Behold a Virgin shall Conceive Part 3

We began this series by examining the word virgin in Isaiah 7:14, and continued by looking at the historical aspects surrounding the verse, and finally, we are going to tie this all together as to why this chapter is about not only the Messiah, but also why there had to be two advents.

To do this, we have to actually back up to chapter 6, which begins with Isaiah seeing the Lord, to Whom he cries out:

Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

He is, no doubt, thinking of when Moses was allowed to see only the hinder parts of God least he die.

Isaiah 6:6-7 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: (7) And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.

This could be a study in and of itself, but for the sake of brevity just note that his sins are forgiven.

Isaiah 6:9-10 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. (10) Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

God told Isaiah that they would not understand. Understand what? Well, the next several chapters, especially chapters 7-14, if not all of what He would say, but it is particularly important to note that Jesus tells us that this is part of the first advent. Observe:

Matthew 13:10-16 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? (11) He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. (12) For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. (13) Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. (14) And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: (15) For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (16) But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Isaiah 6:11-12 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, (12) And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.

This means that they are going to be taken all away, and they are not going to understand until AFTER their return. They still have not returned, not all, and certainly not the House of Israel, that is to say the ten northern tribes.

Take special note of this final verse of the chapter:

Isaiah 6:13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof.

This translation really doesn’t cover what the Bible is saying here because we don’t eat teil trees or oaks, as they are deciduous trees, and the word eaten, here, is more along the lines of “used up,” not “consumed”. What it is really saying is that the trees (note there are two trees for both the houses of Israel and Judah) are going to shed their leaves, and their substance will be in them, just like how a deciduous tree moves it’s sap, etc., down into the roots (remember the root of Jesse?) to survive winter or a dry season.

“So the Holy Seed shall be the substance thereof.” This is the exact same seed God spoke about, and has been protecting, way back since the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

And that, my friends, is the first prophecy concerning Jesus Christ.

This brings us back to chapter 7.

Isaiah 7:3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field;

When God gives us a specific place and specific people, it’s time to open those eyes. A fuller’s job was to cleanse impurities from cloth or wool, and the fuller’s field is where they did their work. So, why did God tell him to speak to Ahaz here? It was to let us know that all the crud is going to get scrubbed, that is to say the wickedness and sinful behavior will be removed. If we then pair that location with Isaiah’s son, Shearjashub, which means, “a remnant will return,” it gives us the message that Israel shall return after they are cleansed.

Isaiah had two sons (that we know of), and this is the only place this son is mentioned. His other son, Mahershalalhashbaz, which means, “hastened-booty speedy spoil,” is only mentioned at the beginning of chapter 8. Most students of the Bible recognize that the second child, Mahershalalhashbaz, is the sign promised to Ahaz, and that the name itself (given by God in Isaiah 8:1) tells us how the Assyrian will come.

Isaiah 8:3-4 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. (4) For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

What most people read over is:

Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

That is “children,” plural. This means both children, and Isaiah (which means, “Yahaveh’s Salvation.”) himself. What does that mean if we put all of this together? It means, “From Yahaveh’s Salvation (Isaiah) comes two children, Shearjashub and Mahershalalhashbaz.” This tells us that God’s salvation plan has two parts, and if we pay attention, we will know that means two advents. That is why John asked:

Luke 7:19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

He didn’t ask if we should look for another because he didn’t know who Jesus was at this point: he had already baptized Him, and the Holy Spirit announced who He was. He asked because he knew that God’s salvation plan had TWO parts.

Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

These verses do not describe Mahershalalhashbaz. That child was only the type to prove the words of Isaiah were true. I didn’t really want this article to turn solely into a post about the two advents (I feel that should be a topic in a of itself). I began by just wanting to address some of the criticisms that the word, “virgin,” receives, and it has turned into all of this. I hope you have learned something worth-while, and it has caused you to look deeper into His word for yourself. I can’t help but close with these two verses:

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

This is the first advent.

Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

This is the second advent.

Until next time, May God bless you and keep you.

Revelation 10

In the previous chapter, 9, we entered the end time stage known as the Great Tribulation, a time of troubles never before seen on earth. We will now learn about more events which will take place during this testing period.

(Revelation 10:1) And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:

God is sending His angel scout to earth to survey the conditions and what has happened so far. God has the ability to do anything and everything Himself, but He chooses to use His faithful servants as much as He can, just as He has since the beginning of time, because it is an honor to serve Him.

The angel scout is bathed in the glory of God and accompanied by God’s consuming fire, and as impressive as this is, it pales in comparison to the presence God Himself. However, this event will not be perceptible by those here on earth.

(Revelation 10:2) And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,

This little book has the events of the seven thunders written within, which means that they are already predetermined by God, and this angel is aware of what is written, but for whatever reason they are shared with John, though he is not supposed to tell anyone else. It may very well be that they can be deduced from throughout the Bible, and will be before they happen, but there will be very few that will know and recognize these, and rest assured these people would also not share them with everyone else. This knowledge is also likely contained within the golden oil piped to the elect from the two witnesses, who arrive just before antichrist, about which we will read in the next chapter of Revelation, 11.

The scout angel was sent down to earth in person to observe all that will be taking place halfway through the tribulation and he is even to wonder among the people (the sea) and observe that the conditions are right for the next step to begin.

(Revelation 10:3) And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.

With boldness, the angel is proclaiming that it is time for the events of the seven thunders to be proclaimed for John’s benefit, at which time these events had not happened. We can determine that these events had not yet occurred by the time the 6th trumpet had sounded. They are events that will take place after the 6th trump, in the second half of the tribulation.

(Revelation 10:4) And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

These seven thunders are signs which are not to be recognized until after they have happened, just as we do not hear thunder until after we see the lightning. By the time we observe the sound of the thunder, the lightning has already struck and done its damage. This is the reason these things are not written, because they are not to be known ahead of time. We are foretold all things, and if we study the Bible honestly and in prayer, we will know what things are about to come. The seven thunders, however, are those things that the rest of the world will look back on and realize they should have known what was to be, only they hadn’t read. The unlearned of the Bible will be kicking themselves, but will only have themselves to blame. Remember, hindsight is 20/20.

Also, lightning can be seen from very far away, which is how the coming of Jesus is described:

(Matthew 24:26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

(Matthew 24:27) For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(Matthew 24:28) For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

If we do not see Jesus Himself immediately upon His return, it is not Jesus, but the antichrist instead. Everyone will know instantly when He returns. By the time, the rest of the world sees Jesus’ second coming, it will be too late for repentance. We will then enter a period of discipline and correction for those who were not prepared.

