Christian Churches of God

No. 122C

 

 

 

The Death of the Prophets and Saints

(Edition 1.0 20131112-20131112)

 

The death of the prophets is of significance to Israel and to their fate in the Last Days.

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA

 

Email: secretary@ccg.org

 

(Copyright ©   2013 Wade Cox)

 

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The Death of the Prophets and Saints




Introduction                          

Christ dealt with the people of Judea from his ministry and while he was alive he warned them of the fact that they perverted the laws of God and they had killed the prophets and apostles and that God would deal with that generation.

                                   

Luke 11                                                                

[42] "But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.

[43] Woe to you Pharisees! for you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places.
[44] Woe to you! for you are like graves which are not seen, and men walk over them without knowing it."
[45] One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you reproach us also."

[46] And he said, "Woe to you lawyers also! for you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
[47] Woe to you! for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed.
[48] So you are witnesses and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for they killed them, and you build their tombs.
[49] Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, `I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,'
[50] that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation,
[51] from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechari'ah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of this generation.
[52] Woe to you lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering."
[53] As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard, and to provoke him to speak of many things,

[54] lying in wait for him, to catch at something he might say.

 

This text is often ignored. Note that Christ mentions the prophets and apostles that were sent to them that they killed and he placed the lawyers in with the Scribes and Pharisees as the hypocrites of the nations.

 

When Christ said this there had not as yet been an apostle killed and he himself had not yet been killed although the text shows they were lying in wait to catch him out in order to kill him. The term “this generation” is a portion of forty years and from the death of Christ to the total destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of Judah was forty years to the destruction by Rome in 70 CE.  This destruction was foretold by the prophet Daniel in his work and especially of the seventy weeks of years (Dan. 9:25ff.) which ended in the year 70 CE. When the apostle James was killed by these Jews in 63/64 CE the church knew that it had only one week of years to leave Jerusalem and Judea or they would all face the same fate. They fled to Pella under Simeon who was made bishop of Jerusalem on the death of his father Clophas, who was uncle of Christ and husband of Maria. He died within a year after he succeeded as bishop after James or Yakob was murdered.

 

Judah used its influence to kill the saints for centuries after the dispersion.

 

The term “this generation” is used by Christ to refer to two specific 40 year periods.  One was the period from 30 CE on his murder to 70 CE when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem as part of God’s Judgment on Judah. The next generation of 40 years was at the Last Days from 1987 to 2027 when the church came under measurement and then the nations were destroyed and brought into subjection to Jesus Christ.

 

It was the standard practice of the nation of Israel and especially Judah to murder the prophets when sent by God except when they served under a ruler that afforded them some protection. Also the Lord’s Anointed was sometimes sought in order to be killed by apostate rulers. These rulers were of the like of Saul who sought to kill David and Ahab and Jezebel who sought to kill Elijah and many others.

 

Because of the Trinitarian mistranslation of Daniel 9:25 and their fraudulent allocation of the text to refer to Christ when it does no such thing, they mislocate the work of Zechariah to the reign of Darius Hystaspes or Darius I over a hundred years before it occurred. The fact is that Zechariah, Haggai and Malachi were all active in the period at the close of the OT canon in the life of Ezra and Nehemiah under the reigns of Darius II the Persian and Artaxerxes II.  We know for a definite fact that Ezra died in the year 323 BCE at the same time as Alexander the great and the OT canon was fixed in the period immediately following Ezra.

 

There seems to be little or no doubt that Zechariah and Malachi worked together as prophets. It is even suggested by W. Neil, Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 4, art. ‘Zechariah Book of’ that the final chapters of Zechariah (9-14) are textually distinct from the former chapters and bear  similarity to the text at Malachi and therefore may have been written by a couple of writers or even more; one taking the name of Malachi. Neil also makes the error of assuming that Zechariah was working at the time of Darius Hystaspes ca 520 and he dates the oracles of Haggai in the four months August to December 520 BCE which is impossible. The reasons are expounded in the text The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013).

 

The answer is probably provided by Christ in the text in Luke where Zechariah was killed in the space between the Altar and the Naos or Holy of Holies in some dispute with the Levitical activists. In the period after the restoration of Ezra and Nehemiah it is argued that Zechariah is the last of the minor prophets and completed the last work. Neil and others argue that the writers of the last section compiled it in two sections the last being in two parts being the last part of Zechariah and the second part named for Malachi. The answer is fairly clear if we assume that Zechariah and Malachi were contemporaneous and they worked together. Zechariah may well have had Malachi scribe the final section if he could not do so. There is agreement that the two sections bear the same characteristics.

 

Christ’s comments show that it was understood in the First century CE that Zechariah had been martyred between the Altar and the Naos. It may well have been the case that the three prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi were killed by the proto-Pharisees on the death of Ezra in 323 and effectively closed the canon at its compilation between 323 and 321 BCE. No prophets were sent until Zachariah, high priest of Abijah and father of John the Baptist, prophesied regarding John and John was then sent as the Last of the Levitical prophets. It is totally fitting that Zachariah of Abijah was sent as he replaced Zechariah son of Berechiah son of Iddo the last prophet at the closure of the canon. He was also a Levite. 

 

John was also martyred and then Christ his cousin was also martyred by the same proto-Pharisaic hypocrites that killed the OT prophets before them.

 

The prophets were slain generation after generation, century after century, whenever they corrected Israel and Judah over their errors and breaches of the Law of God.

 

Isaiah

Isaiah was understood anciently to have been martyred. Origen writing in the Third century and the text of IV Baruch (Second or Third century) both refer to the death of Isaiah by being sawn in two. Justin Martyr, Tertullian and the Talmud all testify to the early currency of the legend.  Hebrews 11:37 referred to the prophets as being killed in various manners as follows.

 

Hebrews 11

[32] And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets -- 

[33] who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

[34] quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

[35] Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life.

[36] Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment.

[37] They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated --  [38] of whom the world was not worthy -- wandering over deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

[39] And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised,

[40] since God had foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

 

The text in verse 37 refers to the legend of Isaiah being sawn in two during the Manassan persecution (cf. 2Kgs 21:16; and according to the Gemara).

 

The others were as follows:

Stoned

Naboth (1Kgs. 21:13)

Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest (2Chr. 24:20,21)

Jeremiah after the scene in Pathros, according to the Gemara.

 

The other prophets were also killed by the sword. The priests and prophets were also put to the sword on the orders of Saul in the pursuit of David.

 

The apostle Paul would also die in like manner afterwards.

 

Jonah was killed and then taken to Nineveh in the belly of a great fish and then resurrected.

 

Isaiah was told to go to Egypt naked and barefoot and prophesy naked and suffer abuse and discomfort (Isa. 20:2-4).

 

Ezekiel was struck dumb and only spoke in prophecy. Most were sent all over the known world on God’s errands.

 

The apostles’ journeys and how they were dealt with is explained in the text Fate of the Twelve Apostles (No. 122B).

 

Of the original Twelve Apostles, John, Matthew, Jude and Simon died natural deaths. The others were martyred for the faith in various manners, often by crucifixion.

 

The other brother of Christ, James or Yakob, was martyred as were the more distant cousins such as Simeon and Linus ap Caradog first bishop of Rome, and the list of martyrs seems endless.

 

Over the next two millennia the servants of God and the apostles and their descendants the priests and the prophets of the Churches of God were persecuted by the religions of this world and the principalities and powers that they controlled.

 

From the First century the persecutions came from the Jews and the Romans and others. The religious systems of the Romans and the Jews fought against the church and in some areas forced the church to defend itself.

 

The church was, however, defended from the persecutions inflicted on Judah by God through the Romans in accordance with the prophecy contained in Daniel. The story is told in the text War with Rome and the Fall of the Temple (No. 298).

 

The Church of Rome, both at Rome and Constantinople, and its offshoots became the greatest persecutor of the Churches of God in all the world and became drunk on the blood of the saints. The struggles of the Churches of God just to stay alive over the millennia are identified in the paper Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath–keeping Churches of God (No. 170).

 

This Generation

This last generation over the period from 1987 to 2027 will see God deal with the apostates from within the Churches of God and the other religious authorities and groups of all persuasions.

 

The first action was the measurement of the Church of God and its dispersion for false doctrines and apostasy.

 

The next phase is to bring Judah to repentance as well as confront the pseudo Christian Churches with their errors. Trinitarianism will be stamped out by the beginning of the millennium. So also will Talmudic Judaism and the others.

 

In order to do that the truth had to be re-established. The false religions of Trinitarian Christianity, Hadithic Islam and also the Liberation Theologies of Hinduism and Buddhism as well as Animist theology have to be brought to account and destroyed.

 

The plan of the demons to destroy the earth is being implemented over this phase before God deals with Judah at Jerusalem and then the world through the Witnesses.

 

In the last phase, at the death of the Two Witnesses after their 1263.5 days, Christ and the Loyal Host will be sent to deal with the earth and its kings and priests and confine the Fallen Host to Tartaros as prophesied.

 

Over the Last Sabbath Cycle, Christ will deal with the earth and subjugate it and deal with the apostate Judah and prepare it for its millennial role.

 

We will explain how that is accomplished in the papers on that subject and the Wars of the End.

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