Saturday, June 29, 2013

Heaven and Earth Fled Away


  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 20:11 


The Writer on a Space Flight


Earlier the writer said, I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 4:2.  Now the writer says, I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. 20:11.  Vine+++ tells us that the word, heaven, in this case means, the sky.  

It is a gigantic thought to imagine that when the earth and the sky became aware that they were in God's presence they fled away in awe.   Some Bible expositors use that line of reasoning.   

That likely is not the right interpretation, because, according to their own teaching (the omnipresence of God), heaven and earth have been in the presence of God for many long ages before this incident happens so why would they suddenly attempt to flee from the presence of God.

A more likely interpretation is this.  The words, fled away, could mean that because the viewer was moving it created the illusion that the earth and the heaven (sky) fled away.   Could it be that the earth and the sky did not move at all but that the writer, in the presence of the great white throne, which was part of the spaceship that the writer was in, was being transported into outer space? In fact, the word, fled, does have an element of speed involved in it. Then he says, there was found no place for them; I could no longer see the place where the earth and the sky were visible before.


   But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
   The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
   And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
   Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there).
   And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. 
21:22-27  

    I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. As long as we are mortal, we need some ritual, some formality.  However, there in eternity, we can bypass those things that help us unto God, because there we can worship Him in His actual presence. 

While Christ was on earth, he frequently condemned his peers for being ritualistic but spiritually dead.  Once he said, You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. John 5:39-40.  He meant, you are coming close to spiritual reality, but because of your rules and rituals you are completely missing it. 

Here we clearly see that even Bible study can be an empty ritual if the living Christ does not bless it.  While on earth, this is a constant hazard, but later, in that holy city, when we shall see Him as He is, our worship of Him will not need ritual, buildings, paintings, prayer chains or other things that lead us to worship.

the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light.  This city, the New Jerusalem, has its own internal source of light and energy and does not need the light of the sun or moon to lighten the streets to walk on
.

the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 21:24
And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 21:26

By repeating verse 24, verse 26, emphasizes the fact that, at that time, after the white throne judgement, when all Christians are safe in heaven, there are still people living on the earth, outside the Holy City, those who are not in the lake of fire; it is the rulers of those people who will bring glory and honour into the Holy City.


Dr. McGee* states, The kings of the earth bring their glory into it. This is my reason for saying that there will be a great deal of traffic commuting back and forth between the New Jerusalem and this earth down here. Not only will Israel come up there to worship, but the nations of the world, which have entered eternity will also come up. It will not be their permanent abode, but they will come up there to worship.
Throughout his Bible study he has been adamant that all people who are not born again must spend eternity in “hell”.  His argument here makes one wonder where he gets the people of the nations who will come and visit heaven, if they are all in perpetual eternal torment.

The gates shall not be shut at all by day and since there is no night there, 22:5, one must assume that the gates are always open.

Dr. McGee* suggests that there will be a great deal of traffic commuting back and forth between the New Jerusalem and this earth down here.


I will take that thought a step further and suggest that people are already travelling in space capsules to a satellite out in space.   Once the Holy City "comes down" and is within reach for earth launched spaceships this space travel may become common occurrence.

the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.  I wonder if by "kings" is meant the rich people of society.  We are already hearing of rich people who are buying tickets to take flights into space.

I find this array of thoughts completely fascinating!


_______________________________
+++ An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine
* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Inhabitants of the New City

And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. 
And God will wipe away all tears from their eyes. And there will be no more death, nor mourning, nor crying out, nor will there be any more pain; for the first things passed away. Rev 21:3-4  
He who overcomes will inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he will be My son. Rev 21:7  
But the fearful, and the unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, will have their part in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Rev 21:8  
 And the nations of those who are saved will walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. Rev 21:24 
 And there shall in no way enter into it anything that defiles, or any making an abomination or a lie; but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Rev 21:27 

Some Will Enter, Some won't

By reading the last phrase of this chapter we can confirm who these are that are saved: they are the ones who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  We see again, that not all those whose names are not in the Book of Life are in torment, for if they were, who are those kings of the earth who bring their glory and honor into the city21:24.  If those who are saved all live in the city, and those who are not saved are in the lake of fire, what is the purpose of a new earth, since it would have no inhabitants?

   Quoting Dr. McGee
* again, The children of Israel will be among the multitudes who come into this city to worship in eternity. They will come from the earth to bring their worship and glory.  This statement states that even the Old Testament saints that "walked with God" did not make it into heaven.   I cannot accept that teaching!  Is Jehovah really Anti-Semitic?

   According to this study the Bible teaches that, at first, in eternity, there will be four categories of humans: 


1. The first ones are the martyrs. They reign with Christ for one thousand years. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast nor his image, nor had received his mark on their foreheads, nor in their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 20:4 

   This is the same one thousand years in which Satan is bound in the bottomless pit.  After that time, they move into the Holy City when it descends.  Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. 21:3

2.  The second are those who are saved, 21:24, the blood washed multitudes from all nations of the world.  The term for these, in Christian circles is, “those who are born again”.  

   Immediately, after the white throne judgment, they will enter the holy city, the place we usually call heaven.  It is then that Christians will join those who were martyred for Jesus.  There is no teaching in the Bible of a place out there somewhere, way beyond our imagination, that we will go to when we die. 

   We need to realign our thinking to agree with the teachings of the Bible. According to the description given in The Apocalypse heaven is a physical realm with dwelling places, streets and a wall to keep out those who may not enter.  The city has food to eat and water to drink.  It also grows trees, the leaves of which are, used for medicine for those who still dwell on earth.  We can surmise this because there is no sickness in heaven.


3. Third are those who did not accept Christ but they lived good, clean, honest lives.   They will not spend eternity in fiery anguish but they will be the inhabitants of the new earth.  These are the people, whose kings will come to visit the holy city: and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 21:24.

  4. Fourth are those who turn back from following Christ because of fear, 
the cowards, or because of false doctrines, those without faith.  It also includes murderers; pimps; drug dealers; it includes those who knew better, but who willfully, deliberately disobeyed the cardinal basic rules of decent humanity.  But as for the cowards and those without faith and those who are disgusting in their filth and murderers and fornicators and those practicing spiritism and idolaters and all the liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This means the second death. Rev 21:8  NW.  

It is interesting that in the Greek text, in place of and those practicing spiritism we find this very modern prevailing sin listed, a sin found mostly in the younger generation: and to druggers.  Two thousand years ago the writer of The Revelation already predicted the coming of the curse of street drugs.  Now countries are jostling to get into line to be the next one to make it legal!

Those who insisted on living the lifestyle mentioned in this verse, and never in their life repented of their evil actions must, according to the rules of their Creator, pay the price in torment.

______________________________
* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Holy City is Measured


   The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.
   And he measured its wall, a hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. 
   The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
   The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,
   the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
   The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
21:16-21

Four Very Large Walls


 twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.  Mr. Smith** offers this view concerning the size of the city.  In ancient times, when the size of the city was given, the number referred to the circumference of the city and not to the length of one side.  If that is the way this is to be interpreted, the New Jerusalem will be only three hundred and seventy five miles on any one side. 

   The reference to the word equal concerning the height would not be the actual height but rather it would mean that the height was proportionate to the size of the wall.  This way of reckoning would, of course, make the Holy City much smaller.

He measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, that is, about 216 feet (65 meters).  This, obviously, does not refer to the length of the wall if the length of the city is 1500 miles each way.  So, was he measuring the thickness or the height of the wall? 

 Here are two answers:  

  1. Then he measured the thickness of the walls and found them to be two hundred and sixteen feet across. Living Bible.  
  2. He measured its wall, two hundred and sixteen feet (in height). Wuest#  

According to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.  Wuest# clarifies this by writing, using the measuring system of mankind, which is that used by the angel.  The Living Bible is even more up to date in its translation; the angel called out the measurements to me, using standard units.  

We must notice that the writer very carefully says the wall was of jasper not that it was “like jasper”.  The city was of gold and not like gold, but then he continues to say that the gold was like clear glass.

   The foundations of the wall of the city, not the foundations of the city, were garnished with all manner of precious stones.  There are twelve foundations,
21:14, each foundation had its own gem.  Foster*** points out that these twelve gems very closely compare to the twelve gems worn by the high priest on his breastplate.

   In the statement, the street of the city was pure gold, we see that the word, street, is singular.
 The broad avenue of the city was pure gold. Wuest#    The main street of the city was pure gold. Berean Study Bible.  Is it possible that only one and not all the streets of heaven are paved with gold (as we so glibly say)?

   Even though it is impossible for us to imagine a city this large with only one street, is it possible that heaven has only one street, as the Bible says?  Dr. McGee* suggests that it is one continuous street weaving throughout the city to provide access to any part of the city; from the bottom tier of the city to the very top level.
_________________
__________________
# An Expanded Translation, K.W. Wuest.
**Daniel and The Revelation, Uriah Smith
*** Shadow of the Antichrist, Ivan Foster
* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Holy City Comes Down


Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
   And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
   “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
   Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
   And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
21:2-6 


The Holy City Comes Down


   Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven. It is unfortunate that throughout the New Testament only one word is used for the word heaven.  The word in Greek is Ouranos and it means any of the following:
  • the air, 
  • the home of the heavenly orbs, 
  • the sky, 
  • the sphere in which the evil powers do their work 
  • the eternal dwelling place of God. Vine+++
   Naturally, our upbringing and our education flavor our understanding of the word heaven, and we subconsciously hold on to our idea, whether or not that is what the Scriptures means to portray.

   It seems logical to believe that this city of God did not proceed out of the place that Vine+++ calls the eternal dwelling place of God, The Akashic Field, but perhaps, rather was fashioned (built) among the home of the heavenly orbs, that is, among the stars.  In fact, The Living Bible in 21:10 says, Descending out of the skies.  

  As we saw in the last post, its dimensions are very limited, not at all comparing in size to the earth and sky that we just read of as having been changed.  Regardless of its origin, it is a spectacular sight to behold.  The Living Bible describes it this way; It was a glorious sight, beautiful as a bride at her wedding. 20:2

   We cannot believe that our eternal home has always been the same as it will be when we get there, because Christ said, In My Father’s house are many mansions; ... I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2.  Whatever it is that Christ is doing to our future home, we can only believe that they are improvements, fit for His bride.

   Dr. McGee* writes, Is anything incongruous about a civilization out yonder in space on a new planet?  The New Jerusalem will either become another satellite to the earth or, what is more probable and what I think is true, the earth will become a satellite to the New Jerusalem as well as the rest of the new creation. This chapter indicates that the city will be the center of all things. 

   It seems unlikely that the earth will become a satellite of the New Jerusalem, because of the limited size of the New City.  Isn't a satellite always smaller than its home planet?


Our New Home


   The Living Bible and American Standard have changed, I heard a loud voice from heaven, to, I heard a loud shout from the throne.  The voice said, The tabernacle of God is with man.  The word tabernacle means a temporary dwelling place.  The LB has put it this way, the home of God is now among men, and he will live with them, and they will be his people. Whereas Wuest# has confused the issue by inserting, the glorified body of the Lord Jesus in which he lives in place of tabernacle. 

   He that sat on the throne is God, the Father. 4:3.  The one sitting there, in this scene, is not an angel, for he calls himself, the Beginning and the End. 21:6.

   Then the temple of God was opened in heaven. 11:19  That is exactly the place in The Apocalypse where the Rapture of the Church is recorded.  That thought is repeated in 21:2 with these words, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 

I make all things new. So far, in chapter 21, there is
  • a new sky, a new earth, v.1
  • a New Jerusalem, v.2
  • a new tabernacle (as far as man is concerned), v.3 
  • a new manner of life. v.4

   It has also been suggested that the New Heaven refers to the atmosphere around the new earth.  I also read that the old heaven needed cleansing because that is where Satan used to be, for more on this see Eph. 6.  All traces of Satan's influence needed to be eradicated from it before it was fit to contain the Holy City!


   In 16:17 we also had the words, It is done!  In that post I wrote, The words, it is done, certainly include the completion of The Church of Christ, and her rapture.  That same thought is repeated here.  If modern day Bible prophets are right, The Church took about 2000 years to "construct" and it is not at all surprising that it would be mentioned several times that it is finished.  

   It is an important feat, afterall, she is the Bride of Christ!  In place of the words, Write, for these words are true and faithful...It is done!  Wuest# has These words are trustworthy and dependable ... they have come to pass and stand accomplished.

   According to Wuest, included in the word, write, is the meaning of, Do not be hesitant to write what you have seen and heard, because my words are trustworthy.  What I have said will happen, must happen, because I started this program and I know how it ends.

________________________________
+++ An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine
* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.
# An Expanded Translation, K.W. Wuest.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Holy City

He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 
having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.    
Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 
three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 
Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 
And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 
The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth.    And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. 21:10-16 

The Glorious City


The new perspective of this last section is glorious. “From the smoke and pain and heat it is a relief to pass into the clear, clean atmosphere of the eternal morning where the breath of heaven is sweet and the vast city of God sparkles like a diamond in the radiance of his presence” (Moffatt) Guzik

In 16:20 we learned that when the seventh angel poured out his bowl of wrath the mountains of earth were not found.  Here in v. 10 the writer was "beamed up" to a great and high mountain; I suppose we must assume that this mountain is on the new earth, it was from that mountain that he saw heaven, the holy Jerusalem, our eternal abode.

In its meaning 21:10 is a repeat of verse 21:2; 21:3-8 are simply an interruption in the major thought.  In 21:2 the city was noted as being as beautiful as a bride; starting in 21:10 it is described in the same way again. This fact indicates that the two verses are in the same time frame.

 This holy city is bathed in the glory of God. It's splendour and radiance as a luminary, a light giving body, was like a stone which is most precious, like a stone of crystal clear jasper. Wuest#.  The basic color of jasper is that of fire. Vine+++.  In fact, it is so bright that the people, living on the new earth, live in the light of this holy city. 21:24

On each of the twelve gates is the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, and each gate has a guardian angel attending it.  The city wall has twelve foundations and on each one of them is the name of one of the twelve apostles of Christ.  You…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. Eph.2:20

This phrase about the names of the twelve apostles, being on the twelve foundations, has caused some to suggest that, it was not John, the Apostle, who wrote The Apocalypse.  For, they say, it would be an unprecedented display of egotism for the writer, an apostle, to claim that his name is on one of the gates of the holy city.

On each side of the city are three gates, and we imagine them all on the same level, but a city that is as high as it is long may well have the gates staggered at different levels.  This would be very practical, if those who came to visit the new city came in spaceships.  For anyone who has watched Si Fi movies of this type, this is easy to imagine and certainly easy to believe. 


The Size of the City


He who talked with me, is the angel, which we met in 20:9.  He has a measuring reed made of gold.  The length of a reed is given in Eze. 40:5, as being six times a cubit plus six handbreadths or almost eleven feet long. Unger++

   The city is square; in fact, it is a cube. In each direction, it is 12,000 furlongs or 1500 miles.  Measuring in a straight line, West to East, that is the distance from Victoria, Canada to the western tip of Lake Superior in Canada and North to South from Tuktoyaktuk in the North-West territories of Canada straight south to the Canada-US border.

   A rather large city when one considers that it stands as high as it is wide.  Yet we cannot think of it as a small planet because planets, by their very nature are round, but this city is laid out as a square.  


   Dr. McGee* explains how this could be possible.  He admits that the city is a cube but that a translucent sphere surrounds the cube.  He says that the people living in heaven would live inside the sphere, not on the surface of the sphere as dwellers on earth live on the surface.

   Foster
*** has given the calculation for the capacity of the Holy City.  It is 3,375,000,000 cubic miles.  Then he continues by saying, multiply that figure by 64 and you have the number of allotments equaling one quarter of a cubic mile the city would provide.  That gives a total of 216,000,000,000...segments.

   One gets the idea that he is implying that each "block" in heaven will have a cubic area of one-quarter mile and that there will be room for 216,000,000,000 "blocks" in heaven.  Christ said, There are many rooms in my Father's house. I wouldn't tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. John 14:2-3 CEV 

The present population of the earth is less than 7,000,000,000.  It has been estimated that the total number of people that have ever lived in the word is 107,602,707,791.  Playing around with all this wild speculation would allow for a population of about 15 people per one quarter cubic mile.  If, by some weird coincidence, these numbers happened to be true, and if all the people that have ever lived on our world, would be in heaven, heaven would still not be crowded.

   More about the physical structure of heaven in the next post.

________________________________

# An Expanded Translation, K.W. Wuest.
+++ An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine
++ Unger’s Bible Dictionary, Merrill F. Unger
* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.
*** Shadow of the Antichrist, Ivan Foster

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Great Multitude


All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
   saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
   Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”
   
So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb7:11-14 


The Wedding Day Has Arrived



   This is all just too wonderful for words; the bride and the bridegroom are finally together.  After all these years of separation and longing for closer fellowship, it has happened.  Now The Church is there where Jehovah Himself will be with them.  


   It is so fitting that All the angels stood around the throne ... saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”  Would we expect less than that the elders and the four living creatures, would fall on their faces before the throne and say: Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

   The writer is asked by one of the twenty-four elders, who are these that are dressed in white robes, and where do they come from.  The answer given is; I do not know, but you do.  The elder answered, These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 

  These are the saints, which throughout the ages have overcome torture in a time of great tribulation and are now worshipping at the throne of God.   But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 20:5

   Why do modern Christians think that Christians of other ages should undergo torture and persecution, but, we, the modern generation will bypass the tribulation at the end of time?  The Bible distinctly says that we will not.

    These are the ones who...washed their robes implies a certain element of responsibility for each individual to have his robes washed.   Even though Christ does the cleansing, the onus lies with each person individually to ask for it.  It sounds like a good argument against the teaching of absolute predestination. Jehovah will not force people to repent, neither did He decide beforehand who would and who would not believe.  This is always the choice of the human.



The Blessings of Heaven

   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 dwell among them.
   “They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 
   “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." 7:15-17

  There, those who are dressed in white with the Lamb as the Shepherd (AS) will have ultimate comfort.  No more hunger, no more thirst, no more tears and no more working in the burning sun. 


   All those whose names are in the Book of Life, on the day of judgment, will be before the throne of God.  Christians will serve Him 24/7; I wonder, though, if we will have eight hours shifts.   In any case, temple service to Jehovah will be continuous.  The benefits are out of this world:

  • Those who serve shall never hunger anymore. This promise is the antitheses of the great famine that will be coming at the end of time. See 6:6, http://ikefehr1939.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-black-horse-pale-horse.html 
  • They shall never thirst anymore. This promise obliterates the curse of the third bowl of wrath. see:16:4-7. http://ikefehr1939.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-third-trumpet-and-third-bowl.html 
  • the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat. This promise cancels the curse of the fourth bowl of wrath. See 16:8-9. Extreme heat and worse sunburns will become more prevalent in the last days due to the thinning of the ozone layer.         http://ikefehr1939.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-fourth-trumpet-and-fourth-bowl.html

   for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.  This is when the first part of the 23rd Psalm really takes on meaning. 

   And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  Babylon, that great city which we studied about, has killed so many saints throughout history, and the ones left behind have shed oceans of tears.  Terminal illness has torn families apart and what can the ones who are left behind do, but weep?  Praise Jehovah, there is a promise, given by One who cannot lie, and that promise is, God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Lamb's wife - The Church


    Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife. 21:9

   Here the writer again meets an angel he had already seen in action.  This angel was one of those who had one of the seven bowls of wrath.  The angel said to him, Come, I will show you the (video of the) bride, the Lamb's wife.  One wonders, though, if the writer of The Apocalypse was not a member of that group, or could it be that he saw himself among that throng. 

The Wedding Feast

   After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! 
   “For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” 
    Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” 
  And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” 
   Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” 
   And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 
   “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 
   And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 
   Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 
19:1-9 

  1. In 19:1-3 it is a great multitude that speaks the praise of Jehovah.
  2. In 19:4 it is the 24 elders and the four living creatures (see chapter 4) which say, Amen, Alleluia.
  3. In 19:5 it is the voice from the throne that says, Praise our God.
  4. In 19:6 the voice of the great multitude said, Alleluia! For the Lord God omnipotent reigns!
   And such a reason to praise Jehovah!  It is time for the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Jehovah already had this plan in mind long before Christ was born.  Ever since Adam was ousted from Eden Jehovah's spirit has been calling sinners to repentance and encouraging and guiding His followers.  

   At this point in the book, the angels have called The Church home to heaven.  Surely, we have reason to praise Jehovah!

  In a parable Christ told, He said, The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son. Mat.22:2.  Here we see the full meaning of that parable. 

