II ESDRAS, aka Fourth Ezra
A book by the Prophet, Ezra, who lived around 450BC. This book is also called Fourth Ezra. It was in the Septuagint Bible at Jesus' day, but since that time the Greek text was lost. It exists in Latin and in some other languages. It is truly unfortunate that we do not have the Greek text to study. Therefore, it is likely that some parts of it are not to be trusted. For instance, the Roman Catholic Church removed the section around chapter 7 which teaches against praying for the dead. But that section was found in other manuscripts, so it is included here. The book describes seven visions which Ezra had.
Chapters 1 & 2 were added by Christians, probably in the third century AD.
[Commentary, in this text style, is by Roger Hathaway, some of which is quite speculative. I think this book is one of the most exciting and meaningful and valid as any in the Bible. I see in it two distinct themes: first is the lack of emotion with which God releases those who do not devote their lives to His will with emphasis on how very few are saved, and secondly, detailed prophecies of end-time events, including the Armageddon sequence.]
THE GENEALOGY OF EZRA
1:1 The book of the prophet Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub, 2son of Ahijah, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraimoth, son of Arna, son of Uzzi, son of Borith, son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, 3son of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi, who was a captive in the country of the Medes in the reign of Artaxerxes, king of the Persians.
EZRA'S PROPHETIC CALL
1: 4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5"Go, declare to my people their evil deeds, and to their children the iniquities that they have committed against me, so that they may tell their children's children 6that the sins of their parents have increased in them, for they have forgotten me and have offered sacrifices to strange gods. 7Was it not I who brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage? But they have angered me and despised my counsels. 8Now you, pull out the hair of your head and hurl all evils upon them, for they have not obeyed my law--they are a rebellious people. 9How long shall I endure them, on whom I have bestowed such great benefits? 10For their sake I have overthrown many kings; I struck down Pharaoh with his servants and all his army. 11I destroyed all nations before them, and scattered in the east the peoples of two provinces, Tyre and Sidon; I killed all their enemies.
GOD'S MERCIES TO ISRAEL
1:12 "But speak to them and say, Thus says the Lord: 13Surely it was I who brought you through the sea, and made safe highways for you where there was no road; I gave you Moses as leader and Aaron as priest; 14I provided light for you from a pillar of fire, and did great wonders among you. Yet you have forgotten me, says the Lord.
1:15 "Thus says the Lord Almighty: The quails were a sign to you; I gave you camps for your protection, and in them you complained. 16You have not exulted in my name at the destruction of your enemies, but to this day you still complain. 17Where are the benefits that I bestowed on you? When you were hungry and thirsty in the wilderness, did you not cry out to me, 18saying, 'Why have you led us into this wilderness to kill us? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in this wilderness.' 19I pitied your groanings and gave you manna for food; you ate the bread of angels. 20When you were thirsty, did I not split the rock so that waters flowed in abundance? Because of the heat I clothed you with the leaves of trees. 21I divided fertile lands among you; I drove out the Canaanites, the Perizzites, and the Philistines before you. What more can I do for you? says the Lord. 22Thus says the Lord Almighty: When you were in the wilderness, at the bitter stream, thirsty and blaspheming my name, 23I did not send fire on you for your blasphemies, but threw a tree into the water and made the stream sweet.
ISRAEL'S DISOBEDIENCE AND REJECTION
1:24 "What shall I do to you, O Jacob? You, Judah, would not obey me. I will turn to other nations and will give them my name, so that they may keep my statutes. 25Because you have forsaken me, I also will forsake you. When you beg mercy of me, I will show you no mercy. 26When you call to me, I will not listen to you; for you have defiled your hands with blood, and your feet are swift to commit murder. 27It is not as though you had forsaken me; you have forsaken yourselves, says the Lord.
1:28 "Thus says the Lord Almighty: Have I not entreated you as a father entreats his sons or a mother her daughters or a nurse her children, 29so that you should be my people and I should be your God, and that you should be my children and I should be your father? 30I gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But now, what shall I do to you? I will cast you out from my presence. 31When you offer oblations to me, I will turn my face from you; for I have rejected your festal days, and new moons, and circumcisions of the flesh. 32I sent you my servants the prophets, but you have taken and killed them and torn their bodies in pieces; I will require their blood of you, says the Lord.
1:33 "Thus says the Lord Almighty: Your house is desolate; I will drive you out as the wind drives straw; 34and your sons will have no children, because with you they have neglected my commandment and have done what is evil in my sight. 35I will give your houses to a people that will come, who without having heard me will believe. Those to whom I have shown no signs will do what I have commanded. 36They have seen no prophets, yet will recall their former state. 37I call to witness the gratitude of the people that is to come, whose children rejoice with gladness; though they do not see me with bodily eyes, yet with the spirit they will believe the things I have said.
1:38 "And now, father, look with pride and see the people coming from the east; 39to them I will give as leaders Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Hosea and Amos and Micah and Joel and Obadiah and Jonah 40and Nahum and Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, who is also called the messenger of the Lord.
GOD'S JUDGMENT ON ISRAEL
2:1 "Thus says the Lord: I brought this people out of bondage, and I gave them commandments through my servants the prophets; but they would not listen to them, and made my counsels void. 2The mother who bore them says to them, 'Go, my children, because I am a widow and forsaken. 3I brought you up with gladness; but with mourning and sorrow I have lost you, because you have sinned before the Lord God and have done what is evil in my sight. 4But now what can I do for you? For I am a widow and forsaken. Go, my children, and ask for mercy from the Lord.' 5Now I call upon you, father, as a witness in addition to the mother of the children, because they would not keep my covenant, 6so that you may bring confusion on them and bring their mother to ruin, so that they may have no offspring. 7Let them be scattered among the nations; let their names be blotted out from the earth, because they have despised my covenant.
2:8 "Woe to you, Assyria, who conceal the unrighteous within you! O wicked nation, remember what I did to Sodom and Gomorrah, 9whose land lies in lumps of pitch and heaps of ashes. That is what I will do to those who have not listened to me, says the Lord Almighty."
2:10 Thus says the Lord to Ezra: "Tell my people that I will give them the kingdom of Jerusalem, which I was going to give to Israel. 11Moreover, I will take back to myself their glory, and will give to these others the everlasting habitations, which I had prepared for Israel. 12The tree of life shall give them fragrant perfume, and they shall neither toil nor become weary. 13Go and you will receive; pray that your days may be few, that they may be shortened. The kingdom is already prepared for you; be on the watch! 14Call, O call heaven and earth to witness: I set aside evil and created good; for I am the Living One, says the Lord.
EXHORTATION TO GOOD WORKS
2:15 "Mother, embrace your children; bring them up with gladness, as does a dove; strengthen their feet, because I have chosen you, says the Lord. 16And I will raise up the dead from their places, and bring them out from their tombs, because I recognize my name in them. 17Do not fear, mother of children, for I have chosen you, says the Lord. 18I will send you help, my servants Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to their counsel I have consecrated and prepared for you twelve trees loaded with various fruits, 19and the same number of springs flowing with milk and honey, and seven mighty mountains on which roses and lilies grow; by these I will fill your children with joy.
2:20 "Guard the rights of the widow, secure justice for the ward, give to the needy, defend the orphan, clothe the naked, 21care for the injured and the weak, do not ridicule the lame, protect the maimed, and let the blind have a vision of my splendor. 22Protect the old and the young within your walls. 23When you find any who are dead, commit them to the grave and mark it, and I will give you the first place in my resurrection. 24Pause and be quiet, my people, because your rest will come.
2:25 "Good nurse, nourish your children; strengthen their feet. 26Not one of the servants whom I have given you will perish, for I will require them from among your number. 27Do not be anxious, for when the day of tribulation and anguish comes, others shall weep and be sorrowful, but you shall rejoice and have abundance. 28The nations shall envy you, but they shall not be able to do anything against you, says the Lord. 29My power will protect you, so that your children may not see hell.
2:30 "Rejoice, O mother, with your children, because I will deliver you, says the Lord. 31Remember your children that sleep, because I will bring them out of the hiding places of the earth, and will show mercy to them; for I am merciful, says the Lord Almighty. 32Embrace your children until I come, and proclaim mercy to them; because my springs run over, and my grace will not fail."
EZRA ON MOUNT HOREB
2:33 I, Ezra, received a command from the Lord on Mount Horeb to go to Israel. When I came to them they rejected me and refused the Lord's commandment. 34Therefore I say to you, O nations that hear and understand, "Wait for your shepherd; he will give you everlasting rest, because he who will come at the end of the age is close at hand. 35Be ready for the rewards of the kingdom, because perpetual light will shine on you forevermore. 36Flee from the shadow of this age, receive the joy of your glory; I publicly call on my savior to witness. 37Receive what the Lord has entrusted to you and be joyful, giving thanks to him who has called you to the celestial kingdoms. 38Rise, stand erect and see the number of those who have been sealed at the feast of the Lord. 39Those who have departed from the shadow of this age have received glorious garments from the Lord. 40Take again your full number, O Zion, and close the list of your people who are clothed in white, who have fulfilled the law of the Lord. 41The number of your children, whom you desired, is now complete; implore the Lord's authority that your people, who have been called from the beginning, may be made holy."
EZRA SEES THE SON OF GOD
2:42 I, Ezra, saw on Mount Zion a great multitude that I could not number, and they all were praising the Lord with songs. 43In their midst was a young man of great stature, taller than any of the others, and on the head of each of them he placed a crown, but he was more exalted than they. And I was held spellbound. 44Then I asked an angel, "Who are these, my lord?" 45He answered and said to me, "These are they who have put off mortal clothing and have put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God. Now they are being crowned, and receive palms." 46Then I said to the angel, "Who is that young man who is placing crowns on them and putting palms in their hands?" 47He answered and said to me, "He is the Son of God, whom they confessed in the world." So I began to praise those who had stood valiantly for the name of the Lord. 48Then the angel said to me, "Go, tell my people how great and how many are the wonders of the Lord God that you have seen."
THE EZRA APOCALYPSE
THE FIRST VISION
3:1 In the thirtieth year after the destruction of the city, I was in Babylon--I, Salathiel, who am also called Ezra. I was troubled as I lay on my bed, and my thoughts welled up in my heart, 2because I saw the desolation of Zion and the wealth of those who lived in Babylon. 3My spirit was greatly agitated, and I began to speak anxious words to the Most High, and said, 4"O sovereign Lord, did you not speak at the beginning when you planted the earth--and that without help--and commanded the dust 5and it gave you Adam, a lifeless body? Yet he was the creation of your hands, and you breathed into him the breath of life, and he was made alive in your presence. 6And you led him into the garden that your right hand had planted before the earth appeared. 7And you laid upon him one commandment of yours; but he transgressed it, and immediately you appointed death for him and for his descendants. From him there sprang nations and tribes, peoples and clans without number. 8And every nation walked after its own will; they did ungodly things in your sight and rejected your commands, and you did not hinder them. 9But again, in its time you brought the flood upon the inhabitants of the world and destroyed them. 10And the same fate befell all of them: just as death came upon Adam, so the flood upon them. 11But you left one of them, Noah with his household, and all the righteous who have descended from him.
3:12 "When those who lived on earth began to multiply, they produced children and peoples and many nations, and again they began to be more ungodly than were their ancestors. 13And when they were committing iniquity in your sight, you chose for yourself one of them, whose name was Abraham; 14you loved him, and to him alone you revealed the end of the times, secretly by night. 15You made an everlasting covenant with him, and promised him that you would never forsake his descendants; and you gave him Isaac, and to Isaac you gave Jacob and Esau. 16You set apart Jacob for yourself, but Esau you rejected; and Jacob became a great multitude. 17And when you led his descendants out of Egypt, you brought them to Mount Sinai. 18You bent down the heavens and shook the earth, and moved the world, and caused the depths to tremble, and troubled the times. 19Your glory passed through the four gates of fire and earthquake and wind and ice, to give the law to the descendants of Jacob, and your commandment to the posterity of Israel.
3:20 "Yet you did not take away their evil heart from them, so that your law might produce fruit in them. 21For the first Adam, burdened with an evil heart, transgressed and was overcome, as were also all who were descended from him. 22Thus the disease became permanent; the law was in the hearts of the people along with the evil root; but what was good departed, and the evil remained. 23So the times passed and the years were completed, and you raised up for yourself a servant, named David. 24You commanded him to build a city for your name, and there to offer you oblations from what is yours. 25This was done for many years; but the inhabitants of the city transgressed, 26in everything doing just as Adam and all his descendants had done, for they also had the evil heart. 27So you handed over your city to your enemies.
