IMPORTANT MESSAGE

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT IF YOU ARE GOING TO USE THIS BIBLE STUDY THAT YOU BEGIN AT THE INTRODUCTION AS IT WILL NOT MAKE SENSE OTHERWISE. PLEASE USE THE ARCHIVES AT THE RIGHT.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Revelation 12:6

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

Now the narration jumps ahead from Christ's ascension, which is basically where Israel's history ended as far as their relationship with God, (the 69th week) to where it is beginning again, in the 70th week. Here we see the 1260 days again. God uses these same numbers so that we will connect the events as being within the same time frame. We know that the witnesses will prophesy for 1260 days. We know that antichrist reigns for forty-two months or 1260 days. Now we see that Israel, (the remnant who was told to flee to the mountains when they saw Jerusalem encompassed by armies, as the abomination of desolation was about to occur, Luke 21) does what they were told to do, even though they are unaware that they have been told to do it as they do not read the New Testament. They flee to the wilderness where they will remain for the second half of the 70th week or 1260 days out of the reach of antichrist. God has prepared a special place for the remnant of Israel where they will be safe from antichrist's reach and be fed for that length of time. To be a little more specific, this happens probably minutes before the abomination of desolation occurs, as people are told to not even go back into the house to get anything. They are to run immediately, as by the time the abomination happens it will be too late to run.

There is some debate as to whether this woman is just the 144,000, or if it includes anyone that flees. I believe it would have to be others besides the 144,000. The majority of the 144,000 seem to include people that are not a part of modern day Israel, as modern day Jews are so-called because they are descendants from the nation of Judah (the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and some of the Levites), not Israel. Israel was the northern ten tribes that were assimilated into the Assyrian Empire and other cultures after their captivity. They never came back to the land as such. Judah on the other hand did come back from the Babylonian/Persian captivity and were dispersed again in 70 A.D. They kept their Jewish heritage intact, though, and have been known throughout the world as the Jews ever since. As the majority of the 144,000 would not be considered Jewish, and therefore probably not be in Israel as a modern day Israeli, it would seem that since the woman flees from Judea in particular (Luke 21), this cannot be the same group. I cannot say that for certain, but the reasoning seems to imply it.

Many people have speculated that one of the places to which Israel flees, considering the topography of the land, is the city of Petra. (For those of you unfamiliar with this, it is in the mountains of Jordan and is an ancient city of the Edomites (descendants of Esau) that was actually carved into the rocks. It is presently a tourist attraction.) There are scriptural reasons for believing this may be true. Before going into that, a quick reconnoitering will determine that the most quickly accessible desert and mountain area (and probably the safest) in which to flee would be the area where ancient Edom, Moab, and Ammon were (present day Jordan). Daniel (chapter 11) tells us that these three areas (or Jordan) will escape out of antichrist’s hand. The only reason for this happening is divine intervention and protection for the fleeing Israelites. Isaiah 16:4 indicates that some will go to Moab, “Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab, be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.” Just before this verse it mentions Sela which is known today as Petra. God is sending the woman into hiding to preserve her. Isaiah 26:20-21 “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” If you have never seen pictures of Petra, google it. It is a marvel. While it may be true that some will run to Petra, that city is not sufficiently large enough to hold the number of Israelites that the scriptures say will be brought through all of this. So the three different areas of Moab, Edom, and Ammon will no doubt be occupied by many Jewish people at that time. As an added note, I heard many, many years ago that some man, who was convinced that they would run to Petra, decided that they would need to understand what was going on. He took boxes and boxes of Bibles over there and left them in the caves. How true this story is, I do not know, but it is certainly an interesting one. At the time that he would have done this, so many years ago, there would have been no problem in him being able to get away with it. Nowadays restrictions would most certainly prevent it.

God does more than feed the woman there for that time. He is doing what He did before, when they spent forty years in the wilderness. They will learn about Him and get their relationship back with Him. Hosea 2:14-23 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; (husband) and shalt call me no more Baali (master). For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; and the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.” This event happens in "that day" (an expression indicating the Day of the Lord) when God will betroth Israel to Himself in righteousness forever (which does not happen until the end), so therefore this must be happening to the woman during the 1260 days wilderness experience "as in the days of her youth.... when she came up out of the land of Egypt." Now the story of the Bibles left at Petra would seem to be Divine intervention if it is so. They will need the New Testament to help them understand what is going on.

As an added note to all of this, those who believe in replacement theology (that the church has supplanted Israel and that there is no future for Israel with God) need to study their Old and New Testament. This verse in particular clearly indicates that Israel will be betrothed to God again, this time forever.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Revelation 12:3-5

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

If the website on the interpretation of the constellations was read, you would see the literal astronomical interpretation of this. Here we will deal with the symbolic. We have seen a beast with ten horns before. In Daniel 7 the fourth beast that is dreadful and terrible and devours everything in its path has ten horns. That beast represented the kingdom from which the ten kings would arise in the end times. Out of these 10 horns another horn would arise who would be the beast of Revelation, or antichrist as we refer to him. This verse in Revelation is somewhat different, but reminiscent of that imagery. It shows that the beast with seven heads and ten horns with crowns is ultimately controlled by the red dragon. This red dragon is none other than Satan, who is the king of all of these nations, organizations, and belief systems that have been against God all of these millennia and will be in charge of the world government to come. Satan is referred to as the dragon in scripture, Rev. 12: 9, 20:2. It is his kingdom on earth, through the Babylonian mysteries and the nations that they controlled, that we see in this beast. We will see in the next chapter that this description is indeed a description of the same beast mentioned in Daniel, but there will be slightly more detailed information. The complete interpretation of this beast does not occur until chapter 17. We have seen the ten horns before, (they stand for ten "kings" or "kingdoms") and we will go over them again shortly. The seven heads and seven crowns are a new imagery that will be explained in chapter 17.

Verse 4-5 "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."

We know that when Satan rebelled back after that first creation week, he took some angels (stars - we have seen this symbol meaning angels before) with him. Now we know exactly how many. Fully one third of the myriad of angels that God created rebelled against God. That is an extremely large number. It is no wonder that Satan can act as if he is omniscient when he has so many minions working for him and informing on us. One has to wonder how many of those are in the bottomless pit waiting to be let out.

Satan was poised and waiting when the woman (Israel) was ready to deliver the Messiah to the world. His intention was to kill Christ as soon as He was born. He inspired Herod to kill all the baby boys under the age of two in order to try to kill Him. He made attempts on Christ's life, and tried to tempt Him to sin, all to no avail. That is, until the day came that he finally thought he had won when Christ went to the cross. What he apparently did not realize, although I do not know why he did not, was that Christ went to the cross willingly for our sins. Without that sacrifice, Satan would have won. Maybe Satan did not know that Christ would be able to resurrect Himself. So while Satan may have tried to devour the child, he ultimately did not. Christ defeated that particular plan of Satan and ascended to the Father and His throne.

The description of the "man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron" is included to make sure that it is understood that this talks about Israel and Christ, as this is what the scriptures say Christ will do in the Day of the Lord and during the millennium. Ps. 2:9 "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Rev. 19:15 "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and the wrath of almighty God."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A comment on Dan Brown

I want to take a momentary break from Revelation to comment on Dan Brown's books. I don't know how many of you have read them, or seen the movies, but his books are insidiously dangerous toward Christians. Long before Brown wrote the Da Vinci Code I had come across the information on the "Holy Grail" teachings of a supposed bloodline of Christ from which the nobility of Europe has supposedly descended. I found the information to be dangerous, as the way this completely inaccurate and even blasphemous "information" is written, it sounds extremely convincing to anyone who is not thoroughly grounded in their faith and has a solid knowledge of the Scriptures. Now comes this latest book, which I have read, as I like to stay on top of these things so that I can talk intelligently about them. The message of this latest book is that the Bible truly is a source of enlightenment, but not in the way a true Christian would see it. It teaches that the Bible is NOT to be taken literally, but that it is a metaphor for man reaching his potential godhood through learning how to focus and control his mind. This is nothing more than a veil overlaying the teachings of Hinduism, New Age, etc. That Brown pulls Scripture verses out and twists them to try to show how Christ was really teaching us that we all are really gods and it is the convergence of all of mankind's minds that will propel mankind to the next level of existence is truly frightening. Non-Christians and immature Christians will not see that he is twisting these Scriptures to mean something that they were never meant to mean. The implication that is so scary in his writings is that those who will not join in this convergence are something that have to be eliminated.

The first thing that should make a Christian hear warning bells ringing is Brown's presentation of the occult and the Masons. The easiest way to do this is to merely quote his book. My comments will be enclosed in brackets [ ].

"..the word occult, despite conjuring images of devil worship, actually means 'hidden' or 'obscured.' In times of religious oppression, knowledge that was counterdoctrinal had to be kept hidden or 'occult,' and because the church felt threatened by this, they redefined anything 'occult' as evil, and the prejudice survived." [Let's start with the phrase "knowledge that was counterdoctrinal". This knowledge would be the teachings against things such as the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, the sacrifice of Christ for our sins, the resurrection, etc. Yes, of course there was a threat in these hidden teachings. They are from Satan. Occultic things are always from Satan. Satan loves to make things hidden. God reveals himself to us. Satan never reveals himself as who he really is, or nobody would want to follow him. He poses as an angel of light. Thus the word illumination, and the group the Illuminati. They believe Satan is the light. That he still is Lucifer (light-bearer). Things that are occultic are evil as they are anti-God and anti-Christ. That is not a prejudice, it is merely fact.]

[One truth that Brown offers is that our forefathers were not really Christians but Masonic deists. That, unfortunately, happens to be true. Our country, as an independent nation, was not founded by true born-again believers, but by secret organization members who had a veneer of Christianity over their lifestyles. Their membership in their organization took precedence over a personal relationship with Christ, if they even had one. There of course were some true born-again believers in the whole process of our country's roots (for instance the Separatist Pilgrims), and down through the history of our country, but ultimately there has always been a group of Illuminists and Masons at the helm guiding the direction of our country for their own purposes. Brown tries to persuade us that the Masons are not a secret organization, as they exist very openly - as do their members, not denying their involvement. However, they are a secret organization, as what they do, they do in secret. Their biggest policy is that nobody tell what goes on, and the threat against anyone who does, is severe. A horrible death is one of the consequences. A vow, an oath is taken to cover not only the secrecy of what goes on, but to help the other members of the organization even when it means breaking the law. At the lower levels, many take this all as a sort of joke, as they don't believe that these are the actual consequences, but merely metaphoric, however there have been Masons who have paid with their lives for leaving and spilling the beans as to what really goes on. Here are some samples of some of the vows (which are prohibited by Scripture) that they take. These are quoted from a source who was in the Masonic Lodge "All this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same...binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly violate this my Entered Apprentice obligation. So help me God and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same." At that point the person has to kiss the book upon which they take the oath - in this country usually the Bible, although if a Jew it is the O.T., and if a Muslim, the Koran. Look at the oath they take for their brother Masons. "I will keep all the secrets of a Companion Royal Arch Mason (when communicated to me as such, or I knowing them to be such), without exceptions." This includes anything - stealing, murder, treason, that the "brother" might do. He must even warn a "brother" that is in danger of being apprehended with this oath, "I will not speak evil of a Companion Royal Arch Mason, behind his back nor before his face, but will appraise him of all approaching danger, if in my power." If you think that Masons do not take this seriously, think again. Even in matters of business, a Mason takes a vow to give business to another Mason no matter what. "....employ a Companion Royal Arch Mason in preference to any other person of equal qualifications." Have you ever wondered why some obviously guilty high ranking individuals get away with the crimes they commit? Suppose the prosecutor and judge are brother Masons. Their vow to their "brother" comes before their obligation to the court system. If it appears that this is taking things too far, I would suggest that it is naive to look at what is going on in the world and not see this happening.]

[Here are some quotes taken from the book which will show Brown's insidious teaching that the Bible is teaching something quite different from what we as Christians know that it teaches. In the book, the word atonement is changed to at-one-ment, meaning one with the universal consciousness. These first few quotes have to do with a conversation between an Episcopal priest who is a Mason and the hero of the book, Robert Langdon. The rest are conversations between Langdon and various people.]

"Father, we're all familiar with the Revelation of Saint John and the literal meaning of the Apocalypse, but biblical prophecy hardly seems---" " Oh, heavens, the book of Revelation is a mess. Nobody knows how to read that. I'm talking of clear minds writing in clear language--the predictions of [list of names of scientists], all anticipating a tranformative moment of enlightenment. Even Jesus said, 'Nothing is hidden that will not be made known, nor secret that will not come to light.' " [Notice that the book of Revelation which was given to us by Christ, is said to not have been from a clear mind, but that the ancient mysteries are from those with clear minds.]

[The Ancient (Babylonian) Mysteries are said to be] "truths which had to be 'concealed from the average man' and which promised great insight into 'the spiritual realm' "

"Now, after all these years, mankind had finally managed to utterly erode everything that had one been so beautiful about Jesus." [This is speaking of Jesus as having been an Adept who had harnassed his own mind potential to manipulate matter and had ascended to godhood]

[It then goes on to say that the priest is fueled with great hope and reminded of the prophecies written in the Rosicrucian manifesto]. "Chapter one: Jehova will redeem humanity by revealing those secrets which he previously reserved only for the elect.[according to this, it is the Ancient Mysteries] Chapter Four: The whole world shall become as one book and all the contradictions of science and theology shall be reconciled. [They want theology to reconcile itself to science. The truth is science needs to catch up with the Scriptures.] Chapter Seven: Before the end of the world, God shall create a great flood of spiritual light to alleviate the suffering of humankind. [this no doubt speaks of antichrist and the New Age enlightenment and so-called peace he brings] Chapter Eight: Before this revelation is possible, the world must sleep away the intoxication of her poisoned chalice, which was filled with the false life of the theological vine." [Notice the buzz words I have put in italics. This is the really insidiously frightening part. Think about it. It is obliquely referring to Christians who are poisoning the world by clinging to the "old ways" of the "false theological vine" (belief in Christ's sacrifice) who need to be put to sleep (killed) so that they don't interfere with the universal consciousness that has to be focused to bring in the quantum leap to the new consciousness.] "Galloway (the priest) knew the church had long ago lost her way, and he had dedicated his life to righting her course. Now, he realized, the moment was fast approaching."

"The precious words of these Adepts --Buddha, Jesus, [notice Jesus is said to be merely an Adept] Muhammed, Zoroaster, and countless others....Every culture on earth had its own sacred book.....each one different and yet each one the same..[notice that all have the path to God according to Brown and the Masons] ..For America's Masonic forefathers, the Word had been the Bible, [Masons exist in every religion and culture] and yet few people in history have understood its true meaning........Concealed within those pages, there hides a wondrous secret. One day soon the light would dawn, and mankind would finally begin to grasp the simple, transformative truth of the ancient teachings...and take a quantum leap [notice the use of the words quantum leap] forward in understanding his own magnificent nature."

"there exist powerful secrets hidden in the pages of this ancient book...a vast collection of untapped wisdom waiting to be unveiled.....And if you have any doubts, ...Corinthians overtly tells us that the parables have two layers of meaning: 'milk for babes and meat for men' --where the milk is a watered-down reading for infantile minds,[true born-again Christians according to them] and the meat is the true message, accessible only to mature minds.[ the Masons, Illuminati, etc.] [Paul was not speaking of hidden meanings, but that the milk of the gospel is the teachings of the sacrifice of Christ for our sins. The meat of the gospel is the understanding of the prophecies of the Second Coming, which permeate the Old Testament prophets. This is the meat of Scripture, in understanding that the mystery of God is not yet finished, but is taught in these books of the Torah and prophets.]

"our brightest forefathers....all warned of the profound dangers of interpreting the Bible literally." [The only way to get God's truth is to interpret it literally. God wanted everyone to understand, as opposed to these followers of the Babylonian mysteries who think they have secret knowledge that gives them power over the masses. Now you can see the relationship between the Christian teachings that originate from taking the Bible from strictly a spiritual and metaphoric standpoint (rather than literal) and the ancient mystery doctrines.]

"..the Bible does not talk openly for the same reason the Ancient Mystery Schools were kept hidden...for the same reason the neophytes had to be initated before learning the secret teachings of the ages...for the same reason the scientists in the Invisible College refused to share their knowledge with others. This information is powerful...The Ancient Mysteries cannot be shouted from the rooftops. The mysteries are a flaming torch, which, in the hands of a master, can light the way, but which, in the hands of a madman, can scorch the earth....don't you see? The Ancient Mysteries and the Bible are the same thing." [They most assuredly are NOT the same thing. The Bible is God's Word and His truth. The mysteries belong to Satan. The Bible's teachings are not for an elite group who have been initiated into their mysteries to achieve power over the uninitiated, but to anyone who will sit down and read the Word allowing the Holy Spirit to instruct them.]

"The Bible is one of the books through which the mysteries have been passed down through history. Its pages are desperately trying to tell us the secret. Don't you understand? The 'dark sayings' in the Bible are the whispers of the ancients, quietly sharing with us all of their secret wisdom." [The Bible is the only source of God's truth. The rest are books of men.]

"The Ancient Mysteries, as he understood them, were a kind of instruction manual for harnessing the latent power of the human mind..a recipe for personal apotheosis (man becoming God)." [Satan's same old lie from the Garden of Eden.]

""We've lost the Word, and yet its true meaning is still within reach, right before our eyes. It exists in all the enduring texts, from the Bible to the Bhadgavad Gita to the Koran and beyond. All of these texts are revered upon the altars of Freemasonry because Masons understand what the world seems to have forgotten...that each of these texts, in its own way, is quietly whispering the exact same message....'Know ye not that ye are gods?' " [Again, this was the first lie Satan told Eve. That she and Adam could be like gods if they disobeyed God. The same old lie still works.]

"..the only difference between you and God is that you have forgotten you are divine." [Need I say anything?]

"The ancient texts are obsessed with the power of the human mind. The Vedas describe the flow of mind energy. The Pistis Sophia describes universal consciousness. The Zohar explores the nature of mind spirit. The Shamanic texts predict Einstien's 'remote influence' in terms of healing at a distance. It's all there! And don't even get me started about the Bible....the Bible is encoded with scientific information....When you start to understand the cryptic parables in the Bible....you realize it's a study of the human mind.....When the Bible tells us to 'go build our temple'... what temple do you think it's talking about? You are the temple of God. The Scriptures are well aware of the power latent within us, and they are urging us to harness that power...urging us to build the temples of our minds....Unfortunately, I think much of the religious world is wating for a real temple to be rebuilt. It's part of the Messianic Prophecy....but that overlooks an important point. The Second Coming is the coming of man--the moment when mankind finally builds the temple of his mind." [People who believe this are in for a seriously rude awakening as to what the Second Coming really is. They will totally believe the lie that antichrist will present to them. They have been pre-programmed to accept it with all of these lies that are being promoted through books like Brown's, which unfortunately many, many people take as gospel truth.]

"Within a matter of years, modern man will be forced to accept what is now unthinkable: our minds can generate energy capable of tranforming physical matter.....our thought have the power to change the world." [I think that we are very near to the end of this age, but not as they think it will happen.]

"..if we as humans can honestly grasp this one simple truth..the world will change overnight....the power of human thought grows exponentially with the number of minds that share that thought....The idea of universal consciousness is no ethereal New Age concept. It's a hard-core scientific reality...and harnessing it has the potential to transform our world....it's happening right now." [It most certainly is happening right now, but again not as they think. They are in for a surprise.]

"Elohim,....I've always wondered about it." "Yes, the word is plural. God is plural because the minds of man are plural." [This is intimating that we are God, that it is our connected consciousnesses that created the universe.]

"The Ancient Mysteries refer to a body of secret knowledge that was amassed long ago. One intriguing aspect of this knowledge is that it alledgely enables its practitioners to access powerful abilities that lie dormant in the human mind. The enlightened Adepts who possessed this knowledge vowed to keep it veiled from the masses because it was considered far too dangerous for the uninitiated." [This is really talking about tapping into the occult, which in this book is rendered an innocuous word meaning hidden, instead of what occult really stands for, aligning yourself with Satan and his minions and interacting with them to attain powers.]

[As you can see, this book is extremely anti-Christian in that it is leading people to believe that true Christianity is the same as the New Age or any of those other teachings, but that the Church (which I will agree has been guilty of adding man's traditions and extra unbiblical stuff) has corrupted it to mean that we are sinners that need Christ's atonement instead of the "true" teachings which they say is that Christ was an Adept who was trying to teach us at-one-ment with the universe and tapping into our mind's potential so that we could become gods. Because of Dan Brown's popularity, these books and what they teach are filling people's minds with the idea that we as Christians are basically barbarians, who need to be eliminated as we are holding the world back from making this "quantum leap" into the new evolutionary stage of mankind. They will soon be taught that killing us is a mercy, as they say we will merely be reincarnated on some other planet so that we can work our way up to where they are on the evolutionary scale. You should be afraid of this stuff. You should be very afraid.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Revelation 12:1-2

Chapter 12

Now that we have gone over the second string of our guitar so to speak, or the history of the witnesses up to the end of the 1260 days where the wrath of God begins, we will return to the tuning pegs again for another history lesson. This time we will see a type of history of Israel, Christ, and Satan. This will in turn lead into a history of antichrist or the beast who is the spawn of Satan.

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

Here we see a direct reference to Genesis. A similar imagery was seen before in the story of Jacob and Joseph. Jacob was the father of the twelve tribes, hence the name of the nation being Israel, as Jacob was renamed Israel by God. In Genesis 37 Joseph has two dreams. In this case, we are interested in the second one. Gen. 37:9 "And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me." In this dream, Joseph's eleven brothers represented by the stars bowed down to him, along with his father Jacob (Israel) who was the sun, and his mother, who was the moon. This sun, moon, and stars imagery relates to the twelve tribes of Israel. Here we see a similar imagery. The woman clothed with the sun is the nation of Israel. The moon is under her feet and she has a crown of twelve stars. The stars stood for each of Joseph's brothers or tribes of Israel in his dream, and now the woman is shown with twelve stars standing for the entire nation. So this is a symbolic representation of Israel. Because we have seen this imagery before, we can know that this can be interpreted in a symbolic manner. The rule of going outside of a literal interpretation is that some explanation for the imagery be given either within the context of the passage or having been seen before. In this case we had to go back to Genesis to find it. (Which is why you have to start your study of Revelation there and cannot think that merely studying Revelation on its own is going to suffice to tell you everything you need to know about the end times.) However, this imagery is not exactly the same, so there may be more to it. While we know there is a symbolic interpretation that gives us the answer as to whom this refers, we do not have to ignore a literal interpretation. There is an astronomical interpretation, which would be the literal interpretation, and which may explain why the symbolism is slightly altered from that in Genesis. Rather than trying to explain all of this myself, I will refer to a website that explains the timing of the birth of Christ by astronomical signs. It is very interesting and worth reading. It also shows how this imagery actually can be explained literally by astronomical signs. We are told that the stars were given for signs, so this should not be dismissed as irrelevant. The important thing to note though, is whether symbolic or literal, this woman represents Israel.

http://www.keystone-christian.com/aa0006.htm

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

Israel did not give birth to the Messiah easily. Israel was a stubborn rebellious people who did not want to follow God. They fell into idolatry, they mingled their blood with pagans (possibly demonically tainted bloodlines) whom they did not kill off as instructed by God. God had to punish them (sometimes by death) to keep them in line and keep the line intact so that Christ could be born. They were also being warred upon by the neighboring nations which made life extremely difficult for them. Satan did not want Christ born, and did his best to stop it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Note from Connie

To my blog friends and followers,

First, thank you for reading and thank you for the comments, even when they disagree with me. Secondly, you will probably notice that from this point on, the blogs may not be posted nearly as often. When I first began posting, I had a lot of material from previous studies already written, so I did not have to do the research, but merely refresh it and type it up. That allowed me to get a jump on the material that I did need to research. Well, over the course of the summer, I have not been able to do as much research as I can do in the winter months as the garden, lawn, etc. call to be taken care of. As a result, I have now caught up to where I am posting. Added to that is the fact that the concert season is now in rehearsal for both of my vocal groups, both the one in which I sing, and the one I accompany. A lot of time has to be devoted to practicing the music, as well as writing some arrangements. As a result I cannot devote as much time to the blog as I used to. I will try to keep at least a weekly posting going, but I know I will not be able to keep up with a daily one. If you are behind, that will work to your advantage. It will give you time to catch up. God Bless.

Connie

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Revelation 11:15-19

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

As shown before, Satan's and antichrist's reign ends at the end of the forty-two months or 1260 days. Now Christ reigns alone from this point on. The kingdoms of the world have become the kingdoms of our Lord. When Christ was enduring the forty days of temptation in the wilderness, Satan offered him all the kingdoms of the world, if he would bow down to Satan. Satan had that right, as Satan owned the kingdoms of the world. He will own them until the reign of antichrist is over. But Christ knew that one day he would have to give them back. Now Satan's reign is over and Christ does own the kingdoms of the world. He has redeemed them back from Satan, and He will reign for ever and ever. Satan will never own the world again. Again, confirmation that this 1260 day period is the same period as the forty-two month reign of antichrist. The kingdoms of the world do not become Christ's until that time block is finished.

Verse 16-17 "And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."

The order of Melchizedek now bow down and worship God praising Him first as He who was, is, and always will be - the eternal God. Then they thank Him that He has finally taken up His great power in its totally unrestricted sense and is reigning. This not only applies to God the Father, but God the Son. Christ is the one who will reign now. He is taking back control of the fallen universe from Satan's power. Everyone is grateful for that. This comes after the sixth woe, the sixth trumpet judgment, and the end of the 1260 days of the two witnesses. Again this confirms the whole mortgage redemption plan and that the seventh seal was part of this agreement and not God's wrath. This is the first time that God or Christ is being praised for taking back the reign from Satan. Had it happened earlier on, it certainly would have been praised before this.

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

The twenty-four elders announce that God's wrath has come, the time to destroy those who destroy the earth. Again, this is after the 1260 day period that runs during the second half of the 70th week. God's wrath begins with the seventh trumpet judgment that is after the second woe or sixth trumpet. It begins at the conclusion of the 1260 days and runs to the end of the 1290 days mentioned in Daniel. It also mentions that the time for the prophets and the saints to be rewarded has come. The time for the dead to be judged and rewards to be given is when the resurrection/rapture occurs. We had surmised previously that this was the case, and now it seems confirmed. This is telling us that the resurrection/rapture, which is the time for rewarding the saints, occurs after the second woe. Thus when the two witnesses are called up, it would seem that it is in the resurrection of everyone who has died. This was one of the verses that created such a discrepancy for me when I first thought the rapture was in chapter 6. A fair amount of time has passed from the time that occurred until the end of the 1260 days. A minimum of five months is required for the fifth trumpet judgment alone. It did not seem quite right that this huge gap of time would occur between the rapture and the judging of the dead and giving of rewards. We will run into the rapture in chapter 14, and it would seem to also indicate that the timing is at this same point before the seventh trumpet, so then there would not be a great amount of time between the rapture and giving of rewards, if the resurrection/rapture is here. Now God's wrath is going to be poured out and those who destroyed the earth will themselves be destroyed. As we are not appointed to God's wrath, and God's wrath is now going to be poured out, it makes sense that this is where the rapture occurs in the timing of events.

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

God is now pouring out His wrath, so His temple is opened up and the ark or His throne of the mercy seat is seen. In the temple on earth, the Holy Place was a building with two rooms. The first room was the Holy Place which had the table of shewbread, the menorah, and the altar of incense. The second room behind that was the Holy of Holies. In this room was the ark of the covenant, or mercy seat on which God sat when He was in residence at the temple. (For those of you who may not know Israel's history, God's glory left the temple, because of the people's sins and it did not return). There was a thick (6 inches or so) veil between the two rooms to prevent anyone from seeing God's glory, which would kill them. The high priest was allowed to enter one time a year on Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement to put the blood on the mercy seat. On that day alone, the priest went behind the veil to the ark. Now in heaven we see that the temple is opened and the ark can be seen. We had seen in our study of the festivals that the fall festivals were all about the Second Coming. This may very well be the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, as the temple has been opened and the ark is being seen.

God's wrath will produce lightning, thunder, earthquakes, and great hail. Again the voices may be the thunderings of the Trinity, but it may also be the screams of the inhabitants of the planet. We will see when we get to the seventh trumpet or vial (bowl) judgments that these exact same things occur on earth. This is to help us get our timeline correct to realize that this is indeed speaking of God's wrath and that it is the bowl judgments. These events are not to be confused with the events in the sixth seal. This time the sun and moon are not said to be darkened, the stars (meteors, which are not to be confused with hail which is a different thing entirely) are not falling, and the sky is not being rolled up like a scroll. Those events in the sixth seal matched exactly those events in Matthew and Joel. These events listed here will match exactly the events at the end of the bowl judgments. This is yet another confirmation that God's wrath is poured out after the 1260 days of the witnesses, which is in the last half of the 70th week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Revelation 11:8-14

Verse 8 "And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

Once killed, the bodies of the two witnesses will be left in the streets of Jerusalem for people to look at, spit upon, and desecrate. That it is Jerusalem that is being referred to, as spiritually being Sodom and Egypt, is confirmed by the reference that it is where the Lord was crucified.

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

Just as the Lord was three days and nights in the grave, so these two witnesses will be dead for three and a half days. The people will not even allow their bodies to be removed, as everyone hates them so. They do not want these bodies treated with any respect or reverence. The fact that kindreds, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies indicates that, unbelievably, there will still be television coverage. Even after the meteor showers, asteroid, and star, apparently some of the satellites are still in existence and functioning. Not to mention that places have electricity. It is hard to believe that this could still be possible, but it apparently is, or the whole world would not be able to see them, and clearly this is the case.

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

It is a new holiday. People will be partying worldwide. This will resemble movies like Independence Day, after they defeat the aliens. People will think it is all over. They will think that they have won against the alien threat and be euphoric with relief and happiness. They will believe that all of their troubles are now behind them. They will think that it will just be a matter of rebuilding where devastation has hit, as the two people that they believe have been causing all of these horrors, are dead. They will have no clue as to what is about to hit them (God's wrath).

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

After all this partying, all of this relief, all of this joy going on for three days, can you even imagine the terror that strikes into the hearts of people when the enemy which caused so much torment, and whom they thought defeated suddenly are resurrected? What does one do when such a terrifying enemy with such power cannot be really killed? They will wonder if it is all about to begin again. And indeed it is. Only much worse this time. It is hard to think it could get worse, but it does.

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

Just as Christ ascended into a cloud, and at the rapture the saints that are left will ascend into the clouds, so the witnesses will ascend. The voice from heaven, either God or Christ, will tell them to come up. Everyone will hear the voice, which should shake them up quite a bit, and everyone will see them ascend. This has got to make them think that something really bad is coming, if these two are alive, yet leaving the scene. And that a voice can be heard from the heavens telling them to get out of there has got to be an extremely frightening thing for people. It will make them realize that there is somebody much bigger and powerful than they are is out there.

Verse 13 "And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."

There is a massive earthquake in Jerusalem. One tenth of the city is completely demolished, and seven thousand are slain. As many Muslims live in Jerusalem, one has to wonder if it is a Muslim section that will be destroyed. The result is that the remnant, which one assumes is the Jewish population, are scared to death and give God the glory. They are realizing who is in charge, even if the rest of the world does not. In fact, might it not be that this is the Second Coming? Let us look at what occurs. Two men are resurrected and rise into the clouds when called to come up. Everybody hears the voice that calls them up and every eye sees them go. The remnant (Jewish) are afraid and what do they do? They give the glory to God. When they see him whom they have pierced, when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in, then all Israel will be saved. There is evidence here that may indicate that the Second Coming is occurring. We know that the 1260 days are over. We know that the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled when the forty-two months are over. We know that Israel will be saved when the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. We know that Israel will be saved when they see Him whom their have pierced, or the Second Coming of the Lord. But would that not then tell us the day, and we are not to know the day or the hour? I have given this some thought, and realized that this book was written at least six decades after Christ died. When Christ was speaking to the disciples, no one did know the day or the hour, because God had not revealed anything about it. But then six decades later He gave the revelation about the end times to John. At that time He revealed the mystery of God. So is it not possible that while Christ was with the disciples, the day and hour was not known, but here He is revealing to us, if not the hour, possibly the day that the Second Coming occurs? The description of the two witnesses resurrection fits with the description of the resurrection/rapture event. As we will see shortly, the rapture does occur between the sixth and seventh trumpet judgments, which is where we are in the timeline at this moment. The only thing we cannot be sure of is whether the two witnesses begin their 1260 day ministry on the exact day of the abomination of desolation or not, however that is the most probable scenario as God seems to like to keep to an exact timeline. Their resurrection occurs 1263 days after they begin, so whether it is 1263 days to the day after the abomination or not, we know that their resurrection occurs at the same basic time as the resurrection of all the dead will occur. Therefore, it is very probable that the Second Coming and their resurrection occur at the same time.


Verse 14 "The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly."

Now we see the importance of taking note of everything in scripture. Remembering that the fifth trumpet was called the first woe, and the sixth trumpet is called the second woe, we have verification that what we said in the first couple of verses is true. The 1260 days of these two witnesses take place in the second half of the 70th week. Their 1260 days end the same time that the sixth trumpet judgment ends. This also shows us that indeed, God is going back and detailing events during that time frame of the seals and trumpet judgments, and not just continuing on in the chronology. If they end at the same time, they had to be ongoing together all of this time also. So we have confirmation that we are on the second string of the guitar, as it were, and not seeing the events of a period of 1260 days after the trumpets ended. This also tells us that the third woe, or the seventh trumpet (bowl or vial judgments) takes place in the period of time after the 1260 days. Now we can go back to Daniel and see why he was told that the end of all of this does not come until the 1290th day. The seventh trumpet judgments or wrath of God takes place in the thirty day period after the 1260th day ends. God's judgment is always swift and sure. He does not mess around and take his time. He is another confirmation that the Second Coming is at this time. It is at the Second Coming when the Lord pours out His wrath, and now is the time when that will happen.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Revelation 11:3-7

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

Now we see where the 1260 days come in that we mentioned before in connection with the time, times, dividing of a time; three and a half years; and the forty-two months. It is further clarification of exactly how much time this is. Each time we are given a new time frame, it is more specific. These two witnesses are clearly being associated with the other time frames mentioned. Now we have the time frame down to the very day. So we have two witnesses, one in the name and power of Elijah, that will prophesy probably from the very day that the abomination of desolation occurs until the 1260 days are up. Not only do they prophesy, but they will have powers to do miracles. They are clothed in sackcloth, which in Biblical times was a sign of grief or penitence. It was a coarse and uncomfortable cloth. God's prophets tended to wear sackcloth as a symbol of grief. That alone should make them stand out in the crowd.

Verse 4 "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth."

This verse is a direct reference back to Zechariah chapter 4.

"And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked , and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof: and two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof. . . . Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

The connection can be made that these two witnesses are the two anointed ones (trees) that stand by the Lord. In Zechariah there is only one candlestick seen, however here it says there are two candlesticks. Whoever they are, they have been either chosen or created especially for this mission.

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

These two witnesses will have miraculous powers. First they have powers to protect themselves. If anyone tries to hurt them, they will die in a very unusual way. Fire actually will come forth out of their mouths and burn up the people trying to destroy him. If people thought the demonic hordes were aliens, will they not also think these two are some other kind of aliens? Who on earth can make fire come forth out of their mouths to kill people. We have weapons that can do that, but nobody would mistake that as coming from the soldier's mouth. This apparently does.


Verse 6 "These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will."

They have the power to protect themselves, now they appear to have all kinds of powers. It looks as if they can control the weather. It will not rain during the last half of the 70th week. Now, think of what is happening in the trumpet judgments. The asteroid, the star, the burning. God is trying to get all of that water vapor back up into the canopy. The angels were holding back the winds. No wind cycle, no rain. These two will be announcing that it will not rain, and it will not rain. Here we can see how the prophets of God work. It is not always that they cause these things that they are announcing to happen (although they will have powers to do things), but that they are simply informing people that these things will be taking place. They know these things will happen because God tells them what to prophesy. It would appear that they have the power to do these things, but they do not have to. They simply have to announce what they already know God is having happen. We can see how the angels holding back the winds, coupled with the events of the trumpets will cause this lack of rain and drought. However, people will blame them for the events that are causing it to not rain, as they are the ones prophesying it. They will probably be announcing the trumpet judgments just before they come upon mankind also. Then, they appear to have the power to turn waters to blood. We saw that in the second and third trumpet judgments when the seas were turned to blood by the asteroid, and the waters were made wormwood or poisonous by the star. Again, people will associate these trumpet judgments as coming from the two witnesses, as they will be telling people in advance what is going to happen. People will lay the blame for these events at the feet of the two witnesses, thinking that they are aliens who are doing this to them. They will smite the earth with plagues. Could not the locusts and horsemen of the fifth and sixth trumpets be seen as plagues? (Not that they are the only plagues.) People will directly connect the trumpets to these two "aliens" who are prophesying the events before they happen. Again, this does not mean that they do not have miraculous powers to do things. They will do those too, but some of these events have been orchestrated by God and they will merely be announcing them. This will make them appear to be causing these events to happen.

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

After the 1260 days of their witness, these two will be killed. The beast that comes out of the pit is none other than the spirit that controls antichrist. In chapter 13 we will see that antichrist is referred to as "the beast" throughout the book of Revelation. Under the guise of protecting mankind against this "alien invasion" being orchestrated by these two, he will make war against them. Because their witness is finished, God finally allows them to be killed.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Revelation 11:1-2

Chapter 11

Now we will meet two people called the witnesses. Speculation is rampant as to who these are. In Malachi 4:4 God says, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Some people thought John the Baptist was Elijah and asked him about it. "And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? (Greek for Elijah) And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No." John 1:21.

John the Baptist did come in the spirit of Elijah, "And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Luke 1:17. Jesus said that had people been willing to receive Him, that John would have been the promised Elijah, "And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come." Matt. 11:14. "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? and Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them." Matt. 17:10-12. So here Christ said that John could have been Elijah, but also that Elijah will truly come first and restore all things. These passages leave us with two options, either the real Elijah will come, or someone like John who comes in the spirit and power of Elijah will come. I prefer not to state dogmatically which it is, as I do not think the scriptures will allow that. They do point in a certain direction, but that is not enough to be one hundred percent positive.

Elijah was taken into heaven without dying, 2 Kings 2:11. There must have been a reason for this, but it does not have to be that it is because he will return in the end times. Then again, it might be. No one can tell for certain. The second witness is even more of a game of speculation. The prophecy teachers at large (who use a literal translation) have two candidates. The first is Enoch, because he was also taken without dying, (Gen. 5:24), and prophesied about the Second Coming (Jude 14-15), which was odd considering that he was an antediluvian. As he lived in a world that was just like ours, was preaching before the wrath of God was poured out on the entire world the first time, prophesied about the Second Coming, and did not die, it was thought that he must be the other candidate as Elijah and Enoch were the only two people who never died.

The other candidate is Moses. He was chosen because he represents the Law. Elijah represents the prophets. These two candidates have been chosen by the prophecy teachers because they represent the Law and the Prophets. This reasoning comes first from when Moses and Elijah were seen with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration. It is assumed by many that since they were there, they are the two olive trees that stand by the Lord (will be discussed in verse 4). Therefore they will also be here at the end witnessing and prophesying. The reasoning also comes from the fact that both Elijah and Moses called down plagues on the people, which is what the witnesses will do here. One of the obstacles that the proponents of Moses have to overcome is the fact that Moses died and was buried, (Deut. 34:5-6), and these two witnesses will be killed. Man is supposed to be appointed to death only once, Heb. 9:27. So this is a dilemma. While I can understand the reasoning for choosing the candidates, I prefer to stay neutral as to who these two are. I'll make up my mind after they are here and introduce themselves.

Only for the sake of being informed, will I present the following info: some people who do not take the Bible literally see these two witnesses as being the church. Since the two are killed and lie in the street in Jerusalem for three days being seen by the people around the world, I find it strange that anyone could interpret it that way, but people will twist the scriptures in some unbelievable ways to accommodate their belief system.

Verse 1-2 "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein,. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."

First, for anyone who does not believe there is going to be a literal rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, here is the proof that there will be one. The angel (presumably it is still Christ) tells John to measure the temple and the altar. And to count or take note of those that are worshiping there. One cannot worship at a temple that does not exist or measure it either for that matter. Therefore, a temple exists. The courtyard outside of the temple, however, does not exist as it did in Biblical times. It is being trodden on by the Gentiles. This includes anyone who is not Jewish, i.e. Muslims as well as others. The Temple Mount, as everyone knows, is a highly contested area as to whom it belongs. Everyone knows that the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque are there. This verse tells us that there will only be a small temple building that will be rebuilt. There will not be the various courtyards that usually attend the temple. Because of this, we can assume that it may very well go up in that one section on the north side that has no building on it at present, next to the Dome of the Rock. The Dome does not have to come down as some think in order for the temple to go up. It merely requires the Muslims letting it happen.

The next thing to cover has been covered before when studying the Second Coming. Back them we learned about the forty-two months in which Jerusalem would be trodden down by the Gentiles until the blindness was lifted from Israel's eyes by the Second Coming of Christ. If there is a recap needed on this, here it is again.

Luke 21:20-24, "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

Romans 11:25-26a, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved."

Rev. 11:2, "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not, for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."

When the armies encompass Jerusalem, and the abomination of desolation is at hand, the Jews in Judea are told to run for the mountains. In Matthew they are told to not even go back into the house for anything. It is that crucial that they make haste to escape. This tells us that this happens at the midpoint when the abomination of desolation occurs. From that point on, Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. This verse in Revelation says that the court of the temple will be given to the Gentiles, as well as the holy city, to be trodden down by the Gentiles for forty-two months. Paul says in Romans that Israel will be blind until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in. So Israel will be blind until sometime after the forty-two months have passed. Israel's blindness is lifted when they see "Him whom they have pierced" coming in His glory. Zech. 12:10, Rev. 1:7. This is the Second Coming.

Antichrist's reign ends at the time all of this happens. He will be destroyed at the Second Coming. 2 Thess. 2:8 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." So the Second Coming comes closely on the heels of the end of the forty-two months after the abomination of desolation. The Second Coming does not have to come exactly to the day (1260) for antichrist's reign to end. We saw Christ plant his feet on the earth and claim it. That was the end of antichrist's reign. He will hang around without reigning until the Lord comes to destroy him (which will not be long in coming). As Antichrist's reign is for forty-two months, or time, times, and dividing of a time (Dan. 7:25), all of this tells us that what we are about to study in chapter 11 takes place in the time frame of the forty-two months between the abomination of desolation and the Second Coming of Christ, and during antichrist's reign. We are given all of this information so that we can know the setting for the scene which we are about to see.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A pause for an explanation

Before going on to chapter 11 it is necessary explain some things about how to understand Revelation. It is a chronological book, but not as in a through-reading of the book from chapter one to the end. In other words, there are pauses in the narrative to go back and fill in details. There are some places where you have to go back to the beginning, or at least some designated starting point, and put in the details that were left out the first time around. They will be happening simultaneously within the overview that has been covered so far. In understanding the chronology of Revelation, one has to understand how God teaches. As a person with a teaching degree, I have taught a lot of children over the years. There is one thing about teaching children, actually about teaching anybody, that is crucial to being understood and having as little confusion as possible. That is to keep on topic and finish a complete thought. You should not go off on tangents or try to insert things that are not in the same thought process. For instance, children have to learn arithmetic, history, geography and English. You would not teach a child these subjects in the following way. "To multiply by a two digit number, you first multiply by the ones column, then George Washington became our first president. He was a surveyor in his youth and surveyed America which has 48 contiguous states with the other two being separated by commas when you list them in a group listing." If you were to try to cover the subjects in this manner, nothing would be learned. You have to finish math, then teach the history lesson, then the geography lesson, then the English lesson. Even if all of them were basically covering the same subject. To do otherwise causes total confusion and nothing is learned. It would simply be a mish-mash of information that is nonsensical.

Well, we are students of God's Word and He naturally will teach us in the best and most comprehensible way. He finishes a train of thought before stopping for every detail or moving on to the next thought. To illustrate what I mean, I was amazed some years ago when on a PBS show on the book of Genesis, I heard a group of non-Christian scholars (well that's debatable (the scholars part, it was obvious from their comments that they were not Christians)) try to explain the creation story. I could not believe my ears when I heard them say that there were two creation stories in the first couple of chapters of Genesis. I had no idea about what they were speaking. Read the story to any child and they will immediately understand that God first gives the history of the creation days - one through seven - and then goes back and gives the history of man on day six. While they happen at the same time (on day six), the two are two different histories. One is of the planet. One is of man. God completed the one thought before moving on to the next. This is a teaching technique that avoids confusion. It is also a the technique a journalist uses. They give the basic information, then they go back and fill in the details. God is a good teacher (or a good journalist). He does this a lot through scripture. Jesus never tried to explain the parables as he was telling them. He did so after. He finished the topic or thought first. Then he went back and explained. As seen above, trying to insert information that may be relevant and may be running in the same timeline does not necessarily make for better understanding. It can create total chaos and confusion.

Here we see that we have reached the end of the 3 1/2 years or as we went over when studying the Second Coming in Luke, forty-two months from the time of the abomination of desolation until antichrist's reign ends. We shall shortly see that this time is also 1260 days. If God did not give us this number of days, we could still arrive at that number by multiplying forty-two by thirty, which is the prophetic number of days per month. From this point at the end of this time frame, God's wrath will be carried out.

We have been given the history of the seals. God did not stop to insert every little thing that was going on to other people or places during the course of the events, as this would have broken the train of thought and continuity. Other things are running their course simultaneously, though. We have to find out what is happening to Israel. We have to find out about antichrist. There are two men called the witnesses that have a history line. There is a whole story about Babylon to be covered. All of these things are running simultaneously, and we will see that all of these things come to some sort of conclusion at the end of the forty-two months. The time of Jacob's trouble will be over at that time. Israel's history is going to change from that point on. While having so far used the term Jacob's trouble and the tribulation interchangeably, that is not truly the case. As said before, one has to teach things in a way that does not cause confusion, so I did not try to teach this before now. While starting at the tribulation, Jacob's trouble does not end when it does. It continues until the forty-two months are over. It is when they see Him whom they have pierced, that Israel comes to salvation. Rev. 1:7, Zech. 12:10. That will not be until the three and half years or forty-two months are finished, and Christ returns to pour out God's wrath. God may have sealed the 144,000 for protection, but the rest of Israel will feel the wrath of Satan through his ugly minions just as the rest of the unbelieving world will. Antichrist, the witnesses, Babylon - each one will have its history covered as a separate topic, just as school subjects are taught.

A way of picturing this is to think of a guitar. It has six strings which run next to each other from the tuning pegs down to the bridge. They all end at the bridge. They run alongside each other, but they do not overlap in each other's way as that would be confusing. Yet they are played together at the same time. Such is how God is presenting this information. He began with string one, the seals. He has completed that part of it up to the bridge, or end of the 3 1/2 years (42 months, 1260 days) where Satan's reign ends. Then He goes back up to the tuning pegs to string two, the witnesses, and covers their history up to the bridge, or end of the forty-two months. He then covers the third string, Israel's history, Christ's birth and death, and Satan's war on God and mankind up to the bridge or forty-two months. Then it is antichrist, as his history of power ends at the end of the forty-two months. He saves Babylon's history until after the bowl judgments are done, as Babylon has two judgments upon it. One is the wrath of antichrist, and the second is the wrath of God. The final judgment coming at the end of the 1290 days according to Daniel. He brings everything up to the bridge, because from the bridge on, there is really only one string running, and that is His wrath. Everybody will fall into that string. That is why he did not allow John to write down what the angel and seven thunders said, and told him that he had to prophesy again first. He does not want to present the information in the little book, which is His wrath, until all of the other strings are brought up to the bridge. Once everyone is caught up, he can go back and finish the seventh trumpet judgment. That is why there are several chapters of information between the sixth and seventh trumpets. It is a change of venue. This way of teaching is a good technique that avoids confusion. The book of Revelation is confusing enough to people without making it more so. God is trying to make it as intelligible as possible for us. The problem seems to be that people do not understand this teaching technique. I have heard all sorts of timelines given for the events in this book. Some that say that the seals, trumpets, and bowls all run simultaneously. That clearly shows a lack of understanding of this book. They follow one another as we have clearly seen. It would seem that they even precipitate the next one in line many times. People cannot seem to see how simply he has outlined it. In fact, outline is a good word. If this book were put in an outline, it would look something like this. (I am doing a condensed and incomplete example).

I. Introduction
II. Letters to churches
A. Ephesus
B. Smyrna
C. etc.
III Presentation of the Lamb
IV. History and opening of the Seals
A. #1 False christs
B. # 2 War
C. etc.
V. Interlude
A. Sealing of 144,000
B. Arrival of martyred tribulation saints
VI. History and opening of Seventh Seal
A. Hail and fire
B. Etc.
VII. Christ claims possession of earth and pronounces judgment
VIII. History of two witnesses
IX. History of Israel, Christ, and Satan's war
X. History of Antichrist , etc.

Because it is given in this way, he does make connections between the strings using certain events or references, so that we can figure out how the timelines run together. As will be seen, the first, second, and third woe are the connections between the seals and the witnesses. All of this will fit together and become clear as we proceed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Revelation 10:7-11

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

When the seventh angel sounds, and he is not going to sound quite yet in the commentary that John is writing, as there are some other things to be addressed first, the mystery of God will be finished. What is this mystery? It is the plan of salvation. This plan began in Genesis, which is why we started our study there. It was not just Christ's dying on the cross, which was only one part of the plan of salvation, but the entire program from the fall of man, through the flood, to Abraham, the nation of Israel, Christ's coming, dying, and resurrection, and now, the mystery of redeeming all of creation by taking back the mortgage to the planet through these agreed upon conditions that have now been met. The only thing left to finish this up is the punishment upon the wicked and giving the planet a thorough cleansing to bring it back to its former self. The mystery, the entire program, has now reached its final moment of completion. The planet is redeemed. Now it has to be purged. Many Christians accept the Lord and live a righteous life and think that is the end of it, but that is not the end of it. The end of the program, the end of the mystery of God is that Christ is returning. So many Christians just ignore that part of the plan of salvation. They never study the end times.

Note the mention of the prophets in the verse and how they were all given information about this, the end of the mystery of God. It is about this which the Old Testament prophets were prophesying. Naturally there were some short term applications, but ultimately it is about the end and the Day of the Lord which they speak. I have heard that prophecies about the end times and return of Christ take up two thirds of the Bible. The entire Bible, not just the New Testament. I think that is enough to warrant being interested in it, yet many Christians are completely apathetic about it or worse, spurn the Old Testament. I had a pastor, a man whom I respected as one of the most sincere men of God I have ever met, tell me that he had never studied the book of Revelation. I cannot remember if he said whether or not he had even read it. He said that it did not interest him. I could hardly believe my ears. There is a crown for those who look forward to Christ's coming. There is a special blessing for those who read and heed the book of Revelation, yet he had no interest. And he is not alone. To really understand salvation it is necessary to understand the entire plan from start to finish. That means learning everything from the book of Genesis on, and especially reading and studying Revelation. However, those who believe that studying the book of Revelation is all that is necessary do not understand the whole concept of the plan. Without the information that has been learned throughout the rest of the Bible, it is impossible to properly interpret Revelation. That is why so many misinterpret it. They think that they can just go to the book of Revelation alone with no background. It cannot be done. God had this book written last for a reason.

Now we are at the finish line of the mystery of God. There is no more time left in the plan. There is nothing left to do but clean up the mess. The plan is complete. The only thing left after cleaning house is the reign of Christ.

Verse 8-11 "And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."

John hears a voice from heaven, which can only be God,(as Christ is holding the book) tell him to take the book. He does as commanded. It is interesting that he does not request the book, he demands the book. When we are told by God to do something, we should do it without question. Asking for the book would have shown that he was willing to be told "no". He was not about to allow that to happen, so he demanded the book. We should be as determined to carry out God's commands as John was.

He is told to eat the book. This is a highly unusual request, but not the first time God has issued this command. Ezekiel was given a similar command. "And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; and he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel, So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them." Ez. 2:9-3:4. The roll of Ezekiel had the word of God, the prophecies of God on it within and without. This little book that John is to eat is likewise the prophecies of God. Jeremiah likewise speaks of eating God's Word, although I think in his case it is metaphorical. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts." Jer. 15:16.

For Ezekiel the words of God were as sweet as honey. In the Psalms we find that God's word is said to be sweeter than honey. "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Ps. 119:103. To John they also taste as sweet as honey. God's Words are life to us. They are our salvation, so they are sweet for us to eat or take in. However, they are also a bitter pill. They condemn us of our sins, they tell us of God's wrath. While Ezekiel did not say that it made his belly bitter, what he had to prophesy was not pleasant. Warning people of God's wrath is never pleasant. Either in doing it, or in knowing that it will come to pass. John immediately feels the bitterness of what he must now prophesy. However, those words are sealed up for the time being, as John has some other things about which he has to write first.

It says that John has to prophesy before many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings. The Greek word "epi", if my dictionary is to be believed, says that this word implies a superimposition of time, place, or order in relation to distribution. That definition sounds confusing. What it is simply saying is that God is pausing in the narrative of the trumpets and wants John to wait on writing down what is in the little book, as He has other things that need to be prophesied about first concerning people, nations, etc. These things that he will prophesy, according to the word "before" or "epi", would need to be superimposed over what he has already written in regards to time, place, and the order of events that have already happened. It is necessary to understand how these things that John is going to cover in between the sixth and seventh trumpet will be distributed along the timeline.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Revelation 10:1-6

Chapter 10

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

Now another angel appears. This is a mighty angel who looks suspiciously like the vision of Christ. He is clothed with a cloud, has a rainbow on his head, his face shines with a blinding light, and his feet are like pillars of fire. We know from Ezekiel 1 that God's throne is associated with clouds. We also know that Christ is associated with clouds, Matt. 24. God has His bow around the throne, Rev. 4. A bow is only associated with God and Christ. Christ's eyes flame and his feet are as pillars of fire, Rev. 1. The fact that this is called an angel does not have to be disturbing. First of all the word "angel" is actually the Greek word "aggelos" and literally translates as "messenger", not "fourth dimensional beings, created by God, who live in heaven." The word "angel" is simply derived from the word "aggelos" and was applied to what we call angels, as that is basically what angels are and do. Christ has been the messenger of this book from the beginning. He was also called the Angel of God in the Old Testament. As we continue to see what this angel does, it becomes more and more clear that it must be Christ. Why John calls Him an angel is not clear, unless he is thinking solely in terms of the word messenger. John does describe Christ in a manner that applies to the role He is playing at the moment. When the scroll needed to be opened, the Lamb opened it. Now a new message has to be delivered and the Messenger delivers it. Christ is the messenger of this book.

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

Now it is more clear that this must be Christ. This angel is claiming possession of the planet by planting one foot on the land and one foot on the sea. As said at the end of the last chapter, Satan is no longer prince of the earth. His time is over. Christ is now claiming his possession in its entirety. He is taking it back and taking control. In His hand He holds a little book. When the conditions were put on the seals, they were the agreement between Satan and God. They were there for anyone to read from the time of the beginning. But God was holding out on Satan. He had some conditions of His own that He was going to carry out. They are His wrath. Satan had no idea as to what this would entail until God had John come up and write the book of Revelation thousands of years after the original mortgage was written. This is the first time this is being revealed to anyone, unlike the conditions that were written on the seals for anyone to see. This little book contains what will later be seen to be the seven bowl judgments.

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

Again, here is another clue that this is Christ. He is compared to a lion that roars. Christ is the Lion of Judah, He is roaring as a lion would who is first, claiming his kingship, and second, about to pronounce judgment. The seven thunders utter their voices also. Here again is the number seven. (We also had the seven seals, and will have the seven trumpets and seven bowls or vials). Since it always seems that it is God or Christ that thunders, this seven thunders is more than likely the sevenfold Holy Spirit thundering, as the Holy Spirit can speak, John 16:13, Acts 10:19.

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

Interestingly, it is the seven thunders that is pronouncing judgment, not God or Christ. That seems to verify that the seven thunders is indeed the Holy Spirit, as only God can pronounce judgment on mankind. Now we see that the third member of the Trinity is taking an active part in the ongoing process of the redemption of the earth. John was going to write down what he had heard, but he is instructed not to put what he has heard in this commentary yet. God wants him to seal them up for the moment. God does not want to proceed directly on to the seventh trumpet, which is His wrath or the bowl judgments, as there are some other things that need to be covered first in this commentary John is writing for us. In Genesis God told the creation story as an overview giving the synopsis of each day. Then when he had completed the train of thought or the week, He went back and filled in details (about Adam and Eve). He often gave us more than one commentary on an event. That is why we have four gospels. This allows for the filling in of gaps of information. He will be doing the same thing here. There have been other things occurring while the seals and trumpets have been running their course. So John is told to not write down those things quite yet, as there are some other things that need to be written first. There is information that has to be filled in as to what else was happening during this time.

Verse 5-6 "And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:"

The angel, Christ, now lifts up his hand to heaven and swears that time will be no longer. We are told in scripture not to swear by heaven, or earth or by any oath but let our yeas be yea and nays be nay. James 5:12. Our word is supposed to stand on its own. We are not supposed to swear by God. This is another confirmation that this must be Christ. He is swearing by heaven and He who lives forever and created the heavens and earth. That is no other than Himself. "All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:3. He is swearing that time will be no longer. This does not mean that everything is going to cease to exist and go into eternity, as some who are a-millennial preach. This means that God has reached the end of His patience with planet Earth and is not going to tolerate its sin any longer. There will be time no longer to repent. Evil has reached its limit. No more waiting around. This is it, there is no time left before God's wrath will be poured out.