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Worldwide Judgement?

By Bill Petri

THE JEWISH CHARACTER OF DANIEL’S 70TH WEEK

One reason to question the teaching of the entire world taking part in all the events of Daniel’s 70th week is the Jewish character of the books of Revelation, Daniel, as well as all the prophetic books which are the most extensive writings in the Bible about the events. For example, we see in Rev. 1:5-6 a clue as to whom this book was written:

 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

To whom does the pronoun "us" refer, when we read Exodus 19:6 we will see that it is Israel that is the "kingdom of priests". Ex. 19:3 reads:

And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

And Ex. 19:6 reads:

 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Nowhere do we read of the Church being a kingdom of priests.

The only New Testament reference to a kingdom of priests is in I Peter 2:9, but we must note that Peter wrote his epistle to "the strangers scattered throughout.." (I Peter 1:1) i.e. the dispersed of Israel. The Greek word "diaspora" translated here "scattered" occurs three times in the New Testament. In John 7:35 we read:

Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed (diaspora) among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

In this verse, it is obvious that "diaspora" refers to the scattered of Israel.

The second occurrence of "diaspora" is found in James 1:1:

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered (diaspora) abroad, greeting.

The third occurrence is in I Peter 1:1, mentioned above. We find in this matter perfection in the Word of God which one would expect. That is, that the Greek word "diaspora" refers to the scattered of Israel. We read in Rev. 1:5-6 that the kingdom of priests is Israel. We cannot apply this phrase to the Church which is His Body (not a nation) without doing a great injustice to the written Word of God. John’s revelation was written specifically to Israel and that all Bible believing Christians could read and understand this Book better it is understood to be addressed to Israel.

Another clue to the Jewish character of Revelation is found in chapter 1 verse 10.

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day…

The question is what is meant by the phrase “the Lord ’s day"? 

Does it mean Sunday or for that matter, does it refer to any day of the week?  Let us search the scriptures.

1) Sunday is always referred to in the New Testament as "the first day of the week".  Saturday is always referred to in the New Testament as "the Sabbath".  

2) We read in Rev. 1:10 that "John was in the Spirit".  What does that mean?  The same phrase is also found in Rev. 4:2, 17:3 and 21:10.  These verses will help us to understand the phrase "in the Spirit".  Rev. 4:2 reads:

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

It is clear from this verse that when John was "in the Spirit" the result was that he saw a vision. Rev. 17:3 reads:

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

It is clear from this verse also that when John was "in the Spirit" the result was that he saw a vision. Rev. 21:10 states:

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy

Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Again, it is clear that when John was "in the Spirit" the result was that he saw a vision.  Logic demands that the same phrase in Rev.1:10 also means that when John was "in the Spirit" the result was that he saw a vision. In 1:10 the visions John saw were of future events that include the great tribulation and the day of the Lord. 

3) Given the monumental events recorded in the Revelation, it makes so much better sense to accept the "Lords day" of 1:10 as referring to a future day rather than to a day of the week.  

As mentioned above "the Lord's day" includes the period known as "the day of the Lord". The phrase "the day of the Lord" occurs 19 times in the Old Testament. The context will show that 13 of these passages are prophesies given directly to Israel or are concerning Israel, and six concern surrounding countries. The fact that the Old Testament prophecies about the day of the Lord concern themselves predominantly with Israel is another indication of the Jewish character of Revelation.

In the New Testament the phrase, "the day of the Lord" is found two times, I Thess. 5:2,  II Peter 3:10. I Thess. 5:2 reads:

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

II Peter 3:10 reads:

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

These epistles were all written before Israel was fully cast away[1].

Another reason for Bible students to question the view of Daniel’s 70th week being world wide is a passage concerning this time frame in Matthew’s Gospel. We will begin by pointing out verse 16 of Matthew 24:

Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Obviously the whole world can not flee to the mountains and if the 70th week were worldwide would our Lord speak only to those who are in Judea? Note also verse 20:

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

Jews were not permitted to go very far on the Sabbath. The Gentile nations as such are certainly not interested in keeping a Sabbath that was part of a Law given to Israel. This verse also limits the scope of the 70th week of Daniel to Israel.

Let us now examine a parallel passage to Matthew 24, namely Daniel 9. Compare Matt. 24:15 where Christ speaks of the "abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet" with Dan. 9:27 to paraphrase it one who causes desolation will place the abomination on the wing of the Temple. An abomination (an idol) concerns those who worship at the Temple in Israel. Note also Dan. 9:24,

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people (Israel – the Jewish people) and upon thy holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

If Daniel’s prophesy concerns Israel, (which, of course, it does) then the parallel passage, Matt 24 also concerns Israel.

One last thing that shows the Jewish character of Revelation is the number of Old Testament quotations and references found in it. In the Gospel of Matthew (The Hebrew Gospel) there are 92 references to the Old Testament. In Hebrews, there are 102 and in Revelation there are 285.

In view of the Old Testament character of Revelation and the fact that it is addressed to Israel and that it is a prophesy concerning the day of the Lord, which in turn centers around Israel (and to a much lesser extent the countries surrounding Israel) I feel we must question  Daniel’s 70th week being “world -wide.”

In order to study this question, one must be aware that, in the Greek language there are four words translated "earth " or "world." A study of these four Greek words is in order.

THE FOUR GREEK WORDS TRANSLATED "EARTH" OR "WORLD"

The four Greek words translated earth or world are "aion", "kosmos", "oikoumenee" and "ge".

AION

E. W. Bullinger defines "aion" as "an age or age time." Because this particular word does not impact on the question at hand, i.e. is the 70th week world -wide, we will not do anything more than defining it.

KOSMOS

Dr. Bullinger defines "kosmos" as "the world created, ordered and arranged". The Hebrew equivalent is rendered "ornament".

"Kosmos" is best understood by looking at a few definitive verses. For example Matt. 16:26:

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Consider these verses in the gospel of John:

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. (John 1:10)

John 1:29 reads:

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 4:42 reads:

And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

 

And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. (John 8:2)

 

OIKOUMENEE

Bullinger defines "oikoumenee as "The world as inhabited. It is from the verb "oikeo:= to dwell. It is used of the habitable world as distinct from "kosmos". Hence it is used in a more limited sense of the Roman Empire which was then predominant." As in every language, a word is defined by its usage. I suggest therefore, that we look at how the Holy Ghost used this word.

"Oikoumenee" is used in Luke 2:1:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

It is also used in Acts 11:28:

And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.

It is also used in Acts 24:5:

For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:

It is clear from these verses that what is intended for the reader to understand is a limited part of the world. Since we know, in the 21st century, that most of the world was inhabited at the time of the writing of the New Testament, how are we to understand the Greek word "oikoumenee"? Does it mean the same as "kosmos"?

I believe that the Holy Ghost used "oikoumenee" to refer to a limited portion of the world because of the verses quoted above, which obviously are limited, and also because He makes a distinction in such passages as Acts 17:24-31 between "kosmos" and "oikoumenee."  Actually the passage in Acts 17:24-31 is an excellent example of how the Spirit uses precisely the word He wants that best conveys His meaning. Verse 24 reads: "God that made the world” (kosmos), and verse 26 reads, "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (kosmos)." But in verse 31 we read, "He will judge the world (oikoumenee) in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained." It is clear that the Spirit makes a distinction between "oikoumenee" and "kosmos." The "kosmos" was created by God, and man will inhabit the "kosmos", but God will judge the "oikoumenee", the inhabited world. This passage does answer the question as to whether there is a difference between "kosmos" and "oikoumenee." (Whether God will judge the "kosmos" is the subject of another paper). Suffice it to say that this particular passage tells us that He will judge a limited portion of the earth).

Because the correct understanding of the way that the holy Spirit uses the word "oikoumenee," is crucial to a correct understanding of the 70th week of Daniel, I will present each occurrence in the New Testament of the word.

The first occurrence is found in Matt. 24:14 which is in the context of our Lord speaking of the end times, and the 70th week of Daniel in particular.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world (oikoumenee) for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

The note in the Companion Bible on the word "nations" is "nations = the nations." Indeed the Greek does read "the “nations.” The definite article "tois" ("the") limits the noun, nations. Therefore "oikoumenee" limits it to the nations of the Roman Empire.

The second occurrence of "oikoumenee" is found in Luke 2:1 where a decree is sent to the "oikoumenee". As mentioned above, obviously this decree was sent out to a portion of the world.