BABYLON COMPARED WITH ZION
3:28 "Then I said in my heart, Are the deeds of those who inhabit Babylon any better? Is that why it has gained dominion over Zion? 29For when I came here I saw ungodly deeds without number, and my soul has seen many sinners during these thirty years. And my heart failed me, 30because I have seen how you endure those who sin, and have spared those who act wickedly, and have destroyed your people, and protected your enemies, 31and have not shown to anyone how your way may be comprehended. Are the deeds of Babylon better than those of Zion? 32Or has another nation known you besides Israel? Or what tribes have so believed the covenants as these tribes of Jacob? 33Yet their reward has not appeared and their labor has borne no fruit. For I have traveled widely among the nations and have seen that they abound in wealth, though they are unmindful of your commandments. 34Now therefore weigh in a balance our iniquities and those of the inhabitants of the world; and it will be found which way the turn of the scale will incline. 35When have the inhabitants of the earth not sinned in your sight? Or what nation has kept your commandments so well? 36You may indeed find individuals who have kept your commandments, but nations you will not find."
URIEL= S REPLY: GOD= S WAYS ARE INSCRUTABLE
4:1 Then the angel that had been sent to me, whose name was Uriel, answered 2and said to me, "Your understanding has utterly failed regarding this world, and do you think you can comprehend the way of the Most High?" 3Then I said, "Yes, my lord." And he replied to me, "I have been sent to show you three ways, and to put before you three problems. 4If you can solve one of them for me, then I will show you the way you desire to see, and will teach you why the heart is evil."
5 I said, "Speak, my lord." And he said to me, "Go, weigh for me the weight of fire, or measure for me a blast of wind, or call back for me the day that is past."
4:6 I answered and said, "Who of those that have been born can do that, that you should ask me about such things?"
7 And he said to me, "If I had asked you, 'How many dwellings are in the heart of the sea, or how many streams are at the source of the deep, or how many streams are above the firmament, or which are the exits of Hades, or which are the entrances of paradise?' 8perhaps you would have said to me, 'I never went down into the deep, nor as yet into Hades, neither did I ever ascend into heaven.' 9But now I have asked you only about fire and wind and the day--things that you have experienced and from which you cannot be separated, and you have given me no answer about them." 10He said to me, "You cannot understand the things with which you have grown up; 11how then can your mind comprehend the way of the Most High? And how can one who is already worn out by the corrupt world understand incorruption?" When I heard this, I fell on my face 12and said to him, "It would have been better for us not to be here than to come here and live in ungodliness, and to suffer and not understand why."
PARABLE OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN FOREST AND SEA
4:13 He answered me and said, "I went into a forest of trees of the plain, and they made a plan 14and said, 'Come, let us go and make war against the sea, so that it may recede before us and so that we may make for ourselves more forests.' 15In like manner the waves of the sea also made a plan and said, 'Come, let us go up and subdue the forest of the plain so that there also we may gain more territory for ourselves.' 16But the plan of the forest was in vain, for the fire came and consumed it; 17likewise also the plan of the waves of the sea was in vain, for the sand stood firm and blocked it. 18If now you were a judge between them, which would you undertake to justify, and which to condemn?"
19 I answered and said, "Each made a foolish plan, for the land has been assigned to the forest, and the locale of the sea place to carry its waves."
20 He answered me and said, "You have judged rightly, but why have you not judged so in your own case? 21For as the land has been assigned to the forest and the sea to its waves, so also those who inhabit the earth can understand only what is on the earth, and he who is above the heavens can understand what is above the height of the heavens."
WHY ISRAEL HAS BECOME A REPROACH
4:22 Then I answered and said, "I implore you, my lord, why have I been endowed with the power of understanding? 23For I did not wish to inquire about the ways above, but about those things that we daily experience: why Israel has been given over to the Gentiles in disgrace; why the people whom you loved has been given over to godless tribes, and the law of our ancestors has been brought to destruction and the written covenants no longer exist. 24We pass from the world like locusts, and our life is like a mist, and we are not worthy to obtain mercy. 25But what will he do for his name that is invoked over us? It is about these things that I have asked."
4:26 He answered me and said, "If you are alive, you will see, and if you live long, you will often marvel, because the age is hurrying swiftly to its end. 27It will not be able to bring the things that have been promised to the righteous in their appointed times, because this age is full of sadness and infirmities. 28For the evil about which you ask me has been sown, but the harvest of it has not yet come. 29If therefore that which has been sown is not reaped, and if the place where the evil has been sown does not pass away, the field where the good has been sown will not come. 30For a grain of evil seed was sown in Adam's heart from the beginning, and how much ungodliness it has produced until now--and will produce until the time of threshing comes! 31Consider now for yourself how much fruit of ungodliness a grain of evil seed has produced. 32When heads of grain without number are sown, how great a threshing floor they will fill!"
NEAR APPROACH OF THE END OF THE AGE
4:33 Then I answered and said, "How long? When will these things be? Why are our years few and evil?" 34He answered me and said, "Do not be in a greater hurry than the Most High. You, indeed, are in a hurry for yourself, but the Highest is in a hurry on behalf of many. 35Did not the souls of the righteous in their chambers ask about these matters, saying, 'How long are we to remain here? And when will the harvest of our reward come?' 36And the archangel Jeremiel answered and said, 'When the number of those like yourselves is completed; for he has weighed the age in the balance, 37and measured the times by measure, and numbered the times by number; and he will not move or arouse them until that measure is fulfilled.' "
38 Then I answered and said, "But, O sovereign Lord, all of us also are full of ungodliness. 39It is perhaps on account of us that the time of threshing is delayed for the righteous--on account of the sins of those who inhabit the earth."
40 He answered me and said, "Go and ask a pregnant woman whether, when her nine months have been completed, her womb can keep the fetus within her any longer."
41 And I said, "No, lord, it cannot."
He said to me, "In Hades the chambers of the souls are like the womb. 42For just as a woman who is in labor makes haste to escape the pangs of birth, so also do these places hasten to give back those things that were committed to them from the beginning. 43Then the things that you desire to see will be disclosed to you."
HOW MUCH TIME REMAINS?
4:44 I answered and said, "If I have found favor in your sight, and if it is possible, and if I am worthy, 45show me this also: whether more time is to come than has passed, or whether for us the greater part has gone by. 46For I know what has gone by, but I do not know what is to come."
47 And he said to me, "Stand at my right side, and I will show you the interpretation of a parable."
48 So I stood and looked, and lo, a flaming furnace passed by before me, and when the flame had gone by I looked, and lo, the smoke remained. 49And after this a cloud full of water passed before me and poured down a heavy and violent rain, and when the violent rainstorm had passed, drops still remained in the cloud.
50 He said to me, "Consider it for yourself; for just as the rain is more than the drops, and the fire is greater than the smoke, so the quantity that passed was far greater; but drops and smoke remained."
51 Then I prayed and said, "Do you think that I shall live until those days? Or who will be alive in those days?"
52 He answered me and said, "Concerning the signs about which you ask me, I can tell you in part; but I was not sent to tell you concerning your life, for I do not know.
SIGNS OF THE END
5:1 "Now concerning the signs: lo, the days are coming when those who inhabit the earth shall be seized with great terror, and the way of truth shall be hidden, and the land shall be barren of faith. 2Unrighteousness shall be increased beyond what you yourself see, and beyond what you heard of formerly. 3And the land that you now see ruling shall be a trackless waste, and people shall see it desolate. 4But if the Most High grants that you live, you shall see it thrown into confusion after the third period;
and the sun shall suddenly begin to shine at night,
and the moon during the day.
5 Blood shall drip from wood,
and the stone shall utter its voice;
the peoples shall be troubled,
and the stars shall fall.
5:6And one shall reign whom those who inhabit the earth do not expect, and the birds shall fly away together; 7and the Dead Sea shall cast up fish; and one whom the many do not know shall make his voice heard by night, and all shall hear his voice. 8There shall be chaos also in many places, fire shall often break out, the wild animals shall roam beyond their haunts, and menstruous women shall bring forth monsters. 9Salt waters shall be found in the sweet, and all friends shall conquer one another; then shall reason hide itself, and wisdom shall withdraw into its chamber, 10and it shall be sought by many but shall not be found, and unrighteousness and unrestraint shall increase on earth. 11One country shall ask its neighbor, 'Has righteousness, or anyone who does right, passed through you?' And it will answer, 'No.' 12At that time people shall hope but not obtain; they shall labor, but their ways shall not prosper. 13These are the signs that I am permitted to tell you, and if you pray again, and weep as you do now, and fast for seven days, you shall hear yet greater things than these."
CONCLUSION OF THE VISION
5:14 Then I woke up, and my body shuddered violently, and my soul was so troubled that it fainted. 15But the angel who had come and talked with me held me and strengthened me and set me on my feet.
16 Now on the second night Phaltiel, a chief of the people, came to me and said, "Where have you been? And why is your face sad? 17Or do you not know that Israel has been entrusted to you in the land of their exile? 18Rise therefore and eat some bread, and do not forsake us, like a shepherd who leaves the flock in the power of savage wolves."
19 Then I said to him, "Go away from me and do not come near me for seven days; then you may come to me."
He heard what I said and left me. 20So I fasted seven days, mourning and weeping, as the angel Uriel had commanded me.
THE SECOND VISION
EZRA'S REPEATS HIS COMPLAINTS
5:21 After seven days the thoughts of my heart were very grievous to me again. 22Then my soul recovered the spirit of understanding, and I began once more to speak words in the presence of the Most High. 23I said, "O sovereign Lord, from every forest of the earth and from all its trees you have chosen one vine, 24and from all the lands of the world you have chosen for yourself one region, and from all the flowers of the world you have chosen for yourself one lily, 25and from all the depths of the sea you have filled for yourself one river, and from all the cities that have been built you have consecrated Zion for yourself, 26and from all the birds that have been created you have named for yourself one dove, and from all the flocks that have been made you have provided for yourself one sheep, 27and from all the multitude of peoples you have gotten for yourself one people; and to this people, whom you have loved, you have given the law that is approved by all. 28And now, O Lord, why have you handed the one over to the many, and dishonored the one root beyond the others, and scattered your only one among the many? 29And those who opposed your promises have trampled on those who believed your covenants. 30If you really hate your people, they should be punished at your own hands."
RESPONSE TO EZRA'S COMPLAINTS
5:31 When I had spoken these words, the angel who had come to me on a previous night was sent to me. 32He said to me, "Listen to me, and I will instruct you; pay attention to me, and I will tell you more."
33 Then I said, "Speak, my lord." And he said to me, "Are you greatly disturbed in mind over Israel? Or do you love him more than his Maker does?"
34 I said, "No, my lord, but because of my grief I have spoken; for every hour I suffer agonies of heart, while I strive to understand the way of the Most High and to search out some part of his judgment."
35 He said to me, "You cannot." And I said, "Why not, my lord? Why then was I born? Or why did not my mother's womb become my grave, so that I would not see the travail of Jacob and the exhaustion of the people of Israel?"
36 He said to me, "Count up for me those who have not yet come, and gather for me the scattered raindrops, and make the withered flowers bloom again for me; 37open for me the closed chambers, and bring out for me the winds shut up in them, or show me the picture of a voice; and then I will explain to you the travail that you ask to understand."
38 I said, "O sovereign Lord, who is able to know these things except him whose dwelling is not with mortals? 39As for me, I am without wisdom, and how can I speak concerning the things that you have asked me?"
40 He said to me, "Just as you cannot do one of the things that were mentioned, so you cannot discover my judgment, or the goal of the love that I have promised to my people."
WHY SUCCESSIVE GENERATIONS HAVE BEEN CREATED
5:41 I said, "Yet, O Lord, you have charge of those who are alive at the end, but what will those do who lived before me, or we, ourselves, or those who come after us?"
42 He said to me, "I shall liken my judgment to a circle; just as for those who are last there is no slowness, so for those who are first there is no haste."
43 Then I answered and said, "Could you not have created at one time those who have been and those who are and those who will be, so that you might show your judgment the sooner?"
44 He replied to me and said, "The creation cannot move faster than the Creator, nor can the world hold at one time those who have been created in it."
45 I said, "How have you said to your servant that you will certainly give life at one time to your creation? If therefore all creatures will live at one time and the creation will sustain them, it might even now be able to support all of them present at one time."
46 He said to me, "Ask a woman's womb, and say to it, 'If you bear ten children, why one after another?' Request it therefore to produce ten at one time."
47 I said, "Of course it cannot, but only each in its own time."
48 He said to me, "Even so I have given the womb of the earth to those who from time to time are sown in it. 49For as an infant does not bring forth, and a woman who has become old does not bring forth any longer, so I have made the same rule for the world that I created."
50 Then I inquired and said, "Since you have now given me the opportunity, let me speak before you. Is our mother, of whom you have told me, still young? Or is she now approaching old age?"
51 He replied to me, "Ask a woman who bears children, and she will tell you. 52Say to her, 'Why are those whom you have borne recently not like those whom you bore before, but smaller in stature?' 53And she herself will answer you, 'Those born in the strength of youth are different from those born during the time of old age, when the womb is failing.' 54Therefore you also should consider that you and your contemporaries are smaller in stature than those who were before you, 55and those who come after you will be smaller than you, as born of a creation that already is aging and passing the strength of youth."
56 I said, "I implore you, O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, show your servant through whom you will visit your creation."
REGARDING GOD'S PLAN, CREATION TO END
6:1 He said to me, "At the beginning of the circle of the earth, before the portals of the world were in place, and before the assembled winds blew, 2and before the rumblings of thunder sounded, and before the flashes of lightning shone, and before the foundations of paradise were laid, 3and before the beautiful flowers were seen, and before the powers of movements were established, and before the innumerable hosts of angels were gathered together, 4and before the heights of the air were lifted up, and before the measures of the firmaments were named, and before the footstool of Zion was established, 5and before the present years were reckoned and before the imaginations of those who now sin were estranged, and before those who stored up treasures of faith were sealed-- 6then I planned these things, and they were made through me alone and not through another; just as the end shall come through me alone and not through another."
THE DIVISION OF THE TIMES
6:7 I answered and said, "What will be the dividing of the times? Or when will be the end of the first age and the beginning of the age that follows?"
8 He said to me, "From Abraham to Isaac, because from him were born Jacob and Esau, for Jacob's hand held Esau's heel from the beginning. 9Now Esau is the end of this age, and Jacob is the beginning of the age that follows. [Esau/Edom is the nature of the Kingdom of World (deception & murder), a 12,000 year period which ends around 2,000AD. Jacob/Israel is the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven, a 12,000 year period which begins at that time. See the Cycle diagrammed on a sine-wave curve.]
10The beginning of a person is the hand, and the end of a person is the heel; seek for nothing else, Ezra, between the heel and the hand, Ezra!"
6:11 I answered and said, "O sovereign Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, 12show your servant the last of your signs of which you showed me a part on a previous night."
13 He answered and said to me, "Rise to your feet and you will hear a full, resounding voice. 14And if the place where you are standing is greatly shaken 15while the voice is speaking, do not be terrified; because the word concerns the end, and the foundations of the earth will understand 16that the speech concerns them. They will tremble and be shaken, for they know that their end must be changed."
6:17 When I heard this, I got to my feet and listened; a voice was speaking, and its sound was like the sound of mighty waters. 18It said, "The days are coming when I draw near to visit the inhabitants of the earth, 19and when I require from the doers of iniquity the penalty of their iniquity, and when the humiliation of Zion is complete. 20When the seal is placed upon the age that is about to pass away, then I will show these signs: the books shall be opened before the face of the firmament, and all shall see my judgment together. 21Children a year old shall speak with their voices, and pregnant women shall give birth to premature children at three and four months, and these shall live and leap about. 22Sown places shall suddenly appear unsown, and full storehouses shall suddenly be found to be empty; 23the trumpet shall sound aloud, and when all hear it, they shall suddenly be terrified. 24At that time friends shall make war on friends like enemies, the earth and those who inhabit it shall be terrified, and the springs of the fountains shall stand still, so that for three hours they shall not flow.
25 "It shall be that whoever remains after all that I have foretold to you shall be saved and shall see my salvation and the end of my world. 26And they shall see those who were taken up, who from their birth have not tasted death; and the heart of the earth's inhabitants shall be changed and converted to a different spirit. 27For evil shall be blotted out, and deceit shall be quenched; 28faithfulness shall flourish, and corruption shall be overcome, and the truth, which has been so long without fruit, shall be revealed." [After the change from negative World to positive Heaven, the nature of God's Spirit-children (Israel) will be changed to perform things at which Jesus hinted, such as telling a mountain to be moved, a glorified body, immortality, etc.]
CONCLUSION OF THE SECOND VISION
29 While he spoke to me, little by little the place where I was standing began to rock to and fro. 30And he said to me, "I have come to show you these things this night. 31If therefore you will pray again and fast again for seven days, I will again declare to you greater things than these, 32because your voice has surely been heard by the Most High; for the Mighty One has seen your uprightness and has also observed the purity that you have maintained from your youth. 33Therefore he sent me to show you all these things, and to say to you: 'Believe and do not be afraid! 34Do not be quick to think vain thoughts concerning the former times; then you will not act hastily in the last times.' "
THE THIRD VISION B Creation, six days
6:35 Now after this I wept again and fasted seven days in the same way as before, in order to complete the three weeks that had been prescribed for me. 36Then on the eighth night my heart was troubled within me again, and I began to speak in the presence of the Most High. 37My spirit was greatly aroused, and my soul was in distress.
38 I said, "O Lord, you spoke at the beginning of creation, and said on the first day, 'Let heaven and earth be made,' and your word accomplished the work. 39Then the spirit was blowing, and darkness and silence embraced everything; the sound of human voices was not yet there. 40Then you commanded a ray of light to be brought out from your store-chambers, so that your works could be seen.
41 "Again, on the second day, you created the spirit of the firmament, and commanded it to divide and separate the waters, so that one part might move upward and the other part remain beneath.
42 "On the third day you commanded the waters to be gathered together in a seventh part of the earth; six parts you dried up and kept so that some of them might be planted and cultivated and be of service before you. 43For your word went forth, and at once the work was done. 44Immediately fruit came forth in endless abundance and of varied appeal to the taste, and flowers of inimitable color, and odors of inexpressible fragrance. These were made on the third day.
45 "On the fourth day you commanded the brightness of the sun, the light of the moon, and the arrangement of the stars to come into being; 46and you commanded them to serve humankind, about to be formed.
47 "On the fifth day you commanded the seventh part, where the water had been gathered together, to bring forth living creatures, birds, and fishes; and so it was done. 48The dumb and lifeless water produced living creatures, as it was commanded, so that therefore the nations might declare your wondrous works.
49 "Then you kept in existence two living creatures; the one you called Behemoth and the name of the other Leviathan. 50And you separated one from the other, for the seventh part where the water had been gathered together could not hold them both. 51And you gave Behemoth one of the parts that had been dried up on the third day, to live in it, where there are a thousand mountains; 52but to Leviathan you gave the seventh part, the watery part; and you have kept them to be eaten by whom you wish, and when you wish.
53 "On the sixth day you commanded the earth to bring forth before you cattle, wild animals, and creeping things; 54and over these you placed Adam, as ruler over all the works that you had made; and from him we have all come, the people whom you have chosen. [From Adam God's children have come. Other races appeared separately. See my commentary on Genesis 1 & 2.]
WHY DOESN'T ISRAEL HAVE HER INHERITANCE?
6:55 "All this I have spoken before you, O Lord, because you have said that it was for us that you created this world. 56As for the other nations that have descended from Adam, you have said that they are nothing, and that they are like spittle, and you have compared their abundance to a drop from a bucket. 57And now, O Lord, these nations, which are reputed to be as nothing, domineer over us and devour us. 58But we your people, whom you have called your firstborn, only begotten, zealous for you, and most dear, have been given into their hands. 59If the world has indeed been created for us, why do we not possess our world as an inheritance? How long will this be so?" [He is not referring to other races as descending from Adam, but to the many tribes and nations which God did not choose from each generation. Always, He Elected one brother from a family, releasing the others to the World. The Potter was very discriminating, just as nature functions by the law of "survival of the fittest," letting all others fall aside and be forgotten. Many are called but few are chosen.]
RESPONSE TO EZRA'S QUESTIONS
7:1 When I had finished speaking these words, the angel who had been sent to me on the former nights was sent to me again. 2He said to me, "Rise, Ezra, and listen to the words that I have come to speak to you." [Here we get an explanation of God's purpose for the Man whom He is "developing." Only those who devote their lives to the great and difficult struggle to reach God will be able to reach Him. Those are the few whom God will use to establish the Kingdom of Heaven after the transition from World.]
3 I said, "Speak, my lord." And he said to me, "There is a sea set in a wide expanse so that it is deep and vast, 4but it has an entrance set in a narrow place, so that it is like a river. 5If there are those who wish to reach the sea, to look at it or to navigate it, how can they come to the broad part unless they pass through the narrow part? 6Another example: There is a city built and set on a plain, and it is full of all good things; 7but the entrance to it is narrow and set in a precipitous place, so that there is fire on the right hand and deep water on the left. 8There is only one path lying between them, that is, between the fire and the water, so that only one person can walk on the path. 9If now the city is given to someone as an inheritance, how will the heir receive the inheritance unless by passing through the appointed danger?" [Refer to the sine-wave diagram of long term history, and notice that Noe's flood (Water) is at the very nadir/bottom of the curve, which ended Adam's civilization 6,000 years ago. It won't be water that ends civilization next time, but it will be fire, at the transition time of around 2,000 AD. Those who make progress toward God between the water and the fire will cross over into Heaven, the City of God.]
10 I said, "That is right, lord." He said to me, "So also is Israel's portion. 11For I made the world for their sake, and when Adam transgressed my statutes, what had been made was judged. 12And so the entrances of this World were made narrow and sorrowful and toilsome; they are few and evil, full of dangers and involved in great hardships [in Kingdom of World]. 13But the entrances of the greater world are broad and safe, and yield the fruit of immortality [in Kingdom of Heaven]. 14Therefore unless the living pass through the difficult and futile experiences, they can never receive those things that have been reserved for them. 15Now therefore why are you disturbed, seeing that you are to perish? Why are you moved, seeing that you are mortal? 16Why have you not considered in your mind what is to come, rather than what is now present?" [Focus on the goal rather than the Worldly difficulties; disregard mortality, for it is as nothing. Immortality, to come, is the goal.]
THE FATE OF THE UNGODLY
7:17 Then I answered and said, "O sovereign Lord, you have ordained in your law that the righteous shall inherit these things, but that the ungodly shall perish. 18The righteous, therefore, can endure difficult circumstances while hoping for easier ones; but those who have done wickedly have suffered the difficult circumstances and will never see the easier ones."
19 He said to me, "You are not a better judge than the Lord, or wiser than the Most High! 20Let many perish who are now living, rather than that the law of God that is set before them be disregarded! 21For the Lord strictly commanded those who came into the world, when they came, what they should do to live, and what they should observe to avoid punishment. 22Nevertheless they were not obedient, and spoke against him; they devised for themselves vain thoughts,
23 and proposed to themselves wicked frauds; they even declared that the Most High does not exist, and they ignored his ways.
24 They scorned his law, and denied his covenants; they have been unfaithful to his statutes, and have not performed his works.
25That is the reason, Ezra, that empty things are for the empty, and full things are for the full.
THE TEMPORARY MESSIANIC KINGDOM
7:26 "For indeed the time will come, when the signs that I have foretold to you will come to pass, that the city that now is not seen shall appear, and the land that now is hidden shall be disclosed. 27Everyone who has been delivered from the evils that I have foretold shall see my wonders. 28For my son the Messiah shall be revealed with those who are with him, and those who remain shall rejoice four hundred years. [The Reformation of 16th C. gave us Jesus as Savior again, instead of the mother-goddess paganism of Roman Catholicism.] 29After those years my son the Messiah shall die, and all who draw human breath. [The paradigm, first modeled by Israel in Egypt, after which the entire generation died before the new generation entered the Promised Land, and secondly, by Jesus' demonstration of dying to this World, and thirdly at the end of World when all the body of Christ dies to World, before the changed-ones can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.] 30Then the world shall be turned back to primeval silence for seven days, as it was at the first beginnings, so that no one shall be left. [After the geophysical cataclysm of magnetic-field reversal, and much of the earth's population has perished, and there is no more electricity of infrastructure, then will be the "wilderness" period when we learn to depend on God for sustenance and learn how to live in a new society of spiritual constructs instead of materialism.] 31After seven days the world that is not yet awake shall be roused, and that which is corruptible shall perish. 32The earth shall give up those who are asleep in it, and the dust those who rest there in silence; and the chambers shall give up the souls that have been committed to them. 33The Most High shall be revealed on the seat of judgment, and compassion shall pass away, and patience shall be withdrawn. 34Only judgment shall remain, truth shall stand, and faithfulness shall grow strong. 35Recompense shall follow, and the reward shall be manifested; righteous deeds shall awake, and unrighteous deeds shall not sleep. 36 The place of torment shall appear, and opposite it shall be the place of rest; and the furnace of hell shall be disclosed, and opposite it the paradise of delight. 37 Then the Most High will say to the nations that have been raised from the dead, 'Look now, and understand whom you have denied, whom you have not served, whose commandments you have despised. 38 Look on this side and on that; here are delight and rest, and there are fire and torments.' Thus he will speak to them on the day of judgment--39 a day that has no sun or moon or stars, 40 or cloud or thunder or lightning, or wind or water or air, or darkness or evening or morning, 41 or summer or spring or heat or winter or frost or cold, or hail or rain or dew, 42 or noon or night, or dawn or shining or brightness or light, but only the splendor of the glory of the Most High, by which all shall see what has been destined. 43 It will last as though for a week of years. [After the "wilderness" period, then Jesus will lead us into the new Promised Land, Heaven.] 44This is my judgment and its prescribed order; and to you alone I have shown these things."
