by Epiphany Bible Students

A review, survey, or contemplation of things of the past

Troubling Times and the Time of Trouble

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5)

This was at the time ofWhereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” (2 Pet. 3:6) The period after our earthly father, Adam, had disobeyed the specific law God had given him. This was his Sin for which he had been promised death,   “...dying thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17); and eviction from his home in Paradise (Eden).

There is no evidence of Adam ever having received an immortal soul or a GOD provided eternal torment under the manage­ment of Satan, a burning hell for the souls of sinners. As a matter of fact there is no evidence whatsoever that The Creator gave mankind immortal souls or any other kind of soul. These are only two of the many lies of Satan, accepted by Papacy, the mother of harlots and the protestant harlots she hatched. “And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMI­NATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Rev. 17:5) This is the mother church; she calls herself the mother church, the Papacy, mother of harlots and her harlot offspring the various Protestant entities. Instead, The Creator “…breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7)

There was a period near the end of the “world that then was” (2 Pet. 3:6) not the end of the earth, the planet, but the world (societal order of the people). With which God allowed the angels to try their hand at recovering man from the conditions imposed by sin. One can imagine how eager those angels might have been to participate in the exciting acts of creation they had witnessed.

We are not told how many angels took part, but it seems sure there were only a small number who accepted Satan’s encouragement to take a hand. Of course, they were totally incapable of reversing the Creator’s eternal purpose and restoring Adam and Eve to that which was lost, eternal life and their home in Paradise. Think about it, what would life eternal mean to humanity? Certainly there would be no mental or bodily blemishes, no deformities, no illnesses, no meanness, no violence, no wars and no ugliness of any kind. Each human being would be perfect, unique and beautiful, all earth-bound angels. No room for jealousy, avariciousness, deceit or HATE.

Some people speak passionately about a supposedly coming rhapsody, in which all the good people throw off the “mortal coil” and are transported to Heaven as instant angels and the bad people to eternal torment as the planet earth is forever destroyed. One really has to be enthralled by the evil one, the deceiver, even to consider such nonsense as this imagined “Rhapsody.”

These people are bound by Satan and ignorant of the eternal purpose of our Creator.  HE had this purpose before forming the earth and cloaked it with vege­tation of all kinds from grass to trees. HE provided a diverse and beautiful zoological garden and created man to rule over it. “One generation goeth, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever.” (Eccl. 1:4)

 “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved HIM at

 his heart.” (Gen. 6:6) The word translated repented here is from the Hebrew word nacham [naw-kham], the primitive root of which is to sigh and by implication to be sorry – to pity. There is no indication that the Creator changed his mind or heart in the normal meaning of the English word repent. Everything is going exactly the way He has planned from the beginning. Everything is proceeding according to his “eternal pur­pose [Divine Plan].” (Eph. 3:11) He had pity for man’s growing depravity and it was the set time to bring that world to a halt. All that could be achieved here of the know­ledge of evil for his creatures, both spirit and human, had been accomplished. Any further­ance of this “world that then was (2 Pet. 3:6) would have been counter-productive to man­kind and God’s “eternal purpose.” It was the due time.

Remember the former things of old: for I am GOD, and there is none else; I am GOD, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isa. 46:9,10) What a reassuring message from our Heavenly Father, “the ancient of days,” whose day is as a thousand years (2 Pet 3:8). His major character traits are power, wisdom, justice, and love.

There is none other with the POWER to accomplish all according to an eternal purpose. No other WISDOM exists capable of this creation with an eternal purpose and to declare the end from the beginning. To exact JUSTICE in whom “judgment is laid to the line and righteousness to the plummet.” (Isa. 28:17) All these things equally balanced with perfect, Divine LOVE, “for God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

With these things in mind, we must take a look at what our Heavenly Father accom­plished for us during this period designated by Him as “The World that then was.” He formed a habitat and from the elements thereof created man, a singular creature in His own image and He tells us about it suc­cinctly, clearly and simply in very few words. The angels rejoiced at God’s creation of man a little lower then themselves and were dismayed at man’s sin and the conse­quent death penalty. No doubt, they wanted eagerly to help and started out with fervor at the opportunity the Creator permit­ted. However, bit-by-bit, every effort failed until finally Satan, the deceiver, implanted the idea that they could beget an entirely new order of earthly creatures to supplant those already in place and obviously failing. It seemed reas­onable.

