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Month: November 2016

LOVE

LOVE

love

Question:  “What is the difference between duty love (“filioorphileo”) and disinterested or divine love (“agapee”)? I am somewhat perplexed regarding this difference, and would thank you for a little more light on the subject.

Answer: Three different words in our Greek New Testament are translated love. The principal word, which well corresponds to our word “love” in English, is “agape”, this word is used whenever the highest type of love is described; hence we have designated it *disinterested or divine love, as representing the highest type of love when used respecting the Lord and his people.  Nevertheless, just like our English word love, agapee is also used in an inferior sense, as for instance when describing love for the world in the text,

If any man loves [agapee] the world, the love [agapee] of the Father is not in him.”(1 John 2:15)

The Greek word “Philadelphia” signifies brotherly love, and of course is always used in a good sense, because the brethren of the Lord are all “holy brethren.” We are exhorted to develop this love for the brethren (Philadelphia), and it is given as a mark or indication that we are New Creatures in Christ. Nevertheless the Apostle exhorts that we go on beyond this degree of love (Philadelphia) and attain to the broader or divine love, the disinterested love (agapee).

Note an instance of this: “Add to your faith patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness [Philadelphia], and to brotherly kindness, charity–Love [“agapee“].” (2 Pet 1:7) The Apostle thus uses the word agapee to indicate the broader and more comprehensive love as the highest attainment of Christian character. Similarly, when describing the greatest thing in the world, in (1 Cor 13:2, 3, 4, 8, 13), the Apostle uses the Greek word agapee, love–in our common version mistranslated charity.

The culmination of his argument is, “Now abideth faith, hope, charity [love–agapee], and the greatest of these is charity [love –agapee].” Agapee is also used in (1 John 3:1), where the Apostle says, “Behold what manner of love [agapee]“; and “He that dwells in love [agapee] dwells in God.” In the next verse also we read, “Herein is our love [agapee] made perfect.” Again we find agape used by the Apostle in the statement, “God commendeth his love [agapee] toward us“; and again, “Love [agapee] works no ill to his neighbor; therefore love [agapee] is the fulfilling of the law.”(Rom 5:8, 13)

The Greek word “filioorphileo”, rendered love, we have designated “duty love,” but we fear that this does not give a sufficiently clear understanding of its meaning. The noun which is the basis for the verb is frequently translated “kiss” in the New Testament, and by implication the “kiss” belongs to the family and implies a love that is more or less respect or we might say exclusive or selfish–not general–not for everybody. It represents more of an individual or family love, and is used either in a good or an evil sense, as, for instance, we read, “The Father loves the Son” (John 5:20); and again, “The world will love its own.”–John 15:19. (R3949)

“A forgiving spirit is a part of the spirit of love, a part of God’s spirit, the Holy Spirit or disposition–the spirit of the truth—inculcated in God’s Word. It is thus the opposite or contrary of the spirit of malice, which is a part of the evil spirit or disposition common among men in their fallen condition, the spirit or disposition of the world.

A forgiving spirit is kindred to the spirit of love, joy, peace, meekness, patience, brotherly-kindness, godliness. A malicious spirit is related to anger, backbiting, slander, wrath, jealousy, hatred and all the works of the (fallen) flesh and the devil.” (R1693)

“Our spirit or disposition to forgive anyone should be of the heart prompted by the spirit of love and brotherly kindness. It should not be a forgiveness forced out of us by importunity, nor by the appeals of many, nor by pity for the wrong doers’ sufferings or sorrow. It should be there pent up in our hearts, ready to pour forth upon the offender as soon as he repents and gives reasonable evidence of his sincerity. God waits to be gracious desires to pardon sinners (Ezek. 38:11); and such must be our attitude toward those who trespass against us. But God always waits for repentance, and never grants his pardon to those who are unrepentant, nor receives them into fellowship as friends. (Psa 50:16-22)

True, he loved us while we were yet sinners (John 3:16; Rom 5:8), and he does good even to the unthankful, giving sunshine and rain and food to all; but that is a pitying love, not a fellowship love, not a communing love: it is the sympathetic love of a benefactor. And we are to have this pity-love also, even to our enemies.

We are to love our enemies, and do good to them that persecute us; but with us, as with God, this can be no more than pity-love: it cannot be fellowship-love, “for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” Nevertheless, while we can have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but must rather reprove them (Eph 5:11), we can still have that benevolence of heart, which would not permit even an enemy to perish with hunger. “Therefore, if thy enemy hunger, feed him,” etc. In so doing we are but imitating our Heavenly Father who is merciful even to the unthankful and despiteful.” (R4560)

“Love, properly differs, both in kind and in degree, according to the worthiness of the object upon which it centers. There is a LOVE OF ADMIRATION (reverence), a LOVE OF SYMPATHY and a LOVE OF PITY. The former is the highest type of love, and is properly bestowed only upon that which is truly lovely and worthy of admiration.

On this line our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus claim our supreme and most ardent affection; and all the good and noble and true of our fellow men, in proportion as they approximate the glorious likeness of God, may also share this love of admiration. Of this same kind is the love of childish innocence; and of this same kind should be the love of conjugal felicity. The chosen life partner should be one beloved in this highest sense; and parental and filial affection should also be established on the same basis, and then the dearest earthly relationship would be akin to the heavenly.

The love of sympathy we can extend to the weakest one that is painfully toiling up the hill of difficulty toward a better life; and affectionately we may reach the sympathizing, helpful hand to such. If we are a step or two in advance of some such on the way, and if we realize a little less difficulty in making the ascent, let us thank God and use our superior vantage ground for the assistance of the weaker ones.

Then there is the love of pity for those so steeped in ignorance and sin as to be unable even to raise their eyes heavenward to catch the first inspiration toward a better life. Would we indeed scorn the degraded, or add another pang to those already so bruised by the fall?

Ah, no: love pities the vilest, sympathizes with the weakest and glories in the truest and purest and loveliest of earth and of heaven. Thus our blessed Lord loved supremely our all-glorious Heavenly Father; thus he loved with tenderest sympathy his devoted disciples; and thus he loved with wondrous pity all the fallen sons and daughters of Adam’s race, even to the extent of giving his life to redeem them. Let us emulate his example and walk in his footsteps.” (R1331)


*Disinterested: This word can be a bit confusing. Typically when one thinks of the word disinterested they imagine it to mean the opposite of interested, you are either interested in something or uninterested, having or showing no feeling of interest; indifferent.

However the word disinterested likewise carries another meaning altogether different viz. disinterested: unbiased by personal interest or advantage; not influenced by selfish motives.

Thus the word disinterested fitly portrays Divine Love, that which is unbiased, impartial, and dispassionate toward all.

 

 

 

“IT COMES”, Part 6

“IT COMES”, Part 6

the-beast

THE SIXTH SEAL Continued

Reiterating what was last stated in our previous post, viz.

“The chapter division obscures the connection of Chapter 7 to what has come just before at the end of Chapter 6. It is VERY IMPORTANT to our understanding to see this connection. Rev 6:12-17 has just shown the terrible troubles of the French Revolution period. These troubles could have spread. But it was not yet time for the general Time of Trouble. Only 1/10th of the city was to fall during the sixth period of the church (Rev 11:13). 9/10ths must remain for the trouble of the Laodicean period. Therefore, Chapter 7 begins by saying: ENOUGH! STOP THE SPREAD! IT IS NOT TIME FOR THE WHIRLWIND. THE CHURCH MUST BE FINISHED FIRST. THEN THE WINDS CAN BE SET FREE.

This, in essence, is the entire message of Chapter 7. But the statement about finishing the church before the final trouble allows the sender of Revelation to tell how many will ultimately be sealed as part of the body of Christ and what will happen to those (the Great Multitude) who did not prove worthy of their calling. Obviously, the church is not completed during the sixth stage of the church — That’s the message of Verse 3 But, as is so often the case in the sixth church narrative, the Revelator Looks forward to events in the seventh stage of the church. He here looks forward to the completion of the church and the Great Multitude.”

After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.” Rev 7:1

Four angels: These angels are said to be holding back the winds. The implication is that the winds (strife) cannot occur until certain information is available to cause the strife. It was truths about liberty, etc., which stimulated the Revolution in France. It will apparently also be truths which cause the final cataclysm. Thus four angels may symbolize all available messages–the accumulated truths which culminate in the final period of the church. It is very much possible that these four angels are the same as those mentioned in Rev 9:14, 15. Until the advent of Protestantism, truths were restrained (bound) at the Euphrates — i.e., they were bound by the faithfulness of the people to the support of Babylon (The “waters” of the Euphrates represent peoples, nations, specifically those who support Babylon, See Rev 17:15).

The message of the sixth trumpet released the search for truth as nothing had since Jesus’ first advent. Chapter 9 continues to show the powerful effects of these doctrines (horses). Chapter 7, however, shows that even though the angels of Rev 9:14, 15 are released, THEY ARE ALLOWED TO GO ONLY SO FAR. Verses 2 and 3 show that Jesus Himself FORBIDS the truths to go beyond what would hinder His work of completing the church. Here is a specific fulfillment of Psa 76:10.

Four corners of earth: The angels stand at the four corners of earth — in all segments of society where all the social, financial, political, and religious messages which will ultimately conflict are located. These elements of society actively fought the influence of the French Revolution in order to keep a semblance of peace and order throughout Europe. Once truths are released they have dual effects. The post-revolutionary Europe attempted, and succeeded, in putting reigns on the horses. Thus the four angels (which in a sense caused the trouble) ALSO served to hold back its spread.

