The Church is definitely NOT IN HEAVEN in Revelation 3 and 4

Here are the reasons why the Church can not be in heaven in revelation 3 and 4

I will begin from Revelation 4:1 – 5.2 (paraphrased) to provide some background.

Firstly, we read that John was taken up in the Spirit and he found himself in the throne room of heaven and before him was one who ‘sat’ on the throne holding a sealed scroll and being worshiped and sung to by 24 elders who throw their crowns of honour down before Him.

John heard a voice asking ‘Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?’, but no one was found worthy to open the scroll and look inside, either ‘in Heaven’, on the earth or under the earth and John wept bitterly because of the hopelessness of the situation that no one could be found anywhere!

Here is the crux of identifying the precise time that John was taken into heaven.

Astonishingly Jesus was missing when John first arrived. If John had been taken to heaven at a later point in time, then he would not have been worried or upset that there was no one to open the scroll because Jesus would have been there before him on the throne, having already conquered and won the victory when John first arrived.

Instead he found the one who ‘sat’ on the throne there before him being sung to by the elders. Jesus did not appear until later on as the victorious risen Lamb in Revelation chapter 5.

Next, the text says that Jesus the Lamb went and took the scroll from the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. John witnessed this action as it occurred and then the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb and sang a ‘new song’. So instead of singing the song that they had been singing earlier in the chapter to the one who sat on the throne, they now sing a ‘new song’ to the Lamb who now ‘stands’ on the throne and this song describes Jesus’ eligibility to open the scroll: that being, because He was slain He had purchased people from every tribe, nation and tongue.

I would like to go back now for a moment and revisit John’s entry into heaven. If John had been taken into heaven a little later on, the elders would have already been singing the ‘new song’ to the Lamb when He first arrived and there certainly would have been no tears from John.

It is surprising that John did not expect Jesus the risen Lamb to be there before him on the throne. It is also surprising that John did not ask of Jesus’ whereabouts since he had witnessed Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven while on earth years earlier. John knew very well that Jesus had purchased us with His blood when he died on the cross and rose again. It seems that John is witnessing everything anew from a heavenly perspective, as if he had never seen or known it before! Perhaps John was being shown in a very real way the gravity of the hopelessness there was for mankind before Jesus’ work of redemption had been accomplished?

Here are some important facts to consider;
In Acts 7:55 when Steven was being stoned, he saw heaven opened and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. So how is it that when John first entered heaven that he did not immediately see Jesus standing at the right hand of God as Steven had?

Another important fact to take into account is that in Revelation 3:21, ‘just before’ John was invited up through the open door into heaven, Jesus’ message through John to the church of Laodicea reads, ‘he who overcomes, I will grant to him to ‘sit down’ with my on my throne’ as I also overcame and ‘sat down’ with my Father on His Throne.

Now a very pertinent question must be asked here. Just how is it that Jesus was NOT ‘SAT DOWN’ with His Father on the throne on John’s arrival in heaven, when only a few verses earlier the text declares that Jesus had already overcome and had ‘sat down’ with His Father?

I would like to ask you now; after considering the information provided above “was John taken ‘backward’ or ‘forward’ in time when transported up to Heaven in the Spirit”?

Let’s re-examine the timeline again.
Revelation 5:4 reveals the utter hopelessness for the future of mankind, and this is graphically demonstrated by John’s distress and tears that no one could be found anywhere! Either ‘in heaven’, ‘on the earth’, or ‘under the earth’ to open the scroll, and as noted above; astonishingly EVEN JESUS is not found worthy to open the scroll at that point!

Two questions must be asked now!
1) What negated Jesus from opening scroll?
2) Where was Jesus likely to be if He could not open the Scroll?

