Is there a way to stay in the light? Still wading through 1John 1:7


1 John 1:7 MKJV  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Is there a way to stay in the light?

James 1:27 NASB Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

“And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from every sin.”

It sounds as though we are free and clear. Every sin means past, present, and future.

So, are you telling me there are no repercussions for the life I have lived?

No, even Israel, roaming in the desert, before the law, had to deal with people based upon the severity of the act. Rebellious children could be brought before the city and stoned to death, and the entire city had to take part in the punishment. Considering the vulgar brutality of stoning, how often do you think that happened, not many?

The point is that there are penalties to pay for crimes committed. As we roam through life, my suggestion is that you stay out of the crime arena; it is just less hazardous. While we may have to pay for the fulfillment of our fleshly desires with prison time or worse, God has released us from the debt of death (eternal separation from God) that was placed upon us all through Adam’s treason. (I suspect that even Adam was extended mercy through the blood of Christ.)

Even though the statement (“And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from every sin.”) gives the appearance of a complete restoration of rights, this does not guarantee us a home with the Father. That only comes by your acceptance of the fact that Jesus blood was paid on your behalf and you admitting that you need him.

My analogy goes like this. This earth is a large adoption agency and we are all in it. God comes down to pick out those He wants in his family. In doing so, he realizes He cannot leave any behind and so he pays the price necessary for all of them to come home with him. The only stipulation is that you have to agree to come. Some begin to whine, demanding to know what there is to eat. God responds with, why is that important, I own everything and my table is never empty so come, but many choose to reject his offer because that is not a clear enough answer for them. Others, thinking that he will make them cut their hair refuse to go. Some ask Him to wait while they get cleaned up, even as he assures them they are welcome as they are. Still others waste time in indecision and miss the bus. Many, even those with bad attitudes, put their name on the roster by accepting the fact that he paid the price in full, get in the bus and it leaves. Those with bad attitudes charge right in with their old behaviors saying, I do not take out trash, and where is the video game controller. The Father deals gently with all that, showing His amazing love toward those He paid such a huge price for; why? Because God regained a family that was willing to come, live, and have fellowship with Him.

There is truth to this concept if we look at Adam as our Father. When he chose to listen to his wife and not God and partake of a forbidden fruit, that moment he died. No, he did not just drop over dead, although that process began in him instantaneously. What did happen, fellowship with the Father was broken that very moment. Think about it. Adam’s demise took us with him.

Romans 5:12 GNB Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.

Did God, in disgust, run from them shamed and embarrassed? No, it was just the opposite. We find them attempting to hide from Him, as He sought them out.

Did God cease to try to talk with them? No, not only do you see Him speaking to them in the garden but also tells them they are banished from the area where the tree of life existed, and later tells them about other aspects of the death they have thrown themselves into. God reaffirms that Adam and Eve will continue to play a role in the redemption of man. You can come to the understanding that God did not break off relationship, they did. Ask yourself, how long does it take God to make skins for them to wear? And during that time turned his back on them, grumbling the entire about lousy, rebellious children? No!

I am going to throw this in for free.

Although it is not spelled out in black and white, God gave them the specific instructions necessary for making a sacrifice and why. How do I know this, because Abel did what was proper, and God challenged Cain, stating, that if he did what was right would not he be accepted; so God continues his desire to “fellowship” by speaking to Cain about the murder he committed? Doesn’t that tell us that the laws, only written in the memory of man gave man no excuse to run havoc outside the law that would require a sacrifice being made?

If you are going to be honest then you have to admit that the fall of man brought with it the knowledge of good and evil, NOT JUST EVIL, and we all inherited what Adam brought upon us. Therefore, it is embedded in the DNA and cannot be removed. Since the soul of man was created in the image of God all that had to be done was to wash it clean. We, who have accepted him, have accepted that the blood of Jesus, the payment for sin, was enough, and it was. Therefore we have been made new creatures, almost as though we do not have that old heart anymore.

Did God sarcastically say, you morons, do you think I cannot see you and your nakedness in those bushes? No, he demonstrated respect, mercy, and grace by asking them where they were. God knew exactly where they were.

The point here is that God did not change His desire or stance toward the man he created.

I am sure some of you have recently seen Russell Crowe as Noah. If you have a biblical perspective on the Noah story, then you know that God was eventually sickened by the thoughts and violence of virtually every man on earth when the flood took place.

Did it ever occur to you that even though God eventually brought the condemning flood upon the earth, that He provided the people with Noah, a prophet, and a one hundred year span in which to turn from their evil and get on the boat? Reality tells me that there was no way in which all the people on earth would have been able to fit on that boat along with all those animals. Obviously, God knew that they would not come, but the opportunity to restore fellowship was still extended.

Allow me to back this last statement up with some logic from God’s word.

Hebrews 11:7 KJV By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

1 Peter 3:20 MSG because they wouldn’t listen. You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact–saved from the water by the water.

Have you ever thought to yourself, why did it take 100 years to build a boat? Maybe there were no printed plans? That might slow someone like me down. Maybe, unlike in the recent Noah movie they were not in the middle of a forest with an unlimited supply of trees. No, God gave Noah the plans, so I do not think that was the issue. Perhaps a lack of manpower, considering that we have no record of boats or a need for them yet, that may have been a problem in securing help. There are so many variables when I apply my human thinking. Maybe I am right, and God was giving man the opportunity to repent.

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A couple of things that got my attention. John 18:1,2

Aside


My co-leader led the bible study this A.M. He put a slightly different spin on the passage than I would have, but he added a couple of things that got my attention.

John 18:1 GNB After Jesus had said this prayer, he left with his disciples and went across Kidron Brook. There was a garden in that place, and Jesus and his disciples went in. John 18:2 CEV Jesus had often met there with his disciples, and Judas knew where the place was.

2Samuel 15:30And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went.

David, the man after God’s own heart, was accustomed to going to the Mount.

Zechariah 14:4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

Zechariah prophesied of his physical return to the earth, to make things right in the last days.

Matthew 24:3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

This was their quiet place. Oh yes, he was very familiar with this place.

It seems I did not realize the depth of two simple verses. But then that may be part of our problem; we seem to think that everything is just a simple, meaningless verse. One of the ways you shake that kind of thinking is to realize that this bible you hold is a Jewish book. Yes, the appeal tends to change with Mark’s gospel and then Paul’s writings, but overall it speaks deeply to the Jewish heart. Having at least a minimal understanding of the Jewish heart can help.

My co-leader had done a bit of reading on the brook Kidron, and said some things I have never heard before. I looked at some of my commentaries and found this:

John 18:1

When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

“I detain the Reader at the very entrance on this Chapter, in order to beg his attention to what the Sacred Writer hath said of this brook Cedron, or Kidron. It is evidently the same as that mentioned, 2Sa_15:23. And as David, in passing over this brook in his distresses, was clearly a type of Christ, it merits our attention the more. Some have thought that the name of Cedron, or Kidron, which signified black, was given to it because it lay in a dark valley. And others conclude, that its name was taken from the black and foul waters which ran into it from the temple sacrifices. In either sense, the gloominess of it, and the filth of it, rendered it loathsome. And if, as is supposed, the prophetic Psalm concerning Christ had an eye to this brook when it is said, that he should drink of the brook in the way; Psa_110:7. it may serve to lead the mind to some very solemn and interesting reflections. Here it was that the good king Josiah caused the polluted vessels of the temple to be burnt. 2Ki_23:4. And all the uncleanness found in the house of the Lord in Hezekiah’s reign, was carried here. 2Ch_29:16. Jesus passing over it, and drinking of the brook in his way, may not unaptly be supposed to represent the filth and blackness of sin, in which Christ as our representative appeared. And his drinking of it might be supposed to refer to the cup of trembling, which, as the Church’s Surety he drank to the very dregs, that his people might drink the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. Isa_51:22; Psa_116:13.”

Poor Man’s Commentary, by Robert Hawker

This all makes so much sense to me now considering what was about to befall Jesus.

Jesus came for one reason


My life was not meant to be an example to copy. Being my follower is not trying to ‘be like Jesus’, it means for your independence to be killed. I came to give you life, real life, my life. We will come and live our life inside of you, so that you begin to see with our eyes and hear with our ears, and touch with our hands, and think like we do. But we will never force that union on you. If you want to do your thing, have it. Time is on our side.” ~Jesus speaking From the book, The Shack

Jesus came for one reason, to give us life, and to give us safe passage back to the Father should we choose to follow him by believing in him.

Hebrews 6:17-20 GNB To those who were to receive what he promised, God wanted to make it very clear that he would never change his purpose; so he added his vow to the promise. (18) There are these two things, then, that cannot change and about which God cannot lie. So we who have found safety with him are greatly encouraged to hold firmly to the hope placed before us. (19) We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary. (20) On our behalf Jesus has gone in there before us and has become a high priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.

I had to stop, overwhelmed by this realization once again. My eyes filled with tears as I thought, why me? I have done nothing to deserve such love. It can only be because of the strength and mercy of the Father.

In reading the Hebrews passage above I can see clearly at verse 19 that Jesus is that hope. Hope is a person, and he is safe, sure, and an anchor for our lives.

With that in mind we finish off chapter 17. The anchor and future high priest was standing there encouraging them in the hope. There was still so much for the Holy Spirit to show in the future, but the basis for hope stood before them.

If we continued in chapter 17 I believe I would look at verses 21 and 24.

John 17:20-21 NASB “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; (21) that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

I included verse 20 because it tends to clarify and answer the question that verse 21 presents me.

Who is he talking about when he says, “that they may all be one;”?

We should all understand by this point that he is talking about, and to, the disciples directly, and future believers indirectly.

Why would he have to make such a statement unless they did not have the unity he had hoped for?

If Jesus had to say this, then they were not one with each other. I think the term we are looking for is unity. The Greek word is heis, and means the numeral one. That can only mean cohesiveness.

Now I want to look for examples of how the disciples reacted with each other.

I struggled for a moment, but then my mind pictured the boys struggling with each other, and then verbally pulling at Jesus as they fought to gain superiority with him by getting Jesus to allow one to sit next to him at the throne of power. You can see this here:

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons, bowing down and making a request of Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She *said to Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” But Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” They *said to Him, “We are able.” He *said to them, “My cup you shall drink; but to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.” And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, (Matthew 20:20-26 NASB)

….even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us,..”

