Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Revelation: The Sixth Trumpet.

I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand." Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post...

Sixth Trumpet:  Religious War, 1/3 of Man Killed.

“Then the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice…” Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.”  And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released, so that they would kill a third of mankind.  The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them.  And this is how I saw in the vision…the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone.  A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues, by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which proceeded out of their mouths.  The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols…and they did not repent of their murders nor of the sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.” 

          Here we see that angels are holding back a war that will originate from the Middle East, where the Euphrates River is. 
But when the sixth trumpet sounds, the angels will back off and a world war will erupt.  We can see right now in world events that the Middle East has and is a place of trouble.  Israel and its neighbors have fought for decades, and now the West and radical Muslims are fighting and it is going to get worse.  The three plagues of fire, smoke and brimstone that kill one third of mankind can easily be seen as nuclear devastation.
World War III is right around the corner.  The king of the North (the US) and the king of the South (radical Islam) are already in conflict; it is just a matter of time before it escalates and the sixth trumpet is fulfilled.



Sunday, 19 March 2017

Revelation: 666 & The Mark of the Beast.

I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand." Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post...

Mark of the Beast: Name or 666

          Revelation 14:9 says, “If anyone worships the beast or his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand….”  We see that the mark comes from worshipping the beast or his image.

          “And he (the United States) causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who had the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.  Here is wisdom.  Let him who had understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.”  Rev. 13:16-18

          It says here in the part of Revelation 13 that describes the United States that the mark of the beast is either his name or the number of his name and those who refuse to worship the beast or his image will not be able to buy or sell.


          We saw in the last chapter of this book that for every true and good thing from God, Satan has a counterfeit: God has a church, Satan has a church; God has a Sabbath, Satan has a Sabbath; God marks his believers, Satan marks his believers.  And just as we saw in the last chapter that the seal of God is not a visible mark, so too the mark of the beast will not be a visible mark or stamp.  The mark of the beast on the forehead represents those who are unwaveringly committed to following the false prophet and the beast and its image.  They are “named” among the most faithful and radical followers of the beast.
 The mark of the beast on the hand represents those who follow along simply because it is easier than fighting and dying for God’s truth.  They act a good part and are simply “numbered” among the throngs of those who follow the beast for the sake of convenience. 
We know that true and good things from God are counterfeited by Satan.  You have probably already noticed that God uses the number seven a lot when describing true and holy things (seventh day Sabbath, seven days of creation, seven churches, seven judgments, etc), so a close counterfeit, signifying those things that are untrue or unholy, would be the number six.  That is all the number 666 probably means. 
No sane or half intelligent person would willingly use, or allow to be used, an identification as obvious as the number 666.  Satan and his followers are much smarter than that.  We will be able to recognize the false prophet by his actions and words; a number is irrelevant.  

                                                 

                                          

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Revelation: Image of the Beast.

I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand." Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post...

Of the United States, Revelation 13:12 says, “He exercises all the authority of the first beast (Rome, Catholicism) in his presence.  And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal would was healed.”  Just as the Pope and the Catholic Church used to exercise political and religious authority over the Western world before its deadly wound in 1798, so the United States will exercise its political and religious authority over the Western world, uniting with Catholicism and giving back to the Pope the power his position once wielded. 
The Image of the Beast

          When you look in a mirror you see a reflection of yourself.  It is not you, but it looks just like you and it mirrors any movement you make. 
 Well, the beast was a political and religious power that ruled the Western world for centuries, and an image to this beast will have the same traits without being the exact same entity.  

Instead of being solely the Catholic Church with the Pope wielding religious and political power, this image will be political powers, dominated by the US, backing up the Ecumenical unification of religious powers (Revelation 17:12, 13 says that the kings of the earth will give their power and authority to the beast, so it will not be just the US political power).  

Combined, these political and religious powers resemble, or mirror, the works and the powers of the Catholic Church during her 1260-year reign from 538 CE to 1798 CE.  So what we will see is an unholy trinity, a joining of politics, Protestantism and Catholicism.

 This unification is already at work in what is called the Ecumenical Movement, a movement by Christians of different denominations to overcome their differences and unite under their commonalities.  (see Appendix 1)




Thursday, 16 March 2017

Revelation: The Resurrection of the Beast.

I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand." Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post...

The US involvement in the Middle East is only the beginning.  Iran, North Korea, Syria and others are perceived as threats to the Western world and Daniel says that the US  will expand its campaign to the East and North.
The False Prophet

In Matthew 7:15 Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  Revelation 13 continues with its description of the United States’ religious leader’s powers, one of the two horns on the lamb that arose out of the earth.  

“He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.  And he deceives those who dwell on the earth, because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”  Rev. 13:13, 14  

This religious leader, in the guise of a lamb or in sheep’s clothing, is going to perform signs that are meant to deceive people into believing that he is sent by God to organize an image to the beast, when in fact he speaks like a dragon and is inwardly a ravenous wolf.  The signs he performs may be powers given to him by Satan, or they may simply be slight of hand magic tricks.  We cannot know.  What we do know is that he will be convincing enough to make people follow him unquestioningly and to make an image to the beast.
The apostle Paul was talking about the end times when he said this: “…one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.  For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”  1 Thess. 2:9-12  

People will often believe what they want to believe when it seems to benefit them the most.  God allows this as each person on earth has been given free will to love God and accept the truth, or love wickedness and believe what is false.
Resurrection of the Beast
          We saw in chapter four and five of this book that the Pope was taken prisoner in 1798, wherein the Catholic Church lost its power and suffered a fatal wound (Rev. 13:3).  However, in Revelation 17:8 it says, “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.”  

It looks like the beast “is not” but the beast will rise again from the “abyss” of obscurity into which it had fallen after 1798, and it will regain its power in the end times (see also Rev. 11:7; Rev. 13:12, 14). 



Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Daniel 11: War Between U.S. and Middle East.

I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand." Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post.



Photo by: Martin Falbisoner
As an independent nation, the United States has always acted as gently as a lamb domestically by offering religious and political freedom to all its citizens, but in the world theater it speaks with the power of a dragon.  We know that a horn represents individual people, rulers of nations or a position of great power (see Appendix 2).  In the end times, under the sixth trumpet, two powers, one religious and one political, will arise in the United States.  Since the US is predominantly a protestant nation, we can surmise that the religious power will be someone who represents Protestant Christians.  The president will work with this religious leader and together they will govern America.
          Back in Daniel Chapter 11 we see what else the king of the North, the United States of America, will do at the end times.  “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. He will also invade the Beautiful Land. (Israel) Many countries will fall, but Edom,  Moab (modern-day Jordan) and the leaders of Ammon (partly in modern-day Syria) will be delivered from his hand. He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt, with the Libyans and Cushites (north Africa?) in submission. But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many. He will pitch his royal tents between the seas at the beautiful holy mountain. (Jerusalem) Yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him."  Daniel 11:40-45

 As this chapter is being written, the United States is involved in a prolonged conflict in Iraq…the location of the Euphrates River.  This conflict arose out of the 9/11 attacks against the US  by radical Muslims: Islam versus Christianity, the West versus the East, the king of the North versus the king of the South.  





Monday, 13 March 2017

Daniel & Revelation: The United States in Prophecy.

I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand." Available at lulu.com

Continued from previous post.

In the last chapter we looked at the first five trumpets and the first of three woes.  Before we begin studying the sixth trumpet and the second woe, there are a few things that must be clarified.  In the past chapters of this book I would simply refer to the appendices, but I know many readers have not flipped to the back and read them.  This section on the sixth trumpet and the second woe is too important not to be understood completely; therefore we are going to define everything up front instead of using the appendices.

   King of the North/Lamb from Earth        King of the South


          In Daniel 11:1-30 we see a repeat of the three world empires that followed Babylon:  Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.  More detail is given as to the events that occurred under each empire, but we have already covered all this in enough detail to suit our purposes.  All we need to recognize is that in Daniel Chapter 11 the king of the North usually represents the dominant power and the king of the South represents a secondary power.  In verses 31 through 33 we find the Catholic Church described.  We know it is the Catholic Church because it is described as doing away with the regular sacrifice, as setting up the abomination of desolation, and as persecuting those who do not fall into line (see chapter five of this book).  

To confirm our identification of the Catholic Church here in Daniel, verse 37 says that he (the church, or the Pope) shows no regard for the desire of women.  Catholic priests are celibate and show no regard for the desire of women.

Daniel 11:40 says, “At the end time the king of the South will collide with him…” meaning a secondary power will wage war with (the) Catholic Church.  Catholicism is the largest and most visible of all Christian denominations, so if any other religion, such as radical Islam, were to want to attack Christianity, this would be a logical description for the Bible to give of the first target.  

Verse 40 continues; “…and the king of the North will storm against him (the king of the South) with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he (the king of the North) will enter countries, overflow them and pass through.”  So what is this dominant power that will fight for Christianity against the king of the South?  The answer to that question is found in Revelation Chapter 13.
                                            

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.”  Rev. 13:11  We know that a beast represents a nation, kingdom, or political power.  And we learned that the beast in the first half of Revelation 13 was the Catholic Church (see chapter five of this book), and that it came up out of the sea, meaning it arose out of a population of people (see Appendix 2). 

This new beast, however, comes up out of the earth.  This can only mean that it is a new power, one that does not rise out of an established population.  There were two brand new nations that arose around the time of the decline in the power of the Catholic Church in 1798:  Australia and the United States of America.  The United States was the only one to become an independent nation around this time and is the only one that is a dominant world power now.  Therefore, this beast from the earth must represent the United States.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Revelation: The Fifth Trumpet Continued...

I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is Near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand."  Found at lulu.com
continued from last post...

One way Satan deceives people is through spiritualism.  God is so firmly against anything to do with the occult that he said anyone who practiced it was to be killed immediately.  (see Ex. 22:18; Deut. 18:10-12)  This is because dabbling with the occult opens the door between the physical and spiritual worlds.  If we defy God and open ourselves up to the spiritual world, he cannot protect us and we have placed ourselves into Satan’s hands.  What a terrifying and dreadful place to be!  To fall into Satan’s hands and be tormented by him in whatever way he can think of is the worst torment imaginable.  It would be better to suffer physically and have our souls in God’s hands than it would be to spiritually suffer in the unmerciful hands of pure evil.


            Just as we can see the beginning of the first three trumpets occurring in the world around us, if we take spiritualism as the meaning of the fifth trumpet we can see it is also occurring now.  The rise of spiritualism is often dated as occurring in the mid 1800’s.  However, real organization of spiritualism did not happened until the Theosophical Society was founded in 1875.  The preamble to the society's bylaws states: "The Title of the Theosophical Society explains the objects and desires of its founder: they 'seek to obtain knowledge of the nature and attributes of the Supreme Power, and of the higher spirits by the aid of physical processes.' In other words, they hope, that by going deeper than modern science has hitherto done, into the esoteric philosophies of ancient times, they may be enabled to obtain, for themselves and other investigators, proof of the existence of an 'Unseen Universe,' the nature of its inhabitants if such there be, and the laws which govern them and their relations with mankind…” (18)

          Then there is witchcraft of Aleister Crowley.  “…Crowley is probably best known today as the author of the twentieth century's most influential textbooks on occultism, and as the first Englishman to found a religion—Thelema—which is today a recognized faith around the world.” (19)  “The Law of Thelema, also called Scientific Illuminism and Magick (spelled with a terminal 'k' to distinguish the authentic science of the Magi from sleight of hand), originated in the Cairo Working. At the time, Crowley interpreted the Cairo Working as an astral vision. At this time, Crowley was a Minor Adept of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn was the most distinguished occult society of recent times, which included such luminaries as the poet William Butler Yeats…” (20) 

          Then there is witchcraft of Aleister Crowley.  “…Crowley is probably best known today as the author of the twentieth century's most influential textbooks on occultism, and as the first Englishman to found a religion—Thelema—which is today a recognized faith around the world.” (19)  “The Law of Thelema, also called Scientific Illuminism and Magick (spelled with a terminal 'k' to distinguish the authentic science of the Magi from sleight of hand), originated in the Cairo Working. At the time, Crowley interpreted the Cairo Working as an astral vision. At this time, Crowley was a Minor Adept of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn was the most distinguished occult society of recent times, which included such luminaries as the poet William Butler Yeats…” (20) 
And finally we have Anton LaVey who, in 1966, formed the Church of Satan and in 1969 wrote the Satanic Bible.  His is not the only church to worship Satan, many others have sprung up since his bold move to publicly form his church, but his is the most famous. 


 Do you see how all this has progressed?  It started with spiritualism, moved on to witchcraft, and has culminated with Satanism.  Once the door to the spiritual world is opened, more and more evil floods through.  This progression can also happen to individuals on a smaller scale.  You may begin with having your palm read or getting a numerology chart made.  Then you progress to ouija boards and séances.  Eventually you get more and more involved in the occult until Satan can claim you as one of his own.  The best defense against this is to obey God and shun anything to do with the occult.
We do not know at what time the 150 years began and thus we cannot know when it will end, but the fifth trumpet promises that the torment of man by demons will culminate some time in the future. 

We have looked at the first five of the seven trumpets and have a pretty good idea of what to expect.  The sixth and seventh trumpets are so important and contain so much information that they will each be covered in a chapter of their own.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Revelation: The Fifth Trumpet & First Woe.

I am posting chapters from my sister's book, "The End is Near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand."
continued from last post...

The last three trumpets are referred to as the three woes because they are extremely horrible.
Fifth Trumpet, First Woe:  Locust 
            “Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him.  He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.  Out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.  They were told not to hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree, but only the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.  And they were not permitted to kill anyone, but to torment for five months; and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings a man.  And in those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, and death flees from them.”  They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.  The first woe is past; behold, two woes are still coming after these things.”       Rev. 9:1-6, 11, 12
You have probably heard the term, “All hell is breaking loose.”  Well, that is a good description of what happens under the fifth trumpet.  A fallen star, an angel who follows Lucifer (see Rev. 12:4), is shown releasing smoke and locust from the bottomless pit.  God had kept Satan and his demons under control and had put certain limits on their activities, but now they are loosed to wreak havoc upon the earth.  But those who belong to God and have his seal will be spared from direct attacks from Satan and his angels.
             There are two main schools of thought regarding the fifth trumpet.  We will look at both and then we will have to wait for time to tell us which is the correct interpretation.

  The first school of thought says that since the first four trumpets are literal renderings of what is going to happen, there is no reason to think the fifth trumpet is anything other than literal.  If that is true, then for the first time in our study of prophecy we see a time period that is NOT symbolic.  Five months is the literal duration of this plague. 
When Jesus was on this earth, he went to the Gadarenes one time and there he met two demon-possessed men.  As Jesus was casting the demons out of these men the demons begged to be allowed to enter and possess some pigs that were nearby.  Jesus allowed them to do so and the pigs went insane, jumping into the sea and drowning.  (see Matt. 8:28-32)  Here with the fifth trumpet we see something similar but with different results.  Demons are allowed to possess locust but instead of going insane they torment mankind for five months, driving them insane.  They are led by the demon of the abyss named Abaddon and Apollyon.  These names translate into the word Destruction and can refer to Satan himself or perhaps one of his lieutenants.

   There are three restrictions put upon the locusts:  they cannot attack those bearing the seal of God, they cannot eat grass, trees or any green thing, and they cannot kill.  The descriptions of these locusts wearing armor and having teeth like lions (Rev. 9:7-10), etc, simply indicates that they are indestructible.  No matter what man does, he cannot stop these locusts from tormenting.  Try to imagine living for five months where every time you walk out the door swarms of locust attack you.  They invade your home, surround your car, and crawl all over you whenever they can.  Would you not feel like you were going insane?  It would be horrible torment.
The other school of thought says that with the fifth trumpet we switch from literal descriptions of what will happen under the first four trumpets to a symbolic description.  Why is it symbolic rather than literal?  Because locusts do only one thing when they swarm: eat.  They eat everything in sight, but here they are told not to hurt any green thing.  They are told to harm only people, and only those who do not have God’s seal on their foreheads.  Also, these locusts have a king reigning over them, but Prov. 30:27 clearly states that locust have no king.  So the conclusion is that the locust stands for something else that will torment people.

          But what form do these attacks take?  And does the torment they inflict last five literal months or 150 years (30 x 5 = 150, see Appendix 2)?  If the events described under the fifth trumpet are primarily symbolic, then it is assumed that the five months is symbolic also and therefore means 150 years.  Now we must find out what kind of demonic activities have been, or will be, occurring for that amount of time.  Demons are not going to simply show up at your door and start tormenting you.  Satan is much more clever than that and he disguises his attacks so that they appear harmless.  But they are not harmless, and people do not realize that until they have been sucked in and start experiencing the torment Satan had planned for them all along. 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Revelation: Trumpets 1-4.

I already published this but made a mistake so have to publish again.

This brings us to the mark of the beast.  You have possibly heard of it and heard people speculate that it will be tattoos of bar codes on people’s arms, or a special ID card or implant under the skin, or any other type of visible identification.  However, for every true and good thing from God, Satan has a counterfeit: God has a church, Satan has a church; God has a Sabbath, Satan has a Sabbath; God marks his believers, Satan marks his believers.  We will discuss this more in the next chapter. 
At this time probation is still open and anyone who wants to can join God’s true followers and receive his seal.

Seventh Seal:  Judgment    
          Experience
          “When the Lamb broke the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.  And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.  Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer… Then the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it to the earth; and there followed peals of thunder and sounds and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.”  Rev. 8:1-5

           When the other six seals were opened, there was always a commotion in the form of voices or natural phenomena.  (see Rev. 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9-10, 12)  So why is there silence in heaven when the seventh seal is introduced?  Well, when are you moved to be utterly silent?  When something momentous or fascinating is happening or about to happen and you do not want to miss one second of it.  All of heaven has been involved in what has been going on down here on earth ever since Satan and sin entered the picture, and now it is all about to climax and to come to an end.  No one in heaven wants to miss a second of the drama about to unfold
.

          The angel with the censer throws it to the earth, signaling the commencement of the seven trumpet judgments. 
Trumpets have been used for thousands of years to announce one thing or another.  They were used to announce a warning that an enemy was coming, or they relayed battlefield orders in the midst of a fight, and even today the military uses them to announce the beginning and end of the day.  So the seven angels and their seven trumpets are announcing the beginning of God’s judgments and the beginning of the end of this conflict between good and evil on this earth.

First Trumpet:  1/3 of Earth Burned

“The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.”  Rev. 8:6, 7

Second Trumpet:  1/3 of Sea Becomes Blood


“The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.”  Rev. 8:8, 9

Third Trumpet:  1/3 of Fresh Water Made Bitter

Fourth Trumpet:  1/3 of Sky Darkened


“The fourth angel sounded, and a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were struck, so that a third of them would be darkened and the day would not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.”  Rev. 8:12


The first thing  we must ask ourselves is if these trumpet judgments are literally going to happen or if they are figurative and stand for something else.  If we look closely at each trumpet we see that the descriptions are too specific to be figurative language.  Trees, grass, creatures in the sea, men, sun, moon and stars are all literal things affected by what is to come.  But the reference to Wormwood is figurative, right?  Yes and no.  Webster’s New World College Dictionary (4th ed.) defines wormwood as a plant that yields bitter oil, but it also defines wormwood as, “…a bitter, unpleasant, or mortifying experience.”  Living during a time when a third of the earth is burned, a third of the ocean dies, a third of our fresh water is ruined, and a third of the sky goes dark is going to be a horribly bitter, unpleasant and mortifying experience.

           If we look at the world today, we can see that the first three trumpet judgments seem to be slowly coming true even now.  We are polluting our oceans and our drinking water, and the earth is suffering from global warming, but it will not culminate into a third of each until we are in the Laodicea Church era.  We can speculate that the great mountain of fire under the second trumpet is a volcano or some other natural phenomena that will hasten the ruination of the oceans; killing a third of the creatures in the oceans and causing tsunamis or other devastating after effects that will smash ships.
Photo by EPA
Yellowstone Park Fire
Volcanic ash from Calbuco Volcano, Chile


Late on April 22, 2015, Calbuco volcano in southern Chile awoke from four decades of slumber with an explosive eruption. Ash and pumice particles were lofted high into the atmosphere, and the debris has been darkening skies and burying parts of Chile, Argentina, and South America for nearly a week. Along with 210 million cubic meters of ash and rock, the volcano has been spewing sulfur dioxide (SO2) and other gases.



Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Revelation: The Seal of God.

Seal of God
          “After this (the end of the Philadelphia Church era and the sixth seal) I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree.  And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond servants of our God on their foreheads.”  Rev. 7:1-3

          Before the seventh seal is opened, something happens to the servants of God; they are sealed on their foreheads with the seal of God.  Throughout history, an important document or letter was sealed shut with wax and the author or sender of the document would press a stamp or a signet ring into the wax to identify the origin and the authenticity of the document. 
In Revelation 7 we see an angel has been sent to place God’s seal on his followers, in effect marking them as authentic and belonging to him.  This seal will not be visible to the human eye, it is a spiritual seal: a setting apart, or separating, of those who follow God from those who follow the beast.  But why does the Bible specifically say the seal will be placed on the forehead?  Because that is where the mind is.  With our minds we make the decision to follow God and his truth, no matter the consequences.  “He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true.”  John 3:33 
          But why is this so important?  The mark shows which people are to be protected from the first five trumpets of God’s judgment.  We see an example of this in Ezekiel, Chapter 9.  God sent a messenger to Jerusalem to mark those loyal to him on the forehead, and then God sent five beings to kill everyone in the city who did not have the mark.  This story will repeat itself at the end of time.  We will be marked with the seal of God and the angels sent to execute the first five trumpets will pass us by.


          “And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel… After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” 
Rev. 7:4, 9

          Twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed and comprise the 144,000 mentioned here in Revelation 7.  Some people believe this is a literal number of people from the literal country of Israel who will be converted to Christianity and saved at the end of time.  Others believe this is simply a number signifying completeness and perfection of the saints at the end of time and is not to be taken literally.  Yet still others believe this number may or may not be literal, but it does signify those who go through the end of time and suffer greatly.  These saints all have different strengths and weaknesses correlating to the strengths and weakness of the twelve men and/or tribes mentioned.  No matter what this number represents, our concern is that we be counted among the great multitude that stands before the throne and the Lamb when all this is over. 





 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Revelation. Laodicea: The Last Church on Earth.

This is a series of chapters from my sister's book, "The End is Near. End Time Bible Prophecy Anyone Can Understand." By E.A. James

Continued from previous post:

Up to this point in our study of prophecy we have looked backwards in time; we have seen what the Bible told would happen and then we have learned that history proved the prophecies correct.  From this point forward, we do not have the luxury of historical hindsight.  We are now entering the unknown; we are now going to study what will happen in the future.  No one can say with absolute certainty what will happen or when it will happen, all we can do is take what we have learned about prophecy, apply it the best we can to what we study from now on, and keep watch on the events occurring in the world around us to see the fulfillment of what we have learned.
  In Chapter 4 of this book we saw that we are now living in the Philadelphia Church era.  The Laodicea Church era and the seventh seal are yet to come.

Laodicea:  Salvation        

          Spirituality
          “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.  So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.  Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.  Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock’(;) if  anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.  He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”  Rev. 3:15-21


          Here we see that as the Laodicea Church era begins, Christians have become complacent and self-satisfied with their spiritual condition.  The people have lost their zeal for God and just go through the motions, thinking that they have and are doing everything they need in order to be saved.  Jesus says that he rejects their self-righteousness but he offers to clothe them with his righteousness, to fill them with the Holy Spirit, and to give them understanding.  Those who accept his offer to live in their hearts will reign with him in heaven.
Painting by, Sul Art
          This is a warning for us, especially as the Philadelphia era ends and the Laodicea era begins.  We cannot offer anything to God in order to secure salvation.  Our good works, our church attendance, everything, is unacceptable.  “For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment…” (Is. 64:6)  Only Jesus’ good works, only his sacrifice, only his righteousness can cover us and make us acceptable to God.
Laodicea
  How we think we are……….How we really are.


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Revelation: Jesus Our High Priest.

These posts are copies of my sister's book, "The End is Near. 
Continued from previous post...

“…testimony of Jesus.”
Before Jesus came to this world, the Old Testament prophets prophesized about him and the work that he would do.  In the meantime, the sacrificial system was in place where someone who sinned would sacrifice an animal and his or her relationship with God would be restored.  Revelation 19:10 says, “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  It is the plan of redemption prophesized by the Old Testament prophets that Jesus fulfilled when he came to this earth, died, and went to heaven as our advocate.  

Once Jesus came, we no longer had to make a sacrifice or do any work in order to be accepted by God; Jesus did and is doing all the work for us.  This is called Righteousness by Faith, our relationship with God is put right through belief and trust in Jesus.  And we do not have to go to the temple or to a priest to seek restoration of a right relationship with God, we go straight to Jesus and he does it for us as our High Priest in the temple in heaven.  He is our High Priest who argues our case, who gives “testimony” in our behalf, who offers his life and his death in our place, granting us forgiveness and eventually eternal life.  

The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “…we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle…”  “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”  “…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living god?”   Heb. 8:1, 2; 9:11, 12, 14
                   Why did the Catholic Church hate the testimony of Jesus?  Because it usurped their power and control of the people and it took money out of their pockets.  As we have seen, the Bible teaches that Jesus is our High Priest and he shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins.  The Catholic Church, in the spirit of Balaam and the Nicolaitans, saw an opportunity to control individuals, obtain absolute power, and make a lot of money.  So it began to teach that you had to confess your sins to a priest in order to gain forgiveness. 
Then you had to prove that you had truly repented of your sin by paying some sort of retribution.  This would be in the form of penances, such as saying so many Hail Mary’s, performing some physical hardship, or doing charity work.  Those who could afford it could bypass the acts of penance and pay for what was called an Indulgence.  (see Appendix 1)  The Church made money and they had complete control over the actions of their subjects.   Thus the Church had substituted themselves and their own rules in place of Jesus and his sacrifice.  The horn had “…magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host (Jesus); and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him…”  Dan. 8:11   
Thyatira gave “testimony” to the truth by refusing to go to a Catholic priest and say confessions, by refusing to do any kind of penance, and by refusing to buy any indulgences. Martin Luther discovered the truth about Jesus being our priest and our substitute while he was still a Catholic Monk. He saw that confession to a priest, the performance of penances, and the selling of indulgences were wrong, and this led him to rebel against the false church he had loved and the false beliefs he had held all his life, starting the Protestant Reformation that took place during the Sardis church era. 

“…this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.” (Dan. 7:8)  The Catholic Church was not blind, it knew what it was doing and even bragged that it had the power to do what it did. (see Appendix 4)  In Daniel 8:12 it says the horn, “…will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper.”  The Catholic Church did as it wished, flinging truth to the ground if it got in the way, and it prospered mightily.  Anyone else who wanted to prosper fell into line because the horn only gives, “…great honor to those who acknowledge him and will cause them to rule over the many…” (Dan. 11:39)  But those who opposed him paid the price.  Daniel said, “…He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.” (Dan. 8:24)  Just like the three kingdoms that opposed the Bishop of Rome when he was given power by Justinian, the church waged war against those who “...keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”
           
As we have seen, the horn held absolute power for 1260 years, from 538 CE to 1798 CE.  During this time the two lamp stands, the two churches Thyatira and Sardis, held on to the truth.  They kept God’s commandments and gave testimony of the truth of Jesus.  But why do Daniel and Revelation spend so much time on this?  Because not only was it a big deal in the past; it is going to happen again in the future.  The more we understand the experiences of Thyatira and Sardis, the better prepared we will be when history repeats itself and Laodicea faces the same things. 
The affect of the changes made by the Catholic Church can still be seen today.  Sunday is when most Christians keep the Sabbath; priests still hear confessions; penances are still assigned to the repentant.  Now that you know the truth, what will you do with it?  Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…” Luke 12:48  

Here are the Catholic Ten Commandments:
  1. I am the LORD your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.
  2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not kill.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
http://www.beginningcatholic.com/catholic-ten-commandments


Here are the 10 Commandments from God's Word:
And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-commandments/#.WLzoqvnyu00