Friday, July 31, 2009

The Four Beasts of Revelation

We hear so much about who the Antichrist is. There are many differences of opinions, but the most important thing we need to know is what the Antichrist does and how to recognize him. The Bible clearly says that he would even deceive the very elect. We need to study everything the Bible says about him as well as his government. He will come as an angel of light and he knows Scripture better than most of us. He will not be what he appears to be and that is God. No one knows the identity of the Antichrist. If we all knew then there would be no need to study and that is exactly what Satan is depending upon. He is the master of deception.

There are 4 beasts mentioned in the book of Revelation.

The Lamb (Jesus the Lamb of God)

The Lamb-like



The Dragon The identity of the Dragon is easily seen when we look to the Bible.

Revelation 12:3-4 And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars (angels) of heaven, and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman (church, God's people) who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. (Jesus).

Verse 7 And there was war in heaven, Michael (Jesus) and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and his angels waged war.

Verse 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

There is no question as to who the Dragon is. He is Satan, Lucifer, the Devil. The Dragon is at war with Jesus and this war is over the people of God. Read the entire chapter of Revelation 12 to see this war and what it is about.

Who is the Dragon-like beast? Babylon. The word Babylon means confusion and that is exactly what it will be. This beast will have power for 42 months.

Revelation 13:1 And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. The blasphemous names on the heads indicate that they are religious in nature. Webster's dictionary says to speak of or address something sacred esp. God impiously or irreverently. In other words these names are religious in nature and they speak against God. The diadems on the horns represent the crown of authority. You will notice that this beast comes out of sea. Waters mean people's in the Bible. The number seven means complete spiritually. The number ten is complete politically.

This beast is not the dragon. This beast is made up of kingdoms represented by the lion, bear, leopard and the terrible beast found in Daniel 7. In Daniel 7:12 "As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. In other words their descendents remain. This is a confederation of global powers, which is Babylon.

In Revelation 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. Imagine a glove. If I hold out the glove it is motionless on it's own. But if I place the glove on my hand, it now has life. I can move it and make it do what I want. This is exactly what is happening here. The glove is Babylon and the hand inside is Satan or the Dragon.

We learn that one of the heads has been wounded in Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" We know from history that this head is the Papacy. It was wounded in 1798 when General Berthier captured the Pope and Rome fell from power. We also know that Rome is quickly rising to power again.

If one of the heads is of a religious nature then the other heads must be the same for they are all coming off one body. So how do we identify the other heads? We find our answer in Revelation 17:9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen (exposed, or brought down), one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. In ancient times hills or mountains were used for places of worship or seen as the places where God dwells. People look up to these. They look for all the answers within their church, from their pastor. Even most laity have no idea where their beliefs actually originated.

When Jesus was born as a man the teachings of men were exposed as being false.

Five fallen

Heathenism- man creates his own gods

Atheism- denies the existence of God

Judaism- rejects that Jesus is the Messiah, seeking salvation through obedience

Eastern Mysticism- man can become God

Islam (Arabic faith)- denies Jesus being the Son of God

6. One is

In John's day the religious system was Christianity, what we now call Catholicism. Satan gained control of Christianity and it rose and fell and was proven false.

7. And one is yet to come

Protestantism was next on the scene. And comparatively speaking it is quite young. All the other religious systems are 20 or more centuries old.

So our heads are exposed. We now know who they are. These are the false religious systems of our world and the Papacy will bring these systems together in response to the devastation of the trumpets.

As you can see, the consolidation of all these religions will be confusing to say the least. This is why it is called Babylon. The Papacy will take the lead in establishing this union and it will make laws that will be severe in order to give honor to God. When Satan arrives he will merge these 7 systems into one great image. Revelation 13:14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. The saints will be severely persecuted during this time. They will need to completely submit their lives to our Lord and Savior. GOBEDO

Who is the lamb-like beast? This is the most powerful of all the beasts.

Revelation 13:11-12 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.

In Revelation 17:8 "The beast that you saw was and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth will wonder, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come. 17:11 "And the beast which was and is not, is himself also the eighth, which is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. Now what does this mean? If you will insert the word visible, the meaning becomes clearer. The beast that you saw was visible and is not visible and is about to come up out of the abyss. Do you see now!

Lucifer, the Devil, Satan, is an angel. He has been confined to the spiritual realm (invisible), but he is going to be allowed to come up out of the abyss and assume the body of a man (visible). Just as Jesus came to earth as a man, Satan will also be a man. He will have a physical body and he will perform miracles and convince many that he is God.

We do not know the name Satan will use, the Bible again does not tell us. We know that his name will be associated with the number of 666. Many are pointing at different individuals such as the Pope, Kissinger and many others. We need to be more concerned with what Satan does and how he is going to do it so that we will recognize him when he comes. We will not be deceived if we have studied the prophecies. Satan loves it when we look at certain individuals so that it might take our eyes off who he may really be. We will know him no matter what. We also do not know the name that Jesus has been given upon His return. The Bible does not tell us, we only know He will receive a new name. If we knew His name then Satan would know it too and he would use that name when he comes.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.

Another thing thing that is important to mention is that many are not prepared for is the timing of Satan's arrival. The world will be in such chaos that many will be looking to anyone who has the answers to what is going on. Satan's timely arrival will be during the 5th trumpet. This earth will be in such destruction that many will even welcome his coming as God from the clouds. He will perform many miracles so as to convince people he is God. He will be a dynamic person, remember he was the most beautiful angel in heaven so he will have a personality that will draw people to him in the beginning.

Always remember that Jesus never touches the earth when He returns for His saints. Satan will be seen in many places on the earth many times. Yet he will come from the clouds just as Jesus. The Bible tells us that every eye will see Jesus' return. Satan cannot be seen by all at the same time. By the way, Jesus doesn't need TV either to be seen.

Our prayer is that you will study the prophecies so you will not be deceived.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Christ in Me

If He had not been born,

He could not have died

If He had not died,

He could not have been raised!

And if He had not been raised,

Then my Faith is dead.

But! Thanks be unto God,

For Christ my Savior lives.

He lives in me,

I know this is true.

For I no longer desire,

The things I use to do.

My attitude and heart now changed,

Sin defeated, it can no longer reign.

For this mortal body, Freed....

From selfishness and worldly greed.

No condemnation to those in Christ,

For on Calvary's Cross, JESUS paid the price.

He suffered death to set me free,

Broke all satan's bonds and holds on me...

In all His mercies, Love and Grace,

I strive to finish, as I run this race,

With my sword in hand, My Banner Raised !!!


My Victory and Liberty In Christ....


John 6:26

Because of Calvary

The Indiana Gobedoer

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

God is Always Watching Over His Own

(Testimony of a Go Be Do friend in Texas)
Judging others, we all do it in some form or another. When you look at a person you form an instant opinion.

Rich, poor, druggie or Christian. God really doesn't care what's on the outside because as we know God can and does use this for His work.

An example of this would be when I hitchhiked off from my loved ones. I thought I knew what I was doing, but in review He was the one to guide me back to the people who loved me most. When it was time to come home, it all fell into place so quickly that I didn't have time to question what I was doing, He just put me into action. The most frightening thing was the phone call home; I tried to call my husband. When we finally talked I found out there were a LOT of people praying for my safe return. But what about him, or her, or them? Would they let me back into their lives? Did they want me with them?

