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A Critique And Rebuttal Of Dr. Dave Williams’ 20 Pieces Of Counsel To Survivors After The Rapture.

A Critique And Rebuttal Of Dr. Dave Williams’ 20 Pieces Of Counsel To Survivors After The Rapture.

What to Do if You Miss the Rapture

5:00PM EDT 3/29/2017

Dr. Dave Williams

Now is the time to repent. (Pexels)

It is possible to be a professing Christian and not actually be in the faith. Paul said, “Examine yourselves, seeing whether you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5a). Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21-23).
If you are reading this after the rapture has occurred, it’s because you weren’t ready. Jesus said in Matthew 25:10 that “those who were ready went in … And the door was shut.”
Let me give you 20 pieces of counsel to survive this terrible time if you miss God’s first roundup, the rapture.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

The background to Dr. Dave Williams counsel is appropriate. He establishes the fact based firmly on the Scriptures that not all professing Christians are true believers in Jesus the Christ. It is therefore possible for one to be a church goer, and actively participate in the activities of the local assembly without a personal relationship with Jesus and without experiencing the transformative power of the Holy Spirit in one’s life. Like the Church of Sardis a professing Christian could have a reputation for being alive while in actual fact one is spiritually dead. Cuculus non facit monacum ( a hood does not make a monk ). The presence of all the paraphernalia of religion, and the use of all the right phrases are no indication of spiritual life or a living and vibrant relationship with the Living Saviour, Jesus Christ our Lord. “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” ( Rev.3:1‬ ).

It therefore behoves us as individual believers in Christ to examine ourselves from time to time whether we are in the Faith ( 2Cor.13:5a ). It is also possible for one to outwardly profess Jesus as Lord of one’s life without subjecting oneself to the lordship of Jesus. If one calls Jesus Lord but does not seek his will, listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, hears and does not obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, to that extent, the one is a hypocrite. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” ( Matt.7:21-23 ). If one hears the word of God and does not do it, or hears a command from the Holy Spirit and does not obey, to that extent one is a hypocrite and lives in in disobedience. It is utterly foolish to hear the word of God and not walk in the light of that revelation. “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” ( Matt.7:26-27‬ ‭). On the other hand, those who hear the word of God and obey are the house with the foundation laid firmly in the rock. “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” ( Matt.7:24-25‬ ‭).

Dr Dave Williams made reference to the parable of the ten virgins ( Matt.25:1-14 ), that the doors will be shut after the five wise virgins were allowed entry into the marriage of the Lamb. Admittedly, the marriage of the Lamb occurs in heaven after the Rapture of the Church at the End Of The Ages during which the wrath of God is mated out on the living wicked earth-dwellers. If the doors of heaven will be shut after the rapture to keep out the hypocrites, how does he account for the secondary entry of the unwise virgins into the marriage of the Lamb which the parable of the ten virgins does not support?

Dr. Dave Williams:

1. Do not believe the explanations given by the secular media.

Christians have not been beamed to some interplanetary spaceship to be reprogrammed. We have not been taken by aliens, and we’re not in Buenos Aires, Togo or Europe. We have left the earth on a cloud of glory to be with Jesus forever.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

How much of the world’s media houses will be functioning after the rapture is any one’s guess. Dr. Dave Williams assumes contrary to the Scriptures that the rapture occurs before the 70th week of Daniel, that the media houses will be functioning, spewing out deceptive messages to explain away the rapture. We have heard this mantra from the pretribbers for a long time. Our Lord Jesus in His Olivet Discourse firmly establishes that the Rapture occurs after the cosmic disturbances following the Great Tribulation. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” ( Matt.24:29-31‬ ‭). The sixth seal which parallels the cosmic disturbances after the Great Tribulation in the Olivet Discourse portends the wrath of God. It announces to the wicked earth-dwellers who will be left behind after the rapture that God is about to punish them for their evils. The condition on Earth at this time is one of utter chaotic confusion as men and women of every cadre scurry for cover under the rocks and the mountains having disposed to the moles and the bats the images of the Beast they have made for themselves to worship.

“Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” ( Isaiah‬ ‭2:10-22‬ ‭).

This passage in Isaiah parallels Matt.24:29-31 and the sixth seal of Rev.6 in that they speak of condition on Earth following the cosmic disturbances and during the outpouring of the wrath of God.

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? ( Rev.6:12-17‬ ‭).

The waves will be roaring, and men’s hearts are failing them for fear of those things that are coming upon the Earth. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” ( Luke‬ ‭21:25-28‬ ‭). This is the chaotic condition under which the rapture shall occur. It is under this condition that the believers are admonished by Christ to “look up, lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh”

If the high and low, all the great and rich men as well as the poor are all on the run for their dear lives following the breaking of the sixth seal and the attendant cosmic disturbances, how could anyone at this time be spewing out false propaganda messages to the world, at a time when communication is severely hampered by severe earthquakes, tsunamis, darkening of the sun and moon, and wild fires caused by comets, meteorites, and asteroids impinging on the Earth from outer space? During and immediately after the cosmic disturbances, it will be extremely difficult for anyone to fly aircrafts. The darkened sun and moon and stars will frozen the Earth and darken the heavens. It is under this condition that the Shekinah will appear in the heavens which is the sign of the coming ( Parousia ) of the Son Of Man. Every eye will see Him, and the inhabitants of the Earth shall mourn ( Matt.24:30b; Rev.1:7 ). Then will He dispatch His angels to rapture the elect.

How can anyone at this time be reading newspapers and viewing programmes on televisions? Which media houses are churning out these newspapers? How are they being distributed? Which television station will be operating under this condition of worldwide chaos? The electromagnetic pulse waves ( EMP ) and coronal mass ejections ( CME ) caused by meteorites, asteroids and comets falling on the Earth from out space will disrupt telecommunications. It will take some time for the antiChrist and the other kings of the Earth to effect some repairs. These are phantasy stories fabricated by the Devil and his agents to hoodwink the saints into thinking the rapture will take place under normal conditions, the remnants of the inhabitants of the Earth would then be saddled with the responsibility of inventing stories to explain away the rapture. After the rapture no one is at liberty or has the pleasure to concoct such stories as Christians have been beamed to interplanetary spaceship to be reprogrammed, or whisked away by aliens to Togo, Buenos Aires, or Europe; for what follows the rapture is the Day Of Lord Wrath which will put every man on Earth on the run for his dear life.

Dr. Dave Williams:

2. Get rid of your cell phone.

If you do not agree with the government of the final shabua and the charming world leader, you will be hunted. Your cell phone can be tracked. Throw it in a river or lake far from where you are going to be.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

The Hebrew word shavua means week or seven. It could be a week or seven of days, months or years. It is the context that determines the meaning. It is singular. The plural form is Shavuot as in the Hebrew feast of weeks or Pentecost. The final shavua therefore is the last seven years of the present age. It is the last week of the 70 weeks of Danial.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” ( Daniel‬ ‭9:24-27‬ ‭).

69 of the 70 weeks are history. We are now in the prophetic gap of time between the 69th and the 70th week or seven. This gap of time is called variously the Gentile Interlude, the Church Age, the Mysterion, or simply the Gap. Each of these terms and phrases reflect various aspects of this period of time.

Dr. Dave Williams assumes without biblical proof, as do all pretribs that the whole of the 70th seven is the period of God’s wrath, and because the Church is exempt from the wrath of God, the Church must be raptured before the wrath of God commences at the beginning of the 70th week when the antiChrist signs a 7-year peace agreement with Israel ( 1Thess.1:10, 5:9; cp Dan.9:27 ). Do the Scriptures teach that the Church will not enter the 70th week of Daniel? Our brother Apostle Paul taught the Thessalonians that that day, the day in which the rapture will occur and the Day Of The Lord will begin will not come until two events occur: 1 ) the revelation or unveiling of the Man Of Sin, that is the antiMessiah, and 2 ) apostasy, a massive abandonment of the faith. The first event, the revelation of the Man Of Sin, the antiChrist occurs at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel ( 2Thess.2:3,4 ) when he relocates his headquarters to the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem ( Dan.11:45 ).

The massive exodus from the Faith is specific, not nebulous, and occurs beginning from the midpoint of the 70th week, during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist, and is triggered by the self-deification of the antiChrist and his demand of worship by all mortals, the abomination of desolation and surrounding Jerusalem with his armies in what biblical scholars call the Jerusalem Campaign. “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” ( Matthew‬ ‭24:15-18; cp Mark 13:15-20‬ ‭).

The abomination of desolation occurs at the same time as the surrounding Of Jerusalem with the armies of the antiMessiah. “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” ( Luke‬ ‭21:20-24‬ ‭).

The first three and one-half years will witness the emergence of false messiahs, wars, commotions, and rumours and threats of wars, and famines, pestilence and earthquakes ( Matt.24:4-8; Mk.13:5-8; Luk.21:8-11; Rev.6:1-6 ). During this period, the condition on the Earth will be one of war, and death will be brutal, but the believers and Jews will not be specifically targeted as in the second half of the 70th week during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. So, there is a window of three and one-half years for believers who understand the End Times to prepare safe havens beginning from the time the antiChrist signs a 7-year peace pact with Israel. We must avoid going to those locations with any gadgets that have GPS. This sequence of events is the same as in the Olivet Discourse given by our Lord Jesus the Christ ( Math.24, Mak.13, Luk.21 ), and in Rev. 6.

Due to exponential increment in technology, it is estimated that by the year 2027, smartphones may become obsolete, to be replaced by augmented and virtual reality headsets or neural lace and nanobots planted in the brain. In other words we would have become cyborgs, a situation a true believer must avoid at all costs. Man-machine meld is antiGod. Transhumanism is antiGod. Beginning from the breaking of the sixth seal which is associated with cosmic and celestial disturbances, these electronic gadgets may no longer function. After the rapture is the wrath of God. The wicked earth-dwellers will naturally dispense with all communication gadgets which are images of the antiChrist for fear of the Lord and the glory of His Majesty ( Isa.2:10-22; Rev.6:12-17 ).

Dr. Dave Williams:

3. Do not kill yourself.

Whenever there’s social disorder and confusion, people tend to think suicide is the only way out. It’s not. You probably feel hopeless, but there is still hope. The Holy Spirit will still be working during the final shabua. Pray and ask Him to guide you, give you strength and dwell in you.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

During the Day Of The Lord, lots of folks who have been deceived would like to kill themselves out of anguish of soul and remorse of conscience, but will not be able, especially those who have been branded with the mark of allegiance to the antiMessiah. These have sinned beyond repentance. In spite of their desire to die, they will not repent of theirs sins. “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭9:20-21 ).

Men will desire to die but death will flee from them. They killed those who did not want to die during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. They themselves will desire death, but their wish will not be granted ( Rev.9:5,6 ). The fifth trumpet judgment will torment those who do not have the seal of the Almighty for five months ( Rev.9:4 ). The agent of this torment will be demons with the physiognomy of locusts and sting of scorpions who have been incarcerated in the bottomless pit for thousands of years ( Rev.9:1-3 ). These demons are fallen angelic beings who did not keep their first estate, but cohabited with human females, which was a satanic attempts to hybridise the human race during the antedeluvian era ( Gen.6:1-8 ). God spared Noah and his family because they were pure, that is unhybridised. Today as in the antediluvian era, effort is being made to hybridize humanity not only through intermarriage between fallen angels and human females but also through alteration of human genome by bioengineering. Don’t ever think that everyone on Earth is a pure human. There are humanized demons and demonized humans.

Away from the prying eyes of activists, scientists are attempting to incorporate animal and plant genes into human genome. In not distant a future, the world would pressure us to become cyborgs through biometric implants in various parts of the body and neural mesh and nanobots injected into the brain. This will present serious challenges to the younger generation of believers who may be under pressure to conform or become obsolescent and irrelevant and be economically maginalized. Man wants to be a Homo Deus independent of God which is an affront on God.

After the deluge, God imprisoned the spirits of these fallen angelic beings under darkness waiting to be employed to punish the wicked earth-dwellers during the fifth trumpet judgment ( Jude 6 ). Their incarceration in the abyss for thousands of years have rendered them more vile and wicked than ever. Nevertheless, they cannot go beyond the command of God. They have a king over them who is  the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon which means destruction or destroyer ( Rev.9:11 ). The antiChrist is one of these fallen angelic beings ( Rev.11:7, 17:8 ). He is the Beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit, and shall go into perdition, that is, descend back into the bottomless pit.

It is interesting that Dr. Dave Williams teaches that the Holy Spirit will still be here during the 70th week of Daniel. Most pretribbers believe the Holy is the restrainer, and will hitchhike with the Church when the rapture occurs before the Great Tribulation. Some others teach the restrainer is human government. Human government will still be here till the sounding of the seventh trumpet at which point God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth, and will not be totally defeated and dispensed with till Armageddon. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” ( Rev.11:15‬ ‭). Human government shall be at the apogee of its glory when Jesus takes over the kingdoms of This Age. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” ( Dan.2:44-45‬ ‭).

The Holy Spirit has been here even before the creation of man. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” ( Gen.1:1-2 ). The Holy Spirit has been present throughout Israel’s history. ” The Lord God and His Spirit has sent me.” The kings of Israel, the prophets of Israel, the warriors of Israel, David’s mighty men were anointed of the Holy Spirit. Bazeleel and Aholiab were anointed of the Holy Spirit to construct the Tabernacle in the wilderness. John the Baptizer was filled with the Holy Spirit from the mother’s womb though he was not part of the bride of Christ. He described himself as a friend of the bridegroom. Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit. What happened on the day of Pentecost was a new relationship between God and man based on the framework of a new order, the New Covenant. After closure of the Church Age at the rapture, the Holy Spirit will continue to be here. The Holy Spirit is God, and as such is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. On that count, I totally concur with Dr. Dave Williams. The Holy Spirit need not hitchhike with the Church on the day of rapture.

The restrainer is an OT doctrine. He is a well known figure in Judaism. His personality is not arguable amongst Orthodox Jews. He is archangel Michael who standeth for God’s people ( Dan.12:1; 2Thess.2:6,7 ). He will cast Satan down to the Earth at the midpoint of the 70th week, after which he will “amad”, that is step aside ( Rev.12:7-9, 13-17; Dan.12:1 ), and then the Man Of Sin shall be unveiled. Believers will certainly be here during the greater part of the 70th week, it will be wise to pray and ask God for guidance, direction, and strength, and not to take one’s own life. But there will be extreme situations in which it may be wise for a believer to take one’s own life rather than live and give away vital information that may betray other believers, compromise their security, and jeopardize the lives of loved ones. Discretion will be required in this sort of situation. Situation ethics may apply; that is do as occasion demands.

Dr. Dave Williams:

4. Repent immediately and make your peace with God.

If you’re reading this after the rapture, you’ve already witnessed many of the events we described. Now is the time to repent. Jesus Christ is the only Savior and only way to heaven (John 14:6). Pray, “Lord Jesus, be merciful to me. I have sinned against you. Save me now. I receive you as my personal Savior.” For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

We have established based on Scriptures that the condition on Earth under which the rapture will take place will be one of utter chaotic confusion. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” ( Luke‬ ‭21:25-28‬ ‭). People of all cadre will be running helter-skelter for fear of those things which are coming upon the Earth. At the breaking of the sixth, the living wicked earth-dwellers will be scurrying for cover under the rocks and mountains, and caves, invoking these to fall upon them and to hide them from the wrath of the Lamb, for the day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? ( Rev.6:15-17 ). The atheist, the humanist will know automatically that there is God, and that He is about to punish the wicked earth-dwellers for their evils. All proponents of false religions will know intuitively that they have been deceived and have themselves deceived others. Evil men shall wax worse and worse deceiving and being deceived ( 2 Tim.3:13 ). The very same day the rapture takes place, the seventh seal will be broken and the wrath of God begins.

After the rapture, there will be two major groups of people left on Earth, the branded Jews and Gentiles, and the unbranded Jews and Gentiles. The branded Jews and Gentiles who constitute the majority are those who received the mark of the Beast. They are doomed for eternity. This is the content of the message of the third angelic announcement. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” ( Rev.14:9-11‬ ‭). The unbranded Jews and Gentiles can be further divided into unbranded Gentiles and unbranded Jews. The unbranded Jews can be further divided into two groups, the 144,000, and others. The 144,000 shall be brought into saving relationship with the God of Israel and sealed with the seal of God for protection from the wrath of God shortly before the rapture of the Church ( Rev.7:1-8 ). They are hidden in Bozrah, in the Edomite wilderness, in the red rose city of Petra in modern day Jordan, which in OT Times was called Sela, and in NT times Pella ( Isa.16:1-5; Mic.2:12,13 ).

The Church Age ends with the rapture of the Church ( Rom.11:26 ). The two witnesses are the only servants of God with active ministry in the second half of the 70th week after the rapture of the Church. And their ministry is limited more or less to the vicinity of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem albeit with worldwide effect ( Rev.11:1-14 ). God will not leave Himself without a witness on Earth. It is like the handing over of a baton in a relay race. The Church is raptured into heaven and Israel becomes God’s only witness on Earth. The remaining unbranded Jews other than the 144,000 are the ones saying peace and safety, not knowing that they will have to go through the trumpet judgments segment of the wrath to be purged, purified and cleansed from the defilement of sin. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” ( 1 Thess.5:1-3‬ ‭).

The Jews who are not branded with the marked of the Beast nor sealed with the seal of God are the ones who will shout peace and safety after the appearance of the Shekinah in the heaven, because they think the Messaiah of Israel has come to deliver them from persecution by the antiChrist, not knowing they have to go through the trumpet judgments unprotected in order to be purged, purified, and cleansed. The prophet Amos chided them saying: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” ( Amos‬ ‭5:18-20‬ ‭).

Of all the unbranded remnants after the rapture of the Church, they are the ones living in expectation of deliverance from Jacob’s trouble by the arrival of the Messiah. The prophet Amos ridiculed them saying, woe unto you that desire the Day Of The Lord! To what End is it for you? It is darkness and not light. It will be as though a man did flee from a lion ( the Great Tribulation, the time of Jacob’s trouble), and a bear ( the wrath of God ) met him; or went into his house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent ( the wrath of God ) bit him. For them, the Day Of The Lord is darkness and not light. It shall be very dark, and no brightness in it. It will be a day of gloominess.

The unbranded Gentile remnants know nothing about the Day Of The Lord. They shall go through it unprotected. The trumpet judgments are general. The ones exempt from them are the 144,000 from the twelves tribes of Israel who are branded with the seal of God. Those branded with the mark of the Beast are specifically targeted in the last seven bowl judgments. The unbranded Gentiles may suffer collateral damage. The unbranded Gentiles who survive the wrath of God shall appear at the Sheep and Goat judgment ( Matt.25:31-46 ). Those who are justified, the sheep shall enter the Millennium to repopulate the Earth alongside the Jewish remnants who are purged, purified, and cleansed through the trumpet judgments. These Jews will come to the saving knowledge of God on the third day after the close of the 70th week in order to complete the spiritual kingdom of God and finish the mystery of God ( His.6:1-3; Rev.10:7 ). Of the total number of Jews who pass through the time of Jacob’s trouble ( Jer.30:7 ), only a third shall survive. This one-third shall be passed through the six trumpet judgments in order to purge, purify, and cleanse them ( Zech.13:8,9 ). Probably, only a tenth of them shall make it to the Millennium ( Isaiah 6:13 ). I am not dogmatic about this.

Because we thus teach, orthodox Jewish rabbis regard us as theological antisemites. The scornful leaders of Israel say never again, but the truth is that a worse persecution than the holocaust will come upon the Jews all over the world, and worst still, in the land of Israel. Would God their leaders had understanding concerning this matter, then they would prepare for the protection of the Jewish people rather than deny the inevitable. This is the sin of presumption. We Christians sometimes are guilty of the same. We presume what will happen, and make our confessions according. But God has not spoken, or we have no word of God to back it up. Faith begins where the will of God is known. Whatever is not of faith is sin. Faith is always based on the word of God, not just human desires. Human desires which are not in consonance with God’s word are not God’s will at all no matter how lofty the ideal on which they are founded.

The psalmist prayed that God will prevent him from committing the sin of presumption. “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” ( Psalms‬ ‭19:12-13‬ ‭). How can one be upright and free from the Great Transgression? By being cleansed from secret faults, and being kept back from presumptuous sins. The Jewish rabbis and the scornful leaders of Israel are not cleansed from secret faults. They are not free from presumptuous sins. They err by saying never again in contradiction to the teaching of the Scriptures.

Does anyone love Israel more than I do? Do I write this out of hatred for the Jewish people? No. These things are painful to my heart. Let all men be liars, but God remaineth true ( Rom.3:4 ). The word of God is truth. Father sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth ( Jon.17:17 ). There is a sense in which every man is a liar. We have all lied and dissembled at one time or the other. But shall we continue in falsehood when the truth has been revealed to us in His word? No matter what we say, they will seek refuge in lies and security in falsehood and enter into agreement with Sheol. Therefore when the overflowing scourge shall pass through they shall become its trampling place. And it shall be so terrifying to them to understand the report when they are subverted by the antiMessiah ( Isa.28:15,18,19 ).

Shortly before the sounding of the 7th trumpet, they shall be brought into saving relationship with the God of Israel in order to complete the spiritual kingdom of God as the mystery of God is finished ( Rev.10:7 ). On that day, they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son. “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” ( Zech.12:10-14‬ ‭).

Any professing Christian who is left behind after the rapture is not a true believer at all. After the rapture no one can be saved and become a member of the body of Christ as we are today. Admittedly, Jesus is the only name under the heavens given amongst men whereby we must be saved ( Acts 4:12 ). He is the only way, the truth, and the life ( Jon.14:6 ). It is true that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved ( Rom.10:13 ). The branded Jews and Gentiles will never repent. The unbranded Jews are still stiff-necked until their stubbornness is broken by passage through the trumpet judgments, when they see that their Messiah has nail pierced hands. Salvation after the rapture is not as easy as our brother Dr. Dave Williams has painted. He thinks the scenario will be as it is in the Church Age. It is obvious he has not critically examined this issue in the light of the Scriptures.

Let summarize what the Scriptures say about salvation after the Rapture. After the Rapture, the 144,000 virgins from the household of Israel are given special protection having been sealed with the name of God just prior to the Rapture. The surviving Jewish remnants who were not branded with the mark of allegiance to the antiChrist shall be passed through the six trumpets to be purged, purified, and cleansed before reconciliation to God on Day 3 of the 30-Day Reclamation Period. The branded unbelievers who constitute the majority of the Earth’s population at that time, both Jews and Gentiles who have received the mark of allegiance to the Beast shall go through the wrath of God, and shall finally be liquidated at Armageddon. The unbranded unbelieving Gentiles shall go through the whole wrath of God during the Day Of The Lord. They shall not be specifically targeted during the 7 bowl judgments, neither shall they be offered any protection. Therefore they suffer some collateral damages. At the end of Armageddon, they shall appear at the Sheep And Goat Judgment. The Goats, the condemned shall be liquidated. The Sheep, those who shall be acquitted, shall enter the Millennium to repopulate the Earth alongside their Jewish counterparts.

Whether the 144,000 will be translated and given glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies at the beginning of the Millennium or permitted to live in the Millennium in their natural death-doomed bodies is anyone’s guess. I am of the opinion that since they were celibates and virgins ( Parthenoi ) all their lives, they may not need to continue to live in their natural bodies, marry and beget children during the Millennium, which is a heavy burden. They may be translated into glorified eternal immortal saints inasmuch as they shall be always part of His Royal Majesty’s entourage in the Millennium. “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” ( Rev.14:1-5 ). They are without fault having been washed by the blood of the Lamb. They follow Him wherever He goes. They stand before His Throne. They minister before the Throne of God. They stand in His
presence all the time.

Dr. Dave Williams:

5. Make sure you have a printed Bible.

You will not want any electronic tablets during the Tribulation. God’s Word and promises will still work after the rapture because Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Keep your Bible in a safe place because when the Antichrist’s government takes over, he will eventually try to destroy all the Bibles.
Read the Ten Commandments and follow them (Ex. 20:1-17). God’s grace is still available, but after the church is gone, the age of grace has concluded, and everything reverts to something like Old Testament times.
Make sure you read Daniel 2-12. Chapter 12 will give you the general time Jesus is coming the second time. Read Matthew 24, Mark 13, 1 Thessalonians 5, 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation. Everything will begin to make sense to you.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

Pretribbs generally divide the 70th week into two halves. The first they dubb the Tribulation, and the second half the Great Tribulaion. The whole of the 70th week they call the Tribulation Period. Admittedly, the 70th week of Daniel is a period of trouble. The first half witnesses the emergence of false christs, wars, commotions, and threats of wars, and then famine, pestilences, and earthquakes. That there are troubles in the first half of the 70th week does not warrant it should be labeled the The Tribulation. There have been many periods of trouble in the history of man on Earth but they are not The Ribulation. The first half is a time of treaties between nations, subtle peace diplomacy, wars, commotions, threats of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, but That does not make it The Tribulation. There are no scriptural bases to label the whole of the second half of the 70th week the Great Tribulation. If the whole of the second half of the 70th week is the Great Tribulation, whatever happened to the Cosmic and celestial disturbances, the Shekinah in the heavens, the final harvest, the breaking of the seventh seal and the first six trumpets all of which occur in the second half of the 70th week of Daniel? The second half witnesses the Great Tribulation, the Cosmic disturbances, the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens which is the coming of the Son Of Man, the sealing of the 144,000, the rapture of the Church, and the first six trumpet judgments of the wrath of God. The death of the two witnesses marks the terminus-ad-quem of the 70th week. But the pretribulationists teach that the whole of the second half of the 70th is the Great Tribulation whereas the Scriptures teach that the Great Tribulation is cut shut or better still to use the scriptural term amputated ( Greek: koloboo ) by the cosmic disturbances which is the sixth seal of Revelation 6. The fifth seal is a heavenly scene and is coincident with the fourth seal, the Great Tribulation. The fifth seal does not advance the chronology of events in the second half of the 70th week, inasmuch as it is concurrent and simultaneously with the fourth seal. As soon as the saints are martyred here on Earth, their disembodied spirits and souls are arriving in heaven, and are quartered under the Golden Altar Of Incense, from where they make their plea of vengeance to God. Does this scenario warrant dubbing the whole of the 70th week, the Tribulation Period? This phraseology is problematic and biased in that it builds an a priori case for pretribulation rapturism. The pretribber Thomas Ice says the prewrathers are chopping up the second half of the 70th week. We are not the ones who chopped it up but the word of God did. What we have done is to show the details which the Scriptures have outlined.

Dr. Dave Williams teaches us that the rapture occurs before the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel, bringing closure to the Church Age. How then does one account for the so called Tribulation saints who are martyred under the fourth seal and arrive in heaven under the fifth seal? When they made their plea of vengeance to God, He answered in the affirmative, but instructed them to be patient until the number of their fellow believers to be martyred is complete. He did not say that those to be martyred were left behind due to their unpreparedness. There is a complement of believers to martyred during the Great Tribulation. When that number is complete, God cuts shut the Great Tribulation with cosmic disturbances. This number is not revealed to in the Scriptures ( Deut.29:29 ). Pretribbers teach that the wrath of God begins at the start of the 70th week. That will make God responsible for all the troubles of the first half of the 70th week as well as the Great Tribulation and the death of martyrs under the altar in heaven at the breaking of the fifth seal. If the wrath of God begins at the beginning of the 70th week, would God ask the martyrs in heaven to wait until their fellows believers have been martyred as well? Has God forgotten that His wrath has already started? Do we begin to see what an impossible to defend position that is pretribulation rapturism?

Dr. Dave Williams made reference to the Olivet Discourse ( Matt.24; Mk:13 ), and 1 &2 Thessalonians. He indicated that these Scriptures will give us an inkling of the general time period of the coming of the Lord, but not the Day and the hour. The question that arises in one’s mind is will there be two comings of the Lord, first to rapture the Church before the beginning of the 70th week, and second to punish the wicked. But the Bible teaches that once the rapture takes place, what follows is the punishment of the wicked. Pretribbers affirm the same in that they teach that the wrath of God begins at the start of the 70th after the Church is raptured pretribulationally. If the the wrath of God has begun at the commencement of the 70th week, why the delay into the second half of the 70th week before His coming? But the Scriptures teach that there is only one coming of the Lord to rapture the Church, and to punish the wicked for their evils and impenitence; for that is what parousia means, coming and subsequent presence with in order to accomplish certain purposes. In His post-resurrection speech on a Mount in the Galilee, Jesus promised His disciples who were representative of the protochurch as well as of Israel, ” I am with you always, even unto the End of the Ages. Amen” ( Matt.28:20b ). He told His disciples, ” And ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake: but he that endureth unto the end shall be saved” ( Matt.10:22 ). The coming ( parousia ) of the Lord occurs at the End Of The Ages. The very same day the Church is raptured, the wrath of God begins. The same day Noah entered the Ark, the rain deluged the heavens ( Gen.7:11; Luk.17:26,27; ). The same day Lot left Sodom and Gomorrah, the heavens rained fire and sulphur on Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain, Zeboim, and Adamah ( Luk.17:28-30 ).

The question His disciples asked Him on the Mount of olives relates to His coming and Of the End of the Ages. ” What shall be the sign of thy coming and Of the End of the Ages?” ( Matt.24:3b ). The coming of the Lord and the End Of The Ages are concurrent. When He comes, He takes away His own, and punishes the wicked. “And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.” ( Mark‬ ‭13:7‬ ‭). “But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.” ( Luke‬ ‭21:9‬ ‭). The pretribbers have jumped the ropes. The End will not come until after wars and rumours of wars. The End will not come until the gospel is preached to all the world. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” ( Matt.24:14‬ ‭). At the midpoint of the 70th week, the everlasting gospel will be proclaimed by the first horizontal flying angel. “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” ( Rev.14:6-7‬ ‭). If the Church Age has closed with the rapture, and I concur, everything has reverted back to OT times as Dr. Dave Williams proposes, why is the gospel of the kingdom preached in the midst of the Great Tribulation?

Let us now examine some classical rapture passages. Our brother, Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians that that day will not come until there be a falling away first, and the Man Of Sin be revealed. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” ( 2 Thess.2:3-5‬ ‭). The apostasy or massive abandonment of the Faith will occur when the Man Of Sin is unveiled in the Temple of God at the midpoint of the 70th week. How then can the rapture be pretribulational? In the Olivet Discourse, the coming of the Lord and the upward gathering ( episunagoge ) of the elect occur after the tribulation of those days. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” ( Matt.24:29-31‬ ‭).

The other two passages of Scriptures relate the rapture and the coming of the Lord to the last Trump or Trumpet as does also Matt.24:31. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ( 1 Thess.4:13-18‬ ‭). “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” ( 1 Cor.15:50-52‬ ‭). The Greek word harpazo is rendered caught up by the KJV. The Latin Vulgate renders it rapiemur. The English word rapture is a derivative of the Latin rapere. The rapture is associated with the blowing of the last trumpet as in these three classical rapture passages.

In ancient Israel, as is also practised till today, the trumpet is blown at the new moon, the calling of a solemn assembly, on Israel’s feast days, and to prepare for war. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee. When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm. And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance for ever throughout your generations. And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God.” ( Numbers‬ ‭10:1-10‬ ‭).

When the last trumpet is blown, the sons of God are gathered into His presence for solemn assembly in heaven, and then the God of Israel, the Man-o-war goes to war with the kings of the Earth. This event will most probably occur on the new moon as the whole is enveloped in dark at the breaking the sixth seal which is celestial disturbances until dispelled by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. What then is the last trump? It is the breaking of the seventh seal. There is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals. During this interlude, the Shekinah appears in the heavens, God dispatches His angels with the sound of the trumpet to gather together His elect from one end of the heavens to the other. Thereafter, God goes to war with His enemies, the living wicked earth-dwellers and the kings of the kingdoms of the Earth and their armies. The same day the Church is taken away, the seventh seal is broken, and the wrath of Commences. The seventh seal does not have any judgments of its own but opens in the seven trumpets. Can we see why then the seventh seal is the last trump?

Relating this to the feasts of Israel, the last day of the 70th week is the Day of atonement, Yom Kippur as Israel mourns for her first born ( Zech.12:10-14 ). On this third day after the 70th week, the mystery of God is finished ( Hos. 6:1,2,3; Rev.10:7 ) as the unbranded remnants of Israel that have survived the 70th week are brought into saving relationship with the God of Israel, having been purged, purified, and cleansed from defilement of sin by passage through the Great Tribulation, and the first six trumpet judgments. At the end of the 70th week, the first three of the six things that have to do with sin to be accomplished during the 70 weeks are history. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” ( Daniel‬ ‭9:24‬ ‭).

