What an odd statement.


remso:

This is important to me. We are in the last innings of this ball game.

Originally posted on A voice in the wilderness:

(7/21/13) Our usual men’s Sunday morning bible study.

The leader opened in prayer, asked if someone wanted to read the passages, which they did. He then turned to the group and said anyone have anything to say about what was read, giving me the impression that he had nothing.

I always have something to say. I operate on the principle of always be prepared to give witness to the faith that is in you. So, I waited several long, silent moments to see if anyone else would jump in, and then I started with verse one of John chapter 10.

The gospel of John is awesome, powerful, and consistently demonstrates that Jesus was God. Mere moments into the points I  started to make I was cut off.

One of the men in our group has seminary training and feels that his dominance and voice is mandatory for most discussions. This…

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Papa, are we there yet?


In ways they were much like the grand kids on a longer trip, saying, “papa, are we there yet?” But how much do I still sound like this, for sometimes I find myself doing and thinking the same things as the disciples did.

John 16, it seems, should be the epic heroes tale, with Jesus as the hero telling his troops (the boys) about the things of the future, a conquering victor, a life with that victor, and an end of the story that is beyond comprehension and belief, for nothing has ever turned out that good, except for one thing; this life they have lived in his presence.

Now if that is the way they thought then the idea of Jesus leaving them must have been unconscionable. If you are honest as you read chapter 16 you can see what I am talking about.

I did not lead this last Sunday, our co-leader did, but I always go ready; one never knows, besides, didn’t Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tell us that we are to be ready all the time.

2 Timothy 4:2 GW  Be ready to spread the word whether or not the time is right. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach.

So when my partner threw out his first question, and you could cut the silence with a knife, I jumped in (I always have something to say.) Many  times I refrain from saying things because I want the guys to interact. Interaction tells me that you are either learning, or at least invested in the story.

We did not cover the rest of the chapter the way I would have, but we finished.

I am not done yet. Let’s pick this up at John 16:13

John 16:13 ASV Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come.

John 16:13 MKJV However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come.

I am not the great theologian. If I were I would dissect this section where it talks about, “when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come,…”

This seems so impersonal, so vague, and yet we should understand that Jesus interacted with this same spirit when he was in the presence of the Father.

I could be wrong in interpreting this but it seems that Jesus was speaking of himself, not the spirit, when he said this:

John 14:18 I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you.

Loosely I could say he fulfilled this promise after he rose from the dead. He could not make this promise once he departed back to the Father, which was the trigger for the Holy Spirit to come, because none of the disciples would live on forever. Many died within months of this oration, others, like John, lived on for many years. And yet none had a physical visitation from Jesus Christ, (I think).

Having read the book, “The Shack”, where the Holy Spirit is an ethereal, undefinable entity, that seems to move as though he is responding to the slightest breeze. It becomes difficult to think of it as a he. Why not? Jesus came from the Father, so does the Spirit; Jesus does only what the Father tells him, so does the spirit. So the Spirit and Jesus fully carry the importance, and duty of the Father.

How would you go about trying to define the Holy Spirit, that is going to replace him, to a bunch of guys that apparently are coming apart at the seams?

when the Spirit of truth comes,”

We already understand that Jesus had laid out what would occur: his death, his resurrection, his ascent to the Father, and his word that they Comforter would come to them. This is all in the near future to them.

Spirit of – pneuma – We find this throughout scripture. This is the Holy Spirit.

Jude 1:20-21 NASB But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, (21) keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

2 Timothy 1:12-14 NASB For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. (13) Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (14) Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

1 John 4:13 NASB By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

Truthalētheia - what is true in any matter under consideration.

This concept is something I ran across while involved in the faith movement. I had no idea that the Word itself conveyed this meaning. Circumstances may say otherwise but God’s word is true regardless of the circumstances around you.

Comes – to be established, find its place, become known, and shows itself.

 he will lead you into all the truth;”

hodēgeō – to be a guide, lead on one’s way, to guide.

I suppose that all we have to do is to trust him. Having been raised to be negative and not trust, I find it difficult at times to decide whose voice I am hearing. Therefore, We are forced to live by faith and have to learn to trust.

Again, the wide view is to say that with the Holy Spirit to guide me, then I probably do not need a pastor. Somehow I feel like this is inappropriate, and yet how much less appropriate is it to argue against God’s word.

I will be honest. I go to church, and I enjoy my Pastor’s messages. My concept of Pastor has had to change as I have a variety of relationships with such. This one has been my pastor for about seven years and we have shaken hands, perhaps twice. Compare this lack of contact with the pastor that I used to ride motorcycles with. I suppose that is the drawback of a large church. Selah.

Sometimes though, like when I have been up since sunrise, and now, hours later, I am sitting in a comfortable chair, I fall asleep, far too often.

If I were to choose my greatest reason for being at church I would have to say that it is the people, for so many of these people have become family to me. Yes, I deeply value worship. It is the time that opens me up spiritually, and I always find myself pouring my heart out in prayer during worship. But having “family” that understands and makes themselves available when I am struggling, and they with me.

Honestly, if each one of us has the Holy Spirit in them, capable of teaching them, and guiding them, then our greatest draw should be the interaction with others.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, then I suggest you come to know this Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit will come into you and fill you with the power and presence of the living God. You will be a member of the family and Jesus will come to restore us to the Father once again.

Time is short.

Practice loving on people and enjoy this life we have in Christ.

If you do not know this Jesus, nor have a hope of salvation from the onslaught that is coming, I suggest that you give him your life and take his in return. Jesus said he would come into you and abide in you, that is the Holy Spirit of God he is talking about. Along with this relationship comes an assurance that he will come again and take you to be with him and the Father in  a lasting, eternal relationship. A life that is beyond anything  that you can imagine (I, and others, have come up  with some wild scenarios like plants that light up when you touch them or make music as they emit colors). Enough weirdness. Just know that God  loves you and longs to have you rejoin the family.

This is that!… Part 2 of 2


You should have figured out that the this is the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7 NASB  “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

He did go, and the “helper” did come, to stay. So we should be living in the full benefit of God’s presence in us, if we have accepted Jesus Christ.

Migrating through John’s gospel with men’s bible study and this is what I saw.

John 16:8-11 NASB  “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;  (9)  concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;  (10)  and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;  (11)  and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

I already attempted to cover the aspect of convicting the world of sin. So as I read on I noticed that the Holy Spirit also convicts on righteousness and judgment. Judgment sort of makes sense, especially when you were raised in a judgmental environment, but what does it mean when speaks about conviction concerning righteousness.

(Yes, I understand, you merely need to apply some logical thought and God’s word to the passage to understand, but very few will do that. I speak from experience, for I sat in church for years, expecting some Pastor to give me all the truth I needed. I did not look into the Word for myself and I cannot swear that I got the truth; at least when I compare what they said to what I see in God’s word, I do not think so.)

John 16:10 NASB and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;

The Holy Spirit, as we have seen, convicts of offenses, but here He also speaks about righteousness.

What is righteousness? Thayer’s definition: “in a broad sense: the state of him who is as he ought to be, the condition acceptable to God.

But this begs another question. Who acts as he ought to be? Or what is the condition acceptable to God? Paul answered both in his letter to the Roman church.

Eugene Peterson’s The Message, we have: Romans 12:1 MSG So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

To be honest, the entire 14th chapter of Romans defines what is the acceptable condition of the believer. Odd word this believer, for it conveys someone who adheres to the words and pattern of life of another. But one verse stands out as the nutshell that has it all.

Romans 14:19 MSG So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words;

When you look at this verse in the context of the entire chapter, it is a life that is not about getting your own way. Set aside your selfishness; Jesus did.

There is absolutely nothing we can do on our own to make ourselves acceptable condition.

Why? Because since Adam’s fall we are born with knowledge of good and bad. Bad is the only thing Satan invented and boils down to pure selfishness. It is our nature to pursue one or the other, and selfishness and bad are so much easier and they seem to taste better. Besides that, who are you to tell me what to do! Exactly what I am talking about. It is almost as though we are driven to it or it is built-in.

Hang around an AA meeting and listen to what some say. You will hear, “Hi, I am (insert name here) and I am an alcoholic.” How did we get that way? It was easy, attractive, it pulled our minds off of the battle that being unselfish involves, and it is addictive. For many it is hopeless, and they come to realize that they cannot free themselves on their own.

We needed a savior, and perhaps that is an aspect of what we to be reminded of. Speaking for myself, I have to remind myself often, that my character is patterned after Jesus Christ and the Father; that happened immediately and progressively the day I accepted Jesus Christ. The immediate action came as He came into me. As I grow in my understanding of Him and what I wish to be, there is a progressive and continual changing to look more like him. (Still working on that.)

Strong’s definitions tell us that it is an: equity (of character or act). If you are like me then you are scratching your head asking, what that means.

Equity is the impartial distribution of justice, or the doing that to another which the laws of God and man, and of reason, give him a right to claim.

I suppose I could say this another way. Treating others the way God would.

Now some would believe that God’s only job in life is to punish us all with hell, and that would be wrong. How could you believe that if you understood that God so loved a world that did not know him, rejected him in some cases, had no idea of what his character was like, did not love him, did not know that he loved them, and though he had tried to let them know for thousands of years, sent at that time his only Son to submit to a brutal death, for one reason only, to regain his family (us) back.

What does God’s actions have to do with me? Because I accepted what he did as mine and chose to make Jesus Christ my life, then that makes me as though I am the same flesh and blood as Jesus. To some, that makes me kin folk, and to dishonor me is no different from dishonoring the Son that paid that price for me.

Kinship is available, not shoved down your throat, that would be a little selfish, and out of character for God. The price paid obtained for us the freedom to choose which family to live in and be a part of. Yes, there are family members that do not take out their trash and rebel. And yes, they are an embarrassment, but like many children that do that, eventually, if there is time, they actually turn into decent human beings if given a good example.

What of the others? Those of you that want an angry God may find him. But that was not the plan for you. Remember: God so loved the world, and yet, in general, the world does not love him. They are blinded by the enemy, Satan, and many will never come to love the Father, but will rise up, foolishly, against all that he stands for. Scripture calls this the anti-Christ spirit. That which is against God.

Should you be asking how would someone become righteous, escape judgment, or simply join God’s family, I would simply ask Jesus Christ to make himself real to you. Accept Him into your life, and choose to have him live inside you.

This is a time of thanksgiving in America. In a way everyday is. Why? Because without his life in me I would have no life.

This is that! 1of 2


The girlfriend asked me, “so what do you want to study?” My answer was, I am usually motivated to dive into whatever has challenged me or I whatever has made me feel the need to understand something more completely. Such was the case with men’s bible study over the last two weeks.

You cannot possibly do the scriptures justice in five words or less. Mind you there are good reasons for giving overviews of an entire book of the bible in one hour, but trust me, all the listener will get, if they do not dig themselves, is an overview that they will most likely forget. The entire gospel of John, is that way to me. I need to absorb it.

John 16 is filled with emotion, both as Jesus wrestles through to his purpose, and the disciples struggle with, what did he just say! We are losing him? But they are not losing him; try telling them that. That is exactly what Jesus was trying to do.

John 16:7-8 BBE  But what I am saying is true: my going is for your good: for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  (8)  And he, when he comes, will make the world conscious of sin, and of righteousness, and of being judged:

He told them, I am going away, but it is for your good. Now let me get this straight. We have walked around with you for three years. Judas has taken money out of the bag on a continual basis and it never had an impact on us financially. Our families have never been without or sick the entire time, and you say your leaving will be better. Have you lost your mind?

That might have been the way it played out in their minds. I think it is a mistake to assign them some holy status that they did not have, and therefore would have been far above human reasoning and pain. Please, spare me. They were men, and they did not get it.

“…if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you….” We should all know the way this went. He was beaten by the religious leadership and then handed over to the Romans who gave him a beating that most would not have survived. Jewish leaders demanded his death and got it. The disciples were devastated. Peter quit and went back to fishing. When Jesus found him there, there were several other disciples there with him.

Almost like rallying the troops, Jesus has re-appeared to many (over 400) and told them to wait for the Paraclete to come. I cannot begin to understand what that word meant to them. Translated some have called it a friend, and yet can almost carry a legalistic tone as a mediator. The idea that the Holy Spirit is a helper is easier to swallow, but Jesus, when explaining it moments later said, “I“. The Holy Spirit is no less God than He was, and instead of being outside talking to us, demonstrating how to act and walk, He is now inside. I do not think we grasp that; I know I don’t. Jesus was God in the flesh. The Holy Spirit is God inside of us.

What have we got so far? Jesus died, rose again from the dead, and, on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit came, just as he said it would.

Now here is what I want to talk about.

John 16:8 NASB  “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;

Hang around any religious circles and you will hear the term conviction come up. It usually applies to you and what you are doing wrong. But pay attention to what Jesus said:

“when He comes…” Who? The Holy Spirit, and He did already. Peter, after hearing the mockery and insults coming from the religious crowd outside, responded under the power this new Spirit inside of him with,  “but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:  (17)  ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; …….” (Acts 2:16-17 NASB). Peter did not stop there, but you will have your eyes opened if you will read it, in its entirety, from Joel chapter 2. He is talking, under the power of the Holy Spirit, about the end of time, the years which we call the great tribulation. Does anyone see anything positive when they envision the tribulation  years? No! And yet God has told us that during this time HE will pour out his SPIRIT on all mankind. Why do you think that when John sees the martyred before the throne, the second time, that there is an uncountable multitude? Because of His spirit being poured out.

Luke 9:26 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Luke 12:37 “Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them.

2Thessalonians 1:10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed–for our testimony to you was believed.

John 16:9 NASB concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;

So what is sin in this case?

Sin – hamartia – also means offense or failure.

Think in terms of offenses to God. While we pursue money and think this is ok apparently God has a different idea.

Revelation 18:4 NASB I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins (OFFENSES) and receive of her plagues (the beatings that “she” is about to receive because of her blatant actions); [Italics - mine.]

The word plagues, used above, is the Greek word plēgē and means blows, stripes, a wound, public calamity, or heavy affliction.

The answer to the question above actually comes from the previous verse:

Revelation 18:3 NASB “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”

Her/she is the lust for money and power.

Revelation 18:2 NASB And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.

Nations are wrapped up in her. The Kings of the earth are possessed by her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by her.

There is a commonality here, money and greed.

Look around you, all these players have come together under the cloak of NWO, Illuminati, World Health Organization, Common Wealth of Nations, Agenda 21, and have killed and poisoned the population in order to thin the herds, so to speak. It is a mass, concerted effort.

We are knowingly being poisoned on a daily basis, by aerial spraying, putting aspartame, and fluoride (known poisons in just about everything that is deemed convenience food), just to name a few. We call these conspiracy theories because the concept of a small handful of people attempting to control the world is so outlandish and unbelievable, but getting to you live in a state of unbelief is exactly what they are hoping for; that is until they have such a grip that you cannot do a thing about it.

Perhaps this will help to open your eyes.

We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.”
He went on to explain:
It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
David Rockefeller, Speaking at the June, 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and by Dan Quayle

Where is the tie in with scripture? Revelation 18:5 Haven’t you ever read the Revelation and wondered why it comes crashing down on what is left of the horrors of humanity with such a vengeance?

Revelation 18:5-20 NASB (5) for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (6) “Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. (7) “To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I SIT as A QUEEN AND I AM NOT A WIDOW, and will never see mourning.’ (8) “For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. (9) “And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, (10) standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ (11) “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more– (12) cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, (13) and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. (14) “The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. (15) “The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, (16) saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; (17) for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every ship master and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, (18) and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ (19) “And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ (20) “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”

It is as though the scripture speaks in code. Most will not understand this, even if explained to them.

Ask yourself, who are the players in this scenario?

What is their attitude?

What is their goal?

And who takes the brunt of their desires?

I would say the world but that is really to broad. It is the poor, the broken, the destitute, and those that may live their lives just getting by. Those that take the attitude, I am rich and have need of nothing, not even a savior, they are ones that he is speaking about.

 

A call to prayer.


As I sat at dinner with some old friends, (they are both Christians) the Lord spoke to me and said, “Tell people to pray for the Muslims. I will invade their dreams with visions of Jesus Christ, the Messiah as you pray, and droves of them will come to me as they seek out those who know me.

This is critical right now for hatred will arise against the Muslims because of this act of terrorism and will merely fuel a level of violence coming from Islam that will surpass anything you have seen as yet.

 

Father, in the name of your risen Son, Jesus Christ, I ask Lord that you speak to the hearts and minds of the Muslim throughout the world. I ask you invade their dreams and give them visions of you. Make yourself real to them and show them where to go and who to talk to so that they will obtain the life in Christ that you desire for them. I thank you Lord for sending your Son Jesus Christ for in so doing he demonstrated your love for the world. Bring them in Lord for time is short.

 

All those dwelling in the earth will worship it, Revelation 13:8


Revelation 13:8 LITV

And all those dwelling in the earth will worship it, those of whom the names had not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb having been slain from the foundation of the world.

Several things jump out at me as I read this. The statement is implying that there is only two classes of people on the earth at this point.

A. Those that worship the beast

B. Believers in Yeshua, those whose names are written in the Book of Life.

Is this really the situation? I am not trying to challenge God but I wish to better understand because I have read other passages that make me believe that this is not the case. As I was writing my notes, not having a good concordance in front of me, I questioned if the word All as used here was valid.

There are several things that fuel my challenge:

  • Dake’s feels strongly that the beast will not have a global reign

  • The book of Daniel records that Nebuchadnezzar had a statue built and demanded that everyone bow before it. We are told that everyone, except for three, did bow. And yet Daniel was not there.

    So no, everyone did not bow. Simplistic yes, but as I have read through the old testament I have seen over the top statements and it becomes clear that not everyone was there, and therefore is a generalized statement at times.

If I jump ahead to Revelation 21: 10-27 we are told of the New Jerusalem, coming down to the earth and how it lights the earth. The kings of the earth bring their glory unto it. But verse 27 should shock you.

Revelation 21:27 AMP But nothing that defiles or profanes or is unwashed shall ever enter it, nor anyone who commits abominations (unclean, detestable, morally repugnant things) or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Who could be left on earth at this point.

What do we know about those that take the mark and worship the beast? They suffer the same fate as the Antichrist and his false prophet. So they should be gone.

  • We assume that anyone coming to Christ during the seven-year period is martyred, so allegedly they are gone.

