END OF DAYS - Just How Close Is Tribulation, Have You Any Idea?
First started in 2012 and with so much added to the present time, this document is an account of what is prophesied to happen in the last days, and many are aware, but most think it’s too far off to even consider now. The problem for these is they have a ‘head in the sand’ mentality, they know it eventually will happen but they still push it away. Sadly, that’s a human trait – it won’t happen in my time but for so many, it will. The actual day of the beginning of Tribulation is unknown but you may be surprised to learn that these days are much closer than you think. The thoughts that I will present here are not all my own, some are from history and also some that has been said by scholars of Bible studies and I have closely compared their writings with scriptures from the Bible searching for the truth. There are many ‘so called’ scholars who have put their writings on the internet but not all align with scripture and must be refused. Don’t trust whatever you read without proper examination first. My thoughts here are from the Bible only as I no longer and will not belong to any man-made religion, simply by my distrust in what they have become and I don't profess to be an authority on scripture - and there are many who do. I would strongly advise any who read what follows, or what you may discover yourself to do your own thorough investigations as to its truth from the scriptures, as scripture always interprets scripture. Without confirmation from the Bible, which is the only legitimate source, you may be mislead by what you read.
The 1599 Geneva Bible is a very good Bible, available as a free download (in modern spelling and is easy to read) and was written before King James 1st paid to have the KJV written as he wanted/demanded it in 1611 because he despised the Geneva Bible. It brought God's word to the masses relieving them from the corruption of the clergy, which was mingled with the politics of the day. You can download it and save it to your computer at the following:
I will mainly be concerned with 3 areas of scripture that I believe everyone should be aware of and understand by studying these scriptures yourself, and not just accepting what I have to say. There are 30 pages here so it's fairly lengthy to read, and it isn’t the whole story. I could have broken this hub up over 4 or 5 hubs, which would have made it shorter but I wanted all this information in one hub only, so I hope you will bear with me to the end as there is essential information here that others mostly don't address that you need to know. Of course, if you find reading tiring, you can always save it to your computer and come back to it at any time - and who knows, you may be glad you did. Trying to condense this into 5 or 6 pages just to make it shorter would be too much of a shock to most, you need the knowledge of why it is as well. And if you deem it worthy you can send it in an email to friends in one composition and I sincerely hope you will. This information is not only for the believer but also for the unbeliever, in the hope they may become a believer.
The 3 main topics that I want to cover here are centred on: Daniel 9: 24 – 27, Matthew 24 and Revelation 13. After you’ve read what I’ve written here you may want to begin reading your Bible, starting in the New Testament and understand how serious your salvation is as so many are just drifting towards a lost eternity when it doesn't have to be that way. I also want to talk about 1st Thessalonians 4: 16 – 18 to look at where and how that fits in. So to begin with Daniel and most would be familiar with the story of how Daniel was thrown into a den of lions by King Darius and how God saved Daniel by closing the lion’s mouths so that he was unharmed. This is an easy story to deliver, but few would have had the more weightier parts of Daniel concerning his visions about the ‘time of the end’ explained. Most preachers don’t go there because it’s not acceptable, they fear of offending or scaring people if they told the real truth about when the Tribulation begins, or not convenient, speak to me comfortable words but shouldn’t they be giving this warning now to awaken people out of sleep? Daniel was a man who was very much loved and favoured by God and it is so important that the vision, which was given to him by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9: 24 – 27, is fully understood. These are not the only visions that Daniel received concerning the End Times, but is possibly the most debated. I'll write these verses spoken to Daniel by Gabriel as they are in the Bible, which are known as ‘the seventy weeks’ prophecy. Jesus even points us to Daniel in Matthew 24: 15 and Revelation so we know this book clearly tells us so much about the end times and that these three books are connected and linked together. Just stay with me and I'll explain it to the best of my ability.
verse 24: 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. Understanding this verse is key to grasping the rest.
verse 25: 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: (483 years) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
verse 26: And after threescore and two weeks (434 years) 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. This is the time we are living in now. (2000 years.)
verse 27: And he (the anti-Christ) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: (7 years) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblations 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.
The restoration of Jerusalem, which began in 457 B.C. after permission was first given in 445 B.C., is the starting point of the 70 weeks prophecy and from that time it is determined by the vision that the Messiah shall come and He was cut off after 69 weeks or 483 years. He was cut off, not for himself but for us. And He paid a terrible price for our salvation with His own blood. It speaks in Daniel 7: 25 and in Revelation 12: 14 about time in a prophetic way – time, times and a half. So, this seventy weeks is a time frame that one week = seven years. (One day is as a year.) These seventy weeks is an overall time of 490 years, (70 x 7) of which so far, only sixty nine weeks or 483 years have been accounted for in verse 25. If the 490 years is meant as a whole sequential block of time, why would Gabriel speak of it as being divided as such. The seventy weeks time frame is divided into three and the final week or seven years are yet to come, which is the Tribulation. (7 + 62 + 1 : The 7 is the 49 years it took to rebuild Jerusalem, the 62 is the 434 years from the finish of rebuilding Jerusalem to the death of Jesus, [counted as one block of time resulting in the death of Jesus after 69 weeks] and the 1 is the last 7 years before the return of Jesus.) As this event hasn’t happened yet, the time frame must be divided in 3 parts, as in 7 + 62 + 1 but split in 2 with a gap after the 69th week and before the 70th week which wasn't revealed to Daniel. Prophecy is a difficult thing to determine the truth at the best of time and we also know that some prophecies are veiled, and given simply to confound some, the 7000 year / 7 millennial days are the proof of it. Adam to Abraham 2000 years, Abraham to Jesus 2000 years, Jesus to now 2000 years, (church age) with the millennium to come.
So there has to be a gap somewhere and it can only be in the underlined text and scripture supports it in many areas. We are now living in the time between the 69th and the 70th week where the 'prophetic clock' has been stopped by God for 2000 years after the death of Jesus (known as the church age, allowing more to enter in - very few would be saved if this wasn't the case) and very close now to this last week, in which the clock will be re-started. You could even say it has been and is, God’s time of Grace toward us. Jesus was 30 years old when He began His ministry, which only lasted for 3.5 years and then He was killed. The Tribulation will be 7 concurrent years and it too, will be divided in two 3.5 year periods. The first 3.5 years is known as The Tribulation, the second and worst 3.5 years is known as The Great Tribulation. (I think it is more than just co-incidence that the ministry of Jesus only lasted 3.5 years – God is giving Satan [the Devil] the same allotted time, 3.5 years, in the second half of Tribulation.) This is also when Satan, (in the body of the anti-Christ,) breaks all his promises from the peace treaty with serious concerns for all. From what we read in Revelation 13, these 7 years will not be a happy time.
(Further explanation of the 70 weeks prophecy above.) verse 24 speaks of 6 things, 3 of which Daniel was earnestly praying about before the angel Gabriel interrupts his prayer, telling him that Jerusalem will be restored and that he is sent to give him an understanding of the matter and to consider the vision. The first 3 things have already happened and the last 3 are distant future. (This needs to be properly understood.) Daniel 12: 1 - 4 gives us a clearer understanding of what is meant by 'seal up the vision' and is beautiful to read.
Verse 25 and 26 is very important to realise that it also predicted the crucifixion of Jesus perfectly, even to the day. Verse 26 says in part: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and refers to the Roman Army, who came in 70 AD and burned the city and temple to the ground, scattering the inhabitants. It is said that gold from the temple melted down into the bricks and cracks during the fire and the soldiers tore everything down to the ground to retrieve the gold. The end of verse 26 says, and the end thereof shall be with a flood, – doesn’t mean a flood literally, it just means quickly from a large army. It continues saying, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. The 'end of the war' could mean to be plural as in future wars on earth or war in Heaven when Satan is removed at the mid-point of Tribulation. (verse 27 is expanded further down but a few things need explaining first.)
The scripture in Isaiah tells us that there may be ‘trouble’ prior to the beginning of the seventieth week, which is referred to as the ‘Burden of Damascus.’ Isaiah 17: 1 Behold, Damascus will cease to be a city and will become a heap of ruins. Because Damascus is still standing as a city and has never been reduced to ruins, it must be for a future time. This trouble/conflict can’t be classified as W.W.3 as it is over so quickly, but it will be the trigger to wider, more dangerous hostilities. Damascus, the capital of Syria is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities with 2.5 million people and when this scripture is fulfilled, a chain of events of horrific proportions will begin. It cannot be said that this event will be before or during Tribulation, nevertheless at some point it will happen. Aleppo was even larger than Damascus and because of the protracted civil war in Syria it is nearly gone now but Damascus will be gone overnight. Israel and Syria and some others are very much in the news these days and there are many Nations plotting to overthrow Israel right now, which are Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Gaza, Palestine, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. They could all be hit together, but unlikely and if so will probably be nuclear. Isaiah 17: 13 The nations roar like the roaring of many waters, but He will rebuke them, and they will flee far away, chased like chaff on the mountains before the wind and whirling dust before the storm. Doesn’t this sound like the effects of shock waves and ‘mushroom type’ clouds created by numerous low-yield nuclear explosions? This strike on Damascus may not come from Israel, but is very likely. Isaiah 17: 14, At evening time, behold terror. Before morning they are no more. This destruction will be quick and complete in a decisive, preemptive strike. We will hear on the news one night “something is happening in the Middle East.” And by morning it will be over. The Middle East will be thrown into chaos after this event with many Nations stirred against Israel and it could be at this time we will be hearing of wars and rumours of wars. Damascus is just the start of worse to come. If the Gog-Magog war, Ezekiel 38 & 39 (W.W.3) happens prior to Tribulation, this could open the way for the temple to be re-built, as it’s unlikely that the Muslims will relinquish control of ‘the Dome of the Rock’ but it could be destroyed by war or an earthquake brought about by God.
It may be of interest to consider the Biblical reasons for some of the current problems in the Middle East. The hatred goes right back to Abraham, almost 4000 years ago. Abraham’s wife, Sarah, was barren and had no children, so she gave Hagar, her Egyptian slave girl to Abraham to give him a son, who gave birth to Ishmael. Then 14 years later, according to God’s promise, Sarah gave birth to Isaac. Hagar and Ishmael were evicted from the family and Isaac was given ‘the right of firstborn’ as he was the son of a free woman and Ishmael was the son of a slave girl without any rights. Israel came from Isaac – the Muslim world came from Ishmael. This argument over the first born rights is at the root of all this hatred. Abraham was promised the land Israel now occupies – thus Jews and Muslims view the Holy Land as theirs.
The Fig Tree Parable, Matthew 24: 32 - 34, will show how close we really are to the seventieth week. (Jesus often spoke in parables to confuse those who wouldn’t listen and need to be understood.) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; when the branch is yet tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say to you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things are fulfilled. How do we understand this? That last verse is something I’ve always wondered about as I always thought ‘this generation’ was in the time of Jesus – but it isn’t. Jesus was telling the disciples that the generation of people who will be alive when the last days come about, would witness what He called the fig tree blooming and putting forth its leaves. So Jesus was saying (at that time but meaning now) when you see Israel re-blooming, your generation would be the one on the Earth and living when the last days occur and if Israel was destroyed in 70 AD and its inhabitants scattered – when did Israel bloom again?
Perhaps history has the answer as it all hinges on Israel. May 14th 1948 is when history records it, which is when the Jews returned to the land that was first promised to Abraham by God. The generation that witnessed that, those born very shortly after W.W.2, most have not yet passed, they are still alive today and we are the people that Jesus said would be alive when the last days begin. In other words, possibly you and I, and certainly our children will see it. We are they who shall see all these things. This prophecy in Matthew has already been partly fulfilled. Daniel 9: 27 could be within the next 10 - 15 years, remember that I started to write this in 2012 so this time is less now. (Look again at the Fig Tree Parable.) It could be earlier, based on the quickening world events that we are constantly seeing and hearing about; one has to ask, how much longer will God tolerate it, grace must fast be running out. But please remember and understand, I am not saying the end will come within this time, I’m saying that this could be the time that we have left before the period of the Tribulation, Matthew 24: 21, which will be a further 7 years, (the last week) and then Jesus will come for His bride immediately after. (And so yes, the time left is still very short.) Another past event that should be included here as it has a bearing on future problems for Israel. It was the six day war involving Israel against Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq in 1967. The reasons leading up to it aren’t necessary, but it was a military disaster for four of the strongest Arab Nations destroyed by just one Nation. Afterwards, the Jews relinquished control of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for political reasons and goodwill gestures, but as will be seen, it will be necessary to regain control over it.
Let’s break it down and remember, what follows is a dramatic change in the way the present World is: Verse 27: And he (the anti-Christ) 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, (The first part of this verse is the start of Tribulation and is when God re-starts the clock to count down the last week of Daniel’s prophecy.) This is where Satan, (in the body of the anti-Christ) will broker a peace deal between Israel and all her enemies with all kinds of flattery and deceit. This signing of a seven year peace treaty will be the start of the worst for mankind.
Because the building of a 3rd Temple must be built to fulfil the prophecies and this will be one of Israel’s demands at the peace treaty to allow it to be built. I don’t know how long it will take to build, but it will be done well inside the first half of the Tribulation. Since 70 AD no animal sacrifice has been made in Israel but will be revived again in the new Temple. It has been argued that a Temple is not required for animal sacrifice and although that is true in itself, it will happen because of Jewish custom. Daniel 11: 31 tells us of the anti-Christ entering the Temple to take away the sacrifices, Matthew 24: 15 tells us the false prophet will cause the 'image of the beast' to be built, 2nd Thessalonians 2: 3, 4 tells us so much more and all confirm Daniel 9: 27. It’s possible through this treaty that a Palestinian State will be established sharing Jerusalem, and will also bring about a New World Order, which many countries have been negotiating in secret for many years, including the Pope. The only worldly question being for a One World Government is will it be by consent or conquest? It will be neither; it will be a simple act of acquisition by Satan when he is cast out of Heaven at the mid-point of Tribulation. Can you imagine the bickering and arguing over who should be voted or appointed to rule the entire world? Nevertheless, mankind has just about come to the conclusion that the only solution to the continuous wars is a One World Government.
