Does God cloak His messages to those with ears to hear in language designed to deliberately mislead them, substituting one name for another? Does He speak in a code that lends itself to the nefarious purposes of every charlatan, huckster and religious whack-job, or does He say exactly what He means?
My YouTube Brother
I have a precious YouTube brother, a self-described watchman on the wall who has had a very effective teaching ministry for the last few years on YouTube. Along with many of the rest of us, he was caught up in the September 23, 2017 rapture hysteria, but the backbone of his ministry was to preach salvation, and especially how that once we are saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit, we cannot be plucked out of the hand of God.
This devotion to regularly preach the Gospel of Grace set him apart from many others who shared their dreams and various theories about “high-watch” dates that were approaching. As the fruit of these other ministries; disappointment, frustration, and despair became evident, they fell silent. People quit listening and they quit speaking.
Though I have been a strong supporter of this brother’s ministry, I have also had the inevitable disagreements, which I consider relatively inconsequential unless they are salvation issues. I am serenely confident that every believer is wrong about something, even me. The crucial point of agreement that determines whether I can walk with a brother in peace is whether he preaches that once we are saved, we are always saved; saved forevermore. Anything else is the “another gospel” condemned by the Apostle Paul.
Though I typically restrict my contact with this busy husband and father to messages of support or details about brothers and sisters in need, I am occasionally led to share things that have greatly enhanced my relationship with and understanding of the Lord, even if they disagree strongly with his teachings.
I’m sorry to subject you to this, I bet you get a lot of long rambling emails, but I feel like God wants me to share it with you. It is not a contentious point, and actually makes no difference to our salvation or service to God, so feel free to stop here and toss this whole thing in the recycle bin. Do not feel obligated to respond to it in any way.
Coming from a church led by a false prophet and wandering alone for many years, it was only in the last couple of years or so that the Holy Spirit led us to the truth about the rapture. We had much unlearning to do, and in a search to understand what God is doing, I have, for many months been focusing my study on Revelation and Daniel, aided by the commentaries of men of God. (Clarence Larkin, Tony Garland and Robert Newell)
One of the main beliefs that I have developed as a result is that in Scripture, God says what He means and means what He says; Literally. There are some signs and symbols, but those elements are made clearly evident by the context of the passages. God never intended that believers should have to rely on a priest, teacher, or pastor to explain what the Holy Spirit caused His servants to write.
Satan is God’s ape. He creates nothing but instead perverts what God has made and makes it his own. We see that in Revelation with the satanic trilogy; Satan (the father), AntiChrist (the son) and the false prophet (the holy ghost). In that seven-year period of absolute power by Satan, he launches his imitation of the coming Kingdom. I’m trying to not make this too long. Here comes my main point.
Typology has become for me a very powerful mode for the Holy Spirit to show what the message of scripture is. For example, Joseph was a type of Christ, Enoch a type of the Church, Noah a type of Israel. The whole of scripture is about Christ and His plan of salvation. One picture helps you to understand and see the same pattern in another.
In Revelation, the Bride is completely identified with the New Jerusalem. The angel asks John if he wants to see the Bride of Christ and then is shown the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven. The earthly Jerusalem is God’s chosen city; His capital among His chosen people and the nations of the Earth in the coming Kingdom.
Satan also has a beloved city, Babylon. A study of the size, the glory and majesty; the ancient city in which Satan was openly worshipped may give you some idea why he loved it so. Earth has never seen its equal.
I believe when scripture says Israel, it means Israel, no matter what the replacement theologians may claim.
By the same token, I believe when it says Babylon, it literally means Babylon, in the land of Shinar. The whore of Revelation is equated with Babylon in the same way that the Bride is equated with the New Jerusalem.
It is only in our unbelief that we accept substitutes for the truth of scripture. Until 70 years ago, there was no nation of Israel and for millennia most people fell back on the belief that the Church had replaced Israel. Now, by the power and grace of God, Israel is back, and prophecies pertaining to them make sense.
The latter chapters of Revelation depict Satan building his kingdom. He apes God’s sealing of His elect by placing his own mark on the wicked. The accuser of the brethren tries to imitate every aspect of the coming Kingdom.
I believe the reconstruction of Babylon is already in the planning stages and that it will be the marvel of the seven-year reign of Satan on Earth. The resources of the whole world will pour into it; all the wealth and grandeur, the skills and labor of technicians and craftsmen from many nations. Babylon will be reborn in its majesty.
Little wonder then that they all mourn at its destruction. I formerly shared your belief that America or one of its cities is Babylon. I like that theory; it fits. But I think we are really only one of the daughters of the mother of harlots, as is the Catholic Church. In abandoning our love for God, America has come to resemble our mother very strongly.
To interpret the prophecies of scripture to apply only to institutions that have just taken shape in the last few hundred years leaves most of the Church and all of the Old Testament saints in the dark. If prophecy is open to interpretation, it makes understanding the Word of God a guessing game.
By contrast, if you understand that mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots is the source of all false religion; from the majesty of the Vatican to the dirtiest aborigine smearing paint on himself and hopping around a fire, you come to appreciate the full scope of Satan’s program; one which began with the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. Cain’s substitution of produce for the blood offering God had specified was the beginning of religion supplanting a relationship with God.
The beast will turn on the whore and eradicate every other form of worship in favor of the exaltation of Satan himself, personified in the antichrist. That is as close as he can come to imitating the rule of Christ on Earth. I laugh when I imagine the weather reports of that age: ‘Today we are expecting hail mixed with fire and blood. Tomorrow looks cooler as total darkness moves in.’ I’d love to see how they spin that. They can sell cream for sores during the commercial breaks.
Take this all for what it’s worth, or ignore it, however God leads you. That we may disagree is no obstacle to the love of God that we have for one another. We’ll likely laugh over this at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
In Christ, and Maranatha times infinity, Jerry
- Adapted from #91237724/Jankovoy-adobe stock.com
- #119698206/Anna Barburkina-adobe stock.com
- Don’t Mess With Israel by Greg Lauer @alittlestrength.com