There is something about this that is so intense it overwhelms me. Why would it do that?

Because Jesus is speaking about the relationship that I can and should have with the Father.

I believe that Jesus always had his prayers answered, therefore there is nothing on God’s part that is preventing me from living in a continual relationship like Jesus did.

One might think that Jesus had fewer distractions than we do; perhaps, they were definitely different, more relational, but stress is still an inconvenience.

John 17:24 NASB “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

This statement is filled with Joy. I am not sure why I said that, especially when you consider what he has said to the disciples and what he is about to endure, but we have this as our hope.

Again the idea that Jesus always had his prayers answered tells me that we will be with him, where he is. And for those who struggle, trying to comprehend what we will be doing in Heaven, we have other verses to support the this glory which we will share in.

Psalms 31:19 AMP Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men!

Isaiah 64:4 AMP For from of old no one has heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who works and shows Himself active on behalf of him who [earnestly] waits for Him.

..for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”

I find myself frequently reminding myself that God chose me. Why would I do that? Because I am damaged and have to be reminded that I am loved and wanted.

How many people are we surrounded by that are like that; so broken that they have to be reminded that they are wanted

Ephesians 1:4-6 GW Before the creation of the world, he chose us through Christ to be holy and perfect in his presence. (5) Because of his love he had already decided to adopt us through Jesus Christ. He freely chose to do this (6) so that the kindness he had given us in his dear Son would be praised and given glory.

1 Peter 1:18-21 GNB For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors. It was not something that can be destroyed, such as silver or gold; (19) it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or flaw. (20) He had been chosen by God before the creation of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake. (21) Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God.

Conclusion: We have an intercessor who appears for us continually to guarantee our safe delivery to the haven above and our keeping along the way. He prays not for the world but for those who are His, and those that will be his in the future.

That they might be preserved in their salvation;

that they might have His joy;

that they might be fortified against the evils of the world;

that they might be purified through His Word;

that they might demonstrate oneness with Him;

that they might be edified in Him,

and at last behold His glory.

 

Finally I was able to get there.


My place of employment always hires extra help in the Spring; this year was no different, but for once we got some help in my department. I have a tendency to not want the new people to go through the same exclusionary practices that I experienced, so I say hi to them or at least treat them like they are part of the team (Yes, that means I torment them just as I would do anyone else.)

One day as I was passing through the lunch room I see one of the new guys reading his bible. I stopped momentarily to ask what he was reading. I understand the sarcastic response is “a bible” but without explaining my question, which I suppose I should have, the question was more specifically meant to be, “what are you studying and what are you getting out of it?” I remember that he was reading out of the gospel of Luke. I did not know at that time that he was coming to my department.

Why is any of this important?

For one, I have learned that there about six people who work there that claim to be “Christians”. That word has come to mean little or nothing because of its vagueness, and the oddity that many in this nation of mine seem to believe that merely living here makes you a Christian. That kind of belief tells me that you know nothing about having a relationship with Jesus Christ and that you are a follower of him. Look up the word follower and you will find it also means to pursue; one who pursues goes after or walks behind Christ with him as the leader. Now how many of those, so-called Christians, are followers? Of those six only one cares anything about talking about Jesus or their relationship with the Father. I find that to be very discouraging and do not waste my time talking with Pharisees.

This is why I was elated to have this new guy join us. On the first day he joined us we found reason to talk about our savior Jesus Christ. I even told him that I had prayed that God would send me someone who I could communicate with. I think we both agreed that God hand his hand in him being there.

He invited me to his church to join in their Wednesday evening bible study. When I finally was able to get there he was not, but that is okay.

Pastor Marcus, who my friend tells me is very skillful with the Greek and Hebrew, was starting brand new in the book of Daniel. While I am not an expert in Daniel, I am skillful and consider myself well versed in the end times. Daniel, along with several other old testament prophets, plays an integral role in defining the events of these last days.

I must tell you that while I enjoyed it, we flew through the book. Pastor tends to expect his audience to have done their preliminary reading; I had. When he got to the part where Daniel explains to Nebuchadnezzar about the iron legs pastor ran right along tradition and declared that this was the Roman empire.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever read the book of Daniel? If so, and you were paying attention, then you know that the Roman empire was not mentioned or defined as being the iron legs, in any way. If you are going to emphasize how important it is to read and understand the context then the person leading the group should either be honest and say they do not know, or not give false information merely because it is tradition.

Later, I wrote this pastor a short letter. I introduced myself and how I came to the bible study. Then I told him how much I enjoyed it and that I would be back, and I have been. I also told him how I ran across Glen Beck, then on national television, explaining by comparison on a white board how Jesus of Nazareth and Mahdi of Islam paralleled each other. This information was new, poignant and alive to me, and the author of the book from which Glen Beck had obtained this information was sitting right there and spoke about it all with clarity. I obtained two of his books, and from that point on my understanding began to grow. I told the pastor that it was like the lifting of a fog bank from my mind and suddenly the Revelation and end times events all began to make sense. Joel Richardson, the author of the Mideast Beast, defined the iron legs as the Islamic Caliphate, and gave solid reasons to defend that position.

Pastor Marcus wrote me back, and this I was not excoriated for my “opinion or lack of understanding” but was thanked for informing him about this author, as he had never heard of him before. Pastor Marcus, in person, informed me that he did some research on Joel Richardson and became convinced that he needed to read these books of his.

I cannot begin to tell you how that made me feel. No one, for several years now, has given me much credence. Oh I notice how with every post I get a new follower, and yes that does say that the Father is giving me credence with some, but sadly I do not know any of you. And honestly, how many, who enthusiastically started following me still do?

The second week of my attending Pastor Marcus’ bible study.

I already had a heads up that this week we were covering Hosea, Joel and Amos in one night. That is like watching a bullet train go by and then having someone ask you to verbally paint a picture of the happenings that you saw in the twelfth window of the third car. Really, I did not notice any windows and it seemed as though it was one long car.

The short recap:

Hosea

Hosea and his relationship with his wife (Gomer) is representative of Israel, not just in turning it’s back on God, but in running after everything that is not God, just to satisfy the flesh. Isn’t that what adultery, or cheating is? Hosea is ordered to take a wife from the prostitutes, those who help to satisfy the burning desires of the flesh to do what it wants. Hosea has children with her but has to go and buy her back on several occasions. His children have names that are hugely significant. The first is named Jezreel; the name of the valley where God will judge the nations in the last days. The last two have the prefix Lo added to their names and it means NOT! Not loved and No longer having compassion on Israel. The book speaks of the judgment against Israel for turning their backs on God, and yet ends by changing their names back and telling of how he will show mercy on them again.

That went by quickly

Joel

I anxiously awaited Pastor’s comments on Joel. If you have read it then you know it is another one of the prophets speaking about judgment upon Israel. Joel chapter two opens with:

Joel 2:1-3 NASB Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near, (2) A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, So there is a great and mighty people; There has never been anything like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations. (3) A fire consumes before them And behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them.

To be honest, Joel took on a whole new meaning to me when I finally really saw what Peter did on the day of Pentecost. Filled with the Holy Spirit, the promised comforter that would empower them, they (possibly 120 “disciples”) were doing something they had never done before, speaking in heavenly languages (tongues) and the people on the street heard this, and heard it in their own tongue. Does what I just said mean that the disciples were speaking in French and Swahili? Perhaps, or not. Does it matter? They were obedient and receptive, and the Holy Spirit fell over them as Jesus said it would.

Peter declared, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel,” and he went to quote a part the verse, out of context, to the religious crowd.

Joel 2:28-29 NASB “It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. (29) “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Of all the things pastor could have talked about he focused on this. He told the guys sitting in the room that they were not to pull scripture out of context and use it to prophesy as Peter did. I suspect that the men there needed to hear some strong wisdom about jumping ahead of the cart. Pastor also talked about the judgment that is predominant in this book also.

Amos -

We barely made it Amos and he reiterated that we were to have done our reading and should have an understanding of what Amos speaks of; again, judgment.

When the meeting was over the pastor came over to talk with me. He thanked me for the recommendation on the author Joel Richardson and noted how I had tried to speak to him the previous week. I took the opportunity to say how much I love the prophesy of Joel 2:28-29, and told him that I put a little different spin on it when I talk about it. I told him that though it is a prophecy embedded in the end times, that Peter, led by the Holy Spirit, kicked the door open by saying, “this is that!” The Holy Spirit moved that prophesy into the present. Now the question is really, What are you doing with it and if not, why not?

As usual I am compelled to say, that what I am talking about will be relatively meaningless unless you have a faith and hope in Jesus Christ. That would mean that you are a follower of Jesus Christ and in active pursuit of him. Should you need to do that, ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and give you a life with the Father. Turn from your sins, as a believer you have a new clean heart, and the garbage of the world is no longer you, and it no longer owns you. To say repent of your old ways has a couple of connotations.

  1. You need to be honest, today is great day to start. Tell God that you have made a mess of your life and need him to come into your life and run it. Give it over to him, you were screwing it up anyway.

  2. 2. He will begin to heal the wounds that have brought you to where you are now, but again, being honest and turning those things over to him will move that along quicker. My own personal experience was one of trying to fix things myself (it is the nature of man to do things on his own, regardless of how inexperienced and ineffectual we are at fixing ourselves.) God had to use someone else to reopen an old wound from my youth in order for me to see it and allow God to heal it. I honestly had no idea how to gain relief from the pain that wound caused me, and I had no idea that I had made agreement with it.

  3. Break your agreements you have made with the enemy. As followers of Christ, one that studies the scripture, I know that I have an enemy and that he is trying to steal (everything from me) destroy me, and kill me in any way possible. I am hoping that this gives you some insight to understand that death and damage come in many ways and forms. I am not asking you to stay in relationships that are not safe, but to understand that the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune are designed by Satan himself; he merely uses people as tools to meet his end (and that is to take you out or out-of-the-way.)

  4. If you have given Jesus Christ control of your life then you have a good heart. Jesus even describes you as a good tree and it is not the pattern of a good tree to produce bad fruit. I can give you a number of reasons to explain the biblical concept of a good heart, such as the Apostle Paul’s statement that you are now flesh of his flesh and he is perfect.

  5. As a follower of Christ you have a hope! A hope in what? That he will come and retrieve those that are his. He rose from the dead just to prove his point. He got collected back to the Father and he used that as an example of how adamant the Father is about upholding his word. He has spent the last two thousand plus years establishing that he is believable. He will come and gather us up; we call that the rapture.

Who has understanding … Revelation 13:18


This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Revelation 13:18 ESV)

I am not sure there are many who can interpret or adequately explain this passage. So many have applied Gematria to the words and tried to come up with a name but I primarily see one of the Cesar’s getting pinpointed. How does that help? None of the Caesars’ are coming back. (Trying to make him come by attributing the wounded head that appeared to be dead and comes back to life to him does not work.)

Of the commentaries I looked at the author was bold enough to say, this one puzzles him.

I believe God has put particular authors and speakers in front of me (you have to be willing to listen) that have given me a sudden clarity about end times events. Since then so much of the Revelation has become clear. Let me get something straight. I have no private interpretation of the bible and, if you noticed, as I write, I typically suggest that you READ for yourself and apply God’s word to some logical thought and see if you do not come to the same conclusions.

One of people who God brought across my path was Walid Shoebat. There is timing involved in revelation for a couple of years ago I would have allowed my prejudice and narrow-mindedness to dissuade me from me considering this man.

I have none of his books. What I found was a recent video. In that video he describes how, as a young believer (he had been a Palestinian terrorist but came to know Jesus Christ) he read this passage an Arabic version in the Codex Vaticanus. When he came to this part Six hundred threescore and six.G5516χξς chxs; i.e. chi xi sigma, he knew immediately what is was, for this is a common phrase in the middle east among Arabic speaking/Islamics. The phrase is called the Bismillah. “In the name of Allah.”

Mr. Shoebat also stated that Gematria is one the methods that many have used to ascertain the name of the person who is to be the beast, but God is not interested in witchcraft and number games. But allow me this thought for a moment. Did not the wise men from the east (Babylon, trained by those that Daniel trained.) find out by numbers and the stars at what time the Messiah should arrive, and they followed the star that led them right to him. Astronomy was apparently God designed but toying with Astrology was probably not. There is no doubt that God put these signs in place for our benefit but they are not to be abused.

The top image is definitely Arabic and shows the cross sword symbols of Islam, the lower text is Greek.

Walid Shoebat stated that he read this in the Codex Vaticanus. The problem with that is that this codex does not contain the Revelation from what I am to understand.

Could the man make a mistake? I do it all the time, partly because my memory is giving way. But he did say he that he read it in his native language, Arabic.

Apply some logic to this:

  • John wrote to Jewish believers.

  • I believe that God wanted us to understand. Clearly this is one the hardest ones to figure out, unless what Walid Shoebat said is true.

  • Satan, the power and backing behind Islam, is in opposition to every thing that God stands for. Revelation uses the terminology Antichrist, therefore in contrast to.

    Walid Shoebat, in an effort to make the audience understand said, Islam is the antithesis of God and godly things.

If Islam is the antithesis to belief in “the One true God” then it makes all the sense in world to tell us that this man can be identified by his relationship to Allah, the god in opposition.

How might God get us to see that? By inserting the Bismallah, something that would not have made any sense to anyone at the time of the writing. Muhammad was not even born until 570 years after Jesus Christ died. It was not until several years later that Mohammedanism was formed.

You might be asking yourself what Satan copied in using the Bismallah. The Bismallah – “in the name of Allah” is basis and theme within Islam that states: “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” Did you grasp that? If you wish to convert to Islam this is your statement of faith. You will, if you are a believer, have to understand that there is no one else but God. This is what Jesus told the Jews during the three years of his time among us, but he made it clear, and John, the disciple, conveyed it to us, He was God.

This is a vital statement to the Jewish community but the New Testament believers today have not made it a vital statement that motivates their lives. It is basically this:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV)

If this has been the defining statement of our belief, there is no Lord but Yahweh, then how would I convey an Antichrist theme? To raise up a religion that claims peace but is in fact the most violent of people on the earth, and instead of acknowledging Jesus Christ as God, they sing the praises of Allah.

If you do not know this Jesus Christ I speak of, then give him your life today. Accept his love for you. He placed himself on a cross to a ransom for your sins so that you are no longer indebted for them. He rose from the dead to give you new life. And he promised to come back for us and take those who await him to live with the Father (God). He loves you and died for you at a time when no one loved him. He did this to prove his love for you. I suggest you run to him because I have asked him to invade your dreams and give you visions of this Jesus Christ. His arms are open awaiting you. Ask him in and give him control of the life that you are not doing so well with.

A brief dive into John chapter 6


I meet with some men on Sunday mornings. There we have been reading short portions of the book of John and talk about what we just read, as we attempt to integrate it into our lives. For several months it has been a time of building relationships with the guys as I am the relatively new one. I had really been enjoying myself, interjecting occasionally. But for several weeks we have had a full blown bible scholar coming. He corrects us, throws in his opinion, and goes on incessantly for 30+ minutes stretches. Our leader asked us all to read the portion I made notes on and then come back and talk about it as it has affected him deeply.

Keep in mind that John wrote to show us that Jesus was God, and the Jews understood perfectly what he was saying.

John 6:28 NASB Therefore they said to Him,

What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?

Seems like a reasonable question.

Jesus responded with,

John 6:29 KJV “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

They wanted to do stuff, put on a good show, and there was probably an underlying idea about monetary profit. It wasn’t about the show. The work, as you call it, is to believe on me, the one God sent.

Him in verse 29 is referring to Jesus; he is referring to God to who sent his son.

Defensive, perhaps caught in their deceptive ways, they respond, “What sign do you show then, so that we may see and believe you?” “What do you work?” John 6:30 MKJV

They have not stopped talking. Usually when you fling out a question at someone you wait for an answer, unless you’re attempting to divert attention off yourself.

Our fathers ate the manna in the desert, as it is written, “He gave them bread from Heaven to eat.

John 6:31 MKJV

They are justifying their actions and responses. If we are whining at God to give us a sign, well, manna in the desert was certainly a sign, but that was then and this is now.

Flinging scripture at the Messiah is not going to sway him, but then they are refusing to acknowledge that he is the messiah.

When they said he gave us manna in the desert to eat, sounds good. It also sounds like they are referring to God as the he, but they are talking to the one that knows the secrets of the heart. Now watch his response.

Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses did not give you that bread from Heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven.

(John 6:32 MKJV)

Truly, truly – the words are Amen, amen. It is an absolute. I am to understand that to repeat it like this is to drive the point home. There are no exceptions.

Again their response sounded reasonable to my English-speaking ears. As I said, the Word knows the thoughts and intents of the heart and discerns what is the mind of the spirit. Jesus read their intent and went straight for the heart. Moses did not give them the bread (manna). People will say that Jesus claimed to be God and yet right is one of those statements in which he states his son-ship. “My Father gives you the true bread from Heaven.”

“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”

(John 6:33 NASB)

the bread of God is:

  • that which comes down out of heaven,

    Jesus came down from Heaven. This would not have been a new revelation to them. Based upon their understanding of scripture they new not only when, where, and how Jesus would perform, in their midst. He was standing right there. They knew he opened blind eyes, they knew he healed.

    The manna also came down from heaven, and it gave life, but the life was temporary.

  • and gives life to the world.”

    The manna was only for the Jews. It did not give life to the world, and I do not believe that the world was affected by Israel struggles in the desert.

Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.

(John 6:34 NASB)

They did not want life, their attempts at trapping him were incessant, but again it sounds reasonable.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

(John 6:35 NASB)

The context of the conversation seems to be wrapped around feeding oneself and Jesus is telling them that he is bread. They understood the law and everything about this statement would have appalled them.

he who comes to Me will not hunger, ..”

Clearly he is not talking about food for one of the most notable Christians in the NT was Paul, and he went hungry. Phillipians 4:12

I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. (2 Corinthians 11:27 NASB)

Why would we not hunger? We balk at the concept of eternal salvation, but we ignore that scripture in multiple places reminds us that he will never leave us now forsake us. He has engraved us on the palm of his hands.

I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you. (John 14:18 AMP)

If I was hungry for something what would that be?

Without Christ I suppose it would be peace, but there are many Christians who do not have peace. Is it a fallacy to think that you have no peace.

I have known the Lord since I was a child. I have never been without him, so I do not think I can speak to what the void feels like. But after many years of a life in him I can tell you that I have been in despair, hurt, filled with anguish, experienced the darkness of depression and felt lost. What I have come to realize is that He is always with me, and always has been. That does not mean I have always been close to him. On the contrary, my failures have many times made me feel as though I could not see or feel him.

When I chose to stop feeling sorry for myself and call upon him, he was always there.

Stepping back from the tumult of the problem I was able to see the truth of a statement like this, “he that comes to me shall never hunger, ..” It was my spirit, my heart, my life that was kept alive when it could have died.

The idea of coming to Jesus implies to accompany by leaving where you are and coming to him.

“But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.

(John 6:36 NASB)

He has talked about signs proving power, authority. Clearly manna in desert registered in their minds as a sign.

Manna and bread seemed to mean the same thing, hence Jesus refers to himself as the bread from heaven. How many things had God sent to earth. If there were more than 1 none was more important than the gift of the Son.

In verse 36 he now says, you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.

The Me is God.

I always struggle a little with the concept of the Son being the same as the Father. Children do not carry the same weight and yet harm the son, especially in a feudal society, and the wrath of Father will come upon you.

The son typically gains the inheritance upon death and therefore takes over the kingdom, authority and power.

We are all painfully aware that many children do not appropriately demonstrate the character of the Father, and yet Jesus fully did. P.S. Many children emulate their fathers, by practicing their lives of violence and crime, and they do it to the letter.

Jesus only did what the Father told him to do, and he was obedient unto death.

All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].

(John 6:37 AMP)

I, will not, in NO way cast him out.

You want to know the nature and character of God? Look at the Son.

What did he say? I (representing all that the Father is) will not cast you out.

Out of what?

