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Tape Ten

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1 Tape Ten on Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:57 pm


Tying Up a Few Loose Ends
The approach that we are entering into the book of Revelation is not what one would call the traditional or the classical approach. I look at this as from a perspective of the tree of Life as the more traditional appears to be from the tree of Law. This is not to point fingers or denounce anyone, but it is saying that I, for one, have built my doctrines and philosophies from a more carnal perspective, painting it as spiritual, when the true spiritual understanding is from above rather than from across.

And now, many of my platforms and mindsets are being demolished as I’m seeing for the first time in my life, the original intent of the message. It’s all about Jesus, always has been. It’s about him having a relationship with me, always has been, but over the course of ancestral time, I’ve allowed the relationship to be religion, it’s all changing before our very eyes.

Revelation as a word comes from the Greek word Apocolypse which means to unveil. And we’ve learned this is a book revealing Jesus Christ. It’s unveiling the finished work of Jesus Christ which comes to a surprise to many who’ve been taught that the book is related only to end times as what’s been taught for so many years. It was never meant to be understood as a cataclysmic end to all mankind.

We’ve gone through chapter 6 thus far and we’re going to start at the end of chapter 6 to pick up on some loose ends of where we left off on the last session. But in chapter 6 we’ve seen the opening of 6 of the seven seals of the scroll. The opening of the seals have to do with the judgement upon apostate Israel.

There are very few people that embrace this particular perspective because they believe that everything written from chapter four on has not yet happened. What we have been learning is, it’s just the opposite. It’s already happened to a fallen nation that called the curse upon themselves.

Truth is Timeless
But the key is to understand that the truth is timeless. Even though much of what Revelation speaks about has already taken place to Israel, does not mean that it doesn’t relate to us today. Scripture states clearly that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. In the Revelation here we have the phrase that comes up often saying that “he was, he is, and he is to come”. But it’s important to understand that again, just because they’ve happened historically, isn’t to say that they don’t have a present application.

We are looking at this book historically as well as prophetically. But before we can look at it prophetically, we need to first get it into our spirit of what it meant historically. This is fundamental in true and accurate biblical interpretation which is why we see this addressed so often.

Pause in the Seals
So, in chapter 6 we see the opening or breaking of 6 of the 7 seals. In chapter 7 we’re going to see a break or pause in the activity of the seals as God is using this opportunity to seal his people. So, the 6 seals we saw the coming of horses that brought or introduced destruction to the nation of Israel.

These horses are not to be taken literal, in the sense that there are physically four horses running around the earth, but in Scripture, when we see horses in this setting it has to do with God sending his judgement. Colors of the horses and items the riders are carrying are indicating what type of judgement is coming with the release of that particular horse.

Reference to Matthew 23 and 24
Zechariah shows us these horses are spiritual symbolism of God sending judgement to those who have left him and walked away into apostasy. We want to touch a little bit on those things we’ve covered earlier to try to smooth over some areas where there may have been questions and concerns. The Olivet discourse, or the message Jesus delivered from the mount of Olives in Matthew 24, runs concurrently with Revelation. What is prophesied in Matthew 23 and 24 is fulfilled in Revelation. Everything we see spoken of in wars and rumors of wars and famines and pestilence and false prophets and earthquakes that Jesus said would come up on the generation that would hear the words that Jesus spoke that day.

It’s not about something to happen 2000 years later. But it was to happen in their lifetime in their generation. Jesus specifically pointed this out in both chapters 23 and 24. In chapter 23 Jesus was addressing the church of the religious. He was addressing the scholars and the Pharisees. In chapter 24 he was talking to the disciples alone. But in both instances, he told them that their generation would see these things take place.

Not This Generation, That One
We’ve twisted that to mean that the generation that saw the signs would see the coming of Jesus. We’ve totally ignored the events unfolding in that day when hell would literally manifest itself on the earth and all of Israel would be destroyed, especially Jerusalem and the temple. We’ve ignored the fact that much of Jesus preaching and teaching about the passing of the old religious system and the coming of the new was not only a promise, but also a warning. Even now preachers will shy away from this idea because they’d rather preach what’s comfortable to their understanding.

But this is a new day and a fresh hour where the bride is being prepared for the spiritual marriage supper of the Lamb and as such, a new alignment is being heard because the time has come for the freedom of the truth of the Revelation of Jesus to be given to the church. It’s up to us to either receive it or reject 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; 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. 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?

Wrath of a Lamb?
In verse 16 he uses an unusual term in speaking about the wrath of the Lamb. This is really an odd thing, to envision a Lamb exerting it’s wrath. When we look at the lamb in Scripture, it’s always portrayed as innocent, harmless and oblivious to harm. A lamb is gentle and trusting. He could have said the wrath of a lion. Now that would have made much more sense. But he didn’t. He said the wrath of a lamb. It’s clear that he’s referring to Jesus as the lamb, but why again, the reference to a lamb and not a lion? Or even the King of kings and Lord of lords or something more of that nature?

This is not something that will happen in the future, it’s already happened in history. We now understand that this entire ordeal all stems from the declaration the Jews claimed to let the blood of Jesus be upon them and their children. We also now understand that the things written in the scroll were charges against all of us, but now toward the Jews especially because they rejected the kinsman redeemer’s offer of redemption. And because they were “charges” against us, it would have to mean it’s something recorded of an event that’s already happened.

Results of Absent Repentance
This isn’t dealing with our Adamic nature to sin. This is dealing with the rejection of the redeeming blood that Israel elected to have pass by them on the day Jesus was crucified. Jesus took upon himself the curse of all sin when he gave his blood freely on the cross. That was where our sins were not only covered, but removed. Had Israel accepted that, Revelation would never have been written because they wouldn’t be held accountable for a curse that was already paid for by their kinsman redeemer, but they rejected that gift and this is the outcome.

All the events that are unfolding in the book of Revelation is the result of the curse the Jews called down upon themselves. In chapter 6 it speaks of the great earthquake. Whenever you see and earthquake in Scripture, there’s always something extremely significant that appears. The earthquake that this is referring to here is the earthquake that had to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There was an earthquake that took place when he was on the cross. Another happened when he was raised from the dead.

The earthquake did not take place so the stone would then roll away and Jesus could get out. The stone was rolled away so we could get in. But here in chapter six, the earthquake is reaching back to the even of the resurrection. We know this because when Jesus was on the cross and said it is finished, in the temple, the veil of the old temple was ripped from top to bottom, signifying God had left the Old System.

Earthquake = Shift in Spiritual Government
But Israel, again denied Jesus as the Messiah, rejected his message and declared that the curse he took upon himself should be upon them and their children. So the earthquake is depicting a major shift in the government of the spiritual atmosphere of Israel. God is turning away from a physical Israel that rejected his son, and toward a spiritual Israel that is open to all who call on the name of the Lord.

This is not an anti-semetic thing. We are not to focus our attention on the physical Israel as many suppose, but on the spiritual one. In Galatians 3 it states that in Christ there is neither Jew or Greek, male or female, bond or free. Jesus has removed the middle partition between us. There has been an unhealthy infatuation that the church has had in looking at the natural Jew.

Physical Reflects Spiritual
We have been putting our focus on what’s happening every day in Israel and the middle east instead of looking on what’s going on in the church. We’ve been looking at the sands of the sea instead of the stars of the heavens. We need to understand that everything we do see in the physical Israel is only a reflection of what God is actually doing in the spirit. We are looking at effects instead of causes.

There are plenty of men that call themselves scholars that are nothing but pop-theologins because they are trendy in their teaching as well as sensational. They will go through great lengths in speaking about the importance of Israel when the bottom line is, they will have to come to Christ through the same gate that the rest of us. They’ll be saved just like us, but they have to come to and through Christ, just like us also.

Blackened Sun and Falling Stars
Now, we see the sun becomes black and the moon turns red and the stars fall from the sky. First of all, we must remember that in the very beginning of the book, it states that everything is given in the form of signs and symbols. Secondly, if we were to take this literally, it would mean that the billions and billions of stars that are currently in the millions of galaxies out there, they would all of the sudden fall from the sky, implying they’d literally fall to the earth.

It Doesn’t Fit
The problem with that theory is, many of the stars out there are either the same size as, or bigger than the earth. How can you possibly expect all the stars in the galaxies fit on one little planet? The next problem with that is, if you change one little tiny part of the earth’s system, it would have a catastrophic affect on the entire world and make all of earth totally inhabitable. We aren’t really thinking these things through. We’ve bought into a theory so much that we’ve made it hard for truth to penetrate it.

It states that the sun will turn black. Now think about this. If the physical sun were to turn black, for all the world because that’s how many interpret this, that would then have again, a catastrophic affect on the entire system of life and the inhabitants of the earth would literally freeze to death because no light is shining from the sun anymore. Yet in verse 15 it goes on to say that the inhabitants will run to the caves and pray for the mountains to fall on them.

If the sun is black, there is no light, nor is there then any heat. If you were to go in a cave now, when the sun “is” shining, you’ll find that the caves are already much cooler than anywhere else. But take away the sun, the caves are going to be even colder because cold air goes to the lowest point while heat rises.

But the point is, this passage can’t be taken literal. There’s no way man could survive by that interpretation. Yet as this book goes on, we find there are many who survive. So we need to understand that this is not to be interpreted literal, but symbolic. Remember this whole book is a book of symbols.

It Starts With Joseph
But if you go back to the dream of Joseph in the book of Genesis, you see this same exact analogy there that you do here. Joseph sees the sun, moon and the stars bow down to him and it’s interpreted to mean, the stars are his brothers. Who were his brothers? They were the original names of the 12 tribes of Israel. So, when we see a combination of the three together, then we can understand that this is resembling Israel as a whole.

The black here is connected to sackcloth. That is a symbol of mourning. The black again, depicts the famine and the moon turning red is the blood of Israel being poured out as the wrath of God comes against them for their rejection of his son. And God has essentially turned the lights out on Israel. Why? It all goes back to their rejection of what Jesus did and who he was.

Fig Trees and Israel
If this isn’t enough to convince you, then we see in verse 13 the reference to the violent shaking of the fig tree. Matthew 24, Jesus refers to the fig tree there as well as a sign of the beginning of these things to come. In the same breath he goes on to say that their generation is going to actually see these things come to pass.

In the book of Luke, (Luke 13, 6,7) Jesus uses a parable about a husbandman coming to a vineyard and comes to a fig tree that had no fruit nor had it bore any fruit in 3 years time. Isn’t this interesting? Because Jesus not only is the husbandman, but his ministry to Israel lasted for 3 years until they murdered him.

In that time, Israel never put forth any fruit of their own. In fact, in the course of his ministry, Jesus even cursed a fig tree because even though it’s leaves were full and green, there was no fruit. The Bible says he saw it afar off and he hungered for it. Fig trees are not like other fruit trees. A fig tree grows it’s fruit first, then the leaves come. So when Jesus saw the leaves, he knew there’d be fruit on it as well because the leaves were the evidence of it’s maturity. But when he approached it, he saw that it was fruitless, so he cursed it as a result.

A Dimensional Fig Tree
But take a spiritual look at this picture. We’re seeing the same thing here that we saw in the first verse of Matthew 24. The surface of the story is saying that Jesus saw the fig tree at a distance. But that’s not the message, that’s the language chosen to give the message. The message is, Jesus doesn’t see a physical Israel at a tangible distance. He’s seeing the spiritual Israel, the bride of Christ, at a dimensional distance. Jesus is seeing the bride of Christ in her completion her full maturity, and that is what he’s hungering for.

But as the story on the surface unfolds, we see that the spiritual bride that he’s longing for is a mirage. She’s smoke and mirrors. She’s a long way off to the bride that he’s coming to take as his own. This Israel becomes cursed because of her false presentation of who she’s supposed to be.

This was typical of the nation of Israel. They gave the appearance of having the fruit until you learned more about them and their character. Then it became painfully clear that they cared more about their religion than they did their relationships. They were all show and no substance. They spoke about the things of God, but their hearts were far from Him. This is true of many of our churches today as well. The Scripture says you will not know them by their gifts or their words, but by their fruit.

Mountains and Islands
The mountains and Islands that are being moved out of place are not literal chunks of land sinking into the ocean. It’s about the structures and foundations of Israel’s religious system being removed from their foundations. In fact, one of the seven churches that were addressed had somewhat the same warning. Jesus told them that if they didn’t realign themselves to the pure order God originally established, that the lamp stand would be removed from their presence. The lamp stand is the foundation that the fire sets in.

The kings and the great men and the rich men that all run and hide into the caves are those that Israel had elevated and doted over, but when the fall out came in 70 A. D., they all ran into the mountains and no one was safe from the blade of the Roman sword. There was a Roman Ceasar named Vespatian (sp) who began to become concerned of the civil uprising that was beginning to stir in Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s plight with the Romans was much the same as it was in Jesus day, they were still under the control of the Roman fist.

Historical Look at 70 A.D.
But like we mentioned before, the many cultural and religious factions in Israel began to fight against each other to the point of civil war breaking out and it was getting out of control. So, first Vespatian personally goes to Jerusalem to try to bring things back under control and make sure civil war didn’t break out to the point where he’d lose that part of his empire as a result. As a second phase, after he returns to Rome, he sends a man named Titus, but when he does, all hell literally breaks loose. That’s when Jerusalem is totally destroyed.

For over a year Israel, in one place or another was on fire the entire time. It’s the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel chapter 2 as well as Acts chapter 2. In Joel it speaks of blood, fire and pillars of smoke, signs in the heavens and the earth beneath. It all has to do with the last days. In Acts 2 when Peter stands up and he says “This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel that in “the last days”. See we’ve been conditioned to believe we are now living in the last days.

Joel 2:1
Blow a trumpet in Zion, And sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, For the day of the LORD is coming; Surely it is near, Joe 2:2 A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, {So} there is “a” great and mighty people (singular); There has never been {anything} like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations. Joe 2:3 A fire consumes before them And behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them But a desolate wilderness behind them, And nothing at all escapes them. Joe 2:4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; And like war horses, so they run. Joe 2:5 With a noise as of chariots They leap on the tops of the mountains, Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, Like a mighty people arranged for battle. Joe 2:6 Before them the people are in anguish; All faces turn pale. Joe 2:7 They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like soldiers; And they each march in line, Nor do they deviate from their paths. Joe 2:8 They do not crowd each other, They march everyone in his path; When they burst through the defenses, They do not break ranks. Joe 2:9 They rush on the city, They run on the wall; They climb into the houses, They enter through the windows like a thief. Joe 2:10 Before them the earth quakes, The heavens tremble, The sun and the moon grow dark And the stars lose their brightness. Joe 2:11 The LORD utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it? Joe 2:12 "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; Joe 2:13 And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness And relenting of evil. Joe 2:14 Who knows whether He will {not} turn and relent And leave a blessing behind Him, {Even} a grain offering and a drink offering For the LORD your God? Joe 2:15 Blow a trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, Joe 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room And the bride out of her {bridal} chamber. Joe 2:17 Let the priests, the LORD'S ministers, Weep between the porch and the altar, And let them say, "Spare Your people, O LORD, And do not make Your inheritance a reproach, A byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, 'Where is their God?' " Joe 2:18 Then the LORD will be zealous for His land And will have pity on His people. Joe 2:19 The LORD will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied {in full} with them; And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations. Joe 2:20 "But I will remove the northern {army} far from you, And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land, And its vanguard into the eastern sea, And its rear guard into the western sea. And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up, For it has done great things." Joe 2:21 Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad, For the LORD has done great things. Joe 2:22 Do not fear, beasts of the field, For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, For the tree has borne its fruit, The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full. Joe 2:23 So rejoice, O sons of Zion, And be glad in the LORD your God; For He has given you the early rain for {your} vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, The early and latter rain as before. Joe 2:24 The threshing floors will be full of grain, And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. Joe 2:25 "Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. Joe 2:26 "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. Joe 2:27 "Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the LORD your God, And there is no other; And My people will never be put to shame. Joe 2:28 "It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Joe 2:29 "Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Joe 2:30 "I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. Joe 2:31 "The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. Joe 2:32 "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

As the dawn is spread over the mountains, {So} there is a great and mighty people; There has never been {anything} like it, Nor will there be again after it To the years of many generations

Never Again Will It Be This Bad

Here’s something to stick in your arsenal against the rapture theory as well. We’re taught that as we are in heaven, after we’ve mysteriously disappeared of the face of the earth, the 7-year Tribulation will begin and by the end, earth will be at best, a smoking pile of rubble with a remnant of struggling survivors. That will be the end of life as we know it because then Jesus comes through the clouds and saves Israel from the world that has surrounded it’s boarders and is about to erase the entire nation off the map.

And when Jesus comes, the restoration then begins of all things and from then on, we’ll all be living in our glorified bodies for eternity. We use Joel 2 as a reference to all these horrific things that are yet to happen. But this verse here contradicts all of that because it’s saying that there will never be anything as bad as this terrible tribulation that Israel must suffer “to the years of many generations”.

Generations to Come
See, “if” the rapture theory in it’s entirety were true, then we’re saying the 7-year tribulation is the end of the world as we know it. We can’t comprehend the terrible things that will happen because the Bible even says that there has never been anything like it. But the part we shrug off is, the generations that follow this terrible time . .the generations that are born on the same earth that this atrocity has occurred. It’s saying here that there will never be another time like this in the generations “following” this period. If the great tribulation is the coming of the end of the world, then how do you explain the following generations to come?

Editor’s Note
Because most people have built their spiritual foundations from the King James Version, I’ve chosen to add the Biblical text in these pages from the same translation. However, I can’t help it this time, I really love the way it’s worded in the “message” translation. For that reason, I’m adding it in as well.

Joel 2The Locust Army
1Blow the ram's horn trumpet in Zion! Trumpet the alarm on my holy mountain! Shake the country up! GOD's Judgment's on its way--the Day's almost here! 2A black day! A Doomsday! Clouds with no silver lining! Like dawn light moving over the mountains, a huge army is coming. There's never been anything like it and never will be again. 3Wildfire burns everything before this army and fire licks up everything in its wake. Before it arrives, the country is like the Garden of Eden. When it leaves, it is Death Valley. Nothing escapes unscathed. 4The locust army seems all horses-- galloping horses, an army of horses. 5It sounds like thunder leaping on mountain ridges, Or like the roar of wildfire through grass and brush, Or like an invincible army shouting for blood, ready to fight, straining at the bit. 6At the sight of this army, the people panic, faces white with terror. 7The invaders charge. They climb barricades. Nothing stops them. Each soldier does what he's told, so disciplined, so determined. 8They don't get in each other's way. Each one knows his job and does it. Undaunted and fearless, unswerving, unstoppable. 9They storm the city, swarm its defenses, Loot the houses, breaking down doors, smashing windows. 10They arrive like an earthquake, sweep through like a tornado. Sun and moon turn out their lights, stars black out. 11GOD himself bellows in thunder as he commands his forces. Look at the size of that army! And the strength of those who obey him! GOD's Judgment Day--great and terrible. Who can possibly survive this?

12But there's also this, it's not too late-- GOD's personal Message!- "Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!" 13Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to GOD, your God. And here's why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,
This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe. 14Who knows? Maybe he'll do it now, maybe he'll turn around and show pity. Maybe, when all's said and done, there'll be blessings full and robust for your GOD! 15Blow the ram's horn trumpet in Zion! Declare a day of repentance, a holy fast day. Call a public meeting. 16Get everyone there. Consecrate the congregation. Make sure the elders come, but bring in the children, too, even the nursing babies, Even men and women on their honeymoon-- interrupt them and get them there. 17Between Sanctuary entrance and altar, let the priests, GOD's servants, weep tears of repentance. Let them intercede: "Have mercy, GOD, on your people! Don't abandon your heritage to contempt .Don't let the pagans take over and rule them and sneer, "And so where is this God of theirs?'" 18At that, GOD went into action to get his land back. He took pity on his people.
19GOD answered and spoke to his people, "Look, listen--I'm sending a gift: Grain and wine and olive oil. The fast is over--eat your fill! I won't expose you any longer to contempt among the pagans. 20I'll head off the final enemy coming out of the north and dump them in a wasteland. Half of them will end up in the Dead Sea, the other half in the Mediterranean. There they'll rot, a stench to high heaven. The bigger the enemy, the stronger the stench!"

