MYSTERY BABYLON #57



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 28th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

REVELON BOOK   The “many waters” on which the whore sits consist of, “…peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues (Revelation 17:15).  “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”  (Revelation 17:2).

An identifying mark of all heathen nations is idolatry and immorality. This indictment reaches far beyond, and before, pagan Rome or papal Rome. It existed thousands of years before Rome ever became a nation.

John says he saw, “…that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18) – supported by the scarlet colored beast which “was, and is not and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit…” (v 8).  The eighth beast is the Antichrist. He is a man and will be directed and empowered by the beast from the pit.  The beast, which ascends out of the pit, is a satanic angel which ruled over the kingdom of Greece.  You will notice that the beast, collectively, has seven heads and ten horns. The seven and the ten may be contemporaries during the last half of the tribulation.

Some commentators believe seven of the former demonic powers, or beasts, come from below and rule within the kingdom of the Antichrist, along with the ten kings. All would be ruling collectively, and each king would rule its own army. The beast would then have its seven heads and ten horns. This would form one superhuman power under the rule of Satan. It would be in its supernatural form.

 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:” (Revelation 17:4).

The city, v.18, was adorned with purple and scarlet colors and garnished with precious stones.  The description of the city shows its wealth and luxuries. The metals and colors do not indicate anything else. Gideon, when asked to rule over Israel, declined. However, he did request that each warrior give him an earring of gold they had taken from their enemies.  And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of  Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels’ necks” (Judges 8:26).  Note also the wealth of King Ahasuerus, which was displayed at his party. Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble” (Esther 1:6).  Revelation 17:4 describes the wealth of Babylon. It is her luxuries and idolatrous worship that attracted the nations to her. The cup in her hand is not the mass offered by the Catholic Church. The golden cup symbolizes the abominations and filthiness of her idolatrous system, which she extends to the nations and of which they drink.

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”  (Revelation 17:5).

       The name of the woman was kept a secret until the end of the chapter. There, it is revealed that this is not any individual woman, but the great city, Babylon. Not only is the woman a material city, it is also its vast system of idolatry.

The woman is not Rome. She is much older and bigger than Rome. Rome is simply one of its many streams. Babylon is the fountainhead, the mother. Idolatry was in full bloom long before pagan or papal Rome ever existed. The corruption of Babylon had spread to the entire world hundreds of years before pagan Rome or papal Rome ever came into existence. Some examples are: And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon” (Acts 7:41-43).  See also, Amos 5:25-26, “Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.”  See 1 Kings 11:5, For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.”  For a shocking description of Babylon’s influence on Israel and an account of King Josiah’s zeal to clean up Judah, see 2 Kings 23:4-14. And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.   And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.  And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people.  And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.  And he brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba, and brake down the high places of the gates that were in the entering in of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city.   Nevertheless the priests of the high places came not up to the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, but they did eat of the unleavened bread among their brethren.  And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.  And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the LORD, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 

And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the LORD, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.  And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had builded for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.  And he brake in pieces the images, and cut down the groves, and filled their places with the bones of men.”

Are we to assume that Rome is the mother of these idolatries?  As wicked and corrupt as Rome is, she cannot be the mother. Rome is but one of the many polluted streams of Babylon.

Many have wrongly identified the woman, spiritualized the text, and made her the Roman Catholic Church. Then they contrast her with a true church, which they say, was started by John the Baptist. They conclude that the only true churches are the ones which came from John the Baptist. According to them, all other churches are “harlot” churches which came from their mother, the Roman Catholic Church. This false teaching has led to the teaching of a Baptist Bride Church as the only true church, and a rejection of all baptism except Baptist Bride baptism.

THE VISION OF THE GREAT WHORE #56



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 25th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

 The Vision of the Great Whore

REVELON BOOK Chapter 17 and 18 are parenthetical and they explain in greater detail what God has declared in the text below.

 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication”  (Revelation 16:19).  “And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath”  (Revelation 14:8).

