Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
April 4, 1998
Last Updated :
February 22, 2012
Physical Reality Of The Kingdom Of Heaven, Sign Of The Son Of Man, Look Up And Lift Up Our Heads, As A Thief In The Night, Beast's Kingdom Cast Into Darkness, New Age Space Brothers
Considering the Scriptural evidence, is it possible that the Kingdom of Heaven isn't just an unseen Spiritual Realm which surrounds us, and is within us when we accept the Lord, but that it is also a physical or semi-physical place hidden somewhere out of our sight in the depths of space, or even on the other side of outer space? For me personally, it is a difficult to imagine the Beast, the False Prophet and their followers fighting against the Lord and His Heavenly Host at the Battle of Armageddon if they are merely invisible spiritual beings. While one might argue that it will be the invisible spiritual beings which control the Beast and his horde which will be fighting against the invisible forces of Jesus Christ, we need to remember John's words when he tells us that "every eye shall see him". I further explore these possibilities concerning the location of Heaven in the article "It Is Written in the Stars", which, as of this date, has not been released yet.
Based on all of the above, it is quite possible that the "Sign" of the Lord's Coming might actually be the Lord and His Heavenly Host physically arriving from the depths of outer space, from wherever New Jerusalem is currently located. Just as some comets appear in the night sky for a period of several weeks or months while they follow their course through our solar system, it may very well be that once the Lord's "Sign" appears in the heavens, it is going to be some time before the Lord actually arrives here. With each passing day, that Celestial Light in the sky is going to grow larger and brighter until the Earth is totally engulfed in the Lord's magnificent splendor! Consider the following interesting verse found in the Book of Proverbs:
"But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
Proverbs 4:18, KJV
If you recall the definition I provided earlier concerning the word "perfect", it certainly seems to fit. The day that the Lord arrives, the Perfect Day, God's Plan of Salvation is finally going to be fulfilled; as we will then be made complete when we are resurrected, and/or changed, and taken up to be with Him in our Heavenly Bodies! Just as I pointed out that the celestial "Sign" follows the astronomical signs in Matthew chapter twenty-four, there is evidence in that same verse which suggests that there may be a time lapse between the moment when the "Sign" first becomes visible in the night sky, and when the Lord actually arrives in the clouds surrounding the Earth. Consider again what Matthew said:
"Immediately 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: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
Matthew 24:29-30, KJV
Notice the sequence of events here. First we are told that the world will witness the signs of the Sun and the Moon being darkened, and the stars falling from the heavens. While these may be actual astronomical events, I offer another interesting perspective in the article "The Comet Hale-Bopp, Chernobyl and the DeathStar Wormwood". Following this first event, the "Sign" of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. When the people of the Earth see this "Sign", we are told that they are going to mourn. Obviously, a lot of them are not going to be too happy about this; probably because they have foolishly rejected the Lord and accepted the Mark of the Beast. Finally, we are told that they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
It seems to me that what the Lord is describing might be a progression of events and not all one simultaneous event. As I have said before, being as the Bible is printed material, we tend to read it sometimes without consciously recognizing or realizing that there are time gaps in between certain events. As I was writing this article, a verse came to mind which definitely seems to fit this picture of the "Sign" appearing in the sky for some time while the Lord draws closer and closer to the Earth; all the while becoming brighter and brighter, just like a visiting comet! Consider what the Lord said in the twenty-first chapter of the Gospel of Luke:
"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
Luke 21:28, KJV
In the above verse, the words "these things" are referring to all of the Endtime signs Jesus has just spent the whole chapter describing for His Disciples; and of course for us, since we will hopefully still be alive when these events occur. The Lord then specifically tells us that when we see these things, to LOOK UP and LIFT UP our heads. The first words "look up" are derived from the Greek word "anakupto" which means to lift up one's self or to look up; and the words "lift up" are derived from the Greek "epairo" which basically means the same, to lift up or raise up one's self. This can be understood in two ways:
In a spiritual sense, some believers are going to be feeling very downcast, discouraged, and maybe even doubting their faith due to the onslaught of the Beast, the False Prophet and their followers. As I have described in other articles, some are indeed going to fall under the delusion of Satan and forsake the Faith due to the severe persecution; but we must remember that this time, while it will seem very dark for the Believers, is exactly what we need; because it will be a time of chastening and purification; a time to purge the Saints in the fires of the Lord's tribulation. This is why the Lord is telling us that when we see these signs occurring on the Earth, we are to LIFT UP our heads. This is precisely what Paul told the Hebrews when he likewise wrote concerning the Lord's chastisements:
"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed."
