Things of Faith
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Jul
31

“The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Rev.19:14)

Who are these riding on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean following Christ out of heaven? Many expositors claim that they are angels and that because, if these on white horses are the church, then it destroys their post-trib position. But the scripture does in fact reveal that this group are not angels. Rev.17:12-14 is a preview of Rev.19:11-21 which is of Christ’s return to the earth to end the age as demonstrated in the scripture below:

“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Rev.17:12-14)

The scripture above regarding those ten kings making war against the Lamb is synonymous with Rev.19:11-21 which says

“Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army” (Rev.19:19)

In the last part of the verse in Rev.17:14 notice who is with Christ as he is descending to earth as those kings are waging war against him; they are referred to as his “called, chosen and faithful followers”. Clearly these are not designations that would be used to describe angels, but can be none other than believers who will have previously been resurrected and caught up. The fact that they are shown to be following Christ out of heaven would demonstrate that they will have already been there with him. Scripture also states that these armies will be dressed in fine linen, white and clean:

Hallelujah!For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Rev.19:6-8)

According to the Scripture above, the bride, which is a designation for the church, is the one who is receiving the fine linen, bright and clean and that at the wedding of the Lamb, which takes place in heaven and which is the same clothing that those armies riding on white horses of Rev.19:14 are said to be wearing, ergo, armies on white horses wearing fine linen = the church.

One of the major errors made by many expositors is the mistake of making the resurrection mentioned in Revelation 20:4, synonymous with the resurrection and catching away of 1 Thes.4:13-18, when they are in fact two separate stages of the first resurrection. Another problem lending to this error is the interpretation of the word “first,” as in “first resurrection”. Expositors will take this word and will define “first” as meaning “only” or “single” as in “a one-time” resurrection. The problem with that is that scripture demonstrates that there are multiple resurrections as follows:

  • Christ the first fruits (1 Cor.15:23)
  • The church at his appearing (1 Thes.4:13-18, 1 Cor.15:51-53)
  • The male child/144,000 (Rev.12:5)
  • The two witnesses (Rev.11:7-12)
  • The great tribulation saints (Rev.20:4)

Jesus initiated the first resurrection, he being the first fruits, which will be followed by the resurrection and catching away of the church as revealed in 1 Thes.4:13-18, followed by the male child/144,000 which takes place in the middle of Daniel’s seven, then the two witnesses, and then the great tribulation saints, which takes place after Christ returns to the earth to end the age as seen in Rev.20:4. This is that same group wearing white robes which no man could count that we are introduced to in Rev.7:9-17. All of these stages of resurrection fall under the banner of first resurrection, which is in contrast to the resurrection which takes place at the end of the thousand years upon whom the second death has power over.

Something else to take into consideration regarding the resurrection of the great tribulation saints here in Rev.20:4 is that there is no mention of living believers being changed and caught up, but only a resurrection of those who will have been beheaded. In contrast, both 1 Thes.4:13-18 and 1 Cor.15:51-53 mention both the dead and living in Christ being resurrected and caught up, respectively. Another clue found in Rev.20:4 that these are the great tribulation saints is the fact that the Scripture states that they were beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and the word of God, and because they had not worshiped the beast, his image nor did they receive his mark on their foreheads or hands. This would clearly demonstrate that this group is not made up of people from all walks of history, but is speaking specifically of those who come out of that future time during the beast’s reign. These great tribulation saints are the same that are mentioned in Dan.7:25 who are delivered into the hands of the beast for a time, times and a half a time, which is that last 3 1/2 years of Daniels seven, and are the same saints mentioned in Rev.13:7 who the beast conquers and makes war against for forty-two months, which again is also referring to that last 3 1/2 years.

To recap, it is the bride/church that is riding on white horses and wearing white linen following Christ out of heaven in Rev.19:14 demonstrating that they will have already been in heaven. This would also support John 14:1-3 where Jesus told his disciples, and therefore all believers, that he was going to prepare a place for us and that he would come again and receive us to himself and take us back to the Father’s house, that where he is we may be also. In contrast, Rev.20:4 is specifically a resurrection *only* and that of the great tribulation saints who will have been killed during the great tribulation. And lastly, the first resurrection is comprised of multiple stages which all fall under the banner of the first resurrection.

 

Blessings in Christ

 

 

 

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Jul
21

 

The purpose for providing the following information listed here in this document is to show that, the two riders on white horses as presented in the opening of the first seal found in Rev.6:1-2 and Rev.19:1-16 are representing two completely different riders. In the margin of my bible, adjacent to the white horse and its rider at the opening of the first seal are the words “Christ Victor.” However, the reference in the margin linking these two riders as both being Christ is simply based on the fact that both are riding on white horses. As we shall see, the description of these riders is vastly different. Let us compare the characteristics of the two riders as listed below.

 

Rider on the White Horse of the First Seal (Rev.6:1-2):

  • Holds a bow
  • Was given a crown
  • Rides out as a conqueror bent on conquest

 

Rider on the White Horse of Rev.19:11-16:

  • Rider is called Faithful and True
  • With justice He judges and makes war
  • His eyes are like blazing fire
  • On his head are many crowns
  • Has a name written on him that no one knows but He himself
  • Is dressed in a robe dipped in blood
  • His name is the Word of God
  • Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations
  • He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty
  • On his robe and on his thigh the name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

Just a cursory look at the characteristics of the two riders would demonstrate that they are not representing the same rider. One of the commonalities of these two riders is the mention of both having a crown and crowns respectively. The first subject of interest is that the word translated as “Crown” for the first seal rider is “Stephanos” which was a wreath (garland), awarded to a victor in the ancient athletic games, the victors crown. The translation for “Crown” for the rider of chapter 19 is the word “Diadema,” which is properly, a royal crown: “a narrow filet encircling the brow,” a “kingly ornament for the head”. Another point of interest is that the first rider is said to be [given] a single crown (Stephanos), whereas the rider of chapter 19 is said to [have] many crowns (Diadema).

Another characteristic of the rider of the horse of the first seal, is that he rides out as a conqueror bent on conquest. First, it should be noted that, it is the Lamb looking as if it had been slain (Jesus Christ) who is opening the seals and therefore, it is unlikely that he is also representing the rider of the first seal and that because it would be inferring that Jesus would be revealed as the one going out to conquer on the earth, yet, at the sixth bowl judgment Jesus says, “Behold I come like a thief!” The seals, trumpets and bowl judgments are chronological in order and therefore, if He is making the statement at the sixth bowl judgment “Behold, I come like a thief,” then this would show that he has not yet returned to the earth and he therefore could not be the rider on the white horse of the first seal who is going out to conquer.

Another consideration regarding this rider who goes out to conquer and is bent on conquest is most likely in reference to the beast, that antichrist in relation to his conquering of the great tribulation saints. For regarding that beast in Rev.13:7, we are told that he is given power to make war against the saints and to [conquer] them for 42 months, which is what his attribute of conquering may be in reference to. Consequently, the first rider is also said have a “Bow” which immediately draws the reader’s attention to the absence of arrows. This may be in reference to the fact that, not only does this beast conquer the saints, but the rest of the inhabitants of the earth as well. However, the conquering of the saints is that of imprisonment and death for keeping the testimony of Jesus and the word of God and for not worshiping beast, his image and not receiving his mark, whereas, the conquering of the inhabitants of the earth would be done without physical force, ergo, no arrows, but through deception. That being said, I believe that the first seal rider on the white horse is representing that beast who comes up from the Abyss, that antichrist, that eighth king/head who receives the fatal wound, also of whom Paul referred to as the man of lawlessness.

Something else to take into consideration is that, at the opening of the first seal John had already been shown a vision of a rider on a white horse. Then later, after the completion of the seals, trumpets and bowl judgments, John again sees a rider on a white horse. It is important to note that John did not identify the rider on the white horse of chapter 19 as being the same as the rider that he had previously seen coming out at the opening of the first seal. What is obvious is that both riders are described as having completely different characteristics.

In contrast to the rider of the first seal, the rider in chapter 19 is easily identified as the Lord Jesus Christ. One way that we can ascertain this (and there are several), is from the fact that when John sees the Glorified Christ in chapter 1:16 of Revelation, he describes him as having a double-edged sword proceeding out of his mouth. Also, in the letter to the church of Pergamum, the Lord introduces himself as, “Him who has the sharp double-edged sword.” which can be linked to the rider in chapter 19 verses 15 and 21 who is said to have a sharp double-edged sword which proceeds from his mouth with which to strike down the nations. Another major discerning factor is that the name of the rider is said to be called “The Word of God.” This designation would also link the rider as being Jesus, for in John 1:1-2 Scripture states that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The Word of God is just one of many designations for the Lord Jesus. The rest of the characteristics of the rider in Rev.19:11-16 also identify the rider as being the Lord Jesus.

Rider is called Faithful and True:

In Rev.3:14 in the letter to the church of Laodicea, Jesus introduces himself as “The Faithful and True Witness,” which of course would link Jesus with the rider in chapter 19 who is also being referred to as Faithful and True and the ruler of God’s creation.

His eyes are like blazing fire:

This characteristic is mentioned first in Rev.1:14 where John describes the glorified Christ as having hair white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. Next, in Rev.2:18 in the letter to the church of Thyatira, Jesus introduces himself as, “The Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. Being that this characteristic is identified with the Lord Jesus, we can then make the connection to the rider on the horse in Rev.19:12 which also states that “His Eyes are like blazing fire.”

