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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wormwood Star

Revelation 8:6-13 NIV

The Trumpets – First to Fourth


6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.

8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—

11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.

13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”

 

Seven Trumpets

The seven trumpets is the sound cycle of seven. The seven trumpets clearly announce God’s judgment.

Like the seven seals, the trumpets can be divided into two cycles. Like the first four seals, the first four trumpets are alike in nature. Similarly, the final three trumpets are alike as were the final three seals.

As the final three seals dealt with the Wrath of God, the final three trumpets will deal with an intensified expression of God’s Wrath (the three Woes).

Trumpets have a rich tradition in the Old Testament Scriptures. Predominantly, trumpets were used to;

(1) call God’s people together

(2) call to repentance

(3) announce judgment

(4) call to salvation

(5) call to the king’s coronation

(6) announce eschatological judgment.

The apostle Paul indicates that the trumpet of God will blow at the Parousia (Παρουσία , Arrival) of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 15:52). A teaching reflected in the teachings of Christ in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24:30-31).
 

“Wormwood”

“The name of the star is called Wormwood” is a unique phrase. There is no historical evidence that a star by this name existed in the ancient world. Wormwood is a medicinal herb of antiquity used to dispel worms from the intestines. It is very bitter. “Many men died from the water” is the natural result of fresh water made bitter. Wormwood is known for its bitterness; however, death is not normally associated with this herb.

“Because they were made bitter” indicates the reason for the death of many people. Dehydration is not the cause of death, but drinking the water kills people. Thus, the purpose of the third trumpet is to kill men with bitter water.


Use

Wormwood is the traditional color and flavor agent for green “songpyeon”, a type of “dduk / tteok” (Korean rice cake), eaten during the Korean thanksgiving festival of Chuseok in the autumn. The juice from its fresh leaves provides the coloring and flavoring ingredient in the dough prepared to make “green songpyeon.”

The use of wormwood as a stomachic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, febrifuge and anthelmintic. Extracts of the plant have shown to exhibit strong antimicrobial activity, especially against Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria. It can repel insect larvae when planted on the edge of the cultivated area. It has also been used to repel fleas and moths indoors.


Theories

One interesting theory is that nuclear weaponry could be called ‘wormwood.’ For example: Ukrainian synonymy ‘wormwood’. They do poison the water where they are detonated, thus explaining the correlation. Some even point to the Chernobyl disaster as a possible fulfillment of this prophecy, as the name Chernobyl is said to translate to ‘wormwood.’

Various scientific scenarios have been theorized on the effects of an asteroid or comet’s collision with Earth. An applicable scenario theorizes a chemical change in the atmosphere due to “heat shock” during entry and/or impact of a large asteroid or comet, reacting oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere to produce nitric-acid rain.

 Acid rain from the heat shock of a large comet or asteroid’s impact with Earth is believed by some to fit the Biblical description of the bitterness produced by the Wormwood Star upon a third of the Earth’s potable water.

However we don’t believe either Chernobyl disaster contamination, asteroid’s collision or falling of a single star could literally fall on a third of the fresh water sources of the earth and make it bitter (poisonous).  John just intends the reader to understand the fact that the star affected one-third of the rivers and springs on the earth.

To properly understand the expression ‘wormwood’, the name of the star, we will need to read Revelation 1:20;

“The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”

From this, we can draw a logical formula;

 (seven) stars = (seven) angels or messengers of churches.

i.e.  Star = Angel or Messenger of church

I am cautiously saying this:

“This star named ‘wormwood’ might be a very influential church leadership (a great star, blazing like a torch) whose teachings or doctrines are misleading one-third of Christians into the spiritual death.”

Pure wormwood oil is very poisonous and it can kill the herbivorous animals, such as sheep, goats and cows if they graze on it. God’s people are portrayed as sheep in the Bible.

Seventh Seal Opens

Revelation 8:1-5 NIV

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer
 

1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the Throne.

4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel’s hand.