Hebrews 12:11-13, KJV
Let me again remind you that the purpose of the Great Tribulation is two-fold. It isn't only to purge and purify the Believers, thus making them more righteous in God's eyes, but it is also to allow the wicked to fill their cup of iniquity; so that when the Lord pours out His judgments, everyone will know without a doubt that they are righteous judgments. So then, the Lord said to LIFT UP our heads, and the Apostle Paul said to LIFT UP our hands. In other words, be encouraged! Lift up your hands and praise the Lord! Why are we to lift up our heads and our hands? Jesus gave us a very clear answer: "for your redemption draweth nigh". He is coming for us! Notice again that a lapse of time is very apparent. Jesus said to be encouraged because our Redemption is drawing near. It isn't here yet, but it is getting closer with each passing day! He is coming for us!
While this is the spiritual interpretation of this verse, Jesus was also speaking in a very literal sense as well. Not only is He saying to pick up our spirits, but He is also saying to literally LIFT UP our heads! Look to the sky because you are going to see something wonderful coming! You are going to see the "Sign" of His Coming from afar! Perhaps at first it will be just a fuzzy glow in the night sky similar to a comet; but with each passing day, it will grow brighter and brighter, and bigger and bigger! You are going to get so inspired, that by the time the Lord actually arrives in the clouds for us, you will be so high on the Spirit that you won't care what they will be doing to your physical body! In the story of the martyrdom of the Prophet Isaiah, we are told that while Isaiah's enemies had his old body stretched out in the racks, and were literally sawing him in half, a common form of torture in those days, Isaiah was so in the Spirit that he was just praising the Lord the whole time; which upset his enemies all the more! He probably didn't feel a thing; just like the martyr Stephen in the Book of Acts when he was stoned to death:
"When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."
Acts 7:54-60, KJV
Notice when Jesus told us to lift up our heads. He didn't just say to do it when we see these things happening on the Earth; He said "And when these things begin to come to pass". This seems like another confirmation to me that whatever this "Sign" is, it is going to appear in the heavens for some time before Jesus actually arrives here. As I discussed earlier, the "Star of Bethlehem" wasn't just there one minute and gone the next. The Magi from the East didn't have a pick-up truck to cut across all of those mountains and deserts at one hundred miles an hour. They had to travel by mules and camels and such; and it took time. In fact, if you read the Gospels closely, you will see that it took them perhaps two whole years to arrive at the house of Joseph and Mary where they presented the young child Jesus with gifts.
At this point, some of you may be wondering how this idea of the Lord arriving at a slower more leisurely pace can be reconciled with the belief that He will arrive suddenly and unexpectedly as a thief in the night. Allow me to refer you to my article "As a Thief in the Night?: Not for Me!" where I fully explain my perspective regarding this belief. The fact that the Lord will arrive as a thief in the night brings us to another interesting point. According to my understanding of the Scriptures, when Jesus comes, not only will it be dark in a spiritual sense due to the wickedness in the world, but it may be dark in a physical sense as well. Consider again what the Lord said in the above verses. If the Sun and the Moon are going to be physically darkened, and the stars are going to fall from the heavens, it is going to be very dark indeed. In fact, according to the Book of Revelation, one of the Last Seven Plagues is going to throw the Kingdom of the Beast into total darkness:
"And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,"
Revelation 16:10, KJV
The full extent of the Kingdom of the Beast is one question which remains unanswered. Some students of the Bible believe that it will be limited to the Middle East, while others suggest it may be worldwide in scope. At this point in time, I honestly do not know. As I have said in other articles, we need to remember that the majority of the Endtime prophecies are written from the perspective of how they are going to directly affect Israel. This is why, for example, in the prophecies of Daniel, the Angelic Messenger specifically says "thy people", meaning the Jews, as in the following verse:
"Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days."
Daniel 10:14, KJV
If the Lord is going to extinguish the celestial bodies and not just cause a regional eclipse, then it would seem that the entire world is going to be covered in darkness. This may be an implication that the Beast's power will eventually cover the entire planet. The implementation of the UPC, or Universal Product Code, and the Smart Card, seem to point to a worldwide Kingdom of the Beast. Time will certainly tell. While I hesitate to accept the above verse as an actual physical darkening of the Sun, Moon and stars, it does offer a very interesting possibility concerning the wicked gnawing their tongues for pain. Instead of a "Nuclear Winter", the world might experience a "Divine Winter". If the Lord were to really "turn off" the Sun, the Earth would literally freeze causing many to gnaw their tongues for pain! In fact, some time ago, I recall reading an article which theorized that the Sun isn't so much like a self-contained hydrogen bomb, but rather it is more like a great light, exactly as the Book of Genesis describes it. Perhaps it is similar to a heat lamp. What I also find interesting is that only five verses after the Kingdom of the Beast is covered in darkness, we find the following verse:
"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
Revelation 16:15, KJV
The fact that the Kingdom of the Beast is thrown into darkness during the Fifth Trumpet, may be an indication of when we might be able to begin seeing the "Sign" of the Lord's Coming. As we discussed earlier, the "Sign" will appear after the Sun and the Moon have been darkened; and here we see that occurring during the Fifth Trumpet. Thus it appears that the "Sign" may appear in the latter part of the Great Tribulation. It's not at the very beginning; and it's not at the very end either. Jesus said when we begin to see these things happening; He never said to lift ourselves up at the very beginning; He said when we begin to see these things happening. This may be an indication that some of them will have already happened by the time we realize what is going on. Different people are going to begin realizing what is happening at different times. It is similar to our current situation. Some of us understand the deep mysteries of the Endtime while others do not. We are all helping each other along in our understanding.
The point is, prior to the Lord's arrival, if we accept a literal interpretation of these verses, it is going to become very dark; because there will be no sun shining, no moon shining, and fewer stars shining as well. It may not be pitch-black, but it will be close to it! By doing this, the Lord, whom I earlier described as a movie director, may be preparing those who are still here, for the Greatest Show on Earth! When you go into a movie theater, they normally turn off all of the lights right before the show is going to begin. Well, at least that is how they used to do it. Nowadays, with so many things going on in movie theaters, some theater managers prefer to leave the lights on all the way up to showtime. But if they do turn them off, or at least turn them down, it adds a bit of thrill and excitement to the air. A sudden hush comes to the crowd as they watch the screen in eager anticipation. Then the curtains are drawn, and the show begins! In the following verse, perhaps we see the Lord drawing back the "curtains" of Heaven to prepare the way for the leading star of His show!:
"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places."
Revelation 6:14, KJV
The Lord is going to draw back the curtains in order to reveal the Greatest Show on Earth in spectacular glorious celestial colors! Previously, I suggested that this might be referring to the actual sky, or heavens, rolling back because of some type of warp or vortex being created in the time-space continuum; in other words, an opening into the unseen Spirit Dimension around us. Since we already know it is going to be very dark when this occurs, this would indeed make the arrival of Jesus Christ and the Angelic Host even more dramatic! However, let me again say that this is not the only possible interpretation. It might not be a sudden quick event. Jesus may arrive from the depths of deep dark space, or perhaps it would be better to say, from the other side of the "cloud of darkness" discussed in the Bible. Again, allow me to refer you to the article "It's Written in the Stars!", which may be published at some point in the future.
In some of my articles which discuss the topic of aliens and UFOs, I explain that there are som New Age advocates who are expecting the imminent arrival of beings, or "Space Brothers", from Outer Space. These beings are said to belong to a higher spiritual order. If we accept that these beings are real, then they and their leader might be nothing more than Satan and the rebellious angels who have been cast out of Heaven by Michael and his angels. Of course, these evil intruders are not going to reveal their dark secret to the people of Earth; they are going to create a lie and a delusion. In fact, it may very well be that they already have; and some people are foolishly falling for this evil deception. According to the "Space Brother" scenario, these beings are a benign technologically-advanced race from Outer Space who are coming in their glowing flying disks to assist "Mother Earth" in her "Ascension Plan". This belief is very central to New Age thought. There are quite a few New Age channelers, Native American shamans, etc., who are currently pushing this program of delusion on the ignorant American public, as well as on others around the world.
If the Red Dragon and a third of the stars, or angels of Heaven, are going to arrive first in order to deceive the world through strong delusion and many miraculous signs and wonders, pretending to be our saviors, it make sense that when the Lord returns, He and His Angelic Host might also originate from the depths of deep space, that is, from Heaven. There is an old saying which says, "It's curtains for you, buddy!". Perhaps this is what the drawing back of the curtains, or the scrolling away of the heavens, is for; to announce the soon arrival of the true King of Kings and Lord of Lord, who is going to dethrone the evil Usurper, Satan, the king of empires! This possibility seems to fit our picture perfectly; because after the kingdom of the Beast is cast into darkness, with the very next vial, the Sixth Vial, we witness the Euphrates River being dried up so that the armies of the kings of the East can come to the Battle of Armageddon in Israel, where they will fight along the side of those who have already surrounded Jerusalem:
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty . . . And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
Revelation 16:12-14, 16, KJV
I discuss the possible identity of these kings of the East in my six-part series "The Seven Heads". If we assume that the "Sign" of the Lord's Coming is going to be physically visible in the heavens for some time; and that it will become brighter and brighter with each passing day as the Lord and the Heavenly Host approach, it is easy to imagine what kind of an effect it will have upon the darkness which has fallen upon the kingdom of the Beast. Instead of a sudden brightness occurring, it seems to me that the darkness might slowly peel or scroll away as it is penetrated by the brilliance of the Lord's Coming. It is this very same brightness which will destroy the Son of Perdition, that is, the Jewish Antichrist, who will have usurped the place of God by sitting in the soon-to-be-built Temple on the top of Mount Moriah:
"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:"
2 Thessalonians 2:8, KJV
According to one ancient prophecy from the book of Zechariah, it may be that when the Lord arrives, all of the evil human followers of the Beast who arrive for Armageddon, are going to melt like wax, just as if they were standing on "zero ground" of an atomic blast!:
"And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."
Zechariah 14:12, KJV
This is precisely what happened over fifty years ago to the poor souls who were looking in the direction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the American government dropped it demonic devices of death upon the inhabitants of those two Japanese cities. Their bodies were literally vaporized in seconds! This possible scenario of the Lord arriving from deep space presents another question: How can the Lord come as a thief in the night if this "Sign" is going to be so apparent in the heavens for some time prior to the Lord's arrival? Allow me to offer one possibility. We need to remember that by the time these events occur, the world will be under very strong delusion. To them, the "Sign" might be interpreted as being nothing more than a great astronomical event, such as another comet arriving from deep space. They may be absolutely blinded to the Truth. Only too late will they realize their error. In this sense, the Lord could still come as a thief in the night for those who have not discerned the signs of the times:
"He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"
Matthew 16:2-3, KJV
On the other hand, another possibility presents itself if we again consider the delusion embraced by some adherents of New Age thought. If Satan and his cohorts do arrive from the heavens feigning to be a technologically-advanced race from the stars, it is quite possible that they will trick the world into believing that they have come to warn us of an impending invasion by another evil race from Outer Space which will soon follow in their footsteps. Short of total insanity, and complete demonic deception, I cannot possibly imagine how anyone on Earth could rise up to fight against Christ at His Coming. They would have to be tricked into believing that He and His Heavenly Host are something which they are really not: evil space aliens! If this idea seems absurd to you, consider the subtle brainwashing which has been going on for several decades now. Through the exportation of films produced by the American cinematographic industry, people the world over are being psychologically prepared for a war against invading aliens.
I suspect that there are certain people in power today who are very well aware of what the future holds; and even now they are making preparations for it. No one can deny that the governments of the world, including the government of the United States of America, have secret agendas which are concealed from the general public. In some cases, these secret agendas cannot be as easily concealed; so they are presented to we the public under a different guise. Such may be the case with the Hubble Space Telescope. There have already been a number of reports and rumors circulating which state that this telescope may have been designed for other purposes far greater than what has been revealed publicly. To add to this mystery, the Vatican also recently built an observatory in the western part of the United States of America. One must truly question why an organization which is supposed to be dedicated to the spiritual welfare of the people, needs such a thing. Could it be that both the U.S. government and the Vatican are waiting for these visitors from the stars? If time is as short as some believe, it's possible that they have already detected something on the fringes of our solar system, or even beyond. You may recall that the comet Hale-Bopp was discovered three years before it finally made its closest approach to the Earth.
There is one other point worthy of discussion concerning the the "Sign" of the Son of Man and the Lord coming as a thief in the night. If Satan and his demonic horde, and the Lord and His Heavenly Host, will be coming from the depths of outer space, we should question how long such an arrival will take. Will it require years, or decades, or even longer? If they were to require technology such as man would require to make such a journey, then this would seem to be the case; however, we are dealing with superior beings here. One topic which has mystified many Bible students over the years, is the mention in the prophecies of Daniel of certain time extensions right after the period of Great Tribulation. There is an additional thirty-day period, followed by another forty-five day period as can be seen by the following verses:
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days."
Daniel 12:11-12, KJV
I am wondering if either one of these time periods at the end of the Great Tribulation might have something to do with the "Sign" and the Coming of the Lord. Even if it were to take thirty days, or forty-five days to traverse the universe to get here, that would still be extremely quick by our current standards and means of deep space travel. Thus, in my view, the Lord could still come as a thief in the night for those who have not discerned the signs of the times. To add weight to this possibility, there is a very unusual descriptive link between Satan being cast down to the Earth by Michael, and the Lord's Second Coming. Consider the following two verses:
"And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
Luke 10:18, KJV
"For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Matthew 24:27, KJV
No one can deny that if there are two words which perfectly describe lightning, it is that it is fast, and it is very bright; and both Satan's fall, and the Lord's coming are described the same in that regard, right out of the mouth of the Saviour! Why did the Lord use this comparison? Is it possible that He was issuing a warning to us? The Apostle Paul gave us a similar warning in his second epistle to the Corinthians when he wrote:
"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
2 Corinthians 11:14, KJV
As I have pointed out in articles such as "Under the Cloud: UFOs and the Holy Bible", there is substantial Scriptural evidence which points to the fact that the Lord may use some kind of a Celestial Vehicle. I am very well aware of the dilemma this creates for some of us. The immediate question which arises in our minds is: "If God and Jesus are all-powerful spiritual beings, why do they require any kind of vehicle whatsoever?" Truly, this is a difficult question to answer; and I humbly admit that I currently do not have a good answer for it; however, as shown in the aforementioned article, the Prophet Ezekiel and others saw things which, according to their descriptions, certainly sound like glowing, spinning circular craft with brilliant lights, or eyes, on them. They sound exactly like what we refer to today as UFOs, OVNI's or flying saucers!
Please go to part four for the continuation of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .