SECOND TREE

CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED

THE THEOLOGY JOURNAL OF CHUCK PORRITT

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THE APOSTLE JOHN'S 'LITTLE BOOK'

THE FOUR VISIONS OF REVELATION CHAPTERS 11 THROUGH 13

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?

At the beginning of each page of the Prophecy Section of this journal I ask this question, and explain God's timetable for the second coming of Jesus Christ. That timetable is Daniel's '70th Week'. The first four pages of my Prophecy Section correspond to four links in a divine 'prophetic chain':

A side-by-side comparison of the three versions of Jesus' Olivet Discourse (from Matthew, Mark and Luke), combined with an examination of the four visions of John's Little Book (in Revelation chapters 11-13), leads to the undeniable conclusion that Daniel's 70th Week is the 'Great Week of the Abrahamic Covenant':


If John's 'Little Book' did not exist, I myself would feel compelled to embrace one of the other two major views on Daniel's 70th Week; either Post-Millennialism or Dispensationalism. But John's Little Book does exist. I present the four visions from that 'Little Book' in the four diagrams below:

1) THE TEMPLE AND THE COURTYARD (Revelation 11:1-2)

2) THE TWO WITNESSES (Revelation 11:3-12)

3) THE WOMAN, THE CHILD AND THE DRAGON (Revelation 12)

4) THE BEAST FROM THE SEA (Revelation 13)

While I encourage my visitor to examine each of my first four prophecy pages, I also offer a condensed PDF version of their combined message in the following link:

SIMPLIFYING THE SECOND COMING (PDF)

RECEIVING THE BOOK

Revelation 10 describes the apostle John's reception of a 'Little Book'. He was told to eat it. It was sweet in his mouth, but bitter in his stomach. Then John was told that he must prophecy 'again'; in other words, give an additional prophecy above and beyond what he had already received. The 'Little Book' contained that additional prophecy, and its contents are revealed to us in Revelation chapters 11-13.

John's Little Book sits in the larger book of Revelation, much like the little 'special inserts' that we find in magazines today. It is held in place and connected to the rest of Revelation by the 'staple' of the 7th Trumpet (Revelation 11:15-19). John's Little Book provides us with 4 visions of Daniel's 70th week. Each vision describes that Week in terms of one or both of its two halves.

MEASURING THE TEMPLE

In this vision John is told to measure the Temple and the Jewish people who worship there, but to leave out the court (the Temple Mount), because it will be given to the Gentiles for 42 months (42 months is 1/2 of 7 years).

And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying "Rise, and measure the Temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is outside the Temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles. And the holy city shall they tread under foot for forty two months".  Revelation 11:1-2



THE TEMPLE MOUNT, BARREN AND TRAMPLED

The measuring of the Temple, altar and Jewish people may represent God's judgment upon them. We see judgment depicted as a measurement in the downfall of King Belshazzar (he was weighed and found wanting, Daniel 5:27), and in Jesus' warning that we will be measured with the same measure that we apply to others (Matthew 7:2).

Having been completely fulfilled by the death of Christ, the animal sacrifices of the Old Mosaic Covenant no longer had any purpose. In fact, their continued offering by Israel's priests represented a denial that the Messiah had already come. The Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were driven from Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Temple was burned by the Romans, and then the debris was removed. The 'court' has been trampled by the Gentiles ever since. This suggests that John's '42 months', and the past 1950+ years, may actually be the same period of time. In other words, the 70th Week is not a period of 7 literal years.

Temple before destruction
THE TEMPLE MOUNT BEFORE 70 AD

Temple mount after destruction of the temple.
THE TEMPLE MOUNT AFTER 70 AD

Temple Mount today
THE TEMPLE MOUNT TODAY, STILL TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT '42 MONTHS' LATER

This vision is one of 3 passages within the book of Revelation (the others being Revelation 3:9 and 17:10), which indicate that the book of Revelation was written before the fall of Jerusalem. If John had received the Little Book after the fall of Jerusalem, there would not have been a Temple, altar or people for him to measure. As it is, there is not a single indication within Revelation that Jerusalem had already fallen when John wrote it.

THE TWO WITNESSES

These two witnesses perform the same miracles that Moses and Elijah performed, but they are not Moses and Elijah. These witnesses symbolize the name that the Jewish people gave to the Bible; "The Law and the Prophets". This is a vision of God giving the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) to the world; an activity which was authenticated by God through supernatural power and divine miracles performed by prophets and apostles alike. It ended just before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

And I will give power unto My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devours their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (Jerusalem).


And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 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. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them "Come up here". And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. 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 frightened, and gave glory to the God of heaven.  Revelation 11:3-14



THE TWO WITNESSES TESTIFY

THE ONENESS OF THE BIBLE

It is appropriate to represent the New Testament as a part of 'the Law and the Prophets'. This continuity was evident in the words and life of Christ. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained His relationship to 'the Law and the Prophets'. He said that His work was a continuation and fulfillment of them:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

Matthew 5:17

In the transfiguration on the mount, Jesus appeared to His disciples with Moses and Elijah, as God the Father spoke from heaven:

Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus "Lord, it is good for us to be here: if You will, let us make here three tabernacles; one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah". While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them. And behold a voice out of the cloud, which said "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him".

Matthew 17:4-5

Here the Lord Jesus was not only associated with 'the Law and the Prophets', but given preeminence over them, since Moses and Elijah were servants of God, while Jesus was identified by the Father as His Son (Hebrews 3:1-6).

In the second half of this vision, the witnesses lie dead in the streets of Jerusalem. This symbolizes the fact that God has held Jerusalem responsible for their deaths. It represents the fulfillment of the words of the Lord Jesus, when He warned the Jewish leaders that He would be sending more messengers to them (apostles and disciples), and that their mistreatment of these Christian witnesses would result in terrible judgment upon Israel:

Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the Temple and the altar.

Matthew 23:34-35 (also see the apostle Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16)

There should be no doubt that the many sufferings of the Jewish people, from 70 AD up to the present time, represent the fulfillment of Jesus' words. Again we are talking about a period of time much longer than half of 7 years. In this vision God describes the first half of the 70th week as a period of 1260 days (3.5 years), while twice He describes the second half as lasting 3.5 days. Here God is clearly indicating that the 70th Week is not to be understood as seven literal years.

THE SEVENTH TRUMPET

This trumpet is a continuation of the trumpets of Revelation chapters 8 and 9. John's Little Book sits inside the larger book of Revelation, much like the 'inserts' that are often found in the center of today's magazines. These often contain a special informational or advertising supplement that is added to the magazine, and can be removed and read separately. The 7th Trumpet is the 'staple' that attaches John's Little Book to the rest of the book of Revelation.

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 shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because You have taken your great power and have reigned. And the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give reward unto Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. And the Temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.   Revelation 11:15-19


The 7th Trumpet's placement here (at the resurrection of the Two Witnesses) is appropriate, because it dovetails perfectly with the promised bodily resurrection of all of God's 'faithful witnesses' at the sounding of the last Trumpet, as foretold by Paul (1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

THE WOMAN, THE CHILD, AND THE DRAGON

The Woman in this vision is the nation of Israel, struggling down through the centuries to successfully bring Abraham's promised 'Seed' into the world. The Child is born and Satan tries to devour Him. This may represent Herod's attempt to kill the Christ-child at His birth. And it may represent Satan's frequent temptations of the Lord Jesus, to keep Him from succeeding in His work of salvation. The flight of the Woman into the wilderness represents the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world, beginning with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

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. And she being with child cried out, travailing in birth and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven: Behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 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 who was ready to deliver, to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days.  Revelation 12:1-6



THE WOMAN PRESERVED
SATAN CAST OUT

Not only is the destruction of Jerusalem a judgment from God upon Israel; it is, at the same time, the means of Israel's preservation. This vision tells us that, if the Jewish people had not been dispersed throughout the world through the second half of the 70th Week (1260 days), they might not have survived as a people group.

The sun, moon and 12 stars are a reminder to us of Joseph's dream (Genesis 37:9-10). Joseph is symbolic of the Lord Jesus. Both men were betrayed into the hands of the Gentiles by their Jewish brothers. Both men were thought by their brothers to be dead. Jesus is now working behind the scenes, as Joseph did, to bring His brethren to repentance. Someday this greater 'Joseph' is going to reveal Himself to His people in a tearful reunion that will save their nation and bring them into everlasting blessing (Zechariah 12:6-13:1).

As I see it, this vision presents a problem for the Dispensationalists. How do they incorporate Israel giving birth to the Messiah, and His subsequent resurrection, into their future 7-year Week (either at the beginning or the middle)? The Woman flees into the wilderness after her child's resurrection, and is fed there for one half of the 70th week (1260 days). Which half of their 70th Week is this?

WAR IN HEAVEN

This passage presents to us one of the most powerful lessons in all of the Bible. First of all it explains Satan's work as mankind's accuser. Until Jesus had accomplished our salvation on the cross, Satan had always been able to come to the Father and point out how undeserving we are of His grace and mercy. I believe that, as Jesus hung upon the cross being tormented by His enemies, Satan was shouting in the Father's ear, asking 'How could you let your Son die for such wicked people as these?'. His accusations were valid and had merit. But once the Father and Son fulfilled Their plan of the cross, repentant mankind's salvation was accomplished and mercy triumphed over judgment. Satan had no more legal leverage before the throne of God.

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time".   Revelation 12:7-12


The judgment and 'casting out' of Satan is central to the Christian message. Jesus twice referred to it in the gospel of John. God wants all people, Christian and non-Christian alike, to understand what happened to Satan just prior to 70 AD, and the implication of these things for us down here on earth.

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out (of heaven).

John 12:31

And when the Holy Spirit is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on Me. Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see Me no more. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

John 16:8-11

THE GREAT TRIBULATION

Satan has now been cast down to earth, a tremendously angry, bitter and frustrated Archangel. He is like Pharaoh in the book of Exodus. Though he was defeated, Pharaoh chose to pursue Israel into the Red Sea, rather than acknowledge his defeat and let his captives go. Satan also knows that He has lost, but that will not stop him from hardening his heart and deceiving mankind until the very end; plunging headlong into The Lake of Fire. Soon that Lake will close over him, as the Red Sea closed over Pharaoh.

Next God explains the persecution of the Jewish people, since the first 'flood' of destruction hit Jerusalem. Satan has been pouring out his fury upon the people who brought his nemesis, the 'Seed of Abraham', into the world.

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.   Revelation 12:13-17



THE DRAGON ENRAGED

Repeated waves of persecution have pursued the Jews since 70 AD, but the Jewish 'Diaspora' across the earth has caused these floods to fall short of their ultimate aim. Once again we see that God's scattering of the Jewish people has been an act of mercy, preserving them down through the centuries. Now we can understand the spiritual reality behind the scenes of history, and who it was working within men like Hitler to seek the destruction of the Jewish race. Satan is still at work today, seeking to rally mankind against Israel and the Jewish people. These verses also tell us that faithful Christians will be suffering with the Jews, rather than persecuting them.

This passage describes the second half of the 70th Week in very grim terms. It is the time of Satan's wrath, and is the 'Great Tribulation' spoken of in Revelation 7:14. It is the second half of Daniel's 70th Week, stretching from the destruction of Jerusalem to the second coming of Christ.

I believe that the 6th Seal of Revelation chapter 6 represents the Day of the Lord, and the onset of nuclear war. And Revelation chapter 7 begins by describing that same moment in time as the point when God will remove His people from the planet, while He simultaneously 'seals' a portion of the Jewish people for preservation during the events that follow.

Then God will take this wave of destruction, that Satan and mankind will have set in motion, and use it to punish a wicked human race. When God says 'Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea' (Rev. 12:17), He is referring to a Satanic rage that first expressed itself against Jews and Christians beginning in 70 AD, and will culminate in the almost total destruction of the planet as foretold by Isaiah:

They that see you (Lucifer) shall narrowly look upon you and consider you, saying "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms? That made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof? That opened not the house of his prisoners?"

Isaiah 14:16-17

For those of us living comfortably in America, the idea that we are now in the Great Tribulation seems inappropriate. But it is not a strange concept for much of the rest of the world. Americans live in relative luxury, ease and wealth.

Earlier in this vision, the woman was fed in the wilderness for 1260 days. Now, as God describes the same events, she is nourished in the wilderness for 3.5 times. Again, God is showing us that the 70th Week is not a period of 7 literal years.

THE BEAST FROM THE SEA

In Revelation chapter 13 we encounter two Beasts:
1)The Beast from the Sea
2) The Beast from the Earth

The 'Beast from the Sea' is simply referred to as 'the Beast' throughout the rest of Revelation. The 'Beast from the Earth' is subservient to the Beast, and is referred to as 'The False Prophet' throughout the rest of Revelation.

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. And the Beast which I saw was like unto 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. 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. And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the Beast: and they worshiped the Beast, saying "Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue for forty two months.   Revelation 13:1-5



THE BEAST CONTINUES 42 MONTHS
FROM 70 AD TO THE PRESENT

I provide an explanation of the Beast in my page titled Understanding the Beast. And I provide explanations of the three 'allies' of the Beast (who are also present in the book of Revelation) in my pages titled Understanding the False Prophet, The City of Rome in Prophecy, and The United States in Prophecy.


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SECOND TREE

CHRISTIANITY EXPLAINED

THE THEOLOGY JOURNAL OF CHUCK PORRITT

[email protected]


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