God’s justice is one of the great understandings. It is one of the great blessings of the Day of Trumpets. The Bible does not end with Trumpets; it is simply a step in God’s overall plan of salvation for all of mankind. That plan can only be fully realized when evil has been defeated, when Satan has been bound and when the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea. Sermon given for Feast of Trumpets on September 25, 2014.
[Paul Moody] I would like to begin this morning by looking at a prophecy that caught my attention in recent times and as we come up to the Fall Holy Days, the Feast of Trumpets, the Feast of Tabernacles and the Eight Day, I would say our Bible Study tend to take on more of a prophetic tone in many ways and so I came across this prophecy and it gave me pause to stop and think and reflect a bit. So I would like to begin today by taking a look at the verse that will be the anchor point for this Feast of Trumpets message.
If you will turn please to Genesis 49 . The setting here takes place as the patriarch Jacob is about to die and he calls his sons together and he prophesies to them as to the events that will befall them in the last days and so when we come to Genesis 49:10 Genesis 49:10The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.
American King James Version×we see prophecies about the tribe of Judah. So let’s notice what this says:
Genesis 49:10 Genesis 49:10The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.
American King James Version× The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
And so this is a prophecy about rulership. It is a prophecy about a kingly line that would come down ultimately to the line of David. A line of kings that would exists up until the return of Jesus Christ, to His ultimate return to be established as King of Kings.
Genesis 49:10 Genesis 49:10The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.
American King James Version×here is a Messianic prophecy. Now Genesis 49:10 Genesis 49:10The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the gathering of the people be.
American King James Version×generally gets a lot of attention in terms of Messianic prophecies in the world of prophecy but I would like to actually focus us then today on Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version×. This is continuing in with the prophecy to the tribe of Judah and it says:
V. 11 - Binding the donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.
This is the passage that caught my attention in recent times that I have been, I suppose, obsessing over in a way.
You know, my Bible, the translators of my New King James Bible, don’t recognize this verse as a Messianic prophecy. They look at it - they recognize it as a prophecy to the tribe of Judah but not a Messianic prophecy. Each one of those prophecies of Messiahship in my Bible contain a star by them. There isn’t a star by Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version×and so that was interesting to me because I thought there were some things that were catching of my attention as relating to Jesus Christ in this verse, and so I went on-line and I looked up a number of commentaries and I wanted to see what the general consensus of this verse was and most didn’t recognize this as pointing to Jesus in any manner. In fact the general consensus was that this verse is describing future blessings in the tribe of Judah in which choice wine is as common as water. It will be so common that perhaps one could even wash their clothes in it and even animals might be tied to a choice vine.
But brethren, when I look at Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version×I see parallels, I see imagery that point to the first and second coming of Jesus Christ and it is my belief that Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version×is in fact a Messianic prophecy. Now the fulfillment of that may be dual and may in fact point in part to the blessings that would be realized by the people of Judah in that way but I belief the primary focus of this verse points to Christ and it is in fact a continuation of the context of the Messianic prophecy that we find in Genesis 40:10 Genesis 40:10And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
American King James Version×.
That is what I would like to explore today in the time that we have remaining and this will be our anchor scripture for the message. The title of my message this morning is: Triumphal entry; Triumphant return. As we walk through the explanation of this verse there are actually two primary lessons that I would like for us to take from the message today.
Number one - The first lesson is: In His dealing with mankind, God is merciful and just. In His dealings with mankind God is merciful and just and the second point I would like for us to consider today is that understanding the ultimate fulfillment of God’s Holy Days gives us comfort and clarity in the face of uncertain times. Understanding the fulfillment of God’s Holy Days gives us comfort and clarity in the face of uncertain times.
So let’s break down Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version× and see what we can learn today. Now the first half of the scripture says:
V.11 - Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine.
This appears to be referring to the manner and the purpose in which Jesus came at His first coming. When Jesus Christ walked the earth during His ministry He made it clear who it was that the intended recipients of His ministry would be. Let’s go to Matthew 15 - you can put a marker, if you like, in Genesis 49. We will be coming back to it.
In Matthew 15:21 Matthew 15:21Then Jesus went there, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
American King James Version×we see who the primary focus was of the ministry of Jesus Christ at His first coming.
Matthew 15:21 Matthew 15:21Then Jesus went there, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
American King James Version× Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
V.22 - And behold, a woman of Canaan came from the region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”
V.23 - but He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
V.24 - But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Christ’s primary focus and purpose at His first coming was to minister to the physical people of God, to the physical house of Israel, in that way. Now when we consider scripture and we consider God’s description of His people, who is it that is referred to by God as a choice vine? In Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version× we saw the reference of the donkey’s colt tied to the choice vine. Who does God refer to as a choice vine? Well, it is His physical people and it is Israel.
Let’s go to Isaiah 5 - we will see a reference to this. There are more than one place in scripture that we can find this reference but we will just take a look at this one today.
Isaiah 5:1 Isaiah 5:1Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well beloved has a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
American King James Version× Now let me sing to my Well-beloved a song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:
And so in this song God is the beloved; Israel is His vineyard.
V.1 - … My Well-beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful hill.
V.2 - He dug it up and cleared out its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. He built a tower in its midst, and also made a winepress in it; so He expected it to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes.
So the purpose of planting a good vine and a choice vine, is what? Well, it is that good fruit and choice fruit would be produced in that, especially when you care for the vine. When you tend for it lovingly and when you give it the nurturing and care that it needs and that is what God did for His physical people Israel but He says they brought forth wild grapes.
If we jump down now to:
V.7 - He says: For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are His pleasant plant. He looked for justice, but behold, oppression; for righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.
So God’s people fell short, didn’t they? They fell short of the expectation of the fruit that they should have produced, of that level in which God expected them to attain. They didn’t produce the fruit of righteousness that God intended for them and yet He had called them His choice vine. They were in fact His choice people. That is what He intended they would be.
Notice, at His first coming Jesus Christ came to tend to those whom God called His choice vine. He came to minister, to shepherd the lost sheep of the house of Israel, to tend to that vineyard, to give them hope and to give them direction once again.
In the book of Matthew there is an event that took place shortly before Jesus’ crucifixion in Jerusalem and through the event we can come to understand what the connection is between the colt of the donkey and the choice vine.
Let’s go to Matthew 21 and I will read you this whole event in its context and then we will go back and walk through it and take a little closer look.
Matthew 21:1 Matthew 21:1And when they drew near to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, to the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
American King James Version× He says: Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
V.2 - saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me.
This passage is contained in all four of the accounts and Mark talks about the fact that this was a donkey-colt on which no one had ever sat.
V.3 - “And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”
V.4 - All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
V.5 - “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
V.6 - So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.
V.7 - They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.
V.8 - And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
And what is interesting is every time my wife reads a description of this she is always explaining to me the miracle that is taking place already. As a horse trainer she has inside into these things but you take a colt that has never been ridden on, you throw a garment on him, you put a rider on him, you take him down a street where people are throwing their clothes in the street, branches out on the street, and you know what you have? You have the prime opportunity for rodeo. So Jesus Christ came on this colt miraculously.
V.9 - He says: Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
In John 12:13 John 12:13Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that comes in the name of the Lord.
American King James Version× it says, they cried out: Hosanna! The King of Israel!
Matthew 21:10 Matthew 21:10And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
American King James Version× And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”
V.11 - So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”
Now this event is known in scripture as the triumphal entry. Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem in a very triumphant way and it was in a manner that would have been recognized by the people of that day as significant. You see Jesus came to a people who were looking for a Saviour. The Jews of that time were an oppressed people. They were subject to the Roman Empire and as such their sense of national pride, their sense of power as God’s holy people was very much diminished and so they were looking for a Saviour. They knew the prophecies of old. They read through Isaiah, Jeremiah and the various prophecies that you and I read through and they recognize from scripture that there would come a King from the line of David that would conquer the nations, that would establish a Kingdom, a dominant Kingdom that would rule the world and that Israel, Judah, would once again be a model nation to the world. And so they looked at those prophecies. They recognized what they said and that is what they were looking for in Jesus. They were looking for the dominant King who would restore the glory to Israel and Judah.
Now no doubt many of these same individuals who journeyed up to Jerusalem for the Passover, - as you recall the Passover is one of the Pilgrimage Holy Days. They would gather into Jerusalem. No doubt some of these individuals had heard Jesus Christ preach the gospel. No doubt some of them perhaps were in the masses which He fed with the fish and the bread. He performed that miraculous event. Perhaps some of them had even been healed or had seen others who had been healed as Jesus came through their area. They recognized the power of God.
John’s account tells us there were people here at this event who personally witnessed Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. So if you have read the prophecies, you are looking for a King - here comes the prophet from Nazareth with the power of God; you know they must be thinking this must be their king. This must be the one to restore the dominance again to Israel and Judah.
And so when Jesus entered Jerusalem He was received as their King and he entered much in the manner that a King would have entered the city. The fact that He came on the back of a donkey didn’t seem so unusual for the people of that day. The fact is that the donkey was the colt of the kings and prince’s of Israel historically. If you recall the kings were instructed not to multiply horses to themselves because you see horses were a symbol of war, of conquest and of dominance. The donkey was a symbol of humility, of service and of peace and so historically the kings in Israel and Judah rode donkeys and that event ultimately pointed to the humility by which Jesus Christ would come.
So Jesus now enters Jerusalem. The people are crying out to Him and in:
V.9 - The people cried out saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”
They were crying out to Jesus Christ as their King, as their Messiah, as their Saviour.
The word Hosanna in Hebrew is a word which means “save now” and it was a word that was used by the people crying out to their king to help them, to save them, to intervene on their behalf. The cry of Hosanna was very much a desperate plea. They were crying out to Jesus Christ as their King and as their Messiah.
Now it is interesting in what the people of that day in general did not understand was, that the manner in which Jesus came to them in His first coming didn’t represent what they were seeking in the Messiah. Again, Jesus rode on the colt of a donkey and that would not have been unusual but Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem demonstrated His position as King and Saviour but it would be as a suffering Messiah. It would be through the humility of His death. He rode the lowly donkey symbolizing the humility and the service and the sacrifice that He would make to the people of God and ultimately all of mankind.That’s the merciful side of God’s nature.
Again, one of the lessons that we want to remember is that God is merciful but He is also just and in humility God sent His only Son. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. That is the mercy of God. That is the side of God - that He desires for man to clean himself up. God’s merciful side desires man to recognize their sin, to turn and to repent and to be restored in a relationship ultimately with Him. In order to accomplish that He sent His son in a very humble way.
Jesus Christ came to physical Israel and physical Judah and He came to be a suffering Messiah and that is what the donkey’s colt represented: The One who came in service and humility to all of mankind.
Now unfortunately a suffering Messiah was a reality that first century Jews could not recognize. Ultimately Jesus Christ came to a people, into a world who rejected Him. He wasn’t at all what they were looking for, what they were seeking in a powerful physical king and Saviour.
You know it wasn’t but a few days later that these people who were crying out “Hosanna in the Highest!” - some of them were probably standing before Pilate crying out: “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” This One who had been delivered up to be scourged and crucified, how could He be their King? How could He be the one that would deliver them? They certainly did not see Jesus Christ for the Saviour He was in their day.
Let’s turn to Zechariah 9. It contains the prophecy of this triumphal entry and it also contains other things as well. As we read through this passage I want you to think about it from the perspective of how the Jews would have viewed it in relation to the triumphal entry and how it is we must view it today as well. And what we need to understand is the Jews of that day viewed the prophecies of Jesus Christ very much as one continuous uninterrupted event, and they read the prophecies of the Messiah and from their perspective they felt that they would be fulfilled in one coming of that Saviour. Let’s look now at how they perceived this.
Zechariah 9:9 Zechariah 9:9Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on an ass, and on a colt the foal of an ass.
American King James Version× “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
V.10 - I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off, He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
And so if you didn’t understand the distinction between Jesus’ first and second coming, how would you view this prophecy? We would probably view it much the same way as the Jews of Jesus’ day viewed it, as a conquering King that would come and save them and establish the Kingdom of God and yet, you and I read this and because we have understanding of God’s Holy Days and the plan of progression, okay, our second lesson in this message, we understand that this pictures not only Jesus’ first coming but also His second coming in the Millennial age beyond.
This is the prophecy that spans thousands of years from start to completion in only two verses.
Brethren you and I are blessed because we understand what God is doing. We understand how He is bringing it to pass and so hopefully as future prophetic events unfold we won’t be like the ancient Jews who were no doubt perplexed, perhaps confused when the One they thought to be their Saviour was delivered up and crucified. You know, those things didn’t come to pass in the manner in which they would have expected.
In face of uncertain times, in the face of what was happening at the Passover in that season, no doubt many were confused. You and I need not be. Understanding the fulfillment of God’s Holy Days gives us comfort and it gives us clarity in the face of uncertain times because there are uncertain times yet ahead. Even though we see through a glass darkly and even though we don’t have all the answers, what we can be comforted in is that God will work out His plan according His perfect will and His purpose. This is an important part of the message today.
And so if we turn back now to Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version× , again back to our anchor scripture, we recognize a couple of things. We recognize the donkey and the colt as a symbol of humility in which Jesus Christ came. We recognize the choice vine as equating to the choice people of God who Christ came to, to be their Saviour and He is very much, through His sacrifice, tied in relationship to them and to us. And so again the first part of this verse says:
Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version× Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
This pictures Jesus’ first coming to the physical people of God in humility and in sacrifice and in service.
Now a look at the second half of this verse:
V.11 - … He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.
As we will come to see brethren, the wine and the blood of grapes on His garments points to Jesus’ second coming and this is what this day of Trumpets proclaims. Jesus Christ will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Once again He will come in great power and might. He did so at His first coming but it was in a manner that was not anticipated by the people He came to, but He will come again in great power and might and Christ’s triumphant return to Jerusalem will come to pass in a manner that is quite different from His first coming. The conditions surrounding that future event will bring to light the understanding that God who is great in mercy is also jealous. This time Jesus will come to subdue the nations. He will come as a conquering King. He will establish His authority and His rulership and it will indeed be a day of blood because once again Jesus Christ will come to a world, to a people that will reject Him.
The description of His garments washed in wine and his clothes in the blood of grapes portrays the culmination of what the Bible calls “the great and terrible day of the Lord”.
Let’s go to Revelation 19, to get this expounded.
Revelation 19:11 Revelation 19:11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.
American King James Version× Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse.
And so you notice here, Jesus Christ, when He returns, it won’t be on the back of a lowly donkey. It will be on a white horse symbolizing war, conquest, ultimately victory.
V.11 - Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
And so you notice that God’s justice here - and it is not a justice that stems from a desire to gain revenge or to see men suffer pointlessly, but rather God’s justice stems from His righteousness. And that is what is different than the anger of man, the war of man, the justice that man seeks to do. That’s done in the anger of man but God’s justice comes and is rooted in His righteousness.
V.12 - His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
V.13 - He was clothed in a robe dipped in blood, - notice the imagery - and His name is called The Word of God.
V.14 - And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
V.15 - Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And so just like the harvest of grapes that are picked and are put into a vat to be pressed out, being made into wine, the same way Jesus Christ at His return will press out t he winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
V.16 - And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And so, yes brethren, Jesus Christ will return. That is what this Day of Trumpets points to. He will come in great power and might; He will make war with the nations; He will tread out the winepress and He will be victorious.
Sometimes the question comes up, when you read through prophetic scriptures such as this, the question comes up as to why? Why does God’s judgment on mankind have to be so severe?
I believe we can answer that by understanding the circumstances leading up to this point. Is you follow me back please - Matthew 24, the Olivet Prophecy.
Matthew 24:3 Matthew 24:3And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?
American King James Version× Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
V.4 - And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
V.5 - “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
Now brethren, an important point to understanding the timing and understanding the progression of Matthew 24 is to lay it alongside Revelation 6 and that is what I did. That is what you have in the handout that was passed out to you today. That handout was taken from the “Book of Revelation Unveiled”, produced by the United Church of God, and I will leave that to you to study in deeper detail later but basically it lays out Matthew 24 side by side with Revelation 6.
Revelation 6 contains 6 of the 7 seals that will be opened in progression. The first four seals are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and if we lay Revelation 6 next to Matthew 24 we see the manner in which this Olivet Prophecy will play out in the time leading up to the return of Jesus Christ.
So it says in:
Matthew 24:5 Matthew 24:5For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
American King James Version× “ For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
The first seal of Revelation 6 is religious deception and it is symbolized by the white horse. Christ said that many would come in His name saying, ‘I am the Christ’ and would deceive many.
The second seal of Revelation 6 is war and it is symbolized by the fiery red horse and we see in Matthew 24:6 Matthew 24:6And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
American King James Version×the parallel.
Matthew 24:6 Matthew 24:6And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
American King James Version× “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Now the third and the fourth seals of Revelation 6 are encompassed in Matthew 24:7-8 Matthew 24:7-8 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
American King James Version×. The third seal of Revelation 6 is famine. Famine is the consequence of war and it is symbolized by the black horse. The fourth seal of Revelation 6 is disease and the epidemics leading to death. That is the consequences of war and famine symbolized by the pale horse. So again we see that in Matthew 24:7-8 Matthew 24:7-8 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
American King James Version×.
Matthew 24:7 Matthew 24:7For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
American King James Version× “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
V.8 - “All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Now brethren when you study into the first four seals of Revelation, what you find is upon bringing about of the fourth seal, the result is one fourth of the earth’s population is killed as the result of those first four seals being opened. And here in Matthew 24:8 Matthew 24:8All these are the beginning of sorrows.
American King James Version×Jesus Christ said these are the beginning of sorrows. He says this is just the beginning.
V.9 - This parallels with the fifth seal of Revelation 6 which is religious persecution and tribulation on the people of God.
V.9 - “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
V.10 - “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
And this is in the Church. It is not describing the world. This is describing the condition in the Church of God.
V.11 - “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
V.12 - “ And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
In the Church!
V.13 - “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
So again, the fifth seal of Revelation 6 is religious persecution and tribulation on the people of God.
Brethren I think it is important that we remember that all of this takes place prior to the great tribulation. One quarter of mankind on the earth die from war, pestilence, disease; God’s people are persecuted and killed. They even turn on one another and the great tribulation, it says, still lies ahead.
Now sometimes as God’s people we think that we will escape all these things, that we will escape without suffering, without persecution, without difficulties and yet that has not been the history of the Church or frankly, the future of the Church, in many ways. A place of safety that the Bible portrays for three and a half years does not present itself until the great tribulation. These 5 seals are the times leading up to that day. Now in many ways the conditions of the first 5 seals have been opened and present on the earth since the time of Christ but what we come to understand is that as we near the time of the end, these events will intensify. They will build and grow to a climax.
Let’s jump down now to:
Matthew 24:21 Matthew 24:21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
American King James Version× “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.
V.22 - “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
So mankind left to his own devices, left to govern himself, left with the influence of Satan the Devil ruling and guiding and directing them, mankind will destroy itself if Jesus Christ does not intervene. This is the condition of the world at the time of Jesus’ return. It is a world that is in great tribulation; it is a world that is led by a beast system and a false prophet. Those will be against God, against His Word, against His truth, against the people of God, against the two witnesses of God and ultimately against Jesus Christ at His return.
Brethren, God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He desires that all men would repent, that they would return and turn to a relationship with Him but God also realizes that evil, if left unchecked, would lead to complete destruction. God’s desire is that man would repent but we see in this time and age they will not. It is at this point that God begins to intervene in the affairs of this world to put a stop to the ways of man and begin the steps that will take place to institute and establish the Kingdom of God on this earth.
God’s Kingdom is coming. It will be established but it will not co-exist with evil. That is a primary purpose that this day points to. God’s Kingdom will not co-exist with evil and therefore the evil must be overcome and it must be removed and the Kingdom of God will be established.
Brethren, this is the action of a God who is not only merciful but He is also just. There comes a point where God will no longer bare with evil. He will bring it into judgment and in His righteous judgment the sentence of Trumpets upon the earth will in fact be carried out.
Now the sixth seal of Revelation 6 is heavenly signs and they announce God’s wrath in judgment - that those things are in fact at hand. We see that in:
Matthew 24:29 Matthew 24:29Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
American King James Version× “ Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And finally following that, the seventh seal is opened which are the 7 trumpets which are blown. The trumpet plagues are poured out; God’s judgment on the earth is carried out; and it is at the seventh Trumpet that the saints are resurrected and Jesus Christ returns to the earth and will wage war.
V.30 - “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
V.31 - “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
So brethren, all these events, Matthew 24, Revelation 6 on, lead up to the events of the winepress. At the return of Jesus Christ the nations of the earth will gather together at Armageddon, they will move up into the valley of Jehoshaphat on their way to Jerusalem and it is that point that Jesus Christ will confront the armies and the nations of this earth and engage them in battle and it will in fact be a time of great blood letting. It would be the event of the winepress.
This is where we find the fulfillment of the last half of Genesis 49:11 Genesis 49:11Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
American King James Version×. This is where Christ’s garments are washed in wine and His clothes in the blood of grapes. This is where Jesus Christ treads out the winepress of the fierceness and the wrath of Almighty God. We see that description brethren, in Joel 3 - if you will follow me there, please.
Joel 3:2 Joel 3:2I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
American King James Version× I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land.
V.9 - Proclaim this among the nations; “prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near, let them come up.
V.10 - Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am strong’”
V.11 - Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord.
V.12 - “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
V.13 - Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is full, the vats overflow - for their wickedness is great.”
V.14 - Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
Revelation 14:17 Revelation 14:17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
American King James Version× Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
V.18 - And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, “Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe.”
V.19 - So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
The Valley of Jehoshaphat is the winepress. As we read in Revelation 19, Jesus Christ is the One who treads that winepress.
V.20 - And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.
Jesus Christ treads that winepress; the blood came up to the horses’ bridles for one hundred and eighty four miles.
Brethren, God is the God of mercy. God loves the people of this earth. He desires that they would turn from their evil ways and repent and establish a relationship with Him. That is what God ultimately desires but again there comes a point where evil on this earth, driven by Satan the Devil, is so imbedded, so instilled, that the man of this world will not turn. Mankind will not repent. They will not hear God’s voice. They will not relent from doing evil and therefore God in His righteous justice and in His judgment will not allow them to continue in their ways. The great God who is great in mercy, who sent His Son in humility to die for this earth is also just. In the end brethren, good will triumph over evil by the hand of God and Jesus Christ.
God’s justice is one of the great understandings, it is one of the great blessings, of this day of Trumpets. The Bible does not end with Trumpets, thankfully. The Feast of Trumpets is simply a step in God’s overall plan of salvation for all of mankind. That plan can only be fully realized when evil has been defeated, when Satan has been bound and when the knowledge of the Lord covers the earth as the waters cover the sea.
Those are Feast days that we look forward to in the near future. It is truly a blessing brethren, to have the hope and the understanding of God’s Holy Days, what these days portray, what are the steps of progression God is bringing to pass in order to bring about His offer of salvation for all of mankind. These days give us comfort, they give us clarity and they give us hope in the face of uncertain times. Again, certainly, those times lie ahead.
I would like to conclude in:
Revelation 11:15 Revelation 11:15And 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.
American King James Version× Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
May God speed that day.