In our neck of the woods, fire has been on everyone’s minds the last few weeks as we have had several raging close by.
There are many people who have been called on the phone or have had a fireman knock on the door with the fearful news that they have to get out of their house. NOW!
Evacuation Level One means to be ready to leave. Evacuation Level Two means to have your things packed, it may happen soon. Evacuation Level Three means: GET OUT NOW!
I believe we have the same message from the pages of Scripture.
This message concerns the judgment that God is going to pour out on sinful people who dwell on this earth in the near future. We have lived for many centuries under Level One: Be ready. When Israel became a nation in 1948 (one of the greatest signs of the end times), we moved up to Level Two: Get packed, we are leaving soon. That was sixty-six years ago.
In recent days, we have seen many signs proceeding according to biblical prophecies. It seems the ball is rolling and things are swiftly moving towards the end of the age of grace, the Church Age.
I believe we have moved to Level Three: You have fifteen minutes to GET OUT NOW!
I’ve lived all my life with a longing in my heart that Jesus will come again. Soon. I hope to hear His trumpet to shake my eardrums, His call to rip away the skies, and His dear face to appear, welcoming me Home.
All true believers in Jesus Christ will one day be evacuated.
This event is called the Rapture of the Church, all true believers in Jesus Christ.
The word “rapture” is a Latin word that means “caught away.” The Bible teaches that at the end of the Church Age (in which we live at the present time), Christ will return in the clouds, a trumpet blast will sound, and an angel will cry out. Then those who are dead in Christ will be resurrected and get their new bodies in the sky. Those who are alive and remain will receive a new body instantly and be taken into the sky with Christ. (I Thess. 5:3-9 and II Cor.15)
We are approaching the fourth Blood Moon, the final one in the Tetrad series.
This will occur on September 28th, the first day of the Jewish feast day, Succoth, or the Feast of Tabernacles. Dr. John Hagee has written and preached a lot about the blood moons, and I’m not attempting to compete with him. If you want to find out what Hagee thinks about this, read his book or watch his video presentations on this topic. But better than that, study the Bible and find out what it says.
In March 2014, I made certain predictions based on my knowledge of the Word of God about where our world was headed and what to watch for as the time of this age draws to a close. These you can find in my blog entitled “Living on the Edge – Four Blood Moons.” Have my predictions come true? Go back and read them. Then you can decide how accurate my predictions were concerning the way the world is heading as we approach the end of this age.
What is next?
What can we expect to happen in the next few months? Are you ready for this? Is this the end of the world or the beginning of something special? Rather than listen to wild speculations and fall prey to fear and panic, let’s see what the Bible says is the next event on God’s calendar for the world.
1. The Rapture. Snatched Away!
There are no prophecies in the Bible about the Rapture. The only mention of this event is in I Thess. 5 and I Cor. 15. Jesus Himself said He would come back to get us (John 14:6). When this will happen, no one knows. As we see prophecy concerning Christ’s second coming occurring in our world, we know the time is close for the Rapture.
DON’T CONFUSE THE RAPURE WITH THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST!
The prophecies in Matt. 24 concerning the signs Jesus gave of His return to this earth have to do with the Great Tribulation period and His Second Appearing to set up His 1,000 year reign here on earth, not the Rapture.
In the Rapture, Jesus comes in the clouds. He receives His children from the earth, then returns to heaven with them. In the Second Appearing, He comes on a white horse, sets His feet down on the Mt. of Olives, destroys the wicked men of the earth, and sets up His earthly kingdom from Jerusalem.
THE TIME IS NEAR!
We do not know how long the Church Age will last. There is no given time for this span of ages. Daniel was given a vision of Seventy Weeks (seven year periods of time) that concern the Jewish nation of Israel, but he does NOT see the Church Age in this span of time. The Church Age was a mystery, something that was not revealed until after Christ returned to heaven.
We know that we are to be ready by living a holy lifestyle, witnessing, and preaching the Word through ministry both to the church and to the world in evangelism.
2. The Great Tribulation.
SEVEN YEARS OF JUDGMENTS
The Great Tribulation will be seven years of incredible disasters, judgments, signs and wonders, and miracles. This is 70th “week” of Daniel 9:27. The last three and half years of this time is known as the “time of Jacob’s distress,” (Jer. 30:6-7 and Matt. 24:21). It will be a time of great judgments poured out on the earth, and the Jews will suffer persecution like never before.
It is well to take note that after the Church is taken to heaven in the Rapture, God begins Daniel’s 70th week. The focus of God then returns to His people, the Jews, to restore them spiritually and nationally. God also judges the wicked of the earth and gives them seven years to repent, during which time He also gives them many warnings and chances to turn back to Him. But they will not repent. They shake their fists in His face and refuse to bow their knees to Him.
JUDGMENT ON SINFUL MANKIND
This is known as the greatest time of tribulations and judgments the world has ever known. The judgments described in Rev. 6-18 are so horrific if they are taken literally (and we do) that they will wipe out a good percentage of mankind, all those who rebel against God and His Word. During that time, there will be millions of people who come to believe in Jesus Christ and who are martyred for their faith.
THE ANTI-CHRIST WILL ARISE
During that time, a man will appear on the scene who will become the last dictator of the world. He is described in the Bible as “the man of sin,” (II Thess. 3:3-4), the “little horn” of Daniel 2 and 7, the “Beast” of Daniel 7, and the Anti-Christ of Revelation. God sees him as the essence of evil, yet he will be regarded by the men on earth as the epitome of everything that is desirable and good. This man will quickly align three key nations from a ten-nation group. These three nations will give this man the power base he needs to move onto the world scene and take over as dictator.
This great world dictator will have all the charm and appeal of Mr. Rodgers, Florence Nightingale, and Santa Claus rolled into one. He will appear as a great statesman, a peacemaker, a suave politician, a genius economist, and a brilliant military general. The people of the world will love him, honor him, bow willingly to him, and give him their loyalty and their lives.
THE PEACE TREATY WITH ISRAEL
His first act will be to make a peace treaty with Israel in which he favors Israel in their bid for land and nationality. He will build them a temple on the site of the Dome of the Rock (how this is accomplished we don’t know!), and he will support them in their struggle against the Arab nations. They will view this man as their messiah, their savior. The treaty he signs with Israel will officially begin the Tribulation period.
In the middle of the seven years, he will break his treaty with Israel, enter the Temple, and declare himself God. This is called the “Abomination of Desolation, II Thess. 3:3-4. He will then proceed to persecute the Israelites and seek to annihilate them. It is only through God’s intervention that they are saved. It is during this time that they repent and will receive Christ as their Messiah when He appears.
2. The Battle of Armageddon.
- All the armies of the world will amass to fight one another in the great valley below the ancient city of Megiddo, which stretches almost from the Mediterranean Sea (NW of Megiddo)
to the Mount of Olives east of the city of Jerusalem. The armies of the Anti-Christ will come to fight with the armies of the east. Millions of soldiers will be there. Then suddenly they join forces and decide to wipe out Israel. Christ appears in the sky, and they want to fight with Him!
Of course there is no contest in this battle. Jesus Christ will wipe out the wicked in a flash. He will not come the second time in weakness, poverty and meekness. The second time He comes will be with a rod of iron and the flash of fire and brimstone. The wicked will not stand a chance, not even if they have every bomb, tank, weapon and strategy devised by man.
All the believers (both Old Testament saints and the Church Age Christians) who are in heaven will come with Christ when He comes to earth. These people with resurrected bodies will rule and reign with Christ throughout the days of His kingdom.
4. The Millennium, the 1,000 Year Kingdom of Christ on earth.
- After His great victory, Christ proceeds to judge the nations, destroy the wicked from the face of the earth, and chain Satan for 1,000 years. He will rule the earth from Jerusalem and all the nations of the earth will flock to Jerusalem to worship and pay homage to Him. He will rule with an iron rod of justice and a heart of love and grace.
DON’T CONFUSE HEAVEN WITH THE MILLENNIUM!
This is NOT heaven. The Holy City, The New Jerusalem, has not come down from heaven yet. There are thousands of prophecies concerning the Millennium that are not appropriate to describe heaven. For instance, there will be millions of people alive in human bodies who get sick, cry, die, and sin. While Satan is chained, sin is still a reality in the human heart. There is the possibility for men to rebel against the King.
There will be animals in the Kingdom Age, and they will get along with each other. The lion will lay down with a calf and the wolf will lie down with a lamb. A child will be able to play in a deadly snake’s den. (Isa. 11) All carnivorous animals will become vegetarians, as I believe, will all humans. There will be a new temple built by Christ in which He is worshipped.
And, lo and behold!, the people at the end of the kingdom age will rebel against Christ, the King! At the end of the Kingdom Age, Satan is released, and in a twinkling he energizes a final revolt against Christ and God.
Eternity with Christ and God.
Christ puts down the rebellion, sentences Satan and all evil people and demons to hell, judges all wicked souls who have not received judgment at the Great White Throne judgment seat (the wicked dead are judged according to their deeds so that they receive a just punishment in hell).
After this happens, the New Jerusalem descends from heaven and a new era of complete righteousness, peace and joy begins and lasts forever.
There are many questions about this eternal state. The Bible closes its pages with the assurance that all sin is gone forever and we will enjoy eternity with Christ and God in His home in a new heaven and a new earth without any death, sin, grief, pain or sorrow.
What should be our response to the knowledge that Christ may come at any moment?
WAKE UP! The time is near. Take HIs Word seriously. Be alert. Be ready.
When the fire came close to our town, I looked around the house, and wondered what I would take if I had to leave in five minutes. There are so many things that mean a great deal to me in the way of memories I cherish, books I’ve read and pictures of my family.
What would be the most important one thing? What is the one thing that would have eternal value? There are only two eternal physical things in our world: the Bible and the souls of men and women, boys and girls. Would those two be high on my list?
Do we invest our time, energy, and money into those two eternal values?
We must act like we have only this ONE DAY to serve Christ. We must change our priorities to come into line with God’s will. We must serve Him with all our hearts and tell others the good news before it is too late.
LET IT GO!
When the Red Flag warning went up and the fire blew up one afternoon and threatened many homes in its path, our friends who lived in the forest had to come to grips with the fact that while they might save their lives, they probably couldn’t save their possessions – their houses, cars, tractors, household goods, pictures, toys, tools and clothes.
They had to let it all
go. Yield it up. Leave it behind.
That is what Jesus Christ calls us to do, dear friends. The time is so short that we cannot waste it on amassing wealth, hoarding our riches, and spending our time on things that do not matter for eternity. Christ calls us to live for Him. These are the last of the last days. Spend each one wisely. With each click of the clock, His drawing comes closer.
It could be today.
CLEAN UP MY ACT!
I am challenged to study the Word of God like I’ve never done before.
I don’t mean a five minute Bible reading as we dash off to get our nails painted. I mean a concentrated, intentional, vigorous study of the Word of God. Get a good study book and do it. Join a Bible study group. Don’t only study the Word but apply it to your lives and obey it. Get involved in a ministry through your church. Reach out to others who are going to be left behind in a very scary world.
Be holy in your lifestyle, hopeful in your attitude, watchful of all you do. Be busy about doing the work of the Father. Don’t let sin get a hold of your heart. Walk in purity and obedience. It is possible through the power of the Holy Spirit if we yield our lives to Him.