Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12

Chapter 19 War in Heaven

There is no doubt that Jesus identified the dragon in the vision He showed John. The dragon represents Satan. But how many preachers take the extra moment to show you how the vision identified the symbols it contains? How many preachers show you how Revelation was designed to teach you how to read and understand that book? Not many. Let’s not forget the fact, Satan introduced the monetary system this world uses and depends on. That is the key. The world depends more on the monetary system Satan invented than on the Creator of this world. And Satan knows how to use that money system to control and manipulate people. Especially when they have no idea who is manipulating them, how, or why. That’s why we have to be extra cautious. That’s why it is a lot safer for us to study on our own at Jesus’ feet. We have to learn to put away those worldly sources of information and learn to rely on Heaven for all the answers. One other detail we have to consider. Satan wants nothing more than to hide, remain in the back ground, and not be seen, or identified. So his army of battle horses is gong to flood this earth with lies, half lies, false leads, and empty hope. And he is doing a rather fine job of it.

Revelation 12:7-9 NLTse (7) Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. (8) And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. (9) This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

We have to realize, Satan was kicked out of Heaven and sentenced to this world where he spends the rest of his life trying to deceive everyone. Satan has more experience than we could imagine. But Satan does not have the Holy Spirit. When Satan interprets scripture he is only guessing. That should help to identify close to 2/3 of the teachers you need to avoid. Guessing at symbols is a sure sign of a distance or void between that person and God’s throne.

Satan was able to deceive a third of the angels in Heaven. Angels who saw God, worshiped God, and talked with God. Angels who saw a perfect Heaven, and understood every letter of God’s law. You may think you are safe with the odds in your favor at 2:1. But you have no idea how often you reject God and His angels. When you reject God and His angels, who do you think steps in to take their place?

Satan has more experience deceiving people than anyone on this planet. We have no idea how many years Satan was allowed to deceive the angels in Heaven. That’s another factor we have to keep on mind. Especially when we hear those theories and watch those movies about a few people out witting the devil after he ceases world power. Based on scripture, that is impossible.

Since we stumbled upon the devil, we should look at a few details about him. But I do not want to enter into a full study about the devil. I have seen far too many people lead downhill with such an obsession.

Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12
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Isaiah 14:12-21 NLTse “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. (13) For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. (14) I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.’ (15) Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths. (16) Everyone there will stare at you and ask, ‘Can this be the one who shook the earth and made the kingdoms of the world tremble? (17) Is this the one who destroyed the world and made it into a wasteland? Is this the king who demolished the world’s greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?’ (18) “The kings of the nations lie in stately glory, each in his own tomb, (19) but you will be thrown out of your grave like a worthless branch. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will be dumped into a mass grave with those killed in battle. You will descend to the pit. (20) You will not be given a proper burial, for you have destroyed your nation and slaughtered your people. The descendants of such an evil person will never again receive honor. (21) Kill this man’s children! Let them die because of their father’s sins! They must not rise and conquer the earth, filling the world with their cities.”

Isaiah was told to record this description of Satan for a reason. Once we see how close Satan was to God, we can see how we have no chance against him on our own. We also see how high Satan had his sights set. He wanted to take God’s throne. No wonder there was a battle in Heaven. Jesus stepped up to defend His Father. That’s what every good son should do. But Jesus defended God by coming to this world to die at Satan’s hands. The Universe had to be shown how far Satan would go. If Satan wanted God’s throne, murder was not out of the question. We can see how Satan loves to destroy nations and all the people in them. There is more.

Revelation 12:10-12 NLTse (10) Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last– salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth– the one who accuses them before our God day and night. (11) And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. (12) Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.”

We can see how John and Isaiah reflected each other’s views on the devil. He is sentenced to this planet and has his sights set on destroying everyone and everything. If Satan can’t rule Heaven, he can at least rule this world. With that in mind, we can see how we have to deal with his distorted idea of power. The more people he can get to follow that distorted version of power, the better he feels about himself. People follow that distorted idea of power without realizing where that idea originated. They don’t read scripture with the Spirit who can explain those details. God uses His power to teach people in this world. Satan uses his power to hide and distort that information.

We also see how Jesus had to use His own blood to defeat Satan. That is far from a normal way of winning a war in this world. In this world wars are won by making more people on the other side shed blood. That is not the case in this war between Jesus and Satan.

Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12
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When we see how different this war between Christ and Satan is, we can see how important it is study the details we are given. It is also important to listen to Jesus, who sees everything happening behind the scenes. What chance do we have against an enemy we can’t see, feel, our touch? We are all but helpless. If we ever plan on winning a single battle, we have no alternative than to take orders from the One who has already defeated the enemy.

When Satan was thrown down to the earth, it was a sign showing how he lost the battle and war in Heaven. For the time being Satan is allowed to torment this world. He will spread out grief and suffering. His main focus will be on those who witness for Jesus. Satan can tell the difference between those who witness based on their own ideas and concepts, and those like John who witness for Jesus based on their visits to Heaven and the information Jesus shared with them. Satan uses man made ideas and flaws to his advantage. Satan finds it easy to plant seeds in the minds of people who don’t believe God and the Holy Spirit communicate with this world. Satan can introduce, formulate, and manipulate ideas. Look what happened in the dark ages when laws were passed telling the world only a select few were capable of reading and understanding scripture. Satan loved those days and would like nothing more than to brings those days back to one degree or another.

What about Jesus’ victory? We have a collection of stories about Jesus’ life and His sacrifices here on this planet. But do we study them enough? The Old Testament is filled with over three hundred prophecies about Jesus and His ministry. What kind of general publishes books about His plans hundreds of years before He puts them into action? Not any General from this planet. Imagine that. Place your plans in a number of books, then enter into a new phase of the war with your greatest enemy. Why did Jesus do that? Was that to impress us or send us a message? How often have you studied those battle plans? How often have you heard people preach about those battle plans? One thing is certain, Jesus’ followers know something about those battle plans and the lessons they teach.

We know very little about that war in Heaven. There are no casualty reports like other stories in the Bible. We have no reports about numbers in the two armies. But we do know Satan had one third of the angles on his side. Jesus must have gathered every other angel in Heaven for that war. No one was neutral. Everyone dedicated their time and effort to the war. We also know God spoke everything into existence in this world. Why was there a physical war in Heaven when God could have put an end to Satan and his followers in a second? There are a number of spiritual weapons mentioned in scripture. Did the angels use weapons? We have no way of knowing. Statues have been made with angels carrying swords. But that information was conjured up by man’s imagination. We know little about Heaven and less about that war that was once fought there. Even placing a date on that war is difficult. Was that war fought before or after Jesus’ sacrifice on this planet? Many details point to after Jesus’ sacrifice and ascension. Wars consist of battles. There may have been a series of battles to win before the final victory was achieved. Revelation offers us some comfort by telling us that Satan and all his followers will be utterly destroyed in the future. That will end sin in the Universe.

There has to be a reason why sin was able to rage in Heaven for a time. Satan was able to build forces to stand against God. To plan on taking God’s throne. Why? Based on accounts in Eden, Satan has a history of promising more. Satan cannot create. There is no account or record of any angel creating anything. Only God and Jesus have been credited with creation. Satan may be able to manipulate what he was given. Which is this world. Scientists have been able to come up with a variety of new and specialized creatures by cross breeding, and more recently, genetics. Was Satan able to manipulate life forms through genetics? Where did weeds, thorns, thistles, and mosquitoes come from? When were insects given the ability to carry diseases? We have seen some manipulations in our generation. Did Satan work through human agencies or is he able to manipulate life forms on his own? We don’t know. At this point we don’t have the answers. We do know it is possible. Look at genetic manipulation on the Internet. Men have been experimenting with that science for years. Some times the results can be beneficial. Sometimes the results are hazardous. There are a number of highly funded research projects in the field of military genetics. It makes sense on the human side to develop super soldiers. But is Satan using that research to one day develop a line of super angels to defend himself and defeat God? Think about that. God waited until Satan gathered one third of the angels in Heaven. If God would have waited any longer, the odds may have turned in Satan’s favor. Of course God could have ended everything with one word or thought. But what if Satan is working on a new plan to manipulate angels and humans? Satan is not giving up until he turns to ashes in that lake of fire. What might we see in the future that points to the last moments before those last seven plagues begin hitting the earth? At least one branch of science may not be too far from the truth.

Revelation 12:13-18 NLTse (13) When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. (14) But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time. (15) Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth. (16) But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon. (17) And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children–all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus. (18) Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea.

Based on the information John provided, our best guess can be that Satan was thrown down to earth after Jesus rose from the grave.

She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne.

Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last– salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth– the one who accuses them before our God day and night. And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. (Revelation 12:5 NLTse), (Revelation 12:7-11 NLTse)

When we look at the sequence of events, we see a few details that become relevant. Jesus defeated the devil with His blood. That could be taken in the physical sense, but at what time, and what is the exact repercussion for the devil? Satan may have been restricted from Heaven before Christ died. Jesus’ blood may be a sign pointing to the final defeat of Satan, or the evidence God needed to pass a final verdict in Satan’s trial.

From the Book of Job we can see how Satan was allowed to pass between this world and God’s throne for a time. When and if that privilege ended, we have no way of knowing. We do know that God can and will restrict Satan. Why does Satan obey those restrictions? Does Satan understand that he could be destroyed with a single word from God? That would mean that Satan feels fear and has to deal with it. Satan knows his time is coming, but he clings onto life as long as he can. In some ways, Satan has human attributes.

What if God destroyed Satan? What if Satan crossed the line and lost his life? Would this world change? There are a million concepts on temptation. Some believe temptation comes from the devil like we all have a good angel and evil angel telling us what to do, and what not to do. If Satan was destroyed, would that put an end to sin? Or is sin ingrained in men’s minds, and they will continue to sin without the influence of outside sources?

There seems to be a change in symbolism here. At first the woman appears to be a physical woman delivering a physical child through birth. If we compared stories in the Gospels, the woman would have to be Mary giving birth to Jesus. That is physical in nature. But after Jesus returned to Heaven, the symbolism seems to turn take on more of a spiritual tone. Are there other examples of this in Scripture? Of course there are. Moses was a physical man. Moses was also a type of symbol pointing to Christ. So was David and others in the Bible. The same with cities and other locations such as Jerusalem, Babylon, and others. Why not this woman in Revelation?

There is another factor we cannot over look. “When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home. (John 19:26-27 NLTse). In this scene Jesus not only assigned John the task of taking care of His mother, but also made John part of His family. Joseph had sons from a previous marriage and the Bible does mention the fact, Jesus had brothers who could have taken care of Mary. But Jesus had a good reason for making this request. On the spiritual side, John became the son of the woman that was persecuted by the dragon. And John experienced that persecution first hand. John was a disciple, then an apostle. John worked hard to bring more disciples and apostles to Christ. In essence, John was a living symbol of the people who the dragon waged war against.

I know there is a lot of date setting and details other people read into this section about the dragon pursuing the woman and her offspring. I also know there are a number of churches who take a few words out of this story in Revelation and use them to place a label on their faith and identify themselves as God’s one and only remnant church. But John never wrote a word about a remnant church.

As for those 1260 days. That same number was mentioned in the previous chapter. We can take a look at it to see what details we can find there.

Then I was given a measuring stick, and I was told, “Go and measure the Temple of God and the altar, and count the number of worshipers. But do not measure the outer courtyard, for it has been turned over to the nations. They will trample the holy city for 42 months. And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will be clothed in burlap and will prophesy during those 1,260 days.” (Revelation 11:1-3 NLTse).

In Revelation chapter 12 the woman was protected for 1260 days. God sent down two witnesses for the exact same time period. Is that a coincidence, or are they related? Since the two witnesses represent the Old and New Testament, how are they used to protect the woman? Isn’t the entire book of Revelation written to protect Jesus’ followers? Those who have God’s seal upon them. When we put those two stories together in the sequence they were presented, we can finally make sense of all the conjecture and guesses this world has been feeding Christianity as a whole. The book of Revelation mentions a limited number of symbols and physical items assigned to protect God’s people who are sealed. The alter is a one of those symbols. Being at God’s throne is another location mentioned a number of times in Revelation. Jesus’ blood, is another. Knowledge is a large part of that protection plan. Where we get that knowledge is covered in a number of chapters in Revelation. Chapter 11 identified the Old and New Testament as one of those protective measures. But no where does John write about an institution. Common sense would tells us that churches manipulate God’s Word to attract people. To call them into their church. We know the definition of a church is to call people out. When we look at how a few words have been manipulated and for what purpose, a few questions should cross our minds. If we compare those actions to what we’ve learned while reading Revelation like a book, like it has been written, we can see a cross section of Satan’s forces at work. Take a few words out of Revelation. Tell people how difficult it is to understand a book about prophecy. Give people with advanced training the task of unraveling those prophecies. Make it sound like it takes years of training to understand more than three words in Revelation. Satan does his best to place his own seals on Revelation and the rest of the Bible. Satan never earned the right nor was given the authority to remove a single seal from the book John described in Revelation. That angered Satan. So he created ways of placing his own seals upon the entire book of Revelation. But each of Satan’s seals are fake. Those who have God’s seal can and will see how fake those seals are. They will be like John. God’s seal comes with an angel to stand next to you and explain each and every word, symbol, and event in every one of those stories and visions in Revelation. If those warnings apply to you, you will hear and understand those warnings. If those events coincide with a message you need to deliver, you will understand each and every one of those symbols, the events, and how that event relates to the world around you. Compare Revelation to the other books John has written. John’s Gospel told us about how the Holy Spirit worked behind the scenes in Jesus’ ministry on earth. John’s letters talk about Jesus’ love and concern for this planet. Revelation is no different. It is a combination of Jesus’ love and the Holy Spirit working in your ministry. When your ministry in this world parallels Jesus’ ministry in Heaven, you will know it. You will feel it. You will know Jesus’ true witnesses in a heartbeat. All the doubts and confusion about Revelation will disappear. You will hear God’s voice and feel His seal upon you.

Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12

Chapter 8 How to Approach God’s Throne

I felt I had to take a break from Revelation to add in a sort of educational chapter. After reading and writing about Revelation chapter 4, I asked a number of people if it was still possible to approach God’s throne. For the most part, people didn’t want to answer, or didn’t know the answer. But a few did.

Approaching God’s throne is a personal matter. Each person has their own unique way of approaching God’s throne. Some people skip God’s throne while still meeting personally with Jesus while others grasp onto the theme in Hebrews chapter 4 telling us to, “boldly stand before God’s throne.” Let’s face it, personally talking with God and Jesus have been a rather obscure subject to say the least. Either people will agree or disagree. Few people will look at the subject of approaching God’s throne and a learning opportunity. There are a few, but that is a minority of people. An even smaller minority are those who want to share their moments at God’s throne. Those people are few and far between.

When it comes to direct communication with God, doubters go as far back as Moses. No one heard God’s voice for about 400 years. Then one day this well known figure, who could have, and should have done something about slavery in Egypt when he was next to Pharaoh’s throne shows up dressed like a common shepherd. What happened Moses? You were a prince then disappeared. Now your back here telling us God is going to free us from slavery. Why didn’t you do something about it when you were a prince?

It seems God placed Moses in a tight spot. Moses could have taken action when he was next to Pharaoh’s throne. In a sense, Moses did take action by killing a single Egyptian. That didn’t solve anything. Moses had no idea about the big picture. Maybe God had a plan to use Moses when he was in Pharaoh’s court. We have no way of knowing if Moses altered God’s plan to a certain degree. That will be interesting to find out when we get to Heaven. In the long run, God had a plan that worked. In hindsight, Moses placed himself in a tight spot.

No Israelite in Egypt heard God’s voice for over 400 years. Of course they prayed. If you were a slave, you would be praying to. But God didn’t answer. So when Moses showed up and said he talked with God, people doubted. We are still plagued with that mentality. Try sharing something new with someone who thinks they have a direct line with God. Some people have the attitude, “if God didn’t go through them with a message, that message must have come from the other side.” I’ve run into that mentality many times. I ask them how they communicate with God, and they normally shot back with a few verses about false prophets, which has nothing to do with the subject at hand. But those verses about false prophets is their man made defense mechanism they use for every circumstance they don’t agree with.

Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12
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It took a few choice miracles or plagues, depending on their point of view to convince people, Moses was meeting with God and delivering messages from God. And then there was Pharaoh. The guy who knew each and every one of those Egyptian gods were fake. He thought he was in control and that God Moses talked about was as fake as the gods Pharaoh and his family made up. Pharaoh was a tough nut to crack. In his world everything outside his control was fake. People still have that mentality today.

Eventually God got Israel out of Egypt and into an environment they could mellow out and think. One day God decided to show Himself to Israel so they could believe He was real and could talk to them. Of course every Israelite that left Egypt with Moses saw all those plagues. They saw Egyptian crops being ruined as their crops flourished. They saw Egyptian cattle dying when not one of their cows or sheep showed any signs of being sick. They saw water turn to blood, hail from from the sky, frogs, locusts, and other bugs controlled by God. They should have had a firm belief in God. Something went wrong. After spending their entire lives learning how to fear every god from A to Z, that fear clung onto Israel like the chains that kept them as slaves. Since they were used to someone telling them what the gods demanded, they asked Moses to play that part as a go between themselves and God.

God offered the priesthood to every Israelite that came out of Egypt. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 19:6 KJV). They turned down that offer.

We see the same pattern repeated when Jesus began His ministry. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way, (Luke 4:28-30 KJV).

No one seemed to hear God’s voice for a few hundred years between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. Once again God was silent for a time, and people just thought that pattern would continue. Or they invented new ways to make people think, God spoke to a select few in some mysterious way. So don’t ask for details, just follow their lead.

Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12
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After the apostles, the same thing happened. No one seemed to hear God’s voice. It seemed the contact with the Holy Spirit Jesus promised was meant for a few choice people, and when they died, this world was left to figure things out on their own. The world grew dark and it seemed it needed a new religious leader. So a group of people got together and selected the most likely candidates God would eventually speak to. One after another was set in solitude to see if they heard God’s voice. After a number of attempts, one man came out of the room and told the committee, he heard God’s voice. That was good enough for that pious committee. They made that man their new leader and created a new religion based on the belief that God talks to one man here in earth, and the rest of the world has to follow dictates from that single man for God to bless this earth. That concept has stuck with this world ever since, and people who don’t fall in line are looked upon as outcasts or part of a cult. The devil won. He convinced the majority of this world that concept of one man between themselves and God was the only choice this world had. For some reason people read the Bible, and instead of taking God’s Word, and following God’s instructions, they decided to take the word of slaves. They decided that the choice that group of slaves made was the only choice. Scholars sipped right over God’s offer to be a nation of priests and clung onto the decision that Israel made. They convinced themselves and much of this world that Israel’s decision was somehow inspired. Reading that story the way it was written shows how Israel rebelled against God. But Satan took out the few words he needed to form a new religion, and had his agents spread it all over the world. Satan thought he had his prison door shut and locked. But God has always been at His best when it came to reaching people in prison.

Today it is rare to find people who approach God’s throne. It is rare to find people who know anything about approaching God’s throne. Or are open minded enough to learn anything about approaching God’s throne. Why is that? We just covered a few of the concepts the devil found to be effective. There are more. Take out a few choice lines in the Old Testament, add in a long speech about how God chose a few choice prophets to talk to, and you have a theology that forges the same chains that one man concept created. In the long run, the devil doesn’t want anyone to approach God’s throne, talk to Jesus, work with the Holy Spirit, or read scripture. Those are a few things the devil fears the most.

As soon as you enter God’s presence, you are in a place the devil can’t touch you. His influence is gone, and you are opening yourself to total, untainted truth. The thing is, you have to learn to put away so many thing this world has taught you. But when you approach God’s throne, you take the first step to separating truth from fiction.

I’ve talked to a number of people over the past week to get their view points on approaching God’s throne. It’s good to know God still has a number of people who will talk to Him. It may seem rather strange to think of God as feeling lonely or rejected. After all, God has billions or requests to deal with from billions of people everyday. God hears their prayers. People ask for favors, blessings, and ask God to deal with countless situations every second of every day. God knows how to deal with each of those situations. If you ever approached God’s throne, you know how God will tell you how to deal with your situation. God will give you step by step instructions you can’t argue with. If you follow those instructions, the problem is solved. The problem is, the devil is watching, and launches a hundred more attacks.

At times God will take you back a few steps to remind you how you got yourself into that mess. God is also a Teacher and Father who never wants you to repeat your mistakes. Correction from God may be a little difficult for some people to accept. That is one reason some people avoid God’s throne. You just have to learn to get over your pride.

I have may own way of approaching God’s throne. It may not be right for you, but at least you have something to think about. I look at Jesus as a way to God’s throne. To me it makes sense to cleanse myself, to make myself pure enough to approach God’s throne. After all, Aaron the high priest had to wash himself and dress in the proper way to enter the Tabernacle and to offer a sacrifice. I ask Jesus to be forgiven for my sins and to be cleansed. Then I find myself in God’s presence. Not so much to make requests, but to listen and learn. I may ask one question, then another. I may go through three or four questions before I hear a response. When I do hear a response, I know it is God’s voice. I could never second guess or argue with any of the answers God offers. They make total sense. God backs them up with stories from scripture. God’s answers are often verified by real life events that confirm His answers and messages.

There are of course as many ways to approach God’s throne as there are people. We all have our own unique personalities. One person may see God’s throne as this, another as that. When we approach God’s throne, we have respect for other people and their stories about being at God’s throne. There is no doubt about that.

The thing about books like Revelation is, people tend to get caught up with trying to figure out the future. That’s something the devil has planted in our brains. The devil wants people to believe, if they can figure out the future, that somehow draws them closer to God. That could not be further from the truth. Common sense tells us, God knows everything about the future. So why would anyone think, God wants us to figure out the future, then tell God what the future holds? That is reverse thinking. It is actually insane. All God wants is people to go to Him for answers. But this world has been trained to go to every other source but God. People have been convinced, God doesn’t talk to this world. But David tells us different story.

The one thing I ask of the LORD– the thing I seek most– is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music. Hear me as I pray, O LORD. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” (Psalms 27:4-8 NLTse).

If David could enter God’s Sanctuary, why not us? If God protected David, why not us? God does not play favorites. God can’t love one person more than another. So why does the world teach us, God favors some people over others? That doesn’t make sense when we take the Bible as a whole. It’s time to make a decision. Is your view of God based on what the world wants you to think, what the devil wants you to believe, or direct contact and communication with God? What is our source of information?

Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12

Chapter 12 God’s People are Sealed

Chapter 7 is where the Book of Revelation begins to take a turn. The sixth seal was just opened and described. It is by far the strangest seal with twists and turns all its own. Trying to figure out what a darkened sun, blood moon, falling stars, and an earthquake have in common is not an easy thing to do. For some people it is so easy, they pass through that seal in a nanosecond without ever giving it another thought. But that’s not what we learned from the first five seals, or the first five chapters in Revelation. We learned to take our time. To allow the Bible to provide each and every explanation. We learned how the Bible points us in one direction to find the answer and more than confirmed the answers and interpretation for every symbol.

The Book of Revelation is not much different than any other literary work. Like every other book, it follows a theme. Like every other author, Jesus has His personal style of writing, and sticks to it. Like many other books, Revelation uses symbols to add back ground and meaning to the story. And like every author who uses symbols, those symbols are explained within the story. The author explains what those symbols mean. Why does this world have respect for every other classic novelist, but when it comes to Jesus, that respect flies out the window. It doesn’t make any sense to take any book or novel, take out a few choice sentences, then offer long winded explanations on what they think it means. Or what they think the author should have written. Or what they think the author should have added. Or tell people how some strange culture effected the thought pattern of the author. That explanation is totally ridiculous. But I’ve heard it before. People try to identify John as the author of Revelation. They take Jesus out of the picture. Then they try to present themselves as the authority on the times and society John lived in. Then they try to play psychologist. They make it sound like John had some type of disorder or suffered from illusions. Then they try to tell people what John meant to write. For one thing, they never lived in the time or society John lived in. How could they be the expert they claim to be? To claim Jesus choose a man suffering from some mental illness is utterly ridiculous. Jesus could have cured any type of illness in a second. To make the claim, “John misquoted Jesus,” is the greatest mistake I’ve seen people make. Jesus is the Author of Revelation. Jesus proof read and checked every jot and tittle John penned. There are no mistakes. The inspired Word stands perfect. That is exactly what people have a difficult time understanding. How can this sinful world hope to identify and recognize perfection when it appears? What does this world have to measure against perfection? Nothing. So this world invents new ways to pick apart Revelation and other books in the Bible. This world invents new ways to pick apart, dismantle, question, criticize, and critique each and every word throughout the Bible. No one stands a chance of standing up against an entire book in the Bible. No one can argue with any book in the Bible when it is taken as a whole. So they cut it into little tiny pieces like they are preparing to view it under a microscope. That is nothing but a distraction.

Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12
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The most difficult thing for people to do when they approach the Bible is to forget everything they have been taught about the Bible. People cannot lay doctrines, ideas, and concepts aside long enough to read an entire story or scene in the Bible and accept it in the literary form it was written. One popular Bible Study method is called higher criticism. It is so popular and common, they don’t try to hide the fact their study methods are meant to criticize the Bible, its Author, and every inspired word.

I don’t claim to be an expert on higher criticism, nor do I want to be. Talk to twelve people using that method and you’ll wind up with twelve different explanations. They hardly agree with themselves. How are they ever going to agree with God? Take a critic. Any critic. No two critics are going to write the same review on a restaurant, motel, plane flight, book or any product in existence. Why expect a hoard of critics to agree on God’s inspired word?

That form of study is based on human nature, personal experiences, and views. Many of those circumstances are products of the critics choices in life. They created their own life, their personal environment, and life style. They claim to be experts on ancient Hebrew, Greek, Roman, and other cultures. But they never lived in that period or experienced those cultures. Their concepts and ideas are based on books they’ve read, and in many cases, stories based on a few artifacts dug from the ground and accompanied by long winded explanations with few facts to back them up.

Take a rich man. A man who tasted the best in life and excepts the best in every phase of life. Sit him down and put a burger from a fast food chain in front of him. Have him taste that burger, then write a review. Take a homeless man. A man who searches a dumpster for his next meal. Give him the same burger. Will he write the same review as the rich man? No. Views on the Bible based on the higher criticism method show the same results. Whether or not they admit it, their comments are based on the culture they live in. Not some culture they claim to be experts on.

To accept any story in the Bible, we have to know how to leave all the concepts, ideas, and doctrines forged into our heads over the years behind in Egypt and Babylon where they belong. Those were empires famous for forcing religion upon people. Modern Christian religions do the same thing today. They repeat the same ideas over and over again until the masses are convinced, it is the truth. And there is never any reason to research the matter any further. But let’s look a little deeper for a moment. Are those concepts based on scripture? Do they in fact allow scripture to support and verify scripture? Or do they use the age old approach of using one example to show how scripture identified a symbol. Then they switch over to the critical method of their choice, and use methods outside the Bible to make whatever point they want you to believe. It happens all the time. The old bait and switch trick. To be on the safe side, you have to put all of that behind you whenever you open the Bible. You are approaching God’s throne for answers. And this world and its opinions no longer matter.

Parallels in Revelation: Chapters 1-12
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Revelation 7:1-4 MKJV And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth so that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. (2) And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, (3) saying, Do not hurt the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. (4) And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousands, having been sealed out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.

Between the sixth and seventh seal, Jesus inserted another story. Why is there a chapter between the sixth and seventh seals? That has stunned and confused people for a number of years. It confuses me. Some authors use this form of writing to highlight important points they want to emphasize. Why would Jesus be any different?

This chapter begins with the words, “after these things.” Which can be taken in a number of ways. If chapter 6 ended with a sequence of events, this would be the next event to follow. If it was a comment by the author, it would mean that after John saw the vision of the six seals opening, the scene changed and he was introduced to a new vision. That explanation reminds us how Jesus is in control of everything John sees and hears.

John is in Heaven. Looking over the edge of Heaven, so to speak, John sees the earth. Four angels are at four corners holding back something we can’t see, the wind. We can’t see the wind, but we can see effects winds have on this planet. Will there be winds in Heaven? Just a question to ask to help get your mind off what you have been taught about this chapter.

Those winds are identified as, “winds of the earth.” They surround the earth and are placed there to effect the earth. How John was able to see winds, without seeing their effect is a mystery. We can’t see the effects winds have on this world until after they pass. Then we see how the wind moves flags, trees, and at times causes mass destruction. We can feel wind on or skin. At times we can hear wind moving objects. But those winds are being restrained. How do you restrain wind? No man can. So how can any man possibly translate the meaning of those winds based on personal experience? All of mankind’s experiences with wind are based on after effects. John is being shown a scene that includes wind before it is allowed to do its thing. No one on earth has any experience with any type of wind before its creation. We have no choice but to place the interpretation of those winds in Jesus’ hands. What an introduction to a new chapter.

Sticking with the subject of wind, the symbol is interpreted and identified using the simple rule of repetition. The phrases, “to hurt the earth and the sea,” and, “ Do not hurt the earth or the sea or the trees,” identified the four winds. Somehow John caught a glimpse of the damage those winds were about to cause on the earth.

Now that we’ve seen how Jesus arranged this story to introduce and define a symbol, we can look at one of my favorite symbols, God’s seal. It has long intrigued me. Not the symbol itself but the fact, most people waste countless hours studying the mark of the beast, while ignoring God’s seal. It makes me wonder whose side they are on. What is God’s seal? Can we see it?

We have to look at, examine, and respect Jesus’ literary style. He first introduced wind. Something we can’t see, but we see the effects. Jesus then introduced God’s seal. In effect, Jesus defined that seal as something we can’t see, but we can see the effects. That makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is the inability of theologians to explain the simple literary process Jesus used, and how to study and accept that style over all the gibberish we receive from this world.

How do we explain God’s seal? There doesn’t seem to be a lot written about that seal. But when we accept that seal as a symbol of something we can’t see, but we do see the effects, that may be enough to lead us to another story in the Bible. My choice is found in John chapter 3.

John 3:5-8 NLTse Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. (6) Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (7) So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ (8) The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

Like everything else, when we look at the full story, we get the answers we are looking for. In this case I didn’t include the full story. But I did include Jesus’ answer to one of Nicodemus’ questions.

We are questioning God’s seal. What is God’s seal? We know that seal identifies people who will make it to Heaven. When we looked at another story about wind, we found that story is based on the same context as the Revelation chapter 7, who will enter Heaven’s gates. In John chapter 3, Jesus tells us who. Those who are born of water and the Spirit. We are going no where without the Spirit. As for water. That is another symbol all together. But we can see why the angels are told to hold those winds back from harming the water while the sealing process is on progress. The water has something to do with those who receives God’s seal.

Revelation chapter 7 has a rather long list of tribes with a designated number from each tribe who received God’s seal. Did you notice sealed written in the past tense. Does that mean those people were sealed before the vision? Or does the way it is written give us a new clue?

I know there are a million people who think they figured out what those numbers represent. With so many guesses out there, which one is right? Which one can explain exactly how Jesus defined those numbers. They are His people. Jesus should know. But we have all those people insisting they have an answer. At times they act like those people numbered in Revelation chapter 7 are their people. Some even make that claim. But right after those numbers are listed, Jesus introduced a new number.

Revelation 7:9-10 NLTse (9) After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. (10) And they were shouting with a mighty shout, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!”

How could any number of those interpretations be correct when they ignore the sentence directly after that mysterious number? And most of them are not Jews. They are, “from every nation and tribe and people and language.” When people remove facts, they can make anything from the Bible appear as if it supports their concept.

At the very least those people know something about salvation. Wasn’t that what Nicodemus went to talk to Jesus about? Nicodemus knew there was more to salvation than what he had been taught. There was more to salvation then Nicodemus taught. The Spirit was able to make a connection with Nicodemus before that meeting with Jesus. Something was working inside Nicodemus. Something he couldn’t explain. But something Jesus was able to explain. Important facts we have to consider whenever we read the Bible.

Those people from that mass number knew about God’s throne, and were able to sing praises in front of God’s throne. Something a lot of people have a difficult time explaining. Something a lot of people never experienced. But something the Bible explains and John saw scenes of. In this case the number is once again symbolic. The crowd John saw was symbolic. Everything in Revelation chapter 7 is symbolic. And everything is explained when you approach God’s throne.

Revelation 7:11-12 NLTse (11) And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell before the throne with their faces to the ground and worshiped God. (12) They sang, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

Jesus added a countless number of angels to that countless number of people in front of God’s throne. Then Jesus listed a specific number of elders and living beings? Why did Jesus use such a wide variety of numbers in such a short space? It could be showing the countless number of people who do know and follow God. It could remind us not to number, and for lack of a better phrase, judge people, or try to determine who is sealed and who isn’t. Those numbers are designed to remind us about a lot of facts.

The song they sung shows us those angels, elders, and beings know something about God. It is very different than the song people from this world sang. A reminder that we have to learn to work with those from Heaven to get the full story.

Revelation 7:13-17 NLTse (13) Then one of the twenty-four elders asked me, “Who are these who are clothed in white? Where did they come from?” (14) And I said to him, “Sir, you are the one who knows.” Then he said to me, “These are the ones who died in the great tribulation. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. (15) “That is why they stand in front of God’s throne and serve him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will give them shelter. (16) They will never again be hungry or thirsty; they will never be scorched by the heat of the sun. (17) For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.”

To emphasize the cooperation between Heaven and this world, Jesus included an example. John had no idea who those people were. One of those elders had to explain it to John. We have a reliable explanation and interpretation direct from God’s throne. How many times does Jesus have to explain this before it hits home? Jesus knows how difficult it is for some people to let go of this world. Jesus has first hand experience with people like that. They killed them. Jesus had to die to show how He knows about those people and understand them. Jesus also forgave them. There are so many points we had to learn before that seventh seal was opened.

Chapter 14 The Judgment Ends Before the Plagues Begin

This may be the most important chapter in this book. It is the chapter that sparked the whole idea of a book. The sequence of God’s judgment is so easy to figure out, it surprises me there are any debates. Expect for those preachers who are in it for the money and telecast a new concept, guess, and threat every week. But I don’t pay attention to those carpet baggers. I prefer to stick to scripture and let the Bible explain the Bible. And here is one of the easiest lessons in the Bible to understand.

Revelation 14:14-20 KJV (14) And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. (15) And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. (16) And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (17) And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. (18) And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. (19) And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. (20) And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

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As we progress through Revelation chapter 14, we see how the judgment process is first mentioned as a warning, then mentioned as a time related element. In this case the judgment has reached the harvest mode. God used the harvest as a symbol to point to the judgment period at the end of the earth. Jesus used the same symbol many times.

Matthew 9:35-38 RSVA And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity. (36) When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (37) Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; (38) pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

We can see how Jesus saw the people who listened to Him were looked down on. We also see there were few laborers, people who knew anything about the harvest or cared about the harvest. When we Jesus giving that warning, we know He is talking about us in the last days.

Matthew 13:27-30 RSVA And the servants of the householder came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then has it weeds?’ (28) He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ (29) But he said, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. (30) Let both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'”

When we put Revelation chapter 14 together with this parable, no one should have any problem seeing the connection and understanding what the harvest points to. Jesus didn’t want anyone to misunderstand, so He explained all the details.

Matthew 13:36-43 RSVA Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” (37) He answered, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of man; (38) the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one, (39) and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. (40) Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. (41) The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, (42) and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. (43) Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

When we have information like this, we have no excuse not to understand those symbols, or the judgment process. When we see a connection to the judgment and study, we should take those connections to heart and dive into our studies. As always, we should let the Bible identify symbols, time periods, and of course the sequence of events.

In this case, the end of the earth is near, but not quite here. The harvest is ripe. The angel used his sickle to harvest the grapes. But which grapes. The good grapes representing those close to God? Or sour grapes representing those who decided to strike out on their own without God? Based on the few facts presented, it is difficult to answer that question. But when we turn the page and read the continuation of this story, we can see how the harvest points to the beginning of a new scene here on earth.

Revelation 15:1-4 RSVA Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and wonderful, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended. (2) And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. (3) And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages! (4) Who shall not fear and glorify thy name, O Lord? For thou alone art holy. All nations shall come and worship thee, for thy judgments have been revealed.”

This is one part of Revelation few people teach about. It shows the logical progression God used from one scene to another. If people knew about that logical progression, hundreds of modern day prophets would be without a TV show, video courses, speaking circuits, their church members would leave, all their funds would be gone, and they would find themselves in a position with nothing left to do but learn how to rely on God. Eventually time will run out. God’s Words are recorded in perfect order and God never needed anyone to rearrange them. In this case we see how the world is ripe for the final harvest. In other words, before the good can be permanently separated from the evil, the judgment process has to be completed. Once completed, the earth is ready to be harvested. But there is one more series of events that has to take place, the last seven plagues. This is exactly how God recorded the process, and exactly how it will happen. But there are dozens of Christian churches who disagree with the step by step process God told John to record. Dozens of religions rely on quite a different process that pits human effort against satanic agencies in a final battle for control of this world.

Looking back at what we’ve covered in this chapter, that type of teaching flies in the face of everything John recorded in Revelation. John emphasized the fact Heaven worships God because He is the Creator. God has total control over all the nations and armies in this world. God is in total control. But religions want to make superheros out of ordinary people who face those seven last plagues. They fight the devil as a last chance to be saved. Churches claim those people were left behind to prove their loyalty. None of that is in the Bible. All of that is made up. It is nothing more than a Hollywood version of salvation. And millions of people buy into it every year. Millions of people fund advertising to promote last chance or second chance salvation.

The Bible tells us a different story. When the judgment process is finished, this world faces its last seven plagues. Every being in Heaven praised God because His judgment was fair, honest, and perfect. That included the order God followed. Then we have people come along to rearrange that order. Or at least teach a different, more exciting order, they subtract details, add in a a few new details, and come up with a story that could not be further than the truth. In others words, those people are worshiping their ideas, and cast God, His plan, the Holy Spirit, and His Son to the side. God does not fit in with their plans, so they use just enough of God and the Bible to make it sound good, but rely on the fact, most people have no idea how to check out their stories. Then comes the distractions. They make hundreds of claims. They watch the news and a little army of lies hits the airwaves, Internet, social media services, and people cling onto the hope that this time that new set of promises is true. In short, they are time setting. They claim this symbol and that symbol points to the end. They claim our interaction with that city, this tribe, or that government controls the destiny of the world. They place the future of this world in the hands of anything and everything their imaginations can come up with. In the hands of everything except the hands the Bible pointed to, God’s hands.

When the KJV was translated, they needed a good point to stop one chapter and begin a new chapter. The introduction of the last seven plagues seemed like a good place. So chapter 15 began with the introduction of the seven last plagues. It is the beginning of a new chapter. Not the beginning of a new and separate time frame, a new event, something John added out of sequence, or none of the excuses theologians use to disrupt the sequence John recorded. It is as simple as turning the page and reading the next sentence John recorded. It’s time to take out the mystery people placed on Revelation and read the book with a little common sense.

The seven last plagues introduced a new set of people. A group is seen next to a sea of glass. How much of that vision is physical and how much is symbolism? If we look at it all as symbolism, we see one view. The sea is a symbol, glass is a symbol and the people are symbols. The Song of Moses symbolizes something. We have to allow the Bible to explain each of those details. We can’t afford to guess on any of them. We do see one detail, those people have an idea how to worship God. We have to keep that in mind as we progress through a study on God’s judgment.

There is no doubt that group knows God and knows about His judgment process. They followed orders, studied scripture, and were led to answers by the Holy Spirit. Based on the fact seven plagues lie ahead of this world, we know the world would not accept those people, or the message they carried. When we look at WIKI and the many opinions Christians have on the judgment process, we can see that few of them are willing to listen, much less give up their beliefs and listen to scriptural facts. The fact of the matter is, the people who will be lost in the judgment process decided to ignore millions of attempts by the Holy Spirit to reach them. If the Spirit could not reach them, what kind of chance will a common human being have? Not much.

We don’t know how many messages God will have for this world during the judgment period. How many churches are telling their people the judgment process is in progress today? Not many. How many churches agree with the judgment process and timing found in scripture? Not many. Where will this lead the world?

Is accepting a false judgment process and timing enough to loose eternal life? In my opinion, no. What about listening to the truth and rejecting it? That may be getting close to loosing eternal life. Would that be a sin one commits and refuses to ask for forgiveness? To many that may be a gray area. What about persecuting and killing God’s people carrying that message? That may be grounds for loosing eternal life.

There may be two messages this world may hear. The first is when Jesus moves from judging the living to judging the dead. If that is a message God decides to sent to this world, how many people would listen? How would that effect the world is everyone knew their name could be called at any moment? Would the world repent like those in Ninevah? Or would the world reject the message and continue on their way? I guess that would all boil down to a personal opinion. Some will be saved, but based on the evidence in Revelation, many will be lost.

We’re not told exactly why people will be lost. We do know people need to turn to God, get to know Jesus, and listen to the Holy Spirit. Today people would just as soon argue about the criteria or steps they need to follow to be saved. If people want to argue, then why don’t they study scripture, get to know Jesus, and listen to the Holy Spirit? They have the choice to listen to the Spirit, or rely on themselves. Look to Heaven for answers, or this world. In essence, their traits mark their destiny.

I am not going to tackle the seven last plagues here. Those plagues are after the main judgment process in Heaven is completed. We need to concentrate on the judgment process if we are ever going to understand anything about it. If you want to study those plagues, you can do that on your own. Keep in mind, they will occur after the judgment process is completed.

Many people have and will continue to take bits and pieces of those plagues and try to make them fit into real time events. In other words, they have no respect for God’s Words, His timing, the plan of salvation, or the general rules of study explained and demonstrated in the Bible. They are after fame and fortune with no regard for the harm they are doing. Keep in mind the timing of those events in the order John described. When you see those plagues take place after the judgment period, you can see exactly who those plagues will target. That should be enough for you to move onto the next subject.

Chapter 12 The Beginning of the Judgment Sequence

Many people will read this sequence and disagree based only on the fact they never heard or read about it before. Is that a proper basis to judge the sequence John recorded, in the order he recorded it. After we look at the sequence John wrote, you have the right and responsibility to measure that up against what other people wrote about and preach. But you better ask how they came up with the sequence they preach about. Look at the way they present it and compare it to how information is presented in this chapter, and following chapters in this book.

Revelation 6:7-11 RSVA When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” (8) And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him; and they were given power over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by 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 for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; (10) they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” (11) Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

There may be no better Bible Study Rule than to gather all the information on a subject BEFORE you come to a conclusion. That is an interesting rule. One I wish everyone followed. One of the reasons people find the Bible difficult to understand is the fact, they have to forget so much before they are ready to take a look at what the Bible is actually saying. With that said, let’s see what this chapter is telling us, and how the chapter and book of Revelation explains what all those signs, visions, and symbols actual represent.

This chapter of course deals with a series of seven seals. The seals are of course symbolic. The Lamb is symbolic, and of course everything in the vision John saw is symbolic. There is no doubt, John saw those visions in Heaven. There shouldn’t be any doubt, that after each of those visions, someone in Heaven came to John to explain what those symbols represented.

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “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. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night within his temple; and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:13-17 RSVA).

At times an angel in Heaven explained one detail. Other times an angel had to go back in history to explain how certain events unfolded, and why the world is going to find itself in some rather precarious positions. The key to understanding Revelation is to pay attention to each vision, and the beginning of each explanation. The entire book follows a pattern of visions, then an explanation for each vision. Common sense tells us the angels provided John with a detailed explanation of the vision he just saw. Why would an angel in Heaven begin a conversation about some unrelated series of events when John expected to hear an explanation for the question at hand? But that’s what some people believe and teach. Many people believe and teach that John saw a vision, then an angel in Heaven came to John and began a conversation about some unrelated event or started a new conversation on a different subject. On the contrary. John did not record a book with the idea of hiding or withholding any information. John did not record a series of events placed in some random, hidden, or coded order. The book of Revelation was recorded with every detail John saw in the order those events unfolded in Heaven. The conversations John experienced in Heaven illustrate Heaven’s perfect order and ability to answer questions. God’s intention was to tell this world what will happen and the sequence those events will follow. God did not lie, and neither did any of those angels. The only deceivers are those people who claim John’s book is a set of events presented in some unknown, mysterious order, and God left this world on its own to figure out the proper sequence.

In other words, the visions John recorded in Revelation are events that would happen in the future, after John wrote his book. Most visions were followed by an explanation. The angel or being offering the explanation began by going over a series of events John was familiar with. That is to say, events that happened in the past, then led to the time frame of the vision John had seen. In other words the future. Events John was not familiar with. With that in mind, the Book of Revelation begins to clear up. For some reason that seems to confuse people.

The events in Revelation chapters 6 and 7 all pointed to future points in history. An angel asked John what he saw. Of course John didn’t know what any of those symbols represented or the events, people, places, or things those symbols represented. John had no way of knowing because the time frame as well as the events were in the future. It is impossible for anyone to explain a symbol pointing to something they never saw. It is impossible for any human being to describe any event, person, or thing they have never seen. So the angel explained what those people in the white robes represented. In this case both the vision and explanation are based on future events. But they are the same event. This writing style is common throughout the Bible beginning in Genesis where chapter 2 added more details to chapter 1. At the very beginning of the scriptures, God explained how all the scriptures are interpreted. One chapter provided an introduction and the following chapter added details. God used this pattern as a type of signature or fingerprint on His Word. That is one method scholars used to verify authentic inspired books and weed out copies, or commentaries non inspired authors wrote. There are of course other patterns and fingerprints God used to verify the books He inspired.

John was not given a specific time frame in this vision. The events could have taken place any time after John wrote his book. Some people think those events happened in our past. Others prefer to think they are going to happen in our future. And some think those events will repeat themselves over time. When we look at a few facts, we can see how death and pestilence have been repeated since John’s time, and even before Johns time. The fifth seal is a controversial issue.

The fifth seal has some facts to consider. “I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”

When we see souls in Heaven, we tend to jump to the world and its views to interpret scripture. But we are not going to do that here. We are going to allow scripture to interpret scripture. Where does the Bible tell us who those souls are, and what they are doing in Heaven? Let’s look at a few details.

No time frame is given. Without facts from the Bible, all we can do is guess. We also have to remember, those souls are symbols. By rule, a symbol always points to something far greater. Some people prefer to think those souls are not symbolic, but are physical. We have to consider all the facts to determine if those souls are physical or spiritual.

The souls are under the altar. What altar? If we began to guess or assume, we may be playing with fire. The Tabernacle had two alters. The sacrificial altar that was outside the tent and the altar of incense inside the first compartment. If we assume the altar of incense, what did that altar represent? We only have to look back one chapter to see that explained.

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints; (Revelation 5:8 RSVA).

Now we see how the Bible explains the Bible and how symbols are interpreted within the story they are found in. There is never any reason to guess. Now we notice that those souls cried out to God. When we put two and two together, we see how the alter is the altar of incense, and the souls under represent those who pray earnestly to God.

After listening to them, God gives them white robes, and tells them to rest a little longer. We are given the first time frame in this section of Revelation. “Rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete.” From that we know this event takes place before the judgment process is complete.

Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:2-3 RSVA).

After John saw those seals opened, he saw a new vision with four angels holding back the four winds. We know those winds are also symbolic. What about that seal in the saints foreheads? I’ve seen thousands of people studying and telling the world what they think the mark of the beast is. But how many people study God’s seal? Something seems rather strange about that.

Since some people receive a seal, and other people do not, there had to be some sort of decision process before this event. Can we call that a judgment process? It seems as if Revelation is getting ahead of itself. And to a certain degree, it is. But the entire Bible is written with examples showing how God provided a series of warnings. All those warnings pointed to the same event. Each successive warning contained more details. Put them all together and what do you have? A clearer picture of what is about to happen in the future. But there is a catch. No one seems to understand a prophecy until it has been fulfilled. That’s just the way this world is. We have to accept that fact.

So far John was shown a series of visions that eventually led to a brief introduction to the judgment process. Remember, we are going to stick to the judgment process in this series of studies and not get side tracked by guessing at any particular event, or attempt to rely on what the world has been teaching about the symbols John say and wrote about. Instead we are going to allow the Bible to slowly reveal each and every event and symbol concerning the judgment process. I have to warn you. The temptation to interpret symbols based accumulated knowledge is great. And most times nearly impossible to avoid. Let’s be honest about how the the world views the judgment process. For one thing, very little is known about the actual judgment process God inspired authors to write about. On the other hand, man made concepts thrive in this world. Some people are hooked on the concept, their understanding of the judgment process plays a part in their salvation. Look at how human nature exposes its flaws. Some churches claim they are God’s chosen church. Their proof is rather flimsy to say the least. They claim to hold a sort of key by claiming God revealed more to them then to other churches. But what is that truth they cling onto, and exactly how did God reveal that extra bit of truth to them? I’ve heard churches or at least evangelists claim they have all the truth. If they had all the truth, they would have no problem explaining the law of the prophets Jeremiah wrote about, nor would they have any problem explaining exactly what method God used to provide the exclusive information they are privileged to have.

Thus far we have looked at one example showing how the Bible is designed to answer questions. We have also seen how visions John saw in Heaven were explained by angles and other beings living in Heaven. Based on the few facts the Book of Revelation has revealed, we can fasten onto a few basic study concepts. Symbols are explained in the story they are located. Angels and other beings in Heaven understand the visions and symbols John was shown in Heaven. That tells us not only how the Bible is interpreted, but where to go for those interpretations. No where does the Bible tell us to rely on this world, its teachers, evangelists, or preachers. John never told us, one person or institution will understand his letter, and the rest will be lost. That is a man made concept. If you are stuck on that concept, you have to work to get yourself out of that belief. If you prefer to rely on the world to interpret John’s book for you, that is your loss.

I am going to skip over a great deal of Revelation so we can stick to the judgment at hand. The next mention of the judgment is in chapter 11.

Revelation 11:15-19 MKJV (15) And the seventh angel sounded. And there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever. (16) And the twenty-four elders sitting before God on their thrones, fell on their faces and worshiped God, (17) saying, We thank You, O Lord God Almighty, who are, and who was, and who is coming, because You took Your great power and reigned. (18) And the nations were full of wrath, and Your wrath came, and the time of the judging of the dead, and to give the reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to the ones fearing Your name, to the small and to the great, and to destroy those destroying the earth. (19) And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant, and there occurred lightnings and voices, and thunders and an earthquake, and a great hail.

Some people may argue the point, how can anyone jump from Revelation chapter 6 all the way to chapter 11 and possibly explain God’s judgment process? This is really following basic Bible Study concepts. Search the Book of Revelation yourself. The judgment is found in chapters 6, 11, 14, 16, and 17-20. I didn’t write the Bible, God did. And that is the way He laid out the judgment process in Revelation. I know we slipped over some of the favorite chapters some people claim to have studied. I hear it all the time from PhD’s as well as common people. There are a number of chapters I skipped over that people talk about all the time. Some churches hold seminars based on some of those chapters. Some churches hang their claim to fame on some of the chapters I skipped over. And yes, some will claim those chapters hold the key to understanding the judgment process. Well they don’t. Go ahead and search the words judge and judgment in Revelation. They jump from chapter 6 to 11. That’s just the way it is and all the arguing isn’t going to change a word in scripture.

After writing a number of chapters on how to get saved, and what Paul, Peter, James, and John wrote about faith, salvation, and the quest to draw closer to God, I have to leave the major part of this study in your hands. I know how people will question this book based on the fact, it covers Revelation, but not the chapters they are familiar with. They will question how anyone can make a comment on God’s judgment process without their coveted chapters.

I’ve attended a lot of seminars, watched a lot of videos, and listened to a lot of sermons on those chapters I decided to omit. I’ve heard so much about those chapters, I could write a dozen books on each of them. But after preparing the material for this book, leaving it sit, praying about it, and waiting for an answer, I decided to go with what was recorded in Revelation and how John recorded it. As I look back at what was covered in those other chapters, I could see how answers the world is familiar with concentrates on the best guesses on what is going to happen in this world. When I follow the sequence John laid out in this book, I can see how we should be concerned with what is happening in Heaven. In my book we will stick with what is happening in Heaven.

The seventh trumpet is the last trumpet in this sequence of events. Like many other books in the Bible, and the collection of books found in the Bible, facts are offered here and there. And it is up to us to gather those facts, verify that they are discussing the same subject, then look at the subject the hand with all the facts we’ve gathered. We aren’t supposed to stop, then look at facts the world has to offer, or tends to offer. Whenever we deal with a future event in prophecy, we are supposed to rely on the Bible and Bible only. I think we can all agree with that fact.

The seventh trumpet obviously points to the closing moments of this world. It is safe to assume, since we are still here, the events symbolized by the seventh trumpet are in the future. When we see something mentioned in the Bible like, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ. And He will reign forever and ever.” What are we supposed to do? Number one, admit we don’t know the answer. We can look at different scenarios, but we still have to keep the door open to information we find in scripture at a later date. What could John mean when he makes reference to the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of the Lord and Christ? Obviously the introduction of the seventh trumpet is pointing us to a time when God gives the kingdoms of this world over to Christ. That is a good place to begin a study on that time period and events describing that particular period. That I can leave up to you so you can hone your skills.

Once we identify a particular time frame, do we guess at the actual events? No. We stick to the facts. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:15-16 KJV).

Of course it helps when you know where to look. The Book of Revelation tells us, King of Kings is a title Jesus will wear. The seventh trumpet pointed us to Jesus’ return. And the Book of Revelation chapter 19 explained why the seventh trumpet introduced the concept of God taking possession of the kingdoms of this world. Of course Revelation chapter 19 contains a lot more details you can read on your own.

John mentioned one important event, the judgment of the dead. Why only the dead? This is showing an important part of the judgment sequence. Those people symbolized by death receive judgment. Saints receive a reward. If we gathered all the facts on this subject, we would find a judgment period only the lost will face.

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:12-15 KJV).

So far we have seen how the Book of Revelation introduced one judgment period and explained what that judgment period was in a later chapter. This is not unusual for the Bible to explain itself. And for books in the Bible to explain the symbolism they contain. There is another event or symbol we have to look at. “And the temple of God was opened in Heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His covenant, and there occurred lightnings and voices, and thunders and an earthquake, and a great hail.”

What event was this describing? We know the Tabernacle was designed to explain events in Heaven. Many of those events were to be fulfilled long after the Tabernacle disappeared. One service in the Tabernacle describes how the high priest is to enter the Most Holy place once a year.

And he shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times. “Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood within the veil, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat; thus he shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which abides with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. (Leviticus 16:14-16 RSVA).

Once again, it is up to you to read the entire chapter. If you do you will see numerous parallels to the few chapters in Revelation mentioned in chapter 12 of this book you re reading. An atonement is a covering. Plain and simple. Strange as it may seem, the same Hebrew word for atonement was also used to describe the covering of tar Noah used to cover his ark. If you think of that and give it some time, you will see a host of underlying spiritual parallels between the flood and Jesus’ return. Also the cleansing of the sanctuary, the once a year ceremony inside the Tabernacle represented.

As we move forward in our study on God’s judgment, we have to realize one simple fact. The Bible can and will point us in the right direction to answer questions, identify symbols, and events. That is just what the Bible was designed to do.

Chapter 9 Criteria to Being Saved Part 2

James 2:10-18 NLTse For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. (11) For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. (12) So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. (13) There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. (14) What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? (15) Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, (16) and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”–but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? (17) So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (18) Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

It is pretty common knowledge throughout the Christian community that everyone has broken the law in one way or another. Most of Christianity agrees that, everyone is guilty under the law, and we need Jesus’ sacrifice to set us free from the law. In some cases that means, we need Jesus to avoid that judgment process. Other Christians believe we all face some type of judgment and we need Jesus to stand in our place. That is pretty much splitting hairs. We may be spending too much time nit picking a process we really don’t understand. A process many people are afraid to investigate. The judgment process we would just as soon place on the back burner, or put in a closet and forget about it. But here, we will look at a few key statements to see what scripture reveals. Then one day we may know enough about that judgment process to tell the world about how and why God needs that judgment process in His plan of salvation.

It seems every Christian religion, and many other religions in the world agree, there is a judgment process. The problem is, when it comes to describing that process step by step, every religion and denomination branches out in different directions. Why? Maybe because God didn’t include a step by step explanation in any of the books in the Bible. Or did He? If we look back in history, we can see how many beliefs we take for granted today have been missed, or hidden for generations. If nothing else, change is slow in the Christian world. If we look back in the Old Testament at stories about Israel, no one can deny the fact, they forgot details faster than Moses or God could explain them. It is like watching the news with someone. Then making a comment about a news story and the other person has no idea what you are talking about. You just watched the same story together, but the other person has no recollection of that story. Why? Maybe that story didn’t interest them. Maybe they had something else on their mind. Maybe their mind is never in tune to what is in front of them.

In the Christian world, people seem to tune out the second they hear anything new. They seem to come across someone, or some book, video, or set of doctrines they agree with and follow that train of thought like a run away freight train. No one is going to stop them. They take that mentality with them everywhere. Even to the grave. Whenever a word is spoken that doesn’t fit the groove they live in, they shut down, reject it, and their mind refocuses on what they agree with. How are we ever going to unravel the mysteries surrounding the judgment process if we are stuck in a rut we made by going over the same two or three details we heard years ago? We have to make use of the judgment process Paul told us to use. We have to investigate the matter. We have to dig deep. We have to be ready for the Holy Spirit to reveal the unknown. We have to be ready for any new information the world is ready for in this generation. Which just may be the last generation on this planet. If we’ve not open to new information God is willing to share, how are we supposed to help get this world ready for the judgment process that is about to come?

James brings out the fact, we should have a lot of questions whenever we approach the subject of God’s judgment. Look at one sentence James was inspired to record. “ So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.” Looking at this one sentence should invoke a question or two. For one, how can a law that judges you set you free? I know there must be 1000 explanations out there in the world. But like that judgment process, which one is right? How do we begin to investigate it? This is my book, so I am going to follow a process I’m familiar with, and I’ve seen work. The first thing I do is go back to the original language. I prefer to get as close to the original sentence the author recorded. I know a lot of people like to open up a number of Bible translations until they find one they agree with. Then they run with that. The only reason I never use that method is because, I know all I will get is a bunch of opinions on the subject. One translator thinks it says this. Another translator thinks it says that. After opening up a number of translations, all you get is a collection of opinions. No one offers any explanations explaining how and why they came up with their particular translation. On the other hand, when we look at the KJV+, we get something close to the original sentence structure. And few changes to the original words. Of course the English sentence structure is far different than original Greek sentence structure. But we have to remember, God inspired the Bible and knows how to construct a sentence that can and will be understood by every language in the generation He chooses to reveal its spiritual meaning. Now let’s look at the KJV+ version.

Jas 2:12 SoG3779 speakG2980 ye, andG2532 soG3779 do,G4160 asG5613 they that shall beG3195 judgedG2919 byG1223 the lawG3551 of liberty.G1657

When we look at what James was inspired to record, we see the simple message that happens to be much like the old saying, “actions speak louder than words.” It may also be explained by another old saying, “do what you say and say what you do.” In other words, James is telling Christians not only to talk the talk, but walk the walk. We see the same message in other stories throughout the Bible, as well as a lot of common cliches used in this world.

This world would be a far better place if people were honest. How to we obtain that honesty? We basically follow the laws and threat people like we want to be treated. We don’t steal, lie, or scam. In other words, we live a life outside the commonly traveled highway of this world.

What about going back to the basics in the area of law? Why don’t we follow God’s simple Ten Commandments? Why does this world have Christian leaders and followers who oppose God’s Ten Commandments by telling people, “the law was made only for the Jews. The law was nailed to the cross, “ and other such terms? Why do people insist we have been delivered from the Ten Commandments and all of God’s laws and ordinances without any type of judgment process whatsoever? If James, John, Paul, and other Bible authors discussed God’s law and the part it plays in God’s pan of salvation, why do some people insist all of God’s laws have been swept under the rug and have nothing to do with any judgment process? That doesn’t make any sense. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

I believe God gives us explanations to some of these difficult questions by putting us through certain experiences in life. I wish I could come up with a list of examples showing how people walk the walk and talk the talk. There are some good people out there who are good Christians, would never hurt a fly, would give you the shirt off their back, and would stop at nothing to help a stranger. They live life without fear, and don’t seem to have a care in the world. Those type of people are few and far between. Then there is the dark world we call reality. The cold, cruel world we call home. We see examples of people living without God’s law because someone told them that law is old fashion. We don’t need it anymore. God just doesn’t understand how this world works anymore. So we have to fashion our own laws, republic, democracy, way of living, and refine this world based on experience. In other words, try to exist without God. The world doesn’t hear God anymore because in their minds, God and His laws are past history. Or something like that. So let’s take a look at how this world has done on their own.

At this particular time the federal government in the US is shut down. Most of us can’t tell the difference. No one knows for sure exactly how many people are out of work, or how much money the government is saving. All we know is what the news media chooses to tell us. We are like sheep led to slaughter. But let’s take a look at what is on the news and dig a little deeper with some good old fashion common sense.

Federal employees have been without a pay check for one month. Many can’t pay their bills, and have no idea where their next meal is coming from. Some are afraid of loosing their homes. That’s the facts we hear on the news. But what is happening behind the scenes? Congress is going over a number of Bills to chose one to sign into law that would pay those federal employees, even though they didn’t work. I wish we all had those kinds of benefits. Those federal employees have access to the same unemployment benefits the rest of us have. But the federal employees interviewed by the news media call unemployment benefits, “peanuts.” They are unable to live on funds Congress and other agencies claim is more than enough for the common person to live on. Millions of tax dollars have been spent to set up food pantries for federal employees. Another special benefit the rest of us don’t enjoy. As far as having their homes foreclosed. Check the laws. Most state have laws that requires the lender to wait a number of months before they can file the first set of papers in court. Then there is another waiting period. Followed by another waiting period. During that time that could take more than a year, people can make up the payments. The rest of us have to figure that situation out on our own. But Congress feels a need to step in and lend a helping hand the rest of us will never see.

Now consider the fact, most of those federal employees make more money than the rest of us could ever dream about. With all that money, why don’t they have any savings? This is not the first time the federal government has shut down. Nor will it be the last. We are supposed to believe the federal government hired the top people to do a job the rest of us are unqualified to do. They are supposed to be the cream of the crop. The best of the best. The best in the world. People who are impossible to replace. People who keep this country running in tip top shape with the highest degree of efficiency. And those people have no savings. They make far more money than the rest of us, and they can’t plan for an event that happens every few years. That is sad. If they were as good as they claim they are, why don’t they have companies climbing over one another to hire them? At least for a little while. Why can’t they get a job in the private sector to hold them over during the shut down?

We see one set of laws for federal employees, and another set of laws for the rest of us. In short, this is one example showing what happens when God and His laws are rejected, and humans think they can write a better set of laws.

Other, more personal events also showed how man made laws, and a lack of better judgment can and will effect people. I just started a new business in Wisconsin. The state elected a new governor. The governor ran on the platform, he needed to raise taxes to fix the state school system. A brief look at his history shows, he was in charge of that school system for more than 16 years. The thing that gets me is, why would anyone elect a governor to fix a system he says does not work? A system he designed, installed, and spent more money on than other branch of government or government project. Over the past 16 years Tony Evers has caused the greatest increases in property taxes than anyone else in government. Check out your property tax bill. The school system is a separate line item and has the greatest increases during those 16 years when Evers ran the school system.

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If you took your car to a mechanic and he broke more things on the car, and never fixed the original problem, would you give that mechanic more time and money to fix your car? Or would you take that car to another mechanic? It seems voters either have no common sense, or are easily fooled. We have to admit, there wasn’t much of a choice in the final election, but why don’t tax payers do something about it?

On one level of government we have changes to make it easier for people to start new businesses. Another branch of government sees how businesses are due to save money and devise ways or draining those savings and more. On the business level, the start up cost, fees I had to pay to the state just about doubled. That cut into my budget. Those fees will cut into every company budget. In the long run, common sense will tell us, good businesses will have a training plan in place. Why not consider the fact, on the job training is the best education system this world has to offer. But when government cuts into any business budget, what is bound to suffer? In many cases, training programs suffer. That’s the type of mind set we have to deal with in the real world when the average voter is duped into electing carrier politicians. It happens every time.

Would you take your car to a mechanic with no experience, no training, and no idea where to begin? People do that in voting booths. Running government, especially a government the size we have to contend with is a lot like running a business. People have to be hired, supervised, trained, and plans have to be made, scrutinized, and finally initiated. All those steps require skills carrier politicians don’t have. But people keep putting all that power in their hands. The mistakes they make cost billions of dollars. Just raise taxes to make up for those mistakes. People accept that type of behavior as status quo. Electing unqualified politicians is normal operating procedure and nothing is going to change. Just blame all the mistakes on the other party.

So far this new plan for Wisconsin has cost me a boat load of money. And will cost me more. In the long run, who suffers? Plans to hire people are on hold. Other entities I have to deal with jumped on the band wagon of grabbing the golden ring – the federal tax deduction offered to small businesses. Every entity involved in my line of work has raised their fees and added new fees. So much for a bright and strong beginning. Every business is in the same boat. The common mentality is, if government can do it and get away with it, why can’t we grad a piece of the pie?

That mentality is a far cry from what James wrote about, treat others like you would like to be treated. Our government sets a rather poor example. People in high places don’t argue the point. They take the cue government gives them, jump on the bandwagon and ride it all the way to the bank. Always taking more and more. Is that all that makes America strong is a good bottom line at the end of the year measured in dollars? Whatever happened to good old fashion integrity, honor, valor, and common sense? We live under the mentality of, “everyone does it.” Getting back to God’s law. We may have the freedom to elect the worst people and put them in higher positions. But all the votes in the world are not going to change one letter of God’s law. Not one of them. Politicians may be able to hide their mistakes from the average voter. But they will never be able to hide one backroom deal or sin from God. Eventually they will have to answer for the errors of their ways. What about the responsibility of the average voter? Aren’t they somehow responsible for the mess we are in? Do they share responsibility for those sins carrier politicians make? Didn’t Paul or Peter write something about that subject? I’m not sure at this point.

There are other lessons I had to learn in life. Why it took me over six years is beyond me. There were reasons why I was trapped in certain situations, but the lessons didn’t go unnoticed. It doesn’t matter what line of business I was in. The fact of the matter is, there is no reason to point fingers. Except at myself for being so foolish. The number one lesson is, no one is going to help you. You have to learn to help yourself. Isn’t that the lesson Jesus taught when He healed the paralyzed man at the pool? Jesus asked the man what he was doing there. The man answered with a list of excuses. “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” (John 5:7 NLTse). Why didn’t the man have the faith to ask God for healing, or ask Jesus to heal him? It seems the man was stuck on the idea, everyone else believes that pool can heal me.

We all use excuses to hold us back. But one day, the Holy Spirit tells us to get up and walk out of that dismal situation. The thing is, if we don’t learn from those less than fortunate situations, we are doomed to repeat them. And those are mistakes I don’t want to repeat.

I worked for an employer who stole all my leads. At least those he knew about and was able to act upon. I was paid strictly commission. On top of that, I had to pay some rather steep company fees. Some of those fees offset operating expenses. Some of those fees went into profit for the company. The fact of the matter was, part of the commission went to the company and I received a share. All the leads went through the office. In six years, I didn’t receive a single lead from that office. I had my own website, but a few choice rules funneled all those leads through the office. I spent time and money on my personal website only to find out, the vast majority of leads went strait to the office, and I was cut out of the loop. That is only one of the dirty little secrets some companies have.

In hindsight it seems rather foolish to pay someone to take away your means of income. Praise the LORD I had just enough funds to pay the never ending list of fees to get out of that mess and start a business of my own. Before that happened, I switched offices and worked for another company. It was rather short lived. I thought I endured an isolated incident. Quite the contrary was true. Using a different motive and process, the new company began stealing leads, and clients. Leaving me with fewer and fewer chances of making a sale and earning a living.

I’m sure that happens in a number of businesses. I’m sure other people have experienced similar situations. The point is. Companies and certain business fields make laws and regulations the rest of us have to try to live with. In the long run, they are laws and rules that create different classes. The haves, and have nots. People who can and will take advantage of those laws, and those who suffer at their hands. Nothing at all like God’s law was designed to protect. Maybe that is what James had in mind when he called God’s law, “the law of liberty.” Maybe if we gave that law a chance, we would see a far friendlier world.

Chapter 8 Criteria to Being Saved

1 Corinthians 1:4-10 RSVA (4) I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, (5) that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge– (6) even as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you– (7) so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; (8) who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (10) I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

It seems like the majority of Christians prefer to ignore or avoid the subject of God as our supreme judge. Why avoid the obvious? There are a number of reasons people tend to avoid the subject of God as our judge. How does a view of God as judge fit into the image of the all loving God people like to mold and present? In other words, if you bring up the views of God as all loving and a judge, you open the door to a paradox that is difficult to explain. In today’s world, God as judge may be offensive. Let’s face it, modern media has done everything in its power to make harsh subjects, for lack of a better term, illegal. They tend to call that, being politically incorrect. But God is above and beyond politics. God would not dirty His feet in this world wind of political correctness. To a large degree, God stands on the side and allows people to form their own paths to happiness and security. God allows people to go so far to build their image of the perfect utopia, before He steps in and introduces His plan. In the hope people can and will learn from their mistakes, God allows people, institutions, governments, and countries to pursue their own course before He gets involved. But do we really learn from mistakes made in the past?

The Bible contains a collection of stories designed to shape and guide our course in life. To a certain degree, those stories are read, discussed, and sometimes people will preach on those stories. Not often enough though. More often than not, preachers take a sentence or two from one story, then a few sentences from another story, then go way off track by telling their own story, a personal view based on a few sentences taken from the Bible. People listening to those stories somehow are convinced, the story is Biblical. The preacher started his story in the Bible. So why wouldn’t it be Biblical? The sad fact is, the Jews who killed Jesus formed the same sermons, concepts, and ideals from a few sentences in scripture. Then of course blended them with a host of man made concepts they agreed with. Those concepts led to the arrest, trial, conviction, and execution of God’s Son. In other words, the worldly views held by the Jews were 100% wrong. Of course we have the New Testament to help us clear up a few of the mistakes the Jews made. But why do people keep using the same failed system the Jews used to interpret and understand scripture?

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No one can argue the fact, God is in charge. God is the judge. God has passed that role unto His Son. But to what degree? We’ll never find the answer to that question when we prefer to ignore the subject in scripture. We’ll never find the answer if we use worldly views and rely on personal experiences. We won’t find the answer in a pew, on TV, we certainly will not find the answer on social media, or in a book. Not even this book. Common sense will tell us, God decided to omit specific details on His role as judge for a reason. God wants each of us to approach His throne as individuals so He can personally explain His role as judge, and how that effects our lives. All the sermons, books, and videos in the world can never amount to a single second in God’s presence.

When we think about God’s judgment, we can’t help but remember views of some guy in his painted station wagon with loud speakers mounted on top. A few select scripture are brush painted along the side of the flat black station wagon. Speakers are blaring the same message over and over again about how God is going to judge this world, and we are all going to burn in hell. It seems some people are obsessed by the judgment period, and feel it is their duty to tell the world their view of the judgment process. It’s not difficult to look at that approach as offensive. Maybe that is why so many people decide to ignore the subject. We could go on forever about the worldly view on God’s judgment. But what good would that do? We would never reach an understanding more than one step above that of the Jews, priests, and Pharisees. We could look at the New Testament and see what that adds. But for the most part, we are not going to find the details we need to paint a complete picture. But Paul and other writers did give us a wealth of information. We just have to learn to follow their train of thought. After all, their words were inspired, and that is all we have to go on.

Paul made it clear, we need Jesus to teach people about Jesus. It really doesn’t matter what subject we are going to cover. There are many sides to every subject. We have radical views, peaceful views, and all kinds of views in between. For the most part, they are views from the world, formed and tainted by this world of sin. Some subjects require a total escape from this world before we are able to find accurate and reliable facts. Paul told us, we are supposed to be, “united in the same mind and the same judgment.” How can we be united without talking about the subject, opening up the Bible, and finding a few bits and pieces of scripture to define our stand on the judgment? Let’s take a step back for a second. How do you think you are going to be judged? Maybe you should think about when you are going to be judged. We’ll cover that subject in a later chapter. In the mean time, will you be judged on an individual or corporate level? That establishes one view of God in your mind. Your view may be quite different than mine.

Once a view of God is established, that is a starting point to draw closer to God. How is that done? Paul hit on a few details for us to consider. First, as Christians we are prepared or trained on the subject, life, and ministry of Jesus. Paul placed that training where it belongs, in a personal meeting with Jesus. After Jesus rose from the grave, He returned to this world to retrain His disciples. Those disciples had to experience a number of growing pains before they were ready to drop everything they were taught, and open their eyes to what Jesus was saying. Before Jesus was arrested, He explained everything about the Holy Spirit, and how the Holy Spirit was going to take His place in this world. When we are communicating with the Spirit, we are communicating with Jesus. The two are one mind, thought, and action.

Paul added a brief comment about spiritual gifts. Those gifts are from the Spirit, and the Spirit provides training for those those gifts. The church can’t train you. The online video can’t train you. You have to be in personal contact with the Holy Spirit to receive the proper on the job training. Somehow that training leads to a total understanding and unified view of the judgment. We are not going to find all the answers in one chapter. So we will take a look at other popular text on the subject.

1 Corinthians 4:1-10 RSVA (1) This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. (3) But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself. (4) I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. (5) Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then every man will receive his commendation from God. (6) I have applied all this to myself and Apol’los for your benefit, brethren, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. (7) For who sees anything different in you? What have you that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift? (8) Already you are filled! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! (9) For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels and to men. (10) We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.

Up to this point we have not learned a great deal of actual, definitive points describing God’s actual role as judge. We could pour over scripture, search the Bible, and pray about those details. But what would we find? How can we find the unified view Paul wrote about?

Of course Paul covered a great deal of details between chapters 1 and 4. In 1 Corinthians 4 Paul enters into an interesting discussion. Christ’s servants should have insight into the mysteries concerning God. Paul mentions trust, which has a direct link to a relationship. How can Christ trust you if He doesn’t know you? Of course if God sees everything, He knows all about you. So Jesus definitely knows if He is able to trust you. There is nothing to hide. On the other side of the relationship, what do you know about Jesus, God, and those mysteries?

It seems some people question Paul on his knowledge and motives. That was nothing new. Paul knew it was going to happen, and it was something he had to deal with. Paul introduced another type of judgment. The one people practice between one another, anyone who is different, and in what we all should expect, a judgment process where we weight the facts being presented. It will clear up matters when we take a look at the actual Greek word Paul used to explain this judgment process.

Judgment

G350 ἀνακρίνω anakrinō an-ak-ree’-no

From G303 and G2919; properly to scrutinize, that is, (by implication) investigate, interrogate, determine: – ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.

We should know, there are different types of judgment, as well as different judgment processes. We have judgment related to court systems. We have God’s judgment process. And of course we have a type of judgment that occurs between Christians. To say, “we should never judge,” is an understatement. Most likely coming from people who never looked up the definition of the different judgments found in the New Testament.

When we use the right judgment process the proper way, we are not judging people in a condemning manner. We are simply weighing the evidence they submit. That is a skill all Christians should have. But what criteria do we have to judge, scrutinize, and investigate what other people are teaching? We have the Bible. But what good is the Bible without the Holy Spirit? It is no good at all. That brings up another good point. Does the teacher or preacher exhibit and display any connection with God’s Spirit. If they did, they should be ready, willing, and able to prove it. We also run the risk of weight evidence based on what we’ve been taught. We have to be honest and examine those sources. Paul identified Christ as the only reliable source of information. Paul presented his relationship with Christ as his most important credential. Paul had no problems describing the direct view and meeting he had with Christ. What about those preachers you learned from? Are they as reliable as Paul?

Paul made it clear, we have one type of judgment to perform, and God’s judgment process is far different than ours.

1Co 4:3 ButG1161 with meG1698 it isG2076 a(G1519) very small thingG1646 thatG2443 I should be judgedG350

1Co 4:5 ThereforeG5620 judgeG2919

When we look at the KJV+, we see it pointing us to two different Greek words. One is a type of judgment process. The other points to the results only God is allowed to determine. So we do have a role in one type of judgment, but the definition of other types of judgment tell us to keep our noses out of it. We should have a minimal knowledge of those different types of judgment. The thing we have to remember is, where we got that knowledge. God chose Paul as a voice and pen. When we learn something from Paul, it is more than learning something from words in a book. We are learning from a direct revelation Jesus gave to Paul. So we can’t take any credit for ourselves. We have to send all that credit back to Jesus. We are not in the business of unlocking mysteries in the Bible to bring fame and fortune to ourselves. We are in the business of bringing people to Jesus. Not to a church or preacher claiming to know the truth, or possess some secret power to interpret inspired scripture. Scripture was written for all of us to read, study, pray on, and receive personal revelations on. Some for our personal benefit. Others to share.

Paul made a point by placing himself at a lower level than the people he was writing to. That was designed to accomplished 2 things. To prove his personal relationship with Christ is worth more than anything in this world. Even more than the words of one of the most reliable teachers this world has known. It also reminded people how that increased knowledge will be shunned by this world. As you learn more and more about Christ, and as you share that knowledge, be prepared to be questioned, scrutinized, and condemned. People will cross that line on judgment without batting and eye. They may do it out of ignorance. But that is the way of the world.

2 Thessalonians 1:4-11 RSVA (4) Therefore we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring. (5) This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering– (6) since indeed God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, (8) inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, (10) when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (11) To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power,

In this letter, Paul makes it more than clear that we need to place revenge in God’s hands. If we know God, we know He sees everything that goes on around us. Especially the plots, slandering, and when it happens, the persecution. Why sweat it when we can leave all that work to God?

Hebrews 6:1-8 NLTse So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God. (2) You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (3) And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding. (4) For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened–those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, (5) who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come– (6) and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame. (7) When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing. (8) But if a field bears thorns and thistles, it is useless. The farmer will soon condemn that field and burn it.

This seems to be one of the strangest chapters related to God’s judgment. Its relationship with God’s judgment may be missed by most people. If you read the entire chapter, you will see how the author wrote about God’s promises and rewards. Although God’s judgment carries the death penalty, the other outcome is of course, eternal life. Another subject we have to investigate to understand the entire story. How much do we know about God’s promises, why He gave those promises, how and why those promises have a progression, and how God intends to fulfill those promises. We also have to look into who is going to see those promises fulfilled. Actually live that fulfillment.

Here the author wrote about subjects the average Christian should know. Based on the author’s comments, some people get stuck on those subjects. If you are out in the Christian world, you’ve seen how some people get stuck on one subject, look at themselves as a leading authority on that subject, and feel it is their duty to get the world to think like them. Is that what a Christian is? Is that all it takes?

Hebrews talks about an advancement. A constant growth. The question is, how do we grow. Hebrews seems to be written to people who were are not your basic Christians, but to Christians on a definite path or course. And dedicated to keep moving along that path. The Book of Hebrews is like no other book in the Bible. It doesn’t tell us anything new. But that book does explain details other books linger upon but for lack of a better term, lack the depth many of us search for. The Book of Hebrews ties together a number of stories, places events in the proper order, explains symbols, and the reasoning behind them.

The Book of Hebrews may be a little different that other books in the Bible, but follows a familiar pattern found in other inspired books. It contains promises and curses. Why did God use that pattern in so many books in the Bible? There must be a reason. My engineering experience tells me to get as close to the original design to understand the concept behind it.

We could do a study and look at how God’s promises progressed over the years. Every few generations received a new detail on that promise. But we only want to look at the first promise God gave to this world. That promise followed the first sin in this world. Adam the man was to work and sweat for his food. Eve was to suffer during child birth. What about the promises. One of Eve’s sons, after quite a few generations was going to crush that snake’s head. What about Adam? He would receive food to survive, but at a cost. Hence, this world reached a new age with a whole new set of rules brought on by sin.

No mention of working our way back into God’s grace was ever given. God never outlines a method or series of steps to work our way out of sin. In other words, sin had to run its course. Not only was the Book of Hebrews telling us, we had to spend time and put in effort to find out about God, we also had to beware of sin’s progression. Over the generations, we have grown rather far away from God. Some people may think books and technology have brought us closer to God. But let’s get real. Jesus waited a number of generations before coming here to save this world. Part of saving this world was retraining this world. Getting at least some people to give up the grasp this world had on them. To break away into a far better world. The one God promised. That promise has always been there. And those curses are still holding us down. Keeping us from getting as close to God as we’d like to be.

That’s why the Book of Hebrews told us, some people are stuck. They know a little about God, but are afraid to take that next step. They use the world as an excuse. They think they have to get the world up to their speed before taking the next step. That is not reality. That is nothing more than an excuse. That is giving into the fears this world creates.

The most interesting part of this portion of Hebrews is the comment of those “who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come– and who then turn away from God.” That is the part I had to pray about, and a part I had to give God some time to set a few personal experiences into play.

What chance do people who constantly drift away from God stand in the judgment process? When we look at this in simple terms, how would Jesus answer when the Fathers asks, “Son, do you know this person?” How would Jesus answer? He may say, “I knew them at one time, but they turned their back on Me.” How else is Jesus supposed to answer? Would Jesus take time to go over the hundred or so times He tried to reestablish a relationship with them? Would Jesus mention the countless times He asked them for help, but they chose to ignore the request? These are the type of details the Book of Hebrews is trying to get us to consider.

After a few weeks of living on the edge of a number of Internet scams, I was shown how some people drift away from God. It’s just not me. Internet scams are on the rise and coming from some rather high places. Major companies are involved, and government is making some rather poor decisions by passing new laws that don’t help the average person, but help to hide scammers. All of that amounts to one thing. People moving further away from God.

If you have a Christian based profile or are on a Christian dating site, and run into a scammer, you’ll be up against someone who knows enough about Christianity to lure in the average, unsuspecting victim. Hence, we need to be on guard and up to date in the latest scams. We have to have an idea how they work, and how to identify a scammer taking advantage of recent laws that hides their identity, making it impossible to find out who we are communicating with.

In 2018 it was easy to find the general location an email was sent from. The Header on the email contained an entire map showing us where an email originated and which servers transferred that email. In an effort to protect the identity of people who didn’t want to be traced or identified, Congress and some world organization making new Internet laws changed all of that. Today all we get is one address showing the business location of the last server that delivered the email to your computer. In other words, there is no way to figure out if you are emailing a person down the street, or on the other side of the world.

That is one example of people who are drifting away. Somewhere they learned enough about Christianity to make you think they are loyal, follow God, are caring, read the Bible, and are exactly what you have been searching for. But they just want to set that hook and make some money. What scammers have been doing is influencing people in rather high positions to pass laws that protect their identity. They hide behind a computer or phone. Scammers prefer to use Google Voice that has been designed to hide your identity and location. There are other things Google has been doing to protect scammers and put the rest of us at risk. At this point, I’ve seen some rather unfair business tactics Google has been using in their Internet ad industry that gives them an unfair advantage. Check out the Internet and I am sure you will find a series of complaints, lawsuits, so on, and so forth.

Internet scammers and large Internet corporations pretty much fit the description of people God warned us about throughout the Bible. The only thing is, God used rather basic descriptions. But when we put 2 and 2 together with the growth the Book of Hebrews tells us to pursue, we can easily see how they fit into the scheme of things.

Scammers have grown at a faster rate then the Internet itself. They focus on new ways to part a fool from their money. They have no respect for people, target Christians, and the elderly. Scammers dedicate themselves to perfecting their black art as well as doing what they do best, hide in the shadows. When someone dedicates their life to sin, does a quick prayer asking to be forgiven make everything right with God? Are they saved at that point? Or does our all knowing God see their plans, and make a decision based on the evidence presented?

That is one question we have to consider when we study the subjects of God’s judgment, and the judgment process we as Christians are supposed to conduct. Which is investigating situations. Not condemning people, but learn to tell a real Christian from a pretend Christian. We can and should plant seeds when given the opportunity. But with some people, there is only so much we can do. The author of Hebrews spelled out our limitations. We need to respect our limitations, as well as work to higher levels to be more productive working with the Holy Spirit.

Chapter 5 How Are We Judged?

How are we judged? When we look at the many different beliefs in this world today, we are going to get dozens of different explanations. Christian denominations read the same Bible, the same books in the Bible, compare the same proof text, and come up with a wide range of conclusions. The strange thing is, other religions parallel Christian beliefs on how this world will be judged. Or in some cases, has been judged, or is being judged. How do we determine which explanation is true, and which explanations added to, or subtracted to the Bible? The first step is to remove all those explanations and start from scratch with an open mind, and a vision of learning at Jesus’ feet.

This may seem rather strange to you at this time, but look at the John’s Gospel as a whole. John’s Gospel seems to be the easiest story to follow. Jesus taught in a particular sequence. How many times did Jesus quote scripture? How many times did Jesus tell His followers and His enemies, He was doing His Father’s will. That included teaching this world about Heaven, and the judgment process in particular. When you read John’s Gospel with an open mind while focusing on the judgment process, you will see dozens of references Jesus made to the judgment process. Every time Jesus mentions the judgment process, let you mind go over previous stories, parallels, chapters, and explanations Jesus offered. You will find yourself putting the judgment process in the prospective Jesus explained it. All those cloudy areas will disappear.

Jesus emphasized another important subject. Being born again. Hearing the Shepherd’s voice, born of water, living water, and other stories all were focused on that subject. The need to put aside preconceived ideas. That included all the ideas and concepts men taught about the judgment process. When we take one little portion of a story and attempt to explain what it means, we will fail. When we try to explain a story in the Bible based on our limited human knowledge, we will fail. Why is that? Look at how Jesus taught. Jesus did repeat lessons to His followers. That was because they weren’t listening. Jesus explained subjects to His enemies once. Later Jesus built on those lessons. Why? Jesus didn’t feel a need to repeat Himself because His enemies were not listening, and would not listen. Why repeat yourself when the other person or party refuses to listen? The subject matter was important and had to be covered. Jesus had no choice but to offer the information. It was up to the listener to either accept or reject those messages. Chances were, if they missed the first lesson, the second, third, and all future lessons were lost. It was up to the individual to go over the entire process and put all the pieces together. In other words, look back. We have the opportunity to look back when we read John’s Gospel as a whole. We can compare one story with previous stories and see the spiritual meaning unfold. Bits and pieces should be fitting together. We should be able to see how Jesus added to subjects such as the judgment process. The moment we think we have it all figured out, we loose our connection with the Holy Spirit, our guide and teacher. We are left on our own. Whether or not we admit it, subjects become confusing, out of sequence, and difficult to explain. Why? Explanations in the Bible do not agree with what we have been taught. We lost our ability to look back and see how Jesus was given one subject from His Father, and added to that subject at a later date. Why did Jesus teach that way? The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit worked as a team. God gave the messages to Jesus who of course delivered them. People needed time to digest messages, and time for the Holy Spirit to work with them. Some people took advantage of that simple process while other people rejected the Holy Spirit, and of course they rejected Jesus. They thought they were serving God. They convinced themselves they were following God, but in fact they rejected God.

The same is true with the Holy Spirit. Try arguing or correcting the Holy Spirit during a study and the Spirit will withdraw. That’s it. You can continue to study, but everything will be interpreted by you and what the world has taught you. There is little chance any of your interpretations will be correct. They may sound good. The world may accept them. But that does not make them right.

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We will begin our study in John’s Gospel. We could look all the way back to chapter 1 to see where this discussion actually began. But that is a task for you to accomplish. I will take a look back at the previous chapter so I can add a few examples showing how information in the Bible is introduced and build upon.

John 12:37-50 NLTse But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. (38) This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted: “LORD, who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm?” (39) But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said, (40) “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts— so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.” (41) Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. (42) Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. (43) For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. (44) Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. (45) For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. (46) I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. (47) I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. (48) But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. (49) I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. (50) And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

This story makes a distinct reference to previous stories in the Bible. We should know what miracles Jesus performed and why they were rejected. When we look at the beginning of the chapter we see the story about Lazarus. Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. Isn’t that a direct reference to the judgment? Of course it is. This is one example showing how Jesus taught in a particular sequence. First Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave. That of course was an example showing Jesus had the power and authority to raise the dead. Of course Jesus needed His Father’s cooperation as well as permission. This also showed how they worked together.

Looking back a few more chapters we see Jesus also healed a blind man. That attracted the attention of the religious leaders who questioned and rejected that miracle. In chapter 12, Jesus quoted a few places in Isiah where he predicted that would happen. Now we not only have a prophecy and its fulfillment together, we also have something in Isaiah to consider. But first, let’s look at parallel chapters a moment. Parallel chapters are the prophecy matched to the fulfillment recorded elsewhere in the Bible. They are parallel chapters based on the fact, the

two chapters cover the same subject.

They will have similar introductions and summations.

When you study those chapters together, the Bible will reveal more than ten time the information you ever expected to see. That’s one of the ways the Bible works and confirms itself. Now we can look at a little bit from Isaiah.

Isaiah 53:1-6 NLTse Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? (2) My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. (3) He was despised and rejected– a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. (4) Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! (5) But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. (6) All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.

Many Christians are familiar with Isiah chapter 53. This chapter explains how Jesus was executed. What would have happened if His followers and enemies read this chapter? Would they take it to heart? Isiah was telling the future. Jesus was showing people the future. Of course we can look back and see how all of this was planned, and how it turned out. But if we are in fact more advanced than those people who missed the message Jesus gave, why aren’t we using this knowledge? The Bible just showed us a simple way to study the Bible. Why don’t we all take that lesson and put it into action?

In terms of the judgment, Isiah also offered some information.

Isaiah 53:10-12 NLTse But it was the LORD’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in his hands. (11) When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. (12) I will give him the honors of a victorious soldier, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.

In simple terms, Isiah explained how Jesus died for our sins and how this was part of God’s plan. We are not given a great amount of detail, but when we see additional explanations given in John chapter 12, we should be able to see the pieces of the puzzle come together.

I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. (48) But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. (49) I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. (50) And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

Now we have a few pieces of the puzzle in writing to examine. Jesus died for our sins. That is true, but there is more to it than that. Jesus had to earn the authority to judge. The Father granted Jesus that authority. But with authority comes responsibility. Jesus was also responsible for telling the world about God’s plan of salvation. We can’t be held responsible for a plan we don’t know. On the other hand, ignorance is no excuse.

We are not judged by our knowledge of this plan. But we are judged on our willingness to either listen to that plan, accept, or reject that plan. Why do you think Jesus and the prophets talked about that plan so much? That plan was introduced through baby steps over a great amount of time. People in the Old Testament understood next to nothing about the plan of salvation. They did have the responsibility of knowing God, His laws and commandments, and obeying those laws. Of course everyone failed at that task. That was why Jesus had to come to this planet to die. But what about those people who knew the laws and ignored them? What about those people who never heard about God? What happens to them? I hope you don’t expect me to answer that question. But maybe with a little more studying, we can begin to get a clearer view on that subject.

What about those people who never heard of God or Jesus? Let’s talk another look at that list of religions and their beliefs on the judgment in Wiki. They all seem to be pretty much the same. Christian religions should be the same. They all got their information from the same book. On the other hand, what about those other religions? How did they get a concept on God’s judgment if they never heard about God or Jesus? They must have gotten their information from somewhere. That brings us to the obvious answer.

We can all agree God’s judgment is in the future. Where did all those religions get the ability to see into the future? We have only two choices. Either God or the devil told them about the future. Of course the devil lacks the ability to see into the future. The devil didn’t see how Jesus defeated him in the wilderness. The devil had no idea Jesus was going to raise from that grave. Those simple facts leave us with one conclusion to draw on. Only God could have reached those people with ideas and concepts on the judgment process.

Judgment must be a rather important subject for God to reach the entire world on the idea and concept of judgment. So where does that leave us on our search to find out what happens with those people from other religions? They seem to be in the same boat as all the different Christian religions. All the Christian religions claim to communicate with God in one way or another. So why do they all seem to have different concepts on what God told them? Easy. Some people listen better than others. And of course some people like to add their own ideas to what they heard. Others prefer to eliminate a few details because they don’t entirely agree with God. Where does that leave us?

Look at how much Jesus blended the judgment process with the Holy Spirit, listening to the Spirit, and learning from the Spirit.

If anything, this book has shown how the judgment process is learned step by step. People don’t tear apart a V8 engine without first starting on a small single cylinder engine, learning the concepts, and moving onto bigger and better things.

What makes people think they can master the plan of salvation after a five minute conversation with God?

It may seem rather strange to some people when a modern writer talks about the connection between the Holy Spirit and the judgment process. Can we call it God’s plan of salvation for a moment? I’m not making this stuff up. I’m taking popular proof text major Christian denominations use to explain the judgment process and reading a few extra sentences found in those chapters. In other words, I am simply doing what every good Christian should do. I am testing what is being taught, preached, and spoon fed all around this world. Is it a crime to go a little further in the Bible. Or in most cases, review the introduction to that popular proof text? I don’t think so.

John recorded a lot about what Jesus taught on the judgment process. To me it would be a crime not to look at what John and other inspired authors wrote about the judgment process and study exactly how those inspired authors introduced and explained this subject. You see, I know I have two choices. I can either accept what people are teaching. Since I already know different religions have different concepts on the judgment process, I feel it is my responsibility to look into this subject myself. Not by myself. But as the Bible teaches, and the point Jesus tried to make. I want to study along side the Holy Spirit.

John 16:7-13 KJV Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

I decided to use the KJV for this part of the story because I know there is at least one word we need to look up in the Greek dictionary. If you didn’t see at least one word to look up, you’re not listening to the Spirit. That is one thing the Spirit does during Bible Study. The Spirit will tell you to look up certain words. When you follow instructions, you’ll see how the definition of certain words in the Bible have been twisted around. In this example we will look at the word REPROVE.

REPROVE

G1651 ἐλέγχω elegchōb el-eng’-kho

Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: – convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.

And when church is come, the church will rebuke the world of sin

In most cases the definition of the word reprove many people use and teach will omit that part about conviction and telling a fault. When we look at the word sin, we can see how conviction falls into place. But when we get to the word judgment, that conviction part of the definition is often left out, or is changed to something along the lines of, “we can prove we are right and the world is wrong.” But who is right and who is wrong? Why did Jesus tie in judgment with a word that means, “to tell a fault.” Common sense would tell us, judgment has a very close relationship to pointing out faults. But who is supposed to point out those faults? It has become common practice for churches to substitute words and phrases like, “church, God’s chosen people, and the saints,” with what John actually recorded. Take a look at what John recorded. Jesus said, “the Comforter.” Who of course is the Holy Spirit. Go ahead. Check the chapter. Jesus was talking about an increased relationship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus was not teaching about some modern church age with some new enlightenment that somehow replaced the Holy Spirit. To a large degree it has become acceptable for the modern church to replace the Holy Spirit with one term or another pointing to their particular term for a church, is that correct? And is that acceptable in Heaven’s court?

When we look at how Jesus presented His defense to the Jewish authorities, we not only see Jesus answering their questions based on their level of knowledge, but we see Jesus going far into the future establishing a new set of warnings for a church that was not even conceived in the mind of a single person back in those days.

Jesus introduced the concept of the Holy Spirit early in His ministry. One night a religious leader by the name of Nicodemus came to see Jesus. Jesus tried to explain the concept of the Holy Spirit to Nicodemus,who seemed rather lost on the subject. Jesus replied, “You are a respected Jewish teacher, and yet you don’t understand these things? (John 3:10 NLTse). Was Nicodemus saved at that moment? We have to admit, Jesus did explain the concept of being saved to Nicodemus. And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. (John 3:14-18 NLTse).

One of the most famous verses in the Bible is found in John chapter 3. But most modern Christians start and stop at one verse, knowing little to nothing about the rest of the story that spans more that one chapter. Looking at the context, which is the verses around John 3:16, we can’t help but see there is much more to the story that most modern philosophers are able or willing to explain. We see how Jesus pointed Nicodemus back to a rather short story Moses recorded. This brings up a few valid points to consider. Jesus sent an advanced student of the scriptures back to a story he needed to review. Something was in that story Jesus knew Nicodemus didn’t understand. The story is short and blunt. Israel was once again complaining about the long journey and the manna they grew tired of eating. We know manna was a physical bread from Heaven and also contained a spiritual meaning. It wasn’t by chance that Jesus also sent Nicodemus to a story about that spiritual bread and also talked to Nicodemus about spiritual water. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (John 3:3-6 NLTse).

Many people will miss the majority of those points because they don’t understand how Jesus and the scriptures point willing students to the right information at the proper time. As Jesus made clear to Nicodemus, you may think you are an advanced student of the Bible, but you will never stand a chance of understanding the Bible until you make a connection with the Holy Spirit and learn to follow directions given by the Spirit. Jesus followed those instructions and was able to give Nicodemus the instructions he needed to open his mind and heart to the Spirit. Between John chapter 3 and chapter 7 we find evidence showing us how the Nicodemus established a connection with the Spirit and the effects of that connection. Much like Jesus, Nicodemus was able to send the Pharisees back to the right scripture at the proper time. Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked. They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Search the Scriptures and see for yourself–no prophet ever comes from Galilee!” (John 7:50-52 NLTse).

It took more than an understanding of the spiritual water Jesus talked about. Nicodemus also had to read the story about the snake Moses made and see the connection between salvation and the living bread Jesus also talked about. Jesus added more information about the spiritual the second time we see Nicodemus mentioned in John’s Gospel. On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.) (John 7:37-39 NLTse). That reminded Nicodemus about their first meeting when Jesus introduced the living water. Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” “What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. (John 3:3-6 NLTse). When we put those two stories together we can see how the Holy Spirit had been teaching Nicodemus to see the spiritual meaning behind that living water and how to put real life events together to see the deeper meaning of spiritual symbols.

Jesus used more than water as a spiritual symbol. Jesus mixed the spiritual water with the spiritual bread. When Nicodemus had only one symbol to consider, he was confused. When Nicodemus put the bread and water together, he began to see spiritual lessons his counterparts could not understand. Jesus and the Holy Spirit placed Nicodemus in a unique position. Nicodemus could see and understand spiritual symbols. Nicodemus could also see how his fellow teaches misunderstood and misused those symbols and other information in scripture.

No one can argue the point, it is easy to see how Jesus pointed out the symbol of living water. John recorded that portion of the conversation. It may be a little difficult to see where the bread comes in. That takes a bit of investigation. Which is what faith means, an investigation. We how see Jesus point directly to bread when He told Nicodemus about the bronze snake Moses made.

When we look at how this information was presented, we have to ask why. Jesus of course was trying to teach Nicodemus how to connect with the Holy Spirit. Jesus used some of the best teaching methods known to mankind. Jesus used actually life examples. In this case, a real life experience. The lesson goes much deeper than that. When the Spirit uses life experiences to teach, the student has to learn how to look back at events. Bible study follows the exact same standard. Notice how the story in John chapter 7 references miracles. Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?” (John 7:31 NLTse). To find out what miracles they were referring to, we have no other choice but to look back in John’s Gospel. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. (John 6:11 NLTse). With a free meal comes a free lesson. That is the way Jesus operated. Jesus physically and Spiritually fed people.

After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.” Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. (John 6:31-36 NLTse).

Jesus went a step further by tying in spiritual bread with spiritual water. No one made that connection except for Jesus. Now we have a direct connection between spiritual bread, water, and of course the Holy Spirit. We also see how scripture established a connection between spiritual bread, water, the Holy Spirit, salvation, and judgment. According to scripture they are all related, connected, and need to be studied together. Which is what we are doing after we see how those subjects have been linked in scripture.

What does all this teach us on the subject of judgment? There is no doubt, everyone will be judged. It doesn’t matter what denomination you are, or what religion you are. It doesn’t matter no much or little you know about the judgment process. What matters is, the connection you establish with the Holy Spirit and how much you are willing to learn. Is there salvation without a learning process? Based on the evidence we gathered from two short stories about Nicodemus, we see there is a learning curve. We also see two sides of the story. The Pharisees and other religious leaders rejected the Spirit. They wanted to kill Jesus. They questioned everything about Jesus and judged Him based on their personal understanding of the scriptures. When we look deep enough, we can’t help but notice how the groups disagreed and had different views on the Messiah. They went as far a contradicting themselves. We have to read the entire story to see that. Based on what we’ve seen and read, we should begin to see how those stories not only showed the mentality in Jesus’ day, we also see a prophetic warning for our day.

Denominations still can’t agree on who Jesus was, His role in Heaven, nor the judgment process. That is a living fact today. We cannot trust anyone. We owe it to ourselves to investigate the judgment process by teaming up with the Holy Spirit to find out what that process is, what role we play if any, and exactly what we need to do to be saved? Is that so difficult to understand?

As students of the Bible, we also want to exercise our freedom, privilege, and responsibility to check other sources. Up to this point we have been looking at information provided by John, Isaiah, and of course Jesus. What did Paul add to this subject?

1 Corinthians 6:1-6 KJV (1) Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? (2) Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? (3) Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (4) If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (5) I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? (6) But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers.

Paul pointed out the responsibility we will take on in the judgment process. We will judge the world as well as angels. That explains why we have to develop an understanding of that judgment process. It is not as simple as some people make it sound. Maybe those people do not want to face or take on the responsibilities. That does not add up to a valid excuse for anyone to use.

Paul is not giving the church any authority to judge, but simply pointing out how important it is to study the subject. “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13 NLTse). Paul pointed people back to Deuteronomy chapter 22 which has a collection of laws. Most of which dwelt with adultery. Which has a spiritual meaning all its own. Along side of those laws on adultery are a number of other laws. Some are plain and simple to understand. Others seem to have more of a spiritual meaning than a physical real life application. The lesson is. The Pharisees couldn’t agree on all the laws. The Pharisees often twisted laws to suit their own ideas. In any case, an honest Christian with an open mind should see how confusing those laws can be and the point Paul was making. When it comes to the law, we need help from Heaven. We also need help from Heaven to understand any type of judgment. In short terms, no one with less than a perfect understanding of the law should be judging anyone. If the Pharisees couldn’t understand the law, what chance do we have? Sure you can go with the old excuse, “we have Jesus and the New Testament.” Well ask yourself this question. Do you really have Jesus? Or do you have the word of a modern day teacher of the law? Do they have it right? Are they correctly interpreting the New Testament? In most cases, I could prove them wrong. I’m not bragging. Based on what you learned from this book, take those Bible Study concepts and go over what people teach. Test them yourself. Get into the Bible yourself. Not by yourself, but with Jesus. You see, having Jesus is the main thing. The most important thing. The only thing that will keep you on the right side of the judgment process. The only side you want to be on. We don’t have to understand every detail about the judgment process. But based on what we’ve read and studied in this chapter, there is a lot more to the judgment process that most Christian denominations are wiling to teach. The easy way draws crowds, new members, and money. That’s a sad fact in modern Christianity, but it is true. Christians have been making their own brand of nets for hundreds of years. When Jesus called His first disciples, they dropped their nets, their main source of income, and left them behind. Today the fondness of income has become a necessary evil. Income at all cost has become the driving force for some denominations. You know who they are. At least the worst offenders. But how much of that drive has your church borrowed from the money making prosperity movement? I’ve studied the history of a few major denominations to see how they grew from their original conception when they were called from God to break away. Sad to say, they seemed to loose touch with God after a while. Then began to form their own opinions, write their own rules, doctrines, whatever you want to call them. They broke away from the world, then rejoined the world to a degree they felt was safe. Like Cain, they each compromised on the sacrifice they owed God. How could this be? We call that human nature. We go so far with God then reach a point where we say, “God really doesn’t understand how this world works.” That’s when we join with the world to better reach the world. It seems like a plan that cannot fail. It seems like a good plan. We may be able to collect a hand full of scripture to build a base concept. But when YOU look at what they used for proof text, I can bet that the context will show it was from something similar to Paul’s letters where Paul used a man made concept as an example to show what NOT to do. I see that happen all the time. That is what makes proof text so dangerous. A dusty Bible on a shelf may look harmless and innocent, but the devil has uses dusty Bibles to steal eternal from more people than you can imagine. You’ll never know. You’ll never have an idea how much control the devil has been enjoying in this world until you pick up your Bible and begin reading.

Major Prophets in the Old Testament

To Walk in Enoch’s Footsteps

After being under house arrest for over a month, what do you have to show for it? What have you learned from this experience? Have you been listening to what God has been trying to teach you?

We wake up to what? Turn on the TV and the airwaves are jammed with celebrities and other people telling you how they entertain themselves. Celebrities who have made millions of dollars from entertaining this world. They can teach you how to be as self centered as themselves. But where does that get you when you don’t have the money they have? The news tells you how many people have been infected and how many people died. Death sums up this world. In the world today there is no escaping death, sickness, misery, and isolation. Is that what money brings, or does money free you from death, sickness, and isolation? Today we all have one thing in common, isolation. Why not learn to use that isolation to your advantage?

My study of the Bible has taught me how to escape this world for a moment, a few minutes, and maybe an hour. To place myself in a special place where birds are singing. A place where I can appreciate the peace, quite, and solitude. A place where I can be with God and hear His voice much like Enoch did. What has your study of the scripture taught you?

No one can really describe Heaven or God’s throne. Human words will never be adequate. You first have to realize why God always uses symbols in dreams and visions. That is the key that opens the door to understanding. Then you can begin to learn to communicate in the language of Heaven.

For generations humans have been trying to explain God’s symbols. That has been a total failure. Symbols are explained in the Bible. Symbols are explained in the stories they are found. Many times in the same chapter. Keep in mind, stories in the Bible often go on for a number of chapters. Some books in the Bible are one long story. You first have to recognize the beginning and end of a story before you can hope to learn how to find the interpretation to symbols used in that story. Learning to read the Bible is nothing more than paying attention to the literary arrangement of the books in the Bible. How each story is constructed. When you see the construction and layout of each story, understanding becomes as simple as looking at a blueprint or looking at a full picture instead of trying to imagine the scene in a picture by examining only a small, isolated segment of that picture. Everyone knows that in their heart. But the way the world teaches understanding is contrary to true understanding and infinite knowledge. No one can ever explain scripture from a view point based on this world or human understanding. That is like trying to explain peace in the middle of a war.

We are in a constant state of war in this world. The first son born to Adam and Eve killed his younger brother. The brother he was supposed to care and watch over. The first son born in this world was totally caught up in this world of sin and lost sight of Heaven. That is a lesson this world should have never forgotten. But the world was destined to rally into the the world Cain forged in his imagination. Heaven was gone. Paradise was lost. Working the fields was time spent blaming God for those loses. Cain never gave a moment of thought to how his father turned his back on God and accepted the advise of his wife and the devil who influenced her. Blame was placed on the Creator, and the truth has been ignored since the beginning of mankind.

Things would have been different if Cain gave thanks to God for the little things in life. The earth, the ground he dug in, and the seeds he planted. Thanks for the sunlight and water God provided to nourish the seed. Thanks for the minerals in the ground that helped the plants grow. God created the perfect system. Unseen elements worked in conjunction with one another to produce food. God placed little unseen factories inside each seed to combine water, sunlight, minerals from the soil, and carbon dioxide to produce fibers. God gave each seed the knowledge to place each molecule in perfect strands to produce a wide variety of elements to carry nutrients, add strength and stability, and yet sway in the wind. Each seed had the ability to produce and multiply cells with specific tasks. Some gather sunlight. Other cells gather water. Some cells knew how to separate carbon dioxide from the air and send those atoms to the right place where other cells did the task of combining the right amount of water, carbon dioxide, and the right minerals to produce the cells the plant needed to grow. Other cells carried those cells to the right place and laid them all in perfect order. This happens millions of times a day in every plant. God placed all of that knowledge in each seed and every cell that seed produces. All of those cells work in a perfect harmony with no other leader, commander, or individual other than God. God’s little factories are unseen, but they still work. Every cell in every living plant and creature has a role and fulfills that role without question. That was until Eve decided to question God. Then Adam questioned God. And that habit was passed onto Cain. Who passed it onto the rest of mankind.

Everyone knows what happened to Enoch. And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Genesis 5:21-24 KJV).

The Bible doesn’t fill in a whole lot of details about Enoch, but we have to remember, the Bible communicates in symbols. What does Enoch’s son represent? In human terms, a father and son relationship represent a relationship with God. What does it mean to walk with God. As usual, we need a Hebrew dictionary. When we look at the Hebrew word for walk, it encompasses much more than the English standard definition. It means to walk beside, exercise, grow along side, and a host of other words and terms that help to define a relationship. We know for certain Enoch walked along side God and they conversed. They had discussions. Enoch got to know God and of course God knew Enoch. Since that series of short stories in the Bible fails to disclose other encounters with God at that time, we have to look at the actual picture it paints for us. Enoch’s meeting with God were exclusive. Enoch had to get away from the world to meet with God. They didn’t meet in public places for a cup of coffee, or at the village square for everyone to see. No one recorded such a meeting and the Bible paints a picture of one man walking with God. Only one man left this planet to be with God in Heaven. Enoch got away from this world and meet God in secluded places. That is what we need to do. That is the first step to walking in Enoch’s footsteps and meeting with God like he did.

Imagine yourself in a secluded spot. Or better yet, get in a secluded area away from this world. Separate yourself from this world and prepare to meet your Creator. Listen to the birds. In the city you are more than likely to hear crows. Scavengers that remind you of this world and distract you. In the wilderness you can hear, feel, and see God’s creation. You can smell the scents God placed in this world for you to enjoy. You can see how birds, animals, and insects interact with nature. You can see how God provides for them even in a world of sin. You can feel the sunlight, soft breezes, and hear the leaves rustle in the wind. A symbol Jesus once used to describe the Holy Spirit. Now you are in God’s world. Or something close to His original creation. The main thing is to avoid and eliminate every distraction so you can walk with God. Now you are following in Enoch’s footsteps.

What do you hear? What do you see? Remember, God communicates in symbols. Is God giving you a promise or a warning? When I went into that secluded world I saw a house and somehow knew that house would unfold and reveal something. The roof had a dividing line where it would separate. I needed ropes to pull the house down from the top of the roof and I knew the house was designed to rotate along the walls to fold down and reveal what was inside. It was a team effort to pull the one side of that house down. Inside was a nasty looking old man, green in complexion from the lack of a healthy diet. He was fat with a long distorted chin, thin pale lips, inset eyes, super skinny long hands and fingers with long wicked looking finger nails. His left hand reached over to mounds of cockroaches he scooped up and piled into his mouth. The man was fake news. He fed off people with no common sense, only a primitive drive to survive and please themselves. No matter how many he ate, his food supply was not exhausted.

Most Christians seem to believe there will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days. According to Peter, that outpouring began on Pentecost and has continued ever since.

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: “And it shall be in the last days, says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And in those days I will pour out My Spirit upon My slaves and My slave women, and they shall prophesy. And I will give wonders in the heaven above, and miracles on the earth below, blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and glorious Day of the Lord. And it shall be that everyone who shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

And hearing this, they were stabbed in the heart, and said to Peter and to the other apostles, Men, brothers, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ to remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:16-21, 37-39 MKJV)

The Bible never talks about an outpouring then a withdraw of the Holy Spirit. That is a man made concept started by those who joined forces with the one who placed himself above God and refused to listen to the Holy Spirit. Those who considered themselves wiser than God. Teachers who do not believe God cannot understand modern society.

The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because your heart is proud, and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of the gods, in the heart of the seas,’ yet you are but a man, and no god, though you consider yourself as wise as a god– you are indeed wiser than Daniel; no secret is hidden from you; by your wisdom and your understanding you have gotten wealth for yourself, and have gathered gold and silver into your treasuries; by your great wisdom in trade you have increased your wealth, and your heart has become proud in your wealth– therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you consider yourself as wise as a god, therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon you, the most terrible of the nations; and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendor. They shall thrust you down into the Pit, and you shall die the death of the slain in the heart of the seas. Will you still say, ‘I am a god,’ in the presence of those who slay you, though you are but a man, and no god, in the hands of those who wound you? You shall die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of foreigners; for I have spoken, says the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 28:1-10 RSVA).

I’ve lost count of the Christian churches who insist the church and its committees have taken the place of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. “A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me.” (John 16:13-16 RSVA). According to Jesus, the Spirit will guide us. The Spirit is all truth. Jesus never mentioned any person, church, or committee. That is all man made lies designed to distract and control people.

This world is filled with distractions. Satan introduced those distractions in Heaven and was thrown out of Heaven because he thought his trade system was better than God’s.

I ordained and anointed you as the mighty angelic guardian. You had access to the holy mountain of God and walked among the stones of fire. “You were blameless in all you did from the day you were created until the day evil was found in you. Your rich commerce led you to violence, and you sinned. So I banished you in disgrace from the mountain of God. I expelled you, O mighty guardian, from your place among the stones of fire. Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings. You defiled your sanctuaries with your many sins and your dishonest trade. So I brought fire out from within you, and it consumed you. I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All who knew you are appalled at your fate. You have come to a terrible end, and you will exist no more.” (Ezekiel 28:14-19 NLTse).

Look at all the distractions we face today that are tied to money. Fake news is a prime example. Fake news is based on lies. Lies attract the attention of masses of people. Those lies do nothing but waste time and make tons of money for the website owner. I saw one fake news website with over 60 ads. No one knows for sure how much those sites make. Google, the leading ad service provider publishes one set of rates for average websites, but has a totally different pay scale for mega sites with thousands of views a day.

Advertisers bid for ad space on a website. The more views the website has, the higher price they demand for ad space. Many of those sites receive $20-$30 for every 1000 views. Whenever someone opens one of those sites, it counts as one visit or hit. For every viewer the website is paid 2.5 cents per ad. With 60 ads, the website is paid $1.50 for every visit, or every page viewed. Visit 4 pages on that site and you put $6 in the pocket of the website owner. People share the strangest stories. The greater the lie, the more the story is shared. Everyone who shares that story on social media puts at least $15.00 in the devils pocket. Share that fake news story on social media, 10 people view that story, and each one of them places $1.50 in the pockets of the devil. Not only that, but everyone who shares fake news adds to the devil’s plan to distract people and waste time.

Fake news may be the largest distraction the devil uses today. Fake news covers religious sites that hit the Internet with an endless stream of guesses at prophecies that do nothing but steal time from personal study and persuade innocent sheep some group or qualified person has some special gift to do their studies for them. If one of those fake news religious sites actually had one minute of contact with the Holy Spirit, they would be publishing stories about their contact with the Holy Spirit and telling people how the Holy Spirit communicates with this world. They would also be teaching people how to study scripture on their own. The Holy Spirit would teach them how to use scripture to show God exists, and is in control of this world.

Fake new distracts people with false stories along political lines. Artificial intelligence has been introduced to computer systems for nearly a generation. Since about 2011 artificial intelligence has been used to market products via the Internet.

Companies are using systems that employ data-mining algorithms that analyze the customer database, giving further insight into the customer. This information may refer to socio-economic characteristics, earlier interactions with the customer, and information about the purchase history of the customer.[15] Various systems have been designed to give organizations control over their data. Automation tools allow the system to monitor the performance of campaigns, making regular adjustments to the campaigns to improve response rates and to provide campaign performance tracking.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_and_artificial_intelligence

Artificial Intelligence has been integrated into news and media sites to track viewers, analyze viewers habits, and post news stones designed to attract their attention. A story is written, added to the artificial intelligence program and the computer customizes the story for the individual viewer. News sites love to use artificial intelligence to reconfigure political stories and offer articles designed for the taste of each particular viewer. Not only are ads designed to lure viewers, so is the news you read.

Turn on the TV and their broadcasts are designed around distractions during this stay at home order. TV stations flood the airwaves with every idea to entertain yourself. Stories on how famous people cope with being shut ins. And of course the latest movies and other distractions. The devil doesn’t want you to have a moment to yourself. Not when you can watch news about the latest protests. Protests designed around regaining the worldly definition of freedom. A brand of freedom the devil invented in Heaven and was banished to this world to experiment with. Well how has that experiment been working?

The devil believes angels, and all of God’s creation can obtain a higher level if God loosened up a few laws. The devil believes in a system where competition brings out the best in God’s creation and the most able beings will display a higher level of intelligence and understanding if given the opportunity. Those individuals will display their leadership and organizational skills and help shape a society above and beyond what God created. In this world we call the devil’s idea the monetary system. This world runs on money. Everything in this world relies on money. When this virus hit, the world was faced with two major concerns, death and money. Plans were simultaneously initiated to solve both issues, contain and cure the virus, and prop up the economy. Think of this. The virus and the economy were both Satan’s invention. Within hours the Internet and media shifted all the attention off God and placed all the attention on that virus and the economy. The devil did exactly what he wanted to do, place all the attention on himself. Not that there was a lot of attention on God before that virus hit. But when it did hit, the devil was able to control the attention of even the most devoted Christian.

The devil has been investing in other distractions. Spaceship sightings, super sized meteors threatening this world, a thousand conspiracy rumors, and all of those one world government and mark of the beast stories. All lies. All distractions invested by the devil and his agents to take attention off God and place it where? On the people running to be the first to use lies to find fame and fortune.

One of the most threatening distractions the world faces today is the political promise of making lives easier with more equality and freedom for all. We have come to know those ideals are socialism. The promises of a free and equal society with a central government that ensures all people are a part of one common class. The devil is rather sly. On one hand the devil is promising the very society he despised in Heaven. In Heaven everyone is equal. God provides everything. Food, clothing, homes, and more. The devil knows the Spirit is trying to reach people by teaching them about Heaven. So the devil distorts a few of the facts and offers his own personal brand of social equality. The proof is in what the devil actually offers and has delivered. World history is filled with promises of an advanced society based on total equality. We have to look at who the devil recruited to establish those societies. Hitler,Lennon, Marx, Poe Pot, and others made promises of an advanced society where everyone is equal. Look at what those people delivered. As soon as they were in power, each of those leaders set out on a mission of genocide. Next to viruses, socialism in all its forms is responsible for killing more people than anything else in this world. Well wars may be responsible for more deaths. But those are the top three weapons the devil uses, viruses, wars, and socialism.

Chapter 15 The Seven Last Plagues and Judgment

It may seem rather strange to think God’s judgment is mentioned during the last seven plagues. Once we look at the context, we can understand why the world is reminded about God’s judgment at that particular time.

Revelation 16:1-8 RSVA Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” (2) So the first angel went and poured his bowl on the earth, and foul and evil sores came upon the men who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. (3) The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a dead man, and every living thing died that was in the sea. (4) The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers and the fountains of water, and they became blood. (5) And I heard the angel of water say, “Just art thou in these thy judgments, thou who art and wast, O Holy One. (6) For men have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink. It is their due!” (7) And I heard the altar cry, “Yea, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are thy judgments!” (8) The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch men with fire;

In both cases the angels are glorifying God by agreeing His judgments are just. Those angels witnessed every step of the judgment process. They spent years watching the dead being judged. They reviewed the lives of the dead. Angels knew the people who were being judged. Angels came to save those people, aided them in times of crisis and were with them every step of their lives. Angels saw those people sin, take advantage of other people, learn evil crafts, and pass those energies off to other people. Angels from Heaven saw the influence Satan’s angels had on them. Heavenly angels tried to break those chains Satan’s team of angels wound around them. Time and time again Angels from Heaven sent them good people to confer with and learn from. The good angels tried to surround their lives with aspects that would lead them to Christ, back to God, and to salvation. Time and time again those angels and the influences they sent were rejected. Time after time the healing, favors, and miracles Heavenly angels brought into their lives was accepted with little or no appreciation. Finally the breath left their bodies and there was nothing anyone could do for them. All they could do is rest in the dust until they were raised to hear the verdict.

Some did listen to those Heavenly angels. Some people became human messengers for the angels in Heaven. Some people constantly prayed to God and listened to the voice of God’s Spirit. Some people understood and appreciated the sacrifice Jesus made for them. They knew they could never pay Jesus back for what He had done for them, but they could dedicate their lives to being His servant. “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:11-12 RSVA).

There will only be two classes in the end. Those who are saved, and those who are lost. Suffice to say, those who are lost have nothing to loose. The enemy denies their loss, defends them, and convinces the lost, they have everything to gain. Hence the battle between good and evil reaches its apex. And the universe will witness the outcome.

God’s followers become an instant target. Satan can and will point out everyone of them. Satan knows he’s been judged. And he knows the outcome. Satan has nothing to loose. One goal is to take as many people down with his as he can. But what about God’s people?

Satan enjoyed nothing more during his exile on this planet than to watch Christ suffer. Christ is in Heaven and untouchable. Christ has the power and authority to destroy Satan and all his follows with a single word. Satan has nothing better to do than take advantage of the time he has left. He’s seen millions die in thousands of ways. The best Satan can hope for is a quick, painless death. In the mean time, he can work his magic and make the last living followers of God pay for the fate Satan is about to face.

Of course there is more to the story. The living will eventually be judged. They have to be judged so the Heavenly angels know who to protect, and who to leave to Satan and his ways. What will life be like when Satan has almost total control over this world? I don’t think anyone can imagine what can happen. How far will he go with wars, persecution, slavery, and seeking revenge on the few remaining people who choose to follow God during those perilous times? No one can imagine that scene. No one will be ready for that scene.

I am not going to try and interpret those plagues. Thousands have tried and failed. Most of them place many of the events in the past. Based on the fact many of today’s modern day prophets have used a dozen or so world events to pin point the day one or more of those plagues were going to be fulfilled, you can easily see why. Satan wants to take the minds of all of his followers off the inevitable. Satan wants them as confused as possible so that when it comes time for him to unleash his plan, no one will have any idea what John recorded 2000 years ago.

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When we take a brief look at those plagues, the first will place an identifying mark on the lost. They will be covered with boils. God’s followers will stick out like a sore thumb. Or in this case, the only good thumb. We can take a fictitious look at the first plague. Keep in mind. This is not a vision or any claim this is the way the first plague will actually happen. It is only an educated guess based on a lot of prayer, and a few details from similar issues.

At first only a few people break out with infectious boils. Not enough to cause any instant alarm, but it was quickly evident these were no ordinary boils. The sores were contagious. Not deadly, but very irritating and noticeable.

Within a few days the same sores began to show up in different parts of the world. But who was interested in a few sick people scattered in different parts of the world? The sores spread quickly. One person could easily effect fifty in a day. One person would show up to work with a small sore and by the end of the week an entire office building would be infected. Then the local markets, apartment buildings, and it seemed like the entire city was infected. Some countries began to quarantine entire cities. That didn’t seem to stop the virus.

By the time the news media noticed the story, millions were infected and the soars were spreading faster than the wind. The media interviewed everyone they could. Scientists with no actual experience in the matter made claims on national and worldwide TV. Some said it was a wind born virus. Other claimed it was carried by birds. People blamed the airlines for the quick spread. Investigations showed airlines had no virus detection system and was ill equipped to deal with the situation. Government officials blamed the airlines for having less than adequate air filtration systems on planes. New laws were passed. Apartment buildings and businesses were the next victims on the wave of new laws designed to impress citizens with the concern and quick response from governments. But all the laws were made void by the fact the virus spread so fast, companies were shutting down.

Police and medical personal were the first to begin using charcoal filtered breathing masks that seemed to help. Sales shot up and in days shelves were cleared. Plants were understaffed at first. At first companies banned infected personal from working. When staffing became so lean, management asked infected worker to report to work. It seemed like the end of the world. Many workers wondered why they would show up and work for the few who remained uninfected. They felt like they were being used. Production of all kinds ground to a halt. First is was only a few offices. Factories quickly followed. Then stores, fuel production and distribution, and then food production as the virus reached the out skirts. Now it was time to panic.

Satan had no idea what to do. He didn’t want to arouse suspicion. Of course he pointed people so far away from the Bible, no one thought of checking scripture when it was being fulfilled. It was best to allow science to introduce guesses from one end of the spectrum to the other. The more he had people guessing the better. That of course was the beginning of some rather deep divisions.

Countries began to blame countries. Scientific communities accused one another of withholding information. Medical professionals introduced cures that caused more harm then good. It seemed like the sores covered the entire world in just a few months and science was no closer to explaining the cause than when it first appeared.

Countries began to launch investigations to locate the original source. Some countries used this as an opportunity to accuse their enemies of planing an attack or experimenting with germ warfare.

When we look at this series of plagues, we can see how one plague can turn the world upside down. But a series of plagues. Plagues no one can explain. Of course there will be hundreds of explanations. People will bow down to their favorite news media gods for answers and solutions. The news media will do their best to tell the world their future. But none of that will help.

If we looked back, we would see how those plagues remind us of the plagues in Egypt. If we want to learn anything about those plagues to come, why don’t we look at the plagues that have past? One detail stands out. Pharaoh was a type of symbol pointing to Satan in a few small ways. We have to give Satan the benefit of the doubt. All symbols point to something greater. And of course Satan is greater than Pharaoh. What parts of Pharaoh help us to understand Satan?

Both started their own religions. Both considered themselves gods. Both had plans to control the masses. Both enslaved people. Both fought against and tried to annihilated God’s people. Pharaoh and Satan did seem to have a lot in common. But its not our role to study the devil and give him credit for the world he messed up. Our job is to keep our eyes on Heaven.

When was the last time you heard about water turning into blood. That would have been Moses and Aaron when they were trying to get their flock out of Egypt. Interesting how many parallels there are to the exodus and the last plagues. Not exactly alike, but enough to send us to a place to study. But who wants to be told where and what to study when they can fabricate their own assumptions? As always, men will be men. Or shall I say boys when it comes to scripture.

I don’t think we should ignore the news. But we have to be careful about how the devil is using news to conform minds and led them in the direction he wants them to go. Then when it is time, he can direct people in the direction he wants them to go. I’ve seen a perfect example of that on the news this week.

You can search that prostitution ring in Florida all you want. The only news you are going to get is page after page of a football team owner and other billionaires having sex with women in a message parlor. Well maybe that is all people are interested in. Or maybe this type of manipulation is part of Satan’s plan.

Sure people are guilty of paying for sex. But that’s not one tenth of the story at hand. What about the girls? What about the people who are running the massage parlors? They are kidnapping young woman, bringing them to the US, and making sex slaves out of them. But how? The police have hundreds to women to question. Can’t they get information from those girls and come up with a plan to warn those in other countries trying to get into the US? I am tired of hearing stories about illegal aliens in the country, and when we hear a story about women being enslaved, no one seems to care. No one seems to have made the connection. Why? Has America been so dumbed down by the media? Their minds are working at 1/100th speed? If we gave the story a moment and a shred of thought, we’d see there are greater victims than the billionaires. Those women were made slaves in the United States. And no one seems to give a hoot.

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Satan is having a field day with this. He just proved how he controls the media and how people are controlled by the media. Set up a human sacrifice, and no one seems to know the time of day. All they want to do is see a rich guy hung. That ain’t gonna happen. So don’t hold your breath.

Remember the story about Saul? Satan used Saul. Satan sent demons to control Saul. When Satan was done using Saul, he couldn’t wait to tell Saul he was going to die. That’s what Satan does. He uses people then throws them away.

Satan will make people successful for a reason. Satan uses successful people to restrain, control, and persecute the masses. Satan used Pharaoh and a host of others. The Bible is full of stories where God controlled people. God controlled kings, nations, and armies. God told then to go, and they went. On the same token, the devil uses people, kings, and armies to do his own bidding. This planet is like one big chess board with God and the devil shifting pawns around to different parts of the board. Of course God has a set of rules. And God knows every move the devil is going to make before he makes it.

Then of course Satan has limits, and he knows how to push them. Satan is not as smart as some people make him out to be. Satan knows little about the Bible. He couldn’t know the Bible without the Spirit. When you talk to someone about the scriptures, you can tell if they have the Spirit or not. And it is getting difficult to find people with a connection with the Spirit.

Satan has no choice but to test humans to find out what makes them tick, think, and react. It is not all that difficult to figure out. It is much like training a dog. Once you train a dog, you always know how they will react to a specified command. It is that simple. If you think I am making that up, look up the word worship. Or you can page back to chapter 13 in this book where worship was covered.

The Greek just happened to use the loyalty of a dog to help define worship. That wasn’t my choice. The Greek did it long before I was around. It does seem rather odd. What do we do when we find strange things in the Bible? Of course we put on our thinking caps and blurt out the first thing that pops into our mind. Sorry– that’s social media. Here, our task is to study scripture, we put it aside for a time and pray about it. And I mean listen when we pray.

The Greek inserted that little blurb about a dog for a reason. God isn’t training us like dogs. Otherwise we’d still be in Eden. Satan is the one trying to train us to be like and react like dogs. And this is how.

A news story comes out about a rich guy having sex at a message parlor. People are trained to sniff for blood. They want to see heads roll. Especially the heads of rich people. Satan has one class that has its own rich people, but the majority is poor. They are against everyone – sometimes for no reason at all. A different political party seems to be their favorite motive for the time being.

So a rich guy from the other side of the tracks makes a major mistake. Forget the fact those women were slaves. And many of the people shouting for blood also make a host of comments about slavery. But their minds are so controlled, they can’t see any connection. Both sides of the tracks are looking for blood based on the fact, that guy is filthy rich. People from both sides of the tracks cry out for blood like they are getting that guy’s money when he goes to jail. But that ain’t gonna happen. Satan has a way of introducing subjects that don’t exist, and making it seem like they could exist. It is like offering a dog a treat.

Now Satan knows what type of reaction he will get when he offers a human sacrifice. People will look at the sacrifice in front to them and not notice the army of demons behind them. They have no idea how hard those demons had to work to pull that stunt off. People just call the act, human nature. It is human nature to look at the set of facts the master, or teacher present and pay total attention to that one fact and ignore the rest. Satan is gathering a host of information from this stunt. And he will soon use that knowledge.

If those last plagues are around the corner, Satan has to know how many people he controls and how far he can push them. If someone doesn’t want to cooperate, no problem. Satan has people waiting in line. When the plagues do come. Satan has to push and push hard. He has to put a few key people into action. This time he has to convince the general public into calling for the sacrifice of innocent people – God’s people. That may not be as easy as it sounds. So Satan has to practice his dark art for the time being.