Sunday, November 13, 2011

GOG, THE LAND OF MAGOG


The purpose of God in the prophecy of Ezekiel is to show us the transition from the Old Testament temple in Jerusalem, to the New Testament temple of God in the souls of the New Testament believers, and then after this earth has been destroyed to the new creation, which will be God’s final dwelling place.

In this prophecy God tells us at length that the Old Testament temple was destroyed for the wickedness of the people of Judah and Jerusalem. But Judah and Jerusalem were not the only wicked people on this earth, and that is why this prophecy also addresses many nations. Satan is ruling in the hearts of the people in those nations. Therefore God has a special message to the king of Tyre and to the king of Egypt, which are actually messages to Satan that he will be judged. Beginning in chapter 34 are messages to the New Testament church. Then in chapters 38-39 we read about:



The Last Battle (Ezekiel 38:1-9, Ezekiel 39:17-20, Revelation 19:17-18, 2 Peter 3:10)

And in chapters 40-48 we read about the New Jerusalem in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

Here is the Last Battle:

Ezekiel 38:1
And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ezekiel 38:2
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Ezekiel 38:3
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

Ezekiel 38:4
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

Ezekiel 38:5
Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

Ezekiel 38:6
Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

Ezekiel 38:7
Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

Ezekiel 38:8
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

Ezekiel 38:9
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

In verse 2 God speaks to Gog. The KJV shows exactly what the Hebrew text reads. Gog is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; Gog is identified with the land of Magog. These names Magog, and Meshech, and Tubal, and Gomer are given in Genesis 10 as the sons of Japheth, the son of Noah. And Togarmah is identified as the son of Gomer. And thus these names refer to the Gentile nations West and North of the nation of Israel. These nations have allied themselves with the nations East and South of the nation of Israel, for we read that also Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them. It looks like all the Gentile nations are waging war against the nation of Israel.

Why do I call this the Last Battle?

Let us take a look at Ezekiel 39:17, and there we read about the end of that great army:

Ezekiel 39:17
And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.

Ezekiel 39:18
Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.

Ezekiel 39:19
And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.

Ezekiel 39:20
Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.

We know that these words refer to the Last Day of this earth, when Satan and all his demons and all people who are with him will be cast into Hell. God told us that in Revelation 19:17-18.

In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapter 19 we read about the Last Battle that will be fought on this earth. Satan and all the nations of the world against the Lord Jesus Christ and His army. This will not be a physical battle; this will be a spiritual battle, for the battle between Christ and Satan is always a spiritual battle. But spiritual battles are outside our range of understanding, and thus God conveys it in earthly terms.

Revelation 19:17
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

Revelation 19:18
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

And thus we must read the prophecy in Ezekiel 38-39 as a prophecy concerning the Last Battle on this earth.

There are not two last battles; there is only one Last Battle. It is the battle that will be fought during the Final Tribulation Period.

The Final Tribulation Period will be characterized by an outward peace and safety in this world. For example, we read in 2 Peter 3:10, that “the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night”. Almost no one will be expecting Christ to return at that time, because spiritual battles are not visible to the world of the unsaved.



Gog and Magog and Israel (Ezekiel 38:2-4, Revelation 20:7-10, Matthew 2:14-15, Hosea 11:1, Numbers 24:17, Isaiah 49:3, Isaiah 49:6)

Who is Gog, or who does Gog represent?

And who does Magog represent?

We read in Ezekiel 38:

Ezekiel 38:2
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Ezekiel 38:3
And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

Ezekiel 38:4
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

I dare to say that Gog represents Satan. We come to this conclusion when we compare Ezekiel 38 with the Last Battle written in Revelation 20.

In Revelation 20 God summarizes this earth’s history from the cross to the end of time. God speaks about this symbolically as 1000 years.

Revelation 20:7
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Revelation 20:8
And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Revelation 20:9
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Revelation 20:10
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

In this passage Gog and Magog are lumped together. By himself Satan is a spirit. In order to bring all this evil in the world Satan must indwell human beings. That is where Magog comes in. The name Magog means “Land of Gog”.

And what is the land where Satan dwells?

Satan is the prince of the power of the air. He and his fallen angels are ruling over all unsaved of mankind, over this entire world. That is why Gog and Magog encompass “the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth”. These are all the nations of the earth, because there are only four quarters.

Who are they fighting?

They “compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city”. They are fighting the remaining servants of Christ, who are citizens of the Heavenly Jerusalem. But in Ezekiel 38:8 they are doing battle against “Israel”.

Is it possible that “the saints” are identified as “Israel”?

And that is indeed true, for one of the meanings of Israel is Christ.

There in Matthew 2 Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus fled into Egypt to hide from the wrath of king Herod. And after the death of Herod they returned to the land of the Jews. But there in Matthew 2 we also find the clue that God is calling Jesus “Israel”. We read in Matthew 2:14,

Matthew 2:14
When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

Matthew 2:15
And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Where in the Old Testament do we find this saying?

Clearly these words direct us to the prophecy of Hosea.

Hosea 11:1
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Clearly the baby Jesus is called here “Israel”. Once we open our minds to the fact that Christ is also called Israel we find a great deal more in the Old Testament to support this. For example, God put His words in the mouth of the false prophet Balaam when he spoke of the coming of Christ to judge all the unsaved.

Numbers 24:17
I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

In Isaiah 49 God clearly identifies the Lord Jesus Christ as Israel. Christ says in verse 1, “from the bowels of My mother hath He made mention of My Name”. There are not many who were named before they were born, but the Lord Jesus is one of them. He was named Jesus at His conception in the womb of Mary. And then He continues in verse 3,

Isaiah 49:3
And said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

Here He is called “Israel”.

Is this speaking of Jacob, or is this speaking of Christ?

Isaiah 49:6
And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

This can only refer to the Lord Jesus Christ, for He alone can be salvation unto the end of the earth. If Christ is called Israel then those who are the Bride of Christ are also called Israel. Therefore in Revelation 20:9 “the camp of the saints” is the same group of people who are in Ezekiel 38:8 called “Israel”. These are not all of Jewish descent, but they are spiritual Jews in the eyes of God as defined in Romans 2:28-29.

But could “the camp of the saints” and “Israel” not refer to the physical Jews who are evangelizing for Christ in the 1000 year reign of Christ on this earth?

That is not possible, for “the camp of the saints” is also identified as “the beloved city”, and that cannot refer to the city of Jerusalem there East of the Mediterranean. When the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross the veil in the temple was torn from the top to the bottom. God indicated thereby that the Holy of Holies was no longer the place where God dwells. It means that the temple was no longer the temple of God, and the city of Jerusalem was no longer the beloved city of God. After the cross there is only one beloved city, not two. God does not have two different plans of salvation, one for the Jews and one for the Gentiles. There is only one plan of salvation for all.



Like a Cloud Out of the North (Ezekiel 38:9, Ezekiel 38:16, Revelation 9:1-2, Revelation 20:7, Revelation 9:3, Revelation 9:16)

Ezekiel 38:9
Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.

It is significant that God mentioned a cloud, not only here but also in verse 16.

Ezekiel 38:16
And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

Satan and all his bands shall cover the land in such great multitudes that they resemble a cloud. When we read this we are reminded of that end time battle where Satan and his angels are released from the Bottomless Pit.

In Revelation 9 we see two end time battles. They are not two but one. There is only one end time battle which is described in more than ten different ways in the Bible, because the real spiritual battle cannot be seen with human eyes, and thus God describes it for us in earthly terms.

God’s purpose is not to scare us, but to warn us for the nature of the spiritual battle in the Final Tribulation Period, so that we will not be snared in the lies of Satan. God says in Revelation 9:1,

Revelation 9:1
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

Revelation 9:2
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

When the time of the end is near, Christ opens the Bottomless Pit to release Satan and all his fallen angels. Remember, this was promised in Revelation 20:7. The multitude of the army of Satan is so great that it appears as a cloud which darkens even the sun.

In Revelation 9:3 this cloud descends on the earth as an army of locusts, and in Revelation 9:16 this cloud descends on the earth as an army of 200 million horsemen.

Who is causing this catastrophe on the earth?

Christ does it, for He opens the Bottomless Pit releasing Satan and his angels. And Christ brings this army of demons on the earth to afflict those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads, to hasten the time when the cup of His indignation will be full. And thus we see in Revelation 9 two other descriptions of the same spiritual battle that will be waged in the Final Tribulation Period.

Here we see that Satan and his demons are waging war against.



The Land of Unwalled Villages (Ezekiel 38:11, Hebrews 13:5-6, Zechariah 2:4-5, Galatians 4:25-26, Galatians 3:29, Romans 4:16-17, Romans 5:1)

Ezekiel 38:11
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages (06519); I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

What is this land?

Verse 8 says that it is the land of Israel, “which has been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them”.

The land of Israel symbolizes the visible part of the Kingdom of God, which always has been a wasteland in the Old Testament time, but which now in the New Testament time is brought forth out of the remnant of the Gentile nations.

What is the big deal about these unwalled villages?

Verse 11 says, these are people “that are at rest, that dwell safely”, and verse 8 says, “and they shall dwell safely all of them”.

Do we presently dwell safely?

And why can we feel as if we dwell safely?

It is because Christ protects us and Christ fights for us. We are safe and secure in His hands. The Lord Jesus said in Hebrews 13:5-6, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me”.

We are His property, and He will draw a hedge around us so that nothing and no one can separate us from the love of Christ. In Zech 2 God hastens to tell us of this our safety. We read in Zechariah 2:4-5,

Zechariah 2:4
And (the angel) said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls (06519) for the multitude of men and cattle therein:

Zechariah 2:5
For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.

God speaks here about Jerusalem in the New Testament era, and God does not speak about Jerusalem there East of the Mediterranean, for that ancient city of Jerusalem is no longer the city of God. We must always remember that the New Testament is the latest revelation that carries the greater weight.

What does God say about the city of Jerusalem, the city of bricks and mortar?

In Galatians 4 God reveals something very striking about the present day Jews and the present day Jerusalem. God tells us that the story of Abraham and Hagar and Sarah was designed as an historical allegory. It was historically true, but Hagar and Sarah were pictures of two covenants, one that gendereth to bondage, and one covenant of grace that makes men free. To our surprise God says:

Galatians 4:25
For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Galatians 4:26
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

This message must be printed in our memory: “Jerusalem which now is, is in bondage with her children”.

The present day city of bricks and mortar there East of the Mediterranean is represented by Hagar, and is in bondage with her children, which means that the present day unconverted Jews are still in bondage to sin and Satan, just like they were when they were born into this world. They think that they are children of Sarah, but God says that they are children of Hagar. The Bible says that all mankind comes into this world in bondage to sin and Satan. Only those who have been saved by grace, through the cross of Christ, have been delivered from this bondage. But those who are still in bondage are on a slippery slide into Hell, because they cannot free themselves from this bondage. When after the cross God glowingly speaks about the “beloved city”, or the “holy city”, God is not speaking about the earthly city of Jerusalem, but about the “Heavenly Jerusalem”, for the earthly city has come under the curse of being in bondage to sin and Satan. Galatians 4:25-26 makes this point perfectly clear. But Sarah represents the Heavenly Jerusalem, which is the mother of “us all”. These words “us all” do not refer to every human being in the world, for a part of the human race belong to Hagar. Sarah is the mother of “us all” who are children of Abraham.

And who are the children of Abraham?

They are all those who have received the grace of salvation through the blood of Christ, and who have received the gift of faith to rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross as evidence that they have been “Born Again”.

Galatians 3:29
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

All those who have become saved are children of Abraham and Sarah, and are heirs according to the promise, like Isaac and like Jacob became heirs to the promise of eternal life in Christ.

God confirmed this promise with an oath, and God confirmed this in our hearts by giving us faith.

The Bible says, “Abraham believed God”, not Abraham believed in God, which means that Abraham believed what God has said. When God saves us He gives us this same faith to believe what God has said, and then we believe the Bible from cover to cover, for we read in Romans 4:16-17,

Romans 4:16
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Romans 4:17
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

And because God has given us this faith, we are totally at peace and we fear no evil from what man can do unto us.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

And since we are totally at peace with God, and fear no attack from man or from the Devil, we dwell as it were spiritually in a land of unwalled villages, because God, our Defender and our Avenger, “will be unto us a wall of fire round about”, like He promised in Zechariah 2:5.

Let us now look at the army of Satan who is trying to convert us to his side, like he has accomplished in most of the world.



All of Them Riding Upon Horses (Ezekiel 38:10-16, Revelation 9:15-16)

It is a great and mighty army which Satan and his demons have recruited from all the nations in the world.

Ezekiel 38:10
Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things (lit: words) come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:

Ezekiel 38:11
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,

Ezekiel 38:12
To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

Ezekiel 38:13
Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?

Ezekiel 38:14
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

Ezekiel 38:15
And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

Ezekiel 38:16
And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

In verse 10 literally we read in the Hebrew text, “It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall “words” come into thy mind”. Words shall be the new strategy that Satan uses to attack those whom he hates. In the Final Tribulation Period he will try to seduce the saints with gospels that are so close to the true Gospel that even the elect might be deceived, if that were possible. This is the nature of the Final Tribulation Period. And although Satan comes silently, with words, God describes him as a formidable foe, and his armies are described as riding on horses. Horses are used for war. It is an all out war that he is waging on the saints, greatly outnumbering them.

Think of it: Almost all the churches in the world, gone apostate, are ganging up on a few faithful believers in the world.

What are the chances that the children of these believers will marry those who are faithful to the Word of God?

Very slim. It is as if we are doing battle with an army of 200 million horsemen. And that is indeed the case. We read in Revelation 9,

Revelation 9:15
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

Revelation 9:16
And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

200 million horsemen on one side and perhaps one million saints on the other side. Who will win this battle?

Let us turn again to Ezekiel 38:17, and see how this battle unfolds.

God says here:



And All Shall Shake at My Presence (Ezekiel 38:17-23, Revelation 20:9)

Ezekiel 38:17
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?

Ezekiel 38:18
And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.

Ezekiel 38:19
For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

Ezekiel 38:20
So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

Ezekiel 38:21
And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.

Ezekiel 38:22
And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

Ezekiel 38:23
Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

So we see, the saints do not fight. God will fight for us. When the situation becomes unbearable for the saints, when Satan will have wrecked our households, when our children choose to leave home and are shacking up with someone of the opposite sex, when hurricanes and earthquakes are ravaging our houses and our jobs, when we barely can make ends meet, and when we are about to collapse emotionally, then God fights for us and God will put an end to all of this turmoil.

And what we read in verses 20-22, is that not typical of the phenomena that we will be seeing at the end of time?

Yes indeed. On the Last Day it will be raining fire and brimstone out of heaven, just like in the days of Lot. And then we find the same event described in Revelation 20:9 in different words. And there we read:

Revelation 20:9
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.



So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel (Ezekiel 39:6-8, 1 Thessalonians 1:8, John 17:3, Isaiah 26:20-21, Isaiah 43:2)

Ezekiel 39 is a review of the battle that went on in Ezekiel 38. God says:

Ezekiel 39:6
And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 39:7
So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

Ezekiel 39:8
Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.

God will send a fire on Magog, the Land of Gog, which means on the entire world, and God will also remember to send a fire “among them that dwell carelessly”. It means that God “in flaming fire is taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”, as we can read in 1 Thessalonians 1:8. To know God is salvation. The Lord Jesus said in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”.

And thus we must study our Bibles, for we must know Christ, and by God’s grace we shall know Him. But let us be careful to understand that we cannot know Him by studying hard our Bible, or by praying on our knees for many hours, or by giving alms to Katrina victims, and so on. We do not earn to know Christ by anything we do. Knowing Christ is entirely a gift from God.

In Isaiah 26:20-21 God is giving His saints advice to calmly take whatever there is to endure during the Final Tribulation Period, because it is only for a short time. This is the main point: It is only for a short time. Don’t lose your cool. We read in Isaiah 26:20,

Isaiah 26:20
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

Isaiah 26:21
For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

It does not mean that we should literally hide in our houses and lock the doors, since the Final Tribulation Period will last many years; we should not be starving ourselves to death. But it means that we should stay calm in whatever calamity comes our way. These calamities are not meant to hurt us, but they are meant for those “which have not the seal of God in their foreheads”.

God says in Isaiah 43:2, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee”.

AMEN.

By Alfred J. Chompff

Friday, November 11, 2011

THE BOTTOMLESS PIT




Revelation 9:1
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

Revelation 9:2
And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Here in Revelation 9:1-2 the words “Bottomless Pit” are mentioned for the first time in the Bible.

We cannot understand this chapter unless we first have a good understanding of that concept, “the Bottomless Pit”.

Let us first ask the question:



Was Satan Ever Locked Up? (Luke 11:21-22, Colossians 2:15, Hebrews 2:14, John 12:31, 2 Peter 2:4)

Ever since the sin of Adam in the Garden of Eden Satan dominated this world. The Lord Jesus called Satan “a strong man”.

When Jesus said that He will overcome Satan, what did He mean?

Jesus referred to His crucifixion as the time when He will overcome Satan, and He will rob the house of Satan. We read in Luke 11:21-22,

Luke 11:21
When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

Luke 11:22
But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, He taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

All the spiritual armor that Satan trusted in would be removed and the Lord Jesus would take from Satan all those individuals whom He intended to save. Satan and all his fallen angels would not be able to frustrate God’s plans. All those whom God wishes to save will be saved.

And is this not what we also read in the Epistle to the Colossians?

Colossians 2:15
And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Past tense!

When we read verses in the Bible which state that at the cross Satan was defeated, we find that they often state it in the past tense.

Satan’s defeat is stated in various ways.

In Luke 11 Satan will be overcome.

In Colossians 2:15 Christ is triumphant over him.

In Hebrews 2:14 Satan was destroyed at the cross.

This tells us that when we see the word “destroy” in the Bible it does not mean annihilate or incinerate. When the Lord Jesus spoke of His impending crucifixion and resurrection, He also spoke of casting out Satan. We read in John 12:31, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out”.

If Satan is overcome, and defeated, and destroyed, and cast out, all at the time of the cross, we need to ask:

He was cast out from where to where?

In 2nd Peter 2:4 God says that He has cast Satan down to Hell, and God has bound Satan with chains of darkness.

2 Peter 2:4
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

These angels that sinned were formerly in heaven. This strongly suggests that Satan and his fallen angels were cast out of heaven and cast into Hell. Let us see how we can understand that.



Where Was Satan Before He Was Cast Out? (Romans 9:20, Job 1:6-7, Luke 10:17-18, Revelation 12:7, Revelation 12:10)

Job was a just and upright man. God loved Job, but Satan believed that he could corrupt Job and draw him away from God. And so the contest began, which cost Job a great deal of suffering. For 31 chapters long Job asked himself why God did this to him. But in the end God’s answer was very much like what we read in Romans 9:20, “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” God does not need to justify His actions to mortal man. Here in Job 1:6-7 we read:

Job 1:6
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Job 1:7
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

In other words, throughout the Old Testament time Satan was free to go in and out of heaven whenever he wanted.

But did this situation continue?

No!

In Luke 10:18 the Lord Jesus spoke about the casting out of Satan as if it had already happened, because His work at the cross was sure to come and thus Satan’s defeat was already a certainty. We read in Luke 10:17-18, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven”.

Let us now focus on this event.

Here in Revelation 12 we read about a war in heaven. We should not try to imagine what this war looked like, since this is a spiritual war. But it is certain that in the Old Testament time Satan was in heaven. We read in Revelation 12:7, “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels.”

When was this war going on?

This was not a war that was fought before the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, because Satan was still able to go in and out of heaven, according to Job 1:7. This is not a war that will be fought at the end of time, because in Revelation 12:13 Satan is continuing to persecute the woman on this earth. The only possibility is that this was a spiritual war that was fought all throughout the Old Testament time. It began immediately after the death of Abel, and it ended with the glorious victory of Christ in His completed work and His exaltation at the right hand of the Father.

What was this spiritual battle about?

It was for the possession of the souls who had already entered into glory when Christ had not yet come to atone for their sins and Christ had not yet crushed the head of Satan. But then we read in verse 10,

Revelation 12:10
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

In heaven Satan continually accused the Old Testament saints before the throne of God that they must be in Hell for their sins. Satan was the accuser of our brethren. But when Christ completed His atonement for their sins Satan’s armor wherein he trusted was taken from him, and he was cast out of heaven.



Where Was Satan Cast Down to? (Revelation 12:9, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6, Revelation 20:1-3)

Revelation 12:9
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

This verse says that the Devil was cast down to the earth.

Here in 2 Peter 2:4 God says that He has cast Satan down to Hell.

2 Peter 2:4
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

The word Hell in 2 Peter 2:4 is not the Greek word that that is usually used for Hell, but it is the Greek word “Tartarus”.

And where is Tartarus?

Revelation 12:9 says that it is on this earth.

It is significant, though, that these spirits were delivered to Tartarus “in chains of darkness”.

What does this mean?

The word darkness in the Bible indicates “no understanding”. Satan and his fallen angels, or demons, were cast to Tartarus, on this earth, and without wanting to speculate too much, we believe they were struck with little or no understanding how to frustrate the plans of God. It is significant that this is repeated in Jude 1:6.

Jude 1:6
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

The angels who kept not their first assignment, but joined Satan in his rebellion, God has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, reserved unto Judgment Day, at which time they will be cast into Hell, the real Hell. And so, we come to the conclusion that the fallen angels are cast onto this earth, but they are held on this earth in chains of darkness, in chains of no understanding how to frustrate the plans of God.

In the first three verses of Revelation 20 God summarizes events spanning about 2000 years.

Revelation 20:1
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

Revelation 20:2
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Revelation 20:3
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

Who is the angel who has the key of the bottomless pit?

In Revelation 1:18 the Lord Jesus says, “I have the keys of Hell and of death”. This Angel, or better translated "Messenger", can only be Christ. And it was Christ who bound Satan when He atoned for sins of His people at the cross. And because Satan was bound, Christ could plunder his house.

For how long was Satan bound?

He was bound for a long time, which symbolically is given here as a 1000 years. This cannot be a literal 1000 years because we are already about 2000 years after the cross. At the cross Christ cast Satan into “the bottomless pit”; there is that word again. And for all that long period of time Satan was spiritually bound in order “that he should deceive the nations no more”.

It does not say that Satan could no more deceive individuals, but that he could no more deceive the "nations".

At the end of the long period of time, symbolized by the 1000 years, Satan will be loosed from his spiritual chains of darkness, and he will be again as powerful as he has been before Christ came and bound him. And the fraction of true believers will again be as small as it was before Christ went to the cross.

That is scary!



Why Was Satan Cast Out? (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23, Revelation 12:11)

Satan became the enemy of the human race and Satan became the enemy of God. Satan was cast out of heaven because God promised to crush the head of Satan way back in the Garden of Eden, and to cut down his rulership on the earth.

Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.

By tempting Eve and Adam into sin Satan had temporarily won the battle for the rulership of the earth and for the enslavement of mankind. Now mankind was worshipping him. This he wanted all along. God disclosed to us Satan’s intentions in the prophecy of Isaiah 14:12-14,

Isaiah 14:12
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

Isaiah 14:13
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Isaiah 14:14
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

This was Satan’s ultimate desire; to be worshipped like God. And therefore he committed the perfect crime, by tempting Eve and then Adam into sin. On the one hand that was a very clever plan, but on the other hand it was not smart of him to think that he could be wiser than God.

And Satan did not figure on the wrath of God on every sinner. God says in Ezekiel 18:4, “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die”. In the New Testament God says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death”. And the death that God has in view is not annihilation, but it is the second death of spending an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

But HOW was Satan cast out of heaven?

Revelation 12:11
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

This is HOW they overcame Satan: By the blood of the Lamb. When Christ had atoned for the sins of all the Old Testament saints it had become plain, so plain that even the Devil cannot contradict it that all the Old Testament saints had a right to glory on the basis of Christ’s atonement of their sins and guilt. And now it is plain to everyone in heaven that the New Testament saints are also included in the atonement of Christ. Therefore the conflict must end here. The Devil is defeated. He cannot continue.

And how is Satan continually defeated on this earth also?

We read here: “By the word of their testimony”.

When the Gospel is preached, and people are converted in their souls, the Devil’s plans for these individuals are frustrated.



What Was the Result From Casting Him Out? (Revelation 12:10, Romans 10:17, Acts 2:41, Acts 2:47, Revelation 20:3)

Revelation 12:10
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Now has come salvation for all those for whom Christ suffered and died. The Devil has no power to hinder the salvation of all those people. God the Holy Spirit causes the Gospel to be heard by all those for whom Christ suffered and died, and God the Holy Spirit makes them “Born Again”, or “Born from Above”. They in turn bring the Gospel to others who will be converted, and so on. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).

And this is how the Kingdom of God is established on this earth. This is how the church gains strength, by preaching the Gospel. Not just by talking about it, but by actually doing it. This is how the accuser of our brethren is cast down. When the Apostle Peter preached one sermon at Pentecost, about 3000 souls were saved. We read in Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls”.

And not long thereafter we read in Acts 2:47, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved”. Those who should be saved were saved. God’s elective program and God’s irresistible grace were mightily at work in those days. These are the manifestations of the power of Christ. It was because Satan was bound. Satan could not frustrate the furtherance of the Gospel, and Satan could not frustrate the building of God’s Kingdom on this earth.

So when we read the words: “And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Revelation 20:3, we understand that Satan was cast to the earth, but had no power to prevent people from becoming saved. Whatever persecution Satan tried to stamp out the Christians and the Gospel, it did not work. He tried to throw them to the lions, burn them at the stake, torture them in prisons, and so on, but the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church. Saints were going to heaven in droves.



If Satan Is Now Bound, How does He Still Rule this World? (1 Peter 5:8, Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 6:12)

If Satan is now bound and in Hell, how is it that he can still roam around in this world?

He is here with us!

Perhaps you remember that we find in the first Epistle of Peter, 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”.

The Devil is seeking whom he can deceive. But God has His protective shield around everyone of His elect. They may be deceived for a while, but when they have become Born Again they can no longer be deceived. And so, the Devil is here on this earth with us.

If Satan and his angels have been cast out of heaven, and they have been cast into Tartarus, and they have been cast on this earth, and they have been cast into the “Bottomless Pit”, and they have been bound with chains of darkness, but nevertheless they are still able to roam around and deceive those who have not the seal of God in their foreheads, what does that tell us about the location of the Bottomless Pit?

Of course, the Bottomless Pit is here, on this sin cursed earth. This earth is a round sphere, but in God’s terminology it is a Bottomless Pit. You may believe that this earth is beautiful, and that it is worth saving, but God does not share your opinion. God will destroy this earth because it has been contaminated with sin, and God calls it a Bottomless Pit. Presently we may admire the lilies of the field, and we may admire God’s handiwork in all that He created on this earth, but all that is just a manifestation of the wisdom and power of Christ who created it all. The fact is that in the midst of all the beauty that we can see with our eyes, lies hidden the evil spirits that were angels at one time, and whom we cannot see with our eyes. Thanks be to God that He has given us His Word wherein we can read and understand the true situation that this world is in. God says in Ephesians 2:2,

Ephesians 2:2
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

It means that everyone of us that was born in this world, was actually born in The Bottomless Pit where Satan rules. Everyone of us was at one time a slave of Satan, because we were born in his kingdom. Just like the children of Israel at one time were slaves in Egypt, and were born as slaves in the Egyptian kingdom, and were unable to wrest themselves out of their enslavement, so the entire human race was born in the Bottomless Pit, and is unable to climb out of the Bottomless Pit by their own strength, because it is a Bottomless Pit. It is a Pit without walls and with an infinite depth, out of which no one can climb, not even Satan. But God, who is rich in mercy, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, has made us alive to Him, even while we are living in the midst of death around us here in the Bottomless Pit.

And it is here, in the Bottomless Pit where we are called to serve God by letting our light so shine before men, in the darkness of the Bottomless Pit, that men may see our good work and glorify our Father which is in heaven. Here in the pitch-dark blackness of this kingdom of Satan we must function as little lights here and there, and in this way be the soldiers of Christ who will rob the house of Satan.

And be not afraid, for we have Christ’s armor.

Ephesians 6:12
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.



What Does It Mean to Be in the Bottomless Pit? (Ephesians 2:1-3, John 8:43-44, Romans 3:10-12)

What reminder does God have for His saints, His elect?

God says to us in Ephesians 2:1-3,

Ephesians 2:1
And you (hath he quickened), who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Ephesians 2:2
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Ephesians 2:3
Among whom also we ALL had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Paraphrased, God says, “Remember that at one time you all were under “the prince of the power of the air”, Satan, who presently still is at work in the children of disobedience. But you all had your conduct among them, and you were happily fulfilling your desires of the flesh and of your carnal mind, so much so that you were by nature children of the wrath of God, even as others who never become saved”.

This is what it means to be in the Bottomless Pit. But God had mercy upon us.

What reminder does God have for those who are not elect, those who scoff at the words of the Bible, those who ignore the commandments of God, those who live entirely for themselves, those who know not God, those who turn a deaf ear to the words from God brought to them by evangelists?

The Lord Jesus says to them,

John 8:43
Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

John 8:44
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Clearly, from verse 43 we see that election is in view. Those who have not been elected unto salvation are not able to understand the words that Jesus spoke. Those who have not been elected unto salvation have the Devil as their father. And then Jesus said: “Satan was a murderer from the beginning”.

Where in the Bible do we see Satan commit a murder?

He probably instigated Cain to murder his brother Abel. But this was Cain’s sin, not Satan’s sin. Besides, this happened many years after Adam and Eve were tempted into sin. The Lord Jesus said, “Satan was a murderer from the beginning”.

The beginning was when he tempted Eve and then Adam to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Was this a murder?

We would call this a lie, but God says that it is a murder. Satan caused the spiritual death of Adam and Eve. This is the reason why the whole human race came into the world dead to God and in rebellion to God. But let us not pass the buck to Adam, for we would not have done better than Adam. Adam was righteous to begin with, and we are not. And so:

Romans 3:10
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Romans 3:11
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

Romans 3:12
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.



Is There a Hell Now, or Is Hell Created Later? (Matthew 12:40, John 3:36, Romans 1:18, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, Hosea 4:6, Revelation 20:15)

What is Hell?

Hell is to be under the wrath of God. There are presently many people who are under the wrath of God, but they are not in a flame of fire. Thus we have to make a distinction:

A. Hell now is a condition.

1st example:

The Lord Jesus was under the wrath of God. We read in:

Matthew 12:40
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The prophet Jonah prayed these words, “Out of the belly of Hell cried I, and Thou heardest my voice”. The atonement of the Lord Jesus took three days and three nights.

2nd example:

People who do not believe on the Lord Jesus are already under the wrath of God. We read in John 3:36,

John 3:36
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Thus, those who will remain unbelievers are under the wrath of God right now. God does not love them, and if they die in this condition there will be a real Hell to pay.

A 3rd example is shown in Romans 1:18,

Romans 1:18
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.

The wrath of God is revealed right now: God gave them up to vile affections, and God gave them over to a reprobate mind. God does not plan to save them, because God gave them up. When people are so addicted to their sin that they refuse to give it up, that is already a manifestation of the wrath of God . And so, Hell now is a condition of being under the wrath of God.

B. Hell later is a place.

We learn about this place through many warnings the Lord Jesus uttered to warn us from the consequences of sin. The wages of sin is death, and the death that God has in view is to spend an eternity in Hell, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. God says in 2nd Thessalonians:

2 Thessalonians 1:7
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

2 Thessalonians 1:8
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Thessalnians 1:9
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

God is taking vengeance on them that know not God. In our eyes, they may be very nice, law abiding citizens, but if they do not know God it is a certainty that they will end up in Hell. The clearest words that speak about Hell as a future place are found in Revelation 20:15, where God says, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”. And thus we can see that Satan is not now in a place called Hell, but he is in the Bottomless Pit under the wrath of God.



Is There a Way Out of the Bottomless Pit? (Matthew 16:18, Colossians 1:13, Ephesians 4:7-8)

For Satan and his fallen angels there is no way out. Their doom is sure. For mankind there is a way out, and that way out is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. This call to salvation goes out to all the world.

But who will believe?

The only ones who will believe are those whom the Father has chosen from before the foundation of the world and who were in Christ when He atoned for their sins. And to them the Lord Jesus says in Mathew 16:18,

Matthew 16:18
...I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

What does it mean that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the building of Christ’s church?

It means that the elect of God initially are born in a state of rebellion against God, but the gates of Hell, or the gates of the Bottomless Pit, are not able to hold them back, but they will be drawn by God past the gates of Hell, into the Kingdom of His dear Son. That is why we read in Colossians 1:13, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son”. The mercy and the grace of God, and the love of Christ will accomplish this.

Who will escape from the Bottomless Pit?

Only those on whom the grace of God is poured out. And then we read in Ephesians 4:7,

Ephesians 4:7
But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Ephesians 4:8
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

Do you see who “US” are?

Everyone of US are those on whom grace is given.

How much grace is given?

According to the measure of the gift of Christ, and that is infinite. Christ gave the equivalent of an eternity in Hell. Christ gave everything He had. And when He ascended up into heaven He led captivity captive, which means He provided for the souls of those who were held captive in the Bottomless Pit to be led out of the Bottomless Pit and into heaven. This is what Christ accomplished in His atonement.

How can anyone claim that they have come to Jesus by their own free will?

They do not understand the meaning of the Bottomless Pit.

AMEN.

By Alfred J. Chompff

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A STUDY OF REVELATION 11:5


A Study of Revelation 11:5

It is very important that we understand this chapter very well. When considered carefully, the first two verses in this chapter, lead us to the conclusion that Jerusalem and the temple and worshippers must not be taken literally, but must be understood in the symbolic sense of the word. In the New Testament Jerusalem is not the “holy city”.

In this chapter Jerusalem is the symbol for all of Christendom worldwide.

The city outside the temple and outside the court of the temple is used as typifying the false church, which is representing the masses of Christianity who are led astray by their church leaders, but who consider it a shame if they were not baptized in water. But they have rejected the Biblical meaning of Christ Crucified by rejecting the essential doctrines of the blood of atonement.

The court outside the temple symbolizes the show-church, which is the group of people outwardly belonging to the true worshippers of God, but who never became saved. They go to church together with the saints, but they never were saved.

And finally, the temple building proper is symbolic of the real, spiritual body of Christ, the holy city, the elect of God, who certainly shall be saved or who have already been saved.

In our study on the two witnesses represented the New Testament church. More specifically, the two candlesticks represent that part of the New Testament congregation that is truly saved, and the two olive trees represent the Elders and Teachers who are feeding the New Testament congregation with spiritual food, so that the congregation can let their light shine with more knowledge and understanding. Near the end of time the show-church and the false church shall join hands, and together they shall trample under foot the holy city and all those who worship therein. This interpretation is supported by the remainder of this chapter.

The two witnesses cannot represent two persons, two individuals, for the simple reason that the bodies of the two witnesses are observed by all the people and kindreds and tongues and nations of the world. It is not possible that two individuals will affect the whole world that intensely in their life and in their death.

In their life they were the objects of universal hatred and contempt, and their death appears also as an object of universal joy. It is not conceivable that two religious people in a single city would cause so much commotion throughout the whole world. Only when we conceive the two witnesses to represent the church, in the world, according to Scripture, shall we be able to understand their influence throughout the entire world, and shall we understand the full impact of all that is declared here in this chapter. And thus we see the two witnesses as representing the body of believers, the body of truly saved individuals, the Bride of Christ, spreading the Gospel throughout the world until the end comes.

In this study we will take an intense look at Revelation 11:5, and thus this present study concerns:



The Witnessing Church (Revelation 11:1-8, Exodus 7:1)

Let us pick up the context, beginning at verse 1 of this chapter,

Revelation 11:1
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.

Revelation 11:2
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.

Revelation 11:3
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

Revelation 11:4
These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Revelation 11:5
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.

Revelation 11:6
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.

Revelation 11:7
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.

Revelation 11:8
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.

As their name already indicates, the two witnesses must bear testimony of the truth and of the name of Jesus Christ. The church with its ministry is placed as a testimony in the world, to declare to the world that all are in need of salvation from their slippery slide into Hell, and that there is salvation only by grace through faith in the saving work of Christ crucified.

That is the sole calling of the church. Some people believe that they can witness just by their actions, or by their lifestyle. Well, first of all our actions are not so perfect all the time. And the unsaved world watches every move we make. And they are quick to catch us in our not so good works every time.

Secondly if Mary thinks that she can witness to her neighbor just by her actions, then on the Last Day when the angels pick up that neighbor and cast him into Hell, he wonders “Why was Mary such a good person?” No, it is certain that witnesses must speak. A silent witness is impossible. Moreover, the witnesses are called to prophesy. And thus they are called prophets.

What must they prophesy?

Must they prophesy the future?

Certainly the church must bear testimony in the world of the future Judgment that is coming on all the unsaved, and of the future glory that is coming on all those who have become saved, and that they will be elevated to the status of children of God. But that is not the only thing prophets must do. A prophet must also speak the words God has given him or her. Just like Aaron was the prophet of Moses in Exodus 7:1, so the church is called to be the prophet of Christ, and the prophet of Christ speaks for Christ, on His authority and in His name. And this is also indicated by the symbolism of the candlesticks and of the olive trees. The purpose of a candlestick is that it may give light; and the two olive trees supply the oil that is necessary to keep the candlestick burning. They both must be witnesses in the world and mouthpieces of Christ. But at the same time they must witness in the church, before the people of God, so that the people of God may receive more light to shine for the Lord of the whole earth. This is the task of the two witnesses, who are also called “the witnessing church”. We who believe are members of “the witnessing church”.

And what will be the content of our message?

We find our commission in the Bible, the Word of our God. We stand before the Lord of the whole earth. We are servants of the Lord of the whole earth. And thus we will speak of nothing else than that which our Lord has commissioned us to speak. We speak of Christ and His atoning blood. We speak of Christ crucified as the only way to redemption from the state of sin and the only way to receive the righteousness that God requires for entrance into His holy heaven. That blood is the witness to the glory of God in the midst of a world of sin. And thus, there is no hope in man, but only in the blood of the Redeemer. Therefore we openly condemn all efforts to seek salvation outside of that atoning blood, and we openly condemn the preaching that man can save himself by making a decision to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. We bear the name of Christ in two ways.

In the first place, we bear that name to fields where it never was mentioned before, over all the world. In our missionary efforts we carry the sound of that name before all people and nations and kindreds and tongues.

But secondly, we also bear that name into our immediate surroundings. We bear that name in the midst of Jerusalem, in the midst of the false church as well as in the midst of the show-church. When the false church attacks the truth and tramples under foot the blood of Christ, we the church and the servants of God in the church shall stand upon the basis of God’s infallible Word, and defend it over against the enemy.

Thirdly, when the world indulges in sin and selfishness more and more, we speak of Judgment and wrath to come, and we warn them that they may enter into a state of no return. They may arrive at a state where God gives them up to a world of uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, or where God gives them over to a reprobate mind. And thus we display the glory of God’s name in Jesus Christ our Lord in the midst of a world that does not want to hear of this glorious God in the first place.

What will be the response of Satan and this world with a reprobate mind?

We read here in Revelation 11 that they will try to hurt us.

But what will be God’s provision for us in our defense?

We read here about:



The Fire of the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:5, Matthew 10:28)

Revelation 11:5
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.

Wow!

Could this mean that we will be literally fire-breathing witnesses?

Would we be so powerful that we can kill our enemies at will?

And you can see that this is altogether anathema to the concept of followers of Christ. The followers of Jesus Christ are not going around zapping people with fire so that they will immediately be condemned to Hell. Instead we want them to live, so that they eventually may come to repentance, if God wills. And secondly, if we would indeed be able to zap all our enemies, then no one would be able to touch us and kill us, like we read in verse 7. And so we realize that these two witnesses do not literally kill those who come against them. This fire must have a spiritual meaning But then the killing must also have a spiritual meaning, and this spiritual meaning of killing must be carried through consistently in verse 7, where the two witnesses are killed.

Let us then consider that the two witnesses kill with the fire that proceedeth out of their mouth. God emphasized it here by saying it twice in verse 5. It is as if the Lord were afraid that it should be misunderstood, so does He emphasize it. Not by the sword, nor by the strength of their arm, but by the fire that comes out of their mouths are their enemies, who try to hurt them, killed.

What does it mean to hurt these two witnesses?

How can the church possibly be hurt?

Do you hurt the church by persecution and tribulation?

If that were the case, then this verse must be understood in the literal sense of the word. And if this verse is to be understood literally, then these witnesses literally kill their enemies, and take their lives away. But that would be altogether contrary to Christ’s command to His disciples. Besides, you do not hurt the church by persecution. You do not hurt the people of God by doing them physical harm. You cannot even hurt them by taking their lives away. As a matter of fact, these witnesses are willing to lose their lives for Christ’s sake. They have learned of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 10:28, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul”. Therefore these two witnesses can never be hurt in the physical sense.

But you CAN hurt these two witnesses if you touch them in their spiritual existence. If you make them waver in their testimony, or treat them unjustly, or if you try and lead them to deny Christ, or seek to cause them to renounce the truth, or if you make them to be silent in regard to the Word of truth, then indeed you have hurt them. And so, what does it mean that the two witnesses are:



Killing Their Adversaries? (Jeremiah 5:14-17, 2 Kings 1, Revelation 22:18, Revelation 14:11, 1 Corinthians 14:21)

If anyone tries to silence the Word of truth, fire proceedeth out of the mouth of the two witnesses, and in this manner the opponents are killed. No, not killed in the literal sense, but their arguments are silenced. That is what the killing really means: They are silenced by the words that come out of their mouths.

You find Jeremiah right after Isaiah. We must not think of the fire that Elijah called for in 2 Kings 1, when Elijah called for fire upon the captain and his fifties, for that fire came down from heaven; it did not come out of his mouth.

Where in the Word of God do we read that fire came out of the mouth of a prophet?

We find it in Jeremiah 5:14. In this chapter of Jeremiah God is very angry at the people of Jerusalem for speaking so many lies in His name. Because the prophets cry “peace, peace”, when there is no peace, and the prophets speak words that are not from God, therefore God comes with this judgment upon them. He says in Jeremiah 5:14,

Jeremiah 5:14
Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

The context of Jeremiah 5:14 is that of the lies proclaimed in the name of the Lord.

We should be careful to note that “you” and “ye” always refers to a plural number of people, whereas “thou” and “thee” refers to a singular person.

And thus God says in verse 14, “Because ye, the people of Jerusalem, speak this word, or claim to speak these messages in my name, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, words in thy mouth Jeremiah becomes like fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.”

This people shall be the wood that the fire out of your mouth shall burn. The words out of Jeremiah’s mouth shall proclaim the wrath of God upon them, and God’s wrath shall devour them.

Can we see a similar situation today?

Do we recognize churches today where the men bring messages that are not from the Word of God?

They claim that God spoke to them last night in a dream, or in a vision, or in an angel visitation, or in a tongue, and this and that is what God told them. But they are violating the Word of God in Revelation 22:18, where God states that He will no longer bring any divine revelation from God. God finished speaking on the last page of the Bible, and God promises that if anyone claims to have received additional revelation from God, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this Book.

What are those plagues?

Revelation 14:11 states it very well, “The smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever.”

Churches where people speak in tongues believe that God is not finished speaking, but that God is still bringing divine revelations today, especially in dreams and visions and angel visitations and in a message spoken in a strange tongue. But in this message of Jeremiah 5:14, as well as in 1 Corinthians 14:21, God promises that the nation of tongue speakers will be like an army whose tongue they do not understand, and they will overrun the church and destroy the church. We read in Jeremiah 5:15-17,

Jeremiah 5:15
Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.

Jeremiah 5:16
Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.

Jeremiah 5:17
And they shall eat up thine harvest, and thy bread, which thy sons and thy daughters should eat: they shall eat up thy flocks and thine herds: they shall eat up thy vines and thy fig trees: they shall impoverish thy fenced cities, wherein thou trustedst, with the sword.

Historically God refers to the nation of Babylon that will come upon Judah and Jerusalem. It was a nation whose language they do not understand, and they will totally destroy the nation of Judah.

Why?

Because they were worshipping gods of their own making and not the God of the Bible. They falsely claimed to have received messages from God. They wished to do harm to Jeremiah by opposing him with other messages supposedly from God, trying to make the words of Jeremiah of none effect. But God’s message to Jeremiah was that his words shall be like fire and the people as wood. Their opposition shall not stand. It shall not hurt the prophet, but it shall hurt his opponents a great deal more by condemning them to Hell. The same situation applies in Revelation 11:5.

The two witnesses shall meet with opposition. The enemy from the false church throughout the entire New testament period shall try to hurt them, because the false church believes that God is still speaking today, or they believe in conditional salvation, or the false gospel of sacramentalism, works salvation, or may deny the absolute sovereignty of God. Others will seek to bind them with heavy burdens, and teach doctrines and commandments of men, while others will teach antinomianism and hate the witnesses for teaching against divorce and remarriage and in the process expose their promotion of adultery within the church. They shall try to make the two witnesses renounce the truth.

They shall accuse the two witnesses of worshipping a God who is cruel, predestinating people to Hell, and that He is not a God of love, and that He is not a God who rewards people with salvation even though they have diligently been seeking Him.

They shall claim that the two witnesses have sinned against the Holy Spirit by condemning the Charismatic Movement.

And they shall claim a great deal more against the two witnesses. But all the time these opponents meet with the fire that proceedeth out of the mouth of the two witnesses. It is not their own words, but the Word of God is in their mouths. And before that Word the enemy shall not be able to stand, but be completely defeated. It is in this manner that the two witnesses shall fight their spiritual battles, in harmony with their character as witnesses, and in harmony with the Word of God as their weapon. And in this they are invulnerable. This is how their adversaries are killed: they are being silenced.

By Alfred J. Chompff

THE DEATH OF THE TWO WITNESSES


The Death of the Two Witnesses (Revelation 11:7, Daniel 7:25, Daniel 8:24, 1 John 4:3, 2 Thessalonians 2)

Revelation 11:7
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.

This is the first time that this beast is mentioned here in this prophecy of Revelation. He is called "The Beast", and he is known to the church from primarily two sources. The first source is from the Epistles of 1 John 2 and 4, and 2 John 7, and the second source is from the prophecy of Daniel 7 where this beast is pictured, having ten horns. And from among the ten horns arises another horn, a little horn, who destroys three of the horns and who becomes more terrible than all the rest of the creatures, speaking blasphemous things against the Most High, and warring against the saints of God, and prevailing against the saints of God.

And the saints are given into his hand until time and times and the dividing of time has passed. This little horn is mentioned again in Daniel 8 where God says of him that “he shall destroy the mighty and the holy people”.

From this we learn the following:

In the first place, the beast in Revelation 11 is not the same as the dragon that is mentioned in Revelation 12. He is closely connected with that dragon, but he is not to be identified with him. Nor is the beast in Revelation 11 the same as the king of the locusts of Revelation 9:11, also called the angel of the Bottomless pit, for in Revelation 11 it is a beast with an earthly form, whereas in Revelation 9:11 it was a spirit.

Secondly, here we have the first mention of the Antichrist, who is identical with the little horn from Daniel 7 and 8.

Thirdly, this Antichrist rises up out of the Bottomless Pit, meaning that he finds his spiritual origin there, although he will appear in human form. Just as we may say that the saints are hid with Christ in God, and that their walk is in heaven, so also Antichrist is hid with Satan in Hell and has his origin in the Bottomless Pit.

Fourthly, it is to be understood that the power of Antichrist exists all through the New Testament dispensation.

We read in 1 John 4:3, “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

Antichrist does not just rise out of the Bottomless Pit at the moment when the two witnesses have finished their testimony, but he was already in the world at the time that John wrote his 1st Epistle.

Similarly, in Daniel 7 the fourth beast already exists before the little horn arises. But just like the power of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 culminated in the little horn, so also the power of Antichrist shall culminate and finally rise against the people of the Kingdom of God when Satan is loosed.

Therefore it is in this connection that we now understand that the spirit of Antichrist, although existing throughout the entire New Testament period of time, shall toward the end be allowed to gain strength and make war against the saints of the Most High, and be allowed to overcome them.

Now we need to address the statement that this beast shall rise against the two witnesses after they have finished their testimony.

God tells us in the 2nd Epistle to the church at Thessalonica, in chapter 2, that there is a power that holds back the "man of sin" so that he cannot appear before the God ordained time. He cannot manifest himself yet in his full power. The power which holds him back is undoubtedly the Spirit of God working out the decree of God. The power of Antichrist may not come to its full manifestation until the prophesying of the church shall have been completed.

This implies two things:

In the first place, it implies that the Gospel must have been preached to all nations. It does not mean that the Gospel must have come to every individual still living on this earth, but that it has spread over all the earth and come within reach of all nations. For example, the Gospel may not have reached each individual on the island of New Guinea, which is the second largest island in the world, mostly jungle, and inhabited by many tribes speaking hundreds of different languages. But since Western New Guinea belongs to Indonesia, it is sufficient that the Gospel must have spread to the nation of Indonesia.

In the second place, it also means that the testimony against the wicked world and against the false church must have been finished. The measure of iniquity must be full. The world and the false church must hear the testimony of the true church, must hear it repeatedly, must become conscious of its sin, must know it and reject the Christ of the Bible willingly and deliberately. God has given them up to vile affections, and God has given them over to a reprobate mind, and then the testimony of the two witnesses shall have been finished. And then they may be silenced, and they shall be silenced by the Antichrist, the beast that comes up out of the Bottomless Pit. For we read here in verse 7 that the Beast shall rise against the witnesses and overcome them and kill them. This is a very brief statement of the last end of the Final Tribulation Period that shall come over the church of God. Antichrist shall prevail at last. He shall overcome the saints of the Most High. It does not mean that he shall kill all of them. If the killing in verse 5 implies silencing, then the killing in verse 7 also implies silencing. He silences the preaching of the true Gospel and the true witnesses will be forced into silence because they will not be permitted to speak the truth in the Church. The reality of this will be seen when believers will be put out of the church so that their voice cannot be heard. Believers will be forced to leave their congregations, while many others will depart out when they see the active apostasy that will take place. This is how the two witnesses are killed. And on that sad note we conclude this short study.

By Alfred J. Chompff

Sunday, November 06, 2011

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE DESCRIBED IN REVELATION 6:15-17?


Revelation 6:15
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

Revelation 6:16
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

Revelation 6:17
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

There are those who teach that the people described in Revelation 6:15-17 are the elect of God. An honest study of the Word of God easily proves that such an idea is simply untenable when comparing Scripture with Scripture.

1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Thankfully, God has not left us in darkness about who these people are.

Revelation 6:16
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

By comparing this verse with what we read in Deuteronomy 32, we find our first clue as to their true identity and what these rocks in actual fact represent.

Deuteronomy 32:31
For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

Deuteronomy 32:32
For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:

Deuteronomy 32:33
Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps...



Deuteronomy 32:37
And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,

Deuteronomy 32:38
Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.

God says that natural, unregenerate man trusts in every other rock, other than Christ Jesus, Who is the true "Rock".

Notice, He tells them to call upon the rocks (false gods, in fact, anything other than the True God in whom men seek refuge) to "rise up and help you, and be your potection" (Deuteronomy 32:28).

And so, this is the character of natural man. They trust in lying words, false christs, false gospels, false religions, the false ideas of men, and every other thing that opposes the truth to protect them in times of trouble. They put their trust in gods who cannot save (Isaiah 45:20). How sad it will be for many on that great day who shall shall seek refuge in their false christs which inevitably arise from the false gospels of lying men to protect them and hide them from the wrath to come. They shall say "Lord, Lord, have we not, did we not..." But the Lord Jesus shall say "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:22-24).

If we turn now to Jeremiah 51:25 we see a further clue in uncovering just who these people are that we have read about in Revelation 6.

Jeremiah 51:25
Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.

God says that the "destroying mountain" (which represents Babylon) will be rolled away, exposing the rocks, that is, as we have seen in Deuteronomy 32:31-38, the false gods in whom they take shelter and in whom they trust.

So, although they call upon the mountains and rocks to protect them, hide them, and cover them from the wrath of the Lamb, God will strip it all away and they will have nothing to hide behind. On the last day they shall be found spiritually naked before the judgment throne of God, without any place to hide.

The clearest passage of Scripture which identifies these people is found in the tenth chapter of Hosea, and proves without a shadow of a doubt that Almighty God, in Revelation 6 is speaking of those who are without Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

Hosea 10:8
The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, Cover us; and to the hills, Fall on us.

Hosea 10:9
O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood: the battle in Gibeah against the children of iniquity did not overtake them.

We will finish by looking at two more passages of Scripture found in both the Old and the New Testament which lead us to the same conclusion that he have come to thus far.

Isaiah 2:12
For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:



Isaiah 2:17
And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.

Isaiah 2:18
and the idols he shall utterly abolish.

Isaiah 2:19
And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

Isaiah 2:20
In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;

Isaiah 2:21
To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.

Clearly the above verses are talking about the ungodly who trusted in idols - and indeed these idols shall be worthless on that great day and will be of no help or comfort to them.

These verses cannot be separated from the verses that we are looking at in Revelation chapter 6, in fact they speak of the same event, and therefore we can safely conclude that the people of Revelation 6:15-17 are the reprobate found in Babylon on the last day who have taken pleasure in unrighteousness, believed the lie, and loved not the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

This is further clarified in the twenty third chapter of the gospel of Luke.

Luke 23:30
Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

This is a clear statement of the timing of the end of the world. People are hiding from the Lord Jesus Christ when He is coming as the Judge of all the earth at the end of time, to take "vengeance on them that know not God and that obey not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

Copyright © 2011 By Chris – www.TestAllThings.com