  • When Christ returns to earth he kills anyone that is attempting to fight with him. So combatants are gone. This includes those that Revelation 19 describes: the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies.

Those that fight against Christ will probably be, in majority, Islamic, but there is no guarantee of that, for a good deal of the world seems to hate the idea that God wants any authority over their lives.

If we work off the idea that it is an Islamic force coming against Christ, what can we understand about their ideology? Teach the young to hate and prepare for Jihad. Because the fundamentalists teach the way of Jihad as soon as the child can read, it is safe to assume that even if family was not carrying a weapon against God that their anger and hatred are deeply ingrained. If not destroyed in battle the merciful God allows them to continue on trying to live.

I think we need to understand something here. While the New Jerusalem sits here on earth and the earth is ruled by those called Saints, the previously martyred, for a thousand years. Life seems to go on. After all the cataclysmic judgments the earth suffers I am sure it will be vastly different, and you can see that in scripture if you pursue it.

Nothing will demand that you relinquish your anger nor your pagan ideals, but there will be one huge demand placed upon you. You must make the trip to Jerusalem, take part in the yearly Feast of Tabernacles, and bow in obeisance before God. (Some will see this as bordering on impossible. Do you really think that there will be airplanes flying after what the earth goes through, probably not. I do strongly suspect that there will have been a shaking to the point that the land masses will probably be reconnected and that the earth’s population will be dramatically reduced.)

Seems simple enough. The punishment for non-compliance will mean no rain on your ground for a year. I do not know if that means a nation suffers or the person, but the outcome may be the same for without water you do not drink and your crops do not grow.

If you have read any of my commentaries on Revelation then you should have picked up on the idea that I think God is a merciful God and that he is continuing to show mercy. Having given the earth the blanket of forgiveness of sins, placing his Son upon the brutal cross, and watching a world ignore that act of love, I could only imagine how I might react. To say the least my patience would have been worn thin, but God does not seem to work that way.

(Do not balk at this idea, Jesus paid a price that was enough and we were forgiven. He even took it one step further and bought us out of the slavery that Adam’s transgression placed us into to. Did that forgiveness buy us a spot in the family of God? No! He left that entirely up to us – This is the idea behind free will, we get to choose if we wish to be in the family of God. We do that by hearing Jesus words – he calls to you all the time- and believing in the Father.)

Who is left?

  1. The surviving remnant of Jews.

  2. Non-combatants

  3. The nations

    Revelation 21:24 NASB The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.

  4. Those that have come to Jesus during the tribulation years and have been taken captive, and survived. I suspect that God will have them join with him in judgment over the earth for the thousand-year period. (Really, think about it. Who better to judge than those who the earth has already judged. Wait, that could be really scary as our human understanding tells us that they will seek retribution. No, they will judge with a righteous judgment, with Jesus as their leader and example.)

We make the assumption that the end comes with a purging where evil is wiped off the earth and God’s people alone populate the earth, but that is not the case. Yes, it is true, that the source of evil is locked up for a thousand years but that does not change what is in the heart of man. His choice to pursue God freely, or hate him stills exists, and God is not demanding you throw out your idols. That might be wise in the end, but as long as you comply by coming to the yearly feast you get to go on living as you choose. Are you beginning to get the picture, all nations, at least remnants of them are still here; including those we whine about saying, they have never heard the gospel! Trust me on this. They will hear the gospel. That is guaranteed, for an angel flies over the earth preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, and this happens several times, one of which is immediately after the rapture.

Haven’t you ever wondered how it is that the world, after living for a thousand more years in a condition that might be as close to the garden environment that Adam walked in, would be deceived and attempt to turn against God at the end of this millennial period.

“..whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.”

Those of us who have asked Jesus Christ to come into our lives and make his home there, believing that God, the Father, sent his only Son to die on a cross, bearing all our sins, and then rose again to new life so that we may also might live with him, are the ones that have their names written in the book of life.

Many would tell you that you have to confess your sins and ask Jesus to forgive you your sins in order for him to accept you, but that is not the case, for while we were still sinners Christ died for us. He died for us knowing that many would not accept his love and gift; all he asks is that you believe in him and that the Father sent him. Yes, there is more. Scripture tells us that God awaits the chance to show the treasures of heaven and the life that awaits you as part of the family of God. Adam had that life for a limited time (it might have been thousands of years.)

This book of life has belonged to the lamb from before time was even a concept. The Lamb is Jesus. John, the disciple, the angry man who learned what love is, wrote:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

(John 1:1-4 NASB)

 John spoke of my Jesus, my God.

Jesus told them exactly what would happen and then he did it. He rose from the dead. He walked among them, ate with them, let him touch his body, and comforted them. He then told them, as hard as this is going to sound to you, I have to go away to the Father now so that I can prepare a place for you.

A place for me? This is just overwhelming me now. Do you realize that one of the reasons I write is because I have struggled to understand and take this in.

He is real because he did what he said.

And though this is not intentional, here Easter is almost upon us. The time when we celebrate the fact that he rose from the dead. It is the reason for our hope, our hope that there is an eternity of peace with the Father in a land where it is too good to be true. Free from the mental anguish and pains of this world that Satan destroyed.

Easter is our anchor for Hope.

As I have watched on the news lately, many are trying to take away our hope, denying the children, innocent children the right to associate or even consider the possibility that there is a hope.

Jesus Christ did what he said he would do and he rose from the grave.

Yes, there is a hope. It does not matter what people do to me, or what goes on around me. Jesus is mine. I know this because I have asked him in and I have a confidence that he has never left me. He has proven himself true and faithful to me, even when I was not faithful to him.

I love you Father and anxiously await your embrace.

He has risen indeed!

The dragon gave him his power and his throne


Revelation 13:2-4
Revelation 13:2 NASB And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

The beast in this passage is four empires. Three have come and gone; the fourth may be upon us now. Be very clear, in this passage the beast is not an individual unless that individual is a fallen angel.

It would be understandable if the speaker had said the power was given to them. We could then try to rationalize that he is referring to individuals, leaders within those empires. Following that train of thought quickly falls apart because the second empire, the bear, is defined as the Medo-Persian empire – a split empire clearly run by several leaders. If you throw the Alexandrian empire into the mix it does not work either for Alexander dies in his early thirties, leaving others to fight over the rule of the empire. The Alexandrian empire is eventually split four ways and in the end is controlled by the Seleucid and Ptolemaic reigns. No decisive winner here either.

Revelation 13:2 CEV The beast that I saw had the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon handed over its own power and throne and great authority to this beast.

Looking at the verse from other translations may give you a bit more clarity. The dragon is Satan. (Yes, I am aware that he has a multitude of names.) Think about this. Satan offered Jesus this same deal. You do not believe that, I can tell.

Matthew 4:8-9 KJV Again, the devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; (9) And saith unto him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me.

Jesus response may have been delivered with an anger that we do not understand (Several translations put his response in all capital letters. In electronic etiquette that would mean he yelled at Satan). Consider: Jesus was God in the flesh and, a role he chose for the sole purpose of rescuing us, the world. To have Satan, a created being and one that he created throw the world he created back in his face would have been an incredible attempt at slapping God in the face. At the same time, to Satan, this was a credible and valid offer.

Jesus responded with:

Matthew 4:10 YLT Then saith Jesus to him, `Go–Adversary, for it hath been written, The Lord thy God thou shalt bow to, and Him only thou shalt serve.’

  • The word gave, according to Thayer is: to supply, furnish, necessary things

  • Him: αὐτός autos Thayer Definition: 1) himself, herself, themselves, itself 2)he, she, it.

  • Notice this wordpower: dunamis Thayer Definition:1) strength, power, ability.

Power is also used to describe the Holy Ghost coming upon the new Christians.

Act 1:8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:… The word power here is the same word dunamis and it means precisely the same thing. Only in this case instead of the dragon distributing powers the Holy Spirit from God is giving out strength, power and ability.

  • Throne: thronos Strong’s definition: (to sit); a stately seat (“throne”); by implication power or (concretely) a potentate: – seat, throne.

Let’s take the concepts driving the words and put them back together in a sentence.

And the dragon supplied this ability, the driving force that makes the beast what it is (the Greek word can mean it.) with his own power and ability. Since Adam had the dominion over the earth his rebellious act allowed Satan/the dragon to acquire the authority to subjugate everything on the earth to his domination.

(BDB Definition:1) to rule, have dominion, dominate, tread down. 1a) (Qal) to have dominion, rule, subjugate

Since the beast initially comprises four empires and John sees them as one, then there must be a commonality between them. What are the possibilities?

  1. The captivity of Israel.

    This only seems to work for three of them, at least that is what we can see from history. Of the countries that invade Israel in the last days, and they will take Israel captive, what do those ten have in common?

  • Islam under a unified caliphate, that may or may not have to happen,

  • and an overwhelming hatred of Israel.

  1. Another common factor is God’s plan.

    Proverbs 21:1 BBE The king’s heart in the hands of the Lord is like the water streams, and by him it is turned in any direction at his pleasure.

The idea then that God moves people around, both good and bad, is a strong possibility and one that alarms us; why? Because we want to be in control and the truth is we are not and God is.

  1. The last and least defined common trait is the religious theme.

    Daniel 7:23 tells us this fourth kingdom shall be diverse from the others. Perhaps the religious theme still applies but what is different? There was no Islam during the first three kingdom reigns

A strong clue that helps to define this last empire is Daniel 9:26.

Daniel 9:26 ESV And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.

.. and the people of the prince that shall come,

This is the Islamic caliphate or at the least coming out of the Muslim nations. History proves it out for both Josephus and Tacitus recorded the details that explained how the Roman army was drawing conscripts from conquered nations and that at the time of the temples destruction the armies may have been entirely from surrounding nations and brought their intense hatred of the Jews with them.

One of my resources (The History of the Christian Church) referred to these people that destroyed Jerusalem and the temple as the Mohammedans. It would make sense that followers of Mohammed would be called this, no differently than followers of Christ obtained the name Christians.

and the dragon gave him his power and his seat and great authority.

We have not established anything other than the fact that the beast of this passage is not a man, and yet we have terminology like this.

Revelation 13:3 BBE And I saw one of his heads as if it had been given a death-wound; and his death-wound was made well: and all the earth was wondering at the beast.

If this beast is not a man and its origin is four empires, then where does this head come into play? Jump back into Revelation.

Revelation 13:1 BBE And he took his place on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads unholy names.

In this passage the beast has seven heads. The heads again represent nations or empires. We need to stay clear here. The beast is clearly defined as three kingdoms on earth and if you are paying attention to details scripture subtly defines the fourth. We have descriptions here in Revelation 13, Daniel 2, and Daniel 7. So the head that sustains what appears to be a fatal wound is one of the empires that make up the beast.

Thayer also describes the word head (kephalē) metaphorically as anything supreme, chief, prominent.

The word used for head is kephalē and shows up 76 times in the New Testament. In Matthew 14:8 it is referring to the head of John the baptist, and yet in Ephesians 1:22 it is demonstrating that Christ is the head over the church; a ruling authority. Since the beast is an oddly built creature used to direct us to look at empires and ruling authorities, then we should perceive it as such.

We know of several heads already: Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Alexandrian. None of these ever regained it’s life and power so we can rule them out as the rebirth of the fourth beast or head.

Many like to attribute the fourth empire to the revived Roman empire, but it never regained its life once it was killed off, so we should be able to write it off the list of wounded heads. The only empire that was effectively killed off and has regained it’s life was the Ottoman empire, an Islamic empire. Which, by the way, seem to cover almost the exact same territory that the Roman empire covered.

Ottoman Empire, empire created by Turkish tribes in Anatolia. One of the most powerful states in the world during the 15th and 16th centuries, it spanned more than 600 years and came to an end only in 1922, when it was replaced by the Turkish Republic and various successor states in southeastern Europe and the Middle East. At its height the empire included most of southeastern Europe to the gates of Vienna, including modern Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Greece, and Ukraine; Iraq, Syria, Israel, and Egypt; North Africa as far west as Algeria; and most of the Arabian Peninsula. (From Britannica.com)

Expansion of the Ottoman Empire. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

To the world, they (the Islamic caliphate under the Ottoman empire) were effectively dead until we witnessed what appeared to be the rebirth of the Caliphate in 1979 in association with the Iranian revolution. Since then Islam has progressively become a dominant force in the world.

Ezekiel described these nations of the fourth empire:

Ezekiel 38:1-9 ESV The word of the LORD came to me: (2) “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him (3) and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. (4) And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. (5) Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; (6) Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes–many peoples are with you. (7) “Be ready and keep ready, you and all your hosts that are assembled about you, and be a guard for them. (8) After many days you will be mustered. In the latter years you will go against the land that is restored from war, the land whose people were gathered from many peoples upon the mountains of Israel, which had been a continual waste. Its people were brought out from the peoples and now dwell securely, all of them. (9) You will advance, coming on like a storm. You will be like a cloud covering the land, you and all your hordes, and many peoples with you.

You can expect to see the former nations of the Ottoman empire involved in this attempt to destroy Israel. God will not tolerate this one, and though much destruction is done to Israel and a remnant have to flee into a safe place in the desert, God will rain down hail stones, fire and brimstone upon these nations. They will turn upon themselves and you can expect to see only a sixth of the army fleeing for their lives. Everything about this scenario in Ezekiel 39 sounds like a nuclear blast, but clearly God is involved.

And all the world wondered after the beast.

Revelation 13:3 AMP And one of his heads seemed to have a deadly wound. But his death stroke was healed; and the whole earth went after the beast in amazement and admiration.

Again I caution you to stay clear on what we are dealing with, an empire. Hardly anyone understands what the beast, at this point, is. It seems that you almost have to look back into history to see it. Fortunately we have that window of opportunity.

Because we know that not every aspect of the four empire beast comes back to life these people that comprise the whole earth cannot be described as a global awe but a community (The Islamic community). I might be a little narrow minded here for there is not a nation on the earth that does not have an Islamic presence in it. Some are majority Islamic in their populace and therefore enforce Sharia law upon the citizens. That statement in itself almost proves that the scripture could easily be fulfilled based upon Islamic influence alone.

Did the world wonder at what was going on in Iran as the revolutionaries took the American Embassy hostage? I suspect we outsiders all thought it was merely trouble makers flexing their muscle as they shook off the government of the Shah of Iran.

The revolution was unusual for the surprise it created throughout the world:[16] it lacked many of the customary causes of revolution (defeat at war, a financial crisis, peasant rebellion, or disgruntled military),[17] produced profound change at great speed,[18] was massively popular,[19] and replaced a westernizing monarchy with a theocracy based on Guardianship of the Islamic Jurists (or velayat-e faqih). Its outcome—an Islamic Republic “under the guidance of an extraordinary religious scholar from Qom“—was, as one scholar put it, “clearly an occurrence that had to be explained“.[20] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Revolution)

The effects of the Iranian revolution did not go away, it spread throughout the globe quietly at times and violently at others. I suspect that some began to grasp the immensity of Islam’s potential for violent influence when Ahmadinejad was elected President of Iran. A devout follower of the current Ayatollah, Ahmadinejad has espoused some of the most hateful and violent rhetoric against Israel and the United States, and yet we do not take him serious enough. President Ahmadinejad has stood before the United Nations and told them straight out that he intends to bring about the cataclysmic circumstances that usher in the awaited Mahdi, and still we do not take him serious.

In the meantime Libya and Egypt have fallen, in a sense Iraq has fallen, Syria is on the verge of collapse, and Moscow has surprisingly become friends with the enemies of peace. Syria becomes extremely important seeing as Damascus was prophesied against as being totally destroyed.

Isaiah 17:1 NASB The oracle concerning Damascus. “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city And will become a fallen ruin.

Jeremiah 49:27 NASB “I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, And it will devour the fortified towers of Ben-hadad.”

If there is a world in awe it is the Muslim world, for they now have a strength and bravery fortified by substantial gains all over the world; the rest are merely taken aback by the way they have subtly overrun cities within the US, Britain and Europe in general. They have well developed plans for taken over school systems, PTA boards and city councils. Islam has every intent to run the world under sharia law and the days scantily clad women, homosexuality, and drinking will be gone. It is not just Christians and Jews they are after. They are after anyone that does not comply with the will of Allah.

…the whole earth went after the beast in amazement and admiration”

Another version put it this way:

Revelation 13:3 CJB One of the heads of the beast appeared to have received a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed after the beast in amazement.

Do you realize how rapidly the Islamic population is growing? Do you know that if they rape your neighborhood women and all of them have babies from these rapes they consider them Islamic children and count them as such. No, that does not mean necessarily that they get taught the Qur’an, Jihad, and the associated Jewish hatred but it certainly helps pump up your numbers when Islamic’s are counting heads.

It is easy to say the whole earth is following the Islamic beast and especially in admiration. They believe with all that is in them that their way is the better way, especially if you are a man. You have to understand that scriptures tells us that the god of this world (Who is that? The Dragon/Satan) has blinded them to the truth.

2 Corinthians 4:4 CJB They do not come to trust because the god of the `olam hazeh has blinded their minds, in order to prevent them from seeing the light shining from the Good News about the glory of the Messiah, who is the image of God.

he gave his authority to the beast

Revelation 13:4 NASB they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”

The “they”, as I have been saying, is the Islamic world. Do you really believe that they worship the dragon, Satan? Muslims do believe in evil spirits and many report they are haunted by them. In the United States I believe that we have enough kooks that might say something like that, knowing full well it would irritate the Christian community and demonstrate their antagonism for God.

But to be honest, in this passage, it almost feels like the dragon has suddenly shifted characters. Let me attempt to explain. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, come to earth as a man, and he retains that image even today. How is that? They are the same just as a son inherits the characteristics and name of his father. If that father carried some title and clout that could be passed along, like they do in England, then the son too becomes quite powerful without even sitting upon the throne.

Have we not already seen the dragon, much like God gave man dominion, give all his authority and power to “the beast”? What would it take for you to recognize that fact? Signs and wonders? You bet, because even in the Islamic community seeing enhances believing, and this is exactly what the Antichrist and the false prophet do.

.. and who is able to wage war with him?”

Already we have gone to war because Islamic jihadists have blown up 3000+ people with airplanes crashing into the Twin Towers in Manhattan. I am not sure you can remember all the bombings associated with Islamic terrorism or Jihad as they like to call it. Unfortunately for those outside of Islam Jihad can come in so many forms. Obviously the beast wages a war, and though we struggle against their war, can you honestly say we are winning? Small skirmishes maybe, but like the Russians who waged war against the Taliban we are getting chased out of there as well.

When Christians get together you will get a wide variety of beliefs and opinions about when the rapture will come and associated tribulations. I contend that Jesus statements in Matthew 25 explaining and contrasting his coming for his own with Noah and Lot tell us that he will rescue us (the majority) only moments before all hell breaks loose. If you have read about Noah and Lot then you know that from the time God pulled them out to the time destruction came was either immediate in Noah’s case, to possibly hours with Lot. I feel strongly that what I am talking about as I attempt to make the book of Revelation understandable, will have taken place before these things take place.

On this note I strongly urge you to turn your life over Jesus Christ. Ask him to make his home in you and receive you into the kingdom of God when that day comes. Should you choose to remain rebellious and find yourself on the worst side of the tribulation years there is still hope. Ask him into your life. Commit yourself to him and arm yourself with the Holy Spirit of God (He will still be here to guide you.) I truly believe that the two witnesses, sent from God, will be an example for those who choose to follow them as examples of how walk in God’s strength. In the second chapter of Acts Peter stood and addressed the crowd, telling them:

Acts 2:16-21 KJV But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; (17) 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: (18) And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (19) And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: (20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: (21) And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 

War arose in heaven.


I am going to tell you straight up that my understanding has changed as I attempted to write this. Two things stand out in my mind:

  • I went to my men’s bible study Sunday morning and talked for a short time about the act of writing. I told the leader that you have to work at not putting out garbage. And I do not wish to put out garbage here now.

  • The second thing that change my thinking was that I caught Dr. Ed Hinson on the Calvary Chapel radio station doing an hour-long overview of Revelation. Statements that he made about these passages must have been the work of the Holy Spirit.

If I leave this post almost the same as I started then maybe you can see my thought process and the point of change in thinking. I have tried to think this through and figure out how to explain what scripture is doing to us. All I was doing was to come up with conjecture that gets you no where and in trouble. Perhaps the best explanation for a passage is to compare what happens in there to what other prophetic authors of the old testament said by giving us accounts of the same things we read in Revelation.

An example might be:

And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”(Daniel 9:26-27 ESV)

Many have toiled over this in an effort to understand future events, and many have attributed the prince to Antiochus. While he did perform abominations in the temple, it is also an allusion to the beast of the near future.

So is it bogus information? No, it has a reason and purpose, and while it may be confusing at times, it is comparative and forth telling of future events.

One of the things I have said several times over is, nothing is in this book we call a bible by accident, everything has a purpose and reason. It is up to us to dig and find it out.

Much like a nurseryman who takes pride in the growth of his plants he is selling; we too should take some pride in the growth that we find in ourselves. Just don’t get your head swelled too much because Isaiah 6 is where you find the statement about how your righteousness is as filthy rags. In other words, even on your best day you should be undone by the Holiness of God.

God understands you better than you do and I suspect that he can handle you. Having a little warm fuzzy over gained understanding only encourages you to dig more; so keep on digging. It is a pearl of great price.

Now war arose in heaven.

Revelation 12:7-9 ESV Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, (8) but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. (9) And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world–he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

What have the previous verses of Revelation been talking about?

The dragon, which has various names, one of them being Satan, was anxiously awaiting the man-child (Jesus Christ) to be born so he could kill him. Those previous verses speak of the dragon being cast to earth and dragging the angels that followed down with him. Revelation 12:4 calls the fallen angels stars. We are not talking literal stars here. Stars are symbolic.

An attempt at logic without adequate understanding.

So what takes place first? – Obviously his being cast to earth. We first see the serpent in the third chapter of Genesis deceiving Eve.

Genesis 3:1-7 MKJV Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, Is it so that God has said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. (3) But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. (4) And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, (5) for God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil. (6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasing to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make wise, she took of its fruit, and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (7) And the eyes of both of them were opened. And they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made girdles for themselves.

Even here, in a state of death, God speaks prophetically to the woman about her offspring.

Genesis 3:15 ERV I will make you and the woman enemies to each other. Your children and her children will be enemies. You will bite her child’s foot, but he will crush your head.”

Jesus, the one John stated was the creative word that spoke all things into existence (John 1:1-5), said, I was there, I saw him thrown out of heaven (Luke 10:18).

Now war arose in heaven,

Heaven, in most everybody’s mind, is perfect and peaceful, but even those that reject Jesus Christ would tell you that the perfect place is a future event. That future can mean something that will happen immediately after death with no real idea of what happens, or an eventual home with Jesus and God.

I suppose I should admit that I built-in some ideas about what heavenly warfare looks like by reading several of Frank Peretti’s books. Angelic warfare in the heavenly realm, all around us, is a constant theme in many of his writings.

War means exactly that, a pitched battle. I do not know how many angels Michael had fighting on his side but we understand that the dragon had a third with him. Here in Revelation 12 they are referred to as stars.

When you look up the word for heaven it conveys pretty much what you might think of when someone mentions heaven.

Thayer’s definiton: 1) the vaulted expanse of the sky with all things visible in it. 1a) the universe, the world. 1b) the aerial heavens or sky, the region where the clouds and the tempests gather, and where thunder and lightning are produced.

War, it must have been a frightful sight.

I used to listen occasionally to the Bible Answer Man radio program. (I had a job that required a lot of driving.)

The show had noble beginnings and informed people about how to deal with the known cults, but it deteriorated into a show that spent most of its time berating the heresies in every aspect of Christianity that varied from the hosts. One of his repeated tirades centered on the idea that Jesus became sin, died, and during the time between his death and resurrection he went into the heavens and poured out his blood on the heavenly utensils. Going callers and church leaders with an angry vigor each day over this. The hosts would say, God would not bring himself down to that level of degradation.

Why would Jesus have to pour out his blood on the heavenly altar and utensils?

Because there had been an attempted takeover in heaven, and the heavenly pattern for the temple had been abominated as a result of the insurrection.

What had Jesus been describing to John just before this description of heavenly battle?

The dragon, on earth, ready to consume the woman’s child.

So what took place first; the battle in heaven, or the dragons appearance on earth, waiting to consume the man-child?

His being thrown out of heaven.

Revelation 12:9 describes him as a dragon and several other things, but where is the first place we see the dragon?

In the garden deceiving Eve.

Genesis 3:1 CJB Now the serpent was more crafty than any wild animal which Adonai, God, had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You are not to eat from any tree in the garden’?”

But now we have a problem.

Revelation 12:8-9 CJB But it was not strong enough to win, so that there was no longer any place for them in heaven. (9) The great dragon was thrown out, that ancient serpent, also known as the Devil and Satan [the Adversary], the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.

Were there two battles or one?

If God has to battle Satan again, then doesn’t that imply that God is not enough? The idea that God’s actions are enough take a huge role in Christ rising from the dead. His death on the cross and his resurrection are central to our belief in everything else. An example would be to look at the hope we have in Christ.

What are we hoping in?

Salvation, but from what? The wrath that is to come. That would be the seven years of wrath to be poured out on the earth. We have Jesus word on the subject as he referenced Noah and Lot as examples of this salvation.

So then what is the passage referring to when it says,

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now have come God’s victory, power and kingship, and the authority of his Messiah; because the Accuser of our brothers, who accuses them day and night before God, has been thrown out!” (Revelation 12:10 CJB)

If God had him thrown out, after an intense battle, then why do we see Satan interacting with God in the book of Job. Look at it.

One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.(Job 1:6-12 NIV)

We see Satan in heaven accusing Job once again in chapter 2 of Job.

On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. (Job 2:1-7 NIV)

There is no denying that Satan continued to have access to God, even after an apparent, life altering defeat.

I believe it was Ed Hinson, on the Calvary Chapel Channel, that said this verse demonstrates a future event in which Satan finally got locked out of heaven, and I believe he indicated that the end of his access occurs at the mid-point of the seven-year period.

Can we define when this happened or when it will happen.? Yes, but we have to jump ahead in the chapter to gain more clarity.

Following a chronological approach, we make the assumption that we are at the end of time, or at least near it. When Christ returns to end the warfare we know that Satan gets bound for one thousand years. The fact that he is bound plays strongly in God’s statement, “now is the accuser of the brethren cast out.”

Dr. Ed Hinson, stated that Satan’s expulsion happens at the midpoint of the seven-year tribulation.

Pay attention to the chronology of these passages:

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. (Revelation 12:13-15 ESV)

The woman is surviving Israel. She escapes into the wilderness for three and one half years. At some point during this time in hiding the serpent tries to sweep Israel away with a flood. This may be very literal, but then I really cannot be sure.

What is the impact of this timing? In other words, what is happening at this point. If you are a student of end times events then you should already have a clue, but I will recap anyway.

  • The beast who made the seven-year treaty with Israel breaks the treaty.

    That ruler will have a firm agreement with many people for seven years, and when half this time is past, he will put an end to sacrifices and offerings. The Awful Horror will be placed on the highest point of the Temple and will remain there until the one who put it there meets the end which God has prepared for him.” (Daniel 9:27 GNB)

  •  The abomination is set up in the temple.
  • Those remaining in Israel need to flee.

    When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: (Matthew 24:15-16 KJV)

  •  The two witnesses will have been taken up into heaven.
  • The false prophet comes on the scene. There is a good chance he is already on the scene but not declared. Islamic prophecies proclaim that this man will be the enforcer of sharia, therefore an escalation in the beheading of saints should rapidly increase. Doesn’t that aspect show that there are still brethren for Satan to accuse?

  • (I have re-thought this since writing it.) When Christ returns to earth to end the warfare here on earth it seems to be quick and definitive, but nothing is said of warfare in heaven.

Jumping ahead to Revelation 12:13, it states, “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the man-child.” This time Satan is not awaiting the child but going directly after the one that brought Christ into the world. If you think about it, hasn’t attempting to destroy the lineage of Christ been Satan’s theme since Israels inception?

In summation:

You have just watched me struggle through the process of understanding. Yeah I know, some would say you do not understand anything, but what I do understand that God is passionately in love with people and desires that all be saved. I happen to be one of them.

I, like many, have preconceived ideas, ideas that don’t hold water when held up to the truth of God’s word. There is only one way to cure that and that is to dive into God’s word for yourself. The Apostle Paul praised the Bereans because they took it upon themselves to study and find out if what Paul said was true, and it was.

I had never even thought about the possibility that Satan had been cast out of heaven twice, because I have always tended to accept things I heard as more black and white. While being able to think of God and his Word as rigid and unchangeable seems ideal, there are many things in scripture that are not so clear-cut.

A couple of examples:

Our tendency to read the bible as a chronological time-line, when it is clearly not. Oh sure, there is a time-line but details are spread throughout scripture by different authors.

And places where scripture says, “all Israel came before ….” The book of Daniel is one of those places where even though King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that everyone bow before his statue, Daniel was not there and therefore did not bow, nor suffered being thrown into the fire with his companions.

Does this lack of rigidity diminish God’s integrity, or his word at all?

No!, it merely demonstrates the expressive way humans have conveyed many of God’s dealings with man.

To tell that Jesus submitted to the cross, died and rose again is not conjecture; it is verifiable, historic fact. God and his word is trustworthy. Perhaps things like Satan’s being cast out needs to be clarified so that people can have a confidence and greater understanding of the depth of God’s word.

Jesus said, “I am the way the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through me.” It is not a lie nor is it some random babble. It is the only path to the life promised to those who follow after him.

Father, receive me, a sinner covered by the blood of your son Jesus. Jesus come into my life and be my life. Change me, use me, and have your way with me. Fill me with your love, the love that I have seen in your eyes. I believe in the hope of life you have for me and a life with you in eternity. In Jesus name.

A great and wondrous sign


Revelation 12:1-2 (NIV)

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

I just ended chapter eleven of Revelation with my last post, and to be honest I did not feel like I did a very good job of it. For example: If someone asks you a question, stick with the most direct answer. There in my problem lies.

Seeing as my last couple of posts were focused on the last few verses of Revelation eleven, I told you that we are looking at statements there that paint a picture of the end. What then do we do with Revelation chapter 12, and how does it fit. I believe this is added explanatory information for the most part. Do not get me wrong, it is all good, and should have an impact on our Christian lives, for God is desiring that you understand, and there is a special blessing upon those that read the book and attempt to understand it.

What if I am wrong? What if the things I suggest make no difference or, are irrelevant?

Truth is, I could be, but this Jesus, the King of Majesty, came, lived, died and rose again, showing himself to over 500 people. Rather overwhelming evidence, and because he is the truth, and I follow him, I plan on being caught up to meet my Jesus in the air, right before all hell breaks loose (All hell breaking loose = the tribulation years.) So, in a way, much of the Revelation is irrelevant, unless it impacts you somehow, or – God expects us to stand in behalf of those that refuse him, and enlighten those who have been taken captive by the devil and do not realize how close the end really is.

Is the end times lead up impacting people as we speak? You can bet your last dollar it is. What has just been dancing across our news the last few days? Algeria, where armed Muslim activists have taken hostages and killed many, as well as killing non-Islamic citizenry. Many believe that the Algerian Muslim militias will join with Boko Haran, the African wing of Al Queda that has control in Nigeria, Chad, and the Sudan, and then another aspect of prophecy will be fulfilled.

What does scripture tell us to expect in the very near future? That a ten nation coalition will rise against Israel and God will wipe them out with a fire storm on the mountains surrounding Israel. NO ONE will come to Israel’s aid. (Has anyone noticed that our United States President has, in the last few days, said, “Israel does not know what is good for it!” That could mean a lot of things, but the implications are Israel is supposed to do what President Obama says, and I can tell you from scripture that is not going to happen.)

As noted in my earlier post I have been reading a book I picked up at Barnes and Noble. I was hunting for something else, which I found, but I stumbled across this and thought I would check it out. The book is “The End Times in Chronological Order, A complete overview to understanding bible prophecy.” The authors name is Ron Rhodes.

Here is the major problem that I am having. The author refuses to look past tradition and accept that Islam and a forth coming Islamic leader fill with precision all the holes that kept me lost for years. By taking the traditional position the author struggles to explain so many things, such as, the two witnesses lying in the street after witnessing for 1260 days, as though it is the Jews that are scorning them. I had a discussion about this very thing recently, and said, if you consider the timing, something drastic will have taken place in Israel that will allow the Jews, not only access to the temple mount but the ability to rebuild the temple once again. Under no circumstances is Islam going to give this area up without a fight and all the world will be focused on this area. Into this mix God tosses the two-witnesses. Having the ability to burn up anyone that would think to harm them I believe you will find them also serving somewhat of a protective role during the building of the temple. Given what may be seen as support, why would the Jews disdain them during their deaths, ignoring Jewish sanitary laws, and leave them in the streets to rot? The Jews would not, but the author Ron Rhodes would like to have me believe this because it makes his assertions fit better, and he then can continue to refuse historical evidence and common sense.

This is what I mean if I say you are pounding square pegs into round holes. Insert Islam into those holes and suddenly it all makes sense and it fits.

Jesus told us that many would be deceived. How easy that becomes when you do not take the time to investigate for yourself. If you are willing to allow people to do your thinking then you will be taken captive. Here again is another place where Islam fills the hole nicely. Islam is looking for Isa ben Mariam, Jesus the son of Mary, not God. A Jew, a priest, a Muslim, one who bows to the beast, acknowledges that there is no god but Allah, and he is the enforcer of Sharia. He will perform all the mighty miracles and refute the belief of many, causing them to follow Allah and worshiping the beast instead of Jehovah. Islam fits the deception.

Enough of that, back to the study at hand.
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven

Revelation 12:1-2 (NIV)

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

This has little application to end times events, nor does it fit into a chronological pattern. How it stands out is that the birth is of the King triumphant, cloaked as a lowly child, that will soon catch us away, and will come again the second time with the armies of heaven to end the tribulation and sin on the earth. He also happens to be what the book of Revelation is all about, my Jesus Christ, the one who gave his life for me. He came out of Israel, Mary to be precise and her lineage is traced in scripture.

“A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. ..”

Who is being described? Israel

Isaiah 11:1 KJV And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Isaiah 65:9 KJV And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

Isaiah 66:7-9 KJV Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. (8) Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. (9) Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

Zechariah 6:12 KJV And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:

“ a woman “

From the MacArthur commentary: “Not an actual woman, but a symbolic representation of Israel, pictured in the OT as the wife of God (Isa_54:5-6; Jer_3:6-8; Jer_31:32; Eze_16:32; Hos_2:16). Three other symbolic women appear in Revelation: (1) Jezebel, who represents paganism (Rev_2:20); (2) the scarlet woman (Rev_17:3-6), symbolizing the apostate church; and (3) the wife of the Lamb (Rev_19:7), symbolizing the true church. That this woman does not represent the church is clear from the context.”

“clothed with the sun,…”

The word for clothed is periballō and it means to put on or surround. The sun represents God, in all his manifestations. So Israel either put on the sun or they were supposed to. It seems that what they put on were a mountain of other rules and traditions. If they had put on God then perhaps their reception of the Messiah, when he arrived, would have been warmer.

“..with the moon under her feet…”

I perused just about every commentary I have, and almost everyone had a different take on what this meant. One that grabbed my attention said, that the moon reflects the light of the sun therefore she was clothed in light. That works for me, but I also had a strong pull toward the moon representing the nation of Israel for this is part of dream that Joseph had and shared with his brothers.

You have to remember that John wrote to the early church, of which the majority were Jewish converts that continued to relish their Jewishness and really wanted all new believers to conform to the Jewish ways. So John spoke in terms that they understood.

The second aspect of this would be the prophetic patterns that Jews looked for. To the Jew prophecy was pattern, and God laid out consistent patterns for them throughout Jewish history. Revelation is filled with this type of symbolism. Because of their education in the synagogues, Jewish boys learned, by memorization, the law and the prophets (the Torah and the Tanakh). Jesus quoted so many of these during his short tenure here on earth, and the Jews he spoke to understood explicitly what he said. That understanding is an aspect of their rejection, and God’s anger that we see in the Revelation.

“.. a crown of twelve stars on her head..”

Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary states: “The garland of twelve stars is a reference to the twelve tribes of Israel, or perhaps to the twelve apostles (Rev_21:12-14). The stars recall Joseph’s vision (Gen_37:9-11), which signified the preeminence of Joseph over his brothers.”

“..She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.”

Again from MacArthur’s commentary: Israel, often pictured as a mother giving birth (cf. Isa_26:17-18; Isa_54:1; Isa_66:7-12; Hos_13:13; Mic_4:10; Mic_5:2-3; Mat_24:8), had agonized and suffered for centuries, longing for the Messiah to come and destroy Satan, sin, and death, and usher in the kingdom.

This aspect makes me think of the old prophet that anxiously awaited the birth of the Messiah.

Luke 2:25-35 LITV And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. And this man was righteous and devout, eagerly expecting the Consolation of Israel. And the Holy Spirit was upon him. (26) And it happened to him, having been divinely instructed by the Holy Spirit, he was not to see death before he would see the Christ of the Lord. (27) And by the Spirit he came into the temple. And as the parents were bringing in the child Jesus for them to do according to the custom of the Law concerning Him, (28) even Simeon received Him into his arms. And he blessed God and said, (29) Now, Master, You will let Your slave go in peace according to Your Word; (30) because my eyes saw Your Salvation, (31) which You prepared before the face of all the peoples; (32) a Light for revelation to the nations, and the Glory of Your people Israel. (33) And Joseph was marveling, also His mother, at the things being said concerning Him. (34) And Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary, Behold, this One is set for the fall and rising up of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against; (35) yea, a sword also will pierce your own soul, so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

How does Israel possibly justify its unbelief and rejection if they awaited the same birth that Simeon did? They had read the same prophets, memorizing them. The only thing that explains they way they rejected Christ is the hardness of their hearts. They refused to believe!

Another witness was Anna, the prophetess.

Luke 2:36-38 LITV And there was Anna, a prophetess, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in many days, having lived seven years with a husband from her virginity; (37) and she was a widow of eighty four years, who did not depart from the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. (38) And coming on at the very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke concerning Him to all those in Jerusalem eagerly expecting redemption.

At least two were paying attention and believed that the Messiah had come. I have to wonder if they would have reacted differently thirty years later, for Israel seemed to be looking for a warrior King to come and save them. Jesus told James and John, when they wanted to call fire down upon a Samaritan town, that that was not the representation of why he came at this point. They were to show a dove like manner, peaceful and calm. He will come as a warrior soon enough, to destroy those who rejected him.

The fact that two heard the voice of the spirit, leading them to the Messiah, leads me to believe that any could have known this. Wise men, from another nation knew and came to find the promised King. Israel, clothed in the sun, by in large was blind, choosing not to see.

This is not a foot race that I am on, but I feel a strong compulsion to write, in the hope that someone finds this Jesus, the King of Glory, who is coming back soon to gather his family back to himself. After that the end comes.

It is the end of things that greatly disturbs me, for it is filled with not only the wrath and judgments from God, but the wrath of people as well. Sure you can still come to him, but the age of grace is over and there is no escaping the hell that will happen here on earth. Everything I see leads me to believe that new believers will lose their heads. The man scripture calls the beast will demand of you an allegiance, either to Allah (most likely) or to the God you serve. For a time, here in the United States many Christians will be thrown into the FEMA concentration camps scattered across the US (there are over 600 of them). But the day will come when even in this nation they won’t tolerate your existence anymore.

Scripture tells me that those that accept the mark that the beast (The beast will be some sort of global leader, and it is possible that President Obama, by presidential order that he is so fond of will also demand its acceptance) demands, and worship the beast, will be thrown into the same eternal torment that Satan and his angels get tossed into. Determine now that you will not fall into that trap, for you will seal your eternal separation from God.

Run to him. To many he has shown up in your dreams, calling you to come to him. His name is Jesus, the Son of God, the risen one from the dead, and his love for you, a love that overwhelms you as he speaks, is everlasting. He has called to you since the beginning of time, and he knew the path you would take to get to him. Open your mouth and accept him as your savior and redeemer. He paid the price for your freedom with his own life. Jesus, this day I receive you into my life. Change me and give me a life in your kingdom. …He will!

The Seven Seals – the onslaught continues. Revelation chapter 8


I have felt led to say something for several weeks now, so here goes.

Father, I ask, in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, that these words find their way into the hands of those that you have intended, and that they carry the weight and power that you intended them too.

I ask Father that you embed these words, no matter how foolish I think they sound, into the hearts and minds of those that will come to know Jesus Christ and that they be willing to share your passion whether it be newly found or like a flickering candle has burned within them for some time now. Cause your life to erupt inside of those who find you and give them the courage to face what ever comes their way.

I also pray for those that will not make it in the rapture, and must prove their love for God by giving their lives. Give them a supernatural strength that they did not think was in them. And Father, above all, because your word will not go void or lose its strength, I ask that no matter what comes their way during these dark days ahead, that they are not only filled with courage, but shine as testimonies to the living God. In the mighty and powerful name of Jesus Christ I ask these things. Amen.

Take the next few paragraphs as you wish but I am speaking wisdom as a prophet of God.

Use faith filled words for God’s word still works and will still the avenger as the Holy Spirit of God empowers you to act boldly. Even today, but especially in the future, this is not a time to listen to religious people; they are among you, trying to lead you to destruction, but here is the key, religious people will crumble under pressure and fall to the mark of the beast. (I strongly suspect that this mark will come in the form of some sort of acceptance of Allah and Mohammed as his prophet, much like the Jews had to do under Hitler’s regime, and you will be required to wear something that shows your subservience.)

Do not give your allegiance to anyone but God, for in so doing you will cut yourselves off from God’s mercy forever. Think of it this way. You are following your leader to his reward, in this case Satan, eternal punishment (Yes, God asked us to follow him, and his path takes us to a world without sin, Satan, and it is filled with God’s presence and love). Stand your ground, in your allegiance to God, no matter what. It is going to be tough but this is where you have to lean heavily on the Holy Spirit.

If you still have access to a bible read about the Holy Spirit and how he interacts with and through people. The book of Acts is filled with examples of this. Some are not so direct and others are very implicit. If the rapture has not come then I strongly suggest that you live a life filled with the Holy Spirit now.

Acts 6:5-8 KJV …. Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, …. (7) And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied …..; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. (8) And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Acts 6:9-15 KJV Then there arose certain of the synagogue. (religious people – they do not believe in the power of God.) They started arguing with Stephen. Acts 6:10,11 CEV But they were no match for Stephen, who spoke with the great wisdom that the Spirit gave him. So they talked some men into saying, “We heard Stephen say terrible things against Moses and God!” Acts 6:12-15 CEV They turned the people and their leaders and the teachers of the Law of Moses against Stephen. Then they all grabbed Stephen and dragged him in front of the council. (13) Some men agreed to tell lies about Stephen, and they said, “This man keeps on saying terrible things about this holy temple and the Law of Moses. (14) We have heard him claim that Jesus from Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses gave us.” (15) Then all the council members stared at Stephen. They saw that his face looked like the face of an angel.

Stephen was not miraculously pulled out of that uncomfortable situation but he had a calm assurance settle over him that was not of this world, and they saw it. This is exactly what I am talking about. Stephen was killed (murdered at Saul’s bequest) and Saul, the notable Jew, stood there as they did it. God got Saul’s attention because of what he saw in Stephen, and Saul became the Apostle Paul and carried the good news about this life changing man, Jesus Christ, to the Greeks.

It was not just a bad dream; you are still here. Now what?

Just because you are still be here after the rapture does not mean that God rejected you. Let’s be honest, you rejected him, but hopefully by now you have seen his mighty hand and understand how mislead you were.

Know this, you have not been rejected. God loves you, he always has. He proved his love long ago by sending Jesus his only Son, so that you could have a glorious life with the Father. Unfortunately you rejected him during the time of grace, but his arms are still open, just as they always have been, to accept you into his love and mercy when you come. Merely call on his name. The thief on the cross beside Jesus simply asked to be received into the kingdom; God will do the same for you if you ask him.

Back to the bible study, and the Seventh seal

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

When attempting to find out what the background depth and meanings of what we read we show intelligence and insight, but we can also be looking for things that do not exist. When you look up the word silence in the Greek it means just that.

Why should there be anything odd about this passage? Primarily because everything I have ever understood about heaven tells me that it is filled with sounds of praise. Every testimony that I have ever read where the person came back from the dead after seeing heaven, said that everything had beautiful sounds associated with it. The silence then, gives this verse the feeling of impact. Perhaps all the residents of heaven are aghast at what is about to happen, or they are in awe of the how the glory and majesty of the God that the earth mocked, is about to show up.

Revelation 8:2 KJV And I saw the seven Angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

As I listened recently to a radio pastor, he spoke about the numbers that show up all over the bible, but especially in Revelation. Some are literal and some are analogies, symbolic of something else, such as completion or purity. I suspect it is safe to say that there are seven literal angels that will carry out this task.

If you have followed me in my trek through Revelation you have noticed trumpet blasts on several occasions. Since this was, in a sense, written to Jewish believers, who maintained and found their Jewishness to be even richer for they found the Messiah they sought for, understood with clarity what was meant by “a trumpet blast”. It is a shofar, and has a very distinct sound.

Begin to pay close attention

Revelation 8:3-5 KJV And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (4) And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand. (5) And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

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

    Consider what this says. This angel is offering up incense, an extremely symbolic act, but the angel is mingling that incense with the prayers of the Saints.

    Numbers 16:47 KJV….. and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.

    Exodus 30:7-8 KJV And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. (8) And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.

  • A second thing that you need to pay attention to is where these Saints are. the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” They are upon the golden altar.

    If God is in control, and he is, then these “Saints” found upon the golden altar have been offered up to God as a sacrifice. Some might see this in a negative light; I do not. God, in offering them up, has made them like the lambs of the old covenant, the covenant done away with by the New one, but that was the time of grace and ended with the rapture.

    Literally man, but particularly one man, the false prophet, has offered them up unwittingly, back to God. Islam awaits a prophet they call Jesus Christ also. The problem is that their Jesus is not the son of God but merely a good prophet. According to Islam, he did not die on a cross for your sins (according to Islam only Allah can grant such things and there is no guarantee of that outside of martyrdom in the name of Jihad), for Allah rescued him and he died a natural death.

    This Islamic Jesus is understood to be a Jewish convert to Islam, and he is of the lineage of Aaron. That entitles him to be a high priest and serve as such in the temple. (He may already be functioning in that capacity already. Do not be so shocked at that idea for scripture tells us that the dragon – Satan – gives the beast his power.)

    Revelation 13:2 KJV And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

  • These “Saints” that John sees are not the church, they are the martyred through great tribulation. I feel like I found this concept on my own, long ago, but only recently heard other radio pastors, that I admire, saying the same thing. If we go on the principal that scripture interprets scripture and follow the context, then it leads us back to Revelation and God calls those martyred for the name of Jesus and their testimony, Saints. The church is called the church and the body of Christ, and is in Christ. Christ is seated next to the Father and has already spent his time upon the altar, offered up by the priesthood of his day. Do not get them confused.

In response to the prayers of the Saints.

Revelation 8:4-5 LITV And the smoke of the incenses went up with the prayers of the saints out of the hand of the angel before God. (5) And the angel has taken the censer, and has filled it from the fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth; and sounds and thunders and lightnings and earthquakes occurred.

Stop! – What did the Saints, previously martyred, say to God?

Revelation 6:10 NIV They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

If there is a point to this it is that there is a feel of finality in their conversation. Another aspect that demonstrates the finality of their numbers is that God himself introduces them to John as those who have come out of Great Tribulation. This is the end of them, just do not ask me to give you specific time frames.

Revelation 6:11 NIV Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

The words to note here in verses four and five are “and”. Whether it is following or in response to, the actions that begin to happen seem to clearly be in response to their prayers. I threw in Revelation 6:10 because they asked God how long until he avenges their blood. It is safe, in my opinion, to make the connection between their request of God and what occurs immediately after the angel offers up the incense mixed with prayers.

What happens?

  • The angel filled the censer with fire and cast it into the earth. – This may be analoguous, but to what I am not sure. There will be plenty of firey objects thrown into the earth in the near future, and you will see some immediate impacts. One commentary indicates that this action shows us the future things to come.
  • There were voices – When you explore the Greek word translated as voices you find the word phōnē which means a sound or a tone of an inanimate thing. I suppose this might make more sense for in an orchestra the musical instruments are called voices.
  • and thunderings – Obviously more noise but of a different nature. Thunder has a completely different impact when it booms over your head. You know it means business and there is the potential that somebody just got hurt.
  • and lightnings – If you read the story of Samuel the prophet, he is old and in his last days. Israel once again is rejecting God and the enemy, the Philistines, is attacking. The elders ask Samuel to pray to God for help. So God responds with earthquakes and lightning upon the Philistines.

    Having heard of people surviving a lightning strike I decided to gain some knowledge about lightning. The spark can reach over five miles (eight kilometers) in length, raise the temperature of the air by as much as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (27,700 degrees Celsius), and contain a hundred million electrical volts. (3,696 deaths were recorded in the U.S. between 1959 and 2003) or cause cardiac arrest. Injuries range from severe burns and permanent brain damage to memory loss and personality change. About 10 percent of lightning-stroke victims are killed, and 70 percent suffer serious long-term effects. People who are close to a blast incident, such as bomb disposal technicians, soldiers wearing body armor, deminers or individuals wearing little to no protection, there are four types of blast effects on the human body: overpressure (shock), fragmentation, impact and heat. Overpressure refers to the sudden and drastic rise in ambient pressure that can damage the internal organs, possibly leading to permanent damage or death. Fragmentation includes the shrapnel described above but can also include sand, debris and vegetation from the area surrounding the blast source. This is very common in anti-personnel mine blasts.[8] The projection of materials poses a potentially lethal threat caused by cuts in soft tissues, as well as infections, and injuries to the internal organs. When the overpressure wave impacts the body it can induce violent levels of blast-induced acceleration. Resulting injuries range from minor to unsurvivable. Immediately following this initial acceleration, deceleration injuries can occur when a person impacts directly against a rigid surface or obstacle after being set in motion by the force of the blast. Finally, injury and fatality can result from the explosive fireball as well as incendiary agents projected onto the body. (Excerpted from Wikipedia)

  • and an earthquake – Revelation is filled with earthquakes. Some would seem violent enough to move land masses. An obvious factor is the earth splitting open. This was one of the aspects when God answered Samuel’s prayer. So the Philistines had all these things thrown at them.

And the trumpets have not even sounded yet.

The seven angels prepared themselves to sound.

Revelation 8:6-7 KJV And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (7) The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

The first angel sounded, and there followed:

  • hail and fire mingled with blood

The effect is that one-third of the trees were burned up and all the green grass.

The Greek word for green is chloros. It is the word that we derive chlorophyll and gives plant life its green color. But the word for grass is chortos and means something a little broader in spectrum. A primary word; a “court” or “garden”, that is, (by implication of pasture) growing crops or vegetation. (Strong’s) Now we are not just talking about your yard but crops. So immediately food production is destroyed.

It’s bad enough to have hail coming down because of its destructive properties. The worst I have been in was about the size of marbles. I thought I was going to lose my windshield, but when we start talking about hail the size of baseballs or bigger, now we are talking the loss of life should you get hit in the head. God takes this one freakish step further by throwing in blood and fire.

Revelation 8:8-9 KJV And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; (9) And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

The second angel sounded

and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:”

  • the third part of the sea became blood
  • the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died
  • and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

How is all this possible in one shot. Of course nothing is impossible with God, but I think we are missing something. Again, the food supply is destroyed, and one-third of the ships are destroyed. A logical approach says: if you strike say the Pacific Ocean you would impact the western seaboard of both the US and South America, Australia, Japan, Russia, and all the Island nations. Potentially affecting a third of all the waters, but I do not think so. The US alone has its navy spread adequately around the globe and I suspect that God is trying to make a global impact.

Consider that at this point in time there has already been a massive earthquake that has flattened mountains and the islands have disappeared.

Therefore the concept of unified land mass and plate shifts take on much more importance.

Revelation 8:10-11 KJV And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; (11) And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

The third angel sounded

..a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on:..”

  • A third of the rivers
  • upon the fountain of waters (the NIV puts it this way, “and on the springs of water–”)
  • Many men died because of the waters

How could one object take out not only a third of the rivers but an originating water source that impacts one-third of the earth’s population, unless: we were one contiguous land mass, or this thing is massive beyond comprehension. If size is the case, the effects of a strike of this size will be catastrophic, changing the global climate. A consideration that is worthy and forces us to think outside the box, is that God does not physically have to strike a specific target to do what he wishes to do. Clearly this object will have its effect.

The fourth angel sounded

Revelation 8:12 NIV The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

  • A third of the sun turned dark
  • A third of the moon turned dark
  • A third of the stars turned dark
  • A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

A short article on About.com gave me a little insight.

“The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace, where hydrogen is built into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees.” Have you ever wondered what else is in the sun besides hydrogen and helium? I hunted up a table (source: NASA – Goddard Space Flight Center) listing the sun’s elemental composition, which we know from analysis of its spectral signature. I’m sure you’re not surprised that hydrogen is the most abundant element. The sun is constantly fusing hydrogen into helium, but don’t expect the ratio of hydrogen to helium to change anytime soon. The sun is 4.5 billion years old and has converted about half of the hydrogen in its core into helium. It still has about 5 billion years before the hydrogen runs out. “ Chemical Composition of the Sun By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., About.com GuideJune 15, 2010

It could only be God that turns off a third of the fireball that has the potential to continue burning for 5 billion years. The moon on the other hand is a reflective object so the logic becomes even cloudier, and how does one shut down a third of the stars. Perhaps this is the act of a black hole induced phenomenon. Again, it is so contrary to logical possibilities that it has to be God.

What if we can take this last statement literally? What if one-third of the day is darkened? I looked up the word darkened. In the Greek it is the word skotizo and means to cover with darkness or to be deprived of light. As young children the parents took us to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. The ranger that led the trip down made sure we were all secure and then turned out the lights. You could not see your hand in front of your face. Imagine a darkness of this intensity overtaking a third of the day.

What would be the purpose? One thing comes to mind; how many years has man mocked and ignored the creator, calling him anything but Jehovah, and denying his power. Now you will understand what power is.

As bad as any of this may sound it gets worse.

Revelation 8:13 NIV As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”

I wonder how there could be anyone left on earth and yet even though no one turns their heart toward God that seems to be one of the purposes for all this wrath. As you read on Revelation you will the phrase, “those whose names are not written in the book of life.” It is a done deal, even now, as you read this, God has already had his eye upon you. You might as well throw yourself at his feet, for he is relentless.

The fact that the eagle cries out three times is indicative of three more trumpet blasts, along with their wrath and judgment, are yet to come.