Friday, 28 December 2012

The Great White Throne Judgment



At the end of last week,'s Blog I asked the question, 'what happens to those who remain asleep until the end of the thousand years?'....and what happens to those who survive The Great Tribulation as unbelievers, or as those who do not win the 'prize' of the First Resurrection? 

Following a comment on last week's Blog, I will give my proposed answer to the second question. The Prophets Isaiah and Zechariah explain: 

Isaiah 65.19-25:
For behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, ..no more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.....
My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and ...they shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,says the LORD.

It seems that those who survive and have children in the Messianic Age will have until they reach one hundred years old to decide whether they will accept Jesus as their Messiah and to keep His Commandments. If not, they will die and 'sleep' until the end of the thousand years.  However, if they do decide....they will probably receive their resurrected body. This seems to be the logical outcome.


Zechariah 14.16-17:
It shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.
Secondly, those who refuse to
come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts....will not be able to grow any crops, and will therefore starve, because on them there will be no rain.

It will, of course, be much easier for all the survivors of The Great Tribulation, and there will be many, many thousands of them, to both trust Messiah and to come up to Jerusalem, because Satan will be bound throughout the thousand years.  

At the end of the thousand years of the Messianic Age, Satan is released and is destroyed for ever in the final battle.  Please,please, note that the final Battle of Gog and Magog occurs at the end of the Messianic Age, NOT at the end of The Great Tribulation that preceeds His Second Coming.

Revelation 20.7-8  Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will  be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
 

Revelation 19.11-15  Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except   Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses…..Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
Verses 13 and 15 are a clear fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah 63:1-3 and Genesis 49.9-12: 

Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His 

apparel, travelling in the greatness of His strength?; ‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is Your    apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?  ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes.’   Isaiah 63:1-3

...To Him shall be the obedience of the people.  Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, and His clothes in the blood of grapes. 

Genesis 49.9-12

I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury
refers to the final battle of Gog & Magog described in Ezekiel 38 and 39:
 

Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it?Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army.You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes. …….   
 

I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says the Lord GOD. "Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD."…..21  "I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My   judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward.…..When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD."
Ezekiel 38.14-16,21-23, 39.21-29 


The Great White Throne Judgment, The Last Judgment 
 

Following the final battle and the destruction of Satan, The Great White Throne Judgment is described. Paul explains to the Corinthians why every person who has ever lived will get their physical body back at The Great White Throne Judgment:

1 Corinthians 15.21  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Revelation 20.11-12 Then I saw a Great White Throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.The ‘books’ are the five books of the Torah; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
 

The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
 
The phrase ‘according to their works’ means how they kept God’s Commandments in His Torah.  ‘works’ is the Hebrew word ‘mitzvot’, and it always refers to the Torah:

The LORD said to Moses, 'Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the Torah and Commandments (mitzvot), which I have written, that you may teach them. 
Exodus 24:12
They are the same Commandments to which Jesus referred when He said:
If you keep My Commandments, (mitzvot), you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s Commandments (mitzvot) and abide in His love. 
John 15.10      


The precise wording is very important in Revelation 20.12-13: 
...the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books...and they were judged, each one according to his works.

The wording is important because The Great White Throne Judgment is the Last Judgment at the end of the Messianic Age.  At this point everyone who has ever lived will be resurrected in their body because of the essential fact that Jesus destroyed death at His Resurrection.   


Because God is so compassionate and merciful, He judges ALL, at this Last Judgment, on the basis of how they lived their lives against the standard, the target, of His Torah, His Commandments, His Teaching, in the ‘books’ of Genesis to Deuteronomy.  This means that anyone in the history of the world who never heard of God, Jesus, or Messiah, can be judged on an equitable basis.  God's ultimate plan is to dwell with Man....not to punish as many of Man as He can by denying them the opportunity to dwell with Him.  


The preaching of 'Hell and damnation' for all those who do not accept Jesus is Scripturally wrong, theologically incorrect, and displays a tragic lack of underestanding of Who God is, and what His plan for Man is. The reality of The Great White Throne Judgment will be that God will condemn very few to the 'second death'. 

Until next week....and what the 'second death' really is....

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The 'Prize' of the Messianic Age



At the end of last week's Blog I wrote that I hope, pray, and trust that you will be hidden from the dramatic, frightening, and devastating Great Tribulation, because you know that you know Him, if you keep His Commandments.  

So what happens next?

The Earth and all the surviving 'nations' of people are reeling from the effects of the Great Tribulation Judgments.  The Autumn harvest time approaches, and the peoples of the world search for the crops that have survived when hail and fire, mingled with blood, were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up, as Revelation 8.7 described the first Trumpet Judgment.

It is at this point in time that the 4 events described in Matthew 24.29-31 occur: 

Immediately after The Tribulation of those days:
1.  the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;  
There will be an eclipse of the sun followed by a lunar eclipse.

2. the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 
Following the two eclipses, there will be some dramatic astronomical activity which will probably  cause people to fear a repaet of the Revelation Judgments. But, rather than more Judgments:

3. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great Glory
Firstly, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven. The sign of the Son of Man is the Planet Jupiter which has been known by Jews to be the Planet of Messiah since the time of the Exile in Babylon. It seems that Jupiter will appear in an unusual and surprising way. 

Secondly, all the tribes of the earth will mourn in fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 12.10-14, which refers specifically to the House of David, the Jewish people, and followers of Rabbinic Judaism, who will be the descendants of those who rejected Jesus as their Messiah at His First Coming: 

The House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem ...will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

Thirdly, they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great Glory.   What they will actually see will be what Daniel saw, what the Apostle John saw, and what Peter, James, and John saw at His Transfiguration:  

The Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire... Daniel 7.9

I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw ... One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.  Revelation 1.12-16 

He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. Matthew 17.2

4. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 Then comes ‘The First Resurrection’ events described in Matthew 24, 1Corinthians 15, 1Thessalonians 4, and Revelation 20, which ALL happen at the same time....immediately following a great sound of a trumpet, 'The Last Trumpet' on Rosh HaShanah, when the LORD Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with The Trumpet of God.....at His Second Coming. 

Paul explains in 1Corinthians 15.51-53 that we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at The Last Trumpet. For The Trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

It is clear from this passage, and from other hints in Paul's Letters, that he expected that Jesus would return at His Second Coming in his lifetime. Paul's expectations were similar to John the Baptist's, in that as John expected Jesus to be the 'conqurering King' of Zechariah 14, and the bringer of 'the wrath to come', so Paul, also, expected the same events to follow very soon after His Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Disappointingly for Paul, it was not to be in his lifetime.

Although disappointed, Paul was still able to press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 
We sometimes miss that when Paul describes the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, the upward call is specifically referring to The First Resurrection.

In addition, Paul writes that we shall not all sleep, which implies that many will continue to sleep. The prize of the Bible is the upward call of God in Christ Jesus at The First Resurrection, and the subsequent experience of living and reigning with Christ for a thousand years, as described in Revelation 20.4.
 

The rest of the dead will not live again until the thousand years are finished because, as we noted in last week's Blog:
   
Matthew 7.22-23  Many will say to Me in That Day, ‘LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Matthew 15.1-12  The Kingdom of Heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.....And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’....And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’....And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘LORD LORD, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.

The 'many' of Matthew 7, and 'the foolish virgins' of Matthew 25, will continue to sleep, and will not experience the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, at The First Resurrection.  This does NOT mean that they will also fail to receive Eternal Life. They will receive Eternal Life when the thousand years are finished.

There is a vital and oft missed difference between the Jewish hope and the Christian hope in the Bible. The Christian hope is Eternal Life as summarised in John 3.16: 
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have Everlasting Life.
For the Jew, Eternal Life is a given reality, because the Jewish hope is the upward call of God in Messiah, and the subsequent experience of living and reigning with Messiah for a thousand years, as many of the Prophets describe in detail, particularly Isaiah and Micah:

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’S House shall be established on the top of the mountains, ...and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, ...He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion the Torah shall go forth, and the Word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.   Micah 4.1-4  

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,... and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; ... righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them..... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11.1-9 

Both parties in the hope of the Bible, Jew and Christian, have a problem:

For the Jew to experience the upward call of God in Messiah, and the subsequent experience of living and reigning with Messiah for a thousand years...he needs to accept and trust in Messiah, Jesus, that he rejected at His First Coming.

For the Christian to experience the upward call of God in Messiah, and the subsequent experience of living and reigning with Messiah for a thousand years...he needs to know Him, by keeping His Commandments...which he has rejected on the basis that His Commandments in the Torah given to Moses have been abrogated and set aside in favour of the 'Law of Christ' in the New Testament. 

 It is because both Jews and Christians have their respective problems that Paul writes in Romans 9.6, they are not all Israel who are of Israel, and Jesus remarks in Matthew 20.16, many are called, but few chosen.
 

When Paul writes they are not all Israel who are of Israel, he means that the qualifications to be a member of the House of Israel are twofold: 
1. To trust in Messiah Jesus and 
2. To keep His Commandments.  
For many Jews, to trust in Messiah Jesus is not possible, and therefore, for Paul, they are not of Israel.  It is the House of Israel that will experience the upward call of God in Messiah, and the subsequent experience of living and reigning with Messiah for a thousand years

When Jesus commented many are called but few chosen, He was referring to the necessity to trust Him AND to keep His Commandments. To reject His Commandments on the basis that His Torah given to Moses has been abrogated, will result in few being chosen to experience the the upward call of God in Messiah, and the subsequent experience of living and reigning with Messiah for a thousand years.

So, the choice is yours whether you are a Jew or a Christian. Your best decision is to become a member of the House of Israel which is not limited to, or defined by, any ethnic Jewish content. 

The House of Israel is composed of those who:
1.  Trust in their Messiah, Jesus, Who redeemed and saved them at His Crucifixion and Resurrection
2.  Know Him, by keeping His Commandments.

If we qualify on the basis of thes two qualifications, we shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, ...and this corruptible will put on incorruption, and this mortal will put on immortality....and we will have an early preview and experience of Eternal Life for a thousand years, ruling and reigning with Messiah Jesus Himself....before He brings about the renewed heaven and  renewed earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.   Revelation 21.1

That is some prize....and it is the prize that I, for one, and I hope that you also, will press toward the goal!!!

Until next week, when we will discover what happens to those who remain asleep until the end of the thousand years...





 


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

'Hidden in that Day'


In last week's Blog I suggested that the LORD used an astronomical event to cause the Plagues of Egypt...AND that He will use a similar astronomical event to cause the Revelation Judgments!

Luke 21.25-27 seems to confirm what will happen:  
There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. 
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 

If this is what we should expect, what will happen to you and me? 

Will we experience all the pain, fear, and horror of the Revelation Judgments?   

The Word and Phrase Associations in the Bible suggest not....but only on certain conditions...

When we read the report of the Plagues on Egypt in Exodus, we note that the Children of Israel were protected by the LORD from some of the effects of the Plagues on the Egyptians:

1. The LORD will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the Children of Israel...So the LORD did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the Children of Israel, not one died.

Exodus 9.4,6
  

2. Only in the land of Goshen, where the Children of Israel were, there was no hail. Exodus 9:26

3. Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the Children of Israel had light in their dwellings.  Exodus 10.22-23

4. I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; ...Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.   Exodus 12.12-13 

Why did the LORD protect the Children of Israel from some of the Plagues, but not from others?
Perhaps the answers are that:

1. The LORD protected their livestock because they would take their livestock with them when they left.

2. He protected them from the hail because the hail destroyed life; the life of people as well as livestock.

3. He protected them from the darkness so that they could prepare for their departure. Remember that the darkness was the penultimate Plague, before the death of the firstborn.

4. He protected them from the death of their firstborn because He preserved their lives at the Passover by their commitment to Him through the blood on the lintels and the doorposts.

The LORD did not protect the Children of Israel from:

1.  the 'blood' which killed all the fish because they did not take fish with them.

2. the 'frogs', 'lice', and 'flies', because these were not life threatening.

3. the 'locusts' which destroyed the crops because they could not take any of the crops with them.

So, our first conclusion might be that the Miracles of the Exodus experience were NOT the Plagues, since they were experienced all over the world.  Rather, the Miracles were the way in which the LORD specifically isolated and protected the Children of Israel from those Plagues which would have damaged and harmed their depature from Egypt.

Our second conclusion affects us.  If the LORD will bring about an astronomical catastrophe to effect the Revelation Judgments, similar to the astronomical catastrophe that caused the Plagues on Egypt in Exodus.....then will the LORD protect believers as He protected the Children of Israel?

The Prophet Zephaniah suggests that He will: It may be that you will be hidden in The Day of the LORD’S anger.  Zephaniah 2.3  

On what basis will we be 'hidden' and protected from the effect of the Revelation Judgments?

The answer to this question is NOT by the 'rapture' which, as we have seen in an earlier Blog, was the emotional invention of the over active imagination of Miss Margaret MacDonald in 1832!
Rather, the answer is found in at least 4 passages in the NT: 

1. Matthew 7.22-23  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

2. Matthew 15.1-12  The Kingdom of Heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.....And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’....And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’....And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘LORD LORD, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.

3. John 10:14,27  I AM The Good Shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.....
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

4. 1John 2.2-3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments. He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar, and The Truth is not in him. 

All 4 passages mention the importance of 'knowing the LORD'.  It seems that 'to know the LORD' is dependent on 'keeping His Commandments' because:  

In 1. you who practice lawlessness means NOT keeping His Commandments. 

In 2.  I do not know you refers to the 'foolish virgins' who ran out of oil. 'oil' is a Hebrew Image of God's Commandments. Therefore, the foolish virgins had failed to keep His Commandments.  

In 3. to follow Him means to keep His Commandments.  

In 4. by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments.  

All 4 passages confirm that it is essential to keep His Commandments in order to know Him.    

The bonus of 'knowing Him' is that we will be 'hidden' and protected in The Day of the Revelation Judgments.  

Please,please, do NOT assume that to know Him by keeping His Commandments is salvation by works.  It is NOT!!!  

It is NOT possible, sensible, or practical to trust in, believe in, and commit to Jesus our Messiah and His finished work of Redemption and Salvation at His Crucifixion and Resurrection...without also expressing our trust in the way in which we behave....by 'keeping His Commandments'....because He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar, and The Truth is not in him.   

So, in conclusion, it may be that you will be hidden in The Day of the LORD’S anger....in the same way that the Children of Israel were hidden and protected during the Plagues on Egypt.  

I hope, pray, and trust that you will be hidden because you know that you know Him, if you keep His Commandments. 

Until next week....and the joys of the Messianic Age!!




Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Great Tribulation


In last week's Blog I suggested that the comparison of the Revelation Judgments and the Plagues in Exodus will give us some clear clues about what we might expect in the Great Tribulation.

In order to make sense of this suggestion, it is important to realise that the LORD has a method in the Bible which enables it to commentate on itself.  This is effected by a process of Word and/or Phrase Association.

For example, when Jesus says in Luke 19.10, 'The Son of Man has come to seek and save those who are lost', He is referring to Ezekiel 34.11 and 16:
   
Thus says the Lord GOD: 'Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.....I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away,'.....

 The Word Associations of 'seek' and 'lost' are designed to guide us from Jesus's comment in Luke 19 to Ezekiel 34......and not only to guide us to verses 11 and 16, but also to the whole chapter in which there are three separate Prophecies about what Messiah will do as a result of the abysmal and irresponsible failure of 'the shepherds of Israel' who failed to 'heal those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.'  Ezekiel 34.4  

The whole passage of Ezekiel 34 provides a commentary on the single phrase that Jesus used in Luke 19.  This is how the process of Word and Phrase Association works.

So, when we operate the same process of Word and/or Phrase Association in the passages which describe the Great Tribulation in the Book of Revelation, we can see some surprising AssociationsHere are 5 striking examples:


1. There are 3 Judgments in Revelation in which the sea and rivers become 'blood':

Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood.   Revelation 8.8-9

Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.   Revelation 16.3

Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became bloodRevelation 16.3-4


Exodus  describes how 'the rivers were turned to blood' in the first Plague on Egypt:

All the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. The fish that were in the river died, the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink the water of the river. So there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.  Exodus 7.20-21    

 2. Revelation 9 describes how 'locusts' will torment men:

Then the fifth angel sounded: So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.   Revelation 9.1-6

The same torment of 'locusts' was the eighth Plague in Egypt in Exodus:

  If you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. And they shall cover the face of the earth, so that no one will be able to see the earth; and they shall eat the residue of what is left, which remains to you from the hail. They shall fill your houses, the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians.   Exodus 10.4-6


3. Revelation describes 'hail and fire':
  
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. Revelation 8.7

Exactly the same phenomenon is described in the seventh Plague on Egyp in Exodus:

I will cause very heavy hail to rain down, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field…    Exodus 9.18-28 


4. Revelation describes the Judgment of 'darkness':

Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.  
Revelation 16.10


The ninth Plague on Egypt in Exodus was the same 'darkness':

Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt...and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days.     Exodus 10.20-23 


5. Revelation describes how the Euphrates will be 'dried up':

 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.   Revelation 16.12

After the Plagues on Egypt, Exodus describes the same famous phenomenon:

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.      Exodus 14.21-22  

What are we to make of these 5 clear and striking Word and Phrase Associations between the Plagues in Egypt 3500 years ago in 1450BCE, and the future Revelation Judgments that will happen immediately prior to the Second Coming of Messiah?  

The obvious and logical conclusion is the the LORD is going to effect the same series of phenomena again.  

So....how did He effect the Plagues?  Were they just a series of miracles....or did the LORD use His Creation in some way to bring the Plagues so that they seemed to be an out of the ordinary natural phenomenon?  

There is a clue in the following quotations from ancient documents that were contemporaneous with the Plagues in Egypt in 1450BCE.  The Plagues that the LORD brought onto Egypt were seen and experienced all over the world. They were NOT confined to Egypt:
 
Manuscript Quiche of the Mayan Indians: ‘The river is blood’
Finnish Epos of Kalevala: ‘The world was sprinkled with red milk’
Altai Tartars:   ‘Blood turns the whole world red’   


Aboriginal tribes in the East Indies: ‘Water of fire rained from the sky’ 
Vogul people in Siberia: ‘God sent a sea of fire on the earth’  

Peruvians:  ‘The sun did not appear for five days’. 
Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh: ‘Brother could not distinguish brother for six days’. 
Chinese records in the reign of Emperor Yahou: 
‘For five days and five nights the sun did not set and Yahou sent out scholars to find North, South, East, and West by observing the sun’s rising and setting and the motion of the stars.’   


The answer to how the LORD effected the Plagues in Egypt is found in astronomy. In 1450BCE there was only a visible 4 planetary system of Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, and Mars. There is no mention of Venus until after 1450BCE.  

A Russian astronomer, Immanuel Velikovsky, posited in a book in 1950 that the planet Venus was formed out of a comet that spun out of Jupiter at the time of the Plagues in Egypt.  This comet described an elliptical orbit around the Earth for a period of about 40 years before spinning off and establishing itself as the planet Venus.  

This theory of Velikovsky was ridiculed by astronomers and his book was banned.  However, some 20 years ago, most astronomers came to the conclusion that Velikovsky was right!

What is particularly fascinating about this theory, now perhaps fact, is that when this comet orbited the Earth in close proximity, the following effects were observed and experienced:

1. As the comet passed the Earth meteorite dust fell from its tail.  This was a fine dust of a rusty coloured pigment which was soluble in water. It turned water red.  

2. The meteorite dust irritated the skin of humans and animals causing boils, sickness, and death.  

3. When the comet approached, the internal heat developed by Earth and the scorching gases of the comet made vermin propagate at a feverish rate.  This propagation of vermin can be compared with the effect of a Khamsin or Sirocco in today's weather system in North Africa and the Middle East. When the wind blows from the hot desert the ground around the villages teems with vermin.

4. After the meteorite dust ‘stones of barad’, translated ‘hail’, fell.  These were meteorites and they were accompanied by ‘loud noises and thunderings’ which frightened people as much as the destruction that they caused.
 

5. As the Earth entered deeper into the tail of the comet, there was an enveloping darkness and the Earth, forced out of its regular motion, reacted to the close approach of the comet with a worldwide earthquake.   

So....what can we conclude from the evidence of clear Word and Phrase Associations between the Plagues in Egypt and the Revelation Judgments, together with the evidence of the formatiion of the planet Venus?

The answer is that the LORD used an astronomical event to cause the Plagues of Egypt...AND that He will use a similar astronomical event to cause the Revelation Judgments!

Luke 21.25-27 seems to confirm what will happen:  
There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. 
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 

If this is what we should expect, what will happen to you and me? 

Will we experience all the pain, fear, and horror of the Revelation Judgments?   

The Word and Phrase Associations in the Bible suggest not....but only on certain conditions...

Until next week..