood, clearly indicates that the New Testament Church continued to observe the sabbath and the annual festivals God gave, and that they always regarded Sunday as a work day.

Source: Good News, 1958

September 19, 2009

Jesus Christ: The Prince Of Peace Will Make War With Mankind!

"Big Ivan"- the world's largest nuclear bomb - http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Russia/TsarBomba1Big.jpg

"Big Ivan"- the world's largest nuclear bomb - http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Russia/TsarBomba1Big.jpg

Someday soon, war will be history. Your Bible makes that promise. Swords will be beaten into plowshares; nuclear bombs will be melted into playground equipment.

But guess what. That time of peace won’t be brought about through negotiations and treaties. It will come only after the King of kings returns and forces peace on mankind.

At this point in man’s history, there is no hope of peace. The nuclear club currently has nine states that have successfully detonated nuclear weapons. Five are considered to be “nuclear weapons states” (NWS), an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In order of acquisition of nuclear weapons these are: the United States, Russia (successor state to the Soviet Union), the United Kingdom, France, and China.

Since the NPT entered into force in 1970, three states that were not parties to the Treaty have conducted nuclear tests, namely India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Israel is also widely believed to have nuclear weapons, though it has refused to confirm or deny this. [Calls for Olmert to resign after nuclear gaffe Israel and the Middle East | Guardian Unlimited“. Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,1970616,00.html]

Now, according to Bloomberg, “Venezuela[n] President Hugo Chávez said the South American country plans to develop a nuclear energy program with Russia ….” Chávez discussed his nuclear ambitions with Vladimir Putin
during his visit to Russia last week.

But apparently there’s no reason to be worried about South America’s preeminent anti-American, terrorist-sponsoring nation acquiring nuclear technology: “We’re not going to make an atomic bomb,” Chávez said on state television last week. “We’re going to develop nuclear energy with peaceful purposes.” Well that’s a relief!

Then there are states alleged to have nuclear weapons programs or have been been accused by Israel or the United States of currently attempting to develop nuclear weapons technology.

  • Iran – A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate of December 3, 2007 judged with “high confidence” that Iran had an active nuclear weapons program. And the Associated Press from September 17, 2009 year says: Experts at the world’s top atomic watchdog are in agreement that Tehran has the ability to make a nuclear bomb and is on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead, according to a secret report.

Iran makes no secret of the fact that it wants to be the preeminent power in the Middle East. Domestically, both conservatives and reformers support their country’s right to develop nuclear technology, and many Iranian military leaders see nukes as a necessary supplement to Iran’s less-advanced conventional forces, which have been hampered by U.S. sanctions.

Is Iran a warmongering nation? Listen to their rhetoric. Observe their actions, not just in terrorism and spreading fear and hatred the world over, but even within their own nation, in crushing dissent and trumping the rights of the populace. Of course they are a serious threat to world peace with such a devastatingly dangerous weapon.

Other Threats To World Peace

  • Syria – on September 6, 2007, Israel bombed an officially unidentified site in Syria which it later asserted was a nuclear reactor under construction (see Operation Orchard) [6 September 2007 Air strike at globalsecurity.org.] The alleged nuclear reactor was not yet operational and no nuclear material had been introduced into it. Press reports indicated the air strike followed a shipment delivery to Syria by a North Korean freighter, and that North Korea was suspected to be supplying a reactor to Syria for an alleged nuclear weapons program. The White House briefed Congress and the IAEA on April 24, 2008, saying that the U.S. Government was “convinced” that Syria had been building a “covert nuclear reactor” that was “not intended for peaceful purposes.”[Statement by the Press Secretary]. Syria is closely watching developments in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. If Iran and North Korea use the threat of nukes to deter the United States, Syria (which suspects it’s in the superpower’s cross hairs) may decide that it has little choice but to follow suit. Syrian leaders are also keeping a close eye on nuclear developments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. If one or both nations go nuclear, Syria may decide to keep pace.
  • Myanmar – a report in the `Sydney Morning Herald‘ and Searchina, a Japanese newspaper, reported two Myanmarese defectors saying that the Myanmar junta was secretly building a nuclear reactor and plutonium extraction facility with North Korea’s help, with the aim of acquiring its first nuclear bomb in five years. According to the report, “The secret complex, much of it in caves tunnelled into a mountain at Naung Laing in northern Burma, runs parallel to a civilian reactor being built at another site by Russia that both the Russians and Burmese say will be put under international safeguards.”[Searchina, “Reasons for digging tunnels in Burma”, August 11, 2009]

