Posts Tagged ‘martyrs’

Revelation Chapter 17 – The Whore and The Beast

“Then came one of the angels with the seven bowls; and he said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great whore who is sitting by many waters. The kings of the earth went whoring with her, and the people living on earth have become drunk from the wine of her whoring” (Revelation 17:1-2).

In this interlude of Tribulation events, Yochanan is shown more details about the ‘great whore’ and ‘the beast’ from Revelation 13. The Hebrew word for ‘whore’ is zanah and means to ‘commit adultery.’ This ‘whore’ or ‘adulteress’ is a spiritual adulteress. She is a harlot who has chosen to forsake the Creator, the God of Isra’el, and submit to false gods. Her global harlotry includes kings and people from every nation, tribe, and tongue.

This spiritual adulteress sits on many waters. Some suggest that this is a reference to a specific place, but it may refer to spiritual nourishment coming from every false religion in the world –– the ‘one world’ religious system. Many people believe ‘there are many ways to God’ and seek other religions to fill their empty soul. There are ‘many waters’ that draw people who have a spiritual thirst, but it leaves them parched.

The prophet Jeremiah warns the nation of Isra’el about drinking the dirty water, “For my people have committed two evils: they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water!” (Jeremiah 2:13). Adonai considers it ‘evil’ to abandon His ‘fountain of living water’ for broken cisterns that can’t hold water.

Everyone who forsakes the God of Isra’el becomes a spiritual harlot drunk on the ‘wine’ of spiritual immorality. The Hebrew word for ‘whoring’ is zenunim and means ‘fornication’ suggesting that these spiritual harlots never entered the ‘marriage covenant’ with Elohim. They are godless, irreverent, and completely immoral, yet they believe they are spiritually enlightened. Being drunk not only impairs judgment and vision, but also balance. According to the prophet Isaiah, the sin of fornication affects the earth: “The earth staggers to and fro like a drunk, sways back and forth like a watchman’s shelter; its transgression weighs heavy upon it; it will fall and not rise again” (Isaiah 24:20).

This will be the condition of the earth; this is the condition of the western culture with its abominations. As the whole world begins to embrace detestable sexual practices, leaders and nations will fall into a drunken spiritual stupor.

“She must remove her whoring from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts. Otherwise, I will strip her naked and place her as she was the day she was born, make her like a desert, place her like a dry land and kill her with thirst. I will have no pity on her children, for they are children of whoring — their mother prostituted herself, she who conceived them behaved shamelessly; she said, ‘I will pursue my lovers, who give me my food and water, wool, flax, olive oil and wine’” (Hosea 3:2-5).

“He carried me off in the Spirit to a desert, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast filled with blasphemous names and having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet and glittered with gold, precious stones and pearls. In her hand was a gold cup filled with the obscene and filthy things produced by her whoring. On her forehead was written a name with a hidden meaning, BAVEL THE GREAT, MOTHER OF WHORES AND OF THE EARTH’S OBSCENITIES. I saw the woman drunk from the blood of God’s people, that is, from the blood of the people who testify about Yeshua” (Revelation 17:3-6).

The Ruach haKodesh carries Yochanan into the desert. The Hebrew word for ‘desert’ is midbar and and also means ‘wilderness.’ A desert or wilderness area gets little to no moisture, it is spiritually dry. There is no living water.

He sees a woman sitting on a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns. In Revelation 12:3, the dragon that gives the ‘beast’ its power is scarlet or red. This same ‘beast’ in Revelation 13 has blasphemous names written on its heads. This ‘beast’ represents a global demonic political force given life through the Adversary.

‘Scarlet’ symbolizes power and wealth within the ‘beast’ political system. Scarlet was considered a status symbol during the Roman Empire. Moreover, scarlet clothing is worn by Cardinals, the religious leaders in the Roman catholic hierarchical political ‘beast.’ The prophet Isaiah compares sin to the color of scarlet, and the ‘beast’ is the embodiment of sin (Isaiah 1:18).

The dictionary defines blasphemy as ‘the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God’ or ‘a mere man suggesting that he is divine’ (John 10:33). The scarlet beast is full of blasphemous names showing its contempt for Adonai by claiming to be God ruling. He doesn’t have just one blasphemous name, but many names/rgovernments claiming to be God. This may be how the nation’s kings embrace ‘the Lie’ perpetuated in the Garden of Eden. In 2018, the Democratic National Convention in the United States claimed itself to be the party of the religiously unaffiliated, the agnostic, and the atheist.

The ‘woman’ riding the scarlet beast is dressed in scarlet and purple. The word argaman is ‘red-purple’ in Hebrew. This ‘woman’ is the global religious system that sits atop the politically demonic ‘beast.’ In this scenario there is no ‘separation of church and state;’ they are all one. She glitters with gold showing her wealth, topaz showing her religious spirit, and pearls showing her beauty comes from everything ‘unclean’ (Ezekiel 28:13). She is gaudy –– excessively showy, ostentatiously embellished. Her pride lifts her high upon the ‘beast.’

In her hand, she holds a golden cup filled with filthy and obscene things – abominations – produced by her whoring. On her head is written a name: Babylon the Great, Mother of Whores, and the Earth’s Obscenities. The word sod is used for ‘mystery’ and means ‘hidden.’ Sod is used for a secret or mystical meaning of a Scripture. Though the meaning of her name may be mysterious, her global conquest of religions and politics is not.

The ‘mark of the beast’ is put on the forehead or hand; this ‘whore’ holds abominations in her hand and her forehead is ‘marked’ with a mysterious name. Those who embrace this political religious system will choose to receive the ‘mark of the beast.’

The ‘whore’ is drunk on the blood of the saints, those who have a testimony of Yeshua. This scarlet beast-whore religious political system will be murderous. Anyone who makes a stand for Yeshua will be murdered and martyred by this bejeweled woman and her false, anti-Torah, lawless political religious system.

“On seeing her, I was altogether astounded. Then the angel said to me, “Why are you astounded? I will tell you the hidden meaning of the woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that was carrying her” (Revelation 17:6-7).

In the Hebrew, the words shammah gadolah, in the feminine, mean ‘great name;’ however, these two words also mean ‘appalling desolation.’ The authority and power of this ‘woman’ distressed Yochanan and brought him great horror. The angel saw his distress and tells him to ‘wake up’ from his shock and horror so the angel can explain the sod of the ‘scarlet beast.’

“The beast you saw once was, now is not, and will come up from the Abyss; but it is on its way to destruction. The people living on earth whose names have not been written in the Book of Life since the founding of the world will be astounded to see the beast that once was, now is not, but is to appear. This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven hills on which the woman is sitting; also they are seven kings — five have fallen, one is living now and the other is yet to come; and when he does come, he must remain only a little while. The beast which once was and now is not is an eighth king; it comes from the seven and is on its way to destruction” (Revelation 17:8-11).

The ‘beast’ is representative of historical kingdoms described by the prophet Daniel. However, he only mentions four kingdoms: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 7). There is another –– one which was, now is not, and will return. Could one of them be Babel, Egypt, Assyria? Will one of these ancient religious political systems return?

“Then they said, “Come, let’s build ourselves a city with a tower that has its top reaching up into heaven, so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth” (Genesis 11:4).

The first kingdom after the flood was in the land of Shinar. At the Tower Babel, the people of the world had a combined religious system with a government. Everyone spoke the same language which made building the tower possible and the ability to set their thrones above Adonai. Nimrod set the precedent in Babel, Pharaoh in Egypt, Sennacheri in Assyria, Nebuchadnezzer in Babylon (Daniel 4:3). When kings refuse to submit to Adonai and His Torah, they become lawlessness; the ‘spirit’ of anti-messiah that is still at work in the world (1 John 4:3).

“Look at the land of the Kasdim [Chaldeans]! This was the people who did not exist … so that it has been made a ruin” (Isaiah 23:13).

The land of the Kasdim was ancient Babel. At the time of this revelation, Babel no longer existed though it had been ‘revived’ during reign of Nebuchadnezzer in Babylon. ‘Mystery Babylon’ will be the last kingdom with a king that seeks to set his throne above Adonai. This king will separate himself from Torah, he will oppose himself to everything that is called a god or an object of worship, and he will sit in the Temple and proclaim himself God (2 Thessalonians2:3-4). This last kingdom that will smash and crumble all others will be the kingdom of the Adversary and his false prophet (Ezekiel 28:2).

The people of the earth do not care about prophecy, do not have the Ruach haKodesh to direct them, and will be astounded that this once-dead ‘beast’ kingdom come to life. This kingdom doesn’t come out of the ‘sea of nations,’ but out of the Abyss of demonic darkness and sits on the ‘sea of nations.’

To understand the ‘mystery’ calls for a mind of wisdom. Wisdom is needed for those who understand the number of the ‘beast,’ as it is the number of a person (Revelation 13:15). It would be astounding to see Nimrod, the first powerful ruler on earth who hunted people’s souls to be resurrected from the Abyss after being beheaded by Esau (Genesis 10:9, 1 Chronicles 1:10).

“And Nimrod and two of his men that were with him came to the place where they were, when Esau started suddenly from his lurking place, and drew his sword, and hastened and ran to Nimrod and cut off his head” (Jasher 27:10).

According to the angel, the seven heads are seven hills. The only city that sits on seven hills is Rome. Each of these hills have pagan gods and goddesses attached to them: Aventine Hill (dedicated to goddess Diana), Caelian Hill (merging of Roman and Greek gods), Capitoline Hill (dedicated to god Saturn/Christmas, and Jupiter), Esquiline Hill (nymphs who animate nature), Palatine Hill (Temple of Cybele, the Great Mother), Quirinal Hill (dedicated to god Quirinus), and Viminal Hill (Babylonaian Ishter/Easter).

Wisdom suggests two different religious systems in the world: one that has been usurping Truth for centuries and comes from Rome; the other comes from Mount Tziyon and teaches the Truth of Torah and the Word of Yeshua (Micah 4:2).

“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet begun to rule, but they receive power as kings for one hour, along with the beast. They have one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are called, chosen and faithful will overcome along with him” (Revelation 17:12-14).

The ten kings or horns on the ‘beast’ will be powerful leaders for a very brief time. They will be destroyed in one hour, another unspecified time (Revelation 18:10, Isaiah 24). The Hebrew word is etzah is used for ‘mind’ and means ‘counsel’ or ‘advice.’ As one counsel, they give their power and authority to the ‘beast.’ These ten kings are the ten toes of the ‘beast’ in Daniel 7.

They will go to war against the Lamb. They will perceive him as a Lamb still, but Yeshua will be a lion. He will not be led to the slaughter. He will be the Lion of Y’hudah, the warrior King and make war against the kings of the earth. He will defeat the ‘beast’ and the kings.

The Hebrew word qara for ‘called ‘ means not only ‘to call, to proclaim,’ but ‘invited’ (Matthew 22:14). Those who are ‘invited’ will be victorious with Yeshua The Hebrew word for ‘chosen’ means ‘those he knew before the foundations of the world.’ The ‘invited,’ ‘chosen,’ and faithful will overcome with the Lion King. One Hebrew word for ‘overcome’ means ‘roar’ like a lion!

“The lion has roared. Who will not fear? Adonai, God, has spoken. Who will not prophesy?” (Amos 3:8).

“Here is a people rising up like a lioness; like a lion he rears himself up — he will not lie down till he eats up the prey and drinks the blood of the slain” (Numbers 23:23-25).

“They will go after Adonai, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children will come trembling from the west” (Hosea 11:10).

“Then he said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the whore is sitting, are peoples, crowds, nations and languages. As for the ten horns that you saw and the beast, they will hate the whore, bring her to ruin, leave her naked, eat her flesh and consume her with fire. For God put it in their hearts to do what will fulfill his purpose, that is, to be of one mind and give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words have accomplished their intent. And the woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:15-18).

The ‘waters’ where the ‘whore’ sits symbolizes peoples, nations, and languages. ‘Sitting’ suggests that she has spiritual authority and political power over them. She personifies a perverted and adulterous religious system that needs Elohim’s judgment. He puts in in the hearts of the ‘ten kings’ to destroy ‘the whore’ just like He hardened Pharaoh’s heart. The kings leave her naked, eat her flesh and consume her with fire. The ten kings will then hand their kingdoms over to the ‘beast.’

In the ‘days’ of the beast, the perversion of Adonai’s covenant will be lawlessness and the complete removal of His covenant along with those who guard it. His covenant is Torah; the ‘sign’ of the covenant is the seventh-day Sabbath (Ezekiel 20:20).

To those who have a Laodicean heart, tjudgment is coming. Those who mix the ‘holy’ and the ‘profane,’ have justified mixing their perverted religious system. Being found naked is how Yeshua finds the congregation in Laodicea. They had become too rich and self-sufficient to see their need for the Provider (Revelation 3:17).

To ‘eat her flesh’ symbolizes the carnality of the ‘whoring’ religious system in its death throes. When a bacteria ‘eats flesh,’ the skin dies from the infection. The blood supply, the life force, is cut off and skin tissues begin to decay. This is known as necrosis. This ‘whoring’ religious system has become so carnal that it’s own fleshly desires destroy it. It is consumed with fire. Judgment by fire is promised to those who are ungodly (2 Peter 3:7).

“All her carved images will be smashed to pieces, all she earned consumed by fire; and I will reduce her idols to rubble. She amassed them from a whore’s wages, and as a whore’s wages they will be spent again” (Micah 1:7).

“You are worn out with all your consultations — so let the astrologers and stargazers, the monthly horoscope-makers, come forward now and save you from the things that will come upon you! Look, they will be like straw! The fire will consume them. They will not save even themselves from the power of the flame. It will not be coals for warming oneself, not a fire to sit beside! So much for your [wizards], with whom you have worked all your life! Each will wander off in his own direction, and nobody will save you” (Isaiah 47:13-15).

Chapter 18 – The Fall of Babylon the Great

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Revelation Chapter 16 – Bowls of Wrath

“I heard a loud voice from the sanctuary say to the seven angels, “Go, and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of God’s fury!” (Revelation 16:1).

Yochanan hears a loud voice from the heavenly sanctuary commanding seven messengers to pour out the seven bowls of Adonai’s fury onto the earth. The Hebrew word for ‘fury’ is chemah and means ‘heat’ or ‘burning anger.’ The earth will be judged by Adonai with bowls of wrath similar to how He judged Egypt and her gods with plagues.

“In fury you stride across the land, in anger you trample the nations” (Habakkuk 3:12).

“Therefore I will act in fury, my eye will not spare, I will have no pity. Even if they cry loudly right in my ears, I will not listen to them” (Ezekiel 8:18).

That Day is a Day of fury, a Day of trouble and distress, a Day of waste and desolation, a Day of darkness and gloom, a Day of clouds and thick fog, a Day of the shofar and battle-cry against the fortified cities and against the high towers [on the city walls]. I will bring such distress on people that they will grope their way like the blind, because they have sinned against Adonai. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their bowels like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them. On the day of Adonai’s fury, the whole land will be destroyed in the fire of his jealousy. For he will make an end, a horrible end, of all those living in the land” (Zephaniah 1:15-18).

“So the first one went and poured his bowl onto the earth, and disgusting and painful sores appeared on all the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image” (Revelation 16:2).

The first bowl of wrath or plague judgment will bring disgusting and painful sores on everyone who took the ‘mark of the beast’ and worshiped its image. The Hebrew word for ‘mark’ is avah and means ‘to point out.’ The Hebrew word tavah means ‘mark’ as in ‘setting or making a mark.’ It is used for the ‘mark’ of Adonai that is put on the foreheads of those who grieve over Jerusalem (Ezekiel 9:4).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Mark or Tavah

ת Tav – Crossed Sticks means ‘sign’ or ‘covenant.’

ו Vav – A Nail means ‘binding.’

Hey – A Window means ‘reveal’ or ‘behold.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for tav: covenant sign binding revealed.

The ‘mark’ of the beast will be a perversion of the ‘mark’ of Yeshua. Those who take the ‘mark of the beast’ will be bound together. Though accepting the ‘mark’ may not be painful or wrong in the immediate, it has severe consequences –– painful sores.

In Egypt, Adonai sent a plague of boils. This judgment was against Thoth, the Egyptian god of medicine and theology. The plague in Hebrew is shechiyn meaning ‘burning’ spots. In Greek, the word for ‘sorcerer’ is pharmakeus which means ‘poison.’ Adonai’s wrath will be poured out against a ‘beast’ that employs the poison of pharmaceuticals to force people into a false religious system.

In Egypt, the sorcerers were responsible for taking the ashes of human sacrifices and casting them into the air.  Floating human ashes in the wind was considered a blessing; however with the judgment, the ash remains of human sacrifice burned the flesh of the Egyptians (Exodus 9:8-10). With Adonai’s fury, the ash remains of human sacrifice, the murder of innocent unborn, will burn the flesh of all humanity that bought into the sacrificial system.

“The second one poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died. The third one poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they turned to blood. Then I heard the angel of the waters say, ‘O HaKadosh, the One who is and was, you are just in these judgments of yours. They poured out the blood of your people and your prophets, so you have made them drink blood. They deserve it! Then I heard the altar say, ‘Yes, Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, your judgments are true and just!‘” (Revelation 16:3-7).

The second bowl of wrath turned the sea to blood and every living thing in the sea died. The third bowl turns the water of the rivers and springs into blood. According to the messenger, this judgment is against those who poured out the blood of the Jewish people and the prophets (Revelation 8:10).

In Egypt, the first plague turned the Nile River into blood. This judgement is against Hapi, the god of the Nile. Turning the water of the Nile into blood was a ‘sign’ to Egypt that Adonai controls their water supply.

The first bowl of Adonai’s wrath brought judgment onto those who took the ‘mark of the beast,’ but the seas turning to blood shows the world Adonai controls the heavens and the earth; it is He who is judging the world. The rivers and streams turn to blood as a judgment for all the blood that has been shed in the world –– Abel, infants in the Nile, toddlers in Bethlehem to the the murder of the pre-born, and the last days’ martyrs.

Many people believe that religious wars have killed more people than any other type of war. In the modern era over 150,000,000 people have been murdered by Communist dictators like Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Kim Jon, Pol Pot (Cambodia) and Mae Setoung. Many of those murdered were religious people who wanted religious freedom, but had atheist, anti-semitic dictators. As the end times progress, more people will be murdered because they put their faith in the Elohim of Isra’el. The ‘beast’ will try to destroy all realities of Adonai’s existence. The ‘beast’ and his false prophet will suffer a great consequence –– drinking the blood of the murdered.

The ‘angel of the waters’ said the judgments of the Holy One are ‘just.’ The Altar in the sanctuary responds, “Yes, Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, your judgments are true and just!” The Altar responds with the voices of the martyrs (Revelation 6:9). This is not the Altar of Sacrifice, but the Altar of Incense where the prayers of Adonai’s people rise like incense (Revelation 6:9; 8:3). Under this Altar are those who have been martyred for proclaiming the Word of Adonai – Yeshua.

“The fourth one poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was permitted to burn people with fire. People were burned by the intense heat; yet they cursed the name of God, who had the authority over these plagues, instead of turning from their sins to give him glory” (Revelation 16:8-9).

The fourth bowl of Adonai’s wrath is poured out on the sun. This judgment is against Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun. He was worshiped for his warmth and life, but Adonai proves His authority and power over the sun. His wrath becomes hotter than the sun and burns the people on the earth (Isaiah 5:24). Instead of turning from their multitude of sins and giving glory to the Elohim of Isra’el who had authority over the judgments, they curse Him.

“Here comes the name of Adonai from afar, his anger burning, in thick rising smoke. His lips are full to the brim with fury, his tongue a consuming fire” (Isaiah 30:27).

“The fifth one poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom grew dark. People gnawed on their tongues from the pain, yet they cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores, and did not turn from their sinful deeds” (Revelation 16:10-11).

The fifth angel pours out his bowl of Adonai’s wrath on the throne of the beast bringing great darkness, a darkness that is felt. The ninth plague in Egypt was darkness. This judgment was against Ra, too. The darkness could be felt and covered the entire land of Egypt. The Egyptians spent three days and three nights in the tomb of death’s abyss (Exodus 10:21).

With the fifth bowl of wrath, people gnaw on their tongues from the pain of the darkness and curse Adonai. This bowl of wrath judgment reveals the evil darkness in the souls of humanity. Human souls have become so dark that they don’t repent from their evil deeds. The bowls seem to come quickly as the people still have sores from the first judgment.

“Give glory to Adonai your God before the darkness falls, before your feet stumble on the mountains in the twilight, and, while you are seeking light, he turns it into deathlike shadows and makes it completely dark” (Jeremiah 13:16).

“The sixth one poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water dried up, in order to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs; they came from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the false prophet. They are miracle-working demonic spirits which go out to the kings of the whole inhabited world to assemble them for the War of the Great Day of Adonai-Tzva’ot” (Revelation 16:12-14).

With the sixth bowl, Adonai’s wrath is poured out on the Euphrates River; its water dries up to make a path for kings from the east. In Revelation 9:13-15, at the sound of the sixth shofar blast, four angels are released to kill one-third of mankind; the number of soldiers riding horses was two hundred million.

The Euphrates River flows from Turkey through Syria into Iraq and to the north of Isra’el. According to the land promised to Abraham, Isra’el’s northern boundary is at the Euphrates River, a large protective boundary like a moat (Genesis 15:18). However, because of Isra’el’s disobedience, they have never occupied the entire Promised Land. Divine judgment through war and captivity always came from the north whether it was from Assyria (Syria), Persia (Iran) or Babylon (Iraq). With the ‘drying up of the river’ that Yeshua Himself will come out of the north to deal with his enemies and the ten kings.

Out of the north comes a golden glow, fearsome majesty surrounding God. Shaddai, whom we cannot find, whose power is immense, in his great righteousness does not pervert justice” (Job 37:22-23).

Many people believe the ‘kings of the east’ come from the Orient; however, all end times prophesy must center around Isra’el and Jerusalem. The ‘kings from the east’ will come from the nations that want Isra’el destroyed from the face of the earth. The Hebrew phrase doesn’t use the word ‘east,’ but ‘from the direction of the sun rising.’ As the Adversary gathers the kings of the earth and makes his move to destroy Isra’el, Adonai dries up the river Euphrates so He can rescue His people.

From the mouth of the Dragon, ‘beast,’ and false prophet come three ‘unclean’ spirits symbolized by the frog. Though frogs were the second plague placed on Egypt to judge Heket, the Egyptian goddess of fertility and renewal, these frogs are demonic spirits spewing delusions from the mouths of the evil threesome.

This trinity of demonic voices coming from the ‘beast,’ ‘seed of the Adversary’, and the false prophet will have ‘frog power’ to divine and flatter deceiving the whole world. They will croak out evil speech against the Most High and leap around the world proclaim their delusions of grandeur. They will perform miracles through seductive words and actions. They will entice the kings of the world and two hundred million warriors to gather war on the Great Day of Adonai.

(“Look! I am coming like a thief! How blessed are those who stay alert and keep their clothes clean, so that they won’t be walking naked and be publicly put to shame!”) And they gathered the kings to the place which in Hebrew is called Har Megiddo” (Revelation 16:15-16).

In this interlude, Yeshua reminds his people that he is coming like a thief, to stay alert, and keep their clothes clean. The congregation in Sardis was told that they had the appearance of being alive, but were dead. They needed to ‘wake up’ as Yeshua would return like a thief. Only a few in Sardis had not soiled their clothes and were worthy of walking with Yeshua in white. The messenger to the congregation in Laodicea said they were neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm and worthy of being vomited out of Yeshua’s mouth. They believed their riches were their salvation, but they were poor, blind, pitiful, and naked.

Har Megiddo is the Hebrew for the mountain or hill of Megiddo. Megiddo is an ancient city in Isra’el where archeological digs or tels reveal the remains of a multitude of cultures. Megiddo was originally where the kings of the Hitties, Amorites, Canaanites, Perrizites, Hivites, and Jebusites were defeated by Joshua (Joshua 17:11). Megiddo was in the land inheritance of the Tribe of Manasseh. Deborah dealt with Sisera and Barak in Megiddo (Judges 5:19). King Josiah, who disobeyed a command of Elohim died in battle at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29-30). The prophet Zechariah refers to the plain of Megiddo or the Jezreel Valley that sits below the hill in his prophecy about the return of Messiah (Zechariah 12:10-12).

From the Hebrew word Megiddo comes the word Armageddon that is used to refer to the ‘end of the world;’ however, Megiddo is where Adonai’s judgment of the nations will take place. It is where the deceptive ‘frog’ demons draw the kings of the world to meet and battle with Adonai.

The seventh one poured out his bowl on the air, and a loud voice came out of the Temple from the throne, saying, “It is done!” There were flashes of lightning, voices and peals of thunder; and there was a massive earthquake, such as has never occurred since mankind has been on earth, so violent was the earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Bavel the Great and made her drink the wine from the cup of his raging fury. Every island fled, and no mountains were to be found. And huge seventy-pound hailstones fell on people from the sky. But the people cursed God for the plague of hail, that it was such a terrible plague” (Revelation 16:17-21).

The seventh angel pours his bowl of Adonai’s wrath on the air, and a loud voice comes from the Throne in heaven saying, “It is done!” The judgments of Adonai on the earth with the kings and peoples of the nations will be completed with the seventh bowl of wrath. By judging the air, He judges the Ruler of the Powers of the Air, the Adversary (Ephesians 2:2).

The earth is shaken to its core. Flashes of lightning, voices, and peals of thunder come from the heavenly realm as the presence of Adonai. A massive earthquake, such as never happened, rocks the world. When the sixth seal was broken in Revelation 6:12, along with the earthquake, the sun turns black as sackcloth and the moon becomes blood red.

Jerusalem splits into three part. Cities of the world crumble: Tokyo, Japan; Beijing, China; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Shanghai, China; Mexico City, Mexico; Cairo, Egypt; Mumbai, India; Istanbul, Turkey; Moscow, Russia; New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, San Francisco, United States. Every island flees, mountains are leveled. Huge 70 pound hailstones fall from the sky with the final bowl of Adonai’s wrath. Just like the seventh plague judgment in Egypt against Nut, the goddess of sky and heavenly bodies, chaos hits the heavens and the earth (Exodus 9:17-18).

“When that day comes, when Gog invades the land of Isra’el,’ says Adonai Elohim, ‘my furious anger will boil up. In my jealousy, in my heated fury I speak: when that day comes there will be a great earthquake in the land of Isra’el; so that the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the wild beasts, all the reptiles creeping on the ground and every human being there in the land will tremble before me. Mountains will fall, cliffs crumble and every wall crash to the ground” (Ezekiel 38:18-20).

“Adonai has someone strong and powerful. He comes like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest, like a flood of water, rushing, overwhelming; with his hand he hurls them to the ground” (Isaiah 28:2).

“Adonai will make his glorious voice heard, and he will reveal his arm descending with furious anger in a flaming firestorm, with cloudbursts, tempests and hailstones” (Isaiah 30:30).

Adonai will finally judge Babylon and makes the ‘beast’ drink the cup of His fury. Those who remain alive curse Adonai.

Chapter 17 – The Whore and The Beast

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

Revelation Chapter 2 – Smyrna

Messianic Community in Smyrna

Smyrna was located on the Aegean coast of Anatolia where it could easily defend itself from an enemy attack.  It is known today as Izmir in modern-day Turkey.  Because it is highly populated, much of ancient Smyrna has been lost except for the agora (public speaking area), theater, and parts of Roman aqueduct. Smyrna is the ancient Greek word for myrrh which was the main export from this city in ancient times.  As an essential oil, myrrh has healing qualities for the skin and is used to anoint a body for burial. The believing community at Smyrna was established by Sha’ul (Paul) during his third missionary journey.

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Smyrna, write: ‘Here is the message from the First and the Last, who died and came alive again: “I know how you are suffering and how poor you are (though in fact you are rich!), and I know the insults of those who call themselves Jews but aren’t — on the contrary, they are a synagogue of the Adversary. Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Adversary is going to have some of you thrown in prison, in order to put you to the test; and you will face an ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful, even to the point of death; and I will give you life as your crown. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. He who wins the victory will not be hurt at all by the second death”’ (Revelation 2:8-11).

Yeshua sends the second messenger to the community in Smyrna.  He reveals himself as “the first and the last, who died and came alive again.”  With the ‘first and last’ reference, this congregation would have immediately understood that Yeshua is the ‘alef tav’ –– את –– found between the words in the Hebrew Scriptures.

This is translation change from Aramaic/Hebrew into Greek that not only removes the understanding of the beginning and the end, it removes a unique part of the Hebrew Scriptures that unveil Yeshua in practically every sentence. To change the alef and the tav to letters in the Latin alphabet or the Alpha and Omega in the Greek takes away a significant meaning and purpose for the את the ‘sign’ of Yeshua.

The two letters that begin and end the Hebrew alphabet are the alef and the tav – את.  These two letters create a small word, ‘et’ that is found throughout the Old Testament.  Some translators give it a grammatical meaning as a noun modifier, but it has no specific meaning.  

Reading a transliteration from the Hebrew of Genesis 1:1: Beresheet bara elohim et hashamayim v’et haeretz, notice the two-letter word ‘et’ or the alef and the tav? This is what Yeshua refers to in Revelation 1:8.  He is  the alef and the tav that is found in Genesis 1 and between thousands of words throughout the Hebrew Scriptures.  By claiming he is the alef and the tav, he directs readers to himself on every page of the Old Testament. 

Some that the Hebrew letter picture of Crossed Sticks for tav refers to theh cross; however, there is more to Yeshua than the cross.  He is at the beginning and the end –– it is his ‘sign’ found throughout the Scriptures. The alef and the tav are also connected with the ‘God of heaven’s armies’ of which Yeshua is the Commander in Chief and the Warrior that is coming soon to redeem the whole earth (Revelation 1:8).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Et – את  

Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ and ‘strong.’

Tav – Crossed Sticks mean ‘sign’ and ‘covenant.’

The Hebrew Word Picture for et: first strong sign of the covenant.

The myrrh of Smyrna is significant to this community because they will be martyred for their faith. Because they will have to face death, Yeshua encourages them in the hope of the resurrection (John 11:25-27). Because he suffered, died, and came back to life, they, too, will be resurrected.  The word martyr in Greek means ‘witness’ alluding to their deaths becoming the witness of Yeshua’s faithfulness in their lives.

The condition of the congregation in Smyrna is one of suffering and poverty.  They are insulted by those who call themselves Jews, but are not.  Yeshua calls these ‘false Jews’ members of the synagogue of the Adversary.

Blood lineage or DNA determines Jewish heritage; however, a Jew is technically a descendant from the Tribe of Judah. The term ‘Jew’ in a religious context has become common anyone who practices any sect of Judaism regardless of tribal affiliation or ethnicity. 

Sha’ul refers to Jews as the ‘circumcision group’ and the gentiles as the ‘uncircumcision group’ when discussing Jewish and gentile believers in the Body of Messiah. In his letter to the Romans, Sha’ul defines a ‘true Jew’ which is opposite of a ‘false Jew.’ His definition works for the individual in the ‘circumcision group’ as well as the individual in the ‘uncircumcision group.’  Both receive ‘circumcision of the heart’ and both praise –– the meaning of the name Judah –– the Elohim of Isra’el together as ‘one new man.’

“For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly: true circumcision is not only external and physical.  On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God” (Romans 2:27-29).

Using Sha’ul’s definition for ‘true Jew,’ there must be Jews in Smyrna whose hearts have not been circumcised; they are not true praisers of Elohim. They hold onto their DNA heritage as descendants of Abraham and believe that gentiles must convert to Judaism in order to join the community of Isra’el. There could also be gentile converts to Judaism insulting other gentiles who refuse to convert because they feel ‘cheated’ for converting when realizing that faith alone is not enough to enter the community in Smyrna. Yeshua calls these people liars and compares them to the ‘Synagogue of Satan’ –– a harsh judgment.

Yeshua has no corrections for Smyrna because he knows their faith and their fate.  They are going to suffer at the hands of the Adversary and be tested for ‘ten days.’ ‘Ten days’ may be an allusion to the ‘Ten Days of Awe’ following the Feast of Trumpets.  These ‘ten days’ will test the faith of the believers in Smyrna. They will be persecuted and face death at the hands of those who are used by satan. Smyrna’s faithfulness to Yeshua will be their witness and will result in an eternal reward –– the Crown of Life promised to those who love Elohim (James 1:10).

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God, also those who had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands.  They came to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years….” (Revelation 20:4).

Those [in Smyrna] who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit, Ruach haKodesh [the holy wind] is saying to the Messianic community.”

Yeshua uses these same words in the gospels when he speaks in parables, however, he doesn’t include the words, ‘what the Spirit says to the communities.’  One reason he taught in parables was so that people could ‘look but not see, and listen but not understand’ the message of the Kingdom (Isaiah 6:9-10, Luke 8:10).  Because he wanted his disciples to have a deeper understanding of the coming Kingdom, he explained the hidden meaning away from the crowds.

Yeshua spoke all of his parables before the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot when the ‘holy wind’ was poured out and the new covenant was instituted (Acts 2:2).  With the arrival of the new covenant, men and women who obey the message of Yeshua are given new hearts and a renewed spirit.  The Ruach haKodesh gives them ‘ears to hear what the Spirit is saying’ so they can obey His voice.

Yeshua doesn’t want this community to just ‘hear’ his message, but ‘listen’ to it.  His message was to be heard through spiritual ears that were fine-tuned to his voice, the voice of the Shepherd (Psalm 95:7-8, John 10:27-28)  His sheep were to ‘listen’ and ‘obey’ the message so they would be overcomers –– Isra’el –– and receive their eternal reward.  

But you [Smyrna], how blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear!” (Matthew 13:14-16). 

Revelation 2 – Messianic Community of Pergamum

©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.

The ‘Cloud’ of Witness

“After saying this, he [Yeshua] was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight. As they were staring into the sky after him, suddenly they saw two men dressed in white standing next to them. The men said, “You Galileans! Why are you standing, staring into space? This Yeshua, who has been taken away from you into heaven, will come back to you in just the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11). 

Forty days after being resurrected, Yeshua ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives –– hidden in a cloud.  If Yeshua is going to return in the same way that he left, then it is important to ‘see and understand’ this cloud with its multifaceted message.

The Greek word for ‘cloud’ is nephele and means a literal ‘cloud.’   According to Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek and Hebrew, the cloud is ‘a definitely-shaped cloud’.  Nephele comes from the word nephos with a symbolic meaning of ‘a dense multitude or throng.’  A nephele is a large physical cloud comprised of masses of clouds that covers the heavens.  

“For, brothers, I don’t want you to miss the significance of what happened to our fathers. All of them were guided by the pillar of cloud, and they all passed through the sea,  and in connection with the cloud and with the sea they all immersed themselves into Moshe” (1 Corinthians 10:1-2). 

When the Hebrews left Egypt, they were guided by a nephele pillar giving the nephele a distinct spiritual implication. When they crossed the Red Sea, they were surrounded by the nephele and the water and immersed into Moshe.

The Hebrew word for ‘cloud’ is anan and means ‘cloud mass’.  Jeremiah describes the anan, “You have covered yourself with a ‘cloud’ so thick …” (Lamentations 3:44). It is used for the presence of Adonai and His ‘cloud’ sukkah over Israel –– His ‘sign of divine protection.’ The ‘cloud’  served as a barrier to hide the fullness of Adonai’s holiness and glory while giving Israel  divine protection from the Egyptians as well as the Red Sea itself.   

“Then he [Moshe] ascended Mount Sinai, as the LORD had ordered him to do. The LORD descended in the cloud, stood with him there and pronounced the name of yod-hey-vav-hey” (Exodus 34:4).

When Moshe ascended to the mountain, Adonai descended in the anan. From within the anan, He proclaimed His memorial name: Esher Ehyeh Asher (Exodus 34:4-5).  The ‘cloud’ along with His divine presence is the exact representation of the name ‘I am that I am.’

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them; and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5).

Nephele is used for the bright ‘cloud’ on the mountain where Yeshua was glorified in front of Peter, James and John.  Appearing with Yeshua were Elijah and Moses.  God spoke aloud to the three dicsiples from the ‘cloud’ that ‘enveloped’ them.  The Greek word for ‘enveloped’ is episkiazó and means ‘overshadow.’ According to Strong’s Concordance, this word is used in the new testament as “God’s over-shadowing presence – which always brings His plan to pass, His immutable will for physical circumstances.”

Both testaments describe the return of Yeshua to the earth. Both testaments support the witness of the ‘two men dressed in white’ who tell the disciples that Yeshua will return ‘in the cloud.’

“Look! He is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the Land will mourn him” (Zechariah 12:10). 

The prophet Zechariah uses the Hebrew anan for the ‘clouds’ on which Yeshua comes, the clouds of the presence of Adonai. Every eye will see him come in the thick ‘cloud’ of his glory, and all the tribes of the Land will mourn.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise;  then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).

First Thessalonians uses nephele for the ‘cloud’ in which Yeshua will catch up his Bride.  In the nephele, the living and resurrected saints will be transformed from mortal into immorality.

The Firstfruits ‘Witnesses’

“Also the graves were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life;  and after Yeshua rose, they came out of the graves and went into the holy city, where many people saw them” (Matthew 27:52-53).

At the moment of Yeshua’s death when the Temple veil was torn, Matthew gives ‘witness’ to the holy people raised from the dead. These ‘firstfruits’ were called out of their graves to bear ‘witness’ to the reality of the resurrection of the dead. What happened to these resurrected people as there is no further mention of them?  They could not die again because “it is appointed for man to die once” (Hebrews 9:27). Peter, James and John had already witnessed the ‘cloud’ of Adonai’s glory around Yeshua, Elijah and Moshe on the mountain. Could it be that Elijah and Moshe appeared as the same ‘cloud’ of witnesses as the holy ones?

Great Cloud of Witnesses

“So then, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us, too, put aside every impediment — that is, the sin which easily hampers our forward movement — and keep running with endurance in the contest set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

The word ‘witness’ in Greek is martus (English: martyr) and is used for a ‘witness’ in history and forensics. Torah requires that to convict a person of any offense or sin, there must be two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15). Sha’ul admits that when Stephen was being stoned, he stood as a ‘witness’ in full agreement with other ‘witnesses’ (Acts 22:20).

From Vines Expository Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, another meaning of martus is ‘one who does what he has seen or heard.’   Everyone born again into God’s Kingdom is a martry –– witness ––  to the Kingdom.  We either live as a martyr when we do what Yeshua did and listen to God’s Word or die as a martyr which means ‘to bear witness by their death.’

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying [witnessing] about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God” (Revelation 20:4).

This great ‘cloud of witnesses’ that includes Elijah, Moshe, and the holy ones challenges us to repent from sins that keep us from attaining our eternal goal: the glory of Adonai.   This great ‘cloud’ of firstfruits gives us hope in a coming resurrection. This ‘great cloud of witnesses’ promises that Yeshua will return with a ‘great cloud of witnesses.’ As ‘witnesses’ of Yeshua, we eagerly wait for that promised day when he returns and we enter the great resurrected ‘cloud of witnesses.’

©2015 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.