These deceived angels were led to believe they could assume an earthly nature and give birth to a new order, which they commenced to do. “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation,  hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great dayHE.” (Jude 1:6) They violated God’s laws of nature; crossbreeding between different species pro­­­duces “mules,” which cannot reproduce. This alone, is a disproval of the theory of evolution. However, more often than not, the offspring is superior to the parents in many respects such as mental capa­city, strength and endurance. The pro­ducts of the union of angels and the daugh­ters of men were “giants.” They were physically and mentally larger and stronger, with a much greater tendency to evil and they could not reproduce. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with a mule of the four-legged variety, then you know.

These disobedient or sinful angels were not given the death sentence as was man. So far as we know they were not on trial for their lives. However, they were confined until the great thousand-year Day of Judgment so they could no longer interfere. But, as with man, all these fallen angels who will not be rehabilitated will be eliminated. “Know ye not that we (The Saints) shall judge angels…” (1 Cor. 6:3)

But why did God permit such a thing to happen when in his omniscience, He knew the outcome was inevitable? What good came of it? Could it be yet another wonderful lesson in the knowledge of evil for both the natural and spiritual creations? The vast majority of the angels did not participate with the few who kept not their first estate. These learned by observation of the abject failure of those who did. The angels, who fell from their first estate and practiced this abomination, have been confined in darkness until the Day of Judgment. It is not a light sentence. Imagine being confined in darkness and still conscious for only a 24 hour period, but for literally thousands of years? Man was sentenced to death, complete unconsciousness, a more lenient penalty and mankind learned a further lesson in the extreme sinfulness of sin – disobedience to God’s laws. Though still, most of us earthlings have not yet fully learned this lesson, but we shall in a little while.

Meantime in the World That Then Was, there were a few “sons of man” from Seth to Noah who maintained faith in God, even though they were unable to trace him. These are mentioned by name in the chronology of Genesis, Chapters 5 through 8, which estab­lishes the period as 1656 years from Creation of Adam to the day the flood was dried up.

Almost from the beginning, there were certain men who reverenced the Creator and had faith in Him. Noah was of those and because of his faith; he and his wife, three sons and their wives were saved out of the flood. These eight people began a New World (order). In this new order the human race was on its own, Angels were not allowed to interfere except as permitted and directed by the Creator. Man had free will to maintain reverence and faith in the Holy Father or take the course of sin and degradation, a further step in gaining the knowledge of evil. Of course, the Prince of the power of the air was allowed to continue to flit around sowing his seeds of evil within the purview of the Heavenly Father as a test of the faithful. 

After the flood, a Patriarchal Age ensued in which certain individuals starting with Noah were favored because of their reverence of God and faith in him. They are the spiritual progenitors of the people of the Kingdom of God —“The Ancient Worthies.”

Of the three sons of Noah, Shem retained the reverence of the Holy Father and it was from this lineage that sprang Abraham 352 years after the flood. Noah lived 350 years after the flood, dying just 2 years before Abram [Abraham] was born. Noah had to have been greatly venerated by all mankind; after all, he was the “grandfather” of the new order. This would have been especially true in the line through Shem. It is fair to say Abram was influenced by Noah.

the tower of babel

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” (Gen. 11:4)

The three sons of Noah became the roots of different branches of the human family, which spread in all directions across the earth. The survivors of the Great Flood moved apart and estab­lished their domains, nations and kingdoms. The various shades of skin color, eye shape, different food, lang­uages and beliefs account in one way or another for the differences between people.

The descendants of Shem migrated to an area north of the Persian Gulf where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers join. They made a city and named it Babil, meaning “Gate to God.” But, actually they had lost confidence

in God and the tower of Babil began mostly as a protection against further disasters simi­lar to the great flood.

There was only one language on earth at the time, so the work was accomplished with ease. The rising tower grew higher and became more and more spectacular. “The Lord said they have all one language… and nothing they can imagine will be res­trained from them.” (Gen. 11:6,7) So he confounded their language (verse 7) and they could not understand each other and confu­sion grew instead of the tower.

