Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Psalms of King David, Secrets to His Success!

14:2-7  "The Lord looks down from heaven on all man-kind to see if there are any who are wise; who want to please God.  But no, all have strayed away; all are rotten with sin.  Not one is good, not one!  They eat my people like bread and wouldn't think of praying!  Don't they really know any better?  Terror shall grip them, for God is with those who love Him.  He is the refuge of the poor and humble when evildoers are oppressing them.  Oh, that the time of their rescue were already here, that God would come from Zion now to save His people.  What gladness when the Lord has rescued Israel!

15:1-5 "Lord, who may go and find refuge and shelter in your tabernacle up on your holy hill?  Anyone who leads a blameless life and is truly sincere.  Anyone who refuses to slander others does not listen to gossip, never harms his neighbor, speaks out against sin, criticizes those committing it, commends the faithful followers of the Lord, keeps a promise even if it ruins him, does not crush his debtors with high interest rates, and refuses to testify against the innocent despite the bribes offered him - such a man shall stand firm forever.

16:5  "The Lord Himself is my inheritance, my prize.  He is my food and drink, my highest Joy! He guards all that is mine.

16:8-11  "I am always thinking of the Lord; and because He is so near, I never need to stumble or to fall.  Heart, body, and soul are filled with joy.  For you will not leave me among the dead; you will not allow your beloved One [Jesus] to rot in the grave.  You have let me experience the joys of life and the exquisite pleasures of your own eternal presence."

17  "I am pleading for your help, O Lord; for I have been honest and have done what is right, and you must listen to my earnest cry!  Publicly acquit me, Lord, for you are always fair.  You have tested me and seen that I am good; You have come even in the night and found nothing amiss and know that I have told the truth.  I have followed your commands and have not gone along with cruel and evil men.  My feet have not slipped from your paths.  Why am I praying like this?  Because I know you will answer me.  O God!  Yes, listen as I pray.  Show me your strong love in wonderful ways, O Savior of all those seeking your help against their foes.  Protect me as you would the pupil of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings as you hover over me.  My enemies encircle me with murder in their eyes.  They are pitiless and arrogant.  Listen to their boasting.  They close in upon me and are ready to throw me to the ground.  They are like lions eager to tear me apart, like young lions hiding and waiting their chance.  Lord, arise and stand against them.  Push them back!  Come and save me from those men of the world whose only concern is earthly gain -  these men whom you have filled with your treasures so that their children and grandchildren are rich and prosperous.  But as for me, my contentment is not in wealth but in seeing you and knowing all is well between us.  And when I awake in heaven, I will be fully satisfied, for I will see you face to face."


The writings of King David is timeless with a twinge of prophecy.  Just as Jesus said, much of what we see in the world now are just initial birth pangs.  God revealed details to John through sight and sound; so that he can record it; which he did in the book of Revelation.  Where was I in the Bible when my little time travel occurred?  Old Testament.  Must have been.  I felt a little twinge of the supernatural, but perhaps it's because I am a science fiction buff.  So, the feeling of time,....I am not familiar with.  I can't even describe it because I don't understand the technology.  Just like when God speaks, His voice is not bouncing against the air molecules, but He speaks; and I know it is Him.  I do not believe the so called beginning of the end of the world will occur in my lifetime.  There is no way tech advances like that could occur in one lifetime!  After this incident, I had to take a break from Biblical prophecy.  It was too intense.  I had my socks knocked off of me.  So, reading the Psalms is refreshing and bit more down to earth for me.

June 6, 2012:  I finally found the verse which best fit my illustration.  It is Matthew 24:29 during which at some future time "the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light...."  And yet, there were buildings, moving vehicles, and an all around sense that the future is far, far away just by comparing the differences between our time now and that of the future.  The technology is much more advanced, but I can not describe it in exact detail because I have forgotten all of what was revealed to me during my reading of Scripture in the OT.  My memory of it is just a dark blurr.  But I do vividly recall the darkness of that time.  Even during the day, there will be no light. Since a Polar day would not make sense at all cause it only occurs within the small, not all inclusive, polar circle for about 6 months out of a 12 month year.  Inorder for the entire earth to experience darkness 24/7 all year long, even during what should have been daytime, verse 29 in Matthew chapter 24 is a better fit.  I believe by reading the Word of God, I got close enough to receive His message that the beginning of the end is not today.  And instead of worrying about it or living life as if the end is near, I should take this time to smell the roses; share the gospel of hope and abundant life to those who are ready to accept Jesus.  Enjoy God's gift of life, here on present-day earth.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11: Who Do You Suppose They Are?