5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Verse 1

The fact that the silence occurs in heaven is important. Since the creation of the angelic host, the adorers of heaven have continually praised and worshiped the great God of glory. That stops! There is only one event at this point in human history that could possibly render heaven silent—the wrath of God. Restrained since the Flood and promised since Adam, the eschatological wrath of God is about to finally begin. So dramatic is God’s wrath that all the eternal activities of heaven—praise and worship of the Magnificent God—stop for about half an hour!
The seventh seal is the last of the seven seals which keeps the content of the scroll hidden. Only now can the content of the scroll be known. The seventh seal is of the nature of the last three seals.
That is, the Wrath of God is in focus. The fifth seal requests the pouring out of the Wrath of God. The sixth seal announces the imminent outbreak of the Wrath of God. Now the seventh and final seal depicts the actual beginning of God’s Wrath in the form of seven trumpet judgments.

Now we go to Revelation 8:6-13 to see how the Wrath of God unfolds;

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.(8:6)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Multitude in White Robes

Revelation 7:9-17

The Great Multitude in White Robes


9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the Throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,

Who sits on the Throne,

and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels were standing around the Throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the Throne and worshiped God,

12 saying:

“Amen!

Praise and Glory

and Wisdom and Thanks and Honor

and Power and Strength

be to our God for ever and ever.

Amen!”

13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”

And he said, These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

15 Therefore,

“they are before the Throne of God

and serve Him day and night in His temple;

and He Who sits on the Throne will spread His tent over them.

16 Never again will they hunger;

never again will they thirst.

The sun will not beat upon them,

nor any scorching heat.

17 For the Lamb at the center of the Throne will be their shepherd;

He will lead them to springs of Living Water.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”


Verses 13-14

First, the elder is answering the second question asked in verse 13b, “from where have they come?”

In English, a “where” question usually anticipates a specific location. However, a specific place is not given but a specific time is indicated. The great tribulation has one parallel in Scripture - Matthew 24:21.

In that specific passage, the definite article the, (he) is not used. As one of the original recipients of the Olivet Discourse (Mark 13:3), John, the apostle, heard Jesus use this very specific term. Therefore, his use reflects previous knowledge.

The great tribulation is not a place, but a specific time. This is reflected in the translation of NASB, which states, “For those days will be a time of tribulation… (Mark 13:19).”  This is in harmony with Daniel 12:1, which also calls this period “a time of distress.” This universally innumerable multitude will arrive in heaven during the period of the great tribulation.

‘Out of  ἐκ(ek) suggests that this universally innumerable multitude come out of the midst of the great tribulation. The phrase, the ones who come translates a Greek substantival participle ( Οὗτοι εἰσιν οἱ ἐρχόμενοι ἐκ τῆς θλίψεως τῆς μεγάλης )

In the context, the universally innumerable multitude is composed of “the ones who come.” The participle in and of itself does not speak to issue of the timing of their arrival. However, this group is not in the process of coming one by one, but they come as a group. This is supported by the following statement.

“They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”answers the second question posted in verse 13b above. The fact that the Lord states that “overcomers shall be clothed in white garments (Revelation 3:5),” and that the Laodiceans should purchase “white garments, that the shame [of their] nakedness may not be revealed…(Rev 3:18),”  limits the interpretation of Revelation 7:14b.

The fact that every member of the universally innumerable multitude has “washed and made white” his robes removes any possibility that martyrdom is the action described here. While some members of the universally innumerable multitude did die the death of a martyr, this cannot be said for the entire group. Yet, every single member “washed and made white” his or her robe.

Dear readers,

Do you want to be a part of the great multitude in white robes? I do want to. Then we all need to wash our robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. Did you say you washed your robe already?  Still we will need to wash every day to keep them white and pure.

So be it!

144,000 Sealed

Revelation 7:1-8

144,000 Sealed


1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.

2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the Seal of the Living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:

3 “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.


5 From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed,

from the tribe of Reuben 12,000,

from the tribe of Gad 12,000,

6 from the tribe of Asher 12,000,

from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000,

from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000,

7 from the tribe of Simeon 12,000,

from the tribe of Levi 12,000,

from the tribe of Issachar 12,000,

8 from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000,

from the tribe of Joseph 12,000,

from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000.

 

The Seal of the Living God.

Greek: σφραγῖδα θεοῦ ζῶντος (sphragida theo zontos, a seal of God the Living One)

Σφραγίς sphragís – an etched (engraved) object pressed into soft wax or clay to seal a document (letter); a ‘seal, ‘signet ring.’


Haggai 2:23

“‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like My Signet Ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”


As to the form of the seal, we have no information. It would be most natural to suppose that the “Name of the living God” would be engraven on it, so that that Name would appear on anyone to whom it might be affixed.

Compare the notes on 2 Timothy 2:19 below. It was customary in the East to brand the name of the master on the forehead of a slave and such an idea would meet all that is implied in the language here, though there is no certain evidence that there is an allusion to that custom.

In subsequent times, in the church, it was common for Christians to impress the sign of the cross on their foreheads. As nothing is said here, however, about any mark or device on the seal, conjecture is useless as to what it really is.


2 Timothy 2:19 (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

“But the foundation of God stands firm, and it has this seal: “And THE LORD JEHOVAH knows those who are His, and let everyone who calls on the Name of THE LORD JEHOVAH separate from evil.”

Similarly, Revelation 14:9 refers to the mark of the beast on the forehead of its worshiper.

“If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand.”


Ezekiel 9:4 records;

And the LORD said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”

144,000  Sealed

Some people do not take the number 144,000 literally and take it as a mere symbolic expression. Some even spiritualize the 144, 000 into a Christian group

There is no textual basis to support those who claim that the 144, 000 are any entity other than physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. John gives the reader every detail necessary to correctly identify this group. The critical phrase “from every tribe of the sons of Israel” should settle any debate about their identity. This phrase always refers to physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Out of six hundred and thirty-five occurrences of this phrase throughout the Scriptures, Revelation 7:4 would be the only exception. There is no compelling reason to spiritualize away the literal sense. Every tribe of the sons of Israel has solid biblical support as a referent of Jews only.

‘Every’ would seem to suggest that all twelve sons of Jacob are intended here. However, Manasseh is included and Dan is left out. Manasseh’s inclusion and Dan’s exclusion are interesting. Who is included or excluded from a list of Jacob’s sons is determined by the author’s intent.

A biological list of Jacob’s sons would include Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin. A land grant list would include Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, and Benjamin. Joseph and Levi would be excluded and Manasseh and Ephraim would be included reflecting that Joseph received the double portion of his father’s inheritance. A blessing/curse list would include or exclude those not affected by it. In the case of Moses’ blessings list of Deuteronomy 33, Simeon is not included.

A change in the list of Jacob’s sons occurs after Genesis 49. There, Jacob stripped Reuben of his rights as first-born. The right of the first-born to receive a double portion of the father’s inheritance passed to Joseph. The reason Reuben lost it is that he defiled Jacob by sleeping with Bilhah, Jacob’s concubine. This is how Ephraim and Manasseh received land grants from Joshua. Judah prevailed over his brothers and from him came the leader (king) of Israel (1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

It is clear that the list of Revelation 7 is not based on the land grant, which would exclude Joseph and Levi. The list is not based on physical lineage, for Manasseh is not the biological child of Jacob, but is adopted. Like the list of those blessed by Moses in Deuteronomy 33, this list is based on blessings/curses. As Simeon was left out of that list, Dan is left out of this list. Dan is left out of the list because he is not blessed. The purpose of the sealing is to prevent harm to those sealed. The fact that no members of the tribe of Dan receive this special protection is at first surprising. However, the selection of only twelve thousand from each tribe indicates that only a few of the larger group receives this special protection. That not a single Danite receives this special protection indicates an unfavorable attitude towards him. Some have suggested that Dan’s idolatry is the reason for his exclusion at this point. There is no explicit biblical basis to be dogmatic either way.

Retrieved from http://www.revelationcommentary.org/07_chapter.html and  modified for posting 01/30/2013

Lamb Opens Seals

Lord Jesus,

Give us wisdom when we read this chapter and try to understand the meaning of each seals which You opened.

When I write this, I do not want to apply my theological knowledge to it.

Teach us by Your Holy Spirit! Amen.

 
Revelation 6:1-17

The Seals
 

1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!”

2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!”

4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword.

5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand.

6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wages, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!”

8I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him.

They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the Word of God and the Testimony they had maintained.

10 They called out in a loud voice, How long, Sovereign Lord, Holy and True, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?

11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

12 I watched as He opened the sixth seal.

There was a great earthquake.

The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair,

the whole moon turned blood red,

13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.

14 The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.

16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the Throne and from the Wrath of the Lamb!

17 For the Great Day of Their Wrath has come, and who can stand?”


For us to understand Revelation 6 better, we must read the Word of God written in other places to find its mate.

Because Isaiah 34:16 says;

   “Look in the scroll of Jehovah and read:

None of these will be missing,

not one will lack her mate.

For it is His mouth that has given the order,

and His Spirit will gather them together.”


Read first Zechariah 1:8-19.

“During the night I had a vision—and there before me was a man riding a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.

I asked, “What are these, my lord?”

The angel who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.”

Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.


The ‘Man riding a red horse in the myrtle trees in a ravine’ in this passage is best understood as the Pre-incarnate Christ (Christ before coming in flesh) commanding the armies of Heaven as the Captain of the army of Jehovah.


And Zechariah 6:1-8

Four Chariots

I looked up again—and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains—mountains of bronze!

 The first chariot had red horses, the second black, the third white, and the fourth dappled - all of them powerful. I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?”

The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world.

The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.”

When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth.

Then he called to me, “Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spirit rest in the land of the north.”


Then Joel 2:31

“The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the Great and Dreadful Day of Jehovah.”

And Matthew 24:4-8

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.


More in Matthew 24:29-31

“Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light;

the stars will fall from the sky,

and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’

“At that time the Sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with Power and great Glory.  And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

 

Dear readers,

I do not know how to match the four horses (white, red, black and pale in the seal’s order) in Revelation 6 with the four chariots (red, black, white and spotted horses in order) in Zechariah 1, 6 which will be released as the cataclysmic events in the world immediately before the return of the Lord - the Great and Dreadful Day of Jehovah prophesied in Joel 2:31.

So I quote from a contributor by 1whowaits on Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:37 pm posted on Fulfilled Propecy.com and I believe it’s very helpful in understanding the connectivity between the horses in Zechariah 1, 6 and Revelation 6.


“In Zechariah 6, the horses appear to be restrained and then let loose to go throughout the earth, while in Revelation 6 they appear to be released by the breaking of a seal, perhaps indicating that they had been restrained prior to that time.

 In Zechariah 1, the horses are not described as restrained, but I believe they could be the 4 craftsmen described later in the passage, which appear to be let loose to cause destruction at God’s direction.

What the horses are is not completely clear; they are described as ‘spirits’ in Zechariah 6. In Revelation 6 the horses do appear to be in reality the acts of men, war and conquest and economic collapse and all appear to be man-made, not acts of God or Satan.

Some believe the horses of Revelation 6 are the 'spirits' or 'driving forces' behind the evil acts of men, the ‘spirit of conquest’, the ‘spirit' of war’, etc., that have been held in check by God, only to be released to accomplish their true destructive potential.

It is interesting that the 3 passages that describe the horses of differing colors could be put together to give a more complete description of what will occur.

In Zechariah 1, the horses are described in the context of God being angry with the gentile nations who divide up Israel and Jerusalem and prevent the rebuilding of His temple. After describing the 4 horses, God then sends the ‘4 craftsmen’ to terrorize and throw down the gentile leaders/nations.

In Zechariah 6, the 4 horses come from between 2 mountains of bronze. Some believe the 2 mountains are the twin towers and refer to the war on terror. But mountains in scripture are often symbolic of kings or kingdoms, and the only kingdom of bronze that I can find is in Daniel 2, apparently the kingdom of Alexander.

And currently the land area that was Alexander’s kingdom of the past is currently occupied by the Islamic nations. And it is the Islamic nation that wishes to ‘terrorize’ and ‘throw down’ the other kingdoms of the world to establish Islam as the ruler of all nations.

If the horses of Revelation and Zechariah are the same horses, the white horse of conquest would go to the west, perhaps suggesting that the west is conquered. The black horse of famine and economic collapse goes to the north, perhaps suggesting the cause of economic collapse in association with oil. The pale horse, death, goes to the south, perhaps suggesting death in that area.

An alternate translation of Zechariah 6:8 states that the horse going north has ‘triumphed and pacified God’s anger’. I believe this could be a reference to the outcome of the Islamic conquest, the ‘horns’ are overthrown and God’s anger is appeased.

So if the horses of Zechariah 1 and 6 and Revelation 6 are the same horses, the current dividing up of Israel and Jerusalem could bring forth disaster for the ‘4 horns’, in the form of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse.”