The Fulness of Time

A study of end time prophecy happening now

Part One: (i) The Gathering Storm

‘The fulness of times’ Ephesians 1:10

 

In the KJV Ephesians 1:9-10 records ‘Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him’. The words ‘good pleasure’ (Greek ‘eudokia’) is better translated as ‘what seems good or beneficial to someone’ and Strong’s Concordance records ‘fulness’ (Greek: ‘pleroma’) as a ‘filling up’ meaning full complement or completion and time or times (Greek: ‘kairos’) means an ‘appointed time’, ‘season’, ‘due measure’ or a ‘measure of time’. The word ‘time’ in this verse is recorded in the singular in some translations e.g., BSB, NLT, ESV, CSB, GNT and plural as ‘times’ in others e.g., KJV, NIV, BLB, NASB, AMP, ASV, ISV, YLT for seasons (Gr. ‘kairos’) exist in their plurality.

 

This is not the time of the day seen on a clock face which is defined in the Greek text by the word ‘chronos’ meaning a general view of time, especially viewed in sequence, a succession of moments; time in duration in the physical-space world, an expression of time quantitatively. This differs from the meaning of the Greek word ‘kairos’ of which Strong’sConcordance comments ‘kairós – time as opportunity. 2540 /kairós ("opportune time") is derived from kara ("head") referring to things "coming to a head" to take full-advantage of. 2540 (kairós) is "the suitable time, the right moment (e.g. Soph., El. 1292), a favourable moment" (DNTT, 3, 833)’.

 

So ‘kairos’ refers to an opportune or suitable time, the right moment when things are coming to a head. Such time has a due measure and has a fixed and definite time, an opportune or seasonable time, a limited period of time, what time brings, the state of the time, the things and events of time.

 

A key verse to understand the difference is to refer to the words spoken of by Christ when the disciples asked Him about His coming again for in Acts 1:6-9 we read ‘When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times (Gr. ‘chronos’) or the seasons (Gr. ‘kairos’), which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven’ KJV. So the coming again of Christ to the earth will involve both ‘chronos’ and ‘kairos’ time.

 

Consider the visions of Isaiah then consider how our God overarches both time and space, for Isaiah 40:21-23 reads: ‘Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the foundation of the earth? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth; its dwellers are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings theprinces to nothing and makes the rulers of the earth meaningless’ BSB. It is said that people have points of view, however, God has a viewing point and, in this respect, prophets are privileged to gain insight from God’s overarching perspective.

 

So, in the scriptures when we find the Greek word ‘kairos’ translated as ‘time’ then we are to understand it to be a reference to a time period or periods, epoch or epochs, age or ages, of which our present epoch or age is defined by boundaries which are set in the heavenlies and upon earth. The reading from Ephesians 1:10 above makes it clear that each time period is purposed by Christ as a plan which needs to be brought to a completion; and that He is the one who brings the events of that period to a conclusion for the verse reads ‘That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him’. So, completion will come when the events of an epoch or age have been filled up or completed. Other ages have been before, and others will follow. They are what might be called ‘divine epochs’.

 

Another example given by Christ concerning the closure of one time period is to be found in Luke 19:43-44 where Christ spoke of Jerusalem in this-wise: ‘’For the days will come upon you when your enemies will barricade you and surround you and hem you in on every side. They will level you to the ground— you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time (Gr. ‘kairos’) of your visitation from God.’’ BSB

 

Daniel the prophet was given a clear overview of the significant time periods which would present themselves in the lead up to both Messiah’s first and second comings when he received the from the angel Gabriel the prophesy of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 where we read: ‘Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy’ KJV. The prophesy then goes on in Dan.9:25-27 to split up three time periods, which begins with ‘the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince’ and this comprise of two time periods of seven weeks and then threescore and two weeks. These weeks are considered to be time periods of weeks, multiples of seven and refer to the number of years set in place from the command to re-build Jerusalem after the exile in Babylon to the cutting off of the Messiah on Calvary i.e., 69 weeks x 7 = 483 years. Then reference is made to a second period of time which amounts to the final week of seven years. More of this prophesy will be referred to later in this study, though the point is that set periods of time are set in the economy of God and we are given insights into them to help us to understand more of His ways.

 

At the end of each period of time we have reference in Ephesians 1:10 to Christ who gathers all things into one and so at the conclusion of his first coming Christ gathered together the events of the previous time period and completed it at the appointed time of His crucifixion, descent into Hades and then resurrection. The same too will apply at the culmination of this present period of time which will end at the point in time when the last and seventh week ofDaniel’s prophesy commences. That period will then end seven years later, on the Day appointed, the Day when He comes again. That Day will then usher in what commentators refer to as a period of time called the Millennium.

 

The prophesies of old uphold the law of God, they are spoken by Christ who fulfils them and revealed by him for our benefit for Matt.5:17-19 reads: ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

 

Scripture records that ‘The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law’ (Deut.29:29 KJV). The prophesies of the End Times are given to us for our benefit, and they cannot be avoided by a church that is the repository of them. Rev.3:2-3 reads ‘Wake up and strengthen what remains, which was about to die; for I have found your deeds incomplete in the sight of My God. Remember, then, what you have received and heard. Keep it and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know the hour when I will come upon you’ BSB. To ignore the prophesies means that world events will creep up on the very people to whom the knowledge of their coming has been revealed.

 

It would be morally reprehensible for Yahweh to take out of the world the very people to whom is given the keys to the prophesies at a time when they are most needed. Likewise, his people must needs articulate them to the world to whom they were given. This is the responsibility of the Christian church. It makes no sense for the prophesies of old to be given and then hidden or lost to the world when they are most needed. Such would be the case if Christians did not take on this responsibility or were in any sense ‘raptured’ to heaven before those times and that coming Day.

 

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven’ KJV. It is not wise to add or detract from the spoken and written words of Christ. The commands of God to his prophets and his standards regarding the role of his prophets are high for they can lead many to victory, or many to defeat.

 

As we come to the close of this divine epoch in time the challenge to us and to our generation is to prepare for the arrival of the Messiah. The prophesy of Isaiah 40:1-5 is equally applicable to the generation that precedes his return as to the generation that preceded Messiah’s first coming. We cannot dismiss this prophesy as being entirely relevant to the first century to which it is often applied (Luke 3:3-6 -The Mission of John the Baptist), for aspects of it relate to the Messiah’s second coming and to do so belies the power of the prophetic anointing given through Isaiah to us today.

 

Isaiah 40:1-5 reads ‘Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see [it] together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it]’ KJV.

 

The cry to the inhabitants of Jerusalem are the prayers of the world in the final years of this age and they need to be ‘comfort, comfort’ for the warfare in that part of the Middle East will be doubled against the nation of Israel and when that warfare has ended then what is accomplished is that iniquity will finally be paid off, for the Messiah is the righteous Judge. Many will realise the utter destruction caused in the final conflicts brought upon the land by Antichrist will be futile. This utter destruction causes even the angels to fall silent for on that Day, on the opening of the seventh seal ‘there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour’ (Rev.8:1) for in just one hour Jerusalem will be made desolate (Rev.18:19). Mankind under the hand of Satanic rulers will have brought utter destruction upon many and on that Day will turn to see the glory of the Lord revealed. All flesh will see it together. Messiah’s coming will not be secret or clandestine. It will be with such force and vigour that a highway will be seen in the desert and mountains and hills will tremble and made low by the power of his coming (Micah 1:4; Zech.14:4; Rev.6:14). On that Day too, many will rejoice.

 

This prophesy is applicable ‘to all flesh’ of which Ellicott writes ‘The revelation is not for Israel only, but for mankind’. Yahweh is faithful to his promises, ‘for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it]’ and his predictions will be certainly fulfilled.

Rev.22:10 reads ‘And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand’ KJV. This too is our calling, or more precisely, the prophesies are for ‘the called-out ones’ i.e., those of the congregation of the King, Tyndale’s ‘ekklesia’, to comprehend and articulate for the world to know that ‘there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries’ (Dan.2:28).

 

The prophesies are not to be sealed up in a closed book and left on shelves but spoken of anew, unlocked, and relevant again, for the fulness of time, the near closure of this current time period, is ‘at hand’, extremely near, at the door. It is for this reason that I have called this study ‘The Fulness of Time’.

 

The Office of the Prophet

 

It is vitally important that the office of the prophet is mature and tractable enough to discern change and correction when reproved. Prophets must be humble enough to repent of error otherwise their visions will be dimmed and soiled. Blocks and checks are vital if a prophet is going to learn and develop his understanding and knowledge. True prophetic insight comes when prophets come together in the purer air of anointing whereby each acknowledges and tests each other’s ministrations for 1 Cor.14:32-33 reads ‘And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints’ KJV and 1 Samuel 10:5-6 reads ‘After that you will come to Gibeah of God, where the Philistines have an outpost. As you approach the city, you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place, preceded by harps, tambourines, flutes, and lyres, and they will be prophesying. Then the Spirit of the LORD will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be transformed into a different person’ BSB.

 

It is also vital in such a role that those who hear the words of the prophets do not rush off with half answers, and then add their own interpretations to them. The receiving of the prophesy is as important as the giving because wrong interpretations can lead many people astray and deceive many, not only of their generation but of those generations to come, an example being the pre-tribulation rapture theory for those prophecies are written of in Jude v.12 as ‘clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit’ and in 2 Peter 2:17 ‘These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest’ KJV who serve no purpose but to deceive others in dry and parched times.

 

Instead, all prophets and their prophesies must needs be constrained by the risen Christ who has spoken with clarity and truth over many millennia through his people.

 

It is vitally important in the interpretation of prophesy that not ‘one jot or tittle’ i.e., not one dotted ‘i’ or one crossed ‘t’ is ignored or avoided or any detail in the prophesy overlooked otherwise we might miss discerning the heart and mind of God in these matters. The highlights and details as displayed to the prophet might seem superfluous to our reading and minds, but it was not to theirs, and in such circumstances, we need to take a step back and re-consider them to allow for fresh illumination by the Spirit of the Father. This was the way in which Christ received His revelations for in Isaiah.11:2 it reads ‘The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD’ BSB and this was the way in which the early Christians received their insight for in 1 Corinthians 12:8 it reads ‘To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by the same Spirit’ BSB. In this way our Father might direct us too, to receive insight and wisdom on these matters. Sometimes a stronger light is needed to show up the detail to be found in fine paintings, and that Light needs to come from the Spirit of the Lord as He rests on us.

 

Habakkuk 2:1-3 reads ‘I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry’ KJV.

So, our examples have gone before. The Old Testament prophets, Isaiah, Daniel, as well as Jesus, Jude, Peter, and the early Christians would, I think, undoubtably all identify with Habakkuk who in the office of being a prophet received messages from the Spirit of the Father, including their receipt in pictorial form. As is said: ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ and as such it speaks clearly to the minds and hearts of many irrespective of culture, race or creed or gender.

 

Habakkuk was not the only prophet who testified of his office as being crafted in pictorial form. It is also worth reading how Isaiah, Micah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel spoke of their office too:

 

Isaiah 21:6-10 reads ‘For this is what the Lord says to me: ‘Go, post a lookout and have him report what he sees. When he sees chariots with teams of horsemen, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, he must be alert, fully alert.’ Then the lookout shouted: ‘Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower; night after night I stay at my post. Look, here come the riders, horsemen in pairs.’ And one answered, saying: ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon! All the images of her gods lie shattered on the ground!’ O my people, crushed on the threshing floor, I tell you what I have heard from the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel’ BSB.

 

And Isaiah 21:11 reads ‘This is the burden against Dumah: One calls to me from Seir, ‘Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?’ Then the watchman replies, ‘Morning has come, but also the night. If you would inquire, then inquire. Come back yet again.’’ BSB

 

Micah 7:3-5 reads ‘Both hands are skilled at evil; the prince and the judge demand a bribe. When the powerful utters his evil desire, they all conspire together. The best of them is like a brier; the most upright is sharper than a hedge of thorns. The day for your watchmen has come, the day of your visitation. Now is the time of their confusion. 5Do not rely on a friend; do not trust in a companion. Seal the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms’ BSB

 

Jeremiah 6:16-22 and following ‘This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient paths: ‘Where is the good way?’ Then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it!’ I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen for the sound of the ram’s horn.’ But they answered, ‘We will not listen!’ Therefore hear, O nations, and learn, O congregations, what will happen to them. Hear, O earth! I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their own schemes, because they have paid no attention to My word and have rejected My instruction. What use to Me is frankincense from Sheba or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please Me.’ Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will lay stumbling blocks before this people; fathers and sons alike will be staggered; friends and neighbours will perish.’ This is what the LORD says: ‘Behold, an army is coming from the land of the north; a great nation is stirred up from the ends of the earth‘ BSB.

 

Ezekiel 3:17 reads ‘Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from My mouth, give them a warning from Me...’ BSB.

 

Ezekiel 33:6,7 ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and fails to blow the horn to warn the people, and the sword comes and takes away a life, then that one will be taken away in his iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.’ As for you, O son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word from My mouth and give them the warning from Me’ BSB.

 

In reference to all of the above passages the commentator Barnes writes under the heading of Habakkuk 2:1: ‘the idea is that of one who is stationed on an elevated post of observation, who can look over a large region of country, and give timely warning of the approach of an enemy.

 

The general idea of prophecy, which is presented in these passages, is that of a scene which is made to pass before the mind like a picture, or a landscape, where the mind contemplates a panoramic view of objects around it, or in the distance; where, as in a landscape, objects may appear to be grouped together, or lying near together, which may be in fact separated a considerable distance. The prophets described those objects which were presented to their minds as they "appeared" to them, or as they seem to be drawn on the picture which was before them. They had, undoubtedly, an intelligent consciousness of what they were describing; they were not mad, like the priestesses of Apollo; they had a clear view of the vision, and described it as it appeared to them. Let this idea be kept in mind, that the prophets saw in vision; that probably the mode in which they contemplated objects was somewhat in the manner of a landscape as it passes before the mind, and much light and beauty will be cast on many of the prophecies which now seem to be obscure’.

 

In seeing the panorama, the prophets describe all details accurately. Barnes explains that as the visions develop, they might seem random, but the prophet is following the finger and hand of God as he draws and paints the pictures. Only He knows where the emphasis must lie, and where to point the reader to as the picture moves and unfolds. One part of a verse might be relating to Messiah’s first coming, the second to events Messiah’s second coming. The primary driver in the vision is the determining of the Holy Spirit, His anointing and burden. Isaiah wrote of the Lord as a child, (Is.7:14), in manhood (Is.9:1-2), exalted Ruler (Is.9:6,7), of lineage (Is.11), destroying death (Is.25:8), his reign (Is.35:1-10), the suffering Messiah (Is.53:1-12).

God wants us to understand prophesy

 

A clear example of the understanding of prophesy comes when we imagine a ‘ha-ha’. This is a recessed landscape design element purposely built that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond. The design includes a turfed incline that slopes downward to a sharply vertical face (typically a masonry retaining wall). Ha-has are used in landscape design to prevent access to a garden by, for example, grazing livestock. In the visions of the prophets are many ha-has, God knew this though did not consider them a barrier nor relevant to the whole picture, they can only be seen and only become apparent when you walk up close to them, then they become a feature in the landscape. Today we need to step back and see the whole landscape and not be distracted by detail which is out of sight nor relevant to our overwhelming view of seeing the Messiah in all his glory and knowing his mind as we set ourselves to view the nations and events to come. Isaiah, peerless in his view of the Messiah’s role in history writes ‘Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket’ (Is.40:15), what a vision, what a view!

 

Barnes goes on to write ‘Another peculiarity, which may arise from the nature of prophecy here presented, may have been that the mind of the prophet glanced rapidly from one thing to another. By very slight associations or connections, as they may now appear to us, the mind is carried from one object or event to another; and almost before we are aware of it, the prophet seems to be describing some point that has, as appears to us, scarcely any connection with the one which he had but just before been describing. We are astonished at the transition, and perhaps can by no means ascertain the connection which has subsisted in view of the mind of the prophet, and which has led him to pass from the one to the other. The mental association to us is lost or unseen, and we deem him abrupt, and speak of his rapid transitions, and of the difficulties involved in the doctrine of a double sense. The views which I am here describing may be presented under the idea of what may be called the laws of prophetic suggestion; and perhaps a study of those laws might lead to a removal of most of the difficulties which have been supposed to be connected with the subject of a spiritual meaning, and of the double sense of the prophecies’.

 

He goes on to write ‘They may have been so closely grouped that he could not separate them even in the description. The words appropriate to the one may have naturally and easily fallen into the form of appropriate description of the other. And the objects may have been so contiguous, and the transition in the mind of the prophet so rapid, that he may himself have been scarcely conscious of the change, and his narrative may seem to flow on as one continued description. Thus, the object with which he commenced, may have sunk out of view, and the mind be occupied entirely in the contemplation of that which was at first secondary. Such seems to have been, in a remarkable manner, the uniqueness of the mind of Isaiah. Whatever is the object or event with which he commences, the description usually closes with the Messiah’.

 

So, four keys become evident:

 

First that the prophets often saw the vision spatially though not necessarily in time sequence. Much rarer do we specifically read of sequential prophesies. God sits outside of time hence the revelations come from His perspective. On occasions the reference to time can be obtuse, refer here to Daniel’s prophesy of the seventy weeks (Dan.9). This prophesy might seem to be unclear but with pin-point accuracy determines the timing of the events to unfold. Jeremiah’s prophesy clearly stated that the Hebrew people will be banished into exile for 70 years as Jer.25:11 reads ‘And this whole land will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years’ and the light of this prophesy at the end of those years Daniel sought the Lord for the people’s release for Dan.9:2 reads ‘in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the sacred books, according to the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and petition, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes’ BSB. Daniel was seeking the release of his people and in so doing received much more, for he received in depth vision and meaning for ‘Now I amcome to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days’ (Dan10:14) KJV. Likewise, Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38) were two prophets who sought God regarding events in their lifetime for if Daniel’s prophesy of the cutting off of the Messiah was to occur after 69 weeks (483 years) (Dan.9:25-26) they were living in that time and earnestly awaited the coming of the Messiah. Likewise, we too live in a pivotal time for the end of the time of the Gentiles too is near when ‘They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’ BSB. We too will soon see the Lord of glory, for based on his revealed word we can prepare for the events to come. We can view the landscape spatially and ponder and marvel at the events described before us.

 

It is profoundly of God and cannot be pre-determined by mankind when events long since forth told become clear. It can only be a revelation of the mind of God whereby though many generations have passed since the visions were given then suddenly, they become clear to the recipients at their time and when the forth-told events and their signs form and occur. For this reason, it was necessary for Jesus the explain the signs of the times preceding His second coming. The prophets had already written in some detail concerning the ‘Day’ of His coming, though more revelation was needed for others to understand and be prepared for the moment, hour, day, week, year.

 

So, the prophesies give us spatial awareness, and on occasions timings. Then on other occasions God specifically refers to numbers. For example, John specifically heard the number of ‘mounted troops’ in the armies of the kings of the east which will cross the Euphrates in the time yet to come when in Rev.9:16 he wrote ‘And the number of mounted troops was two hundred million; I heard their number’, and the number of those who were marked with the seal of God when in Rev.7:4 he wrote ‘And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel’ and then he gave the numbers from each of the tribe.

 

The second key to understanding Biblical prophecy is to understand that the only focus in the revelation of God’s heart and mind is ultimately in relation to the Messiah and His relationship to us. Often before a revelation of warnings to come we receive the vision of the Son of Man in His glory (Rev.5). This gives us great encouragement and hope. This has happened throughout history where men have sought their Maker. Before the World Wars of the 20th Century there are testimonies of great Revivals and strengthening of peoples and nations. It is of no co-incidence that the 1904-5 Welsh Revival came about when those who were strengthened therein were soon to be pushed into a terrible war. Another example would be the Great Pyongyang Revival in North Korea of 1907. Since that time, the politics of North Korea has radically changed and according to the Open Doors World Watch List 2021 North Korea has been the worst place for the persecution of Christians for the past 20 years.

 

There are also many testimonies of Christians receiving warnings from God before great trials. The story is told by Demos Shakarian in his book The Happiest People on Earth of the warnings given by God to his family who were Christians in Armenia to flee before the invasion of the Turks who, when they came, carried out systematic mass genocide of the Armenian Christians in the early 20th Century. As with Isaiah’s great visions, the close is always to bring us more help and clarity of events to come and to give people a perspective, vision and description of the Messiah and His heart and love for His people.

 

The third key to understanding end-time prophesy is to understand that all the prophesies in their finality focus upon the Hebrew nation of Israel and in particular, Jerusalem. As the age of the Gentiles draws to a close the focus of all peoples and nations will turn to this focal point. Likewise, the powers of darkness focus there too though their motive is greed and envy.

 

The fourth key to understand the events is that though parts of the picture might seem to fit previous events in history like the exile of the Hebrews in Babylon or the Romano-Jewish wars of 66-70AD, they do not fit in other respects, so on all occasions we must take a step back and view the picture from a wider angle. Likewise, the visions came fast and clear to the prophets and sometimes they would flit to include a reference to Cyrus or other events and people local to their day, then by the power of the anointing would quickly move on to events which would take place far in the future. So, our understanding too must become like theirs, we must be prepared to lay aside the confusion as it might first appear and instead follow strictly to the anointing as it was given in the first place. A helpful term of reference is to look back not from our perspective but from the perspective of Revelation 22 when all things become clear, His timing ultimately only relates to eternity, and so should ours.

 

It might also be asked; how more recent prophesies connect with the old? It is best seen as a tapestry where the different prophesies must need to interweave with the old existing and written prophesies. For example, the recent false prophesy concerning a pre-tribulation rapture are loose threads that do not interweave with the old tapestry. If one tries to thread it in there then what one is left with is a confusing jumbles mess, a tapestry spoilt by man’s interference. The result confuses many people and destroys the reputation of the Christians who must otherwise be the repository of clear prophetic teaching and instructions. The nations might need to depend on it, yet when revival wains then the hearts of many grow cold and the nation will lose its way. The prophets of old give us the example of clear teaching at the highest level whereby the nations, their people and leaders could hear the word behind them and change, adjust, or re-direct their pathway, Isaiah 30:21 reads ‘And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left’ KJV.

 

I have taken the following extracts taken from Bill Turner’s Introduction to Study #23 ‘The Book of Revelation’ which can be found on the www.prophetbillturner.com :

 

Page 2: ‘In 1Pet.1v10-12., Peter uses three very strong words to describe the prayerful, thoughtful, and intensive efforts that the prophets made in seeking God, to find out WHAT their prophecies meant and WHEN they would occur. We need to seek God with the same earnestness and prayerfulness for the interpretation of prophetic truth that the prophets themselves manifested in searching out the interpretation of their own prophecies, for there is “heavier judgement” for Christian teachers who mislead the children of God. James.3v1.

 

Let us humbly seek the truth, for God hates pride, and He hides truth from proud and cocksure theologians, and reveals His secrets to humble seekers. Mt.11v25,26. Lk.10v21- 24.’

 

Page 4: ‘Some of the details of the prophecies are not easy to apply or interpret at present. However, it is not necessary to correctly interpret every detail of each prophecy, as long as we have good knowledge of the “Revelation,” and an accurate interpretation of the general outline and theme of its prophecies. The more obscure and ambiguous details of the prophecies will be made clear by their fulfilment in world events. Moreover, when Revelation's prophecies are fulfilled and made manifest by events, their fulfilment will give us a very accurate timing of the proximity of our Lord's coming, for some of these prophecies are given in days and months, and will accurately date last day events. This accurate fulfilment of prophecy will encourage us to hold on in faith, knowing that our Lord's coming will be as sure and certain as the fulfilment of these predicted events. These fulfilled prophecies will enlighten our minds and greatly encourage our faith during the dark days at the end of this age, and this is without doubt one of the major Divine purposes behind the prophecies revealed in Revelation.’

 

Page 5,6: ‘God wants us to understand the Book of Revelation. When our heavenly Father inspired and wrote the Book of Revelation He intended that even the difficult parts should be understood. With diligent prayer and study, most of its prophecies can be understood; and the parts that we do not fully understand will be made more clear by their actual fulfilment. The key to the book of Revelation is found elsewhere in the Scriptures, particularly in Daniel's prophecies; they throw light on each other's predictions. It is not necessary, as some would have us believe, to have a course on Church History to understand the Revelation, the key is in the Word of God. The book of Revelation is intended to give us light on, and in, a dark future, and the glorious hope beyond it; not a muddled commentary on the past that many have made it. 1Pet.1v10-12. 2Pet.1v19-21.

 

Those who say that Revelation cannot be understood and serves no useful purpose, have in reality charged God with folly. God has written Revelation for our welfare and profit, He intended ordinary people to read His Word and understand it, He has not written a book which no one, or only the intellectual, can understand. Indeed, Jesus said that God often bypasses the intellectual, wise and prudent, and gives revelations of His power, plans, and purposes to “babes and sucklings,” and this is “good in His sight.” Mt.11v25-27. Lk.10v20- 24. The spiritual “babe and suckling” has a far better chance of understanding the Word of God, than the “wise and prudent” unspiritual intellectual. Is.35v8. 2Pet.1v9,19. 3v16. Mt.13v10-17. This does not mean that we should be lazy in our study of the Scriptures; those “who labour in the word and doctrine,” and are “labouring fervently in prayers,” will be given the light they seek. In 1Tim.5v17., “labour” is “kopiontes,” the present active participle of “kopiao,” to labour, to work until one is exhausted.” In Col.4v12., “labouring” is “agonizomenos,” the present middle participle of “agonozomai,” to struggle, to agonise. Obtaining divine truth and a God-blessed ministry is costly and demands a consecrated heart and mind, and real effort in study and prayer. Acts.17v11. Heb.5v11-14. 1Pet.1v10-13. Prov.16v3.

 

We must study God’s Word with an open mind, for it is folly to twist the Scriptures to make them fit our theories. We recognise that God uses parables, figurative language, symbols, or heavenly cartoons in the prophetic truth that He has given to us in His Word, and that great truth is given by these means. However, it is important to recognise that prophetic truth should be interpreted, like any other Scriptural truth, the literal being interpreted as literal, and the symbolic as symbolic, otherwise the result will be a prophetic delusion. 2 Pet.3v16- 18.’

 

‘How long, O Lord, holy and true?’ Revelation 6:10

The cry ‘how long’ has gone up before the God of the heavens many times through history. The Bible records this cry many times. Psalm 6:3 reads ‘My soul is deeply distressed. How long, O LORD, how long?’ BSB

 

In the commissioning of the prophet Isaiah, we read of the long-sighted vision given to him by God for Isaiah 6:11-13 reads ‘Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate, And the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be eaten: as a teil tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof’ KJV.

 

As Isaiah found, to those who seek the God of the Hebrews, then He may be found. Isaiah 55:6 reads ‘Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near’. BSB

 

‘For the eyes of the LORD roam to and fro over all the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him’ 2 Chronicles 16:9 BSB

 

The character of the Truine God is revealed in His Names. Genesis 16:3 reads ‘So Hagar gave this name to the LORD who had spoken to her: “You are the God who sees me, for she said, “Here I have seen the One who sees me!”’ That name in the Hebrew is ‘Yahweh Roi’, the God who sees.

 

Within the divine creation God has made a rich diversity of beings. John saw in vision the living creatures recorded in Rev 4:8 ‘And each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around and within. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”’ These angelic beings are the servants of God who see, provide for, give strength to, and report the events on earth to the Triune God.

 

Benson’s Commentary reads ‘And they were full of eyes within — Bengelius reads κυκλοθεν και εσωθεν γεμουσιν οφθαλμων, round about and within they are full of eyes: round about signifying their attention to and knowledge of the state of the world and church in general; or rather, perhaps, their vigilance and circumspection, their attention to their duty to God and man, and their watchful observance of the designs, wiles, devices, and various motions and snares of their spiritual enemies; and they are said to be full of eyes within, to signify their self-knowledge, their diligent attention to the state of their own hearts, and the various workings of their passions and appetites, their affections and thoughts.’ Similar reference is included in Is. 6:2-3 and Ezekiel 1:4-21, 10:12 where reference is again made to these living creatures ‘their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels were full of eyes round about.’

 

Our hearts cry ‘how long?’ and in reply comes an assurance of the absolute wisdom of God in all his doings. Ellicott’s Commentary reads ‘In the corresponding vision in the Apocalypse the four living creatures are represented as “full of eyes within” (Revelation 4:8). In both places alike the symbolism sets forth God’s perfect knowledge of all His works: here as showing the absolute wisdom of all His doings (comp. 2Chronicles 16:9), there as resulting in perfect and harmonious praise from all His works. The Hebrew seers ever looked through all secondary causes directly to the ultimate force which originates and controls all nature, and which they represent as intelligent and self-conscious. To do this the more effectively, they often use in their visions such concrete imagery as this before us.’

 

And so, it is that the eyes of the God and the angelic messengers of God who see his works and creation and act accordingly therein.

What does God see on the earth? The lowest of human de-basement, injustice, pain, sorrow; yet he also sees the highest of human aspirations, joy and gladness. Today he is looking for those whose hearts are for him, for those who seek his face, and for those who wish to understand and be his advocates.

 

The call to rightly divide the word of truth

It is recorded in Acts 17:11 ‘Now the Bereans were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true.’ KJV Likewise, we today need more than ever to study the scriptures, to discern the prophesies and pray for the anointing of the holy Spirit to understand them so that we too are ready and prepared for these times.

 

2 Peter 1:19-21 reads ‘We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.’ KJV

 

2 Tim. 2:15 reads ‘Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’ KJV

 

Checks and Balances

 

The scriptures make clear the need for right interpretation of God’s revealed truth by those who make claims to understand it. For example, in 1 Cor. 14:29-33 we read ‘Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is seated, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace— as in all the churches of the saints.’ BSB. In this way the whole church of God can equally weigh in the balance the evidence and witness in their spirits that the Spirit of truth is speaking to them. John 16:13-14 reads ‘However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you’. BSB

 

The same democratisation of truth is revealed in the Old Testament too. Num. 11:24-25 reads ‘So Moses went out and relayed to the people the words of the LORD, and he gathered seventy of the elders of the people and had them stand around the tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and He took some of the Spirit that was on Moses and placed that Spirit on the seventy elders. As the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied — but they never did so again’. The story is that of the 70 all but two never prophesied again, though it is clear that God wanted them to continue to prophesy for Moses goes on to say in Num. 11:29 ‘But Moses replied, “Are you jealous on my account? I wish that all the LORD’s people were prophets and that the LORD would place His Spirit on them!”’ BSB

 

Paul writes in 1 Cor. 14:3 ‘he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, encouragement, and comfort’ and 1 Cor. 14:4-6 reads ‘The one who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. I wish that all of you could speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets so that the church may be edified. Now, brothers, if I come to you speaking in tongues, how will I benefit you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?’ and in 1 Cor 14:22 ‘Prophecy, however, is for believers, not for unbelievers’.

 

Paul continues to write in 1 Co. 14:29-33 ‘Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is seated, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace— as in all the churches of the saints’... and in 1 Cor. 39-40 ‘So, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything must be done in a proper and orderly manner’.

 

Paul therefore makes it clear in his writings concerning the New Testament church of which we are part that prophesy should be sought after and that it will guard and keep the minds and hearts of the people safe. He also writes of the close relationship between prophesy and speaking in tongues and the importance and use of both in ‘rightly dividing the word of truth’ (2 Tim. 2:15).

 

In Acts 2 we read first of the impartation of the Holy Spirit to the people and then Peter’s address to the crowds where he quotes the prophesy of Joel 2:28-32 given some 750yrs earlier, a prophesy which is still significant for our age too: ‘But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved’ KJV. He then goes on to address the crowds by relaying to them the prophetic writings of David and then he spoke concerning Jesus (Acts 2:26) and of how the people accepted Jesus and his prophesies (Acts 2:30); yet more than a prophet, now revealed as the Son of God.

 

So, it was made clear that the blueprint for church organisation was and still is a co- operation with Jesus who is the head and His people who are described as the body of Christ, see Rom. 12;4-8; 1 Cor.12:12-27 where v.27 reads ‘Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.’ KJV

 

Jesus is The Word of God

Jesus is the eternal Word of God John 11:1 ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’

 

And it was Jesus who spoke through the prophets of old for it reads in John 8:38: ‘Truly, truly, I tell you,’ Jesus declared, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’ BSB.

 

It is the Jesus who inspires, and it will be Jesus who speaks through true prophets:

 

Rev. 1:1-3 reads ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.’ KJV

 

Rev. 22:16: ‘And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done’’ KJV.

 

Rev. 22:16: ‘I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book’ KJV It is those who hear the words of the prophets and who heed the call of Jesus, those who are thirsty, they are the ones who are able to take of the water of life freely.

 

It is Jesus the Word of God who has spoken through both the Old Testament and New Testament prophets. Yet when Jesus was born on earth as a baby as the ‘Son of Man’ he emptied Himself for we read in Phil. 2:5-8 reads ‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.’

 

So, when on earth as the ‘Son of Man’ Jesus did not get his revelations ‘as a matter of fact’. He did not receive them automatically.

 

He was born a baby and had to grow in his knowledge and understanding for we read in Luke 2:40 ‘And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.’ KJV Jesus learned of Father’s heart towards him. At the age of 12 He was found in the temple asking questions about His ‘Father’s business’ and we read in Luke 2:52 ’And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man’. KJV. Jesus had the obedience of a servant Is. 50:4-11, esp. v.4 ‘The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.’ KJV Jesus had ‘the tongue of the learned’. Strong’s commentary on the Greek interprets the word tongue as the tongue of men and learned as 1) taught, learned, discipled 1a) taught 1b) accustomed to (something).

 

The full text of this key prophesy from Isaiah is cross-referred to in all the gospels concerning Jesus and his fulfilment of prophesy on the cross; see Matt. 27:27-31; Mark 15:16-20; Luke 2263-65; John 19:1-15. Likewise, morning by morning we can be awakened to hear His voice. Jesus encourages us today to likewise understand and not be ignorant. He always wants to encourage us and to inform us so that we might know his heart and yearnings for us and all mankind.

 

We can follow his example to become more like Him and in so doing we will learn much from the Father.

 

The prophesies of both testaments co-relate. The prophets of the New Testament knew the importance of the Old Testament prophesies and were often quoted by them. Jesus knew these prophesies; he began his ministry by quoting and fulfilling Isaiah 61:1-2, see Luke 4:16-21 and he quoted scripture to tear down fabricated lies of Satan in the temptations which he received. Yet the prophesies of old sustained him as he was rejected by many, and he fulfilled them.

 

Woman clothed with the sun

 

New Testament prophets knew the importance of standing on the Old Testament prophesies and not only their importance but also their fulfilment. John records in Rev. 12:1 ‘And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet’. At the time of the great tribulation there shall be a great sign, it is a sign that will be seen. Ellicott writes ‘something which has a meaning; it is not “a surprise ending with itself,” but a signal to arrest attention, and possessing significance; there is “an idea concealed behind it.”’ Jamieson-Fausset-Brown write:

‘great—in size and significance.
wonder—Greek, "sign": significant of momentous truths.
in heaven—not merely the sky, but the heaven beyond just mentioned, Re 11:19; compare Re 12:7-9.’

 

Ellicott goes on to say ‘It is the picture of the bride, the Church. The beams of the divine glory clothe her; she has caught—like Moses—the radiance of her Lord, whose countenance was as the sun (Revelation 1:16); the moon is beneath her feet; she rises superior to all change, and lays all lesser lights of knowledge under tribute; she is crowned with a crown of twelve stars: the illustrious members of the Church (twelve being the representative number in Old Testament as well as New Testament times) form her crown of rejoicing in the day of Christ.’ So, the bride of Christ, His people, his church is finally ready at this set time to come.

 

Yet more is implicated in the vision for other commentators consider it to be specifically the Jewish Christian Church which is referred to here for the Cambridge Commentary reads ‘the ideal Israel, “the daughter of Zion.” See especially Micah 4:10; Micah 5:3: where it is her travail from which He is to be born Who is born in Bethlehem.... the appearance in her glory of the Sun, Moon, and stars of Song of Solomon 6:10, and the mention of “the remnant of her seed” in Revelation 12:17‘

 

After all these years since Messiah’s first coming there will be a clear and manifest sign that He who came is of truth the Son who is also coming to reign - and soon - and this greatly disturbs the spiritual forces in the heavenly places. Eph.6:12 reads ‘for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities; against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’. The appearance of this sign is such that the dragon knows that his time his short and so is determined to kill the child then born. The dragon, Satan, then is determined to kill again. He has tried this before and knows how it might be effective it might be to thwart prophesy and the One who is to come, for he had tried with murderous intent to kill the child Jesus after his incarnate birth when he operated through his vasal at the time who was Herod the Great.

 

The woman in the vision is clothed in the sun, being the spirit and prophesy of Jesus. This vision then refers to a Jewish Christian Church in the time of the Great Tribulation (Rev. 7:14). These people are clothed with the light of the gospel of New Testament, the risen Christ being their theme, and yet know too the importance of having the moon under their feet, the moon being the old testament prophesies which light up they reflect the Suns’ rays. They stand upon the Old Testament prophesies yet rely on Jesus who is the light of the world, the one who shines his light throughout history, the One who spoke through the prophets of both testaments, the One who shines to speak through those whose hearts and minds love and seek him and the One who makes a clear sign at this time in the Great Tribulation.

 

So, what is this sign, the sign when these Jewish Christians are to flee? Jesus prophesies in Matt 24:15-23 ‘So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve anything from his house. And let no one in the field return for his cloak. How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not occur in the winter or on the Sabbath. For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. At that time, ifanyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance’. BSB

 

However, before this event takes place the Christians there WILL BE WARNED, for the woman in the vision is described as in birth pains for Rev. 12:2 reads ‘She was pregnant and crying out in the pain and agony of giving birth’ The vision clearly this wholesome Church of Christ, at the time of the Great Tribulation giving birth to a child that will be in great danger because it is born in the region which will be directly under the control the Antichrist. All this is described in John’s vision as another important and clear sign that will occur for, he writes in Rev. 12:3-6 ’Then another sign appeared in heaven: a huge red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars from the sky, tossing them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, ready to devour her child as soon as she gave birth. And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron sceptre. And her child was caught up to God and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place for her to be nourished for 1,260 days’. BSB

 

Today there are Jewish Christians who are also known as Messianic Jews, Messianic Judaism is a movement of Jews who believe that Jesus (called by them with his Hebrew name Yeshua) is the Jewish Messiah, and who perform this belief in a Jewish way (observing the regulations of the Torah etc.). They are called Messianic Jews. The main branches of Judaism do not consider Messianic Judaism to be Judaism, but rather a form of Christianity, because Judaism rejects Jesus/Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah. As of 2018 it is estimated that there are only some 20,000 Messianic Jews in Israel (0.3% of Israel’s Jews). Others claim this number is closer to 30,000 and rapidly rising [Prayer for Israel, 2018]. Source: https://www.factsaboutisrael.uk/messianic-jews/ This source goes on to state:‘Today’s Messianic Jews are the forerunners of a larger turning to Yeshua at the end of the age. Israel’s blindness will be removed as Jews under great stress (war) finally acknowledge Yeshua as their true Messiah: And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn (Zechariah 12.10)’

 

The Sealing of the Christians

 

The prophesies appear to describe be a definite time of ‘sealing’ of the Christians who are kept by the power of God, whilst at the same time living and operating with Holy Spirit anointing through the last few years of the End Times, for we read in Rev. 7:1-8 esp. v.2-4 ‘And I saw another angel ascending from the east, with the seal of the living God. And he called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or sea or trees until we have sealed the foreheads of the servants of our God”’. The prophesy then goes on to number those who are sealed from the tribes of Israel for it reads in v. 4 ‘And I heard the number of those who were sealed, 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel...’.

 

It appears to read here that these numbered people were Christians who believed the Word of Truth but were yet to be sealed with ‘the seal of the living God’. This seal is referred to as being necessary for them to stand through those days of persecution and before the opening of the seventh seal. It is an angel that is the messenger from God for it carries this seal, and it operates in harmony with the four angels who carried out the judgements of God.

 

Strong’s Concordance comments on the word ‘seal’ used here which is taken from the Greek word ‘sphragízō (from 4973 /sphragís, "a seal") – ‘properly, to seal (affix) with a signet ring or other instrument to stamp (a roller or seal), i.e. to attest ownership, authorizing (validating) what is sealed’. Strong also comments on the word seal when used as a verb as follows: ‘to seal (affix) with a signet ring or other instrument to stamp (a roller or seal), i.e. to attest ownership, authorizing (validating) what is sealed. Sealing" in the ancient world served as a "legal signature" which guaranteed the promise (contents) of what was sealed’.

 

Vincent’s Word Studies writes: ‘Seal (σφραγίσῃς) Rev., seal up. This word occurs eighteen times in Revelation and twice in the Gospel, and only five times elsewhere in the New Testament. It means to confirm or attest (John 3:33); to close up for security (Matthew 27:66; Revelation 20:3); to hide or keep secret (Revelation 10:4; Revelation 22:10); to mark a person or thing (Revelation 7:3; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:30)’

 

Paul includes the same Greek word for ‘seal’ in Eph. 1:13 which reads ‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed’ (Strong’s: Gr. pisteúō (from 4102 /pístis, "faith," derived from 3982 /peíthō, "persuade, be persuaded... the believing that leads to/proceeds from God's inbirthing of faith), ‘ye were sealed’ (this is the same Greek word (sphragízō) as used in Rev. 7:2-4 referred to above) ‘with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest’ (deposit i.e. advance-payment that guarantees the rest will be given) ‘of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory’. KJV

 

So, it reads that after a Christian believes then the Holy Spirit of promise comes to empower (authorise and inspire) and seal these people of God. This act of sealing comes after Christians have been persuaded and proceeds from God’s in-birthing of faith. After the in- birth comes the attestation of ownership, the authorising of ownership with a seal. This seal for service came upon the early church at Pentecost. Jesus specifically told his followers to wait for it, for without it they will not stand. The cry from Christians throughout the ages has been for God by His Spirit to seal and equip his people for service. This cry has been met by Jesus who promised to send us His Spirit. The receipt of the Spirit and the occasion of it is distinct from the in-birthing of faith and has been variously termed, for example it was termed by Fletcher after the Wesley Revivals as the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

 

Paul the apostle met Christians who had not heard of nor received the seal when on his travels for we read in Acts 19:1-7 ‘And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve’. KJV

 

The mark of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is especially evident in the public place, where opposition to the gospel becomes overt, see Acts 2:1-41 (the Day of Pentecost and 3,000 converts); Acts 3:1-26 (A lame man healed and Peter addresses the crowds in Solomon’s Colonnade) Acts 4:1-11 (Peter and John before the Sanhedrin) etc. However, the seal and its mark especially strengthen a Christian’s private life too, through the gifts of the Spirit; wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues, and their interpretation (1 Cor.12:7-10).

 

The power of the seal

 

After the Christians who flee from the Dragon are sealed (Rev.7:2-4) then they are miraculously hidden and kept by God. The moon under their feet was all that they previously relied on i.e., the Old testament prophesies and promises. These will come no doubt come back to them now in a forceful manner. They no doubt will come alive for them. For the redemptive prophesies contained therein were meant for their time too. So often the Old Testament prophets saw the distant horizon, the time of the end after which came redemption and the kingdom to come. For example, the musician prophets of the Psalms continually include strong cries for deliverance: Ps. 124 the flight of the Jewish church; Ps.137 to 'remember' Ps.138 stretch out your arm, your Holy Spirit to help us, You shield my head in the day of battle Ps.140 Rescue me from evil men, protect me, guard me, hear O Lord, my cry for help, the proud make traps and snares for me and lures are set out for me.

 

The prayers of these Christians as they flee into the desert of Moab and Edom (Matt.24:15- 18) and indeed all of the Christians across the globe as they see these events take place are powerful and precipitative both of the near coming Messiah and that their flight be not in winter, for Matt.24:19-22 reads ‘How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not occur in the winter or on the Sabbath. For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short. At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance. So if they tell you, ‘There He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it’. It is so important that this time of fleeing is acknowledged by Christians across the globe for they can through prayer change events so that Father’s will in heaven is done on earth. They canpray that the flight be not in winter, so through prayer can withhold the powers of darkness for at least six months. They can pray against deception, they must not be deceived themselves by false prophets, and through intervening prayer they can uncover the plots made against the people groups and nations.

 

These people have through faith learnt how to intervene in prayer (Heb.7:25; Rom 8:26 1Tim 2:1-3) to change the course of events and nations. Our prayers and those of many of the world's Christians will know the intervening nature of prayer at this time.

A key part of the events will be that Christians with the seal of God upon them will be able to do signs and wonders, they will see their God do miraculous things.

 

The two witnesses of who live through the Great Tribulation will be empowered to do great things and it will inspire and encourage many Christians across the globe. As the darkness increases so does the power of the Light. These two witnesses will know that God is answering their prayers and they will be a witness not only to the powers of darkness who operate in the region controlled by the Antichrist but also to the Christian church across the globe at that time. For these Christians, must do as Jesus did for John 12:26 reads ‘Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be... ‘. John 10:27 reads ‘My sheep listen to my voice ... I know them, and they follow me’ KJV. John 14:11-13 reads ‘Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me—or at least believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son’ BSB

 

Paul knew the importance of imitating Christ and those who follow Him for 1Cor.11:1 reads ‘You are to imitate me, just as I imitate Christ’. See also 1Cor.4:16; Phil.3:17; 1Thes.1:6.

 

And if you do imitate Christ then ‘the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits’ (Dan.11:32), such that through the Body of Christ, His people, ‘greater works’ i.e., many more works of ‘signs and wonders’ shall be done than during the time of Christ’s ministry on earth in Judea. For Christ, he could do no more at that time, instead he knew that time was short as he had to complete his calling, accomplish the great sacrifice of Atonement on the cross, break the gates of Hades, and ‘go to the Father’.

‘Do not seal up the words of prophecy in this book, because the time is near’ (Rev. 22:10)

Jesus told the original twelve disciples that (like Daniel) it was not given for them to understand the times and the seasons (Acts 1:7), to them these prophesies where still a mystery, they were sealed and un-interpreted to them at that time.

However, it is also written that, at the time of the end, the wise will understand the times (Daniel 12:5‐13). They will seek to view the times and seasons from God's perspective, and they will understand. Daniel 12:9‐10 reads: ‘And he said, ‘Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand’’ KJV.

Those at the time of the end who serve in that work in a way that is pleasing to God can expect to understand the answer to the question of the holy men of old. ‘How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?’ (Dan.12:6 KJV). The end is upon us now. The words are no longer closed and sealed (Revelation 22:10). It is our responsibility to seek God while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6).

The full text of Rev.22:10-21 reads: ‘Then he (Jesus) told me, ‘Do not seal up the words of prophecy in this book, because the time is near. Let the unrighteous continue to be unrighteous, and the vile continue to be vile; let the righteous continue to practice righteousness, and the holy continue to be holy.’ ‘Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.’ Blessed are those who wash their robes, (do His commandments) so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates. But outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. ‘I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star.’ The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who is thirsty come, and the one who desires the water of life drink freely. I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy in this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints Amen’ BSB

From the time of the writings of John the prophesies were to be unsealed, for the Christians became a persecuted group of people and they needed the prophesies and words of Jesus to stand in their days of trials. After Christ’s first coming the people of God became a target, the focus of hatred and scorn, and the seal of God was not put upon the prophesies written by John, they were released, the reason being that from that time on there was set in train the events which would culminate with the return of the Messiah.

The sealed ones became the repository of the unsealed prophesies, and the power contained in these prophesies would be available to Christians at the end of the ‘times and seasons’ that would culminate in the return of their author, Yahweh-Jehoshua.

The provision of these prophesies consoles Christians, though ungodly people will not understand them, instead, to them they are warnings. In the time of the end, it is only those who are thirsty for the God of revelation will hear the prophesies of the book and understand them, with nothing added or removed. The anointing of the Spirit on these scriptures both protects them and reveals them. It protects them from misuse and from the stony hearts of callous men and women who will not change, yet at the same time the anointing can reveal them to innocent of hearts, as simple truths can be revealed unto babes Matt.11:25 reads: ‘At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes’ KJV.

The two witnesses

For Rev. 11:3-6 reads ‘... “And I will empower my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” These witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. If anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouths and devours their enemies. In this way, anyone who wants to harm them must be killed. These witnesses have power to shut the sky so that no rain will fall during the days of their prophecy, and power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish’. BSB

 

The two witnesses (Rev.11:1-14) begin their public ministry at the same time as the ‘abomination of desolation appears in the holy place’. See Matt.24:15; Mark13:14; Dan.9:27; Dan.12:11.

 

Dan.11:30-31 describes the actions of the Antichrist at this time for: ‘Then he will turn back and rage against the holy covenant and do damage. So he will return and show favour to those who forsake the holy covenant. His forces will rise up and desecrate the temple fortress. They will abolish the daily sacrifice and set up the abomination of desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him’ BSB

 

This public display of corrupt intent occurs at the same time as the two witnesses begin their ministry. When evil is most manifest, then the Spirit of God rises up in his servants to defend the people. It is reminiscent of Jesus’s ministry who, when he saw corruption in the Temple, in righteous anger, drove out the moneychangers from that place; Matt.21:11-13 reads ‘The crowds replied, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’ Then Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those selling doves. And He declared to them, “It is written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer.’ But you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’’ BSB

 

The length of time of the two witnesses’ public ministry is 1260 days, this is the same length of time that the woman, i.e., the Christ Church fled into the wilderness to escape the wrath of the Antichrist for Rev.12:6 reads: ‘And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place for her to be nourished for 1,260 days’. The 1,260 days are three and a half years and is the length of time of the Great Tribulation, the last three and a half years of this age.

 

At the end of this time the two witness–prophets are killed, yet after three and a half days the breath of God enters their bodies, and they are resurrected and are called up to heaven in a cloud. This is reminiscent of Jesus ascension and speaks of the nearness of Jesus’ return on the Day of the Seventh Trumpet. Rev. 11:7-13 reads ‘When the two witnesses have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will wage war with them, and will overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city— figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where their Lord was also crucified. For three and a half days all peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will view their bodies and will not permit them to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will gloat over them, and will celebrate and send one another gifts, because these two prophets had tormented them. But after the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered the two witnesses, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell upon those who saw them. And the witnesses heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Come up here.” And they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched them. And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand were killed in the quake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven’ BSB.

The Spirit of the Lord cannot be quenched. The prophets of old also knew it. As an example, we read of Elisha’s final prophesy in 2Kings13:20-21: ‘And Elisha died and was buried. Now the Moabite raiders used to come into the land every spring. Once, as the Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders, so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. And as soon as his body touched the bones of Elisha, the man was revived and stood up on his feet’. It is clear from this and other scriptures that the Spirit of God will not be stopped or compromised, and this will be particularly manifest before the Day of the Lord.

‘But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8)

Acts 1:6-8 reads: ‘Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth’ KJV.

In Acts 1:7, according to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for ‘time’ is ‘xrónos’ or ‘chronos’ means ‘time (in general), especially viewed in sequence (a ‘succession of moments’); time in duration in the physical-space world, sovereignly apportioned by God to each person’). This means the exact time, or time when expressed quantitatively, a measure of its duration time i.e., time when expressed in chronological order. However Jesus also refers to the time of his coming as being a ‘season’. According to Strong’s Concordance the Greek word for ‘season’ is ‘kairós – time as opportunity. 2540 /kairós ("opportune time") is derived from kara ("head") referring to things "coming to a head" to take full-advantage of. 2540 (kairós) is "the suitable time, the right moment (e.g. Soph., El. 1292), a favorable moment" (DNTT, 3, 833)’.

So, at the time when the prophesy given by the risen Christ in Acts 1:8 then He, the ‘Son of Man’, knew when He would return. This would be both after a ‘measure of time’ and at the ‘opportune time’ i.e., when the events of the age ‘come to a head’. The passage of both chronos and kairos time precede the coming Day of the coming of Son of Man.

Furthermore, it is especially at this time when Christians must wait for ‘power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth’ (Acts 1:8).

This promise is not only made not only to the Christians who saw a partial fulfilment on the day of Pentecost, but it is made to all Christians throughout time. This includes the two witnesses of whom we read operate out of Jerusalem in the last 3.5 years of this age. This will be the time of the complete fulfilment of this prophesy, and this will occur in the appointed ‘time and season’.

It is crucial for Christians to understand that in the Great Tribulation, Yahweh will equip his people to be witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Furthermore, this equipping must needs be ‘in power’ to combat the spiritual darkness that will be rampant at that will prevail at that time.

These are the last words of Christ spoken on the earth before his ascension. It was given to the assembly that were gathered with Him. They had asked Him the specific question as to when he would come to restore Israel. They had not understood the global significance of His coming again and so He explained to them in a broader context of its global significance and of the time and events that must necessarily occur prior to His return.

Earlier in the prophesy Jesus had explained to them that this will be when the greatest persecution will occur. At this time, great persecution will be unleashed. This will be the time when they will need to flee the city of Jerusalem and the towns of Judea for they will be mercilessly pursued by the secret police of the Antichrist and His armies. This will be the time when one will be taken and one left. Such will be the discrimination against the Christians in that part of the world. Some will be working in fields, some will be in factories, some will be women and some men. In preparation for these events Jesus intended them to be informed and not oblivious to the persecution that would come upon them (Matt.24:36- 50). Matt.24:15-25 also makes clear that at this time they were to ‘pray ye that your flight (from Jerusalem and Judea) be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day’ (Matt.24:20).

The scriptures make it clear that the fervent prayers of righteous men and women are effective and able to change events in time. At end of this age Christ prophesied that prayer could change and delay events by at least 3 months i.e., that their flight be not in winter.

So, we know from this that the prayers of Christians who are living at the beginning of the great tribulation can be so effective as to change the onset of the final 7 years of Daniel’s prophesy of ‘weeks’ i.e., the time when Israel enters into a covenant agreement with the Antichrist; for this event then determines the time, which occurs 3.5 years later, when the Antichrist becomes apparent in the temple of Jerusalem. This will be the exact time when Christians will need to flee from the onslaught of Antichrist, and the lethal persecution of his secret police.

This means that the prayers of the saints of God are so anointed and powerful at this time as to determine both the start and the end of Daniel’s prophecy of the 70th and final week i.e., the seven years prior to His returning in glory accompanied by his host and from the clouds. What an honour and privilege it is to be part of the plan of the ages whereby we can, through prayer, affect the very fabric of time and events at the end of this age.

False prophets say that the Holy Spirit will be lifted off the earth during these tragic years. This is contrary to scripture for the Holy Spirit is promised in greater measure at this time to counter the wickedness which is released 3.5 years before His arrival in glory. This is evidence by the beginning of the ministry of the two witnesses which starts at this time and continues until immediately prior to the return of the Son of Man.

The means and magnitude of enduement with power that was prophesied by Christ in Acts 1:6-8 initially came at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-39), was a fore taste of the heavenly power that will be poured out in the last days of this age. This is the power which is the provision to Christians to especially strengthen them in the time of the tribulation, great one. Rev.7:13-14 reads of these Christians: ‘Then one of the elders addressed me: ‘These in white robes,’ he asked, ‘who are they, and where have they come from?’ 14’Sir,’ I answered, ‘you know.’ So he replied, ‘These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; they havewashed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb...’’ BSB

Many commentators write of the provision of power from on high given to the people of God in the closing years of the age of grace. Dakes for example writes of Acts 1:8 being ‘fulfilled in Acts 2:1-39 and to be completely fulfilled in the tribulation and Millennium’ He goes on to define the Greek word for ‘power’ as ‘dunamis’ as this will be the type of power which will be received by the Christians for it will be ‘inherent power capable of reproducing itself like a dynamo’ (2Peter1:3). For this time will be the time when great miracles will be wrought by Christians across the globe. They that know their God shall be strong and do exploits. . It will be the time of the great commissions closing years when the ‘gospel benefits were to be world-wide and not for the Jews only in the first century’.

Of this time Dan.11:32 reads of this time that the Christians ‘who know their God will be strong and will resist him’ that is resist the king of the north, i.e., the Antichrist and his wickedness.

This commission and the promises that come with it, come in great measure at that time; and they come not only to the two witnesses, but to all Christians who need to be equipped and ready not only for the impending darkness, but for His imminent return. The five wise virgins carried a lit oil lamp through the dark hours until midnight, for they knew that the bridegroom was coming in dark times (Matt.25:2).

The prophesy of Joel 2:28, though tasted and received at the time of Peter’s message and referred to by him on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:17-21), also has clear reference to the time of the armies of the Antichrist who will descend like locusts upon the land of Israel in the closing ‘chronos’ and ‘kairos’ time before the return of the ‘Son of Man’ (Joel 1).

This will be the time when the prophesy comes to its full completion for Joel’s prophesy records in some detail the events that take place at that time.

Acts 2:17-21 (Joel 2:28-32) reads: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved’ KJV.

The events vividly described by Joel as being ‘wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood’ did not occur on the day of Pentecost, they remain unfulfilled, for the prophesy explains that they occur ‘before that great and notable day of the Lord come’.

These events occur before the resurrection of our bodies on that Day of the return of the Son of Man. Romans 8:22-27 reads: ‘We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time. Not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see? But if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God’ BSB. It is the hope of the arrival of that Day that propelled the early Christians and will propel us too as we await with yearning its arrival.

‘Your kingdom come’ (Luke 11:2)

The Lord’s Prayer can be seen in sharper focus when we see it in the context of a pre- Millennial Payer. It was given by Jesus as being resilient and productive right up to the time of His return in glory on that Day. ‘Thy kingdom come’ is the coming of the kingdom on that Day of the return of the Son of Man; the prophesy and the promise is there, though it is not fulfilled until that Day comes. Like Acts 1:8, the prayer and prophesy recorded in Luke 11:2-4 is partially complete prophesy which has been, is and will be to come. It can only be complete the Day on which the Son of Man comes to take His rightful place as head of a kingdom, and this is the Millennial kingdom which is still to come. It is certainly not complete at the present time for many rulers lead many nations, none of which are the Christ, the living One come from Yahweh God.

So, the Millennium kingdom is yet to come, of which we have a fore taste now in our day-to- day activity as Christians. Paul likens our time on earth when compared to the time to come in this way in 1 Cor.13:11-12: ‘When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known’ BSB.

So, now we have a taste of the kingdom yet to come and know in part, but it is not a call to Christians who, by their own efforts, can deal with, judge and complete it's coming; rather, we are told to pray for its coming and pray for His power to do it, a total reliance on the Father is called for, for the prayer reads: 'thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven'.

The Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Luke 11:1-4 and when taken in the context of Luke 11:1-13 is also clear teaching on the exercising of the Christian’s faith in relation to Holy Spirit baptism. The Lord’s prayer (Luke 11:1-4) describes the cause and effect of persecution and the Spirit baptism (Luke 11:5-13) is how we are anointed for service to do the works in those times.

After telling the disciples how to pray the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Luke 11:2-4 Jesus immediately goes on to give clear teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for Spirit baptism is necessary to activate Christians in the times of trials, persecution, and temptation. This passage records the importance of persistent asking, seeking, and knocking at the door of heaven and ends with ‘how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!’ (Luke 11:13b BSB).

And what is the ‘kingdom’ as recorded in Luke 11:2? The word for ‘kingdom’ here recorded is the original Greek word ‘basileía’ of which Strong’s concordance comments: ‘932 basileia (from 935 /basileús, "king") – properly, kingdom; the realm in which a king sovereignly rules. A kingdom (932 /basileía) always requires a king – as the kingdom (932 /basileía) of God does with King Jesus! 932 (basileía) especially refers to the rule of Christ in believers' hearts – which is a rule that ‘one day will be universal on the physical earth in the Millennium’ (G. Archer)’. That rule is not yet universal on the earth and can only be so when the Son of Man has returned, judgements have been made and Satan is confined to the Abyss.

So, ‘thy kingdom come’ is the second coming of the Christ. The Lord's Prayer is not a call to Christians to set up this kingdom on the earth, for that can only be done by the Son of Man, and that takes place with the manifestation of great power on that Day. This power is far beyond human ability for on that Day the heavens are shaken and the elements on the earth melt.

‘The elements shall melt with fervent heat’ (2 Peter 3:10)

Of that Day, and of the energy and power needed to set up the kingdom 2 Peter 3:10-13 (see also Zephaniah 1:7-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11) records: ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness’ KJV.

Peter goes on to record how important it is to have a mindset that looks for the hastening of the coming of the Day for 2 Peter 3:14-15 reads: 'Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless’ KJV.

Peter then adds a strict warning against false prophets and the cause and effect of false teachers that lead people to be unlearned and unstable. The warning is so severe as without proper teaching on these matters then people will be devastated, they will be destroyed in their minds, for great wars will come upon the nations and the precepts upon which they had built their own steadfastness will fail them. 2 Peter 3:16-18 reads: ‘As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness’ KJV.

When Satan and his wicked fallen angels are thrown out of heaven by Michael, an event which occurs 3.5 years before the close of the age (Rev.12:7-9), then and especially then we shall overtly fight temptation and know deliverance from evil. This will be the time when the wicked fallen angels will be in the same realm as the earth-bound demons which so often cause great anguish and plague mankind on the earth. ‘Thy will be done on the earth, as in heaven’ will be our cry. For the kingdom of heaven will be close by, even at the door and very much ‘at hand’. Only spiritual protection will keep people, and many more people will need food and provision as the famines spread through the lands.

Though Satanic angelic powers will roam the spirit realm of the earth, (Rev.12:7-9), our hope and power will still come from heaven, and in that place, there will be great relief at the silence for the conflict there will have been won by Michael and the good angels. There will, of necessity, be a new order in the heavenly places at that time and in this new order we can pray to Yahweh that they might be released act on behalf of the people of God.

The activity of angels at that time is powerful and recorded many times throughout the books of Daniel, Revelation and elsewhere. These angels are of one accord and Christians operate in unison with them when they call upon the name of the Lord. In this way great wonders occur on the earth.

The name of Yahweh-Saboath is recorded 281 times in scripture and often are recorded as riding on the clouds or intervening on behalf of Sovereign God or defending against armies on the earth. 2 Kings 6:16-17 records: ‘’Do not be afraid,’ Elisha answered, ‘for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha’ BSB.

These same angels are they who will come with the Son of Man in Shekinah glory (the clouds) on that Day to gather the elect and to set up His kingdom on the earth. This pure oxygen from the heavenly places will give the two witnesses and the Christian assemblies, of whom they are part, great powers to perform miracles in his Name. Hebrews 11:1 reads: ‘Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see’ BSB and this will be the means and mode of operation as the events of the last days unfold, and faith of Christians will be rewarded.

Satan, our real enemy, will be openly aggressive in the earthly realm at this time and will bring devastation and conflict on the earth for he knows that he only has a short time before punishment. He knows the prophesies of scripture, and he knows that he hates the Father and the Son and the Spirit. In the light of Yahweh’s great love, he still will not repent.

Yet the time of the Great Tribulation is also the time when there is rejoicing in the heavens, for as stated, at that time Satan will have been removed from that realm. Rev.12:12 reads: ‘Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time’ BSB

‘The days of the Son of Man’ (Luke 17:22)

The days preceding the return of the Son of Man (Matt.24:30) will not be marked by observable signs on any one day but by many days of gradual and imperceptible decay in the cosmos i.e., world systems. The adage that comes to mind is that of a frog being slowly boiled alive.

The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly. The metaphor is used to describe the failure to act against a problematic situation which will increase in severity until reaching catastrophic proportions. The analogy can also be citied of how humankind does not learn from its mistakes but rather history will repeat itself.

It reads in the scriptures that this will be the case prior to the second coming of the Messiah, when there will be a general malaise against actions that could stop the advance of the evil one, but instead, inaction causes the precipitation of a final catastrophic event.

I quote below the key scriptures shown to us in this respect. Notice in the passage the reference to the days preceding the coming of the Son of Man will be as they were in the days of Noah or in the days of Lot. As in the story of Lot, these final days will be marked by the urgency of the prophesies to flee the lands due to extreme persecution. This will be the time when the secret police of the Antichrist come to kill those who do not follow him, lives will be lost and people selected and arrested, a time when ‘one will be taken and the other left’. This will be the time when the vultures gather over the carcasses of the bodies of the dead who die in the final conflict known as Armageddon. As a source reading for subject matter see video ‘Teaching on the Book of Revelation (Edited).divx’ by Bill Turner.

Then, suddenly, will come singularly ‘the day of the Son of Man’. The parable that follows these key verses relates to the Christians who need to pray at all times through these days and not loose heart for they cry out to the Judge of the whole earth ‘appealing to him, ‘Give me justice against my adversary’’ (Luke 18:3 BSB). It will be the time when the kingdom of heaven will become imminent such that it will be ‘within your grasp’ (Lu.17:21).

The full text of Luke 17:20-18:8 reads as follows:

The Coming of the Kingdom

‘When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst. (or ‘within you’ or ‘within your grasp’)’

Then He said to the disciples, ‘The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. People will tell you, ‘Look, there He is!’ or ‘Look, here He is!’ Do not go out or chase after them. For just as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so will be the Son of Man in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.

Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man: People were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

It was the same in the days of Lot: People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulphur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

It will be just like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve his possessions. Likewise, let no one in the field return for anything he has left behind. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed: One will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together: One will be taken and the other left’.

‘Where, Lord?’ they asked.


Jesus answered, ‘Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.’

 

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

‘Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray at all times and not lose heart: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected men. And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to him, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’

For a while he refused, but later he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect men, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice. Then she will stop wearing me out with her perpetual requests.’’

And the Lord said, ‘Listen to the words of the unjust judge. Will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He continue to defer their help? I tell you, He will promptly carry out justice on their behalf. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?’’ BSB

‘Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand’ (Joel 1:15)

The anointing of God rested upon the prophets and caused them to focus on the key event being Messiah’s second advent on that day. For example, the concluding prophesy contained in the book of Zechariah Ch.12 alone contains the term ‘in that day’ 16 times. It is a term so often used to describe this event. The term is also often used by Isaiah to describe not only that day but events which will take place beyond that day and in the Millennium i.e., the epoch or era of time following that day. This is referred to by John as the new heaven and the new earth and the holy city, the new Jerusalem. This will be the time when the One .seated on the throne says to John ‘Behold, I (Jesus) make all things new’ (Rev.21:5).

 

Much of scripture, and much of Old Testament prophesy, has a sharp focus on the Millennium. We might read these prophesies and consider them to be fine words of platitude but in fact they relate to the Millennium. The Holy Spirit inspired these prophesies of this forth coming time because from that perspective the preceding events fall into sharp focus.

The prophets were inspired to see events through the prism of heaven and in their gaze saw profound things, sometimes so profound as to overwhelm them (Isaiah 6:5; Rev.1:17) and at other sometimes it caused them much grief and alarm (Daniel 7:15,28), yet they were faithful to their office and recorded the visions and dreams for the benefit of subsequent generations.

The clarity of sight from the perspective of heaven’s realm on that day is because on that day the evil one is removed, Satan is cast into the Abyss, and his veil of evil intent and deception, called the hidden power of the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ (2 Thes.2:7) will have been removed.

‘Prepared for this hour and day and month and year’ Rev.9:15

The preparations made in heaven for the glorious return of Christ are precise to the moment. At the seventh trumpet Christ returns before which the sixth angel sounds his trumpet and a voice is heard from the four horns of the golden altar before God ‘saying to the sixth angel with the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’ So the four angels who had been prepared for this hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. And the number of mounted troops was two hundred million; I heard their number’.

The references to both the day and the hour of His return are many, see Luke 12:46; Matt.24:50. Matt.24:36 and Luke 13:32 which read ‘No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father’ and Matt.25:13 (The Parable of the Ten Virgins) reads ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. For it is just like a man going on a journey‘ BSB.

The Father, Son and Spirit certainly know the year, month, day, hour, moment of His return, for the prophesies reflect the events which are planned though yet to take place. Matt.5:17,18 reads ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfil them. For I tell you truly, until heaven and earth pass away, not a single jot, not a stroke of a pen, will disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished’ BSB.

‘In that hour’ Rev.11:13

In the very hour after the ascension of the two witnesses in reads in Rev.11:13 as follows:

‘And in that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand were killed in the quake, and the rest were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven’

Here and elsewhere earthquakes are prophesies to take place both before and on the day of His return. Jesus forth-told this in Matt.24:7-8: ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers (many) places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.’ KJV

The prophesies of the End Times forthtell of the nations and armies of the Antichrist coming from two directions against Judah, that being from the direction of the north i.e., Syria, and from the direction of the east i.e., across the Euphrates. Joel 1:6-7 reads: ‘For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white’ KJV.

It will be a time of much lamentation and mourning, a time when ‘joy is withered away from the sons of men’ (Joel 1:12). Joel 1:8-12 reads ‘Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD'S ministers, mourn. The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men’ KJV.

It is a time of great regret, for the priests and prophets of God are largely unprepared. It is a time when national renewal can only come when mankind ‘cry unto the LORD’ (Joel 1:14). Joel 1:13-14 reads ‘Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD’ KJV

Joel 1:15 reads ‘Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come’ KJV. The destruction comes from the Almighty which in the Hebrew reads ‘Shaddai’ Ellicott comments: ‘The Hebrew preserves the alliteration, Shod Mishaddai, destruction from the destroyer’.

The natural world suffers great pain at this time, for the destruction caused by the Antichrist is great and widespread and this is the cause of famine as spoken of by Jesus in Matt.24. Joel 1:17-20 reads ‘The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness’. It will be a time when even the beasts of the field i.e., the very animal kingdom itself echoes the cry of humankind and looks up to God, for as Ellicott comments on Joel 1:20 ‘The prophet has cried to God; the very beasts echo that cry, ‘looking up’ to Him. As yet, man seems dumb’.

As Joel saw these events in vision, so did Jesus, for his comments are recorded in Matt.24:7 where it reads: ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’ KJV.

This is a day of great noise; it will be the cusp of the ages for Joel 2:1-2 reads: ‘Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations’ KJV.

Joel prophesied that this Day would be at the time of greatest trials for as Ellicott comments:

‘he (Joel) sees on the horizon a mustering of the nations hostile to his people, bent on destroying them. Let the priests stir up the people for a fast, and for the defence of their land by the trumpet. The locusts have done their symbolical work (Joel 1), they have left their mark on the country. Now the day of Jehovah, the manifestation of His power, is approaching—it is imminent’.

Joel sees the ‘mustering of nations hostile to his people, bent on destroying them’, though ‘Now the day of Jehovah, the manifestation of His power, is approaching—it is imminent’. Joel also sees it as a time of great wonders in the heavens and on the earth ‘before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come’ KJV. Of this Day the BSB translation records the adjectives ‘great and awesome (dreadful, glorious) Day of the LORD’.

The full text of Joel 2:28-32 (KJV) reads ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call’.

The death, resurrection and ascension of the two witnesses occurs just before the point in time of the seventh and last trumpet, referred to the third woe in Rev.11:15 ‘The second woe has passed. Behold, the third woe is coming shortly’.

The seventh and last trumpet occurs on the last day of this age, this is referred to by the prophet Joel in the previous reading as the Day of the Lord. The prophesy of John goes on to read in Rev11:16-19: ‘Then the seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and loud voices called out in heaven: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.’ And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: ‘We give thanks to You, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were enraged, and Your wrath has come. The time has come to judge the dead and to reward Your servants the prophets, as well as the saints and those who fear Your name, both small and great— and to destroy those who destroy the earth.’ Then the temple of God in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple. And there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder, and an earthquake, and a great hailstorm’ BSB.

A day of tremendous noise and glory, a blaze of light, accompanied by a rocking heaven and earth

When Jesus the Messiah comes, it is described as a global event which is accompanied by 1. It will be accompanied with tremendous noise (1Thes.4:13-18; Is.27:13; Mt.24:31; Rev.19:6. 11:15) 2. It will be accompanied with tremendous glory and a blaze of light (Mt.24:27; Lk.17:24; Is.24:23; Rev.19:11-16) 3. It will be accompanied by a rocking heaven and earth. There will be great earthquakes (Is.24:18-20; Joel.2:30-32; Zech.14 all; Mt.24:29; 2Pet.3:10-13; Rev.6:12-17; 11:13,19; 16:18,20,21). These scriptures do not point to a secret rapture, rather the Messiah coming as a global cataclysmic event. See more at www.prophetbillturner.com / Study #38 ‘Beware! Don’t let anyone fool you, and lead you astray’.

The Psalmist forth told this day in Psalm 46. It begins with the defence of God’s people and because He will be their defence then He tells them not to fear of the events that they see happening around them, including the dawn of the Millennium. These events include earthquakes and the upheaval of the natural world leading up to and on the Day of the Lord when the New Jerusalem is established (v.4). The final event of His coming occurs early morning on that Day (v.5). As He rose early morning on the Day of Ascension after His first coming (, so He will come ‘right early’ on this Day too. John 20:1 reads ‘ Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark... ‘ BSB

The full Psalm 46 reads: ‘{{To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. }} God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. [There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High. God [is] in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, [and that] right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts [is] with us; the God of Jacob [is] our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts [is] with us; the God of Jacob [is] our refuge. Selah’ KJV.

He is now manifested among His people, they see Him, He comes, the long-awaited Messiah, comes back to reign! He is in the midst of the city. Though all the kingdoms of the earth are moved and made desolate, God the Messiah is not moved. Instead, He makes the war to cease, he destroys the military weaponry of mankind that has been brought against both that place and God’s people, He knows His own to who He gives refuge and strength.

... there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matt.8:12)

Yet on this Day, the Day of His coming when every eye shall Him, the heathen still do not repent, instead they gnash their teeth i.e., express hatred and rage against the Lord and against His anointed. This has been forth-told for our insight and to strengthen us in these times of great adversary before the coming dawn.

As well as the glorious appearing, we read of the open hatred of God’s people is palpable by the Antichrist and his followers. The open throat of Slanderer roars out against the Holy One, yet without cause, or right and even though his day has come, he will not change. The persecution of God’s people continues to the End.

It will be the time when the prophesies and promises of old come most alive for the people who hold on to them:

Ps.35:1-5,15a-16 reads ‘Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt. Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them... Assailants I did not know slandered me without ceasing. Like godless jesters at a feast, they gnashed their teeth at me. How long, O Lord, will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, my precious lifefrom these lions’ BSB.

Job 16:9 reads ‘His anger has torn me and opposed me; He gnashes His teeth at me. My adversary pierces me with His eyes’ BSB.

Ps.37:12 reads ‘The wicked scheme against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them’ BSB.

Ps.112:10 reads ‘The wicked man will see and be grieved; he will gnash his teeth and waste away; the desires of the wicked will perish’ BSB.

Lam.2:16 reads ‘All your enemies open their mouths against you. They hiss and gnash their teeth, saying, "We have swallowed her up. This is the day for which we have waited. We have lived to see it!’ BSB.

Jesus knew of this Day and forth-told the events thereof. He explains that even the Gentiles, i.e., people from all lands and nations, from the east and from the west of the land of His return will be gathered to Him on that Day, yet the wicked with ‘gnash their teeth’ in rage and incessant anger against Him. The narrative reads that upon entering Capernaum, a Roman centurion came to Jesus to ask Him to heal his servant. In this man Jesus found great faith for it goes on to read in Matt8:10b-12: ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ KJV.

The parallel passage to this one is in Luke 13:28-30 specifically refers to peoples from all of the nations, including the north and south too, are gathered to Him on that Day for it reads: There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves are thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. And indeed, some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last’ BSB.

So, the harvest of the earth comes from the whole earth, yet there is a division between those who enter the glorious light of the kingdom of God and those who are excluded from want of the kingdom of darkness.

This is the glorious fulfilment and answer given to the saints who cry from the alter ‘

It is the Day when all called shall enter into a time of banquet and celebration upon seeing the Messiah who has come to reign. They shall sit down, literally ‘shall recline’ (Matt8:11) at the table of a feast, they shall know experientially the blessedness of the kingdom of God and receive their true inheritance from Him.

Of those who reject Him then in the most startling way their self-exclusion and self-imposed anguish is forth told.

‘For the harvest of the earth is ripe’ (Rev.14:15)

On this Day, when Jesus comes in a cloud of glory (Acts 1:9-11), there will be a heightened sense of great judgement in the heavens, on the earth, and amongst the people. With the glory cloud comes conviction, awe, and judgement upon the people.

Matt.24:29-31 reads: ‘Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other’.

Rev.1:17-20 reads: ‘And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks’ KJV.

Rev.14:14-15 reads ‘And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped’ BSB.

Of Rev.14:15 Ellicott writes: ‘There can be little doubt that Christ Himself is here intended: the ‘cloud’ (Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:9), the expression ‘Son of man’ (comp. John 5:27 and Daniel 7:13), the ‘crown,’ the general resemblance to the vision in Revelation 1 (see Revelation 1:7-13), indicate as much. The ‘crown’ is the crown of victory; the hour ofconquest is at hand. The sickle shows that the harvest has come. (Comp. Joel 3:12-14 and Mark 4:26-29.)’. It is on and from the glory cloud that the Jesus thrusts in his sickle on the earth and the earth is reaped.

The time of harvest is a time of great angelic activity, involving many angels:

Rev. 5:11 reads of John’s revelation of the numbers: ‘And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’ KJV. Ten thousand times ten thousand is 100 million. John saw a myriad of angels. Bill Turner comments in the video ‘The Bok of Revelation’ that humankind could be outnumbered by angels by 100 million to one.

Rev.14:6: ‘And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters’.

Rev.14:8: ‘And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication’.

Rev.14:9: ‘And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand (he also himself shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mingled pure (in full strength, undiluted, e.g., “He shall have judgment without mercy that hath showed no mercy,” James 2:13) in the cup of his indignation, and shall be tormented in fire)’.

Rev.14:15: ‘And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe’.

Rev.14:18: ‘And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God’.

The angels take their power and the weapons of their warfare from heavenly places, and they cry out instructions to the Son of Man, for they know that they cannot go ahead of his actions; they can only wait for Him to act before they too can proceed. Even in this final act of judgement there is perfect harmony in the work of these heavenly beings of God. The angels call out to each other with loud shouts. This is a time of tremendous noise, awesome light and manifest heavenly power.

This is now the fulness of time ‘for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe’. It is the time pre-determined. The angels have been prepared and ready. They know this is the time. The angels operate in unison with the Son of Man whose sickle must first be thrust on the earth before they too can use their sickles, they have power over fire and participate in the Plan of the Ages ‘and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God’ (Re.14:19).

What harvest is this? The harvest of the Just and the harvest of the Vintage

Harvests occur in the autumn after a sowing of the grain and a maturing of the crop through the heat of summer.

Jesus makes it clear that a harvest will take place for Mark 4:26-28 He prophesied: ‘And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come’ KJV.

Christ Jesus is the reaper in the sense that He sends forth the angels to reap the harvest. Matt.24v30-31 reads: ‘At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other’ BSB.

Yet Jesus makes it clear that at the time of harvest then a division takes place. Christ is waiting the command of the Father to reap, but when it is given, He will divide the light from the darkness, and the silver, gold and precious stones from the wood, hay and stubble. (Heb.4:12,13. Rev.2:12. Mal.3:1-4. 1Cor.3:11-15).

At this time of harvest, He will divide the crop, the crop of the good seed and the crop of the tares. He was questioned on this, as should the crop of tares be pulled from the growing crop beforehand i.e., as soon as they became evident then should they not be pulled from the crop to make it clean, yet he explained that this can only be done when all is ready, that is together in the final day of harvest.

Matt.13:24-30 reads: ‘Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn’ KJV.

From this parable we can clearly see that there are not two days of harvest but one, there is no secret cleaning of the crop to take place in advance of the Day of Harvest, no early intervention by the reaper. There is one harvest, and it occurs on one Day. On this Day, the wheat and tares are separated. At this time the tares are burnt and the wheat is gathered ‘into my barn’.

Jesus is the only one who will reap the harvest for He holds the sickle and reaps. The going forth of the command to reap occurs at a set time, the fulness of time, which only the Godhead know. Yet on that Day of his appearance in glory Jesus gives two sets of instructions to two different sets of angels who are told to go to reap two different harvests. He delegates the power to reap with the sickle to these two different sets of angels. We read of two angels emerging from the temple in in heaven and one from the altar in heaven.

Ellicott comments: ‘It has been asked, ‘What harvest is this?’ It is the gathering of the good seed, the full corn in the ear, into the celestial garner (Mark 4:26-29). The angel who announces that the harvest is ready comes forth from the Temple, the inner shrine, the holy place which was measured off in the sanctuary of the faithful (Revelation 11:1); whereas the angel who calls for the vintage comes forth from the altar (Revelation 14:18)’.

The angels from the temple (Rev.14:15-17)

The angels from the temple harvest the fully ripe grapes the just, also referred to as the good seed. Rev.14:15-17 reads: ‘Then another angel came out of the temple, crying out in a loud voice to the One seated on the cloud, ‘Swing Your sickle and reap, because the time has come to harvest; for the crop of the earth is ripe.’ So the One seated on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested. Then another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle’ BSB.

The angel who announces that this harvest is ready comes forth from the temple, the inner shrine, the holy place which was measured off in the sanctuary of the faithful (Rev.11:1).

The angel from the altar (Rev.14:18-20)

The angel from the altar harvests the grapes for the great winepress of God, also called the harvest of the wicked, or the harvest of the tares. Rev.14:18-20 reads: ‘Still another angel, with authority over the fire, came from the altar and called out in a loud voice to the angel with the sharp sickle, ‘Swing your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the vine of the earth, because its grapes are ripe.’ So the angel swung his sickle over the earth and gathered the grapes of the earth, and he threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath. And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and the blood that flowed from it rose as high as the bridles of the horses for a distance of 1,600 stadia’ BSB.

The angel from the altar has power (Gr. ‘exousian’) ‘over the fire’. The two scenes—one in Revelation 6:9-10 (the souls crying beneath the altar), the other in Revelation 8:5 (the angel mingling incense with the prayers of the saints)—must be remembered. The angel who had charge of the altar fire, and flung the ashes betokening judgments towards the earth, is the same one who calls with a loud cry, ‘Send thy sharp sickle, and gather the bunches of the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe’.

These are undoubtably mighty and powerful angels. The reference to another, and yet another angel refers to a number of them being involved in the tasks at hand in each case. There may be a plurality of angels who are sent forth and who operate under the role of the one key angel for from the temple comes ‘another angel’ (Rev.14:15) and ‘another’ (Rev.14:17). Bill Turner (www.prophetbillturner.com Study #23 ‘The Book of Revelation P.60) writes: ‘The angel with the sickle is probably in charge of the angels that destroy the wicked, even as the archangel Michael will lead the angels against Satan and his angels and cast them out of the heavenlies (Rev.12:7-9)’.

These angels are given the specific instruments to accomplish their deeds.

The first angel that emerges from the temple cries out with ‘a loud voice to the One seated on the cloud’ (Rev.14:15) yet we read from Rev.14:17 that ‘another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle’. So it reads that both of these angels carry a sharp sickle, though only the first cries to the One on the cloud, and this cry must happen before both can proceed with their sickles.

These two angels that come out of the temple in heaven thrust carefully over the earth and the earth is harvested of its grape clusters (Rev.14:15-17). In comparison to Rev.14:18-20 these verses speak of the hand-picking of grapes where each cluster is removed from the vine with secateurs in one hand whilst the other hand caresses and holds the cluster from being bruised as it is harvested; these clusters are those chosen for the banqueting house of God.

However, the image of the second angel from the altar is of one who harvests using the altar fire, as it flings the burning ashes betokening judgments towards the earth. This is the harvest of the vintage (Rev.14:18-20)

Of the harvest of the vintage i.e., the tares, Ellicott writes: ‘There must be some difference between the vintage and the harvest. There is an autumn gladness about the harvest: there are tokens of judgment in the vintage. It is not the sharp sickle alone which is required: the winepress, the winepress of God’s wrath, is called into use. An angel from the Temple calls to the Son of man to reap the harvest: an angel from the altar calls to an angel from the Temple to gather in the vintage. The vintage symbolises a harvest of judgment; do not the words respecting Babylon (the wine of the wrath of her fornication, Revelation 14:8) come to the mind and confirm this? The angel rises from the altar, beneath which the murdered saints had cried, “How long?” and proclaims, “The vintage, the hour of vengeance, has come!” And it is not without significance that the angel to whom this cry is addressed comes forth out of the Temple, the safe sanctuary of God’s faithful ones, as one who has witnessed their secret sorrows and their sufferings, and is fitted “to recompense tribulation to the troublers of Israel” (2Thessalonians 1:6)’.

‘The great winepress of the wrath of God’ (Rev.14:19)

This is the time when the grapes of vintage of God’s wrath are fully ripe. In Rev.14:18 we read that the angel from the Altar is told to ‘Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe’.

At this time of the winepress, we note that God’s anger mixed in full strength. Rev.14:10-11 reads: ‘And another angel, a third, followed them, saying in a loud voice, If any man worship the wild beast and his image, and a mark upon his forehead or upon his hand, he also himself shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mingled pure (in full strength, undiluted, e.g., ‘He shall have judgment without mercy that hath showed no mercy,’ James 2:13) in the cup of his indignation, and shall be tormented in fire, And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name’. KJV

The crop of the vintage grapes of wrath is filled with ‘all things vile’ for Rev.17:4-6 reads:

‘And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus‘ KJV

Bill Turner (www.prophetbillturner.com Study #23 ‘The Book of Revelation P.60) writes: ‘We read in Rev.14v18., that ‘another angel came out from the altar,’ and that this angel has ‘power,’ ‘exousian,’ ‘over fire’. We know that Jesus will burn up the wicked with unquenchable fire, and will with flaming fire take vengeance (‘ekdikesis’) on them that do not know not God, and that do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Chris (Lk.3:17,18; 2Thes.1:7-9). This is the great winepress of the wrath of God (Rev.14:19; 19:15; Is.42:13-17; 63:1-6). Those who fight Jesus when He returns need no trial, they are destroyed, the others who are wicked but do not fight Christ at His coming are executed after trial (Matt.13:41- 43,47-50; 25:31-46). The wrath of God is as real as His love, and springs from His love. The only way that God can establish a happy kingdom is by executing the wicked, if the wicked were allowed to live in God's kingdom, happiness would be impossible (Joel 3:11-17; Ps.75:8; Is.51:17-23; Jer.25:15-29; 49:12,13)’.

See also Bill Turner’s website referred to above and Studies #22a, 22b: ‘The Issues of Death and Judgement’.

Under the great pressures of temptation put upon peoples then some of choice agree with the tempter to destroy the right of access to the Father in return for personal gain.

It is of interest to note that when temptation came in the heavenly places then Satan, the Accuser also called the red dragon, drew other angels with him and this caused them to also go his way. Rev.12:3-4 reads ‘Then another sign appeared in heaven: a huge red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars from the sky, tossing them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, ready to devour her child as soon as she gave birth’ BSB.

These angels persecute the inhabitants of the earth, they have the same determination as the red dragon to subdue the peoples of the earth, and to dominate them, and where given licence through the corruption of those who give themselves over to him to wreak havoc and death upon the earth and its inhabitants.

Rev.12:3-4 refers to one third of the angels being drawn from the heaven to the earth by the red dragon. In the same way, though it is a matter of pure conjecture, is it the case that one third of mankind fall under the judgement of the wicked and two thirds are garnered in the harvest of the just? If the numbers garnered in the harvest of the two crops that grow side by side differ i.e., if say two thirds of the harvest comprises of the good harvest and one third the bad harvest then does that mean that twice the numbers of angels are needed to reap this harvest on the behalf of the Saviour when compared to the harvest of the wicked as we read of two angels coming from the temple, though only one emerging from the altar?

‘On Mount Zion and in Jerusalem’ (Joel 2:32)

This global event is centred on Jerusalem for as we have previously read in Joel 2:32 it occurs ‘on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem’ and is an event which will witnessed and seen by all on the earth.

Rev.11:8 reads ‘When the two witnesses have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will wage war with them, and will overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city—figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where their Lord was also crucified’ BSB. So Jerusalem is the centre of attention for the Antichrist who is empowered in full measure from the Abyss, where evil reigns.

Jesus foresaw this day taking place in that city for we read that even as he was led away to carry his cross to Golgotha he prophesied to the women of Jerusalem as follows: ‘And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?’ (Luke 23:27- 31) KJV.

We then read that it was at the place called Calvary, outside the city walls of Jerusalem, that he was crucified and this is recorded in Matt.27:32-44; Mark 15:21-32; John 19:16-27, and in Luke 23:38 we read ‘And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS’ KJV. It was at this centre of Judaism that he was crucified.

And it is to Jerusalem, where He was crowned King, that He will return. His title was acknowledged then, even by Pilate, and it has not been rescinded or taken away. At that time He will come ‘who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom’ (2Tim.4:1 KJV).

‘At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory’ Mark 13:26

Jesus’ return was prophesied as being ‘with the clouds of heaven’ with ‘dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him’ for Dan.7:13-14 reads: ‘Daniel 7:13: ‘I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed’ KJV.

Matthew 25:31: ‘When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne’

And then on the day of Jesus’ ascension, we read of the manner of his return for in Acts 1:2,9-11 we read: ‘Until the day in which he was taken up... while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven’ KJV.

The word cloud is the Greek word ‘nephos’; Strong’s Concordance reads: ‘properly, cloudiness, i.e. (concretely) a cloud – cloud’. It signifies a manifest presence, a presence of such intensity, a precipitation of His divine presence, like clouds that form as the morning sun rises in the sky. Angels accompany His arrival, and as at the first (Luke 2:9-14), are there to accompany Him.

The word ‘glory’ (Strong’s Concordance transliterates the Greek word for glory as follows:

‘dóksa (from dokeō, ‘exercising personal opinion which determines value’) – glory. 1391 /dóksa (‘glory’) corresponds to the OT word, kabo (OT 3519, ‘to be heavy’). Both terms convey God's infinite, intrinsic worth (substance, essence)’. The word speaks of a manifestation God and the intensity of His closeness and presence for when glory is manifested then He is close by, and with the glory of the Father comes the Son of Man (Matt.16:27)’. As with the formation of clouds, the glory denotes his manifestation, closeness, and presence.

The Investiture of the Son of Man ‘coming in the clouds’ Matt. 26:64

The KJV records the title of the returning King as ‘Son of man’ whereas the BSB records His title ‘Son of Man’. I record each according to the translation used.

Let us first consider when Jesus was invested with the title ‘Son of Man’. When was He coronated the rightful heir of the kingdom of heaven? Of the title ‘Son of man’ (KJV) let us consider the prophesy of Daniel 7:13 which reads: ‘I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him’ KJV.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown comment: ‘This title is always associated with His coming again, because the kingdom that then awaits Him is that which belongs to Him as the Saviour of man, the Restorer of the lost inheritance. ‘Son of Man’ expresses His VISIBLE state formerly in his humiliation hereafter in His exaltation. He ‘comes to the Ancient of days’ to be invested with the kingdom. Compare Ps 110:2: ‘The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength (Messiah) out of Zion’. This investiture was at His ascension ‘with the clouds of heaven’ (Acts 1:9; 2:33, 34; Ps. 2:6-9; Matt. 28:18), which is a pledge of His return ‘in like manner’ ‘in the clouds’ (Acts 1:11; Matt. 26:64), and ‘with clouds’ (Rev.1:7). The kingdom then was given to Him in title and invisible exercise; at His second coming it shall be in visible administration. He will vindicate it from the misrule of those who received it to hold for and under God, but who ignored His supremacy. The Father will assert His right by the Son, the heir, who will hold it for Him (Eze 1:27; Heb 1:2; Re 19:13-16). Tregelles thinks the investiture here immediately precedes Christ's coming forth; because He sits at God's right hand until His enemies are made His footstool, then the kingdom is given to the Son in actual investiture, and He comes to crush His so prepared footstool under His feet. But the words, ‘with the clouds,’ and the universal power actually, though invisibly, given Him then (Eph 1:20-22), agree best with His investiture at the ascension, which, in the prophetic view that overleaps the interval of ages, is the precursor of His coming visibly to reign; no event of equal moment taking place in the interval’.

 

The heavenly places were created by Yahweh long ago. There Yahweh has firmly established its structures, it cannot be moved. Here Yahweh reigns. There is a thorn in heaven, and this principle was established long ago, even from eternity, the ageless past. The investiture and coronation of the rightful King upon his throne in heaven took place after the Son of Man had accomplished the Cross, defeated death, and ransacked Hades.

 

Psalm 91:1 reads: ‘The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting’ KJV.

The time of the ascension of the ‘Son of Man’ was the time of His coronation and investiture and the time when He became fully and rightfully qualified to take the throne there. No one, not even the Accuser Satan could deny His rightful place there. So it was that the Son of Man inherited His kingdom after His resurrection and on the day of His ascension. If so then His kingdom, though invisible to our human eyes, pre-exists His promised return, and the victorious Son of Man rules there. Not only that but it is a place of activity and is growing as the number of saints there grows. These are the saints who have gone to glory are now there in that kingdom. In that kingdom preparations are well in hand, for the Day approaches of the imminent return of its qualified and appointed Redeemer and Ruler. He, that is the Son of Man, is qualified and appointed in the heavens and He is qualified and appointed to rule on earth too. His qualifications come from active service as the Son of Man when He was a man, born of a woman, who lived and died and rose again in the first century AD.

 

The parables of the kingdom of heaven (Matt.13) relate to growth, and discovery, of treasure and findings, of protection and provision, until the time of harvest. This tells of the wonderful, rich diverseness of that place.

 

The parable of the mustard seed relates to the time of small beginnings but then the size of that tree at maturity. Matt.13:31-32 reads: ‘He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. Although it is the smallest of all seeds, yet it grows into the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.” BSB.

 

We might consider the Son of Man waiting in the wings until the Day arrives, however, the prophesies relate to His kingdom constantly growing from the time of His first coming until now. He rules that kingdom now, with love and justice. Jesus is continually active now in the heavenly places as preparations take place prior to the appointed time of His visible appearance. He understands and knows of the events of this world, He sees, He grieves, He waits with patience, He knows, as does the Father, that the time is short before His return.

 

Like preparations for a wedding, the bride prepares herself for the day and time of her wedding. The bridegroom also makes every preparation, ready to receive his bride. The preparations will be complete in the ‘fulness of time’ (Matt.25:10).

This is so with the time leading up to the coming manifestation of the kingdom. It will be the time of its maturity when many will come to ‘nest in its branches’. When will this be, and when will we see the visible manifestation of the King and His kingdom? This will happen when all the prophesies have been fulfilled, when all the events of our age are aligned. This is referred to in Eph.1:10: ‘as a plan for the fullness of time, to bring all things in heaven and on earth together in Christ’ BSB.

John 18:36 reads: ‘Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence’ KJV.

Jesus gave clear teaching as to the imminency of and provisions available from heaven. Matt.6:10 reads: ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’ BSB. Smith Wigglesworth, the great British preacher of the twentieth century, noted from his prayer life and ministry that when things change in the heavenly places, then things always change on earth too. When Jesus and the prophets saw things in vision, then they knew that they were given by Father for a reason either to warn, to direct or to encourage, either way they would come to pass. John the Baptist, Jesus and the prophets had revelation concerning the closeness of the kingdom. They spoke of how the ‘kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matt.3:2; 4:17; 10:7).

Jesus had the revelation of this kingdom and of the Son of Man who would come from the kingdom and with the authority of having been fully man, yet its redeemer, now enthroned as its King.

He also had the revelation of the Day of His return. He saw it in vision, for Matt.26:64 reads: ‘Jesus saith unto him (that is the high priest), Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven’ KJV. The high priest would have been aware of the significance of the claims of the Son of Man.

This will be the time of the coming of the ‘Son of Man’, a title which Jesus acknowledged (Mark 14:21) for Matt.24:29-31 reads: ‘Immediately after the tribulation of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other’ BSB.

The reference to the arrival of the Son of Man is the reference to the arrival of a judge who acts with great authority. John 5:26-28 reads: ‘For as the Father has life in Himself, so also He has granted the Son to have life in Himself. And He has given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice’ BSB.

Jesus also saw in vision the power released at the coming of the Son of Man who would arrive to claim His rightful inheritance. This power would be manifest and was best described by the prophets who saw it in vision as looking like ‘clouds’ or ‘cloudiness’.

This will be the time of the visible manifestation of the pre-existing kingdom, which is already growing in preparation for that Day of its manifestation to those on the earth.

Matthew 24:30 reads: ‘At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory’ BSB.

For those who wait earnestly with their lamps trimmed and supply of prophetic oil in place then with assurance they will be prepared and ready. 1Cor.13:12 reads: ‘For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known’ KJV. It is both our commission and privilege to be able see and fore see as Yahweh’s gift of prophesy to His people is both tested and made known. He will not fail us, for His word is sure and He will be made known to us. Some of these prophesies may seem obtuse. It is like an archaeologist that finds remnants of pottery in the ground, yet it tells of civilisations and cultures that have gone before. The prophesies of old fore-tell of the coming kingdom of the Son of Man.

The appearance of the Son of Man coming in the clouds is not for the sake of a romantic image. Whenever Yahweh appeared as a cloud, then He comes with great energy and strength. This is because He comes riding with great authority against the foreign gods who try to usurp His place, and this will be so upon his visible appearance.

Isaiah 19:1 reads: ‘This is the burden against Egypt: Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud; He is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt will tremble before Him, and the hearts of the Egyptians will melt within them’ BSB.

The fate of the serpent is sealed upon the arrival of the King who comes with great authority to end his reign. This is the time when the prophesy of Genesis 3:15 comes to pass, the time when ‘He (Messiah Jesus) will crush your head, and you will strike his heel’ BSB. Though Satan has bruised His heel, Yahweh Jehoshua will crush his head.

This is the time of judgement, for Matthew 16:27 reads: ‘For the Son of Man will come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done’ BSB.

This will be the time of His dominion, glory, and kingdom, for Dan.7:14 reads: ‘And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed’ KJV.

‘Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him— even those who pierced Him’ Rev.1:7

The scriptures read as follows:

Zechariah 12:10: ‘Then I will pour out on the house of David and on the people of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and prayer, and they will look on Me, the One they have pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son’ BSB

John 19:37: ‘And, as another Scripture says: ‘They will look on the One they have pierced’ BSB

Rev.1:7: ‘‘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 because of Him. So shall it be! Amen. I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come— the Almighty’ BSB

1 Thessalonians 4:17: ‘After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord’ BSB

‘This generation shall not pass, till all these things be done’ Mark 13:30

Luke 21:25-28: ‘And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh’ KJV

Matthew 16:28: ‘Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom’ BSB.

Will not the Judge of all the earth do what is right? Gen.18:25

The whole earth will see the coming of the Son of Man for Matt.24:30 reads that when He appears in heaven and the tribes (nations) of the earth see Him coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

This is the visible appearance of the great ‘I am’. John 14:6-7 reads: ‘Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him’’ BSB.

With His appearance will come all of His character and attributes including the intensity of the His love for each and all. At this time mankind will mourn when they see the One whom they put to death. They will look upon Him and see the intensity with which He loves them, and the extent which He has gone to redeem them, yet still there will be those who reject Him.

To those who hold fast He will write on them the name of ‘My God’ and the ‘name of the city of My God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from My God)’. Rev..3:11-12 reads: ‘I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will never again leave it. Upon him I will write the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God (thenew Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from My God), and My new name’ BSB. The eternal principle is here determined, the importance of putting His Name upon His people. Moses learnt this lesson when he told Aaron to bless the people for it reads in Num.6:22,23,27: ‘And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them... And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them’ KJV

When He comes, He will write the name of ‘My God’ upon them. Each will personally receive a name; each are welcomed as individuals into the banqueting house. This is the name given by Yahweh-Elohim; the Lord God, the Creator and owner of all things (Jn 1:3; Gen 1 - 3), the self-existent or Eternal-Creator, He who was and is and is to come (Gen.21:33; Ex.3:13-14; 6:3; Ps.83:18; Is.12:2; 26:4).

The scriptures reveal much concerning the Names of God, for with each revelation given to mankind through Moses, Abraham, Jesus, and the prophets came a revelation of a facet, character, or attribute of Him, for example Jesus said: ‘‘I am’... the way, the truth, the life, the shepherd, the doorway to the sheepfold’ etc. At the time of His manifestation on the last Day is revealed his character of love mingled with righteous justice. As Abraham begged of God concerning the righteous and un-righteous inhabitants of Sodom in Gen.18:25: ‘Will not the Judge of all the earth do what is right?’

The ‘I am’ will be with us on that Day, and He will call us by name, for as it reads in Is.41:9- 11: ‘I brought you from the ends of the earth and called you from its farthest corners. I said, ‘You are My servant.’ I have chosen and not rejected you. Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will uphold you with My right hand of righteousness. Behold, all who rage against you will be ashamed and disgraced; those who contend with you will be reduced to nothing and will perish’ BSB.

Yahweh-Saboath – ‘The Lord of Hosts is with us’

Rev. 5:11 records the numbers of angels which were revealed to John in his vision of heaven. This is what he saw: ‘And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’ KJV. Ten thousand times ten thousand is 100 million. John saw a myriad of angels. Bill Turner comments that humankind might be outnumbered by angels by 100 million to one (Bill Turner, ‘The Book of Revelation’ video).

And of these hosts? Strong’s Concordance comments on the word ‘angel’ as it appears in different contexts in the scriptures as follows: ‘ággelos – properly, a messenger or delegate – either human (Mt 11:10; Lk 7:24, 9:52; Gal 4:14; Js 2:25) or heavenly (a celestial angel); someone sent (by God) to proclaim His message.

(ággelos) is used 176 times in the NT (usually of heavenly angels), but only the context determines whether a human or celestial messenger is intended. For example, 32 (ággelos) in Rev 1:20 can refer to heavenly angels or key leaders (perhaps pastors) of the seven churches.

(ággelos) can refer to "a human messenger" (cf. John the Baptist, Mt 11:10, quoting Mal 3:1; see also Lk 7:24, 9:52). 32 /ággelos (plural, angeloi) refers to heavenly angels over 150 times in the NT, i.e. spiritual beings created by God to serve His plan.

In Rev 2, 3, "angels" seems to refer to heavenly angels that serve God in conjunction with these seven local churches.

(Rev 2:1) – "Probably 'the angels of the churches' (Rev 1:20, 2:1, etc.) – i.e. really angels, and not pastors" (DNTT, Vol 1, 103).]’.

So, the messengers to the seven churches could angels or they could refer to human messengers, either way these messengers, of which there were many, brought word direct from the Word, Jesus, to the people.

However, elsewhere it is clear that in the scriptures the angels are referred as being the heavenly angels of God and in the coming times of tribulation they will be both numerous and active as they intervene on behalf of God and action His will. These angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve His plan and read so in the prophesies of His Coming.

It is notable that angels perform many works during the tribulation of the first 3.5 years and especially so in the final 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation. Once Satan is removed from the heavenly realm; see Rev. 12:3,7-12 esp. v9 ‘And the great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him’, then it appears that the heavenly angels can operate more freely from the heavenly realm. At this point the devil and his fallen angels, operate more freely on the earth to bring v.12 ‘But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time’ BSB.

Scripture records how fallen angels operating with malice and conflict would challenge the angels of God in the heavenly places. The importance of the End Time visions and prophesies were to encourage and inform the peoples of the earth and strengthen these people so that they might know how to pray against and wrestle ‘against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ Eph. 6:12 BSB.

Satan knew that these instructions for the Ends Times were directly targeted at him and against his works, and this resulted in great conflict in the heavenly realm when the messages were delivered to the seers who received them. These angels have great courage as they operate to deliver the people for it reads in Dan 10;21 ‘But first I will tell you what is inscribed in the Book of Truth. Yet no one has the courage to support me against these, except Michael your prince’. BSB

And this is what the archangel Michael said to Daniel when he delivered the prophesies to him for it reads in Dan 10:12-14 “Do not be afraid, Daniel,” he said, “for from the first day that you purposed to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13However, the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me for twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to explain to you what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision concerns those days.” BSB

In the End-times the archangels and angels stay on course to fulfil the tasks and missions given to them some 2,500 years earlier for we read that it this same archangel Michael who will be one of the key archangels to stand watch over the people of God and he will rise up at the End Times to again operate, cover, protect and deliver the people of God; for it reads in Rev. 12:1-3 ‘At that time Michael, the great prince who stands watch over your people, will rise up. There will be a time of distress, the likes of which will not have occurred from the beginning of nations until that time. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered. And many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, but others to shame and everlasting contempt. Then the wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever’

If we further consider the role of the archangel Michael in the End-times, then we also need to read his involvement in casting Satan out of the heavenly places for we read of the war in heaven which takes place immediately after the woman fled in the wilderness. It reads that Satan so hounded and persecuted the people of God that this prompts a war in heaven between the Godly angels and Satan and the angels who had gone bad with him for we read in Rev. 12:6-8 ‘And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place for her to be nourished for 1,260 days. Then a war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But the dragon was not strong enough, and no longer was any place found in heaven for him and his angels’. BSB

Satan is so enraged at being cast out of the heavens that he then vents his fury on the people of the earth for we read in Rev. 12:13-17 ‘And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle to fly from the presence of the serpent to her place in the wilderness, where she was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. Then from the mouth of the serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away in the torrent. But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth to swallow up the river that had poured from the dragon’s mouth. And the dragon was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea’.

It is notable that angels are recorded as playing a significant role during the last seven years of this age, particularly in the last 3.5yrs. Their conflicts must be great both in the heavenlies and then after Satan is cast down to the earth (Rev. 12:12) when we read of their increased presence upon the earth, and always they act to protect, guide and guard God’s people and to overrule Satan’s works in the affairs of men.

They carry forth the commands of Father with much heavenly activity throughout. It reads from Revelation that once Satan is ‘cast down to the earth’ that the angels then appear not only to operate with more freedom in the heavenlies to bring protection to God’s peoples on earth but need also to address the rampant evil that then occurs on the earth. It is notable that seals one to three occur during the first 3.5yrs but when Satan is cast out of the heavenlies at the time of the fourth seal then not only do the remaining seals ensue but all the seven vials (Rev. 15 & 16) and all the seven trumpets (Rev. 8:2; 11:15,18; 20:4-6) then occur.

These angels operate with precision and in a distinct, orderly, and timely manner and they operate in harmony e.g., the angel that carries the seal for the people of God operates along-side four other angels as it is recorded in Rev. 12:2-4 ‘And I saw another angel ascending from the east, with the seal of the living God. And he called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or sea or trees until we have sealed the foreheads of the servants of our God”’.

In the angelic realm it is noticeable that the angels are deeply entwined with God’s purposes and our keeping and protection. Often, we read how angels appear before men and women to impart prophesy. E.g., at the time of the birth of Jesus when it happened to Zacharias concerning the birth of John the Baptist (Lu. 1:11), to Mary when the angel Gabriel appeared to her to announce the birth of Jesus (Lu. 1:26-38), to Joseph before the birth of Jesus (Matt. 1:20; 2:13) when an angel appeared to him in a dream, and it also happened to the shepherds (Lu. 2:8-14). It is most likely that these and other angels will be most evident and active at the time of His Second Coming too.

The angels of God do not open the seals but action the commands and judgements so released. They do not pass moral judgement on their actions as they bring the judgements of God upon the Antichrist and his followers, though it is recorded that after the destruction brought about by Satan on the earth through his vassals then the angels and the other beings in heaven were so awestruck at the destruction of the earth caused by the evil that there was silence in heaven for the space of half an hour, Rev.8:1-5 reads ‘When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. Then another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, rose up before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it to the earth; and there were peals of thunder, and rumblings, and flashes of lightning, and an earthquake’ BSB.

The opening of the Seventh Seal occurs on the last Day, the Great Day of the Lord. On this day Antichrist and his followers have been conquered and Jesus has caused wars to cease unto the ends of the earth (Ps.46:9; Is.2:4 etc). The whole of heaven looks down in shocked silence for half an hour at the shattered and ruined earth. Death and destruction lie everywhere; the dead and dying lie amongst the chaos and ruin. Here the angels and beings of heaven see before them living proof of the folly of following sin and Satan. They see and know that there can never be a happy world without God and His laws. This is when the work of restoration begins, it is a work in which the angels will also play a part.

This will be the time of the two judgements: the judgement seat of Christ (Matt.25:19-30; Rom.14:10-12; 2Cor.5:10; 1Cor.3:11-15; Ps.50:3-5) and the judgement of the living nations when the ‘sheep are separated from the goats’ (Matt.25:31-46; Is.2:4; Micah 4:3; Is.66:18). During this period there will be many people to be looked after, sick, injured, dying, starving, homeless and so the angels maybe along with the along with the 144,000 who were redeemed and marked with the seal of God (Rev.7:4; 14:1; 14:3) will be active and operate ‘with the powers of the age to come’ (Heb.6:5) and will begin to restore the earth. It will also be the time which heralds in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and no doubt the angels will be engaged there too. (Source: Frank Pritchard’s drawings and comments).

On the last and Great Day of this Age, it is an angel that dispenses Satan to the Abyss. Rev.20:1-3a reads: ‘Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss, holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he threw him into the Abyss, shut it, and sealed it over him, so that he could not deceive the nations until the thousand years were complete’ BSB.

The scriptures, especially through John’s Revelation, give us glimpses of the different structures, life and activities that make up the heavenly places and the role of the angels there. They begin and are active throughout the Great Tribulation, only mindful to complete the tasks set for them for mankind. They also question the events which they see, yet without wavering they stand their ground to action the commands given to them. Rev.5:1-2 reads: ‘Then I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One seated on the throne. It had writing on both sides and was sealed with seven seals. 2And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’’ BSB.

The wicked and fallen angels who follow Satan know that with the onset of these events that their time is short, and they make every effort to take fallen mankind with them.

Rev.9:4-10 writes of the torment and destruction that wicked angelic activity can wreak upon those ‘which have not the seal of God upon their foreheads’ (Rev9:4). Whilst those with the mark of God’s Spirit upon them are protected, the verses describe the wickedness that is manifest through the leaders and in the armies of the Antichrist and the passage describes the military hardware used against the peoples in the conflict.

Rev.9:11 then describes the source and ruler over this wickedness for it reads ‘They have over them as king (not ‘the angel,’ as in English version) an angel of the abyss; his name (is) in Hebrew Abaddon, and in the Greek he has a name, Apollyon’ KJV.

Ellicott writes of this verse: ‘The king of these locust hordes is named in Hebrew Abaddon, or Perdition, a name sometimes given to the place or abode of destruction (Job 26:6). ‘Destruction (Abaddon) hath no covering’—i.e., before God. (Comp. Proverbs 15:11). In Greek his name is Apollyon, or Destroyer: The spirit of the destroyer is the spirit that inspires these hosts. It is a great movement, but its end is destruction, as its inspiring genius is from beneath, from an angel of the nether world’.

Alford writes: ‘It is a question who this angel of the abyss is. Perhaps, for accurate distinction’s sake, we must not identify him with Satan himself (cf. ch. Revelation 12:3; Revelation 12:9), but must regard him as one of the principal of the bad angels.’ Weiss (Bib. Theol. of N. T., ii. 270 sq.): ‘He [sc., Satan] seduced a portion of the angels, who are also (Revelation 1:20) symbolized by stars, to fall away from God, so that they are now designated as his angels. It is such a Satan-angel who is the star fallen from heaven (Revelation 9:1), who lets loose the plague of locusts from the abyss over the inhabitants of the earth, and is expressly designated (Revelation 9:11) as the angel of the abyss, Abaddon or Apollyon’.

The angel of the Abyss named Abaddon in the Hebrew and Apollyon in the Greek is named by other commentators as Satan himself. The gross wickedness that emanates from the Abyss is very real for it pollutes men’s minds and draws them to destruction. This has always been so yet at this point in time and history causes exceptional stresses upon mankind, both mentally and physically, and its effect appears to be more global. It will be a time of deluding influences, mankind will be seduced to believe what is false and not the truth, and as each choose their path it will cause an open division between those who will take pleasure in wickedness which will lead to their destruction, and those who ‘receive the love of the truth so as to be saved’ (2Thes.2:10).

This wicked angel and demons under the control of this angel from the Abyss bind the human mind to their own and other’s destruction. In the End Times political and religious leaders will sell their soul to these wicked spirits i.e., they become demonised, which means that they will not only be influenced by but will be possessed by demons, or more accurately, they will sit within the demon(s) and their actions will be actions which are thrust forth by demon(s). Of the actions of such people Paul writes in Romans 3:12-18 ‘There is none that doeth good; no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; the poison of asps is upon their lips; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known; there is no fear of God before their eyes’ KJV. These men and women become fortified by evil spirits. They choose to become active antagonists of good, and they take on the mantle of their wicked master(s), which causes them to hate and obscure the light of truth, and determined to ruin others, they target to wound both physically and spiritually the bodies, spirits and consciences of men, women, and children, ‘they are the enemies of the cross of Christ’ (the emblem of salvation), ‘and whose end is destruction’ (Philippians 3:18-19).

From these scriptures in the book of Revelation, we learn that in the End Times and specifically at the time of the fifth trumpet we read of the engagement of this wicked angel Apollyon who draws evil spiritual powers with him to take part in the conflict.

The spirit that drives Apollyon the Destroyer is in the world today and he will determine to embed himself in ruling men and women to fulfil one purpose, to destroy mankind, for as his name is, so is he. For the Christians who have discernment then the people who are controlled by Apollyon can be recognised, and so they are able to walk with prudence and armed so as to ask for God’s intervention to protect, keep, guard, and guide them and those who resist the evil one.

Apollyon works with the Antichrist, whose spirit is also active in the world today (1John 4:3). It is at the End Times that the lawless one and his followers are destroyed for 2 Thes.28-12 reads: ‘And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness’ KJV.

Robert Oppenheimer was the wartime head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, the birthplace of the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb in the US in WW2. He is rightly seen as the ‘father’ of the atomic bomb. As he witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon on July 16, 1945, a piece of Hindu scripture ran through his mind: ‘Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds’. ‘We knew the world would not be the same,’ he later recalled. ‘A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent’. Such ferocity and power as unleashed by an atomic bomb, 75 years on from its first unveiling, is now much more democratised in the world as eight sovereign states have officially announced successful detonation of nuclear weapons and others who are not party to the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) have conducted overt tests. Like Oppenheimer, many people today still grapple to try to understand good and evil and how to make sense of their actions. Oppenheimer like others, reflected on the contentions, the struggles, and the source of this conflict. Writers the world over have tried to understand and articulate these imponderables. The scriptures give us untold of clarity when we use them, and the prophesies contained therein as our guide.

Discernment and deliverance ministries are vital in the End-times

Yet the Christians are armed by God’s Holy Spirit to test and know both those who are demonised through the wicked angels and the demons and those who are not. 1 John 4:2-6 reads: ‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error’ KJV.

Against the forces of evil, Christians are weaponised as they learn to operate in the heavenly realm and take on the mantle of God’s Holy Spirit. See Ex.17:15 ‘Yahweh Nissi ‘The Lord our Banner’. When Satan attacked Job then Job knew the reason for his successful defence for Job 1:9-10 reads: ‘Satan answered the LORD, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not placed a hedge on every side around him and his household and all that he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land... ‘ BSB.

The Christians in these times too can be strong and do exploits. Dan.11:32 reads ‘And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits’ KJV.

Great exploits can be done this way. Through the centuries those who have found this truth have done so. We read in the ‘Breastplate’ Prayer of St Patrick: ‘I bind unto myself today the strong Name of the Trinity, by invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in Three. I bind this day to me for ever.by power of faith, Christ's incarnation; His baptism in the Jordan river; His death on Cross for my salvation; His bursting from the spicèd tomb; His riding up the heavenly way; His coming at the day of doom*; I bind unto myself today’. * Note: ‘day of doom’ is an Old English term meaning ‘Day of Judgment’. With this mindset and with this breastplate to protect him, St Patrick witnessed great victories won. In these perilous days then we too can know the protection and strength to ‘be strong and do exploits’. To read a full copy of the ‘Breastplate’ Prayer of St Patrick see Appendix 7.

 

The powers of Christians in the face of evil causes Satan to know that the Christians armour as given by and through Christ, can cause great havoc against the powers of darkness. The enemy of our souls cannot destroy the spirits of anointed ones.Rev.12:10-12 reads ‘And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down—he who accuses them day and night before our God. They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down toyou, knowing he has only a short time....’ BSB.

 

Just as there are different structures in heavenly places there are different spiritual weaponry given to the Christians, Eph.4.11-12 reads ‘And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for works of ministry and to build up the body of Christ’ and Eph.6.11-13 reads ‘Put on the full armour of God, so that you can make your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore take up the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you will be able to stand your ground, and having done everything, to stand’.

BSB

As the Father has equipped angels to complete tasks so Christians too are equipped to such a level that with the application of faith combined with the Holy Spirit’s power then they can operate effectively against spiritual strongholds. In 2Cor.10:4 we read that ‘the weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds’ BSB.

As such then Christians can combat spiritually wicked beings, indeed they are at great risk when they meet Christians. The testimony of others confirms that in the deliverance ministry then Christians can take the Names of God (Num.6:22-27), and His authority and power such that with the cloak of the Holy Spirit then we can bind spiritually wicked beings and to commit them into the Abyss.

In this ministry the Christians, along with the angels have learnt that it is not in their natural strength that they are able to operate with such powers. Instead, they must rely on and have unwavering faith in the authority that has been delegated to them to wield the power of God.

Zech.3:2 reads: ‘Then the angel showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, with Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. And the LORD said to Satan: “The LORD rebukes you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebukes you! Is not this man a firebrand snatched from the fire?’’ BSB. And Jude 1:9 reads: ‘But even the archangel Michael, when he disputed with the devil over the body of Moses, did not presume to bring a slanderous charge against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’’ BSB. They do not do as the unlearned and the foolish do in Jude 1:8,10 which reads of ’these dreamers (who) defile their bodies, reject authority, and slander glorious beings... These men, however, slander what they do not understand, and like irrational animals, they will be destroyed by the things they do instinctively’ BSB.

In the same way we read of the realm of angels and how they are specifically tasked according to the delegated authority given to them. They do not operate either alone or in isolation. They do not act in their own strength. The levels of authority which are given them are mighty, requiring great strength and fortitude of character on their behalf. They carry out their actions which are specifically referred to as seals, vials, trumpets, thunders etc. This use of language is not random, each task, along with the specific judgement released, needs each angel to be equipped and ready to do the work. Each task is unique. The visions and prophetic language given to John is powerful as it best describes the heavenly structures and weaponry used to fulfil each of the events yet to take place. Like the Christians on earth, these angels are trained equipped and ready for the task. Each action is unique. Their ministry cannot be replicated. As with the Christian ministry of healing, there gifts of healings, not one gift replicated, but many gifts, each is unique and applicable in different and unique circumstances and settings.

Likewise, the scriptures do offer some distinctions between the evil entities that oppose the kingdom of God. Satan is the fallen angel of the morning and there are other fallen angels who are described as principalities, rulers for Eph.6:12 reads ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ BSB Other evil entities are referred to as demons and evil spirits and these must be reckoned with and dealt with by Christians who can have victory in this uneasy fight.

A Christian’s knowledge of foundational truths is vital in this conflict. Debilitating and false doctrines kill the power of the Spirit in the faith life of a Christian; such compromise causes the gentle dove of the Spirit to depart. To be equipped for the End Times, Christian teachers need to move the people on from the milk to the meat of the word (Heb.5:12-6:3). See https://prophetbillturner.com/ and the following studies by C L Parker: #34a Foundation Truths, #34b, Cover, #35a Original Sin and Eternal Punishment, #35b Cover, #35c Sweet Harmonies, 36a Covet Earnestly, #36b The Mystery of God #36c According to Plan. See also the studies by Bill Turner: #33b The Disastrous Effects of the Doctrine of Original Sin #26a Is the Exorcism of Christians of God? This study makes it clear that it is false to presume on Christians the disastrous thought that they can be demon possessed when with the power of God upon them Christians have the right to deal with such wickedness, indeed when demons try to attack Christians then the demons are the ones who are in great danger of eternal confinement. #26b Exorcism #27 An Extended Study in Demon Possession #25a Baptism in Water. See also Bill Turner’s excellent studies #02, #03, #04, #11, #12a, #12b, #13a on the Baptism and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and #05 How Can I Resist Evil? #08 Early Church Organisation. This last study is necessary because it is vitally important that during these times of tribulation that the church is properly organised and prepared,

These and other key subjects are further studied by Alister Hamilton and can be found on his website https://truthforthelastdays.com/. In particular see: 1. Our Lord’s True Humanity versus the destructive heresy of Docetic Gnosticism 2. The unscriptural doctrine of a Pre- Tribulation Rapture 3. The rejection of the Holy Spirit and His Spiritual Gifts, without which Christians are unable to meet the needs of the suffering people of either the Church or the world. This website carries a Complete Catalogue of Studies specifically designed to prepare both Christians and the Church before and during the Great Tribulation and includes: #7 The Great Tribulation Overcomer #11 The Heavenly Places In Christ During The Great Tribulation #12 The Use Of The Gift Of Tongues During The Great Tribulation #14 The Great Necessity For Informal Fellowship Meetings During The Great Tribulation.

 

In these times Christians learn to use the prophesies and scriptures as spiritual weaponry to spiritually frustrate the conspiracy of the confederate states ranged against Israel. Asaph and the prophets of old knew the armour to use in such circumstances for as Psalm 83 reads:

 

{A Song or Psalm of Asaph.} Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones. They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom, and the Ishmaelites; of Moab, and the Hagarenes; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; the Philistines with the inhabitants of Tyre; Assur also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot. Selah. Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison: Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth. Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna: Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession. O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire; So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm. Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish: That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth’ KJV.

 

This is not a Psalm of easy and plenty, it is a song of deliverance from a wicked foe.

 

As with the actions of the two witnesses (Rev.11:3-6) so it is our prerogative (definition: ‘a right or privilege exclusive to a particular individual or class’) to declare a defence and by invocation to frustrate the powers of darkness.

Angels and God’s people

The structures in the kingdom of the Father and the Son are very real and the prophesies open our eyes to see the rich diversity of heavenly beings therein: angels, seraphim, cherubim, and heavenly creatures. These creatures may be shrouded to the eyes of the visionaries, for there is much light there, but even-so we are given heavenly glimpses which are both profound and humbling at the same time.

Angels do God's bidding and were appointed to help people on many occasions, especially at times of deliverance. There are many examples of this happening in the scriptures: Hagar (Gen 16:7; 21:17); Lot (Gen 19.1) etc. Elisha captures an army with the help of angels for we read in 2 Kings 6:15-17 ‘When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early in the morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. So he asked Elisha, ‘Oh, my master, what are we to do?’ ’Do not be afraid,’ Elisha answered, ‘for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.’ And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the hills were full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha’ BSB.

Angels were at work in the deliverance of the Hebrews from Egypt but so too were Moses and Aaron who operated skilfully with both the word and the rod of God. They acted as they knew that authority had been delegated to them to dispense judgement and deliverance for the people.

Likewise, today angels are work as commanded by the King who is Yahweh Saboath (the Lord of hosts), and they work with and on behalf of men and women who like Moses and Aaron must act with delegated authority and be skilled in the dispensation of God's word to bring deliverance from the oppressors and lead them through the wilderness (Gen.23:20- 26).

As at the time of the flight from Egypt, the Holy Spirit’s gifts of discernment and deliverance are particularly important as we approach the End Time deliverance of the people. An understanding of the work of angels is paramount to the Christian's understanding of the Last Days. See www.prophetbillturner.com and listen to audio #68 'Angels in the Prayer Life and the Last Days’ by Bill Turner.

At the End Time both angels and God’s people are overcomers for Rev.12:9-11 reads: ‘And the great dragon was hurled down (by the archangel Michael and the angels that work with him) —that ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down— he who accuses them day and night before our God. They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death’ BSB.

The usurper is usurped

The harmony of purpose in heaven and the peace that comes to God’s people through God’s help is not recorded as being so in the kingdom of darkness where envy greed and hate replace love and divine instructions. Instead, the fallen angels, and demons and their cohorts operate with spiritual wickedness (Eph. 6:10-20) and are motivated to kill and destroy mankind by whatever means. They take pleasure in it. The man called legion knew this (Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30) as did the boy recorded in the gospels (Mark 9:22); they knew how these spiritually wicked beings tried to harm and kill them.

There are some indications that the kingdom of darkness operates with different levels of Satanic authority. Those who follow Satan look to increase their powers in the dark arts. Spiritual wickedness appears to be governed by constant greed and unrest. The powers of darkness appear to be echeloned i.e., principalities and rulers in dark places, yet there is no rest there as each entity would climb on the back of another to gain mastery and control. Theman called ‘Legion’ had many demons who would convulse him to cause pain and injury. Luke 8:29-31 reads: ‘For Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was bound with chains and shackles, he had broken the chains and been driven by the demon into solitary places. “What is your name?” Jesus asked. “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And the demons kept begging Jesus not to order them to go into the Abyss’ BSB It is Jesus who usurps the usurper.

Paul writes of the principalities and powers that rule in the darkness of their hidden spaces in Ephesians 6:10-20.

It is notable that Jesus received three separate and distinct temptations in the wilderness, each to tempt on different levels of spiritual authority; one to deceive individuals, one to gain power of the towns and cities and one to rule the nations (Matt. 4:1-11; Mk. 1:12; Lu. 4:1). Satan knows that ‘ultimate power corrupts ultimately’ for through his rebellion and fall he became fully and totally corrupt. In this way he tempted the Messiah whom he recognised as being the anointed One sent by Yahweh and so he gained access to tempt and corrupt him, with a view to protecting his place on the earth. Satan’s claim to rival and equal Jesus was because his dominion over the kingdoms on the earth was being challenged. Satan considered Jesus as a usurper of his throne and dominion, no-one else had challenged his position before. However, this time Satan the great deceiver and usurper was being usurped and the truth is that at the Second Coming of Christ this will happen in its fulness. After this event it was confirmed to us that Satan had lost his right to deceive and destroy.

In the End Time, Satan will be cast out of the heavenlies (Rev. 12:8,13), for he will not be strong enough to fight against the archangel Michael and the angels that are delegated to work with him, and then after the utter carnage and destruction brought about on the earth wrought by Satan and his evil followers, will Jesus come again and command his imprisonment, so that he will no longer be able to deceive and destroy the peoples of the earth.

 

Who then throws the Dragon, that Great Deceiver into prison? Answer, an angel for it reads in Rev.20:1-3a: ‘Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss, holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. And he threw him into the Abyss, shut it, and sealed it over him, so that he could not deceive the nations until the thousand years were complete’ BSB.

This event will then transition to a new age which will herald in a 1,000year reign of Jesus.

These prophesies and the many others that co-relate to them, give us the knowledge to experientially know the help that can be given to us through the work of angels, and the knowledge of His coming are all revealed to us to empower and equip God’s people for these days.

The structures in place in the kingdom of darkness are assailable by those who wear the heavenly armour; though Satanic powers may be structures that reign against the kingdoms of this world and act as a defence against the kingdom of God, they cannot emulate the power that flows from the very breath of God and through the structures of His kingdom.

It may be that Satan seeks out the seats of power amongst the nations to corrupt and sow lawlessness. Satan sees yet hates the light that flows from the kingdom of God and the purposes of the Godhead, constantly tempting mankind to fail (Job 1:6-12).

The kingdom of darkness may deceive many, it may try to mimic or copy the heavenly pattern and design with the intention of gaining some dark spiritual powers, but it cannot replicate the uncreated self-generating power that flows only from God the Holy Spirit. The power that flows from and through the true structures of God in the heavenly places cannot be replicated by any being whether that be a man or woman or even Satan himself. Though Satan may try to mimic, his operations result in shadows of deceit.

Paul wrote of the ability of Christians to be able to stand against these onslaughts of persecution in 1 Peter 5:8-10 which reads: ‘Be sober, be vigilant (now); because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, (always) walketh about, seeking whom (which) he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world (or, knowing that the very same things in the way of sufferings are being inflicted upon your brotherhood which is in the world). But the God of all grace, who hath called us (you) unto his eternal glory by (by virtue of our union with) Christ Jesus, after that ye have (by virtue of the fact that you have) suffered a (little) while, (shall or will) make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you’ KJV.

The enemy of souls acts like a roaring lion, but against the terror, hunger, and determination of our accuser we as Christians call upon the Lion of the Tribe of Judah to prevail on our behalf for He is our prevailer in that what no other can do, He can. It reads in Rev. 5:5: ‘And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof’ KJV. No-one can emulate the actions or cause of Christ the King. He alone operates with sole rights in His kingdom.

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The Fall of Satan: ‘The King of Babylon’ (Is.14:3-23)

The great prophesy of Isaiah 14:3-23 confirms that on THAT day, then the peoples of the earth will break out with joy and singing; and that this will take place upon the defeat of Satan and him being cast into chains upon the return of the Lord Jesus (v.3-8). Sheol is eager to meet Satan as he is imprisoned on his arrival there where the spirits of the wicked dead greet him – all the rulers of the earth. There the fallen kings of the earth rise from their thrones rise to meet him saying ‘How the oppressor has ceased and how his fury is ended... you have become like us!... Sheol is eager beneath is eager to meet you upon your arrival... all the kings of the nations rise from their thrones. They will all respond to you, saying, ‘You too have become weak, as we are...’ How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn... But you will be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit!’ (v.3 reading on to v.23)’. The kings of the earth have followed him and in so doing have been committed to Sheol, now those who followed him see him, Satan, join them there.

The full text of the great prophesy of Isaiah 14:3-23 is worth reading for it speaks of the fall of Babylon, yet with true prophetic insight speaks more clearly of the fall of Satan at the close of the End-times for it is he who is the author and propeller of those who are the kings on the earth and it is he who flaunt and stand against the Lord and his anointed. It clearly describes the inner motives, greed and corruption of Satan and his ultimate demise as the destroyer of nations, he who ascended on high and challenged the Most High, he who was given the title by the Most High of ‘morning star, son of the dawn’ yet through pomp and pride at the position given him tried to raise himself above the other angels and in so doing drew a third of them with him in the deceit that caused their fall. It goes on to read how the nations of the earth then ponder and stare at the demise of the Antichrist, that man of iniquity and lawlessness, the one with the fullness of evil to whom all the nations of the earth gave their authority, it refers to him as being ‘the man who shook the earth and made the kingdoms tremble, who turned the world into a desert and destroyed its cities, who refused to let the captives return to their homes’.

 

‘The Fall of the King of Babylon’ Isaiah 14:3-23 (verse nos. left for reference purposes) reads:

 

3‘On the day that the LORD gives you rest from your pain and torment, and from the hard labour into which you were forced, 4 you will sing this song of contempt against the king of Babylon

 

How the oppressor has ceased,
and how his fury has ended!
(footnote on the scripture ’and how his fury’. The BSB footnote reads: ‘DSS, LXX, and Syriac; MT the golden city’ The Hebrew word here is ‘dhab’ which Strong’s Concordance translates ‘golden city - Perhaps from the equivalent of dhab; goldmaking, i.e. Exactness -- golden city’. Author’s notes: 1. Here is a reference to the golden city that ‘has ended’ at this point in the prophesy. 2. Jerusalem is also referred to by some as being the Golden City. So, the location of these events is at or near Jerusalem and not the Babylon of ancient times.

 

5The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers.

 

6It struck the peoples in anger with unceasing blows;
it subdued the nations in rage with relentless persecution.

 

7All the earth is at peace and at rest; they break out in song.

8Even the cypresses (BSB footnote ‘Or pines or junipers or firs’) and cedars of Lebanon exult over you:
“Since you have been laid low,
no woodcutter comes against us.”

9Sheol beneath is eager
to meet you upon your arrival.

It stirs the spirits of the dead to greet you— all the rulers of the earth.
It makes all the kings of the nations
rise from their thrones.

10They will all respond to you, saying, “You too have become weak, as we are; you have become like us!”

11Your pomp has been brought down to Sheol, along with the music of your harps.
Maggots are your bed
and worms your blanket.

12How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star (BSB footnote ‘Or Day Star or shining one or Lucifer’) , son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the ground,
O destroyer of nations.

13You said in your heart:
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the far reaches of the north.

(Where is this place of Satan’s high esteem? Where are ‘the far reaches of the north’? Well, the BSB footnote reads ‘Or in the remote parts of Zaphon or on the heights of Zaphon’. Author’s question: then where is Zaphon? – If this prophesy is to be taken literally then at the time of the end when Satan is thrown out of heaven (Rev. 12:7-9) then Zaphon is the place where it will happen i.e., the time when with great anger and wrath he directs the Antichrist and his followers, who is filled with the wrath of Satan, pursue the Christians into the desert of Edom,. This is where the Antichrist or indeed the seat of Satan will be at this time of the End. Zaphon is NOT in or near modern day Babylon but in the times of Joshua and according to the source https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/zaphon/ was a city on the East of the Jordan in the territory of Gad (Joshua 13:27). It is named again in Judges 12:1 as the place where the elders of Gilead gathered to meet with Jephthah (tsaphonah should be translated "to Zaphon," not "northward"). It must have lain well to the North of Gad. According to the Talmud Amathus represented Zaphon (Neubauer, Geog. du Talmud, 249). Here sat one of the Synedria created by Gabinius (Ant., XIV, v, 4). It was a position of great strength (B J, I, iv, 2). Eusebius, Onomasticon places it 21 Roman miles S. of Pella. This is the modern Tell 'Amateh, on the south bank of Wady er-Rujeib, 15 miles South of Pella, and nearly 5 miles North of the Jabbok. Buhl (GAP, 259) objects to the identification that Tell 'Amateh corresponds to the Asophon of Josephus (Ant., XIII, xii, 5). But this objection doesnot seem well founded’. Author’s comment: So, its location can be identified today.

Zaphon is east of the Jordan, and we note too that it is from this direction that the armies of the nations who have given their power to the Antichrist approach Israel before the final battle. This is corroborated by other prophesies whereby the Euphrates ‘dries up’ and the kings of the east cross to approach the ‘Golden City’ i.e., Jerusalem, to do battle.

Isaiah’s prophesy then goes on to tell of Satan’s pride to ascend and be as a god, yet the prophesy clearly marks that against his will he is brought down to the prison prepared for him by the Most High, a place called Sheol, indeed the lowest part of Sheol called ‘the Pit’, for we read on from:

‘14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”

15But you will be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.

16Those who see you will stare; they will ponder your fate:


“Is this the man who shook the earth and made the kingdoms tremble,

17who turned the world into a desert and destroyed its cities,
who refused to let the captives return to their homes?”

18All the kings of the nations lie in state,
each in his own tomb. (BSB footnote Hebrew ‘house’)

19But you are cast out of your grave like a rejected branch, covered by those slain with the sword,
and dumped into a rocky pit
like a carcass trampled underfoot.

20You will not join them in burial, since you have destroyed your land and slaughtered your own people. The offspring of the wicked

will never again be mentioned.

21Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the iniquities of their forefathers. They will never rise up to possess a land or cover the earth with their cities.

22“I will rise up against them,” declares the LORD of Hosts.
“I will cut off from Babylon
her name and her remnant,
her offspring and her posterity,” declares the LORD.

23“I will make her a place
for owls and for swamplands; I will sweep her away
with the broom of destruction,”

declares the LORD of Hosts’. BSB

So, from this prophesy (Is. 14:13-14) we read that Satan raises his throne to the east of the Jordan river, yet at this point because of his arrogance and pride then there is war in the heavenlies, from where he is thrown out of the heavenlies by the archangel Michael and his angels.

After he is flung out of the heavenlies and is cast down to the earth, having been defeated by the archangel Michael and his angels, we read that he persecutes the ‘woman clothed in the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and crying out in the pain and agony of giving birth’ (Rev.12:1). As referred to above this is woman is the ‘Christ-Church’ and their will be a man-child to be born or emerge from it.

The full prophesy of this persecution is given in Rev. 12:13-17 which reads ‘And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle to fly from the presence of the serpent to her place in the wilderness, where she was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

Then from the mouth of the serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away in the torrent. But the earth helped the woman and opened its mouth to swallow up the river that had poured from the dragon’s mouth. And the dragon was enraged at the woman, and went to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea’ BSB

The woman flees into the wilderness where she is miraculously protected by Yahweh God ‘for a times, times, and half a time’ i.e., for the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation. So, Satan is thrown out of the heavenlies halfway through the 70th week of Daniel’s prophesy i.e., three and a half years after Antichrist’s covenant agreement.

From ‘the mouth of the serpent spewed water like a river’ i.e., upon the instructions of the dragon flow armies in pursuit of the woman / Christ-Church and Man-Child to come. The dragon knows how important it is to kill this Church because from it a Man-Child will be delivered and through whom will come his ultimate downfall. Yet, the woman is miraculously kept, and the child to come. This is the same lethal intent brought against Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus when he was born and this is why Satan used his vassals to kill the babies of Bethlehem. Matt. 2:18 reads ‘Then what was spoken through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”’ BSB

Rev. 12:1-5,13-17 clearly refers to a Christ-Church because these are those of ‘her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus’.

The prophesy of Rev. 12:13-17 consists of two parts:

‘A huge red dragon... ready to devour’

The first part of the prophesy is Rev. 12:3a,4b which reads ‘a huge red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven royal crowns on his heads’....’ stood before the woman who was about to give birth, ready to devour her child as soon as she gave birth’

First, the wrath of the dragon after he is thrown out of heaven; this is likely to occur to the east of the Jordan according to Isaiah 14 prophesy. This event precipitates the persecution of the woman as referred to above, at this point the prophesy of Jesus is tells these people to flee, do not wait to pack their bags because there will be no time to do it, just flee. See Mark 13:14–23; Luke 21:20–24 and Matt. 24:15-25 which reads ‘So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve anything from his house. And let no one in the field return for his cloak.

How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not occur in the winter or on the Sabbath. For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.

At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance’. BSB

According to the prophesy of Rev. 12:1-5,13-17 this is when armies are sent like a flood or like a river against these Christians. The analogy of a river describes how fast this event will take place and the need for speed to avoid certain death at this time. The flight of these Christians is into the wilderness. The wilderness in Israel is situate to the south east of the country i.e., the Negev, and outside of country it is located either in the Sinai, or in the south of the country of Jordan.

It is three and a half years after the flight of these Christians that we read of vast armies arriving from the east (Joel 2) and that will take place at the close of the age, but this is not the event which is spoken of here; rather here we read of the beginning of the persecution of the people of God which is set in time 3.5-years before His coming.

The last conflict will be the last and greatest conflict will be at the end of the Great Tribulation when there will come the final place of battle at Armageddon (Rev. 16:16). That location is known for it is also known as the valley of Megiddo, also called Plain of Esdraelon or Plain of Jezreel (Vale of Jezreel). It is the area immediately north of the ancient biblical city of Jezreel. Plain of Esdraelon, or Plain of Jezreel, is in northern Israel, between the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias) and the Jordan River on the east and the Mediterranean Sea on the west.

‘And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea’ Revelation 12:17b

The second part of the prophecy is of Rev. 12:17b reads ‘And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea’. Here it is interesting to note the footnotes of the BSB Bible which read ‘Literally And he stood on the sand of the sea. BYZ and TR And I stood on the sand of the sea. Some texts number this sentence as verse 18; others include it with Revelation 13:1’.

 

And Rev. 13:1 reads ‘Then I saw a beast with ten horns and seven heads rising out of the sea’ which in the BSB is cross referenced with Daniel 7:1-8.

 

So, we read that the dragon i.e., the beast being the power and manifestation of the Antichrist standing on a sandy seashore. But which sea?

 

The only seas with sand to which this prophecy could refer is the Mediterranean or possibly the Gulf of Aqaba, for the Dead Sea though east of Jerusalem, has no natural sandy beaches, especially as its water level is falling by approximately one meter per year due to the reduced flow of the River Jordan, its waters being taken more and more for irrigation purposes, and due to evaporation. Then there is the Sea of Galilee to the north east of Jerusalem but that too has no sandy beaches. So, that leaves the Gulf of Aqaba in the south or the Mediterranean Sea to the west of Jerusalem. However, the prophesy of Daniel given to him in a dream by Jesus in Dan.7:1a-3 ‘told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon thegreat sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another’. KJV This beast is the same as that described by John and Daniel’s vision of Ch.7 fully concurs with it, including reference to the great beast being made up of four beasts with ten horns, this beast has ‘a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom’ (Dan. 7:20-22).

 

The truth is that this great beast spoke ‘great’ things and was overwhelming such that only the coming of the ‘Ancient of days’ Messiah Jesus will stop it destroying mankind. The detail of what was spoken by the beast against the most High is recorded in Rev.13:5-7 where ‘The beast was given a mouth to speak arrogant and blasphemous words, and authority to act for 42 months. And the beast opened its mouth to speak blasphemies against God and to slander His name and His tabernacle— those who dwell in heaven. Then the beast was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them, and it was given authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.’ BSB The beast being the Antichrist and his system of government also taught his followers to blaspheme the God of heaven for it reads in Rev.16:11 that they ‘blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds’, Rev.16:9 ‘blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory’ and in Rev.16:21 ‘And the men blasphemed God on account of the plague of the hail’. So, despite their utter need and depravity they not only blamed God but blasphemed Him rather than call upon Him for help.

 

The Greek word here for blasphemy reads in Strong’s Concordance:

‘Cognate: 988 blasphēmía (from blax, "sluggish/slow," and 5345 /phḗmē, "reputation, fame") – blasphemy – literally, slow (sluggish) to call something good (that really is good) – and slow to identify what is truly bad (that really is evil).
Blasphemy (988 /blasphēmía) "switches" right for wrong (wrong for right), i.e. calls what God disapproves, "right" which "exchanges the truth of God for a lie" (Ro 1:25).

 

Such distortion of truth took place by the serpent from the very beginning of the present age for it reads in Gen.3:1-7 esp. v. 1 ‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast... Did God really say...?’ His character never changes, he constantly challenges those who are receptacles of the Truth and he does it with deception and half-truths as happened in the wilderness temptations of Jesus (Matt.4:1-11; Mk.1:12-13; Lu.4:1-13). We go on to read that in the End Times in Rev.12:9 ‘And the great dragon was hurled down— that ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him’. This is his sole intent, to teach his ways, and to take as many with him as possible, both angels and mankind; this is his wilful and purposeful deceit. Satan has learnt that power can be provided to his followers if they use blasphemy, dark sayings, and curses, otherwise he would use different tactics.

 

The beast who blasphemes God does so with dark and occultic sayings, curses that come from the Abyss from which he came. This is referred to by Daniel in Dan.11:31; 12:11 and in 9:27 it reads ‘And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him’. Jesus thought it so important to tell this to his followers that he cross refers them to Daniel’s prophesies when He said in Matt.24:15 ‘So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains’. Jesus was telling his followers even without the knowledge of what we are privileged to know as New Testament prophesy, that there is enough information contained in the Old Testament prophesies, particularly in the writings of Daniel concerning the End Times, for them to know the full picture, and the truth of the matter. So, Jesus fully endorsed Daniel’s prophesies and we would be wise to do so too.

 

Likewise, Christians today need also to be receptacles of Jesus’ truth, we need to be trained by Him to understand the prophesies, and alongside this to be equipped by Jesus with the Holy Spirit’s gifts of discernment, spiritual warfare, and the deliverance ministry. This is what He did on the earth and we would do well to emulate him. In this way we can break down dark spiritual barriers and break dark spiritual curses which so often go un-detected and unbroken. In all these things we are trained by the risen Jesus, who also teaches us how to put the protection of God around both ourselves, fellow Christians, and the people. See Aaron’s blessing Num.6:22-27 esp. v.27 which ends with ‘So they shall put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them’.

 

Daniel explains that these ‘great’ words of blasphemy were spoken against the most High until after three and a half years i.e., ‘a time and times and the dividing of time’ (the period of the Great Tribulation) ‘the judgement (the Trinity Godhead) shall sit and shall take away his dominion. According to the vision, only His Coming will stop it, no government or army on earth can stop it. The full text of Dan. 7:23b-27 reads that the beast ‘shall devour the wholeearth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him’.
So, the great and terrible beast will arise out of the Great Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and it is on the sands of this shore that the beast will stand. So, from the perspective of Jerusalem and the Hebrew Nation then there are four perspectives:

     1) From the east come a ten-king alliance, this will cross the Euphrates upon ‘it drying up’

     2)  From the west, the emergence of the Antichrist beast from the Mediterranean Sea

     3)  From the south and from the north. Dan. 11:35-45

Here I shall briefly consider the prophesies concerning the intervention of the kings of the south and the north, before considering the return and intervention of the Messiah.

 

The Antichrist beast arises out of the Mediterranean Sea yet is also manifest from the north; and it is so that the prophesies elsewhere in Daniel indicate that the Antichrist will also arise in Syria to the north, and yet again this beast has authority ceded to it from a ten-king alliance that will emanate from the east. So, the prophesies refer to aggressors who approach the land (of Israel) from all for quartiles.

The coming appointed time (Dan.11:5-45)

 

The commentators regard the prophesies of Daniel 11:1-45 as relating to either or both of the following events. One is historical and has passed, the other is to come.

 

The first (Da,11:1-4) concerns the overthrow of Persia by Grecia; the four divisions of Alexander's Kingdom: conflicts between the Kings of the South and of the North, the Ptolemies and Seleucidæ: and Antiochus Epiphanes. However, when we read from Dan.11:5 then the events of that time in history do not fit well with the prophesies and this has created a divide regarding Biblical commentators.

 

So, there are a second set of commentators like Ellicott who take a more objective viewpoint in that the that the prophesies could more likely refer to the End Times. Indeed, it is notable that Daniel in all his prophesies always had visions for the last days. In addition, the prophesies of the beast in the books of Daniel and Revelation both describe the final kingdom of the Antichrist arising out of the historic land areas of the four previous empires of Alexander’s Kingdom, so that from Daniel’s viewpoint the prophesies were seen of events in the far distant future. So, there could likely be a division in the time periods between Dan. 11:4 and Dan.11:5 which equates to the division between the 69th week and the 70th week of Daniel’s prophesy of Dan.9:25-26.

The prophesies of Dan.11:1-34 may have divided the opinions of commentators, though many do agree that Dan.11:35-45 specifically refers to the latter days, for Dan.11:35b clearly reads ‘... even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed’.

The prophesises might seem to be obtuse to us, but they are not when seen from the point of view of the Author, so we cannot discount them as they also bear remarkable similarities to the formation of alliances and alignment of nation states in our generation. We would discount them at our peril. It does not matter what we think, for as the commentator Matthew Henry wrote regarding Dan.11 ‘All changes and revolutions of states and kingdoms, and every event, are plainly and perfectly foreseen by God. No word of God shall fall to the ground; but what he has designed, what he has declared, shall infallibly come to pass. While the potsherds of the earth strive with each other, they prevail and are prevailed against, deceive and are deceived; but those who know God will trust in him, and he will enable them to stand their ground, bear their cross, and maintain their conflict’.

We cannot discount prophesy simply because it does not rest easy on our ears or suit our circumstances. We cannot say to them that prophesy, ‘prophesy ye not... for it leads us to shame’ for as we read in Micah 2:6 reads ‘Prophesy ye not, [say they to them that] prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, [that] they shall not take shame’ KJV.

So, let us explore these prophesies in the light of current events.