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    • By John Young
      (I was recently asked about what the overall theme of Esther was, beyond the general story and the subject or the historical background. My friend was wanting to know if there was a good commentary that clearly laid out the Allegorical/Types found in Esther. Its clear from reading the story that it holds more than just what is found on the surface but many commentaries do not go beyond a surface reading except to venture the fact that God orchestrated their salvation from behind the scenes. Those that did venture in to the allegorical tended to very odd or speculative ways that were not consistent with scripture, so I could not recommend even mentioning them and their theories. So I wrote my friend the overview as I understood it and I would like to submit it to the group to consider as well, to add to or clarify, or correct the interpretation. I wrote the following....:)
      As I understand it, the allegory (God's spiritual principles being taught behind the physical actions and events of the bible stories) of Esther typifies the the end times events as it relates to the Jewish people/Israel and the rise of Christ and Israel back to prominence with God through obedience to His immutable Word. The allegory does not negate or excuse the flaws and practical applications of the story but is meant to show God's purpose behind making it part of scripture. In this we see many allusions to end times. There is much more in the details than this but the main characters represent:

      King Ahasuerus: Represents God in his sovereignty over all the land.
      King's Command/Word: Shows the Immutability God's word. It doesn't change and stands forever.
      King's Ring: Represents the power of the kings word given to another to operate in the king's place.
      The seven chamberlains: Represent the seven Spirits of God which are before His throne. They go forth to do the king's bidding and care for the King's concubines and for the Queen.
      The seven princes/Wise men: Represent the Seven angels of the church. They go forth to all the land proclaiming the Kings word and gathering out of it the virgins for the king.
      Queen Vashti: Represents Unbelieving Israel which refused to obey the King's command and to whom all the worlds wives (The nations of the world) looked to and were to emulate.
      Queen Esther: Represents Believing Israel chosen from the virgins to replace unbelieving Israel.
      Mordecai: Represents Christ who adopted Ester, raised her up, in his own house, and to whom she obeyed in all things, even after being made queen. He also initiated the persecution of the Jews by not submitting to Haman's authority.
      The virgins: Represents all saved individuals gathered by the angels of the churches from all nations.
      Haman: Represents the anti-Christ who rises to power in the end times and is given authority over the whole world by God but attempts to persecute Christ and those who keep his commandments because Christ refuses to submit/bow to his Authority.
      Haman's ten sons/ those who follow Haman's Commands: The ten nations and wicked of revelation
      In general the events go like this, Israel is living in God's land but refuses to live by her covenant with God nor to hear God's Word, so she is divorced and is removed from her position as queen, the King's wife. God then turns to the whole world looking for a queen who pleases and listens to Him. From the world He receives many chaste virgins into his household. From among those virgins he receives a believing Israel who is obedient to Christ and He makes her Queen. After all the virgins are received into the house of God, and the queen is established on earth (but not yet with her faith reveled), the Anti-Christ is given power by God over the world (Anti-Christ enters the temple), to whom all but Christ submits. In this refusal, Christ initiates the tribulation of the Jews and the Anti-Christ usurps his God given power to persecute and make war with them. Christ then, with believing Israel, seeks God's help in saving the Jews and removing the Anti-Christ from power. In this the Jews consolidate with Israel and submit to Christ and God casts out the Anti-Christ, his ten sons and gives His power over the world to Christ.

      In all this it is noted that God's command are immutable and come with repercussions for obeying or disobeying them and how you use that principle can help or harm. Vashi directly defied the king's command and received swift judgment. Esther obeyed and sought petitions from the King and was rewarded. Haman tried to use his words in place of the Kings Words, for his own benefit and for evil and then was destroyed by his own words. Mordecai was obedient to the Kings word but not to Haman's substitute and therefor brought suffering for a time but then was rewarded for his faithfulness to the true word.
    • By Bro. Richard Norman
      We're doing a study on Revelation in our Wednesday night study and while talking about the 4 of the 7 churches listed in Ch. 2, one of the congregants asked if there was a specific reason the churches were separated into 2 chapters. I reminded her that when John wrote this, he didn't list chapter and verse, but that these were added later on. She kept questioning and raised a thoughtful question. Is there any significance to the order due to geography? If you look at a map, see attached, there is order (Ephesus to Laodicea in a Clockwise circle.) Does anyone know if there was significance to the order or are we looking for meaning where there isn't meaning intended?
      TIA,
      Bro. Richard

    • By Orval
      I have recently read a few articles on global warming and while I somewhat detest the tree hugger mentality, I do hate the idea of cutting down trees, and love wildlife reserves and such.  My question is this, are the "scientists" who are proclaiming that in the next 30-50 years the heat of our continent's will rise to nearly unbearable temperatures correct and if they are, do you think this is the preparation for events during the tribulation period concerning the trumpets and vials?  I am leaning toward yes in both instances but honestly I would like to read someone who I know can be trusted.
       
