The Parable of the Ten Virgins – Which Group of Virgins are You In?

Ten Virgins

The Parable of the Ten Virgins 

Matthew 25: 1-13 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lampsa and went to meet the bridegroom.b 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

In Biblical times it was customary for the bride to have attendants, just as we do today, however they were called virgins, we call them bridesmaids.  In the parable of the 10 virgins the bride isn’t mentioned at all, but every one of the virgins who were invited to the wedding could actually qualify to be the bride, as the Hebrew word for virgin is B’toolah, which means bride, city, state, or to separate.

We must watch and be ready for we know not what hour or day our Bridegroom will come.   The Foolish Virgins were called but had no oil to light their way (or the Holy Spirit living in them to guide their way: 1 Samuel 16:13).  The Wise Virgins however carried the oil of the Spirit with them, so could easily see the way to their Bridegroom when he called. Not only could they see their way, but their light could be seen by others too so that they could be guided as well to the light of the world.  (Matthew 5: 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.) (John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”)

Here is a story told from the 1800’s about a watchman who worked for the railways which is a very sobering picture for us all.

The watchman’s job was to go out on dark evenings with a shining lantern to warn oncoming trains that they were to briefly branch off on to another railway line in order to avoid a collision from an approaching train from the opposite direction.  Tragically two trains collided one night on the watchman’s duty.  A court hearing resulted from the accident and the watchman was asked the question, “Did you take the lamp out to warn the train driver”?  His answer was “yes”; he told the truth, but what he neglected to tell the court was that he had no oil in the lantern, so therefore the oncoming train was not warned of the terrible danger ahead.  How many of us fail to shine the light of Christ to prevent impending disaster for those who wander in darkness?

This example above really brings home what that parable means.  Five of the virgins failed to drink in the Holy Spirit’s oil in order to shine Jesus light to a dark desperate world.

Also see The Jewish Wedding Reflections of Jesus in the Bread and Wine

Gavin Finley has kindly given permission for people to use the image above,  which I am very grateful for –
Please see the story about the image on this page here Ten Virgins Photo

The Jewish Wedding – Reflections of Jesus in the Water and the Wine

Bride at New Dawn

© Painting by D A Cleland – “Bride at New Dawn” inspired by Malachi 4:2

Here are just a few reflections on the Water and the Wine at a Jewish Wedding

John 2:1-12 tells us about Jesus’ very first miracle which was performed at a Jewish wedding in Cana. On the third day of the wedding feast Jesus’ mother informed Him that the wine had ran out.  Jesus replies to her, “MY TIME IS NOT YET”.  Now that is an interesting comment…. I had always thought that Jesus meant that it wasn’t time for Him to start performing miracles yet, but I have since seen some other important clues as to why He would say such a thing to His mother.

It was fitting that Jesus first miracle should happen at a wedding feast since it is picture type of what He would do for Israel, His bride, in the future. He would die for her, but then in that dying would be wed to her and share with her in a far more glorious wedding feast in heaven. I think it is really interesting that it is on the 3rd day that the ‘New Wine’ is provided by Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana, as Jesus Rose on the third day – He is ‘Our New Wine’, ‘Our New Covenant’.

Jesus’ time was “not yet” and yet He was demonstrating what He was going suffer for his Bride AT THE RIGHT TIME. The water and the wine at this wedding, I believe, symbolizes the ‘Water’ of the Baptism and the ‘Wine’ or the Blood of the everlasting covenant. (Jesus is our New Wine and New Covenant that never ends – never runs out.)

In Jewish custom the groom held up the cup of wine to his betrothed bride with his right hand and together they drank. This was done as a solemn vow to one another for the wedding to come. We see a direct parallel here in what our Lord Jesus did at the Passover with His disciples, when He took the cup, held it up to them, and urged them to drink the wine with Him.  The disciples were instructed to drink regularly from the cup in remembrance of Him until he returned again for them, (His bride) where they would drink with him in His New Kingdom. Each time we drink from the cup, we are renewing our wedding vows and showing Jesus that we belong to Him through what he has done for us.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

At the ancient engagement ceremony the words cleanse her by the washing of the word were proclaimed as a part of the vows spoken by the bridegroom as the priest of the home.  At this time he sets his bride apart, she is spoken for now.

In Jewish tradition the bride would wash herself in “living water” such as a river or a lake. This ceremony symbolized the washing away of all impurities. A celebration was held next with family and friends where they would share wine, sweets and a “blessing” in celebration for the bride’s new marital status, for now she belonged to her husband. Water baptism has a similar meaning as we are testifying that we now belong to our husband and through the living water of Christ’s Spirit our lives are being purified.

In ancient Jewish tradition, the gift of Matton or “The Bride Price” was given to the bride – as an expression of love – Rings, coins or any other precious items were sent to the bride, and as the time drew closer the gifts became more expensive. Eleazor brought gifts for Rebekah too.  This is a prophetic picture of the Messiah.  He gives gifts to all through the Holy Spirit if we ask in his name. 1 Corinthians 12.

Levitical law and bitter water

In Levitical Law if the bride was suspected of marital unfaithfulness she was given bitter water to drink.  If she was not guilty, she beared fruit/or children. Our Bridegroom Jesus was given bitter vinegar to drink on the cross and he has borne MUCH FRUIT/MANY CHILDREN through his death, because he was NOT GUILTY and now we are found ‘not guilty’ through Him!, so in turn can bear much fruit through him.

As stated earlier in times gone by the “bride price” was paid,
Jesus paid the ultimate price of all for His bride.

Since posting about the Jewish Bride I have painted this picture “Bride of the New Dawn” which was inspired by Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings”. I would like to take the opportunity to explain what all the symbolism means in the painting. The dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit that came down on Jesus, the dove is heading for the light of the new dawn, new beginnings or heaven. The dove/Holy Spirit brings healing in our lives as we are led by him. The white gown shows that she is a righteous and pure bride, her flowers or garland in her hair is a victory garland that the saints of Christ earn and wear; this symbolizes our victories through Christ. (crown of life – James 1:12 and crown of rejoicing – 1 Thess 2:19 and crown of glory – 1 Pet. 5:4)  The petals are symbolic of the spring that is almost over, signaling that summer is VERY near. The bride has little wing sleeves and is ready to fly.

Why Uzzah was struck down when he tried to steady the Ark of the Covenant.

It had always confused me that God would strike Uzzah down when he put his hand out to steady the ark, when he was only doing what you or I would have done to preserve it.

I had never been given a satisfactory answer for this account in Samuel…, until a couple of days ago when I heard a sermon by Michael Youseff where he identified a very important detail in the text that I had never noticed before.

Here is the Bible Reference for the story.

2 Samuel 6 verses 1-11. David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah[a] in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name,[b] the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it,[c] and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets,[d] harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.[e]

David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” 10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.

I would like to present an illustration before I go on.

Electricity is very beneficial to us.  It can be used to provide warmth and light, heat water, cook meals and to power tools etc. and it is a great thing when used correctly, but if used carelessly it WILL kill us!   My husband’s field of work is in electronics and he has to be very careful, as he is working with electricity all day long. He has a very healthy respect for it, always approaching everything he does in the correct manner so that he will not be electrocuted!  My husband often felt uncomfortable when wearing his wedding ring to work and eventually gave up wearing it altogether because gold is a very good conductor of electricity and there was always the possibility that he could touch a ‘live’ component inadvertently, and be killed.

Now I will come back to the story of Uzzah and the ark.

Often we read the commandments in a negative way, but really they were given by God to benefit us, for our protection and good!

Here is the commandment that God gave Moses for the correct way that the ark should be carried.

1 Chronicles 15:15 And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD.

I had never noticed in the account in Samuel that a ‘new cart’ was built to carry the ark and that the young men of Israel were not carrying the ark on their shoulders with polesas God had commanded”. God gave that command for their own safety. Had they carried it correctly the ark would not have been put in such a precarious situation when the oxen stumbled.  When Uzzah reached out his hand, it was inevitable that he would die, just as my husband would if he did not use the correct method for approaching something so powerful. (in Uzzah’s case “The power of God”)

Once we see that God gives us His commandments for a good reason then we will not see them as something negative that must be obeyed, but as the Holy Word of God that protects us from the heartache of damaging relationships with our fellow man and God.

The Story about Uzzah is a very graphic indication of the Power of God and how we must reverence his Word, take it seriously and be obedient for our own good – God is always out for our good.  It is through Christ that we have the power to obey the commands.

Illustration courtesy of Free Bible Images.

God’s Endorsement on Second Edition of ‘Hold Your Horses’

I could see that the second edition of Hold Your Horses was likely to be published some time in November 2017. I wondered whether it was a good time to be publishing since it was right at the end of the year…. and also November hasn’t always been a good month for me.

Due to the lack of interest and the huge amount of negative feedback I had received from the First Edition, I was agonizing and wondering whether I should even be publishing a Second Edition at all?

I took it to the Lord and said “Lord has anything of note ever happened on the 11th month in the Bible?”  I looked up the 11th month and I found a passage where something indeed did happen.  It was on the 24th day of the 11th month.  I said to the Lord “if this book really is ALL FROM YOU, can you publish my book on the 24th day of the 11th month”?  I had absolutely no control over the date as my publisher and promoter were in control of everything.

