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Sunday, March 31, 2013

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, March 30, 2013

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, March 29, 2013

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.
Thursday, March 28, 2013

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 4,500 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 and one half 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. 
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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 12but 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”. 
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Revelation 11:12

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.

For further study - Revelation 11:3-12

As you will notice we have gone to the eleventh chapter of Revelation in our devotions because we are traveling through the book chronologically, not numerically which is the only way to study Revelation and understand the book.

As you read our key verse for today, verse 12, it sounds much like the description of the Rapture, Revelation 4:1-2 and I Thessalonians 4:16-17.

However a study of the context in this passage of Scripture indicates that this call from heaven saying to the "two witnesses", "come up hither", takes place at the mid-way point of the seven year Tribulation Period, while the Rapture takes place before the Tribulation Period begins.

This passage reveals the prophecy of the "two witnesses", verse 3, and what is involved in their 1,260 day ministry.

Briefly, there will be "two men" who will give some type of a testimony, which is what a witness does, during the first half of the Tribulation Period. They will be protected by the Lord through various means so that they can reach out from Jerusalem to everybody on earth with the "gospel of the Kingdom", Matthew 24:14.

These two will be kept out of harms way and given miraculous powers so that their ministry will be effective. After these two witnesses are killed, verse 7, and before being resurrected from the dead, verse 11, their dead bodies lay in the Jerusalem streets so that the entire world will see them, via satellite. The "earth dwellers" will "rejoice over them and make merry and bring gifts one to another", verse 10.

The world will "party" and "send gifts", happy that the two witnesses have died. Revelation 7:4-8 tells  us that 144,000 Jews from the "twelve tribes of Israel" will be saved and then spread out across the world to reach "all" six billion people on earth with the Gospel message, Matthew 24:14. This evangelism will be as a result of the ministry of these “two witnesses”.

Revelation 7:9 indicates that a large number of people will be saved during these terrible days of judgment. This great time of evangelism all taking place after the Rapture of the Church. 

Malachi 4:5 
tells us that one of the two witnesses is going to be "Elijah". I believe the other is the Old Testament Gentile, Enoch, Genesis 5:19-24. Therefore, there will be a “Gentile witness” and a “Jewish witness” for the Gentiles and Jews that are left on the Earth after the Rapture.

I believe these two witnesses, who have never died, were transported into the heavens, while still alive. They will return to Jerusalem where they set up their Temple Mount headquarters. Then at the end of their ministry, they die, as every man who has ever lived on earth must do, Hebrews 9:27. Then they will be taken back to heaven at the end of their three and a half years of ministry.

Luke 24:4 records that "two men in white apparel" at the entrance to the tomb of Jesus, saw the resurrection. Acts 1:10 also records that "two men in white apparel" watched as Jesus entered the heavenlies from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

These two, I believe, were Elijah and Enoch who saw the resurrection and the ascension of Christ into heaven telling the disciples the Lord would come back the same way He had just departed.

The "resurrection" and the "Lord's coming" is the message of the “Gospel of the Kingdom”. This will be the message of these two witnesses to the world. Remember, they are the only two witnesses that saw these things happen.

The prophecy pertaining to these two witnesses will be fulfilled, sooner rather than later. The only thing that must happen before the ministry of the two witnesses is the Rapture, which could happen very soon, maybe today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to be a witness today of Your soon coming to those who need to know You as Lord and Saviour.
Monday, March 25, 2013

Revelation 8:1

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

For further study - Revelation 8:1-13

As we come to another chapter in the book of Revelation, we move into the second set of seven judgments, the seven "trumpet judgments". Actually the last of the seven "seal judgments" is found also in chapter 8, verse 1.

The seven "trumpet judgments" come out of the last "seal judgment" as is the case with the seven "vial judgments" coming out of the last, seventh, "trumpet judgment".

Notice, that the seventh "seal judgment" is "silence in heaven about the space of half an hour", verse 1. The reason for the "silence", I believe, is because the "great cloud of witnesses", Hebrews 12:1, is "awestruck" by the six previous "seal judgments" and the seven "trumpet judgments" to follow.

I would like for you to notice what has been termed "ecological judgment", judgments which will be released on the earth in these first four "trumpet judgments". The fact is, we hear a lot about "global warming" and "climate change" in the media these days.

I believe "global warming" is impossible because Jesus Christ created the heavens, the earth and all that is in them, Colossians 1:16, and He holds it all together, Colossians 1:17.

God is in charge and nothing can happen to this "earth" unless He allows it to. No act of man can overrule God's plan. However, as our text tells us, there will be "ecological judgments" upon the earth during the time of the seven year Tribulation Period in the future.

The first "trumpet judgment" is a third part of the trees and all the grass on earth burning up. "Trumpet" number two is a third of the sea turning to blood, one-third of the fish in the sea dying and one-third of the ships upon the seas being destroyed.

Next, the third "trumpet judgment”, is one-third of the rivers, ponds, lakes and fountains of water becoming bitter, so much so that many on the earth will die from drinking this water. The judgments now shift to the heavens, the sun, moon and stars lose one-third of their light and there is more darkness  than usual upon the earth, which is the fourth "trumpet judgment”.

Verse 13 reveals that from here, continuing into the Tribulation Period, it gets worse. The three "woes" are to follow, which are the last three "trumpet judgments". We'll look at the "woes" in another devotional reading.

You might ask, "Why study about these judgments if at the Rapture we leave this earth and will not be a part of these judgments?" There are several answers to that question, the most important being, so we can warn our friends and loved ones about coming judgment and how they can escape the terrible time to come.

This is an excellent evangelism tool, prophecy. We all must make it a point to give out the gospel to lost people every day. The Rapture could happen, today.

PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord, for keeping me from these judgments to come. Help me to warn others and give them the gospel before it is eternally too late.
Sunday, March 24, 2013

Revelation 7:9

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;

For further study - Revelation 7:1-12

In my prophecy conferences across the United States and around the world, we set aside some time for "Prophecy Q & A". I love this time because it gives me the opportunity to respond to what someone really wants to know about prophecy.

Often I'm asked, "Will there be anyone that can get saved during the Tribulation Period?" Our key verse, verse 9, states that a large number of people will get saved during that time of coming judgment.

In fact, in verses 4-8 it speaks of 144,000 "male, virgin, Jews" who will be saved at the beginning of the Tribulation, a result of the ministry of the "two witnesses", Revelation 11:3-12.

These twelve thousand men from each of the twelve tribes of Israel will have a ministry of "evangelism" during the Tribulation and every person on earth, all six billion, will have an opportunity to hear the "gospel of the Kingdom", Matthew 24:14, and many will be saved.

However, there is a group of people who will not be able to receive Christ as Lord and Saviour. Those people will be the ones who have heard the “gospel” before the Rapture, understood the gospel and rejected the gospel, that’s found in II Thessalonians 2:8-12.

Notice there are three steps, “hear, understand and reject”. There will be no "second chance" to get saved during the Tribulation Period. There may be some who have heard, but never understood the gospel, those will hear and have an opportunity to get saved during the Tribulation.

The Bible truth that I have just explained may not fit with a fictional novel about the second coming. But remember, we don't get "doctrine" from novels, but from God's Holy Word, as found in II Timothy 3:16-17.

Those who get saved during the Tribulation Period are not known as Christians, all Christians leave the earth at the Rapture when the Lord Jesus Christ shouts for us to join Him in the heavenlies.

Those Jews and Gentiles left on earth at the Rapture, who trust Christ during the Tribulation, are called "Tribulation Saints". These Tribulation Saints will "rule and reign" with Jesus in His Kingdom to come, Revelation 20:4.

Peter wrote, in his last letter, II Peter 3:9 and 12 that the only reason Jesus has not called us up to be with Him is because He is not willing that any should perish but all should come to salvation.

II Peter 3:12 seems to say that we can hasten His return by leading people to the Lord. Please let this devotional encourage you to do all that you can to introduce Jesus to those who need Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

PRAYER THOT: Lord, help me to be a soul winner as I await Your soon coming.
Saturday, March 23, 2013

Revelation 6:17

For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

For further study - Revelation 6:1-17

This sixth chapter of Revelation is the prophecy of six of the seven Seal Judgments that will come upon the earth and it's inhabitants during the seven year long period of judgment known as the Tribulation Period.

Throughout the entire time of the Tribulation Period there are twenty-one judgments, “three sets of seven” , seven "seal" judgments, seven "trumpet" judgments and seven "vial" judgments that unfold.

These twenty-one judgments get progressively worse and will intensify as the Tribulation Period unfolds. These initial six judgments in Revelation 6 are the beginning of the terrible time to come upon the earth.

A quick look at the six judgments reveal how the seals are broken on the “sealed book”, most likely a single scrolled book, and each seal is broken by the Lamb, verses 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 12. The “Lamb”, of course, is the person of Jesus Christ, who will bring these judgments upon the earth in the Tribulation Period.

The judgments are released upon humankind on the earth, after the Rapture. All six of these judgments happen in the first three and a half years of the seven-year long judgment period.

In verses 1 and 2 we see a man on a "white horse", who is the "Antichrist". This satanically energized person is the one who tries to fool the world into believing that he is the long awaited Messiah.

Verses 3 and 4 reveal a man on a "red horse" who comes to take peace from the earth, it's the judgment of "war" released upon humankind.

The man on a black horse, verses 5 and 6, is the judgment of famine, which when it calls for a "measure of wheat" for a "penny" that is referring to enough wheat to make bread for a family of four for one day at the cost of a days wages, a "penny" in the times of the writing of Revelation.

The fourth seal is depicted as a man on a "pale horse". When this judgment is released "one-fourth of the earth's population is killed." That will mean over 1.5 billion people killed as a result of this judgment.

Verses 9 - 11 describe those who will be "martyred" for their testimony. They are not Christians but people, Jews or Gentiles, who will come to Christ after the Rapture, during the first of the Tribulation Period.

The sixth seal, verses 12 - 14, will be "ecological" judgments upon the earth, earthquakes, and in the heavens.

These judgments that happen early in the Tribulation Period are events that seemingly are in the process of coming about today. Jesus said when you see these things happening, Matthew 24:4-7 and 32-34, you can recognize that this is the time of His return to the earth.

However, remember that the Rapture of the Church takes place seven years before He comes back to earth. The fact that we can see the stage being set for these six seal judgments, indicates that the Rapture could not only happen at any moment but it could happen soon, even today.

PRAYER THOT: Help me Lord to live today as if the Rapture could happen this day.