My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational(5)

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational(5)

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational(5)

(h) The Timing Of The Removal Of The Restainer

The restrainer has been variously identified by pretribs as the Holy Spirit who hitch-hikes with the Church when she is raptured pretribulationally, the Church herself, and human government which of course is functional throughout the 70th week, and cannot be removed until destroyed by Christ at Armageddon(Rev.19:17-21). How ridiculous? Dan.12:1 identifies the restrainer as archangel Michael who stands for the people of God. His identity has been known amongst Jewish scholars in antiquity. The identity of the restrainer is not germane to the validation or invalidation of any rapture view. The issue here is the timing of his removal. The pretribs do not make bones of this issue because it undermines their teaching that he hitch-hikes with the Church when she is raptured pretribulationally. The Scriptures make it clear that until the restrainer is taken out of the way, there shall be no Great Tribulation. Archangel Michael is the restrainer of evil on the Earth. He is the angel that stands for the people of God. He wrestled with Satan over the body of Moses(Jude 9). At the midpoint of the 70th week, he shall wrestle down Satan and his fallen evil angels from the Dark Void and Starry Heavens to the Earth, after which he shall “amad” or stand still. He will not restrain Satan any more.

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”(Rev.12:7-9, 12-13‬‭).

Then evil shall run riot on Earth. Satan shall possess the antiChrist, invest Him with his power and authority. He will declare himself God, demand worship of all mortals, and kill anyone who refuses to give him allegiance. Thus will begin the Great Tribulation.

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”(2 Thess.2:6-12‬‭).

The revelation of the antiChrist occurs after the removal of the restrainer. Up to now, the restrainer keeps evil at bay until removed at the midpoint of the 70th week, then shall evil run riot on Earth. There is a confluence of factors here. First, Satan and his immediate subordinates, the principalities, powers, and wicked spirits in the heavenlies shall be cast down to the Earth. Second, the restraining influence of Michael the archangel of God in charge of war shall be removed. Third, Satan angered by denial of his right and place of abode in the heavenly shall have great wrath knowing that it would be a short time before he is cast into the abyss. From the midpoint of the 70th week, one can calculate the exact day Satan Shall be cast into the abyss. It will be there and one-half years plus 30 days which is the end of Armageddon. All these events occur at the midpoint of the 70th week. The cumulative effect is synergistic, resulting in the escalation of all forms of evil on Earth.

(i) The Tribulation Saints

The phrase tribulation saints is coined by pretribs to describe believers who according to them missed the first round up, and have to make it up by the skin of their teeth. First, this teaching is contradicted by the parable of the Ten Virgins which teaches that there is no secondary entry once the bridegroom has entered and the door shut. Second, pretribs teach that all those who missed the first round up are weak believers who have to make it by paying with their lives. This is as it were, salvation by works through martyrdom. Thus they teach that the innumerable multitude in Rev.7:9-17, including the fifth seal martyrs are tribulation saints martyred by the antiChrist and his security apparatus. That they will be raised to reign with Christ for a thousand years in the Millennium. But not all the innumerable multitude in Rev.7:9-17 are martyrs. The angel described them as those who came out of the Great Tribulation. There is no evidence they were all martyrs. Some were martyred and others certainly not martyred.

In contrast, the fifth seal martyrs were all killed for the word of God and the testimony they upheld. On the other hand all the saints that were raised and reigned with Christ in Rev.20:4 were beheaded. There is no biblical justification to assume that all the Fifth Seal martyrs were beheaded. Some may have been headed, and others may not. The beheaded saints were those who were a torn in the flesh of the antiChrist. They not only refused the mark of the Beast, but went about persuading others not to take the the mark of the Beast. This infuriated the antiChrist who ordered their execution by beheading to serve as a deterrent to others.

We contend that the innumerable multitude in Rev.7:9-17 are the saints, both living and dead, raptured at the interlude between the end of the sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh seal, and the that fifth seal martyrs are part of this group. We contend that the fifth seal is concurrent with the fourth, and does not advance the chronology of events in the 70th week. There is no distance in the realm of the spirit. They disembodied spirits and souls of these saints arrive in heaven as soon as they are killed, and are quartered under the golden altar of incense till the complement of believers to be killed during the Great Tribulation is reached, thereafter, the killing of the saints shall be interrupted with the breaking of the sixth seal. They are subsequently raptured and are part of the innumerable multitude in Rev.7:9-17. On the other hand, the beheaded saints are raised to reign with Christ for a thousand years on the first day of the Millennium. This view expounded by Robert Gundry is shared by Marvin J. Rosenthal. However, Alan E. kurschner demurs, advocating that they were raptured prewrath together with all the saints at the appearance of the Shekinah in the Heaavens.

The Pretrib notion that all the so called Tribulation Saints have to be killed in order to make heaven is absurd and unbiblical. The Scriptures make it clear that the Great Tribulation will be cut short in order to preserve some saints alive for translation at the rapture. If the Great Tribulation were to be permitted to run its full course to the end of the three and half years allotted to the antiChrist, no believing flesh or anyone without the mark of the beast shall survive the Great Tribulation. But there are survivors of the Great Tribulation. Apart from the living saints who are translated at the rapture at the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, there are the 144,000 who are sealed for protection, and the surviving remnants of Israel who go through the first six trumpets and are reconciled to God on the third day of the 30-day Reclamation Period. Besides, those Gentile survivors of the Great Tribulation, who appeared at the Sheep And Goat Judgment do not have the mark of the Beast(Matt.25:31-46). If they had, they would have been killed at Armageddon or else executed instanta. The essence of the amputation of the Great Tribulation, in addition to preserving some saints alive for translation at the rapture is to save some Gentiles alive in order that they may repopulate the Earth in the Millennium alongside their Jewish counterparts who survived both the Great Tribulation and the first six trumpet judgments of the wrath of God. To teach therefore that every true believer is murdered during the Great Tribulation, thus obtaining salvation by martyrdom has no biblical merit. Or that all Gentiles were wiped out during the wrath of God, leaving the surviving Jewish remnants to repopulate the Earth in the Millennium.

(j) The Mark Of The Beast

The mark of the Beast is the number of the Beast. It is the number of a man. It is described by John the revelator as 666. “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: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”(Rev.13:16-18‬‭). It is described in conjunction with the carrier of the enforcer of the Beast, the false prophet. It is a computer chip with an 18-digit bar code with other biometric data specific to the individual which shall be implanted in the right hand or forehead as a mark of allegiance to the antiChrist, the First Beast. It shall be implemented worldwide because power shall be given to the antiChrist over all peoples, tongues, and nations. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”( Rev.13:7‬‭). Anyone without this mark shall not be able to buy or sell or engage in other transactions under the reign of the antiChrist.

Biometric implants have been used in animal husbandry for decades. Cattles are branded to indicate ownership and determine age, etc. They are now being used in humans. Branding has been in practice for hundreds of years. Slaves have been branded even in ancient times. Branding indicates ownership, authenticity, protection, security, preservation. Over 50,000 people have been chipped worldwide with RFID. Good things can be put to bad use. Those in government have responsibility to protect the citizenry. RFID can be used to identify criminals and felons, track the whereabouts of those with dementia and mental illness. It will make cashlessnes possible which has a number of uses. Therefore it is most probable this practice shall have been accepted worldwide before the emergence of the antiChrist. The antiChrist will legalize it and also make it compulsory. It shall be strictly enforced. Satan is not dumb. No one will be chipped by force. He knows it will not count. But people can be coerced into accepting the mark of the Beast. Those who do not have this mark shall be denied food stamps. Those who have it will have plenty to eat and drink. The antiMessiah shall put chicken in their pots. Those who take the mark of the Beast shall have fiat money credited to their accounts.

Besides, those who do not have this mark shall be ferreted out, coerced to take the mark or be killed on refusal to coöperate. There will be robotic images of the Beast, equipped with artificial Intelligence(AI) and Near Field Communication(NFC) to identify those who do not have the mark of the Beast, coerce them to accept it, or be killed on refusal of the mark of the beast. The Scripture makes it clear that anyone who takes the mark of the Beast is doomed for eternity; the wrath of God abides on him. This is the message of the third angel made at the midpoint of the 70th week at the commencement of the Great Tribulation.

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”(Rev.14:9-12‬‭).

Apart from teaching for nearly two centuries that the rapture will take place before the commencement of the 70th week, thus making believers unprepared and vulnerable to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation, some pretrib teachers like Brannon Howse, Jimmy De Young, and John MacArthur have of late been propagating the teaching that it is possible to take the mark of the Beast, and repent later on. This teaching flies in the face of the Scripture that clearly indicates that anyone who takes the mark of the Beast is doomed for eternity because the wrath of God abideth on him. This development is very dangerous, and must be denounced with utmost vehemence. It is to make believers utterly vulnerable. The Pretrib teaching that the Church will be raptured before the commencement of the 70th week makes believers unprepared for the horrors of the Great Tribulation, but the teaching that believers can take the mark of the Beast and repent afterwards makes them think they can eat their cake hot and have it all the time. It makes believers think they can be part of the antiChrist system of government, enjoy the benefits, and afterwards stroll into the kingdom of God. This is unthinkable and must be refuted because it is a very big lie. It is true that God will forgive them if they repent. It is also true they are unwilling to repent. They have sinned beyond repentance. It is therefore very dangerous to tinker with the notion that anyone who takes the mark of the Beast will repent later on.

Avraham Shallom

The Parousia

The Parousia

The Parousia

The pretribs make a distinction between the Rapture and the Second Advent of Christ. According to them, the Rapture occurs before the start of the 70th week of Daniel, and the Second Coming of Christ occurs, at least, seven years later at the end of the Tribulation Period. But the Scriptures do not make such distinction. The Greek word parousia rendered Coming is a compound word consisting of “para”and “ousia.” Para means arrival, and ousia presence. Therefore parousia means arrival and consequent presence with. Like His first advent, the Second Coming is one whole unit.

The First Advent consisted of a series of events like the annunciation, the birth of Christ, the presentation in the Temple, His temptation, His three year Ministry, arrest, trial and condemnation, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, appearances to His disciples, ascension and session and intercessary ministry at the right hand of the Throne Of The Father at the Throne Room in the Temple in Heaven ( Heb.7:25 ). Like the First advent, the Second Advent will also consist of a series of events. The Second Advent begins with the breaking of the 6th seal which begins with a massive worldwide earthquake or series of massive worldwide earthquakes, followed by cosmic and celestial disturbances that darken the heavens and freeze the Earth.

“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.” ( Rev.6:12,13 ). This shall be followed by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, which is the sign of the coming of the Son of Man in the heavens.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” ( Matt.24:29,30 ).

When the Shekinah appears in the heavens, the saints are advised to look up, for their redemption draweth nigh. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” ( Luk.21:28 ).

If the rapture had already taken place, what is their redemption at this time? The Shekinah is the visible manifestation of the Yahweh of Israel. Every eye shall see Him when He appears in the darkened heavens with an entourage of angels who will blow the trumpet and gather His elect from one end of the heavens to the other to meet the Lord in the air. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ( 1 Thess.4:14-17 ). So the Rapture cannot be silent, quiet or secret as pretribs teach. Quite the opposite, the heavens shall blaze it forth.

The trumpet will be blown. Christ will dispatch His angels to gather His elect from the fours corners of the Earth. But before then, the 144,000 must be reconciled to God and sealed for protection with the name of God. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.” ( Rev.7:1-8, cp., 14:1 ). God will not leave Himself without a witness. It is like the handing over of a baton in a relay race. The Church will be taken away in the Rapture, and the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel will become God’s witnesses on Earth. Then the 7th seal shall be broken and the wrath of God begins. After the wrath of God which ends at Armageddon at the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period, the whole Earth will be renovated during the 45-day Restoration Period, and Christ coronated by the Father in Heaven to reign over the Earth in the Millenium. These series of events constitute the Second Coming Of The Lord. There is no silent or secret rapture anywhere in the Scriptures. That is a pretrib concoction and fabrication. The people of the Earth who see His appearance like lightning in the heavens shall mourn because He is about to punish them for their evils. “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; 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: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17‬, cp., Matt.24:29-31; Rev.1:7, ). The Rapture is a part of this whole.

When Christ appears in the heavens, He remains in the air. He does not touch down on Earth. He dispatches His angels to gather together the saints, resurrected and translated, to meet Him in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord. The descent of Christ from the heavens to rapture the Church occurs at the parousia.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ( 1 Thess.4:13-18‬ ‭). The gathering together is done by the angelic reapers, the “aetoi.” “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” ( Matt.24:28‬ ‭).

Jesus makes it clear in the parable of the Wheat and the tares that the Harvest occurs at the end of the ages, and that the reapers are the angels. And again, there is no way the angels can separate the Wheat from the tares until they are mature and are clearly distinguishable from each other. The separation occurs during the Great Tribulation when the tares are marked for destruction. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” ( Rev.14:9-13‬ ‭). The acceptance of the mark of the Beast is a sign of maturation; it is irreversible. Maturation once attained is an irreversible process. It is therefore futile to tinker with the idea of repented once the mark of the Beast has been accepted.

After the Third angelic announcement warning of eternal damnation for those who take the mark of the Beast and participate in the worship of his person or image, what follows is the harvest. Rev.14:14-16 depicts the rapture of the saints. Rev.14:17-20 is the final wrath of God that ends in a bloodbath at the battle of Armageddon.

The fundamental error of Pretribulational Rapture Position is the separation of the Rapture from the parousia. There is no verse of the Scriptures that explicitly teaches or implicitly permits such separation. The rapture occurs at the parousia. The Harvest occurs at the parousia. The Harvest occurs at the end of the ages. Therefore the parousia occurs at the end of the ages. Jesus told His disciples He shall be with them till the end of the ages. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” ( Matt.28:18-20‬ ‭).

The parousia occurs after the Tribulation of those days. Therefore the rapture occurs after the Tribulation of those days. Those who endure to the end ( of the ages ) shall be saved. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” ( Matt.10:22‬ ).

As we have pointed out, the parousia is initiated by the cosmic and celestial disturbances that amputate the Great Tribulation. This is followed by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. The 144,000 are brought into saving relationship with the God of Israel and sealed for protection from the wrath of God which is about to follow. The Church is raptured, removed from the scene of persecution. The very same day the Church is raptured, the seventh Seal is broken and the wrath of God begins. Christ does not touch down on Earth until the first day of the 30-day reclamation period. He comes to the 144,000 and some remnants of Israel hiding in the Edomite wilderness. On day 3 of the 30-day Reclamation Period, He appears with them on Mount Zion where they are reconciled with the God of Israel.

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.” ( Rev.14:1-4‬ ‭).

The song sang by the mass choir in even is the song of the redeemed. It is sung by the newly raptured Church in heaven. The 144,000 are the only ones on Earth who could learn and sing this song because they are redeemed also and sealed with seal of God which is the name of God on their forehead. The rest of the remnants of Israel could not learn and sing this song because they were not yet reconciled to the God of Israel.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” ( Zech.12:10-14‬ ‭).

On day 3, the mystery of God is finished, thusly completely the spiritual kingdom of God. On day 4, the two witnesses who were murdered by the antiChrist on the last day of the 70th week resurrect. On day 5, the seventh trumpet is blown, and God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth. On day 6, Christ cleaves the Mount Of Olives into two creating a roadway that leads to Azel where He hides the 144,000, and the newly saved remnants of Israel for protection from the final seven bowl judgments. On day 7, the final wrath of God contained in the seven bowls begin to be poured out on the beast-marked worshippers. The unbranded Gentiles are neither specifically targeted nor offered any protection. They may suffer some collateral damages. Those of them who survive the final wrath of God shall appear at the sheep and goat judgment which occurs shortly before the commencement of the millennial reign of Christ.

Avraham Shallom.

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 6 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 6 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 6 )

( l ) The 144,000: Are They Evangelists?

The 144,000 are Jews, 12,000 chosen from each of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Scripture is clearly explicit on that. They are suddenly introduced in Rev.7 in the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals prior to the outpouring of the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord which begins in Rev.8. They are called the servants of God ( 3 ). They are sealed with the seal of God in their foreheads ( 3 ). In Rev.14:1, we are told the seal is the name of God written on their foreheads. We are not told what that name is. It may be the HEBREW Tetragrammaton YHWH. That is the name of the God of the Hebrews revealed to Moses, the I AM WHAT I AM hath sent me unto you (Exod.3:14). They are sealed prior to the rapture of the saints (Rev.7:9-17). They passed through the Great Tribulation just as did the raptured saints. Rather than being raptured after the amputation of the Great Tribulation with terrestrial and celestial disturbances, they were sealed for protection from the wrath of God. They would pass through the wrath of God but with divine protection unlike their fellow Israelites who would pass through the first six trumpet judgments without divine protection in order to purge, purify, and cleanse them from the defilement of sin. Why? They rejected the mark of the Beast, but are not born again like the saints who are raptured. In other words, they were not washed by the blood of the Lamb. No man will enter heaven without purification by the blood of the Lamb. And no man will be purified with the blood of Jesus by the Holy Spirit without acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They will finally accept Jesus as their Messiah when He rescues them from Petra in the Edomite wilderness. They will see that their Messiah has nail-pierced hands ( Zech.12:10 ).

These Jews believe in the Messiah of Israel. They do not believe that He is Jesus. They also rejected the claim of the antiChrist to be the Messiah of Israel ( Jon.5:43 ). So, they were not Beast-marked. How they survived the Great Tribulation is a wonder inasmuch as they were sealed after the Great Tribulation. They survived by hiding I presume. The Scriptures do not say they were evangelists. What they did during the first three and one-half years and the Great Tribulation, the Scriptures are silent. It is therefore presumptuous and preposterous to assume they were evangelists. In all probability, they were observant Jews. How then could they be preaching the message of salvation in Christ Jesus if they do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah? If at all they preached to anyone, the content of their message would not be the apostolic kerugma. They could have warned their fellow Jews and anyone else not to believe in the antiChrist as the Messiah and to reject his mark even under the pain of death. There are some unbelieving Gentiles, free thinkers and nonconformists that will do the same. They could also have warned that the wrath of God would come on anyone who gave allegiance to the Beast by accepting his mark. They could have urged their fellow countrymen and women, and anyone else within their immediate audience to only worship Yahweh of Judah, the Lord God of Israel. That the false humanistic religion of the antiChrist, spearheaded by the false prophet, and epitomized in Babylon would be committed to the flames together with their adherents ( Rev.14:6-11 ). The true believers in Jesus Christ will also be saying the same thing but with a caveat that Jesus is the only true Messiah of Israel. “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus Christ.” ( Rev.14:12‬ ).

They are the only ones offered protection from the first six trumpet judgments. The unbelieving Jews who do not have the mark of the Beast shall go through the first six trumpet judgments unprotected, so also the unbelieving Gentiles who do not have the mark of the Beast. The 144,000 are called virgins, a very strange term indeed to describe men. Obviously they are celibates. The Scripture also says they are not defiled with women. This may mean either that they never had sexual intercourse with women, or and also they never participated in the mass idolatry characteristic of the worship of the Beast-antiChrist and the Dragon ( Rev.13:4,14:9 ). Religionists like these are usually reclusive. They lived like hermits like the Qumran community. They followed the Lamb wherever He went. They are His human entourage in all His earthly journeys from the moment Christ rescued them from the Edomite wilderness ( Amos 3:15 ). They matched with Him on foot from Petra in the Edomite wilderness to the summit of Mount Zion in Jerusalem joined along the way by the remnant of Israel from the Judaean wilderness, Jerusalem and its environs, and the survivors from the remote areas of Assyria and Egypt ( Mic.2:13; Rev.14:1 ). We must also bear in mind that Jesus is never alone. God the Father is always with Him. He is also always surrounded by an innumerable company of angels ( Heb.12:22-24 ). But they are invisible to the unaided human eye. So, the 144,000 are the ones with Him that men would see. They would not see the Father, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the innumerable company of angels.

Whilst with Christ on the earthly Mount Zion, the redeemed of humanity in heaven, on the heavenly Mount Zion sing a song. The song is heard on Earth, but no one on Earth could learn that song but the 144,000. Why? Because it is the song of the redeemed; they are redeemed also. If they were not redeemed, they could not be sealed. They were sealed because they were reconciled to God shortly before the rapture of the saints. On the same earthly Mount Zion, the Jewish remnants who survived the first six trumpet judgments were reconciled to God to finish the mystery of God and to complete His spiritual kingdom ( Zech.12:10-13 ). This was before the sounding of the seventh trumpet. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” ( Rev.10:7‬ ‭).

But they are not part of the Church, the bride of Christ. They are the firstfruits unto God and the Lamb ( Rev.14:4 ). This term is also used of the initial disciples of Jesus or the first to receive Jesus in a city in any evangelistic mission, and of those who were the first to be filled with the Holy Spirit ; and of Christ as the first to rise from the dead ( Rom.8:23, 16:5; Jam.1:18; 1 Cor.15:20,23 , 16:15 ). This designation clearly indicates they belong to a new dispensation; the New Millennium. They are not part of the Church. They will not be translated. They will not receive glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies like the saints in the Millennium. They will live here on Earth in their mortal bodies, still prone to sin, sickness and disease and physical death. They will be the firstfruits of those that will repopulate the Earth in the New Millennium alongside the redeemed Jews and Gentiles that survive the wrath of God ( cp. Matt.25:31-46 ). Whether they will marry like some others in the Millennium, or remain celibates throughout the Millennium, the scriptures are silent.

After the rapture of the saints, apart from the two witnesses whose ministry would last throughout the entire length of the second half of the 70th week, the God of Israel would have no witnesses on Earth. God will not leave Himself without witnesses. It is like the handing over of a baton in relay race. They will represent the God of Israel on Earth while the believers are in heaven, in the interim between the rapture and Armageddon. If the 144,000 were not reconciled to the God, the God of Israel would have not witnesses on Earth after the demise of the two witnesses on the last day of the 70th week. There is a 3-day interval between the death of the two witnesses and the salvation of the remnant of Israel on day 3 of the 30-day Reclamation Period.

( m ) Will There Be A Worldwide Christian Revival In The 70th Week?

Pretribs teach that the rapture will occur prior to the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel. To account for the huge number of believers that will be here during the Great Tribulation, they propound an unbiblically supported theory that there will be a worldwide revival during the 70th week that will make other revivals this Earth has ever witnessed pale in comparison. That there would be more conversions to the Faith than at any other time in the annals of history. They also hold the unbiblical view that these so called “Tribulation Saints” shall gain heaven by being martyred, all of them, by the antiChrist and his acolytes ( Rev.6: 9-11, 7:9-17 ). This phenomenal success in missions and evangelism will occur when all the good pastors, teachers, and Christians have been taken to heaven prior to the beginning of the 70th week. Incredulous!

Who will conduct these revival meetings that will see innumerable multitude come to the Faith in so short a period, at a time when there is a preponderance of false prophets, false christs, and false teachers, all vying for the believers attention and faith, and Christianity is proscribed, and there is no formal worship; the so called “Tribulation Saints” are in hiding and have little or no food to eat, and are being hounded and ferreted out to be killed by the antiChrist and his gang?

In the contest between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, the prophets of Baal failed to conjure fire from heaven to consume their sacrifice ( 1 King.18:20-40 ). But the false prophet and his gang will excel where the prophets of Baal failed. They will command fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men, and make the image of the Beast to speak, and to cause as many as would not worship the image of the Beast to be killed ( Rev.13:15 ). Elijah ordered the massacre of the prophets of Baal after their failure to conjure fire from heaven. During the 70th week, the reverse will be the case. The servants of God shall be massacred by the prophets of Baal. The coming of the antiChrist is with signs and wonders. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” ( 2 Thess.2:7-10‬ ‭).

The antiChrist will be empowered by Satan to perform outstanding miracles, signs and wonders which will be very difficult to refute in order to authenticate his claim to be the Messiash just as Jesus did. But it will all be false, intended only to deceive if it were possible the very elect. Certainly, there will be revival in the 70th week of Daniel, but it will be satanic in nature with all manners of signs and wonders, to deceive if it were possible the very elect. “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.” ( Matt.24:24-25‬ ). Why would Jesus warn His disciples if they would not be here? There will be role reversal here. The antiChrist and his gang will perform outstanding miracles, signs, and wonders, but the saints will not. On Mount Carmel, the God of Israel was present but Baal was absent. This time around the opposite will happen. It would be as through the God of Israel were absent and Baal present. Why? Because it is the hour of darkness.

