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Tape Nine Part 1

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1 Tape Nine Part 1 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:51 pm


Revelation 6
1I watched while the Lamb ripped off the first of the seven seals. I heard one of the Animals roar, "Come out!" 2I looked--I saw a white horse. Its rider carried a bow and was given a victory garland. He rode off victorious, conquering right and left 3When the Lamb ripped off the second seal, I heard the second Animal cry, "Come out!" 4Another horse appeared, this one red. Its rider was off to take peace from the earth, setting people at each other's throats, killing one another. He was given a huge sword 5When he ripped off the third seal, I heard the third Animal cry, "Come out!" I looked. A black horse this time. Its rider carried a set of scales in his hand. 6I heard a message (it seemed to issue from the Four Animals): "A quart of wheat for a day's wages, or three quarts of barley, but all the oil and wine you want."
7When he ripped off the fourth seal, I heard the fourth Animal cry, "Come out!" 8I looked. A colorless horse, sickly pale. Its rider was Death, and Hell was close on its heels. They were given power to destroy a fourth of the earth by war, famine, disease, and wild beasts.

Dimensional Book
We have been going into a book within a book within a book. The first Book, the Bible is all about God and his relationship with us through his son Christ. The book of Revelation, the second book, is a revealing of who Jesus is. That’s what it says in the very first verse of chapter one. The third book, is a seven sealed book which we came to in chapter 5. This book is the most controversial and misinterpreted book of them all. It is nothing more than a more detailed explanation of what it stated in verse one of chapter one. It is still a revelation of Jesus Christ in that it is showing the layers and layers of his redemptive character.

But this seven sealed book is a broken down description of the redemption of Christ. Keep in mind when it was originally written, like the rest of the Bible, there were no breaks or chapter references through any of it. So, when we read in chapter five of the introduction to the seven sealed book, we know that chapter six is in that same book. There’s no argument there, it’s pretty much a given. But the key is, there’s no break between this and the first verse of the first chapter. This is all a revelation of Jesus Christ. It’s actually showing us the diverse and many different dimensions of Jesus. He’s our redeemer, he’s the lion of Judah, the lamb that was sacrificed, he’s the only one worthy to open the seals.

Lamb - Lion
So each scene is giving us another dimension of who Christ is. Verse one opens up as John seeing the lamb opening another seal. It’s important to note that John sees Christ in the form of a lamb, not a lion. This is a huge key to see the worthiness of why Jesus could open the seal. The reason for this is because he was the sacrifice God gave for our sins to be redeemed. The lamb symbolizes the fact that the reason all of this is taking place is only because sin has been removed from the scene by way of Jesus death, burial and resurrection. That’s why he’s seen here in the form of a lamb.

1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.

Significance of Lightning and Thunder
Whenever we hear of thunder in reference to when someone speaks, no matter whether it’s in Revelation or in another book of Scripture, it’s simply a figure of speech used to refer to the power and the overwhelming sensation of God’s presence. There are other passages where God’s voice is a still quiet voice. Then David states in Psalms how God’s voice “thunders” upon the waters. There are different modes of expressions, different intonations that God uses when he speaks and we need to learn the difference.

It’s not just a matter of volume, but it’s a matter of understanding of what’s inferred by the tone of his voice. There are times we all have experienced in our childhood our parents speaking to us in a normal tone, but their words had much more meaning behind them than the tone. The meaning would often thunder in the corridors of your ears even hours after the statement was made. A simple phrase “your grounded” could have the same affect to us then as an avalanche in the snow-filled mountains. So it’s not the physical sound of God’s voice that John used the analogy of thunder, but it’s the power of the meaning of what was going on that was so rattling.

Judgement is Not a Bad Thing
So, thunder often accompanies the voice of God giving us insight into the fact that judgement is approaching. Now, again, we see the word judgement and we want to immediately shrink away because we’ve been taught all our lives that judgement is a harsh thing. It’s a bad thing. It’s something you don’t want to have happen to you. We connect it with the Great White Throne judgement where the sinners are cast into hell. But it’s not what it means all the time.

Whenever God begins to come into my life and bring judgement, it’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. I want God to judge me. I want God to reveal to me and deal with me in terms of his “severe mercy”. We also think that those two words don’t go together either, but they do. In fact some of the most merciful things God has done in my life is to deal with me severely. So again, here in Revelation, judgement is approaching which is why we hear the thunder.

2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see

Importance of Understanding Author’s Audience
It’s important to again remind ourselves of the fact that again, we need to understand what these things God was giving to John had to do with the churches and people of the day in which it was revealed. Historically. Again, we can never understand what it meant in contemporary understanding until we first get a good hold on what it meant to the people of the first century. This book wasn’t written just for us. They’re confined to just the generation that is looking for the rapture of the church. Chapters 1 through 22 were relevant to those who read it the first time, 2000 years ago on a literal level, the first dimension of things. They are relevant to us on a spiritual one.

They were under such severe persecution that no one of us will ever have any understanding of. Not only from the Roman government, which isn’t just from spiritual studying, but it’s in the libraries of secular people as well. For the reign of 10 emperors that covered a span of 3 hundred years Christians were the target of severe persecution. The book called Fox’s book of Martyrs is a good example of this. Or the works of Josephus. Through the writings of these books you’d see why this book of Revelation would bless them so much so because their lives were constantly being threatened 24-7.

The Strength “Through” the Tribulation
When we understand that, the results of that understanding will cause us to approach this book with a different mind-set than to just skim over what those people went through then and claim it’s all pointing to me and my generation. You ever think about the fact that things got so bad for the church then that God actually intervened and sent a revelation that actually became embedded and esteemed with the same fallibility as the rest of the patriarchs of Scripture? That’s how bad things actually had gotten for the first century church. When has there ever been a time since that God had this kind of an impact on the earth?

As bad as the Jewish Holocaust was with Hitler and his slaughter houses, God never sent such a vision through such a means as this. Revelation was not intended to bring fear or worry to the church. It was to bring liberation and freedom and joy. What better way to do that than to send a true revelation of who Jesus is? But we who have not been through the unspeakable atrocities as what they went through, we take the most encouraging message that God ever sent at such an opportune time and we’ve religionized it into our own carnal mind-sets. And then we go so far as to dare anyone that would try to preach otherwise.

A Spoiled Nation?
Most of the Christian population, believe it or not, does not live in the United States. Most of the Christian population lives in daily persecution. We have so many privileges that we lose sight of the fact that many truly are dying a martyrs death. Places for example, like the nation of India. Did you know you have to be extremely guarded in how you preach the Gospel over there? Did you know if you’re not careful, you can easily get yourself killed for preaching the Word? India is not unique. There are many, many nations that are of the same mind-set. They want to kill Christians and anyone linked to Christianity all because we name the name of Jesus.

Again the reason for bringing this to light now is because persecution isn’t something the Bible teaches that’s going to come in the future. It’s here now and it was elevated then even more so than it is now. They had to literally hold their gatherings under the ground and in secret and in caverns. It was taught and actually instilled in the secular mind of that day that all Christians were cannibals. They literally thought they ate one another’s flesh and drank one another’s blood all because they misused the teaching of communion by Jesus.

Reason for Reminiscing
The reason it’s important to get all of this is so that when we read Scripture, we’ll take a huge note of the people Scripture was being written to. And we won’t read it as sound bites that we can pick apart and use here and there to make ourselves feel better for now. We read them for what they say and what they meant when they were written. As a result, it will keep things in their proper perspective. Revelation is a revealing of Jesus Christ in countless dimensions. To interpret it to say anything other than that is to rob God of the glory that he intended for us to give to him and him alone.

Similarity between Revelation 6 and Matthew 24
There’s a real similarity between what we find here in the sixth chapter of Revelation and what Jesus said in Matthew 24 concerning the signs of the end. But if you fail to see the similarities then you’re missing something now. Most people take Matthew 24 that the events Jesus is explaining things that are going to happen to our generation and in fact the reverse is actually true. It was actually being given to and for that specific generation and not so much as to ours today. He even went so far as to say that the events described will immediately come to them in that day. Those that were present before him then, not for something to happen 2,000 years later.

Back to the Four Horses – Law of First Mention
Before we can understand about the background of the four horsemen that we have heard so much about in Scripture. It’s important to go back to where they are originally introduced in Scripture. This is a study technique that really opens a lot of doors of understanding that are otherwise locked. It’s what theologians call the law of first mention. It’s to take a piece of Scripture that you’ve come across but don’t understand, and go to a concordance and trace it back to where it was first mentioned.

It is there that you’ll find the meaning of that situation or the pattern in which it originates from. Like doing a word study on lightening, or thunder . . . finding where they were first introduced and then what situations were unfolding when reference to them was used again. You’ll begin to see either the specific understanding, or the pattern leading to a spiritual understanding. Either way, it always has to start at the beginning of the order of things.

Wrong Context? Wrong Interpretation
So once I find the place where that was first mentioned, I follow it progressively through the rest of Scripture. In doing so, what happens is, you start to see a pattern when that word or phrase is utilized. But what so many do is they read something in Scripture and they immediately apply it either to their culture or their own experience. Something they can mentally relate to, and then with that, they interpret what’s being said. They have bits and pieces of passages and it gets all jumbled and confused. We don’t do it intentionally, it’s just the way we inherited the process.

So, let’s take a look at the origin of where these horses are at, Zechariah 6 and we’ll notice that this prophet is much like John in that he sees pictures of events unfolding. And it’s also clear, this time, he doesn’t know what they mean because we see him asked a question and he can’t answer. Remember, it’s a book of symbols not intended to be taken literally

Zec 6:
1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains [were] mountains of brass. Zec 6:2 In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; Zec 6:3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses. Zec 6:4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What [are] these, my lord? Zec 6:5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These [are] the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. Zec 6:6 The black horses which [are] therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country. Zec 6:7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth. Zec 6:8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.

Horses, Wind, Holy Spirit
We’ve already covered the fact that these horses depicted here are the same as the ones in Revelation. As we are going to look at, the idea of the white horse being the antichrist and not Jesus is not accurate and we’ll get into that later. But Zechariah is seeing symbols as well. In Revelation 6 we see four messengers symbolized as the four winds. We see elsewhere in Scripture where the wind is referred to as the Holy Spirit. Jesus states in John 3 he said concerning the Holy Spirit that no man knows where the wind blows.

Four cornered Altar
When Ezekiel sees the spirit come to the valley of dry bones in the vision that he had, it was the wind coming from the four corners of the earth. So what he’s seeing here is God’s chariots that are controlled by angels. If we were in an Ariel view, seeing the earth from God’s throne, or dimension, we would see that God sees the earth like a four-cornered altar. That’s why we see Scripture often refers to the four corners of the earth. On a compass there are four directions. There are four winds. God sees a four-cornered altar. In Revelation 7 we see these angels standing on the four corners, and their holding back the wind. They’re holding back destruction.

Judgement = Destruction to Unsaved, Purification to Saved
Again in Ezekiel, he refers to this. These winds seem to be understood as destruction when he says God would come in such a mighty wind and blow down their whited walls. So that’s the picture that we’re getting here. These horsemen are showing the means which God is releasing judgment to those that rejected Jesus. Looking at it historically, it’s the Judgment that is coming upon Israel and Jerusalem from the time it was prophesied, which means this is already a done deal. This is one area where people understand what they’ve been conditioned to understand and as a result, the majority of the church has applied this to something that is going to happen instead of something that has already happened.

Israel = Religious System
This is where it’s important to understand “when” Revelation was written. It was written approximately 30 years after Jesus died, was buried, and then resurrected that John was then given Revelation. It was also in that same period, with in a matter of years, that Israel was over run by the Romans and completely destroyed. Including the temple and all the religious customs they practiced up to that day. The reason this is so important to understand is because that religious system was the identity of Israel.

Turning Wine into Water
They had taken the laws of God, given through Moses to them, and they, being the religious sector of them, they developed laws so strict and deep into their culture that they literally identified their culture and lifestyle to the Mosaic laws. So much so that when Jesus came in the flesh, they couldn’t recognize him as the Messiah because they’d become so entrenched in the laws they’d made for themselves, even though, those laws originally came from God.

This has been touched on several times before but it’s so important to understand “why” Revelation was written when it was. Jesus came to establish his kingdom. This is what he told his followers even though they were looking for him to set up an earthly kingdom, he was establishing a spiritual one. But to establish one kingdom, there must be a doing away with the old one. That was what Jesus was trying to warn them about in Matthew 24. Because they rejected him and the new kingdom, that didn’t stop it from being established. That just brought judgement on them for embracing the law and rejecting the life.

Temple Identification
The temple sacrifices were evidence of the Old System. If Jesus was to remove the Old System with a New one, it would mean the removal of the evidence as well. Had they accepted Jesus as the Messiah, the temple may not have needed to be demolished completely. It could have been renewed, reformed, restructured, but the Jews would never go for that. The reason it all was destroyed, including the temple which has still never been rebuilt to this day, is because Israel rejected Jesus as the Son of God. On the last week of his life he’s crying. It’s when he cries out, Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . .

Matt. 23
37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me. 38 And now look, your house is left to you, empty and desolate. 39 For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, `Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!'* "

Ignorance is Not Bliss, it’s Horror and DestructionWithin a week of this incident, he’s taken by the guards, beaten and led before Pilate where the Jews, the religious representation of the nation of Israel Jews, cried out “crucify him and let his blood be upon us and our children.” They ignorantly called for that curse to come upon them and thirty years later that happened, the judgement came upon them and their children through the destruction of Israel by the Romans. It didn’t have to be that way. Had they simply repented and allowed the new kingdom to replace the old, the temple would still be standing today. There may have never even been a holocaust.

Warring? Or Resting?
The horsemen represent historical forces. We aren’t expected to be waiting for him to literally and physically come through physical clouds on a physical white horse. When he gave his last breath on the cross, he declared then and there, it is finished. There isn’t to be any more warfare on his part. It’s already done. We are to “rest” in the work that he’s already accomplished. We are to “release” his power through our words and actions because we “already have” the authority over the enemy. Many have taken Scripture and misinterpreted it’s meaning when it comes to many things. One of which is our responsibility to our fighting the good fight that Paul speaks of. If I am to rest in the finished work, then why is Paul telling me it’s a fight that I have to fight?

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:

Understanding Fighting to us, wasn’t “fighting” to Paul
When Paul said he had fought the fight and ran the race, it wasn’t a fight like we imagine it to be. In fact the translation of that seems to really twist the meaning quite a bit. The entire phrase actually is, “Fight the good fight.” Paul uses this phrase in two separate occasions in letters to Timothy. The first is an instruction for Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith”. The second is also to Timothy declaring that he, Paul had fought the good fight and was nearing the end of his earthly assignment. So what exactly is the fighting the good fight?

What Fighting a Good Fight Is to Me
In our terminology, fighting a good fight is closely linked with that of a boxing match. To fight a good fight is to punch the opponent’s lights out but to do it cleanly. In other words, no bending the rules such as head-butting, tripping, pushing, biting, what have you. But when we read this passage, that’s what most of us default to in understanding what Paul was saying. And in doing so, we vision ourselves as a boxer that has to put up a fight as he pounds the words of truth onto his neighbor. But in doing a little more digging on a couple key words there, I’ve found that the verse isn’t saying what we think it does.

First off, the word “fight” doesn’t mean to be contentious. It means get engaged, become involved. Get passionate about who you are in Christ. Actually the Greek word for fought is agonizomai {ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee}. Without being a Greek scholar, you can easily see the word is where we get our word “agonize” from. It’s like what Jesus wrote to one of the seven churches of Revelation about being lukewarm. It’s not a violent term as we think fighting is, it’s saying to live with a purpose in your life. Or live with life in your purpose may be a better way to look at it.

Fought - agonizomai {ag-o-nid'-zom-ahee
1) to enter a contest: contend in the gymnastic games
2) to contend with adversaries, fight
3) metaph. to contend, struggle, with difficulties and dangers
4) to endeavour with strenuous zeal, strive: to obtain something

Fight - Agon {ag-one'}
1) an assembly,
a) a place of assembly: especially an assembly met to see games
b) the place of contest, the arena or stadium
2) the assembly of the Greeks at their national games
a) hence the contest for a prize at their games
b) generally, any struggle or contest
c) a battle
d) an action at law, trial

One other word we overlook in this phrase is the word good. To fight a good fight. Paul “fought” a “good” “fight.” In order to understand what he really meant we need to also look up the simple word, “Good” in the original text to see what he actually said.

Good - kalos {kal-os'}
1) beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable
a) beautiful to look at, shapely, magnificent
b) good, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends
1) genuine, approved
2) precious
3) joined to names of men designated by their office, competent, able, such as one ought to be (ex. “Reverend” Johnson”)
4) praiseworthy, noble
c) beautiful by reason of purity of heart and life, and hence praiseworthy
1) morally good, noble
d) honourable, conferring honour
e) affecting the mind agreeably, comforting and confirming

So, to put these three words together, I have fought the good fight. This is not saying at all that we are to fight a fair fight like a boxing match, but that we are to get engaged in the ministry of God and join in with others in Christ – unify yourself with the body of Christ.

The good fight is simply the bride of Christ in her full radiance and God-given glory. Fighting the good fight is to passionately get involved with the Body of Christ. See how our interpretations can become so distorted? So, the horses in Revelation are not judgments that are yet to come, they are representing “historical” forces.

Whenever God sent forth horses in the Old Testament he’s bringing forth judgement. But again, this is judgement to the ungodly. The godly are already passed-over by the redemptive blood of Jesus. Now, if you have pictures in your home of Jesus riding through the clouds on a white horse with an army on either side of him, don’t go home and take it down. All we’re saying is, we’re not looking for that to physically happen. But by all means, it can be symbolic of his strength, power, judgment and majestic authority that was given to him through the process of willingly becoming the ultimate sacrifice of God for our sin. That’s still an awesome picture to hang on your wall.

Times “Past”, Not “Future”.
So, we’ve established what this white horse is and why it’s coming. Yet many people still hang on to the idea that these things are yet to happen. But the truth is, everything that we’ve talked about so far has already happened. It has prophetic and relevant significance to us now because truth is timeless, but everything we’ve read up to now has already happened. Even though the church is still teaching that we’ll be raptured away by this point, but again, we’ve taken our western mentality and tried to interpret an eastern message.

How do we know it’s already happened and isn’t something we’re to be seeing in the future? This is a loaded question that will take days and months to answer, and we’ve already established several reasons, but let’s take a closer look at another famous passage of Scripture that the church has used as it’s foundation to preaching these are things yet to happen.

He Walked out of the Temple - Symbolic
We either haven’t given it much serious thought or haven’t been taught ourselves of the fact that literally every motion and every gesture Jesus did and said had a spiritual meaning attached to it. Everything that he physically did had significance to it. So if you read the previous chapter leading up to this with that thinking in mind, then it becomes clear that this was all planned out by God ahead of time.

The Key is in the SeatT
he key to this chapter (23) is in verse 2 of Matthew 23. Jesus is addressing the seat of Moses. In other words, the position of anointed authority given to the church of that day. In chapter 23 we see Jesus “in” the church, dealing with the constant rebellion by the church against God and the prophets he sent ever since Abel. Since the day Cain murdered Abel, from that point on, the righteous blood held them accountable for the murders they committed to those that were simply relaying God’s word to them. Why were the murders of all those godly men being held against these few Pharisees and religious leaders today? Because they were of the same spirit of those that actually did the murdering.

Leaving the “Old System”
So in chapter 23, Jesus was “in” the temple reading to them the charges held against them as a result of their rejection of Him. When he walked out of the temple, keep in mind there is a spiritual meaning to virtually everything Jesus did, it symbolized Jesus “leaving” the Old System. His whole gesture of walking out of the temple was saying that he’d “walked out” of that previous order. For thousands of years the priests enforced the letter of the law through sacrifices and tithe and condemnation to those that didn’t participate, Jesus walked out of it.

Physical Rebuilding of the Temple?
As his disciples showed Jesus how impressive the temple was, it shows that they are caught up in the carnality of the church. Even today, there are literally hundreds of thousands that are also caught up in the rebuilding of this temple in Israel. It makes you wonder if they’ve ever read Hebrews chapter 9. Because to try to rebuild the temple is the worst affront to the blood of Jesus of anything that you could mention. There’s no need to rebuild a temple and re-institute sacrifices. It’s an insult to the blood of Jesus who died, once and for all.

Mat 24:1
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to [him] for to shew him the buildings of the temple. Mat 24:2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

The Church Still Isn’t Getting It
What’s going on here, before we go any further here, let’s make sure we understand the setting that’s leading into this famous passage supposedly pertaining to the Rapture and the Great Tribulation. Jesus has just pronounced all these woes on Israel while he was inside the temple because of their rejection of him. He’s addressed those that have abused the seat of Moses. The place of authority handed down by God. He then walks out of that system in the spirit - building in the flesh - and immediately, the disciples are intrigued and consumed by the abilities and talents of men. What a powerful picture. The system that Jesus just walked away from the disciples are still caught up in.

Disciples Aren’t So Pliable
Keep in mind, the disciples were present when Jesus said these things. Can you imagine being the follower of someone that has a completely different point of view that all of the rest of the church? How can the one who claims he is the church, be so different and have an opposite view of the church that he claims to be? This had to be a bit unnerving for the disciples. As they left the temple, their demeanor was quite likely very low-key. So they were sort of approaching Jesus with an attitude of perhaps he’d been a bit harsh with their church representatives.

See, I’ve always been taught that this was sort of a leisure walk they were doing, kind of a window shopping thing. And the disciples were just casually strolling along and they happened to walk by the temple and they sort of struck up a conversation about it’s beauty and awesome structure. But that’s not at all the case. They were just leaving the building where Jesus brought a scalding rebuke against it’s leaders and even the representatives of Israel as a whole. Then immediately following, they purposefully directed Jesus attention to the history of the building.

Motive Behind the Building
Again in looking up the original meaning of the word “building”. It’s not as we think. They weren’t just talking about the building itself, but they were talking about the “act” of building. In other words they were trying to get Jesus to think about the effort that was put into the building of such a great temple. It’s as though they quietly felt Jesus was being to abrasive with the leaders of the church. So as soon as they got alone outside the church, they were attempting to point out the commitment the builders must have had to design and create such an awesome structure. Not to mention all of the Old Testament patriarchs that had been a part of the church since Ezra.

Holy Lands; Another “Golden Calf”
Let’s take this a step further. Let’s ask the question of the possibility that we, the modern body of Christ, are still distracted by the physical artifacts that so many men are attracted to. For instance, when you hear the phrase “holy lands” what do you immediately think of? That’s right, Israel. Many travel there even today and they say as soon as they set foot on the very ground that Jesus once walked on and they even saw some of the same landscape and so on. And it “just brings them closer to Jesus.” Well, I don’t want to rain on your parade on the holy lands, but as we just saw here, those lands we call “holy” are actually lands that have been cursed.

Know You Not That YOU Are the Temple?
So what we are doing is, we’re going to where Jesus was, but we’re ignoring the fact that the inhabitants of the land rejected Jesus and crucified him. And we are glorifying that which has been cursed. So where is the holy land? It’s you. I would rather be in Japan in a room where God’s presence is so strong that I can hardly breathe, than to be on the very spot where Jesus walked out of the tomb. Are we splitting hairs? Well, considering the fact that we spend the majority of our time facing the wrong direction when the Spirit does move, you tell me.

The Pivotal Question of the Destruction of the TempleAfter the disciples approached Jesus about the architectural beauty of the temple, Jesus turns to them and instead of agreeing with their reasoning, he asked them a very weighty question. Don’t you realize that this structure that you’re so distracted and impressed with is going to be so demolished that not one stone will remain on top of the other? Now, here’s a question for you, do you think that he was “just” referring to a physical establishment? Given everything that has been stated on how everything Jesus said and did had spiritual significance, do you think he was just referring to the physical buildings around them?