To my delight on the 24th day of the 11th month New Zealand time Ingram Spark notified my publisher and promoter that they were publishing my book.  That was enough for me.  I was thrilled…. But to my excitement and utter joy my book appeared on Amazon and the rest of the publishing sites world-wide on the 24th day of the 11th month ‘U.S. time’ as well! (which was the next day)

Now here is where it gets REALLY EXCITING!  The event that happened in Scripture on that very day was when Zechariah received his vision of the ‘Four Different Coloured Horses’ that were sent into all the earth. These horses parallel the Four Horsemen of Revelation which I have referenced in my book.  How precise can God be?  I shared this with my publisher and promoter and they were absolutely amazed too (they are my witnesses) and one remarked that my book was truly anointed by God!

This has given me such a boost and I now go in confidence no matter what people say.

Amazon Listing details

  • File Size: 2948 KB
  • Print Length: 105 pages
  • Publisher: D A Cleland; 1 edition
  • Publication Date: November 24, 2017
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B078BQP4ZX

Click images to take you to Video about Black Horse of Revelation
and Post on the White Horse of Revelation






Black Horse of Revelation NOT Famine but Fulfillment of Jewish FEAST Today.

Click on the balances image below for a 5 minute read about the compelling message that is in every mention of the Denarius Coin (this coin is one of the symbols that are connected to the Black Horse of Revelation) AND BE AMAZED! – Below the overview of the Black Horse,  is a video which covers ALL OF THE SYMBOLS of the Black Horse.

Here is a short overview of what I am addressing in my video below. The majority of Bible commentators and teachers state that the Black Horse of Revelation is the horse of Famine….. In my video, I present some crucial evidence about the Denarius and the Balances from the entirety of the Biblical text which confronts popular sensationalized teaching on this subject; and I think I am bold enough to say now.., I believe I have uncovered the true meaning of the Black Horse Revelation 6!           

Let’s examine the verses surrounding this horse.

Revelation 6:5-6 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on it had a pair of balances in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures say, A measure of wheat for a penny (Denarius), and three measures of barley for a penny (Denarius); and see you hurt not the oil and the wine.

I have observed that the majority of Bible Commentaries focus on just a ‘half a dozen verses’ which have been taken from various parts of the Old Testament for their interpretation.

For example they use this verse below to explain why the Horse is ‘black’ and why it represents famine:
Lamentations 5:9-10
We got our bread at the peril of our lives because of the sword in the wilderness. 10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine. (I must add here that the KJV is the only version that translates the skin as being ‘black’ in this verse. The ESV which is a better translation and the other versions provide this translation from the Greek. “Our skin is ‘hot’ as an oven with the burning heat of famine”.)

These verses are given as evidence to explain what the Balances mean.
Leviticus 26:26; When I break your supply of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in a single oven and shall dole out your bread again by weight, and you shall eat and not be satisfied.

Ezekiel 4:16″Behold I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem, and they shall eat bread by weight and with care.”

From the verses referenced above the conclusion is made that the balances of Revelation 6 must represent the scarceness of bread and famine. Quite often teachers speculate on what the Denarius would have bought in those days and then they calculate what it might buy today.

The main explanation given for the Four Living Creatures’ declaration of “Do not hurt the Oil and Wine” is that the rich will still have their luxuries while the poor will only have meagre food rations to eat.

Other teachers draw their interpretation from Matthew 24 stating that ‘Famine’ matches the line-up of the terrible calamities that are going to be thrust upon the earth in the last days.  I would just like to point out that the Pale Horse lists ‘Famine’ as one of the plagues it will bring to earth, along with the Sword, Pestilence etc.

So with these few verses,  most teachers and commentators have drawn their final conclusions for their interpretation of Revelation 6:5……………… I however have gone to great lengths to show the repetitive consistency of Scripture in relation to all of the symbols and I am hoping people will get a far better conclusive picture!

next view my video about all of the symbols that are connected to the Black Horse.  It is relatively comprehensive but there are still quite a number of important facts which are included in the book that are not mentioned in this video; for example, I show how the Black and White Horses of Zechariah perfectly mirror the Black and White Horses of Revelation. To fully understand what I have discovered, I advise that you purchase my book.

(Please note that at 24 minutes and 40 seconds into the video it “should read 49 “days” rather than “weeks”). 

For details to purchase the book click on the ‘Books Image’.Is the ‘White Horse of Revelation’ REALLY the Anti-christ? see link below to find out the answer.

Why the White Horse of Revelation 6 CANNOT be the Antichrist?

Here are some very good reasons why the rider on the White Horse of Revelation 6, does not match up to being a description of the Antichrist, as quite a number of well-known teachers claim………..The first thing that MUST be taken into account is the lead up to the opening of the Seven Seals to put everything into its PROPER CONTEXT. I strongly recommend that you check out this link before you read on. John is in heaven but where is Jesus?

