Friday, May 31, 2013

The Beast is Captured



   Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 
   “that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”
   And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 
   Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 
   And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. 19:17-21


Birds Feast on the Army



   I saw an angel standing in the sun is rendered in The Living Bible and the Greek text as, I saw an angel standing in the sunshine.

   This angel, v.17, called together all the flying birds to come and devour the carcasses of the slain soldiers and horses.  In 19:21, we read that the birds were filled with their flesh.  

   the false prophet who worked signs in his (the Antichrist's) presence, by which (signs) he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.  The beast, who is the Antichrist, and the false prophet were both brought into submission.  Then those two were cast alive into the lake of fire.

   Only the beast and the false prophet were cast alive into the lake of fire at that time.  The others: kings, soldiers, captains, freeman and slaves, 19:18, were merely killed with the sword of Him ... that sat upon the white horse.  No human is cast alive into the lake of fire until after a fair trial at the judgement seat of Christ.

   The warning had been clearly given, don’t go fighting against the Lord of Hosts, you will lose the battle and your shame will be great;   Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is the one who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. 16:15  

   The Taliban, ISIS and their ilk are in for a mighty big surprise when the risen Son of God returns with His army to destroy them and to rescue Jehovah's adopted children; The Church of Jesus Christ.

   the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. Perhaps the sword that Christ is wielding is the sword of instructions.  His army, of devote martyrs, follow His instructions and consequently the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings.

   Why did the warning go unheeded?  It is because people count the King of kings, as having no significance!   Some openly mock Him, some completely disregard Him, many believe that He lived a good life, left a good example and because He did not conform to society’s demands, He died while He was still a young man. Those same people do not accept that He rose from the grave and is alive now.

   They refuse to accept the history of Christ by faith because the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  With their eyes blinded they believe that He is still dead and so they need not worry about Him coming back as the victorious king.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Faithful Rider


   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. 
   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. 
   He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 
   And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 
   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. 
   And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.  19:11-16

   These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. 17:14

The nations were Angry


This story of Christ fighting the beast and the kings of the earth, must be placed into 11:18, where there is an allusion to this war in these words, The nations were angry (seething in agitation).

   Mankind is bent on having war. All this talk about war, in The Apocalypse, refers to The Battle of Armageddon and it has taken a lot of space in the book.

   People, powered by Satan, have started the last war, but Christ is coming t
o finish it.  Thanks to His intervention, it will not be as bloody as it otherwise would have been!  It sounds as if Psalm 110:-5-6 speak of this war, He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.

His eyes were like a flame of fire.  This phrase is also used of Him in 1:14.

  He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood. Foster*** says that the blood represents a day of vengeance and crushing judgment for his enemies. He is depicted as being blood stained before his encounter with the Antichrist to emphasize the character of the mission he is on. 

   H
is view does not follow through logically, because his armies, which followed him, also on white horses, were on the same mission, they were also clothed in fine linen, which was white and clean.  If the blood represents vengeance, would not the whole army be wearing garments red with blood?  

Rather, it seems to me, that, as stated concerning the vesture dipped in blood, which Christ is wearing in 1:14, this is a picture of Calvary, and it is a sign to Christ's army, and to his enemies, that He already has obtained the victory by His death and resurrection.  All he and His army need to do now is to tie up some loose ends.

In the post called the White Horse; the Red Horse in chapter 6, we studied about Christ's name and His wardrobe.      
http://ikefehr1939.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-white-horse-red-horse.html      

  With His sword, the word of His Mouth, He will lay out the program to His soldiers: 

  1. He will strike the nations
  2. He will rule the nations with a rod of iron (strength)
  3. it is for The Almighty God, that Christ is treading the wine press of the fierceness and wrath. 19:15.  The grapes of sinfulness and rebellion have been seeded, nurtured and brought to fruition.  Now is the time to tread the grapes in the presence of his enemies.

As Quiet as a Thief


Christ said that when He returns it will be unannounced, as a thief in the night, but when the seventh trumpet sounds the stillness of the night will be broken.

 Then, when people see Him, they will know who He is, because on His slacks and on His coat will be written His title, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.  Then, according to Paul, at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and ... every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:10-11

those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. Throughout my studies I have declared that ordinary Christians do not go to heaven until after the seventh trumpet sounds; the only Christians in heaven at the time that the Battle of Armageddon begins will be the martyrs of Jesus; if my thinking about this is right, these might be the ones who would be riding into battle with Christ.
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*** Shadow of the Antichrist, Ivan Foster

    

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Sixth and Seventh Angels


    Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 14:17 

The Grape Reaping Angel. 


   Just as the commanding angel of 14:15 told the grain reaping angel of 14:14 that it was time to reap the grain, (the previous post), so the angel, of 14:18, The angel with power over fire, tells the grape reaping angel of 14:17, that it is time to gather the clusters of the vine.

Dr. McGee* says, My feeling is that no careful study of the Word of God would lead any person of reasonable intelligence to believe that the church is going through this awful period (the Great Tribulation). Folk who want to push the church into the Great Tribulation seem to think that it will be no more unpleasant than a trip to the dentist to get a tooth pulled.  Let it be noted, that I believe that I have reasonable intelligence but I do not interpret the Bible according to “how it feels”.  There is far too much “feel good” theology in modern churches.  

   We cannot change the words of the Bible, or our theological beliefs, just because what we read does not make us feel good.  Christ very plainly said that Immediately after the tribulation of those days…the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and…He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Mat. 24:29-31. Distinctly, according to Christ, the rapture will take place after the Great Tribulation, whether or not Mr. McGee wants it there.

The Angel with Power Over fire


   And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.” 
 

   So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

   And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs. 
14:18-20

It sounds as if this is the angel we first met in 8:5, where we read that the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire from the altar.  Here, we read of him as another angel, who came out from the altar, an angel who had power over fire.  

   
The grapes, now gathered, are placed into the winepress of God's wrath.  They will be trodden outside the city walls of Jerusalem.  It sounds, to me, as if this is again referring to the Battle of Armageddon, which is to be fought about 60 miles north of Jerusalem; outside the city.

   blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles.  In the notes on 8:8 it was suggested that the words "red as" should be added before the word "blood" so that the meaning would make sense.   It seems that a similar change is needed here.  So that it would read, and blood red juice of the grape, came out of the winepress, as opposed to actual blood.  

  This is allegory and the wine that is overflowing the cup is not the wine of human blood.  Certainly, the harvest was not actual grapes.  We learned in 14:8 that Babylon had caused all nations to drink of her fornication. Now, symbolically, these are the grapes that the angel has reaped, the grapes of physical, immoral and spiritual fornication; it is this fornication that will be trampled.  It is the juice of this fornication that will run out of the winepress.

The blood flowed out in a stream 200 miles long. The Living Bible.  About this, Dr. McGee* writes, A thousand and six hundred furlongs” is about 185 miles, and that is the distance from Dan to Beer-sheba.  All of Palestine is the scene of this final war ... and is concluded by the personal return of Christ to the earth.

In contradiction, to imagine that it marks the extent of the Holy Land from Dan to Beer-sheba is ... to introduce an incorrect calculation. EBC

Many commentaries use the idea that this blood will be a "lake of blood" but it seems to fit the picture better to see it as The Living Bible has The blood flowed out in a stream.  The stream was about 200 miles (300 km) long.  

If the word stream is used it might paint the picture that the pain and suffering caused by the war will be ongoing; without cessation, like a flowing stream.

and as high as a horse’s bridle. The Living Bible.  As has already been noted, the horses in The Apocalypse are not actual horses.  For example, the horses in 9:17 have lion's heads.  

For that matter, horses are not even mentioned in these verses except as a commonly understood height against which to measure the depth of the wine of God's wrath.  

An example of this is found at the Grist Mill in Keremeos in British Columbia, Canada.  Early settlers writing about the height of the grass wrote, Bunchgrass as high as a horse's belly.  This did not mean that the horses were in the grass, it was merely a standard unit of measurement, to which a person at another place could relate.
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* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Forth and Fifth Angel


j) Harvest Time has Come


   Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.
   And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
   So He who sat on the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.
 14:14-16 


The Grain Reaping Angel


   What he saw was a white cloud and on the cloud sat One like unto the Son of Man.  It is imperative to notice that John says that the one sitting on the cloud was like unto the Son of man and not that it was the Son of Man.  Wuest changes, the Son to son and in brackets he adds (human in appearance).  The American Standard has changed, the Son to a son

   Foster*** and McGee* disagree, and say that it was Christ; there are several clues in 14:15 that insist that it was not Christ sitting on the cloud.
   
