Since the following deals with the prophetic and end times realms, let me say clearly upfront
I do not believe we are near the time of the Great Tribulation.
I do believe we are about halfway through a “brief end times glimpse or preview” that is likely to last a few more months. Based on prayer, study, and dreams and visions over the last few months, I have come to some suppositions as to what this pandemic may be about on a spiritual/prophetic level. These thoughts deal with the Spring Feasts from Purim through Pentecost, how the Biblical year 5780 impacts them, and what I believe God is doing in America, the world, and His church in this season.
7:00 – (1) It’s Just a Glimpse
Like so many of us, since early March I have been questioning the changes our nation has undergone during this pandemic, as well as its punishing impacts upon the world. I’ve asked a thousand times, “How did America ever get here, and is there a way back?” The answer is, I believe we are in a rare spiritual place, as if peering at an end times trailer before the movie begins. The movie is of the end times and the Four Horsemen of Revelation casting a bloody shadow on some future day of destruction. We are at a distance of time and space seeing just a glimpse.
Such previews occurred during both World Wars with murderous antichrists rising like heralds of the end, but it wasn’t The Great Tribulation, just a regular tribulation that the world will go through many times. The horrors of those wars are now memories, the antichrists dead and buried, and in many cases the authority they stole has been reclaimed, and so a new 2020 vantage point has arrived to give us another sneak peak.
America has been so blessed, and to see it shaken by this current trouble is startling but, “I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13) Many of our states are already opening back up, and some crowns seem to be returning to their rightful heads. The whole world has already suffered greatly, but it’s just the beginning. Government shutdowns didn’t just cripple some world economies it destroyed them. Most people in the third world live walking through the shadow of death, where the seasons are famine, war, sickness, and oppression.
We have watched brief glimpses of the first three horsemen from Purim in March, to Passover in April, and Second Passover earlier this month. I believe we await the glimpse of the fourth Seal and Horsemen on Pentecost, with its effects continuing through summer. I believe this final glimpse will bring two to three times more suffering and death to the nations then the first three Seals/Horsemen combined.
God loves to give us previews of what He is doing before He does it. He was the Passover Lamb in Egypt for 1,500 years before He died as that Lamb on Calvary. He was present as the coming Messiah, Redeemer, Mediator, Groom, Priest and King in 574 Old Testament verses and 558 rabbinic writings. He fulfilled over 300 prophecies given over 4,000 years.
Let’s Compare The Great Tribulation vs These Previews or Glimpses
The Great Tribulation – When the end of the world happens scripture says, “for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed.” Falling away means “to forsake the truth or to be in apostasy.”
The man of sin is the Antichrist who will sign and then break a world-wide peace agreement before attacking Israel. This Great Tribulation period will see Kingdoms conquered, the end of peace, destroyed economies, famine, plague, death, and wild beasts on the attack. There will be seven seals opened that release four horsemen, earthquakes, the heaven receding, and terror like never before. Trumpets will release more tribulation and woe. Dragons, beasts, angels reaping, tormentors, 180 miles of blood four feet deep. Then the plagues and bowls of wrath begin and so much more.
The Previews Glimpses – What’s happening now during this pandemic and what occurred during both World Wars during those glimpses? They feature a condensed version of the Four Horsemen, many antichrists, and the First Four Seals which one day I believe will be opened on Feast Days. There seems to be biological aspects in each glimpse (like the Spanish Flu, mustard gas, atomic radiation, and viruses).
There is Both Good and Bad – Horsemen and Seals
*The Horsemen – Satan and the antichrists (on the horses) will rage until it seems all is lost but they will not prevail. They are here to get power and authority.
*The Seals – Jesus, the Lamb Opens The Seals, so it’s not all bad news and destruction. Whatever happens will end with God’s will being done and His judgment coming forth. God’s church will rise, His glory will be seen, and His victory will be won. Pentecost is when God poured out the Holy Spirit to empower us.
7:15 – (2) Appointed Times
From the beginning of time, God set apart special days throughout the year called mow`ed or appointed times. They were practical times such as when the harvest was gathered or when sacrifices were made for their sin. These days were also a roadmap that marked how and when Jesus would save the world and judge the world. He began the work of saving us when Jesus was conceived during the Festival of Lights and when He was born on the Feast of Trumpets. Jesus “became flesh and made his dwelling [tabernacle] among us” and identified himself as the Messiah at the Feast of Purim.
He died on Passover, rose again on Firstfruits, walked with his disciples for 40 days during the counting of the Omer, then ascended and poured out the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost. Likewise, scriptures tell us His work of future judgment will occur on these appointed times as well including, The Second Coming, Tribulation, Rapture, Judgment, Wedding of the Bride, and every other event in eternity. Feast Days are future-facing windows that allow us to peer into the end times and gain prophetic understanding. As a result, glimpses or previews of the Great Tribulation often coincide with these Feast Days.
For instance, The February Revolution in Russia began at Purim in 1917 leading to the Czar abdicating his throne within the week. Lenin and Trotsky returned from exile just after Passover during the Counting of the Omer. Just before Pentecost the Kronstadt rebellion began. At Purim, the Bolsheviks were 24,000 strong; by Feast of Trumpets they were 200,000. In WWII, German troops invade Austria at Purim in 1938. At Feast of Trumpets in 1938, Hitler signed the Munich Agreement by which Czechoslovakia surrendered its border regions and defenses to Nazi Germany. At Yom Kippur the Nazi’s invalidated all German passports held by Jews. At Purim 1942 the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp was established
Events relating to Feast Days are not quite as often in the Civil War.
Jefferson Davis was appointed the first President of the Confederate States of America a week before Purim in 1861. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Passover in 1865. Abraham Lincoln was murdered a few days later on Firstfruits during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
“Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.” 1 John 2:18
The apostle John encountered his share of antichrists, enduring the cruelty of Herod Antipas, and his murderous lineage, as well as seven murderous emperors, including Domition who had him seized and attempted to boil him in a vat of oil in front of the crowds. Witnesses say the oil didn’t burn John, so he preached and converted many in the crowd. Enraged, Domition sent John to the isle of Patmos to work at hard labor, and it was there he received the vision recorded in the Book of Revelation, revealing the nature of the Antichrist and the end times.
As Jesus chose John to see and hear the future end of the world, so we need a spiritually directed world view like Johns to properly discern the times. If there were “many antichrists” in the first century, and the last hour has progressed for 2,000 years, then many more antichrists should be active in our world. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms?” (Ephesians 6:12)
As Europe’s salvation in the 1930’s required Winston Churchill, so we need God-directed wisdom because antichrists are also flesh and blood and will attain as much authority and power as possible to kill, steal and destroy. The saying, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it”, should compel us to question everyone who desires our applause, affection, or obedience. 1 John 2:22 says, “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son.”
In 2020, we have faced: a viral worldwide pandemic of sickness and death, forced unemployment, and the intentional crashing of strong economies causing unprecedented worldwide famine, rampant fear, quarantines, a loss of civil rights, panic, scarcity, attacks against authority and elected leadership, deception, lies, disunity, the likelihood of biological warfare, foreign subterfuge, angry division, rage, the loss of spiritual discernment, graves filling up worldwide, elected leaders’ decisions being directed by unelected medical professionals, the labeling of people as essential and non-essential, churches closed, spiritual authorities stunted, and a powerful deception to shift national agendas.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
A deadly virus has killed hundreds of thousands worldwide, but the antichrists are not hungry for lives, they are here for power and authority. As a little boy, I would wake up each morning and read the comics in the newspaper. I couldn’t avoid looking down the ever growing, ever changing list of death notices from the Vietnam War peering back at me. For the last few months, news reports, new conferences, and special web sites all updated to the minute to give us the number of those who have died from this virus. A serious and unhealthy obsession with death and fear has fallen upon our nation.
Growing up in America has meant to not worry about antichrists rising. The term antichrists would likely bring Hitler to mind because of the cruelty and sadistic nature of the Holocaust. To recognize Hitler and his henchmen as antichrists is hardly contentious, but genocides have been too common. There was the Armenian, Soviet, Eastern European, Chinese, Japanese, Cambodian, Rwandan, and the list goes on. Wars are even more common, and none of them exploded; they all simmered.
The due will come one day for a Holocaust of children that has marched unchecked across the globe for decades. 50 million babies murdered each year – 137,000 murdered each day – it’s now approaching 2 babies killed every second of every day. The value of human life has been stripped away.
I. And So It Begins…Purim
7:30 – (3) They Ride White Horses
This is what I believe happened this Spring on Purim, Passover, Second Passover, and will happen on Pentecost (Shavuot) during this condensed preview of the First Four Seals and Horsemen:
The 1st Seal & The White Horse of Purim: “I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.” Revelation 6:2
*Purim is the only Feast Day specifically about a crown (a king) and a conqueror that is bent on conquest.
It was during Purim in early March that you probably became aware of this pandemic, it’s potential danger to America, and what our plans were to respond to it. This virus is called corona, which means crown. The Hebrew word nezer means crown, authority, and set apart – This biblical year of 5780 is all about authority and crowns. The rider of the White horse is given a crown and carries a bow with no arrows because this confrontation is more about conquering than it is about fighting.
What was the effect of this seal/horseman on our world? The virus has afflicted over 5 million people and killed over 340,000 – so it’s very deadly. But this pandemic isn’t about a virus as much as it’s about changes to crowns/authority. Every healthy person (not just the sick) has been set apart (quarantined) for the first time in history. That action was initiated not by elected officials but by unelected health officials. The authority structure was changed – the crown changed heads.
Beware unexpected leaders with unproven solutions. Leaders lead with purpose and an intended destination. Conquerors only seek to win so they don’t properly consider or count the cost. They ride white horses – they claim to bring hope – they pretend well, but in the end their guesses prove fatal. This virus has conquered every nation on the earth like nothing else, including either world war. Authority across the whole earth has been shifted to respond to a “virus”, as our President shifted from receiving medical counsel to following the guidelines they established, despite their direct conflict to economic policies.
Who rode the white horse? In both World Wars there were multiple antichrists who sought authority and crowns and whose actions were murderous and often genocidal. In WWI, men such as Rasputin, Czar Nicholas, Lenin, Trotsky, Kaiser Wilhelm, The Three Pashas, and Abdul Hamid II. In WWII there was Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Hirohito, Tojo, and Mussolini. These men are all dead now, but evil has not lessened, because it has spiritual roots so it can’t be defeated in the flesh alone. Most people recognized Hitler as an antichrist, and the systematic brutal murder of six million Jews, including more than one million children as a clear picture of the tribulation to come. But will we recognize an antichrist if he desires not to be known?
Who is riding this white horse? This current pandemic was birthed in Wuhan, China, where Communist leaders have proven to be deceitful, dangerous, and the greatest persecutors of the church in the world today. Strong evidence also points to the virus being manipulated in a lab there. President Xi Jinping’s (pronounced Shee Jin Ping’s) persecution of Christianity alone would easily earn him the title of an antichrist; add the government’s deliberate actions regarding corona, and the title is well deserved.
Many heads are impacting the corona crown/authority structure. Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the face and voice of authority, and it was his counsel to shut down the economies of the world and suspend the individual rights of Americans. He has headed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases over the past 31 years with a $4.5 billion annual budget. Both the CDC and World Health Organization are also at the forefront of decision making. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been the primary research funding group for corona viruses and invested billions over the last twenty years.
Social media giants are blocking those who protest, pulling top-tier credentialed scientists, physicians, our President, and anti-lockdown organizers declaring, “events that defy governments’ guidance aren’t allowed”; this despite repeatedly changing findings and recommendations.
