Born Again Christians
Several weeks after publicly criticizing well-known Christian author and speaker Beth Moore, John MacArthur once again weighed in on the issue of women in church leadership, warning that “empowering women makes weak men" and "weak men make everybody vulnerable to danger.”
“Today, I want to address a very important issue that has been stirred up on the internet with me kind of in the middle of it,” the pastor of Grace Community Church in California told his congregation in an hour-long message delivered Sunday.
“I do not like to give short answers. I don’t like to get put in a position to do that, because I feel like that just escalates confusion, so I want to take the opportunity to address the issue of women preachers this morning and to give you a more thorough answer from the Word of God on this very, very important subject.” …
The Israeli missile that blasted through senior Islamic Jihad terrorist Baha Abu Al-Ata's Gaza bedroom window at 4 a.m. on Tuesday morning may have killed the man and his wife, but it also sent a broader message to Hamas and Iran.
While officials insisted this was a "one-off" operation and Israel does not intend to return to a campaign of targeted assassinations, it also demonstrates to Hamas that Israel is still perfectly capable of obtaining detailed intelligence and carrying out a precision strike.
It also sends a message to Iran that Israel will not tolerate the rogue regime's proxies attacking it.
Moshe Maoz, a research fellow at the Hebrew University's Harry S. Truman Institute, told JNS: "This was going to happen sooner or later."
He hesitated to conjecture whether or not this operation was connected to the installation of the new Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett, who officially took office immediately after the operation, and who, according to Maoz, seeks a tougher military approach to the Palestinian terror groups in Gaza.
Maoz also questioned whether the operation was intended to influence the ongoing government negotiations currently taking place in Israel to form a proper coalition.
According to Israel's defense establishment, the Islamic Jihad commander was responsible for the majority of the attacks emanating from Gaza in the past year, and regardless of the political situation, Israel was left with no choice but to eliminate him at this point.
Maoz questioned the options Israel has. "What is the solution here? To occupy the Gaza Strip? The price will be high on both sides, and then Israel will need to deal with 2 million Palestinians," he posed.
He noted that in the last decade, Israel "pounded" Gaza with airstrikes but nothing came of it, and many years of negotiations have not yielded the calm that Israel desires. Equally notable was the criticism that came from both political circles and the general Israeli public near the border.
According to Maoz, Israel needs to be "more creative" in finding a solution to the Gaza problem.
'Find the right targets'
Efraim Inbar, president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, told JNS that Hamas and Islamic Jihad must have known that their indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians would "exact a high price from Israel."
He said he does not believe that a full-scale ground invasion of Gaza now is the right solution, and he advocates "mowing the lawn" as the right approach, by which Israel occasionally carries out operations to prevent the terror groups there from becoming too powerful or capable.
However, Inbar acknowledged that "at some time, a full-scale ground incursion will be inevitable."
For now, he said, Israel needs to "find the right targets--the ones that are most painful."
While former Israel Defense Forces' chief of staff and the leader of Israel's Blue and White Party Benny Gantz had said in the past that he would "pound Gaza" and wipe out the Hamas leadership if elected, Inbar noted that "it is easy to speak when you are not in government."
The prime minister always has "a different perspective," noted Inbar.
Gantz supported the targeted killing, tweeting, "The campaign against terror is continuous and requires moments when difficult decisions must be made. The political leadership and the IDF made the correct decision tonight for the sake of the security of Israeli civilians and residents of the south."
"Blue and White will back every correct action for the sake of Israel's security and will put the security of residents above politics," he wrote. "Every terrorist who endangers our security should know that he deserves to die."
Unlike Maoz, who said he believes that it is possible to negotiate with Hamas and come to an understanding with the terror group that would result in some form of peace, Inbar emphasized that Hamas and Islamic Jihad "want to kill all of us. There is no solution. Islamic Jihad and Hamas just want to destroy the Jewish state."
"He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone's hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen." Genesis 16:12 (The Israel Bible™)
Mourners carry the body of Palestinian Islamic Jihad field commander Baha Abu Al-Atta during his funeral in Gaza City, after he was killed by an Israeli strike, in a targeted attack, on November 12, 2019. Photo by Hassan Jedi/Flash90
On Tuesday night, the IDF launched a surgical airstrike that killed Baha Abu Al-Ata, a senior commander for Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Al-Atta's wife was also killed in the blast.
"Abu al-Ata was promoting preparations to commit immediate terror attacks in various ways towards Israeli civilians and [Israel Defence Forces] troops during the recent few days," the IDF said in a statement. His killing, it added, was a "direct act to remove an imminent threat."
"Abu al-Atta was responsible for most of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad's activity in the Gaza Strip and was a ticking bomb," it said.
Less than one hour later, three missiles hit the Damascus home of an Islamic Jihad political leader, Akram Al-Ajouri. The terrorist group released a statement saying Ajouri survived the attack but his son was killed. Israel did not respond to claims that it was responsible for the attack. Israel has launched airstrikes into Syria but has a policy that it does not comment on military activities outside of Israel.
At least 150 rockets were fired towards Israel on Tuesday morning. Several Israelis were injured, including an eight-year-old girl who collapsed while running for shelter in Holon. She was evacuated to Wolfson hospital in serious condition.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is the second most powerful entity in Gaza. An occasional partner of Hamas in terrorist attacks, both groups originated as offshoots from the Muslim Brotherhood. PIJ is supported by Iran and is closely allied with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The state goal of the PIJ is the establishment of an Islamic political entity in place of Israel. The organization expressly rejects any, stating that its goals can only be achieved through military means. It is responsible for countless terrorist attacks inside Israel and rocket attacks targeting Israel from Gaza.
Many people outside of Israel may perceive the IDF's actions as part of Israel's political interests, but Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, understands the agenda of the Islamic Jihad in a global context.
"Israel is the front line against Islamic Jihad, fighting a war that is intended to arrive at America and Europe," Dr. Kedar told Breaking Israel News. "Jihad is the effort to spread Islam all over the world. This could be by military force or unrestrained terrorism. The ends entirely justify any means. This could also be through education or economic means but the goal and motivation remain the same."
Dr. Kedar compared Islamic Jihad to the terrorist organizations the U.S. is currently fighting in Syria.
"Islamic Jihad is one step down from ISIS (Islamic State)," Dr. Kedar said. "They do not accept any other possibility except Jihad. Hamas is less bad. Hamas has to run Gaza, cater to the people, so they have other considerations that force them to postpone the Jihad. Islamic Jihad does not have those restrictions. Hamas tries to control the Islamic Jihad in Gaza when it suits them but also lets them loose when it suits them."
"It would be foolish to think that the Islamic mandate for Jihad is only targeting Israel. It is a struggle against anything that is not Islam. Just as there is BDS that targets Israel, there is a large movement in the Islamic world to boycott anything made in the U.S."
