Utopia

Utopia – an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.

I have previously written about my conversion to Christianity on my blog entitled “Regarding Wilmer”. Few days after my only son was buried, a Bible study was started at our home and continued every Monday evening, which lasted for two years. Since then, it became my habit to read the Bible every opportunity available to me. I must have read the whole Bible five times over and over – from Genesis to Revelation – to the point that I have practically memorized Scripture. I can easily quote Scriptural verses together with its chapter and verse number. Two pastors handled our Bible study, the first for six months, then I was entrusted to his pastor-brother, who mentored me one-on-one, so altogether two years. I must say, the two, of course coupled with my regular reading of the Bible, were instrumental for my rapid growth in Christianity. I was then encouraged to study in a seminary for further equipping.

I had doubts on the idea of going to school again, considering my age and time limitation, since I also have to provide for my family, with two daughters still studying. After my conversion to Christianity, I have been so passionate with the faith, wanting to learn more, so I would eagerly listen and watch every available Christian programs, both on radio and television. It was then that I realized that there are a lot of different explanations on a single verse of the Scripture. I knew in my heart that God could not have meant different meanings for His Word, therefore some of the explanations must be erroneous but which one? So I decided to enter seminary study even just for a subject every semester. To make the long story short, I eventually entered full-time study four years later after my initial enrollment as a part-time student.

I remember the day we first arrived at the seminary premises, my youngest daughter – only nine years old at that time – uttered the word “Heaven”. She seemed to have a sense of euphoria knowing that we would be residing in the seminary until my graduation. But the feeling of euphoria was short-lived. We soon realized that’s not true. Looking back, I thank God my family didn’t backslide on their faith, though I don’t mean to say we had a totally bad experience in the seminary. Just as I have said in my previous blog, most of my professors and seminary staffs had been kind and a blessing to us.

God truly is amazing. Our experience in the seminary prepared us for our next journey – my pastorate work. But this time, I was armed with my experienced and reminded by the Words of Jesus, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves (Matthew 10:16).”

I have been out of the organized Christian congregation and organizations for more than six years now. Together with my wife and the support of my two daughters, we have been joyfully doing Bible studies on our own small and little way. Gone are the hurts and sad experiences of yesteryears. But as you can see from our about me webpage, we have gone independent and our ministry would primarily focus on Unlearning Tradition and Relearning Scripture. And we know that in doing so, we may have unintentionally stepped on the feet of other Christian ministries. Let us assure you that that was never our intention. Consider us your partner in further learning the truth of the Scripture.

Anyway, as I had said before, eschatology – the study of the last things (click here for better understanding of eschatology) – has been my favorite. Having lost a son, I certainly want to know for sure what the Bible say on the topic of death. However, in the course of my study on the topic, both in the seminary and later on, the study of Jesus’ Second Coming came head-to-head with the supposed teaching on the final destination of the Christian death.

And on the topic of the Second Coming, it is common for Christians to have an idea of euphoria – actually it’s more of utopia once Jesus Christ had returned. Here is the explanation of Got.Questions.Org

The second coming of Jesus Christ is the hope of believers that God is in control of all things, and is faithful to the promises and prophecies in His Word. In His first coming, Jesus Christ came to earth as a baby in a manger in Bethlehem, just as prophesied. Jesus fulfilled many of the prophecies of the Messiah during His birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection. However, there are some prophecies regarding the Messiah that Jesus has not yet fulfilled. The second coming of Christ will be the return of Christ to fulfill these remaining prophecies. In His first coming, Jesus was the suffering Servant. In His second coming, Jesus will be the conquering King. In His first coming, Jesus arrived in the most humble of circumstances. In His second coming, Jesus will arrive with the armies of heaven at His side.

The Old Testament prophets did not make clearly this distinction between the two comings. This can be seen in Isaiah 7:149:6-7 and Zechariah 14:4. As a result of the prophecies seeming to speak of two individuals, many Jewish scholars believed there would be both a suffering Messiah and a conquering Messiah. What they failed to understand is that there is only one Messiah and He would fulfill both roles. Jesus fulfilled the role of the suffering servant (Isaiah chapter 53) in His first coming. Jesus will fulfill the role of Israel’s deliverer and King in His second coming. Zechariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:7, describing the second coming, look back to Jesus being pierced. Israel, and the whole world, will mourn for not having accepted the Messiah the first time He came.

After Jesus ascended into heaven, the angels declared to the apostles, “‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven’” (Acts 1:11). Zechariah 14:4 identifies the location of the second coming as the Mount of Olives. Matthew 24:30 declares, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.” Titus 2:13 describes the second coming as a “glorious appearing.”

The second coming is spoken of in greatest detail in Revelation 19:11-16, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defined “utopia” as a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions. That is exactly the expectation and understanding of Christians once the Second Coming was fulfilled. So that explains why even well-known Christian writers and scholars would suggest that Jesus was hallucinating when He told His immediate disciples that He would be coming in their generation. See a statement made by famed Christian theologian C.S. Lewis.

Famed Christian theologian C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia, said this about this passage:

“Say what you like,” we shall be told, “the apocalyptic beliefs of the first Christians have been proved to be false. It is clear from the New Testament that they all expected the Second Coming in their own lifetime. And, worse still, they had a reason, and one which you will find very embarrassing. Their Master had told them so. He shared, and indeed created, their delusion. He said in so many words, ‘this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.’ And he was wrong. He clearly knew no more about the end of the world than anyone else. It is certainly the most embarrassing verse in the Bible.” (C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night: And Other Essays, p.97)

Excerpt taken from “Liar, Lunatic or Lord?”

As you can see, C.S. Lewis, on his book entitled “The World’s Last Night: And Other Essays” at page 97-98 made that statement. Click here to read a free PDF copy of the said book. Herein are the passages that they denied as infallible – without error:

In Matthew 24:34, Jesus Christ assured His disciples – Peter, James, John and the others – telling them the certainty of the destruction of Jerusalem together with the temple – the sign of His return in their generation. See Matthew 24:2,15-31, saying “Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

In Matthew 16:27-28, Jesus Christ told His disciples that He will build His church (Matt. 16:18-19), and about His impeding death and resurrection (Matt. 16:21), then assuring the twelve that His return would be within their lifetime, saying, “For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what He has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

In Matthew 10:23, Jesus Christ sent out the twelve to preach about the arrival of God’s kingdom (Matt. 10:5-6), telling them about the dangers and importance of their message, saying, “When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.”

Do you understand the implication of isolating some of Jesus’ promises, making it appear it’s not true or He was wrong, simply because it does not conform to the idea of utopia once Jesus Christ had returned? In effect, C.S. Lewis and the likes have put the Words of Christ to test. In Matthew 4:7, at the temptation of Jesus Christ, He told the devil, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Are we free to pick and choose which promises of the Scripture is true or not, simply because it does not agree with our ideas? Don’t we understand that was precisely the temptation of Adam and Eve when the Serpent put the Word of God to a test?

The popular and prevailing understanding on Jesus’ Second Coming, without a doubt, is difficult to unlearn. But an in-depth study of the Scripture would certainly liberate us from the trap. Let us first take a second look at the statement of Got.Questions.Org on the topic of the Second Coming:

First, highlighted in red “The Old Testament prophets did not make clearly this distinction between the two comings.”

What distinction?

The second coming of Christ will be the return of Christ to fulfill these remaining prophecies. In His first coming, Jesus was the suffering Servant. In His second coming, Jesus will be the conquering King. In His first coming, Jesus arrived in the most humble of circumstances. In His second coming, Jesus will arrive with the armies of heaven at His side.

GotQuestions.Org, Second Coming.

That actually was a correct observation, but it does not mean the First and Second Comings would be separated by millennia and ongoing. The First and Second Comings actually refers to the fulfillment of the Leviticus 23 Seven Jewish Festivals, which could be simplified as two Jewish Harvest Festivals.

The Spring harvest festival began with both the Passover and Unleavened Bread feasts; next, Feast of Firstfruit; and lastly, Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. All four festivals had been fulfilled with the supposed “First Coming of Jesus Christ”.

For the Passover and unleavened bread, see 1 Corinthians 5:7-8.

Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

For the Feast of Firstfruit, 1 Corinthians 15:20.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

And for the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, Acts 2:1-4,12-21,38-41.

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ (Acts 2:12-21)

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:38-41)

The second half of the Seven Jewish Feasts refer to the Fall Harvest Festival – namely, the Feast of Trumpets; the Day of Atonement; and lastly, the Feast of Booths,covering the supposed Second Coming of Jesus Christ. To read more about the Fall Harvest Festival, go to my blog Let The Reader Understand

Hence, Jesus in Matthew 24:29-35 said:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Here goes the most embarrassing verse, according to C.S. Lewis. Jesus Christ clearly told His disciples that His return would be upon “this generation” – the generation that would see all that He had spoken, including the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. It happened in 70 A.D., therefore it was indeed witnessed by the first generation Christians, possibly including John, a witness in the tribulation. See Revelation 1:9.

I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.