The Trees Are Bearing Fruit Again
21Fear not, earth! Be glad and celebrate! GOD has done great things. 22Fear not, wild animals! The fields and meadows are greening up. The trees are bearing fruit again: a bumper crop of fig trees and vines! 23Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your GOD. He's giving you a teacher to train you how to live right-- Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do. 24And plenty of food for your body--silos full of grain, casks of wine and barrels of olive oil. 25"I'll make up for the years of the locust, the great locust devastation-- Locusts savage, locusts deadly,
fierce locusts, locusts of doom, That great locust invasion I sent your way. 26You'll eat your fill of good food. You'll be full of praises to your GOD, The God who has set you back on your heels in wonder. Never again will my people be despised. 27You'll know without question that I'm in the thick of life with Israel, That I'm your GOD, yes, your GOD, the one and only real God. Never again will my people be despised.

The Sun Turning Black and the Moon Blood-Red
28"And that's just the beginning: After that-- "I will pour out my Spirit on every kind of people: Your sons will prophesy, also your daughters. Your old men will dream, your young men will see visions. 29I'll even pour out my Spirit on the servants, men and women both.
30I'll set wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth below: Blood and fire and billowing smoke, 31the sun turning black and the moon blood-red, Before the Judgment Day of GOD, the Day tremendous and awesome. 32Whoever calls, "Help, GOD!' gets help. On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be a great rescue--just as GOD said. Included in the survivors are those that GOD calls.
End Note

The Last Days Between Daniel and RevelationFor 2000 years, we’ve preached that we’ve been living out the last days. But here’s something to think about on that. In the book of Daniel, God gives Daniel a picture of what’s to come but then he says to seal the book because the time of the end had not yet come for that to happen. Then, when John receives the book of Revelation, he sees that same “sealed” scroll broken open and the same things Daniel saw, John sees. From the time when God said to seal it up, to when John saw the Lamb break it open, approximately 600 years had passed.

The Last Days “of the Old System”
“If” the “last days” were not in Daniel’s day, but they “were” in Peter’s and John’s in the course of 600 years, why is it then that we’ve preached to millions that we are now in the last days? I’ve even done this myself. I’ve preached that the last days have been going on for 2000 years. But the truth is, our understanding of the “last days” and the original intent of the meaning “last days” are far from the same thing.

The last days Scripture refers to is not the end of the world or last days of the world, but the last days of the age. What age? The old religious system age. The end of animal sacrifice and approaching God through a priest. The end of ritualistic religion and the beginning of a new age of relationship and love. But that also means the roots that supported the old system are to be pulled up as well. Thus, the old Israel had to be destroyed and set aside to make way for a new Israel . . .for a New Jerusalem.

Using the Enemy for Purification.
We must also understand that in the Old Testament, when God brought judgement on Israel because of their rebellion and rejection he didn’t always come through hailstones and natural elements, but he used heathen nations. Again in Joel, you’ll see that he mentions “his” armies. Those are the Assyrians by history, but he calls them “his” army in Scripture.

Does God cause bad things to happen? No, we do. We have the authority to bind and release when we accept Christ into our hearts. But at the same time, if we reject him, not only do we lose the benefit of binding and releasing in Christ’s authority, but we expose ourselves to the enemy forces that God utilizes to get the attention of those that ignore him.

When people try to use human reasoning when accusing God of being harsh after a bad incident happens they don’t want to hear that it’s often because God is trying to get their attention and he will often bring chaos to your physical body in order to get the attention of your spirit. As hard as it is to admit, truth can sometimes be and extremely ugly thing.

Spiritual Trumps Physical
Jesus taught that if your right arm offends you, cut it off because it’s better to enter into the kingdom with one arm than to enter into hell with both. That’s saying that God’s not as concerned with your physical situation as much as he is with your spiritual. It’s not that he’s not concerned with your body because Scripture also says God knows the number of hairs on your head which is saying he is concerned about every little aspect of you.

But there is a balance that needs to be understood. Priorities need to be established. Spirit comes before flesh. Your heart matters more than your head. Both are important to God, but at the same time, he will let tribulation come to the one so he can get the attention of the other.

This takes us back to Joel where God is using Israel’s enemy to bring them tribulation in order to get their hearts in a place of repentance. It’s the same thing. Hard to accept sometimes, but true anyway. We are now heading into the 7th chapter of Revelation. In this chapter there is a pause in the revealing of the contents of the seals being broken. We must always remember that this entire book is a book of encouragement to the persecuted church of the first century. It’s not a book of gloom and doom.

Revealing a Curse of Christ
There were probably many during this time that were crying out to God why these treacherous things were taking place because they didn’t understand it either. This is God’s way to answer to them why these things were happening. The revelation of Jesus Christ is more than bright lights and fuzzy emotions.

