Saturday, October 30, 2010

Revelation 21:15-16

Verse 15-16 “And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.”

Now we are told that the city is in the shape of a square and that the length and width and height are all the same. The angel who has been talking with John takes a golden reed (a measuring rod) to measure the city to show John how large it is. The measure is given as 12,000 furlongs. This does not specify whether that is the perimeter measurement or the length of one side. Most assume it is the length of one side, as 1) it is then mentioned that the length, height, and width are all equal, which implies that this is the measurement that should be applied to each, 2) God usually does not incorporate math problems into his descriptions for us to figure out the measurements, but gives the measurements themselves, and 3) the city must be big to accommodate all the saints from the beginning of time. If taken that the length is twelve thousand furlongs, it is 1500 miles or 2414 km in our terms of measurement. This would appear to be a cube with every side measuring 1500 miles under that interpretation. While it does not say it is in the shape of a cube, I believe that is its indicated shape rather than a pyramid as some seem to think it is. First, the pyramid seems to be a shape that the occult uses, while nothing in God’s design of the temple ever resembled anything like a pyramid. However, the cube shape is used in the temple. This city, if placed on the earth would cover a huge area. If one were to start at the southeast corner of Alabama and draw a straight line over through Mexico to the place where the western boundary of Arizona would be if one were to draw the line down through Mexico, then draw a line straight up one third of the way through Alberta, Canada, straight across to the province of Ontario, and then back down to the southeast corner of Alabama, one would have the approximate area that this city would cover on this planet. For readers in Europe, if one started at the southwestern most tip of Spain, went north past the western part of Ireland until even with Edinburgh, Scotland, then east until halfway through (and above) Poland, then down until east of Italy and back over to the starting point in Spain making a square, you would have the approximate size of this city. For Australians, draw a box around the entire continent, then take off what you need to from the left side (about half of Western Australia) to square it off. I think everyone can picture the size now, (even though I may not have done your continent) and that I do not have to do this for every continent. That would just be the length and width without considering the height. Now it can be seen why during the millennium it orbits the earth rather than coming down at that time. It awaits a new earth, which one supposes will have to be much larger than the present earth, to host it. Not only that, this city will extend 1500 miles out into space if the height is the same. As there are many ideas on this subject, and we do not really have enough to be dogmatic about any one idea, I will present another idea I read. One person came up with the idea that this is not a city, but a walled garden like Eden, as we are later told of the trees and river in the middle of the city. They believe that Mt. Zion is the center peak of that city and that is why the city is considered 12,000 furlongs high. The top of the peak would be that high, therefore the city must be that high to incorporate the mountain. I do not think this is a viable idea though, as clearly the place is a place of habitation for millions of people and not simply a garden. There are many mansions there, plus for a mountain to go 1500 miles into the air, it would necessitate using up the entire mass of the base of the city to accommodate the incline, not leaving any level garden space or space for homes. Also there is the problem that if it is to orbit the earth for the millennia, it would not make sense for it to be a garden. It would make sense for it to be an enclosed cube. There would need to be a way to keep an atmosphere for the inhabitants while in space, so an enclosed cube would do that. As the city is made of transparent gold, it would not seem so enclosed, and God's light would shine out from it, illuminating it like the sun. For people who watch Star Trek, it might be on the idea of a Borg cube which had multiple living levels. Possibly the garden (which we will see later) is in an open center area where God dwells on His throne and there are levels around this center. It is not as if there are simply apartments on a balcony around a narrow edge, as the area is 1500 miles in length. Even a garden as large as 100 miles square in the middle would leave huge amounts of area extending outward for mansions and grounds on multiple levels. When the city comes down to rest on the earth, it would still extend way out into space, so being enclosed would still give it an atmosphere, unless the new world's atmosphere extends that far out from the planet. One’s imagination can come up with all sorts of possibilities, but there is no way to know as God simply has not told us.

Just for the sake of consideration that the measurement is the perimeter and not the length, then each side would be only one fourth of that length or 375 miles (603.5 km). That would be a far smaller city, although the mileage out into space would still seem to be problematic.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Revelation 21:9-14

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

Now one of the angels that had poured out one of the seven vials of God’s wrath comes and tells John he will show him the bride of the Lamb. Interestingly, he is referring not to the people who incorporate the Church as the bride, but to the city that they inhabit. He is about to see the city of New Jerusalem, where the saints will live (this is what the “In my father’s house are many mansions…..I go to prepare a place for you.” verse is all about). It is an incredibly beautiful city built of gold and jewels. Only the bride of Christ will dwell in this city. We will see that those who come through the millennium do not live in this city afterward. They will live in the nations outside the city.

Verse 10 “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.”

John is taken (and here he specifies that he is doing this in the spirit, not in the flesh) to a great and high mountain where sees New Jerusalem descending from heaven down to the earth. All of what John has seen is because he has been “in the spirit” or seeing a vision. He has not been physically taken into the future, but has been allowed to see the future through a spiritual vision.

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

New Jerusalem shines with the Shekinah glory of God. It lights her and the light shining through her makes her look like a beautiful crystal clear jasper stone (think diamond) sparkling in the sun. Think of how that would look. A huge city that is sparkling like a diamond in the sky, now descending to earth.

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

The city is surrounded by a great high wall which has twelve gates. Each gate is guarded or overseen by an angel. Also each gate has the name of one of the tribes of Israel written on it.

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

This city is a square city, (as we shall soon see) and the wall is also. Each side has three gates, three each on the north, south, east, and west side.

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

This wall has twelve foundations. It is not clear exactly what is meant by twelve foundations. Some possibilities are that this is a stack of twelve different layers that go all the way around so that each side has twelve layers, or possibly there are twelve different divisions of the wall’s foundation each section between two gates. Maybe it means there are twelve foundation stones. I have even heard someone suggest that there are twelve pillars supporting the wall. That seems a little improbable to me, considering its size. No matter which way it is, each individual section, layer, or stone has the name of one of the apostles written on it. This is a great honor to have their names engraved on the foundation for all to see. We most commonly think of Peter, Paul, and John, (and because of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke) when we think of apostles, but Paul (and Mark and Luke) was not one of the original twelve disciples/apostles, even though considered by most Christians to probably have been the greatest apostle due to his writing most of the epistles. His name will not be on the foundation if this is speaking of the original twelve disciples/apostles.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Revelation 21:6-8

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

When Yeshua died on the cross He said, “It is finished.” What was finished at that time was the first step in the plan of redemption, the means by which man could obtain salvation. But it was not the end of what had to be completed to bring creation back to its original state. The next step was regaining ownership of the planet, then restoring the earth to its antediluvian state, and then the promised reign of the Messiah to Israel. Finally the entire plan is complete. Death has been conquered, Satan has been crushed and is in eternal punishment, the world has been restored, mankind has been redeemed (those who would choose God) and now a new heaven and earth have been created. Everything God has set out to do is complete. The kingdom of God now exists in an eternal state. Yeshua is the Alpha (the first letter of the alphabet) or beginning, and the Omega (the last letter of the alphabet) or end. He spoke creation into existence and now He pronounces the entire history of the world complete. He was at the beginning and He is at the end. To those who have thirsted to know God, He has freely given them water to drink from the fountain of life. He is that fountain of life. The eternal life that has been promised to those who love God is now about to begin. They will never sorrow, suffer, sin, die, or thirst for God again.

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

In the seven letters of Revelation the promises were given to those that are overcomers. For those that do overcome, they will inherit all the promises given by God. God will be the overcomer’s Father and the overcomer will be God’s child.

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

Here is a list of sinners that make it into the lake of fire. While the list is not complete as to every sin, there are a few that God particularly mentions. The abominable, these are those who are totally disgusting to God. He abhors them as they are gross sinners of all the vile sins. This would include a lot of sins, so this is a very encompassing category. It is the worst of the lusts and behaviors that are listed elsewhere in the Scriptures, for example, 1 Cor. 6:9 "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." For those who commit these acts and think it is okay with God, think again. There are many sins listed, but one in particular needs to be addressed, as nowadays people deny that it is a sin.

What I am about to say is going to make some people mad. If you are offended, you will have to take it up with God, not me, because I am not the author of the Bible. In particular, there is a question of the word "effeminate" and the phrase "abusers of themselves with mankind." I have visited sites where homosexual pastors or Christians try to explain this word and passage away to allow them to continue to practice their sexual preference guilt free. I notice they stay far away from certain verses of the Bible, which I will give in a moment. First I must explain something. I have (either presently or in the past) had homosexual or lesbian friends or family. I love them dearly and we have had great relationships. I am not their judge, so I don't judge them. I love them, but do not condone the sin. Sadly if they continue in their sin unrepentant until they die, just as the other sins listed in these verses will do, this sin will send them to hell and eventually the lake of fire. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7.

Whether or not people want to accept it, the Scriptures are clear about this sexual act. Lev.18:22 "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Lev. 20:13 "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." First, this is not making any distinction between lust and love (which seems to be the crux of the homosexual defense). No mention of feelings is involved at all. It is the physical act that is being addressed. It is the physical act which is the abomination. The penalty for committing this abomination was death. Next, clearly this is not talking about temple prostitution (which is another explanation I have heard). It had nothing to do with pagan temple worship. It is a law for God's people's behavior, not a commentary on surrounding nations. Nor is this a non-applicable law because it is in the Old Testament. While not all of the Torah laws are still in effect today, such as kosher, which was more of a health preservation law, this is not the same thing. This is an abomination to God yesterday, today, and forever, and it is addressed as such again in the New Testament. "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, (denying what the Scriptures clearly say about this) and worshipped and served the creature (each other) more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause (because of their unwillingness to acknowledge the truth and their deliberate disobedience) God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (lesbianism) and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men (homosexuality) working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, (O.T. law still in effect) not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.(put their stamp of approval on it and deny it is wrong)" Romans 1: 24-32. I believe the description of men leaving the natural use of women and burning with lust for other men describes homosexuality. It is not a matter of distinction between lust and love, it is a matter of distinction between wanting to have sex with the opposite gender versus wanting to have sex with the same gender. The same holds true for the women. Again, it is not a case of "lust" versus "love", and love making it all right. It is a matter of the same gender having sex with the same gender. All Scriptures must be taken together on this issue. They are leaving the natural use of women (or men). It is the physical act, not the emotions involved. It is also not a case of temple prostitution. The temple is not referred to at all. It is simply the unnatural use of sex between members of the same gender that God considers dishonoring the body. This could not be more clear in these verses and trying to ignore it or twist it to mean something else is just going to land people in the lake of fire. Understand I am not without sins myself, and this is (while not trying to treat it lightly) just one more sin. The problem is that the gay community is denying that it is a sin, and not only being unrepentant, but trying to justify it. ("have pleasure in them that do them") Repentant homosexuals who do not continue in the practice of this sin can get into heaven. Just as any other sinner who repents and turns from their sin will get in(provided they endure to the end). Thieves know stealing is wrong. People know lying is wrong. These sins are acknowledged to be sins, however that is not the case with homosexuality. Gay people defend it as not being a sin. Understand it is not my call. It does not matter what I think. It does not matter what you think. It does not matter what anyone thinks. It only matters what God thinks, because He is the one calling the shots. God does not care how I or anybody else feels about the issue. It only matters how He feels and He has made it abundantly clear. Denying it is a sin will not work with God, no matter how much a person wants it to be so. That is not my opinion, that is what God says. He says it is an abomination, which makes the person who practices it abominable to God, plain and simple. The truth is the truth, like it or not. Denying the truth is not going to change what God says. We all like to justify our sins, but it is to our own eternal peril that we do. I do not want to see the gay people I know and love go to hell any more than I want to see the fornicators (many of my friends and family have practiced sex outside of marriage), or liars (Who has not told a little white lie? I know I have to protect someone's feelings - e.g. Does this make me look fat?), or thieves (Stealing is taking a pen from work, not just robbing a bank), or murderers (Do you intensely dislike anyone?), or drunkards (Did you have one too many at that last party?), or those who covet (Who hasn't experienced that one at one time or another? I know I have. I have to confess it and repent it.). I know sinning jeopardizes my salvation and I have to continually acknowledge it and repent. But I admit it is a sin and that I am sinning. Homosexuality is a sin that is not acknowledged by homosexuals and unfortunately it is a sin that the Christian church has either accepted as being okay or focused on as being a sin to the exclusion of every other sin. Neither is the correct response. It is clearly a sin and should not be condoned, however it is hypocritical on the part of many Christians to be so super condemning when they have a serious problem themselves. One sin in the church that really rankles me is gossip, and some of the most pious people are the guiltiest of practicing it. It is usually epidemic in most churches and is a sin that is not only unacknowledged, but will jeopardize a lot of people who practice it unrepentantly. Most homosexuals do not pretend to be Christians, therefore Christians should not be worried about their homosexuality. Unbelievers do not have to clean up their lives before coming to the Lord, that is not how it works. Our job is to bring people to the Lord and let the Lord clean up their sins. On the other hand, Christians should be looking at the beam in their own eye, as they are responsible for keeping their lives as free from sin as possible.

Getting back to the list in Revelation, there are murderers, those who with malice aforethought, deliberately take a human life. In 1 John 3:15 we are told that whoever hates his brother is considered a murderer. So unlike Old Testament times where the act was the sin, even our thoughts are judged. Whoremongers includes fornicators, adulterers, prostitutes and such. And again, it is not just the act, it is the thought that counts. Sorcerers includes people who not only dabble in the occult, but also with drugs. Idolaters are those who worship anything besides God. That not only includes false gods, but things like money, celebrities, etc. These people are not unexpected candidates for this punishment. But the list doesn't end there.

There is hardly a person alive, including Christians, who has not told a lie, so this sin covers almost everyone. People hardly think anything of telling a lie, yet it can condemn you to eternal punishment. If something so universally thought of as being okay can do that, then people should not dismiss these other things so readily. A surprising sin on this list is the fearful. One thinks of fearful as simply a person who is afraid of things in general. That does not seem like such a horrible thing at first, but one has to take it a little farther. The concordance defines this word as timid or faithless. We are told that if we shrink back from standing up for God, and if we are faithless, we will be denied by God. If we deny Him, He has said He will deny us. Matt. 10:33 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Fear of losing your property, your wealth, or even your life is not an excuse, nor will it be excused. We must endure to the end suffering persecution and death if necessary. Fear can keep us from eternal life. The last sin to be considered is unbelief. This is not only those who proclaim their unbelief such as atheists, but may include those who say they are Christians. One must believe with one's heart in complete faith in Christ. Just having a head belief is not enough. People who want to accommodate science, man's traditions, man's morality, and basically compromise the truths of the Bible are essentially non-believers. They do not truly believe God's Word is the truth, or they would not compromise it to accommodate everything that comes along. Any sin can be forgiven, except the sin of unbelief.

I believe unbelief is actually blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Many people wonder what exactly blaspheming the Holy Spirit is. I cannot say if I am completely correct on this or not, but it seems logical. Refusal to believe in Yeshua, who He is and His sacrifice, is the criteria by which everyone will lose out getting into the Book of Life. They choose to be judged by their own works rather than have their sins covered by the blood of Yeshua. So they do not accept Him and believe in Him. Because it is the Holy Spirit that convicts people of their sin and reveals who Yeshua is to them, I have come to the conclusion that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is that moment when the Holy Spirit reveals the truth to people, and they make the conscious decision to reject the truth. Not accepting Yeshua is the one sin that cannot be forgiven, as there is no other means by which people can be saved. God cannot forgive that rejection. Putting together those facts, that the Holy Spirit convicts and reveals, that one cannot be forgiven for rejecting Yeshua, and that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the unpardonable sin, or the one sin that cannot be forgiven, it would seem that these two things are one in the same, as it says there is only one sin that is unpardonable. Therefore rejecting Yeshua when the Holy Spirit convicts and reveals Him, is blaspheming the Holy Spirit. All of these sins listed in this verse will send these sinners to the lake of fire, but the sins other than unbelief could have been forgiven, if there were belief and repentance. So in actuality, the sin that is sending all of these sinners to the lake of fire is unbelief, for if they truly believed what God said and repented, they would no longer be unbelievers, regardless of what their sins may have been. They would be forgiven and could enter into heaven.

All unbelievers will end up with the beast, false prophet, and Satan in the lake of fire. As mentioned before this is the second death, spiritual death, where torment goes on for ever and ever.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Revelation 21:3-5

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

Now a voice from heaven announces that God’s tabernacle (New Jerusalem) will be not above man shining down on him, but with man. He will dwell on the new earth (which will be large enough to contain this city) and everyone will be His people. They will actually live in the presence of God. He will never again separate Himself from mankind.

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

Everything that will have passed will have been painful for everyone. God will comfort them and remove their sorrow and possibly memories of what has transpired, so that they do not grieve. Their joy at being in the presence of God will help them to forget the past, if He does not remove the memories. And in time, memories fade, and there is all of eternity ahead in which there is time to forget. All the former things of this life will be no more, so there will be nothing to remind us of it. There will be no more death. Death was never a part of God’s plan, it was the result of man’s sin. Now death and pain will no longer exist. They are of the past, and everything of the past that happened in time will be no more. God’s people and creation will be entering into eternity where there is no time, as we live it today. We think in terms of years, but in eternity that would be an impossibility after a while.

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

Now the occupier of the throne (either God or Yeshua) says that everything is being made new, not renovated or made over, but entirely new. New heavens and earth, new concept of life (no death or illness, or pain, or sorrow), new concept of time, eternity. Then He reiterates that these promises are true and will be fulfilled. We are told that not one jot or tittle will pass from God’s word until heaven and earth pass away and all is fulfilled. Matt. 5:18. After all is said and done, there will be no need for the Scriptures anymore, so God's Word as far as the Bible, can pass away, as the earth and heavens will. I believe Jehovah's Witnesses believe that this earth will go on forever, and if one takes some verses alone without considering all of the verses on this subject, one might be inclined to agree. However, there are other verses such as this in Matthew and these in Revelation that show us that the present earth and heavens will pass away. After all of the Law is fulfilled and the Word of God is completely fulfilled, the heavens and earth will pass away and new ones will be created. There will always be an earth, just not the same one. This earth will not pass away until everything written in God's Word is fulfilled, but those words will eventually be fulfilled, and then all things will become new.

Many people have a problem with the idea that the world will go back to temple worship during the millennium. It must be remembered that Israel was promised this time of being a premier nation under the rule of the Messiah, and they will bring the gospel to the rest of the world (as originally intended). It hasn't happened yet, and God keeps His promises, so this must happen. That is part of the purpose of the millennium. As the Torah (first five books of the Bible) and temple worship is what identifies the nation of Israel, and given that the world will be in a barbaric condition and need these sort of rules for survival again, this is the way the world will function - under the law. It isn't a matter of grace not being given, grace has always been given (check out what it says about Noah), but just as Judaism did not work very well the first time around, Christianity did not work very well either. Our concept of grace and freedom have led to an enormous amount of paganism in the church, just as there was in Israel, so our way of worshiping God is no better. People need stringent guidelines to keep them in check. The laws of the Old Testament are God's governmental laws. Christ will be the King on the throne, and every government has to have rules. God has already created those rules for the nation of Israel, so they will come into effect again. Since freedom from temple worship and indwelling of the Holy Spirit has not seemed to keep people from straying off the path, temple worship procedures will come back into practice. At the end of the millennium, after judgment, only those who are followers of God will go on into eternity with Him. We will see that there will be no more temple, and we have been told death, pain, etc. are no more, so it appears that the Torah will no longer be necessary. The prophecies will have been fulfilled, the history of Israel will be irrelevant, and the gospel will no longer have to be preached. It says that until the heavens and earth pass away, not one jot or tittle of the law will, until all is fulfilled. It does not say that the law will never pass away, just that it won't until it has 1) been fulfilled, and 2) after the heavens and earth pass away, which they now do.

Getting back to the words being faithful and true, having delved into everything from occult teachings to conspiracy theories in the course of my research, I can say that there is much that can sway a mind that is not firmly rooted in the Word of God. Knowing that it is faithful and true, and knowing that history, archeology, and 100% fulfilled prophecies prove that it is faithful and true, is what has kept me from straying off course when the lies start worming their way into my brain. Studying these lies of Satan to learn what is being said so as to 1) refute it and 2) to know what the enemy is planning, is a dangerous occupation and should never be taken up by anyone who has not studied God's Word in depth and for a long time. What saves a person from being deceived are the warning bells that sound when you realize something is not in alignment with the Word of God. This will not happen if you do not have a thorough understanding and familiarity with God's Word from beginning to end. That is just another reason why I initially began this study of end times in the book of Genesis.

In my small circle of close Christian friends, practically all of them (erroneously I believe) ascribe to the theory that a true Christian cannot be deceived. When the passage in Matthew 24 comes up ("if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."), I have been told that while it may say that it is possible, it does not really indicate the possibility that they can be. I disagree. First it must be noted that the words "it were" are not in the original manuscripts. They have been editorially added by the translators, which is why they are in italics. They were trying to be as accurate as possible, but things do not always translate well, so they would add words to try to make the flow of the sentence more grammatically correct in English. They however did not want to deceive, so they italicized words that were not there in the original language. So it actually reads "if possible, they will deceive the elect." Now either way, I say that the word "if" implies the possibility, however the words "it were" changes how the verse is perceived by these people. For example if I say, "if possible, I will go to town tomorrow," I am not saying it is impossible. I am saying if circumstances allow it, I will go to town. Therefore it depends on the circumstances. If I say, "if it were possible, I would go to town tomorrow" it appears as if it is not possible at the outset, however if conditions were to change and it were then possible, I could still go. However there still seems to be a problem in the grammar. "If it were possible" implies a condition exists that has already happened in the past that might prevent my going, yet the conditional grammar that should accompany that to be consistent should be "I would" (as I used). Instead we see the words "they shall" which is not a past tense, is used. In fact this implies a positive declaration that there will be some who succumb to the deception. The fact that the words "it were" are not in the original should be taken into account. It says, "if possible, they shall deceive." This implies it is possible and that it will happen in some cases. Otherwise, why bother saying it at all? How will they be able to deceive? God tells us. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6. People are deceived and destroyed because they do not know what God's Word says and therefore do not realize that what they are accepting as truth is in fact a lie.

Back to my friends, if I were to ask them if they believe they are truly saved, they would give a resounding "yes." And I would agree, as I know them and believe it to be true based on their fruits. However, I also know that more than a few of them have been deceived doctrinally. A couple in particular because they have, over the course of a long period of time, listened to a self-proclaimed Bible teacher who has proven himself to be a false prophet. Some of the others simply do not question the doctrines that their church lays out for them, and have never studied to see if they are truly what the Bible teaches. As for the false prophet, luckily for him he does not live in ancient Israel. What would happen to him if he did? Deut. 13:5 "And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death." This man predicted the Lord's return some years ago and obviously was wrong. He predicted again, and I know he will miss again based on the date he has given, as we are not even in the tribulation period yet. Since he has already missed once, and does not have confidence in his own predictions, he has also set forth a third date if this second one fails (which it will). My friends who follow this man's teachings do not believe it is possible for them to be deceived, as they are true Christians, and yet as I sit there and talk to them, I know that they are already deceived, in that they have followed this man, whose teachings are so unscriptural as to be absurd in some cases. Given that he is a proven false prophet, they should never have listened to him to begin with. So the very thing they think is impossible, has in fact already happened. They are deceived. When I questioned one of the doctrines this man teaches and asked what they did with not only the verses that contradict it, but literally whole chapters that contradict it, I was told they had never studied this part of the Bible. See my point about knowledge? Had they had even a passing working knowledge of the Bible from start to finish, this man would never have infiltrated and changed their beliefs. Nobody, nobody, is beyond being deceived. The danger lies in believing that you cannot be. Am I scared for my friends in the days ahead? You had better believe it. They do not have what they need at their disposal, namely a working knowledge of the entire Bible, not just the New Testament gospels and epistles. The only recourse we have against this possibility is to 1) "study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim. 2:15. Know what God's Word says. 2) be a Berean and check everything against Scripture (which requires having a working knowledge to begin with) Acts 17:11 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." 3) do not trust others to do your research for you. They may not be trustworthy. Do not run to a commentary, or a teacher/pastor for answers. Do not be lazy. Your salvation depends upon you, not them. This may seem to contradict my writing this and you (for those who read this) reading my blog, but one thing that I always preach is to not take my word for it. Check it out yourself. Reading other's words is fine as long as you check what they say against the Scriptures. Sometimes it helps our own studies to get other's insights on the Scriptures, and access the knowledge they may have about history, geography, science, or any other number of things. This is all right provided you do not rely on anyone's word, including mine, without verifying things, and finally 4) pray, pray, pray for truth and to not be deceived.

Some people make the mistake of studying other things first and then coming to God's Word. The problem with this is that then God's Word is viewed through the lies of the other belief systems or the bias of the person's interpretation. Thus the truth becomes distorted. How does a bank clerk become adept at recognizing counterfeit money? Is it by handling counterfeit money? No. There are too many different ways of counterfeiting to do that. A person who learns to spot counterfeit money is never given that money to study at all. They are given real money and they must study every inch of it. In so doing, they recognize the real thing, so when something comes along that has something amiss, they spot it immediately. It is a much easier process to do it that way. One would miss a great deal the other way, as one would never be sure what is actually real and what is not, because the real thing was never studied. The same holds true for the Word of God. One needs to approach it with a blank slate. No commentaries, no trying to make it fit with so-called science (Everything can be reconciled between Scripture and true science. See to get any answers you might need for that.) There should be no trying to mesh different religious beliefs with it. The only book that is inspired by God and has the truth is the Bible. And that book has told us that there is no revelation beyond it, so any of these books (or people) that have "new revelations" that have come after the Bible are from false prophets. It should not be superseded by them.

I have digressed from Revelation, but the whole concept of Christians being deceived was a recent issue of concern for me, so I felt led to write on it as it seemed to suddenly be relevant to this verse.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Revelation 21:1-2

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

When God flooded the earth at the time of Noah, he created a new earth in the sense that the earth was a totally renovated creation. It was completely different from what it had been before the flood, but it was not a new creation, just a renovated one. It had been wiped clean of the filth, and now would be as if it were a completely different creation, as everything about it would be different. At the time of God’s wrath after the tribulation, the world will again be renovated, only this time by fire. It will again be cleaned of its filth and be renewed to a completely new type of earth. It will be as it was before the flood, which will be completely different from the way it is now. After the millennium though, it says that the earth and this time also the heavens will pass away. Not just destroyed and renewed, but passed away. If one is to take this literally, heaven as well as the earth will pass away. In the gospels, Yeshua said, “heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Matt. 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33. There are some verses in the Bible that say that the earth abideth forever, but it does not have to mean the same earth. An earth will abide forever, but this earth will pass away as Yeshua said, and as John says. God wants to be rid of the corrupted creation and start fresh with a perfect creation again for eternity. This time is says there will be no more sea. As one looks at our planet from space, it is a water world. If it is returned to its original state, it is assumed that from the scientific description of the world before the flood, there were no huge oceans, but smaller seas. Now it is described as having no seas. From space it would be a green planet with lots of land. Why this is, is not known, but it may be that part of the purpose of the great seas and oceans was to keep people apart from each other, as before this last century, travel took a long time and it kept wars and such at bay or slowed them down. In eternity, everyone will be followers of God, as it would appear that there will be no more sin, as death(Rev. 21:4) and the curse (Rev. 22:3) are lifted. Separation is not needed, and there will be a lot of people, so land is needed. Therefore the logical thing would be for there to be no more great seas. This is only a hypothesis as to why this is, but it makes sense.

The idea of a new heavens and earth was not new here in Revelation. In Isaiah 65:17 we find "For, behold I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come to mind." In eternity people will not even remember what this earth was like, nor will the fact that it ever existed even come to mind.

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

Now John sees New Jerusalem, the holy city where the saints live coming down from the heavens. Now we can see that indeed, the city has not been on the planet, but up in the heavens during the millennium. We know that this is not the beginning of the millennium (as some would say, as they believe New Jerusalem will be on the earth during the millennium) but the end as 1) the book of Revelation is chronological, and 2) there is no more death, and there most certainly is death after the beginning of the millennium. The second "Armageddon" is full of it. So New Jerusalem has been in the heavens, not on earth, during the millennium, as it is now coming down out of the heavens after the millennium is over.

We know that God dwells in this place, so His Shekinah glory has been illuminating the place. Our assumption that this has been the light source for the planet during these thousand years would seem to be correct given this information. The city, as will shortly be seen, is a city made of transparent gold and assorted jewels. She is like a big huge crystal cube in the sky with God's glory shining through and out of her. She is a beautiful object and is adorned (with gold and jewels) as a bride is for her husband.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Revelation 20:10-15

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

Now the beast and false prophet get some company. Satan is also thrown into the lake of fire. As the other two have no judgment day, neither does he. He goes down without any plea bargaining.

There are some that are teaching that there is no hell or eternal punishment in the lake of fire, that it is metaphorical and that God simply terminates a person and their consciousness. Or they teach that there is a limited time punishment and then annihilation of the consciousness. Unfortunately for them, that is not what the Bible teaches. In the Old Testament we see where people in hell are mocking the king of Babylon and how arrogant he was on earth. Is. 14:9-11 "Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee." There is also the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in which Yeshua clearly was teaching that there is a consciousness and reward/punishment system after death. Paul also said to be absent from the body was to be present (consciously) with the Lord. All of these clearly indicate consciousness after death. And there are the souls of those beheaded in the fifth seal. As that is before the resurrection, it clearly shows consciousness after death. Here we are told that one thousand years after being thrown into the lake of fire, the beast and false prophet are still there being tormented. And they will all be tormented for “ever and ever.” That is an unlimited time guarantee. The fire of eternal punishment will burn forever, not just for these three but for everyone. Mark 9:43-44 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." There is no death in the sense of ceasing to exist for the spirit. Spiritual death is eternal separation from God and that never ends. Neither does the burning fire.

Verse 11 “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.”

Here is from where the term “Great White Throne Judgment” comes. At the end of the millennium, God, or the ancient of Days as mentioned by Daniel, sits on His throne to judge the unbelievers. Even heaven and earth flee from His face and are no more. Time is no more in the sense of history of the earth. It is finished. Heaven and earth in their revised, but still corrupted state cease to exist. They flee away from the face of God, as there is no place or need for them. He will be creating a new, perfect heaven and earth.

Verse 12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

Now the day has come when “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” The unbelieving dead, no matter how important they were on earth, will stand before God. Several books are opened. One is the book of life, the others are the books of works. God is fair. He has opened the book of life, even knowing that nobody who has died (and was not in the first resurrection) will be found there, just to show them that they are not there. (Those from the millennium who did not rebel are still alive.) Whoever is not found in the book of life (and that will be all the dead) will be judged out of the books of works. Today people say that they think they are “good enough” to make it into heaven. They do good works to work their way into heaven. Well, okay. God gave them another way, but if they want it this way, He is willing to oblige. He WILL judge them according to their works if that is what they really want. Personally I prefer to be judged by Yeshua’s work on the cross, but that’s me. One assumes that they are judged according to their works, and therefore a Mother Teresa type would not be judged the same as a Hitler type. One thing they cannot escape though is the fact that they are not going to heaven. The lake of fire may be hotter in some places than others, but it is still hot.

Verse 13 “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.”

Everyplace on earth hands over their dead. Hell coughs up everyone in it. As Hell seems to be in the center of the earth, it is easy to see why the earth will no longer be after looking at the next verse. There is no escaping this judgment. Death cannot hold anyone; Hell cannot hold anyone. Whether buried on land or at sea, the dead must appear before the throne of God for judgment.

Verse 14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.”

Now we see that hell itself is cast into the lake of fire. The other occupant is a little more difficult to understand. It says that death is cast into the lake of fire. Does that mean the dead? Is it metaphorical for the end of death, which in terms of how we think of it is an act, not a person? Or is death an angel (fallen) who literally is the grim reaper? We know the dead will be cast into the lake of fire. This also seems to indicate that the act of death comes to an end, but the small problem with that is that it is metaphorical in that sense, as it is not a person, and the rest of the sentence is literal. It is inconsistent with the grammatical context of the rest of the sentence. However we will soon see that the curse is removed, so death should be also. Is death a person? When the Lord passed over the houses at Passover, the "destroyer" is the one who killed the firstborn. All of these things may be meant. It is hard to say definitively which or if all are meant, but it would seem that possibly all are meant. Again as hell is, according to Scripture, in the depths of the earth, the earth will most likely end up in the lake of fire, which is why this present earth ceases to be.

Verse 15 “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Here we have it. Those not in the book of life (all the dead) are cast into the lake of fire. As said, it may be that the lake of fire is hotter in some areas than others, but it is still a lake of fire. Whether you are a Mother Teresa type or a Hitler type you still go to a very unpleasant place, not heaven. Works will not get you to heaven. Good intentions and being “good” will not get you there. No other religion or person will get you there. Only the blood of Yeshua, repentance, and enduring to the end will get you there.

Revelation 20:7-9

Verse 7-8 “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.”

After the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let loose from his imprisonment. The purpose being to allow him to round up the rebels so that once again God can clean up the earth and get rid of the chaff, as he did a thousand years previously. Satan goes out and deceives not just individual people, but entire nations around the planet. The rebels number as the sands of the sea. That means that the majority of those who live under the millennial reign will hate it and God. Man really loves his sin. He will have been restrained because he has been ruled with a rod of iron, and he dare not live otherwise, because to do so is immediate judgment. People will have hundreds of years to seethe in their resentment towards what they feel is repression. They will be forced to be good when their inclination is to be bad. They will jump at the chance to follow Satan, even knowing that he lost the last time around. As for most, it will be a story that they have heard and not something they lived through, they will not believe it, just as people do not believe the Bible nowadays. And this in spite of the fact that they will live with the very real presence of God on earth.

Here is where it gets interesting. Everybody refers to Ezekiel 38 and 39 as always referring to a war that takes place at some point during our end times before the Second Coming. I believe it is true that those chapters do refer to a war at that time. Some say that it is the war that kicks off the seven years. At the moment (and I admit I need to study it much more thoroughly to be sure) I believe it is actually speaking of the war of Armageddon. But as with all prophecies, there is a near and far fulfillment. In this case, the first fulfillment has not happened yet and is still future. The second fulfillment comes, though, at the time of the war at the end of the millennium. That is why one has to sift through the verses and try to decide what refers to our immediate future and what refers to the far distant future. Most of the other prophecies have already had their first fulfillment in Israel and so we can sift out what referred to their time and what did not. It makes it much easier to see what refers to our time. This is not the case with these passages, so it is harder to determine what exactly will happen in our time. We know that God is referring us back to Ezekiel here because of the mention of Gog and Magog. It is a clear message for us to look back to those passages, especially given that they have had no fulfillment at all yet, and as said before, prophecies tend to be used twice. God uses His word efficiently.

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

As before at Armageddon, Satan takes his world armies to Jerusalem (the beloved city) to destroy the temple and all of Israel. This time there is no rider on a horse. It is basically the same as before though in that what is described in Zechariah as taking place (think Indian Jones and the Ark of the Covenant and all those melting people) sort of takes place again. With no battle, the armies are merely consumed as they stand, by fire coming down out of heaven. Quick and easy. The last time it took seven years of waiting and horrors before the climax of Armageddon took place. This time, it is a short-lived episode. Satan rounds people up as quickly as possible, and God disposes of them the same way. There is no mortgage to reclaim, no agreement to fulfill, so it is over and done before it barely gets started. God has no patience to endure it this time around.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Revelation 20:1-6

Verse 1-3 “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”

Now an angel comes down from heaven with a key in his hand. In particular this is the same key that was used to open up the abyss or bottomless pit once before when Abaddon or Apollyon, if you prefer, was let out to lead his hordes against humanity for five months in the fifth trumpet judgment. Not only does he hold a key, he holds a great chain. Now Satan is going to get his for a while. The angel grabs Satan (note him again being called a dragon or serpent, again an indication that he is probably reptilian in looks and definitely cold-blooded in nature) and binds him up. Then he is cast into the bottomless pit and sealed there for a thousand years - the length of the millennial reign of the Messiah. He is put there for several reasons. 1) This is going to be Yeshua’s promised reign on earth, and He does not have to put up with Satan. 2) This is a test for mankind to prove to them the extent of their sinful hearts, God‘s enduring patience, and the need for Yeshua‘s sacrifice and their repentance. Flip Wilson, a comic from the 70‘s used to say, “the devil made me do it” when playing one of his characters. Well, mankind is always blaming the devil for their sins. With him and all his hordes removed, when mankind sins and rebels, he has no one to blame but himself. This world under Yeshua’s reign should be a paradise as far as mankind is concerned. Crime, disease and illness, poverty - all of these are unknown. Death is set aside as people can live for the entire millennium, and even the animal kingdom is rendered harmless. There is no harassment from spiritual entities. The truth of God is alive for all to know, as Yeshua will live among mankind. There will be no deception, no false religions, no false science, nothing but truth. No wars, only peace. No excuses for sin at all. But the Messiah rules with an iron rod, and man is sinful by nature. He will feel repressed and resentful of all the rules by which he has to live, as man still has to accept Yeshua as his personal Savior to have his heart changed. This will be revealed at the end of the thousand years when Satan is loosed again for a little season to lead man in a rebellion against God once again, and the majority of the world follows him.

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

Now John sees a lot of thrones. Oddly he does not preface the pronoun “they” with an antecedent, so we have to read further and cull from other verses as to who the “they” are that sat upon them. In Daniel 7:21-22 we read, “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” In 1 Cor. 6:2-3 it says, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” From these verses and from the rest of verse 4 above, we come to the conclusion that the “they” on the thrones are the saints. As Paul was also addressing the saints of his day, we can assume that this refers to all the saints, not just the tribulation saints.

Then John brings up a specific group that he recognizes as having seen before, also sitting on the thrones and reigning with Yeshua. They are the ones he saw in the fifth seal who were beheaded. Well, here is where we now have confirmation that the fifth seal can refer to not only those who have been beheaded in times past for the sake of the Messiah (although it is not definitive that it refers to them at all), but specifically refers to the martyrs of the great tribulation. This verse seals the deal, so to speak, that the tribulation is found in the fifth seal, as it says they were beheaded not only for the witness of Jesus and the word of God (which martyrs since Stephen have been), but because they had not worshipped the beast or his image, nor had they received the mark on their hands or foreheads. This verse verifies completely that the tribulation takes place in the fifth seal and that the heavenly signs which occur in the sixth seal are the same ones which are mentioned in Matthew 24 (which also come after the tribulation in that passage). If there was any question as to where the abomination of desolation takes place in Revelation, this clarifies it. The midpoint of the seven years definitively occurs in seal number five for those who would put it elsewhere. John sees the same beheaded people he saw in the fifth seal under the altar here on the thrones and now identifies them as having been beheaded for not taking the mark of the beast and worshipping him. There would be no point in the fifth seal for mentioning that they died of beheading, if it were not to direct us to something further. And vice versa. There would be no point in mentioning it here, if it did not directly point back. John is referring back to what he has seen before, so that we will connect the dots. This is God’s way of confirming the timing.

These saints will live and reign with Yeshua during the millennium. Just as when Israel lived under a theocracy with judges to rule over them before they insisted upon having kings, so will we be the judges during the theocracy of the millennium. For those who take a spiritual approach to this passage and preach that we are in the millennium right now, I would quickly like to point out that the people on the thrones of earth at this moment are not exactly saints. I would also like to point out that Satan could hardly be said to be bound.

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

The only people resurrected at the time of the Second Coming are believers, whether they lived before or after Yeshua’s first coming. This is the first resurrection. There are two resurrections. The second one is for unbelievers. There is no need for another, as believers will not die during the millennium. After the thousand years are finished, the unbelieving dead will be resurrected for judgment and believers will enter into eternity.

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

Those who are part of the first resurrection are blessed, as they do not have to suffer the second death. It has no power over them. The second death is the spiritual death. Everyone is born once to a physical body and dies once to a physical body. We also have a spirit that is either alive or dead. That is why Nicodemus was told that we must be born again. Our spirit must be born. When we accept Yeshua, we are born into a spirit life and if we endure to the end, we will be part of the first resurrection (or rapture) and have eternal life. We will be born twice (physically and spiritually) but die only once (physically, unless we are raptured). Unbelievers on the other hand are born once (physically) and will die twice, once physically and then at the second resurrection will have eternal damnation or spiritual death which is the second death. So, those who partake of the first resurrection are blessed as the second death (spiritual death) has no power over them. They will live eternally. Not only that, but they are “priests of God and of Christ”. We will not only be reigning as judges, we will also be priests ministering to the people as well for the thousand years.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Revelation 19:17-21

Verse 17-18 “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.”

John is now viewing things as if from earth’s vantage point, as he has spoken of seeing heaven open and Christ and his followers coming down to earth. If he were in heaven, he would not view it as he has described, so the implication is that he is viewing it from below. He sees an angel who appears to be standing in the sun. When the vials were poured out, it appeared that the sun went nova and burned out. Since the nations of the world will walk in the light created by God and New Jerusalem, it would seem that this will be the new “sun.” If indeed this is the case, it would make perfect sense that John sees this angel standing in the sun. He is not standing in our present sun, but would appear to be standing in the sky within the light provided by God’s Shekinah glory.

The angel cries out inviting all the birds of the air to gather themselves to Jerusalem where they will feed from the supper God provides for them. This supper will consist of the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and their riders, and of all men both free and under bondage, both important and unimportant. This list basically covers every type of man who lives on earth. In particular, this focuses mainly on every type of political and military person. Everyone from kings down to men in bondage (there are several types of bondage - political, convicts, bondage to the military, and even slavery still exists in some parts of the world) will be at this event. Captains and enlisted men, rich and poor men, famous and unknown persons will be there. It would seem mostly men, as this will be a military invasion, but also women will most assuredly be there. This doesn’t mean that every individual on earth will be there, but that every type of person will have its representatives there. There will be no part of society that escapes God’s final wrath. Interestingly, it lists horses as being there. It would appear that these are ridden by soldiers. In this day and age the “cavalry” units are helicopter units, not units that ride horses. Technology has replaced horses, yet clearly this states that there will be horses at this battle. One has to wonder if all that has transpired through all the judgments has left the world bereft of its technology and fuel, and as a result they have resorted back to older modes of travel (horses) as well as older style weapons (swords). It would not be a far-fetched hypothesis to think so. One feels sorry for the horses who have no choice.

This “supper” that the birds are invited to is the battle of Armegeddon. This would explain why the list of people is mainly political and military in essence. As we know from previous verses, the blood will flow high and far from this battle. The birds will indeed have their fill of carrion.

Verse 19 “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”

Now we see that not only are the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war on the Messiah and His army, but that the beast is leading them. This is finally the physical all-out war between Yeshua haMashiach and His followers, and Satan and his followers.

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

This is not much of a battle though. It is a massacre and Satan and his followers are the losers. It begins with the beast and the false prophet both being taken and thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone. It is unknown whether the beast and false prophet are humans that are inhabited by demons or fallen angels, or are nephilim, but either way, they are thrown into the fire. They no longer have any powers to fight back. This is the end for them. They do not even get the privilege of appearing at the Great White Throne Judgment later on. They are the first two inhabitants of the lake of fire. More will follow them later on at the Great White Throne Judgment. This verse clearly indicates that these are two individuals who are given eternal punishment for their sins. This negates any teachings that say that they are merely representatives of some type of system or government or anything else of that nature. These two are thrown alive into the lake of fire. They are two individual persons, not symbolic representations. Notice that it is again said that it is the false prophet that is given the status of being the miracle worker, not the beast. While the beast requires worship as being God, the false prophet is the religious leader who is doing the miracles on behalf of the “god,” just as Christ performed the miracles on behalf of the Father and to give the glory to God.

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

After the beast and false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, Yeshua turns His attention to the armies. They are slain with the sword that proceeds out of His mouth. Since His Word of Truth is sharper than a two-edged sword, it is merely by speaking the pronouncement of His judgment that all of these people can be slain. He does not have to physically fight a battle, nor do the armies of heaven have to raise their swords. It is enough that He speaks His judgment and it is done. Just as He only had to speak for a miracle to occur while he sojourned on earth, it only requires His speaking something forth at this time for judgment to occur. Again it mentions that the birds will fill themselves on the flesh that is slain.