Has a name written on him that no one knows but He himself:

In Rev.3:12 in the letter to the church of Philadelphia, Jesus’ promise to the overcomer is that he will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. This new name is that same name that is written on the rider of the white horse that no one knows by He himself, again identifying Jesus as the rider of the white horse in chapter 19:12.

On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

In Rev.17:14 regarding the beast and the ten kings, it is said that, “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” The title of “Lamb” is of course in reference to Jesus our Passover Lamb and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Also of note is the fact that the title of Lamb is used interchangeably with the designation of “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

Out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations

The first place in Scripture where we see the mention of this sharp double-edged sword is in Rev.1:16 where John writes, “In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword.” That the One speaking to John here is the Lord Jesus, is evident by the fact that the rider on the white horse in Rev.19:11-21, who is without a doubt identified as the Lord Jesus, is also said to have a sharp sword which proceeds from his mouth and that to strike down the nations.

In Rev.2:12, in his letter to Pergamum, the Lord also introduced himself in the following manner, “These are the words of him who has the sharp double-edged sword.”

Just what is meant by a sharp doubled-edged sword proceeding out his mouth? Is Scripture here speaking literally of a sharp double-edged sword proceeding out of the mouth of the Lord to strike down the nations or is it symbolic for something else? In John’s vision, he is no doubt seeing a literal sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, for he was told to write down everything he saw and heard. But as always, we must allow Scripture to interpret Scripture. I believe that the following Scriptures shed much light on the meaning behind the double-edge sword:

Eph.6:17 – “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Heb.4:12 – “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

In Eph.6:17, the word of God is said to be the “the sword of the Spirit,” where In Heb.4:12, the word of God is said to be [sharper than any double-edged sword]. It would appear then, that the sharp double-edged-sword is meant figuratively to represent the word of God. In the case of the rider on the white horse in Rev.19:15, 21, the meaning then behind the sharp double-edged sword proceeding out of his mouth, is that the Lord speaks His word, the word of God to those kings, generals, their armies and all who will have been gathered there and they all fall dead, for the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword.

Jul
21

The word “Preterist” comes from the Latin “Praeter” meaning past or beyond. The view of the Preterist is that of a person who maintains that the prophecies in the Apocalypse have been fulfilled, which includes the resurrection and catching away and all of the events listed in the book of Revelation. Their claim is that everything was fulfilled in A.D. 70 at the destruction of the temple by Titus and his Legions. The following verse is just one that they used to prove that Jesus has already returned and that everything prophesied regarding end-times has already been fulfilled.

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Mt.16:28)

The Preterists uses the Scripture above to prove that Christ’s return to end the age would take place during his generation by citing that some of those standing there in his presence would not die before they saw the Son of Man coming in his kingdom. One of the errors that they make is their misinterpretation of the words “The Son of Man coming in his kingdom,” which they interpret as Christ’s return to the earth to end the age. Here is a listing from each of the three gospels regarding this same saying:

  • before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (Mt.16:28)
  • before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power (Mk.9:1)
  • before they see the kingdom of God (Lk.9:27)

In order to demonstrate that the Scripture above is not referring to the Lord’s arrival at the end of the age, we must take an example from another Scripture using the same words:

“And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (Mt.12:27-28)

In the verse above, Jesus states that by his driving out demons that the kingdom of God had come upon them. Now, obviously this statement was not in reference to Christ’s return to the earth to end the age, but was in reference to casting out demons by the power of God. The same is true of the previous Scripture in regards those who would not taste death before they see the kingdom of God. In order to get more clarity regarding what Jesus was saying; let’s look at Luke’s version of the same Scripture.

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” About eight days after Jesus said this; he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.” (Lk.9:27-29)

In Luke’s version, notice that after Jesus says “there are some standing here who will not taste of death before they see the kingdom of God” that the very next verse says, “About eight days after Jesus said this” which links the previous information in verse 27 with the information that follows in verses 28 and 29. That being said, the verse continues on with Jesus taking Peter, John and James with him up onto a mountain to pray. Peter, John and James are then those who were standing there of whom Jesus said would not taste of death before they saw the kingdom of God. The verse then goes on to reveal that while Jesus was praying, that he was transfigured before them. His face changed and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Jesus’ transfiguration is what he was referring to in regards to those standing there who would not see death before they saw the kingdom of God. Peter, John and James saw Christ in his glorified state, which was the fulfillment of seeing the kingdom of God and therefore verse 27 has nothing to do with Christ’s return to end the age as the Preterist’s would have us believe.

Dec
09

As the title suggests, this post is in regards to the woman and male child of Revelation chapter 12.  As usual, there seems to be confusion as to who both of these represent.  There are those that would have us believe that the woman represents the church, but God’s word does not support this assumption.   

“A great and wonderous sign appeared in heaven:  a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.” (Rev.12:1)

Whenever there is  symbolism in the book of Revelation, the meaning is either revealed within the book of Revelation itself or can be found elsewhere in God’s word. The identity of the woman is made very clear, as it is revealed  in  Joseph’s dream found in Genesis 37:9-10.

“Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, ” I had another dream, and this time the sun, moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I  and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?”

Here Joseph tells his father Jacob and his brothers the dream that he had and thereby reveals the identity of the woman of Revelation 12. She is said to be clothed with the [Sun], with the [moon] under her feet and a crown of [twelve stars].  Jacob, in responding to Joseph’s dream, reveals the symbolism of the sun being Jacob himself, the moon representing his wives and the eleven stars representing his brothers or eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel, Joseph being the twelfth star.  Therefore, the woman in chapter twelve of Revelation collectively represents the nation Israel. 

“The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with and iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.”

Regarding the dragon, there are seperate symbolic meanings for the heads, horns and crowns, which  are revealed in Revelation 17, but the dragon here is also revealed as Satan in Revelation 12:9.  In the verse above, the woman gives birth to a male son and the dragon is standing before the woman ready to devour her child the moment it is  born.  Since we have already seen that the woman represents Israel and the dragon is representing Satan, he is  standing before Israel waiting for her to give birth, which begs the question, who is the nation Israel giving birth to?

Many have interpreted the male child as, the Lord Jesus, but upon closer inspection, the context does not support this assumption. It is said that,  Satan is standing before Israel waiting  to devour her child the moment that it is born, but as stated in the verse, the child is snatched up to God and his throne before Satan can devour it.  The words “snatched up” are translated from the word “Harpazo,” which is the same word used to describe the living in Christ who are changed in a moment, in the twinkling of eye and “Caught up” right after the resurrection takes place described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. The word denotes “force suddenly exercised” or to be “snatched away.” It is the same word used to describe paul when he was “Caught up” to the third heaven and  when the Spirit “caught away” Phillip from the Eunuch.  The idea is of being suddenly taken away by force and therefore, this male child is snatched up to God’s throne while still alive and is most likely changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye just as in the description of the church in 1 Thes.4:16. 

Furthrermore, it is said that the dragon is waiting to devour the child, but is unable to because it is snatched up to God’s throne.  This being the case, Jesus cannot be in view here as the male child. First of all, the dragon is waiting to devour (destroy) the child, but he is thwarted because the male child is snatched up to God’s throne, which shows that he escapes the dragon, while in contrast, Jesus was crucified, which would infer the opposite of escaping, that is, his being crucified would show in the symbolism that he was devoured by the dragon. 

Second, in contrast to the male child being “snatched up” to God’s throne, Jesus was resurrected. The word translated “resurrected” is the word “Anastasis, ” which means “a standing up again” and always refers to the dead.  Therefore, the male child is seen as twarting Satan by being snatched up to God’s throne without being devoured, whereas Jesus was crucified and after three days resurrected.

Who then is the woman/Israel giving birth to ? The main characteristic of the child that Israel gives birth to is that it is a “Male.” 

“And they sang a new song before the thone and before the four living creatures and the elders.  No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women,  for they kept themselves pure.”

This group of 144,000 are the same group that were sealed while on the earth with the seal of God in their foreheads in Revelation chapter 7.  Here in Revelation chapter 14, they are seen  with Christ on the mount Zion of heaven. The verse above states that they did not defile themselves with “Women”, which would infer that these 144,000 are all male, ergo the  “Male Child.”  Here in Revelation chapter 14, the 144,000 are shown here after they have been snatched up to God’s throne.

Who are 144,000? As we have seen, Israel gives birth to them, that is, the 144,000 come out of Israel. Imagine a whole pie and the pie represents the nation Israel and just for the sake of this illustration let’s say that the pie represents one million Israelites. Now, cut out a slice of that pie to  represent the 144,000 that comes out of Israel, that is, those she gives birth to.   

What is the meaning that Israel “gives birth” to them? In Rev. 14:4 it is stated:

“They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.”

The meaning of them being offered as “first fruits” is that, these 144,000 are a select group that come out of  Israel, who by the grace of God come to the knowledge that Jesus is in fact their Messiah, ergo gives birth to. And of them it is said, they follow the Lamb wherever he goes.

To recap, the woman is the nation Israel and she gives birth to a male child which is a collective designation for the 144,000 that come to the knowledge that Jesus is their Messiah, they are snatched up to God’s throne and the rest of the nation Israel, who have still not confessed that Jesus is the Christ, flee into the wilderness (desolation) where they are cared for by God for 3 1/2 years up until Jesus returns. I believe that sometime prior to Jesus returning, the woman will also come to the knowledge that Jesus is their Messiah, else why would God care for them and keep them through the great tribulation period? Along with the remainder of the tribulation saints, Israel will go into the millennial kingdom in their mortal to repopulate the earth.

