Antiochus Epiphanes and the End Times
Part 3: The Prophetic Fulfillment
Daniel 11:21-35 (or 37) prophesied the most significant acts of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (r. 176 – ca. 164 B.C.), one of Daniel 11ʼs human Kings of the North, and also the acts of the Jews during his rule. “In the time of the end [of the age],” essentially the same deeds, in the same sequence, will be committed by Daniel 11:40-45ʼs King of the North, and also by Godʼs people:
1) Lawlessness and Apostasy: of the Jewish people and priests, beginning in the latter 170s B.C., and likewise of both Judaism and the Church in the Latter Days.
2) An invasion of Egypt, followed by a furious return to the Holy Land.
3) An Abomination of Desolation being set up.
4) Persecution of and flight/escape of Godʼs people to the wilderness.
1) The former time of apostasy, sin, and lawlessness committed by Godʼs priests and people began in the latter 170s B.C., when –
1 Macc. 1:11 In those days lawless men came forth from Israel and misled many… 13 …to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they…abandoned the holy covenant.
Dan. 8:12 Because of transgression [Heb. pesha: rebellion, sin; LXX: amartia/sin] an army was given [Antiochus] against the daily [Temple service], and he cast down truth to the ground; and he practiced, and prospered.
1 Macc. 2:15 …the kingʼs officers…were enforcing the apostasy [Gr. apostasia]…
The latter days will provide the same pattern of events:
Dan. 11:41 [The King of the North] shall enter the Glorious Land, and many shall stumble/be enfeebled/be overthrown…
2 Thess. 2:1 …the Day of Christ will not come… 3 …unless the apostasy [Gr. apostasia] comes first, and the man of sin [Gr. amartia] is revealed, the Son of Perdition…
Matt. 24:11 And many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And…lawlessness will abound…
2) After the initial corruption of faith, an invasion of Egypt follows:
1 Macc. 1:29 Two years later [in 168 B.C.]… 2 Macc. 5:1 …Antiochus made his second invasion of Egypt.
Dan. 11:29 At the appointed time he shall return and go into the South; but it shall not be like the former [time, when he plundered Egypt], or like the latter/last.
The Latter Day invasion, unlike the former, will be successful:
Dan. 11:42 He shall stretch out his hand against lands, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 And he shall have dominion over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt…
3) Following an angry return by the King of the North from Egypt to the land of Israel, he causes an Abomination of Desolation to be set up in Jerusalem:
Dan. 11:30 …and he shall return and be enraged against the holy covenant… 31 …they shall place the abomination of desolation.
1 Macc. 1:54 Now on the 15th day of Chislev in the 145th year [~Dec. 16, 168 B.C.], they erected a desolating sacrilege [likely an idol of Zeus] upon the altar of burnt offering.
A Latter Day abomination is likewise prophesied:
Dan. 11:44 …he shall go out [of the south] with great fury… 45 And he shall plant the tents of his pavilion between the seas at the glorious holy mountain… 12:11 …and an abomination of desolation [will be] set up…
Matt. 24:15 …you [shall] see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place…
2 Thes. 2:3 …the man of sin [shall] be revealed, the Son of Perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called a god or that is worshiped, so that he sits as a god in the naos/sanctuary/holy place of God, exhibiting himself that he is a god.
4) Immediately following this culminating act of apostasy, a great persecution of Godʼs people begins, and they flee into the wilderness:
1 Macc. 1:41 …the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, 42 and that each should give up his customs. … 53 …they drove [the faithful of] Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had. … 2:15 Then the kingʼs officers who were enforcing the apostasy [Gr. apostasia] came to Modein to make them offer sacrifice. … 19 But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice… 22 “We will not obey the kingʼs words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left. … 27 Let everyone who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!” 28 And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city. 29 Then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there…
Dan. 11:32 Those who [did] wickedly against the covenant [Antiochus] corrupt[ed] with flattery; but the people knowing their God [were] strong, and acted so. 33 …yet for many days they [were] enfeeble[d] by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.
A Latter Day persecution and flight is likewise prophesied:
Dan. 12:1 …And there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall escape/be delivered…
Matt. 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you… 16 …then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. … 21 For then there will be [the] Great Tribulation, such has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor shall be.
Rev. 12:1 Then the Woman fled into the wilderness…
At this point, the significant acts of the King of the North against Godʼs people, both past and present, come to an end. Antiochus never returned to Judah, nor was directly involved there. He left to campaign in the east, and thereafter failed to capture the wealthy city of Elymais in Persia. Then,
1 Macc. 6:7 [Hearing] that [the Jews] had torn down the abomination which he had erected upon the altar in Jerusalem… 8 …he was astounded and badly shaken. He took to his bed and became sick from grief, because things had not turned out for him as he had planned. … 16 Thus Antiochus the king died there…
Of the Latter Day King of the North, Daniel prophesies that, after he sets himself up –
Dan. 11:45 …at the glorious holy mountain…he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
2 Thes. 2:8 …the Lord will consume [him] with the spirit of His mouth, and bring [him] to nought with the brightness of His Coming.
For more information about this person, see my blog, The Son of Perdition Is a Patsy. The prophecy of Daniel 12:11-12 about the 1290- and 1335-day periods of this era will be discussed in the next blog.
Antiochus Epiphanes and the End Times
Part 2: The Transition from the Past to the Present
Antiochus invaded Egypt twice. In describing the second invasion, Daniel 11:29 cryptically prophesies about the End Times:
At the appointed time he shall return and go into the South; but it shall not be like the former [time, when he plundered Egypt], or like the latter/last.
After his second, failed invasion, Antiochus never again entered Egypt, nor ever returned to Judah. He died in Persia during a fruitless campaign to replenish his empty treasury, having spent it on the failed second Egyptian campaign, and then failed campaigns to quash the Maccabean revolt. Therefore, this prophecy about the last time that a King of the North invades the South can only refer to –
11:40 At the time of the end, [when]…the King of the North… 42 …shall stretch out his hand against lands, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 And he shall have dominion…over all the precious things of Egypt…
– which was not the case with Antiochusʼs second campaign, when he was driven out of Egypt in humiliation by the Romans.
When Antiochus was driven out, he
Dan. 11:30 …return[ed to Jerusalem] and [was] enrage[d] against the holy covenant, and so acted…and show[ed] regard for those who fors[oo]k the holy covenant. … 31 And forces [were] mustered by him, and they defile[d] the sanctuary fortress, and they [took] away the daily/continual service, and place[d] the abomination of desolation.
This is the last act prophesied by Daniel 11 for a Seleucid King of the North, even though the Seleucid Kingdom continued until 64 B.C., when it was extinguished by the Romans. However, Daniel 11:40 tells us that the spiritual King of the North, “the sar/prince/chief one” that reigned over this human kingdom from generation to generation (cf. Dan. 10:13, 20-21), remains to this day.
Syrian Kings Antiochus IV and Demetrius I Soter (asc. 162 B.C.) both spent many years of their youth in Rome, learning Roman culture. In a very real sense, Roman and Greek cultures were merged in these two kings. Of Daniel 7ʼs four beast-kingdoms – Chaldeo-Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome – only Rome substantially merged with and promoted, rather than extinguished, the language and culture of its predecessor, Greece. Likewise, the spiritual King of the North also became conjoined with the Roman Empire.
The first and greatest ruler of the Greek beast-empire of Daniel 7 was Alexander the Great. Just before he died, he was officially proclaimed to be an incarnated god by the Greeks. Antiochus IV took the titular name Epiphanes, literally meaning “Over-Shining One,” but by innuendo “A Manifestation of God(hood).” Daniel 11:36-37 prophesied this about him, and thus implicitly about the spiritual sar that possessed his soul:
…he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, [and] shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods…he shall magnify himself above them all.
According to pagan Greek and Roman theology, Zeus/Jupiter, the head of the gods, occasionally incarnated in human or animal form. We see this belief current in the mid-first century A.D., right after Paul performed a miracle in Lystra:
Acts 14:11 …when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying… “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men.” 12 And Barnabus they called Zeus, and Paul Hermes…
Many scholars believe that the “abomination of desolation” (see Deut. 7:25-26), the idol which Antiochus ordered to be set up in the Jerusalem Temple, had his own face on it.
This practice by the Greek culture of worshiping human rulers as gods was soon adopted by the Romans. The first great Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, claimed that his family descended from one of the gods impregnating one of their human female ancestors. In 42 B.C., two years after his assassination, the Roman Senate decreed that Caesar was a god. His adopted son Octavian, who not long afterward became sole emperor under the titular name Augustus, began calling himself “son of a god.” He and succeeding emperors of the Julian line were proclaimed to be gods by the Senate after their deaths; the practice ending with Nero. He had become so demented and depraved in his final years that the custom ended – for a while.
The Transition Era
Daniel 11:38 But in his place/estate/station he shall give glory to a god of fortresses; and to a god which his fathers knew not he shall give glory with gold, and with silver, and with precious stones, and with desirable things. 39 And/so he shall act for defenders of fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall cause to revere, cause to multiply glory; and he shall cause them to rule among the multitudes. And he shall divide/allot land at a profit.
The much-debated passage of Daniel 11:38-39 speaks only in general terms about the transition period between the time of the god-man Antiochus and “the time of the end.” This passage begins with the phrase, “in his [Antiochusʼs] place/estate/station,” a phrase used previously in verses 7, 20, and 21 to describe the transition of the Seleucid kingdom from a king to his descendant.
The Hebrew noun for “place/estate/station” literally means “something set up.” That is, each king inherited the cumulative “set-ups” of the kingly line, and then added his own acts upon them. These set-ups included, most importantly, the establishment of a belief system.
As noted above, the belief system culminating with Antiochus, which was then passed along to the Romans, was that great human rulers can become known as, and then should be worshiped as, gods.
Upon that “estate,” descendent rulers began to “give glory to a god of fortresses.” Dan. 11:38 Uniquely among the four beast-kingdoms of Daniel 7, the Romans were fort-builders. Previously, cities and temples were what had been fortified, and armies were garrisoned within them at need. But the Roman Empire became the greatest of the four through the practice of their legions building forts for themselves. By this means, their armies were able to concentrate their forces on the ever-expanding boundaries of the empire. There they were readily available to deal with incipient threats, without requiring the time and expense of moving soldiers, equipment, and supplies long distances. (Whereas, for example, the practice of Antiochus was to plunder and leave. This allowed the conquered peoples time to regroup and resist, as the Maccabees did.)
The practice of building military bases, not fortified cities, became the standard for the Anglo-European posterity of the Roman Empire. (That is, those Western governments principally deriving their laws, traditions, and governments from Roman ones.) In our day, such military bases are found throughout the world.
In Revelation 2:12-14, Jesus said the city of Pergamos was “where Satanʼs throne is…where Satan dwells.” According to Strongʼs (G4010), Pergamos means Fortified (Place); it was the capital of Roman Asia. In the Apostle Johnʼs day, the ancient Babylonian religion was practiced in its temple. Many tenets of that religion became infused within pagan Rome, and later within the Roman Church. Therefore, Pergamos may have been the source of the “foreign god” “which [Antiochusʼ] fathers knew not.” In the 1890s, a substantial part of Pergamosʼs ancient temple was disassembled, moved to, and reconstructed in Berlin, where it stands today.
This brings us up to “the time of the end” events of Daniel 11:40 – 12:13, to be examined in Part 3.
Antiochus Epiphanes and the End Times
Part 1: The History
Daniel 11:21 [After the death of Syrian King Seleucus IV in 176 B.C., there] ar[o]se a vile person [Antiochus IV Epiphanes], [who] seize[d] the kingdom by flattery/slickness. 1 Maccabees 1:10 …he had been a hostage in Rome [since 190 B.C., when his father Antiochus III the Great lost most of Asia Minor to Rome at the Battle of Magnesia. Antiochus learned Roman manners and political skills during his 14 years in Rome, and probably returned to Syria with some Roman support and funding.] Dan. 11:22 [His Syrian enemies were] swept away with the force of a flood and broken, and also the foremost one [High Priest Onias III] of the [Jewsʼ holy] covenant.
1 Macc. 1:11 In those days lawless men came forth from Israel and misled many, saying, “Let us go and make a covenant with the Gentiles...” 13 …some of the people eagerly went to the king [Antiochus]. He authorized them to observe the ordinances of the Gentiles. 14 So they…abandoned the holy covenant. Dan. 11:23 And some [of the Jews] binding themselves with him, he act[ed] deceitfully, and r[o]se up and bec[a]me strong with a small nation. 2 Macc. 4:7-9 Jason, the brother of [High Priest] Onias [III], obtained the high priesthood by corruption, [paying a large bribe to Antiochus. :10 Jason then] shifted his countrymen over to the Greek way of life. …14 …the priests were no longer intent upon their service at the altar.