After God confused the language of the builders, the tower stopped growing and its name became Babel, (babble in English) confusion. The name grew into Babylon for the city and Babylonia for the nation which, in time with expanding prosperity, became the First Universal Empire. Money flowed into it with trade afforded by the waters of the bordering great rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. As the money grew, so did the respect of the rest of the world. The great city was built at the junction of the two great rivers (Read the first nine verses of Genesis Eleven.) The root meaning of both versions of the words Babel and Babylon is confusion and is a perfect type of all the babble of religious and secular governing systems. It was not necessarily just the confusion of language but at Satan’s prodding with it came confusion of beliefs. Not only does the type apply to Christianity and other religious forms but in addition the nations of this “Present Evil World” are typed here. (Gal. 1:4) Satan uses the extremes of error in op­position to one another in order to confuse and divert seekers of truth. The evil one uses confusion as one of his weapons. Re­mem­ber though, Satan can do nothing not sanctioned by our Great Heavenly Father, Alpha and Omega, the begin­­­ning and the end. But, mankind on its own in this present evil world has continually grown more and more evil until now it has become a volcano preparing to erupt.

king Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar was the 10th king of Babylonia and reigned from 605 - 562 B.C. He was the most powerful ruler of Babylonia. He established and ruled the First Universal Empire. His brilliance as a military leader and his architectural accomplishments are well known and studied even today.

King Nebuchadnezzar built one of the "seven wonders of the ancient world," the hanging gardens of Babylon. He improved canals and restored old religious monuments. He warred against and defeated Egypt, Tyre, Edom, and Judah. Among his many military conquests was the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. He then took the Israelites captive and force-marched them to Babylon. This period of the Hebrews is known as the “Babylonian Captivity.” It is chronicled in the book of Daniel and is foretold in the book of Jeremiah.

As King Nebuchadnezzar grew in power and might, he also grew very prideful. Partly as a warning to us, God used the king by punishing him. Pride is one of those things that God hates (Prov. 8:13). “Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18) He made King Nebuchadnezzar an example, drove him from men and he dwelled with the beasts of the field. He roamed the wild land and was forced to eat grass for seven years. Finally, the king acknowledged God as the King of Heaven and was brought ‘to his senses,’ “because every­thing he does is right and all His ways are just. And those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” (Dan. 4:37) The king died at the age of 68.

The Babylonian Empire was eventually destroyed as in Daniel's vision (Dan 4:31­,32). Today, Babylon is a part of Iraq, not far from the present-day city of Baghdad. Another ruler who likened himself to King Nebuchadnezzar was Saddam Hussein. Like his predecessor, Saddam's pride in his ac­comp­lishments led to his downfall without a legacy. Many of King Nebuchadnezzar's architectural feats have been excavated and the hanging gardens of Babylon have been mostly restored.

jesus tempted by satan

 “Again the devil taketh him up into an exceedingly high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, all these things will I give thee, if thou will fall down and worship me.”  (Mat. 4:8-9)

Even Jesus was not exempt from the machinations of Satan, the evil one; the deceiver, even though The Heavenly Father permitted this, He had every confidence in His Only Begotten Son.

This was the third temptation of Christ by the devil. Changing his method of attack, he faked sympathy with our Lord. This time he no longer disputed with Jesus that he was the Son of God and took him up mentally, not physically to an exceedingly high mountain where the entire evil world was visible to them. This was Satan’s dominion; it pictured his power over the world of mankind, the power of a usurping prince imposing upon Christ the ignorance and superstition of man­kind. This panoramic presentation of Satan’s power was designed to impress upon our Redeemer the thought that Satan’s friendship and assistance would be most valu­able; vital to the success of the redeemer’s mission.

After all, the devil was (still is) the most influential god of this present evil world. This

Evil One, Satan, the devil, the deceiver and prince of the power of the Air holds in thrall and controls the leaders and rulers of the world, both religious and secular.

Our Lord clearly understood that in time he was to have authority over these kingdoms, and that his mission was to lay the foundation for an all-encompassing Kingdom of God, but he probably did not yet fully understand how or when. Hence, the peculiar force of this temptation.

Though God has given this world over to the “prince of the power of the air” until the full end of the Gentile times, (the present evil world) yet God has not given him unlimited power. What the devil accom­plishes is only that which The Heavenly Father allows as suits his “Eternal Purpose.”