Thank you for reading my post. My prayer for you is that God would bless you and strengthen you in your faith, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.

For those of you who have not yet believed in Christ, I pray that God will reveal the truth of His word and confirm it in your hearts by His Holy Spirit. Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, for whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

Yours In Christ

Nov
25

Revelation 13:16-18

” He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom.  If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.”

I am writing on this subject in hopes of giving some insite to those who have no understanding of this prophecy,  as well as  for those who are being misled by those who those who are false teachers, as well as for those who have just not studied this subject at all.

We are that last generation, the only generation that could have any understanding of what the  “mark of the beast” represents, because it has to do with our current technology.  Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, when the first ATM machines and UPC codes were  introduced, I knew that this technology was going to have  relevance with that coming mark. At first, people were only able to withdraw cash from the ATM’s, but as the years and technology progressed, we began to see the POS (Point of Sale) devices appearing in all places of business, allowing you to purchase your burger and fries, fill up your gas tank or buy food at the grocery store and then, with the swipe of your debit card, automatically debit  your bank account in real time.  Today, you are able to purchase gas by simply waving a key fob past a scanner and your account is debited in the same way as with the debit card.

Currently at Ikea, Home Depot and now also in grocery stores (to name a few),  you are able to bring your merchandise through an unstaffed check out line, scan the UPC code on each of your purchased products and then slide your debit card through the POS reader and your account is debited and you’re done. Recently, I have noticed that the POS devices are now built right into the air and water recepticles at the service stations, so that if you  need to fill your tires with air or put water in your radiator, you can just swipe your card, fill up your tires and the 75 cents is deducted right from your bank account.

But now, arising from this POS technology, they have taken the next step and that being Radio Frequency Identification or RFID chips, which are smaller than a grain of rice and work in the same manner as the strip on your debit card. The idea is the same in that, you make your purchase and the chip is scanned and the amount is debited from your account. What is the difference between the POS/debit card verses the RFID? The RFID chip technology is subdermal, i.e. to be used under the skin.  The technology for this  chip is meant to be implanted under the skin, so that when you make a purchase, the RFID chip when scanned, debits your bank account in the same way as the debit card. Sound familiar? This technology first appeared about 7 years ago and has been progressing ever since.  Some establishments are already experimenting with this technology, to name one, the Barcelona Beach Club in Spain, where the patrons have the chips implanted so that they can pay for their drinks by simply waving their hands across the counter and debiting their accounts and therefore, no need to carry around  wallets or purses.  The point is that, the technology for the mark of the beast is here and staring us right in the face! As time goes on, this technology will continue to progress just as the POS system did for making purchases with the debit card. However, the actual fulfullment of this prophechy will not come into being until that antichrist and his side kick, the false prophet make the mark manditory, which will come about during the middle of the last seven years before Christ’s return.  As the word of God makes clear, he, the false prophet, will force all people to receive that mark in their right hand or forehead.  How will he force the people of the earth to receive it? I don’t believe that it will be done by physical force, but will be done by making all the other forms of buying and selling obsolete, such as cash, checks, debit and credit cards, money orders, etc and therefore,  the people of the world will be forced to receive it in order to be able to buy or sell.  When that time comes, the only system of buying and selling will be through the use of this  mark and therefore, without it, no one will not be able to pay their bills, buy gas, groceries or make any kind of purchases or even have a job for that matter, because all purchases will be done through electronic credit and debit by use of that chip via computer transaction.  By removing all of the other options of buying and selling, it will force the inhabitants of the earth to recieve his mark and thereby, they will be worshiping him because, it is the beasts mark.  The following is a warning to those who would receive this mark:

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice:

“If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” (Rev. 14:9-11)

Jesus said, “Whoever loves his life more than me is not worthy of me.”

He also said:

“Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my name sake and the gospel will gain it.”

The reason that people during that time will receive the mark, will be to save their lives, for without the mark they will not be able to buy or sell or even be apart of the world system of that time. But by recieving the mark, they will be saving their lives only at the expense of losing their eternal life, reason being is that they will have turned away from the creator who saved them, by worshiping a man who will be proclaiming himself to be God (2 Thes 2:9-12).

Now, the other reason for this posting, as mentioned above, is because there are those who have been lead astray and who are believing and teaching that the verse mentioning the mark of the beast is to be interpreted symbolically and not literally. They say that the mention of the “right hand” represents “doing”, as in “taking action” and the “forehead” represents “The mind”, as in “making a decision.”  Then, they merged these with the fact that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) changed the observance of the sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday and therefore you have the “forehead” as in making the decision to oberserve the sabbath on Sunday and the “right hand” equals the  act of  “doing”, which is the actual act of observing the sabbath on Sunday and viola, the mark of the beast equals, observing the sabbath on Sunday.  It is amazing to me that anyone would follow after this belief, especially when we have a literal fulfillment of God’s word regarding the mark,  which is being developed to go into the literal right hand or forehead and will literally be used for the purpose of buying and selling, just as it is plainly written in God’s word.  Make no mistake, this is not just a matter of  “this is my interpretation and this is yours.” This is dangerous because, those who have and continue to teach this, say that “anyone who believes that the mark of the beast is anything other than the observance of the sabbath on Sunday is a deceiver.” So, when someone like me comes along and teaches about a literal  mark in the right hand or forehead, I’m a deceiver and not to be listened to, which means that no matter what kind of proof I have from the written word God, they will not listen. The other danger is that, they have made the statement that if a computer chip does come out for the purpose of buying and selling, they will happily receive it, because they are convinced that their interpretation is correct and therefore, as far as they are concerned, a literal device in the right hand or forehead is not the mark of the beast. I can just see it now, these people standing before God and them saying,

“You mean your word means exactly what it says?”

Further more, there are some who are teaching that the book of Revelation and the related verses are to be labeled under hyperbole, symbolism and poetry.” Hyperbole is defined as, “exaggerated, not to be taken literally.” There is no poetry in the book of Revelation, whatsoever. However, while there is definitely symbolism in the book of Revelation, that symbolism is either explained within the book of revelation itself or is revealed in the other  books  throughout God’s word. Right in the very first verse of Revelation, it states:

“The Revelaton of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place.”

So, God the Father gave the revelation to Jesus to show us what must soon take place and these people are claiming that the book of revelation is to be considered exaggerated and not to be taken literally. Seems to me that their claim has a conflict of interest with God’s purpose, as his purpose is to make known the things that are soon to take place, while according to them, everything is exaggerated and not to be taken literally. Somebody is lying and it isn’t God, for God is not a man to lie nor the Son of Man to repent. What he says, is what he means!

I have previously mentioned that this mark becomes manditory during the middle of that last seven year period spoken in Daniel 9:27, which says:

“He will confirm a covanant with many for one ‘seven’. In the middle of the ‘ seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

The “one seven” that is mentioned,  is actually a one seven year period. So, as we see from the verse above, there is going to be an abomination of desolation set up on a wing of the temple, which is specified in Mt. 24:15 as the “holy place”, which is within the temple that will be rebuilt in Jerusalem.  The mention of this abomination is also mentioned in Revelation 13:14-16, but only by description and not by name.

“He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to  be killed.”

Now, my reason for saying that the mark will become manditory during the middle of that seven years is because, immediately following the announcement of the “image” (abomination) in the verse listed above, is the description of the mark of the beast and therefore, since we know that this abomination is set up in the middle of the seven and the mark is mentioned immediately after, this would put the mark as becoming manditory at the middle of the seven as well.  Further more, I also believe that the abomination and the mark will have some relevance to one another. For a fuller explanation of this, please do a search from Google Blog on “The Abomination of Desolation” and look for my post, which has the same title.

In case you were wondering, from my personal studies, I don’t believe that we, the church will be here during that last seven year period. In fact, I don’t believe that we will even see the beast, also called the “man of lawlessness” and the “antichrist.” For a detailed explanation of this event, please do a search on “The Resurrection and Catching Away” and look for my post having the same title.  We have been witnessing the technology for this system of buying and selling via computer transaction for some time and now we are seeing the actual prototype that will be used in the near future.  I say “near future” because, if we are witnessing the technology for the mark now, it will not take long for it to be implimented, seeing that the basic system for it is already set up. All that will be required is to have a device put under the skin that performs the same function as the debit card and now you have your own personal mark that will allow you to credit and debit your own  bank account via computer transactions.

Thank you for reading my post. My prayer for you is that God would bless you and strengthen you in your faith, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.

For those of you who have not yet believed in Christ, I pray that God will reveal the truth of His word and confirm it in your hearts by His Holy Spirit. Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, for whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

Yours in Christ – Don

Nov
10

I am writing this post specifically to prove the fact of  “continued consciousness”  of ones soul/spirit after death based on the word of God, and this being in response to those  who claim that once a person dies that they are unconscious, unaware and know nothing. They say this to deny the belief that those who die without the Lord are cast into Hades and that the dead are asleep and unconscious. To back up thier claim they will rely on Ecclesiastes 9:5, which says:

“For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten.”

They cite this verse of scripture while ignoring the many other verses throughout the word of God which speaks to the contrary. First of all, it is important to understand that a human being is made up of body, soul and spirit and not just flesh,  for the word of God says in Hebrews 4:12:

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing [soul and spirit], joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

So, in the verse above, the word of God is mentioned as affecting body, soul and spirit. In the Ecclesiastes verse, the statement is made that “the dead know nothing.” This is in reference to the [body] that has died and it does not know anything, it is not conscious because the soul and spirit have left it and it is now in the ground and decaying, but  what about the soul and spirit? 

II Corinthians 5:6-8  Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

In the verses above, Paul makes the distinction that, as long as we are in these bodies we are absent from the Lord and if we are away from the body, that is, dead, then we are at home with the Lord. In essense, Paul is saying that, as long as we remain alive, we are restricted to our bodies which keeps us from he Lord’s presence, but at the time of death, when our spirits are released from our bodies, then we go to be in His presence. The following event of Lazarus and the Rich Man,  as told by the Lord,  gives us much insite to what happens after death for both the righteous and the wicked found in Luke 16:19-31:

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment , he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side .  So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’ He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father’s house,  for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’ ” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “

So, from the story above, we can see that it reveals that both men died and their bodies were buried, but their souls/spirits went to Hades.  Now, at the time prior to Christ’s descending into the heart of the earth after his death, both the righteous and wicked, when they died, went to Hades, which as the story reveals, had two compartments that were divided by a great chasm. On one side, a place of torment in flame and on the other, a place of paradise. As we have seen, their bodies had died and were buried, but yet here we find their souls/spirits  in Hades.  They are consciousness just as when they were alive, having the ability to see,  hear, feel,  speak and reason.  Also, when the rich man asks father Abraham to send Lazarus to his father’s house to warn his five brothers so that they would not come to the same place as him, Abraham says, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” 

Basically, the rich man is asking father Abraham to have Lazarus  resurrected in order to go and warn his his brothers  to repent so that they will not come to the same place of torment that he is in.

Now, for those of you who are still not convinced that after death the soul is still aware and conscious, there are many other proofs in the word of God to be presented. Take for example the following verses in Luke 23:39-42.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ”Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him: “Don’t you fear God,” he said, ” since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me  when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, ” I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

So, here we have one of the two theives that were crucified with Christ, having a repentent heart and asking Christ to remember him when he comes into His kingdom and Jesus says “today you will be with me in paradise.”  How is that possible,  if after we die we are in the grave and know nothing? We know for a fact that both the bodies of Jesus and the thief were dead before sunset because the sabbath was approaching and at the request of the religous leaders, the guards went out and broke their legs to hurry the process of death, except for Jesus who was already dead, which fulfilled the scriptures which say  “Not a bone of his body shall broken.” Now, if as some say, that we know nothing once we are dead, that is, we have no consciousness, how is it that Jesus could make the promise to the thief that he would be with Him in paradise that very day, when we know that they both died and were buried? The answer again is that, their bodies were truely dead and buried upon the earth, but their souls/spirits were in paradise. Jesus’ reference to paradise was most likely in regards to the same place where Abraham and Lazarus were, which was seperated from the place where the rich man was in torment. What? Still not convinced? Then let’s go investigate so more of what the word of God has to reveal.

Matthew 17:1-3  After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah talking with Jesus.

Hey, It’s Moses and Elijah! What are you guys doing up? According to the Jehovah’s witnessess and others you’re supposed to be in your grave, unconscious, where you know nothing! Well, how about that! I can’t speak for Elijah because God took him like he did Enoch and so he never experienced physical death, but as for Moses, we know that he was buried by God personally and yet here he is speaking with Jesus.

Here in the book of Revelation 6:9-10, John has been changed and caught up to heaven in the spirit  and a mighty angel asks the following question:

“And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in  a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’ But no one in heaven, or on earth or [under the earth] could open the scroll or even look inside it.”

Under the earth? If the person who dies knows nothing because they are in the grave and has no consciousness and are unaware, then why would the angel include those who are under the earth? It would be a moot point to include those who have no consciousness. What the angel is speaking about is in regards to those who are under the earth, that is, those whose souls are in Hades. Just as the rich man was buried and his body was decaying up on the earth, his soul was very much conscious and aware being in hades and in torment.

I know! I know! There are still some who don’t believe, so lets go look at the next reference to those under the earth in Revelation 5:13:

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and [under the earth] and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing:

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!”

Huh! That’s pretty amazing that all those dead people under the earth, who know nothing in their graves and are unconscious, but are going to be  singing at some future time.  Again, those who are under the earth are those who died without faith, who are in the spirit and went to Hades, the same place as the rich man, where they are very much aware and are conscious of their existance.  Getting tired of all this proof yet? I can just imagine all of the die-hards who will continue to claim that there is no awareness after death, trying to get rid of the existence of Hades and will be looking for ways to refute everything that I have listed here. Let’s move on to the next proof of scripture:

Revelation 6:9 – 10  When he opened the fifth seal seal, I saw under the altar [the souls] of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

This is pretty much self explanitory in that, the souls of those who have died are  very much conscious and aware under the altar in heaven. The verse states that these people were  killed for the word of God and for the testimony that they maintained,  they are under the altar in heaven and they are speaking to the Lord and asking him how long it will be until he judges the inhabitants of the earth and avenges their blood and they are given white robes to wear.  That’s a lot of activity for dead guys who know  nothing.

So just to recap, it is the body, the mind that is unconscious and knows nothing and that because it has died and was buried and is decaying in the earth. On the other hand, for the person who dies in Christ, their soul/spirit goes to be in His presence at the time of death and they are very much conscious and aware. And for those who die who are not in Christ, their souls/spirits go into Hades and wait in torment just like the rich man in the story who was and is very aware and conscious of his existence . 

The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable. The soul is the essence of humanity’s being; it is who we are. The spirit is the aspect of humanity that connects with God. The body is the container for the soul and spirit.

Ahwatukee

 

 

 

 

 

Nov
06

As the title suggests, this posting is in regards to the first, second and third Woes, which are the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpet judgments respectively, as described in Revevelation chapters 9 and 12.  Personally, I believe that the reason that the woes are designated as such is because all three are demonic in nature.

First Woe/Fifth Trumpet – Revelation 9:1-11

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was give the key to the shaft of the Abyss. When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. The locust looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many chariots rushing into battle. They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months. They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.

First, we must identify who the star is that is falling from the sky to the earth.  It is said in the verse that  “The star was give the key to the shaft of the Abyss”, which immediately tells us that this is no literal star, as he is being given a key. Also, the star is referred to has a “He” and he is opening the Abyss. Therefore, we can deduce that this star is symbolic for some type of living entity. As always, the word of God will reveal the symbolisms found in the book of Revelation. For the answer to this, let’s jump up ahead and take a look at Revelation 12:3-4

“Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on the heads. His tail swept a third of the [stars] out of the sky and flung them to the earth.”

Notice that the dragon’s tail swept a third of the [stars] out of the sky. The answer to the identity of these stars is  given in Rev. 12:7-9

“And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon,  and the dragon and his [angels] fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his [angels] with him.”

 So we can see  from the verses above  that it mentions  the dragon who sweeps  a third of the [stars] out of the sky and flings them to the earth and then in verse 9 the dragon is identified as  Satan and he, along with his angels, are  being hurled to the earth and therefore, the stars and Satan’s angels are synonymous as they are used interchangeably to refer to the same group, that being angels. 

Now getting back to the [He] that opens the Abyss,  we can pretty much conclude that this [Star] is an angel. In regards to which camp this angel belongs to, i.e.  holy or fallen, I personally lean toward him being a fallen angel. The reason being is because of the wording that is used to describe his descent.

“I saw a star that had [fallen] from the sky to the earth.”

When we compare the  wording for the descent from heaven of the angel who unlocks the Abyss and compare it with the angel who locks it back up again at the end of the age, there is a difference between the two:

 Rev. 20:1 –  “And I saw an angel [coming down] out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.”   

Here, the angel is [coming down] out of heaven, opposed to the previous one who is [falling] from the sky. Also, in the earlier example where the [stars] are representing  fallen angels, it may be that since this angel here is also symbolically referred to as a [star], this may be a clue indicating that he is a  fallen angel as well. 

 The word Abyss comes from the word ‘Abussos’ whose meaning according to Strong’s concordence is ‘bottomless’, referring to the lower regions of the earth, as the abode of demons.  Now in regards to the Abyss, this is the same word used when Jesus encountered those demons after he crossed the sea of Galilee over to the area of the Gadarenes found in Luke 8:30-31, who were collectively called ‘Legion’ who begged Jesus not to order them to go into the Abyss.  It is also the same place that Satan is cast into by the mighty angel when Christ returns to earth to set up His millennial kindom at the end of the age found in (Rev. 20:1-3). 

When he opens the Abyss, smoke rises up darkening the sky and out from the smoke comes locusts that come down upon the earth and as was  stated, they are given power like scorpions of the earth, which is the ablilty to sting. There are many who have written books on the subject of Revelation, some interpreting these locust creatures as Apache heliocopters, planes or some other type of military vehicle.  But as we go through the characteristics of these locusts, it is my intention to prove otherwise.

Whenever studying the word of God, especially the book of Revelation, it is important to pay close attention to every detail. First of all, these locusts have to be let out of the Abyss by an angel, which requires a key to open it. Whether it is a spiritual or physical key, it is not mentioned. They also come out of the Abyss, which as mentioned earlier is the same place that ‘Legion’ begged Jesus not to send them into and is also the same place where Satan is eventually cast into at the return of Christ and therefore, I doubt very much that this is referring to some secret underground helicopter base, as they would have one heck of a big bug problem! It is said that these locusts are given power to torment mankind for five months, those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads. Something to take notice of is that it is said that they are [given] power to torment by stinging for five months, which means that someone of authority has got to be granting them that ability.  As well as being given power to torment, they are also told not to harm the grass, plants or trees, which is normally what a locust would do, except that they are commanded not to.  So by these statements, it appears that these locust creatures are  inteligent beings as they are obeying instructions.  

As stated, the only group of people who they are not to harm are those who have the seal of God in their foreheads, which are made up only of  those 144,000 mentioned as being sealed in  revelation chapter 7 and mentioned again in chapter 14. They are 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, which are referred to as the servants of God, which means that these are obviously Israelites that have come to acknowledge  Jesus as their Messiah, also referred to as the “Firstfruits” of God.” So here again, we have more proof that these locust creatures are displaying characteristics of  inteligence, in that they are able to discern between those who have the seal of God and those who do not. And just for the record, it is stated that only those with the seal of God in their foreheads are exempt from the stings of these creatures. I bring this up because,  some  in their writings  have made the statement that the saints of God are included in this protectected from the stings of these creatures. I  pray that this will be the case, but scripture simply does not support this. It only states that the 144,000 out of Israel are exempt from this and so we cannot go beyond what is written. In regards to the torment that they impose, it is said that men will seek death, but death will elude them. We see it everyday on tv, the internet, in the papers, that almost everyday someone is taking their life or the lives of others, either by shooting, by overdose or by some other means, but during the time of this plague, a person will not be able to escape it by killing themselves. Some might say, how is that posible? In answer to this question, we could also look at the two witnessess who will not be able to be harmed by anyone until the three and a half years of their prophecy has come to an end. In fact,  it is written that if anyone tries to harm them fire will proceed from their mouths and devour their enemies.  Something to be mindful of is that God controls the elements, atoms, molecules, etc.  In any case, death will not be available at the time of this judgment. 

These locusts are described as looking like horses prepared for battle. On their heads, it is said that they have something like crowns of gold, their faces resemble human faces, they have hair like women’s hair, and their teeth are like lions’ teeth.  I don’t know of any garden variety locusts that fit that discription! It is also said that they have breastplates like iron and they also have wings. As if it wasn’t bad enough that they have tails like scorpions to sting with, they can also fly!

Another interesting fact about these creatures is that it is said that they have a king over them who resides in the Abyss and whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon and in Greek Apollyon, which in both languages means [destroyer]. This is the same entity of whom it is said comes out of the Abyss and attacks and kills God’s two witnesses found in Rev. 11:7-8. He is also mentioned in Rev. 17:8  as the beast who once was, now is not and yet will come up out of the Abyss and then go to his destruction. After studying all of the characteristics of these locust creatures and the fact that their king is referred to as the “Angel of the Abyss”, I would have to come to the conclusion that these locusts creatures that come out of the Abyss are none other than demonic beings, demons.

First Woe conclusion:  what we have are possibly millions of demons that have the appearance of locusts that look like horses prepared for battle, they have hair like women’s hair, teeth like lions teeth, faces that resemble men’s faces, they can fly, they have tails like scorpions that sting and they have as their king, the fallen angel of the Abyss and who are commanded to torment everyone with their stings for five months, all except those that have the seal of God in their foreheads.  One can only hope that posttribulationalism is false!

“The first woe is past, two other woes are yet to come.”

Second Woe!/Sixth Trumpet  –  Revelation 9:13-21

The sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice coming from the horns of the golden altar that is before God. It said to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of the mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their number. The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury. The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood — idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. 

Unlike the previous trumpet where death flees away from those who try to kill themselves and the plague is strictly to torment and not to kill, this second woe is just the opposite, as a third of mankind will be killed by these mounted troops.  Here in this sixth trumpet, the second woe, is one of only two places where a percentage is given in the book of Revelaton as to how many fatalities there will be as a result, which as mentioned, is a third of the earths population. Taking into consideration that earths current population is just over six billion, a third of that would leave four billion people, which means that two billion people will be killed from this judgment alone. The other percentage listed,  is found in the fourth seal (Rev. 6:7-8), which states that a fourth of the earths population will be killed. If you combine the two percentages, it totals up to fifty percent, half of the earths population being decimated by just those two judgments alone. What some writers have done is that when they get to this sixth trumpet, they make the statement that at this point half of the worlds population has been killed off, which is  incorrect.  Remember earlier I said that it is important to pay attention to every detail. What these writers fail to take into account are the fatalities that are not listed as a result of the first, second and third trumpet judgments, which after studying those judgments and the impact they will have, you could realistically add on another billion and a half to two billion people to the list of fatalies, which would leave around one to two billion people left on the earth by the time that the six trumpet has completed; and thats not counting the fatalities that will be caused by the bowl judgments which follow.  

As stated there are four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates that have been kept there for millennia for the purpose of being released at a specific hour, day, week, month and year to perform a specific task, which is to kill a third of mankind. The fact that these angels are bound, tells me that they are of the fallen variety, else they would not be bound. Now one thing that I want to mention is that, many writers on this subject have played follow the leader and have interpreted the two hundered million mounted troops as being synonymous with the the kings from the east that come across the Euphrates river which is dried up at the sixth bowl judgment, which I could never figure out as to why they made that assessment. The only thing that the sixth trumpet and the sixth bowl judgments have in common is the Euphrates river. The kings of the east cross over it and these four evil angels are bound there. that’s it!  That is hardly enough information to conclude that the kings of the east and the two hundred million mounted troops are one in the same.  First of all, the first thing that these four angels do once they have been released,  is to go and gather this army of mounted troops for the purpose of killing a third of mankind.  The way in which they perform this is through these horses that are mentioned, which have fire, smoke and sulfur proceeding from their mouths. Let’s look at the discription of these horses.

John describes them first of all as horses, which is something the people of  every age would have in common with John, that is to say, when John mentions things of God’s creation such as a horse, lion, serpent, mountain, the sea, etc, we are on the same playing field, that is that we can relate on the  same level as to what John is conveying.  That said, when John says “horse”, he means “horse” and not some futuristic military vehicle, because John knows what a horse looks like.  John has already displayed the ability to convey the  idea of likeness. For example in verse 17 he says that the “heads of the horses [resembled] the heads of lions”, i.e. not exactly a lions head, but something resembling it. And with an earlier example in the first woe, he said regarding the description of the locusts, that “their faces [resembled] human faces.”  My point is, in describing the horses, John does not say that they  resemble horses or have the likeness of horse, but for all intent and purposes these are literal horses, with the exception of the heads that resemble lions heads and the tails that resemble serpent’s. These are the only differences, as the rest of body is every bit a horses body. Another example is, when John  witnesses the second trumpet judgment, he is describing a meteor or an astroid coming through the earth’s atmosphere and uses the phrase “Something like a huge mountain all ablaze, was thrown into the sea.”  John doesn’t know to be able to refer to it as an asteroid or a meteor because those are future, scientific designations and so he relates it to something close to it, like a huge mountain. To further my point, if John was was seeing in his vision a tank for example,  he would not call it a horse because John knows what a horse looks like. He wouldn’t even say that it even resembled a horse. If anything,  he would call it a chariot or a carriage because it has wheels and so the closest thing that he could relate  to a tank or any other vehicle would be  something relatable to his time era, which would be a chariot or a carriage, which in fact he does mention in Revelation 18:13 to describe automobiles. The point that I am getting at here is,  since these are apparently literal horses, and the fact that they have heads that resemble lions heads with  fire, smoke and sulfur proceeding from their mouths, this leads me to believe that these two hundred million mounted troups are another group of demonic beings. And if you think that fire proceeding from the mouth of these creatures is too far fetched, remember that in revelation chapter eleven that in describing God’s two witnesses, it is said that anyone who tries to harm them will be killed by fire proceeding from their mouths.

Consider the fact that in the previous trumpet judgment, the Abyss was opened and according to Rev. 20:1-3, the Abyss remains open until Christ’s return at the end of the the tribulation period, which is the end of the age. What if  these four evil angels, when they are released, go and gather from the Abyss these two hundred million mounted demonic troups for the purpose of killing a third of mankind? Something else to consider is another characteristic of these horses of which John said ” their tails were like snakes, having heads with which they inflict injury.” So in regards to the tails of these horses, unlike the heads that kill, the tails inflict injury. This would be another reason to consider these as demonic beings as opposed to some futurist military vehicles.

Notice that after a third of mankind was killed by these plagues, that it states that of those who are left, that were not killed, that they still would not repent of worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood. Nor did they repent of their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.  The first thing to take notice of is, that by saying that those who were still alive after that plague was completed, that they would not repent of those sins mentioned, would infer that these plagues are performed in a relatively short period of time, opposed to many centuries. The reason that I bring this up is because, you have those who believe what is called the historical view that say, the seals, trumpets and bowls represent events that have taken place throughout history starting with the first century, which would have the whole wrath of God spread out over two thousand years and therefore, it would not make sense for John to say, that those who did not die from these plagues still would not repent. The plague denotes immediate calamity, with those who are left alive  not responding favorably to God, who is looking for repentance. The historical view would also not coincide with what Jesus said about this time period and that being:  “except those days were shortened, no one would survive. But for the elects sake, those days will be shortened.”

Second Woe conclusion: Four evil angels bound at the great river Eurphrates are released, who go to the previously opened Abyss gathering a demonic army of two hundered million with riders and horses that have two exceptions, those being that the horses have heads that resemble lions heads that kill a third of mankind by fire, smoke and sulfur that proceeds from their mouths and tails that are like serpents with heads that inflict injury.

Note:  Chapters 10 and 11 are parenthetic pauses, with the third woe beginning in chapter 12.

