In Revelation, John records in 1:19 that he was commanded to “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.”

In 4:1 he records “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”

There are several times in Revelation where John writes that ‘these things’ would shortly ‘come to pass,’ or begin. And indeed, all the events discussed in Rev. 1:20 to 3:22, the Spirit speaking to the Churches, were those things that as John was writing pertained to the things he recorded ‘that are,’ or for us looking back, were.

The message to the Seven Churches was how we as Christians shall be judged, according to how we stand against the seven conditions we might find ourselves.

Those seven Churches stood or fell then…we stand or fall as we choose to walk or not.

Many of us in America and say, India or the far west of Asia may have the trial of Thyatira, to serve fornication and things offered to idols, or any of the areas in the West where we may have the trials of Pyrgamos and the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes* to contend with. In the Middle East it is the trial of Smyrna were ‘death is on the line.’ And of course any of these seven conditions may dominate an area anywhere, and an individual may face any or some or all of these in a lifetime.

But after the things that were, the judgement on the seven churches, the things that in John’s time at the writing of the book of Revelation were ‘hereafter,’ were yet in the not immediate future at that time.

This includes the opening of the seven seals, the sounding of the seven seals, the completion of ‘The Mystery of God’ (the Church) at the ‘last trump,’ and after that, the rise of the Beast and the ‘Great Wrath,’ followed by the Millennial Kingdom, The White Throne Judgement, and a new heaven and earth.

Revelation is divided into that which existed occurring at the time of John, and the things which would be thereafter. The Seven churches were already in those situations, just as we still are today. Seven divisions.

But the things John wrote about pertaining to what was for him ‘hereafter’ was also divided, the first into seven parts:

1: Opening the Seven Seals of tribulation.
2: The Sounding of the Seven Trumpets.
3: The Seven Thunders,
4: The Finishing, completion, of the Mystery of God during the sounding of the Seventh (last) trumpet.
5: Rise of the Beast and the Wrath, or ‘Bowl Judgements.’
6: Millennial Kingdom of Christ
7: White Throne Judgment and a New Heaven and Earth.

We as Christians are told we’ll be gathered, saved before the Wrath. We are not told we’ll be gathered before Tribulation. Many today are taught they will not go through Tribulation. When it visits them (like the persecution of Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq) it shakes their faith in what they’ve been taught.

The last days before the sounding of the trumpets we all told there will be a great persecution.

The first four seals unleashed conquest (a great sword given him), stole peace, unleashed famine, and the fourth power to kill the fourth of the earth. In historical context it is safe to say these four seals are open.

The fifth seal is a great martyrdom of the Church. This continues until all those who shall so die are killed.

Pagans, and then a Romanized Church instituted massacres of faithful from the beginning until the eighteenth Century. Islam began its slaughter of Christians 14 centuries ago, and we are seeing another massive wave of martyrdoms at the hand of he who ‘wields the great sword.’ Christians are killed for their faith in most of the 57  Muslim states, (and in states that are not Muslim but have large Muslim minorities,) in Cuba, China, Vietnam and India.

When will this end? When the Mystery is fulfilled, the Church gathered.

The sixth seal begins with a great earthquake. Rev. 6:12-17:

“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;
“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.
“And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
“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;
“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:
“For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

During the years before the seventh seal is opened,  a 144,000 will be chosen out of ISRAEL by God and marked with His mark on their foreheads. However, within a very few years after Revelation was written, Judea was dispersed, there was no Israel of the Jews for almost 2,000 years. And the largest concentrations of the diaspora was overrun by Islan six centuries later and mostly forced to convert.

The 1883 explosion of the volcano on Krakatoa may have been this sixth seal. I personally am not convinced, but I am not discounting it.

Ash was released so that for two years the sky across the globe was literally darkened. During this time the moon appeared red all over the globe. It literally shook the position, if only slightly, of every mountain and island on earth. In fact, islands were washed away in the tsunamis.

I actually think that something more obvious this way comes, but at the time, with the initial eruption and the severe climate effects that lasted a decade, many at that time thought the world was ending.

But it is evidence at least that a severe volcanic eruption can have global effect.

And if Krakatoa was the sixth seal, oddly enough this began the zionist movement, search for a homeland, among the Jewish diaspora.

Whether Krakatoa was or was not, the groundwork for the  final days and years of the opening of the last seals is laid.

It is no coincidence that the book contains the keys to standing in different circumstances in the same book as the revelation of tribulation. It is time we as the children of God reestablish ourselves in that advice, and prepare ourselves, our children, and our newly won to Christ in the message of faith and perseverance they reveal.

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Higher Powers

The Higher Powers

In Romans 13 we find a 5-verse section of Scripture that has emboldened tyrants for almost 2,000 years. At first glance it seems to give earthly rulers carte blanche:

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers for there is no power but of God, the powers that be are ordained of God.

Ergo, the argument is made, all kings, all presidents, all policemen are ordained of God.

But let’s make an argument here: What if kings, presidents and policemen are NOT ordained of God?

Then they are not the power ordained of God, are they? Then they are NOT God’s ministers, they are NOT due tribute, custom, respect (fear,) or honor.

Which is not to say they shouldn’t get it, it just means its not due. They have to earn it.

But let’s look and see who the higher powers are.

First, we already know the higher powers are ordained of God. Who exactly do Scriptures say are ordained?

Acts 14:23: “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.”

Elders. Those responsible to set examples and teach rightly.

1 Tim. 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

See? People in the ministries of the Church are ordained of God.

Not Kings. Not Presidents. Not policemen.

Rom. 13:2-3a Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.

Who are these rulers? Are they kings? Presidents? Policemen?

Mark 5:22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,

See, often you see ‘rulers,’ you see the religious rulers, the elders and chiefs of the faithful.

Acts 4:5-6 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,

And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem.

See, these were the religious rulers of the Jews.

The rulers of the Church, elders and ministers, are those ordained of God. IN THE CHURCH, among the believers, let every soul be subject.

Rom. 13:3b-4 Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

This ordained power of God is the minister of God. It states this clearly.

He, this ruler or elder, is ordained by God as God’s minister.

Can a king, a president, or a policeman be a ruler, an elder, a minister?

IF he or she is ordained of God to be so.

Otherwise?

Rom.13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

What is power?

It is used in Romans 13:1 three times, and in each case is translated from a form of the Greek word ‘exousia.’

‘Exousia’ is a word that means ‘power to act,’ lit. ‘authority.’

An elder’s authority, the religious ruler’s authority, the minister’s power to act is ordained of God.

Kings, presidents and policemen can be wonderful men, even godly men, who have bona fide ministries.

But they can also be evil, cruel, ungodly, whose power comes from another spirit than God entirely. Romans 13 does not order us to obey the Hitlers, the Stalins, the godless rulers of nations. Nor does it order us to arbitrarily follow the dicates of good kings, presidents or policemen.

There may be often (and pray that it is so!) that the godly thing is to support a king, a president, a policeman. Other times, maybe not so much. Romans 13:1-5 has absolutely nothing to do with any of that.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 13:1-5 is telling us how we as the Body of Christ can prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God, and a vital part of that is in honoring those ordained within that Body as having the ability to act God ordained in them.

And that takes recognition and discernment as to who is walking the walk and talking the talk.

Amen?

AMEN!

 

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Both Lord and Christ

On the day many refer to as Pentateuch, a few weeks after Jesus’ death and resurrection, we read that Peter spoke these words: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” (Acts 2:32)

Who was he speaking to?

Acts 2:22: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

:23: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

He plainly spoke the truth: these were the people who had crucified Jesus. But Peter does not stop there:

:24: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

Peter says God raised this Jesus up. On this day of Pentateuch, the first day of what we now call the Christian Church (and ancient believers called the church of the Body of Christ) Peter announces this church by preaching that Jesus is risen.
He was speaking to the leaders of the same temple and city wherein Jesus was falsely accused and crucified, to the people who had partaken in Jesus’ death.

:25: For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

:26: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

:27: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Peter said the King David had hope because he knew the Messiah, who we now know was to be Jesus, would not be allowed to remain in death, thus those who belonged to this Messiah would not be left in hell (in the grave) either.

:28: Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

:29: Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

But on this day of Peter’s preaching, David was still buried. Jerusalen still marked the spot David was buried. What then?

:30: Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

:31: He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

:32: This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

David knew not how long it would take, only that it would happen. The Messiah would raise from the dead. And Peter, and the about 120 men plus women and children of Peter’s entourage this day had seen Jesus, spoken and ate with him, after his death and resurrection.

:33: Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

In this sermon, Peter was explaining cloven tongues which had fallen into the courtyard of the ‘house,’ of the Temple were they were praying. It was Pentateuch, so there were the Jews of Jerusalem, but there were pilgrims from Jewish communities worldwide. These pilgrims were of Judaea and Israeli heritage, but would speak the language of their birthplace as a native tongue.