2 Macc. 4:23 After a period of three years…Menelaus… 24 …secured the high priesthood for himself, outbidding Jason… 25 [Being a Benjamite, he] possess[ed] no qualifications for the high priesthood, but had the hot temper of a cruel tyrant and the rage of a savage wild beast. [32-34 Using gold vessels he stole from the temple, he then bribed Antiochusʼs deputy to have Onias III assassinated, ca. 172/1 B.C.]
1 Macc. 1:16 When Antiochus saw that his kingdom was established… 17…he invaded Egypt… 18 …engaged Ptolemy [VI Philometor] King of Egypt in [the] battle [of Pelusium, 171 B.C.], and Ptolemy turned and fled… Dan. 11:25 He [Antiochus] stir[red] up his power and his heart against the King of the south with a great army. And the King of the South [was] stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army, but he [did] not stand… 1 Macc. 1:19 [Antiochus then] plundered the land of Egypt.
1 Macc. 1:20 After subduing Egypt, Antiochus returned in the 143rd year [170 B.C.]. He went up against Israel and came to Jerusalem with a strong force. 21 He arrogantly entered the sanctuary and took the golden altar, the lampstand for the light, and all its utensils[, 22-23 and everything else of value.] 24 Taking them all, he departed to his own land. = Dan. 11:28 While returning to his land [from Egypt] with great riches, his heart [was] moved against the holy covenant; so he act[ed], and return[ed] to his own land.
1 Macc. 1:29 Two years later [in 168 B.C.], 2 Macc. 5:1 Antiochus made his second invasion of Egypt. Dan. 11:29 At the appointed time he return[ed] and [went] toward the south; but it [was] not like the former time or like the latter. 30 For ships of Kittim [a Roman fleet commanded by Popilius Laenus] c[a]me against him; therefore he [was] grieved, and return[ed] and [was] enrage[d] against the holy covenant, and so acted…and show[ed] regard for those who forsook the holy covenant.
1 Macc. 1:31 [Antiochus] plundered the city… 2 Macc. 5:14…80,000 Jews were destroyed…and as many sold into slavery… 15 Antiochus dared to enter the most holy Temple in the world, guided by Menelaus, who had become a traitor to the laws and to his country. 16 [Antiochus] took the holy vessels with his polluted hands… 17…not perceiving that the Lord was angered for a little because of the sins of those who dwelt in the city, and that therefore He was disregarding the holy place.
1 Macc. 1:33 Then they fortified the city of David… 34 And they stationed there a sinful people, lawless men. … 37 On every side of the sanctuary they shed innocent blood; they even defiled the sanctuary. 38 Because of them, the residents of Jerusalem fled, [and] … 39 Her sanctuary became as desolate as a desert… Dan. 11:31 And forces [were] mustered by him, and they defile[d] the sanctuary fortress, and they [took] away the daily/continual service…
1 Macc. 1:54 Now on the 15th day of Chislev in the 145th year [~Dec. 16, 168 B.C.], they erected a desolating sacrilege [likely an idol of Zeus] upon the altar of burnt offering. Dan. 11:31…they…place[d] the abomination of desolation. 1 Macc. 1:54 And on the 25th day of the month [~Dec. 26, 168 B.C.] they offered sacrifice on the altar which was upon the altar of burnt sacrifice.
1 Macc. 1:41 …the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people, 42 and that each should give up his customs. 43 … Many even from Israel gladly adopted his religion… 52 they forsook the law…and they did evil in the land; 53 they drove Israel into hiding in every place of refuge they had.
Dan. 11:32 Those who [did] wickedly against the covenant [Antiochus] corrupt[ed] with flattery; but the people knowing their God [were] strong, and acted so. 1 Macc. 2:1 In those days Mattathias…a priest of the sons of Joarib… 14 …and his [five] sons rent their clothes, put on sackcloth, and mourned greatly. 15 Then the kingʼs officers who were enforcing the apostasy [Gr. apostasia] came to Modein to make them offer sacrifice. … 19 But Mattathias answered and said in a loud voice… 22 “We will not obey the kingʼs words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left. … 27 Let everyone who is zealous for the law and supports the covenant come out with me!” 28 And he and his sons fled to the hills and left all that they had in the city. 29 Then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went down to the wilderness to dwell there… 42 Then there united with them a company of Hasidians, mighty warriors of Israel, every one who offered himself willingly for the law.
Dan. 11:32 And those of the people who under[stood] instruct[ed] many; yet for many days they [were] enfeeble[d] by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 1 Macc. 3:1 [After the death of the aged Mattathias,] then Judas his son, who was called Maccabeus, took command in his place. [Chapters 3-4: three years of warfare between the Maccabees and the Syrians ensued, with the Jews coming to gain the upper hand, and driving the Syrians out of the land.] 4:36 Then said Judas and his brothers, “Behold, our enemies are crushed; let us go up to cleanse the sanctuary and dedicate it.” 37 So all the army assembled and they went up to Mount Zion. … 47 Then they…built a new altar like the former one. 48 They also rebuilt the sanctuary… 49 …made new holy vessels, and… 50 …lighted the lamps on the lampstand… 52 Early in the morning on the 25th day of the ninth month [~Dec. 24], which is the month of Chislev, in the 148th year [165 B.C.], 53 they rose and offered sacrifice… 54 At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, [the Temple] was [re]dedicated… 56 So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days… 59 Then…all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of the dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the 25th day of the month Chislev.
This is the eight-day Feast of Dedication (John 10:22), also called Hanukkah, still kept by the Jews to this day.
Index and Summaries of Blog Posts 1-25
This summary of the first 25 posts will help readers more easily find topics of interest to them.
1. Introduction: Hebraic Roots Pre-Wrath
A brief explanation of this blog’s primary focus: End Times prophecy as viewed from the long-ignored Hebraic perspective.
2. The Last Shofar: The Latter Horn of Redemption
Provides the Hebraic background of, and explanation for, Paul’s use of the term “the Last Trumpet” in 1 Corinthians 15:51; then explains its connection to Paul’s often-ignored Rapture prophecy in Hebrews 12:18-28.
3. The Kingdoms of Solomon and Jesus Christ
Shows that all of the primary events of King Davidʼs latter days, and up through the early events of the reign of King Solomon, allegorically portray the sequence of events of the End Times from the Great Tribulation to the establishment of Christ’s own kingdom-reign from Jerusalem.
4. End Times Crib Sheet
A summary outline of the above article, with a few key additions. Good for copying to use as a concise, one-page reference sheet for the order of End Time events. https://www.worthychristianforums.com/blogs/entry/843-end-times-crib-sheet/
5. The Great Tribulation and the Great Deception
Some “strong meat,” quoting passages from many Old and New Testament prophecies and Hebraic allegories, that reveals much not commonly understood about the Abomination of Desolation, Great Tribulation, the Manchild, the Lawless One, and resurrections of the righteous and unrighteous dead.
6. Careers in the Kingdom
Provides a basic description of the Kingdom- (Millennial-) Age’s ecclesiastical, governmental, and commoner employments and responsibilities; and shows how these roles are both similar to and differ from comparable roles in the Mosaic/‘Jewish’ and Church Ages.
7. “The Stars Will Fall From Heaven” = Pole Reversal?
Shows how passages from Matt. 24, Luke 21, and Rev. 6, 9, and 12, about the stars falling from heaven in the era of the Second Coming, together indicate a reversal of Earth’s poles. Evidence about such pole reversals in the past is presented for comparison.
8. Matthew 24:30; Daniel 11:40 - 12:2; 2 Thessalonians 2; Numbers 24:24
Shows how these prophecies outline the political/military/religious events to take place from the period just before the Abomination of Desolation up through the demise of the Son of Perdition at the Coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven.
9. “…and every eye will see Him…” Part 1
An introduction to the prophecy of Revelation 1:7, and parallel Old and New Testament prophecies: the primary implications of “every eye will see” Christ when He comes in the clouds.
10. “…and every eye will see Him…” Part 2
A broader look at the implications of this event, especially for those of a carnal nature. Also, how this event was directly presaged by the LORD’s descent upon Mount Sinai during the Exodus. https://www.worthychristianforums.com/blogs/entry/975-every-eye-will-see-him-part-2/
11. “…and every eye will see Him…” Part 3
An expanded view of how this event was presaged at Mount Sinai, especially concerning those of a soulish nature. Beginning of an understanding about ascents toward the LORD.
12. “…and every eye will see Him…” Part 4
A concluding look at the ascents of those of spiritual and light natures, both at earthly Mount Sinai and at the Coming of Christ upon heavenly Mount Zion. https://www.worthychristianforums.com/blogs/entry/1015-every-eye-will-see-him-part-4/
13. The Three Heavens
A description of the three heavens/worlds above our physical world, and how they correspond to soul, spirit, and breath. Also, how all four worlds are symbolically portrayed by the four different areas of the Holy Temple. https://www.worthychristianforums.com/blogs/entry/1027-the-three-heavens/
14. Revelation 12
Explains all of the essential elements of Rev. 12, including the Woman, the Manchild, the time in history, and the 1260 days.
15. Matthew 24:4-31 Is a Two-Part Prophecy
Explains why Matt. 24:4-14 and Matt. 24:25-31 are two separate but closely related prophecies.
16. The Three Earthquakes of Revelation
Shows why the earthquakes of Rev. 6:12, 11:13, and 16:18 are indeed three separate quakes, and not, as some claim, all the same one.
17. The Son of Perdition Is a Patsy
Shows that 2 Thes. 2:3’s Son of Perdition will follow in the pattern of Judas, the Bible’s only other Son of Perdition; contrary to common misconceptions about his role in the End Times.
18. The Temple-Sanctuary and Court of Revelation 11
An explanation of Rev. 11:1-2 in a question-and-answer format, including details about heavenly and earthly sanctuaries, and who in them may remain or get expelled.
19. When Does the Lord Smite Edom?
Details Latter-Day events upon earth, including the Lord’s punishment of Edom, that are little understood by the Church.
20. “The Antichrist” Myth
Debunks a number of false presumptions about “The Antichrist” that are taught in modern-day churches.
21. The Psalm 83 War: When?
An explanation of the historical background of Psalm 83 and related OT texts, and the modern false presumptions about them.
22. Forty Days
Some of the reasons why the Great Tribulation will likely be much shorter than most people think.
https://www.worthychristianforums.com/blogs/entry/1179-forty-days/23. The Levels and Origins of Loves, and Their Ultimate Fulfillment
Explains the different words for “love” in the Greek language, and God’s uses for these loves in bringing His people into fruitfulness and unity.
24. The Firstfruits and the Harvest
Explains the prophetic application of OT laws about the firstfruits, the firstborn, and the full harvest, as these laws relate to the End Times.
25. The Innumerable “Great Multitude” of Revelation 7:9
An explanation of who these people will be, and what their heavenly role will be in the End Times.
The Innumerable “Great Multitude” of Revelation 7:9
Rev. 7:9 I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, out of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the [heavenly] throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
Question: How many people would it take that “no one could number them?” Not, “no man,” but “no one” (obviously excluding God), which would include angels.
We find the mention of a very large number in Revelation 9:
Rev. 9:16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was 200 million; I heard the number of them.
So if 200 million (lit. “two ten thousands of ten thousands”) can be numbered, clearly the Great Multitude must exceed this amount. It is therefore reasonable to expect that the Great Multitude will number at least one billion people.
Current estimates of the number of professing Christians is in the range of 2¼ billion, out of a total world population of 7.2 billion. However, before the 1800s A.D., total world population was less than a billion, with the number of Christians very much less than that. Therefore, the total number of professing Christians that have lived on earth since the time of Jesus is estimated at 3+ to 5 billion; about half of which are currently alive. However, remember that “the gospel was also preached [and likely still is being preached] to those who are dead” (1 Pet. 4:6), so the total number of those coming to saving faith in the Christ will be significantly higher than 3-5 billion.
At the Rapture, when
1 Thes. 4:16 …the Lord himself will descend from heaven…with a trumpet of God…the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up/raptured together with them in clouds… Heb. 12:24 …to Jesus, mediator of the new covenant…22 to Mount Zion and to the city of the Living God, heavenly Jerusalem… 23 to a general assembly and Church of the Firstborn having been registered in heaven, and to God the Judge of all…
My previous blog article, The Firstfruits and the Harvest, explains the role of these firstborn: “Following the typology of the Mosaic Law, only the Firstfruits/Firstborn are to be brought before Godʼs sanctuary: in the Latter Days, that being the heavenly sanctuary.” This is the heavenly naos spoken of in Revelation 7ʼs passage about the Great Multitude:
Rev. 7:15 “Therefore they [the Great Multitude] are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his sanctuary/naos.”
In the blog article Job Openings in the Kingdom, it is shown that the Servants of the Priesthood in the heavenly sanctuary correspond to the Levitical servants of the Aaronic priesthood in the earthly sanctuary. Like the Great Multitude, the Levites were called out from among their brethren (the twelve tribes of Israel) to be a firstborn to God:
Num. 8:16 “For they are wholly given to Me from among the children of Israel. I have taken them for Myself instead of all who open the womb, the firstborn of all the children of Israel. 17 For all the firstborn among the children of Israel are Mine…”
The tribe of the Levites comprised only a fraction of all of Godʼs people Israel. So too the Great Multitude, the Church of the Firstborn, will comprise only a fraction of the Lordʼs entire Church. Like the Levites, these are ones God has chosen to serve in holiness before Him. And like the Levites, who were Temple workers but not priests, these will not be granted heavenly priestly authority, a role reserved for the Melchizedek priesthood alone.
The Firstfruits and the Harvest
Under the Mount Sinai Covenant, all firstfruits were to be given to God: not just the firstfruits of the Spring grain harvest, but also of the Autumn harvest of fruit, wine and oil. Likewise, all the firstborn/firstfruit-of-the-womb of both livestock and men – the latter were redeemed with a substitute offering – were to belong to God. Ex. 34:19-26; Deut. 26:2; Neh. 10:35-39
This law applies spiritually under the Covenant of Christ. The Latter Day firstfruits of men’s souls out of the tribes of Israel are the 144,000: “These were redeemed from men, a firstfruit to God and to the Lamb.” Rev. 14:4 Like the 70 Israelite elders on Mount Sinai (Ex. 24:1, 9-10), and the 120 or so Israelite disciples of Christ in the upper room (Acts 1:13-15), the 144,000 Israelites will be sanctified for God’s earthly use at the time that the Presence (Parousia) descends in the clouds of heaven in power and glory.
Upon Mount Sinai and in the upper room, the elect/chosen firstfruits consisted solely of Israelites. At Christ’s coming in the clouds of heaven, however, there is another group, one of predominantly Gentile firstfruits of men’s souls, called “the Church of the Firstborn.” Heb. 12:23 This body, the elect/chosen firstfruits of Christ’s Church, is prophetically represented by the wedding-going virgins – the ready ones – of Matthew 25:1-11; and also, by the fairest-only virgins gathered into the king’s house in the days of Esther. Esth. 2 (Note that the 144,000 are also called “virgins.” Rev. 14:4)
Like the virgins of Esther’s day, the Church of the Firstborn will remain in the King’s house, heaven.
Like the 70 elders and the 120 disciples, and also like Mordecai in Esther’s day, the 144,000 will ‘come down from the mountain/upper room’ to work in God’s service on Earth; but they are later to ascend to the heavenly “Mount Zion…before the throne of God.” Rev. 14:1, 3, 5
Firstfruits are but a small portion of any harvest. The greater parts of both Israel and the Gentile Church will remain on Earth, because they will not have been “ready” at Christ’s return. Matt. 24:44; 25:10 Under the typology of the Mosaic Law, only the best of the harvest, the firstfruits, were to be taken up to God’s Tabernacle. Even so, the Latter Day Firstborn will constitute “a great multitude which no one [can] number” (Rev. 7:9), because they will be the firstfruits of the souls of all 2000 years of Christ’s Church.
Of the congregation represented by the Woman of Revelation 12, the ones who remain in the wilderness for 1260 days will be the largest group of the earthbound, non-firstborn, non-elect believers in Christ. However, Rev. 12 also tells of “the rest of her offspring, who  keep the commandments of God, and  have the testimony of Jesus.” This “rest of her offspring” represents individuals and smaller groups of God’s faithful scattered around the globe.
I give it as my opinion that the Woman’s congregation, seemingly being the largest and most prominent group of God’s earthly people, represents the earthly remnant of the American Church. However, many believers will flee out of other nations and come join with it, both during and after the Great Tribulation. These were foreshadowed in type by the “mixed multitude” of peoples that fled with the Israelites out of Egypt during the Exodus, and by Moses’ Midianite relatives that joined with them afterwards. Ex. 12:38; Num. 10:29; Judg. 4:11
Beginning at the Great Tribulation, the Woman and her offspring, like Israel during the Exodus, will be forced to flee the cities and comforts of civilization and dwell in wilderness areas in “tabernacles,” that is, tents and makeshift dwellings. But like He did with the Israelites during the Exodus, God will sustain their needs there. See Rev. 12:13-17.
During the 1260 days/42 months/3½ times (Rev. 11:3; 12:6, 14; 13:5; Dan. 7:25; 12:7), the 7 Trumpets will carry out God’s earthly judgment upon soul/nephesh/psuche-level men. The 144,000 will be on earth at this time, along with the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11, having been sanctified for the Lord’s earthly ministry. After this 1260-day period of judgment is fulfilled, the full harvest of Earth will commence, as foretold in Revelation 14:
Rev. 14:15 “…for the hour has come to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe. Matt. 13:30 “...gather the wheat into my storehouse.”
God’s harvest refers only to his own peoples, even though “tares” – phony believers – will also be reaped among them, which the angels will separate out from the believers. Matt. 13:37-43 At this time, being that of the 7th Trumpet, the Kingdom of Heaven will become established upon Earth, as foretold in Revelation 11:
Rev. 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
Again, this is the full harvest, as contrasted to the harvest of the firstfruits, which comes 1260 days earlier. Following the typology of Mosaic Law, only the Firstfruits/Firstborn are to be brought before God’s sanctuary: in the Latter Days, that being the heavenly sanctuary. God’s people from the main harvest receive the secondary blessing, that is, becoming partakers of the earthly portion of the Kingdom of Heaven. Those gathered to the place (or places) wherein the earthly Kingdom is first established will be the ones “gathered into the storehouse.”
The establishment of the Kingdom of heaven upon earth will not be instantaneous over all lands and peoples:
Dan. 2:44 “And in the days of these [pagan earthly] kings, the God of heaven will  set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to another people.  It shall break to pieces and bring to an end all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.”
The defeat of the rival earthly kingdoms will take place at the 7th Bowl judgment, generally known as the Battle of Armageddon. This sequence of 1) the establishment of the earthly Kingdom of Heaven, followed later by 2) the utter defeat of “the Beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies” (Rev. 19:19) is shown in earlier blog articles, such as The Kingdoms of Solomon and Jesus Christ.
The Levels and Origins of Loves, and Their Ultimate Fulfillment
Each of the four worlds – the three heavens and the one earth – has both a corresponding element and a corresponding love.
The Greek language has a specific word for each of these four loves:
Eros: sexual love, the ultimate love of the flesh. Eros is earthly/physical in nature.
Storgē: familial love: the affection for one’s closest blood-relatives, and also for one’s clans, tribe, and race. Storgē is soulish/psuchikos in nature.
Philia: the love of friends that transcends soul-ties: trans-familial “brotherly love.” Philia is spiritual/pneumatikos in nature.
Agapē: all-encompassing love, Divine love, including for one’s enemies. Matt. 5:45 Agapē originates in the Holy Breath-Light of God, and is rebreathed through His children.
The elements corresponding to these four loves are earth, water, wind/air, and fire/light.
All of these worlds, loves and elements derive from a higher source, Divine Life, which is able at will to infill each:
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God…breathed into his [Adam’s] nostrils Breath of Life, and the man became a living soul.
When operating in flesh, Divine Life produces fruitful (and thus fulfilled) eros; in soul, fruitful storgē; in spirit, fruitful philia; and in breath, fruitful agapē.
To earthly flesh is given the sense of touch. To watery soul is given the closely-related fluidic senses of taste and smell. To airy spirit is given the sense of hearing. And to fiery breath-light is given the sense of sight.
Flesh corresponds to the pinky finger. Soul, and thus storgē/familial love, whose root is marriage, corresponds to the ring finger. Spirit corresponds to the powerful middle finger. Breath-light corresponds to the pointer-of-the-way, the index finger. And the thumb, which is able to face, touch, and encompass them all, corresponds to life.
Life (Hebrew Chayyim/ Greek Zoē) derives from and is infilled with an even higher level of Divine Love, that being Unity (Hebrew Yechidah/ Greek Henotēs), which is both the ultimate source and the ultimate purpose of God’s Divine workmanship:
Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
Galatians 3:28 …you are all one in Christ.
Ephesians 4:1 I [Paul]…beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called… 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace… 13 until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a completed/fulfilled man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
God’s people will become “completed/fulfilled” only after they are purified in all of their love-natures at the return of Christ. Only then will they be able to stand before the Divine Presence, fulfilling the Divine Plan.
The essence of the Divine Plan is summed up in Isaiah:
Isaiah 55:11 So shall be My Word Who goes out of My mouth:
He shall not return unto Me unfulfilled;
Because lo! He shall have done what I desired,
And shall cause to prosper whomsoever I sent Him.
The Divine Word has been manifested in many forms, including the Holy Scriptures, the lives of men and nations, nature, the spoken oracles of YHWH, and in and through God-made-flesh, Jesus Christ. Thus Isaiah 55:11 can be interpreted in different ways. (The interpretation above uses the literal Hebraic verb tenses.)
The ultimate manifestation of ʽthe Word from the beginning’ was in the man Jesus. John 1:1 And Jesus’ ultimate work is to “cause to prosper whosoever I [YHWH/the Father] sent/sends Him”:
John 6:37 “All whom the Father gives me will come to me… 44 …and I will raise him up in the Last Day. … 15:5 He who abides in me bears much fruit…”
Those fruits derive from all of the various loves, to be ultimately manifested by a unified and “completed/fulfilled man,” the Body of Christ, “in the Last Day.” The Body of Christ shall manifest every form of love, from lowly eros up through transcendental Yechidah, thereby bringing fullness of joy:
John 15:5 He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; … 10 …you will abide in My love… 11 …that My joy may remain in you, and your joy may be full.
Forty days has been the standard biblical period for trial, testing, and tribulation.
The pounding downpour and great upwelling of water during Noah’s Flood lasted 40 days, and even though they were preserved, surely Noah and all with him were greatly buffeted and distressed until God ended the storm.
At the beginning of the Exodus, 40 days marked the initial period of trial and testing of the Israelites. It ended only after they overcame the attack of Amalekites, after which they had rest.
Less than two years afterward, another 40-day test of Israel came in the searching out the land of Canaan by their twelve spies, and the Israelite’s response to their reports.
Elijah’s flight (while fasting) to Horeb, the Mountain of God, took 40 days.
Jesus, the Divine Human, underwent 40 days of trial (while fasting) at the beginning of his ministry.
Then later, after his resurrection, there came a concluding 40 days’ testing of the faith of the disciples up to the time of his ascension.
In our time, a sudden collapse of government, banking, the food distribution system and the electrical grid, coupled with chaos, war, and plague (the events of Seals 1-4), would bring near immediate tribulation for most people. Even those who are prepared might find it difficult to survive 40 days without either Divine or human (Church) assistance. This may be why the Lord said, “unless those days were [i.e., will be] shortened, no flesh would be saved.”
Paul clearly stated in Hebrews 12:18-28 and elsewhere that the Church’s coming to heavenly Mount Zion will mimic Israel’s coming to earthly Mount Sinai. I suspect this will apply to the time period also.
These are some of the reasons why I believe the Great Tribulation will last no longer than 40 days, and possibly some days less than that.
Despite the claims of some that this period will last 3½ or 7 years, not a single verse of Scripture actually says so. On the contrary, the 3½ times/1260-day period applies to earthly Israel, not to the Church. (See the blog post Revelation 12.)
The Psalm 83 War: When?
Another popular but misguided teaching these days says this: Psalm 83 is a prophecy about an End Time war against the nation of Israel.
In fact, this psalm, along with other closely related psalms, speaks about a past event that took place in 485 B.C. In that year, the newly-crowned Emperor Xerxes of Persia, dealing with rebellions throughout the empire at the death of his father Darius, allowed the neighboring enemies of the rebellious province of Judah to punish the Jews for him. (Xerxes had more pressing concerns: an ongoing rebellion in his much more important province of Egypt, and a brewing rebellion in Babylon.)
Nothing in Psalm 83 speaks of its events as taking place in the future of Asaph’s days. On the contrary, they speak of events that he experienced:
Psalm 83 A Song. A Psalm of Asaph. 1 Do not keep silent, O God: do not hold not your peace, and do not be still, O God. 2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar, and those who hate you have lifted up their head. …They have said, “Come and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more. 5 …They form a confederacy against you: …Edom and the Ismaelites, 6 Moab and the Hagrites 7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, the Philistines…Tyre, 8 Assyria…
Other Psalms written by Asaph make clear that he was writing about events of his own day. In Psalm 74, he wrote:
Psalm 74:1 …of Asaph. O God, why have you cast [us] off for ever? [why] does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? ... 3 Lift up your feet unto the perpetual desolations: all [that] the enemy has done wickedly [or, destroyed] in the sanctuary. ...6 ...they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers. 7 They have cast fire into your sanctuary, they have defiled the dwelling place of your name to the ground. 8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
Synagogues/meeting places were an institution begun during the Babylonian captivity, and brought back to the Holy Land with Zerubbabel’s emigration in 537 B.C.