I believe that the text ‘strongly suggests’ in Revelation 5:4 that Jesus was not able to open the scroll because He was very likely on the cross bearing our sin; as it is ‘sin and death’ that negates ‘anyone’ from opening the scroll! – As we know, sin however had no hold over Jesus because he was righteous and pure and that gave Him the power to break through into heaven and take His place on the Throne of God as the Spotless Lamb, because He triumphed over sin and death’; so then the elders in the very next sentence of Revelation 5:5 could proclaim why He the ‘Lion of Judah’ was now able to open the scroll because He was slain and had risen to life, which brought redemption for people of all nations 2,000 years ago. We know that in reality Jesus had ascended to heaven’s throne approximately 40 years before John’s vision, as this is confirmed by Stephen’s witness to this, in the book of Acts.

So what I take from this is that God starts from the very beginning in John’s Vision, taking him ‘back to Jesus’ death and resurrection and victorious ascension to the throne to ‘THE THINGS THAT ARE’ – Jesus is our SACRIFICED LAMB WHO ‘SAVED’ US.

Revelation 1:19 Therefore write down the things you have seen, and the things that ARE, and the things that will happen after this.

The things that take place after Jesus ascension to the throne BEGIN with the workings of the Holy Spirit who is sent to EARTH which the White Horse of Revelation 6 very accurately describes. See the full story below this article.

The Imaginary 2,000 year Gap?
Bible scholars often insert 2,000 years from when Jesus appears standing on the throne of God as the Victorious Lamb and when he begins to open the seals, when there is absolutely no suggestion of a 2000-year gap in the text!

In Revelation 5:9-10 the elders sing to Jesus: Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth (emphasis added).

The verse quoted above is from the King James Version but the English Standard Version, which is known as one of the better translations by those who study Greek (my daughter studies Greek and has verified this for me) and most of the other versions translate the elders singing ‘You have made them to be a kingdom and priests and they shall reign on the earth’ rather than using the words ‘us’ and ‘we’.

1 Peter 2:9 states: ‘you are (already) a royal priesthood’.
These verses all point to the saints reigning on the earth through Jesus right now.

Some teachers conclude from the KJV that the word ‘us’ means the elders represent all of the saints who, ‘they believe,’ are already in Heaven by Revelation chapter 4. I conclude that the elders in these two particular passages in Revelation 4 and 5 do speak on behalf of God’s people ‘on earth’ signifying through their actions what the saints bring before the throne of God in heaven. For example the golden bowls of incense speak of the valuable sweet prayers of the saints ascending up to the throne, the crowns of honour cast down before the throne reflect the victories through God’s power and the harps signify the songful praises bestowed upon the Father, but there is no mention of the saints standing themselves before the throne of God in heaven in these two chapters. The 144,000 from Israel, and the uncountable multitude of saints together known as ‘the servants of our God’ do not appear standing in heaven, clothed in white robes before the throne, until Revelation Chapter 7. (Where again the 24 elders are mentioned).

Now I would like to address some popular teaching on the 7 lamps of fire mentioned in Revelation 4:5.
Some well-known teachers such as John Hagee, and the late Chuck Missler argue that the ‘seven golden candlesticks’ (churches) of Revelation 1:20 and the ‘seven lamps of fire’ of Revelation 4:5 are one and the same thing, asserting that the churches are already before the throne in heaven in Revelation chapter 4.

Here are the relevant verses:
Revelation 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Seven golden candlesticks are also mentioned in Revelation chapters 1:12-13 and 2:1 and each time I believe they are referring to the seven churches.

The seven lamps of fire however are described a little differently.
Revelation 4:5 …and out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

The word for Spirits is pneuma and is translated from the lexicon on Blue Letter Bible – as the third Person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son. From the root word – breath, to blow, wind. (Please note that the King James adds a capital S to the word ‘Spirits’ to identify this word as the ‘Holy Spirit’.)

Here again is a mention of the seven Spirits of God: Revelation 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God (Holy Spirit) and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

And once more, referencing Jesus the Lamb (Spirit of Christ),
Revelation chapter 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. (Again the identical word pneuma, Holy Spirit, is used.)

This next verse will make it very clear what the seven lamps are. Please note very closely what is said here:

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne…

The words ‘seven Spirits’ in Revelation 1:4 is the Holy Spirit (pneuma) that is before the throne of God in Heaven. The same seven Spirits (pneuma) are referred to in Revelation chapter 4:5 as the ‘seven lamps of fire’ (in the KJV) but it is taught by popular teachers that the seven lamps of fire represent the ‘Church’ that is supposedly before the throne of God in heaven after the Rapture. Unfortunately these teachers have totally ignored the fact that the verse in Revelation 4 not only translates itself as the seven Spirits but that the same seven lamps of fire (pneuma – Spirits) have been previously mentioned in Revelation chapter 1, before anyone was ever in heaven.

Now also consider this: If the seven lamps of fire/seven Spirits that are before the throne of God in Revelation 4 are supposedly the seven churches, then the verse in Revelation 1:4 would have all seven churches saying grace and peace to themselves from the throne of God, which is a total contradiction. But, as I have confirmed, the seven lamps/Spirits refer to the Holy Spirit which is before the throne of God in Heaven.

When you look at the description from the Greek text, the candlestick is described as a lampstand or candelabrum (the vessel that holds the lamp/fire), whereas the lamp is described as the flame which is fed with oil. I believe without a doubt that the Scriptures I have referenced above confirm within themselves that the seven candlesticks are the seven churches and that the seven lamps of fire/or seven Spirits are most definitely the Holy Spirit. As I have shown earlier, if the Church was already in heaven in Revelation chapter 4, then it would have arrived in heaven before Jesus’ work of redemption had been accomplished in chapter 5. I hope this has helped to dispel any confusion


The White Horse of Revelation 6 Cannot be the Antichrist.
Click on the image below to find out the many reasons why
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HEAVEN Image courtesy of WallpaperCave
White Horse image Ⓒ D A Cleland

What is the Flaming Sword that Guards The Way to the Tree of Life?

God makes an interesting statement when Adam and Eve eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

He says this in Genesis 3:22 – And the Lord God said, ‘The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.’  

God sends Adam and Eve out of the Garden and places Cherubim with a Flaming Sword that flash back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.   I will show you the special way that the Cherubim and the Flaming Sword leads us back to Jesus.

Let us examine what trees represent in the Bible.

Many times the Word of God declares that people are trees. Here are a few examples below.

(Daniel to King Nebuchadnezzar) Daniel 4:20 – 22 The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth, with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air, you, O king, are that tree!

Isaiah 61:3 …that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.  

Matthew 7:15-17 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits… A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  

Here are a few verses that point to Jesus as being the ‘Tree of Life’

John 4:14 but whoever drinks the water I (Jesus) give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

John 3:15 That whosoever believeth in Him (Jesus) should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live…’

I can show you why our journey here on earth is the means by which God leads us back to Christ our Saviour ‘The Tree of Life’!

I will start with the Flaming Sword and its meaning. Flaming in the Hebrew means ‘blaze, scorch, and burn’. The Sword is the word kharav which means ‘to make desolate, lay waste, dried up, slay, attack’  which is very much what we go through here on earth in all sorts of ways. Just as the Israelite’s wandered through the scorching heat of the desert, the dry parched places, and faced the sword, so we also go through the dry, desert-like places that scorch and burn us, which ultimately cause us to search out Jesus, the ‘Rock’ of living water, in our desert; just as the Israelite’s drank from the rock in the desert they traveled in. Jesus our Rock is the only one who can quench our thirst in our desolation, desperation and need.

In the account in Genesis, man is prevented from stretching out HIS hand to take hold of the Tree of Life.

Those of us that recognize the evil that is within, finally see the fiery sword, the dry places, and the utter desolation that we find ourselves in, and it is that which has separated us from Christ, but it is that which leads us to seek out the living water, out of our dry places, out of our humility and shame, so that Jesus takes hold of us to bring us back into Paradise, the place where we belong!  