In 2002, Myanmar had notified IAEA of its intention to pursue a civilian nuclear programme. Later, Russia announced that it would build a nuclear reactor in Myanmar. There have also been reports that two Pakistani scientists, from the AQ Khan stable, had been dispatched to Myanmar where they had settled down, to help Myanmar’s project. During an ASEAN meeting in Thailand last week, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton highlighted concerns of the North Korean link. “We know there are also growing concerns about military cooperation between North Korea and Burma which we take very seriously,” Clinton said.[http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/World/Rest-of-World/Myanmar-building-nuke-reactor-says-media-report/articleshow/4846971.cms]

The Next Nuclear States

Japan – it has twenty-three tons of weapons-usable plutonium and the ability to produce weapons-grade uranium without much trouble. Sometimes described as a “virtual” nuclear weapons state, Japan has one of the world’s largest and most advanced civilian nuclear programs. It could likely have nuclear weapons within a few months of deciding it wanted them. It is the only nation ever to have nuclear weapons used against it, Japan has long been staunchly anti-nuclear. But the country has also grown increasingly nervous about what it sees as deteriorating regional security. North Korea’s great leap may tip Japanese public opinion, and some politicians are calling for the country to debate openly whether it should have nukes. The country could withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty with three months’ notice by claiming its “supreme interests” are at risk.

Taiwan – as recently as the late 1980s, Taiwan was within a few years of becoming a nuclear-armed state. But the United States and others insisted it back down. Taiwan now has no uranium enrichment capability, and its sole facility for handling plutonium was torn apart. Its weapons-grade remnants likely include fewer than five pounds of plutonium and two tons of uranium. But its scientific know-how has probably survived. As the military balance between China and Taiwan tilts increasingly in the mainland’s favor, Taiwan could decide that it needs nukes to restore equilibrium fast. Like North Korea, Taiwan can argue that it faces an existential threat from a superpower.

Saudi Arabia -in 2003, members of the government stated that due to the worsening relations with the USA, Saudi Arabia was being forced to consider the development of nuclear weapons; however, so far they have denied that they are making any attempt to produce them.[Norris, Robert S. and Hans M. Kristensen. “Chinese nuclear forces, 2006,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 62:3 (May/June 2006): 60-63.]

In March 2006, the German magazine Cicero reported that Saudi Arabia had since 2003 received assistance from Pakistan to acquire nuclear missiles and warheads. Satellite photos allegedly reveal an underground city and nuclear silos with Ghauri rockets south of the capital Riyadh.[http://nuclearthreatinitiative.org/db/china/nfuorg.htm] Pakistan has denied aiding Saudi Arabia in any nuclear ambitions.[25]

Source: ForeignPolicy.com

Table of Global Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles, 1945-2002

End Year US SU UK FR CH Total
1945 6 6
1946 11 11
1947 32 32
1948 110 110
1949 235 1 236
1950 369 5 374
1951 640 25 665
1952 1,005 50 1,055
1953 1,436 120 1 1,557
1954 2,063 150 5 2,218
1955 3,057 200 10 3,267
1956 4,618 426 15 5,059
1957 6,444 660 20 7,124
1958 9,822 869 22 10,713
1959 15,468 1,060 25 16,553
1960 20,434 1,605 30 22,069
1961 24,111 2,471 50 26,632
1962 27,297 3,322 205 30,823
1963 29,249 4,238 280 33,767
1964 30,751 5,221 310 4 1 36,287
1965 31,642 6,129 310 32 5 38,118
1966 31,700 7,089 270 36 20 39,105
1967 30,893 8,339 270 36 25 39,563
1968 28,884 9,399 280 36 35 38,633
1969 26,910 10,538 308 36 50 37,841
1970 26,119 11,643 280 36 75 38,153
1971 26,365 13,092 220 45 100 39,822
1972 27,296 14,478 220 70 130 42,193
1973 28,335 15,915 275 116 150 44,791
1974 28,170 17,385 325 145 170 46,195
1975 27,052 19,055 350 188 185 46,830
1976 25,956 21,205 350 212 190 47,913
1977 25,099 23,044 350 228 200 48,920
1978 24,243 25,393 350 235 220 50,441
1979 24,107 27,935 350 235 235 52,862
1980 23,764 30,062 350 250 280 54,706
1981 23,031 32,049 350 275 330 56,035
1982 22,937 33,952 335 275 360 57,859
1983 23,154 35,804 320 280 380 59,938
1984 23,228 37,431 270 280 415 61,623
1985 23,135 39,197 300 360 425 63,416
1986 23,254 40,723 300 355 425 65,056
1987 23,490 38,859 300 420 415 63,484
1988 23,077 37,333 300 410 430 61,549
1989 22,174 35,805 300 410 435 59,124
1990 21,211 33,417 300 505 430 55,863
1991 18,306 28,595 300 540 435 48,176
1992 13,731 25,155 300 540 435 40,161
1993 11,536 21,101 300 525 435 33,897
1994 11,012 18,399 250 510 450 30,621
1995 10,953 14,978 300 500 400 27,131
1996 10,886 12,085 300 450 400 24,121
1997 10,829 11,264 260 450 400 23,203
1998 10,763 10,764 260 450 400 22,637
1999 10,698 10,451 185 450 400 22,184
2000 10,615 10,201 185 450 400 21,851
2001 10,491 9,126 200 350 400 20,567
2002 10,640 8,600 200 350 400 20,190

US = United States, SU = Soviet Union/Russia, UK = United Kingdom, FR = France and CH = China

Notes:

  • US warhead estimates exclude a small number of warheads awaiting dismantlement and are accurate to within a few hundred warheads.
  • SU/Russian warhead estimates exclude warheads awaiting dismantlement or in reserve status. The total number of intact warheads is estimated to be 18,000.
  • UK and French stockpile estimates are believed to be accurate to within a few tens of warheads.
  • Chinese warhead estimates are probably not accurate to better than 50 percent, due to the uncertainty in the number of tactical warheads.
  • In addition to the above, Israel, India and Pakistan have nuclear arsenals, and South Africa produced six gun-assembly type weapons in the 1980s, but dismantled them in the early-1990s. Estimates of the composition and evolution of the arsenals of Israel, India and Pakistan are extremely difficult to make. Israel may have a stockpile of some 100-200 nuclear weapons, India 30-35, and Pakistan between 24 and 48 nuclear weapons.

Source: www.nrdc.org

“Not since the early days of the Cold War have proliferation experts and the general public been so attuned to the threat of nuclear weapons–and with good reason. There are more than 28,000 nuclear devices in existence today, more and more countries are acquiring the means to produce them, and there is mounting evidence that al Qaeda has every intention of using a nuclear weapon if only it can get its hands on one.

Once al Qaeda or another group possesses a weapon, deterring or preventing an attack will be all but impossible. Luck, as much as money and hard work, has helped prevent such an attack to date. A second, more complex danger stems from the proliferation of nuclear capabilities to governments. In the long term, the wider state acquisition of nuclear weapons dramatically increases the odds that one might be used, intentionally or not. This concern applies not only to so-called rogue regimes, but to key U.S. allies as well. Given the global insecurity of much weapons material, state proliferation also contributes to the risk of a nightmarish nuclear terrorism scenario.” [ForeighAffairs.com]

It is obvious we have a series of developments which not only show these weapons not going away, there are going to be a lot more of them. The world will  democratize nuclear weapons as too many states go nuclear and all hopes of eliminating them will finish, despite the naive efforts of US President Barack Obama. That is what human nature is all about. The Bible says if Jesus Christ would not return, all life on earth would perish – largely due to nuclear detonation.

Thankfully, once Christ returns, neither America nor Afghanistan nor any other nation will have to wage another war, neither will there be any more threat of war. As the sun begins to set on the Feast of Trumpets this year (September 19, 2009), it is worthwhile to remember that this day commemorates the return of Jesus Christ to prevent man from obliterating all life on earth. God speed that day.

The Feast Of Trumpets Signals Christ's Return

barrettswanderings.blogspot.com

barrettswanderings.blogspot.com

Well, the annual Feast of Trumpets is upon us again, falling on September 19 on the Roman calendar this year (2009). This is one of God’s appointed Feast days, yet most of Christianity believes that God’s Holy Days were “done away with” — that they have no relevance today. But nothing could be further from the truth!

Is God’s law outdated?