      Your thoughts please. 
    • By MountainChristian
      “Commandments of God”
      This phrase only appears three times in the Authorized King James Version.
      The first time this phrase is used it was Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians. “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”- 1Corinthians 7:19. How can Paul say keeping the commandments of God and not include circumcision?
      Let's do a little background work. Jehovah told Abraham to start the tradition of circumcision in Genesis 17, “And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.” Later in the Law Jehovah told Moses it was one of the commandments, in Leviticus 12:3, “And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.”
      So we see it was part of God's commandments in the Law, but was those commandments replaced by God?
      In the book of John 14:15 we see Jesus telling us to keep his commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” In John 14:21 Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” Again in John 15:10 Jesus said, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.”
      How do we know what commandments Jesus gave us to follow? Acts 1:1-4 “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.” 1 Corinthians 14:37 “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” 1 Thessalonians 4:2 “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.”
      We see the phrase repeated the last two times by John in Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
      The 1st time the phase appears Paul is telling us it's not the Law or Torah. The Apostles was Jewish and they taught and kept the commandments of Jesus as God. Jesus even told us he fulfilled the Father's and we should keep his commandments. In the Revelation verses John tells us the men are Christians but over and over men say those are Law commandments. So why do some writers of Christian/Jewish Eschatology say the verses in Revelation mean the Law or Torah? My Sunday school teacher has given me some books on eschatology but none of them explain their reasoning. He is on vacation so I thought I would ask you guys and gals.
    • By Ronda
      JEREMIAH 49... I don't see a lot of eschatology being discussed here (other than the millennial kingdom) recently... so I decided to go out on a limb and start a discussion about Jeremiah 49.  I wanted to focus on the specific passages of 35-39, and most specifically upon verse 36. 
      "And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come."
      SOMETHING is going to happen in Iran (specifically where Elam used to be which is in what is now Iran).
      It is an area ***"stretching from the lowlands of what is now Khuzestan and Ilam Province as well as a small part of southern Iraq." (*** land description taken from wikipedia... see also map below) 
      I realize that Persia is also listed in Ezekiel 38-39 as one of the nations which is included in the confederacy against Israel.  I do not think it is likely that is part of Ezekiel's prophecy in ch. 38-39, but I do think it COULD precede it, and possibly be a factor in why Persia is listed in the Ezekiel 38-39 confederacy (although the reasons for Ez. 38-39 are more about "taking a spoil")
      So back to Jeremiah 49
      SOMETHING will happen to cause THIS: 
      "... I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, 
      and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation
      whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come." 
      My thought is that it's possible that Iran will attempt to attack Israel. Israel will defend herself and isn't it amazing that the Bushehr site in Iran
       (the very site the nuclear reactor is located) is smack dab in the area where Elam was? 
      Not saying it HAS TO happen that way... and I'm not saying the event HAS to be nuclear... I am just that it COULD happen that way.
      Whatever happens the Lord will be in control of the situation. It does not have to be nuclear, it could be any number of events...and it will be of God's will.
      Whatever happens (nuclear or not) will cause these things to happen (which have not YET happened to a total fulfillment in history):
      1. The Lord "will bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven,"
      2. "and will scatter them toward all those winds;" 
      3. "and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come."
      History tells us that Elam was conquered by the Assyrian empire and then later by the Medo-Persian empire.However, that did not drive out all of those people who lived there, but instead they were then under the control of the Medo-Persian empires control, but most continued to live in that same area of land (even though under the rulership of the Medo-Persian empire).
      So I do not believe that being conquered by the Medo-Persian empire fulfills this prophecy since they were not driven off the land, they were not scattered to the 4 quarters, and they haven't (yet) been scattered to all nations.
      Elam is now a part of modern-day Iran. (and in that part of Iran there is a nuclear reactor as well as current plans for the Iranians to build more) I conclude these verses are future events (possibly soon).
      I also would further conclude that verses 38-39 will be fulfilled at an even later time (the millennial reign) because there certainly is NOT a throne of the Lord in Elam, nor has there ever been in past history.
      The only other place in the Bible that a (future) earthly throne of the Lord is mentioned is in reference to Jerusalem. So while I do not claim to have any idea exactly what the throne of the Lord in Elam will be... nor the reason why... I do believe it is true, because the word of God IS true!
      Every past prophecy which was fulfilled was fulfilled exactly as prophecied, to the letter,
      Which means all future prophecy will also be fulfilled exactly as prophecied. 
      I am only giving my opinion of what COULD cause them to be scattered to the 4 quarters, and scattered unto every nation.
      That said... God cannot be boxed into "logical human reasoning" because His ways are far above our ways.
      So I am not stating it HAS to be a nuclear event... it is just a possibility of what could occur to cause such a scattering.
       
      35 "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.
      36 "And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.
      37 "For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the Lord; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:
      38 "And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the Lord.
      39 "But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the Lord.
      map image (taken from wikipedia) for the location of where Elam was:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elam#/media/File:Elam_Map.jpg
       
      What say ye all?

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