But if you choose not to…. Here are a few things for you to consider.

There are 29/TWENTY NINE references altogether of the word ‘white’ in the New Testament (now that is a lot of mentions of white) and ‘all’ of the other 28 references MEAN ‘white’.

There are 19/NINETEEN mentions in total of the word ‘white’ in the book of Revelation itself and ALL of the others in this book speak of the righteousness of The Father; The Lord Jesus; and the Saints’. So with that evidence you would expect that the White Horse of Revelation 6 would also be speaking of righteousness as well when taken at face value.

Teachers often say that the White Horse comes in ‘peace’ (and with diplomacy) ; but they do not present any concrete Scriptural backup for their interpretation of ‘peace’ and I can’t find a suitable Scripture reference myself which would suggest that the symbols associated with this horse, such as, “White, Bow, Crown” would represent peace.  Even the dove (which is associated with ‘peace’) is not mentioned in the entire Bible as a ‘White’ Dove’?

The ‘bow’ that the rider carries is ‘not the bow of a warrior’; this particular bow is only mentioned ‘once’ in all of scripture and there are three different interpretations given by scholars for this word and when examined carefully they all match perfectly and accurately reveal who the true rider of the White Horse is.

The simple root word (from the Greek language) for ‘bow’ in Chapter 6 of Revelation, means ‘TO BRING FORTH’.

Some other reasoning used is the fact that the Rider does not carry any arrows for his Bow.  This particular Bow that the rider carries as mentioned above is not the bow of a warrior so it would be impossible for the rider to shoot any physical arrows with this bow.

Still other teachers line up Matthew Chapter 24 with Revelation 6 and state outright that this White Horse is the Anti-christ who comes to deceive people.   I have trouble seeing ‘any symbol’ connected with this horse that would represent deception in any way?  I believe that the Red Horse describes the actions of the Anti-christ more precisely in that it presents a picture of the rising up against, and the persecution of the saints.

If you put the Red and Pale horses of Revelation 6 together you get PERSECUTION, THE SWORD, FAMINE AND PESTILENCE, which fits quite well with Matt 24.

The Stéphanos Crown (which is a victory crown or garland) that the rider is given is predominantly worn by Christ and the Saints! Here are a few examples for you.

1 Thessalonians 2:19 Crown of Rejoicing – (Garland of Rejoicing)
James 1:12 Crown of Life – (Garland of Life)
1 Peter 5:4 Crown of Glory – (Garland of Glory)
Revelation 2:10 Crown of Life – (Garland of Life)
Revelation 3:11 No man may take your Crown (Garland)

Many teachers often say the rider on the White Horse cannot be Christ because He wears ‘many diadēma (Strong’s G1238) golden kingly crowns’, in Revelation 19. They say that Jesus does not ever wear a stéphanos crown. Jesus however is described as looking like the ‘Son of Man’ who sits on a white cloud with a GOLDEN STEPHANOS CROWN (Victory Crown) on His head to harvest the earth in Revelation 14:14.

Now back to the White Horse.

If you examine the previous chapters leading up to Revelation 6, you will see that each of the 7 churches are told to  (nikaō) “OVERCOME”, WIN the VICTORY, CONQUER,(for these three words are used in the English language for the word nikaō in the Greek) just a few verses before the White Horse is sent out with its rider into all the earth; you find that Jesus had just won the “””VICTORY/CONQUERED/OVERCOME””” sin death and the grave; then He immediately begins to open the first seal to send out a White Horse to CONQUER/OVERCOME AND WIN THE VICTORY and continue to CONQUER/OVERCOME and WIN THE VICTORY. There is a continuum of victory which is threaded right through from Revelation Chapter’s 1- 6 which most people have overlooked.

Many teachers often put a lot of emphasis on the fact that the rider is ‘given’ the crown.  I would just like to say that the victory crown could not be ‘given’ until Jesus had ‘won that victory’ over sin and death, so that the White Horse could be sent out into all the earth to bring victory in righteousness. It is logical that the very next thing Jesus would send is one who was ‘like Him. “RIGHTEOUS AND VICTORIOUS”.

If you put all the symbolism of the White Horse together at face value WITHOUT ADDING OR TAKING AWAY FROM SCRIPTURE, accepting that White is White……..

You have a White Horse REPRESENTING PURITY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS (which lines up with the other 18 references in the book of Revelation of the word ‘white’) whose rider BRINGS FORTH – through the Bow – VICTORY through the CROWN.

Had the words of Revelation 6:2 been “And he went out to “Overcome and Win the Victory” (nikaō), rather than conquer and to conquer, would people have jumped to the conclusion of a more sinister interpretation?

