*1. Perhaps, that was a new birth...
Believe it or not, this saying of Paul's can be looked upon in several ways. Some scholars sincerely feel that he's meaning his natural mother here; being separated unto the Gospel (Romans 1:1) from conception, like Jeremiah was (Jeremiah 1:5). Or, this can be looked upon as he being separated from his Jewish, Pharisee religion, which he was raised in – therefore, making his mother, in this instance, the Jewish, Pharisee religion (i.e. Old Jerusalem); having grown up, he therefore got separated from her afterward by God's grace, and because of his experience with Jesus. Or, lastly, this could mean his Mother New Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26), from whom (once born) he could now preach in the Second Heaven. In fact, just after saying that he was separated from his Mother's womb, he then mentions that God called him by His grace; and then, afterward, God's Son, Jesus, was revealed in him – indicating a very spiritual experience. So, with this spiritual aftermath having been expressed (again, God's grace, then Jesus coming into him), I truly feel that the Mother in this instance (again, in Galatians 1:15) was New Jerusalem; because, once he was "born again" from her (or, as it says: "separated"*), he found, not only God's grace, but found that Jesus was now living inside him in a very personal, spiritual way ... We'll continue to see, throughout this book, how all this matches up.
The word separate can be a tricky business for us. But, before getting into the pros and cons of what this could mean in our scriptural reference, let's first define the Greek word:
Separated, Aphorizō, G873, from Strong's Greek Dictionary (Strong's Hebrew & Greek Dictionaries were Published in 1890, and are public domain): From G575 and G3724; to set off by boundary, that is, (figuratively) limit, exclude, appoint, etc.: - divide, separate, sever.
In my own interpretation of Galatians 1:15, this definition doesn't really seem to fit. At least so at first. In fact, it would almost fit my second forwarded explanation; namely, that Paul was separated from his old religion. Consider the clues in the Greek definition: exclude, divide, sever ... However, before settling in to the second idea of what this verse could mean, let's reason together that, in like manner of a natural birth, we do, in fact, get separated from our Mother's womb so that we can have life for ourselves. Therefore, we could say, in that instance, that being separated is just another way of saying "delivered." And, that can be true enough – except for the fact that our Greek definition doesn't seem to be pointing in that direction. However, the root Greek words (G575 and G3724), from which this word derived, may help give us some more clues. Let's quickly define those, as I highlight some interesting definitions:
Apo, G575, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: A primary particle; “off”, that is, away (from something near), in various senses (of place, time, or relation; literally or figuratively): - (X here-) after, ago, at, because of, before, by (the space of), for (-th), from, in, (out) of, off, (up-) on (-ce), since, with. In composition (as a prefix) it usually denotes separation, departure, cessation, completion, reversal, etc.
Horizō, G3724, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: From G3725; to mark out or bound (horizon), that is, (figuratively) to appoint, decree, specify: - declare, determine, limit, ordain.
A huge problem with translating has always been the multiple meanings that a single word can produce. Of course, this is problematic with English Dictionary definitions as well. It simply amazes me how a person can translate words to begin with, let alone an ancient language! These folks (translators) really help us with their tasks ... However, that being said, we should take note that there have been many mistakes made over the years in that attempt. Certainly, this doesn't mean that we can't trust Bibles, but we should know that there are corrupted English versions on the market. I've already spoken on these ideas in my published book "In the Beginning," and I will continue to do so throughout this Teaching Series; and, I also plan on covering the topic more thoroughly in an upcoming book, called "The Bible is not a buffet." So, I won't do so again at this time, but I will say that an acceptable English can be found; and, one which has been ordained by God. In fact, I will say briefly that the right track was founded in the early 1500's AD with the Godly ordination of a single man – William Tyndale; whom, by the way, also uses the word "separated" in his translation; of which, we must take note, the King James Translators made approximately 80 to 90 percent use of (that is, using Tyndale's wonderful translation as a model) for their own task nearly a hundred years afterward. Of course, as one can tell, I rely upon his initial efforts, and of those who followed his course of translating, for my own studies: namely the King James Version Translators, J.P. Green Sr.'s Literal Translation, and of James Strong's extremely helpful dictionary meanings ... Anyway, and in consideration of the two root words from which our main Greek word derived, I will say that the two words that I had highlighted (completion and ordain) can certainly be taken into account when considering a proper meaning. As in, being separated from his Mother's womb, it represented a completion (as in, being born a second time), and as in being ordained by God for the task before him – which can certainly fit, and of which can help us see how, after being delivered from New Jerusalem, he was ready to set out on his ministry and preach a solid Gospel message ... However, and despite all my efforts here, I will certainly admit that the passage remains a bit obscure; that is Galatians 1:15, and of what Paul really meant by his wording. And, the funny thing is, at the end of the day, any of the three forwarded suggestions can actually match up! He could have been ordained since natural conception (I'm certainly not against such a notion, as I will tackle that issue in future book projects); or, he could have been ready for the Gospel once he was separated from his Old Mother (i.e. away from Old Jerusalem), in that now being free and separate, he could go preach a New Testament message; or, lastly, he could have been birthed (delivered) by the New Jerusalem, and therefore was ready to tackle the world head-on with spiritual enlightenment ... Certainly, it may seem that my studies are a bit thin by what I've admitted, and that I need to go and study more (which, it wouldn't hurt anybody to study more! – myself certainly included). And, yet, after all's said and done, I still stick to my guns on my personal beliefs that the best answer is the latter – the one that I had initially forwarded as the answer – that, after being delivered by New Jerusalem, he was now ready to preach the Gospel ... We'll continue to see the wonderful possibilities as we travel this road step by step in the upcoming pages.
*2. He carried me away in the spirit...
In consideration to a few questions that I had just posed, in the main part of the book (here in chapter 1 – namely: "Is this Mother referencing a new kind of Jerusalem? One which cannot be seen with the natural eye? One which cannot be lived in with a natural body?"), I present the case of John having to be carried away in the spirit in order to see the New Jerusalem. Now, this point may not stir every mind, nor that everybody will agree with such an assessment (i.e. that even we have to be in the spirit in order to see New Jerusalem), but I do think it a matter worth considering. Again, we'll continue to explore the possibilities in the upcoming pages.
*3. I John SAW (past tense)...
The book of Revelation consists of things from the past, the present, and the future...
Write the things which thou hast seen [past*], and the things which are [present], and the things which shall be hereafter [future].
And, to know this, is extremely important in biblical research. So, let's quickly analyze ... When verse 19 says "Write the things which thou hast seen," one could quickly conclude that the speaker is referring to the Revelation which is about to be given to John – which the apostle jots down, and it becomes the book of Revelation. However, that's not what's being said here. First of all, let's consider that this was spoken very early in the book (i.e. in chapter 1), and the full thrust of the Revelation hasn't had time to be seen yet by John. Therefore, when the speaker tells him to write down the things which the apostle hast (had) seen – past tense* – then this could very well be specifically referring to things that John was a firsthand witness to in the past ... However, if that's really the case (which thought I'll continue to explore a bit further down) one could certainly say that such reasoning doesn't necessarily present itself to what John saw in Revelation 21:2; which, logically, could be speaking of what he was presently seeing of a futuristic vision – despite the fact that it's not worded more specifically, such as: "And, I John am seeing [present tense];" though we can certainly say that when John finally wrote the book (or, at least the final draft of it) that he was simply reminiscing about that specific time of seeing the Revelation ... No, I'm not trying to complicate things here, even if it may seem that I am. What I'm driving at is that when John says "And I John saw," in verse 2, that he could just as easily had been saying that he witnessed this particular event in the past, just as easily as many other scholars have said that he was seeing a vision of the future. Certainly, my conclusions indicate that he was speaking of a specific past event, which he was the witness of. Something in biblical history that stands tall as an unprecedented event. An event which was never seen since the foundation of the world, and one not to be matched in the future. Certainly, I am referring to an event which I believe occurred on the Day of Pentecost (from Acts chapter 2) – specifics, of which, I fully intend on covering in this book; events, that is, which haven't been voiced too often in doctrinal observations ... But, as far as to whether or not John was speaking of a past event or of a futuristic vision depends on how we interpret what specifically he saw. I think the key lies in determining when the First Heaven departed from verse 1; because, the Bride never came down out of Heaven, in verse 2, until the First Heaven went away.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
According to this, and just prior to the Bride New Jerusalem getting married to the Lamb, the First Heaven had departed and the Second Heaven came into existence. Therefore, logically, we have to conclude that the blessed marriage between New Jerusalem and the Lamb is a Second Heaven event (or, at least, that the marriage had commenced the New Heaven). In fact, there's another place in Revelation which speaks of the First Heaven departing; and, during that dialog, it gives us some more, very necessary hints and clues as to when this actually occurred; and, it specifically connects the event with something that had happened in the past – particularly on the Day of Pentecost in circa AD 30 ... Let's watch it unfold:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Certainly, at first, it will be hard to see what I'm saying with a quick read-through; but, let's break this down ... In verse 14, we find our first connection; specifically when it says "And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together." In scripture, there are three Heavens spoken of. Our first two can be seen within a single verse; one which I've already quoted:
And I saw a new heaven [2nd Heaven] and a new earth: for the first heaven [1st Heaven] and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
This is the only verse in the Bible which specifically names a Heaven that passes away (i.e. 1st Heaven). No where else do we see either 2nd of 3rd Heaven going away. Actually, there's only one scripture in the Bible that even mentions the Third Heaven:
2 Corinthians 12:2
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven [3rd Heaven].
It's safe, therefore, to say that it was the 1st Heaven, in Revelation 6:14, that had passed away; and, of which connects the passage with Revelation 21:1. Besides, when we make clear the other events of Revelation 6:12-14, it'll be seen that it can only be speaking of an event which had happened in John's past; of which he was there to actually witness; and, in turn, will connect to when that holy marriage took place. In fact, those verses not only speak of the Day of Pentecost, but also of the few days just prior to it which ultimately led to that wonderful event. And, our biggest clue as to when this took place is from verse 6: "The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood." Let's make our connection:
Acts chapter 2 (summarized)
 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:  For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.  But THIS [of what you are witnessing today] is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel. [verse 20a – which is also included in the list of things that we're prophesied by Joel to happen on the Day of Pentecost – of which things Peter was reminding his audience of, starting in verse 17] The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.**
Even if we need to specify each event (again, starting in verse 17) to understand them in these passages from Acts, the fact remains that the Sun turning into darkness and the Moon into blood was an event that those folks in Acts were a witness to; and, of which they saw happening. It was an event that wasn't going to be repeated in the future; and, this specifically connects both Revelation 6:12-14 and Revelation 21:1-3 to the events that had happened on the Day of Pentecost ... However, what will throw most people off is the fact that there were no natural phenomenon like this recorded or reported from sometime around the Day of Pentecost that these things had happened in the natural sky above them (only the eclipse of the sun was recorded from when Jesus died on the cross; but, that still does not explain the moon bleeding). I had spent an entire book, which I called: "In the Beginning: It was spiritual from the very start," trying to explain the hidden metaphors in scripture – specifically for such passages like these. Yes, I'm saying that the event of the Sun and Moon on the Day of Pentecost are to be metaphorically understood ... The Sun (the greater light), representing the New Testament, became, to those strict ministers of the Old Law (specifically the biblical bad guys – i.e. those who had crucified Jesus), as black as darkness, and it could shed no light of enlightenment and understanding unto them; so, they could not see the New Testament, because they were blind (2nd Corinthians 3:14 and Matthew 23:26, etc); and, the Moon (the lesser light), which represents the Old Testament, was bleeding; insinuating that the life of it was bleeding out (i.e. that specific Heaven dying – for, I believe the First Heaven was simply another name for the Old Testament period; and/or Covenant); it was, as I said, dying out, and going away (departing like a scroll when it's rolled together). Therefore, those ministers under the Old Covenant, who couldn't change when God moved away from Old matters unto a New Testament era, had (spiritually) died with it ... Don't worry, I will get into better detail, in an upcoming chapter herein, of why I see the Heavens this way; and, too, I will be going over in better detail, in chapter 9, of why I am seeing the Sun and Moon in this manner – there are specifics that need to be first worked out before going deeper ... Therefore, if this is really so, then knowing these things will help explain other matters from chapter 6 of Revelation. And, as I quote, I will add some of my own notes within brackets:
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake*** [when Christ died on the cross there was a literal earthquake – Matthew 27:50-51; 54]; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair [these men of the Old Covenant couldn't see any light of God or of the NT], and the moon became as blood [for, all the life of the Old Covenant was bleeding out; anything without blood has no life – Leviticus 17:11a]; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
As for these other events (which I didn't make any quick notes to in this second quoting of these verses), let's start with the first one: "The stars of heaven fell unto the earth." That is, those bad ministers of the Old Covenant fell from their place in 1st Heaven, and fell back to the earth – or, specifically, back unto carnality; or, back to the ungodly ways of the world. We find that, in Jude, men are sometimes referred to as stars; especially when Jude is talking about these very same men that I am speaking of. That is, those religious leaders of the Old Covenant who couldn't accept Jesus; and, who were the ringleaders of His crucifixion.
For there are certain MEN crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [verse 11 – speaking of these same men] Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.  These [same men] are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; [verse 13 – these same men are] Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; WANDERING STARS, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever [i.e. blackness of darkness of the New Testament Sun].
Learning that men can be compared, metaphorically, in scripture to stars is a key that can unlock other truths from the Bible for us ... However, these 'stars,' of which Jude spoke of wandering (i.e. wandering away from the truth!), not only fell from their place in Heaven, but they fell smack dab into carnality and ungodliness. And, then, if that wasn't proof enough, Revelation 6:13 continues to say that these stars, that fell unto the earth, were cast down "even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." Oh, the picture that's forms for us here! Can we not see the Mighty Wind of Acts chapter 2, verse 2, being represented here – i.e. the Holy Ghost – when it came into the house where all the saints were gathered to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost on the Day of Pentecost? Not only did it put those folks into the Second Heaven, it also blew the bad guys from their place in First Heaven. And, not only so, but the picture of the fig tree is brought before us, as well. Do we not remember Jesus desiring to see some Good Fruit on the fig tree, and found none? And, then, He cursed the fig tree because it could produce no Good Fruit thereon (see Matthew 21:19). Can we not see a parablistic teaching here? Can we not see that He found no "Fruits of the Spirit" (see Galatians 5:22-23) amongst the ministry of the First Covenant?
He [Jesus] spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years [i.e. the approximate time of Jesus' ministry on earth] I come seeking fruit [of the Spirit] on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
Friends, Revelation chapter six, with the opening of the sixth seal, is screaming for us to recognize the significance of the events presented. Of which, again, John was a witness to. That is, of what he had seen with his own eyes not to long before he had his vision of Revelation. Yes, he was actually there in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost. He was also there during Jesus' ministry, and during His crucifixion. The Day of Pentecost was a day that the earth had never seen before, and of which hasn't been seen since (that is, within the same magnitude and importance). It's certainly worthy of a few mentions in the book of Revelation, is it not? ... Now, there's certainly more to be said of all this (and, I'll certainly be covering this in upcoming book projects in this 'Seeking the Everlasting Gospel' Book Series), but I want to concentrate again on John's words in Revelation 21:1-3, and of what exactly he was describing. Again, I am taking his words "And I John saw," as a past event, and am linking it to the Day of Pentecost, of when the First Heaven departed as a scroll, and of when the Second Heaven commenced; and, it also was the day of the blessed marriage of the Lamb and New Jerusalem; and, it's also the day in which people were being born again for the very first time in history. For, as Isaiah had prophesied about, in chapter 66 of his book, many people were being birthed in a single day – as opposed to the many months it takes for a natural woman to give birth. Of which 'quick' birth I'll be speaking more on in the main part of this book ... Also, and once again, I'll speak more on the different Heavens, and of what they possibly mean in scripture, in another Explanatory Note for chapter 4, called: "These are the First and Second Works of God; or, the First and Second Covenants..."
*Thou hast seen [past]...
Even though the J.P. Green Literal Translation has, instead: "Write what things you SAW" (indicating, perhaps, a past tense application), some commentators insist that what he "saw" was the current vision of the Son of Man, starting from verse 10 on down. Not that this conclusion is a bad one – for, after all, even verse 11 has the Son of Man (Jesus, of course!) telling John to write "what thou seest" in a book (or, really, a letter) – and, we could certainly conclude that what John was to write was simply a present tense wording of a futuristic prophecy. With assurity, that's what a lot of scholars believe; for, indeed, that's what the wording seems to indicate. However, that's not really what I see – especially when we have wording such as verse 19 contains – which makes me seriously question such a conclusion: "Write the things which thou hast seen [present tense?], and the things which are [present tense again?], and the things which shall be hereafter [future tense?]." Indicating, maybe, that John was to write the things which are, the things which are (again!), and then the things which will be thereafter. Hence, present, present, then future. Though, a lot of scholars will interpret this to say: "Write what you just saw me look like (i.e. how I appeared unto you), then write the things which I presently am telling you, then write the things which will be happening from hereafter." And, yet, such reasoning, at least to me, seems to be far-stretched. Therefore, there's nothing wrong, in my opinion, in saying that Jesus had told John that He was not only going to speak of things which will effect the New Testament folks in the future, but also of what's happening at present – as well as adding in things that had happened in the recent past which, certainly, was still effecting them currently. We cannot say, with a foregone conclusion, that such a theory like mine is too far out of sight to be possible! ... Now, one may think me over-cautious for getting so meticulous – especially over a single-word study like this – but, such sifting has to be done, for many theologians will insist that nothing recorded in Revelation deals with past events, and therefore (in my humble opinion) cripples solid teaching which insists that we seek events of Revelation's past to answer some questions. Therefore, I stick with my guns when I say that the vision of Revelation deals with past, present, and future events. Besides, we have Strong's Greek Dictionary admitting that the word in question sometimes indicates past tense happenings:
Thou hast seen, Eidō, G1492, from Strong's Greek Dictionary: A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know: - be aware, behold, X can (+ not tell), consider, (have) known (-ledge), look (on), perceive, see, be sure, tell, understand, wist, wot. Compare G3700.
So saying, one could, not only be justified in saying that what was being seen was a current happening, but one could also be justified in saying that the happening was from the past. But, since our sentence reads thus: "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter," I actually feel more than justified in saying that the events recorded in Revelation by John are from the past, the present, and the future.
**Before that great and notable day of the Lord come...
As to what this great and notable Day of the Lord is, I will certainly be speaking on it a bit more within the upcoming chapters of this book. Right now, though, it's not time to get into it, for I'm just starting to make our biblical connections, which will make more sense later on; and, besides, it's still pretty early in the book, so, as promised, I will be digging more deeply into the Word as we progress along...
***There was a great earthquake...
It may seem strange that I am pointing to a natural event (i.e. the earthquake during Jesus' passion), and then say that the event of the Sun and Moon were spiritual events. As one can see, I'm not viewing the events of the earthquake, the Sun, and the Moon as events that happened in succession together, or all at once, as natural events of catastrophes; but, I am saying that when Jesus died on the cross, it caused a natural event of great magnitude (a natural earthquake), which in turn triggered some spiritual occurrences afterward. The earthquake, though natural, opened up a whole new Spiritual World ... I will speak quickly of the first occurrence – it split the veil in the Temple in two:
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.
