Why the Black Horse of Revelation CANNOT be the Horse of Famine!

Article Excerpt from Hold Your Horses ©

The rider on the Black Horse is usually depicted as a mysterious skeletal figure, draped in a black hooded robe, holding out a pair of scales in his thin bony hand, unleashing famine on the earth but is this picture correct?

I believed the interpretation described above for over 30 years as I left the study of the book of Revelation up to the experts to explain.  However a few years ago I began to research the barley plant in Scripture and as part of this research I discovered a Jewish website (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com) which stated that whenever ‘barley’ is mentioned in the Old Testament, the outcome always resulted in the Israelite’s receiving protection and deliverance from hunger and death.

After conscientious study I found that this statement was absolutely correct, even in the New Testament. A particularly interesting phenomena I discovered, was that it didn’t matter if there was mention of 3 Measures of Barley, a Barley Cake, some Barley Bread, or a Field of Barley, the outcome was always the same DELIVERANCE FROM FAMINE AND/OR DEATH. After discovering such consistency in Scripture I was confused that just one reference to ‘barley’ in connection with the Black Horse of Revelation 6 did not line up with all the other references, as I had believed for over 30 years that the Black Horse of Revelation ‘brought famine’. The fact that each mention of ‘barley’ in all of the other passages consistently saw the Israelite’s DELIVERED FROM ‘famine and death’ aroused my curiosity to look further. I spent almost two years researching the 7 symbols associated with the Black horse using the ‘the law of first mention’ (which is a Biblical principle whereby the first time a subject is introduced it sets the pattern in Scripture) and I unearthed some surprising and unexpected results that brought to light an entirely different and positive message through the Black Horse of Revelation!

Here are the verses in question  Revelation 6:5
When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine.”

I will first examine the denarius coin looking at the context, or what message is put forward, in every passage that the denarius appears in Scripture (which is seven times), to help arrive at the correct interpretation for this coin in Revelation 6. (Please note that all portions of Scripture below are paraphrased)

The denarius is first mentioned in Matthew 18:28 and is the parable of the unforgiving servant. 
The unforgiving servant had owed a thousand bags of gold, but after begging his master to be patient, was freed of that debt. The harsh servant then went on and ordered his own fellow servant to pay back a one hundred DENARII DEBT OWING and took no pity on him, even after he begged him to be patient. Jesus concludes the parable with these words – ‘You wicked servant! I FORGAVE YOU all your ‘DEBT’ because you begged me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’
So the message is THE DEBT OWED THE DEBT PAID. Who paid the debt in this parable? JESUS DID!

The second mention of the Denarius is in The Parable of Landowner who owned a Vineyard” in Matthew 20:2 – The landowner in this parable hired some men to work in his vineyard ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. (These men were standing in the market place – doing nothing they had no work – their ‘DEBTS’ could NOT be ‘PAID’!)  Each man was ‘PAID’ a ‘DENARIUS’ for the day; whether they worked a Full Day, a Half a Day, or just a Small Portion of the Day. So for the man who was hired at the end of the day, the denarius was actually worth three times more! Jesus is the landowner in this parable and the message that he is conveying, is that no matter what time that ‘anyone’ either Jew or Gentile enters ‘the kingdom of Heaven’, the REWARD is always the same ‘ETERNAL LIFE’ through ‘HIS PAYMENT’ – represented by the ‘DENARIUS’;
The message is; THE DEBT OWED THE DEBT PAID. Who paid the debt in this parable? JESUS DID!

I find it interesting that Bible Scholars and Teachers often use the above parable as evidence for their interpretation of the meaning of the Denarius. The argument commonly put forward is that the Denarius represents a ‘day’s wage’ – (Their reasoning is that the Denarius would only buy a meagre amount of food for the day); but when you examine the CONTEXT in which the Denarius is presented in this parable, it represents the same payment/reward for us all, which is ‘eternal life’. (I encourage you to take a look at this link for more understanding about the parable. https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-laborers-vineyard.html

The third mention of the Denarius is about the paying of the imperial tax to Caesar Matthew 22:19; Mark 12:15. The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus by asking Him if it was right to pay the imperial tax. Jesus however asked them ‘Show me the coin for the tax.’ A DENARIUS was presented to Jesus who replied to the Pharisees. ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.’ In Matthew 17:23-27, the tax collectors came around to collect the taxes from Jesus and the disciples, and Peter asked if they had to pay them. Jesus replies that the ‘sons are exempt from paying the taxes’, but JESUS PAYS them for Himself and the disciples by way of a silver coin found in the mouth of a fish. Romans 13:7. PAY to all what is OWED to them: TAXES to whom taxes are OWED.
The message is; THE DEBT OWED THE DEBT PAID. Who paid the debt for the taxes? JESUS DID!

The fourth mention is where Jesus is anointed by the sinful woman at Bethany – Mark 14:5; John 12:5. After Jesus’ feet were anointed with very expensive perfume by a sinful woman at Bethany, one of the Pharisees became indignant and asked the woman, ‘Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for over three hundred DENARII and the money given to the poor.’ Jesus responds to the Pharisee:  in Luke 7: 41-42 ‘Two men were DEBTORS to a certain moneylender. One OWED him five hundred DENARII, and the other fifty. When they were unable to REPAY him, he FORGAVE both of them. Which one, then, will love him more?’
The message is; THE DEBT OWED THE DEBT PAID.  Who paid the debt that could not be repaid JESUS DID!

The fifth mention sees Jesus feeding the 5,000 – Mark 6:37 & John 6:7. The disciples were worried that Jesus’ 5,000 followers were hungry and approached Him to see if they could send the people off to nearby villages to buy some food; but Jesus’ answer to the disciples was, ‘You give them something to eat.’ Confused the disciples reply ‘Shall we go and buy two hundred DENARII worth of bread and give it to them to eat?’ We all know how the story ends as Jesus multiplied the bread and fed everyone with more left over. The bread would have cost Two Hundred DENARII, which the disciples could NOT have PAID for, but instead Jesus provides the equivalent of the 200 DENARII of bread and more.
The message is; THE DEBT OWED THE DEBT PAID. Who indirectly paid the debt for the Bread? JESUS DID!

The 6th mention is the parable about the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25. On one occasion an expert in the law tests Jesus and asks him, ‘Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’  Jesus goes on to tell the parable about a man who was attacked by robbers and left for dead and how only a Samaritan man (not considered one of God’s people) went out of his way to help the injured person. The next day the Samaritan took out two DENARII to give to the innkeeper to care for the injured man and affirms that he will PAY any extra expenses (DEBT) incurred for his care.
The message is; THE DEBT OWED THE DEBT PAID

Until recently I knew that five of the accounts about the Denarius showed that Jesus definitely paid the debt but I wasn’t sure about the parable of the Good Samaritan at all until I found this verse.

John 8:48 “The Jews answered him (Jesus), “Aren’t we right in saying that YOU ARE A SAMARITAN and demon-possessed?”

I had always thought that the parable of the Good Samaritan demonstrated that we should be the Good Samaritan (Which of course we should always be ready to rescue our neighbour, who has been beaten about by life’s trials – for that is the message that Jesus is conveying to the ‘Expert in Jewish Law’ here) but I do believe that Jesus is specifically referring to Himself as the ‘Good Samaritan’; and that those who have been attacked and robbed – “by Satan” –  are the ones who are left by the roadside. (My conjecture here – John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy).  Jesus demonstrates in the parable how the ‘expert man of the law’ should treat his neighbour (those who have been attacked and robbed), and he distinctly points out that a priest didn’t go to the man’s rescue, he passed by on the other side of the road; and even a Levite – who was a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi, where his job was to specifically assist the priests in Jewish Temple Worship also passed by on the other side of the road. It was only a Good Samaritan’ man (which the Jews referred to Jesus as “an Evil Samaritan” in John 8:48) that helped the injured man. In other words the ‘teachers in the law’ must do what Jesus the Good Samaritan Man would do; which is to have mercy on the man who had been attacked and robbed. The symbolism in this story is interesting too because we find that the Good Samaritan bandaged the man’s wounds and poured oil and wine on them.” (Oil and Wine signify the Holy Spirit and the Blood of Christ – which bring cleansing, healing and life to us).  We must carry the Oil of the Spirit and the message of the Blood of Christ to bring cleansing, healing and life to those who have been wounded by life’s trials and fallen by the wayside.

So ‘Who paid the Debt’ in the parable about the Good Samaritan? I believe JESUS DID!

Now if you apply the “Law of First Mention” then you would expect with such a consistent and unchanged message that is presented in all of the references above in Scripture, that the Denarius would represent ‘JESUS PAYMENT’ in REVELATION 6 as well, and I believe it definitely does particularly when you examine every other symbol connected to the Black Horse with what the rest of Scripture says.

Sadly Bible Scholars and Teachers have ignored the context in which the Denaruis coin presents itself in Scripture, and instead have taken just one very small portion of a verse to arrive at their conclusions, which has presented an inaccurate interpretation for Denarius Coin of Revelation 6.

Just to finish: If you examine the picture above you will see that the Denarius makes the balances even. “An even balance is always a GOOD thing in Scripture.”

For example Job said in Job 31:6let me be weighed in an even balance”. (Job’s scales were evenly balanced)

God says in Isaiah 40:12Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?” (The earth is precisely balanced or there would be no life, if it were not.)

Belshazzar scales however were of differing weights. God said in Daniel 5:27 Tekel: “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.” (Belshazzar’s scales were not even like those of the Black Horse of Revelation.)

Click on the image below to read the first 17 pages from my book ‘Hold Your Horses’
The amazing fact is that when all of the symbols are examined thoroughly, the Black Horse is revealed as
‘The Horse of the Atonement, The Horse of the harvest’

Please Note: I did not write this book to make a profit, I wrote it only to bring to light what the Lord showed me through the entirety of Scripture, so that others may be blessed.
Any proceeds are going to The Salvation Army Food-bank (Dunedin – New Zealand)
to feed the hungry.

Click on the images below for purchase options of your choice.
Other purchase options can be found Here

Is the Rider on the White Horse the Antichrist or the ‘Spirit of Christ’ ? – Click on the image to find out!

 

            

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

Excepts from Hold Your Horses ©

The White Horse of Revelation 6 – Is it a description of the ‘Antichrist’ or the ‘Spirit of Christ’?
Let’s look at what other Bible Scholars & Teachers put forward as evidence for their interpretation, then I will show you the consistency of Scripture and also examine the root words from the Greek so you can decide for yourself who rides the White Horse.

We will look first at the colour of the Horse.

References to ‘White’ in the Bible
There are Twenty Nine references altogether of the word ‘white’ in the New Testament (now that is a lot of mentions of the word white) and ALL of the other 28 mentions MEAN ‘white’.

There are Nineteen references in total of the word ‘white’ in the book of Revelation itself and ALL of the others in this book represent the righteousness of the Father, the Lord Jesus, the Elders, and the “victory in righteous for the Saints who overcome. So with that evidence you would expect that the ‘White’ Horse of Revelation 6 would also represent “righteousness” when taken at face value.

Below I have provided all of the references to the word ‘white’ in the book of Revelation to prove the meaning of Righteousness.

Revelation 1:14 His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
Revelation 2:17 …will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
Revelation 3:4 and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life… 
Please Note: the word overcometh’ is nikaō in the Greek and translates into 3 words in English – which are ‘victory’, ‘overcome’ and ‘conquer’.

Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear…
Revelation 4:4 I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Revelation 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season…
Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands…
Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes and whence came they?
Revelation 7:14 These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 14:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
Revelation 15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen…
Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Revelation 20:11 …and I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

The Bow
There are three accepted explanations from the Greek, given by Bible Scholars and Teachers for the word ‘bow’ of Revelation 6:2; and when all three are examined together, they reveal a precise description of the different facets of “Holy Spirit of God“. (I believe)

Here is the 1st explanation
Bible Teacher’s often declare that the rider on the White Horse carries a ‘warrior’s’ bow, however I discovered that it is ‘not the bow of a warrior’; this particular bow is only mentioned ‘once’ in all of scripture and in the Greek is the word (toxon), https://biblehub.com/str/greek/5115.htm .

The simple root word from the Greek language for ‘bow’ is Strong’s G5115 (τίκτω – tikto), which is a verb and has the meaning; ‘To Bring Forth’.

If you chose to look no deeper into the root word for Bow and kept just the simple meaning ‘To Bring Forth’ and then combined all of the other symbols connected with the White Horse. The symbols translate as; (White) righteousness, (Bow) To bring Forth, (Stéphanos – Victory Crown) The Victory. (I will examine the word for crown in more depth further on in this post.)

