“The Power in God’s Word”: The Power that sustain The Word of God
Text Based: Isaiah 55:8-11
Now, please allow me to breakdown the passages from Isaiah 55:8-11, so that we can have a better understanding of it:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
- “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” What does it means? I had heard of people teaching and saying things that this passage doesn’t say. In order for me to understand what the passage is saying I need to go from where the writer started his line of thought. Which in this case is verse 7 “Let the WICKED forsake his WAY, and the UNRIGHTEOUS man his THOUGHTS: and let him return unto the Lord”. Their THOUGHTS and WAYS are way far from The Lord’s thoughts and ways, as the heavens are far or higher than the earth”. (v.9) By the way, verse 8 is one of two contrasting points.
- “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater” (v. 10). second contrasting point, in which the comparison here is between the effect of the rain and snow upon the earth, which will produce a results; ” maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater.”
- “SO SHALL MY WORD BE that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (v. 11) This passage expressed very clearly the power behind The Word of God. It CAN NOT return VOID. The Hebrew word used for “void” is “rêyqâm”, which mean “without effect”. In other words, God’s Word will do what God had said about it. When we pray and nothing happens don’t blame God or His Word. God had never failed, never He will. The failed is our for not believing what God had said in His Word. The Scriptures are loaded with examples of people that believed in God’s Word and they saw the results of it. The whole chapter 11 of the books of Hebrews speak of them;
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.”
Many students of the Scriptures haven’t quite comprehend the power that God himself had placed on His own Word. Perhaps one of the factors that had unable many to reach this level of understanding is the lack of believe in what they read in the Scriptures. We must believe that what we are reading in The Word of God, it means exactly what it says, and not what I think it says in my own opinion or theory, which is exactly what most students do. If you take the challenge of believing what the Scriptures says, we will see the exact results that are meant to happen when faith is apply to it. Throughout this sturdy I will prove to you that God”s Word really works if you only add the most important element to it, which is your faith and trust in God. We will use only the Scriptures to prove such point, any other source is corrupted and polluted and it becomes useless in the definition and understanding of The Word of God. God doesn’t need out help to fulfill his own word, the only element that will unleash the power placed in The Word of God is faith. First let me prove this to you :
“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death.”
“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house.”
“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
“For he (Abraham) looked for a CITY which hath foundations, whose BUILDER and MAKER is God.”
26 times the word “faith” is used in Hebrews 11.
The Greek word used for “believeth” is pisteuō”, which is related to “pistis” that is translated “faith”. Some people had taken the biblical concept of faith way beyond the what the Scriptures says about it. Faith is NOT mental powers nor concentration nor visualization of things as many teach today. These people had written books based and twisted concepts of the Scriptures. So, what is FAITH? you may asked. In the book of Hebrew 11:1 you will find the answer;
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
“These ALL (mentioned above) DIED IN FAITH, not having RECEIVED the promises, but having SEEM them afar off, and were PERSUADED of them, and EMBRACED them, and CONFESSED that they were STRANGERS and PILGRIMS on the earth.”
Did you noticed how detached were these men from material possessions? Living, walking and even dying in FAITH. It’s not like today where all we see in churches around the planet revolved about “How much possessions you have? How much money is in your bank account? How BIG is the building that you call church? these are the kind of Christian people we are raising today. If The Lord will come today, thousands of Christians will be left behind alone with their leaders. We are not ready for the rapture of the church. Thousands of people are dying and going to hell everyday and what the church is doing? locked up in four walls preaching to each other and worrying about money, while the needy is lost. There MUST BE CHANGES before the rapture of the church. My prayer today is that God awake us up, so that we are ready for that great day. As it is stated in Luke 21:36;
“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things (great tribulation) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
This is what God had said about the definition of Faith. What meaning of “substance” in Heb. 11:1? it comes from the Greek word “hupostasis”, which mean :
- a setting or placing under
- thing put under, substructure, foundation
- that which has foundation, is firm
- that which has actual existence
- a substance, real being
- the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing
- the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution
- confidence, firm trust, assurance
What is the meaning of “evidence” in Heb. 11:1? It comes from the Greek word “elegchos”, which mean “a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested” and “conviction”. These concepts extend the meaning of the original word, so that we can have a better understanding when we ready the Scriptures. Faith is the foundation that will bring forth the results expressed in in each of God’s promises. Going back to the passage in Mark 9:23 that says “all things are possible to him that believeth. how is this possible? The answer is given in another passage;
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
Everything that you believe MUST be in alignment with The Word of God, God’s perfect will and God’s purpose and these three are in COMPLETE HARMONY. Let’s observe another passage that will amplifier this subject:
“But without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to PLEASE him: for he that cometh to God MUST believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
This is a very simple statement about our approach in the subject of faith. “Without FAITH” you can not please God, it’s the only element that God required from you to unleash anything that He had said or promise. Later in the end of this sturdy I will point out all the things that unable faith to produce results in and through us.
The following passage refers to the Creation of the WORLDS by faith, which mean “that God designed everything within every realm and planned all things according to His perfect will.”
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”
How do I grow in faith? The answer is found in Rom. 10:17;
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Let’s breakdown the passage so you can extract the divine principle in it:
- “So then faith cometh by“: meaning, “this is the channel from which faith is pass through and the result of it is faith”.
- “by hearing“: Faith is the ultimate result of hearing, but just hearing anything, because it point out what exactly develop the hearing.
- “hearing by the word of God“. This is the main element that ultimate will bring forth faith.
If you read the passage from the end to the beginning you can extract much better the meaning of it; “The word of God have the ability to develop your spiritual hearing, more Word, more ear, more ear, more Word, this cycle will produce faith. That is why Rom. 10:17 started with the words “So then faith cometh by”.
When praying you must believe:
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”Matthew 21:22
The passage doesn’t say that you will receive whatsoever you ask in prayer…it says “whatsoever shall ask…BELIEVING, ye shall RECEIVE.” having your prayers answered by God is not based on your “positive thinking” as many have suggested in books. What will bring results into your prayer life is your conviction or certainty on the Word of God. Another passage that confirmed this line of teaching is found in Mark 11:24;
“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, BELIEVE that ye RECEIVE them, and ye shall have them.”
At the moment of prayer you must believe in the power of God that will be unleash because of your faith in God’s Word.
Even salvation is given by faith:
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
No surprisingly the Scripture says;
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”
2 Cor. 5:7
“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”
Healing comes by faith;
“And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and HEAL him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: BUT SPEAK THE WORD ONLY, and my servant shall be HEALED. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, GO THY WAY; and as THOU HAST BELIEVED, so be it DONE UNTO THEE. And his servant was HEALED in the selfsame hour.”
“Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.”Matthew 9:29
“But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs, which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
“And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
Unbelief is an obstacle for miracles;
“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”
“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
The Word of God is so powerful that can sanctify us;
“Sanctify THEM through thy TRUTH: thy WORD is TRUTH.”
“For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Tim. 4:4-5
“The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” Psalm 12:6
As silver is purified of all impurities in a furnace under extremism temperatures, the same way the Word of the Lord is pure.
12 reference of The Word of God:
- The Word is right. Psalm 33:4
- The Word creates. Psalm 33:6
- The Word heals. Psalm 107:20
- The Word is pure. Psalm 12:6; 119:140
- The Word is Truth. Psalm 119:160
- The Word rule the climate. Psalm 147:18
- The Word is tried. Psalm 12:6; 18:30
- The Word revive. Psalm 119:25, 50, 154
- The Word is eternal. Psalm 119:89
- The Word is sweet. Psalm 119:103
- The Word is lamp to our feet. Psalm 119:105
- The Word is light. Psalm 119:130
The Word MUST be ENGRAFTED in us;
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”
The Greek word used for “engrafted” is “emphutos”, which mean “implanted by nature, sprout”. How do I engraft The Word of God in me? By becoming one with it.
The Word of The Lord Sustain all things together;
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by THE WORD OF HIS POWER, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”Hebrews 1:3
“For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” Psalm 119:89
God’s power is behind God’s Word!
May our God keep blessing your life!!
THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
By Rev. Jay Werman
This is one of the most fascinating topic of the Scriptures. There are a lots of details that are explained in the Scriptures relate to the Kenosis of Christ but those that are revealed are very interesting. So, I will do my best to explain these details that are revealed to us in the Scriptures. Now, I have to make something very clear before I begin this subject. If you belong to a certain denomination or religion and already have a preconceived ideas about it, don’t waste your time reading this. In order for the seed to produce results, it must fall in good ground, otherwise the seed won’t produce as it was meant it.
"And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred." Mark 4:8
This is the reason why so many believers are not growing in the knowledge of The Word of God. Preconceived ideas, human philosophies, satanic doctrines, religions, and dogmas, will make the seed ineffective. Lack of spiritual growth is the direct result of being ignorant of what God has revealed in His own Word.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6
So, What’s the meaning of the Greek word “Kenosis”? The Greek word is used in Philippians 2:7.
"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men"
The Greek word is “Kenoo”, which means “to empty out of”, “to drain”. Thayer explain it as follow:
1) to empty, make empty – 1a) of Christ, he laid aside equality with or the form of God
2) to make void – 2a) deprive of force, render vain, useless, of no effect
3) to make void – 3b) cause a thing to be seen to be empty, hollow, false
Total KJV Occurrences: 8 – made, 2 Rom 4:14, 1Co 1:17; void, 2 Rom 4:14, 1Co 9:15; effect, 1 1Co 1:17; make, 1 1Co 9:15; none, 1 1Co 1:17; reputation, 1 Php 2:7
Now, observe how the expression “But made himself of no reputation” in Phil. 2:7 is located between 2 others expressions within the context of the text:
"Who (Christ), being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (v.6) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (v.7) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." v.8
Verse 6 states that Christ “Made Himself of NO REPUTATION, or EMPTY OUT Himself”. The question is “Of what did Christ empty himself? verse 6 filled the gap. “Who, being in the FORM OF GOD”. This is what Christ empty out of. In the Scriptures no specification is found in details of the Kenosis of Christ, but one aspect is very clear; one of the members of The GodHead became a man. Christ willingly laid aside his divine abilities and powers, and he was born as a sinless man. To rescue humanity from eternal perdition, The second person of The GodHead “Made Himself of no Reputation”, even though He was in the form of God.
"In the beginning was the Word (Gr. Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." John 1:1-3
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14
The second person of The GodHead became of man the day His was born of Mary. God became of Father that day, and Mary became a mother that day.
"I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." Psalm 2:7
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Matthew 1:18-23
Mary gave birth to a child, who was an eternal God. She didn’t have birth a god as many are teaching today. Before Jesus was conceived by Mary, He exist as one of the three members of The divine Trinity; An everlasting God.
"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2
"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
God became a Father that day and Jesus became The Son of The Living God. The titles of “The Father and The Son” were put in place for reasons to redeem humanity. In the Scriptures are 247 names and titles use to all the three members of The GodHead.
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:8-11
"Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
Following the question we placed in the beginning of this post, which is “Of what did Jesus emptied Himself? Which is refer in Phil. 2:6. Jesus couldn’t emptied out Himself of His Divine nature, for He was God manifest in the flesh according to The Scriptures. Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Mat. 1:18-25; Jn. 1:1-2, 14; 1 Tim. 3:16. Before He “Took the form of a servant, and was made in the LIKENESS of men” Phil. 2:7, He was an eternal and everlasting God. Mic. 5:1-2; Jn. 1:1-2; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8-11.
According to The Scriptures Jesus emptied out Himself of the following:
- His EQUALITY with God. Phil 2:6-7; Jn. 14:28; 1 Cor. 11:3
- His God Form, which is His bodily shape or form. God’s body is spiritual in essence like there is any other in the spiritual realm. Every member of The GodHead have a spiritual body, Jesus is the one member of the divine trinity with a different body. Phil. 2:6-8; 3:21; Mat. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:35; Jn. 1:14; Lk. 24:37-40; Gal. 4:4; Rom. 8:3. In fact, Jesus’s body will always have the evidences of His sacrifice:
"And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." Zech. 13:6
Jesus’s body is different than the spiritual body of The Father and The
Holy Spirit. Observe how in the same chapter of Zechariah 13 The Messiah is called “MY FELLOW”.
"Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." verse 7
The expression “My Fellow” in the context of the text implied “same kind and nature”. The Hebrew word used for Fellow is “‛âmı̂yth”, which in the context of the passage means “Fellow God, Another God, a Comrade God, An Associate God, a Kindred God”. Only in this passage is translated “Fellow”. The other passages where this Hebrew word is used: “neighbor” Lev 6:2; 19:15; 19:17; 24:19; 25:14-15; “Another” Lev 19:11; 25:17; The different meanings of this word still express the same idea, which is “Of ANOTHER PERSON of the SAME KIND and NATURE. Many different Scriptures shows behold doubts the doctrine of The Holy Trinity of The GodHead.
- Jesus emptied out of His Immortality. For God Cannot die, so the second person of The GodHead “Laid aside” His God-like body and took a human body. Phil. 2:7-8
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" 1 Cor. 15:3
"For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Psalms 16:10
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:" 1 Peter 3:18
- Jesus Laid aside His Divine Glory; The Glory He possessed with The Father, and before He was conceived by Mary by the power of The Holy Spirit.
"But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." Mat. 1:20
"And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified." John 12:23
"And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." John 17:5
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Mat. 16:27
The same idea is expressed by Paul in Phil. 2:5-11.
The Union of the two natures in Jesuschrist:
The two different natures were both complete in themselves, and yet, it didn’t formed a third nature. We are forbidden to teach the contrary. Jesus was the perfect representative of God and man, Jesus was a Divine human being. Christ often spoke of Himself as a single person, and not as two persons. In fact, there is no interchange of speech between the two natures, between two parts of the attributes and powers of both natures, which are accredited to one person. These are use as part of a single person, there is no dual personality as many are teaching today. One single unit of characteristics of both the human and the divine; just as any father and mother to their offspring, making a single person with a characteristics of both. Jesus was unique in His kind, He represented God and man, which is the role of the High Priest. Every single ministerial office introduced in the Old Testament was a shadow of Jesus’s mission to re-unite God and men.
"But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." Hebrews 8:6
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" 1 Tim. 2:5
This passage proves that Jesus is a different and separate person from God. A Mediator is “a person who attempts to make people involved in a conflict come to an agreement; a go-between”. Jesus was born for that specific purpose; to create a New Covenant through which He re-conciliated God and men. No one else could done such task.
The Greek word used for “Mediator” is “mesitēs”, which means;
1) one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a covenant
2) a medium of communication, arbitrator
The word is used 6 times in the N. T. Gal. 3:19-29; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 8:6; 9:15; 12:24
To be continue..!
The prophetic view of the future in the scriptures.
THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
The entire book of Daniel can be divided as follow:
Section 1: Daniel’s personal history. By the way, Daniel, Jeremiah and Ezekiel were contemporaries. The text provide the record of Daniel and the three Hebrews children Chapter 1:1-21
Section 2: Nebuchadnezzar’s visions, which involved the great image. Belshazzar was the son of Nebonidus, who was Nebuchadnezzar’s son. Instead of using the word “grandfather”, “father” is used in Daniel 5:11, 18. The Hebrew text doesn’t use the word “grandfather”. This is the reason why Belshazzar could only offer Daniel to became the third ruler in Daniel 5:29. So, Nabonidus and Belshazzar were co-rulers. Chapter 2:1-4:37
Section 3: Daniel’s personal history, which covers from the time of Belshazzar, king of Babylon to Darius, King of Medo-Persia. Chapter 5:1-6:28
Section 4: Daniel’s visions, which covers the prophetic future of events to come. Chapter 7:1-12:13
Book of Daniel chapters 2 and 7
Daniel chapter 2 reveals 4 different kingdoms from the man’s perspective. While Daniel chapter 7 it shows how God sees these 4 different kingdoms, which are represented by 4 beasts.
In the book of Daniel we have 2 chapters referring to the same prophetical event but the view in both chapters are completely different. The main focus of this post is to break down the prophetic event and the two perspectives under their proper context. Because of the extensiveness of the material in the subject involved in both chapters, we will focus only in the basic explanation. In another post we will get into more details.
- First Daniel chapter two: Nebuchadnezzar’s dream; “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.” Dan. 2:28. In other words, this is prophetic dream given to a pagan king. The image in the dream is explained by Daniel:
“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Dan. 2:31-35
The explanation of the dream:
“This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.”Daniel 2:36
- This image’s head was of gold: “Thou art this head of gold.” v. 38, which is the Babylonian kingdom
- his breast and his arms of silver: “And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior (silver) to thee” v. 39, which is “Medo-Persia”
- his belly and his thighs of brass: “and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.” v.39, which is “Grecia”
- His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay: “And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.” v. 40, which is old The Roman Empire
Observe how the quality of the materials was diminishing from Gold to iron mixed with clay. This is one of the most important prophetic dreams and was given to a pagan king. Why? Because it had to do with the future of the gentiles nations, which covers from Nebuchadnezzar to the Old Roman Empire. Now, Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream didn’t finished in verse 40, for in verses 41-43 details the ten kingdom that will be formed in the latter days, from which the antichrist will rise. And verses 44-45 detail the establishing of The Messiah’s kingdom or Divine ruling over the earth.
Now, in the same book of Daniel chapter 7 expressed the same event but the elements used are different:
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Dan. 7:1-7
Let’s breakdown the passages:
- Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea
- And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another
- The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it: This is Babylonian Empire, which is compared to a “eagle” in Jer. 48:40; Ezek. 17. The rest of the passage is when Nebuchadnezzar become insane for a period of seven years and later restored. Dan. 4:31-36
- And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh: The Medo-Persian Empire. Isa. 13:16-18 details how savage were their attack. Later become only The Persian Empire, which is expressed in the expression “and it raised up itself on one side”. Daniel 8:3 is also connected with this beast.
- After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it: The Grecian Empire; which had “four heads”. Indicating the four divisions of the Grecian Empire by Alexander 4 generals after his death. Their names are “Cassander in Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus eastward in Thrace and Asia Minor; Ptolemy in Egypt, Cyprus and nearby Asia Minor; Seleucus (From the antichrist is coming from according to the book of Daniel) in Syria and portions of Asia (the Indus River).
- After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it: The Old Roman Empire, which description here implied the characteristics and forms of ruling; “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.” In other words, there is nothing like it to compare it. The four beast is disclosed by name about 12 times in the New Testament. John 11:48; Acts 2:10; 16:21, 37-38; 22:25-27, 29; 23:27; 28:16-17
The passage in Daniel 7 explained the term “beasts”, which are “great”. The word “kings”, not only means the ruler, but also the kingdom where it is located.
“These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth”Daniel 7:17
In Daniel 7 the visions and dreams didn’t finished with the forth beast (v.7) but just exactly as it happened in “the image” of Nebuchadnezzar’ dream, this beast have ten horns, which according to the context of the text these ten horns are ten kings;
“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Dan. 7:24
Observe the origin of these ten horns “OUT OF THIS KINGDOM”. What kingdom is referring to? The fourth beast, which is The Old Roman Empire. So, these ten horns or kings will be rising from within The Old Roman Empire territory. Many have suggested that these kings are already exited but according to the same verse these ten kings haven’t existed yet, for it says “this kingdom are ten kings that SHALL ARISE.” When this event will happen? After or simultaneously with the rapture of the body of Christ. For it says in 2 Th. 2:7:
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (retain) will let, until he (the body of Christ) be taken out of the way.”
What happens after that?
“And then (at the moment) shall that Wicked (the little horn of Daniel 7:20-26) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” 2 Th. 2:8
Also in Daniel 7 as it happened in Daniel 2, the prophetic visions and dreams end with the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven and The Eternal Kingdom of God.
“Until the Ancient of days (The Father) came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” Dan. 7:22
“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of The Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Dan. 7:27
The image of Daniel 2 and the four beasts of Daniel 7 are part of a group of “empires” that had persecuted Israel, which period is called in the Scriptures as:
“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”
In “the battle of Armageddon” God will destroy all these nations that had persecuted Israel. Isa. 34:1-8; 63:1-6; Ezek. 38-39; Zech. 14:1-5; Mat. 24:40-42
“And I saw the beast (the little horn), and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Rev. 19:19-21
Now, the same event of Daniel 2 is described in Daniel 7, but the graphics, elements, perspectives and methods given in the event is different. Why is used an “image” in the prophecy of Daniel 2, and then in Daniel 7 “beasts” are used Daniel? Here is the explanation:
- The image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream: This is how men see themselves ruling. The image started with gold as the head and as the description of the image continued the used of lower quality of materials were used, so it was the quality of each kingdom.
- The beasts in Daniel visions and dreams: This is how God sees men’s kingdoms on earth. The description of each beast emphasized the level of violence and destruction in their path.
The deterioration of the moral values and corruption of the human governments will go increase until the antichrist is revealed. The prophecy given by Jesus in Luke 21:24 about “the time of the gentiles be fulfilled” will become to an end with the kingdom of the antichrist.
One more note: The rapture of the body of Christ and the second literal Advent of Christ are two different events; The first one will take place BEFORE the great tribulation and the second one AFTER it. We will explain both events in a separate topic.
May our God keep blessing you!
THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
We will explain these 2 differents events in their own biblical context, and correct any confusion that exist because of fallacies, and false interpretations. Throughout the years satan has quenched the flame for studying the scriptures, this had made many believers to lose interest in reaching a stronger spiritual growth.
By Rev. Jay Werman
The rapture and the second coming of Christ are not the same event:
Text Based: 1 Thess. 4:13-17
Luke 21:36 “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE (Greek word “ekpheugō”, which mean “to flee out of, flee away”) all these things (The judgments of God upon the earth) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
These two events are totally different in every sense of the word, because both are covered by different purposes, time, the people involved in them and the prophecies that surrender these two distinct events. Many have come up with theories and fallacies throughout the years, bringing confusion into those that are seeking the truth. This is why we MUST rely on the Word of God at all time, instead of seeking answers in books, which in most cases twist the context of the Scriptures to justified their theories and fallacies. We must exam every passage according to his own context and line of thought of the writer, without forcing the Scriptures to say something that is not written in them. Let’s begin our journey through the Scriptures and find out what it really says about it.
The confusion about these two distinct events is because of the wrong use and application of the passages in which these events are based. The bible separate both events without any confusion, if we are willing to handle the prophecies in their proper context, language and chronological order in which each prophecy was given by God. If we don’t respect these elements then we are going to either create a fallacy or support one. Here is a common mistake that confuses both events:
The church is “Spiritual Israel”. This doctrine has absolute no scriptural support. The identity of the church is expressed very clear in the New Testament as “The body of Christ“. Romans 12:4-5, 6-8; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 12:12-31; Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:4, 11-16, 25; 5:29-30; Colossians 1:18, 24; 2:19; 3:15; Galatians 3:27. Israel is the nation that was “CHOSEN” by God to be His people and through them to show His glory and power.
“For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has CHOSEN you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. “The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt”. Deuteronomy 7:6-8 Compare also: Deuteronomy 14:2; 26:17-19; 2 Samuel 7:23-24; 1 Kings 8:53; 10:9; 1 Chronicles 17:20-21; Psalm 105:8-15; 135:4; Isaiah 43:1-3; 44:21; Jeremiah 31:1-4, 9-11; 46:27-28; Ezekiel 36:24-28; 37:21-25; Joel 3:1-2; Amos 3:1-2; Romans 11:1-2; Hebrews 8:8-13. Israel and the church are in two distinct lines of prophetic events. Israel has existed from Abraham’s covenant and they will continue until the millennial kingdom of Christ, in which all promises to the nation of Israel will be fulfilled. The church came into existence when Jesus resurrected from the dead and will continue until “The general rapture” 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Tess. 4:13-17. The church period is with the purpose of providing salvation to “The gentiles” through God’s grace in Jesus Christ. Mark 16:16; John 3:16-17; Acts 2:38; 4:12; Romans 5:8; 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9. Some Jews people are saved by receiving Jesus, as Lord and Savior in the period that cover the church but that doesn’t mean that Israel and the church are the same. The bible identify 3 distinct ethnic groups:
“Give none offence, neither to the JEWS, nor to the GENTILES, nor to the CHURCH of God.”1 Corinthians 10:32
The Jewish nation was chosen among the nations to bring salvation into the rest of them, through the birth of “The seed of the woman” Gen. 3:15. The Gentiles nations are well known by living according to the own lust desires, which is rooted in a sinful nature since Adam’s transgression. Rom. 3:23; 5:12; 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Psalm 51:5. The church or body of Christ came into existence to provide salvation to Jews and Gentiles. Rom. 1:16:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
“What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that THEY are ALL under SIN.”Romans 3:9
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. And again he saith, Rejoice, ye GENTILES, with HIS PEOPLE.”Romans 15:8-10
“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.”Acts 9:15
“That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto THE PEOPLE (Israel), and to THE GENTILES”Acts 26:23
Once the church is rapture, the Jews and the Gentiles will continue on earth and the fulfillment of the prophetic events that involve each ethnic group. Once the church is caught up in the air by Jesus (1 Tess. 4:13-17) the Jews nation will become the primary focus of God’s purpose, in which God will renew again His covenant with His People in a period known as “Daniel’s 70th week”. The purpose of this prophetical week or 7 years is to clearance or purges Israel of any rebels within Israel. Daniel’s 70th week doesn’t have nothing to do with the church as many have wrongfully suggested. Most of the Gentile nations will be under the antichrist ruling, especially the nations under the Old Roman Empire territory. By the way, the bible DOES NOT support the fallacy about the antichrist as the worldwide ruler, but instead the bible limited the kingdom of the beast to “ten kingdoms”. Compare Daniel 2:42-44 “ten toes”; Daniel 7:24 “ten horns”; Rev. 13:1; 17:16 “ten horns”. The antichrist won’t rule neither North America nor South and Central America and some other countries outside the Old Roman Empire territory. The only one that the bible predicts of worldwide ruling the earth is Jesus Christ and not the beast, who is killed by Christ personally in His second literal advent. Rev. 19:11-21. Also the kingdom of the antichrist is limited to “seven years” as it is stated in Daniel 9:27. These “seven years” are divided into two sections: the first three and a half years, the beast will defeat “three of the ten kingdoms or horns” Dan. 7:20-24; Rev. 17:17. At this point the antichrist will break the covenant with Israel and he will invade them which will fulfill Daniel 9:27; Mat. 24:15-21; 2 Tess. 2:4. And the other three and a half years or forty two months, he will go to war against the nations “east and north” of the ten kingdoms, in which he conquered them and completed the seven years of tribulation stated in Daniel 9:27; 11:40-45. Most people get confused in the separation of the events that involve the great tribulation period but once we separated the events of the first three and half years, the other events belong to the second part of the three and a half years. which by the way is also refers as “time, times and time and a half” in Dan. 7:25 and 42 months in Rev. 13:5 and 1,260 days of Rev. 12:5-6. All these events are related to the nation of Israel and not to the church.
The rapture of the church IS NOT a “Phase or stage” of the second advent of Jesus. Both events are separated by “seven years” period, in which God will deal directly with the Jewish people and NOT with the gentiles. The gentiles will persecute Israel, lead by the antichrist. Mat. 24:15-20.
Are any gentiles saved in the tribulation period? Of course, Salvation doesn’t end with the rapture for it is stated in Acts 2:19-21:
“And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: (Mat. 24:29) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The general rapture of 1 Tess. 4:13-17; 2 Thess. 2:7; John 14:1-3; will take of out the way to those who are part of the body of Christ and are ready to be rapture but won’t change salvation. In Rev. 6:9-11 refers to a group of people killed by the beast for the testimony, which they held:
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were SLAIN for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev. 20:4
First, let’s define each event separately:
The Rapture of the church:
This event involve all “The members of the body of Christ”, which is also known as “The church”. By the way, the Greek word used for “church” is “ekklēsia”, which mean “an assembly of people”. It does not refer to a “building or material structural”. The general idea in the used of “ekklēsia” is to “Call out people” with a specific purpose. Even Israel is called by Stephen “the church in the wilderness” in the sense of “called out” and not in the sense of body of Christ.
Acts 7:37-39 “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel (God) which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt.”
In fact, the Hebrew word “hâlak” which is used for “to go or called out” in the Old Testament, it has the same meaning as the Greek word “ekklēsia”. The used of “hâlak” carried a purpose in itself with a specific person or group of people. For instance, like the calling out of Abraham in Gen. 12:1.
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out (hâlak) of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.”
The word “hâlak” is used 507 times in the Old Testament. The parallelism between Israel being called out and the body of Christ, to separate those who are called out to be God’s people. Israel was called out through Moses and the church through Christ. So, the body of Christ was called out with a specific purpose and plan, which is separate from Israel purpose and plan. Because we are focus on the church, we are not going to get into Israel called out purpose in this section.
The Scriptures mention three ethnics groups that God are dealing with today:
1 Cor. 12:32 “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.”
The distinction and separation of each ethnic group according with God’s purpose is very important to comprehend the Scriptures. Many had mixed Israel’s plan and purpose with the church’s plan and purpose, creating confusion and fallacies. 1 Cor. 10:32 made the separation very clear. Here is the sequence that covers these three ethnic groups:
→ Israel: Called out to be God’s people and to bring through her “The seed of the woman” to redeem mankind. Gen. 3:15. At the time when God’s was dealing with Israel, there were only two ethnic groups: Israel and Gentiles. The church or body of Christ was not established until the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
→ Gentiles: The meaning word “Gentile” in the Scriptures relates to: “Pagans, sinners (Rom. 3:23), those are of the covenants, non-Jews”. Even the word “dogs” are used in reference to the gentiles in Mat. 7:6, in which passage “dogs” has 9 different figurative classes. Observe how the gentiles took place replacing the nation of Israel in God’s plan: “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you (Israel), and given to a nation (race or gentiles nations) bringing forth the fruits thereof.” Compare with Acts 13:46-49; 15:13-18
→ The body of Christ: It’s formed form Jews or Gentiles converted to Christianity through the experience of being born again. John 3:3-6; Rom. 1:16. Observe this passage: “And that he (Christ) might reconcile both (Jews and Gentiles) unto God in one body (The church) by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Eph. 2:16
To understand the differences between the rapture and the second advent of Christ we must understand and separate the above ethnic groups, and put each event in their proper order according to God’s purpose for these groups. This is why I took the time to explain the differences that has been drawn in the Scriptures.
The three ethnic groups throughout the Scriptures:
→ The Jews were called out as God’s people and to be ruled by God, but instead they choose to be like the gentiles nations that were ruled by kings. 1 Samuel 8. God’s plan will eventually extend to the gentiles by the rejection of the Messiah from the Jews nation. John 1:11-12. Israel covenant with God was paused temporary to give place to the period called “Grace”, in which the gentile nations will have the opportunity to be blessed by God through the sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross. The paused in the covenant with Israel was predicted in Daniel’s 70th week. The pause become in effect when Jesus died upon the cross and “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” Mat. 27:51. When the Jews covenant will be renew? Right after the rapture of the church, which involve the 7 years of great tribulation period. Compare Daniel 9:27. What Israel is receiving today are blessings, which are part of the promises to them, even though the full covenant as nation is paused.
→ The Gentiles were outside of the blessings of the covenant of Israel but God will provide a way for them to be blessed and saved, which is the period called “Grace” under Christ’s sacrifice. The gentiles in the Old Testament were oppressors of Israel and always will be that way until the fulfillment of Luke 21:24 “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” When this prophecy will be fulfilled? When the antichrist will surround Israel at the end of the seven years of great tribulation period and Jesus Christ will return for the second time and will destroy the beast, the false prophet and all the nations that persecuted Israel. The salvation of the gentiles under God’s program is through Jesus as it is stated in John 3:16-17; 14:6. The gentiles that would reject the three brands of the antichrist stated in Rev. 13:17 “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” these gentiles will be allowed to enter into the Millennial kingdom of Christ and based on the way they help the Jews nation. Mat. 25:31-46
→ The body of Christ was called out of gentile’s nations and the Jewish nation, to preach “Grace” through which they can be save. Many people are teaching that the commission of the church is preach “The kingdom”, but we are not announcing no kingdom but salvation through the grace of God. Jesus will establish His kingdom at the Second Advent and not at the rapture of the church. The confusion comes from the mixed of both events but when we read the passages under their correct context, we find no confusion but harmony in them. There is no doubts that God will establish His kingdom upon the earth but we were not called out to preach no kingdom, unless you are a Jehovah witness that are blinded by confusion. The message is very simple: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:15-16. I rather believe what Jesus said than what others are teaching based on their own benefits. The church or the called out started with the apostles and the rest at the upper room. Acts 1:13-15 and had kept going for over two thousand years through preaching the gospel. Once the church is raptured, God will resume His plan with the nation of Israel while the church is rewarded in the Bema or seat of judgment of Christ. Rom. 14:10-11; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:9-10; 1 John 2:28; Rev. 3:11-12. Also we will settle in our mansion, which was promised by Christ for those who are raptured and all the saints of all ages. John 14:2-3 and the celebration of “The marriage supper of the lamb” as it’s stated in Rev. 19:9 “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” After that we will come with The Lord Jesus in His second Advent to the planet earth to kill the antichrist and his armies as it’s stated in Rev. 19:11-21; 2 Th. 1:7; Mat. 24:29-31; Isa. 63:1-6; Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 14:1-5; Jude 14 and to establish the kingdom of heaven or millennial kingdom of Christ on earth. Zech. 14:9; Mat. 13:40-43; Luke 1:32-33; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10; Rev. 1:5; 5:10; 11:15; 20:1-10.
Jesus will rule the earth and all the saints of all ages along with Him!
Passages in reference to the rapture before the great tribulation start:
Luke 21:36 “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE (Greek word “ekpheugō”, which mean “to flee out of, flee away”) all these things (The judgments of God upon the earth) that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
1 Th. 4:13-17 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we, which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” We will meet Jesus on the air and from there to the third haven to meet The Father as well. Col. 4:4; 1Th. 5:23; Jas. 5:7-8; Rev. 5:8-10; 19:1-10
1 Th. 5:9-10 “For God hath not appointed us to wrath (anger, wrath, indignation), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”
The following passage expressed the transformation of our bodies at the moment when we are taking out of this world:
Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
A reference to the rapture:
Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ”
The big change at the moment of the rapture:
→ “For our conversation is in heaven.” v.20 The Greek word used for “conversation ” is “politeuma”, which mean “the commonwealth of citizens or a state”. What the expression is expressing is that “our citizenship is on the third heaven: and not on this corrupted system. Which is also empathized in the context of the text: “who mind earthly things.” v.19
→ “from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” v.20 this sentence states that the place or location from where our Lord Jesus depart at the moment of the rapture, which is the third heaven. We find numerous times about Jesus being sat down at “The right hand of God”, which is in the third haven. Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 2:33; 5:31; Rom. 8:34; Col. 3:1; Heb. 10:12; 12:2; etc. There is only one time in the Scriptures where Jesus is STANDING at the right hand of God and it is in the following passage: “But he (Stephen), being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven (Third), and saw the glory of God, and Jesus STANDING on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man STANDING on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56. Why Stephen saw Jesus standing? Honoring his death. 1 Sam. 2:30
→ “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” v. 21 The Greek word used for “change” is “metaschēmatizō”, which mean “to change the figure of, to transform”. What will be change? Our vile bodies. The word “vile” connected to the body implied “the low state and shame in which our physical bodies become”. After Adam rebelled, he lost his perfect state and become mortal, sinful, degraded, and took Satan’s nature, which is spiritual death. Rom. 3:23; 6:23 the word “fashioned” used in the same passage and connected with our natural bodies, come from the Greek word “ginomai”, which mean, “to become or be made”. According to the next sentence in the passage we will become “like unto HIS GLORIOUS BODY”. In other words, at the moment of the rapture our bodies will be transform in the likeness of the glorified body of Jesus. Even more, the words “like unto” from the Greek is “summorphos”, which mean, “having the same form as another, similar, conformed to”. One more point on the word “summorphos”, is not only express the form in which our bodies will looks like but also the essence in which the body is made of. This event will take place at the moment of the rapture, which is a great display of God’s power.
Let’s breakdown the following passages:
Col. 3:1-4 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”
→ “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” v.1-2 the context of this expression is found in Col. 2:20-23, which refers, to refrain from all religious ordinances that opposes to the truth. “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances.” Col. 2:20 we are dead to “the rudiments of the world system, which is corrupted through sin. In Col. 3:1 stated that we are “Risen with Christ”, When this happened? When we were born again we were made free, but there is the possibility of backslide if we are not diligent. Gal. 3:1-4
→ “seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Col. 3:1. Here is a passage for those that are teaching about material blessings. This section of the passage is connected with Mat. 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
→ “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” v.3 We are dead to: “The law, Sinful life and to the rudiments or elements of this corrupted system.”
→ “When Christ, who is our life, shall APPEAR, then shall ye also APPEAR with him in glory.” We have received “eternal life” through Jesus. John 14:6; 17:2-3; Rom. 5:10 and this is a direct reference to the rapture of the church, when He will appear in the air and we will be transform. 1 Th. 4:13-17. The Greek word used for “glory” is “doxa”, which is used 170 times in the New Testament, which mean among others “the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity.” it’s also used as the third heaven in 1 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:17. Besides expressing splendor, magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace and majesty, also is connected with the place where God lives. Places like “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” John 14:2; “For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb. 11:10; “But now they desire a better country, that is, AN HEAVENLY: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he (God) hath prepared for them (The Old Testament saints) a city.” Heb. 11:16; and “For here have we (New Testament saints) no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Heb. 13:14
Three things promised in the passage below: “I go to prepare a PLACE for you”, “I will COME BACK again”, and observe that Jesus connected a preparation of a place to “Lives” with this coming. There is not mention of Judgements related with this coming, which separate the event in the passage and the second literal coming of Christ to destroy God’s enemies. Also promised, “I will receive you UNTO MYSELF”. Right after have been raptured, all the resurrected saints and all those who were transformed will go to heaven to be rewarded while here on earth the great tribulation period starts. John 14:1-3 is the first reference of the rapture given by Christ.
John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME BACK AGAIN, and RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
The rapture of the church detailed:
1 Th. 4:13-17 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord”. Many modern bible students are denying the rapture because the word “rapture” does not appear in the Scriptures, but that it’s just technically, because the word “Caught up” is used in relation with the “taking out this world of the church” in 1 Th. 4:17. If you’d like to know more about the 10 different raptures taught in the Scriptures just click on this link: 10 different raptures
In 1 Th. 4:13-17 there no reference of judgements in this event, which connect these passages with John 14:1-3. Instated of “Receive you unto myself” which was used by Jesus in John 14:3, Paul used “Caught up” in 1 Th. 4:17 but both expressions are detailing aspects of what will take place at the moment of the rapture. Paul was very familiar with the used of the word “Caught up”, since he experienced rapture to the paradise, which is located in the third heaven. 2 Cor. 12:1-3. Another passage that expand and connect the idea of the rapture and it’s in complete harmony with “Receive you unto myself” of John 14:3 and “Caught up” of 1 Th. 4:17, is found in 2 Th. 2:1:
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by OUR GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM.”
What the language of these passages is saying is that the rapture will gather all the saints in one place, which is in THE AIR. 1 Th. 4:17. Jesus will no descend on the earth at this time, but just to gather the saints and take them to the third heaven. Jesus will be landing on the Mount of Olives at the Second Advent, which will take place after the great tribulation period.
The rapture will take place before the fall judgements of God upon the earth:
1 Th. 5:9 “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The following passages are one of the most important passages related to the “timing” of the rapture and the second advent of Christ.
2 Th. 2:2-8 “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”
Let’s analyze them:
→ “Let no man deceive you by any means” v.3 this clear warning to believer. Why? Because of the confusion that will rise as the result of man and demons replacing what the Scriptures says about it. Compare with 1Tim. 4:1-2. The warning was given by Paul to the church of Thessalonians because of a letter that was used by false teachers confusing the believers. So, Paul wrote to corrected such confusion and to conform them by affirming them that the day of The Lord had not yet happen, which is preceded by two things: “The apostasy” and “The antichrist”. In other words, The Second Advent cannot happen until these two things occur first. These false teachers used a false letter as if Paul wrote, which was a lie. Also, in this chapter Paul explained that before “the apostasy or a falling away” and “The manifestation of the antichrist” take place, the rapture must come first before these to things.
→ “for that day shall not come” v.3 what day is refer in here? read verse 2, which says “The day of Christ”, which is the second literal advent of Christ to kill the antichrist and all the rebels at the Battle of Armageddon. Zech. 14; Rev. 19:11-21. Paul wrote: ” for that day (second coming of Christ) shall not come, except (unless) there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” v. 3. So, it’s very clear that these two things must happen before the Second Advent can take place. Let’s explain in the next section the two things that precede the day of Christ, which basically are two signs.
→ “except there come a falling away first” v. 3 The Greek word used for “falling away” is “apostasia”, which mean “a falling away, defection and apostasy”. The reference here applies to the “seven years” of great tribulation, where everything will be corrupted by the antichrist system. Observe what Jesus said in Mat. 24 related to this falling away: “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Mat. 24:24. By the way, “the very elect” in Mat. 24:24 are in reference to Israel and not to the church, for the church has already been raptured at this point. Please read the complete explanation of Mat. 24 and 25 in my blog page. This period of “falling away” starts in Rev. 6:1 and ends in Rev. 19:21.
→ “and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” v.3-4 This is the Beast of Rev. 13:1-18; 14:9-11; 15:2-4; 16:2-12; 19:20. Also Daniel spoke of this in Dan. 9:27; 11:35-45; 12:7; and Jesus confirmed what Daniel predicted in Mat. 24:15. The next passage expressed clearly what is “holding back” the manifestation of both things, especially the man of sin to be revealed.
→ “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time” v. 6 it says “and ye know”, because Paul previously told them the details of these events. (v. 5) Now, what is “withholdeth” the manifestation of the man of sin? The Greek word used for “withholdeth” is “katechō”, which mean “to hold back; keep back; restrain”. There is something that is restraining the beast to manifest. What is it? Let’s find it in the language of the text expressed in verse 7.
→ “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only HE who now letteth will let, until HE be taken out of the way” v. 7 The word “letteth” or “withholdeth”, which mean “to restrain or hinder” is apply to He, who is “Holding back or hinder” the manifestation of the man of sin. Who is He in verse 7? Many fallacies have been circulated throughout the years but what the passage really expressed? I had read many books that said that He from 2 Th. 2:7 is “The Holy Spirit”, who is going to be taken out of the world before the manifestation of the man of sin, but that IS NOT what the verse refers to. Why I’m saying that? Because The Holy Spirit is not that one refers to in here and He is not going to be taken out of the world, that will contradict the Scriptures. Jesus said about the Holy Spirit “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER.” John 14:16. Also, The people that are going to be saved in the great tribulation period are going to be converted through the work of the Holy Spirit. Israel is going to be born again in one day (Isa. 66:7-8) after they are brought back to repentance through the message of the two witnesses of Rev. 11. Noticed that Isaiah 66:15-17 revealed the “Purged” of Israel of the false Jews, who are killed by the beast when Jerusalem is taken by the antichrist. Mat. 24:16-21. The gospel will be preach in the great tribulation period by an angel (Rev. 14:6-7) because the church has already been taken from the earth and many people are going to be save by the divine message. In Acts 2:21 says “ And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved”, which by the way is under the context of the great tribulation period. The Holy Spirit is the divine agent that perform the miracle of being born again, so He will never be removed from earth and He is not that one spoken in 2 Th. 2:7 as to be “taken out of the way”. So, the question remains, who is HE that is “Holding back” the manifestation of the man of sin? It’s the body of Christ, which presence here on earth is hindering or obstructing the manifestation of the man of sin. The Scriptures identify the church (which mean “Called out”) as the body of Christ, that’s the identity of the church, never as “female”. For example, in Ephesians 2:14-15 “For he is our peace, who hath made both (Jews and Gentiles) one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one NEW MAN, so making peace”. Also in the same book of Ephesians 4:12-13 “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of THE BODY OF CHRIST: Till we all (The body of Christ) come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto A PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. The church is NOT a female or woman as many had said. In fact, there is no reference in the Scriptures of such doctrine and yet many had taught about it and still do today. What about the bride of Christ? You may ask. I hate to burst your bubble but the church IS NOT THE BRIDE. So, with this in mind, let’s read again 2 Th. 2:7 “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only HE (The body of Christ) who now letteth will let, until HE (The body of Christ) be taken out of the way (Raptured). This also proves that the rapture will take place before the manifestation of the man of sin. If you read Rev. 21:9-10 it will tell you who is the true bride of Christ. If you’d like to know about it click on the link: “The church is not the bride of Christ”
→ “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:” v.8 The destruction of the antichrist at the second literal advent of Christ with all the glorified saints. Rev. 19:11-21
One more note on the manifestation of the man of sin: No one will know the identity of this person until AFTER the formation of the 10 kingdoms predicted by Daniel. He CANNOT come until the church is raptured and these kingdoms be formed inside the Old Roman Empire territory. According to Daniel 7:24 “And the ten horns (10 kingdoms) out of this kingdom (out of the Old Roman Empire territory) are ten kings that shall arise: and ANOTHER (Kingdom) shall rise AFTER THEM (after the 10 kingdoms inside the Old Roman Empire Territory); and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” The antichrist cannot be manifested until AFTER these 10 kingdoms are formed. Any person that has been called “antichrist” is just speculation or fallacy.
More references to the rapture:
1 Cor. 1:7-8 “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in THE DAY OF our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Cor. 1:14 “As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our’s in THE DAY OF the Lord Jesus.”
Phil. 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until THE DAY OF Jesus Christ.”
Phil. 1:10 “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till THE DAY OF Christ.”
Phil. 2:16 “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in THE DAY OF Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain
Compare also: 1 Th. 1:10; 2:19-20; 3:13; 5:23; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:5-13; 4:13; 5:1-8; 2 Pet. 1:3; Jude 24; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Rev. 5:8-10; 11:7-12; 12:5; 14:1-5; 15:1-4; 19:1-10; 20:4-8.
The second literal advent of Christ to the earth:
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
According to the language expressed in the above passages, Jesus ascended to heaven in a literal and visible form, in a cloud, and the disciples saw Him when He ascended, which mean, that Christ will return in the same fashion as He left. The angels told the disciples “This same Jesus, which is taken you from you into Heaven, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER (same way) AS YE SEEN HIM TO GO INTO HEAVEN.” v. 11. The reference here is to the second advent of Christ to the earth in the clouds of heaven.
Parallel passages related to the second literal advent of Christ to the earth:
“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Mat. 24:27
We need to make a correction with reference to Mat 24 and 25, which many teach as related to the church, but they are NOT related to the church. In fact, there is not even one Scripture that suggest that the rapture is followed by any signs. The Scriptures Do Not teaches about any prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the rapture can take place. In the contrary, the rapture can happen at any time, without any prophecy to be fulfilled. The rapture is also known as the imminent return of Jesus for the church. The confusion about the application of Mat. 24 and 25 with the church, it comes from the lack of distinguishing the two events. The rapture is neither one phase of the second advent of Jesus nor a second part of it; both events are distinct in every prophetic aspect. I have to repeat this again but the confusion is the result of people mixing: “The prophetic events”, “The timing of the events”, “The people involved in the events”, “Replacing the chronological order of the events placed by God on His own word”. All you need to do is find where God had spoken about the subject in Hi Word and what He had said it. Nothing more! Don’t rely on books to find answers, rely on God, who is the writer of His own Word.
Rev. 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
The following passage reveals the second advent of Christ with all the saints, who were previously raptured:
Rev. 19:11-21 “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which WERE IN HEAVEN FOLLOWED HIM upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh”.
If we read the Scriptures and believed what we read wouldn’t so much confusion about what God had said in His Word.
Mat. 16:27 “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”
The 12 original Apostles will judge Israel under the Messiah’s Kingdom:
Mat. 19:28 “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Mat. 24:27-28 “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
Mark 14:62 “And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven”.
Luke 21:25-28 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things (the signs of v. 25) begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
Second literal advent prophesied by Jesus himself:
Luke 17:22-37 “And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.”
→ Luke 17:22-25: expressed the means of His second literal advent
→ Luke 17:26-30: expressed the unexpected or anticipated destruction
→ Luke 17:31-33: expressed the warnings about His second literal advent
→ Luke 17:34-38: expressed the Battle of Armageddon
In Zechariah 14:1-7 expressed the details of Jesus landing on planet earth. Let’s underline the key sentences and break them down and extract what exactly it means:
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.”
⇒ “the day of the Lord”: Is a reference to the second literal advent of Christ to judge the gentiles nations lead by the antichrist in the battle of Armageddon and to establish the kingdom of heaven, which is also known as the Millennial kingdom of Christ on earth. Compare with Zep. 1:7-8; Isa. 34:6; Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 39:17-21; Rev. 19:11-21
⇒ “I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle”: This refers to the gathering of all the gentiles nations that had persecuted Israel at the Battle of Armageddon, where the Lord will deliver Israel out of their hands and destroy the antichrist and his armies. Ezek. 38-39; Joel 3; Rev. 16:13-16; 19:11-21
⇒ ” the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished”: This will happen when the antichrist will come against Israel at the very end of the great tribulation period. To clarify the sequence of the events, The antichrist will come against Israel at the end of the first three and a half years of the great tribulation, as it was prophesied by Christ in Mat. 24:15-20. The city will be taken by the antichrist and his armies and Israel at the point would have been eradicated but God interfere and raised a new war against the antichrist’s armies in order to protect Israel, who fled to Jordan. This new war brought up by God to protect the Jews nation is prophesied by Daniel in chapter 11:44-45 “But tidings out of the east and out of the north (Nations north and east of the 10 kingdoms) shall trouble him (The antichrist): therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he(after he conquered them) shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end (at the battle of Armageddon), and none shall help him (Not even satan).” So, after the antichrist defeated all these nations, which took him about three and a half years, he will return to finish what do he came to do the first time, to annihilate Israel but that’s when Christ will return with all the glorified saints to save Israel and to destroy the antichrist and his armies.
→ “Then”: when everything seen lost for the Jews nation, the return of their Messiah to save them.
→ “shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle”: Just as The Lord fought the Egyptians to saved Israel. Exo. 14:14 “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” After all God’s attention will be upon the Jews nation.
→ “his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives”: Christ will land upon the mount of Olives and as results of it, changes will be upon Palestine’s landscape to set up the stage for the battle of Armageddon. → “ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah”. Compare with Amos 1:1. Israel will run away as they did when the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
→ “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee”: This might surprise you but the reference in here is to God, The Father, who will come along with Christ and all the glorified saints. Compare with Daniel 7:22; Titus 2:13; Jude 14-15; Rev. 19:11-21. In fact, the Scriptures mentioned two advents of God, The Father and Christ to destroy the enemies of God. In 1 Cor. 15:24-28 expressed that God The Father, will give to God The Son all dominion, power and all things shall be subdued unto him, except God The Father, Until” all the enemies of God are completely destroy.
→ “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light”: This section expressed the “Time and duration” of the Battle of Armageddon. What time it will happen? At the evening time. How long will the Battle of Armageddon last? One-day battle.
To concluded our subject, here is a summary of the events as their are expressed in the Scriptures:
⇒ The rapture of the church: which is imminent. There is no sign that precede this event.
⇒ The formation of the ten kingdoms inside the Old Roman Empire territory: symbolized by the “Ten toes” of Dan. 2 and by “Ten horns” of Dan. 7
⇒ The raising of the antichrist: Daniel 7:24. Who is coming from Syria? According to Dan. 8:8-9
⇒ The antichrist will defeated three kingdoms of the ten kingdoms. Dan. 7:24, which will take him three and a half years and after this he will raise against Israel as it is stated in Daniel 9:27:
“And he (The Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (7 years): and in the midst of the week (three and a half years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
→ The antichrist at this point wanted to exterminate Israel but God interfere bringing another war against him and his 10 kingdoms. The nations north and east of the ten kingdoms will declare war against the antichrist and he will go against them “with great fury”. Daniel 11:44-45
→ After defeating them, He will return against Israel as “The prince of the north” of Dan. 11:36-39 and “The Gog” of Ezekiel 38-39.
→ The antichrist will take the city of Jerusalem for the second time (Zech. 14:2) and he will try against to annihilate the Jews nation but then Christ return visible to save Israel and to kill all the enemies of God. Zech. 14:1-7; Rev. 19:11-21
Rev. 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen”.
Everyone that had gathered to fight against Israel shall see Christ returning visibly in the clouds and land upon the Mount of Olives. Zech. 14:4
Mat. 24:30 ” And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and THEY SHALL SEE the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
The rapture of the church will occur at any moment, while the second literal advent of Christ will be follow by signs.
Jesus will come to take all the saints of all ages before the great tribulation period, while the second advent of Christ will take place at the end of the great tribulation period.
For the rapture of the church, Jesus will descend in the air (1 Th. 4:17), while in the second literal advent, Christ will land at the mount of olives. Zechariah 14:4
At the rapture Jesus will take the saints to be rewarded, while the second advent of The Lord will bring destruction upon all the enemies of God and Israel.
The whole mixed up about these two different events is the misinterpretation of the Scriptures.
Later I will add a list of fallacies related to these two events.
I pray that The Lord enlighten the eyes of your understanding as it is expressed in Ephesians 1:17-18:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,”
God keep blessing you!
An In-depth biblical study about the way God deals with areas of our lives. This is a essential knowledge that every christian must possess. Rev. Jay Werman
“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” Gal. 4:19
Subject: God’s Breaking Through – Process of Internal Formation
Based Text: John 12:24
God’s Breaking Through is the process through which God “Make die, crushed, removes, breaks down, extract” things in areas of our lives where He has no control or do not have the primacy. As New Creature, which you are in Christ (John 3:3-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17), having received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you must give him total control of your life. Obviously, this is not automatic, but rather “a process that involves an action on our part”. God uses the process of “Breaking Through” not only to rule in our lives, but also to “mold” our lives according to His plan and purpose for each of us. The breaking (of that specific area) will last as long as you understand that God has to be the “first” in all areas of your life. No one can experience the fullness of God’s manifestation in his or her life, unless God is in total and complete control. Paul said in Galatians 2:20 that “I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live (death of me), but Christ lives in (inside) on me … “. The formation of the character of God in us is also one of the reasons why we are process. Read Galatians 5:22-23.
Matthew 22:37 says:
“Jesus replied: ‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
The used of the word “Break down” in the language of the text expressed by Jesus in John 12:24, which is implicit in the expression “falls into the ground and die”;
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”
As a rule of interpretation we must give the passenger the right direction, which is the literal application with reference to Jesus’ death on the cross. But there is also “The Law of Double Reference”, under the same rules of interpretation, where we can also apply the verse in question in a “spiritual sense”. We must bear in mind that when using this method of interpretation not misrepresent or take the original meaning of the same passage. In other words, we can give a “limited” to the context of the same spiritual sense, is not going to be that we take this interpretation to the extreme to take or obtain a “misconception or error“. Now what Jesus meant is: “I must die, to be glorified and bring much fruit. Jesus could not establish a glorified church first if he was not glorified. Using the law of double reference in John 12:24 regarding the believer ” must die (in those things which God has first place or Lordship) so we can see the glory of God in our lives.” All the elements involved in God’s Breaking Through process, are aligned to His Word and the Holy Spirit, God will never uses a sinful or unclean element (this include the devil and his demons) to form the believer to the image of his Son. Compare Rom. 8:29, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Eph. 2:10, Col. 3:10-14. Keep in mind that God created us in three parts “spirit” (Pneuma), “soul” (psuche) and “body” (soma). 1 Thess. 5:23, Heb. 4:12. Gal. 5:16-17. Our soul is divided into five major areas, which are: “your intellect, emotions, will, mind and reason.” When we received Jesus and we are born again, we received a new nature “eternal life” in our new spirit. John 1:13, 3:3-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Pet. 1:23. It is our soul that needs to be “renewed” after being born again, since it is here that lays the “inner conflict” of every believer after being born again.
In Galatians 5:16-17 expresses this internal conflict:
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would”.
Also in Matthew 16:24 Jesus said:
”…If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Three things involved in this passage:
1. “If anyone would come after me” implies a voluntary act. God won’t force you but rather He will persuade you by His love, Word and His Holy Spirit.
2. “Let him deny (completely surrender control to the Lord) himself.” Jesus makes a direct reference to the Breaking Through process when he used the term.
3. “Take up your cross and follow me”: The word “Cross” in this particular passage means, “Mission, purpose for which it was called and work.” In Jesus case his “cross” was not only to die in a literal cross, but also bear the sin and the curse that humanity possessed. Galatians 3:13, 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Defining the entire passage Jesus meant that ” If anyone wants to follow me, you should be aware that any plan, personal aspiration and earthly everything is temporary. The focus must now follow and willingly submit to the purpose and will of God. ”
In the book of Mark 8:35 talking within the same context Jesus said:
”For whoever would save his life (Gr. “Psuche” for Soul) will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
The Greek word for soul is “psuche” implying our part where the will, mind, emotions, reason and intellect are. No one can save his soul. Only God has the power and the ability to change the sinful nature, through the new birth and the ability to provide the believer to renew your soul. Every believer has the responsibility to develop spiritually and through this experience renewal of his soul, thoughts, attitudes, bad habits, etc. . . . The combination of spiritual growth and renewal of our soul have resulted in a genuine transformation has even affect our physical body. In other words, we will reflect on the outside what we have inside. Explain about this later.
Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit mentioned in Romans 12:2 that we do in our “soul”:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.
Explanation of the verse:
I. “Do not conform”: Greek text “suschematizo” which means conforming to the example of others. It implies that your attitude should be in opposition to that which is against your new nature. Also used in 1 Pet. 1:14.
II. “This world”: the Greek text “aion” is translated as “age” and means “Do not settle or be conforming to the corrupt system of this world.”
III. “Be transformed”: the original Greek “metamorphoo” meaning “be transformed or transfigured by a supernatural change”. And the term is used in Matthew 17:2, Mark 9:2, Rom. 12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18. This change is the product of “renewing the mind” through the word of God. Compare also 2 Corinthians. 4:16, Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10, Hebrew 6:6.
IV. “Through”: covers the method used to carry out what we want to achieve.
V. “Renewal”: means that we replace the old things that were stored for years by the new. This can only be achieved when our new spirit is fed with the Word of God. Col. 1:9-10, Heb. 5:12-14; James 1:21; 1 Pet. 2:1-3
VI. “Understanding”: refers to a part of our soul. In Ephesians 4:23 Paul said, “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Indicating that we have a “spiritual attitude in our minds”, through saturate our lives in God’s Word. In Psalm 103 we see David reminding his soul about all the benefits he had received from the Lord.
VII. “That ye may prove”: the original Greek “dokimazo” which means to discern, distinguish, examine, and test. Implies that it is the only way to achieve and experience what has been expressed in verse. This word is also used in 1 Corinthians 3:13, Eph 5:10, 1 Timothy 3:10, 1 John 4:1, Luke 12:56 and 18 more.
VIII. “Good, acceptable, and perfect will of God”: experience three things everyone who is transformed by renewing your mind. If a believer does not know or have not experienced the good will of God correctly, is for the simple reason that you have not renewed your understanding. Notice that Paul says in verse 2 that God’s will is “good, pleasing and perfect”, and in line with the nature and character of God. Compare also Luke 11:2, Gal 1:4, 1 Thess. 4:3 and James. 1:17.
Summarizing Romans 12:2: No one may experience the full manifestation of the glory of God in their life if first has experienced “an inner transformation or metamorphosis”. In the language of the biblical text, we must remove, extract, break, crushed or die in those areas where God does not have full control, so that we can experience the flow of the Holy Spirit in and through us. “Process of Internal Formation” is the end result “a transformation of the inner man is reflected even in the soul (mind, will, emotions, reason, and intellect) and in our physical body. We must never forget that God’s Breaking Through is a process that involves our submission to God and that it will last the time we had to surrender to him completely in that specific area. God will never force us to do something we do not want, rather, God persuades us in love and through His word and His Holy Spirit: John 16:8-10, 2 Tim 3:16-17.
God has no favorites and given us all equally the same opportunity. Deut 10:17; Acts 10:34, Rom 2:11, Gal 2:6, Eph 6:9
In James 4:7 says:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
Being submitted to God is a sign that God has transformed the person. However, note that the passage states, “When we are submitted (rendered and controlled by God), the devil will flee from us”. Is not until we do our part that the second part of the verse is fulfilled. A believer that had surrender and is submitted under the guidance and direction of the Lord is an effective weapon to destroy the works of the devil. That is the reason why we have today so many false doctrines that feed the “ego” of the human being, to be ineffective in God. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5. Speaking in the same line of thought The Holy Spirit spoke through Paul in 2 Tim. 3:1-5, warned us about the character of men in the latter days and we have to avoid them.
Examples of men who were processed by God:
In Genesis 32:22-32 we find a passage where we can use “the law of double reference” again, drawing a spiritual sense, to apply to the use of breaking through process.
Let’s consider all the verses of Genesis 32:22-32.
“And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok. And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.” verses 22-23
This is Jacob protecting his possessions, wives and sons.
“And Jacob was left alone…” verse 24
Implying that God was going to deal with him first. In the breaking through process, God will “separates you or left you alone” to thereby put all your “attention” to him. Although you apparently alone, God let you know that he is with you. When God confronts you, you have to be “isolate” so that is totally your dependence on it. Many times you have to “strip you of things that are weighing on your spiritual life, “only you” you take away or subtract speed in your ministry or Christian race. Hebrews 12:1 Things maybe are not “sin” but that can eventually turn into just that. It is only when you are in the process of breaking when you start seeing things that hinder you. God will put you in a position where you have to take the voluntary decision of wanting to be “transformed“ God will never force you to do something. 1 Peter 5:6 says; “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, (wraps purpose) that He may exalt you in due time; .. “. “Humble” implies that “God is in control and dominion in your life” , that is, in “all areas of your life.” Within the context of scripture a ‘ humble’ is “one on which God has full and complete control.” Humility has nothing to do with “poverty”, as this is part of the curse of the law. Read Deuteronomy 28:15-68, which encloses all the curse.
” … And wrestled with him (Jacob) a man until daybreak.” Verse 24
Several things wrapped up in the text:
The word “fought” the Hebrew text is “aw -bak ” which means “Being involved in a fight where there is physical struggle, and where any weapons are not used .” Word indicating that there was “a type of wrestling”. In addition, the custom at that time was that if you were someone on the road or place, and this stranger you kissed cheeks, implied he wanted a “friendship.” But if I started to ” wrestle ” with you , that meant that I was challenging a ” wrestling ” and the loser had to ” pay with material things”. Now, remember that Jacob had nothing with him, and all his possessions were across the creek. v. 22-23. Scripture does not say exactly how long they struggled physically, but the idea is to show “the persistence of Jacob ” and how God was going to change things for it . Throughout the struggle Jacob had not realized that it was God who was dealing with it. Is that case is not similar to ours? When God is dealing in certain areas of our lives and we are so focused on material things that we do not realize until God makes us know that He is himself who wants to change. Many times we have our eyes on things that just take away God first in our lives and everything that God remove the first place turns into “idolatry”. God does not share his place with anything or anyone or is all or nothing, there is no such thing as God has first place in some things and not others. Read Revelation 3:15-16.
“And he said unto him, what is thy name? And he said, Jacob. ” verse 27
Why God asks Jacob his name? (v. 27) did God not know? Why was it important to God that Jacob himself said his own name?
Let’s explain it:
Think of all that God could have said by way of reprimand. Instead, just ask the name of Jacob. God’s purpose in asking this question contains a lesson for all of us, too deep to ignore. In fact, it dramatically altered the history of the Old Testament. By asking God’s blessing, Jacob was forced by the question of God to live the last time you had asked a blessing, which had stolen his brother. The last time Jacob was asked for his name, the question came from his earthly father Isaac. Jacob had lied on that occasion and said, “I am Esau” and stole the blessing. It has now been found, after many lost years of running through life looking over his shoulder, before the all-knowing, all-seeing, Heavenly Father. Again after searching for a blessing, Jacob fully understands the reason and the indictment after God’s question and replied, “My name is Jacob”. “You have spoken the truth,” God said”… and you know very well what your name means . You have been a liar man with dirty tricks, fooling everyone wherever they’ve gone. But now that you make known your imperfect condition, I (God) can change you, and I will make of you a great nation.”
The greatness in the eyes of God is always preceded by humility before Him There is no way that you or I can achieve greatness until we come to it.
God changes Jacob of being “a liar, deceiver, crafty “to” Prince of God ” which is the meaning of the name “Israel”. The Hebrew word for Israel is “Yisael” which is taken from “sar” is ” Prince” (one who rules) and ” EL ” means ” God Force, Mighty, etc. . ” . Israel therefore be translated as; “Prince with God “, ” Soldier of God” and ”Prince of God”. The name Israel is used 2,450 times, and was given to Jacob. 2 kings 17:34; Hosea 12:3-4; their descendants. Exodus 9:7; and still is used with reference to Christ in Isaiah 49:3 where ” Jesus prevails with God and with men , in a deeper way and in a fuller sense than in the case of Jacob in Gen. 32:28
“And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.” verse 29
In other words; ” “Then Jacob asked him, and said, tell me your name. And the man answered: Why do you ask my name could you be so ignorant of who I am, “Did not you realize who I am”? That’s the implication in the answer God gives Jacob. God often is dealing with areas in our lives and we have not realized that it is the Lord who is struggling with us, to correct us and bless us obviously. In Apoc. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21. All these verses refer directly to that “only those who overcome” get the reward, implying that we should be “diligent, hardworking, consistent, and persistent “to be blessed. Only those who overcome will come out winners, stating that “those who do not will not be rewarded.” Only the winners will achieve all the promises of God!
Genesis 32:26 implies “material reward “not only within the cultural context of the time, but within the same scriptural context. Jacob did great honor to his name “crafty” and God wanted to change it because through Jacob was to be constituted “the nation of Israel”, which was to represent God on earth. What Jacob did not imagine that his life was going to be “changed in a radical way?”. As this male as “touched the hollow of his thigh, and Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him”. v 25, God will deals with those things in which we rely, trust and thus depend absolutely Him.
The Hebrew word used in this passage is very interesting because it reveals that the contact was not physical and spiritual, and I make this observation because many have tried to spiritualize this passage, when it was actually “a physical struggle”. In the Hebrew text is used the word “Naga” for “Touch” meaning “Lay a hand on”, “beat”, “hurt” . By striking the hollow of the thigh caused Jacob’s leg the thigh was out of joint. This same Hebrew word is used 48 times and is only used in a “literal” sense where physical contact is obvious. Gen. 3:3; 20:6; Exodus 19:12-13, etc.
By the way, this appearance of God in the form of “Man” is known as a “Theophany of God”. Theophany, from the Ancient Greek ( ἡ ) θεοφάνεια ( theophaneia ) – which means “appearance of God” – refers to the appearance of one of the persons of the deity in a natural or human-like form . Also used of a divine revelation.
Now notice what verse 31 says; “And as he passed over Peniel the sun came out ; limping because of his hip.”
2 Things reflected in the verse:
“And when he had passed Peniel …,” implies that until we don’t realize that it is God who is “working in those areas where He should be in control” and we need to surrender then: which means “we submit to God’s process”. Until we are not aware of it, we can not move to another level in our relationship with God and His plan and purpose with us. “And when he had passed Peniel “also implies that “when we understand that it is God who wants to pour out his blessings not only on us, but also through us. We must pass Peniel; which is just an expression to say; “We have to understand that is God the one that is breaking through inside of us, and He is using elements around us to mold (shape) us. In this context I am not making reference to either illness or something else that the devil uses to attack us.
Galatians 3:13 says; “Christ redeemed us (made free) from the curse of the law (see Deut. 28:15-68 explains everything that involves cursing) being made a curse for us”.
We must recognize that God wants to “Changes us” and we shouldn’t “fight against him”. Jacob wrestled (resisted) for not knowing that it was God. Lets make sure that does not happens the same to us.
Another thing to notice in Genesis 32:31 is the phrase “… the sun came out,” which indicates that Jacob understood that it was God who he was resisting or wrestled with. The sun rose is simply an expression to indicate “the enlightenment or to understand”, the meaning of this expression apply to us imply how God process our lives. Many times we are fighting against things that God wants to process in our lives, and many times we do not realize it until the end of this process when “The sun comes out”. It is only through our spiritual growth that we can comprehend that it is God who is dealing with us.
What is the purpose of God processing us?
- Having God as first in our lives. This implied the correct order of our priorities
- Take me to a deeper spiritual level and improve our relationship with Him
- The breakdown brings us the same “strength and comfort us.”
- Bring in itself “divine meaning and purpose to your life.”
- Guide us in everyday decisions in our lives.
- Bring also reflect the life of Christ through ours.
- To prepare “beyond what we can understand” to the time when we are before the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
We should not resist or make opposition to God’s breaking process. All that God wants is to make our lives as “his Son Jesus”. Romans 8:29
there are certain questions to refer about the story in Genesis 32:22-32. “Why would God bother to go to all this effort just to turn the heart of Jacob? “. Why doesn’t God just say, “Okay, you go your own way … trust your own strength … keep your own instincts and see where it takes you “? But do you realize that as soon as you examine these questions is no immediate follow them? Why bother God persist and fetch you? The answer is obvious. God cared about Jacob and He cares for you and me.
During the daily struggles and difficult times we face in life, God is making us a call to let Him take complete control of our lives. When this happens, then God through His Word and His Holy Spirit can guide us to the right solution. He also has surrounded us with people who teach us the truth. Ephesians 4:11-19
No one can get an answer from God if the “Peace of God” does not rule your life. A person who is disturbed, worried and anxious, can not get the answer that comes by the Spirit. John 14:26-27; 16:13-15. 1 Peter 5:6-7 recommended “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you”. In Philippians 4:7, Paul says:
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
In Galatians 2:20 Paul said death an expression indicating the “ego” and a total submission to God’s Breaking Through Process.
“With Christ I am crucified, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me; and I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me”.
Death to the “ego” implies that “God has first place in your life”. We were purchased by the sacrifice of Jesus and our lives now belong to Him.
Matthew 5:3 says; “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” There has been a misinterpretation of passages like this as they interpret the text as implicating “spiritual poverty”. This interpretation contradicts many Scriptures, as a believer with spiritual poverty is not considered blessed. When analyzed within the scriptural text and under “parallel texts” context indicates rather “those who spiritually depends on God”, or “those whose spiritual strength from God“. The Prophecies in Matthew 5:3-12 wrapped 8 wrap promises even have a partial fulfillment in these times, also have their complete fulfillment in the literal second coming of Christ to establish His millennial kingdom. With regard to breach a person whose life is controlled or governed by God, recognized that his strength comes from the Lord and fulfills the prophecy of Matthew 5:3 partially. There are other parallel passages where “broken spirit, humble spirit” imply that they have “given complete control of their lives to the Lord” and have the same use as in Matthew 5:3 . Read Psalm 51:17, Isaiah 57:15; 66:2 and Matthew 11:28-30.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul said, ” And said to me: My grace is sufficient; for my strength is made perfect in weakness “. Indicating what Jesus said in Matthew 5:3.
In summary, the process of destruction not only gives the Lord first in our lives (complete), but it helps us in the following areas:
- – Mature: Since breaking through every experience helps us achieve a higher level of understanding about how God deals with us.
- – Grow spiritually: Since we give priority to our spiritual life, not our soul or body.
- – We get more spiritual sensitivity: Since we have a more intimate contact with God and perceive spiritual things further.
- – Expands the divine vision: Our vision of the spiritual world is extended to be controlled by the Lord. We see and understand the Lord’s plan and purpose for our lives. Brokenness “expand your spiritual capacity” in all areas, including the ministerial work that each of us has been commissioned in particular. A believer broken is not difficult to use it for the Lord.
Our cooperation with the Lord in brokenness, not only streamlines the process itself, but it helps us to grasp things that are happening around us and we can advise and help those who are going through similar situations. One thing is important that we should understand is that God wants to use us all , and shed his blessings to the fullest, but give full control to God alone be able to enjoy “little blessings”. Ourselves we become an “obstacle” in the plan of God, as if we have not been “broken” just do things our own “ego” wants and desires, and not what God has for us. We come to eat “crumbs “that fall from the table instead of eating as we are children of God. Compare Matthew 15:2.
– God’s Breaking Through Process in Moses’s life: Called and Commission from God; Exodus 3-4
3 stages in the process of God with Moses:
1. He Spent 40 years in Egypt. Acts 7:20-23
2. He Spent 40 years in the wilderness of mount Sinai. Acts 7:30
3. He guided the people of Israel for 40 years in the desert. Numbers 14:33-34
Moses did not enter the promised land for hitting the rock instead of speaking to it, as God commanded him to do. Numbers 20:8-11 and died at the age of 120. Deut. 34:1-7
There many other examples of God’s breaking Through Process recorded in the Scriptures in which we can see how God deals with His people.
May our God help us to surrender our lives to Him!
© Academia Ministerial Inc. 1999 – 2021
In this section we will explain the differences between expressions “The Kingdom of Heaven” and “The kingdom of God”. Often, we read of writers expressing their own opinion about these Scriptural expressions but not under the context when these expressions were original written. Religions like “The Jehovah witlessness” had given a used to these Scriptural terms that are not supported by the Scriptures itself. I felt the need for explaining both expressions exactly under the context where both expressions were written. So, here are both expressions explained:
Before we define each expression, we must understand one thing: “The context of any text, word or expression, must be define before we make any attend to use it and it must be in complete harmony with itself. If by any reason there some discrepancy in the context of the text, we must review it again until the context finds his own rhythm. The reason why we have so many doctrines, fallacies and theories, is because we force the text to express something that isn’t there, but we do this to support our own ideas and beliefs, which are outside of what the Scriptures possess.
Let’s define the meaning of the word “Kingdom”.
The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament is “malkûth”, which mean: “royalty, empire, royal power, reign, kingdom, sovereign power, dominion and realm”. The word kingdom has the same meaning in the New Testament as well. The use of the word “kingdom” must be use according to the subject matter express in the context of the text in question. In the Old Testament is used 90 times and in the New Testament is used 164 times the Greek word “basileia”.
Definition of the expression “The Kingdom of Heaven”:
This is an expression connected with “The ruling on earth of the Messiah”, which is the introduction of “The kingdom of God”. In other words, the kingdom of heaven will be the beginning of “God’s ruling the complete universe as it was before Lucifer and Adam rebelled. Allow me to expand both scenes under the Scriptural text:
According to Isaiah 14:12-15 Lucifer plotted an invasion of God’s Heaven. Please observe “the language” expressed on the passages and “the timing” expressed in them:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ASCEND into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ASCEND above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
In verse 12 Lucifer already executed verses 13-14, in which he conspired an invasion to remove God from His throne. But God was waiting for him and the angels that followed him, which according to Rev. 12:4 were one third of the angels of God, who were in a “probationary period”, which will determine their eternal future and responsibilities. As we well know, they failed this period and were condemned with their leader, Lucifer. The “timing” expressed in Isa. 14:13-14 is future, when Lucifer plotted the invasion of the Heaven of God, in which God has His own throne. Psalm 2:4; 11:4; Mat. 18:12-14, 19; Luke 11:2; etc.
Another passages that expanded Lucifer’s creation, probationary period or state and fall, is Ezequiel 28:11-19. Lucifer was the first ruler of planet earth and not Adam as many had suggested.
Adam allowed Satan to regained control of planet by disobeyed God’s command of not eating of the tree, which was in the midst of the garden. Gen. 2:16-17; 3:3.
God is the ruler of the universe and always will be, but God’s eternal purpose and plan was interrupted by the rebellion of Lucifer and Adam. What exactly does this mean? It means that God will resume his eternal plan once these two events are corrected. God didn’t destroy immediately Lucifer and the angels that rebelled with him. Why? Because God needed to remove the angelic rebellion according to his justice. Psalm 92:15. In Gen. 3:15 we find the prophecy that will resume God’s ruling on all the creation as it was in Gen. 1:1. This prophecy expressed the redemption of mankind and the defeat of Satan.
The kingdom of Heaven is an expression that covers “a thousand years period”, in which God The Father will crush all his enemies through the ruling of the Messiah. This is expressed in 1 Cor. 15:24-28:
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he (Christ) must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he (The Father) hath put all things under his (Christ) feet. But when he (The Father) saith all things are put under him (Christ), it is manifest that he (The Father) is excepted, which did put all things under him (Christ). And when all things shall be subdued unto him (Christ), then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (The Father) that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
These passages expressed the general purpose of the Kingdom of heaven, in which Christ will rule the earth. Once the kingdom of heaven is established on earth, it will be follow by the kingdom of God, which is the eternal kingdom of God. The context of 1 Cor. 15:24-28 is found in Psalm 2
Definition of the expression “The Kingdom of God”:
It’s an expression that expressed the ruling of God over every creature and His creation. The kingdom of God declares the “Absolute” control of God and where His will is obey voluntarily. Satan, the fallen angels and demons does not obey God willingly but they obey the boundaries and laws established by God, which are different in each creation. The same principles apply to men, where the limitations are restricted by the purpose of their creation.
Had the kingdom of heaven already being established on earth? No, it will be establish on earth at the second literal advent of Christ, which will take place at the end of the great tribulation period, also known as “Daniel’s 70th week”. Daniel 9:27; Mat. 24:29-30; Luke 21:25-28; Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14. Any doctrine or teaching that express that the either kingdom is in effect is just a fallacy. By the way, Daniel’s 70th week have no connection with the church as many are teaching but instead, all the events relate to such period are connected with the nation of Israel and not with the church.
Is the church supposed to announce the kingdom of heaven? No, but rather the church is supposed to preach the “Gospel”, which involved the grace of God to save anyone through Jesus sacrifice. When Jesus spoke of either kingdom in his teachings, he spoke to “Jews”, which according to God’s purpose, were offered a kingdom. The church is not expressed in the language expressed by Jesus teachings relate to the kingdom that God will establish on earth. Why the church is not included at the moment when Jesus spoke to the Jews? Because the church isn’t reveal in God’s plan until many years later after Jesus resurrection. The church as the body of Christ was a mystery hidden in God’s heart and revealed to us through the writings of Paul. All the literal promises of God were made to the nation of Israel and not to the gentiles. But through God’s grace the gentile’s nations can find salvation and have place in God’s purpose. Many people have corrupted the biblical concept of the kingdom of God, as many only focus their teachings to financial and material possessions, which are deviated from the truth. In fact, these teachings are very dangerous, since their purpose reach the material and not the spiritual essence expressed in the Scriptures. God had promised to provide and blessed our possession, as long as we don’t become slaves of them as many had fallen into. Here are some warnings expressed in the Scriptures:
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Tim. 6:6-10
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.” Mat. 6:19
“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.” Luke 6:22-24
“And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:15-21
“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 16:13
“Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.” James 1:9-11
“Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.” James 5:1-3
“Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” Psalm 62:10
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Mat. 6:33
Compare also Dt. 6:10-17; Psalm 52:1-7; 73:1-22; Prov. 23:4-5; 28:20-22; 30:8-9; Jer. 9:23; Ezeq. 28:5.
What about the line of teaching that promotes “The gospel of the kingdom”? For a moment, please allow me to proof what the Scriptures say about this subject and what Jesus meant when He mentioned it in Mat. 24:1.
This line of teaching is based on “The financial possession” through what they called “Living according to the kingdom” and their goal is to accumulate as much money as is possible. This line of thought is not based on the Scriptures but instead its foundation is pagan in essence. The passage of Mat. 24:14 says:
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
First, what is the context in which Jesus spoke of “The gospel of the kingdom”? The context of Mat. 24-25 speaks of literal events involving “The nation of Israel”, NOT the church; for the church was already rapture by the time this event take place. So, when and who will preach the “Gospel”? It will be preach in the great tribulation period by different groups: 1) – An angel will preach the gospel, which will warn the people about the consequences of being seal with the mark of the beast. Rev. 14:6-7. 2) – The two witness will bring a divine message to Israel, who fled previously from Judea when the antichrist invade Jerusalem at the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. Mat. 24:16-20; Rev. 11:7.
Second, one of the purposes involved in the announcement of the gospel of the kingdom is to bring Israel back to God and to return to Jerusalem. We must not forget that one the purpose of Daniel’s 70th week is to purge Israel from the Jews rebels, which is detailed in Isa. 66:3-6, 15-17; Ezeq. 20:38; Zach. 13:8-9.
Third, the preaching of the gospel will bring salvation to many in the great tribulation period, as it is stated in Acts 2:16-21
“But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come (second literal advent of Christ): And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Noticed: The expression “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood” Acts 2:19-20 is a reference to the events of Mat. 24, which involved the judgements of God upon the earth, Rev. 6:1-19:21
Many people will be saved in the great tribulation period, thanks to the message of salvation expressed in the gospel.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” Rev. 6:9-11
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev. 20:4
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21
By the way, this passage of acts 2:21 is under the context of acts 2:16-20. Some are teaching that salvation will end with the rapture, which is NOT supported by the Scriptures. The rapture DOES NOT changes the salvation program.
What Jesus meant in Mat. 6:33 when He said “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The expression “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness”, involves a priority order, which is above the material things that is expressed in verses 25-32. Also the expression is related to seek “God’s purpose and plan for us”. The passage IS VERY CLEAR.
What is the purpose and motivation that strive us today? If we using the gospel as a way to gain personal recognition or financial gain, we have certainly lost our purpose of servants of God. Sadly, many have lost their way by following “Positions, possessions and Power” inside the body of Christ. Because the world are getting more corrupted as times pass by, that corruption have sucked in many Christians, which had compromised their own values. The increase of these false teachings will reach a point, where only those who really had believed from the heart in Christ will remain.
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:16-17
Any teaching that promotes and encourage material gain above spiritual gain are NOT based in the Scriptures.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 1:2
I pray that our God will guide us to follow His path until His return for the church. Amen!
The leading role of The United States in the world stage has been changing throughout the years, especially under Donald Trump presidency. In fact, the credibility of The United States has been tarnished by lies and conspiracy theories.
The bible doesn’t address the role The United States in the time when the antichrist is ruling. The divisions within the same union will eventually break it into pieces and a new form of alliances will take place. Just like it happened to the Roman Empire and many other superpowers throughout the history.
"The present state of the republic is perfect example of is its to come; more divisions among the same country. Hatred is raising between fellows citizens. The present state of this country is just the beginning of the end. The nation who used to stand against tyranny now is slowly submerging itself into one. By no mean this nation is perfect but it used to be a beacon of light in a dark world. Every single country throughout history that has had power to rule, has cave-in because of the same elements that are destroying today's nations, which includes The United States"
The levels of corruption creeping into the government has corroded the foundation in which this country was founded. Was is the number one motivation in The U.S. today? Money, Greed, Control, Power. We had forgotten about compassion toward those who are in need. Even christian leaders and churches are driven by money and greed, which has weaken our spiritual foundation. Evangelicals in the U.S. had being corrupted like never before, which is the reason for this country’s promiscuity. But lets concentrate in the future prophetical rule of this nation.
There is no mention of the future role of The United States in the bible. Why is that? There is no explanation for that either. Some writers and preachers have twisted the Scriptures to try to connect the future role of The United States, but at the end, these arguments are just fallacies and baseless claims. When we force a passage of the bible to try to find a meaning that isn’t there, we are no better than the people that use the bible to support their religions. We MUST remain silence on those subjects where God didn’t express any answer. One passage in the Old Testament provided to us with such silence:
“The secret (not revealed to us yet) things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed (God’s word) belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
There are many things that we are not yet able to comprehend, perhaps because of our human limitations but once we receive a glorified body at the rapture of the church, we will be able to grasp the things that now we can’t.
If you are familiar with the prophecy of Daniel 2, in which a pagan king dreamed of a great image that according to the interpretation given in the same chapter represent the future gentile empires on the earth. In the description of the dream each Empire was represent with a different type of material.
“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of FINE GOLD, his breast and his arms of SILVER, his belly and his thighs of BRASS, His legs of iron, his feet part of IRON and part of CLAY. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”Daniel 2:31-35
Notice how the quality of the material that represents each Empire weaken or decreased from the head to the toes. As one empire replace the next one the lowest the material decreased and the brutality and violence increased. The principles and humans values of each government had decreased as time passed by and the foundation in which such government was established becomes deteriorated. Perhaps the shifting of the principles and humans values, in which The United States was established by the founding fathers of this great nation, might be one the reason for the future role of the country. After the 2016 election results we are seeing a glimpse of the future of this nation, which might shift in a direction toward the scenario where the dominance and power will decrease. The changing of the laws that allows the promiscuity and perdition of those who are blinded by their own sinful lives will eventually doom our own principles. The silence of God in the future role of The United States isn’t a coincidence but rather a silence warning to all nations that The God of Heaven can’t be replaced. The United States had blessed many people by being a shelter in times of trouble but salvation is not based on works but in faith in the sacrifice of God’s son. Only the future will tell what direction this country will go and how each president will keep the principles of this nation, which are expressed in the Constitution. From 2007 to 2014 has been a increased in a non-Christian among Americans, especially among those called “Millennial”. Each generation is pulling away from that foundation and becoming more “Materialist” than “Spiritual”. This cold wind that are dragging many into the wrong path had even affected many Christians, which are spending more time in away from the heavenly Matters. I pray today that our God have mercy upon us!
The expression “America Great Again” is based on “material” point of view and NOT on the elements in which this nation was founded. America without God WON’T be the same again. This past presidential election left nothing but a divided nation, filled with the raising of hate against those who can’t defend themselves. God’s presence is slowly fading over a nation in which once a upon a time was the center of it. The shifting of the moral values and the pursuing of temporary pleasures are in the raising, which also had affected the body of Christ. The church is NO LONGER preaching about the rapture but instead we have replaced God’s message with “modern messages”, which are more “Intellectual” and connected with what people wants to hear and not spiritual in essence. How many preachers that we see on TV are preparing the church for the rapture? How many pastors are preaching the return of The Lord for the his church? I’ll let you to answer these questions. Some are calling the preaching of the rapture, “Too old fashion message”, which will is affecting the spiritual lives of many. The fact of the matter is that “the message of salvation, repentance, forgiveness and holiness” is no longer the heart of the message that once made this nation great. These principles are replaced by corruption, blasphemy, promiscuity, hates, waxed hearts, etc. What destroyed The Roman Empire? The same elements we had mentioned. At the time when The Romans reached its greatest expansion, no one would have conceived the idea of the banishment of such vast Empire. It doesn’t matter how big and powerful a country might be, if such greatness is use only to bring destruction, poverty and tyranny to those how are defenseless, which history has proven. At the end of the day God’s word will be fulfill as it was written, whether you believe it or not. God has never failed and He never will. Every prophecy related to God’s eternal purpose will be fulfilled and everyone who followed His word will be rewarded.
Here are some speculations of the future role of The United States:
− “The beast of Rev. 13:11-18 symbolized The United States”. Those who claimed such fallacy use Rev. 13:1-10 to refer to “The pope of Rome” as the first beast and Rev. 13:11-18 to refer to the future role of The United States. But this theory is completely wrong and the supporters of this false teaching had taken the passages mentioned out of their context. Rev. 13 IS NOT referring neither to “The Pope” nor “The future role of The United States”. Rev. 13:1-10 refers to “The rise of the antichrist over the Old Roman Empire territory” and verses 11-18 refers to “The false prophet”, which is another MAN (Human being same as the antichrist) that will use his satanic powers to “Influence and control” people in the antichrist’s favor. Both of them are destroy in the second literal advent of Christ to the earth. Rev. 19:11-21. Observe what Rev. 19:20 says:
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
It mentioned, “The beast” not “the pope” and “The false Prophet” not “The United States”: These are two “Individuals” not two “Nations”. Also, The beast or antichrist will rise from “Syria” and not from Italy, which made a fallacy any reference to the pope and the roman church. The devil will cast into the lake of fire where the antichrist and the false prophet were cast down previously by Christ personally after they were defeated in the battle of Armageddon.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”Revelation 20:10
Others are referring Isaiah 18:1 as a reference of The United States in the bible, which says:
“Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.”
But there is no reference in this passage of The United States but to “The land of Ethiopia”. Some writers connect “wings” with the symbol that represent The United States, which is “The eagle”, but in the language of the prophecy there is not such connection. In the contrary, the passage refers to “the rivers of Ethiopia”, which are “The white Nile and The blue Nile rivers”. Also, The Ethiopians used to be part of The Egyptian ruling. The results of these fallacies are poor use and comprehension of the context in which the passage was written. The Hebrew word used for “Ethiopia” is “Kush”, which is translated “cush” in some passages. One more note on this point: According to Daniel 11:43 Ethiopia will be conquer by the antichrist “and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.”. Back in WWII some biblical writers said that the prophecy of Daniel 11:43 was fulfilled when Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in Oct. 3, 1935 in a Italo-Ethiopian war, which turn out just to be another fallacy. We can’t just take a biblical passage out of context and apply to some random event and say that the prophecy is fulfilled. We MUST preserve the originality of the biblical text as God has expressed in His own word.
Another fallacy related to the future role of The United States is found in Rev. 12:14-16, where it is used the expression “the woman were given two wings of a great eagle”. We can’t assume that this eagle is referring to the future role of The United States just because the eagle is used in the emblem of The United States. This interpretation is the result of speculation e imagination without biblical support. If we READ in the book of Exodus 19:4-5 what God meant with the expression “eagles’ wings”, which is related to the liberation of slavery from Egypt:
“And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on EAGLE’S WING, and brought you unto myself.”
As you can see, it refers to God’s deliverance from the Egyptians and NOT to The United States as many had suggested. Therefore the application of Rev. 12:14 in connection with the future role of The United States is a fallacy. So, what is exactly the meaning of Rev. 12:14?
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time (1 year), and times (2 Years), and half a time (half of year), from the face of the serpent.”
It’s basically describing “the Flee of the Jews people out of Judea” into the Mountains, which was prophesied by Jesus in Mat. 24:16-20:
“Then (at that point) let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.”
This prophecy will take place at the end of the first three and a half years of Daniel’s 70th week. Daniel 9:27. The remain three and a half years is refer in Rev. 12:14-16. One more note on this point: In Rev. 12:6 is the prophetic context in which Rev. 12:14 was written.
Another fallacy related to the future role of The United States is found in the application of Ezekiel 38:13, which says:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? To carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?”
Some have used “Tarshish” as a symbol of “The British” and “the young lions” as all the nations that speak English, which made this theory so ridicules. The promoters of this fallacy claimed “The British and all the nations with British roots will speak against on invasion to Israel from Russia. This point is without biblical foundation since Ezekiel 38 and 39 DOES NOT refers to Russia invading Israel, but instead refers to “The invasion of Israel by the antichrist at the end of Daniel’s 70th week. The antichrist and his armies are the only ones to invade and defeat Israel according to the Ezekiel 38-39. They will come “from the north” after the antichrist conquered the nations that will raise against him, after he invaded Israel at the end of the first three and a half years, which is stated in Daniel 9:27. Once the antichrist had invaded Israel and had broken the covenant and he is about to wipe out Israel, the nations EAST and NORTH will raise against him, as it is stated in Daniel 11:44 that says:
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.”
These nations “East and North” refer to “all the countries that are NOT part of the Old Roman Empire territory, from which the antichrist will rule”. Who are these countries? England, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, South and North Korea, etc. The antichrist will raise from the 10 kingdoms prophesied by Daniel 7:24
“And the ten horns OUT OF THIS kingdom (The Old Roman Empire Territory) are ten kings that shall arise: and ANOTHER shall rise AFTER THEM; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”
The antichrist will be reveal himself AFTER the 10 kingdoms are formed and NOT before them. These 10 kingdoms or governments will be formed in the near future and will be formed “The Old Roman Empire”, which is divided in 10 kingdoms. Russia was NOT nor even be part of The Old Roman Empire territory, neither is Germany. All the nations East and North will be defeated by the antichrist, which will take him the remain three and a half years of Daniel’s 70th week. The war between the antichrist and the nations east and north of the 10 kingdoms will serve a way for God to protect Israel from extermination in the hands of the antichrist. This period of time was prophesied by Jesus in Mat. 24:22
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”
Ezekiel 38-39 will be fulfilled after the antichrist conquer the nations EAST and North of Daniel 11:44, after this event the antichrist will return to Israel to finished what he couldn’t because of “the tidings out of the east and out of the north”. So, the antichrist will come from the north only in the sense of “conquering” and not in the sense of “originating” in there. By the way, Russia is not mentioned directly the bible but Russia is mixed with the nations EAST and North of the 10 kingdoms. The power of The United Stated, Russia and other nations will diminish as the fulfillment of these prophecies are getting close, giving weight to the formation of the Old Roman Empire territory.
Ezekiel contains two prophecies describing Israel’s trading relations with Tarshish. The first is retrospective in 27:12 “Tarshish did business with you because of your great wealth of every kind; silver, iron, tin, and lead they exchanged for your wares.” and 27:25 “The ships of Tarshish traveled for you with your merchandise. So you were filled and heavily laden in the heart of the seas.” The second in Ezekiel 38:13 is forward looking where “Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all its leaders will say to you, ‘Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hosts to carry off plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to seize great spoil?’”
There NO mention of The United States in the bible, neither is Russian is mentioned in the King James Version. The whole Russian mix up is the result of using word out of their prophetic context and chronological order. The same issue had happen with the antichrist role in the great tribulation period, he won’t be a world wide ruler as many teach, but rather his ruling will be limited to the Old Roman Empire territory. After he conquered the nations that will rise against him from the East and North of the 10 kingdoms, he will increase his territory but just for a short time, because once he defeat these nations, he will return to Jerusalem with THEM and the battle of Armageddon will be set up, as it is stated in Zach. 14
One more note on this point: The recent events in Europe and in the Middle east are shaping the prophetic landscape and setting the stage for the upcoming prophetical events, which will end “The human governments” and start “The Divine ruling upon the earth”.
Another fallacy that claimed about the future role of The United States is found in the word “Jerusalem”. This line of teaching is totally delusional and have absolutely no biblical based. This is what they claimed:
-“The United States is the New Jerusalem on earth at this present moment”. This conclusion came as the result of the word USA in the midst of the word Jerusalem. So, their argument is based on the word “JerUSAlem”, which is absurd and delusional in every sense of the word.
– They also believe that “The United States will be the ONLY remain nation on earth” and it will be “The New Jerusalem” on earth. This none sense idea have no place in the Scriptures. The United States is a country that had blessed many people and will do so until their power will diminish. How will that happen? No explanation is given in the Scriptures. One more point on the teaching of the word “JerUSAlem”, the Hebrew word used for “Jerusalem” is “ירוּשׁלם” or “yerûshâlaim”, which in the structure of the Hebrew language no USA is found. One of the most dangerous and scary things to do is to find HIDDEN CODE or MESSAGES in the bible, which had lead many into errors and confusion. There are neither secret codes nor hidden messages in the bible as many are teaching today but instead the bible is full of “Divine principles and laws”, which is totally different from “secret codes or hidden messages”. Some are using these pagan techniques in the church to deceive the believers and to rich themselves. These is one of many reason why we MUST study the Word of God and DISCERN every teaching as it is stated in 1 John 4:1, Eph. 4:12-16
From the prophetic point of view the power and dominance of The United States will decrease as the scenario for the antichrist will take shape. Why the antichrist rules The United States? No, the bible limits the antichrist ruling to the Old Roman Empire territory and after he rose as the leader of these 10 kingdoms, which will take him the first three and a half years of Daniel’s 70th week, he will expand his dominion when he will conquer the nations east and north of the 10 kingdoms. But the antichrist won’t rule The United States, neither South nor Central America. How can the superiority of most powerful nation in the world today will decrease? The details are not revealed but it will happen just how it had happen with all dominates nations in the past. Remember the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, The Grecian Empire and the Roman Empire? Who would have thought back then that these Empires would vanish? No one, but the future prophecies will be fulfilled and God’s word will establish.
The delusion and twisted imagination of those who separates passages, words or expressions out of their own context in the bible to confuse and deceive will increase into the manifestation of the antichrist. As sad as this sound, no one can stopped it, because the influence of satanic powers through these fallacies are going to continue until all the enemies of God are destroyed, as it is stated in 1 Cor. 15:24-28. Any person that doesn’t spend time to search the Scriptures and find the truth in it, is a easy prey for these type of fallacies and delusions, which purposes is to deceive and cause confusion. We MUST rely on God’s word through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” 1 Tim. 4:1-2
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, raitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.”2 Timothy 3:1-14
The above passages expressed the demonic spirits that are influencing people today, which are allow and operating under “The time of the Gentiles”. Luke 21:24
Final Note: The bible DOES NOT predict an invasion of Israel by Russia as many have suggested or any other nation. Ezekiel 38-39 IS NOT a reference of Russia invading Israel but rather predict the invasion of Israel by the antichrist, who is returning to Palestine at the end of Daniel’s 70th week, after he defeated the nations “east and north” of the ten kingdoms. These nations include “Russia, Germany, China, Japan, India, and other nations who weren’t under the Old Roman Empire territory. Daniel 11:44. The antichrist will become “the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (Ezek. 38:2) after he conquered these nations east and north of the ten kingdoms, and He also becomes “The prince of the north”. After these events, he will return to Israel with all these nations he conquered to finish the Jews, which give place to Zach. 14 and Rev. 19:11-21
There can not be 2 superpowers by the time the antichrist takes control of The Old Roman Empire territory. Europe will form “alliances of countries”, after the fall of the european union. According to Daniel 7:24-25 the ruling of the antichrist will be form on the Old Roman Empire territory.
“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”Daniel 7:24
Observe what the passage says; “..the TEN HORNS….are TEN KINGS..”. These ten kings, or kingdoms will be formed in the same territory where the Old Roman Empire used to be. Throughout all the scriptures, no other ruler is found, with the exception of the prophecy given in Daniel 11:44.
“But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.”
These nations are Russia, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, China, Japan, India, etc. Even Germany, which was not conquered by The Romans. I must clarify that the expression “East and North” refers to the nations that are located geographically “east and north of the 10 future kingdoms”. The fact that these nations are not under the control of the antichrist, shows the limitation of his ruling. He will rule over all the nations that are located where the Old Roman Empire used to be. The prophecy of Daniel 11:44 will take place when the antichrist is on his way to eradicate Israel. Jesus spoke of this event in Matthew 24
One thing is for sure, there is no record in the entire bible where the U.S have a dominance power by the time when the antichrist will rise. With all the turbulence, or conflict that is taking place here in the U.S. where the country is divided more than ever; perhans democracy will come to an end, and the union will succumb, and split the nation into “small alliances of states”. These alliances of states will help each other, and other states, might remain alone. The true is that democracy here in America was tested, and stretched to certain point, but for how long it will remain? Only God knows!
May our God have mercy upon us everyday of our lives while we are here on earth!
THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
Rev. Jay Werman, Director
What the scriptures really says about it? Read below and learn the truth! and stop wasting your time believing fallacies that only bring forth confusion.
“666” The Mark of The Beast Fallacy
I had always heard of preachers saying that the mark of the beast is “666”, which have no biblical support, if you read what it is stated in the book of Revelation. We have mislead not only by people taking the passages that refers to this event out of the prophetic context but also by movies like “666, The beast”, “The Omen”, “666 Damien”, etc. These fallacies had twisted the real meaning of the biblical context. What is even sadder about this is that Christians had fallen in the same hole as those that are in spiritual blindness, who should know better.
But let’s put aside what books, movies and people had said about this subject and see what exactly the Scriptures says about it. Because ate the end of the day what I preach, teach or believe is not based on the Scripture, then it is become just like any other fallacy, fable or fiction. Which by the way, the purpose of these movies and books, besides obtaining financial benefit, is to inject fear upon those who watch or read them. Here is an interesting question, How can a person rate (assign a standard or value to) about any specific subject of the Scriptures, when such person is completely ignorant of what the Scriptures says? Just because I had read a few books about medicine, does that made me a Doctor? The obvious answer is no! You see today hundreds of people writing about biblical subjects, in which at they have no clue or knowledge of them. Even famous Christians preachers, who should know better had fallen the same way. I always laugh when someone well known in the “Christian community”, writes a book and such book becomes “#1 seller” by the NY Times. No disrespect to any of these editors, whose had expend years in this field but again, when it come to the biblical arena it takes more than just reading a book and rated it. Such books are cause of many people been confused and sometimes deviated to a different path. At the end, the responsible isn’t the publisher but the writer. The bottom line is don’t waste your money buying a books because of the famous name of the writer but because of the spiritual essences of the book, which can only be measure in the spiritual realm and not by the reasons of the mind. I’m speaking concerning the Christian spiritual essences of what these books are supposed to express. I can’t speak for fiction because the bible doesn’t deals with it. Even the movie “Left Behind”, which is supposed to be about the rapture of the church is being categorized as “fiction”, but one day it will happen! The question is….. Are you ready?
Let’s analyze in details what really the book of Revelation says about “666” as the mark of the beast:
“And he (The Antichrist) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive A MARK in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had THE MARK, or THE NAME OF THE BEAST, or THE NUMBER OF HIS NAME. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST (It doesn’t say THE MARK OF THE BEAST): for it is the number of a man; and his (The Antichrist’s numeric name) number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
Nowhere in these passages said that “666” is the mark of the beast, if you read the passages in their proper order:
- “And he causeth all”: Two things here: 1)- The person mentioned here as “he” is the false prophet of verse 11. 2)- “all” is related to “the subjects of the antichrist kingdom”, which will cover the Old Roman Empire territory and not to “all” the inhabitants of the earth at the time of his ruling. I can’t get into details now but the antichrist won’t be a worldwide ruler as many had written in books. The Scriptures says the contrary, the antichrist won’t ruler The United States, South and Central America and other places. His kingdom is limited by the 7 years of tribulation, which is divided in 2 sections. The popular idea is the total ruling of the antichrist over the earth but this is not supported by the bible. The only one that will be ruling “All the earth” is the ruling of Christ when he returned to kill the antichrist and establish his Millennial kingdom. Rev. 19:11-21. “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” v. 20
- “both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads”: Here is specified who will branded and the location of such brand upon the subjects of the territory of the ruling of the antichrist.
- “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name”: Three brands are stated here and not just one; The mark, the number or the number of his name. What will be the use of these three brands is not stated in the bible. Many had speculated about these brands use according to the social status of the subjects of the antichrist’s kingdom but there no direct reference of it. If we can’t find any passage that support what we believe, we must refrain from twisting passages out of their own context to trying to prove us argument. It will become just that, an argument, fallacy, error or theory, and not a doctrine based on the Scripture. We must keep silence where God had kept silence, meaning; where God didn’t details an event, we must not search for any!
- “Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six”: What is stated here? the mark of the beast? No, for it says “the number of the beast” and not “the mark of the beast”. so, what is 666 then? According to the order given here in book of Revelation, 666 is the number of the beast. There is not reference in the bible that the antichrist will have the number 666 in the top of his head or spiritual meaning of the number 666. These are just speculations and fallacies. Deut. 29:29 says “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed (the Scriptures) belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
Let’s review another passages in the book of Revelation that refers to the 666:
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
- “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark (which is not stated in the bible) in his forehead, or in his hand”: These are warnings to those under the ruling the antichrist. This warnings were given after an angel preached the Gospel; “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev. 14:6-7
- The same (man) shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.” These are the consequences for those that disobey the warnings.
Another passage that refers to the same subject:
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled (Gr. “mignumi”, which mean “to mix”) with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.”
The passage refers to the great tribulation saints “And I SAW…and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over HIS MARK, and over THE NUMBER OF HIS NAME.” Also, this passage states their location in heaven; “stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God”. Thousands of people will be refuse to be branded by the beast.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
These three brands are literal brands and not spiritual or mystical as many had suggested. Two are not identified, which the mark and the name of the beast but the numeric number of his name id given. Many had tried to name the antichrist, which had been proving wrong. Why? Because the antichrist won’t be in action until two things happens:
- The rapture of the church: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (of the Lord, not the rapture) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Th. 2:3-12. Two events precede the Second coming of The Lord: “a great falling away” and “the man of sin be revealed”. Noticed v. 6 “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.” The Greek work used for “withholdeth” is “katechō”, which mean “to hold back, detain, retain, that which hinders, Antichrist from making his appearance.” and v. 7 says “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (retain-holding back) will let, until he be taken out of the way.” The body of Christ here on earth is holding or hindering the manifestation of the antichrist. This passage is a direct reference to the rapture of the church.
- The formation of the 10 kingdoms prophesied in Daniel 7:23-24: “Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”
- The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth: The Old Roman Empire, which did as it was written here “which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.”
- And the ten horns (ten kingdoms) out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise”: The 10 horns or kings are coming OUT OF THIS KINGDOM, which basically means that the ten kingdoms from which the antichrist will arise are the formation of ten kingdoms from where the Old Roman Empire stood. So, These ten kingdoms will be form from within the boundaries of the Old Roman Empire territory.
- and another shall rise after them: This is rising of the antichrist. but when he will arise? this passage said “AFTER THEM”. Why is THEM? the ten kingdoms. The antichrist can NOT be reveal until the ten kingdoms are formed inside the Old Roman Empire territory.
All these so called antichrist today are just a fallacy. Here are some names of people being called “antichrist”:
- The pope of Rome
- Theodore Roosevelt
- Judas Iscariot (resurrected)
- Ronald Reagan
- Henry Kissinger
- Mikhail Gorbachev
- Antiochus IV Epiphanes
- Google (which is so ridiculous)
Among other foolish beliefs.
No one will know the identity of the antichrist until the rapture of the church or the 10 kingdoms are formed in the Old Roman Empire Territory.
24 And THE TEN HORNS OUT (From within) OF THIS KINGDOM (What kingdom is refer here? The fourth beast. read verse 23) are ten kings that shall arise: and ANOTHER SHALL RISE AFTER THEM (First the ten kingdoms and after them the antichrist will take over them); and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he (The little horn or future antichrist) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (These are the last three and a half years of Daniel 9:27).
The scriptures are very clear about all these details.
Praise to be to The Most High God!
THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.
This is a very fascinating topic of the scriptures, which will be explained within the context of each passage. It’s an essential knowledge to have today, since we’re living in a chaotic and corrupted world.
Rev. Jay Werman, Director
Text based: 1 Th. 4:13-18
“13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
How many “raptures” are taught in the Scriptures?
There are ten different raptures taught in the entire Scriptures. We will specify each with their respective scriptures. For the born again Christians, the rapture of the church is the most important one, for which will end our probation period.
- First rapture taught in the Scriptures:
“Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Gen. 5:22-24
The Hebrew word used for “God Took him” is “lâqach”, which mean as follow: “to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away”. The Greek word used in the passage below expanded the meaning in Gen. 5:24. In other words, both passages compliment each other to express the event that took place. The Hebrew word is used 975 times in the Old Testament
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Heb. 11:5
The Greek word used for “Translated” is “metatithēmi”, which mean “to transfer, that is, (literally) transport, (by implication) exchange, (reflexively) change sides, or (figuratively) pervert: – carry over, change, remove, translate, turn.” Enoch was transported literally to the third heaven.
- Second rapture taught in the Scriptures:
Elijah was translated into the third heaven. 2 kings 2:11-12.
“And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.” V. 3
The Hebrew word “lâqach”, which translated here as “take away” is used in the same sense as Gen. 5:24. It’s repeated again in verse 5. The Scriptures gives details of how Elijah was rapture to the third heaven.
“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.” V. 11
“went up” from the Hebrew meaning “to go up, ascend, climb”. Elijah was taken in a “whirlwind” from the Hebrew word “se‛ârâh”, which mean “tempest, storm, whirlwind”. God allowed Elisha to see this event by the use of “Spiritual discernment”.
- Third rapture taught in the Scriptures:
Jesus ascended to heaven to offer His blood and to sealed the covenant and came back the same day.
“And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.”
In verse 17 after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, he was translated to the third heaven to offer his own blood for us the day to appear to the disciples.
“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father”. V. 17
Why Mary Magdalene couldn’t touch Jesus? When Jesus resurrected from the death, He rose as our “High Priest”, which couldn’t be touch by anyone before the offering of the blood. In fact, the consecration and purification rituals done by the high priest was extended for the entire week prior to the Day of Atonement. Exodus 28, 29; Leviticus 8. The Holy of Holies was divided by a veil (the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. Mat. 27:51), and no one was allowed to enter except the High Priest, and even he could only enter once a year on Yom Kippur (the day of atonement), to offer the blood of sacrifice and incense before the mercy seat. Jesus is mentioned as our high priest in Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:5-10; 6:20; 7:26-28; 8:1; 9:11, 25; 10:21; 13:11.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
After Jesus spoke to Mary Magdalene, Jesus as our high priest went to the Holy of Holies in the temple in heaven and he came back the same day as it is stated in the above passage and in the below passage:
“Then THE SAME DAY at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
- Fourth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The translation of the “captivity” where the saints or righteous went after died; also known as “Abraham bosom” in the story told by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31. After Jesus resurrection and His ascension to the third heaven, Jesus took this place and all the saints along with it was moved to “Paradise”, which is located in the third heaven. Observe what Paul said in the following passages:
” I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
2 Cor. 12:2
Note the language used in the next passage;
“How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” V. 4
The captivity underneath the earth is emptied. All the saints of The Old Testament were raptured or translated into the third heaven when Jesus took them.
“Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Ephesians 4:8
Abraham’s bosom is now an empty space in the center of the earth and it’s a reminder to those in hell that the righteous are in a better place. It’s a separation between the wicked and the righteous for eternity.
“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalm 9:17
” For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” Psalm 37:10
“And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:17
- Fifth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The ascension of Jesus to the third heaven in a literal cloud after His resurrection.
“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.”
Noted the same statements in the following passages:
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9
“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19
“And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” Luke 24:51
- Sixth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
Paul was translated to the third heaven.
“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.”
2 Cor. 12:2
The passage used the word “Caught up”, which in Greek is “harpazō”, meaning “to snatch out or away”, “to seize, carry off by force”. The same word is used in 1 Th. 4:17 related to the rapture of the church and in Acts 8:39:
“And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.”
- Seventh rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The rapture of the church, which is the general rapture that we all are waiting for. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” 1 Th. 4:17
“But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
1 Cor. 15:23
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
1 Cor. 15:51-54
All the saints of the Old Testament are involved in the resurrection of theirs bodies.
- Eight rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The 2 witnesses of Rev. 11 will be translated to the third heaven after their resurrection as it is stated in Rev. 11:3-12
“And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”
The two witnesses are Enoch and Elijah, who had not died because they are living in the third heaven since their raptured.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Rev. 11:3-12
The context of the identity of these two witnesses:
“Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:11-14
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Mal. 4:5-6
Enoch and Elijah were translated previously to the third heaven (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5; 2 Kings 2:11) will experience a rapture again but the difference in the last one is that they will ascend to the third heaven with a glorified body. Observe the law established in Hebrew 9:27 says:
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Both man are living in the third heaven with a natural body and they will come back to bring Israel back to God after they fleet from Judea, fulfilling the prophetic word given by Jesus in Mat. 24:15-16. After that they both will die and will be resuscitate from the dead with a glorify body.
- Ninth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The 144,000 Jews sealed by an angel (Rev. 7:2) in the first three and a half years of Daniel’s prophecy. Dan. 9:27; Rev. 7:1-8. These are not “the Jehovah witness” religion as they teach. It’s just a fallacy. These are JEWS, NOT GENTILES as it is expressed in the following passage;
“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of ALL THE TRIBES OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.”
The judgment angels were told:
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having THE SEAL OF THE LIVING GOD: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants (144,000 Jews) of our God in their foreheads.” Rev. 7:2-3
What keep these 144,000 from being harm? is it keeping the Sabbath as the Jehovah witnesses says? This is false and just another fallacy. What keep these 144,000 Jews from being harm by the judgements is that they are “sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Rev. 7:3
They will be caught up as the man-child as it is expressed in the following passage:
“And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.”
How we identified these 144,000 Jews as the man-child? Well, according to 1 Cor. 10:32 there 3 ethnic groups:
“Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.”
The church is already gone by the time the great tribulation period start and the two ethnic groups left are The Jews and The Gentiles. The gentiles are the one persecuting the Jews, so they cannot be identify as “the man-child”. The only one left is the Jews, which identity is confirmed in Rev. 12:1:
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.”
This woman represents the nation of Israel. Noted what the following passages says:
“And she (Israel) being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” V. 2
repeating the passage of Rev. 12:5 (compare with Isa. 66:7-8)
“And she (Israel) brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up (rapture) unto God, and to his throne.”
- Tenth rapture taught in the Scriptures:
The great multitude of tribulation saints who are saved after the rapture.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” Rev. 6:9-11
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
May our Lord give you strength according to His Holy Word!
© Academia Ministerial Inc. 1999 – 2021
By: Rev. Jay Werman
Here are some of the topics we’re covering throughout the subject.
a) We will explain about stages of spiritual growth and how to identify myself in any of those levels.
b) How to grow and what are the elements involved in it.
c) How to grow in the inward man using the word of God.
d) What are the evidences of spiritual growth.
e) Principles established by God in his Word that produce changes in the inside and the outside.
f) The main point is to identify why I’m not growing in my inward man and how to correct it using what God had provided.
g) Most of our issues and problems come from the lock of spiritual growth.
In 2 Kings 2:1-14 we will draw a spiritual application based on the places where these two men of God were sent before one of them was taken to heaven. Let me make clear that when we study the scriptures and try to interpret a particular passage, it should be understood that there is only one interpretation, which is what the writer (inspired by God) of that particular book intended to reveal. The interpretation of that particular
passage may be “Literal or Allegorical”, depends on what God wanted to communicate to those whom He addressed. We can use or extract different applications from those verses but keep in mind that the application is limited to the context that surrounds it and you should never distort the biblical language to try to justify actions that compromise all principles and laws established by God.
Let’s apply what we had already mentioned and establish a parallel between the place where Elijah and Elisha went and the levels of spiritual growth.
There are 3 different locations in 2 Kings 2:2-7: “Bethel, Jericho and Jordan”. These 3 locations can be used (in a limited sense) as a reference to represent believer’s spiritual levels but it has to be within the biblical context of the passage.
Bethel: For example, represents the place of “the vision” in Genesis 35:1-15. Observe several key words in these verses:
“And God said unto Jacob, arise, go up to Bethel”. v. 1
“And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother”. v.7
El Bethel means “The God of the House of God”. Which was the place where God revealed Himself to Jacob. According to The Brown-Driver-Briggs’s dictionary
The stages of spiritual growth are as follow:
– First stage is Born Again (Beth-El). Here is where everything starts for us. God not only places his divine nature in us, as it is stated in the following passages:
“whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”2 Peter 1:4
“that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life“John 3:15
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me”John 5:39
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God”1 John 5:13
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”Romans 6:22-23
but at the same time He placed his vision in our new spirit.
“who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”2 Timothy 1:9
“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, And gave gifts unto men”Ephesians 4:1-8
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus”Hebrews 3:1
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”Mark 16:15
– The second stage is when we start to obey God’s word (Jericho) and rely our dependency on God more than our old way to deal with problems and issues. After we are born again, we must receive instructions (musar) about the new life we have received aligned with the word of God. Read Proverbs 1:2-8; 6:23; 8:10; 12:1; 13:18; 15:33; 19:27.
“To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, and judgment, and equity; to give subtilty (prudence) to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; And a man of understanding shall attain (acquire) unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; The words of the wise, and their dark sayings. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: But fools despise wisdom and instruction”Proverbs 1:2-7
These passages lay out every area where the believer must grow after of being born again. The Hebrew word “mûsâr”, which is used the word “instruction” is used 50 times in the Old Testament and is translated, as it follows: “correction, instruction, chastening, discipline, doctrine”.
For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; And reproofs (corrections) of instruction are the way of life”Proverbs 6:23
“Receive my instruction, and not silver; And knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; And all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it“Proverbs 8:10-11
If today’s believers will take God’s word as it is written, they would not be chasing materials things, as many are doing nowadays, and that is unfortunate. There is nothing on this corrupted system that can be compared to the benefits of obeying God’s word.
“Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: But he that hateth reproof is brutish“Proverbs 12:1
The hebrew word used for “brutish: is “bah’-ar“, which means; “a person who loves stupirity, a foolish person”.
“O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers: For thy testimonies are my meditation“Psalm 119:97-99
– The Third stage is when we understand God’s purpose and we had surrendered to it (Jordan). As a born again Christians we are suppose to produce fruits that redounded to God’s glory. Mat 3:10; 7:17-19; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34; Mar 4:7-8, 29; 11:14; 12:2; Luke 1:42; 3:9; 6:43-44; 8:8; 13:6-7; 20:9-10; John 4:36; 12:24; 15:2; 15:4-5, 8, 16; Act 2:30, Romans 15:28, 1 Co 9:7; Eph 5:9, Phi 4:17, Heb 12:11; 13:15; Rev 22:2
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”Galatians 5:21-22
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door”James 5:7-9
“Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles”Romans 1:13
“What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life“Romans 6:21-22
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth😉 proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret”Ephesians 5:8-12
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better”Philippians 1:21-23
“And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace“James 3:18
3 different places with 3 different meanings in 2 Kings 2:1-14
Explaining “Beth-El” as a Level of Spiritual Growth:
The first stage: Beth-El represents the place where God gives us his vision (plan and purpose for us). At the moment when we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, he placed a vision (purpose) in our spirit, which it will develop as we grow in the inward man. 1 Samuel 3:1 reveals a clear truth where it says:
“And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision”.
The manifestation and contact with Jehovah was sporadic at those days, which made it so precious. In this in mind, observe the verse 7 which says:
“Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the Word of the LORD yet revealed unto him”.
2 things are exposed in those verses:
- Where the Word scares there’s no vision from God.
- In order to really know God, His Word has to be revealed by the Holy Spirit. Note: “The Word of the Lord was precious in those days” means “because revelation, prophecies, visions, and contact with Jehovah was SCARCE and therefore valuable”. Beth-El implies that we must let God’s Word to take over our lives so that we can comprehend the purpose of God for us. Paul wrote the following to the Corinthians “But we have the mind of Christ”. 1 Cor. 2:16. It basically means that “we know the plans and purposes of God for us”. And Jesus expressed the same line of thought when He said in Mat. 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness”. Beth-El is where we received a calling to work on a plan and purpose of God for our lives, which in the language of the biblical text means: we have received a vision from God. This is the first stage of the Christian life. God is expecting His children to grow in the inward man until we reach a maturity life. Ephesians 4:12-16. In 1 Peter 2:1 we found 5 elements that will stop spiritual growth:
“Malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and evil speaking.”
Also in 1 Peter 2:2 it tells you how to grow in your inward man:
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby”.
The passage points out that the only way to grow spiritually is by taking the unadulterated milk of the Word of God, which is “The pure doctrines of the gospel and line up with the new covenant in Christ”. In Mark 4:2 says “And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine”. Only the doctrine of Jesus can “transform and change your life”. Compare James 1:21; Romans 12:2
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves“James 1:21-22
By allowing and receiving the unadulterated word of God you will grow as follow:
- In knowledge 2 Peter 3:18
- Into Christ in all things. Eph. 4:15
- Into a holy temple. Eph. 2:21
- Like a cedar of the Lebanon Ps. 92:12
- Like calves in the stall. Mal. 4:2
- In grace. 2 Peter 3:18
A “newborn baby” is a direct reference to the experience expressed by Jesus in John 3:1-10 and also in 2 Corinthians 5:17 where it expressed the fact that we are born again.
In Colossians 3:16 says:
“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord”.
- “Let” implies that you have to “accept voluntarily”. In James 1:21 we see the same line of thoughts “receive with meekness” and in 1 Peter 2:2 says “desire”. Compare with Rev. 3:20 where the reference in there is to Christian churches.
- “Dwell” is used metaphorically to “dwell in one and influence him” (for good).
- “richly” means in the language of the text “metaphorically abounding, abundantly supplied; abounding (rich) in Christian virtues, gifts and eternal possessions. Jesus said in John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life”. The Word of God is the “spiritual food” provided by God for which we will grow “unto a perfect man” (mature person) Eph. 4:13. Jesus said in John 4:32: “But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work”. We are born again and received God’s nature to do God’s will, and to accomplish what we are here for. There is nothing that will bring us more satisfaction than to do God’s purpose with us. This is one of the great principles established by God in His Word.
The second stage: is when we start to be obedient to God’s word (Jericho) and our dependency is on God more than our old way to deal with problems and issues.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy
communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds”. (Col 3:8-9)
- But now ye (as well as all other true believers) also put off all these – All these which follow, as being also inconsistent with God’s calling.
- Anger, wrath – Eph 4:26. The two words appear together in Rom 2:8; Eph 4:31; Rev 16:19; Rev 19:15. The word rendered “anger” is rather chronic, that rendered “wrath” rather acute – an outburst.
- Malice – Eph 4:31. The Greek word sometimes bears the sense of evil, ill, in general; e.g. Mat_6:34. But in lists of vices (compare here Rom 1:29, Tit 3:3; 1Pet 2:1) it means what we mean by “malice.”—It is the vice which lies below anger and wrath, as a root or spring.
- Blasphemy – Mat 9:3. The word here seems to mean all injurious and calumnious speaking – whether against God or man.
- Filthy communication (which comes) out of your mouth – Lewd, indecent, and immodest discourse; Eph 4:29. The conversation of the pagan everywhere abounds with this and which, though it is applicable to all speech that is unsavory, unedifying, idle, and useless, and may be properly enough said of flattery, lying, cursing, and swearing; yet chiefly regards obscene language, unchaste words, and filthy talking, which tend to encourage and cherish the sin of uncleanness in any of its branches, flattery, lying, cursing, and swearing; yet chiefly regards obscene language, unchaste words, and filthy talking, which tend to encourage and cherish the sin of uncleanness in any of its branches.
This is the stage of our spiritual lives when “God shapes us to formed Christ in us”. Since we were born again and received a new spiritual nature, God started a “breaking through process” to remove all those things that are an obstacle and are holding you back. One thing you need to be aware of, is that the devil and his demons are your number one enemies and they will get in the way so that you get discourage and not accomplish the purpose of God in you. Paul spoke about the levels of maturity in 1 Corinthians 13:11;
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things”.
The Greek word used for a child is “ne pios”, which means “not speaking, that is, an infant (minor); figuratively a simple minded person, an immature Christian”, according to The Strong’s Hebrew and Greek dictionary.
“I thought as a child” Better as margin, I reasoned. The same Greek word is used here as in 1Co 13:5, ‘thinketh no evil.’
“when I became a man, I put away childish things”, Rather, since I have become a man, I have brought to an end the things of the child, referring, not so much to the act which put away these things, as to the fact that they had been put away finally and irrevocably.
We need to put away;
- Speaking like a child.
- Understanding like a child.
- Thought like a child.
Extracting the essence of what the apostle is saying in this passage, we must grow and leave behind all those things we’ve been dragging on before we were born again.
How do I put away those things? Growing in the inward man through the Word of God. The Greek word used for “put away” is “katargeo” and it means that “a superior and more complete stage will take over those that are put down”, in the same sense that adult hood replaced childhood. The whole point is that we must leave behind all the immature stages and move on to what is more excellent. Reading the context of this passage is clear the behavior of this believers.
At Gilgal (v.1-2) at Bethel (v.4) and Jericho (v.6) Elisha frankly told Elijah “I will not leave you”. After that, Elijah did not try to persuade him to stay at any place, indicating that he had merely tested Elisha.
The expression “The Lord hath sent me to” indicates that Elijah was just following in obedience the instructions of The Lord. Obedience has to be learned and it’s part of the process of spiritual growth. In Hebrew 5:8 says;
“Though he were a Son, yet learned he
obedience by the things which he suffered”
The third symbolical stage: is called “Jordan”. The word in Hebrew is “yardên” which means “a descender” or “One that descends”. It represents when we are submerged (figurative) into Christ and all our being (spirit, soul and body) is controlled by God through our spiritual growth (complete understanding of His will for us). This stage is a very slow process and it requires a spiritual understanding of how it works. In our last class I mentioned about how obscured was the definition of “Soul” in the O.T. because of the sinful nature of men. Eph 2:3; Rom. 6:23; Gal. 2:15. In the N.T. it is a totally different matter because now we had received a new nature through the price that our Lord Jesus paid for us. 2 Pet. 1:4. Our will, emotions, intellect, mind and reason are parts that conformed our soul. We must surrender all these areas to God in order to be in harmony with His plan and purpose for us. Observe what Jesus said in Mat. 16:24;
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me”.
Let’s explain the key words of this passage:
- “if any man will come after me” – it refers to accept Jesus as the One that had paid the price and because we believe it we are born again. John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Pet. 1:23. Using a “Parallel” reference this stage represents “Beth-El”. All the benefits of the new pact in Christ are concentrated on individual decision and following certain conduction. Jn. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17. God will never force or put pressure to obligate a person to do His will but rather He will persuade that person in love and kindness.
- “let him (the born again) deny himself” – the Greek word for “deny” is “aparneomai” which has the following definitions according to Thayer’s Greek dictionary:
1.1. to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone
1.2. to forget one’s self, lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests
“Take up his cross, and follow me” This is an expression that had cause confusion not because is confusing but rather because of the misuse and misunderstanding of what the expression meant when the writer wrote it. The context plays a great significance in the extraction of the original meaning taught by Jesus in this case. Wrong doctrines and false teaching had been the result of the wrong use of this expression, which Jesus never meant to be used in such way. Some have even have teach incorrectly that term “cross” in the text means caring a “sickness or affliction”, that such of line of teaching violated God’s plan to redeem humanity from the cursed that came because of Adam’s transgressions. Read Rom 5:12; Gal. 3:13. When we use the term “cross” related to Jesus is means “The reason or purpose He came to accomplished” (read John 4:34; 6:38), in other words “the specific mission He came to do”. The term use related to a believer it has the same meaning but connected to the term “deny himself” which it means, “all your personal ambitions need to be put aside and let God be the first one in your heart”. “Take the cross” within the context of the text implies “to do the commission you have received from God”., which includes “His plan and purpose”. Observe that in Luke 9:23 is even more specific when it says; “and take up his cross daily, and follow me”.
After we are born again (Beth- El) we are instructed by the Word of God to follow Jesus footsteps in obedience (Jericho). Read Luke 9:62; John 14:15. Then we are heading toward our goal, which is “surrendering our will to God” (Jordan). Paul experienced it when he spoke in Galatians 2:20;
“I am crucified (my personal ambitions) with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (to do God’s will): and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me”.
That should be the objective of every born again Christian, all our personal agendas, plans, ambitions, aspirations, etc. must be replace by God’s purpose in us. Jesus knew this when he faced a big decision in his earthy life just days before his crucifixion. We read in Luke 22:42;
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”
“Remove” means “to lead aside from the right course or path, to carry away”. Jesus knew that the only way for Him to do His father’s will was by surrendering all to the One He trusted all his earthy life. In a figurative way Jesus needed to cross the “Jordan” and rely on God the Father. Read Heb. 5:7. And also He said in John 12:24;
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”
If Jesus wouldn’t die at the cross He wouldn’t never die, because he never had experienced sin in his life and according to Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death;” But He came to put his own life to rescue the human race and restore everything. John 15:13. Jesus obtained the Victory not at the cross but rather at the garden of Gethsemane where He literally surrendered His will to the father’s will. The Jordan represents for us those moments when we must surrender to our lord all and rely on his perfect will. Every born again Christian will face with the decision whether to follow his/her own plans or to do God’s purpose. We won’t experience the fullness of God’s presence in us until we won’t let go and bury in the depth of the Jordan our own ambitions.
Only through spiritual growth we can reach a point where we can allow God to take control not only of plans and goals but our entire lives. It’s a process that might take years to accomplish it for some, others are not that privileged, no because they didn’t have the same opportunity but because the chose not to surrender to God’s perfect will.
One thing has to be clear, be belonging to God since the moment we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are just partakers of the life of Christ and the remaining time we are on this earth has be live to reflect His power and glory.
Spiritual growth is the more critical part of our Christian lives and keeping people from growing in the inward man is one of the reasons why the devil had introduced false doctrines, fallacies, humanism, heresies, etc. since the church got corrupted and mixed up with pagans rituals (From the 300s when Constantine the Roman Emperor). We need to be diligent in acquiring the pure spiritual knowledge that comes by the revelation from The Holy Spirit as is described by Paul in Eph. 1:17-18 that says;
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”. Read and compare to John 5:39; 14:26; 15:26.
In 2 Kings 2:1-14 we will draw a spiritual application based on the places where these two men of God were sent before one of them was taken to heaven. Let me make clear that when we study the scriptures and try to interpret a particular scripture, it should be clear that there is only one interpretation, which is what the writer (inspired by God) of that particular book intended it. The interpretation of that particular passage may be “Literal or Allegorical”, depends on what God wanted to communicate to those whom He addressed. We can use or extract different applications from those verses but keep in mind that the application is limited to the context that surround it and you should never distort the biblical language to try to justify actions that compromise all principles and laws established by God.
Let’s apply what we had already mentioned and establish a parallel between the place where Elijah and Elisha went and the levels of spiritual growth.
There is 3 different locations in 2 Kings 2:2-7; “Bethel, Jericho and Jordan”. These 3 locations can be used (limited) as a reference to represent believer’s spiritual levels but it have to be within the biblical context of the passage.
Bethel: For example represents the place of “the vision” in Genesis 35:1-15. Observe several key words in these verses:
“And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel”. v. 1
“And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother”. v.7
El Bethel = “The God of the House of God”. Which means; the place where God revealed Himself to Jacob. According to The Brown-Driver-Briggs’s dictionary.
The stages of spiritual growth is as follow:
1- Born Again (Beth-El): Here is where everything starts for us. God not only places his divine nature in us (john 3:15; 5:39; 6:54; 10:28; Rom. 6:23; Tit. 1:2; 1 John 5:13) but at the same time He placed his vision in our new spirit.
2- The second stage is when we starting to be obeying to God’s word (Jericho) and our dependency on God more than our old way to deal with problems and issues. After we are born again, we must receive instructions about the new life we have received align with the word of God. Read proverbs 1:2-8; 6:23; 8:10; 12:1; 13:18; 15:33; 19:27
The Hebrew word “musar” is used 50 times in the Old Testament and is translated:
“correction (8), instruction (30), chastening (3), chastisement (3), bond (1), chasteneth (1), check (1), discipline (1), doctrine (1), rebuker (1) according to The Brown-Driver-Brigg’s dictionary.
The Third stage is when we understand God’s purpose and we had surrendered to it (Jordan). As a born again Christians we are suppose to produce fruits that redounded to God’s glory. Mat 3:10; 7:17-19; 12:33; 13:8, 26; 21:19, 34; Mar 4:7-8, 29; 11:14; 12:2; Luke 1:42; 3:9; 6:43-44; 8:8; 13:6-7; 20:9-10; John 4:36; 12:24; 15:2; 15:4-5, 8, 16; Act 2:30, Rom 1:13; 6:21-22; 15:28, 1 Co 9:7; Gal 5:22; Eph 5:9, Phi 1:22; 4:17, Heb 12:11; 13:15, Jam 3:18; 5:7, 18; Rev 22:2