   A certain king, God, the Father, has prepared a marriage for His Son, Jesus, the Messiah.  His wife has adorned herself; she is arrayed in smooth, clean and pure linen.  This linen is merely symbolic of what she is really wearing.  Her attire is the deeds of righteousness which are the trademark of a true Christian.

   It seems that, looking at the way some "Christians" carry on, they will not be allowed into the wedding feast at all; no acts of mercy, no unexpected traits of honesty, no super abundant caring for one's family; nothing special with which they can adorn themselves for their husband, Jesus.  

   In another parable, Jesus Himself warned people about coming to a wedding feast, but not being allowed to stay in the hall because they were not properly dressed. Mat. 22:7-8.  

   If any of you who are reading my posts have never accepted Christ as your Saviour, please do it before Jehovah's spirit gives up on you.


How do you do that?


1. In all sincerity admit to Jehovah that you are a sinner - you do not measure up to the standard that He demands.

2. Believe that Jesus is Jehovah's Son and that Jesus paid the penalty that justice demands.

3. Ask Jesus to enter your mindset and change your lifestyle; this is called "being born again".

4. Thank Jehovah that this change has happened in your life.

5. Make the New Testament part of your reading habit and constantly seek the help of Jehovah's spirit to help you live your new lifestyle as you should.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Lamb of Calvary


L) Saints Worship God


   Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 
   And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
   They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
   These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
   And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God. 14:1-5

The worshipping 144,000


   After the depression brought by the False prophet, the Antichrist and the battle of Armageddon, it is so refreshing to again see the Lamb; the wonderful Lamb of Calvary! 5:6  Now He is not on Mount Calvary, now he is standing victorious on Mt. Zion.   Now he is not alone and forsaken as He was at Calvary, now one hundred and forty four thousand (a non-specific number) redeemed saints, who all have His Father’s name written on their foreheads, surround him.

   I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder.  Almost the same words are repeated again in 19:8, I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings.  Maybe it was later that John also heard the music of harps.   Accompanying the soft, subtle sound of the harps, the redeemed sang a song; it was as if it were a new song, which only those 144,000 could learn. 

   These are they which have not defiled themselves with women; for they are virgins.  By using the word defiled he tells us that he is not talking about any moral sexual activity within the marriage bond; those activities do not cause defilement as the Roman Catholic church teaches.  

   Vine+++ suggests that the word, defile, has to do with physical fornication or adultery, whereas the word, virgin, has to do with spiritual uprightness.  According to Vine, even though they were sexually active within the confines of marriage, they are still called virgins because they are not sexually defiled.

   A question concerning gender does arise.  Were the 144,000 all males? Perhaps the whole statement is not gender sensitive at all; maybe it was simply John’s way of writing because of the times in which he lived.   Also, as mentioned earlier, the number given may just represent, a huge crowd; including everyone there. For more on this see: 
http://ikefehr1939.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-opening-of-fifth-and-sixth-seal.html

   they are without fault before the throne of God.  The Bible says that There is none righteous, no, not one; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:10+23.  Who, than, are those who are without fault? As surmised before - these could be the C hristian martyrs of all ages.

The Song of Redemption

And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 
   They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 
   Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.” 15:2-4 

   I saw something like a sea of glass.  The writer again saw the video screen and it was showing what he thought looked like a Sea, but now he saw a fire burning of the sea of glass (the video screen).   He also saw, standing on the sea of glass, those who were victorious over the beast.  These saints had the harps of God and they sang two songs: the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.  Mr. Smith notes that the song of Moses is the song of redemption which the Israelites sang after they had successfully crossed the Red Sea. Exodus 15.

   At this point in the book, the rapture has happened, all people have been judged, and the earth has undergone cataclysmic changes.   Former Christians are worshipping Jehovah in heaven; people who had lived decent lives in their lifetime are living in peace on the new, refined earth; people who lived wicked lives, those you read about in 20:8, together with the false prophet, the beast and the devil are in the lake of fire. 

   Yet, the Bible says, that at that time all nations shall come and worship before You. The way I see it, this can only mean that the people of all nations on the new earth will worship Jehovah.  To confirm this theory 21:26 says, And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it (the holy city).

   The next post will have more about the Bride of Christ - The Church.

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+++ An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine,