“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”–Ecclesiastes 3:1
IN THIS ISSUE: Mountains Shall Rise and Mountains Shall Fall
Spreading the word that God’s season of change is upon us
A publication of the Great Lakes Church of God
Written by John J. Blanchard
Printed 2005, 2007
MOUNTAINS SHALL RISE AND
MOUNTAINS SHALL FALL
The earth is still a battleground in which Satan’s invisible government above moves and shakes his reflected image below. Mankind is still held prisoner under his diabolical rule and influence. Rich and poor, king and commoner, slave and free all struggle against his downward pull and the sting of death which awaits us all. For six thousand years we have been held in his powerful grasp, prisoners of his government which sows the seeds of our collective misery. This Digest will use God’s word to show how God will deliver us from the divisions, hatreds and corruption which have plagued humanity since we were taken captive in the garden. God is about to free mankind from the spiritual source behind our physical misery. This remarkable deliverance will avert the end-time horrors so many theologians, novelists and Hollywood filmmakers are propounding and exploiting at the expense of their fellow man.
God knows Satan has taken humanity captive and wrote about it for us in Isaiah 14:12, 16-17. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! … Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’” This being is here referred to as the man who shook the earth and held it prisoner, for like man he was granted existence by God. The term “man” used here for him can refer to any created being that has existence, whereas the Hebrew word Adam means specifically the human race. These are two different words that are often translated “man” in the Old Testament. And over two thousand years ago Psalm 102:18-22 wrote of our time now when we can look at our imminent release from this terrible bondage to Satan and his system. “This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord. For He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven the Lord viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death, to declare the name of the Lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem, when the peoples are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.” The good news of the gospel of the kingdom is that God hears our groanings, and it is in our day that the prisoners (us) will be released from bondage! What a great time to be alive!
For six thousand years mankind has been held captive by a son of God turned tyrant. He and his demonic cohorts have ruled us harshly. Job 1:6-7 speaks of him and his audacity when it says, “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, ‘From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.’”
CHRIST THE LIBERATOR
Isaiah 61:1-2 tells us that Christ is our long-awaited Liberator. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn…”
Our Liberator will come with His sons, the carefully nurtured harvest of the firstfruits (see Digest No. 5 “God’s Harvests”). That time is just ahead and spoken of in Romans 8:18-23. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
The firstfruits form the first harvest of God and are sons of light which will replace Satan’s darkness. Christ said of Himself in John 9:5, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” And of His disciples and chosen firstfruits He said in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” God’s plan of liberation is that Christ and His sons of light will replace Satan and his sons of darkness.
TITANIC STRUGGLE AND THE FOREGONE CONCLUSION
The end-time battle now beginning to unfold is the climactic struggle between the powers of darkness and the powers of light, the battle between what is truth and what are lies. Believing in lies is the equivalent of living in darkness. Believing in truth is just the opposite. It is the equivalent of living in the light. Revelation 12:9 confirms the source of all of our troubles. “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world…” Quoting Christ in John 8:44 He tells those who swallowed the lie, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
The way to battle Satan and his forces of darkness is with the light of the truth. Let’s back up to John 8:31-32. “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’” It is imperative to grasp what Christ is saying here. The war to save the planet and redeem mankind is a battle between the truth of God and Satan’s lies. It is not a battle between one race and another. It is not a war between one country and another. It is not enmity between one religion and another. It does not pit tribes, gangs, families or people against one another.
Satan inspires division, hatred, racism, lust and greed. God in His truth inspires love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness. These are the powers of light which disarm Satan and free us! These are the powers which will teach us to end warfare and violence, and then Isaiah 2:4 will be fulfilled. “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” One cannot over-estimate the power of forgiveness to heal this planet. The unleashing of this power will destroy Satan’s influence.
The eighth Digest, “Signs and Wonders”, showed us in God’s word what the true signs of the end of the age are and what the false signs are. It is high time to stop looking to wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famines and disease as signs either of God’s wrath or the end of the age. In both Matthew 24 and Luke 21 Christ warns us not to be concerned with these signs. These are deceptions! They define the source as (and you guessed it) the father of lies. God knew Satan would move humanity to eventually destroy the earth and all life on it if He did not intervene. God fully intends to thwart Satan in this vile attempt to stop God’s plan from coming to fruition.
GOD’S GOVERNMENT IS ABOUT TO RISE AND REPLACE SATAN’S
If you recall, in “Battleground Earth” (Digest No. 7) we studied the great image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. We compared Daniel 2 to Daniel 10 and learned that Satan has divided the earth up into principalities governed by his demon cohorts in a manner reflected upon the earth – a shadow of his government’s image above. We also noticed that a stone cut out without human hands would smite the image at its feet, causing it to collapse in a heap and be blown away. Let’s reread Daniel 2:31-35. “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
The main import of this dream is a timeline leading right to our day and age. God’s overall government is pictured as a mountain which will fill the whole earth. Do not look for a super Mt. Everest to grow and consume the whole globe! This is a spiritual mountain which will replace Satan’s government (a government also portrayed as a mountain right in your Bible). It is the spiritual mountain Christ was taken up on when He was tempted by Satan in Matthew 4:8-11. This was a titanic struggle for the future of mankind. “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”’ Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.” That is the event which gave the beast (and by extension his image) its mortal wound in Revelation 13:3. It is a wound which will prove fatal to Satan’s system very soon.
Now we will cross reference this evil mountain of Satan’s in the Old Testament, where we discover that it has a name in scripture in Ezekiel 35:1-9. “Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir and prophesy against it, and say to it, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, O Mount Seir, I am against you; I will stretch out My hand against you, and make you most desolate; I shall lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I am the Lord. Because you have had an ancient hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, [bloodshed] therefore blood shall pursue you. Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall. I will make you perpetually desolate, and your cities shall be uninhabited; then you shall know that I am the Lord.’”’”
In these verses God is painting a vivid picture of the fall of Satan’s chief mountain and his entire mountain range that sits astride the earth. Indeed Mount Seir in Hebrew means the mountain of the rough shaggy he-goat, a devil, which causes mankind to shiver in fear. That is the meaning of the word Seir.
Satan made war on God’s people in the Old Testament (the first chosen nation or ekklesia), for he wanted to stop the prophets who gave their lives to lay the foundation of the prophets (their prophetic words of truth). He wanted to destroy their temple, their statutes, and the systems God gave them to enact physically so that we could comprehend what He is now doing in a spiritual way.
This mountain and its mountain chain have had an ancient hatred for God and all that God stands for. In this prophecy God warns Satan that since he has pushed mankind to bloodshed, by the blood of man He will destroy his government and its power. No more will Satan and his emissaries come and go and trample upon the earth and its people. By God’s sword (the word of God) he will be laid desolate. As mankind accepts the blood of Christ and becomes converted, blood shall be removed from Satan’s sphere of influence. Flesh and blood shall no longer be his dwelling place. As more people get converted, the weaker Satan will become! It all started with the blood of one man first, that being Jesus Christ.
Understanding prophecies such as these allay our anxieties and fear and give us confidence in our Almighty God. Jeremiah 51:25-26 repeats God’s threat to Satan’s mountain. ‘“Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, who destroys all the earth,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will stretch out My hand against you, roll you down from the rocks, and make you a burnt mountain. They shall not take from you a stone for a corner nor a stone for a foundation, but you shall be desolate forever,’ says the Lord.”
God is not angry with physical mountain chains on the earth. He hates what they currently represent. He is angry with the beings who laid waste, conquered and pillaged His beautiful creation and the human race which He created in His own image.
To picture Satan’s kingdom in your mind view the earth as ringed with dark mountains, chief of which is Mount Seir. It would look similar to a day with dark clouds above you, towering in the sky like mighty mountains shading the earth and keeping the light of the sun away from the earth. It would be like watching the shadow of a cloud move across the landscape. These mountains block God’s light causing darkness. On the chief of these mountains sits Satan’s capital city, spiritual Babylon, from which he sends out his mighty horsemen, the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, to stir up mankind against one another.
The earth is divided into spheres of influence under Satan’s demons. These spiritual tyrants come and go from the capital Babylon to the earth wreaking havoc. Let’s put together a string of scriptures to back up this understanding.
– Isaiah 14:3-4, 12-15 “It shall come to pass in the day the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow [brings us the Millennium of peace] and from your fear and the hard bondage in which you were made to serve, that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: ‘How the oppressor has ceased, the golden city ceased!’” Verse 12: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the pit.”
– Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
– Revelation 18:2 Of this Babylon it will soon be said, “And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!’”
– Revelation 17:5-6, 18 “And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.” Verse 18: “And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
Babylon, the name of this capital city, means bitterness, confusion, wormwood, calamity and tyranny. It has ruled in the affairs of mankind for six thousand years using peoples, empires and religions, anyone he could use to deceive mankind to try to stop God. All to no avail! God’s victory is now imminent. For thousands of years men have uttered Psalm 23:4, and we can now more properly understand it. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Our existence has been in the valley between Satan’s mountains under his capital city, the capital of the kingdom of darkness.
Just as light is the opposite of darkness, good is the opposite of evil. So God’s kingdom will be the opposite of Satan’s realm. Satan’s principalities and the powers over them will be replaced by God’s government. It will be a government based on mercy, compassion and the light of the truth. It will be a government that brings peace. Instead of pulling people down, it will lift them up. Instead of appealing to the baser instincts of lust, greed and fierce competition, it will appeal to our desires for kindness, cooperation and respect for the dignity of each and every human being. We will let God speak to us about this wonderful period of time just ahead. We will let Scripture paint the picture for us in our minds.
– Isaiah 2:2-4 “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
– Isaiah 11:6-9 “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
It is evident that God’s truth will wipe out the ignorance and the darkness which now plague mankind. God’s truth is indeed the knowledge that will set us free from the weaknesses Satan exploits to divide, conquer and destroy. God’s influence (His voice) will cover the earth as well as replace the influence of the little voice we now hear that tells us so often, “Don’t get mad, get even.” “Go ahead and take it. They will never miss it.” “Lie your way out of it. Don’t let yourself look bad.” “It’s okay to do that person bodily harm because they are a different color. They are a different religion. They are a different nationality.”
This kind of broadcast by the current ruler of this world will be replaced with a good voice as shown in Isaiah 30:21. “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.” God’s voice, His Holy Spirit and His knowledge will permeate the earth and all life upon it. It will direct us. When we tend to veer off the straight and narrow a voice will tell us, “please behave and do what is right.” Even the nature of the animals will be changed! All of this will emanate from His spiritual mountains, His spiritual capital city, and will be reflected on the earth.
Physical Jerusalem will still exist on the earth and will be a city of peace and a physical example of God’s way of life. But above will be a spiritual Jerusalem which will actually be the source of the peace that will be shed abroad upon the earth. The power behind all of these wonderful changes will come from God’s spiritual mountain in that city, a shining city. It will be a city on the mountains surrounded by the hills which will be like the clouds now surrounding the earth that block the sun, but these hills will be sources of the truth. Instead of blocking the light of truth, they will bring it to mankind. Remember from Digest No. 6 truth and doctrine are like rain to the earth. There is a saying that rain is merely liquid sunshine, and so it will be!
This beautiful spiritual city will reign from above for one thousand years, just as Satan’s city ruled for six thousand. At the end of that Millennium it will descend to earth as we are told in Revelation 21. This will make earth the center of the universe forever after!
Let’s turn to a few more scriptures to finish painting this beautiful picture for us. Turn to Hebrews 12:18, 22-23 which speaks volumes to us to help us understand these things. “For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest…” Verse 22: “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect…”
These “just men made perfect” are the dead saints in Christ, the firstfruit harvest, the few who have given their lives for the many. Galatians 4:25-26 refers to this spiritual city in this way. “…for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.” Just as spiritual Babylon is depicted as a vile woman, a mother of harlots, so spiritual Jerusalem is depicted as the mother of the firstfruits and eventually the mother of all! It will be a mother to all who live on into the Millennium and all of those who have died and who will be resurrected. God intends to win big! He is in no way a minimalist.
Our marvelous future now explodes off the pages of the Bible as we read and understand such scriptures as Isaiah 66:6-13. “The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, who fully repays His enemies! ‘Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?’ says the Lord. ‘Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?’ says your God. ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; that you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.’ 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 you shall feed; on her sides shall you be carried, and be dandled on her knees. As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.’” It is truly amazing! God is letting you understand now because it is just that close to becoming reality!
God will soon use every tool at His disposal to stamp out darkness, ignorance and evil influence. He will use His sword, the word of God, the Bible, (Hebrews 4:12). He will use the wind and the breath of His mouth (His Holy Spirit) to blow the image away, (Daniel 2 and John 3). Christ will make His blood available for all. Christ will make the true signs and wonders known to everyone on earth, and the knowledge of what creation represents will be brought upon the earth as the sea covers earth now! That is clearly stated in Romans 1:18-20. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”
When God decides to reveal His truth, it is not a good time to willingly stay ignorant or deny it. God has been working on this plan for a long time, and is very excited to have arrived at this juncture. Titus 1:1-3 explains that God made promises to mankind and a plan to keep those promises before time began! “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior…”
God is putting mankind on notice regarding a number of things. (1) Do not stand in His way by teaching doctrines of waste and destruction which are false signs and wonders. Note Matthew 24:4-8. (2) He warns oppressors and tyrants to stop allowing themselves to be tools of Satan. Care for your people’s physical needs, and promote an atmosphere of freedom to learn of God. Proverbs 28:15-16 (3) He warns all governments to pursue peace and to promote human rights and dignity of all human beings. Proverbs 20:28 (4) He tells the rich and the powerful to care for the less fortunate. II Corinthians 9:6-7 (5) To all people everywhere He says forgive one another and lay aside your differences, for by forgiveness we take away Satan’s power to incite hatred, animosity and violence. Matthew 6:14 and Luke 6:37 (6) To all people everywhere God says love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:39, and read the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. (7) Love and obey God on His terms. Matthew 22:37-38 where, “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.’” Again Christ says in John 14:15-16, “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever…”
We now live in the time foreordained by God eons ago to be a turning point in the battle between good and evil. There are a number of ways we can assist Him and our fellow man at this defining moment. The following key ways will get the light of the truth glowing brightly and help defeat the forces of darkness. First, start by obeying all of God’s commandments, for by obedience we gain wisdom and understanding. His commandments teach us to love God above all else, and next to love our fellow man who was made in His image. With obedience, understanding will flood into our minds.
Exercising forgiveness is a critical step in weakening Satan’s power. However, it is not the only thing that must be done to bring unity on the earth. The most important will be teaching mankind how and when to worship God. No more will religion be divisive. God Himself has established how to love and worship Him in Exodus 20, Deuteronomy 5 and Leviticus 23. In these scriptures God has designated the days and seasons He considers holy. Let us now briefly examine them.
THE SABBATH DAY
The chief way Satan has deceived the world was through religion. In the Millennium the knowledge of how and when to worship God will cover the earth. The doctrines extant throughout the earth will be God’s doctrines. God says this in Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-14. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work… For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Only God can proclaim something holy. No man can presume such power. In the Millennium the seventh day Sabbath from Friday night sundown until Saturday night sundown will be the official and only weekly holy day.
GOD’S HOLY DAYS
There will be annual holy days as outlined in Leviticus 23. You will find in Leviticus 23 the weekly Sabbath mentioned first followed by Passover and Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost (the Feast of Firstfruits or Weeks). They form the spring holy days. They are followed by the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles (the fall holy days). Anything that deviates from these holy days obscures God’s plan and brings religious confusion.
God’s holy days reveal vital information regarding the times and seasons in which we live. They keep track of prophetic time and scheduled events down through history between God and man. They are absolutely crucial to observe in order to understand the mind of God. They are God’s calendar of events, so to speak, and you need to know what they mean. In the space of this booklet we can only touch on each one. Rest assured that it is well worth your while to dig further into them, for soon, when God’s mountain rises, all nations and peoples will be required to observe them!
The holy days are divided into two groupings: those in the spring and those in the fall. They do not correspond with the calendar on your wall because God’s sacred year begins in the spring when new life actually starts on the earth and not in the dead of winter. This is the Hebrew month of Nisan which corresponds with the last part of March to late April depending upon the year.
The first ordained day is Passover as stated in Exodus 12:2-11. A physical fulfillment to study in the Old Testament is the killing of the Passover lamb and the use of its blood to protect the people. The spiritual significance is that Christ is our Passover, and His shed blood cleanses and protects us. I Corinthians 5:7 “For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” Christ becomes our Passover at baptism when we are old enough to consciously covenant with Him and agree to become His.
The second sacred period is the Days of Unleavened Bread which lasts seven days. Unleavened Bread begins and ends with a holy day on which God commands the assembly of His believers. These days signify putting sin out of our lives. You can read the Old Testament examples in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23 on your own, but we will make note of the New Testament exhortation to keep these days in I Corinthians 5:6-8. “Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”
The third is also a sacred time to assemble God’s people. It concludes the spring holy days and is known by three names: Pentecost (which means count fifty), Feast of Firstfruits or Feast of Weeks. This day is determined each year by counting fifty days from the day after the Sabbath, which falls during the week of Unleavened Bread. So the full import of this holy day can only be understood by those keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread!
A significance to us alive today is that Pentecost pictures a calling and a begettal of His Holy Spirit in the firstfruit harvest that we studied in Digest No. 5 called “God’s Harvests”. These firstfruits are 144,000 strong as revealed in Revelation 7 and Revelation 14:1-5. This is a two-thousand year period which is now concluding as God prepares for His fall crop. We are now entering spiritual summertime in preparation for that fall harvest. This is on God’s sacred and prophetic calendar of the holy days. That is why it is crucial to understand and observe God’s holy days.
God is now sowing the seeds for a huge harvest that no man could number as stated in Revelation 7:9-14! “After these things [God completes the Pentecost period with the 144,000 first fruits] I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: ‘Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’ Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’” This is picturing the conversion of the world! The tribulation is not one of massive physical death and destruction. Reread Digest No. 9 “What Do You Mean Tribulation?”
The apostles and all the firstfruits lived in tribulation as John says in Revelation 1:9. “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ…” All who are converted and baptized must wrestle with Satan, putting out sin and overcoming his system of influence. It is learning to love God and our fellow man while resisting Satan’s downward pulls that causes the tribulation. It is changing deeply held religious convictions and prejudices and conforming to God’s image as represented by the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. It is obeying God’s laws for our benefit and the benefit of all mankind; everyone in tune with God and each other – no more war, no more hatred, no more ignorance and darkness.
The fourth festival is the Feast of Trumpets which pictures the return of Jesus Christ as our liberator and conqueror over Satan’s evil empire. The fifth holy day is the Day of Atonement which portrays Christ’s ultimate victory over Satan and his demons and any humans who choose not to repent and accept His way of life. This day is rapidly followed by the Feast of Tabernacles or sometimes called the Feast of Booths. It pictures the one thousand year time of peace, the Millennium, which we have all been waiting for! This is when God’s mountain and hills reign over the earth. They protect, nurture and care for humanity in all the earth with good influences and the truth of God. For the first time the nations will be able to bask in the light of the truth without Satan’s horrible influence.
Mankind’s intellect, which is patterned after God’s own mind, will be free to pursue all good things, righteousness and great physical pursuits as well. The wealth of the world will no longer be squandered on war or the preparations for war. Man will unlock secrets not yet dreamed of in order to eliminate disease, grow in prosperity and end misery around the earth. Mankind will explore the depths of the sea and the stars above. Isaiah 51:16 seems to indicate space exploration and people living on other planets! What a bright future it will be! “And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens, lay the foundations of the earth, and say to Zion, ‘You are My people.’” Isaiah 9:6-7 tells us, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”
God’s government will soon rise up like a great mountain and bring peace to our beleaguered planet. Our Redeemer will literally melt Satan’s mountains and dissolve his government.
It is important to keep the big picture of God’s plan in mind when studying the Bible. It is dangerous to get lost in the details and force God’s word to fit humanly devised belief systems. We can scare ourselves silly by reading the Bible using human reasoning. Revelation 12:9 tells us that Satan has deceived the whole world, that he has done so by “inspiring” the thoughts of human beings. People are driven like waves on the storm-tossed sea of Satan’s winds. If you want to walk on a calm sea, let God talk to you from His word, defining His thoughts by that very same word. In other words, let the Bible interpret the Bible. The Bible never contradicts itself, and it contains no errors. Make sure we are getting God’s intended message. The Times and Seasons Digest often goes back to the original languages that the inspired scribes used, and then cross references God’s thoughts on a particular subject by finding other places in scripture where He speaks of that same subject. This method follows God’s directions in Isaiah 28:10. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” This way God can speak directly to us from His word, and we hear His opinion on the subject. It is not my opinion that counts or anyone else’s, but only God’s opinion counts in spiritual matters. As God’s plan unfolds here at the end of the age, we want His guidance and His help every step of the way.
The big picture we are examining in this Digest is how God’s mountain (His government) will soon replace Satan’s mountain. We are going to conclude this Digest by looking into some scriptures that could easily scare us silly if we try to use our human reasoning to understand them. They are also frightening if viewed through the lens of doomsday novelists, Hollywood producers and preachers of hell fire and brimstone. Let’s fix in our minds that we have a loving God who will soon liberate us from tyranny. We have a God who is the chief architect and proponent of forgiveness and mercy. Clear your mind of all images of God as a cruel, harsh and destructive being ready to lower the boom on the human race. God is truly going to deliver us and wipe away every tear of an innumerable multitude just as He has promised! Now let’s see how by comparing scriptures from here and there and defining a few terms. We will start with II Peter 3:9-13.
– “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
Is the Bible contradicting itself in these verses? How can God say in verse 9 that He is “…longsuffering [patient] toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” then say in verse 10 “…the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.” How could anyone survive to repent and form an innumerable multitude (Revelation 7:9-17) of converted people to live into the Millennium? After all, God says in verse 9 of Revelation 7 they are “…a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb [Christ] clothed with white robes…” And verse 17 informs us that “…God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” With the knowledge of God’s governmental mountain chain and chain of hills replacing Satan’s, we can now use spiritual discernment and God’s word to unravel this mystery. First we will define some terms in II Peter 3:9-13 and then find confirmation in other scriptures to back it up.
(1) “Dissolve” is translated from the Greek word luo which literally means to loosen, or figuratively it means to break up, destroy, dissolve or melt. It is comparable torhegnumi which means to crack and shatter into its constituent parts or minute pieces.
(2) “Elements” comes from the Greek word stoicheion which means something orderly in arrangement like an army marching in line for war.
(3) “Melt” also comes from luo which means to loosen or figuratively to break or destroy, dissolve and break into its constituent pieces.
It is clear that Christ and His saints will liberate mankind from Satan’s current tyrannical military occupation of the earth. His occupying army, which he has arranged into spheres of influence forming unseen principalities over mankind, will be dissolved and literally fall from their positions above the earth to depths in the pit below. The first scripture we quoted in this Digest was Isaiah 14:12, 16-17 where we noted the fall of Satan. Verse 15 tells us that, “Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.” God is powerful enough to accomplish this without the destruction of the earth. So now we need to learn what God means when He says in II Peter 3:10 that by fervent heat both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
The earth as spoken of in verse 10 means the occupants of different regions. The same people who form the innumerable multitude of “all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues.” This is the marvelous time of the conversion of the world and the destruction of the works among mankind that have been spawned by Satan’s influence. There will be no more hatred, no more war, no more false religious practices. Instead there will be peace and unity and outgoing concern between men fulfilling what the angel said of Christ at His birth, Luke 2:8-14. “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: you will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!’” This peace is attained by the dissolving of Satan’s mountains and the conversion of the world by the fire of the Holy Spirit. We will examine three scriptures to support this claim of conversion by fire, then note a few scriptures on the dissolution of Satan’s realm.
CONVERSION BY FIRE
– Isaiah 33:14-15 “…who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil.”
– Acts 2:1-4 “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…”
– Hebrews 12:28-29 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken [unlike Satan’s mountains] let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence [understanding proper and true worship and the holy days] and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”
We can see now with these scriptures and the understanding God has revealed, that we can look at the Bible with a different light, understanding that God loves all of mankind and is about to liberate us from a terrible tyrant. We look forward to His kingdom which we are on the verge of becoming a part of! Now let us look at supporting scriptures that, with the wrong knowledge, would terrify us. Instead now they give us great confidence in our God!
– Psalm 97:1-6 “The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad! Clouds and darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. A fire goes before Him, and burns up His enemies round about. His lightnings light the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory.”
– Isaiah 34 speaks of the same time when it speaks of Satan’s heavenly nations being destroyed and the few physical beings who will not repent. Isaiah 34:3-4 “Also their slain shall be thrown out; their stench shall rise from their corpses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; all their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree.”
So we can see these scriptures should not terrify anyone who wants to know and please God. As a matter of fact, they are actually the beginning of the fulfillment of a wonderful promise made by God in Revelation 7:9-17, which we read earlier. But we will just re-read verses 14 through 17 now. The word “tribulation” in verse 14 is simply the process of getting right with God on how and when to worship Him and love our fellow man. “And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”
Now you know what Christ meant regarding faith to move mountains. Read that in Mark 11:23-24. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” It is time for all of us to believe that Jesus Christ is going to liberate us! Have faith and confidence in His word, the Holy Scriptures, and move forward getting ready to replace mountains that have terrified us and caused so much misery upon the earth for the last six thousand years. Prepare to become part of God’s beautiful kingdom which will soon be a reality over the whole earth. Hang on for the next few years. The earth is in for a most marvelous and fantastic time!
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The source for the Hebrew and Greek words in this book and their meanings is The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, by James Strong, Copyright © 1995 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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