It’s unfortunate, but some who consider themselves Christians are under the impression that God uses “planned obsolescence” when it comes to His law and His plan for mankind! Millions believe that Christ’s crucifixion “did away with” the need to keep God’s commandments, including God’s Holy Days, which outline His plan.

It’s true that God no longer requires certain acts of His people. For example, Christ’s sacrifice eliminated the need for God’s people to perform animal sacrifices (Heb. 10:1-6).

But man has taken it upon himself to declare obsolete other areas of God’s instructions that God definitely has not (Mark 7:6-9). Christ Himself said:

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matt. 5:17-18).

God’s law, including those instructions that concern God’s Holy Days, is in force today.

One of the festivals God commands us to keep is the Feast of Trumpets. Most professing Christians have not even heard of it. They have been blinded to this important Festival of God, though the Feast of Trumpets is designed to have important meaning for us in the 20th century.

Christ’s death did not at all do away with the need for us to keep the Feast of Trumpets today. This Holy Day of God is relevant now, and very much so.

Origin of the Feast of Trumpets

God first introduced the Feast of Trumpets to ancient Israel after the dramatic Exodus from Egypt, commanding them to keep this day as a Sabbath, a holy convocation (Lev. 23:23-25).

Notice that the Israelites were to mark this particular day as a memorial of the meaning trumpets had for their nation, both physically and symbolically.

God instructed them to use silver trumpets to gather the tribes for assemblies and to signal when it was time to move during their migration to the promised land. The Israelites were to blow the trumpets when they were preparing to attack or to defend against an attack. Moreover, trumpets were blown during God’s festivals and at the beginning of each month. Each use of the trumpets gave added meaning to the festivals as the Israelites understood them (Num. 10:1-10).

Since the Israelites, awestruck and trembling, had already experienced God’s tremendous use of a blaring trumpet when God gave them the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai (Ex. 19:19), they were familiar with the use of trumpets in correlation with momentous events in their lives!

Meaning of this Feast

This special Holy Day also forecasted the greatest event ever to take place. At the time of the Exodus, it was thousands of years away. But today, it’s just a precious few years ahead.

It will be a day of reckoning for the world. The Feast of Trumpets symbolically refers to a day of great black clouds and gloominess. And finally, the rending of those clouds, signaled by the ear splitting, bone penetrating blast of silver trumpets, and the blinding atomic lightning in the skies, flashing from the eyes of Him that sits astride a great white stallion. It’s the King of kings and Lord of lords, ready with His saints to make war on Satan and those deceived nations he has brought to this very day! This war will finally be the conflict that ends all wars!

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean” (Rev. 19:11-14).

Conversely, it will also be a day of great jubilation for God’s true saints. The saints will be resurrected into the God family. “For since by man [Adam] came death, by man [Christ] came also the resurrection of the dead” (I Cor. 15:21).

Notice verse 23: “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”This great Feast of Trumpets is only 14 days from the Feast of Tabernacles. This Feast day can be, if we are not careful, mentally and spiritually relegated to a lesser status than that of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast of Trumpets is only one day and seemingly doesn’t have, to some perhaps, the significance of the seven-day festival.  However, we have to eagerly look forward to the Feast of Trumpets, because it tells us of Christ’s very return.

Without instruction on that day, we won’t be able to be “AT-ONE-MENT” with God just nine days after the Feast of Trumpets. Nor will we be able to fully partake of the great eight days of feasting starting five days after Atonement.

The Feast of Trumpets is the KEY that unlocks the millennium. It begins the sequence of events that put us at one with our God and removes the destroyer. It ushers in the government of God and His Spirit-ruling family. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned” (Rev. 11:15-17).

The Feast of Trumpets is a vital link in the prophetic fulfillment of God’s plan for His bride and for all who will be born into His family. It is the fourth Holy Day out of seven for the year. Four is the number of new beginnings. The Day of Trumpets sounds the beginning of the new age of the rulership of Christ and His wife—the family of God. All of His great saints of the past will be resurrected on that day (I Thes. 4:16). On the day of Christ’s return, all of our beloved teachers of the past who taught the word of God will be there: Moses, David, the prophets, the apostles—and all the loyal saints of God.

The Feast of Trumpets represents the greatest day in the history of this earth; the day of Christ’s return and the resurrection of His saints:

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thes. 4:16-18).

Source: Good News, August 1982

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