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (Luke 4:5)

This verse could possibly refer to every kingdom of the world, but it could also mean every kingdom of that portion of the world that Satan will try to get to worship him. That question remains to be answered as we continue in this study.

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the oikoumenee…” (Luke 21:26)

Verse 25 speaks of the day of the Lord. Here too, this verse could be dependent on how one interprets the geographical limits of the day of the Lord. The answer to this question too, will need to be put off until we have completed our study.

Acts 11:28, "... Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the oikoumenee.”

 

Logic will not allow that there was going to be a famine throughout the entire world. This is one verse in which "oikoumenee" must mean a limited portion of the earth.

Acts 17:6, And when they (the unbelieving Jews and lewd fellows of verse 5) found them (Paul and Silas, verse 4) not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city crying, These that have turned the oikoumenee upside down are come hither also.

Paul and Silas certainly did not set the entire world upside down. They had visited much of the Roman Empire at this time, but they certainly did not go beyond that. So here too, this verse has to refer to a limited portion of the world.

Acts 17:24-31. As mentioned above, this passage is an excellent example of how the Holy Ghost chooses very carefully (as He did with all the words of the Bible) His use of "kosmos" and "oikoumenee".

So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the “oikoumenee worshippeth. (Acts 19:27)

 

Never, in the entire history of the world has one god or idol been worshipped in the entire world. Logic dictates therefore, that in this verse "oikoumenee" must refer to a portion of the world.

 

For we have found this man (Paul) a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the  oikoumenee, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes (Acts 24:5)

 

Again, Paul had certainly not visited enough of the entire world to be a "ring leader" and a "mover of sedition" among all the Jews of the entire world. Logic demands that in this verse "oikoumenee" must be understood as a limited portion of the world.

 

But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the ge (Land) and their words unto the ends of the oikoumenee. (Romans 10:18)

The words of the prophets had certainly not gone out into the entire world at the time Romans was written. Therefore, "oikoumenee" must refer to a limited part of the world.

And again, when He bringeth in the Firstbegotten into the oikoumenee, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. (Heb. 1:6)

Of course in one sense, Christ was given to the entire world. But in another sense, "He came unto His own;" to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel." Here too, "oikoumenee" may mean the entire world or it may also mean the limited portion of the world. Considering that the epistle was written by a Hebrew to the Hebrews, the latter interpretation (He came to a limited portion of the world) is more likely.

The same may be said of Heb. 2:5:

For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the oikoumenee to come, whereof we speak.

We find a very important fact about the tribulation in Rev. 3:10 with the first occurrence of "oikoumenee" in the book of Revelation, it reads:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world (oikoumenee), to try them that dwell upon the earth ("ge").

When we study the definition(s) of the Greek word "ge" it will become very clear that this verse is informing us that the tribulation will come upon a limited portion of the world to test Israel. The next occurrence of "oikoumenee" in Revelation is 12:9:

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole oikoumenee…

There is no question that Satan does lead the whole world (kosmos) astray, but as we have seen, Revelation 1) is written to Israel, (1:6), 2) concerns the 70th week of Daniel and the day of the Lord (1:10), which centers around Israel, and 3) the events of the 70th week of Daniel are going to come on the inhabited world (oikoumenee) 3:10. So while it is true that Satan does lead the whole world (kosmos) astray, in this context i.e. Revelation, he is said to lead the inhabited world (oikomemee) astray. Note also Satan’s reaction to having been cast out of heaven:

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. (Rev 12:13)

The man child is the remnant of Israel and the woman is, of course, Israel. See Rev. 12:5 and compare it with Psalms 110:1-2.

The last occurrence of "oikoumenee" in Revelation is in 16:14 and, in my opinion must be taken to mean a limited portion of the earth:

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Rev 16:14)

This passage will be discussed under the heading "kings of the earth" found below. I will say only at this point that it is not logical to think that every nation in the entire world will come to battle Israel.

Now that we have looked at all the verses in the New Testament that use the word "oikoumenee" let us try to answer the question of just how much of the earth is meant when the Spirit uses this term. As the reader has looked at each occurrence of "oikoumenee" it is clear that there are a few verses that can be taken to mean either the entire earth or a limited portion of it. But there are no verses where "oikoumenee" must mean the entire earth. And of the 15 occurrences, six, (one third) of those occurrences must be taken to mean a limited portion of the earth. Those occurrences are: Luke 2:1, Acts 17:6, Acts 11:28, Acts 19:27, Acts 24:5, Romans 10:18. Given that there are no occurrences of "oikoumenee" which must be understood to mean the entire earth , and that there are six in which it must be taken to mean a limited portion of the earth, I believe we may conclude that "oikoumenee" must refer, in every occurrence, to a limited portion of the earth.