So, Instead of Us reaching out Our hand in the pride of knowledge, we come in total surrender and humility at our utter need for a Saviour who alone can give us in all we need. He now can take us to the place where we can live forever with Him because at last we give him the adoration that He deserves, for all that He has done for us. Pride produces fire and destruction, but humility brings peace and life. So Jesus takes hold of us, instead of us taking hold of Him with the wrong motives.

Now this is where it gets really interesting when thinking of Jesus taking hold of us.  Cherubim means ‘to be grasped’, ‘held firm or tight’. (Bible Teacher Kevin Conner from Portland, Oregon, who has written books on “The Tabernacle of Moses, The Tabernacle of David, The Temple of Solomon” brings this meaning out from the Hebrew text), so it is the cherubim who lead us back so that we can be held firm in Christ; we come back and He grasps hold of us and keeps us in Him and He gives us life! For He alone is the Tree of Life. It is interesting that the Cherubim are the winged creatures that guard the way into the Garden of Eden but they also overshadow the Ark of God in heaven where Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.  

Isaiah 37:16 Lord Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.  

Psalm 99:1 The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake.  

Jesus came to earth outside the city (heavenly Jerusalem). He was crucified outside of the earthly Jerusalem which I think reflects a heavenly picture; that He was crucified outside of heaven. He suffered here on earth in order to gain entry back into the garden (Paradise), both for Him and us.

We are all enticed by sin and we all suffer here on earth going through the refining fires. We are trapped by the very thing that brings us back to Christ. We are separated by the fiery sword, the scorching flame, the dry places here on earth but through tribulation we are led back through the cherubim who guard the way to our Saviour, the Tree of Life! It is the experience of tribulation that washes our robes clean.

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. Revelation 7:13-14 Then one of the elders asked me, ‘These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?’ I said to him, ‘My lord, you know.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the ones who have come out of the great tribulation [KJV just says Great Tribulation], and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’  

The word tribulation comes from the process of refining grain. In ancient times the men would beat and whip the sheaves so that the grain could be separated from the chaff. Next a cart would be run over the grain to crush it so that the seed could be set free from the husk. The cart was known as a tribulum, hence the word tribulation. We go through great trials sometimes but that is what makes us strong; the chaff is taken from us to reveal the true inner quality of the grain.

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

Revelation 2:7b To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God.  

Fruit trees do best and produce the sweetest fruit when they go through harshness of the winters.  

Overcoming through tribulation, leads us back to the ‘Tree of Life’ and ‘Paradise’.

The Garden of Eden means a delightful place/enclosure, plants, which sounds very similar to Paradise (park, preserve, enclosed garden, forest). We will find ourselves back in the place where Adam began.  

Back to the dry places again…
So we start in Genesis where Adam and Eve are sent out of the Garden, then go with the Israelite’s through the desert and continue on until we get to Revelation 7:14-17 where it says this:   These are they who have come out of Great Tribulation… they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat down on them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd;
he will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  

Isaiah 49:10
“They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water.  

The Old Testament reiterates the same thing as the new.

It is interesting to note that it was a garden that Adam and Eve were sent out of and in which they died both physically and spiritually – and it was in a garden (the Garden of Gethsemane) that Jesus offered up His life physically to die for us.

Part of an Excerpt from Hold Your Horses – © copyright D A Cleland

What we really need in our trials.

Here is a favourite song of mine – “Blessings” by Laura Story.
God did not promise us an easy life, we are all in this together.
When you are hanging on the side of a steep cliff by your fingernails, barely able to hold on any longer, and someone comes along and stands at the top of that cliff from their lofty position and shouts down, Roman’s 8:28 ” And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him,”.
You cringe inside as you know with all your being that what you really need, is for that person to climb down to where you are hanging, to tell you “I am here with you and for you”, together we can make it up the side of this cliff.

What Temple does the “Man of Lawlessness” stand in?

I believe that Jesus body IS the third temple and the saints are a part of Jesus body who make up the temple too. Here are some verses which explain why.

John 2:19 On account of this, the Jews demanded, “What sign can You (Jesus) show us to prove Your authority to do these things?” 19 Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.” 20“This temple took forty-six years to build,” the Jews replied, “and You are going to raise it up in three days?”… But Jesus was speaking about the TEMPLE of His BODY…

Acts 7: 45 And our fathers who received it (The Tabernacle of Witness) brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations God drove out before them. It remained until the time of David, 46 who found favour in the sight of God and asked to provide a dwelling place for the GOD of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built the house for Him…. Acts 7:48 However, the Most High does NOT LIVE IN HOUSES MADE BY HUMAN HANDS. As the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house will you build for Me, says the Lord, or where will My place of repose be? 50 Has not My hand made all these things?

Jesus has no building to reside in here on earth now, other than the TEMPLE/BUILDING made up of believers – made with HIS HANDS.

Ephesians 2:19-22 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the WHOLE BUILDING, being fitted together, is growing into a HOLY TEMPLE IN THE LORD, in whom you also are being built together into a DWELLING OF GOD in the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that YOU ARE THE TEMPLE God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?  
2 Corinthians 6:16 For YOU ARE THE TEMPLE of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

So what does the Man of Lawlessness appear like, if the temple is not a temple built with hands?

2 Corinthians 6: 14-18 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and LAWLESSNESS or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the TEMPLE OF GOD with “IDOLS”? For WE ARE THE TEMPLE of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE

2 Thessalonians 2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of LAWESSNESS (unbeliever) is revealed, the son of destruction, 4.who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his SEAT in the TEMPLE OF GOD, displaying himself AS BEING GOD.

So I divulge from these verses that the ‘Man of Lawlessness’ is not found in a man-made Jewish temple in Jerusalem, but rather is an unbeliever (as 2 Cor 14-18 specifically explains Lawlessness as an unbeliever and someone that is Idolized….) who sets himself up as ‘God’ in the ‘temple of believers‘.

Bible Numerics and the Seven Seals of Revelation

Numbers in Scripture often contain a message. For example the number “forty” is associated with waiting and testing. Here are some examples below.

The Israelite’s were tested in Exodus 34:28 when they waited 40 days until Moses returned with the tablets of the Law; they failed the test miserably by building the golden calf.

The book of Exodus also records the 40 year period that the Israelite’s wandered in the desert before reaching the promised land.

In Jonah 3:4 God gave the city of Ninevah 40 days to repent before it would be destroyed; this city passed the test by repenting and 300,000 souls were saved.

Numbers 13:25 records the story of the 12 Spies who were sent to explore the land for Moses and Aaron. After 40 days the spies returned with their frightening report about the size of the people, this instilled fear in the Israelite’s causing them to turn against Moses and Aaron, which resulted in that generation being denied the opportunity to enter the Promised Land.

Matt 4:1-11 tells how Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness where He was tempted by Satan. However Jesus passed the test victoriously!

Other numbers consistently carry a message too. I will demonstrate below how the numbers 1 through to 7 line up perfectly in relation to the seven seals. Please see my studies on the Black Horse Here and White Horse Here

The Seven Seals of Revelation
Seal 1 – The NUMBER ONE has the meaning of ONE GOD – UNITY – the unity between God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:4 There is only one Spirit of God,
If you go back to the root words in the Greek it is intriguing how the White Horse describes the Spirit of God’s work in great detail. The White horse of Revelation 6 is seal Number One and the symbols of this horse describe “(white) righteousness, (Bow) ‘to bring forth” (Stephanos crown) the victory. It is the Spirit of God who brings forth victory in righteousness in us and continues to bring forth the victory of righteousness in us – “conquering and to conquer”. Jesus promised he would sent His Spirit to help us once he was glorified in John 7:39. The White Horse was sent to EARTH immediately after Jesus won the victory over sin and death and was worshiped and Glorified on the Throne of God in Heaven. The text does not reveal a 2,000 year gap. For more information about the White Horse please visit this link https://revelation6.com/white-horse-revelation-6-really-antichrist/?

Seal 2 – The NUMBER TWO REPRESENTS DIVISION AND WITNESS – (on the Second day of Creation Heaven and Earth were divided in two – Heavenly things and Earthly things). The number two can represent Witness and Martyr – The word Witness is the same word for Martyr in the Greek – The second person of the Godhead is Jesus who resided in heaven and came to earth to witness on behalf His Father. He is also our Sacrifice and he asks us to be His martyr and witness for the sake of the Gospel.  The Red Horse rider is given a Sword and is SENT to take Peace from the Earth: Jesus said in Matthew 10.34. Think not that I am come to SEND peace on earth: I came not to SEND PEACE, but a SWORD. The word sword in Matt 10.34 is not the double edged sword but a large knife that is used for killing animals and can be used in the context of disputes, strife and division. The word for sword in Matt 10.34  is the VERY SAME WORD that is used in Revelation 6:8 for the sword that the Red Horse rider carries. If you take into context the whole of that block of Scripture, around Matthew 10.34: “I did not come to send peace but a sword”; You will see that the disciples are told that they would meet persecution and were even told not to fear being killed or martyred! The Red horse is representative of the cost of proclaiming the gospel on EARTH. The division between those of heaven (Christians/Saints of Heaven) and those of earth (Non-Christians who rise up against the saints of heaven).

Seal 3 – The NUMBER THREE REPRESENTS COMPLETENESS/WHOLENESS AND DELIVERANCE The Black Horse is the third horse, and for me the most amazing one.
The first occurrence of the number 3 is in Genesis 1.13.
It was THE THIRD day the earth rose up out of the water, symbolic of the resurrection. (Baptism).
It was the Third Day that Queen Esther’s People were delivered.
It was the third day that God provided the Sacrifice for Abraham so that Isaac could rise up from the altar.
It was the Third day that the Cupbearer received life and the Baker was put to death (Life and Death).
It was on the third day that Jesus Died and rose again from the dead – Jesus work was FINISHED completed on the third day when he arose.

The Denarius Coin (in connection with the Black Horse of Revelation) is the Key that opens the door to the understanding and meaning of the third seal which BRINGS COMPLETENESS/WHOLENESS AND DELIVERANCE and HARVEST through JESUS WHO PAID THE PRICE!
The Denarius is mentioned seven times in Scripture, and each time, “JESUS PAYS THE PRICE!”
See this link below for a thorough overview about the Black Horse of Revelation 6.
www.revelation6.com – Home Page

Seal 4 The NUMBER FOUR IS ALWAYS ASSOCIATED WITH THE EARTH (Four corners of the earth are “North, South, East, West; there are Four Seasons etc.) and the fourth seal reveals a Pale Horse that is sent to bring all the Calamities to Earth.
Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the Earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the Earth.

Seal 5 – THE NUMBER FIVE speaks of Grace and Redemption. You will see in the text below that ALL of saints that died for the sake of the gospel are given White Robes – signifying purity & redemption.
Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain/(martyred) for the word of God and for the witness they had borne (in the second seal). 10 They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers[a] should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

Seal 6 – THE NUMBER SIX
is the number of Man and the text below is FULL of the mention of MAN and the fear of Judgement (Especially when read from The King James Version Bible) !

Rev 6:15 and the KINGS of the earth, and the great MEN, and the rich MEN, and the chief CAPTAINS, and the mighty MEN, and every bondMAN, and every free MAN, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

Seal 7 – THE NUMBER SEVEN represents Spiritual Perfection and concludes in the 22nd Chapter of the Book of Revelation.

I can see a definite pattern, do you?

There are TWO Hells – by author Steven Shepherd

The_Rim_Fire_in_the_Stanislaus_National_Forest_near_in_California_began_on_Aug._17,_2013-0004.jpg

“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death”. Revelation 20:14

Stephen kindly gave me permission to post this link to his website about the ‘TWO Hells’ that are mentioned in the Bible. His description of Hell with good biblical backup is the best I have seen to date.

https://www.stephenshephard.com/blog/2019/5/28/there-are-two-hells

The Parable of the Ten Virgins – Let Your Light Shine

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