"I am the vine, you are the branches"
Malachi vs Revelation, Part 6
The End Times Church
We want to continue our study on the one true church and its end time message. We want to begin in Revelation after the message to the 1st century church. John writes, "After these things, I saw a door standing open" (Revelation 4:1). All of these scenes that are in heaven are taking place in the heavenly Temple. This Temple is in operation today, something we never seem to think about, but we will not be discussing these Scriptures in this newsletter. As we continue, we see the book with the seven seals opened. We do not want to go into all of these seals, but I do want to mention that the 1st seal, the white horse and its rider, is the false messiah and back in the Apostles' day, they thought Nero was this man; even his name added up to 666. They believed that he was the one who would recover from a head wound and return. I believe that we have seen the spirit of Nero, the devil himself, in people like Hitler and others throughout history. We see in the 5th seal the martyrs who are crying out under the altar; these are the souls that were persecuted, tortured, and martyred from the time of Stephen and through the time of the Roman Empire and which has continued throughout history. What we do want to look at is the true church and the false church and the message to both, and we will not be debating about things like the rapture.
In our March 2013 newsletter, we saw that there are two mysteries which include two kings and kingdoms: the mystery of godliness which is ruled by King Yeshua, the Kingdom of Light, and the mystery of lawlessness which is ruled by Satan and the Kingdom of Darkness, this world. Now we want to look at another mystery and two mothers.
Revelation also talks about two mothers. The first in Revelation 12:1-25 tells us that John saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. This also is how Joseph described his dream in Genesis 37:9. This mother was in labor and gave birth to a male child who was to rule all nations with an iron rod and the child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and His throne. This woman is Israel, who gave birth to Yeshua, the King of the Jews and after He rose from the dead, Yeshua was taken back up to heaven. This woman can also refer to the nation of Israel who was born in one day in 1948 (Isaiah 66:7-10), and also to the New Jerusalem which will come down from heaven like a beautiful bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21). Galatians 4:26 tells us, "But Sarah, the free woman, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. And she is our mother." The Bible tells us that we are being built up as a living temple (1 Peter 2:2-6, Ephesians 2:19-22). So this mother also represents the true Gentile believers who have been grafted into Israel (Romans 11:17), and she has prepared herself by making her garments white, without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27). These are the ones that the dragon went off to make war with for keeping the commandments of God and the testimony of Yeshua (Revelation 12:17).
Persecution is coming and has already started to come to Christians. We must be prepared. Yeshua tells the 1st century congregation in Smyrna, "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested . . . Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10). Yeshua tells us, "He who has found his life shall lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake shall find it" (Matthew 10:39). This is the sign of the true church, those who keep God's commandments. Yeshua says that those who love Him will keep His commandments (John 14:15, 15:10) and those who will be willing to lose their lives for the sake of the Gospel.
The second mother represents the counterfeit church, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and the abomination of the earth. She was clothed in purple and scarlet and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls (indicating power and wealth), having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and the unclean things of her immorality. In Revelation 3:14-22, we see that the church in Laodicea became lukewarm, they were neither hot nor cold, and Yeshua tells them that He was going to spit them out of His mouth. He went on to say, "Because you say, ‘I am rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." This describes a church that has become deceived, and as we see the description of the false church, we see her described as one who has riches by the way that she adorns herself with these colors and jewels. For we see that Babylon has many harlots, which are the many who will be taken in by her and will compromise their beliefs because they have been caught up with this world's lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh and pride of life.
The False Prophet
We see in chapter 13:11-18 that a beast will come up from the earth. This is the false prophet who will arise and deceive many by his signs and wonders. He will be the head of the false One World Church. We have seen that this One World Church, which is called Babylon the Harlot, will consist of people who have loved the world more than the one true God. They will be people who have fallen away from truth and who love darkness more than the Light. They will be people who have worshiped creation instead of the Creator. These people have become blinded because of their unrepentive hearts. You will see those who were against Christianity now embracing this new form of religion. It will be an ecumenical endeavor and every denomination will come together in unity with each one compromising their beliefs and in so doing they will return to Babylon, the Mother Church. It really is not important who this man is; some have speculated that he will be the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, for she has claimed all throughout history that she was and is the "Mother Church". What is important here is that we are able to recognize who this man is and what he stands for.
We need to recognize the difference between the true church of God and the counterfeit one because even today this One World Church is forming and people are starting to compromise on their beliefs. Today we need to be sure that we are not being deceived into this false church by these false shepherds who are leading their flocks to destruction. You may think that because you belong to a mainstream religion that you are safe, but I tell you that you are in just as much danger as if you belonged to a cult religion because the church has been lulled to sleep. Pastors, false shepherds, have crept in and brought their deception into the assembly of believers. Many do not even believe in the power of God, nor the cross of Yeshua. They preach nothing but grace and not repentance or judgment for sin. Peter tells us to be sober, be alert, for the adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. You must study God's Word, know the truth, and listen carefully to what you hear. Are you being taught to draw closer to God, to live by His ways, to repent and be washed by the blood of Yeshua and keep His Commandments? How many times do the Scriptures tell us that those who have ears let them hear what the Spirit of God is saying? Paul writes, "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Philippians 3:10). Are you crucifying the flesh? Are you suffering for doing righteousness, suffering for the sake of the Gospel? Are you drawing near to God like never before, keeping His commandments? There is a battle going on and true believers need to put on the armor of God so that they may stand in the hour of testing.
So we see the false prophet who will come like a false Elijah; he will make the way for the coming false messiah and he will give his authority to him. Yeshua tells us that there will be false messiahs and we are not to run after them, for there is another beast who will arise. Revelation 13:1-10 tells us that a man will arise who will take control of this empire and he will sit in authority over the world. Who is this man? The Bible tells us he will be a great political leader and his name will equal his mark, 666. We do not know today who this man is but he will appear as soon as the false prophet makes the way for him. He will call himself the messiah and equal himself to God. He will be called the healer of the world and people all over the world will pledge their allegiance to him. He will be charismatic, but he will be a dragon, the devil himself.
You cannot study Revelation without studying the book of Daniel. We will not be going into all of Daniel's dreams and visions, but we do want to look at Daniel 2:31-35. King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream of a statue made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, and clay, and Daniel interprets the dream as 4 different kingdoms that will come about in the future. Revelation 12:3 tells us about a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his head, and many believe this represents the return of the Roman Empire. We are seeing the Roman Empire being put back together. This empire will probably not be called the Roman Empire, but it will be as cruel and harsh and even more powerful. The Beast will rule it and all the world will come under his rule. Look to Germany to form the 4th Reich. Today Germany has taken the lead role in the United Europe. Some people believe that the empire will be the Ottoman Empire that will return and the false religion is Islam and the beast will be the 12th Mahdi, who lines up exactly with Scripture in his description.
So we see a false religious system with a political leader who claims to be the messiah. We see that the church and the state which Emperor Constantine put in place will once again come together and their goal will be to have everyone worship the image of the beast by receiving the "Mark of the Beast," which will allow them to function by buying and selling within this new political system. We find that there are those who will not receive the mark but remain true to the One True God and instead will be sealed with the seal of God. They will not compromise their beliefs and in so doing will suffer persecution and martyrdom from the Beast, for Revelation 17:6 tells us that the woman Babylon was drunk with the blood of the witnesses of Yeshua, and again in Revelation 12:17, "The dragon was enraged with the woman and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Yeshua."
The Two Witnesses and the 144 Thousand
In Revelation 11:1-12, we see two witnesses who will prophecy in Jerusalem for 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. I believe that these two men will not be Moses and Elijah themselves, for the Bible tells us that it is appointed for man to die once, and we know that Moses did die and we do not believe in reincarnation. I believe the one witness will come in the authority of Moses, preaching Torah and the second witness will come in the power of Elijah, like John the Baptist who Yeshua said was the Elijah to come, and like John the Baptist, he will be calling people to repent and come back to the Torah, fulfilling the prophecy in Malachi. These two will prepare the way of the Lord's coming. They will have great authority and power and will demonstrate it to anyone who will come against them. Some people believe that the two witnesses will be Enoch and Elijah because neither one died, but were taken up to heaven alive. Either way, the two witnesses will have great authority and power.
We see in Revelation 7:4-8 those who were sealed, 12,000 from every tribe and we find these same people standing on Mt. Zion with the Lord in Revelation 14:1. I believe that these are Messianic Jews who will also go about witnessing to the Jewish people, telling them to repent and to come back to the Torah.
Yeshua's Second Coming
Yeshua will come back with His saints and He will war against the false prophet and the beast and He will conquer them. The wicked church Babylon will fall and the kingdom of the beast will be destroyed and Yeshua will set up His kingdom, and there shall be no end. For one thousand years Yeshua and His faithful shall rule His kingdom from Jerusalem, and after that time He will release the dragon, Satan, and will war with him, only to conquer and judge him to Hell forever. The books shall be opened and King Yeshua will become Judge Yeshua and everyone shall stand before Him and give an account.
So the question we must ask ourselves is this: what is written in the books about me? There will be no excuses given. Our deeds will tell all. Are we washed in the blood? Are our names written in the Lamb's Book of Life? Are we truly living for Messiah's second coming?
The Message to the Church
So this leaves us with the final message to the church, those who all profess in the one true God who believe that they are in the assembly of the true church. Revelation 18:4 tells us this: "Come out of her (Babylon), My people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive her plagues." Scripture tells us in Ephesians 2:20 that we, the believers, are built upon the message of the Prophets and the Apostles, and that message is the same message even today: "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand." The Beast is the man of lawlessness; that means that he is anti-LAW. He is against Torah, the very foundation of our faith. It is the Torah, God's Word, His teachings, His revelation to us, His commandments. This is what he is against, and so he is the false church. Believers must do what repentance really means and that is to return to the LAW which equals Torah: God's commands, His statutes, His judgments, His revelation, His instructions. The true church will come back to their first love like the prodigal son who returned to his father after he realized that he had sinned. We must remember, it was not God, not Yeshua, not the disciples, but man who has told us that the believers should worship on Sunday, for it was the Emperor Constantine who changed the day because he worshiped Mithra the sun god. Those who are the true believers will realize this and come out from under the false religion of Babylon, which is ruled by Satan himself because of the idolatry and anti-Torah teachings and they will wash their robes in the blood of Yeshua by letting go of this world and allowing the Spirit of God to lead them, for they are the children of God who are led by the Spirit of God.
I know that this is hard to believe but those who will not hear what the Spirit of God is telling the church will be judged along with the false church. We see this time after time in the parables of Yeshua. He plainly tells the people that they will be thrown out and there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 7:13-23 is speaking to believers who are doing what they think is right, but are not keeping God's Commandments, His teachings, His Ways. Psalm 19:7-11 says, "For the law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making the simple wise. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life . . . These are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to those who hear them; there is great reward for those who obey them." Proverbs 3:18 also says, "Wisdom (God's Word) is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly." And in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul writes, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do."
Judgment is coming upon this earth and even though we think that we may be right with God, we need to examine ourselves in the light of the Scriptures to see if we really belong to the one true congregation of the Lord. Do our lives add up with the Word of God or are we just living in the shadows, sitting on the fence, neither hot nor cold? Have we picked up our cross, the yoke of the kingdom, the commandments of the Lord, and are we following the full counsel of His Word, letting Yeshua be our example as we follow Him completely? Do not be deceived, come out of Babylon, while there is still time!
"And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come,' and let the one who hears say, ‘Come,' and let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who wishes to take the water of Life without cost come" (Revelation 22:17). Today if you hear His voice do not harden your heart!