Dr. Kedar referred to a manifesto written by the Muslim Brotherhood, Isalmic Jihad's mother organization. The Musli Brotherhood's strategic plan for the United States titled "An Explanatory Memorandum: On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America" was written in 1991 by a member of the Board of Directors for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America and senior Hamas leader named Mohammed Akram. It was approved by the Brotherhood's Shura Council and Organizational Conference and was meant for internal review by the Brothers' leadership in Egypt. The document identified 29 groups as Muslim Brotherhood fronts, many of which are still among the most prominent Muslim- American organizations in the United States.
The manifesto describes the first step in global Jihad as "Settlement", the process in which Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood become a part of a host country.
"The process of settlement is a 'Civilization-Jihadist Process' with all the word means," the Memorandum read. "The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
Dr. Kedar noted that this subtle, non-violent method of Jihad is nefarious and subtle but contains the same goal as violent Jihad.
"The Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement is a monetary Jihad," Dr. Kedar said. "Anti-Israel activity on campuses is also a jihad. Usually, they will not name it 'jihad' because they are afraid to expose the real nature of their actions."
Though these activities may appear secular to Westerners, Dr. Kedar emphasized that they contain powerfully religious motivations.
"There is always a combination of religion and politics or worldly issues but in Islam, there is no separation between religion and state like there is in the West," Dr. Kedar said. "They are two sides of the same coin. Any worldly issue is deeply connected to religion. This is in sharp contrast to Western culture. The battle with Israel is multi-layered but the basis for Arab nationalism is religion."
"For our enemies, they see Allah as their chief combatant, the warrior that goes out to battle with them in the Jihad."
Dr. Kedar served as an officer in IDF Military Intelligence for 25 years and is intimately familiar with decision-making in the upper echelons of the Israeli government.
"Most Israeli politicians are secular cannot cope with the religious aspect of our conflict with Arab Muslim nations. They tell me not to turn it into a religious struggle but I respond that it already is a religious struggle. Religion is deeply woven into everything in the Arab states. Here in Israel, especially in the IDF, we try to avoid bringing religion into our perception and actions while coping with a conflict that is essentially religious."
First, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is a lobbying group of influential Jews in the U.S.
Among other things, AIPAC encourages members of Congress to support the Two-State solution (an agreement that would divide Israel and Jerusalem).
On Oct. 20, 2019, AIPAC's headquarters in Dallas, TX, was severely damaged by a strong tornado that hit the city.
Some Christians are wondering if this destructive and very rare storm was a message from God because He has warned the world not to divide Israel (Joel 3:2).
Second, the Antichrist will rule over a world government, and the UN has adopted a goal to establish one by 2030.
To bring about a world government by 2030, the U.S. has to be weakened.
I believe globalists in the U.S. shadow government (some call it the Deep State) thought they were well on their way toward meeting the 2030 goal until candidate Trump promised to Make America Great Again, and he made it plain that he will not surrender America's sovereignty to a group of unelected, unaccountable people in the UN, EU, etc.
The Deep State, in cooperation with the Obama Administration and Democrat leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives, decided to Dump Trump, and they have brought impeachment to a fever pitch.
Republican kickback has uncovered many details of the Dump Trump movement, and now it is beginning to drag in Mr. Obama, the Clintons and holdovers from previous administrations.
Although the establishment of a world government by 2030 is questionable, the Bible is very clear that a world government is coming.
Some are asking what is going to happen to the U.S. and Pres. Trump?
I don't know, but it is not likely that anyone (Deep State, Democrats, or Pres. Trump) will give in.
America needs lots of prayer because this could get dangerous.
Third, I heard Pres. Trump say that being Pres. of the U.S. has cost him 2-5 million dollars.
He added that if he had to do it over, he would do it again because what he is doing is helping the people of this nation.
Bucking the Deep State and other globalists in the U.S. is helping the people of this nation, but he is pushing the USMCA and that will hurt us.
He apparently sees the benefits of a trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, but he seems blinded to the fact that the globalists are using trade agreements to create regional blocks of nations that are a prelude to world government.
We should pray that the USMCA never gets off of Nancy Pelosi's desk.
Fourth, I am one of those that fell for the reports that Pres. Trump had abandoned the Kurds.
I now read that he has deployed more troops to Syria to protect some Syrian oil wells, and he plans to sell some of that oil and give the proceeds to the Kurds to guard ISIS captives, assist the Kurds that are helping the U.S. fight ISIS, and to enable the Kurds to buy weapons for their troops.
I have long believed that the Kurds will destroy rebuilt Babylon at the end of the Tribulation Period, and these oil revenues could enable them to strengthen their military and equip them to accomplish that.
Russia, Iran and Turkey quickly opposed Pres. Trump's plan to sell Syrian oil and to give the proceeds to the Kurds.
They probably need to seek a spoil and a prey elsewhere (Israel, Ezek. 38:12).
Incidentally, I am usually reluctant to report something like this, but a highly respected and very influential Christian with ties to Pres. Trump and Israel, Mike Evans, believes Pres. Trump will recognize a Kurdish nation on Iraq's border with Iran sometime between now and Christmas.
That would be a major headache for Iran and a major benefit to the U.S. and Israel.
Fifth, it is being reported that Pres. Trump's withdrawal of 28 troops from Syria has benefited Russia, Iran and Turkey, but most of all, it has left Russia in charge.
Well, that fits right in with what God told the prophet Ezekiel about 2,600 years ago.
Sixth, Pres. Trump has established something called the Faith and Opportunities Initiative to give people of faith a voice on government programs, and he has given Paula White Cain a position on his White House Staff for that purpose.
She is chairperson for a new group called One Voice Prayer Movement that wants people to pray for the U.S. government at noon on the first Tuesday of each month.
More information can be found at the links below.
God is allowing us to live in amazing times, and it is very important for all of us to make our salvation sure through faith in the shed blood of Jesus and, regardless of denomination, to pray for the Church, our loved ones, our nation and the world.
Prophecy Plus Ministries, Inc.
Daymond & Rachel Duck
I pray this message will help you, even if you’re a man, woman or a young person, this message will give you a confidence to get through the dark...
I have suffered from depression for several years and looking back I see I was from a very young child, so insecure in the big world. I am so glad I was saved at a young age and feel looking back at attempts of suicide and the dark side of using citalopram, It was God’s grace that protected me and glad He was by my side all the time.
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Scripture tells us that there are two witnesses who will testify and prophesy for three and one-half years (1,260 days) during the first half of the tribulation period whose primary purpose is to testify to Yeshua and denounce the Antichrist or Beast. Both witnesses are also able to cause the rain to stop and defend themselves with fire.
Have you ever wondered who the two witnesses of Revelation 11 might be? If so, you are in good company. Lately, there have been many that have tackled this subject, concluding that the two witnesses are two human beings. Favorites are Moses and Elijah, followed by Enoch and Elijah. But what if the two witnesses are not even human? Let's take a look at the possibilities:
Revelation 11:3-4 - "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands standing before the God of the earth."
Hebrews 9:27 - "It is appointed for humans to die once and after this comes judgment."
Scripture tells us that there are only two types of death. The first type is the death of the body when the soul is either assigned to Sheol [Hell] or ascends to be with Yeshua (Philippians 1:23). Most human's bodies only die a physical death once, but there are some who have physically died more than once. Lazarus is one example scripture gives us (John 11:43), and many have experienced what is called "Near Death." This first type of death is only temporary, as all will be resurrected.
Each human, once resurrected, will then be assigned to live eternally with Yahweh and Yeshua on the New Earth or in the New Jerusalem, or will be consigned to eternal death in the Lake of Fire. The second type of death is permanent.
Let's examine the possibilities of who those two witnesses may be, if they indeed be human beings:
Malachi 4:5 - "I will send to you Eliyahu the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible Day of Yahweh."
Elijah is considered to be the premier candidate for one of the two witnesses, as he would clearly represent the Prophets and/or the Jews for those who contend that the two witnesses portray either the Law and the Prophets, or the Gentiles and the Jews. As far as we are aware, he has never physically died, having been taken alive into heaven. Yeshua states that Elijah must come before the terrible and great day of the Lord, as prophesied in Malachi 4:5. He stood before Yahweh and stopped the rain from falling (1 Kings 17:1) and also was able to call fire down from heaven (2 Kings 1:10).
Elijah is considered to be the premier candidate for one of the two witnesses.
Deuteronomy 34:4-7 - "Moses the servant of Yahweh died there in the land of Moab, and was buried in the valley across from Beth-Peor."
Moses has only physically died once, as far as we are aware. Scripture clearly tells us that he died and was buried by Yahweh (Deuteronomy 34:4-7). His candidacy for being one of the two witnesses is based on the assumption that the two witnesses portray the Law and the Prophets. Moses, therefore, would represent Law. He also had the ability to turn water into blood and the power to plague the earth (Exodus 7:14-21), which the two witnesses will also be able to do. Matthew 17:3, Mark 9:4 and Luke 9:30 tell us that both Moses and Elijah appeared before Yeshua just prior to his crucifixion and resurrection.
Adding these three passages to the many scriptures above cause many to contend that Moses and Elijah are the two witnesses of Revelation.
Genesis 5:24 - "Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him."
Hebrews 11:5 - "By trusting, Enoch was taken away from this life without seeing death."
Enoch's primary qualification for being one of the two witnesses stems from his having been taken alive into heaven (Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5). He would portray Grace, for those who contend that the two witnesses portray Law and Grace. The first, second, and third century Church Fathers believed that Enoch would be the second witness to accompany Elijah.
Many others contend that the two most likely candidates are Enoch and Elijah. Both were men of righteousness who were raptured to Heaven alive, never having to experience the first death. Both were prophets. Enoch was a Gentile and Elijah was a Jew.
Amos 3:7 - "Surely Yahweh does nothing unless he reveals his secret counsel to his servants the prophets."
Scripture does not give us any indication that either Enoch or Moses are prophesied to return before the Day of the Lord. If either or both are one of the two witnesses, surely scripture would tell us clearly that they are.
Scripture does, however, indicate that Elijah is to return before the Day of the Lord. His mission: He will turn the heart of fathers to their sons, and the heart of sons to their fathers (Malachi 3:23-24). But wait; Yeshua clearly states that Elijah has already come! He says in Matthew 11:14 and 17:12, "If you are willing to accept it, John is Elijah, whose coming was predicted," then indicates that he will indeed come again, next time to restore all things (Matthew 17:11).
Further, at death, Moses was buried in the valley across from Beth-Peor in the land of Moab (Deuteronomy 34:6) - he did not go directly to heaven to stand in Yahweh's presence! Yeshua confirmed this by saying to Nicodemus: "No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man" (John 3:13). This means that he was not standing in Yahweh's presence when Zechariah's prophecy was given!
Humans who died before Yeshua was born were buried and were in the portion of Sheol called "Paradise," or "Abraham's Bosom." They did not ascend to Heaven to stand before Yahweh!
Let's examine the possibilities of who those two witnesses may be, if they indeed be someone other than humans:
Revelation 11:4 - "These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands standing before the God of the earth."
The two witnesses stand before Yahweh.
They will be clothed in sackcloth, a symbol of humbleness, which today might easily be similar to denim - a tough, durable fabric that could stand up for three years of service.
The two witnesses have the power to destroy their enemies with fire from their mouths, control the weather, turn water into blood, and cause plagues.
They will be killed in Jerusalem, and their bodies will lie in the street for three and one-half days.
They will be resurrected and ascend into heaven while all the world watches.
Zechariah 4:14 gives us further insight into who the two lamp stands may be. They are the "two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth." Isaiah 6:1-7 gives us another picture of who these beings are who stand beside Yahweh: "In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw Yahweh sitting on a high, lofty throne! The hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphim stood over him, each with six wings - two for covering his face, two for covering his feet and two for flying." 1 Kings 6:23 tells us "In the inner sanctuary Solomon made two cherubim of olivewood, each ten cubits high," and 1 Kings 6:32 tells us "He covered the two doors of olivewood with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers."
In both the Revelation and the Zechariah accounts, we see the same thing. The two olive trees were "two witnesses" or "two anointed ones" standing before Yahweh, and Isaiah and 1 Kings tell us who they are. So does the Ark of the Covenant. The two who sat at either end of the Ark were Cherubim, another name for the Seraphim! These may very well be the same two "angels" who accompanied Yahweh when He came down to investigate Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis chapters 18-19).
The two witnesses are never called sons of Adam, nor are they called human beings; scripture simply calls them lampstands and olive trees! We also noted that they have power to kill with fire from their mouths, and ascend into heaven while all the world watches. Not typically behavior demonstrated by humans, eh?
The two lampstands are the two Seraphim or Cherubim, carved of olive wood on the Temple doors and in the inner sanctuary - the Holy of Holies!
Those Who Called Fire Down from Heaven
Many have called down fire from heaven, but scripture never states that they breathe fire from their mouths. There are humans who have called down fire, and two who wanted to call down fire, but Yeshua did not allow them to do so. Even a beast who comes up from the earth calls down fire. They are:
Exodus 9:23 - Moses: Yahweh sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground.
2 Kings 1:10, 12, 14 - Elijah: prayed, and fire came down from heaven and consumed the captain and his fifty.
1 Chronicles 21:26 - David: called upon Yahweh, and fire from heaven came down upon the altar of burnt offering.
2 Chronicles 7:1 - Solomon: finished praying, then fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering.
Revelation 13:13 - The Second Beast: makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
Luke 9:54 - James and John: wanted to because the people of the village did not welcome Yeshua, but did not!
True Fire-Breathing Beings
Revelation 11:5 - "If anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies."
Job 41:18-21 - "From Leviathan's mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap out. Out of its nostrils comes smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. Its breath kindles coals, and a flame comes out of its mouth."
Isaiah 27:1 - "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."
Scripture only gives the ability to breathe fire from their mouth to Leviathan. And Leviathan is synonymous with the serpent, the snake, the sea monster, and the dragon. All apt descriptions of Lucifer, or Satan. And guess to what genus, phylum, and order Satan belongs: the order of Seraphim, or Cherubim!
Is Revelation giving us yet one more hint that the two witnesses are not human, but also of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim? I say it is. What do you say?
The Hebrew Words
The Hebrew word translated dragon is tannı̂yn [תַּנִּין H8577]. It means: Dragon, serpent, sea monster, river monster, or venomous snake.
The Hebrew word translated Serpent is nâchâsh [נָחָשׁ H5175]. It means: Serpent, or snake.
The Hebrew word translated Leviathan is livyâthân [לִוְיָתָן H3882]. It means: Sea monster, or dragon.
The Ability to Kill the Witnesses
Revelation 11:7 - "When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them."
Scripture indicates that neither of the two witnesses can be killed by a human being. Only the beast can do so. The timing of their murder is at about the mid-point of the tribulation period; at about the same time that Satan, former chief of the Seraphim, is allowed to indwell the Antichrist. And the Antichrist, also referred to as the beast, is able to kill the two witnesses.
There is an old saying: "It takes a thief to catch a thief." Perhaps it takes a Seraph to kill a Seraph, eh? Is Revelation giving us yet one more hint that the two witnesses are not human, but also of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim? I say it is. What do you say?
Death of The Witnesses
Hebrews 13:2 - "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."
Scripture indicates that neither of the two witnesses can be killed by a human being. Only the beast can do so at about the mid-point of the tribulation period; at about the same time that Satan, former chief of the Seraphim, is allowed to indwell the Antichrist. Can angels, Seraphim, or Cherubim become human and thus be subject to death and resurrection? Yeshua, who is God, came in human form, died a physical death, and was resurrected! Have we forgotten this? Scripture gives us many examples of angels who have taken on human form and interacted with human beings. Could the two witnesses be Seraphim / Cherubim who may come in human form, are killed, and are then resurrected? Perhaps so!
Matthew 12:25, Luke 11:17 - "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand."
Satan, too, was a Cherubim / Seraphim. Have we forgotten this? How appropriate and fitting that Yahweh might use two members over whom Satan once had authority to divide his house and lay it waste! Are these witnesses in truth dragons who do not lose their ability to breathe fire from their mouths, even in human form? Perhaps so!
The Ascension into Heaven
Revelation 11:7 - "I heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, 'Come up here!' They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them."
Once again, we see a "rapture" or a going up into heaven witnessed by many, just as Enoch, Elijah, and Yeshua were witnessed going up.
Revelation makes no mention that the two witnesses are carried up to heaven, as was Elijah - they simply went up. If they are Seraphim, then they can easily fly up to heaven using their own wings!
Is Revelation giving us yet one more hint that the two witnesses are not human, but also of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim? I say it is. What do you say?
Can Heavenly Beings Die?
Isaiah 28:10 - "Precept by precept, precept by precept, line by line, line by line, a little here, a little there."
Matthew 10: 28 - "Do not fear those who kill the body but are powerless to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gei-Hinnom."
Psalm 82:1 - "Elohim has taken his place in the divine assembly; he judges among the gods."
Psalm 82:6-7 - Yahweh says to the gods: "My decree is: 'You are gods, sons of the Most High all of you. Nevertheless, you will die like mortals; like any prince, you will fall.'"
Pastors, especially sharp pastors who know their Greek and Hebrew, and who know scripture from beginning to end, or should I say from aleph to tav, are a blessing to all. One major objection has been raised by just such a pastor to the question: "Can an angel, seraph, or cherub really be killed." So, can heavenly beings die? Indeed, they can. My thinking on this stems from several scriptures, but primarily from: Isaiah 28, Psalm 82, and Matthew 10.
One must combine several concepts throughout scripture to make the above comment that a heavenly being can be killed while on earth, whether in human form or not.
Matthew 10 tells us that Yahweh can destroy not only bodies, but souls as well. The real question is: Does this apply to heavenly beings that may or may not take on human form? I say perhaps so!
Psalm 82 makes it very clear that the heavenly beings, here called gods and Sons of the Most High, can indeed die like a mortal human being, if Yahweh makes that decision.
The Two Witnesses will one day be revealed. The Two Witnesses may (or may not) be in human form during their three-year stint here on earth. I am not sure it makes any difference, and I am not dogmatically stating that the Two Witnesses are Seraphim, but Revelation gives us some very strong hints that they may indeed be the two Seraphim that stand before Yahweh.
If so, then they are of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim - the same genus as Satan. If so, they may take on human form when they come to testify of Yeshua and denounce the Antichrist or Beast. In their earthly form, do they, too, face death and resurrection just as did Yeshua? Perhaps so! With Yahweh, all things are possible.
When the Two Witnesses are killed, however, it is my contention that it is only their bodies that die just as it is only a human's body that dies; their spirit lives on. Three days after the Two Witnesses' bodies are killed, their spirits re-enter their bodies, the bodies resurrect, and they rise into heaven using their own wings to do so.
Revelation hints that the two witnesses are not human, but are of the genus, phylum, and order of Seraphim, or Cherubim. What do you say?
Surprise Thunder Storm on Sukkot: Beginning of Gog and Magog says Prominent Rabbi - By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz -
"The heavens proclaim His righteousness and all peoples see His glory." Psalms 97:6 (The Israel Bible™)
The holiday of Sukkoth was marked by dramatic storms; high winds accompanied by thunder and lightning but very little rain. One prominent rabbi, spiritual leader to thousands of devout Jews, noted simply that the storm, coming as it did at the beginning of the holiday, marked God's entrance into the Gog and Magog field of combat.
An article in Rotter.net, a Hebrew language news site, noted that weather predictions, normally complex and unpredictable during the transition from Israel's arid summer into its stormy winter, were particularly difficult this year. Despite storm systems in the region dumping rain all around Israel, the Holy Land remained mostly dry, a mixed blessing that spared pilgrims and booth-dwellers at the expense of hard-pressed farmers.
A follow-up article noted the possibility of a 'medicane,' the semi-rare result of a hurricane system developing over the Mediterranean, that is expected to hit southern Israel as the Sabbath begins on Friday afternoon. Difficult to detect because of the arid conditions, medicanes can produce winds of 40-110 mph. The main danger is from flooding in flash-flood areas.
While all of Israel sat in Sukkoth last week, the heavens glimpsed through the leafy roof, the weather became a much more serious element, an intimate and personal experience of nature. Many Sukkoth, temporary dwellings symbolizing man's temporal existence, were destroyed, knocked over by powerful winds.
Nine days ago, during the first evening of the intermediary days of the holiday, Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King David's Tomb on Mount Zion, was enjoying the holiday meal in his father's sukkah when a thunderstorm shook the fragile structure. After a few moments of meditation, his father said, "This is the beginning of Gog and Magog."
It should be noted that Rabbi Yosef Berger's father is Rabbi Shalom Berger, the revered spiritual leader of thousands of Hassidic Jews belinging to the Mishkoltz sect of Judaism. Rabbi Shalom reminded his son that the War of Gog and Magog will include the forces of nature as well as soldiers of flesh and blood. Rabbi Berger pointed out that according to Jewish tradition, the War of Gog and Magog will begin during the holiday of Sukkoth.
"The war will begin on Sukkoth so all the nations that take part in Gog and Magog will come to Jerusalem for the holiday to celebrate surviving the war," Rabbi Berger said, citing Zechariah.
All who survive of all those nations that came up against Yerushalayim shall make a pilgrimage year by year to bow low to the King lord of Hosts and to observe the festival of Sukkot. Zechariah 14:16
It is, for this central role the holiday plays in that conflict that the sections of Ezekiel and Zechariah describing Gog and Magog are both read in the synagogue during the holiday.
"Ezekiel describes a simple war of man-versus-man," Rabbi Berger explained. "But it would be incorrect to envision Gog and Magog as a war. Zechariah describes a conflict in which nature plays an active role. Earthquakes wrack the land, the sun and the moon change, water flows in different manners, and disease will play a major role. God will take an active role in the war and thunder and lightning will announce His presence."
Rabbi Berger cited Psalms.
Hashem is king! Let the earth exult, the many islands rejoice! Dense clouds are around Him, righteousness and justice are the base of His throne. Fire is His vanguard, burning His foes on every side.His lightnings light up the world; the earth is convulsed at the sight; Psalms 97:1-4
This clearly seemed to be the case on the second evening of Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), thunder and lightning storms hit Israel on Monday night when a bolt of lightning hit the minaret tower of the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount.
"That is also part of the picture," Rabbi Berger said. "The War of Gog and Magog begins outside of Israel but its focus is on Jerusalem."
26 "For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrew 9:26-28)
While reading your Bible, you will happen on a central theme that is throughout the Word of God. Beginning in Genesis, the judgment of Adam and Eve begins a story of judgment when our common parents transgressed against God and partook of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Moving through the pages, you come to the flood of Noah's day, then the judgment of an unfaithful generation during the Exodus and 40 years of wandering in the wilderness till every last member of that generation had died. Then other judgments, such as Sodom and Gomorrah, a multitude of judgments against Israel for their idolatry, and finally the ultimate judgment for sin paid for by the only Person who could pay it's price, Jesus Christ at Calvary...This is just to name a few of the judgments you will find in Holy Scriptures.
THE COMING JUDGEMENT
There is coming a judgment that those who live during this generation we are now in, will experience the 21 judgments outlined in the Book of Revelation during the coming Tribulation period.
The Bible outlines five individual judgments that differ in five general aspects; the subjects, the time, the place, the basis of that judgment, and the results of the judgment passed.
There are two judgments for believers. The first judgment was for sinners, and the time of this judgment was roughly 30 AD. The place was the cross at Calvary.
The basis for the judgment was the finished Work of Christ. And the result was the justification for the believer. For the believer, this first judgment is in three parts. First as a sinner, second as a son, and thirdly, as a servant.
The "sin" part for the sinner was settled at the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The 'son' question is an ongoing process called sanctification through personal judgments the Bible calls 'chastisement'.
I call it the 'wood shed' experience that God will use to discipline those who step outside of His will. This judgment is designed to bring the believer back in line with God's Ways.
6 "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" (Hebrews 12:6-9)
Finally, there is the judgment that comes for being God's servants, which brings us to the Judgment Seat of Christ, or the Bema Seat.
The Subjects are believers in Jesus Christ. The time is after the removal of God's true church from this planet, some call the 'rapture' or translated from the Greek Harpazo, the removal of God's true church from this planet. The basis for this judgment is our works that we have performed for service in the Name of God our Savior, Jesus Christ. The results will either be rewards, or the loss of rewards.
9 "Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11)
11 "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1st Corinthians 3:11-15)
Those that appears before this judgment seat, are not to be judged worthy of entering heaven, or God's Kingdom. That question has already been settled at the cross.
Here we will be judged for what we have done, or not done in the service as servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a 'rewards banquet' and will reveal what sort of works we have done for Jesus and in His Name.
Think about that for a moment! Everything you ever did will be analyzed and scrutinized openly by the Lord Jesus Christ. Every good thing. . . and every bad thing. We'll be called on to give account of every word, every deed, every thought.
I don't know about you, but the bad part that I've done in my life, I don't relish the idea of Jesus piercing gaze cover all the things I've done in my life. I was not always following the Lord, and it makes me sad that I wasted any amount of time not following Him as a servant that has received a pardon from a death sentence. But praise God, Jesus paid for all my sins and I won't be judged for them or penalized for them. I just won't receive a reward for those things not done in the Name of Jesus. Only those done for the glory of God will any of us receive a reward in the coming Kingdom of God.
For all believers, the Judgment Seat of Christ will be an excruciating experience. "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . ." As Paul wrote: If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire." (1st Corinthians 3:14-15)...I can see what He meant by wiping away all tears from our eyes...even now it breaks my heart to know that in my past, I failed my Lord in something I did out of His will.
REWARDS FOR SERVICE FROM OUR LORD
There are five possible rewards, or "crowns" that believers can earn for their works at the Bema Seat. The Crown of Life. This is the Martyr's Crown. You get this one the hard way;
10 "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death".(Revelation 2:10-11)
The Crown of Glory. This the the 'Pastor's Crown' given by the Chief Shepherd when He shall appear to those who serve;
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock." (1st Peter 5:2-3)
I readily admit that I am working to earn this crown. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith, and that not of yourselves -- crowns you have to work for.
"And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." (1st Peter 5:4)
The Crown of Rejoicing. This is the Soul-winners crown. Those brought to Jesus by us will be our "crown of rejoicing" at His Coming. Our Lord will give us this crown because of our witness to others about the Gospel message, and we will rejoice over who we have led away from the jaws of hell.
19 "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy."(1st Thessalonians 2:19-20)
The Crown of Righteousness. This is the crown earned by the Watchmen on the Wall who give the warning of His soon appearing.
18 "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." (Ezekiel 3:18-19)
7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." (2nd Timothy 4:7-
The Incorruptible Crown. This is a tough one to earn. This is the "Victor's" Crown, which is set aside for those who master temperance in this lifetime.
24 "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." (1st Corinthians 9:24-25)
Those who don't yield to the lusts of the flesh, and not saturate themselves with alcohol and drugs, and keep themselves separate from the world can expect to be rewarded with the Incorruptible Crown.
TRIBULATION ON EARTH
The judgment seat of Christ takes place simultaneously with the Third Judgment identified by scripture as taking place on the earth.
God's judgment is falling on a rebellious world. Revelation speaks of horrors that only one can imagine and never would want to experience. The Jewish people who are going through intense persecution that will make the holocaust pale in comparison. The subject of this Tribulation period are the Jews, the place is Jerusalem, the time is called the "Time of Jacob's Troubles". God will refine the nation of Israel as gold or silver is refined in a hot, fiery furnace.
2 "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto theLord, as in the days of old, and as in former years." (Malachi 3:2-4)
But God will save a remnant of His people through the fire of purification:
7 "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.
8 For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
9 But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them." (Jeremiah 30:7-9)
The basis for this judgment is the continued unbelief and rejection of their Messiah, until they cry out as Jesus prophesied they would and will bring national redemption of Israel:
37 "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:37-39)
Israel is basically in unbelief even to this day, but that will change in the coming Tribulation, when God will show Himself alive and bring them through the fire to cry out for deliverance (believing on their Messiah (and ours) that their fathers rejected 2000 years ago), and Jesus, our God will hear and come fight for them "as in the day of battle".
The fourth judgment identified in Scripture also takes place during the Tribulation. The subjects are the Gentile nations. The place is the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The basis for this judgment will be their treatment of the Jews and following the Beast power and taking the Mark of the Beast.
11 "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 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.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great." (Revelation 19:11-18)
Those who survive the battle at the plains of Megiddo or from around the world, will be gathered before the King of kings...
31 "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left."(Matthew 25:32)
The nations will be divided into the "Sheep nations" and the "Goat nations". The result is the Sheep nations will be permitted to enter into the Millennial Kingdom. The "Goat nations" will be destroyed.
This judgment takes place at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period of those who followed the Anti-Christ and his beast power, and those who did not.
40 "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" (Matthew 25:40-41)
During this time, to help a Jewish person to survive would create a death sentence for one who did, but those who persecute and single out the Jewish people for extermination will receive God's wrath during this time and those who sheltered a Jewish person will receive a reward for their belief in Jesus the Messiah and brought that message to their brethren being saved, the Jewish people.
ADDITION FIRST FRUITS ADDED TO THE KINGDOM OF GOD
We have a resurrection that takes place at the end of the Tribulation, as Jesus has come and raised those who have experienced martyrdom during this period being of the 1st resurrection...Jesus was the beginning of that resurrection, those raised to life when Jesus came for His church, and those now, are all of the first resurrection..Jesus being the First Fruits of those born of the dead. .
"And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:4)
The fifth and final judgment identified in Scripture is the Great White Throne Judgment. It will take place at the close of the Millennium a 1000 years after the judgment of the Nations, and before the "Great White Throne." and the books were opened:
"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.
13, 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 work
14, Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15, And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20:12-15)
I want you to notice something. This entire outline only works if the Rapture takes place before the Tribulation. If the Church is on the earth during the Tribulation Period, the entire outline falls apart. I've often made mention of this and it bears repeating here....if Jesus comes and destroys all rebellion on this earth and only those who are found in Christ are changed into immortal beings according to Paul's writing, then who goes into the Millennium as mortal? ..the answer, NO ONE.
50 " Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" (1st Corinthians 15:50-55)
BUT -- and this is the important part -- this is the only outline there is! There is only one Bible from which to work, and it doesn't give an alternative scenario.
It is the key to understanding the outline of Bible prophecy as it unfolds before this generation.
The Bible identifies five judgments and five crowns. The judgments are as I've outlined them, by those who are subject to them, when, where, why, and how.
WHERE WILL YOU BE?
Now for you who are reading this message, where will you fall when Jesus comes? What judgment will you partake of? What crown will you inherit as a reward, or will you be so unfortunate to be cast out into eternal darkness? This time is fast approaching as we bump right up to the end of this Dispensation, or the Age of Grace. Jesus is coming soon, Make your calling and election sure.
"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:" (2nd Peter 1:10)...what thing?
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:16-18)
If you believe in your heart the above passage, then make it known to those around you:
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)
Judgment of God is coming. Will you receive a reward or be cast out from the presence of God? The wise man/woman chooses wisely.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you are standing with me at the Bema Judgment Seat of Christ awaiting your crown...if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at
, , God bless you all....TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13
Is there a limit to how evil the world can get before Christ returns? Perhaps a better question is, how evil did God allow Noah's world to become before the flood came? In what we call the Antediluvian Age (the time before the Flood), God allowed men to live for centuries, which naturally contributed significantly to the population explosion of the human race. Being omnipotent, God of course already knew that should man live for centuries, this would come to a predictable outcome. So why did He allow it?
First of all, when God created Adam and Eve, they were made perfect. That means that they were created with perfect mental faculties, perfect physical attributes, which means they were created genetically perfect. Even though they rebelled, causing sin and death to enter into the human race, physically and genetically, they were still far superior (physically and genetically) to any of their descendants (save Jesus). However, after they sinned, instead of remaining immortal, their bodies were now allowed to age and die. Albeit, this process would take much, much longer than would their succeeding generations. The only way that God could have immediately shortened man's lifespan after the fall, would have been to create physically and genetically inferior humans from the outset...which of course, could not happen.
And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: Luke 17:26
So what were the similarities between the Antediluvian era and today? Jesus stated that before His immediate return, the world would be like the days of Noah, although, we don't have a lot of specific information about those days. Jesus also said the days before His return would be like the days of Lot, of which, we do have some specific information. So let us look into both examples, the first Antediluvian, and the second, Post-Diluvian.
Bible experts have long wondered how big the earth's population was before the Noahic Flood. With the rise of information processing, data modeling has greatly enabled us to simulate just how fast the human population could have grown.
Some people believe the population was relatively low. The Bible explains that people were extremely corrupt and violent prior to the Flood. It is not hard to imagine the world being filled with wars, diseases, and other factors that would keep the population in check.
Others believe that Earth's population was much higher. If the growth rate in the pre-Flood world was equal to the growth rate in 2000 (0.012), there could have been about 750 million people at the time of the Flood. However, given the extremely long lifespans prior to the Flood, the growth rate could have been much higher. Increasing the rate by just 0.001 would put the population at close to four billion at the Flood.
If we take a broader look at population growth, we could simply look at the 20th-century to see how fast the human population could grow. Beginning in 1900, the world population roughly stood at 1.65B people. The world population by the year 2000, was 6B. This explosive growth takes into account the reduced infant mortality rate, as well as longer lifespans as afforded by modern medicine, vaccines, and better medical practices, all of which have improved the general quality of life for much of the modernized world.
That overall growth has more than tripled for just 100 years. The timeframe from the fall of Adam to the Noahic flood was roughly 1,656 years. With humans living for centuries due to an enriched environment and superior gene pools (less corrupted than today), it is easy to believe that the world population at the time of the flood was closer to 4B than 750M.
The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. Genesis 6:11
The world that was then, was filled with violence. Since the flood all but washed away the antediluvian world, we only have what scripture records to tell us what life was like then. One of the decision points God made after the flood with Noah (the Noahic Covenant) was in reference to this violence. We know that after the flood when a civilization became so corrupted that murder and violence were not dealt; that civilization was in its final stage of collapse.
Thus far, life in the 20th-century has been the bloodiest century on record. In fact, more people died in the 20th-century due to war and violence, than in all the wars previously combined. Violent crime impacts every nation on earth, and formerly peaceful societies are quickly being inundated with violence due to liberal immigration policies bringing in peoples from the war-torn regions of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Africa.
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen. 6:5
The world that was then, was filled with wickedness. One would be hard-pressed today to deny that the level of overall wickedness has not risen dramatically in the past 40 years. Abortion on demand in most western nations is the single biggest source of bloodshed on the planet. Crime and criminal networks are rampant in every nation on the planet. The entertainment industry is producing the most violent, vile, and pornographic movies and television shows of any era. Divorce (based on convenience) has wreaked havoc on the traditional family unit.
Adding insult to injury, the LGBT movements have sprung up in almost every nation, with most of the western nations capitulating to the normalization of this behavior. While not to say that all LGBTQ? Etc. persons are evil and violent, what they are demanding, is the redefinition of the foundational norms for marriage and family. When you deconstruct marriage and the family unit in a society, you open Pandora's Box, which allows for every evil imaginable.
This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. Gen. 6:9
This passage singles out Noah and his biological sons as being genetically perfect, not morally perfect (as he was under the same curse as all mankind after Adam). This leads to several conclusions.
.After the fall and before the flood, there was a period of time where there were little to no barriers between the spiritual and physical domains
.Fallen angels took advantage of this and began corrupting the human gene pool, in order to prevent the coming of the Messiah (Gen. 3:15)
.By the time Noah came along, most of, if not all of the human race's bloodlines had become tainted by this angelic/human corruption
We live in a world today (as of 1953) where mankind can again, begin tinkering with our genetic makeup. Once man figured out what DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), he began to understand the complexities of the human body. This was a double-edged sword for science, a) it began to deconstruct the long-accepted model of Darwinian Evolution, and b) gave rise to the thought of forcing a new kind of evolution in the form of upgrading the human body. Now thanks to the technology of CRISPR, the issue is not if human genetic research and gene-editing will ever happen, but how to regulate it. Regardless, the last time genetic manipulation had been seen on the earth had been in the days before Noah.
The myth that man has evolved into a higher being (e.g., we today) is just that...a myth. The truth is, man has de-evolved. We are much smaller, weaker, and genetically inferior to our pre-history predecessors. The simple reason is, they were closer to the perfect genetic originals than we are today. We are copies, of copies, of copies, (add thousands of generations) who have accumulated inherited genetic defects along the way. Man is desperately trying to regain what was lost in the Antediluvian world.
Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose...There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Gen. 6:1-2, 4
Author's Note: This point comes with much contention amongst Bible scholars as to the exact nature and identity of the sons of God Moses mentions here. Although the term sons of God is used in earlier scripture [Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7] and are referred to as angels, it is used similarly in much later writing of Hosea 1:10 as referring to Israel. I am of the belief (I could be wrong) that in writing Genesis, Moses (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) uses the earlier version of the term. Thus, sons of God refer simply to one who was a direct creation of God (as opposed to human offspring). Granted, this is certainly the case (and will be) for all who become born-again believers regenerated from death unto life by God the Holy Spirit. Some have argued why other living beings such as plants and animals at creation aren't also listed as "sons of God" when they too were direct creations, but they were not created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26).
My belief is that as the barrier/separation between the spiritual and physical realms seemed to be non-existent back before the flood, fallen angels were seemingly able to physically couple with human women. That seems a bold statement given that angels are spirit-beings. However, we know they can take on the appearance of humans. Does that mean they can also take on our DNA and reproductive capabilities?
I don't know.
Neither does anyone else.
I simply look at the context of the Genesis passage, along with other corroborating scriptures (Jude 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4), and match the justification for the type of judgment God issued out. The most logical conclusion I can come up with was that Satan's intent was to corrupt the human gene pool, so that mankind could not produce someone who could crush Satan's head (Gen. 3:15).
Therefore, if my theory is correct, then the offspring of this unholy union, were neither fully angel (which were direct creations of God), nor fully human. These were hybrid (fallen) creatures known as the Nephilim (Hebrew-fallen ones). The Nephilim then become the 'men of renown,' which speaks more to their superhuman capabilities (and size) than simply being popular or charismatic leaders. These supermen if you will, were evil, corrupt, and vicious. They were viewed or possibly made themselves out to be worshipped as gods or demigods and infected large swaths of the population with their own contaminated seed like the outbreak of a viral sexual disease. This is the point of Genesis 6:9 when God comments that by the time of the flood, only Noah was found perfect in his generations, genetically speaking.
As to how the Nephilim appear again after the flood, as my friend Steve Schmutzer concluded, this eventuality came about through one of the wives of Noah's sons...a non-blood relative. Considering that Jesus traces His lineage through Shem (Vis Abraham), and not much is mentioned of Japheth's descendants (other than at the table of nations). However, this leaves the wife of Ham as being a carrier of this dormant corruption.
It is Ham's lineage that the Bible emphasizes. Of Ham's four sons, three are demonstrated in the Biblical narrative to produce Nephilim descendants, and of those three sons, it is Canaan that the Scriptures focus on the most. All said we can reasonably conclude it was Ham's wife that carried a latent Nephilim gene.
From the point Ham exits the ark in Genesis 9:18 to the point the Nephilim are once again mentioned by name after the flood in Numbers 13:31-33, it is the descendants of Ham that the Bible traces very precisely. Specific individuals within that lineage, and their activities, are expanded on (Gen. 10:6-11) until we get to the report of 10 of the 12 spies that Joshua sent to scout out The Promised Land in Numbers 13:31-33.
I would be remiss to neglect the fact that it wasn't just humans these fallen angels were monkeying with (literally), but all species. While they didn't use microscopes and test tubes to conduct their genetic experiments, they did it the old fashioned way through breeding. They bred all sorts of species together to see which would produce mutations and then kept interbreeding those with the mutation. Thus, God had to reboot all of the creation due to this vile attempt to prevent His plan from moving forward.
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights. Genesis 7:11-12
Massive geological changes in the earth structure from the flood. It wasn't just the rain that helped to flood the earth, but the Lord opened up the waters under the earth. Whenever someone mocks the Noahic Flood and asks where all the water went, I simply point to the oceans on the map, which usually shuts them up. However, it does give one pause to wonder if those waters were already there under the thin layer of earth-crust, and land simply collapsed down forcing the water upwards, or if the water was elsewhere and simply fill out the low spots on the earth after the tectonic break-up? Either way, we know that water is trapped in our biosphere and is cyclical in nature: drainage from rivers and streams (liquid) evaporates (gas) and goes up to the atmosphere, where it eventually returns back to earth (liquid) by way of precipitation (rain/snow/ice).
However, when the fountains of the great deep were broken up, this must-have caused huge geological changes to the earth's surface. Before the Flood, there were likely little to no mountain ranges. After the flood, as the scriptures state, Noah's ark landed on Mount Ararat (what was known as Ararat in Moses's day). There earth before the flood may have largely been land and not water. Afterward, the land was broken up into continents surrounded by huge areas of water (now seas and oceans). Lastly, the ice-water layer that surrounded the earth, had now been depleted in the form of 40-days and nights of rain. This removed the natural barrier that shielded the earth from the full blast of the sun's heat and radiation.
Author's note: There is a caveat to this. We know that during the 70th Week of Daniel, the physical world will suffer greatly under the divine judgments. The oceans will die. The world's freshwater will become undrinkable. Most of the world's plant life will be burned up. Massive earthquakes will move islands and mountains out of their place. Lastly, the sun and moon will become so obscured as to no longer yield their light.
Whoever sheds man's blood,
By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of God
He made man. Gen. 9:6
As previously mentioned, there was likely a huge human population before the flood. As far as we know, there were not any previous forms of human government prior to the flood, as everyone did what they thought was right in their own eyes. This allowed for great wickedness and violence to prevail upon the earth. It wasn't until after the flood, that God gave Noah the mandate should human blood be shed, the person (or animal) who shed the blood would be required as payment. This puts the onus on humans to police other humans as a punitive measure for committing murder. This is largely how things have operated ever since. However, when a civilization gets to the point where it can no longer manage to contain the violence or chooses to ignore it, that civilization is on the verge of collapse.
And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.
Matthew 24:4 (see also 24:5, 11, 24)
Some of the pre-history architecture (megaliths, ziggurats, temples, drowned sites, etc.) that we have found around the earth this past century, were very likely built prior to the flood. (Ex. Atlit Yam, Baalbek, Great Pyramid at Giza, etc.) How many remain from that era we cannot say for certain, but there is enough to assume that what the Antediluvian world lacked in modern technology, they made up for with supernatural help and the advanced human condition (i.e., they were stronger and lived longer). Our technological advancements have really only come about in the past two-centuries beginning with the harnessing of the power of water. Prior to that, man was limited to the speed of horse for the previous 4,000 years. Since the late 1700s, we have undergone four technological revolutions:
We are now in the age of information, which interestingly, ties directly into the exact warning Christ gave us (along with the apostles) regarding how grave the deception would become. We live in the age of information, which, means that we are being bombarded by messaging all day long from every possible venue. Jesus said the last days would be the greatest time for deception that ever existed.
Here in the 21st-century, we have layers upon layers of false philosophies and ideologies permeating every crevice in our global foundation. Everything from Darwinian Evolution to manmade climate change; from the Big Bang theory to revived mythology; from Communism and Marxism, to every variant of socialism and democracy; from pantheism to Islam; from Keynesian economics, to corporate capitalism; from hedonism, to nihilism; from orthodox Christianity to heterodox and heresy...the world is inundated with false ideologies. Adding to that, the ever-increasing information processing platforms and mediums by which these false ideologies can proceed from.
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. Revelation 13:16-18
For the first time in history, the world has entered into an era where all the buying and selling could potentially be controlled by a single entity. We are not quite exactly where this will happen, but I believe that with the right nudge, the world will overwhelmingly embrace this new, digital system. As impossible as this might seem, we are even now seeing just how feasible this actually is. There are three legitimate reasons why this could happen in the not too distant future.
Just recently, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to crack down on the massive tax evasion that was occurring within the Indian black markets and end it by demonetizing the 500 and 1000 rupee notes. In a nutshell, the Indian government said that after a fifty-day period, all 500 and 1000 rupee notes would no longer have any value. This meant, that if you were saving these, they would have to be turned in order to get them cashed out before they became worthless.
If the world's second-most populous nation could do this, how hard would it be for other nations to do this?
Secondly, the world has been wooed by the convenience of online banking and shopping and has become conditioned to accept the rapidity of instant transactions. Although fiat currencies are still used globally, almost all purchases above a thousand dollars (or pick the currency equal to that) are paid digitally. In fact, fiat (or paper) currencies are becoming extinct largely due to the exploding national debts (which devalue the currency), and are now being associated with the underworld and black market operations because of the anonymity it gives. This is an unacceptable condition the leaders at the United Nations find unacceptable.
Lastly, smart stores and devices require digital currency to function. Since more and more of all money being spent, is being done online (eCommerce), it is only a matter of time before that threshold (increases about 15% per year) makes a full conversion a matter of when not if. Digital currencies (and cryptocurrencies) offers a level of security that is no longer feasible with paper/fiat currencies.
Returning back to the original question of how much worse it will have to get before God Raptures His Church remains unanswered. The truth is, we don't know exactly how bad it got before God flooded the world the first time. However, we have a general understanding that the entire world was evil, and that man's thoughts had become evil continually. Although things have grown considerably worse since 2001, as long as the Church remains on the earth, we will always act as a restraint against evil and prevent it from completely taking over.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. Matt. 16:19
I think were God to Rapture the Church, what remained, would be the world (minus a remnant) of people who would be given over almost immediately to the basest desires. Almost overnight, the world would descend into a cesspool of anarchy and lawlessness. It will at that point, become just as wicked as that Antediluvian world was just prior to the flood.
This, of course, has to be balanced against what we see in the Fifth Seal of Revelation 6 (the martyrs), along with their description in Revelation 7 as being killed in great numbers (See also Rev. 13:7). My theory on this is that these people who come to saving faith just after the Rapture were either completely ignorant of the Gospel (many within the 3rd World) or just morally decent non-believers who perhaps thought they were Christians all along because they went to church and belonged to a denomination.
I can see a great many Mormons (who are generally decent people), along with many in the mainstream churches who got good at playing Christian without being truly born again Christians, finally having the lightbulb come on. These are those who see the Rapture happen, and it finally clicks that they were on the wrong track all along and finally get serious about their faith. Unfortunately for them, they will have to accept this saving faith largely at the cost of their life.
We see the similarities between the beginning of man's history, as well as at his ending. We see how even the differences factor into these NOT being showstoppers but enhancing the magnitude of tribulation and evil that will be present in these last days. Although we cannot know specifically when...we see the storm clouds gathering overhead as the evil day approaches. This is exactly the time that the Apostle Paul warns us of, to gird up our loins, and to fight, stand strong, and to be cognizant of the spiritual battle escalating all around us. All we can do at this point is to endure to the end.
Are you ready?
Even so, Maranatha!
This news from the BBC
shared indescribable situation where 38 adults and 1 teenager were found dead in a refrigerated container from Belgium. I am not sure now where the people have come from, but I wonder how many more are coming over in these shipping containers.
These people are so desperate to flee their countries and willing to risk their lives in dangerous traveling conditions. I pray for the families of these poor dead people and I hope they knew Jesus.
Pray for the refugees of this world where they are fleeing persecution, famine or wars etc