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    • August 29, 2016 9:01 PM EDT
    • AMENNNNNNNN ANNABELLE....THE BIBLE, OLD TESTAMENT AND NEW SUPPORTS THE PRE-TRIB FOR THOSE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST AS LORD, SAVIOR, MASTER, AND FRIEND!!! AND YOU ARE RIGHT, MY GRANDMOTHER DIED BEFORE SATELLITE TV AND CELL PHONES AND INSTANTLY SEEING WHAT WAS GOING ON ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD IN A FEW SECONDS DELAY....JUST ANOTHER PROOF THAT WE ARE COMING TO THE END OF THE FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES AND FAST APPROACHING THE SUDDEN RAPTURE OF THE FAMILY OF JESUS CHRIST.... I KEEP MY EYES ON THE EASTERN SKIES DAY AND NIGHT....BECAUSE JESUS TOLD US TO LOOK UP, AND WATCH...

    • August 29, 2016 8:55 PM EDT
    • Jesus is coming back again! that's for sure and every believing Christian will and need to believe on this... but somehow I know I think differently than most of you of the cronological arrangement of His coming. I view the book of Revelation differently than most of you perhaps.

      I'm a post-tribber and I'm sorry for saying it here though I understand and have read the statement of faith of this site and that you believe rapture before tribulation like most of the churches I'm attending and even the church I'm currently attending.

      This book was the most mysterious book same as the book of Daniel, Ezekiel, Joel and most minor prophets because they all prophesying of what's in the future but everything has come into sense to me as soon as I started meditating on it and asking God for wisdom. I'm not sure if anyone is open for discussion, a healthy discussion and I'm ok with that. I'm a believer in Jesus Christ who is very interested on prophesies. God bless.

       

    • July 6, 2016 7:12 PM EDT
    • JESUS INTRODUCES HIMSELF TO US IN 2014.
      WHAT DOES JESUS HAVE TO SAY?
      WHAT DOES JESUS WANT US TO KNOW?

      HE IS SEEING AND SPEAKING TO US NOW…THE FUTURE…HIS 2013 CHURCH...HIS FRIENDS…HIS CHILDREN…HIS BRIDE…

      TURN WITH ME TO:

      Revelation 1:1

      “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants; things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.”

      “The Revelation of Jesus Christ”: The ancient Greek word translated Revelation is apokalupsis (apocalypse). The word simply means “a revealing, an unveiling.”

      What does the Book of Revelation reveal?

      It REVEALS Jesus Christ. This book is Jesus’ Revelation in the sense that it belongs TO Him, He IS the one doing the revealing. It is also Jesus’ Revelation in the sense that HE IS the object revealed; Jesus is the person revealed by the book.

      From the outset, we are given the most important truth about the Book of Revelation.
      This book DOES show us the Antichrist.
      It DOES show us God’s judgment.
      It DOES show us calamity on the earth.
      It DOES show us Mystery Babylon in vivid detail.

      But MOST OF ALL, it is the Revelation of Jesus Christ TO us. If we catch everything else, but MISS Jesus in the book, we have missed the Book of Revelation.

      “Which God gave Him to show His servants”: This is an important reason why God gave this Revelation of Jesus Christ. He gave it to show His servants (Christians/the Church/the Bride). God gave this revelation that it might be SHOWN, not hidden.

      “Things which must shortly take place”: This describes when the events of this book will take place --- they WILL happen shortly, and they MUST happen shortly. This means that the Book of Revelation is a book of PREDICTIVE prophecy. It speaks of things that WILL happen in the future --- at least future from the time of John’s writing.

      Remember….not ALL prophecy IS predictive. But this prophetic book clearly IS predictive. It describes things that must shortly take place. The time is near (Revelation 1:3) for the fulfillment of these things, but the time was NOT present at the time of John’s writing.

      “Shortly take place”: When John says these things must shortly take place, what does he mean? How short is short? How near is near? Short and near are relative terms, and this is God’s timetable, not man’s. Yet for 2000+ years, history has been on the brink of the consummation of all things, running parallel to the edge, not running towards a distant brink. The idea is not that the event may occur soon, but that when it does, it will be SUDDENLY.

      I have been asked MANY times, “Why does God use so many signs in the Book of Revelation? After all, they have been the main cause of difficulty with understanding THIS book.”

      So, is JESUS CHRIST playing a game of “guess this mystery?”

      Not at all.

      The signs are necessary because John expresses things of heaven, which Paul said he heard with inexpressible words (2 Corinthians 12:4). John describes things he has seen IN HEAVEN, but NEVER saw or heard ON/IN earth, so he can only use symbolic images to explain the unexplainable.

      Think about it! Say you are sent back in time, and being expected to EXPLAIN a NASA Shuttle, or a Satellite TV or a Helicopter to a cave man or to George Washington?
      Pretty impossible for them to UNDERSTAND and for us to EXPLAIN. To us, this book is prophecy. We today EASILY understand being able to see things as they happen all over the world in an instant, thanks to satellites, but to John, he simply recorded history unfolding before him, as he saw it or what he COULD compare it to.

      Also remember that THE SIGNS are also necessary because there is tremendous power in symbolic language. It is one thing to call someone or something “evil” or “bad.” But it is far more vivid to describe “real evil” by using the image of a woman drunk with the blood of the saints as in (Revelation 17:6).

      “By His angel to His servant John”: This tells us who wrote the Book of Revelation. It was His servant John, this being the Apostle John, the same writer of the Gospel of John and the books of 1, 2, and 3 John.

      “By His angel”: Many of the signs and visions of the Book of Revelation came to John through the supervision of an angel (Revelation 5:2; 7:2; 10:8 to 11:1; 17:7 are some examples).

      “Who bore witness to the word of God”: In this we see that John knew this book was Holy Scripture, the word of God. We often wonder if the apostles KNEW they were writing Holy Scripture that would be read thousands of years later. John is TELLING us that HE knew.

      Verse 3 tells us of A SPECIAL blessing to the reader and “keeper” of this book.

      VERSE 3 has caused more teachers, preachers, & students to WRONGLY fear & misinterpret & avoid this book than ANY other in the Bible.

      “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

      “Blessed is he who reads . . . and keep those things which are written in it”: The Book of Revelation offers a SPECIAL blessing to those who read & keep the message of this book. This is the FIRST OF 7 BEATITUDES of Revelation (Revelation 1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, and 22:14).

      Because they FEAR & NEGLECT the book Revelation, many people MISS this blessing. Some denominations/religious groups even OMIT Revelation from its Bibles & from EVER reading from it for both public worship & private devotions. Jesus IS telling us, this IS a book for anyone who WANTS to be blessed.

      “Keep those things which are written in it”: The Book of Revelation gives us much more than information for prophetic speculation. It gives us things to KEEP. If we understand the Book of Revelation, it will CHANGE the way we live.

      Since so much controversy has risen over the the Book of Revelation, it is helpful to understand the four basic beliefs out there. Through the centuries, people have approached Revelation in basically one of four ways:

      *The Preterist View: They believe that Revelation deals ONLY with the church in John’s day. They believe the Book of Revelation doesn’t predict anything. John simply describes events of his current day.
      *The Historicist View: They believe that Revelation is a sweeping, disordered panorama of ALL church history. Revelation predicts the future, but the future of the “church age” --- not the future of end-time events.
      *The Poetic View: They believe that Revelation is a book full of pictures/symbols intended to encourage/comfort persecuted Christians in John’s day. In the Poetic or allegorical view, the Book of Revelation isn’t literal or historic.

      *The Futurist View: They believe that beginning with chapter four, Revelation deals with the end times, the period directly preceding Jesus’ FINAL return. In the Futurist view, Revelation is a book that mainly describes the end times.

      Which VIEW is correct?
      Each one is true in some regard, but we can’t deny the place of the futurist view. It is the ONLY VIEW that meets/fulfills ALL purposes & we DO know the Book of Revelation speaks with CLARITY about the end times because of two central principles drawn from Revelation 1:1-3.

      FIRST, we believe that the Book of Revelation MEANS something. This is a book that Jesus GAVE to SHOW His servants/Christians something.
      It ISN’T meaningless nonsense.
      It HAS a promise of BLESSING, NOT a promise of confusion.

      SECONDLY, John made it clear: John writes about events that were STILL FUTURE in HIS day.

      Verses 4-5 says,

      “John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.”

      “To the seven churches which are in Asia”: This letter was originally addressed to these seven selected churches of Asia. This was the Roman province of Asia, which is NOW the western part of modern day Turkey.

      “From Him who is and who was and who is to come”: John brings a greeting from God the Father, who is described with this title. Him who is and who was and who is to come speaks to the eternal nature of God. It has the idea of a timeless Being, and is connected with the name Yahweh found in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14).

      It is NEVER enough to just say that God IS, or to just say that He WAS, or to just say that He is TO COME. As Lord over eternity, He rules the past, the present, and the future. And the title Yahweh describes the Triune God, the One God in Three Persons.

      “From the seven Spirits who are before His throne”:
      John brings a greeting from God the Holy Spirit, who is described with this title. The seven Spirits who are before His throne speaks to the perfection and completion of the Holy Spirit. John uses an Old Testament description of the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 11:2) which describes seven aspects of the Holy Spirit.

      “From Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth”: John brings a greeting from God the Son, who is described by who He is and by what He has done.

      “Jesus is the faithful witness”: This speaks to Jesus’ utter reliability and faithfulness to His Father and to His people, even unto death. The ancient Greek word translated witness is also the word for a MARTYR.

      “Jesus is the firstborn from the dead”: This speaks to Jesus’ standing as HEAD ABOVE & AMONG ALL beings, that He is first in priority. Firstborn from the dead means much more than that Jesus was the first person resurrected. It also means that He is pre-eminent among all those who are or will be resurrected. Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).

      (v.5b-6)

      “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

      “To Him who loved us”: What a beautiful title for Jesus! When loved is used, in the past tense, it points back to a particular time and place where Jesus loved us. Did you know that many Bible translations have LOVES US, but there is just something beautiful about loved us. It looks ALL THE WAY BACK to the cross. Every believer should be secure in God’s love, not based on their PRESENT circumstances, but based on the ultimate demonstration of love at the cross BEFORE we were ever even conceived. Jesus is TELLING you and I and ANY who READ Revelation...that when He was on the cross... He SAW your face, my face, and their face in His heart and mind...and THAT vision ENCOURAGED/STRENGTHENED/COMFORTED Him as He suffered unspeakably.

      There are those who read this and do NOT yet KNOW Jesus....Jesus is TELLING you, the lost, the unsaved...HE KNEW you then... He LOVED you then. He believed in you.

      Paul put it like this in Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The work of Jesus on the cross for us is God’s ULTIMATE proof of His love for US. No wonder many believers are NOT secure in knowing the love of Jesus towards them! They look to their PRESENT circumstances to measure His love. Instead, they need to look BACK to the cross, settle the issue once for all, and give praise to Jesus, to Him who loved us!

      “And washed us from our sins in His own blood”: This is what happened when Jesus loved us at the cross. He washed us --- cleansed us from the deep stain of sin, so that we really ARE clean before Him. This is worth praising Jesus about!

      If we understand our own deep sinfulness, this seems almost too good to be true. We can stand clean before God --- clean from the deepest of stains. No wonder the same Apostle John would write, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).


      Notice the order: FIRST loved, then washed. It wasn’t that God washed us out of some sense of duty, and then loved us because we were then clean. He loved us while we WERE dirty, but then He washed us.

      “And has made us kings and priests to His God and Father”: This is status Jesus GIVES to those whom He loved at the cross and who are washed . . . in His own blood. It would have been enough just to love them and cleanse them. But He goes far beyond, and makes us kings and priests to His God and Father.

      This is more than Adam EVER was. Even in the innocence of Eden we NEVER read of Adam among the kings and priests of God. This is worth praising Jesus about.
      “We are kings, so we are God’s royalty. This speaks of privilege, of status, of authority. We are priests, so we are God’s special servants.”

      We represent God to man and man to God. We offer sacrifice unto Him (Hebrews 13:15). We have privileged access to the presence of God (Romans 5:1-2).

      “Kings and priests”: In the Old Testament, it was forbidden to combine the offices of king and priest. King Uzziah of Judah is an example of a man who tried to combine the two offices, and paid the penalty for it (2 Chronicles 26:16-23). But under the New Covenant, we can be like Jesus in the sense that He is both King and High Priest (Luke 1:31-33; Hebrews 4:14).

      “To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever”: In light of all that Jesus has done for us, shouldn’t we praise Him? Shouldn’t we honor Him will all glory and dominion forever and ever? When we say this, we aren’t giving Jesus glory and dominion. We are simply recognizing that He has it, and honoring Him for it.

      “Amen”: This word - in the ancient Greek language, brought over from the Hebrew of the Old Testament --- simply means “Yes.” It isn’t a wish that it may be so, but it is an affirmation that, through God, it WILL be so. Jesus will be praised.

      (v.7) An opening description of the return of Jesus.

      “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”

      “Behold, He is coming”: This IS a command to look --- to check it out. John moves from praising Jesus to describing His return. He wants us to behold the coming of Jesus. Jesus said that we should watch and wait for His coming (Matthew 24:42). It is something to keep before the eye of our mind, to behold.

      This wasn’t a supernatural vision of Jesus’ return. That supernatural vision will come later. This description is based from John’s understanding of Jesus’ own words about His return. For example, John knew that Jesus was coming because Jesus said He was coming. Jesus said, “I will come again and receive you to Myself.” (John 14:3).

      “He is coming with clouds”: When Jesus comes, He will be surrounded by clouds. This will be true literally, because when Jesus left this earth, He was taken up into a cloud, and God said that He would return in the same manner (Acts 1:9-11).

      It will also be true figuratively, because multitudes of believers are called clouds in a figurative manner (Hebrews 12:1). Clouds are commonly associated with God’s presence and glory (Exodus 13:21-22; 16:10: 19:9, and 24:15-18), relating to the Old Testament cloud of glory called the Shekinah.

      Understanding this connection with the glory of God, is wonderful - that the multitude of believers is called A CLOUD. God’s people are His glory. They are His “cloud,” His Shekinah.

      John didn’t need a special vision to know He is coming with clouds. He knew this from the Old Testament (Daniel 7:13-14) and from Jesus’ own words: “I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64).

      “And every eye will see Him”: When Jesus comes, it won’t be a “secret” coming. Everyone will know. At His first coming, Jesus was somewhat obscure as a tiny baby. During His earthly ministry, He never made front-page news in Rome. But when Jesus comes back & touchs earth again for the FINAL time, to rescue Israel from the AntiChrist EVERY eye will see Him. The whole world WILL see it happen & WILL know.

      John didn’t need a special vision to know every eye will see Him. John heard Jesus Himself say, Therefore if they say to you, “Look, He is in the desert!” do not go out; or “Look, He is in the inner rooms!” do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew 24:26-27)

      “Even they who pierced Him”: When Jesus comes, it will be a particularly meaningful revelation for the Jewish people. Of course, it was not the Jews alone who pierced Him. But we know John has in mind the Main revelation in this book is of Jesus to His own people because this is an allusion to (Zechariah 12:10).

      When Jesus reveals Himself to His own people, the Jews, it will not be in anger. By the end of the Great Tribulation, the Jewish nation WILL have turned to Jesus, trusting in Him as their Messiah (Matthew 23:39, Romans 11:25-26). When they see Jesus, and His pierced hands and feet, it will be a painful reminder of their previous rejection of Him. It will fulfill the scene of Zechariah 12:10: “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

      John didn’t need a special vision to know “even they who pierced Him”. He could read it in Zechariah 12:10.

      “All the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him”: When Jesus comes, it won’t be only the Jewish people who mourn because of their previous rejection of Jesus. Since there will be people saved from all the tribes of the earth during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9), everyone will have a part in this mourning. We will all look at the scars on Jesus and say “We did this to Him.”

      John didn’t need a special revelation to know all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. He just needed to remember what Jesus said at Matthew 24:30: “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

      (v.8) An introduction from Jesus Himself.

      “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

      “I am the Alpha and the Omega”: In many translations, and in “Red-Letter” editions, these words are in red. This shows that the translators believed that these were the words of Jesus. John is finished with his introduction, and now Jesus introduces Himself. After all, it is His revelation (the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Revelation 1:1), so it isn’t strange that He introduces it.

      Some have wondered if it is God the Father or God the Son speaking here. I believe it IS God the Son, Jesus Christ, and I believe this for many reasons.

      First, since it is Jesus’ Revelation, it seems appropriate that He introduces it.

      Second, the titles Alpha and Omega and the Beginning and the End are titles expressly claimed by Jesus (Revelation 22:13).

      Third, though the title who is and who was and who is to come is used of God the Father in Revelation 1:4, it is also true of God the Son, and seems to be directed to Jesus in Revelation 11:17 and 16:5.

      “The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End”: The idea behind these titles for Jesus is that He is BEFORE all things and will remain BEYOND all things. Alpha was the first letter of the ancient Greek alphabet, and Omega was the last letter. Jesus says, “I am the ‘A to Z,’ the Beginning and the End.”

      “Who is and was and who is to come”: As I mentioned in Revelation 1:4, this phrase communicates the idea behind the great Old Testament name for the Triune God, Yahweh. It reflects His ETERNAL nature, and His UNCHANGING presence. Jesus has this eternal nature just as much as God the Father does. (Micah 5:2) prophetically expressed it this way: “Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” (Hebrews 13:8) expressed it this way: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

      “The Almighty”: This word Almighty translates the ancient Greek word pantokrater, which literally means “the one who has his hand on everything.” It speaks of the great sovereign control of Jesus over everything --- past, present, and future.

      This great word Almighty is used ten times in the New Testament, and nine of the ten times are in the Book of Revelation. This book has a striking on God’s sovereignty, the understanding that He has His hand on everything.

      (v.9) John on the Island of Patmos.

      "I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."

      John clearly tells us WHERE he was when this revelation occurred. The island of Patmos was like our modern day Alcatraz Island in the Roman Empire. It was used as a prison island, and functioned as a prison without walls.


      (v.10-11) John is commanded to write.

      "I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

      “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day” : What does John mean by saying he was in the Spirit? This seems to have more meaning than simply saying he was walking “in the Spirit” as opposed to being “in the flesh” in the sense Paul means in Galatians 5:16. The idea isn’t simply that John was walking in the Spirit, but that he received SPECIAL revelation from the Holy Spirit.

      There are FOUR references to John being “in the Spirit” in the Book of Revelation. First at Patmos (Revelation 1:10), then in heaven (Revelation 4:2), than in the wilderness (Revelation 17:3), and finally on the mountain of God (Revelation 21:10).

      “I heard behind me a loud voice”: The loud voice John heard was clear and striking as the sound of a trumpet. The loud voice belongs to the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, who is the beginning and the end of all things. Since Jesus introduced Himself with these titles in Revelation 1:8, we know this was the loud voice of Jesus.


      The First and the Last is a title that belongs to the Lord, Yahweh, the covenant God of Israel (Isaiah 41:4; 44:6, and 48:12). The title Alpha and the Omega has the same idea as First and the Last. This is one of the New Testament passages where Jesus clearly claims to be God.

      “What you see, write in a book”: Here, John is commanded to write what he sees. He will be commanded to write ELEVEN more times in the Book of Revelation.

      “Send it to the seven churches which are in Asia”: John is commanded to write to seven churches in seven cities. Each of these churches is in the region of the Roman province of Asia. Why were these specific seven churches chosen?

      Most agree these seven churches were chosen because in the Bible, the number SEVEN represents completeness, and these letters --- and all of the Book of Revelation --- are written to the complete church, not only these seven churches.

      ALSO because these 7 churches represent the difference in the churches of Jesus & their successes/failings throughout the ages & especially the end-times.
      Interestingly, the Apostle Paul also wrote to seven churches: Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Colosse, Philippi, and Thessalonika.

      John’s vision of Jesus.

      (v.12-13) Jesus in the midst of the lampstands.

      “Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.”

      “I turned to see the voice”: We can only imagine what went through John’s mind as he turned. The voice he heard was probably not exactly the same sound as he remembered Jesus’ voice to be (John described it as of a trumpet, Revelation 1:10). Yet he knew from the voice’s self-description (Alpha and Omega) that it was Jesus. This was John’s opportunity to SEE Jesus again, after knowing Him so well during the years of His earthly ministry.

      But at first, John didn’t see Jesus. He saw seven golden lampstands. These were not candlesticks, they were not menorahs, but they were free standing oil lamp stands. The lamps set on these lampstands.

      There were seven separate lampstands. This is an image that reminds us of the golden lampstand that stood in the tabernacle and the temple (Exodus 25:31-37).

      Yet this is different. The Old Covenant lampstand was ONE lampstand with SEVEN lamps on it. Here in the New Covenant, we see seven SEPARATE lampstands.

      The light doesn’t come from the lampstands. The light comes from the oil lamps themselves. The stands merely make the light more visible. Therefore, the lampstands are a good picture of the church. We don’t produce the light, we simply display it.

      “And in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man”: Jesus is there in the midst of these lampstands, as the Son of Man, a figure of glory looking back to Daniel 7:13-14. Though the title Son of Man sounds like a humble title, in light of the Daniel passage, it is not a “humble” title at all.

      “Clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band”: The clothing of Jesus indicates that He is a person of great dignity and authority. Long garments were only worn by those who didn’t have to work much, so they were a picture of great status and authority. The golden band around the chest reminds us that Jesus ALSO wears garments of the high priest (Exodus 29:5).

      Exodus 39:1-5 says that there were golden threads in the band that went around the chest of the high priest of Israel. Jesus’ band has more than a few golden threads. It is ALL gold! How much greater is the eternal, heavenly priesthood of Jesus!

      (v.14-16) John describes Jesus.

      “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.”

      “His head and hair were white like wool”: The white hair symbolizes great wisdom and timelessness. The phrase “white as snow” also emphasizes the idea of purity (Isaiah 1:18).

      The white hair and head also connect Jesus with the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9. “The term of Ancient of Days belongs to God the Father, yet it also agree to Christ, who IS equal with the Father as to his Divine nature.

      “His eyes like a flame of fire”: Fire is often associated with judgment in the Scriptures (Matthew 5:22; 2 Peter 3:7). Jesus’ eyes display the fire of searching, penetrating judgment.

      “His feet were like fine brass”: Since fire is connected with judgment, these feet like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace speak of someone who has been through the fires of judgment and has come forth with a refined purity/strength/endurance through all time. Jesus WENT through the “Refiner’s Fire” for each of us.

      Brass is a metal connected with judgment and sacrifice. Israel’s altar of sacrifice was made of brass (Exodus 27:1-6), and it was called the “brazen altar.”

      “His voice as the sound of many waters”: This means that Jesus’ voice had the power and majesty of a mighty waterfall.

      “He had in His right hand seven stars”: The seven stars speak of the leaders or representatives of the seven churches mentioned in Revelation 1:11 (Revelation 1:20). The stars are securely in the hand of Jesus. Since seven is the number of completion, we can say that “He’s got the whole church in His hands.”

      “Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword”: This is a heavy sword (rhomphaia), used to kill and destroy. Sometimes the New Testament speaks of a smaller, more tactical sword known in the ancient Greek language as the machaira. Hebrews 4:12 uses the term for this smaller, more precise sword.

      The idea of it coming out of His mouth is not that Jesus carries a sword in His teeth. This means this lethal sword is HIS Word. His weapon is the Word of God, and OUR weapon is Word of God (Ephesians 6:17).

      “His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength”: The glory of Jesus is so great, so shining, that it is hard to even look upon Him. Jesus has the same glory as in His transfiguration, when His face shone like the sun (Matthew 17:2).

      Everything in this vision of Jesus speaks of strength, majesty, authority and righteousness. There is an impressive difference between THIS HEAVENLY VISION of Jesus and the many weak, effeminate portrayals of Jesus seen today. But the Jesus that John saw is the REAL Jesus, He is STUNNING, STRONG, ROYAL, LETHAL, & A WARRIOR, & A RIGHTEOUS JUDGE that lives and reigns in heaven today.

      In our modern pictures of Jesus, we like to think of Him as He was, not Jesus as He is.

      (v.17-18) John’s reaction and Jesus’ assurance.

      “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

      “When I saw Him, I feel at His feet as dead”: John was overwhelmed by this awesome vision, even though he was an apostle who knew Jesus on this earth. Even all the years John spent with Jesus on this earth did NOT prepare him to see Jesus in His Heavenly glory. At this moment, John knew what a miracle it was that Jesus could shield His glory and authority while He walked this earth among them.

      “He laid His right hand on me”: First, Jesus comforted John with a compassionate touch. Perhaps the touch of Jesus felt more familiar than the appearance of Jesus. So we SEE that the LOVING GENTLE JESUS is STILL VERY MUCH A PART of WHO HE is too. Then Jesus gave John a command: Do not be afraid. John didn’t need to be afraid because He was in the presence of Jesus.

      Jesus is the ONLY ONE who has the keys of Hades and of Death. Some imagine that the satan is somehow the “lord of Hell.” Some imagine that the satan has authority or power to determine life or death. Clearly, they are wrong, for ONLY Jesus holds the keys of Hades and of Death. We can trust that Jesus WILL NEVER let satan borrow the keys.

      (v.19-20) Another command to write and an explanation.

      “Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which will take place after this. The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.”

      “Write the things”: This second command to write gives us a structure to understand the Book of Revelation. John is commanded to write regarding the past, present, and future (from John’s perspective).

      “The things which you have seen”: This means that Jesus wanted John to write the things he had just seen in his vision of the glorious, heavenly Jesus.

      “The things which are”: This means that Jesus wanted John to write about the things of his PRESENT day, the things regarding the seven churches which WERE in Asia at that time.

      “The things which will take place after this”: This means that Jesus wanted John to write about the things that WOULD HAPPEN during future, end-times… the things of the LAST DAYS.

      The Book of Revelation is arranged in this three-part structure.

      The things which you have seen: Revelation chapter 1
      The things which are: Revelation chapters 2 and 3
      The things which will take place after The Church is Raptured: Revelation chapters 4 through 22

      “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches”: Jesus kindly interprets His own images. The stars in His hand represent the angels of the seven churches. The lampstands represent the seven churches themselves.

      Why would each church have its own angel, and why does Jesus hold these angels in His hand?

      Some Bible scholars believe that these angels are the pastors of these seven churches, because the ancient Greek word translated angel, "aggelos". That word literally means “messenger,” and certainly pastors are “messengers” to churches.

      What we DO know without a doubt is these “angels” represent the strengths & the weaknesses of each of the 7 congregations.

      But what IS REALLY important to notice that these 7 angels are IN the RIGHT hand of Jesus. This is a place of safety and strength. Even the “problem churches” ARE still in the right hand of Jesus.

      I felt that THIS wonderful vision of the beginning of Revelation is one we ALL NEED and WISH to have. But we can know the very same Jesus John saw. We can know His purity, His eternal wisdom, His searching judgment, His victory, His authority, His Strength, His gentleness, His kindness, and His majesty. Each of these aspects of His nature are ours to know intimately.

      The message of Revelation 1?

      It IS from Jesus Christ Himself.

      Jesus Christ tells us:
      THE WORLD, SATAN, AND LOST MANKIND...STAY I AM A MYTH, OR DEAD...A DELUSION...OR PURE FANTASY.
      I TELL YOU I AM HERE....I AM ALIVE...I AM ETERNAL.
      I DO love you.
      LOOK for ME.
      Get READY for Me.
      I AM coming back for YOU BELOVED...SOON!

    • July 6, 2016 7:08 PM EDT
    • REVELATION---2

      JESUS’ LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES.

      WHY these SEVEN churches?
      WHO are these SEVEN churches?

      The letters to the seven churches share a similar structure.
      They each feature:

      An address to a particular congregation
      An introduction of Jesus
      A statement regarding the condition of the church
      A verdict from Jesus regarding the condition of the church
      A command from Jesus to the church
      A general exhortation to all Christians
      A promise of reward

      We can see the INTERNAL/SPIRITUAL state of EACH of these seven churches -- and in the process RECOGNIZE the state of our own walk with the Jesus -- by looking AT what Jesus has to say to each church in each section.


      Revelation 2:1

      1st LETTER IS TO THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS:


      The BACKGROUND/CHARACTER of the city of Ephesus.

      Verse 1 speaks TO the angel…”
      As Revelation 1:20 told us, this “ANGEL” IS THE PASTOR of the church at Ephesus. But the letter isn’t written just to the representative, but to the ENTIRE church. Here is a bit of background on Ephesus during John’s day.

      Ephesus was a famous city in the ancient world, with an equally famous church. Ephesus was the city where Paul ministered for three years (Acts 19:1; Acts 10; Acts 20:31). It was the city where Aquilla and Priscilla, with Apollos ministered (Acts 18:24-28). It was the city where Paul’s close associate Timothy (1 Timothy 1:3) ministered. And according to strong and consistent church historical traditions, the Apostle John himself ministered there.


      Ephesus was ALSO world-famous as a religious, cultural, and economic center of the region. Ephesus had the notable temple of Diana, who was a fertility goddess worshipped with immoral sex. The Temple of Artemis was also a major treasury and bank of the ancient world, where merchants, kings, and even cities made deposits, and where their money would THEY BELIEVED be kept safe under the protection of deity.

      Ephesus was ALSO a stronghold of Satan. Here many evil things both superstitious and satanic were practiced. Books containing formulas for sorcery and other ungodly and forbidden arts were plentiful in that city.

      Verse 1... Jesus describes HIMSELF to the church of Ephesus:
      “These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:”

      These images are taken from John’s vision of Jesus in Revelation 1. They emphasize the AUTHORITY of Jesus in the Church (He holds the seven stars) and His immediate presence in the Church (He walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands). This introduction stresses that Jesus IS central to the church.
      “HOLDS”: Jesus HAS these churches, and holds them securely. The churches BELONG to Jesus, not the leaders of the churches or to the people of the churches. Jesus holds them.

      Verses 2-3 tells us Jesus tells them what HE KNOWS about the Christians.

      “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary.”

      “I know your works:” Jesus looks at His church, and He knows what is going on. It is NO mystery to Him. There may be sin or corruption HIDDEN in a congregation, but it IS NOT hidden to Jesus. He would say the same thing to us today, both as individuals and as a congregation: I know your works.

      “Your works, your labor, your patience:” Jesus knows what this church is doing right. They work hard for the Lord and they have godly endurance. In this sense, the church was rock-solid.

      “You cannot bear those who are evil:” The Ephesian church also pursued doctrinal purity. Paul warned the Ephesians in Acts 20:29-31: “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” From this commendation of Jesus, we know that the Ephesians took Paul’s warning seriously.

      “You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary:” Also, the Ephesian church continued doing these things, without becoming weary. They showed a godly perseverance that we should imitate. By all outward appearances, this was a SOLID church that worked hard, had great outreach, and protected the integrity of the gospel.

      Verse 4 says…what Jesus has AGAINST the church at Ephesus.
      “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

      “Nevertheless I have this against you:” Jesus begins with a sobering word - NEVERTHELESS, which means “despite all that. Nevertheless means that all the good in the Ephesian church did NOT cancel out the bad Jesus is about to describe.

      “You have left your first love:” Despite all the good in the Ephesian church, there is something seriously wrong. They have LEFT --- not LOST -- their first love.

      The distinction between leaving and losing IS important. Something can be lost by accident, but leaving is a deliberate act, though it may not happen suddenly. As well, when we lose something we don’t know where to find it, but when we leave something, we know where to find it.

      What love did they leave?

      As Christians, we are told to love God and to love one another. Did they leave their love for God? Did they leave their love for one another? Probably BOTH, because the two loves go together. You can’t say you love God and not love His family, and you can’t really love His family without loving Him first, AMEN?

      The Ephesian church was a WORKING church. Sometimes a focus on working for Jesus will eclipse a love relationship with Him. We can put what we do for Jesus before WHO we are IN Him. We can leave Jesus in the temple, just as the parents of Jesus did (Luke 2:45-46).

      The Ephesians church was a doctrinally pure church. There is a definite, sure difference in their relationship with Jesus. Things aren’t as they USED to be. But the newness should transition into a depth that makes our love of Jesus STRONGER.

      Verses 5-6 says… What Jesus wants the church at Ephesus to do.
      “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place; unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”

      “REMEMBER:” The first step in restoration for the Ephesian church is for them to REMEMBER. This means remembering where they used to be in their love for the Lord and for one another.

      When the Prodigal Son was in the pigpen, the first step in restoration was REMEMBERING what life was like back in his father’s home (Luke 16:17-19). This is always the first step in getting back to where we SHOULD be with the Lord.

      “REPENT:” This is not a command to feel sorry, BUT to change your direction, to go a different way.

      “Do the first works:” This means that they must go back to the basics, to the very first things they did when you first fell in love with Jesus. These are the things that we NEVER grow beyond.

      OKAY, you say, so what ARE our FIRST works?
      Remember how you used to spend time in His Word?
      Remember how you used to pray?
      Remember the joy in getting together with other Christians?
      Remember how excited you were about telling others about Jesus?

      We might say that Satan has done a masterful job in creating a sense of general dissatisfaction with these first works.

      HOW?

      THINK ABOUT IT…Christians will run after almost every NEW, strange “method” or “program” for growth and stability. Our shortened attention spans make us easily “bored” with the TRUE excitement of knowing and loving Jesus. Sometimes we QUIT the one-on-one love walk…for BIG BANG things. Jesus says get BACK to our close one-on-one relationship/love with Him.

      “Or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place:” Jesus gives them a stern warning. Unless they repent, He will remove their light and His presence. When their lampstand is removed, they MAY continue as an organization, but NO longer as a true church of Jesus Christ. It will be the church of Ichabod, where the glory has departed as in (1 Samuel 4:21).

      Apparently, at least in the SHORT term, the Ephesians heeded this warning. In the early second century (not too long after John wrote), Ignatius praised the love and the doctrinal purity of the Ephesians.
      From what Ignatius wrote, it seems that the Ephesians returned to their first love without compromising doctrinal purity. That isn’t always an easy balance to keep, but the Ephesians apparently kept it, at least for a time.

      “But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate:” Jesus -- probably so the Ephesians would not be overly discouraged -- gives this church another commendation here. They are complimented because they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans. But who are the Nicolaitans and what were their deeds?

      The doctrine of the Nicolaitans is also condemned in Revelation 2:15, and in that passage is related to immorality and idolatry.

      SO WHO WERE THE NICOLAITANES?

      They were the followers of Nicolas who lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these men is plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, for teaching that it did NOT matter that they practiced adultery, and ate things sacrificed to idols. In other words, The Nicolaitans, like all deceivers which come from the body of Christ, claimed “not that they were destroying Christianity, but that they were presenting a NEW improved and modernized version of it.”

      The NICOLAITANES OF TODAY ARE NOW CALLED THE NEW AGE CHURCH…WHO ARE INTO GONGS, BELLS, NAMASTE, SCIENTOLOGY, BEING SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT, LAUGHING UNCONTROLLABLY, SEEING & READING ANGEL AURAS, JUMPING UP DURING SERMONS TO SPEAK IN TONGUES, RUNNING THE AISLES, SHAKING, ROLLING, GYRATING AS PROOF OF BEING “IN THE SPIRIT,” NONE OF WHICH IS IN THE BIBLE…AND NONE OF WHICH JESUS EVER EXHIBITED NOR DID THE DISCIPLES/APOSTLES IN THE BIBLE. AS WELL AS TAKING THE BIBLE PIECEMEAL AND MODERNIZING AND IMPROVING UPON IT….BECAUSE THE BIBLE IS OLD, OUTDATED, NO LONGER RELEVANT OR GERMAINE TO THE MODERN, INTELLIGENT, & TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED WORLD TODAY.

      WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THE TRIUNE GOD DOES NOT CHANGE. HIS WORD WAS RELEVANT IN EDEN AND IT IS PERFECT, RELEVANT & UNDERSTANDABLE TODAY WHEN WE SEEK JESUS, AMEN?

      “Which I also hate:” These are powerful words, in that they come from Jesus who is so rich in love. We learn that the God of love hates sin, and wants His people to also hate sin.

      Verse 7 is a general exhortation to all whom will hear.
      “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

      “He who has an ear:” This qualifies everyone - or at least everyone who will listen. This letter was not only written to the church at Ephesus in the Apostle John’s day. It is written to all Christians throughout the centuries. AMEN?

      “Let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches:” Each one of these SEVEN letters apply to ALL churches. We must hear what the Spirit says to the churches -- not just to ONE church. These letters - each of them - were meant to speak to EACH of us.

      Verse 7b tells us… The promise of a reward.
      “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”

      “To him who overcomes:” Jesus makes this promise to him who overcomes -- but what does this overcomer overcome? We usually think of overcoming in dramatic terms of overcoming sin and in spiritual warfare, but here Jesus IS speaking to overcoming the COLDNESS of their hearts and lack of love marked by the leaving of their first love.

      “I will give to eat from the tree of life:” The promise for these overcomers is a restoration, and eternal life, through walking in Jesus’ redeeming love.

      “In the midst of the Paradise of God:” Originally, the word Paradise meant “a garden of delight.” Eventually, it came to mean “the place where God lives.” Where God is, that is Paradise!


      2nd LETTER TO THE CHURCH OF SMYRNA

      BACKGROUND on SMYRNA: Smyrna was a large, beautiful, and proud city. It was a center of learning and culture, and was proud of its standing as a city. Smyrna was an outstandingly beautiful city. It claimed to be the ‘Glory of Asia.’

      Smyrna was a rich city. Smyrna was a great trade city that stood at the end of the road which served the valley of the river Hermus, and all the trade of that valley flowed into its markets and found an outlet through its harbor. It had a specially rich trade in wines. Smyrna, like Ephesus, was a city of wealth and commercial greatness.
      We also know from history that it was a city deeply committed to idolatry and the worship of the Roman Emperor. On one famous street in Smyrna, called the “Golden Street,” stood magnificent temples to Cybele, Apollo, Asklepios, Aphrodite, and a great temple to Zeus. But the worship of those pagan gods was dying out. The real focus was on the worship of the Roman Emperor.

      Smyrna was a leading city in the Roman cult of Emperor worship.
      The Roman Emperor Domitian (81-96 a.d.) was the first to demand worship under the title “Lord” from the people of the Roman Empire as a test of political loyalty. According to ancient church history, under the reign of Domitian that John was banished to the Island of Patmos where he received this vision.

      “All that the Christians had to do was to burn that pinch of incense, & say, ‘Caesar is Lord,’ receive their certificate, and go away and worship as they pleased.

      But that is precisely what the Christians would NOT do. They would give NO MAN the name of Lord; that name they would keep for Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ ALONE.

      Jesus describes Himself to the church at Smyrna.
      “These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:”

      “The First and the Last:” Jesus chose this title from His initial appearance to John (Revelation 1:11; 1:17) to speak of His ETERNAL character. The First and the Last are titles that belong ONLY to the Lord, Yahweh, according to Isaiah 41:4; 44:6, and 48:12.

      “Who was dead, and came to life:” Jesus chose this title from His initial appearance to John (Revelation 1:18) to REMIND the Christians in Smyrna that they serve the RISEN Lord, victorious over death. Death could not hold Jesus, and it cannot hold His people. Did you know, the name Smyrna comes from the word myrrh, a sweet-smelling perfume used in embalming dead bodies.

      Verse 9 tells us what Jesus knows about the Christians in Smyrna.
      “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”

      “I know your works:” Jesus knew the works of the church in Ephesus also (Revelation 2:2). In Smyrna, Jesus also knew their works, tribulation, and poverty. He knows these hardships both in the sense that He saw what happened to them, and in the sense that He knew their hardships by His OWN personal experience.

      “POVERTY:” According to history, Smyrna was a prosperous city. Yet the Christians there were VERY poor.

      WHY?
      The Christians of Smyrna knew poverty because they were robbed and fired from jobs in persecution for the gospel. Early Christians joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven (Hebrews 10:34). This kind of economic persecution was one important reason why Christians were poor in Smyrna. Even today, this is a common form of persecution against Christians.

      “I know the blasphemy:” Jesus knew the abuse these Christians endured at the hands of “religious” men, those who say they are Jews and are not.

      Historically, there was a large and hostile community of Jews in Smyrna. But this tells us that a true Jew is one who trusts God and believes in Jesus Christ in Philippians 3:3. Others may be Jews ethnically -- which still has its place before God -- but they are NOT Jews spiritually before God.

      In midst of this kind of affliction, it is easy to think God has forgotten. But Jesus knows. Jesus forgets NOTHING.

      Verse 9 tells us what Jesus thinks about the church in Smyrna.
      “But you are rich.”

      “RICH:” Every outward circumstance said that the Christians in Smyrna were poor, even destitute. But Jesus saw through the circumstances to see that they are really rich. Rich is what Jesus thought of them, and if Jesus considered them rich, then they WERE rich.

      In contrast, the Christians at Laodicea thought they were rich, but they were really poor (Revelation 3:17). Laodicea was a poor rich church. Smyrna was a rich poor church. Better to be a rich poor church than a poor rich church, AMEN?

      “And poverty (but you are rich):” The contrast between material poverty and spiritual riches of the Christians in Smyrna reminds us that there is nothing inherently spiritual in being rich. Although, there is also nothing inherently spiritual in poverty either.

      Material riches are an obstacle to the Kingdom of God, an obstacle that some do not overcome in Mark 10:23-25. There is nothing wrong with having money; the trouble is that money so easily “HAS & CONTROLS” us.

      The church at Smyrna was also rich in leadership. One of the pastors of that church was named Polycarp. He was one of the Apostle John’s disciples, and served at Smyrna until 155 a.d. when he died as a martyr.

      Verse 10 tells us what Jesus wants the Christians in Smyrna to do.
      “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

      “DO NOT FEAR:” Literally, this is better translated “stop being afraid.” The Christians in Smyrna suffered under persecution, and they were afraid. Sometimes we think that Christians who endure persecution are almost super-human, and we sometimes don’t appreciate the depths of fear they struggle with. There were things which they were about to suffer, and Jesus wanted them ready to stand against those things.

      “The devil is about to throw some of you into prison:” Here, Jesus describes the nature of the persecution that would come against the Christians in Smyrna. Apparently, they would be imprisoned, and for a specific period of time (you will have tribulation ten days).

      Being thrown into prison WAS severe persecution. In that day, prison was never used to rehabilitate someone, and rarely used to punish someone. Normally, you were thrown into prison as you awaited trial and execution.

      “You will have tribulation ten days:” Biblical teachers of the Book of Revelation have long debated the meaning of these ten days. However, there is no compelling reason to believe it means anything other than ten days of severe persecution, with an emphasis on the idea that it is a LIMITED time.

      “That you may be tested:” If this attack came from the devil, then why couldn’t these Christians in Smyrna just rebuke Satan, and stop the attack? Because God had a purpose in their suffering, and so He allowed it. God uses suffering to purify (1 Peter 1:6-7), to make us like Jesus (Romans 8:17), and to makes us truly witnesses of Him.

      The Christians in Smyrna WERE tested, but they passed the test. This church, compared to the other six, has NO EVIL spoken against it. Only this church among the seven survives today, and it has survived through centuries of Roman and Muslim persecution.

      God is interested in testing us also. We may not suffer for Jesus like the Christians in Smyrna, but we can have their same heart. We may never die a martyr’s death, but we can all live a martyr’s life. But many Christians avoid persecution of ANY KIND by conforming so much to the world that they are no longer distinctively Christians. This wasn’t the case with the Christians in Smyrna. They were tested and they passed the test.

      “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life:” What Jesus says to this church is important, but what He doesn’t say is also important. Jesus doesn’t have NOT ONE SINGLE word of rebuke or correction for the Christians in Smyrna.

      The promise of a crown would be especially meaningful for the Christians of Smyrna. The city of Smyrna had a “crown” of beautiful buildings at the top of Mt. Pagos. In Smyrna, worshippers of pagan gods wore crowns. In that culture, good citizens and victorious athletes received crowns.

      But our Jesus promises a special crown -- the crown of life.

      Verse 11 says… “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

      Though the Spirit has something to say to us through every one of the churches, this letter to the Christians in Smyrna may apply least of all to modern, western Christians. To this point, we simply don’t face the kind of persecution the Christians in Smyrna experienced. Polycarp was a remarkable example of both the persecution and the courage of early Christians.

      One day as he prayed in his room, Polycarp had a vision of his pillow engulfed in flames. He knew what God said to him, and calmly told his companions “I see that I must be burnt at the stake.”

      Meanwhile, the chief of police issued a warrant for his arrest. Towards evening, the police chief and a band of soldiers came to the old farmhouse. When the soldiers found him, they were embarrassed to see that they had come to arrest such an old, frail man. But they reluctantly put him on a donkey and walked him back to the city of Smyrna.

      On the way to the city, the police chief and other government officials tried to persuade Polycarp to offer a pinch of incense before a statue of Caesar and simply say “Caesar is Lord.” That’s all he had to do, and he would be off the hook. They pleaded with him to do it, and escape the dreadful penalties. At first Polycarp was silent, but then he calmly gave them his firm answer: NO. The police chief was now angry & pushed him out of his carriage and onto the hard ground. Polycarp, bruised but resolute, got up and walked the rest of the way to the arena.

      I truly believe this is WHAT people saved during the Tribulation will be told. “Just take the mark, then go about your way. You can buy, sell, eat, live in peace…what do you care about a mark. It does not have to mean anything to you. You can still worship your Jesus and live too. Save yourself….take the mark.

      The horrid games at the arena had already begun in earnest. A large, bloodthirsty mob had gathered to see Christians tortured and killed. One Christian named Quintis had boldly proclaimed himself a follower of Jesus and said he was willing to be martyred. But when he saw the vicious animals in the arena, he lost courage and agreed to burn that pinch of incense to Caesar as Lord. But another young man named Germanicus didn’t back down. He marched out and faced the lions, and died an agonizing death for his Lord Jesus Christ. Ten other Christians gave their lives that day, but the mob was unsatisfied. They cried out, “Away with the atheists who do not worship our gods!” To them, Christians were atheists because they did not recognize the traditional gods of Rome and Greece. Finally, the crowd started chanting “Bring out Polycarp.”

      When Polycarp brought his tired body into the arena, he and the other Christians heard a voice from heaven that said, “Be strong.” As he stood before the proconsul, they tried one more time to get him to renounce Jesus. The proconsul told Polycarp to agree with the crowd and shout out “Away with the atheists!” Polycarp looked sternly at the bloodthirsty mob, waved his hand towards them and said, “Away with those atheists!” The proconsul persisted. “Take the oath and revile Christ and I’ll set you free!” Polycarp answered, “For eighty-six years I’ve served Jesus; how dare I now revile my King?” The proconsul finally gave up, and announced to the crowd the crime of the accused: “Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian.”

      The crowd shouted, “let the lions loose.” But the animals had already been put away. The crowd then demanded that Polycarp be burnt. The old man remembered the dream about the burning pillow, and took courage in God. He said to his executioners, “It is well. I fear not the fire that burns for a season and after a while is quenched. Why do you delay? Come, do your will.”

      They arranged a great pile of wood, and set up a pole in the middle. As they tied Polycarp to the pole, he prayed: “I thank You that You have graciously thought me worthy of this day and of this hour, that I may receive a portion in the number of the martyrs, in the cup of Your Christ.” After he prayed and gave thanks to God, they set the wood ablaze. A great wall of flame shot up to the sky, but it NEVER touched Polycarp. God had set a hedge of protection between him and the fire. Seeing that he would not burn, the executioner, in a furious rage, stabbed the old man with a long spear. Immediately, streams of blood gushed from his body and seemed to extinguish the fire. When this happened, witnesses say they saw a dove fly up from the smoke into heaven. At the very same moment, a church leader in Rome named Iraenus, said he heard God say to him, “Polycarp is dead.” God called his servant home.

      But the day of martyrs is definitely not past. All over the world, Christians face persecution, especially in Asia, Eastern Europe, and in the Muslim world. Some people estimate that more Christians have suffered for their faith and have been martyred in the 20th Century than in ALL previous centuries combined. But THAT never makes the headlines…the suffering/persecution of Christians.

