Summery of Part one
Lucifer is not the [correct] name of Satan, the devil, the great dragon, that old serpent (Rev 12:9 – it is not there). The name Lucifer is an error in translation [of Isaiah 14:12]. The devil is not a fallen angel, but is compared to animals in the field (Gen 3:1), and is a destroyer created by God to destroy (Is 54:16; 45:7; Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:13-17) from the beginning (1 Jn 3:8). The devil is there to destroy what is bad [unbelief, offense, distrust in the Word of God]. Does this mean the devil is doing good? No, contemplate Jn 16:11 with Jn 3:17-21. God is Love and never manipulates, men self-destruct when distrusting God [Truth].
We should let God be God and stop trying to defend Him – He is perfect wisdom and righteousness! The devil has no authority [over us], only what man gives him [in distrusting God]. God gave man dominion (authority) over all that is in and on the earth (Gen 1:28), including Satan that only roams the earth (Job 1:7; 2:2); and wicked thoughts [demons] that come to you (Is 54:13; 2 Cor 10:5; 1 Cor 2:16). On top of this, has Jesus Christ defeated [and exposed] Satan on the cross of Golgotha (Col 2:15). Why was this necessary? To destroy the work the devil has done in the beginning. What was this “work”? To deceive mankind by making man believe Satan’s lies of obtaining [your own] righteousness; of making man suspicious and distrusting of their perfect Creator-Father; to steal man’s everlasting life, relationship [sonship] with God the Father and steal our joy through troubling [confusing] the mind [thoughts] of man with lies of obtaining life through religion. To make man self-righteous (soulish, carnal, natural, death-oriented), and not God-righteous (Spiritual, Life-oriented). To make man strive for merit [trying to impress an Almighty God], instead of just having a lasting committed relationship of trust and genuine love with God through Jesus Christ. Now, clothed with Jesus Christ, we [can] resist Satan (with Spirit Word Truth, Jesus Christ inside of us), and he so flees from us [has no effect] (Jm 4:7). Jesus is Lord!
Remember that “resist” [Satan] would be more effective if you understood it to mean “ignore” [Satan]! But, with Rom 12:9 in mind as well – you will [can] not be tempted by things you actively hate! Think about it carefully. Why waist time and energy focussing on a defeated foe? Rethink Heb 12:1-2…
Amazingly, do many Christians credit the devil with better character than Jesus Christ! Think of the number of times you hear Christians say how the devil never misses a beat, or look after his children; while they spread lies about God causing sickness, calamity or death, or God lingering with answers to prayer!
Now, with part one in mind, the following questions may come to mind:
Question: If 1 Jn 3:8 says Satan never fell [from heaven], what was Jesus saying in Lk 10:18?
Answer: Note, Satan and his kingdom could either have fallen before the preaching of the gospel, or Jesus saw him fall as it was being preached. “I see how it is,’’ says Christ, “as you get ground the devil loses ground.’’ He falls as lightning falls from heaven, so suddenly, irrecoverably, so visibly, that all may perceive it, and say, “See how Satan’s kingdom totters, see how it tumbles.’’ They triumphed in casting devils out of the bodies of people; but Christ sees and rejoices in the fall of the devil from the interest he has in the souls of men, which is called his power in high places, Eph. 6:12 (Eph 2:20). He foresees this to be but at earnest of what should now be shortly done and was already begun—the destroying of Satan’s kingdom in the world by the extirpating of idolatry and the turning of the nations to the faith of Christ (1 Jn 3:8) into a lasting and continuous personal relationship and away from religion and the self-righteousness of the law. Satan falls from heaven when he falls from the throne in men’s hearts, Acts 26:18. And Christ foresaw that the preaching of the gospel, which would fly like lightning through the world, would wherever it went reveal Satan’s fallen kingdom. Now is the prince of this world cast out (from the hearts and minds of men). If angels are used here, Heb 1:7 and 2 Thess 1:7,8 could relate to the “as lightning” in Lk 10:18.
Jesus repeated, ratified, and enlarged their commission: Behold I give you power to tread on serpents, v. 19. Note, to him that hath, and uses well what he has, more shall be given. See that “they” can be you (Jn 17:15-20). They had employed their power vigorously against Satan, and now Christ entrusts them with greater power. (1.) An offensive power, power to tread on serpents and scorpions, devils and malignant spirits, the old serpent: “You shall bruise their heads in my name,’’ according to the first promise, Gen 3:15 . Come, set your feet on the necks of these enemies; you shall tread upon these fake lions and adders wherever you meet with them; you shall trample them under foot, Ps 91:13. You shall tread upon all the power of the enemy (1 Cor 15:26; 1 Thess 5:23; Heb 10:13!), and the kingdom of the Messiah shall be everywhere set up upon the ruins of the devil’s kingdom. As the devils have now been subject to you, so they shall still be. (2.) A defensive power: “Nothing shall by any means hurt you; not serpents nor scorpions, if you should be chastised with them or thrown into prisons and dungeons among them; you shall be unhurt by the most venomous creatures,’’ as Paul was ( Acts 28:5 ), and as is promised in Mk 16:18 . “If wicked men be as serpents to you, and you dwell among those scorpions (as Ezek 2:6 ), you may despise their rage, and tread upon it; it need not disturb you, for they have no power against you but what is given them from above (you should be above not below); they may hiss, but they cannot hurt.’’ You may play upon the hole of the asp, for death itself shall not hurt nor destroy, Is 11:8,19; 25:8 .
Jesus directed them to turn their joy into the right channel (v. 20): “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you, that they have been so, and shall be still so. Do not rejoice in this merely as it is your honor, and a confirmation of your mission, and as it sets you a degree above other good people; do not rejoice in this only, or in this chiefly, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven, because you are chosen of God to eternal life, and are the children of God through faith.’’ Christ, who knew the counsels of God, could tell them that their names were written in heaven, for it is the Lamb’s book of life that they are written in. All believers are through grace, entitled to the inheritance of sons, and have received the adoption of sons, and the Spirit of adoption, which is the earnest of that inheritance and so are enrolled among his family; now this is matter of joy, greater joy than casting out devils. Note, Power to become the children of God is to be valued more than a power to work miracles; for we read of those who did in Christ’s name cast out devils, as Judas the Iscariot (!) probably did, and yet will be disowned by Christ in the great day. But they whose names are written in heaven shall never perish; they are Christ’s sheep, to whom He gives eternal life. Saving graces are more to be rejoiced in than spiritual gifts; holy [genuine] love is a more excellent way than speaking with tongues. Love is about trust and faithfulness.
See the short meditation entitled “heaven” by this author, if you will. Contemplate Rev 11:15 (and Rev 12:4) with Lk 17:20,21 and Eph 2:19 (vs. 12-22). Then realize, as we said in part one, that Rev 15:5,8 and 16:17 was written by the same John later in Jn 19:30. Just like Matthew did John tell us that the veil was rent on the cross of Jesus Christ and that we – now in the NT (Heb 9:16-18) in Christ – can directly enter the throne of grace to obtain mercy. And know that we get mercy to live, not die. See “The Testimony”, if you will…
Question: Who are the fallen angels in Jude 6?
Answer: From this scripture alone, it is not decisively clear. In Jude 6 certain immoral men circulating among the “Jewish” Christians (Gal 3:28) in Palestine, were perverting the grace of God, and Jude (the other half-brother of Jesus, Mk 6:3) emphasizes the importance of contending for the faith (Jn 16:9). Error must be refuted (Gal 1:6-9). Jesus must be followed (Rom 12:9; Jn 14:6).
As a matter of fact, does this author strongly contend that we remind ourselves of Heb 12:2 instead of trying to major on minors whilst “minoring” on the major. We should never forget that Jesus has paid for all man’s sin once for all (Heb 10:14). In other words, to argue over facts such as who the “sons of God” in Gen 6:2 were; probably totally miss the point. See how men have always tried to shirk his responsibility and attempt to shift the blame to a higher “force” or being. Check 1 Cor 6:3 with Heb 2:8-17 (Heb 1:14). Our self-righteousness is so deep ingrained in the old nature that we can hardly identify it manifesting in more subtle forms. We should rather busy ourselves with questions such as “What is my responsibility?” and trust God to be God and that His judgment is perfect – He is after all the Source of righteousness! If the Bible, as God’s Word (2 Tim 3:16,17) give us too little direct evidence, we should perhaps accept that these facts are minors compared to what we should grasp about the one unfolding progressive revelation of Jesus Christ and what He has provided for us (Eph 1:3; Heb 11:40)…
Remember that God gave man authority on earth (Gen 1:26-28; Ps 115:16; Mt 10:8; Jn 14:10-15,23-26; 17:15-20; Mk 16:16-20; Heb 2:8-18… also Rom 13:14; Eph 6:12; Jm 4:7; Phil 4:13; and so on…). Jesus Christ won it back for us on earth (Mt 28:18; also Jn 17:15-20; Ezek 21:27; and remember Mk 7:13; 12:24)…
God meant for one man and one woman to be faithful and dedicated to each other as a prophetic image of Christ as a Bridegroom and His followers (Bride-church-living-stone-people, not buildings made by man).
Sodom and Gomorrah (homosexuality) is mentioned as a prime OT example. If all people were to turn homosexual, that would be the last generation of humans on the face of the earth and mankind [on earth] would be destroyed as long as people die. So too with false doctrines of man (Satan). This directly opposes God’s creation idea (a man, a woman, fill the earth – Gen 1:26-28; He fills us; and everlasting life provided by Jesus Christ for those following Him – Jude 21), and fits the aim of a destroyer overplaying his hand (Is 54:15) in this sense: If God made the destroyer to [only] destroy what is bad [distrust in God and His Word], that destroyer would certainly go too far by aiming to completely condemn and destroy the whole of the pinnacle of God’s creation: man (by deceiving them all to futile efforts of self-righteousness, egotistic). Homosexuality is such an abomination to [violent rebellion against] God, that He judged it severely by destroying Sodom and Gomorrah with elements of hell (brimstone and fire) in the OT. Refer here to 1 Cor 10:11 as well. Homosexuality is condemned by Scripture (Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom 1:26-28) and contradicts the gospel (1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10; 1 Thess 4:4-7). Homosexuals can, however, repent and be saved like all sinners by believing Jesus Christ has paid for all sin [but then you have to follow Christ].
Two of the schools of thought that have surfaced here:
1. These “angels” were translated to read angelic beings, but actually could be just “messengers” (of God’s Word) with false doctrine, having not kept (care for, guard, and hold to) their own first place of power (Truth) but abandoned their “proper dwelling place” (in Christ, 1 Cor 3:16). Jeremiah says a lot about false prophets (ex. Chapter 29);
2. Another possibility is that they were indeed angels, and then possibly involved in the account in Genesis 6. This, however, is not so obvious from Scripture, except perhaps 2 Pet 2:4. The issue of whether “sons of God” are in fact from Seth’s lineage; and the “daughters of man” from Cian’s lineage, is discussed further in the next answer.
Question: Who are the fallen angels mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4?
Answer: Again, remember the real important point: Jn 3:15-21!!! God has dealt with sin!!! Who did what and caused those promiscuity and lascivious lifestyles, is dealt with by Jesus Christ!!!
Still, it seems to not be immediately clear from the Bible alone, as we seem to find no obvious information regarding exactly who they are, why they fell, and when. But, as far as 2 Pet 2:4 is concerned, we get a possible clue from verses 1-3, that mentions a context of false prophets and teachers (“messengers”), and again mentions sex outside marriage [unfaithfulness]. Verse 3 says “of old” their sentence of condemnation for them has not been idle (Jer 6:16!). We know that angels are “messengers” (Heb 1:14), so translating from an original text that mention false prophets and false teachers as “messengers” of the devil, one could easily have translated this to “angels” [heavenly beings] – if the pre-conceived idea existed with such translators of Satan being a fallen angel – if it were not for the documented words in Hebrew and even Greek. 1 Tim 4:1 (Mt 24:10,11) – 3; with John 8:43-47; 10:1-10, show us that Satan (and his lying spirit) is behind false teachings, but uses messengers [false teachers, bad shepherds that steal, that can be man. Yet, we are given 1 Cor 6:3 and Jm 4:7 to confirm Eph 6:12 and Phil 4:13 when Rom 13:14… It seems as if Satan can manifest [present] “demons” as “wicked thoughts” inside our minds (Is 54:13; 2 Cor 10:5; and so on).
What presents opposition to the idea of these “messengers” being angelic beings [as apposed to false teachers, man], is the question why God would enchain them in Hades, but not their instigator, especially if he was their “archangel” [head, leader] that instigated their rebellion? We have too little information here to comment authoritatively on this matter. This does not, however, effect the gospel, or that Satan is supposed to be under a Christian’s feet (Heb 10:13; Jm 4:7). Jesus already successfully accomplished His part (Jn 19:30; Rev 16:17; Col 2:15); the whole creation is now waiting for us as His Body [Church, City] to show ourselves (Rom 8:19,29-39). God will evidently finally destroy Satan later. If we can, by keeping our thoughts and focus on Jesus Christ, resist Satan and get him to flee, why the overly pre-occupation with the devil and how God is going to deal with him and his followers and who the trouble-makers were in Gen 6? Trust God and have peace of mind about it (Heb 12:2)!…
Why is this important? Because it is about our [mature] sonship, our full and accurate knowledge of Jesus Christ, our deep personal relationship with Jesus Christ [Truth] that sets us free from diluted religious nonsense and any ideas of self-righteousness [law, tradition, religion] indeed.
Note that at least the following great truths are visible through this aspect of Cain and his “mark”:
- Walking away [with punishment perceived too great to be forgiven], Cain was [still] talking to God, and in acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty [not God’s guilt], asked for God’s protection!
- God is slow to anger, quick to forgive; His grace and mercy endures forever. He is a Savior and a Life-Giver. As with the prodigal son, God’s arms are always open for His children that change their minds [line their thoughts up with His], and take thoughts of calamity and destruction captive into obedience unto His mature Son Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:45) with faith in His finished work on His cross by His blood. Note the Right Arm of God is ultimately Jesus Christ (Gal 3:8). Arm yourself with His Words of Life – have His mark on your head (thoughts, Rev 22:4) and your hands (deeds, 1 Cor 10:31).
Either angels were not referred to as “sons of God” at all (Hebrews 1:5), or Heb 1:5 is just saying that although angels were created by God and as such also referred to as “sons of God” before He made Adam (Lk 3:38; if Job 38:7 refers to a time prior to the creation of man, with the “sons of God” joining in the symphony of the universe when the earth were called into being), was there no angel born of a woman who could be confused with the Messiah Jesus Christ as the Son of God who is not an angel, but was described as the Angel [messenger, Jn 1:14] of the Lord, when He appeared pre-carnate (Heb 1:5: “…For to which of the angels did God ever say, YOU ARE MY SON, today I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU…”). Scriptures surrounding Jn 3:16 bares this out as well. Only Jesus – as God, sent – entered the natural realm though a woman. Whether Gen 6:2 refers not to angelic beings who had left their proper sphere; but descendants of Cain [humans], is for us immaterial. Jude 6,7 could or could not be referring to angels that left their own abode and were guilty of vile sexual behavior. Could false messengers have sent a false message of God’s plan? Interestingly enough, does Jesus mention “… among those born of a woman…” (Mt 11:11). But, if you consider Jn 1:12-13; 1 Cor 15:46-50; 2 Cor 5:17, is this statement not so hard to understand, is it?
The argument that Gen 6:4 refers to angelic beings appearing as humans seems to be strongly supported by Heb 13:2 (Gen 18:1-8; 19:1-3; 32:1-2; Job 4:18; Ps 78:25); Acts 5:19; 6:15; 12:7,23; 23:8. An unnatural [unusual human] offspring can then make sense and even be expected (ex. giants, six digits on hands and feet, double row teeth). On the other hand, though, may “angel” in many scriptures in fact just refer to a “messenger” of God [son of God as Adam (Lk 3:38), or a re-born (Jn 3:3,6); even just upright people as in Job 1:6; 2:1 and perhaps even Job 33:23; or messenger as Daniel (3:28)].
An objection to the angelic being view is Matt 22:30. But note here that this verse actually says that angels In heaven neither marry nor are given in marriage – just (as Jesus explained to the Suducees) do we on earth have a different function as in heaven where we (also) do not (have a need to) reproduce or marry. Neither would we in a new heaven and earth, because death will be no more. Angels appeared to Abraham (Gen 18:1-22). [In the Amplified] one of them is addressed as “Lord” possibly indicating Jesus pre-incarnate (Gal 3:8 with Heb 7). It seems from the text that the other two that went on to Sodom had human parts, functions and emotions (they ate and drank)… as did Jesus as a man (on earth). Remember, Jesus Christ was sinless as a genuine man; and Jesus was/is no angel – He is Lord (“maximum/ultimate authority”). Other references noteworthy here are 1 Cor 10:4; Gal 3:8; Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:13-17.
The Trinity of God can explain “the Angel of the Lord”, as well as why Ex 33:11 does not contradict verse 20. (See “Apparent Controversies in The Bible” # 5.2 for an exegesis). “The Angel of God” is different from reference to other “angels” and is most probably Jesus pre-carnate (Jn 1:1-4; Col 1:15-20), as in the Lord God in Gen 16:11,13; 22:11,12; 31:11,13; Ex 3:1-6 et al; but also Scriptures such as Gen 48:16; Ps 34:7; Is 63:9; Zech 12:8.
The view of Gen 6 that “the sons of God” were the godly descendants of Seth (kings?) and “the daughters of men” were the wicked posterity of Cain [that opposed the idea of a Lamb of God being a sacrifice for sin and offering out of the dust that the devil eats, which is an analogy for the two lineages of Abraham – some stars and light from above, the other spiritually powerless but religious play-acting dust from below – Gal 4:21-31]. One argument here is that the preceding chapter 4 deals with the descendants of Seth (kings?) and chapter 5 with the descendants of Cain and then Gen 6:1-4 with the intermarriage between these two lines.
The opposition to this deduction are mainly as follows:
- “The sons of God” here use not exactly the same Hebrew wording in Gen 6:2 as in, for example, Dt 14:1; Ps 82:6; Hos 1:10; Matt 5:9. But then this phenomena is not uncommon.
- Why would giants (with 6 fingers per hand and 6 toes per foot and even double rows of teeth) be produced between “godly” and “ungodly” humans? Verse 3 (Amp) says “… There were giants on the earth those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God lived with the daughters of men, and they bore children to them…”. Note here that a plausible explanation would be that the “sign” given to Cain (Gen 4:14,15), was simply that Cain became a giant. Bodybuilders today can gain an additional man’s muscle mass in twelve years. There could easily have been a few years involved in Gen 4:16. A “sign” can also mean a “signal” [indication, hint] that they would not be wise to try and attack such a big man. This was so intimidating, that it took the faith [relationship with God] of a David to not fall for that thought (see above); also Joshua and Caleb (Num 13:33; also Dt 2:11,20; 3:11,13; Josh 12:4; 13:12; 15:8; 17:15; 18:16). It is also plausible that man’s DNA had therefore then changed sufficiently that in-breeding could become progressively more risky [disadvantageous, deficient]. Also, that the sin of unbelief (Jn 16:9) is about a missing Seed [Word], not a missing chemical. At any rate does the spiritual supersede [effect] the natural. A troubled mind, for example, can certainly make the body more susceptible to illness (hence Mt 10:8). The scribes and Pharisees and Jesus’ disciples seem to have known that the devil [demons, wicked thoughts] was behind sickness (ex. Jn 9) and human suffering, infliction, deformities. Rom 8:5-8 clearly shows how we argue away everlasting life [immortality] – vv 1-4, 10-39!
- Why would all the Sethite men be “godly” [of God] and all the women of Cain lineage be “ungodly” [of man]? This, however, is not entirely impossible, neither is it so stated in Gen 6. Just look at cults today. To deduct or assume that those verses in Gen 6 necessarily mean “all”, is presumptuous. The script actually says “the sons of God..” and “the daughters of man…”, not all of them conclusively as a given fact.
- After this mixing, Seth (kings) did not stay godly. If they did, why would they be destroyed [in the flood]? Or is it because of a similar judgment (self-destruct) as in Mic 6:16? A plausible answer to this can well be that, after the mixing, they were corrupted into lust and greed, the sign of the beast [without Spirit], and so were they destroyed along with other beasts (animals). Again we see a lack of faithfulness and commitment [loyalty] and a mixing of good and evil (Jm 1:6-8; Rom 8:6-8).
In Gen 6:3 the antidiluvians rejected the message of the Holy Spirit (Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14) and are now imprisoned – 1 Pet 3:18-20; 2 Pet 2:5. By the way, can we observe power-hungry rulers of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia often proclaiming themselves to be “sons of God” (Gen 10:8), obviously mimicking the true sons they had knowledge of. 2 Cor 11:12-15 also explains the logic that a lie cannot exist first, there first has to be truth [that can then be twisted, construed by Satan, the father of all lies].
So, the giants (Heb. Nehilim, “fallen ones”) in Gen 6:4,5 – as nehilim are considered by many as giant demigods, the unnatural offspring of “the daughters of men” (mortal woman) in cohabitation with “the sons of God” as angels. This, according to our plausible explanation above, can be wrong. This was an ungodly union, yes, violating God`s created [intended] order of being – but especially that of Gen 2:24. So, whether it was between angels and mankind, or between those with sonship and those without (Lev 11:44,45; 1 Pet 1:16-20); is for us immaterial because of Jn 3:16. But for that time it was such a shocking abnormality [unfaithful rebellion, offense] as to necessitate the worldwide judgment of the flood. For some scholars the sexual interaction between angelic beings [whilst in human form on earth], would explain more in this text, but this is by far not as conclusive as they claim it to be; and seem to fall short of the [Holy Spirit inspired] explanations above. Note. Also, the fact that Gen 6:3 mentions an apparent limited lifespan of 120 years for all men is possibly to just debunk the idea of any men there being gods [not-human], because we find at least fifteen people who all reached ages older than 120. We read that Noah died at 950 – Gen 9:29 (although Gen 6:8,9); Sham died at 600 (Gen 11:10-11); Arphaxed died at 403 (Gen 11:12-13); Salah reached 433 (Gen 11:14-15); Eber died at 464 (Gen 11:16-17); Peleg was 239 (Gen 11:18-19); As was Ren who died at 239 (Gen 11:20-21); Serug was 230 (Gen 11:22-23); Nahar, 138 (Gen 11:24-25); Terah, 205 (Gen 11:32); Sarah, (127 Gen 23:1); Isaac, 180 (Gen 35:28); Even Ishmael reached 137 ! (Gen 25:17); Jacob was 147 (Gen 47:28); Abraham, 175 (Gen 25:7). Praise God [Jesus Christ]!
Again, contemplate Heb 12:2… with Heb 8:13; 9:8-15; 10:9-29…
Note at Gen 6: 6, 7. (The Lord`s sorrow) does not indicate an arbitrary change of mind, though it seems that way to man. Num 23:19; Is 55:8,9, rather, indicates a different attitude on God`s part in response to some change in man`s behavior. Because He is holy, He must act against sin. He can not err and does not have remorse as humans do, but were sorrowed by the state (choices, reaction, “believe”) of mankind (with equal amounts of “faith”, believe-ability). This is an enlightening example of how God, in His Word, also uses the style of the writer (hermeneutics) to get the Bible scholar to dig deeper into His Word, comparing Scripture to Scripture, and discover meanings and intentions behind words as well as the power in confirmations such as 2 Pet 1:20,21; 2 Tim 3:16; Rom 5:4; 1 Cor 2:11,13; Ps 119:1,3,9,11; Matt 15:6; Rev 1:3; Joh 2:22 (Ps 16:10); 1:8; 14:26; Acts 17:11; Tit 3:9; Eph 1:17-23; 1 Jn 2:20. The personal revelations He gives us are the most awesome ones. We do certainly need a full and accurate knowledge of Jesus Christ, but need to seek it.
Those who consider themselves too wise and understanding to need Christ, become afflicted with judicial blindness. Those who admit their lack of wisdom receive a revelation of (from) Him in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge – Col 2:3. Jesus thanked the Father (Matt 11:25, the Love that never manipulates) for ordaining that if some would not have Him, others would [have a genuine choice]. Matt 11:27 ultimately declares only God is great enough to know God. Man cannot know Him by his own strength or intellect. Verse 28 says the rest (same peace as Phil 4:7) He gives is a gift, unearned and unmerited. The rest of salvation comes from realizing Christ finished the work of redemption for us; while the rest of conscience follows the realization that the penalty of our sins have been paid once and for all and that God will not demand payment twice. In Jesus Christ we are free to live, have peace and joy [have everlasting life] until He returns with the [other] saints to give us our glorified bodies [that will be unlimited]. We all are suppose to be mature sons [children] of God (Rom 8:19-21; Jn 1:12).
What is Rev 8:10,11 about?
Refer to the meditation “Revelation the book” by this author on www.gospel-truth.co.za, for his conviction with reasons, of his approach to eschatology. The following discussions include some popular points of view.
Answer: “Announcements” (trumpets) come in various forms. Observe, I. The first angel sounded [announced, heralded] the first trumpet and the events which followed were very dismal: There followed hail and fire mingled with blood, etc., v. 7. There was a terrible storm; this can be understood to be a storm of heresies, a mixture of monstrous errors falling on the religious system invented by the Pharisees, Saduccees and Scribes or a storm or tempest of offence falling on the civil state, the religious Jews who crucified Christ. However, here we observe, 1. It was a very terrible storm-fire, and hail, and blood: a strange mixture, and possibly referring to another revelation about Spirit, blood, and water and the revival/restoration available through these mediums! 2. The limitation of it: it fell on the third part of the trees (Mt 12:35-37; Is 57:16-21; Lk 19:22?), and on the third part of the grass, and blasted and burnt it up; that is, say some, upon the third part of the clergy and the third part of the laity; or, as others who take it to fall upon the civil state, upon the third part of the great men, and upon the third part of the common people. The most severe calamities have their bounds and limits set them by the great God.
Whatever school of thought, one must remember that the Revelation is about Jesus Christ, i.e. what happened on His cross, so the Lord took John back and showed him what was to follow [and be finished at the cross – Rev 16:17; 15:8]; then John wrote Jn 19:30 in about 95 A.D…. but let us continue…
II. The second angel sounded, and the alarm was followed, as in the first, with terrible events: A great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood, v. 8. This mountain is easily explained as referring to the Mosaïc law (Mk 11:23; Dan 2:28,45; Gal 4:25). In these calamities, a third part of the people (called here the sea or collection of waters, or lowest [most base] thing on earth) were destroyed: here was still a limitation to the third part, for in the midst of judgment Godremembers mercy. In Dan 2:34 is Jesus cut out of a mountain (Heb 2), but done away with it (Heb 8:13) and placed it under the feet of His Body, the Church (Mt 21:21; Eph 2:6; Heb 1:13; 10;13). The fig tree is the Pharisees and Saducees who built their kingdom on a mountain [law] for religious people like them – this must be cast out. Read Mt 21:33-45; then Lk 14:24; then Mk 11:13-23; Jn 15:7…
Note that the stumbling is over a stone (Ps 91:11,12; 118:2,17,18; Jer 17:9,10; Is 8:14; Lk 4:11). Mt 7:11 says, “who will, when asked for Spirit of Life (Jn 6:33-50), give the law (Rom 9:32; 1 Pet 3:2; Mt 3:9)?” The devil tempted Jesus in Lk 4:3 by asking Him to turn the law into life to show He is the Son of God (Rom 8:2,3), but Jesus never tripped over the law, and never ate of that tree. He healed people on the Sabbath (2 Cor 3:3,14; Jer 31:32,33) while the religious could only come to Him after the law was out of their way (that evening, the end of Sabbath – Lk 4:40). Jesus showed what was permitted [on the Sabbath], but the religious disagreed with JESUS (Mt 12:6; Jn 4:23; Heb 9:8). The stone that was rolled away that Lazarus could come alive (Jn 11:41; Gal 3:10-13; Heb 7:19), represents the law! See 1 Pet 2:6-8, see and hear and eat the Bread, not the stone. Jesus did not throw a stone at the “dog” (Mk 7:25-30; and Jn 8:3-12) as the Jewish law said He could, but instead gave her Bread. She saw her miracle, do you? Remember and take special note that hardness of heart [heart of stone, law], shuts out Holy Spirit, and relies on “self”. Also, that offense is a major hindrance (Mk 6:3). Now see Jn 19:7; Rom 7:10, with Jn 1:12,17; Gal 4:6.
III. The third angel sounded, and the alarm had the like effects as before: There fell a great star from heaven, etc., v. 10. Some take this to be a political star, some eminent governor, and they apply it to Augustulus, who was forced to resign the empire to Odoacer, in the year 480, but this assumes the unscriptural eschatological view. Others take it to be an ecclesiastical star, some eminent person in the church, compared to a burning lamp, and they fix it upon Pelagius, who proved about this time a falling star, and greatly corrupted the churches of Christ. Observe, 1. Where this star fell: Upon a third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters. 2. What effect it had upon them; it turned those springs and streams into wormwood, made them very bitter, that men were poisoned by them; either the laws, which are springs of civil liberty, and property, and safety, were poisoned by arbitrary power, or the doctrines of the gospel, the springs of spiritual life, refreshment, and vigour to the souls of men, were so corrupted and embittered by a mixture of dangerous errors that the souls of men found their ruin where they sought their refreshment (2 Tim 4:3-4). And so they crucified Christ (1 Cor 2:7-16).
IV. The fourth angel sounded, and the alarm was followed with further calamities. Observe, 1. The nature of this calamity; it was darkness (Mt 27:45-54). It fell therefore upon the great luminaries of the heavens and the earth (Jn 1:1-4,7-17), that give light to the world; or the guides and governors of the church, or of the state, who are placed in higher orbs than the people, and are to dispense light and benign influences to them. 2. The limitation: it was confined to a third part of these luminaries; there was some light both of the sun by day, and of the moon and stars by night, but it was only a third part of what they had before. Without determining what is matter of controversy in these points among learned men, we rather choose to make these plain and practical remarks:—(1.) Where the gospel comes to a people, and is but coldly received, and has not its proper effects upon their hearts and lives, it is usually followed with dreadful judgments. (2.) God gives warning to men of his judgments before he sends them; he sounds an alarm by the written Word, by ministers, by expounders and teachers of God’s Word, by men’s own consciences, and by the signs of the times (2 Tim 4:3-5); so that, if a people be surprised, it is their own fault. (3.) The anger of God against a people makes dreadful work among them; it embitters all their comforts, and makes even life itself bitter and burdensome. Jesus took that all on Him on the cross, for those who accept His sacrifice. (4.) God does not in this world stir up all His wrath, but sets bounds to the most terrible judgments. (5.) Corruptions of doctrine and worship in the church are themselves great judgments, and the usual causes and tokens of other judgments coming on a people by their own choices and doing (Gal 1:6-9).
V. Before the other three trumpets are sounded here is solemn warning given to the world how terrible the calamities would be that should follow them, and how miserable those times and places would be on which they fell, v. 13. 1. The messenger was an angel flying in the midst of heaven, as in haste, and coming on an awful errand. 2. The message was a denunciation of further and greater woe and misery than the world had hitherto endured. Here are three woes, to show how much the calamities coming should exceed those that had been already, or to hint how every one of the three succeeding trumpets should introduce its particular and distinct calamity. If less judgments do not take effect, but the church and the world grow worse under them, they must expect greater. God will be known by the judgments that he executes; and He expects, when He comes to destroy [punish] the grace-rejecters of this world, the unbelievers of Jesus’ Word [Truth of Grace] should tremble before Him. Jn 16:9-12; Heb 9:11,26; 2 Cor 5:15; Gal 1:4; Ps 102…
Then remember that all the wrath of God was poured out on Jesus Christ on the cross (Rom 5:9; and also 1 Thess 5:9); that is, for those accepting the sacrifice Jesus made for us (Rev 12:11). Those that deny the Blood of Jesus Christ, in effect take it upon themselves to stand in God’s judgment by themselves (Rev 6:16,17; Gal 5:4)! Praise the Lamb, the Love and Glory and Wisdom and Power of God!
This author believes that the last [seventh] trumpet [announcement] in context was Rev 16:17; that was later penned by John (Jn 19:30), based on Rev 15:1,5,8 and the short discussion in the essay “Revelation the book”. However, it might be that the returning of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:51-51) might also be “announced”, although it should hardly be necessary taken the accompanying events that will transpire across the globe! The return of Jesus, however, will possibly only happen after we have finally believed Jesus’ testimony of everlasting life (see the meditation by the author entitled “The Testimony”). When we have finally overcome to the end (Rev 2-3), the last enemy (1 Cor 15:26), and Jesus returns (Heb 10:13; Col 2:15) with His cloud of witnesses to those of us who remain ( 1Thess 4:13-17; 5:4,5,23; Jude 21).
As far as this subject of the trumpets of these angels are concerned [the “eschatological announcements”], the author views it in this way: as an analogy, why would the grade one pupil demand a full understanding of his grade twelve syllabus before proceeding with his grade one work, would it make any difference to his enjoyment except messing up his mind so that his attitude [mindset] would hinder the work at hand? To this author the millennium and the very last events before the return of Jesus Christ, at this stage, provokes little more than curiosity, and excludes fear completely. Perhaps we should rather focus on truly believing the testimony and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is logical that what will happen then, is less important than getting there – reborn – at all. Amen?
Question: What is 1 Tim 3:6b talking about?
Answer: Not that the devil fell from heaven! Satan could very likely have overplayed his hand by trying to exterminate the whole of mankind, while it seems he was only placed there by God to destroy [those thoughts who would accept Satan’s] evil thoughts (Is 54:13-17) of distrust in a Perfect Father-God! Repentance would “legalize” God transferring someone from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light (Col 1:13), not because of the repentance, but because the person repenting, is admitting error in distrusting the fulfilled Word [promises] of God by faith. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can [could] wash your sins away. The admitting, repentance, admission, then breaks the bond with Satan for no one can serve two masters simultaneously. The one you subject to, is your lord. At least read Isaiah 54:14-17 for more accurate context. 1 Jn 1:9-10 goes on to 2:1-3, taking note of v. 4. Evil thoughts [from the devil, the liar] must be taken captive (2 Cor 10:5), and then for our own protection (Job 3:25,26; Is 5:18-20); but more importantly, to show our trust in God’s Word. Remembering our protection [individually] is actually for the kingdom of God – His family. We should live for Him and with Him inside of us and we in Him!
The two epistles to Timothy, and that to Titus, contain a scripture-plan of church-government, or a direction to ministers. Timothy, we suppose, was an evangelist who was left at Ephesus, to take care of those whom the Holy Ghost had made bishops there, that is, the presbyters, as appears by Acts 20:28, where the care of the church was committed to the presbyters, and they were called bishops. It seems they were very loath to part with Paul, especially because he told them they should see his face no more (Acts 20:38); for their church was but newly planted, they were afraid of undertaking the care of it, and therefore Paul left Timothy with them to set them in order. And here we have the character of a gospel minister, whose office it is, as a bishop, to preside in a particular congregation of Christians: If a man desires the office of a bishop, he desires a good work, v. 1 . Observe,
I. The ministry is a work. However the office of a bishop may be now thought a good preferment, then it was thought a good work. 1. The office of a scripture-bishop is an office of divine appointment, and not of human invention. The ministry is not a creature of the state, and it is a pity that the minister should be at any time the tool of the state. The office of the ministry was in the church before the magistrate countenanced Christianity, for this office is one of the great gifts Christ has bestowed on the church, Eph. 4:8–11 . 2. This office of a Christian bishop is a work, which requires diligence and application: the apostle represents it under the notion and character of a work; not of great honor and advantage, for ministers should always look more to their work than to the honor and advantage of their office. 3. It is a good work, a work of the greatest importance, and designed for the greatest good: the ministry is conversant about no lower concerns than the life and happiness of immortal souls; it is a good work, because designed to illustrate the divine perfections in bringing many sons to glory through Christ (1Tim 2:5; Heb 2:8-17); the ministry is appointed to open men’s eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan [wicked thoughts] unto God, etc., Acts 26:18 . 4. There ought to be an earnest desire of the office in those who would be put into it; if a man desire, he should earnestly desire it for the prospect he has of bringing greater glory to God, and of doing the greatest good to the souls of men by this means. This is the question proposed to those who offer themselves to the ministry of the church of England: “Do you think you are moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon you this office?’’ Either all followers, or none is commissioned by Jesus – see Mt 10:1; 28:19-20; Mk 16:16,17; and just in case you think this was only to those twelve, again consider Jn 17:15-20!!
II. In order to the discharge of this office, the doing of this work, the workman must be qualified. 1. A minister must be blameless, he must not lie under any scandal; he must give as little occasion for blame as can be, because this would be a prejudice to his ministry and would reflect reproach upon his office. 2. He must be the husband of one wife; not having given a bill of divorce to one, and then taken another, or not having many wives at once, as at that time was too common both among Jews and Gentiles, especially among the Gentiles. 3. He must be vigilant and watchful against Satan, that subtle enemy; he must watch over himself, and the souls of those who are committed to his charge, of whom having taken the oversight, he must improve all opportunities of doing them good. A minister ought to be vigilant, because our adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8. 4). He must be sober, temperate, Godly in all his actions, and in the use of all creature-comforts. Sobriety and watchfulness are often in scripture put together, because they mutually befriend one another: Be sober, be vigilant. 5. He must be of good behavior, composed and solid, and not light, vain, and frothy. 6. He must be given to hospitality, open-handed to strangers, and ready to entertain them according to his ability, as one who does not set his heart upon the wealth of the world and who is a true lover of his brethren. 7. Apt to teach. Therefore this is a preaching bishop whom Paul describes, one who is both able and willing to communicate to others the knowledge which God has given him, one who is fit to teach and ready to take all opportunities of giving instructions, who is himself well instructed in the things of the kingdom of heaven (Eph 4:12-15), and is communicative of what he knows to others. 8. No drunkard: Not given to wine. The priests were not to drink wine when they went in to minister (Lev. 10:8,9), lest they should drink and pervert the law. 9. No striker; one who is not quarrelsome, nor apt to use violence to any, but does every thing with mildness, love, and gentleness. The servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle towards all, etc., 2 Tim. 2:24. 10. One who is not greedy of filthy lucre, who does not make his ministry to truckle to any secular design or interest, who uses no mean, base, sordid ways of getting money, who is dead to the wealth of this world [but understanding scriptures like Ps 24:1; 1 Tim 4:7), lives above it, and makes it visible he is so. 11. He must be patient, and not a brawler, of a mild disposition. Christ, the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls, is so. Not apt to be angry or quarrelsome; as not a striker with his hands, so not a brawler with his tongue; for how shall men teach others to govern their tongues who do not make conscience of keeping them under good government themselves? 12. Not covetous. Covetousness is bad in any, but it is worst in a minister, whose calling leads him to converse so much with another world. 13. He must be one who keeps his family in good order: That rules well his own house, that he may set a good example to other masters of families to do so too, and that he may thereby give a proof of his ability to take care of the church of God: For, if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God. Observe, The families of ministers ought to be examples of good to all others families. Ministers must have their children in subjection; then it is the duty of ministers’ children to submit to the instructions that are given them.—With all gravity. The best way to keep inferiors in subjection, is to be grave with them. Not having his children in subjection with all austerity, but with all gravity. 14. He must not be a novice, not one newly brought to the Christian religion, or not one who is but meanly instructed in it, who knows no more of religion than the surface of it, for such a one is apt to be lifted up with pride: the more ignorant men are the more proud they are: Lest, being lifted up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. The devils (Lk 4:8; 22:32) fell through pride, which is a good reason why we should take heed of pride, because it is thoughts that turned saints into devils. 15. He must be of good reputation among his neighbors, and under no reproach from former conversation; for the devil will make use of that to ensnare others, and work in them an aversion to the doctrine of Christ preached by those who have not had a good report.
III. Upon the whole, having briefly gone through the qualifications of a gospel-bishop, we may infer, 1. What great reason we have to cry out, as Paul does, Who is sufficient for these things? 2 Co. 2:16 . Hic labor, hoc opus—This is a work indeed. What piety, what prudence, what zeal, what courage, what faithfulness, what watchfulness over ourselves, our lusts, appetites, and passions, and over those under our charge; I say, what holy watchfulness is necessary in this work! 2. Have not the best qualified and the most faithful and conscientious ministers just reason to complain against themselves, that so much is requisite by way of qualification, and so much work is necessary to be done? And, alas! how far short do the best come of what they should be and what they should do! 3. Yet let those bless God, and be thankful, whom the Lord has enabled, and counted faithful, putting them into the ministry: if God is pleased to make any in some degree able and faithful, let him have the praise and glory of it. 4. For the encouragement of all faithful ministers, we have Christ’s gracious word of promise, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Mt. 28:20. And, if he be with us, he will fit us for our work in some measure, will carry us through the difficulties of it with comfort, graciously pardon our imperfections, and reward our faithfulness with a crown of glory that fadeth not away (1 Pet. 5:4).
Many claiming to believe [trust, cling to] Jesus’ authority (Mt 28:18; Phil 2:9), actually do not, for they are frequently proclaiming problems and cares and sickness and calamities above His Name. One proclaiming to “take authority in Jesus’ Name”, is actually saying they have Him not inside of them – they are just play-acting and will see no power of God. You exercise authority, not usurp it.
Question: What is Rev 12:9,13 saying?
Answer: Before continuing, seriously consider reading the meditation “Heaven” by this author. We have to at least consider the correct meaning of the words we are reading to perceive more accurately what God is telling us (2 Tim 3:16-17). If a war was in “heaven” (see Eph 6:12,13 with Rom 13:14), this heaven is in all likelihood a realm right here on earth as a “third heaven”. This is discussed in a little more detail in the meditation called “heaven”. In this context are “stars” not actual celestial suns, but rather those of Gen 22:17, or even a Herod or Judas the Iscariot, or any one brazen enough to make claims such as the [human] prince of Ezek 28.
It is generally agreed by the most learned expositors that the narrative we have in this and the two following chapters, from the sounding of the seventh trumpet to the opening of the vials, is not a prediction of things to come, but rather a recapitulation and representation of things past, which, as God would have the apostle to foresee while future, he would have him to review now that they were past, that he might have a more perfect idea of them in his mind, and might observe the agreement between the prophecy and that complete Providence that is always fulfilling the scriptures. In this chapter we have an account of the contest between the church and antichrist (those against Christ, especially the religious trapped in law), the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. I. As it was begun in heaven (:1–11). II. As it was carried on in the wilderness (:12).
The name Armageddon is transliterated from the Greek Armageddon (Strong’s # 717) and means “a symbolic name, or Har-Meggiddon”. It is taken from two Hebrew words: Har, meaning “mountain”, and Megiddown, meaning “rendEzekvous; Megiddon or Megiddo, a place in Palestine”. It is derived from gagad (“to crowd; to gash”) and guwd (“to crowd, to attack”). In the KJV, the former is translated as “assemble (selve by troops)” and the latter as “invade, overcame”. Megiddo, or “place of troops”, was a walled city on a plain. There will never be a future “Battle of Armageddon”, for there is no such place, no “mountain of Megiddo”, on this planet! The city (not mountain) of Megiddo was located about 70 miles north of Jerusalem in the Carmel mountain range. Situated on the main road that linked Egypt and Syria, it was the site of many O.T. battles. Overlooking the valley of JEzekreel (plain of Esdraelon), Megiddo was the most strategic city in Palestine as a military stronghold. Megiddo is mentioned 11 times in the O.T. (Josh 12:21; 17:11; Judg 1:27; 5:19; 1 Kings 4:12; 9:15; 2 Kings 9:27; 23:29,30; 1 Chron 7:29; 2 Chron 35:22). Two notable events took place there – Deborah and Barak’s defeat of Sisera, and the slaying of King Josiah of Judah by the pharaoh of Egypt. Megiddo is a symbol of war between rival kings and kingdoms. In examples given, Israel was both a winner and a loser. Rev 16:16 references the latter, where Josiah would not listen to God’s warning (2 Chron 35:20-25). Jesus means exactly what He says, and has said, when He said “it is finished!” If “Armageddon” was fought, it was between those two kingdoms (Light vs darkness) and Jesus has won (Col 2:15). That was the day of the Lord. The day of days He has made (Ps 118:24!; 1 Cor 1:18-2:5). Rev 16:17 tells us: “then the seventh [angel] emptied his bowl into the air, and a mighty voice came out of the sanctuary of heaven from the throne [of God], saying, “it is done!” (sounds like Jn 19:30, penned later by the same writer, does it not?). The King of Glory won the prince of darkness on that hill (Col 2:15).
Here we see that early prophecy eminently fulfilled in which God said he would put enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, Gen. 3:15. You will observe,
I. A woman has no seed, a man does. Gal 3:16 says the Seed of Abraham was actually Jesus Christ. However, the attempts of Satan and his agents to prevent the increase of the church, by devouring her offspring as soon as it was born; of this we have a very lively description in the most proper images. You will see that Jn 15:18-17 leads to 16:2 that illuminates Mt 7:21-24. That world Jesus is not the King of, is the religious world [the system of Judaism, Mosaic law] – remember Ps 24:1; Rev 17:14 then see Mt 3:7-9 (Jesus over and over mentions their synagogues); Jn 18:33-38; 14:6; 9:28; 5:37-47
1. We see how the church is represented in this vision. (1.) As a woman, the weaker part of the world, but the spouse of Christ is not supposed to be so as children of Almighty God, and the mother of the saints. (2.) As clothed with the sun, the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Having put on Christ, who is the Sun of righteousness, she, by her relation to Christ, is invested with honorable rights and privileges, and shines in His rays and was promised to be the stars of heaven [the unbelievers, including the law-followers, are like the sand of the sea – the broad way that is dust that is the food of the devil]. (3.) As having the moon under her feet (that is, the world; being stars, Mt 5:14); she stands upon it, but lives above it; her heart and hope are not set upon sublunary things, but on the things that are in heaven, where Her Head is. (4.) As having on her head a crown of twelve stars, that is, the doctrine of the gospel preached by the twelve apostles, which is a crown of glory to all true believers. (5.) As in travail, crying out, and pained to be delivered. She was pregnant, and now in pain to bring forth a holy progeny to Christ, desirous that what was begun in the conviction of sinners might end in their conversion, that when the children were brought to the birth there might be strength to bring forth, and that she might see of the travail of her soul.
2. How the grand enemy of the church is represented. (1.) As a great red dragon —a dragon for strength and terror— a red dragon for fierceness and cruelty and sin (Is 1:18). (2.) As having seven heads, some say, placed on seven hills, as Rome was; and therefore they assume that pagan Rome [or law] is here meant. The seven heads can very likely relate to chapter 2 and 3 where seven churches are mentioned. The principle is this: The body corporate follows its head. God the Father nominated a Church as His Body with Christ as the only Head (1 Pet 2:1-10; Eph 1:17-23; Phil 2:8-11). This, however, nomination of God is ignored [rebelled against] and “de-nominated” with each their own heads with their own names [on that part that rules, think up doctrines]. Shamelessly and fearlessly men calls their own institutions “de-nominated” and fight each other for their rulership. Some even politically cruise between these herecies and call themselves “inter-de-nominational”! If your assembly has a head with a name other than that of Jesus Christ, and it teaches or proclaims a message other than that of Jesus Christ, it is wise to check the Word of God again. If homosexuals, for example, or “traditional marriages” between heathens are said to be in order; or if they change policy on “sin”, you will do well to read Jm 1:17; Heb 8:13; Lev 18:22; 20:13; Rom 1:26-28; 1 Cor 6:9; 1 Tim 1:10. (3.) As having ten horns, divided into ten provinces, as the Roman Empire [government] was by Augustus Caesar. Remember though, that horns need not only refer to government, but anointing power (1 Sam 2:1; 16:1,13; 1 Kings 1:39; 1 Chron 25:5; Job 16:5; Ps 18:2; 148:14). (4.) As having seven crowns upon his head, which is afterwards expounded to be seven kings, ch. 17:10 . (5.) As drawing with his tail a third part of the stars in heaven, and casting them down to the earth, turning the ministers and professors of the Christian religion out of their places and privileges and making them as weak and useless as he could. (6.) As standing before the woman, to devour her child as soon as it should be born, very vigilant to crush the Christian religion in its birth and entirely to prevent the growth and continuance and maturity and rulership [authority] of it in the world. See meditation called “Rapture raptured” by the author. Heb 1:13; 10:13 with Jesus in Jn 17:15 alone, should doom that doctrine.
II. The unsuccessfulness of these attempts against the church; for, 1. She was safely delivered of a man-child (v. 5; Jn 1:29b), Christ, others great propriety, say this is a race of true believers, strong matured and united, Christ-filled, and designed, under Him, to rule the nations with a rod of iron; that is, to judge the world by their doctrine and lives now, and as assessors with Christ at the great day. 2. Care was taken of this child: it was caught up to God, and to his throne; that is, taken into his special, powerful, and immediate protection. The Christian religion has been from its infancy the special care of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. 3. Care was taken of the mother as well as of the child, v. 6 . She fled into the wilderness, a place prepared both for her safety and her sustenance. The church was in an obscure state, dispersed and in infancy; and this proved her security, through the care of divine Providence. This her obscure and private state was for a limited time, not to continue always. The Bride must be mature to receive the Head (Jn 8:32,36). Of course we cannot ignore Mt 2:13-23.
III. The attempts of the dragon not only proved unsuccessful against the church, but fatal to his own interests; for, upon his endeavor to devour the man-child, he engaged all the powers of heaven against him (v. 7): There was war in heaven. Heaven will espouse the quarrel of the church. Remember the heaven [realm] spoken of here is surrounding us (Heb 12:1). The city in Rev 21 is a heavenly city [us in whom He dwells, His Zion], not a heaven-bound [celestial] city. Here observe,
1. The seat of this war—in heaven, in the church, which is the kingdom of heaven [God] on earth, under the care of heaven [God] and in the same interest. See the meditation entitled “Heaven”, if you will.
2. The parties—Michael and his angels on one side, and the dragon and his angels on the other: Note: Christ, even the great Angel of the Old Covenant, is not Michael (Heb 1). This latter party much superior in number and outward strength to the other; but the strength of the church lies in having the Lord Jesus for the Captain of their salvation, with His continuous supply of His Holy Spirit Life, Truth, creation power and glory, not forgetting Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:13-17.
3. The success of the battle: The dragon and his angels fought and prevailed not; there was a great struggle on both sides, but the victory fell to Christ and his Body (church), and the dragon and his angels were not only conquered, but cast out; the pagan idolatry, which was a worshipping of devils, was not extirpated out of the empire in the time of Constantine but on the cross already… Try to understand what Paul proclaimed 1 Cor 1:23; 2:2 and Peter in 1 Pet 1:12-13 (with Jn 1:17). See it?
The triumphant song that was composed and used on this occasion, v. 10,11. Here observe, (1.) How the conqueror is adored: Now have come salvation, strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ. Now God has shown himself to be a mighty God; now Christ has shown himself to be a strong and mighty Savior; His own arm has brought salvation, and now His kingdom will be greatly enlarged and established (Is 9:6,7). The salvation and strength of the church are all to be ascribed to the King and Head of the church. (2.) How the conquered enemy is described. [1.] By his malice; he was the accuser of the brethren, and accused them before their God night and day; he appeared before God as an adversary to the church, continually bringing in indictments and accusations against them, whether true or false; thus he accused Job, and thus he accused Joshua the high priest, Zech. 3:1. Though he hates the presence of God, yet he is willing to appear there with God’s saints (sons) to accuse the people of God. Let us therefore take heed that we give him no cause of accusation against us; and that, when we have sinned, we presently go in before the Lord, and also not accuse and condemn ourselves (1 Jn 3:18-24), and commit our cause to Christ as our Advocate. [2.] By his disappointment and defeat: he and all his accusations are cast out, the indictments quashed, and the accuser turned out of the court with just indignation. (3.) How the victory was gained. The servants of God overcame Satan, [1.] By the blood of the Lamb. Jesus Christ did it on the cross, indeed “the Day of the Lord” (Ps 118:24)! Christ by dying destroyed him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil. [2.] By the word of their testimony, as the great instrument of war, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, —by a resolute powerful preaching of the everlasting gospel, which is mighty, through God, to pull down strongholds, —and by their courage and patience in sufferings; they loved not their lives unto the death, when the love of life stood in competition with their loyalty to Christ; they loved not their lives so well but they could give them up to death, could lay them down in Christ’s Life; their love to their own lives was overcome by stronger affections of another nature; and this their courage and zeal helped to confound their enemies, to convince many of the spectators, to confirm the souls of the faithful, and so prove Jesus’ victory.
We have here an account of this war, so happily finished in heaven [the above realm], or in the church [those in Whom He dwells in the fullness of God Triune – Eph 1:23], as it was again renewed and carried on in the wilderness, the place to which the church had fled, and where she had been for some time secured by the special care of her God and Savior. Observe,
I. The warning given of the distress and calamity that should fall upon the inhabitants of the world in general, through the wrath and rage of the devil, or more precisely, those taking offense in – and reject – the good news of the completed work of Jesus Christ, so condemning themselves with not clothing themselves with Him and His glorious Light, His immortal, eternal Life. For, though his malice is chiefly bent against the servants of God, yet he is an [ex-] enemy and hater of mankind as such; and, being defeated in his designs against the church, he is resolved to give all the disturbance [deceit, distraction] he can to the world in general: Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, and the sea, (:12). The rage of Satan grows so much the greater as he is limited both in place and time; when he was confined to the wilderness, and had but a short time to reign there, he comes with desperation.
Examples of the Bible revealing the “threes”
– Water that appears in three forms – fluid, solid (ice) and gas (steam)
– Fire brings forth heat, light and fumes (smoke)
– The suns rays are invisible, but when blocked give light and heat (is actinic, luminiferous and calorific)
– A triangle has three sides and angles yet one surface and one shape
– [Reborn] man is one – yet consists of spirit, soul and body (1 Thess 5:23)
– God revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit
So, is it any surprise to find that John, in the Book of Revelation, tries to express what he has seen (like in chapter 13) in three’s – a sea, a land, a heaven… a low, a higher, a highest. And the sea of the sand John stood on, was only inches above the sea – that low place every true follower of Christ will end up on, before finally breaking out of religion and its law that kills, by really discovering the Truth that sets you free – it is about Jesus Christ, not you and I. That beast that first rose from out of the sea is you, or I, or anyone [still] driven by lust and greed! Yes you [below thoughts Rom 8:7-9] are your own worst enemy (Satan is overcome – Col 2:15)! The devil has no authority, he gets authority from mankind that allow themselves to be deceived by a fallen foe! Then, because we pay homage to ourselves [our own lust and greed], this dragon is given dominion he should not have! Then this “beast” is transferred to the land, and so rises out of the church. That broad middle way is the land – popular religion [self-righteousness of attempting self-salvation through obedience to a set of rules]. Rules God handed [added later] to stiff-necked Jews with hardened hearts to show them self-righteousness [distrust in His Voice; Rom 8:14,15] is fatal and stupid (Gal 3:19; Heb 2:2; Acts 7:38,53). Yes, God used angels as flaming instruments (Heb 1:7; Ps 104:4). And you want to stay saved by following that law Jesus ended (Rom 3:20; 4:5; 7:4,6,10; 8:1-3; 10:4; Heb 8:13; 9:8-14,26; 10:14; Gal 3:2-5,10-12)?? Try Rom 3:24-28; Gal 3:16,29 (Gen 12:3; 22:17; Jer 29:10-13).
They walked 40 years around that mountain where the law was handed down to them to shut them up (Gal 3:19; 4:21-31). And you want to follow them? The Rock [not made by human hands] broke out of that mountain and abolished all types of government [manipulation] by man. Try Mk 11:23-24 in context again. This Rock was indeed not made by human hands (Dan 2:45; Gen 49:24; 1 Cor 10:4; Rev 6:16!!). Notice that that magnificent statement of Mk 11:24 was made just after Jesus cursed the fig tree, the religious Jewish leaders (1 Pet 1:18-23).
Who is represented by the fig tree? The Pharisees, Saducees and Scribes; that is, the religious leaders and their system of laws, ceremonies, rituals, and tradition (Mk 7:13;1 Pet 1:18). The vineyard is those who follow His teaching, the fig tree is that thing in the vineyard not producing the fruit, what Adam and Eve tried to clothe (cover) themselves with after they realized they were naked (Rom 13:11-14). Just stop and think why they used fig leafs and not the much more suitable plants to cover those areas that later will be symbolized with circumcision… Anyway, carefully contemplate Lk 13:6-10 and see that this exact period of time later was Mt 21:18-22. Then read on to Mt 21:33-45. See it? Think about it.
The dust of the earth, Satan is eating, is legalistic, carnal-minded people (“Christians” or not) – Gen 3:15; Job 4:19; Lk 10:5-11; Acts 52:1-3 . Abraham’s first [natural] seed is like the sand of the sea (below), like dust – Gal 4:21-31! The second (born by promise, from above), was like the stars of heaven. See it?
The Message puts Gal 4:16b,17 like this: “… And now have I suddenly become your enemy by telling you the truth? I can’t believe it. Those heretical teachers go to great lengths to flatter you, but their motives are rotten. They want to shut you out of the free world of God’s grace so that you will always depend on them for approval and direction, making them feel important”.
Get rid of that religious externalism and have a continual, everlasting, habitual relationship with God your true and real Father, through Jesus Christ, and be counseled, comforted and guided by Holy Spirit. See how Mt 10:8 MANIFESTS in your Light-life, your Truth revealed to the world as truly good news!
II. His second attempt upon the church now in the wilderness: He persecuted the woman who brought forth the man-child, v. 13. Observe, 1. The care that God had taken of his church. He had conveyed her as on eagles’ wings, into a place of safety provided for her, where she was to continue for a certain space of time, couched in prophetic characters, taken from Dan. 7:25. 2. The continual malice of the dragon against the church. Her obscurity could not altogether protect her; the old subtle serpent, which at first lurked in paradise, now follows the church into the wilderness, and casts out a flood of water after her, to carry her away. This is thought to be meant of a flood of error and heresy, which was breathed by thieves (Jn 10:1-10) robbing you of sonship (Jn 1:12) by which the church of God was in danger of being overwhelmed and carried away. The church of God is in more danger from heretics than from persecutors; and heresies are as certainly from the devil as open force and violence, lies and deception with their fear-driven heresies. 3. The seasonable help provided for the church in this dangerous juncture: The earth helped the woman, and opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood, v. 16. Some think we are to understand the swarms of Goths and Vandals that invaded the Roman Empire, and found work for the Arian rulers, who otherwise would have been as furious persecutors as the pagan had been, and had exercised great cruelties already; but God opened a breach of war, and the flood was in a manner swallowed up thereby, and the church enjoyed some respite. God often sends the sword to avenge the quarrel of his Testament; and, when men choose new gods, then there is danger of war in the gates; intestine broils and contentions often end in the invasions of a common enemy. 4. The devil, being thus defeated in his designs upon the universal church, now turns his rage against particular persons and places; his malice against the woman pushes him on to make war with the remnant of her seed. Some think hereby are meant the Albigenses, who were first by Dioclesian driven up into barren and mountainous places, and afterwards cruelly murdered by popish rage and power, for several generations; and for no other reason than because they kept the commandments of God and held the testimony of Jesus Christ. Their fidelity to God and Christ, in doctrine, worship, and practice, was that which exposed them to the rage of Satan and his instruments; and such fidelity will expose men still, less or more, to the end of the world, when the last enemy shall be destroyed – death. Jesus Christ has won the battle, on the cross with His Blood. Now we have to follow Him, believe His Words and mature to rule on earth. 5. But, there is of course Mt 2:9-18; 18:1-4…
Question: Why would God curse Satan for doing what he was made for (Gen 3:14)?
Answer: The prisoners being found guilty by their own confession, besides the personal and infallible knowledge of the Judge, and nothing material being offered in arrest of judgment, God immediately proceeds to pass sentence; and, in these verses, he begins (where the sin began) with the serpent. God did not examine the serpent, nor ask him what he had done nor why he did it; but immediately sentenced him, 1. Because he was already convicted of rebellion against God probably for instigating unfaithfulness and disloyalty in man, and his malice and wickedness were notorious, not found by secret search, but openly avowed and declared as Sodom’s. 2. Because he was to be for ever excluded from all hope of pardon; and why should anything be said to convince and humble him who was to find no place for repentance? His wound was not searched, because it was not to be cured. Some think the condition of the fallen angels (messengers, instruments) was not declared desperate and helpless, until now that their “father” (Jn 8:38-47) had seduced man into the rebellion. Satan was not to try and kill all man, but only gather those with distrusting thoughts [by their choice of not opting for everlasting life in Christ] of not being clothed with the Christ of God, of not being His son, in His image, the Truth. Believe is not yet trust and fellowship…
I. The sentence passed upon the tempter may be considered as lighting upon the serpent, the cunning creature which Satan made use of which was, as the rest, made for the service of man, but was now abused to his hurt. Remember there was at that stage no death [or threat or danger of human death known] yet (Rom 5:12). Therefore, to testify a displeasure against sin, and a jealousy for the injured honor of Adam and Eve, God fastens a curse and reproach upon the serpent, and makes it to being burdened. See Rom 8:20 . The devil’s instruments [children, followers with trust in Satan’s fruit] must share in the devil’s punishments. Thus the bodies of the wicked, though only instruments of unrighteousness, shall partake of destruction with the self-centered soul, the principal agent. Even the ox that killed a man must be stoned, Ex. 21:28 , 29. See here how God hates sin (Jn 16:9), and especially how much displeased he is with those who entice others into sin (Rom 12:9). It is a perpetual brand upon Jeroboam’s name that he made Israel to sin. Now, 1. The serpent is here laid under the curse of God: Thou art cursed above all cattle. Even the creeping things, when God made them, were blessed of him (Gen 1:22), but sin turned the blessing into a curse. The serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field (v. 1), and here, cursed above every beast of the field. Unsanctified subtlety often proves a great curse to a man; and the more crafty men are to do evil the more mischief they do, and, consequently, they shall receive according to Gal 6:8-14. Subtle tempters are the most accursed creatures under the sun. 2. He is here laid under man’s reproach and enmity. (1.) He is to be for ever looked upon as a vile and despicable creature, and a proper object of scorn and contempt: “Upon thy belly thou shalt go, cleaving to the earth’’ an expression of a very abject miserable condition, Ps. 44:25 ; “and thou shalt not avoid eating dust with thy meat.’’ His crime was that he tempted Eve to eat that which she should not (Prov 18:21); his punishment was that he was necessitated to eat that which he would not: Dust thou shalt eat. This denotes not only a base and despicable condition, but a mean and pitiful spirit; it is said of those whose courage has departed from them that they lick the dust like a serpent, Mic. 7:17 . The revelation in all analogies here is the partaking [eating, taken up] of religion [self-righteousness, law, knowledge between good and evil, blessing and calamity] as apposed to a relationship with God [trust]. A “relationship” with the devil leads only to destruction; whilst Jesus Christ = lasting Life.
The dust the devil is to eat, is the carnally minded man that is enmity towards God (Rom 8:9). This is what attaches itself to the anointed preachers of the Word of God, His gospel of Jesus Christ. Carefully contemplate Lk 10:5-16; Acts 13:51,52; Is 52:1-2; Is 48! When you are confronted by natural man, that is carnally minded (2 Cor 4:4-7; 11:13-15), often by law, and you feel that attack to strip your anointing, shake the dust off, and get fresh anointing [oil] from your heavenly Father [Holy Spirit], sit one side and prophecy life and restoration into that carnal mind in Jesus’ name! Demonstrate Rom 12:14 and shake off that dust and go on, with no bitterness or offence, but joy.
How sad it is that the serpent’s curse should be the covetous worldling’s choice, whose character it is that he pants after the dust of the earth! Amos 2:7 . These choose their own delusions, and so shall their doom be. (2.) He is to be for ever looked upon as a venomous noxious creature, and a proper object of hatred and detestation: I will put enmity between thee and the woman. The inferior creatures being made for man, it was a curse upon any of them to be turned against man and man against them; and this is part of the serpent’s curse. The serpent is hurtful to man, and often bruises his heel, because it can reach no higher; nay, notice is taken of his biting the horses’ heels, ch. 49:17 . But man is victorious over the serpent, and bruises his head, that is, gives him a mortal wound, aiming to destroy the whole generation of vipers. Just be careful not to heal that wound by paying homage to the “beast” (the self), specifically lust and greed. Do not think (consider, contemplate) it, nor do it.
Note also that the “head” is like the “CEO” of the whole organization. Jesus is the Head of His Church and placed the whole kingdom of darkness under our feet (Eph 1:22, and we are His Body, v 23; Heb 2:8).
It is the effect of this curse upon the serpent that, though that creature is subtle and very dangerous, yet it prevails not (as it would if God gave it commission to destroy all of mankind; it only was to destroy evil [thoughts]) not to destroy all of mankind. This sentence pronounced upon the serpent is much fortified by that promise of God to his people, Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder (Ps. 91:13), and that of Christ to his disciples, They shall take up serpents (Mk. 16:18), witness Paul, who was unhurt by the viper that fastened upon his hand. Observe here, the serpent and the woman had just now been very familiar and friendly in discourse about the forbidden fruit [distrust/slander], and a blissful agreement there was between them; but here they are irreconcilably set at variance. Note, Sinful friendships justly end in mortal feuds: those that unite in wickedness will not unite long.
II. This sentence may be considered as leveled at the devil, who only made use of the serpent as his vehicle in this appearance, but was himself the principal agent. He that spoke through the serpent’s mouth is here struck at through the serpent’s side, and is principally intended in the sentence, which, like the pillar of cloud and fire, has a dark side towards the devil and a bright side towards our first parents and their Seed. Great things are contained in these words. He is the Light-Life to man.
1. A perpetual reproach is here fastened upon that deceiver. Under the cover of the serpent, he is here sentenced to be, (1.) Degraded and accursed of God. It is supposed that the sin which turned angels into devils was pride, which is here justly punished by a great variety of mortifications couched under the mean circumstances of a serpent crawling on his belly and licking the dust. He that would be above God, and set His children against Him, is justly exposed here to contempt and lies to be trodden on; a man’s pride will bring him low, and God is infinitely above those who will not humble themselves. (2.) Detested and abhorred of all mankind. Even those that are really self-seduced into his interest yet profess a hatred and abhorrence of him; and all that are born of God make it their constant care to keep themselves, that this wicked one touch them not, 1 Jn. 5:18 . He is here condemned to a state of war and irreconcilable enmity. (3.) Destroyed and ruined at last by the great Redeemer, signified by the breaking of his head (rule). His subtle politics shall all be baffled, his usurped power shall be entirely crushed, and he shall be forever a captive to the injured honor of divine sovereignty. By being told of this now he was tormented before the time.
2. A perpetual quarrel is here commenced between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the devil among men; war is proclaimed between the Seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. That war in heaven between Michael and the dragon began now, Rev. 12:7 . It is the fruit of this enmity, (1.) That there is a continual conflict between grace and corruption in the hearts of God’s people. Satan, by their corruptions, assaults them, buffets them, sifts them, and seeks to devour them; they, by the exercise of their graces, resist him, wrestle with him, quench his fiery darts, force him to flee from them. Heaven and hell can never be reconciled, nor Light and darkness; no more can Satan and a sanctified soul, for these are contrary the one to the other (Jm 4:4). (2.) That there is likewise a continual struggle between the wicked [and religious] and the godly in this world. Those that love God account those their enemies that hate him [deny Him with self-righteousness], Ps. 139:21, 22. And all the rage and malice of persecutors against the people of God are the fruit of this enmity, which will continue while there is a godly man in the visible side of heaven, and a wicked man on this side aiming for hell. Marvel not therefore if the world hate you (1 Jn. 3:13).
3. A gracious promise is here made of Christ, as the deliverer of fallen man from the power of Satan. Though what was said was addressed to the serpent, yet it was said in the hearing of our first parents, who, doubtless, took the hints of grace here given them, and saw a door of hope opened to them, else the following sentence upon themselves would have overwhelmed them. Here was the dawning of the gospel day (Jn 16:33; 1 Jn 3:8). No sooner was the wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed. Here, in the head of the book, as the word is ( Heb. 10:7 ), in the beginning of the Bible, it is written of Christ, that he should do the will of God. By faith in this promise, we have reason to think, our first parents, and the patriarchs before the flood, were justified and saved and to this promise, and the benefit of it, instantly serving God day and night, they hoped to come. Notice is here given them of three things concerning Christ:— (1.) His incarnation, that he should be the Seed of the woman, the seed of that woman; therefore his genealogy (Lk. 3; Gal 3:16) goes so high as to show him to be the son of Adam, but God does the woman the honor to call him rather her Seed (woman do not have seed, the man does!), because she it was whom the devil had beguiled, and on whom Adam had laid the blame; herein God magnifies his grace, in that, though the woman was first in the transgression, yet she shall be saved by child-bearing (as some read it), that is, by the promised Seed who shall descend from her, 1 Tim. 2:15. God legally entered the natural realm through a woman to deliver all mankind [that accept His sacrifice] from themselves under the law. He was likewise to be the Seed of a woman only, of a virgin, that he might not be tainted with the corruption of our nature; he was sent forth, made of a woman (Gal. 4:4), that this promise might be fulfilled. It is a great encouragement to sinners that their Saviour is the seed of the woman, bone of our bone, Heb. 2:11, 14. Man is therefore sinful and unclean, because he is born of a woman (Job 25:4), and therefore his days are full of trouble, Job 14:1. But the Seed of the woman was made sin and a curse for us, so saving us from both. (2.) His sufferings and death, pointed at in Satan’s bruising his heel, that is, his human nature. Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, to draw him into sin; and some think it was Satan that terrified Christ in his agony, to drive him to despair. It was the devil that put it into the heart of Judas to betray Christ, of Peter to deny him, of the chief priests to prosecute him, of the false witnesses to accuse him, and of Pilate to condemn him, aiming in all this, by destroying the Savior, to ruin the salvation; but, on the contrary, it was by death that Christ destroyed him that had the power of death, Heb. 2:10,14; 1 Cor 2:7-8; 2 Tim 4:18! Christ’s heel was bruised when his feet were pierced and nailed to the cross, and Christ’s sufferings are probably continued in the sufferings of the saints for His name. The devil tempts them, deceit them with law and so casts them into prison, persecutes and slays them with guilt, and so bruises the heel of Christ, who is afflicted in their afflictions. But, while the heel is bruised on earth, it is well that the Head is safe in heaven and so He will return when we have overcome this liar by putting all our enemies under our feet (1 Cor 15:26). (3.) Thereby His victory over Satan. Satan had now trampled upon the woman, and insulted over her; but the Seed of the woman was to be raised up in the fullness of time on that cross to avenge her quarrel, and to trample upon him, to spoil him, to lead him captive, and to triumph over him, Col. 2:15 and 1 Cor 15:26 (1 Thess 4:15)!! . He shall bruise his head, that is, he shall destroy all his politics and all his powers, and give a total overthrow to his kingdom and interest. Christ baffled Satan’s temptations, rescued souls out of his hands, cast him out of the bodies of people, dispossessed the strong man armed, and divided his spoil: by his death, he gave a fatal and incurable blow to the devil’s kingdom, a wound to the head of this beast, that can never be healed, even though in some religious people’s corrupted minds. As His gospel gets ground, Satan falls (Lk. 10:18) and is bound, Rev 20:2 . By His grace, He treads Satan under His people’s feet (Rom. 16:20) who exercises His authority (Mt 28:18-20; Mk16:16-20) and will at last cast him into the lake of fire, Rev 20:10 . And the devil’s final utter destruction will be the complete and everlasting joy and glory of the chosen remnant.
You just clothe yourself with God’s complete armor (Eph 6:13, Who is Rom 13:14), then the battle for you is to just remain standing (Eph 1:1-23; 6:13,14; 2 Chron 20:13; 2 Cor 4:16-18) in the faith of His righteousness in His grace, mercy and Truth and watch God [help] fight your battle for you in the sense of Phil 1:6,9-11; 4:13 and 1 Jn 4:4 (Mk 4:39; Heb 12:2; Rom 8:33-39; even Ex 14:14 and Dt 20:4)! He has won, outside time! Eat Jn 16:33 (Rom 14:17; Heb 5:13) and keep Him [Christ, Holy Spirit] inside of you – that will be your victory!!!
Peace unto you, in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace!
Are you smiling?
As far as stars go, consider Gal 4:21-31, explaining the children of promise (Gen 22:17); some like stars (Num 24:17; Judges 5:20; Job 25:5; Dan 12:3; Jude 13; Rev 12:1), and the others like dust (Gen 3:14; Job 4:19; Is 52:2; Mt 10:13,14; Lk 10:8-12; Acts 13:50-51; 1 Cor 2:2,5-9; Ps 102:14). Some above [in Christ], others below [in self-righteous law, the devil].
 Gen 3:14; Job 4:19; Is 52:2; Mt 10:13,14; Lk 10:8-12; Acts 13:50,51; 1 Cor 2:2,5-9; Ps 102:14.
 This is His heavenly city (Jerusalem – Gal 4:24-31; Is 60:14b), the true Israel (Amos 8:2; Mt 21:43-45; Acts 10:35; Rom 2:28-29; 3:19-28; 6:14-17; 7:4,6,9,10; 9:7-9, 25,26; 10:1-4,12,13,17-21; Gal 2:4-6,13,14,16-19; 3:7-13; 4:21,30,31; 5:4,18,25; Eph 1:22-3:6,18-21; Rev 21; 1 Cor 3:9,16; and so on). You are already a citizen of heaven if you are in Christ -Eph 2:19; Heb 12:23; 1 Cor 2:13-16; 2 Cor 10:5; 1 Jn 4:17; 5:4-5; Jn 16:33! Gen 11:4-7; acts 2:1-6; Rev 21:1,2,24; Heb 11:10,13,16; 12:22; 11:39,40 (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; 1 Pet 2:4-10)
 Consider Jude 20; 1 Jn 5:4; 4:17; Eph 6:15-18; Jn 7:37-39; 2 Cor 10:5 (Mt 16:23); 1 Cor 2:16; Phil 4:6-8; and so on. Read the “Rapture raptured” document by the author.