WORLD GOES FROM BAD TO WORSE

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.2 Timothy 3:7

From here on in Christians do not expect the world to embrace you as they have every conceivable abomination. Look what Jesus said,

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. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.Matthew 24:9-14

Be reminded, the main battle going on is in the spiritual realm. The Bible tells us that Satan who has had dominion over this fallen world as a result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion is soon to be overthrown by our Lord Jesus at the same time the Antichrist is defeated at the Battle of Armageddon. At which time, Satan will be bound for a 1000 years in the Abyss. Jesus will then begin His Millennial reign on this earth from a reconstructed Jerusalem with the saints in their transformed bodies. That is the time when the following Scripture is fulfilled.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.Philippians 2:9-11

The last seven years on this planet is described as a time of Tribulation leading to Great Tribulation and then a final period when the wrath of God is poured out on an unbelieving world. It terminates with Jesus return with the raptured saints (raptured prior to the Wrath of God being unleashed with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements) to deliver a remnant Israel at the Battle of Armageddon and begin His Millennial reign on this earth.

Christians, God has a role for you to play in these last days to fulfill this Scripture “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” are you in prayer and listening to the Holy Spirit so that you will fulfill your destiny and take up your assigned role to rule and reign with Jesus in the Millennium?

The Judgment at Christ’s Coming
This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonian 1:5-12

PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE & HOSEA PROPHECY

Throughout the Scriptures the fig tree is used as a symbol of Israel. Jesus spoke the “Parable of the Fig Tree” (Matthew 24:22-25) to the disciples as part of His response to their questions concerning when He would return to establish His Kingdom on earth. The parable states that when the fig tree blossoms again, the generation that witnesses that event will be the one that will be living when the Lord returns.

Mark 11:12-14, 20-25

Just the day before as Jesus and His disciples were walking on the Mount of Olives, they came across a fig tree that was barren. Jesus pronounced a curse upon it, and it withered (Matthew 21: 18-19). This was a symbolic prophecy that because the Jewish people (represented by the fig tree) had rejected Jesus as their Messiah (and were therefore barren), their nation would cease to exist. Then, the next day, Jesus reminded them of the tree and said when it blossoms again (when the nation is re-established), the Lord will return. That prophecy, like the prophecy of the Millennial Days covered in a previous post “History of the World”, indicates we are living in the season of the Lord’s return.

I (Jesus) will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me. Hosea 5:15

Come, let us (Jews) return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before him. Hosea 6:1-2

This amazing rarely considered prophecy in Hosea indicates His return is soon. The passage says the Messiah will return to Heaven and remain there until the Jewish people acknowledge their guilt in rejecting Him and earnestly seek His face — this will happen during a time of severe trouble for them (Great Tribulation). The Messiah will be gone for “two days.” He will return on “the third day” and will raise up the Jewish people, refreshing them like a spring rain. As God calculates time, it has been “two days” since Jesus ascended to Heaven, for to God, “one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day” (2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4).

NOT AFRAID OF THE ANTICHRIST

Michael Brown and Craig Keener in their new book Not Afraid Of The Antichrist make a good case that the rapture and 2nd coming are not two separate events separated by years but a single event of hours (possible days) that transpires right at the end of this age and just before Christ’s literal reign upon this earth. The authors certainly dispel the arguments made for a Pretribulation rapture. This is extremely important, Christians need to understand that in the “last days” they will experience tribulation even great tribulation. This is clearly prophesied by Jesus.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

Followers of my blog, will know that I support the PreWrath Rapture position, which has the Rapture occurring at the trumpet blast at the seventh seal. The wrath of God is then poured out with the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements. This happens in the last year of the seventh year of Daniels 70 weeks prophecy. The saints will have a sabbath year (Shemitah) prior to coming back to earth with Jesus to liberate Israel prior to His Millennial reign.

Our major difference to Brown and Keener is we believe Jesus said His children will not experience the wrath of God. Brown and Keener do not differentiate between the Tribulation and the Wrath of God.

Christians will experience tribulation, even great tribulation and how we handle it will be a great witness to the world and bring many into the Kingdom. It will be a time of refining/testing and sadly many will fall away as Jesus prophesied.

ARE OUR CHURCHES PREPARING US FOR THE COMING TRIBULATION?

Jesus taught explicitly that one of the ways you will know His return is imminent is you will see the Antichrist claiming to be God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem.

“So when you see the abomination of desolation–spoken about by Daniel the prophet—standing in the holy place. . .  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” (Matthew 24:15-22)

Paul confirms that the Antichrist will come before Jesus returns to Rapture the Saints:

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God”                         (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4).

John records numerous instances in the Book of Revelation of Jesus warning the saints to become Overcomers of the beast’s system (e.g. Revelation 14:9–12).

In the light of all these Scriptures, why do so many hold on to the Pretribulation Rapture position? Could it be, because we don’t want to believe that God would put us through the intense persecution that the Bible tells us Christians will endure during the last seven years before Jesus returns? It is described as a time of tribulation and great tribulation after the midpoint when the Antichrist “takes his seat in God’s temple, displaying himself as God”.

None of us like the thought that we may have to die for our Christian faith under the regime of the Antichrist. But it is God’s will that ultimately matters. He knows better than us, therefore we need to trust His will because it is all-wise, all-good, all-sovereign.

I am reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways”, says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts your thoughts.” 

It may be God’s will that we confront the Antichrist system. We need to trust God, as have many martyrs before us, that He will be with us in the ordeal. What an honour it would be; to be a witness for the true God of the universe, to give glory to Him and to receive a martyrs crown. Pray God will give us the strength to stand up boldly for Him.

God may very well call us to be a Daniel and stand up to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol. Or Daniel’s companions, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach) and Azariah (Abed-Nego) confined to the fiery furnace. Or to be a David and stand up to Goliath when he mocked and blasphemed his God. 

Many churches in America and many in Australia stay away from the  subject of “end times” altogether, but many also preach the Pretribulation Rapture position, in both cases they are not preparing their congregations for the coming tribulation. Even worse they are not challenging their congregations about the urgency of the hour and the need to get about our Father’s business and obey Jesus command to preach the Gospel and make disciples.

 

 

PASTORS – PREPARE FOR THE COMING TRIBULATION

There are thousands of pastors out there that should be preparing the bride of Christ for the coming tribulation, but instead they are taking the easy road.  Since most American and many Australian Christians have embraced the Pre Tribulation position due to best selling books such as The Left Behind Series it is comforting for them to get confirmation from their pastors that they won’t face the Antichrist nor the great tribulation spoken of in Revelation. And yet Scripture is replete with warnings such as Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  2 Timothy 3:12

Moreover, Matthew 24:29-31, Mark 13:24-27 Luke 21:25-28 clearly teach that the Rapture takes place “immediately after the tribulation of those days

Paul confirms itLet no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one anotherThen many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. Matt. 24: 9-12

It was granted to him (Antichrist) to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Revelation 13:7

All of the apostles were killed for their faith.  Some early Christian leaders were stoned, others were killed by sword or spear, and some were even reportedly crucified upside down. Later on, the Roman Empire invented even more sadistic ways to kill Christians.  Entire families were fed to lions, and one emperor even lit the roads with the burning bodies of Christians that he had killed. During the Dark Ages, the popes of Roman Catholicism tortured and killed millions that did not submit to their authority.  Great men of God were burned at the stake for “crimes” such as translating the Bible into English and preaching a gospel of salvation by faith. Even today, Christians are being raped, tortured, beheaded and crucified by radical Islamic groups in the Middle East such as ISIS. Once again, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.2 Timothy 3:10-12

Paul to the church at Thessalonica: “and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.” 1 Thessalonians 3:2-4

It is sad to contemplate that many Christians will be faced with horrors that they have never been prepared for.  Perhaps many will deeply question their faith or give in to despair and depression. Even of more concern, some may commit suicide so that they can get the “escape” that they were promised.

Ultimately, it really will come down to whether you will trust God regardless of your circumstances, knowing He is in control and will be with you every step of the way, just as He was with the early martyrs. Be encouraged, read some of their stories in Foxe’s Book of the Martyrs (updated 2006).

In fact, knowing Jesus return is not too far off we should be excited and committed to making sure we are in the centre of His will for the short time we have left on this planet and prior to meeting Him at the Wedding Supper of the Lamb – Revelation 19:7.

 

 

DEBATE: PRETRIBULATION OR PREWRATH RAPTURE

Alan Kurschner presents a convincing case for a PreWrath Rapture i.e. prior to the wrath of God being poured out in the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements. The video is a debate between Alan and Tom Ice who presents the case for a PreTribulation Rapture. It is a 50 minute debate so make sure you schedule sufficient time, and can I suggest you view it with your church group, so that you can discuss it afterward.

Prior to this video, I put up Nelson Walters much shorter video in the post titled, Eloquent Teaching on the Timing of The Rapture. I suggest you watch it prior to Alan’s debate with Tom Ice. Nelson also supports  a PreWrath Rapture.

HAVE CHRISTIANS BEEN MISLED ABOUT SECOND COMING OF JESUS?

Great to see that Dr Michael Brown has realised that Scripture does not support a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

Without a doubt, the New Testament proclaims that Jesus will return to earth and establish His Kingdom. And without a doubt, the New Testament calls us to live with readiness and expectation. We can all agree on that.

But does the New Testament teach that, for true believers, Jesus will come suddenly, like a thief in the night, without any signs? Or, to the contrary, does it teach that His coming will not be like a thief in the night for godly believers, since we are awake and alert, fully aware of the signs of the times?

“To be clear, I don’t doubt for a moment that we’re living in prophetic times”, said Dr Brown

The gospel is spreading all over the world in unprecedented fashion, just as the Scriptures predicted.

Out of the ashes of the Holocaust, Israel has been re-birthed, and Jerusalem remains at the centre of world attention, again, in accordance with the prophets’ words.

And around the globe, Christians are being brutally persecuted for their faith, mowed down by the hundreds and thousands. This too is in harmony with Scripture, which speak of the last days as times of great blessing and great upheaval, of great light and great darkness, or great victory and great conflict. Jesus promised that Christians would not experience the wrath of God but Scripture shows us that in the end times, God’s wrath is poured out at the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements. The Rapture occurs after the sixth seal. John saw the great multitude that no one could number of believers before the throne clothed in white robes (resurrected bodies) and waving palm branches just prior to the seventh seal being opened and the trumpet judgements commencing.

Despite the popular theology of our day, Christians should not expect to get out of experiencing the tribulation or the end times. Nowhere in the Bible does the Lord promise us this, say Michael Brown and Craig Keener, two leading, acclaimed Bible scholars. In fact, they say, Jesus promises us tribulation in this world.

Yet this is no reason to fear. In this fascinating, accessible, and personal book, Brown and Keener walk you through what the Bible really says about the rapture, the tribulation, and the end times. What they find will leave you full of hope. God’s wrath is not poured out on His people, and He will shield us from it–as he shielded Israel in Egypt during the ten plagues. So instead of taking comfort in what God hasn’t promised, take comfort in the words of Jesus: He has overcome the world, and we live in his victory.

MARK OF THE BEAST: MICROCHIP IMPLANTS?

End-Times Scholar: Microchips Are Scary Next Step to Control Population

A technology growing in popularity allows computer chips to be implanted under the skin. It brings to mind the “mark of the beast” prophesied in Revelation 13:16-17. For the first time in history, technology has made it possible.

Christian activists, including conspiracy theorist Mark Dice, the author of a book titled The Resistance Manifesto, make the link between chipping of humans and the biblical mark of the beast prophesied to be a future requirement for buying and selling.

It will be very attractive to governments in order to control people and their finances. Moreover, they can put a positive spin on its implementation. It has so much potential for good that it is almost inevitable that governments will want to use this,” Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author, said. “They can’t afford prisons and policing anymore for the expanding populations. Rather than put someone in prison, they can make it impossible to exit their home. If they identify a criminal, they can remotely shut down their car, deny them access to money and food. A lot of people will be deterred from non-compliance with the law.

The process is relatively simple. An identifying integrated circuit device or Radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponder encased in silicate glass approximately the size of a grain of rice is implanted under the skin using a device similar to a syringe. Local anaesthetic is used during the procedure. The use of sub-dermal RFIDs for domestic and farm animals is widespread and some countries require them to be implanted This was first done by a physician in 1998 and was approved for use in humans by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004.

Proponents of this new technology claim a myriad of benefits. Some companies currently recommend implantation for their employees for security purposes. Locks and elevators can be paired with sensors so that only specific people can open a door. Computers can use the sensor to identify users when they log on, allowing them to access files and systems specific to them. Using the chip as “biopayment” in place of a credit card is in the developmental stages and could lead to a cashless society. It is also feasible to create a smart gun that will only allow the owner of a gun to fire it. Theoretically, a GPS-enabled chip could one day make it possible for individuals to be physically located anywhere on the planet. The chip can link to an external database containing vital medical information for emergency use. This would be especially useful in cases of dementia or where the patient is uncooperative. It can also be used by law enforcement agencies to identify subjects and track their movements. Both of these applications raise serious concerns about civil liberties.

Folks we are in the “last days”, are you prepared for the coming tribulation spoken of by Jesus and Daniel.

 

TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

The debate between pretribulation and prewrath rapture scholars about Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians has been fierce – mostly centred around 2 Thess. 2:3 and the meaning of the Greek word apostasia.

Image result for book Rapture Case Cosed by Neslon Walters

Dr Nelson Walters of Gospel in the End Times has written about that passage at length in his book Rapture: Case Closed?  However, he points out in this presentation that very little discussion has taken place about the passage that precedes 2 Thess. 2 and provides its “context,” that is 2 Thess. 1. The eschatological material in chapters one and two are really one continuous teaching! We cannot understand chapter two without understanding chapter one that provides introductory thoughts on the more hotly contested chapter.

Nelson does a stellar job of presenting the Prewrath case for the timing of the Rapture in this seven minute video.

 

YOUR END-TIME THEOLOGY IS VITAL

Your End-Time Theology Does Matter

The life of the church must be driven by the truth that Jesus is returning, and we must be prepared for our role during that key season. Jesus makes it clear in the Olivet Discourse, that Christians will face the ANTICHRIST during the Tribulation and even Great Tribulation, occurring during the 70th week spoken of by Daniel.

“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains… For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:15-21

The Bible warns that there will be a great falling away in the church in the “last days”, even the elect being deceived. The charismatic, miracle working Antichrist will appeal to many in the apostate church which has already compromised with the world on homosexuality and gay marriage.

The following warning in Revelation should be awake up call: “A third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out in full strength into the cup of His anger. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. The smoke of their torment will ascend forever and ever. They have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image and whoever receives the mark of his name (Revelation 14:9-11).

The truth is that we are only safe if we conquer, overcome and endure to the end: “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments. I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels” (Revelation 3:5).

If all of our sins are forgiven, past, present and future, then taking the mark of the beast is a non-issue. In fact, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, sexual immorality, unforgiveness and any number of other sins won’t impact our eternity if we believe in a false grace teaching.

“For if we wilfully continue to sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement and fiery indignation, which will devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

A raging, burning passion for Jesus is non-negotiable. We are either on fire for Jesus or we are lukewarm, or possible cold and dead. Those who refuse to take the mark of the beast will be radically in love and on fire for Jesus.

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).

We must be living, walking and praying in the Spirit, night and day if we hope to survive the coming pressure. You’ll remember Jesus warning his disciples to stay awake and pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptation. Do you know what temptation Jesus was referring to? Rejecting Jesus, as they did when the pressure increased and Jesus was taken away for crucifixion: “Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41).

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs. 9:10).

We will need each other more than ever as the pressure intensifies. The church will certainly look much different during the Tribulation than it does now, but one truth will remain—we will be together. We must learn how to lock arms and contend together if we hope to survive in the end. The Bible gives us this instruction, especially as the Day of the Lord draws near.

“And let us consider how to spur one another to love and to good works. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but let us exhort one another, especially as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

We must be ready. Jesus is coming again soon. That is one point we must simply have to agree on.