ONLY A FEW WILL BE SAVED
7:45 I answered and said, "O sovereign Lord, I said then and I say now: Blessed are those who are alive and keep your commandments! 46 But what of those for whom I prayed? For who among the living is there that has not sinned, or who is there among mortals that has not transgressed your covenant? 47 And now I see that the world to come will bring delight to few, but torments to many. 48 For an evil heart has grown up in us, which has alienated us from God, and has brought us into corruption and the ways of death, and has shown us the paths of perdition and removed us far from life--and that not merely for a few but for almost all who have been created."
49 He answered me and said, "Listen to me, Ezra, and I will instruct you, and will admonish you once more. 50 For this reason the Most High has made not one world but two [World and Heaven].51 Inasmuch as you have said that the righteous are not many but few, while the ungodly abound, hear the explanation for this.
52 "If you have just a few precious stones, will you add to them lead and clay?"53 I said, "Lord, how could that be?"54 And he said to me, "Not only that, but ask the earth and she will tell you; defer to her, and she will declare it to you. 55 Say to her, 'You produce gold and silver and bronze, and also iron and lead and clay; 56 but silver is more abundant than gold, and bronze than silver, and iron than bronze, and lead than iron, and clay than lead.' 57 Judge therefore which things are precious and desirable, those that are abundant or those that are rare?"
58 I said, "O sovereign Lord, what is plentiful is of less worth, for what is more rare is more precious."
59 He answered me and said, "Consider within yourself what you have thought, for the person who has what is hard to get rejoices more than the person who has what is plentiful. 60 So also will be the judgment that I have promised; for I will rejoice over the few who shall be saved, because it is they who have made my glory to prevail now, and through them my name has now been honored. 61 I will not grieve over the great number of those who perish; for it is they who are now like a mist, and are similar to a flame and smoke--they are set on fire and burn hotly, and are extinguished."
LAMENTATION OF EZRA, WITH RESPONSE
7:62 I replied and said, "O earth, what have you brought forth, if the mind is made out of the dust like the other created things? 63For it would have been better if the dust itself had not been born, so that the mind might not have been made from it. 64But now the mind grows with us, and therefore we are tormented, because we perish and we know it. 65Let the human race lament, but let the wild animals of the field be glad; let all who have been born lament, but let the cattle and the flocks rejoice. 66It is much better with them than with us; for they do not look for a judgment, and they do not know of any torment or salvation promised to them after death. 67What does it profit us that we shall be preserved alive but cruelly tormented? 68 For all who have been born are entangled in iniquities, and are full of sins and burdened with transgressions. 69And if after death we were not to come into judgment, perhaps it would have been better for us."
7:70 He answered me and said, "When the Most High made the world and Adam and all who have come from him, he first prepared the judgment and the things that pertain to the judgment. 71 But now, understand from your own words--for you have said that the mind grows with us [God's Divine Pageant is all a Mind Play]. 72For this reason, therefore, those who live on earth shall be tormented, because though they had understanding, they committed iniquity; and though they received the commandments, they did not keep them; and though they obtained the law, they dealt unfaithfully with what they received.73 What, then, will they have to say in the judgment, or how will they answer in the last times?74 How long the Most High has been patient with those who inhabit the world!--and not for their sake, but because of the times that he has foreordained."
STATE OF THE DEAD BEFORE JUDGMENT
7:75 I answered and said, "If I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, show this also to your servant: whether after death, as soon as everyone of us yields up the soul, we shall be kept in rest until those times come when you will renew the creation, or whether we shall be tormented at once?"
76 He answered me and said, "I will show you that also, but do not include yourself with those who have shown scorn, nor number yourself among those who are tormented. 77For you have a treasure of works stored up with the Most High, but it will not be shown to you until the last times. 78 Now concerning death, the teaching is: When the decisive decree has gone out from the Most High that a person shall die, as the spirit leaves the body to return again to him who gave it, first of all it adores the glory of the Most High.
THE SCORNERS: 7:79If it is one of those who have shown scorn and have not kept the way of the Most High, who have despised his law and hated those who fear God--80 such spirits shall not enter into habitations [Paradise?], but shall immediately wander about in torments, always grieving and sad, in seven ways. 81The first way, because they have scorned the law of the Most High. 82The second way, because they cannot now make a good repentance so that they may live. 83The third way, they shall see the reward laid up for those who have trusted the covenants of the Most High. 84The fourth way, they shall consider the torment laid up for themselves in the last days. 85The fifth way, they shall see how the habitations of the others are guarded by angels in profound quiet. 86The sixth way, they shall see how some of them will cross over into torments. 87The seventh way, which is worse than all the ways that have been mentioned, because they shall utterly waste away in confusion and be consumed with shame, and shall wither with fear at seeing the glory of the Most High in whose presence they sinned while they were alive, and in whose presence they are to be judged in the last times.
THE RIGHTEOUS: 7:88 "Now this is the order of those who have kept the ways of the Most High, when they shall be separated from their mortal body. 89During the time that they lived in it, they laboriously served the Most High, and withstood danger every hour so that they might keep the law of the Lawgiver perfectly. 90Therefore this is the teaching concerning them: 91First of all, they shall with great joy see the glory of him who receives them, for they shall have rest in seven orders. 92 The first order, because they have striven with great effort to overcome the evil thought that was formed with them, so that it might not lead them astray from life into death. 93The second order, because they see the perplexity in which the souls of the ungodly wander and the punishment that awaits them. 94The third order, they see the witness that He who formed them bears concerning them, that throughout their life they kept the law with which they were entrusted. 95The fourth order, they understand the rest [See Hebrews 3 & 4 re: rest!] that they now enjoy, being gathered into their chambers and guarded by angels in profound quiet, and the glory waiting for them in the last days. 96The fifth order, they rejoice that they have now escaped what is corruptible and shall inherit what is to come; and besides they see the straits and toils from which they have been delivered, and the spacious liberty that they are to receive and enjoy in immortality. 97The sixth order, when it is shown them how their face is to shine like the sun, and how they are to be made like the light of the stars, being incorruptible from then on. 98The seventh order, which is greater than all that have been mentioned, because they shall rejoice with boldness, and shall be confident without confusion, and shall be glad without fear, for they press forward to see the face of Him whom they served in life and from Whom they are to receive their reward when glorified. 99This is the order of the souls of the righteous, as henceforth is announced; and the previously mentioned are the ways of torment that those who would not give heed shall suffer hereafter."
7:100 Then I answered and said, "Will time therefore be given to the souls, after they have been separated from the bodies, to see what you have described to me?"
101He said to me, "They shall have freedom for seven days [the seven years of wilderness], so that during these seven days they may see the things of which you have been told, and afterwards they shall be gathered in their habitations."
NO INTERCESSION FOR THE UNGODLY
7:102 I answered and said, "If I have found favor in your sight, show further to me, your servant, whether on the day of judgment the righteous will be able to intercede for the ungodly or to entreat the Most High for them--103fathers for sons or sons for parents, brothers for brothers, relatives for their kindred, or friends for those who are most dear."
104He answered me and said, "Since you have found favor in my sight, I will show you this also. The day of judgment is decisive and displays to all the seal of truth. Just as now a father does not send his son, or a son his father, or a master his servant, or a friend his dearest friend, to be ill or sleep or eat or be healed in his place, 105so no one shall ever pray for another on that day, neither shall anyone lay a burden on another; for then all shall bear their own righteousness and unrighteousness." [The Roman Catholic Church removed this section for their manuscript and their Latin text because it contradicts their teaching about prayers for the dead, and the value of indulgences.]
106I answered and said, "How then do we find that first Abraham prayed for the people of Sodom, and Moses for our ancestors who sinned in the desert, 107and Joshua after him for Israel in the days of Achan, 108and Samuel in the days of Saul, and David for the plague, and Solomon for those at the dedication, 109and Elijah for those who received the rain, and for the one who was dead, that he might live, 110and Hezekiah for the people in the days of Sennacherib, and many others prayed for many? 111So if now, when corruption has increased and unrighteousness has multiplied, the righteous have prayed for the ungodly, why will it not be so then as well?"
112He answered me and said, "This present world is not the end; the full glory does not remain in it; therefore those who were strong prayed for the weak. 113But the day of judgment will be the end of this age and the beginning of the immortal age to come, in which corruption has passed away, 114sinful indulgence has come to an end, unbelief has been cut off, and righteousness has increased and truth has appeared. 115Therefore no one will then be able to have mercy on someone who has been condemned in the judgment, or to harm someone who is victorious."
LAMENTATION OVER THE FATE OF MOST PEOPLE
7:116 I answered and said, "This is my first and last comment: it would have been better if the earth had not produced Adam, or else, when it had produced him, had restrained him from sinning. 117For what good is it to all that they live in sorrow now and expect punishment after death? 118O Adam, what have you done? For though it was you who sinned, the fall was not yours alone, but ours also who are your descendants. 119For what good is it to us, if an immortal time has been promised to us, but we have done deeds that bring death? 120And what good is it that an everlasting hope has been promised to us, but we have miserably failed? 121Or that safe and healthful habitations have been reserved for us, but we have lived wickedly? 122 Or that the glory of the Most High will defend those who have led a pure life, but we have walked in the most wicked ways? 123Or that a paradise shall be revealed, whose fruit remains unspoiled and in which are abundance and healing, but we shall not enter it 124because we have lived in perverse ways? 125Or that the faces of those who practiced self-control shall shine more than the stars, but our faces shall be blacker than darkness? 126For while we lived and committed iniquity we did not consider what we should suffer after death."
7:127 He answered and said, "This is the significance of the contest that all who are born on earth shall wage: 128if they are defeated they shall suffer what you have said, but if they are victorious they shall receive what I have said. 129For this is the way of which Moses, while he was alive, spoke to the people, saying, 'Choose life for yourself, so that you may live!' 130But they did not believe him or the prophets after him, or even myself who have spoken to them. 131Therefore there shall not be grief at their destruction, so much as joy over those to whom salvation is assured."
EZRA APPEALS TO GOD'S MERCY
7:132 I answered and said, "I know, O Lord, that the Most High is now called merciful, because he has mercy on those who have not yet come into the world; 133and gracious, because he is gracious to those who turn in repentance to his law; 134and patient, because he shows patience toward those who have sinned, since they are his own creatures; 135and bountiful, because he would rather give than take away; 136and abundant in compassion, because he makes his compassions abound more and more to those now living and to those who are gone and to those yet to come-- 137for if he did not make them abound, the world with those who inhabit it would not have life-- 138and he is called the giver, because if he did not give out of his goodness so that those who have committed iniquities might be relieved of them, not one ten-thousandth of humankind could have life; 139and the judge, because if he did not pardon those who were created by his word and blot out the multitude of their sins, 140there would probably be left only very few of the innumerable multitude."
8:1 He answered me and said, "The Most High made this World for the sake of many, but the world to come for the sake of only a few. 2But I tell you a parable, Ezra. Just as, when you ask the earth, it will tell you that it provides a large amount of clay from which earthenware is made, but only a little dust from which gold comes, so is the course of the present world. 3Many have been created, but only a few shall be saved." [He is talking only about the white race from Adam, not to include any of the other races.]
EZRA AGAIN APPEALS TO GOD'S MERCY
8:4 I answered and said, "Then drink your fill of understanding, O my soul, and drink wisdom, O my heart. 5For not of your own will did you come into the world, and against your will you depart, for you have been given only a short time to live. 6O Lord above us, grant to your servant that we may pray before you, and give us a seed for our heart and cultivation of our understanding so that fruit may be produced, by which every mortal who bears the likeness of a human being may be able to live. 7For you alone exist, and we are a work of your hands, as you have declared. 8And because you give life to the body that is now fashioned in the womb, and furnish it with members, what you have created is preserved amid fire and water, and for nine months the womb endures your creature that has been created in it. 9But that which keeps and that which is kept shall both be kept by your keeping. And when the womb gives up again what has been created in it, 10you have commanded that from the members themselves (that is, from the breasts) milk, the fruit of the breasts, should be supplied, 11so that what has been fashioned may be nourished for a time; and afterwards you will still guide it in your mercy. 12You have nurtured it in your righteousness, and instructed it in your law, and reproved it in your wisdom. 13You put it to death as your creation, and make it live as your work. 14If then you will suddenly and quickly destroy what with so great labor was fashioned by your command, to what purpose was it made? 15And now I will speak out: About all humankind you know best; but I will speak about your people, for whom I am grieved, 16and about your inheritance, for whom I lament, and about Israel, for whom I am sad, and about the seed of Jacob, for whom I am troubled. 17Therefore I will pray before you for myself and for them, for I see the failings of us who inhabit the earth; 18and now also I have heard of the swiftness of the judgment that is to come. 19Therefore hear my voice and understand my words, and I will speak before you."
The beginning of the words of Ezra's prayer, before he was taken up. He said:
8:20"O Lord, you who inhabit eternity, whose eyes are exalted and whose upper chambers are in the air, 21whose throne is beyond measure and whose glory is beyond comprehension, before whom the hosts of angels stand trembling 22and at whose command they are changed to wind and fire, whose word is sure and whose utterances are certain, whose command is strong and whose ordinance is terrible, 23whose look dries up the depths and whose indignation makes the mountains melt away, and whose truth is established forever-- 24hear, O Lord, the prayer of your servant, and give ear to the petition of your creature; attend to my words. 25For as long as I live I will speak, and as long as I have understanding I will answer. 26O do not look on the sins of your people, but on those who serve you in truth. 27Do not take note of the endeavors of those who act wickedly, but of the endeavors of those who have kept your covenants amid afflictions. 28Do not think of those who have lived wickedly in your sight, but remember those who have willingly acknowledged that you are to be feared. 29Do not will the destruction of those who have the ways of cattle, but regard those who have gloriously taught your law. 30Do not be angry with those who are deemed worse than wild animals, but love those who have always put their trust in your glory. 31For we and our ancestors have passed our lives in ways that bring death; but it is because of us sinners that you are called merciful. 32For if you have desired to have pity on us, who have no works of righteousness, then you will be called merciful. 33For the righteous, who have many works laid up with you, shall receive their reward in consequence of their own deeds. 34But what are mortals, that you are angry with them; or what is a corruptible race, that you are so bitter against it? 35For in truth there is no one among those who have been born who has not acted wickedly; among those who have existed there is no one who has not done wrong. 36For in this, O Lord, your righteousness and goodness will be declared, when you are merciful to those who have no store of good works."
RESPONSE TO EZRA'S PRAYER
8:37 He answered me and said, "Some things you have spoken rightly, and it will turn out according to your words. 38For indeed I will not concern myself about the fashioning of those who have sinned, or about their death, their judgment, or their destruction; 39but I will rejoice over the creation of the righteous, over their pilgrimage also, and their salvation, and their receiving their reward. 40As I have spoken, therefore, so it shall be.
41 "For just as the farmer sows many seeds in the ground and plants a multitude of seedlings, and yet not all that have been sown will come up in due season, and not all that were planted will take root; so also those who have been sown in the world will not all be saved."
42 I answered and said, "If I have found favor in your sight, let me speak. 43If the farmer's seed does not come up because it has not received your rain in due season, or if it has been ruined by too much rain, it perishes. 44But people, who have been formed by your hands and are called your own image because they are made like you, and for whose sake you have formed all things--have you also made them like the farmer's seed? 45Surely not, O Lord above! But spare your people and have mercy on your inheritance, for you have mercy on your own creation."
EZRA'S FINAL APPEAL FOR MERCY
8:46 He answered me and said, "Things that are present are for those who live now, and things that are future are for those who will live hereafter. 47For you come far short of being able to love my creation more than I love it. But you have often compared yourself to the unrighteous. Never do so! 48But even in this respect you will be praiseworthy before the Most High, 49because you have humbled yourself, as is becoming for you, and have not considered yourself to be among the righteous. You will receive the greatest glory, 50for many miseries will affect those who inhabit the world in the last times, because they have walked in great pride. 51But think of your own case, and inquire concerning the glory of those who are like yourself, 52because it is for you that paradise is opened, the tree of life is planted, the age to come is prepared, plenty is provided, a city is built, rest is appointed, goodness is established and wisdom perfected beforehand. 53The root of evil is sealed up from you, illness is banished from you, and death is hidden; Hades has fled and corruption has been forgotten; 54sorrows have passed away, and in the end the treasure of immortality is made manifest. 55Therefore do not ask any more questions about the great number of those who perish. 56For when they had opportunity to choose, they despised the Most High, and were contemptuous of his law, and abandoned his ways. 57Moreover, they have even trampled on his righteous ones, 58and said in their hearts that there is no God--though they knew well that they must die. 59For just as the things that I have predicted await you, so the thirst and torment that are prepared await them. For the Most High did not intend that anyone should be destroyed; 60but those who were created have themselves defiled the name of him who made them, and have been ungrateful to him who prepared life for them now. 61Therefore my judgment is now drawing near; 62I have not shown this to all people, but only to you and a few like you."
Then I answered and said, 63"O Lord, you have already shown me a great number of the signs that you will do in the last times, but you have not shown me when you will do them."
MORE ABOUT THE SIGNS OF THE END
9:1 He answered me and said, "Measure carefully in your mind, and when you see that some of the predicted signs have occurred, 2then you will know that it is the very time when the Most High is about to visit the world that he has made. 3So when there shall appear in the world earthquakes, tumult of peoples, intrigues of nations, wavering of leaders, confusion of princes, 4then you will know that it was of these that the Most High spoke from the days that were of old, from the beginning. 5For just as with everything that has occurred in the world, the beginning is evident, and the end manifest; 6so also are the times of the Most High: the beginnings are manifest in wonders and mighty works, and the end in penalties and in signs. [The beginning of each age is heralded by a significant person and a new religion. Gemini/Twins began with Adam and births of Cain & Abel and contest between good (God) and evil (Satan); Taurus/Bull began with Noe and veneration of the Bull/Emotions, ending with a flood which destroyed all the race-mixers; Aries/Lamb began w/Abraam and veneration of the lamb on sacrificial altar, ending with Jesus as the Lamb of sacrifice; Pisces began w/Jesus and the quest for fishing God's Elect. It will end with destruction of all the wicked and immortality for the Elect.]
9:7 "It shall be that all who will be saved and will be able to escape on account of their works, or on account of the faith by which they have believed, 8will survive the dangers that have been predicted, and will see my salvation in my land and within my borders, which I have sanctified for myself from the beginning. 9Then those who have abused my ways shall be amazed, and those who have rejected them with contempt shall live in torments. 10For as many as did not acknowledge me in their lifetime, though they received my benefits, 11and as many as scorned my law while they still had freedom, and did not understand but despised it while an opportunity of repentance was still open to them, 12these must in torment acknowledge it after death. 13Therefore, do not continue to be curious about how the ungodly will be punished; but inquire how the righteous will be saved, those to whom the age belongs and for whose sake the age was made."
NUMBER SAVED LIKE A DROP TO A WAVE
9:14 I answered and said, 15"I said before, and I say now, and will say it again: there are more who perish than those who will be saved, 16as a wave is greater than a drop of water."
17 He answered me and said, "As is the field, so is the seed; and as are the flowers, so are the colors; and as is the work, so is the product; and as is the farmer, so is the threshing floor. 18For there was a time in this age when I was preparing for those who now exist, before the world was made for them to live in, and no one opposed me then, for no one existed; 19but now those who have been created in this world, which is supplied both with an unfailing table and an inexhaustible pasture, have become corrupt in their ways. 20So I considered my world, and saw that it was lost. I saw that my earth was in peril because of the devices of those who had come into it. 21And I saw and spared some with great difficulty, and saved for myself one grape out of a cluster, and one plant out of a great forest. 22So let the multitude perish that has been born in vain, but let my grape and my plant be saved, because with much labor I have perfected them.
23 "Now, if you will let seven days more pass--do not, however, fast during them, 24but go into a field of flowers where no house has been built, and eat only of the flowers of the field, and taste no meat and drink no wine, but eat only flowers-- 25and pray to the Most High continually, then I will come and talk with you."
THE FOURTH VISION
THE ABIDING GLORY OF THE MOSAIC LAW
9:26 So I went, as he directed me, into the field that is called Ardat; there I sat among the flowers and ate of the plants of the field, and the nourishment they afforded satisfied me. 27After seven days, while I lay on the grass, my heart was troubled again as it was before. 28Then my mouth was opened, and I began to speak before the Most High, and said, 29"O Lord, you showed yourself among us, to our ancestors in the wilderness when they came out from Egypt and when they came into the untrodden and unfruitful wilderness; 30and you said, 'Hear me, O Israel, and give heed to my words, O descendants of Jacob. 31For I sow my law in you, and it shall bring forth fruit in you, and you shall be glorified through it forever.' 32But though our ancestors received the law, they did not keep it and did not observe the statutes; yet the fruit of the law did not perish--for it could not, because it was yours. 33Yet those who received it perished, because they did not keep what had been sown in them. 34Now this is the general rule that, when the ground has received seed, or the sea a ship, or any dish food or drink, and when it comes about that what was sown or what was launched or what was put in is destroyed, 35they are destroyed, but the things that held them remain; yet with us it has not been so. 36For we who have received the law and sinned will perish, as well as our hearts that received it; 37the law, however, does not perish but survives in its glory."
THE VISION OF A WEEPING WOMAN
9:38 When I said these things in my heart, I looked around, and on my right I saw a woman; she was mourning and weeping with a loud voice, and was deeply grieved at heart; her clothes were torn, and there were ashes on her head. 39Then I dismissed the thoughts with which I had been engaged, and turned to her 40and said to her, "Why are you weeping, and why are you grieved at heart?"
41 She said to me, "Let me alone, my lord, so that I may weep for myself and continue to mourn, for I am greatly embittered in spirit and deeply distressed."
42 I said to her, "What has happened to you? Tell me."
43 And she said to me, "Your servant was barren and had no child, though I lived with my husband for thirty years. 44Every hour and every day during those thirty years I prayed to the Most High, night and day. 45And after thirty years God heard your servant, and looked upon my low estate, and considered my distress, and gave me a son. I rejoiced greatly over him, I and my husband and all my neighbors; and we gave great glory to the Mighty One. 46And I brought him up with much care. 47So when he grew up and I came to take a wife for him, I set a day for the marriage feast.
10:1 "But it happened that when my son entered his wedding chamber, he fell down and died. 2So all of us put out our lamps, and all my neighbors attempted to console me; I remained quiet until the evening of the second day. 3But when all of them had stopped consoling me, encouraging me to be quiet, I got up in the night and fled, and I came to this field, as you see. 4And now I intend not to return to the town, but to stay here; I will neither eat nor drink, but will mourn and fast continually until I die."
10:5 Then I broke off the reflections with which I was still engaged, and answered her in anger and said, 6"You most foolish of women, do you not see our mourning, and what has happened to us? 7For Zion, the mother of us all, is in deep grief and great distress. 8It is most appropriate to mourn now, because we are all mourning, and to be sorrowful, because we are all sorrowing; you are sorrowing for one son, but we, the whole world, for our mother. 9Now ask the earth, and she will tell you that it is she who ought to mourn over so many who have come into being upon her. 10From the beginning all have been born of her, and others will come; and, lo, almost all go to perdition, and a multitude of them will come to doom. 11Who then ought to mourn the more, she who lost so great a multitude, or you who are grieving for one alone? 12But if you say to me, 'My lamentation is not like the earth's, for I have lost the fruit of my womb, which I brought forth in pain and bore in sorrow; 13but it is with the earth according to the way of the earth--the multitude that is now in it goes as it came'; 14then I say to you, 'Just as you brought forth in sorrow, so the earth also has from the beginning given her fruit, that is, humankind, to him who made her.' 15Now, therefore, keep your sorrow to yourself, and bear bravely the troubles that have come upon you. 16For if you acknowledge the decree of God to be just, you will receive your son back in due time, and will be praised among women. 17Therefore go into the town to your husband."
10:18 She said to me, "I will not do so; I will not go into the city, but I will die here."
19 So I spoke again to her, and said, 20"Do not do that, but let yourself be persuaded--for how many are the adversities of Zion?--and be consoled because of the sorrow of Jerusalem. 21For you see how our sanctuary has been laid waste, our altar thrown down, our temple destroyed; 22our harp has been laid low, our song has been silenced, and our rejoicing has been ended; the light of our lampstand has been put out, the ark of our covenant has been plundered, our holy things have been polluted, and the name by which we are called has been almost profaned; our children have suffered abuse, our priests have been burned to death, our Levites have gone into exile, our virgins have been defiled, and our wives have been ravished; our righteous men have been carried off, our little ones have been cast out, our young men have been enslaved and our strong men made powerless. 23And, worst of all, the seal of Zion has been deprived of its glory, and given over into the hands of those that hate us. 24Therefore shake off your great sadness and lay aside your many sorrows, so that the Mighty One may be merciful to you again, and the Most High may give you rest, a respite from your troubles."
10:25 While I was talking to her, her face suddenly began to shine exceedingly; her countenance flashed like lightning, so that I was too frightened to approach her, and my heart was terrified. While I was wondering what this meant, 26she suddenly uttered a loud and fearful cry, so that the earth shook at the sound. 27When I looked up, the woman was no longer visible to me, but a city was being built, and a place of huge foundations showed itself. I was afraid, and cried with a loud voice and said, 28"Where is the angel Uriel, who came to me at first? For it was he who brought me into this overpowering bewilderment; my end has become corruption, and my prayer a reproach."
URIEL'S INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION
10:29 While I was speaking these words, the angel who had come to me at first came to me, and when he saw me 30lying there like a corpse, deprived of my understanding, he grasped my right hand and strengthened me and set me on my feet, and said to me, 31"What is the matter with you? And why are you troubled? And why are your understanding and the thoughts of your mind troubled?"
32 I said, "It was because you abandoned me. I did as you directed, and went out into the field, and lo, what I have seen and can still see, I am unable to explain."
33 He said to me, "Stand up like a man, and I will instruct you."
34 I said, "Speak, my lord; only do not forsake me, so that I may not die before my time. 35For I have seen what I did not know, and I hear what I do not understand 36--or is my mind deceived, and my soul dreaming? 37Now therefore I beg you to give your servant an explanation of this bewildering vision."
10:38 He answered me and said, "Listen to me, and I will teach you, and tell you about the things that you fear; for the Most High has revealed many secrets to you. 39He has seen your righteous conduct, and that you have sorrowed continually for your people and mourned greatly over Zion. 40This therefore is the meaning of the vision. 41The woman who appeared to you a little while ago, whom you saw mourning and whom you began to console 42(you do not now see the form of a woman, but there appeared to you a city being built) 43and who told you about the misfortune of her son--this is the interpretation: 44The woman whom you saw is Zion, which you now behold as a city being built. 45And as for her telling you that she was barren for thirty years, the reason is that there were three thousand years in the world before any offering was offered in it. 46And after three thousand years Solomon built the city, and offered offerings; then it was that the barren woman bore a son. [Solomon was King from 965 to 928BC. Noe was born about 3,000 years prior to Solomon.] 47And as for her telling you that she brought him up with much care, that was the period of residence in Jerusalem. 48And as for her saying to you, 'My son died as he entered his wedding chamber,' and that misfortune had overtaken her, this was the destruction that befell Jerusalem. [Destruction by Babylon, 586BC] 49So you saw her likeness, how she mourned for her son, and you began to console her for what had happened. 50For now the Most High, seeing that you are sincerely grieved and profoundly distressed for her, has shown you the brilliance of her glory, and the loveliness of her beauty. 51Therefore I told you to remain in the field where no house had been built, 52for I knew that the Most High would reveal these things to you. 53Therefore I told you to go into the field where there was no foundation of any building, 54because no work of human construction could endure in a place where the city of the Most High was to be revealed.
10:55 "Therefore do not be afraid, and do not let your heart be terrified; but go in and see the splendor or the vastness of the building, as far as it is possible for your eyes to see it, 56and afterward you will hear as much as your ears can hear. 57For you are more blessed than many, and you have been called to be with the Most High as few have been. 58But tomorrow night you shall remain here, 59and the Most High will show you in those dream visions what the Most High will do to those who inhabit the earth in the last days."
So I slept that night and the following one, as he had told me.
THE FIFTH VISION
VISION OF THE EAGLE
11:1 On the second night I had a dream: I saw rising from the sea an eagle that had twelve feathered wings and three heads. 2I saw it spread its wings over the whole earth, and all the winds of heaven blew upon it, and the clouds were gathered around it. 3I saw that out of its wings there grew opposing wings; but they became little, puny wings. 4But its heads were at rest; the middle head was larger than the other heads, but it too was at rest with them. 5Then I saw that the eagle flew with its wings, and it reigned over the earth and over those who inhabit it. 6And I saw how all things under heaven were subjected to it, and no one spoke against it--not a single creature that was on the earth. 7Then I saw the eagle rise upon its talons, and it uttered a cry to its wings, saying, 8"Do not all watch at the same time; let each sleep in its own place, and watch in its turn; 9but let the heads be reserved for the last."
11:10 I looked again and saw that the voice did not come from its heads, but from the middle of its body. 11I counted its rival wings, and there were eight of them. 12As I watched, one wing on the right side rose up, and it reigned over all the earth. 13And after a time its reign came to an end, and it disappeared, so that even its place was no longer visible. Then the next wing rose up and reigned, and it continued to reign a long time. 14While it was reigning its end came also, so that it disappeared like the first. 15And a voice sounded, saying to it, 16"Listen to me, you who have ruled the earth all this time; I announce this to you before you disappear. 17After you no one shall rule as long as you have ruled, not even half as long."
11:18 Then the third wing raised itself up, and held the rule as the earlier ones had done, and it also disappeared. 19And so it went with all the wings; they wielded power one after another and then were never seen again. 20I kept looking, and in due time the wings that followed also rose up on the right side, in order to rule. There were some of them that ruled, yet disappeared suddenly; 21and others of them rose up, but did not hold the rule.
22 And after this I looked and saw that the twelve wings and the two little wings had disappeared, 23and nothing remained on the eagle's body except the three heads that were at rest and six little wings.
24 As I kept looking I saw that two little wings separated from the six and remained under the head that was on the right side; but four remained in their place. 25Then I saw that these little wings planned to set themselves up and hold the rule. 26As I kept looking, one was set up, but suddenly disappeared; 27a second also, and this disappeared more quickly than the first. 28While I continued to look the two that remained were planning between themselves to reign together; 29and while they were planning, one of the heads that were at rest (the one that was in the middle) suddenly awoke; it was greater than the other two heads. 30And I saw how it allied the two heads with itself, 31and how the head turned with those that were with it and devoured the two little wings that were planning to reign. 32Moreover this head gained control of the whole earth, and with much oppression dominated its inhabitants; it had greater power over the world than all the wings that had gone before.
33 After this I looked again and saw the head in the middle suddenly disappear, just as the wings had done. 34But the two heads remained, which also in like manner ruled over the earth and its inhabitants. 35And while I looked, I saw the head on the right side devour the one on the left.
THE LION ARISES
11:36 Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Look in front of you and consider what you see." 37When I looked, I saw what seemed to be a Lion roused from the forest, roaring; and I heard how it uttered a human voice to the eagle, and spoke, saying, 38"Listen and I will speak to you. The Most High says to you, 39'Are you not the one that remains of the four beasts [Living Beings of Rev. 4: Lion/Physical, Bull/Emotional, Man/Spiritual, Eagle or Serpent/Intellectual - natures of God] that I had made to reign in my world , so that the end of my times might come through them? 40You, the fourth [Intellect, directed by Edomites/Jews to create Industrial Revolution, world wars, and the economy of the Beast] that has come, have conquered all the beasts that have gone before; and you have held sway over the World with great terror, and over all the earth with grievous oppression; and for so long you have lived on the earth with deceit. 41You have judged the earth, but not with truth [See John 8:44 for Jesus' description of the native instincts of Edomites], 42for you have oppressed the meek and injured the peaceable; you have hated those who tell the truth, and have loved liars; you have destroyed the homes of those who brought forth fruit, and have laid low the walls of those who did you no harm. 43Your insolence has come up before the Most High, and your pride to the Mighty One. 44The Most High has looked at his times; now they have ended, and his ages have reached completion. 45Therefore you, eagle, will surely disappear [means the egoic intellect, knowing good & evil, will be absent during next 6,000-year quarter cycle, ages of Aquarius, Capricorn, & Sagittarius], you and your terrifying wings, your most evil little wings, your malicious heads, your most evil talons, and your whole worthless body, 46so that the whole earth, freed from your violence, may be refreshed and relieved, and may hope for the judgment and mercy of him who made it.' "
12:1 While the lion was saying these words to the eagle, I looked 2and saw that the remaining head had disappeared. The two wings that had gone over to it rose up and set themselves up to reign, and their reign was brief and full of tumult. 3When I looked again, they were already vanishing. The whole body of the eagle was burned, and the earth was exceedingly terrified.
Then I woke up in great perplexity of mind and great fear, and I said to my spirit, 4"You have brought this upon me, because you search out the ways of the Most High. 5I am still weary in mind and very weak in my spirit, and not even a little strength is left in me, because of the great fear with which I have been terrified tonight. 6Therefore I will now entreat the Most High that he may strengthen me to the end."
INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION
12:7 Then I said, "O sovereign Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, and if I have been accounted righteous before you beyond many others, and if my prayer has indeed come up before your face, 8strengthen me and show me, your servant, the interpretation and meaning of this terrifying vision so that you may fully comfort my soul. 9For you have judged me worthy to be shown the end of the times and the last events of the times."
12:10 He said to me, "This is the interpretation of this vision that you have seen: 11The eagle that you saw coming up from the sea is the fourth kingdom [1st was Babylon the kingdom of Ezra's time; 2nd -Edomite power which took over Jerusalem, and influenced the Roman Empire, persecuting Christian Israel; 3rd Edomite-influenced Roman Catholic Empire persecuting European Christians w/Inquisitions that killed about fifty million European Christians; 4th Edomite Marxist/Zionism of Marx & Herzl since 1897 rules World today, killing 60 million European Christians under Stalin (which Hitler nearly stopped), and attempting the final destruction of the white race of America with its quest for Global Tyranny.] that appeared in a vision to your brother Daniel. 12But it was not explained to him as I now explain to you or have explained it. 13The days are coming when a kingdom shall rise on earth [Edomite Marxist/Zionism], and it shall be more terrifying than all the kingdoms that have been before it . 14And twelve kings shall reign in it, one after another. 15But the second that is to reign [Stalin?] shall hold sway for a longer time than any other one of the twelve. 16This is the interpretation of the twelve wings that you saw. [12 Zionist rulers may be: 1)Lenin, 2)Stalin-31yrs, 3)Malenkov, 4)Krushev, 5)Brezhnev, 6)Kosygin, 7)Andropov, 8)Chernenko, 9)Gorbachev (last Soviet ruler- till 1991),10)George Bush accepted the Zionist baton 89-93, 11)Clinton 93-01, 12)Geo. W. Bush 2001 -?
17 "As for your hearing a voice that spoke, coming not from the eagle's heads [Interesting that Russia's Standard is a two-headed eagle] but from the midst of its body, this is the interpretation: 18In the midst of the time of that kingdom great struggles [WWII] shall arise, and it shall be in danger of falling; nevertheless it shall not fall then, but shall regain its former power. 19As for your seeing eight little wings clinging to its wings, this is the interpretation: 20Eight kings shall arise in it, whose times shall be short and their years swift; 21two of them shall perish when the middle of its time draws near; and four shall be kept for the time when its end approaches, but two shall be kept until the end. [I can't figure who these are]
22 "As for your seeing three heads at rest, this is the interpretation: 23In its last days the Most High will raise up three kings [Israel, America, Britain, (or maybe Bush, Clinton, Bush?)], and they shall renew many things in it, and shall rule the earth 24and its inhabitants more oppressively than all who were before them. Therefore they are called the heads of the eagle, 25because it is they who shall sum up his wickedness and perform his last actions. 26As for your seeing that the large head disappeared, one of the kings shall die in his bed, but in agonies. 27But as for the two who remained, the sword shall devour them. 28For the sword of one shall devour him who was with him; but he also shall fall by the sword in the last days.
29 "As for your seeing two little wings passing over to the head which was on the right side, 30this is the interpretation: It is these whom the Most High has kept for the eagle's end; this was the reign which was brief and full of tumult [modern Israel and the U.N.?], as you have seen.
31 "And as for the Lion whom you saw rousing up out of the forest and roaring and speaking to the eagle and reproving him for his unrighteousness, and as for all his words that you have heard, 32this is the Messiah whom the Most High has kept until the end of days, who will arise from the offspring of David, and will come and speak with them. He will denounce them for their ungodliness and for their wickedness, and will display before them their contemptuous dealings. 33For first he will bring them alive before his judgment seat, and when he has reproved them, then he will destroy them. 34But in mercy he will set free the remnant of my people, those who have been saved throughout my borders, and he will make them joyful until the end comes, the day of judgment, of which I spoke to you at the beginning. 35This is the dream that you saw, and this is its interpretation. 36And you alone were worthy to learn this secret of the Most High. 37Therefore write all these things that you have seen in a book, put it in a hidden place; 38and you shall teach them to the wise among your people, whose hearts you know are able to comprehend and keep these secrets. 39But as for you, wait here seven days more, so that you may be shown whatever it pleases the Most High to show you." Then he left me.
THE PEOPLE COME TO EZRA
12:40 When all the people heard that the seven days were past and I had not returned to the city, they all gathered together, from the least to the greatest, and came to me and spoke to me, saying, 41"How have we offended you, and what harm have we done you, that you have forsaken us and sit in this place? 42For of all the prophets you alone are left to us, like a cluster of grapes from the vintage, and like a lamp in a dark place, and like a haven for a ship saved from a storm. 43Are not the disasters that have befallen us enough? 44Therefore if you forsake us, how much better it would have been for us if we also had been consumed in the burning of Zion. 45For we are no better than those who died there." And they wept with a loud voice.
Then I answered them and said, 46"Take courage, O Israel; and do not be sorrowful, O house of Jacob; 47for the Most High has you in remembrance, and the Mighty One has not forgotten you in your struggle. 48As for me, I have neither forsaken you nor withdrawn from you; but I have come to this place to pray on account of the desolation of Zion, and to seek mercy on account of the humiliation of our sanctuary. 49Now go to your homes, every one of you, and after these days I will come to you." 50So the people went into the city, as I told them to do. 51But I sat in the field seven days, as the angel had commanded me; and I ate only of the flowers of the field, and my food was of plants during those days.
THE SIXTH VISION
THE MAN FROM THE SEA
13:1 After seven days I dreamed a dream in the night. 2And lo, a wind arose from the sea and stirred up all its waves. 3As I kept looking the wind made something like the figure of a man come up out of the heart of the sea. And I saw that this man flew with the clouds of heaven; and wherever he turned his face to look, everything under his gaze trembled, 4and whenever his voice issued from his mouth, all who heard his voice melted as wax melts when it feels the fire.
5 After this I looked and saw that an innumerable multitude of people were gathered together from the four winds of heaven to make war against the man who came up out of the sea. 6And I looked and saw that he carved out for himself a great mountain, and flew up on to it. 7And I tried to see the region or place from which the mountain was carved, but I could not.
8 After this I looked and saw that all who had gathered together against him, to wage war with him, were filled with fear, and yet they dared to fight. 9When he saw the onrush of the approaching multitude, he neither lifted his hand nor held a spear or any weapon of war; 10but I saw only how he sent forth from his mouth something like a stream of fire, and from his lips a flaming breath, and from his tongue he shot forth a storm of sparks. 11All these were mingled together, the stream of fire and the flaming breath and the great storm, and fell on the onrushing multitude that was prepared to fight, and burned up all of them, so that suddenly nothing was seen of the innumerable multitude but only the dust of ashes and the smell of smoke. When I saw it, I was amazed.
13:12 After this I saw the same man come down from the mountain and call to himself another multitude that was peaceable. 13Then many people came to him, some of whom were joyful and some sorrowful; some of them were bound, and some were bringing others as offerings.
Then I woke up in great terror, and prayed to the Most High, and said,
THE INTERPRETATION OF THE MAN FROM THE SEA VISION
13:14"From the beginning you have shown your servant these wonders, and have deemed me worthy to have my prayer heard by you; 15now show me the interpretation of this dream also. 16For as I consider it in my mind, alas for those who will be left in those days! And still more, alas for those who are not left! 17For those who are not left will be sad 18because they understand the things that are reserved for the last days, but cannot attain them. 19But alas for those also who are left, and for that very reason! For they shall see great dangers and much distress, as these dreams show. 20Yet it is better to come into these things, though incurring peril, than to pass from the world like a cloud, and not to see what will happen in the last days."
He answered me and said, 21"I will tell you the interpretation of the vision, and I will also explain to you the things that you have mentioned. 22As for what you said about those who survive, and concerning those who do not survive, this is the interpretation: 23The one who brings the peril at that time will protect those who fall into peril who have works and faith toward the Almighty. 24Understand therefore that those who are left are more blessed than those who have died.
25 "This is the interpretation of the vision: As for your seeing a man come up from the heart of the sea, 26this is he whom the Most High has been keeping for many ages, who will himself deliver his creation; and he will direct those who are left. 27And as for your seeing wind and fire and a storm coming out of his mouth, 28and as for his not holding a spear or weapon of war, yet destroying the onrushing multitude that came to conquer him, this is the interpretation: 29The days are coming when the Most High will deliver those who are on the earth. 30And bewilderment of mind shall come over those who inhabit the earth. 31They shall plan to make war against one another, city against city, place against place, people against people, and kingdom against kingdom. 32When these things take place and the signs occur that I showed you before, then my Son will be revealed, whom you saw as a man coming up from the sea.
33 "Then, when all the nations hear his voice, all the nations shall leave their own lands and the warfare that they have against one another; 34and an innumerable multitude shall be gathered together, as you saw, wishing to come and conquer him. [The battle to outlaw God and to denigrate our Savior is in full force today, supported by the governments of the nations where God's Israelite children live, namely Europe, Britain, and America.] 35But He shall stand on the top of Mount Zion. 36And Zion shall come and be made manifest to all people, prepared and built, as you saw the mountain carved out without hands. 37Then He, my Son, will reprove the assembled nations for their ungodliness (this was symbolized by the storm), 38and will reproach them to their face with their evil thoughts and the torments with which they are to be tortured (which were symbolized by the flames), and will destroy them without effort by means of the law (which was symbolized by the fire).
13:39 "And as for your seeing him gather to himself another multitude that was peaceable, 40these are the nine tribes that were taken away from their own land into exile in the days of King Hoshea, whom Shalmaneser, king of the Assyrians, made captives; he took them across the river, and they were taken into another land. 41But they formed this plan for themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the nations and go to a more distant region [Europe], where no human beings had ever lived, 42so that there at least they might keep their statutes that they had not kept in their own land. 43And they went in by the narrow passages [between Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea] of the Euphrates river. 44For at that time the Most High performed signs for them, and stopped the channels of the river until they had crossed over. 45Through that region there was a long way to go, a journey of a year and a half; and that country is called Arzareth.
46 "Then they lived there until the last times; and now, when they are about to come again, 47the Most High will stop the channels of the river again, so that they may be able to cross over [into the Promised Land of Heaven?]. Therefore you saw the multitude gathered together in peace. 48But those who are left of your people, who are found within my holy borders, shall be saved. 49Therefore when he destroys the multitude of the nations that are gathered together [in the cataclysm of magnetic reversal, earthquakes, volcanoes, of Mat. 24], he will defend the people who remain. 50And then he will show them very many wonders."
51 I said, "O sovereign Lord, explain this to me: Why did I see the man coming up from the heart of the sea?"
52 He said to me, "Just as no one can explore or know what is in the depths of the sea, so no one on earth can see my Son or those who are with him, except in the time of his day. 53This is the interpretation of the dream that you saw. And you alone have been enlightened about this, 54because you have forsaken your own ways and have applied yourself to mine, and have searched out my law; 55for you have devoted your life to wisdom, and called understanding your mother. 56Therefore I have shown you these things; for there is a reward laid up with the Most High. For it will be that after three more days I will tell you other things, and explain weighty and wondrous matters to you."
57 Then I got up and walked in the field, giving great glory and praise to the Most High for the wonders that he does from time to time, 58and because he governs the times and whatever things come to pass in their seasons. And I stayed there three days.
THE SEVENTH VISION
THE LORD COMMISSIONS EZRA
14:1 On the third day, while I was sitting under an oak, suddenly a voice came out of a bush opposite me and said, "Ezra, Ezra!" 2And I answered, "Here I am, Lord," and I rose to my feet. 3Then he said to me, "I revealed myself in a bush and spoke to Moses when my people were in bondage in Egypt; 4and I sent him and led my people out of Egypt; and I led him up on Mount Sinai, where I kept him with me many days. 5I told him many wondrous things, and showed him the secrets of the times and declared to him the end of the times. Then I commanded him, saying, 6'These words you shall publish openly, and these you shall keep secret.' 7And now I say to you: 8Lay up in your heart the signs that I have shown you, the dreams that you have seen, and the interpretations that you have heard; 9for you shall be taken up from among humankind, and henceforth you shall live with my Son and with those who are like you, until the times are ended. 10The age has lost its youth, and the times begin to grow old. 11For the age is divided into twelve parts, and nine of its parts have already passed, 12as well as half of the tenth part; so two of its parts remain, besides half of the tenth part. [12,000 year Kingdom of World began 10,000BC, which was 9,500 years prior to Ezra, and Ezra is 2,500 years prior to 2,000AD.]
14:13Now therefore, set your house in order, and reprove your people; comfort the lowly among them, and instruct those that are wise. And now renounce the life that is corruptible, 14and put away from you mortal thoughts; cast away from you the burdens of humankind, and divest yourself now of your weak nature; 15lay to one side the thoughts that are most grievous to you, and hurry to escape from these times. 16For evils worse than those that you have now seen happen shall take place hereafter. 17For the weaker the world becomes through old age [Earth's magnetic field strength is nearly zero in 2,000AD], the more shall evils be increased upon its inhabitants. 18Truth shall go farther away, and falsehood shall come near. For the eagle that you saw in the vision is already hurrying to come."
EZRA'S CONCERN TO RESTORE THE SCRIPTURES
14:19 Then I answered and said, "Let me speak in your presence, Lord. 20For I will go, as you have commanded me, and I will reprove the people who are now living; but who will warn those who will be born hereafter? For the world lies in darkness, and its inhabitants are without light. 21For your law has been burned, and so no one knows the things which have been done or will be done by you. 22If then I have found favor with you, send the Holy Spirit into me, and I will write everything that has happened in the world from the beginning, the things that were written in your law, so that people may be able to find the path, and that those who want to live in the last days may do so."
23 He answered me and said, "Go and gather the people, and tell them not to seek you for forty days. 24But prepare for yourself many writing tablets, and take with you Sarea, Dabria, Selemia, Ethanus, and Asiel--these five, who are trained to write rapidly; 25and you shall come here, and I will light in your heart the lamp of understanding, which shall not be put out until what you are about to write is finished. 26And when you have finished, some things you shall make public, and some you shall deliver in secret to the wise; tomorrow at this hour you shall begin to write."
EZRA'S LAST WORDS TO THE PEOPLE
14:27 Then I went as he commanded me, and I gathered all the people together, and said, 28"Hear these words, O Israel. 29At first our ancestors lived as aliens in Egypt, and they were liberated from there 30and received the law of life, which they did not keep, which you also have transgressed after them. 31Then land was given to you for a possession in the land of Zion; but you and your ancestors committed iniquity and did not keep the ways that the Most High commanded you. 32And since he is a righteous judge, in due time he took from you what he had given. 33And now you are here, and your people are farther in the interior. 34If you, then, will rule over your minds and discipline your hearts, you shall be kept alive, and after death you shall obtain mercy. 35For after death the judgment will come, when we shall live again; and then the names of the righteous shall become manifest, and the deeds of the ungodly shall be disclosed. 36But let no one come to me now, and let no one seek me for forty days."
THE RESTORATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
14:37 So I took the five men, as he commanded me, and we proceeded to the field, and remained there. 38And on the next day a voice called me, saying, "Ezra, open your mouth and drink what I give you to drink." 39So I opened my mouth, and a full cup was offered to me; it was full of something like water, but its color was like fire. 40I took it and drank; and when I had drunk it, my heart poured forth understanding, and wisdom increased in my breast, for my spirit retained its memory, 41and my mouth was opened and was no longer closed. 42Moreover, the Most High gave understanding to the five men, and by turns they wrote what was dictated, using characters that they did not know. They sat forty days; they wrote during the daytime, and ate their bread at night. 43But as for me, I spoke in the daytime and was not silent at night. 44So during the forty days, ninety-four books were written. 45And when the forty days were ended, the Most High spoke to me, saying, "Make public the twenty-four books that you wrote first, and let the worthy and the unworthy read them; 46but keep the seventy that were written last, in order to give them to the wise among your people. 47For in them is the spring of understanding, the fountain of wisdom, and the river of knowledge." 48And I did so.
VENGEANCE ON THE WICKED
15:1 Speak in the ears of my people the words of the prophecy that I will put in your mouth, says the Lord, 2and cause them to be written on paper; for they are trustworthy and true. 3Do not fear the plots against you, and do not be troubled by the unbelief of those who oppose you. 4For all unbelievers shall die in their unbelief.
15:5 Beware, says the Lord, I am bringing evils upon the world, the sword and famine, death and destruction, 6because iniquity has spread throughout every land, and their harmful doings have reached their limit. 7Therefore, says the Lord, 8I will be silent no longer concerning their ungodly acts that they impiously commit, neither will I tolerate their wicked practices. Innocent and righteous blood cries out to me, and the souls of the righteous cry out continually. 9I will surely avenge them, says the Lord, and will receive to myself all the innocent blood from among them. 10See, my people are being led like a flock to the slaughter; I will not allow them to live any longer in the land of Egypt [World], 11but I will bring them out with a mighty hand and with an uplifted arm, and will strike Egypt with plagues, as before, and will destroy all its land.
15:12 Let Egypt mourn, and its foundations, because of the plague of chastisement and castigation that the Lord will bring upon it. 13Let the farmers that till the ground mourn, because their seed shall fail to grow and their trees shall be ruined by blight and hail and by a terrible tempest. 14Alas for the world and for those who live in it! 15For the sword and misery draw near them, and nation shall rise up to fight against nation, with swords in their hands. 16For there shall be unrest among people; growing strong against one another, they shall in their might have no respect for their king or the chief of their leaders. 17For a person will desire to go into a city, and shall not be able to do so. 18Because of their pride the cities shall be in confusion, the houses shall be destroyed, and people shall be afraid. 19People shall have no pity for their neighbors, but shall make an assault upon their houses with the sword, and plunder their goods, because of hunger for bread and because of great tribulation. [Right now, the Globalist tyrants are engineering the crash of our infrastructure and our economy, just as they have already trashed our Christian values and traditions. When freight hauling ceases, there won't be groceries for the masses.]
15:20 See how I am calling together all the kings of the earth to turn to me, says God, from the rising sun and from the south, from the east and from Lebanon; to turn and repay what they have given them. 21Just as they have done to my elect until this day, so I will do, and will repay into their bosom. Thus says the Lord God: 22My right hand will not spare the sinners, and my sword will not cease from those who shed innocent blood on earth. 23And a fire went forth from his wrath, and consumed the foundations of the earth and the sinners, like burnt straw. 24Alas for those who sin and do not observe my commandments, says the Lord; 25I will not spare them. Depart, you faithless children! Do not pollute my sanctuary. 26For God knows all who sin against him; therefore he will hand them over to death and slaughter. 27Already calamities have come upon the whole earth, and you shall remain in them; God will not deliver you, because you have sinned against him.
A TERRIFYING VISION OF WARFARE [The Armageddon Sequence]
15:28 What a terrifying sight, appearing from the east! 29The nations of the dragons of Arabia [Islam] shall come out with many chariots, and from the day that they set out, their hissing [threats of Jihad] shall spread over the earth, so that all who hear them will fear and tremble. 30Also the Carmonians [Ancient enemy of Babylon, here symbolizing European/Western powers], raging in wrath, shall go forth like wild boars from the forest, and with great power they shall come and engage them [Islam] in battle, and with their tusks they shall devastate a portion of the land of the Assyrians [Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran?] with their teeth. 31And then the dragons [Islam], remembering their origin [Koran promise of world-domination], shall become still stronger [united against all non-muslims]; and they [Islam] combine in great power and turn to pursue them [Western forces], 32then these [Western forces] shall be disorganized and silenced by their [Islam= s] power, and shall turn and flee [we retreat]. 33And from the land of the Assyrians an enemy in ambush shall attack them and destroy one of them [a coalition force], and fear and trembling shall come upon their army [western forces], and indecision upon their kings. [Western powers confused, not cooperating]
JUDGMENT ON BABYLON
15:34 See the clouds [military forces] from the east, and from the north to the south! Their appearance is exceedingly threatening, full of wrath and storm. 35They shall clash against one another and shall pour out a heavy tempest on the earth [A bar-brawl among many nations], and their own tempest; and there shall be blood from the sword as high as a horse's belly 36and a man's thigh and a camel's hock [description for the imagination]. 37And there shall be fear and great trembling on the earth; those who see that wrath shall be horror-stricken, and they shall be seized with trembling.
15:38After that, heavy storm clouds [military forces] shall be stirred up from the south [Israel], and from the north [Europe], and another part from the west [America]. 39But the winds from the east [Islam] shall prevail over the cloud that was raised in wrath, and shall dispel it [Islam stops the bar-brawl]; and the tempest that was to cause destruction by the east wind shall be driven violently toward the south and west [Israel & America]. 40Great and mighty clouds [probably nuclear], full of wrath and tempest, shall rise and destroy all the earth [society's infrastructure] and its inhabitants, and shall pour out upon every high and lofty place [political powers] a terrible tempest, 41fire and hail and flying swords [Ezra's description of modern warfare] and floods of water, so that all the fields and all the streams shall be filled with the abundance of those waters. 42They [Western Powers] shall destroy cities and walls, mountains and hills, trees of the forests, and grass of the meadows, and their grain. 43They shall go on steadily to Babylon [Islam] and blot it out. 44They shall come to it and surround it; they shall pour out on it the tempest and all its fury [nuclear]; then the dust and smoke shall reach the sky, and all who are around it shall mourn for it. 45And those who survive shall serve those who have destroyed it. [Western Globalist powers will have world dominion]
JUDGMENT ON ASIA [Asia would include modern Turkey, and all other nations aligned with Islam]
15:46 And you, Asia, who share in the splendor of Babylon and the glory of her person-- 47woe to you, miserable wretch! For you have made yourself like her; you have decked out your daughters for prostitution to please and glory in your lovers, who have always lusted after you. 48You have imitated that hateful one in all her deeds and devices. Therefore God says, 49I will send evils upon you: widowhood, poverty, famine, sword, and pestilence, bringing ruin to your houses, bringing destruction and death. 50And the glory of your strength shall wither like a flower when the heat shall rise that is sent upon you. 51You shall be weakened like a wretched woman who is beaten and wounded, so that you cannot receive your mighty lovers. 52Would I have dealt with you so violently, says the Lord, 53if you had not killed my chosen people continually, exulting and clapping your hands and talking about their death when you were drunk?
15:54 Beautify your face! 55The reward of a prostitute is in your lap; therefore you shall receive your recompense. 56As you will do to my chosen people, says the Lord, so God will do to you, and will hand you over to adversities. 57Your children shall die of hunger, and you shall fall by the sword; your cities shall be wiped out, and all your people who are in the open country shall fall by the sword. 58Those who are in the mountains and highlands shall perish of hunger, and they shall eat their own flesh in hunger for bread, and drink their own blood in thirst for water. 59Unhappy above all others, you shall come and suffer fresh miseries. 60As they pass by they shall crush the hateful city, and shall destroy a part of your land and abolish a portion of your glory, when they return from devastated Babylon. 61You shall be broken down by them like stubble, and they shall be like fire to you. 62They shall devour you and your cities, your land and your mountains; they shall burn with fire all your forests and your fruitful trees. 63They shall carry your children away captive, plunder your wealth, and mar the glory of your countenance.
16:1 Woe to you, Babylon and Asia! Woe to you, Egypt and Syria! 2Bind on sackcloth and cloth of goats' hair, and wail for your children, and lament for them; for your destruction is at hand. 3The sword has been sent upon you, and who is there to turn it back? 4A fire has been sent upon you, and who is there to quench it? ["Jesus said, 'I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.'" Gospel of Thomas, v.9] 5Calamities have been sent upon you, and who is there to drive them away? 6Can one drive off a hungry lion in the forest, or quench a fire in the stubble once it has started to burn? 7Can one turn back an arrow shot by a strong archer? 8The Lord God sends calamities, and who will drive them away? 9Fire will go forth from his wrath, and who is there to quench it? 10He will flash lightning, and who will not be afraid? He will thunder, and who will not be terrified? 11The Lord will threaten, and who will not be utterly shattered at his presence? 12The earth and its foundations quake, the sea is churned up from the depths, and its waves and the fish with them shall be troubled at the presence of the Lord and the glory of his power. 13For his right hand that bends the bow is strong, and his arrows that he shoots are sharp and when they are shot to the ends of the world will not miss once. 14Calamities are sent forth and shall not return until they come over the earth. 15The fire is kindled, and shall not be put out until it consumes the foundations of the earth. 16Just as an arrow shot by a mighty archer does not return, so the calamities that are sent upon the earth shall not return. 17Alas for me! Alas for me! Who will deliver me in those days?
THE HORROR OF THE LAST DAYS [The geophysical catastrophe of Matthew 24 is being described here. It brings an end to God's Great Battle. Most of world is destroyed. No more electricity. Volcanic ash covers much of the earth. Mountains sink, new ones rise up. Tidal waves destroy coastal cities and lowlands.]
16:18 The beginning of sorrows, when there shall be much lamentation; the beginning of famine, when many shall perish; the beginning of wars, when the powers shall be terrified; the beginning of calamities, when all shall tremble. What shall they do, when the calamities come? 19Famine and plague, tribulation and anguish are sent as scourges for the correction of humankind. 20Yet for all this they will not turn from their iniquities, or ever be mindful of the scourges. 21Indeed, provisions will be so cheap upon earth that people will imagine that peace is assured for them, and then calamities shall spring up on the earth--the sword, famine, and great confusion. 22For many of those who live on the earth shall perish by famine; and those who survive the famine shall die by the sword. 23And the dead shall be thrown out like dung, and there shall be no one to console them; for the earth shall be left desolate, and its cities shall be demolished. 24No one shall be left to cultivate the earth or to sow it. 25The trees shall bear fruit, but who will gather it? 26The grapes shall ripen, but who will tread them? For in all places there shall be great solitude; 27a person will long to see another human being, or even to hear a human voice. 28For ten shall be left out of a city; and two out of the field, those who have hidden themselves in thick groves and clefts in the rocks. 29Just as in an olive orchard three or four olives may be left on every tree, 30or just as, when a vineyard is gathered, some clusters may be left by those who search carefully through the vineyard, 31so in those days three or four shall be left by those who search their houses with the sword. 32The earth shall be left desolate, and its fields shall be plowed up, and its roads and all its paths shall bring forth thorns, because no sheep will go along them. 33Virgins shall mourn because they have no bridegrooms; women shall mourn because they have no husbands; their daughters shall mourn, because they have no help. 34Their bridegrooms shall be killed in war, and their husbands shall perish of famine.
GOD'S PEOPLE MUST PREPARE FOR THE END
16:35 Listen now to these things, and understand them, you who are servants of the Lord. 36This is the word of the Lord; receive it and do not disbelieve what the Lord says. 37The calamities draw near, and are not delayed. 38Just as a pregnant woman, in the ninth month when the time of her delivery draws near, has great pains around her womb for two or three hours beforehand, but when the child comes forth from the womb, there will not be a moment's delay, 39so the calamities will not delay in coming upon the earth, and the world will groan, and pains will seize it on every side.
16:40 Hear my words, O my people; prepare for battle, and in the midst of the calamities be like strangers on the earth. 41Let the one who sells be like one who will flee; let the one who buys be like one who will lose; 42let the one who does business be like one who will not make a profit; and let the one who builds a house be like one who will not live in it; 43let the one who sows be like one who will not reap; so also the one who prunes the vines, like one who will not gather the grapes; 44those who marry, like those who will have no children; and those who do not marry, like those who are widowed. 45Because of this, those who labor, labor in vain; 46for strangers shall gather their fruits, and plunder their goods, overthrow their houses, and take their children captive; for in captivity and famine they will produce their children. 47Those who conduct business, do so only to have it plundered; the more they adorn their cities, their houses and possessions, and their persons, 48the more angry I will be with them for their sins, says the Lord. 49Just as a respectable and virtuous woman abhors a prostitute, 50so righteousness shall abhor iniquity, when she decks herself out, and shall accuse her to her face when He comes who will defend the one who searches out every sin on earth.
THE POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD
16:51 Therefore do not be like her or her works. 52For in a very short time iniquity will be removed from the earth, and righteousness will reign over us. 53Sinners must not say that they have not sinned; for God will burn coals of fire on the head of everyone who says, "I have not sinned before God and his glory." 54The Lord certainly knows everything that people do; he knows their imaginations and their thoughts and their hearts. 55He said, "Let the earth be made," and it was made, and "Let the heaven be made," and it was made. 56At his word the stars were fixed in their places, and he knows the number of the stars. 57He searches the abyss and its treasures; he has measured the sea and its contents; 58he has confined the sea in the midst of the waters; and by his word he has suspended the earth over the water. 59He has spread out the heaven like a dome and made it secure upon the waters; 60he has put springs of water in the desert, and pools on the tops of the mountains, so as to send rivers from the heights to water the earth. 61He formed human beings and put a heart in the midst of each body, and gave each person breath and life and understanding 62and the Spirit of Almighty God, who surely made all things and searches out hidden things in hidden places. 63He knows your imaginations and what you think in your hearts! Woe to those who sin and want to hide their sins! 64The Lord will strictly examine all their works, and will make a public spectacle of all of you. 65You shall be put to shame when your sins come out before others, and your own iniquities shall stand as your accusers on that day. 66What will you do? Or how will you hide your sins before the Lord and his glory? 67Indeed, God is the judge; fear him! Cease from your sins, and forget your iniquities, never to commit them again; so God will lead you forth and deliver you from all tribulation.
IMPENDING PERSECUTION OF GOD'S PEOPLE
16:68 The burning wrath of a great multitude is kindled over you; they shall drag some of you away and force you to eat what was sacrificed to idols. 69And those who consent to eat shall be held in derision and contempt, and shall be trampled under foot. 70For in many places and in neighboring cities there shall be a great uprising against those who fear the Lord. 71They shall be like maniacs, sparing no one, but plundering and destroying those who continue to fear the Lord. 72For they shall destroy and plunder their goods, and drive them out of house and home. 73Then the tested quality of my Elect shall be manifest, like gold that is tested by fire.
PROMISE OF DIVINE DELIVERANCE
16:74 Listen, my Elect ones, says the Lord; the days of tribulation are at hand, but I will deliver you from them. 75Do not fear or doubt, for God is your guide. 76You who keep my commandments and precepts, says the Lord God, must not let your sins weigh you down, or your iniquities prevail over you. 77Woe to those who are choked by their sins and overwhelmed by their iniquities! They are like a field choked with underbrush and its paths overwhelmed with thorns, so that no one can pass through. 78It is shut off and given up to be consumed by fire.
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