Salvation from Genesis to Revelation Part 4

So far we’ve seen how the theme of salvation progressed from the Tanach (Old Testament) through a major portion of the Brit Chadashah (New Testament).  Initially, Israel was often saved from their physical enemies.  Eventually, their enemies had infiltrated their communities and influenced them to commit idolatry.  In Yeshua’s day, many people were not walking in obedience to the law despite the fact their forefathers had spent time in exile in Babylon.  It was necessary for Yeshua to save Israel from the path of death they were on by calling the Jews to repentance; He did this by encouraging them to return to the law of YHVH.

Many people in the Hebraic Roots movement are saying that salvation is a future thing.  Because of this, we looked at the tense, mood, and voice of the Greek verb for “saved” to determine whether being saved is a past event or not.  The vast majority of times this verb is used in the Brit Chadashah, it’s in the aorist tense which is a past event. It is often in the indicative mood which is a point in time event.  Only in Ephesians 2:8-9 is the perfect form used; this usage is a past completed action that has an on-going effect.  The verses with a future tense refer to something that will happen in the future when certain conditions are met.  At that point, salvation would be a past event.  If someone has convinced you to stop ignoring God’s commandments and to live a life of obedience, you have been saved or rescued from the path of destruction and death that you were on.

Even so, Israel can expect a physical salvation from their enemies during the Battle of Armageddon and during the Battle of Gog and Magog.  The purpose of salvation is to rescue people from the ultimate curse of the law which is death; the only way to do this is to take them back to the same choice between life and death that Moses set before the people and encourage them to choose life.  Choosing life requires people to accept the terms of the covenant between YHVH and Israel.  These terms will not pass away until heaven and earth pass away.

We’ve seen that salvation in Exodus preceded entering the covenant with YHVH.  In addition, we’ve looked at how to enter the new covenant; this is patterned after how people entered the original covenant. It is clear that we are saved by faith yet we are justified by our works; in other words, our works (Torah obedience which includes acts of kindness) demonstrate our faith.  In addition, Paul was right to say that we should not abolish the law because of faith; he upheld the law (Romans 3:31).

Yeshua lived righteously.  He is the Cornerstone and Gate of Salvation which allows us to enter the covenant and experience blessing (life).  We have been given the Ruach HaKodesh so we can walk in the Ruach like Yeshua did, and not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  If we are led by the Ruach, we are not under the curse of the law (death); instead we are choosing life.

What we need to know now is how Yeshua is going to firmly establish his kingdom.  This will require the future physical salvation of His people.  Remember, God shows us what is to happen in the future in the events of the past.  Ecclesiastes 1:9 says: “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.”

We see the present and future in the patterns of the past.  They are thematic shadows, and not necessarily exact.  Sometimes thematic events happen in unexpected ways.  Sometimes there is opposition (the opposite of what we expect happens); this could be a result of the personal choices people make.  Sometimes a single person may play one or more roles as compared to the original pattern; the opposite is true as well.  Sometimes, the order of events might be out of order due to a particular reason.  Often what applies to an individual can apply to a corporate body; the reverse of this is true as well.  Despite this, the patterns are there.  We can see what God did in the past and understand what He intends to do in the future.

The salvific patterns we need to remember are:

  • Preservation of a Remnant
  • Messiah and Anti-Messiah
  • The Establishment of Messiah’s Reign
  • The Establishment of the Kingdom of God
  • Slain from the Foundation of the World

When you look at these, it may be helpful to read down the first column to see the sequence of events.  Then, read each row to see how the pattern was repeated or will be repeated.

The following pattern is the “Preservation of a Remnant”:

Preservation of a Remnant

Joseph

Moses

Yeshua

God sent Joseph to Egypt to:

·         Preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel in the earth;

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance.

God sent Moses back to Egypt to:

·         Preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel in the earth

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance.

God sent Yeshua to His people to:

·         Preserve a posterity (remnant) for the sons of Israel in the earth

·         Save their lives by a great deliverance

Joseph gave instructions for the collection of grain for the coming famine.

Joseph provided grain to the known world so they could live and not die.

YHVH provided manna, quail, and water for His people who were under Moses’ leadership.

He also gave them the terms of the covenant so they could choose to live and not die.

Yeshua taught the Word of God (spiritual food & terms of the covenant); preached repentance; and gave His life so the world could live and not die.

 

This pattern shows what Yeshua’s goals were in the first century.  In Joseph’s and Moses’ time, the people are entering, in, or coming out of Egypt.  By Yeshua’s day, YHVH’s people are in a kind of spiritual Egypt.  YHVH provided the means to preserve and save them.  Note that in each column there is some kind of nourishment (whether it was grain, manna, or the Word of God) that accomplishes the goal of preserving or sustaining life.  Instructions or terms of the covenant were for everyone.  Life or death was dependent on whether or not people followed the instructions or terms of the covenant.  You cannot have a covenant without terms; the terms of the original and new covenant are the same.

 

The following is the pattern of the Messiah and Anti-Messiah.

Messiah and Anti-Messiah

Pattern

Past

Future

YHVH’s

Anointed  Shepherd

 

Cyrus, king of Persia

(5th century BCE)

Yeshua, the

Branch of Righteousness;

Good Shepherd

Son of Joseph and David

(1st century CE)

Anti-Messiah

 

Antiochus Epiphanes IV

(1st century BCE)

False Prophet

 

Horn [Agent] of Salvation

 

Yeshua, the

Branch of Righteousness

Son of Joseph;

Son of David

(1st century CE)

Faithful & True;

Word of God (Yeshua)

 

 

This pattern shows that YHVH’s anointed shepherd was/will be followed by an anti-Messiah.  This person was/will be followed by a certain horn/agent of salvation.  As the pattern repeats itself, the same horn/agent of salvation is none other than Yeshua HaMashiach.

Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1 describe Cyrus as YHVH’s anointed shepherd.  Based on our chart, he prefigures Yeshua.  Several centuries after Cyrus allowed the Jews return to Israel, Antiochus Epiphanes IV wreaks havoc among God’s people.

KJA  1 Maccabees 1:10  “And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.”

1Maccabees 1:41-50  Moreover king Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, 42 And every one should leave his laws… 45 And (he) forbid burnt offerings, and sacrifice, and drink offerings, in the temple; and that they should profane the sabbaths and festival days: 46 And pollute the sanctuary and holy people:  47 Set up altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine’s flesh, and unclean beasts:  48 That they should also leave their children uncircumcised, and make their souls abominable with all manner of uncleanness and profanation:  49 To the end they might forget the law, and change all the ordinances.  50 And whosoever would not do according to the commandment of the king, he said, he should die.”

In Jeremiah 23:1-6, YHVH promised He would gather the remnant of His flock and set decent shepherds over them.  He promised to raise up to David a Branch of Righteousness.  This Branch would be a king who would reign and prosper.  This man would/will be called “YHVH Our Righteousness.”

During the time of the Roman empire, Yeshua HaMashiach was born.  He was conceived of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and adopted by Joseph who was of the line of David.  Matthew’s genealogy seems to indicate that Yeshua is the prophesied Branch of Righteousness who was raised up to bypass the curse of Jeconiah, a descendant of David and be the rightful heir to the throne. (See Jer. 22:28-30; 23:5)

Yeshua was anointed at His baptism (Matthew 3:16), and later He described Himself as the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:11-14).

Revelation 13:11-17 describes the coming false prophet (anti-Messiah) like this:  “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

The Horn of Salvation that is to come is described in Revelation 19:11-15:  “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”

I think this pattern shows us that God always intended for Yeshua to come twice, and not just once.  In addition, there would be a leader who would oppose the covenant and lead people astray.

 

The following is the pattern of the “Establishment of Messiah’s Reign.”

The Establishment of Messiah’s Reign

Pattern

Past

Future

A son of David died in/on a tree and was thrust through with 1 or 3 spears. Absalom Yeshua
An Anti-Messiah (an un-anointed person) was exalted and gained authority. He was followed by others. Adonijah Beast of Revelation and the False Prophet
A son of David was anointed (mashach) as king and had a peaceful reign/he spoke peace. Solomon (1 Kings 1:39, 43) Yeshua

 

In 2 Samuel 18:14, Absalom was killed by Joab while he hung in a terebinth tree with his hair caught in the branches.  Joab thrust him through with 3 spears.  Note the visual similarity of the crown of thorns Yeshua wore on his head with Absalom’s hair being caught in the tree branches.

In 1 Kings 1:5 and 7-8, Adonijah said, “I will be king.” Then he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest; and they followed and helped Adonijah.

In 1 Kings 1:39-40,  Zadok the priest anointed Solomon as king according to David’s command.

In Acts 5:30-31, Yeshua was crucified on a tree but was resurrected by the Father to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

In John 19:34, a soldier thrust Yeshua through with a spear so that blood and water flowed out before he was taken down from the tree.

Revelation 13:3 and 7 describe the Leopard-Bear-Lion Beast which was from the sea:  “And all the world marveled and followed the beast…It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”

Revelation 13:15-17 describes the Beast from the earth that had 2 horns like a lamb, and spoke like a dragon:  “He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

It may still be too soon to tell but I think we may be starting to hear the False Prophet encouraging the worship of the Beast.

Now let’s look at several verses which describe Yeshua’s reign and the theme of peace:

Zechariah 9:9-10:  “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.”

Luke 1:31-33  “And behold, you (Miriam/Mary) will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus (Yeshua). 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

 

The following pattern of the “Establishment of the Kingdom of God.”

The Establishment of the Kingdom of God

Pattern

Under Solomon

Yeshua (Past)

Yeshua (Future)

A man riding an animal; followed by an announcement 1 Kings 1:33-40

Solomon rode David’s mule. Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel; and blow the horn, and say, ‘Long live King Solomon!’

Matt 21:7-9 (fulfillment of Zech. 9:9)

Yeshua rode a donkey and colt into Jerusalem.  The multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:  “Hosanna to the Son of David!

‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”

Revelation 19:11, 17-18

Faithful and True rides a white horse, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. …An angel invites all the flying birds to “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God…”

 

Death

 

1 Kings 2:25

Solomon had Adonijah put to death for attempting to usurp David’s throne.

 

Matt 27:1-2

All the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Yeshua to put Him to death.  The sign placed above His head called Him the King of the Jews.

Revelation 19:19-21

The beast and the false prophet were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

The rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.

Exile and/or replacement/exchange/release 1 Kings 2:26, 35 

Solomon exiled Abiathar the priest to Ananoth for siding with Adonijah. He was replaced by Zadok.

 

Matthew 27:20-22

The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for BarAbbas [“son of father”] to be released from prison instead of Yeshua [the Son of the Father].

(note: Yeshua replaced BarAbbas)

Revelation 20:1-3

An angel took the dragon [the serpent of old, the Devil, Satan] and bound him and sealed him in the abyss (a picture of exile).

He was released after a thousand years to deceive the nations to gather them for the Battle of Gog and Magog.

Death for ___ innocent blood

 

1 Kings 2:31

Solomon had Joab put to death for siding with Adonijah and shedding innocent blood.

Matthew 27:3-5

Judas confessed saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”  He left, and went and hanged himself.

 

Revelation 20:7-10

Battle of Gog and Magog:  Satan and the nations will gather to surround the camp of the saints (who are innocent) and the city of Jerusalem [to destroy them]. God will devour them with fire. The devil will be cast into the lake of fire.

Jerusalem and/or Judgment

 

1 Kings 2:36 

Since Shimei did not stay in Jerusalem as he’d been commanded and warned, Solomon had him put to death for cursing King David when he’d gone to Mahanaim to escape Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5).

 

Acts 1:4-6

Yeshua commanded the disciples to stay in Jerusalem, and to wait for the baptism of the Ruach HaKodesh [Holy Spirit].

 

It was not time to restore the kingdom to Israel [not time for judgment].

Revelation 20:11-15

After the Great White Throne Judgment, the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire

 

The righteous will enter the New Jerusalem.

 

Throne

 

1 Kings 2:12

Then Solomon sat on the throne of his father David; and his kingdom was firmly established.

 

Hebrews 10:12-13

Yeshua, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God [who is seated on His throne] Yeshua is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool.

 

Revelation 22:3-5

The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the New Jerusalem And they shall reign forever and ever.

 

Revelation 3:21

Yeshua will let him who overcomes sit with Him on His throne, as He also overcame and sat down with His Father on His throne.

 

The sequence of events that took place when Solomon became king set the stage for what would be necessary for Yeshua’s kingdom to be established. As you can see, this will take place in two stages.  The first stage has past, and the second is yet to come.

 

The question has been raised:

  • Why was Yeshua slain from the foundation of the world?

I believe the answer is:

  • So that YHVH’s work of salvation would always come before sin ever took place.
  • To establish a pattern that would be repeated several times in Scripture.
  • To show us this was always YHVH’s plan from before the very beginning.

 

Slain From the Foundation of the World

Pattern

Adam

Joseph

Moses

Yeshua

Revelation

Innocent slain

 

Yeshua was slain before foundation of the world

 

Picture of death: Joseph was lowered into a pit & later raised up to life.

Joseph’s father believed he had been killed by a wild beast.

Innocent Hebrew babies were killed by throwing them into the Nile

 

John the Baptist was beheaded

 

Babylon the Great was drunk with the blood of the martyrs

Souls had been beheaded for their witness to Yeshua and for the word of God.

Sinned or Accused of Sin Adam & Eve sinned by eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Accused of adultery

 

Moses killed an Egyptian

 

Accused of blasphemy

 

Beast committed blasphemy

 

Death Animal(s) killed in order to provide clothing for Adam & Eve

 

Joseph’s brothers killed a kid of the goats to deceive their father.

 

Death of Egyptian firstborns

 

Yeshua executed for blasphemy

 

 

Beast and false prophet were cast into the lake of fire;

The 10 kings and their armies were killed and eaten by birds of prey.

Exile/

Prison

Adam & Eve were exiled from the garden of Eden. Joseph was carried away from Canaan and exiled in prison in Egypt. Mixed multitude left Egypt and entered the wilderness. Yeshua left earth and returned to the Father. The dragon was cast into the pit for 1000 years.
Death Abel died Baker died Egyptian army was killed in Red Sea. Thief #1

Will not be in paradise.

Those not written in Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire.
Life Cain lived Cup bearer lived Mixed multitude crossed the Red Sea and lived. Thief #2

Will be in paradise.

Those written in the Book of Life can enter the New Jerusalem.

 

Yeshua was slain before the foundation of the world so that the work of salvation could take place BEFORE Adam and Eve ever sinned.

We can look at this in two ways:

  • The decision was made for Yeshua to die at that time.
  • Yeshua really was slain in the heavenly realm at that time to provide atonement for all mankind so He could be the cornerstone and gate of righteousness. This view considers the idea of similar parallels between what goes on in heaven and on earth. Obviously, Yeshua would eventually be slain in the physical realm in order to conquer death and be the propitiation for sin.

Finally, we have death and life.  During Adam’s time Abel died and Cain lived.  Now I’m aware that Abel was innocent and that Cain was not, but what we need to see is that the theme of the pattern is that one person died and the other lived.

Life and death are the choices that have been set before mankind.  I am echoing the words of Moses found in Deuteronomy 30:19-20:  “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

We’ve seen that the theme of salvation is consistent throughout Scripture.  We have seen that salvation:

  • took place in the past to preserve a posterity for the sons of Israel
  • is on-going in the present to preserve a remnant for the kingdom of God.
  • and that it will take place in the future to protect this remnant from their enemies and to firmly establish the kingdom of God.

Praise YHVH.  “You (YHVH) went forth for the salvation of Your people, For salvation with Your Anointed.  You struck the head from the house of the wicked, By laying bare from foundation to neck.”  (Habakkuk 3:13)

 

 

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Interpreting Eschatology Using Patterns

Lately I have been reading Jeremiah, and parts of other books of the Bible. It’s been hard to decide what to write about, not to mention I’ve been so busy I can’t keep my head above water. In addition to being in survival mode, I have been looking at what’s going on in our nation and I am burdened by what I see all around me. My thoughts often turn to latter day prophecy and I sense that we are in the last days. We may be further along than we realize.

The way I’ve looked at eschatology in the past may need to change slightly. All of the end-time prophecy scholars look at things so differently than I do. I don’t intend to join their beliefs or be influenced by them. I know the pattern of Scripture and understand the need to stay within those boundaries. I’ve shared this in past posts. I’ve always looked at eschatology from a historical perspective but now things are beginning to come into view in a way I didn’t expect. The problem is that the teachings of these scholars still influence my thinking more than I’d like to admit. I’m extremely concerned those teachings are going to blind us to what’s happening right before our eyes. We’ve got to understand the concept of seeing patterns in Scripture.

Over the past few years, I’ve been learning more about patterns and how they work from personal experience. Ecclesiastes 1:9 is a very important verse for us to understand. It says, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” It’s the pattern (series of events) that is not new.

Things in life can follow a Biblical pattern, but obviously, the players are different. The players are present day people like us. They can be us, family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, people in our communities, or anybody in our nation or the world. If you’ve ever thought that what was happening in your life reminded you of a particular Biblical account, you might have been living a pattern of Scripture. You might have to chart it out to be sure. Understand this: it’s the themes/events of the pattern that unfold before us.

Sometimes, opposition takes place as the pattern unfolds; in other words, the opposite of what we expect to happen (based on the Biblical pattern) takes place. This is a result of personal, freewill choices people make. Other times, it may be another unexpected person that causes the action of the pattern to move forward according to, or in opposition to the pattern.

Occasionally, a person can fulfill the role of one or more people in the original Biblical pattern. This can make the expected “unexpected.” Because of this, we can’t always accurately “prophesy” what will really happen in a given situation. We can project, but only to a point, and only thematically at that; we can’t always be specific.

Another difficulty with Scripture, especially as it pertains to Isaiah and Jeremiah, is how much of the text applies to the past and what, if anything applies to the future. It’s also hard to determine what in Scripture, is a type of what will happen in the future. It could be that a prophecy was fully fulfilled in the past; yet, it plays out again in the future, but not exactly as it was originally written due to the presence of opposition and/or shift in characters. We may see this happen in the last days, especially as it pertains to Daniel 11 which appears to have been fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes IV; yet, Yeshua alludes to a time of future fulfillment of the abomination of desolation in Matthew 24:15.  Another question is whether or not the kings of the north and south will be tied to their historical counterparts.  I’ve been of the opinion that they would; but, time will tell for sure.

Lately, I’ve seen evidence that some of the latter parts of Daniel 11 may be taking place. Since the world stage is so large, it’s hard to know if all the details have occurred or will occur shortly.

I do know that in order to properly interpret Revelation, we have to look to the past. We need to understand the patterns of the Scriptures and identify the symbols in Revelation based on the Tanach.

When we look at Revelation, we have to know who the beast, false prophet, and the harlot Babylon the Great are. I think I’m close. As I’ve said in the past, I think the beast is Islamic (based on the book of Daniel and Revelation) and that Babylon the Great is a false religious-economic-political system; I know that the beast intends to destroy Babylon the Great so they can’t be the same thing. Yet, there is some kind of relationship between the two because the harlot rides the beast, at least for a while.

I’m starting to see that these players are a bit more multifaceted than I originally believed. They have to be in order for the details of Revelation to take place. I still see Islamic eschatology playing a role in fulfilling Scriptural eschatology.

The teachings of scholars, movies, and fiction/non-fiction books concerning the identity of the beast, false prophet, and the harlot are clouding our vision! It’s causing us to expect one thing, when something else is probably going to take place. The scarlet beast is not a single man; it has seven heads. One of those heads will suffer a mortal head wound that will be healed. How can we interpret Revelation 13:3? Will it be like it’s described in books and movies? Do these incorrectly influence our judgment?

Obviously, one of the heads of the beast is going to die. I doubt this individual will be resurrected; but, anything is possible. More likely, the healing of this mortal wound will be in the form of him being replaced by a like-minded individual, and the nation he led will continue to function without him. This like-minded individual (new head) will carry on with the other heads of the scarlet beast in order to carry on the wickedness of the beast. I could be wrong, but I think the man who is going to die is alive and leading our country; I don’t think he will survive another year. He will probably be assassinated as Bible codes seem to indicate.  This is another area of interest I have been exploring.

As for the false prophet, I think he’s also a world leader that’s already in place. I might be wrong, but he could be the current pope (he’s “like a lamb”) who is involved in the religious-political side of things  and trying to connect with the beast. In the past, I’ve considered the pope to be related to the harlot, Babylon the Great.  One is a man, and the other is a system.  It will be interesting to watch this play out as our understanding of his lamb-like beliefs and behavior change for the worse before our eyes, and as he tries to convince the world to follow after the beast. I think that process is already beginning to unfold.

God’s people can watch world events, but need to realize that we can’t do anything about any of this. Prophecy will be fulfilled; it can’t be changed. In the meantime, it is imperative that we wake up and see our true spiritual condition for what it is. God’s people are in Babylon the Great and have been commanded to come out of her.

Babylon the Great is more than just a religious system. It’s economic and political too. I’m not sure how large the true geographical portion of it is at this point although I’m pretty sure America is a part of it. I tend to think we can’t physically come out of her; although Israel has opened its doors so that the Jews can leave where they are living and go there. Unfortunately, not everyone (specifically Gentile believers in Yeshua) has that option. For those who do go there, it won’t be safe there either.

I do know that we can’t support the various aspects of this religious-political-economic system known as the harlot and the mother of all harlots (Babylon the Great).

Religiously:

  • We can open our eyes to see the syncretism in Christianity.
  • Once we can see its pagan practices, we must stop engaging in its various forms of idolatry.
  • We must stop celebrating feasts that are pagan in historical origin and form, and start celebrating the feasts of YVHH.
  • We can obey God’s commandments, including the 7th day Sabbath; they are not too hard for us.
  • We don’t need to embrace the oral traditions of Judaism, but we can learn and obey God’s written commandments which are in the Bible, starting with the dietary laws and setting apart the Sabbath day to rest.
  • As we continue to learn previously overlooked commandments, we can incorporate those into our lives; this is a process.
  • We must realize that God intended one set of laws for both Jews and Gentiles; we must ignore those who teach us otherwise.

Politically:

  • We can stop supporting politicians who stand in opposition to God’s commandments.
  • We can pray for them to pass righteous laws.
  • We can pray for them to make right decisions.
  • We can raise our voices and sign petitions for righteousness.

Economically:

  • We can do our best to live within our means.
  • We can do our best to work and avoid/reduce dependence on government subsidies.
  • We can avoid materialism; have only what you need. You don’t need the latest and greatest of everything all the time.
  • Understand that the economy will fall and there’s nothing we can do about it.

As I previously mentioned, I have been reading Jeremiah. Leaving an idolatrous religious system is what Jeremiah preached. Idolatry can take on various forms. It can be organized religion; but people are engaged in the worship of other kinds of idols – such as idols of the entertainment industry (actors, actresses, singers, team sport players, etc.). People who are sacrificing their babies are offering them up to the god of selfishness; it’s not much different than Molech worship. Anything elevated over YHVH is an idol.

Are we going to abandon these idolatrous things with our whole hearts or only in pretense like the Jews did in Jeremiah’s day?

I strongly urge you — Turn to YHVH completely; thoroughly amend your heart and ways! YHVH wants to give us shepherds who will feed us with knowledge and understanding. This is not what the seeker friendly churches want to do; they often despise the studying the Word. They prefer hands on ministry projects. I’m not saying that ministry itself is bad; I’m saying we shouldn’t ignore digging into the Scriptures. We need to wash our hearts and lives with the water of the Word.

Circumcise the foreskin of your heart. Don’t let it be a heart of stone but one of flesh. Exercise righteous judgment in all circumstances. Don’t oppress strangers, orphans, and widows. Don’t steal or loot when the opportunity arises; exert some self-control. Stop committing adultery and/or sexual perversion.  Stop shedding innocent blood; don’t attack people for fun or participate in a race war. Do not bear false witness about anything.  Do not worship any god but YHVH; and do not worship YHVH using the same forms that unbelievers use to worship their gods.

I know that not everyone is going to do these things. Because of that and because of our unholy lifestyles and sinful choices, judgment is going to come. God is not just a god of love and grace; this has become a perverted teaching. YHVH is also a god of judgment. America was once a nation that followed after God the best way it knew how. Those days are long gone. People now follow after other gods or no god at all. People don’t care that YHVH is God.  They don’t realize there is no other real god besides Him. They don’t fear YHVH or the fact that His judgment is coming quickly.

If you are obeying God and trying to live righteously, pray that God will hide you and spare you from that judgment; pray for His provision in your life. This coming judgment will take the form of a devastating economic fall (Babylon is fallen, fallen), famine, and eventual atomic war in the near future. It’s only a matter of time.  Prepare your heart and mind for this.

Repent before it’s too late!

Avoid the Occult

Deuteronomy 18:9-14 commands us to avoid the occult by saying, “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.” (NKJV)

When the people moved into the Promised Land, they were not to observe and participate in the practices of its people.  The first thing forbidden was to make one’s son or daughter pass through the fire.  This is a reference to sacrificing children to Molech, the god of Ammonites.  According to the Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Molech was believed to be a consuming, destroying, and purifying god.  As such, he is obviously a counterfeit of the Lord God of Israel.[i] 

This prohibition should make us automatically think of the abortion of babies.  I believe there is a demonic spirit driving the abortion industry which is related to the child sacrifice required in the worship of Molech.  Abortion puts the desires of the flesh above the responsibilities of parenthood.   Either way you look at it, the infant or child is placed in the hands of the agent of death—the hands of the statues of Molech to eventually be burned as a sacrifice[ii] or the hands of the physician performing the abortion who will eventually incinerate the biological remains with the rest of their facility’s bio-hazardous waste. 

Parents who offer their children as sacrifices to Molech or those who abort their children so they can be free to live their lives as they see fit are counterfeiting God who offered His son as a sacrifice in our place so that we might have eternal life.  We are supposed to offer ourselves and not our children as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to Him.  This is our spiritual act of worship.  This was pictured in the pattern of a ram being substituted in place of Isaac.  Isaac was offered alive to God by Abraham and because of the substitutionary ram provided by God, Isaac remained alive to worship the Lord.  Instead of sacrifice, we should dedicate our children to the Lord and raise them in the training and admonition of the Lord.

When we read the rest of the prohibitions listed in Deuteronomy 18:10-11, we tend to separate them from the first command and lump the rest into the category of the occult.  This is a mistake because they all involve submitting to demons.  In addition, idolatry is very similar to the Hebrew word “kashaph” for casting spells because it means to pray or offer prayers of worship (to idols) in addition to using enchantment.  Unfortunately, people who commit these abominations believe they are controlling unseen powers but it is ultimately the demons that control them. 

As we look at the remaining prohibitions, we should know what the original Hebrew terms conveyed.  For this reason, I’ve generated the following list of prohibitions:

  • Divination – fortune telling, seeking hidden knowledge of the future through supernatural means such as interpreting omens or supernatural powers.  Divination is accomplished through a wide variety of methods such as palm readings, tarot cards, use of mirrors or crystal balls, holding articles that belong to someone, numerology, astrology, etc. 
  • Any kind of magic – sorcery, enchantments (use of charms and incantations), or use of demonic power.
  • Praying to or worshiping idols or demons.
  • Charm or fascinate; join or make alliances with spirits; binding people with magical knots.
  • Be a medium, spiritist; being possessed with a python or soothsaying demon; call up the dead or deities that represent the dead for answers concerning the future or doubtful things; attempt to learn from the dead; deliver oracles.
  • Be a wizard or false prophet; observe signs.
  • Be a necromancer — pray to the dead to seek, inquire, or demand aid from them.

I find it interesting to note that the Hebrew word for soothsayer (qacam) and wizards (yidde’oniy) are also used of false prophets.  Since that is the case, we should be very careful to not speak false prophecies today.  Many believe the command of Deuteronomy 13:1-4 no longer applies today and that prophets today are not like the prophets of Biblical times.  God never put a disclaimer on those verses.  The problem of incorrect prophecies, dreams, and visions today is usually a result of poor interpretation; therefore, we should be very careful to avoid using language such as “The Lord told me…,” or “thus says the Lord.”  Since it’s often hard to know for sure if an idea is coming from our own spirit or if it’s truly coming from the Lord, it’s better to say what you believe to be true and let others judge for themselves.  Sometimes it might be best to record our dreams and visions and possible interpretations and wait for the Lord to reveal their true meanings.

In the meantime, Jesus gave us some warnings about false prophets.

  • They are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15).
  • There will be false christs and false prophets who will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect (Matt. 24:24).

Scripture also makes it clear that we are not to participate in things like séances where mediums consult the dead or spirits who represent the dead.  Many think this is something fun to do and that it is staged and not real.  The truth of the matter obviously depends on the practitioner.  People wish for answers to life’s questions but this is the wrong place to go because demons often lie just like Satan does and also because God has forbidden it.

I remember when Pope John Paul II went to Ukraine in 2001.  Around that time, there was an article in a local newspaper that discussed the beatification of the deceased.  If I recall the details correctly, a Ukrainian man felt that one dead man in particular deserved to be beatified because many people were healed when they went to his grave and prayed to him.  He said if Jesus won’t answer your prayers, pray to this dead man because he will answer your prayers.

At the time, I thought that was the most horrible advice any man could give the public.  Petitioning the dead and praying to the icons of dead saints is in complete violation of God’s word.  If your prayers are answered, they aren’t answered from God, they are answered by demons.  Let God’s people have no communication with them!!

One might think it is acceptable to seek healing from the dead since in 2 Kings 13:21 a dead man came back to life when his body touched Elisha’s bones.  This was certainly an incredible miracle but the man’s friends did not go there seeking their friend’s resurrection.  They intended to bury him but threw him into Elisha’s burial place at the last minute.  It’s quite possible the anointing of God had remained on Elisha’s bones because Elisha did not impart it to someone else prior to his death.  Even so, this is not justification to seek healing from the dead.  Remember, death is frequently associated with that which is unclean and life is always associated with the clean.   We are commanded to cleanse ourselves and be holy.

Today, the occult is portrayed as powerful, fun, or exciting.  Games, books, and movies exalt witchcraft, divination, and sorcery and market it as entertaining fantasy.  Many people enjoy these things but do not believe the power of the occult is real.  Hopefully, most believers realize the power behind these things is real and it comes from demons, the powers of darkness.

This kind of entertainment is dangerous for everyone, especially children.  I remember when the first Harry Potter movie came out.  My nieces and nephews were going to see it while we were visiting them.  We didn’t let our children go.  Their parents didn’t see any harm in it.  I warned them that when the kids got home, they would start playfully imitating what they were about to see, but their parents denied it would happen.  Sure enough, after the movie, the kids were all play-acting scenes from the movie they had just seen and heard.  Needless to say, we packed up our kids and went home.

On one Halloween several years ago, I read a newspaper article with statements from people dressed up for Halloween and local harvest festivals.  Some people had dressed up as Harry Potter.  One child from a Baptist church said he was Harry Potter.  His mother tried to correct him and say he was only dressed up as Harry Potter.  He replied, “No, I AM Harry Potter.”  I wonder how often he played the role of Harry Potter at his house and whether or not he binds people with magical knots today!  Could it be possible he is actually possessed with a demonic spirit?   How many times are believers opening the doorway to the occult in their lives while brushing off the seriousness by calling it “pure fantasy”?

During Biblical times, people went to inquire of the prophets in time of need.  In Saul’s early days, Saul sought Samuel’s help to find his father’s donkeys.  Samuel was known as a prophet and a seer.  He anointed Saul as the first king of Israel and told him the donkeys had been found (1 Samuel 9-10).

On another occasion, after Samuel’s death, Saul wanted to consult the Lord because he was fighting the Philistines; however, the Lord was not answering Saul in dreams, urim, nor by the prophets.  Saul made the mistake of consulting a woman who was a medium in En Dor (1 Sam. 28).  When she conducted a séance for him, she became very afraid of what came up and cried out because it was not one of the familiar spirits she was accustomed to seeing.  Saul asked her what she saw.  The English translation says she saw a spirit.

Some believe it was a demonic spirit while others say it was actually Samuel.  In this verse, the Hebrew does not use “ov” which is for a familiar spirit.  It doesn’t use the Hebrew term “ruach” either which is a term for the Spirit or God or the spirit of man.  In 1 Samuel 28:13, the woman said she saw “elohim,” which is the plural for “el” which is a term used for gods or God himself and the Greek Septuagint uses “theous” which is the accusative plural of “theos” or God (god). 

Who did she really see?  These words make us wonder.  The woman described him as an old man covered with a mantle but Saul perceived it was really Samuel.  From that point, this spirit is referred to as Samuel.  Perhaps this was a glorified Samuel since he referred to himself as Samuel and since he appeared to her as being “elohim.”  Saul should never have sought Samuel because God had forbidden it, not to mention it made him discouraged to know the kingdom would be given to David the following day as he returned to battle and to his death.

In Exodus, while the Israelites were in the wilderness, the High Priest carried the urim and thumim and used them to consult the Lord when they had questions about something or wanted to know what to do in a given situation.  An example of this was when the governor (Tirshata) told the descendants of the priests who could not locate their genealogical records not to serve or eat any of the especially holy food until a priest appeared who could consult the urim and thumim (Ezra 2:61-62).  This took place after the exiles had returned from the Babylonian exile.

Today, the urim and thumim are no longer available but the Lord still speaks to men in dreams and visions.  In addition, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 indicates that there are several manifestations of the Spirit which are given to each believer individually as the Holy Spirit sees fit for the profit of all.  They include:

  • The word of wisdom – a word of divine direction, instruction, or advice.
  • The word of knowledge – person has knowledge of something (a person, circumstance, etc.) they could not normally have knowledge of without being told or shown.
  • Faith – an unusually strong trust that can only come from the Holy Spirit
  • Gifts of healings similar to those performed by Jesus and His disciples.
  • Working of miracles similar to those performed by Jesus and His disciples.
  • Prophecy – foretelling by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Discerning of spirits – being able to discern the presence and kinds of spirits.
  • Different kinds of tongues – ability to speak in previously unknown languages.
  • Interpretation of tongues – ability to interpret previously unknown languages.

As I consider this list, it seems some of the things that were prohibited in Deuteronomy 18:9-11 were forbidden because they were counterfeits of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  After all, divination, sorcery, charming, wizardry and the like are accomplished by the power of demons and not by the Holy Spirit.  Demonic displays of power only bring glory to men and the powers of darkness whereas the purpose of the gifts which are manifested by believers by the power of the Holy Spirit is to bring people to Christ and glory to God.

As we look toward the future, we need to remember 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 which describes the coming of the Beast who is known as the Antichrist or the Lawless One:  “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (NKJV)  

It seems obvious to me that this person will be skilled in the occult if he is going to fulfill these verses.  Those who are involved in the occult will be much like the ultimate man of lawlessness and will be condemned. 

Ultimately, the Lord will frustrate the false prophets and their omens.  He will make fools of the diviners.  He will make the wisdom of the wizards look silly (Isaiah 44:25).  He will expel the false prophets and the spirit of uncleanness from the land of Israel (Zech. 13:2).  Be forewarned!  Sorcerers will not enter the New Heaven (Rev. 22:15).

Please do not allow yourself to be seduced by the spirits of this world who seek to draw you away from the Lord.  If it’s too late for that and you want to stop practicing divination, witchcraft, sorcery, and/or necromancy in order to put your faith in Christ, it’s the best thing you could ever do.  It won’t be easy but it can be done.  As you forsake the powers of darkness, just be aware that demons and those you know who practice the crafts of darkness don’t want you to leave and they will try to stop you.  They will even torture you or kill you if they can.  If this describes your situation, remember Matthew 10:28 which says, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  (NKJV)  Whatever the cost, don’t be involved with anything that would cause Jesus to destroy both your soul and body in hell!   


[ii] “Moloch.” Encyclopedia Mythica from Encyclopedia Mythica Online.
<
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/m/moloch.html>
[Accessed November 10, 2011].

The Dinah Incident

Genesis 34 tells us what happened to Leah and Jacob’s daughter named Dinah.  One day Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land. A man named Shechem, who was the prince of the country raped her. He fell in love with her and asked his father, Hamor to go to Jacob and get her as a wife.

Jacob heard that Hamor had defiled Dinah while his sons were with his livestock in the field but he held his peace until they returned home. Meanwhile, Hamor came to speak with Jacob.  Jacob’s sons were grieved and very angry to hear what a disgraceful thing Shechem had done to their sister.  Hamor told them, “The soul of my son Shechem longs for your daughter. Please give her to him as a wife (Gen. 34:8).”  He suggested their people intermarry with each other and dwell in the land with each other.  Shechem was willing to give them anything they wanted as bride price for Dinah.

 Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and Hamor deceitfully, because Shechem had already defiled Dinah. They explained “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a reproach to us.  But on this condition we will consent to you: If you will become as we are, if every male of you is circumcised, then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to us; and we will dwell with you, and we will become one people.  But if you will not heed us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone.” (Gen. 34:14-17) 

Remember, circumcision was the mark or sign of the covenant God had with His people…but…

Hamor and Shechem were pleased with this idea.  Hamor and Shechem also spoke with the men of their city, encouraged them to intermarry with Jacob’s family, and convinced the men of the city to be circumcised too.  They assumed Jacob’s livestock, property, and animals would become theirs.  All who went out of the gate of their city heeded Hamor and Shechem and were circumcised.  

According to Jasher, this plan was from the Lord who planned to give this city into Levi and Simeon’s hands.  Chiddekkem (Hamor’s father) and his six brothers refused to be circumcised.  Instead, they scolded Hamor, Shechem, and the inhabitants of the city and said they would assemble the Cannaanites to destroy them and Jacob’s family.  After hearing this, Hamor, Shechem, and the rest of the people repented of what they had done.  Dinah heard what was said and sent one of her handmaidens to warn her father of their plans to destroy her family. (Jasher 33:52-34:21)

Three days after the men of the city had been circumcised and were still in pain, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, attacked the city and killed all the males with their swords including Hamor and Shechem.  They took Dinah from Shechem’s house and returned home.  Jacob’s sons came upon the slain, plundered the city, and took their wives and children.

Jacob was upset with Simeon and Levi fearing that the inhabitants of Canaan would gather themselves together against him to kill him and his household but Levi and Simeon still didn’t think Dinah should have been treated like a harlot.

According to Jasher 34, two men had hidden themselves in the city during the attack and eventually escaped to tell their Canaanite brothers what had happened.  The Canaanites gathered together to attack Jacob and his family yet backed down in fear after considering how God had protected Jacob and his ancestors over the years.

This story has the potential for a great pattern for the final 3 ½ years of tribulation.  We don’t know exactly how the Beast and the False Prophet will take over in the middle of the seven year peace treaty but we can speculate.  Let’s consider the possibility of the following:

We know that the Beast will negotiate a 7 year peace deal.  At some time either before or after the peace treaty is agreed to, the Temple of Jerusalem will be built and the daily sacrifices will resume.  There are many people in Israel who have been making clothing and furnishings for the Temple behind the scenes in order to make this happen very quickly when the time is right. 

The Beast will desire to have the Temple for himself.  In the middle of the 7 year peace treaty, he will defile its Most Holy Place with his image (seed) against the will of the Israelis.  The Beast will strongly desire the Temple and may initially speak kindly to Israel even after he’s defiled it in order to completely take over and there proclaim he is God.

Perhaps Israel will hear their Temple has been violated but will hold her peace long enough to strategize a proper response.  Maybe there will be negotiations between the False Prophet and Israel like there were between Jacob and Hamor.  The False Prophet may suggest the Jews live together in peace and assimilate with one another although God’s people have been commanded to “come out of Babylon.” 

