Commentary on End Times Studies

by Kermit Kiser - Feb. 26, 2005

Introduction


In mid 2004, a small group of people (usually three, no more than six) undertook a new study of End Times Prophecy after feeling so led of the Holy Spirit. Although we have not yet looked at any of the prophetic scriptures in depth and have only examined a few details, we have learned an astonishing amount about God's plans already just from our early overview. I feel the need to begin a commentary to document the discussions and revelations in a format that will help organize them for better understanding. The actual discussions and research proceeded in anything but an orderly fashion, but were quite lively and interesting at times! Note that I don't mean to imply that this commentary indicates that everyone in my study group agrees with everything as I report it - these are my opinions and interpretations only!  I will not attempt to prove anything in the first part of this commentary which covers the "survey" portion of the study, although I will include some scripture passages for background. Note that, unless otherwise indicated, scripture quotations are from the Bond Slave Version (BSV) of the bible, a computer update of the KJV into modern english created for this study.

Warning

This type of study has been done many times before, and cannot possibly reveal anything new, or can it? Prophetic scripture has a specific audience and has been sealed until the end times when that audience is ready:
Daniel  -
012:008 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord,
what will be the end of these things?
012:009 And he said, Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed
up and sealed until the time of the end.
Since we felt that our leading from the Spirit implied that we are approaching the time of the end, we felt that perhaps the sealing on the prophecies was being loosed and we would be able to learn new things that the Lord wished to reveal to us. A corallary of this view is that previous studies from before the unsealing of prophecy are at best confusing, at worst downright deceptive. This view did not just jump out at us - many of us, especially myself, have been dealt with by the Lord for years in preparation for this time. This dealing has been basically an "unlearning" experience whereby I have learned that nearly everything I was taught by the "Christian Church" is wrong and sometimes plain lies or traditions of men having little or nothing to do with God. If the reader is not able to let go of all that he has thought true previously and start from "ground zero", he will not be able to understand this material or gain much from it. In other words: if you are not willing to accept a radical change in view, stop reading now and go elsewhere!  I am not just saying that you will find new thoughts and views herein, but that a "cleared out" mind is essential to understanding God's true plan. (In actual fact, my online research showed that most of what we discovered has been revealed to others around the world although in a somewhat piecemeal fashion perhaps due to lack of "cleared out" preparation.) Much of the material we have studied still seems to be a "clearing out" process, so much of our results will be presented as "unlearning" what we thought we knew.

Approach

The initial approach to this study was to identify the purpose of God in dealing with man, because we felt that understanding of God's purpose would be a critical requirement in understanding His plans. In other words, we did not approach End Times study independent of the overall work of God, but as a perfectly integrated and appropriate finalization of all that God was working in relationship to man throughout time. Thus we began by looking at the overall timeline of God and man interactions. We learned very little directly from this timeline, but it has been very valuable as background information. For example, Enoch was "taken" by God and Noah was preserved by God long before the giving of "The Law", the Bible, "the four spiritual laws", or any other item someone might believe is required to explain "salvation". Our views of God's dealing with man are somewhat limited if we feel that it must be according to what we have been taught.

God's Purpose

Prepare for shock one! God's purpose is NOT to "save mankind". Mankind was never His goal. Man was just a temporary part of a much bigger plan. Discussions over whether or not God knew that man would sin in the garden of Eden are foolish in light of God's true plan. What is the scriptural evidence?

Genesis -
002:017 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you
will not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof
you will surely die.

003:024 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of
the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which
turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
I Corinthians -
015:050 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit
incorruption.

This may be tough to grasp, but mankind could not enter the kindom of God, regardless of sin! Adam had "eternal life" to begin with, but God blocked man from it intentionally.

John -
012:023 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that
the Son of man should be glorified.
012:024 Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall
into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die,
it brings forth much fruit.
Likewise, the death of Jesus was an integral part of the nature and plan of God, not an afterthought emergency plan to "save mankind". Now some readers might recall that the bible says that Jesus came to save sinners and that is technically correct, but can be misleading:

Mat 1:21 (NKJV)  "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

Jesus came to save His people "from" their sins. He does not save sinners "in" their sins. "Salvation" is a "transformation" and requires a new birth into a "posthuman" race.

Gen 1:28 (NNAS)  God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

Mankind was commanded to multiply and fill the earth. That is obviously a temporary job, because the earth has limited space and resources. Sure enough, we find much evidence of that temporary state in the scriptures:

2 Peter -
003:010 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;
in the which the heavens will pass away with a great noise,
and the elements will melt with fervent heat, the earth
also and the works that are therein will be burned up.
So what is God's true purpose?

Hebrews -
002:010 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom
are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make
the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
002:011 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified
are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call
them brothers,
002:012 Saying, I will declare your name to my brothers, in the
midst of the church will I sing praise to you.
002:013 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold
I and the children which God has given me.

God's purpose can be summed up by two words: "many sons". These sons are not created beings like men or angels. They are "begotten" of the Spirit as is their "captain".

(NKJV)
Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

John -
001:012 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his
name:
001:013 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

003:005 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man
be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into
the kingdom of God.
003:006 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which
is born of the Spirit is spirit.

I Peter -
001:023 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,
by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.

I John -
002:029 If you know that he is righteous, you know that every
one that does righteousness is born of him.
003:001 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon
us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore
the world knows us not, because it knew him not.


Note that Jesus is reffered to as the "onlybegotten" and as the "firstbegotten" in the scriptures. This is because Christ and His brethren are "one" seed.

Hebrews -
001:005 For to which of the angels said he at any time, You are
my Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will
be to him a Father, and he will be to me a Son?
001:006 And again, when he brings in the firstbegotten into the
world, he says, And let all the angels of God worship
him.

I Peter -
001:003 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy has begotten us
again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead,

I John -
004:009 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because
that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that
we might live through him.

Birthpains

Since the purpose of God in dealing with mankind revolves around a "birth" process rather than simply a "creation", we should see signs of that in the prophecies.

Genesis -
003:015 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between
your seed and her seed; it will bruise your head, and
you will bruise his heel.
003:016 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow
and your conception; in sorrow you will bring forth children;
and your desire will be to your husband, and he will rule
over you.

Isaiah -
066:007 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain
came, she was delivered of a man child.
066:008 Who has heard such a thing? who has seen such things?
Will the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or will
a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed,
she brought forth her children.
066:009 Will I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth?
says the LORD: will I cause to bring forth, and shut the
womb? says your God.
066:010 Rejoice you with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all
you that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all you that
mourn for her:
066:011 That you may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of
her consolations; that you may milk out, and be delighted
with the abundance of her glory.
066:012 For thus says the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to
her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a
flowing stream: then will you suck, you will be borne
upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

Micah -
004:007 And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that
was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD will reign
over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.
004:008 And you, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the
daughter of Zion, to you will it come, even the first
dominion; the kingdom will come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
004:009 Now why do you cry out aloud? is there no king in you?
is your counsellor perished? for pangs have taken you
as a woman in travail.
004:010 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion,
like a woman in travail: for now will you go forth out
of the city, and you will dwell in the field, and you
will go even to Babylon; there will you be delivered;
there the LORD will redeem you from the hand of your enemies.

(NNAS)
Mat 24:8 "But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Revelation -
012:001 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed
with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her
head a crown of twelve stars:
012:002 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and
pained to be delivered.
012:003 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold
a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns,
and seven crowns upon his heads.
012:004 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven,
and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before
the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour
her child as soon as it was born.
012:005 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all
nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up
to God, and to his throne.

The casual reader of scripture might think that Jesus used "birth pangs" as an analogy for what the end times would be like. That is not what Jesus said, however. He said that there are real birth pangs - an aknowledgement that God is waiting for the birth of something. Those who say that Revelation 12 is talking about the birth of Jesus himself are therefore ignoring the fact that Jesus himself referred to the birth as something future. Clearly God has been waiting for thousands of years for something to be born. What is it?

The Man Child

The Man Child is a corporate being of which Christ Jesus is the "firstfruits" or "firstbegotten". The nature of the Man Child is different from anything "created" because it is one being who consists of many individuals. This is what Jesus prayed for in His priestly intercession which He shared with us (John 17):
017:020 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which
will believe on me through their word;
017:021 That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and
I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world
may believe that you have sent me.
017:022 And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that
they may be one, even as we are one:
017:023 I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect
in one; and that the world may know that you have sent
me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.
That portion of the organized church which recognizes the corporate nature of the Man Child, seems to think that it is a symbol for the church. But the Man Child is destined to "rule all nations with a rod of iron". This is something that Jesus promised to "overcomers" in his letters to the churches in the Revelation. Also, the context of Revelation 12 shows that overcomers are the focus of the passage. Although God's desire is that all men join the Man Child, the reality remains the same as it has always been: Only a small remnant seems to be faithful in the end.

The Woman

There is a similar problem with the general belief that the church is the "bride of Christ" sometimes equated to the "woman" of Revelation 12. Scripture never mentions a "bride of Christ", only a "bride of the Lamb" who appears after the new heavens and new earth are formed at an unknown time after the 1000 year reign of Christ on this earth. At that time, the "bride" is clearly identified as "New Jerusalem" and comes from heaven to earth. Scripture says that the church is the "body" of Christ and the prophetic aspect of Genesis 2 shows that the "bride" comes out of the side of the body. The apostle Paul identifies the "woman" this way in Galatians:
004:026 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
You will not find another woman portrayed as "in heaven" in scripture. This is not because women are excluded from heaven. (Sidetrack here with me for a moment - I don't want to give the incorrect idea that I agree with the "Christian" fable about "going to heaven". There is no such idea in scripture unless one twists it considerably as many seem fond of doing. Scripture says Christ is coming to earth to rule for 1000 years then, afterwards, he will live in this city/woman called "New Jerusalem" on a new earth forever. Pity anyone stuck living in heaven!) Genesis indicates that the image of God includes male and female:
001:027 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
created he him; male and female created he them.
Likewise, the "man child" includes male and female. And likewise, the "bride" includes male and female, even as the "body" of Christ includes male and female. The maleness ascribed to the child indicates his roles: He is the corporate "son of God" and "son of man" and he is required to help provide the central leadership/rulership of the Kingdom. And the femaleness of the "woman" indicates her roles: She is the birther, nurturer, responder of the Kingdom.

As it is written, "many are called, but few are chosen"; there is a sharp reduction in people willing to continue at each stage of transformation in Christ, from "body" to "bride" to "Man Child" (ie "son") even though Christ has paid for our complete sanctification and transformation into sons. The tearing of the inner veil at Christ's death is the spiritual proof of that payment. The "citizens" are not restricted to the courtyard, but can enter the holy place and become "priests" and the priests can now enter the holy of holies and become "sons".

There are actually two women used symbolically in prophetic scriptures: Jerusalem is the city of God and Babylon is the city of the devil. In fact there seems to be a flip side or counterfeit to everything God does thanks to the works of Satan, the serpent/dragon. This includes the Man Child, whose counterpart is the "son of perdition". The earthly Jerusalem and Babylon are not the same as the spiritual entities they represent and scripture indicates that earthly Jerusalem is sometimes spiritual Babylon in allegience.

The Dragon

He is the spirit behind all spirits of antiChrist, of course. His original creation purpose seems to have something to do with providing choices and hence the ability known as "free will". His degenerated actions are portrayed clearly and directly in the Genesis account of the temptation of Eve (symbol of the woman) and the accounts of the temptation of Christ in the wilderness. In each case, he uses, of all things, the words spoken by God himself to try and entice rebellion to God (independence from God)! A moment's thought will show you that light produces shadow, but shadow cannot produce light, even though they contrast one another. In other words, rebellion to God cannot exist without temptation based on God's own commands. However, the flip side of Satans's role has to do with "accusing" man before God as portrayed most directly in the story of Job. In other words, he attempts to convince man that God is untrue and to convince God that man is untrue.

Something that is remarkable and a strange mystery occurs when the man child is born and "caught up" to God's throne! In the Revelation:
012:007 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought
against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
012:008 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more
in heaven.
Suddenly, Satan's role in heaven is superceded and God's army led by Michael is able to expel him from heaven. My guess is that this corresponds to the "half-hour of silence" in heaven - something not heard for a long time! Satan still has a short span of 3 and 1/2 years to fulfill his role on earth of spewing lies to try to induce rebellion in men. This is the "Great Tribulation" or "The Time of Jacob's Trouble".

The Son of Perdition

A comparison of scriptures reveals something interesting:

Revelation -
013:001 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast
rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns,
and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the
name of blasphemy.
013:002 And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his
feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the
mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and
his seat, and great authority.
013:003 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death;
and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered
after the beast.
013:004 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the
beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like
to the beast? who is able to make war with him?
013:005 And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things
and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue
forty and two months.
013:006 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme
his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
013:007 And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and
to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds,
and tongues, and nations.
013:008 And all that dwell upon the earth will worship him, whose
names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb
slain from the foundation of the world.
013:009 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
013:010 He that leads into captivity will go into captivity: he
that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.
Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
013:011 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth;
and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.
013:012 And he exercises all the power of the first beast before
him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein
to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
013:013 And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come
down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
013:014 And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means
of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight
of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth,
that they should make an image to the beast, which had
the wound by a sword, and did live.
013:015 And he had power to give life to the image of the beast,
that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause
that as many as would not worship the image of the beast
should be killed.
2 Thesalonians -
002:003 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day will
not come, except there come a falling away first, and
that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
002:004 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called
God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in
the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
002:005 Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told
you these things?
002:006 And now you know what withholds that he might be revealed
in his time.
002:007 For the mystery of iniquity does already work: only he
who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way.
002:008 And then will that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord will
consume with the spirit of his mouth, and will destroy
with the brightness of his coming:
002:009 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with
all power and signs and lying wonders,
002:010 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them
that perish; because they received not the love of the
truth, that they might be saved.
002:011 And for this cause God will send them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie:
002:012 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth,
but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The "son of perdition" passage describes the Tribulation deeds of the "beasts" from the sea and land. It seems probable that the mysterious force restraining the "mystery of iniquity" may be the man child because it is his birth and "catching up" to the throne of God which seems to trigger these events.

I must pause here to consider a topic which makes me feel slimy to even discuss because no prophet ever mentioned it. Unfortunately, some people who name themselves Christians have twisted some scriptures to support an idea they call the "rapture". The primary scripture used to support this idea is in 1 Thessalonians:
004:016 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of
God: and the dead in Christ will rise first:
004:017 Then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together
with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so will we ever be with the Lord.
This passage describes a meeting in the air with Christ which takes place shortly after the 1st resurrection. The focus of the prophets, the Christ, and the apostles has always been on the resurrection which extends Christ's victory over death to His servants. The focus of the "raptureites" is on those who might join the meeting in the air without experiencing physical death. This focus betrays the desire of the "flesh" to obtain "eternal life and blessing" without embracing the cross of Christ and it's required death to the flesh of man. However, the passage above specifically restricts this group to the "remnant", a theme throughout scripture describing the very small group who are totally faithful to God (the 7000 God described for Elijah). The "alive" remnant is obviously a very tiny proportion of God's people overall and perhaps only mentioned at all because the "rapture" theology may be a big part of the "strong delusion" God is sending at the end harvest time. The scriptures clearly show this event after the resurrection which takes place at the last trumpet after the tribulation - see Revelation:
011:011 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from
God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet;
and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
011:012 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying to them,
Come up here. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud;
and their enemies beheld them.
011:013 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the
tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were
slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted,
and gave glory to the God of heaven.
011:014 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe comes
quickly.
011:015 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices
in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become
the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he will
reign for ever and ever.
Also see Christ's own description of that time in Matthew -
024:029 Immediately after the tribulation of those days will the
sun be darkened, and the moon will not give her light,
and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of
the heavens will be shaken:
024:030 And then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
and then will all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they
will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory.
024:031 And he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
and they will gather together his elect from the four
winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
It is clear that no one escapes the times of testing and trial that God sends until they are purified and made "white":
Daniel -
011:035 And some of them of understanding will fall, to try them,
and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time
of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.
Revelation -
003:010 Because you have kept the word of my patience, I also
will keep you from the hour of temptation, which will
come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the
earth.
The purpose of the "strong delusion" that God is sending at the end times is the separation of wheat and tares, a function of the harvest that Christ described in Matthew-
013:027 So the servants of the householder came and said to him,
Sir, did not you sow good seed in your field? from where
then has it tares?
013:028 He said to them, An enemy has done this. The servants
said to him, Will you then that we go and gather them
up?
013:029 But he said, No; lest while you gather up the tares,
you root up also the wheat with them.
013:030 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time
of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together
first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them:
but gather the wheat into my barn.
Now I will return to the main line of the end times discussion. The Spirit tells me that the "catching up" of the man child is a spiritual event and does not imply any physical movement (ie a "rapture"). Unfortunately, even great servants of God such as Watchman Nee were seduced by the rapture teachers, but even he could only make sense of that view by proposing multiple "raptures" due to the contradictions in scripture interpretation that it produces! Truthfully, "heaven" is a spirit zone and a physical body is not much use there anyway. That is why God is planning a new earth and will move the New Jerusalem there (my guess is about 1500 years from now if time as we know it has any meaning there).

John -
017:012 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your
name: those that you gave me I have kept, and none of
them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture
might be fulfilled.
Jesus makes a reference to the son of perdition which most comentators seem to think is about Judas. If that is true, Judas must represent the son of perdition in the same sense that Christ Jesus represents the man child. In other words, Judas is the "firstfruits" of the corporate son of perdition. This is implied in the way Paul said that he was being "restrained" in his time but would someday be revealed:

(NKJV) 2 Th 2:6  And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time.
2 Th 2:7  For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
2 Th 2:8  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.

Of course most  commentators label this entity the "antichrist" and say that it is one man dedicated to Satan. They don't explain how a man could exist and be restrained then and yet be revealed in our time.

Commentary - part two