Significance of Jewish Feasts Days

SIGNIFICANCE OF JEWISH FEASTS: 
Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost are Spring festivals on the Jewish calendar and are counted from the Full Moon in Nissan. All prophetic events related to the spring festivals have been fulfilled already. These were fulfilled at Jesus’ first coming, on succssive feast days…
1.  Passover, the Lamb slain, was the crucifixion of Jesus.
2.  Unleavened Bread was the burial of Jesus moving our sins outside the camp.
3.  Firstfruits, the day after the Sabbath after His death depicts His resurrection; the first resurrection of many.
4.  Pentecost– 50 days from Firstfruits; The Holy Spirit came in power, writing His law upon our hearts. Three thousand  were saved and the Church was born.

We now live in the parenthesis between the fulfilled Spring Festivals and the unfulfilled Fall Festivals.
Sundown September 13, 2015 marks the beginning of the Jewish Fall festivals. The three fall feasts are reckoned from the first day signified by the new moon in the 7th month of Tishrei.  This is the only Holy Day marked by a new moon and is the Feast of Trumpets; aka the Jewish New Year 5776.
The Fall Feasts will be (imo) also fulfilled on successive feast days as were the Spring feasts.  These are:
5.  Rosh Hoshana, the final awakening of the First Resurrection will probably occur on this future feast day.
6.  Day of Atonement, will probably be fulfilled by the Second Coming of Christ on this future feast day.
7.  Feast of Tabernacles, will be fulfilled by Jesus establishing His Millennial Reign upon the Earth.

-AuThor
(Author’s note:  The date of the Rapture of the Bride remains a mystery as our Lord intended; and as Luke 21:36 admonishes we need to ‘watch and pray’ that we may be ready when the Groom comes for His Bride.)  It could happen anytime; PERHAPS TODAY!)

YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (Matt 5:14)

Recently I was listening as a preacher talked about Satan. He was talking about Satan being the Ruler of the Darkness of this World – Eph 6:12.
Scripture describes Satan in many ways. He is ‘the prince of this world’, John 12:31; ‘the god of this world’, 2 Cor. 4:4; and ‘the power of darkness’, Col. 1:13. It caught my attention because it is so obvious that light and darkness cannot coexist. You see a popular bumper sticker that suggests all religions and philosophies should ‘coexist’; however, it is not possible for light and dark to coexist. Where ever or when ever light enters a room, darkness is dispelled. It’s always that way. Darkness cannot remain when light enters.
Granted, we are reflected light, but folks, this is something to shout about! If you are in Christ Jesus; If God, the Holy Spirit indwells you, you may only be a candle, but when you enter a dark room there is light; darkness is dispelled! Do you see it? Satan, himself, the Prince of this world, the power of darkness may be in that room but he cannot remain. HE CAN NOT REMAIN IN THE PRESENCE OF LIGHT!
It is said that Robert Louis Stevenson as a child was looking out the window into the dusk. He was watching the lamp-lighter go from pole to pole lighting the lanterns. His nurse asked what he was doing; he replied that he was watching the man, “punch holes in the darkness.”
That’s our calling as children of Light, ‘punching holes in the darkness.’
AuThor

BIBLICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF SATAN: (by no means an exhaustive list)
Accuser of the Brethren – Rev 12:10
Adversary- 1 Peter 5:8
Angel of the Bottomless Pit – Rev. 9:11
Devil – Matt. 4:1
Enemy – Matt 13:39
Evil Spirit – 1 Sam. 16:14
Father of Lies – John 8:44
Great Red Dragon – Rev. 12:3
Lying Spirit – 1 Kings 22:22
Murderer – John 8:44
Old Serpent – Rev. 12:9
Power of Darkness – Col 1:13
Prince of this World – John 12:31
Prince of Devils – Matt 12:24
Prince of the Power of the Air – Eph 2:2
Ruler of the Darkness of this World – Eph 6:12
Satan – 1 Chr 21:1
Spirit that worketh in the Children of Disobedience – Eph. 2:2
Tempter – 2 Cor. 4:4
God of This World – 2 Cor. 4:4
Unclean Spirit – Matt 12:43
Wicked One – Matt 13:19, 38

WHEN WAS OR WILL SATAN BE CAST OUT OF HEAVEN?

I always assumed that Satan was cast out of Heaven prior to ‘the fall’ in Genesis chapter 3. A friend of mine believes that Satan still reports regularly to God the Father in Heaven to give an account and to accuse the brethren. He also disagrees that Satan is currently ‘the god of this world.’ He says, “God calls all shots.” This is his view of ‘the sovereignty of God.’
Other acquaintances, pre-trib, pre-millennialists, as am I, believe that Satan is still in Heaven and will be cast out of Heaven midway of Great Tribulation upon the Earth. They reference Revelation 12:7-9 to justify this teaching. After all, if Revelation is chronological, then Chapter 12 is right before the pouring out of the bowls of wrath upon the Earth and after the ‘Blowing of the Seven Trumpets’.
I believe Revelation chapter 12 demonstrates that the Book of Revelation is not chronological. The Book of Revelation contains a series of seven eschatological visions. I believe that each of these visions stand alone. Revelation 12-14 is the Vision of The Woman and The Dragon. Chapter 12 begins with the vision of a woman who was pregnant and about to give birth. Verse five says, “She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” Verse 3 introduces “an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.” “His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The Dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment he was born.” Back to verse 5-b, “And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.” Verse 6: “The woman fled into the desert…”
Again, this demonstrates that the Visions of Revelation are not chronological. The woman is Israel who is about to give birth to Messiah. Satan, the Dragon, the ruler of this world, seeks to destroy Messiah, but Messiah is caught up to Heaven. A footnote references this passage in Revelation to Genesis 3:1-7; the fall of man, where Satan, the tempter is already on Earth. It is generally accepted that the Dragon was cast out of Heaven before the fall of man in Genesis chapter 3. The 1/3 of the stars swept out of Heaven by his tail, are the third of the angels who followed Satan. They are fallen angels. Scripture demonstrates that Satan is the Prince of the Air surrounding the Earth. (Eph. 2:2) Other scriptures demonstrate that Satan is the god of this world. (1John 5:19) So, clearly, Chapter 12 of Revelation is not chronological. It is not yet to happen. This is historical.
Some suggest based on Revelation 12:7-9 that the ‘war in heaven’ is yet to occur. Again, not so. Indications are that this War in Heaven occurred after the Christ-child was caught up to Heaven. Prior to this you may have a case from the book of Job to suggest that Satan remained the ‘accuser of the brethren’, But after Christ was caught up to Heaven, Satan’s defeat was assured; the great dragon was hurled down; and he is no longer ‘the accuser of the brethren.’ He no longer has access to the Father. He now must now try to defeat us by accusing us personally, as the Father sees the blood of Jesus. Revelation 12:10-12 beautifully affirms this; and it is accomplished by the blood of the Lamb; not yet to come but 2000 years ago on the cross. Satan is still loosed and in control of this world system; but not in control of the believer. Verse 12 says, “He is filled with fury, because he knows his time is short.”

To summarize: Revelation 12:
V 1,2: The Woman is introduced and is pregnant. (Israel)
V 3: The Great Dragon is introduced as ruler of the world. (Satan)
v.4: The Dragon waits to destroy Messiah.
v.5: Israel births Messiah and Messiah is caught up to Heaven.
v.6: Israel is dispersed.
v. 7-9: War in Heaven where the dragon and his angels are cast out for good.
V. 13: The Dragon pursues Israel.
v. 14: Israel given wings of a great eagle to escape the Dragon. (In my opinion: USA)
v. 15: The dragon spewed a flood of water to take out Israel. (imo: the holocaust)
v. 16: The Earth helped Israel by absorbing the flood waters. (imo: WWII)
v. 17: Then the dragon was enraged and makes war against Israel’s offspring – “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (He now makes war on Christians)
Chapter 12 is not yet to happen but is an overview of History from the perspective of the Woman (Israel) and the dragon (Satan). Chapter 12 brings us up to date. Chapters 13 and 14 complete the vision showing us Daniels’ 70th week or the Great Tribulation that is yet to come. Chapter 14 concludes with the final battle of Armageddon where the blood is as deep as the horses’ bridles for 1600 stadia.

ISRAEL DID NOT FAIL!

There is a whole theological system of thought today that is called ‘replacement theology’ that suggests that Israel failed in their mission to evangelize the world and so God replaced Israel with the Church. They believe this to the point that anywhere they see Israel in scripture, they substitute ‘the church’.  Consequently, they do not pay any attention to prophetic scripture because the signs of the end that show Israel being restored and Jerusalem being a bowl of contention is past and has no relevance to our day or the end time.

Very briefly, I want to suggest, ISRAEL DID NOT FAIL!

  1. ISRAEL FULFILLED GOD’S PLAN AND BIRTHED THE MESSIAH, the savior of mankind. Revelation 12:5 says, “She bore a male child who was to rule all nations…” This was Israel who gave birth to the Messiah.
  2. ISRAEL FULFILLED GOD’S PLAN AND BIRTHED THE CHURCH. Acts 2:5ff “And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.” In the synagogue ten were needed to have a prayer meeting. On the day of Pentecost, at least symbolically there were 10 from each of the twelve tribes of Israel; 120 present for the birth of the Church.
  3. ISRAEL WILL FULFILL GOD’S PLAN AND BRING FORTH THE GREATEST REVIVAL EARTH HAS KNOWN! (Right after the Groom has come for His Bride)

GOD IS NOT FINISHED WITH ISRAEL!

AuThor

THREE CLASSIFICATIONS OF BELIEVERS?

Traditionally, our goal as believers is to get to heaven, right? And once we’re there we’re all the same, right? Once we’re there everyone is perfect.   I’ve heard preachers declare this from the pulpit; haven’t you? Yet in this blog I’m not talking heaven; I’m talking about a thousand years between now and then. I’m talking about the millennial reign of Christ upon the Earth. Where will you be then? What will your status be during this time?

I think I can scripturally justify at least three distinct classifications of believers once we pass from this age to the millennial age to come. Matthew 24 and 25 are the teachings of Jesus on the end times. It is in Matthew 25 that I see these three classifications. Matthew 25 consists of three parables from the mouth of Jesus. I used to call these three Judgments but my sweet wife didn’t like the term judgments when speaking of the rapture, so I changed. I speak of these three parables as The Three Separations. Perhaps that’s more accurate. The three are:

1. THE TEN VIRGINS:  The Separation of the Bride of Christ from the Church.

Matthew 25:1-13 is the parable of the Ten Virgins. The five wise are separated from the five foolish. I have written extensively in other places about this separation. It is my belief that this parable indicates a partial rapture, so it is a separation within the Church. In this separation the Bride is separated from the rest of the church. All of the church is saved, but the Bride is separated out as family of God.

2. THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST:   The Separation of Faithful Servants from Unfaithful Servants.

Matthew 25:14-30 is the rewarding of the faithful servants. This is The Judgment Seat of Christ and occurs immediately after Jesus’ Second Coming to Earth. Verse 19 says, “after a long time, the Lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.   Here again, they are all servants; they are all saved. The separation is of the faithful from the unfaithful. So what is the reward for faithful service? To the faithful servants he says, “I will make you ruler over many things.” Here, as Jesus sets up His millennial kingdom, He is selecting those who will rule and reign with Him through the coming thousand years.

What about the unfaithful servant, you ask. Well, again, I say, all are saved. There are those who believe that in each of these separations, the ones not chosen are lost. I don’t think so. Some believe the five foolish virgins who were shut out were lost; some think the unfaithful servant is lost as is indicated by being cast into outer darkness.   I could be wrong, but I believe this is a separation of servants who belong to the Master. Dr. and Mrs. Chuck Missler in their book, The Kingdom, Power and Glory suggest that in keeping with Old Testament references to the temple, that the outer darkness here refers to being outside the presence of Christ, for remedial instruction. This view is in keeping with the doctrine of Eternal Security of the Believer.

We have demonstrated in these two parables two classifications of Christ followers.   The Bride of Christ who will return with Jesus at His Second Coming. All other believers will be gathered at that time for The Judgment Seat of Christ. All, at these two separations are believers, therefore redeemed, forgiven. These are the Servants of Christ who will rule and reign with Him. Finally, there is

3. THE GREAT WHITE THRONE OF JUDGMENT:  The Separation of the Sheep from the Goats.

This separation or Judgment occurs after the thousand years have concluded. (Matthew 25:31-46)  Here is the separation of the righteous from the unrighteous. Here, everyone from all nations, all time, living and dead who have not already stood before Jesus Christ will gather. This would also include those of the thousand years just concluded. The remaining righteous (made righteous by the blood of Jesus) are sheep. He says in scripture, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.” The sheep will inherit the kingdom of God. The goats will be eternally separated from God. Scripture says in verse 46; “and these (the goats) will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Three classifications of believers can also be found in the 23rd Psalm. Quite obviously in the 23rd Psalm, all start out as sheep.

Verse 1; “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  We are his sheep…

Verse 5; “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil, My cup runs over.”   We are now guests in the Fathers’ house, at the Lord’s table.

Verse 6; “…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” As permanent residents, we are now adopted into the family of God.

Some people are content to be sheep. They just want the ‘cabin in the corner of glory land.’ Their ticket is stamped. The unfaithful servants remain sheep.

Others aspire to rule and reign with Christ during His millennial reign on the Earth. They aspire to be faithful followers and servants of our Lord and Christ. According to Matthew 25:14-30, there must be faithfulness demonstrated here to be counted worthy to rule and reign with Christ there.

Some are family! This is based on watching and praying for His return; making oneself ready, having a singleness of mind to the point that some think ‘you’re no earthly good’. This is based on having the indwelling power and authority of Jesus Christ in the here and now.

Please note that by works of law, shall no flesh be justified. All are saved by grace through faith, not of works lest anyone should boast; however these parables do indicate that faithfulness, obedience and diligence have their rewards.  And that, my friend, is a choice you make.

AuThor

WHAT IF YOU ARE WRONG; WHAT IF ALL CHRISTIANS DON’T GO IN THE RAPTURE?

There is a lot of talk lately about the ‘Rapture’. Everywhere I turn people are talking about the signs of the end times. The signs are literally screaming at us, and yet I regularly encounter Christians who have zero interest in discussing the possibility that Christ’s Second Coming may be in our lifetime. I’m talking about Christians who will not even consider the signs pointed out in scripture.
Two examples come to mind. I’ll call one the ‘pan-millennialist’ and the other the ‘scoffer’. The first will, if the subject is broached, say, “I’m a pan-millennialist,” (ha, ha, ha; slap on the back) “I figure it will all pan out in the end; know what I mean?” The other, the Bible calls a ‘scoffer’ because 2 Peter 3:3,4 tell us that in the last days scoffers will come, saying “where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” (v.4) Although scripture promises blessings for those who study and read Revelation, neither of these has any desire to study prophetic scripture.

Dr. David Jeremiah says in his book, Agents of The Apocalypse; “The Second Coming is second only to salvation as the most dominant subject in the New Testament. The fact that Christ’s second coming features so prominently in Scriptures is an indication that this event is important to God – and as a result, it should be important to us.”
Let me point out regarding ‘The Rapture/Second Coming’ that it is obviously God’s will that we live in expectation of His imminent return. We are to be preparing for His return. Luke 21:36 says, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” I take that to mean that some, not all, will escape the coming judgment upon the Earth. He, Jesus, in Luke 21 is speaking to His followers about the end times.
These described above believe that there is ‘no gain’ in watching and getting ready for His return. They assume and have been taught in church that whenever the rapture occurs, they will go, because, after all, they’re saved! The Rapture is for the whole Church, Right?
What if they are wrong? What if there is the possibility of those not watching, of those not ready, being left behind? I believe there is scriptural evidence for this. I have even changed my terminology and now speak of ‘The Rapture of the Bride’ not ‘the rapture of the church’. True enough, the Bride is a part of the Church but not the whole church. Scripture tells us that Jesus is coming to get His Bride who is purifying herself, making herself ready, and eagerly awaiting the coming of the Groom. Does that describe you? What Bride does not eagerly anticipate her wedding day? Nominal Christians, ‘pan-millennialists’, scoffers do not fit that picture. Pan-millennialist just want ‘a cabin in the corner of gloryland’. No need to get all consumed with this spiritual journey, after all, I’ve got my pass stamped. They’re certainly not eagerly awaiting His return; why given the choice, they may even choose to stay behind; opting to catch up with the Lord on His next pass in seven years.
I ventured my ‘partial rapture’ theory in a Bible study group several years ago and one Bible teacher grew angry. He declared forcefully that “Salvation was by grace through faith alone; works doesn’t enter the picture!” I agreed and told him that I’m not suggesting that those left behind are lost; only left behind to endure the judgment of Great Tribulation. Later after studying the relevant scriptures he returned suggesting that those left behind would be those so wrapped up in this world that they would choose to remain. I replied, “Exactly!”

I’ve already quoted Luke 21:36 that suggests that by ‘watching and praying’ some will escape the coming judgment upon the Earth. Let’s look at Matthew 25:1-13. Matthew 24 and 25 are the teachings of Jesus on the “Last Days”. Matt 25:1 says, “…at that time, the kingdom of heaven will be like…” Then in verse 13 is the admonition, “therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
Many say this parable is not about the rapture but it certainly is about the groom coming for His bride to take her to the Fathers’ house for the wedding. Sounds like the rapture to me! The phraseology, “no one knows the day or the hour” certainly speaks of the rapture because at His Second Coming to Earth, the exact day will be known. It will be, according to scripture, 1260 days or 3 ½ years after the abomination of desolation in the temple in Jerusalem. This is precisely why the Anti-Christ gathers the armies of the world to stop Jesus from returning to reign as King of King and Lord of Lords. They know the day according to prophetic scripture.
In between Matt. 25:1 and verse 13 is the parable of ‘the Ten Virgins’; five wise and five foolish. All ten were a part of the wedding party (the Church). All ten were saved! Five were wise and five were foolish. Foolish doesn’t mean lost, it means double minded. They weren’t singularly focused on the coming of the Groom. (Sounds like a ‘pan-millennialist’ to me)
The parable parallels a Jewish wedding feast of that day. This also parallels what we call the rapture! In the Jewish tradition, once the proposal of marriage is accepted, the groom goes to prepare a place for the couple to live. (John 14:1-4) When the Father of the groom is satisfied with the arrangements and preparations, he tells the groom, ‘go and get your bride’. It’s a celebratory atmosphere but the groom keeps the exact time a secret from the bride and wedding party. As the groom gets close to the brides’ house the best man shouts, “Behold, The bridegroom cometh!” The groom snatches his bride; the wedding party is assembled and they go to the Fathers’ house for the ceremony and celebration which lasts seven days. In NT prophecy, when the Bride is taken, that marks the end of ‘the church age’.
Daniel 9 tells us that the history of Israel is divided into 70 weeks of years. We find that 69 weeks of Jewish history have past, (concluded when Messiah was cut off). Then the age of Grace, like a parenthesis is inserted. Israel awaits her final week of history. According to scripture that 70th week will begin when Israel makes a seven year peace treaty with the anti-Christ. 2 Thess. 2:7 states that the Anti-Christ cannot be revealed until ‘HE who restrains’ is taken out of the way. It is generally agreed that ‘He who restrains’ is the Holy Spirit. It is also agreed that ‘He who will never leave us nor forsake us’ leaves when the Bride leaves, ie. ‘the rapture’.
So, while a week of years, Daniels’ 70th week, Great Tribulation, occurs on Earth; the week long wedding celebration is taking place in Heaven, the Fathers’ house.
Notice in Matthew 25:1-13 they all slept; they all were invited to be a part of the wedding feast. Five went and five were shut out because they were not ready.
Some suggest that when the Groom tells those shut out, “I don’t know you” this indicates they were lost. Not so. Please note: In Matt 7:23, where Jesus tells those who were false believers, “I never knew you.” He used the word “ginosko” which means “I have no knowledge of you”. Here, in Matthew 25:12 where the Groom says, “I don’t Know you”, the word used is “oida” meaning intimacy. It’s like a husband ‘knows’ his wife and she conceives. He is not saying, “I don’t know who you are”, rather he is saying, “You and I are not intimate, You’re not my bride.”
Let me return to Luke 21:36. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Note: this is a two-fold admonition. One: that you may be able to escape judgment that is described in Luke 21 by Jesus himself; and Two: that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man. The phrase “to stand before” has two meanings in scripture. One, is to ‘stand in Judgment’ and Two, is for a Bride to ‘stand before her groom’. Since we are specifically speaking here of escaping judgment, then in my opinion, this is the picture of the Bride standing before the groom in marriage as is Jewish tradition (and ours). This is a picture of the Bride being ushered down the aisle to the groom and stands before him.
I believe that according to scripture those of the church who are double minded, not making ready, not watching and praying are not a part of the bride. They are saved in the end, but as here are left behind to endure judgment that falls during Great Tribulation.
What if I am right? What if the Parable of the Ten Virgins is a separation of those who are longing for His appearing from those who are saved but caught up in the cares of this world?
AuThor 

TWO KEYS TO UNLOCK REVELATIONS

Key #1.  We are not awaiting the ‘Last Days’, we are in them!

According to Peter, the Apostle, ‘The Last Days’ began on the Day of Pentecost after our Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection.   This Pentecost was the birthday of the church.  Peter stood in Solomon’s portico and told the assembled crowd, “This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel.”  Acts 2:16, 17  “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;    To paraphrase, Peter said, “THIS IS IT!  What you are witnessing is the outpouring of The Holy Spirit!  The Last Days are here!

These passages (Acts 2:17-21; Joel 2:28-32) conclude with descriptions of the wrath at the end of the age that have not yet occurred.

Key #2.  We are not awaiting tribulation, we are in it!

John the Apostle penned Revelation in AD 96. The Church was already undergoing their 3rd great persecution. Can we call these persecutions – tribulation? The Apostle John does. In Rev.1:9, John says, “I, John, who am also your brother and companion in tribulation…”

The ‘Last Days’ is not just a 7 year period when God’s wrath is poured out.  Many would agree that our generation may be the last generation before our Lord’s return, but still fail to see that the ‘Last Days’ have been going on for almost 2000 years. The events of the end time are ever growing in intensity and frequency until Christ returns.  Jesus describes this in Matthew 24: 4-8.  He gives an overview of the ‘last days’ and indicates that the signs will continue until the end; as ‘birth pains’ so grow in intensity and frequency until childbirth.

The tribulation is not just seven years of judgment, but has already lasted 1985 years since the Cross-Resurrection Event!  There is coming, however, a ‘Great Tribulation’ that will define the final seven years before Christ’ Second Coming! A correct scriptural view of these two periods of time is essential to a correct interpretation of other events in Revelation.

AuThor

SIN IS SIN: ALL SINS ARE THE SAME IN GOD’S EYES! ???

The one big thing that many are missing in saying that ‘sin is sin’; and that ‘all sins are alike’ is that if they agree it is sin, then where is the repentance, and confession to God, asking for forgiveness? What sin do we demand absolution from without repentance?

For you see, to repent indicates to turn away from the offense. True enough that some have besetting sins, but their desire is to repent and turn away from the sin, not to herald it as OK and demand that everyone accept the sin as normal.

When we are saved, this means we Agree with Jesus concerning our need for a savior; we ASK HIM to forgive us our trespasses and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness; we Believe that He alone provides the cleansing and justification for our sin, and we Confess that He is our Lord! ABC= Ask, Believe, Confess; Simple, yes; but still requiring our agreement with HIM concerning our sin and our need for a savior.

Also true, the sins are not what damns a soul; unbelief and refusing God’s provision is what damns a soul to eternal separation from God. For you are indeed correct, that we all sin. No one is justified by works or keeping the law. All need a savior. But as evidence of becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus, we turn away from sins. It is NOT the desire of a child of God to continue in sin.

AuThor

JUDGE NOT

Another thing that society is so messed up on is the scripture; “Judge not.”

This does not mean as some interpret, that we cannot call sin what it is unless we are sinless.

To Judge is to declare another’s eternal destiny. We do this all the time and think nothing of it. To say that another person is going to Heaven or Hell is to make a judgment that is beyond our knowledge. We can believe but God is the judge. He is the eternal, righteous judge; what he declares at the Great White Throne of Judgment will be the final declaration.

If you are living in contradiction to the Bible, chances are that you are deceived and are fooling yourself about your eternal home. The Bible teaches that we are spirit beings and as such will live past our time on Earth. Americans like to believe that we’re all going to make it to heaven; that there are many roads, but this is not what scripture teaches. Scripture teaches that ‘broad is the way that leads to destruction and many go in; but narrow the way and narrow the gate that leads to life and few will enter therein. We want to believe that good folks go to heaven and evil people to hell, but the Word tells us that according to God’s reckoning, ‘No one is good”. So the only way to Heaven is by receiving Jesus’ sacrificial death for us on Calvary. That’s it!  God loved you so much that He paid the debt…

In conclusion, 1 John 5:11,12,13 gives it straight: “This is the way it is, God has given us eternal life and this life is IN (emphasis mine) His Son. He that has the Son has life and he that has not the Son of God, has not life. These things I have written so that you, who believe on the name of the Son of God may KNOW (emphasis mine) that you have eternal life.”

I say it this way, “God has a gift for you; His gift is eternal Life and this life is in His Son! Receive Jesus, inherit eternal life. Simple, straight forward. Not based on anything we do or don’t do; deserve or don’t deserve. It a gift! Have you opened your gift?

AuThor

REVELATION DECODED

TimeLine pic

 

REVELATION DECODED

THE SEVEN VISIONS

The main body of Revelation has seven eschatological visions.

  1.  THE VISION IN HEAVEN:  Chapter 4:1 – 5:14
    1. God as creator – Chapter 4
    2. God as redeemer – Chapter 5
  2. THE VISION OF THE SEVEN SEALS:  Chapter 6:1 – 8:1
  3. THE VISION OF THE SEVEN TRUMPETS: Chapter 8:2 – 11:19
  4. THE VISION OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE WOMAN & THE DRAGON:  Chapter 12:1 – 14:20
  5. THE VISION OF THE SEVEN BOWLS OF WRATH: Chapter 15:1 – 19:10
  6. THE VISION OF THE MILLENNIAL REIGN & FINAL JUDGMENT: Chapter 19:11 – 20:15
  7. THE VISION OF NEW JERUSALEM – OUR ETERNAL HOME: Chapter 21:1 – 22:5

The key to understanding Revelation is to allow each of these visions to stand alone.   Traditional interpretations provide that all seven visions follow each other in sequence beginning with Chapter 4:1 which is interpreted to be the Rapture.  Thus, the entirety of Visions 1 – 5 must fit into a seven year period of time called The Great Tribulation.  This sequential approach leaves a lot of confusion.  Many give up rather than wade through the symbolism.

It was recently pointed out to me that the language of Revelation suggests that one vision is followed by another as John the Apostle says, “after this I saw…” and “then…” Remember John is seeing one vision and ‘then’ another.  He is relating to the reader the order in which he sees the visions; he is not necessarily assigning them to a sequential order of events.  We do no harm to the veracity of scripture by allowing each of these visions to stand alone.  With that being said, it is obvious that the whole pattern is historical beginning with or near God’s creation of this Earth and continuing through to the end of this order and the beginning of the next eternal kingdom.  Drop your preconceived ideas and what you’ve heard others say; let’s journey into scripture and try to see the simple interpretation.

 

VISION 1: A VISION IN HEAVEN:  Chapter 4:1 – 5:14

  1. God as creator/sustainer – Chapter 4.  The purpose of chapter four is to show the reader the throne room of creation; and that regardless how bad things get, God is the creator and sustainer of this order.  He is on His throne and although Satan appears to be in control of the Earth, God has written the final chapter.
  2. God as redeemer – Chapter 5 – shows the adoration of the Lamb slain.   Christ, the righteous judge, is our deliverer, so we have hope despite the events about to unfold.

Keep in mind that we have observed in the throne room of Heaven, the Lamb – slain.   It is He who is worthy to open the seven seals.  Also, note (as my wife pointed out through her Revelation study) there is no mention of the church in Heaven in either chapter 4 or 5.

 

VISION 2:  THE VISION OF THE SEVEN SEALS:  Chapter 6:1 – 8:1

The opening of the seven seals begins after the crucifixion; it is Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God – slain, who is opening the seals.  Many believe the seven seals are opened after the rapture of the church, and they point to Rev.4:1 as that event.  However, because of the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 24, I believe that the first four of the seven seals typify the entire period of time, in which we live, that runs from the cross-resurrection event until the end of this age.

Compare with Matthew 24:1-9.  The entire period of time correctly called ‘the last days’ is typified by 1.False Messiahs, 2.Wars and rumors of Wars, 3.Famine and Pestilence, 4.Persecution and Death.  This has been the nature of the world for 2000 years.  These four events are synonymous with the first four seals, also known as ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ found in Rev. 6:1-8.   As stated in Matthew 24:8; “All these are the beginning of birth pains.”  This simply means that these signs will grow in intensity and frequency until the end comes, or until the church is delivered.

So, if the breaking of the seals begins after the lamb is slain, when do the seals end?  Revelation 6:12-17 is typical of Old Testament passages describing final judgment.  Look at verse 17, “For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

My own view, and that of Dr. Douglas Ezell, Revelations on Revelation, New Sounds From Old Symbols, is that the Seven Seals typify life on Earth but more specifically what those who are in Christ Jesus will experience.  False Christ’s, War, Pestilence and Death follow life on Earth for all, but when the 5th seal is opened, we are in the throne room of Heaven where we see the martyrs of this whole period.  In this view we are not shown what is happening on Earth, because the seals typify the followers of the Lamb and the Bride is absent from the Earth during this time which corresponds with the “First Woe” or Trumpet #5.  Partial judgment against ungodliness does not apply to the followers of the lamb, therefore, no correlation between Seal 5 and Trumpet 5 other than both are spiritual views of the end time.

Seal 6 and Trumpet 6 both depict Great Tribulation, and parallel the Bowls of Wrath giving us a different perspective of the same time period.  Chapter 7 shows those who are redeemed during tribulation, (still part of Seal #6). Notice in chapter 7:15 the language is present tense, not future.  They are, “…before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. …and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” We know this actually happens following the 1000 year reign of Christ upon the Earth, but here it is in Chapter 7 prior to the Seventh Seal. 

The Seventh Seal is opened and there is ‘silence in Heaven’.  This silence represents “The End!”  This is not silence in Heaven because the Trumpets are about to sound.

I am convinced that Dr. Doug Ezell is correct in suggesting that the seventh seal represents the End.  It is the end of that vision and represents the end of recorded history, thus the beginning of our eternal dwelling.   Dr. Ezell says:

“In the Apocrypha there are two references to silence.  2 Esdras 6:39 reads as follows: ‘And then the Spirit was hovering, and darkness and silence embraced everything; the sound of man’s voice was not yet there.’  This statement was made in the midst of a discussion on creation.  Again, 2 Esdras 7:29-31 speaks of silence at the time of the revealing of the Messiah, new creation, and judgment:  ‘And after these years my son the Messiah shall die, and all who draw human breath.  And the world shall be turned back to primeval silence for seven days as it was at the first beginnings; so that no one shall be left.  And after seven days the world, which is not yet awake, shall be roused, and that which is corruptible shall perish.’ 

“I am not… claiming that the Apocrypha is sacred script.  I am trying to show that a first century interpretation of the end posited a belief that there was to be a silence before the new creation to correspond with the silence before the first creation.” -Dr. Douglas Ezell, Revelations on Revelation, New Sounds From Old Symbols.

 

VISION 3: THE VISION OF THE SEVEN TRUMPETS: Chapter 8:2 – 11:19

Chapter 8 verse 2 begins a new vision that parallels the seven seals, in time.  Here in the first four trumpets you have partial judgments cast upon the Earth because of wickedness and unbelief.  Whereas the Seven Seals give us a vision of the followers of the Lamb of God during the entire period of time from the Crucifixion / Resurrection event until the end of this order, so the Seven Trumpets give another vision of the partial judgments that will be unleashed because of the followers of Satan.  I say partial because, you see the pattern of 1/3 Earth burned, 1/3 sea becomes blood, 1/3 fresh waters polluted, 1/3 heavens struck and darkened.  The first four Trumpets, as the first four seals, are physical/natural events.

Trumpet #5 brings torment against men who do not have the mark of God on their foreheads.  This is ‘the first Woe’.  This is partial judgment targeting those who are not followers of the Lamb.  These judgments may be natural consequences of ungodly lifestyles, but it is a time of misery, agony and demonic oppression for those who do not have the seal of God in their foreheads.  I think we have to admit that just as Christian martyrdom has typified the whole ‘end time’ so partial judgment against ungodliness also must typify the entire end time.  Seal and Trumpet #5 give us a spiritual view of the entire end-time.

Trumpet #6, in my opinion, gives another view of judgment (Great Tribulation) and here, death to men, ‘the Second Woe’.  

The 7th Trumpet, ‘the third Woe’, is ‘The End’, representing ‘final victory’ for God, or The Great White Throne of Judgment where Eternal Reward or Eternal Punishment is meted;  a joy to followers of the Lamb; final judgment for unbelievers.  Look at the language.  Rev. 11:15, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.” Verse 17, “…you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”(present tense) Verse 18, “…the time has come for judging the dead and rewarding your servants, the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name.” This is a picture of ‘the end’.  Shall we say, ‘the end’ of this order and ‘the beginning’ of the eternal order, for all believers. 

 

VISION 4: THE VISION OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE WOMAN & THE DRAGON:  Chapter 12:1 – 14:20

Chapters 12-14 is a spiritualized vision of ‘TIME’.  It begins at or near creation and runs until ‘TIME’ is no more.

This passage demonstrates that these are not consecutive visions.  In this vision the woman is Israel, Rev.12:1, 2, who gives birth to Christ, Rev.12:5. The Dragon, Satan, (who carries a third of the angels of Heaven with him when he is cast out of Heaven, Rev.12:7-9,) is ready to devour Christ. (Herod’s decree to slaughter all children under two years of age in Bethlehem.) The child was snatched up to God (resurrected) and the woman fled into the desert. (Israel into dispersion)

Timeline:  Satan was cast out of Heaven with his angels before or shortly after creation, not midway through Great Tribulation.  Satan was given title deed to the Earth by Adam in the Garden of Eden.  Satan and his demons control the Earth and the atmosphere surrounding Earth, as well as the underworld. 

Daniel 10:12; Daniel’s prayer was heard on the first day of the three-week period, but the answer was delayed because of angelic warfare . 

Matthew 4:8; Satan told Jesus that He could have all the kingdoms of the Earth if He would worship Satan.  Jesus didn’t contest Satan’s authority to give it.

My opinion:  The woman (Israel) was protected by a great Eagle, (USA) out of the reach of the serpent.  The serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman. (Holocaust) but the earth helped the woman (WWII). This enraged the Dragon and he proceeded to make war against the offspring of the woman, (Christians) “…who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”  I do believe that we can agree that since WWII Christians have come under heavy assault of Satan. 

Chapter 13 has to do with the Beast and his False Prophet.  This introduces the unholy trinity.  In the previous chapter, the Dragon is Satan.  This is the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet.  The Anti-Christ is ‘the man of lawlessness’, the political ruler who sets himself up as God.  The False Prophet is his enabler.  He is the leader of the ‘one-world religion’.  He introduces the ‘mark of the beast’, (666) thought to be the cashless society.  This is another view on Earth during ‘Great Tribulation’.

Chapter 14 takes us back to Heaven and Final Judgment on Earth.  We see the 144,000 who have been redeemed through Great Tribulation. (Compare this with Revelation Chapter 7)  The angel who has carried the eternal gospel proclaims that the hour of God’s judgment has come.  A second angel proclaims that Babylon the Great has fallen.  A third angel proclaims that anyone who worships the beast and/or receives his mark (666) is damned.

Chapter 14:14-19 speaks specifically of the ‘harvesting of the Earth’.  The language of verses 14-16 speaks of the rapture which immediately precedes judgment.

NOTICE: REGARDING THE RAPTURE!

The sealing of the saints in chapter 7, the measuring of the temple in chapter 11, and the harvest of the Earth in chapter 14 all may speak of the ‘rapture’.  If this is the case, these events must align?  There is only one rapture!  (There are two additional resurrections)Verses 17-19 speak of final judgment when the grapes are thrown into the winepress of God’s wrath.  The closing language sounds like the language of the final battle of Armageddon where the blood rises to the horses’ bridles for 1600 stadia. (180 miles)  From this portion of the vision you can understand how some arrive at the pre-wrath rapture conclusion that the rapture immediately precedes Armageddon.  However, we can find throughout scripture where we are given order of events without the determining time verification.

For example:  Malachi 3:1 speaks of the Messiah’s first appearance, including John The Baptist.  The very next verse (verse 2) speaks of Messiah’s second coming; at least two thousand years between verses 1 and 2; so here, in chapter 14, we know that rapture precedes judgment.  We don’t know the period of time between the rapture and judgment from this passage.   

Another indication in scripture of a long passage of time is seen in Luke 21:24.  In this one verse we see another prophecy where 1897 years pass between the first and second sentences of this verse.  Speaking of the Jewish Dispersion verse 24 declares, “they… will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.” (this began in AD 70 when Jerusalem and the Temple was destroyed by the Roman General Titus.  A later Jewish uprising in AD 133 – 135 completed the dispersion of the Jews into the nations. Jerusalem was turned into a pagan city called Aelia Capitolina and Jews were forbidden to live there.) “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Jerusalem returned to Jewish control in 1967; made the capital of Israel in 1980) From the dispersion to the return to Jerusalem was 1897 years.

 

VISION 5: THE VISION OF THE SEVEN BOWLS OF WRATH: Chapter 15:1 – 19:10  

The visions of the seven bowls begin after the rapture or the harvesting of the Earth.  This is commonly called ‘Great Tribulation’.  Verses 1-4 indicate that those who persevered are beside the glass sea in Heaven.  Now begins the full judgment upon the Earth.  Whereas the Trumpets had represented partial judgments upon the Earth, Sea, rivers and heavens, so the ‘bowls of wrath – poured out’ represent full judgment upon the earth, the sea, the rivers, and the heavens, all affecting men, all temporal or physical in nature.  The 5th Bowl, similar to the 5th Trumpet represents Spiritual Judgment on the Kingdom of the Beast.  In my opinion, the 6th Seal, the 6th Trumpet and the 6th Bowl all represent the battle campaigns of Armageddon, culminating with the final battle as represented by Bowl #6 and War with the Dragon, Rev. 14:17-19.  At any rate, The 7th Bowl speaks of the end, as does the 7th Seal and the 7th Trumpet.

Chapter 16:17 says, “The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It s done!”  Chapter 19:6, says, (present tense) “our God reigns’.  Verse 7 says, ‘the wedding of the lamb has come.”  Word for word, the Greek says: Because the marriage of the lamb came, and His woman (or wife) prepared herself.”

My interpretation: “The marriage of the lamb came, and His wife was ready.” 

 

VISION 6: THE VISION OF THE MILLENNIAL REIGN & FINAL JUDGMENT: Chapter 19:11 – 20:15

Chapter 19:11 begins the description of the Vision of the Millennial Reign of Christ.  It begins with a description of Christ at His Second Coming.  He comes bringing the armies of Heaven.  He is coming as a conqueror.  He is coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to rule and to reign upon the Earth.  His weapon is a two-edged sword proceeding from His mouth.    Here again is the ‘winepress of God’ mentioned.  Armageddon follows.

This culmination of the campaign called Armageddon is the official Second Coming of Jesus.  The very day will be known beforehand; for this occurs 1290 days following the Abomination of Desolation in the temple where Anti-Christ sets himself up to be God.  Because of Scriptural prophecies, the Anti-Christ and the armies of the Earth will proceed to Israel to STOP Christ from returning and setting up His kingdom on Earth.  This cannot be the rapture because of the ‘rapture’ no one knows the day and the hour.  Only the Father knows, not even the Son.  This day will be known and the armies of the Earth will come against Messiah.  The Anti-Christ and False Prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire; the rest of the armies of the world will be killed then and there.

An angel from Heaven binds Satan and locks him away in the Abyss to keep him from deceiving the nations.  He will be bound for a thousand years before being released for a short time.  The righteous dead will be resurrected at this time.  This is called the first Resurrection.  These include those who have died during Great Tribulation without taking the Mark of the Beast.  This is when the Judgment Seat of Christ occurs and the ‘faithful servants’ will rule and reign with Christ during the thousand years.  (Matt. 25:14-30)

Following the thousand years, Satan will be loosed and will immediately begin rebellion against God and the people of God.  The world will again gather around Jerusalem to destroy God’s people, but fire will fall from Heaven and devour them; Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

The Great White Throne of Judgment follows.  (Matt. 25: 31- 46)  This is the Second Resurrection and is followed by the Second Death.  If anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the Lake of Fire, the Second Death.  Death and Hell were also cast into the Lake of Fire.

 

VISION 7: THE VISION OF NEW JERUSALEM – OUR ETERNAL HOME: Chapter 21:1 – 22:5

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”

The Holy City, the new Jerusalem comes down from heaven.  This signals the beginning of the eternal state where God will dwell with men.  This is when God wipes away every tear from their eyes.  There is no more death, mourning, crying or pain for the old order has passed away.  This will be Earth inhabited with immortals.

New Jerusalem is pictured as a cubic city of 1500 miles in length, width and depth.  We are now three dimensional creatures who move about upon a plane, because we are mortal and subject to gravity.  Then, we will be fourth dimensional creatures (immortals) moving about within a cube.  The Bible speaks of these four dimensions which are almost incomprehensible to us.   The Bible speaks of the length, width, height, and depth of God’s love. (Eph. 3:18)

There will be no night there!  God is the light of the new order.

Finally, we conclude by again entering the throne room of God, where we can see God’s face, and we will be with Him forever and forever.

 

THE EPILOGUE: Revelation 22:6-21

Words of Comfort, Words of Warning.

17. “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

20. “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.”

AuThor

SEALS TRUMPETS BOWLS   (click on this hyperlink for chart)