Every “worldwide” organization desires a worldwide government structure. A world without the courage, bravery, and Christian principles that uphold our Republic, is not a very inspiring or hopeful world. Many antichrists have ruled nations around the world, but one of the primary reasons the nations haven’t fallen is God’s hand is on America. I’ll spare you the enraged oratory, because at this point everything that can be felt or said has been made into a meme on Facebook hundreds of times.
7:45 – (4) Why on Purim?
It is the only Feast Day specifically about a crown (a king) and a conqueror that is bent on conquest. The rabbinical holiday of Purim remembers when the Jews of Persia faced an evil conspiracy and extermination at the hands of an evil man named Haman, who was a descendant of King Agag of the Amalekites. From their earliest days, God commanded Israel to blot out the very name of the Amalekites, but the Jews mostly ignored this command; Israel had to defeat them to enter the Promised Land but never finished the job. [This failure would haunt them as Amalek’s bloodline included the Romans, Nazis, Stalinists].
A Jewish girl named Esther became Queen of Persia [there is a crown], but no one knew she was Jewish. Soon after, the evil Haman was elevated to a place of authority [also a crown] by the king and demanded all to bow to him
[So, you have a crown giving authority] A Jewish man named Mordechai who was the uncle of Queen Esther’s refused because he could only bow to God. So, Haman hatched a plot for the king to order all the Jews to be killed in the entire kingdom on one day [conqueror bent on conquest].
Esther revealed her Jewishness to the king and asked him to intervene and he had Haman and his ten sons killed, Mordechai was given his authority [So, you have a crown giving authority] and the king signed a new edict granting the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; “to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality who might attack them” [conqueror bent on conquest]. The Jews won a great victory and Esther eventually become the mother of Darius II. He would carry her Jewish bloodline, and later help rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.
Jesus the Lamb Opens The Seals, so it’s not all bad news and destruction. Whatever happens will end with God’s will being done.
The First seal from God actually comes to cancel a very bad seal.
Two Seals: One Seal condemns the Jews and another Seal empowers them.
Esther 3:12 “They wrote out in the script…all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps…These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring.
Esther 8:8 “Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”
Purim History: Nazi attacks against Jews were often coordinated with Jewish festivals. In Poland on Purim 1942, ten Jews were hanged to “avenge” the hanging of Haman’s ten sons, and the Nazis murdered over 5000 Jews, mostly children, in the Minsk Ghetto. All of the victims were shot and buried alive. In 1943, on Purim eve over 100 Jewish doctors and their families were shot. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was suddenly paralyzed on Purim in 1953, he died 4 days later.
Why do we watch out for leaders that don’t immediately present themselves as evil?
Adolf Hitler banned the observances of Purim early on and ironically stated in a speech in 1944 that if the Nazi’s were defeated, the Jews could celebrate “a second Purim.” In ancient Persia, the 10 sons of Haman were hanged on his gallows. In 1946 at the Nuremburg trials, 10 convicted Nazis were hung during the Days of Awe before Yom Kippur. In an odd bit of irony, Hermann Göring, an eleventh Nazi sentenced to hang, committed suicide that morning in a striking parallel to Haman’s 11th child, a daughter who committed suicide.
Why do we watch out for leaders that don’t immediately present themselves as evil?
To Adolf Hitler, Jews were inferior and a threat to purity and community. In public speeches and in Mein Kampf, which he wrote in prison in 1923, Hitler claimed to be a “Christian” and the Nazi party promoted their version of “Positive Christianity”, even describing Jesus as an “Aryan fighter”. Talk about an abomination – it would be the antichrist Hitler’s attempts to identify with Jesus. Every Nazi belt buckle was embossed with the motto: Gott Mits Uns (God is With Us). But in his private diaries, Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels wrote that Hitler was a fierce opponent of the Vatican and Christianity, though he forbid him to leave the church, for “tactical reasons.”
Hitler also predicted a general European war that would result in “the extermination of the Jewish race in Germany.” Yet not one nation took him at his word when the persecution, internments, and Aryanization swept across Germany in the 1930’s despite eyewitness testimonies that arrived on their shores. When we see evil at a distance, our tendency is to accuse ourselves of being judgmental. When the spirit of deception helps evil make its way in-close, we are a victim not so unlike the ones we ignored.
Take Your Crown Back
“See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name…Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 3:7-13
II. Coming Out of His Mouth Was a Sword
8:00 – (5) Be Very Afraid
This is what I believe happened on Passover during this condensed preview of the End Times.
The 2nd Seal & The Red Horse: “Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.” Revelation 6:4
Peace is taken and people made to kill each other – the instrument is a large sword.
In the judgments of Revelation, you see the sword coming out of the mouth of Jesus.
Revelation 1:16 “…coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword.
Revelation 2:16 “I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”
Revelation 19:15 “Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.
Jesus is the Word made flesh. His judgments are words. His breath is a weapon.
Likewise, the Devil was a liar from the very beginning. Just as he deceived 1/3 of the angels into following him with his words, and deceived Adam and Eve with his words, his warfare is with words.
Spiritual Swords are not for stabbing – Words penetrate separating soul from spirit.
How do you take peace from the whole earth? Lies and Fear!
A significant shift happened at Passover/Easter in early April. What seemed temporary and manageable became unstoppable. The rule of law was placed into the hands of the medical community hierarchy to determine our response. We were called essential workers or suddenly labeled non-essential. Businesses everywhere were forced to close. Fear and panic were mandated.
At Passover/Easter it was no longer optional how we were to respond.
People had been made afraid to leave their homes or visit relatives, and were told to wear a mask.
Relatives could not even go to the hospital with a loved one, even when they were dying.
There was rage and hatred and people reporting each other.
About 8,000 Americans die every day from diseases. Some are scarier and others are more dangerous, and confusing the two can be tragic. Unprecedented lockdowns of economies were accepted with little question because of fear, panic, and misdiagnosing danger. As a result, critical screenings were prevented to detect cancers, cholesterol and diabetes. Meanwhile, infant mortality, opioid addiction, alcoholism, and domestic violence soared. Irrational fear trumped real danger and caused unprecedented job loss, despair, recession and a lack of needed resources which will certainly cause more deaths than COVID-19. Every day that employment suffers, the economic wounds become more deadly.
2020 is the biblical year 5780. The number 80 in Hebrew is Pey. It means mouth, speech, and breath.
This corona virus pandemic is spread by breath which can kill, but it is the words spoken that take away peace. Lies and deception about how dangerous it could be to everyone, how it was spread. The only response permitted was quarantine and closing the economy, etc. There was no peace.
A spirit of fear doesn’t make you pull your hand back from an open flame so as not to be burned. A spirit of fear makes you pull your hand back from an unlit candle.
What does it look like when you have given yourself over to be controlled?
“Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:28-32
8:15 – (6) Death and Life are in the Tongue
What is the Churches Response?
“Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire, who brings forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the spoiler to destroy. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,” says the Lord. Isaiah 54:16-17
“He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of His hand He hid me;
He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver. He said to me, “You are My servant, Israel, in whom I will display My splendor.” Isaiah 49:2-3
Why who carries the sword is so important: What if we allow the government to make our personal choices and determine how we care for ourselves? What if they then keep us safe but unfree, fail to safeguard our rights, and close our businesses without legal basis? The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that our health care decisions are private, personal, and not determined by the government. The Constitution was written to restrain the government from determining what is essential and nonessential for individuals, so that they could not limit them to whoever serves, enhances, maintains, and removes obstacles to their exercise of power.
The sword sets the agenda: Legal governments are elected to keep us free from tyrants, not viruses, because decisions are colored by politics? What if the government experts are wrong and reducing immunity by face masks and quarantining hundreds of millions of healthy people for months makes no medical sense? What if more credible scientists and physicians disagree with the government than agree, but they silence or listen only to those who tell them what they want to hear, stoking fear because it produces compliance?
Could America be turned into a trembling and fearful people in an instant? Could we forget that the news we watch is mostly fake, that the media thrives on lying, and the medical/insurance industry has long fallen into corruption? Could Americans, shielded by a Constitution and Bill of Rights, trade those rights for heavy handed government oversight without consent? Could a generation far removed from its own birth forget the warning of one of its founders, Patrick Henry, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” I will certainly never again question how quickly this nation could fall.
Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them – this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the Lord.
*The Seals – Jesus the Lamb Opens The Seals, so it’s not all bad news and destruction.
Whatever happens will end with God’s will being done. So, What Should The End Result Be?
It’s the biblical year 5780. The number 80 in Hebrew is Pey.
It’s the 17th Hebrew Letter which symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory.”
The Seal on the Tomb
Matthew 27:66 “So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.” The guard fell on their faces as dead men. Jesus walked out of the grave with the keys to death and Hades. He ascended 40 days later so He could release the baptism of the Holy Spirit onto His church
Salvation is the Seal
Ephesians 1:12-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
8:30 – (7) Where Two or Three Are Gathered…I Am There
The Church Cannot Shirk Its Calling When The World Becomes Dark
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; [The Holy Spirit dwelling in Christians is helping restrain lawlessness (iniquity, disobedience, sin, violation of law or wickedness) – so we must speak out so that the blind have a chance to see truth] only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2
The Greek word Oikeo means to indwell as the Spirit does in a believer. It comes from oikos which is a house, so He resides in us.
Why did antichrists shut down meetings for the church, even the staff gathering at first?
God is in the midst of His people when they gather together to bring judgment in a matter.
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:15-20
This principle comes from Deuteronomy 19:15: “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established”. To constitute a Beit Din, a house of judgment, it requires at least 3 men, because at least two had to agree for justice to be observed, and legitimate God given authority to function on earth. No one was ever to be judged by the word of only one witness.
In John 8:12-17, Jesus uses the same verse to establish that two witnesses agree to the fact that He is who He claims to be. “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
God established the church to impact the world, not cower to it. He wants to fill us and get us close to others so He will fill them too. Apart we are limited in what we can do for each other, and how we can bring justice for others. God comes in a tangible way in a setting where we are gathered.
Can you imagine Jesus walking around with a mask or social distancing?
8:45 – (8) Passover & The Spirit of Fear
Why Were The Second Seal And Horseman at Passover?
The meaning of Hebrew letters comes from the first time they are used in Scriptures.
The 1st use of the letter pey in the Torah is Genesis 4:11 when Cain kills Able
“Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.”
So mouth (pey) is the grave. There is death and curses and a last breath.
This Passover is very significant because pey is the first letter of Pesach and Passover is all about death and graves.
The “power to take peace from the earth” is the spirit of fear.
Gideon was raising an army of only those called by God.
“Now announce to the army, ‘Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.” Judges 7:3
This spirit of fear cost Israel the Promised Land and the right to live up to their calling.
But you were unwilling to go up…Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’” Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 1:26-33
God is raising up an army, not just without fear themselves, but those who can inspire others. “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory. Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too. When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it. When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.” Deuteronomy 20:4, 8-10
What motivates our actions – safety – wisdom – obedience? We will discover soon.
“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, in which you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan? Jeremiah 12:5
Is it Caution, Wisdom, or Fear?
“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7
Everyone experiences fear, but there is a fear that literally overcomes you, that comes from the demon – the Spirit of Fear. This spirit is opposed to God and His kingdom. If you entertain him, he will control your heart and mind (your courage and decision making).
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8
But the cowardly (deilos – dread, timid, fearful, faithless), the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:37-41
As Christians we are called to suffer and never adjust our calling by fear.
“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:32-36
III. It’s The Economy
9:00 – (9) The Precious
This is what I believe happened on Second Passover during this condensed preview of the End Times.
The 3rd Seal & The Black Horse: “When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” Revelation 6:5-6
By Second Passover in early May it was becoming clear that the Economies of the world had been destroyed. The entire world faces the worst recession since the Great Depression. The IMF described the decline of GDP in nations as the worst since the Great Depression. The stock market has lost 30%. In America the unemployment rate went from lowest ever to 30 million on the roles. 40% of low-income Americans lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Oil prices crashed then turned negative for the first time ever. Countries on lockdown with no travel. Industrial production and sales plummeted.
Why on Second Passover? It’s about what’s precious, our needs, and supernatural provision. Second Passover isn’t for everyone to observe. It’s a do-over 30 days after Passover for those who missed out on observing Passover on the regular date because they were unclean due to touching a dead body and for those on a journey that kept them away from the temple. For most of us, we deal with death when a loved one dies, so we are dealing with love, the one thing more precious than anything else.
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” Song of Songs 8:6-7
The Seal here is the test to see Who and What you love the most. You will be left to pursue the harlot of greed or be sealed with the love of Jesus.
Jewish tradition sets aside one full week for shiva or mourning, then another 30 days when you shouldn’t cut your hair, shave, or wear new clothes, you also shouldn’t attend social events or religious celebrations. Of course, there are longer seasons of mourning for closer loved ones.
Although Second Passover wasn’t instituted yet, the date was also when the Israelites were 30 days from Egypt and hungry, so God provides meat and bread (similar to the Passover meal) but this time it’s quail and manna. It’s also around the time Jesus fed the 5,000 with a little fish and bread.
“Do Not Damage The Oil And The Wine” – It’s all about Guarding your Anointing
Holy Oil and Wine Diluted?
At a time of economic chaos, the temptation would be to damage or dilute the wine or oil to create more wine and oil, but it would be worthless – impure to use in the temple, to sell, and would taste bad. It’s worth-less. One way is dilute oil is to mix last year’s olive oil with the new fresh oil.
There is nothing comparable to spending time with God. Otherwise the prophetic voice is silent.
We Are Tested When We Have Less
Wheat, barley, wine, and oil are the same materials that Solomon traded with the King of Tyre when he was working to acquire materials to build God’s house. We are now His house and we supply so the work can be done there. Hard times test our giving.
These are harvesting festivals so Grain – Oil – Wine are part of Offering the Firstfruits
First there is Passover, then Firstfruits or Resurrection Day, then they start counting the Omer, and the new barley can begin to be eaten as you journey to Second Passover and Pentecost.
“On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to the Lord a lamb a year old without defect, together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with olive oil – a food offering presented to the Lord, a pleasing aroma – and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine.
You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your God. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.” Leviticus 23:10-14
Anointing is Powerful
“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.” Psalm 104:14-15
“You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” Psalm 45:7
The Church is God’s Anointed
By early May, Churches were demanding to be able to open.
They were still called non-essential in many states, but that was beginning to change.
The Seal and third horseman bring famine – and the opportunity for the church to live out their anointing. Churches and Christians rising up to do the work of ministry without fear.
How do we handle that which is precious?
When you have waited 50 days and the blessing comes it should make you want to share
How Do We Handle What Is Holy In Times Of Economic Chaos?
The harvest of barley already happened at Passover, and only 30 days have passed so it’s not scarcity but the fear of scarcity causing hoarding.
When we hoard, we hurt others, especially those who can’t afford to stock up.
Do we withhold the Word because we are afraid? Corona, Masks, and Quarantine?
*The Seals – Jesus the Lamb Opens The Seals, so it’s not all bad news and destruction. Whatever happens will end with God’s will being done
The Holy Spirit is the Seal
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
2 Corinthians 1:21-23
IV. Their Faces Became Pale
9:15 – (10) The Smell of Death
I believe a condensed preview of this Seal and Horseman will happen on Pentecost or the Festival of Shavuot, when God gave the Torah at Mt. Sinai. I would expect the effects to continue through mid August. (July 9th is the 17th of Tammuz, and July 30th the 9th of Av – Both dates observe multiple tragedies.)
The 4th Seal & The Pale Horse: “I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8
In the end times this horseman will likely kill several billion souls. Just as the first three glimpses were much more limited than the end times will be, this condensed preview will be on a much smaller scale. The first three previews accounted for around 350,000 deaths – so we could see that number triple or quadruple. As for the 4th Horseman’s methods, the word for “kill” means to kill in any way, to destroy, to allow to perish, to deprive of spiritual life, or procure eternal misery in hell. Meaning this horseman isn’t doing a new thing as much as greatly increasing and continuing what the first three did.
It’s a terrifying picture for those on the earth in that day. The color of the horse is pale, ashen or green to reflect the sickly pallor of a corpse. So, the horse is dead and ridden by Death and being followed by Hades, the abode of the dead. When we meet Death during the 10th plague in Egypt, he is called the destroyer and the death angel, and when God sees the blood on the door-posts, He covers (or protects) those houses. Death, as we know it, has temporary authority over all of creation, to rule over when it is appointed for them to encounter death. In the garden sin and death first entered earth and robbed man of his covering of glory. Jesus becomes our covering – Death is on a collision course with judgement.
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep…Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For “He has put all things under His feet.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-26
“…Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of Death and Hades. Revelation 1:18
“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown…Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.” Revelation 20
The Last Quarter
Pentecost begins the outpouring of the fourth seal/horseman’s, which is to continue and increase what the first three horsemen did: Kill by Sword, Famine and Plague. Wild Beasts are added on.
Look beyond America.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1
What is the condition of the world after the first three horses?
Historic locust plagues and drought have already destroyed crops. Shockwaves of a global food crisis have hit the world. First a health crisis, then an economic crisis from shutting down the world’s economy causing job layoffs and poverty. Now every aspect of the food industry is somewhat broken as the third wave arrives with greater catastrophe – a collapsed food supply. The worldwide starvation rate is expected to double from 130 to 260 million people. Food scarcity in the third world is normal, but waste is more the norm for the rest of the globe.
The Horseman’s commission is to carry out all four judgements of God with sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts (Ezekiel 14). What the sword leaves famine will take. What famine leaves pestilence will take, and what pestilence leaves behind the wild beasts will finish. It’s a picture of nations, empires, and kingdoms being vanquished.
A similar picture of this occurred when Rome fell. Carnage and oppression created scarcity and famine which eliminated produce for the present and then destroyed all hope for future harvests. An atmosphere rose of disease and epidemics from the noxious food. The Plague of Cyprian raged from fifteen years in every province and city in the empire. In some seasons, five thousand people died daily in Rome; and many towns were entirely depopulated.
The real essence of what is about to happen and continue for some time is the realization that most people do not hear the voice of the Lord.
“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land– not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.” Amos 8:11
Worldwide panic and irrational fear over a virus. People act crazy, but in fact they are simply deceived. They’re hearing the voice of the Liar and Deceiver. Because long ago they started believing everything was relative, now truth is whatever they say it is. They make it true because they believe it. If they feel afraid, to them it means they should be afraid and next comes sheer irrational terror all because of a feeling. They have come to love falsehood, so they don’t consider God “an answer” let alone “the only answer”.
“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
It may seem like the worst has passed as America’s death toll sinks and jobs are being reclaimed. But our eyes have been distracted by a well promoted virus, and our focus has been on safety, while something much more sinister than sickness or death has been claiming victories. The calling of the church is to revival not survival. We are to create an atmosphere for His presence, not just stay alive. There is coming a day when men will not beg to be safe and sheltered at home or demand others to be sanitized and masked, but will cry to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!” The times and events that accompany a glimpse of the end will always be the end of the world as you know it. Death and change are both persuasive teachers.
9:30 – (11) Pilgrimage Road
“I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades [authority of hell] shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:18-19
In the end times, the type of miracles and judgments seen in the Exodus and in the early church will be multiplied worldwide as prayer becomes like the staff that Moses held. As Jesus leads, the church will demonstrate His power. “The works that I do he will do also and greater works than these he will do.” John 14:12
Pentecost is the conclusion of Counting the Omer, or 50 days since Firstfruits (Resurrection Day).
If we have done it well, then a change should have occurred in our lives. “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom…establish the work of our hands.” Psalm 90:12,17
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.” Psalm 84:5
We are never satisfied with what we have. We are forever on the wrong pilgrimage thinking the end is the goal. But the blessed man is the man on pilgrimage not just when he arrives.
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3
Counting the Omer includes a lot of lingering and waiting because it takes us from one Pilgrimage Feast (Unleavened Bread) to the next Pilgrimage Feast (Pentecost). The journey of the 50 days is part of the pilgrimage, but the real pilgrimage begins when you arrive in Jerusalem at the Pool of Siloam with your offering, and then cleanse yourself in the pool. As you existed, you took the first steps onto the “Pilgrimage Road” that led up to the temple where your sacrifice would be received. Every step could be taken with the expectation of grace and forgiveness pouring out on you.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
We hate to wait. But Counting the Omer was all about waiting. To Receive what?
10 days after the resurrection of Jesus we learned: To Receive the Holy Spirit.
How Do You Celebrate Pentecost?
“Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.” Deuteronomy 16:16-17
The Counting of the Omer remembers the days between the Exodus from Egypt and the giving of the Word of God on stone tablets at Mount Sinai 3,500 years ago, and when the Holy Spirit was poured onto the Apostles and the new church fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead 2,000 years ago. Just as tablets of stone were turned into the very Words and Laws of God, so were hearts of stone turned to hearts of flesh as the Holy Spirit came upon them.
At Pentecost, nothing from that year’s wheat harvest could be eaten until after the wave offering was made. Why? God established these festivals as times of Divine renewal or newness – what was forbidden becomes permissible. When Jesus came out of the grave, He presented to His Father the wave offering of all the souls who had been locked away in Hades. He opened the door into eternity with God for all mankind who had been trapped in sin and death. We who were forbidden to approach God became acceptable and part of the Divine harvest.
When He poured out the Holy Spirit, He enabled us to go from redeemed to empowered, from indwelt to overflowing. He is always taking us from glory to glory. We are not done when we are saved and we are not done when we are empowered. There was no salvation or infilling of the Holy Spirit without the cross. There is no power apart from the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
“Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month – until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it – because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?” The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” Numbers 20:18-23
It’s so easy to doubt that God will intervene for us, but it’s why are we to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”. It’s not about what you had or have or will have. He is among us and wants to sustain us, from our breath, to the beating of our heart, to every single thing. The clothes and shoes of the Israelites didn’t wear out in the 40 years of desert wandering. Water came out of a rock for them to drink their fill.
God has promised to supply all of our needs through His riches in Christ Jesus, and to, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
As the apostles prayed that morning of Pentecost awaiting what Jesus promised, they didn’t know quite what to expect, only to expect an outpouring of God upon them. In an instant the Holy Spirit fire fell on them and they began speaking in languages they did not know. Joy filled them like never before, and courage and boldness soared within them.
9:45 – (12) The Reaper
Why does the 4th Seal & The Pale Horse occur on Pentecost? “They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.” Revelation 6:8
There are 4 offerings or sacrifices – Sacrifices are taking the place of you dying – they are the ultimate judgment – Look for the contrast (it’s life or death – Jesus or destruction)
The Sword – The Word – The Law – All of them KILL. This relates to:
The Burnt Offering – it’s all burned – the life and death of Jesus perfectly accomplished the will of God.
Famine – “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:33-35
Famine relates to: The Meal Offering of leavened bread that’s waved – flour, frankincense, oil, salt –
This represents an unblemished life, not from salvation, but from the indwelling Holy Spirit leading you to repentance – you are made from the finest flour – you are holy from the blood of Jesus
but you are leavened – you are overcoming sin daily
Plague relates to: The Sin Offering – for the remission of sin –
First comes salvation then the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:36-39
Wild Beasts relate to: The Fellowship or Peace Offering – He became our peace or substitute
When people are afraid, they do desperate things, even eating roadkill.
“You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.” Exodus 22:31
When people trust God, they walk in peace and provision.
“I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.” Leviticus 26:6
Why does God give His Church this warning glimpse/preview?
Pentecost was when the words of the Holy Spirit poured out of the mouth of His church, the fruit of their lips was praise and the gospel which led to revival.
In Acts 2, Peter showed no fear – no hiding – no denying – no going fishing
It’s about the harvest – you will chose fear or faith –
That’s why the spirit of fear is here and taking as many prisoners as possible.
The focus of Pentecost is on wheat, but they brought the first fruits all their crops.
There were 7 common crops at Pentecost (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and dates). There are 7 Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit.
“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’” Leviticus 23:22
Pentecost is the day the Holy Spirit came upon the believers gathered together.
What happens when the Holy Spirit comes into your life? You manifest the Fruit of the Spirit.
The 4th Horseman and The Feast of Weeks are fulfilled in the empowering of the Church to bring the harvest of the Gospel and the end time harvest by Jesus.
“I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand…the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.” Revelation 20:14-16
God Opens The Seal For Good.
The 4th creature with the face of an eagle is the one who announces the 4th seal.
God uses the eagle imagery when He talks about delivering them.
“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” Exodus 19:4
God protects us like an eagle it’s young.
“In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him.” Deuteronomy 32:10-12
God renews us like an eagle is renewed
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31
God gives a serious warning to what will happen in the end if you choose ungodly leaders.
“Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the Lord because the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law. Israel cries out to me, ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’ But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him. They set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval. With their silver and gold they make idols for themselves to their own destruction…They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no head; it will produce no flour. Were it to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it up.” Hosea 8:1-7
10:00 – (13) What He Begins…
Leviticus 23:15 “From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering, count off seven full weeks. Count off fifty days up to the day after the seventh Sabbath, and then present an offering of new grain to the Lord.”
Passover was the crucifixion – on a Thursday. The Friday night to Saturday night Sabbath comes next. So, the day after the Sabbath (when you start counting to 50) was Resurrection Day. Jesus comes out of the tomb and into us. 50 days later the Holy Spirit comes out of heaven and into us.
John 20:19-23 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
This can be a little confusing because of how He says two things. It’s really only confusing in English, not in Hebrew. It’s the Perfect tense concept. Jesus is beginning something that will actually happen later.
Receive the Holy Spirit
This was not the baptism of the Holy Spirit, this was salvation, the receiving of Christ. They had followed Him and put their faith in him but could not receive Him until He rose. Same perfect tense concept. Were they saved for the last three years? Yes, but not yet.
- “But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.”—Romans 8:10
- “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”—Galatians 2:20
- “My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you.”—Galatians 4:19
- “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith.”—Ephesians 3:17
I am sending you
He told them to wait until they received the Holy Spirit before they went anywhere. (tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high). Again, this is the first day of the 50 days, not the baptism, this is receiving Christ
This all happens on the evening of Resurrection day – Day 1 of counting to 50
The whole 50 days counting to Pentecost is all about Jesus showing that He is Faithful
What He Begins He Finishes. That’s how we think of it using the English language
In Hebrew you would think of it like this: What He Does, He Does.
Day 1 Jesus Rises to Life Again
We count 7 weeks – Seven is the number of completeness and perfection.
If Week 1 was about resurrection power. Week 2 is twice as powerful. Week 3 doubles that power, etc.
Something powerful is coming
It’s not just about Jesus having more power, He already had all power. He’s getting ready to give us power. We are His body on the earth – greater things will we do. How much greater – 7 times greater.
John 14 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
10:15 – (14) Voices and Fire
On the first Pentecost, signs and wonders accompanied the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. There was smoke, fire, and cloud on the mountain. The mountain trembled and the blast of a shofar sounded louder and louder. The voice of God was audibly heard by the entire nation.
According to the Midrash (a traditional Jewish interpretation of Scripture), the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai was accompanied by several wonders.
- Flames of fire which came to each individual at Sinai: “On the occasion of the giving of the Torah, the Children of Israel not only heard the LORD’s Voice, but actually saw the sound waves as they emerged from the LORD’s mouth. They visualized them as a fiery substance. Each commandment that left the LORD’s mouth traveled around the entire camp and then came back to every Jew individually.“
- The voice of God speaking in every language known to man (in Rabbinic lore, there are 70 mother languages.) It says: “And all the people witnessed the thunderings” (Exodus 20:15). So it is said that God’s voice, as it was uttered, split up into seventy voices, in seventy languages, so that all the nations should understand.
“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.” (Exodus 20:18). In Hebrew, the “thunder and lightning” in this passage literally reads “voices and (torches or fires or lights).” Voices” was translated “thunders”, because voices are normally heard rather than seen, and “torches” was translated “lightnings” to perhaps match logically.
The word “voices” is plural. What the people heard was one God, but many voices or languages. This means that everyone heard the Torah in a way that they could understand it in the language that they spoke, even though they were a “mixed multitude” (Exodus 12:38).
In Acts 2:1-4, we have: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. (a large fire of some sort came down from heaven and then divided and covered each one of them) All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” You have voices and torches again.
Acts 2:5-8 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?
The Bible says the people heard in their language but it doesn’t say they spoke in that language. Just like at Sinai, everyone heard in their own language as God spoke.