Jesus First Visit in Ministry to the Temple
This isn’t the only passage Jesus was talking about destroying a temple. In fact, his very first introduction to the religious church was a violent one with a promise. But just as they had all through his entire life, the religious were trying to interpret his spiritual promise with a carnal mind.

John 2
13When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. 14He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength. 15Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. 16He told the dove merchants, "Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father's house into a shopping mall!" 17That's when his disciples remembered the Scripture, "Zeal for your house consumes me."18But the Jews were upset. They asked, "What credentials can you present to justify this?" 19Jesus answered, "Tear down this Temple and in three days I'll put it back together." 20They were indignant: "It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you're going to rebuild it in three days?" 21But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. 22Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.

Not Just a Walk in the Park
In the past, when I’ve read this passage, much of what’s being said gets missed due to the violent act that Jesus seems to perform. The way we’ve taught this, Jesus is walking into the temple and he sees these guys taking God’s spiritual law and using it for their own good and the act of him turning over the tables is somewhat a knee-jerk response. This translation calls the “money changers” loan sharks. This is an interesting term because in all the other translations, all they say is, money changers also. But I didn’t see the connection until I looked up the word in the original Greek.

Bankers and Loan sharks
Another word for a money changer is a banker. We again, interpret Scripture base on our western mentality and it gives it a whole different meaning when you realize a banker in that day was a loan shark in ours. In other words, these guys weren’t just taking large bills and breaking them down into smaller ones. They were selling animals for sacrifice for a profit. They were taking advantage of God’s laws for their personal gain.

Not a Knee-jerk Reaction
But the main point I want to get to is the fact that, from the time Jesus saw this going on, to the time where he actually drove them out, there was a considerable amount of time that transpired in between. How do we know this? Because it clearly states that he went and “made a whip with strips of leather”. That isn’t something you do in a matter of seconds. This action was a premeditated one. I also don’t think it was a coincidence either.

Water into Wine
Jesus had just performed his first miracle since his ministry began. He turned water into wine. The symbolism of that act is another powerful one. The clay pots represent us. We too are made of clay from the earth. The water-into-wine represents our spirits. We are changed from wells of stagnant water, into wells of “living,” “working,” “life-giving” spiritual wine.

Turning the Tables, it Was Planned
The turning of the tables is also a powerful symbol of the fact that Jesus was making a statement to the church that he was coming to turn the church upside-down. The process of establishing his kingdom meant a doing-away with the old while making a way for the new. This was the first introduction the church of the day had with this Jesus. And as we all know so well, it’s not to be the last.

The Connections Between Jesus and the Temple
When Jesus was born, I found it interesting that it wasn’t in the company of anyone from the temple. Yet that is where much of his kingdom is established at. But because they were so steeped in their own self-serving laws, when Jesus did come, he went as far away from the religious enforcers that he possibly could and found comfort in a stable with the animals. Creatures that find no condemnation in anything or anyone.

Yet as soon as his ministry begins, we see him setting a precedence of telling the world, he’s here to be our kinsman redeemer and set the church on it’s ear in the same motion. Then when he gave his last breath on the cross, it again, was away from the church. Even though it was the church that organized this crucifixion. Yet at the same time, when Jesus died, his death affected the very heart of the church in the severing of the veil in front of the ark.

Zeal for the House
This is also setting a precedence in that Jesus was stressing the worth of having an effective house of God in your life. We are all temples now. We all should have the same understanding that “we” are the house of prayer. Jesus would later say that in his Father’s house are many rooms (some translations say mansions), but the house in it’s entirety is a house of prayer, with many realms within. His house is a spiritual house. He’s already gone and prepared a place for us on the Cross so that where he is, we now have the ability to also be.

Last edited by cross-eyed on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

2 Tape Nine Part 2 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:51 pm



Not to Get Physical Confused with Spiritual

That’s why Jesus had such Zeal for the house. It’s not a physical temple Jesus was passionate about. It was the spiritual one. Because they were trying to profit themselves from God’s laws, Jesus could see their wicked hearts and that is what he was driving out. They’d established a warped and twisted version of what God’s house really was and Jesus went in with the whip and not only drove them out, but turned their tables, their personal agendas completely upside down in the process.

"Tear down this Temple and in three days I'll put it back together

Setting a Spiritual Table
Here is the pinnacle as to why Jesus was in the temple in the first place. He was preparing the table so to speak, for his complete work to be finished on the cross. This is the core of our Easter celebration. It’s not about bunnies, colored chicken eggs, and candy. That’s the carnal man’s idea of celebrating life. But it’s about the dimensions of the redemption process. Jesus Death, Burial and Resurrection are the focal points of Jesus’ reason for coming in the first place. He came to die, yes, but more importantly, he came to resurrect.

Law – vs. - Grace
He stands in the temple and begins to establish his kingdom by proclaiming to the ones accountable for sustaining the Old system that it’s not law that gains your entrance into God’s throne, it’s the gift of salvation through grace. This thing Jesus states here is a very deep concept and it goes way over their heads, evidence again that they know nothing of walking in the Spirit. He was again, talking with spiritual tones and they were trying to interpret him through carnal understanding.

Disciples Didn’t Get it Either, Yet.
This one really threw the religious for a loop. At this point, I’m confident in saying that I don’t think the disciples knew what he meant by that at the time he said it anymore than the priests did. It says that it wasn’t until he was crucified that they remembered this incident where he’d rebuild it in three days that they understood what it actually meant. This is a great example for us to always remember when we are out there planting the seeds. Just because the understanding isn’t fully matured at the time of the planting, is not reason for us to throw up our hands and conclude it’s too hard for us to understand. Revelation requires time for growth and maturing. Time to grow from our hearts to our heads.

Planting Seeds is a Prophetic Work
Jesus was fully aware that the ones he was preparing to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth after he was already gone, they didn’t understand what he was saying either. But the important thing here is the fact that that fact didn’t change a thing. Jesus was planting the seeds of life that would later bear the fruit. We need to be aware of the same thing and not be discouraged if our seeds don’t appear to be taking root when we first plant them. These things didn’t come to their understanding until literal years had passed. It wasn’t until after the death, burial and resurrection that the disciples then understood the words that Jesus spoke to them.

So, What “Was” His Authority?
It’s becoming more and more apparent that even though Jesus was speaking to the religiously bound church, his words seem to be more for the benefit of those that were actually following him. The ones steeped in religion never understood it when he said it, and they never understood it later. They literally died in their ignorance to his words of life. In this case, the Jews were demanding to know on what authority did Jesus have to drive out the greed of the people. His response? Resurrection life is all the authority needed. Jesus “is” the third day. He “is” the Sabbath day.

Physical Temple = Religious System
Just as we saw in the beginning statements, we see the same pattern again here. When Jesus spoke about the temple being destroyed, we now understand he wasn’t just talking about the temple itself, but he was talking about the entire religious system. That’s what the temple was operating under, the entire activity around and in the temple all had to do with observing the letter of the law, the law was the identity of the temple, which was the identity of the nation of Israel as a whole. And again here, when he says that “they” can destroy the temple and he’ll rebuild it, we know he wasn’t referring to the physical temple because “they” were defending and protecting it, not destroying it.

Temple Transitional Transformation

The problem was, they’d already destroyed it because of their blindness and hard-hearted reaction to Jesus. But that still wasn’t the point that Jesus was making. He was talking about himself as the temple. There is a transition happening before their very eyes and they are blind to it because of the laws of religion. The transition is the temple moving from a physical structure built of mortar and straw, into a temple of the spirit instilled into the hearts of flesh. We all are temples where the Spirit of God resides. More than just temples, within everyone of us is a holy of holies where the spirit rests between the two witnesses in our hearts. One witness is our spirit, the other is our soul. When one sings praises to the other about the greatness of God, It creates the atmosphere for the spirit to live permanently.

They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.

God of Balance
Of all the things that jumped out, this one seemed to get the most attention of my spirit. Once the disciples pondered on these things, the Holy Spirit came to their aid and helped them put the pieces together and revelation knowledge was then given to them of the true meaning of what Jesus was trying to get across. He is the spiritual temple and instead of destruction, he is the Life. But the point here is, as they put these things together, something entirely different happened. They believed both what was written and what was spoken.

Churches of Extremes
What’s the big deal about that? Why, it’s the root of the cancer that’s in so many churches today. So many of us will defiantly stand on the Word and reject those that relate in the spirit. While others get defensive toward the things of the Spirit and in the process, they take away the emphasis of the importance of the Word. Both are right and both are wrong. But because both are wrong, neither of them have complete freedom. The reason both are wrong is because neither of them have the proper balance. We are to believe “both what is written and what is spoken.”

His Ways of Communication Go Beyond Our Ways of Reception
God speaks to us through is Word in a most powerful way. We can even use Scripture in our prayers as we move out in our intercession for others. But God also speaks to us through the spirit which is where it gets a bit hazy for some because the Spirit speaks in many forms. He obviously speaks through the Word that’s already been written by way of Scripture. But he also speaks through the other avenues that God has given to the church body. This is the 5-fold ministry. God speaks through Apostles, prophets, evangelists, Pastors and teachers. These areas are God-given ministries of authority to mature the body. But there are many other areas that are not necessarily designated as ministries that are just as important. Scripture also tells us to confess our sins one to another.

Those that are solid on believing the Holy Spirit speaks primarily through the Word agree with this easy enough because these areas of ministry are “in” the Word. But it’s the other areas that we get tangled up in as to whether or not the Spirit can speak through it. Such as, books other than the Bible. Songs on a radio, or even hymns. Magazines and articles that anointed men and women write about the things of God. But this is just a dinky list to what the Spirit can use. He uses Newspaper headlines. Billboards and bumper-stickers.

He uses current events. He even speaks through the ungodly without their knowing if he so chooses. He uses creation itself to speak to us. He uses what ever is at his disposal to get our attention. It’s our responsibility to be alert enough to hear and see him all around us in all that we think, say and do. If he can use a chicken to raise Peter’s awareness of his acts, or a donkey to speak to Balaam, there’s no end or limit to what he can and will use to get his message through to us.

Recap and addressing the laws that were fulfilled
So to recap on all of this, Jesus was also referring to the Old Testament System when he alluded to the stones of the temple being scattered abroad. That’s also what he was talking about when he said that he’s come to fulfill the law. By the time he was finished in doing what he came to do, not one stone, or law or piece of the structure of the old system would be left standing. Not one. There are some that believe Jesus came to do away with some laws while reinforcing others. That is a misleading interpretation of what Jesus did and who he was. This is a great passage to show that. Not one stone would be left in it’s original place after the judgement came.

Many are Called But Is Judgement a Bad Thing?
Just to throw this in here on Judgement . . .again a question . .is judgement a bad thing? If judgement didn’t come to the priests and all of Israel, then Jesus kingdom could not be established. It was bad for those that rejected Christ, but it didn’t have to be that way. All they had to do was choose Christ. It’s all their choice. Jesus said many are called but few are chosen. The reason being is because those that are called, reject him so that they can not be chosen to live in him.

Why did all of this happen? Why did Jesus unleash his contempt toward the religious in their own establishment? John put it best when he says in 11:1 Jesus came unto his own and they received him not. Jesus even asked his disciples “Who to people say that I am?” and they had all kinds of different answers because even though he walked and preached and healed and delivered hundreds of thousands, they didn’t recognize him as the Messiah. The rejected him because they didn’t know him! They were sold to their religion instead of his life! They were entrenched in their own understanding of what the temple was for instead of realizing it’s not what it’s for that matters as much as where it’s from! If you recognize where it’s from, you become effective in what it’s for.

Mat 24:3
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

We Were Misled
Oh boy, where do I even begin here. This is a verse that appears to have been skimmed over thousands of times from thousands of pulpits. This is the great question that many have started their teachings, theologies, sermons, theses, doctrines and denominations from when referring to the end time events. The reason I say “skimmed over” is because if you read it slow and also “read out” instead of “reading in” to what is being said, you can then see that the answer Jesus is giving is not intended to be connected with the rapture of the church or the Great Tribulation of the world. Keep in the context.

He Never Said We Were Leaving
They just left from the temple where Jesus said not one stone will be left on top of another and now they’re on the mount of Olives, a favorite hangout of Jesus. But that statement loomed over them like smoke out of a canon. It really shook the disciples so when they re-gathered themselves, they asked the question specifically about that incident. Jesus was not talking about the church being caught up. In fact, in his entire ministry, never did he state anything about the church being removed . .ever.

End of the “Era” Not the World
The king James has again misinterpreted the original Greek word that was used. The King James word for “world” is actually meant to be “age”. Jesus wasn’t trying to tell them the answer to their pressing question about when the temple would be destroyed was actually an end to the world, but simply an end of an era. What era? He just said it in the previous chapter. The time of accountability has come to where the blood of the righteous from Abel to Zechariah has come to “this” generation and not one stone will be left on top of another in the Old religious system. That’s what the temple represented, the old system of blood sacrifice. That was the age that was coming to an end.

Judgement is Justice for All. Redemption for Believer, Destruction for Non
He came to fulfill the old religious system once and for all. Judgement had come but it wasn’t intended as destruction. It was intended to be freedom. But because of their rejection to the most important key, the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, what was freedom to the righteous became horror and destruction to the rebellious. And yet they act as though they don’t deserve the outcome when the fact is, every one of us deserve that kind of judgement. But because we’ve simply accepted by faith that Jesus is the Son of God, our kinsman redeemer, we have been spared from the destruction that we deserve.

Mat 24:4
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. Mat 24:8 All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.

This is the Result of the Curse They Called Upon Themselves.
The “ye” in verse 6 is not referring to us, it’s referring to the disciples he’s speaking to. He’s not speaking in symbols about our generation, he’s trying to be as plain as he can to that generation because they still don’t get the fact that the old religious system is going to be destroyed. And to destroy the system, the caretakers of the old system are going out with it. And because they have violently defended the law, they will violently be removed. That’s God’s justice. It’s not condemnation, it’s just an observational fact.

Beginning of Sorrows
Notice also in verse 8 it says it’s the “beginning” of sorrows. See, on the one hand, we preach it’s the end of the world when these things happen. Even though, as we’ve covered, it’s not the end of the world but an era or an age. But secondly, if it’s the end of the world as we’ve preached, we will also have to ignore this verse as well because it’s talking about this being the “beginning” of sorrows. It’s a bit hard to make it all fit when you’re preaching the end of the world and it’s speaking of the beginning of something else. The wars he’s speaking of are not for us, it’s directed toward the first century. It’s the “beginning” that they’re seeing. Surely we are definitely seeing an increase of things, but “then” it was the “beginning”.

Mat 24:9
Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

The “you” is “them” who will be delivered up. This is the persecution they went through by the hand of the Roman empire that we’ve been emphasizing so much. In truth, the destruction of Israel was just the beginning of the sorrows. Israel and all Christians became the prime target for unspeakable horror for the next 300 years catastrophic things were carried out against the Christian church.

Mat 24:10
And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

In All the World, the Gospel “Was” Preached
See, we’ve again preached this as something that hasn’t happened yet. But if you read the book of Acts, it will tell you that there were some that even came out and said they’ve turned the whole world upside down. So I looked up the term, “world upside down” and I found this to be true in Acts 17:6. This time, the word “world” is a different Greek word than what was used before when referring to “age”. The definition for the word here is

1) the inhabited earth
a) the portion of the earth inhabited by the Greeks, in distinction from the lands of the barbarians
b) the Roman empire, all the subjects of the empire
c) the whole inhabited earth, the world
d) the inhabitants of the earth, men
2) the universe, the world

As you can see, he’s not speaking about an age, but the physical earth. Isn’t that powerful!! The stuff Jesus was prophesying has actually already happened. By 300 years after Christ, Christianity was known around the world. And the degree of persecution the first century church experienced the beginning of, ended. There have been obvious flare-ups, but never since A.D. 70 and 300 years out from that, has the persecution ever been so great. Even Hitler’s holocaust was not as bad as the first century church experienced the horror. That just gives you a small piece of just how bad things really were then.