As part of the negotiation process, the enemy will ask Israel to name their price.  There is no doubt deception will take place by both parties.

The sacrifices will have been “cut off” because the Temple would have become defiled by the abomination of desolation.  The mark of the Beast which may be the sign of a “new covenant” will be implemented although the 144,000 will already be marked/sealed by God.  The rest of the beast’s people will be convinced to receive the mark thinking that they will acquire the wealth of the Israelis but many will oppose the idea.  The Beast’s people will still desire to destroy the Jews.  

By the end of the 3rd day of this process, many people may be killed.  At the end of the 3 ½ years of tribulation, Jesus will return and kill Israel’s enemies who are in Jerusalem but a few will escape to tell the world what has happened.  The city will eventually be plundered and Jesus will take his people to safety.

Meanwhile, the world will hear what happened in Jerusalem and plan retaliation.  They will assemble for Armageddon.  Instead of backing off, they will fight the Lord who has protected Israel since the days of the Patriarchs and they will be defeated.

Is this how it will all transpire?  It’s hard to say for sure but I think this is a good guess.

Historical Pattern of the Future Part 3

Today we’ll look at what is coming in the future in order to see how it fulfills the original pattern we discussed earlier.

  1. Babylon is present day Iraq.  Iraq has received a fatal blow but has survived.  Is this the mortal head wound of the Beast that was healed?  Only time will tell for sure.
  2. Medo-Persia is present day Iran.  Iran is currently suspected of being a nuclear threat to the world despite claims of only developing nuclear energy.  Will this cause a “goat” to fly from the west to completely destroy the “ram” as described in Daniel 8?
  3. The ancient Greek Empire passed to Alexander’s generals:  Seleucus, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, and Cassander.  In the future it will be represented by 4 different kings.
  4. Divided Kingdom:   Jesus implied in Matthew 24:15 there would be someone besides Antiochus Epiphanes IV that would come in the future to set up an abomination of desolation.  Therefore, according to Daniel 8:21-23, near the end of the reign of the 4 kings who will control the land of the Ancient Greek Empire and when evildoers will have become as evil as possible, an arrogant king will arise in the northern kingdom and destroy the mighty and the holy ones.  Many assume this came near the end of the fall of Rome but Daniel shows us it is for the end of days.  In Revelation 13, this arrogant king is known as the Beast of Sea and in Revelation 17, this king is described as the Scarlet Beast.  He will probably come from the territory of the former Seleucid dynasty.  He will probably be the Caliph of a revived Islamic Caliphate.   He’s also referred to as the two-horned Beast of the Earth which is comparable to the two-horned ram of Daniel 8.  The identity of the king of the south remains to be seen although the southern kingdom was Egypt in the past.
  5. The False Prophet (Little Horn) will cause man to forsake God’s commandments and worship the image of the Beast or face martyrdom (Rev. 13:11-18).
  6. The Harlot Mystery Babylon the Great (from the West) will ride the Beast (from the Middle East).  Consider the myth of Europa riding the Greek bull, Zeus.  Europe takes her name from Europa and geographically speaking, the Harlot rides the Beast of the Middle East.  Currently the West is trying to ride, tame, or control the beast of the Middle East.  The Harlot may be the Roman Catholic Church attempting to lead Catholic and Protestant churches into a worldwide interfaith movement which will coooperate with the coming political and economic New World Order.  Regardless of who she is, this is where God’s people reside and His children are commanded to come out of her–to be set apart, consecrated and holy to Him.  Some people believe the Beast is really the New World Order but it doesn’t make sense for the political and economic aspects of the NWO to destroy the interfaith religious system that has been encouraging its people to cooperate with its formation in the first place.
  7. Christians will continue to be persecuted but will not always be protected from martyrdom.
  8. The Scarlet Beast will join with 10 kings (Islamic Caliphate) for 1 hour and will separate from (or throw off) the Harlot Babylon the Great  in order to destroy her.  You see, it makes more sense for us to believe that Eastern powers (Scarlet Beast)  intend to deceive Western powers (Babylon the Great) through cooperation until they are sure they are able to completely destroy them.
  9. Jesus, the Messiah will defeat the Scarlet Beast and the 10 Kings (revived Islamic Caliphate) at the Battle of Armageddon.  The Beast and its False Prophet will be thrown into the lake of fire.
  10. Messiah’s Kingdom will reign 1000 years (Rev. 19:11-20:6).
  11. Satan, who will be chained and cast into the abyss at the beginning of Christ’s millennial reign will be released and arise from the abyss in order to deceive the nations and gather Gog’s armies for the Battle of Gog and Magog.
  12. John prophesied that the coming of Gog’s armies to Jerusalem will be at the end of the millennium in Revelation 20:9.   Many assume this battle must take place prior to Christ’s return.  In Ezekiel 37, the dry bones lived (the dead were resurrected) and the two houses of Israel were combined.  Ezekiel 38:8b explains:  “In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely.”  According to our pattern, this battle must take place here.
  13. Israel’s enemies will be defeated. They will be eaten by birds of prey and wild animals (Ezekiel 39:4).  It seems their will be two feasts for birds–one in Revelation after the Battle of Armageddon and one in Ezekiel after the Battle of Gog and Magog.  The Great White Throne Judgment will take place and the dead will be judged according to their deeds.  The Lake of Fire is the 2nd death.
  14. Only the righteous (one flock) will enter the New Jerusalem when new heaven and earth come down.

Will you be able to recognize the False Prophet and the Beast of Revelation when they arise?  How do you know?

Will men like the Maccabees be armed and ready to rise up to fight against the False Prophet and Beast of Revelation?  Surely there will be some who will carry out great exploits.

Will their strategies be wise or foolish?  What will you do?