Even if the earthquake was mentioned after the veil being torn, I believe it's a good possibility that it was the earthquake which had caused the curtain to tear – though not mentioned chronologically. No other natural phenomenon mentioned at this time could have caused it (if, perchance, a natural phenomenon even ripped that curtain to begin with!****). So, just because this passage mentions the earthquake secondly (like an afterthought), that's not a total conclusion that they had happened in that precise order. But, even if the earthquake didn't tear the veil (again, as I'll speak on another possibility in a moment****), I do see at least two other significant events which absolutely occurred because of that natural phenomenon – the rocks renting (please see the Sub-Sub-Note following), along with the graves splitting open; of which other events I'll speak more on in later chapters of this book (that is, about the graves being split open whilst the rocks tore; and, of why that's even important for us to know). Right now, though, I want to speak of the veil being torn in two. What exactly did that mean? It was a declaration (naturally observed, of course, of a deeper, spiritual meaning) of not only that the way of the New Testament (2nd Heaven) was fixing to be made available to the saints, but also that we (in this literal symbolism) can now go into the holiest part of the Tabernacle without it being only once a year, and without us having to be a high priest of the Old Law to do so.
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [compartment] by the blood of Jesus.
Insinuating, of course (as the Tabernacle in the Wilderness is being used as a metaphorical example here – as I had somewhat demonstrated in my book "In the Beginning," during chapter 3), that we can enter into the second compartment (the Holy of Holies!) now by the blood that, not only was shed at the cross, but – indeed, and much rather! – by the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, the Holy Ghost, coming into us; that is, the Holy Ghost being this Blood of the Everlasting Covenant. Therefore, the veil being rent (torn), naturally, it symbolized a New Testament possibility that wasn't available until Jesus died on the cross. So, in conclusion, the earthquake, in Revelation chapter 6, is our natural link to these "spiritual" events and meanings; and pinpoints, specifically, an actual time of when the sixth seal was opened. Or, at least of what that sixth seal represented in hindsight: a natural-symbolic event which triggered a New Testament World. Not only so, but the natural earthquake also triggered the metaphoric Sun and Moon event, too. So, what I'm saying is that God decided to use this natural occurrence (i.e. the natural earthquake) as our guide into these Revelation passages, toward a literal timeframe, so that we can know when these particular events in Revelation took place in history ... But, don't worry, I'm actually going to discuss this further in the following Sub-Sub-Note:
****If, perchance, a natural phenomenon even ripped that curtain to begin with...
Certainly, with how Matthew phrases it, we could separate the veil event from the earthquake. That is, in saying that the veil was not ripped by the earthquake. Let's review that verse again:
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.
Even so, I truly feel that a solid case can be made for at least the earthquake causing the rocks to break apart. And, that alone, in itself, is a worthy mention; because, and as I will get into detail about later on, it was how the Old Testament saints got out of their tombs just after their natural Resurrection. But, even so, let's step back a bit, and see this entire event unfold from a wider viewpoint:
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost [died on the cross]. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Friends, this was no small event! And, worthy of a mention in Revelation; which, as we've already seen, speaks of events of great magnitude that, not only will happen in the future, but of things that also had happened in the past – events which had effected the lives of the New Testament audience; or, rather, the lives of the Early Church folks ... However (and, not to throw another monkey-wrench into the works), some of the verses which I just got through quoting had happened a few days apart from each other; namely, that the Old Testament saints arose out of their tombs and graves. Our hint lies in the fact that it said that they came out of their graves after His (Jesus') Resurrection. And, we certainly know that He Himself didn't rise until the third day. But, the first part of these passages were certainly in correspondence of each other; that is, a few events happened simultaneously and at the exact same time – i.e. the earth quaking, the rocks tearing, and the veil ripping. And, since our main (forgive the pun!) earth-shattering, catastrophic event was the earthquake, then I go back to my original thought that the veil tore at the exact same time, making the earthquake a grand possibility of the cause of the rip. But, we can at least say, rather, that the two events happened at the same exact time, for the timing of them doing so would be perfect, and would make much sense. Therefore, whether the earthquake did it, or whether it didn't (because, the hand of God could have simply ripped it!), the fact remains that the earthquake was a part of a series of events that changed history forever. Again, it was smack-dab in the middle of the veil ripping and the rocks renting: two events which hold tremendous scriptural possibilities; 1) the veil tearing represents (naturally) that the way into the holiest compartment is now available for the saints to enter into (spiritually done, of course – Hebrews 10:19-20); and, 2) of the tombs breaking open of the Old Testament worthies, who experienced a literal grave-opening on the third day, and therefore fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy of a natural Resurrection – Ezekiel chapter 37. So, the earthquake was stuck right in the midst of an Old Testament fulfillment, and of an initial event which could only happen for the New Testament, to open up that New World. Can we not see how the earthquake, therefore, plays a vital role in these events; and, of how it's a worthy mention in Revelation? Even though a natural event, it opened the doorway to spiritual possibilities, and was both the exit of the Old Covenant, and of the opening of the New Covenant – of which topic I will further speak on in these very pages of this present book.