This multitude had seen the tongues like fire, and had heard the miracle of Peter’s group speaking prayers in the languages of all the various nations the pilgrims were from.

:34: For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

:35: Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

:36: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Peter told them this was the sign, what they saw and heard that day, that Jesus was risen, and made Lord and Christ. (Christ=’anointed,’ i.e. he who will be king.)

:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

When they heard this. This what? That the man they had slain was risen, that God raised him from the dead and made him Lord and Christ, THEN they said “What shall we do?”

:38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Then, THEN, after Peter had told them Jesus was risen and Jesus was Lord, THEN Peter told them “repent and be baptized.”

They too were then baptized, cleansed, not in water like John, but in the name of Jesus Christ, in holy spirit like Jesus had told them.

:39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

If today we are called by the Lord our God, this remise is to us as well.

Romans 10:8: But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

:9:That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

If YOU confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart God has raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved.

Confess is a very special word. Its not enough to just say it and believe it. You have to say something that is actually true, while also accepting it is true. Then when both these things are present, its true and you accept it as true, then the word ‘confess’ is used.

You confess Jesus as Lord, and believe God raised him from the dead, what does this say will happen? You’ll be saved. When we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter, this is what we celebrate.

:10: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

:11: For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

:12: For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

:13: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Remember Peter saying ‘even as many as the Lord our God shall call’?

You confess Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, the promise is to you. The fulness of everything God gave to the Church of the Body is yours.

You are filled with every spiritual blessing, if you know learn what they are then now you can claim them.

Matthew 28:5: And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

:6: He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

He is not here, he is risen.

And thus we have all the promises made to us in Christ.

Amen?

AMEN!

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Glory in Tribulation?

Pray in tongues*, and walk in love.

Our strength is always ministering to the ones we love, and the people we meet.
And that’s not just in preaching, its in whatever service we can give and the things we do to bless others.

Think about how teaching your work skills,  serving the good people coming into the establishment you work in, or fixing  your loved ones lunch help you cope on a down day?

Focusing on the ones we love and those we meet is how we cope.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
“And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy spirit which is given unto us.”

We don’t glory BECAUSE OF the tribulations, but even IN, in the midst of, tribulation, as we hold fast to the love we have received and share it.  As we hold on to hope, and act accordingly to the knowledge there will be more to life, the love of God is shed abroad.

We still grieve, we still acknowledge the tribulations are terrible and evil, but we keep on keeping on.

In Young’s Literal version, Romans 5:1-5: “Having been declared righteous, then, by faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ, “through whom also we have the access by the faith into this grace in which we have stood, and we boast on the hope of the glory of God.

“And not only [so], but we also boast in the tribulations, knowing that the tribulation doth work endurance;

“and the endurance, experience; and the experience, hope;

“and the hope doth not make ashamed, because the love of God hath been poured forth in our hearts through the Holy Spirit that hath been given to us.”

Thus, we see it says as we stand in faith, as we stand in the love of God and act accordingly, we boast in the hope of the glory OF GOD, (not of tribulation or how wonderful everything is, because not all is wonderful,) even in the midst of tribulation.

And praying in tongues reminds us the love of God has been POURED in our hearts when we received holy spirit, pnuema hagion.

Love ya.

(*If you are unfamiliar with praying in a tongue, or have questions, or would like to know more, visit http://www.freechristianministry.com/tongues.html and other Free christian Ministry teachings on being filled with the gift, holy spirit!)

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A Study in Revelation/End Times pt.9

The final installment on ‘A Study in Revelation/End Times.

JUDGEMENT AND THE NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH

Rev. 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Some point to conditions today and say they see signs of Gog and Magog gathering.

No, they do not.

This takes place more than a thousand years in the future. While we can be sure Gog and Magog involve whoever is living in certain areas at the time, we can not be 100% certain what nations they will be, what exact languages they will speak. A thousand years ago what became English was considered Germanic, and it certainly was not spoken by 300,000,000+ North Americans.

Gog was a Biblical person whose descendants likely became the Indo-Iranians, whose people today include some tribes from Pakistan, Afghanistan,  most Fardi-speaking Iranians, Kurdistan, deep into Central Asia and as far as Europe.

Magog means “Land of Gog.” So in spite of sometimes elaborate treatises to the contrary, “Gog and Magog” are not two nations, it is a nation and that nation’s country.

I would venture to say that likely, these Indo-Irani peoples are involved, centered in this attack. As it foretells in Isaiah, and we have already read, “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.” The meads are some of the Persians, whom today we know as Iranians.

Rev. 20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

While it may have sprung from Gog and Magog, from the Medes, it will become a global rebellion against Jesus Christ himself!

Rev. 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

A better translation of verse ten, again comparing how these words are generally used, is “they shall be tormented into the age the ages.”

“Into the final age”, not “forever and ever”. There will be no pit of eternal suffering for millions, billions of spirits and souls while we are in Heaven partying it up.

The Devil, the beast and the prophet will die a horrible, stretched out death, but there will be death, and release from torment.

Rev. 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.

This is the White Throne Judgment, and the fleeing of Heaven and Earth is spoken of in great detail in Psalms and in 2 Peter 3:

Psalm 97:5 The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 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.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

As we have seen, this will be during the ‘Day of the Lord,” the time of the Lord being personally present that began with Christ’s return.

Rev. 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.

Those of the Church are already resurrected or changed into incorruptibility at the last trump. This does not apply to us. We are already judged.

But notice the ‘and.’ As the world is dissolving, the dead are being judged.

Rev. 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.

This is the ‘second’ resurrection of Jews and Gentiles, and the Apostle Paul speaks of this day of judgment for Jews and Gentiles:

Rom. 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

God is not mocked. He gets the final word. We see from Paul (and as we study, elsewhere,) that Jews and Gentiles are judged according to their works.

As the Church of the Body, of the Mystery of God, we are saved by grace. However, God is not mocked; our works were judged when we were face to face with Christ. But the people themselves, saved.

For the rest of the world, the return might seem at first anticlimactic. A big bang as he appears in the sky with a great trumpet and fanfare, then he settles in to the business of organizing his kingdom and leading the war.

For us, we will have a whole new life.

But this White Throne judgment, for the rest of humanity that wasn’t raised or changed at the return, or in the first resurrection, this is their deciding hour. Their moment to shine or be passed into eternity.

Rev. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

See? From this point on, death itself is cast into the Lake of Fire. Hell, the grave, as well. For those who find grace in this Judgment, Jew or Gentile, there will be no more death, no more burial.

Rev. 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Today, through Christ, we have a get out of the Lake of Fire free card. He paid the price of admission to all who confess him as the Lord, who bow to his authority so to speak, and who believe in their heart God raised him from the dead.

But while some today will reject this salvation, they will still be judged.

And as Paul said, “Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:”

Exactly what is this lake of fire that all these spirits and people are cast into?

Remember, as the Judgment is taking place, the elements, heaven and Earth, are melting. It is this to which those not found in the Book of Life are delegated.

Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

There are those who claim all prophesy has been fulfilled.

But have the elements of all the world and Heaven melted, fled away as both Peter and John so vividly described, so that there is no place found for them?

Over and again we are told to look for a new Heaven and earth. This will be it.

Rev. 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Before he left, Jesus said “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Because Jesus said this, many assumed he meant we would go to Heaven to be with him.

But here we see the place he prepared coming down to earth! He’s come again as promised, and brought the new place with him.

Rev. 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

For those who will be brought to the new Heaven and Earth, God will not be some unknowable Spirit. He will dwell with us.

Now we begin to see the details of what was briefly spoken of before.

Rev. 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

God promises all things will be new. It is, after all, a new Heaven and Earth.

Rev. 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

If a human has made it this far, has overcome, the Arche and Telos promises sonship.

The Boy and Bride married, right? Gentiles judged according to the works of thei hearts?

Rev. 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

It is written that some of us in the Body of Christ had this old man nature, but by grace, we have the foundation laid by Christ, a new man.

Our works will be judged, but woe unto those not receiving at least the foundation of Christ, who are judged by these works. They have no ride ‘to the other side.’

Rev. 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

10 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,

Here are the details of the new city.

Rev. 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Twelve main gates.

Rev. 21:15 And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

16 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

New Jerusalem will be approximately half the size of the moon. It will cover approximately modern day Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and the northern two thirds of the Arabian peninsula. There are a lot of mansions. There a lot of redeemed.

Rev. 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

18 And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

19 And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;

20 The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

Usually, a temple is referred to the place God dwells and where men worship him. But God and His Son are the Temple of New Jerusalem…there will be zero separation between God and His creation.

Rev. 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

24 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.

There will be life outside the gates as well. Earth will not be a dead planet.

Rev. 21:25 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

26 And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

This is a description of the city that is being prepared.

Rev. 22:1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Men will still be human. There will still be a need for therapy. For what? Aching muscles? There is no more death so I doubt its for anything serious.

Rev. 22:3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

No more disease. The curse is gone.

Rev. 22:4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

This city will not need lights. God will give the Light.