These miracles, signs and wonders will be intended to lure the believers out of hiding in order to coax and coerce them to receive the mark of the Beast or to be killed outright on refusal to accept the mark of allegiance to the Beast. The antiChrist will make war with saints and overcome them ( Rev.13:7 ). So, in all probability, the number of the saints will depreciate very rapidly due to mass executions of believers who refuse to bow to the image of the Beast during this period of the reign of terror by the antiChrist. That the world marveled at the Beast does indicate that the so called evangelists of the Faith do not command their attention ( Rev.17:8 ). Rather than a revival of Christianity, there will be a mass exodus of false believers to worship the Beast. When the antiChrist signs the 7-year peace treaty with Israel, these ignorant believers will conclude the rapture has taken place, that they have been left behind: and that the next thing will be a worldwide revival of sort of the Christian faith, the rapture having taken place secretly and silently as it were. But what do they get? A huge number of false christs, false prophets, and false teachers performing outstanding and notables miracles to authenticate their claims. They will tell them, “The Messiah has come: we know where He is: in the secret chambers and in the deserts.” ( Matt.24:23-28 ). Thusly the unsuspecting  believers are lured into a trap where they are either coaxed or coerced, and hoodwinked into receiving the mark of allegiance to the Beast or be taken into captivity and tortured or be killed outright on refusal to accept the mark of allegiance to the anitMessiah. 

This is the Apostasy which will take place after the unveiling of the Man Of Sin in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the 70th week ( 2 Thess.2:3,4 ). But the Pretribs have cancelled it out saying that “apostasia” means physical departure, thus denoting rapture. What a theological legerdemain! There is not a single instance in koine Greek where apostasia was used to denote physical departure. That usage was only apparent almost 500 years later.

The Scriptures do not tell us there would be worldwide revival at this time. Obviously, the two witnesses will perform outstanding miracles, and command fire from heaven to consume those who would hurt them ( Rev.11:5,6 ). Their ministry covers the second half of the 70th week, but is essentially restricted to the land of Israel, especially the Holy City, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Will their ministry be duplicated in other parts of the world? There is no biblical evidence there are any others like them in other parts of the world. Admittedly, some faithful and uncompromising believers will damn the consequences and go about persuading others not to take the make of the Beast, but they will pay with their heads. Cephalizomai; they will be decapitated ( Rev.20:4 ). Assuming the pretrib rapture view is correct, believers who miss the rapture, who have been taught there will be a worldwide revival during the 70th week will be easy prey to the antiMessiah, the false prophet, and their army of charlatans and mountebanks. The Pretrib doctrine is designed by its originators to sell the saints short to the antiChrist, to render them unprepared to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation. Unfortunately sincere believers and biblical scholars and theologians are ignorantly proclaiming it.

( n ) The 70th Week: The Period Of God’s Judgment

Dr Thomas Ice believes and teaches that the 70th week is a period of God’s Judgment, and I concur. Who decides when the 70th week begins? God. Who has the seven-sealed Scroll, the Title Deed Of The Earth, and breaks the seven seals that determine the unfolding of the end time events? Jesus the Son Of God. Who announce and supervise the breaking of the seals? The cherubim, the angels of God. Who casts down Satan to the Earth from the heavenlies? Archangel Michael, the warrior angel of God. Who removes the restrainer in order that Satan’s wrath may be executed ( Dan.12:1 )? God. Satan can do nothing without permission from God. He could not tempt Job without divine permission ( Job 1:6-12, 2:1-6 ). He could not tempt Peter to sift him as wheat until Christ permitted him ( Luk.22:31,32 ). The 70th week is indeed a period of God’s Judgment. But God is not responsible for the activities of wicked men. God permits evil, but does not sanction it. God does not approve of man’s inhumanity to man. God used Assyria, “the rod of my anger” to judge the Northern Kingdom of Israel ( Isa.10:5 ). Assyria was an evil nation notorious for its cruel treatment of war captives. The prophet Habakkuk was perplexed that God could use Babylon, a nation more wicked than the Southern Kingdon of Judah to punish Judah ( Hab.1:6-13 ). God’s ways are past finding ( Rom.11:33 ). The people of the world have to be tested and fail in an ultimate sense before they can face the wrath of God. In like manner also, even the saints must be tested and pass ultimately in order to be counted worthy to escape the wrath of God. There is an on-going Judgment Of God. When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord that we may not be condemned with the unrighteous wicked. “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” ( 1 Corinthians‬ ‭11:31-32‬ ‭).

The first four seals of the Scroll Of Revelation are a test for saints and sinners alike to determine eligibility for exemption from the wrath of God. But Dr. Thomas Ice has equated the Judgment of God which is a much broader term, more encompassing, with the wrath of God which is more narrower, and involves the outpouring of His indignation on the unrighteous and impenitent wicked. I demure. If we judge ourselves we will not be judged. When a believer is judged of God, the ultimate goal is exemption from condemnation with the wicked. When God judges us, and He does, is He pouring out His wrath upon us because we are irreversibly and irredeemably impenitent? No. His judgment is corrective. But His Final eschatological Wrath is damnation. When a juvenile breaks the law, he is sent to the penitentiary, unlike an adult who commits a capital offense receives capital punishment. There is no correction in a death sentence except as a warning and deterrent to would-be offenders. The aim is to protect the living and damn the murderer. The final eschatological wrath of God, the bowl judgments are not corrective at all. Their targets are the Beast marked wicked earth-dwellers who are unwilling to repent even in the face of God’s severe punishment for their evils ( Rev.9:20,21, 16:9,11 ). Their goal is first physical destruction, and finally eternal damnation of the unrighteous wicked in the Lake Of Fire And Sulphur.

Abraham Shallom.

A Concise Outline Of The Sequence Of Events Of The End Times

A Concise Outline Of The Sequence Of Events Of The End Times

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A Concise Outline Of The Sequence Of Events Of The End Times

The Seventy Sevens Of Daniel’s

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” ( Dan.9:24-27 ).

The 70 sevens ( 70 x 7 = 490 ) of Daniel are divided into 7 sevens ( 7 x 7 = 49 ) which is 49 years, sixty and two sevens ( 62 x 7 = 434 ) which is 434 years and one seven ( 1 x 7 = 7 ) which is 7 years. The first 7 sevens and the second sixty-two sevens which are continuous equal 69 sevens ( 69 x 7 = 483 ) which are 483 years. The terminus-a-quo ( starting point ) of the 70 sevens ( 70 x 7 = 490 ) is the going forth of the commandment to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem given by the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus ( Neh.2:5 ). This commandment was given in 445 BC as conclusively proven by Sir Robert Anderson. The first 7 sevens and the second sixty and two sevens are history. After the second sixty-two sevens or weeks, that is, after 483 years from the commencement of the 70 weeks, the Messiah Jesus was crucified on the Roman execution stake ( Cross of Calvary), outside the wall of the Old City of Jerusalem in 32 AD. After that the Second Temple built by the returning exiles from Babylonian and Assyrian captivity, finished about 515 BC, and extensively and lavishly refurbished by Herod the Great, a puppet of Rome, was destroyed in 70 AD by the Roman general Titus following the rebellion of Jews under Roman domination ( 66-74 AD ). From this prophecy by Daniel, we understand that the Messiah was to come before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD. Therefore any Messiah that appears for the first time after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD is a pseudoMessiah. This prophecy conclusively proves that Jesus is the only true Messiah.

There is no gap between the first 7 sevens and the second sixty and two sevens. In other words, the first 7 sevens and the second sixty and two sevens are continuous. But there is a gap of time between the second sixty-two sevens and the last one seven or the 70th seven. This gap occurs at the end of the 69th week. This gap of time is variously named by biblical scholars as the Timeless Period, the Church Age, the Gentile Interlude, the Mysterion or simply the Gap, each of which reflects and is descriptive of some of its aspects.

A whole lot of events have transpired in this gap of time. Within this period the New Covenant was established on the day of Passover, the Last Super, in the upper Room on Mount Zion, and the Church was instituted on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. As we have mentioned, the Second Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah was destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews scattered all over the world, the so called Diaspora. Within this period, the Bar Kochba rebellion( 132-136 AD) occurred. It was lead by the Jewish false Messiah Ben Kosiva whom the revered Rabbi Akiva renamed Bar Kochba, Son Of The Star, a reference to the Star Of David. Emperor Hadrian provoked the Jews to revolt by renaming Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina. After the defeat of the Jews in the Bar Kochba Revolt, Jerusalem was ploughed with yokes of oxen, and Jews barred from it on the pain of death.

Within this period also, the First World War occurred ( 1914-1918 ). Within this period also, Adolf Hitler of cursed memory arose and established the Third Reich. This kingdom is the 7th Beast Empire of Satan that persecuted Israel in exile. It lasted for a short time, a mere twelve years ( 1933-1945 ), according to the prophecy of John the revelator. “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” ( Rev.17:9-10‬ ‭).

Adolf Hitler led the whole world into the Second World War in which an estimated 45-60 million people perished. During the Second World War, Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler exterminated 6 million Jews in gas chambers and crematoria he built all over Eastern and parts of Western Europe, 2 millions of whom were Jewish children whose lives were snuffed out in the embryo. Within this gap also Israel arose from the ashes of the Holocaust like the proverbial Phoenix and reconstituted itself as an independent nation on 14th May, 1948, following the end of the British Mandate over Palestine. We are now in this gap of time which shall be abruptly brought to an end by the covenant of peace between the antiMessiah and the many from within Israel. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” ( Dan.9:27‬ ‭). The prophet Isaiah calls it the “covenant with death,” agreement with Sheol ( Hell )”, “refuge in lies,” and “hiding under falsehood.” “Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:” ( ‭‭Is.28:14-15‬ ‭).

Daniel goes on to inform us that the antiChrist shall break this peace agreement with the many from within Israel at the midpoint of the 70th week. “And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” This division of the 70th week into two equal halves is affirmed by John the revelator in the Scroll Of Revelation. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” ( Rev.11:1-3‬ ). The treading of the outer court under foot for forty and two months is concurrent with the ministry of the two witnesses, and the allotted time of the antiChrist to reign over the Holy City and the people of God. During this period, the woman hides in the wilderness. “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” ( Rev.12:13-14‬ ‭). Since the Scriptures have given us these two divisions of the 70 week of Daniel, it will be inappropriate, and indeed biblically indefensible for us to create a third division or fourth division in order to accommodate our own preconceived notions of the sequence, time, and timing of End Time events. Without these two divisions of the 70th week of Daniel, it would be difficult to understand the sequential chronology of events in the Olivet Discourse. The second half of the 70th week is further divided into two parts of unknown durations: the Great Tribulation, and the Day Of The Lord.

The extra 75 days in two interims of 30 days and 45 days are found in Daniel 12. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” ( Dan.12:11-12‬ ‭). The 1,260 days, the 1,290 days, and the 1,335 days have the same terminus-a-quo ( starting point ) from the setting up of the abomination that makes desolate at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. In other words, the 1, 260 days and the 1, 290 days are all comprehended in the 1,335 days. It will be difficult to understand the sequential chronology of the Scroll Of Revelation without these two extra periods of time. Certain events occur within these two extra periods of time without which the Scroll Of Revelation may appear fuzzy.

The other period is the Millennium which is the 1,000-year reign of Christ. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” ( Rev.20:4‬ ‭). The Millennium is synonymous with the New Heaven And The New Earth ( Isa.65:17-25; Rev.21:1 for ). There are some biblical scholars of prophecy that separate the two. This need not be so because what the prophet Isaiah described as the New Heaven And The New Earth is life in the Millennium. After the Millennium will be Eternity future, or what is referred to by some biblical scholars as the Eternal State.

For further reading, see my article, “The Seventy Sevens Of Daniel.” Link:https://mtzionheritage.com/the-70-sevens-of-daniel/.

The 70th Week Of Daniel

The 70th week of Daniel begins when the antiChrist signs a 7-year peace treaty with Israel. This 7-year period is divided into two equal halves of three and one-half years each. The seven seals of the seven-sealed Scroll of Revelation are broken during this period in order to unveil the content of the Scroll. The seals are on the exterior of the scroll. The seals must be broken before the content of the scroll can be accessed and viewed. The first three seals are broken during the first three and one-half years.

The First Half Of The 70th Week: The First Three And One-Half Years

First Seal

The emergence of false christs and the ultimate antiChrist, the man of lawlessness ( Da.9:27a; Matt.24:4,5; Mk.13:5,6; Luk.21:8; Rev.6:1,2 ). Deception will occur both in the religious and political arena. The antiChrist will attempt to win nations to his course of world domination by intrigue and subtle peace diplomacy.

Second Seal

When political intrigue and subtle peace diplomacy fail, the antiChrist will resort to wars, commotions, rumours and threats of wars ( Matt.24:6,7a; Mk.13:7, 8a; Luk.21:9,10; Rev.6:3,4 ). Peace will be taken away from the Earth in order that men might kill one another. There will be utter chaotic confusion.

Third Seal

Famines, pestilences, and earthquakes ( Matt.24:7a; Mk.13:8b; Luk.21:11; Rev.6:5,6 ). These are the natural consequences of wars. The third seal brings to an end the first three and one-half years. During the first three and one-half years, Israel enjoys relative peace being offered protection, on grounds of the Covenant of peace, by the antiChrist, the leader of the most powerful empire in history.

For more details see my article on “The 70th Week Of Daniel: The First Three And One-Half Years.” Link: https://mtzionheritage.com/?s=The+first+three+and-one-half+years.

The Midpoint Of The 70th Week:

At the midpoint of the 70th week certain events unfold. There are 18 events that will occur at the middle of the 70th week. We shall not enumerate all of them here. We shall mention some of the key events like war in the heavenlies ( Rev.12:7,8 ), the expulsion of Satan and his hordes of evil angels from the starry heavens and Dark void to the Earth ( Rev.12:9 ), the removal of the restrainer ( 2 Thess.2:6-8 ), increase in demonic posssession and escalation in evil ( Rev.12:12 ), the possession of the antiChrist by Satan ( Rev.13:2b ), his self-deification ( 2 Thess.2:4 ), the relocation of the headquarters of the antiChrist to the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem ( Dan.11:45 ), and the abomination of desolation ( Dan.9:27b; Matt.24:15; Mk.13:14; 2 Thess2:4 ), and The Jerusalem campaign by the antiChrist ( Luk.21:20 ). When the antiChrist desecrates the Third Temple, he demands worship of all mortals, and institutes his compulsory mark of allegiance without which no one can buy or sell ( Rev.13:8,12,14,15,16-18 ). The ministry of two witnesses begins also at the midpoint of the 70th week.

There will be a confluence of events at the midpoint of the 70th week that will make the Great Tribulation possible. These are advances in drone technology and robotics, artificial intelligence, hybridization of the human race by incorporation of animal and human genes into the human genome and man-machine meld, and cohabitation of fallen evil angels and human females ( transhumanism, humanoids, nephilim ), cyborgs, cashlessness, biometric implants, and internet of everything ( EOE ) or internet of things ( EOT ). For example the antiChrist and his gang might be able to fish out those without the mark of the Beast using swarming drone technology and facial recognition. With this sort of weapon in place the antiMessiah may be able to wipe all those who do not have his mark of allegiance unless those days are cut short.

For a detailed treatment, see my article: “The Middle Of The 70th Seven.” Link:https://mtzionheritage.com/the-middle-of-the-70th-seven/.

The Second Half Of The 70th Week: The Second Three And One-Half Years

The following events occur in the second half of the 70th week of Daniel:

Fourth Seal

The Great Tribulation begins ( Matt.24:9-26; Mk.13:9-23; Luk.21:12-24; Rev.6:7,8 ). It will be virtually impossible to obtain food and other supplies without the mark of the Beast unless one has stored them away beforehand. Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Men shall betray one another. A man’s foes shall those of his own household.

Fifth Seal

The souls of the martyred saints are arriving in heaven ( Rev.6:9-11 ). The fifth seal being a heavenly scene is not mentioned in the Olivet Discourse. It is a heavenly reflection of the killings going here on Earth under the fourth seal. It does not advance the chronology of the Scroll Of Revelation. As soon as the saints are killed here on Earth, their disembodied spirits and souls arrive in heaven. There is no distance in the realm of the spirit.

Sixth Seal

The Cosmic and celestial disturbances amputate the Great Tribulation ( Isa.24:23; Joe 2:30,31; Matt.24:22,29; Mk.13:20,24,25; Luk.21:25,26; Rev.6:12-17 ). This is the sign of the end of the ages which occurs back-to-back with the sign of His Coming, the Shekinah in the heavens ( Matt.24:3;30b ). This occurs when the number of saints to be martyred is complete ( Rev.13:10 ).

Interlude Between The End Of The Sixth Seal And The Breaking Of The Seventh Seal.

( 1 ) In this interlude, the Sign Of The Coming Of The Son Of Man is given in the heavens ( Matt.24:30b; Mk.13:26; Luk.21:27 ). This sign is the Shekinah in the heavens. Two other events occur in this interlude, vix:

( 2 ) The Sealing Of The 144,000

This event is not revealed in the Olivet Discourse but in the Scroll Of Revelation only ( Rev.7:1-8 )

( 3 ) The Rapture Of The Saints

The innumerable multitude which no man could number. This event is revealed in the Olivet Discourse ( Matt24:31; Mk.13:27; Luk.21:28 ), the Scroll Of Revelation ( Rev.7:9-17; 14:14-16 ), and in other passages of the Scriptures ( Gen.49:10b; 1 Cor.15:50-52; 1 Thess.4:15-18 ).

The Seventh Seal Is Broken: The Day Of The Lord Begins

The same day the saints are raptured, the seventh seal is broken, and the wrath of God begins in the Day Of The Lord. The prophets of old were unequivocal in their proclamation that the Day Of The Lord is preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances. This singular fact alone invalidates the pretribulational rapture position which teaches that the wrath of God in the day of the Lord begins at the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel after the rapture of the Church which is not preceded by any prophesied event. It invalidates the doctrine of imminence which is the the fundamental pillar of pretribulationism. The wrath of God is contained in the seventh seal. The seventh seal has no judgment of its own but opens into the seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet does not contain any judgments of its own but opens into the seven bowls. Therefore the wrath of God which is poured out in the Day Of The Lord consists of the seven bowls and seven trumpets which are contained in the seventh seal. So, the seventh seal is the wrath of God.

The Relationship Of The Seals To The Wrath Of God

The Fifth Seal: This seal promises the wrath of God.

The Sixth Seal: This seal portends the wrath of God.

Interlude Between The End Of The Sixth Seal And The breaking Of The Seventh Sea:

This interlude protects from the wrath of God. During this interlude, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed with the seal of God, and the saints are raptured to heaven- in order to remove them from the scene of persecution by the antiMessiah- and to protect them from the wrath of God.

The Seventh Seal: This seal pronounces the wrath of God. With the breaking of the seventh seal, the wrath of in the Day Of the Lord begins.

The sounding of the seven trumpets begins in the later part of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel ( Rev.8:1,2 ).

The First Trumpet

“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.” ( Revelation‬ ‭8:7‬ ‭).

The first trumpet which consists of hail and fire mingled with blood resulted in the destruction of all green grasses and one-third of the trees.

The Second Trumpet

“And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” ( Revelation‬ ‭8:8-9‬ ‭).

This is probably a meteorite which pollutes one-third of the salt water sources killing all forms of life in a third of the oceans, seas and salt water lakes.

The Third Trumpet

“And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.” ( Revelation‬ ‭8:10-11‬ ‭).

This is not a literal star. A literal star falling upon the Earth will
Pulverize it. It is probably a comet, an asteroid or meteorite. It is called wormwood. It targeted a third part of the fresh water sources and polluted it, killing all men who were in these waters or drank of these waters.

The Fourth Trumpet

“And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” ( Revelation‬ ‭8:12‬ ).

The fourth trumpet targeted a third of the Sun, Moon, and Stars and darkened them. The sun did not shine for a third of the day, and the moon and the stars did not shine for a third of the night. What could be the effect of this cosmic phenomenon on human life, and plant and animals?

The Three Woes

“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” ( Revelation‬ ‭8:13‬ ‭).

The last three trumpets are the most severe. They are called the three woes or culminate in the three woes. They are heralded by the horizontal flying angel.

The Fifth Trumpet: The First Woe

“And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” ( Revelation‬ ‭9:1-12‬ ‭).

The sounding of the fifth trumpet resulted in the release of demonic locusts incarcerated in the bottomless pit. These are fallen evil angels who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation to cohabit with human females ( Gen.6; Jude 6 ). Their offspring were hybrid humans or transhumans or humanoids named nephilim which in Hebrew means fallen ones. The Hebrew cognate verb is naphal which means to fall. These evil angels and their humanoid offspring are imprisoned ( kept in chain ) under darkness in the abyss, to be used of God in the Great Day of His wrath. Their king is the angel of the bottomless pit named Abaddon in Hebrew or Apollyon in Greek. Both names mean the same thing, destruction or destroyer. These demons with the sting of scorpions will afflict anyone who has not the seal of God in his forehead repeatedly for five months. These will include those who have the mark of the Beast, the remnant of Israel who do not have the mark of the Beast, and the remnant of the Gentiles who do not have the mark of the Beast. Only the 144,000 who have the seal of God in the foreheads are exempt.

The Sixth Trumpet: The Second Woe

“And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.” ( Revelation‬ ‭9:13-21‬ ‭).

At the blowing of the sixth trumpet, four evil angels incarcerated in the Euphrates River for a day, a month, and a year were released. These demons mobilized 2,000,000 soldiers. These are armored divisions mounted on tanks, the kind of which have not been fielded by any armies in the world. These tanks could fire from both the front and rear end. They wasted away a third of humanity.

The sixth trumpet brings the 70th week to a close. However, the sixth trumpet does not end until the 4th day of the 30-day Reclamation period after the resurrection of the two witnesses from the dead. We know that the 70th week has ended by the death of the two witnesses. They are killed on the last day of the 70th week or early on the first day of the 30-day Reclamation Period.

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” ( Revelation‬ ‭11:7-14‬ ‭).

At this juncture we can hazard a guess as to the length of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. Both the Great Tribulation and the first six trumpets occur in the second half of the 70th week which is three and one-half years in duration. Of the first six trumpets, the one with known duration is the fifth trumpet which is five months. The sixth trumpet is probably longer and may last up to a year. If the first four trumpets which are probably shorter in duration last about a year, it therefore follows that the Great Tribulation is about a year in duration with a margin of error of about a month. This is an estimate based on the paucity of information we have in the Scriptures. It is not an explicit teaching of the Scriptures. Therefore, one should not be dogmatic about it.

At the end of the 70th week, three of the six promises of God to Israel dealing with sin are over, namely: to finish the transgression, made an end sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity. The remnant of Israel who have survived the 70th without taking the mark of allegiance to Beast can now be saved. The other three promises of God to Israel, dealing with righteousness shall be accomplished in the Millennium, namely; to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint The Most Holy.

For further clarification, see my article, “The 70th Week Of Daniel: The Second Three And One-Half Years.” Link:https://mtzionheritage.com/?s=The+Second+three+and+one-half+years.

The Extra 30-Day Reclamation Period

There are extra 30 days at the end of the 70th week spoken of by Daniel the prophet. The 1,260 days and the 1,290 days have the same terminus-a-quo from the midpoint of the 70th week.

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” ( Daniel‬ ‭12:11‬ ‭).

Events In The 30-Day Reclamation Period

Just as there is an interlude between the end of the sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh seal, there is an interlude between the end of the sixth trumpet and the sounding of the seventh trumpet. Unlike the interlude between the end of the sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh seal which is of unknown duration, the duration of the interlude between the end of the sixth trumpet and the sounding of the seventh trumpet is about seven days.

Day One: The Death Of The Two Witnesses

When the two witnesses have finished their ministry, the anointing of God that protects them is withdrawn. They become as vulnerable as any other mortal. It would be like Sampson losing the seven locks of his hair(Judg.16:16-22). The location of their ministry is right under the nose of the antiChrist at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. He overpowers them and kills them. The demise of the two witnesses occurs either on the last day of the 70th week or the first day of the 30-day Reclamation Period.

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.” ( Rev.11:7-10‬ ‭).

Therefore the death of the two witnesses marks the terminus-ad-quem ( end ) of the 70th week.

Day One – Two: From Edom To Mount Zion

At the rapture Christ appears and stays in the air. He dispatches His angels to gather His elect from the four winds. We meet Him in the air: so, shall we ever be with Lord. “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: 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.” ( 1 Thess.4:16-17‬ ‭). Now Christ touches down on the Earth physically. He comes from the heavenly Mount Zion ( Isa.59:20 ) to the earthy Mount Zion ( Rom.11:26 ). He touches down first in Petra in the Edomite wilderness where the 144,000 are hiding during the outpouring of the first six trumpet judgments. He rescues them and other Jews hiding in that area, and matches on with them on foot to the earthly Mount Zion in Jerusalem ( Isa.63:1-4 ). He is the breaker that removes every obstacle on the way ( Mic.2:12,13 ). This is The fulfillment of Habakkuk’s prophecy, “God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah.” ( Hab.3:-6, 12 ). He is with an innumerable company of angels ( Heb.12:22 ), but they are invisible. Unlike Him, they do not have physical bodies. The 144, 000 who are the firsfruits from the house of Israel that shall enter the Millennium(Rev.14:3). They are the core of His human entourage. Every king moves with a retinue. Christ is the King of the Earth.