(Revelation 10:5) And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,

(Revelation 10:6) And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:

In the name of God, the scout is confirming that it is the right time for the final stage of the flesh age to begin, in which satan, as antichrist, and his fallen angels will be cast by the archangel Michael down to earth to test everyone alive at that time. The world, as we now know it, is coming to an end.

(Revelation 10:7) But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

It is at this time that the last of God’s servants, his elect, are sealed with the complete knowledge of all the events that are imminent. This seal is both a protection against being deceived by satan and receiving his mark of the beast, and to ensure that God’s servants know and complete their mission to the end.

(Revelation 10:8) And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.

Now, John is instructed to receive the knowledge in this book from God’s scout.

(Revelation 10:9) And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

To eat a book or a scroll means to consume its knowledge. Once he does this, the contents of the book will enlighten John, but at the same time, it will make him literally sick and cause anxiety because of the gravity of what it contains. This is common when someone is given deeper understanding of God’s Word. It can be both a blessing and a curse, but God’s servants can handle it and welcome it. This is why it is given to only a select few that are strong enough for the responsibility. Note that John is told to take the book. It isn’t handed over by the angel because we are to take an active role in learning what is written therein.

Are you strong enough?

(Revelation 10:10) And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.

John has the intestinal fortitude to get the job done.

(Revelation 10:11) And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

Now John will be given yet another vision to convey to those who will receive it.

Do you want to have a role to serve God and His plan in the events of the end of the flesh age?

God bless.

Behold a Virgin shall Conceive Part 2

In Part 1, we addressed the use of the Hebrew word, almah (virgin), as it is used in Isaiah 7:14. Today we are going to look at the whole of chapter 7 and onwards to understand the historical aspects of what is written, which will lead to how it pertains to the birth of Christ, and then into His future return.

Many people ask why the historical context is important, and the answer is really twofold. First, it’s important because God gave us a very specific set of instructions to tell whether a prophet came from Him or not.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22  But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. (21) And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? (22) When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Many scholars will look at historical prophecies, like those given in Daniel, and say that they have already come to pass, and that they were given to those specific people for that specific period of time, and that those prophecies don’t have any more meaning for us today. The problem with that is there are many parts of Daniel and this book of Isaiah that have not come to pass even to this day. Why? Because God gave us the prophecy and allowed it to be partially fulfilled to show that prophets like Isaiah and Daniel truly came from Him. If we only have prophecy given for the end of the world then we wouldn’t know if they came from Him until after the end of the world and by then it wouldn’t matter. God wants us to know before hand.

Mark 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

The second reason is that the historical context gives us the example for the future. Thus, if we can see the physical past events that happened, it helps us to understand not only the physical events that will happen, but also the spiritual ones.

1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Therefore, we need to know and understand what happened historically during the time of Isaiah.

Isaiah 7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it.

What did the world look like at this point in history? The kingdoms of Judah and Israel, having been split, are sometimes called the northern and southern kingdoms.  The northern kingdom didn’t want to go down to Jerusalem to worship, and instead they set up two golden calves to worship.

To the north of the northern kingdom, you have Syria, and to its east you have the big daddy superpower of the world Assyria. The Assyrian empire was extremely aggressive and had, in the not too distant past, threatened the northern kingdom during the reign of Menahem. Menahem decided to pay tribute to Assyria instead of fighting, however as anyone knows, if you feed a problem it only makes it hungrier.

Israel was a mess and was well past the four sons that God had promised Jehu would sit on the throne, Jehoadaz, Jehoash, Jeroboam II and Zechariah. Now we have a pile of evil generals and politicos that started with Shallum and there is even some evidence that supports the notion that the northern kingdom was split between Israel and Ephraim. Regardless, God wasn’t happy with any of it.

Did Israel care? No, of course not. So they decided to join up with Syria and attack Judah. Now it’s hard to say for sure why Israel decided to attack Judah. Some speculate that Israel and Syria joined forces to stave off the mounting pressure of Assyria and wanted Ahaz to join them. Ahaz refused so they attacked him. It would seem strange for a pair of kings, worried about an Assyrian assault, to attack a southern neighbor, but it isn’t unheard of. I mean, Hitler did the same thing with Russia while fighting the west. The bottom line is people do strange things when they don’t stop to consult our Father.

Now Ahaz wasn’t a peach. He was just as evil as… well he was a bad dude. He sacrificed, not only to other gods, but he participated in Molechism, which is tossing children into fire. But when you decide to join up with a foreigner (Syria) and attack your brother (Judah), you’re going to be in a heap of hurt. Those of you that have kids can relate. If your sons or daughters have a fight with one another, that’s one thing, but if one of your sons grabs some other kid and uses him to beat up their brother that is crossing the line. Quite frankly, it’s unthinkable for most of us, but that is what Pekah did.

Reading on in Isaiah chapter 7, we will find that God sends Isaiah and specifically tells him to bring his son Shearjashub (this will be important to remember in the next part) to meet with Ahaz and tell him that Syria and Ephraim are not going to prevail, and that within 65 years they are not going to even be a people. Then God says:

Isaiah 7:10-11  Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, (11) Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

Pause a moment. God tells you to ask for a sign would you ask? I mean He didn’t say I’ll give you one if you would like. He TOLD him to ask, but what does the mighty Ahaz do?

Isaiah 7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

He can sacrifice children to Molech, but he won’t tempt God by doing what He tells him to do. That calls to mind a verse earlier in this book of Isaiah doesn’t it?

Isaiah 3:4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.

Anyway, that brings us to the well-known verse 14

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This is the SIGN for the above prophecy. Namely, that God is going to make it so that Syria and Ephraim are no longer a people. Historically, this happened which is why most of Israel is scattered to this day, not knowing who they are.

Fast-forward to chapter 8:

Isaiah 8:1-4  Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. (2) And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. (3) And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. (4) For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

Clearly the prophetess isn’t a virgin (though she could’ve been prior), but obviously this is the child of which God spoke that would come, but only in part. This child is a proof that what Isaiah said was true. How do we know Mahershalalhashbaz isn’t the child Immanuel? Because if you read on through to chapter 9 you come to:

Isaiah 9:6-7  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Did Mahershalalhashbaz accomplish this? No, and because he wasn’t of the house of David, we know that ultimately this isn’t the child God intended. Thus, we know that God intended this for a future messiah.  Also if you read on through to chapter 14, where this whole sequence continues on to, you will see that Mahershalalhashbaz doesn’t come close to fitting the bill in it’s entirety.

But, was Mahershalalhashbaz the one Isaiah (or God rather) was speaking about in 7:14? Well Isaiah seemed to think so:

Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

But wait, it says Children not child. Hey I’m glad you noticed that. It does say that, doesn’t it? That’s why I told you to note how God told Isaiah to bring his son, Shearjashub which means, a remnant shall return. And we will cover what that sign means prophecically even onto this day when we return in part 3.

If this was helpful please share and God bless.

Revelation 9

In chapter 8, we read about the blowings of the first four trumpets of God, in which each signal and announce the next stage of the end times. We are then told that there are three woes about to come. In chapter 9, we will see the ushering-in of these first two woes, which will be a time of troubles and tribulation never before seen on earth.

(Revelation 9:1) And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

As the fifth trumpet is blown, a star will from from heaven, which is the spiritual influence of satan on earth, and this will be stronger at this time than ever before. He will also be given the key to the bottomless pit, which is where his fallen angels, those who made the decision to attempt to thwart God’s plan and come to earth to wreak havoc for Him on two separate occasions in the past, are currently held. With satan being given the key to this holding place, he is being given partial and temporary control once again over them for the ultimate good of God’s purpose. Later in Revelation, we will learn what this ultimate good is.

This 5th trumpet announces the first half of the tribulation.

(Revelation 9:2) And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

With this key, satan opens up the bottomless pit to release these demonic beings physically. Up until now, since they have been under lock and key as we are told in Jude, they have only been able to have a mild spiritual presence and influence on earth, but now they will be free to roam. However, they will not come to earth immediately upon their escape. They will first begin a war in heaven against God’s angels for the first half of the tribulation, which in totality is known as the hour of temptation.

(Rev 12:6) And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

(Rev 12:7) And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

(Rev 12:8) And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

(Rev 12:9) And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

(Rev 12:10) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

(Rev 12:11) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

(Rev 12:12) Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

This woman in verse 12:6 represents God’s elect, the children of Israel (not to be confused with the nation of Israel in the Middle East), and they are about to head into the wilderness (which brings to mind the story of Moses and his people), in which God will take care of His elect and make sure they stay safe. This wondering in the wilderness of the second half of the tribulation was originally told to be 1230 days (3 1/2 years), before the timespan was shortened per Jesus, and this 1230 days corresponds to satan’s time on earth as antichrist, and is written there to remind us of this time period. Once the fallen angels are released, there will be war in Heaven, in which they will battle God’s angelic army, but they will not be able to defeat God, and Michael, one of God’s archangels, will cast satan and his cronies down to earth for the final half of the tribulation as part of God’s plan to test those on earth. This casting down will happen after the 6th trumpet, as we will find out in the next couple chapters.

Satan will be given a short time here on earth to deceive the world into leaving God and worshiping him instead. He will claim to be God and perform many miracles, but only those who truly know Jesus and His Word will be able to overcome satan’s deception.

(Rev 8:1) And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

In this verse of chapter 8, the seven seals have just finished being opened, signaling the vision of the seven trumpets to start for John. This can be confusing because the seals, like everything else in the Bible, have different levels of meaning. This does not mean that the trumpets start being blown after the 7th seal is opened because that would be mixing the levels of understanding. For our purposes here, we are talking about the actual chronological events of the trumpets. The seals, in the sense that they represent understanding of the end times, mean understanding of the last generation, and the 7th seal is the understanding of the events of the tribulation, including the trumpets.

When the 7th seal was opened in chapter 7, leading into verse 8:1, there was finally silence in Heaven for one half hour, half of the tribulation, because after the war between the angels in Heaven, satan and the fallen angels are to be cast down to earth for the second half hour of the tribulation. Once this happens, Heaven will finally be silent for that second half, as we are going to enter a period of testing no one has ever experienced.

(Revelation 9:3) And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Out of this pit, first comes smoke, which is the deception of satan that attempts to obscure and cover the light of God’s truth, just as smoke can extinguish the daylight. This smoke, in the first half of the tribulation, really begins to cover the earth, as the deception of the tribulation is begun. While these demons are physically still in Heaven, their spiritual influence will be all over the earth with satan’s, and this influence brings about the one world political system. This will prepare the world for the next step of the plan so the people are ready to accept him as their savior instead of Jesus.

This is one of the locust armies forecast by Joel the prophet in the Old Testament. The first is the “gnawer” stage, which is the kenites gnawing away at our freedoms. Second is the “swarmer” stage, the arab muslims swarming the world to attempt to attain world dominance. The third is the “devourer,” which are the fallen angels devouring men from the inside out. And the Fourth, and final stage, is the “consumer,” in which satan and his fallen angels are on earth physically in person. With this 5th Trump, we are at the “devourer” stage.

They will be like scorpions, which devour their prey by stinging and first digesting their victims from the inside, before sucking and consuming those digested innards. These demons will be preparing man by turning his mind into mush before they arrive in person to spiritually consume those they have deceived. This smoke of deception will be their sting.

(Revelation 9:4) And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

The grass here emphasizes the frailty of flesh mankind and the green things are those who are spiritually healthy, the bride of Christ, and those trees are people. The demons are commanded by God not to hurt anyone on earth until those chosen by God are sealed with understanding the Holy Spirit would give them to lock away in their minds.

(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.

Chapter 7, the 6th seal, details the sealing of God’s chosen before the arrival of antichrist, who is satan, on earth. The sealing will protect those sealed from falling to satan’s deception and worshiping him, which would have otherwise caused them to receive the mark of the beast. Everyone on earth will have either the Seal of God or the Mark of the Beast in their minds.

(Revelation 9:5) And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

Those without the Seal of God will be tormented during this time by the full-strength lies of satan. Not only that, but in a few chapters, we will see the fate of those who receive the Mark of the Beast as the 7 angles pour out their vials.

(Revelation 9:6) And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

This is twofold in the sense that those who are deceived will believe satan is God, and they will want to leave they earth and be with him in a spirit form, but when they receive the initial punishment for their transgressions, they will be suffering as they never have before, but yet they will still not repent. They will believe they are doing what God wants them to and will not understand why they are suffering. They have chosen to ignore God’s Word, which is why they are so easily deceived.

(Revelation 9:7) And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

These locusts are doing battle here on earth, but they will soon be here in person and will battle like they’ve never done before. They will assume the role of spiritual leaders peddling a false doctrine, that only appears to be the doctrine of God to most in the world. But it is not really the pure gold from Jesus, and those who study His Word thoroughly will know the difference. They will seem to be people, and will appear not only harmless, but benevolent.

(Revelation 9:8) And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

They will appear to be beautiful and angelic and good to those that are unlearned, but they are actually ferociously evil and ready to destroy souls. These demons will fool you with their gentleness and kill you with kindness.

(Revelation 9:9) And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

Breastplates were the attire of the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament, meaning that these fallen angels will pretend to serve God, but the breastplates that they would wear are not of gold, they are of iron. This iron construction calls to mind the iron used in the idol made by Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3, in which the iron represents the demonic fallen angels that will intermix with the men, which are the clay. The wings they have here are the protection of satan, which is only superficial because God allows them all to do what they’re doing to accomplish His plan. He could wipe them out at any time if He wanted to, yet He uses their evil for the benefit of us all in the end.

(Revelation 9:10) And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

As we are told by Jesus, He shortened the time of the tribulation, both the first and second halves. Originally the tribulation was told to be 7 years, meaning spiritual completion, and was in two 3 1/2 month halves. But the length of the shortening we are given is 10 months, the same as the length of the flood in Noah’s time, with two 5-month halves. This is the first half, and people are being prepared by the scorpions by being turned to mush, as preparation from the second half, when the evil ones are here to take control of the world, de facto.

(Revelation 9:11) And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

Of course, as we now know, their leader is satan, the destroyer (Apollyon). He is given the key and is the one who releases them from the pit at the right time.

(Revelation 9:12) One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

The 5th trump has been the first of the three woes about which we foretold about in chapter 8. We are about to enter into the Second Woe, which will be worse than the first.

(Revelation 9:13) And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

Those four horns of the altar of God are those who have power under God. They are the four archangels, who are like God’s main generals.

(Revelation 9:14) Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

As the 6th trumpet is blown, satan’s counterparts to God’s archangels are released in the middle east, at the Euphrates, the symbolic boundary between the ways of the heathens in Babylon and the ways of God’s people. The ways of Babylon are about to spread completely to the remaining part of the world as the religion of Mystery Babylon, the one world religious system of satan.

(Revelation 9:15) And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

Satan’s four generals have been held in place for this very prophetic time. They are coming, hoping to deceive the rest of the world which has held out its allegiance, including God’s elect which have not faltered. Of course, since God’s elect have been sealed, they will continue to hold strong.

(Revelation 9:16) And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

This is an idiom meaning they will be innumerable.

(Rev 9:17) And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

Again, these beings are ready to tear people’s souls to pieces. They will have a false gospel, and their deception will cover up the light of God’s truth.

(Rev 9:18) By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

Those who have not yet submitted to this world system, but do not have God’s Seal, will finally whore after satan and receive the Mark of the Beast, as satan’s deception convinces them.

(Rev 9:19) For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.

The authority they are given for deception is by their words, and is able to poison the minds of those who would allow themselves to be stung. They are just as evil as the old serpent, satan, and will do whatever is necessary to accomplish their objectives.

(Rev 9:20) And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

(Rev 9:21) Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

Those who are not physically harmed in this time, yet who don’t have eyes to see and ears to hear God’s truth, and are victims of this deception, will not repent: They don’t even know enough to realize how wrong they are.

This is the reason we study God’s Word. We don’t want to fall victim to satan. Though these people will be satan’s victims, they will still be held accountable for their inadequacy. Study and prepare so that you will be one that will please God.

God bless.

 

Behold a Virgin shall Conceive Part 1

Critics like to attack the book of Matthew, and they usually begin those attacks in the very first chapter.

Matthew 1:21-23 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. (22) Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (23) Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

For Christians we call these verses to mind every year, and it becomes a large bedrock of our faith. Others will say that the prophecy he is referring to doesn’t use the word virgin, nor is it speaking about the Messiah.

When I began this post I thought that I was going to just going to look at the prophecy it comes from:

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel,

and examine the Hebrew word that the King James Bible translates as ‘virgin’ and leave it at that, but it would seem that God wouldn’t let me stop there and what began as a single article has grown into what will be probably three or four.

So without further ado, let’s pull up the word virgin in Isaiah 7:14:

H5959  עַלְמָה  ‛almâh
al-maw’
Feminine of H5958; a lass (as veiled or private): – damsel, maid, virgin.

So what’s the problem? Clearly virgin is on the list of possible translations right? It is, but there is a group of Hebrew scholars that say it shouldn’t mean virgin, but rather it should be a young girl or woman. Now if that’s true, then why was it ever translated virgin? Good question. The claim is that the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), completed probably around the 3rd century, used the Greek word for virgin instead of young woman, and that it was the Septuagint that Matthew referenced to compose his gospel. So, they say that Christians have been using the wrong translation ever since. A point which I feel is rendered moot when you consider the Septuagint was translated by 70 or more Hebrew Scholars that didn’t have any Christian influence since it was translated 2-300 years before Jesus was born.

Where does that leave us? First if you think about it, even if the word meant young unmarried woman or maid, it would almost certainly imply she is a virgin. But let’s not just say that because Hebrew scholars will say that, if it meant virgin, it would have used the word ‘bethulah,’ which leaves us with the fact that, if you grab from Christian sources, you will find many reasons (some good and some bad) as to why the word should be ‘virgin,’ and if you grab from Jewish sources (some good and some bad) you will find a myriad of reasons why ‘almah’ doesn’t mean virgin.

For now let’s back up from the word a bit and look at the context.

Isaiah 7:10-14 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, (11) Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. (12) But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. (13) And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? (14) Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

God tells Ahaz to ask for a sign. Ahaz refuses and God says He is going to give one anyway. Right? So think on this a moment. God says there is going to be a sign, whether Ahaz wants one or not, which must mean this sign is pretty important. It would also mean that the sign would be special. Correct? In the book of John, when God gives us a sign, He raises the dead. When He wanted to give Egypt a sign, He split the Red Sea. So here, when God wants to give a special sign, He says that a woman will give birth? I don’t know about you guys, but it doesn’t seem to me that a woman giving birth is very earth-shattering.  I mean, I don’t want to make it sound that I think the miracle of birth isn’t special, but it isn’t rare. It happens every few seconds.

That being said, chapter 8 gives us the birth of Mahershalalhashbaz (which means hasten-booty speed spoil) who God names. This is probably the real reason that they used the word, almah, and not ‘bethulah,’ because the first child wasn’t born from a virgin, and that child didn’t complete everything given in the prophecy (we will cover more on this in the next post), whereas the second, Jesus of Nazareth, did.

The next segment is where things really start to get interesting because you see that “A virgin shall conceive” isn’t the prophecy, not really. It is the sign God would give so that we would know that the prophecy in Isaiah 7 was not only true, but that we would have the time frame of the whole thing. Until next time, may God bless you and keep you.

 

The Death of Lazarus John 11:1-45

Chapter 11 of John brings us to the 7th of the 8 signs of Jesus. As with all the signs there are several levels, and we will try to tackle each of them as we go through this chapter. On the surface, we see Christ raising the dead, thus showing God’s power over death and to prove to everyone that Jesus is the Messiah.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Going deeper, we see that, with Christ, we don’t die, that He is the Light of the World, and if we go still deeper, we will see the death of the priesthood and how Jesus let the priesthood die so that it could be brought back to life anew after the order of Melchizedek (in the Old Testament, or Melchisedec in the new Testament).  With that said, let’s dig in.

