Hyuna Jang (Author)
Hanseol Song (Translator)
Hanhee Song (Translator, Editor)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter 1 The Last Day and Tribulation
Chapter 2 The Prince and the Sanctuary
Chapter 3 Prophet, Image, and Mark
Chapter 4 Prophet and Judgment
Chapter 5 Entering Paradise
Chapter 6 The Fall of Babylon
Chapter 7 Come out of Babylon!
When the Lord saw the temple being built by the hands of man and said, “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down,” His disciples asked, “Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Regarding the end times, the Lord and His apostles instructed the saints that they must not be deceived. Since there are many people who try to understand the end times with external signs and eras, there will be many deceitful false prophets. Many who came into the earth and passed away was concerned about the last day, but was first met by death. The signs that Jesus spoke of were things that were internal and painful. Jesus said that the external strife, such as when “nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places” were merely the beginning of affliction. The true signs and afflictions are in these verses: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake,” “then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one,” and “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Like the suffering of Job, the trouble that the persecuted will endure will be extreme, but this will come upon to those who are able to receive it. These persecutions will not come upon a multitude of people at the same time. One side will cry out “Peace!” while people on the other side are suffering persecution.
The Lord and the apostles informed the saints in advance of the hardships that they will endure as Christians so that they will not fear when they are going through them. The harm in having false knowledge about the tribulation is that it makes the saints consider the tribulation that they will confront in their battle of faith to be light. Focusing on worrying about the plagues which may or may not come is neglecting the spiritual fight, making him worthy to receive the plagues meant for the wicked. Knowledge of tribulation prevents the saints from stumbling in difficult times, and allows them to fight for the Kingdom, not by their own will, but by the will of God. The saints receive affliction and tribulation for the sake of the word of the Lord, which is faith, and also partaking in the tribulation of the Lord. A saint has time to devote to the Lord in the day that is called ‘today.’ Peter said, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13). The ones who walk in the word of the Lord will be persecuted. In the same way that a burning lamp passed between the pieces of Abraham’s sacrifice in the covenant, every soul who abides in the covenant of the Lord will be refined by the fire of the Holy Ghost. As Abraham drove the fowls away when they came down upon the carcasses in the evening, so will the saints drive away all false things and persevere in His Word to the end.
If one does not have knowledge about the destruction of man, one cannot recognize even if the plague has come. Pharaoh neither knew nor admitted that the plagues had consumed them and made Egypt desolate until his servants pleaded, “Knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?” and even afterwards, he ended up perishing among them. Some humble themselves before even small signs of plagues and fear God, glorifying Him, but the evil do not realize that destruction has fallen upon him and blaspheme Him right up to the front steps of death and pestilence. When God decreased man’s lifespan from nearly a thousand to about four hundred years, they were still full of pride and gathered to build a tower that would reach up to heaven. Even when the Lord decreased man’s lifespan to one hundred twenty years, they did not realize that a plague had come upon them, and build nations of iniquities. Going from a lifespan of one thousand years to one hundred twenty years is nothing short of a disastrous plague, the equivalent of dying as a child in today’s time. In the time of Jesse, the father of David, eighty years was considered to be very old, which means that it decreased again by one third from one hundred twenty years. The man who can enter into the coming thousand-year kingdom, where man’s longevity is like that of trees, is the one who can live all his life for the Lord. However, the man of flesh does not learn the fear of God and humbleness in the short and vain years that he is in the world, but holds greater affection for the flesh and clings to earthly things. Paul, in reference to those who chased after secularism and said things like, “Let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die,” called such people ‘beasts’ (1 Corinthians 15:32). The wicked blaspheme in the time of trouble because they do not have the hope of the eternal kingdom of heaven.
Ever since the gospel was preached to the Gentiles, the word ‘tribulation’ has appeared often, especially in relation to the Gentile church. Paul counseled that “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” after he had been stoned in Lystra. After Stephen’s martyrdom, saints had confidence in the faith in the impending tribulation and hardship that the saints would have to go through for the church that had become the body of Christ. They “scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen,” travelling and preaching the word. It is said, “When he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7). Although persecution may scatter the saints, it causes each soul to lean more on the Lord and become one in the Spirit.
They did not have knowledge of the coming affliction even when the Lord had taken on the cross, and even when the Lord had resurrected they believed that the Kingdom of the Lord would come immediately. But after they endured tribulation because of their hope in the kingdom of God, they came to understand the knowledge of the mystery of affliction and believed that many bodies should gather together as a dwelling for Him and enter therein. In the time that God waits with longsuffering patience for all souls to be saved, the people of evil do even more wickedly and the time of adversity passes on for the righteous. The apostles showed themselves as examples for those who live in the Spirit to not be afraid of the fiery trials of the flesh.
The Kingdom and patience cannot be kept apart, and these things are the mark of a Christian. The saints who suffer through tribulation in the Lord also receive comfort from God who is rich in compassion. The Lord promised the church in Philadelphia that He “also will keep [them] from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon the entire world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” because they kept the Lord’s word in faith and patience and did not deny His name. And the Lord said to the church in Smyrna, “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer.” The faithful saints are exempt from the plague which will come upon those who will receive the cup of wrath of God. The Lord will shorten the period of tribulation for the sake of His chosen ones when it comes. The tribulation that can come upon the chosen ones are the first five seals in the Book of Revelation, which includes natural disasters and martyrdom, and even amidst these things their souls will be preserved. Thus, the Lord told his saints to not fear. As it is written, “[A good man] shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD” (Psalms 112:7). The people of faith are not disconcerted according to the knowledge of salvation that they received from the Lord. The Prophet Isaiah said, “Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”
The church in Thessalonica had the “work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” and resembled those of Philadelphia and Smyrna in having endured tribulation. Unlike other churches that were rebuked by the apostles for lewdness, envy, slandering, and heresies, they received no small commendation and were comforted, since they had been purified by tribulation. Their tribulation did not come in suddenly and inexplicably, but had been predicted. On the tribulation that they received, Paul said, “So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer.” With the sorrow of the beloved brothers and sisters that they had lost in that tribulation, they were greatly concerned about the end times and the coming of the Lord, and Paul comforted them and said, “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9).
The tribulation of the saints allows them to participate in tribulation and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost, after which there is rest for them. It is said, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). The Lord did not give an exact date apart from ‘today,’ only saying to be awake. The world makes man worry about jobs, possessions, fame, etc., and causes him to live for those things. As a result, the world becomes a place of hardship to the saints who dwell in heaven and reject the customs of the world. But staying within the world is also an adversity. If Paul was worried even about things like marriage because he considered the possibility of there being an affliction of flesh, other things will be all the more so. Man can choose to live either the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who lived nomadically in tents for the eternal blessing, or the lives of Cain and Esau who lived for the worldly pleasures. But everyone’s lives will be counted up by the Lord and each will receive judgment according to his work. The day of the Lord is the day that each soul will come to face the Lord.
“The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” which gives man knowledge about the end times. But the princes of the earth tried to prevent the prophecies of the end times from being known by the prophet Daniel. This is because they do not want men to be woken and live for the Kingdom of Heaven. They elicit the minds of the kings and the people to find pleasure and live for it, because they want the kingdoms of the earth to last longer. The Lord fulfilled his words, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” but men, using the customs of this world, put to waste their sanctuary which the Lord purchased with His blood. Daniel saw that the prince who put this sanctuary to waste was that of Greece. The one who talked to him said, “Now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.” The coming of the prince of Greece indicates that he will gain the power to steal away many souls from Israel and the kingdoms of the earth. Because Israel had been tainted by Tyre’s materialism, they were quick to adopt the Greek’s idolatries in the future. The prophet Joel said, “What have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border” (Joel 3:4-6).
The pristine location of Tyre on the coasts drew in trade from many nations, including Judah, which made it the primary culture of materials and trade in the world. Even the countries that do not appear in the records of the Bible, including northern countries such as Javan, Tubal, Meshech came to Tyre and traded. Judah was also drawn into them, and Tyre considered the ruination of Israel as a chance for her to be filled, saying, “Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the people: she is turned unto me: I shall be replenished, now she is laid waste” (Ezekiel 26:2). While Tyre was the gate of trade in material wealth, Jerusalem was the gate of the word. Wanting Jerusalem to be laid to waste is despising the flourishing of Zion and longing for the prosperity of secular culture. Polluted by this secular culture, Israel forgot to prepare for the kingdom of heaven through the work of storing treasure in heaven and fulfilling the word of God. God wanted the kingdoms of the earth to return majesty and glory to the Lord and prosper, but all failed to do so except for Michael, one of the chief princes of Israel. They made the tide to turn in the direction opposite to Zion and formed their own course against God. Hence, the prophets warn the people of their situation where they must separate their souls from countries, nations, and languages. It is a proclamation that because the time of destruction is near, the ones who fear the Lord should gather to the mount of Zion where His laws and His words come from.
In the Book of Ezekiel, it is said, “Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee.” This shows that a prophet has a standing that is comparable to that of princes. The princes have duties similar to the prophets’ work in the sanctuary of the Lord. With regard to the prince of Tyre, it is written, “Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick” (Ezekiel 28: 18). As princes lead the multitudes in a fixed direction, the prophets testify of this course to the people and allow them to avoid it. The spiritual battle partakes in the flowing currents of the earth. The princes of peoples and nations, customs hidden in souls, ideologies, and languages all eventually reveal what they are fighting for. The saying “power is divine” is accordance with the testimony in the Bible which says that power is given from heaven. The disruption of power leads to chaos. When people do not honor their kings, children do not honor their parents, or young people do not honor their elders, the natural order is disrupted. This order is the earthly foundation, and when it is shaken, the earth is likewise shaken.
When those in power do not fear God and abuse their power by making people go astray from God, they pollute the sanctuary and lose the glory of their kingdom. While the prince of Tyre adorned himself with the knowledge of the treasures of heaven in the mount of God and deceived souls with secular blessings, Daniel, through fasting, prayer, and in the days of vexation, saw and preached not the blessings of the present but the blessings and the judgment which are to come for all nations. He was hated by men and suffered persecution and humiliation by being cast into the den of lions, branded as a sinner. It seemed foolish of him in comparison to how the prince of Tyre gathered many souls before him. Prophets must fight the spiritual battles with the sword of the Word, which is wrestling against “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The prophets break apart the evil practices and customs of nations, and entreat people to turn the course of evil back to right. Those who are fond of the conveniences of the world follow in the course of the princes of worldly kingdoms, and those who are godly follow in the course of the prophets of God. While the sons of God overcome the flesh and put it into submission, living in earnestness and sorrow, the princes and people of the earthly kingdoms build up gold and silver with their worldly knowledge.
The testimony of Joel that Tyre sold “the children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem … unto the Grecians, that [it] might remove them far from their border” was prophesied in the time that Tyre was being destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar even before the coming of Greece. On earth, the kingdoms are set up in the order that they should appear, but the battles of the princes of this world for the course of events goes on even before then. Daniel saw in a vision the four winds of heaven striving against each other upon the great seas. The country that the Lord fights against is in the present time of a prophet, and the prophet and his nation fights spiritual battles in the Lord for the Kingdom of Heaven. In the same way that the angel Gabriel came to Daniel at the end of his prayer, the prayers of the prophets come to the souls’ aid in their spiritual battles. The kings of Media and Persia influenced Israel in their reconstruction of the temple, with Cyrus and Darius having helped especially actively. They had in their hearts a fear of God, the Lord of Hosts. After these kings, the prince of Greece came as prophesied by Daniel and the prophecy was fulfilled which said that “out of one of [the horns] came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.”
Daniel said that the fourth kingdom is “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” This refers to a power that can swallow the souls of kingdoms and smash anything into pieces. For the kings of the earth, a greater act of rebellion against God than fighting to expand territory is to defile the temple and force the decrees of man in the churches. Politics conspiring with religion and treading on the court of the temple indicates that the leaven of Herod and the Pharisees and Sadducees which the Lord had warned of has already permeated throughout. The saints have failed to serve the invisible God perfectly, having fallen into the culture of material wealth and commerce. At the time that Jesus came, the Sadducees, who were spiritually ignorant bureaucrats, revealed that the influence of the he-goat Greece had dug in deeply in Israel. The Jews had been polluted by the ideologies of the kingdoms of the earth even to the point of openly saying, “We have no king but Caesar.” As Israel grew sick of the law of the Lord, the images of appearance-based, hypocritical structures of Greece started to gain power within them.
The Gentile kings’ allying themselves with one another was for them to overflow in numbers for their own profit. There were kings among the tribe of Judah who abandoned the laws of God and confided with them. King Ahaz allied with other countries and followed after their gods despite God giving him a great sign. He was said to “refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly” and allied Israel with Syria. As a result, God allowed Assyria to come up over Judah and “reach even to the neck.” His son Hezekiah became king during times of difficulty, but overcame by relying on the Lord. When Assyria threatened him with a great army, King Hezekiah and his servants and the people blocked all the fountains and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?” (2 Kings 32:4). Hezekiah stopped the course of the waters of Gihon and made it run straight under the western part of the city of David to make his people stay upright and not be shaken or deceived by the intimidation of their allies and enemies. He commanded the people to walk in the law of the Lord, and did not let the waters of Zion leak out. But he was off his guard concerning the people of Babylon that came with friendly and elegant dispositions, and dragged into the midst of the city the waters of Babylon that swallow souls. The prophet Isaiah predicted the destruction of Judah by Babylon. To this Hezekiah replied, “Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?” The state of not having been deceived by Babylon is shown not just by the firmness of one’s faith, but also zeal for the salvation and peace of the next generation. But the zeal of the great King Hezekiah did not reach up to this point, and Israel’s miserable desolation became imminent.
Ezra and Nehemiah sometimes called the kings of Media and Persia kings of Assyria or also kings of Babylon, and Ezekiel called Pharaoh “the Assyrian.” This can be understood as all of them belonging to the same course which goes toward the “great river.” Even the people of God, whom He made cling to him as His girdle, became marred and useless when they became polluted by the waters of the river Euphrates. All the kings became strong by taking in the streams originating from Eden, but turned to this great river where they will cross through dry land and gather together in the time of Armageddon. It is said by the prophet Jeremiah, “A drought is upon her waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols” (Jeremiah 50:38). In John’s vision, when the sixth angel poured out the vial into the Euphrates, John saw the way for the kings of the east being prepared as the river dried up. It is an imitation of how God miraculously dried up the Red Sea and caused His people to walk across in faith. As the Egyptians had tried to test the waters and drowned, so were the men who crossed the Euphrates over dry ground. They crossed not by faith, but rather by the deception of the serpent who “cast out of his mouth water as a flood” to hinder the birth of the sons of God and dry the great river.
The power of Greece, the he goat, extends to the final days in the coming of the Lord and buries souls in academia, cultures, religion, thoughts, and livelihoods to bring about prosperity. Paul testified of how the Athenians were too superstitious in all things. His spirit was stirred in him when he saw the city entirely given to idolatry. Being superstitious is the opposite of being religious. The man who has religious inclinations has a fear of God, but the superstitious man is sensual, inclined towards the carnal things, and chases after and believes in whatsoever his eyes and mind desire. He fears not God, but fears the things that should not be feared. People of sincere faith fit themselves to the commandments of God, but the superstitious try to make gods after their own emotions and thoughts. Ezekiel saw people who sat facing eastward and crying for Tammuz. The tears and grief and emotions which were to be genuine were being offered to the idols. The Bible calls the Grecians “Canaanites” as well, as they are dull in the spiritual things and bright in the carnal matters. Rome rose out of the he goat, Greece, and with its strong power she scourged Jesus Christ and nailed him to the cross, and persecuted and killed all the apostles who received the word. Rome’s superstitious kings and heretics twisted the Word of God and disguised themselves as believers, entering deep into the temple and treading within. This little horn deceives the saints by acting as though she is doing something for God and His people. Like the kings of Media and Persia, the kings of Rome who went forth out of the prince of Greece as the horns also influenced the saints, but in an evil manner.
Constantine proclaimed himself as a Christian and came into the church and ordained statutes according to his own will. When weighed against the Bible, he cannot be a saint, but rather a cruel murderer and worshiper of goddesses and the sun. In the Conference of Nicea that took place in 325 AD, they established Christianity as the state religion and resolved to keep Sunday, “the day of sun,” holy, and also ordained a Sunday as the day of Easter. Easter appears only once in the Bible in the Book of Acts, where it was an event that the pagan king Herod kept, and the ceremonies in it signified the memorial of the goddess Ashtaroth. Statutes that differentiated Sundays as holy were promulgated in 321 AD. The establishment of statutes regarding specific days and seasons put snares in the lives of faith that man should live out in holiness every day to enter the eternal rest with labor and longsuffering. Paul warned the Gentiles because it was a dangerous matter for them to be bound by such snares (Galatians 4:10-11). Although the apostles prayed at a designated time during the day, they did not ordain days or times for the saints to gather for worship, saying, “Ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
As routine worship and decrees of doctrines were instituted, there was a decrease in the number of saints who offered their minds and bodies as holy temples throughout the whole week. As the leaven of Herod spread out, there were a greater number of people who considered external conditions, such as keeping the laws of man, as proof of faith rather than living a godly life. As a result, there was an increase in the number of double-minded people who stopped drinking, smoking, lying, fornicating, and reviling within the walls of the churches, but continued to do all these things outside. God wanted seven days, but for the saints to devote only one to the Lord and the remaining six to the world caused them lose their holy image and gain the likeness of this world. The world deceived the saints with entertainment and various interests and started to cause the customs of the Canaanites to grow in the secular life of the saints. According to the Mosaic Laws, the priests offered burnt offerings in the morning and the evening and made sure that the fire was not quenched day and night. Living for the Lord every day allows man to keep himself from the wickedness of the world and the temple holy. Only those whose temple – namely, their mind and body – is sanctified can enter into the seventh day.
The Lord said, “Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be,” and, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place.” The prophet Daniel asked about the end times, but was told that it was sealed. The One who talked to Daniel said, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (Daniel 12:12). There will be two kinds of men in the final days: the ones who become clean and white, and the wicked ones who continually do evil. The world boasts of individualism, diversity, and liberty, but all will fall into one of these two kinds. Nevertheless, it is said, “None of the wicked shall understand.”
Adding one thousand two hundred ninety years to the time that “the daily sacrifice [was] taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up” equals one thousand six hundred and eleven. This is the year that the Lord gave His word in one language to all the nations. When the people gathered in Shinar to build a tower against God, He divided the languages and scattered them abroad. They raised a commotion as though they were collaborating to accomplish a noble task, but God made their words useless to each another. In the final days, God utilized one language to gather His congregation into His word. God appointed neither Hebrew nor Greek to spread the word of the Lord throughout all nations, but a language that could be used universally. In the early churches, one of the signs that the Holy Ghost had come upon the godly disciples who gathered in the word of the Lord was when they started to speak in tongues. Just as most of the saints of today cannot speak in foreign languages straight away, so is the manner of becoming filled with Holy Ghost. In the final days, the faith of the saints will grow as they gain knowledge through the Bible, which is the one and only true testimony. As they carry out the commandments of the Lord, they will be built into the holy habitation of the Holy Ghost. It is said, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” The ‘waiting’ of the saint is for rest, salvation, and eternal blessing. Adding one thousand six hundred eleven to the number of the time that the daily sacrifice was taken away is one thousand six hundred fifty six, which is the same number of years as the year that Noah came into the ark and was saved. This means that man should keep himself, with the word of God, from being corrupted by the world and fulfill the salvation of his soul.
Unlike the secrets of the end times that were far from Daniel and sealed from him, the writers of the New Testament said, “Whoso readeth, let him understand.” This is to say that the secrets were opened to all generations since the start of the writing and reading of the gospels and the time is at hand. There will be eyes that will see the abomination of desolation standing where it ought not to stand. The abomination will be standing on the holy temple of the Lord. The Lord said, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto” (Luke 21:20). When Syria surrounded Israel and caused a great uproar, Elisha prayed that the young man standing next to him would have his eyes opened. The man then saw thousands upon thousands and tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of the angels of God who sat upon flaming chariots. Although it may seem that the whole world is evil, those whose spiritual eyes are opened can see the imminence of their victory. The saints should eschew the worldly things and cultures that are called progressive and should not put their desires in possessions. Those things pull them away from the hope of heaven and make them depend on earthly matters, causing the soul to fall asleep. The spirit of the false prophet will work in double-minded people, and it will work in the souls until it has formed an image and gained enough power. They will be deceived and deceive according their desire, and preach a different Jesus that the apostles never preached. The Lord said, “And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not.”
Saints should pray that their “flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation.” Winter and sabbath day are times of no work after the harvest has passed. It is already too late for one to escape in those days. It is said, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.” As there are four seasons on the earth, there are also seasons for every soul to sow seeds, bear fruit, and harvest, as well as the coming of winter. Winter is the season when there are no more chances to bear fruit. The saint shall show God everything that he has done and receive a reward or punishment according to his fruit. The Sabbath day is the day when the men of God remember the rest of God and do not work. They do not pray for the salvation of souls. John said, “There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.” This includes the men whom Paul delivered to Satan – that is to say, the men who corresponded to this sin. Those who worked hard to enter into God’s rest will rest eternally with him, but there will be woe for those who mocked His rest. Once the door is closed it will never be opened again. The time that the Lord harvests is when the wheat and the weeds are separated forever. It is when a soul becomes firmly formed into the image of good or evil.
Before the time of harvest, there will be the sounding of a trumpet in warning. The people of the world cannot hear the trumpet of God or the trumpet of the angels. The prophets hear them and sound their trumpets to the people, but those whose souls are fall asleep do not repent. In the final days, these words shall be fulfilled: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” The reason that man needs time is so that he can repent and turn his life in dedication to the Lord. But in the days of the Lord, there will be no more time to do so. The imminence of the final days contains a man’s life, habits, and appearances. It is a situation where only the evil self remains and mocks the patience and longsuffering of God, to whom “a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day,” and the time that has been appointed to him have come to an end.
The Bible makes mention of salvation only of the spirit. Paul and the brethren gave the fornicating, greedy, carnal men over to Satan in reflection of the word of God. It is said, “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:3-5). This appears to mean that they condemned him with one heart and one will in their faith in the Lord Jesus. As it is said, “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:3). Their condemnation of the fornicator was in carrying out their right of judgment as witnesses on the earth in reflection of the commandments of the Lord. They no longer prayed for the resurrection of his body, but constrained their hope only in the salvation of his spirit. They may have driven him out of the church. If they had left him in the church, his iniquities would have spread out as leaven. His fornication was an act of sin against his own body, but spreading the influence of sin would mean his spirit working for the power of evil, putting him on Satan’s side. On the salvation of the spirit alone, Peter mentioned, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison” (1 Peter 3:19). They were all those who had been destroyed by water, and among them there were some who had called upon the name of the Lord. They were preached to by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus and had the chance to be saved.
The Book of Revelation explains to whom the plagues will come upon. On the seventh seal, before the seven angels blew the seven trumpets, the smoke of incense rises up to God with the prayers of the saints. It is written, “The angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.” The plagues will afflict the saints fall upon those who have shed blood. The saints whose prayer went up were bearers of the incense of Christ, and their prayers were for repentance, salvation, and the Kingdom of Heaven. The prayers of Samuel, Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, etc. are examples of such. They repented of their own sins and the sins of their people and nation, made a supplication for the mercy of the Lord, and exalted His name for the grace of his unfailing mercy. Those who pray for these things are poor in spirit, mourn, meek, hunger and thirst after righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, or persecuted for righteousness’ sake (Matthew 5). These traits may seem insignificant and the power of their prayer may seem to be feeble, but they have the power to bring forth thunder, hail, lightning, and earthquakes in His Day of Wrath, and give them the authority to judge with the Lord. On the other hand, the prayers for success, fame, and riches are limited to the powers and rewards on earth and cannot save one’s soul in the days of pestilence.
John saw the power of the two witnesses, who were “the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” They witness before the bodies on earth preparing the oil for the lamp of heaven. “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will” (Revelation 11:6). Moses and Elijah did such signs and preached the gospel of the law and repentance, which troubled the people of Israel. When they finish their testimony, “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” After the true prophets who preached repentance and living in holiness are killed, they that dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another. They will be glad that there is no more rebuking of sins, having received the spirit of the false prophet and their conscience being pierced no longer. The gospel of repentance and the law will disappear from the mouth of men.
It is said that “their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” as a spectacle, which is the people openly refusing the gospel and declaring the death of the gospel of repentance and God’s commandments. Sodom is a “city of pride, full of bread and idleness,” and Egypt is the country that despised the people of God in haughtiness with the knowledge of man. The location of the Lord’s crucifixion was in Golgotha, and the ones who killed Him were the rich, the powerful, the religious leaders, the soldiers, and the multitudes. They were the people of the city of ruin, and the Lord was crucified where their power lay. It is written, “After three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” Their standing upon their feet indicates them having been resurrected in the body and as the host of the Lord on the earth. The Lord says to His servants, “stand upon thy feet.” The land where the true prophets stand upon is the holy place where the host of the Lord stands upon. When the two prophets ascended into heaven, there was “a great earthquake,” and “in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” They are the fruit of the gospel of repentance.
The testimony of John in accordance to that of Zechariah which speaks of the two who were anointed by oil: the “two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves” and the “two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof.” Zechariah also saw two other women who had no oil and “had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven” with the strength of the wind – that is, with the strength of the flesh. The ephah is their “resemblance through all the earth.” They are the false prophets that are in contrast to the two olive trees. They make man despise the commandment of the Lord and they deprive him of a heart of repentance. They deceive man to hinder him from preparing the oil so that his lamp will never be lit. Their lifting up the ephah into the air seems like a spiritual fulfillment in the sight of worldly men. Satan works in the men of disobedience from his realm up high in the air as the “prince of the power of the air.” It is where he strives to gather those who harbor false faiths, regard the unholy things as holy, and consider the things not of the Spirit to have its power.
False prophets have not been purified by the fire of the Word. Their comfort and happiness is not from the Spirit, but drawn from sorceries associated with sin. The comfort of the Spirit comes upon the man who is brokenhearted and fulfills the commandments of the Lord. The saint does not fall because the word of the Lord is a lamp to his feet. Even though certain temptations may befall him, the commandments of the Lord will comfort him if he perseveres in them. This is because his affliction is the mark that signifies the keeping of His commandments, and the Word testifies to the righteousness of His work. The one who fears God worries about whether his works are righteous before God or not. The greatest comfort to him is for the Lord to attest to his righteousness. As a result, he reads and meditates on the Bible day and night, living in His Word. When man does not keep His commandments, he forgets God (Deuteronomy 8:11). In keeping His commandments one must bear one’s own cross, but the burden of the Lord is light (Matthew 11:28-30). The Lord took on all the burdens that man could not bear. If man knows that all sins are evil and lead to death, he will realize the immense grace he received with the redemption by the blood of the Lord. Taking his cross with the joy of redemption will allow him to prepare for the “salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). The path of the cross is a path of meekness, shamefulness, mocking, and troubles, but one that pushes man onward to the Kingdom of Heaven. It purifies him to perfection, making him resemble the image of God.
After this, John saw the wonders in heaven, which were written as thus: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Satan fought against the angels in Heaven and will now fight against the saints on the earth “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” In the former times, when Satan had not yet come down to the earth after losing his fight against the angels, he too had a portion, and when the nations of idol worship feared God, He accepted them and turned His eye from their faults. But after Satan was driven out of heaven, he no longer had power or his own portion in heaven. He had no place to dwell in heaven, none of the idols or gods could obtain a portion in heaven, but instead there awaited the fiery wrath of the Lord for the men who followed them. Paul testified to this and said to the Athenian idol worshipers, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30). In the old times, the elders of the Midianites and the Gentiles who worshipped idols praised the Lord at the same time, God put his words into the diviner Balaam, and the Lord accepted the sacrifice of the lords of the Philistines for the ark of the Lord, but these things are no longer allowed after the coming of Jesus Christ and manifestation of God. God made it so that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” before the Lord Jesus.
Even far back in the Old Testament era, there was a man who held monotheistic faith – Naaman. He was born in a nation of idol worship and grew up according to it, but he forsook all customs and habits and obeyed humbly before God in faith. The Lord said, “Many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.” Naaman said to Elisha, “Thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.” He also said, “In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing” (2 Kings 5:18). When the Lord gives the sword of the Spirit to the saints for them to fight, the saints are to bow down before idols no more because of the powers of the earth. Seeking to be worshipped, however, Satan will craft lies, deceiving people with the face an angel to make it seem as though he still has a portion in heaven. The false gospel will prevail on the earth which will overflow with the people who falsely call upon the name of the Lord.
Chapter 13 in the Book of Revelation reveals the works of Satan on the earth. He knows how to prevail over the saints who are in the flesh. He attacks the weaknesses of the flesh using lust, greed, vanity, etc. A beast rises up out of the sea, “having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy Head is power.” These are the heads of power that contend against Jesus, the head of the church. The horns are the kings that lifted themselves up against the Lord, the King of kings. The beast was in the likeness of a leopard because he gained power through the spots and blemished of many peoples, languages, and nations. His feet were as the “feet of a bear” that sneaks toward its prey. His mouth was as the “mouth of a lion” that roars and tears his prey into pieces. John saw “one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast, and they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” In Hebrews, it is said, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Those who are deceived cannot have such power and become slaves of sin again. Their obstinate selves oppose God and allow Satan’s words to gain power in this world.
The beast that Satan gave power to is the prince of Babylon. The princes have names like how the stars also have names. Some of their identities or names were revealed in the Bible, such as the prince of Tyre, Lucifer the prince of Babylon, the prince of Meshech and Tubal, etc. They are cut off from the days of heaven because they all went against the kingdom of heaven and sought their own glory. Satan is the devil, the dragon, the old serpent that has no name. He gives his power to the arrogant princes and is worshiped in return. After “the thousand year kingdom” when there are no beasts or false prophets, only Satan alone will remain and fight against the city of God. This indicates that Satan and the beast are different beings. The prince of Babylon, the head that was “wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed,” remains until the end and covets the glory of Zion. Jesus, the King of kings, came down and broke the heads of the kings of the earth and brought the kingdom of heaven into the saints’ hearts, but many saints followed after the statutes of Babylon.
“Another beast came up out of the earth,” and his work is to “make men worship the former beast,” and cause them to have the name of the beast and the mark of the beast. It is written that “every one” will receive it. Among the rich, the poor, politicians, economists, saints, unbelievers, the high, the low, the old, the little, etc. there are no exceptions. It is not a mark that a certain kind of people can physically force upon someone. The power of the beast who came out of the earth is not in accomplishing everything by itself, but in deceiving men, gaining power from them, and making him receive the mark of the beast. Receiving the mark of beast takes place by the agreement of the soul. The saints are accustomed to the culture of the city of Babylon and will receive the mark of beast by their words, minds, and lives. If there was no beast that had risen from the earth, the image of the beast from the sea could not have been established in souls. The impudent words of the souls that do not harbor the fear of God give their power to the beast, and their huge numbers make an immense flood that overflows the earth. But they that keep the commandments of God and place their faith in Jesus will neither worship the beast nor receive the mark. This is “dying in the Lord” and where “the patience of the saints” is. This is their “labours and their works.”
In regard to the beast that rose out of the sea, “power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God … and his tabernacle” (Revelation 13:5-6). The courts of the temple of the Lord are the place where His saints delight to walk and praise the Lord (Psalms 100:4). But the Gentiles defiled it with pagan doctrines, forms, and idols, causing the saints to reject the commandments of the Lord and tread therein with sins of fornication, hatred, and theft according their former customs. Even when Judah and Israel sinned, God removed them from the land and uncovered their nakedness by letting the Gentiles defile the land. Forty two months is three and a half years, and one year is often counted as one day in the Bible, so three and a half years can be counted as three and half days. It was three and a half days after the two witnesses, the two olive trees, fought with the beast and were killed when “the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet.” The Lord was crucified in the place where they were killed and their bodies were displayed in the city. It is also after three and half days that the apostles saw the resurrected Lord. This is the time of the power of darkness. When the multitude came to the Lord to arrest Him, He said, “This is your hour, and your power of darkness.”
At this time, “The beast was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
John said, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast.” All of scripture says that understanding comes from the word of the Lord, the testimony of the Lord, the law of the Lord, and the statutes of the Lord. Job said “the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” David said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” The man who has understanding has an excellent capacity to discern between good and evil, because he follows the word of the Lord. The number, name, and mark of the beast are all evil things, and the evil man cannot count the number thereof because he has no understanding.
The differences in the lives of the unbelievers and the lives of the children of the kingdom of heaven result in their receiving different marks. It is said that “no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” It is said in Psalms, “Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness” (Psalms 74:14). The people who live in the wilderness are the nomads who wait for the kingdom of heaven and eat the food of life, which is the food of the wilderness. They do not need lavish houses, clothes, or food, since God provides for them. When the saints live at ease on the earth, their work of buying and selling becomes bound to brutish instincts. The saints are to eat and drink in remembrance of the Lord and to live for Him. When they do not eat thankfully before the Lord, but instead concern themselves with outward appearance, or talk about worldly things, or do it in remembrance of themselves, it is not keeping the feast of the Lord.
In the time of Israel’s captivity in Babylon and the prevalence of secularism among the people of Israel, Ezekiel worried greatly and lamented, consumed the bread and water of trouble, and lived frugally to the point of bearing his possessions upon his shoulders so he could perform the commandments of the Lord while moving from place to place. Paul said, “They that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31). Though the power to win over the saints was given to the beast, the saints who dwell in heaven have been given far greater power. The apostle James said, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” As the Lord taught to pray, saying, “[His] is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever,” the saints who follow the laws of the Spirit dwell in His power and glory. They neither belong to this world, nor are subject to the world and sin any more.
Chapter 13 in the Book of Revelation reveals the deceiver and the ones who are being deceived. The ones who do not belong to them are the true prophet and the victorious saints. All of scripture is filled with testimonies on what the true prophets preached and how they lived. The true prophets were despised and belittled because the world hated their words and considered them to be trivial. When the world proclaimed victory the prophet cried defeat, and when it announced peace he cried destruction and judgment. When people were happy he told them to mourn, and when they mourned he told them to repent, and when they spoke of their righteousness he pointed out their sins. Thus, the people could not bear his words and would kill the prophets as though they were not worthy to live. John the Baptist, who was the greatest among those that were born of women, rebuked Herod for taking the wife of his brother and was subsequently cast in prison and executed by the request of a mere damsel who danced for Herod. All of the prophets in the Bible suffered humiliation and were afflicted because they rebuked the sins of the people. Those that have received the spirit of the false prophets do not give their lives for the word of God, but seek to satisfy their bellies. They fear men and seek the glory of men.
The beast that came up from the earth – that is to say, the false prophet – had “two horns” like a little lamb and attempted to mimic the works of Jesus. Jesus came from above as the manifestation of God and gave eternal life by washing the sins of the repentant by His blood. His words form the image of God in man. It is said, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). However, the beast speaks to establish in people the image and the number of the beast that came up from the sea. He has the power to do miracles in the “sight of the beast,” not in the sight of the holy. The eyes which cannot discern the forms of the beast follow its nature and grow in its likeness. The image of the beast can talk, which is the sign that it has been given life. He seeks out those who do not carry the mark or the number of the beast or worship its image to put them to death.
In addition, “he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads.” No one receives the mark knowing that it is the mark of the beast. Their understanding has been darkened by their worldly living and their lack of wisdom prevents them from realizing that they are receiving the mark. They disregard working for the fulfillment of the number seven, and instead accomplish everything in high regard for the number of the beast, six. The saints lose their purity and holiness as they live predominantly for the flesh and put aside seeking the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Similarly to how Cain lived for himself, gave a detestable offering to God, and killed Abel who had offered a righteous sacrifice, the people of flesh will gain power, creating an atmosphere where the people of the kingdom of God will be persecuted. Cain fulfilled the number of the beast with his spirit, soul, and body by failing to give a proper offering to God, murdering a man, and living for the sake of earthly pleasures.
Man can fulfill the number of God’s rest through perfect body, soul, and spirit. Seven is the number that the spirits in heaven testify of. Those who belong to the seven lamps, seven spirits, and seven eyes which are in heaven follow the laws of the Spirit, having the power of the Holy Ghost and testifying to the good and evil on the earth. Joshua destroying the city of Jericho after compassing it seven times, Elisha bringing the dead child back to life after causing him to sneeze seven times, and Naaman being healed after washing himself in the Jordan River seven times testify the spirit of heaven. If they had stopped at six, the number of the flesh, they would not have obtained the power to revive, heal, and conquer. But those who follow their own minds reject the perfect number with their flesh and cannot receive the power of heaven. This is because they follow the “resemblance through all the earth” and become polluted by evil spirits.
The false prophet seeks to kill those who do not receive the mark of the beast, but the plagues of the Lord come upon the ones who receive it. If someone was persecuted and killed because he kept his soul pure for the sake of the Lord and His commandments, he will be taken away from the evil to come, as was said by the prophet Isaiah. While the men who have the seal of God are the ones who kept the word of God and had the testimony of Jesus, everyone who will receive the mark of beast are counted as “anything that defiles, whatsoever works abomination, or makes a lie.” They are not recorded in the Book of Life of the lamb and cannot enter into the New Jerusalem. It is not a multitude of a specific generation, but “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The power of the beast works in everyone who disobeys.
The beast from the earth creates a false fire as though it were by the Holy Ghost. Jesus came down from heaven in person to minister and ignite a fire on the earth, and made “ministers as a flame” and gave the fire of the Spirit to those who believed in Him. But the beast deceives people into believing that its false fire came down from heaven by itself. The saints who do not have the power of the Spirit reside in sin, and give room for the devil by wishing for a spiritual experience while living at ease on the earth. When God created the earth, He washed the ground by bringing it forth from the waters, and when it was defiled He washed it again. Now, God made man be born again in the Spirit and become a godly seed. He preserves them from the time of judgment in the future when He will destroy the earth with fire. It is said, “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:7). In the same way as when Elijah prayed and “the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, the wood, the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench,” the fire of the Spirit will utterly consume nations, peoples, languages, and multitudes. It is said, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
The beast “was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.” “All that dwell upon the earth” shall wonder whose names are not “written in the book of life from the foundation of the world” when they behold the beast that “was, and is not.” They are in wonder because they themselves are like the beast. They will realize that they have come to resemble the image of the beast in devoting their time, hearts, and bodies to deceptions. The beast was, if seen in the past, but is not, if seen in the present. But it still is, for sake of the testimony of judgment of the void. Every creature will be witnesses of the Lord God in the void that God alone saw, judged, and removed in the beginning. With regard to evildoers, David said, “At evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city,” and the prophet Isaiah said, “Before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.” Their souls enter into destruction, and their spirits cry in affliction and emptiness and wretchedness. They will enter into an evening without the coming of morning and be cut off from the everlasting hope of the seventh day.
God asked Job, “Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?” After God created the earth, the evening passed and morning came, bringing about the first day. The morning was wrapped in fullness like a woman with child. When Adam was formed from dirt, he was promptly moved to the paradise and did not see the night. But on the earth, the morning does not come without the night passing first. Night is the time when the watchman waits attentively. He who can command the morning, who can see the new, pure day is the son of God.
When the time is at hand, realizing that keeping one’s own soul pure is more urgent than converting men is becoming aware of the course of evil. Noah, Abraham, and Lot were remarkable primarily because they kept their souls pure and saved themselves. The Lord makes a request of the prophets who separate themselves from the customs of iniquity, saying, “let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them,” and promises that He will preserve them. They became the prophets of the Lord because they kept themselves from the evil stream with the word of God. A prophet is someone who alone fulfills the word of God. The apostle John could see the beast coming up from the sea while he was standing on the shore because he himself had not been swept away by the wave.
The prophets preached with all their might to avert the destruction of the people, but they neither listened to their witnessing, nor repented. As a result, they became alone and their lives were often put in danger. The petition of the prophet Jeremiah, who said, “O LORD, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than I, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily, every one mocketh me” was a lamentation about how his labor was in vain and the crumbling of his hope of the people returning to the Lord. The Lord deceives his prophets and prevails over them because His love is strong and His zeal of salvation is exceeded to them. The prophets taste the grief and bitterness of the Almighty when those who ought to turn back hear the warning trumpet of the judgment of God, yet do not turn back. Job said, “He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.” They were placed into trouble and persecution, but God gave them the power of judgment. The Lord said to Jeremiah, “For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee” (Jeremiah 1:18-19). Jeremiah was thrown into prison several times and narrowly avoided death in his hardships. The strength of the kings, the officials, the priests, and the people appeared to overpower Jeremiah and treated him in whatsoever way that they desired. His words were ignored and he was deemed a criminal, but in the end, he saw victory – that is, the fulfillment of the word of God.
The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it,” and Jeremiah took the wine cup of His fury from His hand and made “all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth” drink. This is similar to what happened in the vision of the prophet Ezekiel, when the hand of Lord came from between the cherubim with coals of fire and gave them to Ezekiel, who was clothed in linen. Ezekiel then scattered them all over the city. If these things are examined in order, it appears as thus: In the beginning, the prophet receives the word of the Lord and warns the people to repent. But they do not turn back and instead, persecute the prophet. Hence, the prophet cries out in his misery and agony, and appeals to God for justice against the adversaries of the word. Finally, the prophet takes the instrument of affliction from the Lord and executes plagues upon all the nations and people whom he warned. In this process, the visible characteristics of the prophet are his call for repentance, his persecution, and his appeal to the Lord for His judgment. His fulfillment of the judgment of the Lord is not seen by the flesh, but only the persecution, up to the prophet’s martyrdom can be seen. Their appearance of weakness in being persecuted on earth for the word of the Lord is a mark of great power in heaven that carries out the judgments of the Lord over all the earth. The apostle Paul, who endured great tribulation for the sake of the Gospel, said, “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17).
Ezekiel also had a vision about the mark as John did, with the main difference from the one John saw being that in the former, the Lord commanded one to put the mark on people’s foreheads, but in the latter vision, the false prophet deceived the people into receiving the mark of the beast. John revealed the process by which men will receive the mark by the work of the false prophet, and Ezekiel revealed the situation in which men will receive the mark by the work of the true prophet. The purpose of Revelations is for the saints to not to be deceived and to keep the commandments of the Lord, and the visions of Ezekiel reveal the nature of sin and its consequences. The man who is clothed with linen and has a writer’s inkhorn by his side receives the commandment to “go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof,” and does accordingly. This mark is not visible. God said to Ezekiel, “Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city?” The man with a writer’s inkhorn by his side is clothed with linen because he will perform the duty of the Lord from the holy place with perspiration – that is, a great slaughter. The writer’s inkhorn is a writing instrument made for the words of the Lord. In the same way that the writer writes down the words of the Lord without missing a single letter, the one who has the word of the Lord within is given the power and authority of judgment and places the mark with discernment of the word. Those who receive this mark are they that belong to the seven eyes who hold the testimony of heaven, and their lamentation for the spirits on the earth is their testimony of its wickedness. They were the ones who cried out for the salvation of souls amidst the flesh. Their appeal for the sinners is an intercession on their behalf for the weakness of their flesh, and their heart of grief and affliction for sins comes from the Holy Spirit within them.
When Ezekiel saw the glory of God in the vision of the temple, he said, “And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city” (Ezekiel 43:3), which indicates that he was the man who was clothed in linen that would fulfill the duty of destroying the city. The verse “And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house; and the man stood by me” has some resemblance to Paul’s confession when he said, “I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth.)” Just as the Lord saved Lot because he was afflicted by all the abominations of Sodom, the ones who receive the mark are those that cry out and lament because of all the detestable and abominable sins being committed in the cities. All of the false prophets who deceived men with their words will be slain. God said, “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.” His command to slay starting with the old is because they had more time to repent, and because they did not repent they added more sins to their lives by negligence. He commanded to begin at the sanctuary because those who called upon the name of the Lord in vain and those who should have turned back but did not will be killed first. While the men were slaying, Ezekiel cried out, “Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?” Stephen said, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge,” but the souls under the altar cried, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” In this manner, they cry out as though in contrast to one another, but they are one. While man is in flesh, there is intercession for the weakness of his flesh, but in the spiritual world there is only justice and judgment, to which the man with the writer’s inkhorn is loyal.
The man with the writer’s inkhorn by his side gives out the marks prior to the plague in a similar manner to the part in the Book of Revelation when, prior to the plague being poured out into the earth, the angels held the four winds of the earth so the wind would not blow on the earth or sea or on any tree and a seal could be placed on each of the servants of God on their foreheads. In terms of differences, the man and the cherubim are involved in the Ezekiel’s judgment, whereas in the Book of Revelation, the angels and four beasts are involved. These four beasts have faces like cherubim and six wings like seraphs. Even in the incident at Korah, when the plague had begun to spread by the wrath of the Lord, Aaron, the head priest, took a censer and put fire into it from the altar, putting on incense and going out to the congregation hurriedly to make atonement for them. In Ezekiel’s vision, the coals were passed on without incense, from the hand that was between the two cherubim to the man who was clothed in linen. This was a situation of judgment where the time for intercession or prayer had not yet been given. In the Book of Revelation, the beast gives the vials of the seven plagues to the angels, but the angels blow the trumpets first. This is a warning about the impending judgment and plagues, which the people of the Holy Spirit will hear.
The apostle John said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10). The man who can stand in the day of the Lord will hear the trumpet of the angels and deliver the message to all the ears of flesh. With the language that all flesh can understand, he would cry something along the lines of, “Repent, for the wrath of the Lord has come, and the plague is imminent!” Jeremiah said, “O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.” The prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Zephaniah, Zechariah, etc. all heard the trumpet in spirit, and as the faithful watchmen of the Lord they warned of the dreadful day of judgment of the Lord. The Lord said to Isaiah, “Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth” (Isaiah 21:6). The faithful watchman stood upon the wall and watched day and night, and when he saw two riders on a chariot, one rider on a donkey, and one rider on a camel, he cried out, “Lion!” The one who responded to him, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground,” is also the prophet himself. The one who watches out, cries out, listens, and proclaims is the one who is alone – he is the prophet of the Lord, the faithful watchman. The Lord has commanded him to cry out regardless of whether they listen or not.
After God drove out man, He placed a cherub east of the Garden of Eden. The position of the man and that of the cherub were opposite to one another from the time that man came out of Eden, which was for the cherub to prevent the man from entering into Eden. Likewise, when the man who was equipped with a writer’s inkhorn entered into the temple to carry out his duty, the location of the cherub was moved to the threshold for the same reason. Even so, the cherubim are created with the faces of four creatures on one body. Moreover, God “[rides] upon a cherub” (Psalms 18:10). The cherubim demonstrate the extent of God’s power and mercy upon all creatures of flesh in the heavens and the earth. In the same way that God the Creator came down on earth as a man and sent the Holy Ghost after He ascended, there is a sequence of events to God revealing his presence to man in different figures; nevertheless, He is one God. Going through time is a matter concerning man’s flesh and the limitation of man’s perception. The Almighty God shows His wondrous wisdom and power through working in such a man.
The cherubim use their wings to cover the firmament where His throne stands in order to clothe with mercy all flesh that live beneath His glory. When God appeared to Moses, He hid him inside the cleft of a rock and covered his face with His hands. The wings of the cherubim are connected so that they can cover the firmament perfectly and move as one. The cherubim going straight according to the direction of their heads are like the members following Jesus, the head of the church. In his first vision, Ezekiel saw and spoke about the living creatures, but when he saw that the face of a bull was replaced with that of a cherub, he said that they were living creatures and cherubim. It had come to pass that there was no more need of the blood of the sacrificial bull, and that it had been replaced with the faces of the cherubim which allowed man to enter into paradise. The Lord came in flesh and was slaughtered as a lamb to become the way into paradise. Because it was the first time that man had seen cherubim since God placed them to forbid man from entering, Ezekiel was surprised, saying with certainty, “I knew that they were the cherubims.” When the cherubim lifted their wings, the firmament of heaven was opened before Ezekiel’s eyes and he saw the One who sat upon the throne.
It can be perceived through Ezekiel’s testimony about the prince of Tyre that the cherubim are in the mount of God and at the same time concern themselves with the history of the earth. This means that the rulers of the earth received the spirit of the beings who have a definite standing in the mount of God. Because the cherubim are near the precious stones in the mount of God, they are surrounded in radiance and honored. However, when they glorify themselves and use their prestige for their own riches and honor in the earth, their wisdom will become corrupt. In the same manner as how God regarded the filthiness of the prince of Tyre and banished him from the mount of God, He likewise punished the princes of Judah when they fell into iniquity by destroying them with Babylon. The destruction and calamity brought upon them signified that the honor and portions of their rulers had been dragged down. The hands between the cherubim have the power of judgment, which is the power of the clouds that are with them – the waters of heaven. The cherubim are involved in the plagues that fall on the earth when the wrath of the Lord is kindled by the sins of man. Diseases, disasters, etc. are plagues that fall upon all flesh. When men settled east of Eden and raised a culture of iniquity, and built a tower even farther from the east, the east wind of the wrath of the Lord grew in force. But God rides upon a cherub, flies on the wings of the wind, and “scattereth the east wind upon the earth” with his light giving His mercy so that not all flesh will die by the plague.
The cherubim are uninvolved in battles, unlike the angels or stars, but are related to the moving of the throne of the Lord, and the wheels are with them. Daniel said, “His throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.” The wheels that carry the throne of the Lord, with Whom there is no shadow of turning, go straight to the four directions as they see, and do not turn. They are called, “O wheel,” as their faithful performance has become their name. The spirit of the living creature is in the wheels, as the spirit of the living creatures is in fulfillment of the commandments of the Lord. There is a wheel in the midst of the wheel, as the soul’s spirit is in the spirit which the Lord sent. The spirit makes him carry out the commandments of the Lord. It is said that because the spirit was present in Joshua and Caleb, they followed the Lord in earnest.
The cloud and the cherubim go with the movement of the throne. The angel that the apostle John saw who was clothed with the clouds was clothed with the glory of the Lord. The clouds testify to His presence, blessing, and wrath and show His glory. They require neither fastening together as the bricks of the towers of man do, nor solid form. Yet, they move according to the Lord’s steadfast commands. Though man could not see cherubim, the Israelites witnessed the cloud of His glory several times and bowed down before His presence. The clouds that had not yet been made during creation began to form after the flood in the time that the Lord began to cleanse each soul with the baptism of the word. These are the “so great a cloud of witnesses” of the Lord who testify to the evilness of the earth, and who had separated themselves from the waters of the earth. While the great waters of the earth carry Babylon, the waters of heaven surround the city of Zion. The head of the beast that came up from sea is full of the names of blasphemy, which are the names of those who worship the image of the beast and give him power. They are the children born of Babylon, who sits upon the beast. Ezekiel heard the noise of the wings of the cherubim and described it as thus: “The noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host.” This is the power and strength of those who were persecuted for the name of the Lord. The prince of Tyre said, “I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas” because he presumptuously believed that he could gather all these waters to himself. God asked Job, “Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?” The voice of him who trembles at His word and carries out His commandments will be carried up to the clouds and he will be covered by many waters of heaven, becoming joined to His assembly. God said to Job, “Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven, When the dust groweth into hardness, and the clods cleave fast together?” God creates forms on the earth using the waters of heaven which do not have names or forms.
David said, “Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds” (Psalms 68:34). The nations that put their trust on the Lord and keep His commandments are the excellence of the work of the Lord. The Lord speaks to His people from the midst of the clouds and those who keep His testimonies and statutes are the arrows that fly true. It is said, “The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad” (Psalms 77:17). The clouds cover the faults of the flesh for the sake of the Lord’s mercy. The Lord “opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat.” But when the wrath of the Lord comes upon them, it prevents the prayers of the saints from passing through and carries out plagues as commanded. Jeremiah said, “Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through.” God said, “I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it,” and Elijah prayed for no rain for three and a half years, and it was so. Ezekiel saw that the idol worshipers also made thick clouds of incense to rise. When the world is full of these clouds, it is in a dark, murky age of heathens. The idol worshipers could not loose themselves from their sins and become true witnesses. The rising of the clouds of incense of those who had fallen away signify the idol of falsehood gaining power. When the zeal of His people is weaker than that of the heathen, God will become angry. The Lord said, “I would thou wert cold or hot.”
The other entity that keeps the way of the tree of life is a flaming sword that turns every which way. The turning of the sword in all directions indicates a fervent spiritual character, and the sword itself is related to battle. There is no shadow of turning with God (James 1:17), who is a spirit. He is just and no darkness can be hid before Him. The flaming sword that turns every which way will be won by the angels and the host of His ministers who fight with the sword of Spirit. When Joshua conquered Jericho, he saw a man who stood with his sword drawn in his hand. He was the angel that came to fight for Israel as the captain of the host of the LORD. When Israel fought against Amalek, it is said that “the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah; they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.” When Barak the judge fought against Sisera, it is said that “they fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” When the army of David fought against the Philistines, the Lord went ahead and fought for David who heard the sound of someone going forth above the mulberry trees. The spiritual beings, including stars and angels, join in the battles of the earth for the victory of Zion, and the Lord Himself fights as well. God asked Job, “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” The belt of Orion is bound tightly in the same manner as when God said to Job, “Gird up thy loins now like a man.” The belt of Orion who lifted the sword up high will not be loosened until the fight is finished.
The Lord said to His disciples before departing, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18). The Lord fulfilled His promise promptly. Like the Word which became flesh and walked by their side, He came again as the Word of the Holy Ghost, the comforter, and resided in the saints. The saint now has proof of both the flesh and the spirit that will make him worthy to enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord said to His disciples, “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one,” to make them realize that the spiritual fight is more important than the matters of the flesh. The Lord gave the sword of the Spirit to His people so that they could engage in battle. Those who have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus will be given the Tree of Life by fighting on with the sword of the Word. This can be accomplished by living out His commandments. It is said, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14).
Before the judgment and destruction of the earth, the Lord will first destroy Babylon. An angel cried unto the fowls, “Ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great” (Revelation 19:18). Just like how the fowls’ eating the flesh is not visible, the burning and annihilation of Babylon should not be expected to be a visible event. If Babylon were to be physically burned, there would be no fleshly being left. For the people of Zion, leaving Babylon is not equivalent to going out of the world. They are watchful concerning their body to separate and distinguish themselves from the world. In the same way that all falsehood and sins are cut away by the sword of the spirit, the fall of Babylon will be felt painfully by those who fight the spiritual battle.
In former times, one nation and one king acquired exceptional power and were exalted above all others; this power was to be evenly distributed in the time of the ‘ten kings.’ When a king’s power is scattered, the power of the country, the people, and the king is weakened and the power goes downwards; this happens because they do not give glory back to God on high. The kings united and turned the course away from Zion towards Babylon, but Babylon cannot give power or glory back to them. Babylon relies on riches, and the more riches they got, the weaker each generation of kings become. Through materialism, the people become spiritually dim, proud, restless, and harsh. The feelings of joy, rest, sadness, affection, loneliness, love, and grief that men undergo become dulled. Though they eat, they still feel empty; though they earn, they are never satisfied. Man’s rest does not come from the tranquility or peacefulness of the soul, but from relying on technology, superficial interests, and entertainment. The rulers forsake the Lord’s commandments in fear of the people. Although Babylon appears to be peaceful on the outside, it is devoid of honor or power. The city which fears neither God nor the kings of the earth has no defenses. Because the great city, which boasted its power, could not give power anymore, the ten kings hated Babylon and destroyed it. Their power is to be given to the beast that Babylon sits upon, and Babylon is to be cast into the sea. The country and its kings, people, and souls are to fall simultaneously.
After the fall of Babylon, “the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” The beast and the false prophet are both taken and “cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse.” The Lord said, “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48). Also, “whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come” (Matthew 12:32). Those who despise and blaspheme His Word will be slain by the sword of the Spirit that comes out of His mouth. The prophet Isaiah said, “He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” Those who do not fight the spiritual battle do not know that their souls are condemned to death. It is said, “She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth” (1 Timothy 5:6).
The battle of Gog and Magog happens after the fall of the beast, the false prophet, and all who were deceived by them and received the mark of the beast. When they all perish, it will seem as though the history of man in flesh has ended. After they are gone, the beings which still remain are to be deceived by Satan not through lust, greed, or any other traits pertaining to a beast but by denying the Spirit of Jesus. However, the kingdom of a thousand years must come before the battle. This kingdom is a peaceful time, free of deceit or falsehood, and “as the days of a tree are the days of [His] people.” All who lost their lives since Abel for the sake of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus will be resurrected and given the years and blessings which they had lost. They are the ones who did not worship the image of the beast or received its mark. The faithful Lord will keep his promise that “every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life” (Matthew 19:29). It is also written, “On such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6). During that time, Satan is shut up in the bottomless pit.
After the thousand year period is over, Satan will be released from his prison and go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them to battle; they will be as numerous as the sand of the seashore (Revelation 20:8). These are the spirits which accustomed themselves to earthly kingdoms rather than being born again in the Holy Ghost. Because they are spirit, they know that they will lose the battle. Even so, they blaspheme the Lord and join Satan because they do not have the hope of resurrection of the flesh. Even if they are saved, they cannot obtain the glory of those who are resurrected in both flesh and spirit. Therefore, they desire a world that is ruled by the spirits of evil and will fight for Satan. The spirits of the saints who proclaim their salvation while under the yokes of sin also belong to them.
When it is written that Satan and Gog went up to the “breadth of the earth,” it implies that their dwelling was under the earth. In the same way that Satan was in the bottomless pit, they had been imprisoned under the earth. Jesus preached to the spirits of the people who died in the flood (1 Peter 3:19-20) and “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men” (Ephesians 4:8). But those who rejected his words were left behind. The spirits that refused the kingdom of the Lord Jesus and the spirits of those who blasphemed the Holy Ghost will hear Satan and join him. The saints who were given to Satan by Paul and church will be among them if their spirits are not saved in the day of Jesus. This testimony instructs that those whose flesh has been delivered over to Satan must take heed with their spirit so that they do not fight for Satan. Otherwise, they may speak as though they testify of Christ, but they will instead cause corruption with the sins that are integrated in their lives and become involved in Satan’s plan to expand his power on earth. Jude said, “Others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1:23).
Furthermore, Ezekiel prophesied thus about the war of Gog: “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee” (Ezekiel 38:8-9). When he said, “the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword,” it implies that many nations turned back from idolatry. It is written that “they shall dwell safely” because they have been redeemed from all the idols, languages, and corruption and refined and Gog will threaten them. When Satan and Gog went up onto the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil was cast into the lake of fire, which is where the beast and the false prophet also are. There, they will be tormented forever. The dead and the small and great will stand before God and be judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found in the book of life will also be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).
After Adam was made from the dust and received the spirit of God and lived in Eden, there was rain on the earth, the rivers flowed, and the trees and grasses grew and bore fruit. In the same manner, when the sons of God dwell in the kingdom of God, received with the glory of the resurrection of the flesh, there is rain on the earth and blessings for all the nations on the earth. It is said, “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory” (Revelation 21:24). The prophet Zechariah said, “And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain” (Zechariah 14:17). They are the ones who will give tribute to those who have been resurrected in the flesh. Job lamented, if he had been born dead, “For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, with kings and counsellors of the earth, which build desolate places for themselves Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light” (Job 3:13-16). If he had come out of the womb dead, he would have had no work of the flesh, so his salvation would have been limited to his spirit at most and his ultimate glory would have been limited as well. In the weakness of his flesh, Job wished for this amidst his tribulation, lamenting that it would have been better. But the Lord spoke of the glory of the saved ones who endure affliction, saying, “Notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than [John the Baptist].” Seeing that the kings that gave tribute were the ones whose spirits alone were saved, one cannot fathom how the great the glory of the saints is when they are saved in both the flesh and the spirit.
John heard a voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4). Receiving the mark of the beast and worshiping its image will be considered praiseworthy and usual in that city, but the people of Zion will bear shamefulness for their refusal of those sinful acts. Paul spoke of the shame that the saints will have to bear, saying, “For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15). God commands His people to repay Babylon in a vengeful manner for her wicked deeds. It is written, “Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD” (Jeremiah 50:13). This commandment is not given to the ones who call upon the name of the Lord while living in extravagance, greed, vanity, and lasciviousness. Only those who have endured persecuted for their faith in the Lord and those who have triumphed over the number, mark, and the name of the beast are able to follow this commandment. They know what they lost and how they must “reward her even as she rewarded [them]” (Revelations 18:6). Those who live in Babylon cannot avenge themselves against her and fire their arrows toward her, but will become the targets of the arrows of God’s vengeance themselves.
The false prophet claims that Babylon is a safe place. People consider being swept along the stream to be safe. In Babylon, it is impossible for anyone to serve as an upright example to others because they all have become polluted by the works of man, having lost the purity to discern as witnesses of the truth. The apostle John said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:16). Because this world has become a field of war to those who go forth toward the kingdom of heaven, Paul said, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me” (Philippians 1:29-30). The world strayed away from God and could not fulfill the perfect number – that is, the day of His rest. When a person fits himself into the world, he is fitting himself into the imperfect number, which is the number of the beast. It is the number of the shameful nakedness and fiery destruction that lasts for eternity. The day that Job confronted will come upon all saints who will stand before God and receive their due compensation according to their works.
David said, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head” (Psalm 110:3). In order to revive man, who wastes away like the dew of the morning, the Lord who had the “dew of youth” came and suffered through the night of affliction, becoming the eternal High Priest. Like the first creation, when the creatures saw the morning in their submission to the Creator without passing the night, the ones who follow Him and carry out His word will win over the power of darkness and “shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning.” They were unknown on the earth, had no fixed dwelling places, and were despised, but they are the clouds of glory which surround the Lord who is the true and perfect image and true light. They are the people of the covenant in whom God saw His bow. In every generation, they were weak and lonely, but because of this they putting their trust on the Lord more and mourned greatly, and preserving their souls in purity. The Lord Jesus is their King and rules over them. They will gather in the shining New Jerusalem and walk in the light of glory.
Even in the time of the evil king Ahab when Elijah thought that he was the only righteous man left, the Lord, in his grace, had “left [Him] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” It is not hopeless for one to see oneself being alone for the sake of the Word of God, but rather a victory of the Word that each soul can see from where his feet stand. Standing upon a high mountain, John saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. The paradise, which had been stripped off of man because of his sins, will come down for those who are prepared as the pure bride in the time that the Lord promised. Those who dwell in high places and keep themselves from the overflowing waters, who have overcome the name and the number of the beast, will be clothed with the holy city. There are no seas in the new heaven and new earth. The saints who have triumphed will stand on the peaceful sea of glass, where there is no more temptation or suffering, but only joy. And they will praise and worship the Lord Jesus Christ, the great King of kings, the Lord of hosts, God – whose might and power lasts forever and ever.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Jesus and the apostles warned us to not be deceived concerning the Last Day - the Day of Judgment. Most of the predictions and sayings concerning the end times are actually not about the Last Day, but are rather the products of this world which strive against the Word - because the world does not understand the things that Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, the apostles, etc. all spoke of. What is the mark of beast and how can man receive it? All of the answers can be found in the Bible. The Cry of Zion, Book 3