Day Three: The Mystery Of God Is Finished

Shortly before the blowing of the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God shall be finished as God completes His spiritual kingdom by bringing in the remnant of Israel who survive the 70th week without the mark of the Beast. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” (Rev.10:7‬ ).

Their repentance and salvation is somewhat automatic ( Rom.11:26 ). On day 3 Christ arrives on Mount Zion with the 144,000 and other Jews who survived the first six trumpet judgments whom He rescued from the Edomite wilderness, the Judaean wilderness, Jerusalem and its environs, the remnants from Egypt and Assyria. On the way to Jerusalem, perhaps in the Judean hills, this ever-increasing number of remnants will swell again as they are joined by the remnant from Egypt and Assyria. These Jews like the clans of Judah are on their way to Jerusalem from the lands of Egypt and Assyria where they have been hiding, having heard that the Messiah has come. According to the prophet Hosea, ” They will walk after the Lord: he shall roar like a lion: when He shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses saith the LORD” ( Hos.11:10,11 ). They are surprised their Messiah has nail-pierced hands. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only begotten son.

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” ( Hos.6:1-2‬ ‭).

It will be like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.”( Zech.12:10-14‬ ‭).

Day Four: The Resurrection Of The Two Witnesses

There is no question as to the day of the resurrection of the two witnesses. The Scripture is clearly explicit on that. They are killed either on the last day of the 70th week or early on the first day of the 30-day Reclamation Period. They are resurrected after three and one-half days or 84 hours after their demise which will be the late afternoon or early evening of the fourth day of the 30-day Reclamation Period.

“And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” ( Rev.11:13-14‬ ).

A voice was heard from heaven saying, “come up hither.”
“And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” ( Rev.11:11-12‬ ‭).

They ascended up into heaven and their enemies beheld them. At the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and there were seven thousand fatalities. They remnant were frightened, and gave glory to the God of heaven. Their acknowledgement of God at this time was out of fear not reverential awe and therefore did not bring salvation. This is the second woe which marked the end of the sixth trumpet.

Day Five: The Seventh Trumpet Is Blown And God Almighty Reclaims His Rule Over The Earth.

The 70th week has ended. The sixth millennium is over. The seventh millennium the shabbat of the Lord is about to begin. The seventh trumpet is blown, and God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth usurped by Satan at the fall of Adam.

“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. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 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. 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. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” ( Rev.11:15-19‬ ‭).

This event takes place on the summit of Mount Zion in the presence of the 144,000 and the newly saved remnant of Israel who survived the 70th week of Daniel.

The nations will react angrily, and God responds by pouring out the final seven Bowl judgments on the Earth.

Day Six: The Jewish Remnant Sent To Azal

From the summit of Mount Zion, Christ hops over to the Mount of Olives. The Mount Of Olive cleaves in two from the East to the West. The one part moves up North and the other part moves down South creating a roadway that reaches up to Azal.

“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” ( Zech.14:4-5‬ ‭).

Azal is an unknown location in biblical history and geography. There He shall hide the 144,000 and the newly saved remnant of Israel who are still in their natural bodies to shield them from the wrath of God contained in the last seven Bowl judgments. “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” ( Isa.26:20,21 ).
‭‭
This event shall fulfill the promise of God to the disciples of Jesus that He shall come in like manner as they saw go into heaven.

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” ( Acts‬ ‭1:9-11‬ ‭).

Day Seven: The Final Bowl Judgments Begin ( Rev.16-20 ).

Day 7 – Day 30

The last seven bowls are emptied rapidly upon the Earth within the remaining 3 weeks culminating in the Armageddon campaign on day 30. Whilst the final seven Bowl judgments are being poured out, Christ returns to heaven, and conducts the Bema Seat Judgment and the Marriage Of The Lamb in readiness three weeks later for the Battle Of Armageddon where Christ together with the heavenly hosts shall vanquish the armies of the kingdoms of this age.

Bowls 1-4: General

The first four bowls are general. They occur all over the Earth.

Fist Bowl ( Rev.16:1 )

“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”
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At the outpouring of the fist Bowl Judgment, suppurative cutaneous eruptions breaking out into open sores appeared on those who have the mark of Beast and worshipped him and the dragon.

Second Bowl ( Rev.16:3 )

“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.”

The second Bowl Judgment targets the salt water sources: the oceans, the seas, and the salt water lakes turning into blood, wiping out all forms of life in these bodies of waters.

Third Bowl ( Rev.16:4 )

“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.”
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The third Bowl Judgment targets the fresh sources: the rivers and fountains of waters, and the fresh lakes, and turned them into blood, thus wiping out all forms of waters in these bodies of waters.

Interlude: Doxology By The Angel Of Waters ( Rev.16:5-7 )

“And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.”

There is a brief interlude between the end of Bowl three and the outpouring of Bowl four. During this brief interlude, the angel of the waters who is not identified, neither his rank nor regalia gives praise to God for His righteous judgments of the unrighteousness wicked.

Fourth Bowl ( Rev.16:8,9 )

“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.”
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This is like adding fuel to fire. Ambient temperatures will be increased resulting in heat stroke, dehydration, exhaustion, and death. In spite of this severe punishment, the beast marked unrighteous wicked are unwilling to repent. But instead, they will blaspheme the name of God.

Bowls 5-7: Specific

The last three bowls are specific. They target the seats of government of the antiChrist and the others kings of the Earth, and his religious institution

Fifth Bowl ( Rev.16:10,11 )

“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”

The light and heat of the Sun are withdrawn over the seat of government of the antiChrist and the borders of the his empire resulting in utter darkness and low temperatures. This will lead to vein thromboses, chilblains, painful frostbites and sores, and auto-amputation of the digits. This situation will be worse than when one suddenly finds oneself in the poles without adequate preparations. No warm clothings, and no source of heat.

Sixth Bowl: Preparation For Armageddon ( Rev.16:12-16 )

“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”

When the sixth bowl is poured out upon the Earth, two things happen. First, the waters of the Euphrates River dry up to make way for the kings of the East. In the end times, other regions of world have one king each. There is the king of the North, the king of the South, and the king of the West who is the antiChrist ( Dan.11:36-45 ). But the East has many kings because of ideological and religious differences. These are are China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, etc. Second, the unclean spirits like frogs from the mouths of the satanic trinity will possess the commanders of the armies of the nations to compel them to gather their forces to the Mid East for the Armageddon Campaign.
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Seventh Bowl: The Final Wrath Of God ( Rev.16:17- 21, 17, 18, 19, 20:1-10 )

“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”

When the seventh bowl is poured out into the air, there came a great voice out of the temple of God in heaven saying, “it is done.” This is reminiscent of the final of Christ’s seven words on the Cross of Calvary, the Execution Stake, “it is finished.” ( Jon.19:30 ). It was finished because the vail of separation was torn from top to bottom, the mosaic law abrogated and grace ushered in. Here it is done because the wrath of God is over, Satan is vanquished eternally, and God Almighty is about to reclaim physical possession of the Earth. It is most probable Christ uttered these words inasmuch as He is in heaven at this time, and God the Father has committed all Judgment to Him. This voice was followed by voices, thunders, and lightnings, the mightiest earthquake that has never been recorded on the Richter’s Scale before. Jerusalem, the international headquarters of the antiChrist shall be divided in three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. These cities are the seats of governments of the kingdoms of the Earth.

The mountains will be leveled by the horrible earthquake, and the islands of the seas shall vanish. As the armies of the kingdoms of the Earth gather for the final Armageddon Campaign, God rains on them hailstones from heaven. Each of these hailstones weigh about 100 lb. These 33.333’ kg hailstones will crush anything that has life they hit. Many of these soldiers of the armies of the nations will perish on their way to the final battle in the Middle East. Lots of their equipments will be damaged beyond repair and lost.

The seventh bowl Judgment is the largest of the seven bowls and probably lasts longer than the others. Rev.17 is the description of the Judgment of the Beast-antiChrist and the harlot city which is the false humanistic religion of the antiChrist headquartered in Babylon. Babylon apart from being a city is a global ideal that teaches that man is God. Rev.18 is the actual judgment of the false humanistic religion called Babylon. Rev.19 is the destruction of the Beast and the armies of the nation at Armageddon where Christ reclaimed physical possession of the Earth.

Satan usurped God’s rule over the Earth at the fall of Adam, and became the God of this age ( Ge.3; Jon.12:31, 14:30, 16:11; Eph.2:2 ). At the sounding of the seventh trumpet, God Almighty reclaimed His rule of the Earth ( Rev.11:15 ). Now, at Armageddon, God reclaims physical possession of the Earth. It is therefore pertinent that Satan, the usurper of God’s rule over the Earth must be evicted from the Earth’s premises. In Rev.20, Satan and all his fallen demons that were cast down from the dark void and starry heavens unto the Earth are now herded in into and incarcerated in the bottomless pit for a thousand years ( 1-6 ).

For more details, consult my article, “Events In The 30-Day Reclamation Period.” Link:https://mtzionheritage.com/events-in-the-30-day-reclamation-period/.

Two Events That Occur In Heaven During The 30-Day Reclamation Period

( a ) The Bema Seat Judgments

The Bema Seat judgment is the trial by fire of the works of the saints. It is not the trial of the saints. It is for the purpose of reward, and to determine our positions in the millennial reign of Christ.

However, it in the book of 1 Corinthians that Paul gives a vivid and
somber picture of what the Bema-Seat judgment will be like. “… I
have planted , Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then
neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but
God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that
watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according
to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are
God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God
given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have led the foundation, and
another buildeth therein. But let every man take heed how he buildeth
thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid,
which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold,
silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be
made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be
revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort
it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall
receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer
loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet as by fire” ( I Cor.3:6-15).

The scripture is very clear as to the timing of the Bema-Seat
judgment. It is pinpointed as occurring after the blowing of the
seventh trumpet, during the 30-day Reclamation Period following the
close of the seventieth week of Daniel. Because the seventh trumpet is
sounded on day 5/6 of the 30-day Reclamation Period, the Bema-Seat
judgment must occur within the 25-26 days between the blowing of the
seventh trumpet and the battle of Armageddon; for Christ must of
necessity come back to the Earth for the final showdown at Armageddon.

” 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. And
the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell
upon their faces, and worshipped God, 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. 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 servant
the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small
and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the Earth” (
Rev.11:15-18).

When the seventh trumpet sounds, rule of the Earth is returned to
Almighty God. The rulers of the kingdoms of this World would get
angry. God responds to their anger by pouring the remaining wrath of
God, the seven bowls on the living wicked earth-dwellers, and
desroying those who destroy the Earth. At this time also He rewards
His servants the prophets and the saints, and all those who fear His
name, in preparation for his retaking physical possession of the
Earth and the millennial reign of Christ and the saints. Whilst the Bema-Seat judgment is taking place in heaven, God will begin the destruction of those who destroy the Earth in final
seven bowl judgments.

( b ) The Marriage Of The Lamb

The Scripture is clear as to the timing of the marriage of the Lamb In Heaven.

” and I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the
voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering, saying,
Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 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. And to her was granted that she
should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen
is the righteousness of the saints” ( Rev.19:6-8).

The saints must appear with Christ at Armageddon. Therefore, the marriage of the Lamb must occur in Heaven before the Armageddon Campaign.

For detailed treatment, see article, “Two Critical Events That Occur In Heaven During The Remaining 24-25 Days Of The 30-Day Reclamation Period.” Link:https://mtzionheritage.com/555-2/.

The Extra 45-Day Restoration Period ( Dan.12:11,12 )

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
‭‭
We know that the abomination of desolation will be set up and the midpoint of the 70th week. So also, the abolition of the daily sacrifice resumed at the beginning of the 70th week when the antiMessiah signed a 7-year treaty with Israel. But blessed is he that waits and comes to the 1, 335 days. So, the 1,260, and the 1,290 days are comprehended in the 1, 335 days. So there is extra 45 days beyond the extra 30 days. This extra 45 days is labeled the Restoration Period by Robert Van Kampen of blessed memory.

After the battle of Armageddon, the Earth devastated by the events of the 70th and the final wrath of God would need to be renovated and restored before the commencement of the Millennial Reign Of Christ. For example, it will take seven months to bury all those who died at the battle of Armageddon in the land of Israel, and seven years to burn all the wreckages of warfare ( Ezek.39: 9-16 ). So the cleansing of the land shall continue into the Millennium.

The following events shall occur during the 45-day Restoration Period.

( a ) The Restoration Of Mount Zion.

At the seventh bowl judgment, “the mountains were not found” and the great city Jerusalem was split into three parts” ( Rev.16:19,20 ). In the original Greek manuscript, the definite article the does not occur. It simply reads ” mountains were not found.” It therefore follows that not all the mountains were leveled by the seventh bowl judgment. Besides, after the outpouring of the seventh bowl judgment, the Battle of Armageddon will be fought on the mountains of Israel. antiChrist and his forces will “fall on the mountains of Israel” ( Ezek.39:4 ). It therefore follows that whatever mountains were destroyed by the seventh bowl judgment, it did not include the mountains surrounding the plain of Esdraelon where the Final Battle Of Armageddon will be fought, about 96km north of Jerusaem.

We have shown that not all the mountains on Earth were leveled by the final seventh bowl judgment. Certainly Mount Zion was one of those destroyed  by the Final Bowl Judgment. Hence, the need for Christ to restore Mount Zion before the remnant of Israel can return to Mount Zion to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, and Christ can rebuild the Fourth And Millennial Temple on Mount Zion. Concerning the restoration of Mount Zion, the prophet Zechariah wrote:

” And all the land shall be turned as plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepress” ( Zech.14:10 ).

Mount Zion on which Jerusalem shall sit shall rise and be elevated above all other mountains, at least, in the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem. It may perhaps rise above all other mountains on Earth.

” And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established in the “top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it” ( Is.2:2; cf. Mic.4:1 ).

The newly elevated Mount Zion shall become a very high mountain ( Ezek.40:2 ). ” For God’s holy mountain, on the mountains of Israel, declares the Lord God, there the whole house of Israel, all of them , shall serve Me in the land” ( Ezek.20:40).

The Layout Of Mount Zion.

The book of the prophet Ezekiel, more than any other book in the entire Bible, gives us a very detailed description of the layout of the summit of the renovated Mount Zion, the Temple and the  new and earthly city of Jerusalem, and the tribal allotment of the twelve tribes of Israel ( Ezek.40-48). Here we present a general outline of the layout of Mount Zion.

1) In all its entirety, the top of Mount Zion will be holy ( 43:12 ).

2) In the middle of this holy area will be located the sanctuary, the most holy place ( 45:2,3 ).

3) South of the summit of Mount Zion, a short distance down the summit, will be the new city of Jerusalem. It shall be located on a very high mountain ( 40:2; cf.48:25 ). This city shall be built by ” My people of Israel” who are restored from captivity ( Amos 9:14; cf. Is.58:12; 61:4 ).

4) On both sides of this holy allotment and the property for the city shall be a portion for the prince ( 48:21 ).

” And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the lands that  I gave unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children , and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever” ( 37:24,25).

The identity of the prince is debated amongst biblical scholars. Is it David himself or his greater son, Jesus , the Messiah. Am not dogmatic about any of the positions. There is no need for hair splitting arguments. In the Millennium, we shall know who he is.

( b ) The Restoration Of The Temple

Every period of the kingdom of Israel is associated with a temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Therefore each period of the kingdom is named after the temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. We have the First Temple Period or simply the First Temple. The First Temple was built by King Solomon, the successor and son of King David. This temple was destroyed by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 586 BC. This kingdom period began when Israel entered the promised land under the leadership of Joshua, though there was no temple until the reign of Solomon which began in 930 BC.

The Second Temple Period, or simply the Second Temple also had a temple built by the returning exiles on the same exact spot as the First Temple on the Temple Mount. This Temple was completed in 515 BC. It was extensively and lavishly refurbished by Herod the Great. This was the Temple in which Jesus, The Messiah ministered. It was destroyed by the Roman general Titus in 70 AD.

Although the Third Temple Period or simply the Third Temple began in 1948, with the creation of an independent Jewish state in the ancient land grant which God gave the children of Israel, up to now there is no Third Temple. However, before the midpoint of the 70th Seven of Daniel, the Third Temple shall be erected on the same spot as the two previous ones on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Adequate preparations have been made by the Temple Mount Faithful for the building of the Third Temple. All materials necessary for the building of the temple have been garnered, and over $100 million raised in cash for the rebuilding of the Jewish temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Members of the High Priestly family of Aaron, and the priestly tribe of Levi have been identified by DNA tests, trained and are practicing and doing test runs in preparation for the resumption of temple worship and daily animal sacrifices and grain offerings when the Third Temple is erected. Recently a complete Golden Altar Of Incense was built. A completely red heifer( Para Aduma) has been identified and is being multiplied by cloning. With modern technology, The Temple could be erected literally overnight at a moment notice as it were. Though a plan of the Third Temple has been drawn based on the dimensions in Ezek.40-43, it is improbable that a temple of this magnitude shall erected in this age. The dimensions of the temple described by prophet Ezekiel are those of the Millennial Temple to be built by Christ Himself.

Following this trend, a Fourth Temple shall also be erected on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Fourth Temple Period, or simple the Fourth Temple. The Fourth Temple Period shall be the millennial reign of Christ. Unlike all the previous three temples, which were built through the feeble efforts of man, the Fourth Temple shall be built by Jesus, the Messiah Himself. This Temple shall be built on the summit of Mount Zion which has just been restored by Christ Himself.

” And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH; and he shall grow up, out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” ( Zech.6:12,13).

The BRANCH is no other person than Jesus the Messiah, the Son of David. The prophet Isaiah also referred to Christ as the BRANCH when he described the redeemed remnant of Israel.

” In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. And it shall come to pass, that all he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is written amongst the living in Jerusalem” ( Is.4:2,3 ).

His building the Fourth Temple shall be the crowning event during the 45-day Restoration Period. This temple was extensively and exhaustively described by the prophet Ezekiel ( Ezek.40-43 ). The prophet was brought to the nave of them, where he was told by the Lord:

” Afterward he brought me to the temple, and measured the posts, six cubits broad on the one side, and six cubits broad on the other side, which was the breadth of the tabernacle. After he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looked toward the east. And he said unto me, son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever; and my holy name , shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places” ( Ezek.41:1; 43:1,7 ).

The Fourth Temple, the millennial temple will be the Throne of Christ here on Earth where He will dwell amongst the children of Israel, and from where He will rule over them and the nations of the Earth. After the Sheep and Goat judgment on the First day of the Millennium, the majority of the surviving Gentile remnants who are justified at the Sheep and Goat Judgment shall return to their own lands to repopulate the Earth. Only a handful shall be retained in Jerusalem, and in the land of Israel in direct service to the Messiah and the children of Israel.

The Third temple which the antiChrist shall desecrate shall also be destroyed during the final seventh bowl judgment when the cities of the nations shall fall, and Jerusalem itself split into three parts. The millennial temple shall far exceed the Solomonic temple in glory. Considering the paucity of time between the Final Battle of Armageddon and the commencement of the millennial reign of Christ, this work shall be done rather very quickly. As a supernatural act of the Messiah who created the heavens and the Earth in six days, building the temple described by the prophet Ezekiel shall pose no difficulty.

( c ) The Renovation Of The whole Earth

After the Armageddon campaign, the whole Earth will be devastated from both the wicked rule of the antiChrist and the kings of the other nations and kingdoms and the fires of the wrath of God. This devastation involves the atmospheric and starry heavens, and the Dark Void, the habitation of the Dragon and his evil angels for millions of years after they were driven out from the heaven of heavens following the Satanic revolt in eternity past. They must be cleansed from the defilement of sin. So, the whole Earth, the atmospheric and starry heavens, and the Dark Void must be renovated. The resultant heavens and Earth are the New Heavens And The New Earth. The prophet Isaiah spoke: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” ( Isa.65:17‬ ‭). Apostle John the revelator saw: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” ( Rev.21:1‬ ). The Greek word rendered new here is “kainos” which is best rendered restored or renewed. It is the same old heavens and Earth which are restored after been cleansed from the defilement sin by fire. It is not new in time. If it were new in time, a different Greek word “naos” would have been used. In this restored heavens and Earth, Christ will reign for a thousand years. This is the Millennium. Therefore, the Millennium is the same as the New Heavens And New Earth.

( d ) The Final Ingathering Of The Jewish Survivors

During the devastating Bowl judgments, the oceans and major seas of the world shall dry up. So also the tongue of the Egyptian sea, that is, the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, shall dry up. This is to facilitate the final ingathering of the Jewish remnants from Africa, Europe, and Asia as well as the gathering of the surviving Gentiles who did not take the mark of allegiance to the Beast for the Sheep And Goat Judgment Of The Gentile Survivors to determine eligibility for entry into the Millennium.

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.” ( Jeremiah‬ ‭16:14-15‬ ‭).

“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.” ( Jeremiah‬ ‭23:7-8‬ ‭).

We can see that the Jews will return from all over the world. The gathering will include those Jews who were with the Lord on Zion in Jerusalem when the seventh trumpet sounded, who were subsequently secreted to Azal, and safely hidden, as God Almighty pours out His wrath in the devastating final seven bowl judgments and the battle of Armageddon. They will return to the holy land, and to the heights of Zion, with shouts of joy. The others will be the surviving remnants of Israel from the gentile nations, who were protected by the righteous Gentiles.

The occasion will be one of mixed joy and somber reflection, as they make their way through the horrible destruction left behind by the final bowl judgments. They will be brought to the heights of Zion by the gentile survivors of the wrath of God who had been their protectors in the land of their sojourning. They will trust in the Lord, and will no longer put their trust in man, as they did in the antiMessiah who subverted them.

” And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more stay upon him that smothe them ( i.e., the antiChrist ); but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. And the remnant of Israel shall return, even the remnant of Jacob unto the Mighty God” ( Is.10:20,21 ).

As we have pointed out, there will be Jews whom God will sovereignly protect from  the fierce persecution of the antiMessiah, those who were graciously hidden and given protection in the  Judaean wilderness, and in the foreign Gentile nations where they resided, Jews in Diaspora. They would have been purged, purified, by the fires of the fierce persecution of the antiChrist as well as the six trumpet judgments. They would have repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus the Messiah of Israel and of all mankind. The tragic side of the story is that only a small remnant of Jews who enter the 70th week of Daniel will survive the fierce persecution of the antiChrist and the wrath of God.

” For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined in the midst of all the land” ( Is.10:22,23).

Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant shall be saved. They shall return from all nations wither the Lord had driven them, to the mountains of Zion, with joy and gladness of heart, unto the Mighty God of Jacob.

” But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel. Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by my name; thou art mine. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west. And I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” ( Is.43:1-7 ).

So, we see that a remnant shall return to enter into the millennial reign of Christ. They shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭51:11‬ ‭).

( e ) The Surviving Gentiles To Mount Zion.

As incredible as it may seem, there will also be some Gentiles who survive the Day Of The Lord’s Wrath. Concurrent with the regathering of surviving Jewish remnants to Jerusalem, the surviving Gentiles shall also gather to Jerusalem for the  Sheep and Goat Judgment. There are some who believe that some of these surviving Gentiles shall bear the mark of the beast. I do not share this view. There are no Scriptures that support this view. Anyone with the mark of the beast shall be executed instantly. What will be the reason for such a person appearing for trial when the verdict is so obvious. Those who appear at the Sheep and Goat Judgment bear no mark of the antiMessiah. The wrath of God abides on any one with the mark of the Beast; he shall be executed at Armageddon.

The basis for the Sheep and Goat Judgment is their treatment of the brethren of the Lord, which may be the reason why they arrive in Jerusalem concurrently with the surviving Jewish remnants. These surviving Jewish remnants will be their witnesses who will testify that they are indeed righteous or unrighteous Gentiles though Jesus Christ our Lord who is the judge knows everything. These surviving Gentiles will be brought to Mount Zion for the Sheep and Goat Judgment ( Matt.25:31-45 ) which will take place on the first day of the Millennium or thereabouts. The prophet Isaiah clearly describes the gathering of Gentile survivors to God’s Holy Mountain.

” For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory” ( Is.66:18).

These surviving Gentiles like their Jewish counterparts would have survived the Great Persecution by the antiChrist, the wrath of God, contained in the seven trumpets and seven bowls as well as the final battle of Armageddon. The final seventh bowl judgment would result in a horrible universal earthquake that levels the mountains and the islands of the seas and destroys the cities of the nations. It is incredible how human beings could  survive all these horrific devastations.

” The nations shall see and be confounded at all their might: they shall lay their hands upon their mouth, their ears shall be deaf. They shall lick the dust like a serpent, they shall move out of their holes like worms of the earth: they shall be afraid of the LORD our God, and shall fear because of thee” ( Mic.7:16,17).

These peoples who survive shall be afraid before the Lord. There will also be a few Gentiles who survive these terrible destruction from the land of Egypt and Assyria who make the trip to Mount Zion to join Israel in their worship of Jehovah. These are Gentile children of God. It does seem however that this shall be after the Sheep and Goat Judgment. The prophet Isaiah spoke of these Gentile remnants.

” In that day shall Israel be third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: whom the LORD of hosts will bless, saying, blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of hands, and Israel mine inheritance” ( Is.19:24,25).

It does appear though some of these surviving Gentiles who are justified at the Sheep and Goat Judgment shall decide to dwell amongst their Jewish brethren in the land of Israel and serve the Lord amidst His people.

” Also the sons of the strangers that join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful, in my house of prayer: and their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon my alter; for my house shall be called the house of prayer for all people. The LORD GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered to him” ( Is.55:6-8).

So, in the millennium, there will be quite a number of Gentiles believers who have made the choice to dwell in Jerusalem, and in the other cities in the land of Israel in order that they mighty serve the Lord and minister to His people.

The Restoration Of Adam’s Rule On Earth: The Coronation Of The Of King

Man was not created to dwell in heaven, else he would not need a physical body. “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s: but the Earth has he given to the children of men” ( Ps.115:16 ). When God created Adam and Eve, he put them in the garden of Eden, and gave them dominion over the earthly realm of His Universal Kingdom. Satan usurped that rule, and became the god of this Age. Adam’s rule over the Earth was to last for six days, the seventh day being the Shabbat of the Lord. Adam never had the title deed of the Earth. It was a lease not a sale.

Satan’s rule would expire at the end of the sixth millennium, the period of the lease to Adam. Thereafter, God Almighty will reclaim his rule over the earthly domain of his Universal Kingdom. Satan, his fallen evil angels and his minions the antiChrist and the living wicked dwellers of the Earth shall be evicted from the Earth’s premises. God will retake physical possession of the Earth, appoint a new human representative, an Adam to rule over the earthly domain of his Universal Kingdom. Neither God the Father nor the Holy Spirit has a physical form with which to relate with the external physical environment. Therefore, God the Father must rule the Earth by proxy.

God unconditionally covenanted to give the rulership of the throne of Israel and the whole Earth to David and his descendants for ever. And we have proven that Jesus is the rightful heir to the throne of David.

At this point in our narrative of the last days of this Age’s history, Jesus the Messiah has reclaimed God’s rule over the Earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet. Satan and his fallen evil angels, his minions, the antiMessiah, the False Prophet and the living wicked dwellers of the Earth have been defeated at Armageddon and evicted from the Earth’s premises. Christ has retaken physical possession of the Earth at Armageddon. Mount Zion has been restored and elevated above all other mountains. Israel has finally been regathered from the Diaspora to the land God deeded to his friend, Abraham, the Hebrew. The surviving Gentile remnants have been gathered to Jerusalem for the Sheep and Goat Judgment on the first day of the Millennium or thereabouts. The Fourth and Millennial temple has been built by Christ supernaturally. God is now ready to restore his rule over the Earth by proxy, through a human representative, an Adam.

This is a very momentous point in the history of man on Earth. It is an event of tremendous significance. Incidentally, this glorious event does not take place on Earth but in heaven. On this occasion, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the last Adam, the Second Man, who is the Lord from the heavens shall be given everlasting dominion over ” all peoples, nations and tongues,” by God Almighty. This is the time for God Almighty to restore His rule over the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom to its rightful king, Jesus the Christ.

After receiving the right to rule over the Earth from God the Father, Christ will return to the Earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. Then “His kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” ( Dan.7:27 ). When the archangel Gabriel appeared unto Mary, he foretold the kingship of Jesus over the Earth. ” He will be great, and will be called the Son Of The Most High; and the Lord will give Him the throne of His father David” ( Luk.1:32 ). This prophecy was not fulfilled during Christ’s First Advent. But it will be fulfilled during His Second Advent, when God’s rule over the Earth will be restored at the blowing of the seventh trumpet, after the victory of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon, at which point he retakes physical possession of the Earth for the Lord God Almighty, and delivers the physical kingdom of Earth to God the Father, just prior to the beginning of the Millennium. Then God the Father will turn about and ” give Him the throne of His father David, when the time has come “to anoint the Most Holy” ( Dan.9:24 ).

About seven hundred years before the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Mary, the prophet Daniel saw in a vision the coronation of the Christ as King over the Earth after the destruction of the antiChrist.

I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the son of man came with clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” ( Dan.7:11-14 ).

The Apostle Paul also spoke of this stupendously magnificent scene:

” Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father: when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” ( 1Cor.15:24-26 ). We must note however, that Christ will not put all enemies under His feet, and abolish the last enemy, death until after the end of the Millennium. This Majestic Scene gives us a glimpse into one of the most profound and significant moments in God’s eternal plan. With this, the work of Christ is complete, ” vision and prophecy” will be sealed, “everlasting righteousness brought in” and God the Father will ” anoint the Most Holy” ( Dan.9:24 ). Christ’s kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominion will serve and obey Him ( Dan.7:27 ).

For further details see my article, “The Restoration Period.” Link:https://mtzionheritage.com/the-restoration-period/.

The Millennium: The New Heaven And The New Earth

” And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom as of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord , and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” ( Rev.11:15).

The celebration of the marriage supper of the Lamb marks the completion of the defeat of Satan and his fallen evil angels. Satan, the supreme personality of evil, the corrupter of the Earth and all mankind has been defeated, evicted from the Earth’s premises and incarcerated in the shaft of the abyss. The antiMessiah and the false prophet have been cast into the Lake Of Fire And Brimstone. All those who gave allegiance to Satan by capitulating to the authority of the antiMessiah have been destroyed. God Almighty has reclaimed His rule over the the Earth usurped by Satan. Christ has regained physical possession of the Earth at Armageddon. He has received the Kingdom from the Father, and crowned King of kings, and Lord of lords. He has re-established the Kingdom Of God on Earth over which He, Christ would rule for ever.

” And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth ” ( Rev19:6).

The Jewish survivors of the Great Tribulation and the Day Of The LORD have come to the saving knowledge of Christ. The gentile survivors of the Great Tribulation, the wrath of God, and the Sheep And Goat Judgment have been brought to the saving knowledge of Christ. They have entered into the Millennium to repopulate the Earth alongside the remnants of Israel. All nations, kindreds, peoples and tongues are represented. The church has been raptured, The Bema Seat Judgment at which the saints of all ages are rewarded have been held. The decorated bride of Christ is married to Him. The heaven and the Earth have been cleansed from the defilement of sin.

“The new heavens and earth earth have been created. Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered nor come to mind” ( Is.65:17). The whole earth is restored and renovated. The new and earthly Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel and of the whole Earth has been rebuilt. The fourth and millennial Temple have been built on the summit of Mount Zion, the highest point on the new Earth. The new and heavenly Jerusalem, the abode of the bride of Christ, all resurrected saints and the angels of God has come down from God out of heaven to merge with the the millennial temple at its base on Mount Zion. Christ is reunited with His bride never to party again.

” And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, he tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” ( Rev.21:3,4).

From the Throne Room of God and of Christ, livings waters flow downwards towards Jerusalem and the rest of the Earth, bring healing to the Earth and the seas. The waters team with fish, and there are lots of fishing activities. The tree by the banks of the river yields fruits which are food, and the leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations of them who dwell on Earth in their mortal bodies of bruises and minor ailments.

From the Throne Room also the rivers flows upwards as it were to the boardway of the new and heavenly Jerusalem. The tree which grows by the banks of the river and in the midst of it yields twelve manner of fruits. The fruits are food for the dwellers of the new and heavenly Jerusalem, some of whom are angels, and others resurrected saints in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies. The leaves of the tree also are for the sustenance of health.

From the Throne Room, Christ shall rule over the Earth with rod of iron. David or his greater son is king over Israel. The twelve apostles judge Israel. The saints reign with Christ over the nations of the Earth, and are priests of Christ, and of God. The glories and wealth of the nation are brought into the new and heavenly Jerusalem in which there is no night. It is always day. Man, angel, and God are in holy communion. The Heavens and Earth are in holy embrace. From year to year, all nations come to worship God in Jerusalem and to observe the yearly feast of tabernacles(Sukkot). Jerusalem and its Holy Temple are the focal point in the Millennium. The Jews are revered all over he world, and there is no more antisemism ( Zech.8:23).

With this, the Earth has been restored more or less to its pristine state before the fall of Adam.

The White Throne Judgment ( Rev.20:11-15 )

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” ( Rev.20:11-15‬ ).

There is a great White Throne and an Occupier, from whose face the Heavens and the Earth fled away and there was no place for them. Who is this personage? Am persuaded He is Jesus in His glory. The reason is that God has committed all judgement to Him ( Acts 10:42; 17:41 ). This is the final resurrection. It is the resurrection of those who lived and died in the millennium. I also believe implicitly that those who did not die during the millennium but lived to the end of it, shall be translated to appear before the White Throne Judgement. No man in his natural mortal body shall be able to appear in the presence of so much glory which neither the Heavens nor the Earth can withstand. In this heavenly court, there were no advocates. The scrolls of records were opened, and every man, small and great, were judged according what is recorded in the scrolls concerning them. There was no partiality ( James 3:17 ). God is no respecter of persons ( Acts 10:34 ). God does not have one law for the rich, great and famous and another for the poor, downtrodden and underprivileged. Every man is judged according to his works.

All the dead were raised: the sea delivered up those who were in it, and so also death and Hell and all were judged according to their works recorded in the scrolls. The scrolls here are different from the one in Rev.6. There were two scrolls, the scroll of works and the scroll of life. Death and Hell were cast into the lake of fire: this is the second death. The first death is the severance of the spirit and soul, the immaterial part of man from the body, the material part of man. This is based on the dichotomous view of man- the basar and the nefesh. The second death therefore is the consignment of the spirit and soul ( nefesh ), the immaterial part of man into the lake of fire. This is the real man . The body is disposable, but the spirit and the soul are not. The sipirit and the soul are inseparable and indivisible. It is only the word of God that divides between the two ( Heb. 4:12 ). There is no spirit without a soul. The soul is the constellation of the will, intellect, and emotions.

In Verse 15, the judgement is very simple and open. There were two scrolls, the scroll of works and the scroll life. Any man whose name was not found in the scroll of life shall be cast in the lake of fire. There are some who believe that no man who appears at The White Throne judgement shall be justified. I do not share that view. I believe there would be some whose names are found in the scroll of life. If those whose names were not found in the scroll of life were condemned and consigned to the lake of fire, this implies there were some whose names were found who shall be justified and enter the eternal state. Would all those who,lived in the Millennium unrepentant sinners? After this judgement shall be the eternal state. So, chronologically, the Scroll Of Revelation ends with the White Throne judgment. Revelation 21,22 record events in the early part of the millennial reign of Christ.

For more in-depth treatment, see my article, “The Millennium.” Link:https://mtzionheritage.com/The-millennium/.

The Eternal State: Eternities Future

After the White Throne Judgment is life in which God, redeemed humanity, and the holy angels are in holy communion and embrace in eternal bliss, whilst Satan, his fallen angels and condemned humanity burn in the Lake of Fire and Sulphur for ever and ever.

Abraham Shallom.

Dr. Jeminusi is preparing a PowerPoint presentation based on this concise outline. When ready, it will be posted on this blog site. I encourage our readers to make their own PowerPoint presentation from this outline. It will be suitable for home Bible Study, group Bible Study or quick discussion with friends over popcorn and ice cream. A section of it it can be taken and quickly trashed out in brief during a break. Be sure to download or reproduce the featured graphic to provide visuals. From laptop, tablet, or smart phone, the featured image can be projected on TV in the living room. There would be no need for projector and screen. We must all work together to get this message to the body of Christ before it is too late. Time cometh when no man shall work. When the night is come, the time of work will be done away. Therefore, let us do the work of Him that called us while it is day( Jon.9:4).

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE
 
 This article stems from the pretribulation claim that the Church is no longer mentioned after Revelation chapter 3 until Revelation chapter 19, notwithstanding the continued presence of believers, saints, martyrs, and those who continue to bear witness to Jesus during the persecution and the tribulation of the revealed beast. What could account for the narration in the book of Revelation shifting from the Churches to individual believers at the time of the End? Could it be for these reasons?

(1) A splintered Church. We have the Roman Catholic Church, Greek Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Protestant Church, Anglican Church, African Church, and several others including Evangelicals. How will Jesus relate with a divided Church ?

(2) The Church today has become part of the Establishment World that is in emnity with God. Even, we that are called born again Evangelicals are now part of the United States Establishment helping to swing elections and frame policy. Any wonder the word Church takes a back seat in the middle chapters of the book of Revelation when the Beasts are on the world stage. Some of the Churches have become part of the popular culture engaging in worldly music and entertainment. It is beneficial for the Church to have political, cultural, and social influences: we are the salt of the Earth, but we Evangelicals, especially in the US, should know when to cease the romance lest we lose our savor ( Matt.513 ).

(3) In these latter days Church has come to mean various other things other than the body of Christ. It means a building, a religious service; I am going to church, it means a sect, which church do you attend? A denomination and a religion, I am a church goer.

(4) To rub it in we have a church of satan established sometime in 1971. Yes Satan is doing what it does best copying God’s finished works . All these reasons point to a loss of a reverence for the mystic word Church. Any wonder it is downplayed until the recongregation in heaven in Revelation 19 verse 7 at the marriage with Jesus. World religions including establishment christianity would be part of those preparing ground for the beast system. They will lead people to error by coercing the whole congregation along the path of apostasy. A hallmark of these churches is their disdain for eschatology and the teaching that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation. Any wonder that in these days our lord Jesus deals with individuals in church and not “church.”

Revelation 18 verse 4 seems to confirm this. Our Lord of lords speaks out and ask his peoples to come out of the Harlot system that consist of the great harlot and the daughters she spawned even though the true church is no longer here on Earth at this time and the Jewish remnants who have not taken the mark of the Beast are in protective custody in Azel. He is most probably referring to Gentiles who have not become part of the world religious system by refusal of the mark of the Beast and belief in the Messiah. The Bible uses her to describe an institution that has deep links and connection to politics and commerce. It holds great sway over peoples, nations, and tongues, and is in accord with kings, statesmen and kings of commerce, merchants of the wares of the apostate church called Babylon. What and who is this institution ? Better I leave this for more knowledgeable people like brother Avraham to discuss for another day. Suffice to say it seems to be a worldwide religious system that might have its roots in the very early mother and child religion that spawned many other religions and probably is still influential in modern day religions. Knowledge of these dynamics is helpful in the end times so we do not remain ignorant of spiritual forces that are linked to politics, commerce, and religion.

I am not writing to diminish the body of Christ the true Church. God forbid. I am writing to sensitize believers towards last days dynamics that might shift from establishment churches to individuals in the body of Christ, the true Church. The Church in these times will be buffeted from within and without and we must know when to heed the call to come out of her. Letters to the seven churches also contain admonitions to individuals and some very serious warnings.

Olugbenga Jaiyesimi.

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 5 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 5 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 5 )

( i ) Incapacitaion Of The antiChrist.

It is biblically unjustified for anyone to teach that after the rapture, the antiChrist will arise to persecute those left behind. Shortly before the rapture, the antiChrist will be paralyzed, masterly inactivated by the cosmic disturbances and the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. The only two things he will be permitted to do will be to kill the two witnesses at the expiry of their ministry at the end of the 70th week and to gather his armies for destruction 30 days later at the battle of Armageddon.

“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.  And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.  And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.  And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.  And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.  And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly” ( Rev.11:7-14 ). ” And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” ( Rev.16:16 ).” 

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.  And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” ( Rev.19:17‭-‬21 ).

Up until now, the restrainer is the one that hinders the antiChrist from manifesting. And the restrainer is archangel Michael according Dan.12: 1,2. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” ( 2 Thess.2:7-12‬ ‭). 

After the removal of the restrainer, the antiChrist will manifest and persecute the saints during the Great Tribulation. But as soon as the Lord appears in the heavens, he is masterły incapacitated. What follows is the Day Of The Lord. The antiChrist cannot persecute the saints in the Day Of The Lord because they are no longer here, and again he is incapacitated by the terrestrial and celestial disturbances. In that Day, only the Lord is exalted. In that Day the haughtiness of men and the loftiness man shall be bowed down. In that Day, men shall throw away their idols, the demonized images of the Beast which they have made for themselves to worship in their homes, offices and cars, being instructed by the enforcer, the second Beast, also called the false prophet ( Rev.13:14 ), to the moles and the bats to hide in the rocks and mountains from the glory of the Lord and his majesty when He arises to shake terribly the Earth ( Is.2:8-18 ).

( j ) The antiChrist Cannot Persecute The Believers After The Rapture

The reason why the antiChrist cannot persecuted the saints after the rapture is two fold. Firstly, there are no saints to persecute. The believers have been raptured, taken to heaven. Anyone in the Church who is unbranded with the Mark Of The Beast and left behind is not a true believer in Jesus Christ. The one has been a false believer all along. The 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel are sealed for protection and hidden in the modern day red rose city of Petra which is biblical Sela, a very difficult terrain to access. In New Testament times, it was called Pella. It is in the Edomite wilderness which is in modern day Jordan ( Rev.7:1-8 ). Even during the outpouring of the bowls, the newly saved remnant of Israel are hidden in Azel ( Zech.14:5 ). No one knows the location of Azel. It is an undisclosed location being unmentioned in biblical times either in the land of Israel or anywhere else in biblical history and geography.

Secondly, the antiChrist will be masterly inactivated by the cosmic and celestial disturbances ( Rev.6:12-14; Matt.24:39-30 ), and by the  brightness of Christ’s Coming ( 2 Thess.2:8 ). The only two groups of people left on Earth unprotected at that time will be branded followers of the antiChrist, both Jews and Gentiles who will be the majority, and unbranded Gentiles and Jews, the minority. We come to this understanding through the process of elimination. Remember that during the first part of the wrath of God, the trumpet judgments ( Rev.8,9 ), all the inhabitants of the Earth are targeted including the surviving unbranded remnants of Israel. This is to purify them. Only one-third of the Jewish population which enter the 70th week of Daniel will survive ( Zech.13:8 ). Every Jew who survived the 70th week unbranded will be automatically saved because Israel have been purged, purified, and cleansed by the Great Tribulation,  the Time of Jacob’s trouble ( Jer.30:7 ), and her  sin atoned for. Because by the end of the 70th week, her transgression is finished, her sin ended, and reconciliation made for her iniquity ( Dan.9:24 ). And then they will look upon Him whom they pierced and mournful Him as one mourneth for his only son when they see that their Messiah has nail pierced hands.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.  In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo.  And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;  All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” ( Zech.12:10‭-‬14 ).

The only ones exempted from the trumpet judgment are the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel ( Rev.7:1-8 ). The branded followers of the antiChrist will be the object of God’s wrath in the bowls, being specifically targeted ( Rev.16,17,18,19 ). The unbranded Gentile unbelievers will not be specifically targeted in the bowl judgments. Any hurt they incur will be collateral damage. By the way, it is the unbranded Gentiles who survive the wrath of God that will appear at the sheep and goat judgment ( Matt.35:31-46 ).  The sheep will be justified to repopulate the Earth in the Millennium alongside the saved remnant of Israel ( Rom.11:25 26 ). The goats will be executed and banished to Hell. We can see the enormity of the teaching that some believers will be left behind after the rapture to face the antiChrist. There are no two Great Tribulations, but one which occurs beginning from the midpoint of the 70th week before the rapture of the Church. After the rapture is the wrath of God which is contained in the seventh seal. The breaking of the seventh seal which occurs on the same day the Church is raptured opens into the wrath of God consisting of the 7 trumpets and 7 bowls. 

( k ) Pretrib Rapture: Harvest before Maturation

In the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus is the Master who showed the good seed ( Matt.13:37 ). The good seed are the children of the kingdom ( 38a ). The tares are the children of the wicked one ( 38b ). The wicked one is the Devil ( 39a ). Because in the early stages of growth, the tares look like the real wheat, it will be virtually impossible for the angelic reapers to separate the tares from the wheat ( 29 ). Therefore they must be allowed to grow together until maturation when the tares are clearly distinguishable from the real wheat ( 30 ). When they are ripe, the farmer harvests the tares first, bundles them into heaps at the edges of the farm to be burned later after the harvest of the real wheat ( 42 ). Jesus makes it clear the harvest is the end of the ages, and the reapers are the angels ( 39b ). As we have shown, the end of the ages occurs after the Great Tribulation and the terrestrial and celestial disturbances which interrupt the Great Tribulation. The wheat and the tares come to maturation during the Great Tribulation when the tares are marked for destruction with the mark of the Beast during the day of the Lord. Without the Great Tribulation, the angelic reapers cannot distinguish the tares from the wheat. The tares will be burned in the day of the Lord which occurs at the end of the ages. This is the message of the third angel: “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” ( Rev.14:9-12‬ ‭).

There is no separation before the Great Tribulation. As a matter of fact, the purpose of the Great Tribulation is to separate the wheat from the tares in order to enable the angelic reapers to conduct the harvest of the real wheat. When the marking of the tares is complete during the Great Tribulation, and the full complement of the saints to be martyred is reached, God cuts short the Great Tribulation with the sign given in the Sun, Moon, and Stars. Then the Shekinah appears in the heavens as Jesus descends to the sky from the Heaven with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. The angelic reapers can now do their job of reaping the real wheat, the true believers who not only believe in Jesus but have not the mark of the Beast. This is the Prewrath Rapture Of The Church. Thereafter, the wrath of God begins in the Day Of The Lord at The End Of The Ages which corresponds with the breaking of the seventh seal. This same sequence of events occurs in Rev.14. The third angel announces the wrath of God on those with the mark of the Beast. This is followed by the final harvest in two stages. First the real wheat are harvested into the barn ( Rev.14:14-16 ). This is followed by the second harvest which is the wrath of God on the unrighteous wicked ( Rev.14:17-20 ). It ends in a bloodbath at Armageddon. The height of blood reaches up to the horse bridle, about 1.5 meters, and covers a distance of about 188 kilometers. The Armageddon Campaign begins in the vicinity of Jerusalem with the remnants of the armies of the nations surrounding Israel who are part of the Eight Beast Empire involved in the Jehoshaphat Campaign which occurs shortly before the amputation of the Great Tribulation, and ends in a final bloodbath involving the armies of all the nations of the Earth on Mount Megiddo in the valley of Esdraelon approximately 188 km north of Israel.

The Pretrib Rapture Position teaches harvest before maturation which Jesus says is impossible in both the parables of the ten virgins and the wheat and the tares. The Prewrath Rapture Of The Church is in consonance with the clear unforced interpretation of the parable of the Ten Virgins And The Wheat And The Tares. Jesus interpreted these parables Himself. We have added nothing to His interpretations of the parables. We have simply analyzed His interpretations and applied it to the eschatological timeline. The result is obvious to any honest exegete of the word of God. For further clarification see my article on the parable of the wheat and the tares, https://mtzionheritage.com/the-parable-of-the-wheat-and-the-tares/.

Avraham Shallom.

Reaction To The Debate Between Dr. Tommy Ice And Alan Kurschner Titled: The Church Will Face The AntiChrist Before The Rapture ( 2 )

Reaction To The Debate Between Dr. Tommy Ice And Alan Kurschner Titled: The Church Will Face The AntiChrist Before The Rapture ( 2 )

Reaction To The Debate Between Dr. Tommy Ice And Alan Kurschner Titled: The Church Will Face The AntiChrist Before The Rapture ( 2 )

In my earlier response to the debate as to whether the Church will face the Antichrist ( AC ), I reacted to only two positions of the Pretribs ( PT ) as championed by Dr. Tomas Ice. Link: https://mtzionheritage.com/reaction-to-the-debate-between-dr-tommy-Ice-and-alan-kurschner-titled-the-church-will-face-the-antichrist-before-the-rapture/.

Our brother Dr. Avraham Shallom has on many occasions discussed many PT assertions on this blogsite. I will give a number of interpretations of scriptures that emanate from Dr. Tommy Ice’s nonscriptural interpretations but classical dispensational construct as seen in the debate.

( 1 ) Keeping Us From The Hour Of Testing ( Rev.3:10 )

Dr. Tommy Ice and other PTs have taken non-eschatological scriptures and used them to position the rapture before the AC appears on the world stage. An example is the letter to the Philadelphian Church in Rev.3:10 which says believers shall be kept from the hour of testing that will come upon all earth-dwellers. But Jesus our Lord specifically said in John 17:15 that He is not going to take belivers out of the world in order for them to escape Satan’s persecution, but that He will keep us from the evil one while we remain in the world. This promise is reiterated in Rev.3:10. Their insistence on their position that “keep from” infers rapture leads to a contradiction of scriptures.

Also in saying that the Olivet Discourse is for the left behind Jews, they negate Jesus’ saying to Peter ( cephas ), “….upon this revelation to Peter- the Rock, will I build My Church.” The Olivet Discourse is revelation for the Church as much as observing the Last Supper is for the Church. No dichotomy in audience as introduced by Pretribbers’ dispensational interpretation.

( 2 ) A 3-Stage Return Of Jesus

Again, the return of Christ as narrated by the scriptures is one continuous event. But the Pretribs say there are two stages. If we follow their line of argument, there will be indeed three stages.

The first is their unreported rapture of the saints somewhere before Matt.24:31. Then, in Matt.24:31, He is coming for the Jews and gathering them from the four winds in the sky. This is their second coming.

Then touch down as narrated in Matt.25:31. So, we have a 3-stage return of Christ, a consequence of the Pretrib position for rejecting Matt.24:31 as the rapture of the Church.

( 3 ) The Elect

Another interesting misinterpretation of the scripture concerns the word elect used by our Lord in Matt.24:22. Here our Lord promised the abortion of the Great Tribulation for the sake and survival of the elect facing persecution by the AC. This scripture from the Master Himself answers the debate question- will the Church face the Antichrist before the rapture? Need we say anymore? Dr. Tommy Ice says by “elect” Jesus was referring to the Jews and not the Church. To defend this interesting view, he deploys Rom.11:7. Unfortunately for his position this verse confirms that the “elect” are those saved by grace, the very Church itself.

True, the word elect was used for Israel in Isa.45:4, but on Israel’s national rejection of Jesus, the word is now used to describe those who accept Jesus as there Lord and Saviour, both Jews and gentiles. The word now stands for those chosen by grace-that is the Church.

( 4 ) Apostasy

Dr. Tommy Ice wants us to change the meaning of the word apostasy as used in 2 Thess.2 so as to fit into the PT positioning of the rapture. It now means departure into heaven-a spatial departure, not a departure from the faith, the great falling away. With this new interpretation the whole of 2 Thess.2:3-10 reads something like this “…… our gathering together ( rapture ) will not happen until two events take place; “The spatial departure ( rapture ), and the appearing of the son of perdition in the temple….” Thus saying “The rapture will not take place until the rapture takes place…” What incoherence! All to prop up a lie and deception.

( 5 ) Tribulation saints ( TS )

This is a phrase coined and introduced by Pretribs to address Rev.7:11, a description not used by the Apostles including John the revelator. The consequence of using this new appellation is that there are now two sets of saints.

( 1 ) The raptured saints ( 1st class );

( 2 ) The Tribulation saints ( 2nd class ), who did not make the PT perceived rapture being unworthy believers, and had to overcome the Great Tribulation.

Unfortunately, the answer to the question the angel posed to John Rev.7: is NOT “these are Tribulation Saints,” but “… these are the ONES who came out of the Great Tribulation.

A word of advice for the Pretribs. Please read Rev.22. It says we are not to add to or deduct words from what was revealed to John. The phrase Tribulation saints does not appear in the Book of Revelation nor anywhere else in the Bible for that matter. Stop using it.

( 6 ) Sea Of Glass As Raptured Saints

These absurdities continue. A new one, not from Dr. Tommy Ice, in response to why the raptured Church is not seen in the heavenly Throne Room in the heavenly scene in Rev.4,5 when Apostle John the revelator was called up to heaven where he saw the 24 elders ( some say they represent the Church ), and the 4 winged creatures, if the rapture took place in Rev.4:1. Some pretribs say the sea of glass before the throne in heaven is the raptured Church. From these assumptions, we see the inconsistency of the proponents of the Pretrib rapture position having to borrow scriptures and twists their meaning to suit their Pretrib rapture position. Note, we all agree there is going to be rapture, but the question is WHEN? Before or after the Great Tribulation, meaning also, before or after the appearance of the Antichrist on the world stage.

This is unlike the Prewrath rapture position espoused by Alan E. Kurschner which rests on the sayings of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, in Matt.24:29, and 2 Thess.2:1-3 respectively. In support of these two scriptures, we are able to draw from the following scriptures in the Book of Revelation that says the Antichrist and his false prophet tortured and martyred the saints who were alive during the Great Tribulation ( Rev.6:9, 7:14, 13:7, 15:2, 17:6 ). They were never described as “Tribulation saints”to distinguish them from the “Raptured Saints” of the Pretribs.

Prewrathers never go out of the scriptures to say the Church will still be very much around to face the Antichrist and endure to the end, be it death or rapture, the final onslaught of Satan against the Church of God. This is unlike Pretribs who have to allegorize scripture verses and use both dispensational theology and convoluted reasoning to support their submission that the Church would have been raptured before the Antichrist’s Great Tribulation.

Consequences

We see that believers are largely entrenched in their Pretrib position. This is foretold by our Lord Jesus the Christ that at the end of times, a spirit of deception will be in the air. Four times in the Olivet Discourse, He warned, “…. do not be deceived….” so also did the Holy Spirit warn us in 2 Thessalonians that we should not be deceived. The apostasia confirms that some believers will depart from the faith in Christ Jesus. This means that there is hardly room for sitting on the fence for the last generation of the saints.

How do confused believers or all believers deal with this? Interestingly, the Lord Jesus our God anticipated this scenario and gave us the parable of the ten virgins- Matt.25, placed right between Matt.24:31 and 25:31. Which of the two positions represent wise virgins? This I leave to each one of us to meditate through and determine how they prepare with the help of the Holy Spirit for our Lord’s return.

Dr. Olugbenga Jaiyesimi.

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 4 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 4 )

My Objections To A Brother Whose View On The Rapture Is Pretribulational ( 4 )

( e ) The Great Tribulation

Pretribs designate the second half of the 70th week the Great Tribulation. This designation flies in the face of Scriptures. The Scriptures make it clear that the Great Tribulation does not last the whole length of the second half of the 70th week which is the three and one-half years allotted to the antiChrist to reign because the Great Tribulation is cut short by the cosmic and celestial disturbances associated with the sixth seal. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” ( Matt.24:22‬ ‭). At the breaking of the sixth seal, the Sun, Moon, and Stars are darkened, thusly throwing the Earth and the starry Heavens into utter darkness and cold which make it impossible for the antiChrist and his acolytes to continue their killing spree. “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” ( Rev.6:12-14‬ ). This heavenly phenomenon frightens the unrighteous wicked out of their pants. They take to the rocks and the mountains to seek non-existent refuge. The dark and frozen Earth, the earthquakes, with meteorites, comets, and asteroids flying across the sky to the Earth make it impossible for the antiMessiah and his acolytes to continue their persecution of the saints. “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; 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: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” ( Rev.6:15-17‬ ‭). This is how the Great Tribulation is amputated.

The essence of the amputation of The Great Tribulation is to save some saints alive for rapture because some saints of the last generation that shall enter the 70th week of Daniel to experience the horrors of the Great Tribulation shall be raptured alive ( translated ) without passage through the intermediate process of death. If the Great Tribulation is not cut short, no believing flesh will be saved alive. The Great Tribulation must be distinguished from the Day Of The Lord which also begins in the second half of the 70th week at the breaking of the seventh seal. The Great Tribulation is not the same as the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord. The wrath of God consists of the seven trumpets and seven bowls. The seventh trumpet opens into the seven bowls just as the seventh seal opens into the seven trumpets. The first six trumpets occur within the second half of the 70th week of Daniel abutting on the end of the 70th week with the death of the two witnesses. Therefore, the Great Tribulation must be distinguished from the eschatological Day Of The Lord. Pretribs do not make any distinction between the Great Tribulation and the eschatological Day Of The Lord, just as much as they do not make any distinction between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan ( Rev.6:17; 12:12 ).

( f ) The Seals, Trumpets, And Bowls

The occurrence of the seals, trumpets, and bowls are consecutive and progressive. They are not simultaneous or coincident, except for the fourth and fifth seals. The fifth seal being a heavenly event is superimposed on the fourth. The fifth seal is a heavenly reflection of the killings going on under the fourth seal. There are no overlaps between the seals, trumpets, and bowls. There is an interlude between the end of sixth seal and the breaking of the seventh to enable certain events to transpire. The length of this interlude is not specified. These events are the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens which dispels the darkness and frigidity precipitated by the breaking of the sixth seal, the sealing of the 144,000, and the rapture of the dead saints and the translation of the living saints. The same day the saints are raptured, the seventh seal is broken, and the wrath of God begins. This interlude is represented by the Rev.7. Rev.6.17 is the end of the cosmic disturbances associated with the breaking of the sixth seal. Rev.8:1 marks the breaking of the seventh seal which inaugurates the day of the Lord in Rev.8,9.

There is also an interlude between the end of the sixth trumpet ( Rev.9:21 ) and the sounding of the seventh ( Rev.10:7 ). Unlike the length of the interlude between the sixth and the seventh seals which is not specified, the length of this interlude is about seven days. This is the first seven days of the 30-day Reclamation period which follows the end of the second three and one-half years of the 70th week of Daniel. “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” ( Dan.12:11‬ ‭). This interlude enables certain events to occur between the end of the sixth trumpet and the sounding of the seventh. Within this interlude of seven days, the two witnesses are killed on the first day and raised on the fourth ( Rev.11:1-13 ), and the surviving remnants of Israel are reconciled to the God of Israel on the third day. “Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” ( Hosea‬ ‭6:1-3‬ ‭). Shortly before the blowing of the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God is finished, and His spiritual kingdom complete as the surviving remnants of Israel are brought in. On the fifth day, God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth. “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” ( Rev.10:7‬ ).

On the sixth day, the surviving Jewish remnants which includes the 144,000 are sent into protective custody in Azel. “And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” ( Zech.14:5‬ ). On the seventh day, the final seven bowl judgments begin to be poured out by the seven avenging angelic reapers on the unrighteous wicked who bear the mark of the Beast ( Rev.16:1 ).

Anyone who has read the works of the pretribs would quickly notice, they make no distinction between the wrath of Satan and the wrath of God. The seals, trumpets, and bowls are treated as concurrent. But there is a distinction between the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan. The first five seals have nothing to do with the wrath of God. Until the breaking of the sixth seal associated with the cosmic and celestial disturbances which interrupt the Great Tribulation, the wrath of God is not in view. The wrath of God begins with the breaking of the seventh seal.

( h ) The Day Of The Lord

The pretribs conflate the day of the Lord with the whole length of the end time including the Millennium. This is absurd. How could the Day Of The Lord possibly include the Millennium when it is clearly stated in the Scripture that the Day Of The Lord is darkness, not light. “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” ( Amos‬ ‭5:18-20‬ ‭). Here the prophet Amos upbraided the Jews who rejected the Mark of the Beast, who believe in the Messiah of Israel, but do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, who are in expectation of the Day Of The Lord as a day of deliverance for the whole house of Israel, who are ignorant of the fact that the remnant Of Israel who survive the Great Tribulation without the mark of the Beast must be purified and broken in spirit by going through the first six trumpet judgments in order to accept Jesus as their Messiah who has nail pierced hands.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” ( Zech.12:10-14‬ ‭).

After they accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, they shall be taken into protective custody in Azel while the remaining wrath of God in the seven bowls is meted out on the Beast marked unrighteous wicked. “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” ( Zech.14:3-5‬ ‭).

We have unequivocally proven from the Scriptures that the day of the Lord is synonymous with the day of His wrath, and that it does not start at the commencement the 70th week of Daniel, neither does it encompass the whole length of the second half of the 70th week. We have also shown that the wrath of God must be distinguished from the wrath of Satan, and that the Great Tribulation which is the Great Wrath Of Satan does not cover the whole length of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel which is three and one half years in duration. Both the Great Tribulation and the day of the Lord occur within the second half of the 70th week of Daniel with the later extending to the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period. The major part of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel is taken over by the wrath of God. For example, the fifth trumpet alone lasts as long as five months ( Rev.9:10 ). The sixth trumpet may even be longer. We have also shown that the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord is contained in the seventh seal which is broken the very same day the saints are raptured. It opens into the seven trumpets. The seventh trumpet opens into the seven bowls. The first six trumpets occur within the remaining part of the second half of the 70th week which ends with the death of the two witnesses whose ministry runs concurrent with the time period allotted to the reign of the antiChrist. The period of the reign of the antiChrist is not the same as the Great Tribulation, although the Great Tribulation occurs within it. Although the antiChrist is incapacitated by the terrestrial and celestial disturbances associated with the breaking of the sixth seal, he does not totally lose power and authority and the seat of his government which is the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem until defeated at Armageddon.

The day of the Lord which begins with the breaking of the seventh seal during the second half of the 70th week ends at Armageddon 30 days after the expiration of the 70th week of Daniel. The extra 45 days that follows the battle of Armageddon is solely for the renovation of the Earth damaged by the wicked reign of the antiChrist and the fires of the wrath of God on the unrighteous wicked, the final ingathering of the Jewish exiles in Diaspora, and the Sheep And Goat Judgment of the Gentiles survivors of the Day Of The Lord Wrath ( Matt.25:31-46 ), preparatory to The Millennial reign of Christ and the resurrected saints in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies.

Avraham Shallom

Will The Church Be Taken Away Before The antiChrist Appears?

Will The Church Be Taken Away Before The antiChrist Appears?

Will The Church Be Taken Away Before The antiChrist Appears?

RAPTURE!!! WILL THE CHURCH BE TAKEN AWAY BEFORE THE ANTICHRIST APPEARS?
 
This is one of the toughest questions that confront believers in relation to the end-time. Our interpretation of the sequence of end-time events varies widely, and has become a strong point of contention and, at times, division.
 
There are three distinct schools of thought on when the saints will join Jesus in His triumphant entry into the world. These are Pre-tribulation, Mid-tribulation, and Post-tribulation. The Pre-tribulation interpretation says believers will join Him BEFORE the tribulation period starts. Mid-tribulationists posit that this event will occur in the MIDDLE of the tribulation; while Post-tribulationists believe that believers will go through the entire period of tribulation with the unbelieving world. Three totally different concepts – yet all three groups support their interpretation with copious reference to Scriptures! 

So, which interpretation is correct? The confusion does not even end there. It is also evident in the varied interpretation given to the 1,000-year reign of Christ, commonly called the Millennial Reign (Revelation 20:1-6). Here, again, we have three clearly different viewpoints. We have the Premillennialists that believe Jesus will return to the earth physically to commence the Millennial Reign. We also have Postmillennialists that believe Jesus will not come until the preaching of the Gospel has taken root all over the society, influencing the conduct of humanity towards godliness. Then there are the Amillennialists that say the Millennial Reign is not a literal 1,000 year-period, but just a metaphor for a long period. They believe we are currently in that period, with Christ reigning from heaven and His saints reigning on earth today. Three widely-different interpretations, same Bible.

Before we move on, here is one more area of divergent opinions about the end-time. Many Christians believe that the Antichrist is a human being that will literally rule the world on behalf of Satan. But there is also a huge number of mainstream believers that say the Antichrist is not a person, but a global system that is actively opposed to God and His ways on earth. Both groups cling tenaciously to their positions, supported with Bible passages.

These examples show the quantum of confusion that abounds among believers as we approach the close of the age. This confusion is DEFINITELY not God’s will for His Church! On the contrary, God actually wants us to know His programme for the end-time. We can deduce this from His words in Revelation 22:10 when He instructed Apostle John: “… SEAL NOT the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.” Please contrast this with the instruction given in Daniel 12:9, “Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are CLOSED UP AND SEALED till the time of the end”.
 
So, if God wants us to have a clear understanding of end-time prophecies, why is there so much confusion in our midst? Why has the Book of Revelation become a closed, mysterious, confusing book to us? I’ll suggest an answer to this question in a minute. But, first, let’s look at a related subject.
 
The end-time events that are written in the Scriptures are ENCODED in what we call prophecies. Prophecies are A REVELATION OF THE MIND OF GOD for the future. To have a clear understanding of prophecy is to understand THE MIND OF GOD. The purpose of God. The will of God.
 
A thorough understanding of prophecy is usually a product of INTIMACY WITH GOD. God unveils His mind to those that are close to His heart – usually through revelation. It is revelation that breeds understanding and accurate interpretation of prophecies. Without this revelation that springs directly from God ALONE, man can never fully understand and accurately interpret prophecies by diligent study, scholarship, or permutation. All such attempts will ALWAYS lead to confusion, misinterpretation, and misunderstanding of prophecies.
 
One of the most classic examples of this is found in John 7:52 when the elders of Israel said, “… Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.” Of course, with the benefit of hindsight we all know today that Jesus grew up in Nazareth, Galilee! It was a series of such misunderstanding of prophecies that led the Jewish priests/elders to kill the Messiah the whole nation had been expecting for thousands of years! This is despite the fact that they had hundreds of both direct and veiled prophecies about Him! This is how dangerous it could be to mis-interpret prophecies. Wrong interpretation may lead to wrong expectations and wrong outcomes.
 
To take this a step further, we’ll recall that it was not until AFTER the death and resurrection of Christ that His disciples FULLY UNDERSTOOD most of the prophecies about Him. After He had come and gone! This is how delicate prophecies can be, requiring great humility for revelation, for understanding. An understanding that flows from intimacy with God.
 
Collectively, it is this intimacy with God that our generation of believers lack today. We have lost the true essence of discipleship that separates a believer from the world and binds Him to Christ as a single unit. Our lip-confession of Jesus has deepened in this generation, while our FOLLOWERSHIP of Him has become more shallow and superficial. We are just like our Laodicean brethren – poor, wretched, naked, blind, and miserable (Revelation 3:17).
 
Yet, in spite of our spiritual condition, we want to understand prophecy! We want to understand the mind and programme of God for this MOST SIGNIFICANT period in human history. It won’t work! God is not mocked. Spiritual understanding is a product of intimacy and submission, not a fruit of religious curiosity.
 
When we truly understand this point, humility will set in. And this humility will cause us to re-order our priorities. Will cause us to place A PREMIUM VALUE on focussing on deepening our intimacy with God through Jesus Christ. As this happens, and grows, prophecies that appear to be veiled will begin to speak to us clearly. Then shall we truly understand God’s mind for this end-time.
 
Until that time, our conflicting interpretation of end-time prophecies will remain a religious speculation that raises more questions than it answers. For example, our brethren that postulate that GENUINE believers will be on earth during the reign of the Antichrist may be overlooking the significance of the EXTREME HORROR of that period. It is the FULNESS OF THE HOUR OF DARKNESS. The hour of Satan. The culmination of all his endeavour on earth. The zenith of his kingdom, and of his reign over the people that have chosen him instead of Christ.
 
Definitely, believers did not sign up for the fullness of this evil kingdom. And it is doubtful that God will inflict it upon His ransomed Church. For this period is also a period of the expression of the fullness of God’s wrath against a rebellious world. An aspect of the wrath that Jesus came to save believers from.
 
Furthermore, the Bible makes it clear that the coming of the Lord will catch both the world AND lukewarm believers like a thief in the night. The suddenness of His arrival is a fundamental hallmark of His coming. This is why the Bible repeatedly urges believers to be ready AT ALL TIMES for His arrival. This warning would have been totally unnecessary if believers would be in the world during the reign of the Antichrist. For once the Antichrist arrives, it will be clear to all that the return of Jesus will be just around the corner. The surprise element that the Bible emphasises about His return will be largely gone!
 
These and similar points cast a shadow on both the Post-tribulation and Mid-tribulation interpretations. But even the Pre-tribulation position, as plausible as it may sound, also has quite a number of significant sticky points in its interpretation.
 
In reality, the sequence of events in the end-time may actually be a combination of some elements of the three interpretations, or it may also be totally different from what we think. Only God knows the truth 100%. And as we focus our minds on becoming more intimate with Him, He’ll tell us what He wants us to know, when He wants us to know it.
 
Thus, it is NOT the understanding of the sequence of events that really matters – but our intimacy with the Organiser of the sequence of events. He has told us the MOST IMPORTANT thing about the sequence – and it is this: BE READY AT ALL TIMES.
 
If we follow this simple, clear instruction that requires no interpretation, we’ll be absolutely fine!!! For if we are TRULY READY and waiting for Him, He’ll take us to Himself as He said. It will NOT matter if this is before the tribulation, in the middle of it, or even after it. The important thing is to be ready for ALL EVENTUALITIES.
 
As we prioritise this earnest pursuit of intimacy with God, who knows what could happen? Indeed, it may please the Lord to open our understanding of the prophecies and give us clarity. Or, He may choose to keep our hearts and mind focussed on the majestic King that could descend in glory AT ANY TIME. The King that we are eagerly awaiting.
 
“Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40). Key words – ‘at an hour when ye think not’.
 
May His imminent arrival, like a thief in the night, be the culmination of our blessed hope of His reign of peace and love. May we be in the number that will reign with Him in glory. Amen.
 
Thanks for reading, God bless you.

The above is an anonymous WhatsApp post that found its way to our WhatsApp group. Below is my critique and rebuttal of this anonymous post.

“Will the Church be taken away before the antiChrist appears?” The author says this is the toughest question that confronts believers in relation to the end time. This is an assumption by the author because the Scriptures are clear the Church will be here during part of the reign of the antiChrist. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” ( 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:3‬ ). Our brother Apostle Paul makes it clear in his second Epistle to the Thesssalonians that That Day, that is the day in which the rapture will occur will not come until two events occur, vix, ( 1 ) the revelation of the man of sin and ( 2 ) the apostasy or the falling away from the Faith. The falling away from the faith will be precipitated by the unveiling of the antiChrist in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. This event occurs precisely in the middle of the 70th week. Our Lord Jesus the Christ in His Olivet Discourse also told His disciples that His Coming ( parousia ) to gather His elect will occur after the Tribulation of those days. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” ( Matthew‬ ‭24:29-31‬ ‭).

The same Apostle Paul told us in his first Epistle to the Corinthians that our gathering together unto the Lord will occur when Christ descends from heaven with the trump of God and the voice of the archangel. “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” ‭‭( 1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:51-52‬ ‭). The other classical rapture passage in 1 Thess.4:14-18 tells us also that the rapture will happen when Christ descends from heaven with the voice of the archangel. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 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. 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: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” The Coming of the Lord to evacuate the saints from siege occurs after the unveiling of the antiChrist and the amputation of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist with cosmic disturbances. In The mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established ( 2 Cor.13:1 ) . So, how is this the toughest question when the Scriptures have given us the answer? The confusion concerning the timing of the rapture is created by the Devil and his gang to obfuscate the minds of those who are ignorant of the Scriptures.

The author says, “ our interpretation of the sequence of events varies widely, and has become a strong point of contention and, at times, division.” This observation is true, but it arises majorly out of ignorance of the Scriptures, and the presence of the agents of Satan who are hell bent on causing divisions, fractions, and shims amongst us.

The author talks about three views of the rapture. I do not know when this piece was written. However, it could not have been over 20 years ago. There are now about five views of the rapture: Pretrib, Midtrib, Posttrib, Prewrath, and the Partial rapture theory. The latest of them is the Prewrath Rapture Position which was proposed jointly by Robert Van Campen and Marvin J. Rosenthal in 1990 when Marvin J.Rosenthal first published his book, “The Pre-wrath Rapture Of The Church.” Yes, they are all totally different concepts. The proponents try to support them with Scriptures. However, some of these Scriptures are taken out of context or totally misinterpreted.

The author went about to liken the confusion about the timing of the rapture to the varied meillennial views. Amillennialism and postmillennialism have been discredited both by the Scriptures as well as history. There are very few theologians and biblical scholars that hold these views today. By far the largest view of the rapture in the Church is Pretrib. All pretribs are premeillennialists as are all midtribs, posttribs, prewrathers, and partial rapture theorists. It is not possible to hold any of these views and be amillennialist or postmillennialist. Anyone who holds any of these views, must believe in the literal 1,000-year reign of Christ. The author says, “three widely-different interpretations, same Bible.” The reason is very simple, the God of this age is not asleep.

The author went on to say also that though majority of believers believe in a literal antiChrist, there are some that believe he is just a global system that is antiGod. There is no confusion as to whether the antiChrist is a literal person or not. The Scriptures in so many words state that he is. Let us consider the following Scriptures:

“I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” ( John‬ ‭5:43‬ ‭). Her Jesus told the leaders of the nation of Israel that He has come in Father’s Name, but they did not receive Him. If another comes in his own name, him they will receive. He was referring to the antiChrist. This is a literal person, not some abstract political system. Just as Jesus was a literal person so will the antiChrist be a literal person. This world leader will force Israel to make a peace agreement with its hostile Arab neighbors. “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” ( Daniel‬ ‭9:27‬ ‭). The he that shall make a peace pact with Israel is a literal person not some political system that is antiGod. The prophet Isaiah warned the nation of Israel not to trust in this man whose breath is in his nostrils. “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” ( Isaiah‬ ‭2:22‬ ‭). The antiChrist will be human; his breath is in his nostrils. Although he is also described in the Scriptures in other worldly terms like Sheol ( Hell ), Lies, death, and falsehood, he is nonetheless human. “Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.” ( Isaiah‬ ‭28:14-15, 18‬ ‭).

He is also described as a beast. “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” ( Revelation‬ ‭13:1‬ ‭). This beast shall make war with the saints and overcome them. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” ( Revelation‬ ‭13:7‬ ‭). He has an enforcer, the second Beast also called the false prophet who is also human. “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” ( Revelation‬ ‭13:11-12‬ ).

To be human means that a spirit being lives in mortal body of man and is subject to its limitations. In that case Jesus is human. But we know he is more than human. The antiChrist is also more than human. There are some mysteries about him. He shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition. “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.” ( Revelation‬ ‭17:8‬ ‭). He had lived on Earth before and ruled one of the seven previous Beast Empires of Satan. “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.” ( Revelation‬ ‭17:9-11‬ ‭). He shall arise out of the bottomless pit to rule over the Eighth And Final Beast Empire of Satan. He is the beast that was and is not, and shall rise out of the bottomless pit. He shall go into perdition, that is return to the bottomless pit.

He shall sit in the Temple Of God displaying himself as God. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” ( 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:3-4‬ ‭). This is not a system but a person. He is the man of sin. His coming is after the working of Satan with signs and lying wonders. The antiChrist will perform miracles, signs and wonders in order to try to authenticate his claim to messiahship and deceive the true believers. “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” ( 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭2:6-10‬ ‭). He is the wicked one who shall be unveiled in the Temple of God. For further elucidation on the person of the antiChrist, see my article “the antiChrist.” Link: https://mtzionheritage.com/the-antichrist/. There should be no confusion about the person of the antiChrist except such as are created my men. There are numerous facts in the Scriptures that point to the person of the antiChrist.

The author points out there is quantum of confusion amongst believers with regards to the end times. He rightly also observes and indicates that these confusions are not from God. God is not the author of confusion ( 1 Cor.14:33 ). The confusion is definitely not God’s will for His Church. He rightly also points out that God wants us to know His programme for the end times. God’s word concerning the end times is not sealed ( Rev.22:10 ). It is open to be understood by those who have the Spirit of God. The seven-sealed Scroll in Rev.5 is not the Bible per se. It is the tittle deed of the Earth in the Throne Room Of The Temple Of God in Heaven. It is only Jesus the Son Of God who is the heir apparent to the throne of the earthly domain of God’s Universal Kingdom that has the power and authority to break the seals and open the Scroll ( Rev.5:5,6 ). He will do so in heaven beginning from the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel. For yet a little while, and He that will come will come and will not tarry ( Heb.10:37 ).

He says the events of the end times are encoded in prophecies. This is not exactly true. The OT prophecies concerning end time events are plain except in cases where allegories and metaphors are used. This kind of teaching means that biblical prophecy is only understandable to those who have access to the so called codes. Anyone can study biblical prophecy and come to a fairly good understanding of it. There is form, context and setting involved in prophecy. These prophecies are given in a particular culture, context and setting. Studying Jewish culture and language will greatly inform and enhance our understanding of biblical prophecy in the OT and understanding koine Greek will enhance our understanding of NT prophecies. Intimacy with Jesus is very vital as he said. A combination of these two facts are required, biblical scholarship and intimacy with the Holy Spirit who is the best teacher and interpreter of the Scriptures.

Yes, the Jewish elders misunderstood who Jesus is. They were looking for a conquering Messiah, Messiah ben David, not a suffering Messiah, Messiah Ben Joseph. Although Jesus is both, but He did not play both roles at the same time. He had to suffer first, and be rejected of men, both Jews and Gentiles. He made some valid point with regards to the lukewarmness that is prevalent in the Church in our day. However, in every generation there is always a remnant. I believe there is a remnant amongst the saints that are in intimately fellowship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father. Humility is a paramount quality in His presence. It is an exhibit to enter into His presence. All believers have right of passage into His presence. We can avail ourselves of it. Our understanding of the Scriptures is not static but progressive. As we grow in the knowledge of Him, our understanding of Him grows pari passu with our understanding of the prophetic Scriptures.

This author has made a very valid point in our understanding of the prophetic scriptures. But he turned round and appealed to human emotions, fear of suffering and persecution as reasons why the believers will not be here on Earth during the reign of terror by the antiChrist. Does the fact that the Great Tribulation is the fullness of Satan’s evil kingdom exclude believers from his reign of terror. He says, “definitely believers did not sign up for it.” It is written: “he that endure to the end ( of the ages ) shall be saved” ( Matt.10:22 ). And Jesus promised to be with us till the end of the ages ( Matt.28:20 ). The end of the ages is the point at which Christ begins to bring to an end the rule of Satan over the earthly domain of God’s Universal Kingdom. What is it then that the believers did not sign up for the worst of satanic rule when Christ admonished us that it is those who endure to the end of satanic rule that will be saved? This guy who has given us excellent analysis of what it takes to understand the prophetic Scriptures has turned round and said something that contradicts Christ promise to be with us till the end of Satan’s rule and reign of evil over the Earth. This is deliberate deception. He says God will not inflict Satan’s reign of evil on the Church. Is God responsible for the reign of Satan? Will God be held accountable for the atrocities committed under Satanic rule? Is God responsible for the horrors perpetrated by the antiChrist? He also contradicts himself by superimposing God’s wrath on Satan’s reign of terror. This is a deliberate error for theological convenience by pretribs in order to keep the Church out of the 70th week of Daniel. By the way, who is Satan antagonizing? The saints or his own followers? He says Jesus has come to save us from an aspect of His wrath. This is also half truth. We are not appointed unto God’s wrath ( 1 Thess.1:10, 5:9 ). This guy like all pretribs has not rightly divided the word of God. He has not distinguished the wrath of Satan from the wrath of God ( Rev.12:12 ). They are two different things and mutually exclusive. Satan wrath is directed against the saints of the Most High whilst God’s wrath is directed against Satan and his minions. This is the usual thing amongst Pretrib teachers, confusion of the wrath of Satan with the wrath of God for theological convenience.

He says, “furthermore, the Bible makes it clear that the coming of the Lord will catch both the world and lukewarm believers like a thief in the light.” This is absolutely correct. Then he follows with “the suddenness of His arrival is a fundamental hallmark of His Coming.” Is this correct? In relation to whom? He continues, “this is why the Bible repeatedly urges all believers to be ready at all times for His arrival.” This is also correct, but why? Because any generation of believers may be called upon to enter the 70th week to experience the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. This is expectancy not imminence. He concludes, “this warning would have been totally unnecessary if believers would be in the world during the reign of the antiChrist.” Wrong inference. He infers again that once the antiChrist arrives, it will be clear to all that the return of Jesus is around the corner, and that the surprise element that the Bible emphasizes about His return will be largely gone. Another baldadash. Does the presence of the antiChrist in the world eliminate the surprise element of Christ’s return in relation to the world and lukewarm believers? Is the world expecting the coming Christ? Does knowing the general time period of His Coming mean the same thing as knowing the day and the hour? Even the majority of the believers who are ignorant of the prophetic Scriptures will not recognize the antiChrist until his unveiling in the rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem at the midpoint of the 70th week. For the first three and one-half years of the 70th week, the antiChrist will be veiled. Until he reveals or unveils himself as a dead man come back to life who had ruled over one of the seven previous Beast Empires of Satan, most believers even the Jews who made Covenant Of Peace with him will not recognize him as the antiMessiah. That is why it will be terrifying for them to understand the report.

He says that the points he has marshaled out so far cast shadows on the midtrib and posttrib rapture positions. That’s right. Both are biblically inaccurate though certain elements of them are true. To appear even and fair he acknowledges that even the Pretrib position, as plausible as it may sound in his own estimation, has also quite a number of sticky points in its interpretation. The Pretrib Rapture position as well as midtrib and posttrib are not explicit teaching of the Scriptures. The Bible does not in so many words state any of these. The proof of the Pretrib Rapture Position is logically invalid and unconvincing.

This guy who seems to be so convinced that the Pretrib is the biblical accurate rapture position turns round again and makes a true statement. “In reality, the sequence of events of the end-time may actually be a combination of some elements of the three interpretations, or it may also be totally different from what we think. This is absolute correct. None of these three views are biblically accurate although some elements of them are biblically founded and defensible. The Prewrath Rapture Position which combines these three biblically accurate elements in addition to the missing element in these views is the biblically accurate rapture view. The rapture chair has fours legs as illustrated by Dr. Charles Cooper. Link: http://www.solagroup.org/articles/endtimes/et_0004.html. These legs can be represented by the acronym EDDA.

E: Exemption from from the wrath of God. The Church is exempted from the wrath of God ( 1 Thess.1:10, 5:9 ). This is the only merit that Pretrib has. Unfortunately, it starts the wrath of God from the commencement of the 70th week of Daniel which biblically inaccurate and indefensible. The wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord is preceded by cosmic and celestial disturbances and the coming of Elijah, the herald of Coming ( Joel 2:30-32; Mal.4:5,6 ).

D: Distinction of the wrath of God from the wrath of Satan ( Rev.12:12; 8-9, 16-20 ). Pretrib fails on this count. The other two views, midtrib and posttrib qualify.

D: Distinction of the Great Tribulation from the eschatological Day Of The Lord. Both Pretrib and Midtrib rapture views fail on this count. Posttrib Rapture Position qualifies.

A: Amputation of Great Tribulation. The Great Tribulation will be cut short by the cosmic and celestial disturbances associated with the breaking of the sixth seal. All three views, the Pretrib, the Midtrib, and the Posttrib fail on this count. It is only the Prewrath Rapture Position that qualifies on all four counts. For further elucidation see my article, Rapture Views. Link: https://mtzionheritage.com/rapture-views/.

He continues, “only God knows the truth 100%. And as we focus our minds on becoming more intimate with Him, He’ll tell us what He wants us to know when He wants us to know it.” These statements are true, but applying it to the study of the prophetic Scriptures breeds indolence. We must continue to search the Scriptures, and as we do, our understanding improves. Knowledge is not static but progressive. Again the logos is not subservient to the rhema. The logos is the Gold standard. Whatever we hear must be subjected to the written logos. There is no new revelation to be added to the Scriptures, but we can have better understanding as we study the logos.

Our brother says that it is not the understanding of the sequence of events that really matters- but our intimacy with the organizer of the sequence of events. This is also half truth. Both are important. If the sequence of events were unimportant why did our Lord Jesus teach it His disciples in the Olivet Discourse in Matt.24 and also in the Scroll Of Revelation given to Apostle John on the Island Of Patmos? Why would Jesus repeat this sequence of events in greater details to John the apocalyptist in the Scroll Of Revelation after over sixty years ( 30-96 AD )? It is because it is very important, and of utmost importance to believers who find themselves in the last seven years of this age. There is a simple rule in prioritizing facts of the Bible. If it is spoken once, it is important. If it is repeated twice, it is very important, if is repeated three times or more, it is of utmost importance. The sequence of events of the end times is of utmost importance being repeated more three times in Matthew, Mark, Luke,First Epistle Of Peter, Paul’s letters to the Thesssalonians, and the Scroll of Revelation. So also our intimacy with our Lord Jesus the Christ. Our intimacy with Christ should lead us to understand the sequence of events of the end times.

Our brother continues his admonition, “ He has told us the Most important thing about the sequence-and it is this: Be ready at all times.” Yes, anyone of us could be called upon of Heaven at any moment to give account of ourselves to God. We should not be foolish like the rich fool who said to himself: l have ample goods laid down for many years. I will say to my soul rejoice. But that very night his life was require of him ( Luk.12:13-21 ). But how can we be ready if we do not know the times and the seasons. Proper understanding of the sequence of events of the end times fuels our preparedness and readiness.

Our brother now commits a very egregious error. He tells us “if we follow this simple, clear instruction that requires no interpretation, we’ll be absolutely fine!!! For if we are truly ready and waiting for Him, He’ll take us to Himself as He said. It will not matter if this is before the tribulation, in the middle of it, or even after it. The important thing is to be ready for all eventualities.” I have heard this mantra several times before from pantribulationists. One told me, just live right, you will be raptured whenever the rapture takes place. They will not tell us the condition under which the rapture will take place. How can a soldier be ready for the battle his commanding officer or general has told him he will not have to fight? Which athlete trains hard for a major tournament in which he will not compete? Which student prepares very hard for an examination his professor has told him he will not have to write at the end of his course? Sports officianados do not win trophies. It is the athletes who train very hard and compete that win gold medals at the Olympic. If for earthly and perishable trophies which are temporal men train so hard, how much more heavenly trophies which are eternal. One pastor refused to sit at one of our meetings. He said he is a preacher of righteousness. All you have to do is to live right, and you will be raptured when the rapture takes place. Sounds pious, doesn’t it? He refuses to study biblical prophecies and teaches his congregants to do the same. Will that day not overtake him and his ilk unawares even though they live right supposedly?

Our brother continues to admonish us to prioritize intimacy with Jesus which is good. He is not sure what will happen. What is the essence of studying biblical prophecy? Is not that we may know what will happen? Is it not that we may know the times and the seasons. If we do not know what will happen, we are then passive observers of time. Christ may open our understanding of the prophecies and give clarity. I know exactly what will happen. He will help us to understand biblical prophecy, more so as we approach the last seven years of this age. We must focus our minds on Jesus. He is the author and finisher of our faith ( Heb.12:2 ). Then he quotes this Scripture, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when he think not ( Luk.12:40 ). Yes, the hour we think not, not the general time period the Scriptures have revealed. This Scripture does not in any way negate the fact that we can know the general time period of His Coming. We may not know the day and the hour ( Matt.24:36 ) but if we are prepared and observant we can see when the fig tree begins to bud ( Matt.24:32-35 ). When the fig tree begins to bud, we know that Summer is near. The fig tree is a sign of approximation. When it begins to bud, we know that Summer is near. When the sequence of events given by Christ in the Olivet Discourse and the Scroll Of Revelation begin to unfold, we know that His parousia draweth nigh. That generation shall not pass away till these things be fulfilled. The generation of believers that shall witness the peace treaty between Israel and the Man of sin, shall enter the 70th week of Daniel to witness the horrors of the Great Tribulation, and be raptured when the Great Tribulation is cut short by the cosmic and celestial disturbances associated with the breaking of the sixth seal.

He concludes with an invocation of His imminent arrival. Will the coming of Christ to rapture the saints be imminent? No. Imminence means no prophesied event needs occur before the rapture can take place. In other words, the rapture will be signless and can occur at any moment. This is a blatant lie. The rapture will be preceded by the Great Tribulation and the cosmic and celestial disturbances that amputate the Great Tribulation ( Matt.24:29-31; Rev.6:12-17, 7:9-17 ).

Summary

The author is one of those smart pretribs. He argues as though he  is for none of the views, trying to find out a mediating position, but at the same time passing off his pretrib position. See how he manipulates th element of suddenness and Christ coming like a thief in the night, but fails woefully to relate it to the unbelievers who are of the night and darkness, not of the light and day, and are drunken and fallen asleep in the night. He failed to show that believers are not of the night and darkness, but of the light and day, and therefore that day cannot come upon us unawares like a thief in the night, which our brother, Apostle Paul made clear in 1 Thess.5:4-6. He failed to show that Christ in the Oliver Discourse pinpoints the time of the rapture to follow the Tribulation of those days. Knowing the general time period is not the same as knowing the exact day and the hour ( Matt.24:36 ). He says if the Church goes through the tribulation, the surprise element will be largely gone. Does the surprise element relate to believers or unbelievers? The element of surprise belongs to the unbelievers. The believers are waiting for the coming of the Lord. The unbelievers are not waiting for the Coming Of The Lord. When the Shekinah appears in the heavens, the believers are told to look up for their redemption draweth nigh ( Lu,.21:28 ). How can such a people be surprised? Therefore, it is the unbelievers that will be surprised, not the believers.

He surreptitious slips in  that the believers did not bargain for the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. This argument appeals to human emotion and fear of torture, suffering and persecution. The fear of suffering and persecution is one of the areas of compromise in the five unfaithful and compromising churches ( Rev.2:19 ). Human foibles and peccadilloes are not the bases of doctrine but sola scriptura ( Scriptures only ). He argues that intellect or rather intellectualism is not enough to understand the End Times prophecies but spirituality and intimacy with Jesus. He scores himself high on this point, all in the bid to convince us his pretrib position is borne out of spirituality and intimacy with Jesus.  However his spiritual arrogance is not hidden to any discerning person. 

The plain sense of Scriptures  always  makes sense except in cases where figures of speech are employed. Allegorizing and spiritualizing will always lead to a confusion of views. So, we should stick to the plain sense of Scriptures. And the rhema must be subject to the logos.

Avraham Shallom.

The Church In The 70th Week

The Church In The 70th Week

The Church In The 70th Week

There are some of our brethren of the pretribulation persuasion who urge us to believe that the Church will not be present here on Earth in the last week of this age. One of the reasons they adduce is the fact that the word church is not used in the Scroll of Revelation after Rev.3:22. They also persuade us to believe that the rapture took place in Rev.4:1. This interpretation is at best tenuous and has no textual support. On the other hand, evidence abound of the presence of the Church in the 70th week of Daniel. The Church is designated in some other ways in the Scroll of Revelation. Admittedly, the word Church is not used in the Scroll of Revelation after the third chapter, evidence abound in the Scroll of Revelation of the presence of the Church in the 70th week of Daniel. The reason why the word Church is not used in the Scroll of Revelation after the third chapter is because God is no longer concerned about nor deals with organized Christendom. God is now concerned and deals with individual believers. There is no such case of so perfect a local assembly in which every member is born again, where there are no agents of darkness. Every local assembly has its bad eggs. A local assembly is perfect to the extent that its leadership is born again, loves the Lord and the congregants, and strives in the word and doctrine, and prayers to ensure doctrinal purity, the spiritual soundness and the wellbeing of the members, instills discipline in the leadership as well as in the congregation.

On three separate occasions, the revelator John is invited to see a revelatory vision ( Rev.4:1; 17:1; 21:9 ). Does it mean therefore that the rapture occurred three times? There is no textual or exegetical basis for the claim that the rapture took place in Rev.4:1. Robert L. Thomas claims the prophesies of Rev.4-19 describe what will happen after the period of the Church Age has run its course. To attempt a divorcement between the Church Age and the events of Rev.4-19, as the pretribulationists do is without biblical justification. This claim is clearly based on bias. There is no textual nor exegetical basis to claim that the Church Age ended in Rev.3:22. There is no passage of Scriptures that makes such explicit claim. The argument that Rev.4-19 does not involve the Church is based on silence. This is called argument from silence.

We have pointed out that evidence abound in the Scroll of Revelation of the presence of the Church in the 70th week. The reference to wife in Rev.19:7 designates the Church. Besides, the Church is designated in some other ways in Rev.4-19. These are every tribe and tongue and people and nation ( 5:8 ); a kingdom of priests ( 5:10 ); fifth seal martyrs ( 6:9 ); a multitude which no man could number ( 7:9;19:5,6 ); bond servants ( 11:18; 19:2,5 ); our brethren ( 12:10 ); the remnant of her children who have the testimony of Jesus Christ ( 12:17 ); and saints ( 13:7,10; 14:12; 8:20,24 ).

The Seven Churches Of Asia

Our Lord Jesus is the author of the Scroll of Revelation. John was His amanuensis. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ ( Rev.1:1 ). It is not a letter by John, but a direct communication from the Lord Jesus to the Christ. The Apostle John was just the scribe. The Greek word translated apocalypse means unveiling. It is the unveiling of Jesus the Christ not the Revelation of John the Divine.

The Scroll of Revelation is a book of eschatology. The English word eschatology is compound word derived from the Greek words eschaton and logi which mean last things. Therefore the letters to the seven churches in Asia Minor have prophetic significance. Were it not so, it would be out of synchrony with the expressed purpose of the Scroll of Revelation which is to unveil our Lord Jesus the Christ in His coming glory.

The seven churches were actual churches that existed at that, in the First Century in Asia Minor. Seven of these churches were chosen out of many other local assemblies in existence at that time. That the problems addressed in these churches applied to these churches at that time is very obvious. That these same problems may also relate to every local assembly at any point in time during the Church Age is equally valid. Although some biblical scholars demur, this is the position of Charles Caldwell Ryrie.

” The seven churches addressed in chapters 2 and 3 were actual churches of John’s day. But they also represent types of churches in all generations. This idea is supported by the fact that only seven were selected out of many that existed and flourished in John’s time and by the statement at the close of each letter that the Spirit was speaking to the churches.” ( vv. 7-11, etc )

Would it be proper to tell the churches in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, China, Northern Nigeria, and Indonesia which are persecuted in the present time that these letters have no relevance to them? I trow not. My submission therefore is that although these were actual local assemblies in existence in John’s day, the doctrinal issues and practical problems addressed in these churches may be applied to any local assembly at any point in time during the Church Age.

There are some biblical scholars that relate these churches to different eras in the Church Age. Gary Cohen gave an overview of these eras. The seven eras are generally given approximately as follows:

Ephesus: The Apostolic Church ( 30-100 AD )
Smyrna: The Persecuted Church ( 100-313 AD )
Pergamum: Th State Church ( 313-590 AD )
Thyatira: The Papal Church ( 590-1517 AD )
Sardis: The Reformed Church ( 1517-1790 AD)
Philadelphia: The Missionary Church ( 1730-1900 AD )
Laodicea: The Apostate Church ( 1900- )

This view, although held by many competent scholars is fraught with some problems. There is nothing in the biblical text that indicates these churches represent seven different eras or stages in church history. It is an assumption, and therefore subjective. Besides, who is to determine the beginning and end of an era inasmuch as church history is not that clear-cut. Which church historian is the authority in these eras, and what dates are we to accept. The designations, Apostolic Church, Persecuted Church, etc are lobe-sided , stilted and tangential, and at best incomplete designations that do not totally conform to the content of these letters to the seven churches.

The proper understanding of the letters to the seven churches is that they have both near and far view applications. The issues raised in those letters referred to the churches in question. They also have a far view application in that they are a projection into the end times. This is a very common phenomenon amongst the prophets of Israel of whom our Lord Jesus The Christ is a perfect example. For example, when Daniel spoke of Antiochus Epiphanes who persecuted the Jews and desecrated the temple in 168 BC ( Dan.11:21-35 ), he also projected into the 70th week, speaking of the antiChrist who shall be the ultimate persecutor of the Jews and the defiler of the rebuilt Jewish temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem ( Dan.11:36-45 ). Our Lord Jesus did the same thing in His Premission Address to His disciples in Matt.10. He told them what to preach, the provisions to take, and the kind of response they would get from the people ( Matt.10:1-15 ). Then He projected without any noted intervention into the 70th week of Daniel to tell them what to preach, and that He will be with them, and the results to expect ( Matt.10:16-42 ).

In like manner, our Lord Jesus who is the author of the Scroll of Revelation chose the seven churches in Rev.2,3, from amongst many others in existence in Asia Minor at that time to speak of the conditions in these local assemblies. As we well know seven is the divine number of perfection and completeness. God knows the end from the beginning. In Revelation, divine revelation and programme for mankind is coming to a consummate end. These seven local assemblies are perfect illustrations also of the full-robed strength and weaknesses of the Church ( organized Christendom) in the 70th week of Daniel. The commonality evidenced by these seven local assemblies presented a platform and springboard to give warnings and admonitions to organized Christendom in the 70th week right up to the end of the Ages which is the point of transition from the present age to the age to come. These seven churches exhibited the same characteristics as organized Christendom in the 70th week of Daniel. Therefore the Apostle John the revelator was called upon to write the things which thou hast seen, the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter ( Rev.1:19 ). Were these letters to be given normative authority in the context of the 70th week, pretribulation rapturism will collapse. Therefore to preserve their pet doctrine, these letters must be denied normative reading in the context of the 70th week. Likewise also, the Olivet Discourse ( Matt.24:42-25:30 ) is denied normative reading and authority in the context of the 70th week, thereby denying the Church the critical warnings and admonitions given to her by the Lord in this most difficult period of her history.

When we consider the status of these churches, certain important facts will emerge. Firstly, there is a promise given in common to all seven churches. If they are overcomers, they will be rewarded. To the church at Ephesus, it is promised, ” To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” ( Rev.2:7 ). To the church of Smyrna it is promised, ” He that overcometh will not be hurt of the second death” ( Rev.2:11 ). To the church and Pergamum it is promised, ” To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone” ( Rev.2:17 ). In the ancient Near East as well as in the Roman world, a white stone was used in voting for the acquittal of one on trial. This implies that the overcomers will be give acquittal before God at Christ Second Advent.

To the church at Thyatira it is promised, ” And he that overcometh, and keepeth his works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations” ( Rev.2:26 ). The word end here is an abbreviation of the phrase end of the ages. It is the point of transition of the present age, olam haze, to the new age, the age to come, olam haba. This point of transition begins at the breaking of the seventh seal way into the second half of the 70th week, not the commencement of it. It marks the starting point of the Day Of The LORD. It is concurrent with the appearance of the Son Of Man in the heavens, and the rapture of the Church. It is the consummation of this age. Here also, overcomers are promised power over the nations. It is evident that the saints shall reign with Christ for a thousand years. To have power over the nations implies that the saints shall reign over the nations with Christ in the Millennium. This shall occur at the expiry of the present age after God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth. This is an allusion to the promise made to the Son by God the Father in psalm 2:8,9 which shall be consummated at Christ’s second coming.

To the church at Sardis it is promised, ” He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment” ( Rev.3:5 ). White raiment signals righteousness. This is an unmistakable reference to the Church, the bride of Christ. John wrote, ” Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has mad herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints” ( Rev.19:7-8 ).

To the church at Philadelphia it is promised, ” Him that overcometh will make a pillar in the temple of My God” ( Rev.3:12 ). In the Roman world, a magistrate is honored by erecting a pillar in his name in a temple. The reference here is to the saints who overcome the horrors of the Great Tribulation by erecting pillars in their names in the Millennial Temple to be built by Christ Himself on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem ( Ezek.40-43 ). To the church at Laodicea it is promised, ” To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and Am set with My Father in His throne” ( Rev.3:21 ). To sit with the Father on His throne is to reign with Him. Christ as the Father’s representative in the earthly domain of His Universal Kingdom shall sit upon the throne in the Throne Room in the Fourth and Millennial Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem ( Zech.6:13 ). The resurrected saints shall reign with Him; for it is written: if we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him ( 2 Tim2:12a ).

To overcome is to defeat the enemy, to vanquish the foe. It also means to be triumphant in difficulties, trials, and temptations. The context of the seven Churches is set in concrete; it is in the arena of the 70th week of Daniel, and the activities of Satan, his hordes of fallen evil angels, and the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. Concerning those who are triumphant, it is written: ” And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lies unto the death” ( Rev.12:11 ). They did not shrink from death. In other words, they were willing to die for what and in Him whom they believe. They were willing to be martyrs. After all the events of the 70th week, John wrote, ” He that overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” ( ( Rev.21:7 ).

Secondly, the churches were told clearly that Christ’s coming is at the door. To the church of Ephesus it is written: ” I will come unto thee quickly” ( Rev.2:5 ). To the church at Pergamos it is written: ” Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly” ( Rev2:16 ). To the church at Thyatira it is written: ” hold fast till I come” ( ( Rev.2:25 ). To the church at Sardis it is written: ” If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” ( Rev.3:3 ). This is the same exact warning given in the Olivet Discourse ( Matt.24:42-44 ). Admittedly, the context as in the case of the seven churches of Asia is the 70th week of Daniel. To the church of Philadelphia it is written: ” Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thou crown” ( Rev.3:11 ). To the church at Laodicea it is written: ” Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” ( Rev.3:20 ). We can see here that if the various churches represent different periods of Church history, the Lord was misleading His Church about His Second Advent. Impossible one would say, and rightly so. A clear and uncluttered normative reading and understanding of these statements to the churches imply they occur in the context of the 70th week when they shall confront the antiMessiah and face the horrors of the Great Tribulation.

Thirdly, Christ said to the church of Ephesus, “I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience” ( Rev.2:2 ). The Greek word translated patience here is huopomone which means endurance under affliction. The affliction is certainly the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. To the church at Thyatira it is written: ” I know thy works, and love, and service, and faith, and thy patience” ( Rev.2:19 ). Once again patience is endurance under affliction which is the Great Tribulation. To the church at Philadelphia it is written: ” 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” ( Rev.3:10 ). Here Christ promised the church of Philadelphia that because they have kept His instructions concerning perseverance in the face of the Great Tribulation, the hour of temptation, He shall protect them in the midst of the hour of temptation which shall try all those who dwell on the earth. Without doubt, this hour of temptation is the Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah.

Clearly in the context of the Great Tribulation, Apostle John the revelator wrote: ” If any man is to go into captivity, into captivity he goes: if any man is to be killed with sword, with the sword the one shall be killed. Here is the patience and faith of the saints” ( Rev.13:10 ). As revealed in the fifth seal of Rev.6:9-11, there is a complement of believers to be martyred. This number is a divine secret. It is not revealed to us in the Scriptures. Besides, those to be martyred or led into captivity were chosen in eternity past. The believer in the 70th week who understands this concept will resign himself to his fate, after he has exhaustively observed Christ’s instructions concerning perseverance. Here is the patience and faith of the saints. Once again patience here is endurance under persecution or affliction which in the context of Rev.13 is the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist.

Fourthly, to the church of Pergamos it is written, ” I know thy works where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s throne is” ( Rev.2:13 ). Pergamos was the Centre of Roman emperor worship as well as the Centre of the worship of the Roman god Zeus Olympus. Roman citizens and inhabitants of the city were required to offer a pinch of incense to the statue of the emperor in the city square. Those who failed to comply were arrested. The image of the Olympian Zeus was in the likeness of a man. It was this same image that the Greek Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes, who was the prefigure of the antiMessiah brought into the Jewish temple built by the returning exiles. The image of Zeus was the bust of Antiochus himself. The phrase where Satan dwellest would indicate the worship of the image of the Beast, the antiChrist, who shall be indwelt and empowered by Satan ( Rev.13:2 ) which shall be imported into the rebuilt third Jewish temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem ( 1 Thess2:3,4 ).

Fifthly, to the church of Thyatira it is written: ” Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation” ( Rev.2:22 ). There is only one and only one Great Tribulaion referred to in the entire Scriptures. Reference to the Great Tribulation is found in five NT texts: Matt.24:21,29; Mk.13:19,24; Rev.7:14. In all these references, it is always used to describe the Great Tribulation that begins in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel associated with the breaking of the covenant of apostasy. In Daniel 12:1, it is described as Great Distress. The word distress and tribulation mean the same thing; in fact, the Greek word thlipsis which is usually translated tribulation can be translates as distress, persecution, or affliction. There is no doubt that the Great Tribulation referred to here is the Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah which begins with the breaking of the agreement with death at the midpoint of the 70th week ( Is.28:15-19; Dan.9:27 ).

Sixtly, to the church of Sardis it is written: ” And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith He that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars. I know thy works , and that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Remember, therefore, how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If, therefore, thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” ( Rev.3:1,3 ).

The church of Sardis has a reputation of being alive but was spiritually dead. It had all the paraphernalia of Christianity but did not have the life of Christ. For this church to stand before Christ justified, it has to wake up from its spiritual slumber, lest the Day of the Lord come upon it unawares, like a thief in the night. This is the same warning given to believers in Thessalonica to be prepared, who were expecting the coming of the Lord, ” For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” ( 1Thess.5:2 ). It is obvious from the urgent atmosphere prevalent in the letters to the seven churches that the context is the 70th week. An event as important as the coming of the Lord should have clear explicit biblical substantiation.

The Classification Of The Seven Churches Of Asia Minor

We have already pointed out that although the letters to the seven churches were addressed to the seven local assemblies in existence in Asia Minor in the First Century AD, they have normative authority to the churches in the 70th week of Daniel. Their near view application pertains to the immediate relevance of these letters to the seven churches. They also had immediate relevance and application to other churches in existence in Asia Minor at that time as well as other churches in existence in other places at that time. These churches were representative of other churches in existence at that time. Therefore their messages had normative authority and immediate relevance and applications to these other churches.

We have also noted that the messages to these churches have normative authority and applicability to any local assembly at any point in time in the church age. However, based on their location in the Scroll of Revelation which is entirely prophetic, and the emphasis on the second Advent of our Lord, the far view application of these letters would pertain to the Church in the 70th week of Daniel. Each of these seven letters appealed to ” He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches,” and contain certain promises made to the overcomers. The overcomers are evidently believers, bond-servants of Christ who refuse to bow to the image of the antiChrist in the face of the horrors of the Great Tribulation.

Believers are admonished to read and hear the words of this prophecy, and heed all that are written therein ( Rev.1:3 ). The entire setting of the Scroll of Revelation is the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus the Christ. ” Behold, He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also who pierced Him: and all the kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen” ( Rev.1:7 ). The Scroll of Revelation also closes with a reference to His Second Advent: ” He who testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen” ( Rev.22:20,21 ). From the beginning to the end, the entire Scroll of Revelation is prophetic, and is all about the return of the Lord. It is written: ” I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” ( Rev.22:16 ).

The implication of this statement is that the messages were not restricted to the seven local assemblies addressed in the letters but also others churches in existence at that time both in Asia Minor and elsewhere in the world, and anywhere else at any time right up to the end of the ages because any generation of believers could be called upon to enter the 70th of Daniel there to experience the horrors of the Great Tribulation. It is obvious that the Scroll of Revelation is addressed to the bond-servants of Christ in the Church, the faithful believer throughout the world who have ears to hear what the spirit of God is saying, more so those believers who will enter the 70th week of Daniel, encounter the antiChrist and face the satanically inspired persection and afflictions of the Great Tribulation.

Characteristically therefore, through the mediation of specially appointed angels of God, these letters were addressed to the local assemblies that bore their names ( Rev.2:1-3:22 ). Each message included a call to all faithful bond-servants of Christ who profess the name of the Lord from that time forward, more so those who enter the 70th week of Daniel to encounter the antiMessiah and experience his satanically inspired opposition to the saints of the Most High in the end times. All seven letters exhibit and perfectly exemplify the near and far views type of prophecy common in both OT and NT. The seven churches do not represent eras or stages in Church history, but rather exemplify various characteristics, doctrinal and ethical compromises prevalent in all periods of Church history, and will particularly characterize the condition of the churches in the 70th week of Daniel.

The seven Churches addressed in these two chapters of the Scroll of Revelation were in existence in Asia Minor- which is in modern Turkey- in the late 1st century AD. The seven churches addressed here were not the only local assemblies in existence in Asia Minor at that time. They were selected by Christ as representatives of seven types of local churches in existence not only at that time and in Asia minor but at all times and anywhere else throughout the Church Age. Therefore any local assembly at that time and all times in Asia Minor and anywhere else at that time and at all times will fall into one of these seven categories. Geographically these churches linked together formed a circle in Asia Minor. Does that tell us anything? Maybe these types of churches linked up together form a circle around the globe in the end times. None of these churches exist today. Some of the cities mentioned have survived till the present day. Some did not.

The scroll of Revelation is entirely prophetic. Whilst these messages to the seven churches had relevance to these local assemblies as well as other churches in other places in those days, they have normative authority at all times, and more so in the end times. In other words, there was a near view application in those days and a far view application in the end times.

The classification of the seven churches could be further simplified by classifying them in three groups, the faithful church as exemplified by the church of Philadelphia, the compromising church as exemplified by the church of Thyatira, and the dead church as exemplified by the church of Sardis. The faithful church is not promised exempt from the great tribulation but offered protection within the sphere of persecution, and finally eventual removal from the sphere of the great tribulation. The compromising church will go through the great tribulation in order to be purified. Majority of the churches, 4-5, fall into this category. It would however not face the wrath of God. The dead church will not suffer the great tribulation, having taken the mark of the beast, but would face the wrath of God.

If we view the three basic types of churches as a three-part continuum, the faithful church, the church of Philadelphia will be at one end, and the dead church, the church of Sardis will be at the other end. In between will be the compromising churches, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, and Laodicea, representing various degrees of compromise.

It is not every scholar that will put the church of Smyrna in the compromising category. Of all the seven churches, the least information is given about this church. Like the church of Philadelphia, it received no condemnation or rebuke. It was poor materially ( though rich spiritually ), and persecuted. The naughty issue with this church was the ” blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan” ( Rev.2:9 ). Were these Jews within the church, or did they belong to a synagogue in the city that blasphemed the Name Of The Lord? If they belonged to a Jewish synagogue in the city that blasphemed the Name Of The Lord, then this church like the church of Philadelphia was faithful and uncompromising. If they were members of this church, then it tolerated blasphemers, and was therefore unfaithful and compromising. This writer is inclined to go with the first view. However, unlike the church of Philadelphia, the church of Smyrna received no unqualified commendation, and was not promised exemption from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all those who dwell on the earth ( Rev.3:10 ).

These churches also represent individual Christians. The faithful christian will be protected by God during the great tribulation because he or she hearkened to Christ’s instructions concerning perseverance in the end times. The compromising christian will be purified through the great tribulation but exempted from the wrath of God. Majority of christians fall within this category. A lot of us believers compromise in various areas. The dead christian shall be beast-marked. He or she shall escape the wrath of Satan, the great tribulation, but will face the wrath of God in the Day Of His Wrath. Although the messages are prophetic and refer to Christ’s coming in the end times, the parousia, the deeds of churches and individual Christians also demand immediate discipline despite far reaching consequences.

The Faithful And Uncompromising Churches

Of the seven churches, the church of Philadelphia is a spiritual jewel. The letter to the church of Philadelphia contained no condemnations or rebukes but unqualified commendations. The preciousness of this church stemmed from the fact that though it had little strength, kept God’s word and did not deny the name of the Lord despite persecution from those in the city who claim they were Jews, and were not, but do lie, who belonged to the synagogue of Satan ( Rev.3:8,9 ). Because of its faithfulness, Jesus promised this church victory over its persecutors, those who claim hey were Jews, and were not, but rather belonged to the synagogue of Satan: ” they will come and worship before thy feet and to know that I have loved thee.” Because of its evangelistic efforts, the church of Philadelphia was known as the church of the open door. This church is promised protection within the sphere of danger during the hour of temptation which shall come upon the world to test them that dwell upon the Earth. ” 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” ( Rev.3:10 ). We can learn what this patience is all about from the third angelic announcement.

” And the third angle followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the Beast and his image, or receive his mark in his forehead, or his hand, the same shall drink of the wrath of God , which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” ( Rev.14:9-12 ).

We can see that patience here relates to perseverance in the face of persecution by the antiChrist. The context is the second half of the 70th week of Daniel. The English word “keep” translates the Greek word tereo which has the basic idea of protection while within the sphere of danger, and “from” a bad translation of the Greek word ek which has the basic meaning of deliverance “out of” or “out from” within the sphere of danger. Taking the original Greek at its face value, God promised the faithful churches that because of their perseverance, He will guard and keep them while they are within the “hour of testing,” promising them eventual removal and safe deliverance “out from within” the sphere of great danger. Most biblical scholars are agreed that the hour of testing from which the faithful saints are promised protection refers to the Great Tribulation. The deliverance will come when the Great Tribulation is cut short or better still, amputated by the cosmic disturbances and eventual removal of the saints from the earthly sphere of danger and persecution at His appearance in the heavens ( Matt.24:22, 29-31 ). Then shall the Lord wreak relentless retaliation on the living wicked earth-dwellers who remain. ” The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished” ( 2 Pet.2:9 ).

Because the faithful bond-servant of Christ has heard and heeded Christ’s instruction concerning perseverance, Christ will offer them protection within the sphere of danger during the Great Tribulation, and eventually remove them from the sphere of danger at His Second Advent. These faithful believers have heeded Christ’s instruction concerning perseverance. They have prepared hideouts and safe havens. They have made adequate provisions for food and other supplies. They do not need to go out to forage for food, and thereby be in danger of being caught and faced with choice of either receiving the Mark of the Beast or being coerced or coaxed into it. Because the Philadelphians have been faithful, Christ admonished them: ” Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” ( Rev.3:11 ). The reference to His coming can only be to His Second Advent inasmuch as the Scroll of Revelation was written more than half a century after His First Advent. Admittedly this message was addressed to the local assembly at Philadelphia, it has a far view application to the believers who enter the 70th week of Daniel to face the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah. The near view dealt with the historical church that existed when the Scroll of Revelation was written, which subsequently disappeared not long after afterwards. The far view deals with the faithful churches or believers who will enter the second half of the 70th week, encounter the antiChrist and his killing machine and face the horrors of the Great Tribulation.

The faithful church or better still faithful Christians are those who have heard and heeded Christ’s instruction concerning perseverance. They have kept Christ’s word and did not deny His name. They have also gone ahead and prepared ahead of time for the tough times that will come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the Earth. They have prepared safe haven, and provided adequate supplies for themselves and their loved ones. They are children of the day. They are not of the night or darkness ( 1Thess.5:4-8 ). They are prepared ( Matt.25:1-13 ), watchful ( Matt.24:42-44;25:13 ), faithful ( Matt.24:45-47 ), and fruitful ( Matt.25:14-30 ). They cannot be taken unawares by the Great Tribulation. They are not enamored with surfeiting and drinking ( Luk.21:34 ). They are sober and vigilant. Therefore God will protect them from within the sphere of danger by their obedience to His instructions concerning perseverance, and finally by taken them out from within the sphere of danger in the rapture on the day of the Lord ( Matt.24:29-31 ). Christ will give them a crown and great honor, and bring them to intimate fellowship with Him in His eternal kingdom ( Rev.3:11,12 ).

This writer is inclined to believe that the church of Smyrna is in the category of the faithful and uncompromising. This church faced severe persecution. A number of its members were martyred. Christ had to introduce Himself to them as the first and the last, and He that was dead and is alive, to reassure them that those of them who were martyred He will raise from the dead in that He was dead and is alive again. He has conquered death. As the first and the last, He has the final authority to the decide the fate of everyone. Though they die for His name’s sake, yet shall they live again in the resurrection. He that believeth in Me, even though he were dead, yet shall he live. He is the resurrection and the life ( Jon.11:24,25 ). The blasphemy of those who claim to be Jews and were not, but belonged to the synagogue of Satan, did not come from within the church. This church did not tolerate blasphemers. These Jews belonged to the local synagogue in the city of Smyrna that blasphemed the name of the Lord Jesus the Christ and induced and spearheaded the severe persecution faced by the Smyrnians from the civil authorities in the city. A number of them were martyred, imprisoned, and others blackballed out of business.

During the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist, a segment of believers from among the faithful and uncompromising shall arise, at the cost of great danger to their lives and property, not only to refuse the mark of the beast, but shall go about openly persuading others , believers and unbelievers, not to take the mark of the beast. These men and women shall chorus the proclamation made by the third horizontal flying angel: ” And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the Beast and his image, and receiveth his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which poured without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and the same shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascended up for ever and ever: and they no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name ( Rev.14:9-11 ).

Some of these believers shall be imprisoned for their testimony, and others executed for their witness for Christ. Christ encourage them to be faithful unto them, “and I will give thee a crown of life” ( Rev.2:10 ). These believers who shall be beheaded for their witness for Christ shall be raised from the dead to reign with Christ a thousand years in the Millennium. ” And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands: and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years( Rev.20:4 ).

The Dead Church

The church of Sardis had no commendation from the Lord, only rebuke or condemnation. This church consists mostly of spiritually dead Christians. They have heard the gospel but have no saving relationship with the Lord. The church had a reputation for being alive but was spiritually dead ( Rev.3:1 ). They had all the paraphernalia of religion. They used the right phrases and said the right things but they had not the life of Christ. They had the form of godliness but denied the power thereof ( 2Tim.3:5 ). They constitute the tares that grow amongs the wheat which in the early stages are indistinguishable from the wheat. They are those who hear the word, and anon with joy receiveth it. Yet hath no root in themselves, but endureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth on account of the word, by and by they are offended ( Matt.13:21 ). Some of them also are those who receive the seed among the thorns. They are those who hear the word: and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and they become unfruitful ( Matt.13:22 ).

This sort of believers will not hear Christ instruction concerning perseverance. They see no danger in the world. They will go along with the rest of the world and take the mark of the beast ( Rev.14:9 ). They are not prepared. They are not watching and waiting. They have not the life of God in them, so how can they be faithful and fruitful? They will be oblivious to the consequences of worshipping the beast or his image, or being branded with the mark of the beast. Many of them will do so without hesitation, while at the same time passing themselves off as good Christians. They will quickly conform to the world for the sake of survival. They cannot trust the Lord because they have not the life of God in them in the first place. They are not children of the day. They are of the night and darkness. Therefore when the wrath of God is poured out on the Satanic kingdom and its living wicked citizens, it will come upon them unawares, like a thief in the night.

Christ admonished them, ” Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy work perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shall not know what hour I will come upon thee ( Rev.3:2,3 ).

Well, if they can repent, watch, and practise what they have heard, then they could be faithful and fruitful. And this is the very reason for teachings of this kind, in order that the spiritually dead can wake up.

In local assemblies of this sort, there are a few that are truly born again, who have the life of God in them. These few names in Sardis who had not defiled their garment, shall work with Christ in white: for they are worthy ( Rev.3:4 ). These ones shall not accept to be branded with the mark of allegiance of the beast. They shall face the wrath of Satan, but they shall be exempt from the wrath of God ( 1Thess.5:9 ).

The Compromising Churches

By our classification, there are four churches in the compromising category. These are Ephesus, Thyatira, Pergamos, and Laodicea. We have also pointed out that some theologians may include the Church of Smyrna in the category of compromising and unfaithful churches. These are also representative of individual Christians with various areas of compromise, both doctrinal and ethical. Unlike the church of Sardis, these are not spiritually dead Christians. They are born again spirit filled believers. They are alive in Christ, but have not taken heed to live in His perfect will for their lives. The majority of professing Christian today fall into this category. These at best characterize the decaying church at large in the end times. These churches and individuals compromise in various areas. The various areas of compromise are lost of first love ( 2:4 ), fear of suffering and persecution ( 2:19 ), doctrinal defection ( 2:14,15 ), moral compromise and departure ( 2:20 ), spiritual deadness ( 3:1,2 ), inability to persevere ( 3:11 ), and lukewarness ( 3:15,16 ). These spiritual defects are prevalent today as in the first century churches more so in the churches that shall enter the 70th week of Daniel to encounter the antiChrist. These messages are God’s final exhortation to the Church, more so to individual Christians down through the first century to the end of the ages.This is God’s final appeal to all who will hear. Believers will do well to listen. He that has ears let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. Amen.

The church of Ephesus was a labouring church. They exhibited a lot of patience in bearing with those who were evil. They tried and tested those who claimed to be apostles but were not. They found them liars. Christ commended them: ” I know thy works, and labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and how thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast labored, and hast not fainted” ( Rev.2:2,3 ).

They had a lot of good deeds: missions to the poor and needy, the underprivileged, those who were imprisoned, the sick, the maimed, and those who were mentally challenged etc. For the sake of the name of the Lord, they had patience with evil men, false apostles and liars in the body of Christ. They never fainted. That was quite commendable. But they became too busy in the business of the Lord, and neglected their love towards Christ, the warm intimacy and fellowship they had with Him from the beginning. Being bombarded by the Devil with a torrent of evil men, false apostles and liars, and numerous outreaches to the poor and needy, they grew cold in their fellowship with the Lord. They became extremely busy in the works and labours for the kingdom, testing and proving those who were evil, the false apostles and liars. Their personal fellowship with God suffered, grew cold and became insipid and tasteless.

Christ rebuked them, ” Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and remove thy candlestick out of his place except thou repent” ( Rev.2:4 ).

Our first deed is our love, fellowship and intimacy with Jesus. We are to be ” in love” with Him all the time. Our “affairs” with Him ought to get hotter and stronger with each day that passeth by. This is the baseline. Every other thing should be added unto it. It should also inform all other activities we engage in, whether secular, mundane or spiritual. We should not engage in activities just because they are good, and needful, or simply because we have the talent or resources. Our choices in every areas of our lives must by guided by His Spirit. We must be wise enough to get out of activities He has not commanded us. We should be involved only where He is involved with us, where He wants us to be involved. We cannot engage in every needful mission. We must remember we are human, and bedeviled with human limitations.

We are not omnipotent. We must not stretch ourselves thin. Our mortal bodies have elastic limit beyond which they undergo grain flow, beyond which they cannot spring back. Besides, there are only 24 hours in a day. We must let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof ( Matt.6:34 ). Our workload and activities must be such as permits us to have reasonable personal fellowship with Jesus; feeding our spirit with His word, meditating in the word, and listening to His silent voice. We must not allow our legitimate activities to crowd out His voice. Our first love for and first works with Him carry the utmost weight in the scale of heaven. All other activities and deeds may be needful, but they cannot give us the strength to go on. This strength comes from our intimacy with Jesus. Here the church of Ephesus erred greatly.

There were no gross sins in the church like abhorrent sexual immoralities as in the church at Corinth ( 1 Cor.5:1 ). There was no bickering over church leadership, over who is the greatest ( Matt.20:20-27 ). Probably they were servants one to another. There were no egomaniacs and megalomaniacs like Diotrephes who love the place of preeminence amongst the church leadership ( 3 Jon.1:9 ). There was no power tussle. There was no embezzlement of church fund. There was no diversion of funds or materials meant for the poor and needy for personal use and self-aggrandizement. Their activities were not mundane or frivolously secular. They simply were not up to par in their personal fellowship with Jesus. This is a deep fault line at the basement. If left unattended, it could lead to other gross misconducts.

If we are not doing well as Christians, we must examine our foundation. When a crack appears at the tenth or one hundredth floor, or any floor of skyscraper for that matter, architects do not look for the faults at those floors but at the basements. That is how it is with the Christian walk. Whenever there is a defect in our walk with God, we must look for the aetiology in our personal fellowship with God. That is our heart. And out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh ( Luk.6:45 ). From the heart proceeds evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these things come from within, and defile the man ( Mk.7:21-23 ). And we must guard our hearts with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life ( Prov.4:23 ).

The church of Ephesus must rekindle their warn fellowship with Jesus or else the light will peter out and die. To rekindle this fire of intimacy and fellowship with God, their activities must be curtailed. They must have more time to fellowship with God. What else could do this other than the fires of the Great Tribulation? Christ is coming for a glorious Church, without spot, wrinkle or blemish. All impurities must be purged out. Believers who fail to do this for themselves must go through the fires of the Great to be purged. If we judge ourselves, we shall not be judged. When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord in order that we may not be condemned with world ( 1 Cor.11:31,32 ).

Christ further commended them for their hatred of the deeds of the Nicolaittians. Nicolaittians comes from two Greek words, Nike meaning victor and Laos, meaning people. The Nicolaittians taught believers to compromise with the religious culture around them. This is similar to antinomianism. Antinomianism means there are no norms to which believers must conform. Antinomians teach that believers can compromise as long as they remain believers at heart. The heart and lifestyle of the believer must be in synchrony, otherwise one becomes a hypocrite and a false witness. The Ephesians soundly hated the doctrine and deeds of the Nicolaitians.

The Church must be distinct from the world around her. We must not conform to the world around us. We must not fit into the mold of the world. We may not go to the world, but the world would like to come to us in the Church. This we must resist with all vehemence. Today we can see that the world is in the Church. A church in this state is not rapturable. She must be purified. She must be purged, and cleansed in the fires of the furnace of the Great Tribulation.

To show that this message is intended for all believers, Christ said, ” He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh, will give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” ( Rev.2:7 ). To teach therefore that this message has no relevance to the Church in the end time is absolutely false. Those who so teach are denying believers a useful resource for strength in the 70th week when they shall encounter the antiMessiah and face the horrors of the Great Tribulation.

Pergamos was a very wealthy city, it was given to wickedness. There were several pagan cults in the city which worshipped Athena, Aesclepius, Dionysus, and Zeus. Because the city was given to idolatry and wickedness, the spiritual atmosphere was adverse to effective Christian witness.

Christ commended their works. He recognized that their work was difficult in a city that was given to idolatry and wickedness, a city that was the seat of Satan. ” I know thy works , and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is” ( Rev.2:13a ).

Pergamum was the seat of Satan. The city boasted of the great temple of Aesclepius, a pagan god of healing worshipped in the form of a serpent, the symbol of Satan. In spite of the city being the seat of Satanism, the church in Pergamum held fast to the name of our Lord Jesus the Christ. They did not deny His name. This church faced persecution even to the point of martyrdom of some of its members. ” And thou holiest fast My Name, and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Stan dwellest” ( Rev.2:13b, 13c ). Despite the martyrdom of some of its members, this church held fast to the name of Christ. One of them named Antipas, a faithful believer was martyred. Antipas means against all. There are some biblical scholars that believe that Antipas is not the name of a person, but a representation of those faithful saints who were martyred in this city. Whether Antipas is the name of a person or not, one thing is obvious, the church of Pergamos faced persecution to the point of martyrdom.

Despite its faithfulness in the face of persecution and martyrdom, the church of Pergamos was one of the compromising churches in Asia Minor. The compromise was due to the work of false teachers. ” But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Niclaitanes, which thing I hate” ( Rev.2:14,15 ). There were some in the local assembly that held the doctrine of Balaam ( Jud.1:11; 2 Pet.2:5 ). There some biblical scholars that hold Balaam a false prophet. I demur. Balaam was a true prophet of God, but he was greedy. Balaam should not have answered the summons of Balak, but he went anyway, in spite of the fact that God did not approve. As ministers of God, we have no business going to preach where He did not send us, though there is promise of huge offering.

While there, God did not suffer him to curse the children of Israel according to the wishes of Balak. But he counseled Balak to hold sacrifices of the gods of Moab, invite the children of Israel to these sacrifices, let them eat and drink and relate sexually freely with their women, then their God would destroy them. This was an evil counsel, and it worked. There is no free lunch; someone foots the bill. And it was so ( Num.31:16 ). He gave this counsel in order to curry favor from Balak. He was covetous. He wanted the promotion that came from man. He could not patiently wait for God. He got his wishes but he paid with his life ( Num.31:8 ). True promotion cometh neither from the east nor the west, but God is the judge. He lifts one man up, and bringeth down another ( Ps.75:6,7 ).

The doctrine of Balaam therefore teaches that it does not matter to eat the sacrifice of idols and to commit sexual immoralities. But it does matter very much as we saw in the case of Israel ( Num.25:1,2 ). Twenty and three thousand Israelites perished in one day as a result of the counsel of Balaam, as a result of eating what is sacrificed to idols, and as a consequence of sexual immoralities . It is idolatry to eat what is sacrificed to idols. It is idolatry to commit sexual immoralities ( 1 Cor.10:8 ). We should not be idolaters as were some Israelites in the wilderness. They joined themselves to Baal, and ate the sacrifice of the gods. Neither should we be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, Th people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play” ( 1 Cor.10:7 ). Excessive eating and drinking will lead to sexual orgies which are the trademark of Canaanite pagan worship. Surfeiting and debauchery as most young men do on Valentine’s Day is nothing other than the worship of Bacchus, the God of wine and sex orgies.

There were some in that local assembly who hold to the doctrine of the Nicolaittians. It is compromise with the religious culture in one’s environment. The Church should not acculturate. It specifically breaks the first commandment. That is why God hated it.

“Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and I will fight against the with the sword of My mouth” ( Rev.2:16 ). The church of Pergamos was commanded by Christ to repent or I come against thee quickly, and fight against thee with the sword of my mouth. Coming quickly occurs five times in the scroll of Revelation ( 2:16,3:11;22:7,12,20 ). Rev.22:7, 12,20 refer to the parousia. Rev.2:16 and 3:11 refer both to immediate judgment before the Lord’s parousia as well as the parousia. Fight against thee quickly with the sword of my mouth is a metonymy of cause and effect. It meant the church would be taken away if repentance did not occur. The only way the Church can be purged of these doctrines is passage through the furnace of affliction. This affliction is nothing other than the Great Tribulation.

” He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving him that receiveth it” ( Rev.2:17 ).

The promise of blessing has near and far view applications. He that overcometh shall be given the hidden manna. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are did. Moses gave you not that true manna from heaven. I am the true bread that came down from heaven ( Jon.6: 32,48,49 ). The true manna is Jesus, the word of God who is our spiritual nourishment. He that overcometh shall be given a white stone with a new name written. Overcomers shall receive new names in heaven. Besides, white stones were used in voting for acquittal of the accused. He that overcometh shall never be condemned. Gem stones on which were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel were worn in pouches on the breastplate of the high priest of Israel. He presented them to God when He appeared before Him in the Holy of Holies. In like manner, Jesus, our great High Priest shall wear our names on His breastplate for eternity

The church at Thyatira was commended by Christ for its work, love, service, faith and patience or perseverance, and the last to be more than the first. In other words the church at Thyatira was doing more as time went on unlike the church of Ephesus which did less. The believers in this church were growing spiritually, but they were also compromising.

The church at Thyatira was condemned for her tolerance of the teachings of a woman who called herself a prophetess. The Lord called this woman Jezebel. Jezebel was probably not her real name. Jezebel was a historical figure in the life of the nation of Israel. She was a Phoenician woman, the daughter of Ethbaal, priest and King of the Sidonians. The Sidonians like other Canaanites were idol worsippers. They worshiped Baal, the abomination of the Sidonians. She was married to Ahab the son of Omri, who later became king of the ten northern tribes. Omri was in league with Ethbaal, king of Sidon, who gave his daughter Jezebel to his son Ahab. In the ancients world, this kind of marriage was usually contracted to cement alliance. Jezebel imported Baal worship into Israel. Baal worship was characterized by bouts of sexual orgies and debauchery. It was a fertility cult. She corrupted Israel ( 1 Kin.16:31-33 ). They killed the prophets of God, and hounded Elijah to kill him. The church of Thyatira was vehemently rebuked by Christ for her tolerance of the teachings of this wicked woman. She taught them to eat meat scarified to idols as a form of worship to these idols and to engage in sexual immoralities. The immoralities were both physical and spiritual. Sexual immorality is idolatry. Both ways these believers were worshipping idols either through eating what is offered in sacrifice to these idols or sexual immoralities associated with the worship of these idols. This is the work of false teachers who are corrupting true believers to err from the path of doctrine and practice. They undermined the work of God by corrupting the people of God

Like many churches throughout the history of the Church, compromising churches nowadays are not careful about what is being taught, rather they prefer teachers who allegorize, rationalize, spiritualize, culturalize, and manipulate the word of God to suit their purpose. They do anything with the Scriptures other than taking it at its face value. The lesson believers in every age must learn, more so in the end times, is that true salvation is not in itself a protection against false doctrine. We must regularly be in the word of God, and seek guidance from the Holy Spirit. Believers who do not practice these virtues fall easy prey to false teachers. Satan is a master deceiver and counterfeiter. He deceives with half-truths, and often using Scriptures out of context. In the temptation in the wilderness, he tried this on Jesus ( Matt.4:1-11 ). If he believed this strategy would work with Jesus while not believers especially in the end times who would face great danger, and therefore more vulnerable to deception, confusion, skullduggery, gimmickry, and manipulation.

Believers who think that biblical prophecies concerning the end times are in any way less than factual, or can only be understood allegorically, are more likely to fall easy prey to the machinations of Satan. Satan in his craftiness has already led some believers astray by hoodwinking them into believing that although biblical prophecies concerning the end times are factual, they do not in anyway apply to them. They trust they shall be raptured away several years before the antiChrist hangs out his shingles. Once these believers discover their error, it may be too late to avoid the full brunt of the Great Tribulation.

The Lord gave her space to repent of her immoralities, but she did not. She had a reasonable followership in the church of Thyatira. Because of her refusal to repent, Christ was going to judge her and her followers and converts. She and those that commit immoralities with her shall be cast into great tribulation. The judgment was both immediate and eschatological. Her offspring were going to be judged with pestilence, in order that all the churches shall know that Christ trieth the heart and the reins, and rewards every one according to one’s work.

True believers in compromising churches will not lose their salvation, but because of inadequate preparation ahead of time, they will endure immeasurable persecution and suffering. These believers will enter into the 70th week unprepared. Therefore they will endure the full brunt of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist.

There are biblical scholars who urge us to believe that Christ’s warning to the church of Thyatira has no normative authority in the context of the 70th week of Daniel. But it is within the context of the Great Tribulation that Christ warned the compromising church of Thyatira. ” Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds” ( Rev.2:22 ). These false teachers will be cast into a bed of sickness because of their corruption of the children of God. The true children who have committed sexual immoralities through the teachings of these false teachers shall suffer Great Tribulation except they repent. Although they will not lose their salvation, they shall face the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist in order to purify them from the corruption of these false teachers.

The Great Tribulation is referred to three times in the whole of the Scriptures. All three of them by Christ Himself. The first is the Olivet Discourse ( Matt.24:21 ). The second is in the letter to the Church at Thyatira that unless they get their doctrine and ethics straightened out, they will face the Great Tribulation ( Rev.2:22 ). The third is in relation to the multitude which no man could number, which came out of the Great Tribulation ( Rev.7:14 ). Every reference to the Great Tribulation is to the Great Tribulation that begins at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel. It is preposterous for anyone to teach that the Church will be raptured before the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel.

Christ continued His recommendation, ” And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that am He that searcheth the reins and the hearts” ( Rev2:23 ). The phrase kill with death is used one more in the Scroll of Revelation. It is in relation to the fourth seal of Revelation 6. ” And when He had broken the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, come and see. 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 him over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” ( Rev.6:7,8 ). At the breaking of the fourth seal, the Great Tribulation begins. Death is one of the means by which the antiChrist shall kill those who refuse to be branded with his mark of allegiance. So killing with death occurs in the context of the Great Tribulation. ” And all the churches shall know that am He that searcheth the reins and the hearts.” “All the churches shall know” indicates that the churches will be present here at the time the church of Thyatira shall be punished with death for her compromise. And we have shown that this occurs at the time of the Great Tribulation by the antiMessiah. The word churches refers to local assemblies of believers. After the rapture has taken place, they will be no more local assemblies of believers here on earth.

Wonderfully, there were some in the church of Thyatira who were not infected with this virulent virus. Christ referred to them as the rest who have not this doctrine, who have not seen the depths of Satan as they speak. Sexual immoralities have depths. Unless one repents quickly, the victim would slide deeper and deeper into it’s ramifications. It has branches: incest, bestiality, homosexualism, lesbianism, pedophilia, rape, extreme jealousy, murder etc. I will put no other burden upon you. Those in this church who had not received these evil practices were not condemned. They had nothing of which to repent. They were encouraged by Christ to hold unto what they have. They were admonished to ” hold fast until I come.” This is a promise that refers to the second coming of Christ. It corresponds perfectly to the second coming promises in His letters to the churches of Sardis ( Rev.3:3 ), and Philadelphia ( Rev.3:11 ). All three types of churches were cautioned about the coming of Christ. It therefore follows that all the messages to the three types of churches, the faithful and uncompromising churches, the dead church, and the compromising church, are relevant to the believers entering into the 70th week of Daniel.

He that overcometh is promised shared rulership of the earth with Christ in the New Millennium. He shall be given authority over the nations in the millennium, to rule them with a rod of iron, and to break them in pieces like a potters vessels, even as I received of my Father( Ps 2:6-12 ). These overcomers like Christ shall be in their glorified eternal immortal resurrection bodies. The Jerusalem that descended from heaven shall be their abode from where they shall rule the nations with Christ for a 1000 years ( Rev.20:4 ). And I will give him the morning star. Jesus is the bright and morning star ( Rev.22:16 ). Those who win souls shall shine as the stars for ever ( Dan.12:3 ). The stars speak of glory. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another in glory ( 1Cir.15:31 ). The stars exhibit the excellencies of the Almighty. The exaltation of the overcomer to the status of glory is unimaginable. And again that this message is for the audience of all the churches, once again implies near and far view applications.

The church of Laodicea received no commendation from the Lord, only condemnation. “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot” ( Rev.3:15 ). This message of Christ was very meaningful to the recipients for two reasons. In the Roman world, the cultural practice of the people was that at social events- feasts and religious sacrifices- their drinks were served either hot or cold, never lukewarm. Whatever was lukewarm was abhorrent to the people. Besides, water was piped to Laodicea via an aqueduct from Hierapolis, a few miles north of the city. By the time it reached Laodicea, it was lukewarm. To drink it, they either allowed to it get cold or they warmed it. The idiomatic expression employed by Christ was very much understandable to the church of Laodicea. They know what it means to be lukewarm to Christ. They were utterly abhorrent to Him. Because the church was lukewarm, Christ would spew them out of His mouth. It is believed by some that Archippus was the pastor of this church ( Col.4:16,17 ). It is debatable whether he was alive at the time this letter was sent to the church of Laodicea.

One other problem the church had was complacency arising from material wealth. Because the city was rich, the church in it was also rich. Their attitude was, we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. They did not know that spiritually, they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked. This was a very horrible situation. There are many materially rich churches in the world today that are a carbon copy of the church of Laodicea. Excessive material wealth breeds spiritual complacency. We ought to depend on Christ for all our daily needs. Our dependency on Him keeps us warm in our love for Him and for one another, and our faith in Him.

Christ counseled the church to buy refined gold from Him in order that they might be rich. This city was rich materially through wool trade and banking business. The members of the church were involved in both. But they were spiritually poor, bankrupt. If they were poor and wretched as Christ has proffered, it means the refined gold from Christ was offered free of charge. The city produced a famous black wool, the people were physically gorgeously dressed. But they were naked spiritually. They were dressed in black, but spiritually what they needed was a white garment in order that they might be clothed and their nakedness would not appear. The white garment is the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

The city of Laodicea boasted of a medical school affiliated to the temple of Aesclepius. This medical school had the best oculists of their day who treated common eye ailments through the use of an eye salve produced by the medical school. So, this church had no problems with their physical eyes. All their physical eye problems were taken care of, but they were spiritually blind and undiscerning. They lacked the gift of discerning of spirits ( 1Cir.12:10 ). If they could see into the realm of the spirit, they would have observed their nakedness and spiritual bankruptcy, wretchedness and misery. Christ admonished them to buy of Him eye salve in order that they might anoint their eyes so that they could see. These were all offered free, for they were bankrupt and had not the spiritual currency with which to purchase them. Because Jesus loved them, He rebuked and chastened them, in order that they might become zealous and repent.

Verse 20 could be looked at both ways, either as a command and exhortation or as a promise of blessing. I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come to him, and sup with him, and he with me. This is an appeal to the individual christian to open the door of his heart to Christ, not only of the Laodiceans but also of every local assembly. The heart of the individual has no external lock. The lock is on the inside. Therefore, it must be opened from the inside. When Christ comes in and sits at the head of the table, the Shulhan Aruch, there will be supernatural banquet of love, joy, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, true and lasting wealth and riches, fellowship with God, men and angels, divine guidance and direction, open doors and opportunities etc.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set with my Father in His throne. Jesus is co-regent with the Fatter. He is sitting at the Father’s right hand. Even so shall the overcomer reign with Christ here in the New Millennium. As always the message is not directed only to the Laodiceans but all believers at all times. We shall live and reign with Him a thousand years. The scriptures make it clear true believers, the overcomers shall share the rulership of the Earth with Christ in the millennium. They shall be co-regents with Christ. Even so, Amen.

The true believer who compromises the truth shall be spared the wrath of God ( 1 Thess.1:10;5:9 ), but shall face the wrath of Satan through the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. The faithful and uncompromising believer is promised protection from within the sphere of the Great tribulation by the antiChrist, and eventual removal out from the sphere of persecution before God pours out His wrath on the living wicked earth-dwellers who worship and adore the Dragon-Beast. God as the sovereign Lord will lovingly use the the Great Affliction to cleanse, purge and purify the Church in order to make them stand blameless in His presence ( Jude 24 ). Believers who are looking for new heaven and new Earth wherein dwelleth righteousness must stand before Him blameless. ” Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless ( 2 Pet.3:14 ). The Church at this present hour is neither spotless nor blameless. Because God loves us, He disciplines us. ” For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son when He receieveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealers with you as with sons; for what son is he whom his father chasteneth not? But if ye are without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons” ( Heb.12:6,7 ).

God’s demand is the Christ’s bride be made worthy by being absolutely pure and holy. For this same purpose Paul instilled discipline in the Corinthian church by chastising them. ” For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” ( 2 Cor,11:2 ). Believers are to await eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus the Christ, who shall confirm us to the end, blameless in the Day Of Our Lord Jesus the Christ. The end here is an abbreviation of the end of the ages at which point of transition, the wrath of God is poured out on the wicked who remain after the rapture of the Church. This admonition is most applicable to compromising believers who shall enter the 70th week of Daniel.

The dead church or more appropriately the dead believers shall receive the mark of the beast. They shall be spared the horrors of the Great Tribulation by the antiChrist. But when they shall peace and safety, thinking that it is all over, then sudden destruction shall come upon them like travail upon a woman in labour, and they shall not escape ( 1Thess.5:3 ). They shall be spared the horrors of th Great Tribulation only to face the fires of the wrath of God, not only during the Day Of The Lord, but also in eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone.

Summary
Let us summarize the facts presented about the seven churches in Rev. 2 & 3. The seven churches are classified into three groups. These groups are, the dead church, the faithful and uncompromising churches, and the unfaithful and compromising churches.

(1) The faithful churches which are exemplified by the church of Philadelphia will heed Christ’s instruction concerning perseverance. They will adequately prepare ahead of time for the difficult time of the Great Tribulation. Therefore God shall offer them protection within the sphere of the Great Tribulaion, and eventual removal out of the sphere of the Great Tribulation when they are taken away from the scene of the Great Persecution in the rapture. Thereafter Christ shall destroy the wicked who remain in the Day Of The Lord.

(2) Believers who are spiritually dead who do not repent shall be branded with the mark of the beast as faithful citizens of the Satanic kingdom of the antiChrist. They shall be spared the horrors of the Great Tribulation. But they shall face the wrath of God in the Day Of The Lord, and in the hereafter eternal fire in the lake of fire and brimstone.

(3) The compromising believers who do not repent will be less than adequately prepared because they have not heeded Christ’s instruction concerning perseverance. Therefore they shall pass through the horrors of the Great Tribulation without God’s protection in order to cleanse, purge, and purify them, and present them blameless and spotless before the Lamb of God. They shall not take the mark of the beast, the symbol of loyalty to the Satanic kingdom of the antiMessiah. Some of them shall be killed, some imprisoned, and others publically humiliated. But they shall be raptured prior to the outpouring of the wrath of God before the Day Of The Lord; for God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus the Christ.

The Olivet Discourse

It will be impossible to place the warnings of danger given to the Church in the Olivet Discourse ( Matt.24:42-25:30 ) before the rapture if the rapture is pretribulational. The chronology of Matt.24 does not permit such a position. On the other hand, it does not make sense were it to be positioned immediately before the physical return of Christ at the expiry of the 70th week of Daniel. The admonition, ” Watch, therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” ( Matt24:41,42 ), does not make sense if attributed to Christ’s Second Advent at the end of the 70th week. Likewise the warning, Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son Of Man cometh ( Matt24:44 ).

“But if the evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looked not for Him, and in an hour he is not aware of” ( Matt.24:48-50 ).

It is obvious that in this parable, Jesus is the Lord, and the evil servant is the irresponsible and slothful leader in the Church. This parable cannot refer to the expiration of the 70th week, for the simple reason that Christ’s physical return occurs at the end of the 70th week. Men will know Christ is about to return. The Olivet Discourse contains warnings inside the 70th week prior to the rapture of the Church and the commencement of the Day Of His Wrath. The admonitions are both logical and sequential. ” Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the milk; the one shall be taken , and the other left” ( Matt24:40,41 ). The ones taken were taken in the rapture. The ones left are to face the wrath of God. The Greek word translated taken here is paralambano. It means to take near to oneself. It cannot connote the idea of been taken in Armageddon as pretribulationists would like us to believe. Nor is the one left only to enter the Millennium. Rather, the one left behind is left to face the wrath of God during the Day Of The Lord judgment of the living wicked earth-dwellers.

The warnings and admonitions urge us to be watchful ( Matt.24:42-44 ), faithful ( Matt.24:45-51 ), prepared ( Matt.25:1-13 ), and fruitful ( Matt.25:14-30 ); all in anticipation of the rapture of the Church prior to the commencement of the wrath of God at the last trump, at the breaking of the 7th seal which occurs inside the second half of the 70th seven of Daniel. We are to ” Watch ye, therefore, and pray always , that he may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son Of Man” ( Luk.21:36 ).

The Premission Admonition

In Matt.10 before Jesus sent out His disciples on evangelistic mission throughout all the land of Israel, He addressed them. He instructed them on what to do, and how they were to conduct themselves ( cv.1-15 ). Scholars of bible prophecy are agreed that Jesus looked beyond the immediate period to the 70th week of Daniel. Verses 16-42 parallel Christ’s instruction to His disciples in the Olivert Discourse concerning the Great Tribulation. In spite of the severity and the horrors of the Great Tribulation, some Jewish believers anointed of God shall go about persuading their Jewish countrymen as well as others in the land of Israel to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and saviour, and not to consent to be branded with the Mark of loyalty to the antiMessiah. ” Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be therefore as wise as serpent and as harmless as doves” ( v.16 ). This will be a very dangerous mission that will cause most of them their lives. Therefore they must be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. They must beware of men who will no doubt deliver them up to the councils and tribunals horridly set up to try nonconformists and antigovernmental subversives. Some synagogues and churches shall be forcibly taken over by the security apparatus of the antiMessiah. Others shall willing acquiesce in the decree and wishes of the antiMessiah. These evangelists in the land of Isreal and elsewhere in the world shall be publically humiliated in order to deter others from opposing the antiMessiah. They shall be scourged in synagogues and churches as public enemies and public examples. They shall be brought before governors and kings for the sake of the name of the Lord. It shall be for a testimony against these Jewish agents of the antiMessiah and the Gentiles ( v.18 ).

The same counsel that was given to the disciples in the Olivet Discourse was also given them in this pre-mission address. ” But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in the same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” ( vv.19,20 ). Their answers when questioned at the tribunals shall not be premeditated. It is be at the spur of the moment, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Avraham Shallom.