REFERENCE:  The Bible Knowledge Commentary:

Revelation 11:3-6It was revealed to John that the two witnesses would be empowered by God to serve as prophets for 1,260 days or 42 months. They would be clothed in sackcloth and would be called two olive trees and two lampstands. 

Numerous and varied interpretations have been given concerning the two witnesses. Some have suggested that they are not literal individuals. However, in view of the fact that they die and are resurrected, the implication is that they are actual people. 

[Supposition #1:  Nothing suggests a staff member of God could not take physical/human form here on earth.  Melchizedek, priest of God and King of Salem of Genesis 14, was of human form as well; but he had no human lineage and no human ancestry.  The resurrection of the two witnesses serves God's purpose.  Then a loud voice from heaven calls out to the two witnesses "Come up here".  And "they went up to heaven in a cloud while their enemies looked on"]

Another problem is their identification. A common interpretation is that they are Moses and Elijah because the judgments inflicted by Moses and Elijah in the Old Testament are similar to those of these two witnesses (11:5-6). Further support is given the identification of Elijah because of the prediction (Mal. 4:5) that he will appear "before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes." Christ said this prophecy of Elijah was partially fulfilled in His lifetime (Matt. 17:10-13; Mark 9:11-13; cf. Luke 1:17). And both Moses and Elijah were involved in the transfiguration (Matt. 17:3), which anticipated the Second Coming. But a problem with this suggested identity is that Moses had already died once. Some have identified the two witnesses as Enoch and Elijah inasmuch as they did not die but were translated (cf. Heb. 9:27).

While there is room for considerable discussion of these various views, the fact is that the passage does not identify the two witnesses, and they probably do not have historic identification.

[Supposition #2:  Elijah, Moses, Enoch were old Testament figures; with long familial lineages.  The 2 witnesses were introduced in the Old Testament in Zechariah 4:14.  There's no mention of their familial lineage in the Bible.  According to the Bible, they will appear at a future time from John's reference.  The only similarity that I can compare this with is Melchizedek, an OT character.  This OT character was not an ordinary person whose records could be sketchy or get lost.  Melchizedek was a priest of God and a king.  And usually, someone of this pedigree would have an ancestral lineage.  But according to the Christian Bible, Melchizedek appeared on the scene and just simply was.]

The description of the two witnesses as olive trees and lampstands has an Old Testament background (Zech. 4:2-14). The two witnesses in this passage were Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor. Their connection to the lampstands was that they were empowered by the Holy Spirit, symbolized by the olive oil. In a similar way the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will be empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Like prophets of old the two witnesses will be able to do supernatural miracles, and fire will destroy those who will try to harm them (Rev. 11:5). Like Elijah they will have power to stop rain, and will have power like Moses to turn water into blood and to bring on plagues (v. 6). In the midst of the unbelief, apostasy, and satanic power of the Great Tribulation these two witnesses will be a threat to the entire wicked world for a literal period of 1,260 days.
Revelation 11:7-10With the ministry of the two witnesses ended, God permitted the beast that comes up from the Abyss (cf. 9:1-2, 11; 17:8; 20:1, 3) to overcome them. The beast, that is, the Antichrist, is mentioned nine other times in Revelation (13:1; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 17:3, 13; 19:20; 20:10). After the witnesses were killed, their bodies were left unburied in Jerusalem, figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, because of the people’s apostasy and rejection of God.

For three and one-half days

the whole world gloated over their dead bodies. This implies some worldwide display, now made possible by television. Their deaths were considered a great victory for the world ruler and Satan, and were celebrated by people sending each other gifts.
Revelation 11:11-12After three and one-half days in the street, however, suddenly the two witnesses were resurrected and stood on their feet. They responded to the invitation, Come up here, and went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on with great fear.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Daniel 11:29

Keeping in mind...

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12

"for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see - such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him." Colossians 1:16

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love." Romans 8:38

"Now Christ has gone to heaven. He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept His authority." 1 Peter 3:22

The verses in Daniel 11 troubled me.  I first began a more in-depth study of Daniel through one of Beth Moore's Bible study classes.  It was my understanding that the first part of Daniel 11 is about a historical figure by the name of Antiochus Epiphanies IV.  The second part is suppose to describe future events that will be fulfilled by the anti-Christ.  But for days, something was bothering me.  And I needed to find it out.

What I struggled with in Daniel 11 is this:  where in the text does the unfulfilled portion of end-time prophesy begin?

As I was mulling over Revelation 9:16, this verse led me to the biblical verses on spiritual warfare or principalities of the unseen world.  According to the angelic messenger sent to the prophet Daniel by God, these principalities rule in parallel with an earthly ruler; who could be just as evil and Godless as the demonic spirit that oversees him/her. 

Daniel 11:29 intrigues me.

At times, when I'm stuck about something written in the Holy Bible, I ask the Lord to help me understand it.  He always supply abundant amount of wisdom.  So, in my prayer, I asked Him for wisdom.  "I need  wisdom," I said. 

Not really knowing if my prayer was answered, but BELIEVING that in scripture, He gives wisdom to those who ask it, I believe He has heard me.  In His own timing, He will put that wisdom to use in order to glorify Him. 

Therefore, these few days, I've been fixated on Daniel 11 beginning with verse 29:  "Then at the appointed time he will once again ...."

I am thinking, hypothesizing,... that the person in question found in verse 29 is the anti-Christ. 

Is it possible that Daniel 11:29 is the boundary line that separates the past that was already fulfilled from the future, that has yet to be fulfilled through the anti-Christ?

Here is where I am.  For now, in my study, I will presume, the past ends at Daniel 11:28 and the future begins with Daniel 11:29.  The two "anti-Christ" figures are very similar.  I believe it was Beth Moore of Living Proof Ministry who said God is teaching us about future events using past events.

My [and your] God is the almighty God, and He is my one and only God. 

I study on....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Washington DC

It was suppose to be a relaxing weekend visit to our nation's capital. Instead, the visit almost started WW  IV (seeing how we're currently working on WW III) when we had a rather nasty confrontation with the saleswoman for Gray line Tours.  Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We were going to also book our night tour.  However, since there was such a ruckus about going to Mt. Vernon, we never bothered to return for the night tour. Plus, they don't pickup and drop off from the hotels anymore.  On a previous visit, they dropped me off at L'Enfant Metro Station at 10:00 PM to catch my ride back to Crystal City Metro; where I had to wait another 15 to 20 minutes for my shuttle back to the hotel in Arlington.

This past weekend, I brought my mother who has never visited Mt. Vernon before. The Mt. Vernon was perfect. It was a sunny, humid day. We even stopped briefly at Christ Church where the Washington's and the Lee's attended church.  This is a photo of the family pew once belonging to George & Martha Washington. The church was founded in 1776 (I think); which makes it older than my old Alma mater! Ha Ha Ha. Just don't tell them that.

We also checked out some other sites too including Washington's tomb. There wasn't much to see here, but it's interesting to think that on "resurrection day", the Lord would have to do some heavy lifting. The thought crossed my mind that perhaps the principalities of this world are trying to keep a lid shut on something eh? You'd have to understand Biblical prophesy in order to understand what I just wrote about. If you're a Muslim, your Quran probably doesn't explain what "resurrection day" means to many believers who died in Christ and those who preach it daily, AND everyone else including Muslims who follow their own beliefs outside of Christ will have to wait a little longer for "judgment day" because on that day, your deeds and works during your time here on earth will be judged by God; and God alone.

We stayed at a lovely hotel in downtown Washington DC.  The hotel is world renowned; made famous by its visiting dignitaries and infamous by a recent scandal about a former New York governor.  We had a marvelous time here.  Food was great, service was terrific; and our hair smelled great and looked nice, bouncy and fresh.

I've ridden on tour buses that passed by Chinatown, but never felt safe enough to venture on my own.  But, this time, we made the stop and walked around.  We noticed a couple of interesting restaurants to visit, but ran out of time.  Our flight into DC on Friday was canceled and transferred to another airline at a much later time; so, we lost a whole day of sightseeing.  That put us behind schedule.  We didn't have time to dine in Chinatown. 

We did manage a night tour with another tour company in town.  This tour picked up and dropped off at hotels.  We stopped by Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.  The photo is Jefferson Memorial.  Contrary to what we were taught during middle school in Charleston SC, Jefferson was indeed a US President.  I was disappointed to find out FDR memorial is still under renovation.  Twice, I've not been able to re-visit FDR.  It's one of the better ones to visit with a group at night. 

Now, this is what I call a decent looking diamond necklace.  Since I can't wear rings on my fingers (I lose and damage them too quickly), I wouldn't mind wearing a necklace like this one.  However, I kind of like the yellow diamond better after seeing one for the first time.  Wow!  so much glitter and glamour.  I think diamonds are a girl's best friend after all.  Hey, notice the bejeweled and bedazzled tiara on the right?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Beautiful Land

Daniel 11:

"11:40b-43. When the Antichrist hears of this invasion, he will move his army from Europe into the Middle East, sweeping through many countries … like a flood (v. 40). He will move quickly into the land of Israel, the Beautiful Land (v. 41; cf. v. 16; 8:9). His first strike will be against Egypt (11:42-43a), for Egypt and her Arab allies (Libyans and Nubians, v. 43) are the ones who will initiate the invasion on Israel. ['He will also invade the Beautiful Land' - Daniel 11:41, NIV]. On this occasion the king will not conquer the territory of Edom, Moab, and … Ammon (v. 41), now included in the present kingdom of Jordan. But he will gain control over “many countries.”
11:44-45. Then the Antichrist will hear alarming reports from the east, probably referring to an invasion by a massive army of 200 million soldiers from east of the Euphrates River, Rev. 9:16 (I strongly disagree Rev 9:16 refers to an actual human army of 200 million soldiers, see NOTE below) and from the north (perhaps another attack by the king of the North; cf. Dan. 11:40). Enraged, the Antichrist will set out to destroy … many of the invaders. Then he will occupy Israel and will pitch his royal tents between the seas, that is, between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, at the beautiful holy mountain, probably Jerusalem. Posing as Christ, the Antichrist will set up his headquarters in Jerusalem, the same city from which Christ will rule the world in the Millennium (Zech. 14:4, 17). The Antichrist will also pose as Christ by introducing a one-world government with himself as the ruler and a one-world religion in which he is worshiped as god. But God will destroy the kingdom of this king (he will come to his end; cf. Dan. 7:11, 26) at the personal appearance of Jesus Christ to this earth (Rev. 19:19-20)."
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Da 11:40–45). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Although I've never visited Jerusalem, I've seen plenty of pictures of Israel, "The Beautiful Land" or better known as "The Land of Promise".  I look upon Jerusalem almost every afternoon; having a great view of the location where the 2nd Jewish Temple once stood.  Alas, perfect view is that of a panoramic poster stapled to the wall in my little tiny closet sized break room; where I eat my lunch just about every day.  And on these days I look upon where God's temple will stand from the Mt. of Olives; or better yet, I imagine that I'm standing on the Mt. of Olives where I assume; there's a view of the Kidron Valley below.  Stuffing my lunch down, I'd say to myself, "This will be my home one day".  I imagine Jesus returning in a cloud of glory; bringing with Him, His armies of the saints.  The Bible says Jesus will set foot on the Mt. of Olives (Zechariah 14:3) again.  Jesus spent a lot of time here on the Mt. of Olives when He was here the first time around.  All of you who had the privilege of stepping upon the Mt. of Olives during your visit have truly experienced a unique blessing indeed!  It is also written; I believe in the book of Ezekiel [according to Beth Moore of Living Proof Ministry; in her Bible study of the life of Jesus our Messiah] ... in the ancient days of the Israelites, when God left the Temple for good, He passed through the East gate of Jerusalem; through the Kidron Valley; and hovered above the Mt. of Olives before disappearing for good; or until...the birth of Jesus, the Messiah.  Oh, I believe, just this thought would bring about much debate.  So, I shall wait until Jesus, my Lord, returns ... before I make the "Beautiful Land" my permanent home.  (You have to do some serious reading about Biblical prophesy to understand what I just wrote about...I pray God will bless you with much knowledge and wisdom)

NOTE:  In the book of Daniel (e.g. Daniel 10:13) the angel explained his tardiness for 21 days was because of a spirit prince, principality unseen by the human eye, who blocked the angel's way.  I believe it when the Bible says that the 200 million soldiers mentioned in Revelation 9:16 are troops under the command of four angels of Revelation 9:15; therefore, concluding that verse 9:16 are actually spirit warriors.  They are NOT likely human warriors from China.  As Christians, we are taught (albeit difficult to enact and uphold at times) that we are in a spiritual warfare; but not against flesh and blood with our fellow human beings, but instead, all of us here are at constant odds with the principalities of this world who are under Satan's command:
  • "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12
  • "for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth.  He made the things we can see and the things we can't see - such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.  Everything was created through Him and for Him." Colossians 1:16
  • "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.  Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love." Romans 8:38
  • "Now Christ has gone to heaven.  He is seated in the place of honor next to God, and all the angels and authorities and powers accept His authority." 1 Peter 3:22
So, constant studying of God's Word is so crucial.  If you were to "google" this on the internet, you will see a lot of scary suppositions and theories about Revelation 9:16 and pointing their fingers at China's vast population; therefore, jump to the conclusion the prophesy is about a Chinese military.  But, one must look at all the verses leading up to 9:16.  In the previous verses, there's mention of four angels.  Angels are spirit, heavenly beings; capable of appearing between the heavenly and the earthly realm.  The prophesy indicates these four angels, once bound at the Euphrates river, were released to carry out their mission.  These four angels command an army of 200 million troops.  Angels are typically invisible to the human eyes.  Therefore, it's unlikely, the 200 million troops described in Revelation from the east are from China.  If you were to read further into Revelation 9, you will also discover that the mission resulted in three plagues that killed 1/3 of the world population.  And the Bible prophesy reveals that the Godless people of the future continued their wicked ways even after being struck down by three plagues. 

We are in a spiritual battle (even before God created the earth and mankind) both here and now; and it would seem, also in the future as well.   If experts can accurately shed more light on this, then praise God, that's terrific!  Pray that the Lord reveals His truth to them; and that when they do receive and accept God's revelation to them; they will have the courage to teach their discoveries to others.  To scare churchgoers with false teaching is just a blatant disregard of God's warning.  Just like during the "Cold War", someone or something introduced a controversial topic into some churches about the U.S.A (aka:  the eagle) being at war with the Soviet Union (aka:  the bear) at some time in the future; and that it's been prophesied in the Christian Bible.  And what a cart load of goat dung that was.  There were some who were falsely led to believe it as true.  The eagle-bear imagery was a distorted illustration probably taken from the book of Daniel (or Nostradamus, who is not mentioned in the Bible nor was he a Biblical prophet).  In the book of Daniel, the "lion with eagles wings" was actually ancient Bayblon; and the bear was the ancient Medo-Persian empire.  Both empires did battle each other - Babylon fell and the Medo-Persians took control.  But, all that took place around 2600 or 2700 years ago...or there abouts.  I only hope and pray such false teachings did not lead others astray.  Biblical prophesy is from God.  The Bible also says in Revelation 22:18 and 22:19 "...If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God shall add to him the plagues described in this book.  And if anyone subtracts any part of these prophecies, God shall take away his share in the Tree of Life, and in the Holy City just described."  We've all been through a lot here on earth.  I for one, certainly do not want to miss out on my rewards when rewards are being handed out at God's appointed time.

God is truly wonderful and merciful indeed!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Whore of Babylon

Experts say that the whore of Babylon is NOT a particular individual or person of the future.

This past, hot and muggy Saturday, I dog-sat for some family members.  Both being Christians, they left the radio on for the family's pooch.  Funny, how God uses different means to answer my question about Bible prophesy.  Since much of future events prophesied in the book of Daniel have already been identified in simple terms, I just can't help but wonder who or what is the whore of Babylon?  This question whirled around in my head for days.  And so, here I am, wondering about the reference in the book of Revelation.  I set that aside on the back burner but understood that the missing link could affect my understanding of many things foretold to us over two thousand years ago.  Checking on the pooch...a Christian radio program about end time prophesy was on the air!  I've tuned into this show before.  The host accepts calls from listeners and answers their questions.  This one person called in to ask about the whore of Babylon!  How eerie but awesome.  Well, the short answer he gave to the question is this:  the whore of Babylon mentioned in the book of Revelation is the church who has or will lead many astray.  When I heard this explanation, I almost dropped to the floor.  Why is it no one ever tells us anything!  I pulled out my PDA and Laptop and started searching for more on the Logos Bible software.  I've heard about Warren Weirsbe before from one of Beth Moore's bible study classes.  So, I pasted a portion of his commentary on the subject below:

The harlot represents the apostate world church of the latter days, centered in Rome. The name “Babylon” takes us back to Gen. 10:1–11 and 11:1–9, where the first organized rebellion against God took place. The name “Babel” means “confusion” and stands for apostate religion. The Babylonian system has been guilty of persecuting true believers ever since Cain killed Abel. All anti-Christian sects (even those that call themselves “Christian”) that have killed God’s servants are a part of this abominable system.  In the last days, one world church will be formed. This world church (the harlot) will be involved in the political and economic affairs of the world and, with the help of the Beast, will become a great power. The world church will “ride into power” on the back of the Beast, that is, with the help of Satan and the United States of Europe.  The Beast will get the support of the ten kings as he rides to victory (Rev. 6:1–2). A union will exist between the nations of Europe, the Beast, and the world church. The scene in chapter 17 takes place during the first half of the Tribulation. Note that the Beast has not yet been revealed in his true satanic character.  During the middle of the Tribulation, the Beast will want to have all power and worship for himself (chap. 13). This means he must get rid of the harlot, because she represents the worship of God, if even in an apostate way. Verse 16 indicates that the federated nations of Europe will turn against the world church and destroy her, fulfilling the prophecy of Rev. 2:20–23. Once the harlot is out of the way, the Beast will declare himself to be a god and demand the worship of the nations.  The apostate church is called a “harlot,” while the true church is pictured as a pure bride. The harlot is in the wilderness; the bride is in heaven. The harlot is adorned by Satan (17:4), while the bride is adorned by Christ (19:8). The harlot is judged forever; the bride reigns forever. The harlot is stained with the blood of the martyrs; the bride is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.  It behooves dedicated Christians to separate themselves from Satan’s false church and to identify with those who are true to Christ and the Word of God. The false church may appear to be successful for a season, but her doom is fixed.

Here we read of commercial Babylon, which represents the great global system of the latter days. Of course, religious Babylon (the apostate church) will have a great part to play in the economics of the nations. When this religious system collapses, it will be the beginning of the end for the Beast’s entire empire, although he will have three and one-half years yet to reign. It is comforting to read 17:17 and realize that all of these things fulfill the Word of God! Note in this chapter four different voices:

I. The Voice of Judgment (18:1–3)

This angel announces the fall of Babylon, an event that has already been announced (14:8 and 16:19). The repetition of “is fallen, is fallen” suggests the dual judgment of the two chapters (on religious and commercial Babylon), as well as the statement in v. 6 that she would receive double for her sins. This “great city” (v. 10), the center of the world economic system, will finally get what it deserves from the hand of God. It has become a habitation of demons (see Eph. 2:22, where the church is a habitation of the Spirit), and a haven for foul spirits (see 16:13–14). Satan is often pictured as a bird (Matt. 13:4, 19, 31–32). Verse 3 indicates that Babylon influenced the nations of the earth the way wine influences drunkards. But this city made them rich, which was all that mattered to them.

II. The Voice of Separation (18:4–8)

Some of God’s people are in this city, and God wants them to come out for two reasons: (1) the city will be destroyed and He wants them saved; (2) the city is satanic and He does not want them defiled. “Come out!” has always been God’s call to His people, for salvation means separation from the world unto the Lord (2 Cor. 6:14ff). The world glorifies itself (v. 7); the Christian seeks to glorify God. The world lives for the “delicious pleasures of sin,” while the Christian lives for the pleasures of Christ. Look at Babylon’s pride in v. 7: “I sit a queen … and shall see no sorrow!” But v. 8 indicates that in one day she will exchange her joys for sorrow, her riches for famine! There is a lesson here for God’s people today: “Do not share in other people’s sins” (see 1 Tim. 5:22; also Jer. 51:9).

III. The Voice of Mourning (18:9–19)

We see two groups lamenting the fall of Babylon: the kings of the earth (vv. 9–10), and the merchants of the earth (vv. 11–19). They had “committed fornication” with Babylon by rejecting the true God and going after idols, money in particular. They sold their souls for wealth. Their luxurious living was now at an end. Note the repetition of “Alas, alas!” in vv. 10, 16, and 19. Babylon is judged in one day (v. 8) and one hour (vv. 10, 19).  Why do the merchants and kings lament? Because their merchandise is now gone. Verses 12–13 indicate the vast wealth of the mercantile system, including “slaves and the souls of men.” Slavery will increase in the last days, for Satan has always wanted to enslave the souls and bodies of humans. The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer. Both luxuries and necessities will be destroyed when God judges Babylon. Shipping will be destroyed and the shipping industry brought to ruin. The world’s peoples depend on this economic system to care for them, protect them, and satisfy them; but ultimately it will fail them.

IV. The Voice of Rejoicing (18:20–24)

The men of the earth never have the same viewpoint as the people of God. When Satan was cast out of heaven, heaven rejoiced but the earth mourned (12:10–12). Now that Babylon has been destroyed, heaven rejoices but earth laments.  The main reason for heaven’s rejoicing is that God has avenged the blood of the martyrs. The Babylonian system is satanic and from the very beginning (Gen. 4) has been responsible for the martyrdom of God’s faithful people. The souls under the altar in Rev. 6:9–11 had asked, “How long, O Lord?” Now their prayer is answered: God has avenged their blood. See Rom. 12:19.  The casting down of the millstone indicates the suddenness of God’s judgment on the empire of the Beast. Some students see in this millstone the return of Christ, the Smiting Stone, as pictured in Dan. 2:34–35, 44–45. Just when the world thinks it is performing beautifully, Christ will return to destroy its works.  Note the repeated “no more” statements in this chapter, and read Jer. 25:9–11. When God says “No more!” there is nothing man can do to change it. Read Jer. 51 also.  We have seen, then, the destruction of the Beast’s economic and religious empire. All that remains is for Christ to destroy his armies, and this we see in chapter 19 [of the book of Revelation].

Wiersbe, W. W. (1997). Wiersbe's expository outlines on the New Testament (847–849). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Armies of the Saints

I am no historian; nor a religion expert, and definitely not a politician.  God created me to be an explorer, an artist, poet, and writer; which I know without a doubt, God will see that I do just that on the new Earth one day.

Since 9/11, the role of our military has become significantly more important than ever before; not since our two world wars fought during the 20th century of American history.  After WWII, the ally forces created the WEU which in it's infancy, comprised of 10 nations.  Having just completed my Bible study of Daniel, when I discovered this bit of history, I was terrified for the unsaved.   OMG!  The prophetic end times is nearer than I was taught to believe.  I was shocked; terrified; and very disappointed with the Christian church (of all denominations).  Jesus was not kidding when He said He will be returning soon (Revelation 12:22) and with His return will be the "rewards" according to our deeds and judgment to those who do not accept Jesus as their Lord and savior. 

Lately, I've been wondering if our armies will be the armies of the saints and whose side will our military personnel take when that time arrives.  In my earlier study of Biblical prophesy, as a newbie, I wasn't 100% certain if Jerusalem would be under seige again.  In my reading of scripture, the Holy Spirit guided me through some of the passages of Zechariah 14.  When this time comes, whose side will our armies be on?  Whose nation will follow the anti-Christ and which nation will hold their ground and uphold their faith in the Lord?  These are difficult questions.  I think, a person must keep in perspective what the book of Daniel entails.  In summary, the statue of Neb and the 4th world empire should be looked upon from a much, much bigger perspective.  The ancient Roman empire is considered a world empire because it stretched throughout parts of the present day continent of Europe and Africa; but it did not literally cover the entire planet.  For example, present day China was never under the rule of ancient Rome.  However, the future world order under the anti-Christ could possibly influence (but without 100% certainty) China in two areas:  economic policy and/or natural resources (e.g. oil - just as Beth Moore speculated).  Today, half of our world headlines are about monetary policy and the debt crisis; the other half, about middle-east instability. 

I agree, as Christians, we do need to be prepared.  If Jesus returns during our lifetime, that's great Praise God!  If you've confessed your sin, humbled and submit yourself to Christ and asked Jesus into your heart and to be Lord over you; then you have nothing to fear.  There is no fear of the end; no fear of the uncertain.  I just hope and pray you don't mind being around, "hob knobbing" with a lot of people - including famous historical figures you read and studied about in school. 

Hot dog!  I get to spend eternity with God, Jesus, Abraham, Moses, John the Baptist (who unlike me, did not have an IPhone in his pocket or leather satchel), George and Martha Washington, ....and that's just naming a few.

Hopefully, your name will be found in the Lamb's book of life.

Our Lord is wonderful and marvelous!