On the fifth day, the seventh trumpet is sounded and God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth ( Rev.11:15 ). This event shall take place on Mount Zion in the company of the 144,000 of the remnant of Israel. “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” ( Rev.14:1-5‬ ‭). These were brought into a saving relationship with the God of Israel, and sealed with the seal of God shortly before the rapture of the Church ( Rev.7:1-9 ).

The fifth day into the 30-Day reclamation period is the feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot. The kings of the Earth will be infuriated by God reclaiming His rule over the Earth and will react by massively invading the land of Israel. “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” ( Rev.11:18‬ ‭). God’s fury shall come on His forehead, He shall wipe these kings and their kingdoms out at the Armageddon Campaign ( Rev.16,19 ).

The Euphrates River will be dried up either supernaturally or by an engineering feat to make way for the kings of the East to transport their armies to the scene of the War of Armageddon which ends on the last day of the 30-Day reclamation period ( Rev.16:12 ). Am persuaded it shall be by supernatural means considering the facts of the condition on Earth during the ongoing wrath of and that there is but a few days to Armageddon. In this war, the armies of the kingdoms of the Earth will be utterly annihilated by Christ and His heavenly hosts ( Rev.19:17-21 ). The antiMessiah and the false prophet shall be taken captive and cast alive into the Lake of fire and brimstone. Within the next 45 days, the Earth shall be restored by Christ, and the Fourth and Millennial Temple built ( Ezek.40-43 ). On the last day of the 45-Day restoration period is the feast of Hanukkah, which is 70 days from from the feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, the day God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth, or 75 days from the end of the 70th week or the Day of Atonment, Yom Kippur.

We do not have to wait till after the rapture for these passages of the Holy Scriptures to make sense to us. They make sense to us right now. As par soft copies of the Bible, we have already established that it is senseless to use anything electronic or has GPS during the second half of the 70th week. It will only betray ones location. It will be wise to acquire plenty of hard copies of the Bible during the first half of the 70th week as we prepare safe havens. Obviously, the antiChrist will not like us to have access to the Bible in whatever form during his allotted period. It might even be outlawed by a decree. As always the commandments of the first and second tablets contain the principles of the Golden rule of love. To love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves is to fulfill the Ten Commandments. On these two Golden rules of love hang all the law, the prophets, and the writings. In them also, they are fulfilled. During the 70th week, more so during the Great Tribulation in the second half, iniquity shall abound, and the love of many shall grow cold ( Matt.24:12 ). Pastors have enormous task to begin now to instruct their congregations to walk in love, and practice communitarian system of collective co-existence as also did the the early Church in Jerusalem ( Acts 2:44-47, 4:34-37 ). We should love one another, flow into one another, and share our possessions with one another. This is a tall order for the Church at the moment especially in Europe and North America and some cities of Africa where the western lifestyle has been given fillip by individualism, commercialism, and consumerism imported from the west which have have arrived our shores. The book of prophet Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians make sense to us now, to get ready to face the antiChrist during the Great Tribulation and not succumb to his propaganda and terror.

Dr. Dave Williams:

6. Leave your home and get away from the cities, especially the big cities.

You’re going to be tempted to wait and see what happens, but if you do, it will be a fatal mistake, just as it was for the Jews who waited too long during the holocaust years. Go to some remote area. Learn to live off the land. Don’t take your cell phone because you can be tracked down. Disconnect the transponder on your vehicle, or ditch the vehicle altogether.
Make sure your family is safe and in agreement with your decision to leave. Take them if they will come. If not, you must go alone.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

As we have established, Dr. Dave Williams assumes without biblical proof that the rapture occurs before the antiChrist signs a 7-year peace pact with Israel which marks the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel. These are good pieces of advice which should be given to believers today. The proper time to implement these pieces of counsel will be during the first half of the 70th week of Daniel. If anyone waits till the rapture has occurred before implementing these pieces of advice, the one will be caught off guard, because after the rapture the Day Of The Lord begins which is the outpouring of God’s wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers, worshippers, and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. I am persuaded that believers who are conversant with the End Times will recognize the antiChrist when he signs a 7-year peace treaty with Israel before his unveiling to the rest of humanity at the midpoint of the 70th week when he relocates his headquarters to the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem from somewhere in the land of Magog or even from Babylon if he relocated there earlier ( Dan.11:45 ). Below is an excerpt on survival tips from my article The Great Tribulation. You may read the full article on our website: mtzionheritage.com.

Survival Tips

We are now in the gap of time between the 69th and the 70th weeks of Daniel. On May 14, 1948, Israel became an independent nation. On 7th June, 1967 Israel regained control of her Holy City, Jerusalem. The one major event that remains to be fulfilled before we enter into the 70th week of Daniel is the signing of a 7-year peace treaty between Israel and the ruler of the three power base nations of Magog, Meshech, and Tuval. The other two major events that need occur are the formation of the ten nation confederation, the 8th and Final Beast Empire of Satan, and the erection of the Third Jewish temple on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Both events may occur before the signing of the 7- year peace treaty or after.

We believers as people who live at the edge of human history should be wise ( Matt.25:1-12 ), faithful ( Matt.25:21,23; Luk.18:8 ), watchful ( Matt.25:13 ), fruitful ( Matt.25:14-30 ), and prayerful ( Luk.18:1-7 ). We should be conversant with the goings-on in our world. We should be listening to breaking news and reading the headlines to see when a powerful leader of Magog overthrows the three heads ( leaders ) of Magog, Meshech, and Tuval. This events can happen before the formation of the ten nation confederation or after. We should also be watchful to see when this great political figure goes ahead and signs a 7-year peace treaty with Israel. Or when the Jews are permitted to rebuild their temple. This is how we can identify the antiChrist before he makes himself known to the rest of the world and tightens the noose on the Church, the Jews, and all those who will not give him their allegiance.

The antiMessiah shall be a consummate politician. He shall have the knack for cracking hard nuts, and dissolving doubts, and unraveling mysteries. He shall unite Magog with Meshech and Tuval, a hard political nut indeed. He shall bring temporary peace between the Jews and Arabs, especially between the Palestinians and the Israelis; another political feat. He shall unite the postdemocracies of the West with the emerging Islamic and Arab pseudodemocracies of the Middle East, and the banana democracies of Africa. This is the union of the iron and the clay in the feet and ten toes of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream ( Dan.2:33, 41-44 ). This temporary peace shall enable the Jews to rebuilt their temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The mosque of Omer and the Al-Aqsa mosque may not come down. The studies of Asher Kaufman have shown that the Holy Of Holies of the Solomonic Temple is not located in either of the two. Besides, a massive temple like that of Solomon or that built by the returning exiles and refurbished by Herod the Great need not be built.

A temporary tabernacle-like structure may suffice. Although a plan of the Third Temple based on Ezekiel 40-43 has been drawn, and materials procured, a temple of that magnitude need not be the Third Temple. My understanding is that the description given in Ezekiel 40-44 is the Fourth and Millennial Temple to be built by Christ Himself after the war of Armageddon ( Ezek.38,39 ) during the 45-Day Reclamation Period prior to the commencement of His Millennial reign. Besides, the Third Temple will function for a short time before being taken over and desecrated by the antiMessiah. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” ( Rev.11:1-2‬ ‭). It shall be subsequently destroyed in the series of devastating earthquakes that will occur in Jerusalem beginning from the breaking of the sixth seal ( Rev.6:12 ). “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” ( Rev.16:17-20 ).

When the 7-year peace agreement is signed with Israel, the Jews shall resume temple worship and the daily animal sacrifice, drink and grain offerings ( Dan.9:27 ). From this point in the eschatological timeline, the believer who understands the theology of the End Times knows he or she has about three and one-half years to prepare before the midpoint of the 70th week when the Great Tribulation will begin. After the emergence of the antiChrist which is the first seal ( Rev.6:1,2 ), there will be wars, commotions, and rumors of wars which constitute the second seal ( Rev.6:3,4 ). One should study the trend of wars and commotions before one decides where to build a safe haven. The third seal which brings the first three and one-half years to a close will consist of famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, which are the aftermath of wars ( Rev6:5,6 ).

It is generally not reasonable to build safe havens before this time, inasmuch as one does not know which areas of the world would be safe. But the ten nations of the 8th and Final Beast Empire will not provide safe havens for believers, Jews and other nonconformists who repudiate the authority of the antiMessiah. The land of Israel will not be a safe haven at all, more so her Holy City, Jerusalem. It will be advisable for Christians in these areas to migrate to other parts of the world which are not allied to the antiChrist or are part of his ten nation confederation as soon as the antiChrist shows up on the world stage. We know that apart from the nations of the ten nation confederation, there will be other nations which are allied to the antiMessiah. Edom, Moab, and Ammon will probably be allied to the antiChrist. Egypt shall not be allied to the antiChrist, but it shall be invaded and conquered by the antiChrist and its treasures looted ( Dan.11:41-43 ). These parts of the world will not be safe for believers and Jews at that time. Eventually all the regional powers shall be at war with the antiChrist and no place will be safe at all. But before it becomes that bad, the rapture would have taken place. These wars will occur at the end of time ( Dan.11:40 ).

Believers should avoid residence in cities, and seek out hideouts in forests far from cities and towns where they may not be easily discovered. Should believers hide in cities, they must do so in basements, bunkers, and cellars. But it will be very difficult considering the fact that they shall do so for at least a year or more. One could suffer from depression and claustrophobia living in such unhealthy environment.

When we choose a location for a hideout, especially if we have in mind to construct an underground bunker, it should not be in an area prone to flooding, and there should be vents for proper ventilation. We should avoid valleys which are prone to seasonal inundations in the rainy season or spring. Mountains, caves and grottos would be preferable. We must not go to our hideouts when they are in preparation with cell phones, tablets or computers, cars or any electronic gadgets equipped with GPS. These will betray our location. Music and loud noise should be avoided in our hideouts at all cost, not even with earphones. These electronic devices have GPS which could betray one’s location.

We shall only go there with trusted believers who share the same aspirations. Before we finally retire to our lair, we must ditch all electronics and revert to primitive style of life. We may choose to construct a makeshift house(s) with wood or other building materials, or use prefabricated plastic houses. They must be inspected to ensure there are no GPS and electronic bugs implanted in them. Plastic materials are highly combustible. When used to construct houses, fire safety measures must be instituted to avoid fire disaster. We must remember that we are dealing with a mortal enemy who is also very smart. It will not be a surprise if these materials are implanted with electronic bugs to betray our locations. We can be sure that the antiChrist will leave no stone unturned in order to undermine our efforts.

Apart from food and clothing, heating is very important. We may resort to firewood where available or use kerosine stoves or gas cookers which means kerosine and gas will be stored in large quantities. These combustible and highly inflammable materials. Therefore strict rules and fire safety measures must instituted and adhered to. Members should be instructed in basic fire safety measures. If we decide to use generators, they must be thoroughly inspected for GPS and electronic bugs, they must be silent ones, and they must be properly hidden in underground bunkers with vents for outlet of fumes to avoid carbon monoxide poinsonig and to avoid revealing our location. Solar panels should be avoided because of the risk of their being spotted from the air. With the exponential increase in technological development, it is most probable that efficient solar batteries made from silicon, quartz, and granite would be in use by then. We must ensure they are not equipped with GPS. Believers who have the means and the technical knowhow can manufacture these products for use at that time. In the US, some believers with survivalist mentality are already doing so.

It will be better to be in groups of trustworthy believers, in order that some may be deployed on rotational security duties. In this regard, it shall also be necessary to acquire some firearms. In the midst of the Great Tribulation, after we have finally dropped out of the society, and retired to our secret locations, any members who wants to return to the city and cannot be dissuaded should be arrested and incarcerated or eliminated altogether depending on the resources available to the group lest he or she endangers the lives of all the other members. It is better for one person to die than that the whole group perish.

If the location is far into the forest, some form of subsistence farming may be engaged in to meet the nutritional needs of the family or group. It is advisable to provide sufficient food store to take care of every member for a maximum of two years and a minimum of one. Dried nuts, energy bars, and grains stored in grain silos may last for quite some time. If the group have good power supply, all kinds of foodstuffs may be brought in and stored in deep freezers, refrigerators, and cold rooms. It will be difficult to store vegetables for a long period. They can be grown on dishes for subsistence, even on window seals and roof tops for those who hide in cellars.

The reason why I said that foodstuffs should be provided to last every member of the family for two years is because, of all those events that will take place in the second half of the 70th week, the fifth trumpet is the only one with known duration of five months ( Rev.9:5 ). The durations of the first, second, third, and fourth trumpets are not known. The sixth trumpet which brings the 70th week to a close with the death of the two witnesses may probably last longer than the fifth trumpet. The sixth trumpet may last about a years. If the first four trumpets last about a year, it therefore follows that the Great Tribulation will last about a year or thereabouts with a margin of error of a few months, give and take. So, it will be safe to provide a store of foodstuffs enough for every member of the family for a minimum of one year and a maximum of two.

Those with special health issues should be taken into consideration. There should be medicine and other supplies. First Aid box is a necessity. Diabetic and hypertensive patients should procure insulin and oral antidiabetics, and antihypertensive drugs for the same period of time. Medicines with near expiry dates should be used first. Special needs of children should be taken care of. Nursing mothers should ensure they procure baby food for their children. Special needs of the elderly should also be taken care of, so also the disabled if they happen to be members of the Christian family or group. All these entail enormous planing and management. At the peak of it all however, it may be every man for himself.

Clothing should be provided for all seasons, winter, summer, autumn, and spring, or dry and rainy seasons for those in tropical Africa. Warm clothing in winter is paramount lest we die from exposure to the elements. May our flight not be in the winter, or severe harmattan in subsaharan Africa. If the antiChrist emerges in Summer, we know assuredly that the Great Tribulation will begin in Winter, three and one half years later. So adequate and appropriate, preparations, and arrangements should be made according to the time of his emergence as world leader.

If a Christian couple marries after the antiMessiah signs the 7-year peace agreement with Israel, they should avoid pregnancy. They should adopt a safe method of contraception with the counsel of Christian doctors who understand the intricacies and dangers of childbearing during this difficult period of human history. They might even elect to undergo a permanent contraception, either the man, bilateral epididymovasostomy, or the woman, bilateral tubal ligation, or both. It will be very difficult for women who rear children in those days. The childbearing mother must understand that in the face of the wars, commotions, rumors of wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes of the first three and one-half years, women of childbearing age, children, and the elderly suffer the most. Add to that the unspecified period of the Great Tribulation, we are pretty sure we have a worst case scenario.

Believers who are rich should take care of the needs of others. The antiChrist is a vandal ( Is.16:4 ). He will vandalize peoples’ property in the areas he conquers. Whatever money we have in the bank which is not retrieved before the Great Tribulation begins will be lost for ever. The antiChrist will run a cashless society. In not distant a future, cash will no longer be in use. We must retrieve our moneys in the banks through purchases of necessary food items and other materials before he tightens the noose, and use them to meet our own needs and those of our brethren. The 70th week will not be the time to accumulate wealth. Churches which do not use their wealth and resources to meets the basic needs of its members in providing them safe havens will find them seized by the antiChrist and his cronies. The antiChrist will desecrate and vandalize churches, impound their properties and confiscate their wealth. It will be advisable for churches to stymie building programmes, and channel all resources to provide safe havens for its congregants starting from the approaches of the 70th week of Daniel. But how will the Church leaders do this if they themselves do not know the times and the epochs?

All the members of a family in a hideout should adopt a communitarian system of collective coexistence. They should share all things in common. Every member must play his or her part to keep the family or group going. The golden rule of love should be the unwritten law. Those who have landed properties should dispose of them and donate the proceeds to the family to meet the needs of everyone. We should revert back to the primitive lifestyle of the early church when no one said that anything he had was one’s own ( Acts 2:44-47; 4:32-37 ).

Believers must realize that despite all precautions, some hideouts shall be discovered through no faults of theirs. The members will be coerced to recant or their lives terminated. That one recants, does not mean the antiMessiah and his acolytes may suffer the one to live. Strong leadership shall be very important at this time. The leaders of the group or family must prepare the members ahead of time for this kind of eventuality. Every member must be encouraged never to recant or betray one another. Those who do and take the Mark of allegiance to the antiChrist shall be allowed to buy and sell. But they must be made to know that the wrath of God abides on anyone who is branded with the Mark of the Beast ( Rev.14:8-12 ).

Besides, if anyone of them survives the wrath of God, the one shall be executed at the end of the Battle of Armageddon. So, it is better they refuse the Mark of the Beast, be executed by the antiChrist and his security apparatus, and gain the life of the age to come, than to recant, be executed by Christ and be banished to the Lake of Fire and Brimstone for eternity. The wrath of God is worse than the wrath of Satan executed by his minion, antiChrist. The wrath of Satan is temporary, the wrath of God is eternal. The wrath of Satan leads only to physical death, but the wrath of God leads to not only physical death but also the second death which is eternal separation from the presence of God in the Lake of fire and brimstone ( Matt.10:28 ).

There must be strong teaching on the love of God. True believers must not suffer themselves to be embittered by the wickedness of men at that time. And because iniquity shall abound, due to the preponderance of demons, principalities and powers evicted from the heavenlies to the earth’s premises at the midpoint of the 70th week ( Rev.12:12 ), the love of many shall wax cold ( Matt.24:12 ). No matter what we do, there shall still be false brethren who will betray others, even their own blood relations ( Luk.21:16 ). We must not suffer ourselves to be offended and embittered by these things ( Matt.24:10; Luk.12:5 ).

We must realize that no matter our efforts to survive the Great Tribulation and be raptured alive, some of us must be ferreted out, hunted down like wild animals, and killed. There is a complement of believers to be martyred ( Rev.6:10,11 ). When that number is complete, God will cut short the Great Tribulation with cosmic disturbances ( Matt.24:29-31 ). Some of us will be taken captive, and others killed. Some of us will be made public examples even in churches and synagogues. Some will think they are doing God a favour by killing us, miserable undesirables ( Jon.16:2 ). Our faith and patience should rest on the fact that if anyone of us is destined to captivity, into captivity the one goes; and if anyone of us is destined to be killed with the sword, with sword, the one shall be killed ( Rev.13:10 ). This understanding does not permit irresponsibility on our part. We are in partnership with God. God’s sovereignty does not preclude human responsibility. Some of us will also die of hunger, starvation, and exposure to the elements because they have not prepared adequately ahead of time ( Rev.3:10 ), and others through no fault of theirs. It may also be due to unforeseen eventualities like when a family or group is attacked. Some member may escape but may not find food and shelter, and so succumb to starvation and exposure to the elements, or wild animal attack. Despite the dangers of the Great Tribulation, some believers will take it upon themselves to go about persuading others not to take the mark of the Beast, and will pay with their dear lives. If you are not called to do this, please let no one persuade you to embark on it. The inner fortitude not to recant under torture can only come from above; it is uncommon and is only available to those who are commissioned by heaven.

Dr. Dave Williams:

7. Pray for God to help you and give you strength.

It’s going to be difficult to survive, but God will still hear you, and He’ll still help you. It won’t be easy, but Jesus said, “He who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13). You’re going to need His strength as you’ve never needed it before.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

Dr. Dave Williams conflates the chronology of End Times. He places the rapture before the 70th week and the Great Tribulation. Here he addresses his audience in third person singular which indicates he is exempted. But he that endures unto the end could be anyone. This thou and I, and us and them theology is discriminatory within the body of Christ. Any truly biblical view of eschatology should be inclusive and not exclusive and discriminatory. The starting point of The End Of The Ages is coincident with the rapture, and occurs after the tribulation of those days and the cosmic and celestial disturbances that interrupt it. In the Olivet Discourse, the disciples asked Jesus the question: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” ( Matt.24:3‬ ‭). The first of the question relates to the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. He had earlier told them that the Temple would be destroyed to the extent that no stone will be left one on top of another that shall not be thrown down which speaks of utter destruction. “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” ( Matt.24:2‬ ‭). In His response, Jesus ignored that part of the question concerning the time of the destruction of the Temple. The reason was that they were going to witness it. The Second Temple was destroyed in 70 AD by the Roman Tenth Legion under the command of General Titus. And some of the disciples were still alive at that time. They witnessed it. Of course Jesus knew exactly when the Second Temple was going to be destroyed. He could have told them in 70 AD, the Second Temple would be destroyed. He chose not to because nothing was going to be gained by that kind of information, and they were going to witness it. It could have been unsettling and could have bred laxity. Time answered the question. And there are questions time will answer. There is nothing to gain from such answers ahead of time. It was sufficient for them to have known that the Second Temple was going to be destroyed.

The second part of the question concerns the back-to-back sign to be given in the sun, moon, and stars which shall indicate and signal His coming to raise the dead and rapture the living in the Church and to punish the wicked left behind after the rapture during the Day Of The Lord’s Judgment of the wicked earth-dwellers. The Greek word seimeon is singular and relates to these two events, the coming of the Lord, and the End Of The Ages. This sign indicates that God is about to punish the world for their evils. The wicked inhabitants of the Earth are instinctively aware of God’s judgment once this sign is given in the sun, moon, and stars. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17 ). They do not need anyone to tell them that the wrath of God is about to be poured out on them. The atheists and the humanists and all false religionists, indeed all men of every cadre, tongue, nation and color will know instinctively that the one true God is about to punish them for their evils.

Jesus made it clear in the Olivet Discourse that this sign occurs after the Tribulation of those days. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” ( Matt.24:29-31‬ ‭). This sign is synonymous with the sixth seal of Revelation. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” ( Rev.6:12-14‬ ‭).

In the midst of this utter chaotic confusion, the darkened heavens and frozen Earth, the Shekinah will appear in the heaven. This is the appearance of the Son Of Man in the heavens. The Shekinah will brighten the heaven and defrost the Earth. Then every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the kindreds of the Earth shall wail because of Him. Then shall He dispatch His angels to gather the elect with the sound of a great trumpet. The admonition, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” ( Matt.24:13, cp. 10:22 ), relates to believers who are under intense persecution by the antiChrist during the Great Tribulation not some spiritually enfeebled believers left behind after the rapture. Which parent would abandon his or her weak and disabled children to their fate in time of danger while spiriting the strong and healthy away to safety? When did Jesus become a Hitler who euthanized the disabled and the mentally ill in Germany during WWII while cross-breeding the strong? Does Jesus practice eugenics? It is going to be very difficult during the Great Tribulation. Believers will need to depend solely on the Lord. We will need to call upon Him; for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved ( Rom.10:13 ).

Dr. Dave Williams:

8. Don’t go to church.

That’s right—don’t go to church or join the world conglomerate religion because it will be under the control of the false prophet (Rev. 13). All true, godly ministers have left the earth in the rapture. Do not believe the lies of the ministers who are left behind. Even if you see miracles and apparent wonders, do not believe them. They are lying wonders (Matt. 24:24; Mark 13:22; Luke 21; 2 Thess. 2:9). Deception will be the order of the day. Delusion will be everywhere, especially in “churches.”
If possible, try to find others who may have accepted Christ after the rapture. You will be able to find ways to support and encourage one another.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

Dr. Dave Williams has turned the chronology of End Times on its head. During the Great Tribulation the Church will be scattered. The antiChrist and his acolytes will impound church buildings and property. The saints will be martyred, imprisoned, and led captive into all nations. Even in those areas of the world over which the antiChrist does not have direct control, the authorities will see believers as antigovernmental subversives and security risks. Quite frankly the antiChrist will have worldwide control for a given period of time. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” ( Rev.13:7 ). After the rapture, everyone left on Earth is running for one’s dear life. Even the One World Religion of the antiChrist headed by the False prophet, the second Beast is in disarray. There is no Church to attend. Everyone is hiding under the rocks and mountains, and in the caves of the Earth. “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭2:19-21‬ ‭).

The Church Age has closed. There is no more formal church. Can anyone be looking for a church to attend at this time? According Dr. Dave Williams, the Church Ages closes with the rapture, and I concur. Also, the good pastors and good Christians have been taken way in the Rapture. Who will be running the Churches after the Rapture? How could any sensible person be looking for a Church to attend after the departure of all the good pastors and Christians? If the Rapture is pretribulational, and the good pastors and Christians have left, how would the new converts learn to be strong in the faith? How will the so called tribulation saints develop the inner fortitude to resist the antiChrist and his minions? Rev.13 refers to the careers of the antiChrist and the False prophet, the First and the Second Beasts during the Great Tribulation. Matt.24, Mk.13, and Luk.21 refer to the Olivet Discourse which deals with events in the 70th week of Daniel. 2Thess.2 is the classical passage in which our brother, Apostle Paul expounds on events in the second half of the 70th seven of Daniel. Believers are to take heed of these teaching now in order to prepare for the horrors of the Great Tribulation.

Dr. Dave Williams:

9. Get a small, self-powered radio.

If you can’t get the kind you crank by hand, get a battery-operated radio and a good supply of batteries, because you’re going to need to listen. Don’t believe the propaganda, but believe when they tell you about certain events relating to wars and geophysical calamities. You’ll be able to know what will happen next by reading Revelation 6-19.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

This advice is suitable for believers during the Great Tribulation, not unbelievers after the rapture. The cosmic and celestial disturbances that amputate the Great Tribulation will disrupt communications worldwide. It will be after some time that the antiChrist and the kings of the Earth will be able to effect some repairs. This will be limited considering the condition of the Earth during the wrath of God which follows the rapture of the Church. Believers who enter the 70th can follow the sequence of events outline in the Olivet Discourse ( Matt.24; Mk.13; Luk.21 ) which run parallel to Rev.6-7 till the rapture of the Church after the interruption of the Great Tribulation with the cosmic and celestial disturbances and the appearance of the coming of the Son Of Man in the heavens.

The believers are exempt from the events of Rev.8-18 which occur during the outpouring of the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord. Rev.8 & 9 cover the first six trumpet judgments which end with the death of the two witness after the completion of their ministry which corresponds with the end of the 70th week of Daniel. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” ( Rev.11:3, 7‬ ‭). This shall be one of the two things the antiChrist shall be able to do after he shall have been incapacitated by the brightness of Christ coming. “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” ( 2 Thess.2:8‬ ‭). This is not total annihilation but masterly inactivation. The Greek word rendered destroy by the KJV is katargeo and is bettered rendered paralyze, render useless, incapacitate, and inactivate.

The other thing the antiChrist shall be able to do shall be to gather his forces and those of the other kings of the kingdoms the Earth for the final showdown at Armageddon. “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” ( Rev.19:19-21‬ ‭).

There is an interlude between the sounding of the sixth trumpet and the blowing of the seventh trumpet. Within this short interim of about a week ( 7 days ) or thereabouts, certain events unfold. On the first day, the two witnesses are overpowered and killed by the antiChrist having completed their ministry. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” ( Rev.11:7-10‬ ‭).

From day 1 to day 2 Christ appears to the 144,000 hidden in protective custody in the Edomite wilderness, precisely in the red rose city of Petra in modern Jordan, and leads them on foot northwards and then westwards across the Jordan River, through the Judaean wilderness, and southwards up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem. On the way, they are joined by the surviving Jewish remnants in the judaean hills, survivors who have been fighting back against the antiChrist after his incapacitation by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, Jewish survivors from Jerusalem and its environs, and the remnants from the remote areas in Egypt and Assyria. On day 3, they are reconciled to God, thus completing the spiritual kingdom of God as the mystery of God is finished ( Hos.5:15, 6:1,2, 11:10,11; Is.35:4, 8, 63:1-3; Mic.2:12,13; Hab.3:3-6,12,13; Zech.12:7; Rev.10:7 ). On day 4, the two witnesses resurrect, and ascend to heaven ( Rev.11:11 ). On day 5, the sevent trumpet is blown, and God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earthly domain of His universal kingdom which was usurped by Satan, the supreme personality of evil and the archenemy of God and man. “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.” ( Rev.11:15-17‬ ‭).

On day 6-7, the surviving remnants of Israel are hidden in Azal ( Is.26:20,21; Zech.14:2-5 ). Thereafter Christ returns to heaven to hold the Bema Seat Judgment and the Marriage Of The Lamb while the seven bowl judgments are poured out on those who have the mark of the Beast during the remaing 23-24 days of the 30-Day Reclamation Period culminating in Armageddon ( Rev.11:15-18 ).

It is clear from the foregoing that our beloved brother Dr. Dave Williams has not thoroughly examined the events on Earth covered by Rev. 8-18. The believers have nothing to do with these events as they are in heaven during the occurrence of these events on Earth. However, at the completion of the Bema Seat Judgment, and the Marriage Of The Lamb in heaven, the believers reappear on Earth at Armageddon in the company of Christ and His angelic hosts. “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND Lord OF LORDS.” ( Rev.19:11-16‬ ‭). The heavenly hosts that accompany Christ at Armageddon consist of resurrected saints in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies and the angels of God who are eternally locked in righteousness.

Dr. Dave Williams:

10. Keep praying for your loved ones who are unbelievers.

God will still answer prayers during the Tribulation. Your prayers may be the key to seeing your loved ones again after this period of supreme agony is over.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

Now is the time to pray for our loved ones who have not yet come to the saving knowledge of God. The Great Tribulation will be a very difficult time. We may not be able to pray as much as we can today being hounded and chased down by the forces of the antiChrist.

Dr. Dave Williams:

11. Leave copies of this list for as many people as you can.

Perhaps this will help others survive and come to Christ. Be discerning, however, in giving out books like this if the rapture has already occurred. Jesus said in Luke 21:16-17 that people will be betrayed by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and some of them will cause you to be put to death. He was talking about the period you are living in right now if you missed the rapture.

Dr. Avraham Sahallom:

The period Christ is referring to in the Olivet Discourse in Luk.21:16,17 is the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. During this period, brethren will betray one another. The father shall betray the son to death, and vice vasa. The daughter shall betray the mother, and the daughter-in-law the mother-in-law, and vice vas. A man’s foes shall be they of his own household. Because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold. The love Christ is speaking about here is agape which believers exhibit towards God and towards man. If the rapture has occurred, all that are left are unbelievers whether branded with the mark of allegiance to the antiChrist or not. How will they exhibit the love of God? I am distributing copies of this list by Dr. Dave William, but with a caveat: that believers use it to prepare themselves ahead of time to get ready to face the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist.

9 More Things To Do If You Miss The Rapture 

2:00PM EDT 4/6/2017

Dr. Dave Williams:

It’s going to look like a horror movie or science fiction, but it’s real. You may have to die for your faith, but it’s worth it. (Pexels)
As mentioned in Part One of this article, It is possible to be a professing Christian and not actually be in the faith. I shared 11 tips people should take to heart if they miss the rapture. Here are the final pieces of counsel to survive this terrible time if you miss God’s first roundup—the rapture.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

I perfectly agree with Dr. Dave Williams that the Great Tribulation will be like a horror movie or science fiction. It may in fact be worse considering the technologies that are yet to be developed. It will be real. Christians should be prepared to die for their faith. God does not exempt us from the line of duty when it becomes difficult, but sees us through it all. ” I am with you even till the End Of The Ages. ( Matt.28:20 ). The rapture occurs at the End Of The Ages. For anyone to teach otherwise contradicts the Scriptures. It is possible for one to belong to the local church and not have personal saving knowledge of God. Now is the time to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith. “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.” ( 2 Cor.13:5-6‬ ‭). If we are in the Church, but not in Christ, then are we reprobates. Dr. Dave Williams’ talk of a first roundup suggests that there is a second roundup, but so far, he has provided no scriptural proof. The truth is that in the Scriptures there is only one roundup. The rapture is unique in that it marks the close of the Church Age.

Dr. Dave Williams:

12. Do not in any way, under any circumstances, align with the world leader.

Everyone is going to love him and even worship him. But if you listen to his lies, you’ll be drawn into a strong delusion that will seal your eternal fate (2 Thess. 2:9–12). You will be soon banished to hell because you didn’t love the truth.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

This is all the more reason why we should prepare the whole body of Christ to face the antiChrist fearlessly. Those who have been taught they will never face the antiChrist will be utterly unprepared when they do. I do not see how a soldier that has been told he will not fight in the fiercest battle with the enemy can be serious with preparation for war. Regarding this, the majority of the Church is untaught and therefore flabby, and unprepared. Christ is coming for a glorious Church, without blemish, spot or wrinkles. What other way can we remove the wrinkles on an article of clothing without ironing. It is the hot iron that will do the job. The essence of passing the Church through the Great Tribulation is to purge, purify, and cleanse her. The Church will not go through the wrath of God because God has not appointed us to wrath ( 1 Thess.1:10; 2Thess.5:8 ). Whereas the Great Tribulation is sufficient to purge, purify, and cleanse the Church, the unbranded remnant of Israel who survive the Great Tribulation will pass through the first six trumpet judgments in order to be purged, purified, and cleansed. The Great Tribulation alone will not be sufficient to cleanse them from trusting in themselves. Their stiffneckedness and self-confidence will be broken after passage through both the Great Tribulation and the trumpet judgments of the wrath of God.