Psalm 80 …of Asaph. 4…O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry against the prayer of your people? 5 You have caused them to eat the bread of tears, and caused them to drink tears in great measure. 6 You have made us a strife unto our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves.
All of these things Asaph was experiencing. There is no indication at all that he was prophesying about some far-distant future.
The Book of Lamentations, despite its non-verifiable attribution to Jeremiah, was probably also written by Asaph, or at least by a contemporary. That book begins,
Lamentations 1:1 How isolated sits the city, [that was] full of people! She has become as a widow! She [that was] great among the nations, princess among the provinces, she has become a tributary! 2 …all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies. ...10 The adversary has spread out his hand upon all her desirable things: for she has seen the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom you did command [that] they should not enter into your congregation.
The mention of Jerusalem as being “princess among the provinces” discloses that this book was written during the era of the Persian Empire, when Judah was truly a province. During the era of the Babylonian Empire, Judah was a vassal kingdom before becoming desolate, never a province.
The few Jews left (briefly) in Judah after Nebuchadnezzar had carried off captives to Babylon–which captives included all the priests that he had not killed–had plenty of “wine and summer fruit and oil” left for them to harvest. Jer. 40:10 Now contrast that time with this one in Lamentations:
Lam. 4:9 [Those] slain of the sword are better of than [these] slain of hunger: for these pine away, stricken through for [want of] the fruits of the field.
One more point, among many similar points of evidence. Lamentations 4:20 reads,
The breath of our nostrils, the anointed one of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, “Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.”
Now, can you see Jeremiah (or any other righteous chronicler of his day) calling the weak and vacillating King Zedekiah “the breath of our nostrils”?? Hardly. (Ezekiel called Zedekiah a “profane, wicked prince.” Ezek. 21:25)
This “anointed one”–whom the Jews had crowned king over Judah in defiance of the Persian Emperor, inciting him to send his allies against Judah–is spoken of in yet another Psalm of this era:
Psalm 89:39 You [God] have renounced the covenant of your servant, you have profaned his crown to the ground. … 51 …your enemies…have reproached the footsteps of your anointed one/messiah.
God allowed this reproach, because the Jews didn’t have his permission to anoint another king over his people prior to the coming of the Messiah of the house of David. The Jews had been presumptuous, thinking that the prophecies of Isaiah about a Messiah were to be fulfilled in their own day. Therefore, God permitted their enemies to spank them, and depose their false messiah.
About 28 years after this time, Ezra spoke in 457 B.C. about the “captivity, pillage, and humiliation” of Judah “at the hand of the kings of the lands…as it is this day.” Ezra 9:7 In 444 B.C., Nehemiah wept because Jerusalem’s walls had been broken down, its gates burned, and “the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach;” and later testified to Artaxerxes that Jerusalem “lies waste. Neh. 1:3; 2:3
In stark contrast with this, the Jews and Jerusalem had previously “prospered” under guidance of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, and Zerubbabel the governor, around 519 B.C. Ezra 6:14 So clearly, sometime after this time of prosperity, the province of Judah suffered an extended period of “captivity, pillage, and humiliation” –exactly what Asaph and others said had begun in their days.
To cut this short and sum up: there is plenty of biblical, historical, and grammatical evidence to show that in Psalm 83 and related texts, Asaph and others were bearing witness about events of their own day, ca. 485 B.C., that they experienced. Neither the verb tenses, nor any other indication or description, suggest that Psalm 83 is prophesying about a future war in the End Times.
“The Antichrist” Myth
The Antichrist – a term broadly used throughout the Church to describe a single man who will come to rule the whole world – is a myth based upon an old rumor.
This rumor has its first and only biblical reference in 1 John 1:18 –
1 John 1:18 Little children, it is a last hour; and as you have heard that Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is a last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us…
John never acknowledges any truth to this “as you have heard” rumor. Quite the contrary, John later provides a significantly different doctrine of antichrist:
1 John 2:22 Who is the liar but the one [i.e. each one: see 1:18 above] denying that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one denying the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either… 4:3 And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the* [spirit] of the antichrist, that you have heard is coming, and now already it is in the world. * The Greek article to = “the” is neuter, agreeing with pneuma/spirit.
So – John clearly defines the term antichrist to be a spiritual belief, being the doctrine of one powerful collective spirit. It is not, nor will be, a single man; rather, this belief had infested, and will infest, “many” spirits and men. The one-man The Antichrist doctrine is never taught by John, and only John uses the word antichrist. Therefore, the one-man The Antichrist doctrine is not biblical.
This is a classic case of the Church being led astray once again by a false doctrine based upon a single biblical verse or phrase. Christians deride Mormons because they have built a major doctrine upon the single phrase from 1 Cor. 15:29 : “…what will they [not, we] do who are baptized for the dead…” But the doctrinal false presumptions about The Antichrist are even more extensive:
The Antichrist is the “coming prince” of Dan. 9:26-27;
who becomes possessed by Satan to become the Son of Perdition of 2 Thes. 2;
who sets himself up as God in a Third Temple (of which templeʼs pre-Millennial construction no scripture testifies);
which he later destroys, along with Jerusalem, before Messiahʼs return;
and he is also the Beast who ascends from the sea and the Abyss;
who is head-wounded unto death;
descends into the Abyss, but is given life again by Satan (where in Hell does that come from?);
who is also, somehow, the “little horn” of Dan. 7 and the Mouth of the Beast of Rev. 13;
…and so on, with a whole list of other labels attributed to one single man.
This whole mythological stew only brings confusion within the Body of Christ. The old “you have heard” rumor has become ʻfact,ʼ and opinion has become unquestioned doctrine. Many of the disagreements between and within the pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib and pre-wrath camps derive from the eating and regurgitation of this Antichrist-doctrine stew. It is an old and rancid stew, full of incompatible ingredients, and potentially toxic to the eater.
To sum up: there is no The (one-man) Antichrist. Rather, there are a number of End Times antichrists, including 1) the Son of Perdition/Lawless One, 2) the Beast, 3) the False Prophet, 4) the Mouth of the Beast = Little Horn, and 5) Gog. Thus there are at minimum five major end times antichrists, without even mentioning the greatest antichrist of them all, Satan. They are all anti/against Christ, according to Johnʼs definition: ones that deny and oppose the exclusivity of Jesus being the only Christ/Messiah of God.
[If you want to understand why the Son of Perdition is AN antichrist but not The Antichrist (there is no such man), nor the Beast, read my blog “The Son of Perdition is a Patsy.”]
When Does the Lord Smite Edom?
Isaiah 63:1 Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This one who is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?
I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
2 Why is your apparel red, and your garments like one who treads in the winepress?
3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I trod them in my anger, and trampled them in my fury; and their blood has been spattered upon my garments, and I have stained all my robes.
4 For the Day of Vengeance [i.e., Wrath] is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come.
5 I looked, but there was no one [else] to help, and I wondered, because there was no one [else] to uphold;
Therefore My own arm brought salvation for me, and My own fury, it sustained Me.
Isaiah 34:4 All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll…
Revelation 6:12 And I looked when he opened the Sixth Seal… 14 And the sky receded like a scroll when it is rolled up…
Isaiah 34:4 All their host shall fall down…as figs falling from a fig tree.
Revelation 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. …
Isaiah 34:5 For My sword shall be bathed in heaven, indeed it shall come down on Edom,
And on the people of My curse, for judgment.
6 The sword of the LORD is filled with blood…
For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7 Because it is the Day of the LORDʼs Vengeance…
Revelation 6:17 For the Great Day of His Wrath has come, and who is able to stand?
Must not the things above – and specifically, this bloody battle fought with the Edomites by the Lord alone – come before this?
Rev. 19:11 And I saw heaven having been opened, and behold a white horse; and the one sitting upon him being called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. … 13 And [he] having been clothed with a garment having been covered in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him… 19 And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, having been assembled to make war with Him who sat on the horse and with his army.
Are not these TWO distinct events that take place separately? Namely,
1st: The Lord alone, getting His garment stained with blood.
2nd: The Lord with the armies of heaven, “with a garment [already] having been covered/stained [perfect passive participle] in blood,” going out to a another battle sometime after the former battle.
At that later battle, at which time heaven will be opened, Rev. 19:11-13 testifies that Jesus’ clothing will already have been covered in blood. Blood only comes from bodies of flesh. Bodies of flesh and blood only dwell upon the face of the earth. Therefore, what other explanation for this blood is possible than this: Jesus’ clothing will become blood-soaked on earth sometime before his descent in Rev. 19 to fight with the Beast and his allies?
The following prophecy says that the Lord will indeed be upon earth before his wrath is fulfilled at the culminating battle of Rev. 19:
Ezekiel 20:33 [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury [or, wrath] being poured out will I rule over you: 34 And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury [or, wrath] being poured out. 35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there I will plead with you face to face. 36 Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37 And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD. … 42 Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised my hand in an oath to give to your fathers.
Compare the prophecy above with these passages from the Exodus era:
Ex. 33:11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaks unto his friend.
Deut. 5:4 The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.
Deut. 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.
Just like in the Exodus era, the Lord will be shepherding his people Israel upon earth before the culminating battle of the End of the Age. The Lord’s shepherding “in the Last Days” (Gen. 49:1) is also witnessed here in Jacob’s prophecy for his son Joseph’s descendants:
Gen. 49:23 The masters of arrows/missiles will have bitterly grieved him [Joseph], and will have shot at him and will have hated him. 24 But his bow shall remain/abide in strength, and the arms of his hands shall be refined (as gold)/made strong by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from thence will be shepherding the Stone of Israel), 25 from the God of thy Father who shall help thee…
“From thence will be shepherding”: Qal predicative active participle in Hebrew. This is a verb, not a noun. “The Stone of Israel” is Christ – “the Stone which the builders rejected” – who will shepherd his people of earthly Israel/Joseph when they come under attack in the Latter Days.
All of these earthly events, including the Lord’s battle with Edom, will take place AFTER the Church has ascended from earth at Christ’s Coming in the clouds.
Scriptures that reveal events before that ascension are detailed in earlier blog posts.
Most of the Church knows little about God’s End Times purposes for “the remnant of Jacob,” earthly Israel; and likewise, most of earthly Israel knows little about God’s plans for the ascended Church.
The Temple-Sanctuary and Court of Revelation 11
Revelation 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod. And the angel stood, saying, “Rise, and measure the naos [lit. sanctuary] of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. 2 But the court which is outside of the naos cast out and measure it not, for it is given unto the Gentiles; and the holy city they shall tread under foot forty-two months.
The Greek term naos does not mean a whole temple complex, for which the Greek word hieron is used. Naos refers only to a temple’s innermost holy place, its sanctuary. The word hieron is never used in Revelation. A naos is mentioned 16 times:
– 10 of them directly speak of it being “in heaven,” or are linked to a near verse that does: 11:19 (twice); 14:15, 17; 15:5, 6, 8 (twice); 16:1; 16:17 ;
– 2 of them refer to it being the Holy One Himself: 21:22 (twice);
– 2 more of them, 3:12 and 7:15, also are clearly heavenly, but you can check them out for yourself to decide.
NOT A SINGLE VERSE in Revelation speaks of a “Temple/naos on earth,” or “in Jerusalem,” or “in the holy city.” Therefore, there is no good reason to presume an earthly exception for the other two uses of naos in Rev. 11:1-2; especially since later in the chapter, verse 19 says “the naos in heaven.”
Questions: How could the outer court of a heavenly sanctuary be trampled by the Gentiles? And when it says “don’t measure the outer court, as it is given over to the Gentiles” – could that be the case in heaven?
Answer: Let’s read it literally: “And the court the [one] external/outside [G1855 exothen] of the sanctuary expel [G1544 ekballo (from G1537 ek/out of + G906 ballo/throw)] out [G1544 exo]…”
Clearly, the exterior court of God’s sanctuary is to be cast out outside – but outside of what? Outside of heaven, that is, the realm of God’s Presence, is the reasonable answer.
The outer court of the earthly Temple in Old Testament days was the Court of the Gentiles. There, uncircumcised and unsanctified Gentiles were allowed, but no closer. In heaven, no unsanctified souls will be allowed to remain at all. Therefore, this place for the congregation of unsanctified ones cannot be allowed to remain near the heavenly sanctuary, the place of the Presence of God.
The principle behind this was explained in the blog post The Three Heavens: “In the heavens, there is no distance in terms of space, because there is neither space nor time. Distance in the heavens is determined by similarity and oppositeness. For instance, the holier the spirit, the closer its proximity to the Divine; while spirits that rebel against God are by their very nature at vast ‘distances’ (in appearance) from Him.” All summed up in these words of Jesus:
John 3:20 “…everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen…”
The souls that comprise the outer court of God’s spiritual Temple cannot remain anywhere near the heavenly sanctuary, because they are unsanctified. Therefore, they are far in spirit from God’s and the heavenly saints’ very nature. (How this collective group of unsanctified souls will temporarily be able to come into heaven at all will be explained below.)
The sense given by the three “outs” of verse 2 is that the outer court is to be expelled WAY away from the heavenly naos – and where else to but earth? This soulish congregation will therefore likely dominate the Temple Mount on earth, or part of it, which “glorious holy mountain” (Dan. 11:45) Gentiles have been “treading underfoot” since the first century, as Jesus foretold in Luke 21:24.
The same word ekballo was used to describe the event when Jesus “CAST OUT all those who bought and sold in the temple” (Matt. 21:12): it indicates a violent expulsion.
Question: In 2 Thessalonians 2 – if God’s naos is the heavenly sanctuary, does the Son of Perdition eject God from His naos and then set himself up as a god? How does the Son of Perdition get into the heavenly sanctuary?
Answer: 2 Thes. 2 doesn’t indicate that the naos spoken of there is in heaven, and neither do I. Those events take place on earth.
Question: The two witnesses prophesy on earth, would you agree?
Answer: Absolutely. The passage shifts in Rev. 11:2 from the heavenly to the earthly perspective. Such shifts back and forth from heavenly to earthly perspectives is common in Revelation.
Question: If so, the context could be seen as continuing in an earthly view. But how do we have Gentiles or ‘nations’ in heaven, where part of the holy precinct is given over to them, and not counted with the rest? If no unsanctified souls are allowed in heaven, how is it that there is an outer court to be cast out?
Answer: This scripture will help to explain the coming scenario of Rev. 11:1-2 :
Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the [wedding] guests, he saw there a man which did not have on a wedding garment. 12 So he saith to him, “Friend, how did you come in here not having a wedding garment?” And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, “Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him [Gr. ekbalete] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Clearly, there will be some weeding out of those who ascend, but don’t belong.
Now, how come folks with no wedding garment can make it into the heavenly wedding in the first place? How come Jesus will cast out (ekballo) his unprofitable servant? Matt. 25:30 How come Satan and his angels have to be cast (ballo) from heaven? Rev. 12:7-10
In heaven, no unsanctified souls or spirits will be allowed to remain. Clearly some do get in, then are cast out. This gets us into some deep mystical issues, such as “the eye single” that Jesus spoke about. Matt. 6:22 When Jesus appears in the clouds, to be “seen by every eye” (Rev. 1:17; 6:16 = 6th Seal) – every eye of both the living and the dead (Matt. 26:63-64) – that seeing shall be with spiritual sight. Such spiritual sight will freak most people out, and they will “hide themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and say to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the [All-Seeing] Face’…” Just like they essentially did at the First Shofar at Mount Sinai: “when the people saw, they removed, and stood afar off.” Ex. 20:18
Now, there are some people who are spiritually adept, shall we say, who will be able to withstand this spiritual opening, and who will go in, believing themselves to be chosen and worthy. But their souls will not have born the fruits of the Spirit which comprise heavenly “fine linen” garments – “for the fine linen is the RIGHTEOUS ACTS of the saints.” Rev. 19:8 Without such garments/works of righteousness – chiefly including saving faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus, which faith then matures fruits/works via the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 12:4-11) – they will not be found worthy to stand in the presence of the host of heaven:
Luke 21:36 “…pray always that you may be accounted worthy…to stand before the Son of Man.”
Rev. 7:14 “These are the ones who…washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore they are before the throne of God…”
“Faith without the works of the Holy Spirit is garmentless,” to paraphrase James 2:26.
Many of this group in the outer court of the Gentiles will be unsanctified professing believers in Jesus. There is a great body of those who believe that they are saved and are going to heaven, merely because they have voiced a sinner’s prayer, and maybe had some spiritual experience. But again, these will not have the white wedding garments required to be a part of the celebration, because their mere belief-of-the-lips never matured any Spirit-begotten fruit.
Finally, let us now turn this whole debate upon its head, and consider the proposed alternative. If this is a physical temple and court, as so many believe, then how could John – because that is whom the angel is addressing – bodily pick up the court and cast/throw it? And yet the Gentiles in it remain alive to “tread the holy city underfoot”? That whole scenario is patently absurd.
The only sense in which a temple court filled with a vast number of people (souls) could be expelled would be in the spiritual sense. And for this we have clear precedence, with scriptures that speak about Satan and his angels being cast out of heaven, and the spiritual ruler of Tyre being “cast…out of the [heavenly] mountain of God.” Ezek. 28:16, 14
The Son of Perdition Is a Patsy
When Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested on November 22, 1963, he asked the police what he was being charged with. They told him the murder of President Kennedy. He then said, “So Iʼm the patsy.” A few days later, he was dead and despised.
Whether or not one believes Oswald shot Kennedy, what he said was true: Kennedy was dead, and Kennedyʼs enemies had a patsy to take the blame.
Judas was also patsy. When he threw the blood-money for Jesusʼ betrayal into the holy naos/sanctuary of the Temple (Matt. 27:5) – coins with pagan gods idolized upon them – he committed the Abomination of Desolation for that age. Jesus called him “the Son of Perdition.” John 17:12; 6:70-71 After Judas had been so used by Satan and apostate Jews to effect the death of Jesus, he was then disdained by his masters like the dumb fool he was. And, like Oswald, he became dead and despised soon afterward
The Son of Perdition for our age, a.k.a. the King of the North, will similarly be used as a patsy. He will invade the Middle East, seemingly from the north through Syria, then occupy Israel and subdue Islamic North Africa. Dan. 11:40-43 This Satan-deluded god-man will bring his forces from Europe by means of “ships of Chittim.” Num. 24:23-24 His invasion will inflame the rest of the world, particularly the peoples of Islamic and Jewish Middle East, but also peoples “from the east” – probably Iran and/or China, “and from the north” – Syriaʼs ally Russia. Dan. 11:44 “He shall [then] plant the tents of his pavilion between the seas at the glorious holy mountain [that is, the Temple Mount: this will be the Abomination of Desolation for our age], but shall come to his end, and no one will help him.” Dan. 11:45
Like Judas, this patsy will quickly end up dead and despised, because his usefulness to Satan will be over. Satanʼs sole plan for him is to cause world-ending chaos, that is, the Great Tribulation. Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:15, 21 This will cause the collapse of the current worldʼs political system, and set the stage for “a New World Order,” that is, the Beast Kingdom – in which kingdom the Son of Perdition will have no part at all.
Jesus, in his appearance in the clouds to be “seen by every eye” (Rev. 1:17; 6:16 = Sixth Seal), will gather his Elect to himself, even while shepherding the earthly Remnant of Jacob into the “place prepared of [Greek apo: lit. away from] God, that they should feed her there 1260 days.” Matt. 24:31; Rev. 12:6 This Remnant will “have the testimony of Jesus.” Rev. 12:17 But not having prepared themselves for his Coming, they wonʼt be able to ascend to him. Among the Remnant will be the sealed and sanctified 144,000, who will shepherd them during the 1260 days.
As for the Son of Perdition, “…the Lord shall consume [him] with the spirit of his mouth, and shall bring [him] to naught with the brightness of his coming.” 2 Thes. 2:8
The “door” into the heavens will then be quickly “shut” (Matt. 25:10), along with every Spirit-opened eye, leaving forlorn virgins pleading to be allowed in. (“I do not see/perceive [Greek: oida] you,” Jesus will tell them. Matt. 25:11-12) Sometime thereafter, “the Beast that ascends out of the Abyss” (Rev. 11:7), having been released at the Fifth angelic Trumpet (Rev. 9:1-2, 11-12), will proceed to fulfill the “strong delusion” ordained by God. 2 Thes. 2:11 The little horn/Mouth of the Beast will utter his blasphemies against God, deceive the world, and persecute the earthly saints for 1260 days. Dan. 7:8, 25; Rev. 13:5-7
By this time the Son of Perdition, the patsy used by Western apostate Christianity to fully betray its once great heritage –
this deluded god-man, who commits the Abomination of Desolation, which brings to pass the chaos of the Great Tribulation –
he will have become no more than a hiss and a byword of history. Just like Judas, the only other son of perdition, who was used by apostate Judaism to fully betray their own once great heritage. John 17:12
Instead of being the great operator and insider heʼd been duped into believing himself to be, the Son of Perdition will turn out to be just another dumb-fool patsy. Like Judas. Like Oswald.
The Three Earthquakes of Revelation
Some people believe and teach that the the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls of Revelation all take place concurrently. Others teach that only the Trumpets and Bowls are concurrent, and are part of the Seventh Seal. There are many reasons why neither of these things is possible, when all of the other scriptures, particularly the Old Testament prophecies, are taken into account. I will mention just one item here: the three earthquakes of Revelation.
As I show in the blog post The Exodus and the End Times, all the significant events of the Exodus were types and shadows of the Day of the LORD. Therefore, it is noteworthy that three different large earthquakes also took place during the Exodus era. Here are the Exodus-era types, and their Day of the LORD fulfillments:
1) The Exodus, at Mount Sinai: Thick darkness, earthquake, God’s trumpet/shofar sounding. The LORD descended upon Mount Sinai in clouds of smoke; most people cowered away from his Presence. But those who were ready went up into his Presence. Ex. 19:16f.; 20:18
1) 6th Seal: Thick darkness, earthquake, God’s trumpet/shofar sounding. Jesus descends in the clouds; most people are greatly afraid and hide themselves. But those who are ready go up into his Presence. Rev. 6:12-17; 1 Thes. 4:16; Matt. 24:29-30
2) During the Exodus sojourn in the wilderness: Moses and Aaron, after having prophesied and performed similar miracles as the Two Witnesses of Relation 11, were confronted and accused by Korah and others. The LORD then validated their ministry, killing thousands of their adversaries by earthquake, fire and plague. Num. 16; Ex. 7-10
2) 6th Trumpet, Priestly Section: The Two Witnesses prophesy, burn their enemies with fire, turn waters to blood, and smite the earth with plagues. They are accused and attacked by the Beast and others. God publicly validates their ministry by raising them from the dead; an earthquake then kills thousands. Rev. 11:3-13
3) After the Exodus, in Canaan: Joshua – Yeshua – and the Israelites defeated the many armies gathered together against them on ‘the day the sun stood still.’ “[T]he earth trembled and shook” amidst a great storm (Jasher 89:15), and great hailstones fell from heaven. The Canaanite armies were routed and slaughtered, and their kings were captured alive and “cast into” a cave. Josh. 10
3) 7th Bowl: “[T]hunderings and lightnings…a mighty and great earthquake…great hail from heaven.” Jesus – Yeshua – and the armies of heaven descend to destroy the armies gathered together against them. The Beast and the False Prophet are captured alive, and “cast into” the lake of fire. Rev. 16:17-21; 19:11-21
All the events of the Exodus which foreshadow events of the End Times were sequential in time. There are no scriptures that prove the events of the End Times will not likewise be sequential. On the contrary, the three examples above show that each of these End Time earthquakes will take place under completely different circumstances.
Addenda: For “those who dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10; 6:10; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14 (2); 14:6; 17:8), the Seals-Trumpets-Bowls, and likewise the three earthquakes, will occur separately and sequentially over time. But for the ones in the heavenly realms of Everywhen, the Seals-Trumpets-Bowls (and all other events of history) are eternally everywhen. This is the realm in which God dwells, and into which prophets visit during their visions of the future. Because all events – past-present-future – already exist there. (And don’t ask me to explain that!)
In this one sense only are those correct who speak of the Trumpets and Bowls being simultaneous. But for “those who dwell upon the earth” in time, the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls will occur separately and sequentially over a period of many years.
Matthew 24:4-31 Is a Two-Part Prophecy
Chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew consist of many End Time topics addressed by Jesus, including Signs of the End of the Age, the Fig Tree, Wise and Evil Servants, Wise and Foolish Virgins, and others.
For three decades, I unwittingly assumed that the prophesied events of Matthew 24:4-31 will all occur in one continuous sequence. Then came a head-slapping-duh moment, when I realized that verses 4-14 contain one topic-with-sequence, and verses 15-31 contain a second topic-with-sequence. That is to say, two separate but closely-related prophecies are to be found here:
1) Matthew 24:4-14 contains a general overview of the events of the Great Tribulation. It has long been recognized that:
– the “many” false christs (:5) are the White Horse of Revelation 6’s 1st Seal;
– “wars and rumors of wars” (:6) are the 2nd Seal’s Red Horse;
– “famines” (:7) are the 3rd Seal’s Black Horse;
– “pestilence and earthquakes” (:7) are the 4th Seal’s Pale Horse;
– and the hatred and murder of the saints, instigated by false prophets (:9-12), cause the martyrdom foretold by the 5th Seal.
2) Beginning in Mathew 24:15, Jesus shifts to a different topic-with-sequence:
– how the Great Tribulation will begin (:15);
– how the saints should respond (:16-26);
– how the Great Tribulation will end (:27-29);
– and how Christ will return (:30-31).
When Jesus speaks in Matthew 24:23-24 of “false christs and false prophets” coming forth, he is speaking of the same ones earlier mentioned in verses 5 and 11: he thereby ties his two narratives together into a greater whole. Jesus first focuses only upon the Great Tribulation (= the birth-pangs); then second, outlines the main pre-Tribulation event (the Abomination of Desolation), the mid-Tribulation events (deceptions, trials, and testings), and the post-Tribulation events (the Second Coming). The first prophecy of 24:4-14 describes neither the AD nor the Second Coming. And the second prophecy of 24:15-31 skips over the details about the GT provided by the first prophecy.
I hope this understanding will be helpful to some of you. I’m sure that many already know it. And I’m sure that many will reject it, because they already have fixed their eschatologies upon the events of verses 4-31 being in one continuous sequence. Misconceptions such as “the Tribulation” being followed by “the Great Tribulation” are one result of such thinking.
1) When does this happen? 2) Who is the woman? 3) Where is the wilderness? 4) What do clothed with the sun, moon under her feet, and crown of 12 stars mean?
5) What is meant by a thousand two hundred and threescore days?
1) When. Jesus told John,
Rev. 1:19 Write the things which you have seen [past], and the things which are [present], and the things which will take place after these [future].
“The things seen” (by John up to that point) are told in Rev. 1:9-20. “The things which are” – that is, that were taking place at the time of John’s visions – are told in Rev. 2-3, when Jesus tells each of the 7 churches, “I know your works.” Then, beginning in Rev. 4:1, we find:
Rev. 4:1 After this I looked and beheld a door standing open in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show thee things which must take place after these [things].
Everything John was shown from Rev. 4:1 onward is future from – “after” – his day. This includes everything in chapter 12. The birth and ascent of the Manchild that John saw in Rev. 12:5 are future; although the birth and ascent of Jesus was of the same pattern and type. Jesus himself tells us who the Manchild shall be:
Rev. 2:26-27 The one overcoming, and the one keeping my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall shepherd/pastor them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to pieces: as I also have received from my Father.
Rev. 12:5 She bore a Manchild, who is about to shepherd/pastor all nations with a rod of iron.
Rev. 12:7-11 then reveals that this Manchild, a collective body, the elect-of-the-elect overcomers, will participate in the casting down of Satan and his angels out of heaven:
Rev. 12:7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the Dragon [Satan]… 11 And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their souls unto death.
The “they” of verse 11 cannot refer to any non-human angels, only to men, that is, to those ascended overcomers of the Manchild(ren) cleansed and empowered by the blood of Jesus.
These events take place “at the time of the end” (Dan. 11:40), the “time Michael shall stand up” (Dan. 12:1; Rev. 12:7), just prior to and during “a time of trouble such as never was” (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21), that is, the Great Tribulation.
2) Who is the Woman? Like the Manchild, the Woman-with-child is a mystical body. Not the Church, which is a Virgin Bride. And not the race of Israel, which is flesh-and-blood.
Western left-brain Protestant Christianity has largely ignored any concept of the Feminine Divine, even though the Adamic race was “made in Elohim’s image, male and female.” Gen. 1:27 Catholicism has carnalized the Feminine Divine into the person of Mary. Only mystical Judaism, and to some extent mystical Christianity, have spoken of the Feminine Divine.
Hebraic teachings of old say that one of the attributes of the One God is the emotional desire to form, gestate, bring forth and nurture living creatures. This tradition also says that when Adam and Eve were driven out of God’s garden into the earthly wilderness, this Divine Feminine either went with them or regularly visited them, in order to nurture her children as any mother would. The most well-known name for her is the Shekhinah, the feminine Presence/form of the Divine.
This mystical Woman/mother – emotionally bound to the nurturing of her children, and to their upbringing in wisdom, righteousness, and maturity – is spoken of in Ezekiel:
Ezek. 19:2, 10-13 What is thy mother? A lioness: she lay down among lions, she nourished her whelps among young lions. … Thy mother is like a vine in thy blood [the place of the soul, Lev. 17:11], planted by the waters: she was fruitful and full of branches by reason of many waters. And she had strong rods for the scepters of them that bore rule, and her stature was exalted among the thick branches, and she appeared in her height with the multitude of her branches. But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. And now she is planted in the wilderness, in a dry and thirsty ground.
In Revelation 12’s account of the End Times, the Woman again goes “into the wilderness” when her offspring are driven out once more. Rev. 12:6, 14-17; Luke 21:36
3) Where is the wilderness? The wilderness is always a place apart from the comforts and security of civilization, wherein God tries and tests his people. There he separates and rejects the rebels, and teaches the obedient his torah/doctrine/Way. The wilderness is an unpopulated or sparsely populated place, generally a desert and/or mountainous region.
In our land, many visionaries have foreseen it to be the Intermountain West, which is just such a place.
4) Clothed with the sun…
Rev. 1:16 …his [Jesus’] countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
John 1:4, 9 In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. …the true Light, which gives light to every man…
Gal. 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on [been clothed with] Christ.
Rom. 13:12 …let us put on the armor of light.
4) the moon under her feet… The moon is symbolic of the types and shadows of the Mosaic Law. All of the Old Testament feast days derive their times from the position of the moon.
“Under her feet”: the symbolism appears to be twofold. First, the Mosaic Law represents an earthly level of spirituality. Second, it represents a foundation/basis for upper levels of wisdom and sanctification. Although the Shekhinah is heavily involved in the earthly affairs of her children, she is still Divine, and therefore stands in authority over all created things.
4) on her head a crown/stephanos of 12 stars. In the New Testament, a stephanos invariably symbolizes the honors and authority achieved through overcoming, through gaining the victory:
1 Thes. 2:19 …our…crown/stephanos of rejoicing…
2 Tim. 4:8 …the crown/stephanos of righteousness…
James 1:12 …the crown/stephanos of life…
1 Pet. 5:4 …the crown/stephanos of glory.
This type of victory only became possible after the advent of Christ (and His victory over sin and death), through the reception of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the 12 stars in the stephanos represent Apostolic ability and authority to overcome the world, pride, and the flesh.
The other New Testament word for crown, diadema, refers to regal authority-by-descent. The Book of Revelation says that only Christ, Satan, and the Beast wear diadems. The Beast will receive his crowns and throne from Satan. Rev. 13:1-2 Satan gained his from Adam, to whom it was originally authorized (Gen. 1:26, 28), prior to Adam submitting himself to the serpent’s word. Christ overcame Satan’s lies and temptations, thereby earning back regal authority over Earth. (Only Christ is able to wear both stephanos and diadema.)
5) What is meant by 1260 days? 1260 literal days.
While there have been day-for-a-year fulfillments of this period in type, these are now past. The 1260 days/42 months/3½ times take place during the period of the 7 Trumpets, the Mouth of the Beast (Rev. 13:5) = Daniel’s Little Horn (Dan. 7:25), and the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:3). Jeremiah 30:7 calls it “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” (This is “the remnant of Jacob” spoken of in many Old Testament prophecies.)
When Christ appears in the clouds to take up the elect/chosen of his Church, “every eye shall see him.” (Rev. 1:7 See the articles under that title.) At that time, all of earthly Israel will see their true Messiah. Many of them will undergo 1260 days of wilderness trials in order to become either submissive and sanctified, or else purged and separated. They will be shepherded by the 144,000 Israelites “sealed upon their foreheads” (Rev. 7:3; 14:1) at the heavenly appearance of Jesus. The 1260 days will conclude at the 7th Trumpet, and then Christ’s reign will be proclaimed “in heaven,” and he will begin to establish his earthly kingdom. Rev. 11:3, 7-18
Daniel 7:25-27 [During the 1260 days:] And he [the Little Horn] shall speak pompous words against the Most High, and shall afflict the [Israelite] saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time [= 1260 days]. But the heavenly court shall have been seated, and [after the 7th Trumpet is blown] they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Micah 5:8-9 And [then] the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many peoples like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he passes through, both treads down, and tears in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.
The Three Heavens
There is a lot of misunderstanding about the three heavens/worlds above this material world. They are not places, as we generally understand that word: they are spiritual states of consciousness.
The New Jerusalem is a state of collective consciousness, that of the Bride of Christ. The Bride of Christ is the spiritual union of all born-from-above believers. Every description about heavenly Jerusalem’s layout and adornment – gates and foundations, gemstones and gold, etc. – represent different attributes of spirituality such as truth, holiness, and devotion, each with its own infinity of varieties and degrees.
In the heavens, there is no distance in terms of space, because there is neither space nor time. Distance in the heavens is determined by similarity and oppositeness. For instance, the holier the spirit, the closer its proximity to the Divine; while spirits that rebel against God are by their very nature at vast “distances” (in appearance) from Him. Spirits that have an especial love for children are drawn closer to other spirits like themselves, and appear more alike in form, than are spirits that are especially gifted in doctrine.
There are an infinity of types of heavenly societies, each with its own collective appearance. “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ…having…differing gifts…” Rom. 12:4-6 Every societal countenance/appearance corresponds to the unique love/agape of that society.
The three heavens in order consist of:
3rd (lowest): Soul (Hebr. nephesh/Grk. psuche). “The soul of the flesh is in the blood." Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11 Soul/nephesh is the level of developmental consciousness of the seed of Israel, and corresponds to the laver section of the Temple: the water of the washing of repentance. The lowest heaven pertains to all those who keep YHWH’s Covenant of 10 Commandments, given to Israel at Mount Sinai – with plenty of grace applied, of course. This heaven is called the Garden, also Paradise.
2nd (middle): Spirit (ruach/pneuma.) The Church is a spiritual/pneumatikos body. This corresponds to the Holy Place of the Temple, the place of the 7 Spirits (the 7 Lights of the Menorah), and the Word of Truth (the Table of Showbread). This level pertains to those who have true faith in Jesus, and are led by the Holy Spirit – again, with grace applied. This is the place of the Court, wherein the angelic Powers have convened in the past (e.g. Job 1:6); and are soon to convene again for the Judgment of God, in the company of the elect of the human race. Dan. 7:9-10ff.; Rev. 4-5; 7:9ff.
1st (highest/preeminent): Breath-Light (neshamah/emphusao). This is the level of the “revealed sons of God” (Rom. 8:19), and corresponds to the Most Holy Place of the Temple. This highest heaven pertains to ones called to come nearest to the Light of the Presence/Face of God (Luke 1:19; Rev. 6:16, etc.), who do not observe Him from afar off, nor turn away their faces out of shame because of unwashed (unrepented) sins. Rev. 3:21; 12:5
Again, all of these things are forms and degrees of spiritual consciousness.
In the Temple, the level of the altar of fleshly sacrifice is that of all persons who live according to the desires of the flesh. One must sacrifice one’s carnal desires; only then can one be washed in the laver of water baptism, in order to enter into the two chambers of the Holy Sanctuary. The altar is the level of our material world, which must be purified by fire.
In sum, the heavens represent degrees of holiness: soul, spirit, and very breath. The flesh must be purified by the soul [taught via the Sinai Covenant], the soul must be purified by the Spirit [brought via the Last Supper Covenant], and the spirit must be purified by the emanated breath-light of the Holy One, when the Lord appears in the light of his glory.
If you keep these things in mind, you will not get caught up in the apparent-only “material” descriptions of the New Jerusalem.
When the Holy One reveals His Presence to those upon earth, both past (at Mount Sinai) and future (from heavenly Mount Zion), those of fleshly and soulish natures cannot enter within the sphere of the Presence, which manifests as a mass of clouds having the Light of God at its center.
At such times, the third of the four types of people to see the event are those having the primary nature of the spirit [Hebr. ruach; Grk. pneuma]. In the Exodus-era prophetic picture, these were represented by Joshua. He was the only Spirit-level man of that soulish and carnal era. Whereas the priests and elders were called to ascend before God yet still remain “afar off,” Joshua the attendant of Moses was called to ascend upon the mountain itself:
Ex. 24:12 Then the LORD said to Moses, Come up to me on the mountain and be there... 13 So Moses rose up, and his attendant Joshua: and Moses [and Joshua] ascended into the mountain of God. 14 And he said unto the elders, Wait here for us, until we come back to you. 15 Then Moses [and Joshua] ascended into the mountain, and the cloud covered/enclosed/clothed the mountain.
“The cloud” here speaks of the outer covering – that is, the outer veil – of the Presence of God. In the Mosaic Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple, this was represented by the Holy Place (front chamber) of the sanctuary. When Moses and Joshua were enclosed within the cloud, they came into the Presence, from which the Adamic race had been cut off (with a limited few exceptions, e.g. Enoch) since the fall of Adam and Eve. This second-level ascent is a prophetic picture of the End Time Rapture of the Spirit-filled Church:
Rev. 1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds…
Luke 21:27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
1 Thes. 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven... 17 Then we…shall be caught up…in clouds, into a meeting of the Lord in air. And so always with the Lord we shall be.
To “always be with the Lord” is to eternally be clothed with = dwell within the Holy Presence. In the Exodus-era's prophetic picture of this, even though Joshua by necessity had to later descend from earthly Mount Sinai, Scripture tells us –
Ex. 33:11 …[Moses'] assistant Joshua…did not depart from the tabernacle.
