SATAN AND HIS DEMON RULERS
Who are these beings? What role have they played during the history of humanity? What is their past and what is their future? Most people have opinions about them, but what does the Bible say? The answer to these questions will be crucial to the world in the next few years. The real role of these beings will be revealed for all to see. People will be shocked and horrified when their full fury is unleashed on humanity. When these events occur, you need to know the meaning of them. The Bible reveals all. For the first time ever, this knowledge has been made clear!
By Neville V. Stevens
New International Version used unless otherwise stated.
There are many questions raised by hard-to-understand scriptures. Among the most perplexing questions are those that relate to Satan and his demons.
Logically, the enquiring mind would be hard-pressed to understand the very meaning of life if it were to follow the patterns of belief that relate to the devil and his demons. The endtime Christian era has made no attempt to truly understand the reasons for God's plan of salvation for humanity. Instead they have chosen to narrow the focus of their own perceptions to what they hope will be their final reward.
If God is able to raise seed to Abraham from the very stones (Matt 3:9), then He certainly could have filled the whole earth with Abraham's seed in a very short period of time, without requiring six thousand years. God could have simulated this period of time today, and given humanity its opportunity to qualify for salvation. Satan could have then been removed, and everyone would live happily ever after. This would seem to be a simpler solution.
But God didn't do this! Why?
What is the point of dragging out human suffering over millennia? Is there a reason for this? This article explains the real reason for this 6,000 years of human suffering and why God has deemed it necessary.
Right at the outset, in the very Garden of Eden, an evil system developed that would span the whole panorama of human existence. Because of disobedience, humanity became the pawn of Satan the devil. God made the distinction of two lines of humanity when He referred to the 'seed of the woman' and the 'seed of the devil.' Gen 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring (margin: seed) and hers." Throughout the Bible, this distinction is further described as the 'woman' and the 'harlot'. The 'harlot' was destined to rule over all of humanity, whereas the 'woman' was to be a thin thread of humanity that would emerge from time to time in specially called and chosen men of God. The children or seed of the devil answered to him and were controlled by him. In the parable of Gen 3:15-16, God tells the woman that her desire would be to her 'husband' and 'he' would rule over her: Gen 3:16 "To the woman He said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." We don't have to guess what this means; nor do we need to consult the opinions of biblical 'scholars'. The Bible explains its meaning! The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians quoted from Genesis and explained this, calling it a great mystery!
Most Bible commentaries provide the link between Gen 3:15 and Christ. And it certainly is a reference to Christ! So that part of it is no great mystery. But the whole outline of salvation for humanity concerns the physical body of Christ. As a physical human being, Christ had His body violated and His life destroyed. Christ was resurrected to eternal life, but His body lived on. He continued to live His life through the seed of the woman which, on the Day of Pentecost, received the Comforter - the Holy Spirit of God and Christ. The scriptures make this clear: Gal 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."
On the first Day of Pentecost following Christ's death and resurrection, a whole new era emerged for the 'seed of the woman.' No longer did the Holy Spirit of God emerge only in the prophets, as it had previously, but now it was freely poured out on all the 'seed of the woman' that turned to God in repentance of their sins. The 'seed of the woman' was established in the Garden of Eden. Much later, God spoke to one who had emerged from this seed. His ancestral linage is detailed in the Bible in order to identify the woman's seed. Abraham was of this Godly seed. When God spoke to him, He spoke of another 'seed', a single 'seed' that would appear. The Apostle Paul gives the details: Gal 3:16 "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The scripture does not say 'and to seeds' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed', meaning one person, who is Christ." For most Christians, this is the end of the matter. As far as they are concerned, Christ is the fulfillment of the promised 'seed' and all other related prophecies are of no consequence. Nothing could be further from the truth! The Apostle Paul cited the verse in Gen 22:15-18 "The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring [margin: seed] all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
Indeed this was a reference to Christ exclusively! This was a clear addition to the promises that God had already made to Abraham. Up to this point, God had given Abraham assurances of physical nation status. Now the spiritual nation status was confirmed, and the purity of bloodline needed to be preserved for the birth of that promised Seed. In addition to this, evidence had to be preserved to prove that Christ did indeed arise from the seed of Abraham. The Bible records this evidence in its genealogical record. A study of this genealogical record shows an unbroken line from Adam through Abraham and to Christ. This record branched and weaved through many families, sometimes fading in one family to become prominent in another. But the line is unbroken! Eventually, it emerged in King David, and continued through the linage of the kings of Judah, and then to the birth of Christ..
The genealogical record of all the tribes, apart from Judah and Levi, are scant. Only the lines of Judah and Levi are extensively preserved, and only through the line of David in the case of Judah, and only through the line of Aaron in the case of the Levites.
But God had previously made promises to Abraham. These too, were unconditional. They involved physical greatness and the assurance that God would preserve them as a special nation above all other nations on earth. Now notice the former promise to Abraham: Gen 12:2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
The earlier promises that God made to Abraham, and which cannot be broken, involved not one seed but many! Gen 13:15 "All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring [seed] forever. I will make your offspring [seed] like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring [seed] could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you." Clearly, this is a reference to many people. The promise of the Messiah, and the scripture to which the Apostle Paul referred, came later in Gen 22:18. Did this later promise nullify the previous promises? Not at all! In fact, God confirmed the promises previously made with an additional promise: Gen 22:15 "The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring [seed] all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.""
The Bible records the genealogical line from Adam to Christ, that weaved its way through family lines, emerging in Noah and his family, then on through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and then finally through the line of Judah. In parallel with Judah, the linage of the 'seed of the woman' also branched to Levi, but the promised Seed (of Abraham) continued only in the line of Judah.
When Christ was born on earth, He was expected. But He was expected as a king of the line of Judah, not as a priest! Indeed, Christ was not a priest! In fact, if Christ were on earth today, He would not be a priest! (Heb 8:4). The religious leaders observed Him teaching, and believed He was usurping their authority. They knew that the priesthood was through the line of Levi, and they also knew that Christ was of the linage of Judah. This was something that they could not abide, even though they, themselves, were NOT all of the tribe of Levi, yet they still voted themselves into the priesthood. Hence Christ's constant reference to their hypocrisy.
In the book of Hebrews, the Apostle Paul used this very point to press home the knowledge of the establishment of a new priesthood. Not from the line of Levi, but from the line of Judah, of which Moses has nothing to say: Heb 7:12-14 "For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no-one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests."
The religious leaders of Judah and Jerusalem had set their hearts and minds on the emergence of a new king, they did not expect a new priesthood. Nor would they accept it.
The expected king was due, and these leaders knew it. Their exuberance for the expected birth of this king was somewhat soured when Herod killed all the babies under two years old. This great sorrow resulted in the people refraining from any more talk about the birth of a king for fear of the same reprisal. Prior to this though, there was widespread expectations that a whole new era was about to begin with the establishment of a righteous monarchy.
Even Satan perceived this, but he couldn't determine where the seed would emerge. When he learned through Herod the Great that the Seed had emerged, he set out to destroy every child that had been born in the previous two years. But his ploy failed because he doesn't understand prophecy! Had he understood, he would have known that the scriptures stated: "out of Egypt I called my Son." (See Matt 2:14 and Hos 11:1). God had already advised Joseph to take his wife and child to Egypt for protection. Because of his imperfect knowledge, Satan was looking in the wrong place! If you checked these two verses, Matt 2:14 and Hos 11:1, you will notice that Matthew said that Christ fulfilled the prophecy of Hos 11:1. If you read this verse you will find that it refers to 'Israel.' Yet Matthew said it referred to Christ! And so it does! You will recall that Rev 22:16 says that Christ is the Root AND offspring of David. If Christ was the Root of David, then David sprang from Christ! But we also know that Christ was the offspring and sprang from David. Hos 11:1 clarifies this! Christ is Israel, both in type and substance, primarily through the line that bore His seed! That line was Judah - but only through the descendants of David. Reading on in Hosea chapter 11, we learn that the seed was carried to another tribe - Ephraim! The book of Hosea covers the period of 760BC to 729BC (Hos 1:1). This was just before the ten northern tribes, who were ruled by Ephraim, were conquered by the Assyrians. Ephraim was the big brother to all the northern tribes, then, as today! Hos 13:1 "When Ephraim spoke, men trembled; he was exalted in Israel." The 11th chapter of Hosea details their history from the days of Egypt, to the present day. God has allowed Ephraim unfettered licence to do as they will in this endtime. God is watching them in the great land to the west (Hos 11:10, 12:1). God is recording their sins, however: Hos 13:12 "The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record." When the pain of their final days comes upon them they will not be delivered. God will ransom them from the power of the grave: Hos 13:13 "Pains AS a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he does not come to the opening of the womb. I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death." Eze 37:4-14 details this redemption from death. You will notice that this speaks of a physical resurrection of fleshly human beings. This is the latter-day type of the resurrection of human beings at Christ's death (Matt 27:5). This occurs at Christ's return.
The Bible tells us that Ephraim will not be delivered; that is, when the moment for delivery arrives, they will 'not come to the opening of the womb.' But the other line of the seed does! This is Zion: Isa 66:7 "Before she goes into labour, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son. Who has HEARD of such a thing? Who has ever SEEN such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labour than she gives birth to her CHILDREN [plural]. "Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God? "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance.""
Of Ephraim God says: Isa 65:11 "But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget My holy mountain..." Isa 66:4 "They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations; so I also will choose harsh treatment for them and will bring upon them what they dread. For when I called, no-one answered, when I spoke, no-one listened. They did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me."
Of Zion God says: "Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at his word: "Your brothers who hate you, and exclude you because of My name, have said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy!' Yet they will be put to shame." When Ephraim [your brothers] sees the emergence of the people of Zion (Isa 51:3-4, 16, and all of Isa ch. 54) they will taunt them by saying, 'Let's see the glory of God that we may know the substance of your joy'.
But you, dear brothers in Christ, don't think for one moment that the Church of God in Ephraim [U.S] will accept the latter-day revelations from God. They won't! As the Apostle Paul said: 1Cor 14:22 "Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers."
The Apostle Paul also knew that his knowledge of prophecy was imperfect, just like Daniel and the Apostle John. They saw but didn't understand! Paul says: 1Cor 13:9 "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes the imperfect disappears." God, at the proper time, reveals ALL to his servants the prophets.
John the Baptist did the work of Christ and was a type of forerunner of Christ. It's important to understand this if you are to understand prophecy. This is what the scriptures say: John 3:26 "Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan - the One you testified about - well, he is baptising, and everyone is going to him." To this John replied, "A man can receive only what is given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Christ' but am sent ahead of Him. The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend that attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the BRIDEGROOM'S VOICE. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less." Christ said that John the Baptist was Elijah, even though John denied it. The reason for this is explained in other articles. John the Baptist was, however, a type of Elijah, who in turn was a type of one of the two witnesses or prophets that will emerge in the endtime. They will stand as the ambassadors and emissaries of Christ Himself.
RACHEL WEEPS FOR HER CHILDREN
There is yet another mystery concerning the birth of Christ. At the deaths, by Herod, of all the babies under two years old, the scriptures refer to Jacob's wife Rachel weeping over her children: Matt 2:18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." Every student of the Bible knows that Rachel had two children - Joseph and Benjamin. She was not the mother of Judah, the forefather of the Jews. So why the reference to Rachel instead of Leah, the mother of the Jews? Matt 2:18 is a direct quote from Jer 31:15, and its here that we find the clarification. But first we need to examine some of the background of the slaughter of infants that has occurred in the past to prevent a leader being born.
In the days of Moses there was a slaughter of infants. Later in this article, we will discover who the real ruler of Egypt was. But for the present, 'Pharoah' feared any form of leadership emerging from the ranks of the Israelites. He knew that 430 years had been decreed from the death of Abraham in 1876 BC to the establishment of the Kingdom (physical) of God. He set out to destroy all the male children. We know that Moses escaped, and that he was to be this leader. God called him out of Egypt and he went to live in Midian. Later, when Moses returned to Egypt to free his people (in 1446 BC), he was imbued with such power that 'Pharoah' found himself powerless. He recognized that this was the power of God (Ex 8:18-19).
Again when Christ was due to be born, a tyrant in the person of Herod, sought to kill this great Leader. His ploy was the same. He would kill all the male babies up to two years old. Again the plot failed, and again God called his Son out of Egypt (Matt 2:14).
Satan is now aware that his greatest enemy is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. He is powerless to do anything about it. But he also knows that the seed of this being is still active in His body - the Church. He also knows that there are two prophets that will arise who are to prepare the groundwork for the coming kingdom, and who will have all the power of the two former human leaders - Moses (of the tribe of Levi) and Christ the man (of the tribe of Judah). One will be a father to those in Jerusalem and the other a caretaker king of Judah. The caretaker king will reserve the crown for He that will come to replace him; just as John the Baptist turned over his power to Christ. Other articles explain this in detail.
Satan the devil doesn't understand prophecy because he doesn't have God's Holy Spirit. You can argue all you like to the contrary, but you will be wrong. If there is a lesson for all Christians in this, it is that no-one can understand prophecy except when God reveals it through His Holy Spirit. Be warned here and now if you believe to the contrary!
Nevertheless, Satan is aware of certain sequences of events. Though the detail is hazy to him, he does understand some of the overall objectives of God's plan. He knows that the scriptures refer to two prophets, and he also knows that they will arise from the tribes of Levi and Judah. He's aware that God has alloted 6,000 years for his rulership before he's imprisoned. With this period now drawing to a close, he knows he has just a short time.
Satan tried to kill Moses at birth. He also tried to kill Christ at birth. On both occasions he failed. Back in the 1930's of this present era, he launched a plan. This plan was to ensure that God's latter day prophets did not survive. Rather than plot just to kill the new-born babies, this time he decided to kill both the tribes from where they would arise. World War 1 finished without any suggestion of the genocide of the Jews. And no-one at that time would have envisaged such madness even after observing the slaughter of so many soldiers from so many different nations.
But the strategy was there to ensure that all the Jews would be in one place. This was almost accomplished through Major Allenby occupying Palestine and declaring it a homeland for the Jews in 1917. The expected repatriation never came. Twenty years later, there was very little done to resettle the Jews. Time was running out. The two prophets were due to be born and God would protect them. Only total annihilation would suffice. The whole of the tribe of Judah had to be wiped from the face of the earth! This was Satan's strategy! It was a plan of total genocide of the Jewish people, even if it took on global proportions.
The first World War was so bloody and costly that most nations believed that it could never happen again. The League of Nations was designed to suppress any uprisings to ensure that it didn't. Yet no sooner had the Great War finished when nations again began to re-arm and to invade other nations. With hotspots arising all over the world, very little objection to nations re-arming occurred. Satan engineered the rapid rise to power of his ally - Adolph Hitler. He thoroughly indoctrinated Hitler with the murderous objective of killing all the Jews in the world. This was the prime purpose of the Second World War! Satan's goal was to destroy the entire seed of Judah, thereby ensuring that the final prophets could not arise. If he could achieve this then prophecy would fail, and God's whole plan would be thwarted. Or so he thought! Some Jews had slipped through the net, and if he had to destroy the whole world to achieve their destruction, he would do it. But God thwarted his plan, and put an end to it. The two prophets who are to appear were born on schedule. One from the tribe of Levi and one from the tribe of Judah.
In the case of Moses, Satan planned his destruction 80 years before his appearance as the leader chosen by God to lead the tribes of Israel out of Egypt. In Christ's case, it was 30 years before Christ's appearance in His ministry. Satan began to plan for the destruction of the endtime prophets 70 years before their appearance in Jerusalem. Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and total dictator in 1934. Believing that the total eradication of all the descendants of the Jews would confound the purpose of God, Satan was prepared to plunge the whole world into war. But again his plans went hopelessly wrong.
His strategy was based on his concept of the 70 year prophecy; he reasoned they had to be born either in the 1930's or early 1940's. If the whole of the tribes of Judah and Levi were wiped from the face of the earth, which was his intention, then prophecy would have failed. His plan was not only to wipe out the two prophets, but to extinguish the whole of the seed of Levi and the 'seed royal' of Judah.
Satan chose as his instrument of death a Bohemian artist from the Balkans who conned himself into believing himself an Austrian. At least half the population of Austria were from Rumania, Bulgaria and Turkey. They were predominantly gypsies and artists. Hitler was one of them. Hitler deluded the Germans with promises of a blonde-haired, blue-eyed master race. He obviously never looked at himself in the mirror! Most of his henchmen were not Germanic either. The natural arrogance of the Germans makes them vulnerable to their own egos. When these descendants of the Medes infiltrated the German heartlands, they found the Germans easy prey for their lying philosophies.
WHY RACHEL WEPT
But Rachel, the grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh, wept for her children [offspring]. This parable is about her descendants - Ephraim (U.S) and Manasseh (Britain). This is a two-fold prophecy. In this latter fulfillment, Rachel is the mother of the 10 tribes, being the grandmother of the most powerful tribe, and the dominant one over all the others - Ephraim! Rachel's second son, Benjamin, was divided when the 10 northern tribes rebelled against Solomon's son Rehoboam. Half allied themselves with Ephraim (under the rulership of the Ephraimite, Jeroboam) and half remained with Judah and Levi.
We need to take the prophetic pointers one stage further. In Judges chapter 20, we find that Benjamin was almost wiped out following the murder of a woman. All the tribes of Israel turned on them, killing 26,000 fighting men, and slaughtering all the rest of the tribe except for 600 men who fled and hid in remote mountains. Afterward a general assembly of all the tribes of Israel was called to mourn the loss of the entire tribe of Benjamin. It was decided to get 400 virgins from Gilead in Manasseh, and another 200 virgins from Shiloh in Ephraim. These were given to the remaining 600 Benjamites as wives to replenish their tribe. This interrelationship between Benjamin, Manasseh and Ephraim through marriage and their offspring completes the prophetic explanation of Rachel's mourning for her children. The descendants of Benjamin are spread between the present-day nations of the United States, Britain and Israel. Some have suggested that the Norwegians are also descendants of Benjamin. This may be so to a limited extent, the vast majority of them live with Rachel's other offspring - the U.S and Britain. As a point of interest, the Apostle Paul was of the tribe of Benjamin (Rom 11:1, Phil 3:5).
THE 70 YEAR PROPHECY
Since the 70 year prophecy has been mentioned, it's only fitting that further explanation be given on its meaning. The subject is covered extensively in the article 'The Beast of Daniel', and so this explanation will be brief. This prophecy deals with Babylon. Since this prophecy involves the very throne of Satan, and the place where he dwells, he is aware of some of the broad brush strokes of this prophecy. Babylon is mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. In every case it refers to the city that resided on the banks of the Euphrates River in modern Iraq today. And incidently, Babylon is being rebuilt by Sadam Hussein and is nearing completion.
The false prophets would have you believe that Babylon is Rome. Many also claim that the Pope is the beast. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests that this is so! In fact, there are literally hundreds of scriptures that prove that it is not! For the present, we will briefly review the 70 year prophecy. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel all referred to it. Jeremiah recorded this: Jer 25:8-14 "Therefore the LORD Almighty says this: "Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon," declares the LORD, "and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of the bridegroom, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years." This ends part one of this prophecy. It deals with the destruction inflicted by Babylon on the land of Israel and the surrounding nations. In verse 12, we learn tbat God plans to turn the tables on Babylon and inflict them in exactly the same way! Here it is: Jer 25:12 "But when the seventy years are fulfilled, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation, the land of the Babylonians, for their guilt," declares the LORD, "and will make it desolate FOREVER. I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are written in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations. They will be enslaved by many nations and great kings; I will repay them according to their deeds and the work of their hands."
This prophecy is so extensive that the dedicated Bible student could literally spend a year just branching to all the other Bible references on this subject. But the purpose here and now is to identify this 'Babylon'. This identification is proven in the Book of Revelation when this 'Babylon' receives the same punishment 'according to their deeds'. Revelation chapters 17 and 18 refer to 'Babylon'. This is what it says: Rev 18:22-24 "The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of the millstone will never be heard in you again. The light of the lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of the bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world's great men. By your magic spell ALL the nations were led astray. In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of ALL who have been killed on the earth." This scripture tells us that this 'Babylon' is responsible for the deaths of 'all who have been killed on the earth.' Obviously, it does not refer to a church in Rome that was established by Emperor Constantine in the fourth century of this present era.
God is to visit upon this 'Babylon' a punishment 'according to their deeds' and will fulfill all that Jeremiah prophesied about her. Notice the references to the millstone, the light of the lamp and the voice of the bridegroom - which appear in both scriptures. God is ensuring that you understand that He is referring to the same Babylon. Because the false prophets misunderstood these scriptures, they believed that ancient Babylon was destroyed and was never to be rebuilt. They used this scripture to show what they believed was 'The Proof of the Bible.' Well, ancient Babylon has been rebuilt and has been opened for tourists. Sadam Hussein funded this project; one of its features is the restored throne-room of Nebuchednezzar. The great harlot woman is soon to be transported there and set in her place (Zech 5:11). These prophecies refer to her final demise. Be sure to study the rest of Jeremiah chapter 25 that deals with the cup of God's wrath on ALL nations. Notice particularly the words: Jer 25:26 "...And after all of them, the king of Sheshach (margin: Babylon) will drink it too." Revelation chapters 17 and 18 describe this as the final act before the Bridegroom takes his bride (Rev ch 19). Clearly, Babylon of old is to rise again and be destroyed at the end of the seventy years that will culminate in the establishment of God's Kingdom.
Brethren, you need to stop believing the false prophets and start believing your Bible! Don't believe what ANYONE tells you unless you can prove it from your own Bible! The prophecies of the Bible are so elaborate and so extensive that no-one could begin to thoroughly explain them all in detail, and certainly not in book form. It would probably require a thousand books. But if you are truly Christ's, then you are equipped to understand prophecy provided you study your Bible! If you are truly Christ's, then you have His testimony which is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10). Don't fail to check this scripture! In fact, don't fail to check and study EVERY scripture, and where any doubts exist, read the whole chapter, and also branch to other scriptures that relate to the same subject matter. Be faithful, dedicated servants of God or you will NEVER understand prophecy - and you will suffer the consequences! If you checked the reference in Rev 19:10, you will know that you MUST have the spirit of prophecy in order to truly be Christ's in the endtime! (See Rev 12:17 and notice the words: 'and hold to the testimony of Jesus.')
Briefly, what the seventy year prophecy is telling us, is that at the end of the period Babylon the Great, yes, the Babylon of old, will be destroyed! It starts with the slaughter of the Jews (in the 1930's and 1940's) and ends with the establishment of God's kingdom. For further study, you will note that Daniel prophesied of latter-day events (Dan 8:17, 12:9). In the reference to the seventy years, Daniel didn't prophesy, but merely said that he understood from the writings of Jeremiah (they were contemporary prophets) that the Jews would return to Jerusalem at the end of 70 years (Dan 9:2). In fact, Zerubbabel, Joshua and their party arrived at Jerusalem just 50 years after the destruction, in 536 BC. After 20 years of hardship, they completed some limited form of a temple, probably a tabernacle (Hag 2:2-3) which was dedicated by the first Ezra (the priest) in 516 BC. This dedication was 70 years after the destruction. The second temple was built by Herod. The third temple is yet to be built, some time in the early 21st century. It's in this temple that the second beast or false prophet from Babylon will enter the Holy Place (Dan 11:31-32, Matt 24:15, 2Thess 2:4).
THE GREAT MYSTERY
We are still left with the Apostle Paul's reference to the 'great mystery.' What is this great mystery? This is what he had to say: Eph 5:22 "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife AS Christ is the head of the Church, His body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the Church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." Notice that the term used here is 'husband' - not Apostle, pastor, prophet, evangelist or elder! The husband is the fleshly counterpart of Christ! He bonds with his wife and the two of them become one! And they, jointly, enjoy the status of Christ - as SONS of God! They are transformed to the image of Christ. They are not only Christ's but they are also Christ's representatives on earth. They answer directly to the Father! They pray directly to the Father. The Father answers them directly!
In addition to this, Paul made it very plain what this great privilege entails: Heb 10:19 "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God." In the days of old, as long as the presence of God remained in the tabernacle, no man dared to enter the Most Holy Place. And even then, only those from the priesthood of Aaron were permitted to enter - and only once a year! But every Christian has been granted the privilege of entering the Most Holy Place. Clearly, Christ has bestowed upon His brothers enormous privilege; he has elevated them above the priesthood of Aaron, to a position that no other man can transcend. The very act of any man attempting to exercise authority over a brother of Christ is blasphemy! In so doing, they are exercising the right held only by God the Father! Only the Father has authority over Christ and His seed! Those who wish to argue to the contrary should take the matter up with God - and He will answer you directly (Eze 14:7-8).
If the Apostle Paul was advocating a hierarchical form of Church government in Eph 5:22, then he chose a very bad example. But of course, Paul was speaking through the inspiration of Christ who dwelt within him. Nor did Paul speak his own words, instead he quoted from the words of God that were spoken in the Garden of Eden, when there was only two human beings - a husband and a wife. This is a direct quote: Eph 5:31 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."(Gen 2:24). V32 "This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the Church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."
The meaning of the term, 'and the two will become one flesh' is further expanded in meaning when it's understood that this means that a man and a woman become one flesh during the act of sexual intercourse. 1Cor 6:15-16 "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ Himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.' But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit." V19 :"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honour God with your body."
It's through the bonding of husband and wife as one flesh; that is, to have sexual intercourse, that more holy seed is produced through the children of the union. The children of the union are therefore holy also (1Cor 7:14). The 'prostitute' that Paul referred to in his parable is the great prostitute that God will destroy. The man (or a temple of Christ or the body of Christ) cannot have any intercourse with the great harlot! Similarly, the family unit of the husband, wife and children are a holy unit of the very Temple of the Holy Spirit.
THE SEED OF SATAN
Christ made it very plain about whom He was dealing with when He conversed with the religious leaders of His day! He positively identified their origins. Matt 23:33-36 "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synogogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come ALL the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berakiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation."
The whole of Matthew 23 is an attack on the religious leaders of Jerusalem. This amazing diatribe might seem to some to be excessive. The accusation that they were snakes and broods of vipers might appear to be just a round of name-calling. Then Christ uttered something extraordinary. He said these people were guilty of 'ALL the righteous blood that had been shed on earth from Abel to Zechariah, son of Berakiah' (This Zechariah is the writer of the book of Zechariah). Surely these people were not responsible for the death of Abel who was killed by Cain over 2,000 years before Abraham was born. Did Christ really mean this? Was He really accusing the Jews of all these deaths?
In Matt 23 Christ is saying that the blood of all the prophets is on the head of these religious leaders. Does God hold them responsible for the deaths of ALL the righteous? Even though they were not yet born?
Now we find in Revelation chapter 18 a similar statement. Rev 18:24 "In her was found the blood of the prophets and of the saints, and of ALL who have been killed on the earth."
This verse refers to the great harlot! It's commonly believed that a woman is a church. More properly, it refers to the genealogical seed of a nation of people. Most people have assumed that a woman is the Church of God because of the reference in Rev 12. This woman is the tribe of Judah, the tribe that ruled over all 12 tribes of Israel (V1) and gave birth to Christ (V5). The rest of her offspring (V17) are those who have the testimony of Jesus. The testimony of Jesus is the 'spirit of prophecy' (Rev 19:10 - last part). Other articles cover this in greater detail.
The bear beast of Dan 7 refers to a bear-like creature with 3 ribs in its mouth. Ribs represent a woman: Gen 2:21 "So the LORD caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken from the man, and he brought her to him." These ribs in the bear's mouth represent 3 'women' or kingdoms.
Gen 3:14 "So the LORD said to the serpent, "Because you have done all this, Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals. You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [seed] and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel." To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.""
The thrust of this verse is the 'enmity' or hostility between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. God Himself, puts this enmity between them! Notice the words, 'And I will put enmity...." Why would God do this?
Here was a clear division of humanity started by God Himself! And this is exactly what it means! It's amazing how false 'Christianty' has perverted this to mean something entirely different. God tells His followers to keep themselves unspotted from the world (Jas 1:27). Does this mean we are to keep ourselves physically clean? Or does it mean spiritually clean? Obviously, it means spiritually clean. But more than this, it means keeping ourselves culturally clean! Our whole lives should be dedicated to the culture established by God. If we are truly Christians, we should be living by the principles and standards appointed by God, and shun the culture of others. We are not to even learn the way of the heathen - let alone adopt their abominable culture (Jer 10:2). The tribes of Joseph today, seemed determined to honour every disgusting culture imaginable. This is in complete defiance of God!
Christ made it plain that there was enmity between the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman when, in Matt 23 he clearly identified Satan's seed and expressed hostility towards them. So did John the Baptist, and also the Apostle Paul! The holier-than-thou attitude of most Christians today, who openly defend the primitive degeneracy that is flooding the whole world, and particularly the tribes of Joseph, is an outrageous rejection of the principles of God!
God is just and fair! He makes the rules! He establishes righteousness! He is the final arbitrator of what is good and wholesome! He brings blessings and curses on whosoever He chooses. When He makes a judgment, it is always the right judgment! He causes it to rain on the just and the unjust. If He chooses to withhold the rain - then this is His prerogative. He has a purpose for everything. Should we therefore judge God as being unjust and try to rectify His 'mistakes'? If you believe this to be so, then you are the enemy of God - and you need to come to your senses!
God has settled the 12 tribes of Israel in locations that He, Himself has chosen. Wherever they live today, they are the rightful owners of the land - and no other! From the moment Ephraim began to settle in the North American continent, they recognized that God had given them the land. In the last few years they have begun to repudiate God's blessing in favour of Satan's evil brood of snakes and vipers who believe they have prior rights to the land. This horrific act of repudiation of God's blessing is a sin that will not be quickly forgiven. The tribes of Joseph will lose their land and be taken into captivity!
Judah however, recognize that God has given them the land of Israel (Palestine today). They desire only what God has given them. They've clung tenaciously to their land under the most appalling opposition imaginable. The Jewish people have proven that they would fight the whole world before they would give up their land or the Holy City. Because of their faithfulness, they won't need to do this. God will do it for them! And He will establish Zion!
Isa 14:29 "Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, because the rod that struck you is broken; for out of the serpent's roots will come forth a viper, and its offspring will be a fiery, flying serpent. The firstborn of the POOR will feed, and the needy will lie down in safety; I will kill your [Philistines - Palestinians] ROOTS with famine, and it will slay your remnant. Wail, O gate! Cry, O city! All of you of Philistia are dissolved; for smoke will come from the north (Jer 50:9, 41-42, 48, 51:11), and no one will be alone in his appointed times. What will they answer the messengers of the nation? That the LORD has founded Zion, and the POOR of His people shall take refuge in it." (NKJV).
When Nebuzaradan, the commander of Nebuchadnezzar, finished mopping up the region of Israel, he left behind the 'poor'. These defenceless people were an easy mark for infiltration by the vagabond rogues from all the surrounding nations. These were the fringe-dwellers from the alien nations - the virtual scum of the earth. These included Philistines, Syrians, Phoenicians (Canaanites), Assyrians, Babylonians, Moabites, Edomites and Ismaelites. To this very day these thorns and briers continue to choke the good seed! Later when the Romans coined the word 'Palestine', it reflected the Philistine origins of these people. But the ROOTS of these people was Babylon!
To this day, these degenerates still occupy vast sections of the Holy Land. In the near future, these people will be caught in a pincer movement between the new super-power Zion and the hordes of the north. At that time they will know "That the LORD has founded Zion, and the poor of His people will take refuge in it."
Of these people, the LORD says: Isa 14:20 "The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again. Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to arise and cover the earth with their cities. "I will rise up against them," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors, her offspring and descendants," declares the LORD."
In Matthew chapter 23 Christ was referring to the Jewish religious leaders with His reference to snakes and vipers - in accordance with prophecy! In the book of Genesis we have a clear reference to the seed of the serpent, and also the seed of the woman. No-one is in doubt about what the seed or offspring of the woman refers to. The offspring of the serpent, however, has led to all sorts of interpretation. In Isaiah 14:29 we find that from the root of that snake - the rod - will spring up a viper - a darting, venomous serpent. The Bible leaves us in no doubt about who this serpent is: Rev 12:9 "The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil or Satan." In fact, this ancient serpent is referred to, interchangably, as the dragon, the devil or Satan. All are the same.
NEHUSHTAN THE SERPENT
In the days of Moses, the tribes of Israel were troubled by venomous snakes that God sent among them. The snakes had been sent as a punishment, because the people had complained against God and Moses (Num 21:4-9). The people cried out in terror, so God instructed Moses to make a brass serpent on a pole and erect it in the camp. Whoever was bitten by a venomous snake looked upon this image and were healed. This image was called 'Nehushtan' (2kings 18:4).. Later Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, removed it from the temple and destroyed it. 2Kings 18:4 "He [Hezekiah] removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brass serpent that Moses had made; for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan." (KJV). The reason he did this was because the people had worshiped it over a long period of time.
Why would God inspire Moses to build the Nehushtan? It's even more mystifying when you consider that they received healing from the viper bites when they looked upon it. This serpent was originally fixed to a trunk of a tree or a pole. The reason why they were healed when they looked upon it is the very reason why Christ was crucified. By looking at this serpent, the people were acknowledging the true enemy. It was a constant reminder to them that this serpent had caused all their woes. Only by acknowledging this enemy did God grant healing. When the vipers eventually disappeared from among them, the people began to look on this serpent with adoration and actually worshiped it.
There is much more to the saga of Nehushtan. Christ Himself, made reference to it. What's more, He also compared Himself to it! John 3:14 "Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." What did Christ mean?
Christ used this example to illustrate many things. Firstly, He was lifted up and nailed to a pole or tree trunk. As the serpent was responsible for all the deaths of the righteous, so Christ became 'responsible' for the serpent's evil and endured the penalty! When God turned His back on Christ at the crucial hour of His death, He was acknowledging that Christ was taking upon Himself all the guilt - of the serpent! Only His righteous blood could absolve the guilt that would otherwise have claimed every human life. Having suffered this penalty, which was incurred by the serpent, Christ qualified to snatch back His own from the jaws of the devourer. God promised Abraham that this would be done, and Abraham went to his grave believing that Christ would succeed. At that time, Christ took upon Himself the penalty for the sins of the whole world. That is ALL sins! The slate was wiped clean for ALL beings, and Christ qualified for rulership of all things under God.
In preparation for this great event, John the Baptist, after identifying the seed of Satan, told them to 'produce fruit in keeping with repentance' (Luke 3:7-8) thereby showing that repentance was possible.
After Christ's resurrection, He went and preached to the fallen angels in the Abyss (1Pet 3:19). It would have been insensitive of Christ to go there just to tell them that they had been condemned forever. He went there to tell them that there was hope if they were prepared to repent and come to their senses. Paul said, "Know you not, that we shall judge angels?" (1Cor 6:3) There would be no point in judging them if they are already condemned!
Logically, if Christ paid the penalty for sin for only human beings, how would this qualify Him to replace Satan? He had to pay the penalty for ALL sin in order to inherit all things including Satan's domain. Christ even masqueraded as a murderous villain by requesting that the disciples get some swords before His arrest (Luke 22:37). This was done to fulfill the scripture in Isa 53:12. V10, 12 "Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days." V12 "..because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors." Though totally innocent, Christ allowed Himself to be seen as the arch-villain. Just as the serpent was lifted up - so was Christ!
Those who looked upon the serpent (Nehushtan) were healed. Those who look upon the body of Christ are also healed. Christ supplanted the serpent in all things.
The Apostle Paul referred to the Nehushtan when he said: 1Cor 10:9 "We should not test the Lord as some of them did - and were killed by snakes." Those who seek to provoke God will be killed by snakes - the evil offspring of the serpent. The snakes and vipers of Christ's time not only killed Him, but also set about to kill all those who followed Him. Under the auspices of Satan the devil, these snakes and vipers will soon move among those who, for years, have been provoking God - the rebellious elements of the Churches of God who won't hear the word of God.
In the days of Jeremiah, just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, a similar situation existed. Among the warnings delivered through his prophets, God said: Jer 8:17 "For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, says the LORD." (KJV). These serpents and snakes were a different kind:
Isa 30:6 "They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be a help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach. The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and the fiery serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that will not profit them. For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, 'Their strength is to sit still.'" Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD." (KJV).
Though a little hard to understand, these verses prophesy of events in the days of Jeremiah 150 years later. In some respects, the NIV is clearer. The remnant of Jerusalem, after the conquest by Nebuchadnezzar decided to go to live in Egypt against the advice of God through His prophet Jeremiah. The prophecy is detailed in Jeremiah chapters 42 to 43. After they arrived in Egypt, God sent Nebuchadnezzar to pursue and destroy them. The point is, they provoked God by seeking refuge from the enemy and encountered the viper and the fiery serpent which destroyed them. In the endtime, Ephraim will again commit the provocation of going to former enemies for help, and they will not help them.
The prophet Isaiah prophesied between the years 765 BC to 695 BC. A period of 70 years. See Isa 1:1 "The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah , son of Amoz (Amos) saw during the reigns of Uzziah (Azariah), Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." You will note that Nebuchadnezzar didn't invade Jerusalem until 606 BC. What makes this so remarkable are the accuracies and detail of the prophecies concerning Babylon. Babylon was an ancient city and was founded soon after the flood by Nimrod, the grandson of Noah. He called it Babel.
From the very earliest times, Babylon became the very epitome of evil because Satan dwelt there. This was the seat of his power.
Decades before the greatest of the kings of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, ascended to the throne, God condemned the ruler of Babylon and identified him as the former archangel Lucifer - that is, Satan the devil.
Isa 14:1-23 "The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again He will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob. Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And the house of Israel will possess the nations as menservants and maidservants in the LORD's land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors.
V3 "On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, you will take up the taunt against the king of Babylon: 'How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended! The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers [plural], which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression. All the lands are at rest and at peace, they break into singing. Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon exult over you and say, "Now that you have been laid low, no woodsman comes to cut us down." The grave [Heb: sheol - str 7585 - the place of restaint, Gr: abyss] below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you - all those who were rulers in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones - all those who were kings over the nations. They will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us."
Note that 'All those who were rulers in the world', and who are now imprisoned in the Abyss are to rise to meet this being at that time. His power will be gone completely and he will be as a man in fleshly form.
V11 "All your pomp has been brought down to the grave [sheol], along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you."
V12 "How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been brought down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!"
V13 "You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the grave [sheol], to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate; "Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?"
V18 "All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb [Gr: bayith. Str 1004 - place or abode]. But you are cast out of your tomb [bayith] like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people."
The slain mentioned here are those of Satan's seed who are cast into the lake of fire - into the very Abyss where Satan will be bound for a 1,000 years.
V20 "The offspring of the wicked [one] will never be mentioned again. Prepare a place to slaughter HIS sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities."
V22 "I will rise up against them," declares the LORD Almighty. I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors, her offspring and descendants," declares the LORD. "I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with a broom of destruction," declares the LORD Almighty."
Speaking of the very same Babylon, Jeremiah had this to say: Jer 51:24 "Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion," declares the LORD. "I am against you, O destroying mountain, you who destroy the whole earth," declares the LORD. "I will stretch out my hand against you, roll you off the cliffs, and make you a burnt-out mountain. No rock will be taken from you for a cornerstone, nor any stone for a foundation, for you will be desolate for ever," declares the LORD. "Lift up a banner in the land! Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations for battle against her: summon against her these kingdoms: Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz. Appoint a commander against her; send up horses like a swarm of locusts. Prepare the nations for battle against her - the kings of the Medes, their governors and all their officials, and all the countries they rule. The land trembles and writhes, for the LORD's purposes stand - to lay waste the land of Babylon so that no-one will live there. Babylon's warriors have stopped fighting; they remain in their strongholds. Their strength is exhausted; they have become like women. Her dwellings are set on fire; the bars of her gates are broken. One courier follows another and messenger follows messenger to announce to the king of Babylon that his entire city is captured, the river crossings seized, the marshes on fire, and the soldiers terrified."
Some may think that the Medes fulfilled this prophecy when Cyrus seized power from Belshazzar. He didn't! It was an almost bloodless coup that saw Belshazzar murdered and Cyrus ascended the throne the following day. Cyrus certainly didn't destroy the city. He was the only Mede to seize power in Babylon. The rest ascended the throne. Later when Alexander the Great conquered it, even he didn't destroy it. Nor was Alexander a Mede! This prophecy is for the latter-days; it is still unfulfilled. Babylon will be rebuilt and restored. Then this prophecy will be fulfilled!
V33 "This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor at the time it is trampled; the time to harvest her will soon come."
V34 "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us, he has thrown us into confusion, he has made us an empty jar. Like a serpent he has swallowed us and filled his stomach with our delicacies, and then has spewed us out. May the violence done to our flesh be upon Babylon," say the inhabitants of Zion. "May our blood be on those who live in Babylonia," says Jerusalem."
V36 "Therefore, this is what the LORD says: "See, I will defend your cause and avenge you; I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry. Babylon will be a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, an object of horror and scorn, a place where no-one lives. Her people all roar like young lions, they growl like lion cubs. But while they are aroused, I will set out a feast for them and make them drunk, so that they shout with laughter - then sleep for ever and not awake," declares the LORD."
V45 "Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the LORD. V48 "Then heaven and earth and all that is in them will shout for joy over Babylon, for out to the north destroyers will attack her," declares the LORD."
V49 "Babylon must fall because of Israel's slain, just as the slain in all the earth have fallen because of Babylon. You who have escaped the sword, leave and do not linger! Remember the LORD in a distant land, and think on Jerusalem. We are disgraced, for we have been insulted and shame covers our faces, because foreigners have entered the holy places of the LORD's house."
V54 "The sound of a cry comes from Babylon, the sound of great destruction from the land of the Babylonians. The LORD will destroy Babylon; he will silence her noisy din. Waves of enemies will rage like great waters; the roar of their voices will resound. A destroyer will come against Babylon; her warriors will be captured, and their bows will be broken. For the LORD is a God of retribution; he will repay in full. "I will make her officials and wise men drunk, her governors, officers and warriors as well; they will sleep for ever and not awake," declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty."
V60 "Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon - all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. He said to Seraiah, "When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. Then say, 'O, LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither man nor animal will live in it; it will be desolate for ever.' When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. Then say, 'So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall.' The words of Jeremiah end here."
Did God destroy Babylon? No, He didn't! It quietly died and drifted into antiquity sometime in the first century. It will be re-built and inhabited. Then God will fulfill all that Jeremiah prophesied concerning it.
THE REAL 'RULERS'
Christ came in human form. Not as a ruler, but as a servant. His role was to qualify for rulership through service to God as a man. God has given Satan and his legions the same opportunity to serve as men. In every case they chose to rule over all others and became tyrants. They were not prepared to serve others, nor were they, in most cases prepared to rule justly.
In the days of Daniel, an event occurred that leaves no doubt as to the nature of some of these rulers. The prince of Persia was a man - but a very unusual one! When Gabriel the archangel approached him, the Prince of Persia detained him. Gabriel is such an awesome figure that Daniel fell down weak from fear (Dan 10:15). Yet Gabriel had to call upon Michael the archangel for assistance. Gabriel also advises Daniel that he will soon fight against the Prince of Persia. A puny human being would be no contest! But a rebellious high-ranking angelic being such as this one obviously was, represented a formidable foe. When God slaughtered the armies of Assyria in His land outside the gates of Jerusalem, it was Gabriel that performed this task. In one night he destroyed an army of 185,000 men. Don't believe that any human army is a match for this mighty being!
The horn (beast) that arises from the four beasts of Daniel sweeps some of the stars to earth and tramples on them. Dan 8:9 "Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and towards the Beautiful Land. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice was given over to it. It prospers in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground." No human being could do this! This man, so described, is the beast of Revelation 13, yet he has the power to do what Satan does - also described in Rev 12:4.
The undeniable evidence is that this man is Satan the devil personified! He has already been born from the very seed of Satan and is the offspring of him. He is alive on earth today! This individual has all the power of Satan the devil: Rev 13:2 "....The dragon gave the beast his power, and his throne and great authority."
What about the second beast of Revelation 13? The one with two horns like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon? This beast arises from the earth - from the Abyss in Babylon - the haunt of every evil spirit. Both these beasts (one is called the false prophet) go on a killing rampage, but are forbidden to kill the two witnesses or the woman who gave birth to Christ (Rev 12:5, 12:14). When the two prophets have finished their work, they will be killed by a powerful being called in the Hebrew language Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon (Rev 9:11). This Abaddon is specifically mentioned five times in the Old Testament, but his name is usually translated as 'destroyer.' He is one of the kings that has ruled over the nations of the earth. The scriptures indicate that he ruled over both Egypt and Sodom at some point in history, and will endeavour to rule over Jerusalem in the final days Jerusalem will figuratively be called Sodom and Egypt at that time (Rev 11:8)..
At the time of the fifth trumpet plague one of the stars (demons) that had previously fallen from the sky, was given the key to the Abyss. He frees millions of demons. One of these is a particularly evil one. His name is Apollyon, and it is he that attacks the two witnesses in Jerusalem and kills them (Rev 11:7-8).
The Abyss is located in Babylon. During the days of Nebuchadnezzar, he had a fiery furnace for throwing people into. He threw three prophets in there - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Ever the fraud and imposter, Satan simulated the fiery Abyss, and cast God's servants into it! He apparently gained some form of satisfaction from trying to turn the tables on God. But the fiery furnace had no power over the servants of God. Even in the final holocaust, when God's people Israel return to Jerusalem, they will pass through the flames of destruction but will not be burned: Isa 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you alight." Has this ever happened?
THE MYSTERY OF THE 5TH TRUMPET
The sounding of the fifth trumpet has led to some of the most excessive liberties being taken by unauthorized interpreters of Bible prophecy.
Rev 9:1 "The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss." [Obviously, this is not a chunk of rock or a meteorite! This 'star' is given a key - notice the next verse calls the star 'he'. This is an angelic being - similar to the one that chains up Satan and locks him away in the Abyss (Rev 20:1)] "When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down upon the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth." [Notice where the smoke arose from! Did it arise from a modern-day army or nation of humans? NO! The scriptures say it arose from this Abyss - the same Abyss where Satan is to be chained up in the future!] "They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were NOT given power to kill them, but only to torture them for five months." [God is in control! Just as God told Satan that he could have power over God's servant Job, but was not to kill him (Job 2:6), so these 'locust-like' creatures are given power over all those who don't have the seal of God on their foreheads, but they are not to kill them.]
"And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes a man. During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them." [Like Job, they too, seek death to spare them from their misery; but UNLIKE Job they fail to repent!]
"The locusts looked like horses prepared for battle. On their heads they wore something like crowns of gold, and their faces resembled human faces. Their hair was like women's hair, and their teeth were like lion's teeth. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the thundering of many horses and chariots rushing into battle They had tails and stings like scorpions, and in their tails they had power to torment people for five months." Weapons of war today don't have stings in their tails that ONLY torment people - they are designed to kill - even biological (germ) warfare and Sarin gas kill! In addition to this, the seven trumpet plagues are against the whole world. These 'locusts' are told to torment ALL those who don't have the mark of God on their foreheads. Therefore, the only ones who could deliver this torment would be either those who have the mark of God on their foreheads OR Satan's demons! The scripture is clear - they are Satan's demons!
This prophecy is the re-staging of the Exodus under Moses. All the Egyptians suffered the plagues, but those who had the 'mark' of God - the Israelites - were not harmed! Regardless of any inventive interpretation by human beings as to what they think the description of these 'locusts' means, God clearly tells us what they are! They are demons who emerge from the Abyss! The Churches of God in the past, have proposed all sorts of explanations for these locusts who can selectively torment, without killing; all those who don't have the mark of God. They quote from Nahum to 'prove' this, stating that the reference to the 'locusts' is speaking of the Assyrians. They claim that the neutron bomb could achieve these effects, pointing out that a neutron bomb is designed to kill lifeforms but leave buildings intact. Such prepostrous claims are NOT supported in the Bible! You will notice that the sting of these locusts only torments the inhabitants of the earth but doesn't kill them! Neither does it hurt the grass or the trees!
V11 "They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon." [This name Abaddon or Apollyon means destroyer. Most commentaries describe him as the prince or commander of those in the Abyss.]
It should not surprise anyone that these demons look like locusts. In Rev 16:12-14 we find a description of three demons who look like frogs: Rev 16:12-14 "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its waters dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the east. Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are the spirits of demons [demon spirits - correct translation] performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the great day of the Lord Almighty."
There is no room for interpretation here! Clearly these 'frog-like spirits' are demons whose mission is to convince the dragon-worshipers of the east to prepare for battle against a forth-coming invasion from space. These demons will convince the kings of the east that they are about to encounter an alien attack from outer space. Notice who these demons are to target: the most superstitious of all the nations - the dragon-worshiping, idolators of the east or Asian region. The appearance of these demons also resembles the descriptions people have given of reported 'aliens' from outerspace. Of course the attack from outer space IS the returning Christ who WILL fight against these nations!! (Zech 14).
At this present time, humanity has experienced very little of the former, pre-Christian era, when it was not that unusual to observe spirit beings. The prophet Job was aware of a great beast; a curling, dragon in the sea. God describes it: Job 41:1 "Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words? Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life? Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls? Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! Any hope of subduing him is false, the mere sight of him is overpowering. No-one is fierce enough to rouse him." V12 "I will not speak of his limbs, his strength and graceful form. Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle? Who dares open the doors of his mouth ringed with his fearsome teeth? His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. His sneezing throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn. Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. Strength resides in his neck; dismay goes before him. The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable. His chest is hard as a rock; hard as a lower millstone. When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing. The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin. Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood. Arrows do not make him flee; slingstones are like chaff to him. A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance. His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing-sledge. He makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment. Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair. Nothing on earth is his equal - a creature without fear. He looks down on all the haughty; he is KING over all that are proud."
This describes an awesome creature! People have made outlandish claims about what is being described here. Some have suggested that it refers to a crocodile; some that it's a rhinoceros; while some have said that it's a dinosaur. The last two verses identify this serpent. 'Nothing on earth is his equal' Of all the created beings on earth Satan is the most powerful being of them all! 'Pride, of which he is king' (that is he is preeminent over all others in pride), was the downfall of Satan: Isa 14:13 "You have said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit." As always the Bible leaves no doubt. Every question raised in the Bible is answered by the Bible. Naturally enough, in this case also, the Bible clarifies its meaning: Ps 74:13 "It was You who split open the sea by your power; You broke the HEADS [plural] of the monster in the waters. It was You who crushed the HEADS [plural] of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert." (See also Gen 3:15). And who is the fire-breathing dragon, this proud KING, this leviathan with multiple heads? None other than Satan the devil: Rev 12:3 "Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads." Keep these scriptures in mind, because shortly we will examine the reason for this ugly and evil looking creature, and consider God's statement about Lucifer being 'perfect in beauty'.
Satan's pride is mentioned by the prophet Daniel in connection with Nebuchadnezzar: he had just had a dream and was warned by Daniel of the consequences of that dream: Dan 4:28 "All this happened to King Nebuchadnezzar. Twelve months later, as the king was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, he said, "Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?" The words were still on his lips when a voice came from heaven, "This is what is decreed for you, King Nebuchadnezzar: Your royal authority has been taken away from you. You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."
Here was a king who exhibited all the characteristics of Satan the devil. He had risen to great power, and his mind began to fantasise about his greatness. Satan ruled through and by Nebuchadnezzar. When world conquest became evident, once again Satan's pride emerged and he believed that all he had achieved was by his own power. This is no different to those today, who believe that evolution has made mankind the pre-eminent species, and that mankind stands in place of the Creator God. Satan and Nebuchadnezzar served their seven year sentence jointly. After that Satan was released and the rulership taken from him. Nebuchadnezzar had sanity restored to him and went on to complete his reign.
The scriptures have more to say about this serpent mentioned in Job 41! Notice: Isa 27:1 "In that day, the LORD will punish with his sword, his fierce great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent, He will slay the monster of the sea."
Which 'day' is this referring to? The story thread is picked up in Isa 23:1. This relates to a trading empire that is destroyed. This great saga of the destruction of 'Tyre' is also described in Revelation chapter 18. Isa 23:15 "At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king's life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: "Take up a harp, walk through the city, O prostitute forgotten; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered." At the end of seventy years, the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire as a prostitute and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the LORD; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the LORD, for abundant food and fine clothes." Isa 24:1 "See, the LORD, is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants." (See other articles on Geology to learn what is to happen to the earth).
This refers to the endtime destruction. The rest of Isa 24 continues to describe some of this destruction. Chapter 25 describes the salvation that will come upon the world under the reign of the Almighty God. Chapter 26 deals with the city of Jerusalem being restored and the tribe of Judah in service to God. Notice now verse 13: "O LORD, our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honour. They are now dead, they live no more; those departed spirits do not rise. You have punished them and brought them to ruin; you wiped out all memory of them." Other references to these verses are found in Jer 51:39,57, Isa 14:20-21, Isa 43:17. Briefly, what the Bible is describing is the destruction of the rulers of the world. They are never to live again. Their 'spirits' will not rise - compare this with Revelation 16:14 and notice that this refers to the 'spirits' of demons. The very nature of demons and their spirits, and other spirit-being overlords is a complex subject that is covered extensively in the Bible - but never with the transparent clarity of other subjects. As in no other subject, the details of these spirit beings is clouded from human view. But it is impossible to understand God's plan of salvation for humanity unless you do understand these things!
The whole plan of God is to rid the universe of these rebellious creatures - but with proper justice! The sort of justice that will be evident to all other beings in the universe. Because of the intricacy of detail that God has built into His great plan, the highest ranking beings in God's heavenly realm fall on their faces in worship of God and lay their crowns at His feet in favour of those whom God will elevate to sonship and who will bear His name: Rev 4:9 "Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worships Him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all thngs, and by your will they were created and have their being." (See also Rev 11:15-17)
Rev 16:5-7 "Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: "You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve. And I heard the altar respond: "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments."
Here we see the very upper echelon of heavenly beings saying that God is 'true and just in Your judgments'. God exhibits meticulous detail in establishing a lasting Kingdom on earth, and to ensuring that rebellion never arises again. It is so brilliant, just and fair that even Satan will be hard-pressed to raise objections when he goes to his final death.
Satan and all his commanders will have been given opportunity to rule through a human instrument and to prove their worthiness to live. Since no righteous human government has ever emerged (with the exception of those righteous kings of the tribe of Judah who were implanted with God's seed) they have all failed.
Judgment will begin in the house of God (1Pet 4:17). This judgment will be conducted by God in the presence of his angels: Dan 7:9 "As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of His head was white like wool. His throne a flaming fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the HORN was speaking. I kept looking until the BEAST was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the fire. The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time."
Here we see that judgment continues until the horn or beast is cast into the fire. So judgment begins some time prior to this. The main judgment period is when the mark of the beast is enforced on everyone. Only those who refuse it will continue to have their names in the Book of Life: Rev 14:9 "A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on their forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast or his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
It's important to understand that to receive this mark of the beast means eternal death for any Christian. There is no second chance! And there is no resurrection for them!
After that, those who names are in the book of life will then judge the spirit world. Rev 20:4 "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years had ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years."
This refers to the innumerable multitude that dies in the Great Tribulation and all the other martyrs that have lived down through the ages. Whatever you have been told will happen in the Great White Throne Judgment; this is what the Bible says: Rev 20:11 "Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, STANDING BEFORE THE THRONE, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone's name was NOT found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."
Notice the last sentence. Anyone whose name is not found written in the book of life is thrown in the fire. This is saying that the name MUST be there when the book of life is opened! If it's not already written there, they are doomed to go to the lake of fire! When you think about the billions of people who have lived on earth, you have to wonder how many repented and received eternal life. But this is not what the scripture is saying! God didn't call every human being that has ever lived - and neither does He plan to give them all a chance at entering His Kingdom! This idea is a fabrication of those who have never understood God's word!
Up to the time of Christ, God has only dealt with the 12 tribes of Israel and a handful of other prophets who pre-dated Abraham. He never offered the other nations any promises. He did however, make provision for people of other nations to become grafted Israelites, even in the time of Moses (Ex 12:48). God knows His own and whom He has predestinated to conform to His ways and His purpose: Eph 1:5, 11 "In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will - to the praise of His glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One He loves." V11 "In Him we were also CHOSEN, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will...." And when did God call us? Eph 1:4 "For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight."
Rom 8:29 "For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And THOSE He predestined, He ALSO CALLED, those He called He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified."
And who did God choose? 1Cor 1:26 "Brothers, think of what you were when you were CALLED. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God CHOSE the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God CHOSE the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He CHOSE the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no-one may boast before Him." It's clear from these scriptures that God has not called every human being that ever lived! Nor did He ever intend to! Those He predestined to be called from the foundation of the world, He DID call! So obviously, either God predestined every human being to be called from the creation of the world and He has now called them all - OR He has only called a small group of people. Which is it? Read the above scripture again, and note the words: "But God CHOSE the foolish things (ones) of the world to shame the wise, God CHOSE the weak things (ones) of the world to shame the strong." If God called everyone, then there would be no choice to make. Further, this scripture refers to those He didn't choose in its reference to the 'wise' and the 'strong.' Since the selection process of choosing occurred before the creation of the world, God is not about to make retrospective decisions to change this. Be sure you understand this!
As for the tribes of Israel - all will called in the millennium - with one exception! The fate of the tribe of Dan - the people of Ireland today - doesn't auger well for the future. Even Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes, identified the true nature of Dan. Dan is today, and has always been, in the grip of the serpent! But even in their tribal haven for evil, God called certain outstanding leaders who resisted the shackles of Satan's seed. One of those was Samson. Jacob had this to say about his son, Dan: Gen 49:17 "Dan will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horses heels (Gen 3:15) so that its rider tumbles backward." Satan has thoroughly impregnated the tribe of Dan with his seed. So well-embodied in the Irish is this evil seed that God has removed the tribe of Dan from their part in the upper echelons of salvation, that is, 12,000 from each of the tribes - except Dan! (See Rev 7:5-8). Shortly after the death of Moses, when Dan received their portion of the holy land they immediately set about to establish pagan worship. And who did they recruit as their pagan priest? None other than the grandson of Moses - Jonathan! (See Jud 18:3, 30). The linage of the seed through Moses ceased! Instead it was passed to the descendants of Aaron. It was these who formed the Levitical priesthood. The tribe of Dan will, however, receive their physical inheritance just as God promised to Abraham. They will receive their allotted portion in the land of Palestine (Eze 48:1). As with all the tribes, this inheritance will be a physical possession for them to build houses and raise children. The spiritual possession will be embodied in the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel; 12,000 from eleven of the tribes with a double portion going to Joseph, to the exclusion of Dan. (Rev 7:5-8). Joined with these in this special spiritual inheritance will be Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets (Luke 13:28). In this special provision, God will fulfill His spiritual promise to Abraham.
There is another tier of inheritance that involves an 'innumerable multitude.' We will shortly discover who these are and what their reward will be!
Satan's seed was also deeply entrenched in the tribe of Judah at the time of Christ. But from among this enclave of evil, God called the special seed of faithful Jews to the greatest calling imaginable - that of carrying the Gospel to the rest of the tribes of Israel and to many of the Gentile nations. Just as the tribe of Judah was a mix of good and evil, similarly, it should not be assumed that all Irishmen are in the grip of Satan the devil. God intends to call, and has already called, many people from every nation, tribe, language and nation. Just as assuredly, God will call some of the Irish. God has made the call, and God will be the final Judge! Those who want to justify the conduct of the Irish today, and their conduct of the past, can take the matter up with God. The Irish have infiltrated many nations on earth today. As for the nation of Denmark, the original home of Dan, there are few true Danites left in the country.
Students of the Bible will be aware that Jacob's prophecies concerning his sons relates to the latter days: Gen 49:1 "And Jacob called his sons, and said, "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days." Be aware that all that Jacob says in relation to his sons and their descendants is for the endtime!
God intends to honour His promise to Abraham. With this in mind, God has set in place certain provisions for the future. One of these is the setting apart of 144,000 people from the seed of Abraham. These comprise 12,000 of each of the tribes, except for the tribe of Dan. In Dan's place a special double blessing is given to Joseph to fulfill a promise made through Jacob. Jacob blessed Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh with a double portion. Ephraim was the preeminent tribe of the northern kingdom, and is referred to as Joseph in Revelation 7. There are many indications in the Bible that most of the 144,000 will be drawn from the nation of Ephraim. Ephraim, the United States of America today, have descendants of all 12 tribes living within its coasts.
THE 144,000 AND THE INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE
This 144,000 will occupy the most treasured position in the Kingdom of God. They are God's treasured jewels. They are the bride of Christ! The innumerable multitude referred to in Revelation chapter seven are not a part of Christ's bride. They will be a vital part of the Kingdom of God and will live with God in the New Jerusalem, and they will be invited to the wedding supper, but they will never be the Bride of Christ. Notice now what the Bible says:
Rev 14:1- "And I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 who had His name and His Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. NO-ONE could learn the song EXCEPT the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as FIRSTFRUITS to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless."
Here we see that these 144,000 are the FIRSTFRUITS of God and the Lamb. Other Christians are 'a kind of firstfruits' (Jas 1:18).
Rev 7:1- "After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land or the sea. Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God. Then I heard the number of those WHO WERE SEALED: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel."
Eph 1:13 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of Salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession - to the praise of His glory."
Traditionally, the Churches of God have lumped the 'innumerable multitude' and the '144,000' together as heirs to the same inheritance. The scriptures show that the inheritance is NOT the same! There are some in the Church that will argue vehemently to the contrary! You either accept God's Word or you deny it! The choice is yours! This is what the Bible says:
Rev 7:9 "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no-one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried with a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, AND to the Lamb."" These people are standing before a throne. Whose throne was it that John saw? Was it Christ's or was it the Father's? The answer is found in Rev 5:7 "He [Christ] came and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb." So it was the Lamb or Christ that took the scroll from the right hand of Him that sat on the throne! It's very important that no doubts exist over whose throne this is referring to, so notice now V9 "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God [the Father], and they will reign on earth." This clearly identifies who the Lamb is, and from whom he took the scroll!
The innumerable multitude that no-one could count are clearly different from the 144,000 since these have been numbered very accurately.
When Christ returns many nations of every language, nation and people will have the opportunity to serve and worship the true God. Prior to Christ's first appearance, they were offered nothing and they will receive nothing.
At the return of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God there will be a whole new order of things: Rev 21:3 "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be his people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Those who were standing before the throne of God the Father are further identified by the angel: Rev 7:13 "Then one of the elders said to me, "These in white robes - who are they, and where did they come from?" I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." This verse is telling us that their robes were dirty before they were cleansed in the great tribulation by the blood of the Lamb. Now we come to the reward of these people. Notice what it says: V15 "Therefore, they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them." We know who sits on the throne, but can we be sure who it is that these people are going to serve day and night? Christ has made them a kingdom and priests to serve the Father: Rev 1:5-6 "To him that loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen."
Continuing Rev 7:16 "Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Remember that this is being spoken to those who have just come out of the great tribulation. They stand before the throne of God the Father just after emerging from the great tribulation and are told that God will wipe away their tears. Who will wipe away these tears? Is it the Father or Christ? The Churches of God have always taught that God the Father will not dwell with men until after the millennium. So does God wait 1,000 years to wipe away these tears? If you believe their cock-eyed interpretation of the Bible you would have to conclude that he does! Now notice Rev 21:2 "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with MEN, and HE will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes."
We have already seen that it says this in Rev 7:15 "Therefore, they [the innumerable multitude] are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in his temple." These people serve God the Father in His temple! What temple? The Holy City, the New Jerusalem has no temple! Rev 21:22 "I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty AND the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, AND the Lamb is its lamp."
Summarizing thus far, we have learnt that the innumerable multitude is to serve God the Father in the temple day and night. So God the Father, whom they stood before after the great tribulation is to be present on earth to be served. This is why the Lamb has redeemed these people - to serve the Father (Rev 1:4-6). God will spread His tent or tabernacle over them (Rev 7:15). So what is the meaning of the tent? God explains: Isa 40:21 "Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the HEAVENS like a canopy and spreads them out like a TENT TO LIVE IN." V26 "Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing." God is telling us what is to be in the near future and beyond for eternity. Those who faithfully serve the Father will qualify for greater glory throughout the galaxies. There are many references that show that God fully intends to utilize the whole universe. Project earth is just the beginning!
Since there is no temple in the New Jerusalem, to which temple does it refer?
Another temple is described in the Bible. It has the river of life running through it and it has the tree of life growing along its banks. Did Solomon's or Herod's temple have these? If the Jews built a temple today in Jerusalem, would they include the river of life running through it? Or would they plant the tree of life along its banks? Obviously not! This temple is described in Ezekiel chapters 40 to 48. In chapter 47 the river is described as flowing under the threshhold of the temple. Along its banks fruit trees grow and bear every month. The fruit serves for food and their leaves for healing (V12). Be sure to read all of chapter 47 or ideally, read chapters 40 through 48.
Now we'll compare with Rev 22:1 "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God AND of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city [Jerusalem]. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God AND of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads."
If you took the time to read Ezekiel chapter 40 through 48 you will now know that physical human beings will be worshiping God at Jerusalem - and offering animal sacrifices!! And the priesthood of this temple will be the 'innumerable multitude' who will serve before the throne of God. The throne of God will be in the New Jerusalem - from where the river of life flows - and continues down the main street and under the threshhold of the temple! This river is described in considerable detail in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 47. It tells us that all types of fish, even those which normally only exist in the ocean will exist in this river in great abundance. What fruit tree do you know of that bears fruit every month and whose leaves can be used for healing of the nations?
The Bible is telling us that the New Jerusalem will exist on earth side by side with this temple. Because people have assumed that the visions that John saw were of sequential events, they have concluded that the New Jerusalem will descend at the end of the Millennium AFTER Satan is released from prison. THIS IS NOT SO!! There are many scriptures that show this to be patently false and misleading! If you read the whole book of Revelation you will soon discover that the visions that John saw were NOT sequential! The New Jerusalem will be established on earth at the start of the Millennium!
The 144,000 will dwell in the New Jerusalem and will be the bride of Christ. Christ spoke about the wedding supper of the Lamb in parables when He was on earth. The book of Revelation further clarifies it with a clear description of this great event.
Immediately after the great prostitute is condemned the heavenly beings rejoice (Rev 19:1-5). V6 "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting, "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, "Write: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These are the true words of God."
NEW JERUSALEM - WHEN?
The bride is wearing clean linen clothing and the scripture further explains that this stands for the righteous acts of the saints. We now come to a passage of scripture that is hard to understand, based on what the Churches of God have taught in the past. It concerns what one of the seven angels said to John: Rev 21:9 "One of the angels who had the seven bowls FULL of the seven last plagues came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God."
As always, the Bible reveals all! Regardless of what you have believed or been taught, the Bible is the final authority and arbitrator of the truth! Forget what you have been taught - they are lies! Lies that have been fabricated by those who don't, and never have, understood the Bible!
John is invited to come and look at the Bride, the WIFE of the Lamb. From their vantage point they saw the Holy City, Jerusalem descending from heaven. Here in this Holy City was the Bride or Wife of Christ. How can we be sure that the WIFE is in this City? The Apostle Paul tells us: 2Cor 5:1 "Now we know that if the earthly TENT we live in is destroyed, we have a BUILDING from God, an ETERNAL HOUSE in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be CLOTHED with our HEAVENLY DWELLING, because when we are CLOTHED, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this TENT, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be CLOTHED with our HEAVENLY DWELLING, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
That's clear enough! But when is this to happen? At the end of the Millennium? Or when Christ comes? Again the Apostle Paul clarifies it: 1Cor 15:51 "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMPET. For the TRUMPET will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must CLOTHE itself with the IMPERISHABLE (the Holy City), and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory.""
Just a brief digression before continuing the main theme. Paul says that at this time, at the LAST TRUMPET BLAST, 'death has been swallowed up in victory.' This is an obvious pointer to Rev 21:3 "And I heard a loud voice from the THRONE saying, "Now the dwelling of GOD IS WITH MEN, and HE WILL LIVE WITH THEM. They will be HIS people, and GOD HIMSELF will be with them and be their GOD. HE will wipe every tear from their eyes. There WILL BE NO MORE DEATH or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." The only THRONE mentioned in the entire book of Revelation (apart from Satan's throne - Rev 2:13) is the THRONE OF GOD THE FATHER. This is the THRONE that the Lamb approaches to receive the sealed scroll (Rev 5:6-7). THE FATHER is the LIGHT of the NEW CITY and the LAMB is the LAMP: Rev 21:23 "The CITY does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of GOD gives it light, and the LAMB is its LAMP." If the FATHER is not in that CITY then there will be no LIGHT!
And just one more point regarding Paul's comment on death. Be aware that Paul was quoting from Hos 13:14 where it speaks of Ephraim and all his brothers among whom he thrives. God is going to redeem them from the grave in a special physical resurrection similar to the resurrection that occurred after Christ's death when graves were opened and the dead came alive. God's endtime prophet will call them from the grave (Eze 37:9-14). This subject matter is extensively covered in other articles.
Returning to the theme: Paul said that at the LAST TRUMPET God's elect will be changed, and that they will be CLOTHED with the ETERNAL HOUSE in heaven. That much is very clear! Now we know that the LAST TRUMPET is blown BEFORE the seven last plagues. We should also be aware that Christ sets up His Kingdom at the time of the LAST TRUMPET! This is what the Bible says: Rev 11:15 "The seventh angel sounded his TRUMPET, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: The KINGDOM (singular) of the world has become the KINGDOM of our Lord AND of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever." This is the very time when the elect put on immortality, and are CLOTHED with the Heavenly City.
Now John was told to come and see the Bride and Wife of Christ. What he saw was the NEW CITY OF JERUSALEM descending. Notice what was said again: Rev 21:9 "One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls FULL OF THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES...." The bowls were FULL! They hadn't yet been poured out! Let's examine the time between the LAST TRUMPET and the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES: Rev 15:1 "I saw in heaven another great and marvellous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues - last because with them God's wrath is completed. And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, THOSE who had been VICTORIOUS OVER THE BEAST and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps GIVEN THEM BY GOD and sang the song of MOSES, the servant of God and the song of the LAMB." So here we see that all those who have been victorious over the beast are in the company of God, playing harps given them by God and singing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb.
The Song of Moses is found in Deut 32. The message of this song is too extensive to discuss here. Be urged to at least read it through! In V15 you will notice the name 'Jeshurun'. This refers to the whole 12 tribes of Israel (some margins clarify this). In other places this name is also a reference to Ephraim (U.S), the land of the 12 tribes today. V22 speaks of the 'realm of DEATH below'. This is a reference pointer to Rev 6:7 which identifies a rider by that name. Specially note also V32-33. And this is what Moses said in conclusion: Deut 32:45 "When Moses had finished reciting all these words to all Israel, he said to them, "Take to HEART all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the WORDS OF THIS LAW. They are not just idle words for you - THEY ARE YOUR LIFE." Now you know why the immortal servants of God are singing this song after their redemption. These words explain the reason for the global upheaval.
After this the seven angels pour out the seven last plagues: Rev 16:1 "Then I heard a loud voice from the Temple saying to the seven angels, "Go POUR OUT the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth."" When John saw the New Jerusalem descending from heaven the Bride of Christ was already there in the CITY. And this Holy City descends BEFORE the seven last plagues! Much more will be said about this in future articles.
THE FATE OF THE SPIRIT WORLD
It's important to understand that the penalty for sin is death - for all who sin! Satan and his demons included! Spirit beings CAN live forever - but only God the Father has immortality: I Tim 6:13-16 "In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made a good confession, I charge you to keep this commandment without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, WHO ALONE IS IMMORTAL and who lives in unapproachable light, WHOM NO-ONE HAS SEEN OR CAN SEE."
Even Jesus Christ put immortality on the line when He came to earth as a human being. Most people don't realize that if Christ had failed the test of obedience to God the Father, sin would have claimed Him and He would have died forever! There was no shysterism that would have enabled Him to fail and still retain His position with God! It was an all or nothing effort when Christ put His eternal life on the line!
God grants eternal life to spirit beings - but always subject to continuing harmony and obedience to His Laws. When God destroys all of Satan's followers - including his incorrigible demons, it will not be without cause. Anyone who believes that spirit beings are immortal and live forever have not understood the very fundamentals of the Bible. Of all the beings under God the Father, you would expect that Christ would have immortality - that He couldn't die. But Christ did die - and He was dead for 3 days. When He was resurrected, it was necessary for Him to present Himself to the Father for judgment. Judgment was passed in His favour, as the history of the Bible records, and the Father bestowed upon Him all honour. God was so certain that His Seed would accomplish the task that was set before Him that He prophesied the event: Dan 7:13 "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed."
Satan and many of his demons have sins marked against them in the book. During the past 6,000 years God has given them the same opportunity as He gave His only begotten Son. That is, to live a sinless life on earth as His Son did! God's Son would have died forever if He had sinned, but because He did not, He was granted eternal life - with all honour under heaven! He qualified for the greatest glory imaginable!
Satan's seed or offspring (Gen 3:15) has failed dismally and has failed to produce a single, righteous individual! Without the seed of God - the Holy Spirit - dwelling in them, Satan's seed cannot please God, and nor can they live sinless lives! The whole message of the Bible is about the offspring or seed of Satan, and the offspring or seed of God. Those whom God chooses, in them He puts His Seed (Holy Spirit). Satan's hostility to God repudiates the power of the Holy Spirit. He has his own views on how things should be done, just like his human children; and he refuses to acknowledge the need for God's Spirit.
You have probably heard that Satan is super-intelligent, almost on the same plane as God. Nothing could be further from the truth! Human beings have a mind like Satan! A mind capable of reasoning. The only difference is that Satan has the experience of many millennia of learning, and the advantage of knowing God personally. Satan doesn't have to live in faith, because unlike Christians, he has seen God face to face and knows Him well. From this point of view, Satan has a decided advantage. Satan is confused, impulsive and lacking in the wisdom of experience. He discards and forgets knowledge; instead of retaining good knowledge and discarding the bad, he does just the opposite because of his jealousy of God's position. Ps 36:1 "An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked [one]. There is no fear of God before HIS eyes. For in HIS own eyes HE flatters HIMSELF too much to detect or hate HIS sin. The words of HIS mouth are wicked and deceitful; HE has ceased to wise and to do good. Even on HIS bed HE plots evil; He commits HIMSELF to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong." Yes, this psalm describes Satan the devil, not human beings in general. HE is the arch-rebel, HE is the incorrigible one, HE is the enemy of God!
As an example of Satan's confused state of mind, it's only necessary to examine his attempt against Christ (after the 40 day fast) to corrupt Him. His miserable attempt was to try to entice the very mind of God (which Christ had through the Spirit without measure - John 3:34) to doubt that He was the Messiah. Satan invited Christ to throw Himself down to prove that He was the Messiah, saying that the angels would bear Him up again (Ps 91:11-12). Satan believed that if Christ did throw Himself down to prove the point that He was indeed the Messiah, He would have failed the test by tempting God. It He refused, then he could have cajoled Him for lacking faith in God. Christ easily dismissed the suggestion by telling him that no-one should tempt God.
Satan's confused mind then devised the most stupid suggestion possible - based on his own view of values. He offered Christ material wealth and recognition by all humanity in exchange for worshipping him. This is like someone offering a true Christian a million dollars to blaspheme God. A true Christian would not even consider it. Yet Satan believed that the One whom he previously knew in heaven, God's closest Companion, would consider such a stupid offer.
Satan's miserable and stupid attempt to corrupt Christ tells us a lot about him. His only concession to God's wisdom was to quote one scripture. His whole strategy was to appeal to vanity.
This whole episode was not to tempt Christ, because Christ wasn't tempted, but to give Satan opportunity to tempt Christ - which he failed to do! But it had to be done as evidence for the jury at the final trial of Satan.
Satan likes to try to prove God wrong. He never stops accusing the brethren of everything he can think of (Rev 12:10). Christ, our Advocate [our defence Counsel], is continually defending us. Satan is powerless against God's people as long as they remain faithful. He can do nothing against them without God's consent. A situation arose in the days of Job where God delivered him to Satan but with the express instruction that he was not to take his life. The story of Job tells us a lot about Satan and his devices and also the power that God exercises over the spirit world. It's extremely rare for God to allow a Christian to be delivered to Satan for punishment, but when it does happen, it's with extreme limitations of severity.
This is all about to change. When Satan makes his final assault on God and is rebuffed and cast to the earth his fury will have no bounds (Rev 12:7-9). No longer will he recognize any restraints by God. What is more, like in the case of Job (Job 2:6), God will hand the SAINTS over to him for 3½ years: Dan 7:25 "He will speak against the Most High and oppress his SAINTS and try to change set times and the laws. The SAINTS will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time (3½ years). It should be noted that the SAINTS are those who have the Holy Spirit or Seed.
The final outrage will occur when he musters his allies of old, the Babylonians, against his object of hatred - the seed of God. He knows who the seed are. He knows that these people are the seed of David. David was the branch of the root which was Christ: Rev 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the Churches. I am the ROOT and the OFFSPRING [seed] of David, and the bright Morning Star [sun - bringer of light]."
Christ is the ROOT AND THE SEED of David! The ROOT from which David branched is Christ! Why Christ is the ROOT of David is covered in other articles, but very briefly: you will notice that Matthew quoted Hos 11:1 in Matt 2:15 "Out of Egypt I called My Son." In Hosea 11:1 you will find that this refers to Israel. Christ is Israel, and He is the ROOT from which all of Israel sprung. The whole of Isa 53 presents all the pointers for further study.
You will notice that David's branch is only a small part of Judah - not the whole! The thread of God's Seed is now narrowed to a single family line. Matthew chapter one and Luke chapter three record this family line. The above scripture also says that Christ is the seed of David. It's through this seed also, which is Christ, that the thread continued. This thread of the seed are called Christians after the SEED (Christ). Through this Seed the line is not genealogical, but is continued through the implanting of God's Seed - the Spirit of Christ: Gal 3:19 "What, then, was the purpose of the Law? It was added because of transgressions until the SEED to whom the promise referred had come." Gal 4:6 "Because you are sons, God sent the SPIRIT OF HIS SON..." V19 "My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you." Rom 8:9 "You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the SPIRIT OF CHRIST, he does not belong to Christ." Phil 1:19 "..for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the SPIRIT OF JESUS CHRIST, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance."
So what of the seed from David's family line that sprang from the Root - which is Christ? Does it still continue? Will it emerge in our time? The scripture makes it obvious that there are two lines of the seed continuing. The scriptures make this very clear! Rev 11:4 "These are the two olive trees and the TWO LAMPSTANDS that stand before the Lord of the earth." Yes, there are two lampstands to represent two lines of the Seed. What does the Bible say about this? Notice: Zech 12:10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look to Me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives. On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity."
The children of Israel were divided into clans according to the families of the individual tribes. The clans specifically mentioned in this scripture, Nathan and Shimei, are both sons of David. The clan of the house of David describes the linage through Solomon which culminated in Christ's birth (Matt 1:6, 16). The clan of Nathan also culminated in the birth of Christ: Luke 3:23, 31). David had many sons, but these are not specifically named in the above scripture. They are merely described as 'all the rest of the clans'. We also see that the clan of the house of Levi is mentioned. This is the whole clan of the tribe of Levi. There is no divisional split here - all are included! That is, all whose descended from Aaron. Levi was chosen in perpetuity through Aaron in the days of Moses. The house of Levi and the house of David have been continuously linked since the days of David, and will continue to be: Jer 33:14 "'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.'
"For this is what the LORD says: 'David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man standing before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.'
"The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: This is what the LORD says: 'If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, then My covenant with David My servant - and My covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before Me - can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne. I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.'"
After the return of Christ, however, while all the Levites will be called to Temple duties, only those of the line of Zadok will be permitted to minister in the Most Holy Place: Eze 44:15 "But the priests who are Levites and descendants of Zadok, and who faithfully carried out the duties of my sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from Me; they are to stand before me to offer sacrifices of fat and blood, declares the Sovereign LORD. They alone are to enter my sanctuary; they alone are to come near My table to minister before Me and perform My service."
Notice the first verse of this scripture. It concerns the 'gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.' Reading on, we find that the gracious promise is to be fulfilled through two lines: David's line (V15) and the line of the Levites (V17-18). These two lines are to fulfill God's promise to the house of Israel and the house of Judah using these two family lines, which is in total accord with Zech 12:10-14!
This article could now balloon out to include the many supporting prophecies, including the origins of the 'Two Witnesses' who are of the line of David and the line of Levi, but other articles cover these things.
The primary concern of this article is to illuminate from the Bible the overall plan of God, what it entails, and why it was necessary. Christians today seem to be under the misapprehension that God is primarily concerned with 'gleaning' a group of followers from the vast horde of humanity. Nothing could be further from the truth! The whole purpose of God's plan is to rid the universe of rebellion and evil.
The reason why Christ came is to destroy the works of the devil: 1John 3:8 "He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. No-one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's Seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are, and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother."
Satan the devil has very little spiritual awareness. His mind is not attuned to God's ways because he doesn't have God's Holy Spirit. Any light he once had has completely flamed out. Satan has been aware of a fine thread of humanity that has filtered down through the ages, always emerging with a central Bible figure. Wben this thread of humanity finally reached Jacob, and Jacob and his family moved into Egypt, Satan believed he had them at his mercy. He would thoroughly corrupt them and destroy the seed and end the whole linage. After nearly 300 years, the children of Israel were so corrupted that they seemed unsalvageable. But after all this time the seed emerged through the tribe of Levi. God had set aside three people from the same family: Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Moses line flamed out (Moses' grandson Jonathon became a pagan priest to the Danites - Jud 18:30) but the line continued through Aaron. Aaron married Elisheba; she was the daughter of Amminadab, and sister to Nahshon, the prince of Judah. 400 years later, the seed emerged again in Judah through the linage of David. That line was established forever together with that of Levi (Jer 33:17-22).
In 1620 AD, God planted a new seed in a new land, and so began a shift to the tribe of Ephraim. The 'seed of the woman' scattered across the land among those who would violate the laws of God and set up their own version of Sodom and Egypt, just as Jerusalem will (Rev 11:8), immediately prior to the great cleansing, when God will remove Satan's seed from the Holy City. But the seed had been implanted into the new nation - the United States of America. The Holy seed weaved its way through the vastness of this continent for hundreds of years until eventually a foolish shepherd introduced the hierarchical tyranny that shattered the seed and scattered them. This is not to criticise the foolish shepherd because it was fore-ordained to be so. The very fact that God decreed it in a prophecy shows that it had to be so. (See the article: Who is the Flock Marked for Slaughter?)
Hierarchical government or tyranny is Satan's mode of rulership. He brutalizes his own constituents and is an absolute tyrant! He flings them to the ground and tramples on them. They are terrified of him and make every effort to set up house in human beings to hide from him. When they are cast out they are extremely vulnerable and will do almost anything to find another 'house' to live in. They are pitiful, doleful creatures that can find no permanent resting place. They originally chose to align themselves with Satan in the hope of exercising tyrannical reign over others without the restraints of God. To them it seemed a more desirable way, but ever since, they have known only tyranny from the more powerful beings over them. Today they live in absolute torment, and yet they still have an overriding desire to dominate lesser beings. Many of them desire to return to their former habitations and to look into the wondrous opportunities that God has offered humanity. In the Great Judgment some may find the mercy they seek.
Matt 13:37 "The One who sowed the good seed is the Son of man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the Kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil."
Satan moves his troops around to maintain a destructive presence against the line of the seed of Abraham wherever it emerges. Satan, through his son Herod the Great, attempted to kill the Messiah shortly after His birth. We learn two important principles here: firstly that Satan has a great desire to destroy anyone whom he believes threatens his position. Secondly, it shows that Satan is not omnipresent or all-knowing. If he was then he would have known that Joseph and Mary had already left with their son for Egypt. Satan didn't know where the Seed was to spring from and so he killed all the babies under two years old. Satan is forced to work within the framework of his own spy network. When he finally goes after the seed of Christ in Ephraim, he will rely heavily on the betrayal by false brethren to identify the object of his hatred. Traditionally, Satan uses fifth-column tactics. Throughout the entire history of the southern kingdom, Satan always had his seed implanted among the Jews to kill the prophets - which they did for many centuries!
Did Christ identify the evil seed of Satan? John 8:43-44 "Why is My language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say! You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
John the Baptist had no illusions about who Satan's seed was! Notice what he said: Matt 3:7 "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptising, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The axe is already at the root of these trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." John the Baptist was spiritually enlightened to understand who the evil seed was! (1Cor 12:10). In complete contrast, the average man in the street in Jerusalem at that time, believed these men to be noble and virtuous because they appeared so! When God called John the Baptist, He gave him special powers. The Bible records that John did no miracles, but the special power that he had was that of discerning the seed of the evil one. His power was greatly strengthened by his fearlessness. At one stage it was necessary for Christ to comment to the people and say, "What did you expect to see? A reed shaken in the wind?" John was no reed shaken in the wind! And Christ made that known! John attacked the very stronghold of Satan when he verbally tore strips off Herod Antipas for taking his brother's wife. Herodias was the granddaughter of Herod the Great. She had married her uncle Philip, but Antipas, the brother of Philip, saw her in Rome and took her for his own. The union was one of vile wickedness; both were steeped in evil! Even knowing the danger of criticizing this vile family, John the Baptist spoke out nevertheless. His obedience to his calling led to his death in accordance with the prophecy! (Isa 22:20-25). John only partly fulfilled this prophecy just as Christ only partially fulfilled many prophecies at that time. The final fulfillments will be at the latter event of His appearance.
The whole of the New Testament was written exclusively for the seed of Christ. The whole of the Old Covenant was written exclusively for the seed of Abraham. The whole of the 12 tribes are still under the Old Covenant and are required to observe all the laws, including the ceremonial law, the procedures and the sacrifices. Only those who are of the seed of Christ are exempt; and then only insofar as priesthood duties are concerned. The reason for this is because they are under an entirely different priesthood (See the entire book of Hebrews and the book of Galatians. Also read the article on 'Old and New Covenant').
The mantle is about to fall upon another group of people. The Churches of Ephraim are about to wither away like the figtree of Matt 21 and Mark 11 - they have failed to bear fruit! This new group will be located in Jerusalem, and will be of the direct seed of David and the house of Levi. God will cleanse Jerusalem of Satan's seed with an attack on the city and the slaughter of thousands. Then He will cause Judah to retaliate with a withering assault on Satan's seed - Yasser Arafat and his Philistines, who call themselves Palestinians! The cleansing of Jerusalem will foreshadow the establishment of God's final chosen people who will complete God's work on earth prior to the return of Christ. Among the seed of David and the clans of Levi will be two special prophets.
God's warning to Ephraim and Manasseh is: Isa 41:1 "Be silent before me, you islands! [island also means continent - that is the British isles and the island or continent of the U.S.] Let the nations renew their strength! [Isn't this what the U.S. and Britain always do with their enemies?] Let them come forward and speak; let us meet together at the place of judgment. Who has stirred up one from the east, calling him in righteousness to his service? He hands nations over to him and subdues kings before him." This is exactly what God did with Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 27:6); He called him to do His will (Jer 43:10) and rewarded him for his efforts (Eze 29:19-20). God is to call another modern-day Nebuchadnezzar to whom He will hand over nations - and subdue kings before him: Dan 7:24 "The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings." Continuing Isa 41:2 "He turns nations to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow. He pursues them and moves on unscathed, by a path his feet have not travelled before. Who has done this, and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD - with the first of them and with the last - I am He."
God calls 'the generations from the beginning'; what does He mean? He is speaking of the evil generation that Noah had to contend with. He is speaking of Satan's seed. In the endtime the generation that existed in Noah's time will be evident in the earth: Luke 17:26 "Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of man." 1Pet 3:20 "He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also He went and preached to the spirits [demons] in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built." Babylon is the archetype of this evil seed (Rev 17:3-6, Zech 5:5-11).
You will notice that the Churches of God have always taught that 'Babylon' is the Roman Catholic Church. If you believe that, then the following description would, ostensively refer to the Pope and his followers. In fact, the whole of the book of Habakkuk details this final uprising of Babylon. If anyone believes that this describes the Catholic Church then they are demented!
Hab 1:6 "I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling-places not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people: they are a law unto themselves and promote their own honour." V12 "...O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment.." And when will this be? Hab 2:2 "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
Notice that Habbakkuk was to write it on tablets of stone not papyrus. This revelation was to endure to a time in the distant future; hence the need to preserve it on tablets. Notice that, at that future time, a herald will run with it. Compare the prophecy of the three herald angels in Rev 14:6-8 "Then I saw another angel flying in mid-air, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth - to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come. Worship Him that made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the springs of water. A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries."
In the Bible Chaldea and Babylon are used interchangably. Chaldea is the country of which Babylon was a city. Every reference to Chaldea or Babylon refers to the same place.
The Bible is a book of pointers or signposts, that always point to another reference. Each pointer leads to another reference. Together all the pointers build the big picture. When we fail to follow all the pointers, we finish with an incomplete picture. The difficulty that faces any true student of the Bible is when to stop pursuing the pointers to prove the concept. In fact, the pointers go on forever building a picture that is infinite in detail. For this reason, God has recorded the instructions for Bible study twice in the Book of Isaiah - Isa 28:10 &13 - for emphasis. The principle behind the repetition of these two verses in Isaiah is to reinforce the need to follow the pointers which lead to further clarification or expansion of any particular scripture. No single verse should be taken in isolation to prove an important point of doctrine. Doctrinal issues and prophecies are fully supported through the principle of following the Bible pointers: 'precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little...' Some of the most appalling and tragic errors have emerged as doctrine simply because Church leaders have failed to obey this principle of God.
WHO IS ISRAEL?
Isa 41:8 "But you, O Israel [the nation of Judah - who are citizens of the Holy City - Isa 48:1-2], my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham My friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from the farthest corners have I called you." [The Jews in modern day Israel were called from almost every continent on earth to migrate back to the promised land] "I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and will perish." V14 "Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O LITTLE Israel, for I Myself will help you," declares the LORD" [Nothing in the human vocabulary of reasoning could possibly ascribe the word 'little' to Ephraim - U.S.A. today!]
The identification is further reinforced in Isa 48:1-2 "Listen to this, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel - but not in truth or righteousness - you who call yourselves citizens of the Holy City and rely on the God of Israel - the LORD Almighty is His name." [There is only one nation today called by the name 'Israel.' That nation is the tribe of Judah that occupies the Holy Land. They have only been called by that name since 1948]
Skipping down to verse 6 we find clarification of the message to these people. God speaks: V6 "From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you. They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, 'Yes I knew of them.' You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ear has not been open." God is to reveal to these people new things, hidden things that were previously unknown. Is this telling us that God is about to bring these people up to speed and reveal to them what Christians already know? Absolutely not! It is not referring to this at all! Notice what verses 10 and 11 say: V10 "See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I do this. How can I let Myself be defamed? I will not reveal My glory to another." God will not reveal His glory to anyone else but the nation of 'little' Israel! This information will not come through the nation of Ephraim, nor the Churches of Ephraim. It will come through the nation of 'little' Israel - the house of the clans of David and the clans of Levi!
Zech 12:1-6 "This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel [Little Israel - the nation - Isa 41:14]. The LORD who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations." (Note: The NIV renders this slightly wrong. Most versions say that Jerusalem will be an immovable rock even though all nations were gathered against it. This prophecy concerns the 'surrounding peoples' only at this stage. The nations of the world will, however, be shell-shocked at the power and ferocity of this fledgling nation against the degenerate and evil nations around it.]
God gave His Holy Spirit to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets. He also poured out His Holy Spirit on the seed of Christ. Right from the start, there was a distinct division of responsibility for the seed. The apostle to the Gentiles (Paul) did not trample on the responsibility of the Apostle to the circumcision (Peter). The Apostle to the lost ten tribes was John. Paul was warned by the Holy Spirit to stay away from them the seven Churches in Asia (Acts 16:6-8). It was John who wrote to them. The book of Revelation is specifically for them and is addressed to them (Rev 1:4, 22:16).
What of Jerusalem, Antioch (Galatia) where Christians were first so-called? And Greece and Rome and the brethren in Ethiopia that Stephen brought to repentance through the Ethiopian in the chariot? And all the other Christians scattered around in areas as far as Spain, and probably beyond, during the time of the Apostles? Are they excluded?
Peter identifies who these people in Asia are; those who were part of the seven Churches of John's jurisdiction: 1Pet 1-2 "To God's elect, strangers [pilgrims - NKJV] in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father..."
It was these same 'pilgrims' that migrated to Manasseh [Britain] and afterwards to Ephraim [U.S.A] many centuries later transporting the seed of Christ to be planted in the new land. That year was 1620 CE. The seed is soon to emerge in Jerusalem where the greatest work of this endtime will be completed. The mantle will be laid on the shoulders of a special group of people of the seed of Abraham. Specifically, the clans of the house of David and the clans of Levi. From that point on, the oil [Holy Spirit] for the lamps of the seven Churches will be supplied from Jerusalem - and more specifically - by the two olive trees, who are the two witnesses or prophets: Zech 4:11 "Then I asked the angel, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?" Again I asked him, "What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?" He replied, "Do you not know what these are?" "No, my lord," I said. So he said, "These are the two who are anointed to serve the LORD of all the earth."
Further evidence is found in Rev 11:3-4 "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees AND the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth." Notice the reference to the TWO lampstands. These two prophets are the lampstands for the old line in Ephraim and the new line in Jerusalem.
The Churches in Ephraim are dying spiritually and some have already died. They have not exercised the Holy Spirit, and the self-appointed leaders have enthroned themselves into positions of power that were never granted them. With their siren-like message of obedience to them, they have literally torn off the hooves of the flock and left them powerless to go anywhere else (Zech 11:16).
The vast majority of the Churches in Ephraim are still babes in Christ, having failed to continually grow in grace and knowledge, they have been easy marks for the influence of these tyrants, who won't acknowledge that Christ is the Head of all the body! For some reason they believe they are the neck, the part between the Head and the body; and that their role is to stand between Christ and the members of His body. This type of arrogant tyranny is Satan's trademark! He tried to stand between God and Christ by inviting Christ to worship him. Later, his children - the Scribes and Pharisees tried to exercise authority over Christ by plying Him with trick questions to trip Him up. When they failed to entice Christ to recognize their authority over Him, they tried to take Him by force and make Him a king, thereby placing Him in the vulnerable position of an earthly king.. When all had failed, Satan's seed exercised the ultimate tyranny - they took Him by force and killed Him. Even Satan didn't understand that in so doing he was fulfilling prophecy.
For many decades, the Church of God has been descending into a false gospel. Ever increasingly, human concepts have been introduced as doctrine. Human reasoning has been used to explain prophecy. This has led to false doctrine, false concepts, and a lack of direction. Most of the Church members are bewildered. Many of the flock will fail to recognize the endtime message and will fail to act.
Christ knows His own! They are those who diligently seek Him and search the scriptures daily. They are the ones who treat the Word of God as a pearl of great price; it is their first love; they hunger and thirst for the knowledge of the writings of God Almighty. Their minds are open; receptive to truth! These brethren-in-Christ don't believe any eminent leader in the Church hierarchy unless they test his teachings against the Word of Almighty God. It is God's Word that we are to follow - not any man!!
Author's note: If this writer or any other man doesn't speak according to the Word of God, then reject him. Have no fellowship with darkness! Don't for one moment think that you can sit on your hands and do nothing and still please God! We live in extremely perilous times. Everything that has been prophesied is about to occur. The leaders, whom the seed of Christ has been following up till now, have put them into a spiritual slumber. The time to awaken is now! At this late stage, even the most astute and dedicated Christian will have great difficulty in absorbing the great volume of understanding that God is now making available. Even the most obscure prophecies must now be made known. Every line, every phrase, every syllable, every stroke of the pen must be understood. Up to now, you have understood only the merest thumbnail sketch of the overall picture, and even that imperfectly!. But then you have always known that! You have always known that many sections of the Bible were not understood by you or the self-proclaimed leaders of your group! Most of the brethren are waiting for some wonderful inspiration to descend upon their leaders so they can then inform them of the meaning of it all.
It won't happen! As events unfold, they will attempt to explain their interpretation of these AFTER they occur! Not before! God is not inspiring them! Nor will He! They have violated all the principles of their Master and will suffer the consequences of the events recorded in the Book of Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible.
It's understandable that you love the brethren that you fellowship with, but you must love Christ more! By all means, be a light to our beloved brethren, but first study to show yourself approved: 2Tim 2:15 "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, and who correctly handles the Word of God."
Up until now, most of you have been quietly waiting for a new fuhrer to arise in Germany. Who told you that? What scriptural proof did they use to determine this? Did you check this fanciful fabrication in the scriptures? Indeed you did not! You believed them!
This, and many other things that you have been taught without question, are wrong! They are deliberate fabrications to enhance the standing of those who proclaimed it.
You may not have noticed that the translators of the KJV of the Bible wrote a foreword; it's in the front of your Bible. Read it through and you will notice that they identify the Roman Catholic pope as the beast whose deadly wound was healed. Well, you say, that seems to confirm what Herbert Armstrong taught. No! Herbert Armstrong confirmed what they thought! Howbeit, with slight variations. For hundreds of years, many people, religions and nations have believed this. It's not specific to this century or to the period of the WCG. It is, however, absolutely wrong! The Bible doesn't say this - human beings do! This is the interpretation of people who don't recognize the Bible as the final and divine arbitrator!
My beloved brethren - wake up! Stop believing the nonsense taught by men! Believe your Bible! Love it, study it, bask in the glory of it. Make it your first love. Forget what men have said it means. Exercise the Holy Spirit within you while there is still time. Earnestly seek the gifts of God and He will flood you with them.
End of Part One.
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