 Chapter 17:1-6 – The Vision

Chapter 17:7-18 – The Interpretation

 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:  With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”  (Revelation 17:1-2).
We are not told which of the seven angels came to show John the vision. John is invited to go into the wilderness with the angel to witness God’s judgment on the city of Babylon. The analogy of a “wilderness” is used to contrast her life style with the place of her judgment. The area surrounding Babylon was one of unparalleled beauty.  Two mighty rivers flowed through her lush fields and orchards making it a virtual paradise. It was, in appearance, like the Garden of Eden. However, it was full of foul, demonic spirits. The wilderness was a symbol of the place of judgment.

There are 286 references to Babylon by name in the Scriptures. Many Old Testaments prophecies foretold her destruction. The Medes and the Persians fulfilled some of them at their invasion of Babylon in 539 B.C. However, many prophecies were far reaching and are yet to be fulfilled in Revelation 17 and 18.

Chapter 17 is about the city of Babylon (see v. 18), which was the fountainhead of all religious idolatry. It was founded and fostered by Nimrod under the prompting of Satan in 2312 B.C.  (See Genesis 10.) The “secret” or mystery of the idolatry and the immorality associated with her religion is revealed in this chapter. “Mystery Babylon” was written on her forehead. The sealed 144,000 followers of Jesus have their Father’s name in their forehead. The followers of the beast have his name or number in their forehead; and the whore has her name, “Mystery Babylon,” on her forehead. This shows her obstinate and shameless nature. She is without a conscious concerning her immorality, and she prides herself in it.  The city of Babylon is called “The Mother of Harlots.”

Babylon is called “the great whore.”  Idolatry, in Scripture, was associated with all kinds of sexual immorality. This was a title given to any person, religion, or nation who forsook the true God and went after other religions.  Moses knew the people whom he had led from Egypt and was confident they would forsake God and embrace idolatry after his death.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them” (Deuteronomy 31:16).

Vine says, “The act of harloting after strange gods was more than changing gods, however. This was especially true when Israel went after the Canaanite gods, for the worship of these pagan deities involved actual prostitution with cult prostitutes connected with the Canaanite shrines. In the Old Testament, sometimes the use of the phrase “go a whoring after gods” implies an individual’s involvement with cult prostitutes. An example might be in Exodus 34:15-16: “Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods…. And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.” The religious theory behind such activity at the Canaanite shrine was that such sexual activity with cult prostitutes, both male and female, who represented the gods and goddesses of the Canaanite fertility cult, would stimulate fertility in their crops and flocks. Such cult prostitutes were not designated as prostitutes but rather “holy ones” or “set-apart ones,” since the Semitic term for “holy” means, first of all, to be set apart for a special use. This is illustrated in Deuteronomy 23:17: “There shall be no cult prostitute [set-apart one] of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a cult prostitute of the sons of Israel” (RSV), (“…whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel” (KJV). This theme of religious harlotry looms large in the prophets who denounce this backsliding in no uncertain terms. Ezekiel minces no words as he openly calls both Judah and Israel “harlots” and vividly describes their backsliding in sexual terms Ezekiel 16:6-63; 23.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament.

The “many waters” on which the whore sits consist of, “…peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:15).  “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”  (Revelation 17:2).

 

THE SEVENTH VIAL # 55



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 23rd, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

REVELON BOOKAnd I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.  And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”  (Revelation 16:13-16).

These four verses are parenthetical and digress temporarily from the action to explain how Satan lures these armies to the great battle.

       An unholy trinity will be at work to bring down the armies of the world to the great battle of Armageddon, which is called, “that great day of God Almighty.” In order to do this, supernatural powers will be required. Thus, the flattery, promises, and miracles of the three persuade them to come into the land of Israel.

Notice that Satan is consistent with the first mention principle in Scripture. As in the beginning, so it is here. He is ever the great deceiver. He is a liar and the father of the lie. Not only is he a liar, he is described in the most revolting image imaginable. He is first introduced as a serpent. Now, his demonic ambassadors are described as frogs. Devils fall into different classes. These are called unclean. What could be more disgusting? Frogs live in the swamp. They love darkness and do most of their work under the cover of the night. They were unclean and forbidden to Israel. Also, these spirits come out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. All three work in unison to bright these nations to the battle of slaughter. 

       The warning and the blessing for those who watch and remain faithful is consistent with kingdom theology. It is seen repeatedly in the Gospels, and in Hebrews through Revelation. (See Matthew 24:43; Luke 12:39; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3.)

The Seventh Vial

 “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.  And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.  And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”  (Revelation 16:17-21).

When the seventh vial is poured out into the air, a voice is heard from within the temple in heaven, along with other voices combined with thunder and lightning. These are accompanied with one of the greatest earthquakes the world has ever experienced. Some believe the great city to be Jerusalem. However, it is most likely the city of Babylon that is divided into three sections and her destruction is complete in one hour. That will be described in full in chapter 18.

Bullinger says the cities, which were destroyed, are the capital cities of the confederated nations that were allies of the beast.

There will also be great topographical changes within the Holy Land and, no doubt, in the surrounding regions.  (See Zechariah 14:1-5, 8; Isaiah 13:19-22; 14:4.)

The vial, which is poured out into the air, causes such violent storms and updrafts that hail stones accumulate to a weight of 100-114 pounds each. It will not be a good day for flying in the Middle East. A similar storm was also in Egypt. 

Twenty Things Done Under the Seventh Vial:

The second coming of Christ (19:21)

  1. The 70th week of Daniel ends (Dan. 9:27)
  2. Great tribulations end (Rev. 11:15 — Rev. 19:21; Mt. 24:15-22; Dan. 12:1-7)
  3. The judgments of the seals, trumpets, and vials end (Rev. 6:1 — Rev. 19:21)
  4. The wrath of God started in the 6th seal ends (Rev. 6:12-17; 16:17 — Rev. 19:21)
  5. Two witnesses end their earthly career (Rev. 11:3-14; Rev. 16:17 — Rev. 19:21)
  6. Israel is liberated from Gentiles under Antichrist (Rev. 12:1 — Rev. 19:21; Zech. 14)
  7. Jerusalem is delivered from Gentiles (Lk. 21:24; Rev. 11:1 — Rev. 19:21; Zech. 14)
  8. Martyrdom of saints ends (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17; 15:2-4; 20:4-6)
  9. Beast worship ends (Rev. 13:1-18; 19:20)
  10. Babylon is destroyed (Rev. 16:17-21)
  11. The times of the Gentiles end (Lk. 21:24; Rom. 11:25-29; Rev. 19:11-21)
  12. Gentile world powers are defeated at Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14)
  13. Many cities of the nations fall by an earthquake (Rev. 16:17-21)
  14. Great physical changes on earth take place (Rev. 11:13; 16:17-21; Zech. 14:4)
  15. First resurrection is completed (Rev. 11:12; 7:9-17; 15:2-4; 20:4-6)
  16. The Day of the Lord begins (Rev. 20:1-10)
  17. The Antichrist’s reign ends (Rev. 19:11-21)
  18. Satan’s reign on earth ends (Rev. 19:11 — Rev. 20:3; Isa. 24:21-22)
  19. Second coming; the eternal reign of Christ begins (Rev. 19:11-21; 20:1-10)

Dake’s Study Bible

The Seven Plagues #54



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 21st, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

The Seven Plagues #54

REVELON BOOK  “And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:  And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.”  (Revelation 15:5-8).

 John’s attention is now turned to the tabernacle in heaven, and he witnesses seven angels exiting in single file. Each one has in his hand a bowl, which was used in temple worship. This time the bowls were not filled with perfume or oil for the lamps, but with the wrath of Almighty God!

The seriousness of the hour could not be more ominously portrayed. There is no levity here. All is determined, and every face is fixed and intent on carrying out the command of God. They are seven in number. There is perfection in their purpose. They are clothed in pure white. They are pure in their intent. They have golden girdles about their loins. They are restrained as to their mission. They are God’s servants for the hour.

The fact that the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and that no one was able to enter it, speaks of His righteous judgments and that there can be no intercession for those who have received the mark of the Beast. The hour of God’s mercy is past.

In this chapter the seven angels are commanded to go forth and pour out their vials on the earth. Each one is described in detail as he completes his assignment.

The First Vial

 “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”  (Revelation 16:1-2).

The command to pour out the vials on the earth is, no doubt, limited to the kingdom of the beast. The first vial caused a “grievous sore” upon all who had the mark of the beast. This vial is similar to that experienced by the Egyptians. (See Exodus 9:9-11.) The only people who escape this judgment are those who refuse to receive the mark.

 The Second Vial

“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.”  (Revelation 16:3).

      Under the second trumpet one third of the sea is turned to blood. (See 8:8.) This judgment is similar also to the plague in Egypt, (see Exodus 7:20-25), which was poured out on the Nile. The sea, not the seas, under judgment could be the Sea of Galilee, or possibly the Mediterranean.  All life in the sea dies and the water is turned to blood.

The Third Vial

And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.  And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” (Revelation 16:4-7).

       This third vial is poured out on the rivers and water sources, and they became blood. This judgment is also similar to that in Egypt. (See Exodus 7:19-24.) The great whore has been the murderer of God’s people and prophets since the time of Nimrod, the mighty hunter. That brutality has continued until this day and will until the final vial is poured out. The angel declares that God is righteous in His judgment. Because of their thirst for the blood of the righteous, God gives them blood to drink. No doubt this vial is confined to the kingdom of the beast also. In addition, God will provide drinking water for those who have not taken the mark of the beast. If He did not, all flesh would die within three days.

The Fourth Vial

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”  (Revelation 16:8-9).

       Under the fourth trumpet the sun, moon, and the stars are effected, but in a different way. There, they are darkened and shown not for a third of the day and the night. Here, the heat of the sun is intensified. Men are burned from its intense heat, yet they refused to repent or turn to God. This shows the deceitfulness and hardening effect of sin. A man or woman can resist the call and the grace of God until there is no hope for them. You can get to the point where you are unwilling to repent, even if it means your destruction in this life and an eternity in hell.

The Fifth Vial

And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”  (Revelation 16:10-11).

This vial is poured out on the throne of the beast. His headquarters, at this time, will be in Jerusalem or in Babylon. The darkness will be literal and matches the darkness over the land of Egypt. (See Exodus 10:21-22.) This darkness is confined to the kingdom of the beast within the revised Roman Empire.

The Sixth Vial

 “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.”  (Revelation 16:12).  

The river Euphrates is mentioned also in chapter 9:14, under the sixth trumpet, where four demonic angels are bound in it. They are released and come forth to marshal an army of two hundred million! The events under this sixth vial are a continuation of that release.

The Euphrates River dries up to allow this massive army to cross over. These are those in that region who will be drawn to the battle of Armageddon as discussed in chapter 14. We cannot be certain who they are. Take your Bible map, look east of Israel and beyond the Euphrates, and make your guess.

THE SONG OF MOSES AND THE LAMB #53



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 18th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE SONG OF MOSES AND THE LAMB #53

REVELON BOOKAnd I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.”  (Revelation 15:1).

 John sees “another sign” in heaven. This is the third “sign” or “wonder” according to John. In chapter 12, the sun-clad woman was a great wonder symbolizing Israel. In the same chapter, a great red dragon was a sign of Satan. Here in chapter 15 the vision of the seven angels with the seven last plagues is described as a “great sign.”  These vials contain the last of the wrath of God for that time.

 “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.”  (Revelation 15:2-4).

John sees the heavenly courtyard surrounding the throne of God, and it gives the appearance of a glass pavement with flashes of light within it. The fire seen may be a reflection of the lightning which proceeds from the throne. (See Revelation 4:5-6.)  Standing on the pavement of crystal, are those who overcame the Beast by refusing his mark and his name and number. These are the martyred that had the testimony and the faith of Jesus Christ. They have harps which they play, and a song which they sing. The content of their song is in the text. Each stanza should be considered.

They sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb. Some think this song is the one they sang at the Red Sea. It is recorded in Exodus 15:1-9. Although there are many good arguments for that point, it seems more likely that the song in Deuteronomy 32 is the one sung by this redeemed remnant. No doubt the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb are the same. Moses predicted victory in Deuteronomy 32:36-43, and Jesus accomplished it.

At the Second Advent, Jesus will be King of saints and King of nations. He is not ruling as a king today. He was rejected by His nation, and the kingdom is now in abeyance. Jesus is never called the king of the church. The church is His body, and He is its head. All the nations which survive Armageddon will come up to Jerusalem from year to year to worship the King and to receive the Law at His hand. “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16). (Note: this is proof that not everyone will be killed in the Tribulation. Even those who remain of the armies who came up against Israel will go into the Kingdom.)

The Fall of Babylon #52



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 15th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

REVELON BOOKThe Fall of Babylon

  “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”  (Revelation 14:8).

This is a preview of chapter 17 and 18 and will be dealt with when we come to those chapters.

The Third Angel’s Warning Of God’s Wrath And Of Hell

 “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.”  (Revelation 14:9-11).

This third angel, like the one with the everlasting Gospel, no doubt flies through the heavens with a message of warning. All who accept the Antichrist and his religion will suffer God’s wrath in hell. The Bible has far more to say about hell than it does about heaven. Hell is a real place with real fire and suffering, which lasts forever. It took the death of God’s only beloved Son to keep you out.

 The Blessed Who Die in the Lord

 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.   And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”  (Revelation 14:12-13).

You have heard of the patience of Job. Like Job, these will find themselves in the midst of Great Tribulation and suffering. God will be silent, and from all outward appearances, indifferent to the suffering of His people. However, those who know Him and His Word know that is not the case. God is a longsuffering God. He is not willing that any should perish. He will wait as long as His patience allows.

His saints are called upon to trust Him even unto death. God will keep His Word and show Himself faithful! These show their faith by keeping His commandments and having faith in Jesus, their Messiah.

Death by execution will possibly be a daily event within the kingdom of the Beast. God encourages His saints by assuring them that death would end their suffering and that their works will be rewarded accordingly. Notice that those who worship the beast die and spend eternity in the sufferings of hell, while those who worship God and die under the Beast, spend an eternity of blessings with a loving God.

The Second Advent and the Gentiles Nations at Armageddon

 “And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.”  (Revelation 14:14-16).\

This section ends with the Second Advent of Christ and the battle of Armageddon. In verses 14-16 the Lord Jesus reaps the “harvest of the earth.”

The Gentile nations are going to be “drawn” together to the battle at Armageddon where they will be destroyed as they fight against Israel. In Zechariah 14 God said He would accomplish this. (See Ezekiel 38, 39; Joel 3; Revelation 16:13-16; 19:11-21.)

We believe the harvest and the vintage are in the same battle. I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land (Joel 3:2).

 This is the judgment of the nations in Matt. 25:31-46. God said in Joel 3:2 that He would plead with the Gentile nations concerning Israel. No doubt, some nations will listen to God and defend Israel. He will also plead with Israel, and a remnant of the righteous will repent and fight the wicked. “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them” (Zechariah 12:8). The weakest among the nation will become as King David and fight for the cause of Christ. This, we believe is the battle spoken of in the above text.  

 The Second Advent and Israel at Armageddon

“And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”  (Revelation 14:17-20).

We believe the harvest here is of the wicked within the nation of Israel because of the reference to the vine of the earth. Israel is repeatedly called a vine. See Isa. 5:1-5; Jer. 2:21; Psa. 80:9; Hosea 10:1; Deut. 32:32. God gathers the nation of Israel to the battle for its destruction. Only one-third will remain when this battle is over. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” (Zechariah 13:8,9). (See Zechariah 14:14; Romans 11:25-29.)

The Lord Jesus will be involved in this battle. This assures us that these events are at the Second Advent. “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth” (Isaiah 63:1-6).  (See Revelation 19:11-21.)

It is obvious that chapters 15 and 16 culminate the wrath of God just prior to the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. There were three other accounts of His second coming within the book:

Chapter 6:12-17  Chapter 11:13-16  Chapter 14:18, 20

These plagues began under the seals and the trumpets. However, under the form of vials, they are greatly intensified. These events may take place just months or days before the Second Advent.

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL PREACHED BY AN ANGEL # 51



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 12th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

 

THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL PREACHED BY AN ANGEL  #51

 “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.”  (Revelation 14:6-7).

God is not limited as to how He gets His message of salvation to man. We limit Him when we assume that it must be done our way. God can and will use any means necessary to save man. We should take a lesson from Him.

               The wisdom of God is written in the creation. His wisdom and power are clearly visible to all willing to see. God has also given every man the ability to set standards of morality. This is demonstrated when we excuse ourselves, or accuse others. (See Romans 2:12-16.)

               God has always wanted man to be saved. Jonah was to be a witness. Israel was to be a witness to the nations. He gave the 144,000 to be witnesses. He told His disciples that they were His witnesses. The churches of the Revelation were to endure and be faithful witnesses unto death. They are to continue that which was started in the book of Acts.

               When it seemed impossible for men to witness and get the Good News out to others, God brought in his reserve preacher whose pulpit was the sky. God will use this special angel to proclaim a salvation message to the lost.

               This Gospel is called “the everlasting gospel” not because of its results, but because of the content of its message. The message is, “fear God…give Him glory…worship Him Who made heaven…earth…the sea…and fountains of water.” Nothing is said about believing on the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. That Gospel is totally absent here.

               From Genesis to Acts, men were not required to believe on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Not even Jesus’ disciples knew that message when they preached the kingdom Gospel! However, the Gospel preached by this angel was the same Gospel Gentiles were required to believe prior to converting to Judaism or Christianity. This is exactly what Peter said to Cornelius. “Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). In every dispensation, God has His message and His massagers.

THE RAPTURE OF THE 144,000 #50



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 6th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE RAPTURE OF THE 144,000

Chapter 14 takes the reader through the entire Tribulation one more time. We have stated repeatedly that Revelation was not written in chronological order. There are seven independent events listed in this chapter.

               We leave the horrible events of chapter 13, which issue from the first and the second beast, the Antichrist and the False Prophet. That scene took place on earth. The opening events in chapter 14 take place in heaven. Jesus is seen standing in the heavenly Jerusalem on Mount Zion with His redeemed 144,000.

               Tim LaHaye thinks this scene is on earth, and he takes several pages to prove that the 144,000 here are different than the ones sealed in chapter 7. He says that, of the millions who have followed Jesus in this dispensation, some were never married and would qualify as the 144,000. He says that these are certain “elite” believers of the church age who have earned this special status. In addition, he believes they follow Jesus during the Millennium. He argues that they are probably different because of the differences recorded about the two groups.

               We disagree with Brother LaHaye and will give our reasons following the text.

 “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”  (Revelation 14:1-5).

               In chapter 7, a parenthetical chapter, the 144,000 are sealed prior to the opening of the first seal in chapter 6:1. It is obvious that they were sealed for ownership and protection. In 9:4 the demons are commanded to not harm the 144,000 who were sealed.

               There is no reason to assume that God sealed them for protection and then allowed them to be martyred later in the Tribulation. It is also illogical that God would mention two sets of 144,000 that were sealed. The Book of Revelation is not about believers of the church dispensation; therefore, these in chapter 14 are not from the church, the body of Christ, but are the same ones sealed at the beginning of the Tribulation.

               We are not told what the seal is. In chapter 14 it is the name of the Father. Whatever it means it implies their commitment to Him and His ownership of them.

               They are called the “first fruits” unto God. That is, they were the first of the Jewish nation during the seven-year Tribulation to be redeemed by God and set aside for a particular ministry. We believe they will be witnesses to the rest of the nation.

               John hears singing and harps playing in heaven, which sounded like the thundering of many waters. No doubt this was a beautiful and awe-inspiring sound. The 144,000 had the four beasts and twenty-four elders for their audience. The song is called “new” because it was never sung before, nor could anyone else sing it. Bible songs were an expression of some experience that had occurred in the life of the singers. Examples of this are seen in the song of Moses at the Red Sea in Exodus 15 and Deborah’s song in Judges 5.

Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.  The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.  Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.  The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.  Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.  And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.  And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.  The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.  Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.  Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?  Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.  The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.  Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.  Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.  Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.  The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.  For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.  And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”  (Exodus 15:1-21).

               The redemption of these 144,000 is from among those on the earth and suggests a rapture. Throughout the Tribulation they have been on the earth. No doubt their purpose was to witness for God and Christ. They are now seen in the heavenly Jerusalem on Mount Zion. “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,” (Hebrews 12:22). We believe they were caught up to that location.

               They are called virgins. This may be a figure of speech illustrating their purity, by rejecting the religion of the false prophet and keeping themselves from the immorality of that religion. Homosexuality will be prevalent in the religion of the Beast and the False Prophet.

               We believe, however, these are actual virgins. Jesus gave the parable of the ten virgins who waited on the Bride Groom. This special group was faithful in His absence and watched for His return. Because they were ready, they were called to “go out and meet” Him. This, no doubt, is the meaning concerning the 144,000. They are the fulfillment of the parable. (See Matthew 25:1-13.)

THE SECOND BEAST-THE FALSE PROPHET #49



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ September 5th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

REVELON BOOKThe Second Beast-The False Prophet (13:11-18)

 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he 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: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”  (Revelation 13:11-18).

               Just as the identity of the Antichrist is unknown today, so it is impossible to identify the False Prophet. We are informed only of his character and his deeds.

               The beast (Antichrist), we are told, comes from a sea of people. As we have said, we believe the Antichrist comes for Syria, and Babylon. It seems evident that the “sea” consists of the kingdoms within the Old Roman Empire. However, the False Prophet is said to come “…up out of the earth.” Most agree that this is the land of Palestine. 

               Dr. Walvoord says the earth means he comes “out of the world, not simply out of Palestine.” Tim LaHaye says, “He will not be of mixed nationality; that he comes out of the earth (around Palestine) may indicate that he will be a Jew.”  Cohen and Kirban say, “This would seem to mean that he raises out of the ‘land,’ that is, the land of Palestine.” 

               It is possible that the False Prophet comes from the land of Palestine, but it is not imperative. Some argue that the False Prophet and the Antichrist must be a Jew or at least a half-breed. Again, we see no proof why that must be so, and we have read most of the arguments. 

               This beast (false prophet) has two horns like a lamb. He appears, to the masses, as a sheep; however, he speaks the words of the dragon. When he opens his mouth, he speaks a lie.

               Since religion is the opiate of the people, the False Prophet capitalizes on this to weld the people to the Antichrist and his kingdom.  He accomplishes this through miracles, images and executions.

               It is not uncommon for false prophets to have miracle working power. This is seen in both testaments. Two examples are in Egypt, and in the book of Job. Paul warned of this man and his deception. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11.) Jesus warned of this person when He said, Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.  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.  Behold, I have told you before.  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not” (Matthew 24:23-26).

               We cannot be sure what this live image is. This may be a huge television screen like that on Times Square in New York. This live image could be a means through which the Antichrist communicates with those within his kingdom. He would also be able to see them through modern technology that exists today. We are not saying that this will be the case, but it is possible, and most likely. The internet with its web cams and virtual reality make this easy for us to understand the possibility.

               Those who do not comply will be killed or brought under subjection through hunger and privation. None can buy or sell without proper identification provided by the Beast kingdom. Each person must have a number, a name, or a mark. The constant threat of terrorist attacks will force the nations to institute a tracking system which cannot be foiled.  No one today knows exactly what that system or mark is, but it will be clear in that day. We hear much today about the ability to control nations through embargoes, and “freezing” bank accounts.  The Christian can see that everything is quickly falling in place for all these events to transpire.

Regardless, the false prophet is controlled by Satan, and will assist is the deception of the masses. We should note the he is also called a beast.

THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS, AND BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY. A-4



Ken Blue By Ken Blue ~ August 30th, 2014. Filed under: Bible Study.

THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS, AND BEGINNING OF HIS MINISTRY. A-4

 

lion and lambMatthew 4:1-25

Jesus was always led by the Spirit. It was necessary that He be tested by the devil to show that a sinless man with a free will could resist his temptations. The first Adam had every comfort which Jesus did not have, yet Adam willing sinned and plunged all creation under a curse and into death.

Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness without food or water. Although the hunger would have an effect on His strength, He was able to resist the temptation which involved food. The temptation in Eden also involved food. “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3:6. Adam and Eve had every food imaginable, yet ate of the one commanded to not eat. She also misquoted God’s Word, whereas, Jesus quoted it and defeat the devil thereby. (Deut. 8:3). This temptation was an appeal to the lust of the flesh.

The devil now appeals to the pride of life. “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Matthew 4:5-6. “Josephus describes as of tremendous height (Antiq. xv. 11.5)” Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words. The suggestion by the devil was that angels would carry Jesus into the Temple area proving that He was their Messiah, and the people would willing accept Him as sent from God.   

Satan quotes Psalm 91:11-12, rather, he totally misuses the verses. The context will show that the verses have nothing to do with this temptation. They were written to Israel by Moses to encourage them as they wondered through the wilderness. It is interesting that the devil did not quote verse 13. It predicted his own doom. See Deut. 6:16 for our Lord’s response. We note that the devil purposely misused the verse. Sadly, many preachers do the same thing today. They may not do it to deceive, but they do have an agenda, and if they find any verse that will accomplish it, they will completely ignore the true intention of the context in order to get people to “buy into” their plan.  

The devil has many wiles, and he will use all of them if necessary. The next recorded temptation was directed to the lust of the eyes. The devil gave Jesus a panoramic view of all the kingdoms of this world in a moment of time. Satan knew from Genesis three, that there would be an end to his kingdom, and the Son of God would take it. Thus, he offers Him a way to have the kingdoms, in an attempt to avoid his loss of all, and his confinement in hell. Again, Jesus defeats this temptation by obeying the Word of God. (Deut. 6:13).

Although the devil left Him, it was only for a season. If one follows the life and ministry of Jesus, he will see the devil at work on every page. I would recommend every Christian read the account of the temptation as described by John Milton in his Paradise Regained. It is a classic, and will open one’s eyes to the possible extent of the full forty days of testing.

Matthew 14 explains why John was in prison. Jesus leaves Galilee and dwells for a season at Capernaum by the sea. The reason is given in verses 14-16. The reader should consult a good map of Bible lands to follow the travels of Jesus. The great light that was seen was Jesus, the Light of the world. (Isa. 9:1-2).
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(17)

  • Literally, “kingdom from the heavens.” It is headed by Jesus Christ for the purpose of re-establishing the kingdom of God over this rebellious part of God’s realm. Only found in Matthew because it is the gospel of Jehovah’s King. It is a dispensational term and refers to Messiah’s kingdom on earth. Offered by both John and Jesus (Mt. 3:2; 4:17; 10:7). Because it was rejected, it was postponed until Christ comes to set up the kingdom (Mt. 11:12,20-24; 27:22-25; Lk. 19:11-27; Acts 1:6-7; 3:19-26)… At the end Christ will come and set up a literal earthly kingdom forever (Mt. 25:31-46; Rev. 11:15; 19:11 — Rev. 20:10; Zech. 14; Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:13-27; Lk. 1:32-33). During the first 1,000 years of His eternal reign He will put down all rebellion and rid the earth of all rebels. Then God will become “all in all” as before rebellion (Rev. 20:1-10; 21:1 — Rev. 22:5; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Eph. 1:10). Anything said of the kingdom of heaven can also be said of the kingdom of God, because the former is only the earthly dispensational aspect of the latter. There are many things said of the kingdom of God, however, which cannot be said of the kingdom of heaven.” Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.

There is no doubt that these men had heard and observed the ministry of Jesus prior to this event. When called, they immediately followed Him. They were called to preach the Kingdom of Heaven, and get the nation to accept Jesus as their Messiah, and King.

The word gospel means “good news.” “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” Galatians 3:8. Every dispensation had its gospel, and all of them differ. Sadly, many pastors cannot see or understand this truth. The common saying that “people in the Old Testament looked forward to the cross” is not true. Not one person in Matthew through John understood or believed that Jesus was going to die for our sins.  

Jesus was and teacher and a preacher. He spent most of His time teaching the disciples, and the other, preaching to the multitudes. His message in Matthew was “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” His healing ministry was part of the Kingdom gospel, and it confirmed the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Himself. The Kingdom and the King were offered. The reactions will be the rejection of the King and the Kingdom.