"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . . Our Website is UNDER CONSTRUCTION, please be patient!

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Monday, March 30, 2020

The TTUF STUDY on The REVELATION of JESUS CHRIST – Chapter ELEVEN



~ by James Fire

Introduction: GOD is never without a witness. Even through the most evil epochs and days of dire darkness, the LORD GOD is never without a witness to testify of His truth, to stand against the evil deceptions, lies and sin that pervades this world.
These witnesses, these godly saints, these bold martyrs who like our LORD Himself, testify of the evil of this world and for that, both He and we ourselves are hated (
JOHN 7:7). I think of Enoch and Noah, of Moses and Elijah, Jeremiah and Daniel, of Stephen (in ACTS 7) and the apostle John on the isle of Patmos.

The testimony of the truth is far more, however, than just the witness of the evil in this world; it is also the declaration of GOD’s holiness and justice, as well as the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ, either in its foretelling in the Old Testament Scriptures, or in the New Testament declarations of what the LAMB of GOD (JOHN 1:29) has accomplished and will accomplish as the LION of JUDAH (REV 5:5-6) as proclaimed in both Testaments.
And these declarations are not just words of truth, they are backed by the power of GOD in the miraculous as demonstrated by the LORD and His prophets and apostles (JOHN 5:36; EXOD. 4:30; 1 KINGS 18:37-39; ACTS 9:36-39; ACTS 20:9) – and these famously faithful two witnesses we’ll be reading about in this chapter.
REVELATION 11:1-2
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

There are some that want to make these verses into some sort of allegorical symbolism for something or other, but if you look through Scripture, allegories don’t contain these kinds of details and specific instructions. Here an angel gives John a measuring rod (commonly used in the building of structures in those days) and he is told to measure the temple of GOD, as well as the altar and the worshipers – we can understand how one could measure a structure like the temple or even an altar, but how would one go about to measure worshipers?

The Greek word used for “measure” is metreo and it means: "to measure out or off, a. properly, any space or distance with a measurer's reed or rule: etc., REV 11:1-2; 21:15-17 (in chapter 21, it’s the New Jerusalem that is measured and the actual temple is the LORD GOD and the LAMB, whose estimation of quality is measured as quintessentially supreme; vs. 22).

"b. metaphorically, to judge according to any rule or standard, to estimate: by what standard ye measure (others; points to a measure of capacity; MATT 7:2; MARK 4:24; to measure oneself by oneself, to derive from oneself the standard by which one estimates oneself, 2 COR 10:12.
It’s the same idea as found in the vision, which was revealed to the reigning king of Babylon, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar – the handwriting upon the wall (DAN 5:5-28)".

DANIEL 5:25-28
25 And this is the writing that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. 26 This is the interpretation of the thing: Mene; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it. 27 Tekel; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. 28 Peres; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians
.

In verse 27 GOD’s estimation or His ‘measuring’ of Belshazzar was that he was “weighed in the balances and found deficient” and because of this, the kingdom would be taken away from him. Of course, this happened when Darius of the Medes conquered Babylon “without a battle”.

So, whereas temple and altar may be measured by standards of measure inspans or cubits, inches or feet, worshipers are measured by the estimation of quality of said worship. We know that GOD is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and Truth (JOHN 4:24). Sadly, we know that this valid form of worship in Spirit and Truth won’t be enforced in the temple, but that it will become desecrated by the abomination that makes desolate (DAN 9:27; 11:31; MATT 24:15) – when the anti-Christ sets up his image in the Holy of Holies to be worshiped (REV 13:14-15).

The court is not to be measured, because it’s given to the Gentiles; what was measured is the nous or temple proper, which consists of the Holy Place and then the inner sanctum of the Holy of Holies (which interestingly in the Hebrew rendering can be interpreted to mean “The Holy Place of the Holy Ones!); these areas were traditionally only for the Levitical priests and only the High Priest could enter The Holy of Holies, and then only once a year (Yom Kippur – the day of atonement). The outer court was where Jewish men and women and Jewish converts (former Gentiles) could gather, but apparently here it’s “given over to the Gentiles” and many have suggested that because the foundation of Solomon’s Temple is believed to be situated in close proximity to the Dome of the Rock mosque, that the outer court might well encompass this.

How in the world could either Jew or Muslim ever make such a drastic compromise as to allow something that either would consider sacrilege!? For such a compromise to occur, there would have to be concessions of the most extreme ecumenical spirit, and we believe that such will be the case. 

In fact, the conviction of the Temple Institute*
 for the coming Third Temple is that this will not be a Temple for Jews only, but for all believers in ‘God’. So, we may well see people of all faiths and religious persuasions allowed (“Gentiles”) into the outer court in the days of anti-Christ and perhaps even before that.

*The Temple Institute has everything ready today for their Temple with the exception of the ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat (which some claim that the leading Jewish authorities know the hidden location of this ancient implement); all of the Temple implements, the garments for the priests and high priest as well as the verified research and identification of those of Levi, who themselves have been properly trained in their ministration in the priesthood.

Take note of the last half of the last verse:
“. . . and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”

Jerusalem will be tread under foot for forty two months, or three and a half years; undoubtedly the oppression that the Jewish people will suffer once they reject who they formerly believed to be their Messiah, and because they spurn the Beast, he turns on them and begins to persecute them during the latter half of Daniels 70th prophetic week.

DANIEL 9:26-27
26b . . . and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate
(As with the Beast, likewise the Dragon, who persecutes the nation of Israel; REV 12:4-6).

The people that destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary in this prophecy obviously can’t be Babylon as that has at this point passed already. While Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the Temple in 167 BC (which launched the Maccabean Revolt, commemorated in Hanukkah) he didn’t destroy it or the city of Jerusalem. The only other time that fits this prophecy is when General Titus Vespasian, under orders of Caesar invadedIsrael, destroyed the Temple (while salvaging the gold by removing one stone off from another [MATT 24:2]) and the city.

Thus in this prophecy in DANIEL “the people (who destroyed these things, who were Romans) of the prince” indicates that in some sense, the prince – the anti-Christ will be a Roman or belonging to 'the (revived) Roman Empire' comprising of the ten toes and feet (also the ten horns that are the ten kings; DAN 7:24); in the vision given to Nebuchadnezzar (DAN 2:41-43); we commonly think of Western Europe in these terms, however the ancient Roman Empire also included parts of Eastern Europe as well as parts of the Middle East, and Northern Africa, so we can’t overlook these regions either in regards to where the anti-Christ may arise.  

Truly tragic, just as the LORD Jesus foretold:

JOHN 5:42-43
42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. 43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive
.

REVELATION 11:3-4
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth
.

The power of the LORD goes with these two witnesses who prophesy for a thousand, two hundred and sixty (1,260) days or three and a half years. But if you add up 365 days times 3.5, you come up with 1,277 days so how does that work? What we must realize is that prophetic years are composed of 360 days, not 365 days. Why is this? The simple answer is that prophetic years were based on the Jewish Lunar Calendar rather than the Solar Calendar; the Lunar Calendar consisted of 12 months with 30 days each, hence 360 days to the year, which incidentally coincides with the 360 degrees in a circle.

Also worthy of note is that all of the ancient cultures followed a 360 day year calendar rather than a 365 day year. At one point in history however, this all changed and various cultures began to employ different methodologies to accommodate a cosmological deviation that took place.

On a side note: There is some interesting conjecture that involves ‘perturbations’ that affected the orbit of the Earth that caused it to decelerate its revolution around the Sun; it’s a matter of historical record that the planet Mars on some few occasions made a ‘near’ pass-by of our planet so that there were ‘land tides’ or upheavals of land as well as earthquakes due to the gravitational pull of Mars, which appeared 50 times the size of the moon on the horizon, and with this close encounter of the Martian kind, bolides impacted on the Earth and exploded, which, many say why ‘the Red Planet’ is named Mars – or the god of war (in ancient times, long before the invention of the telescope, the two moons of Mars were supposedly visible at this time). 
Apparently Mars created a drag on the Earth and slowed its orbit so that it now takes 365 days to revolve around the Sun rather than 360. To read more about this, check out this link!

I find it interesting that one of the things that the anti-Christ will consider is to “change the times and laws”:

DANIEL 7:25
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time
.

We also know that there will be signs in the heavens (JER 10:2; DAN 6:27; LUKE 21:11) as well as tremendous earthquakes (REV 6:12) , and if you’ll allow me a bit of further conjecture, what if one of those signs is another near pass-by of the planet Mars, monstrously large on our horizon as in the days of antiquity, only this time, instead of creating a drag on our planet, the Martian sphere pulls us forward at an accelerated rate, exciting all kinds of seismic activity (which would explain all the earthquakes we see in the book of REVELATION) so that we go back to a 360 day year, thus the Beast adjusting the “times” out of necessity and as for the “laws” – that these would delete any and all references to Christ in observed holidays (His birth and His resurrection)?

It would certainly make it a lot easier for the Tribulation saints to track the prophetic year if our times were reverted back to how things were before!

Getting back to these two witnesses:
They are identified as “the two olive trees” – and where do we see this reference in other Scripture? If we look at ZECHARIAH 4, we get the answer. Bottom line, these two olive trees, and the two branches through which the two golden pipes empty the oil into are “the two anointed ones” which coincides with what we have in our text: 

REV 11:4These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”; the two witnesses who perform  their ministry by the Spirit of GOD, Who alone enables us to be faithful witnesses of the LORD (ACTS 1:8).

Can we narrow down our identification of these two nameless witnesses? 

Many have proposed that these two are Moses and Elijah (they were the ones that appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration with the LORD; MATT 17:3) and if we look ahead in our text, the powers that these two exhibit parallels with what Elijah and Moses did (JAMES 5:17; EXODUS Ch 7 through 11). Moses and Elijah together represent “the law and the prophets” the summation of the Old Testament, which is crucial if one properly understands what the 70th week of Daniel is all about.

Others recommend Elijah and Enoch as these are the only two in the Bible that never died; the Beast ends up defeating and killing these two witnesses (but they rise again to life!) but since Scripture states that it’s appointed unto man once to die (HEB 9:27), that Enoch and Elijah would be the perfect candidates!

There is good support for either position, of course, yet there are other perspectives as well. For example, even though Moses did die (the LORD buried him; DEUT 34:5-7), he could be one of these two witnesses and die a second time – Lazarus died twice as well as did all the other people that were raised from the dead, in the Old Testament and the New. The verse from HEBREWS that states that it’s appointed man once to die is the general rule, but I don’t think that it’s absolute.

While Elijah lived in Gilead, and was himself a Tishbite, he lived there as a foreigner and was in all likelihood a faithful Jew. Because of the apostasy in Israel, it’s understandable why he would want to leave his people and dwell in a foreign land (Jeremiah wanted to leave his people as well; JER 9:2); yet Enoch preceded Abraham, and so is a Gentile – and there are those who propose that these two witnesses represent Jew and Gentile, rendering judgment on Jew and Gentile alike (ROM 2:9).

Yet what else do we see these two witnesses do? Look at verse 5 here:

REVELATION 11:5-6
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.  6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

When did we ever see any prophet of GOD do this? Of course, Elijah called fire down from heaven, but not from his mouth! While I can see justification for either position, I’m open to at least the possibility that these two may simply be unknown Jewish prophets that the LORD will raise up for this Time of Jacob’s Trouble who, as it so happens, perform some of the same miraculous deeds that Moses and Elijah did – with the addition of some ‘fiery breath’ that kills (talk about halitosis)! What’s also interesting is that any Old Testament prophet performed the miraculous at the explicit instruction of GOD, yet these two it seems can “smite the earth with all plagues as often as they will”. GOD grants them blanket permission to smite as often as they want.

REVELATION 11:7-8
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified
.

There is coming a time for all of us who belong to the LORD, when our testimony in this world is finished; until that time arrives, we are shielded by the LORD so that we are virtually indestructible, preserved until our race has been run (2 TIM 4:7) and by the grace of GOD, won! Once that testimony – our life and all the fruit that the LORD has produced in our lives – is completed, we are able then to go Home

Paul the apostle knew the quandary of wanting to be with the LORD, but also understood that it was needful, for the sake of the church, that he would remain and minister to the saints (PHIL 1:22-24).

For these two prophets, their testimony having been completed, the LORD then allows the Beast to overcome them and kill them – but this isn’t the end, much to the astonishment of the nations! The Beast does not at this time ascend out of the bottomless pit, for he was already seen in REV 6:2; what’s being said here, as I mentioned previously in Chapter 6, is the point of origin of the Beast (“the bottomless pit”):
"If one examines Chapter 11 carefully, it addresses the beast 'that ascends out of the bottomless pit' in a reflexive manner; in referring to the beast, it speaks of his origin – where he came from (“the bottomless pit”), and not that he comes from that place concurrently with the slaying of the two witnesses.
"For example, I could say 'James Fire, who comes from New York, helped to establish The Truth Under Fire website.' That doesn’t mean that I came from New York at the same time as establishing this website; it simply refers to my place of origin, in order to identify me as the one who did this thing. I didn’t help to establish this website until fifteen years after I came from New York to Arizona.
"I believe this white rider is indeed the Beast – and that the spirit of the Beast comes from the bottomless pit; yet I also believe that Satan himself shall possess the Beast at a crucial point in time when this man of sin, the son of perdition will demand worship of 'the earth dwellers'."
REVELATION 11:9-11
And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them
.

It’s interesting that the time of their testimony lasts for three and a half years, and the time in which their bodies are displayed before the entire world is three and a half days. This is significant in a prophetic sense, as each of those days by type represents years.
If you read this text carefully, you might see that this verse intimates global network television: because it states that all “people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies”. They are not permitted to bury the bodies in any sense of decency; they are left exposed as trophies of the tyrant, the Beast.

What’s more, people even celebrate their deaths, and exchange gifts (which makes me wonder if this will happen to coincide with Winter Solstice, a pagan time of debauchery and gift exchanging). 
How the wicked rejoice when the righteous suffer! How the righteous should petition and pray when they suffer at the hands of the wicked or even when the wicked suffer, and ask that the LORD use their sufferings to draw them to Himself; so may we pray for those who hate us, and bless those that curse us (MATT 5:10-12; PSALM 35:19).

Remember that whoever touches you, touches the apple of GOD’s eye – such is the loving devotion that the LORD affords His saints, and if the sinner afflicts you, a member of the body of Christ, then they are afflicting Christ (ACTS 9:4; 22:7), and outside of their repentance, they will suffer the wrath of the LAMB! What greater reason do we have to intercede to the LORD on their behalf, that He would extend His mercy and grace (ACTS 7:60).

A truly remarkable thing it will be, to see on global television, the rising up to life of these two dead bodies – and then what will they see . . . (on CNN perhaps??): they will rise up into the heavens in a cloud!

I’m quite sure that even though no one in this world will actually witness the church rapturing into heaven like these two prophets – apparently their ascension is similar to our LORD’s because it was something people could watch over a brief period of time. Not so for the rapture of the church – “in the twinkling of an eye” it says (1 COR 15:52). Some have said that the “twinkling” in the Greek implies the time it takes for light to strike the retina and reflect back, which is a mere fraction of a second! Yet they will witness the aftereffects of the rapture – people both living and dead, suddenly vanished into thin air, leaving not a trace! The terror of that experience I think will be akin to what we see here in our text.

REVELATION 11:12-13
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted and gave glory to the God of heaven
.

It is a question in my mind whether or not the “earth dwellers” will be able to hear this voice, or only the two witnesses. We know that John the apostle likewise heard this same voice giving the same command (REV 4:1) and he later is addressed by one of the angels, saying the same thing (REV 17:1) to witness the judgment on Babylon. The idea of heaven being “up” and hell being “down there” is sometimes smiled upon by some as antiquated yet the voice is telling the two witnesses exactly that! “Come UP hither”! Up perhaps to a higher dimension of reality?

While these are witnessed by the unredeemed – those that counted these two as their enemies, it’s worthy of note that our LORD, after His resurrection is seen only by His beloved. When He appeared forty days post-resurrection to His disciples and later arose into the heavens, He was never seen by His enemies. That, however, will not be the case with His return!

REVELATION 1:7-8
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty
.

There is an earthquake immediately after the ascension of the two witnesses and seven thousand deaths as a result, having leveled one tenth of Jerusalem. The inhabitants of the city at this point, in sheer terror gave glory to the GOD of heaven. This appears to be the only time that this happens; a result of the ministry of the two witnesses. Yet afterwards, the judgment of GOD will weigh even heavier and grieve rebellious man, and rather than give glory to GOD they will blaspheme His Name (REV 16:9).

REVELATION 11:14-15
14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever
.

Even though we have yet to see a single judgment fall as a result of the seven bowls, remember that these bowls are under the seventh trumpet and thus are included in it. This seventh trumpet now sounds and what happens? Something glorious . . .
There is the following declaration made: That the kingdoms of this world are no longer under the domain of Satan. 
Remember what Satan said to Christ during His 40 days in the wilderness?

LUKE 4:5-6
And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it
.

At the sounding of the seventh trumpet the declaration is made, that the kingdoms of the world have been delivered out of the hand of Satan, the god of this world (2 COR. 4:4). This fantastic and awesome deliverance is all due to the LORD Jesus Christ and His atonement by blood, who not only redeemed the souls of men, but also of this world (not the world-system that is governed by satanic rule of chaos – that will be destroyed along with Satan himself – is being destroyed as these judgments proceed).

The LORD purchased the hidden treasure (MATT 13:44) – souls that He purchased, but He also purchased the field (which according to this parable is “the world” vs. 38) that the treasure was hidden in. So while He made the purchase from the Cross, He didn’t take immediate possession of it – and Satan has been a squatter with unlawful claims on this world since the atonement of Christ. In making His declaration that the time is coming to a close wherein He will take possession “and He shall reign forever and ever” He is announcing the utter defeat and eviction of this 'god'!

Shall we take a moment from the study and bask in the glorious praises to our KING of Kings and LORD of Lords, with Handel’s MESSIAH? 

MESSIAH KING: HANDEL's HALLELUJAH CHORUS



This is the veritable culmination of all ages of mankind, the very near and well-nigh present Presentation of the Prince of Peace! This is the majestic climax of that which was finished upon Calvary and brought into grand display of the incontestable, incontrovertible VICTORY that Christ has won, wholly decimating the devil and all his dominion! He is about to lay claim to that which is wholly His own, that the KING has obtained through His own shed blood, accomplished by His own death, and His glorious resurrection! The misery of sin’s curse, millennia old; the travesties of tumultuous tyrannies and oppression, the agonies and wearisome weight of wickedness that has saturated every breath of man; every work he has ever wrought, every endeavor he has ever sought for and accomplished – all of it, will soon come crashing down in resolute destruction and swept away, never to be revisited! And in its place, a holy kingdom of righteousness and beauty and purity and goodness where love shall reign in the hearts of men, and never ever again be darkened by the blight of sin and evil!


GLORY TO THE KING, HAIL HIM the HOLY LORD JESUS CHRIST, WORTHY ARE YOU O LORD TO RECEIVE ALL HONOR AND POWER AND GLORY AND PRAISE!

REVELATION 11:16-17
16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned
.

Note the tense in which these statements are made: “have taken”, “has reigned” – past tense; for the LORD, the victory was never in doubt. There was never the slightest chance that evil one would vanquish the Holy One. This inspires such worship on behalf of the twenty-four elders that they get up from their seats and fall on their faces in complete humility and pure reverence!

The ETERNAL GOD – who is and was and is to come, has declared in the Holy Scriptures that this war that spanned the length of breadth of history on this tiny planet has been won and was destined to be so won, ever since the LORD declared His victory from the time of man’s fall (GEN 3:15). It was as good as done then!

Then when the SON of GOD showed up in that tiny manger, for the world at large it was hardly even noticed, but among those who saw Him, it was a time of sublime joy and hope – not so for Herod who heard from the wise men that a new King of the Jews has been born, someone who threatened his own reign; even more so, for Satan and his reign – this was not a celebration of joy but a Holy Pronouncement of War! A Holy Invasion!

REVELATION 11:18
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth
.

PSALM 2 addresses this same spirit of rebellion of sinful man:
1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
And the LORD’s response?
He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision
His next response is akin to what we read in our text:
Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath and vex them in his sore displeasure.
The nations were angry, but such heat is tepid compared to the white-hot fury of GOD’s wrath, Who has endured the effrontery of evil, obnoxious rebellion, and hardness of heart and unbelief from the souls of man for over 6,000 years – to say nothing of the machinations of Satan’s sinful plots that worked behind the scenes in human history, with the (lame) intent to thwart GOD’s own plans of redemption for all who are repentant and willing to receive salvation through Christ! Such baneful behavior is high treason against the Holy Throne of GOD!
Judgment Day is coming, and Christ’s Court will soon be in Session and the unredeemed souls that have utterly rejected Jesus as LORD, who would have nothing to do with the salvation plan He offers freely, these will be judged not based merely on their actions, but their words, and the thoughts of their minds. All will be laid bare and scrutinized with holy eyes and measured against the Holy and Eternal Law of GOD. Abject hopelessness is the understatement of all time, for the unredeemed will not need the LORD to utter one word of condemnation: His very holy presence alone will convict them of every wrongdoing and thought that they ever committed (ROM 3:19). The LORD has vowed that He will destroy those who destroyed the Earth!

As terrifying as this will be for the lost, for those who know the love of the LORD, it will be a time of joy and gladness, the intensity of which will be such, that we will be glad to have glorified bodies – these vessels of mere clay we are encased in now would never survive the experience! Joy to the prophet, joy to the apostle, joy to all His servants, all who revere the LORD, both small and great, joy unending, enduring, never diminishing but perpetually escalating!

ISAIAH 35:10
And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away
.
REVELATION 11:19
19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail
.

GOD’s ark, the genuine and original, of which Moses’ was only a replica – this ark in heaven was the very place where our High Priest came and sprinkled the blood – not of goats and bulls, but of His own body (HEB 9:22-24), as the sole propitiation that appeased GOD the Father’s wrath (ROM 3:25; 1 JOHN 2:2; 4:10), and brought reconciliation between our Holy GOD and formerly wayward souls (COL 1:20-22), now repentant sinners transformed into saints (1 COR 6:11; COL 1:13)! Just as this chapter began with an earthquake in Jerusalem, so now we see yet another, and lightnings and voices and thunder – all things that can be shaken are being shaken and only the eternal Kingdom shall stand fast, along with those who are loyal citizens of the KING!

HEBREWS 12:28
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear
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