It is the revealing of the curse that Jesus took upon himself as well. The evil things that transpired during this time was and still is a revelation of the kind of curse that Jesus overcame. We may never have known the lengths and depth’s of evil that were out there, had Israel accepted Jesus as the Messiah instead of declaring the curse he was paying for to be on their own heads.

So when John wrote this revelation out, it’s not a discouragement to John or to the ones reading it. It was a revelation of the great lengths Jesus’ blood went to remove the guilt of sin and the atrocities that came with it. This letter John is writing isn’t to the religious Israel, but to the redeemed.

Those who acknowledged him as their savior and were in hiding because of that fact, they were the recipients of this message. It’s a message of vindication in that it explained to them that it wasn’t their fault these things were happening, it was the fault of their blood relatives that rejected him.

Running From Two Fronts
Remember also that they weren’t just hiding from the Romans, they were hiding from their own kind. The religious Jews wanted them dead more than the Romans. If there was no civil war in 70 A. D. the Romans never would have destroyed them. But it was the blatant acts of the religious in Israel that got the attention of the Romans to the point where it lost all control and the Iron fist of the Romans simply slaughtered them, but it all started with the revolts of the religious against each other. In the middle of being slaughtered by the Romans, the religious Israel were still searching out the Christians while they were running from the Romans.

The Beginning of the End
Even when Paul was traveling from city to city, we see where there were religious Jews dogging his every step and trying to shake things up everywhere he went. It was they who beat him to the point of death, had him imprisoned, flogged and everything else. But it was as Jesus and Peter had stated, that was the beginning of the end. Even though Israel itself was destroyed in 70 A.D. the persecution of the Christians continued on for several hundred years.

Some of the travesties were just as brutal, but never to the extent that they were the year Israel was slaughtered. Martyrdom in any context is brutal. But the numbers were never as high as that year, not even the holocaust. Remember in Matthew 24 Jesus warned, these are the “beginning” of sorrows.

Okay, so what we have in the first century church is, many believers in hiding being attacked from two fronts. One of the Roman empire, the other of the religious sects. Year after year they’d see that temple in Jerusalem and remember the words of Jesus echoing in their minds of the day when justice would be served and not one stone would remain upon the other.

When this book of Revelation began to circulate, you can just imagine the excitement and anticipation of receiving it because it’s contents reveal that the day of the Lord had come . . . .then. The day of the Lord is not a rapture of the church, but a reckoning with the rebellion of the religious. It was a day of judgement. It was a day of the wrath of the Lamb.

Getting a Futuristic Understanding of HistoryI know that there has been a lot of history lessons being given along side of some of the Scriptures. It’s also understood that some may raise their eyebrows at the idea of preaching common history rather than Scripture. Aside from getting into the accusational bondages that come with that kind of thinking, it’s so important that we again, have a clear understanding of the tone set in the context to whom this most misunderstood letter was written. History plays a huge role in the future.

So, in chapter 5 we saw the martyred saints under the altar crying out “how much longer will the suffering go on?” They too were asking what many of the saints who were yet alive had been asking when they look out and see the pious priests declaring war on those that declared to be followers of Jesus. They were all wondering when the hammer was going to drop that Jesus spoke about the judgement coming to the apostate Israel that Jesus promised. They were all wondering to themselves when would justice be served.

Recognizing God’s True Pattern of Rapture
Then the Revelation of Jesus comes and John excitedly records it and he sees the seals broken by the only one in creation worthy to do so, the lamb that was slain. Understanding at the breaking of each seal it was vindicating them of all the persecution they’d been suffering. That is a source of encouragement. Notice that this is not removing them “from” the suffering, but it’s giving them great strength to get through it.

John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

For the church to continue in their quest to promote the rapture theory, it would mean that they have to actually ignore the eternal words and even specific prayers for us! It’s so important to grasp this! Is Jesus talking only about his immediate disciples here? Who is the “them” he’s referring to?

John 17:20
I'm praying not only for them But also for those who will believe in me Because of them and their witness about me.

Jesus is praying for US. Now, if he’s praying, the Son of God is praying to God the Father NOT to remove us from the world, then why are we dead set on the idea of Rapture? Some may argue that the world he’s referring to here isn’t the physical earth as much as it is the worldly nature of the carnal man. Well, for one, I believe it’s both, but just for the sake of the argument, take a look at a couple examples of Jesus explanations of what the kingdom of God is like.

Wheat and Thistles, Who is Removed?
In Matthew 13, there are some awesome examples of what we’re talking about yet seemed to have overlooked all this time. Jesus is teaching about what the kingdom of heaven is like. In other words, he’s giving illustrations of God’s patterns and how they work. Matthew 13:24 is where one of these illustrations begins about a farmer that planted pure seeds of wheat. But then the enemy came in at night, under the cover of darkness, (the only time the enemy “can” do his work which is why we’re to walk in the light) and the enemy planted thistles among the pure seeds of wheat.

Matthew 13
24Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' 28" 'An enemy did this,' he replied. "The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?' 29" 'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.' "

When the wheat started to sprout, so did the thistles. When the farmhands saw this, they went to the farmer, the planter, and asked if they should pull up the thistles. Interesting response here, the answer was no, because if they did, they’d damage the sensitive growth stages of the wheat. So what they were instructed to do was, wait until the wheat reached maturity and was ready to be harvested. Okay . .with me so far?

Once the wheat reached it’s maturity, it was not yet to be harvested until . . . the thistles were removed FIRST! Does this sound like the church is being raptured? If the church was to be raptured, then don’t you think the wheat would be taken out and the thistles would be left and “then” the destruction would come? That’s what the rapture theory brings to the table. The wheat is symbolizing believers, the thistles are the ungodly. But it’s the ungodly that are removed from the believers, not the other way around.

Good Fish Removed From Bad Fish?

Need more? Well, if you were to keep reading in that same chapter, you’d come to another story with the same message. But you’d first come to where the disciples asked Jesus again about this story of the wheat and thistles. Jesus literally spells it out for them, clearly. Read it, it’ll transform your thinking.

In verse 47 is where another analogy or parable that explains it again. This time it’s dealing with a net full of fish. Some are edible, others are not. In other words, some fish have value and others don’t. So . . .do you remove the good fish and throw the bad ones back? Read the story, you’ll find the bad ones are removed from the good ones. It’s stating the same thing. The kingdom of God is like this . . .the bad are removed from the good and destroyed . .end of subject. That’s really what Jesus is saying here!!

Rejection Being Vindicated
Revelation is telling them they have been vindicated. The curse that they, as a nation, called upon themselves when Jesus was standing before Pilate is not being held against them because they’ve received Jesus as their kinsman redeemer. This book is a book of encouragement, not despair and destruction. Also understand that their vindication is not to get them out of the tribulation they are suffering, but to get them through it. We’ve already touched on that through Matthew 13 in learning of God’s pattern on this matter. There’s a difference to be delivered through something and being delivered out of something.

Was it as Bad as Hiltler?
Noah, great example, was taken through the flood, not out of it. So, history records there were one million Jews that died in this particular holocaust. Some will say that’s nothing compared to what Hitler’s regime did, but you need to understand, Hitler did what he did over a course of years. Israel went through this “beginning” over the course of months. Jerusalem was flattened, literally. The Sea of Gallilee turned red with the blood of the Jews. Bloated bodies lined the shores. Carcasses of people were actually stacked as high as a horse’s bridle as blood filled the streets. This is from historians, not assumptions.

Christians were Protected
Many will ask where is the encouragement in what Revelation is saying that’s happening to Israel? Here’s another interesting fact of history. Through all of this, not one Christian was recorded to be killed during the destruction of Israel. I didn’t realize that either.

I just assumed that included both, but the one million Jews that were murdered in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans was the ungodly and the religious, not the Christians. The Christians were actually preserved through all of the judgement, why? Because the curse was on the ungodly of Israel, those that chose to remain in the Old System of the temple worship rather than choosing Christ.

How is this possible? Read Exodus and see how God brought judgement on Egypt because of their treatment of the Jews and how the Jews, even though they lived right beside the Egyptians, they were protected from the plagues that God had sent. You don’t think that God could repeat that now? Again, understand God’s pattern, you understand your place in the body of Christ. This brings us to chapter 7 of Revelation.

Rev 7:1
And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. Rev 7:2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Rev 7:3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. Rev 7:4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

What We’ve Been Taught
Immediately as I read this passage, my head wants to automatically fall back on the traditions that have taught me that this is speaking of the remnant of the natural Israel that will be saved during the seven year tribulation that’s going to take place after the rapture of the church. I hope by now you see the truth on the rapture theory and realize the church has again looked for the living among the dead.

There’s nothing sinful about this, God’s not mad at us so we don’t need to be condemning of ourselves or others that choose the believe this. But now that we have a clearer understanding of what God’s patterns are, we simply need to do what John did before he could “see”. We need to turn our understanding around in another direction . .we need to “repent” which just means the same thing.

Read What’s Written, Not What’s Interpreted
But that’s not what this is really saying here. So, let’s find out what it actually “is” saying and go from there. This new chapter opens up with a phrase that shouldn’t be overlooked. “After these things”. After “what” things? After the judgement that was delivered on Israel. After Israel was leveled and the temple was destroyed. After the Old Religious System was removed from the picture. Before the seventh seal is to be opened, there’s a need for a sealing to take place for God’s people.

Numerology 101
John saw the four angels standing on four corners of the earth. This isn’t unusual in Scripture when referring to the earth. There are four seasons, four main points on a compass. Four is a number associated with the earth in biblical numerology, just as much as the number 6 is associated with man, or 7 with perfection, or 2 for witness and 8 for new beginnings and 9 for anointing, and 10 for law, 11 for confusion, 12 for government, it goes on. But these are keys that unlock the book’s meaning.

God governs the earth’s conditions and climates through these four angels. They are in control of the storm fronts, the low pressure, high pressure, rainy days and sunny ones, not to mention the four seasons. They are under God’s authority, so can I change the weather if I ask God or if I release his power to do so? If your intent and purpose is in agreement with his will . .you bet you can!

Earth in Form of Altar
This pattern can be compared to the altar in the tabernacle of Moses. It to has four corners as well as the altar in the outer court and the table of shewbread . . . the ark itself has four corners as well. So when God is looking down on the earth, it’s the same as when he is in the mercy seat looking down on the altar. There are horns on the altar of incense in the tabernacle, what did we mention about the significance of the horns?

It was required for an individual to grab a hold of the horns of the altar if they were desperately seeking sanctuary. This is a picture of us taking a hold of the power of God with abandon, and in return, we received mercy as well as his strength.

For one, they depicted the death of a ram. A horn was not removed from the ram unless you’d killed it and according to the laws of Moses, rams were used for sin sacrifices. Jesus is our ram of innocence, which is why he’s portrayed as a lamb. The horn is also used as a proclamation.

Trumpets were made from ram’s horns. These angels standing on the four corners of the earth then can be seen as the horns of the altar. They proclaim the will of the Father. A horn also signifies strength. Just as there are four horns on the altar, implying spiritual strength emulating out from the altar, so these four angels controlling the four winds.

Altar of Transformation
What happens on either altar? The bronze altar where sacrifices are made and the altar of incense where priest bring in incense and intercede for the nation? Both are a source of transformation. The animal being sacrificed is transformed from matter into vapor; from flesh into ash, from bone into smoke, from physical into spiritual.

The altar of incense is a place of transforming incense into fragrance. And it to transforms matter into vapor, physical into spiritual, but it also transforms you from the inner court into the Holy of Holies; from the second dimension into the third. (the easel in our church sanctuary is also a form of an altar. Requests are transformed into testimonies)

So how does all of that apply to the earth? The earth is like the altar in that it’s the place where we are laid out bare before God and it’s through our lives on this earth that we can be transformed into a child of God. We come in as flesh, but we go out in spirit.

We all pass through the fire of cleansing and purification and what is worldly is devoured and what is spiritual is magnified by his spirit in us. In this way, you can see how earth is the altar and we are the elements being transformed from a physical matter into a spiritual one. The body of Christ is both Jesus and us. We are the Moon of Christ, we reflect his glory.

Significance of Sea, Earth, and Trees
Then next thing to see is, these angels are motivated by God’s instructions. In this case, they are told to hold back the winds from the earth, sea and even the trees. What is the symbolism of this? Throughout Scripture you see that trees often have assimilation to men. Trees often speak of men. The traditional understanding of this passage is that God is telling the angels to destroy the trees on the planet during the 7 year tribulation. Yet to do that is to ignore the very first verse in the book. It’s a book of signs and symbols. The trees symbolize men. To destroy all the trees would remove the oxygen from the earth which would immediately kill every living thing with no survivors.

Psalm 1:3, “The righteous shall be like a tree planted by rivers of living water. Psalm 92 speaks about us being like a palm tree that is planted in the courts of the Lord. There are many other passages. Mark 8 a blind man says he sees men as trees as he’s being healed by spiritual process through Jesus. Jesus said a tree brings forth good fruit and bad fruit, what’s he talking about? He’s talking about us, people, the church, mankind. The seas speak of nations abroad. The earth speaks of humanity. Understand that John sees a beast come up from the sea, and another coming up out of the earth, we’ll get in to this more later on.

Wind From the East
East = New, Fresh, hope
East wind. Everything God does starts from the east. There is a purpose for that. The entrance for the garden of Eden is on the east side. The entrance to the tabernacle of Moses is on the east side. Jesus quoted as lightning flashes from the “east” to the west so shall be the coming of the Son of Man. The east wind brings storms, according to several other passages of Scripture. They wreck ships.

Isaiah 41, But also understand that ships in Scripture are speaking of religious systems, man-made philosophies. But the dawning of the New Day will wreck the ships of the brittle religious systems that the carnal man clings to when the wind of the spirit becomes to strong for their ship. Revelation 16:12. The east wind is stormy. Every fresh move of God comes from the east. The beginning of a new age with the coming of Jesus, born in a manger, wise men came from the “east”.

A Dammed Attempt Euphrates River
Revelation later speaks about the great river Euphrates drying up to make way for the kings of the east. It has nothing to do with an army of China a million strong marching across a dry river and attack. Are they so immobile that they can’t get on a boat and conquer the land on the other side whenever they choose? No, we’ve missed the true meaning of what’s being said.

If you do a study on the Euphrates river, you’ll learn that the Babylonians built dams all along it to control it’s depth. This is a vivid prophetic picture of how the church of the world has built spiritual dams to control the flow and tide and speed of the river of the spirit. Limiting the believers abilities to launch out into the deep to where it’s over their heads and they begin swimming in the currents of the revelation and dimensions of Jesus.

God isn’t going to break the dams, it’s not his nature to force himself in places where he’s not welcome. So instead, God is going to cause the rivers to dry up and make way for the kings of the east to make their way into the promised land to give honor to the chosen child of God on dry ground. WE are the kings of the east. Those of us who recognize the fact that we’ve been facing the wrong way in the spirit and we are now hearing God’s voice come from behind us and we’re turning the direction of our lives and carrying are altars through the very riverbed that was held captive by our ancestors in the spirit.

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