      Verse 11b tells us the promise of a reward.
      “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”

      This is a promise for OVERCOMERS. This promises is for those who overcome the threat and/or presence of persecution. We might say that we overcome by our close association with Jesus, who is the ultimate overcomer. As Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

      “Shall not be hurt by the second death:” The second death is hell, & then the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14 and 21:8). Though Satan has threatened and attacked their life, Jesus promises His overcomers that death is conquered FOR them.



      3rd LETTER TO THE CHURCH OF PERGAMOS


      BACKGROUND ON the character/city of Pergamos.

      Pergamos was the political capital of the Roman Province of Asia the Less. When John wrote, Pergamos had been the capital city of the region for more than three hundred years. The city was a noted center for culture and education, having one of the great libraries of the ancient world, with more than 200,000 volumes.

      Pergamos was also extremely religious, NOT Christian. It had temples to the Greek and Roman gods Dionysus, Athena, Demeter, and Zeus. It also had three temples dedicated to the worship of the Roman Emperor. Pergamos was especially known as a center for the worship of the deity known as Asclepios. Represented by a serpent, Asclepios was the god of healing and knowledge. There was a medical school at his temple in Pergamos. Because of the famous temple to the Roman god of healing, sick and diseased people from all over the Roman Empire flocked to Pergamos for relief.

      Verse 12 tell us Jesus describes Himself to the church at Pergamos.
      “These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:”

      “He who has the sharp two-edged sword:” In Revelation 1:16, John said of Jesus out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. Now, Jesus “shows” this two-edged sword to the Christians in Pergamos.

      “Sharp two-edged sword:” This reminds us of the passage in Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Jesus will use this sharp two-edged sword to make some separation among the Christians in Pergamos.

      Verse 13 tells us what Jesus KNOWS about the church at Pergamos.
      “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”

      “I know your works:” Jesus has said this to EACH church. It is true of each one of us. He KNOWS our works, even if there isn’t much to know.

      “And where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is:”

      What does it mean that they lived where Satan’s throne is? In many ways, Pergamos was a stronghold of Satanic power.

      What made it such a stronghold? There are many different opinions. Some believe it is because Pergamos was a center of pagan religion, especially of “Asclepios Soter” or “Asclepios Savior. Some believe it was because Pergamos had a huge throne-like altar dedicated to the Roman god Zeus. Some believe it was because Pergamos was a center for the ancient Babylonian priesthood. Others believe it was because Pergamos was the political center of the worship-demanding Roman government.

      “And you hold fast to My name:” Despite the fact they live in such a difficult city, the Christians of Pergamos hold fast to their faith in Jesus (hold fast to My name . . . did not deny My faith).

      “Did not deny My faith:” Jesus praises the Christians of Pergamos because they did not deny His faith. It is always important to make sure that the faith we hold on to is the faith that belongs to Jesus.

      Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you: One specific man among the Christians of Pergamos received a precious title (faithful martyr). This same title is held by Jesus also (Revelation 1:5). Antipas was a man who followed Jesus, who was like Jesus.

      Antipas is one of the great anonymous heroes of the Bible. History tells us nothing about him except for here, but our Jesus SEES & TAKES NOTICE of ALL those who belong to him, though the world overlooks them.

      Antipas lived where Satan’s throne was. Yet he stood against the attacks and the evil around him. He fulfilled the meaning of his name, because Antipas means “Against All.”

      Verses 14-15 tell us what Jesus has against the Christians in Pergamos.
      “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”

      “I have a few things against you:” The Christians in Pergamos were rightly praised for holding fast to the name of Jesus, and keeping his faith. At the same time, their difficult environment did NOT excuse the few things Jesus had against them.

      “You have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam:”
      What is the doctrine of Balaam?

      Balaam was a prototype of all corrupt teachers. According to Numbers 22-24 and 31, Balaam combined the sins of immorality and idolatry to please Balak, the king of Moab, because he could not curse Israel directly.

      When Balaam counseled Balak, he taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel. The stumbling block was connected with idolatry (to eat things sacrificed to idols) and sexual immorality. If the church in Pergamos has those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, it shows they have tendencies towards both idolatry and immorality.

      Sexual immorality, adultery, bestiality, homosexuality, & pedofilia marked the WHOLE culture of the ancient Roman Empire. It was simply taken for granted, and the person who lived by Biblical standards of purity was considered strange.

      “You also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans:” In Revelation 2:6, Jesus praised the Ephesian Christians because they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitans. But the Nicolaitans also have their doctrine, and some among the Christians held the doctrine of the Nicolaitans.

      “You have those there . . . you also have those:” The rebuke is not only against those who hold the doctrines of Balaam and those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. The rebuke is also against those in the church who ALLOW THEM to continue such practices WITHIN their church.

      The Christians of Pergamos were like the Christians of Corinth as Paul wrote to them in 1 Corinthians 5:1-9. They were too “tolerant” and “accepting” of false doctrines and immoral living, and Jesus had to rebuke them. Satan couldn’t accomplish much by persecution, because many did hold fast, like Antipas. So Satan tried to accomplish his goals by using deception; first he used violence, then he used alliance.

      Verse 16 tells us what Jesus wants the church at Pergamos to do.
      “Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”

      “REPENT:” The simple word repent stands out. FIVE of the SEVEN churches are commanded to repent. Repent is a command that applies to Christians, not only to those who first come to Jesus.

      “Or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth:” Unless they do repent, the Christians of Pergamos will face the Jesus who has the two-edged sword.

      Judgment will BEGIN AT/IN the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).
      “The sword of My mouth:” When Jesus comes against the Christians of Pergamos, He will confront them with His Word.

      Verse 17 tell us a general exhortation to all whom will hear.
      “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

      “He who has an ear:” The danger of false teaching and immoral conduct still faces the church today. But so does the danger of allowing false teaching and immorality, as was the problem with the Christians in Pergamos.

      Verse 17b tells us the promise of a reward.
      “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
      “To him who overcomes:” The one who overcomes this spirit of accommodation to false teaching and living will receive hidden manna. This is God’s perfect provision, the true bread from heaven (John 6:41).

      “And I will give him a white stone:” In the ancient world, a white stone could be a ticket to a banquet, a sign of friendship, evidence of having been counted, or as a sign of acquittal in a court of law. Jesus may have any one of these meanings in mind, but at the very least we know that it has the assurance of BLESSINGS.

      “And on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it:” What is the meaning of this new, secret name promised to him who overcomes? Is it God’s name, or is it the believer’s name? This is probably the believer’s new name, and the name itself is probably more important than the stone itself.
      Another is simply the assurance it gives of our heavenly destination. Your name is there, waiting for you. It is as if your “reservation” in heaven is made.


      4th LETTER TO THE CHURCH OF THYATIRA

      BACKGROUND ON character of the city of Thyatira.

      Thyatira was the smallest and least important of the seven cities Jesus addresses in Revelation 2 and 3. In history, we have no record that the Christians of Thyatira suffered any significant political or religious persecution.

      But Thyatira was an important center of business and trade. It had many active trade guilds, each having their own patron deity from the Greek and Roman pantheon of gods.

      Acts 16:14-15 mentions Lydia of Thyatira, who was a seller of purple cloth from the city of Thyatira. “Thyatira was famous for the manufacture of a purple dye, and numerous references are found in secular literature of the period to the trade guilds which manufactured cloth.

      Verse 18b says…Jesus describes Himself to the church at Thyatira.
      “These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:”

      “These things says the Son of God:” Jesus first describes Himself with a title that emphasizes His deity. In Jewish thought, to be the son of a thing meant you had the nature of that thing. The sons of the sorceress (Isaiah 57:3) had the nature of the sorceress. The sons of thunder (Mark 3:17) had a nature like thunder. So the Son of God has the divine nature, the nature of God.

      “Who has eyes like a flame of fire:” Jesus chooses this description of Himself from the presentation in Revelation 1:14 to emphasize the idea that His eyes look with ALL-SEEING, penetrating judgment.

      “His feet like fine brass:” Jesus chose this description of Himself from Revelation 1:15 to emphasize His purity, because brass is pure, and highly refined in the fire. It also emphasizes His steadfastness, because brass was the strongest known metal in the ancient world, and feet like fine brass would be strong and unmovable.

      Verse 19 tell us what Jesus knows about the Christians in Thyatira.
      “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.”

      “I know your works:” Thyatira was the least significant city among the seven cities Jesus addressed. Yet they were NOT hidden to Jesus. Like each one of the churches, Jesus says to the church at Thyatira I know your works.

      “Love, service, faith, and your patience:” In many ways, the church at Thyatira was a model church. They had four great essential qualities. They had love, both for the Lord and for one another. They knew service, and had faith and patience worth mentioning.

      “As for your works, the last are more than the first:” This is another compliment to the church at Thyatira. Not only do they have these works, but they have them in INCREASING measure - they are growing in love, service, faith, and patience.

      Verses 20-21 says what Jesus has against the church at Thyatira.
      “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.”

      “NEVERTHELESS:” Despite all the good Jesus sees in the church at Thyatira, there are significant problems. The problems are big enough for Jesus to say nevertheless, which means “despite all the good, I have a few things against you.”

      “Because you allow that woman Jezebel:” The center of the corruption at the church at Thyatira is a woman Jesus calls Jezebel. This may not have been her literal name, but a “title” that clearly represents a self-styled/self-proclaimed prophetess within the church, after the pattern of Jezebel in the Old Testament (1 Kings 16-21 and 2 Kings 9:30-37).

      The name Jezebel had a powerful association. If we called someone a “Judas” or a “Hitler” its visual was strong. No one wants to be a Judas or a Hitler. It’s also a strong thing to call this woman Jezebel. “She was one of the most evil characters of the Old Testament, who attempted to combine the worship of Israel with the worship of the idol Baal . . . Jezebel herself had a most unenviable record of evil.

      “Who calls herself a prophetess:” This “Jezebel” at the church of Thyatira wasn’t really a prophetess, she only CLAIMED to be one. Yet, it seems that the Christians there RECEIVED her as a prophetess, and that’s why Jesus gives them this warning.

      Jesus said this would happen in Matthew 24:11: “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Those words were first spoken with a view to the end times, but there have always been those who call themselves prophets/prophetesses in the church, but are NOT from/of Jesus Christ.

      “To teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols:” Here, Jesus describes the specific sin of this woman “Jezebel.” Mainly, she was an immoral and ungodly influence on others, and led others into sin. Jezebel led others into immorality and idolatry.

      The draw to the guilds and their meetings was powerful. “No merchant or trader could hope to prosper or make money unless he was a member of his trade guild.” Nonetheless, Christians were expected to stand in the face of this kind of pressure. One ancient Christian named Tertullian wrote about Christians who made their living in trades connected to pagan idolatry. A painter might find work in pagan temples or a sculptor might be hired to make a statue of a pagan god. They would justify this by saying, “This is my living, and I must live.” Tertullian replied Vivere ergo habes? “Must you live?”

      “My servants:” This shows how terrible Jezebel’s sin was. She corrupted the servants of Jesus, and they belong to Him. Jesus said, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

      Jesus also reveals a link to the work of Jezebel and false doctrine: this doctrine . . . the depths of Satan, as they say (Revelation 2:24). It seems that this Jezebel led others in the church at Thyatira to discover depths of Satan.

      How could Christians ever fall for the depths of Satan? Perhaps the deceptive reasoning went this way: “To effectively confront Satan, you must enter his strongholds, and learn his depths in order to conquer him.” People use similar reasoning in misguided spiritual warfare today. They FORGET Jesus says to FLEE from evil.

      “And I gave her time to repent . . . and she did not repent:” Jesus’ greatest accusation is that this “Jezebel” did not repent. She apparently rejects the work of the Holy Spirit in her heart, calling her to repentance.

      In these words we see both the mercy and judgment of our Lord. Time to repent shows mercy.
      God gives us time to repent, we should deal with others the same way. And she did not repent speaks to the judgment of God. God gives time to repent, but it is not an UNLIMITED time. There is a time when God says, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever.” (Genesis 6:3). This means that when God gives us time to repent, we must take advantage of that time.

      “Because you allow:” This shows the sin of the church of Thyatira. On the outside, they were a model church, showing works, love, service, faith, and patience. Yet there was significant corruption INSIDE the church. The sin of the church was that they ALLOWED this corruption.

      VERSE 22-25 tells us what Jesus wants the church at Thyatira to do.
      “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come.”

      “I will cast her into a sickbed:” Before Jesus tells the Christians in Thyatira what they must do, He first tells them what He will do. Jesus will chastise this Jezebel, and cast her into a sickbed, along with those who commit adultery with her.

      The reference to adultery is important. It speaks of both literal, sexual adultery and spiritual adultery. When these Christians honored other gods, they were unfaithful to the Lord who saved them. For this reason, the figure of a sickbed is fitting. They were guilty of adultery, both sexual and spiritual. It is as if Jesus says, “You love an unclean bed. Here, I will give you one, and cast you into a sickbed.”

      What was the sickbed? It could simply be an image of affliction. Or, it could be literal sickness that Jesus would allow in the lives of Jezebel and her followers as chastisement. We know from passages such as 1 Corinthians 11:30 that God can use sickness as a way to chastise us when we are in sin.

      “Unless they repent of their deeds:” Jesus reveals the purpose for this chastening. First, it is to draw them to repent of their deeds. They wouldn’t listen to Jesus before, so He has to speak “louder” through a sickbed. Second, it is to give an example of holiness to other churches: and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts.

      Minds and hearts is literally “hearts and kidneys.” In the mind of the ancient Jews, the heart was the place of intellect, and the kidneys were the place of emotion. Jesus says, “I know your every thought and your every feeling.”

      “I will kill her children with death:” Those that do not repent, will spend eternity in The Lake Of Fire.

      “Hold fast what you have till I come:” There WERE many faithful, uncompromising Christians in Thyatira. To them, Jesus simply says hold fast! They must not stop doing what is good. They must not become distracted or discouraged from what Jesus wants them to be and to do.

      “Jesus also tells them how long to hold fast:” till I come. We are to “hang in there” and stand strong for Jesus until He comes. It’s only then that the battle will be over.

      Verses 26-28 tells us the promise of a reward.
      “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations; “He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels”; as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.”

      “He who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end:” Even when there is the immoral and idolatrous influence of a Jezebel, Christians can overcome and keep Jesus’ works until the end. We must not become overly discouraged at immorality and idolatry around us, even among Christians. God’s work will still go on through His overcomers.

      “To him I will give power over the nations:” Jesus promised that His people would reign with Him. Here, there is a special promise to those who overcome the threat of immorality and idolatry. To them, Jesus offers a share in His own kingdom.

      “He shall rule them with a rod of iron:” This quotation from Psalm 2 speaks of the authority of the Messiah when He rules over the earth. In that day, righteousness will be enforced, and those who rebel against Jesus will be dashed to pieces like a clay pot hit with an iron bar. Jesus includes this here to give hope to the faithful Christians of Thyatira, who felt overwhelmed by the immorality and idolatry all around them. Jesus reminds them “You’re on My winning team.”

      “I will give him the morning star:” Jesus offers them a reward greater than the kingdom. He offers them the reward of Himself, because He is the Morning Star (Revelation 22:16).

      Verse 29 tells us a general exhortation to all whom will hear.

      “He who has an ear:” This is a letter that applies to everyone. It applies to those who are like Jezebel, who lead others into sin. It applies to those who follow the teaching of a Jezebel, and follow others into sin. It applies to those who permit a Jezebel to work her wickedness. And it applies to the faithful who must hold fast.

      So WHAT does Jesus WANT us to SEE, to KNOW, & to UNDERSTAND about HIM & HIS CHURCHES in Revelation 2?

      1. YOU ARE MINE.
      2. I KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU….GOOD AND BAD.
      3. I SEE YOU…..GOOD AND BAD.
      4. I LOVE YOU…..ANYWAY.
      5. CHANGE, REPENT, &/OR STAY STRONG.
      6. RETURN TO ME.
      7. I AM COMING BACK FOR YOU….BE READY!

    • July 6, 2016 7:04 PM EDT
    • REVELATION---3

      (continued) JESUS' Letters to the 7 churches.


      5th LETTER WRITTEN TO THE CHURCH OF SARDIS:

      BACKGROUND into the character of the city of Sardis.

      At the time Jesus spoke these words to John, the ancient city of Sardis had seen its best days and had started to decline. Yet it was a wealthy city, being situated at the junction of several important roads and trade routes. The connection between Sardis and money - easy money - was well known in the ancient world.

      It is of interest to note that the first coinage ever to be minted in Asia Minor was minted in Sardis in the days of Croesus. These roughly formed electrum staters were the beginning of money in the modern sense of the term. Sardis was the place where modern money was born. Remember what Jesus say about money? The LOVE OF MONEY…is the ROOT of ALL evil.

      Sardis was also a city well known for its softness and luxury. It had a well-deserved reputation for apathy and immorality. In Sardis there was a large, stately temple to the mother goddess, Cybele. This mother goddess was honored - “worshipped” - will all kinds of sexual immorality and impurity.

      The combination of easy money and a loose moral environment made the people of Sardis notoriously soft and pleasure loving. Its people were notoriously loose-living, notoriously pleasure-and luxury loving. Sardis was a city of DECADENCE/SLOTH.

      Verse 1...Jesus describes Himself to the church at Sardis.
      “These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars:

      As Jesus describes Himself, He uses terms that emphasize His character as the Master of EVERY spiritual power and authority. The repetition of the number seven helps indicate this, because seven is the number of completeness in the Bible. Therefore, Jesus holds the fullness of the Spirit of God, and the fullness of the church.

      “He who has the seven Spirits of God:” Jesus has the fullness of Holy Spirit in Himself, and He also has the Holy Spirit in fullness to give to the Church.

      “And the seven stars:” Jesus also has the fullness of the church in His hand. We know the seven stars represent the churches because of what Jesus said in Revelation 1:20: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and through these letters, when Jesus speaks to the angels of the seven churches, He speaks NOT to ONE individual, but to the ENTIRE church through that individual.

      Verse 1b tells us what Jesus knows about the Christians of Sardis.
      “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive,”

      “I know your works:” As Jesus says to each church, He also says to Sardis. What a church is and what a church does is NEVER hidden from Jesus.

      “That you have a name that you are alive:” Jesus knew the church at Sardis had a name - that is, a reputation - of life and vitality. If you looked at the church of Sardis, you would see signs of life and vitality. In the church of Sardis, like the city of Sardis, everything seemed alive and good and prosperous.

      We are not to get the impression that Sardis was a defunct affair with the building a wreck, the members scattered, the pastor ready to resign. It was a busy church with meetings every night, committees galore, wheels within wheels, promotion and publicity, something going on all the time. It had a reputation of being a live, wide-awake, going concern.”

      Verse 1b…What Jesus has against the church at Sardis.
      “But you are dead.”

      “DEAD” Despite their reputation of life, Jesus saw them for what they really were. But you are dead shows that a good reputation is no guarantee of true spiritual character. Despite their good appearance, Jesus saw them for what they really were.

      Dead indicates NO struggle, NO fight, NO persecution. It wasn’t that the church at Sardis was losing the battle. A dead body has lost the battle, and the fight seems over. In this letter, Jesus doesn’t encourage the Christians in Sardis to stand strong against persecution or false doctrine, probably because there simply wasn’t a significant danger of these things in Sardis.

      Being dead, the church in Sardis presented NO THREAT TO SATAN’S DOMAIN, so it wasn’t worth attacking.
      Satan WAS pleased with this church.
      The church in Sardis was a perfect model of inoffensive Christianity.

      Verses 2-4 tells us what Jesus wants the church at Sardis to do.
      “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.”

      “BE WATCHFUL” This first instruction from Jesus tells them they need to examine and protect, strengthening what they have. The things which remain tells us that though the spiritual condition of the church of Sardis was bad, it WASN’T hopeless. Spiritually, there were things which remain that could be strengthened. Jesus had NOT given up on them, and it was late (that are ready to die) - but not too late.

      “I have not found your works perfect before God:” This shows that their works, though present, haven’t measured up to God’s standard. The presence of works isn’t enough, because God requires a particular intent and purpose in ALL of our works. They should be done with a heart and in a manner that show them to be perfect before God.

      “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent:” What they must do is remember how they first received and heard the word of God. They must hold fast to those things, and to repent by turning and restoring the gospel and apostolic doctrine to authority over their lives.

      Paul describes in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 the kind of reception of the word they needed to remember: “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.”

      “Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief:” Jesus warns them, of the great danger in failing to watch. If they ignore His command to be watchful, then Jesus will come upon them as a thief, at a time completely unexpected by them.

      “I will come upon you:” How will Jesus come upon them? He could come upon them in the sense bringing immediate judgment. Or, He could come upon them in these sense of His coming for the church at the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Used in either sense, it shows that His coming can be sudden and unannounced, so they need to be watchful.

      AND THOSE WHO DO NOT REPENT, DO NOT HOLD FAST, BUT CONTINUE…WILL BE LEFT BEHIND AT THE RAPTURE. THEY WILL BE LEFT BEHIND…TO FACE THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

      “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments:” Even among the dead Christians in Sardis, there is a faithful remnant. But there were only a few names. In Pergamos (Revelation 2:14) and in Thyatira (Revelation 2:20) there were a few bad among the good. But in Sardis there are a FEW good among the BAD.

      “Even in Sardis:” Even shows that in some ways it was remarkable that there WERE A FEW names still faithful to the Lord. It may have been remarkable because of city’s notoriously immoral reputation. Even in a city that wicked, some among the Christians had not defiled themselves by joining in sin.

      “Who have not defiled their garments:” Why does Jesus refer to defiled garments? In the heathen worship of the day, the pagan gods could not be approached with dirty clothes. The analogy can work for the worship of Jesus, because He gives His pure ones white garments.

      “And they shall walk with Me in white:” Jesus also promises that these pure ones will walk with Me. This picture of close fellowship and friendship is seen in Enoch, who walked with God; and he was not KILLED NOR DIED, for God took him (Genesis 5:24).

      “Walk with Me” is the greatest reward Jesus CAN give His followers. This reward is ultimately a better motivator than the fear of punishment or ruin from our sin. God promises to reward that interest: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

      Verse 5 tells us a promise of a reward.
      “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”

      “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments:” Jesus identifies the overcomers with those few names who have not defiled their garments (Revelation 3:4). These overcomers will wear white garments, received from Jesus.

      Jesus explained the ABSOLUTE necessity of this being clothed by God with His garments of purity and righteousness in His parable of the wedding feast (Matthew 22:11-14). Real righteousness is receiving God’s covering instead of trying to cover ourselves. Adam and Eve TRIED to cover their own sin (Genesis 3:21) but God provided them with a covering that came from sacrifice (Genesis 3:7).

      “And I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life:” By this, the overcomers are assured of their heavenly citizenship. In the ancient world, death or a criminal conviction could BLOT OUT the name of an ancient citizen from the city’s book of the living, which was the city register.

      “Blot out his name from the Book of Life:” Does this mean that someone can lose their salvation? That someone is saved one day - their name is in the Book of Life - and another day, they have fallen away and their name has been blotted out from the Book of Life?

      We need to first see the context here in Revelation 3:5. The focus is ASSURANCE, so we should NOT think that names are being constantly erased and then re-written, as if Jesus sits in heaven with a busy eraser. At the same time, we should carefully consider what the Word has to say about the Book of Life.

      There IS a Book of Life, and it will be opened and referenced on the Day of Judgment. This means that the Book of Life IS real, and will be read.

      “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” (Revelation 20:12)

      There is a Book of Life, and it determines if we go to heaven or hell. This means that the Book of Life is important. “And anyone NOT found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)
      There is a Book of Life, and knowing through our salvation gift FROM/THROUGH Jesus our names ARE written there should bring us great joy.

      “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

      There is a Book of Life, and there are FIVE different references to people being blotted out of the Book of Life. This means that the idea of being blotted out of the Book of Life should be taken seriously. Jesus STILL wants us to take it seriously, because there are some who WILL live Christian-like lives, but did NOT accept Jesus’ gift of salvation.

      THEY CALLED THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS…THEY WERE MEMBERS OF A CHURCH, ON THE CHURCH ROLES, DID GREAT THINGS, BUT THEY DID NOT INVITE Jesus into their hearts and lives, but CHOSE to live and be judged by THEIR OWN WORKS/LIVES, rather than live under Jesus’ Grace, those people will be SHOCKED to NOT find their names in The Book Of Life.

      “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. (Revelation 3:5)

      “And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:19)

      A good example of how we should take this warning seriously is the life of a man named Charles Templeton. A generation ago he was deeply involved in the foundations of Youth for Christ and impacted the nation for Jesus. Many people received Jesus at his meetings, and he was an associate with Billy Graham in the early years. But recently he wrote a book in which he CHOOSES to totally DENOUNCE his belief in Jesus Christ, DENOUNCES even his belief even in God, and says he is an atheist.

      In the genealogies of the Bible there are TWO books mentioned.

      The book of the generation of Adam (Genesis 5:1)
      The book of the generation of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1)

      Being born of Adam doesn’t guarantee that our name is written in the Book of Life. But being born again - born of Jesus Christ - DOES give us that assurance.

      “But I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels:” This is an amazing promise. It simply makes sense that we should be willing to confess the name of Jesus. But it is amazing that Jesus would NOT be ashamed to confess us!

      “Let him hear:” We must all hear what the Holy Spirit says to the church at Sardis. But there is ALWAYS hope for the DEAD church, because Jesus IS an expert at raising the dead, AMEN?

      “What the Spirit says to the churches:” Sardis teaches us that we must beware of our success. The city was wealthy and knew easy living, but it made them soft and spoiled. Sardis also teaches us to STILL be watchful at our strongest points. Sardis thought it was unconquerable, and so it was conquered. Where we say “I would never do that” is the exact place we must guard against.


      The 6th LETTER TO THE CHURCH OF PHILADELPHIA:

      The BACKGROUND on the city of Philadelphia.

      Philadelphia (the name means brotherly love) was the youngest of the seven cities, and was originally founded as a missionary outpost for Hellenism, the culture of ancient Greece. The original purpose behind this key city was to make it a center for spreading Greek language, culture and manners throughout the wilds of Phrygia and the barbarous tribes. In other words…civilize the heathens of Asia.

      Philadelphia was a prosperous city & had one of the greatest highways in the world, the highway which led from Europe to the East. Philadelphia was the gateway from one continent to another.
      Philadelphia had so many gods and so many temples that sometimes men called it “Little Athens.” To walk through its temple-scattered streets was to be reminded of Athens, the center of worship of the Olympian gods.

      Verse 7 says…Jesus describes Himself to the church at Philadelphia.
      “These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:

      “These things says He who is holy, He who is true:” Jesus reminds the church in Philadelphia that He IS holy and true. These do not describe “tendencies” within Jesus, but His VERY being. They also show that Jesus is Yahweh, because He alone is holy in an absolute sense.

      “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens:” Jesus shows He is also the keeper of the keys and doors. In this quotation from Isaiah 22:20-23, Jesus expresses His power and authority, especially to admit and exclude.

      Verse 8 tells us what Jesus knows about the church of Philadelphia.
      “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

      “I know your works:” Jesus says this to each of the seven churches. The church at Philadelphia had served God well in difficult circumstances, and Jesus KNEW it.

      “I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it:” The church in Philadelphia has an open door set before them. Often, an open door speaks of evangelistic opportunity (1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12, and Colossians 4:3). Jesus tells them that He has opened the door of evangelistic opportunity to them, and they must go through that door in faith.

      Jesus tells them to see that they have this open door. Sometimes God sets an open door of evangelistic opportunity in front of us, but we don’t see it. A man who had been touched for Jesus came to Charles Spurgeon and asked how he could win others to Jesus. Spurgeon asked him, “What are you? What do you do?”

      The man said, “I’m an engine driver on a train.”
      “Then,” said Spurgeon, “Is the man who shovels coal on your train a Christian?”
      “I don’t know,” said the man.
      “Go back,” said Spurgeon, “and find out and start on him.”

      “And no one can shut it:” There is nothing that can keep them from their access to this door. Since Jesus is He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens (Revelation 3:7), He has the authority to keep this door open for the Christians in Philadelphia.

      “For you have a little strength:” The term a little strength does not imply weakness, but real strength. They were weak enough to be strong in the Lord. We can be “too strong” or “too big” or too sure of ourselves for God to really use us. The church in Philadelphia had the poverty of spirit to know they really NEEDED God’s strength.

      “Have kept My word, and have not denied My name:” The church in Philadelphia also was faithful to Jesus and His word. The idea behind have not denied My name is not only that they expressed their allegiance to Jesus, but that they lived in a way that was faithful to the name and character of Jesus.

      Look at the features of the church in Philadelphia:
      Evangelistic opportunity (I have set before you an open door)
      Reliance on God (You have a little strength)
      Faithfulness to Jesus (have kept My word, and have not denied My name)
      In some ways, these features seem “unspectacular.” They should be commonplace among churches. Yet Jesus was COMPLETELY pleased with this church. He has NOTHING negative to say to the church at Philadelphia.

      Verses 9-10 tells us what Jesus will do for the Christians of Philadelphia.
      “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie; indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

      “I will make those of the synagogue of Satan:” The Christians in Philadelphia were persecuted by Jewish people (the synagogue). However, these persecuting Jews were Jews in name only (who say they are Jews and are not, but lie). What Jesus means is that those Jews have NO spiritual connection to Abraham or to the people of Jesus Christ.

      Jesus does NOT speak against ALL Jewish people. It would be entirely wrong to speak of the Jewish people as a whole as the synagogue of Satan or those who say they are Jews and are not. Jesus spoke ONLY of this SPECIFIC group of Jewish people in Philadelphia who persecuted the Christians during that period.

      “I will make them come and worship before your feet:” In this, Jesus promises that He will vindicate His people and make sure that their persecutors recognize they are wrong, and that Jesus and His followers are right. Jesus promises that the church in Philadelphia WILL be vindicated before their persecutors.

      “And to know that I have loved you:” As those who were once their enemies worship along side them, they are destroyed as enemies. They now know that Jesus has loved these people they once persecuted. The best way to DESTROY the enemies of the gospel is to pray that God would CHANGE them into FRIENDS.

      “I will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world:” Jesus also promises them protection from the hour of trial coming on the WHOLE world. Most Bible scholars see this hour of trial as a prophetic reference to the Messianic woes, the Great Tribulation, which precede Jesus’ earthly kingdom. Jesus promises to keep these Christians from that hour of trial. HOW? Jesus WILL Rapture HIS Children/Christians/Bride BEFORE The Great Tribulation.

      “To test those who dwell on the earth:” The test is directed against those who dwell on the earth. This phrase is used NINE times in the Book of Revelation, and it speaks of those who are NOT saved in Jesus. Revelation 17:8 makes the term synonymous with the lost: “And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world. This test is for unbelievers, NOT JESUS LOVING PEOPLE.”

      Those who dwell on the earth “refers not to believers but to unbelievers who are objects of God’s wrath” throughout Revelation. Christians ARE different. Though we walk on this earth, our dwelling place IS in heaven. “We have been seated in heavenly places in Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6). “We do not dwell on the earth, our life is hidden in Jesus” (Colossians 3:3).

      Does this promise to keep you from the hour of trial imply an escape before the Great Tribulation? Or does it promise protection in it?
      Jesus SAYS HE WILL come for His church before this time of Great Tribulation & persevere IS in the past tense, showing it is something that the Christians had already done BEFORE the hour of trial, which has not yet come upon the world. The promise is a reward for past perseverance, not the equipping to persevere in the future.

      In addition, the ones TESTED by this hour of trial are not primarily believers, but those who dwell on the earth - whose home is this earth, who are not citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20).

      Verse 11 tells us what Jesus wants the church of Philadelphia to do.
      “Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.”

      “Behold, I am coming quickly:” First, the church at Philadelphia must remember that Jesus is coming quickly, and they must prepare for His coming. The expression ‘quickly’ is to be understood as something which is sudden and unexpected, not necessarily immediate.

      “Hold fast what you have:” The church at Philadelphia must not depart from its solid foundation, as described in Revelation 3:8:

      “That no one may take your crown:” If they fail to hold fast, their crown might be given to another. The idea is not that it might be stolen by another, but given. This is not a crown of royalty, given because of royal birth. This is a crown of victory. Jesus encourages His saints to finish their course with victory.


      Verse 12 tells us a promise of reward.
      “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.”

      “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar:” Overcomers are told that they will be as a pillar in the temple of My God. Pillars were pictures of strength, stability, and dignified beauty that REMAINS standing in Jesus when everything around us crumbles.

      “He shall go out no more:” The overcomer will have a place of permanence and stability with God, in contrast to an uncertain place in their world filled with constant, devastating earthquakes.

      “I will write on him the name of My God . . . I will write on him My new name:” The overcomer also receives many names - of God, the New Jerusalem, and the new name of Jesus. These names are marks of identification because they show WHO we belong to. They are marks of intimacy, because it shows we are privileged to know Him in ways others are not.

      Verse 13 tells us a general exhortation to all who will hear.

      “He who has an ear, let him hear:” We all want to hear the praise and encouragement Jesus gives to the church at Philadelphia. If we would be like this church, we must stay on their foundation, which was Jesus’ name and Jesus’ word. We must also depend on their source of strength which was Jesus, not themselves.



      THE 7th LETTER TO THE CHURCH AT LAODICEA:

      The BACKGROUND/CHARACTER of the city of Laodicea.

      Laodicea was an important, wealthy city, with a significant Jewish population. Like other cities in the region, it was a center for Caesar worship and the worship of the healing god Asklepios. There was a famous temple of Asklepios in Laodicea, with a more famous medical school connected with the temple.

      After an earthquake devastated the region in 60 a.d. Laodicea refused Imperial help in rebuilding the city, successfully relying on their own resources. They didn’t NEED outside help, they didn’t ASK for it, and they didn’t WANT it. Laodicea was TOO rich, TOO arrogant, & TOO prideful to accept help from ANYONE. Remember what Jesus said about PRIDE…in Proverbs….Pride goeth BEFORE destruction & a haughty spirit BEFORE a fall.

      Laodicea was also a noted commercial center, and some of its goods were exported all over the world. “It is frequently noted that Laodicea prided itself on three things: financial wealth, an extensive textile industry, and a popular eye-salve which was exported around the world.

      One of their problems was a poor water supply that made Laodicea vulnerable to attack through siege. If an enemy army surrounded the city, they had insufficient water supplies in the city, and the supplies coming into the city could be easily cut off. Therefore, the leaders of Laodicea were ALWAYS accommodating to any potential enemy, and always wanted to negotiate and compromise instead of FIGHT, STAND, & DEFEND.

      The church at Laodicea is mentioned by Paul - in an unfavorable light - in Colossians 2:1 and 4:16.

      Verse 14 tells Jesus describes Himself to the church at Laodicea.
      “These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:”

      “These things says the Amen:” Jesus is the Amen, the “so be it,” the “it is done.” As 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in Him are “Yes,” and in Him “Amen.”

      Jesus is the Faithful and True Witness, and this is a contrast to the Laodiceans, who will be shown to be NEITHER faithful nor true.

      Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God. This verse does NOT teach that Jesus was the first being created, but that He IS the ruler, source, and origin of ALL creation.

      Verses 15-16 tells us what Jesus knows about the church of Laodicea.
      “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

      “You are neither cold nor hot:” This picture of lukewarmness would immediately strike the Christians of Laodicea because the water they drank every day was lukewarm b/c it came from a hot spring.

      Jesus says “Just as the water you drink is disgustingly lukewarm, you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot.” In this spiritual sense, lukewarmness is a picture of INDIFFERENCE & COMPROMISE. It tries to play the middle, but in trying to be BOTH things, it ends up being NOTHING - except to hear the words, “I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

      Does Jesus mean to say that these Christians are intrinsically cold, but warmed up by their religious trappings? Or, that they are essentially hot, but cooled down by their apathy and self-reliance? Both are possible, but since He is talking to His church, there is an emphasis on the later.

      Has there been a greater curse upon the earth than EMPTY religion? Is there any soul HARDER to reach than the one who has just enough of Jesus to think they have enough or all they NEED to have to GET BY? The church of Laodicea exemplifies empty religion. The tax collectors and harlots were more open to Jesus than the scribes and Pharisees.

      “I could wish that you were cold or hot:” What Jesus wants to change in us as much as anything is the deceptive playing of the middle, trying to please BOTH the world and Jesus. We MUST choose. We can NOT please the world AND Jesus. They ARE polar opposites.

      I could wish that you were cold or hot also points to another aspect of lukewarmness, as a picture of uselessness. Hot water heals, cold water refreshes, but lukewarm water is USELESS for either purpose. It’s as if Jesus says, “If you were hot or cold I could do something with you. But because you are neither, I will do nothing.”

      The lukewarm Christian has enough of Jesus to satisfy a craving or a roster for social correctness… A member of a church….check! It IS lauded, applauded, and just PERFECT for the world, but Jesus says it is NOT enough for eternal life. He wants mankind to love Him or hate Him…but NOT to simply like him.

      The thief on the cross was cold towards Jesus and clearly saw his need. The Apostle John was hot towards Jesus and enjoyed an intimate relationship of love. But Judas WAS lukewarm, following Jesus enough to be considered a disciple, but NOT enough to give his heart over to Jesus in fullness.

      Deep down, there is no one MORE miserable than the lukewarm Christian is. They have TOO much of the world to be happy in Jesus, but TOO much of Jesus to be happy in the world.

      But how could Jesus say, I could wish that you were cold? We know His deepest desire is that they be hot, with an on-fire love for Him (Revelation 3:19, where the word zealous is associated with this same word hot). Yet if they would not be hot, Jesus prefers cold rather than lukewarm. “So the Lord is saying, ‘If instead of being lukewarm, you were SO cold that you SHOULD feel that coldness, then the very feeling of your need might drive you to the true warmth, but now in your lukewarmness, you have just enough to protect yourselves against a feeling of need.

      Lukewarm ROTE prayers MOCK God.
      Lukewarm LIVES turn people AWAY from Jesus.

      The name Laodicea means “rule of the people.” This church well represents a church run by majority rule INSTEAD of God‘s Word.

      This is reflected in Jesus’ address to the church: the church of the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:14). For the other churches, it was the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1) or the church in Smyrna (Revelation 2:8) or the church in Sardis (Revelation 3:1). But here, it is the church of the Laodiceans.

      In his sermon, “An Earnest Warning against Lukewarmness,” Charles Spurgeon described the lukewarm church this way:

      They have prayer-meetings, but there are few present, for they like quiet evenings home.
      When more attend the meetings they are still very dull, for they do their praying very deliberately and are afraid of being too excited.
      They are content to have all things done decently and in order, but vigor and zeal are considered to be vulgar.
      They may have schools, Bible-classes, preaching rooms, and all sorts of agencies; but they might as well be without them, for no energy is displayed and no good comes of them.
      They have deacons and elders who are excellent pillars of the church/community, if the chief quality of pillars be to stand still, and exhibit no motion or emotion.
      The pastor does not fly very far in preaching the everlasting gospel, and he certainly has no flame of fire in his preaching.
      The pastor may be a shining light of eloquence, but he certainly is not a burning light of grace, setting men’s hearts on fire.
      Everything is done in a half-hearted, listless, dead-and-alive way, as if it did not matter much whether it was done or not.
      Things are respectably done, the rich families are not offended, the skeptical party is conciliated, and the good people are not quite alienated: things are made pleasant all around.
      The right things are done, but as to doing them with all your might, and soul, and strength, a Laodicean church has no notion of what that means.
      They are not so cold as to abandon their work, or to give up their meetings for prayer, or to reject the gospel.

      “I will vomit you out of My mouth:” How are churches in the mouth of Jesus?

      They are in His mouth because they spread His Word
      They are in His mouth because He prays for them constantly.

      What a terrible thing - in either of these ways - to be expelled from the mouth of Jesus!

      Verse 17 tells us what Jesus has against the church of Laodicea.
      “Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing”; and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked;”

      The church at Laodicea lacked a sense of spiritual poverty. They looked at their spiritual condition and said “rich.” They looked again and said “wealthy.” They looked a third time and said, “We have need of nothing.” They are the opposite of blessed are the poor in spirit Jesus spoke of in Matthew 5:3.

      The Laodiceans put their TRUST in material prosperity, in outward luxury, and in physical health. They felt like they didn’t need anything.

      “The cause of Christ has been HURT more by Sunday-morning bench-warmers who pretend to love Christ, who call Him Lord but do not His commands six days of the week.

      “And do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked:” It wasn’t that the church at Laodicea wasn’t spiritually poor - they were, they were simply BLIND to it. Jesus looked at their spiritual condition and said, “wretched.” He looked again and said “miserable.” A third time Jesus looked and said “poor.” He looked again and said “blind.” A final time Jesus looked, and He saw that they were spiritually “naked.”

      “YOU ARE:” This isn’t just the opinion of Jesus. Spiritually speaking, they REALLY ARE wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. What Jesus sees in them is more important than how they see themselves. The church in Smyrna thought they were poor when they were really rich (Revelation 2:9), but the church of the Laodiceans believe they are rich when they are REALLY poor.

      Verses 18-20 tells us what Jesus wants the church of Laodicea to do.
      “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

      “I counsel you to buy from Me:” The change in the Laodiceans had to begin with understanding their spiritual poverty. As long as we believe we can meet the need for wealth, clothing, or sight ourselves, we can NEVER receive them from Jesus. We must seek these things FROM Jesus instead of relying on them from the world or ourselves.

      “Buy from Me gold refined in the fire:” If they will receive from Jesus His riches, His gold - beautifully refined in the fire - then they may be rich.

      “White garments, that you may be clothed:” If they will receive from Jesus the pure, righteous covering He GIVES, then they will be clothed, and no longer will the shame of your nakedness . . . be revealed. The merchants of Laodicea were famous for a glossy black wool they used to make beautiful garments. Jesus says, “I know the beautiful black that the world can clothe you in. But I have white garments, that you may be clothed.”

      “Anoint your eyes with eye salve:” If they will receive from Jesus the healing of their spiritual sight, they will then be able to see.

      “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:” With such a sharp rebuke, has Jesus lost His love for this errant church? Not at all. Jesus’ great love is expressed in His rebuke.

      The word for love in as many as I love is not agape, but phileo. Jesus’ heart to this church is, “Even though I rebuke you and chasten you, I am still your friend. I love you deeply as My friend.”

      “Therefore be zealous and repent:” He commands them to make a decision to repent, and to continue in zeal. Jesus is saying, DON’T look to your own riches and resources, because they are really bankrupt. Turn around and look to ME.”

      “Behold, I stand at the door and knock:” Jesus gives to this lukewarm church The Great Invitation. He knocks at the door, asking entry to come and dine with us, in the sense of sharing warm, intimate time. It only happens as we respond to His knock, but the promise is made to all: If anyone HEARS My voice.

      The idea of Jesus at the door applies to the sinner and to the saint just the same. Jesus wants to come in to us, and dine with us, in the sense of having a deep, intimate one-on-one DAILY relationship.

      “I stand at the door:” Sadly, Jesus stands on the outside, knocking to get in. If the church at Philadelphia was “The Church of the Open Door,” then the church at Laodicea is “The Church of the Shut Out Jesus.”

      “I will come into him:” What a glorious promise! If we open the door, He WILL come in. He won’t ring the bell and run away. He promises to come in, and when Jesus says DINE WITH HIM, He speaks of a specific meal known as the deipnon. The deipnon was the MAIN meal of the day and was the meal at which a man sat and talked for a long time, for work was ended . . . it is not a mere courtesy visit, paid in the passing, which Jesus Christ offers to us. He desires to come in and to sit long with us.

      Everything He said to the Laodicean church up to this point must be seen in light of this loving desire for fellowship. “Rebuke and chastisement are NOT signs of rejection from Christ, but of His abiding and pleading love, even to the lukewarm and careless.

      “If anyone:” Notice that Jesus gives the call to INDIVIDUALS. He didn’t say, “If any church,” but if anyone. It must be done by individuals: the church will only get right IF EACH man gets right.

      Verse 21 tells us a promise of reward.
      “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

      “To him who overcomes:” Jesus’ promise to the overcomer, even at Laodicea, shows that we don’t have to be Christians who are compromising and lukewarm. If we are, we CAN CHANGE and become one of Jesus’ overcomers.

      “I will grant to sit with Me on My throne:” Those who overcome the battle against indifference, compromise, and self-reliance, receive a special reward. They enjoy a place with the enthroned Jesus (as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne).

      LAODICEA is the WORST of the seven Churches, and yet the most eminent of all the promises are made to it, showing that the worst may repent, finally conquer, and attain even to the highest state of glory.

      Verse 22 tells us a general exhortation to all who will hear.

      Few want to identify themselves with the church of Laodicea. We would much rather identify ourselves with the church at Philadelphia.

      We must hear what the Holy Spirit says here, because He speaks to the churches - including us. May God deliver us from the self-reliant, compromising lukewarmness that marked the church of the Laodiceans!

      Putting the Seven Churches of Revelation into Historical Perspective

      Many have attempted to make sense of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 (the letters to the seven churches of Asia) by taking them as a unified whole. It is significant that Jesus CHOSE THESE particular SEVEN congregations to address. Additionally, some have pointed to the ORDER OF THE LETTERS as evidence of their significance as HIS church history in the period between the Ascension and Jesus to His return for HIS CHURCH.

      It is also interesting to note that Paul addressed SEVEN churches: Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Colosse, Phillipi, and Thessalonica.

      Jesus ALSO gives SEVEN “Kingdom Parables”.

      Bible scholars say The Book of Revelation emphasizes that as SEVEN is a number of COMPLETION & FULFILLMENT, so Jesus and Paul wrote to SEVEN churches as a indication that they were in fact speaking to THE COMPLETE CHURCH, not just these seven congregations.

      Speaking to seven churches means speaking to the church in perfection, in completion and totality. As one commentator puts it, “The churches of all time are comprehended in seven.”
      Chuck Smith, What the World is Coming To (1977).

      Ephesian: The early church, up until the death of John.

      Smyrna: 2nd to 4th centuries, Roman persecutions.

      Pergamite: Beginning in 316, “development of church-state system under Constantine.”

      Thyatiran: The unrepentant, unfaithful church destined to go through the Great Tribulation.

      Sardian: Dead Protestantism.

      Philadelphian: The faithful church of the last days.

      Laodicean: The apostate church of the last days.

      It seems that the last four churches WILL persist until the coming of Jesus (see Revelation 2:25; Revelation 3:3; Revelation 3:11; and Revelation 3:20). If one accepts these seven letters as descriptive of the flow of church history, it does not require that we see them as exclusive, rigidly sequential ages.

      As well, we must remember that every age has had SOME characteristics of ALL seven churches. Though certain historical periods are marked by the conditions spoken of in these letters, we could never say that “only one letter” applies to us or JUST our age.


      So WHAT does Jesus WANT us to SEE, to KNOW, & to UNDERSTAND about HIM & HIS CHURCHES in Revelation 2 & 3?

      1. YOU ARE MINE.
      2. I KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU….GOOD AND BAD.
      3. I SEE YOU…..GOOD AND BAD.
      4. I LOVE YOU…..ANYWAY.
      5. CHANGE, REPENT, &/OR STAY STRONG.
      6. RETURN TO ME.
      7. I AM COMING BACK FOR YOU….BE READY!

    • July 6, 2016 7:01 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 4---{HEAVEN'S THRONE ROOM}


      Jesus HAS introduced Himself to The World--Revelation 1.
      Jesus SPOKE to HIS 7 Churches--Revelation 2-3.
      REVELATION 4 OPENS WITH JOHN BEING RAPTURED WITH THE CHURCH…now what?

      Jesus SHOWS us what is going on in Heaven.
      Jesus is ALSO preparing us for Revelation 6.


      Revelation 1:19 IS an outline of the ENTIRE book of Revelation.

      Chapter FOUR begins the third section: the things which shall take place after THE RAPTURE of THE CHURCH.

      Chapter four begins a HEAVENLY perspective, looking down on the earth.
      THE CHURCH will be IN Heaven…LOOKING down on the earth.

      The Bible has other important references to heaven, in passages such as Isaiah 6:1-8; Ezekiel 1, and in passages describing the Tabernacle, which symbolically describes heaven (Exodus 25-32 and 35-40).

      In the description of heavenly things, John will use SOME symbols, but remember NOT everything IS symbolic.