John cannot be talking about any other tribulation because Jesus Christ said:

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. (Matthew 24:21)

Here is an excerpt from Got.Questions.Org regarding Jerusalem Temple:

Cline states that the city was completely destroyed at least twice, once by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:8-10) and again by the Romans under Titus in AD 70.

Source: GotQuestions.Org, How many times has Jerusalem been destroyed?

For more information about Matthew 24, again you may want to read my blog “Let The Reader Understand”.

The coming of Jesus Christ was the inauguration of the New Covenant, promised in the Old Testament Scripture, which will be completed upon His return. See first Jeremiah 31:27-34.

Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the LORD. In those days they shall no longer say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge. Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Next, Hebrews 12:22-26, the author of Hebrews speaking to believers awaiting the return of Christ Jesus said:

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven. At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”

So indeed, the coming of Jesus Christ was the arrival or commencing of the New Covenant. And it also said “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” In other words, the shaking of the heavens and earth had occurred before, it’s not a happening only at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Since we adhere that the Bible as infallible, without error, then it demands that the statement is a truthful and factual.

In that case, if we follow the ideas concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, then why are we still here? There seems to be no utopia after all?

You know what, it was because those were Hebrew covenant language. Yes,“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) was/is a covenant language.

Now see Isaiah 64:1-12. Isaiah, knowing that God’s judgment was upon Israel, the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple by the Babylonian and the Jewish exile, pleaded for God’s mercy said:

Oh that You [the LORD God] would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence— as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make Your name known to Your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at Your presence! When You did awesome things that we did not look for, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. You meet him who joyfully works righteousness, those who remember you in your ways. Behold, you were angry, and we [Israel] sinned; in our sins we have been a long time, and shall we be saved? We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls upon Your name, who rouses himself to take hold of You; for You have hidden Your face from us, and have made us melt in the hand of our iniquities. But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and You are our potter; we are all the work of Your hand. Be not so terribly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity forever. Behold, please look, we are all Your people. Your holy cities have become a wilderness; Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation. Our holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised you, has been burned by fire, and all our pleasant places have become ruins. Will you restrain yourself at these things, O LORD? Will you keep silent, and afflict us so terribly?

GotQuestions.Org said:

In biblical history, Nebuchadnezzar is most famous for the conquering of Judah and the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem in 586 BC

The first destruction of Jerusalem and its temple was God’s rejection of His people, Israel. Isaiah said, at His (first) judgment in 586 BC., the Babylonian destroyed Jerusalem (Isaiah 64:10-11), God came down (Isaiah 64:3), and the mountains quaked at His presence.

If we take Hebrew languages literally and follow the ideas of the tradition teaching on the Second Coming, God came down in 586 BC, so utopia follows – the history of mankind should have ceased right then and there. Don’t you think we truly need to Unlearn Tradition and Relearn Scripture?

The Son of Man coming in the cloud was a Hebrew metaphor for the coming final judgment of God against Old Covenant Israel. See Daniel 7:9-14.

As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took His seat; His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head like pure wool; His throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before Him; a thousand thousands served Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. “I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a Son of Man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.

The “Son of Man” is Jesus Christ. See Matthew 10:23.

When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

See also Matthew 16:13-16,24-28.

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” … Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

Lastly, Matthew 24:27-35.

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that He is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

For explanation to Matthew 24:30, see my blog “Dating of Revelation”.

A lot of people who deny the Words of Christ, that He was coming in the lifetime of Peter, James and John, do not realize that without the return of Jesus Christ, “salvation remains to be a promise, not yet a reality”. See Hebrews 9:28

So also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

See also Revelation 14:12-20.

Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a Son of Man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

Do you realize what you have just read? Christians who have died have finally found rest, only after God’s final judgment on the city of Old Covenant Jerusalem. That is why, prior to Christ’s Second Coming and final judgment, Revelation 6:9-11 said:

When He [Jesus Christ] opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

That is exactly what I have been explaining before: the denial of Christ’s return has created an eschatological divide with the doctrine of Christian death. To understand further, go to my blog “The Eschatological Divide”.

Therefore, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ halted the Old Covenant, while the New Covenant was completed. So it’s not utopia that follows but the fullness of the New Covenant, for we are now in the Christian age, and the Eternal Gospel must be proclaimed to all. And Scripture spoke of no end for the New Covenant or the Christian Age.

See 2 Corinthians 5:16-21.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh [circumcision]. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

See Revelation 14:6-8.

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

Old Covenant Jerusalem was Babylon the Great, not Rome, as it was traditionally taught and believed. See Revelation 17:3-5. Babylon the Great was the woman seated on a scarlet beast, which had seven heads and ten horns.

