The riots following George Floyd’s death, covered in the previous article, present a picture of violence so repulsive to the Christian mind that many are beginning to recognize that something has gone terribly wrong. The light of the church finally went out in America. But the story does not end there, thankfully! The goal of this second article on the topic is to show how Scripture points to the reigniting of the sacred flame on the altar of sacrifice. Through the tragedy, there must be a rekindling in the hearts of God’s people with the love and peace of God “which passeth all understanding.” Looters, destroyers, murderers, haters—these will not enter the Kingdom of God, nor will those who take pleasure in them, but the repentant may yet find grace in the eyes of the Lord if they make a thorough repentance and accept with humility the terrible lot they find themselves in.
The Word of God has always been the Light that guides God’s people through the darkness, and that is why the book of Revelation symbolizes the seven churches as candlesticks.
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (Revelation 1:20)
However—as we can see from the darkness of the world today—not all of the seven churches of Revelation were letting their light shine as Jesus intended. Only two of the seven churches were written letters that did not contain a rebuke, and these two churches—Smyrna and Philadelphia—are thus the only two churches that let their light shine fully. They are the two shining candlesticks, the two witnesses for God in the midst of a hostile world.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore 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 proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. (Revelation 11:3–5)
The two witnesses symbolize many related things, including the two armies of God that are especially involved in the final harvest before Jesus’ return: the last martyrs and the 144,000 survivors, which correspond to Moses (who died) and Elijah (who ascended) as well as Smyrna (faithful unto death) and Philadelphia (kept from the hour of temptation). Revelation 11 portrays these two witnesses as both being overcome and killed:
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (Revelation 11:7)
To see how the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia were overcome and killed on May 25, 2020, we need only look at the letters to these churches with the understanding that each church represents a spiritual state or character, which ceased on that day. Beginning with Smyrna:
And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:8–11)
Jesus makes this letter personal to us today by referring to the fact that He “was dead, and is alive.” Remember the forgotten memorial! May 25 was the anniversary of the death of the One who is alive, and thus Jesus speaks to us today in the very context of George Floyd’s death. And what does Jesus say to George Floyd and all who protest the injustice? “I know.” He says, “I know what you’re going through.” “I know what black people and all oppressed people suffer.” “I know about marginalization and poverty (the Son of man had no place to lay His head!) but if you have Me, then you are indeed rich, even if you are poor in this world.”
To all dear brothers of color, cling to Christ and do not count your sufferings in this world greater than the precious treasure that is laid up in heaven for every one of you that overcomes the trials of this life. Do not give in to the temptation to respond in kind with violence against those who do you wrong. Jesus knows who they are, and He will exercise a holy vengeance more just than you can imagine. He says, “I know the blasphemy of those who should stand for justice but pervert it. I know the blasphemy of those who claim to be Christians but treat their black brothers with spite.” Jesus knows!
He also speaks about martyrdom to the church of Pergamos, giving counsel to the less-than-perfect church for their response to the satanic persecution they faced, calling to remembrance the example of a faithful martyr.
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. (Revelation 2:13)
And His counsel to Smyrna is, “Stay faithful.” “Don’t give in to temptation.” “They will imprison you and even kill you (like they did Me, and like they did Martin Luther King Jr.) but if you are faithful, ‘I will give thee a crown of [eternal] life.’”
There is something more important than seeing justice served in the present: it is the offer of mercy to one’s opponent (the blood of martyrs is the seed of the gospel!) and the perfecting of one’s own Christian character in the face of trials, “like in the days wherein Martin Luther King Jr. was My faithful martyr.”
For [Martin Luther King Jr.]…the cross…is: “the eternal expression of the length to which God will go in order to restore broken community…” Love, therefore, becomes the hallmark of nonviolent resistance requiring that the resister, not only refuse to shoot his opponent, but also refuse to hate him. Nonviolent resistance is meant to bring an end to hate by being the very embodiment of agape.
In light of Jesus’ letter to the church of Smyrna, one can see that George Floyd didn’t quite reach the mark, despite being a “person of peace” and a “gentle giant.” It wasn’t for his faith that the police commenced their horrific deed. And should he not rather have gone to prison willingly, even unjustly, in loyalty to the Prince of Peace who allowed Himself to be taken by the authorities and led as a lamb to the slaughter on that same day, nearly two millennia earlier?
Thus, the spirit of the church of Smyrna died with George Floyd, because neither did he himself exhibit the spirit of peaceful martyrdom, nor was it exhibited in the protests that soon followed. Protestors did not refrain from destroying property, looting, and even murdering others out of misdirected vengeance. These acts are breaking not only the law of man but the law of God, and nobody is justified to do such things. Christ empowers every one of us to patiently endure injustice and peacefully protest against it in obedience to the laws of God and man.
The other blameless church, of Philadelphia, is even so named because of “brotherly love.” This does not refer to homosexual love like you find in modern Philly, but a love that is not willing to see a brother perish and will sacrifice anything to rescue him from eternal death if possible. This is the love that Jesus exemplified by laying heaven on the altar as He came down to earth to pay the price for our sins. It is the kind of love that will risk a relationship to call sin by its right name, because not doing so would allow a brother or sister to lose out on eternal life without being warned. This is the church that represents the people of God who will remain alive until Jesus comes:
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name….Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. (Revelation 3:8, 10–11)
Those of Philadelphia are ones who have developed a character so similar to Christ that they would even lay down their eternal life for their brethren, like Moses and the Lamb, if it would be possible to save them thereby. In these is fulfilled the words of the Lord:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:25)
What a contrast to those who care only to ask, “Am I saved?” or those who do not care about eternal things at all! But where was the character of Philadelphia to be seen on May 25 or in the days following? Did Donald Trump stand up as the spokesman of his Christian voter base and adequately express brotherly love to the weaker among the society? Who stood up to remind the nation of its crown of “brotherhood from sea to shining sea?” Where was the spirit of brotherly love among the protesters who burned down the police station? The racism and prejudice were on both sides!
This incident and the inadequate responses of both ordinary citizens and politicians have only served to push the nation over the brink into a racial war hearkening back to Civil War times, where brother fought against brother on the land of their own common home. Now we are returning to the same ground because this once Protestant Christian nation lost its crown of brotherhood.
Even churches—even the churches that were the crown of Protestantism not only failed but caused positive harm by fostering segregation in their own organizations, with black churches and black church conferences operating independently from the predominantly white ones, as if in two parallel universes occupying the same geographical space. Is that brotherhood? Is that the example Christ gave? What a denial of all that Christ taught! Instead, the church has nurtured the bad seeds and contributed to the bad harvest seen today. That is why, in the depiction of Jesus in the constellation of Orion, the star of Orion’s head is not counted among the seven “candlesticks”.
Meissa is designated Lambda Orionis, forms Orion’s head, and is a multiple star with a combined apparent magnitude of 3.33. Its name means the “shining one”.
What an irony! The star called the “shining one” is so dim that it isn’t even counted among the ten brightest stars of the constellation. And now we are in exactly the segment of the clock where this star, marking the wounded head of the Lord, stands.
The church welcomed Gay Pride right into her pews and onto her podiums, fostered segregation, accepted immoral laws over God’s law, and rejected her Head, Jesus Christ. The crown of Christ that should have shined to His glory became a crown of thorns to cause Him pain and bleeding. Not even the churches today show a character like Smyrna or Philadelphia.
Thus, the two witnesses died exactly as the Bible said:
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth 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. (Revelation 11:7–8)
They died on May 25, the date “where also our Lord was crucified,” in the very country that most influentially embraced the abomination of Sodom in its laws and urged it upon the world, using the prosperity and worldliness of its culture as leverage, like Egypt, in complete disregard for God and biblical morality. Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and various other South American countries did the same.
With the end of the testimony of these two witnesses having now come in the year 2020, we can even find evidence for it in the thousand two hundred and threescore days prophecy. This prophetic period (1260 days, or 3½ years) would amount to 1260 years of literal time. But could the prophetic countdown to the fall of the U.S. have started ticking in the year AD 760? Hardly, if the continent wasn’t even discovered by the civilized world until many centuries later! The flight of the woman of Revelation 12 gives us a clue for understanding this period:
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. (Revelation 12:14)
This verse describes the migration of the faithful Christians who fled from the persecuting powers in Europe (both in the church and out). If the pure woman (the faithful among the churches—Smyrna and Philadelphia) is “nourished” for a time, times, and a half a time (1260 days/years), then the death of the two witnesses in the previous chapter would naturally correspond to the end of that period of nourishment. And where could these great eagle wings have taken her among the nations, if it wasn’t to the Americas, where the leading nation even has the eagle as its symbol?
But we must read the text carefully: she is given “two wings.” This detail might seem unnecessary to mention, since two wings would be assumed, but the Bible does not waste words and therefore those two wings must have special significance. In light of the two witnesses of the preceding chapter, these wings that carry the woman—the church—are Smyrna and Philadelphia, representing the heavenly character of sacrificial love that has borne Christianity aloft above the degradation of the world since it was founded on the heavenly gift that is Christ Jesus. Thus, we found the key to distribute the 1260 years across two witnesses, or two wings, cutting the time in half to 630 years per witness.
Now we come full circle to the discovery of America not 1260 years ago, but 630 years ago. Calculating back 630 years prior to now, we are pointed to a discovery date of 1390. Does this coincide with history? In fact, it does, as this was the year of America’s discovery by the Italians, according to the book entitled The Venetian Discovery of America. Bear in mind that according to the discovery doctrine, claim to a colonized land belongs to the (ostensibly) Christian nation who discovered it.
He [mapmaker Abraham Ortelius] stated that while Columbus had discovered America, “the north part thereof, called Estotiland, which most of all extendeth towards our Europe and the islands of the same, was long ago found out by certain fishers of the Isle of Frisland, driven by tempest on the shore, and was afterwards, about the year 1390, discovered anew by one Antonio Zeno, a gentleman of Venice”
Thus, the Bible points to the year in which Italy claims to have discovered North America! According to the discovery doctrine, this means that Italy, in its capacity as a sovereign Christian (papal) nation, is now (as of the death of the two witnesses in 2020) the legitimate claimant to the New World. America, you stopped protesting, you joined the pope, and now the papal beast holds claim to you!
This is further corroborated by the fact that the American continents derive their name from an Italian explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. It is as if the twists and turns of recorded history have converged to testify against Protestant America, and fate (or God) has given the apostate nation what it asked for.
To put it another way, if America had studied the prophecies and discerned God’s will, it might have known that this year would be the year of its visitation, and it might have made different choices. But, America, you chose same-sex marriage (the Roman practice) in preference to the laws of the Garden of Eden. America, you clung to Sunday (papal/pagan sun worship) and by and large refused the Seventh-day Sabbath that sealed the first marriage between man and woman as the crown of God’s creative work. Now you are expelled from your own Eden on earth, confined in your own home, where now you cannot even breathe freely, and your own sons—brothers—are burning your streets and killing each other like Cain who rose up against the first martyr!
This June—Pride Month—you are seeing the fruits of your ways as the flaming sword takes away any hope of returning to your former estate. Now you can sing Ashokan Farewell as a renewed Civil War reduces the memory of your beautiful spacious skies and amber waves of grain to an abstract memory of the abundant blessings and loving provisions that were once yours, until you rejected God and chose your own ways instead.
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)
Humanism, which elevates man as a god, was also born in northern Italy and in the same era transitioning into the Renaissance period. In fact, it was the driving force of the Renaissance:
Humanism, system of education and mode of inquiry that originated in northern Italy during the 13th and 14th centuries and later spread through continental Europe and England. The term is alternatively applied to a variety of Western beliefs, methods, and philosophies that place central emphasis on the human realm. Also known as Renaissance humanism, the historical program was so broadly and profoundly influential that it is one of the chief reasons why the Renaissance is viewed as a distinct historical period. Indeed, though the word Renaissance is of more recent coinage, the fundamental idea of that period as one of renewal and reawakening is humanistic in origin. But humanism sought its own philosophical bases in far earlier times and, moreover, continued to exert some of its power long after the end of the Renaissance.
Today, humanism is openly regarded as the principle behind all human law, from the United Nations on down. As the final fruit of this doctrine, man has so worshiped himself that he cannot see his wrong, no matter how abominable or self-destructive he becomes, or how far the self-sacrificing love of Smyrna and Philadelphia is displaced by self-gratifying lust.
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. (Revelation 11:9–10)
The unregenerate heart perceives rebuke as torment, and so the world has been tormented by the silent rebuke of brotherly love and a self-sacrificing spirit. On the day those two witnesses died, America celebrated Memorial Day with parties and gifts and were happy to get out of the house. In the following days, the U.S. launched two “witnesses” of an entirely other character aboard the “Crew Dragon” to the International Space Station. Like a victory demonstration as a symbol of overcoming the two witnesses, these icons of the one-world government ascended from the moral bottomless pit that the U.S. now is, in a cloud of rocket smoke for all to see.
And the dragon was wroth 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 12:17)
The story of Smyrna and Philadelphia doesn’t end there, however. The Bible prophesies a resurrection of these two witnesses, which came to pass exactly as the prophecy indicates:
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. (Revelation 11:11)
This time the Bible specifies two periods of three and a half days (here and in verse 9 quoted previously), which accounts for seven days total—three and a half for Smyrna and three and a half for Philadelphia—from May 25, 2020 until the Spirit of life entered the dead witnesses on the eighth day. Then the first Christian voices—even the likes of Paul Begley and Lyn Leahz—began to recognize what happened and what it means. Unfortunately for Paul Begley, however, he correctly sees the horsemen running backwards but doesn’t seem to know that God has power to reverse time and attributes the work of God to the enemy, yet still puts his hopes in a president that is widely recognized to have reached his end. How will Trump survive when he is causing division among his own Protestant voter base (including big names like Pat Robertson)? And with the Pentagon’s recent break with Trump, it wouldn’t be unthinkable for there to be a coup in the United States soon. Could that be coming at the next tick of God’s clock as the second division of Great Babylon? In any case, many people are starting to wake up, and even though they haven’t been led into all truth as of yet, they are beginning to take their stand.
This corresponds to the rain of Noah’s day, which was both an act of salvation for those in the ark and an act of destruction for those outside. “We’ve got some difficult days ahead,” as MLK said, but “mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
Now the spirit of self-sacrifice and brotherly love needs to rise up fully. Stand on your feet, O Christians! Let the two candlesticks shine! This is your time to be a beacon of light in the darkest night. This is the time for the dry bones of Ezekiel 37 to come back to life:
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. (Ezekiel 37:10)
Teach your brethren how to love each other again, and don’t be afraid to let the seed of the gospel be shed far and wide for the sake of Christ, so others may see your good works (not hatred, looting, violence, and vengeance) and glorify God. Bring in a good harvest of souls, till the number of the martyrs of the fifth seal is fulfilled.
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (Revelation 6:9–11)
Shun evil. And where sacrifice is needed, let it be a perfect sacrifice, given willingly and non-violently, befitting of a child of Christ. Stand up against the mark of the beast for what it really is. While the COVID-19 vaccine may be a means of applying lifestyle restrictions that may tempt one to compromise, it is not itself the mark of the beast! There are many strong reasons why it should be avoided, but one must not leave out the weightier matters of abomination that the Word of God plainly calls out. If MLK would take a bullet without fear in the spirit of Smyrna for the sake of speaking God’s will in brotherly love to all men, why should you fear the machinations of the enemy? Purpose in your heart with Daniel’s three friends:
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace [the vaccine or microchip or any other form of control], and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods [humanism, pluralism], nor worship [or have tolerance for] the golden image which thou hast set up [namely same-sex marriage and related abominations]. (Daniel 3:17–18)
God will avenge what is done against you by others. What does it matter if martyrdom comes by bullet or guillotine or vaccine, or by the kill command of a microchip? Of course, all of these should be avoided as far as possible without compromising faith in God, but if a person’s free will is destroyed and he is made a will-less robot, and then forced to do something that he would otherwise not do, it is not sin. But it is sin to embrace the abominations for which God destroyed the ancient world. Warn others of the danger to their eternal life!
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him [i.e. respect God] which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
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