      Also, we should keep in mind the nature of symbolism: the symbol is always less than the reality. The reality of heaven is even greater & more amazing than the descriptions The Bible gives us.

      From Revelation 4 through 19 we have a section MAINLY dealing with & concerning God’s JUDGMENT upon the world, preceding Jesus’ earthly reign, the period known as the “Messianic Woes” or the “Great Tribulation.”

      God’s judgments ARE announced by a seven-sealed scroll, seven trumpets, seven signs, and seven bowls that pour out God’s wrath.

      Revelation FOUR introduces us to the place judgment comes from: God’s throne in heaven. Jesus is TELLING us WHAT we WILL see when we GET there.

      John is CALLED TO HEAVEN.

      REVELATION 4:1
      “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

      “After these things”: Revelation chapters 2 and 3 spoke to the churches, and the seven churches comprised all of JESUS’ churches. After Jesus is finished speaking to the churches, after John’s vision of THE RAPTURE, John is brought to Heaven & is shown the vision of Revelation 4.

      “And the first voice which I heard”: The first voice that spoke to John in Revelation 1:10 speaks to him AGAIN here -- it IS the voice of Jesus. Jesus calls John up to heaven, through a door standing open in heaven.

      “Like a trumpet”: The voice spoke loud and clear to John. It was like the trumpet that gathered the congregation of Israel together, or gathered an army for battle.

      “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this”: John will be shown things that concern the end times FUTURE (which must take place after this), NOT John’s present day.
      Some mistakenly interpret what John saw up through Revelation 19 as being fulfilled BEFORE John’s day--- notably, in the Roman invasion and destruction of Jerusalem. That is a WRONG assumption. Jesus clearly tells John that He will show him things which must take place AFTER John’s day.

      MANKIND’S HISTORY AGREES WITH BIBLICAL HISTORY.
      HOW?

      POOLE, AN AMAZING CHRISTIAN & HISTORIAN TELL US.
      “The destruction of Jerusalem, for that was already past, in the time of Titus Vespasian the Roman emperor, about the year 69 or 70, after the incarnation; this (as all confess) was in Domitian’s time, about the 11th or 12th year of his reign, about twenty-six or twenty-seven years after that was past.”

      Some like to interpret what John saw up through Revelation 19 as fulfilled in history AFTER John’s day but BEFORE our present day. But these events have YET to be fulfilled in any sort of literal sense. So we MUST regard what Jesus will show John in the following chapters of Revelation as belonging to the FUTURE, and as preceding HIS return when Jesus WILL touch earth THIS time IN ISRAEL on Mount Zion, & WILL destroy The AntiChrist, & then we SEE Jesus’ coming millennial (1000 year reign) ON the earth.

      “Like a trumpet . . . Come up here”: Many see John’s “going up” to heaven as a symbol/confirmation of The Rapture Of The Church. John ALSO is called up to heaven by a voice that sounds like a trumpet, just as the church will be as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.

      The pattern of Revelation is ORDERLY & SIGNIFICANT. Jesus introduced Himself to the world in Revelation 1. Jesus IS finished speaking to and dealing with ALL HIS churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Now, Jesus calls John up to heaven, “catching him away” with a voice that sounds like a trumpet. All this happens BEFORE the great wrath that will be described beginning at Revelation 6. As that great judgment on the earth unfolds, John - a representative of the church - is IN heaven, looking DOWN on earth.

      Significantly, the word “CHURCH=Christians=The Bride of Christ” NEVER is mentioned NOR does it occur, in Revelation chapters 4 through 19, which reveals GOD‘S judgment upon the UNSAVED/REJECTING Jesus Christ earth/mankind.

      (v.2) John goes up, in the Spirit.
      “Immediately I was in the Spirit;”

      John already said he was in the Spirit at Revelation 1:10. This is yet a DIFFERENT experience, as John COMES TO HEAVEN & has a heavenly perspective.

      “In the Spirit:” Where was his body? Was John’s body in heaven also, or was it just his spirit? Remember Paul, when he had his heavenly experience, he DIDN’T know if he was “in the body” or not (2 Corinthians 12:1-4).

      John’s description of heaven.
      The point of focus? A THRONE set in heaven.
      “And behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.”

      “And behold, a throne:” This throne is what first strikes John, and it is the centerpiece of THIS vision. John is fixated on the occupied throne, and everything else is described in relation to this throne.

      “And One sat on the throne:” The throne is NOT empty. There is some One who sits on this great heavenly throne. The throne is a powerful declaration of not merely God’s presence, but of His sovereign, rightful reign, and His prerogative to judge.

      ATHEISTS BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THERE IS NO THRONE, NO AUTHORITY, NO POWER BEYOND THEMSELVES.

      HUMANISM BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THERE IS A THRONE, BUT MAN SITS UPON IT HIMSELF.

      MEISM BOTTOM LINE IS THAT ME IS THE RULER, ME SITS ON THE THRONE.

      ESSENTIALLY, MANKIND CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT THE CONCEPT OF A THRONE…A SUPREME RULER. IN REJECTING ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST, THEY CREATE OR LABEL THEMSELVES, A HUMAN RULER, OR FAD-DRIVEN IDEOLOGY/CONCEPT THERE.

      (v.3) What John saw at the heavenly throne.
      “And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”

      “And He who sat there was like:” As John describes the occupant of the throne, he does not describe a distinct figure.

      “Like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance:” Instead of describing a specific form or figure, John describes emanations of glistening light in two colors: white (jasper may mean “diamond”) and red (sardius).

      Perhaps these two colors are meant to communicate the glory of the empty tomb (white, Matthew 28:1-3) and the sacrificial love of Calvary (red, indicating blood). Or, perhaps they should be linked with the first and last gems in the high priest’s breastplate (Exodus 39:8-13).

      “And there was a rainbow around the throne:” The throne is surrounded by a green-hued rainbow (in appearance like an emerald). A rainbow around the throne is a remarkable thing, showing that God will ALWAYS limit Himself by His own promises. The rainbow is a reminder of God’s commitment to His covenant with man (Genesis 9:11-17).

      (v.4) What John SAW around the throne: the TWENTY-FOUR elders.
      “Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.”

      “Around the throne were twenty-four thrones:” Before the elders catch John’s eye, he noticed the twenty-four thrones they sat on. These twenty-four elders sit on lesser thrones, around the throne.
      Later we will hear their song of worship (Revelation 4:10-11).

      “On the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting:” Who are these twenty-four elders? They represent God’s people. ELDERS represented the people of God, ESPECIALLY in the Old Testament.
      The 24 courses of the priesthood represented all the priests (1 Chronicles 24), and the 12 tribes and the 12 apostles represent all the faithful.

      In Revelation 5:9-10, the twenty-four elders sing a song of praise to Jesus, and they cry out: “For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood, out of EVERY tribe and tongue and people and nation.” In that passage, the twenty-four elders are clearly speaking as representatives of ALL God’s people, of the great company of the redeemed in/through ACCEPTANCE of Jesus Christ.

      “Clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads:” The white robes and crowns of the elders indicate they ARE human beings - in ETERNAL glory, of course.

      Angels are sometimes presented in white robes or garments (Mark 16:5; John 20:12; Acts 1:10), but “SAINTS=those saved during the Tribulation” will ALSO have white robes (Revelation 6:11; 7:9; 7:13-14) as a picture of their imputed righteousness (Isaiah 61:10; Revelation 3:5-18). However, we never SEE angels CROWNED, but ONLY believers ARE and WILL BE (1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; 1 Peter 5:4).

      So we NOW KNOW who the 24 are. They ARE redeemed & glorified mankind sits enthroned WITH Jesus. On lesser thrones, to be sure, but thrones none the less. We ARE joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), and we WILL reign with Him (2 Timothy 2:12).

      (v.5) Impressive and fearful sights at the throne of God.
      “And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

      “And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices:” The lightning, thunder, voices and fire are reminiscent of God’s fearful presence at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-19 and 20:18-19). They communicate the AWE associated with the throne of God.

      “Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne:” The Holy Spirit (the seven Spirits of God, as previously referred to in Revelation 1:4 and Isaiah 11:2) is represented by seven burning lamps. In other passages, HE=JESUS is represented by a dove (Matthew 3:16) or a flame of fire (Acts 2:3).

      (v.6) The sea of glass before the throne.
      “Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal.”
      “A sea of glass:” Is this sea really made of glass, or does it just look like it? Whether it looks like glass, or is actually made of glass, it is the FINEST/PUREST glass, like crystal.

      “A sea:” This body of water before the throne is reminiscent of the laver in the Tabernacle, and our washing of the water of the word (Ephesians 5:26). The word is to us a crystal glass, giving us a clear sight of God and of ourselves, in (2 Corinthians 3:18; James 1:23).

      (v.6-8) The four living creatures all around the throne.
      “And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within.”

      “Four living creatures full of eyes:” From comparison with Ezekiel 1:4-14 and 10:20-22, we understand these creatures to be CHERUBIM, the spectacular angelic beings who surround the throne of God. Satan was once one of these high angelic beings, according to Ezekiel 28:14.

      Cherubim were also prominent in design of the tabernacle, particularly in the Most Holy Place (Exodus 25:17-22; 26:1, and 31). The Scriptures show us that the tabernacle is a model of the throne of God, in some manner (Exodus 25:8-9).

      “Full of eyes in front and in back . . . full of eyes around and within:” Their multitude of eyes indicates these living creatures (not “beasts” as in the KJV) are not blind instruments or robots. They KNOW & UNDERSTAND, and have GREATER insight and perception than ANY man.

      These beings of incredible intelligence and understanding live their existence to worship God. All failure to truly worship is rooted in a lack of seeing and understanding.

      The way these super-intelligent beings worship God reminds us that our worship MUST be intelligent. Our service MUST be reasonable, as it says in Romans 12:1 & intelligent in John 4:22.

      “Like a lion . . . like a calf . . . a face like a man . . . like a flying eagle:” John describes FOUR cherubim, each with a DIFFERENT face. From comparison with Ezekiel 1:6-10, we can see that each of the cherubim have four faces, and at the moment, John sees each one of the four different faces pointed in his direction.

      Some scholars BELIEVE these four creatures speak of the ensigns of the lead tribe as Israel was encamped in four groups around the tabernacle in the wilderness. Numbers 2:3; 2:10; 2:18, and 2:25 mention this organization of the tribes under these four heads, but does not assign “mascots” to tribal banners.

      That these were the four creatures whose represent the four leaders of the Israelites as the 12 Tribes were divided into four companies, allotting the men of three tribes to each company. Judah’s standard had a LION in its colors, according to Jacob’s prophecy of that tribe, Genesis 49:9, Ephraim had an OX, Reuben had a MAN, Dan an EAGLE.

      As the Old Testament is either/both affirmed/confirmed in the New Testament, the four different faces of the cherubim are ALSO taken as symbols OF JESUS as represented in each gospel. In classical church architecture, these four “characters” are repeated often as a motif that signifies both heaven and the FOUR gospels.

      Most have seen Matthew as the “LION” gospel, showing Jesus as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. Mark is seen as the “OX” gospel, showing Jesus as a humble servant, a worker. Luke is seen as the “MAN” gospel, showing Jesus as the perfect man, the second Adam. John is seen as the “EAGLE” gospel, showing Jesus as the man from heaven, the sky.

      What we DO know is that these FOUR faces ARE important because they represent ALL of living creation, in its utmost excellence. The lion is the mightiest of wild animals, the ox strongest of domesticated animals, the eagle king of all birds, and man is highest of all creation, BUT they are ALL placed UNDER the throne of glory as in Ezekiel 1:10, to show that NOTHING is ABOVE God & His Kingdom.

      As well, it is significant to see that the Bible associates A FACE with the idea of person (1 Chronicles 12:8; 2 Chronicles 29:6; Isaiah 3:15; 13:8). Here we have singular beings with four faces. Apparently, there are beings that can be more than one person - as our God is One God in three Persons.

      John describes what happens at the throne of God.
      (8b) The living creatures constantly worship God.
      “And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”

      “They do not rest day or night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy.” The cherubim constantly repeat the phrase holy, holy, holy. God’s holy nature and character is declared, and emphasized with a three-time repetition.

      “They do not rest:” They have no rest, and yet they have no unrest neither, they ARE content.

      “Lord God Almighty:” The cherubim declare that the Lord God is Almighty. As in Revelation 1:8, the ancient Greek word is pantokrator, with the idea of “the one who has His hand on everything.”

      “Who was and is and is to come:” This repeats another idea from Revelation 1:8, and refers to God’s ETERNAL Being. It translates the thought behind the meaning of the name “Yahweh.”

      (v.9-11) The twenty-four elders worship the enthroned God.
      “Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.”

      “Whenever the living creatures give glory . . . the twenty-four elders fall down before Him:” The worship of the twenty-four elders is prompted by the cherubim. Since the cherubim worship God day and night, so do the elders.

      “The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him:” The twenty-four elders recognize that THEIR worth/worthiness belongs to God, NOT to themselves.

      INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, DID YOU KNOW there was a practice known in the Roman Empire. The Emperor of Rome ruled over many lesser kings, and these kings were at times commanded to come before the Emperor and lay their crowns down before him in homage. Then he would give them back, as a demonstration that their crowns, their right to rule, their victory, came FROM him ALONE.

      The crowns mentioned in Revelation 4:10 are the STEPHANOS CROWNS, the crowns of victory, NOT royalty. These are the crowns of achievement that a winning athlete would receive at the ancient Olympian Games. The twenty-four elders - representing ALL the redeemed CHILDREN of God - throw every achievement reward they have back to God, because they know and proclaim that He is worthy . . . to receive glory and honor and power.

      This verse ALSO tells us and shows us that there are NO divided opinions in heaven, NO sects and parties, NO schisms there. They are ALL IN PERFECT HARMONY in Heaven. What one does, all do. They ALL cast their crowns, without exception, before the throne.

      “For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created:” The fact that God is Creator gives Him all right and every claim over everything - even as a potter has all rights and claims over the clay (Romans 9:21).

      Because the 24 elders represent ALL people of God, the worship, the crown, the robes, the heart of these twenty-four elders belongs to us ALSO. Jesus is TELLING us that there IS a throne in heaven that NO ONE can occupy but YOU/I, and there is a crown in heaven that NO OTHER head can wear but YOU/I, and there is a part in the eternal song that NO VOICE can ever compass but YOU/I. How precious is Jesus. This scripture SHOWS us just how VERY MUCH HE loves EACH of us, Amen!!!


      BE BLESSED AND STAY BLESSED IN OUR JESUS!

    • July 6, 2016 6:59 PM EDT
    • REVELATION CHAPTER 5---{The Lion, The Lamb, and The Scroll}

      REVELATION 1:19 GIVES US, THE READERS OF REVELATION AN OUTLINE OF THE ENTIRE BOOK.

      REVELATION 1…JESUS CHRIST INTRODUCES HIMSELF TO THE LOST AND SAVED WORLD.
      REVELATION 2-3...JESUS SPEAKS TO EACH OF HIS 7 CHURCHES.
      REVELATION 4...JOHN IS CAUGHT UP FROM THE ISLE OF PATMOS, INTO HEAVEN WITH AN INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE IN A FINGER SNAP OF TIME & WE SEE WHAT HEAVEN AND THE THRONE OF GOD LOOKS LIKE & WHAT IS GOING ON IN HEAVEN ALL THE TIME.
      REVELATION 5...THE WARRIOR ANGEL CHALLENGES ALL OF HEAVEN, ALL OF MANKIND, ALL THE CHRISTIANS IN HEAVEN, AND ALL OF THOSE UNDER THE EARTH, MEANING EVEN SATAN AND HIS DEMONS THEMSELVES TO BE WORTHY TO TAKE THE 7 SEALED SCROLL FROM THE HAND OF ALMIGHTY GOD TO OPEN IT….
      TURN WITH ME NOW TO REVELATION 5.…

      ONLY ONE worthy to take the scroll.

      (v.1) The throne and the scroll.
      “And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.”

      The focus of Revelation 4 was THE THRONE. Here, John begins with reference to the throne, but now shifts his focus to THE SCROLL held by the NOW enthroned Lord Jesus Christ.

      “Written inside and on the back:” This means that this scroll is UNUSUAL. It wasn’t common practice to write on BOTH sides of the scroll. This means that whatever the information on this scroll, there is A LOT of it - almost more than the scroll can contain.

      DID YOU KNOW THAT…ancient scrolls were read horizontally, not vertically. The “rolls” of the scroll were on the left and the right, and the writing lay in narrow columns about three inches wide, written on a substance kind of like brown paper. The scroll was ALWAYS held in the left hand, and unrolled with the right, and as the reading went on, the previously read portion was re-rolled. On such a typical scroll, the Book of Revelation would fill a scroll 15 FEET LONG.

      “Sealed with seven seals:” Did you know, when a roll was finished, it was fastened with strings and the strings were sealed with wax at the knots. BUT THIS SCROLL is sealed with SEVEN (number of perfection/completeness) seals; there are SEVEN strings sealed with & around the scroll.

      These are NOT 7 writings each separated by ONE seal; but 7 seals all set upon ONE scroll. Which MEANS that ALL the seals must be opened BEFORE the scroll CAN be read.

      So, what IS this scroll? What IS written in it? It’s important to remember that whatever is on this scroll, NO ONE EXCEPT Jesus is worthy to open it (Revelation 5:3-4).

      Some think the scroll is the Old Testament, or the Old and New Testaments together, or fulfilled prophecy. But these ideas look BACK, NOT FORWARD, and John is speaks of things related to things which must take place AFTER this (Revelation 4:1).

      The BEST EXPLANATION for WHAT this scroll REALLY is, is found in Jeremiah 32:6-15, which describes Jewish title deeds as sealed. But there is no doubt that the earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1), though the governments of this world belong to Satan (Luke 4:5-8). If God has to get the title deed back, when did God ever “lose” the title deed to planet earth? In fact, God HOLDS this scroll - it ISN’T lost. But the scroll must be opened, it must be revealed.

      AND IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE, IN ROMAN DAYS, Roman law required a will to be sealed SEVEN times as illustrated in the wills left by Augustus and Vespasian for their successors.

      This scroll IS God’s will, his FINAL settlement of the affairs of the universe. REMEMBER the emphasis is NOT on the CONTENT of the scroll, but on its seals and the One who IS WORTHY to take it.

      (v.2-4) Who is worthy to open the scroll?
      “Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.”

      “A strong angel:” We don’t know who this angel is. Nonetheless, this angel issues a challenge to ALL creation: Who IS worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals? This is a challenge NO creature can answer because NO creature in Heaven or in earth or under the earth IS WORTHY to open this particular scroll.

      “No one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it:” John could not have said it any stronger. There is NO answer to the strong angel’s challenge because ALL CREATION is incapable.

      “So I wept much:” John’s weeps because NO ONE creation was found WORTHY & because he believes a previous promise to see the future may now be denied (Revelation 4:1).

      (v.5-7) The Lion of the tribe of Judah is worthy to open the scroll.
      “But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. Then He came and took the scroll out of the RIGHT HAND of Him (Almighty God) who sat on the throne.”

      “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah:” One of the elders (not an angel) rescues John from his grief, showing him THE ONE who has prevailed to open the scroll. The one is the great figure of Old Testament prophecy: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, Messiah of Israel and of the Gentiles.

      The Messianic title “Lion of the tribe of Judah” comes from Genesis 49:9-10; Isaiah 31:4, and Hosea 11:10. The title “Root of David” comes from Isaiah 11:10 and is repeated in Revelation 22:16.

      “And I looked, and behold . . . stood a Lamb:” Because of the elder’s announcement, John expected to see a Lion, but sees a Lamb instead.

      “The Lamb” is presented in a way both sympathetic and powerful; He is living (stood a Lamb), but He still has the marks of previous sacrifice upon Him (as though it had been slain).

      When men want symbols of power they conjure up ferocious beasts and birds of prey such as those that represent nations and sports teams. But the representative of the kingdom of heaven is a Lamb, representing humility, gentleness, and sacrificial love.

      The Lamb looks as though it had been slain & had the marks of sacrifice on it. The coming judgment beginning in chapter six is dictated and administrated by The Lamb who already offered an escape from judgment by taking judgment upon Himself. The judgment comes upon a world that HATES the Lamb and all He stands for, and to those who REJECTS Jesus’ offer of escape.

      “As it had been slain:” The sacrifice of Jesus is still fresh and current before God the Father. THIS IS IMPORTANT for mankind to REMEMBER & TO UNDERSTAND. In God’s eyes, though thousands of years LATER, the obscene torture/pain/death of HIS PRECIOUS SON is still A FRESH/PAINFUL memory in God THE FATHER’S eyes and heart and mind.

      When I read this….I thought about this…We see on TV, our military soldiers who gave their LIVES in the protection, defense, and freedom of people who are NOT their own…come home to be mourned/buried honorably…only to have OBSCENE people show up and scream curses and sing hallelujahs that these military are dead. We ARE shocked by this…we ARE angry when this happens…we ARE outraged when our sons and daughters ARE REJECTED & DISHONORED, right? And though they ARE beloved by us, they are NOT pure, perfect, and sinless. We see people & commentators say, “Well these people JUST NEED to GET OVER IT, GET BEYOND IT, and MOVE ON. It is over. It is done.”

      The Bible CLEARLY tells us….WARNS US that Almighty God has NOT, does NOT, and WILL NOT forget the sacrifice of HIS SON for unworthy mankind. Almighty God is WARNING mankind…“YOU REJECT/DISMISS/IGNORE HIS SON….Almighty God WILL reject you. He WILL bring JUDGMENT against you.

      “Having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth:” Even though the marks of His sacrifice are evident, The Lamb is NOT an object of pity. He also bears the marks of omnipotence (seven horns) and omniscience (seven eyes). What a figure! A slain Lamb, who has the marks of omniscience and omnipotence!

      Throughout The Bible, “eyes” suggest knowledge and wisdom, and “horns” suggest power. This Lamb HAS ALL knowledge, wisdom, and power fulfilled perfectly: seven horns and seven eyes.

      “Which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth:” The Holy Spirit is NOT ONLY the Spirit of God, but also the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Acts 16:7 and Romans 8:9).

      The seven eyes of the Lord are a picture of omniscience drawn from the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 4:10 and 3:9).

      “Then He came and took the scroll:” The Lamb CAN take it. His rank, character, and ability to TAKE the scroll and OPEN it (and thus dictate the destiny of creation) has been permanently demonstrated by Jesus work on the cross.

      Praise to the Worthy One.
      (v.8-10) The song of the elders and the cherubim.
      “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth.”

      “The four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb:” When JESUS takes the scroll, ALL high-ranking angels and redeemed man join together in worship of the Lamb.

      “Each having a harp:” Worship in heaven is accompanied by music.

      “And golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints:” With their golden bowls full of incense, present the prayers OF the saints. We are reminded that there is ONE God and ONE Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). These elders are NOT praying FOR the saints, and this in no wise justifies the Roman Catholic practice of praying TO the saints, asking them to pray FOR us.

      “Golden bowls full of incense:” In this we see how precious OUR prayers are to God. He regards them as a sweet smelling incense, as if set in precious golden bowls, as written of in Psalm 141:2.

      “And they sang a new song:” The elders sing a new song, for mercies that are forever new, because is WAS a NEW thing that the Son of God should become man.

      “You are worthy:” In the days of the Apostle John, Roman Emperors were celebrated upon their arrival with the Latin expression “vere dignus,” which is translated “You are worthy.” Here the TRUE RULER of the world is honored.

      “For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth:” In the praise of Revelation 4:11, the emphasis is on God’s work of creation. Here, the emphasis is on His work of redemption.

      The song honors the price of redemption: for You were slain
      The song honors the worker of redemption: have redeemed us
      The song honors the destination of redemption: have redeemed us to God
      The song honors the payment of redemption: by Your blood
      The song honors the scope of redemption: every tribe and tongue and people and nation
      The song honors the length of redemption: have made us kings and priests to our God
      The song honors the result of redemption: and we shall reign on the earth

      “Kings and priests to our God:” Believers ARE kings/queens because of their royal birth and their destiny to reign WITH Jesus. They ARE priests because they need NO mediator other than Jesus Himself.

      (v.11-12) Countless angels join in, declaring the worthiness of the Lamb because of the redemption He accomplished.
      “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

      “I heard the voice of many angels around the throne:” The angels and the elders fell down before the Lamb together (Revelation 5:8). But it seems that only the elders sang the song of the redeemed (Revelation 5:9-10), because in NO place does the Bible tell us of the redemption of angels. But now, the voice of many angels around the throne rises up with the praise of the Great Redeemer.

      In Revelation 4:9-10, the angels prompt the elders into worship. Here, the elders seem to prompt the angels. It is a wonderful cycle in heaven, with the angels and elders encouraging each other to more and more praise.

      “The number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands:” This is an innumerable company of angels.

      “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain:” In their song, the angels do not offer praise for THEIR redemption, because angels are ONLY to observe, and are ONLY able to praise God because of it (1 Peter 1:12 and Ephesians 3:10).


      (v.13-14) All creation praises the Father and the Lamb.
      “And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.”

      “Every creature:” John CLARIFIES that EVERY creature - in heaven, on earth, under the earth and in the sea.

      “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb:” This COMBINED worship of the Father and the Lamb is STRONG testimony to the deity of Jesus.

      “Fell down and worshipped Him:” The ancient Greek word for worshipped is literally “to prostrate” or “to lay before another in complete worship & submission.”

      “Forever and ever . . . worshipped Him who lives forever and ever:” The living God reigns eternally. The Caesars come and go, including those who persecute God’s people. But the Lord God lives forever and ever and is ever worthy of our praise.

      SO WHAT DOES REVELATION 5 TELL US…SHOW US…

      HAVING READ THE ENTIRE BIBLE TO THIS POINT, KNOWING AND SEEING WHAT ALMIGHTY GOD HAS SEEN OF MANKIND, HIS HISTORY, THE EARTH AND ITS FALLENNESS, SATAN AND HIS DEMONS AND THEIR DESTRUCTIVENESS AND THEIR EVIL…..EVEN HERE…ALMIGHTY GOD OFFERS ANY AND ALL TO BE WORTHY TO OPEN THE SCROLL.

      HE CHALLENGES ALL OF CREATION…PROVE YOURSELF WORTHY…AND NOTHING AND NO ONE IS STILL WORTHY BUT FOR JESUS CHRIST…AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE…YOU DO NOT SEE MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS STEP FORWARD, NONE OF THE DISCIPLES, NOT CHARLES SPURGEON, NOT MOTHER THERESA, NOT MOHAMMED, NOT BUDDHA, NOT THE POPE,…NOT ONE THING, NOT ONE PERSON, NOT EVEN THE INSANE EGOMANICAL SATAN NOR HIS DEMONS DARE TO CHALLENGE OR STEP FORWARD TO TRY AND TAKE THE SCROLL FROM THE HAND OF ALM IGHTY GOD.

      THIS SHOWS THE FAIRNESS, THE JUSTNESS OF ALMIGHTY GOD, AND IT ALSO SHOWS AND PROVES TO US THAT JESUS CHRIST ALONE, IS WORTHY…ONLY JESUS IS ABLE…ONLY JESUS IS PURE…PERFECT, AMEN?

      AND WE SEE AT THIS POINT, JOHN THE RAPTURED CHURCH, JEW AND GENTILE ALIKE ARE SAFELY IN HEAVEN, LOOKING DOWN UPON THE EARTH.

      THE TRIUNE GOD WHO LOVES, HAS TAKEN HIS LIVING CHILDREN, EVEN THE DEAD BODIES, AND ALL DNA OF HIS CHILDREN FROM THE EARTH, THE SEAS, THE SKIES AND LASTLY HIS HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN CAUGHT UP & REMOVED FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH BEFOREEEEEEEEE JESUS TAKES THE SCROLL AND OPENS IT IN HEAVEN…

      ALL THAT REMAINS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH IS FALLEN EARTH, LOST AND REJECTING MANKIND, AND SATAN AND HIS DEMONS TO FACE THE WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD…

      THIS IS A REASSURANCE TO HIS CHILDREN, AND A PLEA AND A WARNING TO THE LOST REJECTING WORLD…CALL UPON ME WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME…I WOULD SPARE YOU MY FATHER’S WRATH.

      AND FOR SATAN AND HIS DEMONS…IT IS A TIME CLOCK. YOU ARE AT THE END OF DAYS…THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS NOW…

      FOR THE LOST....CALL UPON JESUS CHRIST WHILE YOU MAY…

      AND FOR THOSE WHO KNOW AND LOVE JESUS CHRIST...WE ARE TO HOLD FAST TO OUR JESUS…GET BUSY SHINING AND SHOWING OUR JESUS…BECAUSE WE WHO LOVE JESUS…ARE SAVED AND REDEEMED BY AND THROUGH HIM, HIS LOVE, HIS GRACE, AND HIS SACRIFICE…ARE ON A COUNTDOWN TOO.

    • July 6, 2016 6:54 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 6-9---Judgment upon the UNSAVED earth


      Think back over your lives…

      How many on your face prayers your have prayed; how many heart cries winged their way to Heaven; how many injustices you have faced; how many times you have been used, abused, & mistreated namely because as a Child of The Most High…you have NOT returned EVIL for EVIL…but have cried out an ocean of tears to your ABBA FATHER for justice, intervention, defense, saving grace.

      Did you know that our tears, our heart cries, and our prayers are so precious to Him, that He HAS saved every SINGLE one in priceless, pure golden bowls?

      Remember ALL THE ABOVE while we study the next 12 Chapters of Revelation. Because this is what Almighty God IS saying & doing.

      ALMIGHTY GOD IS SICK & TIRED OF HIS CHILDREN BEING MISTREATED.
      ALMIGHTY GOD IS SICK & TIRED OF EARTH REJECTING HIS PRECIOUS SON.

      GOD HAS BEEN SAYING…“BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR MANKIND!!!!!!”

      MANKIND’S RESPONSE…“GO AWAY; GET OUT OF OUR LIVES; WE WANT TO ROCK & ROLL & RULE WITH THE WORLD & THEREFORE SATAN!”

      WE DO NOT NEED YOU. WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN SOME SUPREME BEING WHO CREATED ALL THINGS. WE DO NOT YOUR WIMPY LAWS, YOUR COMMANDMENTS. WE ARE DOING JUSTTTTTTTT FINE ON OUR OWN. GO AWAY!

      ALMIGHTY GOD FINALLY SAYS......…“SO BE IT!”


      Revelation 6 --- The First Six Seals


      The FIRST FOUR seals of the scroll bring four horsemen.

      (v.1-2) The WHITE HORSE brings a man of conquest.
      “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

      “I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals:” From the previous chapter, we KNOW this scroll is the destiny of mankind and creation, and only Jesus - the Lamb - has the RIGHT to loose the seals on THIS scroll of the culmination of history.

      The OPENING of the seals is NOT JUST a declaration of what God will do, BUT that whenever the seal is opened, the sentence IS executed.

      “And I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.:” EACH seal is associated with a living creature (zoa, one of the cherubim of Ezekiel 1 and 10) who calls out “come” or “go forth” to each horseman.

      “Behold, a white horse:” Some - WRONGLY believe the rider on the white horse is Jesus. IT ISN’T. Jesus does return on a white horse in Revelation 19:11-16. But this is THE ANTI-CHRIST, THE SATANIC DECEIVER who TRIES TO IMITATE Jesus. Remember JESUS came to SAVE that which is LOST…NOT TO CONQUER….NOT TO DESTROY.

      He WILL rule (a crown was GIVEN--NOT EARNED/NOT ENTITLED…BUT GIVEN); but he rules (with a bow), NOT a sword; and he exercises dominion over the earth (went out conquering and to conquer). But the results of his rule, as described in the following verses, show this is NOT the reign of Jesus, but The AntiChrist.

      Here we reach a CROSSROADS of the Book of Revelation. You can tell much about how a person understands REVELATION & God’s PLAN by whom they believe THIS FIRST rider is. This rider IS the antichrist.

      “He went out conquering and to conquer:” This FINAL satanic dictator over LOST MANKIND will be the more TERRIBLE/EVIL/INSIDUOUS than ALL other combined. He will rule over men as a false Messiah, and lead man in organized rebellion AGAINST God.

      The idea of a satanic dictator over men goes back all the way to Nimrod, the ruler over Babel in Genesis 10:8-14. Nimrod was a mighty hunter of men, and that he did this OFFENSIVELY in the face of God.

      Today’s political and social scene is certainly set for the emergence of such a political leader. All that waits is for the Lord Jesus to ALLOW it AFTER He takes His church/His Holy Spirit from this earth & out of the reach of The AntiChrist/HIS FATHER SATAN with The Rapture.

      “And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)

      The IMPORTANCE of this FIRST seal? The AntiChrist IS LOOSED upon the earth in global chaos & moves QUICKLY to WORLD prominence.

      JESUS CHRIST IS CLEARLY TELLING US, THAT EVEN NOW, SATAN AND HIS DEMONS ARE UNDER RESTRAINT. THEY AND THE ANTI CHRIST HAVE NOT YET BEEN LOOSED. FOR LACK OF A BETTER WORD, THEY ARE ON A CHOKE CHAIN…WITH LIMITED MOVEMENT. BUT AFTER JESUS TAKES HIS BELOVED FROM THE EARTH, THEN THE CHOKE CHAIN WILL BE LOOSED. SATAN, HIS DEMONS, AND THE ANTI-CHRIST WILL HAVE MORE FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT.

      We understand that the 70th week of Daniel 9 (THE LAST SEVEN YEARS, THE MESSIANIC WOES, JACOB’S TROUBLES, THE GREAT TRIBULATION) DOES NOT BEGIN UNTIL THIS WORLD DICTATOR HAS RISEN TO GLOBAL POWER & THE COUNT DOWN CLOCK BEGINS when this dictator will confirm a covenant with [the] many, referring to THE NATION OF ISRAEL, the Jewish people.

      THE BIBLE IS TELLING US…THAT THE WORLD CAN KNOW WHO THE ANTI-CHRIST IS…BECAUSE HE AND HE ALONE WILL STAND AS THE WORLD LEADER AND WILL PERSONALLY MAKE AND SIGN A GLOBAL PEACE TREATY WITH ISRAEL. THE INSTANT INK TOUCHES PAPER, THE 7 YEAR COUNTDOWN BEGINS.

      These four horsemen of Revelation 6 ARE CONNECTED with the 70th week of Daniel 9 and the great tribulation itself. The BOOK OF DANIEL PROPHESIES IT AND REVELATION, JESUS CHRIST IS CONFIRMING THOSE PROPHESIES IN REVELATION.

      (v.3-4) The RED HORSE brings war and conflict.
      “When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword.”

      “Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth:” This rider doesn’t NEED to bring WAR & DESTRUCTION. All he needs to do is TAKE ALL PEACE from the earth. Once this peace---God’s gift to man----is taken, men rush in with war and destruction. Peace & RESTRAINT between men and nations is A GIFT from God.

      “And it was granted:” This authority is granted to the horseman. This is, directly or indirectly, the judgment of God.

      “That people should kill one another:” We live in the age of war and conflict. DID YOU KNOW, JUST SINCE World War II, there have been more than 150 wars of one kind or another on the earth, and at ANY given time there may be some three dozen armed conflicts taking thousands of lives yearly. The nations of the world often spend more than $1 trillion on military expenditures a year.

      (V.5-6) The BLACK HORSE brings scarcity and inequity.
      “When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.”

      “A black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand:” The scales symbolize the need to carefully measure and ration food. This speaks of a time of GREAT scarcity...GREATER FAMINE than this world has EVER seen.

      “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius:” These prices are about twelve times higher than normal. It means that it would cost a day’s wage to buy the ingredients for a loaf of bread.

      We often see great famine in the world today, yet fewer people suffer from hunger today than 100 years ago. However, understanding the ecological balance, it would not take much MORE NATURE/MAN DISTURBANCES to plunge THE WORLD into the kind of scarcity and inequity mentioned here.

      “Do not harm the oil and the wine:” Yet, the nicer things will be available for those who can afford them. There will still be the oil and the wine that should not be harmed.

      (v.7-8) The PALE HORSE brings death.
      “When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth.”

      “A pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death:” This last rider shows that there will be a tremendous DEATH TOLL WORLDWIDE from the dictatorship, war, famine and other calamities described by the previous three horsemen.

      Our century has seen hundreds of millions killed by dictators, war, and famine. Yet this will BE NOTHING…NOTHING compared to the death toll coming in the wake of this ultimate dictator. No wonder Jesus said of this time “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21)

      “Power was given to them over ONE FOURTH of the earth, to kill:” Power is given to the horseman, and given BY God. Though all hell is breaking loose on the earth, REMEMBER JESUS is ALWAYS in control. He still holds the scroll and opens the seals.


      The fifth and sixth seals of the scroll are opened.

      (v.9-11) The fifth seal brings forth the CRY OF THE MARTYRS.
      “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”

      “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God:” That these souls are under the altar emphasizes that their life blood was poured out as an offering to God. The idea is drawn from Leviticus 4:7: “And he shall pour the remaining blood at the base of the altar of the burnt offering.”

      “Who had been slain for the word of God:” This IS the cry of ALL martyrs for God’s truth, not ONLY THE MILLIONS OF believers persecuted & KILLED by the coming world leader, the first horseman of Revelation 6:1-2.

      “And they cried with a loud voice:” These souls in heaven cry out for vengeance (until You judge and avenge our blood). We usually don’t think of God’s people crying out for vengeance, but they make their cry TO JESUS, and leave the matter WITH HIM.

      When God’s people are persecuted, He will set it right. It ISN’T wrong for God’s people to ask Him to do what He promised to do. So the blood of Abel cried out from the ground for vengeance (Genesis 4:10), as did the blood of unavenged murders in the land of Israel (Numbers 35:33).

      “It was said to them that they should rest a little while longer:” These saints are instructed to wait. How long do they wait? Until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be SAVED & KILLED as they were, was completed.

      THIS SHOWS US RIGHT HERE…THAT JESUS HAS NOT GIVEN UP ON MANKIND YET.

      JESUS is WAITING for the multitude numbers of those who WILL cry out to HIM & WILL be saved during the Tribulation to be met.

      REMEMBER Jesus wants NONE to perish, so Almighty God WAITS until ALL ARE saved. But REMEMBER in the eyes of Jesus, it IS the way that you live that makes you a martyr, NOT the way that you die.

      (v.12-17) The opening of the sixth seal brings COSMIC DISRUPTION.
      “I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

      “A great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth:” In the Bible, celestial disturbances are often connected with the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zephaniah and Jesus Himself ALL describe such things.

      Zephaniah 1:14-16 prophesies it.
      Joel 2:10-11 prophesies it.

      “The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to the earth:” John isn’t using technically precise scientific language, but he simply describes the REAL THINGS he saw.

      ADELL POSTED AN IMPORTANT AND FACTUAL VIDEO, ABOUT THE EARTH AND THE COSMOS GROANING. GROANING NOISES OF THE EARTH AND THE SKIES IS REPORTED AND RECORDED IN THIS VIDEO…but other than in the local areas that SAW, HEARD, AND EXPERIENCED IT…the media DISMISSED IT.

      RIVERS TURNING TO BLOOD, BIRDS FALLING DEAD FROM THE SKIES, LOCUSTS INVADING, MOSQUITOS IN MILE HIGH SWARMS, DEER DROPPING DEAD, DOLPHINS, FISH, AND WHALES WASHING ASHORE DYING OR DEAD. METEORITES, FALLING STARS…DEAD VOLCANOES WAKING UP, EARTHQUAKES WHERE THEIR HAVE NEVER BEEN EARTHQUAKES, AND NASA, SCIENTISTS, THE WORLDS SPECIALIST HAVE NO CLUE WHY OR WHAT CAUSED IT…TOO BAD THEY DO NOT READ, OR BELIEVE THE BIBLE…BECAUSE WHAT JESUS, ALMIGHTY GOD, JOHN, PAUL, DANIEL AND THE PROPHETS HAVE TOLD US WOULD HAPPEN….IS HAPPENING BEFORE OUR EYES.

      “And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves:” ALL people are EQUALLY brought low by God’s wrath. The judgment is all the more profound because it is the wrath of The Lamb.

      “Hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne:” They hide not only from the terror of the judgments, but from the face of Him who sits on the throne.

      How do THESE SEALS fit in God’s prophetic plan?

      1. There are many different opinions, but what we DO KNOW is this:

      The FIRST six seals are “a summary” and overview of the judgments distributed over the whole book. REVELATION 7-19 TELLS US IN DETAIL WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO MANKIND AND THE WORLD.

      That span BEGINS with the revelation of the Antichrist (the first seal) and it concludes with the revealing of the face of Him who sits on the throne (the seventh seal).

      MANY HAVE ASKED, BUT Do the seals represent conditions immediately before the end, or more general conditions prevailing over a more extended period, up until the return of Jesus?

      We have had dictators, war, famine, death and persecution throughout all history, in every place all over the globe at one time or another….but THIS….THIS IS THE ENTIRE WORLD SUFFERING ALL AT ONCE….AND NOTHING IN THE COMBINED HISTORY OF THE WORLD SO FAR….comes close to the magnitude and severity with which they will be present in the Great Tribulation. NEVER before since the time of Noah has a judgment so devastating been consummated as to destroy 1/4 of the earth’s population at one stroke.

      THE WORLD NUMBERS JUST OVER 7 BILLION PEOPLE GLOBALLY IN DECEMBER 2012. BIBLICAL SCHOLARS ESTIMATE THAT ONE BILLION CHRISTIANS ARE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. IF YOU ESTIMATE BY THOSE NUMBERS, ONE BILLION INSTANTLY CAUGHT AWAY, SNATCHED UP TO MEET JESUS IN THE CLOUDS AT THE RAPTURE…THAT LEAVES 6 BILLIONS UNSAVED, JESUS CHRIST REJECTING HUMANS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

      AND SINCE THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT ONE FOURTH OF THE WORLD’S REMAINING POPULATION OF 6 BILLION WILL DIE AND BE KILLED…THAT MEANS THAT 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE WILL DIE.


      The sixth seal concludes with a valid question: Who is able to stand? ONLY the believer CAN stand before this great judgment, the one who is justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

      “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which WE STAND.” (Romans 5:1-2)

      “I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received and in which YOU STAND.” (1 Corinthians 15:1)

      “Testifying that this is the true grace of God in which YOU STAND.” (1 Peter 5:12)

      HERE is the GOOD NEWS of Revelation 6.
      Did you catch it?
      There WILL BE UNTOLD NUMBERS who ASK, ACCEPT Jesus Christ into their hearts and lives & are ETERNALLY saved DURING the Great Tribulation. These NEW TRIBULATION believers CAN & WILL stand even in the face of what the AntiChrist WILL do.

      SHINE OUR JESUS WHILE WE MAY, BECAUSE JESUS IS COMING SOON, AND THEN IT WILL BE TOO LATE FOR WITNESSING, SHARING, SHINING, & SHOWING OUR JESUS TO THE LOST AND THOSE WE LOVE…AND TO STRANGERS & ENEMIES ALIKE.

      PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY...
      SHINE SHINE SHINE SHINE SHINE...
      FOR THE TIME OF THE CHURCH IS ENDING...

      AND IN A BLINK WE WILL BE CAUGHT UP WITH JESUS IN THE CLOUDS AND GONE FROM THIS WORLD.

    • July 6, 2016 6:52 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 6-9...GIVE US AN OVERVIEW OF THE JUDGEMENTS OF ALMIGHTY GOD UPON THE JESUS CHRIST REJECTING MANKIND, & FALLEN EARTH.

      TODAY'S STUDY COVERS:

      REVELATION 7: THE 144,000 & THE GREAT MULTITUDE REVEALED.

      REVELATION 8: THE 7TH SEAL IS LOOSED & THE FIRST FOUR OF THE 7TH TRUMPETS REVEALED.




      REVELATION 7 --- The 144,000 and the Great Multitude Revealed...


      (v. 1-3) Holding back judgment until the servants of God are sealed.
      “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

      “Four angels standing at the four corners of the earth:” The phrase four corners of the earth is an ancient (and sometimes modern) equivalent to the idea of “the four points of the compass.” The idea is that these angels effect the ENTIRE earth.

      “Holding the four winds of the earth:” These winds are a destructive force of God’s judgment, as they often are as proved in Hosea 13:15.

      The four winds of the earth may refer back to the four horsemen of Revelation 6:1-8, after the pattern of Zechariah 6:1-8. In that passage, four chariots with horses of the SAME colors of Revelation 6:1-8 go out to all the earth, and are called the FOUR SPIRITS OF HEAVEN. Spirits in that passage translates the Hebrew word ruach, which can also be translated WINDS.

      “Another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God:” Another angel has a seal, and he seals the people of God. In the ancient world, such seals were familiar. A king or a property owner could use a seal to show ownership or authenticity.

      “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads:” These servants of God will receive a PROTECTIVE seal on their FOREHEAD, containing God’s name (Revelation 14:1).

      In Ezekiel 9, a similar protective seal is given to the righteous before Jerusalem is judged. The seal is the Hebrew letter tau (“t,” as in the shape of a small cross).

      “The servants of our God:” We are not told what exactly their service is, but the 144,000 are sealed for a specific and unique purpose. However, the general idea of being sealed is not limited to JUST them at this time.

      REMEMBER…..

      Jesus was sealed. He said God the Father has set His seal on Him. (John 6:27)

      We ARE sealed with the Holy Spirit as a down payment of our eventual total redemption. Paul wrote: God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

      This sealing of the Holy Spirit belongs to EVERY believer when they ARE saved: having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)

      The sealing of the Holy Spirit is meant to be both A COMFORT & A CHALLENGE to us. We are comforted in that it assures us that we belong to Jesus. We are challenged to do so in (2 Timothy 2:19 & Ephesians 4:30)

      (v.4-8) The number of those sealed.
      “And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.”

      “One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the JEWISH tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:” They are of ALL the tribes of the children of Israel. Ethnically, they are ALL Jewish, and there are 144,000 of these chosen ones. There ARE 12,000 from each tribe.

      “The omission of the tribe of Dan: Why is Dan left out? Most who have studied the Old Testament prophesy & Jesus’ own words BELIEVE it is because Dan is the tribe of the Antichrist, based on Daniel 11:37 and Jeremiah 8:16. Dan WAS called a serpent by his father. AND Dan was the tribe which INTRODUCED idolatry/Satanism/paganism into the nation of Israel (Genesis 49:17; Judges 18:30).

      BUT…there IS a wonderful REDEMPTION for the tribe of Dan. Dan is the first tribe listed in Ezekiel’s millennial role call of the tribes during JESUS 1000 year reign on earth told to us in Ezekiel 48..

      The slighting of the tribe of Ephraim: This tribe is referred to, but only indirectly. The tribe of Joseph is mentioned, but Joseph was represented by two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh. Since the tribe of Manasseh is mentioned, by elimination, the tribe of Joseph must mean the tribe of Ephraim - who is listed, but not by name.

      Why is Ephraim slighted? Perhaps it is because the tribe of Ephraim was ALSO associated with great idolatry (Hosea 4:17).

      Who are these 144,000?

      Many different religious groups & cults have claimed to be the 144,000. THE BOOK OF DANIEL TELLS US, JESUS CONFIRMS HIMSELF THAT THE PROPHET DANIEL SPOKE PURE TRUTH FROM HIM, & RIGHT HERE, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF TELLS JOHN, WHO TELLS US, WHO THE 144,000 ARE. THIS IS NEITHER AS SOME GROUPS SAY, A SELECT GROUP OF WITNESSES THAT GO TO HEAVEN. THESE 144,000 are HAND PICKED BY JESUS CHRIST, THEY HAVE PURPOSE AND MISSIONS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH DURING THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION…IT IS NOT A SELECT GROUP THAT ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO GO TO HEAVEN DURING THE TRIBULATION. JESUS WARNS CHRISTIANS TO BE AWARE AND ALERT FOR FALSE PROPHETS, AND FALSE CHRISTS WHO SEEK TO LEAD US ASTRAY…SO LEARN AND STUDY AND KNOW WHAT JESUS TELLS US…AND TRUST WHAT HE AND HIS WORD SAYS…NOT WHAT MANKIND, SATAN, AND THE WORLD TRY TO TWIST AND TURN AND OUTRIGHT LIE ABOUT…

      Here is what THE BIBLE tells us about the 144,000 from Revelation 7 and Revelation 14 which gives us PURE TRUTH insight regarding their identity.

      They are called the children of Israel (Revelation 7:4).
      Their tribal affiliation is specific (Revelation 7:4-8).
      They are protected and triumphant through the period of God’s wrath, ALL meeting with Jesus at Mount Zion at His return (Revelation 14:1).
      They are celibate (Revelation 14:4).
      They are the beginning of a greater harvest (Revelation 14:4).
      They are marked by integrity and faithfulness (Revelation 14:5).

      Taken together, The Bible is TELLING us they are ALL JEWISH, VIRGIN MALES. They are NOT The Church, The Bride of Christ who ARE believers from/of ALL nations, tongues, & ethnicities of the earth. These 144,000 is ONE RACE & ONE PEOPLE. The Jewish Nation. The COMPLETE JEW. The MESSIANIC JEW=those Jews who know and love and accept Jesus Christ as THEIR MESSIAH.

      They ARE the beginning harvest of the salvation of Israel (Romans 11:1; Romans 11:26; Matthew 23:37-39).


      The Great Multitude.
      (v.9-10) More worship at the throne of God.
      “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

      “A great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues:” The diversity here is evidence that the Great Commission will be fulfilled before the end, even as Jesus promised (Matthew 24:14).

      Because John knew they came from different nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, we know that there will be differences among people in heaven, just as there is on earth. We will NOT all look & be the same. We will be INDIVIDUALS.

      “Standing before the throne and before the Lamb:” Again, John sees everything in heaven in reference to the throne of God.

      “Clothed with white robes:” These robes remind us not only of the covering righteousness of Jesus, but also of priestly service.

      The palm branches remind us of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12:12-16), where Jesus was also praised as Savior and King. The word Hosanna means “save now!” Palm branches were ALSO emblems of GREAT VICTORY for the multitudes.

      “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!“ Having an emblem of righteousness (white robes), they worship God for they KNOW that God is the source of salvation, and no one else. Salvation isn’t something we achieve, it is something God gives us through Jesus.

      (v.11-12) All heavenly creatures join in worship.
      “All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

      The multitude worships God all the more by being stunned/amazed by the SEA of people He brought to salvation DURING the Tribulation.

      (v.13-14) The identity of the great multitude.
      “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

      It WAS VERY important that John KNOW the identity of this great NEW multitude of people arriving in Heaven. John KNEW this NEW MULTITUDE is NOT The Church whom John SAW raptured with him. But he didn’t know WHO they WERE.

      “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation:” This vast multitude, from every tribe and tongue and nation, are those rescued/saved for God’s kingdom DURING the great tribulation.

      These scriptures ALSO remind us that EVEN during the VERY WORST God’s grace and mercy INSURE many ARE STILL saved.

      “Washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb:” Those saved in the great tribulation are saved just like everybody else, by the blood of the Lamb. Even if they are martyred, their martyrdom does NOT save them. Only the work of Jesus can cleanse and save, Amen?

      White by blood is an interesting phrase; we don’t think of things being made white by blood! But REMEMBER the blood of Jesus cleanses us: Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)


      (v.15-17) What this great multitude does, and how it is blessed.
      “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

      “They are before the throne of God:” Once in Heaven, the redeemed enjoy the IMMEDIATE presence of God & Jesus Christ. There are NO barriers, NO waiting lists.

      This is the ultimate fulfillment of King David’s great desire in Psalm 27:4: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”

      “The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them:” In heaven, the redeemed will know the loving care and nurture of their Savior.

      “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes:” In heaven, the redeemed will know NO MORE sorrow or pain. The hurt and the struggle of this earthly life are GONE. How precious is that promise and visual?





      REVELATION 8---The 7th Seal is loosed & the First Four of the Seven Trumpets revealed...


      The seventh seal is loosed.
      (v.1) Silence in heaven.
      “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

      “When He opened the seventh seal:” The sealed scroll was introduced in Revelation 5, and the seals were opened ONE BY ONE up to the SIXTH seal in Revelation 6. We waited for the last seal to be opened, and the contents of the scroll to be revealed --- but then we are given a PAUSE with Revelation 7 and the revealing of the 144,000 and the great multitude out of the great tribulation. Now the idea of a PAUSE between the sixth and the seventh seal is emphasized by this SILENCE IN HEAVEN for 30 minutes.

      This silence is striking; this silence in heaven demonstrates a sober, awestruck silence at the judgments to come, now that the seals are off and the scroll can be opened. Since heaven is a place of CONSTANT praise and worship to God (Revelation 4:8-11), silence for about half an hour is a LONG TIME.

      AND THERE WAS BUT ONE OTHER TIME IN THE BIBLE...WHERE ALL OF HEAVEN WENT SILENT...AND THAT WAS DURING THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST, WHEN ALL OF HEAVEN WAS SILENT AS ALMIGHTY GOD POURED OUT HIS WRATH FOR THE WORLD AND MANKIND...100 % OF IT UPON HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST.


      (v.2) SEVEN angels with SEVEN trumpets.
      “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.”

      “And to them were given seven trumpets:” In the Old Testament, trumpets sounded the alarm for war, and threw the enemy into a panic, or they called an assembly of God’s people. These seven trumpets will sound as God’s BATTLE-ALARM DURING the great tribulation.

      (v.3-6) The other angel with the golden censer.
      “Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”

      “A golden censer . . . the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God:” Just as incense is precious, pleasant, and drifts to heaven, so do our prayers. So here, before anything happens at the opening of the seventh seal, the prayers of God’s PEOPLE come before the Lord God.

      REMEMBER this, the prayers of God’s people SET IN MOTION the coming consummation of history. HERE we REALIZE just HOW precious, important, & powerful ALL our prayers HAVE BEEN/ARE to God.

      2 Peter 3:10-12 & Daniel 9 & Revelation 22:20 prove that our prayers ARE VERY powerful.

      “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth:” As God’s people PRAY for the resolution of ALL things, their prayers are touched by the fire from the altar in heaven, and then “thrown” back down to earth. All things will not be resolved on this earth until judgment comes, and when the prayers of God’s people “come back” to earth, they bring the groundswell of judgment (noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake).

      “So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound:” But when the seventh seal was FINALLY loosed, the end did not immediately come. It set in motion seven trumpets that would sound upon the earth.

      How do the seals and the trumpets related to each other? The DELAYS, the PAUSES is a striking display of God’s MERCY in stretching out THE END and allowing REPENTANCE/SALVATION for the unsaved.


      The first four trumpets.
      (v.7) The first trumpet brings a plague on vegetation.
      “The first angel sounded:” HAIL & FIRE FOLLOWED, MINGLED WITH BLOOD & THROWN TO THE EARTH….& 1/3 OF THE TREES AND GRASS WERE BURNED UP ON EARTH.

      What does this mean? It means that 1/3 of the WHOLE earth’s vegetation of the planet is burned up during the great tribulation. This is NOT nature taking its course, this IS God’s judgment on a Jesus REJECTING & His People persecutions AGAINST the world.

      People on earth WILL KNOW these events are FROM God, and WILL NOT think them to be merely natural disasters (Revelation 16:9; 16:11; 19:19).

      (v.8-9) The second trumpet two brings a plague on the sea.
      “Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”

      “Something like a great mountain:” John carefully uses the word LIKE a mountain, but it is a blazing mass as large as a mountain.

      “A third of the sea became blood:” This WILL KILL 1/3 of the living creatures in the sea, and a 1/3 of the ships ARE destroyed. The blood may be either the cause or the effect of the widespread death in the oceans of the world.

      Some take this “great mountain” as a symbol for A NATION. It is true GOD uses mountains at times to symbolize figures of governments or nations (Jeremiah 51:25; 51:27; 51:30). But in this context, it is NO SYMBOL…but REALITY. Most believe a METEOR/ASTEROID would bring about this REALITY upon mankind.

      (v.10-11) The third trumpet brings a plague on fresh waters.
      “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.”

      A great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch: We may easily associate this with a comet or meteor crashing into the earth and bring ecological disaster. But REMEMBER God is NOT limited to our mental limitations.

      “The name of the star is Wormwood:” Wormwood is a very bitter substance, and proverbial for bitterness and sadness.

      “A third of the rivers . . . a third of the waters:” In each one of the trumpets, a 1/3 of an ecological system IS destroyed in judgment.

      (v.12-13) The fourth trumpet brings a plague on the heavens, and darkness on the earth.
      “Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”


      “A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night:” This describes 1/3 of THE DAY AND NIGHT are plunged into absolute darkness. As Jesus said: the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light (Matthew 24:29).

      “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet:” The angel’s woes are well founded, because 1/3 of ALL people on the earth WILL DIE in the next three trumpets.

      What do these first FOUR trumpets reveal?

      These first four trumpets reveal the severity of God’s judgment.
      He attacks all the ordinary means of subsistence, such as food and water; and He attacks all the ordinary means of comfort, and knowledge, such as light and the regular rhythm of days.

      The idiotic brains in the world see “created order” as Big Bang, Primoridial Ooze, Monkeys becoming man. Almighty God SHOWS mankind that HE CREATED/CONTROLS ALL THINGS. Mankind is shown that their VERY breath and heartbeat and life ARE in HIS control….not nature…not happenstance….or an aberrant anomaly of this world.

      The first four trumpets also reveal the MERCY of God’s judgment; these are PARTIAL judgments striking ONLY 1/3, instead of ALL. They ARE meant to WARN and lead a rebellious world to REPENTANCE. For now, God spares MORE than He smites.














      REVELATION 7 --- The 144,000 and the Great Multitude


      (v. 1-3) Holding back judgment until the servants of God are sealed.
      “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree. Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”

      “Four angels standing at the four corners of the earth:” The phrase four corners of the earth is an ancient (and sometimes modern) equivalent to the idea of “the four points of the compass.” The idea is that these angels effect the ENTIRE earth.

      “Holding the four winds of the earth:” These winds are a destructive force of God’s judgment, as they often are as proved in Hosea 13:15.

      The four winds of the earth may refer back to the four horsemen of Revelation 6:1-8, after the pattern of Zechariah 6:1-8. In that passage, four chariots with horses of the SAME colors of Revelation 6:1-8 go out to all the earth, and are called the FOUR SPIRITS OF HEAVEN. Spirits in that passage translates the Hebrew word ruach, which can also be translated WINDS.

      “Another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God:” Another angel has a seal, and he seals the people of God. In the ancient world, such seals were familiar. A king or a property owner could use a seal to show ownership or authenticity.

      “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads:” These servants of God will receive a PROTECTIVE seal on their FOREHEAD, containing God’s name (Revelation 14:1).

      In Ezekiel 9, a similar protective seal is given to the righteous before Jerusalem is judged. The seal is the Hebrew letter tau (“t,” as in the shape of a small cross).

      “The servants of our God:” We are not told what exactly their service is, but the 144,000 are sealed for a specific and unique purpose. However, the general idea of being sealed is not limited to JUST them at this time.

      REMEMBER…..

      Jesus was sealed. He said God the Father has set His seal on Him. (John 6:27)

      We ARE sealed with the Holy Spirit as a down payment of our eventual total redemption. Paul wrote: God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

      This sealing of the Holy Spirit belongs to EVERY believer when they ARE saved: having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. (Ephesians 1:13)

      The sealing of the Holy Spirit is meant to be both A COMFORT & A CHALLENGE to us. We are comforted in that it assures us that we belong to Jesus. We are challenged to do so in (2 Timothy 2:19 & Ephesians 4:30)

      (v.4-8) The number of those sealed.
      “And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed: of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed; of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.”

      “One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the JEWISH tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:” They are of ALL the tribes of the children of Israel. Ethnically, they are ALL Jewish, and there are 144,000 of these chosen ones. There ARE 12,000 from each tribe.

      “The omission of the tribe of Dan: Why is Dan left out? Most who have studied the Old Testament prophesy & Jesus’ own words BELIEVE it is because Dan is the tribe of the Antichrist, based on Daniel 11:37 and Jeremiah 8:16. Dan WAS called a serpent by his father. AND Dan was the tribe which INTRODUCED idolatry/Satanism/paganism into the nation of Israel (Genesis 49:17; Judges 18:30).

      BUT…there IS a wonderful REDEMPTION for the tribe of Dan. Dan is the first tribe listed in Ezekiel’s millennial role call of the tribes during JESUS 1000 year reign on earth told to us in Ezekiel 48..

      The slighting of the tribe of Ephraim: This tribe is referred to, but only indirectly. The tribe of Joseph is mentioned, but Joseph was represented by two tribes: Ephraim and Manasseh. Since the tribe of Manasseh is mentioned, by elimination, the tribe of Joseph must mean the tribe of Ephraim - who is listed, but not by name.

      Why is Ephraim slighted? Perhaps it is because the tribe of Ephraim was ALSO associated with great idolatry (Hosea 4:17).

      Who are these 144,000?

      Many different religious groups & cults have claimed to be the 144,000. THE BOOK OF DANIEL TELLS US, JESUS CONFIRMS HIMSELF THAT THE PROPHET DANIEL SPOKE PURE TRUTH FROM HIM, & RIGHT HERE, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF TELLS JOHN, WHO TELLS US, WHO THE 144,000 ARE. THIS IS NEITHER AS SOME GROUPS SAY, A SELECT GROUP OF WITNESSES THAT GO TO HEAVEN. THESE 144,000 are HAND PICKED BY JESUS CHRIST, THEY HAVE PURPOSE AND MISSIONS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH DURING THE 7 YEAR TRIBULATION…IT IS NOT A SELECT GROUP THAT ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO GO TO HEAVEN DURING THE TRIBULATION. JESUS WARNS CHRISTIANS TO BE AWARE AND ALERT FOR FALSE PROPHETS, AND FALSE CHRISTS WHO SEEK TO LEAD US ASTRAY…SO LEARN AND STUDY AND KNOW WHAT JESUS TELLS US…AND TRUST WHAT HE AND HIS WORD SAYS…NOT WHAT MANKIND, SATAN, AND THE WORLD TRY TO TWIST AND TURN AND OUTRIGHT LIE ABOUT…

      Here is what THE BIBLE tells us about the 144,000 from Revelation 7 and Revelation 14 which gives us PURE TRUTH insight regarding their identity.

      They are called the children of Israel (Revelation 7:4).
      Their tribal affiliation is specific (Revelation 7:4-8).
      They are protected and triumphant through the period of God’s wrath, ALL meeting with Jesus at Mount Zion at His return (Revelation 14:1).
      They are celibate (Revelation 14:4).
      They are the beginning of a greater harvest (Revelation 14:4).
      They are marked by integrity and faithfulness (Revelation 14:5).

      Taken together, The Bible is TELLING us they are ALL JEWISH, VIRGIN MALES. They are NOT The Church, The Bride of Christ who ARE believers from/of ALL nations, tongues, & ethnicities of the earth. These 144,000 is ONE RACE & ONE PEOPLE. The Jewish Nation. The COMPLETE JEW. The MESSIANIC JEW=those Jews who know and love and accept Jesus Christ as THEIR MESSIAH.

      They ARE the beginning harvest of the salvation of Israel (Romans 11:1; Romans 11:26; Matthew 23:37-39).


      The Great Multitude.
      (v.9-10) More worship at the throne of God.
      “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

      “A great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues:” The diversity here is evidence that the Great Commission will be fulfilled before the end, even as Jesus promised (Matthew 24:14).

      Because John knew they came from different nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, we know that there will be differences among people in heaven, just as there is on earth. We will NOT all look & be the same. We will be INDIVIDUALS.

      “Standing before the throne and before the Lamb:” Again, John sees everything in heaven in reference to the throne of God.

      “Clothed with white robes:” These robes remind us not only of the covering righteousness of Jesus, but also of priestly service.

      The palm branches remind us of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (John 12:12-16), where Jesus was also praised as Savior and King. The word Hosanna means “save now!” Palm branches were ALSO emblems of GREAT VICTORY for the multitudes.

      “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!“ Having an emblem of righteousness (white robes), they worship God for they KNOW that God is the source of salvation, and no one else. Salvation isn’t something we achieve, it is something God gives us through Jesus.

      (v.11-12) All heavenly creatures join in worship.
      “All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

      The multitude worships God all the more by being stunned/amazed by the SEA of people He brought to salvation DURING the Tribulation.

      (v.13-14) The identity of the great multitude.
      “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

      It WAS VERY important that John KNOW the identity of this great NEW multitude of people arriving in Heaven. John KNEW this NEW MULTITUDE is NOT The Church whom John SAW raptured with him. But he didn’t know WHO they WERE.

      “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation:” This vast multitude, from every tribe and tongue and nation, are those rescued/saved for God’s kingdom DURING the great tribulation.

      These scriptures ALSO remind us that EVEN during the VERY WORST God’s grace and mercy INSURE many ARE STILL saved.

      “Washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb:” Those saved in the great tribulation are saved just like everybody else, by the blood of the Lamb. Even if they are martyred, their martyrdom does NOT save them. Only the work of Jesus can cleanse and save, Amen?

      White by blood is an interesting phrase; we don’t think of things being made white by blood! But REMEMBER the blood of Jesus cleanses us: Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)


      (v.15-17) What this great multitude does, and how it is blessed.
      “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

      “They are before the throne of God:” Once in Heaven, the redeemed enjoy the IMMEDIATE presence of God & Jesus Christ. There are NO barriers, NO waiting lists.

      This is the ultimate fulfillment of King David’s great desire in Psalm 27:4: “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple.”

      “The Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them:” In heaven, the redeemed will know the loving care and nurture of their Savior.

      “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes:” In heaven, the redeemed will know NO MORE sorrow or pain. The hurt and the struggle of this earthly life are GONE. How precious is that promise and visual?





      REVELATION 8---The First Four Trumpets


      The seventh seal is loosed.
      (v.1) Silence in heaven.
      “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.”

      “When He opened the seventh seal:” The sealed scroll was introduced in Revelation 5, and the seals were opened ONE BY ONE up to the SIXTH seal in Revelation 6. We waited for the last seal to be opened, and the contents of the scroll to be revealed --- but then we are given a PAUSE with Revelation 7 and the revealing of the 144,000 and the great multitude out of the great tribulation. Now the idea of a PAUSE between the sixth and the seventh seal is emphasized by this SILENCE IN HEAVEN for 30 minutes.

      This silence is striking; this silence in heaven demonstrates a sober, awestruck silence at the judgments to come, now that the seals are off and the scroll can be opened. Since heaven is a place of CONSTANT praise and worship to God (Revelation 4:8-11), silence for about half an hour is a LONG TIME.


      (v.2) SEVEN angels with SEVEN trumpets.
      “And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.”

      “And to them were given seven trumpets:” In the Old Testament, trumpets sounded the alarm for war, and threw the enemy into a panic, or they called an assembly of God’s people. These seven trumpets will sound as God’s BATTLE-ALARM DURING the great tribulation.

      (v.3-6) The other angel with the golden censer.
      “Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.”

      “A golden censer . . . the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God:” Just as incense is precious, pleasant, and drifts to heaven, so do our prayers. So here, before anything happens at the opening of the seventh seal, the prayers of God’s PEOPLE come before the Lord God.

      REMEMBER this, the prayers of God’s people SET IN MOTION the coming consummation of history. HERE we REALIZE just HOW precious, important, & powerful ALL our prayers HAVE BEEN/ARE to God.

      2 Peter 3:10-12 & Daniel 9 & Revelation 22:20 prove that our prayers ARE VERY powerful.

      “Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth:” As God’s people PRAY for the resolution of ALL things, their prayers are touched by the fire from the altar in heaven, and then “thrown” back down to earth. All things will not be resolved on this earth until judgment comes, and when the prayers of God’s people “come back” to earth, they bring the groundswell of judgment (noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake).

      “So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound:” But when the seventh seal was FINALLY loosed, the end did not immediately come. It set in motion seven trumpets that would sound upon the earth.

      How do the seals and the trumpets related to each other? The DELAYS, the PAUSES is a striking display of God’s MERCY in stretching out THE END and allowing REPENTANCE/SALVATION for the unsaved.


      The first four trumpets.
      (v.7) The first trumpet brings a plague on vegetation.
      “The first angel sounded:” HAIL & FIRE FOLLOWED, MINGLED WITH BLOOD & THROWN TO THE EARTH….& 1/3 OF THE TREES AND GRASS WERE BURNED UP ON EARTH.

      What does this mean? It means that 1/3 of the WHOLE earth’s vegetation of the planet is burned up during the great tribulation. This is NOT nature taking its course, this IS God’s judgment on a Jesus REJECTING & His People persecutions AGAINST the world.

      People on earth WILL KNOW these events are FROM God, and WILL NOT think them to be merely natural disasters (Revelation 16:9; 16:11; 19:19).

      (v.8-9) The second trumpet two brings a plague on the sea.
      “Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.”

      “Something like a great mountain:” John carefully uses the word LIKE a mountain, but it is a blazing mass as large as a mountain.

      “A third of the sea became blood:” This WILL KILL 1/3 of the living creatures in the sea, and a 1/3 of the ships ARE destroyed. The blood may be either the cause or the effect of the widespread death in the oceans of the world.

      Some take this “great mountain” as a symbol for A NATION. It is true GOD uses mountains at times to symbolize figures of governments or nations (Jeremiah 51:25; 51:27; 51:30). But in this context, it is NO SYMBOL…but REALITY. Most believe a METEOR/ASTEROID would bring about this REALITY upon mankind.

      (v.10-11) The third trumpet brings a plague on fresh waters.
      “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.”

      A great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch: We may easily associate this with a comet or meteor crashing into the earth and bring ecological disaster. But REMEMBER God is NOT limited to our mental limitations.

      “The name of the star is Wormwood:” Wormwood is a very bitter substance, and proverbial for bitterness and sadness.

      “A third of the rivers . . . a third of the waters:” In each one of the trumpets, a 1/3 of an ecological system IS destroyed in judgment.

      (v.12-13) The fourth trumpet brings a plague on the heavens, and darkness on the earth.
      “Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”


      “A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night:” This describes 1/3 of THE DAY AND NIGHT are plunged into absolute darkness. As Jesus said: the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light (Matthew 24:29).

      “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet:” The angel’s woes are well founded, because 1/3 of ALL people on the earth WILL DIE in the next three trumpets.

      What do these first FOUR trumpets reveal?

      These first four trumpets reveal the severity of God’s judgment.
      He attacks all the ordinary means of subsistence, such as food and water; and He attacks all the ordinary means of comfort, and knowledge, such as light and the regular rhythm of days.

      The idiotic brains in the world see “created order” as Big Bang, Primoridial Ooze, Monkeys becoming man. Almighty God SHOWS mankind that HE CREATED/CONTROLS ALL THINGS. Mankind is shown that their VERY breath and heartbeat and life ARE in HIS control….not nature…not happenstance….or an aberrant anomaly of this world.

      The first four trumpets also reveal the MERCY of God’s judgment; these are PARTIAL judgments striking ONLY 1/3, instead of ALL. They ARE meant to WARN and lead a rebellious world to REPENTANCE. For now, God spares MORE than He smites.

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMEBER SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT HERE....ALMIGHTY GOD STILL RESTRAINS HIMSELF...STRIKING ONLY 1/3 INSTEAD OF ALL....AND ALSO AS WE READ THROUGH AND VISUALIZE THESE COMING JUDGEMENTS & THE WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD...WE NEED TO REMEMBER....THAT ALMIGHTY GOD DID NOT....COULD NOT RESTRAIN HIS FULL WRATH UPON JESUS CHRIST....THAT IN A FEW SHORT HOURS JESUS CHRIST SUFFERED THE FULL WRATH...NOT JUST ONE THIRD...BUT THE FULL WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD...ALL THE HORROR, PAIN, AND DESTRUCTION AND JUDGEMENT SPIRITUALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY UPON HIMSELF...WHEREAS ALMIGHTY GOD TAKES SEVEN YEARS TO SLOWLY, RESTRAININGLY JUDGE MANKIND AS A WHOLE.

      EVEN IN ALMIGHTY GOD'S RIGHTEOUS ANGER & JUDGEMENT UPON THE WORLD AND MANKIND OVER THEIR REJECTION, THE SLANDER, THE DISMISSAL, THE PERSECUTION, THE BLASPHEMIES AGAINST HIS PRECIOUS SON & OF HIS CHILDREN, HIS BELOVEDS WHO LOVE HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST....ALMIGHTY GOD RESTRAINS HIMSELF..... HE IS SEEKING REPENTANCE, HITTING THEIR KNEES, CRYING OUT AND CALLING UPON JESUS CHRIST TO SAVE THEM.....ALMIGHTY GOD IS NOT SEEKING THEIR DAMNATION, HE IS OFFERING YET AGAIN, ANOTHER CHANCE TO BE SAVED....TO CHOOSE HIS SON.

      HE GIVES US REVELATION AS A WARNING....OF WHAT IS TO COME...AND THE ONLY WAY...THE ONLY TRUTH....THE ONLY ETERNAL LIFE AND REDEMPTION FOR MANKIND THROUGH HIS PRECIOUS SON, JESUS CHRIST.

      JESUS IS COMING BACK SOON...AT ANY MOMENT...

      SO FOR THOSE OF US WHO LOVE JESUS....PRAY AND SHINE OUR JESUS WHILE WE MAY.

      AND FOR THOSE LOST & SEEKING CALL UPON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST NOW...

      BECAUSE TOMORROW IS PROMISED TO NONE!

    • July 6, 2016 6:49 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 9----The Fifth and Sixth Trumpets


      The fifth trumpet brings demonic locusts from the bottomless pit.
      (v.1) A star fallen from heaven.
      “Then the fifth angel sounded:” And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit.

      The first FOUR SEALS & TRUMPETS are judgments AGAINST the earth. In the first four seals, these were the “four horsemen” bringing tyranny, war, famine, and death on the earth. In the first four trumpets, these were the ecological destruction of the vegetation, seas, fresh waters, and sky.

      The last three seals focused upon heaven: the cry of the martyrs, cosmic disturbances, and the heavenly prelude to the seven trumpets. But the last three trumpets will speak of HELL, in terms of the DEMONIC.

      “I saw a star fallen from heaven:” The text clearly shows us that this star is a person (to him), not a literal star. The verb tense (fallen) indicates that he already had fallen.

      This star is best seen as an angel; whether he is a good or bad angel depends on his relation to the angel of the bottomless pit in Revelation 9:11. If the angel of Revelation 9:1 IS the SAME angel of Revelation 9:11, it IS an evil angel - even Satan himself. If it is a different angel, it may be a good angel sent by God to open up this bottomless pit for the purposes of judgment.

      “To him was given the key to the bottomless pit:” We notice that the KEY is GIVEN to this being, it does NOT possess it already but is GIVEN it, and that it is given at a specific time and for a specific purpose that furthers God’s plan. This angel - evil or good - serves God’s purpose, even if he does not intend to.

      Where is the bottomless pit? The most straightforward answer is that it is in the center of the earth, because there, one might say that all is “top” and nothing is “bottom.”

      The IS A PRISON for certain demons (Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4, and Jude 1:6). This is Hell which IS the same place as this bottomless pit. More generally, this place is considered the realm of the UNSAVED dead awaiting The Great White Throne judgment, the same as Hades (Romans 10:7).


      (v.2-6) Locusts from the bottomless pit.
      “And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.”

      HE OPENED THE PIT…..JESUS CHRIST SEALED THIS AFTER HE DIED, WENT TO SHEOL, THE NAME FOR THE PLACE OF (((ALL))) THE DEAD, AND BROUGHT OUT THE SAVED BY FAITH WAITING IN COMFORT IN THE UPPER PART OF SHEOL CALLED...ABRAHAM’S BOSOM AND THEN JESUS DESTROYED & SHUT UP THE DEAD UNSAVED LEFT THERE AWAY IN WHAT IS NOW KNOWN AS HELL/HADES/THE WAITING PRISON OF THOSE WHO DIED IN REJECTION OF JESUS CHRIST...AND ARE AWAITING THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT TO COME….NOW THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF YEARS LATER….AN ANGEL IS GIVEN THE KEY...& OPENS THAT PIT FOR ALL THE DEMONS.

      “Out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth:” These are NOT “natural” locusts. They avoid plants and attack men like scorpions attack, so we KNOW they are NOT insects & not men but UNTOLD HORDES of DEMONS, loosed from the bottomless pit upon the earth.

      “Those who have the seal of God on their foreheads (the 144,000 and perhaps more saved/still alive during the Tribulation) are protected, but NONE other are.

      “They were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months:” Their purpose and period is expressly governed by God, and the purpose of all this to bring REPENTANCE/Salvation.(Revelation 9:20-21).

      “In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them:” Death will offer NO ESCAPE from this prolonged torture. Their power is described like the power of scorpions, and the bite of a scorpion, though extremely painful, is rarely fatal.

      “They will desire to die:” The tormented ones want to die, as Paul did in Philippians 1:21-23, but for a completely different reason and result than Paul. For Paul, death led to eternal blessing, but for these tormented ones, death is a leap from the frying pan of present torment into eternal fire. This also tells us that MASS SUICIDE ATTEMPTS, WILL BE DENIED…THEY WILL FAIL.

      REMEMBER this: God is WARNING mankind that the idea of “Death as an escape” is a demonic LIE.

      The infamous murderers of Littleton, Colorado made chilling home movies before their killing spree. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold left behind a videotaped document spelling out their motivation. In the last segment of tape, shot the morning of the murders, Harris & Klebold are dressed and say they are ready for “our little Judgment Day.” Then Klebold, looking tense, says goodbye to his parents. He concludes, “I didn’t like life too much. Just know I am going to a better place than here.” What tragic deception to think - on the day you will commit terrible murders - that you BELIEVE you WILL go “to a better place.”

      There was NO escape in death for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Jesus Christ was asks for REPENTANCE & offers SALVATION is the ONLY ESCAPE from sin, death, and the Lake of Fire eternity for mankind, AMEN?

      (v.7-10) The appearance of these locusts.
      “The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months.”

      Why would God call them locusts if they are not literal locusts, but demonic spirits who swarm and destroy like locusts? Among other reasons, because locusts ARE agents of God’s judgment. HE SENT THEM. This IS a consistent Old Testament figure in passages like Exodus 10:4-14; Deuteronomy 28:38; 1 Kings 8:37; 2 Chronicles 7:13; Joel 1:4, and Amos 4:9.

      “Like horses . . . like gold . . . like the faces of men . . . like women’s hair . . . like lion’s teeth:” The total impact of this picture is one of DEMONIC CREATURES of unnatural and awesome cruelty and constant torment.

      WHEN I WATCHED LORD OF THE RINGS…THOSE AUKS, SIMILARLY RESEMBLED WHAT THESE DEMONS LOOKED LIKE…A VERY TERRIFYING SIGHT THEY WERE…AND THEY, WE ALL KNEW, WE PRETEND…CGI AND FX MAKE-UP ENHANCED….THESE DEMON LOCUSTS WILL LOOK, SMELL, AND BE FAR WORSE…THAN ANYTHING WE CAN EVER IMAGINE….JESUS WISHES TO SPARE MANKIND THAT…SO HE WARNS HIS CREATION.

      (v.11) The leader of these locusts.
      “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.”

      “And they had as king over them:” This is another indication that these creatures are NOT literal locusts. The Bible tells us that literal locusts have NO king, and these DO. Proverbs 30:27 says, “The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks.”

      Whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon: Their king is given a name. Abaddon and Apollyon both have the same thought of destruction or torment (perdition).
      “The angel of the bottomless pit:” Since this is the king of these locusts, and since he has the name Abaddon or Apollyon, this is obviously Satan himself.

      (v.12) The worst is yet to come.
      “One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.”

      The sixth trumpet: an army of destruction.
      (v.13) A voice from the altar.
      “Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,”

      “I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar:” In the tabernacle and temple of Israel, the golden altar WAS the altar of incense, which was a representation of the prayers of God’s people.

      “The four horns of the golden altar stood at each corner. Atoning blood was applied to the horns. From these horns, John hears a voice. In this, John recalls a persistent theme:” the GENERATIONS of prayers of God’s PEOPLE through out time play a LARGE role in the end-times drama. ALMIGHTY GOD DOES NOT FORGET OUR TEARS, HURTS, SORROWS, AND PAINS….AND HE KEEPS THEM…THEY ARE PRECIOUS TO HIM…AND HE WILL USE ALL THOSE TEARS TO PUNISH, SATAN, HIS DEMONS, MANKIND, AND THE REJECTING EARTH THAT REJECTED HIS BELOVED SON AND HIS BELOVED CHILDREN.


      (v.14-15) The angels and their mission.
      “Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a 1/3 of mankind.

      “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates:” These four angels have NO connection with the four angels of Revelation 7:1. They may be the same four angels or they may not be. Whomever they are, they are PREPARED for the hour/day/month/year of the unleashing of GOD’S judgment.

      “Were released:” Most of Satan’s angels are yet free - being the principalities against which we wrestle, but some EVEN WORSE offenders of HIGH rank had been bound….and GOD is NOW freeing the worst of the worst.

      “Were released to kill a third of mankind:” The demonic locusts described earlier in the chapter were restricted to TORMENTING mankind. But these four angels have the authority to KILL on a massive scale. These angels have a specific sphere of activity (a third of mankind), and are ONLY activated in God’s timing. They execute God’s WILL in God’s TIMING.

      “The great river Euphrates:” Why are these angels of judgment connected with the Euphrates River? The Euphrates was a landmark of ancient Babylon. It was the frontier of the Israel’s land as fully promised by God (Genesis 15:17-21). It was also the boundary of the old Roman Empire, which WILL BE revived under the Antichrist.

      THINK ABOUT THIS: The Bible tells us the Euphrates is also associated with the FIRST sin (Genesis 2:10-14), the FIRST murder (Genesis 4:16), the FIRST organized revolt against God (Genesis 11:1-9), the FIRST war confederation (Genesis 14:1), and the FIRST dictatorship (Genesis 10:8-10). It IS safe to say, The Euphrates HAS a demonic/destructive/rebellious history in God’s eyes.


      (v.16-19) Description of the army led by these angels.
      “Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed; by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm.”

      “The number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million:” John SAYS he HEARD the number of them. I WOULD believe him.

      “Breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone:” The movie, LORD OF THE RINGS may have come close with the AWKS, but THIS is the REAL DEAL. These CREATURES are given a weird, grotesque description that is a powerful picture of horror, destruction and demonic association.

      Does this speak of a natural or a supernatural army? An army of men or an army of demons? An army this size has NEVER been seen. The total size of all armies - on both sides - at the height of the Second World War was only 70 million. In 1965 China claimed to have an army and militia of 200 million. As of August 2011, there are SEVEN billion people on this earth. Such an army assembled, and marched towards the west, it is HORRIFIC to realize they WILL KILL TWO billion or more people - 1/3 of mankind.

      This as a literal 200 million strong demonic army invading earth. This continues the idea of the demonic army like locusts described earlier.

      (v.20-21) The response of man.
      “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”

      “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent:” What is mind boggling to me, after ALL this so far, mankind STILL shows NO REPENTANCE, despite the presence of some pretty overwhelming “signs and wonders.”

      “That they should not worship demons, and idols:” INSTEAD, man CONTINUES with his idol worship in a “business as usual” sort of way. They continue in their worship of demons, whether their worship is witting or unwitting.

      It has ALWAYS AMAZED me to see how quickly things return to “NORMAL” after some HORRIFIC calamity such as an earthquake. MANKIND HAS EVER BEEN SO QUICK TO FORGET GOD’S LESSONS, ESPECIALLY the lessons that come in judgment.

      “And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts:” This LIST of sins is a striking accusation AGAINST our present age. Certainly, our modern world is characterized by murders, sorceries (associated with the taking of drugs), sexual immorality and thefts.




      Revelation 10 ---- No More Delay



      The mighty angel.
      (v.1) A mighty angel comes down from heaven.
      “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.”

      “I saw still another mighty angel:” Revelation 9 left off with the sounding of the sixth of seven trumpets, which usher in the end of all things. Now, instead of the seventh trumpet, we have another INTERLUDE until Revelation 11:15.

      WHY THE INTERLUDE? WHY DOES GOD PAUSE?

      The simple answer is: LOVE & MERCY.
      Almighty God does NOT want them to SUFFER. He does NOT want them to spend eternity in The Lake Of Fire. He WANTS his creation to REPENT. He WANTS to SAVE his creation. But they MUST CHOOSE brothers and sisters. MANKIND must CHOOSE Jesus.

      “Another mighty angel coming down from heaven:” Many have identified this MIGHTY angel, this messenger, as Jesus because some of the imagery also applies to Him. Revelation 1:15-16 also describes Jesus with His countenance . . . like the sun shining in its strength.

      But in angels are NOT identified with Jesus in Revelation or in the New Testament, though He is clearly associated with the “Angel of the Lord” in the Old Testament. A better identification is this IS Michael, because there are also similarities to this mighty angel and to Michael as he is described in Daniel 12:1 and 12:6-7.

      “A rainbow was on his head:” Not only is the rainbow a reminder of God’s promise to man, but it is also a natural result when the sun shines through a cloud.

      (v.2-3) The angel cries out, and seven thunders utter their voices.
      “He had a little book open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices.”

      “He had a little book open in his hand:” Is this little book the same as the scroll no one except Jesus could open in Revelation 5:1-7? NO, because John does use different words to describe the scroll of Revelation 5:1 and the little book written of here. It is probably best to see them as different, yet probably closely related. The little book is perhaps an “abridged version” of the disposition of all things, the portion that John himself will see and write about.

      “He set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land:” the angel’s stance projects his authority over BOTH land and sea.

      “When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices:” This relates the same idea of the thunderous voice of God as described in Psalm 29:3-9, seven times repeating the phrase “The voice of the Lord.”

      (v.4) John is commanded NOT TO WRITE what the thunders said.
      “Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.”

      “I was about to write . . . do not write them:” What did they say that John must not write AND WHY NOT tell us? Because Satan and his demons can read too.


      (v.5-7) No more delay.
      “The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.”


      “Raised up his hand to heaven and swore by Him who lives forever and ever:” The mighty angel gives a solemn oath declaring that the end is irrevocably set in motion, that there is NOW no more DELAY & NO turning back.

      “The mystery of God would be finished:” Remember that in Biblical vocabulary, a mystery ISN’T something NO ONE knows. A mystery is something no one COULD know unless it was REVEALED to him.

      WHAT does The Bible CALL a mystery?

      The ultimate conversion of the Jews is called a mystery (Romans 11:25)
      God’s purpose for the church is called a mystery (Ephesians 3:3-11)
      The bringing in of the fullness of the Gentiles is called a mystery (Romans 11:25)
      The living presence of Jesus in the believer is called the mystery of God (Colossians 1:27 — 2:3)
      The gospel itself is called the mystery of Christ (Colossians 4:3)

      Possibly, the mystery also regards the great question of man‘s since the dawning of time….

      “WHY does God allow Satan and man to rebel and go their own way?” The idea may be that THIS question, this unanswered mystery, is coming to an end under rule of Jesus. God is beginning the end, the resolution of all things, the gathering together (resolution, summing up) of all things in one in Jesus (Ephesians 1:10).


      John is commissioned to preach.
      (v.8-9) Curious instructions.
      “Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.” So I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.”

      “Take and eat it:” John is commanded to take the little book from the mighty angel and actually eat it.

      (v.10-11) A book both sweet and bitter.
      “Then I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”

      “I took the little book out of the angel’s hand and ate it:” In Ezekiel 3:1-3, the prophet was also commanded to eat a scroll, the revelation of God to Israel.
      And John can only proclaim the Word of God IF he has taken it in WILLINGLY.

      “It was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter:” This little book is initially sweet to the taste, but becomes bitter in John’s stomach. ANY GOOD communicator of God’s Word has experienced both the sweetness and bitterness that is associated with His Word.

      “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings:” Whatever the content of the scroll, this verse speaks of the fate of the entire world, not just one nation, empire or emperor.


      THIS IS A REPEATED CLARIFICATION....MANY TODAY....TEACH AND PREACH AND SAY THE TRIBULATION ONLY CONCERNS THE JEWS/ISRAEL...OTHERS SAY THE MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA AND CHINA WILL ONLY BE TARGETED AND IMPACTED...BUT JOHN IS TOLD RIGHT HERE TO PROPHESY AND TO TELL EVERYONE....THAT IT IS COMPLETELY GLOBAL...ALL NATIONS, COUNTRIES, LEADERS, RULERS, AND NATIONALITIES AND RACES WILL BE INVOLVED AND IMPACTED...

    • July 6, 2016 6:47 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 11

      Revelation 11 ---- The Two Witnesses & The 7th Trumpet

      REVELATION OPENS WITH JOHN BEING BACK IN HEAVEN.

      (v.1) John is instructed to measure the temple, the altar and its worshippers.
      “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there.”

      “A reed like a measuring rod:” In Ezekiel 40-43, there is an extended passage where a temple is measured. The temple in Ezekiel is the temple of the millennial earth, but this temple seems to be before that temple. The temple in Ezekiel is measured extensively, including the outer courts (Ezekiel 40:17-19).
      There are a few other Biblical examples of measuring. In Zechariah 2, a man measures Jerusalem, a scene that evidently shows God’s coming judgment on the city. In Revelation 21, the New Jerusalem is measured.

      “Rise and measure the temple of God:” Sometimes in the Old Testament, the idea of measuring communicates ownership, protection, and preservation. When Habakkuk prophesies, He stood and measured the earth (Habakkuk 3:6), the idea is that the Lord owns the earth and He IS in charge.

      GOD IS IN CHARGE.
      This IS the MAIN THEME of the Book of Revelation. Revelation 11:17 again uses the title Almighty for God. The Greek word for Almighty is pantokrater, and it describes “the one who has his hand on everything.” Nine out of the ten times this word is used in the New Testament, it is used in Revelation. This temple WILL BE (future tense) the scene of great horror and great glory, but God IS STILL in TOTAL control!

      “The temple of God:” The identity of this temple is an IMPORTANT matter of interpretation. Some mistakenly see this temple as a symbol of the church.

      Paul also describes the church as a temple: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” (Ephesians 2:19-21)

      Peter also describes the church as a temple: “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house.” (1 Peter 2:5)

      However, some believe this IS proof that Christians WILL go through the Tribulation. But if THIS temple in Revelation 11 IS a symbolic representation of THE CHURCH=Christians, why should it be measured? Why speak of courts and altars? The Church has NEVER been visualized with altars, courts, and pews…but as a foundation or a body of believers, right?

      And additionally, if CHRISTIANS ARE THIS TEMPLE, then WHO are the worshippers? There is TOO MUCH SPECIFIC physical detail here for this to be VIEWED/BELIEVED to be Christians, rather what it is that John IS describing, which IS an ACTUAL temple (building) of God.

      THIS TEMPLE…THIS ACTUAL building MUST be ON the earth for the fulfillment of what Daniel, Jesus, and Paul said about the abomination of desolation.

      The prophet Daniel told us the Antichrist will break his covenant with the Jews and bring sacrifice and offerings to an end; the Antichrist will DEFILE THE TEMPLE he miraculously rebuilds on The Temple Mount in 3.5 years by setting something abominable there (Daniel 9:27; 11:31, and 12:11).

      Remember too, Jesus WARNED the Disciples to look for an abomination standing in the holy place, which would be the pivotal sign that the season of God’s wrath was upon the earth (Matthew 24:15-16 and 24:21).

      And also remember, Paul told us that the Antichrist would sit IN the temple as God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

      Some say it is a spiritual thing ONLY, explaining that the abomination of desolation is JUST idolatrous worship established in the HEARTS of God’s people (His “temple”).

      But we KNOW that it is IMPOSSIBLE for Christians/The Church to ALSO be called God’s temple if they worship the Antichrist - an emissary of Satan himself?

      So we KNOW that John IS telling us in these verses is that there WILL be a REAL Jewish temple REBUILT in Jerusalem, during the Tribulation.

      More intriguing is the fact that today there are Jews very interested in rebuilding the temple and resuming sacrifice, and are ALREADY making preparations to do that exact thing as we speak.

      TODAY if you were to visit the Temple Institute in the Jewish Quarter of the old city in Jerusalem. There, a group of Jews absolutely dedicated to rebuilding the temple attempt to educate the public and raise awareness for a new temple. They are trying to replicate everything they can for a new temple, down to the SPECIFIC pots and pans used for sacrifice.
      Israel IS a nation again AFTER thousands of years, and efforts to rebuild the temple ARE in the planning stages. In fact, the main Jewish group leading the charge to rebuild the temple is an organization called Faithful of the Temple Mount, who say they will continue their efforts to re-establish the Jewish temple on the Mount. One leader in the group said, “We shall continue our struggle until the Israeli flag is flying from the Dome of the Rock.”

      In Israel right now, there ARE students being trained for the priesthood, learning how to conduct animal sacrifices in the rebuilt temple.

      But remember MOST Jews – religious or secular – do not care one bit about building a temple. And if there were one rebuilt, sacrifice would be difficult in a day of aggressive animal rights activists! Yet, there IS a STRONG, highly dedicated group who live to see a rebuilt temple – a temple which will fulfill prophecy.

      Rightly so, we Jesus loving Christians get excited when they see/hear of efforts to rebuild the temple. At the same time, we should understand that the basic impulse behind rebuilding the temple is NOT of God at all – the desire to have a place to sacrifice for sin. WE, Jesus loving, believing Christians KNOW ALL sacrifice for sin was FINISHED/FULFILLED at the cross, and any further BLOOD sacrifice for sin is OFFENSIVE to God, because it DENIES the precious sacrifice & finished work of HIS beloved son, Jesus on the cross.

      Now, Orthodox Jews BELIEVE that THEIR Messiah will rebuild the temple; however, the man they WILL initially embrace as their Messiah, is in fact The Antichrist.

      WHY do we believe this?
      Jesus told us so, when he said of the Jews, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive.” (John 5:43)

      (v.2) The outer court of the temple.
      “But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles. And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.”

      “The outer court need not be measured because it has been given to the Gentiles:” What does this mean? The outer courts of this rebuilt temple include the Islamic Dome of the Rock shrine, which CURRENTLY stands on the temple mount and is a point of great contention between Jews and Muslims.

      When the city of Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 a.d. by the Romans, they destroyed the city so completely that the foundations of the old temple are NOT easily found. Most have long assumed that the Dome of the Rock shrine stands on the place of the old temple. But new research/digging discoveries gives evidence that the temple may have stood to the north where the Dome of the Rock shrine is today, and that if the temple were to be rebuilt at its old place, the Dome of the Rock shrine would be in its OUTER courts. This WOULD explain why the angel told John leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.

      “The holy city (Jerusalem) will be tread underfoot for a period of forty-two months, which equals 1260 days (three and one-half years).” This “trampling” by Gentiles probably takes place in the last half of the final seven year period described by Daniel 11:26-27 - when the Antichrist pours out his FURY on the people of Israel (as described in Revelation 12:13-17 and Matthew 24:15-28).



      The two witnesses.
      (v.3-6) The ministry of the two witnesses.
      “And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire.”

      “My two witnesses:” This introduces two of the more interesting characters of Revelation, the two witnesses. The character of their ministry is prophetic (they will prophesy); they preach and demonstrate repentance (clothed in sackcloth), and they have an effective ministry (I will give power).

      “These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands:” The witnesses have an unique, continual empowering from the Holy Spirit, as shown in Zechariah’s olive trees and oil lamps picture (Zechariah 4:2-3; 4:14).
      The passage from Zechariah had its first application to two men in Zechariah’s day: Joshua and Zerubbabel.

      “And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies:” The two witnesses have SPECIAL protection from God, similar to Elijah’s in 2 Kings 1.

      “These have power to shut heaven . . . they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire:” The two witnesses have the power to bring both drought and plague, similar to the power Elijah (James 5:17-18) and Moses (Exodus 7-12) had.

      Something else we KNOW, regardless what people may CHOOSE to think or believe, in the ancient Greek grammar, all the nouns used to speak of the two witnesses in this passage are in the masculine gender. The two witnesses ARE DEFINITELY two men.

      (v.7-10) The death of the two witnesses.
      “When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.”