Let us consider one other aspect of this question. It is clear that the entire Bible, except for the epistles of Paul, centers on one nation, Israel. Other countries are spoken of, but only in terms of how they have impacted the history of God's chosen nation. Furthermore, these nations are all nations surrounding or in the general area of Israel. That would mean if we take the 70th week of Daniel as pertaining to the entire world Revelation would be the only book[2], (Revelation is the most Israel centered book) to focus on the entire world. That does not seem very logical.

There is sufficient evidence to conclude that "oikoumenee" refers to a limited portion of the earth. Now the question is: which portion of the earth is meant? Since Revelation is primarily about the 70th week of Daniel, the day of the Lord, and the Old Testament prophesies concerning those times and their relation to Israel and the countries surrounding her, it is safe to say that "oikoumenee" refers to Israel and the countries around Israel.

I realize that we usually think of the 70th week of Daniel as being worldwide and this seems like a very small portion of the earth, but let us consider that most of the Bible centers on a relatively small portion of the earth. God has chosen a nation, Israel, with which to accomplish His will. His will involves the whole world; but He chose to work through one tiny nation.

"GE"

We will now begin our study of the Greek word "ge". "Ge" is the most complex word that is translated "earth" or "world" because it could mean one of three things. It can refer to land as opposed to water, it can refer to earth as opposed to heaven or it could refer to a region or nation as opposed to the whole earth. Fortunately, in every case the meaning is made quite clear by the context and/or a parallel passage.

The first occurrence of "ge" is in Matt. 2:6 and obviously refers to a particular nation,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land (ge) of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Matthew 2:20 clearly has the same meaning:

Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land (ge) of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

Some verses that refer to earth as opposed to heaven include, Matt. 5:18, and Matt. 5:35, and Matt. 6:10. It is clear that one understands the meaning of "ge" by its context. Matt. 10:29 is a good example of when "ge" means earth as opposed to water.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground (ge) without your Father.

Note also Matt. 13:5 and Matt. 15:35.

INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH

We are now ready to look at the verses where "ge" occurs in Revelation. As we study the book of Revelation we come across the phrase "inhabitants of the earth" or "those who inhabit the earth" or those who “dwell on the earth” twelve times. I believe that it would be helpful in our study to look at these twelve passages as a group, for, in my opinion, they all refer to a very specific group of people, i.e. the unbelievers of Israel.

Let us look first at Rev. 13:14 which is one of the 12 occurrences of the phrase, "inhabitants of the earth", and is a passage that best illustrates its limited meaning. We read in verse 11 of another beast and in verse 12, we read that He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And in verse 14, He ordered them (the inhabitants of the earth ["ge" ] to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded. The image was the "abomination" set up in the Temple mentioned in Dan. 9:27. Did he order everyone in the entire world (kosmos) to set up this abomination in Jerusalem? I believe that common sense, among other things, will dictate that it was not everyone in the entire world. We must keep in mind that Daniel’s 70 weeks concerned Daniel’s people and Jerusalem, not the entire earth, and that the setting up of the abomination was a key event in those 70 weeks. May I remind the reader that the Greek word "ge" takes its meaning from the context, and in this case we learn the following things from the context:

1) the idol on the Temple would not concern the whole earth, per se, but it certainly would concern the people who worship at that Temple, i.e. Israel.

2) the entire world would not be involved in setting up an idol in Jerusalem. For those reasons, I am stating that "ge" in this case means "region" or "nation" and that it is obvious that it is unbelievers in that nation. So in this verse at least it is clear that the phrase "the inhabitants of the earth" refers to those in and around the state of Israel.

The first occurrence of the phrase "the inhabitants of the earth" is found in Revelation 3:10. In 3:8 Christ tells those of the church at Philadelphia, You have kept My word and have not denied My Name. In verse 9 He says, I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan come and fall at your feet. And in verse 10 He tells the faithful that because they kept His command to endure, He will keep them from the hour of trial (the tribulation) which is coming to test those who live on the earth.

Let us look now at this verse in its entirety.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (the tribulation) which shall come upon all the oikoumenee (a limited portion of the earth) to try them that dwell upon the ge (land, Israel).

The "hour of trial" is going to come upon the inhabited earth (oikoumenee) to test those who live in the land (Israel). If the tribulation is going to come on a limited portion of the earth (oikoumenee) then it can not test the whole world,(kosmos). Therefore "ge" in this verse must refer to a specific nation.

The second occurrence in Revelation of the phrase "them that dwell on the earth" (or words to that effect) is found in 6:10:

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth (ge)?

Who were these asking to have their blood avenged? They were the martyrs of the 70th week (Compare 6:9: with 6:11, and 7:13-14). Are “the dwellers of the earth” with which their blood should be avenged, everyone in the whole world? I believe that the context of the entire book of Revelation will not allow for that interpretation. Since the 70th week is going to come upon "oikoumenee", i.e. a limited portion of the earth around Israel, and it will come to test Israel, those upon whom the blood of the martyrs of the 70th week are to be avenged are unbelievers of Israel (including not only Jews but also Gentiles who live in the area).

The next occurrence of the phrase we are studying is found in 8:13:

And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth (ge) by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

These woes are part of the 70th week that is going to come upon the "oikoumenee" (a portion of the earth around Israel) to test "ge" ( the nation of Israel). So once again the phrase "the inhabiters of the earth" refer to those living in and around Israel.

The fourth and fifth occurrences of the phrase are found in Rev. 11:10:

And they that dwell upon the earth (ge) shall rejoice over them (the two witnesses), and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth (ge).

The context will show how Israel centered, indeed how Jerusalem centered, these two prophets were; verse 8 reads:

And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Also verse 13:

And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Since the 70th week will be sent to test Israel, the ones tormented by the prophets would be unbelievers of Israel. Hence, the unbelievers of Israel were the ones gloating over the bodies in Jerusalem. The phrase refers to the unbelievers living in Israel.

The sixth occurrence of the phrase "all that dwell on the earth" in Revelation is found in 13:8: all that dwell upon the earth” will worship the beast-all who are not written in the book of life. It is obvious in this verse that those whose names are not written in the book of life are unbelievers. The question is, does this verse apply to all unbelievers in the whole world (kosmos) or to those in Israel? It applies to just those in Israel for the following reasons;

 

1) He (the beast- antichrist) opened his mouth to blaspheme God and to slander His dwelling place and those who live in heaven. Verse 14 tells us how His dwelling place was slandered, he ordered them (the inhabitants of the earth) to set up an image in honor of the beast.  Common sense tells us that everyone in the whole earth was not ordered to set up an image in Jerusalem. Clearly, Matthew 25 tells us there are nations who will not be friendly towards the beast-antichrist, these nations are called sheep nations. As mentioned earlier in this study, the setting up of the idol in the Temple would not be a major concern to many people in the world, including Hindus, Moslems, and peoples who care nothing about the Temple worship of the Jews or who Christ is, or for that matter, who the antichrist is. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth who will worship the beast are the unbelievers of the nation of Israel - Jews and Gentiles alike.

The seventh occurrence is in 13:12:

And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth (ge) and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

This again refers to the idol in the Temple and again the whole world would not be concerned about an idol in the Temple where Jews worshipped God.

The eighth occurrence is in 13:14:

And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth (ge) by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast (the beast of verse 11); saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Obviously, the ones that were deceived were unbelievers, but were they unbelievers of Israel?. Verse 14 goes on to say that he ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast. As mentioned before in this study, this image is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel. This abomination is an integral part of the 70 weeks which “are determined upon thy people and upon the holy city.”

The ninth occurrence of the phrase appears in the King James Version but not in the NIV, or numerous other modern Bibles. It does appear in the Greek interlinear in the NIV and should be included in the 12. It reads:

" ...saying to them that dwell on the earth (ge)

This is the second time this phrase is used in Rev.13:14 and it refers to the same group of people, i.e. unbelieving Israel.

The tenth occurrence of the phrase appears in 14:6:

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth (ge), and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people

At first reading it would appear that this verse does not limit the meaning of the phrase "those who live on the earth: to just Israel. But the King James interlinear  has "those who live on the earth and every tribe etc.". This verse is saying that the angel is proclaiming the gospel to the unbelievers in Israel AND to every other nation, tribe people etc. This is consistent with the way the phrase is treated in every other occurrence. It refers to those living in and around Israel.

The eleventh occurrence is in 17:2:

With whom the kings of the earth (ge) have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

This clearly refers to those of Israel and the 10 nation confederation surrounding her. But there is room for disagreement here, because as the reader will see in the section below having to do with the phrase "kings of the earth," that phrase refers to the kings of the whole earth. I believe that all the kings of the earth committed adultery with the whore of Babylon, but this verse is telling us that the dwellers of the earth refers to those of Israel and surrounding countries. However, there is room for disagreement about this. On the other hand, even if the phrase "inhabitants of the earth" refers to everyone on earth in this verse, it does not mean that the tribulation will be world wide. It means only that everyone on earth partook of the "wine of her adulteries" through trading commodities and such like business, but has nothing to do with the geographical boundaries of the tribulation.

The twelfth and last occurrence of the phrase under consideration is found in Rev. 17:8:

The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth (ge) shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

The book of life contains the names of all God’s faithful within the nation of Israel, and should be understood as limited in scope to those who will be dressed in white, i.e. the overcomes of the tribulation. We must remember the Body of Christ has already had its resurrection before the Great White Throne ever takes place. Hence, the Body of Christ is not referred to within the book of life pages, only the believing remnant of Israel are within its pages.  Since the tribulation is to test Israel (Rev. 3:10) the inhabitants of the earth as mentioned in 17:8 are the unbelievers (their names are not written in the book of life) of Israel.

I hope that the reader will agree that:

1) the phrase "the inhabitants of the earth" in Revelation always refers to Israel.

2) we can tell by the context what the meaning of the Greek word "ge" means.

KINGS OF THE EARTH

The phrase "kings of the earth" appears eight times in Revelation. We must allow the context to determine if it refers to the kings of the entire earth, or to the kings of a portion of the earth. The reader will see as we study this phrase, that in those verses where the context speaks of the kings of the entire earth, they do not impact on the question of whether the tribulation will be world wide.

The first occurrence is found in 1:5:

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

This brings to mind one of the titles of Christ, "King of kings, and Lord of lords". He will eventually rule all the kings of the earth in His millennial reign. The last occurrence of the phrase is used in the same way. Rev. 21:24 reads,

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Here again, it is clear the kings of all the earth are to bring glory and honor to God. But that does not impact on the question of the geographic boundaries of the 70th week. The second occurrence of the term "kings of the earth" is in 6:15:

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains

These kings are hiding from the catastrophic events described in verses 12-15 which occur when the sixth seal is opened. But the very fact that not all nations have dens and/or mountains goes to show that in this verse, which does impact on the geographic boundaries of the 70th week of Daniel, it cannot refer to the entire world.

In Rev. 16:14 the KJV has:

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

The word translated "world" is "oikoumenee" (inhabited world). The next phrase restates that the kings of the inhabited world are gathered. The next three occurrences of the phrase appear in Rev. 17:2, 17:18, 18:3 and 18:9. Because they all have to do with Babylon we will consider them together. Rev. 17:2 reads:

With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her (Babylon) fornication.

Rev. 17:18:

And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (Rev 18:3)

 

And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, (Rev 18:9)

Babylon will be the center of all that is vile and filthy in the world of the antichrist. These verses tell us that all the kings of the earth will have taken part in the iniquities she offers. This fact does not necessarily mean that the 70th week, which is sent to test Israel, or the day of the Lord (in which day Babylon will be destroyed) will be over the whole earth. We must draw our conclusions on that subject from the entire book of Revelation.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. (Rev 19:19)

It is not logical to assume that every nation in the entire world will gather to do battle against Jerusalem, especially when we consider Matthew 25 speaks of sheep and goat nations, and their being rewarded according to how they treated Israel during this time. In this verse, the phrase must refer to the kings of a portion of the earth.

OTHER OCCURRENCES OF 'GE' IN REVELATION

In the interest of making this study as uncomplicated as possible we will look only at those verses in which "ge" appears in Revelation that has a bearing on our question, i.e. is the tribulation world -wide? Rev. 5:5 and 5:10 are in the same context and will, therefore be considered together. Rev. 5:6 reads:

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Then we read of the four living creatures singing a new song:

…Thou art worthy to take the book… (Rev 5:9)

Rev. 5:10 reads:

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

It is easier to determine the meaning of verse 10 because we have a reference to the kingdom of priests in Exodus 19:6 which tells us that it is Israel. What about verse 6? One is tempted to assume that "ge" in verse 6 refers to the whole earth, but let us examine the context. Note verse 5 where Christ is referred to as "the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David". Note also verse 10 in the same context which also refers to Israel. Because "ge" is used of Israel in verse 10 and because the entire book of Revelation centers on the "Lord's day," which in turn centers on Israel, "ge" in verse 6 refers to Israel.

The next two occurrences of "ge" that are under consideration are in Rev.6:4,8. These verses explain some of the disasters that will come upon the "oikoumenee", (a limited portion of the earth) during the 70th week of Daniel (see Rev. 3:10). Verse 4 reads:

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Verse 8 reads:

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell (Hades) followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Because these events are part of the beginning of sorrows that will come upon one portion of the earth, obviously, the events will occur in a portion of the earth. Chapter nine continues with the disasters of Daniel’s 70th week which was to test Israel. Rev. 8:13 is a verse we have already considered because it deals with the "inhabiters of the earth" it reads:

And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

Rev. 9:3-4 describe these disasters:

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.  And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

Since the woe is directed to Israel, the disasters must also be directed to IsraelRev. 11:6 is another verse where the reader is tempted to assume that it is the entire earth that is meant, but we must examine the context. It reads:

These (the two witnesses) have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will

We must be aware of several things in this passage.

1) verse 8 centers the work of these prophets in Jerusalem, the capitol of Israel. Their bodies will be in the street of the great city where their Lord was crucified.

2) The word translated "earth" is not "kosmos" but "ge".

3) Verse 10 reads, "they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them" this verse refers to the unbelievers of Israel.

Rev. 13:3 reads:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Chapter 13 is obviously about the antichrist and the events of the 70 th week of Daniel which are about to come on the "oikoumenee" to test Israel (Rev. 3:10). Therefore, those of the Land were astonished and followed the beast. Continuing with the occurrences of "ge" in Revelation which have an impact on our question, is the events of Daniel’s 70th week worldwide, let us look at Rev. 17:5. It reads:

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

In this verse, I believe that the abominations spoken of refers to all the iniquities that center in Babylon at the time of the antichrist, but were, at least to some extent, "enjoyed" by the kings of the entire earth. This does not mean that the 70th week will be worldwide. Rev. 18:24 reads:

And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

 

We must ask, does the phrase "all that were slain upon the earth" refer to everyone who has been killed in the whole world from the beginning of time or is the phrase more limited? Once again, the context (near and far) will tell us. Rev. 19:2 speaks of the great prostitute (Babylon) who has been condemned, note the last sentence of verse 2, "and hath avenged the blood of his servants." This takes us back to Rev. 6:10 where the martyrs of the tribulation (see verse 11) ask the Lord:

 

How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 

Those who have been killed in Rev. 18:24 refer to those who have been killed during the 70th week. Since the tribulation lasts 3 and one half years, and it is to come upon a limited portion of the earth[3], the ones spoken of in 18:24 are limited by time and geographical area.

CONCLUSION

I am fully aware that when read in English, Revelation seems to say that the 70th week of Daniel will be world- wide. However a study of the words translated earth, world, etc. corrects this misunderstanding. That is why we must study the word of God.

The events of Daniel’s 70th week will come on a portion of the earth surrounding Israel to test those in the land of Israel, which include Gentiles as well as Jews.

This interpretation is consistent with:

1) the Israel centered scope of the book of Revelation

2) the translation of "ge" in accordance with its context

3) the fact that the entire book of Revelation concerns the 70th week of Daniel, which in turn centers on Israel.



[1] The Thessalonian Epistle is written during the Acts period, a time when God was still trying to provoke Israel to jealousy.

[2] Of course this statement does not include Paul’s books which are written to the Gentiles and Israel second. Paul’s books are the books of Romans – Philemon.

[3] We must remember the chronology of Daniel’s 70th week – Mat.24:8 – The Beginning of sorrows, then Mat.24:15,21 Tribulation, last Mat.24:29 after tribulation the Lord’s Day.



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