Come Out of Her, My People

When the Supreme Court acts as just another cog in the Corruption Machine, rather than doing its job, it serves as a wake up call. Once awake for a hot second, people make some noise about Constitutionality. They poke holes in the air with their fingers, making bold resolutions about how, next election, we need to get some good people in office.

Then they go back to sleep.

Come election time, they vote for the same kind of candidates who made the nominations that gave us this lapdog Supreme Court.

And the devil marches on.

Just as the Israelites refused to heed the words of God’s prophets, the citizens of the USA chose to scoff and ridicule when warned in the past of what would happen to us if we didn’t alter our course. Now that the enemy’s grip on the soul of our country is ironclad, some of the former scoffers are finally wondering if maybe they should speak out a little more.

I’m sure that, when the Titanic was nearly sideways as the ocean pulled her down, some of the passengers were finally ready to consider that they should maybe speak out about the danger posed by icebergs.

Then I heard another voice from heaven say:

“‘Come out of her, my people,’
    so that you will not share in her sins,
    so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
 for her sins are piled up to heaven,
    and God has remembered her crimes.”

– Revelation 18:4-5

The above passage is referring to Mystery Babylon. I won’t go into my longwinded musings on what all Mystery Babylon is symbolic of. For this post, I will merely point to evidence of one aspect of what I see as a threefold fulfilment.

Exhibit A:

Rulers all over the globe have made shady backroom deals with the country, and business people will get rich off her.

Rev. 18:3 “For all the nations have drunk
    the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
    and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

Exhibit B:

  • The nation symbolized here is a melting pot of many ethnicities and races.
  • Governments around the world hate her–especially the leadership of the emerging World Government.

Rev. 17:15-16 Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.  The beast and the ten horns (kings) you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

Exhibit C:

Even though they hate her, the kings of the earth will weep and mourn when she is destroyed.

Rev. 18:9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.

Even though she is hated around the world, merchants will weep and mourn because she is no longer there to buy their stuff.

Rev. 18:11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore…”

I ask you: what nation, what government, what people come to mind when you read those verses?

The evidence shows this is a powerful, influential nation at one point. But after its epic collapse, it becomes so insignificant as to not even rate mention in end time prophecies.

We can identify Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, and dozens of other nations (especially Israel) in prophecies of the end times, but not what is presently thought of as the world’s leading superpower.

So two truths are becoming more obvious with each passing day:

1. Leaders inside the Church who have made compromise after compromise to keep their tax exempt status will continue showing their true colors (which god they really serve) until organized religion in North America is no different from what it was in the Soviet Union.

The true Church has to move underground, and the sooner it does, the better prepared it will be to carry out the Lord’s will after our freedom is gone and life as we have known it is over.

2. The children of Israel are known to the God of Israel. He said He would gather them back to the land He gave them. We have seen this happening since the end of World War Two, but the process is not yet complete. There might still be more Jews in America than in Israel. They are comfortable here, and have enjoyed more prosperity here than they could have in any other country.

Again, that situation will change drastically; and soon.

Whether they have yet accepted their Messiah or not, all the offspring of Israel need to return to the land of their inheritance as soon as possible.

We are now in a grace period. Judgement is inevitable and so close it can be felt, for those who are awake and wise. I won’t claim to know exactly when it is, but that grace period has an expiration date.

And it is fast approaching.

Matthew 25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. 11 Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ 12 But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ 13 Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The Two Witnesses

In Deuteronomy 17 and 19 the Lord established that two or more witnesses are needed to convict of a crime, and that their testimony is sufficient for a sentence of death.

In Joshua 2, Joshua sent two spies into Jericho prior to his campaign to liberate the Holy Land from its usurpers.

In Revelation, two witnesses are sent to Jerusalem, prior to another Joshua’s campaign to liberate not just the Holy Land, but the entire planet Earth from its usurper. The Greek pronunciation of the Hebrew name Joshua is “Jesus,” by-the-way.

In the previous article I explained that the Great Tribulation is the second half (three & 1/2 years) of Israel’s 70th “seven,” or “week of years.” In Revelation 11 we see that the two witnesses prophesy for three & 1/2 years. Biblical years, that is, of 360 days each. The period of their testimony is given as 42 months in Rev.11:2 and 1,260 days in 11:3. During that time period, they torment the followers of the Beast (Rev. 11: 6; 10) but can not be stopped or killed (11:5). Only when their testimony is complete is the Beast allowed to slay them (11:7).

Scripture does not overtly specify which half of the seven years they prophesy in, but most prophecy teachers/preachers assume it will be the second half, or Great Tribulation, because that is the half most mentioned in Bible prophecy.

I believe it will be the first half of the 70th seven. The timing makes more sense. During the first half, Israel is allowed to conduct Temple worship with the daily sacrifice and so on, and the Beast has not yet physically occupied Jerusalem. But the witnesses infuriate the Beast and his followers by calling down plagues, and by speaking the truth during a time of pervasive deception. They are a thorn in the side of the Beast and the Dragon behind him, so that at the mid-point of the 70th seven, the Beast’s forces invade the Beautiful Land, kill the witnesses, occupy the Temple and set up the “abomination of desolation” prophesied by Daniel and reiterated by Jesus.

Who are the two witnesses? It is possible they are two people unknown to us at this time, just seemingly normal people like you and me who are called to this purpose. But most students of prophecy believe they are men we have read about in the Bible, brought back for this mission in the last days. In fact, some prominent Bible scholars believe it will be Moses and Elijah.

If it’s going to be two historical figures, why not Elijah and Enoch? After all, they’re the only two we know of that have been raptured, never suffering physical death.

Over the years, I’ve also come to share the opinion that it is Moses and Elijah. I’ll share some of my reasoning below.

I’ll start with Elijah:

Most scholars agree that he will be one of the witnesses, but that’s not why I believe it. First of all, he was taken up to Heaven without suffering a physical death (2 Kings 2:11), and in a manner which suggests to me that his work is not finished yet. You’ve got to wonder why he was taken while most other prophets were martyred(1 Kings 19:10; 14; Luke 11:47-50; 13:34; Acts 7:52; Rev. 16:6, 18:4); and why his successor, Elisha, was not also taken. Elisha had amazing faith and, careful study reveals, he performed twice as many miracles as Elijah.

Secondly, in the last book of our Old Testament, Malachi says the Lord will send Elijah in the last days (Elijah dispatched, get it? Mal. 4:5). Have you ever wondered why so many 1st Century Jews wondered if Jesus was Elijah returned (Matt. 16:14; Mark 6:15; 8:28; Luke 9:8, 19)? There are far more end-time prophesies in the Old Testament than in the New. The 1st Century Jews missed the important detail that their Messiah would come twice–once as a sacrificial Lamb and their kinsman redeemer, later as the Lion of Judah and their avenger of blood. They wanted the second visit, someone who would throw off the yoke of Roman rule and reestablish the throne of David. They conveniently ignored the first. Their wishful thinking led them to hope that their era was the end-times, and so they were hoping Elijah had returned.

Thirdly, notice that one of the plagues brought upon the earth by the witnesses is a three & 1/2 year drought. And Elijah is documented as calling down another three & 1/2 year drought in the days of Ahab (Luke 4:25; James 5:17). This may seem like a weak connection, unless you study how God seems to like to foreshadow certain events, manifest multiple fulfillments of prophecies and work in noticeable patterns.

But why Moses? After all, he already died once. Yes, and so had Lazarus, right?

Remember that the 70th seven is for Israel. The Church Age will be over at that point (though Gentiles will continue to be saved throughout the period–Rev. 7:9-14). Now think of what Moses means to the devout Hebrews. Granted, they didn’t heed his word much when he was alive, but like a lot of authors, his clout increased tremendously after his death. Remember that Jesus referred to the Old Testament as “Moses and the prophets” (Luke 16:29, 31; 24:27, 44) so apparently this was a familiar euphemism in His time. Even today, devout Jews hold Moses in very high esteem as the Law giver.

There’s a curious little verse in Jude (verse 9) describing a dispute over the body of Moses between two archangels–one of whom led a rebellion against the Most High, and one who was still faithful to God. Now why would they be fighting over Moses’ body?

Going back all the way to the garden, the devil (formerly archangel/top cherub Lucifer) has been attempting to thwart God’s plan, whether it be by seducing the chosen people into idolatry, or wiping them out via genocide, or murdering our Lord on the cross. Satan’s first attack on Moses happened when the Law giver was a baby, via Pharaoh’s death order. Could it be Satan learned of a plan to resurrect Moses at a future date, and this was why he was so interested in the body (and why the grave was in a secret location, arguably dug by the Lord Himself–Deut. 34:5-6)?

Also consider the transfiguration–when Peter, James and John saw both Moses and Elijah having a conference with Jesus (Matt. 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). First of all, in a world with no photographic records, how did Peter and the others recognize two men who had been dead for centuries? It must have been a spiritual revelation. Secondly, what might they have been discussing (besides Jesus’ pending business in Jerusalem–Luke 9:31), and why those two men? Might Jesus have been advising them regarding their next assignment? If a day is like 1,000 years and 1,000 years like one day to the Lord (2 Pet 3:8–He operates without the limitations of the space-time continuum we are shackled by), would it be farfetched to imagine their next mission would occur over 2,000 years after Peter, James and John glimpsed into whatever dimension this meeting was taking place?

Thirdly, consider again the plagues: They turn the waters into blood (Rev. 11:6). Moses did this before, to the Nile River (Ex, 7:20-21). Not that God couldn’t use another servant to perform the same miracle. The ultimate author of the Bible–the Holy Spirit–might just be giving us a clue as to the witnesses’ identities by the plagues He chose to enumerate. If you don’t believe He is the ultimate author, then there’s a lot in the Bible you have to chalk up to coincidence.

Whoever the witnesses prove to be, their testimony is going to be something fantastic to behold: Two men, anointed by God, boldly speaking the truth with the entire world against them. Such courage is in short supply today in the Church.

Birth Pangs

When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Mark 13:7,8

1848 is known by historians as “the year of revolutions.” If the revolts in the Middle East keep spreading, 2011 may give that year a run for its money.

While I sympathize with those who thirst for freedom and take up arms against tyranny, it’s a tragic consistency in history that revolution only begats even more oppressive regimes (the American Revolution being a conspicuous exception).

If we are as close to the conclusion of history as I suspect, then ultimately what these uprisings will result in are radical Islamic nations even more hell-bent on Israel’s destruction. And whatever your feelings about the US/UN occupation of Iraq, ultimately what will result after our pull-out is a New World Capitol exercising the opposite of the freedom we’ve enjoyed in the USA.

The circumstances on this earth are only going to get worse for the remainder of mankind’s rule here. But the nations can rage all they want–in the end, God wins.

What Prophecy Is (and Isn’t)

Among those who have never read the Holy Bible, probably most have heard of “the book of Revelations.” In fact, most people think they know what’s in the book (though I would argue that they don’t).

Before launching my own spin on Bible prophecy, I feel compelled to clarify what it is and isn’t: Bible prophesy isn’t all “gloom and doom.”

Many people emphasize the catastrophic events depicted in prophesy and ignore everything else. For the unbelievers and those who have refused to accept the free pardon from divine judgement: the death, destruction and suffering should be terrifying. For those who have accepted the pardon, though, the ultimate message of prophecy is one of great victory.  Through it we know we will have eternal peace, freedom and joy. There will be no more death, suffering or sadness and the mystery of God will be completed.

I know and care for people, including some family members, who feel it is wrong to study, discuss or try to understand prophecy. This is an unbiblical attitude (Rev. 1:3) and probably exists within many Christians partially because of  overemphasis on the gloom and doom. Part of the problem is probably also a failure by many self-described Christians to understand and revere what the Word of God is (2 Tim. 3:16).

Bible prophecy isn’t all about the “last days.” Most of it is,  but some of it has already been fulfilled. Take the Messianic prophecies, for instance: Centuries before the fact, many details of the life (and death) of Jesus were prophesied. Obviously those prophecies were fulfilled. Yet what frustrated the Jews during the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry is that there are far more prophecies about His second coming. It was easy to overlook the fewer prophecies about his first coming, partly because a Messiah who would suffer and die was less appealing than one who would take the planet by force and conquer Israel’s enemies. Both divine missions are prophesied, but like so much Bible prophecy, careful scholarship is required.

The Bible is brimming with prophecy, even in books you wouldn’t consider prophetic like the Psalms, Ruth or Paul’s letter to the Romans. And all of it ultimately points to Jesus the Messiah, starting with Genesis 3:15 (the “seed of the woman” is a biological oxymoron since, in human reproduction, the “seed” is in the man. However, this curious phrase hints at the virgin birth of the one who will ultimately defeat the “seed of the serpent” at the conclusion of history).

The Book of Revelation is the most famous prophetic book. I see it as the membrane connecting all other prophecies. Conversely, the other prophetic texts within the Bible contain the codebreaking info for Revelation.

You might hear about 2 different “camps” or schools of thought within Christianity–those who “take the Bible literally,” and those who dismiss most of it as allegory or symbolic moral lessons. I identify more with the former, but must qualify that: I believe the Bible is true from cover to cover, yet frequently uses parables or symbolism to convey literal truth.

For instance: I don’t believe Jesus is literally a young sheep, though He is referred to as “the Lamb” in scripture.

Symbolism was used, understood and accepted throughout biblical times. If not, Joseph wouldn’t have angered his family by sharing his dreams (Gen. 37:5-10). Jesus used symbolism prolifically in his parables. So I must differ with those who take “literalism” to extremes that render prophcies irrelevant and ridiculous. When terms like “the 4 corners of the earth” are used in the Bible (or at least some English translations), you are not required to believe that the earth is a flat square. “The winepress of God’s wrath” is not a literal vat of grapes somewhere in the Valley of Jehosephat.

The other extreme is far more dangerous (and more popular). I’ve even heard some evangelical Christians on the radio try to allegorize what is obviously literal. When John writes about a remnant of Israelite men, numbering 144,000, sealed by God to survive the coming wrath, then bothers to list the 12 tribes that each contribute 12,000 of these men (Rev.7:4-8; 14:1-5), neither he, nor the Holy Spirit inspiring him, used this description as a “symbol” for 92 televangelists; or 361 Rabbis; or 54,000 devout Jews; or 144,000 men, women and children; or 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses; or whatever. When the great tribulation/second half of Daniel’s “70th Seven” is described as “times, time, and half a time” (Dan. 7:25; 12:7; Rev. 12:14); then as 42 months (Rev. 11:2); then as 1,260 days (Rev. 12:6); what is being prophesied is not a “symbol” for some different period of time.

If you have trouble distinguishing between literal text and symbolic imagery depicting literal truth, I believe my pages can help you.

So welcome to Seven Thunders. More blogs to follow.