If anyone takes the mark of the Beast, the one is doomed for eternity. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” ( Rev.14:9-13‬ ‭).

This is the essence of the Third Angelic Announcement, to warn men of the eternal consequences of being branded with the mark of allegiance to the antiMessiah. Yes, anyone who takes the mark of the Beast hates the Truth, and will be eternally banished to Hell. Therefore it of utmost urgency that we warn everyone as ministers of the Truth. It is eternally criminous for anyone to devise a theology that exempts a segment of the body of Christ from the Great Tribulation when there is no such promise of exemption in the Scripture. What the Scriptures promise is protection from within the sphere of danger to the faithful and uncompromising saints, and eventual removal from the sphere of danger before the wrath of God commences ( Matt.28:20; Rev.3:10 ). The fact that those who are martyred during the Great Tribulation are blessed, granted rest from their labours, and are subsequently rewarded for their works indicate they are chosen and specially prepared rather unfortunate spiritual weaklings who are suffering for their spiritual laxity.

This is the greatest trial of all times and no segment of humanity is exempt. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” ( 2 Thess.2:11-12 ). God in His infinite wisdom will permit a very strong delusion from the Devil to come upon the world that they believe the Lie. The KJV translation is not accurate here. The NKJV corrected it. Lie is arthrous. It is the Lie not a Lie. It is not just any Lie. It is a specific Lie that man is God. It is the same old Lie that the old serpent used to beguile Eve in the garden of Eden. It is the same old Lie that is told humanity when men attempted to built a tower that reached up to heaven. It is humanism. It is atheism. Atheism says that there is no God. Humanism says man was not created. The end result is the same. These are the four pillars of humanistic philosophy and evolution. If there is no God, man was not created. If man is not created, he evolved. If there is not God, then there is no morality; for God is the standard for morality. If man evolved, there is no morality. Everything is relative. Moral relativism will always lead to amorality. Then it is a matter of likes and dislikes. What you like and what I like. You do your own thing, and I do my own thing. You cannot tell me what to do, and I cannot tell you what to do.

How can the Church be on AWOL on such a time as this. We are the salt of the Earth ( Matt.5:13a )? We are the light of the World. A city set on high mountains cannot be hid. Men do not light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a stand that it may give light to all that is in the house ( Matt.5:14,15 ). The world will be deluded to believe the Lie of the Devil, but in contrast, our brother Apostle Paul thanked God for the Thessalonians for believing the truth and being sanctified thereby. “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” ( 2 Thess.2:13-17‬ ‭). They believed the truth and were sanctified because God had from the beginning chosen them to salvation. They provide contrast, light in the midst of darkness. God will give them protection in the hour of temptation because they are faithful and uncompromising, and has obeyed His instructions concerning perseverance ( Rev.3:10 ).

Dr. Dave Williams:

13. Refuse to take a mark, a name, a number or a chip in your right hand or your forehead.

Refuse any microchip injections because Revelation 13 says this powerful world leader will require everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. But once you get it, you will belong to Satan forever. It’s better to be shut out of the world economy and lose your physical life than be damned forever to the lake of fire (Rev. 14:9–11). The life of many believers during this time of the final shabua will end in beheading for refusal to take the mark of the beast (Rev. 20:4).

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

I guess Dr. Dave Williams is saying those Christians who are left behind after the rapture before the 70th week should not take the mark of the Beast during the Great Tribulation. My question is what about now when the rapture has not yet taken place? I am assuming here that Dr. Dave Williams’ End Time chronology is biblically accurate. I give him the benefit of doubt. Already people are being chipped in various parts of the world. BBC announced that up to 8,000 people have been chipped. I watched a video on the net that says over 10,000 people have chipped worldwide with Radio Frequency Identity ( RFID ). Do we have to wait for the antiChrist to show up before refusing to be chipped? Satan is already priming the world for the antiChrist’s harvest. Tattoo marks are now popular with sports celebrities who serve as role models for the youths even in the Church. Very soon the younger generation in the Church will be under enormous pressure, socially, economically, educationally to become cyborgs. These cyborgs who have biometric chips implanted in various parts of the body, and neural lace and nanobots in the brain, not for health reasons but to make them homo dei, will become the CEOs of major industrial and commercial establishments, presidents of nations and universities, professors and sports celebrities, etc. Are they still acceptable to God?

Are we ignorant of the fact that this is a scientific process of hybridization? The intent of Satan is to convert man from homo sapiens into Homo sapiens sapiens or simply sapiens, and finally homo deus independent of God. This is not different from the rebellion in the Garden of Eden ( Gen.3:1-7 ) and the Tower of Babel ( Gen.10:1-9 ). The hybridization process is already going on. Taking the mark of the Beast will be a mere rubber-stamping of what is already there. Do we see the danger in telling people if the rapture takes place, and you are still here, these are the things you must do to survive. People are already being roped in now. We must be as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, amongst whom we shine as lights in the world. Waiting for the antiChrist to show up on the world stage before instituting some of these measures will lead to utter disaster and eternal damnation. Now is the time.

The sorting out of the serious from the unserious believers has already begun. If any believer loves this world, can sacrifice the age old biblical moorings, the Jude-Christian foundations and values of our Faith on the altar of expediency, become a cyborg or get hybridized in any form, then capitulating to the antiChrist, and accepting to be branded with the Mark Of The Beast would be a mere rubber-stamping of what is already there. Hence the need for intense teaching on the Prewrath Rapture View in order to arrest the jolly-good ride into Apostasy. Apart from evangelism and missions, instructing the young converts in the basic tenets of Christianity like Faith in God, love of God and the brethren, divine providence and protection which every believer needs to survive at all times, the most important teaching the Church as a whole need urgently is antiChrist Before The Rapture or even better put, Great Tribulation before the rapture. It is a catalyst for holy living, and will draw us closer to Jesus. No believer who perceives the dangerous downhill slide of the Church into apostasy even before the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel will hesitate to fly into the everlasting arms of Jesus for protection.

With the bread and butter teachings we are fed in our Churches in Europe and North America, and some parts of Africa and Asia, shall we be able to resist the antiChrist without drastic change of heart and reorientation of our mindset? Would it not be catastrophic if the antiMessiah rears up his ugly head right now? Would there not be a mass exodus and abandonment of the Faith by believers in favour of economic benefits dangled by the antiChrist before our eyes. It will of course be worst in those nations where people are so used to government handouts. The goal of the enemy is to destroy or disqualify everyone. We will not be able to resist his offers if we are so used to dependence on government handouts.

It is interesting that Dr. Dave Williams made reference to decapitated martyrs during the Great Tribulation. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” ( Rev.20:4‬ ‭). These are not enfeebled Christians who were left behind after the rapture who somehow managed to resist the antiChrist and his oppressive regime. These are men and women of Great Faith who refused to hide during the Great Tribulation, refused the mark of allegiance to the antiChrist, and went about persuading others not to take the mark of the Beast. They had testimonies. They were witnesses for Jesus and the word of God.

Years of training and fellowship with God must have enabled them to develop this degree of inner fortitude and reckless abandon, not a sudden turn around from enfeeblement to fearless faith. They were beheaded ( Greek: cephalizo ) for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and because they had not worshipped the Beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands. They vehemently refused to recant. So the rapture had not yet taken place. If the rapture had taken place, and the Church Age closed according Dr. Dave Williams, why would they be witnesses for Christ? I agree with Dr. Dave Williams that the rapture marks the close of the Church Age. Would Jesus deliberately disqualify some faithful and uncompromising believers for rapture in order that they may be witnesses for Him during the Great Tribulation? I wonder.

Our brother, Dr. Jaiyesimi Gbenga has written in a short post titled Why The Book Of Revelation Is The Most Important Epistle For This Epoch: ” This epoch is characterized by all mankind being reduced from our names to numbers. What do we find in John’s Book Of Revelation? God emphasizing giving us names while Satan’s system reduces us to numbers – phone numbers, account numbers, BVN ( Bank Verification Number ), and ultimately Satan’s number which is the mark of allegiance to the Beast. God says your name is in the Book Of Life, Satan says, I want your name in my supercomputer for you to be able to buy and sell.” Which goes to emphasize that Satan places no value on human life. Satan wants us to get used to being reduced to numerical values so much so that when the antiChrist shows up and demands that everyone take his mark which will be different numerical values for different individuals, few people will raise eyebrows about it. They will be believers and a handful of unbelievers: the nonconformists and free thinkers amongst the unbelievers.

The unwary believers in God’s reckoning aren’t believers at all. The unfaithful and compromising believers prior to the Great Tribulation will still resist the satanic onslaught by refusal to bow to the image of the Beast or be branded with his mark of loyalty, even under the pain of death. They are the ones that will be killed, taken into captivity into all nations and publically humiliated with some of the faithful and uncompromising ones who elect to voluntarily go about persuading others not o take the mark of the Beast, the number of his name, or worship his image. The unfaithful and compromising believers will be unprotected during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist in order to purge, purify, and cleanse them for admittance into heaven, because they failed to keep God’s instructions concerning perseverance ( Eph.3:10 ). Therefore they will not be protected by God during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist.

There is a concerted effort by Satan and his human and fallen angelic minions to reduce us all to numerical values which is an attempt to dehumanize humanity and cheapen life. If only believers can have this understanding and know at what point to withdraw. It would be easier if our church leaders are aware and drum it into their ears. Unfortunately at the moment, the majority of church leaders are oblivious of this fact which makes the situation very dismal.

They are more likely to listen to their Church leaders than they will listen to us. Why? Because the Church has descended into personality cult. There are some believers who will not read or listen to anything unless it is written or spoken of by their pastor or GO of their Church or ministry. If their pastor has not written or spoken anything, it is irrelevant. But a certain pastor has told us that what we get from the best of Churches is about 20% of what we need. So, where will the other 80% come from? From teachings of pastors and GOs other than that of our Church or ministry. The vision and teachings of many churches and ministries are very narrow and fragmentary. None of us knows it all. The Word of God is bigger than anyone and all of us put together. There is need for cross-fertilization of thoughts and ideas through participatory and discuss interactions and communion. There are Churches and ministries that will sanction their ministers and members if they attend the programmes of other ministries or churches. It is fitting to warn those under our care not to attend a particular ministry or Church if its teachings and practices are contradictory to the word of God, inimical and anathema to their souls. Unfortunately this is not always the case. This practice is borne out of share envy, rivalry, and the desire to have dominion. To some of us minsters of the gospel, the church or ministry is a business empire.

The Nazis first gave numbers to concentration camp inmates before eliminating them altogether in extermination camps. Although the antiChrist will not kill those who receive his mark, they are as good as dead; for no one so branded will enter heaven or enter the Millennium in this mortal body of ours. Anyone who receives the mark of the Beast is set up for physical destruction in the Day Of The Lord as well as eternal damnation in Hell Fire and the Lake of sulfur and brimstone. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” ( Rev.14:9-11‬ ‭).

At some point, refusal to be enumerated will be an End Time preparatory action by a sensitive believer. Giving numbers to humans in place of their names sort of desensitizes the conscience of their murderers to the atrocities of liquidating them, not only in the immediate period but also on the long run. The Nazis employed this tactics so that the SS officers could go on murdering the Jews and other concentration camp inmates without their consciences being burdened with the weight of atrocities they committed, at least in the immediate period. Some of them unrepentant have lived up to their nineties and hundreds. We are not against enumeration and census for administrative purposes. We know the value of demographics and statistics in relation to planning and governance. In a census, one is numbered but not given a number which becomes one’s identity. This is a completely different thing.

When one is given a number, which becomes one’s personal identity, without which one cannot function and operate in the society, what a vast difference? Census should not be an issue for a believer until shortly before and during the 70th week of Daniel. The issue of substitution of number for names is central to the Scroll of Revelation and the End Times. It is upon us already. Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Adolf Eichmann employed this same tactics in Nazi Germany to inundate the German people to the atrocities of the Holocaust. The fact is that it deadens one’s emotion and conscience. Satan is an astute psychologist; he understands us human more than we do ourselves.

We don’t know history. Even when we know the facts of history, we don’t know the wisdom therein. A good historian is not one that reels out the facts of history, but one that wisely analyses the facts of history. Since the end of WWII, historians, philosophers, politicians and statesmen, sociologists and anthropologists, theologians, psychologists, scientists, physicians, etc, have been wondering why the Germans, the most educated and civilized of society in the world at that time could have committed such atrocities, got home, ate and drank, loved their wives and children, and slept. Even up to today, Nazis and SS survivors remain impenitent, untroubled by their consciences which have been seared as it were with a hot iron. Their consciences were dulled not only with drugs and alcohol but also by the fact that they were dealing with numbers. Am inclined to believe with hindsight though, that this was a more important factor than drugs and alcohol and demonization. Reducing human beings to mere numbers dehumanizes them. It might have dulled their consciences, certainly, it will not free them from accountability before the Sovereign Lord and Judge of the Universe. That is a different matter altogether. It will be the same with the wicked earth-dwellers at the End Of The Ages, and all murderers of all ages.

“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” ( Rev.9:20-21‬ ‭).

Can you imagine, people that murdered the saints of the Most High, and brought so much calamities on the Earth and its inhabitants do not wish let alone actually repent. It will not be that God is unwilling to forgive them, but they will be eternally impenitent. We have to give proportionate emphases to the fact that substituting numbers for names dehumanizes the victim and deadens the conscience of their oppressors and murderers.

Dr. Dave Williams:

14. Do not steal, do not commit any sexual sin, don’t murder anybody and don’t use drugs to ease your anxiety.

The temptation to steal, murder, use drugs and give yourself to sexual sin will be enormous, but you must resist. If you commit these sins, you may find it very difficult to repent (Rev. 9:21).

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

These are good advice for Christians at all times. We must define murder. Murder is when a man with premeditation takes the life of another. Killing in self defense is not murder. During the Great Tribulation, Christians may find themselves in situations where they have to defend themselves or the lives of dear family members, loved ones and dear friends. Should we not fight at all? Should we be led like a lamb to the slaughter? There are ethical questions associated with these issues and there are no hard and fast answers. It is always good not to kill another unless as a matter of divine necessity.

I think is alright for a Christian who is under prescription drugs for anxiety and depression to go on taking their medications. But taking these drugs for recreational purposes will be wrong as at any other time. I think it will even be very difficult for believers to procure these drugs considering the economic hardship faced by those who refuse the mark of the Beast. With the economic boycott of believers it will be really difficult for some to survive let alone feed dependents without unethical practices. Would a father who is hiding in the bush with his family harvest crops from a nearby farm to feed his family or watch them die of starvation? Like I said these are ethical questions and there no pat answers. Let everyone act as occasion demands.

On occasion like the Great Tribulation, situational ethics may apply. I do not suppose everyone will share my view. There are Christians who have the inner fortitude to watch their loved ones die of hunger rather than steal. That will be a little bit too hard for me. As we preach and teach on the End Times, we must not become hypocritical like the Pharisees who bind heavy burdens for others to bear, and cannot as much as touch them with their finger tips. We must not become armchair philosophers who marshal out ideas and give instructions on how to be stoic and heroic in times of difficulty while we live in ivory towers. Some Jews who survived the Holocaust, and partisans who survived the resistance during WWII stole and harvested crops from farms that were not theirs. Difficult questions to answer? The Great Tribulation is vastly different from WWII. Here we deal with issues that have eternal values and consequences.

Sexual immoralities are wrong at all times. They ought not to be mentioned amongst believers. They are inexcusable. “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” ( Eph.5:3-13‬ ‭).

They are Temple defiling sins, and lead to demonization. The body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit which is in us. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” ( 1 Cor.3:16,17 ). We must therefore glorify God in our spirit and our body. “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” ( 1 Cor.6:15-20‬ ‭).

The most egregious thing about sexual immorality is that it is sin against one’s own soul and body. Adultery depicts lack of understanding. “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life. Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry; But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away. For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance. He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.” ( Prov.6:23-35‬ ‭). Neither the adulterer nor adulteress is innocent. It is a wound and a dishonor. It is destroys the soul. Nothing can wipe it away other than the blood of the Lamb. The payment of ransome is valueless.

Sexual immoralities like homosexualism, lesbianism, bestiality, adultery, rape, and incest attract the death penalty under the law of Moses. “………..For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people………” ( Leviticus‬ ‭18:1-30‬ ‭). And such were some of us. But we have been washed by the blood of Jesus and sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”( 1 Cor.6:9-11 ).

We thank God for the blood of Jesus. Under the New Covenant, every sin is forgivable once the culprit accepts the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross Of Calvary. Once the sinner confesses the lordship of Jesus over his or her life, all the sins he or she has committed are forgiven. “But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ( Rom.10:6-13‬ ‭).

If a believer falls victim to any of these sins, the one must repent and confess one’s sin immediately. There is not a man upon the Earth that doeth good and sinneth not ( 1 Kin.8:46a ). Most men will proclaim every one his own goodnes: but a faithful man who can find ( Prov.20:6 ). For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ( Rom.3:23 ). Sin is human condition. The interesting thing however, is that there is a way out through confession and repentance, and faith in the finished works of Christ on the Cross of Calvary. “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” ( 1 John‬ ‭1:6-10‬ ‭).

Here the Scripture tells us how a believer who has lost fellowship with God through sin can be restored. The ideal is that we do not sin at all. But if a believer sins, the the one can be restored to fellowship with God and the brethren through confession and the intercessory ministers of Jesus, our Great High Priest. “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” ( 1 John‬ ‭2:1-2‬ ‭). Jesus is our advocate as well as the propitiation for our sins. Sometimes, we have to confess our sins to one another in order to be healed. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” ( James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭).

Those who defile the body God will destroy. Sexual immoralities are also idolatrous. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” ( Col.3:5‬ ‭). We cannot take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot. The body is not for fornication but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” ( Heb.13:4‬ ‭). Fornicators will not inherit the kingdom of God. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” ( 1 Cor.6:9-10‬ ‭).

Even before the antiChrist shows up on the world stage, sexual immoralities will probably become legal in most parts of the world. Already, gay marriages are legal in some parts of the world. In SA the enjured husband may not press charges in case of adultery. Attempt is being made to legalize incest in Germany. Sexbots are now available for those who can afford them. There are women who advocate every single woman should own a male dog for sexual pleasure. In the past these things were unmentionable. Those who committed such atrocities were cut off from humanity. Humanistic evolution which is the philosophy behind the rule of the antiChrist would have reached its zenith, amorality, during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. This state of affairs should not be difficult for us to comprehend considering the fact that at the midpoint of the 70th week, Satan and all fallen evil angels in the Dark Void and starry heavens shall be herded down to the Earth by the archangel Michael and the angels of God under his command.

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” ( Rev.12:7-12‬ ‭).

With the utmost fury Satan will assail humanity with all kinds of sexual perversion knowing that he has but a short time. Demonization, demonic oppression and possession will be the order of the day. There will be demonized humans, humanize demons, and hybrid humans or transhumans or humanoids. Caution and decorum will fly out the window. Natural inhibitions will almost but vanish. Men and women will become utterly shamless under the rule of the antiChrist. Men and women will drink sexual immoralities like water with the forehead of a whore. The Earth will become the city of dogs, a universal night club or red light district. Some will do their thing in the open in broad daylight having become utterly shameless, with their consciences seared as it were with hot iron through repeated and habitual practice of Temple defiling sins.

These sins are very rampant in the Church today, from the pulpit to the pew. Christ is coming for a glorious Church. The internet has made pornography and all forms of sexual immoralities readily available. The Church must be purged, purified, and cleansed from these sins. This is one of the reasons why the Church must go through the Great Tribulation. It will be foolhardy and utterly irresponsible for a believer to endulge in sexual sins at the time when believers are hounded, hunted down, and ferreted out and killed. Unfortunately, in difficult times, people tend to resort to gratification of the flesh for solace. The believer must do everything in one’s power to be pure in spirit, soul, and body. “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ( 1 Thess.5:23‬ ‭).

After the cosmic disturbances which interrupt the Great Tribulation, every true believer who has survived up to this time without accepting the mark of allegiance to the rule of the Beast, must be in a state of penitence. At this time, we shall look up; for our redemption draweth nigh. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” ( Luke‬ ‭21:25-28‬ ‭).

God is so gracious. There will be a small window of opportunity for believers who are alive, who have committed sins to repent and be reconciled to God before the rapture occurs. But considering the dicy situation at this time, it is better to keep oneself pure at all times; for one could be called upon by heaven to pay the ultimate sacrifice at any moment. It is better to be in a state of penitence always. Rev.9:21 which Dr Dave Williams refers to relates to the branded worshippers of the Dragon-Beast who face the wrath of God during the Day Of The Lord.

Dr. Dave Williams:

15. Pray for the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.

They’re going to be suffering to a greater degree than any other group on Earth. That’s why the final shabua is called the Tribulation and the time of Jacob’s trouble.
Jesus said it’s going to be worse for the Jewish people than anything they’ve ever experienced in the past (Matt. 24:21). Psalm 122:6a says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” In Zechariah 14:2, we are told that all the nations of the world will be against Israel in her final holocaust.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

The leaders of Israel will enter into a 7-year peace agreement with the Man Of Sin at the commencement of the 70th week. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” ( Daniel‬ ‭9:27‬ ‭). The many are from within Israel. The agreement with the antiChrist is called covenant with many because all Israel will not support it. Nevertheless, the scornful leaders of Israel will go ahead with it because of the economic benefits and the military protection the antiChrist will offer them. The antiChrist will be an extremely ungodly and most powerful military leader ( Ezek.4:8,9;Dan.11:28 ). Besides, he will be the emperor of the most powerful empire in history. He will have at his beck and call the most sophisticated armies in the annals of military history, the armies of Magog, Meshech, and Tuval ( Ezek.38:1-6 ). The leaders of Israel will be hoodwinked by his charming personality and sweet tongue into thinking they have made an agreement with a benefactor of Israel, not knowing they are dealing with the worst Jew hater in history, a superlative antisemite. The prophet Isaiah refers to this peace pact as “covenant with death”, and “agreement with Sheol” or “Hell.” He also called it “refuge in lies” and ” hiding under falsehood”. “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:” ( Isaiah‬ ‭28:15‬ ‭).

The antiMessiah is here referred to as “Death”, “Sheol or Hell”, “Lies” and “Falsehood.” This should not surprise us because he ascends out of the bottomless pit and shall go into perdition ( Rev.11:7; 17:8 ). He is not a human spirit but the spirit of one of the fallen angelic beings that kept not their first estate but cohabited with human females in the antediluvian era. They are imprisoned in the abyss under darkness waiting for the judgment of the Great Day ( Jude 6 ). Therefore he is a humanoid, a transhuman or hybrid human. The carrier of this infamous man will begin with subtle peace diplomacy. It will only lead him so far. There are nations and kings who cannot be overcome by peace overtures. He shall revert to wars, threats of wars ( 2nd seal ). Wars naturally lead to famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and other man made and natural disasters ( 3rd seal ). Meanwhile, Israel enjoys a relative peace while the antiChrist wars with other nations. This accounts for the prosperity, economic boom, and lax security in Israel in the first half of the 70th week. This agreement will permit Israel to resume Temple worship, animal, drink, and grain offferings. It shall also bring temporary peace between Israel and her Arab and Islamic neighbors who are part of the 8th and Final Beast Empire of the antiChrist or otherwise allied to it. Any nation that attacks Israel in the first half of the 70th week shall incur the wrath of the antiMessiah. It is the existential threat that Israel shall face from its Arab and Islamic neighbors that shall drive it into the arms of the antiChrist.

But their covenant with Death shall be disannuled, and their agreement with Hell shall not stand. “And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭28:18‬ ‭). In the midst of the 70th week, the antiChrist will break the covenant and attack Israel in what is called the Jerusalem Campaign. He will relocate his headquarters to the rebuilt third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, desecrate the Temple with his enlivened image, and demand worship of all mortals. These moves will spark the Great Tribulation. The epicenter of the Great Tribulaion shall be the land of Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem. The reference to the Shabbat day by Christ in the Olivet Discourse ensures that Jews shall be in control of Jerusalem till the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel, the hostility of the Palestinians, and other Arab and Islamic nations not withstanding. It will be catastrophic if the flight occurs on the Shabbat day in the winter. The Orthodox Jew can travel no more than a Shabbat journey which is 2,000 cubits, a little more than half a mile on the Shabbat day. But the exigencies of the time require that one travels as far away from Jerusalem as possible. Those that are in Judaea should flee to the mountains. Those that are in the field should not turn back to the city for any reason. Those that are in the housetops should not come down to take anything. They will not make it. They either bow to the image of the Beast or break.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing 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 them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the 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 ‭).

Those who shall suffer the most, shall be orthodox Jewish women who are pregnant or are nursing mothers, the elderly, and the disabled. This is a worst case scenario. Jews and Christians in The Holy Land shall suffer the most. But for the sake of the elect, that Day shall be amputated ( Matt.24:21 ). It is fitting for us to begin to pray for Israel now. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem ( Ps.122:6a). There is a reward in the now attached to it. They shall be serene that love thee ( Ps.122:6b ). We do not need to wait till the Great Tribulation. Pastors in Israel who teach their congregations that they will be raptured before the antiChrist hangs out his shingles are leading them down the path of utter annihilation, because that is not going to happen. We must begin now to prepare for the worst case scenario. On three different occasions, Jerusalem shall be surrounded with armies: during the Jerusalem campaign ( Luk.21:20-22 ) at the midpoint of the 70th week, the Jehoshaphat campaign ( Joel 3:1,2 ) shortly before the Great Tribulation is interrupted with cosmic and celestial disturbances, and finally at Armageddon ( Rev.16:16, 19:17-21 ). But the God of Israel shall deliver her from them all.

Dr. Dave Williams:

16. Be prepared to suffer.

At some point, liquidation camps and facilities will be operating around the clock. As I understand the prophetic warnings of the Great Tribulation, famine will be worse than ever. Families will be separated. It’s going to look like a horror movie or science fiction, but it’s real. You may have to die for your faith, but it’s worth it.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

The prosperity message has further weakened the Church being based on the theology of convenience. Because God of miracle is our Papa, we cannot suffer. But it is plainly written in the Scriptures that if we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him ( 2Tim.2:9a ) . ” Yea, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” ( 2Tim.3:12). It is given unto us in the behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but to suffer for His sake ( Phil.1:29 ). “For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us” ( Rom.8:18). ” Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous but grievous: nevertheless afterward, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” ( Heb.12:11). There is no taste in the white of an egg ( Job 6:6b ). There is no pleasure in suffering, but it carries an eternal weight of glory. We are perfected through sufferings. Jesus was perfected through sufferings. He is our example in every respect. He is the captain of our profession. He is the heavenly archetypal man. We are prototypes of the heavenly archetypical man. He was crowned with honour and glory after he had suffered death. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” ( Heb.2:9-10‬ ‭).

Throughout the the ages of church history, some of the most devoted of God’s saints had suffered martyrdom. No one who has read Fox’s Book Of Martyrs would be impresssed otherwise. Even today, in North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Nigeria, etc, the saints suffer and are martyred for their witness of the word of God, and the testimony they hold. However, in Europe and North America, and some parts of Africa and Asia, it looks like God has changed His method of perfecting His saints. He has become a chameleon. We are now perfected through property, happiness, good life, and motivational teachings. How can we be so preoccupied with prosperity when Jesus warned us in the parable of the sower that riches are deceitful ( Matt.13:22 ).

If we think we can have plenty of money and not be deceived, we are already deceived. Are we wiser than Solomon, the wisest of the kings of Israel? Did his wealth not deceive him into thinking he could play around with women, and get away with it? It will not be long before every parrot of prosperity will shut up his mouth. When the antiChrist signs a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, and the rapture has not taken place, every voice of pretribulation rapturism will be silenced. In that day, they shall go into the basement and upper chambers and cellars to hide themselves. Unfortunately some ministers oblivious of the emergence of the antiMessiah at the commencement of the 70th Week will still be preoccupied with preaching prosperity, success, and the good life, embarking on white elephant church projects, running bible schools and universities, and looking for solutions to indissoluble social ills until the Great Tribulation happens upon them unawares.

Despite the gory scene Dr. Dave Williams has painted, he still thinks that God will send young converts newly recruited into the Faith to resist the antiChrist. He would have these feeble Christians martyred, but he himself, a seasoned believer, will be raptured into the heavenly bliss. Which general sets young recruits in the forefront of the toughest fighting? If any General will set the weakest of soldiers in the forefront of the hardest fighting, he has underestimated his enemy and will pay with the lives of his men. We prepare for war in time of peace. We prepare for peace in time of war. These weak Christians will prepare for war in time of war. This was not the initial view of pretribulationists. It was when they saw that Christians will still be here during the Great Tribulation that they modified their view to include Christians who could not make the first roundup, the so called tribulation saints left behind. This view has no biblical bases. I am yet to find one verse of the Scriptures that supports rapture before the 70th week of Daniel. I am yet to find one verse of the Scriptures that teaches rapture before the antiChrist. I am yet to find one verse of the Scriptures hat teaches rapture before the Great Tribulation. I am yet to find one verse of the Scriptures that teaches either implicitly or explicitly that it is feeble Christians who could not make the first roundup that will be left behind to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. And I have read the Bible hundreds of times over.

Anyone who teaches that the fifth seal martyrs are feeble Christians left behind after the rapture has denied the evidence of his senses. There is no literary expert or biblical scholar or theologian anywhere in the world who is not biased towards pretribulationism that will study 2 Thess.2 and conclude that Apostle Paul taught rapture before the unveiling of the Man Of Sin and his opposition to God and His people. If that’s what Apostle Paul meant, he was a poor communicator and a confusionist. But that cannot be allowed to stand, because our brother Apostle Paul was a wonderful communicator and always said what he meant. There is no literary expert, or biblical scholar or theologian anywhere in the world who had not been taught the pretribulational Rapture view earlier on that can study Matt.24:29-31 and conclude that Jesus taught Armageddon and sideways or lateral gathering into the Millennium rather than upward or vertical gathering ( episunagoge) into heaven in this passage of the Olivet Discourse. If Jesus meant sideways gathering into the Millennium, then, He is a poor communicator and a confusionist. But that cannot be allowed to stand because Jesus always says what He means. I use these strong words to underscore my convictions based on literary analysis of the Scriptures. The interpretation that Jesus was talking of Armageddon and sideways gathering into the Millennium is eseigetical not exegetical. The interpretation that Paul was referring to spatial or physical removal by the use of the word apostasia in 2 Thess.2:3 is also eseigetical not exegetical. There is no evidence that apostaia was used to refer to spatial or physical removal in biblical or koine Greek.

This warning is for the Church as whole to get ready to face the antiChrist during the horrors of the Great Tribulation, not some feeble Christians left behind after the rapture. Suffering, persecution, and endurance are not perculiar to any cadre of Christians, but inclusive of all believers. Our love of convenience, the good life, happiness, and abhorrence of suffering has turned Christianity on its head. We have proven convincingly from the Scriptures that after the rapture comes the wrath of God during the Day Of The Lord, not the reign of the antiMessiah: for in the Day Of The Lord no man shall be exalted. In the Day Of The Lord, the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and loftiness of men shall be brought low ( Isa.2:18-22 ). That the antiChrist will rise to power and prominence and attain world domination in the Day Of The Lord, a time when Christ alone is exalted, and men are scurrying for cover under the rocks and mountains with their paraphernalia of idolatry discarded to the moles and the bats is not supported by the Scripture and is not politically realizable. That anyone of us could be called upon by heaven to pay the ultimate price is highly probable even in the present. That we may have to die for our faith is a worthwhile price to pay. Eternity in heavenly bliss is far more than any suffering we may experience in this life. When eternity is viewed in light of the present, no price is too much to pay. When eternity is viewed in light of the present, the sufferings of the present vanish into thin air like a dim puff in a nebulous maze. It is therefore unbecoming for us to evolve an unbiblical escapist theology that condemns others to the horrors and inferno of the Great Tribulation while we escape to heavenly bliss. The Great Tribulation will be worse than the worst of horror movies. It is therefore necessary that we all get ready for it. If God in His infinite wisdom spares us the pain by calling us home before the time, may His name be praised. We should trust His judgment and accord Him the honor due His name.

Dr. Dave Williams:

17. Do not speak evil of Israel or her people, no matter the pressure.

God will contend with you if you are contentious with Israel. False prophets will tell you that the nation Israel has no right to exist. They will tell you that the people living in Israel are not really Jews and descendants of Abraham. Never speak against Israel or her people (Gen. 12:3; Isa. 49:25).

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

This counsel is relevant now as at all times. Even now there is a gang up of nations against Israel. God chose Abraham, and through him all the families of the Earth shall be blessed. “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” ( Gen.12:2-3‬ ‭). God re-established the Abrahamic covenant with Isaac, and subsequently with Jacob ( Gen.26:2-5; 28:3,4,13-15 ). Therefore, it is evident that the Abramic blessings rest with Jacob and his descendants in all generations. God has promised to bless Israel and those who bless him, and to curse those who curse him. “Israel ( is ) holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord.” ( Jere.2:3‬ ‭). All those nations and peoples and individuals who devour her shall themselves be devoured. Evil shall come upon them and overtake them.

The survival of the Jewish people as a distinct ethnicity, and Israel as an independent nation rests on the sovereignty of God and the veracity of His word. As long as the ordinance of the sun, the moon, and the stars, and the day and night endure, so also the indestructibility of Israel as an independent nation, and the Jewish people as an ethnic group amongst the peoples of the Earth. “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.” ( Jere.31:35-37 ).

Can anyone search out the foundations of the Earth? Can anyone measure the universe with a span or weigh the mountains and hills in the balance or with a scale? The universe is expanding with the speed of light. Beyond the outermost reaches of the starry heavens is the dark void, the immensity of which is stunning and the outermost reaches unlimited, illimitable, and limitless. As the universe cannot be measured with a span and the mountains and hills weighed in the balance, so also the indestructibility of Israel and the Jewish people. Throughout history, many Empires and their emperors have attempted to wipe out the Jewish people even when they were but a few in number: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medopersia, Greece, Rome, and Nazi Germany, but they have all ceased to exist but Israel and the Jewish people live on. God may be displeased with Israel, but that does not justify antisemitism. “And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.” ( Zech.1:15‬ ‭). God is displeased with those nations and peoples who afflict the children of Israel, and will punish them for all their antisemitic acts.

This does not however mean that whatever Israel and the Jewish do is right. God has judged Israel in time past, and does judge Israel now, and will judge Israel in the future, but He never make full end of Israel as desired by her enemies ( Jere.4:27 ). “For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” ( Jere.30:11‬ ‭). God will make full end of all the other nations, but will never make a full end of Israel. As we have mentioned already, history tells us that is very true; for God is not man that He should lie neither the son of man that He should repent ( 1 Sam.15:29 ).

Considering the paucity of their number, Israel and the Jewish people ought not to be heard. But their voice is heard in all fields of human endeavors. In belief and in unbelief, they are the leaders of mankind. The foundation of the democratic nations of the world rest on Judeochristian moors and values. They gave us the Bible, the best seller of all times. The word of God has delivered more people of the ills of humanity than psychology, western medicine, government, etc. They gave us the Messiah, Jesus who brought salvation to all mankind. Salvation is of the Jews. “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” ( Joh.4:22‬ ‭). Judaism and Christianity are the only two monotheistic religions in the world. Others are polytheistic and false. Judaism and Christianity should have been one if the Jews had accepted Jesus as their Messiah. Christianity is a continuation of OT Judaism. There should have been no distinction between the two.

God loved the the Jews, He gave them the land of Canaan with a covenant of salt. The modern State of Israel is Canaan in our times. Christians at all times should love the Jews and witness to them, pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the preservation of the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. Christians should support Israel in all the ways that count. “But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.” ( Rom.15:25-27‬ ‭). It is no big deal if we minister to them in carnal things inasmuch as we have partaken of their spiritual blessings.

However, not all who call themselves Christians do this and they will receive their due punishment in due season. The brethren of the Lord according the flesh are Jews. The brethren of the Lord according to the spirit are Christians. The Jews have the commandments of God, and the Christians the testimony of Jesus Christ ( Rev.12:17 ). The criterion for either justification or condemnation in the Sheep And Goat Judgment of the unbranded surviving Gentiles of all nations is one’s treatment of the Jews, His brethren according to the flesh, and the Christians, His brethren according to the spirit during the Great Tribulation.

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” ( Matt.25:31-40, 42-46‬ ‭).

So, it pays to love and care for the Jewish people and to seek the welfare of Israel. Rehab was spared destruction with the rest of the inhabitants of Jericho because she received the spies with peace ( Josh.2, 6:22-25; Heb.11:31 ). The nations of the west which imbibed judeochristian values have always advanced in all fields of human endeavors far ahead of the others. With the advancement in information technology and globalization it looks like this gap is being bridged, but the evidence of this advantage is still visible.

Dr. Dave Williams:

18. If you are captured by the authorities, do not deny Jesus Christ as Lord and God.

It is better to die than deny Christ (Luke 12:8–10). In Revelation 6:9–11 we see quite a few people who died after the rapture for their faith, and they made it to heaven. If you deny Jesus Christ, you will be assigned to the dungeons of the damned to await the awful great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11–12).

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

If anyone denies Christ before men, Christ will deny him before His Father and the holy angels ( Luk.12:8,9 ). We should not fear those who can destroy the body, and after that there is nothing more they can do. We should fear God who alone can cast spirit and soul into Hell ( Matt.10:28 ). It is self-evident that some believers are going to die for their faith during the Great Tribulation. But here is the faith and comfort of the saints: if any man is destined into captivity, into captivity he goes; if any man is destined to be killed with the sword, with the sword, the one will be killed ( Rev.13:10 ). The fact that whatever fate befalls the believer during the Great Tribulation has been predetermined in eternity past precludes the pretribulational theory of those left behind as feeble Christians who could not make the first round up which has no biblical bases.

I have protested with the utmost vehemence that to describe the fifth seal martyrs as enfeebled Christians who could not make the first round up is theologically and biblically unsustainable and indefensible. These are rugged saints who are slain for the word of God and the testimony which they hold. “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” ( Rev. 6:9-11‬ ‭).

There is a complement of the saints to be martyred during the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. When that number is reached, God Almighty amputates the Great Tribulation with cosmic and celestial disturbances. “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.24:21-22‬ ‭). God will cut the Great Tribulation short to save some of us alive for rapture. If He does not, the antiChrist will ferret all of us out and kill everyone of us who refuses to be branded with his mark of allegiance. Where can anyone hide without being discovered? Google has mapped out the whole world for the antiChrist. Although they may not have that in mind, Satan does.

This number of saints to be martyred is determined in eternity past. It is only known to God. They are only known to God. We are not told who they are, and their exact number. Anyone of us in that generation of believers that enter the 70th week of Daniel to experience the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist could be in that number. What we know of them is that they are men and women, boys and girls who are uncompromising in their witness for Christ. Their spiritual blinders have been removed. They are willing to die for what they believer. They are slain for the word of God and the testimony which they held. They were faithful and uncompromising. They were aware of the dangers involved. They refused the mark of allegiance to the antiMessiah. They persuades others to do the same. They preached to men and women to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. They preached to others to repudiate the rulership and author of the antiChrist. They preached that men and women should reject the false religion of the Beast spearheaded by the false prophet, the second Beast. They chorused the three angelic announcements which are made at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” ( Rev.14:6-12‬ ‭).

They overcame him ( antiChrist) by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony; and they did not shrink from death. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” ( Rev.12:11‬ ‭). In other words, they do not shrink from death, and are willing to die for what they believe. Those of us who want to escape the Great Tribulation through a pretribulational Rapture are not willing to die for their faith in Christ. It is possible for one to die for the faith unwillingly. The fifth seal martyrs are willing to die for the Faith, and die they will. They die willingly knowing that glory awaits them. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” ( Rev.14:13‬ ‭).

It is preposterous and egregious for any theologian or biblical scholar to label the fifth seal martyrs as feeble Christians who failed to make the first round up. How could feeble Christians left behind after the rapture be transformed into heroes of the faith in so short a time? Many of us here now who have been believers on this planet for over a quarter of a century, especially the pretribs are afraid to enter the 70th week of Daniel to encounter the antiChrist and face the horrors of the Great Tribulation. Decades of teaching and feeding of the word of God have not transformed us into Great heroes of the faith. Would enfeebled Christians left behind after the rapture and new coverts to the faith be so emboldened to die for their faith, and we would not? How can feeble Christians left behind after the first round up be emboldened to stand up to the antiChrist and his killing machine at a time when all the good pastors, teachers, evangelists, and prophets, and indeed all good Christians are no more, and all we have are false ones, or at best feeble and weak ones; at a time when there are no churches to attend, or at best, churches which are the tools of the satanic government of the antiMessiah? We must prepare ourselves to be in this number if need be.

Some believers may be taken captive, tortured but not killed, and be finally raptured. In whatever category we find ourselves, we must never recant nor betray other believers. Even far more important, we must not become embittered by the betrayal of false brethren whose behavior and activities shall endanger the life of loved ones and family members. Because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold ( Matt.24:12 ). Many shall be offended, and shall hate one another and betray one another ( Matt.24:10 ). Many false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many ( Matt.24:11 ). But he that shall endure unto the End ( Of The Ages ), the same shall be saved ( Matt.24:13 ). The End is the eschatological End Of The Ages at which point God Almighty intervenes in human affairs, seals the 144,000 for protection, raptures the Church, and commences the outpouring of the wrath of God on the living wicked Earth-dwellers, worshippers and adorers of the Beast-antiChrist.

Dr. Dave Williams:

19. Mark the day the world leader moves his image into the holy temple in Jerusalem.

When that happens, you will know that you have 1,260 days to survive. Daniel refers to 1290 days, which includes thirty days of cleansing after He returns.

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

The 70th week of Daniel which is the last 7 years of the present Age is divided into two equal halves. The first half which begins with the signing of a 7-year peace agreement between the leaders of Israel and the antiChrist , the first three and one half years, witnesses the emergence of false Christs, wars, commotions, threats of wars, and famines, pestilence and earthquakes acccording to the Olivet Discourse which runs parallel with Rev.6. These events of the first half of the 70th week, dubbed the beginning of sorrows or beginning birth pangs by Christ in the Olivet Discourse correspond with the first three seals of Rev.6.

The antiChrist’s relocation to the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem occurs at the midpoint of the 70th week and is concurrent with the abomination of desolation, and the Jerusalem campaign. The midpoint of the 70th week also marks the start of the Great Tribulation. Dr. Dave Williams teaches that the Great Tribulaion will last the entire second half of the 70th week which is 1,260 days. Our Lord is His Olivet Discourse teaches us that the Great Tribulation is cut short by the cosmic and celestial disturbances in order to preserve some Christians alive for the rapture and some unbranded Jews and Gentiles alive to repopulate the Earth at the end of the war of Armageddon ( Matt.24:22 ). If God does not cut short the Great Tribulation, no believer will survive to be raptured at the appearance of the coming of the Son Of Man, and no unbranded person, Jew or Gentile will survive in this mortal body of ours to repopulate Earth in the Millennium. For the sake of the elect, those who will be raptured alive, those days, that is the days of the Great Tribulation will be amputated.

Although the allotted period for the antiMessiah to rule will be 1,260 days, the Great Tribulation will not be allowed to run throughout the entire length of 1,260 days allotted to the antiChrist to rule ( Rev.13:5 ). After the celestial disturbances, the antiChrist is paralyzed. However he is not totally emasculated nor lose control control of Jerusalem till his his final defeat at Armageddon. Within the extra 30 days, the two witnesses whose ministry runs pari pasu with the reign of the antiChrist are martyred on the first day, and resurrect on the Fourth day. On the third day, the mystery of God is finished as the newly saved remnants of Israel are brought in to complete the spiritual kingdom of God. On the fifth day God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth at the sounding of the 7th trumpet which is the third woe which opens into the 7 bowls. The 7th bowl ends at Armageddon ( Rev.16:16, 17:11-21, 19:1-21 ). The unbranded Jews and Gentiles left behind after the rapture do not understand the eschatological timeline. Dr. Dave Williams’ counsel is profitable to believers now and in the first half of the 70th week before the beginning of the Great Tribulation at the midpoint of the 70th week. But Dr. Dave Williams has excluded them from the 70th week thus making them unprepared to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist and vulnerable to deception and propaganda by Satan and his minions.

Dr. Dave Williams:

20. Determine to endure to the end!

If you miss the rapture, there is still hope. Moses endured much tribulation by looking to Him who is invisible (God). Paul wrote, “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:12). 

Dr. Avraham Shallom:

We have proven from the Scriptures that Dr. Dave Williams does not understand the chronology of End Time events. He contradicts the Scriptures by placing the rapture as all pretribs do before the commencement of the 70th seven of Daniel. He teaches that after the rapture there is still hope. We have shown that after the rapture is the wrath of God. If anyone professes to be a Christian and is left behind after the rapture and is unbranded with the mark of the Beast, the only hope for that person is to go through the whole wrath of God if he is a Gentile, and to go through the first six trumpet judgments if he is a Jew other than the 144,000. If the survivor is a Jew, he will be saved on the third day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period when all surviving members of the household of Israel shall be reconciled to the God of Israel as they look upon Him whom they have pierced ( Zech.12:10-14 ). The whole surviving nation of Israel who are unbranded with the mark of allegiance to the Beast shall be born again in one day. “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭66:8‬ ‭). On the other hand, if the survivor is a Gentile, he must appear before Christ at the Sheep and Goat Judgment to determine qualification for entry into the millennial reign of Christ ( Matt.25:31-46 ).

The wrath of God consists of the 7 trumpets and 7 bowl judgments. Everyone left here on Earth after the rapture, other than the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel who are brought into covenantal relationship with the God of Israel and sealed with the seal of the name of God shortly before the rapture of the Church, and therefore protected from the wrath of God, shall go through the wrath of God. The unbranded Jewish remnants shall go through the six trumpet judgments to purge, purify, and cleanse them before being brought into covenantal relationship with the God of Israel on the third day of the 30-Day Reclamation Period ( Hos.6:-1,2; Zech.10:12-14 ). On that day, the mystery of God shall be finished as God completes His spiritual kingdom by bringing the surviving remnants of Israel into saving knowledge and personal relationship with Christ. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” ( Rev.10:7‬ ‭). The finishing of the mystery of God is the completion of the spiritual kingdom of God by the bringing in of the saved surviving remnants of Israel. They shall look upon Him who they pierced, and mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son. What a wonderful hope it is for an unbranded Gentile who was not raptured to survive the trumpet and bowl judgments and to stand to be justified before Christ at the Sheep and Goat Judgment at the end of the battle Of Armageddon?

Dr. Dave Williams has told us the Church Age closes with the rapture of the Church, and I concur irrespective of the timing and location of the Rapture on the eschatological timeline. What End is he talking about here after the rapture when the Church Age has closed? We believers are never to deny Christ. “If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” ( 2 Tim.2:12-13‬ ‭). This Scripture Dr. Dave Williams referred to above relates to the believers during the Church Age which closes with rapture of the Church at the End Of The Ages. As also proven by the parable of the ten virgins, there is no admittance into the marriage of the Lamb once the doors have been shut to keep out the hypocrites.

Dr. Dave Williams served for over 30 years as pastor of Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan

Author: Avraham Shallom.

Exposition on Isaiah 2:8-22

Exposition On Isaiah 2:8-22

“Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭2:8-9‬ ‭).

Isaiah, the son of Amoz was one of the pre-exilic prophets. He descended from the kingly line of David. Therefore he was a member of the royal household. Unlike prophet Amos who was a farmer before the Lord called him, Isaiah was highly educated having descended from royalty. One could imagine how devoted he was to the God of Israel for him to obey God promptly in answering the call ( Isa.6:8 ). In his unalloyed obedience to God, he performed a prophet act of walking about naked for three years to demonstrate how the Egyptians and Cushites, even their nobles like Isaiah would be led away naked and barefoot into captivity by Sargon king of Assyria ( Isa.20:3,4 ). God had to so disgrace Egypt and Cush because the southern kingdom of Judah was allied to them, and trusted them to save them from the Assyrian king rather than trust in the Lord their God. Cush was their expectation and Egypt their glory ( Isa.20:5 ). I have retained the Hebrew name Cush rather than Ethiopia as in KJV because this name does not refer to modern day Ethiopia at all. Ethiopia was formerly named Abyssinia. In ancient times it was referred to as Sheba. Cush simply means black. In ancient times it referred to the area south and west of Egypt which more or less corresponds to the nations of modern day Sudan and South Sudan. The reference in the Book of Acts to the noble man who was in charge of the treasures of Queen Candace of Cush ( Ethiopia) speaks of Queen Candace of Mero, an ancient kingdom in the region of modern day Sudan ( Acts 8:26-40 ). In antiquities, these areas were inhabited by black skinned people, the Cushites. Hence, the proverb, “can the Cushite change his skin?” ( Jer.13:23 ).

Isaiah was the prophet par excellence. He prophesied for a very long period, spanning the reign of four kings of the southern kingdom of Judah. Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah kings of Judah. During the reign of these kings, the southern kingdom of Judah experienced prosperity. Their land was full of silver and gold, and there was no end to their treasures. Despite their prosperity, they were greedy and rapacious. They copied their neighboring powers, especially Egypt and Assyria, and imported horses and chariots which led to trust in their military mighty and prowess ( Isa.2:7 ). As if that were not enough, they added insult to injury, and worshipped idols. These were graven and molten images crafted by their own fingers. This they learned through associations with the peoples of neighboring powers, like the Egyptians and Assyrian who were idol worshippers. Their land was full of idols ( Isa.2:8 ). Whatever the nobles did, the am ha’ aretz, the ordinary people of the land copied them and followed suit. The mean bowed down, and the great man humbled himself before the works of their hands. Because they have bowed themselves to graven images, and worshipped the works of their hands, the God of Israel would not forgive them and spare them any punishment which was due. They had to go into captivity.

This was the situation in Israel during the reign of these kings when the prophet Isaiah prophesied to the kings, nobles and people of Judah. He was also looking beyond the immediate period to the End of Time. This is what theologians call the near and far views of prophecy. During this period of the far view of Saiah’s prophecy, Israel shall enter into a seven-year peace treaty with the Man Of Sin, the Son Of perdition or destruction ( Dan.9:27; 2Thess.2:3 ). For the first three and one-half years, Israel shall be relatively peaceful. They shall prosper being protected by the armies of the most powerful world ruler. When Jesus came to His own in the name of the God of Israel, they rejected Him. When another, the antiMessiah shall come in his own name, they will receive him. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” ( John‬ ‭1:10-11 ). “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” ( John‬ ‭5:43‬ ‭). The “another” here is the antiMessiah.

This covenant is called the covenant of apostasy, because it will lead to total abandonment of the God of Israel by some Jews and Christians three and one-half years later when the antiMessiah shall declare himself God in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem and demand to be worshipped by all and sundry ( Dan.9:27; 2Thess.2:4 ). It is called covenant with death and agreement with Hell. “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭28:15, 18-19‬ ‭).

When the antiMessiah breaks his peace agreement with Israel, he shall persecute Jews who refuse to worship him. During the reign of the antiChrist, enlivened images of the Beast shall be situated at strategic places for public worship. This will be like in the Roman period when emperor worship was demanded of Roman citizens. Every Roman citizen was required to offer a pinch of incense to the statue of the emperor at the city square. Those who failed to fulfill this obligation were arrested. They were released only after they have posted bonds and promised never to disobey. These images, empowered by AI, and energized by demonic powers shall be able to identify those who do not have the mark of the Beast, and cause them to be put to death if they refuse to capitulate to the authority of the antiMessiah by accepting to be branded with his mark of allegiance. Those who agree to worship him shall be instructed by the second Beast, the false prophet, his enforcer, to make images of the Beast in gold, silvers, bronze, iron, and wood to worship in their homes, offices, and cars, every man according what he can afford.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” ( Rev.13:11-18‬ ‭).

This shall account for the preponderance of idols during the second half of the 70th week. Anyone who refuses to bow to these images shall be punished with death, banishment or captivity as the case may be. During this period many shall betray one another. This is the Great Tribulation. The martyred saints arriving heaven is the fifth seal. “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” ( Rev.6:9-11‬ ‭).

When the complement of the saints to be martyred is fulfilled as evidenced by the fifth seal, God shall amputate the Great Tribulation with cosmic disturbances which constitute the sixth seal. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” ( Rev.6:12-14‬ ‭).

The fifth seal promises wrath during the Day Of The Lord. The sixth seal portends wrath during the Day Of The Lord. There is an interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals. During this interlude, the Shechinah, the sign of the Coming of the Son Of Man appears in the heavens, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed with the seal of God for protection during the Day Of The Lord, and the saints are raptured into heaven, taken away from the scene of persecution from the antiChrist, and the wrath of God during the Day Of The Lord, which begins the very same day the surviving saints are translated into heaven ( Rev.7 ). The interlude between the sixth and the seventh seal therefore protects from the wrath of God.

At the breaking of the sixth seal, the branded idol worshippers who worship the Beast, his image, and the Great Red Dragon, who gave power and authority to the Beast shall dispose of their idols to the moles and that bats to hide in the rocks and the mountains, invoking these to fall upon them, and to hide them from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17‬ ‭).

These branded worshippers of the Beast shall be composed of the high and low, the rich and the poor, the mighty men and generals of the armies of nations and kingdoms, bond and free. We can see that Isa.2:11-22 parallel Rev.6:15-19:21. During this period, the Day Of The Lord’s Wrath, the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in That Day ( Isa.2:11,17 ). It shall be a terrible day for every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low ( v.12 ). It shall be upon the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, and upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures ( vv.13-16 ). The cedars of Lebanon and the oaks of Bashan are the tallest of trees in the Mid East. They are figurative of the high and mighty, the powerful and influential men, the great men and the nobles. The mountains and hills symbolize the kingdoms of the Earth and their kings which shall be devastated by the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord. All that man has achieved in defiance to God shall be destroyed, the skyscrapers, the lofty institutions of man, his global ideal epitomized by Babylon shall be utterly destroyed at the outpouring of the seventh bowl judgment. The cities of the nations shall be leveled by the great earthquake of the seventh bowl judgment. Apostle Peter asked us, seeing that all these things shall be destroyed, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness? ( 2Pet.3:13,14 ).

“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” ( Rev.16:17-21‬ ).

During the Day Of The Lord, the idols, the enlivened images of the Beast in gold, silver, precious stones, wood, etc shall be utterly abolished ( v.18 ). Once the Day Of The Lord has begun, no man or idol shall be worshipped any more anywhere on the planet Earth. Men shall throw away their idols, the enlivened images of the Beast, to go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the Earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His Majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the Earth. Every man alive on Earth at that time shall know instinctively that God is about to punish the world for their evils. They will throw away their idols and run for their dear lives. God shall shake the heavens and Earth, and everything that man has built shall be destroyed ( v.19 ).

“In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭).

Based on this scenario painted by the prophet Isaiah and corroborated by all the other OT and NT prophets, and graphically summarized by Apostle John, the revelator, Isaiah admonished us, “cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted.” ( v.22 ). This verse is applicable to every man, that man should not worship his fellow man. However, in context, it is referent to the antiMessiah, the ultimate superman who shall arise in the last days to demand worship of all mortals. We must not worship him. He is man not God. And because he is man, he shall die like every other mortal man. He is not to be accounted of anything.

The pretribulationists tell us the whole 70th week of Daniel is the wrath of God. And because the Church is not appointed unto wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Church shall be raptured before the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel at the breaking of the first seal ( 1Thess.1:10, 5:9 ). But it is inconceivable, in the light of the scenario painted by the prophets that after the wrath of God has begun in the Day Of His Wrath, that the antiChrist can arise, achieve a worldwide domination, transfer his headquarters to the Jewish Holy City of Jerusalem, demand worship of all men, desecrate the Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, built for the worship of Jehovah, institute the Great Tribulation, brand men as farmers brand cattle, and slave dealers brand their victims, martyr the saints of the Most High all over the world, mount the enlivened images of himself at strategic locations all over the world for men to worship, kill everyone who refuses the mark of allegiance to him, in the day when the haughtiness of men shall be brought low and the idols utterly abolished? In the day when no man shall be exalted but God alone. All these theological and biblical impossibilities are flouted in an attempt to keep the Church out of the Great Tribulation. Impossible you will say, and you are right.

If the whole of the 70th week were the wrath of God, why are the three angelic announcements made at the midpoint of the 70th. Who shall go about proclaiming the gospel in the Day Of The Lord? ( Rev.14:6,7 ). No one. Who shall abide in Babylon in the Day of her desolation? ( Rev.14:8 ). No one. Who shall worship the Beast or his image in the Day Of The Lord? ( Rev.14:9-13 ). No one. The Day Of The Lord is darkness and not light. It is a day of gloominess, as one did flee from a lion ( the Great Tribulation), and bear ( the wrath of God ) met him; as if one did flee from a lion ( the Great Tribulation), entered his house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent ( the wrath of God ) bit him ( Amos 5:18-20 ). These men in spite of their stellar biblical scholarship and holy living have not rightly divided the word of God ( 2Tim.2:15 ). They have failed to distinguish the wrath of Satan ( Rev.12:12 ), man’s inhumanity to man, from the wrath of God ( Rev.6:17 ) which is God’s direct intervention in the affairs of men to justify the righteous and punish the wicked who bowed to the image of the Beast. They have erred doctrinally in that they have failed to teach the truth, and morally because they misguided the saints. One of these dear ministers of God arrogantly tells us, if you are here after the rapture, I tell you 20 things you must do to survive the reign of the antiChrist. When I read through, I said to myself, these are the things he should teach his congregation now in order that they might survive the horrors of the Great Tribulation. He may sleep in the Lord before the antiChrist shows up, but certainly, some members of his congregation or their descendants after them shall one day face the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist before the Rapture takes place.

Avraham Shallom.

Introduction To The Scroll Of Revelation.

Introduction To The Scroll Of Revelation.

The Book of Revelation is unique in the cannon of the Scriptures in that it is the only book authored by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. John the revelator was His amanuensis. Beyond the question of authorship, the book is replete with imageries which make it a bit difficult for the young convert to comprehend. The Book of Revelation is in its entirety prophetic. That it is prophetic means that it deals mainly with future events. Biblical prophecy is of two categories, forthtelling and foretelling. Forthtelling deals with the things which are, whilst foretelling deals with the things which shall be hereafter( Rev.4:1). The Book of Revelation contains both categories of prophecy. The things which are past are history. That the Book of Revelation is entirely prophetic does not mean that it does not contain historical facts. There are a few flashbacks to the past. Besides those terms and phrases which are peculiar to the Book of Revelation, there are also other terms and phrases which are germane to the study of the Book of Revelation which stem from the subject of eschatology. Therefore, for a proper understanding of the Book of Revelation, one would need to familiarize oneself with the unique and peculiar phraseology and terminology of the Book of Revelation and the division of theology called eschatology. In this introduction to the Book of Revelation, we shall attempt a definition and a broad view of these terms in order to enable the young believer gain a fair and working knowledge of these terms and their usages in the Book of Revelation and in eschatology as it relates to the Book of Revelation.

Abyss.
The word abyss is the English derivative of the Greek word abousos. It is a deep chasm or gulf in the underworld of the dead that separates Hell itself from the OT Paradise. It is aptly described as the bottomless pit. It is a dark and bottomless pit. The fallen angels who did not keep their first estate, but cohabited with human females, giving birth to the Nephelim( hybrid humans, transhumans or humanoids) are inprisoned there under darkness waiting for the judgment of the great day( Gen.6:1-6; 2Pet.2:4 Jud.6). It may be that these evil angels are the locusts released from the bottomless pit to afflict the beast-marked living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast at the sounding of the fifth trumpet in the Day Of His Wrath( Rev.9:1-12). These evil angels and humanoid spirits were disembodied at the deluge. Hybrid humans cannot be saved. It was therefore necessary to remove their corrupting influences from humanity. Hence their inprisonment in the bottomless pit. They have a king over them called Adaddon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek, who is referred to as the angel of the bottomless pit( Rev.9:11). The Beast-Antichrist is said to ascend from the abyss( Rev.11:7). This supports the fact that the Antichrist is one who had lived before, and ruled over one of the seven Beast Empires. During the millennium, Satan, the great red Dragon shall be incarcerated in the abyss for 1000 years( Rev.20:1-3).

Angels.

The Book of Revelation is replete with angels and their activities. To enhance our understanding of the Book of Revelation, we need to know a few facts about these entities called angels. Angels are spirit beings created by God. They are also metaphorically referred to as stars( Rev.9:1; .) and sons of God( Job1:6; 38:7). Although they are sometimes referred to as sons of God, unlike man, they are not made in the image and likeness of God. They are servants of God created to minister for the saints of God( Heb.1:14). They are ministering spirits. There is a hierarchical order amongst angels. The highest order of angels are called archangels. Lucifer, Michael and Gabriel are mentioned in the Scriptures as archangels. Lucifer was probably the highest archangel in charge of praise and worship to God in heaven prior to his ouster(…). In eternity past, prior to the creation of man, he led a revolt against God in heaven( Is.14:12-23; Ezek.28:1-19). One-third of the angels in heaven sided with him( Rev.12:4a) . He and his followers were cast out of heaven into the dark void and the starry heavens. This is the origin of evil angels called demons or evil spirits. These evil spirits are locked in unrighteousness; for they can never repent. The obedient angels are locked in righteous. They can no longer rebel against God. They shall ever be faithful to Him. From time to time, depending on their missions, angels can be clothed with human flesh and be visible to the naked eye.

Beasts.

1) The Four Beasts.
There are any number of beasts mentioned in the Book of Revelation. There are the four beasts( KJV) or four living creatures( other translations). These are created beings. They are the closest to God in His Throne Room in the temple in heaven. Their loci of activities are in and about the throne. They abide in His presence, praising and worshipping God. The identity of these four creatures are debated amongst biblical scholars and saints alike. There are obviously angels. Their appearances are like the lion, the cow, man and the eagle. They have eyes within and without. They have six wings apiece. Their duty is to praise God day in and day out, saying, holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come. Some call them cherubim. They supervised the breaking of the first four seals of Rev.6., signifying that even though the first four seals represent the Wrath Of Satan, God is in sovereign control.

2)The First Beast.

The first beast is described in Rev.13. He has seven heads and ten horns. He has ten crowns on his ten horns. On his head is written the name of blasphemy. His seven heads are the seven previous beast empires. His ten horns are the ten kings of the ten nation confederation. He is said to come out of the sea, he is also said to ascend from the abyss. Putting the two together, we understand that though he is clothed with a human body, he is an evil spirit whose origin is from the bottomless pit. Human spirits are not sent to the bottomless pit. He has the military prowess of Alexander the Great( he was like a leopard), the administrative ability of the best of Medopersian king( his feet was like a bear), and the iron will of Nero who persecuted the Jews and all nonromans( his mouth as the mouth of a lion). He is possessed and anointed by Satan( the Dragon gave him his power, seat, and great authority). He will make war with the saints and overcome them. The living wicked earth-dwellers will worship him and the Dragon who empowered him( Rev.13:1-8). Defeated by Christ and His armies at Armageddon, he shall be taken captive and cast alive into the Lake that burneth with fire and brimstone in conjunction with the second beast.( Rev.19:20).

3)  The Second Beast.

The second beast came out of the earth. He has two horns like a lamb. Jesus Christ our Lord is the true Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. The second beast is a false lamb who will found a false religion characterized by the worship of the first beast and the Dragon who empowered him. He is called the false prophet. He will be a false religionist who promotes idolatry. He is also called the enforcer because he will cause those who dwell on the earth to take the mark of the beast by means of outstanding and supposedly genuine miracles such as making fire to come down from heaven and to cause the image of the first beast to speak. He shall be taken captive at Armageddon and cast alve into the Lake of Fire and brimstone alongside the First Beast( rev.19:20).

4) The Dragon.

The great red Dragon has seven heads and ten horns like his minion the first beast. The seven heads are the seven beast empires of history which have persecuted Israel in exile. The ten horns are the ten kings of the ten nation confederation, the 8th and final beast empire. He is the supreme personality of evil, the archenemy of God and His saints. In eternity past, he led a revolt against God, and drew one third of angels to his side( Rev.12:4a). He was a the former archangel Lucifer, in charge of praise and worship in heaven. He is called Satan. The Hebrew word shatan means adversary. He is the opposer of God and His children. He lured Adam and Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. He is the serpent. He usurped the authority given to Adam, God’s human representative in the earthly domain of His universal kingdom. He is the god of this Age. His rulership of the Earth shall expire at the end of Adam’s lease, the sixth millennium. He is a spirit being; lacking human body with which to relate to the external physical environment, he rules the world by proxy. He attempted to snuff out the life of Jesus as a child through the agency of Herod the great( Rev.12:4; Matt. 2:16-18). He shall attempt through his minion the Antichrist to exterminate Jews and true believers during the Great Tribulation( Rev.12:17). He shall be cast down to the earth with his evil angels in the middle of the 70th seven of Daniel. He shall be bound in the abyss for 1000 years during the millennial reign of Christ. At the end of the millennium he shall be temporarily released to lead a rebellion that would end in divine conflagration. He shall be finally cast into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.

Bowls.

The Greek word translated bowl or vial( KJV) is phiale from which the English word vial is derived. It is a shallow bowl like saucer, the content of which can be easily emptied, unlike the vial used in medicine today which is a narrow-throated vessel, the content of which is difficult to empty because the narrow throat constitutes an impediment to the flow of the liquid content. All seven bowls are contained within the seventh trumpet. The seventh trumpet has no judgment of its own but opens into the seven bowls. The seven bowls constitute the final wrath of God. They were administered by the last seven avenging angels. All seven bowls are emptied upon the earth within a short period of 24 days between the sounding of the seventh trumpet on Mount Zion on the 6th day of the 30-day reclamation period. The seventh bowls contains the judgment of Babylon and the war of Armageddon.

Candlestick.

Candlestick or lampstand, also called menorah( Hebrew) or candelabrum( Greek) is a light source. In the Book of Revelation, it is the light source of the city. It used of Christ to represent a local church which is the spiritual source of light and life in the city. The seven lampstands or candlesticks are symbolically representative of the seven churches in Asia Minor to which the seven letters of Christ were addressed( Rev.1:20).

Crowns.

There are two Greek words translated crown in the Book of Revelation, diadem and stephanos. Diadem is the crown won by kings and rulers. Stephanos is the victor’s crown awarded to those who were victorious at the Olympic Games. They were made of gold leaves. The woman in Rev.12 is depicted as wearing a crown studded with 12 stars. The ten horns of the Dragon-Beast were also wearing diadems. They were sitting kings. The angel sitting on the white cloud in Rec.14:14, had on his head a golden crown. The rider on a white horse in Rev.19:12 has many crowns on His head. The overcomers wore the victors crown. The crown of life is promised to those are faithful unto death( Rev.2:10). Therefore it is called the martyrs’ crown.

End Of The Ages.

Judaism has a dual view of the ages. There is the present age, olam haze, and the age to come, olam haba. In Greek, the age to come is aioneis. The life of the age to come is what is translated as eternal life in the KJV in John 3:16. For God so love the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but shall have the life of the age to come( Zoe aioneis). The life of the age to come is here present in those who believe in Jesus, albeit masked by the mortal body. Between these two ages, the exiting of the present age and the ushering in of the age to come is the end of the ages. During this period, their is an intensification of activities by God and His angels, Satan and his fallen evil angels, and by human beings. This period corresponds with the part of the second half of the 70th seven referred to as the Day Of His Wrath, the Day Of Christ. During this period the wrath of God is poured out on the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, in order to avenge the blood of the saints and to end the wicked reign of man and to usher in the perfect reign of Christ.

Horns.

Horns signify power and authority. In the Book of Revelation, the Dragon has seven heads and ten horns. The first beast also has seven heads and ten horns. The ten horns have ten crowns. That the ten horns have crowns indicate that they are sitting kings. That is indeed the case, inasmuch as the ten horns are the ten kings of the ten nation confederation which is the 8th and final beast empire of Satan. The second beast who spoke as lamb has two horns. While the power and authority of the ten horns political, the power and authority of the second beast, the enforcer of the first beast was religious

Horses And Riders.

In ancient Neareast, horses signify royalty and might, more so military might. Therefor the first four seals of Rev.6 which are the wrath of Satan are symbolized by horses and their riders. The first white horse and rider signal the emergence of the Antichrist. The second red horse and rider signal war. The third black horse and rider signal famine and extreme dearth. The fourth grey horse and rider signal the great tribulation by the Antichrist against christians and observant Jews and any other person who repudiates the authority of the Beast-Antichrist. In Rev.19:11-16, the rider on a white accompanied by the heavenly hosts also mounted on white horses is Christ. He colour of the horse determines the purpose. White signifies righteousness. Christ is the righteous judge. The armies of heaven are righteous. Christ is faithful and true and righteous. The first horse and rider which signal the emergence of the beast also depicts a false Christ who has a bow but no arrows which signal deceit and political intrigue.

Kings.

There are any number of rulers mentioned in the Book of Revelation who are kings. The Antichrist is the overall ruler of the 8th and final beast empire. It is best to see him as the emperor of the empire. Under him are the ten horns who are the ten kings of he ten nation confederation. Besides, there are the kings of the east, the king of the south and the king of the north. Egypt and her king shall be opposed to the Antichrist. There are neutral nations like Edom, Moab and Ammon. The nations and their armies shall be destroyed at Armageddon. These nations have kings who are not specifically named. Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. He shall reign as king over the whole earth, sitting on the throne of His father David as his greater son and on the throne of God in the throne room of the fourth and millennial temple on Mount Zion as His representative in the earthly realm of His universal kingdom.

Lamb.

Jesus is the Lamb of God that was slain to take away the sin of the world( Jon.1:29). In Rev.5, He vacated His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the Throne Room of the Temple of God in heaven. He is standing in the midst of the throne as a Lamb that was slain. This signals His death and resurrection. He is the Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah who has prevailed to break the seven sealed scroll and to open it, after a search was conducted in heaven, earth and under the earth and no man was found who could open the scroll and break the seals, to the consternation of Kohn the revelator who wept sore. He prevailed because He is worthy. He conquered death. He atoned for the sins of all mankind. In Rev.13, there appeared another lamb with two horns. This is the second beast, the false prophet who mesmerizes the whole world to worship the first beast and the Dragon. He has power granted him of the first beast to perform miracles which appear seemingly genuine, aimed at luring the gullible earth-dwellers to worship false gods.

Marriage.

There is the marriage of the Lamb which takes place in heaven, after the rapture of the church, after the completion of the spiritual kingdom of God, shortly before the blowing of the seventh trumpets, after Christ reclaims the rule of God Almighty over the earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet. It shall be after the Bema Seat judgment at which the saints are bejeweled; for His bride has made herself ready( Rev.19:7). The marriage Supper of the Lamb shall take place on earth in the early part of the millennial reign of Christ. At the marriage Supper of the Lamb Christ, the newly enthroned king of the Earth shall make a banquet for the kings of the earth( the saints who reign with Him), a feast of wine on the lees, wine well refined( Is.25:6).
Nations.

Apart from the 8th and final beast empire of Satan, consisting of a ten nation confederation, there shall be other nations in existence in the end times. There will be nations of the north, south and east. There will be Egypt, Edom, Moab and Ammon. In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it will stand for ever( Dan.2:44). All these nations and theirs kings and armies shall be summarily vanquished at Armageddon( Rev.19:19-21).
Scroll.

The Greek word translated scroll or roll is biblos from which the English word bible and its cognates are derived. In the ancient Neareast, documents were written on parchments made from animal skin or papyrus sown together, then rolled up. For ease of handling, the scroll is attached to to wooden rods at both ends, left and right, with the ends sticking out at all four corners, as seen today in the scrolls of the Torah. The scroll may or may not be sealed. If sealed, the seals can only be broken by the owner of the seal or the one to whom it is addressed. The Book of Revelation itself was originally written on a scroll. There are two scrolls mentioned in the Book of Revelation: the big scroll in Rev.5&6 and the little scroll in Rev.10. The big scroll has seven seals. The seals must be broken before the content of the scroll can be revealed. The little scroll has no seals. It the big scroll with the seven seals broken and part of the content already done away with. The big scroll is the title deed of the earth which Jesus received from the Father because He is the only one in heaven, on earth, and underneath the earth qualified to break the seals and open the scroll to reveal the content. He is the only one who has the right to execute judgment on earth; for He is he Son Of Man( an Adam, God’s human representative on earth), and God the Father has committed all judgment unto the Son. That He is the Son Of God implies deity and rightful heir to the throne of God.

Seals.

Rolled up scrolls are tied up and then knotted. On these knots are place wet clay on soft wax and then impressed with the signet of the owner of the document. The clay or wax is allowed to harden. These knots with impressions are called seals or bullae. Some documents may contain as few as 2-3 or as many as 5-7. The seals can only be broken by the owner of the seal impression or the one to whom it is addressed. Unsealed scrolls can be read by anyone lettered. Scrolls with broken seals can also be read by anyone lettered. The content of the scroll can only be accessed if the seals are broken. The big scroll in Rev.6 has seven seals. The small scroll in Rev.10 is the big scroll with the seven seals broken and part of the content done away with. So, it has no seals. The big scroll with seven seals is the tittle deed of the earth. Only Christ has the power and authority to break the seals and reveal the content because God the Father has committed all judgment to Him. The seals are broken in heaven and certain events unfold on earth. The first seal is the white horse and rider which signal the emergence of the man of sin. The second seal is the red horse and rider which signal war. The third seal is the black horse and rider which signal famine. The fourth seal is the grey horse and rider which signal the great tribulation. The first four seals signify the wrath of Satan which is different from the wrath of God( Rev.12:12; 6:17). The wrath of Satan is directed against the saints of God and the nation of Israel and anyone else who for whatever reason fails to capitulate to the authority of the Beast-Antichrist. The wrath of God is directed against the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. The first four seals are administered by the four living creatures indicating that God is in sovereign control. The fifth seals is a heavenly scene that depicts the severe persecution of the people of God going on here on Earth. These saints are arriving in heaven as disembodied spirits or souls. They have not yet received their resurrection bodies. They are kept under the altar of incense. They demand vengeance from God. The sixth seal is earthly and celestial disturbances which God uses to interrupt the persecution of the saints on the completion of the number of saints to be martyred by the Antichrist and his minions. The seventh seal signals the wrath of God. Before the seventh seal is broken, God raptured the saints and seals the 144,000 from the nation of Israel( Rev.7). The seventh seal has no judgment of its own but rather opens into the seven trumpets.

Seven.

The number seven is the commonest number in the scroll of Revelation. It occurs more frequently than any other. In Hebrew numerology and Gematria, seven is the divine number. It signals completeness, wholeness and perfection. It indicates that human history on earth as we know it is coming to a consummate end with divine precision and accuracy of His righteous judgment. There are seven benedictions( Rev.1:3;14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7,14), and seven stars and seven candlesticks( Rev.1:20). There seven spirits of God. This does not mean there seven individual spirits. There seven attributes of the one Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit. These seven attributes of the Holy Spirit are in perfect and complete manifestation in Jesus. That is why the Scriptures say that He, Jesus has the seven spirits of God.The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. They go beyond angels appointed by Jesus over these churches to the responsible human elements over these churches. The seven candlesticks are the seven churches. There are seven churches and seven letters to the seven churches( Rev.2&3). There are seven seals and seven trumpets and seven bowls. The seventh seal opens into the seven trumpets and the seventh trumpet into the seven bowls. The seventh bowl represent a series of judgments that end at Armageddon. There are seven angels who sound the seven trumpets. There are seven avenging angels administering the seven bowls. The Dragon and the First beast have seven heads. The seven heads are the seven previous beast empires of Satan. There are seven mountains. The seven mountains are synonymous with the seven beast empires. And there are seven kings or emperors over the seven beast empires. The great tribulation and the eschatological day of the Lord occur within the 70th seven of Daniel’s 70 seven prophecy( Dan.9:24-27). The 1000 year reign of Christ is the seventh millennium, the Shabbat of the Lord as it were.

Stars.

There are two usages of stars in the Book of Revelation. There is the ordinary everyday usage and there is the metaphorical and symbolic usage. In Rev.12, there appeared a wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. The usages of the sun, moon and stars are symbolic in this passage. In Middle Eastern mythology, the sun is male and the moon female. The stars are their male offspring. This is clear from the interpretation of the dream of Joseph by his father Jacob. Will I and your mother and your brethren come to bow to you? For Joseph dreamed a dream in which the sun, the moon and the eleven stars were bowing to him. The sun and the moon were his parents and the stars his brethren( Gen.37:9-11). In Rev.1, Jesus was holding the seven stars in His right. And we told the seven stars are the angel of the seven churches. Stars are used symbolically of men and of angels. Those who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever( Dan.12:3). In Rev.9:1, it is written, a star fell from heaven and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. This star turned out to be an angel. However, in Rev.8:12, the literal ordinary usage of the words sun, moon and stars are intended. Therefore the context determines the meaning whether ordinary literal meaning or metaphorical.

Trumpets.

The use of trumpet in the Book of Revelation could be both literal and metaphorical. The main usage however is the blowing of the trumpets which constitute part of the wrath of God. The seven trumpets emerge from the seventh seal when it is broken. The seven trumpets are administers by seven angels. An angel in heaven blows a trumpet in heaven, and certain events unfold on Earth. A literal trumpet is blown, but that it eventuates in certain occurrences on Earth is not literal. Ordinarily, a trumpet is blown on Israel’s feast days, to herald a new moon, prepare for war or call a solemn assembly. When a trumpet is blown and certain events occur on Earth, that is not literal. At the rapture, a trumpet shall be blown before the saints are gathered from one end of the heaven to another( Matt.24:31).

Wrath.

The controversy over the timing of the rapture of the church centers around the word wrath. If one believes the wrath of God begins at the start of the 70th seven of Daniel, then the church will not go through the great tribulation because the church is exempt from the wrath of God. This is the pretribulation rapture position. If on the other hand the wrath of God does not begin until the end of the 70th seven, then the church shall be raptured at the end of the 70th seven. This is the post-tribulation rapture position. If the wrath of God begins in the middle of the 70th seven seven, then the church shall be raptured in the middle of the 70th seven. This is the mid-tribulation rapture position. The pretribulationists make no distinction between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan. The whole of the 70th seven is seen as the period of God’s wrath. This cannot be true inasmuch as there is a difference between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan( Rev. 6:17; 12:12). The wrath of Satan is directed against God’s people and the wrath of God directed against the worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. Both the midtribulationist and the post-tribulationist distinguish between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan, but the timing is something else. The midtribulationists believe that the wrath of God begins in the middle of the 70th week. This cannot be true because the great tribulation does not begin until Satan is cast down from the heavenlies to the Earth and possesses the Beast. It is precisely at the midpoint of the 70th seven that the Beast breaks his covenant with Israel( Dan.9:27). Until this covenant is broken, the beast does not attack Israel. Both pretribulationists and post-tribulationists agree that the great tribulation begins precisely at the midpoint of the 70th seven. Besides, if God’s wrath begins at the midpoint of the 70th seven seven, then God should be held accountable for the death of His saints, the fifth seal martyrs( Rev.6:9-11). This cannot be true because the souls of the fifth seal martyrs under the altar of incense in the temple in heaven, cry out to God for vengeance against theirs murderers, the beast-marked worsippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. God did promise them vengeance after the number of their brethren on earth who are to be killed is complete. There is a certain number of saints to be martyred. When that quota is complete, God amputates the great tribulation. And did avenge their blood when He gave the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast blood to drink because they have shed blood( Rev.16:6). Why would God avenge their death on the beast-marked worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, if God is responsible for their martyrdom? On the other hand, if the wrath of occurs post-tribulation, there is really no time left for God to pour out His wrath upon the living wicked earth-dwellers. The fifth trumpet lasts as long as five months( Rev.9:5), and there remaineth but 30 days to Armageddon from the end of the 70th seven( Dan.12:11,12). It is obvious therefore that non of these three views are biblically accurate. The pretribulationists from not being able to distinguish between the wrath of God from the wrath of Satan, and the mid-tribulationists and the post-tribulationists from improper timing of the wrath of God. The Prewrath rapture position jointly proposed by Marvin J. Rosenthal and Robert van Kampen, of blessed memory, is the only biblically accurate rapture view that not only distinguishes between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan, but also properly times the rapture after the breaking of the sixth seal that interrupts the persecution of the saints, but before the breaking of the seventh seal that ushers in the wrath of God. This view is not entirely new. It was the view of the church fathers. What is new, is giving it a theological title. This view creates time to pour out the wrath of God on the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. With this view, there is ample time for the fifth trumpet judgment that lasts as long as five months. The post-tribulation rapture view does not allow this time, the mid-tribulation rapture view is guilty of attributing the death of the saints to God’s wrath as is the pretribulation rapture position.

Author: Avraham Shallom.

Overview Of The Scroll Of Revelation.

Overview Of The Scroll Of Revelation.
Scroll or roll is a translation of the Greek word biblos from which we derive the English word Bible and its cognates. It means book. In the ancient World, and prior to the invention of the printing press by the German goldsmith Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden Gutenberg in 1439, writings were made on clay tablets, stone tablets like the Ten Commandments, ostracon( potsherd), papyrus( leaf of a plant that grows by the banks of the River Nile in Egypt), animal skins etc. In ancient Israel, most writing were made on animal skins sewn together and then rolled up. As is the scrolls of the Torah venerated by Jews today, there are too handles at both ends sticking out up and down at four corners for ease of handling.

The English word Revelation is translation of the Greek word apokalupsis which means unveiling. Some translations render it Apocalypse which is an anglicized Greek. It is the manifestation of a hidden deity. In the ancient world monarchs were regarded as gods not to be seen too often. They usually spoke to their subjects separated from them by a screen, in low tones and or guttural voices. The interpreter re-echoes them in nonguttural and high tones to the subjects. This practice is still in vogue in some parts of Northern Nigeria today. However, from time to time, they were unveiled to their subjects. The unveiling of a hidden deity is called Apocalypse or Revelation.

In the Scroll of Revelation, Jesus The Christ our Lord is being unveiled to His human subjects, the Church. That was the reason why the Scroll of Revelation was addressed to the Seven churches or local assemblies in Asia Minor( Rev.1:4,11). These churches or local assemblies were representative of the whole body of Christ on Earth, in all locations and at all times throughout the whole Church Age. In this chapter of this book “The Scroll Of Revelation”, Which is a commentary on the Book of Revelation, we shall present a panoramic view of the scroll of Revelation in order that the reader may have an understanding of the overview of the book preludial to an in-depth study of the Book of Revelation.

This Revelation of Jesus the Christ was given to Him by God the Father. Jesus communicated it to His servant John through the mediation of an angel( Rev.1:1). We are not told who this angel was . It was probably the archangel Gabriel who is God’s messenger of good news.

The message was intended to be communicated to all bond-servants of Christ, but the Apostle John was chosen by Christ to receive it through the mediation of an angel and to pass it on to all true bond-servants of Christ. In ancient Israel, a bond-servant or slave is slave who has completed his period of service to his master. It is usually seven years. At the completion of this period of service, the slave ought to be free. But because he loves his master, and his master has treated him well, he chooses to serve him for ever. Usually a ceremony is performed in which the slave is brought to the door of his master’s house in the presence of the judges or elders of Israel and his ear pierced with an aul and he serves his master for ever( Exod.21:1-6). This is the kind of believers, those who are bonded to Jesus for ever, to whom are addressed the scroll of Revelation. And those who are not, in order that they might become bonded to Him.

John the revelator was one of the twelve Aposles of the Lamb. He was one of the Aposles of the inner circle( Mark 5:37). Jesus called him and his brother James while they were mending their nets with their father Zebedee; for they were fishermen( Matt.4:20-22). Jesus nicknamed them sons of thunder( boanerges)because of their fiery spirit( Mark 3:17). Once when it was time for Jesus to be received up to Heaven, He sent his disciples to prepare for Him ahead of time in one of the villages of the Samaritans. But the Samaritans did not welcome them because it was as though Jesus’ face was set towards Jerusalem. The Samaritans loved Jesus. They had recognized Him as the Messiah. They wanted more fellowship with Him. But Jesus would not stay because it was time for Him to go up to Jerusalem to be crucified on the execution stake for the salvation of all mankind. The Samaritans were offended and did not welcome the disciples Jesus sent ahead to prepare for Him. James and John, the sons of thunder( boanerges), pleaded with Jesus to permit them to command fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans like Elijah did to the soldiers of Ahab. But Jesus turned, and rebuked them and said, Ye know not manner of spirit you are of. Hey guys, this is a new dispensation. The Son Of Man is not come to destroy men’s life but to save them. And they went to another village( Luk. 9:51-56). It was James and John whose mother, brought them to Jesus, demanding that they sit, each on His right hand and His left in His kingdom. Jesus asked them whether they were ble to be baptized with the baptism with which He was baptized, and also drink of His cup. They both answered in the affirmative. Jesus then affirmed that they would indeed be baptized with the baptism with which Ha was baptized, and also drink of His cup. But to sit each of them on His right hand and His left, is not His to determine. It is for those for whom it has been prepared of my Father( Matt.20:20-23). Over the years, John had mellowed down in the spirit a whole lot. He was the disciple whom Christ loved, who leaned on His breast at the Passover table in the upper room on Mount Zion( Jon.13:25).

When Jesus told the disciple that one of them would betray Him, they were all troubled and curious. When Jesus would not openly identify the infidel, Peter sent John to enquire of Him secretly. John did and He told him in a metaphor; he to him I shall give sop. And when He had dipped it, He gave it to Judas, the man from Iscara( Jon. 13:26). John was so close to Jesus that after His resurrection from the dead, when He appeared to the disciples at the Sea Of Tiberias, Peter asked, what would this one do? Jesus answered, if I would that he abide till I come, what is that to you? Then went the rumor amongst the disciples that that disciples would not die. But Jesus said not that he would not die, but that if I would that he abide till I come, what is that to you? It is that disciple that wrote the Gospel of John, the three letters of John and the book of Revelation. He was known to have preached more on love than any other Apostle. He was called the apostle of Love. He prayed so much that his knees developed callosities. It is on record that when old, he used to carried to the church to speak to the brethren, and his message would be “brethren love one another”. He was the last of the twelve Apostles to go. Little wonder therefore he was chosen of God to deliver such an important message to the church. He was very intimate with Jesus. We also ought to be so intimate with the Lord in order that He might communicate His word through us to the church in our generation. The lord will do nothing without revealing it to His servants the prophets( Amos 3:7).

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and do those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand( Rev.1:3). There is an urgency to understand the words of this prophecy and to do them, more so in these last days. It is not just he that readeth, nor heareth but the one who having read or heard the word and goes forth also and doeth the word. Therefore, read, hear, heed and hearken. Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him: and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. Jesus is coming again to reign. He will not come as gently Jesus, meek and mild, but as roaring lion, the Lion Of The Tribe Of Judah. He is coming as conquering Messaiah, Messaiah Ben David. He has the title deed of the Earth from the Father. He is coming again to reign over the kingdom of His father, David. Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this( Is.9:7). Men may argue about it, disbelieve it, disprove and debate about it, but is an inviolate biblical truth. It is inevitable.

As a hidden Deity, Jesus revealed Himself through His spokesman John the revelator. Jesus is the author of the book of Revelation; John was His amanuensis. To understand who Jesus is, we shall employ the three principles of character study used in Literature. What the character says about himself, what others say about the character, and your own opinion of the character. Revelation chapter 1 is an introduction to the whole book of Revelation. There, Christ as hidden Deity reveals his identity. We may do well to take note of what He says about Himself. He says, I am the Alpha and the Omega, first and the last( Rev.1:11). This claim is also made of the God of Israel in the OT. If Jesus were not God, it would be utterly blasphemous for Him to make such a claim. He also said, I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of Hell and of Death. He died for sins. His death was utterly selfless. He needed not to die, but He did because He loved us, even while we were yet sinners( Rom.5:8). He has conquered sin, sickness, disease and death. It was not possible for Him to be Holden by the pangs of death( Acts 2:24). He has overcome. He is risen. Death had no more dominion over Him, nor over those who come to the Father through Him. Sin shall not have the mastery over you( Rom. 6:14). He says, I am He that walketh in the midst of the seven candlesticks and holdeth the seven stars in my right handRev.1:16). Jesus is the good shepherd. We are His under-shepherds. He has the bride, He is the bridegroom( John 3:29).

John the revelator was on the island of Patmos. He was exiled there by Emperor Hadrian. As early as 64 AD, Christianity was declared religio illicito by Emperor Nero. Then began a horrible persecution of christians. About 96 AD, Apostle John was banished to the island of Patmos. But he claimed he was there for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. What a faith? What a positive mental attitude that turns evil into good, that sees the good in the bad and ugly? Little wonder therefore shortly after he received the message of revelation of the hidden Deity, Jesus, he was released from incarceration on the island of Patmos, and went on to pass it on to the churches, and to live to very great age.

He was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard a voice saying to him, come up hitter. He went up in the spirit and saw into the realm of the spirit. He saw into the throne room of God. He saw the seven candlesticks, and one like the Son Of Man walking in the midst of he seven candlesticks. He saw the risen Jesus. He had seen Him several times before immediately after His resurrection from the dead. But this time He was very much different. This is the glorified Jesus. He was clothed with so much glory which John managed to describe in these words in Rev.1:12-17. He was the Son Of Man. He is because He Is The Father’s representative on Earth. He was clothed with a garment down to foot. He was girded with a girdle of gold about his paps. He is king. Being girded means readiness. He was ready to take over the rulership of the Earth, being the Son Of Man. His head and His hairs were as white as wool. And His eyes as a flame of fire. Judges wear white wigs, except in ithe case of delivery of death sentence when they don on red garment and wig. He is the righteous judge. He will not brook sin and evil. Therefore His eyes were like a flame of fire. He cannot be bribed or corrupted. There is no unrighteousness with God. There is no partiality with Him, neither does He respect the person of any man. He shall render righteous judgment, to every man according to as his work shall be. His feet are like fine or burnished brass, and His voice as the sound of many waters. Brass signals judgment. God the Father has committed all judgment go the Son. The voice of the Lord is powerful. It devours the cedars of Lebanon and discovereth the forest. He has the seven stars in His right hand, and out of His mouth goeth a sharp two-edged sword. He is the word of God. By Him all things were made. Without Him, there was nothing made that was made. He is the creator of all things. It is He that made us, and not we ourselves. Therefore, it is fitting of Him to demand of us our obedience and allegiance. Applying the three principles of character study in Literature, we have heard about what John says about Him and what He said about Himself. I have my own opinion of Him. What is yours?

Chapters 2&3 of the book of Revelation deal with the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor, which happen to be in Present day Turkey. The seven churches put together formed a circle around Asia Minor. They were not the only local assemblies in Asia Minor. They were selectively chosen by Christ as representatives of the seven kinds of churches in existence at that time in Asia Minor. The same is true of other places at all times around the globe. There are some that believe and teach that these churches represent certain periods in the church Age. That is problematic with regards to the issue of authority in determining the beginning and the end of these periods. The classification of the churches can be further reduced to three: faithful, comprising and dead churches. The faithful church is exemplified by the the churches of Philadelphia and Smyrna. Neither of these two churches received any condemnation but commendations. Of the two, the church of Philadelphia received unqualified commendation. Therefore the church of Philadelphia is a perfect example of a faithful church. Some would even classify the church of Smyrna as a compromising church. The faithful church is not promised exemption from the wrath of Satan. It is promised protection within the sphere of persecution and lastly final removal from the sphere of persecution. Because it has kept God’s instructions concerning perseverance, God shall keep it from the hour of temptation( peirasmos) which shall come upon all dwellers on earth( 3:10). The faithful church shall not go through the wrath of God.

On the other hand, the compromising church shall go through the wrath of Satan without divine protection in order to purify her. Nevertheless, it shall be exempt from the wrath of God. Four to five of these churches fall within this category. They are the churches of Ephesus, Pergamos, Thyatira, Laodicea. Some commentators include Smyrna, but that is debatable. These churches represent various areas and degrees of compromise. The areas of compromise include, loss of first love( 2:4), fear of suffering and persecution( 2:19), doctrinal defections( 2:14,15), inability to persever( 3:11), spiritual deadness( 3:1,2), lukewarmness( 3:15,16) and moral compromise and departure( 2:20).

The church at Sardis was the only spiritually dead church. It had a reputation for being alive, but it was dead. This church had the right activities and ceremonies. The members dressed properly and used the right phrases but they were spiritually dead. Because of their right comportment, they were able to hoodwink other neighboring churches into believing they are alive and well. The church of Sardis shall escape the wrath of satan, being beast-marked, but face the wrath of God. However, there are some in it who had vestiges of life in them. They were admonished of Christ to keep alive what remaineth.

These churches can be seen as individuals. Quite frankly, that is what it all boils down to. Individual professing christians are either faithful, compromising or spiritually dead while outwardly professing to be alive and well. That these warnings apply to the individual at all times and in all places throughout the Church Age is evident by the fact that each letter concludes with he that has ears, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches.

Chapter 3 concludes the things which are. Thereafter John is is invited into the Throne Room in the heavenly temple and shown the things which shall be hereafter. There are some who teach that the Rapture took place in 4:1 when John was injoined by Christ to come up hither. They contend that after 3:22, the church is not mentioned again in the book of Revelation. This interpretation is at best tenuous, the church being mentioned in some other ways in the book of Revelation. This interpretation is an attempt to keep the church out of the great tribulation in order to justify the pretribulation rapture position. The church is mentioned in some other ways in Rev.4-19. These are: every kindred, tongue, people and nation( 5:9c); kings and priests( 5:10); fifth seal martyrs( 6:9); a great multitude( 7:9; 18:5,6); thy servants; 11:18;19:2,5);our brethren( 12:10); the rest of her children( 12:17); saints (13:7,10; 14:12; 18:20,24); wife( 197). At this point in the narrative of the book of Revelation, God is dealing with the individual believer rather than the institution called the Church.

In the Throne Room of God in the temple in heaven, God the Father is seated on His throne enveloped in glory. Closest to the throne and round about it and in the midst of it were four beasts or better still four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. The first was like a lion, the second like a calf, and the third beast had the face of man, the fourth was like an eagle in motion. Each of them had six wings, and they rest not day and night, saying, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty who was and is, and is to come. These four living creatures are representative of the beast of the field, the lion being the king thereof, all domestic animals, humanity in general, and the fowls of the heavens, the eagle being the king thereof. Beyond the four living creatures are twenty and four thrones on which are seated the twenty and four elders. They were clothed in white raiments which signify righteousness. They have crowns on their heads indicating they are sitting kings. Their identity is debated whether they are angelic or human.

Out of the throne proceeds thunder and lightning and voices. There are seven lamps of fire burning which are the seven spirits of God. There is only one Spirit of God, The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. But there are seven attributes of the Spirit. These are the spirit of power, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, counsel, might and the fear of the Lord. The seven attributes of the Holy Spirit are in perfect manifestations in the Son Of God. Before the throne was a sea of glass. When the four beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sitteth on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne saying, thou art worthy O Lord to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created.

Chapter 5 continues with the description of the throne room in the temple in heaven. Now a wonderful scene is played out. The Father is seated on His throne, with a scroll in His right hand, having seven seals. A strong angel made a proclamation, saying who is able to open the scroll and to break the seals thereof? A search was conducted in heaven and earth, and under the earth, no one was found who was able to read the the scroll, open or look thereon. Whereupon, John the revelator wept sore. Then one of the elders said unto Him, weep not, for behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David has prevailed to open the scroll, and to break the seals thereof.

Since the resurrection, ascension, and session of the Son Of God, He had been seated at the right hand of the Father, angels and authorities being made subject to Him( 1Pet.3:22). He has never left the presence of the Father. But now, He vacates His throne at the right hand of the Father. He is standing in the midst of the Throne room in the temple in heaven, as a Lamb slain. He is about to take the seven sealed scroll, the title deed of the earth from the Father. The sixth millennium is ended. The seventh is about to begin. It is the Shabbat of the Lord. He is about to relocate to the Earth to reclaim God Almighty’s rule over the Earth. Adam’s lease to Satan, the usurper of the throne of the earthly realm of God’s universal kingdom is over. Satan and his hordes of fallen evil angels must be evicted from the starry heavens, the dark void and the Earth’s premesis. The work of redemption finished in His first Advent must be consummated in the second Advent. Man will no longer live in a death-doomed, sin laden body for ever. Therefore, there was a standing ovation in heaven and on earth when the Lamb took the seven sealed scroll from the Father. The universal orchestra, consisting of the four living creatures, increasing in geometric progression, recruiting the twenty and four elders, the hosts of heaven and indeed all creation, singing in one synchronous voice, saying, worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and honour, and glory and blessing. John heard all creation saying, blessing, honour, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped Him that liveth for ever and ever.

The Son is standing in the midst of the Throne Room of the temple of heaven. He breaks a seal in heaven and certain events unfold here on earth. This logically leads us to Rev.6. The breaking of the first seal marks the starting point of the 70th seven of Daniel’s 70 seven prophecy( Dan.9:27). There are seven seals. All seven seals must be broken before the content of the scroll is revealed. The content of the scroll is the Wrath of God consisting of the seven trumpets and seven bowls.

The Jewish calendar on which the eschatological time scale is based is lunar. A month is 30 days, and a year is 360 days. The 70th seven is divided into two equal halves of three and one half years each, 42 months or 1,260 days. The first half is called the beginning of sorrows. The second half consists of the Great Tribulation and part of the Wrath Of God, also called the Day Of the Lord or the Day Of Christ. Rev.6 is parallel to Matt.25:1-15. The first seal is broken, and the Antichrist emerges and tries to conquer through subtle peace diplomacy( Rev.6:1,2). He is the rider upon a white horse. He has a bow but there are no arrows in it. The second seal is broken, and there emerges a rider on a red horse. This is war( Rev.6:3,4). War logically leads to famine and pestilence. This is the third seal(Rev.6:5,6). This is the end of the first half of the 70th seven, the first three and one half years, the beginning of Sorrows.

The breaking of the fourth seal marks the starting point of the second half of the 70th seven of Daniel’s 70 seven prophecy( Dan.9:27; Rev.6:7,8). This is also the starting point of the Great Tribulation. At this point, Satan and his hordes of fallen evil angels are cast down to the earth by archangel Michael, the warrior angel of God and the angels of God under his command. Woe to the inhabitants of the Earth, for the devil is come down to them, having Great Wrath, because he knoweth that he has but a short time( Rev.12:7-12). He possesses the first Beast( Rev.13:2)who relocated his headquarters to Jerusalem, erects a statue of himself in the rebuilt Jewish Temple, the third temple, on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount, and demands worship of all mortals( Rev.13:16,17). The beast-marked worshipers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast can buy and sell. Those who are not beast-marked cannot. Besides, there will be enlivened images of the Beast-Antichrist installed at strategic locations to identify those who do not have the mark of the Beast, and to cause them to be killed( Rev.13:15).

The first four seals constitute the Wrath Of Satan. Though God is in sovereign control, He is not responsible for the death of His saints. Because God is in sovereign control, the first four seals are administered by the angels of God, the four beast or cherubim. The fifth seal is a heavenly scene, the consequence of the killings going on here on Earth. The fifth seal martyrs are kept under the altar of incense in the heavenly awaiting the completion of the martyrdom of their fellow brethren( Rev6:9-11). When the divinely determined number is complete, God interrupts the great tribulation with cosmic disturbance. This is the sixth seal( Rev.6:12-14). With the breaking of the sixth seal God announces to the living wicked earth-dwellers, the worsippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, He is about to punish the wicked for their evils.

The kings of the earth, the nobles, the chief captains, the great and mighty men of the earth shall hide themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains, saying to the mountains, fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne; for His wrath is come and who is able to stand before Him( Rev.6:15-17).

Rev. 7 is an interlude between the sixth and seventh seals. The opening of the seventh seal marks the starting point of the wrath of God upon the living wicked earth-dwellers, the worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. But before God pours out His wrath on the wicked, He seals the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel for protection from the wrath of God. Though they are men, they are described as virgins( Parthenon). They were not defiled with women. They are judaists with vows of celibacy. They are not born again christians at all. Contrary to what some teachers would want us to believe, they were not evangelists. They lived in hiding in the red rose city of Petra across the Jordan River, in present day Jordan, the Judean wilderness, and some in cellars and underground sewers and bunkers in the vicinity of Jerusalem. They dared not step out. They must needs be rescued and protected, and would they rescue others? It is interesting they were not sealed till now, though they made vows of celibacy to the God of Israel. They were part of the remnant of the offspring of the Woman who keep the commandment of God, but not part of the remnant of her seed who have the testimony of Jesus. They believed in the Messiah, they did not believe that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, else they would be part of the innumerable multitude who were raptured.They were not exempted from the wrath of Satan. They were protected from within its sphere simply by hiding.

Before God pours out His wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers, he must also rescue the saints. The Rapture occurs at this interlude at the appearance of the Son Of Man in the heavens. It is the Shekinah in the heavens that dispels the darkness and defrosts the Earth of the frost caused by the cosmic disturbance, the sixth seal. Immediately afterward the tribulation of those, shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven: then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another( Matt.24:29-31).

Rev.7:9-17 is a heavenly scene, the arrival of a great multitude which no one could number. They included people from all tribes, kindred, families, nations and people and tongues. They stood before the throne, and before the lamb clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands. They were clothed with white robes which signify the righteousness of Christ; and palms in their hands which signify victory. They have come out of great tribulation. They were victorious and triumphant of the forces of the Dragon-Beast. They were singing, salvation to our God who sitteth on the throne and unto the Lamb. The angels rejoiced and worshipped God with then; for there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than 99 righteous men who need no repentance. These are the raptured saints of the Church Age. These are the resurrected saints who have received their eternal immortal bodies, who shall live and reign with Christ for ever and ever.

At the breaking of the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for the space of about 30 minutes. God Almighty is about to pour out His wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Beast-Antichrist. The seventh seal has no judgment of its own but opens into the seven trumpet judgments. In the hands of seven angels standing before God were committed the seven trumpets. Before the seven angels begin to blow the seven trumpets, another angel was given incense to mingle with the prayers of the saints and offer it upon the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense mingled with the prayers of the saints ascended up before God. God is about to answer the prayers of the fifth seal matters whose souls called out to God for vengeance from under the altar of incense. They are now raptured into heaven. They are now in glory. They are no longer disembodied spirits referred to merely as souls. They have received their eternal immortal resurrection bodies. God is about to fulfill His promise. The angel of the altar took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and cast into the Earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquake. These desasters were preludial to the blowing of the seven trumpets.

Rev.8&9 deal with trumpets 1-6. The first four trumpets are more or less general over the earth. The last three, fifth, sixth and seventh are concentrated around the areas in the control of the Beast. The last three trumpets are called the three woes or rather culminate in the three woes. At the blowing of the fifth trumpet locusts were released from the bottomless pit to torment those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when striketh a man. At this time men will seek death but will not find it. They shall desire to die but death shall flee from them. These locusts from the abyss have a king over them whose name is Adaddon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek. Both names mean the same thing, destruction or destroyer. The expiry of the fifth trumpet culminates in the first woe. The sounding of sixth trumpet leads to the release of four evil angels bound in the Great River Euphrates. These evil angels were prepared for a year, a month, day and an hour. Their release resulted in the mobilization of an army of 200 million soldiers. China has boasted it can field such number of soldiers. These soldiers are amoured divisions, mounted on the kind of tanks which have not been seen before in any war. These killing machines spat fire from the front and  from the rear end. They annihilated a third of the population of the world at that time. However, this mayhem did not produce repentance in the hearts of the survivors of the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, because thy are already locked in unrighteousness. They have blasphemed the name of the Lord and sinned beyond repentance. Sin Sears the heart and deadens the soul.

In Rev.10, a strong angel came down from heaven clothed in glory. The identity of this strong angel is debated amongst biblical scholars. But when we consider the fact that this angel has a small scroll in His hand, has control over land and sea, and swore by Him that liveth for and ever, who created the heavens, the earth, the seas and their appurtenances, and that His voice was like thunder, we have no doubt that He is Jesus Christ our Lord. Neither men nor angels are permitted to make any oats under God. And God swears by Himself and no other. The little scroll is the big scroll of Rev.5 with the seals broken and about a half or thereabouts of the content done away with in the trumpet Judgments already fulfilled. If only Jesus could handle the big scroll, He only could also could handle the little scroll. It is a matter of who fits the bill. It is a matter of who came, who conquered sin and death, held session at the right hand of the Father in the throne Room in heaven for two millennia, angels an authorities being made subject to Him. It is a matter of whom is God and became man. What remaineth of the big scroll is the seventh trumpet, the sounding of which leads to the completion of the spiritual kingdom of God( the mystery of God is finished), and the seven bowls. John the revelator was commanded by another voice to take the little scroll from the strong angel and to eat it, and he did. It was sweet in his mouth but bitter in belly. The word is a two-edged sword. It heals and kills. It blesses and curses. There is duality in the word. The result of his ingestion of the word is that he shall prophesy again before many peoples, nations, tongues and kings.

Rev.11 deals mainly with the ministry of the two witnesses which centers around the Temple Mount. Sometime before the start of the 70th seven, the Jewish temple on Mount Moriah shall be rebuilt. This the third Temple. Every period of the kingdom has a temple. Therefore each kingdom period is synonymous with the temple. There is the first and the second temple periods. The third temple period which began in 1948 when Israel regained its independence has had no temple till now. However preparations have been made, and sooner than later the third temple shall be erected.
The revelator john is given a reed to measure the temple and the adjoining area on the Temple Mount. He was instructed to leave out the outer court which shall be given to the Gentiles. The Gentiles shall tread it under foot for forty and two months. This is the three and one half years allotted to the Beast-Antichrist which corresponds also with the period of the ministry of the two witnesses. Whilst the Antichrist and his enforcer, the false prophet are engrossed in the annihilation of those who refuse the mark of the beast, mainly Jews and christians, and a few nonconformists and free thinkers, the two witnesses shall deliver a powerful ministry to the world right there, under the noses of the beasts, on the Temple Mount. If any attempts to hurt them, fire shall descend from heaven and make a minced meal of their enemies. They have power to shut the heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy. They are God’s messengers of terror. They shall minister for forty and two months, clothe in sackcloth. They are the two candlesticks standing before the Lord of the whole earth. The identities of these two witnesses are debated amongst biblical scholars and saints. No doubt their ministry is similar to those of Moses and Elijah. But whether they are Moses and Elijah come back to life is debatable. At the expiration of their ministry which corresponds with the last day of the 70th seven, the Antichrist overcomes them, and kills them. For propaganda purposes, their bodies are left in the open, exposed to the elements-in the city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt where also our Lord Jesus the Christ was crucified- and viewed throughout the world via satellite. After three days and a half, about the afternoon of the fourth day of the 30-day Reclamation Period, the spirit of life from God entered into them: and a voice was heard from heaven, saying, come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them to their own confusion and consternation. In the same hour, there was a great earthquake in Jerusalem which destroyed one-tenth of the city with seven thousand fatalities. The remnants were frightened and gave glory to the God of heaven. However their recognition of God at this time did not lead them to repentance.

Chapter 11 concludes with the sounding of the seven trumpet on Mount Zion, at which point God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth through His earthly representative, Jesus The Christ. This shall be about the 6th day of the 30-day reclamation period. Shortly before this time the mystery of God is finished, as God Almighty completed the spiritual kingdom of God by bring into saving relationship with the Son the remnants of the offspring of the Woman who keep the commandments of God. With an entourage of angels, Christ descend on Mount Paran- The Holy one came from Mount Paran( Hab.3:3-16)- to the general area of the Rose Red City Of Petra( biblical Sela, Is.16:1), in modern Jordan, where the 144,000 were hiding , across the River Jordan to the Judean Wilderness, rescuing the remnants hidden there and bringing them into saving relationship with Himself; and upwards and northeast to Mount Zion, rescuing and also saving those who were hidden in Jerusalem- for the rest of the city shall not be cut off- where He reclaims God’s rule over the Earth, having completed the spiritual kingdom of God.

The 144,000 are taken into protective custody in Azel( Zech.14:6). In biblical geography, there is no known location for Azel. God did it that way for security purposes. Thereafter Christ returns to heaven to hold court at Bema Seat judgment, and to hold the marriage of the Lamb, while on Earth, the wrath of God is meted out on the  remnants of the living wicked earth-dwellers, worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast within the remaining 24 days to Armageddon where Christ shall annihilate the armies of the nations.

Rev. 12 does not advance the chronology of end times, but rather gives us a flashback in time to the beginning of the cosmic conflict in eternity past, when Satan rebelled against God in heaven and succeeded in convincing one-third of the angels of God to join him in the rebellion: The Great Red Dagon drew one-third of the stars of even with his tail( 12:3). There is a flashback also to 6-4 BC, when the nation of Israel struggled under Roman domination to give the Messiah to Israel itself and the World. The great red Dragon Satan was there present and ready, in the person of Herod the great, the puppet king of Israel under The Roman Empire, to devour the Son of God as soon as He was born. He is a spirit being without a physical body. But he is the god of this Age. Therefore he rules the world by proxy. When Herod learned of the birth of the King of the Jews from the Magi, and his place of birth from the scholars of Israel, he sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to nip the king of the Jews in the bud. But Jesus was saved by escape to Egypt; for out of Egypt have I called my son Hos.11:1). He subsequently completed His ministry. He was crucified, died and was buried. On the third He rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven. Today He is seated at the right hand of the Father, angels and authorities and owers being made subject to Him( Heb.12:2).

There is also a flashback to and a pericope of the middle of the 70th seven when there was war in the heavenlies and Satan and his evil angels were cast down to the earth by the Archangel Michael and the Angels of God under his command. The execution of the sentence against Satan is in stages. First, shortly after the rebellion when he and his co-conspirators were tried and found guilty, they were cast out of the heaven of heavens, or the third heaven which is the abode of The Almighty God. But he still has access to the heaven of heavens to bring accusations against the saints of the Most High. When cast down to the Earth in the middle of the week, shall be barred access to the heaven of heavens for time and eternity. When cast down to Earth, preludial to his subsequent eviction and inprisonment in the abyss for 1000 years in the New Millennium, he shall be very wrath, and shall belch out a flood to carry away the Woman. When his plot failed, he went to make war with the remnant of her seed who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. These are the observant Jews who put their faith in the God of Israel, and the christians who put their faith in Jesus as their Saviour and personal Lord.

Rev.13 is a pericope on the carriers of the first and second beasts, the Antichrist and the false prophet. The Antichrist is the first beast which rose out of the sea of humanity. He has seven heads. The seven heads are the seven beast empires of history which persecuted Israel. They are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and Nazi Germany. The beast had ten horns with ten crowns. The horns represent powers, authorities or kings. That they have crowns indicates they are sitting kings, contemporaries. The ten horns constitute the 8th and final Beast Empire of Satan. The constituent nations of the ten nation coalition or confederation are Greece, Rome, Persia( 13:2). The rest are mentioned in Ezek.38:1-6. They are Magog( Rome), Meshech and Tuval( Russia), Persia, Cush( Sudan), Phut or Put( Libya), Gomer and Togarmah ( Turkey and Ukraine).

Precisely in the midst of the seven, the Dragon possessed the Beast. The Beast relocates his headquarters to Jerusalem. He erects a statue of himself in the Holy of Holies of the rebuilt Jewish temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, and demands worship of all mortals. His programme to get all men on Earth to worship him and the Dragon is enforced by the second beast, the false prophet. Those who are beast-marked shall be able to buy and sell. Those who do not have the mark of the beast shall not be able to buy and sell. It is likely there will be an economic boom prior to this time, and the Antichrist being the smart Aleck that he is may well stockpile food, medicine and supplies. Those who are not beast-marked shall be hounded and ferreted out to take the mark or be killed on refusal. Enlivened images of the beast shall be located at strategic places to identify those who are not beast-marked and to cause them to be killed. The mark of the beast is 666. The faith and comfort of the saints are that if anyone is to be killed, the one shall be killed, and if anyone is earmarked for captivity, into captivity the one goes.

In Rev.14, the Lamb is standing on mount Zion with the 144,000, with His father’s name written on their foreheads. We now know what the seal was. It was the name of the Father. As we pointed earlier these survivors of the great tribulation were rescued from the rose red city of Petra( biblical Sela) and the Judean wilderness and from the vicinity of Jerusalem itself, and brought to mount Zion, where the Lamb who came from the heavenly mount Zion( Rom.11:26) to the earthly mount Zion ( Is.59:20)reclaimed the rule of God Almighty over the Earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet. But shortly before the seventh trumpet is blown these survivors were brought into a saving relationship with Jesus, thus completing the spiritual kingdom of God, thus finishing the mystery of God. This is a very momentous event. The universal orchestra in heaven, consisting of the four living creatures, the twenty and four elders, innumerable company of angels and the redeemed of humanity, sing a song with a loud voice. This is the song of the redeemed. The 144, 000 could learn and sing this song simply because they were redeemed. There were others there who saw the messiah and came out of hiding, but they were not yet brought into saving relationship with Jesus. Therefore they could not learn and sing this song of the redeemed. These men were described as Parthenoi, that is virgins. A very strange term indeed to describe a man. They vowed a vow of celibacy unto the God of Israel. They never knew any women. They fellowed the Lamb wherever He went. They were the firstfruits of them that were to be redeemed from the Earth after the Rapture of the Church. In their mouths were found no guile: they were without fault before the throne of God.

These two glorious events, the completion of the spiritual kingdom of God- the completion of the mystery of God- and the reclaiming of the rule of God Almighty over the earth were followed by the three angelic announcements. It is debatable whether these three angelic announcements were an advancement in the chronology of the narrative or a recap and a pericope. Some biblical scholars believe and teach that these three angelic announcements were made precisely at the middle of the 70th seven of Daniel. I share that opinion for the fact that Rev. 11-13 did not advance the chronology of the narrative of the book of Revelation, but were a recap and pericope of some events in the 70th Week. Besides, the nature of angelic warnings demand that they be given at the beginning of the great tribulation rather than a few days to Armageddon. The warnings are fear God, Babylon is fallen, and do not worship the beast or his image nor take his mark. But on the other hand, there was no invitation to believe in Jesus which argues against these warnings being given before the rapture of the church but rather favours the argument that these warning were given to those who have not yet received the mark of the beast before the final wrath of God is poured out upon the living wicked earth-dwellers and worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. It is logical and indeed tenable that this could be the case. But I need more light on this. I shall revisit it.

Rev.14:14-20 deals with the two angelic reapers sitting on the clouds of glory. The identities of the angelic reapers are also debated amongst biblical scholars. However the Scriptures make it clear the reapers are the angels( Matt.13:39). The duty of the reapers is to gather the harvest and cast it into the winepress of the wrath of God. The actual threading of the wine of the wrath of God is done by the Lord Himself as also the scripture affirms( Is.63:1-7). It is the day of vengeance of our God. The final threading of the winepress is at Armageddon. The blood shall reach up to the horse bridle and cover a distance of 180 miles or 288km. The fighting shall start in the vicinity of Jerusalem and move over to mount Megiddo in the Jezrael valley, a natural battlefield said Napoleon.
Rev.15 is prelude to the seven bowls. The seven bowls contain the final wrath of God. There appeared seven marvelous angels having the seven last plagues filled with the wrath of God. Before the final wrath of God is meted out on the beast-marked worshipper and adorers of the Dragon-Beast, the universal orchestra in heaven, consisting of a select group of overcomers who had gotten the victory over the beast and his image, over his mark and the number of name performs standing on a sea of glass mingled with fire, with harp in hand. They sing the song of Moses the servant of God, the song of the redeemed, the song of overcomers, the song of the Lamb. Here are the lyrics of the song: great and marvelous are thy works, Lord Hod Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou king of saints. Who shall not fear the, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

After this, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened, and there emerged the last seven avenging angels, having the seven last plagues. They were clothed in pure and white linen signifying the righteousness of God. Their breasts were girded with golden girdles, signifying that God is a righteous king. Therefore His judgments are right, just and upright. One of the four living creatures gave unto the seven last avenging angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God. Subsequently the temple of God was filled with smoke from the glory of God and His power; and no man could enter until the last seven plagued of the last seven avenging angels were fulfilled.

In Rev.16, a great voice was heard out of the temple in heaven saying to the last seven avenging angels, go your ways and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the Earth. The Greek word phiale which is translated vial in the KJV is a shallow bowl or saucer the content of which can be easily emptied, unlike the vial used in medicine which is a narrow throated vessel, the content of which is not easily emptied. These bowls are quickly emptied, each with a quick swish within a space of 24 days.

The first bowl resulted in a grievous sore on the beast-marked worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast. The second bowl turned the seas into the blood of a dead man, thereby killing everything that has life in the seas. The third bowl turned the fresh water sources into blood. At this juncture, the angel of the waters praised God saying, thou art righteous O Lord, who art, and was, and shall be, because thou hast judged thus. They have shed the blood of the saints; therefore God is just in giving them blood to drink, for they worthy. Another angel chorused from the altar, even so Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. The fourth bowl caused men on earth to scorched with fire from the sun. Yet they did not repent but rather blasphemed the name of the Lord who has power over all these plagues. The fifth bowl caused the earth to be dark and cold resulting in painful sores on the men who worshipped the beast. Yet they did not repent. The sixth bowl caused the waters of the River Euphrates to dry up, making way for the armies of the kings of the east to gather at Armageddon. The gathering of these armies was effected by the power and working of three unclean spirits like frogs from the mouths of the satanic Trinity, the dragon, the Beast, and the false prophet. The warning in verse 15 was given earlier so that no one take the mark of the beast, and thereby walk naked, and they see the ones shame.

The seventh bowl which is the last of the last seven plagues is the one that lasts the longest and the most severe. When it was poured out, a voice was heard from the temple in heaven, from the throne room, saying, it is done. Then began a series of judgments that culminated in Armageddon. There were voices, thunders, and lightnings; and the greatest earthquake ever in history. The great city, Jerusalem was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give into her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And in this midst of all these, great hailstones, about 33.33km( 100lb) in weight were skyrocketing from the heavens, crushing anything that has life they hit. Despite all these punishments, men blasphemed God. Naturally, because of the severity of the plagues, for the plagues were exceedingly great, one would thing that the beast-marked worshippers would repent. They did not, but rather blasphemed God. Does anyone have doubts that sin hardens the heart and deadens the soul?

In Rev.17, John the revelator was shown the judgment of he great whore who sits on many waters( peoples) by one of the seven last avenging angels. The kings of the earth cooperated with this woman inasmuch this ingratiated them to the Beast-Antichrist. These kings of the Earth compelled their citizens to practise this false religion. The whore is seated on a scarlet coloured beast full of names of blasphemy, and having seven heads and ten horns. Scarlet is the colour of royalty and nobility. The woman is the false religion established to worship the Deagon-Beast, enforced by the false prophet. The scarlet coloured beast is the Antichrist and the beast nation. It has seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads are the seven previous beast empires of Satan, and the ten horns are the kings and nations of the ten nation confederation. The seven heads are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medopersia, Greece, Rome,and Nazi Germany. The ten horns are Magog( Rome), Meshech and Tuval( Russia), Babylon(Iraq), Persia( Iran), Greece, Cush( Sudan), Phut( Put, Libya), Gomer and Togarmah ( Turkey, Ukraine). In verse 4, the woman was decked with gold, precious stones and pearls, and a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of het fornication. This woman practised witchcraft which compelled her followers to worship the Dragon-Beast. This practice gave her a position of favour in the Antichrist setup which enabled her to garner much wealth. On her forehead was written: mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the Earth. This appellation was given her by God to identify her to His followers. It could not have been given her by the beast because it is a derogatory designation. She was drunk with the blood of the saints. This is a metaphor. She delighted in killing those who worshipped the true God.
John marveled. The angel said, wait a minute, I will explain everything to you. The beast is one of the kings who ruled over one of the seven previous beast empire. He died, but he shall come back to life. He shall ascend from the abyss. He shall go into destruction again. Because he is a dead man come back to life, those beast-marked worshippers and adorers of the Dragon-Beast whose names were not written in the scroll of life from the foundation of world shall wonder about him. The seven heads of the beast are seven mountains. Mountains signify kingdoms. And there are seven kings. Kings are synonymous with their kingdoms. These seven kings are the responsible kings of the seven beast empires of Satan which persecuted Israel in exile. At the time of receipt of the revelation five were history. One was, that was Rome. The other was not yet come. But when it cometh, it shall continue but a short time. That was Nazi Germany which had a short history indeed, a mere 12 years( 1933-1945). The beast that was and is not, is the 8th and one of the seven. Therefore the Antichrist shall be a man who ruled over one of the seven previous beast empires, died, and shall be raised from the dead to rule over the 8th and final beast empire. Indeed, the Antichrist shall be the one who ruled over the 7th beast empire, and shall rise again to rule over the 8th last beast empire of Satan. The ten horns are ten kings contemporaneous with the Beast. They shall give their allegiance to the beast. They shall make war with the Lamb, but the Lamb shall overcome because He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. Besides, they that are with Him are called, chosen and faithful. The waters on which the whore sitteth are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues who were compelled by her witchcraft and sorceries to worship the Dragon-Beast. Unfortunately for the whore, it is the ten kings who shall destroy her; for God had put in their heart to do so. They shall make her naked, desolate, and eat her flesh and burn her with fire. To eat her flesh is metaphorical. It means to destroy her and to loot her treasures. Even though they do not think so, God has put in their hearts to fulfill His will, to agree, and to give their kingdoms unto the Beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled. The woman which thou sawest is that city that reigneth over the kings of the earth. It is false religion headquartered in a city that rules over the kings of the Earth.

Rev.18 is a continuation of the truncated seventh bowl judgment. It is also a continuation of Rev.17. But unlike Rev.17 which deals with the religious aspect of the city, the emphasis here is on the commercial aspect of the city as relates to its fall. A very powerful angel came down from heaven. The earth was lightened with his glory. He cried with a loud voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. Repetition is a literary device meant to emphasize and to establish inevitability. The evil angels which were cast down from heaven with their master Satan at the middle of the 70th seven found lounging in Babylon. Therefore it became the habitation of demons, the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. This resulted in escalation in her sorceries, immoralities, commercialism. The nations were drunk with the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth became rich trading in her wares. The people of God were warned to come out of her, lest they be partakers of her sins and share in her plagues. Her sins have reached up to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. It is debatable when this warning was given. Is it at this point in the chronology or earlier. This warning has been given 2,000 years ago. Therefore the people of God will do well to take heed. Babylon will be rewarded double for her sins. How much she has glorified herself, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore her plagues shall come in one day, death, mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord that judgeth her.

The kings of the earth shall bewail and lament for her when they see the smoke of burning. These kings are different from the ones who destroyed her. Those were the kings of the ten nation confederation, the 8th and final beast empire. The merchants of earth mourned for her because no one buys their goods anymore. Rev.18:12-12 gives an exhaustive list of their merchandise which includes the soul and bodies of men. Make no mistake about it, satanism , witchcraft and sorceries involve ritualistic canibalism.

The heavens, the holy Apostles and prophets were called to rejoice over her, for God has avenged you on her. In a final prophetic act, signifying the summary destruction of Babylon, an angel took a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. No form of human activities whatsoever shall go on in the city anyone; for by her sorceries were all men deceived, and in her was found the blood of the prophets and saints and all that were slain upon the earth.

In Rev.19, the heavenly orchestra is performing, praising God and rejoicing for His righteous judgment of the great whore. Hallelujah; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife had made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. Blessed are they who are called to the marriage super of the Lamb. The marriage of the Lamb and the Bema seat judgment will take place in heaven while God Almighty pours out His wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers. The marriage supper of the Lamb is an earthly event. It will be held in Jerusalem in the early part of the New Millennium. John’s attempt to worship the angel that spoke to him, indicates the splendid glory of this angel. But the angel refused to be worshipped, indicating he was a fellowservant and a brother that has the testimony of Jesus, which means that departed saints play angelic roles in heaven.

Thereafter Christ descends from heaven to earth riding upon a white horse, accompanied by the hosts of heaven also riding upon white horses and clothed in fine linen, white and clean, which signifies righteousness. He is called faithful and true, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were like flame of Fire, and on His head were many crowns. He is clothed with a vesture dipped in blood. He has a name written that no one knows but Himself. He is also called the word of God. He has a sharp two-edged sword protruding from His mouth. With it, He will smites the nations, and rules them with the rod of iron. The angelic reapers gathered the harvest, but He threaded the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God. On His vesture was a name written: King of kings, and Lord of lords.

An angel stands in the sun and called out to the fowls of the heaven. God is about to organize a feast and a banquet for them called the supper of the great God. On that occasion, they shall eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men both free and bond, small and great. The kings of the earth and their armies also shall gather at Har Megiddo to do battle with the Lamb and His armies. There shall be no battle at all. The beast and the false prophet shall be taken captive and cast into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. The remnant of the armies of the nations shall be slain with the sword that protrudes from the mouth of the Lord, and their corpses fed to the fowls of the heavens. This shall be the supper of the great God.

In Rev.20, on the first day of the Millennium, an angel came down from heaven with the key to the abyss. He seized Satan and inprisoned him in the bottomless pit for a 1000 years. On this day also those who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus were raised from the dead to reign with Christ for a thousand years. This people were not raised from the dead when the rapture took place. God has to organize a special resurrection for them as it were. This is the first resurrection. The rest of the dead were not raised until the end of the millennium. At the expiry of the millennium, Satan shall be paroled, but he shall default as always to lead a another rebellion against God by gathering the magogites against the camp of the saints in Jerusalem. God is fed up with man’s intransigence. They were consumed in the heavenly conflagration. The devil that deceived the Magogites was cast into The Lake Of Fire where the Beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Those who lived and died in the millennium, and the rest of the dead who did not take part in the first resurrection shall be raised from the dead, and the living at the end of the millennium shall be translated to appear before the White Throne judgment. At the White Throne Judgment, there are no attorneys, no defendants’ counsesl. At the White Throne judgment, there are two scrolls opened, the scroll of life and the scroll of works. Every man shall be judged according to his works. Anyone whose name was not found written in the scroll of life shall be cast into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. This is the second death, that is, eternal separation from God. Death and Hell itself shall be cast into the lake of fire.

In Rev.21, John saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. The prophet Isaiah prophesied: behold I create a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come to mind. He followed it with a description of life in the new and renovated earthly Jerusalem in the millennium. Here men are still in their mortal bodies. The sinner being 100years old is cursed. Anyone who died at 100 years of age is considered an infant( Is.65:17-25). But John the revelator described a new heaven and a new earth in which there is no death, men and women are in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies. Therefore what John described is life in the new and heavenly Jerusalem in the millennium. This new Jerusalem came down from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. This is the fulfillment of God’s promise to tabernacle amongst His people. In the Jerusalem which descended from heaven, man, God, and His angels are in uninterrupted fellowship. In the heavenly Jerusalem, there shall be no more tears, aches, pains and sorrows; for the former things are passed away. The sinners, the fearful and the unbelieving, the abominable and murderers, the liars, the fornicator have no part in this city. They have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.

This beautiful city was shown to John by one of the last seven avenging angels. This city which descended from the heaven has a hollow at its base where it merges with the millennial temple, the fourth temple described in Ezekiel 40. The millennial temple is built on the elevated Mount Zion in the new and renovated earthly millennial Jerusalem. This city had the glory of God. It is decorated with precious stones, clear as crystal. The city has twelve gates. The twelve gates have twelve angels, and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel written thereon. It has three gates on each of the four cardinal points, east , west, north and south. The city has twelve foundations, and on them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. The city has the shape and form of a cube. The length, the breadth and the height of it are equal, about 180 miles or 388km. The thickness of the wall is 144 cubits. The wall was of jasper, the city is made of pure gold like clear glass. The twelve foundations of the city were garnished with twelve manners of previous stones. The twelve gates were decorated with twelve different pearls. The city had no temple of its own. The Lord is the temple therein. The only temple in the millennium is the fourth temple on the elevated Mount Zion. The city has no need of the sun or the moon to shine in it: for the glory of the Lord do lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. The inhabitants of the city are the redeemed of the Lord, the overcomers in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies, who reign with Christ as kings over the nations in the millennium. They shall walk in the light of it; and shall bring the glory of the nations into it. The gates shall not be shut at all by day: for their shall be no night there. The sinners shall in no way enter into it. The righteousness in their mortal bodies cannot enter into it; for their mortal bodies cannot tolerate the glories of it. The focal point of fellowship between the millennial saints, the dwellers of the heavenly Jerusalem, and God and His angels shall be the millennial temple on Mount Zion, in Jerusalem.

In rev.22, the revelator John continues his description of the heavenly Jerusalem. The emphases here are on the water source of the city, the tree and the fruits thereof. In Ezekiel 47:1-12, the water source of the new renovated earthly Jerusalem, and of the whole earth is described. The water source of both cities is one and the same. The water source is the Throne Room of the fourth and millennial temple on the elevated and renovated Mount Zion in the refurbished earthly Jerusalem. The water from the throne room flows in two directions,towards the earthly Jerusalem and towards the heavenly Jerusalem. In the heavenly Jerusalem, in its Broadway, is this pure river as clear as crystal flows. On either side of the banks of the river, and in the midst of it, there are trees of the same type. This tree yields twelve manner of fruits on a monthly basis. In Israel of today, there is a tree to which all manners of trees have been grafted. It bears all manners of fruits. Is this a foretaste of the Millennium? These fruits are for the nourishment and maintenance of the health of the dwellers of the city. There is no curse in this city, no pollution, no sickness, no disease no death. The inhabitants are in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies. They cannot be sick. Therefore they do not need physical healing unlike their counterparts in the new renovated earthly Jerusalem who need healing from bruises and sores. The throne of God and of the Lamb is in this city. His servants shall serve Him, and they shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. The Son of God is the light of the city. They do not need the sun or candle as the source of light. The dwellers of this city shall reign with Christ for and ever.

Jesus is coming again. It is an inviolate biblical truth. He is coming to reward His servants who keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book. John was so overcome with awe he fell down to worship the angel that revealed these things to him. But the angel forbade him, I am thy fellowservant, of the prophets and one of thy brethren that keep the sayings of the roll: worship God. It is obvious from here that departed saints play angelic roles in heaven. The wicked shall continue in their wickedness and the righteousness in their righteousness because the time is short.

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and the first and the last. He is the root and the offspring of Jesse, the bright and the mourning star.They that keep His commandments shall enter through the gates into the Holy City. None is permitted to add or subtract from the words of the roll of this prophecy. Those who add, God shall add to them the plagues written in this roll. Those who take away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away their names from the book of life and from the Holy City, and from those things which are written in this scroll. The Spirit and the bride say come. Let him that heareth say come. Behold, I come quickly. Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus. These things are sealed with faithfulness of God. The grace of our Lord be with you all. Amen.

Author: Avraham Shallom.

Revelation Chapters 2 & 3: Messages To The Seven Churches.

Revelation Chapters 2 & 3: Messages To The Seven Churches.

The seven Churches addressed in these two chapters of the Scroll of Revelation were in existence in Asia Minor- which is in modern Turkey- in the late 1st century AD. The seven churches addressed here were not the only local assemblies in existence in Asia Minor at that time. They were selected by Christ as representatives of seven types of local churches in existence not only at that time and in Asia minor but at all times and anywhere else throughout the Church Age. Therefore any local assembly at that time and all times in Asia Minor and anywhere else at that time and at all times will fall into one of these seven categories. Geographically these churches linked together formed a circle in Asia Minor. Does that tell us anything? Maybe these types of churches liked up together form a circle around the globe in the end times. None of these churches exist today. Some of the cities mentioned have survived till the present day. Some did not.

The scroll of Revelation is entirely prophetic. Whilst these messages to the seven churches had relevance to these local assemblies as well as other churches in other places in those days, they have normative authority at all times, and more so in the end times. In other words, there was a near view application in thouse days and a far view application in the end times.

The classification of the seven churches could be further simplified by classifying them in three groups, the faithful church as exemplified by the church of Philadelphia, the compromising church as exemplified by the church of Thyatira, and the dead church as exemplified by the church of Sardis. The faithful church is not promised exempt from the great tribulation but protection within the sphere, and finally removal from the sphere of the great tribulation. The compromising church will go through the great tribulation in order to be purified. Majority of the churches, 4-5, fall into this category. It would however not face the wrath of God. The dead church will not suffer the great tribulation, having taken the mark of the beast, but would face the wrath of God.

These churches also represent individual Christians. The faithful christian will be protected by God during the great tribulation because he or she hearkened to Christ’s instructions concerning perseverance in the end times. The compromising christian will be purified through the great tribulation but exempted from the wrath of God. Majority of christians fall within this category. A lot of us believers compromise in various areas. The dead christian shall be beast-marked. He or she shall escape the wrath of Satan, the great tribulation, but will face the wrath of God in the Day Of His Wrath. Although the messages are prophetic and refer to Christ’s coming in the end times, the parousia, the deeds of churches and individual Christians also demand immediate discipline despite far reaching consequences.

There are some biblical scholars who interpret the seven churches as referent to seven periods of church history. The problems with this interpretation are the difficulty associated with the determination of the beginning and the end of these periods, inasmuch as these periods are subjectively determined, and who has the authority to determine the beginning and the end of these periods. This interpretation undermines credibility and fosters date setting, and denies the 1st century churches, the Apostolic Church, any application for their time. Besides, it soundly lacks biblical bases and justification.

Biblical scholars have identified similar pattern or structure in the messages to the seven churches. Each church is identified, Christ the sender of the messages is also identified. Certain attributes of His relevant to the message to that particular church are highlighted. The church is then commended for good works. It is condemned or rebuked for bad works. The church is then commanded or exhorted to do certain things and then blessing promised to those who heed the command.

In conformity with the pattern of seven in the scroll of Revelation, Henry M. Morris, in his commentary on the scroll of Revelation, The Revelation Record, has identified seven parts to each message. They are (1) Salutation; (2) Identification of Christ as sender; (3) Assertion of knowledge; (4) Comment and exhortation; (5) Promise or threat; (6) admonition to heed; and (7) Promised blessing. In this commentary we shall follow the generally accepted pattern outlined above, although we may have recourse to the second pattern outlined by Henry M. Morris if need be.

The messages to the seven churches are a remarkable treatment of the problems that the Church faces at all times, but more so in our day. At all times these problems are recurrent: the lost of first love( 2:4), fear of suffering and persecution( 2:19), doctrinal defection( 2:14,15), moral compromise and departure( 2:20), spiritual deadness( 3:1,2), inability to persevere( 3:11), and lukewarmness( 3:15,16). These spiritual defects are prevalent today as in the first century churches. These messages are God’s final exhortation to the church, more so to the individual christian down through the first century to the end of the ages. This is God’s final appeal to all who will hear. Believers would do well to listen. He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Amen.

Revelation Chapter 2: Messages To The First Four Churches.

Message to the church of Ephesus( 2:1-7).

The Destination Or Location( 2:1).

In verse 1, Ephesus is identified as the destination of this message. Ephesus was a major city in Asia Minor. The church at Ephesus was the most prominent in Asia Minor. The city boasted of a seaport and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of the goddess Diana of the Ephesians( Acts 19:24-35). The church in Ephesus was started by our brother Paul and his companions about 53 AD, 43 years before the message of John the revelator was sent to them. Paul preached the gospel so persuasively that all Jews and Greeks heard the word. Paul remained in the city for several years and the city was so thoroughly converted that the trade of the goldsmiths who made silver shrines for Artemis was threatened. The message was directed to the angel of the church of Ephesus. The Greek word angelos from which the English word angel and its cognates are derived means messenger. Its principal use in the Bible is in reference to heavenly beings. It is also used of human messengers( Matt.11:19; Mark 1:2; Luk.724,27; 9:52). Sometimes animals are the messengers of God as in the case of Balaam’s ass( Exod.22:27-30), and the ravens that brought flesh to Elijah( 1Kings 17:1-6).

Christ Identified(2:1)

Here Christ identifies Himself. He is the one that holds the seven stars in His right hand, and walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks. We know that the seven stars are the angel of the seven churches, or the responsible elements in the seven churches, that is the leadership in each church. The seven candlesticks are the seven churches themselves( Rev.1:20). Christ is one who loves , cares and protects the churches. He walked in the midst of His church to see that everything is in order.

Commendation Or Approval( 2:2,3,6).

The Ephesians church was commended by Christ for its works and labour and perseverance in the face of opposition. This local church did not tolerate evil and wicked men. They condemned them. They tested those who claimed to be apostles and found them liars. These men claimed apostolic authority over churches they did not found. The Ephesians were patient. They tried them as a goldsmith would try gold in the fire and found them false. Ephesus is first of the first four churches which had problems with false teachers; cf, vv. 2,6,14,15,20). It continued in faithful service to God for more than forty years prior to the message of John the revelator.

They were further commended for their hatred of the deeds of the Nicolaitians. Nicolaitian comes from two Greek words, Nike meaning victor and laos, meaning people. The nicolaitians taught believers to compromise with the religious culture around them. This is similar to antinomianism. Antinomianism means there are no norms. They teach that one can compromise as long as one remains a believer at heart. The heart and lifestyle of the believer must be in synchrony, otherwise one becomes a hypocrite and a false witness. The Ephesians soundly hated the doctrine and deeds of the Nicolaitians.

Condemnation or Rebuke( 2:4).

I have somewhat against you because you have left your first love. The word for love here is agapen. It is the kind of love that God has for man. Unbelievers do not have this kind of love. It is not as though the Ephesians did not have this God kind of love, but they were no longer walking in it being caught in activities. They had this deep devotion and affection towards God. Paul commended them for it 35 years previously. They had deep faith in Christ and love for Him and the saints( Eph.1:15,16), for which Paul never ceased to give thanks. We must remember that these are second generation believers. They retained accuracy of doctrine and purity of life, and worked hard in their level of service which was quite high, but their hearts have grown cold in devotion to Christ. We must always be fervent in our heart towards Christ.

Command Or Exhortation( 2:5).

The Ephesians are commanded to repent from whence thou art fallen, and do the first works. The first generation Ephesians practised a very high level of faith towards Christ and deep love and affection towards Christ and the saints. The second generation Ephesians have fallen from this very high level of faith and deep devotion to God. They were exhorted to repent. Heartless commitment is unacceptable. True heart commitment is evidenced by the quality of the works not the works themselves. Similar exhortations to deep love for God abound in both the gospels and epistles( Matt.22:37; Mark 12:30; Luk.10:27; Jon. 14:14,21,23;21: 15,16; Jam.2:5;1Pet.1:8). A believer must love God above father, mother, sisters, brother or spouse. One’s love for God in comparison to these should be as though one hates them including oneself( Matt.10:47; 1Cir.7:32-35). They were called to change their attitude and their affection. We are to render our services to God not because it is right but because we love Jesus. Christ warned that if they did not repent, the light of their witness would be extinguished. This visitation has immediate or near view application as well as far view or eschatological and consummative application. Ephesus was the seat of a major church council in 431 AD. The city and the church declined after the 5th century. The city and the immediate area have been in ruins since the 14th century. Today, it is an archeological site.

Promise or Admonition( 2:7).

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. All seven churches receive concluding admonition. Aune says this can have two nuances: what is said has deeper hidden meaning or the hearer must obey what is given. Both nuances are intended. The inclusion of the churches indicate that the message was not meant only for the church of Ephesus, and demand near and far view application. The Lord Jesus made similar statements in the synoptic gospels( Matt.11:15; 13:8,43; Mark 4:9,23; Luk.8:8; 14:35). In each case the statement is a cue to look deeper into the Lord’s words. The simple sense is the basic story. The intended significance is the spiritual truth beneath the basic story. To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the the midst of paradise of God. The Greek word translated overcometh, is nikan from which is derived the English word Nike which means to conquer. In a metaphorical sense, nikan can refer to either athletic contest or military battle. In the NT, one can overcome in two ways: salvific and sanctifying sense. The difference between the two is one of conditionality. Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the World; and this the victory that overcometh the world even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son Of God( 1Jon.4:4,5). This obviously salvific in nature. Our salvation is not based on conditionality. To be born again, one must believe. Belief is not merely intellectual, but involves an inward transformation and commitment to Jesus Christ our Lord. This results in eternal life.

The overcomer in Revelation is vastly different. It is one who endures or perseveres to the end. The end in context here is the end of the ages, at the beginning of which the saints are raptured. It connotes difficult circumstances. The overcomer is a believer in Christ Jesus who enjoys special benefits in eternity for refusing to give one’s faith despite persecution, during life here on earth, especially in the context of the great tribulation. Revelation chapters 2&3 list a total of 12 rewards for the overcomer. The 13th, the overcomer shall inherit the earth is in Rev.21:7. Some biblical scholars argue that the rewards and the warnings make no sense unless some believer will not receive them because of their unfaithfulness. Why warn a person of something one cannot lose? We can debate what is lost, but there is no doubt that somethings are lost with grave consequences( 1Cir.3:16; 1Jon 2:28). But the truth is that all believers who make it to heaven are overcomers. And every believer that makes it to paradise will eat of the tree of life which is the midst of paradise of God. Paradise in NT is part of heaven( Luk.23:43; 2Cor.12:4). It is synonymous with the heavenly Jerusalem which descends from heaven, rests on Mount Zion and is contiguous at its base with the fourth and millennial temple on mount Zion in the New and renovated earthly Jerusalem in the millennium. The tree of life was first mentioned in Gen.3:22. It was then in the garden of Eden. It bears twelve manner of fruits which are for nourishment and health of the nation of them who are saved( Rev.22:2. Those who eat of it will never die( Gen.3:22). John F. Walvoord has written: the promise should not be construed to be special for some group of Christians but a normal reward for all Christians. But the author of Revelation Commentary demurred: “True believers do not have to persevere to win salvation, nor must they be faithful to keep it. Any conditionality automatically removed the issue from a consideration of salvation to the issue of sanctification and rewards. The overcomer in Revelation can lose his reward. It is not eternal. To compromise in the face of physical danger will have severe consequences during the persecution by Antichrist and when one stands before the Lord in judgment. The apostle Paul states in 2 Cor.5:10, for all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Paul indicates a pay back for for the bad done in the body. What the pay back is for bad deeds is not indicated, but there is a pay back. Am convinced however that the tree of life is for all true believers who make it to heaven. How could one possibly be in paradise not partake of the tree of life?

Message To the Church Of Smyrna( 2:8-11).

Destination Or Location( 2:8).

Unto the angel of the church at Smyrna write; the church of Smyrna is the second church to be addressed. It is a large and wealthy city, 35 miles or 56 km north of Ephesus. It boasted of a seaport. It is still in existence and still has a large seaport. The name Smyrna means myrrh, an ordinary perfume used in the compounding of anointing oil and embalming of dead bodies( cf. Exod.30:23; Ps 45:8; Song 3:6; Matt.2:11; Mark 15:23; John 19:39).

Christ Identified( 2:8).

Here Christ identified Himself as the first and the last. He is the one who has the final say. It was quite comforting to the Smyrneans to know , in the face of horrible persecution that our Lord Jesus the Christ is in sovereign control. He has the final authority. It is He who was dead and is alive. As one who had suffered death on the execution stake, Jesus was acquainted with the pains and horrors of death. He was therefore most abler to empathize and comfort them.

Commendation Or Approval( 2:9).

The Smyrneans were commended for their work and poverty. The Greek word for poverty here is ptocheian instead of Penia, the usual word for poverty. The word connotes extreme poverty. Besides being persecuted this church suffered extreme poverty. But they were rich in the wonderful and glorious promises of Christ( 2 Cor.6:10; Jam.2:5). The church of Smyrna was being persecuted. This persecution came from three sources. The first was Jews: I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are of the synagogue of Satan. These Jews who belonged to a synagogue in the city were openly antagonistic to the message of the risen Christ which the Smyrneans were preaching. Maybe these Jews controlled commerce in the city, and therefore the Smyrneans were blackballed out of business by these Jews who were of the synagogue of Satan. Little wonder therefore they suffered extreme poverty. The second source of persecution was pagan Gentiles. It is on record in the history of the church that the worst persecution of believers have always come from religionists. The last source of persecution was from the archenemy of the saints, Satan himself, the supreme personality of evil. Christ encouraged them: fear none of those things which thou shall suffer: for Satan shall cast some of you in prison, that you may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. The Smyrneans were cast into prison by the civil authorities, but satan was behind it all. Lacking a physical body, he rules by proxy. But the purpose of this persecution was to try them in order that they may be purified. But He knoweth the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as pure gold( Job 23:10). Be faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. The Smyrneans were persecuted unto death. Like the city in which they lived, their sweet aroma ascended to heaven as incense, even they suffered persecution unto death. They were promised a crown of life. This is the martyrs’ crown. James 1:12 indicates that the Crown Of Life is God’s reward for perseverance in the face of persecution. It is one of thirteen crowns promised to Overcomers in the scroll of Revelation.

Condemnation Or Rebuke( 2:0).

The Smyrneans alongside the church of Philadelphia were the only two churches out of the seven that were not rebuked or condemned. The cutch of Smyrna was a faithful church. It stayed faithful in the midst of persecution and poverty. Their extreme poverty and severe persecution had helped to purify them in their faith, love and devotion to Christ and to one another. They failed to compromise despite severe persecution and extreme and deep poverty.

Command Or Exhortation( 2:10a).

Christ encouraged them: fear none of those things which thou shall suffer: for Satan shall cast some of you into prison and thou shall be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days. The Smyrneans were cast into prison by the civil authorities, but Satan was behind it all. Lacking a physical body, he rules by proxy. But the purpose of the persecution was to try them in order that they might be purified. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as pure gold( Job 23:10). Christ was not responsible for it, but He permitted it. Ye shall have tribulation ten days was probably a coded message, the meaning of which was known to the Smyrneans. In Hebrew numerology and gematria, 10 = 7 + 3. Seven is the number of perfection and three is the number of divinity. They were tried in order to be perfected, and Daddy was in sovereign control. There some who believe that ten represented the entire persecution of the church; others think it represented ten persecution under Roman rulers. There others who think it represented a limited period of suffering. This position is held by Walvoord and Walter Scott who cites Gen.24:55; Neh.5:17; Jer.42:7; Dan.1:12; Acts 25:6. Henry Alford holds the same position, citing Num.11:19; 14:22;1Sam.1:8; Job 19:3( The Greek Testament, 4:567). Be faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life. The Smyrneans were persecuted unto death. Like the city in which they lived, known for its sweet aroma, their sweet aroma ascended into heaven as incense even as they suffered unto death.
There some believers who think that the righteous should not suffer. That suffering is meant for the ungodly. They are perplexed by the suffering of the godly and faithful Christians. But the righteous and the godly suffer for any number of reasons. Suffering may be disciplinary( 1Cor.11:30-32; Heb.12:3-13), if we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged. When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord that we may not be condemned with the wicked. It may be preventive of pride and arrogance as Paul’s thorn in the flesh( 2Cor.12:7), for the purpose of learning obedience, as Christ did. Though He was a son He learned obedience by the things which He suffered, and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him.( Heb.5:8; co. Rom.5:3-5). And for the purpose of providing a better testimony( Acts 9:16). No suffering for the present seemeth joyous but grievous, but nevertheless afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised thereby( Heb.12:11).

Promise of blessing( 2:10b,11).

Be faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life. The Smyrneans were promised a crown of life if remained faithful unto death. This is the martyrs’ crown. It is one of thirteen crowns promised to overcomers in the scroll of Revelation, twelve of which occur in the messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2&3. The crown of life is one of several crowns promised to believers( 1Cir.9:25; 1Thess.2:9; 2Tim.4:6-8; 1Pet.5:4; Rev.4:4). He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. The application of this message is universal, inasmuch as it addreesed to the churches throughout the period of the Church Age. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death( Rev.20:15). Death by martyrdom is the ultimate suffering, but with it comes life. It is a servant that opens the door to eternal glory and bliss.

Message To The Church Of Pergamos( 2:12-17).

Destination Or Location( 2:12a).

Pergamos or Pergamum was a city in Asia Minor, about 20 miles(32 km) inland from Smyrna. It was a wealthy city. The city was given to wickedness. They were several pagan cults in the city which worshipped Athena, Asclepius, Dionysus, and Zeus. The city was famed for its university with a library that boasted of about 200,000 volumes. The city was also famous for the production of parchment called pergamena. Because the city was given to idolatry and wickedness, the spiritual atmosphere was adverse to effective christian life and witness.

Christ Identified( 2:12b).

Here Our Lord Jesus the Christ identified Himself as the one who has the sharp sword with two edges. Jesus is the word of God. The word is the sword of the spirit. It is a double-edged sword because it justifies and condemnes as the case may be.

Commendation or Approval( 2:13).

Christ commended their works. He recognized that their work was difficult in a city which was the seat of Satan. The city boasted of the great temple of Aesclepius, a pagan god of healing worshipped in the form of a serpent, the symbol of Satan. Inspite of the city being the seat of Satanism, the church in Pergamos held fast to the name of Jesus and did not deny His name. One of them named Antipas, a faithful believer was martyred. Antipas means against all. There are some who believe that Antipas is not the name of a person.

Condemnation Or Rebuke( 2:14,15).
The church of Pergamon is one of the four compromising churches in Asia Minor. The compromise was due to the work of false teachers. There were some in that local assembly who held the doctrine of Balaam( Jude 11; 2 Pet.2:5). There are some that teach that Balaam was a false prophet. I demure. Balaam was a true prophet of God but he was greedy. Balaam should not have answered the call of Balak. But he went anyway, inspite of the fact that it was obvious God did not approve. While there God did not permit him to curse the children of Israel. But he counseled Balak to hold a sacrifice of their gods, invite the children of to a sacrifice of their gods, let them eat and drink and relate sexually freely with their women, then their God will destroy them. There is no free launch; someone foots the bill. And it was so( Num.31:16). He gave this counsel in order to curry favour from Balak. He wanted the promotion that came from man. They caused the children of Israel to eat what is sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication. The doctrine of Balaam therefore teaches that it does not matter to eat the sacrifice of idols and to commit sexual immoralities. But it does matter very much as we saw in the case of Israel( Num.251-2). Twenty and four thousand Israelites perished in one day as result of the counsel of Balaam, as a result of eating what is sacrificed to idols as a form of worship to idols and sexual immoralities., both of which are idolatry. Balaam got his wish, but he died for it.

There were some in that local assembly who hold the teaching or doctrine of the nicolaitians. The doctrine of the Nicolaitians is similar to the doctrine of Balaam. It is compromise with the religious culture in ones environment. The church should not acculturate. It specifically breaks the first commandment. This is why God hates it.

Command Or Exhortation( 2:16).

The church of Pergamos was commanded by Christ to repent or I come against quickly with the sword of my mouth. Coming quickly occurs five times in the scroll of Revelation( 2:16; 3:11; 22:7,12,20). Revelation 22:6, 12,20 refer to the parousia. Revelation 2:16 and 3:11 refer to immediate judgment before the Lord’s parousia. Fight against thee quickly with the sword of my mouth is a metonymy of cause and effect. It meant the church would be taken away if repentance did not occur.

Promise Of Blessing( 2:17).

The promise of blessing has near and far view applications. He that overcometh shall be given the hidden manna. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are did. Moses gave you not that true manna from heaven. I am the true bread that came down from heaven( Jon.6: 32,48,49). The true manna is Jesus, the word of God who is our spiritual nourishment. He that overcometh shall be given a white stone with a new name written. Overcomers shall receive new names in heaven. Besides, white stones were used in voting for acquittal of the accused. He that overcometh shall never be condemned. Gem stones on which were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were worn in pouches on the breastplate of the high priest of Israel. He presented them to God when He appeared before Him in the Holy of Holies. In like manner, Jesus, our great High Priest shall wear our names on His breast for eternity.

Message To The Church In Thyatira( 2:18-29).

Destination Or Location(2:18a).

The city of Thyatira was situated 40 miles( 64 km) southeast of Pergamos. The city was situated in a rich agricultural area. The church in Pergamos was small. But it received the longest message. It is believed that it is Lady Lydia or her converts who founded the church of Thyatira( Acts 16:11-15).

Christ Identified2:18b).

Thus saith the Son Of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire and His feet are like fine brass. The attributes of Christ highlighted here are the same as in Rev.1:13-15 except that here He is described as the Son Of God instead of the Son Of Man. The Son Of God occurs 46 times in the NT. It occurs once in the scroll of revelation. The occurrence here is unique in that it is used with a transitive verb. The Son Of God emphasizes His deity. The Son Of Man speaks of His position as the last Adam, God’s representative in the earthly realm of His universal kingdom. The Son Of God speaks of His lordship as God over His creation. His eyes are like unto a flame of fire speaks to His indignation towards sin and compromise. His feet are like fine brass says the KJV. Other translation render it burnished brass. The Greek word translated burnished brass is chalkolibano. It is an alloy of a number of metals that shines brilliantly when polished. It signifies His righteous judgment.

Commendation Or Approval( 2:19).

The church at Thyatira was commended by Christ for its work, love, service, faith and patience or perseverance, and the last to be more than the first. In other words the church at Thyatira was doing more as time went unlike the church of Ephesus which did less.

Condemnation Or Rebuke( 2:20-23).

The church at Thyatira was condemned for her tolerance of the teachings of a woman who called herself a prophetess. The Lord called this woman Jezebel. Jezebel was probably not get real name. Jezebel was a historical figure in the life of the nation of Israel. She was a Phoenician woman, the daughter of Ethbaal, priest and King of the Sidonians. The Sidonians like other Canaanites were idol worsippers. They worshiped Baal, the abomination of the Sidonians. She was married to Ahab the son of Omri, who later became king of the ten northern tribes. Omri was in league with Ethbaal, king of Sidon, who gave his daughter to his son Ahab. In the ancients world, this kind of marriage is usually contracted to cement alliance. Jezebel imported Baal worship into Israel. Baal worship was characterized by bouts of sexual orgies and debauchery. It was a fertility cult. She corrupted Israel( 1Kin.1631-33). They killed the prophets of God, and hounded Elijah to kill him. The church of Thyatira was vehemently rebuked by Christ for her tolerance of the teachings of this wicked woman. She taught them to eat meat scarified to idols as a form of worship to these idols and to engage in sexual immoralities. The immoralities were both physical and spiritual.

The Lord gave her space to repent of her immoralities, but she did not. She had a reasonable followership in the church of Thyatira. Because of her refusal to repent, Christ was going to judge her and her followers and converts. She and those that commit immoralities with her shall be cast into great tribulation. This was an immediate judgment and did not refer to The Great Tribulation. Her offspring were going to be judged with pestilence, in order that all the churches shall know that Christ trieth the heart and the reins, and rewards every one according to ones work.

Command Or Exhortation( 2:24,25).

Wonderfully, there were some in the church of Thyatira who were not infected with this virulent virus. Christ referred to them as the rest who have not this doctrine, who have not seen the depths of Satan as they speak. Sexual immoralities have depths. Unless one repents quickly, the victim would slide deeper and deeper into it’s ramifications. It has branches, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, rape, extreme jealousy, murder etc. I will put no other burden upon you. Those in this church who had not received these evil practices were not condemned. They had nothing of which to repent. They were encouraged by Christ to hold unto what they have.

Promise Of Blessing( 2:26-29).

He that overcometh is promised shared rulership of the earth with Christ in the New Millennium. He shall be given authority over the nations in the millennium, to rule them with a rod of iron, and to break them in pieces like a potters vessels, even as I received of my Father( Ps 2:6-12). These overcomers like Christ shall be in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies. The Jerusalem that descended from heaven shall be their abode from where they shall rule the nations with Christ for a 1000 years( Rev.20:4). And I will give him the morning star. Jesus is the bright and morning star( Rev.22:16). Those who win souls shall shine as the stars for ever( Dan.12:3). The stars speak of glory. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another in glory( 1Cir.15:31). The stars exhibit the excellencies of the Almighty. The exaltation of the overcomer to the status of glory is unimaginable. And again that this message is for the audience of all the churches, once again implies near and far view applications.
Revelation Chapter 3: Messages To The Last Three Churches.

Message To Church Of Sardis( 3:1-6).

Destination Or Location( 3:1a).

The city of Sardis was an important commercial city. It was located 30 miles( 48 km) southeast of Thyatira, on an important trade route that ran east to west through the kingdom of Lydia. The city was very wealthy through industries that manufactured and traded in jewelry, dye, and textiles. It was a pagan city that boasted of a temple dedicated to the worship of Artemis. Only a small village remained at the site of the city today. The ruins of the city is an archeological site, and boasts of a Christian building next to the temple.

Christ Identified( 3:1a).

Christ identified Himself as the one who have the seven spirits of God and holds the seven stars. The seven stars are the seven angels and leaderships of, or the responsible elements in the seven churches( Rev.1:20). The seven spirits of God are seven attributes of the Holy Spirit( Is.11:2-5). These were in complete and perfection manifestation in the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus the Christ( Rev.5:6).
Commendation Or Approval( 3:1b).

The church at Sardis was the only example of a dead church. They had no commendation from Christ. He said He knew their work. Their work was that they had a false reputation of being alive. But they were dead. Apparently their contemporaries regarded them as effective witness for Christ. But that regard was an illusion and a delusion.

Condemnation Or Rebuke( 3:1c,2b).

Whatever works this local assembly was engaged in that made them so highly regarded by other contemporary churches in the area, we are not told. Christ however sees through the facade of false religious profession without the life of it. Like the Pharisees, they had a form of religion but not the life of it. They had a form of godliness but not the power thereof( 2 Tim.3:5). A lot of the congregants were not born again. They had no personal relationship with Jesus, else they would have been alive. They were going through the motions of religious observances. Their spiritual deadness was hidden in a facade of proper and legitimate christian activities. Otherwise their contemporaries in other local assemblies in Asia Minor would not have been blindsided and hoodwinked. It was not a matter of compromise; for they were dead spiritually. But their deadness was hidden in a gamut of legitimate christian practices. They were not outright idolaters; that would have been too obvious and repulsive to their contemporaries. They were not just falling short of fulfilling their obligation as true believers, they were spiritually dead.

Command Or Exhortation( 3:2a,3).

Whilst the overwhelming majority of the church at Sardis was dead, there were still a few of them who had the vestiges of life in Christ. Here Christ exhorted them to be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die. There were certain things in the church which had a flickering of life in them. Unattended to they will flick, sputter and die. Christ had not found their work perfect. God does not look as man does, at the outward appearance; the outer facade. God looks at the heart. Viewed through the jaundiced eyes of man, their works were wonderful, perfect. Viewed through heaven’s spectacle and electron microscope, they were full of artifacts.

To the remnant, He reminded them of their small beginning, how thou hast received and heard. They should repent and go back and hold fast to the fundamental doctrines of the Faith. Watchfulness implies truth, proper biblical doctrine without which prayer is ineffective. If they do not watch, He, Christ will come to them as a thief, and they shall not know what hour He will come. This connotes immediate judgment, but had far view implications as well. If they did not repent and heed His exhortation, He would come on them as a thief in the night. Christ coming as a thief in the night is to the ignorant. The watchful believer may not know the day and the hour of His coming, but he knows the general time period, for there are prophesied events that shall precede his coming. His coming shall be imminent after the sixth seal is broken. Even then the watchful believer shall still look for the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens which shall dispel the dearness.

Promise of Blessing( 3:4-6).

Despite the spiritual deadness of the church at Sardis, there were a few within it who had not defiled their garment. Christ promised, they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. They are worthy indeed; for to remain spiritual inside the midst of that deadness is commendable. He that overcometh shall be clothed in white. White is symbolic of the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. He will not blot his name out of the scroll of life. But will confess his name before His father and the holy angels. The statement that He will not erase their names from the scroll of life presents a problem; for it befuddles the minds of those of us preach eternal security. Scriptures affirm that a born again believer remains regenerate( Job.5:24;6:35-37,39; 10:28,29). However this passage implies a person’s name may be removed from the scroll of life, but it also affirms that the names of the faithful will not be removed. The fact that the message concludes with a call for all who have ears to hear with, to hear what the Spirit says to the churches implies that the message has near and far view applications. There are many churches nowadays which are housed in edifices of architectural wonders, deluged in outward biblically acceptable church activities, but nonetheless spiritually bankrupt, devoid of evidence of eternal life. The call of Christ is to remember, repent and obey.
Message To The Church At Philadelphia( 3:7-13).
Location And Destination( 3:7a).

The city of Philadelphia was located in an area known for its agricultural produce. It was located 28 miles (45 km) southeast of Sardis. The area was vulnerable to earthquakes. It was afflicted several times with this natural malady . The last one occurred in 37 AD. The city derived its name from a king of Pergamum name Attalus Philadelphus, who founded the city. The Greek Word Philadelphia occurs several times in the Scriptures( Rom12:10; 1Thess.4:9; Heb.13:1; 1Pet.1:22; 2Pet.1:7; Rec.3:7). It means brotherly love. It is only here that is used of a city. Therefore brethren call this city the city of brotherly love. This city exist to the present day and there is christian witness in the city up to this day.

Christ Identified( 3:7b).

Here Christ described Himself as He that is Holy and true. Christ is not only true, that is veracious, proving true under all circumstances and situations, He is the Truth. He has the key of David. This is in reference to the scene when the key of the royal treasures of the house of David was taken from Shebna and given to Eliakim( Is.22:22). Christ holds the keys of Hell and of Death( Rev.1:18). Here He holds the key to the treasury of David, because He is the rightful heir to the throne, being a true descendant of David. He is also the heir apparent of the throne of the earth and its treasures. Therefore He opens and no closes; and He closed and no one opens.

Commendation Or Approval( 3:8,9).

The church of Philadelphia is the perfect sample of a faithful church. It alongside the church of Smyrna are the only two churches which did not compromise. Therefore, they received no rebuke or condemnation from Christ. But the church of Philadelphia was unique in the sense that it was the only one of the seven churches that received unqualified commendation from Christ.

Christ said, I know thy work, therefore I have kept before thee an open door which no one can close. This is in keeping with Christ’s description of Himself as the one who holds the key of David. This church has little strength, but despite their apparent weakness, kept the word of God and did not deny the name of Christ. They had little strength, therefore, they must have been weak. We are not told what their weakness was, nor in what ways they kept the word of God and did not deny His name. They must have defended the word and the name of Christ in all the ways that count. Warding off temptations, unashamedly proclaiming the message of the gospel, heading off the assault of surrounding pagan cultures, and the allurements of the world, brazenly walking through persecutions. They determinedly failed to compromise. This is wonderful. Without fear of being accused of “Elijah Syndrome” I do not think there are many of us who can fit this bill nowadays.

There was a Jewish synagogue in the city of Philadelphia. The members of this synagogue opposed the witness of the church of Philadelphia for Christ. Christ referred to them as the synagogue of Satan. They claimed to be Jews, and they were by birth. But spiritually they were not. A true Jew is defined by our brother Paul in Rom.2:28,29. He is one inwardly, not outwardly, in the spirit and not in the flesh; whose praise is not of men but of God. Apparently these Jews did not have the praise of God, or else they would not have opposed the testimony of Jesus. Christ will make them to come and worship Him at the feet of the Philadelphians, and acknowledge of truth that Christ has loved them. This might have been fulfilled in the past. It is being fulfilled now and more so, in the future. False religion is a formidable antagonism to true christian Faith. A day cometh when every opponent of the faith shall acknowledge the truth( Is.45:23; Rom.14:11; Phil.2:10,11). Then every opposition will cease.

Promise Of Blessings( 3:10-12).

The promise in verse 10 is both eschatological and consummative. Because you have kept the word of my patience, I shall keep thee from the hour of temptation that shall come upon all that dwell on the earth. This is a specific hour of peirasmos that shall come upon all that dwell on the earth. It is not specific or peculiar to the church of Philadelphia. It shall come upon all dwellers of the Earth. This is the great tribulation by the Beast-Antichrist. God does not exempt His children from the wrath of Satan. But God exempts them from His own Wrath. Because the church of Philadelphia has kept His instruction concerning perseverance, Christ shall keep them or protect them within the sphere of the great tribulation, and shall eventually remove them ( protection out ) from the sphere of the great tribulation. Behold I come quickly; hold that fast which thou hast, and let no man take thy crown. This is a call to perseverance. They already have the crown. They must persevere to retain it. They must not give up.

He that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God. This is in keeping with the ancient practice of immortalizing the faithful by having his name written on a pillar in the temple. This implies that the overcomer shall abide with Christ in God’s presence in His throne room in the temple. He shall go no more out. They shall dwell with Him for ever. And I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God which is the new Jerusalem which cometh down from heaven, and I will write upon him my new name. Christ will wholly identify with the overcomer by having His new name written on him, and the name of His God, the Father, and the name of the city of my God which is new Jerusalem.
Command Or Exhortation( 3:13).

He that hath an ear , let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. The message is universal and eschatological. Though Christ is the one speaking here, He says , let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. The three persons of the Godhead are involved in the delivery of the massage. The Father gave the Son the revelation to send to the churches, but Christ, the Son spoke by the Holy Spirit.

Message To Laodicea( 3:14-22).
Location and Destination( 3:14a).

Laodicea was located on the road to Colosse, about 40 miles ( 64 km) southeast of Philadelphia. It was a very wealth city. It’s main industry was wool cloth. About 35 years prior to the message sent to the city, it was destroyed by a severe earthquake. Because it was a rich city, it was quickly rebuilt. There is no record Paul visited the city, he was concerned about it( Col.2:1,2; 4:16).

Christ Identified( 3:14b).

In His address to the church of Laodiceans, Christ identified Himself as the Amen. Amen is a Hebrew acrostic, el melech ne’eman which mean God is a faithful King. If Jesus were not God, it would be blasphemous for Him to make such a claim. In making such a claim, He affirmed Himself as the sovereign God who is behind human events; 2Cor.1:20; Rev.1:6). He also affirmed Himself as the Faithful and true witness( Rev.1:5; 3:7). As the beginning or the foundation of God’s creation, he is the creator, and the head and possessor of God’s creation( Col.1:15,18; Rev.21:6).

Commendation Or Approval( 3:0).

The church at Laodicea received no commendation from Christ.

Condemnation Or Rebuke( 3:15:17).

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. This message of Christ was very meaningful to the recipients for two reasons. In the ancient Neareast, the cultural practice of the people was that at social events- feasts and religious sacrifices- their drinks were served either hot or cold, never lukewarm. Whatever was lukewarm was abhorrent to the people. Besides, water was piped to Laodicea via an aqueduct from Hierapolis, a few miles north of the city. By the time it reached Laodicea, it was lukewarm. To drink it, they either allowed to it get cold or they warmed it. The idiomatic expression employed by Christ was very much understandable to the church of Laodicea. They know what it means to be lukewarm to Christ. They were utterly abhorrent to Him. Because the church was lukewarm, Christ would spew them out of His mouth. It is believed by some that Archepus was the pastor of this church. It is debatable whether he was alive at the time this letter was sent to the church of Laodicea.

One other problem the church had was complacency arising from material wealth. Because the city was rich, the church in it was also rich. Their attitude was, we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. They did not know that spiritually, they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. This was a very horrible situation. There are many materially rich churches in the world today that are a carbon copy of the church of Laodicea. Excessive material wealth breeds spiritual complacency. We ought to depend on Christ for all our needs. Our dependency on Him keeps us warm in our love for Him and for one another, and our faith in Him.

Command Or Exhortation( 3:18-20).

Christ counseled the church to buy refined gold from Him in order that they might be rich. This city was rich materially through wool trade and banking business. The members of the church were involved in both. But they were spiritually poor, bankrupt. If they were poor and wretched as Christ has proffered, it means the refined gold from Christ was offered free of charge. The city produced a famous black wool, the people were physically gorgeously dressed. But they were naked spiritually. They were dressed in black, but spiritually what they needed was a white garment in order that they might be clothed and their nakedness did not appear. The white garment is the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

The city of Laodicea boasted of a medical school affiliated to the temple of Aesclepius. This medical school had the best oculist of their day who treated common eye ailments through the use of an eye salve produced by the medical school. So, this church had no problems with their physical eyes. All their physical eye problems were taken care of, but they were spiritually blind and undiscerning. They lacked the gift of discerning of spirits( 1Cir.12:10). If they could see into the realm of the spirit, they would have observed their nakedness and bankruptcy, wretchedness and misery. Christ admonished them to buy of Him eye salve in order that they might anoint their eyes so that they could see. These were all offered free, for they were bankrupt and had not the spiritual currency with which to purchase them. Because Jesus loved them, He rebuked and chastened them, in order that they might become zealous and repent.

Verse 20 could be looked at both ways, either as a command and exhortation or as a promise of blessing. I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come to him, and sup with him, and he with me. This is an appeal to the individual christian to open the door of his heart to Christ, not only of the Laodiceans but also of every local assembly. The heart of the individual has no external lock. The lock is on the inside. Therefore, it must be opened from the inside. When Christ comes in and sits at the head of the table, the Shulhan Aruch, there will be supernatural banquet of love, joy, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, true and lasting wealth and riches, fellowship with God, men and angels, divine guidance and direction, open doors and opportunities etc.
Promise Of Blessing( 3:21,22).

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set with my Father in His throne. Jesus is co-regent with the Fatter. He is sitting at the Father’s right hand. Even so shall the overcomer reign with Christ here in the New Milkennium. As always the message is not directed only to the Laodiceans but all believers at all times. We shall live and reign with Him a thousand years. The scriptures make it clear true believers, the overcomers shall share the rulership of the Earth with Christ in the millennium. They shall be co-regents with Christ. Even so, Amen.

Author: Avraham Shallom.

Re-connecting With The Book Of Revelation.

Re-connecting With The Book Of Revelation.

A philosopher once denigrated John the revelator by saying that he, John must have been on hallucinogenic drugs while writing and compiling the book of Revelation. He is right in a way, John was in a rapturous state.

I wonder who is having the last laugh as John’s prophecies come to pass. I also wonder what 1st and 2nd century christian believers would have thought of the letters and the book of Revelation: most of them not having the panoramic views we have today of the world and the heavenlies.

They knew of the world being under Roman domination. They knew of the Near East, the three Magi visiting Jesus. However, they did not know of The Americas, Australia, and the uttermost parts of the Earth.

They knew of the Roman emperors, but we have John looking the corridors of history, seeing into the future annals, and talking about the G8, the United Nations, the European Union: presidents, and kings giving up their sovereignties to an individual who heads a one world government, the Antichrist( AC).

How about the unusual resurgence of the phenomenon of antisemitism? John predicted it. Immediately Jesus was taken to Heaven, the great red Dragon, Satan, was mad, and pursued the Woman and her offspring the state of Israel, and the Jewish people, and the christians who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ( rev.12:17). This brilliant people, constituting less than 1% of world population- with the highest Nobel Prize winners per capita of any people- are hated, hounded and persecuted, even gassed, for no reason other than that they are Jews, by races who have benefited most from the greatest Jew that ever  lived- Jesus Christ our Lord. These persecutors are just instruments of the Dragon as John foretold.

Only the Holy Spirit could have got the Book of Revelation into the cannon of the Scriptures, the Bible. Those taxed with the difficult job of compiling the cannon of the NT must have thought of deleting or axing the Book of Revelation because most of it was of no relevance to them. However this irrelevant book of two millennia ago, is now, probably the most relevant book to believers who want to watch for the coming of our Lord and the antics of the Antichrist.

While the world talk about geopolitics, we the believers should be aware and focused on COSMOPOLITICS, as annunciated in the Books of Revelation, Daniel, Matthew 24,25, Mark 13, and Luke 17& 21. Another writer, Joel Rosenberg, called it, looking at world events with the third lens of the Scriptures. With this lens, he was able to predict world events. For example, terrorism and 9/11,and the re-emergence of renegade Russia. Cosmopolitics does more than predict history; it determines world events. And to the sensitive believer, the future history and world events are laid bare. It also helps us to understand the goings-on in our world, particularly the end times.

Let me use events in the Bible to show how cosmopolitics works. A familiar cosmoplitical event was the return of Jews to the land of Israel after 70 years in exile in Babylon( Jer.25:11,12; 28:10; Dan.9:2,24). The prophet Daniel searched the scriptures, he believe it and acted on it in prayers. Heavenly battles were fought before the release of Jews from exile in Babylon and their return to the land of Israel after 70 years of sojourning in exile in Babylon( Dan.9:1-23).

An earlier stretch of history determined in the heavens before it came to pass on Earth, was the 430-year sojourn and gradual enslavement of Israelites in Egypt before bursting forth as a nation into the promised land. These events have some uncanny resemblance to these last days before the Rapture.

We are told that Egypt of the Pharaohs represents the World to christians. The Jews, despite 430 years in Egypt never became assimilated into Egypt. They remained separate and distinct as we christians should be separate, distinct and distinguishable from the world in which we sojourn as strangers, ambassadors and emissaries of heaven. Our citizenship is in the heavens; from when also we look for our Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like into His glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things into Himself( Phil.3:20,21). However, the Israelites through Joseph did play a role in the bondage and enslavement of the Egyptians to the Pharaoh, a figure of the Antichrist( Gen.37:12-26). In a way, christian nations are at the fore of enslavement of the people of the world to the Antichrist and his world system.

After severe tribulations, the Israel of God, were “raptured”into the promised land. This Old Testament event foreshadows the real rapture about to happen.

When Paul received the Macedonian call, it determined the geographical course of history. If Paul had turned East into Arabia, Europe would not be the early bastion of Christianity that it was for centuries. The Americas would have been laid bare to paganism and human sacrifice as exemplified by the Inca and Aztec civilizations. Africa would have remained dark also.

However, Paul’s route had been cut out for him millennia earlier when our Lord said Ishmael was not to park in the spiritual inheritance of Abraham. Ishmaelites lived in Arabia. What was the gospel through Paul going to do there? So, he turned west.

The 1914 almagamation of northern and southern Nigeria came under cosmopolitics. The Ishmaelites were making a dash for the Atlantic coast from Mediterranean North Africa. Our Lord came to rescue and redeem us through the arrival of christian Europe on the west coast of Africa. They took control of the protectorates in the continent they called their colonies, thus protecting us from the Ismaelites. Freedom of religion was established, and the gospel pushed north from the coast. Those in subsaharan Africa who were the Lord’s from the foundation of he world remained redeemable. Now the Ismaelites are kicking back. For example Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali, Al-Shabab in Somalia and Kenya etc. Is this a reawakening or the death throes of the last days of Islam?

Back to the future, Revelation chapters 13,14 &15, predict the ascendancy and final revealing of the Antichrist, also known as the Beast, and his enforcer known as the false prophet. This is followed by the rapture and wrath of God upon the world. Later comes the collapse of religious Babylon( Rev.17), and the collapse of world finance and economies( Rev.18), and the demise of the Beast and his false prophet( Rev.19). Finally Satan himself is dealt with in Rev.20.

These chapters are no longer prophecies as they appeared to believers from the 1st century right to the 20th. They are now current affairs, current geopolitics. One might ask, where is the world government? Please google world government bonds, and you will find it alive and well. I discovered the existence of these bonds in the 1990s in copies of The Economist. Leading world philosophers whom I consider priests of the Antichrist, are preaching a one world government. Other developments and events make such a body a matter of time. These developments include the global convergence of politics, religion and finance, with unitary finance being ahead of politics and religion. (Please See earlier articles, the world financial system and the future of money).
There is also the scientific convergence called singularity. This is driven by networking of world computers into a single operating unit like the central nervous system of the body. Achieving singularity in science, coupled with other scientific advances like cloning would lead to man playing God which happens to be the goal of humanistic evolution. Human hubris will heighten, leading to utter disregard for JEHOVAH.
Believers in Nigeria, and indeed the world over, must start to develop a sense for cosmopolitical and economic events. This has been the biblical story from Genesis through to Revelation. Remember Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the human statue which predicted with uncanny accuracies the rise and fall of the Beast Empires of Satan right up to the End Of The Ages( Dan. 2&7).

Our Master Jesus admonished us to observe and watch out for His return. We can do this by delving regularly into the book of Revelation. With the help of the Holy Spirit, it would not remain the difficult book it is perceived to be. Indeed, it is the most relevant book for our times. Like Daniel, let us search and research the book of Revelation, being on the look out for our Master’s return, and interpreting present happenings in the light of the book of Revelation.

Author: Olugbenga Jaiyesimi.

Revelation Chapter 22: The Throne Of God.

Revelation Chapter 22: The Throne Of God.

Ezekiel 47:1-12 deals with a similar issue as does Rev. 22. But whereas Rev.22 focuses on the throne of God as it relates to the heavenly Jerusalem and the nations of them who are saved, Exekiel 47:1-12 focuses on the throne of God in the millennial Temple as it relates to the renovated earthly Jerusalem and the nations on earth in the millennium. In Ezek. 47:-1-12, the water issuing from the millennial Temples becomes a river which one could not ford on foot. The river eventually ends up in a sea. It is debatable whether this is a sea or a big river. On both banks of the river are all manner of trees yielding all manner of fruits for food and the leaves are for the healing of the nations. The river is teeming with fishes, and there are lots of fishing activities going on. There shall still be miry places and marishes which shall not be healed but given to salt. The trees on the river banks are evergreen. They bring forth their fruits on a monthly basis. Their leaves are for medicine or literally as in Hebrew for bruises and sores. We can see here that the people who need these trees are still in their mortal bodies and from time to time need healings from bruises and sores. In Rev.22, in contrast to the many types of trees in Ezek.47:1-12, there is only one type of tree, the tree of life. This tree is evergreen and yields her fruits monthly too. But in contrast, it yields twelve manner of fruits. These fruits are for the health of the nations of them who are saved, i.e., the dwellers of the heavenly Jerusalem.

The Water Source Of The City( verses 1-3).

In the Fourth Temple, the millennial temple is the Throne Room of the Lamb, The Son Of God. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus The Christ is the second man from the heavens, the last Adam. He has an eternal immortal resurrection body. Therefore He is the only one of the three persons of the Godhead that can rule here on earth. As the last Adam, He is God’s human representative on earth, and the ruler of the earthly realm of God’s universal kingdom.

In verse 1, John the revelator was shown a pure river of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne God and of the Lamb. The heavenly Jerusalem has no temple of its own, but is contiguous with the millennial temple on Mount Zion in the new earthly and refurbished Jerusalem. This temple serves the heavenly Jerusalem as well as the earthly Jerusalem. It is the focal point at which the heavens and the earth are in holy embrace. It is the locus of divine, human and angelic fellowship and union. From the throne room of the temple water gushed out in two derections, towards the earth as we have seen in Ezek.47:1-12, and towards the heavenly Jerusalem as we see here in Rev.22. This water is as clear as crystal. It is emanating from the throne room of God in the millennial temple. There are no pollutions here. Therefore the water is as clear as crystal. This water is coming from the throne room of God and the Lamb. This should not surprise us, though the Father sits on His throne in heaven. The  earthly throne belongs to the Father, but the Lamb is His representative on earth. Service to the Son is service to the Father. Worship of the Son is also worship of the Father. The Father is all in all. He has the overall authority but He has delegated authority over the earthly realm of His universal kingdom to the Son. So, the throne is both of the Father and the Son. The Father is everywhere present at the same time as is also the Son but is not physically manifest here on earth as is the Son.

This sparkling river, clear as crystal wasters the heavenly Jerusalem. In the midst of the street of the heavenly Jerusalem, its Broadway so to say, and on either banks of the river is the tree of life( verse 2). The tree of life is evergreen and yields twelve manner of fruits on a monthly basis. We are not told what these fruits are. Without fear of being in danger of being accused of textual violence, let me hazard a guess. It is the same fruits of the spirit spoken of by our brother Paul in Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:9. The ingestion of these fruits leads to increases in the love, wisdom, knowledge, understanding of God and the mysteries and glories of the kingdom. In this city itself, there is no time; it is always twelve noon, but the month mentioned here is in relation to the earth. In the millennium, time, chronos is still reckoned from the earthly perspective. We still speak of day and night, month and years, but in the heavenly Jerusalem, it is one bright and beautiful glorious noon for eternity. The fruit is for food and the leaves are for the health of the nations of them who are saved. The inhabitants of the heavenly Jerusalem are never sick. There is no sin, no curse, no sickness, no death in the heavenly Jerusalem. The inhabitants can never be sick. The leaves are for the maintenance and sustenance of their health. The dwellers of the heavenly Jerusalem are resurrected saints in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies. The resurrection body has not the frailties of the mortal body. It is not subject to weakness, sickness, disease and death. It is immortal, eternal, free from death, athanatius. It is the resurrection body, anastacia.

Holy Embrace( verses 3,4).

Verse 3 says there shall be no more curse. If there is no more curse, there is no more sin and disobedience. Curse is as a result of disobedience. Disobedience is a result of sin. Sin is as a result of the fallen nature of man. The removal of the consequences of the fall is in progressive stages. In the earthly Jerusalem as anywhere else on earth in the millennium, men in their natural mortal bodies  shall sin and die, but as result of the evacuation of Satan and evil fallen angelic beings from the earth’s premesis , and the presence of the Son of God and His rulership of the earth with a rod of iron, a lot of people shall fear Him, do right and live longer. There will still be death on earth. The sinner being 100 years old shall be cursed. So there is curse and death on earth in the millennium. But in the heavenly Jerusalem, these are passé. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the fourth and millennial temple on the Temple Mount. The redeemed who are still in their mortal bodies shall have access to the throne of God and of the Lamb but not to the heavenly Jerusalem. Their mortal bodies cannot tolerate its glories. His servants shall serve Him speaks to the services of both the saints in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies and those in their mortal bodies, the focal point of their union and fellowship being the throne room of the fourth and millennial temple on renovated and elevated Mount Zion in the new and refurbished earthly millennial Jerusalem. In verse 4, they shall see His face and His name shall be in their foreheads. As in all ages and in the millennium, true believers are marked. In this age this mark of His name, the red cross is invisible. It is visible in the realm of the spirit. By this Mark those who are high in the occult and see into the realm of the spirit recognize true believers. On earth in the millennium, those in their mortal bodies who have this mark are saved. They are true believers and therefore shall have access to the throne room of God and the Lamb in the millennial temple in Jerusalem. This mark may be visible or invisible on the mortal bodies of true believers in the millennium depending on who is viewing it. All true believers shall see the face of the Son in fellowships with Him in the throne Room of the temple on the earthly Mount Zion.

The Light Source Of The City( verse 5).

There shall be no night there. The heavenly Jerusalem is not a built of earthly materials. The materials of which it is built are heavenly as it is rightly called. Therefore it does not need the physical sun for its light source by day nor the moon by night. As a matter of fact, there is no night there. Neither does it need candle light. The light of the city is the life of the son of God. In Him was life and the light was the light of men. The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it( Jon.1:4,5). As we have pointed out earlier, every dweller of the heavenly Jerusalem is a light unto oneself by virtue of the life of the Son of God in one. Therefore the dwellers of the heavenly Jerusalem do not need any external light source. They are light unto themselves; for the Lord God giveth them light. And they shall reign with Him for ever and ever. They shall reign with Jesus as kings over the nations in the millennium. But the believers in their mortal bodies on earth in the New millennium shall need the light of the sun and moon and other light sources to get by like every other inhabitant of the earth. Though they have the life and nature of God, this is masked by the their mortal bodies as in the present age, so the light cannot radiate outwards. They shall see the Lord’s face in fellowship with Him in the millennial temple in the earthly Jerusalem.

The Faithfulness Of His Word( verses 6,7).

And he said unto me, these things are faithful and true. God’s word is true and faithful. What His mouth has spoken, His right hand of righteousness will perform. Faithful is He that calleth us who also will do it( 1Thes.5:24). God is faithful by the whom we are called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord( 1Cor.1:9). For ever oh Lord, your word is settled in the heaven( Ps 118:89). Heaven and earth shall pass away but my word will not pass away( Luk.21:33). And the Scriptures cannot be broken( Jon.10:35). And the Lord God has sent His angel to show unto His servants the things which must shortly be done. God Almighty sent one of the seven angels with the seven last plagues to His servant John to show him these things which must shortly be done. God revealed these things to John the revelator through the mediation of an angel. John documented them for the church, the body of Christ. His servants are the true believers in the visible Church, from its inception on the day of Pentecost till the Rapture, after the cosmic disturbances, at the appearance of the Son Of God in the heavens, after the tribulation of those days, before the breaking of the seventh seal. In the words of our Lord Jesus the Christ: behold I come quickly. Jesus is coming again. It is an inviolate biblical truth. Men may attack it, argue against and try to refute it, disbelieve it, but it is inevitable. It is the faithfulness of God and the inevitability of the second advent that are sealed with the sixth benediction of the scroll of Revelation: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this scroll. Let me conclude this section with the words of a song which is culled from the Scriptures:

Heaven and Earth shall pass away,
But my words shall remain,
Immortal and dynamic in those who believe me.
So, go round and tell about, say aloud that Jesus saves,
Whoso heareth and believeth, he shall have eternal life.

The Stupendous Splendour Of The Glorified Saints( verses 8,8).

When the revelator John, saw and heard these things, he was so overcome with the stupendous and resplendent glory both of the message and the appearance of the revealing angel that he fell at his feet to worship him. The angel himself rebuked him, saying unto him, see that thou do it not. The word see is used to draw attention to what is being said. It means be sure, be certain that you do it not. Often when men see angels, they are moved to worship them by reason of their stupendous appearances. Always, in time and eternity, men are forbidden to worship angels. Thou shall worship the Lord thy God and Him only shall thou serve( Matt.5:10). The worship of any being other than the three persons of the Godhead is blatant idolatry. In the hierarchy of God’s creation, men come after God. Though angels are greater in power and might than man due to the frailties of the mortal body of man, man is superior to angels being made in the image and likeness of God. Man was created a shed lower than God, but nonetheless superior to angels. It is neither humility nor self-abnegation for man to worship angels of God or fallen evil angels, or anything else for that matter, but sacrilege and affront to the one and only true God of Israel. He is the creator and the maker of all things. It is He that made us and not we ourselves: we are His people and the sheep of His pasture( ps.100:3); therefore worship God. The angel said: am of thy brethren the prophets, and of them who keep the sayings of this scroll. This angel is one of the departed prophets of the OT. If he were of the NT, John would probably have recognized him, inasmuch as he was one of the twelve. It is clear from here that departed saints play angelic roles.

The Brevity Of The Time( verses 10-16).

In verse 10, due to the paucity of time , John the revelator was commanded by the revealing angel not to seal the sayings of the prophecy of the scroll of Revelation. In ancient Near East, as in the Roman world, a sealed document can only be opened by the owner of the seal. But if unsealed or the seals are broken, anyone lettered can read it( Is.29:11, 12). John is commanded to leave it unsealed in order that anyone lettered can read and understand its content. So the contents of the scroll of revelation are not cryptic. They may and do in fact contain mysteries, but they are not cryptic writings.

Verse 11 is somewhat enigmatic. It has been embarrassing to some biblical scholars and saints alike. How can the Holy God admonish evil and wicked men to continue in their wicked acts? Always God wants the sinner to repent and the righteous to continue in their righteousness. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked man in his wickedness. God is not slack as men count slackness, but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance( 2 Pet.3:9). Always the righteousness is admonished to continue in his righteousness. But if he trusts in his righteousness and commits iniquity and repenteth not, he shall shall then perish in his iniquity( Ezek.3:17-21; 33:1-20). So what is graphically portrayed here is a recognition of the fact that iniquity shall abound and the wicked shall do wickedly. Because of the multitude of evil angels cast down to the earth alongside Satan in the middle of the seventieth seven, it shall be extremely difficulty for the wicked to change course due to demonic influences. But the just and the holy shall be protected by the angels of God in order that they might continue in their just and holy ways. Verses 12 and 13 are printed in red. They are the direct words of our Lord Jesus the Christ. He says he is coming quickly, and his reward is with Him. He hall reward every man according to his works. It is a given that the saints shall be rewarded at the bema seat judgment and wicked at the white throne judgment. It shall be every man according to as his works shall be. In verse 13, Our Lord concludes His admonition by identifying Himself. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. These same claims are also made by the God of the OT. The Father makes the same claim in the NT as does Jesus. So, there is no doubt that Jesus is God. He is equal with the Father. It is not blasphemy neither is it robbery for Him to make such claims. Verse 14 is very wonderful. It is the last of the seven benedictions of the scroll of Revelation. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the Holy City. As we have pointed earlier, those who have right to the tree of life and enter through the gates to the Holy City, the heavenly Jerusalem are the resurrected saints. For without are dogs( unbelievers, sexually immoral and the morally deprave), sorcerers( those who practise witchcraft, drug abusers, pharmakeia), whoremongers( those who commit sexual immoralities, homosexuals, lesbians, LGBTQ, those who engage in incestous relations, bestiality, peeping Toms and voiyeurists etc), murderers, idolaters, and those who not only lie but derive pleasure in doing so. The reference to those without is not to those on earth in the millennium but those in Hell. For those on earth in the millennium shall be judged at the white throne judgment at the expiry of the millennium. Some of them shall eventually be admitted into the heavenly Jerusalem in their eternal immortal resurrection bodies.

In verse 16, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ identifies Himself again. I Jesus had sent my angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. This makes clear that this message was not only intended for the revelator and the church of his day only but for all the saints throughout the church age. Therefore the scroll shall be preserved till the end of the ages. I am the root and the offspring of David speaks of His right to the throne of David. Jesus is a direct descendant of David, and therefore has right to the throne. He is the bright and morning star. This speaks of His righteousness and externality.

The Final Invitation( verse 16).

Of the three persons of the Godhead, the one that is witnesses here on earth in the now is the Holy Spirit in conjunction with the true believers, the bride of Christ, the Lamb of God. They are the ones who give the final invitation. It seemed good to us and the Holy Spirit…..( Acts 15:28). Therefore, the Holy Spirit and we the bride of the Lamb say, come. Let him that heareth say come. He that has heard is commanded to proclaim the message of the gospel and say , come. Let him that is athirst come, and drink of the water of eternal life freely.

Addition And Subtraction( verses 18,19).

In the course of time, in the transmission of the text and propagation of the message some have attempted to pervert the words of the prophecy of the scroll of Revelation. There are some who have denied divine inspiration of the scroll of Revelation, and have ascribed to the visions of John the revelator the influence of hallucinogens. There are others who have denied the deity of our Lord Jesus the Christ as in the new world translation of the bible by C.T. Russell, the late founder of the Jehovah witnesses. All these in contravention of the warning of the Lord neither to subtract nor to add to the words of the prophecy of this scroll. There some translations of, and commentaries on the scroll of Revelation that ought not to be read at all by believers. It is beyond the scope of this commentary to call them out. The warning not to add or subtract is what I call the mathematics of the scroll of Revelation. It is simple basic arithmetic; no addition, no subtraction. It is not further mathematics. It is not calculus, neither is it integration nor differentiation. It is not an open mathematical statement; it is a closed mathematical statement. In the perlance of Revelation, it is sealed mathematical statement. If anyone shall add to the words of the prophecy of this roll, God Almighty shall add unto the one, the plagues which are written in this roll. If anyone shall take away from the words of the scroll of this prophecy, God Almighty shall take away the one’s name out of the scroll of life, and out of the Holy City, and from those things which are written in scroll. Either way the result is the same. Anyone whose name is the scroll of life shall not suffer the plagues which are written in this scroll. Anyone who suffers the plagues written in this roll, the one’s name cannot be written in the scroll of life, nor in the Holy City, neither shall the one be a beneficiary of the blessings of this scroll. The consequence of addition or subtraction is the same, the loss of eternal life. With such dire consequence, men ought not to meddle with this scroll nor any other in the canon of the Scriptures. It is strictly forbidden, and carries an eternal irrevocable and irreversible sentence, eternity in the Lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.

Second Advent Reiterated( verse 20).

Here our Lord Jesus the Christ reiterates the promise of His second advent. He who testifieth these things saith, surely I come quickly. Our Lord promised to come quickly, and yet two thousand years have almost elapsed. How quick is the quickly? God is not slack concerning His promise as men count slackness, but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish( 2Pet3:9). He tarries for the wise that he may repent. And again, God does not reckon time as man does. A thousand years when it is past is like a day in he eyes of God, and vice versa( 2Pet.3:8). But scientific uniformitarians ask, where is the promise of His coming? For since our fathers slept, all things continue as the were from the beginning of creation. Scientific uniformitarianism teaches that God has never intervened in human history. Since the beginning of creation, things have always being the way they are. But God had intervened in human history. He overturned the antediluvian age with a flood to take out the nephelim, the hybrid humans( humanoids and transhumans), the offspring of the evil union between human females and fallen angels( Gen.6:1-8; 2 Pet.3:6). He intervened in Sodom and Gomorrah in the postdiluvian period to take out the LGBTQs. He is coming again; for the present heaven and earth are reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men( 2 Pet.3:7). The scientific uniformitarians are dishonest intellectuals and academics who tout human freedom and liberty but deny human responsibility. They deny the evidence of their senses in order to justify their logic. Even though it is known to them, they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that God’s chronometer is different from man’s. Make no mistake about it, Jesus is coming again. It is a biblical inviolate truth. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come and will not tarry( Heb.10:37). For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: because it will surely come, it will not tarry( Hab.2:3). Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus.

The Invocation Of Grace Upon The Believers( verse 21).

The scroll of Revelation, the last book in the whole canon of Scriptures closes with a gracious and glorious invocation of grace upon all believers. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. The whole scroll is sealed with Amen, the signature of the Lord God Almighty that authenticates the Scriptures. This is a Hebrew acronym, el melech ne’eman, God is a faithful King. This establishes the fact that what is written is of God, and the fulfillment based on His faithfulness not human fickleness, and therefore inviolate and inevitable.

Author:  Avraham Shallom.