His only begotton son

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up His only begotten son.” (Heb. 11:17)

Abraham had a childlike faith. He trusted GOD’S love and believed His wisdom superior to his own and accepted His auth­ority. Abraham did not always have the degree of faith that allowed him to obey God to the extent of offering his son in sacrifice, but when over time he had gained that faith and became the “father of the faithful.” Abraham was a type of God who offered up his only begotten son, Christ the second Adam, as a ransom. When Jesus reached his majority according to Jewish law at 30 years of age, he began the sacrifice of his perfect humanity in exchange for Adam’s life.

Christ’s services and sacrifice lasted 3½ years which makes him 331/2 years old when he died on the Cross at the date of the Jewish Passover at which Christ had estab­lished his Memorial, “this do in remem­brance of me.” It replaced the Passover which he fulfilled. This establishes his death in late March or early April. Counting back nine months his true birthday would be late October or early November.

To resolve a controversy over the correct date of his birth, Pope Julius in AD 349 selected December 25 as the date of our Lord’s birth. This was an arbitrary decision because the pagan Romans already had a celebration at the time honoring Mithras the sun god, and Christ’s birth would be substituted for this pagan god. The Mother of Harlots was picking up many popular pagan Roman celebrations and incorporating them to fit the fast developing Christian creed. This helped the pagans to accept The Mother of Harlot’s Christianity.

Jesus was The Creator’s first and special creation and chief assistant in the process of creating the earth, etc. He was allowed to help in Adam’s creation and in the provision of the special paradise, Eden the perfect home for the new creature made in earthly likeness to his Divine Creator. Jesus was not The Only Begotten Son during the creation following his own. He became this son by accepting his mission to die for Adam and us. First he was reduced to a perfect human seed, implanted into the body of a virgin and in due time birthed as a perfect male child and placed in a manger for lack of a crib.

Jesus never hesitated to accept his Heavenly Father’s mission to take on a perfect human life and sacrifice it for Adam and his human family. Mary, the bride of Joseph but still a virgin, was selected to be the earthly mother.

The Father fashioned His seed to suit the human, planted it in the woman and within the required time Jesus was born and grew into a perfect human being as Adam had been before he sinned. The human Jesus retained the memory of his mis­sion awarded him by the Heavenly Father to be the corresponding price for Adam and all of us still within Adam when he lost his life through disobedience of his Creator’s law.

Of course, Satan the deceiver had to get into the action. He convinced the leaders of the early church into thinking Christ after his sacrifice was a part of God, along with the Holy Spirit and formed the false premise of a society of Gods, a trinity. He further styled Mary as “the mother of God” and all manner of fantasies have grown from that falsehood. Church edifices, colleges and other monu­ments have been named St Mary’s. Mary the mother of Jesus would be so ashamed, for as far as we know, she remained humble and faithful all her life. However could she not with her experience of having been the birth mother of our Savior. We do not know for sure if she was one of the 144,000 who became the Bride of Christ, the Little Flock, who is the second Eve, and will rule with Christ in Heaven.

For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever Believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He that believeth on him is

 not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16,18) This might indicate to some that the everlasting life was to be had in Heaven. But man was made by the Creator for the earth and a god of the earth. “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)

Martin Luther styled the above two verses (16,18) “The Little Bible.” It certainly is the crux. It seems impossible that anyone could believe the malarkey that “his only begotten Son” is now an equal part of a society of Gods, the trinity? How pagan-istic can a Christian become?

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9)

Adam, the first perfect man, left his progeny a heritage of a home in the wilder­ness, devolution and death. We were con­demned with him long before our birth. But do not blame father Adam too much, for we have not done any better, look at the condition of this present evil world, growing more evil daily.

Jesus Christ (The Anointed) was the second perfect man. Thus far there has never been but these two. Christ gave up, his highly exalted position in Heaven to become a perfect human and die to pay the corres­ponding price for Adam and his progeny, all condemned by sin.

the trials of Jesus christ

God did not allow these trials to be easy. The faithful few knew that if Jesus was convicted as charged it would be a travesty and the death sentence the opposite of justice. The Jewish Sanhedrin was the highest judicial and ecclesiastical council of the ancient Jewish nation was composed of from 70 to 72 members. It was the highest court of the Jews. Three times they tried him, presided over by Annas, the Chief Priest, then later by his son Calaphas and finally by the entire Sanhedrin. He was given the death sentence all three times. But, the Jews were not allowed by the Roman Empire to carry out a death sentence without the Empire’s permission. (John 18:12­­­-14; Matt. 26:57-68; Matt. 27:1,2)

The Sanhedrin bound Jesus and deliver­ed him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judaea, who examined the Jewish convict.  He found nothing against him and declared him innocent. The death penalty could apply only if he was found guilty of plotting against the Roman Empire. Pilate found no evidence of this. Then they took him to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee the Jewish sub-Governor who also found him innocent as he would not go against Pilate. Finally Pilate acceded to the wishes of the Jews, but washed his hands in public before them to show he was not responsible for the execution of Jesus and reluctantly sent him, handed him over, to the Jews for death on the cross.

Some of the Jews were puzzled thinking he called for Elijah as he was dying. Even today they read or quote the 22nd lament Psalm and rock from side to side and cry aloud at the wailing wall of the Temple Mount. David felt something, at least, of what Christ was to go through dying on the cross. Jesus through his earthly mother was a direct descendant of King David. See the first Chapter of Matthew for the lineage from David to Jesus.

He called out in a “loud voice” indicat­ing considerable vitality after nine hours nailed to the, massive, beastly wooden cross “God, my God.” This attests to us the fact that he did not claim to be the Heavenly Father or a part of him, but the Son of Him. This makes the title “mother of God” for the Virgin Mary by the Harlots’ ludicrous indeed. But of course, the Harlots are enthralled under control of the Prince of the Power of the Air, the Devil of this Present Evil World.

The Heavenly Father’s sustaining power had to be withdrawn to make the sacrifice complete. Evidently, knowledge of this had been withheld from The Anointed because he must suffer this phase of the punishment for Adam’s transgression. This was a real agony, not faked and it is certain that both Father and son felt it.

why hast thou forsaken me?

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” − King David’s lament. (Psalms 22:1)

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark15:34)

Some of the Jews were puzzled thinking he called for Elijah just before his death. Nevertheless, even today they read or quote the 22nd lament Psalm and rock from side to side and cry aloud at the wailing wall of the Temple Mount.

David felt something, at least, of what Christ was to go through dying on the cross. Jesus through his earthly mother was a direct descendant of King David. See the first Chapter of Matthew for the lineage from David to Jesus.

The penalty Jesus paid for Adam’s sin was more than “dying thou shalt surely die” but also he had to be cut off from fellowship with God. Jesus in taking the sinner’s place must have the full experience of the sinner’s alienation, at least for the moment. Obviously, this must have been hidden from him and probably more hurtful than being nailed to the cross. “Why hast thou forsaken me?” In his spiritual life prior to taking on the earthly mantle, he was an angel with a closer contact with the Heavenly Father than any other angel. He was God’s first creation and the Chief Angel. Jesus did creation work under guidance of the architect who had “The Eternal Purpose.” Jesus was not the alpha and omega and not GOD’S only begotten Son until he was born of the woman who accepted GOD’S seed.

The Heavenly Father’s sustaining power had to be withdrawn to make the sacrifice complete. Evidently knowledge of this had been withheld from The Anointed, because he must suffer this phase of the punishment for Adam’s transgression. This was a real agony, not faked and it is certain that both Father and son felt it.

the first resurrection

“…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:25, 26)

Jesus spoke of the intended results of his sacrifice. Even then he suspended temporarily the power of death by restoring Lazarus again.

And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, [even] the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)

“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with  him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:5,6)

The strike-through of the first sentence of vs. 5 above is to show that it is spurious. It perhaps crept into the text by accident. Scholars of the ancient Greek language have agreed that no manuscript prior to the Sev­enth Century AD contained this sentence. However, there seems to be an element of truth in it.

The resur­rection the rest of the dead will be throughout a thousand years Judgment Day, a “Millennium” in which The Christ, Head and Body, will be the judge to determine

worthiness of each of them for eternal life as perfect human beings as Adam was before his sin. If they are successful and pass this judgment they will become perfect humans as Adam was before his sin and live forever. If they fail, it is the Second Death for which there will be no Savior.

The First Resurrection is Christ and the Saints, the 144,000 members of his “Bride,” already gathered. They will occupy the throne with Christ and participate in the judging the rest of the dead and the fallen angel.  


Our Lord’s Memorial is after 6 PM on Sunday, March 24, 2013. We will celebrate the Memorial at 7 p. m., 2501 Morningside Drive, Mount Dora, Florida 32757. All of like faith are invited to attend.