Shofar Communications, Inc.. Powered by Blogger.
Monday, January 31, 2011

Revelation 19:19

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.

For further study - Revelation 19:1-21 & Zechariah 14:1-5

There is a verse in II Peter 1 that helps us in looking at these two portions of scripture, to understand what will happen at the return of Jesus to the earth. II Peter 1:20 tells us that there is “no prophecy of the scripture of private interpretation”.

This verse is stating that all scripture must “fit like a hand in a glove” as we read the different passages. No one scripture can contradict any other scripture, both passages must develop the same theme. Therefore, these two passages on the “return” of Jesus Christ to the earth must fit together.

But first, please notice that the first six verses of Revelation 19 are what I refer to as the “Hallelujah Chorus”. Verses 7-10 are the details for the “Marriage and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb”. These two events are another discussion at another time.

Starting in verse 11 and going through verse 21, we see the prophecy of the Return of Jesus and the Campaign of Armageddon, which also includes events revealed to the ancient Jewish Prophet Zechariah in his book, chapter 14, verses 1-5.

The events surrounding the Lord’s return actually begin in Zechariah 14, “the armies of the world” gathering at Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:1-2. This is the reason for the term “Campaign of Armageddon”, this final battle ends in the Jezreel Valley, but starts in Jerusalem.

The “armies of the world” gather in Jerusalem where Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet brought them to the city, through the means of “signs, wonders and miracles, Revelation 16:13-16.

Jesus will return to the earth, Zechariah 14:4, to the Mount of Olives, and the “armies of the world” flee to the north of Jerusalem, the Jezreel Valley for the final phase of the “mother of all battles”, the Battle of Armageddon.

This is the time that the “armies which were in heaven” follow Jesus on “white horses” Revelation 19:14. We that are Christians, who had been taken into the heavens at the Rapture, will come with Jesus to join with Him in His “rule and reign” over the earth.

You can read in the extended portion of our devotionals, verses 15-21, to see what happens during this “battle” to come. There are several other passages that will enhance your understanding of how this end times event unfolds, Isaiah 63:1-6 and Ezekiel 43:1-7.

These events will happen at the end of the Tribulation Period, at least seven years after the Rapture. I would call it “devastation before exaltation”. The “stage is set” for these prophecies to be fulfilled.

The world is watching as all the events called for in Revelation 4 through 19 that will take place in the last days are in place. That means we are ever so close to the return of Jesus Christ. Just this reminder, the Rapture is foretold in Revelation 4:1, thus we must be ready for the Rapture to happen at any moment, maybe even today.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, it is amazing as I watch those events foretold in your Word almost at the point of fulfillment, which means that the Rapture, the next event on your agenda, is about to happen. Help me to live my life believing that it will happen at any moment, a life honoring to you.
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Revelation 18:17

For in one hour so great riches is come to naught.

For further study - Revelation 18:1-24 & 16:17-21

We come to this 18th chapter of Revelation for our devotional reading for today and find out that we are basically “living” in this portion of scripture. As we share some thoughts on this passage you will see what I mean, and agree that we are closer than ever before to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

In this chapter we can find the word “Babylon” used three times, the word “city” used six times and the word “great” used eight times. The focus of our reading is the “great city of Babylon”.

Babylon is a city that has a 4,500 year old history that dates back to soon after the “flood” of Genesis 6-8 and the times of “Nimrod”, Genesis 10-11, the great grandson of Noah. Nimrod built Babylon in defiance to God who told all of Noah’s family to be fruitful and “re-people” the earth.

Instead, Nimrod went into the valley between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers and on the shores of the Euphrates built a “great city” the city of Babylon that still stands where it was first built.

Babylon has a long history that includes being the headquarters for the Babylonian Empire where Daniel and Ezekiel were taken as captives, along with the Jewish people, 2,500 years ago.

It was also the headquarters for Alexander the Great and the Grecian Empire. Alexander, at 32 years of age had conquered the known world, and after his death at this young age had his empire divided into four parts.

Both of these accounts, which include the city of Babylon, are the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. In fact, the events in history associated with Babylon are “prototypes” of that which will happen in the future, seemingly the very near future.

The actual city of Babylon, which has never been destroyed as called for in Isaiah 13-14 and Jeremiah 50-51, Babylon will be destroyed, as foretold in our devotional reading today. This destruction will come to this the headquarters for another “world leader”, the “Antichrist”.

In the last three and one half years of the Tribulation Period Babylon will come back to power and be the “economic, political, governmental center” of the earth. Antichrist will rule the world from this location on the Euphrates River.

Our key verse, verse 17, along with verses 10 and 19, indicates that the “great city of Babylon” will be destroyed in “one hour”. In Revelation 16:17-21 we see how this unfolds. There will be a “major earthquake”, the largest to ever hit the earth, verse 18.

Also, large “hail” the size of a “talent”, around 75 pounds, will fall on the “city”, verse 21, and devastate this “stronghold of Satan”. Finally, the many prophecies of the destruction of Babylon will be fulfilled, after 4,500 years.

In fact, this destruction of Babylon is the last event to happen before Jesus Christ steps back on earth, Zechariah 14:4, in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives. I believe these events are near, in light of the events that are unfolding today.

Babylon, Biblical Babylon, is what we know today as Iraq. The war, and now the rebuilding of war-torn Iraq are the “setting of the stage” for these prophecies to be fulfilled. As I said, we are living in the days that will lead up to God’s Word being completed, as it was written.

Once again I remind you that before all of this comes to pass there will be a shout from the heavens to call us up to join Jesus Christ there, forever. The Rapture, which can happen at any minute, could happen very soon now as we watch “Babylon” play its role in the end time events as recorded in Bible Prophecy.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, what a day we are living in as we see prophecy coming to pass before our eyes. As we watch current events, in light of Bible prophecy, help us to live these days prepared, pure and productive as we await your shout to join you in the heavens.
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Revelation 17:17

For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill His will.

For further study - Revelation 17:1-18

We come to this very interesting chapter in the book of Revelation, this 17th chapter, where John reveals the “false church” that will be in place during the first half of the Tribulation Period.

The word “church” is not used in these verses because the “true church”, an assembly of Bible-believing, born-again Christians will have departed from this earth and moved up into the heavenlies to be with Jesus Christ. These Christians leave this place at the Rapture, before the “judgment” begins here on the earth.

This is not the “true church”, here in Revelation 17, but a “false church” that comes to power soon after the Rapture, in the beginning of the seven years of judgment on the earth. There is much we can talk about, information that describes this coming “false church”.

Verse 5
refers to “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots”. This is a reference to Genesis 11:4 where Nimrod establishes a “religion” in Babylon 4,500 years ago, “let us build a tower whose top may reach unto heaven”. This verse is speaking of the “mother-son cult” that was started in Babylon.

This “false religion” was started in Babylon, right after the Flood, and at the fall of the Babylonian Empire in 539BC moved its headquarters to Pergamos in Asia Minor. This is the location where the Roman Emperors were “deified”. They were called “Pope” as their “religious” title.

The “Beast” in this passage is the “Antichrist” and the “whore” is the “false church”. The word “woman” is also referring to this “whore”, the “false church”. The “Revived Roman Empire” is the “ten horns” in this passage.

Verse 9
, the reference to “seven heads” in verse 9 is speaking of the “seven-mountained” city of Rome. This city, Rome, is the headquarters for the “one-world false church” under the leadership of the “Antichrist” during the first half of the Tribulation Period.

Verse 16
tells us that the “Revived Roman Empire”, most likely the European Union of today, will rise up and destroy the “False church” at the end of the first three and one half years. Notice that they do this because the Lord put it in their hearts to do His will, verse 17.

There are several thoughts that you might consider, as we conclude our reading for these devotionals. This “false church” is in the “making” today, especially with the “emerging church” movement and the coming together of all types of religious groups.

The lack of the study of “Bible Prophecy” in most churches and even a real study of true “Biblical doctrine”, which is disappearing from our churches, is evidence that we are moving ever so close to the time of this “false church” of Revelation 17.

Please remember, before this “false church” is up and operating in the Tribulation Period the Rapture takes place. The “true Church” will depart this place and go to another, into the presence of Jesus Christ. We are so very close to the Rapture, it could be today, so keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, please revive your “true Church” in these last days so that we might reach out to as many as we can before the Rapture. Thank you for the warnings found in your Word to alert us to what is coming. Help us to live expecting you to shout today for us to join you in the heavens.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Revelation 16:16

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon.

For further study - Revelation 16:1-16

As we come to this 16th chapter of Revelation we read the prophecy of the last set of seven judgments, the “Vial Judgments”. There are three sets of major judgments in the book of Revelation, the Seals, the Trumpets and the Vials.

These judgments get progressively worse as events proceed through the seven years of Tribulation. The Seal Judgments take place in the first half of the Tribulation and the Trumpet and Vial Judgments in the last half. When the world comes to the Vial Judgments things will be moving very quickly.

If you have already read about the Trumpet Judgments in Revelation 8,9 and 11 you are aware of the “ecological judgments” that have taken place and now John reveals the final acts of judgment on the earth, to bring it under submission.

Bringing the “earth and earth-dwellers” under submission is one of the purposes for the Tribulation so that the God of Heaven can give Jesus Christ, His Son, “dominion”, make Jesus the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

In our devotional reading, the extended portion, you will notice that we stop with verse 16 and leave out the “seventh vial”. I will deal with the last “vial” judgment in another devotional.

I’ll not take the space to explain the first five vial judgments, they pretty well explain themselves and display the “wrath” of God in His judgment on “unrepentant” man. I will share several thoughts about the sixth vial and the parenthetical portion of the 16th chapter of Revelation.

When the “angel”, the sixth angel, pours out his vial on the earth the focus is the Euphrates River so that this river is dried up to make way for the “Kings of the East” to make their way into the Middle East, in particular the Jewish State of Israel, actually the “City of Jerusalem”.

The sixth vial judgment and the prophecy of verses 13 to 16 go together in that they are talking about all the nations left on the earth, after almost seven years of intense judgment, gathering at Jerusalem for the “Campaign of Armageddon”.

The “Kings of the East” would be at least the nations of China and India, plus many other Far East nations. Remember, almost half of the earth’s population live in that region of the world.

The “River Euphrates” is the natural border that separates the Middle East and the Far East. These nations in the Far East will move towards Jerusalem for the beginning of the “mother of all battles”, the Battle of Armageddon, which I referred to as the “Campaign of Armageddon” because it begins at Jerusalem, not the Jezreel Valley.

The Devil, along with the Beast, Antichrist, and the False Prophet, verse 13, use “demonic deception” and perform “miracles”, verse 14, to gather the “kings of the earth and of the whole world”, to the Middle East, Jerusalem and then the Jezreel Valley for the “war to end all wars”.

This look at most of Revelation 16 should give each of us the evidence that we are quickly moving towards the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. Today we have a proliferation of “miracles” around the world, along with “demonic deception” that is preparing for verses 13 to 16 to be fulfilled.

I hasten to remind you that before all of these prophecies are fulfilled the “shout” will come from heaven for the “body of Christ”, the Church, Christians to go to be with Jesus in the heavens. This “shout”, of course, is the Rapture and it can happen at any moment, so keep looking up, it could be today.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, thank you for the “warning” of coming events, contained in Bible prophecy, so that we can recognize the times in which we are living. Help us to live in light of this knowledge and warn the lost of what they must do to prepare for the end times.
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Revelation 13:18

Here is wisdom. 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 three score and six.

For further study - Revelation 13:1-18

This chapter in the book of Revelation is the most detailed chapter in the Bible on the “person” of the “Anti-christ”. Anyone who is interested in knowing about this member of the “Satanic Trinity” must spend some time in the book of Revelation.

The word “Beast” is used in this chapter and through the rest of the book of Revelation and is referring to the “Anti-christ”. This name for the “Satanically energized” world “dictator” in the last days is one of 27 names for this major player in the Tribulation Period.

In verses 1 and 2 we see that the “Beast” comes up out of the “sea” and there is a connection between a “leopard, bear and lion”. These references to these symbols are looking back at Daniel 7 where Daniel has a “dream” and sees these symbols as the coming “Gentile world powers”.

This is basically saying that the “Anti-christ” is a Gentile coming out of the “Revived Roman Empire”, the “ten horns” of verse 1 and Daniel 7:7. The reason the Jews accept a “Messiah”, i.e. “False Messiah”, that is a Gentile is II Thessalonians 2:8-12.

Paul writes that after the Rapture when the Anti-christ appears the Jews will accept this Gentile as their “Messiah” because those that rejected the “love of the truth” that they might get saved, God will send them a strong delusion that they will believe the “lie” of Satan and accept this “False Messiah”.

There is so much more that we could share about this passage. For example, verses 16-17, the part about the need for taking the “mark of the Beast” so that they can buy and sell during the Tribulation. Interestingly, the present “global economic crisis” is setting the stage, world-wide, for this prophetic scenario to be fulfilled (see my CD series “Age of Anti-christ”).

I believe the human male that will be “energized” by Satan and become the Antichrist” is alive and well on Planet Earth and ready to be revealed. Remember, II Thessalonians 2:3 says that the Rapture must happen before the Anti-christ will appear. We are at that point in history right now.

That being the case we all must live as if today is the day that the Lord will shout to call us to be with Him in the heavens. There is not one prophecy that must be fulfilled before the Rapture. Every prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled happens after the Rapture. Today could be the day that the Rapture happens, keep looking up.

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, thank you for the scriptures that inform each of us about the coming days of judgment and the characters that will play a role in this “end-time drama” with the “final act” about to begin. Help me to live as if it could happen at “any moment” because it could.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Revelation 9:3

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth.

For further study – Revelation 9:1-21

As we come to this passage in the book of Revelation we see the prophecies of the 5th and 6th Trumpet Judgments. These two judgments are sometimes hard to understand because of the “apocalyptic” literature that is used in the passages.

Let me remind you that the first four Trumpet Judgments are found in Revelation 8. The last Trumpet is in Revelation 11. The fifth and sixth Trumpet Judgments are basically the foretelling of an “invasion from outer space” and the “killing on the earth of one third of the population worldwide at that time in history”.

Verses 1-12
are the 5th Trumpet Judgment and verses 13-21 are the 6th Trumpet Judgment. John writes what he is told to write about these seemingly very strange judgments. Let me see if I can help you to understand what the Lord wants us to know about these judgments.

The appearance on the earth of “locusts”, in the 5th Trumpet, is that invasion by evil angels, from outer space, onto the earth. These are “evil” angels that had been in the “bottomless pit” for almost 6,000 years, from the time they were sent there because of “fornication”, Jude 6 and 7, until this time in the Tribulation.

Now the Lord allows Satan, “with the key to the bottomless pit” to release these 200 million angels, verse 16, upon the earth, to bring judgment on the “earth dwellers” as one of the judgments to bring them under subjection.

By the way, these locusts are not like any locusts that I’ve ever seen, not like regular “grasshoppers”. The text gives a description of the “evil angels” in the form that took upon themselves to invade the earth, verses 7-10.

Verse 18
reveals to us the death of one third of the earths population, which means that one half of the total population of humankind will be killed in the Tribulation, Revelation 6:7-8. That would mean there would be three billion people killed, at our present population.

You might ask why I would select this passage for our daily devotionals. First of all, it is the Word of God, which is “profitable”, II Timothy 3:16-17. In addition, it is “prophetic” , it warns us of the judgments to come.

But also, it is “practical”, in that it helps us to know what is ahead so that we can warn our lost friends and love-ones so that they might consider doing what is necessary to escape these judgments to come, by trusting Jesus Christ for salvation, before it is eternally to late.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to be a witness today to those that might not know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, before they would have to face these Trumpet Judgments. Thank you for my salvation, which keeps me from this terrible time of judgment.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Revelation 12:7

And there was a war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.

For further study - Revelation 12:7-17

As we come to our devotional reading for today, in the extended portion, we read of the battle in the heavens between the “good” angels and the “evil” angels. This is a prophecy of what will happen at the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation Period.

God will finally give the order to Michael, the Archangel, who is the “commander-in-chief” of the good angels, to take the “dragon”, verse 9, the Devil, the “commander-in-chief” of the evil angels and all of the evil angels and throw them out of the “heavens” and down to the earth.

Actually, the evil angels, under the direct command of the Devil, will not be in the “third heaven” where God is, but in the “first” and “second” heavens where they have been for around 6,000 years, since Lucifer, the name of the most prominent of all the angels, who rebelled against God was thrown out of the place where God is, the third heaven.

Just this one thought, though all the evil angels don’t have access to the third heaven, their leader, Satan, does. He is there “day and night accusing the brethren before our God”, Revelation 12:10.

When the evil angels and Satan are thrown down on the earth those in the third heaven rejoice, verse 12, but they warn those on the earth that the Devil is coming to the earth with “great wrath because he knows that he has but a short time”.

Verses 13-17
reveal that the Devil and his evil angels will do all they can to destroy the Jewish people, “the woman that brought forth the man child”, verse 13. In fact, that has been the Devil’s plan for the last 6,000 years.

Satan knows that if he can destroy the Jews that then God’s plan for the Jewish people will fail, He won’t be able to keep His promises to the Jews and that Satan will win and be the leader of all the earth.

The ever increasing wave of “anti-Semitism” around the world today is a lead up to the last half of the Tribulation when many Jews will be killed to allow Satan to be victor in the world in the last days.

With demonism and Satanic activity also on the increase in our world, we can indeed see how the stage is being set for the final drama to be played out in the very near future. But before all these prophecies are fulfilled Jesus will call us up to be with Him in the heavens at the Rapture. Our prayer should then be, "even so come Lord Jesus".

PRAYER THOT: Dear Lord, thank you for Your victory over Satan and all of his evil angels. Thank You for all that You do for us as we await your call for us to join You in “Your Father’s house”.