The Full interpretation/meaning of the root word (τίκτω – tikto) in the Greek is ‘To bear, produce (fruit from the seed) as of a woman giving birth’. https://biblehub.com/greek/5088.htm

Isn’t it the Holy Spirit who ‘brings forth’ ‘new birth’ and who ‘brings forth’ ‘fruit’ in our lives?

John 3:6 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, `You must be born again. ‘

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.

Others state that the rider of the White Horse does not carry any arrows for his bow, so he must be the  Antichrist…   As mentioned above the bow in this case is not the bow of a warrior, so it would be impossible for the rider to shoot any physical arrows.

The 2nd explanation
Still another translation of the word bow in Revelation 6 is ‘the simplest fabric’. https://biblehub.com/str/greek/5115.htm

Here below the ‘simplest fabric’ is described by those who work with textiles.

Linen weave: simplest and thickest interlaced reversible fabric in which the appearance of the face and back of the woven fabric is the same. Source: en.texsite.info/Linen_weave

Linen weave is the simplest and surely the oldest weave: One up, one down, one up, one down etc. The result is a regular grid that looks the same from both the right and left side. Source: www.marquise.de/en/themes/howto/stoffkunde.shtml

Linen fabric was predominantly white in ancient times because the flax which the linen was made from does not hold dye very well. The flax fibre was left in the sun to be bleached white and then made into linen, so the whole process was very natural and simple with the end result being a pure white cloth.

The words ‘simplest fabric’ seem to tie the White Horse of Revelation 6 and the White Horses of Revelation 19 together. The explanation for the white linen that the saints are clothed with in Revelation 19:8 –  is ‘fine white linen made from byssus, a species of Egyptian flax’  – this lines up with the description of the simplest fabric.

Revelation 19: 8 She was given clothing of fine linen, bright and pure.” For the fine linen she wears is the righteous acts of the saints.

Only the Holy Spirit (which I believe the White Horse of Revelation 6 stands for) can clothe the saints of Revelation 19 with His righteous acts, symbolised by the white linen or, as accurately described above, as the simplest fabric!

The 3rd explanation
Some Bible teachers see the “bow” of Revelation 6:2 as representing a ‘New Covenant’ such as the Rain’bow’ of Genesis – which I believe fits perfectly with the promise of the Holy Spirit  being sent directly after Jesus ascended the throne of God as the victorious risen Lamb. Check and see for yourself, there is absolutely no hint of a 2,000 year gap between Jesus receiving honour and worship as the risen lamb in the last verse of Revelation 5, and the opening of the first seal in Revelation 6:2.  Unfortunately some Bible teachers twist this interpretation for ‘bow’ into something sinister because they link it to the covenant of Daniel 9 ……. which I find confusing particularly considering that the ‘bow’ has been linked to the promise/covenant of God in the book of Genesis?

The three descriptions given for the word ‘bow’ are –
‘To Bring forth – New Birth’ and ‘To Bring Forth – Fruit’
Simplest Fabric – White Linen – the righteous acts of the saints.
New Covenant/Promise

The Crown
The Stéphanos Crown (which is a ‘conquering’ or ‘victory 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)

Numerous teachers often state emphatically that 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 – but that he carries a sword instead. I discovered that Jesus wears the Stéphanos Crown TWICE!  – In Revelation 14:14 Jesus is described as looking like the ‘Son of Man’ who sits on a white cloud with a Golden Stéphanos Crown ( Conquering Crown) on His head to harvest the earth. Jesus is referred to as the Son of Man another 85 times in the New Testament, determining that this verse is speaking of Christ. Jesus also wore a Stéphanos ‘Crown of Thorns’ while He hung on the Cross; this declaring that he was the lamb who ‘conquered’ the curse of ‘sin’. (Thorns as we know were what God cursed the earth with after Adam and Eve sinned).

Bible Teachers often put a lot of emphasis on the fact that the rider is ‘given’ the crown.  I would just like to point out that the victory crown could not be ‘given – or passed on’ until Jesus had ‘won the victory’ over sin and death in Chapter 5 of Revelation, so that the White Horse could be sent out into all the earth to bring victory in righteousness in Chapter 6 of Revelation.  It is logical to conclude that the White Horse describes the ‘One’ that Jesus promised He would send, the ‘One’ who is ‘like Him’, His Spirit who is ‘Victorious in Righteousness’ through His people – (Romans 8:10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness). – note the capital letter for Spirit shows that it is in reference to the ‘Holy Spirit’

White Horses
You will note a pattern emerges with each mention of White Horses in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer.

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean.

Again this seems to tie all three mentions of white horses together, all going out to fight for the same cause of righteousness (as I have explained earlier the colour ‘white’ consistently stands for ‘righteousness’,) When the text is not added to and is looked at simply, the first white horse lines up with all of the other 18 mentions of white in Revelation.

The Matthew 24 theory?
Still others line up Matthew Chapter 24 with Revelation 6 and state outright that this White Horse is the Antichrist who comes in ‘peace’ (and with diplomacy) to ‘deceive’ people; but they do not present any concrete Scriptural backup for their interpretation of ‘peace’. 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! I also have trouble seeing ‘any symbol’ connected with this horse that would represent ‘deception’ in any way?

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.

Exegesis of the Chapters leading up to Chapter 6 of Revelation.
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, conquer, win the victory in righteousness (for as I have explained earlier, 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 “the Lion of Judah” had just (nikaō) – overcame, conquered, won the victory over sin death and the grave because of His righteousness in Revelation 5:5; then He immediately begins to open the first seal to send out a White Horse to (nikaō) overcome/conquer/win the victory, and to continue to overcome/conquer/win the victory in righteousness on earth, for that is where the horse is sent. There is a continuum of victory which is threaded right through from Revelation Chapter’s 1- 6 which most people have overlooked.

I will re-iterate again – if you put all the simple 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?

Below I would like to present some important background information in the lead up to the opening of the first seal which helps to view everything in CONTEXT.

I will start from Revelation 4:1 – 5:2 – Paraphrased.
When John was called up through the open door into heaven (In the Spirit) he first saw the Father sitting on the throne, being worshiped by 24 elders. In His right hand He held a scroll. Then a voice from a mighty angel asked, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll“?

I think it is astonishing that Jesus was not in Heaven when John first arrived – in fact it states in Rev: 5:4 that Jesus was nowhere to be found! He was not on the earth, He was not under the earth and He definitely was not in heaven, because NO ONE was found worthy ‘ANYWHERE’, AT THAT POINT to open the scroll, and John wept bitterly because of this – which is really strange!

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 and everything that happens AFTER THAT!