To find out how this horsemen very accurately describes “Our Helper”, I encourage you to buy the book so that you can get the full picture.  buy book

And what about the Black Horse?
Many say that it represents economic hardship and famine but is this correct?…
To find out the answer, click the image below.

© D A Cleland

Why The Rapture CANNOT Occur in Revelation 4

Many popular teachers of today preach that the Rapture of the Church occurs in Revelation Chapter 4.  I believe in order to clearly determine when the seals are opened, it is vitally important to establish the correct time that John arrived in heaven. His arrival provides the reference point or ‘place on the map’ so that the reader can establish his or her bearings. There are important questions that arise from the text that must be answered, and it is crucial that the chapters leading up to John’s entry into heaven are considered to see how they relate to the sequence of events that occur in heaven in the lead up to the opening of the seven seals, so that everything is seen in its proper context.

Here in my video below, I read the section from my new book which reveals why the interpretation presented by well-known preachers is questionable.

I hope you will go away with a better understanding of this passage.

© D A Cleland. –

Click Image For Book Purchase details

What is the ‘Great Burning Mountain With Fire’ that is cast into the sea – Revelation 8:8

Just what is this Great Mountain Burning with Fire that is cast into the Sea? 

Many people take the book of Revelation literally, when most of the time it speaks in signs and symbols and also interprets itself in numerous places.  Others look outside of the Bible to interpret Revelation and unfortunately that leads them away from what the rest of the Word says.

Let’s first examine what the sea and waters represent in the book of Revelation.  This verse below very clearly tells us that the ‘waters’ signifies ‘people’.

Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, the “waters” which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

In the following verses the sea and the tossing of the seas represents nations and peoples as well.

Isaiah 17:12 Alas, the uproar of many peoples, who roar like the roaring of the SEAS, and the rumbling of nations who rush on like the rumbling of mighty WATERS!

Psalm 65:7 who stills the roaring of the SEAS, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the PEOPLES.

The Trees are symbolic of PEOPLE – here are some verses that show this

  • Psalm 1:3.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  Also take a look at – Numbers 24:6, Jeremiah 17:8, Ezekiel 19:10, Psalm 92:12, etc.

Here is a good example of a BAD TREE and GREAT NATION that was cut down in Daniel 4. This tree is KING NEBUCHADNEZZAR KING of BABYLON – in these verses Daniel is interpreting the king’s dream.

  • 19 Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.”Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries! 20 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, 21 with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the wild animals, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds— 22 Your Majesty, you are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.23 “Your Majesty saw a holy one, a messenger, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’

Jesus is the TREE of Life
John 4:14, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” also see  John 3:15, John 6:51, John 10:28, John 11:25, John 12:50, John 14:6

Therefore we would determine that the verse in Revelation 8:7 is likely to be speaking of  different types of peoples or nations.

Lets look at what grass represents in Scripture now.

Rev 8:7 The first angel blew his trumpet, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth. And a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

Also see 1 Peter 1:24 All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls,

Isaiah 40:6 A voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.

Isaiah 51:12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies and of the son of man who is made like grass,

Psalm 92: 7 that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; Also see Psalm 103:15 and Psalm 129:5.

So grass represents FLESH – or things of the Flesh.

The Sea is Symbolic of people – From Revelation:

  • A Third of the sea will turn into blood – other Bible references Psalm 29:3 Psalm 107:23, Revelation 17:15 and Ezekiel 47:9

The Sea Creatures are symbolic of people

  • A Third of the sea creatures will die – other Bible references Matt 13:47-48, Matt 4:19 and Habakkuk 1:14.

The Ships are symbolic of people

  • A Third of the ships on the sea will sink – other Bible references Duet 28:68 and Psalm 48:7

The Rivers are symbolic of People

  • A Third of the rivers and springs will become contaminated – other Bible references Psalm 107:33, James 3:11, and  Jeremiah 6:7

I would like to examine now the ‘roaring of the seas’ and what this represents

In the books of Isaiah 17:12 and Psalms 65:7 (mentioned earlier in this post) the peoples/nations are roaring and rumbling like many waters – another description would be fighting, battling, struggling discord, disruption war.

The book of Luke below mentions the roaring and tossing of the seas as well and speaks in a very similar language to the verses above.

Luke 21:24 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations. And Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25 There will be signs in the sun and moon and stars and on the earth “dismay among the nations, bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the surging of the waves” (I believe the tumult of people here) 26 Men will faint from fear and anxiety over what is coming upon the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Now that we have established that the waters and seas speak of peoples and nations let’s look now at what a burnt mountain represents.

Jeremiah 51:25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a “burnt mountain”. 

There is a lot of speculation out there about the Burning Mountain of Revelation 8:8 being a meteorite literally falling into the sea… I don’t believe it is a literal Burning Mountain falling into the sea, the rest of the bible identifies the mountain as Babylon and in the verse above in Revelation it is the Burning Mountain/ Babylon that is causing the SEA of its PEOPLE to turn to BLOOD.

The Destroying Burnt Mountain in Jeremiah 51:24 is revealed as Babylon: “Before your eyes I will repay Babylon and all who live in Babylonia for all the wrong they have done in Zion,” declares the LORD.

And I will show in the next few verses that the destroying mountain is also Babylon in Revelation 18:2

Revelation 8:8 And the second angel sounded and “as it were” a great mountain ‘burning with fire” was cast into the sea and the third part of the sea became blood.

The Burnt Mountain of Revelation 18:2 is also revealed as Babylon.

And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. 3“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” 4I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her PLAGUES;  Revelation 18:24 And in her (Babylon) was found the “blood of Prophets, and of Saints, and of all that were Slain upon the earth” for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6“Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.

(Babylon was responsible for THE BLOOD OF THE SAINTS! – Remember a THIRD PART OF THE SEA, ‘PEOPLES’ BECAME BLOOD)

In both verses in Jeremiah and Revelation God says he will repay Babylon for what she has done to the prophets and saints.

Revelation 8:10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water — the name of the star is Wormwood –  (Wormwood is rendered as bitterangry, indignant irritated). A third of the waters turned “bitter, angry, irritated“, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.

In other words to die because of the bitterness and anger that is stirred up in it. It is Babylon that is destroying the peoples but God deals to that.

King Nebuchadnezzar is the perfect representation of the BEAST OF REVELATION since he was made AS a BEAST/OX and also when you take into account his claws etc. that speaks to me of the pale horse because the Eagle brings the judgement and death……… Daniel himself told Nebuchadnezzar near the end of Daniel 2 that “You, o king, ARE that head of gold.” Nebuchadnezzar was indeed the first stage of the “Beast” succession of empires.

The same picture is in Revelation when you look at it.
Revelation 13: 1 there is a Beast and its Image that is worshiped
Revelation 13: 15 If the people don’t worship the image they are not killed just as Daniel wasn’t.
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (There is the picture here of the Shadrach Meshach and Abednigo who were saved from the burning furnace and the soldiers that were burned by the burning furnace of fire because they weren’t one of Gods people.)

Revelation shows us that the fire of the Second Death cannot harm those who are in Jesus; we are saved from death, even though we may die physically we are assured that we will have life after death.

This imagery of the GREAT BLAZING STAR is very similar to the BURNING MOUNTAIN falling too. Why have I drawn that conclusion is because the beast on which the woman rides (the woman being BABYLON is ruled by LUCIFER AND THE FALSE PROPHET and Babylon falls along with the FALSE PROPHET and SATAN too

“all evil falls and like GRASS is DESTROYED!”

Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

There is the picture here of the blazing mountain falling and the great star blazing like a torch falling as well.

Isaiah 14: 12 How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 

But Jesus has power over the son of the dawn that once laid low the nations because he says in this verse in Luke

Luke 10:17-19 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning FALL from heaven. Behold, I give unto YOU POWER to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the POWER of the ENEMY: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

We are being called out of Babylon so that nothing will hurt us and we will have power over the powers of Babylon and Satan through Jesus.

© D A Cleland – Image

Is the Leaven Good or Bad in the Parable of the Woman who Hid some Leaven in Three Measures of Flour?

Excerpt From My New Edition of ‘Hold Your Horses’.

There are two opposing views concerning the parable about leaven. Some see it in a negative light and they believe the interpretation that I have put forward for the ‘three measures’ representing ‘the first-born son and the many sons of faith to follow’, becomes invalid because of the verse in Matt 13 referenced below.

To see and understand the interpretation about the Three Measures representing ‘the first born son and the many sons of faith’, see this link which will take you to my home page. Scroll down the page and click on the books, which will open the PDF. Go to page 15 for the information about the Three Measures) 

Matthew 13:33. He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took (meaning  ‘to seize’ – ‘take possession of’) and hid (meaning TO MINGLE) in ‘three measures’ of flour, till it was all leavened”.

I would like to take the opportunity to clarify how this verse does indeed fit what I had presented earlier in my first book.

It is interesting that Jesus likens the woman’s leaven and three measures of flour to the ‘kingdom of heaven’. It is to be noted that the parable is not presented by itself but it is spoken of alongside the parable of the mustard seed that grew.

Matt 13:31-32 Jesus put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field, although it is the smallest of all seeds, yet it grows into the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches”.