Four winds of earth: It is important to distinguish between the winds of earth and the winds of heaven (as in Dan 7:2). The various wars and strife’s (conflicts) symbolized by winds have various causes. Some are based on ecclesiastical questions (arguments), some on social. Some are caused by the interactions of men, some by the interference of fallen spirits. Thus some are characterized by winds of heaven (ecclesiastical or demonical), and some by winds of earth (social or political.)

In Rev 7:1, the strife is social- political (earth). It is, however, important to note that what occurs in society frequently has the planning or backing of the spirit powers behind it. Thus, in Dan 7, the winds of heaven (the fallen spirits) strive on the sea (restless humanity) to form the four empires which will dominate Daniel’s people until the 20th Century. As each of those four apparently had a fallen angel as its head (see Dan 10:20), it is also likely that the final cataclysm also will have demons behind its features. Thus we have texts like 2 Thess. 2:9, 10, Matt. 24:24, and Rev. 16:14. Then, as Rev 16:17 shows, the LAST plague will be poured out on these powers of the air which should bring the release of the four winds of our Rev 7 prophecy. Hosea 8:7 shows that while a wind might blow, it is the WHIRLWIND that brings new destruction: (Compare Dan 2:35). Thus the winds blowing, but not the four winds — the final blast with ALL of the directions and forces of accumulated truths coming together causes the anarchy with which this age will end. GOD FINALLY SPEAKS out of the WHIRLWINDJob 38:1.

On earth, sea, & tree: The winds are held back so that the earth (society), the sea (the masses of humanity), and the trees (significant leadership) will not experience the kind of total disruption that would make the completion of the church impossible — hence Verses 2 and 3.

Then 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 granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” Rev 7:2-3

The angel here is almost certainly Jesus (Compare Matt 4:2). He has the seal — the tool needed to complete the work of sealing. No doubt this seal is the working of the Holy Spirit. He cries to the four angels a message guaranteeing what they were already doing. They were, in Verse 1, holding back the forces of anarchy. But Jesus adds the LOUD VOICE of His authority to control history saying Go this far and no further. Let NOTHING stop the primary work of this age — the completion of My Bride. Until the church is sealed in its forehead (the character-likeness of Jesus and the Father — see Rev 14:1) — not necessarily beyond the veil –nothing else takes priority. 1/10th of the city has fallen, but the other 9/10ths is not permitted to do so until the final members of the Bride are sealed.”

Verses 4-17 covers the elect number of individuals tried, proven and found faithful who will constitute the Church, the Bride of Christ as well as the Great Company or multitude (an innumerable class) who failed to make their calling and election sure. As this segment does not specifically pertain to our subject we will not delve into these verses here, but rather will proceed onward to our next subject, the Sixth Trumpet in our next post.


Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation

“IT COMES”, Part 5

“IT COMES”, Part 5

the-beast

Having now we hope gain an idea somewhat of the arrangement of the seven stages of the church and their subsequent seals and trumpets we are now prepared to examine in more detail the Scriptural account of the rise of the Beast “THAT WAS” its subsequent disappearance, (its “IS NOT” condition), and its rise once again before going into destruction.

It is the sixth church, seal and trumpet which we are specifically concerned with as it was during this stage of the church near its end that the French Revolution took place which brought rise to the Beast “THAT WAS”, however it is important to understand that many events which had their beginnings in this stage of the church don’t reach their fruition or completion until the seventh stage, therefore in some instances we will need to look at both.

The Sixth stage of the church was of course the Philadelphian stage it was here that the prophetic 1260 days of Daniel met their end, ushering in the Time of the End. (From the time the Abomination of Desolation was set up in 539 A.D. to Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign in 1799 A.D. 1260 years elapsed.) The Time of the End is of course a period of time not simply a specific day; it has a beginning as well as an ending. It began at the end of the 1260 days (years) of Daniel 1799 A.D. and last all the way through the Laodicean stage, the last stage of the church reaching to the end of the Age (the Gospel Age).

During the sixth stage the Lord warns, “Behold I am coming quickly!” (Rev 3:11) I will be arriving shortly, be prepared. And in the seventh stage, “Behold I stand at the door and knock…” (Rev 3:20), that is to say, ‘Behold I have arrived, I am present, howbeit unseen to all save those who possess spiritual insight, those who are awake and who have been looking for my return. Not vainly looking toward the sky mind you, but rather to the more sure word of prophecy in which you would do well to take heed as a light that shines in a dark place (2 Pet 1:19), thus examining those prophecies which reveal BOTH the time and the manner of my parousia (presence)’.

Here too during the sixth stage mentioned is made of the Hour of Temptation (the Great Time of Trouble) which is coming upon the whole world to test those who dwell upon the earth. This Great Time of Trouble will reach its fulfillment near the end of the seventh stage of the church, specifically in our day.

THE SIXTH SEAL OPENED

I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake (the French Revolution); and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.Rev 6:12

“It may seem strange that this seal begins by describing events which occur late in the Philadelphia period, near its end. One reason may be that the French Revolution and the Time of the End are the focal point of the Sixth stage of the church. Perhaps, however, more important is that the seals appear all to focus on events late in their period. It is as if the Lord allows the period to unfold on events in their period (UN-sealed) until after much of the period is history. This seems only natural. We rarely understand an experience while we are going through it. Our understanding and appreciation generally comes later.”

It was during this time that “the sun became black as sackcloth…” The Sun a symbol of the Gospel light was challenged by Voltaire and the Enlightenment. The denominations at that time had too little Truth to give the needed answers to the challengers. Thus the prophetic symbolic Sun was unable to enlighten the masses and in sackcloth, mourning. During the Philadelphia period which had begun with such doctrinal excitement, the eventual challenges of the Enlightenment, Higher Criticism, Evolution, Marxism, etc., destroyed the faith of many. And so too “the moon became like blood,” the moon a reflection of the Gospel light, representative of the Jewish Law, and the Old Testament types were viewed by the Enlightenment as barbaric and bloody.”

And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.” Rev 6:13

“The stars which fell could well have represented those in the ecclesiastical realm whom the people had previously looked upon, but who now during the revolution fell from esteem, the religious leaders and etc. Another view of this is that the “stars” which fell represented the Apostles (Rev 12:1) the teachings of the Apostles were reduced to a code of morals and ethics used for social and political applications only. Their spiritual applications were ignored; thus they fell to earth(ly) uses.

In several instances in the scriptures the Lord uses the “fig tree” to prefigure or type of Israel; here too the fig tree represents Israel. There was something happening during this time that would affect the Jewish people in an important way, what was it?

“Napoleon while in the Holy Land after his Egyptian Campaign in 1799 wanted to proclaim the region as a new homeland for the Jews. The idea was a good one which God intended to accomplish. But the timing was off — untimely, unripe, God had prophesied by the Jewish Double prophecies that 1878 would be the time for the re-establishment of Israel.’ Napoleon’s defeat by Lord Nelson put an end to his designs for conquering the Middle-East and establishing an empire, and thus, the Jewish hope was aborted – cast off by a great wind.”

The “stars of heaven” falling AS or like a fig tree might imply that, Just as the idea for a Jewish homeland was premature, so is the darkening of Sun, Moon, and Stars and the accompanying troubles. This (the French. Revolution) is only the preliminary 1/10th of what will fall the other 9/10ths must wait till another time, i.e. in the next or last stage of the church.

Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.” Rev 6:14

The sky receded (departed, split)” Translators seem to disagree on the meaning of the word. Strong’s seems to define it is a splitting rather than a departure. NAS translates it split. The latter seems preferable when we look at history, but either can be explained. (Again, it is important to note that a similar event is forecast for the Laodicean period by Isa 34. That will be more major in scope as it will involve the other 9/10ths of the city. This event in Chapter 6 only involves 1/10th of the city, France.)

Prior to the revolution, France had but ONE heaven — The Roman Catholic one. Then it had NONE because religion was outlawed early in the revolution. But when religion was again legislated, it allowed, encouraged, and protected Protestantism along with Roman Catholicism. Thus the heavens (the ecclesiastical heavens) were SPLIT into two factions who, by law were required to respect and tolerate each other – a scroll rolling together.”

Every mountain and island was moved out of its place

“Mountains are kingdoms; islands are more democratic nations. Note, they are NOT removed, just moved. The French Revolution spread concern all over Europe. Napoleon’s advances frightened the monarchies of Europe which feared the spread of French Republicanism and the breakdown of society (the rise of the Beast “THAT WAS), which France had experienced. All kinds of measures were subsequently taken to prevent such a spread of revolution. Perhaps the most visible result was the so-called Holy Alliance of 1846. Nothing would ever be the same again in Europe.”

And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?Rev 6:15-17

“Not only were nations moved by the experiences, but individuals from all segments of society were also — kings to slaves! It was not only the aristocracy which suffered in France, but the common people also. Thus Verse 15 shows them all doing things to insure a better future. Some fled France to other “mountains.” Some “hid” themselves in protective strongholds. The French Revolution began a rush to insulate with nationalism, fraternities, alliances, institutions, societies, treaties, trusts, guilds, etc. During this period of the Revolution END OF THE WORLD prophesying and theorizing became popular. It gained support from the Scriptures when the Adventist movement grew. The Reign of Terror terrorized well beyond France. Historians confirm that fears of Armageddon gripped many. Even unbelievers began to think that some sort of retribution was being meted out, Thus, in Verses 16 and 17, when many seek hiding places in kingdoms and institutions they claim fear of the “day of wrath.” This shows us their frame of mind. It does not tell us that this is the time for the Great Time of Trouble. It is, however, a 1/10th picture of what is yet to come.”

“The chapter division obscures the connection of Chapter 7 to what has come just before at the end of Chapter 6.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to our understanding to see this connection. Rev 6:12-17 has just shown the terrible troubles of the French Revolution period. These troubles could have spread. But it was not yet time for the general Time of Trouble. Only 1/10th of the city was to fall during the sixth period of the church (Rev 11:13). 9/10ths must remain for the trouble of the Laodicean period. Therefore, Chapter 7 begins by saying: ENOUGH! STOP THE SPREAD! IT IS NOT TIME FOR THE WHIRLWIND (THE GREAT STORM). THE CHURCH MUST BE FINISHED FIRST. THEN THE WINDS CAN BE SET FREE.

Thus the Beast “THAT WAS” was contained, corralled and went into the bottomless pit or abyss (the state of powerlessness), the “IS NOT” condition. Now keep in mind the people make up the body of the Beast, therefore the Beast still “IS“, it still exist, just not in the sense in which it existed during the French Revolution, that element or character of the Beast (the unrestrained anarchist masses, the destroying element) was held in check by the Lord until the completion of the Church after which time it “IS TO COME AGAIN” come back into power.

This, in essence, is the entire message of Chapter 7. But the statement about finishing the church before the final trouble allows the sender of Revelation to tell how many will ultimately be sealed as part of the body of Christ and what will happen to those (the Great Multitude) who did not prove worthy of their calling. Obviously, the church is not completed during the sixth stage of the church — That’s the message of Verse 3  but, as is so often the case in the sixth church narrative, the Revelator Looks forward to events in the seventh stage of the church. He here looks forward to the completion of the church and the Great Multitude.”

In our next post we will continue to examine how the scriptures interpret the Beast “THAT WAS”, “IS NOT”, and “IS TO COME AGAIN”.


Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation.

“IT COMES”, Part 4

“IT COMES”, Part 4

 

the-beast

In our previous post we mentioned how the French Revolution brought to life the Beast “THAT WAS” and what some of the specific causes and results were. We likewise mentioned how the revolution was brought to an end when the military under Napoleon Bonaparte came to power, and as such the Beast “THAT WAS” went into the abyss (the state of powerlessness and nonexistence, i.e. the “IS NOT” condition).

Of course this is how the world viewed things, that is as taken from the worldly perspective, but as Christians we are more interested in how these events unfolded according to the Divine Testimony.

Now in order for us to properly understand these matters it will first prove necessary to explain a little bit about how to interpret the Book of Revelation. (We will not here go into every detail but simply elaborate on those methods pertinent to our study here.) The primary reason why many misunderstand and misinterpret this book is a failure to understand how it works, specifically how it is arranged. Remember that this book along with most of the other prophetic writings found in the Scriptures were purposely designed so as to hide their true meaning until the “due time” for their revealing, and then only to a certain class of watchful ones, awake at the proper time and in possession of spiritual insight, thus in essence it remained a “sealed book”, until then. But now that we have reached “the time of the end” as mentioned by the prophet Daniel (Dan 12:8), the seal is broken, and to such the books (the Holy Scriptures) are now opened.

The book of Revelation is a prophecy, and not a literal epistle. It abounds in symbols or signs, and these are the rule, and the literal—when unavoidable–is the exception. The signs and symbols are evidently designed to barricade its mysteries from all except a certain class, the saints, and from them also until the time was due for the secrets to be revealed.”

“The greatest source of error in understanding the symbols of Revelation is a too literal interpretation. It is read as though it were a statement of facts instead of a statement of symbols.”

The book of Revelation is a book of pen-pictures of events and of periods of earth’s history—from Christ’s first advent onward–usually in groups of seven succeeding stages (i.e. seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls and etc.); several of these groups running more or less synchronous, or parallel in time, with each other. Seven throughout the scriptures denotes “completion” or “perfection” thus the fulfillment of each of these “pen-pictures” is shown in the seventh stage of each of these events.

“Notice that the Churches, Seals, and Trumpets (each of which takes us through the Gospel Age in seven successive steps) have their own introductions. This is likewise true of the Seven Last Plagues of Chapter 16. (Chapter 15 serves as their introduction.) No other part of Revelation has this kind of introduction (save the introduction to the whole book itself in 1:1-8). Only the four series of seven parts each have this peculiarity (Churches, Seals, Trumpets, and Plagues). Why is this?

It is likely that the Lord wanted to unify each series so that we understand that the parts of these series do not stand alone. In each case, one part affects the next, and it is the totality of each series which gives us the story of the Gospel Age or the Gospel Age Harvest. The introductions give us vital lessons applicable to all parts of the series.

Also when we study the three introductions to the Churches, Seals, Trumpets, we find the evidence we need to show us that one series does not follow another series historically. Rather the first church, first seal, and first trumpet are all simultaneous (and so on through the series). This might well escape our attention without a study of the introductions. It is important for each individual to be convinced in his own mind regarding the histories and lessons of these Churches, Seals, and Trumpets.

This would be a good time to mark your Bibles so that each of the Churches, Seals, and Trumpets are clearly visible to your eye as you look through Revelation. Personally I have far too many notes scribbled all over my pages to be able to see some little number written by each of these items so instead what I did was to purchase some of those little stick-on dots which were just big enough to write the numbers on and then to make them more visible I color coded them. For example the first Church, Seal, and Trumpet are all orange with the next series green and so on and so forth. Now I am able to easy reference each series when studying them.

Since these three views of the Gospel Age (Churches, Seals, and Trumpets) all seem similar in that each view is divided into seven parts it is only natural to ask, what is the objective of each series? Why go through the seven periods of the age three times?

1) Churches: The messages to the “angels” of the seven churches are for the purpose of explaining prevailing weaknesses and conditions during each stage of the church. Thus the brethren of each period can be instructed as to what is to be overcome and what is necessary in order to accomplish the overcoming.

2) Seals: The descriptions found as each seal is opened are for the purpose of showing how the historical events of the period will have affected the church.

3) Trumpets: The object of the trumpet sequence is just the opposite of the seals. The trumpet descriptions show how the seasonal religious truths (present truth, at that time of course) are to affect surrounding society.”

“However in the case of the plagues, they are not contemporary, that is, unlike the churches, seals and trumpets which date from the same time period, the plagues follow after, that is, they are the just consequences of previous lessons unlearned, thus because the world didn’t listen to the trumpets, felled to heed the lessons, now the truths of the trumpets must be forced upon them by the plagues.”

In other words although the first church, first seal, and first trumpet are all contemporaneous one with another the first plague does not necessarily follow this sequence. Let me attempt to explain. Each stage of the church received a specific message of praise and or condemnation from the Lord and likewise what was required of them at that time, the seal connected to that stage of the church described how the church at that period was affected by historic events then transpiring, the trumpet showed how the truths then being espoused by the church at that time affected society. Did they respond favorably or unfavorably, did they listen? Obviously not, and so the Lord sends the plagues upon them to force them to heed.

However these plagues do not follow the same pattern as the before mentioned items, one in connection with the other instead they are ALL held in check until all seven stages of the church have received their specific message, seal and trumpet. Each stage of the church received these messages, seals and trumpets separately; nevertheless they are applicable to the church as a whole. Unfortunately it is the last stage of the church, the Laodicean stage that will bear the brunt of the plagues as they are poured out one following another.

Now how does this all relate to our study of the Beast “THAT WAS”, how do the scriptures interpret its rise its disappearance, and its subsequent reappearance or accent out of the bottomless pit?

We’ll take a look at this in our next post.


Excerpts taken from the New Albany Notes on Revelation

“IT COMES” Part 3

“IT COMES” Part 3

the-beast

In order for us to clearly understand the nature of the Beast which is shortly “TO COME”  (Rev 17:8) we need first to take a closer look at the Beast “THAT WAS” to determine just what were some of the leading causes and or circumstances which brought it to life (during the French Revolution) in the first place . If we can determine this we might then look to see if any of these similar circumstances are taking place today.

Several of the primary causes were 1) Political conflict between the classes, 2) economic hardships; 3) governments disregard for the will of the people, and of course 4) The Enlightenment.

“Since the Middle Ages, France had been divided into a three-class system. The nobility made up the first class, the clergy the second and the peasantry the third. There was no room for social climbing: Kings gave birth to kings, paupers gave birth to paupers. For centuries, the Old Regime held all the power in France. The nobility and clergy represented only 3 percent of the French population, but their minds conceived of the policies that governed the entire country. This system was rigid and uncompromising, but no one paused to consider — or dared to say — that it was unfair.

By the 18th century, the Enlightenment was dawning. Philosophers like Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau advocated for equality and reason. They asked why people put their faith in political and religious leaders who disregarded their needs. In salons, the wealthy members of Parisian society debated these issues. Their eyes were on the American colonies, where the Americans had gone to war to claim their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… While the French nobles pondered the unfairness of the universe, peasants went hungry in the streets of Paris and in the outlying provinces.”

Today we have similar circumstances, conflict between three classes, the rich (or the 1% as many like to call them), the middle or working class, and the poor (or what some refer to as the entitlement class. Note however that not all the poor although equally qualified receive any kind of government assistance, most are too proud to accept help, charity.) So too the opportunity to climb beyond ones social or economic status is somewhat limited. Here too those in positions of power (government), money and influence, the minority dictate the laws and policies which govern the rest of us, the majority. Many of which laws and policies they exempt themselves from. Here too the people question why? Why are the privileged not bound by the same laws as the rest of us? Why do our elected officials cater to their own needs and disregard the people? And so while the politicians today argue over what to do we likewise have the poor and the hungry, the homeless.

Other causes: 5) Excessive Government debt, 6) Wars waged in foreign lands which lead to further debt likewise dividing the people.