Rev. 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

This book of Revelation is comprised of reports of things that “must shortly be done.” A more accurate rendition of the Greek, ‘a dei genesthai en.tachei,’ would be ‘things (that) must begin quickly.”

‘Genesthai’ is a form of ‘beginning’ or ‘origin,’ like ‘genesis.’ And ‘tachei’ is ‘quickly.’

Rev. 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Blessed is he who keeps the prophesies of this book.

We saw practical application for the Church in heeding the warnings to the seven churches.  Also, when we wait until the certain unique events take place for signs the end is actually clse, we will be keeping the prophesy, we will be blessed.

And the end is at hand, the next sequence of events could begin at any time, and when the final and unique prophesies are fulfilled the actual return will be tachios, quick.

Rev. 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Worship God, He alone is worthy of our total adulation. Not an angel.

Rev. 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

‘At hand’: at the ready.

The judgment of the Churches definitely were close at hand. I am certain that the four horsemen have been released. Attila, Mohammed, Genghis Khan, the Spanish, Napoleon, the British, Hitler, Stalin, Communism…unprecedented and escalating would-be world rulers and their wars.

The black horse is global scarcity because of these wars. This description is a soldier’s rations. Today, globally one in 5 children go hungry, hundreds die daily of starvation, all in areas where war is in extent.

And entire centuries since the first century have been marked by huge segments killed by these wars and scarcities, often the quarter of entire global populations.

Has the fifth seal been opened?

The early Church had persecutions by Jews and isolated Pagan populations. But soon after John received Revelation, persecution began to be throughout Rome. And today, there is pressure against Christians in all parts of the globe, and in China, India and the Hindu world, to be a Christian can spell death.

So yes, the first five seals are surely open.

Rev. 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

This angel reminds us that when he comes with his bowl of wrath, it will be quickly. The reward mentioned here then is the wrath that those who reject God will receive.

Nest is a new thought, a new speaker. The angel is not the Alpha and Omega.

Rev. 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Alpha and Omega is the Arche and Telos in most texts. Then, blessed are they who today do His commandments, they shall enter the city. Notice the change in perspective between verse 14 and 13. It underscores that at this point we see several different beings voicing this section, which today often confuses us.

First the angel, who is coming quickly.

Then the Alpha and Omega.

Next we see a third voice: Jesus, by whom this revelation came to John. It is his voice through verse 20.

Rev. 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

The things we are seeing should be taught in the Churches, among the congregations.

Rev. 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

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:

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.

Does this say someone CAN’T add or take away from what was written?

No.

But those who do face dire consequences.

Rev. 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Again, ‘quickly’ does not mean ‘soon.’ It means that it will be rapid when it happens, without time to change the course of one’s life. So we stand, we watch, we obey.

Rev. 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

This message leaves us with one vital thought: the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

During the trying days this revelation warns of, during the trials warned of to the seven churches (which all of us will find ourselves in at least one of those environments) we indeed will need the grace of Christ.

As the trumpets sound and the world is in turmoil, we will need the grace of Christ.

And those who do not find Christ until after the seventh trump, they will surely need the grace of Christ.

May indeed the grace of Christ be with you all, Amen.

 

 

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A Study in Revelation/End Times pt.8

THE WRATH OF GOD

Rev. 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

“For they judgments are made manifest.” Jesus has returned to dwell on earth, he has pronounced his kingdom (the crown of which he received shortly after his resurrection) and he is back to claim what and who is his.

Rev. 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

“The” seven angels. This likely indicates these were the same that sounded the trumpets. But I’m not certain of this. It remains that there are seven angels having the seven plagues, the seven vials, or bowls, of wrath.

Rev. 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

This is the day of wrath. The angels now have the vials of wrath we were rescued from when the Mystery of God was ended.

Rev. 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

Rev.16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

Will these affect us?

We are in our new bodies…saved, rescued from this. We saw the trumpets for what they were, now we are raised incorruptible or changed immortal.

But the nations are saying “peace and safety.” The beast is seemingly pacifying the earth, remember?

Rev. 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

It is unlikely that the mark of the beast is anything other than microchip technology based on the UPC code that is being developed today. The microchips they are installing today based on UPC code technology are powered by lithium batteries. In an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event, such as detonation of a nuclear device, lithium batteries will burst.

If this happens under the skin, the result will be painful sores exactly matching what is described here.

Do I believe the implants of today are the mark of the beast?

No. But this technology will be used. And it will implant barcode technology, and 6-6-6 codes, as the numbers of the recipient, ‘the number of a man.”

So after the Mystery of God is finished, whoever controls this technology will be the Beast.

Rev. 16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

During the tribulation of the seals, trumpets and thunders, a third of the seas were killed off. This kills the seas dead.

Rev. 16:4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.

6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

There are those who might take a certain glee in that evil men are getting such a severe comeuppance. But this is a great horror. We should rejoice in our salvation and that these days are shortened, not that many will be effected therein or that the wicked are receiving the consequence of their error. But for the grace of God go we, anyway.

Rev. 16:7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

Rather than repenting, they are still seen turning further away from God. From Man’s perspective, God is punishing Man, torturing them. But the Scriptures tell us the Devil has the power of death.

From God’s true perspective, these men of these days are in actuality simply being given over to reap the consequence of their trust and servitude to the god of this world.

Rev. 16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,

11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

The Kings of the East are the rulers of Asia. Remember their army of two hundred million?

Rev. 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

14 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.

Old Testament prophets spoke of this day, as did Jesus, when the holy city Jerusalem would be tread underfoot of Gentiles, and the Kings of Earth gathered to battle the Lord.

Rev. 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Even though the Rapture has been seen, his coming announced by the shining from east to west, Jesus as Son of the true God will be rejected. Remember, Mankind has largely rejected faith. Those who remain alive and unrepentant will reject him as the true Christ. He will be seen as an invader, not as the Lord who shall prevail.

They will get their news from the media of the enemy, who is not falling all over himself to reveal that Christ is back to claim his Kingdom, the Kingdom we saw was his since his resurrection and before his ascension.

When he left, his ascension was witnessed by a few. His return will be seen in the skies as the elect are gathered, but his actual presence will be without great fanfare, as a thief in the night.

It is likely that his adversaries will think of themselves as defenders of earth from an alien menace or from some past ‘superbeing,’ good enough to rule superstitious ancients but modern Man has ‘evolved’ past this, you know.

Nevertheless his elect including the 144,000 will be fully aware of his presence and mission. It did not overtake us as a thief in the night.

And he’s come back as King of kings, Lord of lords. They’ll not defeat him, they’ll not nail him on a tree again. He indeed shall prevail.

Rev. 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

In the Hebrew, “Har Megiddo” is the Mt. Megiddo. It’s not really a mountain, but a rise where centuries of the town renewing itself built up a mound.

Rev. 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

This is the second part of the duel prophesy to Isaiah. It is the fifth mention of earthquakes in Revelation. This however stands apart: this one flattens mountains and islands tumble in the sea.

It is during this time that the Great Whore Babylon falls.

Rev. 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Rev. 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

2 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 fornication.

3 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.

4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

This is not a literal woman like the false prophetess Jezebel.

The Beasts of Revelation are spirit-beings. The beast of seven heads and ten crowns, this “woman” sits upon…directing this beast, having her own power derived from the same. More on that shortly.

Rev. 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.

6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Certainly her power and glory are great, that a prophet should wonder in awe.

Rev. 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

“I will tell thee the mystery of…”

A mystery, as we have seen, is not another riddle, puzzle or analogy. It is the straight doctrine, the innermost revelation of truth.

Up till now, the beast was shrouded in secrecy…but the angel says he will tell John the mystery of the beast, the straight doctrine behind it that we should be aware of.

Some say it is all analogy. They refuse to take the prophesies of the seals and trumpets and thunders and bowls as things that will come to pass as described.

Some think that the analogies have already occurred, since they just have to be events that if exaggerated could appear similar to these.

But we have seen these prophesies are very detailed. We have the promise this day will not overtake us as a thief and that we are saved from wrath to come.

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 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 beast was, and is not, and yet still remains.

Just like with the Mesopotamian Babylon, the power of the Beast is rooted in antiquity, in the very first systems of power, back when Nimrod created an empire. The Beast ascends from the bottomless pit: from the machineries of war, as we have briefly touched upon with the locust.

The devils, Satan’s minion spirits, that organize and maintain devilish infiltration and control over so many of the armies of Man, one of these is the Beast. And he shall control a force beyond any seen by Man.

The Great Whore sits upon the beast, on this system. “She” controls trade, culture, politics.

Rev. 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

Some have said these are the seven hills of Rome. Some have said they are the seven hills New York city are built upon.

However, they could as well be seven major capitols around the world…like the capitols of the G-7. But neither make total sense in light of the next verse:

Rev. 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

There are ‘seven kings,’ pivotal rulers or political systems. While there are no guarantees that the seven kings are one for each ‘mountain,’ each civilization (remember Mediggo was built on a ‘mountain’ of past generations?) it seems likely, seems to be the gist of how this is written.

Whatever world system this refers to, at the time John wrote, five of the kings had fallen. One was, the other not yet come.

Babylon refers to religious idolatry. The hills refer to political power.

The center of the ancient worldly religious centers at this time was Rome, which was the center of the greatest political system as well.

The religion of Nimrod travelled the same basic path as the political power structure. The religious structure of the ‘high priest,’ and the pantheon of deities, went from Babel (which would become Babylon) to Assyria to Phoenicia (the Canaanites, and Ba’al) to Egypt to Greece to Rome.

(An alternative, and possible, path for the high office of pagan religion has been Babel, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Egypt and Rome. For this study I’ll favor the former, but I know in spite of contradictory evidence the office of high priest went through Babylon, “Gate of the Gods,” through one of the aforementioned paths to Egypt, and was reunited with Imperial Roman political might in Augustus who claimed leadership over Egypt’s religion as well.)

This religious structure was centered around the high priest, whom the romans called The Pontifix Maximus.

Who is Rome’s heir? An argument could be made that it was Rome itself, only the Christian Rome, whose bishop Leo took for himself the title in the 5th Century. During Leo’s reign the Germanic tribes reached ascendancy in Europe. The European Greco-Roman civilization and its offshoots have been challenged oft, but have bested and influenced every comer since.

A seventh head, or ‘mountain upon which the woman sits’ will last but a short time.

The Beast would be after that, an ‘eighth head’ of this world system.

Rev. 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

Ten rulers will share power with the Beast. The system Babylon will ‘straddle’ them, as in mount on a horse.

Rev. 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

See? No crucifixion this time. Jesus will prevail.

Rev. 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

The political system of the ten kings ‘shall hate the whore,’ the religious system that has sat upon the political system, the seven hills.

Rev. 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

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

Babylon, the whore, traces itself back to the earliest concepts of organized pagan religion on Man’s part. It is believed that at some point, a king of Babylon called Nimrod called himself God and his ministers became his priests as well. But then he died, his wife Semiramis shortly thereafter becoming pregnant.

Had she confessed to cheating on Nimrod, on ‘God,’ it would not have gone well for her.

So according to some accounts, it seems she claimed that Nimrd appeared to her, impregnating her with…himself.

So her son Tammuz was supposedly the reincarnated god-king Nimrod. Nimrod’s ministers retained a stronger measure of political clout, Nimrod ruled both the religion and politics of his people.

As Babylon (Gateway of the Gods) fell, others took the mixture of politics and religion for themselves.

This even eventually contaminated the Church, as the bishops of Rome and the Cardinals loyal to them came to wield great power first in the Empire, and then over much of the world.

But the political rulers inheriting the Babylonian power tradition have historically resented the religious rulers. They have resented being bound by her rules, dictates, and spiritual edicts they were to adhere to.

Furthermore, this ‘woman’ sits on the seven hills. She has been present start to finish, no more enthroned in a single temple than the horns of the beast have been enthroned in a single palace.

Rev. 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

3 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.

See? The religious and political systems of Babylon have influenced all nations. All nations have indulged in her sins.

Rev. 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

Her downfall, which takes place during the wrath, comes about in one day.

People argue as to what city is the heir of Babylon, takes her spiritual seat. Some say its Rome, sitting on seven mountains. But we’ve seen the ‘mountains’ are the lands seven kings are kings of, and they are not simultaneous.

Some argue it’s the Catholic Church, and the Pope. I tend to give this credence.

The Roman Church took over vast amounts of Imperial power as Rome’s empire decayed. It has been involved in great evil.

But the most convincing evidence also points away as well.

The ‘son of perdition’ will sit in the Temple of God, saying he is God.

The Church is the Temple, and to many, Rome is the Church.

Thus after the Christians of all denominations, including Catholic, who are born of God’s seed are gathered in the Rapture, what remains of a ‘Church,’ the ‘Temple of God,’ will be as counterfeit as Nimrod and Tammuz and as much rooted in that tradition.

So I’m thinking that it’s a real possibility that the Church or Rome is destroyed, but the Son of Perdition remains to rule as or in the name of the Beast.

But I really do not think that Rome is spiritual Babylon.

Two other great cities match its description: New York, ‘Capitol of the World,’ and Brussels. Excellent arguments could be made for either.

There are those who say this Babylon is Jerusalem. Jerusalem in not a great port. In fact, its not a port at all.

When a lot of facades and false appearances during the wrath are stripped away, I doubt there will be any confusion to those having and believing a book of Revelation. Thus, it will be at THAT time that Babylon will have to match the prophesy, and it will. To the tee.

Rev. 18:9 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,

10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

One hour. Destruction will be quick and certain.

Rev. 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

See? Rome is not the center of trade anymore. It is unlikely Rome will be during wrath. But who knows? If this time had occurred in the 16th Century, the question would not have been “Is New York Babylon,” it would have been “What is the City of New York?”

Rev. 18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

People being hurt is not what we are to rejoice over We are to rejoice that Babylon can no longer cause spiritual darkness.

She can no longer do the things that we are avenged for.

Rev. 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

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

A system of repression and error existing since Nimrod ruled Babylon is now cast down. The second meaning of the Old Testament prophets duel prophesy is fulfilled.

THE THOUSAND YEAR REIGN

Rev. 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

3 And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Jesus spoke of the “marriage supper” of his Bride.

But the Bride he spoke to was Israel. We are the Body of Christ. It will be in these days we are enmeshed in Israel joined to the natural olive tree, become one.

Rev. 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Is this the white horse of the first seal? Since Scripture NEVER clarifies for certain that it is or is not, I cannot claim to be certain one way or the other. But it is pure speculation, an effort to see if pieces fit that look like they do but don’t, I’ll have to say I do not believe so.

The Word of God can seem like a puzzle. Push hard enough down and you can make a piece that doesn’t really fit go into a spot. I’m not a fan of pushing hard. If the piece fits, a gentle pressure will get it in place: the effort of studying and comparing.

Rev. 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.

Jesus is here to set things right, to claim the kingdom of righteousness he earned by his sacrifice.

Rev. 19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

Those of earth who still serve God can rest assured the victory is already a foregone conclusion.

Rev. 19:19 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.

20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

And thus, it ends.

With the religious part of the kingdom of the Beast destroyed, he is put at nought with the Word that proceeds out of Jesus’ mouth. Said and done.

Rev. 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Again, there are those who think this is but an analogy. But it is actually very clearly written what will happen. Whatever life force, whatever spirit is the Beast and his prophet, they are cast into ‘a lake of fire.” Does not say they are cast into hell. It says ‘a lake of fire.”

People assume this refers to Dante’s version of hell. As we shall see, this is clearly not the case.

Rev. 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

How clear can you get? Those which will be beheaded AND not worship the beast nor his prophet or receive his mark, etc., these are they who will be part of this first resurrection.

And they will reign with Christ for the thousand years. Sometime after that, the rest of the dead will live again.

Rev. 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

We of the Body who died shall live again, such as the two witnesses in Jerusalem. But not all shall be dead. We are resurrected, but the greater event is not referred to as a resurrection. Why? Because not all involved are raised from the dead.

But all those involved in this first resurrection are dead, having been beheaded. These are non-Christian saints beheaded for Jesus in this tribulation/wrath period.

In our final installment on this study we shall see exactly how the final chapters written in the Book of Life play out, with God as winner, and us with a new heaven and earth.

 

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A Study in Revelation/End Times Pt. 7

SEVENTH SEAL AND THE SEVEN TRUMPETS

Rev. 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

Seven angels, seven trumpets. There has been no indication these are or are not the angels of the Churches.

Rev. 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Now the seven angels shall sound, and since the 144,000 have been sealed, the injunction on the four angels not to hurt earth and sea are no longer in effect.

Rev. 8:7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

When a trumpet sounding followed by something satisfying the description ‘hail and fire’ burn up a third of the earth, we know the 7th seal is open and the first trump is sounded.

People following all the elaborate theologies of the end times will be confused…but those of us simply believing this will understand.

For the very first time, a unique event other than the seal of the 144,000 shows that the end is at hand. I exclude the seal of the 144,000 because it is difficult to say whether the average person will understand that as prophesy, or even be aware of the seals.

But if the events of these specific prophesies come to pass, we know the sealed of God are somewhere about.

Rev. 8:8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

Again, an unmistakable event. Between the earthquake of the sixth seal and the destruction of a third of land and sea, we know 7 seals are open and two trumpets have sounded.

When we understand and believe this, the day of the Lord will not overtake us as a thief. We will understand that these things are trials, and great tribulation, but are not the wrath the kings proclaimed it to be.

Rev. 8:10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Remember, a global event. Many would have died from the first two soundings as a third of land and sea is destroyed. Now the drinking supply of water is poisoned.

Rev. 8:12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

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 by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

You will actually have trumpets sounding and angels floating in the darkness proclaiming what is going on!

Rev. 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

3 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.

4 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.

Like I mentioned before, only the 144,000 will have protection. The rest of us will need to really exercise faith.

Rev. 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Torture. Men will want to die.

Rev. 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

‘Abaddon’ and ‘Apollyon,’ the Destroyer. Associated with war. Possibly, but this is conjecture, from biological or robotic military technology. I would not suggest teaching this as doctrine or that we should expect this as such.

Locust are extremely carnivorous given opportunity. And if there is a ‘bottomless pit’ where a species has hidden for all these centuries, there is no telling what might arise.

Rev. 9:12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

These four angels that before were held back are unleashed, to destroy a third of earth’s remaining population.

Rev. 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

200,000,000. Two hundred million.

Rev. 9:17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

!A third of the earth, the seas and the waters will be destroyed by an army of two hundred million. Global catastrophe, and how many perished? Now another third of humankind is destroyed by an army of horsemen. And these horsemen have some rather unusual weaponry. This is again unprecedented. And we know the sixth angel has sounded.

Yet the majority of survivors repent not.

Rev. 9:21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

Rev. 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

After the sixth trump sounds, before the seventh, an angel descends and cries, and ‘seven thunders’ utter their voices.

We do not know what these seven thunders are, for they are sealed up. They are secret.

Remember in Daniel the missing seven shabua? The days of the sixth trump may have something to do with those 49 years. But remember, I do not know. Nor do you.

Properly understood for what was written, Scripture reveals Jesus said his RETURN would be quick, ‘tachios.’ But when Jesus gave the narrative of his return, we saw an extended process whereby “Heaven and earth would pass, but not his words.”

It is not unreasonable to believe the sixth trumpet signals a time that may be nearly five decades long, with a huge army killing a third of all who live during that time. We do not know it is, either.

But these seven thunders are kept secret, and those seven shabua are not expounded on.

But when this happens it will likely be obvious. It certainly will be after an army of two hundred million horsemen, during a time a third of the earth is slain.

Rev. 9:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

“Time no longer” does not mean hours and days and years disappear.

But in Scripture, eras are referred to as ‘ages’ and ‘times.”

In other AGES, other TIMES, it was not known that Jews and Gentiles would be joint heirs.

Now, the Day of the Lord is upon us.

There are still things that will occur that will constitute radical changes. But from here on out, Christ will be here to establish his rule. It will be the Day of the Lord.

Rev. 9:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, the last trump sounding, when the angel begins to sound, the mystery of God will be finished.

What mystery?

The mystery of God.

We looked carefully at the Mystery as it was revealed to Paul. Jews and Gentiles, one Body. Now this mystery is finished.

Not ‘The secret of God,” as we have been taught to understand this. But that crucial doctrine of revelation God gave us.

Christ the Head, we the Body, Jews and Gentiles joint heirs, partakers of the promise.

This mystery of God is finished, completed, when the seventh, the last trump begins to sound.

It is at this time that spoken by Jesus, “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

It is at this time that written by Paul, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed,”

And

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

The believers reading Revelation when it was written knew of the seven Churches, and they knew what the Mystery of God is.

When they read this, the connecting of the dots were instantaneous. We however need to carefully track phrases and words and their usages carefully at times.

But at the beginning of the sounding of the seventh and last trump, the Mystery, the Church of the Body of Christ, is finished, as in complete.

Rev. 9:8 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.

9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

10 And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

Something happens related to these seven thunders that taste sweet but are in fact sickening. Remember the Mystery is finished. We during this time have met or are meeting the Lord in the air.

It reminds me of Paul’s words to the Thessalonians: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” 1 Thess. 4:2-3

Whatever happens during this time will seem sweet as honey to those ‘eating’ it but it will be sickening, it will be bad.

But we are back to the book of the seven thunders, just before the sounding of the seventh trumpet.

Rev. 10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

Rev. 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

John’s focus is on the Temple and Jerusalem. Notice John is still writing of the days leading up to the sounding of the last, seventh trump, as we shall soon see further clarified.

First he told us that as the last trump sounds the mystery of God will be finished. Now he is leading us up to that climactic event, as we will see very clearly. He is telling us about a three and a half year period, forty-two months.

During this time, Gentiles shall tread the city. Like Daniel prophesying that a prince would come to destroy the city.

Rev. 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

These two witnesses are preaching these three and a half years, these 1260 days. They are preaching before the last trump.

They are Christians. It’s the last months before the last trumpet sounds and the Mystery is finished.

!And the last trump will begin to sound 3 and a ½ years into the ministry described herein.

Rev. 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

6 These 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.

7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

The beast that arises out of the bottomless pit shall make war and kill these two.

These two are not resurrected prophets or angels as some have speculated.

They are men, men who shall be killed. They are great Christian men, the olive trees and candlesticks standing before the God of the earth, fighting the righteous fight.

Rev. 11:8 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.

Men have dead bodies. These are not angels, spirits, or Old Testament prophets sent back to earth. They are great believers, and their dead bodies shall lie in the street in Jerusalem, the great city our Lord was crucified in, and nations shall see and rejoice, the nations that will not repent.

Rev. 11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

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

When this calls them prophets, understand there are prophets in the Church. This is no reference to Old Testament prophets, but of prophets of the Body of Christ. So evil will the survivors of earth be that they will literally send gifts to each other in celebration of the deaths of God’s champions.

Rev. 11:11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

The spirit of life enters these men, and they stand up!

Rev. 11:13 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.

And the people of Jerusalem give glory to God.

Rev. 11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

The locust were the first woe. These men, and the three and a half years they witnessed, and the waged war with the beast at the end of their testimony, were the second.

Now we will see the sounding of the last trumpet. And the workings of the Kingdom of the beast.

THE KINGDOM OF THE BEAST

Rev. 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

And the seventh angel sounded.

It does not read, ‘THEN the seventh angel sounded.’

But, ‘and,’ as the two dead witnesses were raised to life, and as the world watched, the last trump sounds, and the dead made incorruptible, like the two dead Christian witnesses.

The living shall be changed.

These two didn’t just float up in an ethereal spirit form.

They stood up. Then a voice said “Come up hither,” and they did.

We have little bumper stickers warning that driver may disappear at the sound of the last trump.

Uh, no.

Our meeting the Lord in the air will be decently and in order. The angels will gather, like these two men hearing one of the angels Jesus said would be sent to gather the elect, “Come up hither.”

The world will be watching us change and leave to meet our Lord in the air!

We’ll park our cars, we’ll probably have time to look at those ‘Left Behind’ and offer encouragement.

Rev. 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

It is now when times of different ways God has of dealing with Mankind are over.

No more burning bushes, he has sent His Son back to rule directly.

Sure there is another thousand tears before Judgment.

But what and when is no longer unknown to Man, Man can no longer say “Why does God not just appear to us?”

Jesus is here to rule. Now the people say “if God was real, why doesn’t He just show Himself?” He did, through Christ. And now Jesus is back.

Rev. 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Rev. 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

“The woman” is not specifically Mary. Mary has not lived to be fed in the wilderness when the prince Daniel prophesied would come to destroy Jerusalem arrived.

The woman is Israel, being attacked because the Dragon’s (Satan) hatred of God extends to His chosen Israel, from whence sprung Christ.

The Dragon indeed attacked the woman to destroy the baby Jesus, slaughtering the firstborn of an entire coastland up to two years of age. He will now seek to destroy Israel entirely, in revenge.

Rev. 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

Now, right now, Satan is daily before the throne of God accusing the brethren. But when these things take place, we see Satan and his angels having no more access.

Rev. 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

See? During these days, the seventh angel sounded, the Mystery of God is finished, Satan is cast down to earth with no more access to Heaven like he had in Job.

Rev. 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

NOW is salvation. NOW is the Kingdom of God and the power of his Christ come to liberate Earth from the enemy. As we will see, this process takes over a thousand more years, to the Great White Throne Judgment. But we are still right after the return of Jesus and the gathering of the Elect.

Rev. 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Earth is now the full focal point of the ancient war between God and Satan. And who has great wrath?

Satan.

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

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

By the time the trump sounds and we are carries to meet the Lord in the air, many of Israel had been saved. 144,000 were saved and sealed, remember?

But while the world and their enemies were unrepentant, the remnant of Jerusalem had given glory to God. These and others of the remnant of her seed that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ now face the wrath of the beast.

We are forever with our Lord, but where is he? Earth. We are still here. We will meet Jesus in the air, as he is coming the way he left, and shall be with him as he returns.

Rev. 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.

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.

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.

Satan’s full attention is focused on war now. And his power is focused, power great enough to deceive the nations.

Rev. 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?

There is a lot of speculation on who this beast shall be. But again, we can guess and guess and guess. But Scripture will explain it soon enough. Remember however the spirits by the throne of God were referred to as beasts.

Rev. 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Another three and a half years.

Rev. 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

During this time, those who war against the beast won’t do very well. We are with our Lord, we are the saints. He overcomes, but he doesn’t destroy.

Rev. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

It won’t be a good idea to align yourself with the beast, and go to war on his behalf. At the time, however, it will prove immensely tempting.

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

Rev. 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

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

13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; 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.

This is not the seven headed, ten horned beast of Daniel. This is a new, subservient apparition. Like the Beast that arose from the bottomless pit (whose king is the king of war) this one arises from the earth (literally, from the people of the earth, the Gentile nations.  )

Rev. 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Six hundred threescore and six. No man can buy or sell without the mark, or the name, or the number of the name of the beast.

Based on UPC code technology, there is already a universal system in place that allows massive production, movement, sales and tracking of every product in the global economy.

Divided into two parts by three ‘guard bars,’ the left hand code is the manufacturer code, the right hand code is the product code, and the two are separated by three ‘guard bars.’ Looks like this:

The codes “1,2,3,4,5” for the manufacturer code and “6,7,8,9,0” are the short bars, the guard bars the two long ones far left, the two long ones far right, and the two long ones right in the middle.

Notice these bars are the same thickness, more importantly having the same gap space.

Now look at the two shorter bars to the right of the center guard bar. The bars are the same, the gap is the same. As you can see, the bar for ‘6’ is the same as the bar for the guards. 6-6-6, or more accurately, six in the first column, six in the second, six in the third: 600 and 60 and 6.

Here is another example.

Again, the three guard bars are identical to the sixes. And these are randomly picked UPC codes: Universal Product Codes. Universal, as in “without which no man can buy or sell.”

I tell you why I do not believe the UPC is itself the mark of the beast.

First, it is not the number of a man. It is the number of a product and the manufacturer.

But after the seventh trumpet, when the beasts comes to total power, he will control this prophesied technology. And each man will be given a code.

Technically the guard bars do not represent any numeric code. But if you graphically transpose the six bar with the guard bar and vice versa, and adjust the height, they are indeed interchangeable. The very first few months of bar codes, label printers actually stamped a ‘6’ under each guard bar.

Now they are taking this technology and putting it into microchips. To scan or read these microchips, it is best to put the chips under thin skin: near the temple on the forehead, or on the back of the hand.

Remember: UPC codes are not the mark of the beast, they are ‘the number of a company’ and the ‘number of a product.’ But this is the technology the beast will use to number a man rather than a product.

Rev. 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

!The Lamb is of course our Lord Jesus Christ.

Since he returned at the last trump, he is now here to stand on Mount Sion. And these are the 144,000 sealed before the seventh trump.

Rev. 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

These were the firstfruits unto God. They were Christians born of the twelve tribes, living godly and chastely, sealed before the Rapture itself…first fruits. Remember, the mystery was finished at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. These were sealed between the sixth and the seventh.

Rev. 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

Being Jews, they weren’t suckered in by the wrong doctrines introduced into Christianity by pagan influences, many of which weaken us as Christians to the temptations and pressures of this world.

Rev. 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, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7 Saying with a loud voice, 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.

This is a call to repentance. A last warning as it were.

Rev. 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Remember the prophesy in Isaiah? Babylon of ancient days is long gone. But the duel part of the prophesy will be occurring in these days.

Rev. 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

!AT THIS TIME we have the wrath and judgment of God. Not back during the opening of the seals, Christ stands on Mount Sion, but he’s not here to preach the acceptable year, he’ll be here to preach the day of vengeance of our God.

Rev. 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Christ has returned. But the war begun in Heaven is now focused on earth. Many of those clinging to Christ during these dark days will be killed.

Rev. 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Yes, now as the beast reigns and Babylon is fallen we have the wrath of God.

We were rescued from this at the sound of the seventh, the last trump. These next few chapters reveal the details of wrath as it relates to the kingdom of the beast.

 

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A Study in Revelation/End Times Pt. 6

VII.
THE SEALS OF THE BOOK

4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Now we get to things hereafter. Remember, we read John would write “the things which (he) hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;”. The situations of the seven Churches were ‘the things which (at that time) are.” At the time this was written, these things that are about to be revealed hadn’t started. But this is what they will be:

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

3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,

We get so hung up on who these beasts and elders are, we forget to concentrate on what they are revealing. But since they serve God Who is Spirit, I believe these beasts are spirit beings. We will see the Beast rising out of the sea later on. While that Beast will wield political power, a best assumption might be that the Beast itself is the spirit who controls the political mechanizations.

We assume there is a mystery of a riddle to every description.

But when John describes beasts full of eyes, that’s what he saw. If we ever see these spirits, these beasts after Christ comes back, they will probably look to us like John saw them.

There may indeed be many details we can learn from these descriptions, but they are always subordinate to that which we are clearly told.

However, later we will see descriptions of beasts that ARE symbolic rather than literal. But the symbolism WILL BE EXPLAINED. We will NOT have to guess.

“Eph. 1: 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”

See? The innermost revelation is made known to us. The puzzles are simply delicious little details. Not without significance, but subordinate to what is clearly described.

Rev. 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,

11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Amen. The Lord God is the Arche, the Archetect. Jesus is the protos, the prototype, and we are in his image in the series.

Rev. 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.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

Angels are sometimes referred to as men. No being, no angel creature, in heaven, no being in earth, BUT…

Rev. 5:4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

And. Not ‘then.’ And. While this was going on.

Rev. 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

6 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.

7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

9 And they sung a new song, saying, 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;

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

Now, I do not know if this refers to the twelve patriarchs of the tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles, or to others.

If it refers to men, John is shown what will happen the way Peter was shown Gentiles were to be accepted. It was like Jesus talking to ‘Moses’ and ‘Elias’ on the Mount if transfiguration, a vision of these men. Why?

Because the dead know nothing and the patriarchs of Israel are dead and the twelve apostles are dead, they sleep in Christ. They do not get back up until the last trump, remember?

And as we shall clearly see later in Chapter 11, this hasn’t happened yet when Jesus opens this book.

Rev. 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

We are about to get to where Jesus opens the book.

TRIBULATION

Rev. 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.

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.

Some say this is Jesus.

I do not want to assume that. Jesus will conquer, with the words of his mouth, but his time is not yet. We will see him clearly later on, AFTER all seven seals are opened.

Rev. 6:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.

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.

There have been wars since Cain slew Able.

Some of these wars have been brutal affairs, like the destructions of Carthage or Sardis.

But these are spiritual forces that have a hitherto unseen ability to conquer and power to take peace from earth.

Rev. 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 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.

This third was a new economic situation. Every major drought or siege sees famine. The seal signifies something locked in that has been released. This will not just be Somalia or somewhere. This will be the widespread norm, it will increase and overtake.

Rev. 6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

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.

We’ve seen this since Revelation was written. A fourth of Europe and Asia devastated by plague. WW II, where we saw numbers like these. It will likely happen again.

Rev. 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

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?

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.

There have been times of great persecutions against Christians. But this has intensified to this day, wherein Christians face persecution and evil horrible deaths from secularists in America and Europe, Communists in China and Vietnam, Hindus in India, and Muslims from the Philippines to Nigeria.

But ‘rest,’ sleep, just a little while.

Wars have always been devastating. Populations decimated (large portions) or annihilated by adversaries. But since the time of Christ we have seen leaders on murderous rampages. Rome which under the Catholics who spent centuries purging apostates and heretics and pagans, torturing entire cities. Mohammed and the Muslims who slaughtered those refusing to convert, whose barbaric warring continues to this day. Genghis Khan and the Mongols who would encircle entire regions and slaughter all but one of every man and beast trapped within.

And remember the brutal wars of the twentieth century. It is estimated over eighty MILLION died in the six years of WW II, and nuclear devastated was unleashed on two cities.

And China freely states she plans on waging any war against America with nuclear force.

There have been times in which a fourth of the global population have been killed by disease.

I myself am pretty certain the first five seals are open. I’m not sure about the sixth.

Rev. 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;

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.

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

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;

Whether from a volcanic explosion, an astrological event or nuclear war, an earthquake will proceed a global event.

It may have been the volcanic explosion of Tambora in 1815 that triggered a global cooling or Krakatoa in 1883 that likewise technically filled the details here.

We may already be at the sixth seal. But again, I myself am not convinced it is or is not open.

Rev. 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:

17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

During this sixth seal, who is saying the wrath of God is come?

Men.

Jesus warned, we read it before, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

Yet the end is not yet. These are the beginning of sorrows.

But when the sixth seal is or was opened, many will say the end is here, yet there will be a little while.

Nevertheless there will be a point in which the events cannot be mistaken for any other, and this is coming soon in this sequence of events. We now look at the firstfruits to Christ, the sealed of Israel.

THE SEALED OF ISRAEL

Rev. 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

This is why I believe the 6th seal is yet to be opened. After a global event that leads the population of earth en toto to believe the end is here, we will see that 144,000 of Israel will be sealed by God.

But there is a period of time between the 6th seal and the seventh. And until the 144,000 are sealed, the seventh trump will not sound.

!The 144,000 must be sealed before the first trumpet sounds.

Rev. 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

5 Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand.

6 Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nephthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand.

7 Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand.

8 Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

12,000 of each tribe of Israel are sealed, 144,000.

Many claim that because Israel is sealed, that the Church has been raptured.

It is no coincidence that in the past 50 years a messianic Judaic movement centered on faith in Christ as the Messiah has grown to nearly 300,000 people.

But we have not seen the last trump or a mention of meeting the Lord in the air. We know that until the Rapture, Jews can be both Israel and of the Body of Christ.

Rev. 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

After this. Not, ‘then.’ ‘Then’ is always subsequent, indicating immediacy. This may or may not be immediate, in fact if immediate, ‘then’ would have been used. We’ll keep reading.

Rev. 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.

17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The time of God wiping away all tears, it comes later in Revelation. Has it come during the time of the seven seals? No. But this is a reminder of those persecuted, slin for the name of Christ.

During the time of these seals, God wants the saints persecuted to know their stand is not in vain. Those with the seal of God have a special protection. The rest of the Church does not. But when the 144,000 are sealed, it is a reminder the victory is ultimately ours. Our martyrs will rejoice.

And it is no coincidence that in the past 50 years a messianic Judaic movement centered on faith in Christ as the Messiah has grown to nearly 300,000 people. And it is growing larger daily.

But after the 144,000 are sealed, the seventh seal will be opened.

 

 

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A Study in Revelation/End Times pt.5

VI.

REVELATION AND THE SEVEN CHURCHES

Rev. 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

The first thing to know is that this book is revelation of Jesus Christ. The first thing to know about revelation of Christ is that it comes from God.

Rev. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

There are many who interpret this to mean “the time is soon,” that every thing written in this book is promised to happen soon. It does not say that. It says the time is ‘at hand.’

Right now, near me, I have ‘at hand’ a candle, a camera, a fishing bobbin, and a Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible. But I’m likely to use only one of these soon. They are still ready to use, within my reach, instantly.

Many things are revealed in the revelation f Jesus Christ. The time for them to begin is ‘at hand,’ ready at an instant. When that instant will come, however, is a good question, a time Jesus said in Acts 1:7 the Father has put in His own power.

And remember 1 Thes. 5:7 told us to watch, not because we’d know when it came, but because we could recognize it as it got here. And we keep the words of this prophesy in so doing.

Some of these things have surely come to pass. The prophesies regarding the ‘Seven Churches,” as we shall see.

And each thing that happens indeed falls quickly, as will the return of Christ.

But as we will see, some things in Revelation happened ‘soon,’ in the traditional sense, and some?  They will happen ‘hereafter.’

Rev. 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

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,

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

John wrote to seven churches, seven called out groups of Christians in Asia. To my knowledge there is not one single piece of historic documentation that the Church questioned who these churches were in the first and second century. No Christian writer quoted anyone from the time this was written as having a question.

When John wrote this, there were seven Christian congregations in Asia Minor that this was specifically addressed to.

They were of the Body of Christ. This was addressed to Christians, revelation of Jesus Christ..

Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Does he come with clouds? Yes, both in the clouds of Heaven and with clouds of angels. Shall every eye see him? Yes. “…And they also which pierced him.” Shall they see him?

Yes.

They shall see him at the resurrection of the just and unjust. This book will tell us about that.

But some assume that those who pierced Jesus Christ saw his return in the clouds. This may leave that open for an opinion, but it does not clarify, and we have the advantage of knowing their seeing him will be at the resurrection.

Rev. 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

Without getting sidetracked with its connotations, most texts read “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord.” Now we get into the narrative of the message of Revelation.

Rev. 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

This was not the voice of a trumpet, it was a voice as if a trumpet. Furthermore, he said he was in the spirit in the Lord’s day. We are to keep in mind that this book is focused on the events of the end of time.

Rev. 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

Again without getting sidetracked, the oldest texts simply read “Saying, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; etc.” They do not say this speaker claims to be an Alpha and Omega. That was added in later texts.

Rev. 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

The Lord God is Alpha and Omega, the Arche and Telos. Telos is the final. God is the Arche, the architect, He is Who decrees what is and what will be.

Jesus is the first and last, the protos and enteros. First of the series and best of the series.

We, Christians, are the series, we and the olive tree, Israel, we are grafted into.

Rev. 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

John was to write these things: What he sees, of things that are and things that are hereafter.

So not all of Revelation was intended to be looked at as a series of future events. Some was at that time ‘what is,’ like the seven Churches. We shall see that specifically at the end of this section.

Rev. 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Remember, a mystery is not a secret, it is a revelation to the inner circle. It is revealed.

This coming up is the revealing of the seven churches. It was shrouded but no longer. This will explain it clearly.

Rev. 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

We read the great revelation to the Ephesians, how they loved God, how they were faithful.

To the Ephesians God sent revelation regarding, the Mystery, the Body with Christ as the Head, that we are filled with the fullness of God.

But by the time John wrote this, they had grown somewhat cold, had left this love. They labored, but not with the fervor.

Rev. 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

“Remove thy candlestick.” Does this say he will condemn them to hell or eternal death?

No. But their candlestick, their high honor, will be removed. Brothers and sisters, the message to the seven Churches reveals how Christians will be judged for highest honors when Christ comes back.

Rev. 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Even in the Church, there are some to high honor, some to obscurity. Do we as Christians think just because we are promised salvation we are likewise guaranteed the highest honors of the Kingdom?

”1 Cor. 3:13: Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

If a Christian builds on the foundation of Christ lies, idolatry, hate, etc., he is saved but his works are burned. Him shall God ‘mar,’ shall keep from being among the most honored in New Jerusalem.

Rev. 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

A crown of life. This too is of honor and glory. Smyrna was a persecuted Church. They would suffer for the name of Christ. But in standing, they would get a crown of life. A crown is authority, responsibility and privilege. But the life of the believer himself is in the foundation Christ lays, as we are told in 1 Cor. Not in his works, even if he (or she) is honored with a crown.

Rev. 2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
You might think it odd that this does not say “He that overcometh shall not be killed of the second death.” It says ‘hurt.’ ‘Adikethe,’ injured.

Our slate as Christians is not wiped out at the gathering Paul spoke of, though we shall ever be with the Lord. It is wiped at the Judgment, when the elements will melt with fervent heat.

Rev. 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

This cries against several things, things we are not to contaminate ourselves with.

Pergamos was home to ‘the Great Altar,” which resides in a museum in Germany now. At the time of this writing, it was where Satan himself hung out, from where he ruled the kingdoms of this world through the influence of subordinate spirits.

But the Scriptures were dabbling in the doctrine of Balaam: False prophesies, ‘seer’ speaking ‘foretelling prophesies’ on demand, like we see in some Churches.

Some even held to the gnostic mysticism and religious sexuality of the Nicolaitanes, who preached unbridled sexuality as a form of spiritual nirvana and passageway on earth.

Many of us have seen these doctrines creep into our own Churches.

Rev. 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

“Or else I will come?”

This obviously does not speak about the second coming, but rather like Jesus’ appearance to Paul on the road to Damascus. Yes, Jesus can do this. He is, after all, Head of the Body.

Rev. 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

See? This is not about eternal life. It is about honor and glory and even privilege.

Rev. 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Remember God is not mocked. Jezebel was a real woman in a very real Thyatira who lead God’s children into idolatry and set an example of open fornication, promiscuity.  A consequence she by now long ago received was that her children were given to death, and I’d bet it was not of old age.

Whether we call our idolatry gods or saints, and justify our fornications by ignoring God’s Word, we allow ourselves to be suckered in, this is the judgment.

Rev. 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Those who can resist these situations and temptations can rule nations. We see our own national leaders following fornication, religious leaders doing likewise calling themselves prophets.

Neither are fit to lead. That’s not my opinion, that is from revelation of Jesus Christ.

Rev. 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

God does not give this awesome responsibility to those who abuse leadership to satisfy their own lusts. And Jesus as Lord is the morning star. These shall work immediately with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

Rev. 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Rev. 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

In all these situations, we can relate to some. Here most of those in Sardis have entirely abandoned faith, who are told to repent.

But there are those who have not just said, “Heck with it. No one else is standing, why should I?”

Rev. 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Those who stand when no one else seems to be will be clothed in white.

Rev. 3:6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

10 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, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Some just stand, day in, day out. They keep his word, and do not deny his name. Such will be spared ‘the hour of temptation’ and will receive a crown.

Rev. 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

He comes quickly. That word, again, is ‘tachios,’ quickly. Not ‘soon.’ When he comes, snap, done. So don’t let it catch us.

Rev. 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

We the Christians are the Temple of God, in whom He lives and dwells. These that simple unswervingly stand on the word of patience will be pillars.

Rev. 3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

We’ve seen the social club Christians. We may be or may have been one. They mentally assent but neither fully reject or fully believe. Lukewarm.

Rev. 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

One of the most difficult environments to overcome is this lukewarm environment.

“Yeah, I’m a Christian, I go to Church, but that Joe, and that Sara, they are some kind of religious nuts.”

Rev. 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Through each environment, as we stay focused intently upon God, we have opportunities to receive blessings, honor and recognition in the Kingdom.

But this is all based on our steadfast love for God and His Son and His peoples.

These are what each of these Churches will be judged by, and what each Christian will be judged by, according to his or her circumstances and how well they did to overcome.

These, brothers and sisters, are things now. These are the things we are told in the first chapter of this revelation to keep.

And as we do so, we shall indeed be blessed.

Rev. 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Our mystery, our revealed doctrine regarding the seven churches and rewards, i.e., our judgment, is basically:

Each aspect is what applies most in any situation, any spiritual environment we might find ourselves in.

Ephesus? Their challenge was a church environment of complacency, of people pursuing things of this world except in Church. They had ‘left’ their first love.

Smyrna was hot for God, but the persecution was horrible.

Pergamos was a city fully given to evil, and the believers had to overcome an intense culture of wholehearted idolatry and a church leadership that was self-serving in their service to the Church.

Thyatira was an environment of spiritualism in the Church, and sexual misconduct.

Sardis’ Church was nothing more than a social club. Believers had to have faith when the others around them claiming to be Christian were dead in their faith, barely if at all even going through the motions.

Philadelphia was a major center of trade, Greek culture, and Roman Imperial rule. The rulers of the Jewish community were wholly given to Satanic service. There was every influence of temptation for lust and profit, riches and comfort.

Laodiceans had the temptation of a comfortable situation. The believers there were lukewarm on their faith. Mental assent. They thought they were so well, Laodicea was a wealthy city, but it was illusion. The spiritual reality is they weren’t doing much for Christ.

But using these examples as guides that we today can follow to see how we are to deal with our situations, we can see our obligation to Christ pertaining to that situation.

And we can behave as Christ tells us, keeping the words of this book.

Amen.

 

 

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A Study in Revelation/End Times pt.4

V.

PAUL AND THE MYSTERY

It is impossible to understand our place, we the Church,  in the return of Christ without understanding the ‘mystery’, the core revelation to the church,  that God revealed first to Paul.

So we start our understanding of the Christian Church in Acts:

 

 

Acts 1: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

John baptized disciples with water. It was symbolic of spiritual cleaning. We are baptized, not with water, but with holy spirit.

Acts 1: 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Here they are interested in the restoration of the Kingdom. Which of them was going to get which government post?

But we read earlier only the Father knows. But he said they would receive, not political power, but a greater ability once the ‘Holy Ghost,’ the holy spirit, was come upon them.

Acts 1: 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

As Jesus was lifted up, he will return to Israel. Until then, we have baptism in holy spirit, we have the power from holy spirit.

 

 

Romans 11: 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

It is called a ‘mystery’ that we are grafted into the ‘olive tree’ of faith, Israel.

When we think of a ‘mystery,’ we think of a secret, an enigma, a puzzle.

But in New Testament Scripture, ‘mystery’ is the English transliteration of the Greek word ‘musterion.’

It is not a translation. It spells out a form of the original word itself.

‘…For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery…’

If it’s a secret, an enigma, a puzzle, how can we help but stay ignorant of it?

‘Musterion’ is the Greek work denoting a pagan religion’s innermost doctrines.

While those outside the fold will indeed be ignorant of these doctrines to some degree, to those inside the fold, a mystery is that which has been taught, a revelation.

Vine’s defines musterion thus:

“In the ordinary sense a mystery implies knowledge withheld ; its Scriptural significance is truth revealed.“

I’ve heard God’s revelations of mysteries referred to as ‘sacred secrets.’

That might work to literally (if a bit inaccurately grammatically) define the ‘revelations’ to the inner echelon of a pagan religion.

But as Christians we want the pure truth, the pure meaning: the mysteries given us by God are revelations, they are instructions.

That we are grafted into the good olive tree Israel, into the Body of Believers, is such a mystery, a revelation we are not to be ignorant of.

Rom. 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.

29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
Amen.

In Romans 16 we see more of this mystery, and here it is called THE mystery.

 

Romans 16: 25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

It was the gospel taught by Paul, but the power to establish us in it remains God’s, as Jesus Christ is taught ACCORDING TO the revelation of the mystery.

Not just any old revelation: But that which is now a mystery, a revelation of truth to God’s people, but at one time was NOT a mystery…it had been kept secret since the world began.

But NOW this revelation of Jesus Christ is a mystery, a revelation, made known by the prophets of the Church, and the Scriptures they (Paul, John, Peter, there may have been more) wrote.

The ‘New Testament’ after the Gospels.

 

1 Cor. 2: 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

THIS is why the mystery had been a secret and not a mystery, a revelation.

The princes of this world, the dark spiritual powers which rule it, they knew of what Jesus would do according to Old Testament prophesies, and the prophesies Jesus made during his day.

But the ‘grafting in’ of the Gentiles wouldn’t happen without the crucifixion. This mystery, this revelation, was made only after his resurrection. Before that God hid it in Himself.

1 Cor. 2: 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Ephesians reveals more of the mystery by which we are to view Christ:

 

Eph. 2: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

See, before Christ, the Law was the mediator, and a poor one it was. Now, however, those of us far off, even Gentiles, have peace with God.

Eph. 2:17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

God living and dwelling in us! WE are the Temple of God!

 

 

Eph 3: For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Here we see EXACTLY what was hid.

It was no secret that Gentiles could be blessed under Christ, but wasn’t he to rule them with a rod of iron? But here, we see a way Gentiles, rather than ruled with a rod of iron, have a choice that they can be fellowheirs and partakers!

Eph. 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

This, brethren, is the hidden: the fellowship and the reality of Jews and Gentiles in one Body, so great that Satan himself would have foregone crucify his rival and hated enemy Jesus rather than take pleasure in his death but making Christ OUR sacrifice as well as for Israel.

 

 

Col. 1: 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

See, the inner doctrine of Christianity are the details regarding Christ’s relationship to his Church, one Body comprised of joint heirs, one Body of partakers comprised of Jews and Gentiles.

The Body analogies are part of this doctrine. Christ the Head. We the Body. Each fulfilling his role in the Body.

“Christ in you?” The ‘you’ is plural. He is in the Body, where ever he needs to act as head.

 

1 Cor. 15: 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

This will be how it ends.

But in between now and then? At some point, a point we can see clearly when we know what THE mystery of God is, our fate is as follows:

 

 

1 Cor. 15: 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

At the last trump, the trumpet shall sound. There are those who say this must take place during one of the Old Testament feasts. Maybe it does.

Matt. 24: And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Was the mystery at this time revealed? No, the details were a secret hid in God.  There were hints. Jesus knew the trump would sound, the elect would be gathered. Jesus knew Gabriel had not told Daniel about the seven shabua between his cut being off and spending the last shabua confirming the covenant.

So no one knew these elect would include Gentiles when Jesus spoke of it. No one could tell from Jesus’ words there would be one Body, that Gentiles would be partakers of the promise.

But to be partakers of a promise you have to have a promise. Here is a promise: The angels would be sent with the sound of a trumpet and gather the elect.

Sometimes in Scripture similar events are confused. But sometimes the same event told by different narrators are called different because we truly do not understand all the details.

 

1 Thes. 4: 13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Now, there are those who say the trumpet of Jesus and the trumpet of Paul are different events.

They say that Paul’s ‘Last Trump” is the specific trump of a memorial of trumpets, while Jesus refers to a generic blowing of trumpets.

But we can’t just guess at that. If that were the case, why does Paul not point that out? Why would he communicate to Gentiles in Hebraic code they would not understand?

After all, we are not the unbelieving sheep during Jesus’ ministry, spoken to in riddles and parables, secrets and enigmas and puzzles.

We are the Church, the eyes of our understanding opened, knowing what has been FREELY given us by God.

At the last trump, just like Jesus revealed that the elect would be gathered, and Paul said the dead in Christ are raised and the live in Christ changed, to meet the Lord in the air!

Christians, we do not need to wonder if Christ is in the desert or in the chambers, because when we meet him in the air, how much doubt can there be?

So shall we EVER be with our Lord.

1 Thess. 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

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

3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

The day when Christ returns, the day of vengeance of our God, will overtake unbelievers by surprise. But when we quit looking for riddles and secrets, we will find the Word of God to us is entirely clear as to what will be happening at this time: we are NOT in darkness if we simply believe what is written in God’s Word!

1 Thess. 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ…

We are not promised exclusion from tribulations and trials.

But we are promised salvation rather than wrath.

As we shall clearly see, we are gathered together before the day of wrath.

 

 

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