Position Papers 2015

The Seven Thunders

An Exposition; re-purposed as

An eTPL Position Paper #31

The Seven Thunders of The Fiery Rainbowed Angel are narrated in Revelation 10: And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: and he had in his right hand a little book open; and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth, and cried with a loud voice as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me. ‘Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.’ And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven. And sware unto Him Who liveth for ever and ever, Who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.

Some students of the Revelation including this writer, given the PLACE in which these were revealed, and the sensitive nature of them, have claimed that the Seven Thunders of Revelation 10 referred to the troubles – to the distinct conflicts and wars – that Israel is now having with the Arabs round about.

Those students feel that each of the un-recorded utterances of the Thunders represents the end-time conflicts of the regathered people of Israel, and that each one may represent a distinct conflict with the Arabs of the Proximal Islamic States. The account of these, therefore bridge the very significant time between the Sixth Vial and the Seventh Vial – and occupy the time frame corresponding to the one which Christ outlined in his Revelation to John.

This, of course, is the precise day in which we find ourselves at this moment!

John Thomas, writing about these Thunders in Revelation 10, says essentially the same thing, but offers an alternative choice; he says this:

“Apocalyptic thunder is significant of War. Seven thunders are either so many distinct wars; or, they are war of complete and intense severity; or the wars are styled seven thunders, because they are the thunderings of the Seven Spirits of the Deity sent forth from before the throne into all the earth (Apoc. 4:5; 5:6).

“This, I believe [he says] is the correct definition. If the spirits of the Deity had been eight instead of seven, it would have changed the arrangement of the whole prophecy. There would then have been eight apocalyptic epistles to eight Ecclesias, eight seals, eight trumpets, eight vials, and eight thunders. But seven is the Divine Number of the Spirit; and, therefore, all these are numbered sevenfold; and the Spirit is symbolized by “seven horns and seven eyes,” as significative of omnipotence and omniscience. The Rainbowed Angel is the Seven Spirits incorporate in Jesus and his Brethren going forth in their wars into all the earth.”

However, there is another possible (and we believe, more satisfactory) explanation of the Seven Thunders of Revelation 10. Instead of being the warlike actions of Christ and the Saints ‘going forth in their wars into all the earth,’ it is instead quite probable that these Thunders are representative of the present conflicts of His regathered People of Israel with their Arab oppressors, and that these events are those specifically leading up to the revelation of the Christ and His Saints as they bring His salvation, His law, and His presence to the earth, in the conflicts which are already outlined by the prophets of Israel in quite full detail for that time.

The time of this vision of the Seven Thunders is after the conclusion of the Sixth Vial. John Thomas felt that just prior to the Seven Thunders, that the Rainbowed Angel is incubating “in his chambers, with his doors shut about him; and hidden as it were for a little moment” (Isaiah 26:20) under that vial; and before the gathering of the kings of the earth, and of the whole habitable into the place called in the Hebrew tongue, ‘Armageddon.’”[1]

However, if the Seven Thunders DO represent the present conflicts of Israel with her enemies, and the saints of God are not yet resurrected and/or gathered, but are still present in their mortal bodies among the nations, then the Seven Thunders do NOT represent the conflicts of Christ and the Saints with their enemies, but represent the conflicts of Natural Israel in her victorious struggles with the Proximal Islamic States round about her.

And ‘Armageddon’ is yet to be. In the revealed scheme of things we believe Armageddon lies some distance (time) after the events of today and tomorrow.

We therefore believe that we are now well into the period of the events represented by the unrecorded Seven Thunders, aware, as we are that The Christ has not yet returned. We wonder if the Seventh of those Thunders will bring the return of the Master, which we now await. It would be completely in character for the Seventh Thunder to bring the Seventh Vial, to which it is a sure and designated precursor.

If this view is accurate, the Thunders have proceeded apace, hard upon the heels of the events of the Sixth Vial. Armageddon shall come, certainly, but not yet. Other important work precedes this final violent conflict of The Christ with The Peoples of the Earth, and primarily, we believe, with those of Europe and the Beast and the False Prophet.

It is AFTER the events covered by the Thunders that Christ reveals Himself. From a place of obscurity – the Place of Judgment – He roars forth, bursting in full fury upon the nations of the earth and the sea. He shall perform the work of the Seventh Vial – which is the work ahead of Him, as He foretold through Isaiah 40:10: … His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.

If this view is correct, we find ourselves here today, experiencing the very real events of the end-time, and vitally, personally present amidst the unfolding prophecy of the Seven Thunders. But can even we, who may be experiencing them, delineate them – understand them – and apply them to our times?

We need to consider other scriptures ...

There is, for example, Psalm 29, where David records the inspired words of God concerning ‘the VOICE of the Lord,’ the God of glory, which ‘thundereth!’

In that psalm there are carefully enumerated Seven Voices – or Thunders!

1 Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.

2Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

3The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth:[2] the LORD is upon many waters.

4The voice of the LORD is powerful;

the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. 6He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

7The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.

8The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

9The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

10The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. 11The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

In this psalm, thunder is tantamount to the voice – and therefore, the expressed WILL of God, or the specific actions, or troubling – of God. It is one of the meanings of the word translated ‘voice.’ In these, we believe, God is ‘troubling’ the nations ‘round about’ Israel, whose avowed purpose is to destroy the People and their State. His actions are His roaring upon those enemies, making them fretful and agitated.

To this end, the Remnant of Israel Returned has not suffered even one significant defeat in its contemporary national history. It seems certain to us that the Archangel Michael has been assisting them, unseen to all except those who have the faith and insight to perceive that he is operating on Israel’s behalf. After all, Michael – whose name means One Like God – we are told in Daniel 12:1, is “the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people.”

The message of Daniel 12:1 is “at that time” – that is, at the time of the drying up of the Euphrates, which we determine to have been the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1917-18, the last King of the North, that Michael the Archangel began again to function on behalf of his people of Israel – starting to return them to their Land, to bring them home to the mountains of Israel in that great final second Aliyah which will lead into the first days of the kingdom of God on the earth! The threat of invasion from the kings of the north and south has become a thing of the past, given the demise of the Ottoman Empire. The People of Israel are now threatened by the Islamic peoples nearer to them and those scattered among their population.

The certain meaning of this message is that, prior to the year 1917, which is the signal and FINAL year of the King of the North (the Ottoman Empire), Michael WAS NOT ‘standing’ (up) for the children of Israel,[3] who were at that time in Diaspora – i.e., scattered to the ends of the earth, but concentrated largely in two great civilizations: in Europe and in North America.

The inescapable implication is, then, that the time of the People’s RETURN to the LAND had come.

So, how does the Psalmist characterize the Voice of God?

We intend to examine each of the seven separate statements about the Voice – the Seven Thunders (?) – of God; to try to determine whether these characteristics relate to the end-time as do the Thunders John was not permitted to record – the Thunders of the Seventh Vial.

Psalm 29: 3 (the first one) reads …

1The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.”

The psalmist is saying that the Almighty is speaking to, causing grief to, and agitating, a great multitude of people, which are symbolized by ‘waters.’ This is the meaning of ‘waters’ here.

We are reminded that when Jesus emerged from the waters of His baptism, a voice from heaven proclaimed, ‘This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.’ (Matthew 3:17) The Thunderous Voice here, too, was addressing the ‘waters’ of that vicinity – the multitudes of folk who had gathered to witness John’s baptizing.

The figure is employed again in John 12: 26-28, as He prepared for His sacrifice: If any man serve Me, let him follow Me: and where I am, there shall also My servant be: if any man serve Me, him will My Father honor. Now is My soul troubled: and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour (?): but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ The people (elsewhere symbolized as ‘waters’) who stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, ‘An angel spake to Him.’ Thus, even in the common understanding, thunder speaks of the very voice of God!

“2The voice of the LORD is powerful.

In being powerful, it can accomplish everything it promises. It can do all these tasks tirelessly and without flagging. It has no restraints in carrying out its promises. Just as we have seen from Genesis to the Apocalypse, the Almighty is just that – all-powerful, or Omnipotent! The word is from an Hebrew root meaning to be firm, and is translated power, able, means, capacity, might, strength, substance, wealth. As such a Being, the LORD is without restraint in performing His will.

3 the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.”

There is no greater majesty than is seen in the Lord of hosts. He is the great, uncreated Creator. All honor and glory is due His name. In the Apocalypse that majesty – that entirely self-directed magnificence – is evident at every turn. The word illustrates the ornamentation of the Almighty, His comeliness and beauty, His excellence and glory … and His brilliant countenance.

“4The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. 6He maketh them (the cedars) also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.”

Cedars in scripture are the epitome of strength and endurance. Their very makeup gives longevity to their being; they repel injurious insects; they resist rot and deterioration; their root structure is deep and firm; their odor is pleasant; their characteristic color is deep and rich. The finest structures are built from cedar wood – yet the LORD breaks them and subdues them if He wills it. Their natural characteristics are easily overthrown by the strength – the Voice – of the Lord!

An illustration of this is found in the reference here to his breaking the cedars of Lebanon, and is echoed by Zechariah 11, where the prophet is pronouncing a sentence of punishment upon the people of Lebanon for their oppression of Israel: “Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. Howl, fir tree: for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.”

“5The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.”

Flames of fire are closely identified with God’s Holy Spirit, witness the cloven tongues of fire at Pentecost, the fire which descended before Moses upon Mount Sinai, and the fire which smote the mount before Elijah as he took shelter in a cave on Horeb. It is the visibly operative power of God in the earth. As such, we have a wonderfully clear view of its operative force in the present day. His Spirit has accomplished the regathering of His People to their Land in these end-times – an unique feat in the annals of humankind. He promised such an “impossible” feat for Israel as in Jeremiah 30:3 For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

“6The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.”

The people of the earth are the wilderness – those among whom Israel is and has been scattered. Yet his voice shakes that wilderness, beating off the fruits (His people) as people frail pecans from their leafy heights. Indeed, this exact concept is voiced by the prophet in Isaiah 27:12 - And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off (forcibly remove) from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel.

“7The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.”

H. P. Mansfield, in Key to Understanding the Scriptures, opines that “Christ’s conquest of the nations will be in two stages: first, the overthrow of Gentile political power in the destruction of the confederated forces of Europe and Asia under Russia in the land of Israel (Ezek. 38); and second, by the successful invasion by Christ’s forces into the European area by which ecclesiastical tyranny will be overthrown (Revelation 17:5 -14).

This scenario follows that of John Thomas, formed by him in the mid-nineteenth century, shortly before the abrupt rise of Zionism (the mother of modern Israel), and well prior to the first World War with its Balfour Declaration and Allenby’s defeat of the last King of the North, the second World War with its Holocaust, followed by the UNO and its Partition of the Land, the establishment of the State of Israel IN Israel, and the extreme violence of the peoples round about which has since ensued against the Holy People.

This Mansfield/Thomas scenario, however, gives little place for the very serious (67 year-long) present confrontation of Israel by the Proximal Islamic states which are now actively combating Israel in the Land: these states have included Egypt, which now has a peace treaty with Israel, and Jordan (which also has a pact with Israel), Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States. In our view, it also confuses the roles of the European nations in the Endtime.

We submit that Christ’s conquest of the nations will come in three stages at least, perhaps divisible into FOUR stages before the establishment of His Righteousness among all the nations of the world.

The stage that is being ignored by H. P. Mansfield – and entirely unexpected and discounted by John Thomas – is that which has now been in progress for almost a century – the death-struggle of the restored People of God versus the Philistine warrior, Goliath, personated by the hostile peoples both within and round about Israel. John Thomas held the Arabs of the region with little more than disdain, calling them at one point, “freebooters of the desert.” They were in his eyes as no opposition to the return of God’s people or the forward movement of the Almighty’s plan in the Endtime.

Such has not proved to be the case. These mixed peoples, the Arabs, have shown themselves formidable opponents to the return of God’s people – but have not deterred millions of hearty and brave sons of Jacob from making Aliyah, from returning to their great heritage. Indeed, the news headlines of the modern era have been dominated by the Arab-Israel conflict.

The United Nations Organization (UNO) has been dominated by its deliberations about this affair. The major arms deals of the twentieth century centered upon Israel and the nations round about them. Workers toward its conflict-resolution have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize as well as other of the highest prizes in human affairs for ‘progress’ in these affairs of state. Yet, no true progress has been made!

Instead, this present series of Israeli-Arab conflicts is now seen clearly as the final death-throes of resistance to the Return of the remnant of Zion to its Land, and the beginning of the first stage of the development of Christ’s kingdom on the earth.

Now, can these seven thunders be equated to any series of seven events in the time since Michael began again to exercise his powers on behalf of Israel, his assigned Protectorate?

We’re relatively sure that we see close correlates on the surface of the following historical events; let’s list them for further inspection:

The Israeli War for Independence – 1948

The Suez Affair of Britain, France and Israel – 1956

The Six Day War – 1967

The Yom Kippur War – 1973

The Lebanese Action to Expel the PLO – 1981?

The First Intifada – 1997

The Second Intifada – 2001 – present

That series of divisions of the conflict brings us to the present time in history.

We are still technically enduring the Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada in ”Palestinian” terminology. This long-endured conflict we visualize ending in the fulfillment of the prophecies of Psalm 83, of Obadiah, of Ezekiel 35, of Isaiah 63 and others depicting the same series of conflicts of the Jews with the Arabs.

These prophecies each contain indications of the Second Advent prior to the approaching war of Gog. If we are seeing the 7th of the Seven Thunders at this time it follows that Christ will bring them to an end by coming and bringing down the Seventh Vial upon the peoples.

We feel the necessity here to discuss briefly why the Spirit dictated that the Seven Thunders not be recorded and explained. We believe that factor is related to the basic function of the Apocalyptic words themselves as being a record of the interface of the Ecclesia of Christ as opposed to and by the Harlot, the Beast and the False Prophet.

It is as such, not a record of the end-times of Israel, even though these occupy the attention of the world just prior to His Second Advent. It should not have been expedient to divert the narrative of the Apocalypse into these detailed affairs of Israel as these would be extraneous to the affairs of the Ecclesia of Christ. To interject details of these Thunders into the Apocalyptic record would be to confuse its direct, internal message, and to confuse the modern history of Israel with that of the Ecclesia of Christ versus its avowed enemy, Romanism. Yet, this brief, mysteriously-inserted account of Seven Thunders does alert the inquisitive student of the Word to investigate them further for relevance within the time frame in which they occur, and to try to determine their possible significance.

This omission to explain the Thunders allows that the prophets of Israel have more than adequately spoken of the end-time wars of Israel, and that the Believers who seek to understand those affairs must seek for such understanding in those writings. Expediency does not mix the two series of conflicts, nor even relate them closely to each other. Although expediency obviously does allow some mention of the conflicts of Israel with her immediate enemies as being absolutely necessary to the fulfillment of the series of Vials recorded by John. The astute student, it would seem, should be placed on alert by this brief account of the mysterious Thunders, and mull over the possible meaning of them and their significance in the end-time scenario to which he is now witness.

As might be expected, some have objected strenuously to our considerations of the Seven Thunders as above elaborated. We expected as much, but care not for such rejection because of the clear evidence that the alternative view is proven conclusively to be in error. The Seven Thunders are decidedly not reflective of the conflicts of Christ and the Saints with the nations, which take place after His Second Advent, for their record is not integral with that time, but is noted to be PRIOR to His Second Coming – not after that event.

As such, the Seven Thunders, in our opinion, must be an integral part of the history of the end-time, immediately prior to the Second Advent – and therefore indicate significant factors in bringing that event to pass – determined from their having been recorded within the proper revelatory order and context, but being an account of an entirely separate series of key events of the end-time – between the Sixth Vial and the Seventh Vial, which is precisely where we read the account of these mysterious Seven Thunders, and not AFTER the Seventh Vial and the beginning events of the Kingdom’s development.

We therefore, prayerfully and humbly submit the above considerations of the Seven Vials of Revelation 10 for everyone’s consideration. Whatever decision is reached by any student is deemed to be one of non-critical importance (i.e., not a salvational doctrine) but one of the lesser order of understanding of the complex series of events leading up to the Kingdom of God on the earth.

<HEL MD/USA Code 3O, rev. 10O> ~4000 words. Originally given as an exposition at the Arlington, Virginia, Ecclesia. Published here as an eTPL Position Paper #31

[1] John Thomas, Eureka, vol. 3

[2] The word ‘thundereth’ is from Strong’s H-7481, transliterated as ‘ra’am,’ a primitive root: to tumble, i.e., be violently agitated; specifically, to crash [of thunder]; figuratively, to irritate [with anger]: -make to fret, roar, thunder, trouble.

[3] Indeed, he tells us in Micah 5, that He would ‘give up’ His people – or ABANDON them – until ‘she who is to give birth, gives birth.’ Those birth pangs began in earnest in 1917, when the Land was freed and Jews could again go home with little hindrance.

The False Prophet

An eTPL Position Paper #30

Harold E. Lafferty

The question has arisen: “Is Mohammed the false prophet of the scriptures?” Some claim that it is self-evidently true. But is it? We believe it not so.

A close examination of God’s word should make the answer clear to each of us.

The words “false prophet” (singular) occur only four times in the Authorized Version of the Bible. Those references are as follows:

1. Acts 13:6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

Acts 13: 6 - In this first instance, Barjesus (meaning, son of Jesus, son of Joshua), a Jew, is called a false prophet. The account tells of the man, also known as Elymas (meaning, a sorcerer, or wizard) who tries to dissuade his master, a Roman Proconsul whose name was Sergius Paulus, from learning the gospel of salvation. Elymas possibly wished to discredit Paul and Barnabas from rendering teachings that were contrary to the Law of Moses (?).

As such, Elymas was going directly against the Word of God, and trying to prevent its being taught to his master.

We shall see that this one, verifiable, instance of a personal “false prophet” is consistent in intent with that of the larger, more pervasive, prophetically prominent “false prophet” of all the years since the birth of Christ – i.e., he who is nominated in the other three references below.

It is important to note the reference that the Apostle John made to the principle of every false prophet – the principle of “antichrist” that he made in this passage: 1John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Note that the defining principle of those “prophets” is that Jesus Christ has NOT come into the world “in the flesh” of mankind.

The Roman Church claims that Jesus was immaculately conceived – thus directly claiming that He came NOT in the flesh of mankind; they claim this also of His mother, Mary – that she was also not of humankind, but also “immaculate.” That dogma marks the Church as the early bearer of this doctrine of the cleanness of the flesh of Jesus; it predates Mohammed by some 600 years.

What about Mohammed in this context? How did he view Jesus, the Son of God according to God’s word? No! His view is entirely of his own manufacture: Jesus, said Mohammed, was a great prophet, but not the Son of God, for “God (by which he means ‘Allah’) has NO SON.”He did give Jesus “credit” for being a great prophet; but Mohammed’s forecasts were completely at odds with the forecasts of Jesus Christ. Which one was wrong? I believe we all know the answer.

Other Passages Describing “the False Prophet”

The remaining three references define for the student of scripture just who is meant by the term “the false prophet,” a particularly prominent, dastardly and dishonorable character who has over the ages since the time of the Apostle John, betrayed the word of God, corrupted it, denied it, and changed its meaning in subtle and cunning ways. This first record addresses “unclean spirits” which were similar to frogs, which emanated from the mouth of a dragon, a beast and THE false prophet. The reference is …

2. Revelation 16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

The book of Revelation as such, addresses the interface of the true Ecclesia of Christ with the apostate Church of Christendom – which has proven over and over to be the Roman Catholic Church. The endless, fatal conflict of these two entities continues today as strongly as ever, although today in a context somewhat dissimilar to that of the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages when that entity of the false prophet flourished most strongly. In that age, the clergy were the only educated group of people in the Roman world, and their interpretations of the scriptures were taken by most people at face value – although with serious reservations among the most thoughtful and considerate of its adherents.

Is there any hint of Mohammed being identified with this “false prophet” of Christendom?

As far as we have been able to determine, he has not. Islam as a “religion” is recorded as becoming prominent under the Fifth Trumpet in Revelation 9. Its leader is called Apollyon (Greek) and Abaddon (Hebrew). Apollyon is defined as meaning “destroyer,” which is a term which certainly could be applied justly to Mohammed, the founder of the “religion” known as Islam. But he is not named nor otherwise indicated here. He is not termed “the false prophet,” although “the Prophet” as meaning Mohammed, has become prominent today.

We must comment here that the term “the false prophet” must mean one who prophesies falsely about a known body of information that has an understood, verifiable meaning. The “religion” preached by Mohammed was built upon no past institution, and certainly not on one whose imprimatur was that of the Almighty; it was not a repudiation of – or a revision of – the truth of God’s word. It was a reflection of the man’s warped intent of domination of all the masses of humanity, bringing them under control of his own ideas and notions.

In the 16th of Revelation, those triple entities of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet are the originators of the “unclean spirits” which are recognized by most as overturning the past norms of sovereignty, rulership, law and order which had preceded them. As such, liberty, equality and fraternity took the place of the earlier established norms.

In the case of the pope of Rome, his contribution was chiefly to change times and laws – to accomplish the requirements of the angel’s revelation to the prophet, in Daniel 7:25: And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The time period nominated here is 1260 years of time during which the Church ruled supreme in the affairs of nearly every man and woman, both exalted and humble, in Europe and the Middle East. It was the time of the maturity and establishment of the teachings of the Roman Church, the leaders of which corrupted the scriptural message of salvation, changing its meaning and substance, and generally exercised its own sway among the nations.

In this instance “the false prophet,” falsified earlier teachings of the apostles and prophets, changing them into lies and spiritual corruption, redefining the eternal God as three entities in one, not one alone; instituting a personal devil as presiding over a burning hell; insisting on the principle that the “soul” of man is a separate, shadowy reflection of the man himself which survives death and goes to heaven; the institution of infant sprinkling (called “baptism”); selling of indulgencies, which were advance permits to commit sins for a certain length of time; and many other corrupt practices, all of which tore down and destroyed the Plan of Salvation which the Almighty had faithfully handed down in His inspired word.

From these facts, we behold a career of deliberate deception for personal (Church) profit – yes, in marks and franks, and in sovereigns and ducats.

Next, the final punishment of the false prophet and his cohort is noted, in Revelation 19.

3. Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

These words mark the termination of the false prophet of the ages. He is destined to have no future participation in the plan of God whatever – and to be obliterated from among men.

In the next reference, the subject is actually diabolos, or sin indwelling the flesh of the false prophet, being done away in the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God on the earth. The passage is …

4. Revelation 20:10 And the devil (in Greek, diabolos) that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

In all these instances, “the false prophet” is presented in the light of a deceiver of believers of Truth toward his own false principles. As such, he is a corrupter of God’s Word and Plan, changing these into false hopes and dreamy expectations inconsistent with the Plan of God.

The words of the Apostle Paul to the Ecclesia at Thessalonica are relevant here:

2Thessalonians 2:3 - Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (a falling away from Truth), and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

This “falling away” indicates a complete departure from the Truth of God’s Word and Plan with mankind. This “son of perdition” is thus shown to be a son of damnation, or condemnation and of utter failure by the Almighty, because of his corruption of God’s word and plan.

Mohammed did not corrupt an existing, established plan; the popes and their minions HAVE done so. Mohammed did not “fall away” from God’s truth because he never understood it or believed it; therefore he cannot be the one indicated as having “fallen away” from the Truth; he clearly established his own “religion” from the corruption of his own mind.

On the other hand, the papacy DID fall away from God’s pure truth by corrupting it into the scheme of salvation said to be necessary to be understood and believed by Catholicism – a body of dogma which is unequivocally at odds with the pure truth of salvation as delivered to the saints of old by the sages and prophets of God, and by the Lord Jesus and His disciples.

For that reason, the pope of Rome we believe to be “the false prophet” of the ages, and the only entity worthy of being so-called. Mohammed was A prophet of falsehoods, but these were not corruptions of something that had existed for ages as being true and established. He was therefore not “the false prophet,” this particularly named entity. [The principle is somewhat the same as Russia of today being A king FROM the north, but not “the king of the north” per se.]

Other False Prophets

We realize that it is tempting for many to label Mohammed as THE false prophet, because he is so often referred to as “the prophet” – an appellative which is nearly always used of that person. We believe Mohammed cannot truly be recognized as “the false prophet,” because he did not change the truth of God into a lie; he merely created his own set of predictions and spewed them forth to the ignorant masses of the East, consisting today of over a billion folk who knew nothing of the Creator of the earth and the universe, Whose word is eternal and immutable.

But this description fits perfectly the occupant of the Seat of Peter in the Vatican, and reflects the utterly false claims of this wolf in sheep’s clothing who rules over nearly an equal number of blinded followers.

Having stated our beliefs above, on THE false prophet, we recognize that several instances of the words “false prophets” (plural) are also recorded. These generally have to do with prominent individuals who have forecasted erroneous outcomes of contemporary events.

Mohammed certainly falls into this category, because the “prophecies” that he made are the products of his own fleshly thinking, directly comparable to the numerous false prophets of Israel, of Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s times. As such they do not reflect the goodness, the plans, the mercy or the compassion of the God of Israel.

And, like Barjesus of Paul’s day, he AND they shall have no benefit from their “prophecies” at all, but shall suffer the effects of the blindness of mankind apart from God. Most of these references are listed below …

Jeremiah_14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

2Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

The above remarks are set forward to clarify the concept of THE false prophet who has deceived billions of innocent people as to the verifiable plan of God, dooming them to eternal condemnation in the dust of the earth. We hope these observations have been helpful in that regard. <HEL 10O> ~2400 words. An eTPL Position Paper, #30.

Preparation and Delivery of His Kingdom

A Concept Misunderstood by Many

An eTPL Position Paper #29

For many years the popular clergy has led people to misunderstand a key promise of Jesus voiced in these words recorded by the Apostle John.

John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Joh 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions (rooms, or residences): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Most preachers will say directly that Jesus is saying He was going to heaven to prepare a place THERE in that locale for His brothers and sisters.

But how could this happen? That view is not scriptural, nor logical in any wise.

Our assurance is that the Father’s will is done perfectly in heaven where His throne is located; no preparation of any kind could possibly BE made to improve it.

So that understanding is surely an error of understanding His intent.

He is preparing a place not in heaven but somewhere else for His elect; listen carefully and think about what Jesus says next …

Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

As he makes clear, His followers cannot follow Him into heaven – which is the reason that He reassures them that He will come again to them, that where I am, there ye may be also. He shall be then on earth again, to meet them and to be with them in that place forever.

Here, as He does on every other similar occasion, Jesus makes it clear that He does not intend any believer to ascend to heaven to be with Him there.

His kingdom, though “not of this world” (this order of things – John 18:36), shall be IN the earth; indeed, it shall cover the earth exhaustively: For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2: 14.

Most people of Christendom have been taught that Jesus ascended to His Father, and that believers who die, ascend directly into heaven to “be with Him.”

They are also taught that when He “comes again” to the earth, that all the faithful living who are gathered, and the dead who are resurrected, are destined to follow him back up into heaven. (Exactly where is this revealed; and where is its logic?)

That was patently NEVER the promise He made; it was precisely the opposite.

He would go into heaven where He would, while there, “prepare” a place for His followers, and then He would return to them on the earth, gather the living believers, resurrect those who in the memorial graves are His, and reward them on the earth by bringing his promised and “prepared” place with Him.

Wait! Is the Master speaking of a LIMITED resurrection?

Of course He is.

The resurrection of SOME of the dead ones when He was crucified gives weight to the concept: Matthew 27:52:And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept (were dead) arose … and gathered to the Holy City where they appeared to many.

In the Greek, the graves is ho mnemeion, the remembered cenotaphs, or memorial graves) were opened; and many bodies (note: on this occasion, not even all the sanctified ones, or saints, arose; this was an unique and remarkable demonstration of the benefit of Jesus’ death – that it brought resurrection ONLY of those who were His.)

As this demonstration of the principle of a limited resurrection, the conception of which (resurrection) was denied by many of the Jewish leaders of His day, was not THE Resurrection, we must assume that these persons lived for a time and then died again to await the yet future blast of the trumpet of the great day of the LORD. 1Corinthians 15:52.

The Lord’s account of the final resurrection bears out this principle:

Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered (people selected from) all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Here again, is the principle of His having prepared a place for them in His kingdom.

There is no mystery as to His meaning. It is well illustrated in the answer given to James and John’s mother (the wife of Zebedee) who requested an higher reward for her sons in the coming Kingdom of God on the earth.

The question concerned Jesus’ authority when He shall sit upon the restored Throne of David (which as everyone knows, was located in Jerusalem), and reign over Zion from that place. Micah 4:1-8, q.v.

Mat 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

Mat 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

When was such preparation to be done? During their lives of service to Him;, during the days of their flesh. It is significant that James is believed to have died a terrifying death, whereas John apparently died peacefully after being given and recording, as an aged prophet, the Revelation.

Other references to this intention of each individual’s “preparation” for his or her Kingdom service or position prove this stated premise beyond any doubt.

The result of His sentence awarding eternal life to the faithful proves His meaning perfectly in two previous verses in this same chapter, relating to the rewards of the faithful: in this the personal Judgment of His adherents by Christ is foreshown:

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

The identical reward is conveyed in the words of Matthew 25:23, q.v.

Contrary to orthodox Christian interpretation, these were not being invited to ascend into heaven, immediately to enjoy their reward, but in the resurrection to take possession of the earth. They are the “meek” (the faithful, and disciplined ones) who indeed shall “inherit the earth.” Psalm 37:11.

Even the Prophet Isaiah was informed of this order of things. Isaiah 40:10: Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

That is, He shall COME BACK TO HIS PEOPLE, bringing His reward of life and happiness to them to enjoy in the earth, which shall receive an abundance of His determined cleansing, renovation, guidance and direction to restore and to improve it to perfect order.

Also, consider Isaiah’s later re-statement of the same principleIsa 62:11 Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.

Preparation is a Wonderful thing

In Greek, the word “prepared” according to Strong’s G2090, is Hetomaizo (het-oy-mad- zo), to prepare, provide, make ready. It is common to make something ready in one place and then transport it to another place for use. Today, even sumptuous homes are planned, drafted, and prefabricated in factories and then delivered to their final places of erection.

It is in this sense that we are compelled to understand Jesus’ overall concept of His going into the heavens to “prepare” the many dwelling places (“mansions”) of His promise. His “raw materials” are the earthborns who receive and adopt His ways in their days and lives, and are baptized into his name, thereby professing their love for Him.

The same principle is set forth by Paul in 1Corinthians 2:9: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Likewise, the writer to the Hebrews speaks of the devout, spiritual aspirations of the People of God: Hebrews 11:16: But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly (in the sense of perfect): wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city.

We are reminded of their later metaphorical identity AS the Holy City New Jerusalem, a closely related statement as in this highly symbolic scene: note carefully that the City is a “prepared” entity and consists of a highly specialized community of people likened to a Bride.

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (the Bridegroom).

Even the word “Bridegroom” lends credence to this concept. Think of this principle: A “groom” is one who “grooms” or prepares something for a more fitting appearance and function. Caretakers of fine horseflesh are fittingly called “grooms.”

Our own personal daily grooming consists of combing our hair and brushing our teeth: both, in league with other details of hygiene, leads to an higher level of health and efficiency.

The Bride in this metaphor is the multitude of the Redeemed of all ages both male and female, Who at this point has so been designated the Bride of Christ; all her multitudes have been made immortal. Revelation 21: 10 links them inseparably, and defines the character of the “City” of God – they are the entire collective of the immortalized Saints out of all ages.

As immortals, they occupy the highest (most elevated, or heavenly) position of all. The picture is one of the Bride coming forth from Her bridal chamber (the sequestered place of Her plural Judgment by Him, where She shall have been made immortal, thus becoming the eternal Bride of Christ), and now being exhibited to the world.

This Bride is the result of His preparatory work with each of Her component members during their lives in the world since He ascended to the right hand of His Father, and the result of the preparation of those previous to Jesus’ appearance, by their cooperation and response to God’s word – each an entire span of lives of faithfulness which should become, and was, ratified by the then future death of Jesus on the stake of Calvary/Golgotha – His inevitable shedding of the blood of the everlasting covenant through which the Almighty brought Him again from the dead, as pointedly stated by the author of the Book of Hebrews, in which he praises this operation in this lofty language: Hebrews 13:20: Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant; 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.

The collective, pleural Bride, also comprises the Redeemed of a myriad of folk who lived under Moses’ Law, long before Jesus’ Sacrifice, the worth of whom His sacrificial death validated and gave efficacy.

In each age He has called out and “prepared” numerous members of this multitude of those whom He selected from among both the Jews and the Gentiles, and redeemed from among men.

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

By then being in their midst, He is said to “tabernacle” (dwell) among them!

In this manner, the Redeemed of Christ, and Christ Jesus Himself, along with His dear Father become united in nature and in purpose for all future time.

Jesus and they are likened to a Bride and Groom because in human experience that is the expressed state among mankind that is most reflective of the closeness and permanence of their union; at that time they are “one” in Him and in the Father, as Jesus fervently prayed they would become in John 17:

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them (His brothers – and sisters) through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Joh 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

Joh 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Joh 17:21 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.

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

This exquisite principle or ‘oneness” and of eternal unity is reinforced by the Apostle Paul in his letter to Ephesus where he elaborates on this characterization, informing the brethren of the sanctity and oneness of marriage of a bride and her groom, and the care that each should take for one another: they are now one flesh …

Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church (the Ecclesia, or congregation):

Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

The sublime Plan of the Ages now comes to full fruition – that the earth and its remaining peoples shall finally know perfect peace and tranquility, infinite prolixis of life, safety of existence, elevation to the highest level of intelligence, full peace of mind, and unlimited strength of body. And all men everywhere shall finally know that the LORD is the Master of the Universe, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

And so shall the godless concept of the “organic evolution” of the animal and plant world come to an abrupt halt, and every man, woman and child shall surely know that “it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.” Psalm 100: 3.

We conclude with Isaiah’s magnificent description of that age of the very near future, which he describes in exalted, reverent, sublime language of great poetic impact:

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Thus is described in exalted poetic detail the Preparation which our LORD is making while physically separated from men for yet a season, and the sure Delivery of a perfect Place and Station for all the Saints – those who wait upon Him, and devote their lives to His service and glorification..

<HEL 11N> ~3000 words. eTPL Position Paper #29