A significant number of Bible teachers conclude that the birds nesting in the mustard tree must be evil due them being described as ‘the birds of the air’. However Matt 6:26, Matt 10:29, Luke 12:6 Luke 12:24, Psalm 84:3 to name a few, describe the ‘birds of the air ‘as being valuable to God, so much so that he feeds and cares for them. I would like to especially point out that ‘nesting birds’ are of special value when the next verse is considered.

Deuteronomy 22:6,
“If you come across ‘a bird’s nest in any tree’ or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.

In the Old Testament, Kingdoms are often described allegorically as trees and most times birds are seen flourishing in the trees/kingdoms branches.

Palm 104:16-17. The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.

Here in this passage below God raises up Israel for His Glory and birds of every kind nest and find shelter in her branches.

Ezekiel 17: 22-24. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches. 24 All the trees of the forest will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.

An interesting discovery I have made, is that if the rulers of kingdoms looked after their people the birds would nest in the branches but if they became too proud God would cut the tree (kingdom) down and the ‘birds would flee’. See – Daniel 4:14, Hosea 9:11, Jeremiah 4:25, Psalm 55:6 and Psalm 104:12.

The parable of the mustard seed has no mention of the birds flying away to find rest, nor are they pecking at seed and carrying it away, or devouring any bread. Given the examples referenced earlier it can safely be seen as ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’ growing from small beginnings through faith (see Matthew 17:18-20) into a large kingdom ruled by God – especially since the birds are present in the tree – like those of the Old Testament.

Back now to the parable about leaven.

In the New Testament leaven usually refers to the unbelief, or the lack of faith of the Pharisees and Sadducees that polluted their teaching. (Romans 14:23: “Whatever is ‘not from faith’ is ‘sin’.) Here are some verses leading up to Jesus warning about the ‘leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees’.

Matthew 16:1-6 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away. When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to ‘take bread’. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the ‘yeast’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

At this point the disciples became CONFUSED!

(Matt 16: continued) 7. They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was NOT talking about BREAD? But be on your guard against the ‘yeast’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the ‘teaching’ of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The portion of Scripture mentioned above needs to be taken in its proper context. The Pharisees and Sadducees were always highly sceptical of Jesus and did not trust Him. They had ‘no faith’ in what He said and continually tried to test Him and catch Him out and this is exactly what they were trying to do on this occasion, they were looking for a sign. Jesus was indignant and refused to give them one as they couldn’t see the significance of the time they were living in nor could they see who He was! Immediately after this clash, Jesus left and went across the lake with His disciples who began worry­ing about how they were going to provide the bread to feed His followers. This was even after witnessing Jesus’ miracle of the multiplication of the bread on two other occasions! He was trying to impress upon them about their lack of faith, and bringing in the example of the Sadducees and Pharisees, who just prior to this had been questioning Jesus and demanding a sign because of ‘their lack of faith’ in what he was saying. Jesus warned the disciples to guard against the Pharisees and Sadducees teaching because it came from a position of ‘unbelief’ which is ‘sin’. Romans 14:23. He was instructing the disciples that they needed to have pure ‘FAITH’ in ‘HIM’ and ‘HIS TEACHING so that the bread could be multiplied. The Pharisees and Sadducees took away any faith that people had and this permeated right through the true Bread/Teaching/Word of God.

I would like to bring to your attention two exceptions where yeast was added to bread in the Old Testament. One was the ‘peace offering’ and the other the ‘first fruits offering’, both are very significant as they are connected with Christ.  These two portions of Scripture below are very critical in helping to completely understand the meaning of the parable. Note that unleavened and leavened bread are offered to the Lord and they are both considered HOLY.

Leviticus 7:13. 7:11-14, “Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to the LORD. 12If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil. 13With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of ‘LEAVENED BREAD’. 14And of this he shall present one of every offering as a contribution to the LORD; it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the ‘peace offerings’.

Leviticus 23:15-20, You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. 16 You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwelling places TWO LOAVES OF BREAD’ to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour, and they shall be baked ‘WITH LEAVEN’, as FIRSTFRUITS’ to the Lord. 18 And you shall present with the bread seven lambs a year old without blemish, and one bull from the herd and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord. 19 And you shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old as a sacrifice of peace offerings. 20 And the priest shall wave them with THE BREAD OF THE FIRSTFRUITS’ as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be ‘HOLY TO THE LORD’ for the priest.

This passage immediately above represents the ‘type’ in the Old Testament.

I will let the ‘antitype’ below from the New Testament (which is the fulfilment of the OT feast) speak for itself to help tie everything together.

Romans 11:16. If the DOUGH offered as ‘FIRSTFRUITS’ is HOLY, so is the WHOLE LUMP, and if the root is holy, so are the branches. (This is the same wording as Leviticus 23:17&20 where the leavened bread was also HOLY!)