The same is said of the Spirit-infilled believers caught up/Raptured to heaven in the End Times:
Rev. 7:14 …the ones coming out of the Great Tribulation… 9 …clothed in white robes… 15 …[are to] serve Him [God] day and night in His [heavenly] sanctuary.
The fourth type of people are those called into the very Light of the Holy Presence. In the Exodus-era's prophetic picture, Moses alone represented this type:
Ex. 24:2 Moses alone shall come near the LORD… 17 The sight of the Glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain... 18 So Moses went into the center of the cloud and ascended into the mountain…
Ex. 33:11 And the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, like one speaks to his friend.
Because of Moses' closeness to the Light of the Face of God,
Ex. 34:29 …the skin of [Moses'] face shone while he talked with Him. [And for sometimes afterwards. 34:30-35]
In the Mosaic Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple, the Most Holy Place (innermost chamber) of the sanctuary was the only place a man could approach near unto the Glory/Light of the Presence. The two chambers of the sanctuary represent the middle and highest of the three heavens (2 Cor. 12:2), requiring respectively greater levels of sanctity to enter.
In the Seventh Millennium, apparently no man will be able to approach God face-to-face except for Jesus, the High Priest of the Melchizedek (heavenly) priesthood. All views of the Glory of the Father will be, as Ezekiel once described it, an “appearance of the likeness of the Glory of YHWH.” Ezek. 1:28 (Even Moses was only able to see “the form/similitude of the LORD.” Num. 12:8; cf. Ex.33:20) Not until the Eighth Millennium, when the old, sin-corrupted heavens and earth have “passed away,” and sanctified “new heavens and a new earth” have been created (Rev. 21:1; Is. 65:17; 66:22), will mankind be permitted to
Rev. 22:4 …see/gaze upon His Face; and His Name shall be upon their foreheads.
The Lord chose to scatter a multitude of prophetic pieces of the End Time jigsaw puzzle-picture throughout the Bible. Most people try to assemble all of the scattered pieces into one complete scene without ever having any picture on a box cover to guide them.
The Exodus story provides a guiding picture. Every basic theme and event of the End Times is in that biblical picture story, but people refuse to look at it. Instead, they work from distorted pictures formed in their minds out of presumptions about how they think things will be, or from what others have told them. And so they end up trying to jam puzzle pieces together that weren't made to fit the way they think they should.
To retrace a bit:
Ex. 19:17-18 And Moses brought forth [all] the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of...Mount Sinai...
Heb. 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion…
Ex. 20:18 ... the people...fell back and stood afar off... Deut. 18:16 ...saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
Heb. 12:25 See that you do not...turn away from Him who speaks from heaven...
Four types of people came to earthly Mount Sinai and saw and heard God. The same four types shall see and hear God reveal Himself from heavenly Mount Zion. As we have seen, the first type, people having the primary nature of the flesh, i.e. the heathen, will always flee and hide in fear from the Presence of the Holy One.
The second type are people having the primary nature of the soul [Hebr. nephesh; Grk. psuche/“psyche”]:
Lev. 17:11; Gen. 9:4 The soul of the flesh is in the blood.
These are people who belong, either by heritage or by choice, to the blood/soul lineage of Israel: all who have cleaved to Israel's God by accepting His Covenant of Ten Commandments, which was established with Israel at Mount Sinai. These are people who live moral lives with their neighbors upon the earth, not corrupting their flesh and souls with God-forbidden desires and lusts. But these are not people who have been infilled by the Holy Spirit, and have thereafter lived their lives being guided by the very Spirit of Christ. Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 3:17
When soulish people meet God, they do not flee; but neither are they able to fully enter into his Presence. They are convinced, but not fully transformed. They are honored by God, but he does not accept them up into the cloud. Rather, he selects them for offices of earthly service, that is, as elders and priests over matters concerning flesh and blood. The 70 elders of Israel and the Levitical priesthood typified those called into such offices:
Ex. 24:1 And He said unto Moses, “Ascend unto the LORD, you, and [Levitical priests] Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship from afar off. 10 ...and they saw the God of Israel... 14 And [Moses] said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you.” [!]
Rev. 7:2 [END TIMES] Then I saw another angel... 3 saying, “Do not harm the earth…until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.” 4 ...One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.
Zech. 12:10 [END TIMES] “And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplications, and they will look intently toward [not away from] me whom they pierced.” … 12 And the land shall mourn, every family by itself...”
The heathen will flee and hide away from the Face of God; but the Israelite servants of God will look toward him, and
Matt 26:64 “...see/gaze upon the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
The faithful to YHWH, but (formerly) blinded-to-Christ elders and religious leaders of Israel, will see God having Christ at his right hand, and will realize that this is the fulfillment of Psalm 110's prophecy about their Messiah:
Ps. 110:1 YHWH said unto my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”
They will repent, and God will pour out his grace upon them, and seal them for His service upon earth.
Rev. 1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see/gaze upon Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.
Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor hidden that shall not be known.
In order for every eye to see Jesus, they will have to be facing Him. But what if He is facing back at you. And you know that He sees you too! And not only that – you're butt-naked in His sight, body and soul and spirit, you know you are! What will you do in the revealing Light of His Glory, when it is exposing your nakedness to everyone better than any TSA body scanner ever could hope for? Why, you will, if you have not prepared yourself for this moment,
Is. 2:10 Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust,
From the terror of the LORD
And the glory of His majesty.
11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled,
The haughtiness of men shall be bowed down,
And the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
Rev. 6:15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the Face of Him who sits on the throne and from the Wrath of the Lamb!"
So a brief review: Jesus and the Father appear in heaven, and “every eye” sees them, worldwide, living and dead. Everyone is awestruck. Everyone realizes HE sees THEM too, and SEES EVERYTHING ABOUT THEM:
1 Cor. 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Luke 12:2 “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light...”
John 3:20 “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
The heathen “tribes of the earth” – that is, flesh-level people, not spirit-level Christians – will be too scared and ashamed to continue standing in the Presence, and they will flee from His Face. For those who are able to stand in that Light, however, it will be different – but more on that later.
Where and when did something very much like this happen before? It happened at Mount Sinai, about seven weeks after the Exodus of the Israelite people out of Egypt:
Ex. 20:18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they fell back and stood afar off. … So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.
With this background in mind, we can come now to a prophecy of the Rapture that is often ignored, yet sums up everything so far discussed: Hebrews 12:18-28.
18 For you have not come to the mountain [Sinai] that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and to a sound of a trumpet and a voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. ... 22 [RAPTURE:] But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to a general assembly and a church of the firstborn having been registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men having been perfected/fulfilled, 24 [and] to Jesus, Mediator of a new covenant... 25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven...
Some will turn away from Him, others will move toward Him, just as at Sinai. Some will wail and flee, others will rejoice and ascend:
Matt. 24:30 “...then all the tribes of the earth will mourn/wail, and they will see/gaze upon the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Mark. 13:27 “And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”
John 3:21 …he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
“…and every eye will see Him…”
Rev. 1:7 Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see/gaze upon Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.
How will it be that every eye will see Jesus Christ at His Coming? What do the Scriptures tell us?
According to Zech 12:10, “they who who pierced him” will include many of the living, apparently because of their continued rejection of Jesus as Messiah up to the very instant that they see him:
Zech 12:10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplications; and they will look intently toward Me whom they pierced, and they will mourn over Him as one mourns over the only son, and grieve over Him as one grieves over the firstborn.”
However, Matthew 26:64 says that ones who are now among the dead – those who literally caused him to be pierced – will also see him:
Matt 26:63 And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see/gaze upon the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Now, “every eye” certainly did not see Jesus ascend from the Mount of Olives. Acts 1:9-10 That event was only seen by his disciples. Therein lies a clue as to their type of vision. Here are more scriptural clues to consider:
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been manifested what we shall be; but we know that when He shall be manifested, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 Cor. 13:12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
Luke 12:2 “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light...”
2 Thes. 1:7 ...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels... 8 ...those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ... 9 ...shall be punished with everlasting destruction apo/away from the Face of the Lord and apo/away from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe...
What I see in these passages is this: when the Lord appears, “every eye will see him.” The Greek word for “see” here is “optanomai: to gaze upon, i.e. with wide-open eyes, as at something remarkable.” (Strong's G3700) In short, everyone will be awe-struck. For those of us who love Him and have prepared ourselves for this moment, our spirits will move into His Spirit, “we shall [then] be like Him,” and be caught up to Him.
But for those who have not loved Him, or have not been prepared for this sight, they will be struck with fear and shame. This is why “all the tribes of the earth will mourn/wail because of Him,” and be removed away from His Face. More on that later.
Matthew 24:15-30; Daniel 11:40-12:2; 2 Thessalonians 2; Numbers 24:24
Let's put these closely related prophecies together:
Matt 24:15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place... 21 then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been... 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days...the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 ...and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Dan. 11:40 “At the time of the end the king of the south shall attack him [the king of the north]; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind... [41-43 enter and occupy the Holy Land; subdue Egypt, Libya, and Cush (prob. = Sudan); but not subdue or occupy Edom, Moab, and Ammon (= the whole or parts of the modern countries of Jordan and Saudi Arabia) 44 But news from the east [towards Iraq and Iran] and the north [towards Russia and/or Turkey] shall trouble him... 45 And he shall plant the tents of his pavilion between the seas at the glorious holy mountain; but he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. 12:1 “At that time Michael shall stand up, ...And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was... 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake..."
2 Thes 2:1 ...concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him... 3 that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the Son of Perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called a god or that is worshiped, so that he sits as a god in the naos/holy place/sanctuary of God, showing himself that he is a god. ... 8...the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
Beginning at Daniel 11:40, we see IN THE END TIMES a king/potentate to the south of the Holy Land, which south is currently all Islamic, attacking somehow a ruler of the north, that is, one out of the historical Graeco-Roman culture. The northern ruler invades from north to south, enters and occupies (seemingly peacefully) Israel, and then forcefully invades Islamic Egypt, Libya, and southwards; but neither Jordan nor Saudi Arabia -- currently allies of America and Europe -- are troubled at all. This ruler returns to Israel and sets up his headquarters on the Temple Mount; then he comes to his end around the time of the Great Tribulation and subsequent resurrection of the dead.
Now, if people can't see the fit between this passage, and what Jesus prophesied about the same period in the End Times, and what Paul prophesied about the Son of Perdition likewise setting himself up in the Holy Place on the Temple Mount, but being brought to his end at the Coming of the Lord ... then those people are else either really ignorant of the Scriptures, or else they refuse to see something that runs contrary to their beliefs about the sequence of events of the End Times.
Everything described in the above passages describes a post-trib, but pre-wrath, Second Coming: the Abomination of Desolation is accomplished by the Son of Perdition/King of the North; immediately followed by the Great Tribulation; immediately followed by the Resurrection of the Dead at the Second Coming, concurrent with the demise of the Son of Perdition.
At that point of the Second Coming, nothing at all concerning the post-Revelation 7 events that take place during the time of the Wrath of God are even hinted at (with the exception of a hint of a future invasion from out of the east). At the Second Coming, the Beast of Revelation 11, 13, 17 has not yet arrived.
A prophecy of Balaam directly speaks about this same period right before the Second Coming:
Dan. 11:40 At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships...
Num. 24:24 And ships shall come from the coast [lit. hand] of Kittim [lands northwest of the Middle East]...
Dan. 11:40 and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many shall stumble/become weak-legged...
Num. 24:24 ...and shall afflict Asshur/Assyria [the region covering parts of Syria, northern Iraq, and southern Turkey, all now in conflict], and shall afflict Eber [the Hebrews/Jews/Israel]...
Dan. 11:45 ...but he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.
Num. 24:24 ...and he also shall perish for ever.
According to the Book of Jasher, which was written in the same era as this prophecy by Balaam, the Kittim were the tribe who became the Romans:
Jasher 10:16 And the children of Kittim are the Romim who dwell in the valley of Canopia [Canopus] by the river Tibreu [Tiber].
Likewise, the "ships of Kittim" mentioned in Dan. 11:30, who came against Antichus IV Epiphanes in 168 B.C. and drove him out of Egypt, were Roman ships carrying a Roman envoy.
This is why I believe the King of the North will be one of the Western powers -- those having a Graeco-Roman heritage -- and not Turkey. Antiochus IV Epiphanes was of the royal bloodline of the Syrian Seleucids, but he came from Rome (1 Macc. 1:10) at the time that he 'came in peaceably, and seized the kingdom by flatteries/slickness.' Dan. 11:21 He had been held hostage in Rome for 14 years beginning in his youth, and had become substantially Romanized. So he was the first King of the North to have the Graeco-Roman hybridization. Through his establishment of an "abomination of desolation" on Jerusalem's Temple Mount (Dan. 11:31), he became the preeminent type of the Latter Day Son of Perdition.
“The Stars Will Fall From Heaven” = Pole Reversal?
Matt. 24:29-30 “Immediately after the [Great] Tribulation…the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the Sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven…” Rev. 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. Rev 9:1-2, 11 And I saw a star having fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the Abyss. And he opened the [it]…[Its] king [is] the angel of the Abyss: …Abaddon [Destroyer]. Rev. 11:7 …the Beast that ascends out of the Abyss… Rev 12:3-4, 7, 9 And there appeared…in heaven…a great red dragon… And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth… And war broke out in heaven… And the great dragon was cast out to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Many ancient peoples believed the heavenly lights to be spirits: gods and/or angels. Modern scientists believe the stars and planets to consist solely of physical matter. C. S. Lewis and other mystics and theologians have believed them to be both: physical forms, each having a single associated spirit. For when God created the stars, “He call[ed] them all by name.” Ps. 147:4; Is. 40:26 According to ancient Hebraic doctrine, those are the names of their angelic spirits; because, as in the case of Adam, when God speaks a name, a spirit is created.
In view of the passages above from Revelation 9 and 12, the “falling stars” of Matt. 24:29 can be posited to be heavenly spirits, at least in part.
In the modern night sky, one constellation of stars lords over all the others in the northern hemisphere (under which dwell the world’s most powerful and populous nations): Draco, the Dragon. It covers a vast area near both the celestial and ecliptic poles. Because the Dragon is so near the northern poles, it never dips below the horizon. Therefore, its starlight falls upon the great nations 24 hours a day. (In contrast, the brighter and more famous constellations of the Zodiac rise and set every day.)
There is another notable 24-hour constellation, this one over Earth’s southern hemisphere: Crux, the Cross. Thousands of years ago, it was visible briefly every day in the lower latitudes of the northern hemisphere. However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, its northernmost star fell permanently below the horizon at the latitude of Jerusalem shortly after Jesus was crucified there. (Seiss, The Gospel in the Stars, 37, 171.)
In 2 Esdras 3:18, (2 Esdras is a book of the Apocrypha formerly found in Protestant Bibles), the prophet states:
[At the time of the Exodus, God] didst bend down the heavens, and shake the earth, and move the world, and make the depths to tremble, and trouble the times [calendars and/or seasons].
These Exodus-era events are similarly mentioned in Psalm 68:8:
The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God.
Immanuel Velikovsky, in his book Worlds in Collision, describes how a reversal of Earth’s poles took place during the Exodus. A pole reversal means Earth turns over: south becomes north, and north south. This has the visual effect of “the heavens dropping [down]”: the stars and constellations appear to “fall from the sky.”
Both history and science confirm that a number of pole reversals have taken place in the past. Because Earth will continue to rotate on its axis even when it is turning over, the stars will appear to fall in a swirling motion, “as a fig tree drops its late figs when shaken by a mighty wind.” (The branches of a fig tree will swirl in the wind while they cast their figs.)
Pole reversals create huge stresses on the plates of Earth’s crust, resulting in great earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (bringing darkened skies). This fits well with the events foretold by Rev. 6:12-14:
…a great earthquake…sun becomes black…every mountain and island is moved out of its place.
The parallel passage of Luke 21:25 (cf. Matt. 24:29) adds:
…and on the earth [there will be] distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring –
That is, the oceans and seas will be racked by monstrous waves.
In sum, the prophecies out of Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Revelation quoted above seem to indicate that a pole reversal will immediately precede the Second Coming of Christ. The constellation of the Dragon will appear to be “cast down” from our night sky, and “the sign of the Son of Man” – the Cross – will ascend into that sky. Among the ancients, the letter t (Tau in Greek, Tav in Hebrew) meant both the Cross and the Sign. Being the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, it also signified an end, a completion; that is, “the end/completion of the age.” Matt. 24:3 At that time, the Divine Scales of Justice – the balance-beam of the t (cross) holds those scales – signify the impending Judgment of God. Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:7
Matt. 24:29-30 Then the Sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory…[to] gather together His elect…
For anyone viewing the sky on the night of the pole reversal, the stars of Draco the Dragon will appear to “fall/be cast down to Earth.” Seemingly, Satan and many of his angels are spiritually attached to these stars, and their lights’ direct influence over Earth’s great nations will come to and end. However, at this time the constellation Cetus, the Sea Monster/Leviathan, will ascend from the lower latitudes to high in the northern sky (yet below the Cross):
Rev 13:1-2 And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns… The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. [The similarly low-lying Scorpio the Scorpion will also ascend high in our sky, yet also below the Cross. Cf. the locust-scorpions of Rev. 9:2-10.]
After the coming of Christ and the Rapture of his elect (that’s not everyone in the Church, folks), the Beast – the King Angel from the Abyss – will ascend to power over the nations. The fallen Dragon/Satan will pass over to him all the worldly authority he has accumulated over the millennia, and the final conflicts for rulership over Earth will ensue.
To repeat, the dramatic “shaking” of the heavens and the earth, and the heavenly signs, will come “immediately after the [Great] Tribulation.” Matt. 24:29, 21 Therefore, the order of End Time events is: Great Tribulation (first 5 Seals of Rev. 6); heavenly signs (6th Seal); Rapture of the Elect (concluded before Rev. 7:9); Beast Kingdom; establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth (7th Trumpet); Last Battle/Armageddon (7th bowl); Rev. 20:1-6 events.
Careers in the Kingdom
God doesn't change, but mankind's circumstances do. Therefore, God has made different covenants with the peoples of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Church. Each covenant was tailored to fit the needs and abilities of the people in their own time, their own Age. Each covenant had unique elements, yet all of God's covenants provide similar roles for men to fill, both among the priesthood and laity.
The Bible and Jesus teach that there will come "the end of the [present Church] age," to be followed by a 1000-year Kingdom Age on Earth. The Kingdom Age will be governed under its own covenant, which will provide its own roles (jobs). Here is a summary of these, showing how the priesthood and laity jobs in the coming age compare to past such roles in both the Mosaic ('Jewish') Age and the Church Age.
High Priest Under the Mosaic Covenant, which was tailored to suit the needs of carnal men, a carnal/physical priesthood was established: Aaron, the first high priest, and thereafter the lineage of his firstborn sons. (Aaron was a firstborn himself.)
The High Priest of the Church Covenant, a covenant tailored for spiritual men, is Jesus Christ, the spiritual Firstborn of God. He continues in this position throughout the Kingdom Age.
Priesthood All of Aaron's unblemished male descendants of age became priests. They were the only ones authorized to offer the sacraments of the Mosaic Covenant.
In the Church, this role was established in Christ's Apostles, his spiritual offspring; and in their unblemished spiritual descendants.
In the Kingdom, the priesthood office is allotted to the Manchild of Revelation 12.
Aaron's descendants had authority over all Israelites; the apostolic office has authority over all the Church, both Jew and Gentile; the Manchild is to “shepherd all nations.” Rev. 12:5; 2:26-27
Servants of the Priesthood God gave “the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons...to do the service...in the Tabernacle...” Num. 8:15-19 Before entering this work, they “washed their clothes; then [high priest] Aaron presented them like a wave offering before the LORD.” Num. 8:21 The Levites were accepted by God as Israel's “firstborn.” Num. 8:16, 18 The job of the Levites was to serve in God's Tabernacle, but not to administer the sacraments or approach the holy things. Num. 18:2-3
In the Church Age, the corresponding role fell to the office of the deacon. Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim. 3:8-13 This office was established to serve the Apostles, by relieving them of many details of the Church's material affairs: the same service of the Levites for their priests. (Unlike the Levites, deacons can progress to a priesthood role.)
In the Kingdom Age, the Rapture brings the “Church of the Firstborn” to “the heavenly Jerusalem,” “to Jesus the Mediator [and High Priest] of the New Covenant;” there he “will shepherd them.” Heb. 12:22-24; 8:1-2; Rev. 7:17 These firstborn “come out of the Great Tribulation and wash their robes,” then “[wave] palm branches” before God. Rev. 7:14, 9 Their job/role is thenceforth to “serve [God and the Lamb] day and night in his temple.” Rev. 7:15 In sum, these people are to be the servants of the High Priest of the heavenly tabernacle. Their work is to be “before the throne” (Rev. 7:9, 15), not on or from it: they will not have the rulership authority that Christ and the Manchild have. Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21; 12:5
Leaders of Israel When the LORD descended upon Mount Sinai, he called “up...seventy of the leaders of Israel” (along with Moses, and Aaron and his sons) into his Presence. Ex. 24:1, 9 These Seventy were later more fully anointed with authority, receiving part of the Holy Spirit that God had given Moses. Num. 11:16-30 The Seventy were anointed tribal elders, but were not priests.
When the Holy Spirit descended into the “upper room” where 120 elect Israelite disciples of Christ were gathered, they came into God's Presence, and were anointed with his Spirit. Acts 1:15; 2:1f. The upper room was their 'mountain.' These later received a second anointing of the Spirit, which empowered them “to speak the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31 Nevertheless, most of them were never accounted to have apostolic authority: they remained as ruling elders over the Israelite Church.
Following the opening of the 6th Seal of Revelation 6 and the descent of Christ, the 144,000 Israelites are to be “sealed in their foreheads,” i.e., their 'upper rooms.' Rev. 7:3-8 “Whether in the body or out of the body, God knows” (2 Cor. 12:2-4), they will be “caught up” into the Presence for a space, then return below to lead their people. (See End Times Crib Sheet: The Rapture.) At a later date, they will receive a greater empowerment, coming to stand with the Lamb before God's throne. Rev. 14:1-5
Leaders of the Various Tribes Under Old Testament law, the firstborn sons of men were to be set apart to God, and receive special privileges and authority in their clans and tribes. If faithful and competent, they became tribal elders of various ranks. Ex. 13:2; Deut. 21:15-17; Gen. 25:29f.; 27; etc.
In the Church Age, the firstfruits of the Apostles' ministry often became elders/presbyters of the churches, being recognized in various levels of rulership authority. 1 Cor. 16:15
In the Kingdom Age, those who have “part in the first resurrection...shall reign with him [Christ] a thousand years.” Rev. 20:6 This “first resurrection” refers to the righteous dead who are resurrected at the 6th Seal; to the killed and quickly resurrected Two Witnesses; and to those killed/“beheaded” by the Beast, and resurrected after his defeat. All of these, along with the 144,000, are called “firstborn” and “firstfruits.” Heb. 12:23; Rev. 11:7-12; 14:4; 19:20 – 20:6
Like at the Exodus, however, there is a before and after distinction at work. The Levites were taken in place of the firstborn of Israel who were born before the Tabernacle was established (Num. 3:40f.; 1:1; Ex. 40:17): they worked in the religious sphere. The firstborn afterward became tribal elders: that is, secular governmental officials.
The heavenly Tabernacle workers of Rev. 7 will be resurrected and/or raptured before men are first called to serve in that Tabernacle. The Rev. 20:4 saints will be resurrected afterward, and become Kingdom governmental officials. (The Israelite Apostles and disciples were called before the Church was established; the Gentile elders after.)
Roles of the Common People
The Ecclesia/Church in the Wilderness The great bulk of both the Israelite and the Kingdom covenanters were/will be common members of the body, without official rank. At the time of the “great cry...of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again,” Israel fled into the wilderness. Ex. 11:6; 12:31-34 Most of these people were mentally unprepared, and suffered because of it; yet God provided manna and water to sustain them. Even so, when forewarned by God: “Behold, I come...be ready,” most were not ready, and cowered away from his Presence when he appeared. Ex. 19:9, 11; 20:18-21
At the time of the “Great Tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world...nor shall ever be [again],” “the Woman [God's people] will flee into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there...” Matt. 24:21, 16f.; Rev. 12:6 Again, most of these people will be mentally unprepared to leave the comforts of civilization. When later forewarned by God, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh,” only some of them—“those who are ready”—will be able to abide and enter into his Presence. Matt. 25:6-10 Most will not be ready, and will cower away from his Face. Rev. 6:15-17; cf. 1 Chr. 21:20
P.S. Less than two months passed between the day Israel left Egypt and the day of God's descent. I believe that the corresponding Great Tribulation period will be even shorter (yet more fearsome), because Jesus said “those days will be cut short.” Matt. 24:22
The Martyrs When the Israelites were in the wilderness, “Amalek...smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary.” Deut. 25:17-18; Ex. 17:8f.
During the Tribulation, many of God's people who are weak in the flesh and/or who are stragglers, but who remain spiritually faithful, will be martyred. Through their martyrdom, they will become sanctified, being “given white robes,” which represent their righteous act of faithfulness unto death. Rev. 6:9-11; cf. 19:8
[The raptured Virgin Church of Rev. 7 must “wash their robes”—divest themselves of their spiritual uncleanness—before coming into the Presence of God. Rev. 7:14 This was allegorically portrayed by the purifications undergone by Esther and the other virgins, prior to their coming before the king. Esth. 2]