If you think about it, what happened to the Jews with Hitler actually is different in that they were foreigners in another land that considered as being “cleansed”. With A.D. 70, the Jews were in their own land being annihilated and driven out of what was originally theirs. That is one difference between the holocaust and A.D. 70, but more importantly, the holocaust was not based on bringing down any religious system, it was simply hatred.

Mat 24:15
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Mat 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Jesus hasn’t changed the time frame. We’ve lost the effectiveness of God’s word through the traditions of men. All we are doing is reading what Jesus said as the answer to their question. “When, and what sign.”

Mat 24:18
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. Mat 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! Mat 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Simply Answering Their Question
Again, the Great Tribulation, he does not say anything about a seven year period. The Tribulation he’s speaking about is what’s coming in 70 A.D. How do we know this? Because they just asked the question about when the temple is going to be destroyed. He’s simply answering their question concerning the temple. This is not to be taken as a prophetic word for 2000 years later. Remember, the reason why he came in the first place is to establish his kingdom under the New Covenant. This is all part of if. And in the next verse we’re about to read, the elect he’s referring to is the church, not Israel.

Mat 24:22
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Mat 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

The Sign of the Beginning
All these things, Jesus said would happen in their generation. What is the sign that great tribulation starts? What was the first sign? The destruction of the temple. Jesus said the great tribulation is coming and the first sign you’ll see in knowing it’s here is the destruction of the temple. The ending of an old order and the beginning of a new. The reason why God was abandoning that temple is because he was moving into a new one. “Know ye not that ye are temples of the Holy Ghost?” No longer was he going to live in a temple made by man’s hands. But he was going to live in a temple made without human hands. He’s moving into our hearts.

Mat 24:25
Behold, I have told you before. Mat 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, [he is] in the secret chambers; believe [it] not. Mat 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

The False Prophets of That Day
There were many false prophets in those days that were claiming to be the son of God. We want to again take these things out of context and apply them to actual men of our day who were guilty of leading hundreds of people to their deaths with the false teaching of their cults. Jim Jones is one that stands predominantly out in my mind. But leave it in the context. Don’t eat the blood with the flesh, they’re separate on purpose. Understand who it’s written to, then apply the principle to yourself, not the letter of the story, but the principle, there’s a difference. There were many in the first century that were out to deceive and destroy the church. So much so that Jesus needed to give for-warning about them.

We weren’t there, and unless we either do a study on the history of Israel ourselves, or have someone instruct us, we would never know that there were 10 Caesars that covered a span of 300 years that all claimed “they” were the one and only God to worship. Paul and John both devoted much of their time and energy in warning the church against false prophets and teachers because they were running rampant in the church due to these men that claimed they were God and all praise should be given to them.

Scripture Proves it Had Already Started
But that’s not just in the history books. That’s also in the New Testament. In Acts 12:2, there’s a story of a man named Herod that gave a speech and the crowds chanted that he was God and he kept their praise and as a result, he was killed by an angel and he was eaten by worms. The decisions you make in the physical affect the spiritual which in turn, affect the physical. Herod’s choice to agree that he was God caused a spiritual reaction which stopped his heart from beating on the spot. But the overall point is, it is evidence of the fact that there were many who not only rejected Jesus as the Messiah, but they claimed themselves to be the ones of his authority. They declared they were Gods and demanded to be treated as such.

Speed of Lightning
Next, the lightning. We’ve used that analogy to preach that the rapture is going to happen in the blink of an eye. But look at where the focus is on this verse. It’s not on the speed of the lightning, all though that does play a role, but it’s pointing to the fact that the brightness of the lightning will be seen from all over. This is an analogy of the speed and coverage of the spread of the Gospel. Paul said to preach who? Jesus and him alone crucified. Faith “comes” by hearing. When the gospel was preached, Jesus did come to us at a lightning speed. Again, look at the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit didn’t stay in Israel, he went across the globe at lightning speed! There was a global revival that literally changed the world within one generation’s time.

Clouds of Scripture
In verse 29, what is the first word in that verse? Immediately. That’s not the second coming. Remember we talked about the Old Testament passages that speaks of when clouds are involved, it’s dealing with judgement. Hebrews says that “we” are encompassed by a great “cloud” of witnesses. Who’s that referring to? He was talking about all the saints who’d gone on before us and are now a cloud of witnesses around us in the heavenly dimension. Jude speaks about false teachers as clouds without water. We need to understand the Biblical language.

Mat 24:29
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Stars of Symbolism
If the Great Tribulation isn’t a 7-year time period like we’ve been taught all these years, then what is it? You’ve just read what it was. It was the judgement brought upon Israel for rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. This is the complete essence of the message Jesus was delivering to his listeners in Matthew 24. The reference here to the sun, moon, and stars is from the dream of Joseph way back in Genesis. In his dream, the sun was his father, Jacob . .who’s name was changed to Israel.

The moon was his mother and the 12 stars were the 12 tribes of Israel. So this entire reference is not talking about the sun and moon literally becoming black. You know, if that were to take place literally, no man could survive because it’s the light of the sun that keeps the earth at a livable temperature. If it were to lose it’s light literally as we preach, that would altar the entire system of the earth and that alone would completely kill every living thing. We’d all freeze to death.

The day judgment came to the nation of Israel because of their rejection of Christ as their redeemer, the nation was darkened and gave no light. Israel became the desolate place Jesus spoke of as he cried a prayer over the city of Jerusalem.

The “Signs” of His Coming
Next, the powers of heaven shall be shaken. That is speaking of the Old religious system. It was completely shaken to the very core. Next, the coming of the son of man. See, we’ve skipped one little word in that phrase all these years. The word “sign”. Then shall come the “sign” of the son of man. All these things are “signs” which means they’re not to be taken literally, but symbolically. And the sign that’s to a appear is not on the earth, but where? In heaven. The sign is spiritual, not physical

Political Uprising of the Church and State
The nation of Israel began to fall apart after Jesus left. When he ascended into heaven, civil war had broken out over the next 40 years like we’d never heard or seen. We’re not just talking about the Romans, but also intense political factions. We’ve heard about the Pharisees and the Saducees that were constantly at each other’s throats on doctrines and beliefs. But there are others.

The Herodians and the Zealots are two other political parties. The Zealots were so radical that they were commonly known to walk through the cities with hidden daggers searching for Herodians. One of the disciples, Simon was a Zealot, (Mark 3:18) A Herodian was a Jew, but considered as a compromising Jew. He emphasized the political Israel. He’d do anything he felt he needed to do to be politically correct with the Roman government.

What Actually Happened Then?
Zealots would search them out and kill them in the streets of Jerusalem. They were like terrorists. The reason why Jerusalem was totally destroyed in 70 A.D. is because there was a Roman general by the name of Titus that was sent by the government to keep the civil war and unrest among the Jewish people. But by the time he got there, the civil war was so intense that it turned out to be a full fledged war. In the end, the entire city was burned to the ground, especially the temple.

In the first day, just around the temple, there were 4000 Jews killed and they were literally stacked up on top each other as high as a horse’s bridle. Does that sound familiar? Rev 14:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs. Josephus recorded this very thing in the history books.

Why is all of this happening? Why is this devastation coming on. Why is all of this destruction and tribulation happening? Why is the great temple being destroyed. Why are there false prophets popping up all over the landscape? In fact, that is the dominant theme of apostle Paul’s letters and also John’s letters. Revelation 2 speaks about Jezebel who called herself a prophetess and seduced the people of God. (The tail of the dragon “drawing” 1/3 of the stars. 3 dimensions. 1/3rd here could be resembling the flesh)

The reason why I’m relating all of these things to that time frame is because we have had all of this stuff programmed into our thinking that it’s futuristic and we’re looking in the wrong places for the wrong things. It does have relevance for us today, but again, like I said at the very beginning, to understand what it truly means, you first need to understand what it pertained to historically. Only then can you apply it to what is happening prophetically as well as futuristically.

Biblical Earthquakes
Why was all of this going on then? Why was there famines, wars, rumors of wars, pestilences, earth-quakes, wait a minute. Earthquakes? I don’t remember an earthquake being in the New Testament. Actually, there was. What happened when Jesus said “it is finished?” There was an earthquake so powerful that it got everyone’s attention even on a day as memorable as Jesus crucifixion. But God didn’t send the earthquake just to make a special effect. It symbolized something. An earthquake is the result of faulty foundations that collapse and shift and grind when under pressure. You can’t build on them because they’re unreliable.

Under the crust of the earth there are what we call “foundational plates”. Psalms says the foundations of the earth are out of course. Sometimes we see these manifest in the natural, all the while, the reason we see them in the natural is due to the fact that the same thing is happening spiritually. One of the bigger earthquakes in the late nineties that we experienced had it’s epicenter right in the exact location where the capital of the pornography distribution center is located. The reason why is because God was bringing judgement

Other Places Where the Earth Quaked
When the veil ripped as Jesus was crucified, it was due to the spiritual foundational shift. There was a coming of a new covenant to replace the Old. When Jesus was raised from the dead, there was another earthquake. It caused the stone to be rolled away even though Jesus didn’t actually need an earthquake to move the stone so he could get out, he moved the stone so we could get in. But the point is, the work was finished then. When Paul and Silas were in prison when there was another earthquake that happened at midnight. That wasn’t by coincidence either. It was the moving into anther day. The transitioning from one period into another. Freedom from bondage came at the end of an old day and the beginning of a new.

Physical Manifestation, Spiritual Reality
God didn’t send the earthquake just to open the doors of the prison, it was a physical manifestation of a spiritual reality. We have to think with our spirit and not with our carnal mind. So when they saw the destruction of the temple, they were the unfortunate ones that saw the sign of the coming of the Son of man. That sign was not in the form of a physical man like we’ve been taught. That sign was the destruction, bloodshed, slaughter and almost the elimination of an entire nation. Why would God do such a thing? He didn’t. They are the ones that rejected Jesus and then called the curse to be upon them and their children.

Misunderstood Tribulation
The sign of the son of man came in clouds of judgement in the form of a Roman army. It has already happened. The so-called Great Tribulation had come upon them. Does that mean there’s no tribulation now? Absolutely not. We’ve been in tribulation ever since we’ve accepted Christ into our hearts. Acts 14:22 tells us that in order for us to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we too “must” experience “much” tribulation. Many in the church pray against the trials and tribulations that we experience from our day to day lives. But to pray that is to pray against the truth of Scripture. Growth comes from tribulation and we shouldn’t pray against it, we should pray for strength to get through it.

Acts 14.
21After proclaiming the Message in Derbe and establishing a strong core of disciples, they retraced their steps to Lystra, then Iconium, and then Antioch, 22putting muscle and sinew in the lives of the disciples, urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit, making it clear to them that it wouldn't be easy: "Anyone signing up for the kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times."

Reality of Being Literal
So, what about the Sun and the moon and the stars? Now, let’s think about our theology on this again. We’ve been taught that in the last days, during the Great Tribulation, that the sun and stars will all fall out of the sky and land on the earth. Right? Well, if that’s actually the situation, how do they expect to get all the stars in all the galaxies out there to all fit on the planet?

Especially since there are countless stars out there that are bigger then the earth to start with. So am I waiting to see the stars fall out of the heavens onto the earth? That’s not what it means. Again, realizing that if the sun varied just a couple degrees, the life on earth would either freeze solid or melt from the extreme heat. But the truth is, the sun, moon and stars have always represented Israel.

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

Peace Removed
This is a horse of war, right? He had the power to take peace. Now understand that God doesn’t actually insight men to take each other’s lives, but he does command the angels to remove peace that’s been established in the spiritual realm and that has an immediate affect on those living in the physical. In fact, Jesus said himself in Matthew 10 when he’s talking about intentions for his coming, he said he didn’t come to bring peace, even though he’s the prince of peace, but he’s coming to take peace away. To set daughters against mothers and sons against fathers.

The Blood of the Jews
But he’s taking away false peace. The red represented blood, but not the blood of Christ. It represented the blood of Israel. Remember these horses were released at the sound of thunder, or judgment or a change of an unseen foundation below the surface of life. So this red horse isn’t redemptive so much as it is justice. And the sword reveals how the blood would be shed. It would come from the hands of their fellowman. It was the Romans that slaughtered the Jews in 70 A.D.

Revelation 6
5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

The Famines
We’ve been taught that this passage was referring to the famine we would experience because those that were left behind after the Rapture and didn’t’ take the mark of the beast wouldn’t be able to eat or buy food with out it. But the black horse is a symbol of famine, that part is true, it’s just not connected to the mark of the beast or a seven year tribulation. If we again, read the history, we’d see that food was so scarce during the first century days that even the Romans would storm in the houses of the Jews and take their food so they too could simply survive.

Revelation 6
I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

Dealing With the Ungodly, Which Also Appear SuccessfulIt took a whole day’s labor to get one measure of wheat, which is comparable to one man’s daily measure. The oil and the wine doesn’t necessarily mean what we’ve been taught it to mean all our lives. God in every generation has controlled the wicked by putting them in situations that require more energy in just surviving that they can’t exercise ungodly dominion over the earth any more. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, God’s pattern is often never noticed unless one has a trained eye to watch for them. Scripture calls that “walking in the Spirit”.

The Oil and the Wine
The oil and the wine, when related to Old Testament passages, often is dealing with God’s people. You can have oil and wine with no oats or barley and still survive, but not the other way around. You need to have oil to cook the oats and barley. So this is an encouragement to those in unspeakable persecution to understand that as bad as things are, they will survive because they are being divinely protected. The wine and oil, when we see it elsewhere in Scripture, it’s referring to the Spirit and the Spirit’s anointing. When it’s used here, it’s dealing with those who “accepted” the spirit of what God did and those whom God anointed as his own.

Psa 104:15
And wine [that] maketh glad the heart of man, [and] oil to make [his] face to shine, and bread [which] strengtheneth man's heart.

Joe 2:19
Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:

Joel 2:24
And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.

Hag 1:11
And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon [that] which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

Oil and wine represent flourishing health. It symbolizes the fatness of the land, but again in revelation, it’s not the physical or carnal that this verse is referring to, but it’s to the health of the spiritual church. Saving the Oil and the Wine is affirming that even though, famine is going to be released, the spirits of men will be protected in this time of great suffering.

A Historical Account
Josephus records the events first-hand that took place during the destruction by the Romans. Josephus is not a self-claiming prophet or priest. He is a historian. The writings by him are documented as history, not divinity. I’m saying that so you understand that I understand his words are not considered to be part of Scripture, but they can be considered an accurate account of someone that experienced these things first-hand.

He writes, “As the famine grew worse, the frenzy of the insurgents kept pace with it. Since there was no grain to be seen, men would break into houses and find small, minor amounts and they mistreated the occupants for having denied they had any and they tortured others when they couldn’t find any, accusing the occupants of lying when the reality was, they were starving just as much as the rest of them.

They judged them by how healthy they appeared. They would torture only those that were apparently healthy and pass over those that were wasting away. For it seemed pointless to kill people that would soon die of starvation. Many secretly bartered their possessions for a single measure of wheat if they happened to be rich, barley if they were poor. They would then eat their food underground and in the darkest corners of their homes, guided by the necessity of fear.

Revelation 6
7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Rev 6:9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Rev 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled

9When he ripped off the fifth seal, I saw the souls of those killed because they had held firm in their witness to the Word of God. They were gathered under the Altar, 10and cried out in loud prayers, "How long, Strong God, Holy and True? How long before you step in and avenge our murders?" 11Then each martyr was given a white robe and told to sit back and wait until the full number of martyrs was filled from among their servant companions and friends in the faith.

