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The True Identity Of The Antichrist!

13 Oct
Who, or what, is the Antichrist? Evil alliance, or sinister individual? Some say his appearance is still in the future. Others say he appeared long ago in the days of ancient Rome. But the Bible indicates that he is alive today! The Bible prophecies teach this antichrist power will play a crucial role in the final events of earth’s history. Do you know who he is? Are you sure? You need to be, for you can’t understand last-day events until you understand this evil power. Be prepared for one of the most intriguing Study Guides yet! This Study Guide, based on Daniel chapter 7, clearly and unmistakably identifies the Antichrist. But it is only an introduction. Future lessons will reveal details of some of his activities that will have worldwide impact. What you discover today may displease or sadden you, but please remember that the prophecy of Daniel chapter 7 comes from Jesus, who loves you. Pray for God’s guidance as you delve into this urgent subject. Be sure to read Daniel 7 before studying this guide.
In prophecy, God uses beasts to symbolize nations.

In prophecy, God uses beasts to symbolize nations.

 

1. As the chapter begins, Daniel sees four beasts coming up out of the sea. In prophecy, what does a beast represent? What does the sea represent?

“The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth.” Daniel 7:23. “The waters … are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:15.

Answer:   Beasts represent kingdoms or nations. Water represents multitudes of people or large populations.

 

The lion beast of Daniel 7 represents the empire of Babylon.

The lion beast of Daniel 7 represents the empire of Babylon.

 

2. The four beasts of Daniel 7 represent the four world kingdoms (verses 17, 18). Babylon, the first kingdom (Daniel 2:38, 39), is represented as a lion in Daniel 7:4. (See also Jeremiah 4:7 50:17, 43, 44 for Babylon pictured as a lion elsewhere.) What do the “eagle’s wings” mean? What do the “four winds” of verse 2 represent?

“The Lord shall bring a nation against thee … as swift as the eagle flieth.” Deuteronomy 28:49.

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, … a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth.” Jeremiah 25:32, 33.

Answer:   The wings of eagles represent speed.
(See also Jeremiah 4:13; Habakkuk 1:6-9.) Winds represent strife, commotion, and destruction. (See also Revelation 7:1-3.)

 

The bear with three ribs in its mouth symbolizes Medo-Persia.

The bear with three ribs in its mouth symbolizes Medo-Persia.

 

3. What kingdom does the bear represent (Daniel 7:5)? What do the three ribs in its mouth symbolize?

Answer:   Read Daniel 8. Notice that the beasts in chapter 8 parallel those in chapter 7. Daniel 8:20 specifically names Medo-Persia as the kingdom that precedes the rough goat, or Greece, of verse 21. It is the second world kingdom, the same power as the bear of Daniel 7. The empire was made up of two groups of people.

The Medes came up first (represented in Daniel 7:5 by the bear coming up on one side), but the Persians eventually became stronger (represented in Daniel 8:3 by the ram’s second horn which grew “higher,” or taller). The three ribs represent the three principal powers conquered by Medo-Persia:

Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt.

 

The leopard beast of Daniel 7 represents the world kingdom of Greece.

The leopard beast of Daniel 7 represents the world kingdom of Greece.

 

4. Greece, the third kingdom (Daniel 8:21), is represented by a leopard with four wings and four heads (Daniel 7:6). What do the heads represent? What do the four wings represent?

Answer:   The four heads represent the four kingdoms into which the empire of Alexander the Great was divided when he died. The four generals who headed these areas were: Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus. The four wings (instead of two like the lion) represent super-speed, which was true of Alexander’s conquests (Jeremiah 4:11-13).

 

The world empire of Rome is symbolized by the monster beast of Daniel chapter 7.

The world empire of Rome is symbolized by the monster beast of Daniel chapter 7.

 

5. The Roman empire, the fourth world kingdom, is represented by a horrible monster with iron teeth and 10 horns (Daniel 7:7). What do the horns represent?

Answer:   The 10 horns represent the 10 kings or kingdoms into which pagan Rome was eventually split (Daniel 7:24). (These 10 kingdoms are the same as the 10 toes of the image described in Daniel 2:41-44.) Roving barbarian tribes swept in upon the Roman empire and carved out land niches for their people.

Seven of those 10 tribes developed into the countries of modern Western Europe, while three were uprooted and destroyed. The next section will discuss those kingdoms that were rooted up.

Visigoths – Spain

Anglo-Saxons – England

Franks – France

Alemani – Germany

Burgundians – Switzerland

Lombards – Italy

Suevi – Portugal

Heruli – Rooted up

Ostrogoths – Rooted up

Vandals – Rooted up

 

The little horn of Daniel 7:8 represents Antichrist.

The little horn of Daniel 7:8 represents Antichrist.

 

6. In the Daniel 7 prophecy, what happens next?

“I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Daniel 7:8.

Answer:   The “little horn” power appears next. We must identify it carefully because God takes more space describing it than the other four kingdoms combined. Why? Because the biblical characteristics identify it as the Antichrist of prophecy and history. There must be no mistake in making this identification.

 

The Bible says Antichrist would persecute God's people.

The Bible says Antichrist would persecute God’s people.

 

7. Are there clear points of identification?

Answer:   Yes, God gives us nine characteristics of Antichrist in Daniel 7 so we can be certain of his identity. And even though some may find these truths from God’s Word painful, we must be honest enough to accept them as His revealed will. Now let’s discover what Jesus’ nine points are:

A. The “little horn” or kingdom “came up among them”the 10 horns which were the kingdoms of Western Europe (Daniel 7:8). So it would be a little kingdom somewhere in Western Europe.

B. It would have a man at its head who could speak for it (Daniel 7:8).

C. It would pluck up or uproot three kingdoms (Daniel 7:8).

D. It would be “diverse” or different from the other 10 kingdoms (Daniel 7:24).

E. It would make war with and “wear out” or persecute the saints (Daniel 7:21, 25).

F. It would emerge from the pagan Roman empire, the fourth world kingdom (Daniel 7:7, 8).

G. God’s people (the saints) would “be given into his hand” for “a time and times and the dividing of time” (Daniel 7:25).

H. It would “speak great words against” or blaspheme God (Daniel 7:25). In Revelation 13:5, the Bible says the same power speaks “great things and blasphemies.”

I. It would “think to change times and laws.” Daniel 7:25.

Don’t forget all these identification points come directly from the Bible. They are not some human opinion or speculation. Historians could tell you quickly what power is being described. These points can fit only one power, the papacy. But in order to be certain, let us carefully examine all nine points, one by one. There must be no room left for doubt.

 

The papacy clearly fits all nine identification points.

The papacy clearly fits all nine identification points.

 

8. Does the papacy fit these points?

Answer:   Yes, it fits every point perfectly. See items A through H below.

A. It “came up among” the 10 kingdoms of Western Europe.
The geographical location of the papal power was in Rome, Italy the very heart of the territory of Western Europe.

B. It would have a man at its head who speaks for it.
The papacy meets this identifying mark because it does have one man at the head (the pope) who speaks for it.

C. It would pluck up or uproot three kingdoms.
The emperors of Western Europe were largely Catholic and supported the papacy in its growth and authority. Three Arian kingdoms, however, did not support the papacy, the Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths. So the Catholic emperors decided they must be subdued or destroyed. Here is how Dr. Mervyn Maxwell, a theologian and historian, described the results in volume 1, page 129, of his book God Cares:

“The Catholic emperor Zeno (474-491) arranged a treaty with the Ostrogoths in 487 which resulted in the eradication of the kingdom of the Arian Heruls in 493. And the Catholic emperor Justinian (527-565) exterminated the Arian Vandals in 534 and significantly broke the power of the Arian Ostrogoths in 538. Thus were Daniel’s three horns the Heruls, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths’plucked up by the roots.’ ” It is not difficult to recognize that the papacy fits this point.

D. It would be “diverse” or different from the other kingdoms.
The papacy clearly fits this description, also. It came on the scene as a religious power and was totally different from the secular nature of the other 10 kingdoms.

E. It would make war with and persecute the saints.
That the church did persecute is a well-known fact. The papacy clearly admits doing so. Much supportive evidence exists. Even conservative historians claim the church probably destroyed at least 50 million people over matters of religious conviction. We will quote here from two sources:

1. “That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history. 1

2. In The History of the Inquisition of Spain, D. Ivan Antonio Llorente provides these figures from the Spanish Inquisition alone:

  • 31,912 persons were condemned and perished in the flames.
  • 241,450 persons were condemned to severe penalties.

F. It would emerge from the fourth kingdom of iron – the pagan Roman Empire.
We are quoting two authorities on this point:

1. “The mighty Catholic Church was little more than the Roman Empire baptised … The very capital of the old Roman Empire became the capital of the Christian empire. The office of Pontifex Maximus was continued in that of the pope.” 2

2. “Whatever Roman elements the barbarians and Arians left … [came] under the protection of the Bishop of Rome, who was the chief person there after the emperor’s disappearance. The Roman Church in this way privily pushed itself into the place of the Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation.” 3

So, once again, the point fits the papacy.

