Jeremiah – Chapter 29

And the beat goes on… Jeremiah 29:11 is one of those controversial and taken out of context verses. Jeremiah empowered by God’s promises to Israel is speaking of Israel in this verse using as present and far-future tense. Using the YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) it reads:

29:11… “For I have known the thoughts that I am thinking towards you–an affirmation of Jehovah; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give to you posterity and hope.”

continue

more to come…

 

Let’s however begin with the 29:1 then explain the controversy of verse 11 a bit later.

Jeremiah laments that he is “left in Jerusalem” while his brethren and fellow Judeans have been taken as captives to Babylon. The royalty, skilled labor/craftsmen, and the brightest of the youth (including Daniel) have been removed to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar hopes to leverage their skills, contacts, and *governing potentials. These are mostly men of value to any economy, politics, and society.

*Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed Nego became government officials of Babylon. So did many others whose names have not been recorded in scripture.

King Jehoiachin and the royal leaders/family are no long residents of Jerusalem and never will be again. This includes a truck load of prophets, priests, and religious leaders. Jehoiachin’s (aka: Jeconiah) uncle Zedekiah is placed on the throne in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.  This eventually becomes another issue for Nebuchadnezzar but we will address it later in our study. A letter is sent to Nebuchadnezzar and the captives in Babylon that points out that it was God who allowed ol’ Neb to even capture Israel and the people of Jerusalem…”Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all the captivity, whom I have caused to be carried away captive from Jerusalem unto Babylon.”  In a very real sense, this letter reminds all of them that Jeremiah warned and they refused to listen. He (God) is also putting Nebuchadnezzar on notice. We find this in the Book of Daniel.

Basically God tells these captives to dig in and thrive because they will be there for quite a while (70 years). God even explains that HE does not want their numbers to diminish but increase while there.  Let’s go back several lessons for a minute. God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the Promised Land. It included a much greater territory than they ever conquered or occupied through the Judges, Saul, David and Solomon, and the divided kingdoms; about 800 years by this time. He promised that if they follow and worship him, HE will expand their borders. Well, Israel did not follow God but God is not slack in his covenants in either the Old or the New Testaments.

The Assyrian captivity and dispersion of the northern Kingdom of Israel 120 years earlier spread these people into lands that were to be Israel’s if they kept their end of the covenant. They didn’t. So they (Judean-Israelites) do occupy the land but are not rulers within them the same is true of the southern borders of the covenant with Israel. Sooooo, Babylon takes them captive moving large numbers of Judean-Israelis east of their small homeland. By doing so, they now occupy lands God had promised them; BUT…they are not rulers within this territory.  God actually tells his chosen people to work with not against their captives. He tells them to pray to him for the welfare of their captivity people in Babylon. WOW!

prefer liesAt the same time God through this letter and Jeremiah once again cautions these Judeans to not lend listening ears to the false doctrines and prophecies of those within their midst. Go back to our article on chapter 28 and re-read how Jeremiah dealt with on of them named Hananiah. It cost him his life for his false statements. You can believe several of these false prophets moved with them into captivity. God had ill plans for them but they are not recorded in scripture. Prophesying is one thing but to do so (lie) in God’s name….!!!! (See 29:21 to 26; 30 to 32). God will deal with all false teachers of the Old Testament and today per the New Testament. Vengeance is HIS!

Now we get into the controversial discussions of Jeremiah 29:; i.e. verses 10, 11, and 12. Here they are in the ESV:

Jer 29:10   “For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.

Jer 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jer 29:12  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

The primary issue is that it appears according to history as we know it, God did NOT make things better for them. Fact is, they got even worse after returning to Jerusalem 70 years later. There were the Greeks, Romans, Turks (Ottomans), WW I, WW II, Arabs and eventually Islamists. So where is the promised prosperity? This is where one must understand that God is referring to a distant future meaning when Jesus returns and sets up his millennial kingdom in Israel. Things are still going to get even worse for these people, i.e. Jacob’s Trouble in the latter half of the Great Tribulation. That is at least 2,700 years in the future from this time Jeremiah is lettering.

Author and blogger Mary DeMuth has another worthy opinion. She says, Jeremiah 29:11 Doesn’t Mean What You Think. As she explains, “the heart of the verse is “not that we would escape our lot, but that we would learn to thrive” in the midst of it.” There is some value to her thoughts but the fact is Jeremiah is referencing a prophecy yet to be fulfilled even today.  Of course this is not what the new captives wanted to hear. They wanted to make it a short tenure in Babylon then return to the “prosperity” of their home in Judah. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that they didn’t even fulfill this commandment; i.e. to pray for the prosperity of Babylon, not just their personal health and wealth. Most of those taken into captivity would die during the 70 years. (More on this in a later blog)

Dr. Coffman puts it: The crowd of false prophets similar to Hananiah were circulating the same falsehoods in Babylon; and the letter in this chapter was written by Jeremiah in order to counteract and frustrate the evil campaign of the false prophets.”  It is no easy task to accept what one does not want and then learn how to live with it in praying for the prosperity of one’s enemies; in this case, the Babylonians.

Jeremiah 29:14 makes verse 11 clearer and more obvious. God restates that he will regather all of Israel from all of the nations where they have and continue to this day to be scattered. What is the condition? ”When you finally decide to follow me” says God. This explains the WHY in the second half of the Great Tribulation; aka: Jacob’s Trouble. God needs to FORCE these bull-headed people into finally accepting and seeking HIM.

God even tells these exiles, through Jeremiah, that those who remain in Jerusalem, the poor farmers and undesired of Nebuchadnezzar, he will (verses 17-19) bring upon them the things that later bible writers like Daniel and John of Patmos (Book of Revelation) prophesied; pestilence, the great sword, make them a horror, a curse, burden and reproach  to “all” other nations. We see this in the daily news today. It is a prophecy yet to be completed. This is another example of this author’s often noted statement… “God says, if  you ____, then I will ____.

Today we are at the threshold of seeing this Jeremiah 29:11. We are opening the door of this End Time history soon to be played out. It is all around us; nation against nation (meaning territorial and political fighting) and kingdom against kingdom (meaning political, racial, religious, petty family feuds, political and literal fighting and sabotage, fake news, spreading of the soon to be southern kingdom of Daniel prophesies; i.e. Islam, border wars, … You name it. This is what the passage in Matthew 24:6 means when correctly translated.

miniJimDr. J. Stark

August 2017

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Revelation Chapter 21

The last book of the Bible - RevelationsWe are about to conclude our look at and study of the Book of Revelation. Other than the first three chapters it is all about Israel and those who live in and during the tribulation 7 years. It will be good for us to recall a few things about Israel.

Every conflict in or around Israel is not THE [Revelation] SIGN of End Time. There has been conflict in the Middle East and especially with Israel since recorded history. The only time on can point to a semi-peaceful time in Israel was BEFORE King Saul. For 400 years the 12 Tribes lived within their own territories and only joined forces when an outside force caused problems or attacked one of the other tribal territories. But, even during the time of the Judges there was trouble, wars and in some instances, inter/intra-tribal conflict. We do not wish to get off topic so here are a few reminders of Israel and End Time: [God’s covenants with Israel are FOR ISRAEL and will be fulfilled to the letter]

  1. There will be a mass return of Jews to the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:3; Isaiah 43:6; Ezekiel 34:11-13; 36:24; 37:1-14).
  2. The Antichrist will make a 7-year covenant of “peace” with Israel (Isaiah 28:18; Daniel 9:27)… but will violate it at the 3 ½ year point (Daniel 9:27)
  3. The temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 11:1).
  4. The Antichrist will break his covenant with Israel, and worldwide persecution of Israel will result (Daniel 9:27; 12:1, 11; Zechariah 11:16; Matthew 24:15, 21; Revelation 12:13). Israel will be invaded (Ezekiel chapters 38-39).
  5. Israel will finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah (Zechariah 12:10). Israel will be regenerated, restored, and regathered (Jeremiah 33:8; Ezekiel 11:17; Romans 11:26).
  6. James 1:1 “… To God’s people who are scattered all over the world” [ERV].
  7. Genesis 32:12 “…and they (Israelis’) will be as the sands of the sea.” This means there will be so many of Israeli DNA in so many different places no one will be able to count them. One reason is that millions of these people do not know they are DNA of Israel. Yes, truly lost in annals of time that is no more.

Jeremiah wrote: The LORD says, “At that time [End Time Tribulation or beginning of the Millennial Reign] the people of Israel and the people of Judah will be together…once again. The dispersions of the Northern Kingdom was in 722 B.C., and the Southern Kingdom, 597 B.C.). They will cry and cry together, and together, they will go look for the LORD their God.”  (Jeremiah 50:4-5).

Ezekiel as does Isaiah has much to say about the same thing. What God reveals to him is miniJimwhat is going to happen during the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem by setting foot on the Mount of Olives. God says (not Jesus) that He will join the two sticks of Judah and Israel.

“Surely I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim and the tribes of Israel, his companions; and I will join them with it, with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick…” [Ezekiel 37:19; NKJV]
In Revelation 21 we get a glimpse of the New Heaven and the New Earth through the eyes of the Apostle John. Recall that the first heavens (the skies above) and earth flee from the presents of God in our previous blog (Chapter 20:11 & 21:1). Judgement has come and these created elements flee their creator.

This brings to mind Philippians 2:10… “… at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven, on earth AND UNDER THE EARTH.” Even the fallen angels (demons; servants of Lucifer) will bow a knee. Can we even imagine this? It is the pinnacle example of the word TOTAL.

The New Jerusalem descends from Heaven and “Now God’s home is with [the, among] His people. He will live with them…” Verses 3 and 4 of Revelation 20 summarize it for us. No more pain, death, sorrow, tears, regrets, all of the old is no-more. God says that he will make EVERYTHING NEW. The Greek for all or everything is pas. It means “totally inclusive. No exceptions.” Then, the most famous of statements; reminiscent of what Jesus said on the cross when he gave up his spirit, God himself says in verse 6 of Revelation 21… “IT IS DONE!”  What God created in the beginning, the Alpha, is now the Omega; the end. All things will be new. We are given a very small glimpse of the new. Whatever it is, it didn’t exist prior to this moment. This also means that “TIME” as created back in Genesis 1:5 is no longer. This is the definition of eternity. Time is not a factor as it no longer exists. We will see this in chapter 22; our final blog on Revelation.

People often miss the fact that all this happens after the Tribulation, the Millennial Reign of Jesus and God, the Great White Throne Judgment, and the Battle of Gog/Magog when Satan is released for a short time.  John does not record nor is there any evidence that he has a glimpse of what is on the other side of the wall separating the old creation and the beginning of the ALL NEW. John simply tells us it is all new and only the faithful, chosen, redeemed and Saints will be there. During the Millennial Reign there will still be those who reject the rule of Jesus. Satan will call on these people for his Gog-Magog war against Jerusalem after the Millennial Reign.

Verse 7 is very telling: He who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be my son. The faithful, chosen, redeemed and Saints will:

  1. Inherit all things…
  2. God will be their (father because)…
  3. They will be his sons (children)

What happens to the rest of the judged? Verse 8 is quite clear on this matter; i.e. the second death and lake of brimstone.

V9: One of the seven angels who had [take note as this is past tense… *had] one of the 7 bowls or vials of judgment (plagues) comes to John to give him additional insight. This time it is something good. John is going to see “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” We must once again note why we believe Revelation, after the first three chapters, is mostly about Israel. John is shown the bride of Christ; i.e. the New Jerusalem descending from and going to a place not mentioned. We can easily figure this to be located on the new Earth. Verses 12-14 are all related to Israeli identifications. After all, this is the New Jerusalem so it is Israelites who occupy it and probably those Christians who have been grafted in per Romans 11:17.

*This means that each of the 7 bowls of judgment are now empty; judgment done.

The New Jerusalem [v10] John sees descending from heaven is given exact measurements (1,400 miles in length, width and height). For more detail go to http://www.tourofheaven.com/eternal/new-jerusalem/size.aspx

Verse 21 is where we find the description of the streets paved with gold. The description of the New Jerusalem is not the entirety of the new earth. What John sees is only Jerusalem that descends from heaven (v10). We are not given any additional information as far as what the rest of the New Earth looks like; just the new Jerusalem. But we do know that more than the New Jerusalem exists. Verses 24 tells us:

“And the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.” [KJV]

There is some form of “nations” that will receive their light from the glory of Jesus and God residing in the New Jerusalem. We find this “light” described in V23; “…for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamb is the light thereof” [KJV].

Verse 25 tells us that the night and day created back in Genesis 1:5 is no more. This verse tells us that “there shall be no night there.” The closure of verse 27 in Revelation 21 is very clear as to who will and who will not be part of this “new everything.”

written.jpgThe only ones who will enter into this new creation will be those whose names are written in the Lamb’s “book of life.” The names are entered when one receives and accepts Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior. We demonstrate our faith in our actions, prayer, and bible study life. Being a Christian is a life style, not a religion.

Final word of caution to those who think Christianity is a religion and God is only love, not just(ice). Revelation 3:5

He who is overcoming–this one–shall be arrayed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the scroll of the life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before His messengers.

Are you overcoming and making Christ the center of your life thus overcoming? If not, then pay very close attention to the condition for NOT BEING BLOTTED OUT of the Book of Life. [I John 2:19; Hebrews 3:12; Mark 13:13; Exodus 32:32,33; Psalm 69:28]

 

Revelation 13:1-10 (­­­­Part One)

The name or word antichrist can mean either the opposite of Christ OR instead of miniJimChrist. In our study it is probably both; the “opposite” as in opposing AND “instead of” such as a Satanic substitute. This would include the ancient worship of idols or a future “false christ” performing miracles as a form of persuasion that HE is the Christ; not the one from the New Testament. Jesus specifically warns about this. When Jesus Christ  returns to earth it is not to demonstrate anything, but to take possession of his earth and out of the hands and influence of Satan. He will appear in the eastern skies, put foot on the Mount of Olives and claim his kingship as King of kings. He will NOT be some political figure. His appearance is at the very end of the 7 year Tribulation and after the last 7 plagues.mountofolives

The rider on the white horse in the apocalypse comes to make peace; a false sense of security for Israel AND the rest of the turbulent waters or nations of this world. The word antichrist never appears in Revelation. It only appears in 1 John (3 times; twice in one verse) and once in 2 John. Of course this is the same John who writes Revelation but never uses the word anti-Christ in this final book in the bible.

The bible gives the antichrist many titles:

– The little horn of Daniel 7:8

– The king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8:23

The Prince that shall come of Daniel 9:26

– The willful king of Daniel 11:36-45

– *The one who comes in his own name of John 5:43, whom Israel will receive as a messiah

The son of perdition, the man of sin, the lawless one of 2 Thessalonians 2:3

*This in and of itself suggests it could be of the Tribe of Judah or Levi who is the real antichrist. This may also suggest that this is why the nation of Israel accepts the peace treaty offered by this leader. He is a Jew!?

In Revelation 12 John presents this beast as the extension of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, connecting his empire with the characteristics of the great empires of the past. This final world empire will have the catlike vigilance of a leopard, the lumbering but crushing power of a bear, the authority and ferociousness and stalking power of a lion. In chapter 13 he describes the “beast” as a combined creature of Daniel’s dream; resembling a leopard; feet of a bear; mouth like a lion but a singular beast. In the Book of Daniel these world powers had yet to come. In Revelation, it is the combined power represented by these animals that force the world into a singular governed economy. These animals are popularly recognized as Babylon, Mede-Persian, Greek, then, Rome.

It is a fascinating discussion per 13:2b:

The dragon will give this critter His power; His throne; great authority. Certainly Satan has in the past and continues to make earth HIS DOMAIN and possession. He gives it all to this critter from the Sea. This is very similar to Matthew 28:18. Christ makes this claim of power and authority as from God his biological the Father.

Verse 3 tells of the deadly wound at which the whole world must be aware. However, there is no indication as to who is the one striking this deadly blow to him; It SEEMED (hōs) to have a deadly blow to one of its heads.  This same Greek word is translated as something that appears to be so, but is not definitive. “…and all the world wondered after the beast.” This [first] beast is not an institution, nationality, or organization as many denominations and theological theorists suggest, but a person. This is Satan’s effort to once again parallel anything and everything God created or did, including the sacrifice and resurrection of one of his own if not a direct bodily possession of a man who is dead but possessed of Satan and then appears to be alive. Scary thought!

What we have so far in Revelation 13:1-10:

  1. Satan
  2. Dragon
  3. Beast from the Sea
  4. A dragon who gives this beast from the sea his powers, throne, and authority.
  5. A wounded head among the multi-headed beast that “appears” to be fatal.
  6. A step back, but Daniel 7 is the parallel scripture to Revelation 13

NOTE: It is good to recall or learn that the 4th beast of Daniel 7 is NOT IDENTIFIED as a creature he recognizes. Daniel 7:19… “the fourth best is diverse from all the others.” This is probably so as the other three beasts can be identified to kingdoms in the past. The fourth beast is described but of unknown quantities, symbolisms, and prophetic clarity. This is also true of Revelation 13:1 & 11.

Another fascinating note is the language used in Daniel 7:26; i.e. the word “THEY.” “…and THEY shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” It is the court according to scripture, but who is the court? This is worth researching on one’s own in order to take ownership of the results.

At verse 4 of chapter 13 we see that mankind will be deceived but accepting to the worship of this 1st beast AND the Dragon father. The warning comes in chapter 14 that if anyone who worships this beast and/or its image, they have committed the eternal sin for which there is no longer any forgiveness.

There are some, however, who believe this to fit the passage that reads, “he was, then is not, but then is again” [Revelation 17:11]. This might be the rise, death then resurrection of the old Roman Empire through the Vatican; i.e. the Pope’s:

1 global power until the 1700’s when Napoleon stripped him of it,

2 noninvolvement in secular world affairs for several hundred years after Napoleon,

3 revived involvement in politics and environmental discussions as we see it today.

Verses 4 & 5 suggest the same thing that God did for his son Jesus while he was on earth and right after his resurrection; he gave all power/authority in heaven and earth to Jesus his son – Matthew 28:18.  This was right after his resurrection (read Ephesians 1:20-23). This again is a parallel to and a false deception propagated by Satan himself when he simulates this with his false trinity. There is often discussion of the meaning or purpose or function of the “little horn” in Daniel 7:8. One might suggest this is the “Son of Satan” just as Jesus is the Son of God. Martin Luther and John Calvin believed this little horn to be Islam. He is the one who rises up as the little horn and plucks three rebelling horns out of his circle or power.

Stay tuned while considering the following:

Question: Do these passages suggest that predestination is established for certain pre-identified individuals or for those who use his/her free will to follow Christ? [Blue Letter Bible]

– The work of Jesus was ordained before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20)

– God chose His redeemed before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4)

– *Names are written in the Book of Life before the foundation of the world (Revelation 17:8)

– The kingdom of heaven was prepared for the redeemed before the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34)

Answer: No! These passages mean that God preordained his chosen people Israel to be a light unto the rest of the world even though they have failed so to do, and, FROM the point of creation of the earth, man, and its inhabitants. *This passage is misquoted from Revelation 17:8. 17:8 does not say the names are written before the creation of the world, but since or from the point of creation forward “names are written into the book of life.”  The Ephesian passage is written out of context. God has chosen us (to be) in him before the foundation of the world. This is what he hoped for Adam and Eve. They failed him.

GODsoloveMankind has a free will of choice. Once we accept Christ as Lord and Savior, we fall into the predestination of becoming a child of God; brother to Jesus. It is predestined that those who accept Jesus and follow him will have salvation. Those who chose to follow and worship him are predestined to be called children of God. It is discussing the who but the process of HOW it happens.
 

666: the Mark of the Beast

What number is more intriguing than 666; 13? Perhaps, but for those who like miniJimmental puzzles 666 is one of the best and almost universally known. Standing in line at the check-out one time, the cashier handed me a receipt that totaled $6.66. She handed it to me and said, “Good luck today.” Yet, this is not a game. Neither is it a vain pursuit. The book of Revelation instructs us: “Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast” (13:18).

Sadly, when it comes to wild ideas, it may be difficult to surpass the absurdities finagled into the public domain as are solutions to the enigma of 666. Popular ultra-modern views include concepts of a cashless society, the universal use of bar codes, the implantation of computer chips and biochips in each individual for identification and control, and the most recent “face imaging” via those hidden cameras throughout society. It is easy to see how the anti-Christ might control commerce, even private lives through technology. We have television sets that are voice activated and don’t ever totally shut off. They are capable of recognizing voices in the room or house.computerchip

At the other extreme, many commentaries on Revelation assert that it is useless, foolish, or even dangerous to attempt to discover a specific name with a fulfillment of 666. They treat 666 and most items in Revelation as if they were parables devoid of specific predictions with only historical significance. Many even write articles that are well worded and convincing to those who are not founded in bible study; that Revelation has already played out and we are now in some type of ozone territory.

It was no one less than the Holy Spirit, the real author of Revelation, who directed John to write: “Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Rev. 13:18). We are instructed to “calculate” or “count,” as some translations translate it. We are dealing here with a mathematical computation. The Greek word means “count,” as illustrated in the only other text where it appears in the New Testament: “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it”(Luke 14:28). This parable also has a spiritual application. It is talking about a man counting his money. This brings to mind the number of people who don’t count or budget what s/he has and then will have in disposable time, energy, or money before making a commitment or taking on a project. Seldom if ever do people when personal energies or ambition exceed what it will take to complete the race.kidcounting

Seldom does Revelation directly tell us to apply understanding to grasp the meaning of a particular symbol. It does not tell us to try to figure out who the lamb-like beast is. It does not tell us that if we have wisdom we can figure out the meaning of the third trumpet or many other symbolic representations. It only hints at the identities of the beasts from the sea and earth. However, when it mentions 666, it specifically tells us to calculate or count.
There is a view that Rev. 13:18 should not be translated “the number of a man,” but rather “the number of man” (without the indefinite article “a”). The reason given is that the indefinite article “a” is missing in the original. Of course, it is missing; Greek has no indefinite article. For this reason, one must examine the context to determine if the translation into English should include the indefinite article or not; “a” versus “he, she or it.” Better yet, use a proper name when identifying a person, place or thing. Revelation 13:18 says to calculate this name, but not everyone will be able to.

Some theologians and I use this term liberally, Give distant historical dates when this all happened. This leaves us in a bible void time today. If one thinks this all happened in the distant past, then where are we biblically referenced in the here and now?

The following tables are included so the reader of this blog can venture down this trail of “calculating the name” of this man. It has already been done dozens if not hundreds of times and to little absolute avail. In Bible times primary languages included Greek, Latin (in Rome) and Hebrew as concerns commerce and common communication. On the table to the right, find the equivalent numeric number for Greek letters and their number value. On the right find an example of doing this. Caution: English was NOT a primary language at this time when John wrote Revelation. English does not have a numeric equivalence.

 

greeknumber

latios

The above is but one example of the meaning and identity of 666; i.e. the Roman Catholic Church and its leadership. For those who are old enough to recall, the Catholic Church said mass in Latin for hundreds of years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to include all possibilities, we would need to include the Hebrew letter-to-number equivalence and include the use of Roman (Latin) numerals. We can only deduce that John means to use the Greek since Revelation and most of the New Testament was written in Greek. However, Revelation 13:18 is after the Rapture of the church so perhaps it is intended to be “calculated” in Hebrew… those chosen as God’s special people. Remember or know for the first time that a sign was posted over the cross of Jesus that said “He was the King of the Jews.” It was written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew.

 Revelation 11 – Part 2 of the Two Witnesses

Watch For Wildlife. Large SUV in Front of a Deer in Deep Forest at Night. Road Danger at Night. Deer Crossing. Wildlife Photo Collection.

The two witnesses of Revelation 11 have as much identity speculation as does a deer that might dash across the road in front of someone’s car during the time of the year when bucks have lost their horns. We can speculate on size, possible weight of that particular deer, shade or color of its coat, how it loped across the street, or whether a couple of deer crossed prior to this particular deer as the buck tends to lead from behind. Whatever is one’s guess, we really don’t know the make and model of the daring deer that challenges the front end of one’s car, SUV, or truck.

The same is true as to the identities of the two witnesses who proclaim Christ in Jerusalem for 1260 days; up to the point where the beast from the abyss declares war on them. They are slain and their bodies remain in the heat of the Middle East sun for 3 ½ days as a witness to the power of the anti-Christ or the beast. We might insert here that this is during the Tribulation Period and most likely during the first half of this 7 year period of time. WHY? This is when the beast from the abyss makes his power insertion and entrance to the world scene declaring him-self to be god. It is an interesting puzzle to sequence and fit each event such as:

  1. The arrival of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse;
  2. The revealing of the man of evil;
  3. The false prophet;
  4. The false and acceptable one world church (council of Popes perhaps;
  5. The opening of the 7 Seals;
  6. The 7 trumpets and their messages;
  7. The 7 vials or bowls of plagues poured out on those who…
  8. …take the Mark of the Beast (when does this happed?);
  9. The church? Is it here or raptured?
  • The 2,000,000 man army that moves against Jerusalem;
  • The rebuilt Temple of Judaism;
  • The agreement of peace between the anti-Christ and Israel;
  • The return to Israel of the Lost ten Tribes (pending, already happened or a spiritualized symbolic event)
  • The beast that rises out of the sea with heads and horns… is this spiritualized? A combination of global or European uniting of nations?
  1. Existence of a one world government?
  • What about the question as to when the King of the North and the King of the South wage wars against each other? Who are they and when does this happened? What about the “rumor” of forces coming from the North and East?
  • Is Armageddon [Har Megeddo] the battle ground or simply a staging place for the massive armies preparing to attack Jerusalem?
  • Why might these forces from the south, north, and east unite? Against whom?

Beautiful view of Jerusalem city, Israel

It is easy to understand the confusion when these and many more mentioned factors such as the drying up of the Euphrates River, the armies from the East and the North need to FIT into this same period of *time. However, one may think it is beyond human minds to conceive of these this occurring within a 7 year period of time plus the return of Jesus Christ at the sounding of the 7th trumpet, Mount of Olives splitting north and south along recently discovered fault line that runs through the center of it. [I wonder if John of Revelation was also a gifted seismologist or if he simply wrote what the angel told him]?

*Daniel, Jude, Revelation, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Malachi only to mention a few books of the Bible that address the above issues of End Time.

These questions and other Tribulation issues will all be answered during this series on End Time, but drinking from a fire hose is very difficult. Therefore we will reduce the water flow and sip at each item pulling them together as best as scripture will allow. This approach is the Learning Curve; i.e. awareness first, beginnings of understanding, comprehension of the puzzle pieces that match, building the framework around the entire puzzle first, the desiring to fill in the spaces with pieces that logically fit together.

The Two witnesses:

Some denominations and seminarians want to think it is not limited to two key prophets/witnesses. This is clearly mistaken as scripture identifies the masculine terms of “they, them and these.” They are men… there are two of them.

Many speculate that the identity of one of the witnesses is Elijah. Malachi 4:5 tells us… “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. The obvious question from this verse is what or when will be the “great and awesome day of the Lord?” This great and awesome day of the Lord piece of the puzzle fits well with the 7th trumpet. We can consider Joel 2:31, Leviticus 23:36-37, Revelation 11 and Jeremiah 16:14-16 just to mention a few passages pointing to this same event. What is that event? When Christ sets foot on the Mt. of Olives, it splits along natural east-west fault lines pushing massive mountains north and south [Zachariah 14:4]. This is when Christ and heavenly hosts declare earth as now his kingdom. This will stir up the leaders of other nations. They will put aside their warring differences and attempt to attack this “self-declaring king” in Jerusalem; i.e. Jesus Christ.

However, this does not explain the BEFORE in the great and awesome day of the Lord.” Since it is the slaying of these witnesses that reveals and establishes the evil one (dragon/beast) as a power who sets up his throne in the Jerusalem Temple, we are most likely looking at the termination of the two witnesses at the end of the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation and the beginning fo what the bible identifies as Jacob’s troubles; Matthew 24:15-22.

But, what about the identity of the two Tribulation Witnesses? The answer is similar to the deer that darts in front of our speeding car in the spring. It has no antlers so we can’t be sure. The Children of Israel were led out of 400 years of semi-captivity in Egypt. They were established in Goshen by the son of Jacob… Joseph. This is *lower Egypt along the forks in the Nile River that feed into the Mediterranean Sea. This second return to Jerusalem (Israel; Zion) is another exodus from where they were scattered then migrated back in the 700’s and 600’s B.C. by the Assyrians, Babylonian’s, Medes and Persians.

*Over the history of Egypt there were often an upper and lower Egypt ruled by two different Pharaohs. When united they were ruled by one Pharaoh.

Some religious sects identify these two witnesses as the 144,000 witnesses described earlier in Revelation {Revelation 7 & 14). Others try to persuade the bible student it is Elijah’s spirit in John the Baptist that returns to earth. Let’s think this through a bit more logically.

There are two men who never died according to scripture: Elijah who was taken up in a fiery chariot [II Kings 2:11] and Enoch [Genesis 5:22 & 24] who walked with the Lord and was no more.

Now turn to Hebrews 9:27. Some theologians try hard to convince themselves that this is not applicable to these two witnesses. They try to drive a wedge between Hebrews 9:27 and the two witnesses who are finally slain by the evil beast from the abyss. Why complicate understanding? Just as the judgement days, the pouring out of the vials, the blowing of the trumpets, and the Millennial Reign of Christ is fact. Why not consider the puzzle piece here as the two men of God who had never died. We actually don’t know for certain, but the pieces of our Tribulation time and two witnesses puzzle fits together nicely.

In all fairness we should acknowledge Luke 1:17 where it points out that John the Baptist will come in the spirit of Elijah. This timing is after the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist was a forerunner and contemporary of Christ. This being said, a good bible student must allow for this possibility when we add Matthew 11:11a to this mix of guesses and speculate.

Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.

Then, it is just as possible that the two witnesses are or will be men of that day; known to the social media during this time of the Tribulation. We don’t know so anyone’s conclusion even if supposedly supported by scripture is still debatable. What is important is one’s personal relationship to Jesus Christ. Avoid the Tribulation period altogether and be a part of the Rapture.

Dr. jStark

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The last book of the Bible - RevelationsChapter 6 of Revelation is a turning point in the prophecy of this final book of the New Testament and the Bible. This is the chapter of the Scroll “SEALS.” There are a total of seven seals. Chapter 6 discusses 6 of these seals. This is also the chapter renown as the chapter of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. What so many do sometimes fail to understand is, the breaking of each seal is what releases each horseman. Chapter 7 is the breaking of the 7th seal. This helps us locate events in Revelation 6 and 7. In chapter there are 6 seals and in chapter 7 we find the 7th seal.. Seal number seven in the 7th chapter of Revelation is the sealing of the 144,000 witnesses and the seal of Christ on all who accept Him during the Tribulation. We will get back to Seals #5 & 6 later in this discussion, but for now we want to discuss the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.seal

i.e. Chapter 6 finds the 6 Seals broken and completed;

Chapter 7 finds the 7th seal opened, the sealing of the 144,000 witnesses from the twelve tribes of Israel and God’s wrath poured out on those who are not sealed in Him.

Each of the first four of the six seals broken “the lamb” in chapter 6, the only one worthy to open the scroll, reveal four different colored *horses:

Click on the accompanying graph to see the sequence of these four horsemen and their fulfillment of scripture during the Tribulation.             Tribulation graph

Seal #1 is the WHITE horse and rider;
Seal #2 is the RED horse and rider;
Seal #3 is the BLACK horse and rider;
Seal #4 is the PALE horse and rider.

*As you read this full article, allow for the possibility that there is nothing that demands in these verses or insists that the riders are different men, but possibly the same rider on a different horse; only his mission changes.

Before discussing seal #5 and #6, let’s discuss these four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Too often one will hear or read the short descriptions of these horsemen and then discuss or preach on what each signifies. This is almost too obvious. But, let’s put them into perspective with the Apocalypse of the (7 year) Tribulation. Here is what scripture tells us per the very first seal/horse-man.

Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering (nikaō) and to conquer (nikaō).
(Revelation 6:1-2)

What we learn from this passage is that there is the white horse, a rider with a bow, and that he is out to *conquer. What we only sometimes hear is what is going on as it compares or should be placed on an End Time Line graph.

The Koine Greek states the word nikaō is what we translate “conquer.” There is nothing in the Strong or Thayer translation of this word that suggests war type conquering… to overcome, the end result, maintaining ones cause, to prevail. One can do all of this by diplomatic treaty. Remember he has ONE crown and a bow without arrows.

Let’s step back and recall that the 7-year Tribulation is divided into two 3 ½ year periods of time and listed events. Israel is given a promise of peace for 7 years by someone (antichrist) who dominates global politics enough that Israel believes in his or its power to enforce this peace agreement. In other words, he has conquered the world diplomatically or with a show of unquestionable military force. He then breaks this peace agreement with Israel at the 3 ½ year point. This is the guy on the white horse who conquers. He has a bow in his hand, no arrows, but a crown (singular) is given to him. It is the antichrist who signs the pact of peace with Israel and our absolute indication that the 7-year tribulation countdown has begun.

This white horse and rider cannot be Jesus Christ. He comes with a sword on a white horse at the END OF the 7 year Tribulation. No one gives Christ a crown, but he is wearing many crowns. No other horsemen follow him other than his angels all on white horses; not a red, black, then pale horse. Seals 5 and 6 cement this truth. What follows the first white horse are three evil horsemen all bent on war, death and the destruction of ALL mankind.

If you have not previously clicked on the graphic link that comes with this article, please do so now. Notice that the first seal and this particular horseman on the graph begin the Tribulation and up to the 3 ½ year mark. This is when the Red horse and horseman appear. (JIV: I believe the horses change color for identity purposes but the horseman is one and the same. Each horse indicates a different calling or mission for this rider)

The Second seal; second horseman. A fiery Red horse appears at the breaking of this seal. This does not stipulate we have a different rider now in charge, It does however tell us that this guy takes peace from earth and causes huge conflict between mankind on earth… beginning in the Temple at Jerusalem where he sets himself up as a god to be worshiped. This still sounds like the Antichrist from the white horse and seal #1. It could simply mean that he has changed steeds from a peace-keeper (deception) to a war monger; i.e. the fire-red horse. What we do know for a fact is he breaks the covenant at the 3 ½ year mark. He signed one with Israel assuring their peace for 7 years. Deception is now running rampant in the world. People are scrambling and begin fighting amongst themselves.

This fits perfectly on the graph as located at or shortly after the 3 ½ year Tribulation mid-point. What we know about Islam today and their actions as Muslim (means life style believers), it makes it highly unlikely Islam is going to simply go away. We should factor this into any thoughts that this conflict between men beginning at the 3 ½ year juncture of the Tribulation may be as political as it is cult or religious based. (Be patient; when we get to the pale horse, things will begin to make a lot of sense)

Since the second half of the Tribulation is identified as the Great Tribulation; Jacobs trouble (Jeremiah 30:4-7), there is going to be much bloodshed and conflict with it beginning in Israel/Jerusalem and the Temple Mount that Islam believes to be one of their top three holy places. Not just with Israel, but with world leaders and those trying to become world leaders. The antichrist is the one on top, but even he has to put down three of the ten nations in their military alliance when they rebel per his policies, dominance, or fighting tactics. (Read Jeremiah 1:10, Joel 3:2, Daniel 7:23, 24)

imageofhorseThe Black horse (third seal and rider: This rider is renowned for the scales (of his justice?) in his hand. Since this article identifies these scales as “to take or not take” the seal of 666 (antichrist)” this could still be same person or his agent using a different tactic to conquer.

And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
(Revelation 6:4; NIV)

Great famine and economic inflation occur at this time. Let’s consider the mark of the beast discussed in Revelation 13. This famine for some may reflect that if one does not receive the mark of the beast, s/he cannot buy, sell or trade in the globally controlled market. This seal is on his or her hand or forehead. Replacing “discriminatory evangelical practices,” such as not politically correct beliefs, will be a *semi-global world false religion. It is likely this is when Islamist’s are given a portion of the world to run rampant and this world false prophet religion, mostly in of the western powers, temporarily controls the rest of the world. The mark of the beast may or may not be a factor with Islamist’s and in fact may be the grounds for breaking the forth seal thus entering the Pale horse and horseman.

*I say a semi-global false religion when there will most likely be two conflicting and at war false religions on earth at this time, The revived Holy Roman Empire of Europe (King of the North) and the Middle East and Africa dominated by Islam; i.e. the King of the South; controlling ¼ of the world.

The Pale horse is a yellowish-green color. This is the color of Islam today. If they are given dominance over ¼ of the earth as an appeasement with some deal to leave Israel alone during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation and in agreement with the anti-Christ, we now have the King of the North and the King of the South poised for a major head-to-head conflict.

Here is what scripture says about this fourth seal and Pale horse-horseman.

Revelation 6:8: And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

“…over a fourth part of the earth?” Simple mathematics tells us how and where this prophecy might play out. There is 57,000,000 square miles of habitable land on this planet. 71% of this world’s surface is water. In the Middle East there is 3,600,000 sq miles of land and Africa has 11,608,000 sq miles of land. This is a combined total of 15,200,000 square miles of habitable land. This is very close to ¼ of the total world land mass… 15,200,000 x 4 = 56,000,000. (CIA global land mass calculation).

There is great turmoil on earth during the tribulation. No one is simply sitting neutral on the sideline. This is a true global conflict; man slaying man; man jockeying for political power and dominance; great military forces trying to virtually eliminate each other; in short… mankind destroying mankind. This is precisely why Matthew 24:22 is written as a warning.

Zechariah 12:3b states “…And *all nations shall be gathered against it.” This is the net result of the Red Horse, Black Horse and then the Pale Horse and why the sequence is shown on the included chart/graph of the 7 Tribulation years. A huge number of mankind will be slain, Christian, Gentile, Hebrew, Israelite, Arab, … When the king of the North and the King of the South converge in the Valley of Jezreel to war with each other, about 50 miles north of Israel, they are joined by Russia and China from across the Euphrates. This is when they find a common enemy in the new guy on the block of world powers standing over on the Mt of Olives about 50 miles south of this 200,000,000 million man army; i.e. Jesus Christ on the Mount of Olives where he declares himself King of the World.

So ends our current discussion and graph help per Revelation 6

jStark3

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