Americans in the eye of a prophetic storm

Americans in the eye of a prophetic storm

The occupant of the Oval Office has picked up the phone and had a friendly chat with one of the foremost state sponsors of terrorism in the world–the so-called “president” of Iran. In doing so, he has broken a longstanding policy dating back to 1979 that no US president in an official or unofficial capacity would negotiate with a terrorist. Now I am not saying that the US president is bringing about the Ezekiel 38 prophecy. But he is assisting it in aligning the nations against Israel. And that does not bode well for the United States or the people living here because there is destruction prophesied for the nations that work against Israel. Under this president, America can be counted among them.

Iran is consistent on its nuclear policy. For over a decade, Iran has publicly stated that there should be no nuclear weapons in the Middle East. It has consistently called on the UN and Israel itself to expose Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal. The Iranian government policy has been to publicly deny any intent to build a nuclear weapon while privately working as fast as possible to develop a nuclear weapon and the delivery system to use it. For this administration, either through Secretary of State John Kerry or the White House, to believe Iran will change its strategic direction on Middle East dominance is folly. For the leader of the free world to negotiate with terrorists endangers the entire world.

Moreover, this administration’s favor of Islam–from appointing Muslim Brotherhood Islamists to high positions in the US government to aiding and abetting the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda in overthrowing governments across Northern Africa and the Middle East–points to a very destructive foreign policy that puts the American people in the eye of a prophetic storm. Ezekiel 38 is very specific on the nations that come against Israel in the end times. They include Turkey, Iran, Sudan, Libya and regions in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria and Jordan. This particular White House has been courting both sides of the Sunni and Shiite Islamic political system. All of them are involved in destructive prophetic destiny.

Zechariah 12:9 says, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy the nations that come against Jerusalem.” The White House is on a foreign policy path that will result in destruction. No good can come of it. We know this because God’s word is prophetic and true. We are on the wrong side of prophecy. We are also on the wrong side of history in supporting anything Islam. 1 John 2:22 says, “Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is an antichrist that denies the Father and the Son.” Islam vehemently denies that Jesus is the Messiah and that God has a son. Proverbs 29:2 says, “but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” Put two and two together. We need a change.

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson
www.dailyjot.com

The Wrath Of God

The Wrath Of God – A Feature Article by Jack Kelley – http://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/the-wrath-of-god/#more-27401

Nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea (Luke 21:25).

They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Rev. 6:16-17).

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues-last, because with them God’s wrath is completed (Rev. 15:1).

For 20 centuries various forms of the phrase “Wrath of God” brought one image to mind and that was the period of end times judgments that immediately precede the 2nd Coming. But lately it has begun to mean different things to different people. At the same time phrases like the Wrath of the Lamb, the Wrath of Man, and the Wrath of Satan have also crept into the discussion. In addition, some have begun speaking of a period of judgment they call the Wrath of God which is not mentioned in the Bible. They say it comes right after the 2nd Coming. Others have even said the Wrath of God refers to the eternal punishment that follows the Millennium.

So What Is The Wrath Of God?

From the Revelation quotes above we can see that it’s a period of judgment that begins during the seal judgments of Rev. 6 and ends with the bowl judgments of Rev. 16-18. When some form of this phrase appears in the New Testament it’s almost always in reference to the end time judgments.

If that’s the case what are these other so-called periods of wrath we hear about?

The Wrath of the Lamb comes from Rev. 6:16. The very next verse, Rev. 6:17, tells us it’s also God’s Wrath which makes sense because in John 10:30 Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.”

The Wrath of Man is a phrase that doesn’t appear in the Bible, but some commentators have used it to describe what has traditionally been called the first four Seal Judgments of Rev. 6, also known as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Again, this is part of God’s wrath. The four horsemen symbolize the initial appearance of the anti-Christ and his efforts to gain control of the world through conquest (Rev. 6:2).

The Wrath of Satan comes from the King James version of Rev. 12:12 where Satan is described as having great wrath because he’s been kicked out of heaven and knows he has only a short period of time to accomplish his goal of conquering Earth. His expulsion from heaven will happen at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, shortly before the Bowl judgments that complete God’s Wrath are unleashed against him and his followers. So you see, Satan is not the author of this final series of judgments but is their target. The Greek word used of Satan’s wrath is “thymos” and while it sometimes refers to God’s wrath as well, “orge” is the word most frequently used in connection with God’s Wrath. The difference between the two words as they’re used here is that God’s wrath is the origin of judgment while Satan’s wrath is the reaction to judgment.

The judgments that immediately follow the 2nd coming are described in Matt. 24:45-25:46. They will determine who among the survivors of the Great Tribulation will be welcomed into the Millennial Kingdom on Earth. All unbelieving survivors will be taken off the planet at that time. The 2nd Coming, the judgments of Matt. 24-25 and preparations for the Kingdom Age will be completed in the first 75 days from the end of the Great Tribulation (Daniel 12:12) which are never referred to as the time of God’s Wrath.

The same is true of the Great White Throne judgment of Rev. 20:11-15. At the end of the Millennium the unbelieving dead from all ages will be gathered for their final judgment. Anyone whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for eternal punishment. The Lake of Fire is never referred to as God’s Wrath.

From these and other passages we can safely conclude that New Testament references to God’s Wrath overwhelmingly describe a specific period of judgment upon the post rapture world, beginning early in Daniel’s 70th Week and ending just before the 2nd Coming. His Wrath consists of three named sets of judgments and and possibly an additional one that’s unnamed.

Three Sets Of Judgments

The first set of named judgments is called the Seal judgments because they occur as Jesus opens seven seals on a scroll the Father will hand Him. They’re described in Rev. 6 as a period of time beginning with the perception that peace has come to Earth and ending with the realization that God’s Wrath has begun. In writing about this time Paul said, “When people are saying ‘peace and safety’ destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (1 Thes. 5:3). The first six Seal Judgments will bring war, famine, plague and death to 1/4th of the world along with massive martyring of post rapture believers.

The seventh Seal is not a judgment in and of itself but introduces the second named series, called the Trumpet Judgments (Rev. 8:4-9:21). As seven angels blow their trumpets in turn, the sound of each trumpet will introduce another judgment. This series of judgments will combine natural with supernatural attacks upon humanity and by the time they’re finished a third of the earth’s forests and fields will be ablaze, a third of the sea creatures will have died, a third of Earth’s water supply will have been contaminated, and a third of the people who survived the seal judgments will have died.

After the sixth Trumpet judgment an unnamed event will be visited upon the Earth. At a signal from a mighty angel seven thunders will speak, and although John was forbidden from telling us what they will say, scholars speculate that it might be an unannounced judgment of some kind (Rev. 10:1-4).

The blowing of the 7th Trumpet will announce the commencement of the Lord’s reign over Planet Earth (Rev. 11:15-18). War in Heaven will result in the permanent expulsion of Satan and his angels (Rev. 12:7-12). Having been confined to Earth, Satan will indwell his man, the anti-Christ, and will cause him to announce from the Temple in Israel that he is God (2 Thes. 2:4). Jesus said this will kick off the Great Tribulation, the worst disaster the world ever has or ever will suffer. He warned the Jewish people who will be living in Israel at the time to immediately flee for their lives (Matt. 24:15-21).

This will take place in the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week and at this point the full force of God’s wrath will be loosed upon Satan and his followers in the final series of judgments (Rev. 16-18). They’re called the Bowl judgments because they’re symbolized by angels pouring out seven bowls of God’s Wrath upon the Earth. The power of these judgments and the devastation they cause is beyond description. Jesus was correct in saying that if He didn’t stop them at the appointed time, not a single human being would survive (Matt. 24:22).

I believe one effect of these judgments will be to complete the demolition phase of the Earth’s restoration, which Jesus spoke of in Matt. 19:28, Peter confirmed in Acts 3:21 and John described in Rev. 21:1. For example Revelation 16:16-21 speaks of the worst earthquake the world has ever experienced causing every mountain to fall down, islands to disappear, and the cities of the nations to be destroyed, while 100 lb. hailstones bombard the Earth. Believe me when I say you wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy.

