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Showing posts from April, 2021

Short Season

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The Devil will be granted a final “short season” to persecute the saints of the Lamb  -  Revelation 12:7-12 .  When Satan was expelled from heaven, a “ great voice ” warned that the “ Dragon ” was enraged, knowing that he had only a “ short season ” to inflict harm on the saints. He attempted to vent his rage by persecuting the “ woman ” who produced the messianic “ son ,” but was thwarted from doing so. Then, he launched his “ war ” against her “ seed ,” those who had the “ testimony of Jesus .” - [ Photo by AgĂȘ Barros on Unsplash ].

Seed of the Woman

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After his expulsion, Satan waged war against the “seed of the Woman” – Those who hold the “testimony of Jesus”  -  Revelation 12:7-17 .  Having failed to destroy the messianic “ son ,” and thoroughly enraged, the “ Dragon ” vents his rage by pursuing the “ woman ” into the “ wilderness ,” and not by waging war against the unsaved " inhabitants of the earth .” Instead, prevented from destroying the “ woman ,” he persecutes her offspring - [ Photo by  Bofu Shaw  on Unsplash ].

Shepherd of the Nations

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Jesus is the promised ruler from the line of David, the Shepherd of ALL nations   –   Revelation 12:5 .  The “ son ” born from the woman  is the Messiah destined to “ shepherd the nations .” Following his enthronement, heaven declared: “ Now is come the kingdom of God and the authority of His Christ .” His defeat of Satan  meant the commencement of his reign over the “ nations ” from the messianic throne - [ Photo by joseph d'mello on Unsplash ].

War in Heaven

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The saints overcame the Dragon through the death of the Lamb and their faithful witness, “even unto death”  –  Revelation 12:11 .  In Chapter 12 of  Revelation , the “ sign of the Great Red Dragon ” appeared in the heavens, signifying that the “ war ” had commenced between his forces and those of the messianic “ son ” who was destined to “ shepherd the nations .” The result was the expulsion of Satan from “ heaven ,” and the proclamation of the victory of the “ brethren ” - [ Photo by Huang Yingone on Unsplash ].

Ancient Beast

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The “beast from the sea” is the latest incarnation of an ancient creature that has stalked the “seed of the woman” since the fall of Adam .  In broad terms, history repeats itself. Its landscape is littered with attempts by tyrants to dominate large populations and even the entire planet. They may have experienced success for a time, but so far, every presumed world ruler has floundered in the end. The empires of Nebuchadnezzar, Augustus, Hitler, etc, all have been confined to history’s dustbin - [ Photo by David Clode on Unsplash ].

Beast from the Abyss

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The first appearance of the “beast” is at its ascent from the “Abyss” when it wages “war” on the “two witnesses”  –  Revelation 11:7 .  The “ Abyss ” was introduced when the “ fifth trumpet ” sounded and demonic hordes “ ascended ” from this dark place. It is referred to next after the “ two witnesses ” completed their “ testimony .”  On cue, the “ beast ascended from the Abyss ” to attack and slay both “ witnesses ,” but it cannot do so until they have finished their prophetic mission - [ Abyss photo by  Juan Davila  on Unsplash ] .

Two Witnesses - Slain

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Persecuted by the impenitent “inhabitants of the earth,” the “two witnesses” lie dead on the main street of the “Great City”  -  Revelation 11:8-14 .  The “ second woe ” does not end until the “ two witnesses ” have completed their “ testimony ” and their “ corpse ,” singular, lies on the streets of the “ Great City .” Only then, will the final trumpet sound and usher in the “ Day of the Lord ,” the hour of judgment. But the completion of their task also triggers the ascent of the “ beast from the Abyss ” who will kill them - [ Photo  by Arpit Rastogi on Unsplash ].

Two Witnesses Testify

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The “two witnesses” must complete their “testimony” before the Beast is unleashed from the “Abyss”  -  Revelation 11:3-7 .  In  its  task of  prophesy ing   before   “ nations and kings ,” the  church is   symbolized by the “ t wo  witnesses ” as they give “ testimony ” against  the “ inhabitants of the earth .” Their  work  continues for  the entire  “ twelve hundred and sixty days ” or   “ forty-two months ”  until they   “ finish ” their work. Afterward, they  are  “ slain by the  B east   from the  abyss . ” - [ Twin Lighthouses - Photo by  insung yoon  on Unsplash ].

Kings and Priests

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Disciples reign with Jesus as “priests” who render service in his Tabernacle by mediating his light in the world .  In  Revelation , the present sovereignty of Jesus is based on his past death and resurrection, and because of his sacrificial death, his disciples now reign with him. But like him, their elevation to rule over the earth is paradoxical - it is characterized by self-sacrificial service, for the outpouring of his lifeblood has consecrated them as “ priests ” for God - [ Photo by Sigurdur Fjalar Jonsson on Unsplash ].

Sanctuary Measured

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The sanctuary must be “measured” before the city can be inhabited, but first, it must be “trampled underfoot” by the nations  -  Revelation 11:1-2 .  In the preceding vision, John was commanded to “ prophesy again over many peoples and nations and tongues and kings ,” setting the stage for the next two visions, the “ measuring of the sanctuary and altar ” and the “ two witnesses .” Both visions are connected by the equivalent figures of “ forty-two months ” and “ 1,260-days .” - [ Photo by  Isaac Smith  on Unsplash ].

Forty-Two Months - 1,260 Days

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The “forty-two months” and “1,260-days” both refer to the same prophetic period when the saints are persecuted.  The period when the saints must endure persecution is presented in three different but equivalent forms – “ forty-two months ,” “ 1,260-days ,” and the “ season, seasons, and half a season .” The variations do not point to three separate periods. Instead, they link the several visions that describe specific points about the persecution - [ Photo by  Waldemar Brandt  on Unsplash ].

Desolating Abomination - Context

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To understand the “Abomination that Desolates” in Daniel, it is vital to pay attention to literary context .  In  Daniel , the climax of the “ seventy weeks ” is the appearance of the “ abomination that desolates ” in the final half of the “ seventieth week .” But what, exactly, is this “ abomination ” and when did it appear? Is it a past or yet future event? We must begin with the information provided by the book of  Daniel  if we are to have any hope of answering these and similar questions - [ Photo by Kiwihug on Unsplash ].

Final Vision - Introduction

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Daniel chapter 10 introduces the final vision that is detailed in chapter 11, including verbal links to the vision of the ram and goat  -  Daniel 10:1-21 .  The tenth chapter introduces the final vision that Daniel received from one with the “ appearance of a man .” Several verbal links connect it to the preceding visions. It begins by expanding on the vision of the “ goat ” that foresaw Greece divided into four “ lesser kingdoms ,” then focuses on the intermittent warfare between two of those realms until the rise of the “ contemptible ” king and the “ abomination that desolates ” - [ Telescope Photo by  Kyle Popineau  on Unsplash ].

Persia Stirs Greece

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The conflict between Persia and Greece presented in the vision of the ram and goat is recapped at the start of the final vision  -  Daniel 11:1-4 . The introduction to the final vision did more than just portray an impressive angelic visitation. It provided verbal links to the vision of the “ ram and the goat ” and its interpretation. Now, additional details are presented concerning the demise of Persia, the rise of Greece and its first great king, and its division into four lesser realms - [ Greek Temple - Photo by  Simon Maage  on Unsplash ].

Mouth Speaking Great Things

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The “little horn” from Daniel is found in Revelation in the description of the “beast from the sea” and its “war against the saints.”  In  Revelation , the “ little horn ” is  NOT  explicitly named, but its characteristics are present in the description of the “ beast from the sea .” The book does not simply retell the same story without changes; it modifies and repurposes it to tell  ITS  story. The “ beast from the sea ” is based on Daniel’s “ little horn ,” but also is something beyond it, and arguably, far worse - [ Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash ].