Sorting Out End-Time Theologies

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  1. Well, I won’t be able to finish it until Monday. Hopefully. There is still much to relate on this figure in Scripture. I don’t know, yet, which parts to edit out and which to keep.

    Is anyone even still with me?

    Tom, Bo, Jabez?

  2. PART 1 OF YOUR QUESTION.

    Tom–Question #2 “Are the anti-Christ and the man of lawlessness the same? Is there one anti-Christ or many? When will he/they have his/their time on the stage?”
    “Where is this written?”

    Tom,

    I thought we’d look at the Scripture verses that speak of those who are labeled as antichrists. These days we tend to understand it as referring only to one specific individual, however, the writers of the NT understood it as the spirit possessing any who deny the Father and the Son as being “antichrists”. It is the spirit of antichrist that the books of John and Timothy point to. And, then, many verses outline the rotten fruit of those who are in opposition to Christ. The antichrist as a single person is given in 2 Thess. And then, we have the book of Revelation that becomes much more specific in fingering one particular individual who is Satan personified.

    The time of their appearing on the stage of world history is stated as in the latter days. And we see we are witnessing the fruit of the children of disobedience gaining ground daily. The Gospel, however, is gaining many souls at the same time; praise God!

    1Jo 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 1Jo 2:20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. [fn] 1Jo 2:21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
    1Jo 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
    1Jo 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also.
    1Jo 2:24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.
    1Jo 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
    2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
    1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
    2Ti 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2Ti 3:2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 2Ti 3:3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 2Ti 3:4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2Ti 3:5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 2Ti 3:6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 2Ti 3:7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 2Ti 3:8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 2Ti 3:9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. 2Ti 3:10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 2Ti 3:11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra–which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 2Ti 3:12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 2Ti 3:13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2Ti 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom [fn] you learned it 2Ti 3:15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2Ti 3:17 that the man of God [fn] may be competent, equipped for every good work.

    These verses in 2 Thessalonians is where the idea of the last one comes from. It is broadened in the book of the Revelation, but, that would take some time to get through.

    2Th 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, [fn]
    2Th 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
    2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness [fn] is revealed, the son of destruction, [fn]
    2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
    2Th 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?
    2Th 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.
    2Th 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is taken out of the way. (My guess is this refers to Michael–the warrior princely angel who fights for God’s people)
    2Th 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.
    2Th 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, (In Thayer’s Lexicon, it is stated like this: “He in whom all iniquity has, as it were, fixed it’s abode.”)
    2Th 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
    2Th 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, (I like the original translation, “that they will believe the lie.” of his deception.)
    2Th 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    I’ve begun using the ESV for the translation. It’s much nearer the KJV that I’m used to reading. I really like it and I think I’ll settle on those two. (I’ve accidentally typed ESB before–ooops!)

    I understand the “spirit of antichrist” as being all who “oppose Christ” and/or that worship another false god in substitution of the Father. Some possess intense hatred for all things Christian and of Christ. The radical Muslims and the Communists being the most prevelant and virulent. I would say this is the spirit of antichrist which the books of John, Thessalonians and Timothy talks about. So, the idea that the second coming could happen, or, could have already taken place in Paul’s day is rectified in his letters to the the early Church members. He corrects their error and gives concrete signs of His coming which must transpire before that day. There is the age of great apostasy, which we see upon us now. And then, in the same sentence there is the coming of a “man of lawlessness”, or, the “son of destruction” (of “perdition”) as he is named. 2Th 2:3 “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion (apostasy) comes first, and the man of lawlessness (“one in whom all iniquity has fixed it’s abode.”) is revealed, the son of destruction, (he who is set apart for destruction by God)” So, yes, there will be one particular man who is labeled as “the” Antichrist.

    The idea that there are “types” of antichrists portrayed in the OT Scripture, is given to us through the Torah, the Writings and the Prophets. They “oppose and exalt themselves” in their actions and in their hearts. In the NT, as he was yet future, they speak of the last one as the demogogue (or demon-Gog as I call him) of demogogues. The final one will also forget that it is God who rules in the kingdom of men, as Nebacadnezzer came to realize, although his son (grandson) soon forgot. But, that there will be one final figure who is yet to emerge as “the” antitype of all the previous ones is taken from the language and types in the OT and carried through to the Revelation. As all Scripture is God breathed, and as the OT prophets didn’t know that many of their prophesies were speaking of the time of the advent of Messiah as the NT writers tell us, so too, the NT writers had no idea that their present and prophetic writings were also for a time yet very far future, as we see over 2000 years later. Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 contains the best language and descriptions of the OT types and of the last future antichrist who is the one last enemy, or “beast” as he referred to, to come against the nation of Israel. He has shown up in the rulers of various nations in the past and has many appelations, most notably the “king of Babylon”. That this last leader will be one who holds sway over a confederacy of nations is given in Daniel and in Revelation. We’ll not get into the scope of that yet. Isaiah 14 contains a great outline:

    Isa 14:1 For the LORD will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob. Isa 14:2 And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the LORD’s land as male and female slaves. They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them. Isa 14:3 When the LORD has given you rest from your pain and turmoil and the hard service with which you were made to serve, Isa 14:4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: “How the oppressor has ceased, the insolent fury [fn] ceased! Isa 14:5 The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers, Isa 14:6 that struck the peoples in wrath with unceasing blows, that ruled the nations in anger with unrelenting persecution. Isa 14:7 The whole earth is at rest and quiet; they break forth into singing. Isa 14:8 The cypresses rejoice at you, the cedars of Lebanon, saying, ‘Since you were laid low, no woodcutter comes up against us.’ Isa 14:9 Sheol beneath is stirred up to meet you when you come; it rouses the shades to greet you, all who were leaders of the earth; it raises from their thrones all who were kings of the nations. Isa 14:10 All of them will answer and say to you: ‘You too have become as weak as we! You have become like us!’ Isa 14:11 Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, the sound of your harps; maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers. Isa 14:12 (NLT) “How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world. Isa 14:13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; [fn] Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’

    definition of demogogue:
    • n. a leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument. (in ancient Greece and Rome) a leader or orator who espoused the cause of the common people.

    [dem-uh-gog, -gawg]
    –noun 1. a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.
    2. (in ancient times) a leader of the people.
    –verb (used with object) 3. to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.
    –verb (used without object) 4. to speak or act like a demagogue.

    I think that pretty much sums up Hitler. The fact, too, that Hitler wanted to establish a “pure Aryan race” which excluded the Jews, of course, together with his vision of a “thousand year reign” is not to be taken lightly. This is so indicative of a literal thousand year reign being instigated for the True King that I don’t know why there is any question of his being the ultimate type. The German Nazi’s were very much into the Occult and transmediumism, which we would name majic and spiritism. There’s not much given to that fact, but, it’s a matter of record. There seems, from Thessalonians, to be one in particular that will be slain immediately upon the Lord’s return. This would be the final human antichrist. “Except the Lord had left us a remnant, we would have been as Sodom and like unto Gomorrah.” A remnant came through the holocaust and have returned to the Promised Land. Why do you think they call it the “Promised Land”? The Lord promised Abraham that the land everywhere he walked and could see would belong to his decendents. As the prophet says, they “possessed it but a short while”, and they were “given over to reproach.” Their enemies, by way of ruthless kings, in trying to thwart the coming of Messiah, the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent, tried to exterminate them. Another word for antichrist is “anti-Messiah.” That the Lord will remove the veil from their eyes in the last days is why anti-Messiah is still at work. To make void the promises of God and to deny the Jews their Messianic deliverance.

    Concerning the antichrist. His playbook is taken directly from the types antecedent to him in the OT kings of various nations. Satan is never confined to using only one nation or ruler to do his bidding; no, he moves around and when one is clobered he sets up another. Nimrod, Pharoah, the king of Tyre are all types of antichrists. And then, there was Antiochus Epiphanes, or, as his name implies, “the Illustrious One”, although the Jews referred to him as, “the Wicked One” and the commoners referred to him as “the madman”. He reigned during the second century BC. Interestingly, he was the ruler of Syria. There are coins that were made with Antiochus portrayed as Zeus. The extra canonical books of the Maccabees outlines his time in history. He entered and defiled the Temple by sacrificing swine’s blood on the Altar and most importantly he set up an idol of Zeus in the Holy of Holies. He thought himself Zeus, or, as the pagans believed, the ruler of the entire earth. Our Lord points to the “abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet” as a sign of great tribulation yet future. I say future, because there is no record anywhere of the Romans setting up an idol in the Temple before it’s destruction in 70AD. It’s true that any uncircumsized heathen entering the Temple would have defiled it, but, it seems that the setting up of the idol for worship is the true meaning. Daniel 11:21-45 is so exact in it’s descriptions of Antiochus, that many scholars argue that it could only have been written after the facts.

    Our Bible contains a record of all of the types of the future antichrist from the beginning of Nimrod and the tower of Babel through to the one future spoken of by Jesus, Paul and John. These include many character traits and various personalities taken from our Bible. The bad boys of the OT types begin, after the flood, with Nimrod. Cain being the first and the original who “was of his father, the devil.” There are many to be uncovered as such, but, once again, it’s already gotten very lengthy and I’ve had to greatly condense it.

    I’ll pick up with the rest of the outline on Monday.

  3. Good. I thought you might.

    Shalom, Bo.

    Are you watching the News? Eygpt is free from Mubarak!!!

    “My people Egypt.”

  4. Well, my sister passed away on Feb 26th. She was admitted to intensive care on the 15th. I’m so very happy I’ll see her again!!

    Anyway, does anyone want to pick up the last two questions that Tom asked about?

    Bo, Tom, Jabez?

    It makes me go into the Scriptures and study and thats always a good thing!

  5. Hi Guys,

    I’m working on how I’ve come to determine the answer to the question about the saints reigning with Christ. I’ll have it worked up by this evening, or, at the latest tomorrow evening.

    Thanks for bearing with me. Sometimes I can’t work things out for myself, even, until I put them down on paper. So, this is a great way for me to sort it out too.

    Anyone care to jump in meantime?

  6. I got held up helping my mother-in-law with her garden today, so, I’m running a little behind. And I’m pretty tired and ready to call it a day. Give me a few days to work the rest of it up. I’ve given just the shortest of a general outline without very much scripture and reasoning to back it up yet. I’ll be working on it though.

    Tom asks:

    3) The saints reigning with Christ, who are they? When will this take place? From whence do they reign, and over whom?

    Where is this written?

    The saints in the NT refer to all believers in Christ and we are the ones who will be reigning with Christ when “He comes to be glorified in His saints.” 1Cr 1:2 “To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
    1Cr 6:1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?
    1Cr 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?
    1Cr 6:3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

    The only thing I can discern is that this will take place upon the Lord’s return to claim us. Scriptures say that the Lord will subdue the armies of the nations upon His return, but, that many people from all countries will survive. These people are not given a glorified body such as we will have, but, it appears from Isaiah 65:20 that they will remain to live out their days. “No more shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not fill out his days, for the young man shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner a hundred years old shall be accursed.”

    Paul speaks of “the elect” who are also called “saints” and of reigning with Christ in 2 Tim. 2:

    2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    2Ti 2:11 The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

    2Ti 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

    2Ti 2:13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful– for he cannot deny himself.

    2Ti 2:14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.

    2Ti 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

    2Ti 2:16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness,

    2Ti 2:17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,

    2Ti 2:18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some.

    2Ti 2:19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

    2Ti 2:20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable.

    2Ti 2:21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

    2Ti 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

    2Ti 2:23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

    2Ti 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil,

    2Ti 2:25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,

    2Ti 2:26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
    I thought to include all worthwhile verses in this chapter. Our focus, though, is on the twelth verse. 2Ti 2:12 “if we endure, we will also reign with him.” When I consider the meaning of enduring for Christ’s sake, it appears that the saints will occupy a place of honor and blessing in the Lord’s Millennial Kingdom. This would include being faithful and accounted as those who “overcome”. It is our faith by which we overcome. And we “overcome evil with good.”

    Daniel 7 gives us a picture of the saints taking possession of the kingdoms of earth when the final kingdom falls. It’s outlined in these verses:

    Dan 7:19 “Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet,

    Dan 7:20 and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions.

    Dan 7:21 As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,

    Dan 7:22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

    Dan 7:23 “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.

    Dan 7:24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings.

    Dan 7:25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

    Dan 7:26 But the court shall sit in judgment, and his dominion shall be taken away, to be consumed and destroyed to the end.

    Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.’

    Dan 7:28 “Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”

    And in Revelation it is spoken of here:

    Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,

    Rev 5:10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

    Rev 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands,

    Rev 5:12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

    Again, this is the vaguest of outlines. Not much at all. “I’ll be back.” God willing.

  7. SAINTS REIGNING WITH CHRIST

    In Mark 13:26-27, the Lord gives us a visual look at the day He comes for us. 13:26 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” 13:27 “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.” It’s also found in Matt. 24:30-31.
    I previously pointed out Paul’s statement about the saints judging the earth. This seems to be outlined in Psalm 149:

    Psa 149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.

    Psa 149:2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.

    Psa 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

    Psa 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.

    Psa 149:5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds.

    Psa 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand;

    Psa 149:7 To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;

    Psa 149:8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron;

    Psa 149:9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise the LORD.

    In looking at the saints, or, as some translations have it, the “holy ones”, or, “the elect” reigning with Christ, we should look again at Zechariah 14. David Guzik gives a good commentary on it. Below is what he says about the coming of the Lord and of His establishment of His Kingdom on earth. Of course, He has already collected those who are His at His coming, and it seems evident to me that He brings us with Him. I’ve not put quotation marks around the commentary. It ends with Guzik’s copyright. I’ve inserted my comments in brackets. ([ ])

    David Guzik
    Study Guide for Zechariah 14
    Zechariah 14 – Holiness to the Lord

    A. Israel attacked but defended by the returning Messiah.
    1. (1-2) Jerusalem under siege from the nations.
    Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
    a. I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem: Zechariah seems to have the very end times in view, when Jerusalem will be surrounded and attacked by some type of international force. When the Romans came against Jerusalem in 70 a.d. they came with a multinational army and brought terrible destruction on the city and its people. Yet there was none of the deliverance that Zechariah will describe in the following verses, so it is difficult to say that this was fulfilled in the Roman attack upon Jerusalem in 70 a.d.
    b. Half the city shall go into captivity: This attack against Jerusalem will be severe, but the city itself will not be overthrown (the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city).
    2. (3-5) The Messiah intervenes for His people.
    Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You.
    a. Then the Lord will go forth and fight: Just when it seems that all hope is gone for Jerusalem and the people of Israel, then the Lord will fight for His people.
    i. “God is said to go forth when he manifests his power by delivering his people and punishing their enemies.” (Pulpit)
    b. His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives . . . And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west: This speaks of the Lord – Jesus, as God the Son – materially returning to a material earth and setting His feet on the Mount of Olives. At that time a great split will cut the Mount of Olives in two, and the persecuted people of Jerusalem will flee through the valley made by the split.
    c. Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints with You: Jesus will touch His feet to the Mount of Olives when He returns in glory with all the saints, the armies of heaven described in Revelation 19:14.
    [The NKJV has it like this: “Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.*” Footnote: * Or you; Septuagint, Targum, and Vulgate read Him.]

    i. This was the type of arrival the Jews in Jesus’ day hoped for. Indeed, when the Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem in 70 a.d. a mistaken assurance from prophecies like this made the Jews utterly confident that the Messiah would return from heaven and wipe out the Roman armies surrounding Jerusalem. They could not see that the Messiah must first be rejected and the nation brought to repentance as Zechariah mentioned in 11:12-13 and 12:10.
    B. The Kingdom of the Messiah.
    1. (6-11) The Messiah’s rule changes the earth.
    It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish. It shall be one day which is known to the Lord; neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light. And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; in both summer and winter it shall occur. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be; “The Lord is one,” and His name one. All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be raised up and inhabited in her place from Benjamin’s Gate to the place of the First Gate and the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananeel to the king’s winepresses. The people shall dwell in it; and no longer shall there be utter destruction, but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
    a. At evening time it shall happen that it will be light: Now Zechariah looks forward to the glory of Jerusalem in the Messiah’s kingdom. The lights we guide our lives by will diminish, but God will bring His own light.
    b. Living waters shall flow from Jerusalem: Jerusalem will no longer be a dry city, but a glorious river will flow from the city and branch off both east and west, and it will be a never ending flow (in both summer and winter it shall occur).
    i. All over the world people want to know what will happen to Jerusalem. Zechariah knows the answer – God will gloriously save and restore Jerusalem, making it the capital city of the millennial earth.
    ii. Ezekiel 47 records a vision that may describe this scene. Ezekiel saw a river flowing from the throne of God and down to the Dead Sea, bringing life and vitality everywhere.
    c. All the land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: Since the mountains around Jerusalem are no longer needed as a defense, they can be flattened into a plain.
    d. Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited: This will be the first time in a long time that Jerusalem will be a safe place to live.
    2. (12-15) Enemies are forever plagued.
    And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the Lord will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand; Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be.
    a. Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet: In the glorious deliverance the Messiah brings, the enemies of God and His people are destroyed by plague, mutual slaughter, and by the sword of Judah (Judah also will fight at Jerusalem).
    i. The description of flesh dissolving makes some think that Zechariah is describing the effects of a neutron or nuclear bomb.
    b. The wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: In the glorious deliverance the Messiah brings, Jerusalem will become a wealthy and influential city again.
    3. (16-19) All the nations come to Jerusalem to worship the Lord.
    And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.
    a. Shall go up from year to year to worship the King: Instead of coming to Jerusalem for battle now the nations come to honor God and to remember His faithfulness to Israel in the wilderness by keeping the Feast of Tabernacles.
    i. Jesus told us to go to the ends of the earth with the gospel but in the millennium the earth will come to Jerusalem to worship and honor God.
    b. Whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem . . . on them there will be no rain: God won’t make people worship Him during the millennium, but the advantages of worshipping and honoring God will be more evident than ever.
    c. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain: Egypt is specifically mentioned because they were a nation not especially dependant on rain, yet they too would be punished if disobedient.
    4. (20-21) The common is made holy.
    In that day “Holiness to the Lord” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses. The pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts. Everyone who sacrifices shall come and take them and cook in them. In that day there shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.
    a. In that day “Holiness to the Lord” shall be engraved on the bells of the horses: This was the great inscription on the metal band around the high priest’s headpiece (Exodus 28:36). In the glory of the Messiah’s kingdom horses won’t be needed for war any longer – now even they can wear the emblems of Holiness to the Lord.
    b. The pots in the Lord’s house: These were the cooking utensils used by worshippers to cook for their own the sacrificial meat intended for them from the peace offerings. The bowls before the altar were used to gather and sprinkle sacrificial blood on the altar. These show that animal sacrifice will continue in the millennium, but not as atonement for sin – which was perfectly satisfied by the atoning work of Jesus. Sacrifice in the millennium will look back to the perfect work of Jesus.
    c. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the Lord of hosts: In the glory of the Messiah’s kingdom, what was previously common is made holy; the holy is made holier; and the irreclaimably profane is forever shut out. At the end of it all, there is no longer any distinction between the holy and profane. All is set apart to God and His purposes.
    i. “The point is that the people and the city will be so holy that even these insignificant things will be fully dedicated to the Lord.” (Boice)
    ii. There is a right way and a wrong way to eliminate the line between the holy and the profane: you can make everything holy (set apart to the Lord), or you can make everything profane (set apart to sin and self). Zechariah ends his prophecy making it clear that God’s way is the make everything that was once common or profane holy instead.
    ©2001 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

    I hope using the above is considered “personal use”, otherwise I’m in trouble!

    We have other scriptures that confirm the desert being turned into streams of water for the people of God at the beginning of the Millennium.

    Eze 47:1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar.

    Eze 47:2 Then he brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate that faces toward the east; and behold, the water was trickling out on the south side.

    Eze 47:3 Going on eastward with a measuring line in his hand, the man measured a thousand cubits, and then led me through the water, and it was ankle-deep.

    Eze 47:4 Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was knee-deep. Again he measured a thousand, and led me through the water, and it was waist-deep.

    Eze 47:5 Again he measured a thousand, and it was a river that I could not pass through, for the water had risen. It was deep enough to swim in, a river that could not be passed through.

  8. Say, before I post the continuation from the above, did anyone listen to Dr. Brown and Joel Richardson, I think it was just yesterday, the 12th? (What a memory I’ve got!) You really need to hear what they talked about! I finally found someone who interprets things like I do. Very informative and timely to our discussions here. Check it out.

    cont. from above:

    Joe 3:9 Proclaim this among the nations: Consecrate for war; stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up.

    Joe 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”

    Joe 3:11 Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD.

    Joe 3:12 Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.

    Joe 3:13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great.

    Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

    Joe 3:15 The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.

    Joe 3:16 The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel.

    Joe 3:17 “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall never again pass through it.

    Joe 3:18 “And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Shittim.

    Joe 3:19 “Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

    Joe 3:20 But Judah shall be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem to all generations.

    Joe 3:21 I will avenge their blood, blood I have not avenged, for the LORD dwells in Zion.”

    Isa 35:1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

    Isa 35:2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

    Isa 35:3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

    Isa 35:4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

    Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

    Isa 35:6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

    Isa 35:7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

    Isa 35:8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. [fn]

    Isa 35:9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.

    Isa 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

    (35:8) Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it

    Isa 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

    Isa 41:18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

    Isa 41:19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together,

    Isa 41:20 that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

    Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

    Rev 22:2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

    Now then, before we begin any Millennial reign, the Lord will take vengeance on the armies of the nations and on those who hate Him and who have persecuted the saints in the last days. This is where I think that those who do not know Him, or, that haven’t heard, will be spared. It just doesn’t seem like it could be otherwise. Because Satan will be loosed after the thousand years and will gather a multitude to come against Jerusalem for one “absolutely last” horrah. Unless it is demons he brings with him rather than people. (?) And fire will come down from Heaven and consume them. It’s not until then that the New Jerusalem comes to earth forever. A lot of people think we “go to heaven forever” when the scriptures say that Heaven comes to us, here on earth. Of course, the scriptures also say that there is more than one heaven, so, I’m thinking that when we “die in the Lord’ our souls go to what would be one of those heavens. A resting place in the Lord until the rapture.

    And so, a picture of the desolation preceeding the Millennium is found in Isaiah 34 as well as many other books and chapters. Of course, Isaiah needs to be read as a whole, as there were no divisions of verses and chapters in the original texts. So, keep that in mind with all books of the Bible. The NT is more in a letter format and it suits it much better than the OT. Although scholars did a wonderful job in dividing up the chapters, it’s still up to us to “rightly divide it” when looking at near/far judgments within the same chapter. The prophets will show us the near judgment to come and then launch into the “Day of the Lord” language. It’s most often accompanied by signs in the heavens and on earth, such as these, (Joel 2:10; Revelation 6:12-14; Isaiah 34:4). There are many others with the same end-times language.

    And in tying Babylon’s destruction with the whole earth, we see the picture of “Babylon” as put for the empire of the Antichrist before Christ’s return. So, I’m thinking that “Mystery Babylon” would be all of those who are worshipping “that which is not God” as they were in the past. And that the “spirit of antichrist in the children of disobedience” is what is meant when equating the two. All of those who hate Jesus would be of the same as the spirit of antichrist, as in opposition to Him. So those who are worshipping that which is false (not God) and those who hate Him will be judged at His second coming. Of, course, we have “the Antichrist” who will “exalt himself above all that is called God, or, that is worshipped”, “so that he takes his place in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Of course, he is–only a man–it is Satan who gives him his power. Here is a picture of the Day of the Lord’s vengeance in Isaiah.

    Isa 13:1 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

    Isa 13:2 On a bare hill raise a signal; cry aloud to them; wave the hand for them to enter the gates of the nobles.

    Isa 13:3 I myself have commanded my consecrated ones, and have summoned my mighty men [the NIV has “warriors”] to execute my anger, my proudly *exulting ones. [*NKJV has “Those who rejoice in My exaltation.”]

    Isa 13:4 The sound of a tumult is on the mountains as of a great multitude! The sound of an uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathering together! The LORD of hosts is mustering a host for battle.

    Isa 13:5 They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the LORD and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

    Isa 13:6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!

    Isa 13:7 Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt.

    Isa 13:8 They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.

    Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.

    Isa 13:10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.

    Isa 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.

    Isa 13:12 I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir.

    Isa 13:13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.

    Isa 13:14 And like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with none to gather them, each will turn to his own people, and each will flee to his own land.

    Isa 13:15 Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.

    Isa 13:16 Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.

    Isa 13:17 Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold.

    Isa 13:18 Their bows will slaughter the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children.

    Isa 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.

    [“The phrase ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ suggests not only complete destruction but also its moral cause.” (Grogan)]

    Isa 13:20 It will never be inhabited or lived in for all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there; no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.

    “i. Babylon is mentioned 287 times in the Scriptures, more than any other city except Jerusalem. Babylon was a literal city on the Euphrates river; right after the flood (Genesis 11:1-10), Babylon “Was the seat of the civilization that expressed organized hostility to God.” (Tenney, Interpreting Revelation). Babylon was later the capitol of the empire that cruelly conquered Judah. “Babylon, to them (the Jews), was the essence of all evil, the embodiment of cruelty, the foe of God’s people, and the lasting type of sin, carnality, lust and greed.” (Tenney) To those familiar with the Old Testament, the name Babylon is associated with organized idolatry, blasphemy and the persecution of God’s people. In the New Testament, the worlds system of the last days is characterized both religiously and commercially as Babylon (Revelation 17 and 18). Therefore, Babylon is a “Suitable representation . . . of the idolatrous, pagan world-system in opposition to God.” (Martin)”

    [Wolf–“When Cyrus conquered Babylon, he did not devastate the city. The walls were left standing until 518 b.c., and general desolation did not set in until the third century b.c. Babylon gradually fell into decay, and the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled. Babylon became completely depopulated by the time of the Muslim conquest in the seventh century a.d., and to this day it lies deserted.” (Wolf) I’m thinking, too, that the Muslim institution of Islam, worshipping Allah, who is not God, is what is in sight for an end time “Mystery Babylon” and those Muslim countries who are in opposition to Christ. I’m thinking, too, that putting “Mystery” together with naming “Babylon” is another way of saying “This city is not “literal” Babylon”, but, one that has all of the characteristics of Ancient Babylon.]

    Isa 13:21 But wild animals will lie down there, and their houses will be full of howling creatures; there ostriches will dwell, and there wild goats will dance.

    [“The ‘wild goats’ (v. 21) are sometimes associated with demons in goat form that are called ‘satyrs’ (Lev. 17:7; 2 Chron. 11:15).” (Wolf)]

    Isa 13:22 Hyenas will cry in its towers, and jackals in the pleasant palaces; its time is close at hand and its days will not be prolonged.

    Whichever Babylon is in mind, and I don’t believe it’s the literal one, it will not be inhabited again with people, but, will be utterly and completely overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah were.

    Concerning “where the saints reign from”, I can’t see where we are all in Jerusalem, as it seems more likely to me that we will stay where we are. The Lord made the earth “to be inhabited” and I don’t see any reason that other parts of it would lie without man or beast in the Millennium. So, I would say we proceed from where we are when the Lord begins to reign from Jerusalem. All people will come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles and if they do not, they will have great distress if they “do not come up to Jerusalem, to worship the King.”

    The rapture of the church, the Day of the Lord, and the Day of Vengeance of our God are going to happen, I believe very closely together. God is not bound by our time constrants and I think it’s going to be as Paul described it–“in an instant, at the last trumpet”. The dead will be raised, those living will be changed and the Lord will judge the nations and then, “commense a’reignin’.” 🙂 In the prophets and the NT, these things seem to be so close together that it’s almost impossible to separate the events. Anybody?

    Have I thoroughly confused you, Tom?

  9. This may be a repeat, not sure yet. I submitted part two, but, several minutes later it’s still not under Dr. Brown’s recent comments section.(?)
    I seem to experience problems submitting things. I think I broke one blog forum on the VOR comments section for about a week!! I don’t have any idea how I did it!

    🙂

    Anyway, I’ll submit again.

    Joe 3:9 Proclaim this among the nations: Consecrate for war; stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up.

    Joe 3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.”

    Joe 3:11 Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD.

    Joe 3:12 Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.

    Joe 3:13 Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil is great.

    Joe 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

    Joe 3:15 The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.

    Joe 3:16 The LORD roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel.

    Joe 3:17 “So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain. And Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall never again pass through it.

    Joe 3:18 “And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streambeds of Judah shall flow with water; and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the LORD and water the Valley of Shittim.

    Joe 3:19 “Egypt shall become a desolation and Edom a desolate wilderness, for the violence done to the people of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

    Joe 3:20 But Judah shall be inhabited forever, and Jerusalem to all generations.

    Joe 3:21 I will avenge their blood, blood I have not avenged, for the LORD dwells in Zion.”

    Isa 35:1 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

    Isa 35:2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.

    Isa 35:3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

    Isa 35:4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”

    Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

    Isa 35:6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;

    Isa 35:7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

    Isa 35:8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. [fn]

    Isa 35:9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.

    Isa 35:10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
    (35:8) Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it

    Isa 41:17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them.

    Isa 41:18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

    Isa 41:19 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive. I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together,

    Isa 41:20 that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

    Rev 22:1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

    Rev 22:2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

    Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

    Now then, before we begin any Millennial reign, the Lord will take vengeance on the armies of the nations and on those who hate Him and who have persecuted the saints in the last days. This is where I think that those who do not know Him, or, that haven’t heard, will be spared. It just doesn’t seem like it could be otherwise. Because Satan will be loosed after the thousand years and will gather a multitude to come against Jerusalem for one “absolutely last” horrah. Unless it is demons he brings with him rather than people. (?) And fire will come down from Heaven and consume them. It’s not until then that the New Jerusalem comes to earth forever. A lot of people think we “go to heaven forever” when the scriptures say that Heaven comes to us, here on earth. Of course, the scriptures also say that there is more than one heaven, so, I’m thinking that when we “die in the Lord’ our souls go to what would be one of those heavens. A resting place in the Lord until the rapture.

    And so, a picture of the desolation preceeding the Millennium is found in Isaiah 34 as well as many other books and chapters. Of course, Isaiah needs to be read as a whole, as there were no divisions of verses and chapters in the original texts. So, keep that in mind with all books of the Bible. The NT is more in a letter format and it suits it much better than the OT. Although scholars did a wonderful job in dividing up the chapters, it’s still up to us to “rightly divide it” when looking at near/far judgments within the same chapter. The prophets will show us the near judgment to come and then launch into the “Day of the Lord” language. It’s most often accompanied by signs in the heavens and on earth, such as these, (Joel 2:10; Revelation 6:12-14; Isaiah 34:4). As well as these:

    And in tying Babylon’s destruction with the whole earth, we see the picture of “Babylon” as put for the empire of the Antichrist before Christ’s return. So, I’m thinking that “Mystery Babylon” would be all of those who are worshipping “that which is not God” as they were in the past. And that the “spirit of antichrist in the children of disobedience” is what is meant when equating the two. All of those who hate Jesus would be of the same as the spirit of antichrist, as in opposition to Him. So those who are worshipping that which is false (not God) and those who hate Him will be judged at His second coming. Of, course, we have “the Antichrist” who will “exalt himself above all that is called God, or, that is worshipped”, “so that he takes his place in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” Of course, he is–only a man–it is Satan who gives him his power. Here is a picture of the Day of the Lord’s vengeance in Isaiah.

    Isa 13:1 The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

    Isa 13:2 On a bare hill raise a signal; cry aloud to them; wave the hand for them to enter the gates of the nobles.

    Isa 13:3 I myself have commanded my consecrated ones, and have summoned my mighty men [the NIV has “warriors”] to execute my anger, my proudly *exulting ones. [*NKJV has “Those who rejoice in My exaltation.”]

    Isa 13:4 The sound of a tumult is on the mountains as of a great multitude! The sound of an uproar of kingdoms, of nations gathering together! The LORD of hosts is mustering a host for battle.

    Isa 13:5 They come from a distant land, from the end of the heavens, the LORD and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

    Isa 13:6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!

    Isa 13:7 Therefore all hands will be feeble, and every human heart will melt.

    Isa 13:8 They will be dismayed: pangs and agony will seize them; they will be in anguish like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at one another; their faces will be aflame.

    Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it.

    Isa 13:10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.

    Isa 13:11 I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless.

    Isa 13:12 I will make people more rare than fine gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir.

    Isa 13:13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger.

    Isa 13:14 And like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with none to gather them, each will turn to his own people, and each will flee to his own land.

    Isa 13:15 Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword.

    Isa 13:16 Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished.

    Isa 13:17 Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold.

    Isa 13:18 Their bows will slaughter the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children.

    Isa 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor and pomp of the Chaldeans, will be like Sodom and Gomorrah when God overthrew them.

    [“The phrase ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ suggests not only complete destruction but also its moral cause.” (Grogan)]

    Isa 13:20 It will never be inhabited or lived in for all generations; no Arab will pitch his tent there; no shepherds will make their flocks lie down there.

    “i. Babylon is mentioned 287 times in the Scriptures, more than any other city except Jerusalem. Babylon was a literal city on the Euphrates river; right after the flood (Genesis 11:1-10), Babylon “Was the seat of the civilization that expressed organized hostility to God.” (Tenney, Interpreting Revelation). Babylon was later the capitol of the empire that cruelly conquered Judah. “Babylon, to them (the Jews), was the essence of all evil, the embodiment of cruelty, the foe of God’s people, and the lasting type of sin, carnality, lust and greed.” (Tenney) To those familiar with the Old Testament, the name Babylon is associated with organized idolatry, blasphemy and the persecution of God’s people. In the New Testament, the worlds system of the last days is characterized both religiously and commercially as Babylon (Revelation 17 and 18). Therefore, Babylon is a “Suitable representation . . . of the idolatrous, pagan world-system in opposition to God.” (Martin)”

    [Wolf–“When Cyrus conquered Babylon, he did not devastate the city. The walls were left standing until 518 b.c., and general desolation did not set in until the third century b.c. Babylon gradually fell into decay, and the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled. Babylon became completely depopulated by the time of the Muslim conquest in the seventh century a.d., and to this day it lies deserted.” (Wolf) I’m thinking, too, that the Muslim institution of Islam, worshipping Allah, who is not God, is what is in sight for an end time “Mystery Babylon” and those Muslim countries who are in opposition to Christ. I’m thinking, too, that putting “Mystery” together with naming “Babylon” is another way of saying “This city is not “literal” Babylon”, but, one that has all of the characteristics of Ancient Babylon.]

    Isa 13:21 But wild animals will lie down there, and their houses will be full of howling creatures; there ostriches will dwell, and there wild goats will dance.

    [“The ‘wild goats’ (v. 21) are sometimes associated with demons in goat form that are called ‘satyrs’ (Lev. 17:7; 2 Chron. 11:15).” (Wolf)]

    Isa 13:22 Hyenas will cry in its towers, and jackals in the pleasant palaces; its time is close at hand and its days will not be prolonged.

    Whichever Babylon is in mind, and I don’t believe it’s the literal one, it will not be inhabited again with people, but, will be utterly and completely overthrown as Sodom and Gomorrah were.

    Concerning “where the saints reign from”, I can’t see where we are all in Jerusalem, as it seems more likely to me that we will stay where we are. The Lord made the earth “to be inhabited” and I don’t see any reason that other parts of it would lie without man or beast in the Millennium. So, I would say we proceed from where we are when the Lord begins to reign from Jerusalem. All people will come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles and if they do not, they will have great distress if they “do not come up to Jerusalem, to worship the King.”

    The rapture of the church, the Day of the Lord, the Vengeance of our God, are going to happen, I believe very closely together. God is not bound by our time constrants and I think it’s going to be as Paul described it–“in an instant, at the last trumpet”. The dead will be raised, those living will be changed and the Lord will judge the nations and then, “commense a’reignin’. 🙂 In the prophets and the NT, these things seem to be so close together that it’s almost impossible to separate the events. Anybody?

    Have I thoroughly confused you, Tom?

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