I found out that yes they did, but I also found out that the man I left that he didn't. His ticket was there, but mine wasn't, so he left on the bus home and left me stuck in a town where I knew no one at all! It was getting dark and I had no place to go.

I was totally alone except the guy behind the counter who was closing shop for the night. There were no more buses due until morning. I called my husband back to tell him I wouldn't be home until morning... As I hung up a car with a older lady pulled up beside me, She said "God told me you needed help, what can I do?" I freaked! How did this lady know? I knew what she said, but could she be trusted when I was dirty, smelly and my clothes weren't even comparable to hers? She was dressed very nicely and had a nice car, and she was going to help me out? What was her catch? I told her I needed a ride just one town over and she said she couldn't because of her eyesight, but she would take me to someone who would. I went over to the bench where my bag was and underneath was 25 dollars. I looked around and saw no one.... She took me to her house and called her preacher, he took me home (where I'd been staying).

The next morning my landlord came by and I told him that everything in the trailer was to go to the churches that helped us out when we first got there, if my friend didn't come back for it after a couple weeks. He took me to the bus station, but my ticket still wasn't there and he offered to pay for one, if I was sure I wanted to go. My ticket finally showed up. As I was waiting for the bus I saw a man who, by looking at him, hadn't eaten in a while so I gave him some of the money I'd found the day before under my bag. I knew how he felt, wondering where that next meal was coming from. God gave it to me... I gave part of it back. I was starting to see how God was putting people in the right place, at the right time to help me out, or those to help out.

When the bus got there I said my good-byes with tears because the people who came to see me off (my landlord and his sister-in-law, which usually didn't get along) had become like a mom and dad to me. They were always helping, never asking anything in return. When I had to change buses I saw a boy, about 17 or so, he was running away. I asked if he was being hurt at home and he said, "No, I'm just mad because I couldn't use the car last weekend." I gave him some money, enough for a phone call, and told him to call his mom because she's gonna be upset, but glad he's safe. I went outside to wait for the bus and a little while later I saw the boy come out with a lady. (his mom) She thanked me and hugged me.

A girl asked if I had any smokes. I noticed she had needle marks on her arms and my first thought was to throw the whole pack at her and run, but then I thought if that nice old lady would have judged me like that, I'd have been sleeping on the streets. I gave her the pack I had and asked her if she knew about AIDS and the other things she could get from needles. She said she did. I asked her why she would put that stuff in her body, but she had no answer for me. I told her I would give her my extra pack if she would get help and go home, I hope she did... I'll never know.

Soon I was running short on money myself and wondered how I would eat come suppertime. (I'd been there for 3 or 4 hours). I finally got the bus home !!! Two more hours until the next stop. Then another two until I got home. I met a lady who reminded of my aunt and we talked to make the time pass. She shared a lot of stories of how God helped her and how we are to help others. We stopped to eat, but I didn't have the money so I stayed on the bus. She scolded me for not asking her help.

I finally got to my hometown, and waiting for me was my brother and his son... one of the best sights I'd ever seen. The best sight was when I got to the house and saw my children again. God showed me His love and kept me safe. To me God and only God could do this!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Communicating with the Dead

With all the programs on TV now with spiritualists, claiming to know your future, many are deceived into believing. Satan and his evil spirits are the masters of deception. With so many people being lost, trying to find answers in anything except God. Something to believe in. Trying to find happiness, peace and joy with those claiming to have psychic powers and the communication with the dead.

The Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 18:10-11 "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead."

It is possible for demons to appear before we humans using the vehicle of apparitions. God’s Word is not hidden in the secret world. His Word is plain and consistent. These spirits claim they come to help us, when in actuality they come to destroy us.

Why are we seeing so much of this today and so many that are falling prey to it? In I Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.

It can be comforting in believing that their dead loved ones can return to the living to minister to them and carry messages from God and the hereafter. It has allowed Satan an open door into their minds. Satan is quite capable of mimicking their voices, looks and situations etc. so that even the very elect can be deceived if not careful.

Remember in Genesis 3 that Eve who was totally innocent, was deceived by the serpent who was the Devil and the consequences are still be paid for until this day.

The Bible instructs us to reject every form of spiritism. He warns, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary the devil prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)
Jesus warns, "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and father of lies. (John 8:44)

These spirits can even cause physical and psychological ailments upon their victims causing destructive and irrational behavior. We read about these things in our newspapers more and more everyday.

Matthew 8:28 And when He had come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs; they were so exceedingly violent that no one could pass by that road. And in Luke 8:27, And when He had come out onto the land, He was met by a certain man from the city who was possessed with demons; and who had not put on any clothing for a long time, and was not living in a house. But in the tombs. And in Luke 17:15-18, "Lord have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic, and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him." And Jesus answered and said, " O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me." And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

Are these spirits of God? Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1John 4:1)
As we near the time of the end we will see more and more manifestations of evil spirits. The devil knows his time is short.

Psalms 115:17-18 The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence; but as for us, we will bless the Lord from this time forth and forever.
Praise the Lord!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Christmas: Christian or Pagan?

We have come to that time of year again that Christians celebrate the birth of Christ. The holiday we call Christmas. Yet no where in the Bible do we see the early Christian church celebrating the birth of Jesus. First century believers did not celebrate the birth of Christ. Second century believers were reprimanded for trying to choose dates for the birth of Jesus. In AD 354 December 25th was listed as a pagan holiday on the calendar and it was only accepted as a Christian observance in the 5th century.

It makes many angry when we step on their toes about the traditions of men being brought into God's church, but here are the facts. The only church that Christmas is celebrated in is the church of man's tradition. You decide.

God has never accepted pagan practices with His worship. In Exodus 32 when the golden calf was built and the celebration was declared "a feast unto the Lord," God wanted to destroy the people and had not Moses pleaded with God He would have. Exodus 32:5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

God commanded in Exodus 20:3 Thou shall have no other gods before Me. Notice the word "before", this means not to do anything in front of Him. So you say we don't worship a calf. But the people had declared a celebration to honor God that He didn't recognize as being in His honor. Has God told us to take something that is pagan in nature, Christmas, and offer it in His honor? Do you get the point. Even though we do not bow down as sun-worshippers we do declare some thing that is pagan in nature, "a feast to the Lord."

The church at Rome assigned December 25th as the date for the celebration of the feast around AD 320 to 353 after the triumph of Constantine. Christians were celebrating Christmas on that day by the end of the fourth century. The source of the celebration of December 25th is the birthday of Mithra, the pagan sun god. Encyclopedia Britannica

Reading in the Incarta Encyclopedia:

II.Origins of Christmas

Historians are unsure exactly when Christians first began celebrating the Nativity of Christ. However, most scholars believe that Christmas originated in the 4th century as a Christian substitute for pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Before the introduction of Christmas, each year beginning on December 17 Romans honored Saturn, the ancient god of agriculture, in a festival called Saturnalia. This festival lasted for seven days and included the winter soltice which usually occurred around December 25 on the ancient Julian calendar. During Saturnalia the Romans feasted, postponed all business and warfare, exchanged gifts, and temporarily freed their slaves. Many Romans also celebrated the lengthening of daylight following the winter solstice by participating in rituals to glorify Mithra, the Ancient Persian god of light (see Mithraism). These and other winter festivities continued through January 1, the festival of Kalends, when Romans marked the day of the new moon and the first day of the month and year. Roman Catholics first celebrated Christmas, then known as the Feast of the Nativity, as early as 336 AD. The word Christmas entered the English language sometime around 1050 as the Old English phrase Christes maesse, meaning "festival of Christ." Scholars believe the frequently used shortened form of Christmas—Xmas—may have come into use in the 13th century. The X stands for the Greek letter chi, an abbreviation of Khristos (Christ), and also represents the cross on which Jesus was crucified.

Mithraism, one of the major religions of the Roman Empire, the cult of Mithra, the ancient Persian god of light and wisdom. In the Avesta, the sacred Zoroastrian writings (see Zoroastrianism) of the ancient Persians, Mithra appears as the chief yazata (Avestan, "beneficent one"), or good spirit, and ruler of the world. He was supposed to have slain the divine bull, from whose dying body sprang all plants and animals beneficial to humanity. After the conquest of Assyria in the 7th century BC and of Babylonia in the 6th century BC, Mithra became the god of the sun, which was worshipped in his name (see Sun Worship). The Greeks of Asia Minor, by identifying Mithra with Helios, the Greek god of the sun, helped to spread the cult. It was brought to Rome about 68 BC by Cilician pirates whom the Roman general Pompey the Great had captured, and during the early empire it spread rapidly throughout Italy and the Roman provinces. It was a rival to Christianity in the Roman world. Mithraism was similar to Christianity in many respects, for example, in the ideals of humility and brotherly love, baptism, the rite of communion, the use of holy water, the adoration of the shepherds at Mithra's birth, the adoption of Sundays and of December 25 (Mithra's birthday) as holy days, and the belief in the immortality of the soul, the last judgment, and the resurrection.

Mithraism differed from Christianity in the exclusion of women from its ceremonies and in its willingness to compromise with polytheism. The similarities, however, made possible the easy conversion of its followers to Christian doctrine.


(from Old English Cristes maesse, "Christ's mass"), Christian festival celebrated on December 25, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a popular secular holiday.

According to a Roman almanac, the Christian festival of Christmas was celebrated in Rome by AD 336. In the eastern part of the Roman Empire, however, a festival on January 6 commemorated the manifestation of God in both the birth and the baptism of Jesus, except in Jerusalem, where only the birth was celebrated. During the 4th century the celebration of Christ's birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern churches. In Jerusalem, opposition to Christmas lasted longer, but it was subsequently accepted. In the Armenian Church, a Christmas on December 25 was never accepted; Christ's birth is celebrated on January 6. After Christmas was established in the East, the baptism of Jesus was celebrated on Epiphany, January 6. In the West, however, Epiphany was the day on which the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus was celebrated.

The reason why Christmas came to be celebrated on December 25 remains uncertain, but most probably the reason is that early Christians wished the date to coincide with the pagan Roman festival marking the "birthday of the unconquered sun" (natalis solis invicti); this festival celebrated the winter solstice, when the days again begin to lengthen and the sun begins to climb higher in the sky. The traditional customs connected with Christmas have accordingly developed from several sources as a result of the coincidence of the celebration of the birth of Christ with the pagan agricultural and solar observances at midwinter. In the Roman world the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchange of gifts. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Iranian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness. On the Roman New Year (January 1), houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and gifts were given to children and the poor. To these observances were added and Celtic Yule rites when the Teutonic tribes penetrated into Gaul, Britain, and central Europe. Food and good fellowship, the Yule log and Yule cakes, greenery and fir trees, and gifts and greetings all commemorated different aspects of this festive season. Fires and lights, symbols of warmth and lasting life, have always been associated with the winter festival, both pagan and Christian. Since the European Middle Ages, evergreens, as symbols of survival, have been associated with Christmas. Christmas is traditionally regarded as the festival of the family and of children, under the name of whose patron, Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus, presents are exchanged in many countries.

"In early time this day (Christmas) was not one of the feasts of the Christian Church. In fact, the church fathers frowned upon the celebration of birthdays and thought them a heathen custom." (The New Book of Knowledge. New York: Grolier, 1979. P289)

The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics confirms this--"MOST of the Christian customs [related to Christmas] now prevailing in Europe, or recorded from former times, are HEATHEN customs which have been absorbed or tolerated by the Church. The Christian feast has inherited these customs from two sources: Roman and Teutonic PAGANISM."

"The ancient Romans held year end celebrations to honor Saturn, their harvest god; and Mithras, the god of light. Various people in northern Europe held festivals in mid-December to celebrate the end of the harvest season. As part of all these celebrations, the people prepared special foods, decorated their homes with greenery, and joined in singing and gift giving. These customs gradual became part of the Christmas celebrations." (The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, 1995)

"Christmas is a very old holiday. It clearly started as a celebration of the passing of the winter solstice, and the start of the sun's journey from the north to the south…The ancient Romans observed this time with a festival dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture, and it was called Saturnalia…When Emperor Constantine decreed Christianity as the new faith of the Roman Empire, early in the fourth century, the Christians gave the holiday an entirely new name and an entirely new meaning." (Faer, Joseph. Holidays Around the World. Boston: Little Brown, 1953)

The Everyman's Encyclopedia declares--

"The practice of decorating churches is pagan in its origin."

"Christianity thus replaced a pagan holiday with A Christian one, while keeping the same symbolism-the birthday of Christ corresponds to the birth of a new year. Many of the pagan customs became part of the Christian celebrations." (New Standard Encyclopedia. Chicago: Standard Educational, 1991)

T.G. Crippen, in Christmas and Christmas Lore, confesses--

"The Feast of the Nativity rather incorporated than supplanted various heathen festivals. It was therefore only natural that RELICS OF HEATHEN PRACTICE should survive as traditional customs."

And the Catholic Encyclopedia (note the source) admits--

"There is NO DOUBT that the original Christian nuclei attracted PAGAN accretions."

The Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia similarly says--

"There were non-Christian elements present in the origin of Christmas. The giving of presents was a Roman custom. The Yule-tree [modern 'Christmas Tree'] and the Yule-log are remnants of old Teutonic NATURE WORSHIP."

The Encyclopedia Britannica says--"Many current customs date back to pre-Christian origins: among them are Christmas decorations. The Romans ornamented their temples and homes with green boughs and flowers for the Saturnalia [Dec. 17-23] ... The Druids gathered mistletoe and hung it in their homes; the Saxons used holly and ivy."

We can trace the basis of the Christmas celebration back to the kingdom of Nimrod, Babel. After Nimrod died Ninus was born to Beltis. He was considered to be the reincarnation of Nimrod. This is the origin of the worship of "Mother and Child". Beltis the mother of Ninus became known as the" mother of god" or "the queen of heaven". In Egypt this celebration was the same only different names. Osiris the sun god and Isis was the "queen of heaven" and Horus was the son born on December 25th. Since the time of Babel sun worshippers have recognized this time of year in the honor of their gods.

Every time we see the story of the birth of Christ in the Bible we see the wise men mentioned. They came from the East and were students of prophecy. They studied the writings of Daniel and they knew that a priest had to be 30 years of age before beginning His ministry. They calculated an approximate time when the 483 years of Daniel 9 would end. They then subtracted 30 years from their conclusion to determine when the birth of Christ would be. Their journey could have taken up to 2 years.

We also see that Christ could not have possibly been born in December. And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2:8 In fact He could not have been born in the winter. The sheep were kept in corrals during the winter. The sheep in Palestine were not in the fields in December. The shepherds guarded their sheep during lambing time in the spring. So more than likely Christ was born in the spring.

Have we brought a form of worship into God's church that He does not recognize? Only you can be the judge of that. How your family uses Christmas is your decision. We can only present to you the facts. We ask, who authorized the celebration of Christmas, December 25th in honor of Christ? Did God?


'But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." Mark 7:7-8

Sunday, July 26, 2009

God's Law Against Legalism

In the Battle of Law vs. Grace, the Grace camp tries to do away with it, and the Law camp misunderstands it, but God still has a law against legalism.

Many Christians today believe the law of God was done away at the death of Jesus. They say that if one believes the law of God is still valid, that one is "under the law" or "legalistic." On the other hand, an opposing group of Christians contend that we must keep all of God's Law with all of our might if we are going to be in God's kingdom. They say that the Grace group, with their "faith alone" are practicing "rocking chair religion." Perhaps you can see the problem. Both camps are partly wrong if the focal point of my thesis is correct, that God has a law against legalism. If God's law is still valid it hasn't been done away. And if He has a law against legalism, the Law group has some serious adjusting to do in how they go about keeping the law.

First let me define the term legalism as I use it. Legalism is an attempt to be or become righteous by doing God's law in one's own strength.

Second, let me define the Law and its purpose. I would like to put forth a concept of the law and what it represents that may help reveal its purpose. The law basically is a set of negative statements that define the character of God as it applies to man. "Thou shall not" is the negative part. Those things God has stated that we are not to do are the very same things that Jesus did not do as He lived a perfect life on Earth. Jesus turned what we see as negative into a positive way of life! Jesus defined the law as a loving way of life! Where the law says "Thou shall not kill" Jesus, in full agreement, says to love your enemies. Far from doing away with the law, Jesus raised the standard to fulfill or fill to the full our concept of what the law is intended to do. If we can picture the law as a transcript of God's character, which is Love, we can see the eternal purpose of His law. The Law of God in its basic form as defined in the Ten Commandments, is simply ten statements to show us when we are not living the way God intended. Perhaps this is why they are stated as negatives! When we do what they say not to do we are living a negative life or in other words, a way of life that leads to death. God created us to live! It was in love that He gave us a document that would warn us of danger. The law, then, could be likened to a signpost pointing us in the right direction. We would never expect a signpost to take us to our destination, yet some people act like the law can make them righteous. The apostle Paul speaks to this problem in Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in His sight: For by the law is the knowledge of sin." He then introduces the concept of righteousness by faith. (Read Romans 3:21-31) In verse 31 he asks a most important question to our topic: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea we establish the law." We can see that the real issue here is not doing away with the law to obtain righteousness but rather the how of becoming righteous. If we do away with God's law we lose sight of what righteousness is! We can see the results of preaching that says that God's law was nailed to the cross, or done away with, in the increasing lawlessness in our society. The laws of the land are based on the Ten Commandments. If we say that God's law is no longer valid we seriously undermine the good laws of our society that were written for our own protection to defend peace and order.

If you believe that man can become righteous by doing the law, you are probably wondering how righteousness is served by just believing. On the other hand if you are one who believes that the law is "history," your faith has nowhere to take you for there is no more righteousness to obtain to. These two extremes make up the basic issues of the standoff in a ongoing religious debate in


Christianity today. Both sides define themselves in counter distinction to the other. Both sides have some truth, but neither is totally right.

Enters the Gospel! The word gospel means "good news." The good news of God's plan of salvation is in short: God offers, by His Grace, the life, shed blood, death, resurrection, and Spirit Life of His Son Jesus Christ to cleanse, recreate, indwell and work out of us to live righteously, fulfilling the law, when we believe or trust Him to do it in us.

Because God, in His perfect love and wisdom, does not want His children to be robots; He has ordained that we must choose between life and death, between His way and our own. It is to protect our freedom of choice and the eternal peace of His kingdom family that He demands we choose. To really know God is to trust Him. If we truly understand His love we will gladly surrender our lives to His care and keeping. This is true faith. Faith is active surrender to God's control in our lives. Faith is the means by which we appropriate the free gift of God's Grace in our lives. He will bring His righteousness into us through the Holy Spirit. His Spirit in us will always work out His true righteousness, that to which the law points.

Isn't it simple? Grace through faith accomplishes that which the law defines! This is righteousness by faith. Faith is not a "rocking chair" word but an action word. It is by faith that we ask, seek, and knock. (Matthew 7:7,8) It is because we trust God that we will actively pull the voting lever, putting God in office in our lives. This action is our work! Only we can do it! Every time we choose God in the daily choices we face, God steps in with unlimited power and works His life in us just as He did in Jesus. This is how we will be like Jesus when He appears. (I John 3:2)

What is God's law against legalism? This law is the center piece of the Gospel. This is the one law that God said to remember! The one law that satan, by dividing law and grace, has caused many Christians to forget! The one law God put within the Ten Commandments that, if observed, would safeguard against legalism! This is the forth commandment Sabbath law!

Exodus 20: 8-11

8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days you shall labor and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it

you shall not do any work, you nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh-day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Because we are physical/spiritual creatures, God our creator, gave us physical reminders of spiritual realities. God gave the 7th Day Sabbath as a memorial of His physical creative power. After sin entered this world, He ordained the Sabbath to remind us that He alone can recreate us spiritually. God told Israel that the Sabbath was a sign that He was The One that would sanctify them or set them apart in holiness. (Exodus 31:13) It is not just to physical Israel that God extends that blessing but to spiritual Israel as well, all those who trust in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for Eternal Life. What a wonderful gift! Each Sabbath He asks us to set aside our daily cares and responsibilities and commune with Him, rejoicing in His gift of physical and spiritual salvation.


According to the Hebrew word translated feast (Strong's Hebrew dictionary #4150) in Leviticus 23:2&3 the 7th Day Sabbath is an appointment with the King of Kings! In each week He has set a perpetual, appointed time to meet with Him, physically trusting Him to supply our every need and spiritually trusting His working in us to be righteous. On the first Sabbath, the first full day of their existence, before they had done any real work themselves, Adam and Eve were invited to take part in God's resting from His physical work of creation. That appointment still stands. Each Sabbath, we too are invited to rest both physically and spiritually by faith in Jesus' physical and spiritual life in our behalf. The physical rest on the 7th Day is a reminder that we must rest every day, in the spiritual sense, as He renews His righteousness in us by His Spirit. It is only by His working in us that we can become righteous, fully keeping God's law. (Phillipians 2:13) A "Sabbath keeper" that thinks ceasing from work on the Sabbath qualifies one for salvation or in any way merits God's mercy is actually performing "works of the flesh." To put ones trust in ones own power to merit salvation is nothing short of idolatry. In Galatians 5:19, 20 Paul lists idolatry as one of the works of the flesh. Those who trust in the creature (beast) rather than their Creator are in effect worshipping the "beast." The 4th commandment is a call to remember our Creator, to trust and rest in His creative power. This is why Revelation 14:11 proclaims there is no rest for those who worship the beast! (See Revelation 14:6-12 to review the proclamation messages of the three angels. Please note the call to worship our Creator in the first angels message - verses 6 & 7.) If we believe that God is accomplishing our salvation, we can enter true rest by faith. Our ceasing to labor on the Sabbath, then, is not in order to be saved but rather because we are saved. We put away our everyday concerns and pleasures (Isaiah 58:13,14) during the Sabbath hours so that we can keep God's appointment with us and have undistracted communion with Him!

My friend, are you tired of trying to be "good" in your own strength? Can you see that the 4th Commandment is the only one out of the Ten that we automatically spiritually break by trying to keep in our own power? Jesus says, "Come unto me all you that labor and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28&29)

Perhaps you have the uneasy feeling that your life in "grace" is not much different than the lives of the lost souls around you, and you long to live a life set aside in Holiness. God will make you righteous if you ask Him to work out His righteousness (His law) in you. This is the recreation of which the Sabbath is a reminder today! Jesus paid the price for our salvation on Calvary. You can rest in the merits of that completed act! Aren't you glad the Sabbath was made for man! (Mark 2:27)

Take courage dear Christian! "There remains . . .a Sabbath rest for the people of God!" (Hebrews 4:9 NAS)

Dear Heavenly Father. Please forgive our lack of faith in you. Please bring us into your true Sabbath rest. Please forgive us for physically and spiritually breaking your 4th commandment. Teach us to truly trust in You. Please write Your law on our hearts. Work to fulfill Your law in us just as You did in Jesus. In His name I pray. Amen.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Are You a Backslidden Christian?

My heart becomes so heavy laden when I hear a Christian say, “I use to be a Christian, but I am a backsliding now. I am just not ready to turn my life completely over to God.”

What could be sadder than to have lost your relationship with God when you have walked and communed with Him in the light? Remember when you were baptized and the joy you felt. How could one even desire to return to darkness for even a moment, once you have tasted the peace, the joy and grace of Our Heavenly Father?

Remember the situation of ancient Israel. They too were backslidden. They continually failed to respond to God’s plea to repent. They no longer wanted to walk in the truth. They preferred to worship idols. Well you say, “I don’t worship idols.” Do you love the things of this world more than you love God then you are worshipping an idol. Is it money or things or even a person or are you doing things you know to be wrong, then you are worshipping an idol. And what kind of picture does it give to the world about Christ?

Judgment will come.

Do you not know that continuing in backsliding will bring judgment upon yourself even as God brought judgment upon Israel? Ask God to restore you to fellowship with Him, repent of your sins. God loves you with a love beyond any love you have ever known, but He will not continue to let His name be defamed. He will not just stand by and let the devil take you from Him. He will do everything He can to draw you back to Himself. Remember, the devil wants you too. There is a constant battle going on for your soul. Christ died a horrible death on the cross to save you and you once made a commitment to Him. Do you honestly think He is going to let you go without a fight?

God does have a limit to His patience for the backslider to return and repent.

Jer 15:6 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.

Jer 2:17 Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way? 19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.

Hos 11:7 And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.

Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

All are affected when God’s judgment comes.

Read the book of Jonah. Jonah the prophet was a backslider and what happened to him will happen to all backsliders. I can tell you that you certainly do not want to be around one who God is going after. Jonah knew God wasn't going to let him get by with his rebellion. Everyone on that boat was going to be affected. Jonah was running from God. This is one of the signs of one who is backslidden. Jonah was angry toward the people of Nineveh. One of the reasons he ran from God in the first place was because he was prejudice. Jon 4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. Jonah knew he was the cause of the raging storm and he was thrown into the sea by his own request. Jon 1:12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.

But that was only the beginning. God’s chastisement was three days and nights in the stomach of a great fish, but Jonah changed both physically and spiritually at least for the time being.

In Jonah 2:1-9 we see Jonah calling out to the Lord. His prayer brought him back into a place of obedience to the Lord and God says, Jon 2:10 And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

Some who have walked away from God become severely depressed and may even want to die. . Jon 4:3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

After the revival of Nineveh Jonah again wants to die. Jon 4:8 And it came to pass, when the sun did arise, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and wished in himself to die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live.

When David sinned in numbering the Israelites The judgment that God sent fell not only upon him but the Israelites too, 70,000 of them. 2Sa 24:17 And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house. 15 So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

Many times Christians will attack another who has fallen rather than trying to help them return to the Lord. That in itself shows you of your own condition. One of first signs of a Christian backsliding is the lack of concern for others and when they are no longer interested in sharing the message of Christ and salvation. How many have been turned from God by these very actions. Primarily it is the responsibility of the pastor for the spiritual welfare of God's flock but it is also the duty of every believer to have a burden for the backslidden. So often I hear it said that we are not our brother’s keeper but the Bible says in Gen 4:9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? We are to bear one another’s burdens. Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. We should exhort one another. Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. We should pray for our brothers. Jam 5:16 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. Luk 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. Remember that prayer does not replace confrontation in love. Eze 3:19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Jam 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

There is a time when one must turn the backslidden or lost Christian completely over to God and disassociate him. When we have tried and tried and they continue to reject the truth you have spoken into their lives they are beyond repentance. Jer 6:30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.

Jer 15:1 Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. 2 And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? . 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Many have the impression that a Christian can just go on sinning the same sin over and over and never have to overcome because they joined the church and were baptized. To me it’s like saying that the Spirit within us does not have the power to overcome. I heard this in a sermon in a church that I recently visited. The people were even clapping and saying AMEN to that this verse didn’t mean what it says. How this saddens me, because this is misleading to so many. I wonder how God felt about it. I personally wanted to get sick.

A Christian may say that he believes that Christ died for his sins to set him free from sin, yet he continues to the very things that Christ had to die for. Then he claims that he just can’t overcome his sin yet he makes no genuine effort to even know the Lord in his daily life. He claims to believe that the resurrected Christ gives victory over sin, yet he says he simply cannot give up his sin. He may even continue to be in the world and enjoy all those worldly things. He even admits that he knows that God’s wrath will come upon all those that follow those things of the world but he will continue to have the same friends who pull him down and to do the same things. He even fills his ears, mind and heart and with everything but the Bible, which is God’s book of instructions to us.

Jud 1:24 Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

When the Christian walks away from God he drives the nails into Christ afresh.

Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Have you heard it said, “The Christian army is the only army that kills its wounded?”

Now I am not saying we are to condone this behavior or not to even be angry. There comes a time when one has rejected your trying to help. Paul says, 1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Do not in your helping a brother allow him to bring you down. Backsliders are good at this. They would rather everyone feel as they do which is unhappy, depressed and lonely. They are good at pointing out yours and everyone else’s every little fault and will readily attack when you when you are down.

Pro 28:10 Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession. 1Co 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

We are not to judge those outside the church but we must judge those who claim to be within.

1Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

2Th 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. But always in mercy. 2Th 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Some claim to be saved because when they were children Mom and Dad took them to church and they were baptized. They later left the church and went out into the world and began to live in sin. Is this backsliding? No I do not believe so. I do not believe they have backslidden nor does the Bible teach this. These people are lost. This is a completely false teaching about salvation. Many times the young have no idea what kind of commitment they have made. It comes from having an emotional experience and some have even been pressured into it. There was no actual inner or outward change where the fruits of the spirit began to emerge.

1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. Notice that this verse speaks of those who leave the church because they were never of the church. They were never saved. If had they been saved, they would have not turned from God. Although those who are saved will still sin, but if they are truly saved they will not leave the church and God.

One of the excuses I hear most often for not returning to Christ is that I will do it later or I’m just not ready. God gives each of us a certain time to serve Him while we are upon this earth. How do we know when that time will end? Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

Look at this parable in Luke.

Luk 12:16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

We never know when our last day will be. You may not have tomorrow to get right with God so that you can spend an eternity with Him. Would you rather choose the things of this world for a short time and lose your very soul, condemned to death and destruction.

The New Century Dictionary (1927) defines backslidden. To fall back in one’s moral or religious course; relapse into error or sin.

Easton’s Bible dictionary defines: Backslide to draw back or apostatize in matters of religion (Acts 21:21; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1). This may be either partial (Prov.14:14) or complete (Heb. 6:4-6; 10:38, 39). The apostasy may be both doctrinal and moral.

The word backsliding is not even used in the New Testament. The word used in the New Testament is apostasy.

Do you believe you are a backsliding Christian?

How is your prayer life? Do you spend as much time with the Lord as you would a friend?

Do you spend time in the Word? When was the last time you picked up a Bible and read it. How many books do you read such as novels or maybe the romance books? Most of these books may or may not cause you to go out and sin, but if you are not communing with God from His Word you will sin. The Christian who neglects the reading God’s word can hardly expect to grow in the nature and admonition of the Lord."

Do you fear the Lord? You may or may not fear what others think of you, but do you care what God hears and sees you do. Do you give the Lord the same reverence that you should to a Holy God? Psa 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Stubbornness is a characteristic of a backslider. 2Ki 17:14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.

The backslider may even verbally identify himself with the Lord. Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? He can be spiritually blind to his own need. Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Or because they believe in a false doctrine such as once saved always saved that God will simply over look their sin. Being a true Christian (Christ like) is not a one-time trip to the altar followed by baptism, but a day-by-day walk with Christ. Hos 7:2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face.

Many make a profession of faith and believe with full assurance of their salvation because ministers have told them they are saved. But look at this warning. This final test of this profession is that he doeth righteousness (justification) .1Jo 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.

Do you justify what you do? Even though it is usually a very gradual process do realize that what you once thought was sin doesn’t even seem like sin anymore. Some will even take Scripture out of context in order to prove what is wrong is right.

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Do you condone your sin or do you pant for the righteousness of the Lord. Is your heart content with open disobedience or do you ask God everyday to change you. You must rely upon the Spirit to reveal the true state of your heart.

Do you feel any guilt? Have you so blocked out the Holy Spirit that you no longer even feel a conviction for your sin? Have you stopped having the desire to be with other Christians and maybe even become a little bored with spiritual talk? Those who claim Christ, but yet rarely attend church to worship God and associate with other believers, are possibly fooling themselves! A backslidden Christian can stay out of church and away from other believers, but I can guarantee you from first-hand experience that there will never be a time in the true Child of God that you will be comfortable with it.

All backsliding begins in the heart and mind. Pro 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself. 2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. But all backsliding will always become evident outwardly. Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

How do I return to God and have fellowship with Him? Are you truly happy in the life you have made for yourself? Consider your condition and remember the joy you felt in the Lord when you were first saved. Surrender afresh to Him and He is always eager to extend His grace to you. The longer we are away the more your heart hardens to the conviction of the Holy Spirit until that still small voice all but disappears. But, even when we have fallen our Father extends the invitation, Jer 13:17 But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears. . . Jeremiah 3:22: “Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness.” The Lord mourns for His lost child. God loves each of His children and it is His greatest desire for you to return to Him.

After the Christian has walked in the light and has returned to the things of the world, it is harder for the backslidden Christian to return to God. This is mostly because of guilt or pride. 2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Notice that God even when His child is in a state of backsliding that He still calls them His children. Jer 3:14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

Rev 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Rev 3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

When we sin we can be forgiven. My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. I John 2:1

Hosea 14:4 “Come let us return to the Lord, for He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.”

John 15:5 ‘I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

God is only waiting for you to return. He will run to meet you as the father of the prodigal son. Sometimes God has to use great circumstances to get us to return just as He will at one final attempt during the Trumpets at the time of the Great Tribulation.

He will first struggle with you. Ki 17:15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. He will use everything, sickness, financial difficulties, grief, and loneliness to get us to return. (Ps 107 Rev)

You are going to have to take a good honest look at yourself. No looking at your image in a cracked mirror. You are first going to have to acknowledge your state and be willing to have it changed. Compare where you were when you walked with the Lord to where you are now. 1Jo 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin (continually practice sin); for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

Remember you are a guilty sinner. Come back to Christ for He loves you in spite of you turning your back on Him. It is with His love that He is drawing you back. But remember you have already known Him. You know His mercy and forgiveness. You are going to have to repent and accept His will unconditionally.

Deu 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

Jer 3:13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. 14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

The believer must repent. There is a difference between the righteous and the wicked because even though the believer may sin, he will not remain in his sin. Pro 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Remember there were many great men of God that fell but they always returned in repentance.

The Bible continually warns about falling away. Psa 85:8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

1Co 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Job 22:23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles.

Psa 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Isa 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Realize whether you are backsliding or are you lost. Many are confident in their salvation because they made a profession of faith. But all reality that may be all they have. Their daily lives do not reflect their faithfulness. They make once saved a license for sin. They may say they are backslidden when in reality that they may have never even received salvation.

The Lord Himself said, Mat 7:21 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.

22 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?23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Child of God whether you are saved, lost or backslidden the choice is still yours. You can die in your sins and be counted with the wicked or you can choose Christ and live an eternity with Him. To live with Him and He to live in Me is my only choice. I know that something happened in me. I didn’t become perfect but my life was changed. It has brought me such happiness and fulfillment and I know that it has only just begun in this life.

Heavenly Father, I pray for all those who have not made that decision. May it not be too late to reach them. Thank you for loving us enough to confront us with our own selfish ways. Cleanse me and help me to be a light to someone today. Help me to share with others how very much You love each of us, enough to have died for us. Give us the realization that we are utterly helpless unless we can completely be committed to You lest we will fall. Amen

Friday, July 24, 2009

Are Christians to Judge?

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

I believe these verses are some of the most misquoted and misunderstood verses in the Bible. Again we encouraged you to not take a single verse out of context. We must take all the Bible has to say on a particular subject and take the sum of all the parts. This is why we must study our Bible’s. It is one thing to read your Bible every day, but we must study all of it to fully understand what God is telling us.

In the Greek the word judge means:

Strong's Lexion

2919 krino {kree'-no}

perhaps a primitive word; TDNT - 3:921,469; v

AV - judge 88, determine 7, condemn 5, go to law 2, call in question 2, esteem 2, misc 8; 114

to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose 2) to approve, esteem, to prefer 3) to be of opinion, deem, think, to be of opinion 4) to determine, resolve, decree 5) to judge 5a) to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong 5a1) to be judged, i.e. summoned to trial that one's case may be examined and judgment passed upon it 5b) to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure 5b1) of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others 6) to rule, govern 6a) to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment 7) to contend together, of warriors and combatants 7a) to dispute 7b) in a forensic sense 7b1) to go to law, have suit at law

How often I hear this verse quoted to bring silence to those who expose sin and false doctrines within the Church. Their refusal to judge and discern what is sin and what is false is destroying the very foundation of the church. Everyone judges. Christians cannot identify sin if they do not have the ability to discern truth and right from wrong.

Righteous judgment protects and begins in the Church, otherwise we allow satan to defile the very core of its existence.

1Corinthians 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

5:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?

5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

I have seen sin and false doctrine not based on truth ignored to keep peace. Don’t rock the boat or else it could start division.

2Ti 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom;

4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

We do not have the right to pronounce eternal judgment on any man, that is the office of Jesus.

When the Lord says to "judge not", it does not mean that we are not to pass judgment on the opinions and the conduct of our fellow believers.

1Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

The Bible is clear that all condemning in not being judgmental, but He is condemning self- righteous or hypercritical judging.

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

We must be careful to first examine ourselves. One cannot tell someone else to not go out and get drunk when they themselves were in the bar Saturday night drinking. We cannot enforce moral standards on another when we would make an allowance for ourselves. What we reprove should be clearly established in Scripture are we stand in danger of being judged by God.

1Corinthians 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Some take this to mean those who have exposed sin or false doctrines are causing division. May I say my dear Believer, division only happens when the truth is rejected. Christian leadership in these last days are forsaking sound doctrine. They have forgotten God’s commandments offering cheap grace. Where there is no law there is no need of grace.

Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Phillipians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

When you feel a brother has wronged you go to him in love.

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.

Seek to restore your brother and lead him to truth.

Condemning sin is not judging. False teachers and the worldly will use "do not judge" to defend what they do. These verses are even used by many so-called Christians to justify sin.

Luke 12:57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

We are not forbidden from discerning sins and problems within the church (fellow believers). It is even our duty to seek to correct them. But we are first to examine ourselves to make sure we can see clearly. Loving our fellow believers to help them see their sin and to over come that sin.

We are to first ask God to cleanse us of our own sins. When we remove the plank from our own eye we can see clearly to help our brother. Having seen ourselves we can then throw out a life ring to our drowning friend. Can we truly watch and stand by and do nothing while he goes under. We are to reprove the sins of others and false teachings that may cause someone to fall.

Careful of these, we have seen in the past years those who holler the most have been caught in the same evil deeds they have preached on.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Romans2: 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Romans 2:17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

2:18 And knowest His will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

2:19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,

2:20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

2:21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?

2:22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

2:23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

When we come to a negative conclusion about someone it is not always unrighteous judging.

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Who are these dogs and swine? They are those who clearly reject the gospel and truth. We are not to continue wasting our time with those who continue to slander and discredit the truth given to them. Go instead to those who are hungry and receptive.

The Bible gives clear guidelines of how to reproof another.

Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

We have the right and the obligation to not fellowship with the ungodly.

Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

2Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Heavenly Father help me to completely open my heart to You so there will no room for self. Cleanse me and make me useful to my brothers and sisters. Make me conscious of the needs of others and take away anything in me that could hinder them from receiving YOU. AMEN

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11

The story of the 2 witnesses is one that is not easily understood. Much of the language is allegorical. We apply for understanding the 3rd rule of interpretation: Symbols can only be interpreted with relevant Scripture.

The story actually begins in chapter 10 and continues through Revelation 11. The original Greek manuscripts were not in chapter, there is no break between Revelation 10 and 11. The book of Revelation is not in chronological order, but each event or story is in order. If you try to read it in order you will not be able to understand it.

Read the entire chapters of Revelation 10 and 11.

We read in Revelation 10:8-11 And the voice which I heard from heaven, I heard again speaking with me, and saying, "Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land." And I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. And he said to me, "Take it, and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey; and when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter. And they said to me," you must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings. These verses are saying that the message is sweet to take in but the experience is bitter and that the message will have to be given again.

See a close parallel in Ezekiel 2 and 3.

Notice that the book is open. Whatever is in the book is fully exposed. This book contains the final unsealing of the book of Daniel. It is an understanding of what God is about to do, an understanding of the books of Daniel and Revelation. Many will not be able to understand because this is not what they have always believed. Since this book has not been fully exposed, NO ONE has had a full understanding no matter what they have believed or have been taught. We cannot have closed minds to new understanding or we will miss what God is revealing. God sealed this little book until it came to time for understanding. Prophecy is only understood ON OR ABOUT THE TIME OF FULFILLMENT.

Revelation 11: 1-2 And there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. The measuring of the temple is referring to those who have heard the gospel, the church. The shaking will begin with the church because they have had the opportunity to hear truth. Remnant one will be gathered from this shaking. He is told not to measure the outer court, these are those whom are not saved and have not had the opportunity to hear God’s truth. Many will be brought to Him during the 7 trumpets, remnant two. And the dragon was enraged with the woman (church), and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:17 God has many people, but those who do not accept His truth will trample God’s people for 42 literal months.

It takes 2 witnesses to condemn a man. A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. Deuteronomy 19:15 The Bible is clear that it takes two witnesses. A man must reject both before he can be sentenced to death. Some at first may reject the Word (Bible) but may be convicted by the Holy Spirit. To be sentenced to Eternal death he must reject both. This is the unpardonable sin, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 3: And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." Sackcloth refers to distressing times and they will prophesy for 1,260 literal days.

Verse 4: These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. What do the 2 lampstands represent? Here we can identify as to who the 2 witnesses are. Many believe these 2 witnesses to be Moses and Elijah or Enoch. There are no scriptures that identify Moses and Elijah or any 2 men as to being 2 lampstands or 2 olive trees. Nothing connects these as 2 men. The Bible MUST interpret itself.

The 2 Witnesses are:

Witness #1 is two Lampstands = OT/ NT= The Bible = God’s Word.

Witness #2 is two olive trees = Early/Latter Rain = work of the Holy Spirit

Reading in Zechariah 4:2-6 And he said to me, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see, and behold a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it: also two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side." Then I answered and said to the angel who was speaking with me saying, "What are these, my lord"? So the angel who was speaking with me answered and said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts .

In Zechariah’s day in the wilderness sanctuary the priest would fill the seven (complete) lamps in the temple every morning and evening with oil each day to keep them burning. There was one lampstand with 7 lights. The lampstand in the wilderness sanctuary represented God’s means of spreading His Word. God’s agency was His chosen people. They were to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14 ……And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations." "For thus the Lord has commanded us, I have placed you as a light for the Gentiles, that you should bring salvation to the end of the earth. Isaiah 42:6 But in his vision God wanted Zechariah to understand that the light of His truth was not dependant on human means, but by His Spirit. God power, not man power. The 2 living trees are the work of the Holy Spirit. This is confirmed throughout the book of Zechariah. There are 2 trees because there are 2 works of the Holy Spirit, the early and latter rain.

Zechariah becomes more insistent. And in verse 11-14: And I answered the second time and said to him, "What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?’ So he answered me saying, "do you not know what these are?" And I said, "No, my lord." Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones, who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth." The Bible (His Word) and the Holy Spirit. Thy word is a lamp to my feet, And a light to my path. Psalm 119:105

In John’s vision in Revelation we see another important transition. John saw 7 lampstands instead of one. And I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands and in the middle of the lampstand one like a son of man…..Revelation 1:12-13. God had turned from the physical nation of Israel (1 lampstand) as His chosen agency and turned to the 7 Churches as His means to carry the gospel. God appointed an angel to each church to help keep it’s light burning. "As for the mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands; The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches. Revelation 1:20.

At the time of the 2 witnesses we see, yet another transition. Instead of 7 lampstands that are now 2 lampstands standing before the Lord, but the 2 olive trees are unchanged.

God will select 144,000 bondservants, prophets from spiritual Israel who will go forth in the power of Elijah. These will be both men and women. "And it will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughter will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. And even on the male and female servants. I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29 The 2 lampstands are the means that will give the 144,000 credibility. They will be empowered by the 2 witnesses that will testify to the truth that they give. God will light up the whole world with His truth and they will be filled with Holy Spirit power.

The 144,000 will give the final prophetic message from the little book that was open in Revelation 10 that John ate. The message is the unsealing of Daniel, the Old Testament, and Revelation the New Testament.

Witness 1 2 lampstands = OT/NT = Bible

Witness 2 2 olive trees = Early/Latter Rain = Ministry of the Holy Spirit

We read in verse 5 of Revelation 11:5: And if anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and if anyone would desire to harm them, in this manner he must be killed. I read in one book on Revelation that these 2 witnesses literally blow fire like dragons out of their mouths. This is an allegory. We read in Revelation 19:15 And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and he will rule them with a rod of iron; and he treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. Now is an actual sword going to come down to earth out of the Lord’s mouth. We are speaking figuratively. The sword is the Word of God. God will speak and whatever words He uses, you can bet they will stop people dead in their tracks. His Word is powerful! For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 The fire that comes out of the mouths of the 144,000, just as the sword is figurative. The fire that comes out of their mouths refers to the final reward to those who reject the Salvation of Jesus. They will die by fire!

Verse 6: These have the power to shut up the sky, in order that rain may not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the water to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they desire. The 144,000 Elijah-like people will have supernatural powers to bring credibility to their message. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. James 5:17

Verse 7: And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. Now you ask, how can you kill the Bible and the Holy Spirit? Having finished their work, Satan will lead the world into open rebellion against God and His people. The world will commit the unpardonable sin, they will reject the Holy Spirit. The message of the 2 Witnesses and the 144,000 will be made of no effect and therefore their influence is killed. Everyone will have made his decision and taken the mark of the beast. God’s people will run for their lives to the shelter of Almighty God. Not one saint will parish from this time on as there would be no point because everyone has made his decision.

Verse 8: And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt where also their Lord was crucified. The KJV translates mystically as spiritually.

What is this great city? In ancient times a city was sometimes represented as a group of people rather than a geographical location. Read chapter 17 of Revelation.

In verse 18 we read: "And the woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth." The great city is the woman, the harlot, BABYLON THE GREAT. The Harlot represents the global union of church and state and Sodom and Egypt represents the condition of the world at that time. Sodom represents unrestrained evil like Sodom and Gomorrah. Egypt represents hardness of heart like Pharaoh. The world will commit the unpardonable sin as everyone will have made his decision and will be a citizen of Babylon the Great or the New Jerusalem. Satan will have convinced the wicked that the 2 witnesses, the 144,000 and God’s people, have caused all the judgments coming upon them. The people of God will run for their lives just as Elijah did from Jezebel after Mt Carmel. The condition of the world is just as it was when Christ was crucified.

You can think of the place where Jesus was crucified as a just a city with walls or the people. We read in Zechariah 2:1-4 Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. So I said, "Where are you going?" And he said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is." And behold, the angel who was speaking with me was going out, and another angel was coming out to meet him, and said to him, "Run, speak to that young man, saying, Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls, because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. ‘For I,’ declares the Lord, ‘will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst." Jerusalem, the Holy City is not just a geographical location, but the people who look for the Holy City when God will give them the New Jerusalem. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:2

Verse 9-10: And those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Now how can the 2 witnesses have bodies? See a parallel in Esther 9:18. Those who have accepted God’s truth will pull together forming small bodies of peoples. Satan will declare a universal death decree upon the people of God and the agreement date will be 3 ½ days before the sentence is actually carried out. The wicked know that these who have brought such misery on their lives are just as good as dead. The people are not buried because they are not dead yet although many of God’s people will die under the 5th seal. These are the martyrs and many of the 144,000 that are killed. Satan will not allow their bodies to be buried.

Verse 11 And after the three and a half days the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were beholding them. There will be 1,290 days from the time of the casting down of the censer (Revelation 8:2-5) to the time that the universal death decree is to be enacted, but God will rescue His people before the sentence is carried out. Jesus will announce the deliverance of His people. "And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days! Daniel 12:11-12

A thousand may fall at our side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes, And see the recompense of the wicked. Psalms 91:7-8

Verse 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here." And they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies beheld them. There is a special resurrection of all the martyrs who died under the 5th seal and the 144,000. Jesus invites these to His 2nd coming. Imagine the horror of those who killed them when they see them emerging from their graves. Also included in this special resurrection are those who killed Him. All will see the return of Christ. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. Revelation 1:7 Then the 144,000 Elijah people are taken to heaven before the gathering of the rest of the dead. …These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. Revelation 14:4 These will return with Him at the second coming a few days later.

Verse 13 And in that hour there was a great earthquake and a tenth of the city fell; and seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. None of God’s people are hurt at this time. The world is divided into 10 sectors ( ten horns) during the 6th trumpet war. One tenth of Babylon’s strongest sector, possibly satan’s staff will be killed. God’s people will be terrified but they rejoice in seeing these wicked ones being destroyed. It will take about 45 days to destroy Babylon. 1335-1290 = 45 days. Daniel 12:12 Satan and his evil followers will have time to contemplate their own destruction. …and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ""Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" Revelation 6:16-17

Verse 14-17 The second woe is past; behold, the third woe is coming quickly. And the seventh angel (close of mercy) sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord, and His Christ; and He will reign for ever and ever." And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, "We give Thee thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who wast, because Thou has taken Thy great power and hast begun to reign.

"Verse 18-19"And the nations were enraged, and Thy wrath came, and the time came for the dead to judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bond-servants the prophets (144,000) and to the saints and to those who fear Thy name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth," And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened; and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

Heavenly Father, give us understanding of Thy Word. Cleanse us from all our iniquities and purify our lives that we might serve you in these last days. Amen