Christ is the ‘first fruits’, the first raised from the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Romans 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the ‘firstfruits of the Spirit’, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

It was at Pentecost when God gave us his Holy Spirit that two loaves of leavened bread and two spotless lambs were waved before him as a part of the Peace Offerings and Firstfruits Offerings signifying the first of the people, both Jew and Gentile, who were made Holy through the sacrifice of his Son who brought us peace. For more understanding about the two loaves please see this website link.

I am convinced that the woman is the Church in the parable of the woman who ‘took’ and hid leaven in the flour. We the Church (both Jew and Gentile –the new firstfruits grain to the Lord) do not have the leaven of ‘unbelief/sin’ like that of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which Jesus warned the disciples against, but the ‘leaven of FAITH in Christ’ of which Jesus implored the disciples to ‘grasp a hold of’ (‘to seize – take possession of – just like the woman in the parable’) so that the bread could be multiplied. We the woman ‘who were once leavened with sin’, mingle our ’FAITH’ ‘IN’ the ‘DOUGH OF CHRIST’ (3 measures representing the ‘first born son’ and the many sons of faith to follow). We only need a small quantity of faith the size of a ‘MUSTARD SEED’ so that ‘OUR LIVES’ may be ‘HIDDEN’ in ‘HIM’ the ‘FIRST FRUITS’ who died and took on ‘OUR SIN’ and made ‘US’THE WHOLE LUMP of DOUGH HOLY’, and by placing our ‘FAITH in HIM’ through ‘THE HOLY SPIRIT’ the Kingdom of Heaven expands and rises just like bread until the full loaf is leavened with ‘Christ and Him alone, the Church in Him and Him in us fully mingled’. He is our Bread from Heaven who expands His kingdom through the Many Sons of FAITH! – (Col 3:3 & Rom 11:16)  

Just like a mustard tree grows large from a small seed, so through faith the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ grows into a large healthy tree so that others too may find rest/peace and shelter in its branches.

Therefore the ‘Three Measures of the Old Testament’ matches the ‘Three Measures of the New Testament’ – which represents;

‘The First Born son (Christ) and the Many Sons of FAITH to follow’!

The very first mention of ‘three measures’ is where Sarah prepares bread cakes and Abraham and Sarah are given a word from God that Sarah was to have a son, ‘the first born son’ of the many sons of ‘FAITH’ to follow.  The Bread and the Word of God go together. Jesus is the Bread and the Word who brings many sons through ‘faith’ into His kingdom.

May God Bless this Word to you.   © Image and Post by D A Cleland.

The Fire of Tribulation and Testing

Extract of Zechariah 13:9 Fire of Tribulation

God uses the fire of tribulation to purify us

In Zechariah we are told that a third of the people will be put through the fire of tribulation to be refined and tested like silver and gold.

Zechariah 13:9 This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.'”

Here are three people who trusted in their God as they went through the fire of tribulation and they survived and came out as silver and gold which brought glory to their God.

Shadrach Meshach and Abednego were three Jewish men who would not bow down or worship the image of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, so they were thrown into a fiery furnace. They weren’t spared from the trial of going through the fire/tribulation but were protected from harm while in it, and a fourth person appeared in the fire with them whom King Nebuchadnezzar declared; “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, come out, you servants of the Most High God“.

After witnessing this miraculous incident King Nebuchadnezzar appointed the three men to rule as administrators over Babylon.

When this event happened Daniel was serving and praying in the Royal Court at the time. Daniel’s name means God is my Judge.  Shadrach Meshach and Abednego had been renamed by King Nebuchadnezzar but their Hebrew names meant; Hananiah – ‘God is Gracious’ – (The Father) –  Mishae’el – ‘Who is like God’ – (The Son) and – Azariah – ‘God has helped’ – (The Holy Spirit our helper).

Daniel can be likened to Christ ‘our judge’ praying before our Father in Heaven for us.  Shadrach Meshach and Abednego (who’s true God given names were Hananiah, Mishae’el and Azariah) each reflect the Three In One God Head.  Our Gracious “Father” through his “Son” who “Helps us”.

Making our faith and witness stronger

The fire of tribulation makes our faith and witness stronger. We are not destroyed like others who do not have Christ with them to protect and shelter them. God has a wonderful promise for all of those who suffer tribulation.

1 Peter 1: 5 – 6 5 who through faith are protected by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 66:10 For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined.

Job 23:10 “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold”.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Revelation 7:13 Then one of the elders addressed me: “These in white robes,” he asked, “who are they, and where have they come from?  14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of “great tribulation“, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Truly we are refined and tested like silver and gold through tribulation, being purified to make our garments white so that we can ultimately serve in God’s temple in heaven forever; what a wonderful promise awaits us!

image and article © D A Cleland