Monday, November 29, 2010

Revelation 22:19-20

Verse 19 “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Now we see that taking away is as bad as or worse than adding to the words. The punishment is definitely worse. The consequences of adding to God’s Word is that you had to suffer the plagues without protection. Now you lose your salvation (there goes eternal security out the window), your place in New Jerusalem, and all the good things (blessings and eternal rewards) which are contained in this book. Taking away is not just removing passages or sections that may not be liked, but I believe spiritualizing away all the plagues of this book is also taking away from the prophecies found in it.

Verse 20 “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

For the last time Yeshua warns that He is coming quickly. How many times has He warned this, yet how many say that there is no Second Coming or that He delays it? Amen basically means “so be it.” It is a statement of decisiveness. No plea bargaining, no appeal. Then John adds his own feelings on this. Even in spite of all the horrific things that are going to happen, John wants the Lord to return, as I am sure do we all who love the Lord. This world is definitely not our home. It is full of evil which is hard to bear.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Revelation 22:17-18

Verse 17 “And the spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

The Holy Spirit, who convicts and the Bride, the Church who is supposed to be bringing the gospel to the world, tell everyone to come to Yeshua. Those who have an ear to hear, and those who are thirsty for a relationship with God are invited to come and drink of the water of life that Yeshua freely offers all.

Verse 18 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book;”

Now comes a huge warning. For those who hear the words of the prophecy of the book of Revelation (and actually very few do in Christian circles), anyone who adds things which do not belong there, or changes the meanings of the words (such as spiritualizing things when they should be taken literally), or deletes (ignores) passages, God will make that person suffer all the plagues that are written in the book. This is a seriously frightening thing for me in writing this blog. I continually and have continually prayed over all the years I have been studying this that I not be deceived or led astray into lies and deceptions, nor lead others into it. I have prayed for truth and understanding and wisdom to understand what has been written, so that I can help others understand and be ready both spiritually and physically for what lies ahead. It scares me deeply to think that I could be the cause of leading anybody astray.

I was raised to believe in a pre-tribulation rapture (obviously I have changed my mind on that) and this verse always puzzled me when viewed through that belief. If all Christians were to be gone before any of these plagues took place, how on earth could this be a threat that they will suffer them, just because they taught Revelation incorrectly? Now I understand how that can happen. These so-called prophecy teachers that say, “Peace and safety,” because you are going to be raptured out, are in for a really bad time. Jer. 14:13-15 “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.” Under those circumstances, do not think that I entered into this blog lightly. For twenty years I have sought the Lord to show me truth no matter the cost. It has been a long journey, as He has had to reveal it in steps, as it was too hard to handle all at one time. I had to “grow” into understanding. And even now, I continue to learn and update. But I will continue to go back and correct as God shows me, so that I do not lead astray. My one fear has been that I might be guilty of this, and I have constantly prayed to not be guilty of that sin. While at times I have had to piece information together to understand, and hypothesis is the result rather than definitive facts, I hope that I have been clear that it is hypothesis and not fact, and have not “added” anything that does not belong. I abhor that in others, and I pray to not be guilty of it myself.

While it is helpful to look at extra-biblical sources to get a better idea of what else is going on in the world and to be able to better understand what the Bible does say by understanding the context of things, this information can never be in opposition to Scripture and be correct. That is where many go wrong. They supplant what the Bible says in lieu of what they learn outside of the Scriptures. This is what is leading many to declare whom they think the antichrist is, or predict events which the enemy is planning, but which are not described in Scripture. I have seen the enemies' plans be derailed more than just a few times. They can plan what they want, but unless God allows it, it will not come to pass, so no matter what we learn of their plans, we always have to weight it against Scripture.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Revelation 22:15-16

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

This verse almost makes it sound as if just outside the gates of New Jerusalem there are all these sinners just living their lives, but who cannot enter into New Jerusalem. That is not what is indicated here. The word “without” can be (and is in some other verses) translated as “away.” In other words, away from or to put it another way, excluded from God’s entire kingdom (not just New Jerusalem) are those who have found themselves thrown into the lake of fire. God’s White Throne Judgment has rid the world of all of these sinners previous to this, so there are none left to be living anywhere near God’s kingdom, much less just outside the gates. Throughout the New Testament and in Revelation several times, it gives lists of sins that will keep a person from entering into the kingdom of God. This is just one more reminder that those who think they are “good enough” will not be making it in on their own “goodness.” They will be excluded from the kingdom of God. God gives multiple warnings before punishing.

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

Again Yeshua identifies Himself as the author of these things, who has sent an angel to tell John, who then is to tell the churches. He verifies His ancestry which qualifies Him as the King, and again refers to Himself, as He did earlier in the book, as the bright and morning star. All of these are identities with which we are familiar.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Revelation 22:14

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

Now we have a third blessing in this book. This blessing differs in that it is not about the book of Revelation, but about keeping God’s commandments. Yeshua told us that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. One of them being (I hate to keep beating this drum, but….) keeping the Sabbath. Whether you want to believe it is the seventh day of the week or the first, are you keeping it according to God’s ways? Or are you spending the day running from this service to that meeting to this service to that choir rehearsal, etc. Are you spending the day RESTING? You may think that you are spending it with the Lord if you are pursuing church activities, but are you really spending it with the LORD? Or are you expending your energy running around doing church activities for the church? I know Christians who feel that your degree of Christianity is measured by how many services you are attending during a week and especially on Sunday. By their standards "good" Christians show up to Sunday night service and "really good" Christians show up to Wednesday night prayer meeting. How ridiculous. God made no commandment about the number of services you should attend.

Spending the Sabbath with the Lord does mean spending time in Bible study, prayer, and praise, however, not all of it should be corporate, as most people really need a lot more family time and quality one on one time with the Lord. And the entire day does not have to be spent doing these things, as they do take energy. The main command is to set the day apart as holy and REST. That is what God did. He ceased being active and took time to sit back and enjoy His creation. After all, what is the sense of having beauty around you if you do not take the time to enjoy it? If we spend all our time working, we never have time to appreciate anything, and God wants us to appreciate what He has given us. Just taking the time to stop and smell the roses, as they say, is a way of worshiping God. It is showing our thankfulness and appreciation. I know that I appreciate a day off from work. I need it to get myself focused again. I know that I appreciate that I can spend time studying God's Word on my own without feeling guilty about the laundry not being done or the rug not being vacuumed, but I also know how important it is to take time to just appreciate the day and God's gifts and especially connect with my family. The Sabbath is a guilt free pleasure that God gives us as a gift, yet we refuse to take advantage of it. Instead Christians spend the day hurrying from service to service and being just as exhausted at the end of the day as they are any other day. Mental work (you should be listening to the sermons not sleeping through them) is just as exhausting at times as physical labor. To spend the entire day in or leading church services is not the same as resting. People spend virtually no time with their family, as a family unit, enjoying each other and learning about each other. We do need to spend time in corporate worship, but not to the point of excluding rest or family time. And taking time to enjoy all that God has given us is worshiping God. I know that when I give a gift, if the person never takes the time to enjoy it, I feel like it was not appreciated, nor was it worth my effort to give it to them. I am sure God feels the same way.

Getting off my soapbox on that issue, those who keep the commandments have the right to eat from the tree of life. This has already been mentioned, so we will not cover that further. And they may enter into the gates of the city. We already know that no sinner is going to get past those gates.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Revelation 22:11-13

Verse 11 “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”

This is a very hard verse to comprehend. It would seem that the wicked are being told to not repent and to in fact continue in their wicked ways. That would seem to fly in the face of all Scripture which exhorts unbelievers to repent. As that interpretation would contradict the very nature of Scripture, it is clear that this must be seen in a different way. In Daniel 12:10 we read, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” As Revelation was meant for believers, it would be illogical to issue a directive to unbelievers through it. Instead it would seem that just as in Daniel the angel is merely stating a fact, “the wicked shall do wickedly”, that this is how this should probably be interpreted. In other words, God’s wrath is not going to change anybody’s mind. We saw that before in Revelation. It just hardens their hearts further. There is a time when there is no more chance for repentance, so the wicked will just continue on as they have been. They will follow the course they have set for themselves and continue in their rejection of God. The word “let” in this case would more probably be said to mean “allow.” Allow the unjust to continue in their ways of being unjust. Allow the filthy to continue in their pursuit of filthiness. Nobody, not even God (as it would break His condition of free will), can change their minds against their will, so just let them go their way. Do not drive yourselves crazy trying to bring people to the Lord who do not want any part of Him. I believe that is how this is how this verse should be interpreted. And the same is true for the righteous and holy. They are allowed to continue on their path also, without Satan being allowed to pull them from their course, if they choose to follow Yeshua.

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

Once again we are warned that Yeshua is coming quickly. He will be bring His reward with Him to give every man according to what He deserves. For the righteous, eternal life. For the unrighteous, eternal damnation.

Verse 13 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”

Just as He introduced Himself as the Alpha and Omega in the first chapter in Revelation, so Yeshua again announces who He is. He is the beginning of all things (He spoke the world into existence in Genesis) and He is the end of all things (here at the end of the world and the beginning of eternity.) He is the first and the last. Everything in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation has actually been about Yeshua. The Bible is a portrait of Him from beginning to end. From the first verse to the last, everything revolves around Him and His work.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Revelation 22:8-10

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

John now tells his readers that this was not a dream, nor his imagination. He has seen and heard these things for real. And when all was revealed, John made the mistake (again) of falling down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed him these last things. And this after just having done it, and been corrected, when Yeshua came out of heaven on His horse to slay the armies at Armageddon.

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

John is again chastised for bowing down to anyone but God, and is in fact told that the angel (This does not have to mean angel in the sense of those spiritual entities. The Greek word means messenger.) is a fellow servant, and not just any fellow servant, but one of the prophets who has kept the sayings of this (Revelation) book. This would seem to narrow it down to a person who has not just been a prophet, but who has kept the prophecies of this particular book. It might be that this is one of the two witnesses, or it might just be an end times saint who has had the gift of prophecy. Scripture does teach that at the end, this gift will again be being given and used. Acts 2:17-18 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.” John is (again) told to worship only God. He is obviously overcome by all of this, as he certainly knows better than to worship anyone other than God.

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

Daniel was told to seal up the visions he had seen, as they were for the time of the end - our day. But John was told to not seal up the prophecies of this book, for the time was at hand for them to start being fulfilled. We do not know exactly when the first seal was opened after Yeshua’s resurrection, possibly fairly soon, but we do know that the letters were addressed to churches that existed at the time. The sayings of the book indeed were to start being applied immediately. The warnings to the churches were very real to the churches of that day, as well as our own. The time for all of the prophecies to start being fulfilled was at hand, and even though it has taken 2,000 years for them to be fulfilled (and they are not yet all fulfilled), the book did need to be understood immediately. So the time really was “at hand” and the book had to remain unsealed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Revelation 22:6-7

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

Now the angel that has been showing John all of this reiterates that everything that John has been told and shown is very true. That God, the same God of the prophets of old, has sent the angel to show God’s servants everything that will shortly come to pass. First, notice that it is “servants” plural, not servant. This was not just shown to John, it was meant to be shown (through John) to all of us. Remember that there is a blessing upon those who read and heed the warnings in this book of the Bible. There is a reason for that. Forewarned is forearmed. We know what is coming and can spiritually, if not physically, prepare ourselves to face what lies ahead. And I believe it does lie ahead for anyone reading this, unless you die an untimely death or are near to death due to illness or advanced age. The angel said that these things must shortly be done. To John it would be another 2,000 years, but for us it is right around the corner. Things could wait a few more years, but I feel that would be the outside limit. Everything is hanging on a precipice at this point just waiting for God’s permission to begin. His permission is the only thing holding it back. The preparations for the temple are complete, even the altar has been constructed, so there is nothing more that need be done for the temple to go up.

Verse 7 “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”

Yeshua gives the warning He has given many times before. He is coming quickly. Not only in the sense of rapidly when He does come, but soon from God’s perspective of time. For John it would not be soon from his perspective, but from our perspective it will be soon in the same way it is for God. Again, I believe everything is about to “hit the fan” as the saying goes. The world is on the brink and poised to enter into that last phase.

There was a blessing at the beginning of the book and now there is another blessing. First it was for those who read and heed what the book says, and now it is for those who keep or listen and adhere to the prophecies of this book rather than listening to the ridiculous things that people are teaching about the future. This book, which I have heard many pastors dismiss as a) irrelevant to Christians (they think it is for Jews and unbelievers), or b) too difficult to bother with, or c) unnecessary to study, has not just one blessing, but a double portion of blessing for those who take it seriously and try to understand it correctly. No other book in the Bible carries as much importance for believers as this book does. The gospels are important for unbelievers, as they point the way to salvation, but this is the book that believers should all be studying as diligently as possible. The double blessing may be that you live to see the rapture.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Revelation 22:4-5

Verse 4 “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.”

While we cannot look upon the face of God now, He will be there for everyone to look upon then. His name will be upon everyone’s forehead. When He sealed the 144,000 on their foreheads, he was putting his name on them. A promise to the Philadelphians was that the Lamb would write upon the overcomers the name of God, the name of New Jerusalem, and His new name. We saw that Yeshua had a name written upon Him that no man knew when He rode down at Armageddon. Yeshua gets a new name, (Yeshua means “God saves,” He will need a new more appropriate name for the future after all is done and over) and that name will be written upon His people. Rev. 3:12 “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”

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

As mentioned before, New Jerusalem is a source of light as God’s glory shines out through it. It is a transparent crystal-like structure, so God’s glory will shine forth as through a diamond. There will no longer be any night, as God’s glory will not discontinue at any time, and it will be upon the earth, not in orbit, so the earth will not turn away its face from it at any time, as it does to the heavenly bodies when it rotates on its axis. If the new earth has a canopy as the old earth (and future millennial earth) had, the light will diffuse around the planet so that there will never be any darkness. As a result, there will be no need for a candle (John did not know about electricity and light bulbs) nor will there be a sun. I believe from what has already been studied, there has been no sun (as we now know it) for a thousand years since the beginning of the millennium, so this is not a new idea. God is the source of light. Isaiah 60:19-20 "The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy
God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." And the saints reign forever. Even if the millennial saints are given glorified bodies, which does not seem indicated, they still exist as nations, and as such need judges to govern them. The saints also judge the angels, so no matter what, the saints will reign as judges forever.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Revekation 22:3

Verse 3 “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:”

Now we are told there is no more curse. Everything is brought back to the original state of perfection. This is where the world started. Back in Genesis I had said that the world will exist in five states. Perfection, antediluvian state, present state, millennial state (which is the same as the antediluvian state) and then perfection - a perfect cycle. As it now says there is no more curse, it would seem that the leaves of the tree that are said to be for healing would not include healing disease, as disease is a result of the curse. As it appears that the people coming through the millennium might not get glorified bodies, which would make sense as they do not die, it would seem that the leaves are just for anti-aging and in case someone gets hurt, as the bodies we have now can get injured, even in a perfect world. It would also appear that as there is no more curse, there may not be any more children being born, as (can be seen from the millennium) even when the Lord reigns, the path of destruction is broad, and the path of life is narrow and few be there that find it. Were children to be born, many would have to be executed due to their choice to rebel against God. If that were so, the curse would not be lifted, which it says that it is.

God and the Lamb will be in New Jerusalem and all of those who have believed in Him will serve Him forever.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Revelation 22:1-2

Verse 1-2 “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

There is no temple to house God’s throne. It seems from the following verses that there is a garden in the midst of this city in which God’s and the Lamb’s throne are located. Notice that the way it is stated, it appears there is only one throne. We know that the Lamb sits at the right hand of God, so this must be a large throne on which both sit. From out of the throne (presumably underneath) proceeds a river. This is river which contains the essence of life, is pure, and clear as crystal. It is living water which brings life. From the midst of the flow of the river, from one shore to the other shore grows the tree of life. It must be huge. This tree has been off limits since Adam and Eve sinned and were banned from the garden. It (or another like it) existed in the garden of Eden, but nobody could enter that garden (after the fall) due to the cherubim guarding its gate and the flaming sword guarding the tree of life. This was so that man would not eat of it and be forced to live eternally in a sinful body. Death is actually God’s blessing, as we are released from the sinful body to exchange it for a perfect one. Gen. 3:24 “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” The tree of life was destroyed during Noah’s flood, as was the Garden of Eden, which is why we do not have Cherubim and a flaming sword found anywhere in Israel today. This tree in New Jerusalem produces twelve (note God’s use of the number twelve - twelve tribes, twelve disciples, etc.) fruits. It gives a new crop of fruit every month. This may be a different fruit every month and there may still be twelve months a year, or it may be that once a month it produces all twelve fruits afresh. It does not clearly say which it is. One of the promises to the church of Ephesus was that overcomers would eat from this tree of life. The leaves are used medicinally for healing. Which brings up a question which we will address momentarily.

During the millennium, there will be a similar river flowing out from the threshold of the temple which will do the same thing as this river. Ez. 47:1-12. “Afterward, he brought me again unto the door of the house, and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward, and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over; for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country and go down into the desert, and go into the sea, which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary; and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.”

The millennial river has not one tree which produces twelve fruits (which is why we know this refers to the millennium and not the eternal state), but fruit trees grow on both sides of the river and they constantly produce fruit rather than go dormant, for the leaf does not fade. The fruit cannot be consumed, which means it produces so much that it cannot all be harvested. It says that it will bring forth new fruit according to its months. Whether this means that the trees will bring forth so much fruit when each particular fruit is in season (for instance apples are ripe in the fall), so that the fruit will last until the next time it is seasonal for it to be ripe, or whether like the tree of life they will produce on a monthly basis, it is not precisely clear. One would think, though, that for the fruit to not be consumed, it would probably mean that they will produce monthly. That would supply an inordinate amount of food.

The leaves of these trees are used medicinally for healing people, which is part of the reason people will not be ill nor die during the millennium. They will be healed by these leaves, and the vapor canopy over the earth will slow the aging processes as it did before the flood.

Getting back to the tree of life in eternity, the fact that the leaves are also used for the healing of the nations as they were during the millennium forces us to ask a question. The bodies that Adam and Eve had were originally meant to last forever, but we know that they can die. So what was going to keep them alive? It would appear that the leaves of the tree of life that existed then were to be used for the same purpose as the tree in the future, for healing. If they partook of the tree of life, I do not think that it was a once and for all change in a person’s body that allowed them to live forever like a magic elixir, but that when they were ill or hurt, the leaves would cure them. They may also have rejuvenated the body so that aging would not have been a problem. Without illness and without aging, they would have lived forever in the bodies they had, which were perfect at the start. Now we see that the leaves of this tree are to be used for healing, which means that someone has bodies that can be hurt, possibly get ill, and age. It does not seem that our resurrected bodies will have this problem, as they are supposed to be incorruptible. It does not say, however, that those who have lived through the millennium are going to receive the glorified bodies that those who have died before have received. Are they going to live out eternity in their present bodies, using the leaves for injury and aging just as Adam and Eve would have used them had they not sinned? Their bodies were originally intended to live forever when God created them. It would seem by deduction that this is possibly the case, as it does not seem likely that the resurrected bodies would have need of healing and anti-aging elixirs. This would explain why in eternity there are nations who will walk in the light of New Jerusalem rather than live in New Jerusalem. There will still be nations, as not everybody is the bride of Christ and a resident of New Jerusalem. Israel will always exist as a nation, and apparently so will other nations. They will be populated by the people who lived through the millennium and are allowed to enter eternity. It would seem that maybe these people get judged at the Great White Throne Judgment also, but their names are written in the Book of Life, which is why God opens it there as well as the books of works from which He judges the unsaved dead. All the unsaved will be dead, including those who did live through the millennium, as they went up against God at the second Gog/Magog war and were devoured by the fire God sent. This is the second resurrection, however those who were not a part of this rebellion did not die, so if they are judged at this time, they are not part of the dead being judged, they are the living whose names are in the Book of Life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Revelation 21:24-27

Verse 24 “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.”

Now we see that there is still a division between those who were the saints that reigned with Yeshua and live in New Jerusalem, and those who lived on earth during the millennium. As mentioned before, New Jerusalem is the new “sun” which lights the earth, and now its light still shines on the new earth. The nations of those who are saved (those who were righteous and did not rebel at Satan’s last roundup), will still walk in its light. There will still be nations and governments and kings, as the kings of the earth will bring their homage to God inside the city. All will be able to look upon the face of God.

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

The gates of the city will never be shut. In ancient days, the gates of the cities (which were surrounded by walls for defense) were shut at night for protection. As there will be no night, but only day, there will be no need for the gates to be shut. Added to that is the fact that there will be no one who would cause there to be any need for them to be shut anyhow, as there will only be righteous people.

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

All the nations will bring their homage and gifts and worship into the city to present to God.

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

There will be no worry of anything evil corrupting the city, as there will not be anything evil to enter. Only those whose names have been written in the Book of Life will have entrance into the city. This is a given, as they are the only people who are left after the White Throne Judgment. I think this is mentioned because those people who think they are “good enough” need to realize that they are not going to enter into the kingdom of God without entering into it the way God has said that they can. Only those whose names are in the book of life will get in. One lie is enough to keep an unrepentant sinner out. It was already discussed in a previous passage what those who are an abomination are, and the other sins which keep one out of the kingdom of God, so that will not be revisited here.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Revelation 21:21-23

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

As for the gates, each one is made up of a single pearl. Out of curiosity as to how others interpreted this, I did something which I seldom do. I went online and looked up some well-known commentaries to see what others were saying. Everyone that I read said the same thing, that this is not to be taken literally, as there is no such thing as a giant pearl. I have to laugh at so-called Christians who believe that God created the universe, incarnated in human form, and came back from the dead, but lacks the ability to create a giant pearl. John is not describing a metaphor, he is describing a city that he actually sees, and he is describing it in literal detail. These are either giant pearls which have a doorway carved out of them, or it may simply be that each gate is made of a single sheet of mother of pearl, both which would require a special creation of God. But then is not this whole city a special creation of God? We were not told how large the gemstones in the foundation were. They may be enormous also. As we do not know exactly what these gates look like, it is hard to say whether it is a round pearl with a doorway in it, or a gate made of one piece of mother of pearl. What we do know is that John perceived them as being a literal single pearl each, not a metaophor for some spiritual application.

Again we are told of the transparency of the gold used in this city. The streets are made of transparent gold. Years ago the idea of transparent gold may have not been understandable, but now with our technology, we know there is such a thing. As mentioned before, that is what is put on the visors of astronauts' helmets to protect them from the sun's brilliance when they are outside their spacecrafts. They can see through the gold, as it is transparent. To repeat the purpose one more time, the transparency is so God’s glory can shine throughout the entire city.

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

There is no temple building anymore. The millennium requires a temple, so we now can differentiate between the Scriptures that are speaking of the millennium and those which refer to eternity. I say that, as there are some who try to make the millennial Scriptures refer to the world of eternity. For eternity the old things have passed away. The need for a temple, rituals, and intercession by a priest is no longer necessary. Sinless perfection reigns and sinless perfection can come before the presence of God. Therefore God and the Lamb (Yeshua) live in the city without the need for a temple. They are the temple of the city. That is why God’s glory shines throughout. Unlike the original temple where God resided in the Holy of Holies apart from humanity, as no person can see the face of God and live, here all can look upon God, so He need not be separate from His children any longer. He has no need of a temple to separate Himself.

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

The city is coming down to the earth now, so it will not be in orbit any longer. There is no sun as that blew itself out before the millennium, and there is no need for the moon either. God has had those pass away and has not created new ones to replace them. God's glory shining through the city will still light the earth, so there is no need for a sun or moon even with the city on the ground.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

About Gematria

Having written about the well-known "666" of Revelation possibly being Arabic letters that say "in the name of Allah," followed by the symbol of the crossed swords which means military might, and having received a comment that told me that Gematria is also used in English, I decided to look a little further into the history of Gematria rather than just knowing it is an occult practice. I found the historical information presented from the following sources.

"Gematria: History and Principles - The Magickal Correspondences of Words and Numbers" by Lisbeth Cheever-Gessaman

"Some Notes on the History of Isopsephia (Gematria)" by John Opsopaus

"Gematria" by Alan G. Hefner

The earliest record that exists of the use of Gematria is from the 8th century BC where it is written that King Sargon II of Babylon built the wall of Khorsabad the distance of the Gematria or numerical value of his name, which was 16, 283 cubits. Gematria was a well-known practice in the Mesopotamian area as all of the "gods" had numbers. From Babylon its next recorded use is in Greece. This would make sense, as the history of the pagan gods show that they originated in the Babylonian area and then their worship migrated outward to Greece, India, etc. As to how Gematria came to be used by the Hebrews, there are two ways. While it is clearly probable that Gematria was incorporated into Judaism through Qabalah (Kabalah) during the Babylonian captivity, the historical evidence seems to show that it did not really take hold in Judaism until the 1st century BC and is more inclined to be used the way the Greeks used it. This would infer that while they clearly would have been exposed to it in Babylon, it really began being utilized under the Greek influence. The Hebrews used Gematria for divination ( a major sin). That this was a real problem is easily found simply by reading the Tanakh or Old Testament. Israel was influenced by pagan practices from the Exodus on. Using pagan practices was such a perpetual sin that the ten northern tribes of Israel were dispersed by God for several thousand years until the end times (of which we are close to entering), when He will again bring them back to Israel. Not only did Judaism incorporate Gematria (only one of many occult practices that they were exposed to and brought back from Babylon), but early Christianity did the same. As mentioned in previous blogs, both Judaism and Christianity are full to overflowing of pagan practices, all which need to be removed.

As mentioned in the comment by Aviv to my post, Gematria made its way into the English language, as early as the 1500s. One of the most well-known authors and users of English Gematria was Aleister Crowley, one of the world's most famous occultists. He was known as "The Great Beast", and founded the religious philosophy known as Thelema. He also founded the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and The Ordo Templi Orientis, both occult organizations. People have even used Gematria to try to find hidden messages in Shakespeare.

The purpose of all of this history is to merely show that Gematria is an occult practice and should not be considered a method of interpretation of the Scriptures.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Revelation 21:17-20

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

The wall that surrounds the city is 216 feet (roughly 66 meters) tall if one uses the cubit according to the measure of a man. A cubit (the length of the arm of a man up to his elbow) is generally reckoned to be 18 inches (.5 meter) long. There are some cases when a cubit was as much as 21 inches, but generally 18 inches is the accepted length. This is the height of the wall, which is actually shorter than the recorded height of ancient Babylon's wall, which Herodotus reported as being 350 feet. To a city that is 1500 miles tall, a wall merely 216 feet tall would seem miniscule by comparison. It is roughly 21 ½ stories high if a story is approximately ten feet. This is not that tall considering the height of the city. Grammatically it would appear there are two ways of viewing the statement about the measurement. The first given is the usual way of interpreting it. John says that this measure is according to the measure of a man, which means that the common measurements of man are being used. It seems that John then realizes that he may be confusing the issue by referring to the angel as a man and wants to clarify that he did not mean that the one measuring it is a man, but an angel (most likely in the form of a man). The other possible way to interpret this is that John is describing the process of measuring, and then realizes that he misspoke and said man when he meant angel (the cubit of an angel being much larger, as most angels that have been seen have been reported to be about eight feet or 2.5 meters tall). It does not seem to be an issue either way, as the idea of how high the wall is compared to the city is understood regardless of which way it is taken.

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

The wall is like jasper. While there are many colors of jasper, this jasper would most likely be the clear jasper. God’s glory is to shine through it, so it needs to be transparent to allow that to happen. The city is described as being of pure gold, but clear as glass. Again, the gold is so thin, as in an astronauts helmet, that it is transparent. This city is transparent for a purpose and that is to let God’s glory shine through it.

Verse 19-20 “And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh; chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.”

The foundations of the wall are decorated with all kinds of precious stones. I am not a gemologist, and even many scholars have trouble when it comes to identifying stones using the ancient names, which is what the Bible does. Many stones had multiple names due to various regions giving them different names, so while there is some idea of what the gems are, especially those with names that are still common such as emerald, topaz, amethyst and sapphire, nobody can say for a certainty exactly what some of the more obscure ones mentioned are. There is a general consensus that these are the same twelve stones, some mentioned by other names, that were used to represent the twelve tribes of Israel on the priest’s breastplate. Some definitely are the same, but again, the use of different names for the same stone make it impossible to say this is absolutely true. God does like to be consistent in what He does, so it is quite probable that these are the same stones. They are an assortment of different colors, so it will be a very beautiful foundation. There is most certainly a reason why each stone was chosen by God for representing the tribes and for putting them in the wall, but a study of that nature would take years to pursue and I am not sure that even then an answer would be forthcoming. I believe there are some people who have tried to do such a study, but not having read what they have written, I cannot say whether what they are saying is upheld by Scripture or not. The obvious idea that God is trying to present is that it will be exceedingly beautiful.