Much of the world’s remaining population will die during this time, but because of it the Earth will be ready for restoration to the condition it was in when Adam was created. This will happen at the time of the 2nd Coming (Acts 3:21).

What About Us?

Paul made it clear that the Church will not be present on Earth during any of this time of judgment. In 1 Thes. 1:10 he wrote that Jesus will rescue us from the coming wrath. (The Greek word translated from in this verse refers to both the time and place of the coming wrath, so we won’t be present when it happens and we won’t be present where it happens.) He will do this because God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thes. 5:9).

If you believe you’re a sinner, but that God sent His Son to die for your sins, and if you’ve accepted His death as having paid their full penalty, then you won’t have to face any of these judgments. One day soon, you’ll disappear with the rest of us and will be in Heaven with the Lord while all this is happening on Earth.

You’ll see that your decision to believe in what the Lord did for you was the defining moment of your life and you will understand that it made you into one of the world’s ultimate winners. You’ll realize this is what God always intended for you to do and you’ll know why the Heavenly Host is erupting into joyous celebration as you come into the presence of the Lord. If you listen carefully you can almost hear the footsteps of the Messiah.

Nearing Midnight: Brave New World’s Big Brother

Nearing Midnight: Brave New World’s Big Brother – Terry James – http://www.raptureready.com/rap16.html

Aldous Huxley had published in 1932 his futuristic novel Brave New World, in which every facet of humanity came under central control of the ultimate, despotic government. The author described some pretty amazing technological tools for the times for use in enslaving all peoples.

Evidence mounts that our own generation is moving swiftly into a new, troubling world, and the tools Huxley’s fictional world utilized seem like child’s toys by comparison with what is in view now. The technologies that have developed truly constitute what could be termed the “big brother” of those technological instrumentalities described in the long-ago novel. More about that in due course. For now, let’s look at the intrusions into everyday life that increase with each passing day.

Less than a year ago, I received a troubling news report about a small town near where I once lived in northern Arkansas. The town is about an hour away from Memphis, which lies to the east. The chief of police was acting like a Nazi thug, as best I could determine from the report. The headline of the story was “Police State Comes to Arkansas.” The police chief reportedly said, “[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their necks.” He said further: “If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID.”

The head policeman said that while some might be offended, they shouldn’t be. “We’re going to do it to everybody,” he said. “Criminals don’t like being talked to.”

One of the town officials backed the chief of police. He said: “[The citizens] may not be doing anything but walking their dog,” he said. “But they’re going to have to prove it…. This fear is what’s given us the reason to do this. Once I have stats and people saying they’re scared, we can do this,” he said. “It allows us to do what we’re fixing to do.”

The chief of police added, “To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason,” he said. “Well, I’ve got statistical reasons that say I’ve got a lot of crime right now, which gives me probable cause to ask what you’re doing out. Then when I add that people are scared…then that gives us even more [reason] to ask why are you here and what are you doing in this area.”

Individuals who do not produce identification when asked could be charged with obstructing a governmental operation, the policeman said. He added that he realized what he was proposing was much like martial law, but that he really didn’t care.

The report gave statistics on the fact that increasing percentages of towns, especially some of the larger cities, are using SWAT teams to do routine patrols, following the models in other parts of the world.

In one area of the beleaguered city of Detroit, the Nazi-like tactics-or perhaps Soviet-style tactics–were recently employed against citizens. Government officials decided to cut off a large portion of the power grid because there wasn’t enough cooperation from the citizenry. When the levels of cutting off air-conditioning weren’t satisfactorily complied with, the authorities cut off all power to the grid. This was done to “send a strong message” that the orders must be obeyed, one of the officials said without apology.

Now to the latest technology that surpasses the imaginations of even Huxley and George Orwell. But, this is real, not fictional, technology that has already been proven in places like the battlefields of Afghanistan in 2011. The technology mentioned here is one of the least draconian of the many that are in development and even in use in some areas of the world.

A new gadget built by Diehl Defense, much like a portable Electro-Magnetic Pulse ray gun, can disable a vehicles electronic circuitry rendering it useless in battlefield or pursuit conditions… Police departments and militaries around the world will likely grovel over the device. The official website for Diehl Defense explains the use for the device in a convoy protection scenario reading, “The new HPEM (High-Power-Electro-Magnetics) technology protects convoys against improvised explosive devices (IEDs), can stop getaway vehicles and prevent unauthorized access to limited access areas… HPEM sources can be used for personal and convoy protection, for instance, to overload and permanently destroy radio-based fuzing systems. In contrast to conventional jammers, the HPEM convoy protection system is also effective against new types of sensor-based IEDs. Enemy vehicles with electronic motor management can be stopped inconspicuously by mobile and stationary HPEM systems (car stopping) ( Shepard Ambellas, “New Police Toy Resembling ‘Ray Gun’ Can Disable Threatening Vehicles Via EMP,” Intellihub News, September 16, 2013).

Move over, Captain James T. Kirk. The phaser is here, now. And it’s apparently set to stun America’s own citizenry at some point as policing technologies incrementally take over our lives!

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads” (Revelation 13:16). The beast system that will make Huxley’s fictional dictatorship seem child’s play by comparison is approaching rapidly. You don’t have to be a part of that new, deadly world. Accept Christ today and not Antichrist.

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

Sinners in Hell

Sinners in Hell – Ron Graham – www.straitandnarrowministry.com

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36. Have you ever thought about what allows a person to live eternally with God, and why some will spend eternity in Hell? There is a very simple answer. It almost seems too simple. Any Christian should know the answer to this, but with all of the false teaching around many people get confused. Do you think a person will spend eternity in Hell because they sin? No, there won’t be one single person in Hell because they were sinners here on earth. A person will be in Hell because of their rejection of the remedy that God provided to take away their sin. Jesus Christ paid the price and gave us a free gift. If you do not accept that gift then you have made your choice. All human beings, both Christians and non-Christians, are sinners and whether or not you want to admit it that’s just the simple truth. Yep, we’re all a bunch of sinners. The only reason some of us avoid Hell is because we have said yes to God’s remedy. There is no other way.

Jesus the Christ is God’s only remedy which will fully deflect our punishment. His only begotten Son paid the price for all of our sins past, present, and future. “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Hebrews 10:11-12. The “Man” referred to in this passage is, of course, Jesus Christ. Since Jesus is the full payment for the sin of this world there is no other sacrifice available for forgiveness of sins. If you sin, or should I say when you sin, there is nothing you can do to make that right. You cannot do any works that will take that sin away. You cannot deny yourself food, you cannot say pre-written prayers, you cannot ascend a flight of stairs on your knees, nor can you go to a mere human to be absolved from your sin. There is nothing you can do to take that sin away. There is no other sacrifice than Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection that takes sin away. A person does not go to Hell because of sin. Rejection of Jesus Christ is the reason for multitudes spending eternity in Hell.

Why reject the truth? Why reject something God made so easy to accept? Stubborn pride, self-will, believing lies instead of truth, and thinking that you are a good person who doesn’t need a Saviour are just a few excuses. So many want to complicate what Jesus did, but the truth is, accepting His sacrifice is easy for us, but what Jesus accomplished on that cross was far from easy for Him. “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Matthew 26:39. Too often we focus on only one aspect of Jesus’ character. Either we see Him as just a man and forget that He was also fully God, or we see Him as God and forget that He became human “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…” John 1:14. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His arrest, He knew what He was about to face. Not only would He suffer pain and humiliation by the hands of His human tormentors, but He would be standing in our place. This means He bore our sins and for the first time He would be separated from God the Father. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. The pain would pass, but the separation from God the Father was what He asked God to let pass from Him. Because we live sinful lives and every day we need to ask forgiveness we get used to this feeling of separation. We cannot possibly imagine how forsaken Christ felt as He hung on that cross, separated from God the Father, when He became sin in our stead.

There is no other sacrifice for sin. Jesus asked that God the Father would allow the cup to pass from Him if there was another way. But the cup did not pass from Him. There is no animal sacrifice that can take sin away, nor can praying while counting beads, or fasting, or anything that we try to do instead of accepting Christ’s free gift. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. That makes it very clear. There is no other way of salvation but through our faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. Those who reject Jesus will remain unforgiven. When they die they will be sinners in Hell. At that point there is no turning back.

In the verse from Matthew 26:39 above we can hear the anguish of Jesus. He knew what was coming and His human nature wanted the company and support of His closest friends. He had asked Peter, James, and John to be with Him. “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.” Matthew 26:38. Although it was Christ’s passion to die for His creation, He knew what He was facing. He wanted the support of His friends. We get an even clearer understanding of His agony from Luke “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:44. There was nothing easy about what He was about to face. Accepting His free gift of salvation may seem easy for us, but for Jesus there was nothing easy concerning what was involved in what He accomplished on that cross. It wasn’t the nails that held Him there; it was only His love for His creation that held Him on that cross until death.

We all sin, but those who have accepted Christ as their Saviour are forgiven. John wrote to fellow Christians “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. This is not a license to sin. Paul makes it clear that our faith in Christ should make us not want to sin “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1-2. Our desire needs to be to remove sin from our life. Christians do sin but when we ask forgiveness He is faithful and just for forgive us our sins. But we should hate sin in all its forms – thoughts, words, and deeds – and take no pleasure in it. As we draw nearer to Jesus, our desire for sin will diminish.

Many people who reject Christ just don’t understand the eternal consequences of their choice. Hell is temporary, but the judgment on sin is eternal. You don’t just cease to exist when you die and the torment you will feel is eternal. In Luke chapter 16 we read of an incident that Jesus told of a rich man who died and found himself in Hell. Before the cross there were two sides to Hell (also known as Sheol). There was the place where the faithful went, commonly known as Abraham’s Bosom. After Christ’s resurrection the faithful went with Him to Heaven. There is also the torment side where those who are not faithful go. It still exists and will be emptied at the White Throne Judgment. “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Luke 16:23-24. That doesn’t sound like a place anyone would choose to be. But it gets worse. When the final judgment comes, the Great White Throne Judgment, each person who does not have their name written in the Book of Life will be judged according to their works. Uh oh, that doesn’t sound good. In fact, it is worse than we can imagine. “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15. This punishment will be forever. This lake of fire is also the final destiny for the devil, the beast, and the false prophet “…and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10b.

“But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” Luke 12:5. Who is it that has the power to cast a person into hell? It is true that Satan and his minions try their best to keep humans from accepting Christ, but he has no power of judgment. Only God will judge and His judgment is completely fair. He has told us in no uncertain terms what sin is and the penalty of sin. He has had mercy on us and has shown perfect love when He stepped into His creation to die on that cross for our salvation. He only asks us to believe.

So, what can we do? Yes there are sinners in Hell, but their sin didn’t send them there. It was their choice to reject Christ’s sacrifice and it was that choice by which they condemned themselves to Hell. What about today on this earth? Everyone sins whether we have accepted Christ’s free gift or not. The difference is that Christians have accepted God’s free gift…the only way for sin to be forgiven. “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. Only believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ can take sin away. Do you know someone who has not accepted this free gift? Today is when you need to talk with them. What about you? Do you have any doubts about your salvation? Will you be one of those unforgiven sinners in Hell who rejected Christ? Time is running out. Will the Rapture happen leaving you behind? Perhaps you will have an unexpected heart attack. If you or a loved one dies before accepting Christ, you will be one more sinner in Hell. Don’t let that happen. Commit yourself to Jesus and talk to your friends and family now…tomorrow may be too late.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

www.straitandnarrowministry.com

ron@straitandnarrowministry.com

Previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html

All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.

This commentary was started by Ron Graham before his death on March 14, 2013, and finished by his wife, Nathele Graham

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OPPOSING VIEWS ON THE RAPTURE

OPPOSING VIEWS ON THE RAPTURE
09/14/20134

BY PASTOR MIKE TAYLOR

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

There are many diverse religious convictions about how the times we live in, called by Christians, the End of Days will be fulfilled. Concerning the doctrine of the second coming of Jesus Christ, you have many denominations who feel they have figured out the time sequence of Biblical eschatology and staunchly defend their concept and their interpretation of what scripture says concerning the greatest event, apart from the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the whole history of mankind. Fact is that the major religions of the Western world believe in a “catching away of the saints” referred to as the Rapture. They just differ on it’s timing.

The purpose of this sermon is to take a brief look at two theories and decide which follows the context of the whole of scripture and doesn’t allow proof texting or pulling certain scripture text to fulfill a preconceived notion of a denomination’s stance on this coming, most certain event or the second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

There are two different beliefs with different subsets in one belief. These two beliefs are the Second Coming of Jesus Christ VS. the Rapture of the Church. Is there a difference between the two? Let’s see what each belief embraces and how they line up with the bible. Within the Return of Jesus Christ view, it encompasses post Millennium, Pre Wrath, and Preterits’ view of the End Time return of Jesus Christ. But for this sermon we will deal mostly with Post vs. Pre-Millennial “catching away of the church”.

POST MILLENNIAL VIEW vs. PRE-MILLENNIAL VIEW

According to the proponents of a post millennial view of the subset belief of the second coming of Jesus, we must all go through the horrors of the coming Tribulation. What scriptures do they point to?

1st. Corinthians 15:
I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

They take this verse and couple it with the 7th angel who blows the last trumpet for the beginning of the final stages of God’s wrath upon this earth: Revelation chapter 11:

11:15 And the seventh angel sounded (blows his trumpet); and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Since this is near the end of the tribulation, they surmise that this trumpet in 1st Corinthians and Revelation 11, are the same trumpet. As I have mentioned in past sermons, Paul was speaking of the ceremony known to Jewish people of the Feast of Trumpets and the blowing of the Last Trumpet as a signal to move out, as used in the wilderness during the Exodus and the fight for the Land of Canaan. It was also used as a sign of the “Return of the King” and was not referring to the trumpet blown in Revelation, as Paul wrote his epistle before John the Beloved wrote Revelation under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and they have no connection. But beyond that error what is the difference between Post Millennial view and the Pre-Millennial view?

The most debated issue is the view of “meeting Him in the air”, vs. “Returning with Him”. In the first view most post millennial religions that I have studied believe that we will be changed and are lifted to meet the Lord in the air and make a U-turn and come down with Him to Jerusalem, to witness His defeat of the armies at Armegeddon. This will happen at the end of the Tribulation.

• 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Obviously, this verse does not say what happens after we meet Him in the air, but the view interjects their own interpretation that we will immediately come down riding on white horses? I had to ask one adherent to this view, if we are meeting Him in the air are we going to Him just to saddle up? He had no answer, as it doesn’t make sense, now does it? It appears he is missing something.

I feel he and they are missing what is right in front of their face, The Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Revelation 19:

19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

And in the very same verse we see the Church coming back with the Lord in the battle, Revelation

19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

John just got through writing that the sign of the saints are fine linen, clean and white. How did we get to this point? Where have we been and what transpired during this interval between verses 7 and 14? The answer is the marriage supper of the lamb.

Understand one thing, my brethren, to interpret scripture is to take pieces of a large puzzle and put the pieces into their proper place and perspective. You will never find the strict description of a pre Millennial removal of the church, but must take a little from here, and a little from there to make the puzzle come into view.

Let’s look at another piece of the puzzle. The removal of the church before the tribulation vs. after the tribulation:

BEFORE TRIBULATION VS. AFTER TRIBULATION

Before:

5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

Again in Revelation chapter 3:

3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

After:

Post Millennial view starts at chapter 6 and the beginning of the wrath of God and fails to notice the scriptures I just presented, then they end beginning with these verses:

Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

DELIVERANCE VS. JUDGMENT

Another piece of this grand puzzle is the concept of deliverance verses judgment. I believe in a deliverance of the church from wrath as plainly said in Revelation 3:10, but the alternate view believes in judgment.

DELIVERANCE:

1st Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Paul speaks in the following verses, of our deliverance from wrath, which again supports a removal of the church.

5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

What would be the point of comfort, if we knew that God would subject us to His righteous wrath and we would endure the great tribulation when 2/3 of the population will be wiped out by divine judgment?

JUDGMENT: or the 4 horses of the Apocalypse,

Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

6:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

6:7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.

6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;

6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:

When does God’s wrath begin? From the very first seal that Jesus opens divine judgment begins and that is the beginning of chapter 6 not the middle of the book, but at near the beginning.

HIDDEN VS. SEEN BY ALL

Some come to me and ask why there is so little mention of the concept of rapture of the church found in the bible. It is true that the concept is sprinkled in the New Testament and was not spoken of much until Paul addressed as the “Secret Wisdom of God.” Ist Corinthians chapter 2:

No,we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The word for the modern interpretation of “rapture” is the Greek word “harpazo” which means to be snatched away or removed by force. From this we get the Latin form of rapturo, which evolved into the English word rapture.

The word translated is only mentioned once in scripture that I mentioned above in 1st Thessalonians 4:17:

4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together (harpazo, rapturo, rapture), with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Then how do we reconcile the seemed difference in scriptures that some say, point to “seen by all” second coming of our Lord and nothing hidden?

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

And again in Mark, Jesus said:

13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

In my humble opinion, if we believe the first part, then the second part is easily understood. When Jesus comes back with His church, as quoted in Revelation 19, all of the earth will see Him. All who have accepted Jesus Christ during the tribulation will be gathered from the four winds. You have to decide from scripture, who are the saints at this point in time does Jesus speaks of? From scripture, it is my belief that Jesus is speaking of all who accepted Him in times of great peril and tribulation through martyrdom and environmental dangers.

AT ANY MOMENT, VS. ONLY AFTER CERTAIN EVENTS

Post Millennial believers point to Revelation chapters 6-18 that all must be completed before Jesus comes to take unto Himself his church. They look to 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2:4,

He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Or this passage, Jesus said in Matthew 24:15-30
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house.
18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.
19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!
20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.
21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.
24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.
27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

“‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light;
the stars will fall from the sky,
and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]

30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d]

In this passage, it is clear that Jesus is speaking to the Jewish people who live in Judea and Samaria or the center of Biblical Israel. He was not speaking of the Gentile Church, or as He described us, a people who were not His people.

Jesus explained what would be the events that lead to His appearing as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but it will be for all who have endured the time of His wrath, with rebellion against God will be extinguished by the Word of His mouth, as a sharp, two edged sword.

But on the flip side, the imminent return of our Lord is explained by Paul in 1st Thessalonians as upon one that is unprepared for an invasion by a thief:

5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Obviously, our Lord is not a thief, but the symbolism is that of someone who breaks into the history of mankind unannounced, without warning, and those that are unprepared will not escape His wrath.

The Jewish Wedding Feast

Another overlooked concept that my brethren in the faith fail to understand or accept is the analogy of the Jewish wedding feast. Though they hate to admit it, my Lord was born a Jew, from the tribe of Judah. He is the Lion of Judah when He returns and our betrothal to Him as the Bride of Christ will be completed as any Jew would take his own bride in Jesus day. Let us look at this wonderful promise.

THE BETROTHAL

Jesus came to establish a blood covenant and His blood was the ring, (so to speak) of our being joined to Him in marriage. He leaves, but promises to return for her.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.

Luke 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you., *

Ephesians 1:13:

1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The Bridegroom leaves His Father’s house and goes to the house of the prospective bride:

So Jesus left His Father’s house in heaven and traveled to the earth; the home of His prospective bride.

John 6:32-33., 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Jesus came to earth to obtain the church (bride) through the establishment of a covenant.

On the same night Jesus made His promise in John 14, He instituted communion. In this communion, he passed the cup of wine to the disciples saying: After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. (1 st Corinthians 11:25)

THE PAYMENT FOR THE BRIDE

The bridegroom negotiates with the father of the bride at her home, (earth) to establish the cost (mohar) which was the sacrifice of Himself in blood. Acts 20:28: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.,

1st Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

THE PAYMENT COMPLETED, THE BRIDE JUSTIFIED

The bride is set apart: From that moment on, the bride and bridegroom is considered as One. The bride is set apart and sanctified for the return of the bridegroom. Ephesians 5:25-27 , Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

THE COVENANT

As a symbol of the covenant, the bride and groom would partake in a cup of wine together:

The cup of communion serves as the symbol of the covenant through which Christ has obtained the church (bride). Taken every time we remember His death at the Lord’s supper. (1 Corinthians11:25)

After the marriage covenant had been established, the groom would leave the brides house and return to His Father’s house waiting to return for her as He prepares her place with Him. As Jesus returned after His resurrection to His Father’s house, the church is in the period of waiting for His return. John 20:17, Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

THE CHURCH AGE

During this time, the bride would be preparing her trousseau and the groom would be preparing a place for His bride to live with Him in His Father’s house. John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

THE GATHERING OF HIS BRIDE

At the proper time, usually at night, the groom and His best male escorts would take a lighted torch and make their way to the house of the bride. So Jesus along with His angels will come for His bride. Although the bride expects Him anxiously, she does not know the exact time of His arrival.

1st Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

INTO THE MARRIAGE SECRET CHAMBERS

Shortly after arrival, with guest at the wedding feast, the bride and bridegroom enter the marriage chamber, as in a Jewish wedding, the consummation of the marriage covenant is completed. Jesus and the church will spiritually join in unison to complete the marriage covenant.

MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB

The groom would announce the consummation of the marriage and the wedding feast would commence, but the bride would be hidden away for 7 days sometimes called the 7 days of huppah. The bride would remain hidden in the house of the bridegroom’s Father, until He presents her to the world, with veil removed to show who His bride is. So the church comes with the King of Kings on horses dressed in linen white and clean. Colossians 3:4, When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. And again in Revelation ,

19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Heralded in unison in the Old Testament describes the coming of our Lord for His church to be shielded away from the wrath to come and I feel they are sister verses of John 14:2 and Isaiah chapter 26:20 describing the same event:

Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain. (Isaiah 26:20)

I cannot express strongly enough the imminent return of our Lord and Savior, but as studied in the past, I believe it will be on a Feast Day appointed by God in a future year, namely the Feast of Trumpets. He will arrive and all who are prepared by accepting Him, Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will be gathered in the twinkling of an eye.

One final thought and question that only makes sense, after these verses, if we believe that Jesus will forcefully remove His bride according to Paul in 1st Thessalonians:

4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. THEN…..

THE CHALLENGING QUESTION OVER OPPOSING VIEWS

If we believe in any other teachings beside the pre trib removal of the church through rapture, then let me drop something on you to think about. If during the Great Tribulation all will be required to take the mark of the beast and all who do will be damned according to scripture. If you refuse the mark, you will be killed either by ruling beast power, or the followers of this power. If the post Millennial view is correct, with all the environmental upheaval, the divine judgments, the loss of life of upward of 2/3 of the entire planet destroyed leaving either the damned or the saved, then when Jesus Christ breaks through the clouds and the saved are transformed into spirit beings and the ones with the mark of the beast are destroyed, my question is: Who will enter the Millennium in their mortal flesh?

You see the problem? There will be no one left alive, or in mortal flesh that has not been changed to spirit to even populate the Kingdom of God and produce human beings of flesh as expressed in your bible. The only teaching that makes sense, is the coming of the Lord for His church, the Tribulation, then the Second Advent of Jesus Christ to set up His Kingdom for a thousand years in that order. God through the Holy Spirit has called a remnant that will believe unto salvation in this age of the Dispensation of the Church. When Jesus comes back He will come for one final battle of swift judgment and this verse caught my eye and further proves that when He comes back and it opened this sermon:

Revelation 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

These are the saints who will be kings and priest and will reign with Jesus Christ in the family of God for a 1000 years leading into eternity. My reader, do not think that you have time to make the decision to be on the Lord’s side when the days get really rough and think you have time. Remember Jesus said He would come as a thief in the night and when He does, for you if you have not made that decision for Jesus Christ, time will have run out. Make that decision today for your eternal destination to be in glory with Jesus and the Father in Heaven. To be otherwise will be literally “hell on earth” and a coming spiritual death.

This is Pastor Mike Taylor wishing the salvation of Jesus Christ in each of your lives. If there is anything I can help you with, pray with you about, or just listen, drop me a line atrealteam1999@sbcglobal.net, God bless you, until we meet at Jesus feet.