John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

Lazarus in the Hebrew tongue is Eleazar, which is the name of Aaron’s son who took over the priesthood. This isn’t a coincidence. God wants us to see the connection between the priesthood and Lazarus, who is soon to die. The story of Mary and Martha is in Luke 10:38.

John 11:2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

This story can be found in Luke 7:36.

John 11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

We know that, at this time, the priesthood was sick, actually dead since the office of the high priest was sold and the rightful high priest was kicked out and forced to go to Egypt. This left many of Israel crying out to the Lord for help.  Thus we will see, in this instance, that Martha and Mary are symbols of Israel and Judah, the two sisters that won’t be rejoined together until after Christ returns (See Ezekiel 37).

John 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

We have to remember that this all happens for God’s glory.

John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. (6) When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

Why did He wait? In part it was make sure Lazarus had died and was dead long enough that nobody could say he recovered from a sickness, and that nobody could cheapen the miracle, but we must also remember that when we are given a specific number of days, especially in John, it’s to point to a deeper meaning. Keep that in mind as we move along.

John 11:7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. (8) His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

Remember this was just in the last chapter.

John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. (10) But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

This is a big lesson that we all need to learn. If you are doing a job for God it’s going to get done. You don’t have to worry about knuckleheads getting in your way. If you walk with Him and in the light, you can navigate around the rocks in your life just fine.

John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. (12) Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. (13) Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. (14) Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

This whole exchange reminds me so often that God tells us things and we just don’t get it until we force Him to spell it out. If you’ve felt stupid or on the wrong page with the Father don’t worry because He is patient and the disciples weren’t any better.

John 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

This miracle is going to be a sign for us and Jesus is saying that He is thankful that we have it because, by our very nature, we are faithless creatures who need to see to believe.

John 11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

Didymus means twin, and what he is saying is that if Jesus is going to where they want to kill Him then he wants to go and bring on the fight.

John 11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

Jewish tradition taught that the soul lingered about for three days, thus by waiting until the fourth day, it made it impossible for the pharisees to say that the soul simply returned to the body, or that Lazarus was somehow otherwise resuscitated.  That of course is all on the surface of what Jesus is trying to show us here. Remember:

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Thus, if we count days from God’s perspective we are talking 4000 years which is the same as the time from Adam to Jesus.

Now I told you before that Lazarus represents the priesthood in this instance and that the priesthood was sick.  It needed to die so that it could be reborn after the order of Melchizedek.

If you are not familiar with Melchizedek I encourage you to read Genesis 14 and Hebrews 5-7. Later, I’m sure we will do a study on this.

John 11:18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: (19) And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. (20) Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. (21) Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

This clearly shows Martha has very strong faith that Jesus can heal the sick, but remember God is everywhere, so there was a purpose to all of this.

John 11:22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

Again she shows her faith. She knows that even though Lazarus is dead God can bring him back to life at request of Jesus, but I feel that she is almost afraid to ask for something this spectacular.

John 11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. (24) Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

Again you can see that even though Martha believes that God through Jesus could do anything. It’s something that she doesn’t think God WOULD do, thus she thinks He is speaking about the last day.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

And here He is clearly speaking about a spiritual resurrection of all believers so you can’t blame her for thinking as she does.

John 11:27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. (28) And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. (29) As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. (30) Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

Naturally when Mary heard that Jesus wanted her, she went.

John 11:31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

Again this is natural.

John 11:32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

Here she is almost accusing Him of his death.

John 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, (34) And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

To say that He groaned really doesn’t cover it, so let’s pull up this word.

G1690

ἐμβριμάομαι
embrimaomai
em-brim-ah’-om-ahee
From G1722 and βριμάομαι brimaomai (to snort with anger); to have indignation on, that is, (transitively) to blame, (intransitively) to sigh with chagrin, (specifically) to sternly enjoin: – straitly charge, groan, murmur against.

Long story short, this means He was ticked. Can you guess why?

John 11:35 Jesus wept.

This is the shortest verse in the Bible and is often quoted, but few know or care to pause to note why Jesus wept.

John 11:36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

They simply do not understand.

John 11:37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

Now we know why He wept. They didn’t have any faith, and quite frankly a lack of faith infuriates Him. Isn’t it human nature to just cut into someone and complain about how someone else could have done better and how they should’ve done this or that, instead of looking to themselves and to God to ask what they themselves could’ve done?

John 11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

This second “groan” is certainly done for emphasis, but I also wonder how much He hated to do a miracle around so many that lacked faith. Often He would have them pulled from a room, or would have told someone not to tell the story, but here, everyone sees.

John 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. (40) Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? (41) Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

It’s easy to overlook how much Jesus stopped to thank the Father. It is so easy to get caught up in something and forget to thank Him. Always take the time to thank Him.

John 11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. (43) And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. (44) And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

Again, they knew the stories. No doubt some of them had even seen some of His other miracles yet it took someone returning from the dead for them to believe in Him.  Does that make Him love them less? No, but it certainly ticks Him off and it is certainly a blessing to believe when you don’t see. Remember Thomas?

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

Far greater the blessing come to those whom believe first. Also, God doesn’t just leave you hanging either. He will build your faith. You just simply need to provide the seed of that faith.

With that, we will stop here for today. When we return, we will see the reaction of the religious community.

Space: The Primal Frontier

Have you ever looked up at the night’s sky and wondered about the Creation and the beginnings of the universe, and what existed before God created all these beautiful stars, nebulae, and galaxies billions of years ago? What is beyond the edges of space, the edges of the very universe? Into what space is the Universe expanding at rates faster than the speed of light? How can the universe warp space and time to expand at such a rate, which is a supposed speed barrier in the universe?

All those are intriguing questions, but for the purposes of this article we will, for now, focus on this question: What existed before the universe erupted by the so-called Big Bang? And what part did God play in all this?

If the universe one day decided to erupt into what is now practically an infinite expanse that is always getting bigger, then there was something which existed outside the singular point that scientists theorize once contained all of the matter in the universe, a point with billions of times more mass than any black hole, all contained within a tiny, probably microscopic dot. All matter which we can detect would have been crammed into this infinitesimal space, and we aren’t going to argue whether or not this was the case, but let’s assume this was the case, which is fine with me as this doesn’t contradict anything in the Bible if you truly study what is written. I think we can then all agree that there was something that was beyond the edges of this invisibly small point, something that existed before the “Big Bang”: something much larger and older than the universe itself. What do we call this and how did it look?

Well, we currently can’t remember what it looked like, and that doesn’t really matter, but take some time to think about it and try to picture it. Imagine what space existed before the so-called “Big Bang”. What color was it? What did that tiny dot look like, if you were able to see it? Were there other tiny dots as well? Other universes? Was there any life at all at this point in time? And extra-universal life? Life that is possible outside of our universal context?

Can this expanse outside our universe have possibly existed without a consciousness to observe it? Think about this: if there was no conscious being to observe this universe before it was created, “Big Bang” or otherwise, then did it really exist? Well, according to most scientists, there was no life or consciousness before this time, so therefore what was there? The point of all of this, as they view all life as accidental and a chance happening, is that it could just as easily have not come to be, in their collective view. If life had not come to be, in any form, then would anything actually exist? If there was no one there to see, or sense in any other way, the universe, then what kind of existence would it have had? Really there could have been none.

For example, the only way the colors of spectrum exist is that God created in us these things called eyes that take the light frequencies, and translate them into what our brain interprets as color. Without organisms, or some other entity to observe these colors, they could not and would not exist.

Sound exists only because we have ears that sense pressure waves that our brain interprets as sound. Sound could not and would not exist without an observer.

The chemicals with which our noses and tongues come into contact send signals to our brains that interpret them as smell and taste. Those would also not exist.

Touch? That’s obvious. You must have physical contact and nerve cells to sense touch the way we do. You can see that those 5 senses would not even be, if there were no organisms to detect those stimuli.

So in a sense, as we know existence, the universe would not even exist without someone to observe it. There would not be any known way to perceive the universe, and as far as we, or any living entity is concerned, it would not exist. Therefore, there would be no reality. Needless to say, if there were no reality, then there would be nothing at all, which is impossible to even imagine. Can you imagine an existence without any existence? Well before the so-called “Big Bang”, without a God, this is what we would have because there would be no observer to validate and confirm the existence of the universe. All there would be is empty, void nothingness. Nothing. Nothing at all.

So what then? Is there any other way that the universe could be, without there having been a consciousness before a Big Bang? Well, have you ever heard of the great thought experiment called Schrödinger’s Cat?

If you aren’t familiar with Schrödinger’s Cat, Erwin Schrödinger postulated that if a cat was locked up in a box for one hour, isolated from observation, with an assembly set up, which has a slowly decaying radioactive material, that if even one atom is detected by a Geiger counter having decayed from this material, then the contraption would cause a hammer to be released smashing a vial of an extremely poisonous gas, which would kill the cat, we could not predict whether the cat would be alive or dead after that hour. Whether or not this material had decayed within that hour is a completely random situation, as there would be an equal chance that it would have decayed or that it would not have decayed in that hour, into the Geiger counter. Thus, there would be an equal probability that cat was alive or dead after that one-hour period.

Under the Copenhagen Interpretation of this thought experiment, the cat would be both alive and dead at the same time until the lid to the box was opened and the fate of the cat was revealed. We know, and most scientists agree, that this is impossible–the cat must either be dead or be alive. But, until the observer opens the box, in our minds the life and the death of the cat are blurred into an equal probability. Under this interpretation, unless there was a God, or until life began somewhere in the universe, the Big Bang would have both happened (creating the universe as we know it), and it would have not happened (resulting in no universe at all).

But, just as in Schrödinger’s Cat, where once the box was opened this probability collapsed into a definite state of life or death, as soon as there was either a being such as God, or life such as us, the state of our universe would collapse into a state of existence or non-existence; but, until then, we could not be sure the universe was actually existent.

Really, this is the Relational Interpretation, which says that the existence of the universe would be dependent on what the observer perceives. It isn’t a matter of the universe both existing and not existing at the same time, but a matter of existence being dependent on an observer. Of course, if it was a state of non-existence, then we wouldn’t be here discussing this topic. Therefore, at any point, for the universe to exist definitely, there must need be a conscious being somewhere to observe it.

In the Schrodinger’s Cat thought experiment, there was a whole world outside the box, so it was only the state of the cat that was in question, while the world kept on turning outside the box. In the scenario we are discussing, the entire universe is inside the box, and it is dependent on an observer outside the box to validate the state of us (the cat) inside the box. Thus, according to the Relational Interpretation there must be an observer observing from outside the box.

However, the Relational Interpretation assumes that there can be nothing outside the universe, and therefore, there could not be an external observer. This seems to be counter-intuitive because there must be some space into which the universe can expand, so this belief that there could not be an observer outside the known universe is merely a close-minded assumption, and this would seem to indicate that the universe did not exist until the first life began. This idea is a clear paradox, and would suggest that the universe could not exist.

Obviously, now we also have an observer inside the box as well, us, just as the cat could observe his own state, but this wasn’t always the case, and that would not work according to the Relational Interpretation. So what was there before the first physical life came into being?

The Objective Collapse Theories state that the cat, us again, could observe the universe itself and thus the quantum states would collapse into one reality. But there is a problem with this: without a God having pre-existed the universe, then the universe could not observe itself, and thus, still could not exist. If the universe didn’t exist up to that point, then life could not have begun. There had to be an observer present before the universe was formed to begin with. 

So let’s call this observer God. If God existed before the “Big Bang”, then what could we say about Him? Well, being that the space into which the universe expands would have to be formless (otherwise we would keep having to explain how the next particular space was created and observed), then God would also have to be formless. This space would also have to be infinite, and God would have to be infinite. And if God is infinite in an infinite space, then He would also have to be omnipresent. If God is omnipresent in an infinite space, then the space into which our universe is expanding would have to be God Himself. And, and infinite being occupying all of an infinite space Who Himself is omnipresent, would also then be omniscient, and therefore omnipotent as well.

You cannot describe any of this without realizing that, at some point, you are going to get to a place that cannot be understood or explained by man, and therefore will seem like magic. But is it magic, or is it advanced science? It really doesn’t matter what you call it as long as you realize that there is a point beyond which you cannot explain scientifically. And if you cannot explain it, then how can you doubt it as not agreeing with science? All science and technology was viewed as magic before it was understood. If we can see scientifically that a God would be omnipresent, then all argument against omniscience and omnipresence go out the window.

Let’s continue this in a subsequent God in Science discussion, as this cold go on forever. I hope, by this point, we have established that in order for the universe to have existed for the billions of years it has, there must have been a consciousness that pre-existed it’s beginning. In future articles we will dig deeper into the nature of this consciousness.

God Bless

The Ark of Truth

You may have heard or even read the story of Noah’s flood, but have you given thought to what the events of this flood are teaching us for the end times? As we know, everything in the Bible has not only the basic lesson taught on the surface, but also a deeper lesson we are to gain from it, three levels in fact.

The deepest levels of knowledge in the Bible always apply to the last generation in particular, the generation of the fig tree. The story of Noah is no exception to that rule.

We are told in Matthew 24 and Luke 17 that the end days will be as in the days of Noah.

(Mat 24:37) But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(Mat 24:38) For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

(Mat 24:39) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

The story of Noah picks up when angels were coming down from heaven, at which point they became fallen angels not only because they came down from heaven, but that they also decided to contradict God’s natural plan for us.

(Gen 6:1) And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,

(Gen 6:2) That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

(Gen 6:3) And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.

(Gen 6:4) There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God (nephilim) came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men (gibborem) which were of old, men of renown.

(Gen 6:5) And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

These fallen angels, nephilim in the Hebrew (fallen ones), came to earth and saw those souls who had been born as women and decided they would like to take advantage of them. As a result, offspring were born and these offspring were mighty men, called gibborem in the Hebrew, many of whom were giants in stature, as well as giants of intellect, strength and so on. The Bible uses the term giant and we know that is true much of the time because, later on, Goliath and many other biblical giants of stature were born, but this doesn’t mean that all gibborem were giants in terms of height, as the term gibbor simply means ‘mighty man’.

These gibborem were literal offspring of the sons of God, the angels who came down to earth refusing to be born as flesh babies without recollection of the world that was, and, just as the nephilim had no respect for God or His plan for us, neither did they.

(Gen 6:6) And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

Both these nephilim and these gibborem brought nothing but wickedness to the earth and to us as mankind. They had intermingled with almost everyone, and God was disgusted by it, to the point that He deeply regretted that He had to place us in these corruptible, weak flesh bodies. But He also knew that was the way it had to be because that is what He had predetermined as the best course of action after satan’s rebellion.

(Gen 6:7) And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

God was going to send this flood to destroy all of the fallen angels, and those who had mixed with them and their offspring.  All those who did not follow in God’s ways would be wiped off the map.

(Gen 6:8) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

(Gen 6:9) These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Although God saw nothing but utter wickedness, there was one man and his family that had stayed true to God, and had not intermixed with these sons of God, and that man was Noah.

Generation, in this verse, is ‘dor’ in the Hebrew, which means posterity or lineage. This simply meant that Noah’s pedigree remained pure because he didn’t mate with the sons of God.

Noah was a representation, for the end times, of God’s elect, including the 144,000, because he was righteous. Just as in the days of Noah, the end times currently has an influx of another group of fallen angels, which has long preceded the flood just like in Noah’s time (This is the third influx. The first would be destroyed in Noah’s flood, and the second is the origin of Goliath and his contemporaries).

The end times has its own flood, however God told us He would never again destroy the land with a flood of water. The flood of the end times is the flood of lies from satan’s mouth, which is so deceptive and convincing that it will sweep away anyone without an excellent understanding of God’s Word. This flood occurs during the Tribulation by way of antichrist and his lieutenants.

(Rev 12:15) And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

 

(Luk 17:26) And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

(Luk 17:27) They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

Those who do not care enough for the Lord to study and understand His message to us will be taken and swept away in this flood and will become spiritually dead, until they receive a chance to fix it in the Millennium.

(2Th 2:7) For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

(2Th 2:8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

(2Th 2:9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

(2Th 2:10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

(2Th 2:11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

(2Th 2:12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

God will allow these people to be deceived because they do not truly care for Him enough to take what He says seriously. They will learn from the deception and delusion they receive by being swept away by the flood during the tribulation, but it will be a long, hard road for them get into God’s good graces.

(Mat 24:39) And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(Mat 24:40) Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

(Mat 24:41) Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

The ones who are not swept away by this flood will remain working in God’s field and grinding at His mill until the end at the return of Jesus.

(Mar 13:11) But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

(Mar 13:12) Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

(Mar 13:13) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

We are to remain strong to the end and not be swept away by this flood that will be coming from antichrist and through his henchmen dressed as godly servants. But how are we to do this when we are told that the entire world will be deceived? Well how did Noah remain safe through his flood?

God told him to build an ark.

(Gen 6:11) The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

(Gen 6:12) And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

(Gen 6:13) And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

(Gen 6:14) Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.

(Gen 6:15) And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.

(Gen 6:16) A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

(Gen 6:17) And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

(Gen 6:18) But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

This ark is our Ark of Truth, and it will keep us afloat during the tribulation. It will keep us floating above the ways of the world, which are represented by the seas throughout the Bible. It is pitched, or sealed, with God’s Word.

Do you remember when Jesus walked on water, and when the disciples saw Him, He called out and Peter stepped out of their boat to walk on the water himself? This is also part of this lesson. This ark will keep us above the ways of the world and the filth it contains in the end times, but even if we step out and into the world, if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will not sink into those disgusting ways. What happened when Peter took his eyes off Jesus? He sunk right down.

So, we must build this ark and board it too. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, and we will be able to come to Him at His return with a clean conscience and a white robe.

Of course there is much more to this lesson for the end times, but we can discuss that in future articles.

God Bless

Antichrist’s Banner

With all the gay pride celebrations taking place you have to wonder where it all fits into prophecy. We were foretold that the last days would be just like the days of Noah and the days of Lot, and in their times this type of behavior ran rampant, among other things. But how does the symbology fit in, such as the gay flag?

(Rev 6:2) And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

Each of the four horses, of the first four seals in Revelation, represents one of the four “dynasties” run by Satan and his cronies. The white is religion, red is politics, black is economy, and pale is education. These are the four sectors that guide the world, during the tribulation, into the one world nation of the first beast, which then leads to the one world religion of the second beast.

This white horse, being that of the religious dynasty, is ridden symbolically by antichrist himself. The seals are opened in the order that those particular aspects begin, and then the dynasties are finalized in reverse order. The religious dynasty was the first that was established thousands of years ago by the kenites working in the temple, and it will be finalized last when antichrist comes pretending to be God.

The rider of this white horse conquers the people of the world by deception through the various religious systems of the world. And he carries a bow, or rainbow, but in the Greek this rainbow is specifically is ‘toxon’.

Toxon (G5115) – From the base of G5088; a bow (apparently as the simplest fabric): – bow.

In other words, this bow is a cheap fabric imitation of God’s promise to us, which is represented by the rainbow. If you remember in Genesis 8, God told us He would never again flood the land with water to destroy the life there, and He gave us the rainbow as a symbol to remind us. When antichrist comes, there will once again be a flood, and this one will cover the entire earth, however it is not one of water, but of lies issued out of the mouth of satan, who at that time will be on earth as antichrist.

(Rev 12:15) And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

(Rev 12:16) And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

This flood of lies will sweep people away in a frenzy of deception and they will buy into everything he and his system tells them, especially that what ministers have taught from the Bible for millennia about decency and morality has been wrong, and that it is more important for people to be happy, and to be “good people.” They are now teaching that God doesn’t hold us to the same standards that He did in the olden times.

Well today we have what seems to be a cheap fabric imitation of God’s rainbow, one which most people of the world, even so many churches, are swallowing up as the new age “doctrine of God.” We are told God never changes, and His Word is good from the beginning to the end for doctrine and reproof.

This flag appears to be this toxon that will be carried by the rider of the white horse to unite the world under a new world religion or belief system.

It is no coincidence that, in this last generation, at this exact time, we are seeing this symbol everywhere including our own Christian religious systems, which are really supposed to uphold the Bible, but instead are trampling God’s Word. It is a lie that it is OK with God to practice things He Himself has told us are an abomination to Him. This trend is not just about being with those of the same sex, but about a total disregard and hatred of God, for the purpose of doing what feels good to the person and not what pleases God.

This symbol is now coming to represent everything that God is against because it is dividing the world between people that have a love and respect for God and His Word, and people who could not care any less for Him.

Now God’s rainbow has 7 bands of color, and biblically 7 means spiritual completion. The rainbow flag has 6 bands; 6 represents man and spiritual imperfection in the Bible. Which color is missing? Indigo. Indigo is a dark bluish color, which has come to represent, especially in flags, wisdom. Well guess what is missing from this counterfeit flag: you guessed it, wisdom. Add to that, without all 7 colors of the spectrum, you cannot have true white light, which represents purity. God’s pure white light is the Truth, and His rainbow, as a whole, represents His truth. The rainbow flag, by not being comprised of all 7 colors, cannot represent the truth of God.

A symbol that was set by God to represent all that is God in His Word and His promise, has been perverted to stand for everything that is against God. It is a symbol of rebellion against God, and it will be the banner flown by the rider of the white horse.

Remember why we are on earth and what is the meaning of life. Do you choose God, or do you choose anything but God? That is the choice.

God Bless

 

Jesus at the Feast of the Dedication John 10:22-42

In the first half of John 10 Christ is proclaiming that He is the true Shepherd. He will give His life for the flock, and we are told that His words left division among the Jews.

We pick up in verse 22. Many people believe there is a break between verse 21 and 22. I tend to agree, however this is all still linked to the 6th sign, the healing of the blind man, which proves Jesus is Messiah.

John 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

I know I have said it before, but when we are giving a time and place, it is important so pay attention.

The feast of the dedication is, in short, Hanukkah . It is not a feast that was given by God to us through Moses. (Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16).  Still we need to understand this feast in order to understand the mindset of Jesus’ audience here.

In 168 B.C., Antiochus IV demanded the Jews take on Greek culture. He disallowed circumcision and sacrificed swine in the temple, thus ending sacrifice until we come to the time of the Maccabees.

Judas Maccabee was a priest that was confronted by soldiers and told to sacrifice to an idol. Instead, he killed the soldiers and led a revolt that led to Israel becoming an independent nation. Under his rule they rededicated the temple. I am sure most of us are familiar with the menorah and the story of how they lit the lamp and only had oil for one day. The lamp was not supposed to go out, and it took eight days to prepare more, but they felt it would be better to get the lamp lit, even for a little time, than not at all. So they lit the lamp and, instead of the oil lasting only one day, it lasted until the new oil was ready.

Why is all this important to know? Because it is at this time of year that the Jews looked for a messiah more than any other time. It was when they were thinking of the last time they had become free from foreign rule. What they wanted was another David or Judas Maccabee to rise up and free them this time from the Romans. That is why there were so many rising up and proclaiming themselves messiah, and trying to take back Israel by force.

“…And it was winter.” This is a strange thing to add to the end of verse 22 because the feast of the dedication is always in the winter. It is like saying it was Passover and it was Spring. Thus we know that it is there is for a reason. In Matthew 23:20 and Mark 13:18, the two chapters where He explains His return, Jesus tells us to pray our flight is not in the winter.  Why? because He is not going to come in the winter. Therefore, by giving us “…and it was winter,” we are being told that it isn’t the time for Him to take up the sword. That this isn’t the advent where He comes with a rod of iron to slay the wicked also that He wouldn’t be coming during this festival.

John 10:23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

Again a location. Solomon’s porch is on the East side of the temple, and historically was the place where the king would pass judgement. This is also where the Levites lived, and the doctors of the law heard and answered questions.

John 10:24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Here we have Christ standing in the place where kings of old passed judgement during the festival the Jews looked for a messiah, with them demanding of Him to state if He is the messiah. Thus the King of kings and Lord of lords tells them and passes judgement:

John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. (26) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Once you acknowledge who the Shepherd is and follow Him, nobody can take your salvation. That doesn’t mean you might not turn from Him and start to follow other shepherds, but there will be severe consequences.

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

If you have seen the Son you have seen the Father.

John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

Imagine that, they ask Him if He is the messiah, He answers, so they want to stone Him.

John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

I love this question.

John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Hey they have at point, at least at first glace: Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Non-Christians have made a lot of traction with this verse. A lot of Christians see this verse and either want to ignore it’s existence or start to lose faith. What does it say? It says God doesn’t have to lie like man does, and it says that He isn’t the son of man, that He should repent. Jesus is sinless and therefore doesn’t have to repent.

John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

It does. Let’s pull it up:

Psalms 82:1 A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

And who was just passing judgement?

Psalms 82:2 (How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. (3) Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. (4) Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. (5) They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

Christ just finished telling them they are not His sheep and they do not understand.

Psalms 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. (7) But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. (8) Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

Ok back to John

John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Remember in Matthew 5 He says He is not changing one jot or tittle to the law.

John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (37) If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

Actions speak louder than words. When Jannes and Jambres stood against Moses and turned their rods to snakes. The rod of Moses ate them up telling us that God does not mess around. Meaning that even if Jesus had pulled off some “miraculous” healing or was able to rile the people up with some fancy words God would have taken care of him. Just look at Simon the magician in the New Testament.

John 10:38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

Even if they didn’t understand what Christ was saying they should’ve known that His works were from God. His sheep know. They did then and they do now. It is the so-called wise men that always stumble.
John 10:39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

Because it wasn’t time yet.

John 10:40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

The Jordan marks the edge of the promised land so essentially He left Israel.

John 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. (42) And many believed on him there.

Wherever He goes, His sheep will follow. John the baptist was the voice crying out in the wilderness. His job was the make the path straight to the Lord. He certainly did his job. Is it no wonder Jesus said there was none greater that was born of woman.

God Bless you all, until next time.