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Friday, March 16 2012
Is God Using Electronic Books Now?
A definition of "electronic book":
Humans are today rapidly replacing printed-on-paper books with "electronic books." This study is not about the benefits (lower publishing cost, the saving of millions of trees each year) and dangers (will education become limited to rich nations whose citizens can afford computers and electronic devices?) of e-books. There is nothing wrong with humans using printed (invented by humans just a few centuries ago) or electronic (invented by humans just a few decades ago) books. The question for this study is, what does God use? What is the "Bible" itself?
Has God begun using computers, because humans have, just in the past few decades? If not, does that mean that humans are now more technologically advanced than God? Or, has God always used some sort of electronic, or even "spiritual" device or means for His "books"?
When we read of a "book" in the Old Testament "book" of Genesis (e.g. "5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 5:2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created" Genesis 5:1-2 KJV), what exactly is it describing? When we read of future prophecies about "books" (e.g. "20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" Revelation 20:12 KJV) in the New Testament "book" of Revelation (and others, as we will read), what exactly is it describing?
First, what are the actual words that were written in the Holy Scriptures, but which have been translated as "book" - beginning at the time when printed "books" were first invented?
In the Old Testament, "book" is used to translate the Hebrew word, pronounced say-fer, from a root word meaning to write, or to inscribe (the "scribes" of the Bible were called that because they could write), means a scroll - not a printed and glued collection of pages, or some sort of electronic file or device, but a rolled scroll.
In the New Testament, "book" is used to translate the Greek word, pronounced bib-los (from which originated the English word "Bible"), which meant a sheet of papyrus, rolled into a scroll. Some may say, but the New Testament itself is ancient history, so scrolls would have been used then, but the prophecies in it (and in the Old Testament) aren't ancient; they are ultra-modern because most of the prophecies haven't happened yet - and they use the very same word that was always used, a scroll, not a printed and glued collection of pages, or some sort of electronic file or device.
Many humans today assume or imply that God has accommodated Himself to human inventions - that God must be using electronic media because humans now do. But that's exactly what people thought when printed books were invented a few centuries ago - humans (including the King James Version translators, and many others that came after them) decided for themselves that the actual Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures, that mean scroll, from then on meant "book," just as some humans today have now decided for themselves that the actual Hebrew and Greek words of the Holy Scriptures, that meant scroll, now means some form of "electronic book."
"A book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals"
Many of the end-time prophecies that were given to Daniel in the book of Daniel and to the apostle John in the book of Revelation are the same - as they must be. Whether in the Hebrew of the book of Daniel, or the Greek of the book of Revelation, the word that has been translated as "book" literally meant a scroll. While Daniel and John wrote in ancient times, their prophecies are yet future. Daniel's "the judgment was set, and the books were opened" (verse 10 below) and John's "20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works" (Revelation 20:12 KJV) are the same prophecy about scrolls.
Daniel's summary prophecy of the four major world empires (Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome) that affected Bible History, the return of Jesus Christ and the Judgment at the end of the 1,000 years:
"7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon [see also The Temple Vessel Prophecies Today] Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.
There are, nevertheless, those who insist upon interpreting "scroll," in its present-day, or yet-future in prophecy meaning, as some sort of electronic device. The danger of doing that (apart from the warning "1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation" 2 Peter 1:20 KJV) is that interpreting something in a way in which it was not written often requires changing the meaning of other things too. For example, if actual scrolls are not described, the famous end-time "seven seals" would also have to be either ignored or changed. It would result in a cascade of Scriptural perversion and error.
"5:1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
The Messiah earned the right to open those seven seals ("Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation"); no vain human has the right to do away, or deny, what He is going to do simply by turning the Holy Scriptures into a mere reflection of themselves and the time in which they happen to live.
The first four seals describe the "four horsemen of the apocalypse" (see The Horsemen Of The Apocalypse).
False religion (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad):
"6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." (Revelation 6:1-2 KJV)
Wars of religious and imperialistic aggression (see A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace):
"6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. 6:4 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." (Revelation 6:3-4 KJV)
"6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Revelation 6:5-6 KJV)
"6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell 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." (Revelation 6:7-8 KJV)
The martyrdom of true Christians (see Nero's Torches):
"6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?] of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 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? 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." (Revelation 6:9-11 KJV)
Earthquakes, signs in the heavens and the beginning of the wrath upon the world of arrogant "Babylon" (see What And Where Is Babylon Today?).
"6:12 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 [see The Blood Moon Prophecy]; 6:13 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. 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 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; 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb [see Does God Love His Enemies?]: 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" (Revelation 6:12-17 KJV)
The seventh seal consists of "seven trumpets," of which the seventh trumpet consists of seven "vials."
"8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 8:2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets." (Revelation 8:1-2 KJV)
John was given to eat a "little book" - in the actual Hebrew and Greek, a scroll. John could not have eaten some sort of electronic device, if that's what "book" meant in the book of Revelation. He ate a small scroll.
"10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
The same word, meaning scroll, is again translated here as "book." Keep in mind that the King James Version translators were using "book," which had just been invented in their time, in the same way that some today would, and do, translate it as some sort of electronic book. But the actual Scriptures, whether speaking in ancient history, or yet-future end-time prophecy, have scroll.
"13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 13:3 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. 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
The "books" of Life and Judgment, that have existed since ancient times and will be used in the future, were actually written as scrolls.
"20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works [see Works Means Obedience]. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15 KJV)
The scroll then ends with a warning: "22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18-19 KJV)
"22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.
Fact Finder: How could Christ come "soon" to those who lived centuries ago?
This Day In History, March 16
597 BC: An estimated date (from Adar 2) when the Babylonians captured Jerusalem and replaced Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king of Judah (see Jehoiachin Of Judah and Zedekiah Of Judah; also A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah and A History Of Jerusalem: Ezra And Nehemiah).
37: Roman Emperor Tiberius died. He was the Emperor (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire and The Politics Of Rome) at the time of Jesus Christ's crucifixion (see A History Of Jerusalem: The Coming Of The Messiah, A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?). Tiberius was succeeded by Caligula.
1190: "Christian" Crusaders massacred Jews in York, England (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1521: Ferdinand Magellan sighted the Philippines (it wasn't a "discovery" to the people who lived there).
1660: The British "Long Parliament of the Puritans" ended after 20 years. The new Convention Parliament followed.
1815: Willem I was proclaimed king of the Netherlands.
1851: Spanish authorities concluded a concordat with the Vatican under which Roman Catholicism became the only authorized faith in Spain. It also gave control of education and the press to the Catholic Church.
1889: Off Samoa in the Southern Pacific, a severe hurricane destroyed 6 warships (3 U.S., 3 German); only the British Calliope escaped.
1907: The British Invincible, then the world's largest cruiser, was completed at the Glasgow shipyards.
1917: Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicated.
1919: Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.
1933: The German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers.
1935: Adolf Hitler renounced the disarmament clauses in the Versailles Treaty and introduced conscription in Germany (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1945: Most of Würzburg, Germany was destroyed in only 20 minutes by British bombers; 5,000 people were killed.
1968: The "My Lai Massacre" of about 500 civilians, mostly women, old men, and children (the younger men had left to work in the fields or at sea), by U.S. troops in Vietnam. The atrocity was not discovered in the U.S. until 18 months later, when it set off a firestorm of disgust and outrage around the world. In 1971, to appease public protest, Lt. William Calley, one of the officers who oversaw the murders, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison, but very little time was actually served before he was quietly released.
1969: Golda Meir became the Prime Minister of Israel.
1978: Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was kidnapped and later killed by "Red Brigade" terrorists.
1978: The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz split in two after running aground on the Portsall Rocks, three miles off the coast of Brittany. It resulted in the 5th-largest oil spill in history.
1988: The Kurdish town of Halabjah in Iraq was attacked with poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein. 5,000 people died and 10,000 people were sickened.
2000: Thomas Ferebee died at age 81. He was the bombardier of the Enola Gay when it dropped the U.S. atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6 1945, killing over 130,000 men, women, children and babies - and horribly burning tens of thousands more. For the remainder of his life, Ferebee publicly maintained that the bombing was "the right thing to do," while also stating "I think we should realize that this can't happen again."
2005: Israel officially surrendered Jericho to "Palestinian" control.