Third Woe!/Seventh Trumpet – Revelation 12:7-12

For some reason, most fail to recognize or understand the third woe, but it is definitely listed there in black and white. And it is in keeping with my belief that, as stated in the beginning of this post, that the woes are designated as such because all three are demonic in  nature. 

Revelation 12:7-12

And there was war in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, have been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love thier lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!

(Third woe coming up)

But [WOE] to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

So there you have it! The third woe is Satan and his angels being cast down to the earth at around the middle part of that seven year period. How did I arrive at the time in which he is cast out? From the following verse.

Revelation 12:14 – The woman  was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for here in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.

The “time, times and half a time” mentioned in the verse above is in reference to the middle part of that last seven year period up to the end of the seven when Christ returns. Time (1 year), Times (2 years) half a time (half a year), equals three and a half years. At about the middle part of the seven year period, war is going to break out in heaven between Michael and his holy angels against Satan and his  angels; they are the one third he swept ouf of the sky in Rev. 12:4.  Of course, as stated, they will not be strong enough to defeat Michael and his angels and are cast down to the earth, which was mentioned is the third woe.  It is designated as such because, now that Satan and his angels are restricted to the earth, they will be able to focus all of their malice and evil against mankind, specifically against those saints present in that last three and a half years, which Jesus refers to as “The great tribulation.” He does this because he knows that his time is short.  In regards to this third woe, the results for the saints are as follows:

Daniel 7:25 – He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.

And

Revelation 13:7 –  He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

 This mention of war between Michael, Satan and their angels is still a future event. There are those who try to teach that this event has already taken place, but the fact is that we know that Satan has access to God’s presence, which is  found in Job 1:6-12, where it states that one day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan also came with them. Here in  Revelation 12:10 after Satan and his angels are thrown out of heaven, it is said: 

“Now have  come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, And the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

 So Satan is currently there before God accusing us before Him and he will continue to do so against the saints during the tribulation period up until the middle of the seven year period where at that time he and his angels get hurled to the earth. Another proof that his being cast out is still future is that, when he does get cast down the following is stated:

Revelation 12:12 – Therefore, rejoice,  you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.

Obviously, those in heaven will rejoice when this event takes place, because they are obviously tired of listening to his continual accusations.

Notice that he is “filled with fury because his time is short.” The mention of his time being short is in reference to the fact that, from the the time that he is cast out of heaven to the earth, he only has a time, times and half a time, that is,  three and a half years to do his worst against God’s saints, because at the end of the three and a half years, which is when Christ returns, Satan will be cast into the Abyss and kept there during the millennium and there is nothing that he can do to prevent it.

First Woe – Demons let out of the Abyss to torment mankind with the stings of a scorpions for five months, except for those who have the seal of God in their foreheads.

Second Woe – Four evil angels that are bound at the great river Eurphrates are released and go and gather from the Abyss two hundered million  demonic troups with horses that kill a third of mankind by fire, smoke and sulfur, which proceeds from thier mouths.

Third Woe – Satan and his angels are cast out of heaven to the earth and through the beast, will make war against the saints and conquer them. According to Revelation 20:4, they are beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God.

Thank you for reading my post. My prayer for you is that God would bless you and strengthen you in your faith, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.

For those of you who have not yet believed in Christ, I pray that God will reveal the truth of His word and confirm it in your hearts by His Holy Spirit. Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, for whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

Yours in Christ – Don

Oct
30

Daniel 9:24-26
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler , comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty -two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end and desolations have been decreed.”

First of all, as can be seen in the beginning of the verse, this decree of seventy ‘sevens’ is specified for “your people” and since the angel is addressing Daniel, the people that are in view are Israel. Notice also that this decree is for the purpose of putting an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. I think that we can all agree that at this present time, this decree has not yet been fulfilled, as there are still transgressions, sin and wickedness being committed as well as prophecies yet to be fulfill regarding Israel and the most holy has yet to be anointed.

As stated, the beginning of the seventy ’sevens’ begins with the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This of course is in reference to the condition of Jerusalem, which lay in ruins after if was besieged by Babylon and they were carried off into exile. The decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem is given when Nehemiah, the cup bearer to king Artaxerxes of Persia, receives information that the wall of Jerusalem was broken down and the gates had been burned. Nehemiah then begins to pray to God that he would show favor to him that he might go and restore Jerusalem. After speaking to king Artaxerxes regarding this matter, it is stated that “It pleased the king to send me.”

The time period of the seventy ‘sevens is divided up into three time frames, first, seven ‘sevens (49 years) for the restoring and rebuilding of Jerusalem and second, counting from the end of the seven ‘sevens’ until the end of sixty-two ‘sevens,’ (434 years) the Anointed One would be cut off, that is, Christ would be crucified. Together, these combined would complete sixty-nine ‘sevens, which when we add the 49 years to the 434 years it equals 483 years. So, if we count forward 483 years starting from 446 BC, which is the time period that scholars place the time of the decree, it brings us to 36 AD, which would put us in the time period of the our Lord’s crucifixion. So far, from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One is cut off, this completes sixty-nine of the seventy ’sevens that were decreed. The third division is regarding the “Ruler who would come,” which fulfills the seventieth ‘seven’ or last seven year period.

Daniel 9:27

“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’. In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation , until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

At the completion of the sixty-nine ‘sevens’, the Anointed One was cut off (Christ crucified) and the church age began. At that time God paused the fulfillment of that last seven year period and began to build His church, which is still currently in progress. Once the building of the church has been completed and prior to the wrath of God, the church will be resurrected and caught up to meet the Lord in the air and taken back to the Father‘s house (John 14:1-3). At that time God will again click on His prophetic stopwatch and begin to fulfill that last seven year period, which begins with this ruler making a peace covenant with Israel for seven years. In the middle of that seven year period, as the verse states, he will put an end to the daily sacrifice and on a wing of the temple, he will set up an abomination that causes desolation. Jesus mentions this abomination of desolation in quoting Daniel when He says:

Matthew 24:15-22

“So when you see standing in the holy place ’the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand — then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”

The definition of the Greek word “Bdelugma”, translated “Abomination” denotes an “object of disgust.” It is apparent that the setting up of this image is what causes the desolation of Jerusalem, which can be seen by the warning from the Lord in the verse above to flee to the mountains, to not take anything out of the house nor for anyone who is in the field to go back to get his cloak. The idea is that once this abomination is set up it causes the inhabitants of Jerusalem to flee, leaving it desolate. There are those who claim that the antichrist, who will set himself up in the temple is this abomination, but as we can see from the verses in Daniel and Matthew, this appears rather to be some type of image that is set up in the holy place within the yet future temple. The book of Revelation gives us some more insight as to just what this abomination is:

Revelation 13:11-15   Then I saw another beast coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an [image] in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

This second beast which comes up out of the earth is later identified in Rev. 19:20 as the “false prophet.” He is the one responsible for causing the inhabitants of the earth to set up this image. It also states that he was able to give breath to the image of the beast as well as the ability to for it to speak and anyone who will not worship this image are to be killed. For thousands of years the Jews have been waiting for their Messiah, not recognizing that Jesus was that Messiah that was to come and because of that they are currently still waiting for their Messiah to appear. Consequently, not only are the Jews still waiting for their Messiah, but the Muslims are waiting for the twelfth Imam to appear and the Unification church is waiting for the third Adam to come and purify the earth. So, one can see what the outcome is going to be once this antichrist makes his appearance, as those mentioned along with any other religious groups waiting for some Messiah will be fulfilled when this man comes on the scene of history, only to deceive because they know not the word of God. When this man comes, he will make that seven year covenant of peace with Israel allowing them to rebuild their long awaited temple. In regards to this man, also described as “The beast coming up out of the sea” he receives a fatal head wound, which will be miraculously healed. This appears to be a mock resurrection, which will be used for the purpose of his claim to be God. To give further credibility to this first beast (antichrist), the second beast (false prophet) will be given Satanic power to perform counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders as is also mentioned in II Thessalonians:

II Thessalonians 2:9-10

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe [the lie] and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

So as can be seen, because of the fatal head wound that is healed and the counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders that will be performed by the false prophet, the inhabitants of the earth will be deceived into believing that this first beast is God. As it is written:

II Thessalonians 2:4

He will oppose and will exalt himself over every thing that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

From the beginning of the seven years when that peace covenant is made, the Jews, along with the rest of the world will believe that this man is the Messiah, that is, up until that image is set up in the holy place. This will be the signal to the Jews to flee Jerusalem, which is the desolation caused by this abomination. There are some other characteristics revealed regarding this image in the passage previously mentioned in the book of Revelation, which states that the false prophet will be given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak. I have my own theory regarding this and that is that John is seeing a vision of future events, some that are relatable to us such as Lions, horses, mountains, trees, chariots, the sea, etc., but here when he states that the false prophet was given power to give breath to the image and to cause it to be able to speak, I think that this may have to do with technology of our time, which John has nothing to relate to except in basic terms. The image of the beast is closely related to the mark of the beast, which the inhabitants of the earth (all whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world) will receive. In regards to that mark it is written:

Revelation 13:16-17

He also forced everyone; small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.

 The mark will be similar to the technology that is currently being used with the use of debit cards. Purchases are made, the card is swiped and the amount is immediately deducted from the purchasers bank account. The mark will perform the same function, but as it is written, the mark will be implanted subdermally under the skin of the right hand or forehead, but will be a miniature version of the debit card, most likely a computer chip of some kind that will allow debiting of a purchasers account, which said devices are currently already being tested. That being said, what if this image is actually a computer that will control the financial world with this mark and the outside container of this computer has been molded into the image of the beast, that antichrist? What if this computer system has voice protocol? If John, in his vision was to hear this computer speak, would he not attribute life to it? Remember, John is seeing the future, even beyond where we are now and therefore, he would not be able to relate to us that this is a computer system, which controls the mark of the beast and that it was speaking because of voice protocol programs. The best that John would be able to do is to relate it as an image and that he heard it speak and thereby attributes life to it. This of course is spiritual speculation on my part, but not out of the range of possibility.

Thank you for reading my post. My prayer for you is that God would bless you and strengthen you in your faith, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.

For those of you who have not yet believed in Christ, I pray that God will reveal the truth of His word and confirm it in your hearts by His Holy Spirit. Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, for whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

Yours in Christ – Don

Oct
24

To be sure, there are several views as to when the events of the resurrection and catching away or “rapture” as some call it, is to take place in relation to the end of age. One of the major problems regarding the timing of the resurrection and catching away described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, is that many make it synonymous with the resurrection of the great tribulation saints, which takes place at Christ’s second coming to the earth to end the age and to establish his millennial kingdom found in Rev. 20:4.  There are two major differences between the resurrection of 1 Thes.4:16 and Rev.20:4.  In the resurrection mentioned in 1 Thes.4:16,  there are two group events which take place, the first being the resurrection of the dead in Christ, which includes all who have died from the beginning of the church period up until the event of the resurrection taking place, then immediately following that,  is the “catching away” of those in Christ who are still alive, who will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye and caught up in the air with those who were just resurrected.  At that time the entire church from its inception to the end, dead and living, will be gathered together in the air with the Lord where he takes  us back to the Father’s house (John 14:1-3). The resurrection described in Rev.20:4, is  only a resurrection, as there is no “catching away” associated with this resurrection.  That resurrection is made up only of those who were beheaded during the great tibulation period and that because they kept the testimony of Jesus and the word of and they would not worship the beast or his image nor receive his mark. 

Resurrection and Catching Away = The appearing of the Lord with the dead and the living believers being gathered to him in the air who are taken back to the Father’s house (Jn.14:1-3)

 End of the age = Christ’s physical, visual return to the earth to end the age and establish is millennial kingdom

I Thessalonians 4:13-18   Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep . For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

 From the verses above, we can see that the promise is to those who have died in Christ from the beginning of the church, including those who will have died in Christ leading right up to the time of the resurrection,  as well as to those who are in Christ that are still alive when this event takes place. As is stated, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God.  So, when this event takes place, Jesus will bring with Him the souls of those who have been in His presence in heaven and he will reunite them with their now resurrected bodies. Once that takes place, which will be immediate, then according to Paul in I Corinthians 15:51-53, those who are still alive will be changed, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye and they will be [caught up] with those who will have just been resurrected from the dead, where according to the Lord’s promise found in John 14:1-3,  He will take us back to the Father’s house. Regarding the verse in I Thessalonians mentioned above, the expression “caught up” is translated from the Greek word “Harpazo”, which conveys the idea of force suddenly exercised or to seize, to carry off by force, to snatch away. This is the same word which is used in regards to Philip when he was [suddenly taken away] from the eunuch by the Spirit of God (Acts 8:39), of Paul when he spoke of being [caught up] to the third heaven (II Cor. 12:2-4) and of the man child being [snatched up] to God’s throne (Rev. 12:5).  Basically, at the time when this event takes place, both those who have died in Christ, as well as those who are  still alive at His appearing, will take on the characteristics that Paul mentions in I Corinthians 15: 42-44:

“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.”

And regarding the resurrection Jesus also said:

Matthew 22:30   “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”

This resurrection of the dead, which includes the living who are changed in a moment and caught up, is referred to as the “First resurrection”, which is not restricted to one single resurrection, but is made up of multiple resurrections or stages, Christ being the first fruits, then the church (living and dead), the 144,000 (male child), the two witnesses and the white robed saints that come out of the great tribulation. The first resurrection could be better understood as the resurrection that takes place prior to the last one, that is, all the resurrection’s that take place prior to the resurrection at the end of the end of the millennium, all fall under the banner of  “first resurrection”. The resurrection which takes place at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ, where the great white throne judgment takes place, is in part the resurrection of the unrighteous dead.  For regarding this resurrection, the souls/spirits of the dead are being let out of Hades (remember the rich man). This is the group of which it is said, “The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended,” and the verse continues with “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them,” By stating that those who take part in the first resurrection that the second death has no power over them, it would immediately infer that the second death, which is the lake of fire, has power over those who are not part of the first resurrection, which would be these here who are being resurrected at the end of the thousand years. The very fact that they are being let out of Hades would demonstrate that this is not a resurrection of the righteous, for according to 2 Cor.5:8,  to be absent from the body is to be in the presence of the Lord. In comparison, those who die who do not belong to the Lord, like the rich man, go into Hades at the time of death, which is a temporary place of torment in flame where they will remain until the great white throne judgment, which will include all people from the beginning of history up to that judgment, which will also include the angels who sinned.

Now, as to when the resurrection and the catching away of the church takes place in relation to the return of Christ to end the age, there are many clues. First of all, let’s go back to I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and read through chapter 5:1-4. Regarding the resurrection and catching away, Paul says the following:

I Thessalonians 5:1-4:  Now, brothers, about the times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that [the day of the Lord] will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying,  “Peace and safety.” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should suprise you like a thief.

The first thing to notice is that from verses 4:13-18, Paul is describing the resurrection and catching away. Then, in verse 5:2, he refers to that event as “The day of the Lord”, which throughout God’s word is always associated with the time of the wrath of God. There are in fact two phases to the day of the Lord. As we can see from the verses above, the first phase is the resurrection and catching away of all who are in Christ which is what initiates the day of the Lord, which is then followed by the wrath of God. Paul demonstrates this when in verse  5:2, in referring to the resurrection and catching away, he says:

“For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”

Then he says:

“While people are saying ‘peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”

So, here we have the two phases, “The resurrection and the catching away” and then “sudden destruction”, which follows. Lets look at the entire verse:

“While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety’, destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.”

Notice in regards to those of whom the destruction is coming upon, that it says “they will not escape,” which is then followed with, “But you brothers.” Even without reading the rest of the verse, “but you brothers” would immediately infer the opposite of not escaping, that is, that they (the brothers) will escape. Which brings us to the question of how will they escape the destruction just mentioned, where the others do not? The answer is in the first phase of what Paul first wrote about, which is the resurrection and catching away. Those in Christ, dead and living, are removed from the earth at the Lord’s appearing and those unbelievers and those who will not have been watching and ready, will remain on the earth and will be exposed to God’s wrath via the seals, trumpets and bowl judgments, as well as being exposed to the events of the beast and his kingdom.

Another example that the day of the Lord begins with the resurrection and catching away is found in 2 Peter 3:10-12

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elemnets will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people  ought you to be? You ought to live holy lives as you [look forward to the day of God] and [speed its coming].

What got my attention in this verse is what I have enclosed in brackets. Peter is describing the results of the the wrath of God being poured upon the earth, then he says “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people  ought you to be? You ought to live holy lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

Why would Peter, after describing these terrible events of destruction that are going to come upon the earth during that time period and then say to ” look forward to the day of God and speed its coming?”

The answer again is, just as Paul explained that the resurrection and the catching away takes place prior to the wrath, Peter is also privey to the same information being that Paul may have revealed it to him or the Lord may have directly revealed it to Peter as well. In other words, When Peter says “as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming,” he is referring to the first phase of the day of the Lord which is the resurrection and catching away and not the time wrath which follows. Let’s look at some other verses that point to this same conclusion found in I Thessalonians 2:1-2

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.”

Here, Paul is responding to the concerns of the Thessalonians because there were some who were teaching that the resurrection and catching away had already taken place. The reason for their concern is that, in regards to the day of the Lord they also knew from Paul’s teaching that the resurrection and catching away would take place first with the wrath of God to follow and therefore, since they were still on earth, that is, since they had not been caught up, they wrote Paul because they were concerned that they had missed the and catching away and were now going to be caught in the wrath of God. And of course Paul sets them straight and comforts them by reaffirming that that day would not come until the apostasy occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.

I believe that the book of Revelation also reveals when the resurrection and catching away will take place in relation to the  seals, trumpets and bowls, which represents the wrath of God. We have John being told in Rev. 1:19:

“Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.”

This divides the book of Revelation up into three parts, 1) what you have seen, 2) what is  now and 3) what will take place later. In regards to what John had seen, which first of all was his vision of Christs coming to earth to end the age and set up his millennial kingdom as seen in Rev.1:7, which is also a preview of Christ’s return in Rev.19:11

“Look he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him . So shall it be! Amen.”

Then John hears a voice behind him that sounds like [a trumpet] and when he turns around, he sees the glorified Christ and writes down that description, which completed what John had [seen]. Then, immediately following what John had seen, he was commanded to write the letters to the seven churches, which are not only representing the actual churches of that time, but represent the entire church period, which is [what is now].  That being said, we are currently still in the [now], being that the church age has not come to its completion. After the last letter is written we move into Rev. 4:1 which initiates [what will take place later], which is given to the majority of the book of Revelation, which must soon take place.  The [what will take place later] begins with the following found in Rev. 4:1 –

“After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like [a trumpet] said, [come up here] and I will show you what must take place [after this].

