REPENTANCE IS FOUNDATIONAL TO LIVING THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

From the time Jesus began to preach He said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

Repentance is foundational to living the Christian life. We are all simply a repentant prayer away from a restored and joyful relationship with God.

It is significant that the “end times” message to all seven churches in Revelation is one of repentance.

In Revelation, John gives a different message to each of seven churches. Nelson Walters in his book “Revelation Deciphered” has correctly connected these messages to the seven churches to the prophesied seven seals and the last seven years on this planet before Jesus returns to rescue Israel and establish His Millennial Kingdom.

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Recommend Nelson Walters youtube channel

Nelson shows how the message to each church relates to the events unfolding in each of the seven years as outlined in the seven seals and the riders of the four horses. Check out my post on May 11th 2021 “Connection between the Seven Seals and the Seven Churches” Jesus also gave corresponding messages to the disciples in the Olivet Discourse Matthew 24:3.

In the first year when the first seal is opened the Antichrist comes on the scene (rider on white horse). The Church at that time in the first year (Ephesus): The church is doing some good things but “you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the paradise of God.” Revelation 2:7

In the second year when the second seal is opened, the Antichrist is permitted to take peace from the earth and people slay one another (rider on red horse). The church at that time (Smyrna): “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be testedRevelation 2:10

In the third year when the third seal is opened, famine comes over the earth (rider on black horse). The church at that time (Pergamum): “you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans (eat food sacrificed to idols (take the Mark of the Beast in order to get food?) and practice sexual immorality). Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Revelation 2:15-17

In the fourth year when the fourth seal is opened a fourth of the earth is destroyed with the sword, famine and pestilence (rider’s name Death on pale horse). The church at that time (Thyatira) “I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols… those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.Revelation 2:19-20, 22-23

In the fifth year when the fifth seal is opened, John sees under the altar the souls of the martyrs (not yet resurrected) that have come out of the great tribulation and they are told to wait awhile longer until their numbers are complete – more Christians to be martyred on earth. The Rapture has not occurred at the fifth seal so a Pretribulation Rapture is not possible. The church at that time (Sardis). “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.Rev. 3:2-4

In the sixth year when the sixth seal is opened. John sees the signs in the sky which immediately precede Jesus coming to rapture the Saints and to pour out His wrath upon an unrepentant earth. “I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale… Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?Revelation 6:12-17. The church at that time (Philadelphia) “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name... Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God.Revelation 6:8-12. The Philadelphian church obviously represents the church that is raptured.

At the start of the seventh year when the seventh seal is opened there is silence in heaven for about a half an hour. Just prior to the seventh seal being opened or at the same time there is a trumpet blast and the dead in Christ are raised first and then the Saints alive on earth are taken up to meet Jesus in the clouds.

The church at that time (Laodicea): We are given a picture of the church which is left behind: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.Revelation 3:15-17 Whilst they are left behind and will be recipients of the wrath of God, Jesus still says to the church at Laodicea: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. They are still able to repent and be saved but will experience the wrath of God.

The final words to all the “last days” churches is repent so let us make sure our relationship with the Lord is maintained by true repentance each day. May God grant you the wisdom and strength to stay focused on His call on your life in these last days before His return. Continue living eternal now.

END TIMES PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS IN MOZAMBIQUE ESCALATING

report released this month by Save the Children, Plan International and World Vision showed how the extent of the conflict in Cabo Delgado, Northern Mozambique has worsened in the last 12 months and how children are suffering disproportionately. 

Violent attacks by Islamic rebels in the Cabo Delgado province have led to the deaths of more than 2,838 people, including over 1,400 civilians, though the actual number is expected to be higher. 

Amy Lamb, director of communications for Open Doors, told The Christian Post that the “fresh wave of violence” in Mozambique has had a “devastating” toll.

Lamb said that for the first time, Mozambique was added to the World Watch List as being among the most persecuted countries “because of the fresh wave of violence coming into Mozambique primarily driven by radical jihadist extremists.” A March attack on Palma, a town in the northeast of Mozambique, led to an estimated 67,848 displaced people as of June 4. 

The south-eastern African country is home to about 17 million Christians, which is over 50% of the population. Lamb said it’s also home to one of the fastest-growing evangelical populations in the world. 

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A volunteer sings with children during activities directed toward the healing for displaced children that witnessed atrocities in northern Mozambique, at a displacement settlement in Metuge on May 21, 2021.

“Because of [the rise in Christianity], we’re seeing jihadist groups including those who are affiliated with the Islamic state, with al Shabab, with Boko Haram, al Qaeda,” Lamb explained. 

“It’s just organizing together in order to expand their territories throughout the African continent, and their goal is really to eradicate Christianity from this territory and, unfortunately, in some ways, it’s working,” she continued. “Even specifically from this northern part of Mozambique, an estimated 800,000 people have fled the region, and those who remain, including women, children, families, are facing starvation even if they’re spared from … violence.” 

Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.” 1 John 4:2-3

What we are seeing is prophesied by Jesus as the “end times” signs prior to His second coming to earth this time to rule and reign the nations from Jerusalem. Saints we need to be aware that we will be on the earth during the time of tribulation. There is no place in heaven for lukewarm Christians. God will purify His church before the wrath of God is poured out on an unrepentant world.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.Matthew 24:9-13

Jesus does appear in the heavens and we are told all the world will see Him. He sends out His angels to gather the elect from the four corners of the earth. but He does not come to earth at the time of the rapture of the Saints.

Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.Matthew 24:30-31

THE RAPTURE TIMING

There is 99% proof that believers are raptured into heaven. Why 99%? Because few things are 100% in prophecy. Not only are there 3 verses that clearly show this, but scenes from Revelation also describe believers in Resurrection Bodies before the throne of God in Heaven. As most of you know, I often include Nelson Walter’s end times videos on this site and strongly recommend you sign up to his YouTube channel. I have met Nelson and am confident this humble man has been raised up by God to alert the church to the lateness of the hour and the many end times scriptures. Nelson also helps me with my other website http://www.powerpointsermons.net. You will be blessed by watching this video and am confident you will learn something new.

EVIDENCE FOR PREWRATH RAPTURE

The heavenly censer with the prayers of all the saints spoken of in Revelation 8 symbolizes what currently shields the world from divine judgment, so its sudden casting down to the earth filled with fire from the altar must represent the removal of that covering. It is as if this is the final offering up of the prayers of the saints just prior to the Rapture, the censer is no longer needed to hold the prayers of the saints hence the angel filled it with fire from the altar and it is thrown to earth to initiate the wrath of God. Note: the Trumpet and Bowl judgments immediately follow in sequential and escalating order.

Another angel holding a golden censer came and was stationed at the altar. A large amount of incense was given to him to offer up, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar that is before the throne. The smoke coming from the incense, along with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it on the earth, and there were crashes of thunder, roaring, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them.” (Revelation 8:3-5)

This interpretation of the censer makes sense of the events that immediately precede the Rapture of the saints and the Wrath of God being poured out simultaneously. This is a perfect fit for the Prewrath position of the rapture of the saints prior to the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. That the heavenly censer is removed at the seventh seal thus provides additional verification that God’s wrath does not begin until the seven trumpets.

THE SEVEN SEALS OF REVELATION

THE SCROLL SEALED WITH SEVEN SEALS OF REVELATION 5 & 6

Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:3-5

The trumpet blast with the opening of the seventh seal signals the Rapture and the Wrath of God being poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.

Only Jesus had the authority to remove the seals from the Scroll and unleash the wrath of God with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.

THE RAPTURE TIMING DECIDED

The following end times scholars: Chris White, Charles Cooper, Alan Hultberg, David Rosenthal, Ryan Habbena, and Alan Kurschner unite to produce this excellent video – Seven Pretribulation Problems and the Prewrath Rapture. You can watch this film as a whole or in parts. The individual parts pages below also have written transcripts available on https://7pretribproblems.com/7-problems/

The Basics: 1:45

The Precursor Problem: 6:06

The Olivet Discourse Problem: 19:28

The 2 Thessalonians Problem: 40:23

The Revelation Problem: 58:59

The Imminence Problem: 1:18:29

The Same Time Problem: 1:44:04

The Early Church Problem 1:55:39

You need to settle this issue so that you are prepared for the coming tribulation which will occur before Jesus returns to rule and reign on this earth with a “rod of iron”. God set up the nation of Israel to be His nation on earth to accomplish His purposes. During the Millennial reign of Jesus from a completely restored/restructured Jerusalem, God’s purposes for Israel will be finally realised. Satan is bound in the Abyss during Jesus 1000 year reign so it is reasonable to assume that there will be a great harvest of souls during this period. Sadly, at the end of the thousand years Satan is released from the Abyss and Scripture reveals that he is still able to get an enormous army to come against Jesus and the resurrected saints who are ruling and reigning with Him. The fact that we are told Jesus needs to rule and reign with a “rod of iron” tells us that people will still rebel against Jesus ruling according God’s commandments.

And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.Revelation 20:7-10

WILL YOU MISS THE RAPTURE?

An important message for Christians on the words of warning Jesus spoke to the His disciples about how some Christians will be so enamoured with the things of this world that like Lot’s wife, they will not want to leave, look back and miss being taken up to heaven at The Rapture. Two angels lead Lot’s family out of Sodom and likewise God’s angels take the Saints to heaven to protect them from the Wrath of God that is poured out on an unrepentant world at the Trumpet and Bowl judgements.

But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:26

“Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.” Luke 17:28-32

Another excellent message from Nelson Walters. One you need to share widely with members of your church group.

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE AND THE DAY OF THE LORD’S WRATH

The Rapture initiates Jesus second coming, not to earth, but to receive the risen saints in the air and to take them to heaven. The same day that the rapture occurs will be the same day that The Day of the Lord’s Wrath will begin.

The apostle Paul links the return of Christ with The Day of the Lord’s wrath (1 Thessalonians 4:13–5:9). Paul teaches that when Christ returns to pour out His wrath upon the wicked, His return will be like a thief, and it will occur suddenly like a woman in labour pangs:

“For you know quite well that The Day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night. Now when they are saying, ‘There is peace and security,’ then sudden destruction comes on them, like labour pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2–3

Before the battle of Armageddon occurs, the world will have been devastatingly pummelled by The Day of the Lord trumpets and bowls judgements. The wicked will clearly know that the judgements are from God (see Revelation 6:14–17; 9:20–21; 11:3–19; 14:6–11; 16:9–11, 21; 17:14 cf. Luke 21:25–28). By the time the divine trumpets and bowls have been poured out, the battle of Armageddon will not be a surprise! It climaxes the period of God’s wrath, not initiates it. Paul clearly teaches that the wrath of God will not begin until the second coming of Christ at the Rapture, which will catch the wicked off guard as a thief with sudden destruction as a woman in hard labour. Therefore, Armageddon cannot be considered the beginning of the second coming.

Jesus taught the exact same point that sudden destruction will occur when the second coming begins, using five parables/illustrations: 1. Noah and the flood, one taken and one left, 2. the thief in the night, 3. the master of the household, 4. the ten virgins, and 5. the talents (Matthew 24:37–25:30; cf. Luke 17:28–30).

Peter also draws the “thief” motif from Jesus’s Olivet Discourse illustrating the sudden destruction when the parousia begins (2 Peter 3:10–12).

Jesus, Paul, and Peter are consistent in their message that the second coming of Christ at The Rapture will begin like a thief catching the wicked off guard in their oblivious state.

Since the battle of Armageddon occurs at the end of God’s wrath, the second coming does not begin with Armageddon, because that would remove the surprise element—the whole point of invoking the thief metaphor!

The resurrection and rapture, followed by the trumpets and bowls judgements, will occur at a much earlier point than the climax of God’s wrath at the battle of Armageddon and Jesus second coming to earth to rescue Israel.

The following explanation of the parenthetical exhortation that seems arbitrarily placed in Revelation 16:14-16 is extracted and abbreviated from Alan Kurschner’s post “The Day of the Lord’s Wrath Begins before Armageddon” Eschatos Ministries.

Revelation 16:14–16 begins at the 6th Bowl judgement just before the 7th and last Bowl judgement which precedes the Battle of Armageddon

“For they are the spirits of the demons performing signs who go out to the kings of the earth to bring them together for the battle that will take place on the great day of God, the All-Powerful. (Look ! I will come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays alert and does not lose his clothes so that he will not have to walk around naked and his shameful condition be seen.) Now the spirits gathered the kings and their armies to the place that is called Armageddon in Hebrew.” Revelation 16:14–16

This parenthetical exhortation in Revelation 16:15 is not intended to give a temporal indicator to when the Lord will return, as is often interpreted. It does not mean that his parousia has not occurred up to this point with the church still on earth. Nor does it mean that his parousia will begin at Armageddon. it makes no sense to say that Jesus is coming back as a “thief” after the world just experienced his previous earth-destroying judgements.

So then how should we understand this parenthetical statement that seems to be arbitrarily placed at this point. As it is placed at the culmination of God’s wrath, the likely meaning is that the warning represents the unified complex-whole of the day of the Lord’s wrath. And what are the implications of this statement? There are basically three interpretations but the one I believe it means is; the one who does not stay alert is a false believer (the many nominal Christians in our churches today), who will be left on earth and on the receiving end of God’s wrath.

SUPPORT FOR PREWRATH RAPTURE

The Prewrath Rapture positions the rapture at the trumpet blast of the seventh seal . Jesus said believers would not endure the wrath of God that is poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements but He said that we would see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15). It is at the end of the sixth seal that we are told ‘For the great day of His wrath has come.” (Revelation 6:17) At the seventh seal; The Rapture occurs and then the wrath of God begins to be poured out on the unrepentant. Much the same as Noah, his family and the animals enter the ark, God closes the door, and the wrath of God is poured out.

The Rapture

Believers will experience tribulation even great tribulation meted out by the Antichrist but at the same time Christians will shine brightly in the darkness with many turning to Christ despite the persecution it brings.

Dr Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries explains how the greek grammar in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 supports Prewrath.

The Greek grammar in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 clearly supports the prewrath interpretation that those two events: 1. apostasy and 2, the lawless one revealed, will occur first, before the day of the Lord.

“Let no one deceive you in any way; for the day of the Lord will not come unless [ean mē] the apostasy comes first [prōtonand the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

A couple of simple cross-references of the same Greek construction in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to other biblical examples will demonstrate that the pretribulational view skews Paul’s message. The Greek is constructed with the conditional “unless” (ean mē) coupled with the adverb “first” (prōton), which results in placing the conditional events sequentially before the main event.

For example, John 7:51: “Our law doesn’t condemn a man unless [ean mē] it first [prōton] hears from him and learns what he is doing, does it?”

That is to say, before the event of “condemnation,” two events need to happen first: (1) hearing from the accused, and thus (2) learning what he is doing. The two events do not happen “during” the condemnation, as the flawed pretrib Greek analysis would have it. Rather, they occur before the verdict of condemnation.

Next Mark 3:27: “But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless [ean mē] he first [prōtonties up the strong man; then [tote] indeed the house can be plundered.”

That is to say, the strongman is tied up first, before the house is plundered (the “then” [tote] confirms this).

These two examples that share the same Greek construction with 2 Thessalonians 2:3 suffice to illustrate Paul’ message that before the day of the Lord begins, two events must happen first: the apostasy and the revelation of the man of lawlessness. Only then can the day of the Lord begin.

DECEPTION ON TIMING OF RAPTURE

What two events must take place prior to the rapture? Are there risks in blindly following the teaching of prominent Bible teachers?

What is wrong with a PreTribulation Rapture from a Scriptural standpoint? Nelson does a good job of explaining the relevant Scriptures, particularly 2 Thessalonians 2:3.