“When Louis XV died in 1774, the crown went to Louis Auguste…His young wife, Marie Antoinette, only compounded his troubles. When she wasn’t reproducing, Marie Antoinette was spending. Her reputation as Madame Deficit was well-deserved: She amused herself by ordering hundreds of gowns, trying out elaborate hairstyles and hosting lavish parties at her private retreat, Petit Trianon, on Versailles’ expansive grounds. Marie Antoinette had a yearly wardrobe allowance of $3.6 million, but she easily surpassed that by ordering dresses trimmed with silver and gold and dripping with precious jewels — even diamonds.

Emasculated by this negative publicity and still smarting from criticisms at court, Louis exacted military vengeance. He pledged 2,000 million livres to the American Revolutionary War; for that massive sum, he could’ve fed and sheltered 7 million of his own people for a year. This mistake wouldn’t be his last, however. And the French would see to it that he was duly punished.”

Other leading causes: 7) Freedom of the Press, 8) Hate mongers and revolutionary agitators abound, 9) The Fires of Revolution and are stoked, 10) Disregard for the laws of the land.

“In early May of 1789, a lawyer named Maximillian Robespierre went to Versailles to serve as a deputy at the Estates General (A legislative body made up of deputies or representatives from each of the three estates). He was a true representative of the people; from the beginning, he incited unrest among the staid deputies when he proclaimed that all estates should pay taxes. Robespierre’s perspective was guided by Enlightenment logic, and it quickly gathered popularity as well as derisive ire.

Nearly two months of heated debate fueled the long-dormant Estates General, and the members of the third estate even won over some members of the clergy and nobility to their cause. But discussion was silenced on June 20, 1789, when members of the first and second estates bolted the doors of the Estates General shut. Undaunted, deputies found an unoccupied indoor tennis court and reconvened there. They identified themselves as the National Assembly and passionately swore to write a constitution for the people of France, in what became known as the Tennis Court Oath.

During the early days of the National Assembly, there was a shred of hope that Louis might endorse this constitution. But when 30,000 of the king’s troops were positioned around Paris, the people realized that reform wouldn’t be won through politicos’ promises and hopeful treatises. They responded by creating a homespun militia. The people broke into armories and swept the stores clean of firearms.

Then, Louis made the fateful decision to dismiss Necker from his position as minister of finance. The people viewed this as a direct retaliation to their cause. There was no mobilization of troops, no grand pronouncement of attack. On July 14, sheer chaos broke out in the streets of Paris, and the people headed for the Bastille.

After the fall of Bastille…Louis could scarcely believe the news, but the National Assembly took it in stride. It was a victory for the people, and bloodshed was natural in revolution, wasn’t it? But this was an important turning point for France. There was no longer any possibility for reform — the movement had organically become a revolution.”

The National Assembly quickly drafted the Declaration of the Rights of Man, in which Louis was essentially written out of authority. All men were declared equal; the class system a distant memory of France’s feudal past. Ever a man of the people, Maximilien Robespierre authorized freedom of the press so that information could quickly be disseminated to the streets of Paris.

Freedom of the press paved the way for irresponsible journalism, however. Jean Paul Marat and Jacques Rene Hebert, respective authors of L’Ami du people and Le Pere Duchesne, were reckless propagandists. In many ways, their newspapers kept stride with the mounting tension, but they also stoked the fires of revolution. What Robespierre did for the Estates General and the National Assembly, Marat and Hebert did for the people of France. Their words excited the third estate, confirming in their minds that the revolution was a natural and just movement. But with increasingly vulgar language and paranoid indictments, the newspapers were less credible sources of information than they were death warrants for the clergy and nobility.

As the events of the French Revolution slowly unfolded, the rest of the world had been watching guardedly from a distance. Britain and other European nations were delighted to watch the superpower implode, but they’d later be horrified at the escalating bloodiness of the revolution. Americans were a degree more sympathetic; France had largely funded their revolution. One difference between the nations was that the United States had emerged as a republic (a government in which the power lies in the people’s hands and popular vote decides the leaders), and France was still a constitutional monarchy (a limited monarchy in which the king or queen is limited in legislative powers).”

“The wave of revolutionary fervor and widespread hysteria quickly swept the countryside. Revolting against years of exploitation, peasants looted and burned the homes of tax collectors, landlords and the seigniorial elite. Known as the Great Fear (“la Grande peur”), the agrarian insurrection hastened the growing exodus of nobles from the country and inspired the National Constituent Assembly to abolish feudalism on August 4, 1789, signing what the historian Georges Lefebvre later called the “death certificate of the old order.”

With the advent of the information age, the internet and social networking, news coverage on various issues, controversies, troubles, and climatic events reach the ears of the people worldwide almost instantly; instantly stirring emotions both pro and con. Such information calls many to action, not always productive, but off times destructive.

Here too we have very little need to point out the comparisons between the contributions of the press today and that of the past in inciting civil discord and hatred amongst the people, the evidence is so overwhelming that only a blind man could not see this. The selfish desire of the individual journalist (?) as well as the news organization itself to sell a story whether true or not is the prime mover behind this. It should be noted that not all those who stir the pot, have come from the press alone many such individuals hold religious and governmental positions as well.

“When the government’s monopoly of power is effectively challenged by groups who no longer recognize its legitimate authority, no longer grant it loyalty, and no longer obey its commands (its laws), a revolutionary spirit evolves.”

The fires for revolution (change) and the disregard for the laws of the land are likewise prevalent today; in fact it is this refusal to recognize legitimate authority structures (governments, laws, law enforcement and etc.) that is contributing rapidly to the disintegration of the social order.

The role of the people and violence: This contrast between theory and practice, between good intentions and acts of savage violence, which was the salient feature of the French Revolution, becomes less startling when we remember that the Revolution, though sponsored by the most civilized classes of the nation, was carried out by its least educated and most unruly elements.”

And so it is written,

“But the day of the Lord (the great day of trouble) will come as a thief (suddenly, unexpectedly), in which the heavens (the ecclesiastical heavens, the powers that be, both the seen and the unseen) will pass away with a great noise (hissing, turmoil, confusion), and the elements (society in general) will melt with fervent heat (dissolve into confusion, trouble and anarchy); both the earth (the present social order) and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat (into violence, anarchy and bloodshed)?” 2 Pet 3:10-12

The foregoing were some of the primary causes which brought rise to the Beast; however the results or outcome was even more manifold, the revolution instigated,

  1.  The Great Terror (an initiative designed to purge France of all counter-revolutionaries, which in turn resulted in their slaughter.)
  2.  The establishment of the revolutionary tribunal designed to try citizens who were suspected of counter-revolutionary activity.
  3.  The execution of all political prisoners.
  4.  The institution of a police state.
  5.  The establishment of the Committee of Public Safety (Robespierre [i.e. the government] decided who lived and who died.)
  6.  The suspension of Constitutional rights.
  7.  The censorship of the press.
  8.  The eradication of Christianity.
  9.  The establishment of a new calendar in which all religious references to religion were stricken.
  10.  A new ten day week intended to make French citizens forget about Sunday, the proverbial day of worship and rest.
  11.  A New Government Religion instituted, The Cult of the Supreme Being, the god of reason and logic.
  12.  Military Rule.

“One of the most fascinating and haunting aspects of the French Revolution is that no one was spared from its gory violence. There was no effort to shield women and children’s eyes from the heads that lolled at the base of the guillotine. Dainty aristocrats became hardened from years languishing in dank prisons. A man who’d been your political ally and friend on Tuesday could very well turn you in for counter-revolutionary plotting on Wednesday. In Paris, the steady thud of the guillotine’s blade meeting flesh and bone became white noise to city inhabitants.”

The French Revolution was brought to an end by the Napoleonic military coup, the ending of which brought about the restoration of “order” and domestic peace through an authoritarian regime.

Of course the true cause for the end of this revolution was because the time was not yet due. We will take a look at that next time.


Extracts were taken from,

How the French Revolution Worked” by Alfred Woody

History 151 “The French Revolution: Causes, Outcomes, Conflicting Interpretations”, Schwartz

 

The Abomination of Desolation

The Abomination of Desolation

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“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the holy place (whosoever reads let him understand): then let them that be in Judea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child and to those that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time; no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” Matt. 24:15-22; Mark 13:14-20

The statement by our Lord, “Whosoever reads let him understand (i.e. consider)”, implied that there would be a danger that some would misunderstand the real abomination spoken of.

In order to understand “What” or “Who” the “Abomination that causes desolation” is, it is first necessary to understand a little history, which led up to this desolating abomination.

The usual inference by the church nominal, orthodoxy, in regards to this prophecy of Daniel’s, is that the “Abomination that causes desolation” represents the fact that even though Christ had paid the price in full, that he had fulfilled the type, becoming the antitypical sacrifice, thus causing the sacrifices and oblations of the Law to have ceased, some of the Jews continued, (due to their lack of acceptance of our Lord as the one true sacrifice), to offer up the typical sacrifices, this the prophet states is the “overspreading (prevailing or continuance in) abominationsDan 9:27.

Although it is true that their religion became an abomination, an empty form, a mark of their repudiation of the one sacrifice for sins, which God had provided, and thus they invoked upon themselves (“blindness”, Matt 27:25) and became a “desolate” (rejected nation), this was not merely a prophecy in regards to this abomination.

Daniel’s prophecy has much to say about the Abomination that makes Desolate in nominal spiritual Israel (i.e. the church nominal), which was set up in power representatively in Papacy, and which has exercised a great and baneful influence of spiritual desolation in the spiritual house or temple of God, the Church of Christ. This abominable system of error was to continue until the cleansing of the sanctuary class; and beyond that it was to prosper greatly and lead many in nominal spiritual Israel to repudiate the ransom-sacrifice, given once for all; and the result of its overspreading influence would be the desolation of rejected Christendom.

In the second chapter of Daniel we read of how Daniel when interpreting King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, revealed that the “great image” which the King saw was indeed a representation of the four universal empires, which would rule the world (This is what the scriptures designate “The times of the Gentiles), theses empires consisted of the following,

The first one ruled by King Nebuchadnezzar, (The Head of fine gold) was the Babylonian Empire, next came (The Breast and arms of silver), representing the Medo-Persian Empire, after this came the (Belly and thighs of brass) representing the Grecian Empire, and last (The legs of iron) representing the Roman Empire.

The two legs represent both Rome and Constantinople each of which at one time was the Roman capital. The “feet and toes” of the image (part iron and part clay) consisted of the ten toes, which are kingdoms, corresponding to the ten horns of the beast of Dan 7:7. The commingling of the iron and clay represented the blending of church and state known as the Holy Roman Empire.

We jump now to the Eleventh Chapter of Daniel Verse 2, which begins with the Medo-Persian Empire, the fourth and last king being Darius III Codomanus.

“And now will I show thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the Realm of Grecian.” (Verse 2)

“And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.” (Verse 3)

The mighty king of Verse 3 is indeed Alexander the Great, of Greece.

“And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those” (Verse 4)

Though Alexander conquered the world in the short period of thirteen years, the kingdom did not continue as one nation in his family after his death, but was divided by his four generals and broken into fragments generally, as was stated in Verse 4. Notice here the correspondence of this prophesy with that of Dan: 8:3-9, 20-25. Here it is shown that out of one of the divisions of Alexander’s empire (compare Verses 8, 9 and 21) would come forth a “little horn” or power, which would become exceedingly great. This evidently refers to Rome, which rose to influence upon the ruins of Greece. From being an insignificant subject whose ambassadors hastened to acknowledge the Grecian supremacy, and to become part of the empire at the feet of Alexander the Great, Rome rose gradually to supremacy.

As we had mention the “feet” of the image consisted of both iron and clay, the iron representing the civil powers, and the clay representing the clerical powers of ecclesiasticism, as the Imperial power of Rome began to wane and the Clerical power slowly came to both life and ambition, each sought to use the other for its own selfish ends, while denying such designs. And so it reads in Dan 11:27,

“And the heart of the two kings shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper [come to be, then at that time], because as yet the end is unto another time.”

Or, to express the thought more plainly, a certain period of 1260 years had been appointed of God as the length of Papacy’s persecuting power; hence the union or league between the clergy and the civil power could “not prosper” (begin) then, because the 1260 years counted from that date would have brought “the end” too soon; therefore it must be put off, or held back, and allowed to come about gradually by the decay of the empire in Italy.

We know that in the end of this contest between the civil and religious rulers Papacy was victorious; and the prophecy reads, “Arms shall stand on his part [or, “strong ones out of him stand up”–Young’s translation], and shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice, and they will set up the desolating abomination (Dan 11:31).

Christ’s continual sacrifice was not actually canceled or abolished by Papacy, but it was set aside by a false doctrine advanced by that system — which gradually, but in the end fully and completely, set aside the merit of Christ’s sacrifice as a continual and ever-efficacious one. This false doctrine is known as the Mass or Sacrifice of the Mass.”

“The death of Christ, they claim, canceled Adamic or original sin, but is not applicable for our daily shortcomings, weaknesses, sins and omissions; it is not a continual sacrifice, ever meritorious for all our sins, ever sufficient and efficacious to cover as a robe every sinner and every sin, so as to permit the contrite one to come back into union and fellowship with God. For such sins the Sacrifice of the Mass was instituted. High mass is a particular sacrifice of Christ for a particular individual. Low mass is a sacrifice of Christ for the general sins of a congregation.

Some may query, is not the mass merely the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper, under another name? (No!) It is wholly different. The Lord’s Supper celebrates the death of Christ accomplished at Calvary; the mass represents a new sacrifice for sins made every time it is performed.”

The Christ to be thus sacrificed afresh is first ‘created’ from wheat bread and wine by the officiating priest. They are ordinary bread and wine until laid upon the altar, when certain words of consecration, it is claimed, change the bread and wine into the actual flesh and blood of Christ. Then they are bread and wine no longer, though they still have such an appearance. This change is called the transubstantiation— change of substance.”

This in the Scriptures is called an ‘abomination’ in God’s sight, because it disregards, sets at naught, the statement of the Scriptures that Christ dies no more, that by one sacrifice he hath perfected forever all who come unto the Father through him…” (Rom.6: 9): “Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead Dies no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”

The following are some scripture proofs of the error of Mass,

“Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them. Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Heb 7:25, 27)

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Heb 9:28)

“For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb 10:12-14)

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim 2:5, 6)

As stated the “continual sacrifice” is generally supposed by Orthodoxy to be referring to the daily or continual burnt-offerings of the Jews at Jerusalem; however the prophecy, passes by the typical burnt-offerings, and deals with the antitypical, Christ’s meritorious sacrifice once for all and forever — a continual, ever-efficacious sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world.”

 As for when it was “set up” the scriptures give the answer, (proving that it is not something to be set up in the future, but rather something which was set up in the past).

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days (1290 days).” Dan 12:11

The fall of the Ostrogothic kingdom in A.D.539 was, clearly indicated by the prophetic measure (1260 years), the exact point of time when this desolating and, in the sight of God, abominable system was ‘set up.’”

Romanists claim that Christ and the apostles instituted the Mass; but the earliest mention of it we have been able to find was at the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 381. However, the date of the introduction of this defiling error is not particularly referred to in the prophecy, except that by reason of this fundamental error Papacy became the ‘Abomination of Desolationbefore it was, as such, ‘set up’ in power which, we have stated, was in A.D. 539.”

Looking at the Typical and Anti-Typical fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation, we see that although it may have had a typical application to the trouble in the end of the Jewish age, its real or most important application belongs to the trouble with which the Gospel age terminates. We see in this another parallelism between the end of the Jewish harvest and the end of the Gospel harvest. Fleshly Israel’s rejection of the true sacrifice for sins, and their retention of the typical sacrifices which were no longer acceptable to God, but abominations, was an important incident in connection with their national and ecclesiastical fall. So here, the rejection of the doctrine of the ransom and the acceptance of either masses or good works or penances instead, is an important incident in connection with the fall of Christendom, civil and ecclesiastical.

The Importance of recognizing this “abomination” in the “Time of the End” is stressed by our Lord as an important matter, not only to ones faith, but also as an evidence of the Lord’s “parousia” (presence).

“When ye therefore shall see (grasp, understand, perceive, recognize, who or what) the abomination of desolation (is, which was), spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoever reads, let him understand) Matt.24: 15

As stated the implication is that there would be a danger in misunderstanding, (i.e. not recognizing) “what” or “who” the real abomination was. The correct identification of this abomination is  another essential clue or evidence as to who the “Man of Sin” or “ANTICHRIST” is.

“He who has an ear (a disposition to hearken to and heed the word of the Lord) let him hear” Rev 3:22

“IT COMES” Part 2

“IT COMES” Part 2

the-beast

Revelation Chapter 17:8-11

Verse 8

The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

THE BEAST: — that is its body, the people

THAT YOU SAW: — in Verses 3-5. We “saw” it historically during the “wilderness period” of 539-1799.

WAS: — that is to say this particular aberration of the beast only occurred once thus far, during the French Revolution, at that time the body of the beast (the people) rose up against its leaders (head, horns, harlot.)

AND IS NOT: It (the body of the beast) “was not” during the days when this angel (the Seventh) was alive in the flesh explaining Babylon’s fall to the saints.

Remember what we had learned from our previous post, this beast IS (Verse 10) and IS NOT (Verse 8) AT THE SAME TIME! (That is to say some characteristic, some form or aberration or peculiarity) of the beast USED TO EXIST (during the French Revolution), but it does not (now) CURRENTLY exist – EVEN THOUGH THE BEAST AS A WHOLE DOES CURRENTLY EXIST.

However IT

IS ABOUT TO COME UP: — to show itself again: another uprising or revolution of the people against their rulers as was in the French Revolution when 1/10th of the city fell is about to take place, however the 9/10ths of the future will be much more severe than was the first 1/10th. “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt 24:21)

OUT OF THE ABYSS: — out of a condition in which power is not exercised.

AND GO TO DESTRUCTION (Anarchy): — This will be history’s final revolution. The “great earthquake” of Rev 16:18

AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Were not the contents of this verse precisely what the Laodicean Messenger taught? It was distinctly his point that the French Revolution was a prototype of the final trouble which would destroy Babylon. He said in the plainest of terms: The Trouble began in France. It now is abated. But it will come back and do the final work. IT WAS, IS NOT, AND WILL BE again. These difficult words have been a clear part of the harvest message for over a century.

AND THOSE WHO DWELL ON THE EARTH: — those with a vested interest in the current order of things (this is not in reference to the masses of mankind, the sea-class, but rather to a specific element which has, as stated a vested interest in things as they are, in maintaining the present order.)

WILL WONDER: What a wonderful contrast to Verses 6 and 7, the tables are now turned! Now the saints are not the ones who will wonder; but rather the astonishment, the wonder will be on the part of the establishment, the world and the worldly church, the church nominal.

WHO’S NAME HAS NOT BEEN WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD: Only the spirit-begotten will comprehend what is happening (i.e. the “Little Flock” and the “Great Company”). This phrase clearly excludes “those who dwell on earth” from spirit-begettal.

WHEN THEY SEE THE BEAST: — the partial beast; the uprising of the people (the body of the beast). This will not be a pleasant experience for those trying to sustain the old order — although they will cooperate with this partial beast hoping to preserve their interests (Even now this cooperation, more to the point concession to the will of the beast is transpiring, if you are able to perceive it.)

THAT HE WAS: People KNOW about the French Revolution, but they try to suppress its meaning from their minds. It is just fine with them in their memories to consign this “beast” to history — to the “WAS” condition.

AND IS NOT: — as the angel explains the matter, the beast is yet in his “NOT” condition.

AND WILL COME: The Greek is “and is present.” The thought is that “those who dwell on earth” will wonder when the beast is again present — in their midst.

Verse 9

Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.”

HERE IS THE MIND WHICH HAS WISDOM: The angel now invites the saints to reason.

He does NOT explain to us the meaning of the following verses. He merely LISTS SYMBOLIC EQUIVALENTS. This was very much the thrust of Brother Russell’s work in regard to Revelation. He constantly reasoned with us on the symbols but stated clearly that “someone else” would have to write the “seventh volume” (the explanation of Revelation.) He thus indicated to us that we have the tools. We must apply them.

THE SEVEN HEADS: The successive forms of umbrella government over the beast historically

ARE SEVEN MOUNTAINS: All seven forms were empires (kingdoms) this is the first of TWO EQUIVALENTS.

Heads = Mountains. (Later, Mountains = Kings or Heads = Kings is added to the equation.) These 3 words are very important. They are the FIRST lesson in correct interpretation. If we have tried to NAME the heads and we have come up with a conclusion in which not all are kingdoms or empires, this phrase is telling us we are wrong. Thus, if we have guessed that Papacy is a head, we are wrong because Papacy is not a Mountain. Rome, of course, is known as the city on seven hills. All seven of these empires are remnants of Rome.

ON WHICH THE WOMAN SITS: This is no passing phrase of minor import. It is placed here to further the understanding of the previous phrase. Not only must we identify each head as an empire (mountain), but whichever empires we choose, the Roman Catholic Church must have “ridden” (sat upon) them. The harlot DID sit upon (control the direction of to some extent) all of these heads. She will NOT do so on the coming “eighth” arrangement. It, therefore, cannot be called a head upon which she sits. So, a CHANGE IN SYMBOL IS REQUIRED; and the VERY NEXT phrase makes that change. It gives us our second EQUIVALENT to the heads:

Verse 10

There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.”

AND THEY ARE SEVEN KINGS: The switch is accomplished. The heads are now called kings so that an EIGHTH can arise without being thought of as a new head. Kings here, of course, are not individuals, but kingdoms — although in most cases a strong individual (Justinian, Charlemagne, Otto the Great, etc.,) can be equated with the founding of these empires.

FIVE HAVE FALLEN: (All of these reckonings are from the standpoint of the days of the seventh angel. A correct interpretation of this chapter is impossible without realizing and accepting his part in this narrative.) The fifth head, mountain, or king was the Napoleonic Empire. It was now gone.

ONE IS: The Victor Emanuel Dynasty was functioning — the sixth head, mountain, or king.

THE OTHER HAS NOT YET COME: — the Nazi-Fascist Empire.

AND WHEN HE COMES: — after the angel’s “change” (After the Laodicean Messenger died and passed beyond the Vail in 1916)

HE (the seventh head or king, the Nazi-Fascist Empire) MUST REMAIN A LITTLE WHILE: — late 1920’s to 1945.

Verse 11

The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.”

AND THE BEAST WHICH WAS AND IS NOT: — that peculiar aberration in the beast’s history: the uprising of the body of the beast to form the French Republic and thus destroy 1/10th of the city.

IS HIMSELF ALSO AN EIGHTH: — NOT an eighth head, but an eighth KING. This (partial) beast WILL RULE (therefore as a king), but not as a head — not with the harlot riding it as she is said to have done on all the former heads. There ARE NOT eight heads on the beast — ONLY SEVEN!

AND IS OF THE SEVEN: — is to be found in the history of the seven “legitimate” heads, but IS NOT ONE of the seven heads. The wording would then be “and is one of the seven.” This is not the case.

The angel is trying very hard to make clear that this eighth “thing” is not a reappearance of one of the old heads. Had that been the thought, he would merely have said, “one of the seven will come back to rule again.” The (that is to us) awkward wording is the angel’s specific attempt to lead us away from that wrong conclusion.

AND HE GOES TO DESTRUCTION: This eighth king (the reigning body of the beast — another French Revolution-type government) does not have a good prognosis! His rule will be a disaster. He will be destroyed. There will NEVER AGAIN (after this) be an uprising of the people. Hallelujah!!!!!

(N.A.N.O.R. Pages 136-138)

Continued with next post.

“IT COMES”, Part 1

“IT COMES”, Part 1

the-beast

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” (Rev 17:1-3)

The beast that thou saw WAS, and IS NOT; and IS ABOUT TO COME up out of the abyss…”

“All students of Revelation know the enormous complexities of Verses 8-13. These verses will remain complex no matter what we do to simplify them. Nevertheless, it is important to try to identify the players in this saga as clearly as possible, and the Revelator supplies enough clues to make certain conclusions secure. By identifying the players, a great deal of the difficulty of interpretation is eliminated.” Before going any further it is important here to remember that the Beast consist of four parts,

1) The rider: (the “Woman”) the apostate Roman Catholic Church, which has, indeed, by harlotry controlled the direction of the beast.

2) The body of the beast: The People who either have nominally supported, or have by coercion been functionally a part of the arrangement.

3) The horns: The supportive powers (governments, nations) which, throughout the age, have fluctuated in identity.

4) The heads: The forms of authority, which have acted as kinds of umbrella philosophies over this complex entity.

In Verse 8 we are introduced to a BEAST, which we were told we “SAW” earlier.

Point # 1: The Beast here spoken of is NOT the ENTIRE 7-headed, 10-horned beast, spoken of above in Verse 3.

How do we know this? Because Verse 8 says that THIS “beast” (which we saw) IS NOT, (read the Verse again carefully), while (at the same time in history) we learn from Verse 10 that the WHOLE beast IS that is, it EXISTS at this same time WITH ONE HEAD (the 6th) which it CLEARLY STATES “IS” (in existence).

THEREFORE: This beast IS (Verse 10) and IS NOT (Verse 8) AT THE SAME TIME!

This seems like double-talk, but it is not. The expansion of POINT #1 is this:

SOME FUNCTION (some characteristic, some form, some aberration, some historic identity or peculiarity) of the beast USED TO EXIST, but does not (now) CURRENTLY exist — EVEN THOUGH THE BEAST AS A WHOLE DOES CURRENTLY EXIST. By currently, we mean at the time of the angel’s ministry up to the present, (Thus the importance in understanding who particularly the angel or messenger who spoke to John was and at what time his ministry took place. Our understanding is that this was the Seventh Messenger, the Laodicean Messenger.)

Verse 8 gives a further clue. When it says “The beast that you saw,” it clearly refers back to Verses 3- 5 — the “wilderness” period (A.D. 539-1799). THEREFORE, whatever aberration of the beast we are looking for should be found DURING THAT TIME.

NOTE: There WAS one particular and peculiar (and scripturally noted) instance during that period (A.D. 539-1799) when the BODY of the beast had an UPRISING. During the French Republic, the PEOPLE (the body of the beast) rose up against head, horns, and harlot rider. This is when 1/10th of the *city” fell (Rev 11:13). Apparently this beast (NOT a WHOLE beast, but only the people constituting its body) will ONCE MORE appear for the destruction of the other 9/10ths of the “city.” (Verses 8, 11-13, 16, 17, Consider Rev 11:7-13 CAREFULLY)

NOTE ALSO: The French Republic WAS NOT A HEAD! It DID NOT work with or under the Roman Catholic Church (which all the heads do; thus she “rides” them.) It was contemporaneous with the yet- existing Holy Roman Empire, which was the contemporary head. Napoleon’s overthrow of the Holy Roman Empire (1806) created the NEXT head — the Napoleonic Empire, which was the 5th head, which DID work with Papacy.

Point # 2: The PARTIAL beast (of Verses 8, 11-13, 16, 17) is THUS SAID to be “of the seven,” but NOT ONE of the seven.” (We should not look for a definition of this [partial] beast prior to the first head since Verse 11 says that it is “of the seven.”)

This aberration of the people’s rising up, (the BODY of the beast rising up) happened DURING THE TIME of the WHOLE beast’s continuing to function with its head and horns. Thus this PARTIAL beast WAS (but not for long) during the French Revolution.

It WAS during the “wilderness” period.

It WAS (i.e. it existed in France) while the WHOLE beast continued to function in the other 9/10ths of the city (the remainder of Babylon, Christendom, Europe in this case).

But, in the days of the Seventh Messenger, the Laodicean Messenger, it was appropriately said that this beast “IS NOT” because the uprising of the body was in the past. The prophecy shows, however, that this aberration (uprising of the body, the people) will AGAIN manifest itself — “it is about to come up and go into destruction.” (Verse 8)

Point # 3: The PARTIAL beast is a “king,” but NOT a new head.

When we look at Verses 9 and 10, we are asked to apply wisdom — to interpret the symbols the angel gave us. We encounter an interesting and important SWITCH of symbols. First we are told that the heads (forms of government) ARE mountains (kingdoms.) This is not too difficult to conceive of as each of the seven heads, while in existence, was considered AN EMPIRE (kingdom.) The next statement is the tricky one:

“And (THEY) are seven kings…”

Some translators word it:

“And (THERE) are seven kings…”

The fact is, the Greek does NOT have “they” or “there” both words are supplied by the translators according to their understanding. As we can see, the choice MAKES A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE!

Which is correct?

There is evidence in the context that the first example is the correct idea, i. e., the seven heads and/or the seven mountains ARE seven kings. Because we KNOW the basic sequence of heads from history, we KNOW that in the days of the Laodicean Messenger FIVE heads (and/or mountains) were in the past. It says the SAME THING about the kings — FIVE are past.

It seems MOST LOGICAL, then, to EQUATE heads, mountains, and kings. If we say the kings are different from and in addition to the heads, we are faced with an interpretation seemingly beyond possibility. But this leaves one big question:

Why does the symbology change from “heads” in Verses 3 and 9 to “kings” in Verse 10?

THE ANSWER: It changes because the beast ONLY HAS SEVEN HEADS — never any more! But, the Partial Beast (the one which was, but isn’t, but will be) WILL BE a king but NOT a new head. This is why the symbology HAD TO CHANGE. Hence:

“The (partial) beast . . . is himself also an eighth (king), and is of (or related to the history of) the seven (kings or heads)” which the beast had in the past.

What does this mean? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HEAD AND A KING? This is CENTRAL to interpretation.

The harlot sits on the beast with seven heads. This means that all the heads are in collusion with the harlot. BUT THIS EIGHTH KING does NOT work with the harlot. She does NOT sit on or control this beast (body of people) any more than she controlled the French Republic. It is, therefore, NOT an eighth head; it is an eighth king. It will rule, just as the French Republic did. The change of symbology from the heads to kings was NECESSARY in order to make this point clear.

This “wisdom” or understanding is what was implied by the angel when he stated, “Here is the mind which has wisdom…” if you are able to grasp this thought, i.e. the difference between a “head” and a “king” as used by the angel in the context, then do you possess the mind which hath wisdom.

In the general sense we know the identity of the dragon and the beast; however it’s their “heads” and “horns” which tend to give us the most trouble.” (N.A.N.O.R. Pages 134-136)


*The “city” as explained by the angel, Rev 17:18,

“And the woman whom you saw (the harlot who had controlled the age) is the great city (antitypical Babylon, the capital of Christendom) which reigns (She is an apostate church. She reigned too early and improperly. It is in the present tense because it is the angel speaking in his day) over the kings of the earth (a church over the state: harlotry).”

Continued with next post.

Those Who Deny The Ransom

Those Who Deny The Ransom

“Those who deny that our Lord Jesus gave himself a ransom (a corresponding price, a substitute) for ALL (which includes father Adam) deny the gospel of Christ and the apostles, regardless of whatever else they may profess to believe. And the clearer it is presented, and the sooner they realize it, the better for such as are being blindly led into the error.  The sooner the line of division is clearly drawn, the better it will be for the Lord’s sheep (the true “wheat”).

We need not expect that such will openly confess that they are deniers of the ransom any more than we need expect a staunch Romanist to admit that the Papal system is the Antichrist. By their doctrines, and not by their professions, both show their real position.

It is time, dear friends, that each for himself shall definitely settle this one question which lies at the foundation of Christian faith: Do you accept the Bible teaching that the death of “the man Christ Jesus” was our ransom, or corresponding price, by which a “propitiation” (satisfaction) of the divine law was effected (1 John 2:2; 4:10; 1 Tim 2:5, 6), and do you believe that this ransom was efficacious for ALL, or do you not believe it? Be honest with yourself and with others. Be not ashamed of your honest convictions.

If honestly in doubt as to God’s teaching on THE SUBJECT and meekly desirous of being shown the path of life, you are of the sort he is ready and willing to lead into the truth. Such may truly and confidently look to God and say, “Thou will show me the path of life,” remembering the promises, “The meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his way.” (Psa 16:11; 25:9) “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Psa 25:10.

It will not suffice to say, ‘Yes, of course I believe in Christ as the ransom’, and yet indifferently neglect to give consideration and weight to the true meaning of the word “ransom”.

YOU DO NOT BELIEVE, IN THE TRUE SINCE OF THE WORD, ANYTHING IN WHICH YOU ARE WHOLLY IGNORANT. (This is merely blind credulity, which is not acceptable to the Lord) We therefore exhort all, to awake to the importance of the subject, so as to study this very first and foremost important foundation doctrine of all true Christianity.” (R 1256)

Anyone (including our JW friends) who whether openly or through subterfuge denies that the ransom covers ALL including Adam exposes to all that they are in truth totally ignorant of the true meaning and significance of the ransom.

As it was a perfect man who had sinned therefore under God’s law it would require another perfect man taking his place to acquit him of his sin, and since we were all included in Adam’s sin as attested by the Scriptures, Adam’s redemption should be of prime importance to us, for if he be not redeemed then neither are we.

Now there are some who say that the ransom did not cover Adam, however this is foolishness for all (that is those who have taken the time to properly investigate the true meaning of the word “ransom”) perfectly well know that the word “ransom” or anti-lutron implies a corresponding price, that is to say the price which is to be paid must be equal to or correspond with that which was forfeited with that which it is to take the place. There have been but two perfect men who have ever lived upon this earth, one was the perfect man Adam (prior to the fall) created in the image of his maker and the other was our Lord Jesus Christ when “made flesh”.

Now if our Lord as a perfect man was chosen (i.e. volunteered) to be the ransom (Job 33:24; 1 Tim 2:5, 6; John 10:18), the corresponding price to be paid for another then logic dictates that the one for whom he is to replace must likewise have been at one time perfect and without sin, otherwise there would have been no corresponding value between the two. Keep in mind that the ransom is to be applied to or correspond to the thing which was lost (i.e. perfection), not to that which is (fallen, imperfect). Adam’s perfection was what was lost; this is what is to be redeemed.

Now there is no getting around this fact, unless our friends who deny the true significance of the ransom should be so bold as to proclaim that they are or were at one time perfect men even as was Adam.

“Since the first man, Adam, was a perfect human being, it follows that Jesus, as a corresponding price, must also be a perfect human being and that the resultant life must be perfect human life. The whole race was in and sprang from Adam their father, by mother Eve but not from her. And thus it is written “all in ADAM die,” but not all in Eve. Because the race came of Adam, it was tried in his trial, condemned in his failure and included under his sentence.

Now we see that our Lord Jesus left the Heavenly glory that He might accomplish a ransoming work for Adam and his race. We see that his change of nature from a spirit to a human being was with a view to enabling him to be the Ransom-price—a perfect man for a perfect man— Anti-lutron —a corresponding price for the first perfect man whose fall involved the entire race, and whose redemption also involves the entire race.

This concept of the corresponding price is a fixed law of God’s universe! It is expressed in Israel’s Law Covenant: “You shall give LIFE for LIFE, eye for eye, tooth for toothExod 21:23-24

Any who deny that they were redeemed in Adam likewise deny that they were condemned in Adam, and therefore are not covered under the ransom sacrifice, whatever else they may believe.

Our Lord in giving his life as a Ransom for Father Adam was in truth giving His life as the Ransom price for the sins of the whole world. Inasmuch as all men died in Adam, the sacrifice of the one perfect man, Christ Jesus, was therefore sufficient to accomplish the redemption of the whole human race, which was in Adam’s loins at the he sinned.

“Now the free gift (justification to life, eternal life) is not like the offense. For if through the offence of one (man, Adam) many be dead (under condemnation to death), much more the grace of God (the gracious plan of salvation), and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Rom 5:15) Paul here begins to zero in on his main subject, a contrast between original sin and the act, which brings redemption. Although the ransom is a corresponding price, a perfect life for a perfect life, Paul is emphasizing the differences between the redemption and the sin for which it atones. The original sin was of one man; the atoning act covered the sins of many. The original sentence was for one act of disobedience; the atonement covers a multitude of transgressions, i.e. the sins of the world.

The fact is that Jesus’ death was the equivalent or corresponding price for Adam’s sin and penalty, and quite sufficient to legally effect the release of every member of the race.

The economical feature of the Divine Plan is a most wonderful thought. By one man’s disobedience God permitted the results of that transgression to affect all of Adam’s children. All mankind were involved under the ORIGINAL SIN, of the one man.

Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men.” (Rom 5:12)

Then in due time God so arranged that the sin of the one man, Adam, would be met by the Man Christ Jesus; that thus Adam would in due time be freed from the death penalty; and that all his children, who inherited death as well as weakness and imperfection through him, would also be amenable to this one redemption–that the one Ransom-price was sufficient for Adam and all his posterity.

“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment (i.e. the sentence or curse) came to all men (extensively) resulting in condemnation… (All fall short of the glory of God, there is none righteous, no not one) even so through one man’s righteous act (the Man Christ Jesus who gave his life a ransom for all) the free gift (redemption from the Adamic curse) came to all men (co-extensively) resulting in (the sentence of) justification of life.” (Rom 5:18)

Prelude to the Dark Night

Prelude to the Dark Night

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The Great Time of Trouble

Considering the fact that we now live in a time in which not only do “strange children” (Hosea 5:7) i.e. the tares outnumber the wheat, the true children of God, but likewise the great company outnumbers the “little flock” it is not hard to see why there are so many brethren who have returned to slumbering once again (Matt 25:5), content with the knowledge of the Lord’s Parousia. Such have put far from their minds any study and preparation for the events soon to come as they imagine them still far off, imagining we suspect that the harvest will cease prior to the beginning of these events and that should it come in their life time they will receive some kind of a warning from the Lord so that they can then prepare. The truth is there will be a warning but only perceivable to those who are fully awake and watching for it. Imagining that the harvest must completely end prior to the beginning of these final events is a fallacy which many have fallen prey, the Scriptures seem to indicate otherwise, viz.

Behold the days are coming says the LORD, when the plowman shall overtake (follow close after) the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed” (Amos 9:13)

The work of “reaping” the Gospel harvest progresses, but even now the plowman (the great time of trouble, which began in 1914) is beginning to overtaking the reapers, and the trader of grapes (the various sides being mustered for this final conflict) and, those who are sowing seed for the next age, shortly this will bring about the closing of the reaping work, for “the night comes when no man can work” (John 9:4).

“The closing in on this night will evidently put a stop to any further labor to disseminate the truth, which, misunderstood by the public generally, will probably be accused of being the cause of much of the anarchy and confusion then prevailing. Nor should we expect that the coming of night and the closing of the door will be sudden, but rather that it will be a gradual obstructing and closing down of the Harvest work.

“Observe that, when this night comes, when the reapers must cease their labors, it will prove (i.e. serve as a warning) that this final work of the Gospel Age is accomplished; that the elect number of the Bride of Christ have all been ‘sealed‘ and ‘gathered‘ into a condition of separateness from the worldly-into the barn condition (Matt 13:30); for God will not permit anything to put an end to his work until it is finished. Then, all the true and faithful servants of God will have been sealed in their foreheads; and, the work of the Gospel Age being finished, no more can enter into that work or reap its rich reward, foretold as the reward of the faithful who enter while the ‘door‘ is open.” —2 Pet 1:4 (Volume III, Pages 210, 211, 212)

God’s time table is not altered nor changed! “[The vision] speaks of the end, and it will not deceive: though it [seem to] tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not be delayed.” (Hab 2:3)

Of special note in Habakkuk’s prophecy is the reference to an apparent time delay with respect to the fulfillment of the vision: “Though it tarries, wait for it.” Hence, there seemed to be an advance indication that the full establishment of the Kingdom as well as of events immediately preceding it, viz. the end of the harvest, the destruction of Babylon, the completion of the Church and etc., would not be as smooth and as rapid as had been originally thought and that there would be the appearance of a delay in its implementation. As such, the prophecy offered a message of assurance and a gentle word of advice: The vision is certain, it will yet be fulfilled in due time; therefore, wait (watch) for it patiently.”

“Whatever the character of the watching, and whatever the thing to be looked for, there can be no question that the exhortation to watch for an event whose precise time is not stated implies that the watching ones will know when the event does take place. Watch, because ye know not, in order that at the proper time ye may know, is the thought; and the intimation clearly is, that those who do not watch will not know: that is the events which are to be known in due time to the Watchers will be recognized by them, and not recognized by others, at the time of accomplishment.” (R2359)

If one takes the time to examine the facts for themselves it’s easy to see how quickly things could likely play out, the fact is the events on our list (See “A Great Storm Approaches”, Part 6) could all transpire within a very short period of time say within about two to three years possibly less, likewise they could begin tomorrow or perhaps even today.

“Remember the Lord has told us that He will “make a short work of it.” Just how short the work will be would be conjectural. Every one may have his own opinion. At one time the Lord speaks of it as being “in one hour;” another time, as “in one day;” and the Apostle speaks of it as coming like travail upon a woman with child–suddenly.” (R5567)

One day you went to work concerned about your job, your employer was cutting your hours and you were wondering how you were going to pay your bills and provide for your family, or perhaps you were planning to take that long awaited vacation or possibly planning to buy a new car, may perhaps you were about to get married, and the next day you woke to find that it had begun, the world as you once knew it was changed forever, nothing that you had thought about previously meant anything to you anymore, the end of the present order was now upon us.

Lately I have come to see more and more signs that point to the fact that the end is near, even at the doorsteps, that it merely awaits the right spark (the first event) or catalyst to set it off, in fact the world seems to be in anticipation of this, however ignorantly.

“Watching carefully respecting our whereabouts, hopeful and solicitous respecting the gracious things which God has promised, none of the Watchers are indifferent to these fulfillment’s of prophecy, which are to be seen on every hand to-day. All men discern these things, but not all alike: the faithful, the Watchers, discern them not only as facts, but also as fulfillment’s of prophecy; as proofs that we are already in the period termed “the end of the age.”

“The Watchers look not merely at the outward signs, as seen in the world. They scrutinize carefully and repeatedly their “chart,” the Bible’s prophetic outline of the world’s history, furnished by the King himself. It is because they see the time of trouble outlined in the prophetic chart that they know that it is sure to come, and are able in advance of others to “discern the signs of the times,” and not to be in darkness respecting “things to comeas do the majority of the nominal church who slumber. It was in respect to this that the Lord promised the watchers that the holy spirit should guide them into all truth, as each feature (or event) becomes due, and would show them things to come–future things–in advance of the world’s knowledge, and in advance of the facts (the outward evidences) themselves.” (John 16:13) R2359

Have you taken noticed that there are more and more commercials, shows and documentaries of late on preparation and readiness for some type of perceived future catastrophe? There is this push to place ones assets into more stable commodities such as gold and silver as the speculation is that paper currency will soon be worthless as the debt crisis continues to loom; there is a push toward more home gardening and self-sufficiency, the acquisition of sufficient stores in order for an emergency, possibly a pandemic or some other such catastrophe. I saw a commercial on TV the other day where some company was selling pre-packaged stores for long term emergencies; this was something which previously was generally confined to extremist and to survivalist magazines, no longer now it’s becoming an acceptable necessity. They suggest a minimum six months to one year store obviously they anticipate some type of long term event which would necessitate such a store.

There was even a show on this very same thought the other day on the History Channel I believe it had something to do with the aftermath of Armageddon and how to survive I think. It was rather interesting barring the typical dramatics of a Hollywood production; I think possibly that this was what made it even more compelling. However we ourselves know full well that immediately following the Great Storm, i.e. Armageddon the Lord’s kingdom will be established in all the earth, the struggle for survival which they imagine will not come after Armageddon, but rather during Armageddon.

Another issue which was not addressed in the documentary was that they were simply imagining a scenario involving man-made catastrophes possibly some type of nuclear fall-out, a pandemic, disease, pestilence, famine, anarchy, but in truth these will not be the only dangers to be faced at this time not only will there be man-made catastrophes to be faced, but likewise natural disasters (enormous earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, storms and etc., as the planet (both the surface and the atmosphere) readies itself for the incoming kingdom, a kingdom paradise, a kingdom in which we are assured that nothing shall hurt (cause injury) or harm to any man whilst he is traversing the highway that leads to holiness, for the former things (pain, suffering, sorrows and death as well as natural disasters, calamities and etc.) will have passed away. The scriptures speak of a “Greatearthquake yet to come (Rev 16:18; Ezek 38:19, 20), and although this is SYMBOLIC of the “great time of trouble” soon approaching, with its eruption (earthquake) of revolution and turmoil leading to anarchy, wherein every man’s hand shall be turned against his neighbor (Zech 14:13) it may well also have a LITERAL application. The earth’s mantle has yet to have ceased its movements, and come to a complete (calm) settlement, even now one layer of the earth’s crust (tectonic plate) rides upon another, just like a piece in a jigsaw puzzle, which although it’s just about in its proper place, has not yet to be firmly pressed down flat into its place (because of underlying pressures). Even the groaning creation itself still waits for the word of the Lord, “Peace, be still” (Psa 46:10; Mark 4:39).

And yet there is still another difficulty here too which they have overlooked and that is that they are only thinking in two dimensions when in fact they better be prepared to think in three dimension, or should we say “outside the box” of human mindedness, because there is yet another element here which is going to come into play during this crisis, and that is Satan and the demonic host, the fallen spirits free from their chains. All of these elements working together are what will comprise the “four windsof destruction.

Nevertheless it is important to remember that God is at the helm, and that all things are working according to the counsel of his will, that is to say that every prophetic utterance spoken by Himself and his prophets is assured of fulfillment and nothing, no power in heaven or earth, could possibly alter his purposes. In the end he will cause the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of man’s wrath (which would not praise him) he will restrain.

“Then I looked, and behold a white cloud, and on the cloud sat one like the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.” (Rev 14:14)

In the scriptures “clouds” especially dark clouds, storm clouds typically represent “trouble, but this cloud is white, righteous trouble. It is righteous because it is the Lord’s wrath undoing the unrighteousness of the age. Jesus has returned; and as is the tendency of Revelation, he is not called Jesus, but rather the Son of Man. It is interesting to note that he sits on the cloud. To “sit” upon something is to be in a position of control over what is sat upon. Thus this impending trouble is not random trouble; this is controlled trouble. No matter how severe the time of trouble may become, we may rest assured by this verse that it never will be let out of control. On his head is a golden crown, divine authority. In his hand a sharp sickle, the device for harvesting. This verse shows so clearly that when the king returns it is not for the peaceful kingdom immediately; it is to control the trouble which will destroy Babylon, and to harvest the wheat.” (N.A.N.O.R. Page 179)

In conclusion let us note the admonishment of the Pastor:

“Dear brethren, in these coming days of trouble, which may be very near, the opportunity may come to you and to me to be either strife-breeders or peace-makers. Let us see the will of the Lord in this matter, that we are called to peace, and that the declaration of the Master is, ‘Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall be called the children of God.’

“Let us seek rather to subdue and calm the passions of men in the coming strife, and to do nothing to augment them or to kindle the fires of passion which we know are about to consume the present social fabric. Let us point out to those with whom we have any influence that the worst form of government in the whole world is better than no government—better than anarchy, a thousand times. Let us remind them of the fact that in God’s providence we have the best of all earthly governments.

“Let us remind them, too, that the Lord has told us to wait for Him and not to take matters into our own hands (something which many in the professing Church have disregarded). His words are, ‘Wait ye upon Me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them Mine indignation, even all My fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language (message), that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one consent.’—Zeph 3:8, 9.”