Monday, August 31, 2009

Revelation 9:13-21 Trumpet 6

Verse 13-14 "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates."

This time a voice sounds from the four horns of the altar before God. Since God is not speaking, one is justified in assuming it is probably Christ who is giving this instruction. For some reason the sounding of the trumpet is not enough this time to set this in motion. This group was bound in the river Euphrates. There were two Euphrates rivers in scripture. One existed before the flood and was to the best of our knowledge destroyed by the flood in the upheaval. The other came into existence after the flood. It would seem more likely that it is referring to the one that exists now, although they could be bound where the original Euphrates once existed. It would depend upon when they were bound. The probability though, since Christ is referencing the river and it would have no significance as a reference if it were the antediluvian river location, is that it is the present Euphrates. God releases these fallen angels who are allowed to take their vengeance and anger out on man. There are only four bound at this site, but as we will see in the next few verses, they will have an army of two hundred million. One assumes that maybe they were ringleaders.

Verse 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.”

These four fallen angels were prepared for just this moment. I have seen this verse interpreted to be a period of thirteen months, one day, and one hour, as it was taken to mean a year, plus a month, plus a day, plus an hour. Personally I do not think that is how this should be taken. I read it as saying that they were prepared for a particular hour that would come on a particular day, month, and year. They were prepared for this one particular moment and time in history. I find it a little peculiar to say that something was prepared for a length of time that amounts to thirteen months, one day, and one hour. One might accept the thirteen months, as the previous trumpet lasted five, but to say that it will go on an extra day, and then an extra hour? That seems a little bizarre. It seems much more intelligible if one accepts it as meaning one particular moment in time.

This group will do more than torture. They will kill fully one third of all the people on the planet. Currently with 6.8 billion people, that amounts to roughly 2.3 billion. That is if there were that many people left at this point. There will not be. As we do not know how much of the first four seals were included in the 70th week, we will consider that the reduction of the population in earnest began with martyrdom. The group of martyrs that John sees appearing suddenly out of the tribulation is a great multitude that no man could number. That lowered the population quite a bit. Then there was the sixth seal, plus the first four trumpets. There is no doubt many died from that. If we were to assume (and that is all it is, an assumption) that all of the previous seals and trumpets have reduced the population by one fourth, which I believe to be a conservative estimate considering what has happened, it would be down to 5.1 billion. To reduce it by another third would bring it down to 3.4 billion. That brings it down to roughly one half of what it was originally. These numbers are just guesses, there is nothing to back them up. It could be more than that (most likely probability) or less. We only know that one third of whatever number there is will die during this trumpet. If half the population has expired by the time this happens, it will reduce the population to 2.3 billion, one third of the original population.

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

This group of four have an army suddenly appear out of nowhere We are not told from where they come. We are also not told if this army is made up of fallen angels, or left-over nephilim that were not all killed off in Biblical times and have been procreating their own population in a location unknown to us. Remember that these nephilim would have advanced technology and powers due to their hybrid angelic DNA intelligence and abilities. The number of the army amounts to two hundred million. That is a huge army. If each “soldier” were to kill five hundred people, that would amount to 1 billion people. One thousand each would be 2 billion. So each one of these horsemen will have to kill quite a few people, which given their abilities will not be hard.

Verse 17-18 “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. 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.”

It would appear that there might be two groups here, the riders and the horses, unless the riders are part of the horses, such as the mythical centaur, who had the upper half of a man attached to the body of a horse. This verse would seem to indicate two entities, but as these creatures are not like anything seen before, anything is possible. It appears that the riders by themselves are not important, if they are separate from the beast they ride, as the beast has all the power. Beginning with the riders, they have on breastplates of fire, jacinth, and brimstone. These breastplates seem to be flaming and sulphurous. They reek of having come straight from hell or at least give the impression that they are from someplace that certainly resembles it. A jacinth is a zircon of differing reddish hues. The breastplates must have had a reddish gemstone-like quality about them.

The horses, as John refers to them for lack of any other word, have heads similar to lions. However, these lion heads have remarkable powers. They can shoot forth from their mouth fire, smoke, and brimstone. While both riders and horses are described with the words fire and brimstone, the Greek words are not identical. The ones used to describe the horses implies actual fire and sulphur (brimstone). The ones used to describe the riders implies fire-like, and sulphur-like. Smoke also pours out of the lions’ mouths. That would seem to be a given, since fire proceeds out of their mouths also. These three things kill people. They die by burning from the flames, asphyxiation from the smoke, and being poisoned by the sulphuric gas.

Verse 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.”

As if the other three things were not enough, now people have to worry about the other end of the beast. They have tails, but what tails. The tails have what is like a serpent’s head on the end which would strike at people and apparently bite them, as they are compared to a serpent, which does bite. Ugly looking beasts. Not to mention lethal. It would seem that it would not be all that hard for them to kill so many people apiece. Again it is probable, actually more than probable, that the world will see this as an alien invasion. These creatures are clearly not earth creatures, and most people do not believe in demons or fallen angels, but many believe in aliens. Added to that is the probable scenario that the governments will tell people this is an alien invasion. Think back to what President Reagan said about how if we were invaded by something from outer space how people would finally put their differences aside to unite in a world government to fight the threat. Do they know something they are not telling us? We will discuss that possibility much later.

Verse 20-21 “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: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

There are still a fair number of people surviving all this as improbable as it seems. But just as God said He would send a delusion that they might not believe the truth, so these people do not repent of their sins. They worship devils, which they have made images of in gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood (depending on their financial ability). Idols which will not save them as they can neither see, hear, or move. Neither will they repent of their other sins of murder, witchcraft and drug use (the Greek word implies both possibilities), sexual sins, and theft. One can assume, as we have seen with events such as Katrina, that when there is some sort of horrible catastrophe, there are those who riot, loot, and even kill. Considering what the world will have gone through up to this point, one can only imagine how completely out of control society has become in relation to this sort of activity. People will do anything to survive. Sexual sins are so prevalent these days that it is hard to believe it could become worse. Witchcraft is ever on the rise as is drug use. These things will not change even in the face of the end of the world. People are amazing, and totally depraved.

The sixth trumpet judgment has now passed. The second woe is over. Giving a preview of things to come before getting to them in the scriptures, we will see that this is the end of the conditions on the seventh seal that Satan demanded. These conditions have been written on the seals since the fall of man, and have been available for everyone to read, as mortgages and legal agreements were always available to the public in the temple. Now Satan's reign is over. He is no longer the prince and power of the air. Antichrist's reign is also over. Christ is now in total and complete control as the one and only king of this earth. It is owned by Him and He can now claim it and do as He pleases with it, as He alone reigns. In Daniel 7 we learned that antichrist would be given control for time, times, and half a time, or 3 1/2 years. As we will see, the 3 1/2 years are over as far as antichrist's reign is concerned. But 3 1/2 years is a general length of time that is not quite specific. When we speak of 3 1/2 years, we could mean three years and five months, or three years and seven months. It is a figure that could be rounded off. As we continue, we will soon see that God further specifies that the length of time antichrist is allowed to reign is forty-two months. But again, is that forty-two months precisely or forty-two months plus or minus a week or a day or two? It will be seen that this time is further delineated as being 1260 days. That specificity will help us to exactly figure out certain events. In the meanwhile, it is necessary to jump ahead of ourselves and present these two new time factors before we actually run into them so that it can be understood that we have reached the end not only of the 3 1/2 years, but the forty-two months, and the 1260 days. It will become clear why we need to understand that presently. As we have reached the end of the 1260 days, (this will be seen shortly) Satan's and antichrist's rule has come to an end. But what about all the rest of what is written in Revelation? Well, if you remember, in Daniel 12 we are told that from the time of the abomination of desolation there will be two other number of days. There will be 1290 days to the end of all or, as we would consider it, the entire apocalypse or 70th week, and then 1335 days until a blessing. These numbers will help us to organize all of this information that follows.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Revelation 9:1-12 Trumpet 5

Revelation 9

So far, the devastation of the seventh seal trumpet judgments have only been directed at the planet, and the effects on the inhabitants have been a by-product. Now the next two trumpet judgments are going to be directed specifically at the inhabitants.

Verse 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.”

We know already that stars are another way of referring to angels. In this case this is the way that this is to be interpreted, as a real gas giant could not be given a key. This is an individual. As to which star or angel it is, as he is being given the key to unlock the abyss where the demons are held, one can suspect that this is Satan, as other scriptures refer to him falling from heaven to earth, or it is possibly another angel, who is a destroyer.

