Message NotesFrom Here To Eternity – Part 12 Page 1
Sunday January 4th 2015
From Here To Eternity
1). Re 6:12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
a). We will remember from our previous studies that the opening of the 6th seal on the 7 sealed scroll, as with the 5th seal, provides us with additional commentary on that seen through the opening of the first 4 seals – Now, as we have previously seen, the complete panorama of the events to take place during the 7 years of the Tribulation is given to us through the opening of these first 4 seals revealing the progression of the events that take us from the white horse to the pale horse.
b). The opening of the final 3 seals of the scroll then, seals 5, 6 and 7 provide commentary for us on the previous 4 and as we consider this we will realize that the opening of the 7 seals can be divided into 2 parts – the first 4 and the last 3. And this of course is not without significance as we can find spiritual truth through the division seen in these numbers.
c). 4 is the number associated with the earth as we can see here from - Re 7:1 ¶ After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.
d). And we will remember that it is on the 4th day that the restoration of the earth is completed in the account in Genesis Chapter 1.
e). Now 3, as we know, is God’s number of Divine perfection, witnessed in the Trinity – So, to put these 2 sets of numbers together we can see through
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the opening of the 7 seals, after the fashion they have been given to us, God’s perfect and complete dealings with the earth with respect to the fulfillment of His purpose in the 7th Day.
f). The opening of the 6th seal that we began with this morning not only presents extra detail about conditions on the earth during the Tribulation but also covers the period of time when Christ is seen returning to the earth following Israel’s repentant cry, witnessed through the imagery of, ‘Him who sits on the throne’, a time when the ‘wrath of the Lamb’ will be fully exercised with respect to the Gentile nations – in other words then, presented through the first 4 seals and then the final 3 seals is God’s complete, Divine intervention into the affairs of Man with respect to the establishment of His coming Kingdom – something we will remember that is denied by the scoffers of these last days - 2Pe 3:4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
g). Then this same truth, as taught through the numbers 4 and 3, is presented again from a slightly different perspective through the opening of the 7th seal.
2). Re 8:1 ¶ When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets………………7 ¶ The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.
Re 15:1 ¶ Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. ……………7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
a). The opening of the 7th seal produces ‘silence in heaven for about half an hour’ – Now, no reason for the silence is given and the time frame of ‘about half an hour’ may or may not be literal, but it would be safe to say that the silence in heaven brings focus to the fact that the wrath of God is about to reach its fullness and its completeness, thereby bringing Israel to the place of repentance and the kingdom of Antichrist to utter devastation, all of which
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will bring an end to the Tribulation, bringing to completion God’s purpose to be realized in the 7th Day resulting in a sense of awe in the heavens in anticipation of this. The sheer intensity of the fullness of the wrath of God we will remember requires the days to be shortened - Mt 24:22 "And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened..
b). As we have previously noted the opening of the 7th seal provides commentary on that revealed through the opening of the first 4 seals, as well as providing additional detail to that given with the opening of seals 5 and 6 and particularly with respect to the 6th seal.
c). Within this context then the sounding of the 7 trumpets and the pouring out of the 7 bowls that come with the opening of the 7th seal do not present new judgments, but more detail on those that have been concurrently and progressively taking place over the 7 years of the Tribulation – from the white horse to the pale horse taking us more specifically to the conclusion of the Tribulation with their effects seen through the 75 days which follow.
d). And as we put all this together we will realize that we have 7 seals, 7 trumpets and 7 bowls – 3 sets of 7 relating to God’s judgment upon unbelieving Israel and the Gentile nations who have come against Israel.
e). 7 is a number of completion showing completion of that which is in view, in this case judgment, and 3 of course gives us Divine perfection – and so we can see in this the complete and Divinely perfect Judgment of God – that which is necessary, and never needing to be repeated or adding to, to bring His purpose for the ages to conclusion – the same truth presented through the numbers represented in the first 4 seals and the final 3 seals –
Col 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
f). The completion of God’s Judgment is that which brings the time of Jacob’s trouble to an end and causes the people of Israel to cry out to the God of their fathers for deliverance followed by the complete destruction of Gentile world power for all time.
g). Now all of this we have looked at in some detail in our study of the Book of Malachi and so we won’t spend time repeating the same material again, instead, as we travel from here to eternity, we shall look at this same detail from yet another of the perspectives provided for us within the Revelation.
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h). Revelation Chapters 6 through 16 bring us to the point in time where the climactic conclusion to Daniel’s 70th week is to take place – then in Chapters 17 through to the first part of Chapter 20 we are given more detail concerning the events of this climactic conclusion.
i). Events that have to do with the fulfillment of God’s purpose for driving the Jewish people out amongst the Gentile nations over 2600 years ago, the subsequent overthrow of Gentile world power and the bringing in of the Millennial Kingdom.
j). And so, to begin to set all this in place let’s turn to Revelation Chapter 17.
3). Re 17:1 ¶ Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 "with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication." 3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. 7 ¶ But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 "There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 "And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. 12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 "These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 ¶ "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome
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them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful." 15 Then he said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 "And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 "For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 "And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth."
a). What will strike us immediately here is that this Chapter, and indeed the next, deal exclusively with the ‘scarlet beast’ and the ‘great harlot who sits on many waters’.
b). Now contextually, because of what we see in Revelation Chapters 6-16 and what is about to be seen in Chapters 19 through to the beginning of Chapter 20 we must see the scarlet beast as yet another representation of the Antichrist and the great harlot can be no other than the nation of Israel – these are the 2 primary protagonists in the unfolding drama of Daniel’s 70th week.
c). We will also note that both the great harlot and the scarlet beast are referred to by the use of the word ‘Mystery’ – And as we will remember a ‘mystery’ as seen in the NT refers to something that has already been made known in the OT, but not fully opened up or completely revealed until further revelation is given to it in the NT - But the angel said to me, "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her,
d). What we will find here then, in Revelation Chapters 17 – 20a, is not new, but will readily be found time and again in the pages of the OT. And not only must the detail given here in these Chapters be completely in keeping with the way these events are presented in the OT, but we must also see these Chapters as the climactic opening up and complete revealing of that which is presented in the Old.
e). So, as we consider this, there is a scriptural axiom that we need to keep in mind – as we have seen in our previous weeks of study, the one Revelation calls ‘the beast’, the one we know as the Antichrist, is presented over and over in the OT scriptures both through types and through prophecy, but we never find this person presented in type or prophecy apart from either a direct or contextual connection with the nation of Israel – a nation whose origins can be traced back through Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham through the lineage of Shem.
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f). And this is exactly what we find with regards to the foundational type for the Antichrist, Nimrod within the panoramic sequence seen in Genesis Chapters 9-11. Chapter 9 deals with Shem, Chapter 10 with Nimrod and then Chapter 11 introduces Abraham.
g). This same connection with the beast and Abraham’s seed through Isaac and Jacob is seen in Exodus through the Assyrian Pharaoh, through Haman in the Book of Esther as well as in the Psalms and the Prophets – we will remember this particularly from Daniel.
h). The point is that wherever we find ‘the beast’ presented in the scriptures it is always, without exception, in conjunction with Israel. So, when we see him in Revelation Chapter 17 in connection with ‘the great harlot’ there is only one conclusion that we can come to concerning the harlot’s identity – she is Israel
i). Now it is important for us to establish this in our understanding as there is a great deal of wrong teaching within the church at large with regards to the harlot. The most common is that she is a representation of the Roman Catholic Church. However, if we do what we know to do – allow the scriptures to interpret themselves – we will be neither confused nor misled.
j). Properly understanding these things is a part of that which we are to do as seen in - 2Ti 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
And our safeguard with respect to the promises given in - Re 1:3 ¶ Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
And - Re 22:18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
4). So, can we be sure that the ‘scarlet beast’ seen at the beginning of Revelation Chapter 17 is the same one we know as the Antichrist? Well context alone is sufficient, but there is also a wealth of internal evidence in the Chapter itself that makes this very obvious. Here are just a few examples –
Re 17:3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
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Note how the beast is described here - full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
And then compare this to the way the Antichrist is presented in –
Re 13:1 ¶ Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
The 2 descriptions are identical, giving us only one conclusion to draw.
a). The angel himself then reveals ‘the mystery’ of ‘the beast’ –
Re 17:8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is……..11 "And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. 12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
The description here might appear to be somewhat complicated, but in essence we are dealing with ‘the beast that was, and is not, and yet is’, described firstly in v8 as the beast who ‘was, and is not and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition’ – in other words the beast who [was], and is then killed [and is not] and then raised from the dead [and yet is] –
Re 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
This is the same beast we had seen 2 Chapters earlier in connection with the 2 witnesses - Re 11:7 When they [the 2 witnesses] finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.
b). The identity of the scarlet beast in Revelation Chapter 17 is, I think, pretty clear.
5). Now let’s have the scripture interpret itself with respect to the great harlot. Well as we have already seen context alone would be sufficient, but let’s add in some more detail so that we may be absolutely certain.
a). To begin let’s look at some OT scriptures used to describe Israel –
Isa 1:21 ¶ How the faithful city has become a harlot!
Jer 3:1 ¶ "They say, 'If a man divorces his wife, And she goes from him And becomes another man's, May he return to her again?' Would not that land be
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greatly polluted? But you have played the harlot with many lovers; Yet return to Me," says the LORD.
Eze 16:28 "You also played the harlot with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; indeed you played the harlot with them and still were not satisfied.
Ho 2:10 Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, And no one shall deliver her from My hand.
These are just a few of the many we could draw on, but I think we get the idea.
b). Israel had entered nationally into relationships with the Gentile nations that surrounded her, even to the extent of adopting their pagan practices and being assimilated into their culture – the very nations of course that Israel was not to be counted amongst – the very nations that Israel was supposed to conquer and rule over.
c). And it is because of the nation’s involvement with the Gentile world that God the Father divorces the nation, brings the Theocracy that was established in the days of Moses to an end, and sends the nation into captivity, scattered amongst the Gentiles, over 2600 years ago.
d). And it is at this time, in the days of Nebuchadnezzar that the scepter of rulership taken from Israel is given to the Gentile nations and the times of the Gentiles begins.
e). The times of the Gentiles have continued unbroken to this very day and will continue yet until the Tribulation is concluded.
f). And during the past 2600 years the Jews have been persecuted at the hands of the Gentiles for the purpose of bringing them to repentance – again an event that will not be fulfilled until the end of the Tribulation.
g). However, during this time there have been 2 remnants of the nation of Israel who have returned to the land – those that we read about in Ezra and Nehemiah who returned following the 70 years of the Babylonian captivity who then formed a national presence in the land once more, but who were scattered out amongst the Gentile nations once again in 70AD.
h). And the second remnant returned to the land forming a national presence again, in 1948, those who remain in the land today.
i). And both of these remnants have the commonality of having returned to the land apart from national repentance and therefore returning to the land outside of God’s purpose for scattering them amongst the nations in the first place.
j). But God will not deal with Israel in the land, He will only deal with them out amongst the nations - Le 26:33 I will scatter you among the nations
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and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.
k). This is why Jonah is dealt with by God while he is in the sea not while he is on the boat.
l). And so we may know for certain that those Jews in the land today must be driven out amongst the nations once more – the very thing we have seen taking place at the mid-point in the Tribulation - Lu 21:24 "And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
m). And so when we see the description of the harlot in –
Re 17:4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
We will realize that we are seeing the woman, Israel, portrayed at the zenith of her degeneracy, having entered into a national relationship, committing harlotry, with the most corrupt and perverted form of Gentile world power the world will ever know – the kingdom of the Antichrist - Da 9:27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many [in Israel] for one week;
Embracing his counterfeits and worshipping in the temple he has allowed them to build, rejecting God’s 2 witnesses sent into their midst.
6). We will however have to continue with this next time – if the Lord is willing.