“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us!
- He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:
- the LORD shall have them in derision.
- Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath,
- and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Yet have I set MY king [not YOURS] upon my holy hill of Zion.
- I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto ME, Thou art my Son [not YOU who call yourself by my name of Christ/Messiah One]; this day have I begotten thee.
- Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
- Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
- Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2)
This is just as applicable today to the Son of David as it was when his father David was fighting for his throne.
“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” (John 14:29)
This is standard practice throughout the entire Bible, not just Revelation.
“The word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it. So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came…and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth…the redemption is thine…Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 32:6-8)
The reason it was so important for Jeremiah to recognize the word of the LORD was because Jeremiah’s response to this event was absolutely contrary to common sense. In the first place, Jeremiah knew that Judea would shortly be captured by Babylon, so it would seem he was throwing his money away. In the second place, the priests in his home town of Anathoth were conspiring to kill him, so even if he could figure he would be one of the people left behind by Babylon to maintain the land, as did indeed happen, Anathoth would be the last place he would want to go.
However, against his common sense and weak faith, Jeremiah being the good servant of God that he is, obeys the word of the LORD.
“And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it…And I charged Baruch before them, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days…
Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase…I prayed unto the LORD, saying, Ah LORD God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee…the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men…
- Behold the mounts / siege towers, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it,
- And thou hast said unto me, O Lord God, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses;??? for / even though the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans???
Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, [You said it!] I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?…fields shall be bought in this land…for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 1:1, 32).
In other words, Jeremiah was being told to put his money where his mouth was. Action speaks louder than words.
Jeremiah – and all true followers of God – win more people over to trust in YHVH’s promises by his actions than by words.
The confirmation / testimony of the still-future redemption is the seal of the Holy Spirit.
“…in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory…Which he wrought in the Consecrated One / Messiah / Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is Amed, not only in this world, but also that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet [there’s that footprint!] and gave him to be the head over all things to the assembly of believers / church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:3-23)
The evidence – seal, testimony – of the Holy Spirit in a son of God is, of course, holiness in behavior and shared ideology, convictions, drives, and purpose for living.
“And hereby we do know that we know him [are one with him, identified with him], if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love [unity] of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth [is permanently, i.e. sealed] in him ought himself also so to walk [conduct himself], even as he walked.” (I John 2:3-6)
Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, this seal is visible evidence to everyone by the bearer’s God-fearing lifestyle. Like Jeremiah, this results in rejection by those whose approval ratings are based on popular public influencers rather than a Good Judge of quality.
“the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison…”
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Yhvh’s Promised Savior / Christ Jesus, who walk [have a lifestyle] not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death…For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh [physically pleasurable cravings like sex, partying and gluttony]; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit…For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
So much for relying on a version of Christianity that can’t be distinguished from unbelievers. Chose which life is more important – a few years on this earth or eternity.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father…if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8:1-18)
The seal of God’s ownership guarantees protection through the that precede the final act of redemption.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land… Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them…I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 32)
There are a number of ways being “sealed” by the Messiah / Promised Redeemer are described.
- He abides, i.e. permanently resides, within us, as the Holy Ghost / Spirit of the risen Yeshua / Jesus.
“I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you…because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” (John 14:1-20)
“ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth…And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language…And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?…But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them…these are not drunken, as ye suppose…But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: (Acts 1:1-8, 2:1-18)
3. He reconnects our spirit to the Spirit of God, to overcome the natural law (immutable link of effect to cause) of physics in neurochemical drives toward self- and relationship-destructive behaviors such as personality disorders, emotional disorders, and addictions to sex, food, drugs, pornography, gambling, etc.
“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
- For I delight in the law of God after the inward [spirit] man:
- But I see another law in my members [physical body],
- warring against the law of my mind [soul], and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin [destructive behaviors] which is in my members [body].
O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?…Yahweh’s Savior / Yeshua Messiah / Jesus Christ our Lord. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh…And if The Consecrated One / Messiah / Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 7:10-8:6)
4. He frees us from legal bondage to powerful evil humans and spirit beings.
YHVH’s Savior certifies the events recorded in Revelation with the same signature found on all his previous writings.
“I am the LORD: that is my name…new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.”(Isaiah 42:8-9)
Jeremiah’s sealed / safeguarded land title proved, at its unsealing, that Jeremiah’s prophecy of the restoration of Jewish possession of the land was true. This provides a basis for trust in Jeremiah’s prophecies yet to be fulfilled even in our day.
Likewise, as the events documented in the past by John unfold in the future exactly as foretold, they will prove that God’s word is true, and most importantly, reliable, during a time in history when people desperately need to trust God’s word.
People who identify themselves as “New Testament” believers in Jesus Christ so toss out Old Testament prophecies won’t be able to understand the Revelation and respond appropriately to the challenges they face. Doesn’t this prospect warrant a serious study of the entire Bible – not a favorite Christian teacher’s limited interpretation – on this subject?
Every biblical promise is grounded in verifiably historically identical ways that are unmistakable proofs of the identity / name of the same God returning to rescue his people once again, despite the passing of thousands of years and massive culture shifts.
An event in the life of King David provides a good example of the repetitive pattern of God’s interactions with humans.
“And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel…And God was displeased with this thing…And the LORD spake unto Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and tell David, saying, Thus saith the LORD,
I offer thee three things: choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee…
- Either three years’ famine;
- or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee;
- or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel.
And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.
So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it:
Form and Function of God’s Weapons
“the sword of the Spirit…is the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:17)
- and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the Lord stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
- And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem…
- Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
- And David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spake in the name of the LORD.
- And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.” (I Chronicles 21)
Pay attention to David’s involvement in this whole scenario. We have no problem recognizing that his lack of faith in God’s protection led to chastisement, but we shouldn’t miss his same involvement in stopping the plague. If David had not obeyed God’s word, do you think God would have commanded the angel to sheath his sword?
Compare with the angel passing over the houses in Egypt on which the blood of a sacrificed lamb had been spread over the doorposts in obedience to God’s word. He sees a house on the block without the blood. Do you think the Death Angel just shrugged off the failure to apply the blood and skipped the house?
YHVH’s Savior does not reclaim dominion single-handedly.
Ever since God gave dominion to humanity in Genesis chapter 1 the battle has been for humanity to get back what humanity gave away. The God-man YHVH’s Savior redeemed mankind, but that was just the beginning of the fight.
The redeemed of the LORD fight with him! How? Using the same weapon – God’s Word!
“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy…they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:2
“These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee…I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do… I have manifested thy name /way unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world…For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them…As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world…Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:1-21)
“walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called…Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit…One Lord…One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all…For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones…This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church…Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might… For we wrestle…against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 4-6)
The battle against spiritual wickedness in high places is the background for the first mention of “the end”, found in Deuteronomy 32, and conveniently includes a reference to “seal”, providing all the background we need to understand what is happening in Revelation 6.
Who / Characters:
- “I will publish the name / ways of the LORD:
- ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock,
- his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment:
- a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
- The nation of Israel, YHVH’s ambassador nation to the other nations,
- have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children:
- they are a perverse and crooked generation.
- Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?
- Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
- For the LORD‘s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance…As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock...“
What / Action:
- “But Jeshurun waxed fat…fat…fat…
- then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
- They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods,
- with abominations provoked they him to anger.
- They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up…
As with all covenants, not just the Lord’s Supper, this is confirmed by a shared cup of wine.
- And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters. And he said…
- I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith.
- They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities:
- I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
- For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
- I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
- They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction:
- I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.
- The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs…
O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!…
their Rock had sold them.
- For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah…
Clearly a reference to being grafted into the hybrid paganism of wicked Sodom and Gomorrah.
“I am the true vine…ye are the branches…If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and…burned.” (John 15:1-5)
- Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
As detailed in an earlier post, every sale among ancient peoples was struck through bargaining. God is forced to turn over possession of his people to the gods they chose to serve, but he strikes a hard bargain to minimize his loss and ensure the opportunity to reclaim them. Think militarily. During war, what is more strategic in a parley than weapons?
A straightforward reading of the text states that in exchange for his people God gets the poison of dragons and venom of asps.
- Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?
- To me belongeth vengeance and recompence;” (Deuteronomy 32)
When these weapons are “sealed up” they are locked up, safeguarded, in the treasure house / armory along with the other weapons of war like hail.
“thou has heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly, and shalt thou be delivered…? king of Babylon sent letters [requesting an alliance]…unto Hezekiah…And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them…all the house of his armor and all that was found in his treasures [demonstrating his military might]...
And weapons shared with allies of convenience are inevitably turned / reversed against the giver when alliances shift.
The [Taliban’s] blindingly fast sweep through most of Afghanistan netted it billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. military equipment and weaponry given to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, which collapsed in the 11 days before the Taliban seized Kabul, the capital, on Aug. 15…
“This is ghanima,” said one uniformed Taliban fighter: war booty. With a gloved hand, he snapped up the night-vision goggles on his ballistic helmet, looking like the very model of an Afghan soldier the U.S. had tried to help create to eliminate people like him.
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners have transferred American-made weapons to al Qaeda-linked fighters, hardline Salafi militias, and other factions waging war in Yemen,in violation of their agreements with the United States…
The weapons have also made their way into the hands of Iranian-backed rebels battling the coalition for control of the country, exposing some of America’s sensitive military technology to Tehran and potentially endangering the lives of US troops in other conflict zones.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, its main partner in the war, have used the US-manufactured weapons as a form of currency to buy the loyalties of militias or tribes, bolster chosen armed actors, and influence the complex political landscape, according to local commanders on the ground and analysts who spoke to CNN…
The revelations raise fresh questions about whether the US has lost control over a key ally presiding over one of the most horrific wars of the past decade…
Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah…Hear the word of the LORD. Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon [as war booty].” (II Kings 19:11, 20:12-18)
There is another aspect of God’s ID that is often overlooked, but is a key that will open up Revelation.
“The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth:
the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.” (Psalm 9:16)
This practice is reported early on in scripture as detailed in the post Days of Thunder. Night vision goggles – viewing action through lens that pierce the darkness – will help discover the workers of darkness.
“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye…yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh…in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (I Thessalonians 5:1-5)