The “seven heads” are seven mountains (or hills in Greek) on which the woman was seated. Revelation 17:9-10 said “the seven heads also are seven kings, five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain only a little while.”

Rome is always known (click here) as the city on seven hills. The Seven heads were the Seven Kings or Emperors of Rome – namely: 1st, Julius Caesar (44 BC); 2nd, Augustus Caesar (27BC – 14AD); 3rd, Tiberius Caesar (14-37 AD); 4th, Caligula Caesar (37-41 AD); 5th, Claudius Caesar (41-54 AD); and finally, 6th, Nero Caesar (54-68 AD). Source: click here.

Note: Jews have always considered Julius Caesar as the first of Rome’s emperor. Actually they are more inclined to call him king. See John 19:15 – “We have no king but Caesar.” It was said: Under Julius Caesar, Judaism was officially recognised as a legal religion, a policy followed by the first Roman emperor, Augustus. Source: click here.

“Five have fallen, one is” – that was Nero Caesar. Therefore, the Book of Revelation was written by John during Nero’s reign, not in late 90s as suggested again based on tradition.

The “woman,” “Babylon the Great”, also was the “great city”. See Revelation 17:18, where John revealed that it was the great city where Jesus Christ was crucified (Revelation 11:8); therefore it was Old Covenant Jerusalem. Isn’t it clear that all prophecies of Scripture had been fulfilled?

So what now? The apostle John in Revelation 22:7-20 have these remaining important last words from the Lord Jesus Christ.

And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. (Revelation 22:7-10)

Note: Unlike Daniel who was told to seal the book, for the things he wrote refers to the time of the end (it’s the time of the end, not end times; see Daniel 12:9), John was told not to seal this book of the prophecy – meaning, it’s really a revelation – for the time is near (see Revelation 22:10). It’s near to John and his audience, not to us who are millennia away from the time of Christ’s revelation. Next …

Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing My recompense with Me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:11-15)

Note: See the urgency and certainty of Christ’s warning: “Behold, I am coming soon”. “Soon” by any means cannot be two thousand years ago and ongoing? It is also significant to understand that it was only upon His return when believers or Christians may have the right to the tree of life (eternal life) as well as to enter the city by the gates – the true Holy City, the New Jerusalem. See Revelation 21:2. And upon His return, outside the city are “the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Revelation 22:15). I don’t see any earth-ending scenario here but the separation of God’s people and those who love falsehood. Don’t you think it makes sense that the Eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ should still be preached even after God’s Final Judgment and the fall of Babylon the Great – again, Old Covenant Jerusalem? See Revelation 14:6-8.

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

Hence, Habakkuk 2:14 said:

Woe to him [Old Covenant Jerusalem] who builds a town with blood and founds a city on iniquity! Behold, is it not from the LORD of hosts that peoples labor merely for fire, and nations weary themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk clearly was referring to the eternal preaching of the Gospel spoken in Revelation 14:6. So we see despite attempts in history to silence the Bible and suppress the truth, the Word of God would always be proclaimed at any time, and at any place. Next …

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you [John] about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

Note: Can you see, highlighted in red, the invitation for eternal life remains open? And the assurance and certainty of things written by John was attested by Jesus Christ Himself. Therefore, despite the lousyness of modern day Christianity, let it not be a reason for anyone to reject the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let us discern carefully of what we have heard, by checking every declaration and statement vis-a-vis with the Word of God.

On the other hand, Jesus Christ also has warned against diversions or extractions of His Word, the Book of Revelation. Anyone who does so, judgment and forfeiture of eternal life would be the consequence. Surely, that is a scary end, so I embarked on studying the Scripture in-depth to know the truth and be assured of entrance to God’s kingdom.

I know my detractors would also be claiming they speak the truth, so it should be a prudent thing to listen to both sides of the arguments and reflect on Scripture to see which one is the truth. Most of you actually have heard their side of the argument, so perhaps you can give my exposition of the Scripture a chance. At the end of the day, it’s about the faith, our salvation and eternity.

There was no utopia after all, but a New Covenant. But if you mean utopia as in Jesus Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings, make no mistake He was/is victorious (Revelation 17:14; Revelation 5:5), and He reigns now and forevermore (Revelation 19:6). Therefore, in Christ Jesus we have eternal blessedness, now and beyond this present existence, indeed we are having it now.

Blessings!

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Published by Eric

I am a pastor. In the course of leading Bible studies, I have noticed inconsistencies in the traditional Christian beliefs and teachings. So now I am on a journey of in-depth study of the Scripture. By the grace of God, having been liberated by the truths of the Word of God, now I am doing the ministry independently, teaching the Word of God.

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