One of the things we talked about in the last post is that God’s judgments are true and righteous. You need to settle this in your mind – no matter what the judgments look like in your own life, God’s judgments are always appropriate and righteous; this of course applies to Israel and the nations.
If you were, to be honest when you read about the judgments that are coming against Israel and the nations, many of you have entertained the thought that God is out of control and just angry.
How do I know that?
Because this is what Satan does, and we saw it in the Garden when he said to Eve, did He really say that? The question/challenge to Eve might as well have accused Adam of lying about what God said, and, it challenged the veracity of God. This scenario with Eve only makes sense because, when God gave the instructions about the tree of knowledge, Eve had NOT been made. Somewhere down the road, Eve is made from Adam’s rib. She was cloned. The typical process of cloning has to allow for “natural” growth. Mind you, God does not have to operate on the normal time frame, because, He is God.
Adam had been given dominion of the earth.
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26-28 KJV)
Dominion, according to Strong’s concordance, is the Hebrew word râdâh. It is a primitive root that means to tread down, that is, subjugate; specifically to crumble off: – (come to, make to) have dominion, prevail against, reign, (bear, make to) rule, (-r, over), take.
For me, the two words that stand out and make sense is to reign and rule. It does not take much of a stretch to comprehend that Adam’s role was to inform Eve of the rules and there was only one – don’t touch that particular tree. So, when Satan approached Eve with that lousy play on words, he challenged both Adam’s honesty and God’s wisdom and “law” giving.
Remember I said that Eve was not present, and yet, here in Genesis 1:26 it appears that both Adam and Eve have been created.
How do you explain that?
Perhaps the best way to understand what transpired, is that the spiritual entities called ‘âdâm, that is, a human being, mankind have been set into motion. Neither the man or the woman, have been created as yet.
Note what Genesis 1:27 tells us.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27 KJV)
Do we have a definition of what God is?
Yes, we do.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
(John 4:24 KJV)
So everything created in Genesis 1:27 looks like God, a Spirit.
We do not have a physical man, made from the earth, until Genesis 2:7.
The explanation of the Garden and the plants in it, particularly the tree of knowledge, are not made known to us until Genesis 2:9.
And, we are not introduced to the woman, Eve, until Genesis 2:21-23.
If man had dominion, then why and how did someone else gain that control?
Awe, now that is the million-dollar question, and it falls back on Adam and God’s righteous plan to regain humanity and to have Christ rule over the earth once again.
BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” (Revelation 19:2 NASB)
God, nor I, can say “He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her,” unless we can see that the seven-years of wrath have been God’s judgment.
Once again, who is the her in this sentence?
Chapter 18 of Revelation called her Babylon, that great city. But we learned that Babylon was, like Damascus, to be destroyed and useless; so we are NOT talking about the physical kingdom of Babylon. We are, however, talking Jerusalem, and by extension Israel.
And thus we continue with Revelation 19, starting at verse three.
Revelation 19:3 NASB “And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.”
Who is the “they” we see in Revelation 19:3?
It was something like the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven. If I tried to base my assumption that these were the previously martyred saints, on Revelation 19:1 alone, I could incorrect and misleading, therefore need more information.
“After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;”
Revelation 19:1 NASB
Previously, in Revelation 7 there is a reference to One of the elders asking John, who this great multitude were. The response was,
“Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “My lord, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:13-14 NASB)
One more witness. Revelation 12 tells us,
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. (12:10 KJV)
This is almost word for word what we see in Revelation 19:1. The safe proclamation then is that it is the martyred saints that are cheering as salvation and the end of God’s wrath has finally come. Even if I get this declaration wrong and it turns out to be the angels shouting out the praises of God, it is not a life-altering mistake.
Consider what the voices say.
And a second time they shouted, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever!” (Revelation 19:3 TLV)
I can find NO reference to the first time they shout like this and with the same terminology.
So, again I ask you, what kind of mentality rejoices over such destruction?
Perhaps, these in heaven can see what has been happening here on earth and know that Israel will sustain two major attacks. Wait a minute, I thought that our entrance into heaven required a change, which for the church is associated with the Bema seat. As I sit here, unchanged, I know that I am a broken human being (thanks to Adam,) and that my brokenness often longs to revel in the destruction of the wicked. So, the logic doesn’t work.
If one of those attacks was a part of Nebuchadnezzar’s capture of the nations of Israel and Judah, then I have to incorrectly assume that he sacked both cities, and the smoke from those actions ascended forever. But that did not happen. Don’t get me wrong, the land that is attributed to God’s people, did get sacked, but it was after repeated attacks, from various Assyrian leaders. In none of those cases did the smoke go up from her forever.
I might note that nothing burns forever except for hell, and that, for most is an imperceptible concept. The “Mounce Concise Greek-English Dictionary” tells us that the Greek word aiōn represents a period of time of significant character; or a state of things marking an age or era. With that knowledge, I can see plainly that it burns until this time period comes to end. The in question is the end of God’s wrath, which most refer to as the Great Tribulation.
As I sit here ( March of 2022) Israel seems to believe that she is in control of her destiny. Scripturally, Ezekiel 38, 39 predicts a massive and deadly attack on the nation of Israel, in which a prominent world leader titled Gog and his armies will die in the Megiddo valley. Two-thirds of Israel will be destroyed and killed, but not all by weapons, as some will die because of manufactured pharmaceuticals.
Revelation 19:4 NASB “And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”
I walked away from a church. The final straw came during a seven-week, crash course in the Revelation. When the pastor, in the third session, stood before the audience and authoritatively said, the twenty-four elders are representative of the church. He gave no explanation and moved on as though he were educated and we were not. When he did that I was done with him and I walked out. This is not the time or the place to flesh that out, but there had been a build-up of reasons and one of those had happened only weeks previous, when something this pastor said, brought many in the audience to their feet in applause. Me, I said out loud, you should be booing such a statement. Internally I was screaming, as your response demonstrates that you will fall for the lies that are coming. Sure enough, the Covid and its associated lies came, and that church shut down for a long time.
In time, I came to understand from Pastor John MacArthur, why the twenty-four elders are representative of the church, and let’s just say that the answer stems from Revelation 4:4.
Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. (Revelation 4:4 NASB)
Pay attention to how they are attired, as this is the description of the church after the catching away.
Revelation 19:5 NASB “And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”
Verse five may come across as insignificant because we have seen loud exuberant accolades about God. It almost seems as if the heavens are getting ready for a great party. We, however, are directed to give Him praise, as we are included among the bond-servants and those who fear Him.
The way I was taught about God was commingled with fear and an inappropriate fear at that. It was demanded that when we say our prayers at night, we explicitly ask God to forgive us for childish sins, and apparently, by mom’s standards, they were many. The premise was that if we died during the night, our failure to repent would send us to hell because we had made God mad. Can you imagine the imagery I had of God and how that might have impacted me for the rest of my life? As an adult, I had to make a decision to change that attitude, and that is how and why we found each other.
In the current world we live in, where the Marxist ideals of the BLM movement and the goals behind Critical Race Theory, nobody wants to hear the words bond-servant. I would like to say, there is no slavery, but slavery is alive; it thrives in the Muslim world, and sex trafficking, which involves the capture of young children for sexual perversion, plays into slavery.
The Apostle Paul, a Jew who could have easily, said like his Jewish brethren, that I have been the slave to no one, introduced himself in his letters, on several occasions, as a bond-servant of Jesus Christ. Bond-servants typically have no rights and yet we, as believers, have the right to walk away from the Lord, if we were so foolish. And yet, guided by the moral standards of God, that is written upon our hearts, we have overwhelming freedom and liberty; and, it is all because of this relationship with Christ.
A – Admit you’re a sinner.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
B – Believe Jesus is Lord.
John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
C – Call upon His name.
Romans 10:13 “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”