Jeremiah – Chapter 23

Little is new to this chapter of Jeremiah. God once again requests that Jeremiah go to the King of Judah and restate and remind them of God’s promises but only IFif the Judeans and leadership of Judah follow God’s commandments. There is a bit of “new look” in that God refers to the leadership of the Kingdom of Judah, both secular and religious, as shepherds. But according to the claim of in verse one, how have these Judean leaders scattered them and driven them away?

This is a two-fold answer:

lost sheepFirst: By them not being an example unto God, the sheep have followed in the examples set and taught by of their so-called leadership. They even have hired false prophets who claim ‘all is well.’ After all they claim, “we have the Temple” is what they stand behind so we (Kingdom of Judah) are protected even if God isn’t front and center in their individual lives. They saw their northern cousins in the Kingdom of Israel carried away 120 years earlier and nothing has happened to ‘good ol’ God protected Teflon’ Judah for decades.  Conclusion? They must be blessed.

In the short of it, Judean leadership has chased its people away from worshiping and depending on the one true God of Israel.

Second: The religious and ruling sectors of Judah have been cruel to the poor, taken advantage of them for personal gain, lied to them, given them false prophetic hope, and slanted the judicial system to the advantage of the ruling class. Jeremiah 23:2c states, (ESV) “Behold, I (have yet to) will attend to your evil deeds, declares the Lord.” They are going to get their deserved punishment and it comes with God’s promise attached to it.

Jeremiah 23:3 jumps to a prophecy yet to be fulfilled and only will be fulfilled after the Tribulation. God will re-gather his people (sheep) scattered throughout the globe and eventually bring them home to a much larger and totally safe Israel (Zion/Jerusalem). A fascinating little comment in verse 4… “ánd none will be missing.” Any question left with this comment that NONE will be missing? Since verse 6 says the *one that will be raised up to execute a future and prophesied justice, fairness, righteousness, and rule with wisdom is named “The LORD is our righteousness.” There is only one who can fit this bill; i.e. Jesus.

*It is in his day JUDAH and ISRAEL will be saved [23:6a).

In HIS day… This is at the 2nd advent of Christ. NOTE: This verse declares that the divided nation of old Israel; Kingdoms to the north and the south, will be united in Israel (Judah and Israel) when Christ returns to the Mount of Olives and calls or brings them back to their promised land.

Jeremiah 23: 11-15 is another example of “if you (us) ____, then I (God) will _____.” God points out the injustice in Judah and then explains to Jeremiah the consequence of such a life style. Even the false prophets are accused of prophesying in the name of Baal. These prophets are so arrogant they no longer even claim to be prophets of God Jehovah; any god will be fine as a so-called prophet. However, one must still keep going back to the promise to Israel (not the church) in verse 8:

[CEV] “…instead, you will call me the Living God who rescued you from the land in the north and from all the other countries where I had forced you to go. And you will once again live in your own land.”  This verse does suggest that we are talking about an Israel after-the-fact of the Tribulation.

In a very real sense, but cannot be proven with scripture, this is possibly similar to the Promised Land for the church of real believers. We will once again live in a Garden of Eden. This is not the actual promise but it is symbolic enough to put our faith and trust in Jesus so we get to the Promised Land as believers.

Jeremiah 23:17 is very similar to today: False declarations and promises by false ministers within shallow denominations. Today’s church tends to be a mile wide and only 1” deep in the Word of God and understanding. We see banners and signs in churches and billboards that read, “God is Love.” There is nothing wrong with this statement as it is true, but only tells us of half the truth. It is what is left out by these half true statements that we discover in the last sentence of v17. According to their false prophets and many ministers today is the claim that  “The Lord has promised that everything will be fine” (CEV). What is missing is the fact that God is also a JUST GOD; Revelation 20:11-13. So, what was true of false prophesy back then is inadvertently still true today. Yes, God is love, but he is also a just God. If this is not so, then why is there any reason for a final judgment; Bema Seat or Great White Throne? We have false proclamations in the very churches we attend.

Jer 23:20  The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

Do you catch the meaning of this verse and the last sentence? In the latter days YOU will understand it clearly. This does suggest a scenario of after the fact of the Tribulation. It also may suggest the gained knowledge is too late and the life God gave us is now on trial.

Verse 22 is very similar to what is going out from shallow preaching of the Word of God. It reads…Jer 23:20  But if *they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.  *Who is the THEY in this verse? This is any who give out false doctrine and promises of anything God has not ordained as solid truth. Sadly and so true, those who wish to tickle the ears of their congregations fall into this same truth. They preach what sounds politically correct and not from what Ephesians 5:13 states; i.e. being a light that reveals evil; i.e. expose it, not to try and learn tolerance.

23:28b is like a summary of the above frustration of God. It asks in part…”What has straw in common with wheat declares the LORD?” Many people if not most can tell the difference between straw, hay and wheat. In a way they look similar but the difference is in its value. Wheat has a nutritional value to all; humans and animals alike. Straw fills the belly but has no food value. One can and will die of starvation even if his or her stomach is full (of straw). The straw here is the false doctrine preached via the prophets and today’s empty message sermons.

Jeremiah 23:30 is another warning too often missed by the reader and sometimes the teacher/preacher. There are two thoughts that come from this verse; the obvious and the more subtle. Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. The obvious is limited to the prophets. They sing off the same song sheet without regard to its truth. Just like we today sing songs in church declaring our faithfulness, worship and/or faith, but only sing the words without applying or intending to apply what the words say. We quote the Lord’s Prayer but don’t live the words we are reciting. Similar to today’s political battle grounds where so-called reporters say the same thing as if they have, and they have, mutually agreed upon.

The second thought is those who steal God’s words then spin them to fit motives, agendas, and political correctness.Truth Text Red Black Burst

So, in conclusion, what do we do about all of this? The answer is given to us in Jeremiah 23:33.

“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,…”

We may find this appalling; violating every rule of political correctness by being so honest. But then, why do we need to say this exposing evil? Simple, the truth shall set us free – John 8:32.

miniJimDr. JStark

June, 2017

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Revelation Chapter 16

Check out the overview by clicking on link below:

Power Point Presentation for Chapter 16

Dr. jStarkIt is difficult to write on something that so many other scholars and want-to-be teachers have already covered in so many different formats. The FACTS don’t change. Bible content is something that cannot be copyrighted. Just like the free will of man to accept or deny the existence of a God supreme, it cannot be outlawed. Simple example in America: To pass a law about discrimination in any form does not eliminate it. This country (2016) is more polarized today than it was just 8 years ago. We can probably go back to the Civil War and see very similar hate, choosing of sides, difference of opinion in neighborhoods and a cluster of houses in a common section of almost any town feeling they are not a neighborhood-in-common.

I state the above as we close in on the end of our Revelation study. This is precisely what the Apostle John and many other bible prophets and authors of books in the bible have said for 3,000 years. They go into much greater detail, but without knowledge, how can one prepare for End Time? Simple answer… they can’t! This however does not mean End Time will also not come. It simply means that millions will lose his or her opportunity to survive it and spend eternity in a much more preferred place than hell.

Revelation 16

A voice from out of the heavenly temple commands the 7 angels to “go their way and pour out the vials of God’s wrath upon the earth and mankind”. Note that John hears the command that all 7 angels are told to GO! Not go #1; then go #2 and so forth. There is an order or sequence but no timing is evidenced. Since all 7 are told to go with ONE COMMAND, it is highly unlikely that there is a span of much, if any time between the pouring out of the wrath bowls of God. [suggested insight follows later]

The sequence is as follows:

  1. Bowl #1 is great sores upon man (and woman) if they have worshiped the beast, his image or taken the mark of the beast.
  2. *Bowl #2 is God’s wrath on the sea. We are not told if this includes lakes, ponds, or oceans. The Greek word used here is Thalassa. Thayer and Strong point out that this is a term usually indicating the Red or Mediterranean Seas. Since Thalassa is a prolonged form of halce, which means “salt” it would be unwise to conclude it does not include the great oceans and gulfs.
  3. *Bowl #3 is when and where the rivers, streams, springs are included in God’s wrath. The third angel pours out his bowl upon these waters.

    *a word of caution… some bible translations say “the waters turned to blood like a dead man.” Young’s Literal Translation from 1898 says “blood.” We do not know if this analogy is a comparison of similarities or the actual thing. It is not important to know which as all translations worth any study say that all living creatures within these waters die.

At this point there is a short interlude as an angel “in charge of the waters” points out (v5) that God is justified in doing this to his creation. He explains that man has shed the blood of God’s followers and “deserves” the same treatment. Then in verse 7 a voice from the alter seconds this proclamation made by the angel of the waters. The obvious…this is at the end of the Great Tribulation Period of 7 years.

We might also note that the first three bowls of judgement are similar to judgements one and six cast on Egypt at the time of the Israeli bondage in that country. Even though these Egyptian plagues were limited to Egypt, we do know what these “plagues” were limited to in durations. This may only be studied speculation, but it gives us some insight as to the possible duration of each plague in Revelation: The first Egyptian plague lasted for 7 days (Ex 7:25), the 9th Egyptian plague lasted for 3 days (Ex 10:21-23), and the 10th was for one night, beginning at midnight (Ex 12:29-31); all within a given week. This may be helpful to those who want a duration number or some possibilities given for the plagues in Revelation. For some reasonable speculation on days of duration, go to http://www.jesusalive.cc/ques219.htm.scorchingsun

  1. Bowl #4 is the sun scorching those on earth (this does not include anyone who has not worshiped the beast, his image, and/or taken the mark of the beast. One must speculate that the turning of waters into a blood-like substance is not a permanent plague. Mankind would die after a few days of no water. Add the 4th plague of a scorching sun to no available water and mankind would fall like flies in a very short period of time.

We hasten to add another note for the reader. Verse 9 states flat out that men cursed God and refuse to repent or recognize Him for who and what He was, is, (and at this point in Revelation) is to very soon come. It appears there is room for men to repent or at least give God recognition for who He is. Not to keep adding Greek to this blog, but sometimes it helps our understanding of scripture. The word “repent” in verse 9 is metanoeō in the Greek. This means to “change one’s mind.” However, we must recall what Revelation 14:9-11 states. If someone repents at this point, it could be suggested that their eternal punishment from the “books that will be opened” [Revelation 2012] could be lessened. However, changing one’s mind does not mean changing one’s heart. One can begrudgingly accept a previously denied fact but still not embrace it.

  1. This is a turning point for Satan, the beast, and his false prophet. Up to this point the false trinity may have escaped the plagues on earth and man. But, plague #5 is pointed… God’s wrath is turned upon the kingdom of the beast. There will be total darkness and an unspecified pain poured out on the throne of the beast and his kingdom. People will finally see that the false-god isn’t even able to prevent or immunize itself against these judgments. What a Day That Will Be!
  2. Now to set the possible stage for the fulfillment of Plague or curse #6. We have the angel of vial #6 drying up the Euphrates. We know that this is already happening. Type drying of the Euphrates River into your search engine and read it from secular sources. There are multiple events happening at this time. Let’s briefly look at a few of them.dryingupriver
    1. Water has by now become very scarce due to the plagues. It may even replace the demand for oil by that time. There already is and has been a short supply of drining water in the Middle East; even during the time of Jacob.
    2. Putin and Netanyahu have recently agreed to a joint venture in developing oil and gas reserves found in Israel.
    3. The most recent world class oil reserve has been found in Har Megiddo; i.e. Armageddon territory; 55 miles north of Jerusalem.
    4. When oil reserves are threatened, armies converge to protect or steal it.. Examples? The Kuwaiti war with Saddam; Iraqi War; WWII… *(See the asterisk paragraph below)
    5. When water becomes totally scarce the Aswan Dam in Egypt will become a terrorist target. If breached or destroyed, this will fulfill the prophecy of Ezekiel 29:9.
    6. The dams in Jordan, Russia, Syria, Turkey…; King Hussein of Jordan has said “the volatile issue of water could drive the region to war. (See Matthew 24:22)
    7. UN Secretary-General Bhoutros-Ghali, while he was still Egypt’s foreign minister, said, “The next war in the Middle East will be fought over water, not politics.”
    8. Ironic as it may sound, the Persians defeated the Babylonians by diverting and drying up the river waters to Babylon back in 539 B.C.. Is this a preview of the fall of the Revelation Babylon???

*There needs to be something that calls these armies together at Har Megiddo; 55 miles north of Jerusalem. We are not without strong compelling attractions to this Valley of Jezreel in northern Israel AKA, Har Megiddo. Here are a few:

  1. Daniel 11 prophecies battles between the King of the North (probably the anti-Christ) and the king of the South (probably Muslim nations who refuse the anti-Christ as their master.) In their final battle they meet at Har Megiddo.
  2. In order to protect its oil rights in Israel and as agreed upon between Putin and Netanyahu (2016), Russia marches in to fend off destruction of their oil rights only recently discovered. See Daniel 11:44.
  3. A dry Euphrates River allows the king(s) of the East cross over and to get into the battle to either prevent a mutual destruction or to make sure it gets its fair-share of booty after the fight (war)
  4. Why would they gather to do battle? Revelation 16:13; it is all God arranged.

Plague #7:

Cataclysmic events such as islands disappear, mountains collapse and are no more, Jerusalem rises up to a high altitude as the waters from under soon-to-be Throne of God in Jerusalem begin to flow both toward the Jordan River and to the Mediterranean Sea. Jesus Christ sets foot on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem. Zechariah (14) tells us that the place of Jesus’ return to earth will not be Zion, Illinois, but the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Israel. The city of Jerusalem is divided into three parts. The armies gathered in plague #6 march on Jerusalem and are judged by Jesus. Babylon the Great, city or an institutional power, is destroyed as announced by an angel in Revelation 14:8 and again in Revelation 18:21. Great and fiery hail falls from the heavens. This hail from heaven has similarities to the Exodus account of plague #7 on Egypt recorded in Exodus 19:13-35. Is it a coincident for us to overlook the fact that this hail in Revelation is plague #7, just as it was in Egypt; i.e. #7?

Much of these plague events and event to follow occur simultaneously and/or in rapid succession. These events continue to be recorded by John in the next couple of chapters in Revelation.

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army [Revelation 19:19; NIV]

___________________________________________________________

 REVIEW QUESTIONS

1) What are the main points of this chapter?

– The pronouncement (1)

– The seven bowls of wrath (2-21)

2) What did a loud voice from the temple say to seven angels? (1)

– “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth”

3) Upon what was the first bowl poured out?  What happened? (2)

– The earth; foul and loathsome sores came upon those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image

4) Upon what was the second bowl poured out?  What happened? (3)

– The sea; it became blood as of a dead man; every living creature in the sea died

5) Upon what was the third bowl poured out?  What happened? (4)

– The rivers and springs of water; they became blood

6) Why did the angel of the waters proclaim God’s judgments as just?

(5-6)

– Because they had shed the blood of saints and prophets

7) Upon what was the fourth bowl poured out?  What happened? (8-9)

– On the sun; men were scorched with great heat

8) Despite these judgments, how did men respond? (9)

– They blasphemed the name of God, and did not repent and give God glory

9) Upon what was the fifth bowl poured out?  What happened? (10)

– On the throne of the beast; his kingdom became full of darkness, and people gnawed their tongues because of the pain

10) What again is said about the response to these judgments? (11)

– They blasphemed God because of their sores and pain, and did not repent of their deeds

11) Upon what was the sixth bowl poured out?  What happened? (12)

– On the river Euphrates; it was dried up, so the way of the kings from the east might be prepared

12) What did John see next? (13)

– Three unclean spirits like frogs coming of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet

13) What were these, and what was their mission? (14)

– Spirits of demons, performing great signs

– To gather the kings of the earth to the battle of the great day of God Almighty

14) What warning and beatitude did Jesus give at this point? (15)

– Behold, I am coming as a thief

– Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame

15) Where were the kings of the earth gathered? (16)

– To the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon

16) Upon what was the seventh bowl poured out?  What happened? (17)

– The air; a loud voice from the temple of heaven, from the throne, proclaimed, “It is done!”

17) What then occurred? (18-21)

– There were noises, thunderings, lightnings, a mighty earthquake

– The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell

– Great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath

– Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found

– Great hail from heaven fell upon men

18) How did people respond to the plague of the hail? (21)

– They blasphemed God, because the plague was exceedingly great

 

Revelation Study 2015

Revelation Study 2015jStark3

Date line May 19, 2015

A senior House of Representatives Democrat said Tuesday [May 2015] that the White House’s description of supposed progress in the war against the Islamic State should ring “alarm bells,” and called the fall of the city of Ramadi to the extremists “a very serious and significant setback.” [emphasis mine]

“I don’t think we’re losing the war, but I don’t think we’re making tremendous progress either,” Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters.

It is common knowledge to those who search for it, the world troubles have centered around the Middle East for centuries if not a couple of millennia. I like how T.O.W. editor Chris? put it; when John noted the “end is near, he didn’t mean he would see end time but that the Kingdom of God is ‘in your face’”. One better be prepared. I remember as a Boy Scout, the motto “Be Prepared.” What has changed? Nothing has so being prepared is always in our face.

The late John Walvoord of author and research fame at Dallas Theological Seminary, in one of his books on Revelation, he notes the following chapter by chapter identities:

Brief on Revelation:

  1. The Thing That You Have Seen
  2. The Letters to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, and Thyatira
  3. The Letters to Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea
  4. The Church in Heaven
  5. The Lamb and the Seven-Sealed Book
  6. The Beginning of the Great Day of God’s Wrath
  7. The Saints of the Great Tribulation
  8. The Seventh Seal and the Beginning of the Trumpets
  9. The Fifth and Sixth Trumpets: The First and Second Woes
  10. The Mighty Angel with the Little Scroll
  11. The Two Witnesses and the Seventh Trumpet
  12. The Conflict in Heaven and on Earth
  13. The Two Beasts
  14. The Victory of the Lamb and His Followers
  15. The Vision of the Seven Last Plagues
  16. The Bowls of God’s Wrath
  17. The Destruction of Ecclesiastical Babylon
  18. The Fall of Babylon
  19. The Second Coming of Christ
  20. The Reign of Christ
  21. The New Heaven and the New Earth
  22. Concluding Revelations and Exhortations

Note that the late John Walvoord, as do I (this site’s author), believe the church is GONE in chapter 4. I suggested in my previous Revelation posting that the church rapture happens between the end of chapter 3 and 4:2 of Revelation.

Chapter 4 is a description of Heaven itself. This is what the redeemed will see upon his or her arrival at the “pearly Gates”. If Walvoord describes chapter 4 as “the church in heaven” and chapter 4 is a detailed description of heaven, the supposition that a chapter 4 church rapture is near if not ON the bull’s eye.

Today I wish to challenge each reader with the some of the arguments against a pre-tribulation point of view. Revelation Commentary.org is a good example. Their research and articles are well written, reasonably sensible, but dead set against pre-tribulation. Here is their scriptural argument against a pre-tribulation view point. …and I quote:

“There are at least nine different references to the church in Revelation 4-19:

  1. Every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 5:9c
  2. A kingdom and priest, 5:10
  3. Fifth seal martyrs, 6:9
  4. A multitude, 7:9; 19:5-6
  5. Bond-servants, 11:18; 19:2, 5
  6. Our brethren, 12:10
  7. The rest of her children, 12:17
  8. Saints, 13:7, 10; 14:12; 18:20, 24
  9. Wife, 19:7” (end quote)

(We will discuss the first 7 as all are self-evident to be out of context when examined)

Source: http://www.revelationcommentary.org/04_chapter.html

Let’s look at seven of their supposed points used to contest pre-tribulation views.

First, recall that the restrainer, often referred to as the Holy Spirit, is part of the God-head. That means he is omnipresent. He is everywhere all the time and cannot be denied existence. II Thessalonians 2:5-8 is as good of a reference to this part of study as any. It says:

2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholds that he might be revealed in his time.

2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.(study note: what v6; he v7)

…until he is taken out of the way.” Without getting too theologically steeped in Greek, there are a few things to consider per the Greek. As always, when something of fact is stated in the Bible or life itself, look for the context. In scripture study, read and study the pre and post verses. In life events, be more than simply aware of something; include understanding and find convincing evidence that one has the facts within and around the issue of concern or study.

In II Thessalonians 2 Paul is warning those in Thessalonica, and alerting us who are currently alive. To be “taken out of the way” in no way suggests that the restrainer is removed from the scene. Many times in watching football, a defensive back is “taken out of the way” by a blocker. This doesn’t mean he was no longer in the game. The same is true here. The restrainer withholding the wicked one is no longer doing so. He is omnipresent so he is still present. But, and this is a significant BUT, the wicked one (Satan) is given opportunity for 42 months to fulfill scripture and prophecy without the imposing of restraints.

I point out that there are many interpretations or views as to who is or what might be the restrainer. The Greek for restrainer is ka-te’-kho. It simply means “to hold back.”

A photo of some handcuffs with a restrain theme

The Greek for restrainer is ka-te’-kho. It simply means “to hold back.” The English restrain as you see defined in this IMAGE is similar but not the same.

Regardless of any who or what, God’s will or word is good enough to withhold the evil one. As is the warning by the Apostle Paul, the restraints on Satan, the lawless one and/or the anti-Christ or dragon are withdrawn for but a season. This in NO WAY means the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God is gone. People will recognize Christ as Savior during the tribulation, but that will mean they become the focus for elimination by the evil one.

Here we discuss one-by-one, published arguments against pre-tribulationism:

Argument #1 against pre-tribulation: Every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 5:9c

To simplify the challenge of this argument against pre-tribulation, read the next verse. It is a continuation of verse 9 so should be read as one statement or sentence.. 10 “…and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” This is not a reference to saints during the Tribulation time, but during the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth; His earthly millennial kingdom reign. This argument is taken out of context. Go back to my warning above; “…until he is taken out of the way.” Where the restrainer was taken out of the way for a season, Satan is now taken out of the way for the 1,000 year reign of Christ from Jerusalem.

Argument #2 against pre-tribulation: A kingdom and priest, v10 of chapter 5

The same counter for argument #1 also addresses #2 in any doctrinal stance against pre-trib. This passage is not a reference to the church at all. It is post Tribulation era scripture; Christ’s kingdom on earth in Jerusalem. The end of this verse states… “and they shall reign ON EARTH.” Is there even a shred of evidence prior to or during the Great Tribulation “priests to our God” are reigning on earth? NONE! Therefore either the church (believers in Jesus Christ) have been redeemed and have returned to earth with Christ, or there is no meeting Christ in the clouds; i.e. a rapture.

Argument #3 against pre-tribulation: Fifth seal martyrs, 6:9

“When he opened the 5th seal, I saw under the alter souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne.”

This passage is post-rapture and mid-tribulation. The evil one, Satan, anti-Christ or the dragon will target any new Christians who accept Christ as savior during the Great Tribulation. Those identified in this passage are those who accept Christ during the tribulation. The supposed ‘wonder of peace and understanding,’ Satan himself is initially disguised as a redeemer and peacemaker; somewhat tolerant until the mid-point of 3 ½ years into the Tribulation. It is these Christians John sees “…under the alter.” If this is not so, then those who believed and trusted in Jesus Christ but were not “slain for the word of God” they are not and never were/are souls under the alter. This of itself highly suggests these poor souls not under the alter never had a relationship with Jesus Christ as his or her savior. They are as lost as the heathen who openly rejects such a plan of salvation.

The Holy Spirit is still present, but the restraining of Satan is temporarily set aside. Yes, the souls under the alter, slain during the tribulation cry out “…how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on earth?” These souls are those slain during the tribulation. Since the church has already been raptured, the souls of the tribulation Christians remain (under the alter) until the 2nd advent and millennial reign of Jesus Christ.

Look at the obvious in the words found in 6:9 themselves… under the alter? There is no new alter or Tabernacle in presently in Jerusalem, not until the first half of the Tribulation. This reference can’t be the souls since the beginning of time or the church age; i.e. the rapture has occurred. It is a reference to those who actually suffered death under the rule of the evil-one and during the Great Tribulation when the restrainer is temporarily set aside. It is their souls who cry out to the Lord for vengeance (Greek: dispotace); 2nd advent and their redemption.

Again my apology for the Greek lesson but it is noteworthy here. The words “on them” in the Greek is apo. It means a separation from the whole; whole what? Answer: Man-kind! It is the TIME when the restraining power imposed on Satan, anti-Christ, dragon or whatever, is separated from mankind as a whole. Why this distinction? John is pointing out that the whole is no longer on earth. It is Satan against the Christians who accept Christ during the Tribulation but not yet redeemed as is the Christian church at the rapture. They are waiting for the 2nd advent and their release from the grave.. under the alter.. Another point is a promise made in Old Testament times and New Testament times: Deuteronomy 31:8 (O.T.) and Hebrews 13:5 (N.T.). “I will never leave nor forsake you.” If the church is redeemed/raptured before the tribulation, God keeps his promise since he has raptured the church.

JIV NOTE: The Hebrew for forsake is ‛âzab meaning ‘depart from or leave behind.’ In the Greek, forsake is egkataleipō meaning ‘to leave in straits or helpless.’

Argument #4a & b against pre-tribulation: A multitude, 7:9; 19:5-6

Talk about taking something out of context… WOW!!! Pure deception; the truth but not the whole truth is being stated as an argument against a pre-tribulation rapture of the Christian body of Christ sometimes poorly understood when called the church. This is gross evidence of out of context. Reading the passage content to grasp the context we see that this is a gathering around the Throne of Christ. This has nothing to do with refuting or challenging a pre-tribulation point of view. It is an event yet to happen in the timeline of God. Verse 14 says: “These (the multitude) coming out of the great tribulation…” Out of the great tribulation means those who were in the tribulation plus those who are redeemed before the tribulation. There is no way to consider this being the church alone. It specifically identifies the multitude as those who have accepted Christ as messiah (Hebrew children) and savior (Gentiles) DURING the tribulation. These are the people Left Behind and who now understand the facts of redemption.

7:9 This multitude in verse 9 is standing before the Throne of Christ. Whether one holds a pre, mid, or post Tribulation rapture point of view, all agree the “standing before the Throne” is AFTER the Great Tribulation. This verse is not evidence that pre-tribulation is either right or wrong. It also does nothing to support a mid or post-tribulation point of view.

JIV CAUTION: Don’t be party to those who listen and do not bother to double check the presented information or even turn to the reference in Bible. This includes my statements.

STUDY THE WORD for yourself!

STUDY THE WORD for yourself!

19:5-6 (multitude argument)

V5… And from the throne came a voice saying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”

V6… Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Verse 4 states that it is the 24 elders and the four ‘living creatures’ who now bow down in worship and it is to them that the voice gives the command to shout out. This may, but I do not know, include the angels of heaven who continuously support the God-head. Angels are often referred to as a multitude or great multitude. (One example: Luke 2:13; ESV. The NIV uses the term ‘company’)

Back up to verse 1…After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven” [ESV]. Quickly ask ones’ self, after what? Answer: After the judgment of the harlot and from those souls under the alter asking for vengeance. What connection can anyone who is anti-pre-tribulation suggest to glean evidence that this somehow disproves a pre-tribulation point of view? In both verse 1 and verse 5, John identifies this sound “as what seemed to be the voice (NOT VOICES) of a great multitude.

This voice shouting out is IN HEAVEN. If it is the church shouting out, it is obvious the church is IN HEAVEN. It could also mean the all of the heavenly host is shouting in ONE accord.

Argument #5 against pre-tribulation: Bond-servants, 11:18; 19:2, 5

Who are the bond-servants and when is this era during God’s *time-table? Go back in this passage to better understand this scriptural context and what it reveals:

*JIV NOTE: time is a creation of God (Genesis 1:4). In God’s plan for His creation(s) we must speak of events, not time-tables.

Rev 11:1 Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the (1) temple of God and the (2) altar and (3) those who worship there,

Rev 11:2 (a continuation from v1) but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.

This era in bible history, now known as prophecy is yet to be played out. 11:3 specifies this prophecy is while the two witnesses from heaven are on the scene in Jerusalem witnessing. It is during the first half of the Tribulation period of seven years (Daniel’s 70th week). Verse 19 states that the Temple in heaven is opened.

A great personal side study can be found at: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/revelation/revelation-11/revelation-11-2.html

Chapter 20, another review of God’s divine plan, explains that this is the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and the beginning of open war between the power of darkness and Jesus Christ. There is additional symbolism where Revelation 12:6 states that she fled to the wilderness after her son was “caught up to God and to HIS throne.” Again, the simple question is… what has this to do with a pre-tribulation rapture of the church be it a correct or incorrect view when the scripture used to support an anti-pre-tribulation view isn’t even discussing the church?

Verse 7 of chapter 12 is quite plain. Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back…, “
A quick review before plowing forward: this passage takes us back to when Satan and his rebelling angels (followers) were cast from heaven to earth. This explains Satan’s domain on earth. But, verse 10 of chapter 12 adds a summation of then and the soon-to-be New NOW!

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, (Lord’s Prayer: thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is [after Satan was cast out] as it is in heaven) emphasis mine. When Christ returns to earth his will is done on earth. He is of the Tribe of Judah, the line of King David, and from whom the scepter will never be removed; Genesis 49:10. Geological fact: When Christ returns to earth he will stand on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4) and it will divide to the north and the south. Geologists have determined that there is a natural fault line precisely as Zechariah describes a split in the mount; i.e. Valley of Megiddo.
JIV NOTE: Armageddon??? The geological institute in Tel Aviv discovered a major fault line running right through the Mount of Olives. It takes a line from the Mount Olives over to the Kidron valley all the way into the valley of Hinnom . The fault line follows the Kidron Brook which empties into the Dead Sea.

Read http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-s-largest-underground-water-source-discovered-near-jerusalem-convention-center-1.365216 for additional secular facts to back up other prophecies of the New Jerusalem.
Conclusion? The casting from heaven and the roaming to and fro of Satan on earth is viewed by John. He will later have additional insights per the continuation of events during the Tribulation We will discuss them later in our study. One might easily put Revelation 11:18 in a predestination category. Remember that John is viewing multiple future events: past, present, and future while getting a lesson and review of how it all began. This helps John see the whole picture and probably why he had to “SEAL UP” some of these predestined events until they are revealed on God’s sequence of events. Perhaps since tears are not wiped from our eyes until chapter 21, we too will get a heaven-side view as did John of *events during the tribulation. *Events are all played out prior to “the wiping of all tears from our eyes.

19:2 & 5 “ …for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his *servants.”

*The bond-servant argument against pre-tribulation views; i.e. “servants” in the above are those souls under the throne; those who follow Christ during the 7 year tribulation.
The judgment of the great prostitute is a foregone conclusion; again, a judgment yet to happen but unavoidable by Satan’s team of deceivers. This is what predestination actually means. Just as Christians are predestined or appointed of God that once we accept Christ as our Lord and savior, we are predestined to be(come) sons and daughters of God the Father. The avenging on her the blood of his servants is a post judgment that has already been determined by God the Father. This is a historical event that is to come. This is another example of trying to disprove pre-tribulation by not understanding or deliberately avoid the context of the passage.

Argument #6 against pre-tribulation: Our brethren, 12:10

…for the accuser of our *brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. *accusing since the Book of job to the present.
How this is an argument against pre-tribulation is a mystery to me. Adam, Methuselah, Noah, Seth and Shem, Abraham, and John himself are “our brethren.” So is the Christian reader of this document. Satan began accusing God’s human creation at the Garden of Eden with the deception of Eve. So what’s new? This doesn’t even qualify as a receptacle capable of holding any argument against pre-tribulation beliefs. This isn’t a stretch of the truth, whole truth and nothing but the facts; it is total bible revision in an attempt too make it fit some ones doctrinal platform or plank in his or her denominational platform. I am almost embarrassed to assess their shallow claim as evidence presented to refute pre-tribulation. Context, context, context. Did I mention context?
Argument #7 against pre-tribulation: the rest of her children; 12:17 (our final review for this blog)

“Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the *commandments of God and hold to the **testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.”

*The commandments of God (Old Testament)

**Testimony of Jesus (New Testament)

Once again we need to understand the history that is here being played out. This is all about the Nation of Israel. The “woman” gave birth to a son. Then she fled to the desert just as Joseph and Marry fled to Egypt to avoid the death order of King Herod on all children under the age of 2. This is paralleled in the Old Testament when the Pharaoh gave orders to kill all children under the age of two when hearing about the birth of Moses. This woman in Revelation is symbolic of Mary who gave birth to the future Messiah of Israel and the one who provided the plan for salvation. Jesus was taken to heaven until the fruition of end time is ordained of God the Father. Mary and Joseph are from the Tribe of Judah. Her offspring are the Jews as they are identified today.

This covenant between God and Israel is exclusive to them. The church does not fit into this passage even with a stretched but well intending imagination. The Judeo-Christians of end time see the errors of their ways. They become followers of the real Messiah. Satan, who is not then restrained, will try to destroy them. This takes us to the great war against Israel when the nations of this world align themselves against her; the *200,000,000 man army outside the walls of Jerusalem. We can see this happening on the news of today as world opinions are turning against Israel. The pieces are falling into place, but this argument of making war against her offspring as proof the church still on earth is shallow at best. There has been “offspring” since Adam and Eve yet God flooded the world on “some of her offspring.”

*Revelation 9: 14-16… This passage alone is a huge challenge to those who want to suggest that the church is referenced in Revelation chapters 4-19 and there is no pre-tribulation church rapture. This huge army does not align itself against the church for one good reason; it is no longer here. Only Israel remains as part of God’s elect and chosen.

Conclusion: I do the research and report. YOU decide. Maybe you should also do some research and not take anyone’s opinion for an eternal yet very personal decision. The Tribulation and God’s judgment is not a laughing or “for discussion” only issue or possibility. It is not a matter of IF, but of WHEN. When ‘when’ becomes “the when,” it becomes a then and no longer a choice.

Keep up with this study and learn.

Dr. Jstark
May 2015

You Are Here – Mother of All Earthquakes

The Bible often mentions earthquakes. If they are so, they are also a matter of secular records making these Bible records the same history as found in secular records. This series is designed to explore secular history, archeological digs [discoveries] and scriptural records of Biblical Earthquakes. This series will end with an article or two on End-Time earthquakes. This is article number six in the series.


 

Zech 14:3,4 (The Mother of all Earthquakes)Then the LORD will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.

These two verses in Zechariah are fascinating and say more than first glance might reveal. The casual or even semi-serious Bible student needs to pay attention to the information this verse provides concerning the future. It doesn’t matter what is one’s Millennial or Rapture position. We will all know who is right per this theological debate when it is over. By then those who are in the rapture won’t care or know the difference since there is *no sorrow in Heaven. C.H Spurgeon and many others write on this subject (http://www.biblebb.com/files/spurgeon/0643.htm). *Please refer to “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”–Revelation 7:17 as a beginning discussion point. (The serious student should add Revelation21:1 and 4 to this must read list).

Let’s breeze by the obvious in this verse; i.e. God will be in full armor. Now look at the verse line that says, “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.” To even the serious Bible student it is easy to accept this location as just that… a location. But, consider today’s politics in the Middle East. The Palestinians, as they call themselves, want to partition Israel to the WEST of the Jordan River. The Mount of Olives is to the EAST of the “old city” of Jerusalem. This is territory that falls within the land claimed by the Arabs. In other words, Christ would, under today’s political lines, be returning to land dominated by Arabs and Islamists.

This means one of two things. Either Israel will NOT relinquish this land prior to the Return of Jesus Christ or The Arabs are in for one huge surprise. It doesn’t matter which it is. The event is prophesied and will happen as the Bible tells us it will.

What follows in Zechariah 14… ? “The Mount of Olive will split in two.” It will split east to west meaning half of the mountain will move north and half of it will move south creating a very significant valley. Will this be supernatural? Might the geology of this land and fault lines already be in place per secular geologists? Seismologists? Might the split be supernatural but it will be along already existing earthquake faults? Perhaps, however, like in the *plagues of Egypt He used natural events to make His point.
Earthquake
Let’s first look at a known fact per secular science. The seismologists map of this area shows a fault line known as the Jordan Valley riff, there is a natural plate movement that cuts right through the center of the Mount of Olives. Part of the plate is shifting to the north and part of the plate is shifting to the south. Just as Zechariah 14 claims will be a dramatic shift the rips apart the Mount of Olives. Just too as the plagues on Egypt prior to the exodus of the captive Israelis (the 10 Plagues) were mostly Return of Jesus Christ accelerated by God; water turning *“red as blood”, frogs, lice, locus, flies, diseased livestock… all natural events to Egypt. The difference is God exasperated and accelerated these events. He made them intolerable and many times their normal expectations in this land.

*The naturally occurring floods of the Nile, prior to the building of the Aswan Dam which was completed in 1870, would move tons of soil down-stream toward the mouth of the Nile River at the Mediterranean Sea. This would muddy the waters but not kill off the fish and make it undrinkable to livestock. The plague of the Nile was increased to the power of and made it totally undrinkable by anyone and killed off the fish. Why? It was turned not to just murky waters, but bloody.

The already existing fault line in the Middle East, as pointed out by secular science, fits very well with the Zechariah prophecy of over **2500 years ago. This old scripture was written well before seismologists had much of a science. It is ready to be an event accelerated by the Return of Christ when He plants his feet on the Mount of Olives.

**Zechariah is specific about dating his writing; Zechariah 1:1 (520-518 BC).

This is still an earthquake yet to come. However, according to secular sciences and reports, it will be a natural event and is well overdue. According to the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, in 31 B.C.E., 30,000 people lost their lives in an earthquake in this area. (http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-is-due-and-ill-prepared-for-a-major-earthquake-1.261497)

This earthquake to which Josephus Flavius refers is associated per per time lines associate with either the death or resurrection of Jesus Christ as also reported in the Bible’ three days apart. Simply put… The Holy Word of God is not a textbook full of religious stories and the basis of and handbook for a religion called Christianity. It is the same history as secular history but reporting on a specific niche in the history of a world God created. How else would it be that a prophet could predict an earthquake upon the return of Jesus Christ and be so pin-point accurate with location and fault lines? These are the fault lines with conditions that the same secular scientists of today tell us is well overdue for an earth shattering event.

Other sources saying the same thing but from different points of view:

http://yonkerstribune.typepad.com/yonkers_tribune/2012/12/dr-naseer-alomari-speaks-of-the-fault-lines-of-the-middle-east-on-westchester-on-the-level-december-.html
http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=yff80-sfp&va=fault+lines+of+the+middle+east
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message417568/pg1
http://www.tsunami-alarm-system.com/fileadmin/media/press/articel/en/National-Geographic-26_07_2007-Major-quake-tsunami-likely-in-middle-east.pdf
http://bibleproject.blogspot.com/2007/07/major-quake-tsunami-likely-in-middle.html

If this is all a coincident, I would need to be deliberately blind to what all of the authorities say per this pending earthquake. Perhaps if one is a non-Christian, s/he should take notice. The Bible tells us it will happen, where it will happen and the event that will cause it to happen. If this pending earthquake is soon to come, perhaps one should also believe that Christ too is soon to come. After the fact, it will be too late. You have been notified.jStark3