Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Introduction to the book of Revelation - Part IX


Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Introduction to the book of Revelation – Part IX
When is the Day of the Lord?
The Two Witnesses in Revelation chapter eleven.

Some Bible scholars believe the day of the Lord to be an instantaneous event when Christ returns to earth to redeem His faithful believers. Unbelievers earn eternal damnation.

Some Bible scholars believe that the day of the Lord will be a longer period of time than a single day.  Remember, to the Lord a “day” is like a thousand years; and a thousand years is as a day.  In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ’s one thousand year earthly Kingdom (here on earth) could be considered “a day” in the mind of God.
Psalms 90

4: For a thousand years in thy sight Are but as yesterday when it is past, And as a watch in the night.

In any case, one must take into consideration the Scripture text; and be true to it.
For the purpose of this Bible lesson we are going to consider the Day of the Lord, as it pertains strictly to the End Time events notated for us in the book of Revelation.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it.

From the previous lessons, we know that God will send two witnesses to prophesy against the counterfeit Christ and his false prophet.  I think Elijah is one of these two individuals.  As I’ve already explained, I think Enoch is the other witness.
However, since the Creator God has elected not to reveal the names of these two witnesses to us, their identities are unimportant.  Their mission here on earth and the timing of it is important.  

Let’s not lose sight of this whilst trying to decipher the mystery of who these two gentlemen are.
The Greek word for witness is Martus.  From this word we get the word martyr.
These two men will be unwavering in their faith and their witness until their death.
Since I believe these two men to be Jews, I believe their witness will be that of the Law.
According to the Mosaic Law, two witnesses were required to establish guilt.

Numbers 35

30: “If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death at the evidence of witnesses, (plural) but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness.  (Even the rebellious Jewish Elders knew this and demonstrated their knowledge of the Law by bringing forth a false witness to accuse Jesus at His mock trial.  Judas, alone, could not satisfy the Law.)
Scripture has revealed that these two witnesses will appear on the scene, in Jerusalem, to prophesy for 3 ½ years before the Anti-Christ overcomes them.
But when will these two unidentified witnesses begin their ministry to Israel?
Their ministry, not only to the Jews in Jerusalem but to the entire world, will begin at the onset of the Tribulation and last 3 ½ years.  Once the Anti-Christ reveals himself, he will overcome the two witnesses.
When will the Anti-Christ reveal himself, according to the Revelation time line?

Choose one:

1)   The beginning of this seven year period of time
2)   The middle of the Tribulation
3)   The end of the Tribulation

What does Scripture say?
The answer can be found in these Bible verses.

Matthew 24

15: “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of
through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

16: then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

17: “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house.

18: Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.

19: “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

20: “But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.

 
How interesting.  Ask yourself, why did Jesus say, “But pray that your flight (Run or hasty retreat) will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath?”
Where will you find fleeing on the Sabbath a problem?
I see joggers and walkers out every day of the week and this includes Saturday.
What is Jesus saying?
Most people will breeze right on through verse twenty and never give it consideration.
Having to drop “everything” and flee for your life is a problem any day of the week.
Why then did Jesus specifically name the Sabbath day?
Here’s a clue.
To whom was Jesus speaking?
Jesus was conversing with His disciples who managed to get Him away from the crowds for a brief interlude to ask Him about the end of the age.  Remember?
Therefore, Jesus was speaking directly to His people – the Jews who were under the Law.
According to the Mosaic Law, a Jew may only walk a certain distance on the Sabbath.
I believe it is a distance of about 4,000 feet.  That’s not even a mile.
Most folks wouldn’t make it out of town.
Exodus 16

29: “Let everyone remain where he is: let no person leave his place on the seventh day”
You may wish to visit the link below.
What can be learned from this?
The Tribulation period will be a time “under the Mosaic Law” once again.
This is Jewish ground my friends.
Here is another clue as to when the Anti-Christ will reveal himself to the world.
Read verse twenty-one carefully.
  
21: “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

Do you see it?
The entire Tribulation period will be terrifying; but there is a point during this period of Travail which is termed “great,” meaning so much worse, by the Lord.

The Tribulation has been divided by Scripture.
There is the first 3 ½ years and then the last 3 ½ years.
The Great Tribulation is the latter three and one-half years!
So then, the Anti-Christ will reveal himself to the world at the mid-point of the Tribulation.  He will enter the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and commit an “abomination” of some kind.  Since the Jews will be operating, “under the Law,” most believe the Anti-Christ will sacrifice a pig on the sacred altar defiling it.
Antiochus did this back in 168 BC.

IN 168 B.C. THE GREEK SELEUCID RULER ANTIOCHUS COMMITTED AN ABOMINABLE SACRILEGE IN THE 2ND TEMPLE.  ANOTHER WORLD RULER, THE FUTURE ANTICHRIST, WILL BLASPHEME GOD IN A SIMILAR WAY IN THE LATTER DAYS. HE WILL BE POSSESSED BY THE VERY SAME BEAST DEMON OF THE ABYSS THAT POSSESSED ANTIOCHUS IN THE FORMER GREEK ERA.

THIS FUTURE "ABOMINATION THAT MAKES DESOLATE" WAS SPOKEN OF BY DANIEL AND CONFIRMED BY JESUS IN THE OLIVET DISCOURSE.  

THIS AWFUL BLASPHEMY WILL BE COMMITTED MIDWAY THROUGH THE FINAL SEVEN YEARS OF THIS AGE.  THIS ABOMINATION THAT CAUSES ASTOUNDING DESOLATION WILL BE COMMITTED IN A THIRD TEMPLE YET TO BE REBUILT.

Gavin Finley MD

Here’s some info on Antiochus:

http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/antioiv.htm

Matthew 24

22: “Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect (The Jews) those days will be cut short…”

(To be continued)
By: GJ Heitzman


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Introduction to the book of Revelation - Part VIII - Google Docs

Introduction to the book of Revelation - Part VIII - Google Docs

Introduction to the Book of Revelation - Part IV


Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
Introduction to the book of Revelation
Part IV
When is the Day of the Lord?
In Part III, I took you to the book of Malachi in order to answer this question.

Let’s take the time to review because this is how we learn.
Please open your Bibles and turn to the book of Malachi in the Old Testament.
Remember, locate the book of Matthew, flip back a page, and you’re there.
In the following Bible passage, the writer of this small but important Old Testament book gives those who are interested an overview of what the day of the LORD will be like; and one important SIGN                                              that will trigger the event. After the appearance of Elijah, one day future, the day of the LORD will commence.
Malachi 4

5: “Behold, I am going to send you (Who?) Elijah the prophet (This is the same prophet who did not experience death but was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind; he is to be a “sign” and when is this going to happen) before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.”

So, we know, because God said so, that He is going to send Elijah before the great and terrible day of the LORD.  And this would be a sign to the nation of Israel.
How do we know this sign is meant for the Jews?
We know this because the writer, Malachi, was God’s messenger to the nation of Israel.                          

Malachi 1
1: The oracle (somebody or something considered to be a source of knowledge, wisdom, or prophecy) of the word of (Who?) the LORD (to whom?) to Israel through Malachi.
That’s as plain as daylight.
Malachi was God’s prophet and His message was directed to the Jews.
Why did God promise to send the Hebrews a SIGN?
The Israelites were accustomed to and often requested a SIGN from God before they would act and more importantly before they would BELIEVE God.   I’ll show you a couple examples.                                    But the Bible has many others.
Luke 2

12: And this is the (What’s the next word) sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.

And:

Matthew 24

3: As He (Jesus) was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately (They wanted Jesus all to themselves), saying, “Tell us when these things happen (We’re no different.  We want to know the exact time and day.), and what will be the (What’s the next word?) sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?”
From the call of Abram, and certainly after Israel became a nation, the Israelites witnessed multiple Supernatural occurrences (relating to or attributed to phenomena that cannot be explained by natural laws).  They lived in a time when the Supernatural was familiar.

The use of “SIGNS” was God’s will and by His design.
God, in working with this young nation, went to great lengths to prove to the Jews that He is the One and the only Living God.  Remember, after spending over four hundred years, and not as guests, in Egypt, these Israelites were steeped in idolatry.   
Egypt worshipped many gods.  Some major and some minor.
The Jews were more than just acquainted with them.
You see they worshipped the same false gods.
You have to remember that God was silent while the Jews were enslaved in Egypt.
There was a period of four hundred plus years of silence from Jehovah.
Four generations had passed before God would once again make Himself known to His elect.
The arrival of Moses ended God’s silence.
After God sent the prophet Malachi, to the Hebrews, and God’s message to the Israelites had been delivered, God was silent once again.  The book of Malachi was written around 440BC.
This period of silence lasted another four hundred years or so.
God’s silent period was interrupted with the arrival of John the Baptist the prophet.
Jesus said no prophet was greater than John.
Luke 7
28: I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there is none greater than John:

Why – because he was chosen to announce the arrival of Israel’s Messiah; and the promised Kingdom of God.  The nation of Israel has been awaiting this event since the call of Abram.
John’s mission was to “turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people (the Jews) prepared for the Lord.”
Luke 1

17: “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

We know from our study of God’s Word that He will send the nation of Israel a sign.                                     This sign will be the prophet Elijah; and he will come before, not during, not after, the day of the Lord.  This will significantly help us to determine when the day of the Lord will be.  Now we are not going to come up with a date or a time but we will have a chronology of events.  



Malachi 4

5: Behold, I will send you (Israel) Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Jehovah come.

In verse five, we are given a time period.  It isn’t as exact as we would like it to be.
But it is significant as far as future events are concerned.
The primary event here is “the day of the LORD, “which is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; and not the arrival of Elijah.
From my understanding of Scripture, I think this “sign” will actually be Elijah himself.
I believe this because of what the Lord Jesus Christ said, “I will send the prophet Elijah…”
Jesus did not say I will send someone who is like Elijah.
Now you need to know that Elijah made an appearance during Jesus’ earthly ministry and this is recorded for us in both Matthew and Mark.
Matthew 17

1: Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.  (The other disciples were not present.)

2: And He (Jesus) was transfigured (to transform the appearance of somebody or something, revealing great beauty, spirituality, or magnificence) before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

3: And behold, Moses and (Who?) Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him (Jesus).
This was not the “sign” Jesus spoke of because Elijah did not come to the nation of Israel but only to Peter, James, and John.  Later Jesus told them not to reveal what happened until after                      “the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
I only work with the information Scripture provides.  I pray you do the same.

There are some who believe the book of Revelation is a complete and utter fabrication of the truth, and therefore, so is the day of the Lord.  These lack faith.

There are those who teach the day of the Lord begins promptly after the Rapture and then runs its course on through the Tribulation period.  However, Elijah is missing from their presentation.  He’s not in the picture and he has to be according to Scripture.                                                                       
The Lord Jesus Christ stated He would send the prophet Elijah before the day of the Lord,                     therefore, I believe this event will be recorded for us somewhere in the Scriptures.  Think.                               It’s is a sign…a sign is visible and in this case probably audible!
Put your detective hats on and then we’ll search the Scriptures together.
We’ll find what is revealed concerning this prophet of God’s called Elijah.
As we gather details about the man, his mission statement, and the powers God gave to him,                           I believe this will assist us in our search for truth.
Once we locate Elijah, the man, the prophet, in this book future, then we’ll have a better idea about when the Day of the Lord will occur.
(To be continued)
By: Gary Heitzman
In His Service