Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Heaven And Earth - Revelation 21:1-4

Revelation 21:1-4 NASB
The New Heaven and Earth
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

The first things have passed away. The old has given way to the new. The transformation of the old man to the new man is accomplished. The clay of humanity is mixed with the Spirit of God, heaven and earth are joined together to create a new creature as God purposed. Gone are the agonies and trials that have forged a people.

The tossing sea where the twisting serpent swam and the beast arose from the murky depths of a fallen creation has now dried into the harvest of the fruitful. Just as the flood waters receded before Noah to reveal a clean earth, the sea dries and no longer serves to confine mankind. We are free indeed.

The new Jerusalem descends from heaven and the dwelling place God always intended is revealed. The Father has prepared a people through the fire of creation who are adorned in righteousness, who have arrived at the destination promised at the end of their walk with The Lord. The promised land.

There is a four-fold proclamation of God's eternal presence with man confirming the house of God, the new Eden. We might hear echoes of the four living creatures that served as His throne. They may have depicted a picture of this blessed state. Jesus walked on the earth as a man. Now The Lord will walk among men again, but this time as He really is and we will be like Him.

Isaiah 57:20-21
But the wicked are like the tossing sea;
for it cannot be quiet,
and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”

Isaiah 27:1
The Redemption of Israel
In that day the Lord with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.

Isaiah 54:6-8
For the Lord has called you
like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit,
like a wife of youth when she is cast off,
says your God.
For a brief moment I deserted you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing anger for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,”
says the Lord, your Redeemer.

John 3:29-31
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all.

Ephesians 5:31-33
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Psalms 48:1-2
Zion, the City of Our God
A Song. A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.
Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised
in the city of our God!
His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,
is the joy of all the earth,
Mount Zion, in the far north,
the city of the great King.

Isaiah 12:6
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”

Isaiah 25:8
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.

2 Corinthians 6:17-18
Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”

1 John 2:17
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Great White Throne - Revelation 20:11-15

Revelation 20:11-15 NASB
Judgment at the Throne of God
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

John next sees a white throne, which speaks of purity and authority of God. The old heaven and earth are found no more, unable to exist in God's presence. The dead are left standing before the throne, exposed to the judgement to be pronounced.

The books are opened. It doesn't say how many books it will take to give a record of all the deeds which require accounting. It will only take one book to list those who have chosen life. Only one entry is needed - their name.

The dead are gathered from the land and sea, the spiritually dead. The grave gave up those who had fallen asleep, those who were never awakened to the life of God. They stand before God to answer for their deeds. For those who have chosen Jesus, He is their and the answer.

Death and Hades are removed and thrown into the lake of fire. They no longer will be a part of creation. The first death ceases to be.

After accounting for their deeds, the dead join death in the lake of fire. This is the second and final death. The all consuming fire of God burns through the chaff and unproductive branches of mankind. Those left will participate in the life of God and partake in the tree of life.

Psalms 97:1-5
The L ord’s Power and Dominion.
The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice;
Let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and thick darkness surround Him;
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.
Fire goes before Him
And burns up His adversaries round about.
His lightnings lit up the world;
The earth saw and trembled.
The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord,
At the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.

Matthew 25:31-33
The Judgment
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

Acts 17:30-31
Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

Romans 2:5-11
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to each person according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


It is breathing the breath of God.

A Thousand Years Completed - Revelation 20:7-10

Revelation 20:7-10 NASB
Satan Freed, Doomed
When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The time represented by the thousand years comes to its end. The church is gathered. Satan is released, no longer bound by the presence of the Spirit on the earth. He gathers together his army from many nations and they come against God's people of Israel.

It is there Satan's army is defeated. They surround Jerusalem with a mighty host set to invade the Holy City and crush Israel once and for all. The Lord has different plans and fire descends from heaven and consumes the belligerent horde.

The devil is thrown into his final fate, joining the two beasts. No more will his deceptions be a snare for the nations. At last the delusions of the the deceived shall give way to the knowledge of the truth. They will know that He is Lord.

Ezekiel 39:1-8
Prophecy against Gog—Invaders Destroyed
“And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal; and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel. I will strike your bow from your left hand and dash down your arrows from your right hand. You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord God. “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the Lord.
“My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. Behold, it is coming and it shall be done,” declares the Lord God. “That is the day of which I have spoken.

Isaiah 8:5-10
The Lord spoke to me again: “Because this people has refused the waters of Shiloah that flow gently, and rejoice over Rezin and the son of Remaliah, therefore, behold, the Lord is bringing up against them the waters of the River, mighty and many, the king of Assyria and all his glory. And it will rise over all its channels and go over all its banks, and it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass on, reaching even to the neck, and its outspread wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.”
Be broken, you peoples, and be shattered;
give ear, all you far countries;
strap on your armor and be shattered;
strap on your armor and be shattered.
Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing;
speak a word, but it will not stand,
for God is with us.

Psalms 125:1-2
Psalm 125
The Lord Surrounds His People
A Song of Ascents.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalms 97:3-5
Fire goes before him
and burns up his adversaries all around.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.

Ezekiel 38:22-23
With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Friday, April 26, 2013

First And Second Resurrection - Revelation 20:4-6

Revelation 20:4-6 NASB
Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

The first resurrection could be when a believer is quickened from the dead. We become a new creature in Christ at that time. Once we are awakened into the life of God we are never separated from Him, never apart from the love of the Father and Son. We will reign with Him, we who are in the body of Christ. We do not take the mark of the beast for we have the seal of the Holy Spirit Who raises us into life. We become priests of God and of Christ.

The second resurrection will be of the dead who are brought to life before the throne of God to give account of their sins and to face judgement. They are the ones whose name are not found in the book of life.

1 Corinthians 6:2-3
Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

Daniel 7:18
But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever. ’

Luke 14:15
When one of those who reclined at table with him heard these things, he said to him, “Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!”

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Satan Bound - Revelation 20:1-3

Revelation 20:1-3 NASB
Satan Bound
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

When Jesus was born, a great light began to shine on earth. That light enabled those following after that light to see past the darkness that imprisoned the nations. It is by that lamp we walk. We are no longer deceived if we have received His light. Jesus bound the strong man and set captives free from sin at that time.

We are sealed by the Spirit of truth. Satan is bound by that same seal.

The seal will be taken away for a little while at the end, then The Lord will return.

A thousand years could represent a long, but finite time. Once Christ finally throws Satan into the lake of fire, His kingdom of peace will have no end.

John 12:31-32
Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Revelation 17:8
The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction. And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

Matthew 24:24-28
For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

2 Peter 3:8-9
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Faithful And True - Revelation 19:11-16

Revelation 19:11-16 NASB
The Rider on a White Horse
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Heaven opens again to reveal the King of kings and Lord of lords. The fire in the eyes speaks to the power and purity of His judgement. He wears a crown above all others. No one knows His name, meaning His name is above all names, and was not given to Him by anyone. He is the eternal God. He is coming forth to claim His own.

Many commenters see the blood on His robe as the blood of His enemies spilled in the winepress of God's wrath. He poured out His own blood the first time He came, and that to give life. The blood that now flows from those that do not choose life.

The armies of heaven follow on horses that are as white as the clean robes of the riders. The heavenly host issues forth behind the Lion of Judah, the Commander of God's army as He descends on His enemies.

His enduring word brought creation into existence. This same word is spoken against the enemies of the Creator that brings about the new creation. It divides the impure from the pure, and the wheat from the chaff. It is the sword of truth, the utterance of God.

He treads the winepress. This translation uses the word "will" in front of tread. The Greek shows an active and present tense. The curse of the serpent back in Genesis comes to completion. Though the serpent bruised the heel of Son, in the end the snake is trampled and God's purpose is accomplished.

Words that many take as suggestions as to how one lives and obeys God will no longer be optional. Everyone will acknowledge The Lord and bend the knee before Him.

The name on the robe may symbolize His victorious life and resurrection, for it is the name by which all can find salvation. That name appears on His thigh. The thigh was a part of a sign of covenant or vow. Abraham made his servant confirm a vow by having the man place his hand under Abraham's thigh. The Lord has made a covenant with us and He comes to fulfill His word, and that word is His name.

Psalms 45:3-7
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.

Genesis 32:29
Then Jacob asked him and said, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And he blessed him there.

Matthew 11:27
All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

John 1:1
The Deity of Jesus Christ
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,

Matthew 28:3-4
And his appearance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. The guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men.

Isaiah 63:2-6
Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?
“ I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me.
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment.
“For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
And My year of redemption has come.
“I looked, and there was no one to help,
And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;
So My own arm brought salvation to Me,
And My wrath upheld Me.
“I trod down the peoples in My anger
And made them drunk in My wrath,
And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Marriage Of The Lamb - Revelation 19:7-10

Revelation 19:7-10 NASB
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write:‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb! ’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

The time of the wedding is at hand. The church is complete and she is fully clothed in the righteousness of Christ. Linen was a particular garment of the priests in the temple. We see the foreshadowing and consistency that is a hallmark of God's word.

The ending of God's story is the final enactment of what was depicted in Genesis. Adam named all the animals, but failed to find a suitable companion. God took one of the man's ribs and fashioned Eve. God is doing the same thing as He prepares the Bride of Christ. From the rib of mankind he is preparing to take a suitable companion for His Son, the second Adam. The process will be complete when Christ returns. His Bride will meet Him in the air. Heaven and earth will unite, and we will be joined with our immortal bodies. A new creation will be before us. We will be like Him, rightly matched and a suitable companion for eternity.

There will be a multitude that will join in that feast and will celebrate the marriage of the groom and bride. All who are invited to the supper will be blessed. They will also be of the nations, but the Bride's inheritance will be God.

The Spirit gives witness to the testimony of the Son Jesus Who is witness to the Father. It is this same Spirit which hovered over the void and dwells in us.

They are the three in One Who is God Almighty. "I AM!"

Psalms 45:13-15
All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
In many- colored robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.

Ephesians 5:25-27
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Psalms 132:9-10
Let your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and let your saints shout for joy.
For the sake of your servant David,
do not turn away the face of your anointed one.

1 Peter 1:10-12
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

2 Peter 1:19-21
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Hallelujah - Revelation 19:1-6

Revelation 19:1-6 NASB
The Fourfold Hallelujah
After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
“ Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE has avenged the blood of His bond- servants on her.” And a second time they said, “ Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” And the twenty- four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “ Amen. Hallelujah!” And a voice came from the throne, saying,
“ Give praise to our God, all you His bond- servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
“ Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

The harlot has finally met her end. The temple is once again open to receive those who would worship God. The bowls have been poured out, judgement has been dispensed.

Heaven celebrates the fulfillment of God's plan. There is a great multitude which gives voice in thanksgiving and praise to God the Father. This is the first hallelujah that rises from several sources in heaven. They say it twice as if to confirm it's joy as the truth.

The third hallelujah is one of agreement which comes from the living creatures and the elders around the throne. Amen to the Great Amen. All of creation in the form of the living creatures shares in this exultation of praise. The elders, which may reflect the church and the Bride of Christ, join with the living creatures to add their assent.

Then a voice calls out from the throne. The voice is unidentified, but coming from the throne, one would think it is The Lord. The words that are spoken speak of "our God". This might be something uttered by the elders, or the church. They are a royal priesthood and sit with Christ on His throne. They lead the great multitude in praise of God Almighty. The sound is likened to roar of a mighty rush of waters, perhaps like the sound of a large waterfall beyond any found on earth. The nations of the new earth join in the fourth hallelujah. Again we note the fourfold structure which may be associated with creation.

Our Lord reigns!

Psalms 106:1-3
Psalm 106
Give Thanks to the Lord, for He Is Good
Praise the Lord!
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
Who can utter the mighty deeds of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
Blessed are they who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times!

Psalms 149:1-2
Sing to the Lord a New Song
Praise the Lord!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!

Psalms 150:1-2
Psalm 150
Let Everything Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Isaiah 25:1-2
God Will Swallow Up Death Forever
O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.
For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the foreigners 'palace is a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.

Revelation 15:7-8
And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Kings And Merchants - Revelation 18:8-24

Revelation 18:9-24 ESV
And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,
“Alas! Alas! You great city,
you mighty city, Babylon!
For in a single hour your judgment has come.”
And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, all kinds of articles of ivory, all kinds of articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls.
“The fruit for which your soul longed
has gone from you,
and all your delicacies and your splendors
are lost to you,
never to be found again!”
The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,
“Alas, alas, for the great city
that was clothed in fine linen,
in purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold,
with jewels, and with pearls!
For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”
And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,
“What city was like the great city?”
And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,
“Alas, alas, for the great city
where all who had ships at sea
grew rich by her wealth!
For in a single hour she has been laid waste.
Rejoice over her, O heaven,
and you saints and apostles and prophets,
for God has given judgment for you against her!”
Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying,
“So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence,
and will be found no more;
and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters,
will be heard in you no more,
and a craftsman of any craft
will be found in you no more,
and the sound of the mill
will be heard in you no more,
and the light of a lamp
will shine in you no more,
and the voice of bridegroom and bride
will be heard in you no more,
for your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all who have been slain on earth.”

The kings and merchants do not face the same judgement as the woman. They both stand at a distance and witness the smoke of her destruction. The kings might represent the consuming appetites of the world for worldly things. The merchants grew rich in meeting and satisfying the appetites, even enhancing those desires for profit. They participated and had intercourse with the woman, but the woman will stand on her own for her actions. She has been found with the blood on her hands of all the slain on earth.

Babylon might remind us of Ahab's wife Jezebel, who brought and encouraged wickedness in the kingdom of Israel. She was slain and eaten by dogs until there was nothing left. Just as Jezebel was thrown from a window to the pavement and was no more, so is Babylon thrown like a stone into the sea, there to sink to the bottom and out of sight. The sea will eventually disappear and will not be a part of the new creation.

The destruction of Tyre foreshadows the destruction of Mystery Babylon. The oracle against the king of Tyre was directed to that king and to the prince of this world. These examples not only record the past, but foretell the future.

The kings and merchants mourn for the fate of the woman. They stand far off and witness her destruction. That distance from her may have saved them from her fate. Even now they might repent and turn to God. When the New Jerusalem comes down to earth, there will be those outside the city that will come to Jerusalem to worship The Lord.

Jeremiah 50:44-46
“ Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan to a perennially watered pasture; for in an instant I will make them run away from it, and whoever is chosen I will appoint over it. For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand before Me?” Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has planned against Babylon, and His purposes which He has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: surely they will drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their pasture desolate because of them. At the shout, “Babylon has been seized!” the earth is shaken, and an outcry is heard among the nations.

Isaiah 13:19-22
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans,
will be like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God overthrew them.
It will never be inhabited
or lived in for all generations;
no Arab will pitch his tent there;
no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.
But wild animals will lie down there,
and their houses will be full of howling creatures;
there ostriches will dwell,
and there wild goats will dance.
Hyenas will cry in its towers,
and jackals in the pleasant palaces;
its time is close at hand
and its days will not be prolonged.

Psalms 106:14-15
But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
and put God to the test in the desert;
he gave them what they asked,
but sent a wasting disease among them.

1 Corinthians 10:6-11
Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty- three thousand fell in a single day. We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Ezekiel 27:32-36
In their wailing they raise a lamentation for you
and lament over you:
‘Who is like Tyre,
like one destroyed in the midst of the sea?
When your wares came from the seas,
you satisfied many peoples;
with your abundant wealth and merchandise
you enriched the kings of the earth.
Now you are wrecked by the seas,
in the depths of the waters;
your merchandise and all your crew in your midst
have sunk with you.
All the inhabitants of the coastlands
are appalled at you,
and the hair of their kings bristles with horror;
their faces are convulsed.
The merchants among the peoples hiss at you;
you have come to a dreadful end
and shall be no more forever. ’”

Friday, April 19, 2013

Blessed Are The Meek - Matthew 5:5

Matthew 5:5
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Not blessed are those that strive against God and man, whose existence is measured by destruction and selfishness, for they will have no part in the new earth.

Come Out My People - Revelation 18:1-8

Revelation 18:1-8 ESV
The Fall of Babylon
After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!
She has become a dwelling place for demons,
a haunt for every unclean spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
For all nations have drunk
the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality,
and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her,
and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people,
lest you take part in her sins,
lest you share in her plagues;
for her sins are heaped high as heaven,
and God has remembered her iniquities.
Pay her back as she herself has paid back others,
and repay her double for her deeds;
mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
As she glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so give her a like measure of torment and mourning,
since in her heart she says,
‘I sit as a queen,
I am no widow,
and mourning I shall never see. ’
For this reason her plagues will come in a single day,
death and mourning and famine,
and she will be burned up with fire;
for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”

After the beast and horns turn on the woman we are shown the fall of that great city. This is the final fall for it was already fallen away from God. Demons and unclean spirits were already resident, for example Jesus cast out many unclean spirits and demons. The world has been home for Satan and his followers for some time, and wickedness has prospered with God's patience. They would not be healed.

The kings and merchants are mentioned. This speaks to those who rule and profit from this worldly system without acknowledging God.

Then we encounter an entreaty to the saints to persevere and overcome this snare of souls. The self-styled queen will reap the consequence to her actions. As in the parable of the faithful servants receiving double the return of their blessings, she will receive double for her wicked acts.

Jeremiah 51:37
and Babylon shall become a heap of ruins,
the haunt of jackals,
a horror and a hissing,
without inhabitant.

Jeremiah 51:8-9
Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;
wail for her!
Take balm for her pain;
perhaps she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon,
but she was not healed.
Forsake her, and let us go
each to his own country,
for her judgment has reached up to heaven
and has been lifted up even to the skies.

Lamentations 4:5
Those who once feasted on delicacies
perish in the streets;
those who were brought up in purple
embrace ash heaps.

Genesis 19:12-13
Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons- in- law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bring them out of the place. For we are about to destroy this place, because the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

Zephaniah 2:15
This is the exultant city
that lived securely,
that said in her heart,
“I am, and there is no one else.”
What a desolation she has become,
a lair for wild beasts!
Everyone who passes by her
hisses and shakes his fist.

Isaiah 47:9
These two things shall come to you
in a moment, in one day;
the loss of children and widowhood
shall come upon you in full measure,
in spite of your many sorceries
and the great power of your enchantments.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Stone - John 11:38-42

John 11:38-42 ESV
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”

The Greek word translated here as "take away" is "αιρω airo; a prim. vb.; to raise, take up, lift:--".
In this story, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.

The stone can be seen as a metaphor for for a life without Jesus, a dead stone. In Revelation we are told we will be given a white stone if we endure in Christ. We are raised from a dead stone to a living stone that is part of the new temple of God. We are borne on eagle's wings, the grace and power of The Lord.

If you believe, you will see and become part of the glory of God.

Psalms 49:13-15
This is the way of those who are foolish,
And of those after them who approve their words.
As sheep they are appointed for Sheol;
Death shall be their shepherd;
And the upright shall rule over them in the morning,
And their form shall be for Sheol to consume
So that they have no habitation.
But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol,
For He will receive me.

2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:6-10
For God, who said, “ Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Hebrews 5:7-10
In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Time For God

Don't have time for God? Don't worry about it.
You'll get a moment in front of the throne of judgement.
Perhaps more than you want.

Carry Out His Purpose - Revelation 17:14-18

Revelation 17:14-18 NASB
They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”
And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, for God has put it into their hearts to carry out his purpose by being of one mind and handing over their royal power to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.”

The war against the Lamb does not necessarily take place before the beast turns on the woman that rides on its back. A chronological flow is not the main point of Revelation. The transmission of ideas through symbols is the goal.

The angel then explains some of the symbology in this passage. He confirms the waters represents all people of the earth. They and the beast turn on the prostitute just as God has declared. This could be when the beast proclaims himself God and disregards the treaty with Israel. At that time all pretense is thrown aside and evil will show its face. The final countdown will begin.

1 Corinthians 15:24-26
Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Daniel 7:24-27
As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings.
He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey him. ’

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Beast That You Saw - Revelation 17:6-13

Revelation 17:6-13 NASB
And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly. And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
“ The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast.

The woman is drunk from the blood of the people of God. John wonders about this image, this seductive woman who staggers from imbibing on those weak in the world, yet strong in The Lord. The blood in her cup was filled by her own hand.

The angel proceeds to explain the mystery to John, and therefore to us. Here is part of the blessing contained in this book. We who have Christ will not wonder at the beast, or receive his mark. We will not be deceived by the deceiver. This will not be possible without possessing the Holy Spirit. He allows us to see and follow the voice of our Savior. He leads us to still waters. Remember the crystal sea before the heavenly throne, smooth and without wave. The embers of the fire of God glow from within the sea.

From the sea arises the beast, which may lead some to believe we might be in the abyss. From the darkness of the world, Satan and his followers continue to assault the earth to thwart God's plan, which is part of God's plan. No longer in heaven, the cast out Satan rules this hell made so by his presence. In the end God will have harvested a people who have chosen the light over darkness. They will be refined from wild grapes of the earth into the sons of a new wine, a new and wonderful creation.

The seven heads and ten horns invite much speculation. Without out a doubt it includes the idea of the sum of worldly wisdom and power, which will not be able to stand before The Lord.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-11
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

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

Daniel 12:8-10
I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mother Babylon - Revelation 17:1-5

Revelation 17:1-5 NASB
The Doom of Babylon
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “ BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

John has been shown the seven-fold judgements that were described during the listing of the bowls. Now a little more detail is given on Babylon. It is presented as a harlot, an immoral woman who rides the scarlet beast. The beast shares the color of dragon thrown from heaven. The woman is clothed in garments reflecting the same color mixed with purple, which represents the power and wealth in the world. She sits on many waters, signifying her rule over many nations.

She seduces the kings of the world with the beguiling glamor and deceit that has been the hallmark of Satan from the beginning. All the earth is made senseless, having drunk from her cup continually of the wine of this earth.

John finds himself in a wilderness, for that is the home of the woman. It was in the wilderness that Satan tempted Jesus. It was in the wilderness that Israel wandered until they reached the promised land. John the Baptist cried out in the wilderness for people to repent. It was filled with beasts, wild animals, danger, and want. It is in that place Satan rules for now.

This is the same beast of the dragon, confirmed by the blasphemous names, seven heads, and ten horns.

Though the woman is clothed in finery and precious stones, the cup in her hand is filled with abominations. These are acts which are not tolerated by The Lord and are abominations when one uses the word of God as a reference point. Nothing is good or bad unless one is able to get their bearings using the light of God. It is this light that reveals darkness and the distance between mankind and the divine. This woman symbolizes the wayward world alienated from God. She gives birth to all that is wicked and those that take pleasure those things.

Isaiah 57:3-10
But you, draw near,
sons of the sorceress,
offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman.
Whom are you mocking?
Against whom do you open your mouth wide
and stick out your tongue?
Are you not children of transgression,
the offspring of deceit,
you who burn with lust among the oaks,
under every green tree,
who slaughter your children in the valleys,
under the clefts of the rocks?
Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion;
they, they, are your lot;
to them you have poured out a drink offering,
you have brought a grain offering.
Shall I relent for these things?
On a high and lofty mountain
you have set your bed,
and there you went up to offer sacrifice.
Behind the door and the doorpost
you have set up your memorial;
for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed,
you have gone up to it,
you have made it wide;
and you have made a covenant for yourself with them,
you have loved their bed,
you have looked on nakedness.
You journeyed to the king with oil
and multiplied your perfumes;
you sent your envoys far off,
and sent down even to Sheol.
You were wearied with the length of your way,
but you did not say, “It is hopeless”;
you found new life for your strength,
and so you were not faint.

Nahum 3:4-7
And all for the countless whorings of the prostitute,
graceful and of deadly charms,
who betrays nations with her whorings,
and peoples with her charms.
Behold, I am against you,
declares the Lord of hosts,
and will lift up your skirts over your face;
and I will make nations look at your nakedness
and kingdoms at your shame.
I will throw filth at you
and treat you with contempt
and make you a spectacle.
And all who look at you will shrink from you and say,
“Wasted is Nineveh; who will grieve for her?”
Where shall I seek comforters for you?

Jeremiah 51:7-10
Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord's hand,
making all the earth drunken;
the nations drank of her wine;
therefore the nations went mad.
Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;
wail for her!
Take balm for her pain;
perhaps she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon,
but she was not healed.
Forsake her, and let us go
each to his own country,
for her judgment has reached up to heaven
and has been lifted up even to the skies.
The Lord has brought about our vindication;
come, let us declare in Zion
the work of the Lord our God.

Revelation 18:16-17
“Alas, alas, for the great city
that was clothed in fine linen,
in purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold,
with jewels, and with pearls!
For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”
And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off

2 Kings 21:2-6
And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem will I put my name.” And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune- telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with necromancers. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn - Matthew 5:4

Matthew 5:4 ESV
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Not blessed are those who dwell in ignorance of their own wretched state, who have no need for God, for they receive their comfort now. The peace of God lies outside their grasp.

In Their Sight - Numbers 33:3-4

Numbers 33:3-4 ESV
They set out from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month. On the day after the Passover, the people of Israel went out triumphantly in the sight of all the Egyptians, while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the Lord had struck down among them. On their gods also the Lord executed judgments.

The Egyptians were not so dismissive of the people of Israel as they buried their dead. The Israelites were no longer slaves subject to Egyptian whim, but conquerors. Their strength and power was not in their own arm, but a reliance and belief in The Lord. The Egyptians had witnessed what The Lord had done. They were familiar with power. They viewed Pharaoh as a god, but they had encountered God Almighty. They were not able to stand.

Not all of the Egyptians were slain, only the firstborn. Scripture does not tell us that any Egyptians believed in The Lord as a result of these mighty signs and the punishment they bore. Surely as they buried their firstborn they had learned something, but the last book in the Bible may give us insight.

In Revelation we read the wicked will receive the wrath of God, yet do not repent. They even curse God. No matter what God will do, some will oppose Him until their end. So it will be. The wicked will keep on being wicked and their end known. Taking the hand of The Lord, the righteous shall be saved. The end is predestined, but not our individual end. The Lord wishes that no one would would perish, but would choose life. He is that life.

Like Israel, the sons of God will be delivered. Once again God will show His mighty hand. Many in the nations will come to believe. Israel will shine as the beacon of God's light, and many will come to that light. We will shine as the lamp-stands of the church and will be the temple of the Most Holy God. The nations will come and give glory to The Lord.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Seventh Bowl - Revelation 16:17-21

Revelation 16:17-21 NASB
Seventh Bowl of Wrath
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “ It is done.” And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was splinters into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, *came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague *was extremely severe.

The final bowl of wrath is poured out.

John tells us in his gospel that the last thing Jesus said before He gave up His spirit on the cross was, "It is finished!". His life as a mortal man came to an end to give us the choice between life and death.

Now another and final step in God's will is accomplished. The world full of sin has met its end. Just as God gave of Himself for mercy's sake, He now unleashes the judgement that justice requires. This time the loud voice of God is heard, "It is done!". The sound of that voice is to be like nothing heard on earth before, mighty and awesome!

The great city is split into three parts, which reflects the sure hand of the divine. She drinks the wine of her sins, which is accounting and judgement for her sin. Babylon represents the fallen world. The time of patience is over.

The enemies of God are defeated, with all mountains and islands fleeing. The powers of the earth give way before the power of God.

Hail represents judgement from heaven. The size of the hailstones speaks to the weight of the wrath of God poured out on earth, on the rebellious men, or mankind. Like Satan, Cain, and the rest of their ilk, they continue to blaspheme God.

Daniel 12:7-10
And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand.

Daniel 12:1-4
Chapter 12
The Time of the End
“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Jeremiah 25:15-26
The Cup of the Lord's Wrath
Thus the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.”
So I took the cup from the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day; Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials, all his people, and all the mixed tribes among them; all the kings of the land of Uz and all the kings of the land of the Philistines ( Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod); Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon; all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastland across the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who cut the corners of their hair; all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed tribes who dwell in the desert; all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media; all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth. And after them the king of Babylon shall drink.

Isaiah 2:12-22
For the Lord of hosts has a day
against all that is proud and lofty,
against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low;
against all the cedars of Lebanon,
lofty and lifted up;
and against all the oaks of Bashan;
against all the lofty mountains,
and against all the uplifted hills;
against every high tower,
and against every fortified wall;
against all the ships of Tarshish,
and against all the beautiful craft.
And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled,
and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low,
and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.
And the idols shall utterly pass away.
And people shall enter the caves of the rocks
and the holes of the ground,
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to terrify the earth.
In that day mankind will cast away
their idols of silver and their idols of gold,
which they made for themselves to worship,
to the moles and to the bats,
to enter the caverns of the rocks
and the clefts of the cliffs,
from before the terror of the Lord,
and from the splendor of his majesty,
when he rises to terrify the earth.
Stop regarding man
in whose nostrils is breath,
for of what account is he?

Ezekiel 38:21-23
I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man's sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Six Bowls Of Wrath - Revelation 16:1-12

Revelation 16:1-12 NASB
Six Bowls of Wrath
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”
So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.
The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.
Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “ Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.
Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.

A loud voice comes from the temple. It doesn't identify the speaker, though there is little doubt Who gives the command. The day of The Lord is at hand and for the wrath of God to be poured out on the wicked.

The first five bowls produce some familiar results, but seem to speak to the total effect of the plagues that followed the trumpets. Those who dwell on the earth and have taken the mark of the beast find that mark now brings painful sores as God's justice catches up with them. What seemed pleasurable at one time now is plainly seen for the loathsome thing it is.

The waters turn to blood. Blood has always represented life and the sea operates as a metaphor for mankind in Scripture. Notice when the second bowl is poured the blood became like that of a dead man. The blood here flows from the dead, for those who have chosen the world rather God. Their lives became forfeit as judgement for their sins.

After the third bowl is poured, an angel of the waters gives praise to the Lord. The divine stamp of the number three points to the sovereignty and divine hand Who rules the earth.

The three-fold title is given that reflects the passage of time. He no longer is the one to come because He has. Instead of “who is to come”, He is the Holy One. All authority and judgement was given to the Son. He is the true one, the Lord God Almighty. Here we are reminded that the Father and Son are one.
One of the chief differences between the righteous and the unrighteous is that the unrighteous get what they deserve. The righteous receive what they don’t deserve. It is an unmerited gift from the hand of God.

The fourth bowl is poured and the sun becomes fiercely hot. The protective wing of the Lord has been removed. The cooling of gentle rain from heaven is no more. God promised that the chaff would be burned, that the unfruitful branches would be gathered and burned. Even in their suffering they do not repent.

Just as darkness descended on Egypt when Pharaoh refused to free Israel, darkness envelopes the kingdom of the beast as the fifth bowl is poured. The tongues that would not confess God now prove to be unbearable. Neither the sun or moon give light to those below.

The Euphrates River is the eastern border of the land promised to Abraham, the promised land. That border has vanished on today’s maps. Jerusalem is not recognized as the capitol of Israel by the US. The temple mount is possessed by gentiles, trampled as it were by the enemies of God. They seek the destruction of Israel even now.

The army of the beast grows in strength everyday. The drumbeat of war looms louder with each rocket added to the arsenal of destruction and with each spin of of a centrifuge to create a nuclear bomb. The enemy is uninhibited in their goal of wiping Israel from the face of the earth. The world seems to be transfixed in a supportive posture to the rabid hatred of that nation. It’s almost like the world is marveling at the beast and saying, “Who can withstand its power”?

Isaiah 49:26
I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh,
and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with wine.
Then all flesh shall know
that I am the Lord your Savior,
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

Hebrews 10:29-31
How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Jeremiah 6:29-30
The bellows blow fiercely;
the lead is consumed by the fire;
in vain the refining goes on,
for the wicked are not removed.
Rejected silver they are called,
for the Lord has rejected them.”

Ezekiel 24:13-14
On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, you shall not be cleansed anymore till I have satisfied my fury upon you. I am the Lord. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord God.”

Isaiah 8:21-22
They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.

Jeremiah 5:3
O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
You have struck them down,
but they felt no anguish;
you have consumed them,
but they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
they have refused to repent.

Matthew 13:49-50
So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Seven Final Plagues - Revelation 15

Revelation 15 NASB
A Scene of Heaven
Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.
And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond- servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“ Great and marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!
“ Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You,
For Your righteous acts have been revealed.”
After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

Another sign, or vision, comes into view. The plagues mentioned here are contained in seven bowls which signify God's judgement on the rebellious man.

The sea of glass mixed with fire may represent those saved and are sealed with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Christ said the wheat and tares would grow together rather than uproot the wheat by mistake. Remember all wheat began as tare. God allows time for the wheat to form for the full harvest. Standing on that sea are the victorious in Christ. They have learned to walk on water and sing a new song. It is the song of the completed salvation of God for it is the song of Moses and the Lamb. Moses prepared us for the Lamb. The Lamb fulfilled the law. Both are the word of God for the salvation of the world.

The doors of heaven are opened, but the meaning and traffic are quite different. Instead of admitting all that respond to the grace of God to enter His house, plagues of judgement are about to leave heaven at this last hour to descend on the earth. No one is able to enter the temple until the plagues were finished.

We are told the tabernacle, or tent, of the sanctuary is opened. The imagery here might point more to a Jewish perspective. A tent was used by those itinerant people as the meeting place of God in the desert. That tent foreshadowed the temple above. The two witnesses at the end caused the rain to be withheld during their time of testimony and could call down fire anytime the chose, by the word of their mouth. This could be the remnant of Israel serving as a witness to the world, their original mission fulfilled. Through this small chosen people, the nations will come to know God.

The word "until" in the last verse tells us the plagues do not last forever. The tribulation is for a period of time set by God. During this time the faith of the saints is perfected, the wicked are punished, and the number of believers grow. The glory of God is revealed.

1 Peter 1:6-9
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Psalms 75:8-10
For a cup is in the hand of the Lord, and the wine foams;
It is well mixed, and He pours out of this;
Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs.
But as for me, I will declare it forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
And all the horns of the wicked He will cut off,
But the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.

2 Chronicles 5:11-14
The Glory of God Fills the Temple
When the priests came forth from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to divisions), and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen, clothed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps and lyres, standing east of the altar, and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, “ He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Flesh Of That Union - Ephesians 5:25-33

Ephesians 5:25-33 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

This is not a doctrine of control, but a teaching about the relationship of Christ and His church. He gave Himself up that He might wash her clean in His word, in the cleansing blood poured out from His veins that she might be sanctified. Immersing in this river of life, we become holy and without blemish.

We are told that husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies, for that is what happens. If rightly done, the two become one flesh. This foreshadows the mystery of Christ and the church. We become one with Him as we enter His body. We become the flesh of that union. There we are neither man or woman, but sons of God. No longer to marry in the worldly sense, but married in the spiritual sense. Heaven and earth become one.

We leave the world as we step into the kingdom of God. We are still in the world, but we see beyond the boundaries of the natural with the eyes of our hearts opened and made alive by the Holy Spirit.

It is a profound mystery and a joyous state we have only begun to experience.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Harvest - Revelation 14:14-20

Revelation 14:14-20 ESV
The Harvest of the Earth
Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand. And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped.
Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, the angel who has authority over the fire, and he called with a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle, “Put in your sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, for its grapes are ripe.” So the angel swung his sickle across the earth and gathered the grape harvest of the earth and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse's bridle, for 1,600 stadia.

Another vision comes to John. There in a cloud is one like the Son of Man. This identifies this as Jesus, the King of Kings. He no longer has a book in His hands, but an implement of harvest. The Father sends an angel to declare the time and season. The hour has come.

This first sickle is swung to reap the ripe harvest of the earth. The Greek word here translated as ripe refers to a crop that has dried into maturity. This may well point us to those who grow up into Christ. The water of the flesh has evaporated in the presence of the refining fire of the Holy Spirit. When all is finished, the sea will be no more.

ξηραινω xeraino; from 3584; to dry up, waste away:--
dried (2), dries (1), ripe (1),q

The second sickle swings. It does not reap, but gathers the ripe clusters of the earth. A different Greek word is used here translated into the same English word: ripe. This crop is entirely different from the first harvest. Instead of the wheat of The Lord, we have before us the grapes of wrath. They are gathered for the winepress of God's wrath.
Broad is the path to destruction and deep is the cup poured out on the earth. The sea will turn to blood.

ακμαζω akmazo; from ακμη akme (a point, edge); to be at the prime:--
ripe (1).

Daniel 7:13-14
The Son of Man Presented
“I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
“And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

Joel 3:13-14
Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, tread, for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

Isaiah 63:1-6
Chapter 63
The Lord's Day of Vengeance
Who is this who comes from Edom,
in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
Why is your apparel red,
and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
“I have trodden the winepress alone,
and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
and stained all my apparel.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and my year of redemption had come.
I looked, but there was no one to help;
I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
and my wrath upheld me.
I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
I made them drunk in my wrath,
and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Good Showing - Galatians 6:12-18

Galatians 6:12-18 ESV
It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

Everyone would like to think they make a good showing, but Paul warns that this can be sign of the flesh asserting itself in the good intentions of the believer. Care must be given to our actions and motivations. It is not the outward trappings that have any eternal significance, but the inward change of a new creation.

Paul bears not the outward marks of the old, failed covenant, but the marks of our risen Lord, the fruit of the Spirit. This is the good showing.

The Three Angels - Revelation 14:6-13

Revelation 14:6-13 ESV
The Messages of the Three Angels
Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”
And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God's wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Blessed indeed,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!”

Now that Israel follows after Jesus, the vision brings focus to the message they will take to world. The message is threefold.

The first angel proclaims the gospel which is for all men and there is still time to come to our Creator. Almighty God continues to hold out the olive branch to mankind. After the flood in Genesis, the dove is released and returns with part of an olive tree in its beak. Here the angel extends the olive branch of peace before the ensuing wrath of God is unleashed.

The second angel announces the fall of Babylon. Worldly structures have been condemned and face demolition. The mountains will flee before the wrath that awaits.

The third angel warns against receiving the mark of the beast. Worship of anything other than God will no longer be tolerated. The consequence of this choice is starkly spoken.

Then a voice in heaven speaks to all those who receive Christ from now until the end. They are those dead to to God who have received the life of God. It is in dying to The Lord we gain life, and if we live in the light of that life, we will find rest. We are indeed blessed in Him.

Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.

Isaiah 45:17
But Israel is saved by the Lord
with everlasting salvation;
you shall not be put to shame or confounded
to all eternity.

Isaiah 40:3-5
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Malachi 2:2
If you will not listen, if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart.

Ezekiel 7:6-9
An end has come; the end has come; it has awakened against you. Behold, it comes. Your doom has come to you, O inhabitant of the land. The time has come; the day is near, a day of tumult, and not of joyful shouting on the mountains. Now I will soon pour out my wrath upon you, and spend my anger against you, and judge you according to your ways, and I will punish you for all your abominations. And my eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. I will punish you according to your ways, while your abominations are in your midst. Then you will know that I am the Lord, who strikes.

Jeremiah 51:8-10
Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken;
wail for her!
Take balm for her pain;
perhaps she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon,
but she was not healed.
Forsake her, and let us go
each to his own country,
for her judgment has reached up to heaven
and has been lifted up even to the skies.
The Lord has brought about our vindication;
come, let us declare in Zion
the work of the Lord our God.

Psalms 11:6-7
Let him rain coals on the wicked;
fire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be the portion of their cup.
For the Lord is righteous;
he loves righteous deeds;
the upright shall behold his face.

Psalms 75:8
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.

Joel 2:30-32
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


God is everywhere
Seek Him there

144,000 - Revelation 14:1-5

Revelation 14:1-5 ESV
The Lamb and the 144,000
Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Jesus returns as the Messiah to earth and stands with the remnant of Israel. These are the tribes we saw sealed previously. The kinsman has redeemed His people from the earth and Israel at last completes the journey to Mt. Zion, fully realizing the land promised long ago. They stand with God in His dwelling place and in His presence.

The song they sing is unique for they are a unique and particular people. No one else can learn the song they will sing. No one else can take their place. They were chosen of God to be His people. Moses begged God several times not to destroy their rebellious forefathers, and God said He would save a remnant because of His promise to Abraham. He will do so.

In the book of Numbers the tribes of Israel are numbered. They are numbered here again, but the numbering implies perfection and completion.

They sing before the throne, the four living creatures, and the elders. The church and all of creation witness the firstfruits of mankind as they are redeemed from the earth. Now with The Lord they spread His light from His Holy Mountain. Through that light many more will be saved. Because of them, the full number of the Gentiles will be gathered in the harvest.

Exodus 20:18-21
The People Tremble
Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw this, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said to the people, “Be of good courage, for God is come to test you, that His fear may be among you so you may not sin.” So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

666 - Revelation 13:11-18

Revelation 13:11-18 ESV
The Deception
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man:His number is 666.

Another beast rises, this time from the earth. It has the appearance and power of a lamb, but it is not the lamb of God. It speaks the words of the dragon rather than the words of the Father. It seems to be the deceptive equivalent of Jesus. An example of this sort of deception exists in Islam. Their teachings say that Jesus will come back, but he will discredit Christianity and lift up the Prophet Mohammed as his superior.

The sword can remind us of the word of God, the sword of truth in the mouth of God. It is this sword that the Savior wields and will defeat His enemies.

This beast causes all to worship the first beast. It is given authority and performs great signs. Many are slain that refuse to follow this deception. Those that do receive the mark of the beast instead of the mark of God. Those who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ are sealed with the Holy Spirit and receive the new name as children of God.

The meaning of 666 has been endlessly debated and has been assigned to many individuals over time. Various meanings may apply. I will note that 6 is the number of man and just short of perfection. It could refer to the timing of the beast's appearance, during the sixth event of each series of seven events, eg. - the seals, trumpets, and bowls. They seem to address the same unfolding story, but from different perspectives, a multifaceted view as it were. The beast appears sometime before the seventh, or last event in each group. Hence 666.

The grouping of three may indicate the attempt of man to be divine with no need for God. This unholy trinity of the dragon and the two beasts seeks to displace God and to be like Him. That was why Satan was cast from heaven.

The irony here is that there is a way to be like Him. One way, and that is through Jesus Christ. We will be like Him. It is only by dying to self that we will change into the glory of God. Trying to elevate one's self will only result in a fall. Building a tower into heaven has been tried before and has never been successful. The modern version of doing enough good works is equally useless. To be like Him, we must first experience and accept His grace. It sounds quite easy, too easy for many. He forgives all if we come to Him, but that is hard to believe and too simple. The harder part may be a consistent walk with Him, but He never leaves us.

Some sing, "I'll do it my way" instead of "have Thine own way Lord". We will hum a different tune later.

Romans 16:18-20
For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
True Tradition on the Second Coming
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Daniel 11:36
“Then the king shall do according to his will. He will be exalted and magnified above every god, and speak arrogant words. He shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished, for it is to be ended.

Habakkuk 2:19-20
“Woe to him saying to the wood, ‘Awake and rise up,’ and to the dumb stone, ‘Be exalted. ’ It is a merely a fantasy, being but a hammered piece of gold and silver. There is no living breath in it at all. But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth be reverent before Him.”