Luke 10:18 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

Rev. 12:3a, 4a “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon….and his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth;”
If the angel is Satan, as he is also the ultimate leader of the rebel angels, it would seem appropriate for him to be allowed to get his gang out of prison. If another angel, he is still the one in charge of destruction.  So regardless of who this is, he is given the key to the bottomless pit, or the abyss as it is otherwise known from the Greek word “abussos” meaning depthless or bottomless. In scripture there are five different words that are used to refer to the places of the departed dead or the abyss where the fallen angels are held. They are translated into English by the words hell, grave, deep (N.T.), pit (O.T.), or bottomless pit (N.T.). Sheol is the Hebrew word in the Old Testament from which "hell", "grave" and "pit" are translated and simply means the world of the dead or place of departed souls. Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna, and abussos are the Greek words from which "hell", "grave" (one time only in 1 Cor. 15:55) "deep", and "bottomless pit" are translated. Hades is the Greek equivalent of Sheol and means the place of departed souls or world of the dead. Tartarus refers to the deepest abyss (or bottomless pit) in Hades and is only used in conjunction with the prison of the fallen angels. It also has the dual meaning of being incarcerated in eternal torment. Gehenna was a valley in Jerusalem that was used for the sacrifice of children to Molech. The continuous burning that went on there caused it to become a figurative name for the place of everlasting torment of the damned. In the New Testament the word "hell" is usually translated either from Hades or Gehenna. Tartarus is used only once in scripture when referring to where the angels are bound, 2 Pet. 2:4. When abussos is used, it is translated as "bottomless pit" or "deep". As to location of hell or the bottomless pit, the scriptures give us a clue.

First is the parable in Luke 16 about Lazarus and the rich man. According to the parable Hades, which Christ would certainly portray accurately, is a place which had two compartments. One was known as Paradise (a place of the righteous dead) and the other as Hell (the place of the wicked dead). These two places were separated by a huge impassable gulf. People were conscious while in these places and could actually speak to each other. While Paradise was a nice place, Hell is a place of burning torment. When Christ died, he told the thief on the cross that he would be with him in Paradise, Luke 23:39-43. Before Christ’s death, the righteous dead could not enter into heaven, as there had not yet been payment made for their sins. The blood of bulls and goats never covered their sins, Heb. 10:4, and therefore they could not enter into the presence of God. Christ had to die first, so there had to be a holding place for these people until that time. Paradise was that place. Scripture says that Christ’s soul was not left in Hell (Hades) Acts 2:31, Ps. 16:10, which tells us that indeed he went to Hades, the Paradise side after he died. He did not go to heaven as some assume. In John 20:17, Christ tells Mary not to touch Him for He has not yet ascended to His Father. Christ went to Paradise to preach to the inhabitants there and let them know he was the Messiah for whom they had been waiting. It is possible he also went into Hell to preach to the souls there, 1 Pet. 3:18-20, Rom. 10:7 (deep is abussos, it is the abyss where the demons named Legion did not want to be sent, Luke 8:31). It says when Christ ascended he took “captivity captive”, Gal. 4:8, Ps. 68:18, meaning that He took the inhabitants of Paradise with him. We know that now that Christ has ascended, saints go to heaven upon death. 2 Cor. 5:8. So now Paradise is empty, which allows hell to enlarge itself as it fills, Is. 5:14.

As to its location, it says that Christ descended into the lower parts of the earth, Gal. 4:9. There are also many other verses that verify this location as being in the lower regions or center of the earth. Ez. 5:16, Ps. 86:13, and Ez. 32:27 speak of hell being down below us, as do a number of other verses. In Revelation we learn that smoke pours out of the abyss into the sky, Rev. 9:2, which could only happen if the shaft opened goes into the center of the earth. All of this would seem to indicate that the abyss and/or hell is located in the center of the earth. This would explain the fire in hell, the smoke pouring into our sky when a shaft is opened into it, and why it is below us in the lower regions or nether parts of the earth. The center of the earth would be a bottomless pit as, if one thinks of a ball of fire in the middle of the earth, no matter which way you turn, there is no bottom. Every direction is up.

(Since posting this, I have read another suggestion as to the identity of this angel.  Someone has suggested that this is a good angel, not a fallen one, and that he is a destroyer on the Lord's behalf, such as when he was apparently sent to kill the firstborn of all of Egypt. Exodus 12:23 "For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you." I don't know that either view, that he is good or fallen is provable by these verses, for the fact is, the Lord controls all the angels and He allows evil by His permissive will as well as sending angles to do His bidding. I don't believe that God created an angel for the purpose of destruction and named him the Destroyer at the beginning, for He created all things good.  So personally while neither view is provable, I would lean toward believing this is a fallen angel under the circumstances.)

Verse 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 the reason of the smoke of the pit.”

When the bottomless pit is opened, there is a shaft that goes directly down into the fiery pit of hell that allows all of that smoke from the fires of hell to escape. There is so much smoke that it fills the air and blots out the sun from shining on the earth.. We know there are at least two compartments to Hades, Hell and a now empty Paradise. It appears there is a third compartment that exists. It is called Tartarus and is a deeper abyss than hell itself. It is spoken of once in scripture in the book of 2 Peter using the word “hell”. “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, (Tartarus, the bottomless pit) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.” 2 Pet. 2:4. This verse precedes the verse about Noah, indicating that this event preceded the flood.

Verse 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.”

Out of this smoky shaft down into hell comes a swarm of what John refers to as locusts. That they are not real locusts is evident from the fact that they have been let out of the abyss with a key. God does not lock real locusts into the bottomless pit in hell. This demonic horde looks to John as locusts. They not only swarm by the hundreds, or more likely thousands, but probably look somewhat like mutant insects or something of that nature. They are given power as the scorpions have power. Real scorpions have the power to sting people, and even cause death depending on the scorpion. The sting can be intensely painful and have some really bad side-effects, some being numbness, muscle twitching, unusual head movements, sweating, difficulty breathing, and weakness.

Verse 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.”

Real locusts would go after all the green vegetation, but these locusts are told not to touch the vegetation. After the first few trumpet judgments, many of the trees and all the grass were burned up, but here we see that the grass is growing back, and there are still plenty of trees. God apparently wants some of this vegetation left for the days ahead, for they are told to leave it alone. On the other hand, they are told that they are free to torture anyone who does not have the seal of God in their foreheads. We know that Christians are sealed by the Lord when they become saved, and now we see the reason for the 144,000 being sealed. It was for protection from these creatures. Not being Christians, they are not immune from their attacks, but with the special seal that was placed on their foreheads, they are protected from this horde.

Verse 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.”

Now we see that the previous scorpion reference was deliberate. They do exactly what scorpions do. They sting people, and that sting causes tremendous pain and torment, but not death. They cannot kill people, only hurt them. This sting will be horrible and will not continue for only a few days or week as a real scorpion sting would, but lasts five months. Imagine the intense pain and other side-effects that people will have to endure. It will be extremely unbearable.

Verse 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.”

The intensity of this torture is so great and so long that people will try to commit suicide. God will not allow it though. No matter what they do, they will survive to be tortured some more. People will not be able to hide and escape them either. They even have the ability to enter houses that will be locked against them. We learned that from the Old Testament.

There is more information about their behavior from the passage from Joel that we studied when studying the Day of the Lord. “A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like a mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war, and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: and the Lord shall utter his voice before his army; for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Joel 2:2-11

That this passage parallels Revelation is obvious from some of the similarities. The thick darkness (from the smoke) is mentioned. It is a great (powerful and big), strong people that there has never been the like of or will be again. It says that a flame devours before them and after them. We know that these locusts in Revelation were told not to hurt the vegetation, but we also know that before they arrive, the earth has been burned, and after they leave we will see that the earth will burn some more. It is not that they personally will be responsible for this burning, but the events surrounding their arrival will be the cause of all of the burning. The people are much pained because of them. We know that this agrees with what they will be doing, stinging people. Joel’s description of the way they move together, not breaking ranks, climbing walls, going into windows and over the tops of houses, exactly describes how locusts would behave. People will not be able to get away from them or shut them out. If anyone has read the Little House on the Prairie books, Laura Ingalls Wilder describes a plague of locusts going through the land. It sounds exactly like Joel’s description of the way they move through the land. Joel says that they have the appearance of horses, and run like horsemen. They have the noise of chariots, are dressed in battle array, and can leap from mountains. Let us see if the rest of the description in Revelation bears out that this is the same group.

Verse 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.”

So here we have it. The shapes of the locusts were similar in some way to horses, just as Joel said. But not just horses - horses prepared unto battle. In other words, in battle array. To compare them to a horse would indicate their size. On their heads are something that to John resembles a crown of gold. They have a face like a man, but as we will see that merely means that the general appearance - eyes, nose, mouth, chin, etc. is like a man’s. In fact they do not look like men at all.

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

Now it can be seen that they do not look quite so much like men. The teeth of a lion would make them appear a great deal more vicious. And they have long hair, as a woman of John’s day would have. Again we can look to Joel for another comparison. “For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.” Joel 1:6.

Verse 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.”

Here is the same description as in Joel. They have the noise of chariots as if many horsemen were running to battle, just as Joel said. The noise comes from their wings which again indicates size to create this noise. They are not tiny little insects. This also describes their battle array in more detail. They have breastplates of iron. Joel tells us that they can be run through by a sword and not be wounded. Not only would this breastplate prevent that, but being demonic, they cannot die anyhow.

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

Again we are given the description that they are similar to scorpions in that they have a tail in which there is a stinger with poison that they will use to inflict pain upon mankind for five months.

This would appear to be a very confusing description, but I have seen several carvings (if that is the appropriate word) that look very much like what is described here. One is a sculpture of an insectoid creature that looks somewhat like this description, (I am not sure if the sculptor's idea came from an ancient description or not) and the other seems to be a representation of this actual creature or demon as it seems to fit the description very accurately. It is a Mayan artifact. I believe it is one of the artifacts that those who believe in ancient astronauts point to as a rendering of what the ancient astronauts looked like. For now, to picture this creature, think of a (probably) man-sized insectoid type of creature whose body somewhat resembles a locust, but has a tail like a scorpion. They apparently run on all fours like a horse, have a human type face with lion’s teeth and long hair. They have wings (or something similar) which allows them to fly (and makes noise), and have on breastplates. While these are fallen angels, the world will not understand that is what they are. In fact, the world will think they are something quite different. Based on the ancient astronaut theories, that are now being used to explain the puzzles of the ancient pyramids, ruins, artifacts, etc. that cannot be explained, this will set people up to believe that these creatures are aliens from another dimension or planet.

Verse 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.”

The leader of this group is Abaddon or Apollyon, both which mean “the destroyer”. This is not just any fallen angel. This is a really important, powerful, evil angel. This angel has been locked in the bottomless pit for having done something really destructive. He was the king of the others, so one has to assume he was responsible for being the ringleader for whatever the others did. It is clear from 2 Peter that they are chained in Tartarus as that is the bottomless pit. Jude 6 spoke of the fallen angels who had come down and cohabited with man, married the women and produced giants, both before and after the flood. These fallen angels “which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” This also speaks of being chained until the day of judgment as did Peter. Here we finally have the time of that great day of judgment on the world. This group of fallen angels appears to be the group mentioned in Jude. It does not specify, however putting these three scriptures together, Peter, Jude, and Revelation it seems to point to this conclusion. This terrible event occurred both before and after the flood. What was done to mankind before the flood was certainly a destructive thing. It nearly completely destroyed mankind. Noah was the only one left that was “perfect” in his generations. The only one who did not have tainted blood. So to have their leader named Abaddon would certainly be appropriate. What is disturbing is that this event also occurred after the flood, and there was no worldwide judgment to wipe out all the progeny of these demonic unions. That is why God was so bloodthirsty about Israel destroying every man, woman, and child when they entered the land. It is quite possible that some of that tainted blood still exists today in people in the world, as Israel did not always do as told. This is something we will get into later. What may be a puzzle to some is how, if these are those particular fallen angels, such creatures would be able to mate with humans. There are several explanations for that. First, angelic beings can take on other forms. We know that the ones that showed up to take Lot out of Sodom looked like normal human men, but they were not. Another explanation is that God changed the look of these angels after they fell as part of their punishment, as He did to Satan. If they were so beautiful before and attracted the women, what better punishment than making them hideous. Some descriptions I have heard, from people who have claimed to see God's angels, have described them as around eight feet tall, blonde and blue eyed, and extremely handsome. If that is what they looked like before, it would explain the giants and women accepting this situatlon. The stories of the gods of the Greeks, Romans, Norse, etc. mythologies have beautiful gods. Another explanation although this one requires more of a stretch, although there are some reasons for this explanation that I will go over later, is that the beings were capable of creating test tube babies for the women to be artificially inseminated. Since we can do this, this is not beyond their capability. They would have even more capabilities in that respect, being able to manipulate man's DNA.

Verse 12 “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.”

The fifth trumpet judgment is called the first woe. It is very important to take note of this
Two more woes are to come. The second woe is the sixth trumpet and the third woe is the seventh trumpet. This nomenclature will become very important later on for identifying something in the timeline, so it is important to remember.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Revelation 8:10-13 Trumpets 3 & 4

Verse 10-11 “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. 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.”

First an asteroid hits the earth and now another object falls from the heavens. So there is more than one object moving through space toward us. We have seen meteor showers, an asteroid, and now a star. Whereas the first object appears to John as being solid as a mountain, thus the determination that it must be an asteroid, this object looks to him as a burning star. This is apparently not the same type of object. It must be more like a comet where the head can be small but it carries with it a lot of debris that burns up on entering the atmosphere, thereby making it look like a star. This debris falls all over the land hitting the fresh water lakes and rivers. It even penetrates the ground water contaminating well water. This star is given the name Wormwood. Wormwood by its name means bitter and poisonous. While there is much debate as to exactly what this means, it may be that God, knowing the future, gave it this name based on an incident that happened in Russia some years ago. When Chernobyl had the meltdown, it became a world-wide known event. What made it even more interesting was that it was also made known to the world that the word Chernobyl means “wormwood”. Since specifically radiation poisoning was the cause of deaths in Chernobyl, radiation poisoning became linked to the word “wormwood”. As we know that meteors and space debris contain radiation, it makes perfect sense that the poisoning that kills people in this verse is radiation poisoning. Nothing in this world happens without purpose, including Chernobyl. Again it is interesting that the same area of the earth that has one third of the forests and one third of the ocean area also coincidentally has one third of the world’s fresh water supply. Streams turning to pitch and drying up were some of the O.T. signs which were a part of the whole Day of the Lord scenario.

Verse 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.”

Many scholars divide all of these trumpets as separate judgments that have nothing to do with each other. Because of this they grasp for extraordinary explanations to explain some of the phenomena occurring. Some believe that God will miraculously make the sun and stars decrease in the output of their light spectrum. It is not necessary for God to have to do this. While He can, from scriptures we see that most of the time He uses the resources at hand to do the trick. What many forget is that God created the universe and it is His to command. There is no reason for these things to occur miraculously when just using the available materials will suffice. The orchestration of the events and objects themselves is the miracle. These things would not occur at just the proper moment and in the way God desires if He were not running the show.

The fourth trumpet is actually the natural outcome of the previous trumpets. Just as the seals seemed to follow in a natural order (war, pestilence, famine, death), so these trumpets seem to follow as a natural conclusion to what began in the sixth seal. First we see the celestial objects blocking our view of the sun and eclipsing the moon. The gravitational forces cause tectonic disruption. Then there are meteor showers or debris accompanying the objects that hit the earth. Then the big objects themselves hit. When the asteroid and the “star” hit the planet, it will cause a lot of debris to be thrown up into the air. Added to that is the volcanic eruptions that must occur due to the tectonic plate movement caused by the gravitational tug of war and the impact (which also shifts our orbit which will take a terrible toll on the planet). This will also add to the smoke and ash in the air. An asteroid hitting the earth would be like a nuclear explosion. It would cause what is known as a nuclear winter, shutting off the sun from shining on the planet as the debris would create a canopy which the sun would not penetrate. As all of the previous trumpets affected approximately one third of the earth’s surface, so also the atmospheric problems will occur in one third area of the earth. This would seem to verify that those previous trumpets did occur in the same area of the earth, given that had they occurred around the planet it would be more than one third of the earth’s globe that finds its atmosphere polluted, making it impossible to see the sun, moon, or stars. It is not that the heavenly bodies themselves are darkened, but that from the perspective of the earth, they are darkened. At least one third of the day and night are darkened, as one third of the earth will have this atmospheric debris. As the earth does rotate in one day, and all of these things seem to have occurred to one area of the earth (based on deduction, but not verifiable) it would seem that they all occur in rapid succession before the earth has time to rotate and present the other side toward the oncoming phenomena.

It was always a puzzle to me that it was taught that these events would be occurring world-wide (and there will be earthquakes, and volcanoes world-wide), yet people would continue on with life as usual, as this seems to be the picture scripture presents on people’s behavior. They do not repent, but continue on with their sorceries, fornication, thefts, and etc. Life goes on as usual. How does one do that given what is occurring? The answer is found in watching how the world behaves when a catastrophe occurs nowadays. It never occurs world-wide. It only occurs in one area of the world, so the rest of the world, while often helping out that devastated area, continues their lives uninterrupted. I believe that the fact that this same behavior is seen here in Revelation indicates that the deduction that I reached, that it is only one area of the earth that all of these trumpets (thus far) have hit, has a good probability of being correct. While it is probable only one third of the earth has been completely devastated by these things, the whole world is suffering some effects. The earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis will affect some areas, but not all. The temperature has to go up worldwide, and the heat and droughts will cause more famine and other problems, which will make things more difficult for everybody, but still people will try to keep on with life as usual. These occurrences will continue to escalate, but there will always be some places where life is still a little more normal. On the other hand the next few trumpets do affect the entire world. Now everybody is going to suffer.

Verse 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!”

The previous trumpets were bad enough, but the three trumpets to come are even worse and require a special announcement. An angel flies through the midst of heaven making that announcement. There are three woes about to hit mankind. As John is in heaven watching all of this, when the verse says "the midst of heaven", it is reasonable to assume that the angel is making the announcement to the congregation that is gathered there, not to the inhabitants of the earth.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Revelation 8:7-9 Trumpets 1 & 2

Verse 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.”

Thinking of the sixth seal, the sun going dark, the moon turned to blood, meteor showers, the sky rolling back like a scroll, the mountains and islands moved out of their places, (earthquakes as well as tectonic plates shifting in massive ways), it is apparent that something is approaching the planet. As it approaches, if coming between the earth and the sun, the sun would become black, and the moon would not reflect the sun’s light if the object’s location is such that it also blocks the sunlight from hitting the moon. Or more simply put, eclipses them. An eclipse not only darkens the moon, it can turn it blood red. Both of these are signs that herald the day of the Lord. It is probable that an object such as a large asteroid or comet would have debris caught in its gravitational force that would accompany it. This would explain the meteor shower. Also, an object of great size on a collision course with the earth would disrupt our planet’s gravitational orbit creating the earthquakes and tectonic movement. It no doubt would also cause a lot of volcanic eruptions. It will be seen as the trumpets are sounded that this is exactly what is happening.

Shortly following the sixth seal signs, the object approaches closer to earth and the consequence is that there is hail, mingled with fire and blood, that showers down upon the earth. It may be that it merely looks like blood, and as John sees it, he has no other way to describe it, or it may be that this shower of hail, fire, and blood is the result of all the volcanic activity from the tectonic movement. This would account for the hail and fire, and the blood could be either lava, water droplets containing minerals, or the blood of animals and men that are caught in the explosions and whose remains are thrust into the atmosphere with the water vapor, ash, and etc. There was one other time in the scriptures that hail and fire fell together. This was when Moses called down the plagues upon Egypt, although blood was not mentioned as part of it then. This shower of fiery hail burns up one third of the trees and all of the grass. It would appear that this hail falls on one particular section of the earth, a part that makes up roughly one third of the forests in the world. It is believed by some that this will fall on the entire earth, but it would seem peculiar in that case that only one third of the trees are burned up. Also, this object would not surround the earth, it would be passing by one side of the earth. The opposite side of the earth would not be hit at the same time. All of the grass being burned up can be explained by the heat generated worldwide by the event, as even a hot dry summer will burn up all the grass. Interestingly the area of the world that makes up the Orient and Eastern Asia contains one third of the world’s forests. There seems to be no mention of this part of the world in prophecy as regards the political goings on. That seems strange given the whole world government that antichrist is running. This might indicate that this is the area that gets hit, and it puts them out of business so to speak. This much destruction of the forests and grass are going to affect the animal world. Those that do not die immediately from this event will slowly die as the chain of life from lower organisms up are unable to survive.

Verse 8-9 “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. 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.”

As already theorized, given the descriptions of the previous verse and the sixth seal, something has been approaching the earth, and at least part of it is here. A great mountain burning with fire is cast into the sea. This can only describe an asteroid the size of a mountain. Entering earth’s atmosphere it would obviously be burning with fire. It falls into the ocean and as a consequence, a third part of the oceans are affected, killing one third of the sea life that resides therein. Not only will the sea become blood from the blood of the animals, but a red tide will no doubt start spreading. Again, interestingly it appears from statistical sources that the same area of the world that has one third of the earth’s forests, also has one third of the earth’s ocean area. This would appear to be the Pacific/Indian Ocean area. Not only the creatures of the sea will suffer, but all of the ships that are in that area of the sea, one third of military and merchant ships will perish. This will probably be due to tsunamis resulting from the impact. These tsunamis will also affect the coastal cities and cause a certain amount of loss of life, however not nearly as much as would have been had the asteroid hit the land mass. The earth will reel from this impact though. It has the potential to alter the orbit of the earth and move it into a new orbit (Is. 13:13). This will cause quite a bit of upheaval in the rest of the world.

These events that are happening will cause a great deal of heat to be introduced into the atmosphere. One of the signs of the Day of the Lord was about everything burning. The result of all of this heat and burning, especially considering how much of the water on the planet will be affected by these events, will be a great deal of evaporation. The water vapor canopy is in the process of being restored. Remembering how it was first established, it appears that the same processes will be happening again. The first punishment of mankind was to remove the canopy and the result was a deluge. This punishment will restore the canopy which requires a great deal of heat, thus the burning of the world. God is very organized in His processes. Heat and pressure will create the hydrogen lattice canopy again, thus bringing the world back to an antediluvian state for the duration of the millennium. Due to the difference in the world's make-up, the earth will have to be removed to a different orbit. When the flood changed the world, it was necessary to accommodate that by moving the earth. Now the impact will move the earth back into the previous orbit, which is no doubt the orbit that takes exactly 360 days to complete. The moon's orbit around us will no doubt also shift to a thirty day orbit. These are the numbers that God uses in the Bible for the prophetic counting of years and months, so it is highly probable that this is to what it will be restored.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Revelation 8:1-6

Chapter 8

Now that the group has been sealed to survive, and the martyred tribulation saints have arrived in heaven, the last seal can be opened. The reason for that is that the tribulation has now been cut short. That part of the 70th week is now over. Christ said in Matthew that the tribulation has to be cut short or nobody would be saved. What cuts it short is the fact that when the sixth seal signs begin, mankind will be under so much terror that the last thing they will be worrying about is rounding up any stray Christians or anti New World Order people that have escaped the round-up. They will be concentrating on their own survival, as they believe the end of the world is coming. They are basically right. All of this is leading up to the end of the world as they know it. Most of the population of the planet will be dead by the time eveything that is yet to occur has happened. What is about to immediately occur are the final conditions of the terms of the mortgage. Satan's attempt to destroy the planet and everyone on it. He has always known that he has lost, but that does not stop him from trying to win. He knows the end is near and the only thing left for him to do now is try to completely destroy the planet so that God's promises cannot come true. It would mean his victory, so he makes the attempt. God uses Satan's plans and anger to punish the world, just as He used Satan's attempt to destroy Christ to redeem mankind. This is not God's wrath that is about to occur. That comes later after antichrist's reign has come to an end. God's punishment is swift and final. These attacks are long and torturous, as that is the way Satan works.

The sixth seal constituted the initial major signs of the coming of the Day of the Lord. The signs of the Day of the Lord, however, constitute more than what was in the sixth seal. The Day of the Lord signs, if remembered in their totality, will be seen to also encompass the first six trumpet judgments in the seventh seal. They relate back to many things in the book of Joel. In a way, this is the beginning of the Day of the Lord, as once the last seal is opened Christ regains ownership of the earth and His reign begins in a conditional way. He does not have complete reign yet, as Satan and antichrist get to reign for the complete last half of the 70th week. That cannot be cut short. The conditions of the seal have to play out as part of the agreement before Christ can reign supreme. Therefore this technically is still not God’s wrath, as these events are Satan’s last attempt to deceive and destroy the people and the planet. This seventh seal contains seven trumpet judgments. The first six belong to Satan (that seems to be his and man's number), and the last trumpet, the seventh, belongs to God. Seven is God's number, which is why it has been so prevalent in this book. The last trumpet contains seven bowl or vial judgments, and we will see that they are poured out on the earth very quickly. God is swift in his judgment unlike Satan, who likes to take his time torturing people. We will see that the seventh trumpet (not the seventh seal) is the last trump and is God’s wrath, poured out to destroy those who have taken the mark, after he has taken out the last of his people in the rapture (which you will remember happens at the last trump).

Verse 1 “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”

“But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” Habakkuk 2:20 “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.” Zephaniah 1:7 What is about to occur is the last hurrah for Satan. Everyone in heaven is grieved at seeing this attempt to destroy God's creation. Those few Christians who have made it through the tribulation and will still be alive until the rapture, and those of the nation of Israel that will go into the millennium, plus those of all the nations in the earth who have not taken the mark of the beast will have to endure and hopefully survive (although some will not) that which lies ahead, and it is horrific beyond comprehension I am sure that even God is loathe to have to do this, as He still has people down there. He has to take a moment respite before giving the command. This is grievous for those in heaven to see, and God stops the proceedings for a moment of silence, just as we often do when something terrible has happened and we want to remember and pray for those to whom it has happened. Whether half an hour in heaven is the same as here is difficult to say. Suffice it to say it probably feels like an eternity up there.

Verse 2-6 “And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. 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. And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”

There are seven angels holding seven trumpets. As each angel sounds their trumpet, a new devastation will occur. These are known as the trumpet judgments, although they are not God’s judgments. That is simply a term that scholars have coined to describe them. Another angel comes forward with a censer filled with incense. In the temple God insisted upon there being an altar for the burning of incense. It was in front of the veil that separated the ark and mercy seat from the rest of the holy place. Aaron (who was the high priest) was instructed to burn incense on it every morning when he took care of refilling and trimming the lamps and every evening when he lit the lamps. This was to be perpetual throughout all the generations. There was also a warning that they should not offer strange incense (God gave instructions as to what this incense was to have as ingredients), burnt offerings, meat offerings, or drink offerings on this particular altar. It was specifically for incense. And once a year on Yom Kippur, Aaron was to put the blood of the sin offering on the horns of the altar, Ex. 30:1-10. Incense seems to be a very important component of worship to God. He likes to smell the sweet savor of sacrifice. Not only did God give a recipe for this incense, Ex. 30:34, but He warned that this recipe was not to be duplicated for personal perfume. It was for God alone and anyone found making it for his own purpose was to be put to death, Ex. 30:37-38.

The incense is offered up on the altar with the prayers of the saints. This altar is before the throne of God, which is the same place it occupied in the temple, before the ark and mercy seat. The saints are still offering up prayers, which further indicates that there are still saints on earth praying, albeit few of them. Once the prayers and incense are offered on the altar, and the smoke ascends before God who smells the sweet aroma and remembers the prayers of his people, the angel takes the now empty censer and fills it with fire from the altar and casts it down to the earth. The result of this is that on earth there is more phenomena of thundering, lightnings, and earthquakes. This is a continuation of the devastation that will be occurring from the sixth seal. The voices that are heard on earth, along with the thunder, lightning, and earthquakes, are possibly the screams of terror of the people to whom the events are occurring as well as the prays of those who are looking to God for protection. Now the seventh seal is going to start, commencing with the first trumpet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Revelation 7:9-17

Verse 9-17 “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. And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 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. Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? 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. 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. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them into living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”

Now John sees a huge group, which have suddenly appeared before the throne. They are dressed in white robes. They have come from all over the world and every nation. They have palm branches in their hands, reminiscent of the palms on Palm Sunday. One of the elders asks John if he knows who they are and from where they came. It is a rhetorical question, as he knows John has no idea and expects to have to tell him. He then tells John that they have come out of the great tribulation. Notice the term great tribulation. This particular phrase is used only three times in the entire Bible. The first time is in Matthew 24 where we have the Olivet discourse and Christ is talking about these events. The second is in Rev. 22 where he has threatened to throw Jezebel and the church of Thyatira into great tribulation unless they repent. This passage is the third time that this phrase is used. Once again, using the Bible to explain the Bible, we see that this phrase is only ever used by God in connection with the events after the abomination of desolation. This is not speaking of the many tribulations that the saints have suffered through the years. This is that one particular tribulation that is greater than any that has ever been on the face of the planet. These are the martyrs that the fifth seal martyrs were told had to be killed as they were. This shows how many Christians are going to die during the great tribulation. It will be a number that exceeds any previous holocaust. Even the holocaust of WWII.

When I first began my study of Revelation I thought that because this came after the tribulation, that this must be the rapture. But this did not set peacefully in my spirit, as there were discrepancies that came about with that approach. I could not reconcile other scriptures in Revelation as a result of that theory. I did not know why, but I knew it was wrong and grappled for years with finding the truth. I finally came to realize that the reason I could not reconcile it was because I was not ready to accept the truth, as the truth was more horrible than I had at first been willing to accept. I was raised a pre-tribulationist. This also never set peacefully in my spirit, as I could not reconcile some scriptures with that interpretatioin as it was taught. When I finally went to the Lord and told Him that I was willing to be taught the truth no matter how hard it may be to take, He began to show me why the discrepancies were occuring, through an intense study of the scriptures comparing scripture to scripture. I had been accepting teachings that were based on presumptions, assumptions, and the changing of the meanings and literal readings of the Word of God. When I was finally willing to accept that I would most likely be martyred for my faith, he was able to show me that the church would go through the tribulation. But I still did not want to accept that the church might have to go through the events of the next few chapters after this one we are currently studying. Fear prevents God from being able to show people the truth, as even if He tries, they will not accept it. Fear comes from Satan. He will use fear (or anything that will work) to block people from realizing what the truth is. He uses it to close their minds, as people will rationalize away what they do not want to accept, or they will deny anything that makes them uncomfortable or frightened. Satan will always give them what they will see as logical and rational alternative ways of viewing things, if they do not want to see the truth. When I finally got to the point that truth was more important than anything else, He allowed me to see that this was not the raptured saints, but only the martyrs alone. That really scared me, as this number is beyond counting. This time truly will be more horrific than anything that has ever occurred on the earth before. Satan will have antichrist slaughter people by the millions. It is no wonder that Christ said that it had to be cut short or nobody would be left. And the people here are only the true born-again Christians. People who refuse the mark of the beast for political or other reasons, but have not accepted Christ as their personal savior will not be in this group. How many more will be killed that do not appear here? It appears that the seven churches are all going to be thrown into the great tribulation, to rid them of the sins for which they would not willing repent ahead of time. Christ is going to purge those sins out of them. That is why the elder says that they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. While our sins are forgiven when we accept Christ, if we are not walking in holiness and repentance, we dirty up our robes. He warned the churches (five in particular) that if they did not clean up their act and their robes, He would clean them up for them, and He has.

It also appears that this is going to happen in a very short amount of time, as they all seem to appear at once. There will be mass executions by antichrist, so these people will basically all be killed at the same time. They have been given white robes, just as the first group under the altar were, but not the glorified bodies that they will receive at the rapture/resurrection. As already mentioned there is nothing here that indicates that this is the rapture (other than a group suddenly appearing, which can be explained by mass executions). The Lord has not been seen leaving heaven to reap the harvest, as is shown in the gospels. He is still standing there opening seals. It is merely a group that shows up in heaven, and Christ has not been seen leaving the scene to go collect them. Had this been the rapture, John would have seen Christ leave and return with this group, and he would have known exactly who they were based on those actions. The fact that he does not know only verifies that this is not the rapture. In point of fact, he has not seen Christ go anywhere and is clueless as to why this huge goup of people have suddenly appeared out of nowhere and for seemingly no reason. Added to that is the fact that there is a reaping later on in Revelation which precicely resembles the rapture/resurrection described in Matthew 24 and Paul's writings. The martyrs were told to expect more like themselves, and since it says these have come out of the great tribulation, and we know that many Christians will be killed during that time, this tells us that these are those martyrs for whom the fifth seal martyrs were waiting.

This group cries out to the Father and the Son and waves their palms just as the people did on Palm Sunday. Following their praise, the elders, angels, and beasts also fall down and worship. The praise begins and ends with an amen. This praise is very similar to the one in chapter 5, which gave the sevenfold praise of power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing. This praise mentions thanksgiving instead of riches, and might instead of strength (which is almost the same thing). Thanksgiving is much more important now that they have come out of such a horrible event. They are thankful that they no longer have to suffer, and that they have been purged and refined to qualify to be there.

John is also told that this group will serve God in his temple. This was one of the promises to the churches, that they would be a pillar in God’s temple. During the tribulation, people will not be able to buy or sell unless they take the mark. Food will no doubt be scarce for everyone given the conditions that the seals bring, but this group will not be able to buy or sell what little there may be, because they will not accept the mark of the beast. They will hunger. The atmospheric and weather conditions that have been discussed will make for hot conditions and a drought. They will suffer the heat and thirst. Now they will no longer suffer these things. Christ will feed them from the trees of life, and they shall drink of the living fountains of water. And there will be no more sorrow. Something of which they had plenty on earth.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Revelation 7:4-8

Verse 4-8 “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. 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. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. 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. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe o f Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.”

There are twelve thousand from twelve tribes of Israel sealed. The names in the New Testament differ slightly in spelling from the Old Testament due to the translations from Hebrew versus Greek. This list is interesting in several aspects. First it is not in order of birth. Reuben was the oldest, but Judah is mentioned first. The Lord was from the tribe of Judah so this tribe would be of pre-eminence. In actuality, there are thirteen tribes of Israel. Joseph got a double portion through his two sons, Manasses and Ephraim, but as the Levites were the temple priests, when the division of the land occurred, it was divided between the twelve tribes, as the Levites inheritance was the temple and certain cities. Here it is seen that the tribe of Dan is missing. This may be due to the fact that Dan was responsible for the setting up of idols and leading the northern tribes of Israel away from the Lord and into idolatry. (Judges 18:30,31; Deut. 29:18-21). It is also speculated that the antichrist will have roots from the tribe of Dan. This may be due to the prophetic judgment that Jacob gave him. "Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have watied for thy salvation, O Lord." Gen. 49:17-18. Dan will however have some survivors of the Day of the Lord as the tribe of Dan does receive a land inheritance in the millennium. (Ez. 48:1) They simply will not be protected through the trumpets. Another peculiarity is that although Joseph had received a double portion through Manasses and Ephraim, Ephraim is not mentioned here. Joseph replaces him. It is possible that Joseph had other children, and although they could have been included in either Manasses or Ephraim’s tribe, it may be that by naming Joseph’s eldest son, Manasses, and then naming Joseph, it covered any other children that Joseph may have had. (Gen. 48:5-6).

What is often not readily realized is that while the Jews of today are descended from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah (hence the name Jew) and some of the Levites, the other ten tribes and the Levites who served them, were assimilated into many other nations when Israel was conquered by the Assyrians. They never came back to the land the way that Judah did after the Babylonian captivity.. Today many of these people may not even be aware that they are Israelites. Thousands will more than likely be coming out of the Gentile nations. All of these will be sealed to make it through what lies ahead.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Revelation 7: 1-3

A comment was posted asking for me to speak a little on the altar, because of its appearance in the fifth seal. I offered to let this person do a more in depth study and said I would post it, but just for a small amount of info in the meantime, there were two altars. The large one outside the Holy place was for the different types of sacrifices that would be offered to the Lord such as animals and grain. It was the blood of these sacrifices that were put on the horns of the altar to temporarily cover the sins of the people. This was where I believe the martyrs of the fifth seal were being kept. (The heavenly one of course). They had sacrificed their lives for the Lord. It was a blood offering. That is why they are seen under the altar. The entire history of the types of sacrifices, when they were offered, etc. is a little more than I wanted to stop and cover at the moment. I am hoping my blog follower will help out. There is a second altar inside the temple which stands before the veil in front of the mercy seat. This altar is for incense only. I will be explaining more about this altar further on when we see its heavenly counterpart in chapter 8.

Chapter 7

Verse 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.”

People used to point to this verse as evidence that the Bible was inaccurate, as the world is round and did not have four corners. While it could be interpreted that God meant the four quadrants of the earth, or the four compass points of the earth, it has actually been found in recent years that the earth actually does have four corners. It always takes man a while to catch up with God’s scientific knowledge. These corners are protuberances that bulge out from the spheroid shape. While it could be that God meant this in any number of ways, whether compass points, quadrants, or the poles and equators, there is no reason not to interpret this in the most literal way, as has been done with the rest of the scriptures. Since science has shown that there are four corners there is no reason not to accept this as literal. In this case, it really does not seem to matter how it is interpreted. What is important is what the angels do.

The angels are told to hold back the four winds of the earth so that they should not blow on the earth or sea or any tree. The winds are responsible for the hydrological cycle and in mentioning the trees, it brings to mind the fact that it is the wind that is responsible for much of the pollination that goes on. The air currents, driven by temperature changes and the rotation of the earth, are a powerful mechanism that affects the weather, the water supply, the plant life, and the food supply. Four angels are all that are required to bring this powerful mechanism to a halt. This is going to have a devastating effect upon the planet. The planet will already have undergone some catastrophic events which will have created major changes in the planet’s surface and atmosphere. This will just make things even worse.

These environmental changes are the beginning of the reconstruction of the earth into its antediluvian state. At the beginning of this study, it was mentioned that the world in its lifetime will exist in five states, the pre-cursed world, the antediluvian world, the present world, the millennial world (which will be similar to the antediluvian world) and eternity, which will be as the original world which existed without sin and the curse. To bring the world back into the antediluvian state, it will be necessary to restore the water vapor canopy. This will be done by evaporating the waters of the world by heat and a lack of air currents thereby causing there to be no rain. (The lack of rain will probably cause famine, as the world is not set up to irrigate in the same way the antediluvian world would have been). The shifting of the tectonic plates will again allow for the water reservoirs underground and a leveling out of the earth‘s crust into an equalized elevation with no extremely high mountains or deep ocean valleys, (islands and mountains have already been moved) and some event will cause the elements to coalesce into a hydrogen lattice foundation. This will again create a world that will literally be a greenhouse. It will have no hydrological cycle such as we have now, and will not have black as pitch nights - the canopy will act as a conductor of light, and it will not have vast oceans or extreme mountains ranges. There will be no deserts and no glacial ice flows. The ultra-violet rays will be filtered out allowing people to live to old ages, "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed." Is. 65:20. The barometric pressure will change altering the physiological makeup of some creatures (no poisonous snakes) "and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain." Is. 11:8-9a.. The animals will again be herbivores and not fear man, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." Is. 11:6-7, "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpents's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord." Is. 65:25. The sky will be pink due to the hydrogen, not blue due to the oxygen. The processes that the world will have to undergo to bring about these changes will make things quite unbearable for the occupants of planet earth from this point on. The question is as to what precipitates these events, in the sixth and seventh seals, that sets into motion these changes.

Verse 2-3 “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 sea. Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.”

Now another angel appears out of the east. He is holding the seal of God. This mark of God was seen back in Ezekiel 9 when a seal or mark was put on the foreheads of men that cried over the abominations done in the temple and city. These were spared the wrath of God when he had the people slain. The seal of God is given for protection. Christians have the seal of God which protects them from Satan. He cannot touch them without God’s approval, just as he could not touch Job without God’s approval. Now there are a group that are to have that seal put in their forehead. This seal, like the other seals of God, will be for protection from the events that are about to unfold.

The verse elaborates a little more on the four angels holding back the winds. They are going to allow or cause some major damage to the earth and sea. If the sixth seal were not bad enough, there is something worse coming. The things that are happening on earth are given a short pause of time. How long this is in actual time is unknown, but it is long enough to carry out the sealing of God’s servants.

Answer to comment

To all my blog readers,

Due to the length of this response to the last comment on my blog, I was forced to present it within my blog instead of within the comment section. The computer flatly refused to allow me more than a certain number of characters, and I had much more than that to say, so I had to resort to this method. The following is not part of my series on Revelation, it is merely a response to some comments made. Therefore do not feel that you need to read it to keep abreast of what I am teaching.

Now to my response.

Lyle, Lyle, what can I say.

First thank you for the sort of compliment. Now as to the rest.

You read, but you do not understand. That is not a surprise given that you have told me that you do not try to understand. You are viewing my writings through the lens that you have been programmed to see through. You will never see the validity of what I am writing, simply because it does not agree with your own personal so-called "revelation" from God.

Answer to point 1.
I never said that it was not possible that these seals were open about 95 AD. I said that there was no way to positively identify that it occurs at any particular time, as there is not enough information given. It cannot happen immediately after the ascension, but must happen before the 70th week was all I said. It has to happen after enough time has passed that there are a number of martyrs. That is all. I do not think the timing of when they begin to be opened is really all that crucial. So, I do not understand why this became a point you felt you had to address, as if I were incorrect about something.

Answer to point 2
Yes, the statement is true that the tribulation happens after the fifth seal. So is the statement that it occurs before the sixth seal is opened. I do not understand how, after all the scriptures I went through in the Old and New Testament showing what the signs heralding the Day of the Lord were, seeing that they correspond exactly to what was mentioned in Matthew 24, and now seeing them here, that you cannot see that they are the same exact thing. Matthew 24 clearly spells out chronologically that the abomination of desolation and tribulation occur before these spectacular celestial events of the sixth seal, which are so specific that there can be no mistake that they are one and the same as those in Matthew. The Day of the Lord signs come after both the abomination and tribulation.

The seven trumpets do not occur before the abomination of desolation and tribulation take place. More on this below. Yes, Revelation is chronological, but there is a method to that chronology that is yet to be taught. You will understand more of what that is when I get to these places that have you so convinced that you are correct and that I am wrong. By the time the seven trumpets sound, we are well into the second half of the 70th week. You will see how I come to that conclusion when we get there. I am not rearranging the book to suit my theories. I am understanding how the Lord is presenting information. It is the same exact technique that He used in the very first book of the Bible, Genesis. It is quite consistent with how he presents information. Somewhat like a journalist. This is why it is important to study the entire Bible, to learn how God writes things for us to understand. You will see how this is done, if you can be patient to wait until I get to those verses that give you such a zealous reaction. You keep jumping ahead in your anxiousness to take me where I do not yet want to go.

Answer to point 3
No, I am not the one missing something. I have not rearranged anything. It is impossible for the 70th week of Daniel to start at the same time as the sixth seal does. Matthew clearly puts the events of the abomination (which is halfway through the 70th week) and the tribulation before these events in the sixth seal. I recommend that you go back and review my blogs and all of those scriptures in Daniel, and those on the Day of the Lord, the Second Coming, and the rapture. I showed with great care in my exegesis that the 70th week of Daniel is not the Day of the Lord. Nor is it the tribulation. I have repeatedly said this over and over and the scriptures bear me out on this. Please review these scriptures. The information about end times is shown in many more places than just the book of Revelation. My entire blog is built on that precept. It appears that you use the book of Revelation as pretty much your only guide. Might I humbly suggest that this approach can lead to error. May I also in my defense say that I have not rearranged anything in the book of Revelation. That accusation is unjust and inaccurate. I have shown that the chronology of Revelation, which I have not rearranged in any way, corresponds exactly to the timeline given in other scriptures, which is exactly how it should be. Scriptures bear out other scriptures when exegesis is correct. As to my squeezing chapters 12 and 13 between the two seals, I have not even gotten near those chapters yet. You have no idea how this will all work out, so please do not make unsubstantiated accusations, based on your assumptions.

Answer to point 4
I am growing weary of repeating myself on this issue. The tribulation is not the 70th week. Please, please go to Daniel and read the passages referring to it. Then go to Matthew 24 and read it. Nowhere, NOWHERE do you see that the entire 70th week is referred to as the tribulation. In Daniel 12 it shows that the time of Jacob's trouble comes after the abomination of desolation. In Matthew, (as well as Mark and Luke) Christ clearly teaches that the great tribulation comes after the abomination of desolation. The term "tribulation" as being synonymous with the 70th week (and Day of the Lord) was coined by some pre-tribulational prophecy teachers, not by the scriptures, and not by Christ. No writer of any book in the Bible makes this assertion when writing on this subject. It is a man-made terminology that is NOT substantiated by the scriptures. This error only leads to more error. Until you rid yourself of this error, you will have difficulty coming to the truth. The tribulation has nothing to do with the seventh seal through the seventh vial. It is over by the time those begin, as those events are precisely what cut it short. People will be scrambling to survive and will not give a hoot what Christians are doing at that point. We have gone back and forth over these issues numerous times now (in personal emails and the blog comments), and I think it is time that you simply accept that I am not impressed nor convinced by your arguments, as they simply do not hold up to good exegesis. I will not revisit this particular issue again with you, so you might as well chalk me up to a lost cause to your viewpoint. I have shown you by scriptures over and over why I teach what I do, so there is nothing more I can do. I do agree with your last statement. The 70th week does end with the 7th vial, and the Day of the Lord does continue on - for a millennia to be precise.

If you are interested in seeing how I pull it all together, please continue to read, but as far as this same debate that we have been beating to death, I am done writing about it. I will not respond to this same argument again. It is becoming repetitious. Most of the answers to your comments can be found in my blog, if you were to read it carefully before you write to me. I think that might be the problem. I get the impression that you skim it to look for things to disagree with, but never really study it to see the logic of what I present and how it lines up with all that has been written in the other scriptures. Nor do you consider that you might be wrong and that I might be right. I can hear you saying the same thing back at me, but the difference is, I do take what you say and go to the scriptures to see if you have something that I have missed. I do that with anyone who disagrees with me. It is a way of checking myself to see if I have been careless and gotten something wrong. I have been known to change my mind - drastically in fact. And even more than once. I was brought up in a die-hard pre-tribulational church. Now look at me. To date, I find that your statements (the ones I disagree with) do not line up with the scriptures. It is the Berean in me. That will not change.

I'm not trying to be unkind here, but I think the reason you are having a problem is because my exegesis does not line up with what you feel was "revealed" to you through your meditative techniques, which you explained to me. I would like to remind you what you wrote to me about this:

"I did learn many years ago, how to get revelation knowledge from God concerning the word of God. He has already promised us that the Holy Spirit is our teacher. But a little reasoning will tell us that it takes more than just study. I read over a scripture (maybe a few verses or a chapter or two) over and over - without trying to understand it at all! I read it maybe 50 times. I pray in the spirit while I am reading, and in between. I keep my mind on those scriptures as much as possible, and I continually ask the Holy Spirit to tell me what He had in mind as the author. In other words, I don't try to use my understanding at all!!!! I read Revelation over and over, maybe 50 times. I did NOT try to understand anything. Of course, I read Daniel many times too. Connie, I am sorry that you do not like my method of teaching. I got it from the Holy Spirit. I will do my best to help you, but please allow me to do it this way. It is the way He taught me."

Your method of teaching me, if you recall, was to have me try to guess what the "revelation" that you had received was, based on some hints that you gave me. I refused to play your game. You were right in that I do not care for your method of either teaching or learning God's Word. First of all, 50 times? Is that all? Over the past twenty plus years I have read and studied not only Revelation, but all the major and minor prophets and the relevant N.T. writings hundreds and hundreds of times comparing scripture to scripture, precept with precept, along with much prayer and as much understanding as God would grant me. We are commanded to use our brains. We are to worship Him with our minds - with our intelligence, and that is also how we are to study His Word. THIS is the way God expects us to study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the word of truth. I seriously doubt that your method of teaching or learning is the approved method by the Holy Spirit, if I have to judge by the scripture's parameters. Why do you think the Bereans were commended for checking everything Paul said against the scriptures? Have you stopped to consider that when you don't use this method and rely on what you hear in your head that you can be hearing someone other than the Holy Spirit? The way to check is to compare what you feel is "revealed" to the scriptures. In other words, be a Berean. It is not uncommon for the Lord to suddenly open up the scriptures to our understanding, when we have read them over many times and still missed the content of what they are saying; however; the first thing we have to do is see if that understanding is from the Lord by checking it against all the other scriptures. Many people have felt they have been shown things by the Lord that others have missed. I will give you a few names: Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses; Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormons, Mohammed, founder of Islam. Shall I continue? The list is enormous. Their problem was that they did not test their "revelations" against the Word of God, and look how much error came out of it.

You say you prefer not to use understanding. Perhaps you should have, and then you would have seen the problems with your argument before you began telling others that they were incorrect. Let me point out at least one inconsistency, nay, a major flaw in your argument. You say that the abomination comes after the 7 trumpets. However, the huge group in white robes that appears suddenly in heaven in chapter seven is said to come out of great tribulation. As mentioned above, the term tribulation as applying to the entire 70th week is not scriptural. It is man-made and cannot be used to prove a point when the word itself is the word being questioned. Only scripture can define the word, when the word is the object in question. But to make matters worse for you, in point of fact, the term used in this passage is the great tribulation, which no matter which camp you are in (pre-trib, post, etc.), it is agreed that the "great tribulation" refers to that time period after the abomination of desolation.. So you have a major problem with your timeline. Had you noticed that discrepancy at all? You would have, had you been trying to understand instead of just accepting whatever random thoughts came into your mind. You accuse me of rearranging the scriptures, which I have not done, but you have done exactly that yourself to accommodate your theory, by moving the abomination to the end of the 7 trumpets when the great tribulation has clearly come before chapter seven.

I have noticed one thing in our debates. You continually present me with your opinion based upon your "revelation" as to what God means. You have no other scriptures to back up your interpretation. I continually present (in my blog and rebuttals) a preponderance of scriptures as to what God says, backing up everything with multiple scriptures. (Even if I have not listed them here, I have referred you back to them in my blog.) I'm sorry that I cannot find that the scriptures agree with your "revelation", as I understand you presenting it. Do you seriously think I would abandon the scriptures in favor of an unsubstantiated "revelation" that is not borne out by scripture? I mean, really, seriously? I don't think so. I will continue on as a Berean, and I will stand by what I have written.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Revelation 6:9-17 Seals #5 & 6

Verse 9-11 “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. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, doest thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 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 fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

The “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” have now made their ride, and Christ proceeds to open the rest of the seals. The fifth seal relates to the next item on the gospels’ list of signs-martyrdom. This seal is aimed specifically at the saints. This fact alone proves that these seals are not the wrath of God as “God hath not appointed us to wrath” (1 Thess. 5:9a) and this seal has no unbelievers involved at all. Also, from the gospel list we know that martyrdom occurs before the 70th week begins, so the opening of this is not part of that time frame. Saints have been martyred since the first martyr, Stephen. Rome burned many and fed those they did not burn to the lions. There have been a multitude of martyrs down through the ages. Today, around the world, people are being martyred every day for their faith. This is what makes American Christian's attitude that God would never let them suffer so repellent. It is arrogant, obnoxious, and just plain ignorant. They do not have ears to hear and will pay dearly for it.

The martyred saints are seen under the altar crying to the Lord for vengeance. These souls have a special place in heaven. Those who simply die in the Lord are not under the altar. These people are very special to God. They have apparently been waiting for some time for God to avenge them, considering their complaint. God gives them white robes, which stands for the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19:8), and tells them that they need to wait a little while longer until everyone that has to be martyred has been martyred. There are many more that are destined to be martyred during the course of the tribulation, which is yet to come, according to Christ.

These verses show that man is conscious in heaven after death. Some theologies teach in the idea of soul sleep, that there is no consciousness from the time of death until the resurrection. These verses would refute that idea, as the resurrection has not yet occurred, yet these saints are asking for vengeance. This shows that when Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, he was indicating a conscious presence with the Lord immediately after death, not that it would merely seem that way upon resurrection after soul sleep. (2 Cor. 5:8). It would seem that there is a spiritual body that Christians inhabit after death until they receive a glorified resurrected body, as they are given robes to wear. The martyrs under the altar seem to be frustrated about the fact that they have not been seeing vengeance from the Lord on their behalf for some time. They are asking how long they have to wait. If the seals were opened immediately upon the ascension of Christ, there would not have been any martyrs yet to ask for vengeance, much less a fair-sized group that seemingly has waited a long time to get that vengeance. This would seem to be evidence that these seals were not opened immediately upon Christ’s arrival in heaven, or if they were, each seal took a period of time to take place, thereby allowing for enough time to pass for there to be a number of martyrs there, and to have given them a reason to complain of the amount of time that had passed since they had arrived. The abomination of desolation and tribulation occur sometime after this seal is opened, when one compares the list from the gospels to the seals. It is after the opening of the fifth seal, but before the Day of the Lord heavenly signs in the sixth seal that these two events (the abomination of desolation and tribulation ) occur according to the comparison of the timeline in Matthew with this in Revelation.

Verse 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?”

For ease of comparison, so that you do not have to go back to them in the blog, some of the signs heralding the Day of the Lord from the Old and New Testament are as follows: The sun is darkened. The moon turns to blood and is darkened. The stars are darkened and fall. The sky is rolled back like a scroll. The earth shakes and trembles. The earth is moved out of its orbit. Men flee to the caves and hide in the rocks and holes. People faint and their hearts will melt (with fear). Mankind will be in terror, pain, and anguish. Men will tremble (with fear).

It can be seen that these signs are exactly the same as the sixth seal. As some of them are unusual (the sky rolled up like a scroll,) and the odds of all of these events occurring simultaneously more than once in the days ahead are small, and as we don't see these exact signs again in the Revelation commentary, it is obvious that the Day of the Lord signs and the sixth seal are speaking of the same events. Added to this is the fact that the people to whom this is happening identify it as the Day of the Lord signs, as they are expecting the wrath of God to soon begin. Note that it is not God who says His wrath has begun, but man who, seeing these catastrophic signs, believes that God’s wrath is about to occur. In point of fact, before God’ wrath can begin, there is still one seal left to open. The signs that the Day of the Lord is imminent have occurred, but there is still one more seal to go before God pours out His wrath on the nations. When that seal is opened, Christ will have fulfilled all of the conditions that were set, and earth will have reverted back to His ownership. However, the condition that is written on that seventh seal has to be completed before Christ can actually begin His reign over earth without having to share it with Satan, and that will take time. Satan, although having lost ownership, still has the right of reigning until that last seal is finished, which is why antichrist is allowed to continue right up to the end of the time, times, and half a time; three and a half years; or forty-two months. As said before, there will be a dual reign for a short period of time while this last seal is played out. When finished, Satan will be done and Christ will reign supreme. It is when that happens that Christ can finally pour out God’s wrath and judgment on the nations.

As for the events themselves, it would appear that something catastrophic is happening in the heavens. We will soon see in the seventh seal that there is something happening in space near planet Earth. Whether it is an asteroid shower, a passing comet, or whatever it actually is, this is the commencing of it. Some say that this is a nuclear holocaust, and while it could be interpreted that way, the phenomena in the seventh seal seems to indicate that there is a major upheaval in space causing all of this disruption. I happen to believe that this seal is the beginning of all of that. I do not think that people would think it is the Day of the Lord's wrath, if it were a nuclear holocaust. They would simply attribute it to nations being at war. It appears that the sun and moon are not darkened (and turned to "blood") simply due to smoke filled skies from whatever occurs, but from an eclipse. The description fits an eclipse much better. Actually for the sun to be darkened in a solar eclipse, the moon would have to be between the sun and the earth. For the moon to be red (blood), there would have to be a lunar eclipse which means the earth is between the sun and the moon. For both to occur simultaneously the moon would either have to be in two places at one time, which is impossible, or a third heavenly body would have to be present to create the phenomena. (We'll see this is going to be so.) Stars falling from heaven would indicate a meteor shower. A closely passing celestial body could cause an eclipse, a meteor shower, earthquakes, and affect the earth's orbit creating tectonic movement, thereby moving the islands and mountains. Which exactly this might be is not specified at this time, so we will just concede that it is some kind of heavenly body, that is not usually in our vicinity, that is causing this. We know that something of this nature must have occurred at least once and possibly twice before in man's history. Something catastrophic precipitated the events that caused Noah's flood. Many of the plagues of Egypt also follow a scientific action and consequence pattern, if one looks for that pattern and traces it back to a catastrophic event. That does not negate the miraculousness of the events. Timing is everything. While some like to think that all of these events were/will be miraculous events in the sense that God did/will do everything ex nihilo, as stated before I believe that God prefers to use His own creation to carry out His will in a natural way whenever possible (not suspending the laws of physics), and that it is the timing of events that are miraculous.