      The two witnesses ARE killed by the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit (first introduced in Revelation 9:11, most likely Satan himself) but their ministry is NOT cut short. They FULLY accomplish their task (when they finish their testimony).

      This is ANOTHER proof, Almighty God is SHOWING us that we CANNOTt be taken off of this earth until we FINISH our testimony. The devil does NOT have THAT POWER over our lives. We are witnesses of the Lord, and He will protect us until our testimony is finished.

      “And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified:” The two witnesses are killed in the city of Jerusalem, which is described in three illustrative terms.

      As Sodom, speaking of immorality
      As Egypt, speaking of oppression and slavery
      As the great city, a term often applied to “Babylon,” the headquarters of Antichrist (Revelation 16:19; 17:18; 18:10; 18:16; 18:18; 18:19; 18:21)

      If, during the first three and one-half years, Jerusalem’s leadership is in league with the Antichrist, (which they WILL BE) it is easy to see how these titles apply. Any city in love with the Antichrist, or entering into a covenant with him, could be called Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon.

      “Those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another:” The earth sees and rejoices over the deaths of the two witnesses. The fact that this is seen by ALL people, tribes, tongues, and nations is possible NOW because of satellite mass media.

      The idea that the world treats these two witnesses in a humiliating manner, tells us how EVIL/DEAD-HEARTED this world is going to be.

      “Make merry, and send gifts to one another:” The preaching of these two witnesses and their call to repentance was a torment for many, because they could not stand to hear the truth while they loved their lie.

      We have ALREADY seen this in action in the Middle East. We were SHOCKED, HORRIFIED, & APPALLED when we SAW/SEE since 9-11, when it showed mothers of male suicide bombers dancing, bringing gifts, and having parties to celebrate the death of Americans/Israelis. WHY? Because the Muslim religion teaches that ONLY MEN get into their Paradise, ALL women go to Hell UNLESS, the mothers CAN get their MALE CHILDREN to WILLINGLY sacrifice themselves in their NAMES by strapping on a bomb and killing AT LEAST TWO infidels. When their sons ARE successful, then the MOTHERS will be GRANTED the COOLER areas of Hell when they die. How HEART-BREAKING is that? Jesus offers salvation for all for free, because HE PAID their price. But as bad as it is now, it will GET unbelievably worse during The Tribulation.

      (v.11-14) The reviving of the two witnesses.
      “Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.”

      “They stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them:” As this happens before the eyes of the watching world, the enemies of these two witnesses are horrified and astonished.

      “Come up here:” The earth is not worthy of these two witnesses, so God simply calls them home, and they ascended to heaven in a cloud before the world‘s VERY EYES.

      “In the same hour there was a great earthquake:” An earthquake brings judgment, and moves many to give glory to God. But it remains to be seen if this will become true repentance unto salvation.

      The identity of the two witnesses.

      SOME interpreters mistakenly see the TWO witnesses as ONLY symbolic of the entire church being raptured in the tribulation period, or as symbols of the law/prophets. But AGAIN, how can SO MANY specific details be reduced to symbolism INSTEAD of John SEEING two REAL men?

      It CAN’T. John is NOT confused. John does NOT use the word “they were LIKE two witnesses”. He says they WERE TWO MEN sent from God. I believe John.


      Generally, if the two witnesses are identified with any two individuals from the past, the leading candidates are Elijah, Moses, or Enoch. Or, perhaps these are merely two believers ministering in the spirit and power of these great men, even as John the Baptist went forth in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17 and Matthew 7:12-13).

      Some think ENOCH is one of the witnesses because:
      He was carried up to heaven by God & did not die. (Genesis 5:25).


      Some think ELIJAH is one of the witnesses because:
      His ministry seems like one of these two witnesses (2 Kings 1 and James 5:17-18)
      He was carried up to heaven & did not die. (2 Kings 2:11)
      Enemies of Elijah were destroyed by fire (2 Kings 1)
      It is specifically prophesied that Elijah will return before the end of the age (Malachi 4:5-6)
      Elijah had a unique “conference” with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-6)

      Some think MOSES is one of the witnesses because:
      His ministry seems like one of these two witnesses (Exodus 7:20-21)
      God seems to have a special purpose for the body of Moses that Satan wanted to defeat (Jude 1:9)
      The enemies of Moses were destroyed by fire (Numbers 16:35)
      Moses ALSO had a unique “conference” with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-6)

      Some believe the two witnesses must be Enoch and Elijah, because neither of them died a natural death and were instead carried to heaven, and Hebrews 9:27 says that it is appointed for men to die once - so Enoch and Elijah must return to die on the earth.

      This is a misunderstanding of Hebrews 9:27, which is a PRINCIPLE rather than an ABSOLUTE LAW.

      THINK ABOUT IT! Lazarus and others WERE raised from the dead and apparently died twice - yet this does not disprove Hebrews 9:27. The entire church on earth at the time of the rapture will NOT die, but be carried to heaven. Hebrews 9:27 stands as a principle, and there are a few notable exceptions which ultimately serve to prove the rule, not deny it. There may be good reasons for considering Enoch and Elijah the two witnesses, but the principle of Hebrews 9:27 is not among those good reasons.


      The seventh trumpet.
      (v.15) The seventh trumpet finally sounds.
      “Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

      “Then the seventh angel sounded:” The seventh seal brought forth a profound silence (Revelation 8:1); the seventh trumpet initiates joy at the inevitable resolution. There can’t be a more glorious proclamation than this: The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!

      “Have become the kingdoms of our Lord:” In the ancient Greek grammar, the verb tense of “have become” indicates an ABSOLUTE certainty about Jesus’ coming and reign, even before the fact is accomplished.

      How can there be such joy, when the King is not reigning completely yet? Just as here on earth, the headquarters at a successful political campaign on election night, there is joy, even though it will be a WHILE until their candidate is actually installed into office. The joy anticipates a certain result.



      (v.16-18) The twenty-four elders worship God.
      “And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.”


      “We give You thanks:” This thanksgiving ISN’T to thank God that He has already done this; but that the hour HAS FINALLY COME for it to take place, and that these things are permanently set in motion.

      “The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come:” God’s punishment fits the crime; there is NOTHING arbitrary about it. The nations ARE angry with God and He responds WITH wrath; those that destroy the earth are themselves destroyed.

      The world wants anything BUT the reign of God! As it says in a parable in Jesus day, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” (Luke 19:14).


      (v.19) The temple in heaven is opened.
      “Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.”

      “The ark of His covenant was seen in His temple:” The ark refers to God’s throne, the place where the previously mentioned resolution will come from.
      It IS called the ark of His covenant - in the Old Testament, because this WAS the earthly representation of God’s throne - to emphasize God’s faithfulness.

      “And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail:” The great and awesome phenomenon at the opening of the temple and the revelation of the ark show that the presence of the Lord IS there; it is reminiscent of God’s manifested presence at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16-19).

    • July 6, 2016 6:45 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 12

      Revelation 12 --- The Woman, the Child, and the Dragon

      The woman.
      (v.1) The woman is described in celestial images.
      “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.”

      “Now a great sign appeared:” This is the FIRST OF 7 SIGNS that John relates, and is described as a great sign (mega semeion). In Revelation chapters 12, 13, and 14 the main figures of the Great Tribulation are described, and this great sign introduces the first of the seven:

      The woman, representing Israel
      The dragon, representing Satan
      The man-child, referring to Jesus
      The angel Michael, head of the angelic host
      The offspring of the woman, representing Gentiles who come to faith DURING the Tribulation
      The beast out of the sea, representing the antichrist
      The beast out of the earth, representing the false prophet who promotes the antichrist

      “A woman clothed with the sun:” Because John PLAINLY SAYS THIS IS A SIGN, we DON’T/SHOULD NOT expect this woman to appear literally on the earth. God will use this sign to communicate something to John and to us. Women often represent religious systems in Revelation.

      Jezebel is associated with a religious system of false teaching (Revelation 2:20)
      The Great Harlot is associated with false religion (Revelation 17:2)
      The Bride is associated with the church (Revelation 19:7-8)

      The woman clothed with the sun in this passage has been associated with many different religious ideas. Roman Catholics claim this woman is Mary, pictured as the “Queen of Heaven.”, but then women like Mary Baker Eddy have claimed that she WAS this woman.

      It is ALSO a common mistake in Roman Catholic art that they SEEK to MAKE Mary as standing on a crescent moon with twelve stars around her head.

      Scripturally, this woman clothed with the sun should IS identified with ISRAEL, according to Joseph’s dream (Genesis 37:9-11). In that dream, the sun represents Jacob, the moon represents Joseph’s mother Rachel, and the eleven stars are the sons of Israel which bow down to Joseph. In this sign with twelve stars, Joseph is now “among” the other tribes of Israel.

      NEED more proof? Okay…In other Old Testament passages, Israel (or Zion or Jerusalem) is often represented as a woman (Isaiah 54:1-6; Jeremiah 3:20; Ezekiel 16:8-14, and Hosea 2:19-20).

      (v.2) The woman gives birth.
      “Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.”

      “Being with child:” Later in the chapter, it is SO CLEAR that HIS MALE CHILD born of Israel is Jesus (She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, Revelation 12:5).

      “She cried out in labor and in pain to give birth:” The pain described refers to the travail of Israel at the time of Jesus’ birth (under Roman occupation and oppression).


      The dragon.
      (v.3) A fearful, powerful dragon appears.
      “And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.”

      “Another sign appeared in heaven:” Again, John does NOT want us confused, so he REMINDS us AGAIN, that this IS A SIGN. The creature here is not literally a great, fiery red dragon, but the dragon represents his nature and character, as FULLY EVIL in ALL its hideous strength.

      “Seven diadems on his heads:” This dragon has great power (seven heads and ten horns) and he CLAIMS royal authority (seven diadems). The crowns represent HIS ARROGANT BELIEF…that he too is of ROYAL authority against the true King Jesus Christ. He WANTS to be considered a king.

      This WAS prophesied in Daniel 7:7-8; 7:2, it is clear that the revived Roman Empire is in view because The seven heads and ten horns refer to the original ten kingdoms of which three were subdued by the little horn of Daniel 7:8, who IS IDENTIFIED as THE WORLD RULER of the great tribulation.

      (v.4) The dragon looks to the earth.
      “His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.”

      “His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven:” Many believe this describes one-third of the angelic host in league with Satan (his angels of Revelation 12:9). This army of angelic beings in league with Satan makes up the world of demonic spirits.

      God NEVER MADE ANYTHING EVIL; but He made angels, principalities, and powers capacitated for mighty joys and distinctions in His glorious domain, yet ALSO WITH free will.

      “To devour her Child as soon as it was born:” This SCRIPTURE confirms WHAT the Bible tells us, that THERE WAS ATTEMPTS to devour her Child was initially fulfilled by Herod’s attempts to kill Jesus as a child (Matthew 2:16-18). AND also fulfilled throughout Jesus’ life as Satan attacked Him (John 8:58 and Mark 4:35-41).


      The child.
      (v.5) Jesus’ ministry is described by its earthly beginning and end.
      “She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.”

      “A male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron:” Clearly, this refers to Jesus Christ, the Messiah. He rules the world with a rod of iron (Psalm 2 and Revelation 19:15).

      She (Israel) bore a male Child refers to Jesus’ birth. Rule all nations with a rod of iron refers to the triumphant return of Jesus. By stating the “bookends” of Jesus’ earthly work, John is CONFIRMING the TRUTH of Old Testament/New Testament prophesy that this male child IS Jesus. John is also TELLING us that the woman of Revelation 12:1 IS NOT the church, because Jesus “gives birth” to the church, not the other way around. The woman must therefore either be Mary or Israel, the only two “women” who could have “given birth” to Jesus. The rest of Revelation 12 will demonstrate that this woman IS ISRAEL….NOT MARY.
      (v.6) The woman in the wilderness.
      “Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.”

      “Then the woman fled into the wilderness:” Persecuted by the dragon, the woman is protected by God in a prepared place for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. This VERSE AGAIN HELPS us to understand with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that the woman IS Israel and not Mary.

      “One thousand two hundred and sixty days:” This reference to a THREE AND ONE HALF YEAR period connects these events with the FINAL SEVEN YEAR of the Daniel 9 prophecy. Since Revelation 12:5 describes the ascension of Jesus, and Revelation 12:6 describes yet-to-occur events in the 70th week of Daniel, between these two verses lies hundreds of years (our current period). This obvious “near-far” break in time is typical of prophecy. Daniel’s seventy week prophecy has such a break (Daniel 9:24-27).

      “Into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God:” Some believe this place in the wilderness is the rock city of Petra, south of the Dead Sea. Reportedly, some Christian businessmen believe it SO WELL that they have stocked the place with food and evangelistic tracts written in Hebrew.

      “Prepared in the wilderness:” Prepared uses the same ancient Greek word Jesus used in “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2-3). This SHOWS us God’s careful planning works on earth & in Heaven.


      Conflict in heaven.
      (v.7-8) War between Michael and the dragon.

      “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.”

      “War broke out in heaven:” At the mid-point of the great tribulation, God will turn the tide against Satan - first in heaven, then on earth. A battle will take place that will deny Satan access to heaven.

      “Michael and his angels:” Some individuals and groups (such as the Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses) INSIST on saying that Michael IS actually Jesus. This is wrong on every count.

      Some say Michael MUST be Jesus, because he has his angels. But if Satan - a fallen angelic being - has his angels (Revelation 12:7), why can’t Michael - an unfallen angelic being - have his angels?

      Some say Michael must be Jesus, because his name means One like God. But if this were a title of Jesus, it WOULD DISPROVE His deity, not for it - because it would say that Jesus is like God, but not God.

      Some say Michael must be Jesus, because he is called the archangel (Jude 1:9), which means leader or prince among the angels, and they say that only Jesus is the leader of the angels. But we know from Daniel 10:13; 10:20-21 that Michael is ONE angelic prince among others. Also, Paul refers to an archangel in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 in a way that presupposes other archangels.

      Some say that Michael must be Jesus, because Paul says that at the rapture, the Lord will call His people with the voice of an archangel (1 Thessalonians 4:16). But Jesus can use an angel to call out for His people without being that angel, just as much as God can use a trumpet to sound out a call without being the trumpet.

      Jude 1:9 says that Michael would not rebuke or accuse Satan on His own authority, but only say “The Lord rebuke you.” This shows that Michael ISN’T Jesus, because Jesus often rebuked Satan and demons in His own authority (Matthew 17:18; Mark 1:25; 9:25; Luke 4:8; 4:35).

      “Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought:” This is a dramatic scene of battle between “good” angels and “bad” angels.

      WHO fights in this battle?

      This is truly a battle between equals. The dragon represents Satan (Revelation 12:9), and Satan is not the counterpart of God - God has NO EQUAL. If Satan has an equal it is Michael, who seems to be the chief angel opposite this chief of fallen angels.
      WHY is the battle fought?

      In a previous scene of conflict between Michael and Satan (Jude 1:9), Satan wanted to prevent the resurrection and glorification of Moses, because he knew God had plans for the resurrected and glorified Moses (Luke 9:30-31). This battle is just ANOTHER attempt by Satan to TRY & get in the way of God’s plan for the end-times.

      WHEN is this battle fought?

      This battle occurs at the mid-point of the seven-year period, as described by Daniel. At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered. (Daniel 12:1)

      HOW is this battle fought?

      We know this is a REAL fight; but is it a material or a spiritual battle? Our battle with Satan and his demons is spiritual, fought on the battleground of truth and deception, of fear and faith (Ephesians 6:12). In regard to material attacks against the believer, Satan and his demons were disarmed at the cross (Colossians 2:15). But it is STILL possible that among angels, there is a MATERIAL battle to be fought in a way we can only imagine.


      “Nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer:” This shows us that up until this happens (at the mid-point of Daniel’s 70th week), Satan DOES have access to heaven, where he runs and tattles all day and all night long on God’s save children to God before the throne (Job 1:6-12; Revelation 12:10).

      It troubles some to think that Satan has access to heaven, but the Bible clearly says that that while Satan appears on earth (Luke 4:1-13), and describes him as the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2), it also says that Satan has access to heaven, where he accuses God’s people before the throne (Job 1:6-12).



      WHO wins this battle?
      (v.9) Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven.
      “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

      “So the great dragon was cast out:” This single verse uses many different titles for Satan. Dragon, serpent of old, the Devil, Satan, and he who deceives the whole world. These titles describe Satan as vicious, an accuser, an adversary, and a deceiver.

      “He was cast to the earth:” The Bible describes FOUR DIFFERENT falls & DEFEATS of Satan. Revelation 12:9 describes the second of these four falls.

      From glorified to profane (Ezekiel 28:14-16)
      From having access to heaven (Job 1:12; 1 Kings 22:21; Zechariah 3:1) to restriction to the earth (Revelation 12)
      From the earth to bondage in the pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20)
      From the pit to the lake of fire (Revelation 20)

      In Luke 10:18, Jesus said “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” This fall Jesus spoke of either refers to the first fall of Satan (from glorified to profane), or they are a prophetic look ahead to the second fall at the mid-point of the seven year tribulation period.

      “His angels were cast out with him:” This PROVES that demonic spirits ARE fallen angels, those who joined with Satan in His rebellion against God. These are “his angels.”

      These angels are ALSO the same as the third of the stars of heaven described in Revelation 12:4. Since Satan ONLY drew a third of the stars of heaven, it means that two-thirds of the angels REMAINED faithful to God.


      (v.10-12) A joyful declaration in heaven.
      “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

      “The accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down:” Satan’s work of accusing ENDS here, when he is cast out from his access to heaven. Today, we have (and need) an intercessor and advocate (Hebrews 7:25, and 1 John 2:1).

      “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death:” This tells us THREE KEYS to the saint’s victory over Satan.

      “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb:” Jesus’ blood overcomes Satan’s accusations. Those accusations mean nothing against us because Jesus ALREADY PAID the penalty our sins deserved. We may be even worse than Satan’s accusations, but we are still made righteous by the work of Jesus on the cross (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14, and Hebrews 9:14).

      Although, it is important to say that we should not regard the blood of Jesus as a magical potion, nor is it the literal blood of Jesus, literally applied that saves or cleanses us. The blood of Jesus REFERS INSTEAD to the REAL DEATH of Jesus Christ in our place, on our behalf, before God. That LITERAL DEATH in our place, and the literal judgment JESUS BORE/PAID IS what SAVES us all.

      How does the blood of the Lamb conquer Satan in the life of the believer? How does the death of Jesus on the cross as our substitute bring us victory?

      It works first because JESUS victory is OUR victory.
      It works because the work of Jesus on the cross for us is the ULTIMATE PROOF of God’s love (Romans 5:8), and SHOULD BE a constant REMINDER that EVERY FEAR Satan whispers into our mind is A LIE.


      “They overcame him . . . by the word of their testimony:” KNOWING & REMEMBERING the work of God in their life protects them against Satan’s deceptions. As faithful witnesses, they have a testimony to bear - and because they know what they have seen and heard and experienced from God, they cannot be deceived by Satan’s lies telling them it isn’t true (as the testimony of the man born blind in John 9:25).

      “They overcame him . . . they did not love their lives to the death:” If WE do not cling to OUR earthly lives, then there really is NO THREAT Satan CAN bring against US. If WE believe as Paul says, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21), then Satan THREATS/ATTACKS are useless.

      The ancient Greek word for love here is “AGAPE,” which speaks of a self-sacrificing, decision-based love. It is up to each one of us to CHOOSE: Will our physical lives be the most precious thing to us, or will we find our life by losing it for Jesus? (Mark 8:35)

      “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Heaven rejoices at the eviction of Satan. But heaven’s gain is the earth’s loss:” Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and sea!

      “He knows that he has a short time:” Satan’s power is real and terrifying, but NOT triumphant. He KNOWS he is beaten and has a short time left, so like a wounded, cornered animal He fights ferociously…insanely…rabidly…viciously.

      Many who study Revelation are STUNNED and SHOCKED and invariably ask: GOOD GRIEF!!!! WHY doesn’t he just give up?

      Remember Satan is UTTERLY depraved, pure evil, narcissistic, egomaniacal, and absolutely “insane” - he has DECEIVED HIMSELF (how I have no idea) but he STILL BELIEVES he has a CHANCE to defeat Almighty God & Jesus Christ.

      A BETTER question, after studying and SEEING what mankind has SUFFERED so far is this: “GOOD GRIEF!!!! Why don’t we (mankind) give up?” WHY isn’t the WORLD at large on its face crying out FORIVE ME ABBA!? SAVE US JESUS!!!” Our rebellion against God makes even LESS SENSE than Satan’s rebellion does.


      Conflict on the earth.
      (v.13-16) Satan attacks the woman, and God protects her.
      “Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.”

      “He persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child:”
      Some MISTAKENLY teach that THE WOMAN is a symbol representing ALL the people of God, including FAITHFUL ISRAEL & THE CHURCH. They use this to advance THEIR teachings that THE CHURCH goes through The tribulation period.

      But this is NOT confirmed/backed up with scripture!

      WHY?

      Okay…for the sake of debate, IF the woman represents all the people of God (the church and faithful Israel), then WHO ARE the rest of her offspring described in Revelation 12:17? That is why “THE WOMAN” can NOT be Mary, nor The Church, but can ONLY be Israel in general or Messianic Jews in particular.

      So WHY DOES Satan attack the Jewish people?
      This IS a BIG QUESTION throughout ALL of mankind’s history, not only for the Great Tribulation.

      The reason is because Israel, from the time of Abraham, has had a critical role in God’s plan of redemption, which is:

      First, it was in bringing forth the Redeemer.
      Second, it was in the fulfillment of His plan, because Jesus promised that the Jewish people would exist and welcome Him when He returns in glory to this world (Matthew 23:39).
      Third, if Satan WERE to succeed, (which he WON’T,) in destroying the Jewish people, then God’s eternal plan is STOPPED.

      So the persecution of Israel is part of the satanic program to STOP the work of God. Israel IS HATED by Satan because she IS the chosen of God and essential to the overall purpose of God for time and eternity.

      “But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place:” Eagle’s Wings are an emblem from the Exodus deliverance (Exodus 19:4), another way of connecting these people with Israel.

      “Where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time:” This is another reference to a three and one-half year period, indicating that these events - this dramatic persecution of Israel - DO TAKE PLACE DURING the 70th weeks of Daniel 9.…NOT the past.

      “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman:” The fury poured out against Israel after the abomination of desolation (marking the half-way point of 70th week of Daniel) was spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-22, and spoken of in distinctly Jewish terms (housetop . . . pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath). This passage in Revelation describes the fury that Jesus told THE JEWS to FLEE.

      “The earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth:” This passage also describes God’s ultimate protection of Israel from the fury of Satan and his antichrist in the great tribulation.

      As it says in Isaiah 59:19, “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”


      (v.17) The wrath of the dragon is focused against God’s people.
      “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”


      “The dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring:” This refers to Israel (the woman) and Gentiles who come to faith in Jesus DURING the Great Tribulation (the rest of her offspring). These TWO GROUPS ARE THE MAIN TARGETS of Satan and his antichrist’s persecution in the last days.
      This BEGINS the FIERCE persecution of all those who would not submit to and worship this great Satanic dictator. The martyrs of this period were shown in Revelation 6:9-11 and Revelation 7:9-17.

      It is precisely WHEN Satan REALIZES he HAS LOST the battle, then The Anti-Christ REALLY begins to HUNT DOWN & PERSECUTE & KILL the Tribulation saints/Israel.

      TIME IS SHORT FOR MANKIND AS WELL.
      AS JESUS SAYS…TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION…

      CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND YOU SHALL BE SAVED NOW…DO NOT DELAY...

      BECAUSE TOMORROW IS PROMISED TO NO ONE.

    • July 6, 2016 6:44 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 13 ---The Two Beasts



      (v.1) John’s vision of a beast rising from the sea.
      “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.”

      “Then I stood on the sand of the sea:” In Revelation 12, John’s vision mainly had an IN HEAVEN looking down upon earth view. NOW the scene of his vision shifts to the earth, and in this vision John IS standing ON the sand of the sea ON EARTH.

      Many people today love the sea, but Jewish people in Biblical times regarded the sea as a wild, untamed, frightening place, a figure of evil that TRIED to resist God, as in (Psalm 74:12-13; Psalm 89:8-9; Isaiah 57:20).

      “And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea:” From the place identified with evil and chaos and resisting God, a beast comes forth. The ancient Greek word translated beast here has the idea of a wild, dangerous animal.

      Because John calls him “a beast” and not “a dragon” (as in Revelation 12:3), we KNOW this creature represents someone distinct from Satan but who represents the dragon (Revelation 12:9).

      “Having seven heads and ten horns:” Though this beast is distinct from the dragon of Revelation 12, he is still closely identified with him. He is NOT the dragon (Satan), but he is LIKE him (AntiChrist), because the dragon also had seven heads and ten horns (Revelation 11:3).

      In the Bible “horns” express strength and power. A bull with two horns is powerful creature, but a beast with ten horns has that much more power - just like the dragon of Revelation 12:3.

      This LIKENESS TO SATAN is just one of the things that identifies this beast as the Antichrist. The word Antichrist only appears in the Bible FIVE times in four verses (1 John 2:18; 2:22; 4:3, and 2 John 7).

      We can begin by understanding WHAT ANTICHRIST MEANS. The prefix ANTI can mean “against”, “the opposite of” or “instead of.” The Bible wants you to KNOW that he is “the instead of” Jesus.

      Most people have focused on the idea of the “opposite Jesus.” I am SURE Satan loves that mistake and most likely ENCOURAGES it.

      It has made people think that the Antichrist will appear as a supremely evil person, (horns, red-forked tail) that as much as Jesus went around doing good, he will go around doing bad.

      As much as Jesus’ character and personality was beautiful and attractive, the Antichrist’s character and personality will be ugly and repulsive.

      As much as Jesus spoke only truth, the Antichrist will speak only lies. This emphasizes the idea of the “opposite Jesus” too much.

      The Antichrist will be more of an “instead of Jesus.” He will look wonderful, be handsome, smart, iconic, be charming and successful. He will AT FIRST be a peace maker. He will be the ultimate winner, and appear as an angel of light. In this sense the Antichrist will be a satanic messiah, instead of the true Messiah Jesus Christ.

      “And on his horns ten crowns:” This is something different about the beast compared to the dragon of Revelation 12:3, who had seven diadems on his heads. The seven crowns of the dragon expressed his strength and power, because seven is a number associated with strength and completeness. The TEN crowns of the beast express his rule over a group of TEN NATIONS.

      The figure of ten horns also associates this beast with the beast of Daniel 7:7, which represent the FINAL world empire of the Antichrist, which the Messiah will ultimately conquer: “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.” (Daniel 7:7)

      In Daniel’s vision, the ten horns specifically represented ten kingdoms that this final world dictator has authority over (Daniel 7:24). In John’s vision the ten crowns on the ten horns emphasize/confirm this.

      The visions of Daniel 7 and Daniel 2 also connect the GOVERNMENTS represented by the ten crowns with the ancient Roman Empire.

      In those visions, Daniel saw three successive world empires, each succeeded by a fourth - which in the context of the visions is plainly the Roman Empire. In the days of that fourth empire the Messiah will come, destroy all earthly rule and reign over the earth.

      Since we do NOT see the reign of Jesus on earth in the way Daniel prophesied, we can see that the Roman Empire will “resume”, be awakened, be restored in some way, expressed by this collection of ten crowns.

      “And on his heads a blasphemous name:” The seven heads of the beast each advertise blasphemy against God. This speaks of more than the beast’s message; it speaks of his CHARACTER. He is a blasphemer, who speaks against God (as in Daniel 7:25).

      (v.2) The description of the beast of the sea again connects it to images from Daniel 7.
      “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”

      “LIKE a leopard . . . LIKE a bear . . . LIKE a lion:” In this vision, God used images from Daniel’s vision of Daniel 7 to communicate the identity and nature of this beast to John. Daniel 7 uses four animals (beasts) to describe the course of human government from Daniel’s time until the ultimate reign of Jesus on this earth.

      The first three animals are:

      A LION (a picture of the Babylonian Empire),
      A BEAR (a picture of Medo-Persian Empire), and
      A LEOPARD (a picture of the Greek Empire).

      The fourth animal was a dreadful, indescribable beast which SHARED the most terrifying characteristics of the previous beasts, yet represents the FINAL world empire under the Satanic dictator (Daniel 7:7-8).
      John presents this beast as the extension of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, connecting his empire with the characteristics of the great empires of the past.

      WHAT does that mean?

      This FINAL world empire will have the catlike vigilance of a leopard, the slow and crushing power of a bear, and the authority and ferociousness of a lion.

      Since the beasts of Daniel 7 represented empires more than specific men, some have thought that the beast of Revelation 13 is NOT a person, but a government or a cultural system. Many believe the beast is a broad picture of totalitarian governments, especially the totalitarian states of the 20th century.

      But REMEMBER with ANY empire, especially brief empires, the government is almost totally identified with THE RULER.

      WHAT DO I MEAN?

      For example, when we think of The Holocaust, Germany in the 1930s and 1940s, the figures of Hitler as an individual and Nazi Germany as a state are virtually the same.

      Revelation 13 shows us that “the beast” IS A MAN, a HUMAN individual, though he is closely identified with his world-dominating government.

      The antichrist is also called the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3), as was Judas (John 17:12). Judas was a man, NOT a system or a government, so it follows that the antichrist will also be A MAN, NOT SIMPLY a system or a government.

      “The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority:” This world leader is really empowered and supported BY SATAN. Through this man, Satan will express his own desire and authority. In this, the beast, THE ANTI-CHRIST ACCEPTS & TAKES the offer that Jesus refused to give Satan in (Matthew 4:8-10).

      The beast is NOT an ordinary man. He is called the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit (Revelation 11:7; 17:8), and ordinary men do NOT COME from there.

      Seiss says it best, “One who hails from that place must either be a dead man brought up again from the dead, or some evil spirit which takes possession of a living man . . . In either case, the Beast, IS a person, & IS an extraordinary and supernatural being.”

      (v.3) The beast and his wound.
      “And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.”

      “One of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded:” This is a REAL KILLING BLOW head wound, a mortal wound, not a superficial injury. The ANTI CHRIST WILL BE KILLED BY SWORD. Perhaps it is an expression of God’s judgment against the beast.

      “And his deadly wound was healed:” The coming back to life & the recovery of the beast increases his fame and authority (all the world marveled and followed the beast). Twice later (Revelation 13:12 and 13:14) this recovery is mentioned in connection to the world’s worship and devotion to the beast.

      We who study The Bible KNOW that whenever ALMIGHTY GOD REPEATS ANYTHING THREE TIMES…IT IS A VITAL WARNING AND REVELATION WE SHOULD REMEMBER.

      The most natural way to understand John’s plain speaking words in Revelation 13 makes us KNOW that he speaks of A HUMAN MAN who will be mortally wounded and then brought back to life & healed.

      “Wounded . . . Healed:” This is THE Antichrist, who TRIES to IMITATE Jesus in His death and resurrection. The world will believe this, the nation of Israel in particular, WILL FOR A TIME BELIEVE THIS, and it will add tremendously to his fame and power.

      (v.4) The authority and popularity of the beast.
      “So 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 him?”

      “So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast:” As people worship this beast and bow down before his government, it may be that they do NOT know they are ALSO bowing down to Satan himself; but it IS worship of Satan none the less. They clearly worship both the beast and the dragon, but their worship of the dragon may be unknowing.

      Though Satan worship becomes more and more popular each year, it is still only a tiny fraction of people who openly worship Satan. But this is because more people expect Satan to appear with ugliness and horror.

      This is wrong, for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. “Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” reminded us in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15.

      The world will be AMAZED at the POWER of the beast, and will BELIEVE he IS unstoppable/unconquerable.

      For a SHORT time, the beast will look like a tremendous “winner.” PUBLICLY, THE FIRST 3.5 YEARS, THE ANTI-CHRIST WILL STEP ONTO THE WORLD STAGE, FILLED WITH TERROR AND CHAOS, WARS, HUNGER, DESTRUCTION after the RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, JEWS AND GENTILES ALIKE WHO LOVE JESUS ARE SNATCHED AWAY, AND EVEN THE DEAD IN CHRIST, THAT MEANS JESUS WILL NOT EVEN LEAVE EVEN A DUST MOTE OF OUR DNA ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH FOR SATAN AND HIS ANTICHRIST TO USE FOR EVIL.

      SO when he blasphemes Jesus and persecutes God’s people, they (the TRIBULATION SAINTS, THOSE WHO REJECT THE BEAST WILL APPEAR AS complete losers - for a VERY SHORT time.)


      (v.5-6) The beast’s blasphemies.
      “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.”

      “Speaking great things and blasphemies:” “Blasphemer” may be a more accurate title than “Antichrist” for this end-times dictator. As much as anything, this beast is a man who speaks against God and everything God stands for (His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven).

      “And he was GIVEN authority to continue for forty-two months:” The beast continues without MUCH restraint by God for a period of forty-two months - the familiar three and one-half years BUT he is still UNDER God’s authority. GOD GIVES HIM THE AUTHORITY TO AN EXTENT…BUT NEVER FULL REIGN. EVEN DURING THE TRIBULATION SATAN AND THE ANTICHRIST AND THE FALSE PROPHET HAVE LIMITATIONS THAT THEY CAN NOT BREAK.

      WHY & WHOM does the beast blaspheme . . . those who dwell in heaven? This means he speaks against those who were taken IN THE RAPTURE, and are therefore out of his reach. HE IS FURIOUS BECAUSE HE DID NOT BELIEVE THE RAPTURE WOULD OCCUR, AND HE LOOKED FOR THE TIME HE COULD PERSECUTE, TORTURE, HUNT DOWN AND KILL ALL THOSE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST….BUT SATAN LOSES AGAIN…BECAUSE HE CAN NOT TOUCH THE CHURCH.

      (v.7-8) The beast makes war against the saints.
      “It was GRANTED to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

      “It was granted to him to make war with the saints:” Revelation 12 described the broad phenomenon of Satanic persecution during the tribulation period.

      Here, the main instrument of that persecution is revealed: the government of the beast will PERSECUTE/KILL all those who do not bow in worship to the beast.

      “To overcome them:” Overcome does NOT mean that the beast can overcome THE FAITH of the saints, but that he CAN destroy their physical lives, and by all appearances defeat the cause of God’s people on this earth.

      WHO ARE these saints who are overcome by the beast? These saints ARE God’s people who come to Christ AFTER the church has been raptured & during The Tribulation.

      “All who dwell on the earth will worship him:” This final world dictator WILL demand and WILL RECEIVE worship from the whole earth. But those who worship him WILL pay the price: they are whose names have not been written in the Book of Life.

      HOW will all who dwell on the earth . . . worship him? It will probably be after the pattern of the worship demanded by the Roman Emperors in the days of the early church. There were times in the early church when all residents in the empire were required to burn a pinch of incense before a statue of Caesar and say, “Caesar is Lord.”

      Christians refused to do this and were persecuted because of it. After the terrible totalitarian monsters of the 20th Century (Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao), it isn’t hard to imagine a dominating world leader demanding such a declaration of allegiance, tantamount to worship.

      The Book of Life contains the names of all God’s redeemed/saved (Revelation 20:15). No fence riding allowed THIS time. You EITHER worship the beast OR have your name in the Book of Life.

      “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world:” This deeply meaningful title for Jesus reminds us that God’s plan of redemption was set in place BEFORE He EVER created the beings who would be redeemed. God wasn’t “surprised” by the fall of Adam or any other evidence of the fallen nature of man. God isn’t making it up as He goes along. It is all going according to HIS PLAN.

      WANT PROOF OF THIS?
      OKAY…HERE IT IS…

      God the Son HAD a relationship of love and fellowship WITH God the Father BEFORE the foundation of the world (John 17:24)

      The WORK of Jesus was ordained BEFORE the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20)

      God CHOSE His redeemed BEFORE the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4)

      Names ARE written in the Book of Life BEFORE the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8)

      The kingdom of heaven WAS prepared for the redeemed BEFORE the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34)

      WHAT does this mean? God KNEW who WOULD accept Jesus and who WOULD reject His Jesus BEFORE Adam WAS created. But God promised mankind FREEWILL, and so God MUST march through time and ALLOW each human throughout time to CHOOSE.

      I get asked this question all the time:

      WHY didn’t God just create those who would NOT chose badly & only those who would have STAYED perfect & pure? Because they would have HAD TO BE ROBOTS…programmed to love God.

      THEY WOULD NOT HAVE HAD FREE WILL….AND CHOICE.
      God is love.
      He WANTS just like all of us, for someone to CHOOSE us, to CHOOSE to love us, warts and all. God has PROVED that He loves us warts and all…when HE GAVE THE WORLD WHO REJECTED AND CURSED AND DID NOT BELIEVE IN HIM, HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST TO DIE FOR ALL OF MANKIND.

      SO IT IS NOW OUR TURN to CHOOSE Jesus.

      KNOW THIS: no choice IS rejection of Jesus.

      (v.9-10) A warning to all.
      “If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”

      “He who has an ear, let him hear:” These words ALWAYS precede a WARNING from God.

      “He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity:” If you work FOR the beast and lead others TO WORK for the beast, you certainly shall go into captivity yourself. God will measure unto you what you have measured to others.

      This ALSO WARNS that regardless what the BEAST tells people, or how things SEEM for a short time: there is NO hope in fighting with or against the Antichrist in yourselves. The ONLY HOPE/VICTORY is steadfast faith and endurance in Jesus.

      “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints:” Though these NEW TRIBULATION CHRISTIANS WILL BE viciously attacked by the Antichrist and his followers, the saints of God must keep steadfast faith in the ultimate justice of God. He will reward their persecutors with persecution of His own.

      The beast rising from the land.
      (v.11) John’s initial description of this second beast.
      “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.”

      “Then I saw another beast:” This creature represents someone like the beast rising from the sea, because the same word beast is used to describe them both. At the same time, this beast IS different.

      They are different IN ORIGIN, because one comes out of the sea, the other out of the earth.

      They are different IN RANK, because the second is subordinate to the first (causes the earth . . . to worship the first beast, Revelation 13:12)

      They are different IN APPEARANCE, because the second has a mild, “lamb-like” appearance.

      “And he had two horns like a lamb:” The two horns may express the fact that this beast has authority in two realms, such as religious and political authority. Or, he may have two horns simply because that’s how many horns lambs have (two horns like a lamb).

      “Spoke like a dragon:” Despite his lamb-like appearance, the message of the second beast is THE SAME as the message of the first beast.

      This SECOND beast is called THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10), as someone distinct from the first beast (the Antichrist) and the dragon (Satan).

      With the dragon, the beast rising from the sea, and the beast rising from the land we have an UNHOLY TRINITY. The dragon is the anti-Father, the beast rising from the sea is the anti-Christ, and the beast rising from the land is the anti-Holy Spirit.

      (v.12-15) The second beast’s “job description.”
      “And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”

      “He exercises all the authority of the first beast:” The beast rising from the earth is essentially a Satanic prophet, who leads the world to worship the beast and the dragon.

      It may seem UNBELIEVABLE that the world WOULD/COULD be led into worship of a man and of the devil. But by nature, men have an undeniable religious impulse, and they also have an undeniable rebellion against God. What men want most is not the elimination of religion, but their own religion. They say they want the kingdom, but they don’t want God in it.

      “He performs great signs:” The beast rising from the sea has the “signs and wonders” to back up his false teaching. A specific miracle of the false prophet is described: he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. It is important that John highlights this miracle. In the eyes of the deceived world, it answers the miracle of the two witnesses, who minister during this period and are persecuted by the Antichrist and his false prophet (Revelation 11:5).

      To the BLIND/DECEIVED world, this also puts this false prophet in the class of Elijah (1 Kings 18). We can imagine the false prophet as saying, “Let the true God answer with fire” and then performing his deceptive wonder.

      REMEMBER SATAN TRIED THIS DECEPTION BEFORE!
      WHERE?

      In the days of the Exodus, Aaron performed miracles, and up to a point was matched miracle-for-miracle by the magicians of Egypt (Exodus 7-9).

      In Deuteronomy 13:1-5, God assumes there will be supernatural works on behalf of false prophets and idols, and He warns His people to JUDGE a worker of miracles by THEIR MESSAGE, NOT ONLY by their works.

      Jesus WARNED that some who worked miracles - even in His name - were false followers and would perish. (Matthew 7:22-23).

      Jesus WARNED that in the end times, false prophets would emerge and show great signs and wonders to deceive. (Matthew 24:24).

      Paul SAID that the Antichrist will come with all power, signs, and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

      Knowing ALL this, the emphasis on signs and wonders among some Christians is frightening to me.

      Some Christians say or think, “You can really know where God is and where His power is by signs and wonders.”
      That’s a LIE that Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet could all STATE. Signs and wonders will be present among Christians, but the REAL MARKS of God’s PRESENCE, POWER, & WORK are LOVE & TRUTH.

      “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed:” The beast rising from the earth will use a deceptive, animated image as the focus point of the worship of the beast.

      It may seem strange to us to have the whole world give this kind of worship to the IMAGE of a man, but the personality cults of totalitarian governments in the twentieth century are a good example of this kind of worship. All we have to do is remember totalitarian states like the Soviet Union or Communist China, and their omnipresent pictures of Stalin or Mao and we see a pattern that will be ultimately fulfilled BY the Antichrist on a GLOBAL scale.

      The image of the beast is animated in some way; it has breath and can speak. Whether the image is animated supernaturally or technologically, the result will be impressive.

      The Psalmist mocked idol worshippers because the idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.

      “They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not” in Psalm 135:15-16.

      This image of the Antichrist will be a DIFFERENT kind of idol, because the image of the beast WILL speak and WILL SEE and cause those who REFUSE to worship the beast to be killed.

      This idolatrous image is what Jesus, Daniel, and Paul spoke of as the abomination of desolation (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15, and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

      It is an idolatrous image set up in the holy place of a rebuilt temple; it is an abomination in the sense of being supreme idolatry, and it is desolation in the sense that it will bring the judgment described by the seals, trumpets, and bowls upon those who OBEY/FOLLOW the beast.

      This is the summation of the power of the Antichrist, whose authority ends after forty-two months (Revelation 13:5). This marks the HALFWAY point of the final seven years of man’s rule of this planet. The Antichrist’s power ends as soon as it peaks.


      (v.16-17) The economic strategy of the first beast and the second beast.
      “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

      “He causes all . . . to receive a mark:” Under the government of the beast and his associate, all will be given a mark. Without the mark, one will NOT be able to buy or sell except one who has the mark of his name.

      The technology to give people a mark that enables them to buy and sell in the electronic economy is ALREADY available.

      “A mark on their right hand or on their foreheads:” Satan is not a creative being, all he CAN DO is imitate God. We are not surprised to find that this too is a Satanic parody of something God will do; it imitates God’s mark upon his people (Revelation 7:3-4).

      “The number of his name:” This was a common concept in the ancient world. In Greek (and Hebrew as well), letters were assigned a numerical value, such as “A” equaling 1, “B” equaling 2, and so forth.

      (v.18) The number of the beast.
      “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

      “His number is 666:”
      “It is the number of a man:” The letters of “Jesus” in Greek add up to 888. 666 may be a Satanic counterpart to the name of Jesus, or 666 may be God’s evaluation of such a Satanic counterpart - it falls short.

      The two beasts are Satanic FAKES. We are presented with a false “Christ” and a false “John the Baptist” who promotes the false Christ. Satan can’t create, but he can/DOES effectively deceive with imitation.

      INSTEAD of being AFRAID of the imitation - the Antichrist - LET’S be interested in the genuine: Jesus Christ, Amen?

    • July 6, 2016 6:43 PM EDT
    • Revelation 14----GOD'S VICTORY & THE BEASTS DEFEAT
      Revelation 15----PRELUDE TO THE BOWLS JUDGMENT

      I HAVE HAD MANY PEOPLE SAY THAT REVELATION IS CONFUSING, REPITITIOUS…John keeps going back and repeating and adding details of ground already covered…and it is confusing to me.

      So think of REVELATION THIS WAY.
      HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE SAT AND WATCHED AN ARTIST CREATE A PAINTING?

      FIRST THEY BEGIN WITH A PENCIL CREATING FINE STROKES ON A BLANK WHITE CANVAS TO GIVE THE OUTLINE OR A GLIMPSE OF WHAT THE FOCUS OF THE PAINTING OR ARTWORK WILL BE IN THE ARTIST‘S MINDS EYE, RIGHT?

      THEN THEY GO BACK AND ADD MORE AND MORE PENCIL STROKES/DETAIL UNTIL THE UNTRAINED EYE CAN BEGIN TO SEE WHAT IT IS THEY ARE CREATING, RIGHT?

      THE MORE DETAIL, THE BETTER THE VISUAL, RIGHT? AND THE BETTER AND MORE EASY TO SEE HOW AN ARTIST CREATES ANYTHING…

      AFTER THE DRAWING IS COMPLETED, THEN THEY BEGAN SLOWLY TO BRING IN COLOR, THAT BREATHES REAL LIFE INTO THEIR DRAWING…UNTIL YOU KNOW THE COLOR OF THE EYES, THE SKIN TONE, OR THE COLORS OF THE GARDEN, THE FRUIT…SO THAT IT BECOMES MORE EASILY AND READILY RECOGNIZED BY THE COMMON MAN..THE UNTRAINED EYE.

      UNTIL AT THE END, YOU HAVE A FULL COMPLETE PICTURE, AND BETTER YET…YOU SEE AND NOW UNDERSTAND ITS BEGINNING, ITS MIDDLE, AND ITS PERFECT COMPLETION…ITS END…

      JESUS COULD HAVE EASILY JUST SET THE COMPLETED PAINTING…THE END OF THE COMPLETION OF ALL THINGS BEFORE JOHN AND GIVEN HIM, JUST HIM, THE WISDOM AND DISCERNMENT TO SEE AND UNDERSTAND ALL ENDTIMES THINGS, BUT JESUS WAS THINKING ABOUT YOU AND I, THOUSANDS OF YEARS LATER, JESUS SAW YOU AND I, AND HE WANTED YOU AND I TO BE ABLE TO SEE AND UNDERSTAND, AND WATCH AND KNOW THE THINGS WHICH WERE COMING, AND HOW THEY PROGRESSED UNTIL WE WOULD SEE AND UNDERSTAND THE COMPLETED MASTERPIECE, AMEN?






      REVELATION 14


      Revelation 14 --- Images of God’s Victory and the Beast’s Defeat


      The fate of the 144,000.
      (v.1-3) The Lamb and the 144,000 on Mount Zion.
      “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.”


      “A Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand:” These 144,000 were last seen in Revelation 7, where they were identified as a group of young, virgin, Jewish male believers who minister during the great tribulation, and are given a seal of protection throughout that period. Since they stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb, it shows that they emerge WHOLE/VICTORIOUS from the great tribulation. The beast of Revelation 13 COULD NOT defeat/kill the 144,000; here they ARE triumphant, worshipping, and standing firm WITH Jesus.

      Revelation 14 will answer TWO IMPORTANT questions raised by Revelation 13. The beast of Revelation 13 was terrifying and awesome; he even can make war against the saints and overcome them (Revelation 13:7).
      So it is fair to ask them here:

      Is the beast COMPLETELY victorious over ALL God’s people during Tribulation?” The presence of the 144,000 on Mount Zion with the Lamb emphatically says “no.”

      “What happens to the beast and his followers?” The rest of Revelation 14 will answer that question.

      “Standing on Mount Zion:” Why are they gathered on Mount Zion? Zion - the ancient name for the hills that make up Jerusalem - is the place where the Messiah gathers His redeemed and reigns over the earth prophesied, affirmed & confirmed in Psalm 48; Isaiah 24:23; Joel 2:32; Obadiah 1:17; 1:21; Micah 4:1, and 4:7).

      Some believe this Mount Zion is the HEAVENLY Zion referred to in Galatians 4:26. In this thinking, the 144,000 would have to be VICTIMS of this beast, and are now in heaven with Jesus. But that view DOES NOT match with Revelation scripture at all. If it WERE true, it would ALSO make us wonder what good God’s protective seal on the 144,000 amounted to (Revelation 7:4).