  • The family

  • Heaven

  • the rapture

Some family members are broken, even screwed up and we consider them unsuitable, and unacceptable. Just the fact that you made that kind of judgment on them demonstrates how unsuitable and unacceptable you are, and yet you are included in his grace and mercy.

Broken and messed up? Not a problem, God is in the business of healing, mending and restoring the broken and unacceptable. He seems to be especially fond of loving on them. Beside his demonstrated heart toward you there will be a point at which we who are in Christ will be raised up.

We tend to think of someone who is raised up as being dead, like Lazarus, but it also applies if I were to say elevated in rank and stature. At the rapture both will take place; the dead in Christ will rise first. This is a puzzlement to me for the concept is that our spirits never die, therefore we either live together with Him or without, but none-the-less we live on.

Since the dead in Christ have apparently already gone on to be with Jesus why is this concept of a body rising so important? I honestly do not know, but when Jesus rose from the dead his body went with him.

He ate fish with them.

When they got out on land (the beach), they saw a fire of coals there and fish lying on it [cooking], and bread. Jesus said to them, Bring some of the fish which you have just caught. So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net to land, full of large fish, 153 of them; and [though] there were so many of them, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, Come [and] have breakfast. But none of the disciples ventured or dared to ask Him, Who are You? because they [well] knew that it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so also [with] the fish. (John 21:9-13 AMP)

He had them touch his body.

Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe! (John 20:27 AMP)

He walked through walls.

Eight days later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though they were behind closed doors, and stood among them and said, Peace to you! (John 20:26 AMP)

And he showed up where he pleased.

And while they were conversing and discussing together, Jesus Himself caught up with them and was already accompanying them. (Luke 24:15 AMP)

Jesus was a spirit with a body; the image of God. Man was made in the image of God, and we should know that God is a spirit.

God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). (John 4:24 AMP)

And yet God opted to put a body on him. What need does a spirit have for a body? Unless God was intentional in giving us a method enjoying physical and mental pleasure. (Do not go there! What happened in that garden was all good until evil got into the mix.)

Why did Jesus sit and eat with the disciples that day?

  • Hunger? I doubt it.

  • Enjoyable flavor? Maybe, we don’t know.

  • Fellowship and further directions for the boys? Most likely.

But then why sit us all down to the marriage supper of the Lamb if we are all spirits and have no need for food, unless food can be tasted, appeal visually to the eyes, and fellowship enjoyed.

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

(John 6:38 NASB)

If he has not lit them up yet he did it now. The Jews allegedly look for the Messiah, the one from God and soon they will looking for ways to kill him over these statements. The world, and religious folk, will still try to tell you that Jesus never said he was God. They heard it.

Heaven – The Jews had solid image in their heads that heaven was God’s throne.

I came from there – The implications can one be three:

  • You are either God, and they were not buying that

  • He was God’s son, making himself equal with God and they understood that language. Of course to them, anyone making a claim like that was worthy of death.

  • Or, there is something seriously wrong with his head. The Jews never took that point of view and decided that calling him a blasphemer was the right thing to do.

There is a strange irony in this blasphemy issue. When the Jews stated that the work that Jesus was doing (healing blind eyes, casting out demons, raising the dead) was through the power of Satan, then he got into the middle of them; telling them that they had blasphemed. Now they are into some serious trouble.

“This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.

(John 6:39 NASB)

This is the Father’s will, God’s will.

Want to know what God’s will is? That Jesus lose nothing and raise them up on the last day.

of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”

How do you know you have been given to him? Maybe it is because your heart yearns for him.

This entire discourse seemed to start with, “believe that I am the one that He sent.” I do that.

There are no qualifiers to the statement and no exclusions.

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

(John 6:40 NASB)

The will of the Father is that we have eternal life, AND that Jesus will raise them up on the last day.

When you consider that our spirits never die. They will live on with God in eternity, or they will live in eternal separation from the creator. You can scoff at that if you wish but you won’t change it. Those that will live separate from God have done so by choice.

If our spirits live on eternally then there must be something else that is meant by this. Life can only be lived in Him. The mind that balks at that idea is the mind that lives in selfishness, unwilling to allow anyone to tell them what to do. I think that it is clear that God desires for us to live with him in glory.

..and that Jesus will raise them up on the last day.”

We have two frames of reference for this.

  1. One would be the catching away.

    The Greeks used the word harpazo, or snatching away. It implies a quick and sudden removal. The implication is, off this earth and into the heavenly realm. Scripture tells us that the dead in Christ rise first and then we which are alive and remain will be caught up to meet him in the air. This happens at the beginning of the time of judgment, also known as the tribulation years (7 of them.) I also happen to think that we are in the mere minutes phase until he arrives.

  2. The second point of view on this would have to do with a time period at the end of the thousand-year reign. Now why would I say that? Because it is the only other time that we see people being raised up. These are not the dead in Christ and they are brought forward for judgment. Even here we find a merciful God and he separates the un-dead based on whether they lived a life of selfishness or showed mercy (a trait of God). Those that showed some mercy are then given mercy. You might decided that this entire last process is in itself against the traits and mercy of God, but you forget that Adam’s act was to intake the knowledge of both good and evil, therefore no man has an excuse. To do evil is an act of the will. Adam exhibited that act when he took of the fruit. Cain did it when he slew Able.

Wisdom alone tells me the last day, when Jesus shall raise them up would have to be the rapture. Of all the days that are spoken of concerning the end they are all filled with gloom and punishment. Jesus raising us up is the total opposite of that.

..and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

The Jews standing there did not miss a thing (except that God stood before them, the Messiah that they longed for.) They knew that he was telling them that he was God’s Son and carried all the attributes, authority, and nature of the Father. He just told them that in the future he (Jesus) would be the one raising the Church up, and they knew that only the Father could do that. Only the Father had the right to forgive and make judgment. They knew exactly what Jesus told them.

Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?”

(John 6:41-42 NASB)

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

(John 6:44 NASB)

This screams a line from the Chronicles of Narnia. “You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion.

In our arrogance we think we are in control. We are really not. Does it mean nothing to hear that before the worlds were formed I knew you. I know the plans that I have for you …

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love (Ephesians 1:4 NASB)

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 NASB)

We struggle and worry over the lost. Many think that they are selfishly sinning because they are not doing something. Even if you did do something, they would not come unless God had called them. So the day they do come, whether you talked with them or not, would be because God had called them.

It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. (John 6:45 NASB)

I wish everyone could be taught of God, then perhaps this recent baseball fight in which the pitcher got his collar-bone broken might not have happened. I know, that is trivial and irrelevant, but then is it? Jesus explained himself. It is those who hear and learn. We can hear but certainly not learn, that requires a shade more effort and desire. But then you would not have the desire if God did not give it to you.

  “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. (John 6:46 NASB)

Jesus was the one that said, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” I suppose that really means in character and actions. No one had seen the Father. We seem to think that Moses did, but even God told him he would die; not from punishment but his human body probably could not handle it. I think I can understand that.

 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 NASB)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I heard one of the radio pastors indicating that this means to put an unshakable emphasis on what he saying, and was a common method of expressing themselves.

He wants us to understand, he who believes has eternal life. I wonder when we will start teaching and believing that.

 “I am the bread of life. (John 6:48 NASB)

 “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. (John 6:49 NASB)

 “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. (John 6:50 NASB)

 I believe he made his point here. I am secured in him. Do I test the waters of grace? I suppose I do but I always return to grace and mercy. Maybe that is my way of saying I eat the bread. His word is my bread.

Father, forgive me for I have made you to small in my life. Allow me to comprehend all that you are telling me this day. I believe in you, that you are the Son of the living God, and that you will come again for me and all those who believe in you. Thank you for never letting go of us, and taking us into your kingdom. In Jesus name.

 

 

Written in code, Revelation 13:10


It would seem that most of Revelation is written in code.

An example of that would be: Beasts with multiple heads; all of which represent empires, kingdoms and rulers, but you are not given the rules to break the code directly.

If I only looked at verse 10 in the KJV it comes across as a riddle and takes a very different meaning from many other translations. The question is, which one is right?

He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

(Revelation 13:10 KJV)

One might assume that the one that is leading others into captivity would be the Antichrist and since Islam is one the leading advocates of beheading by sword, they fit the mold quite nicely as the ones doing the killing by sword.

In this modern world we live in where advancements in technology are rapidly changing and improving the way we kill people, why the sword? The sword within Islam almost takes on a religious theme, and may well fall under that category.

Here in the United States we already have a large collection of FEMA detainment camps; sometimes referred as protective facilities. Who is being protected? Us Christians from those that wish to remove our rights and freedoms? I do not think so. Do you really believe that believers will be treated respectfully while detained there? Then you are deluded.

Other versions of this passage read like this:

Whoever is to be a prisoner, will be a prisoner. Whoever is to be killed with a sword, will be killed with a sword. This means that God’s holy people must have patience and faith.

(Revelation 13:10 ERV)

Why this is an entirely different spin from the KJV for it for it removes the focus off the perpetrator and places it on the victim.

In theory this may be one of the ways God has chosen for us to understand what is to befall those that are left.

Penn Jillette of the magical act, Penn and Teller, has been very vocal about being an agnostic and his disappointment in Christians not taking the responsibility to tell someone like him if something equitable to a devastating train wreck is about to befall him. At least then he could make a logical decision about how to react to that information. I believe that what I am doing could equate to something like that. Having seen in scripture what is coming for those who wait, I warn you; this world after the rapture will not be pretty. Sure the man who shows up will be handsome (maybe), well spoken, charismatic, and have all the right things to say, calming most people down. Following him will be a tragic and last error in judgment for worshiping that man and taking any marks he demands will end your chances for God’s redemption, and there will still be a chance (kind of like playing a card trick, only God has the deck of cards and Mr. Penn Jillette will not be able to figure out what he is doing should he end up before the white throne of judgment.)

By translating verse 10 from the victim’s point of view it enlightens but possibly misdirected the world from looking at reality.

Let’s take at look at the words being used, because I want to understand.

He thatG1536 leadeth intoG4863 captivityG161 shall goG5217 intoG1519 captivity:G161 he thatG1536 killethG615 withG1722 the swordG3162 mustG1163 be(G846) killedG615 withG1722 the sword.G3162 HereG5602 isG2076 theG3588 patienceG5281 andG2532 theG3588 faithG4102 of theG3588 saints.G40

(Revelation 13:10 KJV+)

 Nothing short of confusing when you look at it like this, but give me a moment.

åéG1487 COND ôéòG5100 X-NSM áé÷ìáëùóéáíG161 N-ASF óõíáãåéG4863 V-PAI-3S åéòG1519 PREP áé÷ìáëùóéáíG161 N-ASF õðáãåéG5217 V-PAI-3S åéG1487 COND ôéòG5100 X-NSM åíG1722 PREP ìá÷áéñáG3162 N-DSF áðïêôåíåéG615 V-FAI-3S äåéG1163 V-PAI-3S áõôïíG846 P-ASM åíG1722 PREP ìá÷áéñáG3162 N-DSF áðïêôáíèçíáéG615 V-APN ùäåG5602 ADV åóôéíG1510 V-PAI-3S çG3588 T-NSF õðïìïíçG5281 N-NSF êáéG2532 CONJ çG3588 T-NSF ðéóôéòG4102 N-NSF ôùíG3588 T-GPM áãéùíG40 A-GPM

(Revelation 13:10 GNT-TR+)

Again confusing and I do not read Greek but the Strong’s reference numbers are the same. Originally written in Greek and then transliterated into English guys like me are at the mercy of those who seem to know. For me it is beneficial to compare texts.

There is a common thread between the two translations

Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

If the focus is on the perpetrator then it seems that God is spelling out the type of retribution that they shall receive. Why then would it be necessary for the Saints to have perseverance and faith?

If they focus is really intended to be upon the victims then this statement makes all the sense in the world.

What does it mean to have perseverance and faith?

Perseverance, according to the Greek, means to be steadfast constant and to endure. But what are you enduring? And for what purpose?

The ISBE and Vine’s expository call it a different Greek word and the ISBE says it only occurs one time in the NT and that is Ephesians 6:18.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

(Ephesians 6:18 KJV)

The KJV states it this way: Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.I suppose it is safe to say that the word endurance and patience kind of lean in the same direction.

Strongs tells us that the word patience is: Hupomonē – From G5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:- enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

So then what are the Saints, going through the tribulation, waiting for? God to rescue them and give them a home in his arms also.

If I could warn you of impending death or imprisonment with torture, then adding a statement that allows you to mentally prepare might be a good thing. I am certain that a statement like this does that very thing for some.

As I sat down to dinner this night at Chick-fil-A, a business known for its Christian stance, a man walks up to the counter with a t-shirt on that expresses some aspect of how he feels. It said some name and the words, “standing at hell’s gates.” It would seem to me that he has no hope of a future with God.

In focusing on verse 10 alone, I believe that for some there will be a separation from the body only to find themselves in the presence of the Lord, while others may find themselves faced with hell’s gates and the sudden realization that this is not really where they wanted to be.

I am almost embarrassed to tell you this because it is the environment I grew up in, but the religious assumptions I heard left me with the idea that there was no hope for anyone after the rapture. Clearly that is not the case. Why?

  1. The verse we have dealt with speaks to the Saints and implies the necessity of faith and patience.

  2. Peter stood on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts chapter 2, and told those scoffers that what they were hearing was the prophecy of Joel chapter 2 being fulfilled in their hearing.

    Do you realize that the prophecy of Joel is one about the last days? And the fact that Peter announced that it was fulfilled on that day and forward. Lawyers like to call things like this a precedence, and establishes a freedom to act a certain way from that point on.

    We, in our Christian circles, love to use the prophecy of Joel to describe something out the ordinary that typically happens to the youth, in the realm of the prophetic, primarily with our pre-rapture church body. (Note: You will not see anything like this at the church I go to. It is not allowed. – A warning: God will tear the walls off your church building if you try to keep him out.) While Peter’s statements give us the precedent to use it, it is primarily directed to a handful, maybe larger, of Saints that are not merely surviving the horrors of the great tribulation, but living in extraordinary victory during this time. They will come to understand that they are not of this world. Filled with the Holy Spirit they walk in the freedom and power of the most feared of prophets who walked this earth. (Consider. If you came to a person like this, humbly seeking to know and understand the God they have come to know and understand, how do you think they would respond? With the loving merciful nature of the God that empowers them.

    Take the time to Read the first two chapters (at least) of Joel. You will find that the emphasis is on the Day of the Lord, a day of darkness and gloom, and that aspect alone is at the end of the seven-year period.

One of the main themes in the NT is our hope, a hope in a future with Jesus Christ and the Father. That is what these Saints of the tribulation years have come to understand and hope in too. Obviously a hope like this is built within you, but based upon what? The scriptures, a witness, a testimony, and a faith in a message. Nothing has changed for the scriptures tell us that faith comes by hearing, but we assume that there is no one left to tell them. Think about it. Why send two witnesses to earth. Sure they will have an impact on Israel but broadcast on global television the world will see what men of God really act like and say. We also know that an angel flies around the globe preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. And then there is not only copies of the bible left everywhere, but guys like me that post it on the Internet.

I am asking you look into the scriptures for yourself. Yes it is appropriate to compare your notes against what scholars have ascertained, doing that has multiple effects:

  1. It gives you a compass that tells you that you might be headed in the right direction and

  2. It allows you to confirm that your thoughts are sound (keep in mind that if you Born Again and filled with the Holy Spirit, then you have a guide and teacher – trust him.)

    But remember, even scholars have leaned toward spinning the result to satisfy those who are paying their bills. No one is paying my bills and that is why I am attempting to rock the boat a little.

The only way to gain assurance that your hope is in heaven is to accept Jesus as Lord of your life, and that the Father has promised a life with him in heaven. Choosing against that pits you against the time of judgment that was meant for those who reject him; that includes Israel. Even Israel will be shown mercy but not without a cost. You do not have go through something that was not meant for you. To go there is purely your choice. Choose wisely was the phrase used in the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. I would hope that you do.

 

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 Mouth that roared. Revelation 13:5-7


Revelation 13:5 KJV And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

“There was given …”

The word given is the Greek word didōmi; reduplicated from the root δο- do-; to give(in various senses lit. or fig.): – add (1), allow (2), bestowed (4), cause

So one might say the beast was:

  • given

  • allowed

  • bestowed with

  • or caused to

To what? We will get to that.

If the beast, in this passage, is not a man, then who or what is being given a spokesman/mouth? Think about it. The dragon gives the beast not only power, but now either the beast or some aspect of the beast is given a spokesman.

In one of my recent posts we gained a strong visual description of a beast. I believe that though not defined, this is the same beast, and it looks nothing like a man.

Revelation 13:1-2 KJV And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (2) 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.

If this beast, in its original state, has multiple heads (ruling bodies) and is shaped like something that looks like it could be interpreted as three different animals, then where could God have gotten something that matches that image?

As I read Daniel one day it occurs to me that Daniel was shown in a vision a modern map with the nations marked out that matched that of the Babylonian empire, the Medo-Persian empire, Alexandrian empire, and the Ottoman empire. The Roman empire may have been there but out of context, for the angel did not speak to Daniel of the Roman empire, but he did speak of a mystery empire and said, it is not like the others.

Try describing the outline of what you see when you look at the territories these nations embodied. Something that should catch your attention is that they are all heavily, if not primarily Muslim. Two, they, if you use your imagination, look like they could easily represent the three animals that Revelation 13:1-2 describes. I can hear many of you scoffing and laughing; really? I have never been able to look up at a sky full of stars and say, oh! I see Capricorn, or Sagittarius. I think you get the picture, and yet you are far more agreeable with that line of thinking. Sadly many of you follow Astrology more closely than you follow God.

unto him…”

We have not changed subjects or context. The “him” is the same as in verse 2 of Revelation, and the him is not identifiable as a man as yet. It is however an authoritative body or an angel with a distinct name, and yet that name is not given. I can make a huge assumption here with the name Allah.

If this beast is the demonic/fallen angel whose name is Allah, then it makes all the sense in the world for Satan/the dragon to transfer his power to him. No one is looking in the right direction, they all have their attention turned to Satan, the deceiver, while this whatever gears up the Muslim world against anything that looks like God, and obtains a spokes person that is so charismatic, handsome, and authoritative that no one challenges him.

Consider this. Islam is founded upon Mohammed relating what an angel, an angel which tried to kill him, told him. No one in Islam, in comparison to men like Moses or Abraham, has ever heard from God and yet they call him Allah and anxiously await his two representatives, the 12th or hidden Imam, and his deputy Jesus.

What did Paul tell us believers?

Galatians 1:8 NASB But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!

Sadly Mohammed did not hear this message, but we have, and we should have our eyes wide open so that we are not deceived.

If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the risen one from the dead, then this detailed description of the Islamic Jesus should be an eye opener.

Isa ( Arabic: عيسىTransliteration: ʿĪsā ), known as Jesus in the New Testament is considered to be a Messenger of God and the Masih (Messiah) in Islam[1] who was sent to guide the Children of Israel (banī isrā’īl) with a new scripture, the Injīl or Gospel.[2] The belief in Jesus (and all other messengers of God) is required in Islam, and a requirement of being a Muslim. The Quran mentions Jesus by name twenty-five times, while it only mentions Muhammad by name four times.[3][4] It states that Jesus was born to Mary (Arabic: Maryam) as the result of virginal conception, a miraculous event which occurred by the decree of God (Arabic: Allah). To aid in his ministry to the Jewish people, Jesus was given the ability to perform miracles (such as healing the blind, bringing dead people back to life, etc.), all by the permission of God rather than of his own power. According to the Quran, Jesus, although appearing to have been crucified, was not killed by crucifixion or by any other means, instead, “God raised him unto Himself”. Like all prophets in Islam, Jesus is considered to have been a Muslim (i.e., one who submits to the will of God), as he preached that his followers should adopt the “straight path” as commanded by God. Islam rejects the Trinitarian Christian view that Jesus was God incarnate or the son of God, that he was ever crucified or resurrected, or that he ever atoned for the sins of mankind. The Quran says that Jesus himself never claimed any of these things, and it furthermore indicates that Jesus will deny having ever claimed divinity at the Last Judgment, and God will vindicate him.[5] The Quran emphasizes that Jesus was a mortal human being who, like all other prophets, had been divinely chosen to spread God’s message. Islamic texts forbid the association of partners with God (shirk), emphasizing a strict notion of monotheism (tawhīd).

Numerous titles are given to Jesus in the Quran and in Islamic literature, the most common being al-Masīḥ (“the messiah”). Jesus is also, at times, called “Seal of the Israelite Prophets”, because, in general Muslim belief, Jesus was the last prophet sent by God to guide the Children of Israel. Jesus is seen in Islam as a precursor to Muhammad, and is believed by Muslims to have foretold the latter’s coming.[6][7]Jesus in Islam From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I am not speaking this way, nor sharing this information with you to berate Islam. I am trying to get believers in Jesus Christ and God’s word to open their eyes and their minds to something outside of persistent tradition. It is this tradition that has kept your understanding clouded and darkened, and prevents you from seeing the truth.

Let me just add that scripture tells us that God will awaken the people of Iran and Egypt to revival. He will pour out his spirit upon them and pull them into the kingdom. It is happening as we speak. Stand in the way and you will get run over. Join me in prayer for the people of the mid-east as God invades their lives with dreams and vision, and awakens them to life. Jesus Christ, the son of God is life and life cannot be found in any other.

a mouth …”

If we had talked about a man he would have already had a mouth. I believe that this is telling us that whoever or whatever this is suddenly has spokesman. If the beast is Allah then the spokesman becomes the coming Mahdi who is supposed to speak for Allah. Makes sense doesn’t it?

If this is an authoritative body such as Islam, then someone has to speak for it. Currently many seem to be speaking for Islam. Their stories are not that much different, but this passage clearly indicates that one person will step forward.

As I was writing on my notepad I could not pull my mind away from a video I watched of Ken Peters as he told of a dream he had about the time immediately after the rapture. As I began to search the Internet to find it again so many had been removed due to copyright infringements. I found this link and it is still up.

http://www.rapturewatch.net/apps/videos/videos/show/17365611-saw-the-tribulation-ken-peters-best-video-of-end-time-prophecies-

What I valued about this man was his humility. What I remember was the imagery that I saw in my spirit as he described the image of the smooth talking Antichrist that showed up on every large screen. Somehow I could see this face on an electronic billboard next to the freeway. Keep in mind that Ken would not have known of video images of that size even being capable at that time, and besides that we did not even have cell phones in 1981. I do not think that most people comprehend the confusion and terror that will ensue immediately after the rapture of the church. Those who have been on the edge of truth, such as cult religious groups, will be wailing as they realize that they had been deceived.

“..speaking great things.”

The old standard, The King James version says it well but does give us the depth I feel we need to understand what this spokesman is doing.

Revelation 13:5 KJV And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Read this version which still does not translate the seriousness and nature of the this spokesman but is taking us more toward the right direction.

Revelation 13:5 NIrV The beast was given a mouth to brag and speak evil things against God. The beast was allowed to use his authority for 42 months.

We tend to apply great to ball players that get inducted into the hall of fame, and if that is the connotation God intended for us to apply then this must be a great guy and we need to listen to him.

I referred you to a Ken Peters video in which he described a spokesman who comes on the scene after the rapture of the church. This spokesman in his 1981 dream was handsome, smooth talking, and no one contested anything he implemented.

If I were to analyze the word based upon what I think or understand then I would say the first word that comes to mind is boastful. I associate that term with sports “jocks”, even if they are incapable of competing themselves they are self-enamored and arrogant.

Suppose that this spokesman’s talk pertains more toward the plans he has. That becomes scary if it involves the loss of more of my rights at his pleasure.

The Greek word for great is MEGAS. Does Great White Shark ring a bell.

megas; a prim. word; great: – abundant (1), all the more (1), arrogant (1), big (2), completely *(1), fierce (2), – From New American Standard(r) Updated Edition Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, has spewed forth great things such as how his nation will wipe Israel off the map. President Morsi of Egypt has also been saying great things, again directed at Israel’s destruction.

As a side note: Moses was asked to be God’s spokesman, a mouth so to speak to Israel. The oddity is that he complained that he could not speak. A strange statement having been raised in the Egyptian courts where he may have been trained to be a Pharaoh.

“and blasphemies..”

Focus on the word blasphemies for a moment. Christians have spoken in fear of this word since Christianity began, mostly because they were not solidly fixed on the hope we have in Christ, and they did not have a confidence and trust in God; fearing that they might have said a blasphemous thing that would exclude them from God’s presence. It is sickening what we have done to ourselves. The other side of this fear comes from preachers and people using the word to control and manipulate people.

Do you not understand that Christ’s death was enough, and that he paid the price for sin, ONCE, for all.

Jesus Christ defined blasphemy for us as he accosted the Pharisees for attributing the things of God to the devil.

Mark 3:22-30 NASB The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.” (23) And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? (24) “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (25) “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. (26) “If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but he is finished! (27) “But no one can enter the strong man’s house and plunder his property unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house. (28) “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; (29) but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”– (30) because they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

What did this spokesman say that caused him to be labeled a blasphemer? The passage at hand does not tell us, but the next one might give us a clue.

Revelation 13:6 CEV The beast cursed God, and it cursed the name of God. It even cursed the place where God lives, as well as everyone who lives in heaven with God.

So he talks big and has the support to carry out what he says, but in addition he speaks against God. It almost seems that the mouth attributes anything we would consider Godly to another god, a satanic empowered entity. Remember – the dragon/Satan empowers the beast which can be an individual or a character, perhaps demonic, with a name like Allah.

Odd how silent Dake’s is on this blasphemy aspect. The concept of blasphemy is huge in religious circles. Many are quick to point out what they feel is blasphemy on our part, while others worry if they have committed the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

If Jesus defined blasphemy as attributing his good works to the devil then what does it look like when the emissary of the dragon, the Antichrist does it. As a representative of Satan, empowered by Satan, his statements feel like truth to him. Therefore the words of Jesus Christ, the truth in the flesh, the man Islam calls the Dijal, would be the words of evil and the Antichrist should feel compelled to denigrate the name of God and his son.

“and there was given to him authority to go on for forty-two months.”

Revelation 13:5 KJV And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

42 months; that equals three and one half years. That should register loudly for that takes us half way through the time of wrath or the tribulation years.

Hang on, let’s talk about the tribulation for a moment. I have held that the tribulation comes after the rapture. I feel as though I have a solid foundation for believing that, and it has to do with Jesus’ statements in Matthew 25. In Matthew’s gospel he relates how Noah and Lot were rescued just prior to the judgment that fell on the people. (I have a friend who is adamant that judgment is merely specific periods and not the entire time frame.) Apply some logical thought based upon context. Part of our context comes from Matthew’s gospel as well as the Old Testament prophets. If you read both of those stories from your bible you will find that trouble was all around these two heroes of the bible. To be painfully honest and a little sarcastic, some people think tribulation is not being able to upgrade your car so that it excels your neighbors. This sickens me, and I suspect it sickens God as well. Folks, unless you have lived under a rock, there are many of us that are surrounded by trouble. Some are being killed and others suffer through constant stress and threats of physical harm in their daily lives. Tribulation comes in many forms, but do not tell me that the Christians of Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, India, Egypt, Iran, Syria, etc., are not facing hard tribulation as we speak.

Be clear on this. The tribulation that is coming will make these daily tribulations look like a trip through Disneyland.

“And he opened his mouth”

Revelation 13:6 NASB And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

The beast cursed God, and it cursed the name of God.”

The rapture comes and almost simultaneously the Mahdi of Islam shows up. We have called this man who is to come the mouth/spokesman, but Islam calls him the Mahdi.

In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi (Arabic: مهدي‎ / ISO 233: mahdī / English: Guided One) is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine or nineteen years- (according to various interpretations)[1] before the Day of Judgment (yawm al-qiyamah / literally, the Day of Resurrection)[2] and will rid the world of evil.[3]

In Shia Islam, the Mahdi is believed to be the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, whose return from occultation will be the return of the Mahdi.[4]

Isa will return to aid Mahdi, or the guided one, against Masih ad-Dajjal, the false messiah, and his followers.[5] He will descend at the point of a white arcade, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes with his head anointed[citation needed]. He will then join the Mahdi in his war against the Dajjal. Isa will slay Dajjal, and unite humanity.Sahih Muslim, 41:7023 (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahdi)

Do you find any correlations in here?

If the rapture has comes and almost simultaneously the Mahdi orchestrates a seven-year peace agreement with Israel and almost immediately they begin building the temple once again.

Whoa! How and where did Israel get the temple mount land back? Islam is not going to give that mosque up for a second, so something else cataclysmic happens that makes it possible for Israel to rebuild the temple. (Read Ezekiel 38, 39) A war in which God steps in and intervenes, and it sounds like it has a nuclear aspect to it for God’s fire falls on a multitude of Muslim nations.

We tend to assume that the Antichrist gives Israel the freedom to take back what they need to build their temple. Don’t plan on it.

What else is happening at the same time?

The two witnesses from God show up. I strongly suspect they will take an active role in the protection of the temple during the time they are on the earth. How would I know that? Because they spew fire out of their mouths at anyone that attempts to harm them. Take this thought one step farther. The first attempts to kill the witnesses might be with bricks thrown at them. Those men will be burned up and will not get the opportunity to throw their bricks. Seeing that men cannot get close them they will bring out the guns. Obvious frontal attacks will not work and those men will be toasted. Snipers will be brought in to kill them, and they will be killed with fire from the mouths of the witnesses. You are not even going to take them until God says so, just like Jesus who told the Romans that they could do nothing if he had not permitted it.

The two witnesses stand in Jerusalem for how long? The same amount of time that it takes for the Antichrist/mouth/spokesman to break the treaty with Israel. So three and one half years after the rapture all hell breaks loose. The Antichrist may not wait until that time frame to speak against the tabernacle of God, and it is purely conjecture to assume that the tabernacle would be the new temple, but it is a logical choice.

Who is in heaven at this point?

The rapture has come and gone, so who is in heaven at this point?

  • The raptured church

  • Christ

  • God, the Father

  • Those that have gone before

  • The martyred saints since the rapture

  • Angels

What purpose does it serve to blaspheme God and those who cannot hear you, and you cannot harm? None, unless you believe that what you are saying is true, and wish to convince others.

Islam believes in one god, theirs, and his name is Allah. The devout, they are called Twelvers in Muslim circles, those who anxiously await the last prophet, Imam al- Mahdi, also await their Jesus/Isa. This Jesus is not the same as the Son of God who is returning for his church. Their Jesus fits precisely into the mold of the false prophet of scripture.

If you awaited someone who was in complete opposition to God what do you expect him to say. For one he will demand that the people of the earth worship no one but the image of the beast that is made to speak.

We are not there yet but the beast of Revelation 17 looks remarkably like the beast of Revelation 13. One is Satan, the other looks like Satan and obtains his power. The Antichrist is Satan’s representative on earth.

“..to make war with the saints and to overcome them..”

Revelation 13:7 NASB It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.

Again we see that part of his empowerment is to make war with the saints.

We should already know the answer to this but who are the Saints? Anyone who comes to Jesus Christ after the rapture and lives out this testimony by their words and actions. The majority will lose their heads as martyrs and some will be imprisoned. Revelation 13:10 is rather cryptic in the King James but look at some of the other translations and you get a clear picture of saints taken prisoner.

Revelation 13:10 CEV If you are doomed to be captured, you will be captured. If you are doomed to be killed by a sword, you will be killed by a sword. This means that God’s people must learn to endure and be faithful!

If you think going through the tribulation as a believer will be easy you are wrong. Though it is possible that it is all just a nasty rumor the Department of Homeland Security is buying 2700 tank like vehicles and enough bullets for a 24 year war. Why? Internal security.

Why is this important in light of the Antichrist’s making was on the saints? Because though some might feel secure in saying that the influence of the Antichrist will only be in the middle east, there are clear signs that even in the United States of America preparations are being made to apprehend and inter anyone that speaks out against the government or fails to comply. FEMA already has the pow camps ready. So do not be oblivious to the signs around you.

What is it that scripture calls on us to do about it? Not to panic, PRAY. We who pray are holding back the enemy until we, the church, are returned to the Father’s arms.

I falsely thought that once Satan was cast out of heaven to the earth, that he no longer had any place in heaven, but then in my studies I am reminded of Job’s episode where Satan presents himself before God and discusses Job in particular. Obviously I was wrong, but in Revelation 12 we have Satan finally excluded from the presence of God where he has been busy pointing out our failures before God.

Revelation 12:13 KJV And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

Finally thrown out he goes after the woman, Israel. Is that happening as we speak? You bet it is. God protects Israel who escapes out of the grasp of the enemy. Angered the dragon, now empowering the Antichrist, goes after those left on earth who belong to God.

Revelation 12:17 KJV And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

It is obvious that there is a timing here and it primarily happens within the 7 years of wrath. The idea of the beast making war against the saints indicates an active pursuit.

Concerning power over all.

Again, to those who cling to a strict middle eastern conflict, there is the aspect of Revelation 13:7 KJV which states:

and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

The word kindred in the Greek is phulē and means tribe. When dealing with the Middle eastern people what is their identity wrapped up in? Tribes. For the scripture to say that the beast has power over kindred, then is it not saying that he has power over his own?

There is a common thread, almost like DNA, that runs through the nations involved in gathering against Israel and are represented by the beast. Since I believe that our last beast is the Islamic empire, but explicitly starts with the Babylonian empire, from where? The birthplace of Abraham. Challenged, Muslims will quickly trace their heritage back to Abraham. This tends to enforce the idea of having a global effect as you look at all the nations in which Islam has grasped a solid hold.

Dake’s goes to great lengths discussing 15 proofs that the Antichrist will not be world-wide. I have pondered these ideas and a few of my own and I can definitely say I am not sure.

    • The idea that everyone must take a mark to buy or sell.

      Even with the advanced technology in the world there are still places in the world that run on the barter system and do just fine.

      I listened to Walid Shoebat speak about the mark of the beast and he says this concept is strongly an Islamic practice.

      Jizya – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      “Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah (Arabic: جزية‎ ǧizyah IPA: [dʒizja]; Ottoman Turkish: cizye;) is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state‘s non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria. The tax is and was to be levied on able-bodied adult males of military age and affording power[1] (but with specific exemptions).[2][3] From the point of view of the Muslim rulers, jizya was a material proof of the non-Muslims’ acceptance of subjection to the state and its laws, “just as for the inhabitants it was a concrete continuation of the taxes paid to earlier regimes.”[4] In return, non-Muslim citizens were permitted to practice their faith, to enjoy a measure of communal autonomy, to be entitled to the Muslim state’s protection from outside aggression, and to be exempted from military service and the zakat taxes obligatory upon Muslim citizens.[5][6

      This idea of subordination that allows to you continue living as you are without complying with the demands of worship sounds so benign. To bad it won’t happen that way during Antichrist’s war against the saints. While we made it clear that many will be captured and probably tortured, most will be killed as they refuse to comply.

  • According to Walid Shoebat the idea of taking a mark is not a new idea either. He noted in the movie, The Kingdom of heaven in which the crusader were beaten down and captured by Saladin, the one thing that the movie captured well, according to Walid Shoebat, was that the armies of Saladin had arm bands and head bands had the same words found in the Arabic translation of the bible, which the early bible translators interpreted as 666. Those words in Arabic convey, “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his messenger!” You will be forced to identify as one who complies with the demands of Allah and false prophet.

    I tried to find a photo of this armband. Many wear alternate versions that state the same things. The except below is from an Islamic website. Note how they define what you do to become a Muslim.

    There is no god except Allah and Muhammad is a messenger of Allah.This is the statement that qualifies someone as a Muslim. If you are convinced of this at some point then you are a Muslim.

Formally someone becomes a Muslim by saying – in front of witnesses – “I witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad is a messenger of Allah.”

To understand this statement fully some explanation is needed of the word ‘god’. A god is understood to mean anything or anyone who you use to set your values in life; to determine how you judge a matter as good or bad and how therefore you live your life. A god is also someone or something that people try to keep happy so that it may be able to change their lives and make those people happy. Since every human being by nature forms value judgments everyone has at least one god.

What is your god? Is it your desires? – Is it your work? – Is it fashion? – Is it your family? – Is it your nation? – Is it your church?

Whatever your gods may be, becoming a Muslim frees you from the service of them and brings you to the service of Allah and only Allah.

Believing that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah flows from believing in the Qur’an.

http://www.islamic.org.uk/shahada.htm

Think about where else you might have seen something like this marking. Under Nazi occupation the Jews were forced to wear a yellow star of David and beneath it was the word Juden. That way they were easily identified.

Scripture makes it clear that taking the mark and worshiping the beast will exclude you from God’s presence for ever.

  • There is no country in which Islam is not a growing concern.

  • Given that “the prince” or the “mouth” comes out of the people who destroyed the temple, then that tends to make him a middle easterner and most likely a Muslim.

    Dake’s states, “all these passages is simply a figure of speech – synochdoche in which a whole is put for a part..” Do we have an example of this? Absolutely. When Nebuchadnezzar ordered everyone to bow before his statue scripture tells us that everyone did except the 3 hebrew children (It is specific about noting them for they are an part of God’s influence on Nebuchadnezzar and an aspect of Daniel’s life.) and yet Daniel was not there. Clearly the words everyone did not work here.

  • Dake’s also points out that Revelation 13 itself limits the kingdom of Antichrist to the 10 kingdoms.

    This idea makes sense but here are a couple of problems I have with it. Even without the unity of the 10, Islam and Jihad is being felt all over the world, directed at those that fit the group of the big and little satan.

    Where are these ten nations? Algiers, Tangiers, Libya, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Turkey, and the southern nations of the former Soviet Union. Many are not typical and though Islam’s hatred is dispensed from many other places I have already exceeded the 10.

As always I implore you to turn your life over to the risen Christ, Jesus. Only through him can you obtain salvation from the wrath that is to come, and a hope of life within the Father’s arms. Paul tells us that in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye all will be changed; all the pain, torment, anguish, fear, and hopelessness of this damaged life. That hope begins in Jesus Christ. All creation is damaged by the fall of the original man and everything in you cries out to mask the pain and fix it. There is only one fix and that was the blood of Jesus poured out upon the cross. He died that we might live. Should you come to him will your life become roses and fairy tales? No, but you will have a peace in knowing that life himself resides in you. Turn your life to him, the Father awaits you.

This freakish image.


It was like a leopard, a bear, and a lion.

As a heads up, I am not a scholar but I am someone who has an intense interest in understanding and helping others to understand. In sharing my insights with you the goal is not to bring you under my spell and start a new cult but you to get you thinking, looking outside the traditional religious box, and get you diving into your bibles and find out for yourself what is true. Therefore if you find something that you cannot agree upon then it is up to you to search the scriptures and find out for yourself. Paul ran into a bunch like this, they were called the Bereans, and they daily searched the scriptures to find out if what Paul said was true. The result, they came into alignment with Paul. You need to come into alignment with the Word, but it is always fun talking to like-minded believers.

That being said let’s jump in.

In my previous post I covered Revelation 13:1 and I could have expounded further. You have to agree that chapter 13 is a highly symbolic chapter, filled with imagery that most find difficult to understand. I discussed how the sea represents people, and how the heads are considered by many to represent empires that in John’s day fit into the categories of: was, are, and are to come. The last of those empires that could be tightly defined and had a huge impact on John’s life was the Roman empire. The final empire rises out of the territory that was not only controlled by the Roman empire but several earlier empires as well.

When you compare the statue that Daniel described to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter two and the dream Daniel had in chapter seven against what Ezekiel describes in Ezekiel 38 as the nations angrily surrounding Israel in the near future with the beast of Revelation chapter 13 you will see that most are nations we are familiar with, and they are Muslim majority.

With that let’s start looking at this more closely.

And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.

(Revelation 13:2 ESV)

Many like to assign this freakish image to the beast that desecrates the temple and it is not. Freakish in description, yes. This fits the description that Daniel gave to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2, and it matches the explanations given to Daniel in Daniel 7. Ezekiel 38 identifies many of the nations/empires that fulfill the crowns or ruling authorities.

In trying to help Daniel’s explanation make sense, I include:

Revelation 13:1 And he took his place on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea.

The sea represents people, but not just any people, they are people associated with the nations that rise against Israel in Ezekiel 38.

Why would I say that? Because there is a context to what Daniel saw, what Ezekiel saw, and what John the revelator wrote, and it all has to do with the culmination of time either right before the rapture of the church or almost immediately after.

It is shown that the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael have a hatred of Jews and Israel, and this hatred is clearly portrayed in scripture. We are seeing the effects of their hatred lived out on our television screens almost daily. (In an effort to make this a reasonable length I am avoiding great details here. If you want great details then I suggest that you get and read the The Islamic Antichrist or The Mideast Beast, by Joel Richardson.)

I had a vision by night, and saw the four winds of heaven violently moving the great sea.” Daniel 7:2 BBE

We have a tendency to look at events like this as always in the future. I strongly suspect that the four winds have blown. What we can attest to is the level of violence within the Muslim nations.

One of the biggest turnovers, (that tends to be what a strong wind does,) occurred in 1979: Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

After the overthrow of the Shah, the American ally became one of its biggest adversaries. I remember it. It birthed a television show called Nightline and everyday Ted Koppel reminded us during under the Presidency of Jimmy Carter the US embassy in Iran had been taken hostage. This went on for over a year. (Interestingly there was a correlation between Ronald Reagan who played a cowboy in the movies, his rhetoric as he ran for Presidency, and the release of the American hostages. What helped me to understand that correlation was a book I read called the Kite Runner. In it, the author who had been born Afghani, explained how, in the early days before the Taliban, so many would travel to go see the American cowboy movies that had been translated into Pashtun. They seem to understand that the cowboy shot first and asked questions later and they seemed to respect someone associated with this lifestyle.)

You are not convinced. But what was the change that happened from that point on in the nation of Iran? Although they have a President for the sake legitimacy, the nation was effectively run by Islamic leaders, Mullahs; Ayatollah Khomeini was the first dominant one that I remember. We call this leadership under a religious leader a caliphate. Everything changed and this Islamic revolution began to saturate into every nation that had an Islamic presence. Indonesia, that “beautiful” little island country can be a brutal place to live if you are not Muslim and abiding by strict Sharia laws. The Northern African nations: Chad, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, etc. are majority Muslim nations. Yes, they have a different title Boko Haran but the rules and objectives are the same, kill anything that does not bow it’s knee to Allah.

Be serious, what have we been seeing and hearing in the news for at least the last year?

The Arab spring.

And what has been the result?

  • Libya has been overthrown, Muammar AL-Gaddafi has been killed, and the Muslim Brotherhood has taken control of Libya, instituting sharia law, a control system governed by an Islamic Caliphate.

  • Egypt suffered a violent revolt which drove Hosni Mubarak out of power and got Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood elected. Christians are imprisoned, beaten, and killed there with frequency now.

  • Syria is currently undergoing a major upheaval. In trying to retain power, President Bashar AL-Assad is slaughtering thousands within the nation. It is clear that Syria is heavily influenced by Iran as their military commanders are deeply involved with operations in Syria. It is also known that Syria has prepped chemical weapons and may have used them on its own citizens. It is only a matter of time before Syria collapses and falls under the hand of the Muslim Brotherhood as well. Syria is also a nation that has no tolerance of Jews or Christianity. The secret police, and that appears to be about every third person there, will have you arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. I believe you will see a change in the streets of Syria as a wholesale slaughter of anyone not bowing the knee to Allah will be killed.

    • (Isaiah 8:4 NASB) for before the boy knows how to cry out ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria.”

      It is not vitally important to focus on the names or ages but on the speed with which it falls. By the way.

    • (Isaiah 17:1 DRB) The burden of Damascus. Behold Damascus shall cease to be a city, and shall be as a ruinous heap of stones.

      Considering the direction of the battle and the context of the region this should not be a surprise to anyone. If I had anything else notable to say about this, it would be to get your families out of Damascus if you can.

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.

John sees one beast with three deadly attributes: a Leopard, a Bear, and the mouth of a Lion.

We will compare notes with what Daniel saw to gain a better understanding of what John is looking at.

Daniel 7:3 KJV And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Daniel 7:4-7 KJV The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (5) And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. (6) After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. (7) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Daniel chapter 7 helps to understand who we are dealing with.

  • The lion was Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 7:4) Nebuchadnezzar had his sanity taken away to humble him before God. God returned his mind to him and he stopped crawling on all fours like a cow.
  • The bear was Medo-Persian empire. The Persian empire was much stronger than the Medes hence we see them as lopsided.
  • The Leopard began as the Alexandrian empire. Alexander did not live through his thirties and two remaining dominant empires coming out of his were the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires, sort of the North and South.
  • Although prominent the Roman Empire is not under consideration here. They only briefly attempted an expansion into Iraq under Trajan, but within months Trajan was dead and Roman influence was retracted to its original boundaries. They never held the same territories that any of the others held.

There is no clear definition of who the fourth beast is, but there is a strong clue and we will get to that later.

Daniel 7:23 KJV Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

Did any of these previous kingdoms conquer the entire world? No. If you are honest then you have to admit that there were civilizations going on in every continent. I believe that history is always favorable to you when you record your own words, and I think that they spoke of the world they knew as the only one of any concern. These empires: the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Alexandrian, Roman, and Islamic, conquered all that was not only important to them but fell within the context of God’s plan.

If Daniel 7:23 described the fourth beast as different then you need to ask how? Consider that Islam is the only one that is religiously driven.

Daniel not only told Nebuchadnezzar what his dream was but defined what it meant.

Daniel 2:31-35 NASB “You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. (32) “The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, (33) its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. (34) “You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. (35) “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

As you can see Daniel described a solitary unit much like John. Aspects of this solitary image are what concern us.

  • The head of gold represents Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian empire.

    In Daniel 7:4 we see a winged Lion. “..and it was lifted from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.” This is a very clear description of Nebuchadnezzar, for God had taken his sanity and he crawled on all fours as cattle might. In time he was given back his sanity, made to stand on two feet, and his kingdom was restored. Although Babylon took Israel into captivity it almost seems that God deemed that a time of learning and protection. The focus is now directed at those that are to come.

  • Daniel 2:39 NASB “After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you,

    This inferior second kingdom came in the form of the Medo-Persian empire. When you look at Daniel 7:5 it is represented as a lopsided bear because the Persian portion of the empire was much stronger than the Median portion.

  • “…..then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.”

    The third kingdom was the Greek empire under Alexander’s short reign. Daniel saw this third beast and described it in Daniel 7:6. The leopard had “four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it” Alexander’s reign was short-lived. At Alexander’s death his empire was divided primarily among his four strongest generals. Those four fought for fifty years and the two remaining empires were the Ptolemaic and the Seleucid empires. The Seleucid empire being the largest and strongest.

    The four empires immediately after Alexander were:

    • the Ptolemaic dynasty ruling over Egypt

    • the Seleucid dynasty covering the region from modern-day Turkey to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    • The Lysimachian dynasty ruling over the region of Bulgaria.

    • The Cassandrian dynasty which was over the regions of Macedonia or Modern-day Greece.

      These four comprised the wings and the heads upon the Leopard of Daniel 7:6

  • Daniel 2:40 NASB “Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.

    While so many attribute this fourth beast to the Roman empire, it just does not fit the characterization of crushing and destroying. Rather the Roman empire built infrastructure, and established order and law in the lands it conquered. In comparison the empire of Islam has been a destructive force to those it conquered. Even today the Christian community that may have once flourished in majority Islamic nations has been brutalized for having conflicting beliefs.

    Another reason that this is not the Roman empire has to do with the prophecy of Daniel 9:26.

    Daniel 9:26 KJV And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

    Far to many have used this and said, it is the Romans that fill this role because they ordered the destruction of the temple. Statements like this prove your lack of desire to find and see the truth. The problem is that even history disproves that theory.

Josephus the Jewish historian, and Tacitus the Roman Senator and historian, both recorded that the legions in Jerusalem were conscript troops from the local populace, either outnumbering Italians 11 to 1, or they comprised the entire military contingent of 60,000. Both historians record that these conscripts had an overt hatred for the Jews, and Josephus particularly records, that of their own accord they assaulted the city and the temple. Josephus tells us that Tacitus was alerted and ran to stop their assault for he saw that the temple was salvageable. He was ignored. Yes, they marched under the colors of Rome and wore the Roman uniform but their anger caused them to ignore the orders of Tacitus. These conscript troops are clearly defined by history as being primarily Assyrian/Middle Eastern.

If the people who destroyed the temple were Assyrians then their prince will be Assyrian too. Essentially what we should be looking for here is a Muslim.

(Daniel 7:3 DRB) And four great beasts, different one from another, came up out of the sea.

One of the things I stated in a earlier post is that you have to keep your beasts straight. No, this is not mandatory but we fling these terms around without clarity. Here in one passage are four beasts and they refer to multiple things if you think about it.

  • Empires

  • Rulers

  • And the demonic spirit that drives them.

I am making some of these statements not because I have a clear line of background evidence but because logical thinking should prove that there is something more going on here. Satan, we understand from scripture was a very powerful but fallen angel. He took one-third of the heavenly angels with him. We also know the names of several other angels, some good and some bad. A couple of bad ones are: The prince of Persia, and the prince of Grecia.

Folks there has to be more. You cannot confirm or deny that these beasts may in actuality be princes by the same names, such as Alexander, Seleucus, or Cassander.

How do we have any clue about who or what these are?

Daniel felt the same way and so he asked. Here is the response.

As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved and anxious within me, and the visions of my head alarmed and agitated me. I came near to one of those who stood there and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.

(Daniel 7:15-16 AMP)

The angel’s explanation of the four beasts begins with:

These four beasts are four kingdoms that shall rise up on the earth: which shall be taken away; and the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess it for ever and ever. (Daniel 7:17-18 Brenton)

Recap:

The beast of Revelation 13:2 is a history in allegory form describing waring empires and a future, vicious empire. It has been part of God’s plan to regain his family back all along. God is pouring out his spirit upon these middle Eastern nations as we speak. Therefore I implore you to pray.

Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and he will give you a new life, his. You will be welcomed into the kingdom of God with open arms. And you know love like you have never known.