*4. Man Child...
As I had explained in a previous book of mine, I am saving the topic of the Man Child for another book for the near future, called: "Behold I show you a Mystery: The Inward-Man, The Resurrection; The Old and New Creature, Part II." Though, and I must admit, that I keep throwing many hints and clues as to how I see him in other, previously published books in this Series, that by the time I do get to completely write this already begun book, I'll have already said everything about him to where there won't be anything left to say! But, seriously, I doubt that it'll ever come to that, for there is much to say about him ... Nevertheless, and as I make mention in the upcoming pages of this present book about the Inward-Man, I will simply say here that I am viewing the Man Child as just another way of saying Inner-Man. I know that by me simply saying this, that it won't satisfy many Bible scholars who see him as a very different thing, indeed! And, neither am I specifically saying that they are wrong for their views; but, as I always say in my books, my views will simply have to be considered with how they flow with solid scripture; which, again, should be the final say on any subject. Not only so, but seeing how Isaiah had used him in reference to this new birth (that is, that he is the newly born creature of the New Jerusalem), it should already show us how we should consider him as to being the New Creature which Paul mentions several times in his writings – i.e. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15 – which is born from that most holy union of the Bride and of the Lamb.
We're dealing, here, with highly symbolic wording. Again, I had set up such metaphoric language to be understood in my previously published book: "In the Beginning," in showing how we can't naturalize every scripture that speaks of natural elements. And, I had further shown that that's just exactly how a simile* works – using natural elements to describe something spiritual; yet, still being literal at the same time ... At this exact moment, it's not the time to get into exactly what Isaiah meant, for I will do so as I slowly build my case in this book; but, I promise to do this in the pages to come. In the meantime, please remember this Explanatory Note, because, once explained, it'll be seen why he had used such a curious phrase as this: "Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day?" Again, we're not speaking of the natural planet earth in this instance...
Webster's Dictionary (published 1828, public domain): Simile, n. sim'ily. [L.] In rhetoric, similitude; a comparison of two things which, however different in other respects, have some strong point or points of resemblance; by which comparison, the character or qualities of a thing are illustrated or presented in an impressive light.
*6. Like a river; i.e. from the flowing of the Holy Ghost...
St. John 7:37b-39a
Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit [i.e. comparing the Holy Spirit with Living Waters]...
For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit [that same water] upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.
1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
*7. We will be comforted in New Jerusalem...
It may seem presumptuous that I'm calling this referenced Jerusalem 'New' Jerusalem. Because, after all, Isaiah didn't say that it was the New Jerusalem, but only Jerusalem. Therefore, somebody would, perhaps, feel justified in saying that the prophet was merely speaking of the old nation located in ancient Palestine. However, in proper detective work, we must make use of the clues in front of us before dismissing the bold possibilities. Our biggest clue, as I will presently discuss in the next few paragraphs in the main part of the book, will be Isaiah's usage of the word Comforter. This can't be a coincidence – especially since he used the word no less than three times in verse 13 of chapter 66 ... Well, that is, in variant forms: comforteth, comfort, and comforted. This certainly gives us our connection with the Day of Pentecost, since it was on that day that Jesus said the Comforter would come; and, especially we should consider this when we know that the folks of the Old Testament period didn't even have the Comforter.
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
Restricting the arrival of the Comforter to the New Testament period ... Like I pointed out in a previous Explanatory Note, we cannot imagine that His arrival was some small event in biblical history! On the contrary, this is perhaps one of the biggest events which the Bible speaks of, for it was the day that had ushered in a whole new Biblical World. That is, it ushered in the New Testament period (Please see my upcoming Explanatory Note for chapter 2, called: 'The day which opened up a New Testament period...') ... Let's analyze:
St. John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
First of all, Jesus tells us exactly whom the Comforter is in this verse. It's just another name for the Holy Ghost. That is, the Holy Spirit of God, which was to come to the people in full force on the Day of Pentecost:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. [4a] And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost...
Prior to that day, the Holy Ghost hadn't yet come (in its fullest sense and capacity, that is!):
St. John 7:39
But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.
So insinuating that the Comforter (i.e. the Holy Ghost) wouldn't come until Jesus had both died on the cross and had risen on the third day. Therefore, after those two things happened, then the day of the Holy Ghost's arrival would come ... Jesus makes this clear in another verse:
St. John 16:7
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away [i.e. ascend to the Father]: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
But, of what I believe that experience completely meant for the Early Church saints (and, even for us!), I will discuss further in chapter 2 of this book; and, indeed, throughout the rest of the book, too. But, for right now, I simply wanted to make the connection between Isaiah's prophesied, futuristic event, and of its fulfillment on the Day of Pentecost. Again, that connector is the mentioning of the Comforter by the OT prophet, and of its connection with Jerusalem – also mentioned by him ... Our next big clue by Isaiah was that this Jerusalem was giving birth to some children. We must believe that in order for her to give birth to legitimate kids, she would have to already been married. And, we know, from scripture, that the husband of both Old Jerusalem and New Jerusalem was the Lamb – Jesus Himself! ... At the time of Isaiah's writing, though, Jesus was presently married to Old Jerusalem...
Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you...
And, yet – even before He confirmed this – He had already said, also through Jeremiah, that divorce from that nation was imminent.
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel [i.e. Old Jerusalem] committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce...
Of course, before He could marry a New Bride, He would have to get divorced from the Old Wife first ... Did He get divorced yet? Or, is He still married to Old Israel/Jerusalem today? Actually, we see this divorce happen prior to the Day of Pentecost – which, in turn, left the door wide open for a new marriage to be possible ... Let's watch this happen, as we see, briefly, what the Old Mosaic Law says about divorce:
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
What does this tell us? It tells us, that once the husband dies, he is then freed from the Marriage Law of the wife ... Did Jesus die? ... Certainly ... Did that loose Him from marriage to Old Israel/Jerusalem? ... Certainly ... Did that mean, then, that He was free to marry another once He came back to life? ... Certainly ... Is it possible, then, that He could have taken a New Bride on the Day of Pentecost? ... Certainly! Again, John was an eyewitness to that blessed event – of which testimony we've already seen:
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
But, again, how do we know that this was an eyewitness event of the Day of Pentecost, and not some futuristic vision? Well, I've already covered this question in a previous Explanatory Note for this chapter, but there's another hint that I hadn't covered just yet. It's from the very next verse...
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
Well, how does that help? It's when we realize that this verse is describing the birth of a New Creature! Verse 2 of Revelation chapter 21 shows the marriage, and verse 3 shows the births – and, all on the very same day ... Really? ... And, how, pray tell, does verse 3 describe births? By its description of the Tabernacle of God being with men. This certainly was a new event; this was something that had never occurred before in biblical history ... But, I'll be discussing this New Tabernacle in chapter 2, and there make my connection; so, stay tuned! ... Next, Isaiah describes how that this flowing river of life (which is the Holy Ghost – see my prior Explanatory Note for chapter 1, called: 'Like a river; i.e. from the flowing of the Holy Ghost...') even being extended to the Gentiles.
For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream...
And, we know, by scripture, that salvation was also extended to the Gentiles not too long after the Day of Pentecost ... We'll explore more clues in the upcoming pages.
*8. The Comforter fell on the Day of Pentecost...
Please see previous Explanatory Note, called: 'We will be comforted in New Jerusalem...', for a fuller explanation.