There are I believe, three clues here that point to John prophetically representing the church being resurrected and caught up. The first clue is that from chapter 1 through the very end of chapter 3, the word [Ekklesia] translated [church] has been continually used and is in fact the very last word found chapter 3 and then the word is never seen again within the narrative. It’s missing, which would suggest that the church is missing. It should also be noted that the word Hagios/saint is not found within chapters 1 thru 3. The next references found to describe anyone who is in Christ is the word ‘Hagios’, translated ‘Saint’, which is used from Rev.5:8 and throughout the rest of the narrative. The next clue we find is that John mentions twice, once in verse 1:10 and the other in 4:1 that the voice he hears sounds like [a trumpet], which takes me back to Paul’s description of the resurrection and catching away in I Thes. 4:16 which says:

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the [trumpet call] of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”

I believe that this  [trumpet call] mentioned here in I Thes. 4:16 is synonymous with the voice that John hears speaking to him like [a trumpet]. The third clue is that the voice that sounds like a trumpet is saying [Come up here], which is exatly what happens at the resurrection and catching away.

The wrath of God, also designated “The day of the Lord”, is a time period that will take place prior to Christ’s physical/visual return to the earth to end the age and establish His millennial kingdom. This wrath, according to the book of Revelation, will be poured out in the form of a seven seals, which leads into seven trumpets, and then into seven bowl judgments. These judgments will take place within those last seven years and the worst specifically taking place during the last 3 1/2 years which is referred to as “The great tribulation.” Of this time period Jesus said the following:

Matthew 24:21-22  For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now — and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

Regarding this time of wrath, for those who are in Christ Paul said the following:

I Thessalonians 5:9 – For God did not appoint us to [suffer wrath], but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

And he also said the following when speaking to the Thessalonians:

I Thessalonians 1:10 –  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead — [Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath].

So, as can be seen from the two verses above, those who are in Christ will not go through or be exposed to the wrath of God, which will be taking place during the seven years prior to Christs return to set up His kingdom.

In regards to our being rescued from this wrath, Jesus said to the church of Philadelphia, as well as to all who overcome:

Revelation 3: 10 – “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also  [keep you from] the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”

The “hour of trial” is synonymous with “the day of Lord”. Jesus says that He will “keep us from” that hour of trial. The Greek word is “Ek” which means “out of”. That is  properly “I will keep you [out of] that time of testing, which demonstrates that we will not even be exposed to that hour of trial. The following is yet another verse of scripture that points to the resurrection and catching away as taking place prior to the wrath of God.

II Timothy 2:16-18  “Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene.  Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.”

First of all, to recap, the resurrection mentioned here has to do specifically with those who have died in Christ. The word resurrection is translated from the Greek word ‘Anastasis’, which denotes “A bodily rising up from the dead.”  According to Paul’s outline of the resurrection in I Thessalonians 4:16 and I Corinthians 15:52, those who are still alive when the resurrection takes place will immediately afterwards be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye and caught up with those just resurrected to meet the Lord in the air and therefore, the ‘catching away’ is included here when referring to the Resurrection. Notice that Paul labels Hymenaeus and Philetus as those who had wandered away from the truth because they were teaching that the resurrection had already taken place. Paul also stated that by this teaching they were destroying the faith of some, which begs the question, why would the teaching that the resurrection having already taken place destroy anyone’s faith? The answer again can be found in Paul’s outline in I Thessalonians 4:16, where Paul describes the dead in Christ rising first, then those who are still alive being changed in a moment and being caught up to meet the Lord in the air.  Therefore, as these men where going about teaching that the resurrection had already taken place, that also meant that the ‘catching away’ would have had to have taken place as well and so they would naturally be concerned because they were still here on earth and hadn’t been caught up, which would destroy their faith because they now had nothing to look forward to but the wrath of God, which according to Paul follows the resurrection.

The resurrection and catching away could not have taken place already as the Preterist proclaim because Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hades will not prevail against it.”  The idea is that, Christ began to build His church and the apostle’s continued with the building and up to this very day the church continues to be built upon and will continue until the very last person whom God forknew, predestined and called, responds. Once the church has been completed,  all the dead in Christ from the beginning of the church up until the  event of the  resurrection,  as well as those who are still living at the time that the resurrection takes place, will immediately be changed and caught up, so that the entire church,  from the beginning to the end, dead and living,  will be present in the air together at the same time.  What follows, will be the revealing of the man of lawlessness and the out-pouring of God’s wrath leading up to Christs return, which ushers in the end of the age.

Thank you for reading my post. My prayer for you is that God would bless you and strengthen you in your faith, for faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.

For those of you who have not yet believed in Christ, I pray that God will reveal the truth of His word and confirm it in your hearts by His Holy Spirit. Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, for whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.

Ahwatukee

Aug
17

This Generation:

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Mt.24:32-34)

In Matthew 24, the disciples ask Jesus what will be the sign of his coming and the end of the age? Jesus then proceeds to tell them of all the signs leading up to his return to the earth which ushers in the end of the age. In the Scripture above, the signs of the Lord’s return are focused on the events that he previously mentioned. He uses the example that, when the fig tree and all the trees blossom you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all of these signs taking place we can know that his return is near. Then he says:

“Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

The Preterists and the Amillennillists take the words, “this generation” and they apply it to the generation from which Christ was speaking from. They do this in order to support their claim that the prophecy’s listed in Matthew and Revelation (end-time events) have already taken place opposed to a future, literal fulfillment. The problem with their interpretation, other than the obvious grammatical problems, is that the proof leading up to the Lord’s return is focused on the signs that he previously listed. Therefore, by applying “this generation” to the current generation from which the Lord was speaking from, it takes the focus off the signs and forces the signs to take place in his generation. In other words, by their interpretation, the signs are no longer the proof of his return and that because we are being told that it is going to happen in the generation from which he is speaking, which in turn defeats the purpose of the signs.

In the Lord’s example, he uses the blossoming of the trees as a sign that summer is near and that in the same way when we see all of these signs taking place, then we can know that his return is near, even at the door. Furthermore, being that the signs are the focus of his return, it would be grammatically improper to apply “this generation” to Christ’s current generation, because in essence he would be telling us when the signs were going to take place, that is, during his generation. Therefore, the proper interpretation of “this generation” would have to be the generation in which these signs begin to manifest. If I were to paraphrase the verse it would look more like the following:

“Truly I tell you, this generation, the one where these signs begin to take place, will certainly not pass away until all of these things have been fulfilled.”

 The other problem that the Preterist and the Amillennialist run into in making “this generation” the one that Jesus is speaking from, can be found in the following verse:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mt.24:36)

Now, if no one knows the day or hour, not the angels in heaven, “nor the Son,” how then could Jesus be telling his readers that those signs leading up to his return are going to take place in that very same generation from which he was speaking? This would demonstrate that Jesus would in fact know the time of his return placing it in his generation, which would go against what is stated in the Scripture.

Furthermore, even with the controversies, a biblical generation is basically a 100 years or less.  That being said, Jesus said that the generation where those signs begin to take place would not come to its end until all of those events had taken place, including his return to the earth to end the age. It then stands to reason that the generation where those signs begin to take place would have to be the generation living within at least a 100 years prior to his return and thus cannot include any of the previous generations of the last nineteen hundred years.

As other proof that Jesus was not proclaiming that the signs he spoke of would take place in his generation, neither of the major prophecy’s regarding the abomination being set up nor the event of the sun and moon being darkened and the stars falling from heaven to the earth have taken place. Not only that, but regarding this last generation leading up to the Lord’s return, Jesus said that it would be a time of great distress such as the world has not seen from the beginning of creation, until now and never to be equaled again. Though the destruction of the temple was a terrible event, it hardly qualifies as the worst time in the history of the world to ever take place.

Conclusion: The generation where those signs take place was not the generation from which the Lord was speaking from, but will be the generation just prior to his return marked by where those signs begin to take place.

Nov
18

We hear it day in and day out,  in causual conversation, in the lyrics of songs,  used in movie lines and people use it to express emotion or just to sound cool.  Many people don’t even know that they are saying it all, because they have become numb to it. What am I talking about? The carless,  blasphemous use of the title of  “God” and the name and title of Jesus  Christ.  The entire world does this continually, without even a blink of concern! Why? Because God has supernatural angelic beings that He  created, who somewhere in eternity, before man was created, rebelled with Lucifer, now Satan, and became the enemies of God, also called pricipalities, powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. Now, by the spiritual prompting of these beings, they move mankind to speak against the title of God and the name of Jesus for the purpose of blasphemy and in the process  dooming those who are doing the  speaking, that is unless at some point in their lives they repent and receive Christ. Through mankind, they cause the world to blaspheme against God the Father and the Son. But, in their efforts to accomplish this blasphemy, they inadvertantly revealed who the true God is. For what other names under heaven are blasphemed of those who would be called God? You don’t hear any other name blasphemed and the reason being is because they are not the true God.  The powers of darkness are not going waste their time moving mankind to speak against names that mean nothing, but only against the true God and His Son. For someone whom they don’t believe in, they sure do utter His name and title an awful lot.  But not to worry, this is not escaping God’s attention, for He is keeping a record. Jesus said “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof on the day of judgment.” The angels will also be judged and held accountable. So, for those who die in their sins and find themselves standing at the great white throne judgment, they will be accountable for everything they ever did, said and thought of, as well as for every motive, including every time they casually mis-used the name or title of God.  Fortunately, by the grace of God, their is hope. For anyone who believes that Christ came, was crucified, buried and resurrected and receives him as Lord can be forgiven for all things completely (Matthew 12:31-32)