As soon as the anti-Christ attains absolute power and establishes a One World Government it will be easy for him to cause a One World Religion through the false prophet. God will then send His two witnesses to Israel, Revelation 11: 3 – 13, to preach the true Gospel to the lost to repent now, and many will because of them. They will come very early in the first half of the Tribulation simply because when Satan is cast out of Heaven at the midpoint, he won’t tolerate them being around for too long. They will be clothed in sackcloth and they can’t be killed by any means. If anyone tries to, they will be killed by fire that proceeded from their mouths.They will have the power to cause it not to rain anywhere on the Earth in the days of their prophecy, which will last for 42 months, or 3.5 years.They also have the power to turn waters and rivers to blood and to smite the Earth with all manner of plagues as often as they will. The entire unbelieving world will hate them. The two witnesses are Moses and Elijah - resuscitated. Even though we will now be entering a very difficult time there is still time to be saved but leaving it this late is risky. God will also raise 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel in all the World who will be under the direction of the two witnesses, Revelation 7: 3 – 8. They will go out 2 x 2 to preach the gospel as in Luke 10: 1. The prophetic war, referred to as the Gog-Magog war in Ezekiel 38 & 39, will begin at some point. I tend to think it will be after the Damascus situation and prior to Tribulation. But that may not be the case - it maybe reversed and it will involve Russia who has alliances with Iran and a host of other Muslim countries who hate Israel and some may even be preparing now. There are others also who may take advantage of this scene such as North Korea and China. The casualties from this war will be horrific; it will take seven months to bury the dead. Ezekiel 39: 12. If it is nuclear, it may require specialist teams to handle the radiation in the bones of the dead. Much of the World’s population will perish, not just from this but also from what God will do. In this war, God will be instrumental in bringing about the defeat of Israel’s enemies in a supernatural way that many of her enemies will at last see who the true God is and turn to Him.
Now let’s look at the last part of verse 27: 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 out upon the desolate. Many think verses 26 & 27 aren't separated by a gap, i.e. the entire 70 weeks have been fulfilled and verse 27 refers to Jesus. But Jesus hasn't returned yet so it must refer to the anti-Christ. (It also confirms the post-trib view - Jesus returns when scripture is fulfilled.) This is now the midpoint of Tribulation and things are going to step up a few notches. Just prior to this point there is war in Heaven and Satan and his hosts are cast out and thrown down to Earth, Revelation 13: 5 and Daniel 9: 27. This is where he indwells the anti-Christ and is about to take by force, the highest seat in the Temple. The anti-Christ now has absolute power and will exercise his authority in the worst way imaginable. He will coerce the false prophet to cause many to follow him and worship the image of the beast, even unto the (end) consummation. The seat of power for the Catholic Church is the Vatican in Rome but this will be overshadowed by the building of the 3rd Temple and that is where Satan will choose to rule from. Evil rarely works openly; instead evil usually wears a facade of righteousness to cover its real character in order to more easily deceive. What better facade than a church to cover the anti-Christ’s, or the false prophet’s real identity and most have no idea that the Vatican has an agenda in Jerusalem. Rome had conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC and since 1993 they continue with talks in Israel to regain control yet to no avail, but will pave the way as a signatory when the ‘peace treaty’ is signed, marking the beginning of Tribulation. During the Dark Ages, (from 450 AD to 1000 AD) the Catholic Church ruled the world until 1534 and slaughtered thousands, if not millions of Christians and is never mentioned today. The World has almost completely forgotten that so many were burned at the stake or thrown to the lions by the Papacy, simply for wanting to worship God according to the Bible. The Bible was even banned during this time under the pain of death. The apostate Church of Rome still says she has the right to punish with the confiscation of their goods, or by penalty of death to those who differ in faith from the Pope. I haven’t just made that up, history has recorded these things and I don’t believe God will forget this. Once again the Papacy may rise to power to repeat the atrocities of the Dark Ages, but under a different guise, this time in the form of the false prophet. This is NOT the anti-Christ. After securing the peace treaty through subtlety and subterfuge, the anti-Christ returns to the US where he rises to power, after which he returns back to Israel and then seizes power by force half way through Tribulation. He will enter the Temple and declare himself to be God and puts an end to the animal sacrifice and worship. He is then assassinated but is satanically brought back to life to the wonder of all and then Satan turns his attention to the Jews. (This paragraph is included for understanding as it fits here in the timeline and there is more to follow.)
It is now that God will allow His two witnesses to be killed by the anti-Christ and their bodies will remain in the streets for 3.5 days and the World will celebrate this by sending gifts to each other because of the torment they caused to the World.Then, a miracle happens, the spirit of life enters into them and they stand upon their feet causing terror to those who see it. After this God commands – Come up here and they ascend up to Heaven in a cloud. At the same hour there is a great earthquake, in which a tenth part of the city falls and in this earthquake 7,000 men are slain and the remnant is afraid. Revelation 11: 9 – 13. This is Day One of the start of the second half of Tribulation, the most dangerous time – EVER. (There is more on the first half to follow.)
It will also be at some time, late in the second half of the Great Tribulation that the U.S., thought by many to be Mystery Babylon, (Isaiah 47: 8 – 11) is brought to her knees in a single hour. How could America, the strongest military power be brought low in one prophetic hour? I think it’s very likely through their own arrogance in believing in their own safety. Who would have ever thought 9/11? This Nation, which is known as Mystery Babylon sits on many waters, Revelation 17 & 18, which means many peoples and not necessarily oceans, will initially dictate what the anti-Christ can and cannot do. They will be a very formidable dynasty of this time. Not only do they have World political and military power, they are very wealthy and religious in nature – the words “In God we trust” are printed on every Dollar bill in the US. Mystery Babylon has given the beast and the ten Nations their power and is still very much in control but will change in the middle of the Tribulation period when Satan is removed from Heaven and enters the anti-Christ, with serious consequences for all. The beast is described as having ten horns that represents ten Nations, which are subject to the beast. (I don’t know what countries will make up this ten nation confederacy, but as there are twenty seven countries that make up the EU now,? there may eventually only be the ten countries who have signed a treaty to the effect that if one is attacked, an attack is made on all.) This will be the beginning of the end for Mystery Babylon, for Satan will not be ruled over by God and certainly will not tolerate being ruled by man. The anti-Christ and his Kingdom will turn on Mystery Babylon and launch an attack, which will be devastating and conclusive. A possible explanation could be an Electro Magnetic Pulse attack, which is detonating one nuclear bomb 300 k’s above the middle of the US, crippling the electricity grid and all the back-up systems, rendering the entire country vulnerable and helpless to respond. (Their electrical grid system is so outdated and in need of upgrading but has never happened.) This would be followed up by many nuclear bombs raining down from ballistic missiles with multiple warheads without any fear of a counter attack because they are unable to do so. As yet, they have no contingency plans to counter such an attack. Some may be saved if they will heed God’s direct warning to ‘come out of her my people’ before it happens, Revelation 18: 4. Mystery Babylon is then totally destroyed and the destruction is so terrible that the land is no longer fit for use or to live on, which can only suggest it will be a nuclear holocaust. This defeat is so swift and decisive it will leave the rest of the World shocked and terrified. This was the strongest Nation on Earth and in one hour they were gone. Russia and her allies (India, China, Belarus, Iran and Syria) have the ability to do this, Jeremiah 50 & 51. The World is left wondering what will happen next, as they scramble to recoup loss from the financial collapse caused by it and position themselves for what this dramatic change of power will bring. Isaiah 13 is a frightening account of what will befall the US (Mystery Babylon) at this time and confirms her complete destruction.
Let’s now look at the parts of Matthew 24, which are a warning and needs serious thinking on by all. Every verse in this chapter is a story in itself and I have only covered a few and I invite you to look at each one separately and consider their meanings, particularly verse 13, which speaks of a victorious reward.
verse 3: And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?
verse 4: And Jesus answered and said to them, Take heed that no man deceive you. (Many will come with false doctrines and many will follow them, which is really Satan preparing the way for the anti-Christ.)
verse 5: For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Anyone who tells you this prior to Him coming, you know is a liar. Remember, no-one has seen Jesus until He returns on a cloud, at the END of Tribulation, Matthew 24: 29, 30 where everyone will see Him. (Link verse 4, 5 with 11.)
verse 6: And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that you are not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (IS may just be the start but could also be part of the end.)
verse 7: For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in all manner of places. (Aren’t we seeing all these things increasing now?)
verse 8: All of these are the beginning of sorrows. (V3 – 14 is the first half of Tribulation.)
verse 9: Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. (For this verse and verse10, see Mark 13: 12 – and it isn’t what you want to read.)
verse 10: And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. Even those of your own family may/will betray you.
verse 11: And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. (Don’t just blindly follow them, examine them first – look for flaws in what they say, even their written words, [internet and videos] trust only in Jesus.)
verse 12: And because sin shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. (This is the falling away 1st Timothy 4: 1 and it is 50% of lukewarm believers – read and understand the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25: 1 – 13, the 5 wise and the 5 foolish.) This will begin in the first half and reach fulfilment in the second half.
verse 13: But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. This verse speaks to me of Psalm 23.
verse 14: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the entire world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come. (Raised from the 12 tribes of Israel throughout the world,144,000 preach the true gospel to the whole world in the first half of Tribulation and they are the first to be martyred.)
verse 15: When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation stand in the holy place, spoken of by Daniel the prophet. [11: 31] Whoso reads, let him understand. (This is speaking of when the false prophet incites the people [non believers] to build ‘the image of the beast’ and having the power to cause it to speak.)
verse 21: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. The anti-Christ will rise early in Tribulation and we should recognise him by then but it isn’t until the second half (the Great Tribulation) that he attains absolute power and his mark is introduced.
verse 22: And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Jesus is clearly saying that all true believers will go through Tribulation.
verse 29: 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:
verse 30: 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 with power and great glory.
verse 31: And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. These 4 verses dismiss any pre or mid-trib view.
verses 32,34: The Fig Tree Parable. It is of interest that Jesus spoke this parable after the above 3 verses.
verse 36: But of that day and hour no man knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
verse 37: But as the days of Noah were, so shall my coming be.
verse 38: For in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark.
verse 39: And knew nothing until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of man be. These last few verses are describing the blindness of people today not wanting to know.
verse 34: Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord will come.
Yet for so many, these are just words, they don’t understand them; life goes on the same as always. The scripture speaks of more wars; the next is likely just before or into the first half of Tribulation and more serious than the ‘Burden of Damascus’ and certainly could be W.W.3 because it will involve many Nations. The last war is said to be Armageddon and happens 1000 years after Jesus returns. Revelation 20 is the only reference to these 1000 years and isn’t easy to understand. In Revelation 6, God is telling us some of the things He will bring to pass, which is a parallel chapter with Matthew 24, in which Jesus is the author. In Revelation 10: 6, an angel from God is saying to John that there should be time no longer, and in verse 7, he also says the mystery of God should be finished – this could also fit with Matthew 24: 14, which can suggest the end is shortly or immediately after the tribulation. But Jesus only tells us when to expect Him, not the day nor when the end is. The end mentioned in verse 14 isn’t the end of the world per se just yet, it is only the end of Satan’s rule where he will be bound in chains and cast into the abyss for 1000 years – after which he will be released to deceive those non believers who didn’t take the mark, yet survived Tribulation and entered the millennium. This is also when all those who took the mark will either be killed in war or cast into the lake of fire and then Jesus reigns on earth along with those of us raised by Him at His appearance. The 1000 years is literal because of the 7000 year / 7 millennial day’s prophecy and we should know we are now in the end of the 6th day of that timeline. (The church age.) During the 1000 year millennium, those unbelievers both Jews and gentiles who survived Tribulation and living then will experience 1000 years of peace. (It is only those unbelievers who didn't take the mark that will enter the millennium, otherwise none would be alive to enter it.) But sin is still in man as a result of our descent from Adam, that hasn't changed and because Satan has been removed he cannot cause man to sin while Jesus reigns. After the 1000 years pass, Satan will be released to try and deceive those alive. We should now look at what Paul says in 1st Thessalonians 4: 16 – 18 to see how it fits in with scripture. 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. Comfort one another with these words. 1st Corinthians 15: 52 also says: 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. (There are 21 judgements in the Tribulation, 7 seals, [which are an overview] 7 trumpets [which are overlapping, beginning in the 1st half and concluding in the 2nd half] and 7 bowl judgements. Revelation 6, 8, & 9. The first 6 trumpets are in the 1st half, the 7th trumpet is in the beginning of the 2nd half, which are followed by the bowl judgements. The last trump is referring to the time Jesus returns - at the end of Tribulation and are not part of the 7 trumpet judgements.) Many use this as an argument for their pre or mid-trib views. These verses fit with Matthew 24: 21, 22, 29 – 31. In the verses above the dead in Christ shall rise first - this is the first resurrection, mentioned in Revelation 20: 4 - 6 and as such there cannot be a rapture before the 'falling away' i.e. believers who have become apostates, which begins in the first half of Tribulation and culminates in the second half, therefore ALL believers who are alive at the end, having survived the Tribulation will be caught up, (raised) along with the dead to meet Him in the air at the same time. So all believers must go through Tribulation - to the END, unless dying beforehand. I believe many are convinced otherwise by fear and false doctrine. In these verses, which are ‘commonly known as the rapture’ there are four schools of thought, of which only one is right: 1. There will be a pre-tribulation rapture. 2. There will be a mid-tribulation rapture. 3. There will be a post-tribulation rapture. 4. There won’t be a rapture at all. (Non believers.)
We are all allowed free will to believe or not, by our own choice, God could have made it that no free will was given, no-one needed saving and no sacrifice either. In O.T. times, forgiveness was sought through the blood sacrifice of animals, now eliminated by Jesus who shed His precious blood for our salvation. Preachers of many religions teach a pre or mid-trib rapture, if they teach it at all, some even say it’s only the Jews who will go through tribulation – well if it's only the Jews, what happens to us? Do we get a 'get out of jail free card' - I don't think so. Their teaching or reasoning isn’t scriptural; it is man’s own thinking that God won’t allow His elect to go through the horror of what is to come, surely not. And neither did all those who were horribly burnt to death at the stake in the Dark Ages either. This scripture has taught us some will survive Tribulation to be caught-up, and some of us won’t – many will argue point 3 quoting certain scriptures as reasoning and some will openly hate God after they discover their belief in a pre or mid-trib rapture doesn’t eventuate. Those who hold to 1 and 2 are sadly mistaken, taking other passages totally out of context and believing it simply because they are blinded and don’t or won’t accept the truth. This time of testing will sort out the true believers. Human nature is what it is.
This is the very question the disciples asked Jesus. Don't you think that if it were before Tribulation Jesus would have said so? But He clearly said after and only God has the right to change that. You cannot read Matthew 24 without concluding that Jesus causes the 'catching away' immediately after the tribulation of those days. For those who believe in a rapture that comes before Tribulation, they should look again at the scriptures that contain the word tribulation. The O.T. uses it 3 times, the N.T., 19 times. If the rapture comes before Tribulation, shouldn't one of those 22 passages teach us something about the rapture happening before Tribulation? But in all the 22 instances, there isn't one verse which says the rapture happens before Tribulation. There are however, very clear verses which says it happens after the Tribulation - Matthew 24: 29 & 30.
There may be some passages which seem to agree with a pre or mid-trib view, but they don’t prove this theory as certain and irrefutably as the post-trib view does. These are really false prophets propagating a false doctrine, which will give a false hope to so many. It would be so easy to believe that Jesus will come and take us away before the horror begins, (if it were true) which only leads to a dangerous complacency, but scripture tells a different story. Those who fall victim to this ideology and succumb to a false hope and security will only result in a serious lack of a preparedness of mind that somehow it isn’t really dangerous because the Tribulation won’t ever have to be endured. Matthew 6: 25 – 34 tells us how God will provide for us in Tribulation and our faith will be severely tested in this. Don’t concentrate on the visible things of this world but look to the invisible things above. This is hard to comprehend and one needs to believe without question that God will do what He says in these verses for there is absolutely no other way we will survive Tribulation without His help.
All true Christians will become refugees and need to understand the implications of Luke 18: 8.
Let's just imagine for a minute that the rapture does happen before Tribulation (which it won't) what have we lost? - Nothing, and I will have to say 'thank God' and breathe a sigh of relief but 'when the darkness sets in' the realisation for some will turn to despair. Or to put it another way, those who put their hope in the pre-trib view (and that's what it is) have no fear of Tribulation - we won't be here. But if they would just examine scripture and when the realisation of the truth finally dawns on them, they will understand in stark contrast and unfortunately, won't be prepared for what is coming. And those not spiritually prepared could end up worshipping the beast. Any preacher teaching this lie will have their ministry centred around this view - which is why you should examine them, even ask the question. If they say it's pre or mid-trib, leave and look for one that says it's post-tribulation.
Here is the proof of a post-tribulation rapture, and many will try to convince you otherwise, looking first at 1st Thessalonians 5: 1, 2 to lead you into it. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write to you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. (The catching-away or “rapture” [a non biblical term] is also referred to as the day of the Lord.)
Further in 2nd. Thessalonians 1: 7 - 10, And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Now look at some verses in the O.T. that determine when ‘the day of the Lord’ shall occur and compare them with what Jesus said in Matthew 24: 29 – 31. Isaiah 13: 9, 10 See the day of the Lord has come, for the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. These signs will be unmistakable to all believers – but unbelievers won’t know what to think. Joel 2: 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. Some think there is a ‘secret’ rapture before or during Tribulation instead of after, and are sadly incorrect – this isn’t a double event, Jesus is only coming again once – AFTER Tribulation. Zechariah 14: 6, 7 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. This verse could explain how every eye shall see Him when He returns. Acts 1: 9 – 11 tells us how Jesus ascended into heaven; He was taken up by a cloud. It goes on to say and also in Revelation 1: 7 how He will appear when He returns; on a cloud and every eye shall see Him.
The most crucial thing is that we are not deceived as Jesus told us in Matthew 24: 4, 5 and 11, and perhaps also from false apparitions by Satan.
In John’s Gospel 6: 39, 40 and 44 and 54, Jesus mentions the words ‘last day’ four times. Notice it is singular tense and not plural as in ‘last days’. Anything said in singular tense is specific; plural is just a reference in general and meaning more than one or once. The last day is suggesting something that is after or at the end of an event, and last days doesn’t, it suggests either before or during. Jesus mentions the last day four times so we wouldn’t miss it. Look again at two verses on page 8: and the dead in Christ shall rise first – then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds. When will this happen – Jesus has already told us in Matthew 24: 31 and I have highlighted His words.
Revelation 13: 15 says as many who would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. The ‘mark of the beast’ (666) won’t be in place until after the second half of Tribulation begins and believers won’t take the mark, so they will go through it and many will die. But if there weren’t any believers at all, (the mark wouldn’t even be necessary) so who are they who won’t worship the beast? There can be no persecution of believers, Matthew 24: 9, unless believers are there, and there can be no falling away of believers, Matthew 24: 12, unless believers are present in both the first and second half!! Also look again at Matthew 24: 22, would God bother to shorten these days if His elect didn’t go through it???
I used to believe the pre-trib lie for 2 reasons, as so many do; it sounded right - surely God wouldn't put us through that, until I found the truth and had to face it.
When He returns there will be many who took the mark and will realise their mistake when they see Him and plead to be accepted but to no avail. By their own choice, they forfeited their opportunity, even in ignorance. Matthew 13 has a lot of parables and the parable of the wheat and the tares gives a good example in verse 24 - 30. It speaks of how a man sewed good seed in his field but an enemy came and sewed tares among the wheat. When his servants found them they asked, should they remove them and he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles and first burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. The disciples asked Jesus to explain this parable and in verses 36 - 43 it is clear. The field is the world: the good seed are the children of the kingdom: but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sewed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
A few things to think on:
Did God save Noah from the flood, (i.e. before) or through the flood? (i.e. after) Did God save both Job and Joseph from their trials, or did he deliver them through those trials? Were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego saved from the furnace, or through it? Did God save Daniel from the lion's den, or through the lion's den? Jesus says in Matthew 24: 9 in part, You will be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And in verse 13, But he that endures,......was it to the beginning,......to the middle,......Or to the END?
Those who believe in a pre or mid-trib rather than a post-trib view, always present the weakest case against the strongest case for it. 1st Thessalonians 5: 9 says, For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. The wrath of God and the wrath of the anti-Christ (Satan in the anti-Christ's body) are TWO different things. God’s wrath comes later – just after Jesus comes for His own at the end of Tribulation. The real purpose of the Tribulation is for the anti-Christ to pour out his wrath on all those who won’t bow down and worship him. So God’s children ARE appointed to Tribulation, but the ‘children of disobedience’ are appointed to God’s wrath. We are those who won’t take the mark and are persecuted in the Tribulation, looking for His return at the end of it. Look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws nigh. In Daniel 12: 10 – 13, he is speaking about the END TIMES and he tells us of 45 days that are not explained. This could be for God’s wrath to take place then on the children of disobedience, the end coming after. In John 17 Jesus is praying a beautiful prayer to God and in verse 15 saying, I pray not that you should take them out of the world, [before time] but you will keep them from the evil. Meaning until the appointed time and to keep those who endure to the end. Lastly, and this must seal it, is any more proof needed than what Jesus said?
Now we come to Revelation 13, which will both shock and terrify you at the same time and was written by John while in exile on Patmos. Two beasts are described in this chapter, one from the sea in verse 1 and one from the land in verse 11. The beast from the sea is the anti-Christ; the beast from the land is the false prophet. (The true Trinity is God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit – the false Trinity is Satan, the anti-Christ and the false prophet.) Things during the end times will be chaotic. A time of confusion and uncertainty will cause the people to desperately look for a strong leader who could bring hope and security in a time of fear and trembling. People will seek a strong, authoritative leader who can pull the world back from the very brink of serious disaster. Those people will get their wish as a powerful and charismatic leader sprouting peace and unity comes on the scene. But he will turn out to be much more than they bargained for; he will be a dictator whose cruelty will be more than any other the world has ever known. (We all thought Hitler was bad.)
This man will be the anti-Christ who will rule the entire world through a One World Government.
verse 1: 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.
verse 2: And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and Satan gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. (Link with verse 7.)
verse 3: And I saw as one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. This is the anti-Christ indwelled by Satan.
verse 4: And they worshipped Satan which gave power to the beast: and they worshipping the beast, saying, who is as powerful as the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
verse 5: And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given to him to continue forty two months. This is the same time given to Jesus so he can’t cry unfair.
verse 6: And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those that dwell in heaven.
verse 7: And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given to him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. This verse could explain a One World Government.
verse 8: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. There will be some who don’t follow Jesus but for reasons of their own, won’t take the mark and are among the few who survive Tribulation and enter the millennium – and if they repent, they will get a second chance at the end. How patient is God.
verse 9: If any man has an ear, let him hear. It could be that the Spirit will cause us to know more at this time.
verse 10: He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints. (*see explanation next page and could also refer to the beheading of many.)
verse 11: And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. This is the false prophet who causes a one-world religion; I believe it could be the Pope. Have a close look at his mitre, (hat) it has two horns.
verse 12: And he exercised all the power of the first beast before him, and caused the earth and those which dwell therein to worship the first beast, who’s deadly wound was healed.
verse 13: And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. Believe not what you see (as a miracle) keep a firm mind-set for Jesus until we see Him.
verse 14: And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound, and did live. It is the non-believers who will make this image.
verse 15: And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many who would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
verse 16: And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: A large % of the population, even the lukewarm... will take the mark.
verse 17: And that no man might buy or sell, except he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (verse 16, 17 indicates it will be world-wide and in place early in the second half after the anti-Christ attains power, if it isn’t God would have said so – no man is specific – none are exempt.)
verse 18: Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred and sixty six. (666.)
There are so many things in the book of Revelation that are yet hard to understand, I believe as we get closer and enter these days, our understanding of these things will increase. But I think we all should have some understanding of chapter 13 so that we can prepare as best we can to survive these days and know what will happen when it finally comes.
I’m sure if this is the first time you’ve read this chapter, you must now begin to have terrifying and serious concerns for yourself and your children. When these days come upon us they will be days of unimaginable terror as Jesus has said. I’ll try and break it down from my understanding, which may or may not be entirely correct. Isaiah 55 offers a beautiful comfort and we must do everything possible to increase our faith if we are to survive.
verse 3: Satan incarnates (indwells) the man described as the beast then someone assassinates him, God will allow Satan to cause him to be brought back to life to deceive all those who don’t believe the truth. This is Satan mimicking the death of Jesus. He will enter the Temple and claim to be God himself; the World will believe him except true believers. There is a reference in O.T. scripture, Zechariah 11: 16, 17 that indicates he will be blind in his right eye and that one arm will be useless, which could come from the assassination attempt.
verse 5: Is reinforcing what Daniel told us – that his reign will be for 3.5 years after he is cast out of Heaven.
verse 10* In these days, anyone who leads people to take the beast’s forces captive, shall themselves be made captives and anyone who takes up arms against the beast’s forces will themselves be killed. God is very clearly saying this is not the time to take up arms or rebellion; it will be reserved for another time. The anti-Christ will make short work of any who oppose him. If you are brought before certain powers, take no thought for what you will say for it will be given to you in the same hour. Luke 12: 11, 12.
verse 11: Says this beast has two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. This is the false prophet who has the appearance of a lamb speaking all forms of flattery, but with the power and authority of Satan. He is the anti-Christ's right hand man.
verse 12: Just like the first beast he will also have great powers, even to cause fire to rain down from Heaven in the sight of all, but his main purpose will be to promote and force all to worship the first beast who rose from the dead, just as Jesus did. Can you see the same similarity here where Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead? Jesus didn’t promote himself but gave all the glory to God.
verse 15: Starts to get really frightening; here we see the start of his real intent, to give life to the image of the beast and that the image should speak and anyone who refuses to worship the beast will be killed. Rather than a statue as an image, with today’s advanced technology it could possibly be a very highly developed hologram. We are now living in the last few years of the church age, Revelation 3: 14 – 17, which is Laodicea. The church, which are those who belong to God are part of the church age but not necessarily the church visible, which is the 2000 years between the 69th and the 70th week, (where God stops the clock at the end of the 69th week and restarts it in the beginning of the 70th week and includes Tribulation) and it will be finished at or near the end of the second half of Tribulation. The papacy could rise to power again through Satan creating a One-World religion, by way of the false prophet, coercing the already polluted religions early in the second half. With the anti-Christ now in absolute power, it will be join or suffer the consequences and will be put into effect with the beast as God.
verses 16 & 17: The false prophet will cause everyone to receive a mark, either in their right hand or forehead. And it won’t be by force – he won’t have to, it will be voluntary, at first. He is responsible for causing the mark so is equally guilty. You won’t be killed because you refused the mark, but because you’ve refused to worship Satan. It’s so, so very simple, if you don’t take the mark, you won’t be able to buy and sell anything. Can you imagine a more sinister trick than that? How many have stopped and thought about what that means. Just think about it again, you can’t buy or sell anything. Is it beginning to sink in? The technology is already here with the ‘tap n go’ credit card, no signature is required; all that’s needed now is the legislation to remove cash from the system and to implement the mark. When it comes, credit cards will be obsolete. We are being conditioned now for a cashless society and will quickly be in place all over the World so don’t think you can escape it. AND, to make it worse still, your name could then be on a register for refusing, just like voting. Where will that place you and I? You can’t even live in your own home simply because you don’t have the mark to buy what is required to live in your own home – and you may eventually have to abandon it for a very different lifestyle. A black market may survive for a while but the whole World will eventually become a cashless society. When this day comes we will know exactly who the false prophet is and happens in the beginning of the second half of Tribulation. Before this order is put into law, we will have come to the realisation that we may even be evicted from our homes by a ruthless government under the control of the anti-Christ and we will have to trust God for His deliverance. (Right now I don’t know what else we can do.) We will have to be very careful trying to use a barter system, as that too will probably be outlawed and will cause fear to those with the mark who would even consider bartering with us. (What do we have that we can barter with over a long period anyway – gold won’t do you any good, you’ll be ripped off fiercely – if you want this give me that.) You may be forgiven for thinking that it won’t happen here and it may be timely to give the strongest warning:
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, ACCEPT THE MARK OF THE BEAST. Not under any circumstances and no matter what – even unto death. Anyone who gets the ‘mark of the beast’ is already dead – their names will be erased from the Lamb’s Book of Life. Revelation 3: 5. Everyone’s name is in His book from the foundation of the world, Revelation 17: 8, even every unbelievers name is there until, either by the wilful act of accepting the mark, or remaining as an unbeliever until death, which will seal their fate in both instances. There are no excuses here, and everyone will receive the warning. Revelation 14: 9,10 And the third angel followed them, (there are two angels prior) saying with a loud voice, If any man worships the beast and his image, and receives 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. There are three angels that are mentioned in this prophecy, I don't know if these warnings are audibly or spiritually received, but nevertheless, all will receive them and no-one can say they didn't know. GOD SAYS WHAT HE MEANS AND HE MEANS WHAT HE SAYS. This is the strongest, most severe warning God gives anywhere in the Bible – without mixture indicates there will be no mercy mixed with this judgement. The mark of the beast is of prime importance in the controversy between God and Satan. By taking the mark you will have to swear allegiance to Satan and I can’t put it any stronger than that except to say this, if you refuse the mark and you are found; you will either be imprisoned if you’re lucky, or you will die..... How – beheading, Revelation 20: 4, think again about beheading – who still practises that? So it comes down to only two choices, do I take the mark or don’t I – and this is the POINT OF NO RETURN, your very last chance for salvation.
Just on those two choices, Revelation 20: 15 says: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. You can either spend eternity with Jesus - or you will spend ETERNITY in the lake of fire, in torments forever. In that light, it should be an easy decision, which shouldn't be out of necessity but out of love.
(At this point I should include the message and the meaning of what the two angels said prior to the third angel's message, as they are of equal importance and all happening one after the other following the martyrdom of the 144,000 in the beginning of the second half of Tribulation.) Revelation 14: 6 & 7: And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgement is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
This is the last warning of which there were so many before, to those still unrepentant, that there is only a short time left - now is the time to do something about it. And in verse 8: And there followed another angel, saying Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city because she made all nations drink of the wine of her fornication.
This is a message to the US, [Mystery Babylon] warning her ahead of total destruction in Revelation 18 but some will be saved if they heed the warning come out of her my people.
If you are willing to refuse the mark because of what you know, you must also be prepared to die for your faith in terrible ways, including starvation and murder. Let’s read what Jesus says: Luke 9: 24, For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. I used to be in wonder about this verse as well, now I understand it, but it is still somewhat troubling. Bear in mind also, even if you do take the mark to temporarily save your life, you will die anyway from what this ‘mark’ will inflict on you, Revelation 16: 2. This mark could be from a laser tattoo, which is painless and invisible but readable with a hand held detector, or an implanted electronic chip and someone may have the power to turn it OFF, so think about what that means as well – but I tend to think it will be a visible mark and worn like a badge of honour. When all these things come to be and a One World Government system is instituted by Satan perhaps through the UN and/or the EU, who knows just what manner of persons shall enter this country?
I would think that before the mark of the beast could be introduced worldwide; there must be in place a One World Government to enable it to happen. Because of the worldwide instability and hostility, along with global calamities yet to take place, when Satan is cast out of Heaven one of the first things he will do is cause a One World Government to be established and he will be its ruler through the anti-Christ. I don’t know the reasons that would cause the world to accept a One World Government but it’s easy to see that governments already corrupted by ‘big business’ will become more so in the coming days making them an easy prey to be overtaken by Satan. It may be that the US will give in and agree to world pressure, but then resist through their own pride still wanting to have world dominance, which will cause their eventual destruction. I don’t think we can imagine the speed and scale of the things that will take place when it all arrives. At this point right now, it is unclear who the anti-Christ and the false prophet’s identity really is, but I’m sure as the day gets closer, we will have no doubt.
However, I will say what I think. Because of the past and present day atrocities of the Catholic Church, it can hardly be considered the true church as some say. Every title given or taken by every Pope, the numerical value of each letter in every title adds up to 666. I’ll just give two for example: Vicarius Filii Dei (Son of God) = 666. Dux Cleri (Captain of the Clergy) = 666. There have been many instances in history where certain people have been tied to the number 666 but we can’t know for certain until he arrives. When Satan is cast out of Heaven and down to Earth, he will need to mask his identity by indwelling someone and as yet, that person isn’t known. This is also the moment the Catholic Church has been waiting for ever since Henry the 8th threw off the bonds of this evil church that ruled the entire world until 1534 and the Church of England becoming official in 1536. Since that time the Catholic Church has sought ways to rule again. It was the Catholics who unlawfully changed God’s 4th commandment – Remember the Sabbath day; from the 7th day to the 1st day of the week in 321 AD. Break one of the ten commandments and you break all of them. No man has the power to change a law given by God. Daniel 7: 25 and Isaiah 58: 13 is very clear about this and Germany and Croatia have now enforced Sunday worship, instigated by the Pope and will soon be followed by others if not all. The calendar of nearly all countries show Sunday to be the 7th day. Most countries, including the US already have the 'law' in place - it only awaits official enforcement, probably by the anti-Christ. The Sabbath day is and always will be Saturday and you don't have to go to the church visible to worship on Saturday. In fact, most people who go to a church no matter what day, are largely worshipping by mouth only on that day, when every day is how we should be living it, not just one. The ten commandments are applicable today as they were yesterday.
This is further evidence of the degradation of the church visible and is the beginnings of subtle conditioning to accept a one-world religion. I am not trying to be legalistic in any way, nor do I have any connection to the Seventh Day Adventists, I am merely stating a fact.
Because the anti-Christ hasn’t risen yet, and that can’t happen until the restrainer (The Holy Spirit, 2nd Thessalonians 2: 6 – 9) is taken out of the way opening the path for the Tribulation, we can’t really know his identity yet. The number 666 can’t yet be tied to any person but when he rises, we will know for certain. It can’t be said the Pope will become the anti-Christ; he may certainly be the false prophet, which I now think is the case as he has recently said that all religions should combine into one.
The only question is will this Pope remain alive until this day comes, or will there be another Pope? The anti-Christ (indwelt by Satan) and the false prophet (coerced by Satan) are both earthly men. I tend to think the false prophet is a religious man of high worldly standing.
I have been studying a very good site – ichthys.com that has a lot of information on the last days, which aligns with scripture and he suggests as well, that the US is Mystery Babylon and that the anti-Christ will come from there and that he is alive right now. He also says which makes sense, that he is now a young man, most probably Jewish, born in the year 2000 and is significant in that Jesus was born a little over 2000 years ago and began His ministry at age 30. It would stand to reason that by mimicking God and Jesus, the Devil’s son being the anti-Christ would be a similar age to Jesus when he rises to power. In mimicking God, Satan will create his own religion by the false prophet and many will follow it. Satan’s objective is to crush and eradicate all forms of the Christian faith by whatever means.
I will encourage everyone to look at ichthys.com – what I’ve said here is only scratching the surface. Anyone even vaguely interested in knowing what will happen should look at it. There is a wealth of information there, this man has dedicated his life to putting his work out there, which is free to all and I thank God that I found it and I thank him for writing it. When I first started searching for information I would type in specific questions and I must have looked at so many hundreds of sites and there are so many blatant lies out there but cross checking everything I was reading with my Bible, it didn't take long to separate fact from fiction. I don't remember when I first found it and because it is such an unassuming site - no hoopla or razzmatazz, no glossy photos or videos, just plain facts and I probably overlooked it until finding it again. I'm so glad God saved the best 'til last. I've been reading it since 2014 now and I'm nowhere near finished - so much information there and I've learnt so much. When you find it save it to favourites - you will be going back to it many times.
If the ‘fig tree parable’ has been correctly interpreted, and God has given us 70 years, or if by reason of strength, 80 years – 1948 + 70 = 2018... 1948 + 80 = 2028, then the fulfilment of the 69 weeks til the beginning of the last week using God’s allotted human life time, (i.e. a time in between a span of 10 years) can’t be dismissed yet. However, I don’t believe that God in His mercy would leave us guessing about an important time and I believe there is a more absolute way of determining the beginning of Tribulation. I would ask that you consider for a moment, certain facts that the Bible tells us, which are: The Tribulation lasts for 7 years, Daniel 9: 27. Jesus will return at the end of that time, Matthew 24: 29. So there is no reason that God would withhold the start time of Tribulation because we already know that Jesus returns 7 years after it begins. Even though the actual day that tribulation begins isn't yet known, (until the anti-Christ brokers the signing of the peace treaty, which is Day One) there is compelling scriptural evidence of what year it will begin. This comes from Hosea 6: 2 & 3 which says: After two days He will revive us: in the third day He will raise us up in His sight and we shall live in His sight. And in part of verse 3, Then we shall know, if we follow on to know the Lord: which is confirming verse 2 and what follows. Again, this needs interpretation and explanation. The two days relates to two millennial days and is the 2000 years after the death of Jesus, which is the 6th millennial day of human history and is almost finished - it is also known as the church age and is the period of time or grace between the 69th and 70th week where the clock was stopped. Jesus was killed in 33 AD and then adding the known church age, which also includes Tribulation and comes to 2033, and then by subtracting the 7 years of Tribulation, we arrive at 2026 for the start of Tribulation. The fig tree parable was spoken by Jesus to confound some at that time and is just generalising the time as somewhere between 10 years, this is giving a specific year and makes sense to me - I don't know of any other scripture that points to it so clearly. The 3rd day is the last millennial day and is the 1000 years that Jesus reigns on earth after which Satan will be released to deceive all those, who are the few unbelievers that manage to make it through Tribulation without the mark (no-one with the mark will enter the millennium) – and they will still be given opportunity after re-populating the earth because they refused it. This isn't a 'second chance' so to speak, you only get one shot at this and it must be before you die, whenever that is, and this is how it will be for the unbelievers who are not risen in the first resurrection with believers but live to make a good choice in the millennium. But there will still be some who don't believe, even after seeing Him, which is why Satan will be released at the end of 1000 years to try and deceive those in the millennium - of which there will be many. So many find it hard to understand the mercy and grace of God. Are we living in the ‘days of Noah’ now, with the last week soon to arrive? I believe we are. After reading this through, no doubt your first question will be how will I survive if I am alive and these days come upon me? The short answer – I really don’t know yet. All I can say is that you, just like me, will have to put our complete trust and faith in God that somehow, known to Him, He will bring us through this terrible time in His way. Psalm 91 has some beautiful words of encouragement.
It’s a sad thing that in the age we live, so few care about God, or about each other, very few care about the starving, the rising love of money and greed, they murder and care not – all of which is increasing. There are more natural disasters, more tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, famines – but most of all, ungodliness is everywhere. Jeremiah 6: 10 is a good example of this and is good to read. There are many who blame God for what are the world’s problems – the oppressed and starving, yet the affluent collectively have enough wealth to alleviate these things. Mark 7: 14 says in part, For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will, ye may do them good. But how many do it and it’s easier to blame God, so they blame Him instead. Looking at the world, ¼ of the world is starving, ¼ of the world is constantly at war, and the other ½ is chasing political power and monetary gain. What a shameful imbalance! These events have always existed but never before has there been a time when all these events are happening in so many places and with such frequency and intensity.
In the last days many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. This explains the ease we now travel the world (aircraft/cruises etc.) and all the unprecedented new discoveries that are increasing on a sliding scale with rapidity. Satan knows how close we are to the end, which is why he brings certain people forward (Matthew 24: 4, 5) who will prophesy false doctrines and times for Jesus’ return and when it doesn’t happen, many will turn away from God, saying where is the promise of His coming. Because of what I’ve said here, the last thing I would ever want is to be labelled a ‘false teacher’ – I am in fear of that. Which is why I have tried to explain my thoughts with back-up from the scriptures and I sincerely hope that before you accept or believe what has been said, you will confirm it from the scriptures yourself and then decide if it makes any sense. It will be a very fearful thing to stand before Jesus who will judge us and each one of us will, after all, it was Him who paid the ultimate, highest price. Revelation 20: 11 stands out to me, 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. If the earth and the heavens are in fear of God, then what hope have I if I say these things are right, but I’m wrong?
These are some of the things that could happen before Tribulation begins. Firstly the strike on Damascus. If it's before Tribulation, and may come from Israel, or the US (I can’t say for certain it will be Israel) and it could be a singular strike or multiple strikes on her enemies as well – I think it will be a nuclear strike to silence or put fear into her enemies. Israel knows that when her enemies reach nuclear capability it can tip the balance of power against her and as it is only Iran and Syria making noises at present, others may soon join in. I don’t think Iran is immune; she could even be the first one to be silenced. This is why Israel will possibly move against Iran before a nuclear capability is reached. Psalm 83 lists the enemies of Israel by tribe, who are the descendants of the 22 Arab countries that surround Israel today and some aren’t hostile toward her but most want to see Israel destroyed. The problem that Israel will have is whether she can just make one strike on Damascus and get away with it, or should she hit several of her enemies as she has done before and by doing so, does she risk severe retaliation from multiple countries. If Israel opts for the second choice, she knows she may bring everything down on herself and because of this; she has what is called the ‘Samson Option,’ which is if she sees herself going down; she has said she will unleash her very large arsenal on all her enemies. I don’t see Israel using this option because it isn’t in the scriptures – at least I don’t think it is. I can’t say that it will be Israel who commits the first strike, but it can’t be ruled out either. There may be other serious triggers prior to Damascus, which isn’t far away considering the time that’s left. At some point after the Damascus situation the next World War may begin, which will be closely followed by the signing of a seven year covenant between Israel and multiple Nations. This signing is day one of the first half of Tribulation and the re-starting of the clock to count down the final 7 years. God will now send His two witnesses to Israel, (Moses and Elijah) as well as the 144,000 throughout the entire world and the whole world will know about these things. The re-building of the 3rd Temple will begin soon after the treaty is signed, which will be brokered by the anti-Christ himself. We will have 3.5 years of comparative safety to put our spiritual survival into effect, (if you haven't done so before) and we will need to be aware of these things as society will begin to descend into anarchy. I would strongly suggest to keep watching world events to see what co-insides exactly with scripture, particularly Damascus, which is confirming the last days but the recent escalation of world events, W.W.3 may even precede Damascus. These things are just the physical signs of the beginning of Tribulation; there are other signs, although physical as well but are spiritual. 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. This event may coincide with the signing of the peace treaty. The voices and thunders, are obviously from God but not necessarily recognisable. The lightning will be so spectacular it will be seen simultaneously around the globe, the earthquake also will be felt all around the globe, tall buildings will fall, Ezekiel 38: 20 and many will explain it away and won’t see it for what it really is. This is the first of three such events, the second and third being more intense than the first but with an extra terror – hail stones that contain blood and weigh a talent, 45kg/100lb. Once you see the first of these things, the final 7 years will have already begun and time is short. The signing of the peace treaty is the beginning of woes. (the 21 judgements over the entire period) The second event 3.5 years later marks the beginning of the second half of Tribulation and this will be the World’s government systems being replaced by a One World Government and will be instituted by the anti-Christ shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Tribulation. If you are an unbeliever in this position and you decide to repent and be saved, as long as you don't take the mark, you might survive. Many plan to serve Him but the day we depart this life is unknown and you could be too late. The third event heralds the imminent return of Jesus. And if you do see this it may already too late for you if you've failed to give your heart to God prior.
Daniel 11: 21 - 45 gives us a clear indication of the events that will take place before and during Tribulation in a chronological fashion and anyone seeking to know these things should look at it. Verses 21 - 23: And there will arise in his place a man of contempt upon whom they will not bestow the honour of the kingship i.e. he will not come to power in a legal, conventional way. Rather, he will come to power through seductive methods and will take control of his kingdom (Mystery Babylon) by means of duplicity. It is from him that the flood waters (armies) will come, to be broken in the end, for he is the prince of the covenant. After men have leagued themselves to him, he will set his conspiracy in motion and will grow in power and become strong even though his faction is small. His home country is the US (Mystery Babylon) and it is here he will first rise to power through seduction, duplicity and an eventual conspiracy. These statements make it clear that the beast's accession to power will come in a manner far outside the norm of political methods. Once achieving the peace covenant in Israel he will quickly rise to power in his own country in the beginning of the first half of Tribulation and then to further his deceit and winning converts, he sets about a campaign against 'the king of the South' (IS) and he is victorious, which will draw many into his web of deceit. Early in the second half after these victories he is indwelt by Satan, being thrown out of heaven and enters the temple and declares himself as God where the real terror begins. Believers who are carefully observing these signs at the time will see and understand that he is in fact, the anti-Christ. This is not at all the way he will appear to the world and to those looking for a religious solution, he will seem to be the true Messiah. This paragraph is condensed from ichthys and if you would like to know more, visit ichthys.com.
There will come a time in our lives when we will all have to make a decision about whose side we are on and do something about it and that MUST happen before we die, as there is ‘no hope beyond the grave’ Isaiah 38: 18. And any of us could die by natural causes or accidents before these events come to pass. This scripture is for those who know that God is, but all those living or dead, who had never heard of, or read the Bible, may still be saved – God knows the hearts of all. Are you going to waste the little time that is left and find yourself numbered with the lost? Everyone must understand that there are only two forces in this world that determine how we act – good and evil. There is no middle ground with God, so there are really only two choices in life to follow; you cannot just be a ‘fence sitter’ and say I haven’t made up my mind yet. There is no salvation in that, you either want salvation or you don’t. There are many who will say I’m a good person, I’ve never done anything really bad and I believe in God, I will be saved. They are the spiritually unprepared, which is exactly the same as a fence sitter – and even Satan, who knows and believes, has no hope at all. If you are still a non believer, the problem isn’t that He has rejected you, you have rejected Him. It beggars belief to understand why so many won’t accept His free gift??? Only those who have made a firm choice and given their hearts and minds to God have a hope, those who refuse, sadly have no hope. 2nd Thessalonians 2: 10,They perish because they refuse to believe. It’s far better to have a realised and an ‘acted on belief’ – at least with a hope of salvation, than those who continue blindly along saying I believe, but by mouth only and not living it. The rewards for those who truly believe, in far excess, outweighs everything of those who reject it. (There are so many who have chosen not to live for God and is plain to see all around us - also by the things that are accepted today in the name of equality, which, not that long ago were hidden from view behind closed doors and sadly reflect the degradation of man and will only get worse. It says to love the sinner but not the sin.) The day is coming when we will suffer persecution for our belief, perhaps even death, which Jesus has already told us about and may not only come from complete strangers but from those we love as well. Because of man's predisposition toward sin, it will become even harder to resist the pressure to 'fall away' in apostasy, particularly in the second half of Tribulation. He gave His all for us, shouldn't we give our all for Him.
Romans 10: 9 & 10 tells us what we need to do in simple terms and everyone who allow themselves, can come to it: If you confess with your own mouth (which is telling others) that Jesus Christ is your Lord, and believe in your own heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Of course, there is a little more to it than just that, there are some conditions (true and full repentance being possibly the hardest for some, myself included) but these conditions are not that hard to meet and it is full time, which is demonstrating by our words or actions who we are living for and not part time or anything in between. God isn't interested in part time soldiers - it's all or nothing. You cannot serve two masters. Salvation is not complicated - it is simple. Man makes things complicated. God did not make salvation a difficult or an unobtainable thing; He made it SO simple and free to all, and the cost was to Him, not us - Ephesians 2: 8. (When I think on this point, I often think of the pain and anguish that all parents must go through at the loss of a much loved child, I don't think we could even enter into what God's pain was in those 3 hours of darkness - knowing that in those 3 hours Jesus bore a spiritual death for our sins before the physical in order for the reconciliation of man to be acceptable to God. And we know that God cannot look upon sin, which explains the darkness. In those 3 hours Jesus was separated from God, which must have been unbearable in the worst possible way, then He gave up His spirit.) 1st John 1: 9 also appeals: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, to forgive our sins, [no matter what they are] and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Many don’t understand what this gift of salvation really is, which is a stumbling block to them. Salvation is a free gift already won for us by the sacrifice of Jesus, all we have to do is accept Jesus as our saviour, which begins with a simple prayer from the heart – and confess our sins to God daily and repent, which is changing direction (confessed sins don’t have to be said again because they've been dealt with) and if we’re truly sincere, He will forgive us. THAT’S IT. And we only have to ask once for all those past sins to be forgiven, where else can we get forgiveness like that? There isn’t one who hasn’t sinned in some form every day, at times without even knowing it and sinful thoughts can assail us the moment we awake - hence the reason for daily confession. It’s not my past sins that worry me; its sin in the future, which could cause me to fall away. It is now up to us to avoid turning back – He is very serious in giving it; we must be serious in deserving it.
It is before God alone that we sin and confession is to Him alone - though we may feel guilty to another for committing the sin but once confession is made to God we are to press on toward the prize because we have been forgiven. No man has the power to forgive sin. There's only one sin that isn't forgiven, that is rejecting Jesus. Blasphemy against the Spirit is the same thing - all three are one and the same in spirit.
Salvation is given the moment we’re forgiven; all our names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life and were there from the very beginning – we just have to make certain that our name isn’t erased after salvation is given, which is in two parts. Firstly while here on earth, which is positional, (we remain here as a witness) then fully after death, if it's before Tribulation or if we're raised alive at the end. We all receive the Holy Spirit by grace, the moment we're forgiven (2nd Corinthians 2: 22) and also God's seal, which will protect us from certain events in Tribulation. (the judgements) But don’t think that ‘once saved is always saved’ – that is very dangerous thinking. Jesus knows all of our weaknesses, as does Satan – we all fall and we all will at times as he is always nipping at our heels and if we suffer a defeat, He doesn’t want us to dwell on it endlessly but to push on – if we approach the mercy seat, pleading with fear and trembling, with a broken and a sorrowful heart, it appeals to Him. Salvation is a gifted thing, given free by Jesus who is unseen but the lusts of the flesh (meaning all) are all around us, seen by all and so easily besets us and we are constantly swayed by them. How much easier is it to follow or give in to the things that are seen in preference to that which is unseen? It now becomes a matter of how much we value salvation.
Romans 8: 24, 25 says: For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for? But if we hope for what we see not, then do we wait with patience for it. This is faith.
Whatever has been or is our own particular sin, which is usually the one that we so easily fall to, (c/- Satan) there is one thing we can take comfort in and that is not only is the sin forgiven upon confession and repentance, it is also forgotten, the slate is wiped clean - who can fathom the grace of God. Salvation is such a gracious gift, paid in full by Jesus and freely given to all but if we turn away after falling and don't return back to Jesus who still holds out His hand in love, then salvation is lost. Sin can be so hard to resist because the desires of our mind can be very controlling but by stopping and thinking about what Jesus is holding out to us, it is really pale by comparison. There is so much more to lose than a brief moment of fanciful desire. And what we often see in others, sometimes we don't see the very same things in ourselves. Just as we so easily fall, others also fall and we should always be ready and willing to help another if we see that happen. Also if someone should trespass against us we should forgive them in kindness - Matthew 6: 14, 15 is very clear, if we can't or don't forgive others, how can we expect Him to forgive us? We must never be quick to judge or condemn another when we are sinners also. The world as we know it today is more than ever a very unsafe place (in terms of losing salvation) and becoming ever darker by the minute, which is clearly seen all around us, yet so few choose to seek the truth and find it. Satan will always place things before us that are appealing to our own mind/circumstances, and he speaks very loudly and convincingly to us - look what he did to Eve. But have you ever noticed that God places an invitation in your heart to repent at every turning point? (His invitation may be in a number of different forms.) Or again, have you ever noticed when you're about to do something you know is wrong but something is saying no? Or the Spirit intervenes in some unexplainable way and stops you? This is the Spirit calling you back and working in you for your benefit and it took me some time before I realised it. If you ask for help it will happen - and that is promised but if your heart is unwilling it becomes easy to ignore the invitation and turn away without any remorse. You can always pray about an unwilling heart, God will always listen to a genuine plea for help. Even the very best of believers is not immune to temptation from Satan - it's what you do after the event that counts but don't think that gives you a licence to continue wilfully sinning and expecting His forgiveness, there is a cut-off point. The aim is to minimise the times we fall and the reasons that cause it. Satan cannot physically attack or hurt us, unless he is given specific parameters by God, (remembering Job) he can only hurt us by trying to control our minds. And it is our mind that is our 'first line of defence' and we must try very hard to guard it. (I like to think of Nehemiah, when the walls of Jerusalem were broken down and they were vulnerable to attack, he encouraged all the people to rebuild the wall and everyone had a sword in one hand and worked with the other.) Satan is the very worst kind of enemy we could ever have because he is invisible and is so subtle - he attacks you by stealth, mostly before you even realise it and the trap springs shut around you, which makes him a coward. He will always try to have mastery over us and he will never stop trying, because he has an agenda and wants to take us with him to his end but the more you resist him and trusting in God, the less he will attack you. Whatever your own particular affliction is, (in our mind it can appear so large that it seems impossible to overcome because it completely overpowers good sense and reason) nothing at all is too hard for God to fix if we allow Him to work. If serious correction is needed it may take some time - and a lot of 'breaking down' of the problem may be necessary and like any problem or addiction, to recover from it you have to want the correction first. And I well know Satan's cowardly attacks but there is nothing that can't be overcome if you ask for His help. Don't just give in and say I can't do it or I can't be helped. Again this is part of being given a free will, either to give in or refuse the sin. When the assaults come, and they will, if you really value what Jesus did to save us, picture Him in your mind, nailed and bleeding on the cross - and keep it there. And I am speaking from personal, even painful experiences.
So great is His love for us, God inflicted the penalty for all the world's sins on His obedient, yet innocent son. Jesus paid the highest price for our salvation, which is given free. He did this in love for you and me - what have we done for Him? Surely the least we could do is try to change. We will all fall from time to time but we only fail if we fail to try to do better. Make no mistake, we are in a war and the enemy we are all fighting is unseen, which only tends to lessen the actual significance of it but nevertheless, we know he is there and he is playing for keeps because he knows his days are numbered. He will not stop or slow down - if anything he will intensify the battle as his end draws ever closer and as already mentioned, his mission is to take you and me with him to that end. In this war, so many will fall and if you think his attacks are hard to bear now, in the Tribulation it will be a very different story. This is not a game with him, unlike a game of football where we are just observers and we all go home at the end of the game, we are the participants - and the stakes are much higher here - if we lose this battle, we won't get to go home. And by 'home' I don't mean our earthly dwelling. So every day from now on we must put on ALL our armour when we rise - forgetting to do so could end in a fatal wound. Ephesians 6: 11 - 17 and part of Psalm 91: Beware of the arrow that flieth by day.
I mentioned above that Satan speaks very loudly to our minds, this is just a metaphor - a figure of speech and isn't in audible speech but nevertheless it is a violation and an invasion of our mind and without our permission. He uses whatever strategy is necessary to corrupt our mind and some things are more difficult than others to overcome. Remember what afflicts you may not necessarily afflict me and vice-versa.
The battle field is in your mind and you just need to become more aware of how and when he attacks you. Don't ever underestimate him, he is a very powerful enemy but we have one who is greater on our side. Satan can promise you anything but he can never deliver.
Just as Satan speaks loudly, the Spirit speaks softly, he is speaking to your heart and HE CAUSES YOU TO KNOW what Jesus wants for us - just think about that again, you may not hear it audibly but you WILL KNOW. He will give you guidance in all things, and even correction if necessary but above all it will be the truth. When the Spirit speaks to your heart you need to listen and respond to it. This is mercy.
It is our sinful disposition that makes us vulnerable - we are all born into sin through and from Adam, which is why the virgin birth of Jesus was necessary so that He wasn't tainted with a sin nature. Jesus didn't have a human father, so the sin nature wasn't passed down to Him. However, since He had a human mother, (who also carried the sin nature) He was fully human but without the sin nature because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. You need to remember that it is God who made you so we are not 'our own' and it is to Him we belong. (When we die our body returns to dust but our spirit, [which only God can kill,] returns to Him - that is, only believers but an unbelievers spirit goes to a very different place to await judgement. It is at this point upon death that our spirit is given an interim body, which is only temporary.) Our spirit, which is the life within us, is who we are and our body is just the vehicle that carries it around. After Adam, we are all formed indirectly through natural procreation, not directly by instant creation as He formed Adam but the pattern of the body is formed first and on birth, the life-giving spirit, (which is the 'breath of life') is imparted at that point by God - exactly the same as He did to Adam. As this point is debated by many, you might consider this: At conception, the body with all the parts, including the heart and the blood and everything else, for all intents and purposes it is 'live' (i.e. it has movement) but it is not yet "alive" because the spirit is only 'installed' at birth. So because it is a two-part operation, in which we do the physical bit, God does the spiritual bit, and all at the right time. And He does everything in the same manner so that He doesn't create confusion or division - He first formed Adam from dust, and then put 'the spirit of life' within him after - and not the other way round. Now you know how everyone's name is in the Lamb's Book of Life. Thinking about it further, a child that is stillborn, God knows when and if that will happen and that being so, I don't think God would impart a spirit at conception only to retrieve it at the loss of the child while still within the mother. And as it was through procreation that our bodies were created by our parents who disciplined us and we obeyed them - shouldn't we all the more submit ourselves to the father of our spirit and live? Hebrews 12: 9. Thinking about this - we are the custodians of our spirit and God wants us to be mindful of it and do the very best we can so that we can return it in a condition that is acceptable to Him. He will help us if we allow Him.
James 4: 7 says, Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. All those living for God will come under attack simply because we have made a conscious decision for change, those who haven't, aren't yet on Satan's radar. It's in your heart where the change occurs and believe me, the more he will attack you once he knows you've made a decision for God - and Satan works twice as hard on us because he has the rest comfortably asleep. Remember what Job went through. 1st. Corinthians 10: 13 says, God is faithful and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape. It is simply a matter of becoming more aware when Satan has broken our 'first line of defence' and stamp on it immediately. (If we're honest with ourselves, we all know the triggers that start things going, it's then we have to walk away from whatever it is to avoid being caught in Satan's snare.) If we allow ourselves to entertain any wrong thought or action, the longer we give in to it, the harder it becomes to escape. And if we profess to be Christians, we should know what those things are.
A couple of things we should know about sin. It happens to all of us in two ways - either we have instigated it on our own volition, which makes us responsible and Satan will then further encourage us. Or Satan has caused it, in which case he is directly responsible. But if we have knowingly set out to think or say or do something that we know isn't right, then we have fallen badly and is, I believe, harder to escape because we were initially willing for it and must be fully addressed and dealt with on our part. These are the three things that pull all of us down and in most cases you have to think it before you say it, you have to think it before you do it, so I believe thinking is the hardest one to keep under control. If it is the result of an attack by Satan it is far easier to stamp on to escape it because we were caught unawares but you must be quick about recognising it - and don't let it grow. This isn't to let Satan 'off the hook' in any way but we should know where to truthfully apportion the blame.
And both ways are accountable. Without a secure grounding in faith, there is little in defence we can do to repel Satan's attacks and we will fall every time - it is only by being grounded and committed in faith that we have any chance against him. That is our defence shield.
We only fail when we don’t recognise and admit we’ve fallen and then don’t plead for forgiveness and it’s not too long before we turn away from Him and it’s Satan who gets the victory, not us. The only way you can lose your salvation (and you can) is by rejecting the one who gave it to you. As long as you keep hold of His hand no matter what comes your way, He won't let go of yours. As an analogy, remember when your own children held your hand when they were young, which is a beautiful sight - they begin to go their own way when they stop holding your hand. So encourage them to hold your hand as long as possible. If we could look down on ourselves through God’s eyes and see the things we do, wouldn’t we try to do better, especially knowing He can observe us? We need to focus on the unspeakable joy that is already laid out for us ahead of time because we could miss out on all that’s promised with a careless attitude.
There are 2 animals inside all of us that are constantly at war, our human nature and our divine nature - which one will win? - The one you feed!!!
The above is a very good analogy of Romans 7: 15 - 25 and we should all know and understand these verses and it may be a help if I write them here: For I do not understand what I do, for what I want to do I do not do, but I hate what I do. And if I do not do what I want to do, I agree that the law is good, as it is, it is no longer I myself who does it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do - this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who does it, but it is the sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, I myself in my my mind am a slave to God's law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. I'm sure we can all relate to that.
God was under no obligation to create us, yet He created us in His likeness to be as His children for His good pleasure, He willingly gave His only son as a sacrifice for our sins that we may have eternal life and His son was also willing to suffer such a cruel death. Would you do it? And He was innocent without sin. Doesn't that demand an unselfish love in return on our part? I cannot help but think of how Abraham took his son Isaac up on a mountain with the intention of sacrificing him there because God told him to but God stayed his hand at the last moment and prevented it. Yet nothing stayed His hand when He gave His own dear son to be nailed to the cross. That is an unfathomable love beyond my comprehension.
There are many who think that being a Christian and attaining salvation is dependent on attending a church on a regular basis. THAT SIMPLY ISN’T TRUE. God does not live in temples made with hands. In the early days of Christianity, most couldn’t read or write and they couldn't afford a Bible because they were all hand written. The printing press wasn’t invented until 1440, so you had to go to a church to hear the word and the churches knew that so they had a monopoly on you. These days, everyone can afford a Bible and the churches have had to resort to other methods to entice and keep you. They know that attending a church is not a prerequisite for salvation. Sadly over time, the churches have become 'watered down' and polluted by so much false doctrine making it very hard to find a good one. I say this because there is a danger that the truth in scripture can be, and quite often is knowingly or unknowingly, misinterpreted by some pastors and on certain issues, wrong or false teaching may be very costly indeed. This is what the majority of today's churches have become, which are just 'feel good' and 'don't upset me' teachings to keep their converts. It wasn't always this way in the early churches where sound doctrine and scripture was taught, ('Smyrna' and 'Philadelphia' had the best reputation of the 7 churches) which has eventually decayed and will only get worse as the Tribulation approaches, and I know Satanic attack is the culprit. Satan is very clever, he begins with the truth then distorts and twists it - remember how he deceived Eve and in her innocence she fell for it. It was to Adam that God said not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Eve heard it from Adam second hand, which could explain why Satan chose Eve rather than Adam to deceive. I'm not saying it's wrong to go to church - if you can find one that is Bible based and is teaching sound doctrine and the truth of scripture isn't twisted by man, which is all too often the case in this Laodicean era these days. And sadly, the church systems today have all become what they were before Jesus. Why do you think the veil was rent in twain from the top to the bottom? When you stop and think about it, a good Bible is the only legitimate source of truth that isn't corrupted, which is why my Bible and ichthys.com is my church and the Spirit will also help you in this. It has already been prophesied that the false prophet will coerce all the fallen religions into one. That should be of considerable concern in the 2nd half of Tribulation. Salvation and the strait gate are linked and you may want to think about that for a few minutes. If you are going to a church and there are doubts about it because the alarm bells are sounding - then it's time to think about the strait gate.
Matthew 7: 13,14 are just 2 of my favourite verses that are one of the most important parables, along with Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy, that is strangely the least understood. So many don't really understand the true meaning behind them and I'll write them here with an explanation: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (These verses weren't just for days gone by, they are for today as well.) To my mind, Jesus is responding to a question in Jeremiah 6: 16 which says, Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. There are so many different ways these days, which only causes confusion, (much to Satan's delight) which one shall I go to? And that's because most are looking for one that only suits their needs but ignores the big picture. Notice too, the strait gate is singular tense, the broad way is plural. The broad way speaks of the many ways in which so many think theirs is the right way but lead to nowhere, and millions to their astonishment will find it only ends in shipwreck on Eternity's shore. Most think there are many ways that all lead to the same place. Have you ever wondered why all the religions in the world have given themselves a different name? Wouldn't you think if they were all following the one God in the way they should be, they would all be agreeable with each other? In the early churches, so many became discontented and broke away to form splinter groups that has resulted in what we have today and in some cases it is happening all over again. And each one has their own doctrine. And further to this, ANY religion that preaches theirs is the only way - is a cult. (And I know, I once belonged to one, to the disappointment of my family.) The sadness of that is most don't know what constitutes a cult and there are many. Jesus has told us about this narrow way that leads to life and we only have to ask the Spirit to guide us and it doesn't involve going to a money making enterprise, which are all man made, some far worse than others. There are two different roads - both leading to different ends. (Many things are done in God's name but are they done in His way?) Even in O.T. times, as it is today, good scripture is ignored, Jeremiah 5: 31 says it all - The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? Those today, in whatever belief they hold on to have all heard or read these verses at some time and many wrongly think that the road they're on IS the narrow way. This is cult thinking, nothing that is man made is the strait and narrow way. Sadly there are so many who prefer the broad way in ignorance over the narrow way saying what they said to Jeremiah, we will not walk therein. And because of spiritual blindness and/or ignorance, is it of little wonder that Jesus said few there be that find it. Jeremiah 29: 13 is beautiful to read - And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. As a simple analogy, imagine yourself standing on an overhead bridge over a 15 lane highway and you notice the occupants of most cars appear to be happy but some appear unhappy, so they change lanes, perhaps because that other lane is moving faster and they become content for a while. (This is people becoming restless in whatever religion they're in and change for whatever reason.) John 10: 1 - 16 is a good example to strive for and I particularly like verses 4 and 16.
Soon you notice a small off-ramp leading off this highway and every now and then, a car exits the highway onto a very narrow road, which is not an easy road. But once off this highway there is so much more to see and understand and the rewards are far greater than the broad way.
The strait and narrow way isn't difficult to find once you know how and anyone can enter in because it's in you but there are conditions and it is a difficult road to travel - you just need to remember that Jesus walked it before us and suffered all for our sake and has promised to walk it with us. He simply said - follow me. (Before Jesus, the Jews were teaching in their synagogues by forceful means and until Jesus came, the strait and narrow way wasn't even heard of, except by prophets like Isaiah who spoke of it, which I can only think is the reason that Jesus made it available to those who would diligently seek it.) There are so many things to give up (excess baggage of every description) and leave at the gate to enter the narrow way - a complete change of mind and heart.
Just as the Spirit is given by grace, so too, is the strait and narrow way and we enter in by faith, which is believing in Him, striving to maintain that belief so that we don't fall away in the days ahead and by continuing in prayer and reading His word. These are the conditions and you can't access it without a full commitment to these things. If you are aware of the Spirit working in you, you only have to ask Him to reveal it and then believe it, which is Bible teaching. But be aware of seducing spirits that will manifest themselves more so in the latter days. 'And few there be that find it' is suggesting that this gate is hidden, 2nd Corinthians 3: 3 is a wonderful blessing and in 4: 3, 4 it tells us who will never find it and why. Many seek to find it but only 'a few' will and they fail because of not seeking with all their mind and heart and honouring the conditions. Remember when you first believed, you accepted Him in your mind first, then your heart - well this is no different. No-one just happens on the narrow way casually without diligently searching until you finally realise it is a given thing, along with the Spirit and is within you all along after you've made a choice for God. It isn't just down the street, and around the corner in a building or in another town, which is why it IS hidden to human reasoning but it is revealed to the genuine searching heart. Many just accept the first church they find because it's close or their friends go there, without ever considering there is a perfect way. So many think that's too simple, there must be more to it than that, some even like the rituals which is just entertainment and becoming more so. Going to a church doesn't guarantee salvation or finding the narrow way. It is SO simple that many often by-pass it unawares and can spend the rest of their lives looking for God and Jesus in all the wrong places. Seek and ye shall find, keep knocking and the door will be opened. Those in the broad way think that they ARE in the narrow way saying it's only the unbelievers who are in the broad way, yet in fact, the unbelievers are not trying to enter anywhere, so how do they explain that. If you enter through the narrow gate, which leads to life, you cannot live in the broad way, which is the easy way of the world. There is always a right way and a wrong way in everything. Jesus has told us there are two gates, one is the strait and narrow gate which is unappealing and baffling to human thinking and you will be persecuted on this road, perhaps even to death. The other is the wide gate, much more alluring and easy, you won't be persecuted on this road, (particularly if you take the mark in the 2nd half, thinking God will forgive me) which ends up as the devil's highway. You cannot find the strait and narrow way while you are still on the broad way. Even now there are many false teachers in the churches and Jesus knew this would happen and even spoke about it, which is the very reason He made the strait gate accessible for all those who would earnestly seek it. And just think, if you're still on this broad way during Tribulation, which will be coerced into following Satan (in the anti-Christ's body) by the false prophet, you will be more likely to accept the mark because you are comfortable in the broad way. (And doesn't that tell you that the easy ways of the world is far removed from the strait and narrow way.) I would only ask that you think about this for a few minutes - if the Spirit, which is already within us and is given to lead us into truth - doesn't it stand to reason He will also reveal the strait and narrow way in us if we're prepared to receive it in faith with all our mind and heart - just how weak is our faith? Jesus said 'Oh ye of little faith' to many on more than one occasion, this is exactly the same. Jesus has already told us not many will find it and this is the crux of the matter.
1st. John 2: 27 says: As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and is truth, and is no lie, and just as it has taught you, remain in Him. This is a very good example and confirms the paragraph above.
John 14: 5, Thomas says in part: and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. There is only one God and there is only one way that is acceptable to Him. Ephesians 4: 5 - One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
John 14: 26 says in part: if you ask for the Holy Spirit to teach you all things, he will guide you. Wouldn't you rather the Spirit to teach you about Jesus than someone in a man made institution, particularly if it isn't the truth? The Spirit will never lie to you. And if you believe the Spirit will teach you truth, that is the narrow way.
I once asked someone, why are there so many different ways (religions) in the world and I was surprised at his answer - "because we have freedom of choice." Thinking about it now I should have said - if Jesus was here now and standing beside us, how would He have answered that question? I'm sure His answer would have been very different. He has already told us "enter ye in at the strait gate" and there is only ONE 'strait gate' that leads to life and there is none other. How can there be more than one? If we can't agree that the strait and narrow way is not found in any church, then you have to ask yourself, why did Jesus tell us about it and where is it???
The broad way encompasses ALL that are in the world - Proverbs 14: 12 is clear and are contrary to Ephesians 4: 5. If you are still in doubt, Matthew 7: 15 may convince you. And there is a good reason why Jesus said this immediately after the strait gate verses. There was a time when I used to wonder, there is only one God so there must be only one true way, particularly when you consider that the ways of the world are wrong - and eventually I realised, it's the strait gate! Why is it that so many cannot differentiate between the two? It is not a tangible or visible thing and if you still haven't got it at this point, I shall apologise for my bluntness. As it is written and it was Jesus who said it, enter ye in at the strait gate, let's just imagine that there weren't any churches anywhere, where would it be?....... That's right! - it's in you. This can be a hard thing for many to accept because of spiritual blindness. (Churchianity.) To recap, we have the Spirit, who leads us and teaches us truth and will reveal the narrow way, which is also truth and we have our Bible. Can it be any simpler than that?
If you can't find a good church that is teaching truth, which as already said, are few and far between or you are hesitant to go for whatever reason, it's very difficult on your own - and we all need help. This is is why I believe it’s better to get a good Bible and start reading it together with ichthys.com beginning in the Satanic Rebellion or the Peter's Epistle series. For most people the Bible alone isn’t enough, we all need a good teacher to explain it and for me, the best teacher on earth is ichthys.com and it may be for you as well - and I promise you, you won't be disappointed. The Spirit will come if you're willing to make an effort. I mentioned before about having 'a preparedness of mind' – that simply involves reading your Bible as much as you can, which is the only way you can spiritually grow. In this world of materialism it’s easy to find or invent a multitude of reasons for not reading your Bible but just remember, it’s Satan who puts up the ‘detour sign’ and we all need to be aware and overcome that. Human nature being what it is, finding the time to read can seem like an unnecessary chore - saying I'll do it tomorrow and it keeps on repeating, all to Satan's pleasure. But do you know what it really is? It is the rebellious nature of man and we are all guilty of it to some degree. It's an awful realisation to admit it's true. I am guilty as well but we can all find 10 - 15 minutes or so a day creating a habit and once you've developed the habit the Spirit will come to you - and that's a wonderful thing! The more often you read the more God will send His Spirit if you invite him. We only have to play our part. Satan will always try to drive a wedge in between us and God and he will do that by whatever means and one of the very worst ways he discourages us, is from reading our Bible regularly, because he knows the Bible is the only source of truth and he doesn't want us to know it, not even in the smallest measure. It takes a determined effort on our part to resist this attack - we must get rid of the wedge before it's driven in too far. If we give in to this sort of attack we will only slide backwards and if we allow it to continue it may and can end in apostasy. I cannot emphasise this paragraph enough.
A quick 'crash course' in reading the Bible at the last minute is not recommended. For so many 'first time' readers of the Bible, it is not an easy book to understand, particularly if you start reading it in the O.T. - and so many give up. By beginning in the N.T. and reading it all the way through then follow up with the O.T., a greater understanding of Jesus will come. After all, it is Jesus we want to learn about first and our focus should always be on Him. Once you've made it a good habit, you will find the Bible is a very enjoyable book, particularly with the help of the Spirit. The Bible is the only book that you can start reading from the middle for a complete understanding to help you to be grounded and settled in Jesus. As an analogy, if you were to smell a sweet scented flower, the strongest scent is in the middle isn't it.
Most who go to church don’t read their Bible; they just rely on what is preached to them. If you went to church for the next ten years you will never hear the entire Bible, which is why you have to study it yourself.
If you look back on what I've said above, which details what will happen in the churches in the last days. Amos 8: 11 – 13 is an example of what is destined, if not already happening: Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. There will be much 'work to do' for many in these days to help others.
We are saved by grace and not by works. No ‘good works’ are ever sufficient in God’s eyes to equal or repay what Jesus did for us. Start reading your Bible and look to Jesus, If you don’t read about Him, how can you love Him? That’s a very small price to pay for salvation; and He paid a much higher price for us – with His blood. Submitting to God’s will and not our own is the next step and is probably the hardest step as it means a sincere change to how we live our lives. It means living not for the things of this world, which we see all around us and mean little, but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you. The most comforting thought for a sinner like me is there isn’t a sin so great that He won’t forgive. SALVATION IS THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY MATTERS, it is the most valuable thing on earth and Jesus paid a terrible price for us, and yet we hardly ever give that a thought. How often do we think of His love for us that compelled Him to submit to the cross to win salvation for us? Awful when you think of it like that isn’t it. We can’t even imagine how God felt, as it was at His cost. ‘It was expedient that one should die for many’ – in the end, many will die for one. Not wanting to dwell too much on this but it must be realised and accepted that many of us will be killed and we could be in that number. If so I pray that we can be counted worthy to die a true martyr. There is a natural fear of death and Luke 12: 4 has some words to encourage us: Be not afraid of them that kill the body, after that they have no more that they can do. Jesus wants us to look past the cross. Philippians 1: 23, I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far. Paul is talking about his deep love of preaching the Gospel, knowing there is so much yet to do and so many unsaved - and being close to the end of his life, his one true desire was to 'finish the race' and to be with Him. Shouldn't that be our desire as well.
Revelation 6: 9, 10 & 11 says, And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. This scripture is further proof of a post-trib view - if all believers are removed before Tribulation, who are those yet to be killed and where are they from??? These verses refer to the 144,000 who are the first to be martyred along with those of us who are also martyred, which begins in the beginning of the second half of Tribulation during the 5th seal.The last part of the verses above tells us there are more to be killed and I can only think they are the rest of the martyred saints. Linking this scripture with Revelation 7 below has similarities, but just the way it is written, a great multitude, which no man could number, would suggest a great many more than these who are mentioned above. In the verses below, to my mind many were there before Tribulation and not only during, are they the millions who were killed in the days from Adam to the present day? The only questions that remain are: Do the souls under the altar and those yet to be killed add up to a great multitude? It's quite possible. If so it adds further weight that many of us will find it hard to survive Tribulation, particularly in the second half. Or, is the great multitude only those who came out of the Great Tribulation? That’s also possible. Revelation 7: 9, 13 & 14 says, After this I beheld, and a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. And one of the elders answered, saying to me, who are these which are arrayed in white robes? And where did they come from. And I said to him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, these are they which came out of the Great Tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Once you become aware of these things that have been foretold so long ago and you come to the realisation that we ARE living in the last days, simply because it is undeniable from the things that we see happening all around us, drawing closer to God will and should become the most important thing in our lives. I can attest to this and it’s not because I am approaching or entering my ‘twilight years’ – it’s because of love for our Father and His dear Son and knowing what He did for you and me, I pray that this love will only grow stronger in the coming days. When you read Revelation, which has page after page of all the terrible things that are going to happen in the last days but very little on how we can survive, I can only think how much we will have to trust Him to lead us and reveal a way of escape in these days. It says in Daniel 12: 8, 9 and also in two other places, And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, what shall be the end of these things. And he said to me, go your way Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. This indicates that knowledge and direction will be given at a time known only to God, and we all need to be listening in our hearts for what the Spirit would cause us to know and we can all pray daily for the Spirit to teach us. The more we rid ourselves of the trappings of this world, the more the Spirit will indwell and teach us if we invite him. John 16: 13 says, Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. I believe, by this scripture, that not only will he show us things to come; we can confidently trust in Him for his guidance in the days ahead by allowing the Spirit to work in you - how much you trust in Him, is the measure of faith.
There are four phases to spiritual growth. (Be honest to yourself, where do you fit?)
1. Forward progress; which is daily reading your Bible and/or ichthys.com as much as you can - at least 10-15 minutes, and we can all find that. Forward progress will always attract Satan's attention because you're in enemy territory. Daily prayer, don't ever let Satan fool you into thinking you don't need to regularly pray or you haven't got much to pray about, how else can you know and have a relationship with Him. The avenue for communication is prayer and Daniel prayed 3 times a day. The more you pray the more the spirit will come to you, and don't we need that. Having sweet fellowship with like-minded people and always being prepared to help and encourage others who don't yet know Jesus, which is our given mission. You never know where you might find a lost sheep.
2. Standing still; which is infrequent reading, not praying as much as you should, which means the spirit's visits will become less and less. You are still saved but are at risk of losing your grip on Jesus' hand. Standing still is almost as dangerous as sliding backwards and is a transition stage before sliding backwards - you could go either way. Without forward progress you can become careless of God's gift.
3. Sliding backwards; you rarely read or pray and the spirit is trying to win you back to Jesus. As long as you haven't turned away from Jesus completely by rejecting Him, you are still saved but there is a very real danger of falling away and perhaps taking the mark in the intense persecution of Tribulation. This is the most dangerous condition to find yourself in. Points 2 & 3 are the Lukewarm of Laodicea.
4. Apostasy..... I'm sure you know what that means by now.
Many religions still follow the water baptism of John, which is no longer necessary after the cross as all those who are His are baptised with the Spirit and washed with His blood. In Matthew 3: 11, John foretells it: I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire. And in Acts 2: 1 - 4 it is confirmed: When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat on each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. The water baptism of John was symbolic of dying to this life to be resurrected in Jesus - even Jesus was baptised by John who felt unworthy to do so but Jesus said to him, Suffer it to be so now. Water baptism doesn’t save us or remove our sinful nature; we are saved only by the boundless grace of Jesus.
There is so much inspiration from Noah, God told Noah that it grieved Him that He had created man and that He would destroy man with a flood and He told Noah to build an ark so that only he and his family and the animals to be saved would be saved. And it took Noah somewhere between 60 and 100 years to build the ark. That says a lot about faith. All through the building of the ark, Noah kept faith and believed what God said even though there was so much ridicule around him. Noah knew the flood was coming and it would come at the finish of the building of the ark. You can just imagine the thoughts of all those who couldn’t get on the ark when the rains came. When you read about it you see that it didn’t start with a trickle and the waters slowly rising, it came all of a sudden and not only as rain from above but from fountains of the earth as well. As an example and a simple analogy from Noah, it was a long time to build the ark and Noah’s faith was unshakable but at the end when all were aboard, there were still ‘seven days of grace’ before God shut the door. But not one came in. And that’s how it will be in the end. Compared to the time taken to build the ark, those seven days was a very short space of time. You can liken it to the time we live in now, the period between the sixty ninth and seventieth week –God’s ‘time of grace’ toward us, which has been extended by grace much more than 7 days. How many will enter in before the door is shut? Tribulation is coming soon and will come at flood speed, there will be much more than ridicule, it will be the worst of persecution and the only way to get through it is having a PREPAREDNESS OF MIND – by learning of Him so that you can stand. If you don’t stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. ‘After the war begins, it’s too late to learn to shoot a rifle’ and, If we remain faithful to Him, He will remain faithful to us. Revelation 2: 10 says: Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life. FAITH MUST BE MAINTAINED AT ALL COSTS. To add a little about the above paragraph, when the Restrainer who is keeping everything in check, is taken out of the way, most of the unbelievers and neutrals as well, who would normally and morally behave in a decent manner, will descend into anarchy and a fearful lawless behaviour never before seen. The hostile environment during Tribulation will be a far worse and difficult place to live for Jesus than it is now. In Revelation 2 & 3, it tells us of the seven churches in the 2000 year church age, and a study of those churches will reveal that Smyrna - the era of persecution, and Philadelphia - the era of revival, are the only church eras that were trying to conform to true Christian principles. In between Smyrna and Philadelphia, (1080 years) the churches have slid downhill by the infiltration of satanic influence. It is no longer "what the Bible says" which is what it should be, but it is now "what will contribute to growth." I'm sure you know what I mean. We belong to the era after Philadelphia, which is Laodicea - the era of degeneration, which has led to spiritual paralysis and loose standards, and we don’t have a very good standing in our faith at all – saying that we are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. We have become this way largely because of our material pursuits, placing worldly things in front of love for Jesus. If our love is considered lukewarm, what will it become if it cools even further? It will only add to the insult that it is and serve to increase the risk of our own apostasy in the persecution in Tribulation. So many are completely held captive in spiritual blindness and totally unaware of the fate that awaits. Hence we must be very careful to observe Matthew 21: 28 - 31 and Matthew 24: 12, which are both very good examples and warnings. If you've never read how Jesus describes the era of Laodicea, Revelation 3: 14 - 22 is very unfavourable of our poor standing in our faith and is a severe warning to improve our status. It is worth the time to read, even if it comes as a shock. Tribulation may even force many to make a decision and I can only hope that Tribulation will shake some lukewarm Laodiceans out of apathy before it's too late. Verse 21 speaks of a victorious reward to aspire to: To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with my Father in His throne. This verse means so much to me and I hope it does to you too. Likewise, the things that will happen in the last days should never be ridiculed or dismissed, nor put off to a more convenient day. When Jesus returns there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth by so many. I believe we are now in a similar situation – a week or so before the flood in Noah’s day. A few verses in Hebrews 12 appeal to me and may to you also: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Think on these last two sentences and what they mean – it may literally happen to us. Many in the Laodicean era will face 'strong delusion' from God and that they will believe Satan's lies. In short, God will not strive with apostate unbelievers forever, giving them over to their own desires.
We should realise that the ‘signs and wonders’ that both the Beast and the false prophet perform, will appear to the human eye as being the real thing and that only through searching the truth in scripture will enable us to resist being impressed to the point of wrong belief, as the rest of the World will be. No matter ‘what our eyes or ears tell us’ at this time, they must be steadfastly refused and this will come in full force in the second half of Tribulation. As Christians, we walk by faith and not by sight. I mentioned previously to consider Matthew 6: 25 – 34, but I didn’t write these verses as I don’t want them to be taken the wrong way, nor do I want to impose my thoughts on you. You can think on them after reading them, but I will just say this. God is explicit in telling the Jews in Israel who ‘turn back’ to Him in Matthew 24: 16, to flee to the mountains in the second half of Tribulation but nowhere in scripture is the same warning to instantly flee given to the Gentiles, except those in Mystery Babylon. For those Jews who turn back by Moses and Elijah, this is a ‘last minute’ warning and Revelation 12: 6 – 17 tells us how God will rescue them. Verse 14 says the escape is via an eagle and is symbolic of His swift rescue where He will sustain them for 3.5 years. In the beginning of the second half, the anti-Christ (Satan) turns his full attention to the Jews and many of the unbelieving Jews will also refuse the mark and survive Tribulation to enter the millennium. The fundamental difference between Judaism and Christianity is they believe that through the blood sacrifice of animals, forgiveness is given (O.T. laws, which will be revived in the new temple) and they are still waiting on the Messiah, yet we know through the N.T. Jesus has come and He rescinded those O.T. laws and the one true sacrifice has been made.
For some time now I have thought of a possible ‘escape plan’ simply because we have been given prior warning in the N.T. but I wonder if it contributes to the wrong mind-set, as such preparations can by their very nature incline towards selfishness and self-preservation. (Fear) What worries me the most, is making any material preparations for the Tribulation in any way, not trusting in God’s will and His plan? Because we know that He loves us and has a plan for all of us, going contrary to His plan will only put us outside that plan and could lead to all sorts of unforeseen problems.I just hope and pray in the coming days He will provide us with the best answer, and I know He will – by adopting a patient ‘wait and see’ approach. We must allow ourselves to be responsive and obedient and to trust the Spirit’s promptings. “We will do well to remember that money or material things cannot save us – only God can”. He will deliver us through it in His way, as He has done before - not from it. No matter what, failing to completely trust Him will only lead to a fall. In Daniel 12: 1 the last part of that verse appeals to me : and at that time thy people shall be delivered, [either alive or in death] everyone that shall be found written in the book. I think this is clear enough and will be the true test of faith when it arrives. It may be possible to remain in our own homes until it’s impossible to do so – but will we then just have to walk away from it and become as refugees and outcasts? Because it will be impossible to buy and sell after the mark is put in place, which will be worldwide, just how it will play out here is unknown as yet. Even the best laid plans often never go as expected or hoped, we will need to be very flexible in this and be ready to change as things unfold. All such plans may need to be sharply modified or even abandoned altogether. The main thing will be not to neglect our spiritual progress by overly concentrating on laying down time consuming plans for escaping. At this time we don’t know how God will provide for us but as He provided manna in the morning and quail in the evening and most importantly water for 40 years to the Israelites, even though they had their flocks with them, it certainly is possible for Him to do it again. We will have to believe that He will provide in some way, and continue praying about it because we could be trusting in ourselves rather than Him, which is very dangerous. (Stand still and wait on Him.) I know that He will save those destined to be saved; (I just don’t know the how?) otherwise none who refuse the mark would survive Tribulation. When I think of the several times I know that God has saved me from certain death, and I can only think He must have had a good reason. (God didn’t rescue me from the surf just to beat me up on the sand!!!) I am confident that He will provide for us, that much I know, I can’t say it will be the same way as He did in the Exodus, no-one yet knows, I’m just using it as an example but I’m still very uncertain as yet of what He wants us to do. (Whether to stay put, or go – and when.) My main concern is Luke 9: 24, which cannot and must not be ignored. Because of the uncertainties at this time it will be very hard to resist acting on our own impulses and taking our own way, (perhaps the wrong way and at the wrong time) which could lead to very serious consequences that’s impossible to foresee. You could say that by trusting in ourselves just a little bit is really distrusting God by a proportionately larger amount. A problem that comes to mind is we don’t know when or if the Spirit will prompt us to leave or stay. I tend to think if it is to be it could be either just before the second half of Tribulation or even at the same time when all those faithful in Mystery Babylon are told to come out of her because of impending destruction. (As there are more Jews in the US than anywhere else, this warning may first be given to them, but I don't know, then us as well. I don't know if the Jews in the US will become believers or whether this warning is just to the gentiles.) Either way, both Jews and gentiles may be given short notice with a small window and may need to be ready at a moment’s notice. By delaying too long, we may not even get to escape at all and imprisonment, or the very worst following. I’m reluctant to advise anyone of specific plans as it could end in disaster for you if you took my advice – you need to earnestly pray about it yourselves as I will be, simply because I don’t know. And in truth, we don’t yet know what the Spirit will tell us but we will all need as much spiritual fortification as possible beforehand – can we expect God to help us if we are (and remain) lukewarm, or less toward Him? Scripture tells us in Matthew 24: 15,16 - when those in Judea see the abomination of desolation, which is the 'image of the beast' - they are to flee into the mountains immediately and is confirmed in Revelation 12: 6 and 14, that God will sustain them for 3.5 years. These are my thoughts on this and I don't expect you to believe me but this is what I think. Because there are a much larger percentage of believing gentiles in the world than believing Jews and as the numbers are unknown, (to my mind - only a handful by comparison) it would seem illogical that if the gentiles (us) are indeed saved, why wouldn't we be brought through Tribulation in the same manner. I cannot believe that He loves us any less than believing Jews. I can't truthfully say that we will be given an escape plan as such, or as those in Mystery Babylon but I do know that those of us who are destined to be brought through it with our lives intact will be, and those destined for martyrdom will suffer it - and I know that's the scary part but either way we will see Him in the end and only God knows that answer. No matter what, we must see to it that our faith remains intact right to the end as that is the only thing that really matters. Revelation 2: 10 is a beautiful comfort in the reward of faith. It may be worth repeating here that we need to train ourselves to be listening to what the Spirit will cause us to know and without the help of the Spirit we could be in a lot of trouble. Getting into the habit of reading your Bible is the best way to develop a soft heart to be responsive to the leading of the Spirit. A hard heart will never hear the Spirit.
At this stage I don’t see it as wrong to have a plan and if it is God’s will, then the Spirit will lead us. And we must be absolutely certain of what He wants us to do as it may be to nothing. God handed over His own Son who died for us so that we might live, isn’t that love completely beyond our comprehension – then it stands to reason He won’t forget us in Tribulation. As it is God who decides whether I am brought through it or not but if God has marked me for martyrdom, then so be it, I would much rather face this death (than the second death) for Jesus – which guarantees my salvation, He died for me and washed me with His blood. I hope that courage won’t desert me and that I am found constantly in prayer and we should never think of prayer as an obligation, it is our only means of communication with Him, so it is a privilege that is open to all of us. There is nothing difficult about praying, just think of how a little child would talk to their parents with a love that is so obvious, and isn't that what we are - His children? It has been said that the garments of Heaven only come in children's sizes! Jesus won’t let go of our hand; it’s us who let go of His and every time we sin, we are letting go of His hand. If we don't recognise the seriousness of this it is usually followed by neglecting to pray and is the first downward step.
As sinful creatures that we are, caused by Satan in the first instance - he wanted what we have, that is a physical body and being regarded as God's children for His good pleasure. Satan's role as a spirit was that of a servant and because of intense jealousy, he felt secondary to us and was never content in the role God placed him and is why he rebelled. This placed God in a position of what to do to save mankind whom He made in His likeness without compromising His perfect being. This is why He gave His only Son, who knew and agreed beforehand, as a sacrifice without price in our place, which nullifies Satan's claims of our sinfulness. All believers are saved by His gift regardless of sins, (and repented of) unbelievers aren't saved regardless of good conduct. How perfect is God's love toward us and doesn't that make you feel totally unworthy of His unspeakable gift? We must never forget the price that was paid for our ransom of which we can never repay. There is a saying - Born twice, die once; born once, die twice. We should know and remember that, particularly in the Tribulation.
It is now 2018 and counting down and we are living in the last 8 years before the Tribulation begins – on the very edge of the Tribulation precipice, the most fearful time ever, where our faith will be tested to the limit. Loss of faith will end in apostasy, by our own lukewarmness, which should motivate all of us to draw closer to God. Seeing it is so close now and Revelation is warning us about the END TIMES and what to be aware of, it is the summation of everything before it and chapters 21 & 22 are a beautiful coronation that we should all set our hearts upon in the hope of that day. None of us know the day of our departure and we should all be as prepared as possible, living as if today was the very day that we meet with Jesus. Whether we live or die, either before or during Tribulation, whether it be through natural causes or at the hand of an enemy, settle it within yourself beforehand to suffer it in the knowledge that Jesus paid a much higher price for all our sins to win our salvation – which should have been our sentence. He was innocent, yet He was numbered with the transgressors on our behalf.
The following is an excerpt from a paragraph in ichthys in 'The coming Tribulation.'
"It is a well known Biblical principle that nothing is more difficult to endure than 'woe upon woe.' During the Tribulation, it will not only be the horror of events, but also their exceptional rapidity and escalating intensity that, barring sufficient preparation, will be sufficient to stun even the strongest of believers, removing any chance for normal recovery from emotional shock on account of the continuous sequence of pressure-filled events that will characterise the period. In short, there will be no breathing space in the Great Tribulation to come, and instead of a single event with which to cope, we shall be faced with a continual layering of terrible events quite unprecedented in their character, which will occur one after the other in ascending intensity. But God is supremely sufficient to supply all our needs, even in this most trying of times. Under such circumstances however, it should be evident at the outset that proper spiritual preparation for that time of testing will be absolutely essential for faith to survive. For the Tribulation will be a time when normal, secular strategies for coping with pressure and disaster will be found wholly ineffective, only a solid, deep abiding faith in the Lord is likely to endure this unprecedented coming assault, a fact that explains in no small part the phenomenon of the great apostasy, the wholesale turning away from the Lord (and hence from salvation) which will characterise that difficult period. This is our first glimpse of the true nature of the Tribulation to come and our first indication that no amount of prior spiritual preparation will be regretted on the part of those called upon to suffer through it."
I will look for Him today and if I don't find Him I will look again for Him tomorrow, and if I don't find Him tomorrow I will look again for Him the day after that - and the day after that, until I find Him. This speaks to me of Psalm 27: 4. It is our duty, as brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage and help others in their walk, the same as we would hope others would help us as well and every Christian is given at least one spiritual gift, perhaps more and 1st Corinthians 12: 4 - 11 tells us what they are. The trick is knowing which one is given to you. It remains for all of us to ask for the Spirit to help us and begin/keep reading the Bible and particularly ichthys.com as it is a brilliant help in understanding the Bible and then form your own opinion as to what I've said. The reason I trust ichthys.com so much is because he doesn't try to conform scripture to his doctrine - he conforms his doctrine to scripture and he lets scripture do the talking, which is rarely seen or heard these days. If you’re thinking of getting a Bible, I personally think the New King James version is the easiest to read and understand. One thing is certain; until you’ve done that you can neither agree nor disagree with me. And we are all, a work still in progress. I find so much encouragement and wonder in 1st Corinthians 2: 9 - But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for those that love Him.