Tag Archives: false prophet

A response to a comment, three years late.


I wrote this in response to a comment. I am including it for your benefit as misconceptions and false teachings run rampant. I rarely talk to anyone who has a firm grasp on what happens after the seven years of wrath. I hope you find this beneficial, and yes, it is long.

Well, here it is three years since you wrote your comment and I am finally responding to it. I wish I could tell you why but I cannot remember now. Perhaps I can chalk it up to not having enough time at that point, but as I had only recently been fired from my last job back then, you might think I had nothing but time. Perhaps I did not have a clear answer and needed to develop a concrete response; or, maybe I just forgot. Regardless, another comment, just a few days ago – three years later, has brought your comment to my attention once again.

Let me add, that in the process of learning how to deal with my thoughts on “paper” and then subject myself to potential criticism, was quite challenging. I can tell you that I did not handle criticism well back then; I am not sure I manage it well now, but I certainly deal with it differently now. Having read another bloggers advice I have responded, deleted and blocked several caustic and religious “Christians.” However, I did not do that with yours as you were not hostile. I also felt that people who are reading my blog needed to see what the other questions are.

Your question/and interpretative challenges you put forth are not new to my world. Recently, as I sat among the men in Monday mornings “Bible study” the leader, unprovoked by me, proffered this very assumption, and he did so as though it was doctrine. As I have done with you I challenged his premise from the Word of God; however, he disregarded it. Considering how we are to make the Word of God the final authority on questions and challenges, our morning teacher chose to ignore what the word of God had to say and added, then I am stating my opinion, and that is all that matters. While opinions can often be important and valid, they are not all that matters, especially when you are alone with that idea. Fortunately, all these interpretative challenges will become clear someday as they are tested with fire before the Bema seat of Christ.

For now, let me offer a response.

You said, “Are we not told in Revelation, that when Jesus returns and throws the anti-Christ and false prophet into the lake of fire that He kills “the rest” with the sword from His mouth?”

While you are correct, it does say that, but the hypothesis is misleading because you ignored the context, which we find in Revelation 19:19.

Allow me to explain.

Revelation 19:15-19 NASB 15) From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16) And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” 17) Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid-heaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18) so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” 19) And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

What do we see here?

  • Jesus, with a sword in his mouth.

    With that sword He will strike down the nations, AND, He will rule them with a rod of iron.

    Why would there be a need to rule them if it is only believers that go into the Millennial kingdom? Remember, we believers were changed in the twinkling of an eye.

    Yes, I noted your comment that apparently only believers enter the Millennial reign.

    I have covered this in more detail toward the end.

  • An angel invites the birds to come and eat the flesh of kings, commanders, and so on, at the great supper of God.

  • And finally verse 19, the most telling of all as it says, “And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.”

    So, who is fighting against Jesus at this point in time?

    Is it all the nations, with all their citizenry? NO, it is the beast; the kings of the earth, and their armies. Why do I know this, because the context tells us precisely who is involved and therefore killed.

For the sake of context let’s go ahead and use Revelation 19:20,21 as well.

Revelation 19:20, 21 NASB And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21) And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

Based on what we see in Revelation19:19, we know that there is a large army amassed against Jesus and the saints with Him. It is evident from Revelation 19:20 that only two persons are thrown into the lake of fire at this point; the beast (known to us as the Antichrist,) and the false prophet who deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. And, they are thrown alive into the lake. Therefore the remainder: kings; commanders, and the army are those that are killed; no one else.

Assuming that we could not perceive the context, could we then build an argument on logical thought and patterns?

When you look at Revelation 19:21 NASB, it unquestionably states that the rest were killed, and that sounds compelling doesn’t it? And yet, the word rest/loipoi means remaining ones: – other, which remain, remnant, residue, rest.

The word rest, when we look at the Greek definition, is not so definitive because it allows for others remaining, which can easily include those from Israel if I don’t follow the context. But there is a context, and it specifically points to those armies collected to fight against Jesus Christ.

Some of that “logical” evidence and pattern shows up in Zechariah’s prophetic word, as God has gathered the nations against Jerusalem for punishment.

Zechariah tells us that at least one-third of Israel makes it through the onslaught. I, however, cannot comfortably say that these Jews are those that have gone into hiding, and the reason for that is verse nine as you can see by this statement, “I will bring the third through the fire, Refine them as silver.., and test them..” This refining is not an example, in my mind of people in hiding. Now if I compared the plight of these Jews with someone like Corie Ten Boom, a woman who helped many people avoid the wrath of the Nazis, many, not knowing the whole story, might think that she escaped and did not have to go through the “fire.” But, we are aware from her testimony that she was caught, tortured in the prison camp, and lost family members to the Nazis.

Zechariah 13:8-9 NASB “It will come about in all the land,” Declares the LORD, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. 9) “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”

Isaiah 66 tells us of what appears to be the same scene, and yet, it is not all but many.

Isaiah 66:15-16 NASB For behold, the LORD will come in fire And His chariots like the whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. 16) For the LORD will execute judgment by fire And by His sword on all flesh, And those slain by the LORD will be many.

Still trying to define who “the rest” would be, there is this:

Zechariah 14:1-4 NASB Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2) For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3) Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4) In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

Since we know that this is an important and defining battle will every person including women and children come and join in the fight?

The obvious answer is NO. We already see examples of this when we look at the Islamic world. Children are taught from the age of understanding, to hate and kill the Jew and anyone who is not a Muslim. The news used to show us young boys about age seven learning to shoot AK 47s’, but it is not practical to place children on the front lines of battle. So, while there will be those with a violent hatred against anything that represents a god other than say, Allah; not all will come to battle and therefore not be included as a combatant, and not killed.

There is no struggle to understand this, and, I don’t have to go looking for other scriptures to prove my point any further because I stayed true to the context.

Consider, if you haven’t already, that death is separation from God, and is much more than the cessation of breathing, as the spirit ever lives on.

Before I move on to another aspect of your note to me I have to address this statement more fully,

You added a defining factor when you continued with: “That is, everyone who took the mark of the beast.”

You said this in conjunction with this statement: “Are we not told in Revelation, that when Jesus returns and throws the anti-Christ and false prophet into the lake of fire that He kills “the rest” with the sword from His mouth?“ This implies that only those with the mark are destined for separation from God, and it also implies that those receiving the mark desired to be in compliance with the beast, but that is not the case as most are merely trying to save a life, their own.

The passages from Revelation 19 that initiated this response, tell us in verse 20 that they were deceived. There is no reason to believe that the deceived are doing anything but weeping at the realization of their fate. You can see from the same verses you referenced that no one else is thrown into the lake of fire at this time, and, there is no denying that at some point those who received the mark and worshiped the image of the beast, are judged, but that is not done here in Revelation 19:21.

What if this is not a government, like the USA, and most people in America assume, that is imposing this mark upon people?

(By the way, taking the mark does not condemn you to hell’s flames; it must include the worshiping of the beast and the image of the beast.)

Islam does a modified version of this marking already, as they victimize conquered peoples.

They call it a Jizya tax, and you are made to wear an identifying band around your arm or head. Without paying this tax you cannot buy or sell under their regime, and it is intentionally made impossible. Allegedly, there is a way around this tax, and that is to convert to Islam. To do so, you must deny Christ, His deity, and proclaim that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammad is his messenger. Often they, at this point, treat you as an unworthy coward and kill you anyway.

So, let me ask you a question.

Do Muslims have to take this mark? In most cases, as with women, they are mandated to wear a burka out of compliance, but all of us can see that this is not standardized.

Therefore, I can safely assume that it is only those outside of Islam that must comply like this.

Perhaps I am being far too presumptuous in attributing this designation to Islam, but what other groups, outside of governments, have the capability and desire to globally mark a specific group of people?

I offer you the passage that shows that this taking the mark we speak of is a three-part equation.

Revelation 14:9-11 NASB 9) Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, 10) he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11) “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

Even as I read Revelation 14:9-11 I can see that there is a point at which those who “ worship the beast and his image and receive a mark on his forehead or on his hand,” will drink the wine of God’s wrath, and they will be tormented with fire. I think it is safe to presume that this is the lake of fire seeing as it matches the description we have of the lake of fire and its purpose.

You added,

It would thus seem that the 1000 years is began with only believers.”

Since I already know that many Jews survive the wrath of God, can I also assume that they too are believers?

There several problems with the idea that the thousand years is begun with only believers and that Jews would be deemed Christians as they enter.

    1. I have to assume from the statement that the Jews are included as believers/Christians.

      However, we are never told that there are Christians, living among the nations, that go into eternity.

      What we do understand is that there are those who warm seats in church buildings that will not go up when Jesus comes for His church. Since John saw the beheaded around the throne in heaven twice, we understand from what he related that their number was uncountable. These people are given the title of saint. The saints only get that title as they are martyred for their testimony, but their numbers are not included among those going into the Millennial reign.

      A defining statement about the saints is made in Revelation 20:4,5, where the martyred saints are brought back to life; this is labeled the first resurrection.

      The Jews, on the other hand, will not accept the title of Christian as that is a Gentile creation. What they do accept is Yeshua as the Messiah and they would never, with a free choice, agree to be called a Christian. Should they choose not to receive Yeshua then I suppose they would be intermingled with the nations. However, since God lifts the veil from their eyes and all peoples, we can safely assume that most remaining Jews would come to accept the true Messiah.

    2. Another problem arises as you have these “believers” going into the Millennium and then living the despicable lives we see in Revelation 22:15.

      How is that possible that God would allow these fractured believers into the city where no despicable person can enter; only to later go out and do what Satan did – use his free will and choice to act in opposition to God? The logic doesn’t work unless it is the nations going into the Millennial reign along with their vile hatred for God, then Revelation 22:15 makes sense.

    3. The other problem, and it is common in the Western/Gentile church. We ignore or do not realize that there are only three people groups, at any given time, in the world. They are The Jews; the nations, and, the Church.

      Yes, some Jews can be considered among the Church, and time will prove that out, as they too will be caught up with the Church when Jesus comes in the clouds. Sadly, the Jews, right now, lean more toward the side of the nations as they too will be the targets for God’s wrath alongside the nations.

      The nations and the Gentiles are effectively the same things in God’s eyes. In the Western, “civilized” church, we see ourselves as set apart. However, the only thing that sets us apart is our acceptance of this adoption status we have been given. Simply because the “world” does not accept this adoption status, we presume that forgiveness does not and cannot cover their sins as well, but that is not true. The only thing anyone will be judged for is, what that person did with Jesus. That’s all.

      At some point, multitudes of these people (the nations) will come into relationship with God. This is all laid out in scriptures by prophets, like Ezekiel. The key here then is the leaves of the trees of life, for the healing of the nations. Healing is the Greek word therapeía; attendance (specifically medical, that is, cure); figuratively and collectively domestics: – healing,

Since we, the church, with our brokenness; twisted ideas; legalism; and prejudices, are not allowed to bring this junk/sin into eternity with God, then, we will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and so will those who partake of the leaves that give eternal life.

Consider the process here. The nations, in general, do not have access to the trees of life as that would give them immortality without change. But the entire purpose here is to bring these people on the outside into relationship. However, God is not going to allow them to bring their garbage with them as they come into a relationship with Him during the Millennial reign.

There is coming a day when Jesus will return in the clouds to gather His bride back to himself. As you know we call that the rapture, therefore the “believers” should effectively be gone. You should also realize that not everyone that warms a pew will be caught up to be with the Lord. I know this because the Word tells us that he comes for those who are waiting for Him.

    1. I am assuming that you when you say believers are then referring to those who continue to come and accept Jesus as their hope and salvation during the time of wrath. Calling them believers might make sense but is inappropriate as Scripture never refers to them as believers; it does, however, call them saints.

This idea of saints can and does cause some confusion as it seems the church is also referred to as saints. However, the word is only used in the Revelation and is always used about those martyred for their testimony. After the rapture, grace is gone. What those who come to Jesus have to live with is something comparable to living under the law as Israel did in the wilderness.

Revelation 12:11 NASB “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

It seems like you asked many questions, however, as I looked at your note you have been making statements; statements that do not align with the Word of God, and I felt they needed to be addressed.

The final thing I want to address is what seems to be your question.

I am curious as to where you get the idea that mere compliance, or not getting the mark, will be enough to enter into the 1000 year reign of Christ.”

In response to this question how about, we start with Matthew 25:31-46. This is effectively the same story as Revelation 20 where we see the Great White Throne. The players are all the same but they have different names. The Judge is the same but Matthew conveys him as a gentle shepherd in contrast with the angry God of Revelation. Matthew’s gospel focuses on the outcome of the sheep, while Revelation 20 speaks to those not found in the books.

Matthew 25:31-46 NASB “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32) “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33) and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 34) “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35) ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36) naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37) “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38) ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39) ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40) “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ 41) “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42) for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43) I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44) “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45) “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46) “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

In verse 34 he tells the crowd entitled the sheep “to come inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” They obtain this mercy because they acted like the nature and character of Jesus/God. The judge, which is only Jesus, explains:

‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36) naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’

If you have read this, did you ever notice how shocked they were?

When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40) “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

If these had been deemed as such before the rapture, making them “believers’, then why didn’t they go up with the church?

Another thing that gives me the freedom to talk about non-compliance as an entrance into the kingdom is the process of martyrdom itself. What are the things that define them as God’s possession?

Revelation 6:9 NASB When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained;

The mere fact that these are found underneath the altar is indicative of God claiming them as His own.

Revelation 12:11 NASB “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.

Twice now we have seen the term testimony, but what does mean and what does that look like under extreme pressure?

The word testimony is the Greek word marturía meaning to witness. A witness, certification (Joh_1:7), testimony (Mar_14:55-56, Mar_14:59; Luk_22:71), that which someone witnesses or states concerning a person or thing (Act_22:18; 1Ti_3:7; Tit_1:13).

Paul, while still known as Saul, is told by God to go to Damascus where a devout man, a Jew named Ananias, was sent to Saul. After Ananias prayed for Saul, he received his sight. Shortly after this Saul has a dream/vision. In that vision he is told:

Acts 22:18 NASB and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’

What are the ramifications of this? Saul, in talking about the Messiah Jesus would be subject to death for several reasons: The Jew’s had been taught to reject Yeshua. Some proof of this happened when Herod is told the Magi are coming. Their numbers were large enough to cause some alarm, and so he demands that the Jewish leadership tell him what is going on. They said that the scripture called for the king of the Jews to be born in Bethlehem. While this information got Herod’s attention, the Jews made no effort at all to visit this king of Jews born in a manger. Herod, on the other hand, had all the boys in that region, two and below, killed.

Saul had other problems as well, as he had essentially been a hit man for the Jewish council. Now, this should not have scared the Jews who held to tradition, but converts could have to run for their lives. This Saul was now making converts himself, another reason to kill him.

So what does this idea of testimony look like, especially to a Coptic Christian living in the Middle East?

Let’s assume you are a Christian living in the once quiet little Syrian town of Aleppo. Perhaps our first question is, what is it about these people that tell others they are “Christians”?

Imagine ISIS overruns your quiet little burgh, and you cannot escape. They take you captive, and, after having some fun with you by torturing and raping your wife and children and then dismembering them slowly, they demand that you convert and give allegiance to Allah. After a morning of such wasteful frivolities, they have had enough and needed to move on. A sword is placed to your neck with the command, comply – worship Allah or die. You reply with a simple no. Seconds later your bruised and battered head rolls away from your body.

What just happened?

Did you, by your non-compliance, affirm that there is a God greater than an invented name called Allah? Or, did you, by denying the one accept the other? Is it possible that God is not the least bit interested in our church-related methods of mandated compliance, and does not care if your name is on a list of those who publicly made motions of acceptance in some religious service?

I have an ex-son-in-law who did all that, and yet lives a life of lies and deceit. I am not his judge, and I do not know his heart, but I can tell you that when his fruit falls off the tree, it is already rotten and immediately begins to stink up the yard and the lives of those with which he interacts.

What this tells me, is that God is looking at the heart and the motives, and that, which only He sees, is what matters. I decided long ago, after spending a tortured lifetime in the organized church, that if I must err then let it be on the side of mercy. Funny how that works, for I hear Him constantly telling me, good job and well done because you acted just like I would have.

There are obviously those that make it through the tribulation


I have something I need to talk about. Hopefully, I can keep it short. This has more to do with a question I have been asked repeatedly. I try to answer the question, but, because of tradition, bad teaching, or a lack of desire to pursue the answers, the question keeps coming up.

The question goes something like this,

“There are obviously those that make it through the tribulation. Are they saved?”

I thought about it for a second and then I responded with, what does it mean to be saved? He answered back with,

“You know, saved!”

No, I don’t know. However, if you are trying to say that these survivors, based merely on the merit of making it through to the end of the “tribulation”, are comparable to finding salvation in Christ, then the answer is NO. If you think of salvation in terms of pulling someone out of a fire, then, YES, I think they are. How do I equate making it through the hell of the tribulation years to getting pulled out of a fire? It’s easy, they will both kill you.

So the essential question that needs definition is, what does salvation mean? But that is not what you are asking me is it. You already have this crazy notion of what things look like and want me to validate it. Well, that is not going to happen. I am going to try to get you to look at the truth, which I deem to be the word of God.

Sadly, even using the Word of God as the source of truth creates a problem. The problem is that the answers to your question are not neatly packaged in one place, so this forces both of us to do our homework, and, we have to have open minds about the answers we find. Lacking that, you are no better off than a rock.

Often, when I try to respond with an answer, most remove logic from the equation and dismiss scripture as the foundation of truth. Having attempted an answer I referred the person asking to Matthew 25. I did this because he opted to change biblical history by putting the great white throne judgment immediately before the 1000 year reign. He quickly opened the bible program on his cell phone and read Matthew’s account back to me.

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats”.

An interesting representation of the throne.

An interesting representation of the throne.

“So there it is. He gathers the nations before him and judges them.”

Yep, it says that. However, it does not tell you when that takes place. It does not explain that this throne is the same throne that we see in Revelation 20, and, there is nothing to indicate that these are souls that have died from at least Christ’s resurrection forward; Neither does it make any clarification as to who they are or how they got there; Besides all that, and contrary to popular belief, not all are sent to an eternal punishment.

I want you to understand what I perceive the original question to be:

“ those that make it through the tribulation, are they saved?”

Because I told this person to look at Matthew 25, I want you to look there also.  Before you jump into Matthew 25 you need to understand that there is a context to what Jesus said.

  1. What we see in Matthew 25 is a continuation of a response that started in Matthew 24:1.

  2. The things that motivated the disciples question really began in Matthew 21 as they placed him upon the colt. Ask yourself why that would be significant.

  3. So what happened between them placing him on the colt, leading him into town in Matthew 21, and the end of Matthew 23 that would prompt them to say, when will these things happen and what will be the sign of your coming as the Messiah we anticipated (My version.)

In Matthew 21, at his direction, the disciples went and took the donkey and it’s colt. This was finally it. Jesus was going to step up as the Messiah they anticipated for every king triumphantly rode into town like this, but that did not happen. After all the fanfare and adulation Jesus sees the money changers in the outer court of the temple (this was a weekly occurrence, but today it pushes him over the edge), so he makes a whip of cords and drives them out. This, of course, brought the wrath of the Chief priests and elders upon him, and he battled with them verbally for two days. We seem to forget that the disciples were right there; they had no place else to go (we assume).

Jesus finally says to the disciples, let’s go to the mount. It was his favorite place to rest and recover when he was in Jerusalem, and it is only a short distance away from the temple.

The disciples, discouraged, disillusioned, fatigued by the intercourse are now grateful to get out of harms way. Trudging along behind him they try to lighten the mood by pointing out how great the temple was, and at this point, they were making comments about it’s massive stones. Sadly, Jesus, the true temple, was standing right there and they did not yet realize it. I happen to think this understanding plays a role in how Jesus responds. Thus begins a rather long discourse and the answers to some very Jewish questions.

Matthew 25:31-46 is an aspect of Jesus response, and is to be taken in context. In the context timing is everything and the timing has everything to do with, when will you come back as the Messiah we were hoping for?

Matthew 25:31-46 ESV “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

While I did not quote the verse in rebuttal, there is no doubt that it says, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations,”. If all you ever read was this, you could build a variety of themes around it, and be rather convincing.

Here is one of the aspects of this verse that give people trouble: Before him will be gathered all the nations,” 

Do you understand that there are only three people groups (as far as God is concerned) in the bible narrative? They are:

  • The Jews – Israel

  • The nations – Also called the gentiles. This is literally anyone outside of Christ – those who refuse to follow him.

  • And, the church. The church is the followers of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is not a gentile god, He is God and he is Jewish. Those of us who have accepted that he paid a price for us have been adopted in; we Gentile believers were at that point grafted into the root stock – Israel. Paul explained that having accepted him, he accepted us and made us be in Him.

So, God calls all those outside of a relationship with Jesus the nations.

Note: in the Revelation all that happens there is a revealing of Jesus, and therefore, substantiates that Jesus is God.

I told the person asking me the question, that Revelation 20 is the same story as we see in Matthew 25. There will be some obvious differences, but I will attempt to explain.

Revelation 20:1-3 ESV Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. (2) And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, (3) and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

When does this take place? After the tribulations of the seven years (it may not be a precise seven-year period.) Read Revelation 19: 17-21. There you will see Jesus coming back with a mighty army and all those who choose to fight against God will be slain. In Ezekiel, we find that the new Jerusalem comes down out of heaven and the martyred reign with Christ during the thousand years. Are they holding judgment over the nations as we see in Matthew’s account? No. With Satan bound for a thousand years, any evil done is purely the creation of man’s desire, and that will continue to happen. I believe that they will keep rein over that kind of nonsense. Keep in mind, all oppression shall cease.

Revelation 20:4 ESV Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Since we already saw these in heaven (Revelation 6:9) why are they identified here as having come back to life? The assumption, and I think it is a pretty good one, is that the souls are reunited with the body. Consider that after his death Jesus cooked some fish for the boys and ate with them. So that same body that can eat fish and apparently enjoy it can still walk through walls.

So let’s address the major point of contention. The argument started with the idea that at the beginning of the millennial reign is where Jesus sets up the great white throne, judges all survivors, and sends them all off to hell.

Is that what we see here in Revelation 20:4? No, instead of one throne there are many, and instead of one person, as in Jesus, all the martyred take part in the judgment.

  • Instead of one throne, there are many.

  • Instead of Jesus doing the judging, the martyred take part.

You will not see the multiple thrones or the martyred judging with Jesus in Matthew’s account, and, if you only look for the final judgment, you will not find these extra thrones or the martyred in Revelation 20:11-15 either. You have to piece the puzzle together in it’s context.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15 ESV)

Here are a few more points to consider as you contrast and attempt to grasp the context of the final judgment and where it is placed in time.

  • In Matthew, we find a glorious throne (a place of dignity and glory) instead of the great one (indicating it’s size or prominence) we see in Revelation 20. 

  • Matthew 25:32 “Before him will be gathered all the nations.” Now look at how John describes those standing before him in Revelation 20, “and I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and the books were opened”. In both instances, no one is left out.

  • In Revelation 20 the crowd is separated according to their deeds found in the books. Matthew 25 shows the Son of Man separating them into sheep and goats. We must assume that the sheep are those whose names are found in the books.

This recurrent event is very intentional and meant to register quickly in the mind of the Jewish reader/hearer. Why? Because repetition is the accepted pattern for prophecy to the Jews, and this book we call the bible is a very Jewish book.

In Revelation 20:12 we see books opened, and the book of life.

Revelation 20:12 ESV And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

Catch the distinction here. In Revelation 20, the dead are judged out the books based upon what was written in them, according to what they had done. However, in Matthew’s account, there is no mention of any books. Question: Does a difference in the stories make them invalid when we try to use them to corroborate these events? Not at all. Revelation always seems to be read from the viewpoint of an angry God, while Matthew is portrayed as the gentle shepherd.

Is there a comparable result? Yes.

Revelation 20:15 ESV And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

While in Matthew’s account we find:

Matthew 25:41 ESV  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Jesus, the shepherd, explains to them how they did no good works and what that looked like. What amazes me is the simplicity involved in these works. It all boils down to this, step outside of your selfishness and show some kindness.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
(Matthew 25:35-36 ESV)

Perhaps all of this will be easier to understand if we can see it in a timeline format. Note: This is only attempting to show a short window of time from the moment Jesus physically returns to the earth, and the beginning of the 1000 year reign.

Timeline as we enter the 1000 year reign.

Timeline as we enter the 1000 year reign.

It had two horns like a lamb. Revelation 13:11-18


Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.

This aspect is another that gives people grief.

Some information that might help you understand. The Apostle John is not writing mysteries meant to be hidden from the church. They are hidden from those that chose not to ask what things mean, and they tend to remain hidden from those who do not understand that John’s target audience was Jewish converts. I will prove my point.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’ “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:7-9 ESV)

The Spirit has him writing to churches. You do not need to have a conversation about Jews and their traditions unless they are an part of the equation, and in Smyrna they were. The IVPBBC states, “The strength of the Jewish community in Smyrna is well attested.”

Another example from James which will show us how widespread the Jewish converts were comes from James 2:2. It is cloaked thanks to the translators who seemed to push their motives upon us.

James 2:2 ESV For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,

Translated for the gentile reader we see nothing wrong with the word assembly. People assemble themselves together frequently. However, when this was written by James he actually wrote the Greek word for synagogue. He did not do that inadvertently, thinking that in time it would be filled with Gentile believers. He too was writing to Jewish converts.

sunagōgē – soon-ag-o-gay’ – From (the reduplicated form of) G4863; an assemblage of persons;

Now, isn’t that something, Paul used the same word. If they are calling it a synagogue, then what do they expect to find there? Jewish converts, but not only that, converts that are integrating the richness of their newly found Messiah into the heritage that makes them special (and we ignore that.)

Who were the two Apostles that seemed to be called to the Gentiles? Peter – who seemed to end that mission shortly after going to the Centurions home, and Paul. Paul initially made all his forays into the synagogues, so it is safe to say that in the beginnings of the church the direct impact was on the Jewish community.

When hardcore traditionalists came around trying to demand that Gentile converts be circumcised and follow other Jewish traditions, Paul took his arguments straight to the council of elders in Jerusalem for a decision.

And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. (Acts 15:7-9 ESV)

Notice the terminology Peter uses as he distinguishes between the Jew and the gentile. Years later Peter is still referring to them (the gentiles) and us (the Jewish community).

There the decision was made to acknowledge freedom, but stay away from blood:

Acts 15:19-20 ESV Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, (20) but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.

The synagogue of Satan?

John MacArthur says this of the – synagogue of Satan. With the rejection of its Messiah, Judaism became as much a tool of Satan as emperor worship.

Think about this for a moment. You should be able to see how Judaism could become a tool of Satan. It was the thing (a zeal for the law) that motivated young Saul/Paul, to chase down converts, then beat, imprison, and in Stephen’s case – stone to death. When Paul had trouble on his missionary journeys, where did most of it come from? The Jews, but not just any Jew, for some of his converts were synagogue leaders. Look at this.

Act 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers.

This is not the act of people who merely cannot understand. They are choosing not to buy into this Messiah thing Paul preached. How many of them were around when Jesus spoke of God as his Father? This statement would have blasphemous in their hearing, if it was not true, but it was. They chose to be unbelieving Jews, and therefore combative in their resistance to truth and change.

Since I have told you this, you now need to start thinking like a Jew – A Jew that has a reasonable comprehension of the Old Testament (something that would have been required of a Jew.)

Are you beginning to get the idea that our lack of studying the scriptures has done little more than hurt us. Now maybe we can understand what John was trying to convey.

One other thing.

(I need to state this up front, even though you will find it in the text again.) To the Jew prophecy is pattern.
When someone operating in the role of a prophet declares something, all we can do is hold it in the back of our minds. Of course that all changes if the impact should be immediately seen. Later on another prophecy comes and validates, not only the first prophet, but the word itself. (There are parameters upon which to judge a prophecy, the biggest is – is it trying to lead us away from God to serve other gods.) The Jewish mind knew all of this. They are not impressed with the waving of hands and fancy words, and the Apostle John knew this as well. That is why in almost every case (some are harder to find than others) these are words that have been spoken over the Jews on a previous occasion.

We are focusing on Revelation 13:11-18.

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Revelation 13:11-18 ESV)

    • Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth

Since our first beast rose out of the sea, and we know that the sea represents people, we can learn that the first beast comes out of an environment that is more wide-spread. This second beast, rising out of the earth, demonstrates that he is from a more localized area, but where?

    • It had two horns like a lamb

If you are not a farmer, then you probably do not know that sheep have horns. We just went to the county fair. This year they had four sheep with horns and two of them were massive.

To the Jewish convert, the perception that this means deception is immediate. The

lamb with horns

A lamb with horns

fact that it is like a lamb establishes that it is representing itself to some degree, as Jesus did, at first gentle and caring, but then at the three and a half-year mark of the seven-year period – watch out.

If we were Jewish converts what would be our immediate association? Perhaps Genesis 22:8 where Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb ..” The idea of the slain lamb as a way of removing sin was scattered throughout the Torah and a common practice for the Jews. However, the impact of the slain lamb – in tradition – was a good thing, and we already recognize that there is a horrendous deception coming. We all also have the imagery seen earlier in Revelation and that explicitly Jesus, the Messiah standing there.

Revelation 5:6 ESV And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

A deception that no one would have seen coming.

Islam is looking for a Jesus as well. About two years I had no clue, I struggled to comprehend this just like everyone else, but the Holy Spirit saw fit to put Glenn Beck (he used to be on Fox news and now his own internet show) before my eyes. Glenn had the author Joel Richardson on the show and they were comparing Jesus to Islam’s Mahdi. To say the least I was shocked. Within minutes I ordered the book Joel had written called, The Islamic Antichrist. It changed everything for me. Now you can see how you have to humble yourself to learn on occasions.

According to their prophecies he will be a Jew of the lineage of Aaron and therefore allowed to be a priest. He will also declare himself to be a Muslim, bow to the Mahdi (the Antichrist), and do significant signs like: calling fire down from heaven, raising the dead, and causing it to rain again. All this will cause many to turn from God and follow this second beast. The deception will be great. He will also be the enforcer of Sharia. This coincides with the tribulation becoming greater. Considering what we have seen, how could tribulations become greater, only in the number of killings. Islam will proactively begin killing anyone who is not a Muslim.

    • and it spoke like a dragon

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

It speaks like Satan – the deceiver. Let this sink in. He presents himself as peaceful, almost like Jesus, but he speaks like Satan. Satan presents himself nothing like the garbage we see in movies. He is subtle and seductive – Eve found that out – that is until he goes into fury mode.

Revelation 13:6 ESV It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

Revelation 12:17 ESV Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

I wanted you to see that Satan can and does become furious. The idea of making war on her offspring will be developed as we go.

    • It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence. 

This is a timing issue, and it is difficult to be precise. What does it mean to be precise when you are God, the creator of time? We know that there will be a seven-year period of destruction upon the earth, and the clock seems to start with the removal of the church from the earth (the rapture). There seems to be an immediate entrance of a “world” leader. Islam calls him the Mahdi, the 12th or hidden Imam, the leader of the global Islamic caliphate. We call him the Antichrist, or the first beast.

This entrance of the second beast – the one that has horns like a lamb – seems to be at the midpoint of the seven-year period. Why say that? Because there is rapid escalation of events at the mid-point and though we will go into more depth shortly, our false prophet who has operated quietly in the temple, suddenly gives himself over to this Mahdi, performs the signs, and steps up as the enforcer of this disgusting and bloody sharia law.

Everyone seems to know that the Antichrist will sign a peace treaty. We keep saying it will be with Israel, but scripture says, is that it will be with many. That may not include Israel. My guess is that none of us would have thought that Russia and China would be in Syria fighting against Isis. Russia believes that defending Bashar Assad is key to defeating Isis, while President Obama is set on removing the Syrian President from power. (There are many good theories on what this is all about, and most have to do with the Federal Reserve Bank.) So, while the Antichrist may be juggling aspects of his world-wide deception, this second beast steps up and handles the enforcement aspect for him.

    • and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.

This Jew turned Muslim, temple priest turned desecrater, deceiver on a grand scale, makes all the earth worship the first beast.

I need you to consider the description of the beast once again.

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. (Revelation 13:1-3 ESV)

Multi-headed, with ten horns and seven heads, it looks like a leopard, a lion, and a bear. However bizarre this thing seems to be it is given a mouth; in other words – a spokesman – the Antichrist.

In the world of clues this is huge, “One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed,” First, there is no such animal; second, Daniel plainly defined the Babylonian empire as the first of these heads. Historically we know that the Medo-Persian empire was the second, and the Grecian empire was the third. Since we now know we are looking at empires and not a human as the head, what one empire fits this description better than any other? The answer is the Ottoman empire and the world thought they were finally killed off in 1924. Guess what, they came back to life in 1979 with the Iranian revolution.

Considering how peculiar this “beast” is, what image would you make for it? Perhaps you would focus on the “mouth”? This is not so clear is it. Whatever this guy decides, he will make an image of it and will demand that all the inhabitants of earth worship it.

I used think that it would be impossible to effectively force the world to worship a man, an image, and take some form of a mark. While I could see how Islam might have dominion over the Middle East, you would never be able to enforce this nonsense over a Modern nation. But what have we seen in the last couple of years? An Islamic invasion, first in the European nations, and now President Obama wants to take thousands of them in. Thousand of people that we now know are interlaced with veteran Jihad fighters, and that what they are doing is a form of Jihad/warfare. Combine that with a gradual infiltration of government (another form of Jihad) while they are making quiet inroads into establishing Sharia law as the law of the land. At that point they will give themselves free rein to slaughter outsiders – infidels.

    • It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people

What has been going on all this time? Let me point something out, that most do not catch.

And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone would harm them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their foes. If anyone would harm them, this is how he is doomed to be killed. They have the power to shut the sky, that no rain may 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 kind of plague, as often as they desire. And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here!” And they went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. (Revelation 11:3-12 ESV)

God sends his two witnesses. There is speculation on who they are, but really is that important that we know who they are? What is important is what they do, what they say, and when they get here. I happen to believe they show up right after the rapture and here is the significant reason – they stop the rain. Why is that a big deal, because this second beast, the false prophet, causes the rain to come back again. They also performs signs and the false prophet mimics those also. Remember that I said that prophesy to the Jew is pattern. Well, what happened immediately after Moses brought each plague upon Egypt? The sorcerers in Pharaoh’s court copied exactly what Moses and Aaron did. Pattern!

  • and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, 

Look at what it prompted Jesus to say:

If this man is as Islam describes: A Jew; of the lineage of Aaron; a priest in the new temple; a man who is respected/revered, and then does all this stuff, working signs, causing it to rain; telling elite Jews that all along they have followed the wrong god, and that Allah is god, not Elohim. What will that do? It will cause many to be deceived.

Look at what it prompted Jesus to say:

Matthew 24:4-5 ESV And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. (5) For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.

This part “the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast” actually puzzles me, for it implies that he has to have permission from the beast to do the damage that we see. Consider once again what Islam believes about this guy:

The Subordinate Of The Mahdi

Borrowed from the website:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/JR/Future/ch06_the_muslim_jesus.htm

“At this time, Jesus descends to meet the army of the Mahdi which will be preparing for battle. It will be just before the time of prayer.

Muslims will still be preparing themselves for the battle drawing up the ranks. Certainly, the time of prayer shall come and then Jesus, son of Mary would descend.

Based on the relevant Hadith, Islamic scholars seem to be in universal agreement that the Mahdi will ask Jesus to lead the prayers. Jesus will then refuse this request and will defer instead to the Mahdi to lead the prayer.

The Messenger of Allah said: A section of my people will not cease fighting for the truth and will prevail until the Day of resurrection. He said: Jesus son of Mary would then descend and their [Muslims’] commander [the Mahdi] would invite him to come and lead them in prayer, but he would say: No, some amongst you are commanders over some.

The important element here that needs to be stressed is that Jesus will then pray behind the Mahdi as a direct statement regarding Jesus’ inferiority of rank to the Mahdi.

Jesus Christ will decline the offer and invitation of Imam Mahdi to come and lead the Muslims in prayer, and say his prayer behind Imam Mahdi. Jesus (peace be upon him) will come and will perform the obligatory prayers behind the Mahdi and follow him. (Jesus) will be following the Mahdi, the master of the time, and that is why he will be offering his prayers behind him.

Jesus The Faithful Muslim

After Jesus returns, in keeping with his identity as a faithful Muslim, he will perform the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca called hajj: The Prophet said: Verily Isa ibn Maryam shall descend as an equitable judge and fair ruler. He shall tread his path on the way to hajj (pilgrimage) and come to my grave to greet me, and I shall certainly answer him!

Jesus Will Institute Islamic Law

While the Mahdi, as the Caliph (vice-regent) and Imam (leader) of the Muslims is clearly seen as being a superior to Jesus, Jesus is still said to be a leader of the Muslim Community. According to the Islamic traditions, Jesus’ primary purpose will be to oversee the institution and the enforcement of the Islamic Shariah law all over the world.”

So Islam believes that their version of Jesus will be subservient to Islam’s Mahdi. This is clearly NOT THE SON OF GOD. Do you also begin to get a grasp of why God calls this time a time of wrath, fury, anger, and destruction.

  • And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.

It”, this second beast, the false prophet, is allowed to give breath – life – to an image. An image of something we cannot legitimately define as yet.

If you have never been to Disneyland, Walt’s engineers used audio-animatronics and built a very good replica of Abraham Lincoln. When you walked in this big puppet would be sitting with his eyes closed, as though he was resting. Within seconds he would open his eyes, stand to his feet, greet you, then begin to give the Gettysburg address, with all the corresponding motions you might expect.

I do not know what this image will look like, perhaps it will be a hologram of the Mahdi himself, so that people believe that the Mahdi is giving them commands. Regardless, the outcome will be deadly for those that refuse to comply with the demands that this image will be making.

  • Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

If you think about how Islam deals with infidels they are not that high-tech, are they?

This idea that outsiders cannot work freely in an Islamic controlled land, is not a new concept. Look at what the Qur’an says:

Qur’an (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Headband exalting Allah as god, and Muhammad as his messenger.

Headband exalting Allah as god, and Muhammad as his messenger.

A young Brit who has joined the Mujahid in London, and wears an armband to signify which team he is on.

A young Brit who has joined the Mujahideen in London, and wears an armband to signify which team he is on.

Jews, forced into the ghettos of Poland, were given marks and they were not allowed to do anything without the yellow star that said Juden on them. Few realize that there were many colors used to denigrate people groups under the direction of the Nazis.

A puzzling aspect of this prophetic word is the reference to this 666 indicator and how it is the number of a man. For a moment I thought Walid Shoebat sounded good, as he described how it looked like the Arabic symbols meaning, there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger. I am not sure, and I am not willing to play with Gematria. So if there is one thing in Revelation that throws me for a loop, it is this 666 stuff. We already know it is a man; I am confident that it will be someone fulfilling the role of the Mahdi; they will head the restored Islamic caliphate, but who it is anybody guess. For a few minutes I thought Princip Erdogan of Turkey was going to take the lead in this role. We should not rule him out.

The passage reads:

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

Contextually, John had just finished speaking about the image of the beast being set up, but as I said, we have too many options to define this as yet.

Your best bet is to stay ready, on God’s side. Start by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You do that by turning your life over to Him and asking Him to come be the center of your life. Then work on trimming off the bad fruit you have grown. Jesus Christ knows how to do that.

“This is not about post rapture believers..” A response to a Facebook post.


Let us just say, I have a strong interest in prophecy, end times, and the study of Revelation, always have, and though some have passed through the church and brought moments of clarity, others followed right behind them and muddied up the waters for me. Personally, I found this very frustrating. One man, Hilton Sutton came to the church and brought some clarity, this was a turning point for me in that I now had an unquenchable desire to understand end times prophecy. Gaining a momentary clarity is fine, but once he left and there was no one there that provoked a pursuit in the understanding of biblical prophecy I found myself floundering. Since what I just described happened in the late 1980’s, can you imagine how disillusioned I might be that I have only in the last few years come to understanding the allusion and imagery we have to deal with when reading Revelation and Daniel. The thing that opened up end time’s prophecy for me was coming across a book called, The Islamic Antichrist, by Joel Richardson. Mr. Richardson followed up his first book with one called The Mideast Beast. In it, he gives you an intense look into scripture, with associated current and historical events, thereby leaving no doubt in your mind.

There was a day in which I saw a post on Facebook where the person making the post referenced Revelation 13:7 and stated, this is not about post rapture believers, this is about us, the church.” It seems only right that I give you this scripture before we look at it to see if it paints the picture that this person sees. I will also tell you that there is no short rebuttal because the simplest of answers are always met with arguments; most of which are based in assumption, faulty logic, and inappropriate traditions of religion.

Revelation 13:7 KJV And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

In perusing this verse my first question is, who is this “him” that John is being shown? You have to ask, because at face value, depending upon the translation you use, your mindset immediately becomes fixated and therefore tries to find that one person, world leader. As we progress in our reading of the Bible, it is true that someone eventually becomes the mouthpiece for the beast, but even he will have a limited influence and step aside for another more violent. Scripture calls this last person the false prophet.

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

The Greek word translated as him is autos, and can just as easily mean it. The Modern King James version correctly translated this by using the word “it” instead of him. However, the vagueness of the word “it” defies our desire to attach an identity to the beast. Religion, operating on the idea that we should be looking for a person to define the beast, have given the title to many people – some deservingly so, but they were still wrong.

Secondly, in focusing on the beast as an “it”, we note that it is given power to make war with: the saints and to overcome them, and all kindreds; tongues, and nations. The MKJV uses the word tribes instead of kindreds.

What kind of understanding do I gain from this information?

Anyone, a minimal amount of knowledge of scripture, knows that the end times are particularly harsh toward followers of Christ; primarily during the last seven-year period designated as the time of God’s wrath upon the earth, even though religion calls this the tribulation. One can easily figure out that almost everyone not following after the beast will be killed during this time, and not by God.

Daniel recounts his vision in Daniel chapter seven. “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them” (Daniel 7:21 KJV) What Daniel describes is a parallel to Revelation 13:7, and the horn he sees is the “it” that John describes in the Revelation, and at minimum, an aspect of one of the beasts.

Since we know, based upon the explanation that the angel brought, that the beasts represent kingdoms or empires, then this “it” has to be an empire too. We also learn that since the kingdoms Daniel saw were destructive, this too is a destructive empire. An aspect of Revelation 13:7 defines that for us: “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.”

Can anyone decisively say that there is one entity whose sole purpose is to wage war with the people of God, and is doing that?

While there are many Christians and tribes, and nations now coming under attack, there is not an overall defeat, and a few governments that are still standing in the face of the enemy. This does not necessarily mean that this is not the beast that is attacking them. However, the world is certainly not seeing this thing in its full fury. It was Jesus that informed us that the onslaught would be so great that the potential to kill everyone outside of the beast’s ideology is possible.

Matthew 24:22 MKJV And unless those days should be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened.

The word translated as beast is the Greek word therion, and means a dangerous animal. Again, there are plenty of people who have been deemed animals, and deserved to be called that, but attributing that designation to a single person does not make it a proper definition. Since this is akin to Daniel’s vision, and the statue that Nebuchadnezzar saw, then we know that this is the fourth kingdom, and because of its matching symbolism we also know that this is an extremely dangerous kingdom.

As a stand alone verse, there is nothing that defines this beast adequately, nor is there anything in the passage that gives us a time frame, nor does it demonstrate whether it is a pre or post rapture scenario.

So, is Revelation 13:7 a picture of Pre or Post rapture?

The short answer is pre-rapture, but we need something beside Revelation 13:7 to prove this.

There are inherent problems in understanding and placing this evil empire into a particular period. The difficulty primarily arises out of our attempts at defining the beast using the traditional religious understanding and logic that we commonly apply to end times events.

Our first problem here is that Daniel 7:3 tells us that there were four great beasts.

Each one of these beasts could have presented similar issues and problems, not only the Christian community but also the world in general. One in particular, the fourth beast, gained a particularly frightening identity, and seems to have no purpose aside from destruction. Moreover, this fourth beast is NOT directly identified, as the first three were, and so the common assumption is that this has everything to do with Rome and by extension the Roman Catholic church. You should be able to pick up on the ramifications of that.

“After this I looked in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, frightening and terrifying, and very strong. And it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts before it; and it had ten horns.” (Daniel 7:7 MKJV)

Our simplest method of gaining clarity is to look at the context surrounding this singular passage in Revelation 13 and try to find out if this statement, “this is not about post rapture believers, this is about us, the church” is a true statement.

Revelation 13:1-10 MKJV (1) And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads was the name of blasphemy. (2)   And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet like those of a bear, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him its power and its seat and great authority.   (3) And I saw one of its heads as having been slain to death, and its deadly wound was healed. And all the earth marveled after the beast.   (4) And they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with it? (5) And a mouth speaking great things was given to it, and blasphemies. And authority was given to it to continue forty-two months. (6) And it opened its mouth in blasphemy toward God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those dwelling in Heaven. (7) And it was given to it to war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given to it over every tribe and tongue and nation. (8) And all dwelling on the earth will worship it, those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world. (9) If anyone has an ear, let him hear. (10)   He who leads into captivity will go into captivity. If anyone will kill with the sword, he must be killed by a sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

The first two verses of Revelation 13: 1-10 are very telling, and we learn where the beast gets its power.

“And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads was the name of blasphemy. And the beast, which I saw, was like a leopard, and its feet like those of a bear, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him its power and its seat and great authority.” (Revelation 13:1-2 MKJV)

As John stands “on the sand of the sea”, he is looking at vast numbers of people. Thousands of years of world conflict, and yet this vast number of people have all been affected by the same theme, the beast. There is no way that one man, or animal, could live for this extended period. Therefore, the obvious assumption is that the beast represents a very dangerous empire. This is clear when I read about it Daniel.

“the dragon gave him its power and its seat and great authority”

“The dragon gave him (edōken autōi ho drakōn). First aorist active indicative of didōmi (to give) and dative case autōi (the beast). The dragon works through this beast. The beast is simply Satan’s agent. Satan claimed this power, and offered it to Christ: (Robertson’s Word Pictures)

And he said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will go down on your face and give me worship. (Matthew 4:9 BBE)

And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. (Luke 4:6 KJV)

“- and Christ called Satan the prince of this world”: (Robertson’s Word Pictures)

Now is the time for the world to be judged. Now the ruler of this world will be thrown out. (John 12:31 ERV)

“I will not talk with you much longer. The ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me. (John 14:30 ERV)

“and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. (John 16:11 LITV)

While it may not help to answer the question of whether this is speaking about the church, references to the beast do not have to represent a man, and can easily fit into the category of a ruling body, and are certainly fulfilled by an encompassing demonic power. Since we know that Revelation 13:7 is another description of the prophecy seen in Daniel, then we know that the beast empires were clearly defined, and three of them are essentially gone from the picture. They are the: Babylonian (Assyrian); Medo/Persian; Grecian. We also know that the Grecian empire sustained a division after the death of Alexander The Great, and was redistributed between four generals. Of those four, only two made a global impact – the Seleucid Empire and the Ptolemaic. The Seleucid Empire effectively comprised the Assyrian people and Islamic nations that we are now dealing with.

Revelation 13:4 tells us that “they” (the nations?) worshipped the beast.

Now what do we do with that? We already understand that the beast represents a deadly empire, but there is no singular, deadly empire ruling yet. However, there are multitudes of deadly entities, wreaking havoc globally, with one common ideology. Do I have to say it? Islam. Islam, no matter whether you are Shiite, Wahabi, or call yourself Boko Haran serves one common god – Allah.

Is it possible then, that Revelation 13:4 is referring to a current and deadly religion as the beast? This opens a complex issue, because the God of Israel had already made it clear to his people, and us, that there are no other gods (This declaration took place long before Mohammed decided that there was a god called Allah). All this of course makes Allah a false god. The goal in apologetics is to show, primarily by scripture, the truth that there is nothing out there but God alone. A few examples might be:

Isaiah 43:10 CEV My people, you are my witnesses and my chosen servant. I want you to know me, to trust me, and understand that I alone am God. I have always been God; there can be no others.

Exodus 34:14 AMP For you shall worship no other god; for the Lord, Whose name is Jealous, is a jealous (impassioned) God,

Exodus 20:23 ISV You are not to make gods of silver alongside me, nor are you to make for yourselves gods of gold.

Deuteronomy 4:27-28 NASB   (27) “The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD drives you. (28) “There you will serve gods, the work of man’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.

One of the most telling clues about the timing which can applied to Revelation 13:7, is found in Revelation 13:5.

Revelation 13:5 LITV And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given to it. And authority to act forty-two months was given to it.

This is most likely the second half of the seven years of wrath. Many like to call it the great tribulation. Moreover, since this takes us to the midpoint of the seven years of wrath, then taking a chronological approach tells me that Revelation 13:7 has nothing to do with the church.

There is another aspect that seems to throw the casual reader for a loop, and that is the beast making “war with the saints.” There is no denying, that Paul called the early church members saints, but since the church is not destined for wrath we should have been caught up in the snatching away, prior to this widespread slaughter of the saints. Before I try to develop this I need to remind you that Jesus guaranteed you “the modern believer” one thing very specific, “in this world, you will have tribulation!” While it may be great for you, it is no where close to being the great tribulation that comes during the time of God’s wrath.

Jesus, speaking to his religious detractors said, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” You can find this statement, and its context in Luke 3:7.

We are, in majority, saved from the wrath.

“but God commends His love to us in this, that we being yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being justified now by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:8-9 LITV)

And, meant to be delivered from the wrath.

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10 KJV)

If the church is gone, then who are these people called saints that this “beast” is killing?

They are those that did not go in the rapture, and have come to a recognition of Jesus as Lord during the time called the tribulation, and because grace is no longer a benefit, they are paying the greatest price of commitment with their lives. We are surrounded by those that claim a religious Christianity, some do so merely because they live in United States. This means nothing. Look at this passage from Matthew 25

Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. The foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps have gone out. But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there be not enough for us and you. But rather go to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came. And they who were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. Afterwards the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you. Therefore watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour in which the Son of Man comes.
(Matthew 25:1-13 MKJV)

Did you notice that they were all virgins, and they all had the same invitation. However, some did not make it in. Preparation, willingness, and desire seem to be key here, not title. You have no exclusivity because you can label yourself. I will tell that one of people that bullied me in high school came to the forty year reunion and introduced himself as Pastor. I asked him when he became a follower of Christ. He responded with, oh, I was a Christian in high school. To which, I responded, so was I, and I quite vividly remember you and the crowd you hung out with, mocking and torturing me because I had openly admitted my Christianity. We did not talk much after that; that seemed to be his choice.

As Bob Dylan once said, it may be the devil, or it may  be the Lord, but you are going to have to serve somebody.

Revelation 13:8 states, “And all dwelling on the earth will worship it, those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world.”

Because we have Daniel 9:27 as part of our forensic evidence, we know that a representative of the beast will make a peace accord with Israel for a seven year period. Half way through that treaty he will break the treaty and thus begins a wanton slaughter of those who refuse to claim allegiance to the beast. This in no way excludes the current and ongoing slaughter of those outside the fellowship of the beast, but this slaughter indicates that the dominance and influence of the beast will be global and sufficiently armed to be able to carry this out.

That was certainly the long way around, but I am optimistic that it paints a picture of the rapture of the church and the coming slaughter of those that refuse to worship the beast. We religious folk like to call the time after the rapture of the church, the great tribulation. The problem with that mentality is that it ignores the ongoing tribulation of the church at present, and we are not even there yet. Jesus spoke of a time, that is coming, in which it would be rare that anyone survives unless God cuts the time short, and he does. This is referred to by Jesus as a time of great tribulation, and therefore probably the basis of why we call it, the great tribulation. What the seven years that follows the snatching away of the church is, is a time of God’s wrath being poured out upon those left upon the earth that have rejected him.

            May I suggest that you come to him now, while it is still convenient and comfortable. All it takes is you believing that he died for you, and provides you with the promise of a future with him in glory. You cannot do this on your own, and that is why he came. Ask him to come into your life, turn the life that you cannot handle over to him, and he will come into you and make his home in you.

If anyone says to you.. Matthew 24:23-26 – Part 7


Matthew 24: 23-26 may be Jesus attempt at clarifying his opening statement to the disciples.

 Matthew 24:4-5 KJV And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

             The idea of deception was not a new concept to them.

 Jeremiah 14:14 NASB Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds.

              Pay attention to what is being said here in Deuteronomy.

 Deuteronomy 13:1-3 NASB “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.

This false prophet, demonstrating signs and wonders, to the casual observer would give the impression that the person has some intense relationship with God or an intensely powerful spirit. What was the test of a false prophet in the Old Testament, their word coming to pass? Does this test work with signs? That is not clear, but what they use it for is. In the passage above, the worker of signs then misleads, because they now have followers. I think the greater question might be, will you have time to stand around, as you wait to prove this guy. One other thing, that Jesus made it clear that people will be operating in powerful signs, indicates that it is not exclusive to the demonic; Joel chapter two, the one that Peter quoted an excerpt from, tells us about followers of God moving in power gifts.

Key words: “Let us go after other gods and let us serve them,” Israel had direct instructions against doing something like this, and from several sources.

 Deuteronomy 28:14 NASB and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

Jeremiah 25:6 NASB and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’

 The subtle problem here is that the message is not always so direct, because an aspect of brainwashing is the gradual breakdown of moral rules and sensibilities.

 

Mug shot of David Koresh.

Mug shot of David Koresh. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mind keeps going back to the people who stand out most in my mind, David Koresh, and Jim Jones. David Koresh, the leader of the branch Davidians, was able to get married couples to give up their spouses to him so that he alone could father more sons of god. I can tell you that there would have been many red flags long before that happened, and he and I would have had a brief, but convincing talk, ending with my wife and I leaving.

 

The consensus would be that the disciples should have memorized these things in the synagogue schools, but I have heard, repeatedly, that Jesus disciples had probably been kicked out, because they were not the cream of the crop. That does not prove anything, and that Jesus spoke to them in this way, something he would not have done if he had thought for a second that they are not going to understand this. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that they knew exactly what he was saying to them.

If it is safe to assume they understood then where did the mind immediately go when he said this?

 Mark 13:22 KJV For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

             Whom would they have perceived as the elect? You got it, the scribes, Pharisee, and priesthood of Israel. (The same guys that would soon put Jesus on the cross.) When we throw ourselves back into the context, then they perceived that who ever this character is, and whatever he represents, is going to be monumental in its deception.

Sorry about the long introductions but it fits.

You should have your bible open by now so turn to Matthew 24: 23-26.

Matthew 24:23-26 CEV Someone may say, “Here is the Messiah!” or “There he is!” But don’t believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will come and work great miracles and signs. They will even try to fool God’s chosen ones. But I have warned you ahead of time. If you are told that the Messiah is out in the desert, don’t go there! And if you are told that he is in some secret place, don’t believe it!

If we mentally place ourselves in this period to understand, we are 3-1/2 years into the middle of wrath being poured out upon the earth, and it just worsened with the advent of the false prophet.

The wrath of God, (in actuality it is the wrath of the Lamb) – Jesus Christ, primarily begins with the sixth chapter of Revelation.

 Revelation 6:16-17 NASB and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

 Are there still believers on the earth during this time, you can count on it, as they have chosen to follow Jesus the Messiah since the removal of the church from the earth, and not whatever this person is selling. True, they missed the rapture, but how glorious a hope they will have, and they will rule and reign with Christ over this earth.

Mark’s gospel gives us a parallel version with a slightly different spin.

 Mark 13:21-22 GW “At that time don’t believe anyone who tells you, ‘Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ False messiahs and false prophets will appear. They will work miraculous signs and do wonderful things to deceive, if possible, those whom God has chosen.

 Do an Internet search for people who called themselves Jesus. Conservatively, there have been over 50, and I mentioned two of them a few paragraphs ago. Still this should strike you odd because we do not have people running around, claiming to be God’s son, as this implies without thinking them insane.

If we stick with key words, such as Messiah then we are hit with a problem immediately when we look up the Greek word translated Messiah. It means anointed, and though we typically ascribe that designation to Jesus Christ, it is easy to see why for the word is khristos. That coincidence does not give Jesus exclusive rights to the word, just as many, during his days on earth, had his name, Yashua, transliterated Joshua.

“For false Christs and false prophets will arise” False Christs = pseudochristos. Seems like it should be self-explanatory, but why so many? Is there money involved; perhaps power? Consider that during this period an entity is hell-bent on killing off anything that resembles a follower of Christ, so what advantage would that be.

The Greek wording for false prophets is rather eye-opening pseudoprophētēs, and can have several possibilities – a spurious (counterfeit) prophet, that is, pretended foreteller or religious impostor:

The word translated “arise”, is the Greek word egeiro, and means to waken. Now this immediately grabs my attention and here is why. Four angels, apparently large and vicious in their capabilities, are to be released from the chains they have been bound with and kept in the Euphrates River.

 Revelation 9:14-15 NASB one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.

 You might say these were awakened. However, we are talking about humans acting as false messiahs.

You are going to have to look at Islam, once again, to gain some clarity.

List of Mahdi claimants

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Muslim eschatology, the Mahdi is a Messianic figure who, it is believed, will appear on Earth before the Day of Judgment and, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny. People claiming to be the Mahdi have appeared across the Muslim world – in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East – and throughout history since the birth of Islam (610 CE).

A claimant Mahdi can wield great temporal, as well as spiritual, power: claimant Mahdis have founded states (e.g. the late 19th-century Mahdiyah in Sudan), as well as religions and sects (e.g. Bábism, or the Ahmadiyya movement). The continued relevance of the Mahdi doctrine in the Muslim world was most recently emphasised during the 1979 seizing of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, by at least 200 militants led by Juhayman al-Otaibi, who had declared his brother-in-law, Muhammad bin abd Allah al-Qahtani, the Mahdi.

 To make this short, I counted 26. I am sure it is longer as history is always given an appropriate spin convenient to the tellers’ point of view.

We have not eliminated people claiming to be Jesus, but neither have we excluded Islam from having many claiming to be “the Mahdi”. There would certainly be some advantages in terms of power, authoritative decisions, and money (although Islam will deny that.)

 Matthew 24:24 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.

 False though they may be, they will put on a good show. Many will bow their knee to Allah because of the signs. It would seem that they are focused heavily on deceiving the elect, the leadership of religious Israel.

As a side note, I will show you a commentary by John MacArthur. I have gone through my phases with him, ranging from disgust to respect, and now, slowly finding it difficult to waste my time hunting for the good with him.

 “to deceive, if possible, even the elect. ‘This warning clearly implies that such deception is not possible’” (Joh_10:4-5).

 It seems that John MacArthur is choosing to ignore the emphatic tone, and concern in Jesus response. “”See to it that no one misleads you.”

There is a context. I know I keep saying that, but deliveries lacking a solid context have led the church into a lifelong state of confusion, and in some, depression. Most do not know if we are coming or going.

This time is not about the church. It is most definitely about Israel and the nations. The nations, a generalized statement, especially Muslim nations, are at odds with Israel. I do not think that America can be excluded from the nations at odds with Israel, especially when the Secretary of State, John Kerry, is actively telling Israel to stand down as they attempt to gain support in protecting themselves. That conveys nothing short of animosity toward Israel, in my thinking.

The theme in part seven is a serious concern about deception by people claiming to be Jesus. Again, the Muslim world will only be focused on one thing during the last 3 ½ years, and that will be the elimination of anyone that represents Christ, Jews, or challenges the will of Allah merely by not being a Muslim.

This is not a time for civilized people, for as ugly as this wanton slaughter sounds, we will also see deadly weather elements, stars falling from the sky, darkness across the land, rain being shut off, an earthquake that impacts the entire earth, and a mind bending level of violence. You can avoid this by turning to Jesus Christ and giving him your life. Sure, you can wait, if you think you have the backbone for it.

 

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


Revelation 13:8 LITV

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

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

A. Those that worship the beast

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

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

There are several things that fuel my challenge:

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

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

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

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

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

Who could be left on earth at this point.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who is left?

  1. The surviving remnant of Jews.

  2. Non-combatants

  3. The nations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(John 1:1-4 NASB)

 John spoke of my Jesus, my God.

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

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

He is real because he did what he said.

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

Easter is our anchor for Hope.

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

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

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

I love you Father and anxiously await your embrace.

He has risen indeed!

The next sound John hears is….


The seventh angel

Recap: The two witnesses: After 42 months of demonstrating the power of a mighty God, the false prophet has managed to kill them, even though no one else could.

Dead for three and one half days in the street they rise to their feet and are called by God into heaven. The entire tenure of these two has been witnessed, as well as their death and rising up into heaven. It would seem that everyone heard the call for them to return. Fear has permeated the hearts of all who watched because not only did they arise, something that people tend not to do, but within seconds of their departure and horrendous earthquake has leveled Jerusalem, killing 7000 people. Considering the course of events, I do not think there are many righteous Jews left in the city, but more than likely invading armies from surrounding Muslim nations. It does not take long for their fear to subside. Blinded by the mortal enemy of the soul, they turn their fear to anger against God once again.

Revelation 11:15 AMP The seventh angel then blew [his] trumpet, and there were mighty voices in heaven, shouting, The dominion (kingdom, sovereignty, rule) of the world has now come into the possession and become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (the Messiah), and He shall reign forever and ever (for the eternities of the eternities)! [Ps. 22:28; Dan. 7:13, 14, 27.]

Although many translations use the word “and” at the beginning of the sentence, for me, it does not lose any meaning at all to read it in this way.

Notable things we can find here:

  • Seven in scripture lends itself to completion, and that is exactly what this verse tells us.

Seven – hepta (G2033), whence Eng. words beginning with “hept”—,corresponds to the Heb. sheba’ (which is akin to saba’, signifying “to be full, abundant”), sometimes used as an expression of fullness, e.g., Rth_4:15 : it generally expresses completeness, and is used most frequently in the Apocalypse (Revelation) i

What is the obvious struggle in thinking that this is the end? The fact that the Revelation continues to give us more, or does it.

  • there were great voices in heaven, saying” KJV. – The Hebrew word for voices is phōnē, and means a sound or a tone from inanimate things. Yes, it could also mean a voice. If not for the sounds creating words we could say that it was the rocks crying out. Did Jesus not say that if the people did not cry out in worship that the rocks would. So it is not that impossible to imagine.

Allow me to play off this sound from heaven ( great voices) aspect. Our United States government, through the Haarp program, has been manipulating not only the weather, but people’s minds as well. Based on Nicolae Tesla’s theories they bounce high energy radio frequencies off the Ionoshpere causing it to super heat they are then able to direct the radio waves with precision. Impact can be seen in cloud accumulations and heard as consistent rumbling or patterned low-end pulsing sounds. The impact, often, has been that the ground shakes. These noises go on for hours at a time. This might be considered a fallacy except for  the US and Russia, in the early 1940’s signed agreements that the weather would not be used as a weapon.

We read the things that God does, such as speaking to Jesus at his baptism and all the people hear is a rumbling from the sky. The two witnesses rise to their feet after laying dead in the street for three days, and they hear God’s voice calling them back home. What do the people hear? Again, they, as in Jesus day, may have only heard a rumbling. For if I, under the guise of a world dominating order, were to attempt to deceive you then maybe what I would do is test things that I could say that was not God, but our Haarp array, and we can do what ever we want with it. They might even be able to explain away the disappearance of the two witnesses.

Another aspect to this potential for deception is the uproar over alien life forms. I happen to believe God, and therefore believe that there is nothing more than what he tells us. Sure there are seemingly unanswered questions, such as where did dinosaurs come from? There also, I happen to believe that the answers are there, and all we have to do is to ask him. He is not afraid of your questions. Are you sure you want an answer though?

  • The kingdoms of this world..”KJV. This is present tense. The King James version seems to stand alone in making it a plural word, while most everyone else interpreted it as “the kingdom of this world.” and that is something entirely different. Scripture tells us that God made the world perfect when he created it.

    Isaiah 45:18 AMP For thus says the Lord–Who created the heavens, God Himself, Who formed the earth and made it, Who established it and did not create it to be a worthless waste; He formed it to be inhabited–I am the Lord, and there is no one else.

If you will recall, after coming off his forty day fast, Jesus was challenged by Satan. For Satan had offered all the kingdoms of this world, for they are mine to give. Jesus did not protest that statement, but merely rebuked him, telling him to worship God alone.

Matthew 4:8-10 AMP Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory (the splendor, magnificence, preeminence, and excellence) of them. (9) And he said to Him, These things, all taken together, I will give You, if You will prostrate Yourself before me and do homage and worship me. (10) Then Jesus said to him, Begone, Satan! For it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him alone shall you serve. [Deut. 6:13.]

The Apostle Paul instructed us, when it came to dealing with spiritual powers that come against us, that we are dealing with principalities and powers, and spiritual wickedness in high places. Look, if you do not know, Satan, although he was thrown out of heaven was not alone. He took one-third of the angel population with him. At current count the bible tells us that those with God are innumerable, so let’s just say that there are a lot of fallen angels. Two of them we have specific names, the prince of Persia and the prince of Grecia. Both of these are specific geographical places (principalities), so it would be safe to assume that they are not the only ones. The book of Daniel describes a rather intense fight between the angel’s of God and these two. While I would not attempt to trifle with them, I would certainly suggest that you call upon God’s angels to protect you; they are messengers for our benefit.

  • The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of …”

    • The statement is once again present tense. Doesn’t that put it in the now mode? It was now when John heard it, it is still now 2000+ years later. What do we make of that? And beside that, all that John is describing is a projection into a future time. My Dake’s bible notes declare that this fulfillment actually happens three and one half years later. While that may be true it would appear that God does not see it that way. The timing seems to be completely irrelevant because God knows the outcome. God was not kidding when he sent the angels to deliver the message of Christ’s birth to a bunch of lowly shepherds.

Luke 2:8-11 AMP And in that vicinity there were shepherds living [out under the open sky] in the field, watching [in shifts] over their flock by night. (9) And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terribly frightened. (10) But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. (11) For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! [Mic. 5:2.]

  • Of our Lord and of his Christ; ..” – I do not think I can begin to explain this statement except to say they are one and yet not. As the king reigns in opulence so does the son. The difference is that he has made us sons and daughters of the kingdom. That happened when we chose to get on-board through the acceptance of His great sacrifice for us, and Jesus is his name.

I am not sure what to call it.

It never ceases; the incessant blaming of God for every disaster that comes along.

2012 brought it’s fair share of calamity, but the super storm Sandy battered many well to do neighborhoods, wiping them off the map. While it is true that God made the earth and all that is in it, the earth was put into the hand’s of a man, Adam. Why can I say that, because the man was given dominion over all of it; he was in control. When Adam disobeyed God he committed treason and handed it all over to Satan, making Satan the new owner and effectively controlling aspect. Again I refer you to the conversation that Satan had with Jesus, “it is all mine to give.”

Now here in Revelation eleven it states that God has regained possession, once again. Why would God have to regain possession unless he had lost possession at some point. And this is not just the earth but multiple kingdoms. I am not sure what that entails but we know that Jesus poured out his own blood as a sacrifice and offering to cleanse the utensils within the heavenly temple. Look, if God made everything here on earth according to the pattern of things in heaven, then there is a temple. I would not let that cause your brain to have a melt down. Just know that a tremendous price was paid to regain a relationship with a lost family, and we are that family.

Perhaps we need to reconsider where we throw the blame for an earth that is, temporarily, not in God’s hands.

i Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

W.E. VINE, MERRILL F. UNGER, WILLIAM WHITE, JR.