The disciples and followers of Jesus were all aware of the giving of the Torah at Shavuot. They knew the story of the “words of fire” resting on each individual at Shavuot. They knew the story of God’s voice speaking to all mankind in every language at Shavuot.
Therefore, the miracles and signs and wonders they experienced in Acts chapter two, carried deep significance and prophetic fulfillment. The tongues of fire and the speaking in every tongue were both direct allusions to the Mount Sinai experience and to the receiving of the Torah.
10:30 – (15) Out of Control
Was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit an event in history – Yes
Has it continued to happen even to our current day – Yes
Is it a one-time occurrence or a constant refilling – More is always available
In a very practical sense, we countdown the 50 days to Pentecost because 2,000 years ago was not a one-time experience for the disciples, but rather the first experience of a constant refilling of the Spirit.
As we arrive at Pentecost let’s seek together to encounter the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for those who never have, and ask for even more of the wonderful manifest presence of Jesus for those who have encountered the Baptism but are still longing for more of His touch.
If your particular church upbringing has left you confused or even hesitant about the possibilities of such encounters and experiences in our day, listen to Jesus describe what the average Christian life would look like just before He ascended: “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18
Earlier in Mark 16 we can see why they needed a significant encounter. When the women first came to the tomb after the resurrection and encountered an angel, “they went out quickly and fled from the tomb, for they trembled and were amazed. And they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.” Then when Mary Magdalene finally gained the courage to tell the apostles, they did not believe. When the two disciples who walked with Jesus on the road shared their story, they did not believe them either…Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.”
Obviously, Jesus doesn’t want any of us to repeat the mistakes of the apostles or fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 28 “Whom will He teach knowledge? And whom will He make to understand the message…For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” and, “This is the refreshing”; yet they would not hear.”
Forty years ago, on the second Friday of August in 1980, when I received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I was utterly shocked that other languages which I didn’t understand or speak were suddenly pouring out of my mouth. A moment before I had been standing in a field worshipping in the only language I have ever spoken, English. I had never heard anyone speak in tongues before or heard anyone teach on it. The Holy Spirit massively changed my life in much the same way Jesus had the year before when I gave my life to Him.
Catch The Wind
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
The Hebrew word for wind or breath is ruach. It’s also the word for Spirit. Obviously, we can’t dictate the moving of the wind or the Spirit. Thankfully, we don’t have to catch the wind to be filled with the Spirit. I have known many people who have earnestly sought the Baptism of the Holy Spirit but still haven’t received. Some went away bitter, some went away offended, some stopped seeking and plunged into denial declaring that they had received the Baptism when they were saved and no tongues were required. Sadly, I also know of teachers who claimed to be filled with the Spirit and intentionally deceived other seekers into mumbling repetitious phrases and declared it a move of the Spirit.
Striving in the flesh for a move of God is agonizing. So is screaming at the wind to blow where we want it to blow. Micah 6:8 tells us, “He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?”
We need to be like a windmill, which is designed to be propelled by the wind, no matter which direction it’s blowing in order to generate power. If we want to be filled, then we need to be sensitive to which way He is blowing, and then we will not only be filled, but empowered by the Holy Spirit to do His will.
“You make your messengers into winds of The Spirit and all Your ministers become flames of fire.” Psalm 104:4
“Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:5-13
10:45 – (16) Gifts of the Father, Son, and Spirit
When Peter began preaching after the Holy Spirit fell on them in the temple grounds, he spoke of King David, whose tomb was right beneath them. Peter quotes David saying, “I saw the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my TONGUE rejoices; my body also will live in hope.” Peter was pointing out that this gift of tongues was a fulfillment of what King David saw prophetically. And he adds, “The Lord said to My Lord [The Father said to the Son], sit at My right hand until I make your enemies a footstool to your feet.” Peter was saying that the purpose of the infilling and empowering was happening to cause all the Sons’ enemies to be subjugated.
The Holy Spirit Baptism can occur any time after Jesus comes to dwell in our heart. He doesn’t get buried in our hearts, He plants Himself in order to bear fruit. We literally become a tree that bears spiritual fruit. All we have to do is ask and receive. Sometimes that includes asking until we receive.
The nine fruits listed in Galatians 5 all come as the result of “life” on a tree which requires us to grow. Controlling the tongue is not easy; our unruly tongues require revival. Faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, joy, kindness, longsuffering, love, peace, and self-control are all expressed many ways, but never so beautiful as with the tongue. Proverbs 18 tells us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Still, there’s more to the Spirit than tongues or what and how we speak. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us, “there are many spiritual gifts including: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, the working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, different kinds of tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.” The Spirit distributes them individually as He wills. Why does He give them? These nine gifts require us to minister to others in order to use them. They are not for keeping or storing up, but rather for using and giving away. And Deuteronomy 30 reminds us, “But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.”
Acts 1:4-8 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
- There has been more conflict throughout church history on this one subject then probably every other issue combined because it is not intellectual and can’t be understood or argued or controlled by man. It requires faith and obedience.
- The experience was different for me, then it was for Kelly, and then it was for Corrie.
- Wait for the promise – no matter how long it takes –
- No matter what others experience, don’t assume God will do things the same way with you.
- Worship Him constantly – ask to be filled
- When opportunities arise for the laying on of hands – have faith and see what happens.
- Don’t stop till you are full.
No Tongues But Other Gifts
Can you be baptized in the Holy Spirit and power without speaking in tongues?
If you don’t speak in tongues, but obviously have gifts and anointing then they are coming from a different source then what is known as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Gifts of the Father
Romans 12:4-8 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Gifts of the Son
Ephesians 4:11-13 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Pray and Expect
I’m not sure quite what to say about the welcomed depth of this teaching. It is meat, and we are all starving for it. Evidently, we are not in the “famine” of Amos just yet. Thank you for the rigor. Please continue to write upon the signs of our times.
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