My reward is with Me. Revelation 22:12


Still, to this day, church-going people fear the “Revelation”; they fear it primarily because they don’t understand it and don’t understand because they don’t want to. Therefore, they will not open their Bibles.

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, I find the book of Revelation to be exciting. While it has more than its fair share of death and agitation, it is also an aspect of our hope and the promise that Jesus will come back to gather His church back to Himself. Therefore, it excites me because it assures me that God’s promises are soon coming to pass for followers of Christ like me.

Considering the agitation and death. I suppose it would be fair for you to wonder how I could find death and destruction exciting, especially since I understand that many people I know will experience at least a portion of the seven years of God’s wrath (Why only a part? Because the deaths will be an ongoing process during the seven years, and not all of it is being dished out by God.) It is because the “Revelation” fulfills all the promises of God, gives us hope, and encourages us to keep our focus on Christ.

Suppose you cannot recognize that there is hope and a future, then you do not have a relationship with Jesus. Having a relationship would give you the insight to know not only Jesus’ nature and character but the Father’s as well; they are one you know.

One of those promises is seen in Revelation 22:12.

Revelation 22:12 NASB

Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”

Most people reading this verse will see this – “to render to every human according to what they have done,” and see nothing but condemnation coming toward them. (Yes, I modified this just a bit as you and I both know that this moment in time will not be exclusive to men; everyone will be impacted.) If that is all you can see, then we need reprogramming, which can only be done through the Holy Spirit and God’s word.

These may have been the very words I said, “Behold, I am coming quickly,” (or at least a variation of it) to the men’s group one evening; only to be interrupted by a “brother-in-Christ” so that he could criticize me publicly, call me a branding iron – someone there to excite, and to tell me that Jesus is probably NOT coming back for another forty years or more. I can tell you there is no hope in a statement like that, and it is certainly not just a realistic look at the world. What that brother did that night exemplified the antichrist spirit, which was demonic.

Coming soon or quickly is the Greek word tachu, which means shortlywithout delaysoon, or (by surprisesuddenly.

Considering the level of heinous activity surrounding us all, how could the return of Jesus to collect His bride be a surprise? 

The answer to this question lies in the fact that most of the so-called church does NOT follow these prophetic words; follow the Revelation, or even care. As far as prophecy teachers go, one of my favorite teachers is Amir Tsarfati. So often, to make a point, he will say that if Jesus waits too much longer, no one will be surprised because it will be that bad.

If you are a student of Biblical prophecy, then you should know that 2Thessalonians 2:3 (in the Geneva Bible) tells us “… for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition,..” The church must be gone before the “son of perdition – the antichrist” comes into public view.

If you refuse to accept what I tell you and will only receive the words of the King James version, which came over 100 years after the Geneva Bible, then look at this.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.  (8)  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 KJV

Since you are such an advocate for the KJV, I will leave you to interpret the word letteth on your own time. Get a grip. Even if you refuse to believe that the Geneva Bible is more correct and that the church must be gone before this son of perdition comes on the scene, then verses 7-8 should slap you right in the face. Verses 7-8 tell us that we, the church, are the thing that is withholding this fool. Once the church is gone, then the Wicked (referring to an individual) shall be revealed.

Let’s go back to Revelation 22:12 again and consider this statement. 

Behold, I am coming quickly.”

Is He referring to Jesus, coming for His bride in the clouds, or is He speaking of the time when Jesus will come back as the warring messiah that every eye will see at the end of the seven years of wrath?

The terminology is not exclusive to either group and can apply to both. I am looking for Jesus to come and collect His bride.

…, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.” (Psalms 96:13 KJV)

Obviously, there is no reference in Psalm 96 to speed as in Revelation 22:12, but there is a comparable allusion to potential judgment.

Revelation 22 conveys judgment in this manner.

My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.”

Reward is the Greek word misthos and means pay for service.

In the religious train of thought, service leans toward work in ministry, but it can also mean hired service. Remember that Revelation 22:12 did not use the word service; it is, however, associated with reward.

So there is a red alert in my mind’s eye when I see the word work related to the outcome of our lives. Because we are not saved by works but by faith in Jesus Christ, and He did all the work for us. I do, however, seem to have to work at staying focused on the “ministry” at hand, which for me is to write these Bible studies. (And you thought I was doing this only for you.)
So, for the followers of Christ, we have the judgment seat of Christ.

We have covered this before, but new people are constantly stumbling upon our studies, and I assume they don’t have a clue about the Bema seat. Like me, there is also the possibility that they sat under some bad teaching and thought we were to undergo some terrible punishment for the lousy way we lived our lives on this earth. That is NOT the case, and I will show you why.

Romans 14:10 NASB “… For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”

Paul’s letter to the church in Rome had been primarily written to Jewish expatriate followers of Christ. For several years that body of believers had to disband because of Roman oppression, but now it was back. Thanks to Paul’s preaching, many Gentiles had begun to join this Jewish community of believers. In this letter, Paul had to tell the Jews multiple times that Jesus/God had leveled the playing field, and hence we get a statement that says, “we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”

Now you have to ask, what is the dark hidden secret behind this judgment seat of God?

If this were a game show, this is where you would hear that obnoxious buzzer indicating a wrong answer because there is no judgment as Jesus took all judgment upon Himself on the cross.

Judgment is the Greek word bēma and means a raised step or stand, much like you see at the Olympics.

In Revelation 2:23, Jesus, speaking to the church in Ephesus, says,

 and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”

So, we will be rewarded according to our deeds. I keep thinking about the parable of servants, who are given talents and expected to do something with those talents and increase. Take a moment out of your life and read Matthew 25:14-30. Each got talents, but one only had one, and he was expected to use that talent. So, instead of using his talent, he buried it out of fear.

The end of this story does not make me happy, as I was like that servant, at least for a time. The enemy of our souls tells me that I succumbed to fear and did not do enough. If you had known me as a young man, you would not recognize me as I have become quite bold. I do not go around evangelizing; I hate that, but I have conversations about my Jesus every chance I get, and it bothers me deeply when “Christians” choose to withdraw and speak in a manner that would prevent strangers from hearing. I have never knowingly led anyone to Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit tells me that my writing has led many to Jesus.

Posted in antichrist, bible study, departure, End times, finisher, God's character, Heaven, In Christ, Jesus, judgment, judgment, no delay, Prophetic, rapture, rapture, Revelation, The supremacy of Christ, The Word was God, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the one who is wrong, continue to do wrong. Rev 22:11


“Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book.”

To dissuade me from talking or writing about Eschatology – the study of end times events, I had, several years ago, been admonished to NOT speak about the Revelation or anything related to the Revelation, like Daniel or Ezekiel.

Words like these are like daggers to my heart.

How does Jesus open the Revelation?

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
(Revelation 1:3 NASB)

How is anyone supposed to hear if you don’t open your mouth and preach truthfully?

And he (the angel that was speaking) [further] told me, Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book and make no secret of them, for the time when things are brought to a crisis and the period of their fulfillment is near.”
(
Revelation 22:10 AMP) Emphasis mine.

Suppose you are a church leader and feel it necessary to rebuke some enthusiastic attendee who is NOT interrupting your church service or life but merely sharing with individuals. HOW DARE YOU TRY TO DISCOURAGE THEM, especially when you openly admit that you do not understand Revelation and, therefore, DO NOT believe that anyone else can understand this book.

Most, reading Revelation 22:10, see the word seal and immediately assign their average definition, such as closing something to keep others out.

Seal is the Greek word sphragizō and means to stamp for security. by implication, to keep secrets.

Therefore, the emphasis is on the command NOT to seal up the words of the prophecy of this bookImagine that, the Holy Spirit, knowing that it would be well over 2000 years until all things would fall into place and Jesus Christ would return for His churchyet, He wanted all of us to understand and live in that expectation throughout these many years. 

This scenario that we see in Revelation 22:10 where the scroll, or book if you must, was sealed until the appropriate time is comparable to Revelation 5:1

“I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.”
(
Revelation 5:1 NASB)

We are at that time of fulfillment.

Note how the Amplified Bible translates the last half of verse ten.

    • for the time when things are brought to a crisis and the period of their fulfillment is near.”

      Look at this definition of time from the Word Study Dictionary. “kairós; gen. kairoú, masc. noun. Season, opportune time. It is not merely as a succession of minutes, which is chrónos (G5550), but a period of opportunity (though not necessity). There is really no English equivalent to the word kairós,”

Here is a quote representing the period of opportunity where things are brought to a crisis.

The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.”
― Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution

If you have been living under a rock, Klaus Schwab is the founder of the World Economic Forum. Nation members pay handsomely to attend the yearly forum and send several representatives to the meetings. Our American President, Donald Trump, went there and spoke. He told the attendees that the United States would not conform to globalism’s goals.

Do you know what happened after that?

The American governmental swamp rose against the President with all the false charges and accusations they could muster. As a result, even though the majority of Americans re-elected President Donald Trump a second time, he was effectively driven out of office through fraud.

So, the period of opportunity is upon us.

Moving on through the Revelation.

Revelation 22:11 AMP “He who is unrighteous (unjust, wicked), let him be unrighteous still; and he who is filthy (vile, impure), let him be filthy still; and he who is righteous (just, upright, in right standing with God), let him do right still; and he who is holy, let him be holy still.” [Dan. 12:10.]

No decent preacher would say, “He who is unrighteous let him continue to be unrighteous.” 

Why not?

Because even a mediocre pastor, trying to be like Father God, should want everyone to be saved, even if it is from myself.

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
(1 Timothy 2:3-4 NASB)

As you can see above, the Amplified Bible is noted for giving you Old Testament references. For example, Daniel 12:10 nearly tells you the same thing as Revelation 22:11. Since prophecy to the Jew becomes validated through repetition, then John’s audience would have instantly recognized this pattern. 

Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be tried, smelted, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but the teachers and those who are wise shall understand.” [Dan. 11:33-35.]
(Daniel 12:10 AMP)

I don’t know when the priests and elders banned the reading of Daniel; therefore, some may not have been familiar with the words of Daniel, so let’s try another prophetic author that may have been more familiar.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the LORD are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.”
(Hosea 14:9 NASB)

If I were to attempt a challenge of the context of Revelation 22:10, Daniel 12, and Hosea 14, I would find that they are definitely speaking of the last days. So the context is that all of these references lean toward the time after the rapture.

The NASB translation of Revelation 22:11 reads like this, “and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.” Having naively joined myself, for a short time, to a “man-cave” group. I found several attendees unrestrained with their foul tongues and used the excuse God gives us grace. If this is you, you are misinterpreting and ignoring scripture.

It is not up to God to keep you holy, nor is God trying to make you stumble and fall over your tongue.

“As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness; but my hand shall not be against you.” (1 Samuel 24:13 NASB)

The Greek word for holy is hagiazō, and it also means to purify or consecrate yourself.

By this time, most of you should know that you cannot make yourself holy, nor can you make yourself righteous; only Christ’s work on the cross could do that for you; but you can certainly accept that fact and, therefore, be made Holy by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the washing of the Word of God.

Let me throw a wrench into the works. Right now, pre-rapture, we live in the age of grace; this is defined as a time when God freely brings us into the kingdom through our uncomplicated acceptance of His Son, but that door will close soon, and so will the age of grace

Since millions will continue to come into the kingdom, how does that happen?

For those who desire a short answer, you will have to prove your loyalty to God through death.

Death will look a little different for many. Some will die by guillotine (some of us have been aware of these devices for over several years now), others will die by the sword as they behead you and a few will die by stoning (Both beheading and stoning are popular methods of punishment among the followers of Islam). Many more will be shot, or as we have witnessed in Northern Africa, trapped in their churches and burned to death. Since the number of people being killed is so large, it may be that faster methods will be preferable.

“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved, but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”
(
Matthew 24:21-22 NASB)

Another method of killing you off would be what the translators call pestilence. While Revelation 2:20-21 does not speak to pestilence, it does speak to a nation – Israel and the church – specifically Thyatira, tolerating that woman Jezebel. Watch for the parallels between the “harlot” Jezebel, who died several centuries earlier and yet shows up here in Revelation chapter two, and how similar she sounds to the definitions of Babylon.

‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. ‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.” (Revelation 2:20-21 NASB)

We do, however, see pestilence in Revelation 6:8.

I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8 NASB)

Verse eight falls under the wrath of God as the rider on the ashen horse goes about killing off a fourth of the earth. In this scenario, one of those methods is pestilence. Vines’ Expository on New Testament Words gives us the Greek loimos (G3061) and a definition of pestilence as “any deadly infectious malady.

Revelation 18 speaks about Babylon but refers to what many think is a restoration of that City; although, in many places, it is referred to as she.

and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.”
(Revelation 18:23 NASB)

Sorcery = the Greek word pharmakeia, which primarily means medication, the use of drugs, potions, spells, or poisoningFrom the “ask a professor website” https://www.massbible.org/exploring-the-bible/ask-a-prof/answers/pharmakeia

You don’t have to be a mathematician to figure out that a group of people, apparently with more power than Klaus Schwab, are working hard at creating and taking advantage of this “period of opportunity.” They are effectively using pharmakeia to make it happen. Since we are NOT in the time of wrath as yet, then what we are seeing is just the warm-up period.

As a side note, for those who are looking for Babylon to be rebuilt, an American archaeologist, who is also a follower of Christ, recently did a segment on YouTube in which he showed you the ancient boundaries of the old City of Babylon and how that nothing of substance exists within those boundaries. (Some would tell you that excellent restoration progress was made under the rule of Saddam Hussein when all they did was restore portions of the Ishtar gate.)

“And Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the glory of the Chaldeans’ pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation; Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there, Nor will shepherds make their flocks lie down there. But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there. Hyenas will howl in their fortified towers And jackals in their luxurious palaces. Her fateful time also will soon come, And her days will not be prolonged.”
(Isaiah 13:19-22 NASB)

The archaeologist made an interesting point during the filming that jackals were quite prolific among the historic ruins.

Let’s attack acts of immorality that we see in Revelation 2:20-21 for a moment.

Immorality is any act or practice which contravenes the divine commands or social duties. Injustice, dishonesty, fraud, slander, profaneness, gaming, intemperance, and lewdness, are immoralities. All crimes are immoralities, but crime expresses more than immorality.

I had to look up the word contravene.

Contravene means, literally, to come against. Hence, to oppose, to oppose in principle or effect; to contradict; to obstruct in operation.

So, for us to be immoral we have to come against or be in opposition to God in some manner. Well, what do you think sin is, nothing less than us thinking that we know better than God? By the way, Jesus took the payment for sin upon Himself so that we would not have to bear the penalty for that sin ourselves. In other words, all sins were forgiven.

Then how and why is anyone going to hell?

That’s a great question, and the answer really lies in another question,

What did you do with Jesus; did you leave him on the cross, or did you simply ignore Him?

Because going to hell is simply a matter of following your leader.

So who are you following?

I will leave you to answer that question on your own.

And then lastly, what about this aspect of Revelation 2:20-21, where you eat things sacrificed to idols?

Having learned years ago that meats sold in Costco were labeled as Halel for the Islamic buyers, I felt like I needed to make a decision, and that was NOT to buy anything with that green sticker.

What does it mean to me if it is Halel food?

It means the cow was pointed at the Kabbalah, slaughtered in a prescribed manner, and an Islamic blessing was said over the animal. In other words, it was blessed as it was killed. It was blessed; what a wonderful thing to do to an animal that is about to be viciously slaughtered. 

You should realize that I am mocking your purposeful naivete, which is a game you play because you don’t want to know that the cow is being offered up to a demon.

The question is, how would most of you know that if I had not told you?

You wouldn’t. When Paul wrote about this very thing, it became evident that these people had become aware and yet tolerated the practices surrounding the sacrificed meats.

Tolerate is the Greek word aphiēm. To tolerate something is to suffer it to be so or be done without any prohibition or hindrance; to allow or permit by not preventing or restraining. This is us yielding our rights to sanity. Our standard definition of tolerance looks something like this: “lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.” In actuality, the word aphiēmi’s primary understanding is to send forth. The implication is that we are advancing her cause.

You don’t think that is true, do you?

It was just in the last few days that I saw a video someone made inside their church, where the worship team was singing a song to God. All the references to Him were changed to “she.”

Is that all? 

Perhaps I should just tolerate it and mind my own business. 

Can’t you see how foolish that statement is?

No, that is NOT all.

We have adopted the slaughter of unborn babies as appropriate behavior and given openly homosexual persons a regular place at the microphone in church. All of these things are in direct opposition to God, and we have helped to advance Jezebel’s cause by being friends with the world.

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4 NASB)

Is there a specific woman that we can refer to as Jezebel?

The answer is NO, and we are NOT looking for a woman as a central leader (the antichrist;) we are looking for a man. So, Jezebel has to be seen as a spiritual entity that, as the passage states, is leading “My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” So “it,” whether it be Jezebel or the Babylon system, is not leading the world astray; they are already gone. It is leading the church astray, people we thought were sane.

Another word the Holy Spirit used in Revelation 2: 20 was translated as leads; this is the Greek word planaō and means cause to roam (from safety, truth, or virtue.) It also means to seduce or deceive.

Albert Barnes’ commentary says this, “Whether she herself practiced what she taught is not expressly affirmed, but seems to be implied in Rev. 2:22. It is not often that persons teach these doctrines without practicing what they teach; and the fact that they desire and design to live in this manner will commonly account for the fact that they inculcate such views.”

Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart lived Albert Barnes’ commentary out in front of us and got himself arrested several times.

So no, there is no she, as she represents the lusts and desires of this world. Sadly, there are those that wish to control people and the world and will reject no forms of violence to do it.

Posted in angels, Apostasy, Babylon, bible study, New World Order, Revelation, Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t worship me! Revelation 22: 8-9.


We are getting close to the end of the Revelation; while some may yell hooray, this book has become a close friend of mine, and I feel like I am about to say goodbye for a time. You might think this journey would have answered all our questions; it has not, and I find I have more.

I also told one of my family members, who still remember the prophetic word I gave them about our mother’s death, about how I felt like the Holy Spirit told me that He would come back for His church when I finish this study. So that family member said, please let me know when you get to the last verse.

Do you realize how close we are to me finishing my study on Revelation and the soon return of Jesus to catch His bride away?

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, but I am telling you, He is coming back for those who are anxiously awaiting His return.
I don’t know if you have noticed it, but it sure seems that God is separating the wheat from the chaff regarding church bodies across, at least, this nation of America. Folks, we are a mess.

Revelation 22:8 NLT  I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me.”

Pay attention to how John opens this sentence; it is as though he is reinforcing a close relationship with good friends.

If there is such perceived relational involvement, why then does he have to say – “I, John, am the one who heard and saw all these things.”?

There would be no reason at all, as someone familiar with John’s style of teaching and the life he lived would probably find him most believable. Perhaps the reality is not a problem of intimacy or the lack thereof, but with false prophets and teachers in the church. ( Even though it has been little more than sixty years since Jesus’ death, false teachers and prophets have become very real problems in the church; and still are today, if not more so.)

In trying to understand the Revelation, I have also come to understand that the writings of James, Peter, John, Jude, and finally Paul would have been read, copied, and redistributed among the known churches (howbeit not prolifically); this knowledge alone seems to invalidate the friendship point of view.

Note how John feels it is necessary to explain, “And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me.”

I remember the first time I heard the Mercy Me song, “I Can Only Imagine.” It was at a memorial service for an uncle of mine. I only bring this up because I knew of religious people who would speak as though you merely charge up to God and tell Him what to do. I shudder when I think about that kind of attitude.

How would that kind of action translate (when we get to heaven😉 if you angrily tell God what you think about Him when He did not heal someone you know, as you saw fit?

Yes, I know, I am putting human emotions on the characters in heaven and on God, and God is NOT moved by our human emotions.

When I had the opportunity to visit with this precious uncle, he would almost always have his Bible open, and I would ask him, what are you studying now? It did not matter what it was because he would make it interesting as he retold the story, and he often spoke of what it would be like to stand in the presence of Jesus. It may have been after this memorial service that I began to realize that I can’t even imagine what I will do in the presence of Jesus. Most of the time, I see myself clinging to His legs and weeping in gratitude that He would even let me into the kingdom.

The problem is that John (though the Revelation is a revelation of Jesus Christ) was NOT now looking at Jesus; it was an angel.

Notice what the angel says to him.

Revelation 22:9 NLT  “But he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book. Worship only God!”

You may not find this interesting, but I do. The translators tell us that the angel tells John NOT to worship him. But when you look up the simplest of words, you occasionally find something entirely different.

The Greek word for worship is horaō which means to behold or look.

Perhaps John has been perceived, by the angel, as looking in awe.

Where have we seen John doing something like this before?

And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.” (Revelation 17:6-7 NASB)

  • When I saw her, I wondered greatly”

Wonder is not the same word as horaō, but John was found looking at this woman in a strange manner. Perhaps here in Revelation 17, the woman is meant to demonstrate how seductive the Babylon system is. The word wondered is the Greek word thaumazō, and it means to admire.

Are you kidding me? 

Admiration, among other things, means to regard with esteem. Considering what the Babylon system is currently pushing on us, this makes me want to vomit. You would think John had lost his mind, but you know that is not true. The Babylon system works because of seduction. Think about the fact that John wondered greatly and not just for a fleeting moment.

One other thing I need you to pick up on. After the angel explains that he is a servant of God, he adds –

I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book.”

    • just like you”

      I ran through the possible explanations just like some of the commentators did. Finis Jennings Dake assumed that it was a dead saint, a follower of Christ who was now with Christ.

      Albert Barnes says it “may be that he mistook the rank of him (this angel may have had a rank, but the scriptures do not support that assertion) who addressed him, and supposed that he was the Messiah whom he had been accustomed to worship, and who had first [Rev. 1] appeared to him. (If you go back and read Revelation 1:1, you will see that it was God that gave John the Revelation of Jesus. Now, if I wanted to make a case, it is the same John that laid his head on Jesus’ breast there in the upper room. So it seems reasonable to think that John would recognize the Messiah if he saw him. But when John does get to see Jesus, the only one worthy to open the seals, this is what he sees.

      Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders *said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.”
      Revelation 5:4-7 NASB

      To continue Barnes’ quotation,

      If so, his (John’serror was soon correctedHe was told by the angel himself who made these communications that he had no claims to such homage, and that the praise which he offered him should be rendered to God alone.”

      David, the Psalmist said this about the man.

      What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty!” (Psalms 8:4-5 NASB)

      So, if an angel has a rank, then they, being messengers, are below humanity, and I would think that John knew that. This train of thought still doesn’t explain what we see in Revelation 22:9.

  • and your brothers the prophets, as well as all who obey what is written in this book.”

    It may be difficult to picture yourself as being among the prophets, but you need to know that the testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of prophecy. So giving testimony of or about Jesus would be prophetic.

    Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
    (Revelation 19:10 NASB)

    So, not only does this come across word for word, but it validates the idea of testimony. Testimony is the Greek word marturia and means evidence.

    If this does not convince you that you have a place with the Father, then maybe, as the Amplified Bible tells us and with those who are mindful of and practice [the truths contained in] the messages of this book.”

Revelation 22:9 ends with this, Worship God!

In all things and at all times, whether it hurts and seems like God is not there or you are rejoicing, the wise thing to do is to worship God.

Posted in angels, bible study, End times, Millennium, Prophetic, Revelation, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


 It’s Thursday, July 14, 2022, just another Thursday. I met with the men’s group, where we are reading a Bob Goff book titled “Undistracted: Capture Your Purpose, Rediscover Your Joy.” This is not about the book, I am merely telling you what we are reading lately, and I will say, it has been a humorous, enlightening journey, and I would recommend Bob’s books.

Another part of my morning, though exhausted because my men’s group meets at 05:30 on Thursdays, was to watch a few seconds of a young Christian lady I found on YouTube a couple of years ago. This morning she jokingly said, I think the Holy Spirit just spoke to me through a fortune cookie. It said, “You are going to have a change of scenery.

I will tell you what I think about this. AMEN, Come quickly Lord!

With that, let’s continue with Revelation 22.

“And behold, I am coming quickly.

Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Revelation 22:7 NASB

What did we just cover when we looked at Revelation 22:6?

  • And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”;

    Full size replica of the ark.

    This statement should prompt you to ask, what do I know of God that validates that God is faithful and true?

    One of the first things my mind grabs on to is Noah. Having no clue what rain was, Noah believed that a flood was coming and, therefore, started a 120 year construction project in which he builds an ark. Here is a bit of information from https://arkencounter.com/.

    Ark Encounter features a full-size Noah’s Ark, built according to the dimensions given in the Bible. Spanning 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet high, The picture is from: https://www.wideopencountry.com/noahs-ark-in-kentucky/

    Secondly, Moses as his entire life seems to have been signs that prove  God’s faithfulness and the truth of His word, as Moses repeatedly brought the declarations of plagues upon Egypt.

    Did they come to pass?

    Absolutely.

    And then there is the life of Jesus. Jesus is God in the flesh, and so Jesus’ actions and declarations are an anchor, so to speak, for our foundations of trust in God. Jesus told them, and by extension us, what He was going to do, and He did it.

    We sang a worship song a few years ago, which said, “I remind myself of all that He’s done.” I mentioned this to a Christian friend, who promptly attacked me and said, why do you have to do that? Well, to be honest, I forget, and I also have a constant barrage of trials that keep my head occupied. How about you?

  • The second admonition from Revelation 22:6 is this, “and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.”

    These things must soon take place.

    I have always struggled with the length of time between the message and the actual events. To add to my angst I have been accosted on several occasions by “Christian” brothers who said just the opposite of God’s word, as they told me that Jesus won’t be coming back for at least 40 more years, so relax.

    I need you to know that I will never relax. I look for Him daily.

So again, Revelation 22:7 tells us.

“And behold, I am coming quicklyBlessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

The Greek word for coming (erchomai) occurs 643 times, all of them in the New Testament. An interesting aspect of this Greek word is that it can mean come, came, went, entered, go, and a few others; all of them are associated with movement.

Consider the word quickly. The Greek word is tachu and means shortly, that is, without delaysoon, or (by surprisesuddenly, or (by implication of ease) readily: – lightly, quickly.

Having looked at Revelation 22:6, which defines God’s word as faithful and true, I am made aware of how much we need to understand why we believe that God is faithful and true.

To Moses He said,

The LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’S power limited? Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.” Numbers 11:23.

God demonstrated that He was immensely capable of doing anything, and then He sent Moses to Pharaoh with the demand to “let My people go.” Pharaoh did not comply which resulted in the plagues most are familiar with.

God was speaking to all of Israel, a people who doubted everything, when He said.

“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
(Deuteronomy 7:7-9 NASB)

God set His love on these people, and us, simply because He loved us, and He will continue to keep the oath that now applies to His church because of that commitment.

And Moses is one example of God’s faithfulness to one person when in fact there were multitudes who can witness to the truthfulness and faithfulness of God.

Because of these people and my own comprehension, I can say, look, He is coming quickly.

Now, what of this statement, “Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

The Greek word for blessed also means fortunate and happy.

Considering how the majority of the church has now turned their backs on God’s word and those who hold to the prophetic, it is difficult, at best, to comprehend how holding to the words of Revelation is supposed to make you happy.

Here is a portion of Webster’s dictionary definition.

  • Being in the enjoyment of agreeable sensations from the possession of good;”

    God is good and, therefore, has nothing to do with the possessions you hold. This of course means that for most having possessions means the satisfaction of our lusts, and God is NOT the least bit interested in your lusts. Do you know why? Because everything in this world is working as an enemy of God and His ways, and you are feeding into that evil scheme of the Devil in more ways than you can count.

    So, good then has to be internal satisfaction knowing that we are hearing from God.

  • enjoying pleasure from the gratification of appetites or desires.”

    The definition continues to explain “The pleasurable sensations derived from the gratification of sensual appetites render a person temporarily happy;” Well, that sort of sounds like my explanation above. Earthly gratification makes you temporarily happy. Why do you think the divorce rate is so high, even in the church?

  • but he only can be esteemed really and permanently happy, who enjoys peace of mind in the favor of God.”

    Now, you have to ask yourself, how do I obtain this permanently happy place? Considering that our lives are guaranteed trials and tribulations just for following Jesus, it seems like an impossible assertion. That is why we have to stay in the Word of God and stay focused. Look, the reality of life is that we are and will be, dodging “fiery darts” our entire lives, so get used to it. You can have a peacefulness if you know and understand that peace only comes through a deep and serious relationship with Jesus Christ. This is NOT a cultist relationship I am talking about; this is a serious, purposeful effort.

    For me and my mental health, when I was working, I had to leave the building at lunchtime, go to a local fast-food restaurant and sit, read, and write. I wrote down every question and challenge that popped into my mind, and I did this for seven years. It felt like a university education, and I find the Holy Spirit bringing so many things back to my remembrance as I write these Bible studies.

  • To be to any degree happy, we must be free from pain both of body and of mind;

    Get a grip; you are never going to be entirely free of pain, whether it’s in your body or your mind. Satan, or at least one of his cohorts, taunts me daily about things. None of that changes the fact that the Holy Spirit has filled my life with joy in the midst of those things. Instead of concerning yourself with happiness, focus on the fact that He will fill your life with joy.

  • to be very happy, we must be in the enjoyment of lively sensations of pleasure, either of body or mind.

    Really, you are going to throw yourself into worldly lusts to relieve yourself of the cares of this world? Downing a pint of alcohol does not make anything go away. It only makes things worse, especially if you crash your vehicle and kill some innocent victim on the sidewalk.

    Here is what the Word has to say about what the World has to offer.

    You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4 NASB)

    “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Fatherbut is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17 NASB)

So the worldly dictionary definition of happiness can in no way fulfill the blessedness of the one who is heeding the words of the prophecy of this book – the Revelation. The prophetic word opened with this admonition –

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it, for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3 NASB)

And ends in a similar manner. Do you get the impression that Jesus is serious about this?

The Life Application New Testament Commentary tells us that “this promise that God blesses the reader and listeners sets John’s writing apart from other Jewish apocalyptic literature and points out that these words were inspired by God.”

The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament conveys the truth that “Most people in antiquity could not read, and there would not at any rate be enough copies of the book (which would have to be copied by hand) for everyone to have his or her own. Thus the blessing is for the one who reads aloud to the congregation (just as there was one reader in a synagogue) and those who hear (just as the rest of the congregation listened to Scripture readings).”

We seem to forget that life in the early church was sustained without Bibles, as we know them, and, even if there were it would have been the Old Testament alone.



 



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There will no longer be any curse upon the earth. Revelation 22: 3-6.


Revelation 22 begins to repaint the picture of the Holy City because we have moved into the era of the millennial reign of Christ.

The Holy City is where a river begins to flow from under the throne of God and the Lamb. This river splits and grows in width and strength, flowing to the western and eastern seas. We see men fishing with their nets along the banks of these rivers, and we also find the trees of life. It is the leaves of these trees that bring healing to the nations. The street, or perhaps streets; Yes, it seems odd to hear terminology like this, but Scripture speaks of this street in the singular. How could a city 1500 miles square only have one street? The street(s) of the City are made of the purest gold, so much so that the gold seems to be translucent.

Revelation 22 verse 3 tells us there will no longer be any curse upon the earth.

What does that mean? 

Because of the purposeful events that transpired between the cross to the throne, the curse was demolished.

If you cannot grasp the extent of the curse due to Adam’s treasonous act, then I suggest you take a moment and read what God said the effects would be.

“Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly, you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seedHe shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” To the woman, He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain, you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” Then to Adam, He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil, you will eat of it All the days of your life. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”
(Genesis 3:13-19 NASB)

Here are some highlights of the passage above.

  • I will put enmity (a perpetual hostility and animosity,) between you and the woman.”

    A perpetual battle between humans and Satan

  • between your seed and her seed.”

    Her seed eventually became three things: all the descendants of the woman, as they would all be made in the image of Jesus; Israel – the Jews; and the Followers of Christ.

  • He shall bruise you on the head,”

    No one with common sense sees us walking through this earth without taking at least a bit of a beating from Satan and his cohorts. So let’s pretend that the sweet little old lady down the street who prays always does not go through battles; I can guarantee that she has been in pitched battles, but she is not going tell you, as you would not understand.

  • “ I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children.”

    This statement would make no sense unless you have had children and it was pain-free.

  • “ Cursed is the ground because of you.”

    You shall work it in toil, all the days of your life, and everyone after you. Some would say, Ah, but here is where you stumbled in your logic and explanation for we have machinery. Oh, you think. Have you ever worked in a production nursery or pig farm? Machinery only promotes mass production and waste products that someone else has to process. Nope, we are under a curse, and it is obvious.

  • By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

    And then you die and are forgotten. Of course, some relatives will have fleeting moments of remembrance, but maybe you will be lucky, and others will forget how rude, crass, and angry you were.

Welcome to the curse and the disgusting evil, such as murdering babies in the name of false gods, that blossomed out of it, and this was merely the beginning of evil.

Demolished is an overwhelming and all-encompassing word, but we followers of Christ still go through tribulations. (When I say tribulations, I am NOT talking about the improperly labeled period we call the tribulation, but the things we must go through in our daily lives.)

But if that’s the case, why have we continued to live with sin, disease, and mental anguish?

Because Satan’s influence on earth extends to the end of the seven years of God’s wrath when Jesus comes back as the warring Messiah, and Satan gets locked away for a thousand years. Until the day he gets locked away, he is on a rampage to kill anything that looks like Christ.

It is easily assumed that the fallen angels are also locked away; that implies that the evil actions any human carries out would be solely based upon their memories, lusts, and desires, all of which are an aspect of their broken nature.

Why wouldn’t the curse’s damage be undone in everybody if there is no longer any curse?

Initially, the only thing that popped into my brain was that the church (those humans that make up the church) gets changed in the process of being caught up to Jesus. Without that Holy alteration, people approaching the millennial kingdom will be unchanged.

A second possible explanation may come from the many generalizations we find throughout the scriptures. An example of a broad-spectrum generalization happens when the “three Hebrew children” are about to be thrown into the fiery furnace because they refused to bow before Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. This command to bow was put forth for everyone, yet Daniel was nowhere to be found. Many have explained that this is a symbolic picture of how God saves us from the wrath that is to come, such as He did with Noah.

That change, associated with the rapture, removes the curse’s effects from our bodies and “seems” to remove the drive to sin. No one is being forced to accept the price that Jesus paid for us, but the change that will eventually free us from the curse only comes through an acceptance of Jesus Christ. Sadly, I do not see everyone entering the millennial kingdom, whether by transitioning from the time of wrath or those born during the thousand years, coming to accept Jesus, which will be a problem for them.

But how and why did that change, that alleviates the curse, happen

  1. When you accepted Jesus Christ, the change initiated and signed you up for the wildest ride you could ever imagine.
  2. The change happens during the transition as we ascend into the clouds to meet Jesus. (Those arguing against this point believe we will stand before an angry God in judgment, known to many as the Bema seat.)

Both Revelations 21 and 22 tell us that no evil will be allowed into the kingdom, so it is clear that we cannot bring our brokenness and sin into the Holy City. That tells me that the change of the brokenness, which has tormented our souls, must happen between the earth and our meeting Christ in the air.

Are you beginning to grasp the power of the cross and the obedience of Jesus Christ

Only those who are His are going up in the rapture; that will leave an incredible number of people who think they know Jesus behind. Many others will come to acknowledge Christ’s rule over their lives, but they will have to pay the violent price of martyrdom. Then, God will gather the martyred to Himself and brings them back to life at the beginning of the millennial reign, where they will rule over the earth with Christ. These people have been changed at some point, and I suspect this change occurred when they were martyred.

Now, what of the nations that are allowed to enter the millennial kingdom? 

Know this, unchanged; they will NOT gain entrance into the Holy City.

Let’s continue with Revelation 22:6.

Revelation 22:6 NASB And he said to me, “These words are faithful and true”; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.”

As I have migrated through the Revelation, a couple of voices have been echoing in my head; 1,) I look for you every day, and 2,) how much longer, Lord?

The realization that He said this to the Apostle John, these words I am telling you ar(pistos and alēthinos) trustworthy and in complete opposition to any fictitious gods and the stories associated with themstuns me.

Why would He have to say this?

Perhaps it is because, after even short periods, it becomes easy to drift away and lose hope?

I vividly remember the “brother” in Christ who tried to humiliate me and shut me up because I spoke freely of the coming of the Lord with enthusiasm and anticipation. This “brother” said, “you are just a firebrand, trying to stir things up. We have been waiting for the Lord for over two thousand years, and He is NOT coming back for at least forty more years.” Around this time frame, one of my pastors said something similar to me. I chose to keep my distance from these two, as they were trying to strip my hope away from me.

How would you perceive God telling you, “these things are faithful and true, and, they are things that must soon take place”?

Faithful – pistos = trustworthy, trusting, and sure.

True – alēthinos = Although it also means trustworthy, Thayer’s dictionary conveys that this is the complete “opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended.

Show – deiknuō = to expose to the eyes; to give evidence or proof of a thing; to show by words or teach.

Bond-servants – doulos = A slave, bondman, man of servile condition. Metaphorically, one who gives himself up to the will of another.

Bond-servant was a term that the Apostle Paul used of himself.

To be honest, this gap between what God calls soon, and how I perceive the soon makes it difficult at times to explain. Just know that He is coming for those who are waiting for Him.

keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”
(Jude 1:21 NASB)

The gospel of Mark 15:43 records that Joseph of Arimathea was waiting for the kingdom of God. Luke’s gospel tells us this.

Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. “Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.”
(Luke 12:35-36 NASB)

If you search for the word waiting, you will find at least ten references, within context, that compel us to wait patiently. My dear Mother was waiting for Him. In her case, the Lord took her home through cancer. It is not my place to challenge how or when He will take us home, but I must tell you, I know in my spirit that I will soon hear the blast of the shofar.

Consider this idea of being a bond-servant (doulos.) God spoke to John in terms that not only John could understand, but so could anybody else. The fact that God speaks like this tells me that God is talking to the commoner. It is NOT that God excludes the proud; they do that to themselves.

Another thing about this verse that catches my attention is the word “must.” Look at what the verse says, “ to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place.”

When did the countdown timer start running?

When Israel became a nation. So the fig tree has fully leafed out, and Jesus said that when you see these things come to pass, know the time is at hand. Dear Lord, we get so stupid as we scream at each other, “NO MAN KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR,” and yet Jesus tells us that when these signs come to pass, you know. The Apostle Paul informed us that we are NOT in the dark that we should not know, so obviously, we can know, AT LEAST THE SEASON, and folks, we are in the season.

Let me ask you a question, assuming you know baseball when the season begins, do you know who will play in the world series? NO, but by about 13 weeks into the season, you have a pretty good idea. Once the world series begins, how many games do they play? As few as four or many as seven. Why only four? Because one team could sweep the series in four games – as it is a best of seven series. The series has often gone to three and three, so you know that there will be one last game played. How many innings will they play in each game? A minimum of nine, but in tie games, they have gone on for hours, exhausting every potential pitcher in the dugout. So when the series begins, do we know when it will end? Absolutely and it will be spectacular, guaranteed.

Well, we are in the world series, so to speak, and every day, I am watching the teams (nations) rally for a position at the top as the managers move more players around the playing field.

Posted in bible study, End times, faced with death, forgive, gentiles, God's character, grace, In Christ, Jews, Mercy, mystery, Our being caught up, Prophetic, rapture, Revelation, temptations, tests, the nations, the word of their testimony, they did not love their life, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, trials, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On either side of the river was the tree of life. Revelation 22:1-4.


“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,”
Revelation 22:1 NASB

Stop here for a minute. 

Where are we at on the chronological timeline of Revelation?

The seven years of wrath are over; the millennial reign has begun, and the Holy City has come down. Thrones are set up, and the survivors from among the nations – that did not attempt to fight with God- are walking freely upon the earth. 

From under God’s throne, a river begins to flow. This river is a supplier of the water of life, and it is so pure that it appears as crystal. 

Everything in the Revelation comes from some other part of the Bible – the Old Testament, but this comment from the Samaritan woman is eye-opening.

“Therefore, the Samaritan woman *said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
(
John 4:9-10 NASB)

I thought both God and Jesus had thrones?

Maybe not, as it tells us that this river comes out from under the throne “of God and of the Lamb.” I have two ways of perceiving this; one is that there are two thrones, and the water flows out from under both. Or, I can understand that the terminology is singular when it speaks of the river and that Jesus is God. But, it is certainly nothing to lose sleep over.

“They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house, And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” (Psalms 36:8-9 NASB)

While this river has been given for all to drink from, why would we, the immortals, need to drink? I don’t think we would, so my thoughts get directed to the nations (during the millennial reign) who have made no effort to join themselves to God yet.

“And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will  be in summer as well as in winter.”  (Zechariah 14:8 NASB)

1500 miles (2)

This area covers about 1500 miles square.

The river will flow toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the Western sea. In other words, no effort is made to restrict access to the water, and it may be the only clean water available.

“It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. “And it will come about that fisherman will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim, there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many.”
(
Ezekiel 47:9-10 NASB)

And, yes, fishing is back again. Yep, I just let my selfish heart express itself, and I could see myself running back to the house to grab my poles and gear. But, get real, after all the human savagery and firebombing from God, do you actually believe that your stuff will still be here? Hardly.

“in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
(Revelation 22:2 NASB)

One of the places that mention the street is in Revelation 21.

“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”
(Revelation 21:21 NASB)

Note that it says street in the singular. 

How does one have a city 1500 miles square and only have one street? 

In trying to define the Holy City I found this in Zechariah’s prophecies.

“So says Jehovah: I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And Jerusalem shall be called a City of Truth, and the mountain of Jehovah of Hosts, the Holy Mountain. So says Jehovah of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and old women sitting in the streets of Jerusalem; and each man with his staff in his hand because of their many days. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. So says Jehovah of Hosts: If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be marvelous in My eyes? says Jehovah of Hosts.”
(
Zechariah 8:3-6 LITV)

Here, it tells us that little boys and girls will play in its streets. If this prompts you to ask, what about today’s Israel, then consider that this prophecy was impossible until 1948. Even though Israel has been a nation for over 70 years, as I look at videos from the streets of Israel, they are filled with deadly attacks against Jews daily. Therefore, I would not let my children try to play there. Maybe this passage is speaking of the future Holy City? However, Zechariah made it a bit more challenging to picture as he adds that older men and older women will sit with their staff in their hands because of their many days; this would have to place the imagery into the millennial kingdom because I thought we never grow old in God’s kingdom.

Back to the passage in Revelation 22.

    • On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” 

      How the trees got there, we do not know, but there they are, flourishing. 

      Did you know that many kinds of fruit, like apples, need 1200 to 1500 hours of 40(ish) degree weather to produce fruit? We like to think that the temperature in the Holy City will be like Hawaii, about 72 degrees (all the time), and that does not fair well for most fruit trees. Let’s allow God to figure this one out. 

      The leaves of these trees grab my attention, as they are for the healing of the nations. These are the trees of life, the same tree that sat in the middle of the garden, and it was the same tree that God had to set up armed angelic guards to keep Adam and Eve away from it

      Why? 

      Because as broken humans, eating from that tree would have made them broken immortals and competitors for God’s throne alongside Satan, and that was not going to happen.

      Then why does it seem like just anyone from the nations has access to the trees of life? 

      That’s a great question. Maybe they don’t, and perhaps the trees are protected within the boundaries of this 1500-mile square city. I am jumping ahead, but look at what Revelation 22:15 tells us. “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.” (NASB). 

      It’s a redundant question, but where are they? 

      They are outside of the City. The only people who gain entrance into the City are those who have washed their robes.

      “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:14 NASB) 

Let’s move away from the rivers and fruit trees.

Revelation 22:3-4 NASB “There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; (4) they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.”

  • There will no longer be any curse;.”

    All humanity and the earth are under a curse because of Adam’s treason. 

    Why focus on Adam as entirely responsible for the curse(s)? 

    Because all dominion over the earth was his, and he handed it over to Satan.

    “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 earthand 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)

    Before the man and the women were physical beings, they were given dominion/rule over all living things and all the earth, and Adam gave this all away. 

    What are these curses that God is talking about? 

    “And unto Adam he said, Because you have listened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life;” (Genesis 3:17 KJV slightly modified for readability)

    With or without God’s law, it was still written upon the heart of every human, and we are held responsible for not upholding it. 

    Cursed be he that confirms not all the words of this law to do them. …”
    (
    Deuteronomy 27:26 KJV)

    In short, Adam brought a curse upon himself, all living things, and the earth. Humanity was now subject to the law, but just saying that tends to make most think of an oppressive God who can’t figure out whether to love or send us to an eternal hell. In fact, the moral law ruled throughout all creation, long before we existed, and Satan knew it. 

    So when Satan deceived Eve and moments later sucked the man into the deception, he thought he had trapped the God of the universe and beaten Him at His own game because the “law” demanded the death of the law breaker. 

    (How would I know that, especially since this detail is not precisely laid out in scripture? Well, actually, it is, and we see it when Able offers a correct sacrifice of a lamb. We did not see God spelling this information out to them, but we are aware of God talking with Adam and Eve after the fall. Again, we are not privy to this conversation; you know, the time when God puts clothing made of skins on Adam and Eve. This clothing took time as it was instructional and covered how to make appropriate sacrifices, the plan of redemption through death and blood, and, therefore, had instructions on proper sacrifices. And we can understand this because we saw Able make an acceptable sacrifice, only taught to Able through Adam. Even Cain knew this method. I know this because God told him, “if you do what is right.” (You can’t say that to someone unless they had first been told.)

    Since God had endowed the man – Adam, with God’s own dominion and handed the earth over to him, then Adam’s death seemed to be the one who would pay the price and die, and, in time, he did. But Adam was made in God’s image and not God’s blood (as yet), which is why God had to send His Son – His only Son! 

    The Son (Yeshua) paid the price of blood to redeem the entirety of humanity – past, present, and future. In doing so, all humanity was technically returned to the family, where they could live forever in the Father’s love and care. The problem is that everyone has the right to choose what they want to do, live for the lusts of this world, or live with the Father’s love, and they do that through acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice for them. 

    Do you realize that Satan does not own you anymore? But neither does God, for this relationship is one of love. He loved us and, therefore, paid the price to gain us back. On the other hand, we must accept His love through adoption.

  • and His bond-servants will serve Him; (4) they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.”

    In Greek, the phrase “bond-servants” is the singular word doulos, and yes, it can mean enslaved person, but it also carries connotations of one who is subservient or subject. 

    Still, it seems oppressive, especially since we were purchased back to God through redemption. Think about India, where a caste system subjugates many to a lifetime of poverty, where many must sell their children into a lifetime of slavery to survive. 

    If someone purchased you, wouldn’t you belong to them now and at least be subservient or subject to them? 

    You would think so, and yet God doesn’t operate that way.

    If Satan was your owner and your destiny was the same hell to which he is going, then why wouldn’t you jump ship and follow the Father, who, in a sense, now owns you, to heaven and the associated peace of His kingdom? 

    The Apostle Paul frequently used this doulos terminology of himself; yet, as a Jew, he could blindly say, I have never been a slave to anyone.

    Yeah, right, how about those 70+ years of captivity in Babylon?

    Oh, that’s right, I forgot, but I digress. Learning of the Father’s love, Paul chose to subject himself to God and to become subservient because the reward (if I can call it that) is an eternity of Love and peace with Jesus, the one who loved me enough to put Himself on that cross for me. 

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Who is the elect and can they be deceived? Matthew 24:24.


This thought process was initiated by Pastor Jack Hibbs’ comments that we have been taught incorrectly, and how Matthew 24:24 conveys the idea that it is impossible for the elect to be deceived.

I cannot accept that as a true statement, and I did not want to merely make a statement that comes across as disappointment with my pastor, without giving you the exact words he used. So early this morning, 06/29/22 I went online to the YouTube video, Happening Now, with a chapter heading “The Bible’s present-day performance and reality, dated 6/26/22 and I transcribed what he said.

Pastor Jack began with, “I am speaking from my head and not my notes now.” Concerning Matthew 24:24.

“Jesus said, such days of deception are coming,

that if it were possible,

even the very elect would be deceived.”

Pastor restated his assertion by adding,

“That even my own,

my elect, would be deceived.”

Pastor said,

“What does that mean?”

He spoke to the audience about how this was freshmen logic, and that Jesus’ statement means,

“It’s NOT going to happen. It can’t happen!”

“Such deception will deceive people, if it were possible.

It would have to be so powerfully deceptive that it would deceive my own people,

which makes it impossible for my own people to be deceived.”

Pastor asked the audience,

“What is that thing that keeps us from being deceived?

It is knowing the Word of God.”

At this point, Pastor Jack went back to his notes.

Lately, I have played out some of these teachings, as though I am having a conversation. I am not making this stuff up, and in one case, the person I was conversing with, told me that his opinion superseded the Word of God, which I was showing him. I have the crazy understanding and belief that all the answers and wisdom are in the Word of God; therefore, I lean heavily upon it.

I will add that many of our modern Bible translations are pathetic, and yet, because my pastor, and the church I attend use the New King James Version as their primary Bible, therefore, I too use it, but know this, I keep my eyes open. A problem though, because on my computer I do not have the NKJV and, therefore, go with the NASB.

For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:24 NASB)

One of the primary questions we should be asking as we read Matthew 24:24, is,

What is the context of Jesus’ directed statement?

We can find the context by looking at the beginning of the chapter.

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?”
(Matthew 24:3 NASB)

So the context is engulfed in a Jewish-oriented response to a Jewish audience, the disciples. (We do not know how many people fell under the category of being a disciple on that day, and may well have been as many as 120 people.)

Is there a parallel in the Gospels, to Matthew 24:24?

Yes, there is, and we find it in Mark 13. I chose a passage where the disciples, just as they did in the first couple of passages of Matthew 24, asked Jesus to tell them when these things would happen and what would be the signs.

Tell us when is this to take place and what will be the sign when these things, all [of them], are about to be accomplished? And Jesus began to tell them, Be careful and watchful that no one misleads you [about it]. Many will come in [appropriating to themselves] the name [of Messiah] which belongs to Me [basing their claims on the use of My name], saying, I am [He]! And they will mislead many.”
(Mark 13:4-6 AMP)

In opposition to Pastor Jack’s statement, the Apostle Mark tells us that they will mislead/deceive many.

Alright, since Matthew 24:24 is oriented toward the Jews, could I then foolishly say,

Does this apply to me, or to Christ-followers today?

Actually, it does, especially in the sense that we are living in the last moments, moments filled with ungodly turmoil, and at the rapture of the church it will be the end of the age of grace and the entrance of God’s wrath upon the earth. Keep in mind that the church, is NOT subject to God’s wrath, and because of this, we will be caught up to meet Christ in the air. When that happens,

  • The antichrist will rapidly emerge on the scene;
  • The two prophets from God will suddenly appear on the streets of Jerusalem, and they will show great signs and wonders;
  • The final temple – the third one will be built;
  • And a high priest will officiate the offerings, sacrifices, and all the other things that go on there – for 1260 days.

Alternate translations of Matthew 24:24 read like this:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (KJV)

(Italicized wording indicates that it was added for clarity. Those words can change the meaning of the sentence, so be aware of that.)

For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. (NLT)

(Contrast the NLT with the KJV. Notice that the NLT directs us, appropriately, to a Jewish orientation.)

… and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (ASV)

(Here the translation conveys what the purpose truly is.)

Remember, the origins of Jesus’ response is to a Jewish audience, that asked Him two pointed questions,

  • Tell us, when will these things happen,

  • And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Matthew 24:24 is merely a part of the answer to these two questions.

Quickly, before we deep dive, I want to point something out. One of the questions points toward “the end of the age.”

When does this take place and why does it matter?

The end has everything to do with the end of God’s wrath, as far as the Jew is concernedbecause this is where they finally get to see the Messiah they longed for return to save them.

For the church, our understanding leans more toward the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ. Now, to be honest, it might also take us all the way to the end of countable time – the great white throne. The reason I do not lean that way is that Jesus’ response in Matthew 24:24 is oriented toward the Jewish community.

When Jesus said “false messiahs” –

There should have been an immediate correlation to Deuteronomy 13 chapter one, where it says.

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. “You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. “But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you. (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NASB)

So, Jesus defined what a false prophet/messiah is, and how to detect them. They will lead you go after other gods.

Do you not realize how subtle and yet complex that leading could be?

One of those potential “false messiahs”, as improbable as that seems, could just as easily be the high priest of the new temple. While Christianity does not speak of this – as this is extra-biblical information and a reason for many to balk at it, Islamic prophecies speak about how the high priest, by all acceptable standards, will eventually turn to Islam; follow the Mahdi – who may well be the antichrist; will perform signs and wonders, by duplicating what the two witnesses from God will have done during their tenure here on earth.

Hopefully, you are beginning to understand how important the role these signs and wonders play in our ability to understand this passage, and who this false messiah may be.

Great signs and wonders, what is He talking about?

Again, this is a Jewish concept; however, it is applied to the person giving testimony in defense of or against someone. In the case of God’s two witnesses, they will give testimony against Israel for their disbelief.

A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.” (Deuteronomy 19:15 NASB)

As an interesting side note, my oldest grandson asked me what I was studying. I pointed to Matthew 24:24 and read it to him. He said, I can’t disagree with that, which told me he did not grasp what the verse was saying. I will be bold in saying, I don’t think there are many Christians who grasp what this verse is telling them.

The two witnesses.

The thing I want you to pay attention to are signs and wonders.

“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell; seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
(Revelation 11:3-13 NASB)

A quick recap of the signs and wonders.

  • If anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way.”

  • These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying;”

  • They have power over the waters to turn them into blood.”

  • And to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.”

So, what does the “false messiah” do?

He does the same thing as the two witnesses, with the same arrogance as the magicians of Egypt did.

“So Moses and Aaron did even as the LORD had commanded. And he lifted up the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood. The fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood was through all the land of Egypt. But the magicians of Egypt did the same with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.” (Exodus 7:20-22 NASB)

If you follow the story of the plagues upon Egypt, you find the magicians copying many of the plagues, but there was one they dared not try, and that was the death of the firstborn.

Now, let’s talk about the elect for a moment.

Since we know that the answer Jesus gave is directed at Jews, and the usage of the term “elect” means chief priests, elders, high priests, and quite possibly rabbis,

Who is Jesus talking about when He says “ to mislead, if possible, even the elect.”?

He is talking about the leadership of Israel. So when Pastor Jack talks like he is talking about Christians, he is playing on thin ice.

Can a Christian be deceived?

Don’t be foolish, we live on the brink of deception all the time. Why else would Jesus’ first response to the disciples be this –

Jesus answered them, Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. (Matthew 24:4 AMP)

Considering that Eve did not have anyone else but Satan trying to deceive her, and she fell for it, what are your chances without being deeply embedded in the Word of God.

Let me ask you a question.

Did you voluntarily rush out and get vaccinated, on the basis of what your trustworthy government told you?

Then you were deceived. If so, just repent and put your trust in God once again.

So, is Matthew 24:24 telling us it is impossible to be deceived?

Hardly, and if you listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart, you know it is not telling you that; and Matthew 24:4 substantiates that, as I pointed out above.

There is nothing in scripture that tells you to chant some passage repeatedly and you won’t be deceived, that ability to fend off deception only comes from spending time in the Word of God, learning what His nature and character are, and putting your trust in Him.

Posted in bible study, Deception, false prophet, false teaching, God's character, Islam, Jews, Matthew's gospel, Prophetic, teachers, Thoughts on scripture, two witnesses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

And the city has no need for the sun. Revelation 21: 10-27.


With this post, we will finish Revelation 21. Yeah, I know you want me to drag this out forever, but I sometimes think I heard the voice of the Lord, telling me, I will come back when you finish this study. So on that note, we have one more chapter, for what it’s worth.

The funny thing about that, hearing God’s voice stuff. His voice almost always sounds like my voice, and yes, I desperately long for Him to return to retrieve His church. So what could be an honest inspiration from the Holy Spirit may be nothing more than one of my internal desires.

If what I just said was my driving motivation, then you would think I would have recklessly plowed through the book of Revelation. Not that its any of your concern but I struggled most of my life with an undiagnosed learning disability, and, though I finally found out what the problem was, the only assistance I obtained was to sit, undisturbed, for up to three hours, so I could take my college chemistry tests.

So, hurriedly does not work for me, and I have to build word pictures in my mind. I have been learning and studying the Revelation alongside you, and have become quite adept at painting word pictures of the events.

As we enter this next portion, I must admit it sort of bores me.

Why? 

Because, while I have childhood images from Sunday School of massive pearl gates, (try to imagine how big the oyster would have to be to hold such a pearl.) I have come to the conclusion that most of what I learned as a child, was erroneous. I suppose I should tell you, that I cannot stand the thought of talking just to talk, so I will try to find relevance to what we are about to see in scripture.

I long for you to gain what I have gained, and that is a passionate love and desire to see our heavenly Father and Jesus.

(Revelation 21:10 NASB) “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,”

Where is this Holy City now?

The obvious answer, from the passage above, is that it’s in heaven.

That’s great, now tell me, where heaven is?

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Ephesus, wrote, “we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Then the answer lies in the location of this heavenly place. Once again we turn to Paul. The second letter that he wrote to the church that met in Corinth conveyed this, “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NASB) 

So this place called heaven is currently NOT seen with the naked eye.

(Revelation 21:11 NASB) having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear Jasper.

The context is heaven; therefore, it is heaven that has the glory of God.

Camp here for a minute. Jesus is God, and we are in Christ. 

Because of that, could it be said that someday, we too will have the glory of God? 

The answer is yes. But take this to the next step; 

Since we are in Christ, shouldn’t we be emitting that glory now? 

We should; 

Then what prevents us? 

The only logical answer lies in the fact that we are walking around in broken vessels, which, admittedly allow other things to leak out between the cracks. But, that will change one day soon, as we will be changed.

(Revelation 21:12-13 GW) “It had a large, high wall with 12 gates. Twelve angels were at the gates. The names of the 12 tribes of Israel were written on the gates. (13)  There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.”

This imagery of the 12 gates would have been familiar to John.

““These are the exits of the city: on the north side, 4,500 cubits by measurement, shall be the gates of the city, named for the tribes of Israel, three gates toward the north: the gate of Reuben, one; the gate of Judah, one; the gate of Levi, one. “On the east side, 4,500 cubits, shall be three gates: the gate of Joseph, one; the gate of Benjamin, one; the gate of Dan, one. “On the south side, 4,500 cubits by measurement, shall be three gates: the gate of Simeon, one; the gate of Issachar, one; the gate of Zebulun, one. “On the west side, 4,500 cubits, shall be three gates: the gate of Gad, one; the gate of Asher, one; the gate of Naphtali, one.” (Ezekiel 48:30-34 NASB)

Interesting how this passage above does not show up in several translations. An acquaintance of mine began to point out how God seems to take an interest in groupings of three. The commentator Albert Barnes, said,” there does not seem to be any special significance to the number.” Since the Holy City is square, then it is highly convenient to place three on each side and name them with tribes of Israel. Ah, one other thing. When Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden, an angel was placed at the gate and prevented them from reentering and accessing the tree of life. Perhaps, these angels will have a similar function.

(Revelation 21:14 NASB) “And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

How appropriate.

(Revelation 21:15-17 NASB) “The one who spoke with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city, and its gates and its wall. (16) The city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal. (17) And he measured its wall, seventy-two yards, according to human measurements, which are also angelic measurements.”

If you can find an ancient map of the Middle East that shows the land promised to Abraham, and attempt to ascertain the land coverage using the scale of the map, it takes up most of the Middle East. Thankfully someone did the math for us, and it is about 1500 miles square.

(Revelation 21:18 NASB) “The material of the wall was Jasper, and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.”

Both of these images are of Jasper. The image that is impossible to find is pure gold like clear glass.

Dull JasperMulti-colored Jasper

(Revelation 21:19-20 NLT)The wall of the city was built on foundation stones inlaid with twelve precious stones: the first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst.

Again I turn to the Apostle Paul.

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.” (Ephesians 2:20 NLT)

How many disciples were there?

Yes, you are right 12, and so the city is built on 12 foundation stones.

(Revelation 21:21 NASB) “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

I mentioned this to my wife. Her response was,

Why do you assume that God needs an oyster to make a pearl?

Okay, you got me, but having gone to the local fair, where a vendor allowed you to pick your oyster out of the tank for a fee, crack it open with a little help, and extract your pearl, I have an idea where pearls typically come from.

Do you know how they knew there was a pearl inside?

Because they put the irritant inside the shell, that caused the oyster to react and form a smooth surface around the irritant.

Then how big does the oyster have to be in order to make even one pearl big enough to serve as a gate? 

It’s a rhetorical question and does not require an answer.

Before I move on, this idea that a thing of great value and beauty must be formed because of an irritant has grabbed my attention. Unfortunately, my life has been filled with irritations.

How come I can’t see the beauty?

Maybe, I just don’t know what to look for.

(Revelation 21:22 NASB) “I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”

Based on the instruction given to Moses, on how to build the temple, we can know exactly what it looked like.

but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” (1 Corinthians 13:10 NASB)

Maybe I can apply this idea of the “partial” being done away to the temple. When Jesus died the curtain or veil, if you will, was torn from the top down and demonstrated that God was not there anymore. We now have full access to God through the Son. And, we are in Christ. So whatever He is, so are we. We, are also told that our bodies are the temple of the Lord. While there is a Holy City, there is no temple. I guess that means that the Holy Thrones are set right in the middle.

(Revelation 21:23-24 NASB) “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. (24) The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.”

This is another section that should have rung true with John.

No longer will you have the sun for light by day, Nor for brightness will the moon give you light; But you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And your God for your glory. “Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over.”
(Isaiah 60:19-20 NASB)

There will never be darkness again, and no more shadows for the bad people to hide in.

Having worked the graveyard shift I slept during the day. I had to tape aluminum foil in the windows to keep out the sun. But here I go again, applying my brokenness to God’s environment. We may never experience tiredness or hunger again.

What does it mean when it says, “The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it.”?

If I applied two considerations “walk by its light” and the fact that Jesus, in this scenario, just a short time before this moment, killed without hesitation, all those who were fighting against Him; then my assumption would be, that this means these people are approaching Him humbly, listening to what He says, and obeying His law. While that might be true for a handful, many of these people, with their heads full of rocks, are still cursing God and ignoring Him. So, let’s set aside our assumptions and dissect the words.

The term nations still applies to those outside of Judaism, but that is a context-driven term, especially since so many of us Gentiles accepted Christ and were adopted into the family. I suppose that makes us Jews spiritually. So, let’s generalize and say that the Nations are those, still walking this earth after the seven years of wrath are over, and they have not yet come into the family. (Psst, many never will.)

Walk is the Greek word peripateō. It means “to make one’s wayto liveto conduct one’s self.”

This idea of conducting one’s self leans toward submission.

Do slaves lean toward submission?

Certainly, they do, but you will never have their heart. God is love. I know that love is hard to see at times, but it’s true. It was His love, over time, that gave me reasons to love Him back. And, He has adopted me and all my quirks, along with all the others that have come to Him.

Now the term walk also denotes following a way. Currently, in this intentionally dumb-ed down world we live in, where we can’t identify between a male and a female, it is becoming more difficult (the younger you are,) to find a proper way to follow.

Allow me to straighten something out for you. We were made in God’s image, and even if you don’t choose to believe it, He (God) placed His moral law in your heart. So, if you set out to murder someone and follow through with it, you had to work through an intense moral battle and determine that you would ignore God’s moral law. This is a brutal and confusing way to live; the evidence of this lies in the answers people give when asked, why did you do that? Oh, they know why, and yes, it was all of the above.

(Revelation 21:25-26 NASB) “In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; (26) and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;.”

It will continuously be light, for there will be NO night. Well, okay.

The gates will never be closed. Are you kidding me? 

Oh yeah, that broken human side of me creeps into the study. I always lock the car doors. At least there are massive angels standing guard at each gate.

Glory is the Greek word doxa and also means honor, praise, and worship. However, this looks, God accepts it.

Honor is the Greek word timē, which means value, esteem, and dignity. Therefore, it appears that honor has to be something precious.

In light of this, “they (the nationswill bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it;”

“Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the LORD’S house will be like the bowls before the altar. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the LORD of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts in that day.” (Zechariah 14:16-21 NASB)

What Zechariah describes is mandated. 

Do the nations have a right to refuse? 

Well, they have freedom of choice, but it is NOT God that gives them an out. Refusal means NO rain on your crops and He calls it a plague. I am unsure where I got the idea that they had a second chance because I don’t see it now.

“The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze and the earth which is under you, iron. “The LORD will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven, it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.” (Deuteronomy 28:23-24 NASB)

And I end chapter 21 with this.

(Revelation 21:27 NASB) “and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

This makes NO sense unless you can see it as a final recap that begins with the millennial reign and the Holy City has come down. If you try to make it chronological, then you still have people practicing abominations after the great white throne, and that is not a logical assumption.

So, the only place I can apply a statement like this is, as I described, during the millennial reign.

Remember, the gates stay open all the time. In my busted world, if I leave the door open flies and mosquitoes come in, that will not happen in God’s kingdom, as there are those angels to help keep pests out. 

Do you realize that God also has a plan of redemption for the nations during this time? 

 I am jumping ahead, but the answer lies in Revelation 22.

in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:2 NASB)

Remember that the nations are still mortals and can be killed or wounded. That doesn’t seem possible in a land where peace reigns, but maybe. The word healing associated with these leaves can be medically oriented or a service rendered by one to another. That service would then be the internal healing that allows that one, or perhaps many, to come into the family. 

For those who fret, as they say, no one comes to the Father except through Jesus; I ask you to think this through, as NO family member will overstep and go beyond the will of the Father, who has not changed His heart, and longs that every person comes back into the family/relationship.

Posted in angels, bible study, departure, End times, false teaching, God's character, mystery, Revelation, Rule the nations, straying from the truth, the nations, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evidence of the Holy City coming down at the beginning of the millennium is scattered and, in a sense, hidden. Revelation 21:9-11.


 Back to Bible study

Finally, we have come to the New Heaven; and no, we are not in transition, “awaiting our resurrection to the New Earth,” as Randy Alcorn would tell you. That is nothing more than slop that people have made up.

Then why talk about the rapture of the church?

Because, in the chain of events before the New Heaven and the New Earth show up, we have to have the catching away of the church.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 tells us that the man of sin, the antichrist character, cannot come unless the church departs. A clear definition of this comes from the Geneva Bible, published in 1587.

On the other hand, the King James translation, which some will tell you is the only authorized Bible you should use, was decreed in 1769, almost two hundred years later. In case you haven’t heard, the King James Bible came to us because the State Church of England, the Catholic Church, ordered it rewritten to reflect their anger over people leaving the only recognized church, by their standards, for Protestantism. In the process of rewriting, 2 Thessalonians 2:3 was intentionally changed to read “except there come a falling away first,” and that was indeed happening.

So, the church’s departure initiates the seven years of God’s wrath. 

Some things that will happen in association with the rapture:

  • The catching away of the church.

    I use the terminology catching away, as it is a translation of the Greek word harpazoRapture, which many of us use, is a translation of the Latin word rapturo. It doesn’t matter which term you use as long as you get there, which, by the way, is through you accepting Jesus Christ into your life as your savior.

    This time with Him will last for seven years, the same time frame as the wrath of God is being poured out upon the earth. During these seven years, people will continue to come to Christ, take a stand for Him, and, sadly, have their heads cut off; they will be the martyred saints.

  • ¼ of the world’s population will be brutally murdered.

    This will be through several methods, including manufactured pestilence of every kind. This list includes injections, diseases, and death at the hands of humanity.

  • A massive war focused on the Middle East and likely involving President Putin of Russia will occur in the Jezreel Valley of Israel.

    While this war will be horrific, one-third of Israel will survive, and this character, Gog, will be killed on the hillsides of Israel. The battle will be ended as God sends a firestorm upon the combatants. No one of a sound mind can tell you precisely when this will occur, except to say that it will be very close to the church’s rapture.

  • The third temple will be rebuilt. Reports indicate that it can be rebuilt in about three months.
  • The two witnesses from God will show up and preach in the streets of Jerusalem.

    However, they only remain for three and a half years.

  • Amid this chaos, a man will rise and declare peace.

    Many will tell you that he, the antichrist, makes peace with Israel, but scripture does NOT say that. It says he will make peace with many. The many are most likely the nations that will be warring with Israel and taking a severe beating at the hand of God.

    All this most likely happens right after the catching away of the church and rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

  • The winds of the earth will cease.

    This will make the planet’s temperature rise by a deadly amount. Humans and plant life will die and suffer.

  • The water supplies will be poisoned and turned to blood.

    Literally? I don’t know. I just know it will be undrinkable.

  • The oceans will be poisoned as something massive will slam into them, and one-third of the ocean vessels will be destroyed.
  • A demon horde of locusts will be unleashed and sting people, making them want to die, but they will not die.
  • The economic systems of the earth will be destroyed.

    The Bible tells us that the global leaders who put their trust in money will all see the smoke arising from Babylon. Since Babylon was destroyed thousands of years ago, this represents greed and power. Sorry, but it will be gone.

  • And do not forget that 100-pound, fiery hail stones will batter the earth. 

At the end of seven years, the wrath ends. But, so many things will happen at the end of the wrath.

Here are a few:

  • Jesus will come back with a sword out of His mouth, and we will be with Him.

    The nations will have gathered for battle with the Lamb – Jesus, and those who came to fight with Him will be slaughtered in the Jezreel valley; this is the place we call the valley of Meggido.

  • The new Jerusalem will come down from heaven.
  • Jesus will be seated as a judge and reign during the thousand years of peace.
  • There will be NO MORE WARS.
  • The law of God will continue to be preached among the nations, and many will come to know Jesus.

    In other words, the nations – people will come to understand the nature and character of God. He is not out to kill you. However, the eternal torment made for Satan and those who followed him in the rebellion will also be filled by people who choose to follow Satan.

Between the killing that people will do against people and the things God is pouring out upon the earth, I cannot imagine how anyone survives.

It is NOT clear what we, the church, will be doing during the millennium, as we are in Him. But I am sure it will be grand.

Revelation 21:9-27 tells us the details of The New Jerusalem.

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:9 NASB)

That deadly angel says, “Come here, and I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” I chose the term deadly, as this is the same angel that had been pouring out the wrath of God upon the Earth.

What is coming? 

You would be correct if you said the New Jerusalem, yet it is the bride.

I thought we were the bride?

We are, but here, we are as those bricks, made up of pure gold, that comprises the entirety of the New Jerusalem. We are also the shining city.

I have become rather emphatic regarding the New Jerusalem, the Holy City, and how it comes down at the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ. But, like most everything else, there is some challenge, or the enemy comes along, invading my thoughts with confusion and doubt. In moments like this, I must regroup mentally, find my evidence and reestablish my confidence.

Like everything in scripture, evidence of the Holy City coming down at the beginning of the millennium is scattered and, in a sense, hidden throughout the Bible. One of those places is the entirety of Revelation 22. Here, we find this river that starts small and quickly widens, coming from under the throne of God. Along both sides of this river, the trees of life grow. The leaves of those trees are for the healing of the nations. (See Revelation 22:2.)

When and where does this healing take place?

Only during the millennial kingdom, and so, I was right, the Holy City does come down at the beginning of the millennial reign.

If you have followed my posts for the last couple of months, you would be aware of how I have, over the previous twenty years, fought through erroneous teachings, such as only believers enter the millennial kingdom and the racist belief that’ no Jews enter the millennial reign.

“And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper.”(Revelation 21:10-11 NASB)

I suppose that is understandable if you are confused about when the Holy City comes down. But know this, it is not by my doing; as I pointed out, the leaves of the tree of life bring healing to the nations. However, after the great judgment seat and the Earth and heavens being burned with fire and replaced, there is no longer any need for healing for the nations, as they are healed, or they are gone, cast into the lake of fire – their names not being found in the book of life.

Perhaps the confusion is deeply embedded in the idea that we constantly apply our broken human understanding to Biblical concepts and events, such as the Holy City coming down and when. I see this happening when the earth is still horribly polluted, damaged, and has non-believing people walking around on it. God can and will handle all that, and it will not affect those living in that city.

Now, if He has to lift the Holy City off the earth to purge the earth with fire, then so be it, He will do so with the blink of an eye, and it may have all of us in it, still walking on the streets of gold, as it moves.

Should we care how God moves, lifts, or vaporizes the garbage under the Holy City to purge the heavens and the earth?

NO. If we struggle to know, much of our struggle is wrapped up in wanting to have answers for other Christians who have lived through the erroneous teachings as we did. We struggle because we cannot seem to grasp the hope that the Apostle Paul tells us we have though we try. (This becomes harder when some “brother” in Christ tells you not to waste your time talking about Jesus coming back soon, especially when the “Christian community has been preaching this gospel for well over 2000 years, and we are still here.) We can have that hope if we have our name in the Book of Life. The only sure-fire way to know if you have your name there is to accept Jesus Christ as Lord over your life.

It seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

Posted in 2 Thessalonians, Abyss, antichrist, apostasy, Babylon, bible study, departure, End times, false teaching, Geneva Bible, Gog, invasion, Israel, Magog, Prophetic, rapture, Revelation, Rule the nations, teaching a different doctrine, the nations, Thoughts, Thoughts on scripture, thrones, war, wrath. | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I have been on a rant about false teachers lately.


Seeing as I have been on a rant about false teachers lately I thought I should add one more.

    Two more guys I tend to respect were recently speaking on the subject “are there prophets in these last days.” Their answer leaned heavily upon the fact that God’s word is the final word on things to come; and, it has been made available, unlike when the Apostle Paul walked this earth, and there was NO printed Word so that every household could have sixteen Bibles and NOT study any of them.

    I happened to notice the comments associated with this teaching. A lady put up a “band-aid” sized banner, with pastel letters, spelling out “AMEN.” My spirit wrenched inside of me, and I wrote a comment for all to see.

    “While it is true that God’s Word is the definitive of all prophecy, did He leave the door open for us to speak into other people’s lives? Absolutely. (Try reading Romans 12:6; 1Corinthians 12:10; 1Corinthians 13:2; 1Timothy 4:14.) Those words, these two men spoke that day, implied that we are to keep our mouth’s shut when it comes to outward expression.”

I asked the question in the comments,

    “Have you ever worked through your broken self-esteem, your introverted tendencies, and subjected yourself to the ridicule of religious zealots, who believe you should not and cannot speak like this to people, most of which are believers?”

“It’s not so easy, is it.”

    At a small church, I attended, I gave a word to a person that had come up front for prayer. The man with the Doctorate in theology got there first and prayed his well-rehearsed words over this person, while I stood by waiting quietly. He walked away and I reached out and touched this person’s shoulder before they could walk away. I did what the Holy Spirit told me to do. I looked into their eyes and began speaking into their life. The reaction said it all, as God had reached down inside them and tears began to flow. When I give Words like this, they typically speak to me as well, and I often weep afterward, mostly because I am so deeply affected by the idea that God would use me.

    Mr. Doctorate, had apparently stopped to watch and judge me, and he immediately approached me, saying, “never tell someone, “the Lord is saying,” because there is nothing we do that is not entwined with our broken human nature, and therefore, may not be the Lord, but your brokenness motivating the word you speak.” While what he said is sound wisdom, I had already seen rubbish like that and had chosen never to speak to someone in that manner. I often say I believe the Holy Spirit is saying.”

    Here is the problem that all of us must face. That voice that you heard, and, therefore, believe is the voice of God, telling you to go to that person and tell them that the LORD is telling you that you are wearing too much gaudy makeup and your skirt is too short,is your voice. (In case you did not notice, I was being facetious.) As believers, we have the Holy Spirit, leading us, guiding us, and showing us things to come. So, yes, it may well be the Holy Spirit, but He convicts through the Word of God, not you. Oh, and you are NOT the judge, Jesus is, so leave the judgment and criticism out of the conversation.”

What did that voice sound like?

    If you are honest, you would say, it sounded like my voice.

How connected is your voice to your angry emotions and religious traditions?

    It is wholeheartedly connected, but it can be trained and controlled.

    One day at church, a dear lady, whom I only knew by eyesight, stopped me and said, “Why aren’t you doing what the Holy Spirit told you to do?

    Yikes, I knew what it meant to me, but what did it mean to her? So, I asked. Her response was very similar to the words the Holy Spirit had already been using to implore me about giving words to the church body.

    Speaking out like this was a gut-wrenching process for me, and I pleaded with God to find someone else. The Holy Spirit said, no, I want you, and I want your voice. Once I started, it went on for six weeks. Finally, after giving the first message to the church, my lady friend came to me and said, honey, no one beyond five seats could hear you. I thought I was yelling, so if I did that again, I would have to be louder.

    I remember the theme of the words I was giving to the church, and it went something like this, “Though you think you are sitting pretty, you have no idea what’s coming for many of you, and you will not be able to handle it. You need to feed on my word and strengthen yourselves.”

    That was the just of it, and it went on for six weeks. When He would speak to me, I would start shaking, overwhelmed by His presence. Finally, you could hear me down the street in the sixth week. Yes, there is a learning curve, but I never got to learn it as I was met at the door by the Pastor on the seventh week. He told me that several people told him that I made God sound angry. He continued to say, but I will say this. I listened to every word, and you could have taken those words directly from the Bible. Nonetheless, you will not speak out like that without my approval. That meant handing him a note with some rehearsed speech I believed I received from God while I was in the shower that morning. It never worked out like that for me. So when God would tell me to speak to the people, I would reply with, what will I say? And He would come back with, “start with, and the..” 

Are you kidding me, that’s all?

    “Yes, you will have to learn to trust me.” As you might expect, I was hurt and angry, not just with the people and the pastor, but with God. Sometime later, I left that church. In the meantime, a few ladies would give words, but it came across like we were supposed to be lying in the clover and daisies. For a warrior spirit, this meant nothing.

    I have not been to a church since that allows the Holy Spirit the freedom to do and say what He wants, mainly because all of the churches are afraid of what the Holy Spirit will do. And though we sing worship songs that plead for the presence of the Holy Spirit, I find myself internally saying; you will freak out if He does, and you will unleash the security guards on the one exhibiting the Holy Spirit.

    You need to get real and read about the prophets of the Old Testament. Samuel, the prophet, hacked King Agag to pieces. The effects of Samuel’s actions were that the elders would ask him, do you come in peace when he came to town? Isn’t that Fascinating!

    No doubt, there have been flakes in the church. Flakes are a given when you have broken people involved, especially those who have no manners and have not learned to keep their mouths shut while someone else is speaking, nor can they keep their inner struggles out of the word being given.

    Surprisewe are all broken; this is precisely why you and I need to trust the Holy Spirits’ ability to lead and guide us and why we are so effective with some people and not others.

There is always more, but let us end with this. 

Be careful about who you judge and what you say, 

as your very words will be your judge.

Perhaps you are secure in God’s love and grace and confident that you will not be subject to the wrath that is coming upon the world.

But all of us (believers) will stand before Jesus and be judged for our acts or lack thereof.

For example, imagine you idolize Calvin Klein underwear, which is all you wear because they make you feel sexy. Yet, on that day, standing before Jesus, those things we have made idols in our lives will be burned up, and you may end up standing there with no underwear. Get my drift? Good.

Posted in confidence, false prophet, false teaching, healing, Hearing God, Prophetic, spiritual gifts, strange doctrines, Thoughts, wise | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment