The Fulness of Time
A study of end time prophecy happening now
Part Three: Key Determinates Of The 'Appointed Time'
1) THE FILLING OF THE GOLDEN CENSER HOLDING THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS APPEARS TO BE A STRONG DETERMINATE IN THE COMING FORTH OF THE JUDGEMENTS IN THE LAST DAYS:
The Lamb is Worthy Rev. 5:7-9
And He came and took the scroll from the right hand of the One seated on the throne. 8 When He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9And they sang a new song: “Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation
The Seventh Seal: Rev. 8:3-5
...’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’
2) THE GREAT BANQUET IS HAS A FULL NUMBER IN ATTENDANCE
The ‘great banquet’ has ‘invited many guests’ though cannot commence until there are enough guests there ‘so that my house will be full’
Mt. 22:1-14, Lu. 14:15-23
The Parable of the Banquet: ‘When one of those reclining with Him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is everyone who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
But Jesus replied, “A certain man prepared a great banquet and invited many guests. When it was time for the banquet, he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
But one after another they all began to make excuses. The first one said, ‘I have bought a field, and I need to go see it. Please excuse me.’
Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out. Please excuse me.’
Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, so I cannot come.’
The servant returned and reported all this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the city, and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’
‘Sir,’ the servant replied, ‘what you ordered has been done, and there is still room.’
So the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. For I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will taste my banquet.’”
3) THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
As with the first Coming, there are signs that accompany the times Mt. 12:39, Lu. 11:29,30. Mt.16:3,4: ‘“When evening comes, you say, ‘The weather will be fair, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast. You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but not the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Then He left them and went away.’ BSB
The sign of Noah
Mt. 24:37-41 ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. 39And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away. So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.’
The lesson of the fig tree
Mt. 24:32-35 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.’
4) THE UNPREPAREDNESS OF MANY
Mt. 24:36 ‘No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.’ Mt. 24: 42-44 ‘42Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the homeowner had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.’
5) THE NEED FOR ‘FAITHFUL AND WISE SERVANTS’ I.E. TEACHERS TO GIVE ‘OTHERS THEIR FOOD AT THE PROPER TIME’
Mt. 24: 45-47 ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household, to give the others their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge
of all his possessions.’ As in the days of the Acts 6, there was a need for ‘wise’ leaders to oversee both material food and spiritual provisions for the people.
6) WATCH AND BE READY
There is an urgent need for clear peaching on the prophetic word today.
Mt.24: 42-44 ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. But understand this: If the homeowner had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.’
7) THE WARNING TO THE UN-PREPARED PEOPLES AND NATIONS
Some who are called servants of God are wicked through the reasonings of their heart i.e., false teaching to suit their own ends such that it results in them beating with malice other Christian servants and being placed with the hypocrites and excluded. These ‘wicked servants’ are hypocrites because of their self-indulgence at the expense of ‘fellow servants’. Mt. 24:48-51 ‘But suppose that servant is wicked and says in his heart, ‘My master will be away a long time.’ And he begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not anticipate. Then he will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
This same parable is included in Mark 13:32-37 and Luke 12:35-47 ‘Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning. Then you will be like servants waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds on watch when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve and will have them recline at the table, and he himself will come and wait on them. Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, those servants will be blessed.
Jesus prophesied that in the last days before his return there would be a real issue of un- preparedness. He goes on to say: ‘But understand this: If the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect”’’
“Lord,” said Peter, “are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” BSB
Jesus answers Peter by explaining that the faithful and wise managers are his appointed servants and they have been given the knowledge of his return. However, the delay caught out the un-prepared servants. It is important not to read the last verse only of this parable, i.e. that ‘The master of that servant will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not anticipate.’ But rather to consider context that some servants knew of the ‘proper time’ Verses 42-44 read ‘And the Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wisemanager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their portion at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.’
This servant was aware that the Master might come at any time even after the second or third watch. It is notable that Jesus again and again refers to time periods in his prophecies, and this is seen so here.
For those un-prepared servants, then their house was broken into, they had not protection, the reason being that they were un-prepared for the delay in his coming. Verse 39-40 reads ‘But understand this: If the homeowner had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.”
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record the parable of the un-prepared servants though John did not. However, in Rev. 3:1-6 the letter to the church in Sardis makes clear that here was a church which had resources but was neither watchful nor prepared for the last days for he writes in v. 1-3 ‘I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.’ KJV Like the parables of Jesus, this passage makes the same reference to the supplies having been made available, yet them not being appropriated by the people such that they are un-prepared for the events of those times.
The reason for these warnings of un-preparedness was lack of understanding of prophetic teaching and a lack of understanding and appropriating the power sent by Jesus after his accession, the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
To be prepared we read in Luke 12:35 ‘Let your loins be girded about, and [your] lights burning;’ KJV Strong’s comments on this verse as those ‘dressed in readiness’ with their ‘oil- fed portable ‘lamp’, usually set on a stand’ burning. To be girded and protected around with correct prophetic teaching and supplied by the ‘dunamis’ the self-generating power of the Holy Spirit to stand firm in those days. Paul makes a similar reference in Eph. 6;14 ‘Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth’ and makes it clear that that without this truth to un-wrap then you will not have the ‘full armour of God’ to stand firm in those days Eph. 6:11 ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.’
The key cross reference to Luke 12:35 ‘and [your] lights burning’ is Matt. 25:1-13 The parable of ten virgins where Matthew places this parable directly after the prophesies of Jesus following the specific request of the disciples in v. Mat. 24:3 ‘And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’ KJV
This parable likewise refers to the need to ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.’ Matt 25:13 KJV
It also makes clear that there is a delay prior to his coming during which time the whole church slumbers and sleeps for it reads in Matt 25:3-5 ‘They that [were] foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.’ KJV. The delay of his coming had stupefied them and nullified their contribution to the importance of those hours. In addition, 50% of the expected attendants at the arrival of the Bridegroom, an allegory of the Christian
church in the end times, are both un-prepared and unready for the coming Bridegroom and Jesus explains the reason. All had lamps, but there was a lack of the oil of prophetic understanding in those days. The extra necessary, the reserve which could have kept them through to the midnight hour was lacking.
The power of scripture becomes apparent when anointed with the Holy Spirit. This is paramount in the darkness. John 9:3 ‘Night is coming, when no one can work’. It is at this time when correct prophetic teaching anointed by the Holy Spirit is needed to supply the people of God; John 14:17,26, 1 John 2:20, 1 Cor. 2:12, 2 Cor. 1:21.
It is when the word of God and the Spirit of God come together that change is witnessed. This always happens, for the Holy Spirit is a creating Spirit.
It is recorded of Smith Wigglesworth, in the year of his death in 1947, that he gave a prophesy to the churches in Britain https://ctntp.uk/smith-wigglesworths-prophesy/ which included these words ‘When the word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nations, and indeed, the world have ever seen.’
It is this principle, the principle that the word of God with the anointing of the Holy Spirit that will supply the people of God in the latter days.
The need to be girded about with the word of truth and baptised and anointed by the Holy Spirit is always paramount, the more so as the day approaches.
The warnings to unprepared peoples and nations are mirrored in the parable of the Great Banquet referred to earlier in this study.
8) WARNING TO THE CHURCHES
Revelation 2-3 includes warnings to seven types of churches. Rev 2:2-4 ‘I know your deeds, your labour and your perseverance... but I have this against you’
Ephesus Rev 2:4,5 ‘you have abandoned your first love’... ‘Repent and perform the deeds you did at first.’ Pray for revival, your source is the oil of the ‘lampstand’ and these are the words of Him who ‘walks among the seven golden lampstands’. Seek Him, the source, otherwise ‘if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.’
Smyrna Rev 2:10 ‘do not fear what you are about to suffer’ The persecuted Church
Pergamon Rev 2:13 ‘I know where you live, where the throne of Satan sits.’ As in the days of Daniel, wicked angels sit over territories. The Prince of Persia is the present-day Iran, Satan will sit wherever wicked servants will do his bidding. The warning is to turn from and not hold to false teachings e.g., Balaam who was influenced by the love of reward to become a deceiver and the Nicolaitans who likewise cast a stumbling block before the church of God because they condoned idol and sexual liberties which brought destruction on the people.
Thyatira Rev 2:20-24 Again warnings against false teaching and false prophets. How to operate in a deliverance ministry. ‘You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads My servants’... ‘But I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned the so-called deep things of Satan: I will place no further burden upon you’ There is a profound need in the end times to sift and call out the teaching of false prophets who have polluted society with error for the
past 2,000 years. Instead ‘hold fast to what you have until I come. And to the one who overcomes and continues in My work until the end, I will give authority over the nations. He will rule them with an iron sceptre and shatter them like pottery— just as I have received authority from My Father. And I will give him the morning star.’ Those who rightly discern prophecy will be given spiritual authority such that they will be able to operate in the ministry of deliverance.
Sardis Rev 3:2 ‘I know your deeds; you have a reputation for being alive, yet you are dead. 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.’
This type of church has a wealth of resources which is like many churches today in wealthy nations; but their resources are buried and hidden. The church is a repository of treasures, both spiritual and material, but these resources are hidden from sight, being buried. Instead, Christians are called to be stewards of the truth, to exercise their faith and unlock their storehouses to feed and equip the people. In this prophesy Jesus sees that He has provided for the people and their understanding of events, yet he calls them to account and tells them that because they have kept hidden their bounty and buried their talents then their deeds are incomplete. Therefore they are told by the messenger to John to ‘Wake up and strengthen what remains, which was about to die’. The church might consider its heritage as lost and gone; but this is not so. Like the revivals of old, which have been buried by the sands of time, the message is that their strength is not lost. The call to them is to ‘Remember, then, what you have received and heard. Keep it and repent.’
It is imperative that the people of God now open the storehouses of scripture to feed the people with the grain of good prophesy given to them so that the people can be fed with good guidance and strong direction in the coming days. For, as in the days of Joseph when he was appointed by Pharaoh to oversee Egypt, so today. Pharaoh’s dream was for his nation, likewise the message is for today. For as written in Genesis 41:28-32 this is what Joseph told Pharoah: ‘It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will devastate the land. The abundance in the land will not be remembered, since the famine that follows it will be so severe. Moreover, because the dream was given to Pharaoh in two versions, the matter has been decreed by God, and He will carry it out shortly’ BSB. Joseph knew the importance of storing up reserves in granaries ready for the appointed time, and that time fast approaches us too. We too must use the grain from the storehouse, for there are very needy people who would respond to a discourse on these matters, for the dearth of heavenly truth and spiritual knowledge will be sought but rarely found as these End-times rapidly fill up. Though we might read these words as a ‘type’ of the events soon to come, they are significant in that the principle contained herein is true and are written in scripture for our benefit too. Gen.41:25- 27 reads: ‘At this, Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven ripe heads of grain are seven years. The dreams have the same meaning. Moreover, the seven thin, ugly cows that came up after them are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind—they are seven years of famine’’ BSB. The prophesy given to Pharaoh still has meaning and life today.
Likewise Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams (Dan.2:1-12; Dan.4:4-18) were for the nations. Both he and Pharaoh are heathen leader kings who became part of the fabric of the history of End- time prophesy and the perspective given to them by Yahweh- Roi, the ‘God who Sees’, is valuable to an understanding of the overarching sovereignty of God in relation to the nations. See reference to the ‘stone being cut out of the mountain without human hands’. Dan.2:44- 46 reads ‘‘In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will shatter all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself stand forever. And just as you saw a stone being cut out of the mountain without human hands, and it shattered the iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold, so the great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.’ At this, King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, paid homage to Daniel, and ordered that an offering of incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, “Your God is truly the God of gods and Lord of kings, the Revealer of Mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery’’ BSB.
Then in Daniel 4:4-18 Nebuchadnezzar relates how ‘As I lay on my bed, I also saw in the visions of my mind a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. He called out in a loud voice...’(v.13) and the watcher (angel) relayed to him the vision of the tree, which was cut down and branches chopped off. The fall of the king was followed by restoration for Dan.4:37 reads ‘Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, for all His works are true and all His ways are just. And He is able to humble those who walk in pride’ BSB.
The point is that if God cannot use religious leaders, then he will use heathen kings, and even a donkey will do when all else fails (Num.22:28-30).
For we are the generation that see these signs. Mark 13:28-31 reads ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things happening, know that He is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away’ BSB. We are the generation who have the storehouses full and with plenty, yet soon will come the seven years of dearth when ‘the abundance in the land will not be remembered’ (Gen.41:31) for yet to come are days spoken of by Jesus in Matt.24:21 ‘For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again’ BSB and as spoken of by Daniel and John, seven years of trials upon the earth such that Matt.24:22 ‘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’ BSB.
There are many signs today of a gathering storm. For example, on the Sky News program 'Into the Grey Zone' Sat 01 May 2021 7.30pm - 8.00pm, a former UK General was quoted as saying in relation to State sponsored threat of cyberwarfare from Russia: 'Enjoy the gathering storm, because bad news is coming'. Today, in addition to considering the prophesies of old, we need to be aware of the ‘signs of the times.
Ezekiel knew they profound nature of his calling as a watchman for the nation of Israel for Yahweh made clear to him the significance of ‘blowing the trumpet’ as a warning to the people. Ez.36:5-7 reads ‘Since he (the person who hears the trumpet warning) heard the sound of the horn but failed to heed the warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had heeded the warning, he would have saved his life. 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.
Also, let us too, remember our calling and our heritage. Remember for example the revivals of old, how they came about, and their impact upon those societies in those days. Each generation has received a call to ‘blow the trumpet’.
Also, too, where revival once was then there are often some remains of this heritage. Like the reading of someone’s Last Will and Testament the inheritance once received has with it certain responsibilities, and this responsibly falls on us, the people of God, who are repositories of this theme.
Therefore, it is up to the people of God to consider again their calling and to revisit the prophesies again with prayer and praise for there is still much water there yet to be released for the healing of the nations and as a supply to the people. Let us open again the wells from which the streams of living water flow and let us go on this adventure to hear what then Lord of all the earth has to say to us.
Let us not be content with blocked wells and mis-understood prophesies which help no-one. It is our responsibility to see that the wells are as clear as possible and to address where- ever possible false prophesy and error which would block the flow of the Spirit and leave people without their rightful supply of water.
Genesis 26:15 reads ‘For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.’ Ellicott comments that ‘In the East the digger of a well is regarded as a public benefactor; but the Philistines stopped those that Abraham had digged, probably because they regarded his possession of them... as an intrusion... and with envy.’ Genesis 26:18 reads ‘And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them.’ KJV
In this way the enemy tried to drive Abraham’s son Isaac away, however we read forward from Genesis 26 that Isaac did not give up, instead he dug more wells. The prophetic word of God speaks to us today in the same terms. New springs of living waters need to rise again from the old wells for they bring refreshment, clarity of wisdom and thought, and as in times past, revival too.
It might be that where the kingdom of darkness holds sway then there might remain spiritual structures of old which need to be broken to bring forth the refreshing streams of God. Reinhard Bonke 1940 - 2019, founder of Christ for all nations and known as the ‘Billy Graham of Africa’, was a German Pentecostal evangelist with a particular ministry of healings. He records on one occasion when preaching to a large crowd of people in a remote part of Africa, where the gospel had to his knowledge never been preached before, discerned in his spirit and through the anointing of the Holy Spirit the crumbling of spiritual structures of darkness, structures which he discerned had been there since before the time of Calvary. How glorious that through the preaching of the Word and with the power of the Holy Spirit we can be mighty for God to the pulling down of strongholds! 2 Cor. 10:4 reads ‘For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds’. KJV
However, the church of Sardis is recorded as not being awake, it was un-prepared and at ease. The church is not recorded as being either persecuted for their faith nor in need of resources.
They were like the slothful servant in Mt. 25:26 The Parable of the Talents: ‘So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what belongs to you.’ ‘You wicked, lazy servant! replied his master. ‘You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed. Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received it back with interest.’ Here too their self- interest and self-sufficiency causes them to sleep. They have ‘a reputation for being alive, yet you are dead.’ They have the resources to strengthen their fellow-servants but do not do so. Their lack of spiritual exercise causes them sleep. The Western Church today in the main has resources of teaching materials and material wealth which is not being shared with the ‘fellow-servants’ where there is a famine of resources. As in the days of Pharaoh, the seven years of plenty is only given to us to provide for the seven years of famine still to come Gen. 41:29 following ‘It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do. Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in the land of Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will devastate the land’. Like Joseph we too are called to ‘Wake up and strengthen what remains, which was about to die’. We are called upon to open up the storehouses, to release the provisions both materially and spiritually to support suffering ‘fellow-servants’ John 4:34 ‘So the disciples asked one another, “Could someone have brought Him food?” Jesus explained, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months until the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ripe for harvest.’ Jesus’ eyes were always on the farther horizon. His gaze was that of a prophet. Like the patriarchs and prophets, who often viewed Millennial events e.g., Isaiah 65:17-25 The New Heaven and the New Earth. The ministry of Jesus is much evidenced by prophetic giftings as in John 5:19: ‘So Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing by Himself, unless He sees the Father doing it. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does. The Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does. And to your amazement, He will show Him even greater works than these.’ Like the seers of old, such as Elijah on Carmel, Jesus saw the events in vision then operated in faith to put them into effect. In this way too Jesus has made known through the mighty angel, likely Gabriel, the visions of John as recorded in the Book of Revelation. The strength of the Western Church is to use the time and giftings wisely, to not slumber in a stupor, but to open the ‘storehouses’ of heaven now for the people of God, both in their own country where they still have certain freedoms, and in other countries too where their ‘fellow-servants’ are persecuted because of their identification with Christ.
It is to the churches and to the Christians who are also called his ‘servants’ that Jesus directs his warnings of un-preparedness. The church at Sardis received this warning but Jesus foresaw in vision and received and delivered to us as recorded in the scriptures prophetic knowledge to help us understand those days. As the church of Sardis is un- prepared for His Coming so are others. As recorded in Matt. 24:42-44 these churches and people do not keep watch and the coming of the Son of Man surprised them. They are like homeowners; they have the wealth, but their house is broken into. Matt 24:42-44 ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. But understand this: If the homeowner had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect’ Jesus is not the thief, rather it is the un-preparedness of many servants who, even though they have available the repositories of the scriptures and the prophesies fore-told are un-prepared as the time passes both the second and third watches of the night.
The deceit of those days and lack of understanding combined to cause them to slumber. A lack of understanding of the great events of the last days too brings short-sightedness, and a myopic view of events. The church of Sardis was a repository of all the scriptures and teachings, yet they could not articulate them. Likewise, today many churches have the prophesies at their fingertips yet cannot understand them for lack of teaching. False teachers can severely disarm a church and people when they deny the fundamental prophesies and their relevance today. The doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture too has robbed the church of strength and guardianship. The prophesies are there to guards us, and warn the nations, yet they remain ‘moth-balled’ like an arsenal that is prevented from use. This arsenal of scripture was commissioned by Christ at His first Coming. He knew how important it would be to those facing those ‘perilous times’ (Matt. Dan 9:25, 2Tim 3:1), yet they remain to a large extent hidden, kept from the people. Jesus likewise saw the Jewish religious system as containing a repository of truth and prophetic insight yet the gatekeepers neither articulated these truths nor disseminated them to the people for their protection and fortification. Matt. 23:1-36 is an exposure of these errors of formal religion, v. 13 reads ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let in those who wish to enter.’
In the last days as in the days of the early church Paul gives warning that there will be those who ‘having a form of godliness but denying its power’, and to turn away from them. He writes in 2 Tim. 3:1-5 ‘But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!’
Jesus considered the matter of un-preparedness of such importance that many of his parables recorded in the gospels refer to both this, the time frames involved and the wise use of the time prior to ‘the midnight hour’. His parables also refer to how he has made supplies available for those days, yet they remain un-called for and un-appropriated by the people such that they are un-prepared for the events of those times.
The delay in his coming is not an excuse for laziness or excess personal gain but it is the that is the time that is given and necessary to prepare peoples and nations, for having received the prophesies we of all people on the earth know our God and have knowledge of the imminent return of Jesus.
The message today, as it was to the church at Sardis, is that we need to 1) dig out the old wells 2) not be deceived 3) speak the truth 4) prepare the armaments and 5) equip the saints.
Philadelphia Rev 3:7 following Laodicea
PLACE HERE REMAINING CHURCHES (Rev.3)
9) THE GREAT DECEPTION
The Great Deception refers to the specific times of the end. Those who are practiced in this art have always done so. They learnt early that through sleight of hand they could make gain. Gen. 3:1 reads ‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field that the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” BSB
However, the Great Deception is referred to by Jesus as occurring along with the events at the end of the age and as being specifically part of the fabric of that time. Mt. 24:3-5 reads ‘While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”
Jesus answered, “See to it that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.’
The Great Deception is the overarching principle which drives Satanic powers and their kind. It is a principle easily learnt by those who practice wickedness.
They operate in a clandestine manner, until they become fully able at which time their evil activities burst out onto the stage of mankind to cause much harm, hurt, and pain. Death and hell follow in their wake. This becomes overarching in the last days as Satan knows that his time is short. 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 results are recorded in Matt.24 as wars and rumours of wars, famines and earthquakes, the abomination of desolation, and a great tribulation in those days.
The character of the Evil One was apparent to Jesus when he first began His ministry in Galilee. The three temptations recorded in the gospels are all based on deceptions offered to Jesus by Satan. The first was to deceive individuals by turning stones to bread, the second was to deceive the towns and cities by public acts of display which might convince the people to follow him, and the last temptation was to have powers to control the nations. The three levels reflect the three key areas of attention given by Satan against humankind. As recorded on occasions in the scriptures with regard to the roles played by different angelic beings in the heavenly realm, so it is likely that the powers of darkness concentrate the wicked and fallen angels to different levels and tasks to tempt and destroy through envy, jealousy and power. Eph. 6:10-20 records ’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.’
The deceitful One operates in any area where given sway and licence. Specifically referred to in Matthew 24 are the false prophets and the hidden mysteries.
When fully ‘ripe’ and fully able, then the evil One can operate through his evil servants who have as it were come of age, they have both the motive and the means to fulfil their ambitions. Today as never before national leaders can project their powers far beyond their
borders and the weaponry upon the earth is now far beyond that which was previously available. It is when we read of the ‘intoxication’ of these kings of the earth. Rev. 17:1a,2 reads ‘“Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. 2The kings of the earth were immoral with her, and those who dwell on the earthwere intoxicated with the wine of her immorality.’ i.e., they are intoxicated with her deception and with her abominations which includes a blood lust for the death of Christians. Rev. 17:6 reads ‘I could see that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and witnesses for Jesus. And I was utterly amazed at the sight of her.’ It has always been the case that Christians have been persecuted for their faith, more is recorded below under the heading ‘The Persecution of Christians’, however at the times of the end of this age this iniquity becomes fully ripe, it is ready for the picking, and Jesus will come to avenge the death of his saints.
The term ‘kings’ referred to in this prophesy describes those who operate with power to control their nation states, those who operate as with the with sole power of a sovereign or monarch. They operate as autocrats; their power is king like; it means that they are answerable to no higher earthly authority. It is they who give their powers as leaders to satanic powers to destroy the earth and they who subject themselves to an overarching principle of evil, with the sole purpose to corrupt and to take advantage. They can act with impunity. The kings of the East could therefore be referring to nation states operating under ‘kingly’ authority in the Last Days.
Rev. 16:12-16 refers to the way of the kings being opened up; ‘And the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the East. These are demonic spirits that perform signs and go out to all the kings of the earth, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty’ According to the sequence of the bowls or vials then this event takes place when the sixth angel pours the sixth vial so takes place during the Great Tribulation and just before the final conflict. It is described as the time when the deceit of Satan so cloaks his evil that it deceives not only the kings of the ten-king alliance but ‘all the kings of the earth’. To do battle against Yahweh God and his anointed. After the final ‘battle on the great day of God the Almighty’ the Lord’s Messiah comes.
9.1 The hour, the day, the month, and the year
Yahweh God’s timing is so precise, and Jesus through His Prophets reveals how important it is that the events of the End Times only come when the fulness of time has come. This scripture reveals to us that God does the counting. His prophesies shall not fail but shall come to pass at the appointed time for it reads that it angels have been instructed beforehand for this event. So, if they knew in advance of this event then surely Jesus and the hosts of heaven are knowledgeable too. We too can be assured that our times and seasons are in His hands and that the final seven years of this age will end at the appointed moment. As when Jesus died on the cross at the appointed moment in time, a time which was forthtold, then the time of the end will be with pinpoint accuracy; so much so that this event is then tracked back a full seven years and is triggered by the Trinity with prior knowledge of the fullness of this age and the fulness of heaven. At the time of the fifth seal John saw and heard the prayers of the saints of God in heaven yet it was still not the time of the fulness of heaven nor the time of the end. At the time of the fifth seal Rev. 6:9-11 reads‘And when the Lamb opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony they had upheld. And they cried out in a loud voice, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You avenge our blood and judge those who dwell upon the earth?” Then each of them was given a white robe and told to rest a little while longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers, were killed, just as they had been killed’. Yet by the time of the sixth seal the pre-set time had come. So, the timing of the seals are pre-set, allowing for the playing out of specific time periods during which mankind are given time to consider the devastation caused by rampant evil and change their minds. Though great miracles are recorded in the prophesies it appears that there is no longer a middle ground, the populous of those days are given time to consider, yet they openly choose good or evil as their strength.
The armies of the Antichrist have free-will but are ruthlessly controlled by him. The Satanic bearing upon these armies is immense. However, they still could repent of their actions if they chose too yet it is recorded that the judgements of God through the four angels actually hardens their resolve against the Lord and His anointed and they do not repent for Rev. 9:20-21 reads ‘Now the rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands. They did not stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. Furthermore, they did not repent of their murder, sorcery, sexual immorality, and theft’. The hardening of resolve against Yahweh, even in the face of His mighty signs, wonders and miracles is recorded elsewhere in scripture too, most notable at the time of the release of the Hebrew people from 400 years of slavery in Egypt. It is most notable that following each judgement brought upon Egypt through the prophet Moses that Pharaoh ‘hardened his heart yet more to impose yet more stringent requirements upon the Hebrews. He would not let them go.
9.2 The River Euphrates
At the time of the sixth trumpet when the sixth angel sounds his trumpet then four angels are released to defend the Lord’s anointed for it reads in Rev. 9:13-20 ‘Then the sixth angel sounded his trumpet, and I heard a voice 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 second reference to the River Euphrates can be found in Rev. 16:12. This prophesy has been explored by several commentators. Bengel, Barnes, Gill for example refer to the source of the River Euphrates as emerging from the modern-day nation state of Turkey. Barnes reads ‘the symbol of the Euphrates as being the seat of the Turkish power’. However, the Euphrates is 2,780 kms (1,730 miles) long and is the longest river in Western Asia which runs from its source in Turkey (28% of its drainage basin) through Syria (17% of its drainage basin) and Iraq (40% of its drainage basin) before emptying into the Persian Gulf. If the prophesy of Rev. 12:6 is an allegory then the drying up of the Euphrates could reasonably refer to the weakening of governance in the nation state powers through which runs the River Euphrates; specifically, the nation state(s) which are situate to the east of the focal point of the prophetic vision, Israel. Iraq has the largest drainage basin of the Euphrates and is situate east of this focal point, whereas Syria and Turkey are situated to the north.
In recent times it can be observed that both Iraq and Syria have been significantly degraded in their powers as nation states. For Iraq this first took place in the first Gulf War 1991 and then the Iraq War, also called the second Persian Gulf War, which took place 2003-11, with much political instability continuing from then to date (2021). Syria has likewise been devasted by its war, which has run 2011 to date. In both countries during these times there has been a significant persecution the Christian populations there. Several contemporary commentators have referred to this persecution as the 'slow genocide’ of Christians in these countries and the surrounding region of the Middle East. It is notable that Jewish populations have already fled from these countries and the only countries left in the Middle East with a significant minority of Christians is Lebanon, though Israel is also a safe haven for them. During the Great Tribulation it is most notable that the prophesies tell the Christians to flee to safe places for in Rev. 12:3-6, esp. v.6 reads ‘Then the woman (this is reference to the Jewish Christians at the time of the Great Tribulation) fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days’. KJV. The days of these refugees is still to come. For the more information on the current plight of Christians who suffer persecution because of the faith, see below under the heading ‘The Persecution of Christians’.
The ‘drying up’ referred to in Rev. 16;12 takes place at the sixth trumpet i.e., during the Great Tribulation, so is still future tense. However, Jesus clearly warning us of the ‘birth pains’ that will occur before these times and referred to many of the signs of those times. These occur in preparation of His Coming. As leaves that appear on trees in spring is a sign that summer is coming, so these signs appear as leaves in springtime too. They burst forth, unwelcome though some of these signs are, they appear and remain.
The significance of the prophesy of Rev. 16:12 is that it opens the way for the ‘kings of the East’ to cross through.
The purpose of this opening up of this way is so that the kings will yield their power to the ‘beast’. Rev. 17:12 reads they ’will receive one hour of authority as kings, along with the beast. These kings have one purpose: to yield their power and authority to the beast.’
9.2.2 The Assembly of The Kings
The opening of this way is also in preparation for a military conflict for Rev.16:14 reads ‘to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who remains awake and clothed, so that he will not go naked and let his shame be exposed.” And they assembled the kings in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.’ BSB How important it is for the Christian people to be awake, prepared and alert and armed in these times.
The specific description of nation state leaders acting like kings is again emphasized by John. In Rev. 17:9 he first encourages his readers to seek God for wisdom and understanding on these for he states, ‘This calls for a mind with wisdom.’ John then goes on to explain that at the time of the seventh king an eight king arises ‘who is going into destruction’ This eighth king is the same as that referred to by Jesus in Mt. 24:15-22 ‘So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand)’
John then goes on to describe what he sees in vision. Rev. 17:9-11 reads: ‘The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. The beast that was, and now is not, is an eighth king, who belongs to the other seven and is going into destruction.’
The seven heads of the Beast of Rev. 17:3,8-11 as described by John are seven mountains which signify seven sequential kingdoms or empires, each run through history from the times of Daniel until the times of the end.
The first six heads of the Beast of Rev.17v3,8-11., are six kingdom empires that have conquered, ruled, and tyrannised Israel and Jerusalem during the 483 years of the prophecy of Dan.9v20-27. The 7th. And 8th. heads represent the last seven years of Daniels prophesy and the completion of the seven weeks of years i.e., 490 years. The seventh week is the time when the Antichrist will have rule and reign over Israel and Jerusalem. The Antichrist will deceive many people. This time is still to come.
These kingdom empires are described by John who saw them in the form of a Beast. So we read of the following Empires: Head #1 Babylon (lion-beast) Head #2 Medo-Persia (bear- beast), Head #3 Greece, Head #4 Egypt, Head #5 Syria (these three heads are kingdom empires and are described by John as the leopard-beast), Head #6 Rome (ten-horned beast), Heads #7 and #8 both represent the time of the Antichrist with Head #7 representing the first 3.5yrs of the tribulation of the end-times then head #8 is head #7 brought back to life again as and represents the second 3.5yrs of the tribulation, known as ‘the tribulation, the great one’ (Rev 7:14).
Frank Pritchard’s Figurative Description of these prophesies and events is also particularly useful to gain more of an understanding on these matters, a separate paper copy is available from the writer of this study though a copy on the internet is yet to be found.
It is clear from Rev 17:9-11 all of the seven ‘mountains’ or Empires are run by what Daniel understands as kings. The seventh king is still to come and the eight is described as ‘the beast that was, and now is not, is an eighth king, who belongs to the other seven and is going into destruction.’ So, at the time to come both the seventh king that will rule only for a little while and the eighth king who is described as the beast, both will rule with the authority of monarchs. However, the eight king which is called the beast is different from the seven ‘mountains’ or kingdoms; six of which are past and the seventh being the first 3.5years of the Tribulation to come and different from the 10-king alliance for Rev. 17:7-8 reads ‘Why are you so amazed?” said the angel. “I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that you saw—it was, and now is no more, but is about to come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. And those who dwell on the earth whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet will be’.
So, the eight is described as a king with a kingdom that last for the final 3.5years of the age yet it is also described as embodying all the previous seven mountains and the 10-king alliance too; hence the beast looks concocted with many heads. In addition, it ascends out of the Abyss (BSB version) also called the bottomless pit (in the KJV version of the Bible) which is destined to go to its destruction (BSB) also called ‘perdition’ (KJV). The beast then is a compendium of nation states which base themselves on the rump of previous empires, it is the embodiment of them, and it comes with great force and malice against the peoples of the earth. In addition, this empire of kingships i.e. the beast, is driven and propelled by forces which come directly from ‘the abyss, unfathomable depth, an especially Jewishconception, the home of the dead and of evil spirits’ to quote Strong’s Concordance which then goes on to quote other sources as describing this place as a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth (Orcus), and is of the dragon, the common receptacle of the dead and the abode of demons. It describes the beast as an Antichrist that operates the occultic powers.
9.3 The beast from the sea
Rev. 13:1-10 reads ‘Then I saw a beast with ten horns and seven heads rising out of the sea. There were ten royal crowns on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. The beast I saw was like a leopard, with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast appeared to be mortally wounded. But the mortal wound was healed, and the whole world marvelled and followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon who had given authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can wage war against it?” 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. And all who dwell on the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb who was slain.
He who has an ear, let him hear:
“If anyone is destined for captivity,
into captivity he will go;
if anyone is to die by the sword,
by the sword he must be killed.”
Here is a call for the perseverance and faith of the saints’. BSB
How important it is for the saints of God to be prepared and ready for the coming darkness, to have their spiritual weapons honed and their knowledge of the prophesies at the ready...for ‘Here is a call for the perseverance and faith of the saints’.
9.4 The beast from the earth, its deceptions, and its mark
Rev. 13:11-18 then reads ‘Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. This beast had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon. And this beast exercised all the authority of the first beast and caused the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed. And the second beast performed great signs to cause even fire from heaven to come down to earth in the presence of the people. Because of the signs it was given to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived those who dwell on the earth, telling them to make an image to the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet had lived. The second beast was permitted to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship it to be killed. And the second beast required all people small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark—the name of the beast or the number of its name. Here is a call for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and that number is 666’. BSB
So, this beast is also described as having a mark, that being 666 i.e., the mark of human government, which is exclusive of the divine, whose mark is 777. From this we can read that there is no Godliness in the nature of the beast for it is completely driven and obsessed with evil motives and intent. Previous generations have seen evil regimes rise and fall, yet this one is yet to come and is total in the fullness of its iniquity and wickedness.
9.5 The beast carries a detestable woman on its back
This beast carries on its back a detestable woman which embodies an ideology that attracts and yet pollutes many world leaders. This woman is described like a harlot that sits upon many waters. The waters represent a multitude of people groups and the ideology appears to have polluted the minds of both kings i.e., leaders, and peoples. Specifically, this ideology and its embodiment has the intent to kill ‘saints’ i.e., those who are different from its own; Gr. ‘hagios’ holy, different, other, which for believers means ‘likeness of nature with Jesus’ because they are ‘different from the world’ (Strong’s Commentary). More specifically the ideology of this woman is intoxicated with ‘the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus’ (Rev. 17:8) and this ideology intoxicates its followers. The doctrine of persecution of minority groups is evident through history and continues apace today. Persecution on the grounds of religious belief is most evident against Christians where they are in a minority. Christians are the receptacle of light, and of the Spirit of Jesus, they are the anointed ones, and this makes them stand out in society. Matt. 5:14-16 describes why they are stand out differently for it reads ‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its savour, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven’. Yet when they do stand out, they can also be targeted by those with malice and wrong intent. This is borne out by evidence from independent sources. The International Society for Human Rights consider that of all the religious groupings on the planet, 80% of religious persecution is against Christians who are the most persecuted religious group. See below concerning the persecution of the Christians.
The full text of Rev. 17:1-6 reads ‘Then one of the seven angels with the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. The kings of the earth were immoral with her, and those who dwell on the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her immorality.”
And the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, where I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls. She held in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5And on her forehead a mysterious name was written:
BABYLON THE GREAT,
THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
I could see that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints and witnesses for Jesus. And I was utterly amazed at the sight of her’.
Jesus had no other way to share with Daniel the concept or notion of a future power-based system of government than as describing it in this way. Today we might use slightly different terminology to describe this system of government, but it is still meaningful to use to understand the power of a king. These two kings have control over specific areas of the globe, and they will control them in the over-ruling autocratic manner of if they were kings, answerable to no higher earthly authority. It is for this reason that the term empire, kingdom, federation or similar could be applied to these rules.
9.6 The Concept of Empire
As with previous empires and kingdoms their formation takes time, often plotted through political and military means. Likewise, the last empire kingdom to dominate Israel / Jerusalem will take time to strengthen and expand. It is for this reason that the prophesies concerning the signs of the times are so relevant and that is why we can see the formation of preliminary events long before the full plan is made known. The fig tree produces its first leaves in spring long before the fruit appears in the summer. The economic and political collapse of some nation states leaves a vacuum for others to expand and form. The degradation of the nation states along the course of the Euphrates is particularly relevant and this is referred to in the prophesies as the ‘drying up’ of the River Euphrates (Rev. 16;12).
9.7 Syria and Iraq.
So, Iraq and Syria are again referred to here, not only because of their geographic locations referred to above in relation to the River Euphrates but also because Daniel’s prophesy describes what is a confederacy of ‘kings’ coming against God’s people in the last days and their arrival being from the east across the Euphrates. In addition to the geographic location of these countries it is also significant that both countries have seen their virtual collapse as nation states in this century to date. In these few decades each country has significantly subrogated their rights to other nation state powers.
Iraq as mentioned above has the highest percentage of the Euphrates River through it and is situate to the east of Israel / Jerusalem, so this country is significant at the time of the Sixth Seal, the time at the end, the time during ‘the tribulation, the great one’ (Rev 7:14). It is at this time when the armies of the ten-kingdom alliance cross over the Euphrates from the east and through Iraq. However, we must consider that country as it is at the beginning of the third decade of the 20th Century. Since the first Gulf War this country has seen a collapse in much of its infrastructure with Shia Iran is growing much stronger there such that many report its governance as being so heavily influenced by Iran that it is becoming more like a proxy state of Iran. This is so different from when Iraq and Iran were at war Sept 1980 to August 1988. A war which ended in a stalemate which left each country as equal sovereign states.
As we consider the increasing role played by the alliance of nation states then we must then also consider the role of Iran and its alliances. It is most notable that Iran seen its government isolated from the west and so has set up what is termed cultural, social, and economic exchanges along what is termed the ‘Silk Road’ between Iran and China. This relationship has developed such that China now considers Iran as its permanent partner.
As of 2019 Iran had signed onto Xi Jinping's signature One Belt One Road plan, and Iran is a key part of China's geopolitical ambitions in central Asia and the Middle East, sometimes described in terms of a new Great Game. The Belt and Road Initiative is a framework which includes a total of 17 signed agreements, including one which relates to the Iranian nuclear program. The Chinese will help connect Tehran with Mashhad via their high-speed rail technology. To commit to these trans-national ventures then of necessity China will need to secure agreements with the countries between it and Iran; these are the countries of Central Asia. China will need the re-assurance that it has stability in this region as it seeks to extend
its influence and invest there and will no doubt seek to reach strategic partnerships there too.
In addition, in 2020 details emerged of a 25year economic and strategic partnership in which China would invest in Iranian infrastructure, transport, and seaports, in exchange, Iran would provide a heavily discounted regular supply of its oil. China is now investing in the modernization of Iran's oil and gas sector to secure access to the resource. Above all, the reasons for the timing of this long-term partnership agreement is the rivalry between the US who is the main opponent to Iran, and China who is the main supporter to Iran, and this plays the major role in taking the step to signing this agreement.
China is also reported to have given military assistance to Iran in the form of training of high- level officials on advanced systems, providing technical support, supplying specialty steel for missile construction, providing control technology for missile development, and building a missile factory and test range. It is rumoured that China is responsible for aiding in the development of advanced conventional weapons including surface-to-air missiles, combat aircraft, radar systems, and fast-attack missile vessels. This assistance dates to the Iran-Iraq war when it became known that China using North Korea to traffic arms to Iran. China and Iran have held joint naval drills since 2017. Nuclear cooperation began in the 1980’s when China built a research reactor and supplied four other research reactors. Continued aid came in the form of helping Iran construct a uranium enrichment plant. Speculation continues as to China’s involvement in nuclear deals with Iran and it demonstrates no urgency to resist Iran’s attempts to gain nuclear capabilities. This is in stark contrast to many other countries both in and away from that immediate region of the Middle East who are most concerned with Iran’s nuclear program. The key supporters of Iran are China though others include Russia, Sudan North Korea, and Venezuela. The UN reported that Iran and North Korea commenced missile collaboration in 2020.
To date, Iranian ambitions have intensified, and it has sought to extend its sphere of influence. Within the country it has organised militias such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Beyond its borders it is seen to a warmongering nation as demonstrated by its willingness to engage in many proxy wars in areas of conflict such as Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. In these countries Iran has extended its reach through its allies and proxies. These proxies are political-military organisations such as Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine, the Houthis in Yemen, and others.
Iran also continues with its ambitions to create a land bridge between Tehran and Damascus. Iran has established basis in Syria’s two largest cities, Aleppo and Damascus. Israeli airstrikes continue to target Iranian installations in Syria. Hezbollah is arguably one of the most powerful forces in the region, and coupled with the emergence of Iraq’s Hashd Al- Sha’abi (Popular Mobilization Units), it is not likely that the Iranian military is going to abandon their plans to complete this land bridge (Source: https://geopolitics.news/south- asia/iran-not-abandoning-land-bridge-plan-from-damascus-to-tehran/)
9.7.3 The Iran-Israel Cold War
Immediately after the Islamic Revolution that occurred in Iran in 1979 its government declared the nation as an Islamic Republic and cut off all official relations with Israel; the country then turned from being secular and friendly to Western interests to that of an anti- Western Islamic theocracy. Initially it was politically expedient for Iran to accept Israeli help, for in the Iran-Iraq war 1980-88 Israel supplied arms to Iran. However, from 1989 to present the Islamic leaders of Iran have increasingly adopted an anti-Zionist stance which is driven by Islamic rhetoric to justify its policies. After the Revolution in 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini declared Israel an "enemy of Islam" and 'The Little Satan' and the United States was called 'The Great Satan'.
By the early 1990’s this hostility had turned from a cold peace to open hostility and the rhetoric intensified. In December 2000 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Israel a "cancerous tumour" that should be removed from the region. On 15 August 2012, during a meeting with veterans of the Iran–Iraq War, Ayatollah Khamenei said that he was confident that "the fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography”. On 19 August 2012, Khamenei reiterated comments made by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which members of the international community, including the United States, France, European Union, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned, during which he called Israel a "cancerous tumour in the heart of the Islamic world" and said that its existence is responsible for many problems facing the Muslim world. It would not normally be necessary to quote dated news material, but this same rhetoric continues apace today, its message has not changed, rather the country’s media incessantly purvey this message to its people and beyond
In 1985, Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia radical movement sponsored by Iran, called for armed struggle to end the Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory. When the Lebanese civil war ended and other warring factions agreed to disarm, Hezbollah and the SLA refused. Combat with Hezbollah weakened Israeli resolve and led to a collapse of the SLA and an Israeli withdrawal in 2000 to their side of the UN designated border. The war flared again Lebanon War of 2006.
Iran and Israel have also conflicted in Gaza particularly with military engagement in 2008-9 and 2014. In Gaza Iran supports the militia group called Hamas. Gaza is also the scene of a power struggle between regional powers including Egypt, Iran and Turkey together with Qatar, supporting different sides of the conflict in light of the regional standoff between Iran and Saudi Arabia on one hand and between Qatar and Saudi Arabia on the other, as well as crisis in Egyptian-Turkish relations.
From 2018 the Iran-Israel cold war has erupted into more open military engagement as assassinations continue and many proxy groups become increasingly well-armed and capable. As noted above, Israel continues to target Iranian and Iran backed militia groups in Syria.
The rhetoric may be viewed by the savvy western media as being bluff and counter bluff, but commentators are increasingly concerned that Iran has a program to work on weapons of mass destruction and through global terrorism has genocidal intent (Quote Dr Gregory Stanton, Global Watch).
In return Israel has shown itself more than capable of defence, it has significant military assets, and appeals to global Western powers to come to its assistance.
The location and events that have occurred in Syria in C21 has had global reverberations. The Syrian conflict 2011 to date has drawn in many other nations. In the terms of the prophesies of the Bible it fits the prophesy concerning to location and powerbase of the
Antichrist. Since the beginning of its civil war, it has seen the near collapse of its nation state, with other countries now involved there; notably Russia and Iran who have fought in support of the Assad Regime, and Turkey who have acted as a belligerent there.
Russia has long insisted of its special bi-lateral relationship with Syria. The Russian economy is not significant as a global force, being only equivalent to that of Spain, yet it is a nuclear power with significant military strength and technologies, furthermore the ambitions of its leader is to re-establish it as significant international player as it once was up to 1989, when it was known as the USSR. Since that time it has been known as the Russian Federation. Russia's only Mediterranean naval base for its Black Sea Fleet is in the Syrian port of Tartus. On 30 September 2015, Russia began a military intervention in the Syrian Civil War in support of the Syrian government, consisting of intensive air and cruise missile strikes against several terrorist groups, including ISIS and Al-Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria). It dubbed this political and military aid as its ‘Mission in Syria’. Since then, Russia has increased its involvement with continued support for Syria with airbases situated there and military arms supplied to the Assad Regime. This is generally credited as being the most important factor in keeping the Assad Regime in power. The Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, has on several occasions visited his troops in that country. Syria, Russia, and other belligerents in that conflict have repeatedly made and broken ceasefires which has caused causing a humanitarian catastrophe, as desperate civilians, fleeing the fighting, seek refuge.
Since 2011, when the war in Syria started, to December 2020, various estimates put the death toll in in the country to be between 387,000 and 593,000. Throughout the war than half the country’s population has been forced to flee their homes, with 6.2 million people, including 2.65 million children displaced within Syria, the biggest internally displaced people in the world https://www.unhcr.org/sy/internally-displaced-people In addition, 6.6 million refugees are seeking safety in neighbouring countries.
9.7.5 The Belligerents and their Leaders
Syria, Iran, Russia, China, North Korea have all been referred to above. Each are examples of states with leaders who act more like kings, each have changed laws so that in effect, of their choosing, they could have a lifetime in office. There leaders see their country as an extension to their own goals and ambitions. Each use their powerbase to preserve their own positions.
The writer of this study is not saying that these leaders are the kings referred to in the prophesies referred to elsewhere in this study but does rather ponder on their actions as being king-like. It is the writer’s view that each of these leaders appear to be able to operate with autocratic powers such as might be exercised by a king. The kings of the last part of this age may be alive today, or they may yet be to come, even so they will inherit the reins from these and other countries and peoples and we can consider present day events in this context.
It is also significant that in each of these countries there has been and still is significant levels of persecution against Christians and this referred to in more detail later in this study.
Yahweh God hides his plans in a mystery to protect his people from apathy and to thwart the powers of darkness who cannot understand it. Instead, He requires of us to be under a certain tension that comes from knowing Him and the workings of His Spirit. In this way we have the privilege to act as his ambassadors, to pray and to act in faith, and even to see the course of nations changed through prayer.
9.8 The Secret to Answered Prayer
So, how do we pray for ourselves and our nation(s) in through the coming times of trouble?
The following three scriptures refer to two linked words which though interpreted in the scriptures as ‘intercede’ are more accurately interpreted as ‘intervene’ (Gr. entygxánō and hyperentygxánō). As Christians we must properly understand the meaning of intervention so that we can be effective in our prayers. In this way we can ask Yahweh Elohim to intervene on our behalf in the events on the earth.
First of all let me quote Vincent’s Word Studies Commentary which makes it clear that the verb for ‘intercession’ really means ‘intervention’ for with regard to the use of the verb used in the following three verses then he writes ‘The idea is not intercession, but intervention. It includes every form of Christ's identifying himself with human interests’.
If we read these verses and use the word intervention rather than intercession, then we can be encouraged in our faith.
I also include Strong’s Concordance in regard to these two words as it makes clear to us in Hebr. 7:25 that Jesus lights upon and meets with us to intervene and hit the ‘bull’s eye’ i.e., that we might be ‘spot on’ in our prayers and in our circumstances and then in Rom. 8:26 that through the Holy Spirit working deeply through His gifts of tongues, yearnings, knowledge and discernment of our circumstances, and other Holy Spirit gifts too, then we can ‘come in line with the Lord’s eternal purpose’ and bring ‘sacred mysteries into our daily walk with Christ’. How important this is to understand the workings of God and the signs of our times.
Hebr. 7:25 reads ‘Therefore He is able to save completely (or forever) those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede (intervene) for them’ BSB
Strong’s Concordance on the word intercede in Hebrews 7:26:
1793 entygxánō (from 1722 /en, "in," which intensifies 5177 /tygxánō, "to obtain by hitting the mark") – properly, "light upon (meet with), obtain" (LS); "to go and meet a person to converse, consult," i.e. to intervene ("intersect with").
[J. Thayer documents how this meaning is consistently the same in ancient Greek writers. The root of 5177 (tygxánō) means "to strike, hit the bulls-eye" ("spot on"). Accordingly, it is used in classical Greek as the antonym of harmartia ("to miss the mark, sin"), so Lucian, Xenophon, Homer, etc. (see Thayer, 5177 /tygxánō).]
Romans 8:26 reads ‘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 (intervenes) for us with groans too deep for words’ BSB
Strong’s Concordance on ‘intercede’ in Romans 8:26:
5241 hyperentygxánō (from 5228 /hypér, "for benefit" and 1793/entygxanō, "come in line with") – properly, to light upon (happen); literally, "bending over" to intercede, "confer benefit" (cf. R, 629). 5241 (hyperentygxánō) is used only in Ro 8:26.
5241/hyperentygxánō ("intercede") refers to the Holy Spirit interceding in every scene of our lives so we can "come in line with" the Lord's eternal purpose. The content of these intercessions goes beyond human language, and includes bringing sacred mysteries into our daily walk with Christ.
1 Tim. 2:1-3 reads ‘I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions (interventions), [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and [for] all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour’. KJV
Yahweh God is raising up his people today to pray in like manner, so that this generation too might see the course of nations change. We too can kerb the appetites of world leaders for the good. As happened after the death of Paul and Peter in 66-68AD, at the hands of the Romans who were involved in the First Jewish War (66-70AD) at that time, we as Christians need to earnestly seek God for judgement upon the earth. That war was not started by the Christians though they soon became included as a target of the persecution that took place at that time, especially as some Christians who had previously fled persecution themselves in Judea had set up small communities in Rome.
Soon after the deaths of these two apostles in the early Christian communities it may be no co-incidence that the Emperor Nero (reign 54-68AD), who is likely to have ordered their execution, committed suicide at the age of 31. Nero’s lethal tyranny is well documented. According to Tacitus he was said to have seized Christians as scapegoats for the great fire that took place in Rome in those times and burned them alive, seemingly motivated not by public justice but by personal cruelty.
Today Christians who may be of the Terracotta Army of God i.e., hidden from normal view, are also receiving visions and dreams of events and warnings to come, and pass them on to their fellow Christians, for prayer, protection and guidance.
Such visions have been given to Christians which may be above their ‘pay-grade’ in that they involve the leaders of nations, yet they are still called to pray, as God yearns for His people to get ready for the darkness now coming upon the earth. In early 2020 the writer had two distinct dreams and a vision regarding the Chinese leader; one where he rejected the light of the Christian’s gospel (the light of the candle of Jesus shone in his face yet he hardened his heart), one showing his autocratic authority over the peoples there (when he crashed the two large brass cymbals everyone stopped and took notice of him), and the third which forth told of a tsunami to come not from the sea but from the direction of China onto Hong Kong and the people there. Since the vision the Chinese Government has changed laws and increased oppression there, if the tsunami is to happen in full then much more will follow, and suddenly too.
Similarly, a dream of the Russian President who looked to align a set of what appeared to be a set of blue vertically hung overlapping pieces of hanging linen, like vertically hung window blinds. These were all the same vivid deep blue colour, and though each were separate the object was to show each of them as a set. However, one of them was slightly noticeable in that it had a emblem or similar in the fabric or might have been upside down or for some reason showed an imperfection which though not obvious so was not quite ready for the photo shoot. However, at a time of his choosing, the leader gave the order that the photo to be taken. It seemed apparent to the seer the leader of that country was aligning a series of draped flags or similar and was working to arrange them as overlapping each other so that each, though a separate vertical strip of blue cloth, appeared like a set as one block of colour together i.e., like a set of closed blue vertical blinds which you might see in a window that appear like one when together and overlapping, i.e., other member states or similar, and /or an alliance, to show unity, yet this was being done clandestinely, and only upon the order of the leader would the photoshoot be taken i.e., the announcement to be made public. Such visions, dreams and prophetic words advise and warn Christians to pray and prepare for the people.
SEE TEXTS FROM PHONE
9.9 The prophesies
The prophesies make it clear that the Antichrist, when he finally becomes apparent, appears from the north whereas the 10-king alliance appears from the east. These two come together to act with one mind to act with military force against Israel. As with many actions, in the context of global events then there can be unintended consequences. Such events happened at the start of WW1 and WW2 and there is no reasoning or power on earth that can stop it happening again.
The actions of the Antichrist and the kings of the east are likely to be opportunistic and driven by their ambitions to control and dominate as kings, to engage and to settle long simmering disputes; even when the outcome is a conflagration beyond imagination. When your enemy is distracted then to take advantage. The prophesies refer to a Treaty or Covenant Agreement forged by the Antichrist at the beginning of the last seven years of this age. From the prophesy of Daniel this reads as though it will be a Covenant specifically confirmed for a seven-year term, if so, it is breached halfway through. However, this Agreement is broken by the Antichrist after 3.5years, and this is what precipitates the Great Tribulation of the final 3.5years of this age. The prophesies that relate to Antichrist breaking this Covenant this breached Agreement are Daniel 9:27 which reads ‘And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon thedesolate’. KJV See also Daniel 11:40-45; 12:1; Is. 66:7-8; Matt. 24:15-22.
What is the power behind these events and what triggers the final 3.5yrs of the 8th Head as referred to by Daniel? It is the enemy of souls, the one whose sole aim is to deceive and to slander for Rev. 12:9 reads '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' and Rev. 12:12b reads '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”'. The attributes of Satan are taken on by Antichrist and the vasal kings.
One might say that all the above is a matter of conjecture, and so it is, other than the evidence is mounting to suggest otherwise. Only upon the opening of the seals of the book by Jesus will the final events become clear; by which time the peoples of the earth need to be prepared and ready, for his coming will then be near; ‘So also, when you see these things happening, know that He is near, right at the door’ Mark 13:29; Matt. 24:33.
9.10 The time of the Seventh and Eighth king.
So, what more is told us from the scriptures concerning the times of the seventh and eighth kings? John explains what happens at the time of the seventh king who comes ‘for only a little while’ for after it will follow an eighth king. At the time of the eighth king Rev 17:12-13 reads ‘The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but will receive one hour of authority as kings, along with the beast. These kings have one purpose: to yield their power and authority to the beast’ BSB. So, the at the time of the eighth king then ten more kings arise. These do not have individual kingdoms but consciously and actively subscribe to the evil that arises from the Abyss (Rev. 17:8). This is their wilful purpose, to yield to receive ‘one hour of authority’ i.e., a short period of authority as kings, along with the beast.
9.11 The powers, authority, and motivation of the Antichrist.
Rev. 17:13-14 reads ’These (ten kings) have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful’ KJV. So, the confederation is of one mind, and in agreement they subsume their authority to the beast. Though separate entities they all share a common goal to fight against and defeat the Lamb of God.
What entities and which are the vasal states that would be party to such hatred of the Lamb today? In this respect the Open Doors World Watch List is most informative and their categorisation of the treatment of Christians in respective nation states as being either ‘High’ ‘Very High’ or Extreme’.
Furthermore, as referred to under the heading below entitled the persecution of Christians it is noted that the treatment of Christians in a country is often like the canary in the cage analogy. Their treatment denotes in inverse proportion the strength and acquiesce of the ruling authorities to the powers of the Evil One who is also called Satan, the Accuser of the Brethren, that old Serpent. Many prophesies from the scriptures refer to the persecution of Christians, not just these from the book of Revelation. The Lamb of God knew that He would be a sign spoken against, as Simeon’s prophesy in Luke v2:34 reads ‘for a sign which shall be spoken against’, and this certainly has been and will still be so.
What further can we deduce of the character and attributes of the eighth king, the Antichrist? He is also called the ‘man of lawlessness’ and the ‘abomination of desolation’. From this we know that he is a man. This ruler is not of the ten kings but is referred to as the one who acts with ten kings or rulers, he co-ordinates with them and is strengthened by them as they yield their power to him for as it says in Rev. 17:12 ‘these kings have one purpose: to yield their power and authority to the beast.’
The beast then appears to have over-ruling power and authority and the seat of his power is where once were six ancient empires. The power which he is given comes from the very seat of Satan and the authority which he is able to wield is emanates from territories which were once part of ancient empires. If we overlay the territories covered by all six previous Empires as referred to in the vision and prophesy of Daniel, then the only territory which in common to all is situate in present day Syria. Hence, when we consider these prophesies then we can be reasonably concluded that the Antichrist will also emanate from this same area i.e., Syria. It is this Antichrist then who controls the confederacy, defined by a league or alliance of nation states, each of which has a system of government which is over-ruled by a single ruler, headship or as described by Daniel, a king.
It takes time to seek for and align such a confederacy and the current events in the Middle East are witness to the aligning of nation states as a confederacy which acts against the Yahweh God and against his anointed One.
Many commentators have attempted to make parts of these old prophesies fit modern day circumstances and in so doing have erred and led people astray in their thoughts and doctrines with the result that when one cries wolf too many times then when the real wolf appears then too few people recognise it or are awake enough to respond and warn others.
It may be that my findings are erroneous, imaginings of my own mind, mere speculation, fantasy, but all should be asked to consider the prophesies and the weigh carefully the evidence and signs of our times. The writer of this study has found the following two commentaries the best studies available on this subject and it is worth including the following quotes from their studies here. Other writers can also be found to corroborate their findings.
The first commentary is by Bill Turner https://prophetbillturner.com/ Bill passed away at the age of 80 in 2012. At all times he considered the revealed scriptures and prophesies to do as the Bereans in Acts 17 did, to study to understand the mind and heart of God and his dealings with us. For example, see Study #38 ‘BEWARE! Don’t Let Anyone Fool You And Lead You Astray’ I copy and quote from this page in full as an example of how he considered the prophesies of old and how we might also consider them to understand their significance and possible outworking in relation to modern day nation states and events; also to consider their continued significance to us, and the intervention of Yahweh God in the events and affairs of the contemporary world. Bill’s study also makes reference to Syria, and because I have made reference to Syria in my previous paragraphs concerning the Euphrates, I include this extract here. Consider too that Bill wrote this study in approximately 2005 and died in 2012. The bold type are his additions, the underlined is added by the writer of this study. P.25 of his study reads:
10. AWAKE AND BEWARE!
The following quote is taken from www.prophetbillturner.com Study No. 38 entitled ‘BEWARE! Don’t let Anyone Fool You And Lead You Astray’ Page 25:
‘We are living in the ‘perilous times’ that Paul warned us about in 2Tim.3v1.
These are critical days and it is high time for the Church of Jesus to awake to the hour that we are living in and prepare for the dark days ahead. Jesus warned us that the darkness of the last days will demand an extra reserve of oil. Mt.25v1-13. This oil consists of prophetic truth as well as the Holy Spirit's anointing and gifts, for Peter tells us that the sure word of prophecy is a light that shines in a dark place. 2Pet.1v19. Some foolishly look upon those who study prophetic truth as unbalanced cranks. However, the study of prophetic truth is a study of the mind and purposes of God, and the study of Revelation carries a special blessing from our Lord. Rev.1v3. Since the first edition of my commentary on the book of Revelation was written in 1958, many significant world events have occurred, which show us that the prophecies concerning the end of this age could soon be fulfilled. The ethnic conflicts, wars and rumours of wars, that our Lord warned us about, have become a daily feature of the news. Mt.24v7. Some of the most prophetically significant of the present day events are the attempts to make peace between Israel and the Arab states. The collapse of the Communist empire is another remarkable and significant fact, and its confederation of states has also brought about a possible fulfilment of a ten king alliance. A ten king confederation of Islamic Arab states is another even more likely possibility. These are two possible answers to God's prophetic puzzle. The ten kings of prophecy could be a mixture of both former Communist and Arab states, for from Dan 8 and 11, there can be no doubt that Syria is linked with the final Antichrist and is definitely part of the ten king alliance. The events of future world history will reveal the make up of this ten king federation.. The link of the European common market with these ten kings is certainly wrong, for they can in no way said to be North of Israel, nor can any of them said to be the prophetic king of the North. Dan.11v6,7,8,11,13,15,40. At the strategic divine epoch of human history, Jesus will open the seven seals, and the identities of the ten kings and the Antichrist will be revealed. God will fulfil His divine purposes and personally unfold these epochal world events.
God reigns and rules in the kingdoms of men even when the vilest of kings are set up. Dan.4v17,32. The proximity of these last day events forces us to examine again the foundations of our knowledge of prophetic truth. God has given a prominent place to the truths concerning the second coming of Christ, and we must make sure that we give them a prominent place in our studies, thoughts, preaching and witnessing. I shall be very happy if the readers of this book are challenged to search the Scriptures, and to purify their hearts and walk closer to the Lord. The blessed hope of the Church is our Lord's appearing in power and great glory; may this hope purify, challenge and comfort every Christian's heart. 1Thes.4v18. Titus.2v13. 1Jn.2v28. 3v2,3.
Let us obey Paul’s words in 1Thes.5v20,21. “Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” KJV.’
Bill makes it clear in his study that only upon the opening and release of the seven seals by Jesus will the events of the End Times be made known, however much has prepared us through the prophesies so that we might be determined and ready, lamps set on a high place, warnings from the ramparts of the city, like watchmen, we have been given the blueprint and the manual of instructions and now await the trumpet calls to come.
The second commentary is similar to the first commentary though is compiled by Alister Hamilton, see https://truthforthelastdays.com/ Specifically see ‘The Visions of Daniel’ where reference is made and clarity is given on the following subjects: The times of the Gentile nations, The fulness of the Gentile nations, the visions of Daniel and their link to the Book of Revelation, the specific timing of events as given in prophesy especially with reference to the last seven years of the prophesies. It is the archangel Gabriel who conveyed the prophesies to Daniel, and it is thought most likely that Gabriel also conveyed the prophesies to John too. The chart included on page 9 is particularly helpful in describing the seven years of Daniel’s prophesy from the information given in the Book of Revelation.
And I quote from this study page 12:
‘The main burden of Gabriel's prophecy concerns, "The Time Of The End"
Gabriel reveals that the prophecy concerning “the little horn” is to be fulfilled at the end of the age. “Understand, O son of man; for the vision belongeth to the time of the end.” Dan 8v17. “Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in THE LATTER TIME of the indignation; for it belongeth to THE APPOINTED TIME OF THE END.” Dan 8v19.
“And IN THE LATTER TIME OF THEIR KINGDOM, when transgressors are COME TO THE FULL.” Dan 8v23. This is the very statement made by our Lord in Matt 24v12, “Because the lawlessness is filled up, the “agape” love of Christians
will grow cold.” Judgement will fall on the world as it did on the Amorites, when their iniquity came to the full. Gen 15v13-16.
“Shut thou up the vision; for it BELONGETH TO MANY DAYS TO COME.” Dan 8v26. Jewish Bible. There was a fulfilment of the prophecy of the “little horn” in Daniel eight by Antiochus Epiphanes, but Gabriel indicates a further (and complete) fulfilment at a more distant date in the future, and gives a vivid and gruesome picture of what we, and the Jews, can expect from the final Antichrist, the future “little horn” and beast of Dan 7v7,8,24-27.’
This study goes on to describe the attributes of the Antichrist under the headings of: Antichrist will be an occultist who "understands dark sayings" Dan 8v23, Antichrist will be possessed and energised by Satan Dan 8v24, Antichrist "shall destroy wonderfully" with Satan's power Dan 8v24, Antichrist, like Satan, is the enemy of mankind, Antichrist through "craft and by peace shall destroy many" and the time periods of Daniel 12.
Under the heading ‘Antichrist comes out of one of the four parts of the Grecian Empire’ Dan 8v9,23 the study reads: ‘Some think that the prophecy of Isaiah 10v5,12,24, concerning “the Assyrian,” is referring to the Antichrist, but this could refer to the captivity under the Assyrians. However, there can be no doubt that in Dan 11v40, he is called “the king of the north,” who “at the time of the end” makes a rapid advance into Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya.’. As previously referred to the focal point of all these prophesies is Israel, so the ‘king of the north’ i.e., Antichrist, will emanate from one or more of the countries directly north of Israel which today are the nation states of Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, or Russia. However, from the commentary on Rev. 17:9-11 referred to above then Syria would be central to that vision, out of which would emanate the man of lawlessness and deceit, the Antichrist.
he Great Deception then is specifically that which occurs leading up to and during the time referred to by Jesus in Matt. 24 when the deception particularly operates through the means of both false prophets (Matt. 24:5,11,24), of which there is specific reference to the archetypal False Prophet (Rev. 13:11,16:13, Rev. 19:20, Rev. 20:10), and through the anti- Christ of which specific reference is made to the archetypal Antichrist (Rev. 13, Rev. 17:12- 17, Dan. 7:5,20-27) of the End Times.
Jesus refers to these entities as operating under the cover of hidden mysteries, also called the ‘mystery of iniquity’ (KJV) or the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ (BSB) and from a place and covering of darkness, and from the shadows. A fabric of deceit to cover the ‘mystery of iniquity’. Like the smoke screen of old when used in sea battles, the smoke hid the size and movements of the enemy forces to outwit their opponent. We as Christians have been warned to watch out for such deceit and to make preparation; to be fully informed and ready for the conflicts which are inevitably already taking place and will increase, not decrease, as the signs of the times come about in our age and generation.
The full text of the prophesy given by Paul concerning this ‘Man of Lawlessness’ in 2 Thes. 2:1-12 reads: ‘Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to be easily disconcerted or alarmed by any spirit or message or letter seeming to be from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has already come. Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness— the son of destruction— is revealed. He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
Do you not remember that I told you these things while I was still with you? And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now restrains it will continue until he is
taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and annihilate by the majesty of His arrival.
The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and FALSE wonder, and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them. For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they believe the lie, in order that judgment may come upon all who have disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness.’ BSB
The ’man of lawlessness – the son of destruction’ referred to in Paul’s prophesy is he who ‘will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God’. Jesus also prophesies concerning this same man in Matt. 24:15-22 – see below under ‘the abomination of desolation’.
For a much fuller understanding of these scriptures and this subject, again please refer to https://prophetbillturner.com/ and Study #38 referred to above.
11) FALSE PROPHETS
The Great Deception is significant at the End Times as it driven by both an archetypal False Prophets and by other false prophets too who spew out of their mouths ‘evil frogs’ to lead many people astray. Rev. 16:13 reads ‘And I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. 14These are demonic spirits that perform signs and go out to all the kings of the earth, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty’ BSB
Mt. 24:23-25 records ‘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.’
There have been those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing who have acted to corrupt the teachings and the people of God from the times of the earliest records. Satanic intrigue operates most effectively under the shadow of mystery, half-truths and doubt.
At the time of the early Christian church Peter records the following stern warning concerning false prophets 2 Peter 2:1-6 where in v.1-3 it read ‘But there were FALSE prophets also among the people, even as there shall be FALSE teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.’ KJV
Jude also records a similar warning concerning false prophets in Jude v.12,13 ‘These men are hidden reefs in your love feasts, shamelessly feasting with you but shepherding only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried along by the wind; fruitless trees in autumn, twice dead after being uprooted. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.’ BSB
The sifting of knowledge and discernment of the prophets is paramount in those times. Prophesy must be tested by others with the gift of prophesy for the spirit of the prophet must be subject to others with that gift. Together they will be able to confirm the word of God for the people.
As the time approaches there is an even greater need to discern false prophesy. The enemy of souls knows from prophesy that his time is short, and he will endeavour to derail many, in particular, those who could do him and his works most damage, However, those who are the anointed sons of God and know His Word shall be strong and do exploits. Da,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.
There is a great need for the church of Jesus Christ to call out false prophets, and not delay. For in these days, we must be aware not only of false prophets but also to the coming time of the overarching False Prophet. The one who is the mouthpiece of the spirit of deception released from the Satanic realm.
12) MULTIPICATION OF WICKEDNESS
Mt. 24: 12 ‘Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.’ Not an addition but a multiplication, an exponential growth meaning of an increase becoming more and more rapid; an example is that seen today facilitated globally by the internet, including cybercrime now committed supra-governmentally on an international scale. Note the prophesy in Daniel 12:3,4 referring to the call to Christians in the last days and to the increase in knowledge in those times: ‘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. But you, Daniel, shut up these words and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will roam to and fro, and knowledge will increase.”’ BSB
Wickedness is able to multiply because it operates as a ‘mystery’. It is not an unknown, but instead is hidden, un-revealed. John the apostle testified to the spirit of the antichrist being in the world and defines such people as liars and deceivers who deny the Father and the Son and are deceivers (1 John 2:18,22; 4:3) 2 John 1:7 reads: ‘For many deceivers have gone out into the world, refusing to confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.’ BSB These deceivers operate under a cloak of ‘darkness’. Their works are un-revealed.
The mysteries of God are kept for those who seek his face, the rewards and treasures of heaven are covered such that faith and spiritual sight is necessary to understand them. This is why Jesus spoke in parables, and prophets spoke and saw always through the eyes of faith so that we too must receive the parables and prophesies through the same medium of faith and truth. 1 Timothy 3:16 ‘And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.’ BSB
However, the same spiritual principle is seen to be effective and used by the powers of darkness and those who operate in hidden places. The manifestation of evil is always deceitful and there is always an attempt to cover it over. If it were obvious then people would recognise it for what it is and with the human spirit and reasoning likely to reject it. However, because it is hidden and un-revealed it causes many in the world to fail; sin might seem attractive, yet its end is a bitter pill.
Paul describes the operation of this principle prior to the coming of Christ and our being gathered to him. He writes that the ‘mystery of lawlessness is already at work’ with ‘power, sign, and FALSE wonder, and with every wicked deception directed’. The mystery is only revealed through the operation of the Holy Spirit so that judgement might be given by Christ: ‘then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and annihilate by the majesty of His arrival.’
The full script reads in 2 Thes. 1-11 ‘Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to be easily disconcerted or alarmed by any spirit or message or letter seeming to be from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has already come. Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness— the son of destruction— is revealed. He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.’
Do you not remember that I told you these things while I was still with you? And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now restrains it will continue until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and annihilate by the majesty of His arrival.
The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and FALSE wonder, and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them. For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they believe the lie, in order that judgment may come upon all who have disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness.’ BSB
This same hidden evil is referred to as ‘mysterious’ in Rev. 17:5 ‘On her forehead a mysterious name was written: Babylon the Great, the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.’ And Rev. 17:7 ‘"Why are you so amazed?" said the angel. "I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns.’ Thank God that he gives his prophets insight through his angels to pull back the cloak or curtain of deceit to reveal these hidden mysteries which hold so many people and nations hostage. The knowledge of this principle along with an understanding of the ministry of deliverance equips the saints to pray to Father God through the words of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit to shine His light into dark places, to arrest evil, to dis-arm spiritual foes, to dispel evil to the place prepared for it, to set the captives free and to bring deliverance for the people Eph. 6:10-13 ‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. 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.’
This principle of setting the captives free, of liberty and release, was clear to Jesus after his 40 days in the wilderness and encounter with the Evil One. He knew his enemy’s tactics and so knew how to bring deliverance to the people. Immediately after this encounter we read in Luke 4:18 ‘“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good
news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed,’ In addition to reading this prophesy from Isaiah 61:1, It is notable that Jesus then adds the next statement as a reference to timing... v.19 ‘to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”’ So, when these events take place, then is the acceptable year of the Lord.
This principle applies too in regard to his Second Coming, again the prophesies refer to His Coming at a time and in a year which is acceptable to Jesus and the Father.
The signs of the Messiah’s first coming were clear when Jesus began his ministry in Nazareth Luke 4:18, Is. 61:1 and the signs of His coming again will also be clear 2Thes.2:1- 12, see v.3 ‘Let no one deceive you in any way, for it will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness— the son of destruction— is revealed.’
This warning against deception is a repeat of that given by Jesus in Mark 13:5 and Matt 24:4,5: ‘And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.’ NKJV
The powers of the kingdom of darkness operate with deceit and it is a warning that the gospel writers and Paul warn against in the church Eph. 5:6 (empty words) 1 John 3:7 (wrong practices) ‘This is why the Son of God was revealed, to destroy the works of the devil’ Col. 218 (false humility) ‘Let no man deceive you of your reward’ 1 Cor. 3:18 (wisdom of this world) ‘Do not deceive yourselves’ Rom. 16:18 (those who create divisions) ‘For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.’
After the Millennium, the slanderer and accuser, Satan continues in character to go out to deceive the nations Rev. 20:7 ‘When the thousand years are complete, Satan will be released from his prison, and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth— Gog and Magog— to assemble them for battle. Their number is like the sand of the seashore.’ BSB
There are further warnings as to the characteristics of the deceit which manifests itself in the End Times:
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly states that in later times some will abandon the faith to follow deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, BSB
2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. BSB
when they said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow after their own ungodly desires." BSB
It is also notable that at both times of Messiah’s comings there are what is described by the prophets as perilous, troublesome, distressful, or terrible times. The conflicts in the heavenly places become more apparent on the earth because Satan knows that his time is short and the end of all things is determined by the decrees and actions of Christ, Rev. 12:12 ‘Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the
earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”’
Dan. 9:25 ‘Know and understand this: From the issuance of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until the Messiah, the Prince, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of distress.’ BSB
2 Tim. 3:1 ‘But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come.’ BSB
What separates these perilous and troublesome times from any other throughout history?
These times are specifically referred to by Jesus in Matt. 24:8 as follows: ‘All these are the beginning of birth pains.’ of what is recorded by John in Rev. 7:14 as ‘the great tribulation’ or more accurately described in the Greek as ‘the tribulation, the great one’
13) WARS AND RUMOURS OF WARS
Mt. 24:6,7 ‘You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.’
14) FAMINES AND EARTHQUAKES
Mt. 24: 7,8 ‘There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.’
15) PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS
Mt. 24: 9-11 ‘Then they will deliver you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many.’ See Open Doors World Watch List which has been monitoring the persecution of Christians since 1992.
Rev. 7:13,14 ‘Then one of the elders addressed me: “These in white robes,” he asked, “who are they, and where have they come from?” “Sir, I answered, “you know. So he replied, “These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’
The great tribulation referred to here defines it from other tribulations in history as ‘the Great One’.
Defines ‘great’ as ‘large, great, in the widest sense’
Defines ‘tribulation’ as:
2347 thlípsis – properly, pressure (what constricts or rubs together), used of a narrow place that "hems someone in"; tribulation, especially internal pressure that causes someone to feel confined (restricted, "without options").
2347 /thlípsis ("compression, tribulation") carries the challenge of coping with the internal pressure of a tribulation, especially when feeling there is "no way of escape" ("hemmed in").
The persecution of the last days particularly refers to peoples who are hemmed in, who suffer much internal pressure from their societies and feel that there is ‘no way of escape’
Jesus prophesies that this time will not come suddenly but will develop as birth pangs come upon a woman prior to labour and the delivery of a baby Matt. 24:8 ‘All these (signs) are the beginning of birth pains.’
So, prior to the end of the age, we can expect to see certain changes which occur to indicate that the time is near.
Quote Dakes ‘Jesus is the cause but not the occasion of it’
OD summary of scriptures and stats esp Syria stats and significance re antiChrist
INSERT RE PERS OF CHR SYRIA 'slow genocide in Midddle East' Jews already fled from these countries, only remaining country with a quorum of Christians is Lebanon, also Israel in a safe haven for them
16) THE GENERATION THAT SEES THESE SIGNS
Timing is crucial to the events of the end of the age. It has been quipped by scientists that ‘time is an inconvenience to stop everything happening at once’. Likewise, the prophets saw the visions and dreams, and received the prophesies, but could not always determine their timing. Maybe they did not ask Father for the time of these events or maybe they did ask but He would not tell them for a reason.
If we knew in advance we would be lazy and slothful, waiting around for the return of the landlord of the vineyard like the unfaithful servants in the parable recorded in Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-18, Matt 21:33-46 When the harvest time drew near... they will respect my son...’ but instead the ‘tenants of the vineyard’ took advantage of the delay in the return of the landlord and took what they had in possession for their own gain.
As the Son of Man Jesus was not informed of the day or the hour of his Second Coming, yet in heaven as the Triune God He certainly will be aware of the pain and destruction of those days and the time of His Coming. Matt 24:19-25 reads ‘’How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not occur in the winter or on the Sabbath. 21For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. 22 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.’ So we can deduce from these scriptures that we can pray for a least 6months change in events i.e. We can pray that his Coming will be in the summer, not in the winter. It is clear then that the prayers of the saints are crucial in the end times. If the saints were removed before hand then how can they pray to change the events of those days?
Matt. 24:32-35 ‘Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
Matt 24:23-24 ‘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.’
17) A TESTIMONY TO THE NATIONS
Mt. 24:14 ‘And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.’
18) ‘THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION’ STANDING IN THE HOLY PLACE
Mt. 24:15-22 ‘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.’
19) THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS
There have been many tribulations of many peoples, but it is after the tribulation, ‘the great one’ (Rev. 7:14) of those days that He will come
Mt. 24:29 ‘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.’ This prophesy is included again in the revelation of the Father, through Jesus, to the angel and to John in Re. 6:12 ‘
Click below link to continue reading