The Vast Destruction of the Curse
Now, earlier there was a reference to the wine and the oil. These are symbolisms. This entire passage is all about a curse that Jesus had already paid the price for, but the Jews rejected what he did and they called for the curse that was on him, to be on them. This is so important to understand. Revelation is a revealing of the price that Jesus paid, but the Jews declared to reject his payment and they called for the penalty to land on them. This gives us just a brief window of the kind of pain and suffering that Jesus went through “for” our sin. It’s the same curse. How do you know that?

Because Jesus “poured out” his “blood” for the redemption of all sinners. But their declaration was, instead of accepting what Jesus did, they rejected his offer and they said let “his blood” be upon us and our children. The blood that he willingly gave to remove the curse of sin, they released that curse upon themselves. The magnitude of that curse is astounding. Jesus, one man, took that curse upon himself. When an entire nation declared the curse to be on them, it slaughtered them all!! Are you seeing the vastness of what this is all about? What is redemption for those that accept what he did, is a curse for those that don’t. As I think of this, I also think of the demons that were in one man, when Jesus sent them out, they entered into an entire herd of pigs and drove them over a cliff to their death. There seems to be a connection here.

Souls Under the Altar.
When reading this part of the souls crying out “how long?” Who does this sound like it could be? They’re obviously martyrs. They are the ones that were murdered for the cause of Christ. They aren’t crying out how much longer are they going to have to remain where they are. But they are crying out how much longer is this kind of persecution going to continue before the end of it finally comes. It’s similar to the passage in Hebrews that speaks about Able’s blood crying out from the ground to God for justice. There were thousands upon thousands of people that were dying daily in the first century from the horror of the evil men in power of that day because of their hatred for Christians in general.

We Aren’t Like They Were
These Christians are not like the modern ones of our nation today that have never experienced the bloodshed and absolute slaughter of family members all because of our faith in God. These guys were just as human as we are and they needed to have some kind of encouragement so they wouldn’t go into a state of permanent depression or even shock. That’s why John says at the very beginning that anyone who reads and keeps these words in this book will be blessed.

They’re not like us who can’t sit in our padded chairs in an air-condition building but can’t listen to an hour message because we’re so interested in getting out of here and filling our stomachs. They’re not like us Christians in the 20th century that can’t stand one hour of worship. They’re not like many of us who get out of our heated homes and get into our $20,000 vehicles and go to our jobs where we make $50,000 a year and drive home at night and flop down on our couch. They have absolutely no concept of our life-style just as we have no concept of theirs.

These are people that if it’s known for a second of who they are as Christians, they are immediately drug into the streets and their heads are cut off. Or they are thrown into a cell until some diabolical mind comes along and puts a hideous plan into motion as to how they are going to be tortured until they’re dead.

Are We Living in Our Own Little Bubble?
Is it our fault we’re born in a free nation? Are we to be held responsible for the horrors of others that were not as fortunate as we? No. But there are so many that are caught up on their own little universe that it warps the truth that was intended to bring freedom and blessing. Our narrow-mindedness has turned it into religion.

Are we aware that the Christians in the free nations are nothing but a fraction of the church as a whole? Are we aware that the majority of the Christians are in areas where they still have to remain underground because if their faith is in the open, they’re thrown into prisons? Before we can effectively interpret the Word of God, we need to understand the setting from which it was originally written.

To some, this may sound like condemnation, but we again need to understand the difference between condemnation and truth. There is no condemnation in what I’ve said. No one is being judged and belittled here. But discipline isn’t a pretty thing and when we become lax in our faith and understanding, it affects our walk and growth. God needs to prune us so that we can produce even greater fruit so that we can become even more affective in reproducing after His kind and not our own. This is not a negative message. This is a positive message. There is coming a day when judgement is coming to the modern church of our day.

God, Let Me Be Awake and Aware
If you are ready for it and you’re prepared as God sends you a Pastor that is willing to give you the truth straight while everyone else is being lulled to sleep through words of religion and doctrine by telling you we’re either going to get out of here or not go through it or both. It’d be an insult to the 1st century church.

There are missionaries just a hundred years ago that packed their belongings in coffins when they traveled from here to abroad because they didn’t expect to return. There’s too much easy believism today. There’s too much casual Christianity in our day. One of the best things God could do for this country is let our economic system collapse.

Success is measured on the things I have acquired and the Bible tells us that success is not to be measured by the abundance of things. Jesus had no place to lay his head. By the time he went to the cross, he’d given it all away.

Government of Stars
Sun, moon and stars, you can read about them in the vision of Joseph They represent the nation of Israel, not the literal sun, moon, and stars like we’ve been taught. The stars are the governments that have preceded but God is going to bring them down. Mountains and Islands speak of the kingdom of this world. Isaiah says “let us go into the mountain of the Lord, most high God. That day he shall establish in the top of his mountains.” The mountains speak to the kingdoms of this world.

Reflections Aren’t Always Appreciated
We’ve even conditioned ourselves to thinking that all our church services should send us home feeling high and wonderful. I would rather go out sometimes with a feeling of challenge and conviction. Instead, we should thank God for illuminating the truth of the condition of our hearts sometimes.

The fact that we tend to become lethargic and sluggish reveals that often times we are on the spirit of this world rather than the spirit of heaven. Thank you God that you put me under a word that’s so strong that it causes me to see how callused I am and thank you for sending someone to blow the trumpet of truth to wake me up out of my spiritual slumber. And cause me to see and understand that like this world I can go to sleep like Samson with Delilah and fall asleep and have the harlot system cut off my glory and I wake up without realizing your power has left me.

So God’s moving and sending such an alteration and adjustment. These seals are opening now as they were then, but not for the purpose of destroying the earth, but to restore it. Before he can bring restoration, he first has to bring what we think may be desolation. But his pattern again has proven, before he can bring in life, he first needs to deal with the mind of death. You can’t have one while your still sucking on the other.

Revelation 6
12I watched while he ripped off the sixth seal: a bone-jarring earthquake, sun turned black as ink, moon all bloody, 13stars falling out of the sky like figs shaken from a tree in a high wind, 14sky snapped shut like a book, islands and mountains sliding this way and that. 15And then pandemonium, everyone and his dog running for cover--kings, princes, generals, rich and strong, along with every commoner, slave or free. They hid in mountain caves and rocky dens, 16calling out to mountains and rocks, "Refuge! Hide us from the One Seated on the Throne and the wrath of the Lamb! 17The great Day of their wrath has come--who can stand it?"

Rev 6:12
And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; KJV

The Sun’s Reflection
There’s a sun clothed woman with the sun under her feet in another passage in Revelation that is referring to the church as well. The moon is something that reflects the greater light. In Malachi he’s called the Son who has risen with healing in his wings. If he is the Sun then we are the moon as we reflect his glory. The moon will be turned to blood. This is the church that’s experiencing the horror of the persecution that overcame by the blood of the lamb and their testimony.

Rev 6:13
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

The fig tree referred to here is again, Israel. Matthew 24 refers to her as Israel

Rev 6:14
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

It’s already happened.
All of this happened in A.D. 70. They literally did all of this that we see here. The judgement that hit Israel was a result of their rejection of who Christ was. They were destroyed as a nation because they denied themselves the redemption that Christ brought. Judgement is coming for all of us. The difference is that it’s destruction for those who reject Christ and what he’s done for us. But the judgement is constructive and purification for those that do accept him. Both are still judgement, but it is just manifested differently according to the individual’s stand on what they believe.

Wrath of the Lamb
Those words don’t seem to go together. A lamb was a mild, meek and humble creature. Yet here we see there is a lamb has brought wrath. We don’t want to leave anyone with the idea that this is a negative and pessimistic message. It’s not skeptical, it’s real. It’s reading the word the way it was written. It’s understanding the context and the reason why it was written. It’s a whole new perspective because God is now bringing to light in this 6th day the true Revelation of who Jesus is. We can accept or reject. Either way, judgement is coming . . .but more importantly, so is Jesus. They are one and the same.

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