Why is the tribe of Dan not included in the one hundred and forty-four thousand described in Revelation 7?
The tribe of Dan settled primarily in Southern Ireland (as proven in Mr. Armstrong's booklet, "The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy"). The people who settled in Southern Ireland were called the "Tuatha de Danaan" or "tribe of Dan." From their earliest history, and even as they are today, the Danites have a record of pagan worship and idolatry quite separate and distinct from the other tribes of Israel. This is clearly illustrated in the 17th and 18th chapters of the book of Judges, where ancient Dan went into idolatry, even stealing the idols they worshipped (Judg. 18:24, 30). Today, the tribe of Dan is still given to idolatry following the traditions of their ancestors. They are, as a nation, an integral part of the false mystery system God labels as "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT" in Revelation 17:5. This is a great false church, a worldly church, which has persecuted God's true servants down through the ages (Verse 6). Notice in Revelation 2:20, this same false church is likened to that wicked "woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." God says He will smite her children with death because they have known the "depths of Satan" (Verses 23-24). Jezebel's children, then, are those who have been taught at an early age her abominable idolatries and filthinesses (Rev. 2:20) and are deep in her doctrine (Verse 24). This woman Jezebel symbolizes the Roman Catholic Church. Most Danites (Irish) are members of this false church from birth, attending her schools, festivals and idolatrous religious worship services. This is the same false church God commands His people to "come out of" no they will not receive of the plagues He is going to bring on those who worship her (Rev. 18:4). Since the nation of Ireland, the modern Danites, are in the "depths of Satan" and do not know God's true way, probably nothing less than the complete destruction of this false Roman church, combined with the presence and power of Christ's rule on this earth, will finally bring them to repentance. Dan says to God: "I have waited for thy salvation, 0 Lord" (Gen. 49:18).
What is the origin of April Fools' Day?
April Fools' Day — or All-Fools' Day, as it is known also — is of very ancient origin, although its exact origin is obscure. The custom of playing practical jokes on friends on a particular day, or sending them on fools' errands, was practiced from earliest times. According to the 11th Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 2, page 231, "What seems certain is that it [April Fools' Day) is in some way or other a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Years's Day, the 25th of March, ended on the 1st of April." The Britannica goes on to state, "This view gains support from the fact that the exact counterpart of April-fooling is found to have been an IMMEMORIAL CUSTOM IN INDIA. The festival of the spring equinox is there termed the feast of Huli, the last of which is the 31st of March, upon which the chief amusement is the befooling of people by sending them on fruitless errands." From this authoritative source we see clearly that the practice of April-fooling long antedates Christianity. Its roots are buried in dimmest antiquity! Obviously, April Fools' Day is of pagan origin! It has been observed down to modern days from time immemorial in INDIA. In the Western World, also, it has been observed for centuries, although the Western tradition is more difficult to trace in history. However, according to the Concise Dictionary of Holidays, "The tradition of setting aside some special day for making a fool out of other people has its roots in ANTIQUITY..." (p. 5). Another researcher declares, "To find the practice so widely prevalent over the earth, and with so near a coincidence of day, seems to indicate that it has had a VERY EARLY ORIGIN amongst mankind" (Book of Days, p. 462). Since the evidence is overwhelming that April Fools' Day stems from ancient pagan custom and tradition — and since the BIBLE, the Word of God, nowhere teaches Christians to partake in observing such a day of mockery, foolishness, jesting and ridicule — and since God actually CONDEMNS foolish jesting in His Word (Jer. 10:1-2; Eph. 5:4) — followers of Christ should have nothing whatsoever to do with this pagan custom!! God thunders to true Christians, "Learn NOT the way of the heathen" (Jer. 10:2). Regarding worldly customs inherited from heathenism, God declares, "Wherefore come out from among them, and BE YE SEPARATE, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you" (II Cor. 6:17).
What is the purpose and meaning of the words that divide the 119th Psalm into sections?
Each of the words that divide this Psalm is the name of a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, heth is the second, gimel is the third, and so on. All 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet in their alphabetical order are used, making a total of 22 divisions for this Psalm. In the original Hebrew, each of these 22 divisions had 8 sentences. The 8 sentences that composed a section were equivalent to the 8 verses we find in each section in the King James Bible. Each of these sentences in a particular division began with the Hebrew letter which heads that particular division. For example, each of the 8 sentences in the first division, which was divided and called after the first Hebrew letter, aleph, begins with the letter aleph. Each of the 8 sentences in the second division begins with the letter beth, the second Hebrew letter. This continues through the entire Hebrew alphabet. This type of writing is called acrostic. The reason the translators included this information in the 119th Psalm is that they wanted in some way to preserve and leave an awareness of the symmetry an poetic beauty that the original Hebrew expressed in the Psalms. The 119th Psalm is not the only Psalm that was divided poetically, but it is the only one which has these divisions retained in the King James Version of the Bible.