(Part 26) End Time is one contiguous event – Revelation 20

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (Revelation 20:1, NKJV)

This by itself has theologians on different sides of a round table. Do you say that a round table does not have sides? Then tell the theologians that.

One argument avoided by many theologians is this verse in Revelation and another found in 2 Peter 2:4, both address the “bottomless pit”. The first group has to do with Angels shackled in this retaining pit for desiring and (possibly) fathering children with “the female offspring and daughters of men in ‘ancient time’”. Many theologians claim angels can’t do that. Far too little is known about angels to make such a blind statement when scripture says the sons of God (angels in general) took women to themselves. Their offspring were giants in the land. Of course, since we are only beginning to recognize in science the DNA of man, the gene of size may already be in a man. But…who were the “sons of God” who desired and took sexual liberties with these “daughters of man”?

NOTE: Jesus is the only one referred to as THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

The question is found in Revelation 20. Odd as it reads, but in Revelation 20:1 there is no description or definition of this unnamed angle that was empowered to grasp and chain Satan, then take and seal him in the bottomless pit. This act tells us that once done, Satan cannot influence the spirit of man from this isolation in the pit. Any sin on earth during the Millennial reign is man’s choice. DO NOT THINK that the Millennial reign is some type of introduction to what Heaven will be. In Heaven, there is never a mention of mankind needing to be ruled by an iron rod as found during the Millennial Reign (Revelation 19:15,16). If this isn’t good enough to persuade the reader of sin-filled men during the Millennial Reign, then from where does Satan get his forces to fight against God after the end of the 1,000-year reign of Christ on earth? Yes, it is possible that the hordes of angels swept from heaven with the dragon’s tail are somehow released with Satan at the end of the Millennial reign.

We know Satan’s influence over the earth is pointed out in Revelation 20:2,3. Will he be joined by other fallen angels? Very likely. In Jude 1:6 we are only told that these fallen angels are bound until the (their?) Great Judgment. Satan is bound so that he cannot deceive the nations anymore. Here is one place in scripture and human thinking where wording confuses our preconceived thoughts of word meaning. Nations by their name are not judged. It is the principles by which occupants live by within these nations. The same is true when someone thinks the “CHURCH” is somehow a group setting upon which any judgment includes all occupants of a given church directory. The Old Testament was about a nation. The New Testament is about individuals within these group settings.

A powerful footnote to the Millennium is found in Isaiah 2. (Control/click)

Pay attention to the (obvious) meaning of Revelation 20:4. …and they lived once again and reigned with Christ a thousand years”. Who is “THEY” in this passage? It simply states in v4a “they sat upon the thrones.” In the next sentence, same verse, it reads: I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” Who is missing? Revelation 20:5 (next verse) “the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” This is called the first resurrection. Here is the blessed assurance…the second death will have no power over them.

Beginning at verses 7 and 8 of Revelation 20, we read about the defeat of Satan. When the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. This is where *Gog and Magog enter the end-time picture. This is at the end of the Millennium, not at the beginning as some confuse the chronology. [*Gog & Magog: Ezekiel 37, 38.] This will be the final war on earth.

It may shock some, but mankind does not need Satan to deceive him or her. Their sinful nature will be demonstrated DURING the 1,000-year Millennium. As difficult as this is to accept, man (Adam) was created with the ability to make choices. Sin during the Millennium is still possible even though Jesus is now the King of kings on earth. This all changes once the New Earth and New Heaven(s) are instituted. Satan’s goal, once released from bondage, is simple. To take as many “souls” as possible with him to the Lake of Fire. He knows he cannot defeat Jesus. He will try to kill off as many unbelievers as possible for one reason. Spite! He is probably not thinking he will win. He is thinking just as the destroyer he is.

Then comes the Great White Throne judgment.

AHAMOMENT: In the very popular book series “Left Behind” one reads about the beheading of believers during the 7-year Tribulation. This is fine since this is reflected in the scripture itself. However, one might wish to consider that the ancient Greek word for beheading also means executed. It is only a difference between pelekizō and place’-so. The meaning is to strike or give a blow to something. We Teach – You Decide

They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. (Revelation 20:9). A point often missed is who is or are “THEY”? Since this verse states “THEY” surround the city of God’s people and it is the city God loves, *they is all nations aligning against Jerusalem. But, once again who is or are the “THEY”? These are those alive during the Millennial Reign of Jesus who may have demonstrated an outward submission to Christ’s rule but rejected his ruling within their hearts. Man judges by man’s outward appearance, but God sees the intent of the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).

*This includes all nations as indicated in Revelation 20:9 by the words They marched (came from) across the breadth of the earth…the breadth of the earth.

STUDY NOTE: Revelation 20:10 echoes Revelation 20:2.

Revelation 20:11 – This is a total conclusion of the global earth. Not a conclusion as in speech or activity, but the end of the End Time. As one might understand, it is an introduction to the New Heaven and Earth. Why? Click on this passage and see. The old heavens and earth vanish. Time for the Great White Throne judgment. Essentially, all created objects recognize the face of the White Throne judge. They know their perceived value is no longer. For the first time, some need to be reminded or told that the New Heaven and New Earth is not a remodel or upgrading of the original heavens and earth. This helps explain 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Revelation 20:12 – Book or books? This too is a topic for discussion. There is a difference. The book (singular) is the book of life. When one’s name is listed in it, they are judged for rewards according to their works and dedication to Christ. The books (plural) judge the unsaved but there is a twist. It lists their deeds in life but also notes their rejection of Christ. V12b: “The dead are judged according to what they had done in life as recorded in the books.” This is a debate by some theologians. Does the reference to “the dead being reunited with their bodies” mean those who believe in Christ, those who rejected Christ, or both?

If this verse is a reference to believers and unbelievers alike, work is crucial to one’s afterlife destination. Look closely at this passage. Those at the Great White Throne’s judgment seat are being judged according to their works. This falls under the category of “the books”. If one’s name is not listed in “the book” they are listed in “the books”.

The theological question: might there be a tiered level of Hell meaning the Lake of Fire? Sadly the next verse does not help.

Revelation 20:13 – “The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and *death and *Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done”. All are judged.

*This is self-evident. The grave does not end all. Death and Hades cannot give up the souls of their dead unless they are already there.

Ahamoment: For the believer, this is not a trial. It is the merit measure of his or her reward. All deeds will be exposed but the sins committed will vanish from the list of deeds within the book. Neither God nor each individual will remember them.

Verse 13 addresses the fact that every soul will be judged accordingly according to their deeds.” The difference is being judged for punishment or being judged for reward.

Revelation 20:14,15 helps conclude End Time Events. Verse 15 puts the punctuation mark on any need for any additional salvation scripture. What has been said from Genesis 1:1 to this point in Revelation regarding a path to Christ is now said and done.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2023

(Part 25) End Time is one contiguous event – The hurt reserved for the unsaved.

The Fifth of Seven Angels

In our previous article, we briefly covered: The two witnesses; the Mark of Christ vs the Mark of the Beast; 144,000 Jews; Earth bows before Christ. What we didn’t make more relevant is Revelation 9. It introduces the Mark of Christ and many other End Time events. It reveals the pending torment of mankind during the Tribulation. It also points out that this torment is reserved for those who do NOT have the Mark of Christ.

Revelation 9:1 sets the tone for this End Time event DURING the final 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation. The world is striving to destroy the Jews (Israelis) including trampling underfoot all of Jerusalem (Luke 21:20-24). Consider one reason…*for three and one-half years the voices of the Two Witnesses have condemned the world for their sins from the streets of Jerusalem, possibly from the steps of the rebuilt Temple.

*This is a topic of study in and of itself, but not today.

Revelation 9:1 tells of John seeing an angel “fallen” from heaven; one that has the “key” to the bottomless pit. There are large differences of opinions about who might be this angel, what is the key, and where the bottomless pit is located. What we learn from this verse is that the angel has already fallen from heaven and is on earth. Guessing is the same as speculating. It could be a good angel with the power to open the gates of the bottomless pit. It may be an evil angel seeking to leverage the contents (chain evil angels) from the bottomless pit. There are other evil and destructive beings symbolically called locus in scripture within this pit. The FALLEN ANGEL may be Satan himself. If this bottomless pit is the same one to which he will be chained and cast into for 1,000 years (Millennial Reign), we may better understand why he is BOUND (Revelation 20:1-12) and sealed in the bottomless pit.

The words “fallen from heaven” indicate this fallen being is no longer a resident of or welcomed in heaven. The Apostle John sees this angel as already cast out of Heaven. John foresaw it while exiled on the Island of Patmos. This suggests the angel is Lucifer (Satan). He (unknown angel) was GIVEN a key to the existing abyss. The word “given” may also mean “permission” to open the bottomless pit. It is where many of the fallen angels are today (2 Peter 2:4). This needs some clarification for a better understanding.

AHA MOMENT: There are two times angels are cast out of heaven. The one most often preached on is those that were swept from heaven by the tail of the Red Dragon (Satan). However…Read Genesis 6:1-4. Here is a batch of angels that sexually desired the women of created mankind. This is after the sin in the Garden of Eden. The word for woman in Genesis 6:1-4 is plural (women). This happens between creation of man and the time of Noah. The passage in Genesis 6 does not mention God’s judgment upon these angels. We find that answer in the New Testament.

JIV NOTE: The hordes of “locus” that are released from this pit may be the angels which were cast into it as referenced in Genesis 6:1-4.

We find the answer to Genesis 6:1-4 in 2 Peter 2:4. The probable argument against this addressing the angels that coveted the daughters of man is in the context of verse 4 and verse 5 of 2 Peter 2…and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;” The context of this passage in 2 Peter is the “ancient world.” At this moment It may not be the angels swept from Heaven by the dragons tail. Perhaps the batch of angels released as “locus” may be the ones held in chains from Genesis 6.

Angels can take the form of other beings since they are creations of another nature, not flesh and blood. Evangelist Billy Graham during his Crusade at Flushing Meadows Park in New York, on June 25, 2005, made this one of his message points. Another supporting text is found in verse 7. They are not described as locus as one would imagine. The word “locus” stands for the abundance of them descending all at once.

We Teach but You Decide.

NOTE: We know that the generally canonized books of the Bible do not include the writings of the Book of Enoch, but the Apocrypha does. If one reads Jude 1:1-14 we see Jude, a canonized Bible book, references by name Enoch’s prophecies in verse 14. Give it thought. The Book of Jude addresses some of the sins and doom of the ungodly people of this world: past, present, and future. If the Book of Jude is accepted and it references the Book of Enoch, might some of what Enoch of the pre-flood time he references be acceptable?

One should keep in mind that hell (Hades) along with its occupants will end up in the Lake of Fire. Those souls and fallen angels in hell have yet to bask on the scorched beaches of the Lake of Fire – Revelation 20:14. Just as Paradise holds the souls of deceased believers, Hades holds the searching souls of deceased unbelievers.

Verse 4 of Revelation 9 mentions the mark or seal of God on one’s forehead. These people are immune to the torment of the locus. It takes no great understanding that those who are tormented will notice those not being anguished as are they 24/7. The anguished will seek death (v6) but will not find it.  For five months these beings will torture them day and night.

Verse 7… This verse says their faces will look like humans. Their bodies are like horses. They will have hair like that of a woman. …None of these descriptions in Revelation 9 describe a locus as we define them. The intended meaning of Locus is their sudden descent in hordes upon mankind at the sound of the 5th trumpet; woe number one. Another counter to this not being the insect called locus is found in Proverbs 30:27. Add to this list the sounding of the 6th trumpet found in Revelation 9:13.

What happens to mankind according to Revelation 9:15? These angels have been in reserve for this very moment i.e., the 6th trumpet (2nd woe). One-third of mankind will be destroyed. According to today’s global population, this will exceed *2 1/2 billion people.

*NOTE: The Promised Land goes from the Nile River east to the Euphrates River. Yet, there is a greater human loss during the Great Tribulation. Go back to the 4th seal to read about this. There is another article on ahabiblemoments.com that covers this seal. As a reminder, Revelation 6:8 includes the 4th seal of judgment. The woes, bowls of wrath, plagues, and 7 trumpets are distinct End Time events.

Revelation 9:14 tells of four angels that have been assigned one task since their creation. They are located and bound (held) at the head of the Euphrates River. Once told to “GO” they release a huge force or flood of 200,000,000 enemy troops against Israel. There is too much theological speculation as to from where these forces come. What we do know is the army is so great, Israelis will finally realize they need their Messiah to survive. This sets the stage for the 7th trumpet. It brings us into the second half of the 7-year tribulation.

The critical verse to acknowledge is Revelation 9:20. It is the world’s response by individuals to this true destruction on a mass scale. As in a riot, people will turn on one another. The Bible calls this kingdom against kingdom, father against son, mother against daughter (Luke 12:53).

Let’s be clear. The idols mentioned are the works of those remaining humans including the works of their own hands, false worship, religiousness, and dedication to gathering riches. We will use the dictionary to define idolclick here.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022

(Part 24) End Time is one contiguous event

The two witnesses? Mark of Christ vs the Mark of the Beast? 144,000 Jews. Earth bows before Christ.

During the first three and one-half years of the Tribulation, Jerusalem will have two identifiable witnesses for Jesus Christ. We find this discussed in Revelation 11:3.

Side Note: There is room to consider that they witness before the beginning of the 7-year tribulation. Our best understanding is that they witness during the first half of the tribulation. We determine this by studying the sentence sequence in Revelation 11:2,3. According to verse 2 of Revelation 11, Gentiles will *tread Jerusalem underfoot for forty-two months. This is 3 ½ years. The two witnesses will step forward to proclaim the return of Jesus Christ. It will be to the world but come out of voices in Jerusalem. We also know from Revelation 11:3 the two witnesses will prophesy for a thousand two hundred and threescore days which too is 3 ½ years. Since they prophesy, a future event, they cannot be in the 2nd half of the Tribulation.

*This is the second 3 ½ years of the 7-year Tribulation. It is also known as the time of Jacob’s Trouble. Why is the Tribulation called Jacob’s Trouble in Jeremiah 30:7? Jacob was renamed Israel by God in Genesis 35:10. One could say “Israel’s Troubles” and be correct.

These two are protected by God. They will have supernatural powers. The antichrist will oppose them. The ending of their time to witness, most likely at or in front of the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, is as amazing as anything found in scripture.

Revelation 11:7-10 explains these time-sensitive events. When scripture gives or offers a timing of events, they are not estimates. In this case, the 3 ½ years whether listed in years, 42 months, or 1260 days is the same period. In verse 7 the antichrist has assassinated the two witnesses. As a warning to others, or as a display of the antichrist’s power, their bodies are left in the streets for 3 plus days (Revelation 11:11). Their bodies are left in the streets as a demonstration to the world to heed Satan’s power. However, God intercedes. Three 1/2 days later they are given life again. The world may witness both events via video technology, in person, and word-of-mouth. They stand up right where they had been slain. What a shock this will be to the eyes of people…Left Behind. What a loss for Satan as the world sees this resurrection and begin to realize Satan does not have the last word.

NOTE: Daniel 9:24-27 is a parallel example of the pending End Time Tribulation. These parallel events occurred back in 167 B.C. Recall that Satan, the Red Dragon, can no longer access Heaven. He and his fallen angelic minions are confined to the earth and its atmosphere.  Scripture tells us that his anger is stoked. He knows he has but 7 years remaining for him to destroy all that God created: mankind, believers and Jews.

Here is a summary of the two witnesses: (1) They are giving warnings to the world. (2) They are very much disliked by the public. (3) They accompany a measurement of the Temple [found in Revelation 11:1,2]. (4) They are killed but 3 ½ days later return to life. (5) They perform miracles. (6) Their public ministry lasts for three and a half years. (7) They ascend to heaven in front of all who witness their resurrection.

Mark of the Beast and the Mark of Christ:

Many know or have heard that the mark of the beast will be put on the forehead or the back of mankind’s hand. Few understand that there will also be the mark of Christ during the same time period. Both marks are a choice but only one is of positive eternal value. Those who reject the mark of the beast regardless of their reasoning will be excluded from the marketplace. This includes anyone who rejected being told what to do by anyone.

This is a good time to remind the reader that reality and actuality are sometimes two different things. One’s realities may not align with actualities. However, one’s realities are one’s interpretation or perception of actuality. This is what Satan will do through the antichrist (Revelation 13:4). People will be deceived by the performance of seemingly miraculous wonders. Deception is often rooted in one’s rejection of the the truth.

*Beast #1 is Satan. Beast #2 is the antichrist.

Revelation 13 discusses this in some detail. This conclusion is found using its own words. We teach but YOU must decide.

Click on this link and read the passages of Revelation 13:1-2,11-18. The first creature to rise “out of the sea” is Satan. He can reveal himself in any form he desires. The creature that follows is the antichrist. In verses 11-16 we read that the beast is wounded as to onto death, then healed. The suggestion is that antichrist is wounded as unto death, then healed and raised from the dead; perception versus actuality. Satan has always tried to duplicate the life actions of Jesus. Since Jesus was wounded for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5), Satan too is supposedly wounded. The word “sea” may mean from the midst of people or economies.

Now read or reread 13:16,17. The powers of beast #1 (Satan) are given, by him, to beast #2 (antichrist). Beast #2 performs great wonders in the eyes of man. Catch this…he only performs these wonders (v12) when in the presence of Satan. This implies that the antichrist is but a vessel of Satan; a vessel of and filled by Satan.

What is the significance of this and its connection with this article’s topic? (v15b through 17a) “…the idol that speaks causes those who do not worship the image of the beast to be slain; so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark… The significance is the total economic bondage to and by Satan. The world is propelled into chaos. This also tells us that the mark of Satan must be given during the second half of the 7-year Tribulation.

The 144,000 witnesses

For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7). What might this have to do with our subtitle “The 144,000 witnesses. First, let’s understand this verse. What does it mean to say it is already at work? We do miss the elephant in the room at times. Look around the world. Does one miss that freedoms and deteriorating standards of morality, truth, or deception of what is right and wrong already exist? Is wrong now being called right? Is freedom of expression (especially by Christians) being oppressed? Does no one know that Ecclesiastes 10:2 & 3 even exist? Better yet, review Ecclesiastes 10 and compare it to today’s social, schooling, and political environments.

What might these 144,000 witnesses witness?  Precisely what Ecclesiastes 10 says and warns against. Dr. David Jeremiah says it well in this 4-minute clip. Click on this link to hear him. These witnesses, all from the tribes of Israel, (minus the Tribe of Dan that is replaced by the Tribe of Joseph) are mentioned by name in Revelation 14. In Hebrew history, the Tribe of Dan was the first tribe to leave the alliance of Israel after they crossed the Jordan River and settled in Canaan. They pulled out of their assigned land, migrated north, conquered other people, settled these conquered lands for themselves, and began migrating to northern lands. There is so much more one can discuss regarding this Tribe, but not in this article. Suffice it to know that the Tribe of Dan has always been associated with idols. They left the Promised lands on their own while taking their idols. Keep in mind, some may have remained in their allotted Israeli land.

The 144,000 will be a witness to the world, an example for they reject what the world has to offer and to what Satan desires. They are just the opposite of what scriptures point out are the sins of the world that will exceed the times of Noah before the flood. It is possible, though speculative, that these witnesses of Jesus will be the turning point of Jews (Israelis) to accept as theirs the very same Messiah they crucified back around 32 A.D.

Theologian and author Jeff Kinley states: “Scripture reveals that God will once again bring worldwide judgment on mankind. But unlike the Flood, it won’t be a single event, but rather a series of happenings that occur all over the world…” We already see these gradual changes to our world as mentioned earlier in this article. This will be covered in a future article, blog, or commentary. It is amazing what little detail is taught from the pulpit about the future of this world itself and who are the major participants.

Earth bows before Christ

Far too often this is but an aside in End Time messages and studies. Romans 14:11 is obvious. No additional commentary is needed. What about the mountains melting and Jerusalem physically rising in elevation? Here is a help to understanding. Click on the following passages and read for yourself how the world will bow before Jesus after it is too late for salvation. Once Christ returns, JUDGMENT.

Isaiah 40:4
Luke 3:5 repeats this Old Testament passage
Revelation 6:14
Revelation 16:20
Ezekiel 38:20

To keep this simple, understand that Jerusalem has a major role in the foundations of this earth during the Millennial Reign. We read this in Ezekiel in chapter 47:1-9.

In Revelation 8:7 we read that 1/3 of this earth will be torched. Revelation 8 states the destruction of the earth, man, plant, and the world as we know it. It is well worth the read.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022

 PS; The Mark of Christ? Read Revelation 9:4. This is from the 5th angel of the Book of Revelation.

(Part 23) End Time is one contiguous event – Woe, woe, woe

Seldom does one fully grasp an inclusive view of End Time Tribulation judgments of God. They include the universe as well as this world. These calamities are added to by Satan’s attempts to force the world into worshiping him and him alone. God will provide an escape and place of refuge for his chosen people of Israel. However, they still must flee to it (Petra/wilderness) without hesitation (Revelation 12:6). That too is another choice for Israel. Those who heed it will likely see the Millennial Reign.

Does one live in the moment or think and prepare for the future? Most of us are immersed in the “here and now,” giving little thought to the future. But we should! For one thing, the end times will soon be the “here and now”; much sooner than many people realize. We need to be prepared! We shouldn’t let it overtake us or surprise us like the thief would try to do (1 Thessalonians 5:2-4).

Take note of 2 Timothy 33:1. The late Billy Graham quoted this same passage in some of his messages.  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.      

Many of these End Time Tribulation calamities can be found in Matthew 24. But there are two sides to these great end-time events. One is those instigated by Satan. He hates people of Israeli descent. People tend to incorrectly put them all in the same identity bucket – Jews. Not so. They are Israelis.

As we go over this short list of plagues, curses, tribulations, earthquakes, volcanoes, violent seas, wars, and disasters, we MUST KEEP IN MIND Revelation 22:12. The best news of all, believers will be in the rapture before the Tribulation begins or (less likely) at the mid-point of the 7-year Tribulation. Our list will not be in chronological order. To do this would entail too much speculation.

Little time will be spent in an exhaustive study of each End Time calamity. This article is to make a stark awareness of what is in store.

We begin with the infamous apocalypse and its four horsemen. In an earlier ahamoment commentary study, we examined this in some detail. These four horsemen are associated with the opening of the first of the seven seals. Each seal is mentioned in Revelation 6:1-8. The first horseman, a conqueror with a bow (no arrows) and a diadem (crown) is given to him. He rides a white horse. He is probably a great leader at the beginning of the Tribulation, but not recognized for who he is (antichrist) until the mid-point in the tribulation when he turns on Israel. He is the horseman who brings acceptable, albeit temporary, peace to the earth with Israel.

The second horseman is given a great sword and rides a red horse, a symbol of death and bloodshed.  The third carries a balance scale, rides a black horse, and symbolizes famine. The fourth horseman rides a pale (light green) horse and is identified as Death for Hades followed. Horsemen 2, 3, and 4 are most likely symbolic of conditions on earth.

All four horsemen are bad omens to those remaining on earth. Click on the highlighted text to the left to read a more detailed discussion of the apocalypse (ahabiblemoment article – 2015).

Be clear…the Rapture and Tribulation are not the same things. First comes the Rapture of believers. What follows is the apocalypse horsemen, the Tribulation, and at the mid-point, the abomination of abominations in Jerusalem i.e., Jacob’s (Israel) Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). Why is the second half of the 7-year Tribulation called Jacob’s Trouble? Jacob was renamed Israel by God (Genesis 35:10). The people being forefront on Satan’s list of the targeted will be Israeli.

Believers will be transformed into immortal bodies (Matthew 24:30-31). This is also when Israelis will be gathered together from the four corners of the earth. What we currently see in Israel today is but a partial gathering. 1948 set the stage for this event found in Matthew 24:31. Knowledge does help with understanding.

Many know the passage that reads: Kingdom against kingdom. We just reviewed this passage in our previous commentary on Matthew 24. It is an eye-opening list. Look it up and gain knowledge.

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

Matthew 24:8 All these are but the beginnings of sorrows.

The beginning of sorrows? Matthew 24:7 & 8 says this is the beginning of End Time or Tribulation sorrows. Let this be a sign unto all. Recall in a previous ahamoment commentary what is defined as kingdom against kingdom. This means a small, medium, or large group of vested or in common members who connive to not lose their power to another group. They fight one another. A simple example of this could be in politics. Deception, lying, false accusations, and distractions, are in each group’s arsenals. Such has become the main platform of politics today in many nations including the United States. It is identifiable kingdoms (perhaps unions, denominations, localities, race, gender identities, political party, Green Deal agendas or more) within a given geopolitical arena. Since this same passage in Matthew 24 includes son against father, mother against daughter, and neighbor against neighbor it puts an interesting light on the statement often heard today…See (hear) something, say something. Sounds innocent by itself but it isn’t exclusive to bad behavior. Such puts person against person, group against groups, and vested interests against each other. The world is already at this point. Soon it will be open conflict if not already true.

Isaiah 19:2 adds to this list of maladies. It reads city against city, brother against brother, each person against his or her neighbor(s). See something, say something? Mark 13:8 and Luke 21:10 underscore this same concept. Will one find it difficult to recognize that this is a current and trending event? Only if one is not aware, know what to anticipate, and understand what Isaiah 19:2 says. It isn’t a needle in a haystack, but when one does not know what it is s/he is seeking, the same won’t know what it is if already in or at hand.

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 may not sound or read like a curse, but hidden within this passage is a dreadful omen. It means that there is now a permanent separation between those left behind and those taken. This passage is the rapture. Over half of the earth’s population has been destroyed in the apocalypse. This includes much of the earth itself. David Rossiter once said… One problem with the bible is it says things people don’t like. The result is they try to “interpret” what they wish it to mean instead of taking it at face value (paraphrased).

To cross reference this momentous event read 1 Corinthians 15:52; the twinkling of an eye. Once again, most believers read this as great information but do not understand its consequences. In the twinkle of an eye. It takes longer for the reader of these six words than it takes for 1 Corinthians 15:52 to be completed.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 one can question the death it mentions as a believer. That answer is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Our (souls) do not die. They either go to Hades (nonbelievers) or Paradise (believers). The word in Greek for dying is key-mah’-o. It means the body slumbers in an unconscious state. The way it actually differs from earthly sleep probably is no dreams. We don’t know what the soul, our conscious state, is doing at that time. We know where it resides but not its state of thought.

Other end-time events include Micah 1:4. The mountains will melt under Him, And the valleys will split Like wax before the fire-like waters pour down a steep place. The “him” in this passage is Christ. A valley that splits moving it to the north and the south is a known geological fault line that goes through Jerusalem. The Mt of Olives is where that fault line is located. It is where Jesus will return and plant his feet. It will also be a wide valley providing an escape route for those who are told to flee to the wilderness in order to be put under the direct protection of God when the antichrist seeks to destroy them. NBC published an article about this fault line in 2004. It is a good read.  https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna3980139. Old Testament Zechariah 14:4 points this out as do multiple New Testament passages. It is identified by secular science as the Great Rift Valley.

The sad part about this knowledge is that Israelis refuse to connect it to the New Testament. They also seem to reject the Old Testament passage in Zechariah 14:4.

Has this happened before? Yes. In Matthew 27:51-53 we read of a startling event In Jerusalem. Many fail to grasp its presents in scripture. Graves opened and many believers rose right along with and at the same time as the resurrection of Jesus. Why more is not recorded of this either in secular history or in scripture is an amazing curiosity. This opening of a few graves coincided with a major earthquake in 31 A.D.

The two witnesses? Mark of Christ vs the Mark of the Beast? 144,000 Jews. Earth bows before Christ.

There is so much more. We will continue gaining knowledge, about end-time plagues, disorders, and antichrist enactments in our next article.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022

(Part 22) End Time is one contiguous event – Revelation 12:10-17

Reminder: Revelation 8:1. “And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” An Almighty voice cried out. And heaven stopped….it stood still. For thirty minutes every celestial thing stood still. “And there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”

Chapter 8 reminds us that there is a dominant universal power. We are concluding our review of Revelation 12 which speaks of War in Heaven. We discussed chapter 8 in our Revelation series, but it is so powerful it serves well to remind us once again of God’s awesome power in chapter 8, verse one.

War In Heaven:        The War in Heaven - Revelation 12

Let’s reset the stage by remembering Revelation 12:12: “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time (NKJV). It is the heavens that stand still, according to chapter 8:1. Earth, all that is in it, and Satan are about to be judged. The end is no longer near. It is in progress. We read of rejoicing and woe. Let’s discuss it.

There are several noteworthy events in these verses of Revelation 12:10-17. Back up two verses to Revelation 12:10. In part we read: (v10b) “for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God, day and night, has been cast down”. Satan has, in a sense, been in the face of God pointing out the failures of believers. When cast out of heaven, he can no longer do this. His access to God in heaven is finished. At that time he is restricted to earth and the atmosphere around it. This is why verse 12:12 offers a warning…WOE TO EARTH. This is a parallel passage to the Red Dragon being pushed from heaven, his tail sweeping 1/3 of the angels along with him (Revelation 12:4).

Why does Satan panic? Revelation 12:12b states: For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” He has always known he is defeated. He also understands scripture when it says the Tribulation will last but 7-years. He knows his demise is but 7-years once cast out of heaven. All he can look forward to is 1,000 years of being nonessential with no direct influence over anything. At this time he has only 7 years remaining to destroy as much of God’s creation as possible. Where does he think he can do the most damage with such time constraint? By destroying God’s chosen Israelites.

NOTE ONCE AGAIN: In verse 4 of Revelation 12 we have a significant period between the first sentence and the second sentence. The first sentence is about the birth of Jesus. Satan knows this well. He tried to proxy the death of Jesus so the (woman) Israel would not produce a plan of salvation through the Tribe of Judah. His tail dragging 1/3 of heaven’s host of angels to earth is before the Tribulation. When Satan stood before Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem as she labored the birth of Jesus, it was years earlier then this passage addresses in Revelation. Jude 6 reinforces this conclusion.

Believers have total assurance of salvation, not of personal powers, but according to verse 11, the “blood of the lamb” assures it. “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Corinthians 4:5 [KJV].

Satan’s wrath is exceedingly great. As pointed out. His days are numbered to 7 more years. Recall that Satan does not know when the return of Jesus would be. Even Jesus does not know this time. “But of that day and hour, no one knows.” Matthew 24:36

Revelation 12:13 can be a bit confusing. It is a predestined event. When Satan sees he has been cast to earth along with his minions, he persecutes the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male child. Israel is God’s chosen and Satan hates it. Why? Because he wanted to be the chosen one.

  1. The woman is Israel
  2. Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah
  3. The male child which Satan could not destroy is Jesus

The obvious focus of this verse is the End Time persecution of man, beast, and earth enacted by Satan. If it is due to Satan concentrating on brutalizing Israel due to Jesus being born out of them, it means that the focus of Satan is upon Israel first, then God’s creation. No hint or mention is given of the church of Jesus. Why? They are already raptured. We do know that some people will come to Christ during this short time. They too will be harassed or murdered through Satan’s proxies. Taking the mark of the beast will not do anyone a bit of good. Many in this later revival will be Jews. It may include those Left Behind pew dwellers.

New believers who accept Christ as Messiah and are murdered during the Tribulation will be the souls hidden under the Throne or alter. See Revelation 6:9-17. This is a very revealing passage. It happens at the opening of the 5th and 6th seals. To answer the question of will men and women become believers in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation is an obvious YES.

Keep in mind that the woman mentioned in verses 13 and 14 is Israel. One can only speculate the meaning of the “two wings and an eagle” mentioned in Revelation 12:14. Looking at Exodus 19:4, we find similar verbiage. We know that the exodus of Israelis from Egypt under Moses and Joseph was not aboard a huge airplane. The same is true in Revelation 12:14. This verse and mention of a great eagle with two wings imply the speed of the fleeing Israelis from *Judah, specifically Jerusalem. They flee to the wilderness where they have the protection and provisions of God. When does this happen? It will be the mid-point of the Tribulation when the antichrist goes back on his 7-year agreement of peace.

*JIV NOTE: The State of Israel in 2022 has approximately the same borders of the Old Testament territory of the Tribe of Judah. It is but a small part of the Promised land.

An aha moment often missed is the first sentence in Exodus 19:4…You have seen what I did to the Egyptians. This portion in Revelation 12 is also the time of judgment upon the earth, followers of the antichrist, and nonbelievers. God’s wrath will be felt upon the earth. We will discuss the multiple wrath during the Tribulation in a later article.

Amazingly, Satan tries to dislodge these refugees from their God-given place of refuge. Revelation 12:14 reads: “So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood”. One can probably take this literally. Satan has great powers. However, his attempt to use a mass weapon of destruction like this huge flood is nixed. God causes a great opening in the earth that swallows and absorbs the flood waters Satan “spews from his mouth”. v16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. v17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ i.e., those who have then accept Christ during the Tribulation. The dragon switches gears when he sees he cannot touch those who fled to the wilderness. He turns on those who since the beginning of the Tribulation have accepted the truths of Salvation and the blood of Jesus that assures their eternity. Satan’s wrath includes those who did not heed the warning to flee Judah/Israel. (Luke 21:20-23)

This is not a new tactic of either God or Satan. Isaiah 59:19 we see the use of a flood and defense provided by God back in the Book of Exodus. We must allow for the the possibility this flood being symbolic, perhaps of a great army. We do know at the exodus; Egyptian forces were swallowed up by the Red Sea. Perhaps this time in Revelation 12 it is a great opening in the earth that swallows up these possible invading forces or flood waters. These military forces may possibly be caught in the flood waters of Satan just as happened to Pharaoh’s army at the Red Sea.

Revelation12:17 reiterates that this secondary aggression is against God’s chosen who are not in Petra i.e., the wilderness to which they flee. It is those who are related to the fleeing Israelis. Again, the church is not identified as being on earth.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2022