Jesus told us in John 7:39 that He must first be ‘glorified’ before He could ‘send His Spirit to Earth’,
which fits perfectly with the series of events leading up to the opening of the first seal; as immediately after Jesus is seen standing as the Victorious Lamb on the Throne of God, He is GLORIFIED!
So the very next event sees Jesus opening the First Seal to send the White Horse to earth which we have seen accurately describes the Spirit of God and His Workings.

And what about the Black Horse?
Many say that it represents economic hardship and famine but is this correct?…
From Scripture I have learned that it is “The Horse of the Atonement, The Horse of the Harvest”.
click the image for the full story.

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 (WATERS or SEA) in the verse of 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.

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.

Revelation 18:4 I 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;

The Beast of Revelation:
King Nebuchadnezzar of Daniel in the Old Testament is a perfect representation of the BEAST OF REVELATION since he was made AS a BEAST/OX …. 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.)

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

© Hold Your Horses

The Black Horse of Revelation is very intriguing indeed.
Did you know that each time that ‘Barley’ is mentioned in Scripture in the Old and New Testaments that the Israelite’s were always delivered FROM FAMINE? (Most scholars teach that this horse brings famine).  Did you know that every time the Denarius Coin is mentioned that JESUS PAYS THE DEBT?.  Click on the image below to find out more.

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 https://revelation6.com/ 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.  http://wordofmessiah.org/the-testimony-of-two-loaves/

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. 


God Uses the Fire of Tribulation to Purify Us

Extract of Zechariah 13:9 Fire of Tribulation

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!

Bible Verses that Pertain to the Coming of Christ

There are many verses from the Bible that reveal the signs of Jesus return.
I have put the majority of these verses from the New Testament in the appropriate categories as follows.

Jesus will appear a second time.

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a SECOND TIME, not to BEAR SIN, but to BRING SALVATION to those who are waiting for him.

No one knows the hour or the day of His return.

Mark 13:32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on your guard and stay alert! For you do not know when the appointed time will come.

Matt 24:42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Mark 13:35-37 Therefore stay awake for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning 36 Otherwise, he may arrive without notice and find you sleeping 37 and what I say to you, I say to everyone: Keep Watch.

1 Tim 6:13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time.

Matt 24:36-39 No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Matt 24:27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Hebrews 3:37 For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay”.

Revelation 22:20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

He will not return until the lawless one is revealed

2 Thess 2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thess 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendour of his coming.

He will come back the same way he left; He will come on and with the clouds

Acts 1: 9-11 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Mark 14:62 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Matt 26:64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Matt 24:30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Revelation 1:7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.

Luke 21:27-28 at that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Mark 13:26-27 At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27 And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

1 Thess 4:15- 17 By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep, For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise, then we which are “alive” and “remain” shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

He will descend with a Shout!

1 Thess 4:15-16 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.

Jesus will appear in His Father’s Glory, in blazing fire, with his angels to gather his people.

Matt 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.

2 Thess 1:7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.

Mark 13 27 And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

When Jesus returns he will look for people of ‘faith’ and for those who are ‘unashamed’ and ‘blameless’?

Luke 18:8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

1 John 2:28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

Mark 8: 36-38 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

1Thes 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Thess 3:13 May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.

1Phill 1:10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.

1 Tim 6:13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time.

He will judge righteously.

2 Peter 3:3-8 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

2 Tim 4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom.

2 Tim 4:8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Revelation 22:12 Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

Jesus glory and our glory will be revealed at His coming.

Titus 2:12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

1Peter 4:13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Col 3-4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

1 Cor 15:23-24 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

May these verses bless you as we await Jesus’ return, when we can finally set eyes on Him to
SEE HIMFACE TO FACE’ in ‘ALL OF HIS GLORY’.

 

What We Can Learn From the Trees and Their Seasons

God uses tree illustrations quite often in his Word; in fact the Bible begins with two trees and ends with two trees. God speaks to us in various ways through all the seasons.

Many of us have experienced some really hard times but the different seasons of our lives shape us for good, even though it might seem the opposite sometimes. If we are to bear good fruit, then we need all the seasons.

In Central Otago New Zealand there are huge extremes in temperature. In the winter time it often freezes well below freezing point Celsius and in the summer time it is very, very hot.  The trees grow best on the hard rocky desert-like soil. This rocky soil as well as the extreme weather conditions produces the best fruit.

Twice a year Central Otago puts on a spectacular show for us all.  In the autumn the blazing oranges and yellows and browns stand out from the barren landscape. Then again in spring the blossoms burst into a profusion of colour. Even in summer time there is a beauty too, as the fruit of the trees shines out from beneath the leaves, all ready to be plucked and eaten.

Winter
Without the winter, trees do not produce good fruit!  In winter when the branches are bare, it seems like there is no life left at all in the trees; Our lives can be like that too, we can feel bare and without any comfort, but this is the best time for God to prune off the dead wood in us and shape us into the beautiful tree he desires us to be, so that we will produce more fruit for Him. These are the hard times when we think that we have been forsaken!  Sometimes even for many years…….. We can feel the bitter cold winds blowing against us and the cold bites into our very core; but it is in these frosts and cold winds of life that our fruit is made sweet!  Sometimes we feel like the hard things in life will destroy us, but actually if we hang in there holding our branches high and keeping our root system in the waters of God then we will bare good fruit and our fruit will be very sweet indeed.

Trees of the wind
Some trees suffer some extreme adversities and this affects the way they grow. Sometimes it is hard for them to stretch up tall and straight because the winds have been so fierce and have altered their appearance. They have had to learn to bend with the wind in order to survive, but they have a beauty all of their own, these are the trees that offer shelter to others from the cold winds of life because they know only too well how brutal life can be sometimes. All trees have a very special purpose no matter what their appearance!

After the long hard winter the rain begins to fall and the trees burst into life. Trees need the rain in season.  We need the rain too!

In Deuteronomy 32:2 The Lord says this,
Let my teaching fall like rain, and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.

And in Ephesians 5:26 it tells us we are made holy and are cleansed by the washing of the word.  It is the rain of the Word of God that brings new life and makes us clean.

Spring
After the rain; first the bud appears bringing the promise of the bloom ahead and the fruit to follow. Spring always brings a delight to the eyes as we watch seemingly dead trees burst into life and their soft tender new leaves unfold and then the delicate blooms emerge.

It is always a wonder to behold a new person in Christ; watching as God begins to cause them to blossom and grow!

Thinning the crops
In spring time, once the blossoms have disappeared and the fruit on the trees begins to bud and grow, some of the immature weaker fruit lets go and falls to the ground, this in turn allows the remaining fruit to grow larger and healthier.  During late spring the workers in the orchards come along and thin the fruiting tree down even further, leaving just the choicest fruit to develop and grow to their fullest potential.

God wants us to seek after His will and let Him remove the excess fruit that we try to bare on our own. So often we fill up our lives up with unnecessary chores that don’t profit us anything.  God wants us to be in tune with His will.  It is better to have just a few things that the Lord has put on our hearts, rather than trying to do too much and spread ourselves too thinly, with the end result being that we burn ourselves out and the things that we thought were important were actually fruitless !  “We can become resentful and bitter rather than delighting in the Lords work”. Remember Jesus says in Matthew 11:30 His burden is light!! When we are close to God and dwell in him and his word, he brings life into us and cleanses us and makes us new again, so that we can continue to blossom for him and in turn produce more good fruit in the days ahead. Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Summer Time
This is the time when the leaves have grown to maturity on the trees and the plump fruit ripens ready to be plucked and enjoyed by all.

As Christians it is wonderful to behold the fruit of Christ in others’ lives, to enjoy that sweetness and be blessed by it; then in turn go and share that fruit. This is the witness of our Lord Jesus Christ!  As we grow we begin to bless others.  It is a time when we can encourage one another with the lessons and blessings we have received from Him in the seasons of our lives.

Here is a special lesson from the trees of Anakiwa in the Marlbourgh Sounds New Zealand. A few years back I went on a course at Outward Bound in Anakiwa and part of the activities involved a confidence course where we had to climb obstacles a way up high in the large Kahikatea Trees. While we were there, the instructor told us a story about these trees which I have never forgotten. Kahikatea trees when growing on their own, only reach a height of around 5 – 6 feet, but when these trees grow together they reach heights of over 30 feet!  How do they do this you may ask?  In order to grow to such heights they do a very special thing. As they grow, they drop their branches in order for the trees beside them to grow up with them to reach the light, and in doing so they grow larger and taller together!   Isn’t that a magnificent example for us; so that we would be willing to give way to one another so that others can have the room to grow too, reaching up high to the full light of God.  Not lording it over others but giving them the opportunities to grow up with us too, so that we can all grow strong and tall together to our fullest potential in the Lord.

Here is another lesson to be learned from trees.  In the Australian outback, fires are often caused by lightning strikes, these lightning strikes often set the whole landscape ablaze and the trees are left charred and naked. Even the scorching fires have a purpose as they cleanse the trees of harmful bugs and bacteria. This cleansing process very quickly causes the black charred remains of the tree to sprout new life again producing tender new fresh green leaves and delicious sweet nectar and fruit which provides food for the insects and animals. Spiritually the scorching cleansing fires in our lives brings newness and sweetness for us too and can be appreciated by others we interact with. Bob and Debbie Gas have this to say about the purifying fires.It takes fire to purify gold and when God gets ready to refine us he uses fiery trials! Nothing brings more lustre to your character, and commitment to your heart like opposition.  Whenever you see someone whose life reflects the character of Christ, you’re looking at someone who has been through the fire”.

The autumn season of our lives
There is a beauty at this time as well which is hidden somewhat…. As the copper and gold leaves fall from the trees in the autumn, they nourish the seedlings and soil immediately around them. The gentleness of the falling leaves can be reflected in the gentleness of age.  Age brings wisdom and peace, which a younger person has not yet learned or understood. Just like the gentle falling of the leaves onto the soil below, an older person sheds the gentle blessings they have learned imparting acceptance and love on to the younger generation of their family in order to nourish them and help them to grow.  It is the gentle, calm, caring, understanding, spirit of a grandparent who can offer peace to a heart of turmoil. We have such an important part to play no matter what season of our life that we find ourselves in and there are always lessons to be learned.  © D A Cleland

(Four Seasons image – by Emerald Depths)

What did Jesus mean when he said “Eat My flesh and drink My blood”?

From the Bible:
John 6:52 – 57
. So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day, flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your fathers, who ate the manna and died, the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 60 On hearing this, many of His disciples said, “This is a difficult teaching. Who can accept it?: 66 From that time on, many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him.…

The words ‘eat My flesh and drink My blood’ in the natural are extremely repulsive to us, so it is understandable why many of Jesus’ followers left Him after He spoke those words, since they did not comprehend that He was speaking of spiritual things.

So what exactly did Jesus mean by the words ‘eat My flesh and drink My blood’? I will go back to the very beginning. When God crowned the last of His creation with Adam and Eve who were made of flesh, He declared that ‘it was very good’.  The word flesh is ‘basar’ which has the root meaning – to bear news, bear tidings, publish, preach, show forth, to gladden with good news, to bear good news, to announce salvation as good news, preach, (Hithpael) to receive good news.

With that in mind; God’s mission for Adam and Eve was for them to live good lives through His presence with them resulting in righteousness and goodness for all who would have followed on afterwards, this would have been good news indeed if they had only communicated with their Creator. God had created them to live forever as there was no death in the beginning until they listened and communicated with Satan who enticed them into eating from the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’.  The consequence for this was that they were sent out of the garden and very soon after the first death took place. Mankind became more and more rebellious against God with the ultimate outcome resulting in His judgement in sending the flood and destroying everyone with the exception of Noah and his family who preached the ‘good news’ of righteousness. (Romans 1:17 righteous meaning ‘good news’ -)

In John 6:51 Jesus said: I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the BREAD that I will give for the life of the world is MY FLESH.” (the ‘good news’ of ‘eternal life’ through Him)

Jesus came in the flesh. His flesh was not corrupted and everything He did was good (good news), why? Because listened and communicated only with His Father in Heaven and this resulted in the good news of salvation and and eternal life/life forever for the world.

Luke 4:43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose“.

Matt 4:23  And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel (good news) of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.

THE BREAD AND THE WORD ARE TIED TOGETHER
The bible often shows us a physical picture of a spiritual truth.  For example when Jesus fed 5,000 people in Matt 14:13-21, He delivered the food of the WORD in a spiritual sense to all those who were hungry to hear it.  Jesus then demonstrates a spiritual truth to His physically hungry followers through the provision of a small boy’s lunch of two fish and five barley loaves. Miraculously the bread and fish were multiplied and the ‘bread/food did not run out’ as there were 12 baskets full left over.  Jesus says in Matthew 24:35 that “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my WORDS will never pass away (never run out, “just as the bread didn’t run out” no matter what happens)

Here again the BREAD and the WORD are linked together. In the verse below Satan is tempting Jesus with physical food but Jesus replies by identifying the food of the word.
Matt 4:4 But Jesus answered, “It is written: Man shall not live on BREAD alone but on every WORD that comes from the mouth of GOD.

In the book of Matthew Jesus taught the disciples to pray:  ‘Give us this day our daily bread’.  The bread in this verse can be both physical, (to nourish the body) and spiritual, (to eat of the bread of the Word who satisfies our soul. Psalm 107:9).

John 6:31-32 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 2Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven

As the Israelite’s wandered through the desert God provided them with physical manna from heaven for every day When we ask our Father in heaven to ‘give us this day our daily bread’ He willingly provides the spiritual manna from heaven that never runs out which is available to us every day as we journey through this earth.

ABOUT THE BLOOD:
In the Old Testament the Israelite’s were forbidden to eat the blood of the sacrifice or they would be cut off from their people (meaning killed), so it is understandable why the Jewish person, when looking from a physical point of view would find Jesus message about drinking His blood to be totally unacceptable since it was against what God had commanded them to do and there would be the fear of being killed for doing such a thing; this teaching would have seemed so foreign to them. The verse below shows us a very important clue.

Leviticus 17: “If any one of the house of Israel or of the strangers who sojourn among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people. 11 for the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

Jesus’ Flesh and Blood was pure; He was the only one that could make the payment (atonement) for us through His death for the forgiveness of sin because “His PURE LIFE IN THE FLESH, gave us ETERNAL LIFE through HIS BLOOD”.

Luke 22: 19 And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant (promise) in My blood, which is poured out for you.

1 Corinthians 11.”24 – 25 and when he had given thanks, (for the bread) he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me, as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s DEATH until He comes.

It is Jesus death that brings us together ‘as ONE’, ‘as the BODY of Christ’ as we lay down our lives for Him and do as He asks. Here on earth we remember what He did for us through His death and share in His promise of life through the bread and the wine (reflective of His flesh and blood given for us) until He the head of his body returns to ‘MAKE US FULLY COMPLETE IN HIM’.

Through His “Broken Body” we are made “Whole”
Through His “Blood given in Death” we receive “Life”

The wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12) provides another clue.  Remember how the water was turned into wine that never ran out?  In effect the water never ran out either since the wine was made of that water, which is reflective of John 4:14 where Jesus said “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.”  Jesus also displayed a similar picture when He feed the 5,000 with the bread that never ran out in Matt 14:13.

John 6:35  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

Jesus said in Matthew 26:29 I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until the day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom

We will not only physically eat of the bread and drink of the wine with Jesus anew in His Kingdom, but we will see the ultimate fulfilment of these symbols, as we eat of Jesus, (communicate with him face to face – Psalm 119:103 -104), share in the bread/food of His words that remain forever and fully partake in what He had  promised and gave to us through the shedding of His blood which released the Holy Spirit of God that was within Him on earth so that all who will believe and follow Him can drink in Life FOREVER!  Romans 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Corinthians 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body–whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free–and we were all given the ‘ONE SPIRIT to DRINK’.

We the ‘Beautiful Pure Radiant Bride’ will at last be in ‘full communion’ with our Saviour and His Father through the Holy Spirit, living anew in the Kingdom of Heaven that NEVER runs out.

“The Kingdom that lasts for ever”!

Revelation 21: 1-4 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death ‘or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

Is the Black Horse of Revelation about ‘famine’, or  an ‘Important Jewish Feast’?

 

Nephilim Fallen Angels or Fallen Man?

Were the Nephilim fallen ‘angelic beings’ or rather just ‘fallen man’ in the Genesis account? The Nephilim are reported to have been on the earth before and after the flood.  I am going to show you an account from the Bible of a Nephilim who lived after the flood. There are a number of distinguishing features that confirm that this man was definitely a Nephilim.

Before I start, here is some background information from Don Stewart (Blueletterbible.org) who explains that the popular view that the Nephilim were ‘angelic beings’ is not something that all early rabbinic literature held too.

However, it is often not appreciated that such an interpretation of Genesis 6 is far from uniform in Jewish tradition. The following list shows nine other texts where non-angelic interpretations are held:

While Philo himself calls these ‘sons of God’ angels in one place, he later called them ‘good and excellent men’ Q. Gen. 1.92). Moreover the Targums and the Rabbinic literature are unanimous in viewing the ‘sons of God’ as human beings. Targum Onkelos on Genesis 6:2 and 4 reads ‘sons of princes’ (or great men, and Targum Pseudo-Jonathan has the same. Targum Neofiti has ‘sons of the Judges’ in both verses.

Tosefta, Sotah 3: 9a interprets ‘sons of God’ as men of the generation of the flood. In the Midrash Rabbah, they are understood as ‘sons of judges’ and as leaders (Gen. R. 26.5 on Gn. 6:2, quoting Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, c. AD 140), or as the generation of men at the time of the flood. Symmachus translates Genesis 6:2 as ‘the sons of the rulers.’

Although this material is admittedly somewhat later than 1 Enoch and Jubilees, which are both to be dated in the second century BC, the citations from Philo and the Targums are certainly not irrelevant for New Testament exegesis-indeed, the Rabbinic material generally represents a stream of Jewish tradition which is certainly relevant as a background for New Testament studies. And the citations in this second group are diverse and frequent enough to give strong indication of the existence of a ‘non-angelic’ view of the ‘sons of God’ in Judaism, especially more orthodox Judaism, before or during the time of the New Testament (Wayne Grudem, 1 Peter, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, IVP, 1988, pp 211,212).
See link below.
https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_724.cfm

Below I have bolded, underlined and put my comments in brackets to clarity and emphasis, I apologize in advance for the messy look.

Let’s go back to the very beginning.
Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

The word flesh in the verse above is the word ‘basar which has the root meaning – to bear news, bear tidings, publish, preach, show forth, to gladden with good news, to bear good news, to announce salvation as good news, preach, (Hithpael) to receive good news.

When God completed the last of His creation with Adam and Eve who were made of flesh, He declared that ‘it was very good’.

God’s creation was ‘good news’ indeed and announced/preached and published right at the very beginning of the Bible in the book of Genesis.

When God sent Jesus into His creation, the angels proclaimed that it was ‘good news’.

Luke 2: 9-11 9 Just then, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! For behold, I bring you ‘good news’ of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the City of David a Saviour has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord”!

Adam is known as the first son of God – Luke 3:38
Jesus is known as the last Adam – Son of God – 1 Corinthians 15:45 So it is written: The first man Adam became a ‘living being’; the last Adam, a ‘life-giving Spirit’.

The verse below demonstrates a vitally important message.

Matt 3:16-17 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the ‘Spirit of God’ descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My ‘beloved Son’, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Jesus came in the flesh and is a life-giving Spirit (1 John 4:2) (Romans 8:9). Jesus shows us that we are made ‘sons of God’ by the ‘presence of the Holy Spirit of God in us or with us’. Through the leading of the ‘Spirit’ we become the ‘messengers’ of the ‘good news’ in the flesh.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the ‘SPIRIT’ of God, they ‘ARE the SONS of GOD’.

Mark 16:14 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel/good news to all creation.

Romans 10: 15 or “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “how beautiful are the feet of those who bring ‘good news’ of good things.

Hopefully now you have seen how ‘men’ are made  ‘sons of God’ by the presence of ‘His Spirit’ in them that brings the ‘message’ of ‘good news’. If you will bear with me for a while, I will prove in the text that the Nephilim were fallen men.

Genesis 6: 1-8 When men began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the ‘sons of God’ (by definition from what I have explained above are those who had the Spirit of God in them or with them) saw that the daughters of men were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “MY SPIRIT” (This is the Key word) shall not abide IN MAN forever, for he is FLESH: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim (meaning fallen ones) were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the ‘sons of God’ came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. These were the MIGHTY MEN who were of old, THE MEN OF RENOWN. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a RIGHTEOUS MAN, (Romans 1:17 righteous meaning, good, upright, excellent, worthy, or ‘good news’ ) blameless in his generation. NOAH WALKED WITH GOD. And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with VIOLENCE. (This is a Key word) And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all FLESH had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with VIOLENCE (Note this Key word is mentioned twice in this portion of Scripture and is a one of the relevant words that identifies a Nephilim who lived after the flood.) through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

In these verses above it is explains how there were men on the earth who multiplied and that the Nephilim – ‘fallen ones’ were also on the earth at that time. Then it goes on to explain how the Nephilim came into being. We are told that there were ‘sons of God’ (which we have established are those who have the Spirit in them) who procreated with the daughters of men (ordinary men, no Spirit to make them ‘sons of God’) and the same became, MIGHTY MEN, MEN OF RENOWN. The most important sentence in the portion of scripture above is where God declares that “My SPIRIT shall not abide IN MAN forever, for he is FLESH”: He is reiterating the importance of the His Spirit abiding in man, which I believe further confirms that the ‘sons of God’ at one time had the Holy Spirit in them.  Also of note; why would God mention that man is made of flesh in the very same sentence? It seems that there is something important in mentioning flesh here. As referenced earlier, the word flesh/basar meant good news in the very beginning when God first created man and now He is distraught that the good news no longer applies and regrets that He had ever created man because he is filled only with VIOLENCE through those who fell. This is contrasted with Noah who walked with God and preached the GOOD NEWS of righteousness and was saved. 

HERE IS A MIGHTY MAN OF RENOWN – A NEPHILIM WHO LIVED AFTER THE FLOOD

Ezekiel 28: 
Therefore thus saith the Lord God;
12 Son of man, take up a lament concerning the king of Tyre and say to him:
‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “You were the seal of perfection”,
full of wisdom (Wisdom comes from God – Luke 2:52, Proverbs 2:6,) and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
every precious stone adorned you:
carnelian, chrysolite and emerald,
topaz, onyx and jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise and beryl.
Your settings and mountings were made of gold;
on the day you were created they were prepared.
14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.
You were on the HOLY MOUNT OF GOD; (held a high position)
you walked among the fiery stones. –
15 You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created
till wickedness was found in you.
16 Through your widespread trade you were filled with VIOLENCE, and you sinned.
So I drove you in disgrace FROM THE MOUNT of God, (the HIGH POSITION the FIRST ESTATE – the FIRST PLACE he held)
and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones.

It would appear when reading this description above that King Tyrus was in fact Satan, this isn’t the first time that a person was referred to as Satan in the Bible. Here is a verse where someone was called Satan and yet we clearly know that this person was not! Matt 16:23 Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s! (Peter’s ACTIONS were like Satan’s, just as King Tyrus’s were)

I believe what this is showing us, is that this man King Tyrus held a high position, in fact the highest position possible it would seem, just like Satan had; he was a King, a Mighty Man, a Man of Renown, a Giant so to speak in stature, but not physically.  At one time he was adorned in beauty and wisdom (wisdom comes from God – Luke 2:52, Proverbs 2:6 and James 3:13-18). This shows that King Tyrus was a ‘son of God’ at one time but became violent just like the men before the flood, he became a fallen one (like Satan) and God told him that he would drive him from the mountain of God – the first estate – the high dwelling place where he had been ‘full of wisdom and beauty in the beginning’…...

Sound familiar?

Is this man a fallen Angel or a Fallen Man? – I think very much a Fallen Man!

Before I go on any further I would like to qualify why I translate the word angel for ‘messenger’ in the next few verses, it is important to line these verses up with the account in Genesis since this is talking about the very same event!

Angels can be heavenly beings, but we are angels/messengers too,
The definition of what an angel http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/angel/
Superhuman or heavenly being who serves as God’s messenger. Both the Hebrew malak [J; ‘m] and the Greek angelos [a [ggelo”] indicate that these beings also act decisively in fulfilling God’s will in the world. But these two terms ALSO apply to HUMAN BEINGS as MESSENGERS – see verses (1 Kings 19:2 ; Hag 1:13 ; Luke 7:24 ).

Here is another piece of the puzzle that I hope will make more sense for you now from the ESV which is the best translation from the Greek.

Jude 4:
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, UNGODLY PEOPLE, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who DID NOT BELIEVE. and (the word ‘and’ in the Greek can also be translated as ‘namely’) Namely the messengers (referred to as ‘sons of God’ in the OT) who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, (just like King Tyrus – when he left his dwelling place of authority on the mount of God where he was full of perfection and wisdom) He has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Jude 1-7 from the King James Version speaks of ‘strange flesh’; here is the meaning given for Strange Flesh. The other, another, other, to number as opposed to some former person or thing, the other of two, another: i.e. one not of the same nature, form, class, kind, different

I see the ‘strange flesh’ as giving one’s self over to that which is opposed to God – to another god, to someone or “something” else! The strange flesh – particularly in this passage meant going after “the same sex” for that is what Sodom and Gomorrah were judged for, as well as idolatry which is greed! Colossians 3:5 put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed which is idolatry.

Romans 1: 22 Although they claimed to be wise (as mentioned before wisdom comes from God), they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.  For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever Amen. (No angels here) For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural; and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Just my conjecture here. ‘strange flesh’ – not the ‘flesh’ that God had created in the beginning which was ‘good news’, being ‘one’ as husband and wife and honouring God, producing good offspring, bearers of the ‘good news’ through Him and for Him.  Instead man was doing that which was opposed to God’s perfect will. The flesh had become tainted, full of violence, producing no offspring after God’s own heart which was bad news!

Here is a  piece of the puzzle lining up Scripture with Scripture
1 Peter 3:19 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; 19 in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.  2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the messengers (referred to as ‘sons of God’ in the OT) when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment.

Just what are these chains of darkness you might ask?
Job 17:13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.
Job talks about the grave being darkness. The word for chains means to be bound so I see that the people of the Flood are bound in their graves until the time of Judgement.

2: Peter 1 – 17 – 21 to 2: Peter 2-4 and Romans 1 add another piece to the puzzle.

2: Peter  For He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice from the Majestic Glory said to Him, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we ourselves heard this voice from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. We also have the message of the prophets, which has been confirmed beyond doubt. And you will do well to pay attention to this message, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.  Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. Now there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies that even deny the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with ‘FALSE WORDS’; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare the messengers (referred to as ‘sons of God’ in OT), when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a ‘PREACHER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS’, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.

In the verses above especially in 2 Peter it almost mirrors Genesis 6:3; you have mention of the Holy Spirit who the prophets (e.g. Noah a preacher of righteousness/good news) were carried along by, contrasted with the messengers/’sons of God’ who brought a false message, they were false prophets and  ungodly men who were committed to their graves until the time of judgement. The MESSENGERS ‘MESSAGE’ WAS WRONG!

Examining the three references in the book of Job to identify what the sons of God are?

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”

Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among themto present HIMSELF before the Lord’. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”

If you take these two passages in Job 1:6 & 2:1 in context looking carefully at the text you will see that Satan ‘ROAMS THE EARTH’ – where he was cast down to! This defines where the ‘sons of God’ were who were presenting themselves before God. Joshua gives us a good example to show that the ‘sons of God’ were earthly men!(Joshua 24:1 Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel/son/s of God to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God.)

From the text in Job 1:6 & 2:1, it looks like Satan was going to test the ‘sons of God’ on earth, and then God asked him had he considered Job instead?

The other reference in Job 38:7 reads slightly different and could possibly speak of the Angels as heavenly beings as this passage casts the readers eyes heavenwards towards the stars rather than earthward as in the Job 1 account.)

The word Stars from the Blue lexicon (of Messiah, brothers, youth, numerous progeny, personification, God’s omniscience o-kawb’; probably from the same as H3522 (in the sense of rolling) or H3554 (in the sense of blazing); a star (as round or as shining); figuratively, a prince:—star(-gazer)

Verse from Job 38 when the ‘morning stars’ sang together and all the ‘sons of God’ shouted for joy?

The only problem I have is this verse in Hebrews 1:5 says – For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father“? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? This verse tends to rule out angels/heavenly beings as ‘sons of God’ for me?

We also have to consider this verse from the mouth of Jesus

Matthew 22:30 29 Jesus answered, “You are mistaken because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 In the resurrection, people will neither marry nor be given in marriage.  Instead, they will be like the angels in heaven.

Angels cannot marry or be given in marriage it is plain as that.

At this point in time taking everything in context from what I have studied I don’t believe the Nephilim/Fallen Ones were anything to do with angels coming down and changing themselves to be like us so they could procreate with mankind. The text describes the Nephilim as the ‘sons of God’, who were led by ‘His Spirit’ at one time, they were made of ‘flesh’ (good news) but had ‘fallen’ just like King Tyrus and God said that ‘His Spirit’ would not plead with them anymore and so he brought the flood to the earth on the ungodly. © D A Cleland

The Wise Men’s Gifts, The Gift of Christ and our Gift back to Him.

From the Bible
Matthew Chapter 2 verses 1-11 – BibleGateway.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The Message for us in the Wise Men’s gifts.

Myrrh
This perfume was used to embalm bodies for burial.
Jesus died and His death is as a sweet perfume for us.  As we die to self and live through Christ our lives become a fragrant offering back to him.

Jesus the fragrant sacrifice
Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.

We are the aroma of Christ and the fragrance that brings life
2 Corinthians 15: 16-15
For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one, we are an odour of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life.

Frankincense
The priests in ancient times used this spice during worship and it represented prayer.  Jesus prayed often to the Father while on earth and his prayers were very sweet indeed for us, as because of His obedience to God He entered heaven and became our high priest to advocate for us.

Hebrews 4: 14-16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

We are priests now too because of Jesus sacrifice and our prayers through Christ are as sweet incense to God.

Revelation 1: 6 And from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

In Psalm 141:2  David prays that his prayer will be as sweet incense to the Lord and in Revelation 5.8 there are twenty four elders in heaven holding up the prayers of the saints in golden bowls smelling of sweet incense before the throne of God.  This picture shows just how valuable and sweet our prayers are to God.

Gold
One of the Wise Men honoured Jesus through a precious gift of gold.

Psalm 119:127 Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold.
Matt 5:17 says that Jesus fulfilled the commandments of God. Jesus is known as the Word of God and His words are ‘above gold’.
Psalm 19: 9-10 …9The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true, being altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey than honey in the comb.

1 Peter 1-7 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer various trials, so that the authenticity of your faith more precious than gold which perishes even though refined by fire may result in praise, glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy.

In the above verses, the commandments, the fear and judgements of the Lord, and our trials through faith are MORE PRECIOUS than Gold.

The Wise-Men gave the most precious earthly gift of Gold to baby Jesus.  Gold has to be heated and tested before it is made pure. God takes us through the heat of our trials and testing through his perfect will and commandments to bring out something that is MORE precious than Gold in us so that WE CAN OFFER IT BACK TO HIM – just as the Wise Men gave their most precious gift of Gold. 

The Wise Men’s gifts tell us so much more about our lives in Christ when we dig deeper into God’s Word.

May God Bless you this Christmas with His Love and Grace.

Image from Allwallps.com