  1.     In 14:15, we have the words: another angel which, indicates that this one, sitting on the cloud, was also an angel and not Christ.
  2.     The angel of 14:15 tells the angel of 14:14 what to do, Thrust in Your sickle and reap.  No angel in heaven, just as no human on earth, is in a      position to tell Christ what to do!
  3.     Christ was speaking of this time of reaping, and he said, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels….The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather.  Mat. 13:39-41.  Based on the words of Christ, we must believe that the one sitting on the cloud was a reaping angel and not Christ.
  It might be appropriate here to remind ourselves that not all of these things happen in the sequence in which they are written here because some of them are concurrent.  However, it is apparent that they cannot be read at the same time and therefore it seems that the one that is read sooner is the one that is expected to happen sooner.  Paul told us that these things would happen in the blinking of an eye, and that, obviously, is much faster than it takes to read these few points, which according to the Bible teaching all seem to happen at once.

The Commanding Angel


     another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.   4:15  
    
   The time has come for the harvest; it is time to separate the wheat from the tares.   The sharp sickle in the hands of the angels will do the reaping.  The American Standard has changed the word, ripe, to, overripe.

   According to Matthew, Christ put that prophecy into these words.  The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. “The enemy who sowed them is the devil (the wicked one), the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 


   “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, “and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Mat.13:38-43.

   Notice that the angels will gather all things that offend; there is a partial list of the things Christ finds offensive in Matthew 7: For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man. All those things will be cast into the furnace of fire.  

   The angels will also gather all those who practice lawlessness and they will also be cast into the furnace of fire.  There is a list of these in Rev. 21:8: But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

   About the word cowardly Clarke writes Those who, for fear of losing life or their property, either refused to receive the Christian religion, though convinced of its truth and importance; or, having received it, in times of persecution fell away, not being willing to risk their lives.


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*** Shadow of the Antichrist, Ivan Foster
* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.



Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two Witnesses Return to Life



And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
   Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.
   And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
   Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.
   And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them.
   In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.
   The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly. 11:8-14 


   their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city.  Dr. McGee* writes, These men are not given even a decent burial. This reveals the crude, cold barbarism of the last days, which will be covered with but a thin veneer of culture. There is a strange resemblance to the sadistic curiosity, which placed two dead men, Lenin and Stalin, on display in Red Square in Moscow. They have removed Stalin, but at this writing, Lenin is still there, and I understand that that body is beginning to deteriorate.

  The word used for bodies (carcasses) denotes the contempt and hatred the world will have for the two witnesses. They are treated as dead animals.

   Conversely, their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city, may have a different meaning than Dr. McGee offers.  It is unlikely that the bodies would last long with dogs and birds rampant in a city.  In addition, a very specific length of time is allotted for them to be on view; three-and-a-half days.   

   To me it seems more fitting to see these two witnesses "lie in state"; after all, they had been notable individuals; they will not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves.  The whole world knew about them; the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies. 11:9.

   Various people, not all people; And many of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations. 11:9 MKJV, shall come to Jerusalem to see these two witnesses "lie in state" for three and a half days.  Many will rejoice over their deaths and send gifts in merriment, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11:10. 

   By some, this is interpreted to mean that their righteous manner of life and preaching bothered the conscience of the people of the world, and the world is glad that the preachers of righteousness are finally silenced. 

   If we look back at 11:6 we see that the torment they inflicted was much more physical.  These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls …and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues.  The reason for merriment may be much more physical than moral or spiritual.

   After they had been lying in state for three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered into them.  They stood up and great fear fell on those who saw them.  How would we feel if we saw a corpse come back to life after three and a half days?

   As Christ ascended to heaven in a cloud, not by a cloud, so did these two resurrected witnesses; and their enemies saw it happen. 11:12.  

   and their enemies saw them.  In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.  Those that were left alive were afraid, and gave glory to the God of heaven.  This sounds so different than the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent. 9:20

   Verse 21 says, The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.  Very plainly, that means that the sixth trumpet has sounded, the sixth bowl of wrath has been poured out, and the seventh trumpet will be sounding soon.  We must not expect the rapture of the Church until the two witnesses have done their preaching, before the beast from the bottomless pit has killed them or before they have ascended to heaven.

   In an earlier post was this statement: the sixth trumpet and the sixth bowl of wrath are the second woe and the second woe is the Battle of Armageddon. However, a prelude to that battle is Babylon, which we must visit first.  But now we are finished with Babylon, we have seen the little book, the temple and the two witnesses.  Now that the two witnesses have ascended to heaven The Apocalypse says, The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly.

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* Through the Bible with Dr. J Vernon McGee.