      The 144,000 are like the young Jewish men SHADRACH, MESHACH, & ABEDNEGO, who survived the fiery furnace in Daniel 3:19-25. They PROVE God’s ability to preserve/protect His people singularly or in a group no matter WHERE they are on this earth and no matter WHOM seeks them harm.

      People, we NEED to remember that. No matter, where we ARE, in a group or all alone Jesus CAN single us out and CAN protect us from ANY & ALL harm going on around us.

      “Having His Father’s name written on their foreheads:” The followers of Satan and the beast may have a mark on their hand or forehead (Revelation 13:16-17). But this mark is just a copy of the idea behind the identifying mark on the foreheads of each one of the 144,000, showing that they BELONG to Almighty God.

      “The voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder:” This is the voice of God (Revelation 1:15 and 4:5). Perhaps God spoke here to proclaim His approval of these 144,000 faithful servants in the spirit of Matthew 25:21: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

      “And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps:” We remember that the elders of Revelation 5:8 have harps. Perhaps this is where their music is heard, to accompany the worshipful singing of the 144,000 as they sing a new song, unique to them.

      “And they sang as it were a new song before the throne:” In Revelation 14:1, the 144,000 have their feet firmly planted on an EARTHLY Mount Zion. Yet their praise takes them right to the presence of God, right before the throne.

      THIS SHOULD REMIND US THAT ALMIGHTY GOD ON HIS THRONE DOES HEAR US WHEN WE SING PRAISES…THAT THEY REACH ALL THE WAY TO THE THRONE ROOM IN HEAVEN.

      (v.4-5) The description of the 144,000.
      “These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

      “For they are virgins:” It isn’t hard to see that God would specially call 144,000 to a literal celibacy for the kingdom’s sake during the time of the great tribulation. It also proves the 144,000 are Jewish males.

      “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes:” These 144,000 are of Jewish heritage (Revelation 7:4-8). Yet they are also clearly believers in Jesus, otherwise they would not stand with the Lamb, follow the Lamb wherever He goes, and could not be without fault before the throne of God.

      Each of the vast multitude saved during the Tribulation will be saved in exactly the same manner as anyone today: by grace, through a personal faith in Jesus Christ unto salvation. Even though the Pre-tribulation Rapture of the church ends God’s dealings with THE CHURCH as such on the earth, it certainly does not change the way people come to salvation or become part of the larger family of God, which includes all the redeemed, before and after the church.

      “These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb:” The 144,000 are the BEGINNINGS of a greater harvest; they are firstfruits, the “godly nucleus of Israel which is the token of redemption of the nation of Israel BACK to Almighty God AND to BELIEF THAT Jesus Christ WAS/IS/EVER SHALL BE their Messiah.

      Revelation 7:9 describes an innumerable company saved out of the Great Tribulation, and these 144,000 described as firstfruits, used to PREACH THE GOSPEL to those who will be saved in this period.



      (v.6-7) Proclamations from heaven. An angel preaches the gospel.
      “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth; to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people; saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

      “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who DWELL ON the earth:” The angel preaches the gospel, but also announces judgment (the hour of His judgment has come). Because the judgment of God is so evident on the earth in great tribulation, it is no wonder why the crowd of those saved through the great tribulation can’t be numbered (Revelation 7:9-14).

      “Fear God and give glory to Him:” This is what the angel tells the whole world to do. They can do this and give glory to God and worship Him willingly in this life, or be FORCED to give glory to Him at the White Throne Judgment.

      It is CERTAIN that one day ALL WILL give glory to God. Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

      “To every nation, tribe, tongue, and people:” This can be a valid fulfillment of Jesus’ promise in Matthew 24:14 that the gospel would be preached to all the world before His second coming, WHICH IS WHEN JESUS DOES ONCE AGAIN TOUCH EARTH ON MOUNT ZION IN JERUSALEM. God has NOT given the responsibility for spreading the gospel to angels, but TO His people. And here GOD tells us that WE DID it…WE ACCOMPLISH it.


      (v.8) An angel announces Babylon’s fall.
      “And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

      “Babylon is fallen:” More on Babylon will come in Revelation 17. For now, it is enough to see it representing mankind in organized rebellion AGAINST God.

      “Because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication:” When we are told that Babylon has led all nations into fornication, the main idea is SPIRITUAL fornication - the worship of other GODS, PEOPLE, IDOLS, NATURE. However, we are never surprised to see spiritual fornication accompanied with literal immorality. You do one and the other is easy to slide into.

      (v.9-11) A third angel warns of coming judgment.
      “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out FULL STRENGTH into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

      “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand:” This reminds us that there IS a connection between worshipping the beast and his image and receiving his mark on his forehead or on his hand. No one will “casually” or “accidentally” take the mark BY MISTAKE. The connection between worshipping the beast and taking the mark will be clear enough.

      Although, receiving the mark may SEEM innocent enough to those who dwell on the earth. In their eyes it may not seem like much more that a mere pledge of allegiance and devotion to the Antichrist and his government. It was the same way in the first few centuries of Christianity, when burning a pinch of incense to an image of Caesar, and pledging “Caesar is Lord” was regarded as an innocent act of civic duty to the ancient pagans.

      “He himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation:” Those who worship the Antichrist are forced to drink the wine of the wrath of God. This cup of God’s wrath is like undiluted wine, mixed with spices to make it still stronger (full strength).

      The idea that God HOLDS a cup of wrath, which He makes those under judgment drink is expressed more than THIRTEEN times in the Bible (Psalm 75:8 and Jeremiah 25:15 are examples). This is the idea behind the cup that Jesus wanted to avoid if it were possible (Matthew 26:39). Jesus willingly took the cup of the Father’s wrath that we deserved; here, the enemies of Jesus have no choice - the cup WILL BE forced upon them if they REJECT Jesus.

      “The wine of the wrath of God . . . the cup of His indignation:” The wine in the cup is associated with wrath (the ancient Greek word thymos), which describes a passionate anger. The cup itself is associated with indignation (the ancient Greek word orge) which is anger from a settled disposition.

      The ancient Greek word orge is the common word for God’s anger in the New Testament. The ancient word thymos is used only 11 times, and 10 of the 11 are in Revelation. Usually, God’s anger towards sinners does not “flash” against them; it is simply His settled opposition against sin and unrighteousness. But in the Book of Revelation, which so clearly describes God’s ultimate judgment, the term for passionate anger is used much more often.

      “He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night:” This passage teaches SEVERAL IMPORTANT TRUTHS about HELL & and THE LAKE OF FIRE destiny of the damned.

      “He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone:” This shows that the suffering IS REAL torment, that it is painful and repulsive.

      “In the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb:” This shows that God is NOT absent from HELL. He is there in all His holiness and righteous judgment. Those who are in the waiting prison called hell WISH God were absent, but He will not be. It is wrong to say that hell IS devoid of the presence of God; but it WILL be devoid of HIS LOVE. The presence of Jesus will be there, but only the presence of His holy justice and wrath against sin UNTIL The White Throne Judgment.

      “The smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night:” Those who worship the Antichrist and receive his mark will endure this wrath and indignation for eternity in The Lake Of Fire. Here, the fact of eternal torment is plainly stated; forever and ever means “forever and ever.”

      THERE IS NO PRISON TERM, WHERE YOU SIT AND CONTEMPLATE YOUR WRONGS, REPENT THEM, AND THEN ARE FREED FROM IT AND SENT TO HEAVEN FOR ETERNITY. REJECTION OF JESUS CHRIST IN THIS LIFE, WHILE THERE IS BREATH & HEARTBEAT IN OUR BODIES, AND WHILE THERE IS FREE WILL CHOICE IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS…IS OUR ONLY CHANCE FOR SALVATION AND AN ETERNITY IN HEAVEN.

      ONCE A PERSON DIES…((THEIR CHOICE)) TO DELAY, REJECT, OR WORSE REJECT JESUS CHRIST FREE GIFT OF GRACE THROUGH SALVATION SENTENCES THEM TO AN ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE FOREVER.


      (v.12-13) The blessedness of the saints, even in the midst of the Great Tribulation.
      “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ “ “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

      “Here is the patience of the saints . . . Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on . . . that they may rest from their labors:” We can easily contrast THE REST OF THE SAINTS with the continual torment of the wicked in Revelation 14:11.

      THE REST comes through patient endurance and faithfulness to God and His Word (here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus DESPITE what they face during The Great Tribulation).

      We can only imagine what courage and comfort this passage will give embattled, persecuted saints during the Great Tribulation. Clearly, God WANTS to encourage His people to be steadfast in times of trial, focused on what blessed rest and reward awaits them in eternity.

      “Their works follow them:” The patient endurance and work of these saints IS remembered in heaven. Our work for the Lord goes WITH us into heaven, giving dignity and significance to all work here below.


      (v.14-16) The earth’s harvest. Time for Jesus to bring in the harvest.
      “Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.”

      “On the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle:” Many have difficulty identifying Jesus as the one harvesting here. They have a hard time with Jesus responding to another angel who came out of the temple. But it is unlikely that anyone called the Son of Man, and wearing a golden crown is anyone BUT our Jesus.

      “Having on His head a golden crown:” How different it will be to see him with a crown of gold upon his head from what it was to see him wearing that terrible crown of thorns which the cruel soldiers plaited, and thrust upon his brow!

      “For the harvest of the earth is ripe:” This ancient Greek word for ripe has a negative sense, “to become dry or withered.” The idea is of something that is over-ripe. This means that God will judge the earth only when it is over-ripe for judgment. He doesn’t RUSH into judgment.

      (v.17-20) The winepress of God.
      “Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”


      “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe:” The image of the Second Coming of Jesus as a harvest is also communicated in Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:36-43, with the parable of the wheat and the tares.

      “Blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs:” This describes blood splattering up to the horses’ bridles, a picture of tremendous carnage in the battle of Armageddon described in Revelation 16:16 and 19:11-19.

      In ancient times, a battle area extending one thousand six hundred furlongs (approximately 200 miles) was incomprehensible - but not in modern warfare. The area covered, 1,600 furlongs, is approximately 200 miles, and specifies that the area within a 200-mile radius from Jerusalem will be gathered at the time of the second coming of Christ.

      But this vivid, powerful description shows how complete the judgment of God is. Revelation 14 is the perfect answer to Revelation 13. At the end of Revelation 13, it almost seemed like Satan and the Antichrist might win. But Revelation 14 shows who is REALLY triumphant, powerful, and in control: God, His Messiah, and His people; NOT Satan, his messiah (the Antichrist) and his followers.




      REVELATION 15 --- Prelude to the Bowl Judgments

      Those victorious over the beast.
      (v.1) Seven angels with seven plagues.
      “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.”

      Revelation 14 seemed to describe the consummation of all things, ending with the fury of the Battle of Armageddon. But now John will go back and describe God’s judgment in more detail. This idea of stating and re-stating in more detail is common with prophecy, and with Hebrew literature in general (see Genesis 1:1-2:7 and Genesis 2:8-25).

      Remember, we already “saw the end” in Revelation 6:12-17. Then John took us over the same material in greater detail again.

      Seven angels having the seven last plagues: This idea is also in Leviticus 26:21: “Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.” These seven last plagues are God’s judgment on a disobedient and contrary world.

      “For in them the wrath of God is complete:” As was the case in Revelation 14:10, there are two words for wrath or anger in Biblical Greek: thymos (a volatile, passionate anger) and orge (anger from a settled disposition). This is a place where God’s anger “flashes” hot.

      Orge is the more common word for God’s anger in the New Testament. Thymos is used only 11 times, and 10 of the 11 are in Revelation. It is the book that reveals the judgment of God against a Jesus-rejecting world.

      “Is complete:” Complete (the ancient Greek word etelesthe) means, “to reach an end or an aim.” Here, the “hot” wrath of God will fulfill an eternal purpose. God isn’t just blowing off steam.

      (v.2) A multitude on the sea of glass.
      “And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.”

      “I saw something like a sea of glass:” The sea of glass is mingled with fire. This may be a reminder of the “fires” of judgment.

      Because images from the Exodus abound in this chapter, some simply see an indication of the color red, with it an allusion to the Red Sea and the deliverance from bondage. This chapter shows the ultimate Exodus, the freedom of God’s people from a sinful and persecuting world that harmed & rejected them, just as they harmed and rejected Almighty God, & Jesus Christ.

      “Those who have victory over the beast:” These are those who are victorious over the beast through their faithfulness unto death. They ARE JUST the tribulation martyrs, those that are saved DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION AND ARE KILLED FOR THEIR STAND FOR JESUS CHRIST described in Revelation 7:9-17.


      They are NOT those unsaved masses who survive the tribulation. But here we are still very much in the tribulation - the bowl judgments still wait.

      “Standing on the sea of glass:” Many believe that in the “architecture” of heaven, the sea of glass is a physical representation of the Word of God, connecting to the idea of the tabernacle’s laver and the washing of water by the word (Ephesians 5:26). Perhaps we could say that these saints are “standing on the Word.”

      “Having harps of God:” The only people we saw with harps before were the twenty-four elders (Revelation 5:8). These tribulation martyrs are given the blessing/honor of worshipping God with music in heaven.

      (v.3-4) Their song of praise.
      “They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”

      “They sing the song of Moses:” Only one song is sung, but this song goes by two titles (the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb). The two titles refer to a single song. Here is a perfect union between law and love, between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.


      Seven angels are given seven bowls of judgment.
      (v.5-6) Seven angels, distinctively clothed.
      “After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands.”

      “The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven:” Exodus 25:8-9 and Hebrews 8:9 remind us that the tabernacle of meeting God told Moses to build was based on the pattern of heaven. This refers to the heavenly reality of the tabernacle, NOT the earthly man-made copy.


      “Out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues:” These angels bring God’s judgment. It is significant that they come directly from the heavenly temple, from the presence and throne of God. They do not act on their own authority, but God’s.

      “Their clothing (pure bright linen . . . their chests girded with golden bands) is a reminder that God’s judgment is ALWAYS completely pure and righteous. They are not like the modern anti-hero or vigilante, who sink to the level of the criminals they fight.

      (v.7-8) The bowls are given; the cloud of God’s glory fills the temple.
      “Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.”

      “Seven golden bowls:” These bowls are broad, flat bowls or saucers used ritually for drinking or for pouring libations in sacrifice. The contents of such a shallow bowl were quickly, easily, and completely poured out.

      “The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power:” When the cloud of glory fills the temple in heaven, no one can enter. It was the same when Moses could not enter the Tabernacle when the smoke of the cloud of God’s glory, sometimes called the Shekinah filled the tent (Exodus 40:34-35).

      “No one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed:” This declares that these SEVEN BOWL judgments are now UNSTOPPABLE. Nothing can hinder it any more, because access to this temple in heaven will not long be denied.

      THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT EVERY TEAR WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST HAVE EVER SHED, EVERY HEART CRY, EVERY PRAYER LIFTED IS SO PRECIOUS TO ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST THAT THEY ARE SAVED, & THAT OUR TRIUNE GOD WILL MIX THEM WITH HIS WRATH AND POUR THEM OUT UPON THE LOST, UNSAVED WORLD THAT REJECTED HIM, HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST, AND REJECTED, USED, AND ABUSED HIS CHILDREN..

      WHEN THE WORLD, SATAN AND MANKIND SEEK TO DESTROY YOUR HOPE, YOUR PEACE, AND YOUR JOY AND YOUR LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST….REMEMBER REVELATION 15.…ALMIGHTY GOD & JESUS CHRIST LOVES YOU…

    • July 6, 2016 6:40 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 16----THE BOWL JUDGMENTS

      REVELATION 17----THE FALL OF RELIGIOUS BABYLON


      Let me open this Bible Study by asking you all one question?

      What DO you THINK ARE the TWO most painful & most ABHORRED things Jesus WISHED to avoid, but because of mankind’s sin nature & freewill choice, and His Father’s Given Word He HAS to do?

      Give up?

      MOST believe it is the beatings/shame/wrath of God Jesus endured on The Cross.
      It isn't.
      Jesus suffered all those WILLINGLY.
      The MOST DREADED and HEART-BREAKING for Jesus is:
      Revelations judgments & Jesus having no choice but to allow his creation THEIR REJECTION OF HIM & FREEWILL CHOICE to CHOOSE THE WORLD AND TO spend eternity in The Lake of Fire.

      Revelation 16 - The Bowl Judgments

      Bowls directed against natural phenomenon.
      (v.1) A voice from the temple.
      “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”

      Since no one could enter the temple (Revelation 15:8), this loud voice from the temple IS God Himself, who personally initiates the horrific judgment of the bowls.

      “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth:” These bowls of judgment are the THIRD WOE described in Revelation 11:14.

      WHY?

      Because they are described as the wrath of God, Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth chastisements (with the purpose of bringing repentance) as much as punishments (with the purpose of dispensing justice).

      As such, we usually think of these as occurring at the end of the seven-year period, immediately before Jesus’ return, HIS SECOND COMING…WHEN HE DOES STEP DOWN ON EARTH AGAIN, ON MOUNT ZION IN JERUSALEM.

      Images from Israel’s Exodus are prominent in the bowl judgments.

      WHERE?

      REMEMBER, In the days of Moses, God sent plagues upon Egypt that included plagues of boils (Exodus 9:8-12), waters turning to blood (Exodus 7:14-25), and darkness (Exodus 10:21-29).

      MANY HAVE ASKED…Are the plagues described in this chapter symbolic? THE SIMPLE ANSWER THE BIBLE GIVES US IS NO…THEY ARE NOT SYMBOLIC…THEY ARE VERY REAL.
      EVEN THOUGH we can’t envision all that these words mean. WE CAN KNOW….God’s judgment of this world will NOT be a symbolic judgment. We can remember that the reality behind a symbol is always MORE real - and in this case therefore MORE TERRIFYING - than the symbol itself, AMEN!

      AND JOHN SAYS ((ON THE EARTH))…IT DOES NOT GET ANY CLEARER THAN THAT. IT IS FUTURE, NOT LIKE SOME ((WISH)) TO TEACH THAT THIS ALREADY OCCURRED IN JOHN’S DAY AND THEN DOWN THROUGH HISTORY.

      IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND…NOTHING OF THIS DEPTH, BREADTH HAS OCCURRED OVER THE FACE OF THE ENTIRE EARTH…AT THE SAME TIME, (WITHIN A 7 YEAR PERIOD) EITHER.

      AND THE ANGELS BEING AT ALL FOUR POINTS ON THE COMPASS…NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, AND WEST…TELL US IT WILL BE GLOBALLY…ALL THE EARTH…NOT JUST PARTS OF THE EARTH, NOT JUST SOME PEOPLE….BUT ALL THE EARTH AND ALL THE LOST AND UNSAVED PEOPLE ON IT WILL FACE THIS.

      (v.2) The first bowl: foul and loathsome sores.
      “So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.”

      “A foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast:” Those who worshipped the beast and received his mark are now “marked” by God with loathsome sores.

      THE TRIBULATION SAINTS, WILL BE THE ONLY PEOPLE NOTTTTTTTTTT COVERED WITH THE FOUL AND LOATHSOME SORES TOO.

      (v.3) The second bowl: the sea turned to blood.
      “Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.”

      “The sea . . . became blood:” Revelation 8:8-9 described a PARTIAL contamination of the sea. Here the contamination is made complete (EVERY LIVING creature in the sea died).

      “Blood as of a dead man:” The sea BECOMES LIKE the blood, of a corpse’s blood. It will match the appearance and sickening character of the blood in a dead body.

      (v.4) The THIRD bowl: fresh waters polluted.
      “Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.”

      “The rivers and springs of water, and they became blood:” This COMPLETE contamination is in contrast to the partial (one-third) pollution of fresh waters shown in Revelation 8:10-11.

      When these BOWL judgments come, the time must be VERY short until the return of Jesus. With ecological disasters such as this, the human race CANNOT survive long.

      LOST MANKIND, THE ANTI-CHRIST, THE FALSE-PROPHET & THEIR ONE WORLD RELIGION & GOVERNMENT SOUGHT OUT AND THIRSTED FOR THE BLOOD OF THE SAINTS, THOSE WHO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND STAND AND REJECT THE MARK DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION, & THEY MASSACRED EVERYONE THEY FOUND, NOW ALMIGHTY GOD IS GIVING THEM NOTHING TO DRINK BUT DEAD BODY BLOOD POLLUTED WATERS.

      (v.5-7) The righteousness of God’s judgments.
      “And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.” And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”

      “You are righteous . . . For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink:” It is completely fitting that those who DELIGHTED/REVELED in shedding the LIVING blood of the saints should now be forced to drink “DEAD blood.” They have REFUSED/REJECTED the Living Water of Jesus Christ, and now will be given the water of death.

      Not only is God’s justice fair, it is also pure and appropriate. There is no “vigilante justice” with God.

      “I heard another from the altar saying:” This voice is either an angel speaking from the altar, or the altar personified, representing the corporate testimony of the TRIBULATION martyrs (Revelation 6:9) and the prayers of the saints (Revelation 8:3-5).

      This “speaking altar” IS God’s altar - the cross, where His greatest sacrifice was made, and which here testifies of His righteous judgment, both in the past and soon to come. This is altar where God in His love offered a way of escape from these judgments THROUGH HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST.

      (v.8-9) The FOURTH bowl: the sun scorches men.
      “Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.”

      “The sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire:” What is normally a blessing - the warmth of the shining sun - is now a curse.

      “They did not repent and give Him glory:” The failure of men to respond with repentance shows that knowledge or experience of judgment will not change man’s sinful condition. Those who are NOT won by Jesus’ grace will NEVER be won.
      I read this chapter and I HOPE mankind WOULD repent BY NOW after SEEING God’s power, but this chapter SADLY reveals to us just how EVIL, DEAD, & STONY-HEARTED mankind CAN be & WILL be. Completely and utterly corrupted...TOTALLY UNREPENTANT…STILL REJECTING OF OUR JESUS.

      WE HAVE SEEN GLIMPSES OF THIS OVER TIME, MASS MURDERERS, SERIAL KILLERS, SPREE KILLERS, MASS RIOTS, TERRORISTS, RELIGIOUS FANATICS, DESPOTS WHO TORTURE, ABUSE, MUTILATE, AND KILL WITHOUT A BLINK OF CONCERN…AND WE ARE STUNNED AND HORRIFIED NOW…BUT ALL THOSE IN THE PAST WILL NOT COMPARE TO WHAT THE ONE WORLD RELIGION, THE ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT, SATAN, THE ANTI-CHRIST, AND HIS DEMONS WILL DO.


      Bowls directed against the beast and his government.
      (v.10-11) The FIFTH bowl: a plague of darkness.
      “Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.”

      “His kingdom became full of darkness:” Some see this as a symbolic darkness, but remember the 9th plague of Egypt was a LITERAL darkness, with spiritual overtones. It could NOT ONLY BE SEEN BUT IT WAS FELT too, as described in Exodus 10:21-22.

      “They gnawed their tongues because of the pain:” The darkness of the fifth bowl is a preview of THE WAITING PRISON OF Hell & THE LAKE OF FIRE itself, which is described by Jesus as the outer darkness in Matthew 25:30. Those under the judgment of this fifth bowl stand, as it were, ARE ON the shores of the Lake Of Fire ETERNITY.

      “And did not repent of their deeds:” In man’s sinful condition, he INCREASES his sin when under God’s judgment, at the very time he should FORSAKE his sin & REPENT AND CRY OUT TO JESUS.

      IN OTHER WORDS, THERE WILL BE THOSE WHO ADMIT TO THE SINS OUT OF FEAR, BUT DO NOT REGRET THEIR CRIMES AND SINS AGAINST GOD, JESUS AND THE TRIBULATION SAINTS. AND OUR ALMIGHTY GOD, THE GOD WHO SEES READS AND KNOWS THE HEARTS OF ALL…KNOWS WHO IS CONTRITE, REPENTANT, AND TURNS FROM THEIR SINS AND THOSE WHO DO NOT, AMEN?
      IN OTHER WORDS, THEY WILL NOT FOOL ALMIGHTY GOD.

      But the sorrowing theme…of lost mankind…CONTINUES TO BE SHAKING THEIR FISTS AND CURSING GOD…



      (v.12-16) The SIXTH bowl: armies are gathered for a great battle.
      “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.”

      “The great river Euphrates:” The Romans considered the Euphrates River a SECURE barrier against invasion from the empires of the east. In that day it was 1,800 miles long and anywhere from 300-1200 yards wide. No more…it is shrinking day by day…NOTICEABLY…RIGHT NOW.

      “Its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared:” If the Euphrates were dried up and made a road, massive armies from the east (nations such as China, India, and Japan) could move westward with EASE.

      WHY DO THEY COME? Is it to wipe out Israel? Is it to rebel against a European-based world leader (the Antichrist)? EITHER OR BOTH…BUT RIGHT HERE, THE BIBLE TELLS US THEY ULTIMATELY come to do battle against God and His Messiah as told to us ALSO in Psalm 2.

      “I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon:” The spirits are LIKE frogs in form. The ancient Jewish people regarded frogs as unclean and repulsive, but the Egyptians revered a frog-goddess.
      These demons are LIKE the “lying spirit” who led Ahab into battle which is told to us in 1 Kings 22:19-23.

      “They ARE spirits of demons, performing signs:” Again, signs and wonders are used by demons as tools of deception. The false prophet here is the second beast of Revelation 13.

      IN COMPARISON, OUR JESUS CHRIST EXPELLED UNCLEAN, DEMONIC SPIRITS, WHERE AS HERE, JESUS’ ENEMIES SEND THEM FORTH.

      “Gather them to the battle:” This battle is not nation against nation, but the nations against God (Psalm 2:2). This is one of TWO important battles mentioned in prophecy.

      The battle of Armageddon, when the Antichrist leads the world system AGAINST Israel & a returning Jesus (Revelation 17:12-16; 17:14; 19:19).

      The final battle, The battle of Gog & Magog prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39... when Satan and his allies, AFTER the millennium reign of Jesus Christ on earth, Satan is LOOSED FOR A SEASON to make war against God told to us in Revelation 20:7-10.

      “That great day of God Almighty:” The winner of this battle IS apparent. It is the great day of God, not the great day of man, not the great day of the Antichrist, not the great day of the dragon (Satan).

      “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame:” In the midst of the description of the coming battle, there is a warning to be prepared in light of Jesus’ SECOND COMING & HIS assured victory.

      Garments are ALSO pictures of spiritual and practical righteousness. We are given the righteousness of Jesus as a garment (Galatians 3:27).

      WE are also called to “put on” the nature of Jesus in terms of practical holiness (Ephesians 4:20-24).

      Above all, we must not be “naked” - that is, without a covering, or trying to provide our own covering like Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:7), which is like filthy rags in the sight of God (Isaiah 64:6).

      If those during the GREAT TRIBULATION DO NOT HAVE JESUS…THEY ARE NAKED, THEY HAVE NO SHIELD…NO COVERING…NO PROTECTIONS, AMEN!

      “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon:” This great battle happens at a place called Armageddon (Har-Megiddo).

      Megiddo is in a region frequently associated with decisive battles: Deborah over Sisera (Judges 5:19);
      Gideon over the Midianites (Judges 7);
      Pharaoh over Josiah (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:22).
      It is also a place of end-times mourning (Zechariah 12:11).

      The vast Valley of Megiddo has seen tremendous battles through the centuries. Over 200 battles have been fought in the region, from 1468 b.c. (with Pharaoh Tuthmosis III) to 1917 (with Lord Allenby of the British).

      THERE ARE THOSE who teach THIS BATTLE WAS WAGED IN FRANCE, GERMANY, THE CRIMEA…AND OTHER PLACES THROUGHOUT MANKIND‘S HISTORY, OR THAT THIS IS AN IDEA NOT A REAL BATTLE AT ALL.

      JESUS SHOWED JOHN AND JOHN SAW & WROTE EXACTLY THAT…. SO It is best to see the place as literal, as the region of Megiddo and the valley of Esdraelon. Revelation 16:14; 17:14, and 19:19 described an organized battle.

      (v.17-21) The SEVENTH bowl: the final judgments.
      “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.”

      “IT IS DONE:” This announcement, coming from the throne itself tells us that there will be NO MORE delay. In mercy, God has stretched out this scene as much as He could. The seals were followed by trumpets; the trumpets were followed by bowls; but there will be NO MORE judgments upon the earth after this - IT IS DONE.

      “Poured out his bowl into the air:” The fact that the bowl is poured into the air may show judgment against the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and his allies.

      “There was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth:” In these final judgments, God shakes the earth with a tremendous earthquake. The same is promised in Hebrews 12:26, which says, “Now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Yet, what cannot be shaken will remain.”

      “Great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath:” The fall of Babylon (the great city) is more explicitly described in Revelation 17 and 18.

      Here, it is enough to say that God gives her the cup of the wine of the fierceness (the ancient Greek word thymos, describing a passionate outburst of anger) of His wrath (the ancient Greek word orge, describing a standing state of anger).

      “Great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent:” Giant hailstones fall, weighing up to 100 pounds. Men respond in utter, unrepentant depravity (men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail).

      WE ALL REMEMBER 9-1-1 WHEN THE TOWERS FELL, GLOBALLY PEOPLE HIT THEIR KNEES, RETURNED TO CHURCH, CRIED OUT TO JESUS IN SORROW AND MOURNING…BUT HERE WE SEE ALL OF LOST DEPRAVED MANKIND SHAKES THEIR FIST AT HEAVEN AND CURSES JESUS CHRIST AND ALMIGHTY GOD INSTEAD…IT DOES NOT GET ANY MORE SATAN POSSESSED AND DEPRAVED THAN THAT…

      AND DID YOU KNOW…Hail is frequently a tool of judgment against God’s enemies, as seen against Egypt (Exodus 9:24), the Canaanites (Joshua 10:11), apostate Israel (Isaiah 28:2), and Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38:22).

      In each of these instances, hail rained down from heaven as a tool of judgment, NOT as a corrective chastisement of God’s own children.

      I BELIEVE CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS IT BEST…“Despite all their suffering, many still will not repent. “I have known people say, ‘Well, if I were afflicted I might be converted. If I lay sick I might be saved.’ Oh, do not think so. Sickness and sorrow of themselves are no helps to salvation. Pain and poverty are not evangelists; disease and despair are not apostles. Look at the lost in hell. Suffering has effected no good in them. He that was filthy here is filthy there. He that was unjust in this life is unjust in the life to come. There is nothing in pain and suffering that, by their own natural operation, will tend to purification.”

      WE WHO LOVE JESUS CHRIST AND THOSE WHO WILL COME TO LOVE JESUS CHRIST DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION CAN SAY:

      Revelation 16 is a “great” chapter.

      It describes GREAT evil: a great city, great Babylon (Revelation 16:19).

      It describes GREAT tools of judgment: GREAT heat (Revelation 16:9), a GREAT river dried up (Revelation 16:12), a GREAT earthquake (Revelation 16:18), GREAT hail and GREAT plagues (Revelation 16:21).

      It describes a GREAT ALMIGHTY GOD: His GREAT voice (loud is the same Greek word for great; verses 1 & 17), and His GREAT day of victory (Revelation 16:14).




      REVELATION 17

      Revelation 17 - The Fall of Religious Babylon

      The concept of Babylon.

      Revelation 16:19 and 14:8 have already declared Babylon’s fall. In Revelation 17 and 18, the fall of Babylon is carefully MORE detailed.

      Babylon is mentioned 287 times in the Scriptures, more than any other city EXCEPT Jerusalem.

      Babylon was a literal city on the Euphrates River. Genesis 11:1-10 shows that right after the flood, Babylon “was the seat of the civilization” that expressed organized hostility to God.

      Babylon was later the capitol of the empire that cruelly conquered Judah.

      To those familiar with the Old Testament, the name Babylon is associated with organized idolatry, blasphemy and the persecution of God’s people.

      The concept of Babylon is greater than Revelation 17-18 and the Antichrist’s reign. Babylon was present in John’s day (typified by Rome), in our day, and throughout history, as the “world system.” But under the Antichrist, Babylon (in both its religious and commercial aspects) will hold sway over the earth as NEVER seen before.

      The great harlot (religious Babylon) is described.
      (v.1-2) Described by the angel.
      “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

      “I will show you the judgment of the great harlot:” Her judgment is assured at the outset. There is NEVER any doubt regarding the fate - and ultimate failure - of Babylon.

      As a religious system, Babylon came into being long before Christianity, but in Satanic imitation it anticipated the coming true Messiah. According to religious history and legend, the Babylonian religion was founded by the wife of Nimrod (a great-grandson of Noah), named Semiramis. She was a high priestess of idol worship, and she gave birth to a son who she claimed was conceived miraculously. The son, named Tammuz, was considered a savior. Many ancient artifacts remain with the familiar motif of the mother Semiramis holding the savior-infant Tammuz, which predate Christianity. It was also said that Tammuz was killed by a wild beast and then miraculously brought back to life. Baal was the local, Canaanite name for the Babylonian Tammuz.

      AND WE ALL KNOW THE DEPRAVED DEMONIC HISTORY OF BAAL FROM THE BIBLE, AMEN?

      The Bible makes specific mention of some of the features of the classic religion of Bablyon:

      Ezekiel protests against the ceremony of weeping for Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:14)
      Jeremiah mentions the heathen practice of making cakes for the queen of heaven (Jeremiah 7:18) and offering incense to the queen of heaven (Jeremiah 44:17-19; 44:25)

      “Who sits on many waters:” Here, Babylon sits on many waters; that is, she presides over many nations (compare with Revelation 17:15). She has a universal, international character.

      BABYLON will be the ONE WORLD UNIFICATION of ALL false, idolatrous religions, with representatives from apostate Catholicism, Protestantism, Islamic as well as a smorgasbord of other “religions/cults” of the world.

      BUT REMEMBER FALSE RELIGIONS ARE NOT LIMITED TO JUST THOSE THREE. ANY “RELIGION” THAT ELEVATES ITSELF/TEACHINGS ABOVE JESUS CHRIST, LEADERS OF THEM THAT DEVIATE ONE IOTA, TWISTS, TURNS, DELETES, RE-CREATES, REVISES, OR CHANGES ONE WORD OF ALIMIGHTY GOD’S HOLY WORD…IS IN THE EYES OF ALMIGHTY GOD, JESUS CHRIST, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT A FALSE RELIGION, AMEN!


      “The inhabitants of the earth were made drunk:” Religious Babylon intoxicates kings and peoples. Karl Marx was partly right when he said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” He was partly right because EMPTY pomp & circumstance religions filled with rituals, constant, mindless repetitions and responses to it ARE the opium of the masses. THEY ENCOURAGE DO NOT STUDY, DO NOT SEEK, DO NOT THINK ON YOUR OWN, just LEARN & go on AUTO-PILOT TOWARDS the mindless repetitious mutterings, CIRCUS LIKE RITUALS, REQUIREMENTS THEY GIVE YOU.

      DO NOT THINK, SEEK….JUST OBEY.

      “Made drunk with the wine of her fornication:” The idea of fornication often has strong associations throughout the Bible with idolatry. Since this is a well-accepted religious system, it is likely to appear as attractive and spiritual, though not necessarily moral.

      (v.3-6) What John saw.
      “So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”

      “He carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness:” John is carried away into the wilderness; the desolate nature of the wilderness is an appropriate setting for a vision of judgment.

      “Sitting on a scarlet beast:” The harlot rides the SAME beast (seven heads and ten horns) that was previously seen in Revelation 13:1 - the Antichrist and his GLOBAL dictatorship.

      Her association with blasphemy and the dragon’s beast are clearly seen from God’s perspective. But to the people of the earth she will look quite religious, PIOUS, and have the “faith” everybody wants.

      COMMIT A SIN, GO AGAINST YOUR RELIGIONS TEACHING/RULES/PARAMETERS…PAY FOR AN INDULGENCE, SAY YOUR ROSARY, STRIKE A GONG THREE TIMES, LIGHT REPENTANT INCENSE, PRAY FACING MECCA…WEARING HAIR SHIRTS/SACK CLOTH, DUST, A DOT, APOLOGIZE…DUE PENTANCE, FAST, RECITE PRAYERS OR WASH YOURSELF THREE TIMES, and you are forgiven…CLEAN…to name a few…ALL ARE MANKINDS AND MAN MADE CREATED RULES, PRICES, AND PENANCES…they have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TRIUNE GOD, ALMIGHTY GOD, THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, & JACOB…NOR HIS SON JESUS CHRIST.

      OUR JESUS CHRIST WAS NOT RELIGIOUS…JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT, LIVED, WALKED AND WANTED/WANTS A PERSONAL, ONE ON ONE RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS CREATION…ANYTHING LESS IS NOT OF JESUS CHRIST. ANYTHING LESS IS PURE DECEPTIVENESS BY THE GREAT DECEIVER…AMEN!

      The woman is clothed with emblems of luxury (purple . . . gold and precious stones) and government (scarlet). Yet she offers idolatry (abominations) and impurity (filthiness of her fornication) in this sumptuous setting.

      Having watched the news over the past GLOBAL YEARS, and seeing children sexually abused, impregnated, drugged out, and/or trained to attack, persecute, and kill others NOT OF THEIR FAITH AND ON command/unction by THOSE RELIGIOUS LEADERS, COUNSELORS, TEACHERS, WHO SHOULD HAVE PROTECTED THEM & BEEN SAFE FOR PARENTS TO TRUST THEIR CHILDREN WITH…IS JUST A GLIMPSE INTO HOW MUCH WORSE THESE “RELIGIOUS GROUPS” will be with THE ANTI-CHRIST, THE FALSE-PROPHET, & SATAN RULING OVER THEM during the GREAT TRIBULATION.

      “On her forehead a name was written:” The name on her forehead identifies her in more ways than one. Did you know, Roman prostitutes frequently wore a headband with their name engraved upon it. So in spite of all her glamour, wealth, notoriety, & piety she is nothing but a prostitute.
      There is a stark contrast between the woman of Revelation 12 (representing Israel, God’s people), and Revelation 17 woman (representing idolatrous, false religion).

      THE MOTHER OF REVELATION 12...(THE NATION OF ISRAEL/GOD‘S PEOPLE) is a mother of a MAN child. Notably dressed in HEAVENLY GLORIES. HER INFLUENCE IS THE MOON UNDER HER FEET. HER SUFFERING…SHE IS ATTACKED BY SATAN.

      THE MOTHER OF REVELATION 17...THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS (MOTHER OF GLOBAL UNIFIED FALSE RELIGIONS). NOTABLY DRESSED IN WORLDLY SPLENDOR. HER INFLUENCE OVER EARTHLY KINGS. HER SUFFERING IS SHE IS ATTACKED BY KINGS.

      “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT:” This title is not for literal Babylon; but its spiritual FALSE RELIGIONS (mystery) representation, which is the source (mother) of all idolatry (abominations) and spiritual adultery (harlots).

      This harlot must be larger than any one branch of a religious institution. She IS the embodiment of Satan’s own ecumenical movement - the RELIGIOUS CULTS REMAINING ON THE EARTH (AFTER THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, JESUS BELIEVERS, BOTH JEW AND GENTILE,) WILL UNITE INTO A ONE RELIGION world system.

      RIGHT HERE YOU NOW BETTER UNDERSTAND JOHN’S AMAZEMENT…THE LEFT BEHIND RELIGIONS WILL CONTINUE ON WITHOUT A THOUGHT OR CARE FOR THE RAPTURED CHURCH….IT WILL BE BUSINESS AS USUAL. THEY WILL CONTINUE TO HOLD THEIR SERVICES, SPOUTING THEIR RELIGIOUS PATTER, THEIR RITUALS, THE WORSHIP OF MANY ICONS, AND THEY WILL SHOW THE WORLD THEIR GRANDIOSITY BY JOINING HANDS AND HEARTS AND IDEALS WITH ALL OTHER RELIGIONS…AND THEY WILL ALL BE LED, CONTROLLED, AND OVERSIGHTED BY SATAN HIMSELF (IN SPIRIT) AND THE ANTI-CHRIST (SATAN IN THE FLESH). THE GREAT DECEIVER OF MANKIND.

      WE NOW SHOULD NOT BE SHOCKED BY JOHN’S REVELATIONS…THINK ABOUT OUR WORLD RIGHT NOW, with its POLITICALLY AND SOCIALLY AND RELIGIOUSLY CORRECT ATTITUDES/MOTTOS THAT PREACH…
      “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe in something”….
      “All paths lead to God”…
      “We are ALL GOD’S CHILDREN”…

      Such BLIND AND FALSE philosophy/religious teachings, make the world RIPE for the harlot’s seductions. We see the casual disregard for ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST’S BIBLICAL truth crippling the churchs more and more today.

      JUST AS ANOTHER NEW REVISED VERSION OF EVERY RELIGIONS “BIBLE OF THE MOMENT” IS CRANKED OUT…THEY REASON WITHIN THEMSELVES…WELL THE GENEVA, THE KJV BIBLE IS OUT-DATED….OLD SCHOOL…PASSE…IT NO LONGER APPLIES…WE ARE MORE EDUCATED NOW, MORE BRAINY NOW, MORE TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED NOW…SO NOW WE HAVE TO GROW AND CHANGE WITH THE TIMES…WE NOW NEED THE NEW AGE RELIGIOSITY…WHICH COMPASSIONS EVERYONE, CONVICTS NO ONE, TEACHES NO ONE, DEMANDS NOTHING OF THEM, BUT THAT WHICH DOES NOT BRING HARM OR SHAME TO THEIR NEW AGE RELIGIOUS CULTS AND PRACTICES…SIN, EVIL, AND THE DEVIL HIMSELF…ARE NOT REALLY REAL….THEY ARE JUST OUR UNCONTROLLED EMOTIONS…THEY ARE ONLY OUR CONSCIENCES…JUST CEREBRAL.

      MORAL ABSOLUTES ARE DYING IN FRONT OF OUR EYES. YOUR WORD IS NO LONGER YOUR BOND. PROMISES AND CONTRACTS ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN. EVIL IS BEING TREATED WITH COMPASSION AND/OR EXPLAINED AWAY.
      BE MORAL, STRIVING TO RAISE MORAL GODLY CHILDREN ARE PERSECUTED.
      THIS WORLD IS RIPE AND READY FOR THE ANTI-CHRIST AND HIS UNHOLY FATHER SATAN.

      “Drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:” The woman not only persecutes, she revels in her persecution of the godly as a drunk revels in wine.

      EVER WONDERED WHY WE HAVE BEEN BUILDING GREAT ARENAS WORLDWIDE, FOR THE OLYMPIC GAMES & SPORTS? THE BIBLE TELLS US THE ROMAN EMPIRE WILL BE REVIVED. RIGHT?


      AND WHEN WE STUDY THE ROMAN EMPIRE…WE CAN SEE AND KNOW AND UNDERSTAND ITS FUTURE PURPOSES…SPORTS WILL CONTINUE…LIFE WILL CONTINUE…CONCERTS WILL BE HELD…DINNERS GIVEN, BUT A NEW ELEMENT WILL BE INTRODUCED…

      DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION THOSE SELF-SAME ARENAS/AUDITORIUMS/COLISEUMS WILL BE PACKED OUT, WILL HAVE STANDING ROOM ONLY, A TICKET SCALPERS DREAM, WHEN PEOPLE WILL PAY TO WATCH GLADIATORS, WILD ANIMALS, AND ASSASSINS FIGHT, MURDER TRAITOROUS, REJECTING THE ONE WORLD LEADER AND HIS MARK, CHRISTIANS BEFORE THEIR EYES. IT WILL BE PIPED IN LIVE VIA SATELLITE FOR A PRICE, FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO WATCH THE FESTIVITIES FROM THE COMFORT OF THEIR HOMES. IT WILL BE RECORDED AND SOLD FOR MASS DISTRIBUTION LATER VIEWINGS FOR THOSE WHO CHOSE NOT TO TRAVEL AND COME TO WATCH, DRINK, AND BE ENTERTAINED WHILE CHRISTIANS ARE BEHEADED BY GUIOTINE, BURNED AT THE STAKE, MAULED BY ANIMALS, OR BUTCHERED BY THEIR WARRIOR CHAMPIONS…ALL FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF THE DEPRAVED WORLD.

      UNTHINKABLE?

      THINK ABOUT THE VAST GLOBAL MEDIA TALKING HEAD AND PERSON ON THE STREET OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY AROUND THE WORLD OVER WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO SEXUAL SADISTS, BABY KILLERS, THE TERRORISTS, THE MASS MURDERERS, THE PEDOFILES…TAKE THEM OUT AND HANG THEM…RAPE THEM UNTIL THEY ARE DEAD…BEAT THEM UNTIL THEY ARE DEAD…THE DIFFERENCE IS THE ONLY CRIME THE TRIBULATION CHRISTIANS/SAINTS WILL HAVE COMMITED IS THEIR REFUSAL TO REJECT JESUS CHRIST…REFUSAL TO BOW THE KNEE TO THE ANTI-CHRIST, REFUSE TO TAKE THE MARK OF THEIR ICONIC LEADER..

      AND WORSE, THIS ONE WORLD RELIGIOUS GROUP WILL HELP SPY, SPEARHEAD AND HUNT DOWN ANY PERSON WHO ACCEPTS JESUS CHRIST AND REFUSES THE MARK OF THE BEAST… THESE “RELIGIOUS” PEOPLE WILL BE GIVEN THE RIGHT TO TORTURE, KILL, AND PERSECUTE. AND THE BIBLE TELLS US THEY WILL REVEL…THAT MEANS DEEPLY ENJOY IT.

      “I marveled with great amazement:” NOW WE KNOW WHY John IS amazed? Because this isn’t pagan persecution (such as he knew in his day), THE GODLESS, WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN ALMIGHTY GOD NOR OUR JESUS CHRIST….but THEY WILL BE THOSE WHO CLAIM TO BE GODLY, RELIGIOUS, WHO WILL persecute. This is a psuedo-church, thirsty for the blood of the saints. False religion is always the WORST ENEMY of true religion.

      THE FALSELY RELIGIOUS…THE PIOUS SADDUCEES AND HOLIER THAN THOU PHARISEES SOUGHT TO KILL JESUS CHRIST AT EVERY TURN TOO.

      AND WE SHOULD NEVER FORGET that some of the most vicious persecution conducted against true Christians has been done in the name of the church. In the days when the Roman Catholic Queen Mary ruled England (known as “Bloody Mary” for good reason), some 288 Christians were burnt at the stake for their stand for JESUS CHRIST between 1555 and 1558. The first of these martyrs was a man named John Rogers, who, as he stood chained to a stake, and the fire rose around him, up to his legs and shoulders, he rubbed his hands in the flames as if he were washing his hands in cold water. Then he lifted his hands to the heavens and held them high until he was completely consumed by fire. This barbarity was committed in the name of religion, in the name of THE SO-CALLED ONE TRUE FAITH…THE ONE TRUE church. But Rogers went to the stake with such calm and dignity that the French Ambassador attending the “event” wrote that he went to his death “as if he was walking to his wedding.” His courage was so evident that the huge crowd burst into applause when they saw him walking to the stake.

      The great harlot is interpreted.
      (v.7) The angel tells John that the harlot will be explained to him.
      “But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.”

      “I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her:” The focus of the explanation is on the beast. It appeared that the harlot ruled (rode) the Antichrist’s system, but HE THE BEAST is the dynamic factor, USING her as tyrants have always used religion - as a mere TOOL to accomplish their purposes.

      THE SPANISH INQUISITION IS JUST ONE OF THE HISTORICAL PERIODS WHERE A RELIGIOUS CULT, A FALSE RELIGION, WAS USED TO HUNT DOWN, TORTURE, AND KILL ANYONE THAT DID NOT ACCEPT THEIR ONE TRUE FAITH FALSE RELIGION OF THAT DAY.

      QUITE A CONTRAST TO OUR JESUS..WHO SOUGHT TO SAVE THOSE THAT WERE LOST, BLIND AND IN DARKNESS. THOSE HE TOUCHED, HEALED, PROVIDED, LOVED AND CARED FOR PEOPLE, SOME WHO WOULD REJECT HIM, DENY HIM, REVILE HIM, AND SEEK TO KILL HIM. JESUS NEVER KILLED ANY WHO REJECTED HIM OR HIS TEACHINGS, AMEN!

      (v.8) The beast carrying the woman is plainly connected with the beast of Revelation 13.
      “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

      (v.9) Seven mountains associated with the beast.
      “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.”

      “The seven heads are seven mountains:” Many quickly associate the seven mountains with Rome and the Papacy, because Rome is well known as the city on seven hills.

      But REMEMBER in the Bible mountains are sometimes a figure of governments (such as in Daniel 2:35) and the city of Rome is built on hills, not mountains.

      John knows the difference between hills & mountains, so it is probably better to see the seven mountains as the representing the seven kings and kingdoms described in Revelation 17:10.

      Many people find the connection between religious Babylon and Roman Catholicism irresistible, yet there is no doubt that religious Babylon will incorporate a strong Roman Catholic element, but it will be much bigger than EVEN Roman Catholicism. IT WILL BE A UNIFICATION OF ALL LEFT BEHIND FALSE RELIGIONS.

      AND WE NEED TO REMEMBER THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IS NOT A DENOMINATION OR A RELIGION OR A BUILDING OR ITS LEADERSHIP…JESUS IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP…SO TO IS THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST…IT IS PEOPLE…OF ALL TRIBES, TONGUES, AND NATIONS WHO CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST…WHO LOVE HIM…WHO SEEK TO OBEY HIM AND LIVE AS HE LIVED/TAUGHT…AN OTHER’S CENTERED LIFE, AMEN?

      YET IT IS INTERESTING THAT WE SEE Indications about Roman Catholicism’s ultimate VISION, GOAL, & AIM IS partnership with a one-world religion are evident in Pope John Paul II’s bizarre involvement with and approval of other anti-Christian religions, when addressing a prayer gathering of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and others, Pope John Paul II told participants that their efforts were “unleashing profound spiritual energies in the world and bringing about a new climate of peace.” The Pope pledged that “the Catholic Church intends to ‘share in and promote’ such ecumenical and inter-religious cooperation.”

      AND RIGHT HERE REVELATION TELLS US, JOHN SEES IT & IS AMAZED THAT IT WILL HAPPEN THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE POPE JOHN PAUL II VERBALIZED IT…THE MUSLIMS & ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH LEADERSHIP, THE TWO “LARGEST & MOST AGGRESSIVE” WILL JOIN FORCES WITH ALL OTHER LEFT BEHIND RELIGIONS…THEY WILL BE UNITED UNDER THE HEADSHIP OF THE ANTI-CHRIST & HIS FALSE PROPHET.

      FURTHERMORE, The Catholic Review commented on this and said, “The unity of religion promoted by the Holy Father Pope John Paul II and approved by His Holiness the Dalai Lama is not a goal to be achieved immediately, but a day may come when the love and compassion which both Buddha and Christ preached so eloquently will unite the world in a common effort to SAVE humanity from senseless destruction, and leading to toward the light in which we all believe.”

      And most LAUDED him for this statement. HOW can ANY man, any religion even THINK to open their mouths and slammingly equate Jesus Christ EQUAL TO, or on the same level with flawed, corrupt, mortal men like Pope John Paul II & the Dalai Lama SAYS it all.

      RELIGIONS INFRASTRUCTURE VISIONS/PLANS SHOW US THIS world is RIPE for this NOW! Satan, The Anti-Christ, & The False Prophet will EASILY control men and mindsets such as these RELIGIOUS HEADS.

      MAKE NO MISTAKE HERE, REVELATION 2-3, JESUS TELLS JOHN & MANKIND THAT THERE ARE THOSE WHO DO LOVE HIM IN ALL DENOMINATIONS, BUT HE CLEARLY ALSO TELLS THOSE WHO LOVE HIM, NOT THEIR RELIGIOUS CHOICE, BUT KNOW AND LOVE HIM IN REVELATION 18:4... “TO COME OUT OF HER OH MY PEOPLE…”

      (v.10) Seven kings and kingdoms.
      “There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.”

      “Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come:” This is one of the more difficult passages in the Book of Revelation. Some explain these seven kings, five past, one present, and one to come in the succession of Roman Emperors in John’s era. But there are many historical difficulties with this approach. More likely, it is a reference to:

      FIVE HAVE FALLEN…refers to the five world empires before John’s day: Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, Medo-Persia, and Greece
      refers to the world empire of John’s day.

      ONE IS…refers to the world’s empire of John’s day:Rome

      THE OTHER HAS NOT YET COME…refers to the one world empire to come: a revival of the Roman Empire through the ANTI-CHRIST’S ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT.

      “When he comes, he must continue a short time:” This seventh will quickly be taken over by an eighth - and will become the state of the Antichrist (Revelation 17:11).

      (v.11) The beast (the Antichrist) is clearly identified as the eighth king.
      “And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.”

      “Is himself also the eighth:” He is of the seven means the sense that he THE ANTI-CHRIST, THE EIGHTH WORLD LEADER will HAVE AND SHARE the characteristics with ALL previous world empires, but his fate is clear. Perdition means “destruction,” and the beast WILL be destroyed.

      (v.12-15) Ten kings to come, allies of the Antichrist.
      “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.”

      “Ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet:” This tells us of a TEN-nation confederation (as in the toes of the Daniel 2:24-45 image).

      Many have seen the European Economic Community as the potential fulfillment of this. Perhaps, but RIGHT NOW there are MORE than ten nations in this revived European power.

      There is little doubt of the credentials of the EEC to claim itself a successor to the ancient Roman Empire. The EEC started in 1957, when six European nations met to talk about combining their nuclear, coal, and economic resources. They met together in Rome, and signed the treaty of Rome - the beginnings of the present EEC.

      DID YOU KNOW, In many places in Europe, the EEC flag is just as prominent as any national flag. NOW FOR THE JAW-DROPPER, FOR THOSE OF US WHO STUDY AND BELIEVE REVELATION. In the spiritual dynamic of things, it’s no accident that on the back of the Eurodollar coin is a woman riding a multi-headed beast.

      AND John TELLS us plainly it WILL happen, and this confederation of nations WILL emerge as an heir to the ancient Roman Empire.

      “These are of ONE MIND, and they WILL GIVE their power and authority to the beast:” Whatever their exact identity, their actions are clear. They ally with the Antichrist in the war against Christ, in the battle alluded to in the sixth and seventh bowls (Revelation 16:12-21).

      “The harlot presides over peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. This tells us that the harlot’s influence is worldwide, through her connection to the beast. This will be a TRULY ONE-world religion.

      “The interpretation of the harlot focuses on her relation to the beast:” she is utterly connected to the beast and his government. If this sounds unthinkable, remember that throughout history, religion - NOT TRUE CHRIST CENTERED Christianity - BUT “RELIGIONS” has often been the willing servant and supporter of tyrants.

      The great harlot is judged.
      (V.16) Antichrist’s allies turn on the great harlot.

      “And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.”

      “These will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire:” This violence probably takes place at the mid-point of the tribulation period. Here, apostate religion discovers the TRUE nature of the beast.

      WHY BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU?
      IN A WORD….EGO!
      Ultimately, the Antichrist NOR SATAN HIMSELF will NOT tolerate ANY worship except of himself:

      2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 CONFIRMS THIS… “The son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

      Once his power has been consolidated, the Antichrist NO longer NEEDS the help of THE UNITED RELIGIOUS Babylon. He will then work to dismantle and destroy her and her one-world religion.

      BUT THIS SHOULD NOT SURPRISE US….This has ALWAYS been the goal of tyrants - and most politicians - to use religion for their purposes, then discard it AFTER THEY HAVE GAINED THE POWER THEY SEEK, Amen!

      (v.17) God’s hand is the One ultimately directs all this.
      “For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.”

      “God has put it into their hearts:” God has directed the judgment against religious Babylon. God will sometimes use a wicked group (here, the ten kings) to be an instrument of His judgment against another wicked group (here, religious Babylon).

      “To be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast:” God has ordained the political support of these ten kings for the Antichrist. In doing so, God GIVES the world EXACTLY what it wants: godless religion and godless rulers.

      (v.18) The great harlot is identified with Rome.
      “And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

      “That great city:” In John’s day, there was NO DOUBT which city reigns over the kings of the earth. ROME WAS the political, economic, and religious center of the world in John’s day.

      But Babylon - in the sense of the world system - has always been that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. The question for Christians is, “Does it reign over me? Or am I the citizen of a better city, the Jerusalem above?” (Galatians 4:26)

      Again, the association of this harlot - of religious Babylon - with Rome doesn’t mean that the Roman Catholic Church is identical to religious Babylon, though apostate Roman Catholic Church its leadership will definitely be a MAJOR part of this great harlot, as will the Muslims & all other UNIFIED/UNITED LEFT BEHIND FALSE RELIGIONS.

      BOTTOM LINE….DURING THE GREAT TRIBULATION, IT WILL NO LONGER BE CATHOLICS, PROTESTANTS, BUDDHISTS, HINDUS, MUSLIMS, SCIENTOLOGISTS, NAMASTE, ETC...IT WILL BE ONE WORLD RELIGION. THEY WILL JOIN AND SUPPORT AND FOLLOW THE ANTI-CHRIST.

    • July 6, 2016 6:38 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 18---

      Revelation 18 - The Fall of Commercial Babylon

      Announcing the fall of Babylon.

      IS this the same Babylon as is described in chapter 17?

      Most Bible Scholars see the issue differently. Some point to two manifestations of Babylon, one religious and one commercial or material. Others see the two as one, both being judged at the same time.

      There are definite similarities between Babylon as described in Revelation 17 and Revelation 18.

      Both ARE under the rule of Antichrist.
      Both HAVE ruling queens.
      Both ARE filled with blasphemy.
      Both HATE the saints, the 2 witnesses and shed their blood.
      Both ARE associates with kings in fornication.
      Both ARE under judgment and destroyed.

      However, there are also some significant differences:

      Religious Babylon (Rev. 17)
      Commercial Babylon (Rev. 18)


      It is best to see them as intertwined, yet somewhat distinct.

      Religious Babylon of Revelation 17 IS JUDGED at the MID-POINT of the seven-year period of tribulation.

      Commercial Babylon IS JUDGED at THE END of that period.

      This breadth in prophecy shouldn’t surprise us. Think of what the Old Testament says about the first coming of the Messiah:

      Micah said that Messiah would come out of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
      Hosea said that Messiah would come out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1)
      Malachi said that Messiah would come to the temple (Malachi 3:1)
      Zechariah said that Messiah would come to Zion (Zechariah 9:9)
      Isaiah said that Messiah would come to Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2)

      Which of these prophecies IS true?
      Give up?
      They are ALL TRUE.

      So, you see it ISN’T strange at all to say, “Babylon is falling” and to mean it in two senses (religious Babylon and commercial Babylon) at two different times (the middle of the Great Tribulation and the end of the Great Tribulation).

      This passage is very much in the style of Old Testament prophecies of doom regarding wicked cities. Two examples of this are Babylon (Isaiah 13-14, Isaiah 21 and Jeremiah 50-51) and Tyre (Ezekiel 26-28).


      So IS Babylon of Revelation 18 a literal or symbolic city?

      Most likely, commercial Babylon is symbolic, like religious Babylon. “When the Lord was here on earth He spoke of the great hatred that ‘the world’ had for Him and His own (John 15:18,19).

      What IS this world but a combination of religion, government and commerce? In other words, Babylon in all its parts stands for that which Christ called ‘the world.’

      In portraying the destruction of a (symbolic) city, he describes God’s judgment on the great satanic system of evil than has corrupted the earth’s history.

      (v.1-3) Announcement of the glorious angel.
      “After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

      “Illuminated with his glory:” This angel coming down from heaven is so “fresh” from God’s presence that he GLOWS.
      The term ‘another’ makes it clear that this angel is the same in kind as the angel of Revelation 17:1.

      “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen:” He announces that Babylon is fallen, fallen; the phrase is “repeated like a solemn dirge of the damned.”

      The city has become a dwelling place of demons: This is “A prophetic picture of absolute desolation where the proud achievements of man become the demonic haunts of unclean and horrible creatures.

      “Abundance of her luxury:” Babylon’s sin is not only idolatry (referred to with the term fornication), but also pride, greed and selfishly held wealth...at the expense of all others.

      (v.4-5) A call to God’s people to separate from Babylon.
      “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.”

      “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins:” Do you ALL hear STILL the PLEA in the SHOUT as a PARENT afraid for their child’s harm & utter destruction?

      It BREAKS Almighty God and Jesus Christ’s VERY HEART.
      It GRIEVES beyond our comprehension. It is inconceivable that a child created from the hand and breath of God COULD/WOULD be a part of religious Babylon (though elements may creep in). But commercial Babylon, with its materialistic lure, is a DEATH THREAT for those who SEEK the material and shun Jesus’ grace and living water riches.

      “Lest you receive of her plagues:” The warning is focused towards Tribulation saints who ARE in the position Lot was in while living in Sodom (Genesis 19). These are God’s people in a place they shouldn’t be, a place ripe for destruction.

      The call to depart from Babylon and the worldliness that it represents is a theme repeated frequently in the Scriptures.

      “Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Isaiah 52:11)

      “Flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life!” (Jeremiah 50:8)

      “My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 51:45)

      “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

      “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)

      “Their sins have reached to heaven:” The sins of commercial Babylon have piled up like a tower - the tower of Babel.

      “God has remembered her iniquities:” This is the destiny of the materialistic world, but towards believers, God says I will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)

      (v.6-8) A call to those who will carry out Babylon’s judgment.
      “Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day; death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.”

      “Render to her just as she rendered to you:” The ancient Greek word for render (apodidomi) means literally “to pay a debt” or “to give back that which is due.” God will give to commercial Babylon EXACTLY what she deserves.

      “Repay her double according to her works . . . mix for her double:” Double restitution was required in the Old Testament in cases of theft (Exodus 22:4-9). This perhaps is a commentary on how Babylon has made her wealth - through dishonest dealings.

      This passage ALSO presents a three-fold sin:
      First, self-indulgence (lived luxuriously).
      Second, pride (glorified herself . . . sits as a queen).
      Third, avoidance of suffering (am no widow, and will not see sorrow). ALL these things ARE characteristic of selfishness, worldliness and materialism.

      “Therefore her plagues will come in one day:” The destruction of commercial Babylon will come suddenly, and with completeness (utterly burned with fire).

      Lament for commercial Babylon.
      (v.9-10) Lament of the kings.
      “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’”

      “Standing at distance for fear of her torment:” So great is the heat and smoke of her burning that these kings must stand at a distance. Some think this may be an indication that nuclear weapons are used in the judgment of these commercial centers. BUT WE KNOW IT COMES STRAIGHT FROM ALMIGHTY GOD, regardless what “vehicle” is used to achieve it.

      (v.11-17a) Lament of the merchants.
      “And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’”

      “Merchandise of gold and silver:” This long list needs little explanation, except to note these are ALL luxuries, NOT necessities. It is plain that the mourning is rooted in self-interest: for no one buys their merchandise anymore.

      “And bodies and souls of men:” The profits of commercial Babylon have come through cruelly using others. They sold the bodies and souls of men. This idea has many applications, none less so than today’s widespread prostitution and pornography and child slavery.


      “Those who lived for the luxuries of commercial Babylon will be tormented by hell all the more:” you shall find them no more at all. Ultimately, the waiting prison of Hell & The Lake of Fire WILL BE a place of unfulfilled desire.

      (v.17b-19) Lament of the sea-captains.
      “Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’”

      “Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth:” Again, little comment needs to be made on this, other than to notice that their sorrow at commercial Babylon’s fall is SELFISH…not repentant!

      (v.20) Call to the heavens and the people of God: rejoice!
      “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”

      “Rejoice over her:” Should God’s people rejoice when judgment comes? Yes, but we don’t rejoice in the destruction in judgment. Rather, we rejoice in the righteous resolution God’s judgment brings.


      Finale: commercial Babylon’s death knell.
      (v.21) An angel graphically shows Babylon’s fall.
      “Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.”

      “A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea:” This is reminiscent of Jeremiah’s instructions to Seraiah to bind a stone to a text of Jeremiah and cast it into the Euphrates. (Jeremiah 51:61-64).

      But it also reminds us of what Jesus said in Matthew 18:6: “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

      This applies to Babylon in Revelation 18, because she led others into sin. It is a terrible thing to sin unto yourself; it is even MORE TERRIBLE to lead others into sin by TWISTING, DISTORTING, CHANGING GOD‘S WORD.

      THOSE THAT REJECT JESUS CHRIST BY THEIR OWN FREEWILL CHOICE WILL BE JUDGED…BUT MORE SO…FURIOUSLY MORE SO…SHALL ANY WHO CLAIM TO KNOW AND LOVE JESUS…CLAIM TO KNOW THE BIBLE…TWIST IT, DISTORT IT, MISLEAD, AND TURN AWAY THOSE INNOCENT, YOUNG SEEKERS…

      GOD’S WORST WRATH, WILL ALSO BE FOR THOSE PREACHERS, TEACHERS, PASTORS, RABBIS, PRIESTS, MONKS, IMAMS, BUDDHISTS…RELIGIOUS LEADERS WHO SAY THEY KNOW AND LOVE GOD, SPEAK FOR GOD, KNOW JESUS CHRIST, LOVE HIM, TEACH HIS WORD AND THEN KNOWINGLY MISLEAD MANKIND.

      “The great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore:” Some day, this world system will pass away, like a great stone falls to the bottom of the sea.


      (v.22-23) Babylon is left desolate and powerless.
      “The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.”

      “Shall NOT be heard . . . shall NOT be found anymore . . . shall NOT be heard in you anymore . . . shall NOT shine in you anymore:” In graphic and poetic language, John describes how the industry and commerce of Babylon come to an end.

      “For by your sorcery all the nations were deceived:” Sorcery is the ancient Greek word pharmakia, which means, “to prepare drugs.” The lure of commercial Babylon is like a drug addiction, fed by deceptive advertising.

      WE SEE IT TODAY…IN SO-CALLED “RELIGIOUS” GROUPS THAT ADVERTISE VIA EMAIL, THROUGH THE MEDIA, AT FESTIVALS…SAYING GIVE ME OR SEND ME 25 DOLLARS AND I WILL SEND YOU AN ANOINTED PRAYER CLOTH, A SPECIAL NECKLACE, STATUE, OILS, OR BEADS THAT ARE MIRACULOUS….AND WILL BRING WEALTH, HEALING, AND DIVINATION INTO YOUR LIVES. TRUSTING IN “THINGS” OR IN “PEOPLE” TO REACH AND TOUCH ALMIGHTY GOD & RECEIVE ANSWERS, HEALINGS, DIRECTIONS, AND PROVISION, WHEN ALL ANY ONE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH NEEDS TO DO IS HIT THEIR KNEES AND CALL UPON THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES…CALL UPON THE NAME OF JESUS AND YOU SHALL BE SAVED. AMEN!

      (v.24) The ultimate REASON for commercial Babylon’s judgment: she has killed the 2 WITNESSES FROM GOD and AIDED IN REPORTING, TURNING IN, AND HUNTING DOWN, IF NOT ALSO HANDS ON KILLING THE TRIBULATION SAINTS.
      “And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”

      “The blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth:” The extent of this charge is an indication that this great city is symbolic of the world system at large. There is no one literal city that is responsible for all who were slain on the earth…BUT ALL ARE RESPONSIBLE.

      UNTHINKABLE…THE ROMAN EMPIRE REWARDED THROUGH TITLES, MONEY, PROPERTY, & TAKEN OVER INDUSTRIES THOSE WHO REPORTED AND TURNED IN THOSE EARLY CHRISTIANS WHO REFUSED TO BOW THE KNEE, BURN A PINCH OF INCENSE BEFORE A STATUE OF CAESAR WHILE CALLING HIM LORD!

      UNTHINKABLE IN OUR GENERATION…DURING THE NAZI OCCUPATION AND THE HOLOCAUST…PEOPLE, JEWS & GENTILES ALIKE, SPIED ON, REPORTED, AND TURNED IN ALL THOSE WHO MIGHT BE JEWISH OR WERE JEWISH SYMPATHIZERS…AND THEY WERE REWARDED COMMERCIALLY…WITH THOSE CONFISCATED HOMES, BUSINESSES, FUNDS, AND/OR GIVEN REWARDS, POSITIONS IN THEIR AREA, AND LAUDED FOR THEIR SUPPORT AND DEFENSE OF NAZI GERMANY AND ADOLPH HITLER.

      MAKE NOOOOOO MISTAKE….God takes the persecution of His people/His Beloved Children as a PERSONAL offense. Those who attack His people really attack Him.

    • July 6, 2016 6:35 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 19----JESUS RETURNS AS CONQUERING LORD


      Revelation 19 - THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS WHEN HE DOES STEP DOWN ON EARTH AND HE COMES AS A CONQUERING LORD!

      Praise in heaven.
      (v.1-5) Praise for the judgment of Babylon.
      “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”

      “A great multitude in heaven:” Back in Revelation 7:9-14, we saw a great multitude saved out of the Great Tribulation, ready for the end of the world system and the Antichrist’s reign on earth. Here, ALL OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, & THE MARTYRED TRIBULATION SAINTS, the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures ALL join in celebrating the fall of the Antichrist and the world system that supported him.

      A part of this great multitude - those martyred saints who fell at the hand of Antichrist during the Great Tribulation - cried out for God’s righteous judgment in Revelation 6:10. Here, finally, their prayer is answered.

      “Alleluia . . . Alleluia . . . Alleluia:” This wonderful word, borrowed from Hebrew, occurs four times in Revelation 19, but NOWHERE ELSE in the New Testament.

      WHY?
      It belongs here - because God’s people rejoice without restraint at His victory over Babylon.

      “Alleluia is Hebrew for “Praise the Lord,” saying it in the imperative sense. It is an encouragement and an exhortation to Praise the Lord!

      Some seem afraid of saying Alleluia, but we’ll all be saying it in heaven. It’s such a wonderful word that we should never use it without thinking.

      “For true and righteous are His judgments:” This section is REALLY THE WONDROUS the climax of Revelation 18. In Revelation 18, Babylon’s friends mourned her fall; but here, God’s people celebrate it.

      “He has judged the great harlot . . . He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her:” Here, the focus of worship is on the great works of God, specifically, His work of righteous judgment.

      “Then a voice came from the throne:” This voice from the throne of God might be Jesus, but more likely it is the voice of one of the angels that serve at the throne of God.

      (v.6-9) Praise for the marriage of the Lamb.
      “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ “ And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

      “The voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings:” The height of praise on earth is only a dim shadow of what these verses describe. At this point, Revelation approaches the consummation of God’s plan for all history, so we also come to a summit of praise.

      This is obviously loud, enthusiastic praise. While it is certainly possible to make praise and worship a self-indulgent focus on our feelings or a disorderly expression of the flesh, there is nothing wrong with loud, enthusiastic praise. And while there is something precious and irreplaceable about quiet times alone with God, there is also something absolutely thrilling about a large number of Christians worshipping God with sincere enthusiasm.


      “The marriage of the Lamb has come:” One reason this great multitude is so filled with praise is because the time has come for the Lamb of God to be joined unto His people, in a union so close it can only be compared to the marriage of a man and a woman.

      The marriage of the Lamb, who is the Messiah, is a picture used frequently throughout the Scriptures. In the Old Testament, Israel is presented as God’s wife, who is often unfaithful (Hosea 2:19-20; Isaiah 54:5; Ezekiel 16). In the New Testament, the church is presented as the fiancé of Jesus, waiting for this day of marriage (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:25-32).

      “And His wife has made herself ready:” What do we do to make ourselves ready for this wedding? There is much for us to do, but it is ultimately a work God does in us (Ephesians 5:25-27). This point is emphasized when John notes, to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright.

      Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! Blessed indeed; Jesus Himself eagerly anticipates this marriage supper. He spoke longingly of the day when He will drink of the fruit of the vine again, with His disciples in the kingdom (Matthew 26:29).

      “These are the true sayings of God:” This is a necessary note of assurance for us. This anticipated consummation will take place, and though it seems too good to be true, it will happen.

      (v.10) John worships an angel, and is corrected.
      “And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

      “See that you do not do that!” No created being should be worshipped. This is in contrast to Jesus, who receives the worship of angels (Hebrews 1:6) and of men (Matthew 8:2; Matthew 14:33; John 9:38).

      “I am your fellow servant:” There are important differences between humans and angels, but both are servants of the same Lord.

      “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy:” The true spirit of prophecy always shows itself in bearing witness to Jesus.

      This means that prophecy at its VERY heart is designed to SHOW us Jesus Christ.



      Jesus Christ returns to a HOSTILE earth.
      (v.11-16) Jesus returns to earth with an army from heaven.

      “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”

      “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold:” There is a sense in which all previous in Revelation has been an introduction to this revelation (unveiling) of Jesus Christ TO THE ENTIRE WORLD. Now He returns to earth in power and glory.

      This prayer for deliverance will be on the lips of the Jewish people surviving through the Great Tribulation. Unlikely as it may seem now, they will cry out to Jesus their Messiah for deliverance, and as a whole, they will embrace Him as their Savior. As Jesus said in Matthew 23:39: I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hard pressed by the terrible persecution of the Antichrist, Israel as a whole will turn their hearts towards Jesus, and He will deliver them at this late hour.

      When Jesus comes, He comes on a white horse. In Biblical times, especially among Israel, most soldiers were foot soldiers. To have a horse in battle was a significant advantage. A horse spoke of honor, of power, and of speed; the color of this horse speaks of victory.

      “Faithful and True:” This glorious title shows Jesus is the keeper of promises, including His promises of judgment.

      “In righteousness He judges and makes war:” Jesus comes as a judge and a general, to make war. The world that rejected The Loving Gentle Compassionate Jesus now before rejects Him again, but this time Jesus Christ is the mighty warrior, the holy judge who JUDGES those who reject Him.

      It’s good for us to REMEMBER that this dramatic display of judgment comes only at the end of a long time of grace, patience, and mercy.

      This is NO snap decision.
      This is NO rush to judgment.

      Jesus has amply displayed His nature of mercy, forgiveness and grace to this fallen world. He comes now to judge a world hardened and totally given over to their rebellion against Him.

      “His eyes were like a flame of fire:”

      Charles Spurgeon explains it best….“Why are they like flames of fire? Why, first, to discern the secrets of all hearts. There are NO secrets here that Christ does not see. There is no lewd thought, there is no unbelieving scepticism, that Christ does not read. There is no hypocrisy, no formalism, no deceit, that he does not scan as easily as a man reads a page in a book. His eyes are like a flame of fire to read us through and through, and know us to our inmost soul.”
      “On His head were many crowns:” The last time this earth saw Jesus He wore a SHAMING TORTUOUS crown of thorns, but not in Revelation 19. Now, He wears MANY crowns. The ancient Greek word used for crowns here is the diadema, the crown of royalty and authority, not the stephanos, the crown of achievement.

      The fact that there are many crowns means that Jesus is the ultimate in royal authority and power. It is a visible manifestation of what we mean when we say King of Kings. It is an expression of unlimited sovereignty.

      “He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood:” His robe is dipped (or, sprinkled) in blood. Bible students debate whether this is His own blood (reminding us of the cross) or the blood of His enemies. Either is quite possible.

      “The armies in heaven:” These are God’s people (Revelation 17:14, Jude 1:14-15). There is little doubt that angels will also accompany Jesus and His CHURCH, HIS PEOPLE, but the main idea is that the Son of God leads the people of God from heaven against earth.

      There is NO mention of any kind of armor or weapon for any soldier in the great army that follows Jesus. The only armor or weapon they have is the only one they need: clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

      “Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword:” The idea isn’t that Jesus holds a sword in his mouth like a buccaneer, or that He is “spitting swords.” This is a dramatic way of referring to the power of His Word. Five times in the Book Revelation, John emphasizes that Jesus’ sword comes out of His mouth.

      “And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron:” Jesus comes to rule and to reign in triumph, to rule the nations with a rod of iron as predicted in Psalm 2. He comes as King of Kings to displace every king reigning on this earth.

      This means the TOTAL destruction, dethroning, the end of the earth’s governing powers & Jesus Christ TAKING TOTAL dominion and authority, as the true and only King of the world.

      “He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:” King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The name is on His thigh for prominence, being easily visible when seated on a horse. At the same time, no one knew [the name] except Himself - that is, no one can comprehend Him perfectly.

      Most scholars believe that the name written that no one knew except Himself is actually the tetragrammaton, the four letters YHWH that make up the name Yahweh, the sacred and secret name of God.

      (v.17-18) Invitation to the great supper.
      “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

      “An angel standing in the sun:” This shows how bright this angels shines with the glory of God. The angel can be seen, even though it stands before the sun.

      “Saying to all the birds that fly:” This is a preparation for a great slaughter of Armageddon.

      “The flesh of kings, the flesh of captains:” The repetition of flesh (5 times) is revealing. It shows that men of ALL stations are judged. The high and the low together, if they remain hardened in their rejection of Jesus, will be judged.

      “Gather together for the supper of the great God:” Newell points to four different suppers described in the Bible.

      The supper of salvation, alluded to in Jesus’ parable (Luke 14:16-24)
      The Lord’s supper, a commemoration of Jesus’ sacrifice
      The marriage supper of the Lamb
      The supper of the great God

      If you REJECT the 1st supper, the 2nd supper will mean NOTHING to you.
      Then you will NOT be present at the 3rd supper, but WILL be present at the 4th supper.

      (v.19-21) War and the victory of Jesus Christ.
      “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

      “Armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the throne:” Some find it hard to understand how man could be so foolish to try and keep Jesus and this heavenly army off the earth in a pitched battle. They suggest that these armies initially gather to battle against each other, and then turn their fury on the returning Jesus. This may be the case, but we should never underestimate man’s folly and hatred of God.

      “To make war against Him:” This is just the logical extension of man’s constant war against God since the fall. It is no more unbelievable than the idea that God came to earth and men murdered Him.

      John says NOTHING about a battle. This is an entirely one-sided affair, more of a simple act of judgment than an actual war.

      “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet:” The beast and the false prophet receive special treatment. They are cast alive into the lake of fire before the Great White Throne of judgment holds court (Revelation 20:11-15).

      The Lake of Fire is REAL folks, and there is NOTHING more important than AVOIDING it.

    • July 6, 2016 6:33 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 20 ---Satan, Sin & Death are Finally Eliminated
       
       
       
       
       
      Revelation 20 - Satan, Sin and Death are Finally Eliminated
       
      Satan bound for a thousand years.
      (v.1) A nameless angel comes to bind Satan with a great chain.
      “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.”
       
      “An angel coming down from heaven:” The angel that will subdue Satan is anonymous. It is not Jesus Himself, nor is it Michael or Gabriel or any other high-ranking angel.
       
      The REAL insult to Satan is indicated in the fact that it is not the Father who deals with him, nor the Christ, but only an unnamed angel.
       
      This is a dramatic declaration that Satan is not God’s opposite or equal; and that God could easily stop Satan’s activity at any time. Yet God allows Satan to continue, because even in his evil, he indirectly serves the purposes of God.
       
      (v.2-3) Satan is imprisoned for 1,000 years.
      “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.”
       
      “Laid hold . . . bound him . . . cast him . . . shut him up . . . set a seal on him:” Satan tried to imprison Jesus in a tomb, but couldn’t. Here, God has NO PROBLEM restraining Satan, and this incarceration is not for punishment, but restraint. By implication, his demonic hordes are also imprisoned.
       
      Some people have asked, Is this a LITERAL thing?
       
      You bet it is. The battle is literal; the taking of the Beast and the False Prophet is literal; the slaying of the kings and their armies is literal; Satan is literal; and his binding must be equally literal.
       
      Some people ask, “What kind of chain can hold the devil?” We don’t know, but God can fashion a chain for that exact purpose. We know that right now there are demonic spirits who are imprisoned and chained (Jude 1:6). If God can chain them now, He can chain Satan for 1,000 years.
       
      “That he should deceive the nations no more:” This shows us Satan’s MAIN mode of attack is revealed. Satan IS a deceiver, so the most potent defense and weapon against Satan is THE TRUTH of God’s word.
       
      Since Satan’s work of deception continues today, we know that he is NOT YET bound in the way that this passage describes. We know that Satan was not bound at the finished work of Jesus on the cross, at the resurrection, or at the founding of the church. We know this because Peter said that Satan was free to walk about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
      “Till the thousand years were finished:” This thousand-year period is often known as the Millennium. Through church history, there has been many different ways of understanding the Millennium.
      The Bible speaks powerfully to other aspects of the millennial earth. Tragically, the Church through history has often IGNORED or DENIED the promise of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. The early church until Augustine almost universally believed in an earthly, historical reign of Jesus, initiated by His return. Tyconius (in the late 300’s) was the first to influentially champion a spiritualized interpretation, saying that this Millennium is now (amillennialism) and must be understood as a spiritual reign of Jesus, not a literal reign. His view was adopted by Augustine, the Roman Catholic Church and most Reformation theologians. THEY WERE WRONG.
       
      Growing out of amillennialism is the doctrine of postmillennialsim is an outgrowth of amillennialism, saying the millennium will happen in this age, BEFORE Jesus’ return - but that THE CHURCH will bring it to pass.
       
      But if you READ your Bible, the CLEAR teaching of the Bible isn’t amillennialism or postmillennialism, but what is called premillennialism - the teaching that Jesus Christ WILL return to this earth BEFORE the millennial earth, and He WILL establish and govern it DIRECTLY.
       
      The Bible CONFIRMS premillineum, earthly reign of Christ and His people on this earth is plainly taught in the Old and New Testaments.
       
      In the Old Testament, we see it Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4; Isaiah 11:4-9; Jeremiah 23:5-6, and many, many more passages.
       
      In the New Testament we see it in Luke 1:32-33; Matthew 5:18; Luke 19:12-27, among other passages. All in all, there are more than 400 verses in more than 20 different passages in the Old Testament which deal with this time when Jesus Christ rules and reigns PERSONALLY over planet earth.
       
      People have asked, but WHO will be on the earth in the Millennium? Even after the rapture and the vast judgments of the Great Tribulation, there will be MANY…the unsaved, the lost, the rejecting, & Tribulation Christians who DO survive left ALIVE on this earth.
       
       
      During the Millennium, Israel will be the “superpower” of the world. It will be the leading nation in all the earth, and the center of Israel will be the mountain of the Lord’s house -- the temple mount, which will be the “capital” of the government of the Messiah. All nations shall flow to the “capital” of the government of Jesus. (Isaiah 2:1-3, Ezekiel 17:22-24)
       
      During the Millennium, the citizens of earth WILL acknowledge and submit to the Lordship of Jesus. It will be a time of perfectly administrated enforced righteousness on this earth. (Isaiah 2:1-5)
       
      During the Millennium, there will be no more war. There will still be conflicts between nations and individuals, but they will be justly and decisively resolved by the Messiah and those who reign with Him. (Isaiah 2:1-5) It isn’t the reign of the Messiah itself that will change the heart of man. Citizens of earth will still need to trust in Jesus and His work on their behalf for their personal salvation during the millennium. But war, armed conflict, murder, theft, abuse will BE KNOWN and READ by Jesus BEFORE they can occur and will NOT be tolerated.
      During the Millennium, the way animals relate to each other and to humans will be transformed. A little child will be safe and able to lead a wolf or a leopard or a young lion or a bear. Even the danger of predators like cobras and vipers will be gone.
       
      In Genesis 9:2-3, the Lord gave Noah, and all mankind after him, the permission to eat meat. At the same time, the Lord put the dread of man in animals, so they would not be effortless prey for humans. Now, in the reign of the Messiah, that is reversed. For this reason, some think that in the reign of the Messiah, the Millennium, humans will return to being vegetarians, as it SEEMS they were before Genesis 9:2-3 & Isaiah 11:6-9.
       
      During the Millennium, King David will have a prominent place in the millennial earth, ruling over Israel (Isaiah 55:3-5; Jeremiah 30:4-11; Ezekiel 34:23-31; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Hosea 3:5).
       
      During the Millennium, there will be blessing and security for national Israel in the millennial earth (Amos 9:11-15).
       
      The Millennium a time of purity and devotion to God (Zechariah 13:1-9).
       
      During the Millennium, there will be a rebuilt temple and restored temple service on the millennial earth as a memorial of God’s work in the past. (Ezekiel 40-48; Ezekiel 37:26-28; Amos 9:11; Ezekiel 20:39-44).
       
      During the Millennium, saints in their resurrected state will be given RESPONSIBILITIES, DUTIES, & SERVICES in the Millennial Earth according to their faithful service (Luke 19:11-27; Revelation 20:4-6; Revelation 2:26-28; 3:12; 3:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3).
       
      “Thousand years:” Is it a literal 1,000 years? We should take a number literally unless there is clear reason or evidence to do otherwise. We should take this thousand years literally, because God has an important work to accomplish during the Millennium.
       
      WHAT WORK YOU ASK?
       
      The Millennium is important because it will demonstrate Jesus’ victory and worthiness to rule the nations.
       
      The Millennium is important because it will reveal the depths of man’s rebellious nature in a perfect environment.
       
      EVEN after reading the paper, watching the news, some people STILL seem to believe that man is basically GOOD, and deep down he really WANTS God’s righteous rule. Many BLINDLY believe that man is REALLY innocent, and corrupted only by a bad environment. Jesus WILL prove the stupidity of those thoughts & give man one LAST chance to repent. The Millennium will answer these questions before the great judgment (Revelation 20:11-15).
       
      The Millennium is important because it will display the eternal depravity of Satan, who continues his evil as soon as he is released from his incarceration.
       
      The Millennium is important because it will show the invulnerability of the city of God and God’s new order.
       
      Saints reigning for a thousand years.
      (v.4) The saints live and reign for 1,000 years.
      “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
       
      “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them:” Who sits on these thrones? Perhaps the twenty-four elders representing the church (Revelation 4:4) or the apostles (Matthew 19:28) or the company of saints as a whole (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).
       
      “And judgment was committed to them:” Perhaps this is the “judging of angels” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, but it is more likely that these are the saints ruling on and over the earth.
       
      From these thrones, they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. These saints reign with Jesus for the same period of time that Satan is bound (a thousand years). They administrate the kingdom of Jesus Christ over the earth, reigning over those who pass from the earth of the Great Tribulation to the earth of the Millennium.
       
      “Who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus . . . who had not worshipped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark:” All those who overcome in Jesus WILL RULE & REIGN with Him (Revelation 2:26-28, 3:12,22, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3).
       
      Why does John only mention the Tribulation saints?
       
      They are specifically mentioned so as to ENCOURAGE them, while not implying others will be left out. This is special vindication for Tribulation saints. They suffered under Antichrist who had said, “I will rule the earth;” now they are in authority and Antichrist IS DESTROYED. So, these martyrs are literal, but also representative of ALL that give their lives in faithfulness to Jesus.
       
      (v.5-6) The first resurrection.
      “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
       
      “This is the first resurrection:” This first resurrection is the granting of resurrection life in resurrection bodies to all those who were dead in Jesus.
       
       
      The final battle after the thousand-year reign of Jesus.
      (v.7-8) Satan is released and gathers an army.
      “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.”
       
      “Satan will be released:” For the thousand years of the direct reign of Jesus over this earth, Satan was bound and inactive. But after the thousand years are over, he will be released and successfully organize many of the earth in another rebellion against God.
       
      I know what you are thinking?
      Probably the same thing I WAS thinking when I first began studying Revelation.
       
      Good grief, If Jesus has reigned so wonderfully for a thousand years, then WHY will the earth rebel?
       
      Can we SAY brain/heart dead idiots?!
       
      As insane as it sounds/seems….They WILL do it, and God will allow it, as a final demonstration of man’s rebellion and depravity. Outward conformity to Jesus’ rule will be required during His reign, but seemingly, an inward embrace of His Lordship will still be up to the individual. The individual MUST CHOOSE & ACCEPT Jesus as their LORD & SAVIOR.
       
      Almighty God & Jesus Christ will accept NOTHING less.
       
      And MORE IMPORTANTLY we SEE the REAL reason God has for the Millennial Kingdom and allowing this final rebellion.
       
      Think about it…..for ALL of human history, man has wanted to blame his sinful condition on his environment/Satan/society/parents/lack/need/mankind.
       
      “Of course I turned out the way I did. Did you see the family I came from? Did you see the neighborhood I grew up in?” I was forced to live on the street! I ate out of trash cans? I did without, while others had everything. With the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus, God will give mankind a thousand years of a PERFECT environment.
       
      There will be NO Satan, NO crime, NO violence, NO evil, or NO hunger, NO lack, NO needs unmet and all other social pathology. But at the end of the 1,000 years, man will STILL CHOOSE to rebel against God at his FIRST opportunity. This will powerfully demonstrate that the problem is IN US, not our environment & certainly NOT in Jesus Christ nor Almighty God.
       
      “Gather them together to battle:” Who will these rebels be? They will be those who survive the Great Tribulation, enter into the Millennial Kingdom, and their descendants who STILL hate and reject Almighty God, Jesus Christ, Israel, & Jesus‘ Family.
       
      “Who are Gog and Magog?” These are prophetic enemies of Israel in Ezekiel 38-39. This FINAL battle clearly takes place at the END of the thousand-year reign of Jesus.
       
       
      (v.9-10) A battle ends before it begins.
      “They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
       
      “Surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city:” We don’t know if the saints referred to here are glorified saints who reign with Jesus, or earth-inhabitants who come to faith in Jesus during the Millennium. Either way, the strategy of this vast Satanic army is clear: to destroy God’s people, and the “headquarters” or “capital city” of His administration, Jerusalem (the beloved city).
      Again…brain dead STUPID & completely/happily EVIL are the only TRUE explanation for mankind/Satan.
       
      “Fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them:” We shouldn’t even call this a final battle, because there is NO battle. The fight is over before it begins. At this point, God finally deals with the devil and his followers FOREVER.
       
      “Cast into the lake of fire . . . they will be tormented day and night forever and ever:” After this “battle,” Satan is then judged and tormented forever -- together with the beast and the false prophet, who were cast into the lake of fire at the beginning of the thousand years (Revelation 19:20).
       
      The presence of the beast and the false prophet in the Lake of Fire after a thousand years argues against annihilationism.
       
      “Forever and ever:” Is this really eternal punishment? Yes it is; the words mean EXACTLY what they appear to mean.
       
       
      Judgment at the Great White Throne.
      (v.11) An awesome throne.
      “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.”
       
      “I saw a great white throne:” Great in status, power and authority; white in purity and holiness; and a throne in kingly sovereignty.
       
      “And Him who sat on it:” Who is this? The Bible tells us that the Judge IS Jesus (John 5:22-27); or more likely, the fullness of the Triune God.
      Earth and heaven flee from this throne, but there was found no place for them. There is absolutely NO hiding from this throne. NONE can escape the judgment that it represents.
       
      Most Bible scholars know/believe that Christians do NOT appear before this great white throne. The reason? We, as Christians, are spared from this awesome throne of judgment because our sins are already judged in Jesus at the cross. We don’t escape God’s judgment; we satisfy it in Jesus.
       
      However, Christians will have to stand before another throne -- the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
       
      Therefore, when we pass from these bodies to the world beyond, we must each give account according to what we have done, whether good or bad. This describes a judgment & rewards of works of believers FOR Jesus Kingdom.
       
      At the judgment seat of Christ, what we have done will be judged. Our motives for what we have done will be judged. Paul presents essentially the same idea in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, where he speaks of a coming assessment of each one’s work before the Lord. In that passage, he makes it clear that what we have done, and our motive for doing it, will be tested by fire, and the purifying fire of God will burn up everything that was NOT of or FOR Jesus. We won’t be punished for what was not done rightly unto the Lord, it will simply be burned up, and it will be as if we never did those things. We will simply be rewarded for what remains. Sadly, some will get to heaven thinking they have done great things for God, and will find out at the judgment seat of Christ that they really did nothing above accepting Jesus Christ into their hearts, if not into their DAILY lives.
       
      (v.12-13) The judgment of condemnation.
      “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.”
       
      “Standing before God:” People this is not a TRIAL, but a sentencing, there is NOTHING for these who stand before the throne to say.
       
      Many think they will “tell God a thing or two” at the final judgment, as reflected in this letter written to Dear Abby:
       
      Dear Abby: I am troubled with something a reader wrote: “What right do we mortals have to demand an explanation from God?” Abby, that writer has never known the gut-wrenching pain of losing a child . . .
       
      God didn’t answer my prayers, and I resent being told that I have no right to question God. If there is a God, and if I ever get to meet him face to face, you can bet your life I will have plenty of whys for him to answer.
       
      I want to know why my little girl died and that drunk was allowed to go on living. I loved her more than my life, and I miss her so. I am mad that I am having to live in a world where she no longer lives, and I want to know why. Why shouldn’t I have the right to ask God?
       
      Aren’t we supposedly created in his image? If so, surely he has a heart and soul capable of hurting just as I hurt. Why would he not expect to be questioned if he has anything to do with miracles?
       
      I don’t fear the Lord. And I don’t fear hell, either. I know what hell is like. I’ve already been there since the day my precious daughter was killed.
      Please sign me . . . A Bereaved Mother
       
      Of course, there will be no criticism of God on that day. This desperate woman will see not only the righteousness and goodness of God, but she will also see her own sin and rejection of Him more clearly than ever. How we wish she knew how the Father Himself knows what she has gone through!
       
      “And the dead were judged according to their works:” If people are not listed in the Book of Life, then each one is judged according to his works. Those who refuse to come to God by faith will, by default, be judged (and condemned) by their works.
       
      There ARE degrees of punishment for unbelievers in The Lake Of Fire, according to their works (Matthew 11:20-24). Here is where they are sentenced to their specific eternal punishment.
       
      “The sea gave up the dead who were in it:” Why does the sea give up its dead? It represents the place of unburied bodies; the emphasis is on the universal character of judgment - everybody is included.
       
      (v.14-15) Death and Hades are cast into the lake of fire.
      “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
       
      “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire:” The last echoes of sin are now eliminated. Death is the result of sin, and it is gone. Hades is the result of death, and it is gone. The last vestiges of sin’s unlawful domination are done away with.
       
      “The lake of fire:” When a person refers to “Hell,” the lake of fire is what they usually have in mind. The Bible uses three main words to describe where the ungodly may go when they die.
       
      “Sheol” is a Hebrew word with the idea of the “place of the dead.” It has no direct reference to either torment or eternal happiness. The idea of Sheol is often accurately expressed as “the grave.”
       
      “Hades” is a Greek word used to describe the “world beyond.” In the Bible, it has generally the same idea as Sheol. Revelation 9:1 speaks of the bottomless pit; this place called the abyssos is a waiting prison for certain demons (Luke 8:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). Or more generally, it is considered part of the realm of the dead (Romans 10:7 uses it in the sense of Hades).
       
      “Gehenna” is a Greek word borrowed from the Hebrew language. In Mark 9:43-44, Jesus speaks of hell (gehenna). Hell is a Greek translation of the Hebrew “Valley of Hinnom,” a place outside Jerusalem’s walls desecrated by Molech worship and human sacrifice (2 Chronicles 28:1-3; Jeremiah 32:35). It was also a garbage dump where rubbish and refuse were burned. The smoldering fires and festering worms of the Valley of Hinnom made it a graphic and effective picture of the fate of the damned. This is the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). Men only go to this place prepared for the devil and his angels if they CHOOSE TO REJECT God’s salvation through Jesus Christ gift and so condemn themselves.
       
      “This is the second death:” As there is a second and higher life, so there is also a second and deeper death.

       

    • July 6, 2016 6:32 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 21---A New Heavens, a New Earth, and a New Jerusalem


      ALL THINGS MADE NEW.

      (v.1) The new heaven and the new earth.
      “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”

      “Now I saw:” We can say that Revelation chapter 21 begins a NEW section of the Book of Revelation:

      Jesus, the Lord of the Churches (Revelation 1:1 to 3:22)
      Jesus, the Lion over the nations (Revelation 4:1 to 20:15)
      Jesus, the Lamb among believers (Revelation 21:1 to 22:21)

      “A new heaven and a new earth:” The idea of a NEW earth, with a NEW atmosphere and NEW sky is a familiar theme in the Scriptures. Many of the prophets, both Old and New Testaments, spoke to this NEW heaven and new earth.

      WHERE?

      Isaiah 65:17-19 says…“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create a Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy.”

      Psalm 102:25-27 says, “Of old, You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; yes all of them will grow old like a garment, like a cloak You will change them, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.”
      2 Peter 3:12-13 says, “Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat . . . Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

      It’s worth remembering that the NEW HEAVEN referred to DOES NOT MEAN the heaven where God is enthroned. We need to remember The Bible uses the word heaven in THREE SENSES.

      The FIRST heaven is the earth’s atmosphere, the “blue sky.”
      The SECOND heaven is outer space, the “night sky.”
      The THIRD heaven is the place where God lives in glory.

      So we NEED TO UNDERSTAND AND REMEMBER…when the Scriptures speak of a NEW heaven, they mean a NEW “blue sky” and a NEW “night sky,” NOT a new heaven where God dwells.

      New heaven . . . new earth: The ancient Greek word translated new here (kaine) means “new in character, ‘fresh’.” It doesn’t mean “recent” or “new in time.” This isn’t just the next heaven and the next earth; this is the BETTER, CLEAN heaven and BETTER AND CLEAN earth replacing the old (the first earth had passed away).

      We NEED to understand that this is truly a NEW heaven and a NEW earth, not merely a “remade” heaven and earth.

      HOW?

      JESUS CHRIST TOLD US HIMSELF….

      WHERE?

      Luke 21:33 says, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but His word would live forever.”

      Also, THE OLD TESTAMENT SAYS IT…

      Isaiah 65:17 says God prophetically says that He will create a new heaven and a new earth.

      And did you know…and the ancient Hebrew word for “create” (bara) means to “create out of nothing,” instead of re-fashioning from EXISTING material.

      Some MISTAKENLY VIEW THIS “NEWNESS” AS ONLY A SPIRITUAL & MORAL CHANGE, but the scriptures TELL US that it IS A NEW GENUINE PHYSICAL TRANSFORMATION…BECAUSE THERE WAS NO MORE SEA.

      WHY does Jesus do this?

      Because REMEMBER Satan has had ACCESS to Heaven, as He & his demons have had ACCESS to earth, right? Almighty God and Jesus Christ ARE cleaning ALL things. Removing anything and everything that sin, death, Satan, his demons, and The AntiChrist & The False Prophet and THEIR DARKNESS HAVE touched.

      How precious, concerned, and detailed is that?

      Is this new heaven and new earth the Millennial earth shown in Revelation 20, or is it something beyond? It definitely seems to be BEYOND the Millennial earth. This is what we think of as “heaven” and “eternity.”

      “The eternal state is clearly indicated in the ABSENCE of sea, for frequent mention of bodies of water occur in millennial passages.

      WHERE?

      Psalm 72:8; Isaiah 11:9; 11:11; Ezekiel 47:10; 47:15; 47:17-18; 47:20; 48:28; Zechariah 9:10; 14:8.

      “No more sea:” To the Jewish mind, the sea was a place of separation and evil. Already in the Book of Revelation it is shown to be the source of the Satanic beast (Revelation 13:1) and the place of the dead (Revelation 20:13).

      In other passages of Scripture, the sea is associated with the heathen (Isaiah 57:20) and in a more general sense, with the opponents of the Lord that must be conquered (Psalm 89:9).

      SO NOW WE UNDERSTAND WHY THERE WILL BE NO SEA.


      (v.2-4) The New Jerusalem descends from heaven.
      “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

      “The holy city, New Jerusalem:” This is the Jerusalem of hope (Hebrews 12:22), the Jerusalem above (Galatians 4:26), the place of our real citizenship (Philippians 3:20).

      The terms holy and new distinguish the city. Because IT IS PERFECTLY holy and new, it IS DIFFERENT FROM ANY earthly city. The name Jerusalem gives it continuity with earth, especially with the place of our redemption.

      It is significant that this glorious dwelling place of God and His people is described as the holy city. Cities are places where there are many people, and people interact with each other. This isn’t isolation, but a perfect community of the people of God.

      The Christian concept of heaven as a city - a place of life, activity, interest, and people - is very different from Hindu conception of a blank “Nirvana.”

      Man has never known a community unmarred by sin. Adam and Eve only knew a limited community, and community in a larger context only came long after the Fall. Here, in the New Jerusalem, we have something totally unique: a sinless, pure, community of righteousness, a holy city.

      Problems arise when believers expect this kind of community now, or fail to realize that it only comes down out of heaven. This city is not, and never can be, the achievement of man, but ONLY a gift from God.

      “Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband:” John uses the most striking, beautiful image he can think of. The most beautiful thing a man will ever see is his bride coming down the aisle, ready to meet him. John says that this is how beautiful the New Jerusalem will be.

      “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them:” Moses’ tabernacle represented the dwelling place of God on earth. This WAS the past representation of the dwelling place of God; this is the reality of His presence.

      “He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people:” This succinctly states essence of God’s desire and man’s purpose. Simply, God’s desire is to live in close fellowship with man, and man’s purpose is to be a people unto God.

      “The former things have passed away:” The New Jerusalem is distinguished by what it does NOT have -- NO tears, NO sorrow, NO death, NO need, or NO pain. Later it will be shown that the New Jerusalem has NO temple, NO sacrifice, NO sun, NO moon, NO darkness, NO sin, and NO abomination.

      “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes:” Most see these tears as Jesus’ family in tears. Tears from our short-comings or our failings.

      I DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS ONLY US IN TEARS.

      The words “their eyes” speaks to me of Almighty God, Jesus Christ, & The Holy Spirit.
      WHY?
      Because Jesus Christ adores his creation. The TRIUNE God loves them, Jesus Christ offered up his life for mankind. The Holy Spirit moved, pleaded, and encouraged for thousands of years…Repent… Come Home. I love you. I want to spare you.

      I want to SAVE you from an eternity in The Lake Of Fire. But The Triune God has tied THEIR own hands when they CREATED mankind WITH freewill…WITH CHOICE. And The Triune God has had NO CHOICE, but to HONOR rebellious mankind their CHOICE…their ABSOLUTE and UTTER rejection of their love…and has just been forced to seal billions & billions throughout time to an eternity in The Lake Of Fire…forever separated from Him.

      The Triune God DREADS that day.
      And the tears are THEIRS as well… Just as Almighty God erases our sins from existence & remembers them no more, so to shall HE ERASE the faces, the voices, & the memories of all those who REJECT them from their own heart and minds.

      (v.5) ALL THINGS NEW.
      “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

      “He who sat on the throne said:” This is an authoritative announcement, coming from the throne of God itself. This is one of the few times in Revelation where we clearly see God speaking directly from His throne TO John.

      “Behold, I make all things new:” This statement is in the present tense, “I am making everything new.” This is the consummation of God’s work of renewal and redemption, having begun here and now in our present time.

      Paul SAW this transformation at work on this side of eternity:

      WHERE?

      2 Corinthians 4:16; 5:17 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day . . . Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

      “All things new:” This is a brief glance at the thinking behind God’s eternal plan. At this point in His plan of the ages, the plan is complete. All things ARE new.

      Our instinct is to romantically consider innocence as man’s perfect state, and wish Adam would have never done what he did. But we fail to realize that redeemed man is greater than innocent man; that we gain more in Jesus than we ever lost in Adam. God’s PERFECT STATE is one of REDEMPTION, not INNOCENCE.

      “Write, for these words are true and faithful:” John is probably so astounded that Almighty God spoke DIRECTLY to him that he forgot to write - and must be told to do so.

      I CAN FULLY UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE JOHN’S BEING STUNNED SPEECHLESS & HIS MIND GOING BLANK…AMEN?

      (v.6-8) The invitation and a warning.
      And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

      “IT IS DONE!”
      God’s eternal purpose in Jesus is NOW accomplished. Ephesians 1:10 has been fulfilled, which says “In the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth; in Him.”

      At this point, all things have been resolved or “summed up” in Jesus - IT IS DONE!

      “I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts:” Drinking and thirst are common pictures of God’s supply and man’s spiritual need. Drinking is an action, but an action of receiving - like faith, it is doing something, but it is NOT a merit-earning work in itself.

      “He who overcomes shall inherit all things:” Those who overcome (by faith in Jesus, as told to us in 1 John 5:5) enjoy a special relationship with God (I will be his God and he shall be My son).

      “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable . . . have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone:”

      But the Jesus-rejecting and apostate, contrary to SOME RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS…THAT CLAIM ALL MANNER OF THINGS. THOSE THAT “CLAIM” THAT ALL GO TO HEAVEN OR THAT THERE WILL BE A SECOND CHANCE FOR NEW JERUSALEM/HEAVEN AFTER THE 1ST DEATH, (MORTAL LIFE ON THIS EARTH DEATH)…FIND IN THIS VERSE…THAT ALL THOSE MAN-CREATED, MANKIND RELIGIOUS CLAIMS ARE TOTALLY WRONG…AND THERE WILL NOT BE ANY OTHER THAN THOSE SAVED AND REDEEMED BY JESUS CHRIST WHO WILL enter the New Jerusalem.

      “Cowardly:” Is cowardice enough to send a person to hell? “John is not speaking of natural timidity, but of that cowardice which in the last resort chooses self and safety before Christ.”

      The nature of the New Jerusalem.
      (v.9-10) An angel will show John the city in greater detail.
      “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.”

      HERE IS SOMETHING UNIQUE AND TELLING…WE SEE THAT JOHN CAN EASILY TELL THEM APART. WHICH TELLS US THAT THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN DO NOT ALL LOOK ALIKE…THEY ARE INDIVIDUAL…IN LOOKS. AND CONTRARY TO SOME RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS…ALL THE ANGELS OF THE TRIUNE GOD IN HEAVEN ARE MALE.

      “I will show you the bride . . . showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem:” Passages like this make some wonder if the New Jerusalem is a literal place at all. Some suggest that it is really just an exotic symbol of the Church, the Bride of Christ.

      BUT WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT John uses “like” when referring to spiritual things, rather than REAL things. So I believe John.

      This heavenly city IS REAL…IS LITERAL, but it is called the bride, the Lamb’s wife because it is the place where all God’s people are gathered.

      (v.11-14) The city’s brilliance, wall, gates and foundation.
      “Having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”

      “Her light was like a most precious stone:” John is first struck by the glory of this city. She shares in the glory of God, and it is expressed in the radiant light that shines from her.

      “She had a great and high wall:” The wall is not needed for defense, because there are no more enemies. But the great and high wall gives the city perimeters.

      “Twelve gates . . . and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:” The names of the tribes on the gates communicate the unity and heritage that the people of God have with Israel. God will never forget the tribes of Israel, HIS WIFE, even unto eternity.

      “Three gates on the east, three gates on the north:” Some have thought the arrangement of gates looks back to the camp layout used during the Exodus (Numbers 2).

      “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb:” The foundations are an eternal testimony to the apostles, and their permanent place in God’s plan. If it isn’t build on the foundation of the apostles, it’s isn’t the right place for God’s people.

      The New Jerusalem and the church are founded upon the apostles TOLD TO US IN Ephesians 2:20 too.

      (v.15-17) The dimensions of the city.
      “And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.”

      “The city is laid out as a square:” The New Jerusalem’s length, height and width are equal. A cube is reminiscent of the Holy Place of the tabernacle, suggesting that the entire city is the Holy Place.

      “He measured the city with the reed:” The size of the New Jerusalem is enormous; twelve thousand furlongs equals 1,500 miles. Do the math….This is the same distance from Maine to Florida; the square footage would approximate the size of the Moon.

      AND THAT IS JUST THE CITY PERIMETERS OF NEW JERUSALEM.

      “According to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel:” In this case, the cubit measure of a man is the same as an angel’s measure of a cubit. GOD WANTS US TO KNOW THAT MAN’S MEASURING IS THE SAME AS ALMIGHTY GOD’S ANGEL’S MEASURING REED.

      (v.18-21) The beauty of its structure.
      “The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.”

      “When we read of jasper and pure gold and all kinds of precious stones, we SHOULD take these as LITERAL representations. We can gain a brief glimpse of what John saw, but we can’t even begin to see it in fullness until we see it with our own eyes.

      “Jasper . . . sapphire . . . Chalcedony:” The precise identification of these gemstones in modern terms is difficult, but the impression is of unending, staggering beauty.
      If there is any Biblical reference point for this assortment of gemstones, it is probably the High Priest’s breastplate told to us in Exodus 28:15-21.

      “Like clear glass . . . like transparent glass:” The constant mention of transparency means the city is designed to transmit the glory of God without hindrance.

      If the dimensions and descriptions seem impossible, there are two main principles to keep in mind. We must understand that this is the city whose architect and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10). We should expect it to be BEYOND our comprehension.

      The temple of the New Jerusalem.
      (v.22-23) God is all in the New Jerusalem.
      “But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.”

      “But I saw no temple in it:” In the ancient world, it was unthinkable to have a great city without many different temples. It’s like saying today, “I saw a great city but I saw no bank in it” or “I saw a great city but I saw no shopping mall in it.” This city is marked by the fact that there is no temple in it.

      “For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE its temple:” Here, the temple is not removed, but expanded. Everything and every place is holy and the dwelling place of God.

      “Before Jesus the temple was a prophecy. In the Christian era God’s people are His temple. In the Millennium the temple will be a memorial. Here the temple is EVERYWHERE.

      “No temple . . . no need of the sun or of the moon:” This reminds us that heaven will be a place of pure worship. Our focus will be totally on the Person we Worship, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb.

      “The Lamb is its light:” Light speaks of joy, for in the Scriptures light and joy go together. Light speaks of BEAUTY, because without light there is no beauty. Light speaks of KNOWLEDGE and in heaven we will all know Him as He knows us.

      (v.24-27) Access into the city.
      “And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

      “The kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor into it:” What about these kings of the earth? Who are they? How encouraging to note that not all were destroyed when the nations came to do battle against Jerusalem and the Lord Himself. There will also be ‘kings of the earth’ who will be a part of the eternal state. NOT ALL IN LEADERSHIP WILL BOW TO THE ANTICHRIST NOR HIS FATHER SATAN.

      “There shall by no means enter it anything that defiles:” Does this mean that such people will threaten the city? It isn’t the idea, because all sinners and death have ALREADY been cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:11-15).

      This WARNS those who READ Revelation that the only way to participate in the FUTURE city is to CALL UPON THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, ACCEPT THE Lamb NOW.

    • July 6, 2016 6:30 PM EDT
    • REVELATION 22--


      Revelation 22 - Come, Lord Jesus


      The interior of the New Jerusalem.
      (v.1) A river flowing from the throne of God.
      “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

      “A pure river of water of life:” Through the Old Testament, prophets used the picture of a river as a powerful expression of richness, provision, and peace.

      WHERE?
      Isaiah 48:18; Zechariah 14:8 & Ezekiel 47:1-9.

      King David says it best in Psalm 46:4-5: “There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.”

      “Clear as crystal:” God’s provision in the New Jerusalem is described with pure, absolutely unpolluted waters. “Its waters are literal waters, of a nature and quality answering to that of the golden city to which they belong. Mankind has NEVER known such waters.

      “From the throne of God and of the Lamb:” This river of provision comes right from God’s throne. Because it comes from God, it cannot be anything other than pure and abundant, AMEN?

      Ezekiel saw a glorious river IN Ezekiel 47...flow down from the temple in Jerusalem and INTO THE SEA, but that river belongs to the MILLENIAL earth.

      HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

      BECAUSE REVELATION 21 TELLS US THAT IN THE NEW JERUSALEM & THE NEW EARTH…THERE IS NO MORE SEA! So this is a final PREVIEW…SNEAK PEEK, of this heavenly river. This is a BETTER river with better trees.

      (v.2) The tree of life.
      “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

      “The tree of life:” The Bible begins with a tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24) which man was NOT allowed to eat from after the sin at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now we see the tree of life again.
      AND THIS TIME, THE TREE OF LIFE PRODUCES 12 FRUITS, ALL SEASONS LONG…AND IT ISSSSSSS EDIBLE….IT IS HEALING TOO, AMEN?

      “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river:”
      Seeing the tree of life again points to a RESTORATION of all things.

      “Each tree yielding its fruit every month:” From all indications, this describes the world of the new heaven and the new earth, yet we are given a time indicator. Apparently, heaven will still mark time, ((EVERY MONTH)) but NOT be subject to it in the same way we are on this side of eternity.

      “Some people wonder if we will eat in heaven. The best answer is YESSSSSS….we can eat, but will not have to EAT TO LIVE AND BE SUSTAINED. HOW COOL IS THAT?

      HOW CAN WE KNOW THIS…

      REMEMBER In His resurrection body, Jesus enjoyed food (Luke 24:41-43, John 21:12-14).

      JESUS CHRIST & HIS ANGELS ate with Abraham & Sarah in (Genesis 18:6-8).

      The great heavenly “reunion” between Jesus and His people is described as a marriage SUPPER (Revelation 19:9). Even though man fell by what he ate, God will still allow us to eat in heaven.

      EATING WILL BE FOR PURE PLEASURE…NOT NEED FOR SUSTENANCE, AMEN!

      “The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations:” Why do the nations need healing? In the ancient Greek language, the word for healing can also mean “health-giving,” and this may be the sense here.

      “The word for ‘healing’ is therapeian, from which the English word therapeutic is derived, almost directly transliterated from the Greek. Rather than meaning ‘healing,’ it should be understood as ‘health-giving.

      Are these pictures of heaven literal or symbolic? They ARE real folks. We can not FATHOM NOR UNDERSTAND NOR PERCEIVE ALL things of Heaven, with our LIMITED MORTAL MINDS AND SEES RIGHT NOW….BUT WE WILL…AND ALL OF IT IS VERYYYYYYYY real.

      (v.3-5) What it will be like and what the saints will do.
      “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.”

      “There shall be no more curse:” In heaven, the curse is GONE. Since the fall, man and creation have lived with the effect of the curse described in Genesis 3:16-19: sorrow and pain in childbirth for women, friction between the sexes, the necessity of hard and often futile work for man’s sustenance, and most of all death.

      These aspects of the curse will even be present during the Millennium, though they will be greatly mitigated by the perfect rule of Jesus.

      Isaiah 65:20 shows us that it is still POSSIBLE for a sinner to be accursed in the millennial earth.

      WHAT DOES THE BIBLE MEAN BY STILL CURSED IN THE MILLENNIAL EARTH?

      IT MEANS THOSE THAT SURVIVE THE GREAT TRIBULATION…THOSE LOST AND UNSAVED WHO SURVIVE IT AND GO INTO THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS ON EARTH….STILL MUST CHOOSE.

      FREEWILL AND CHOICE ARE NOT DESTROYED OR ENDED WITH THE 1000 YEAR REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST ON EARTH.

      MANKIND MUST STILL CHOOSE TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF ALMIGHTY GOD. MANKIND MUSTTTTTTT REPENT, MUST INVITE AND ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST INTO THEIR HEART AND LIFE.

      AS BEWILDERING AS IT SOUNDS, THERE WILL BE THOSE ON MILLENNIAL EARTH WHO WILL CHOOSE TO REJECT JESUS CHRIST GRACE AND MERCY GIFT OF SALVATION…EVEN AFTER THEY SEE THAT HE IS THE TRIUNE GOD.

      AND FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO REJECT JESUS CHRIST, THEY WILL LIVE THEIR LIVES AND THEY WILL DIE A MORTAL DEATH, WHICH IS THE FIRST DEATH…BUT THEY WHO REJECT JESUS CHRIST, EVEN THEN, WILL ALSO HAVE CHOSEN AND FACE THE SECOND DEATH, WHICH IS CHOOSING ETERNAL REJECTION OF JESUS, AND SENTENCING THEMSELVES TO THE SECOND DEATH, WHICH IS THE LAKE OF FIRE ETERNITY.

      But in the NEW heaven and NEW earth, & NEW Jerusalem SIN AND DEATH they are done away with FOREVER. Instead of the curse, the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it. That’s quite an exchange, AMEN?

      The throne of God and of the Lamb: It is a throne of righteousness, but no less a throne of grace.

      “His servants shall serve Him:” Heaven will be a place of work and service for God’s people. However, this is a picture of the pure blessedness of service rather than arduous, curse-stained toil.

      “They shall see His face:” Heaven will be a place where God’s people see HIS FACE, a place of intimate, face to face fellowship with ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF.

      REMEMBER Moses was denied the privilege of seeing ALMIGHTY GOD HIMSELF face to face (Exodus 33:20-23), MOSES DID SEE, TALK WITH, MEET WITH, JESUS CHRIST, FACE TO FACE, but everyone in heaven shall see ALMIGHTY GOD’S face.

      We learn TWO GREAT THINGS here.

      FIRST, we SHALL literally and physically, with our NEW bodies, actually BE ABLE TO look into the face of ALMIGHTY GOD.

      SECONDLY, that spiritually our mental faculties shall be enlarged, so that they shall he enabled to look into the very heart, and soul, and character of THE TRIUNE GOD….JUST AS JESUS DOES…REMEMBER THE BIBLE TELLS US THAT WE WHO LOVE AND ARE SAVED AND REDEEMED BY JESUS CHRIST, BECOME CO-HEIRS WITH HIM IN HEAVEN.

      BUT REMEMBER ALSO because of Jesus, we can know something of the face of God right now:

      WHERE?

      2 Corinthians 4:6 tells us…“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

      Yet, Paul also anticipated a GREATER fulfillment of our seeing the face of God:

      WHERE?

      1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us…“For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I am also known.”

      In that day there will be NOTHING that obscures our vision of Jesus or Almighty God.

      This will be the greatest glory of heaven: to know God, to know Jesus, more intimately and wonderfully than we ever could on earth.

      WE WILL BE FACE TO FACE WITH OUR JESUS…AND FACE TO FACE WITH ALMIGHTY GOD AS WELL.

      “His name shall be on their foreheads:” Heaven will be a place where God’s people will forever be identified with their God, and there will NEVER be any doubt that they belong to Him.

      “There shall be no more night there:” Heaven will be a place where the darkness of this age will be GONE FOREVER.

      REMEMBER NIGHT AND DAY AND SEASONS WERE CREATED FOR MANKIND & EARTH ALONE….AND FOR NATURE, AND FOR THE ANIMALS…SO WE COULD TELL TIME, KNOW WHEN TO REST, WHEN TO WAKE, WHEN TO PLANT, WHEN TO REAP, WHEN TO STORE UP…IN THE NEW EARTH AS WELL AS IN HEAVEN…THERE WILL BE NOOOOOOOOOOO NEED FOR NIGHT…WE WILL NO LONGER NEED TO SLEEP/REST TO LIVE. WE WILL NO LONGER NEED TO PLANT/HARVEST/STORE UP TO SUSTAIN OURSELVES, AND NEITHER WILL NATURE OR THE ANIMALS, AMEN?

      “They shall reign forever and ever:” Heaven will be a place where God’s people enjoy an eternal reign, in contrast to the limited duration of the Millennium. It will NEVER end. A PERFECT city, a & a PERFECT world, where we will spend time with Jesus and Almighty God and fellowship with each other in PERFECT harmony, love, laughter, peace, fun, and joy.

      Parting words.
      (v.6-7) The angel and Jesus add words of verification.
      “Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

      In these last few verses of the Book of Revelation, we hear parting words from a variety of persons. The themes make sense no matter who speaks: verification, invitation, and warning.

      “These words are faithful and true:” The angel that has shown these things to John declares & reminds a STUNNED & AMAZED John that it isn’t too good to be true. John is assured that ALL he has seen, been shown, been told ARE in fact faithful and true.

      “The things which must shortly take place . . . I am coming quickly!” As John reminds us of the suddenness of these events, Jesus Himself breaks in with a reminder TO JOHN AND TO ALL OF US He is coming quickly.

      WHY does it seem that it has been so long? Thousands of year later we are STILL waiting. Was Jesus wrong here?

      The word quickly in the ancient Greek isn’t the same as our word for “quickly.” The word Jesus uses more accurately means SUDDENLY.

      Still, the early church expected Jesus’ return soon --- were they just wrong, or did Jesus mislead them?

      NOT AT ALL.
      God wants to keep all generations expectant, watching, and READY for His return.

      “Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book:” This BLESSING reminds us that prophecy gives us a word to KEEP, not merely material for interesting discussions and debates. The main intent of prophecy is to lead us to trust and obey God, CHOOSE JESUS CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE AS THE ONLY WAY TO GOD, AS THE ONLY PATH TO ETERNAL LIFE, AND AS THE ONLY TRUTH IN THIS LIFE AND THE ONE TO COME.

      THE TRIUNE GOD WANTS US TO APPLY His truth to the way we live.

      (v.8-9) John is corrected for worshipping an angel a second time.
      “Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”

      PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME WHY JOHN KEEPS FALLING DOWN TO MISTAKENLY WORSHIP AN ANGEL.

      THERE ARE TWO REASONS…JESUS CHRIST IS EVER A PATIENT TEACHER AND FATHER AND FRIEND, AMEN?

      THE FIRST THING WE NEED TO REMEMBER IS THAT THESE ANGELS OF THE TRIUNE GOD, COME STRAIGHT FROM THE THRONE, & SHINE SO MUCH BRIGHTER THAN EVEN OUR SUN…SO JOHN IS STUNNED AND BLINDED AT FIRST BY TH PURE BRILLIANCE OF THE LIGHT SHINING FROM THEM.

      SECONDLY, JESUS CHRIST SAW INTO THE FUTURE, AND KNEW THAT THERE WOULD BE THOSE WHO PRAY TO, SEEK, AND WORSHIP ANGELS IN AND OF THEMSELVES, JUST AS DECEIVED AND MISLED MANKIND THEY WILL KNEEL AND WORSHIP MAN’S CREATED RELIGIOUS ICONS, IDOLS, AND GLOBAL LEADERS…

      JESUS TELLS US TO WORSHIP NONE BUT THE TRIUNE GOD. SEEK NOTHING AND NONE BUT JESUS CHRIST WHO IS THE ONLYYYYYY WAY, THE ONLYYYY TRUTH, AND THE ONLYYYYY LIFE & THE ONLY PATH THAT LEADS TO GOD AND AN ETERNITY IN HEAVEN THROUGH JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, AMEN?

      “I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel:” As he did in Revelation 19:10, John is overwhelmed, and bows before an angel in worship.

      In the same way, the angel reminds John that only God & Jesus Christ is to be worshipped, and that they are both “players” on the same “team” - along with all who keep the words of this book.

      WHY?

      It IS repeated and stressed here, because mankind MORE SO NOW THAN EVER BEFORE IS fascinated with angels, with praying TO ANGELS, praying to mortal men, praying to any number of things and people. Some even foolishly worship/pray to/call upon Michael & Gabriel or angels in general. THIS is WRONG. THIS is DANGEROUS. No created being should ever be worshipped. This is in contrast with Jesus, who receives the worship of angels (Hebrews 1:6) and of men (Matthew 8:2; 14:33; John 9:38).

      MANKIND’S MAN-MADE CREATED RELIGIOUS GROUPS MAY INTEND honor and good by worshipping Angels, or the apostles, or Mary or others out of the Bible…but it IS WRONG.

      NONE… NO ONE deserves our worship and our prayers but for Jesus Christ.

      WHY just Jesus? Because Almighty God has told us and Jesus has told us… Almighty God PUT/PLACED ALL things into Jesus’ hands. Jesus is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth, and the ONLY life…and NO ONE comes to THE FATHER but through His Son Jesus Christ.

      You WANT to HEAR from Heaven? Then petition Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ ALONE is our mediator/advocate with Almighty God.

      “See that you do not do that:” It is striking & a REMINDER that even JOHN who knew Jesus on earth, then was reunited with Him in Heaven, SAW & was given all these future visions, these prophecies STRAIGHT from Jesus and Almighty God could STILL go astray.

      WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT JESUS IS THE GOD WHO SEES ALL, KNOWS ALL, CONTROLS ALL.

      EVEN 2000+ YEARS AGO…JESUS SAW MANKIND…YOU AND I TODAY…SO THIS IS A WARNING AND A REMINDER to us…BE NOT DECEIVED…that supernatural visions and revelations do NOT ALWAYS mean that someone is correct in their doctrine, teaching, or practice.

      NOR THAT VISIONS, REVELATIONS CAN ONLY COME FROM ALMIGHTY GOD AND JESUS CHRIST.

      Seek confirmation in scripture…and through patient discernment of the prophecies/visions/teachings given in THE HOLY BIBLE, THE TRIUNE GOD’S WORD…BEFORE you simply believe it when someone SAYS OR TELLS you Jesus showed me this; God told me this; and Angel showed me this. SEEK Jesus people.

      JESUS SAYS I CHANGE NOT…AND HE DOES NOT.
      JESUS SAYS I CAN NOT LIE…AND HE DOES NOT.

      (v.10-11) A warning is given, either by the same angel or by Jesus.
      “And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”

      “Do not seal the words of this prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand:” Because the time is at hand, and history now runs parallel to the brink of the consummation of all things, this book isn’t sealed.

      JESUS CHRIST WANTS ALL MANKIND TO READ, SEE, KNOW AND UNDERSTAND HIM, HIS WORD, HIS PROMISES, AND ENDTIMES.

      JESUS CHRIST KNEW THEN…AND IS EXPOSING IT RIGHT HERE…THAT HE KNEW THAT THERE WOULD BE MAN-CREATED RELIGIONS AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS WHO WOULD REMOVE REVELATION, AS WELL DANIEL, AND OTHERS FROM THEIR “RE-CREATED, REVISED, UPDATED, NEW AGE WORD” ON PURPOSE AND DELIBERATELY AND THIS IS A WARNING TO PIOUS, POMPOUS MAN-MADE RELIGIONS…THAT THOSE WHO REMOVE, DELETE, CHANGE, ALTER ONE WORD HE HAS GIVEN MANKIND WILL SPEND ETERNITY IN THE LAKE OF FIRE…FOR THEIR WILLING AND KNOWING DECEPTIONS.

      This is in contrast to Old Testament prophecy (Daniel 8:26); men seal the Book of Revelation in defiance of God’s command.

      Jesus KNEW that mankind would TRY to seal THIS BOOK. The Roman Catholics, the Mormons, The Muslims, The Jehovah Witnesses and others HAVE done it or ERASED parts of THIS book as well books and passages of The Bible that SPEAK AGAINST THEIR OWN MAN-CREATED, MAN-MADE RELIGIONS AND TEACHINGS.

      There are those in the Protestant churches who REFUSE to read, study, or teach Revelation. They SAY it has a CURSE and they do NOT wish to be cursed or bring a curse upon their flock.

      THIS is a LIE…a DECEPTION straight from the pit. Jesus PROMISES a BLESSING in REVELATION 1 to ALL who read, seek, and study Revelation.

      The CURSE is for and is placed upon ONLY those who WILLINGLY, KNOWINGLY SEEK to SEAL AWAY, ERASE, DESTROY, CORRUPT, TWIST, OR ALTER Jesus’ words found here in Revelation & throughout The Bible IN ORDER TO DECEIVE THE LOST AND THEIR FOLLOWERS.

      “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still . . . he who is righteous, let him be righteous still:” The thought here is probably “since Jesus is coming so suddenly, there won’t be time for change.” There will be NO LAST SECOND REPENTANCE, SALVATION AT THE SUDDEN RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, but there is time NOW. If what you have read in Revelation hasn’t changed you, convicted you, made you stop and think, and re-evaluate your “manmade religious beliefs/ teachings….if you are NOT moved….if you DISMISS…and CHOOSE NOT TO SEEK TO KNOW…NOW THAT JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF HAS TOLD YOU, WARNED YOU…there isn’t much hope that THE SUDDEN RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, THAT THE GREAT TRIBULATION, NOR THAT THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF JESUS CHRIST ON THIS EARTH WILL CHANGE YOU EITHER!

      If the pleas of Jesus, Almighty God, and their angels to REPENT NOW….if the FUTURE ENDTIME warnings of Revelation, affirmed and confirmed throughout The Old Testament are NOT sufficient to bring about change in mankind, in us, and bring a RUSHING to Jesus and Almighty God while there is STILL time…there is no more that God & Jesus can do for mankind.

      (v.12-13) Jesus declares: I am coming quickly.
      “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

      “And behold, I am coming quickly:” Do you NOT HEAR the PLEA, the note of URGENCY, THE ABSOLUTE WARNING, and the SOB of DREAD in Jesus Christ here? His message is always be ready AS JESUS SAID IN Matthew 24:44.

      “My reward is with Me:” If Jesus will give to everyone according to his work, does that mean we are saved by our works? No, but it does show that living faith will have works with it …CONFIRMED TO US IN James 2:20; Titus 3:8.

      “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last:” As an added incentive for us to do and be what is right, being ready for Jesus’ return, He LOVINGLY & ADAMANTLY REMINDS us all just WHO HE IS. If we really know and understood who Jesus is, we will not have any trouble being ready for His return.

      The term Alpha and Omega is applied to God in Revelation 1:8; 21:6; and here ALONE to Jesus Christ, crowning proof in this book of Christ’s deity.

      The title the First and the Last is also irrefutable proof that Jesus is Yahweh, the Lord: I, the Lord, am the first; and with the last I am He.’” (Isaiah 41:4)

      These terms together mean that Jesus is the beginning, middle, and end for the Christian.

      Preach orthodoxy, or any form of doxy; if you HAVE left out Jesus Christ, there is NO manna from heaven, NO water from the rock, NO refuge from the storm, NO healing for the sick, NO life for the dead.

      Charles Spurgeon says it best…. “If you leave out Jesus Christ, you have left the sun out of the day, and the moon out of the night, you have left the waters out of the sea, and the foods out of the river, you have left the harvest out of the year, the soul out of the body, you have left joy out of heaven, yea, you have robbed all of its all. There is no gospel worth thinking of, much less worth proclaiming in Jehovah’s name, if Jesus be forgotten.”

      (v.14-15) A blessing and a curse is pronounced by either John or by the angel, since the usage of the words “HIS COMMANDMENTS.”

      “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”

      “Blessed are those who do His commandments:” Doing His commandments does NOT earn us eternal life (THAT IS LEGALISM), but IF WE ARE SAVED AND REDEEMED BY THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST…it IS THEN evidence that we have been granted eternal life. Besides, there is an inherent blessing in doing His commandments, because they are good and right for us.

      “But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers:”

      Waitaminnit here you think?!?! What is this about those outside? Some WRONGLY teach that “outside the walls of heaven” means multitudes will throng, longing to get in.

      They ARE wrong in this thinking. New Heaven/New Earth is NO Heavenly NOAH‘S ARK, where Jesus and His Children are safe and enjoy the BEST of Heaven and Earth…while the REST of the impure, unsaved, evil, and corrupt world lives outside of it…beating against the walls & the doors begging admittance for eternity.

      This VERSE tells us that ONLY those who know, love, have invited JESUS CHRIST into their hearts and lives, and call Jesus Christ Lord and Savior WILL SEE and WILL BE ADMITTED and WILL spend eternity in Heaven.

      ONCE AGAIN, THE GOD WHO SEES ALL, KNOWS ALL…SAW 2000+ YEARS AGO…THE NEW AGERS…THE RELIGIOUS CULTS…THE MAN-MADE RELIGIONS THAT WOULD TEACH THAT…

      WE ARE ALL GOD’S CHILDREN…THAT IS A LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF SATAN HIMSELF…THAT IS TWISTING GOD’S WORD.

      WE ARE ALL CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. WE ARE ALL CREATED FROM THE VERY HAND AND BREATH OF THE TRIUNE GOD….BUT ONLYYYYY THOSE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WHO DIED IN FAITH BELIEVING IN THE PROPHESIED HOPE OF JESUS CHRIST AND ONLY THOSE FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT FORWARD, JEW AND GENTILE ALIKE, WHO CHOOSE TO REPENT, WHO CHOOSE TO ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE AS LORD AND SAVIOR…FIND THEIR NAMES WRITTEN IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE.

      ONLY THOSE ARE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD BY THE TRIUNE GOD AND ONLY THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO THE NAME CHILD OF GOD…CO-HEIR WITH JESUS CHRIST.

      THOSE THAT TEACH THAT ….ALL PATHS LEAD TO GOD…ARE DECEIVED BY THE GREATEST OF DECEIVERS SATAN HIMSELF.

      THERE IS BUT ONE PATH TO ALMIGHTY GOD AND HEAVEN…AND THAT IS IN/THROUGH JESUS CHRIST ALONE.

      THERE ARE THOSE MAN-MADE RELIGIONS THAT TEACH THAT THEY ARE THE FOUNDATION, THAT THEY ARE THE ONE TRUE FAITH…AND THAT TOO IS A LIE STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF SATAN.

      THE ONE TRUE FAITH IS NOT A RELIGION, A BUILDING, A LEADERSHIP, NOR AN ORGANIZATION…THE ONE TRUTH FAITH IS JESUS CHRIST. THE TRIUNE GOD DOES NOT HAVE NOR SHARE A THRONE OR WORSHIPFULNESS AND HOLINESS WITH ANY MAN, NOT ONE, BUT FOR HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST.

      JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLYYYYYYY INTERCESSOR, THE ONLYYYYYYYY ADVOCATE THAT CAN AND DOES REACH ALMIGHTY GOD.

      THE TRIUNE GOD DOES NOT HONOR NOR HEAR NOR ELEVATE ANY MAN, ANY LEADERSHIP, ANY RELIGIOUS HEAD UNTO HIMSELF AND HIS PRECIOUS SON JESUS CHRIST.

      BUDDHA, ALLAH, HOLY SAINTS, THE ANGELS, OR ANYYYYYYY MORTAL MAN TITLED YOUR HOLINESS, OR THE HUNDREDS OF OTHER MAN-MADE IDOLS, RELIGIOUS ICONS, ARE NOT FROM GOD…

      JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLYYYYYYYY REPRESENTATIVE OF ALMIGHTY GOD…THE ONLYYYYYYY WAY…THE ONLYYYYY TRUTH…AND THE ONLYYYYY LIFE.

      IT DOES NOT GET ANY CLEARER, PLAINER, AND SIMPLISTIC THAN THAT…SO MUCH SO THAT EVEN LITTLE CHILDREN CAN SEE, KNOW, AND UNDERSTAND IT, AMEN!

      REVELATION NOT ONLY REVEALS JESUS CHRIST TO THE LOST AND THE WORLD….REVELATION REVEALS AND EXPOSES THE CREATIVE, DECEPTIVE LIES OF SATAN HIMSELF CREATED BY MAN-MADE RELIGIONS. JESUS CHRIST WANTS NONE DECEIVED. JESUS CHRIST WANTS NONE TO PERISH…SO HE SHOWS US THE LIES, THE DECEPTIONS OF SATAN, THE WORLD, AND MAN-CREATED RELIGIONS.

      AND IF THAT IS NOT ENOUGH….JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF, ONCE AGAIN TELLS US IN THE NEXT VERSE…

      (v.16) Jesus brings a word of verification.
      “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”

      “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you:” With these solemn words, Jesus authenticates the entire book. And since Jesus KNEW that mankind would TWIST & DISTORT & SEEK to throw DOUBT on the authenticity of Revelation…Jesus patiently and ADAMANTLY tells EGOCENTRIC, SELF-AGGRANDIZING, ARROGANT, & OR GULLIBLE mankind in simple, easy to understand words that HE AUTHORED this book. It IS ALL TRUE.

      “To testify to you these things in the churches:” The Book of Revelation is written to Jesus’ SEVEN CHURCHES. This book is not a private affair, knowable only by an elite - it is for ALL. THE CHURCHES OF JESUS AS WELL LOST AND SEEKING MANKIND. It’s also worth noting that this is the first reference to the church since the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3.

      “The Root and offspring of David:” This is a precious Messianic title (Isaiah 11:1). It shows that Jesus is both the Creator of King David and His descendants. Jesus spoke to this same idea in Matthew 22:41-46. Jesus is TELLING the JEWISH people… I AM HE! I AM YOUR MESSIAH.

      JESUS WANTS THE NATION OF ISRAEL…AS WELL ALL GENTILES TO KNOWWWWWWWW THAT HE ISSSSSSS THE MESSIAH. JESUS REPEATS THESE NAMES FOR HIMSELF, NAMES OF HIM FOUND IN THE OLD TESTAMENT TO VERIFY AND PROVE THAT HE IS THE NATION OF ISRAEL’S MESSIAH…THE LONG AWAITED MESSIAH PROPHESIED TO THEM IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. THE JEWISH PEOPLE AS A WHOLE, THOSE WHO DO READ AND BELIEVE THE OLD TESTAMENT ARE RITUAL AND FEASTS FOLLOWERS, BUT THEY DO NOT BELIEVE NOR READ THE NEW TESTAMENT…RIGHT HERE…JESUS IS TELLING THEM WHO HE IS..

      WHY?

      BECAUSE ONE SWEET DAY, THE NATION OF ISRAEL AS A WHOLE WILL REALIZE WHO JESUS CHRIST IS TO THEM.

      “Bright and Morning Star:” This is another Messianic title from the Old Testament (Numbers 24:17) and the New Testament (Revelation 2:28). Just as the Morning Star (generally held to be the planet Venus by the world) shines and welcomes the new day, so does Jesus.

      These Messianic titles ALSO let those Messianic Jews, those Complete Jews…meaning those who know and have ALREADY accepted Jesus Christ AS their Lord, Savior, and Messiah since JESUS CHRIST RETURN TO HEAVEN, will TOO be “caught up with His Church during The Rapture. They will NOT be left behind TO GO THROUGH THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

      (v.17) The Spirit and the Bride say to all: Come!
      “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

      “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!:” Is this an invitation to Jesus, asking Him to return? Or is it an invitation to those with a spiritual thirst to come to Jesus? It is either or both & true.

      THIS IS A CALL TO WHOSOEVER WILL…THAT MEANS ALL, THAT MEANS ANY THAT COME TO JESUS CHRIST.
      JESUS IS CALLING THE PROTESTANTS, THE BUDDHISTS, THE ISLAMICS, THE ATHEISTS, THE NEW AGERS, THE SATANISTS, THE CATHOLICS, THE WICCANS, THE PAGANS, THE SCIENTOLOGISTS, THE HINDU, THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES, THE LATTER DAY SAINTS, THE JIHADISTS, THE AGNOSTICS….ANYONE AND EVERYONE…IT IS A PERSONAL INVITATION FROM OUR PRECIOUS JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF…

      “Who can come?” Him who hears CAN come to Jesus, but they can’t come unless they hear. Him who thirsts CAN come to Jesus, but they can’t come unless they feel their thirst. Whoever desires CAN come, but they can’t come unless God works in their heart to desire Him.

      So how do you know if Jesus Christ HAS worked in your heart? Go through a little checklist:
      Have you heard of Jesus?
      Are you thirsty for Jesus Christ & eternal life?
      Do you want Jesus Christ?
      Are you seeking HOPE in a devolving lost world….COME TO JESUS.
      DO YOU SEEK HIM THROUGH HIS WORD?
      Then COME!

      “Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely:” This is an OPEN 24/7/365 invitation to receive salvation from Jesus. He will NOT deny/exclude ANYONE who comes to Him. THERE ARE NOT CERTAIN DAYS, OR SEASONS, OR FEASTS, OR HOLIDAYS THAT MANKIND CAN COME AND RECEIVE JESUS CHRIST.

      ANY TIME….ANY WHERE…BY NIGHT, BY DAY, IN YOUR HOME, IN THE DESERT, ON THE STREET, AT YOUR JOB, IN THE HOSPITAL, IN THE FIELD OF BATTLE….COME….COME…CALL UPON THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES….JESUS CHRIST AND YOU SHALL BE SAVED.

      JESUS SAYS…COME!

      This is a precious invitation, that is BOTH an opportunity and a responsibility. If we DECLINE Jesus’ invitation, we have only ourselves to blame.

      JESUS CHRIST IS A GENTLEMAN. HE DOES NOT ENTER INTO THE HEARTS AND LIVES OF PEOPLE WHO IGNORE THE KNOCK ON THE DOOR OF THEIR HEARTS…HE DOES NOT FORCE ANYONE. HE WAITS PATIENTLY & PRAYERFULLY FOR THE INVITATION.

      JESUS DOES NOT OPPRESS NOR DOES HE POSSESS…TAKE OVER THE HEART AND THE MIND OF THE UNWILLING.

      HE WANTS TO BE CHOSEN…HE WANTS PERSONAL ONE ON ONE LOVE WALK, ONE ON ONE RELATIONSHIP WITH EACH AND EVERY ONE OF HIS CREATION.

      SO HE WAITS…HE STANDS AT THE DOOR OF EACH HEART…GENTLY KNOCKING…

      A similar invitation is extended in Isaiah 55:1. The invitation to come is an urgent command, “for the day will arrive when it is too late to come. Now is the day of grace. The hour of judgment is impending.”

      “Glory in the greatness of the invitation:” whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely! Anyone who desires salvation in Jesus Christ can come to Him and take the water of life freely.

      “Some say, but I do not UNDERSTAND all things in The Bible. Jesus tells us…COME anyway, because Jesus doesn’t say whoever UNDERSTANDS, but he who DESIRES, let him take the water of life freely.

      Some have said…but I can’t repent the way that I should. My heart is hard and I can’t even weep over my sins or FEEL bad over them as I should…. Jesus says COME anyway, HE doesn’t say whoever FEELS, let him take the water of life freely.

      Others have said…I don’t know if I CAN LIVE the Christian life the way that I should….Jesus says COME anyway, because HE doesn’t say whoever CAN, let him take the water of life freely.

      Or they argue….I don’t know if I am WORTHY to live the Christian life…Jesus says COME anyway, because HE doesn’t say whoever is WORTHY, let him take the water of life freely.

      Jesus says WHOSOEVER WILL…There is NO standard…NO qualifier here. Above are you a human being? Do you breathe air? Does your heart beat? If so then YOU DO qualify!

      It is REALLY this simple: do you desire Jesus and His salvation? Then come.
      Can you say, “Now, Lord JESUS, I desire to be saved, give me a new heart; I desire to give up my sins; I desire to be a Christian; I desire to believe and desire to obey you. But I have no strength to do this. I have the desire, give me the power.” If this is your desire, then you are freely invited to come, if you are only willing. There is no barrier between you and Jesus except your stubborn will & freewill CHOICE.

      “Let him take the water of life freely:” When you desire, when you come, then you must TAKE. All of this world’s religions can be summed up in the idea that they ALL EXPECT, ORDER, AND DEMAND THAT you must BRING something, PAY SOMETHING to give unto the gods.

      The essence of Christianity is summed up in the idea that God invites us to TAKE the water of life freely. You can’t bring anything to save or justify or commend yourself before God, but you can TAKE the salvation He offers through the blood sacrifice and grace and mercy freely given BY JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF!

      (v.18-19) JESUS brings a warning - HERE IS THE CURSE.
      “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

      “If anyone ADDS to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book:” Jesus GIVES this warning to those WHO TEACH, PROPHECY, AND SAY THEY COME IN HIS NAME…THOSE WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLINGLY LIE, TWIST, AND DECEIVE LOST AND SEEKING MANKIND.

      THIS IS A DIRE WARNING JESUS GIVES US STRAIGHT FROM HIS FATHER.

      “If anyone adds . . . if anyone TAKES AWAY:” This means that there is a high price to pay for tampering with THE BIBLE & the Book of Revelation specifically, and the Scriptures in general.

      This solemn promise also implies that the Book of Revelation CAN BE understood.

      (v.20-21) Last words.
      “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

      “Surely I am coming quickly:” To the very end, the Book of Revelation emphasizes readiness and watchfulness. If we miss this practical lesson from the Book of Revelation - the lesson of readiness - then we miss the essential message of the book.

      If the statement “I am coming quickly” were not enough, Jesus puts emphasis on both sides - surely before and amen after. Jesus ADORES, loves, forgives, saves, and WAITS for us. He wants us SPARED, REDEEMED, SAVED & READY for Him.

      “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” With this phrase, John uses an Aramaic expression that was well known in the ancient church: Maranatha!

      The Book of Revelation concerns many prophetic events, but the book closes with John returning to earth from Heaven and Jesus and ALREADY LONGING for the return of Jesus for His people - he wants the rapture of the church. John WANTS to go home to be with HIS JESUS.

      “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen:” This book (and the Bible) ends with a word of grace, and grace for all.

      Charles Spurgeon, a wonderful man of God, who is in Heaven now sums it up best….

      “Whatever you may miss, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be always with you. In whatsoever points you or any of us may fail, may we never come short of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.”