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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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
II Timothy 2:15

Revelation 6: 3-4
        
Hello and greetings to all

We’re still reviewing Revelation chapter 6.
Here we find the Lord Jesus Christ opening the first series of seals.
There are seven all totaled.

I came across an article I’d like to share with you from Sam A. Smith.
Mr. Smith has been a Bible teacher for over forty years.  He holds graduate degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary, Columbia Biblical Seminary, and Liberty University.
He wrote an essay titled: Understanding Tribulation Chronology
He has written:

“…the seals are not themselves discrete events; they are “movements” within the tribulation period.  In other words, they are “times” during which God sovereignly allows certain events to take place.  This is apparent from the description of the scroll of which these seals are a part (Revelation 6:1-14).
As a seal is broken, the scroll can only be unrolled so far before the necessity for breaking an additional seal.  Apparently the events that are permitted during the time of each seal are the things written on the scroll itself.  Only those events “unlocked” by the breaking of a seal can transpire clearly symbolizing God’s sovereignty over the events of each movement of the period…”

*****
So, instead of concentrating on the horses, their color, their rider, or the sequence of their appearance, I believe a much better plan would be to focus rather on each “event” and/or “future headline” as it occurs under God’s direction…and these prior to the mid-point of the tribulation.  Please open your Bibles and read with me.

The Second Seal - War
Revelation 6

3: When He (the Lord Jesus Christ) broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.”

4: And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted (God permitted him) to take peace (has the earth ever known peace since Adam’s sin?  No.  But once the Believers are removed from the planet, for we are all that stand between good and evil in this world,…then the earth will truly be as it was in the days of Noah) from the earth (does this refer to the entire planet…Scripture is unclear on this.  Some say yes.  Others say this pertains only to that area of the world that was a part of the Roman Empire and that is all), and that men would slay one another; and a great sword (a symbol of warfare) was given to him.

The Third Seal – Famine

5: When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.”  I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand.  (These are probably weighing scales meant to weigh food items to determine their worth.  Did you know the first weighing scales date back to 2400 BC in the Indus River Valley, which is near modern day Pakistan?  Scales are still used in the market place today.)

6: And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do
not damage the oil and the wine.”

Here we have see the natural order of these events.  When there is warfare on such a large scale as this, there is going to be shortages of commercial items across the board.  For example: After the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the USA entered the war against the Axis Powers, our government found it necessary to ration food, gas, and even clothing.  Americans were asked to conserve on everything.  With not a single person unaffected by the war, rationing meant sacrifices for all.
But this will be so much worse.  The majority of people are going to suffer.
They will labor all day to acquire enough money to purchase just enough food to keep them alive so they can work the next day and then repeat the process.

In addition to this, in this verse we also see the separation of the classes.
There are those who have wealth and then there are those who will struggle just to exist.

The Fourth Seal – Death

7: When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.”

8: I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him.  Authority (dominion) was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence (disease) and by the wild beasts of the earth (the infirmed and the wounded will be unable to defend themselves from the packs of wild animals roaming free).

Once again, and from a logical standpoint, we have another natural occurrence of war, disease, and famine…death.

Death most assuredly takes these after their suffering; but verse eight reminds us that   ”Hades” follows the fourth horseman.  And all those who die without declaring their faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ will experience the “second death.”  
(See I Corinthians 15:1-4)

If you are a first time visitor to this site or perhaps you have questions or concerns about your status as a believer, please contact me.  I will respond.

*****

Under the guise of peace, and problem solving, the Anti-Christ will appear on the world scene probably through the United Nations or some such organization.   He seemingly will have all the right answers to the world’s toughest problems.  He's going to be the Man! 
But it’s a false peace he offers Israel and their allies.  

The world-stage is being prepared today for God’s End Time Tragedy to play out.  
The signs are appearing everywhere.

Of course, you have to know what you’re looking for.
To some it’s just news and “happenings” around our planet.
Each day, each event, is pretty much like the one before it to the uneducated.
They are truly “lost in a lost world.”

But to those who “know,” what’s coming…well we view things a bit differently.
For instance, at some time in the future, there will be:
A one-world government
A one-world currency
A one-world religion

On April 2009 this segment aired on Fox T.V. regarding a global currency being pushed hard for by both China and Russia.

That was more than two years ago.
I know it’s not just me.  Time is going by so fast.
Days turn to weeks, weeks turn to months…
Please be vigilant my friends.
Keep your loved ones informed and keep them close in your prayers.
And pray for the lost souls.

(To be continued)

Copyright © 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The First Seal Opened - Part III of III


Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Revelation 6: 1-2

The First Seal Opened
Part III of III

I rarely open these sessions with announcements; however every now and again I sense the need.  I want to acknowledge those who are first-time visitors to our Bible study.

Perhaps you’ve heard of us through a family member or friend.
Maybe you just happened upon us via the web using a keyword search.
No matter the path you took to find us please know you are welcome here.

We’re a no-frills but sincere group of individuals committed to understanding God’s Word.  We gather twice a month in and about the area of Lutz, Florida.
We meet in each other’s home for Bible study, fellowship, food, and prayer,

We wish you could be here with us; but I understand that we would require a much bigger house to fit all you people in.  Our Bible study has grown over the years to include members across these United States, Germany, Russia, China, Singapore, and many other countries.  That’s not just the power of the Internet; I give God the Spirit all the credit.  None of this would be possible without Him.

For those of you who may not be aware the Bible verses that appear in these lessons are taken from the New American Standard Bible.  If I use different Bible translations,
I’ll notate them in the lesson for you.

We are currently studying the End Times.
It has been a two-year journey for our small group in order to reach this point.
I thank each of them for their commitment and for their patience.

We began with Genesis 1:1.  Eventually, we found ourselves at Genesis chapter 12.
Once we had a pretty good understanding of the Abrahamic Covenant, we elected to skip forward to the books of Daniel and Revelation.

Our members expressed an interest in understanding the “End Time” picture some time back.  There were many questions and some misunderstanding at the onset.
As we go along, the picture becomes more and more clear.

Curiosity RE this topic has grown exponentially over the years.  And now I find that even secular society is showing an interest and I thank God for that.
Whatever tool God wants to use to draw the souls of men to His Son…
Incidentally, if you’re interested, I have parked all previous Bible lessons in the HBS Library located at HBSGroup.Blogspot.com.

I welcome your comments and your questions.
Please contact me at:
*****

Let’s begin.
Please open your Bible to Revelation chapter 6.


Revelation 6

1: Then I (The Apostle John – writer of Revelation) saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.”

2: I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

I have shown you in previous lessons why I believe this first horseman is not the Lord Jesus Christ sitting upon this white horse; but is instead the false Christ.
Nothing I’ve read has altered my opinion of this.

Many others believe and teach this same point of view.
Among these is a man well-respected in the Christian Community.
You may have heard of him.
His name is Billy Graham.
(May 1, 1985). Approaching Hoofbeats. Avon. p. 70. ISBN 0380699214.

*****

“…and he (the Anti-Christ) went out conquering and to conquer.”

I read one commentary on this subject and the author was absolutely adamant about this first horseman being the Lord Jesus Christ and he said anyone who thought otherwise is committing blasphemy.   I’ll tell you why he thought he had it figured out.
It was these two final words in the Bible verse.  Conquering and conquer.

In his opinion, only the Lord Jesus Christ could possibly achieve the final victory.

But with all due respect I believe he’s wrong about this verse and this horseman.
The words conquering and conquer, as they are used in this Bible verse,  in no way invoke an image of, to use his words, Satan enjoying the final victory.

In the Greek language, the word “conquering” and “conquer” is nikao
(pronounced nik-ah’-o) and has more than one meaning.

This first horseman’s name is conquest.
He will be given limited authority and will conquer all those who oppose him.
On the surface this seems logical and what’s more it fits the verse.

However, if you take the time to “dig a little deeper” in your Bible research you may come across this verse.  Stay in Revelation; but turn to chapter 13 please.

Revelation 13

7: It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to (what) overcome (nikao) them, and (limited) authority over every tribe, and people and tongue and nation was given to him. (I believe this verse speaks of the Tribulation saints who shall be martyred because of their faith.) 

ALL authority has been given to the Lord Jesus Christ – not Satan.
Satan may enjoy only the freedom’s God permits him.

Matthew 28

18: And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying,”All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth…”  (Read Daniel 7:13-14)


As you can see, in the Revelation 13 verse, instead of the word “conquer” the Bible translator inserted the word “overcome.”

The context in which the word is used is the same as in Revelation 6.
They both speak of waging war albeit a different type of warfare.

Let’s look at one more.

Romans 12

21: Do not be (nikao) overcome by evil, but (nikao) overcome evil with good.

In this verse, there is no mention of warring as such with peoples/nations, but there is warfare in a word with an adversary of another type this being spiritual warfare.
I pray I haven’t lost you.  Please take the time to review if necessary.
I am demonstrating how NIKAO may be used to convey a different meaning.

*****

The first horseman (the Anti-Christ) will be given limited authority to wage war.
I mean to say actual warfare against nations and acts against new Believers.

If we turn to the Scriptures, for we can do little else, and focus on what the good Lord has revealed to us what do we know about these early Tribulation years?

After the Rapture of the Body of Christ, “and He who restrains him is taken out of the way…,” and chronologically speaking, there will be a great battle between the nation of Israel, and the Russian led consortium of nations in and about the mountains of Israel.  Read Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 – Gog and Magog Invasion.

In this battle, God will demonstrate His power to Israel and the world. 
God intercedes in this conflict defeating the aggressors.

*****

There is continuity between these Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
How So?  I never thought you’d ask.

1.      White Horse =          Conquest: Note carefully – he comes supposedly to save the world, however, he does the exact opposite.  He brings doom and despair.
2.      Red Horse =              War
3.      Black Horse =           Famine
4.      Pale Horse =             Death

Before the mid-point of the Tribulation is reached, ¼ of the earth’s population will be dead.  But what does Scripture say?

Jeremiah 9

22: Speak, “Thus says the LORD, ‘The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field, And like the sheaf after the reaper, But no one will gather them.’”

And:

Ezekiel 39

4: “You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field,

5: “You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken, declares the LORD GOD.

Don’t know about you; but if God said it I believe it!

I don’t know if this battle between Gog and Magog, and others, with Israel and the Almighty God is the instrument of all this death and destruction; but it fits.

There is something missing though.
We’ve spoken of it before.
Where is the U.S.A. in all this mayhem?
The Bible is silent.

We can only speculate.
But as America is becoming more uncharacteristically un-godly day by day,
Perhaps the Lord God is going to remove His blessing from us. 
Why should God continue to bless America? 

Maybe we will be placed in a position of neutrality because of the political climate at that time…forced to the side-lines so to speak while Russia, the Middle Eastern nations and others take the lead role.   

I’m not teaching the above as fact; but I am trying to get you to think.
This is what Bible students do…think.
Until we meet again.  Keep busy in the Word.

Copyright © 211 GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved


















Monday, September 5, 2011

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(II Timothy 2:15)

The First Seal Opened
Revelation 6: 1-2

Part II of III
Revelation 6

1: Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.”

2: I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

*****

I want to take the time to acknowledge and to greet all those who are following along with our Home Bible Study group on the World Wide Web.

Our small group bids you welcome.
Grab a sandwich, if you’d like, a cup of coffee perhaps,
and join us as we study God’s Word.

*****
I’ve mentioned the significance of numbers in Scripture before.
I believe there is a lesson somewhere in the archives on this subject.
Here in Revelation chapter six there are four horsemen.
What’s noteworthy about the number four?  
I never thought you’d ask.

*****

“Now the number four is made up of three and one (3+1=4) and it denotes, therefore, and marks that which follows the revelation of God in the Trinity, namely, His creative works.  He is known by the things that are seen.  Hence the written revelation commences with the words, "In-the-beginning God CREATED."  Creation is therefore the next thing—the fourth thing, and the number four always has reference to all that is created.  It is emphatically the number of Creation; of man in his relation to the world as created; while six is the number of man in his opposition to and independence of God. 
It is the number of things that have a beginning, of things that are made, of material things, and matter itself.  It is the number of material completeness.  Hence it is the world number, and especially the "city" number.

The fourth day saw the material creation finished (for on the fifth and sixth days it was only the furnishing and peopling of the earth with living creatures).
The sun, moon, and stars completed the work, and they were to give light upon the earth which had been created, and to rule over the day and over the night (Gen 1:14-19).

*Four is the number of the great elements—earth, air, fire, and water.
*Four are the regions of the earth—north, south, east, and west.
*Four are the divisions of the day—morning, noon, evening, and midnight.  
Or in our Lord's words, when He speaks of His coming at evening, midnight, cock-crowing, or in the morning (Mark 13:35).  We are never to put off His coming in our minds beyond tomorrow morning.
*Four are the seasons of the year—spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
*Four are the great variations of the lunar phases.”

“Numbers in Scripture” by E.W. Bullinger

This is what I wanted you to see.
The number 4, in Scripture, refers to God’s creation i.e. the plants, trees, rocks, oceans, seas, heavens, the earth, mankind, animals, birds, etc.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, after each is summoned forth (Under God’s direction) will have an impact on all God’s creation.
As they say, that bit of news is free for nothing.
Let’s get back to first horseman and the second noteworthy item on this list.

“…a crown was given to him…”

Firstly, this “crown” does not denote royalty.
Just one more reason why I do not believe this horseman is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Only a person in direct line to the throne may be crowned king.

The word “crown” used here, in the Greek language, is “stephanos” and translates to = a victor’s crown.  This type of crown was “given” to the fastest runner or the best wrestler at an Olympic event.  But what does the book say?  Please open your Bible to the Apostle Paul’s first letter to that little church group in Corinth.

The city of Corinth was located in Greece about halfway between Athens and Sparta.

I like to use multiple Bible translations when I study Scripture.
Let’s begin by using the New King James Version Bible.

I Corinthians 9

24: Do you not know that those who run in a (what’s the next word) race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.

25: And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a (what) perishable crown, but we for an (read slowly) imperishable crown.  NKJV

Please remember what I’m trying to show you.  
This crown “given” to the Anti-Christ in Revelation chapter six is not a royal crown.  
It’s a wreath or garland and its meaning is not the same.

And, if I may, here is a good example of why I use multiple Bible translations.  
The New American Standard Bible translates the same Bible verses thusly:

I Corinthians 9

24: Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.

25: Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things.  
They do it to receive a (watch this) a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.

So, there is the difference in black and white.
The Anti-Christ is given a “perishable crown and not an “imperishable” crown.
The Anti-Christ receives a “wreath” and not an imperial crown.

Moving on…the next item I’d like to address is this.
“Who” gave this crown to the Anti-Christ?

Many people read over this verse, and they assume God gave this crown to the first horseman/Anti-Christ.  …Not so fast there…never assume.

To find out the “whom” and coming later in this lesson the “why” this crown “was given” to this horseman we must consider both that future age and also include what we know from Scripture up till today.  Allow Scripture to be your guide.

As I said earlier in this lesson, carefully consider each word in the verse.
Here’s an example...the crown “was given” to the first horseman.
“Was given” is past tense is it not?

When this horseman was called, he already possessed a “crown.”
Not THE crown meaning the one and only crown; but “a” crown meaning one of many.   
Read the verse again.

This begs the question WHEN was this “crown” received?
To find the answer to this question we need to look in the book of beginnings.  
Please turn to the book of Genesis chapter 3.
Genesis 3

11b: (This is the LORD GOD speaking) Have you (He’s speaking to Adam only) eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not eat?  

12: (I told you this is the book of beginnings.  Here we have the first recorded instance of “The Blame Game”) The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

13: Then the LORD GOD said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”  And the woman (not to be outdone by her man the woman passes the blame and) said, “The serpent (now watch this wording) deceived me, and I ate.”

The Bible verses which follow detail the “curse” the LORD GOD places on His creation.   
And this curse (unilateral covenant) is still in effect today.
Only the LORD GOD can declare it null and void.

Although Eve ate of the forbidden fruit first and along with all of God’s creation comes under the curse, God places the blame (sin) squarely on Adam’s shoulders.

I didn’t intend to do this; but a good teacher never neglects a teaching moment so please bear with me.  Please turn to I Timothy chapter two.
I Timothy 2

13: For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.

14: And it was not Adam who was (read carefully) deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression (sin).

The woman was “deceived” by the serpent.
Adam chose to disobey the LORD GOD.
Turn to Romans chapter 5.

I bet few people recognize this important piece of Biblical data.
Romans 5

12: Therefore, just as through (what) one man (and not both man and woman) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned ---

So many people miss this truth altogether and the difference matters.  
But that is not why we’re here.
I’m answering the question “who” gave the Anti-Christ this crown.

And we have found the answer.
Did you see it?
…Adam did!

When Adam chose to disobey God he unknowingly (I’ll give the man some credit) repositioned Satan above the LORD GOD giving him the victory.

The LORD GOD is still and always will be sovereign, however, in that sinful second God lost control of His creation; and Satan now had dominion.
  Consequently, sin and with it death entered the world.
Everything changed at that point…

Satan is the prince of this world and has been ever since that disobedient instant in the garden.  
The Apostle Paul informs us this is so in his letters in the New Testament.
Ephesians 2
 
1: And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

2: in which you formerly walked according to the course of (what) this world, according to the (here it is) prince of the power of the air, of the spirit (Not the Holy Spirit.  Paul is speaking of that Adamic (sin) Nature inherit in all of us at birth) that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

3: Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh of the mind, and were (past tense because Paul only writes to those Believing Churches) by nature (or by birth) children of (God’s tender mercies…NO.  We all were children) of (God’s) wrath.
*****

As to that future time period which marks the beginning point of the Tribulation, we know from  Scripture that this person, the son of perdition, is going to be charismatic.  

People all over are going to love him.  He arrives on the scene seemingly with the answers to the world’s problems.  He is going to sign a peace treaty with Israel and its enemies guaranteeing them safety for seven years; but it’s a lie.

Daniel 9

27: “And he (the Anti-Christ) will make a firm covenant with the many (both Jew and non-Jew) for one week (7 years), but in the middle of the week (3 ½ years) he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering;

So the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt and in operation – this will be included in the peace agreement.  This is no simple feat because the Dome of the Rock and the Jewish Temple will have to co-exist.  They are that close in proximity.  Again, a peace solution has eluded many a president and Arab leader since I can remember.  Yet, the day is coming and a man is coming who will get it done.

“A crown” of sorts shall be given to this man.  He will be a world leader.  Whether an elected one or not I do not know and Scripture does not say.  But aren’t we all looking for that SOMEONE who can fix our countries problems and put us back on the road to economic health and make us safe again.  Of course we are.  So is everyone else.

So then, from Adam on down thru the “river of time” Satan has ruled as the prince of this world because Adam and Eve wanted to be like God.   (See Genesis 3:5)                                          

And now you know the WHY.
                     
Nothing has changed my friends.
This is man’s biggest problem today.
We want to be in control of ourselves and our destinies.
We want to be God.

Please remember this.
God’s focus is on our needs.
Satan’s focus is on our desires.

(To be continued)

Copyright © 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved