Thursday, December 10, 2015

The End Time Saints

In my last article, Saints Alive in Jesus, I explained the meaning of the word "saints" or "holy ones" and who the saints are. Today I would like to narrow down our study of saints to just one book of the Bible, which gives us an excellent picture of the lives of the saints in these last and evil days. The word “saints” is used thirteen times in the book of Revelation, so let's examine each one separately.

The Prayers of the Saints
Communion with the Lord
First we see the prayers of the saints going up in golden bowls like incense before the throne of God.

“When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” (Rev 5:8)

“Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.” (Rev 8:3)

“And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand.” (Rev 8:4). This shows that the angels have a role in carrying the prayers of the saints to God.

Could it be that even now, when the saints pray, the angels carry their prayers up to God's throne in golden bowls? It is my belief that this is true.

Time to Reward the Saints
Then we see that there will come a time for God to reward the servants of the Lord – the prophets, and the saints, and those who fear His name, the small and great alike. At that time the Lord will also destroy those who destroy the earth.

"And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth." (Rev 11:18)

War with the Saints
The beast will make war with the saints and overcome them.

“It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.” (Rev 13:7).

This same topic is covered in the book of Daniel. It says: "Those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days. Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy. Some of those who have insight will fall, in order to refine, purge and make them pure until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time." (Dan 11:33-35)

It follows the same pattern that we see all throughout Scripture, in which the righteous are persecuted. Abel, the prophets, the Lord Himself, and all the apostles in the first century were persecuted. So will it be with the end time saints.

The Patient Endurance and Faithfulness of the Saints
In the midst of all this intense persecution in the last days, the Scripture speaks of the need for the saints to have patient endurance and faithfulness.

“If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.”  (Rev 13:10, NIV)

The NASB version of this verse uses the term "destined" to refer to the fact that certain people are appointed to suffer a certain fate. If it is your destiny to go into captivity, then into captivity you will go. There is nothing you can do to change it. One way this will be fulfilled is by some of the saints being put into prison camps. If it is your destiny to be killed with the sword, then nothing can change it. One way this may be fulfilled is by some of the saints being beheaded. This verse agrees with what is written in the prophet Jeremiah, which says:

‘Thus says the Lord:

'Those destined for death, to death;
And those destined for the sword, to the sword;
And those destined for famine, to famine;
And those destined for captivity, to captivity.”’ (Jer 15:2b; cf., 43:11).

John also wrote, “Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Rev 14:12)

The context of this verse is the period when the false prophet will arise, who will deceive those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast (Rev 13:14a), and who will make the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast (Rev 13:12b) and his image, and who will make people receive the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16). For the full context, please read Revelation 13 and 14, since I am merely summarizing.

John wrote: "And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six." (Rev 13:15-18)

Because of this, a solemn warning is given right before Rev 14:12, in which the punishment is pronounced that will be given to those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name. The warning of punishment is this:

"Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.'" (Rev 14:9-11)

Now that we understand the context of Rev 14:12, we can see why it will require the perseverance of the saints. Finally, I want you to notice that the persevering saints are described as those who keep God’s commandments and their faith in Jesus. They remain faithful to Jesus and they also keep the commandments of God. For more on this topic, please see my articles Deleted Scriptures in the Bible?, The Law of Christ, Law of Love in the New Testament, The Glory of Martyrdom for Christ, The Mark of the Beast (666), and Is Obedience Optional?.

The Blood of the Saints
In Revelation, it says that God will be righteous in bringing His judgment on the ungodly when He does so. Since they poured out the blood of the saints and prophets, God will give them blood to drink. They deserve it.

John wrote, "And I heard the angel of the waters saying, 'Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.' And I heard the altar saying, 'Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.'" (Rev 16:5-7)

"And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered greatly." (Rev 17:6)

"And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth." (Rev 18:24).

The shedding of the saints' blood is not unique to the end time saints. This has been happening since the foundation of the world. Our Lord spoke of a long history of bloodshed of the prophets, spanning "from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the sanctuary." (Lk 11:51a).  He said that the generation of Jews who were alive at that time would be held responsible for it all.

God does not take very kindly to innocent bloodshed. Someone must be held responsible, and the same will be true of the blood of the end time saints.

Saints Rejoicing Over Judgment
We see the saints and apostles and prophets are told to rejoice over God’s judgment pronounced for them against Babylon. They rejoice because the judgment is pronounced in their favor, because it is just, and because it is against their enemies.

"Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her." (Rev 18:20)

When Babylon, the great city, is thrown down with violence and laid waste, the saints and apostles and prophets, and all heaven will rejoice. The destruction of Babylon is recorded in chapter 18, and the rejoicing is described in chapter 19.

John said, "After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, 'Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.' And a second time they said, 'Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.' And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, 'Amen. Hallelujah!' And a voice came from the throne, saying, 'Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.'" (Rev 19:1-5)

The Righteous Acts Of The Saints
As I explained in my article, Righteous Deeds and White Robes, the Bride of Christ will be clothed with fine linen, bright and clean, which stands for the righteous acts of the saints.

“It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Rev 19:8)

The Camp of the Saints
The saints will enjoy peace during the Millennial reign of Christ on earth, while the devil is locked up in the bottomless pit for a thousand years (Rev 20:1-6). But when he is released from the pit, he will deceive the nations, who will gather for war against the saints. However, fire will come down from heaven and devour them.

“When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.” (Rev 20:7-9)

His fate is already sealed. For Scripture says, “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Rev 20:10)

Putting it All Together
So even though the saints are persecuted on earth, and the beast makes war against them and overcomes them, and their blood is shed, there will be justice in the end. Their prayers go up to God’s throne in golden bowls as incense, and God will avenge them. He will execute righteous judgment against the wicked, and he will throw the devil, along with the beast and the false prophet, into the lake of fire and brimstone; and they will be tormented day and night forever. And the saints will rejoice in heaven, clothed in fine white linen. They will receive their eternal reward from God.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Communion with the Lord" illustration is by my seventeen-year old daughter, C.V. Lacroix. You can find more of her artwork on A Brush with Life.

Author's Note: If you enjoyed this article, I also recommend reading The Afflictions of the Righteous, The Glory of Martyrdom for Christ, Even if it doesn’t happen like we expect, Overcomers in This Life, Deleted Scriptures in the Bible?, The Law of Christ, Law of Love in the New Testament, Is Obedience Optional?, Persecuted or Popular?, Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano, Come Out of Her, The Rise of Antichrists, Rapture Beliefs of Church Fathers, Synching Up the Seven Seals with the Gospels, and Rapture Revelation to Zipora Bitrus. You can access the Seeking the Lord Main Directory or my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Understanding the Times

Jesus said, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as the twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.”  (Mk 13:28).  We need to develop a similar ability to understand the times by what we see, hear, and sense in our spirit.

There are various times and seasons that occur on God's timeline.  Some people don't believe there is any such thing as dispensations, but it is right in the Bible. For example, there is "the times of the Gentiles."  Jesus said, "They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled." (Lk 21:24, NIV).  The times of the Gentiles began with the salvation of Cornelius and his household in Acts 10, and it continues until it is fulfilled at a future date that is soon approaching.

There is "the time of Jacob's trouble." Jeremiah said, "How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it." (Je 30:7, NIV).  This is also called the time of punishment.  "For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written." (Luk 21:22, NIV). This period runs concurrent with the time of great distress, known as the Great Tribulation. "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again." (Mt 24:21). This period will last for a time, times, and a half time, during which the antichrist will reign on earth.

"He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time." (Dan 7:25, NIV).

"The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, 'It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed.'” (Dan 12:7, NIV).

"When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus." (Rev 12:14-17, NIV)

The Time of His Return
Jesus said regarding the timing of His future return, “Be on guard.  Be alert.  You do not know when that time will come.” (Mk 13:33). Jesus said that in these last days, there will be “days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.” (Luk 21:22b).

Just as there were the days of Moses, the days of Noah, and the days of Elijah, there will be the days of the Son of Man, when Jesus returns.  And He said to the disciples, "The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. "They will say to you, 'Look there! Look here!' Do not go away, and do not run after them. "For just like the lightning, when it flashes out of one part of the sky, shines to the other part of the sky, so will the Son of Man be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. "And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man." (Luk 17:22-26)

The Millenium
Another time period mentioned in the Scriptures, which is yet future and takes place on earth is called "the thousand years."  Since the word millenium means a thousand years, many people refer to this period as "The Millenium."  It is spoken of in the prophets, as well as the book of Revelation.

"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Rev 20:1-10)

As the Scripture says, Christ will reign during "the thousand years" period, and so shall the one who has part in the first resurrection.  The Scripture speaks of "the thousand years" eventually being completed.

Opportunities to Serve and the Judgment Day
The Good Samaritan
We all face the tyranny of the urgent in our lives each day.  It could be a phone call or an errand.  We are often distracted and detoured to the right or the left by the seemingly urgent, and skip what’s important to God.  When we do so, we miss the Lord’s timing.  Instead we need to avoid those distractions and give priority to what God is doing.

When do we do these things that are important to God?  The righteous will ask this same question on the judgment day, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and cloth you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”  They wanted to know the times when they had obeyed.  Jesus replies, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  (Mt 25:37-40).

Likewise, the wicked will ask Him when they had failed to do these things.  He will tell them that whatever they did not do for the least of these brothers of His, they did not do for Him. 

During our lives on earth, the Lord gives us opportunities to repent and opportunities to obey.  There are times of refreshing that come from the Lord’s presence when we repent and turn to the Lord.  (Acts 3:19).
We as servants of the Lord must perform our duties at the proper time. And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and sensible steward, whom his master will put in charge of his servants, to give them their rations at the proper time?" (Luk 12:42)

God's Set Schedule
Both dates and times are on God’s set schedule. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, the apostles asked Him if He was at that time going to restore the kingdom to Israel. “Then they gathered around him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.’” (Acts 1:6-7, NIV). In this verse, the word “times” is “kairos,” and the word “dates” is “chronos” meaning “a fixed or special occasion; or interval; an individual opportunity; season, space, time, while.”

We don’t usually get advance notice of when these things will happen. Yet in both our actions and our postponements, we may either obey or compromise. While it is not for us to know the times or dates the Father has set, we are still supposed to operate in the timing of the Lord, in step with the Lord, and in the peace of God. (Galatians 5:25).

The Age to Come
I have already mentioned that there are biblical references to various dispensations on God's timeline.  One of them that I did not yet mention specifically is a future period, called "the renewal of all things" or "the regeneration." In the account of the incident when His disciples asked what their reward would be, since they had left everything to follow Him, Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life." (Mt 19:28-29, NIV).

The Greek word for "the renewal of all things" is "paliggenesia", meaning "Rebirth (the state or the act), that is, (figuratively) spiritual renovation; specifically Messianic restoration: - regeneration." (Strongs). The New American Standard Bible and some other versions translate this as "regeneration" in the verse above. The Lord said this regeneration would occur "when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne." Luke's gospel records this same exchange between Jesus and His disciples as follows:

And He said to them, "Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life."  (Luk 18:29-30).

Here in Luke's account, Jesus referred to "the renewal of all things" as "the age to come".  The word for “age” in this verse is “aion,” meaning “perpetuity (also past); age, course, eternal, (for) ever, ever.” (Strongs). In that "age to come", all things will be renewed for the righteous, and we will inherit eternal life. As the Scripture says:

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.' And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.'" (Rev 21:1-5)

Therefore, this renewal of all things is an age yet to come, when Jesus Christ sits on His glorious throne. Our Lord and His Christ will reign forever and ever, and His kingdom will have no end (Lk 1:33; Rev. 11:15; Exo. 15:18; Psa. 146:10; Mic. 4:7).  How can we begin to grasp eternity or measure it? In heaven there is no time, but rather ages.  One age follows another as God’s program unfolds and His kingdom is advanced, and it goes on for eternity.

Every day that we are given to remain alive on this earth is God's grace to us. It's another opportunity to serve, another opportunity to repent, and another opportunity to obey.  Let's make the most of every opportunity with the Lord's help, practicing righteousness, holiness, and truth, so that we may dwell with Him throughout eternity. Jesus Christ is the one and only Way to heaven.  There isn't any other way that will lead anyone to the Kingdom of God. There is no other way but through Him.

Attribution notice: Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Most other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®.  "Time is At Hand" and "All Hail King Jesus" paintings © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this article, I also recommend Times and Epochs the Father has Determined, The Kingdom of God as Revealed to James Agboola, Michael Shigaba's End Time Message for Mankind, Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ, Synching Up the Seven Seals with the Gospels Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano, A Time for Everything, and The Judgment Seat of Christ. Other related articles are available on the Home page. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Synching Up the Seven Seals with the Gospels

In my previous article, Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ, I showed in each of the synoptic gospels, what Jesus Himself prophesied would happen before His return.  The sequence of events he foretold is the same in all three of the gospels. Now I would like to build on that study and show how those signs of the times correspond to the Book of Revelation, particularly the seven seals.  Each item in the column labeled "Synoptic Gospels" is based on Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.

Deception
The first thing Jesus warned about was deception.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
“Watch out that no one deceives you." [No corresponding seal in Revelation]

False Christs
The next thing He warned about was False Christs, which is the next sign to occur in sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
“For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” First Seal (False Messiahs): Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Rev 6:1-2)

I include the first seal here for your consideration, because this could represent a false messiah. He's viewed as the good guy, riding a white horse. Since he's wearing a crown, it could indicate that he has been given authority over a nation or nations. He's going forth conquering and to conquer, perhaps with the aim of bringing world peace. I have also included the first seal below in the next sign Jesus gave us, since it could also correspond to that one, depending on how you look at it.

Also see my article called The Rise of Antichrists

Wars and Rumors of Wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, fearful events and great signs from heaven
The next sign the Lord told us would occur was a period when there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, fearful events and great signs from heaven, which is the next sign to occur in sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” First Seal (Rumors of War): Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Rev 6:1-2)

Second Seal (Wars): When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come." And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. (Rev 6:3-4)

Third Seal (Famine and economic chaos): When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not damage the oil and the wine." (Rev 6:5-6)

Fourth Seal (death by sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts): When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Rev 6:7-8)

When the first seal is opened, the rider on the first horse has only a bow and no arrows.  He carries the threat of war, but no shots are fired.  That, to me, represents rumors of war as Jesus said. But when the second seal is opened, the rider is given a sword and power to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another.  That is war, unlike the first seal and it's rider.

Also see Wars and Rumors of Wars, The End Time Plagues, and The Land Mourns in the Last Days.

Persecution of witnesses, who will bear testimony for Jesus
The next sign the Lord told us would occur was a period when there would be Persecution of witnesses, who will bear testimony for Jesus, which is the next sign to occur in sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me.  14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict." Fifth Seal (Persecution of witnesses):
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. (Rev 6:9-11)

Also see Persecuted or Popular?

Apostasy, love of most growing cold, betrayal, hatred, and false prophets; preaching the gospel of the kingdom
The next sign the Lord told us would occur was a period when there would be apostasy, or falling away from the faith, the love of most growing cold; there will be betrayal, hatred, and false prophets. Meanwhile, there will be the true witnesses preaching the gospel of the kingdom, which is the next sign to occur in sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
"At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." [No corresponding seal in Revelation]

Under these conditions (i.e., persecution, apostasy, cold love prevalent even among believers, betrayal, hatred, and false prophets) will this gospel of the kingdom be preached in the whole world just before the end comes -- not under peaceful conditions, in which the righteous are dominating the world or reigning on seven mountains!

Jerusalem surrounded by armies, nearness of desolation, abomination of desolation, time of punishment
The next sign the Lord told us would occur was a period when there would be Jerusalem surrounded by armies, the nearness of its desolation, the abomination of desolation in the temple, and the time of punishment on Israel, which is the next sign to occur in sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak."

“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written."
[No corresponding seal in Revelation]

Close up view
In Matthew and Mark, Jesus gave a close up view of what will occur in the holy place in Jerusalem.  It is the abomination in the temple that causes desolation to Jerusalem and the rest of Judea, which we now call Israel.  By combining the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew and Mark, we have him saying essentially, “When you see standing where it does not belong (i.e., in the holy place) ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel...” (Also see Daniel 9:27; 12:11).

As the apostle Paul said, "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God." (2Th 2:3-4). 

Wide-angle view
And in Luke Jesus gave the wider view of the bigger picture regionally when this sign occurs, which is armies surrounding Jerusalem.  Luke recorded Him saying, “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.”  So this is about the desolation of Jerusalem (see Jeremiah 30:7), and the sign occurs in that city.  Therefore, the holy place where the abomination does not belong is in the temple there.  In Luke, we have Jesus giving the wider view of the bigger picture regionally when this sign occurs, which is armies surrounding Jerusalem. (Also compare Zechariah 12:3 and 14:2-5).

Dreadful time of Great Tribulation
The next sign the Lord told us would occur is the onset of a dreadful time of distress, known as the Great Tribulation, which is the next sign to occur in sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
"How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again."

"How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."
[No corresponding seal in Revelation]

He spoke to His disciples about the onset of the Great Tribulation as something that would occur before His coming. The sign that occurs right before this onset is the abomination that causes the desolation in Jerusalem, and the armies surrounding Jerusalem that will bring that desolation to her.  Those combined events will be the trigger that set off the avalanche of disastrous events to occur next, including this flight from Jerusalem and the onset of the Great Tribulation -- "great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again."  This will be the beginning of the period known as Jacob's Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), which Jesus called the time of punishment (Lk 21:22), when God brings punishment upon the Jewish people (Lk 21:23), and eventually restores them according to the prophecy of Jeremiah in his thirtieth chapter.

Nations Tread Under Foot Jerusalem
In Revelation, we do have a reference to the temple and Jerusalem during this period, which will last for 3.5 years: “Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, ‘Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.’” (Rev 11:1-2).

The expression in Revelation, “they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months” corresponds to the words of Jesus in Luke, “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

False messiahs and false prophets performing great signs and wonders to deceive
The next sign the Lord told us would occur was a period when there would be false messiahs and false prophets performing great signs and wonders to deceive, which is the next sign to occur in sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather. Regarding the false prophet and the antichrist:
“And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. (Rev 13:14).

When the people are saying ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ and ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ could it be a reference to ‘the abomination that causes desolation, standing in the holy place? Perhaps, but not necessarily.  It certainly speaks of false messiahs and false prophets performing great signs and wonders to deceive many.  Many people will be drawn to these people like a spectacle.  Crowds of people, who love to feed on that which is sickly or dead, will gather around the bodies of these false messiahs and false prophets. For wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

Some of these false christs and false prophets could literally appear or materialize out of thin air in various locations, as one of the wonders they perform to deceive many. There will be these strange people from another place that will appear on earth very soon.  Some of them could even come down in a UFO. But in reality, they are demons that will come to deceive people. There will probably be videos of this online and emails with the links to those videos of such men appearing. This will be a temptation even for believers, which we will need to resist.

The Bible tells us what the end of the antichrist and false prophet will be. “And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.” (Rev 19:20).

Signs in the sun, moon and stars, nations in anguish, tsunamis, terror, heavenly bodies shaken
The next sign the Lord told us would occur was a period when there would be signs in the sun, moon and stars, nations in anguish, tsunamis, terror, and heavenly bodies shaken, which is the next series of signs to occur in sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
“Immediately after the distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’"

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken."
Sixth Seal  (Sun darkened, blood moon, stars fall to earth, sky split apart, mountains and islands moved out of place):
I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places…(Rev 6:12-14)

Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and glory
The next event the Lord told us would occur is the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and glory.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."

"At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Sixth Seal continued (Kings, great men, commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, every free man hid in caves and mountains to hide from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb):

Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" (Rev 6:15-17)

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads." (Rev 7:1-3)

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?" I said to him, "My lord, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 7:9-14)

John tells us in the book of Revelation what he saw when the sixth seal is opened. Then he tells us what he saw “after this.”  Both the events of the sixth seal and what happens “after this” correspond exactly with what our Lord Jesus prophesied in the gospels.

Everyone on earth will see this event, even those who are not ready for it.  Those who are not ready will mourn (Zech 12:10).  Jesus said, “All the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming.” In Revelation, John said that kings, great men, commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, every free man hid in caves and mountains to hide from the presence of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.

At that time, Jesus said, “He will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other,” and they will be gathered together in the sky to meet the Lord. Just as the Lord made reference to His angels gathering his elect from the four winds, so also John referred to four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, and another angel having the seal of the living God with which to seal the bond servants of God on their foreheads.

The apostle Paul wrote: "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1Th 4:14-18)

John described what he saw afterward.  He said in part, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes…” He was told, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Also see my article called The Son of Man

Putting it All Together
Here is a condensed, summarized chart showing the signs that Jesus gave in the Synoptic Gospels corresponding exactly with the events in the book of Revelation, especially the seals in their divine sequence.

Synoptic Gospels Revelation
Deception
False Christs First Seal (Possibly a false messiah)
Wars and Rumors of Wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, fearful events and great signs from heaven First Seal (Rumors of War)
Second Seal (Wars)
Third Seal (Famine and economic chaos)
Fourth Seal (Death by sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts)
Persecution of witnesses, who will bear testimony for Jesus Fifth Seal (Persecution of witnesses)
Apostasy, love of most growing cold, betrayal, hatred, and false prophets; preaching the gospel of the kingdom
Jerusalem surrounded by armies, nearness of desolation, abomination of desolation, time of punishment
Dreadful time of great tribulation
False messiahs and false prophets performing great signs and wonders to deceive Regarding the false prophet and antichrist: “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. (Rev 13:14).
Signs in the sun, moon and stars, nations in anguish, tsunamis, terror, heavenly bodies shaken Sixth Seal (Sun darkened, blood moon, stars fall to earth, sky split apart, mountains and islands moved out of place).
Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and glory… He will send his angels…and they will gather His elect from the four winds... Sixth Seal continued (Kings, great men, commanders, the rich, the strong, every slave, every free man hid in caves and mountains to hide from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb).

An angel having the seal of the living God who seals the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.

A great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands…

They are those who come out of the great tribulation.

Our Lord Jesus compared these events to birth pains of a woman in labor.  Labor pains begin at a low intensity and build to a very high intensity to the point where they become unbearable, until finally the woman gives birth to the man child.  The labor pains begin at regular intervals that are spaced far apart in frequency, but as time goes on the tempo builds and becomes faster, as the pains occur more frequently intervals.

That is how we can expect these events to occur.  At first they will be spaced far apart at regular intervals, but then they will happen more and more frequently, until eventually they are happening so close together that there is no time to catch your breath between a particular sign and the one that follows it.  And when a particular sign occurs, it continues until the end.

The signs Jesus predicted were: deception, false christs, wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, fearful events and great signs from heaven, persecution of witnesses, who will bear testimony for Jesus, apostasy, love of most growing cold, betrayal, hatred, and false prophets, the righteous preaching the gospel of the kingdom, Jerusalem surrounded by armies, nearness of desolation, the abomination that causes desolation, flight from Jerusalem, destruction of Jerusalem, the time of punishment, the dreadful time of distress,  the onset of the Great Tribulation, false messiahs and false prophets performing great signs and wonders to deceive, signs in the sun, moon and stars, nations in anguish, tsunamis, terror, heavenly bodies shaken.  Only after all of these signs will the Son of Man be seen coming in a cloud with power and glory with all His holy angels with Him to gather the elect to Himself.  That is when the rapture will occur. As Jesus said, "be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time."

With regard to the saints going through the entire Great Tribulation, I do not believe that will happen, unless you are a saint who is not ready for the rapture.  I believe that the saints will see the onset of the Great Tribulation, in which the abomination that causes desolation occurs and Jerusalem is destroyed. We will see the days of darkness when the sun and moon do not give their light, and other things happening during that period, which correspond to the first six seals of Revelation, as I have already mentioned.  However, let us not forget that Jesus said, if those days had not been cut short, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

The final events that Jesus said would be signs to occur before his coming will happen at greater and greater frequency, so that the ones that occur after the abomination of desolation may happen within a very short span of time. This would mean that the saints only go through a very brief period of the Great Tribulation. So for the sake of the elect, whose robes are pure white and spotless, without any wrinkle, the Lord will shorten those days by coming, and sending His angels to gather them to Himself in the rapture.  Those who are not ready will be left behind to go through the 3.5 year Great Tribulation.  Those people will be here for the seventh seal and the wrath of God that follows. And believe me, you don't want to go through that!

That's why we need to pray to escape all these things.  "But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luk 21:36).  It may not be possible to escape the part leading up to the Great Tribulation, unless someone is put to death for their faith in Christ, but once the Great Tribulation begins, I believe there will be an escape for the righteous, by way of the rapture.

These are the definite signs that Scripture says will happen before the Lord returns, and we see them taking place all around us.  It’s time to wake up, repent, and live a life of daily repentance.  We need to produce the fruit of repentance, walking in love and in the light, and serving the Lord.  We need to watch and pray, always being ready for Jesus’ return.  We need to live in holiness, righteousness, and truth. Then that day will not overtake us like a thief in the night.  The one who stands firm to the end will be saved (Mt 24:13; Mk 13:13). I plead with you to save yourself from this corrupt generation (Ac 2:40). Stand firm, and you will win life.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Most other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted. The "Four Horsemen" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note: You must take responsibility for your own actions. Nobody knows the day or the hour, and in no way am I date setting. This is only to provide you with information, so that you can make your own decisions, for which you will be accountable to God.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the companion article, Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ, as well as the ones listed below in this blog, which are available through the Signs of the Times Directory.

The 311 Moment
Times and Epochs the Father has Determined 
Are you Rapture Ready?
The Day of Our Lord’s Wedding is at Hand
Rapture Revelation to Rachael Mushala
Rapture Revelation to Ayodelle Sawyerr
Rapture Revelation to Claire Andoun Solomon
Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano
The Timing of the Rapture
The Son of Man 

You may access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Rapture Revelation to James Agboola

Brother James Agboola
I wrote in my recent article James Agboola Revelation of Heaven and Hell, of a testimony from a brother who actually died and came back to tell about it. His spirit came out of his body and he went to the place where others have gone and never come back. 

Prior to that experience, James was given a revelation about the rapture. He said:

"I just had a revelation. And I heard a very loud trumpet. The trumpet sounded very loud and clear! And before I know it, I saw people from the four winds of the earth just going (he motions repeatedly upward with his hand). Before I look around, I saw myself something just pick me (up) too. Voom! We begin to meet ourselves on the sky. And the moment that it caught you up, whatever dressing you were putting on, it changed immediately. It becomes pure white. Pure white! Not a single sin. And that is how we are ascending to heaven. And I can see that we are singing a song as we are moving on the air, going towards heaven. We are singing…I’ve never heard (such) a very sweet and melodious song like that in my entire life. And we are all speaking in one language, in one language. People from everywhere, we are all speaking in one language. We all became one. There is no different…no…we all became one. Like what we just heard now. Everybody for himself. And that is how we moved into heaven."

"And when we got there, I saw a very big gate. Very big, white, golden gate. It was written, 'Welcome to the Kingdom of God.' Everybody was so anxious. We all assembled as people who assemble before a church, both young and old, both man and woman. The place was so quiet. Every man for himself. And there are booths. This is where I was able to confirm that everything that was written in the Bible—it is not a storybook. It is the prophecy and the Word of God. I began to see in reality what we have been hearing, what we have been reading in the Bible. I saw books. I saw files. Everyone on earth, from the day you are born, your files are written in heaven. Whatsoever you are doing, be it good or bad, the angels are busy, jotting and writing, jotting and writing. So we all gathered. They began to call the names of the files, one after another. It was there that I found out that in heaven, God doesn’t call people by the titles they have in the world -- Reverend, bishop.  No, they call you by your name. Period. They began to call names. As they call the names, they go through your file. They open the gate, they ask you to go in. Everybody was shaking because that file, after you’ve been raptured, your work must be tested. Your work has to be examined. Your life has to be examined before you proceed. So, some were still disqualified from there. Some were given ask them to pass."

He also said the Lord Jesus told him, "Tell the people, tell my servants, tell whosoever comes your way, that My coming is not soon anymore. I’m coming now. I’ve waited for so long. I’m coming now. Tell them to prepare for My coming. Without holiness, holiness, holiness, no one, no one will enter My Kingdom no matter what they do. Tell them to walk before Me and be perfect.”

I encourage you to read his entire testimony at the link below and prepare yourself for the Lord's return. He is coming right away.

Author's note: Please prayerfully listen to this brother's testimony, James Agboola Revelation of Heaven and Hell, and use the Testimony Review Process adopted by this blog, as you decide for yourself whether the Lord has spoken to him.  For issues and concerns, each person must confirm with the Lord, whether something is valid or not.

You must take responsibility for your own actions. Nobody knows the day or the hour, and in no way am I date setting. This is only to provide you with information, so that you can make your own decisions, for which you will be accountable to God.

I also encourage you to read Rapture Revelation to Mushala Sisters, Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano, Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ, The Rise of Antichrists, Peace, Safety, and the Thief in the Night, and The Timing of the Rapture, as well as The Messiah Is Coming.  You may also visit our Signs of the Times Directory, and access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Revelation of People Missing the Rapture

Today I would like to share a revelation that was given to our sister in Christ, Zipporah Mushala on Monday of this week, which was posted on her sister Rachael's End Time Visitations blog.  She stated:

On Monday, January 27, 2015, in a supernatural dream,the Lord Jesus Christ showed me the danger of turning back.

I dreamed that my sister, Rachael told me that the Lord had told her that the tribulation would begin in a few days time.  Then I saw that the day was a Monday.  I saw a large number of Christians talking about how Jesus' coming has taken long. Many Christians were giving up on serving the Lord and turning back to the things of the world. A lady was saying she's tired of being a christian and that she thinks Jesus isn't coming back until 2017. I saw that many gave up on their walk with Christ and said, "Jesus won't be back until after many years."

I could literally see the years, but as I looked, those years that people were approximating were suddenly shortened by the Lord to just days! And on Wednesday of that very week, the Lord Jesus Christ suddenly came and a lot of people were left behind! They turned back to the world on Monday, thinking the Lord won't come for many years, but the Lord returned on Wedsnesday that very week!

I saw the people in so much regret. They were in deep regret. A lady was saying, "If I had just held on for a few more days, I would have gone with the Lord." And a certain brother was saying, "Less than a week! If I had just been faithful to the Lord for just less than a week, I could have gone with Him." It was a very sorry sight but it was too late.

Then in the dream,the Lord said to me, "The great tribulation is just minutes away."

Don't turn back and be left behind,Jesus Christ is coming back for you. He is coming back suddenly, like a thief in the night.Always be ready.  Please note that the timings ("minutes before the tribulation") in this revelation are spiritual, not natural.

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward,that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh;and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,your old men shall dream dreams,your young men shall see visions.

Revelation 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:be zealous therefore and repent.

Revelation 16:15 Behold I come as a thief.Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there be a great falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

Revelation 22:12 Behold I come quickly and My reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.

Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

End of revelation.
--

Author's note: You must take responsibility for your own actions. Nobody knows the day or the hour, and in no way am I date setting. This is only to provide you with information, so that you can make your own decisions, for which you will be accountable to God.

I also encourage you to read Rapture Revelation to Mushala Sisters , Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano, Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ, The Rise of Antichrists, Peace, Safety, and the Thief in the Night, The Timing of the Rapture, and Is Repentance Possible During the Great Tribulation?, as well as The Messiah Is Coming.  You may also visit our Signs of the Times Directory, and access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Rapture Beliefs of Church Fathers

I recently posted an article about Margaret MacDonald's 1830 prophecy of the rapture, which some believe gave rise to the popular belief in a pre-tribulation rapture that began around that same time. While the Holy Spirit may have Restored Truth about the rapture through Margaret's prophetic utterance, the belief in a pre-tribulation rapture did not originate with her.  It goes all the way back to the apostles, whom the Holy Spirit inspired to write the Bible.  And it is evident in the writings of the Church Fathers that they also held to this same belief.  Here is what they believed.

Irenaeus
Irenaeus (130 A.D. – 202 AD) was a bishop of the church in Lyons, France, and a disciple of Polycarp, the first of the Apostle John’s disciples. It is thought that Irenaeus may have personally seen the Apostle John.  He is best known for his five-volume treatise, Against Heresies.  On the subject of the Rapture, in Against Heresies 5.29, he wrote:

“Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance — in fact, as nothing;”(1) so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.”(2) For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.”

Irenaeus believed the Church would suddenly be caught up after a time of tribulation that would be a last contest of the righteous on earth before their heavenly crowning.  This is consistent with the apostle Paul's teaching in his epistle to the Thessalonians, in which he wrote that the righteous would be "caught up" (Greek word "harpazo") to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes 4:16-17). This is also consistent with what our Lord Jesus taught in Matthew 24, which I have written about in Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ.

Cyprian
Cyprian (200 AD – 258 AD) – Cyprian was Bishop of the church in Carthage during severe persecution from the Roman Empire. After seven months of house arrest, he was beheaded for his Christ.  In his Treatise he described the end times Great Tribulation thus:

“We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world and restores us to paradise and the kingdom.”

Cyprian taught that more terrible things are imminent, but that by an early departure from that tribulation, the righteous would be taken away.  He taught that the righteous would depart quickly from that time of tribulation, on that day when we would be snatched up out of this world into paradise to heavenly mansions prepared by the Lord to each of us. This is consistent with the promise of our Lord Who said, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (Jn 14:2-3). Moreover, as with the teaching of Irenaeus, this teaching of Cyprian about a "snatching" is consistent with the language used by the apostle Paul in his epistle to the Thessalonians (1 Thes 4:16-17).

Ephraem The Syrian
Ephraim (306 AD – 373 AD) was the bishop of Nisibis. His book that still exists today was known as Apocalypse of Pseudo Ephraem, due to dispute over its authorship that arose later. It is also known as Sermon at the End of the World.  In it he made one compelling reference to the rapture in Section 2, where he wrote:

“We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled (consummated), and there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman kingdom. Why therefore are we occupied with worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that he may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms all the world? Believe you me, dearest brother, because the coming (advent) of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time.

Or do you not believe unless you see with your eyes? See to it that this sentence be not fulfilled among you of the prophet who declares: “Woe to those who desire to see the day of the Lord!” For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of the world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord. And we think that the earth exists with blind infidelity, arriving at its downfall early. Commotions are brought forth, wars of diverse peoples and battles and incursions of the barbarians threaten, and our regions shall be desolated, and we neither become very much afraid of the report nor of the appearance, in order that we may at least do penance; because they hurl fear at us, and we do not wish to be changed, although we at least stand in need of penance for our actions!”

Ephraem referred to "the advent of the wicked one," who is the lawless one and the son of perdition, the man doomed to destruction, whom the apostle Paul said would be revealed before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him (2 Thes 2:1-12). As the apostle Paul did, Ephraem taught that the advent of the wicked one would occur before the meeting of the Lord Christ.  Ephraem wrote that once that antichrist is revealed, then "all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord."

Conclusion
In the second century, Irenaeus taught that "in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up."  In the third century, Cyprian taught that by an early departure from the tribulation to overwhelm the earth, the righteous be "snatched" up out of this world into the kingdom of heaven. In the fourth century, Ephraem taught the "gathering" of all the saints and elect of God prior to the coming tribulation, and that we would be taken to the Lord.

If you think that Margaret MacDonald was one who originated the belief in the rapture, then please compare what these Church Fathers said with what our Lord Jesus said would be the Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ.  There are definite signs that Scripture says will happen before the Lord returns, and we see them taking place all around us. 

In the words of Ephraem, "it is the eleventh hour," the end of the world is at hand," and "the coming of the Lord is nigh." "Why therefore are we occupied with worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ?"

It’s time to wake up, repent, and live a life of daily repentance.  We need to produce the fruit of repentance, walking in love and in the light, and serving the Lord.  We need to watch and pray, always being ready for Jesus’ return.  Then that day will not overtake us like a thief in the night.

Attribution notice:  Most Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted.

Author's note: You must take responsibility for your own actions. Nobody knows the day or the hour, and in no way am I date setting. This is only to provide you with information, so that you can make your own decisions, for which you will be accountable to God.

I also encourage you to read Rapture Revelation to Mushala Sisters , Rapture Revelation to Angelica Zambrano, Sequence of Signs Preceding the Coming of Christ, The Rise of Antichrists, Rapture Revelation to Linda Ngaujah, Peace, Safety, and the Thief in the Night, The Timing of the Rapture, and Rapture Revelation to Zipora Bitrus, as well as The Messiah Is Coming.  You may also visit our Signs of the Times Directory, and access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.