In the four Gospels and Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthian church we find mention of our Lord’s last Passover meal before His death. Prominent in theses writings are the cups spoken of by our Lord; He picks up a cup, blesses it and tells the disciples to drink of the wine, telling them that the wine is a sign of a new covenant and represents the blood that He will shed (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26). Luke records the Lord taking one cup before the supper and one after (Luk. 22:15-23). Paul’s account of the Passover records our Saviour asking the disciples to remember Him each time that they eat the bread and drink the wine (1 Cor. 11:23-25). To find the significance of the cups we must look in some detail at the layout of the Passover meal (Exod. 12:14): …
- a) A blessing is said over the first of four cups of wine to be drunk, The Cup of Sanctification.
- b) The middle one of three matzah, unleavened bread, is broken in two and one of the halves is hidden until later.
- c) The Passover story is told (Exod. 12:26,27).
- d) A second cup of wine is drunk, The Cup of Deliverance.
- e) Bitter herps, usually grated horse radish, are eaten (Exod. 12:8).
- f) Roast Lamb is eaten, the supper (Exod. 12:9).
- g) A child is sent out retrieve the broken half of matzah which is distributed to all.
- h) A third cup of wine is taken, The Cup of Redemption.
- i) A child is sent to open the door to look for Elijah who is said by the Scriptures to come before the Messiah (Matt. 17:10).
- j) The Hallel, psalms of praise, Psa. 113-118, is sung (Matt. 26:30).
- k) A fourth cup of wine is drunk, The Cup of Hope.
We can now see that each of these cups has a name, so let us explore a little further and find the origin of the names and see how they help our quest.
The names are taken from chapter six of the book of Exodus: …
‘And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were stangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a streched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians’ (Exod. 6:4-7).
The names are derived from verse six as follows: …
- 1) ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of te Egyptians’.
- 2) ‘and I will rid you out of their bondage’.
- 3) ‘and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments’.
- 4) ‘And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God’.
The four cups outline the work of God on behalf of His people Israel; their significance can be summarised as follows: …
- a) God chose Israel to be a separated people. He vowed to deliver Israel from the power of all of their enemies, to pursue the duties which the LORD had given them to do (Exod. 19:5,6).
- b) Israel will not be able to do this in their own strenght; God will deliver them, to serve Him (Exod. 8:1).
- c) This deliverance has a price, the redemption mentioned here is that of a family member being freed from slavery God is promising to redeem Israel, His firstborn son (Lev. 25:48-49). The redemption of Israel from Egypt foreshadows the redemption and forgiveness of sins, through Christ’s blood for all believers (Exod. 12:5,6; Luke 22:20; John 1:29; Col. 1:14).
- d) This cup looks forward to the coming of Elijah and the Messiah, and the fulfilment of Israel’s hope. At this time they will be in the Land. At this point the covenant given to Israel through Moses will finally be realised, Passover will be kept, only the killing of the Passover Lamb will be missing, Christ’s blood has already paid that debt (Ezek. 43:1-5; 45:18-25).
We must now return to the quotations in the New Testament …
Luke tells us that our Lord told the disciples that the Passover would one day be fulfillled in the ‘Kingdom of heaven’ (see item d above); He then took ‘a’ cup and asked them to share it amongst themselves, adding that He would not drink any wine until the Kingdom of heaven comes; this would be the first cup. He next broke the bread and after the supper had been eaten He took the third cup, telling those present that the wine was for them and announcing the New Covenant (Luke 22:14-20; Jer. 31:31-37; Hebr. 8:8-12). The accounts of Matthew and Mark add that the Hallel was sung but there is no mention of the fourth cup being drunk. Dr. Brant Pitre quotes David Daube on the topic of the Fourth Cup as follows: …
‘There is … in Matthew and Mark a reference also to the fourth and last cup of the Passover liturgy. It is contained in the words: “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine until I drink it in my father’s kingdom” or in the “Kingdom of heaven”. The meaning is that the fourth cup would not taken; as would be the normal thing … it will be postponed until the kingdom is fully established. … The implication is that they go out directly after the hymn, without drinking the fourth cup. … This portion of the liturgy is postponed till the arrival of the actual kingdom.
(By B. Marple – The Berean Expositor – London – March 2014 Vol. 67 No. 8 – www.bereanonline.org)
The Science Of The Signs …
The Jewish calendar is more complicated than our Gregorian calendar, but God has a reason for everything He does. There are three heavenly events on which the Jewish calender is based: the rotation of the earth makes a day, the rotation of the moon around the earth makes a month, and the rotation of the earth around the sun makes a year. (The Gregorian calendar follows the first and third events). It takes about 29½ days for the moon to revolve around the earth and 365¼ days for the earth to revolve around the sun. The Jewish calendar handles the fractions by using either 29- or 30-day months and either 12- or 13-months years.
Scientifically, you can only have a solar eclipse at a new moon or the first day of a biblical month, and you can only have a total lunar eclipse at a full moon on the fifteenth day of a biblical month. This is why God scheduled some of His divine appointments or feast days at those times. Rosh Hasjana is the first day of the seventh month. And both Passover (the Feast of Unleavened Bread) and the Feast of Tabernacles are on the fifteenth of the biblical month. Solar and lunar eclipses are common occurrences for the most part and have no great prophetic significance. However, when they fall on feast days, we should pay close attention, because God is trying to tell us something.
According to NASA, there are three types of lunar eclipses: …
- Penumbral: the moon traverses Earth’s penumbral shadow (it misses Earth’s umbral shadow).
- Partial: the moon traverses Earth’s penumbral and umbral shadows (it does not pass completely into Earth’s umbra).
- Total: the moon traverses Earth’s penumbral and umbral shadow (it passes completely into Earth’s umbra) [“Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak (NASA’s GSFC)”, http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat5/LEcatalog.html.]
During the five-millenium period from 2000 BC to 3000 AD, we will experience 12,064 of one of the three types of lunar eclipses, averaging about 2.4 a year. Over a period of five thousand years, from 1999 BC to AD 3000, there will be a total of 3,479 total lunar eclipses. As you may recall from the introduction, four consecutive total lunar eclipses in a row, without any partical or penumbral eclipses in between, are known as a tetrad.
It is not uncommon for eclipses to fall on feast day since God designed those holidays to fall on days when lunar eclipses would take place. But four total lunar eclipses in a row are not as common as one would believe. Among the 3,479 eclipses over five thousand years, there will be only be 142 tetrads. There were 62 tetrads over the last two thousand years. Of these, only eight fell on feast days, with the ninth coming in 2014-2015.
“So, what’s the big deal?” you might ask. Let’s look at the significance of the number 9 in Scripture. In his book Number in Scripture (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1967, 1980), author E.W. Bullinger explained: …
- The number nine … is the last of the [single] digits, and thus marks the end; and is significant of the conclusion of a matter. It is akin to the number six, six being the sum of its factors (3 x 3 = 9, and 3 + 3 = 6), and is thus significant of the end of man, and the summation of all man’s works. Nine is, therefore:
- THE NUMBER OF FINALITY OR JUDGMENT . . . It marks the completeness, the end and issue of all things as to man – the judgment of man and all his works. It is a factor of 666, which is 9 times 74 . . . . The sum of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabeth is 4995 (5 x 999). It is stamped, therefore, with the number of grace and finality. (p. 235)
There were no tetrads in the first century, but between AD 100 and 200 there were three, in the years 162-63, 180-81, and 198-99. Of these three, only the first fell on Passover and Sukkot, respectively.
In the three-hundred-year stretch between AD 200 and 500, there was a total of thirteen tetrads, but non of them fel on feast days. There were no tetrads during the next two hundred years.
From AD 700 to 800, there were just three tetrads, with one occurring on the Feast of Passover and Sukkot, in AD 795-96. The next century, though, showed quite a flurry of tetrads, with a total of eight. Only twice, though, did they occur on feast days: in 842-43 and 860-61.
In 843, the Treaty of Verdun was signed to end the Carolingian civil war and divide the Carolingian Empire into three kingdoms: West Francia, Middle Francia, and East Francia. The Carolingians were tolerant to their Jewish subjects, but the division of the empire adversely affected all the Jews in the realm.
From 900 to 1000, there were six tetrads, but none occurred on the feast days. There were no tetrads for the next three hundred years. Then, from 1300 to 1400, there were six tetrads, but again, none fell on the feast days.
Between 1400 and 1500 there were four tetrads, two of which fell on the feast days: 1428-29 and 1493-94. Interestingly, it was in 1428 that an assembly of Jews in Italy met in Florence to gather funds to give to Pope Martin V in return for his protection. And in 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed an edict to expell all the Jews from Spain. This was a very significant event in Jewish history. As mentioned previously, many believe that Columbus was Jewish, as well as a number of his passengers.
From 1500 to 1600, there were six tetrads, without any appearing on the feast days. Then there were no tetrads for three hundred years. That brings us to modern history.
Between 1900 and 2000 there were five tetrads, but only two occurred on feast days – 1949-50 and 1967-68. These were epic years for the Jewish people, with major prophetic implications. In 1948, Israel became a nation, and then in 1967, the Israelites recaptured Jerusalem. Not only do we have four blood moons in a row, with all four of them falling on feast days, but they also happened at a time when historic prophecies were fulfilled.
In this 21st century, eight tetrads will occur, but the only time they will fall on the feast days is [the ninth tetrad] in 2014 and 2015.
(Blood Moons – Decoding the imminent heavenly signs – by Mark Biltz – 2014 – paperback ISBN: 978-1-936488-11-7 – [page 143-147]). www.elshaddaiministries.us
The cup of His wrath …
- And the woman (i.e. the great city, v. 18) was arrayed in purple (Judg. viii. 26; Est. 1:6), and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having a golden cup (Jer. li. 7) in her hand full of abominations and having the unclean things of her fornication:] … terms of the interpretation … And that great city reigneth over the kings of the earth (v. 18) was beautified with purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stone, and pearls, having a wondrous and attractive idolatrous system full of abominations, and having the unclean provisions for her idolatrous practices’ (Rev. 17:4). That great city is described as having all luxuries, combined with her idolatrous worship.
- ‘And upon her forehead a name written, – a secret sign.] So we read it, that she had a name written on her forehead – a secret symbol – “BABYLON THE GREAT,” the mother of the harlots and of the abominations of the earth.’] (Rev. 17:5).
- ‘And I saw the woman (i.e., the great city, v. 18) drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and I wondered when I saw her, with great wonder.] … terms of interpretation … And I saw that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth (v. 18) drenched with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the Martys of Jesus: and I wondered when I saw the city, with great wonder‘ (Rev. 17:6).
There is one point, however, to be referred to here, and that is “the cup”. It is “golden”; and hence, beautiful and attractive in appearance. The cup is one. This tells us that the corrupt streams which flow from this one fountain-head are all one in essence, and character, and effect. It is the religion originally instituted at Babylon, by Nimrod, at the instigation of Satan (Gen. 10:8-10).
- ‘And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since man was on the earth, so mighty an earthquake, or so great.‘] Similar results take place at the opening of the seventh Seal (viii. 5); and at the sounding of the seventh Trumpet (xi. 19).
- ‘And the great city became divided (or split) into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.‘] Not only is great Babylon split up into three parts by this earthquake, but the capital cities also of the confederated nations, the allies of the Beast (v. 14; xvii. 13-17) were destroyed. Some say that “Great Babylon” means “Rome”; others hold that it means “Jerusalem”; while others, like ourselves, believe what is written. Babel or Babylon was the sence of the first apostasy from God after the Flood. Always the enemy of God’s people, she became in later days the metropolis of the first great Gentile Empire as seen in the image and dream of Nebuchadnezzar. God promised to remember His covenant with Israel; and when He did so He promised also to remember Babylon in the day of His wrath. Hence His people cry concerning it, “Remember, O Lord.” (Ps. cxxxvii; xcviii. 3; cv. 8, 42).
(Commentary on Revelation – 1984 – by E.W. Bullinger – page: 491, 501-502, 510-511. – Kregel Publications – ISBN: 0-8254-2239-6)
And here again we add one more of the many correspondences which these studies are making with the book of Genesis, namely the solemn words of Genesis 9:6: …
- ‘Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed’.
to which is added both the basic reason and another connexion with the Revelation: …
- ‘For in the image of God made He man.’
It is a solemn thing to know that it is possible to ‘blaspheme’ our fellow-men who are made in the ‘image’ of God (Titus 3:2 and Rev. 13:6). Idolatry violates that glory conferred upon man as well as the glory of God Himself.
- They … changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man … who changed the truth of God into a lie (or ‘exchanged the glory’ for ‘THE LIE’), and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever, Amen’ (Rom. 1:21-25).
This abandonment leads straight on with excessive abuse of the gift of sex, even as this same evil is seen to preponderate in the book of the Revelation. The worship of the Beast and of his IMAGE dethrones not only God, but man, and turns the whole direction of life toward ‘the lie’, Satan’s counterfeit. Because of this we read of ‘the wrath of God’.
The word orge (translated ‘wrath’) occurs twelve times in Romans, and of these occurrences seven are found in the first great doctrinal division (Rom. 1:1-5:11). It is an important word, and seeing that it is placed in distinct relation to righteousness in Romans 1:17,18, it demands a prayerful study. We observe in the first place that ‘wrath’ is used in the outer portion of Romans only. The word is not used in Romans 5:12-8:39. The word ‘wrath’ is not used of either Adam or of man seen in Adam. Judgment, condemnation and death there are, but unaccompanied by wrath. There is no wrath either in connexion with the lake of fire, or the great white throne in Revelation 20. All is calm, books are opened, everyone is dealt with in pure justice. Wrath, anger, indignation, fury, these words are of a different category.
Many times do we read that the wrath of the anger of the Lord was ‘kindled’, as in Exodus 4:14, or of wrath ‘waxing hot’, as in Exodus 22:24, or of His anger ‘smoking’ (Psalm 74:1), and of it being poured out in ‘fury’ (Isa. 42:25). The nature of the wrath of Romans 1:18, and of the day of wrath with which it is connected (Rom. 2:5) is discovered in the book of Revelation. Those upon whom this wrath is poured are the ‘nations’, and the time is the time of the dead that they should be judged and rewarded (Rev. 11:18; 19:15). This wrath falls particularly upon Babylon (Rev. 16:19), and in direct connexion with its idolatry and uncleanness (Rev. 14:8-10); Babylon is in view in Romans 1:18-32.
There we see that Satanic system in all its naked horror; there we see the domination of darkness and the lie. In this section we read of those who by their deeds are ‘worthy of dead’, and who ‘have pleasure’ in deeds of evil (Rom. 1:32). This section therefore is connected with wrath. There is much to be learned by comparing 1 and 2 Thessalonians with this passage in Romans: …
- ‘Wrath revealed from heaven‘ (Rom. 1:18). ‘The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven‘ (2 Tess. 1:7).
- ‘When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God. … They did not like to retain God in their knowledge’ (Rom. 1:21,28). ‘In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God‘ (2 Thess. 1:8).
- ‘They have pleasure in them that do them’ (Rom. 1:32). ‘They had pleasure in unrighteousness’ (2 Thess. 2:12).
- ‘They changed the truth of God into the lie‘ (Rom. 1:25). ‘They received not … the truth … they believe the lie‘ (2 Thess. 2:10,11).
- ‘They changed the glory of God into an image made like to man‘(Rom. 1:23). ‘The man of sin … showing himself that he is God’ (2 Thess. 2:3,4).
- ‘Wrath revealed … idolatry‘(Rom. 1:18-25). ‘Ye turned to God from idols … saved from the wrath to come’ (1 Thess. 1:9,10).
- ‘God also gave them up to uncleanness‘ (Rom. 1:24). ‘Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God’ (1 Thess. 4:5).
If we also bring together the parallels that we find in the book of the Revelation, we shall have a full reference to that Satanic system of iniquity commenced at Babel, dominating the nations of the earth from that time onward until judged at the coming of the Lord in the day of wrath.
The reference in Romans 1:19,20 to the evidence of creation finds an echo in the Revelation.
So in the days when Babylon and its system shall be revived and in full power, the ‘everlasting gospel’ will be preached, which gospel is nothing more nor less than a proclamation of the Lord as Creator: …
- ‘Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen’ (Rev. 14:7,8).
There is a slight alteration in the words translated ‘change’ in these verses in the Authorised Version of Romans one. We have attempted to indicate the difference by using ‘change’ and ‘exchange’. First they changed the glory of God without actually giving up God altogether, but this soon led to the next step, for they exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and then worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator. It is not possible for God to take the second place. ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’
Into the third item we cannot go. The defiling character of idolatry may be gathered from its annals, and we do not feel that any good purpose would be served by eloborating this revolting subject here. At the same time we know only too well that human nature is not a whit better today than when it openly practised the sins condemned in Romans 1. We need faithfully to warn the rising generation, speaking very tenderly and lovingly, yet nevertheless plainly, for Babylonianism in all its forms is rising like a flood, and the book of the Revelation reveals Romans 1 in a superlative degree. We need not go so far into the future as the book of Revelation, however, for 2 Timothy 3:1-8 uses many of the words of Romans 1 to describe the perilous times at the close of this present dispensation. The sequence of the apostasy and its relation to the development of the mystery of iniquity, otherwise called ‘the lie’ and the mystery of godliness, otherwise called ‘the truth’ in 1 Tim. 3:16, can be traced through Paul’s epistles. Taking the statemensts of Romans 1 we find them worked out in the other epistles.
A comparison of the list of sins in Romans 1 with that of 2 Timothy 3:1-7 will show how completely the parallel is recorded. The reader must supply further parallels by studying the intervening epistles.
- ‘As God’. The creature more than the Creator. ‘The man of sin … as God‘ (2 Thess. 2:3,4)
- ‘The lie.’ ‘The truth.’ ‘They received not the love of the truth … they believe the lie‘ (2 Thess. 2:10,11).
- ‘Given up to an undiscerning mind.’ ‘God shall send them strong delusion’ (2 Thess. 2:11).
- ‘Pleasure in them that do them.’ ‘Had pleasure in unrighteousness’ (2 Thess. 2:12).
- ‘Neither were thankful.’ ‘God had created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth’ (1 Tim. 4:3,4).
(By Charles H. Welch – The Berean Expositor – London – March 2014 Vol. 67 No. 8 page 150-154).
Als eenmaal de beker der gramschap van de HEER moet rondgaan, zal geen volk deze beker kunnen weigeren.
Drinken zullen zij, want als “de stad waarin Zijn Naam is uitgeroepen” – (Jeruzalem) niet verschoond wordt en door rampen wordt getroffen, zouden de volken dan vrijuit gaan? God roept het zwaard over alle inwoners der aarde, als Hij de wijn der gramschap uitschenkt en de druiven getreden zullen worden bij de grote oogst. En dan is het weer merkwaardig dat “de koning van Sesach het laatst zal drinken”; Sesach is volgens vele Joodse verklaarders Babel (Verg. Zach. 5 en Jes. 25). Volgens Jer. 50:12-13 en 35-40 is Babel “de laatste der heidenen”.
Veel is vandaag de dag inmiddels geschiedt in de geopolitieke wereld van het Midden-Oosten, metropolen die sterk wijzen in de richting van een herbouwd Babylon, in Iraq, Kuwait of Saudi Arabia.
Ook wie het apokalyptische “Babylon” als een beginsel en een stelsel wil zien, en anderen die zich dit toekomstig Babel elders dan in de oudtestamentische plaatsbepaling willen voorstellen, mogen wel bedenken dat in het einde alles a.h.w. weer op zijn plaats komt.
Het is oneindig veel veiliger en reeler nog onvervulde profetieen te situeren op de plaatsen die in de Schrift staan vermeld, of die plaatsen thans nog tastbaar aanwezig zijn of niet. Want wáár de profetie in de Heilige Schrift vervuld is, blijkt altijd dat het een letterlijke vervulling is. En dan gaat het niet aan nog onvervulde profetieen maar te “vergeestelijken” of in een of ander constructie “in te bouwen”. Overigens sluit het één lang niet altijd het ánder uit.
Als de Schrift b.v. over Egypte als “diensthuis” spreekt, dan is wél alles wat “diensthuis” is in geestelijke zin “Egypte”, maar dat geeft ons toch niet het recht nog onvervulde profetieen over Egypte (Jes. 19; 20; Jer. 43:8 -13; 46:2-28) uitsluitend vervuld te zien in Christus’ principiele overwinning over de “diensthuis”-machten. Zo is het ook met het begrip “Babel”. Babylon is in de oudheid reeds weggevaagd en de Messias Jezus heeft het “geestelijk” Babel reeds overwonnen, maar deze overwinning moet, evenals bij Egypte, nog manifest worden, duidelijk zichtbaar en tastbaar (Jes. 13; 21; 47; Jer. 50:1-46; 51).
Het moet alles nog “apokalyps” worden, te voorschijn komen. En dáárom komt in de eindtijd de oudtestamentische wereld weer tot gestalte, óók Babel, evenals Egypte, Syrie (Jes. 17; Jer.49:23-27), Perzie-Iran (Jer. 49:34-39; Ezech. 38:5) en het Romeinse Rijk. De ‘Arabische-lente’ die inmiddels is ontaard in een slagveld met z’n vele duizenden onschuldige en goedwillende burgers; en daar komt bij dat wij niet weten hoe de wereld na zovele catastrofen eruit zal zien en hoe dan de verhoudingen zullen zijn.
Een nieuwe wereldorde of een terugkerende koude oorlog kan juist die regio van het Midden-Oosten – niet het minst door de “olie” en “gas”-positie – onderleiding van wie dan ook (antichrist) een dominerende positie gaan innemen (Openb. 13:7; Dan.7:21, 11:7, 12:1,7).
Openbaring 17 en 18 manifesteert dus de grote stad Babylon – ‘het geheimenis van ongerechtigheid’, dat aan haar einde komt bij het oordeel van de 7e toorn-schaal van gericht met de woorden: ‘Het is geschied’ (Openb. 16:17-21), in contrast met ‘Het is geschied‘ uit (21:6) waar gesproken wordt met het oog op de overwinnaars die de nieuwe hemel, de nieuwe aarde en het nieuwe Jeruzalem zullen beerven!
(Uit: ‘De terugkeer van Jezus Christus’ door H. Verweij [pag. 202-203], bewerkt door GJCP).
Gerard J.C. Plas