G. God’s people (the saints) would “be given into his hand” for “a time and times and the dividing of time.” Daniel 7:25.

Several things need clarification in connection with this point:

1. A time is a year, times is two years, and the dividing of time is a half-year. The Amplified Bible translates it: “Three and one-half years.” 4

2. This same time period is mentioned seven times (Daniel 7:25 12:7 Revelation 11:2, 3 12:6, 14 13:5) in the books of Daniel and Revelation: three times as a time, times, and half a time twice as 42 months and twice as 1,260 days. Based on the 30-day calendar used by the Jews, these time periods are all the same amount of time:

3 1/2 years = 42 months = 1,260 days.

3. One prophetic day equals one literal year (Ezekiel 4:6 Numbers 14:34).

4. Thus, the little horn (Antichrist) was to have power over the saints for 1,260 prophetic days or 1,260 literal years.

5. The rule of the papacy began in A.D. 538, when the last of the three opposing Arian kingdoms was uprooted. Its rule continued until 1798 when Napoleon’s general, Berthier, took the pope captive with hopes of destroying both Pope Pius VI and the political, secular power of the papacy. This period of time is an exact fulfillment of the 1,260-year prophecy. The blow was a deadly wound for the papacy, but that wound began to heal and continues healing today.

6. This same period of persecution is mentioned in Matthew 24:21 as the worst period of persecution God’s people will ever experience. Verse 22 tells us it was so devastating that not one soul would have survived if God had not shortened it. But God did shorten it. The persecution ended long before the pope was taken captive in 1798. It is plain to see that this point, likewise, fits the papacy.

H. It would speak “great words” of blasphemy “against the most High [God].”
Blasphemy has two definitions in Scripture:

1. Claiming to forgive sins (Luke 5:21).

2. Claiming to be God (John 10:33).

Does this point fit the papacy? Yes!

Let’s first look at the evidence for it claiming to forgive sins: “Does the Priest truly forgive the sins, or does he only declare that they are remitted? The Priest does really and truly forgive the sins in virtue of the power given to him by Christ.”

5 The papacy further undermines Jesus by setting up a system of confession to an earthly priest, thus bypassing Jesus, our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1 8:1, 2) and only Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).

Next consider the evidence for it claiming to be God: “We [the popes] hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.”

6 Here is another: “The pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, Himself, hidden under the veil of flesh.”

7 Its obvious this point, likewise, fits the papacy.

I. It would “think to change times and laws.”
In a future Study Guide we will deal with the “times” of this point. It is a major topic and needs separate consideration. But what about changing the “laws”? The Amplified Bible translates “laws” as “the law.” The reference is to changing God’s law. Of course, no one can really change it, but has the papacy attempted to do so? The answer is “yes.”

In its catechisms, the papacy has omitted the second commandment against veneration of images and has shortened the fourth commandment from 94 words to eight and divided the tenth commandment into two commandments. (Check this for yourself. Compare the Ten Commandments in any Catholic catechism with God’s list of the commandments in Exodus 20:3-17.)

There is no doubt that the little horn power of Daniel chapter 7 (the Antichrist) is the papacy. No other organization could possibly fit these nine points. And incidentally, this is no new teaching. Every Reformer, without exception, spoke of the papacy as Antichrist. 8

Words of Care and Concern
Lest some should think that we are attacking fellow Christians by identifying this little-horn power, please keep in mind that the prophecy is aimed at a system and not individuals. There are sincere, devout Christians in all churches, including the Catholic faith. Daniel chapter 7 is simply a message of judgment and correction upon a large religious institution which compromised with paganism, like so many other churches that arose after her.

Prophecy Reveals Faults of All Faiths
Other prophecies point out the faults of Protestant and Jewish faiths. God has true people in all religions. His true people (no matter what their faith) will always humbly accept the correction of the Lord and will not shut their ears and hearts against Him by self-defensiveness. We should be very thankful that God’s Word speaks with impartial honesty on every subject.

1 W. E. H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Volume 2, p. 40.

22 Alexander Clarence Flick, The Rise of the Medieval Church, pp. 148, 149.

3 Adolf Harnack, What is Christianity? (New York: Putnam, second edition, revised, 1901), pp. 269, 270.

4 The Amplified Bible, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1962.

5 Joseph Deharbe, S.J., A Complete Catechism of the Catholic Religion (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1924), p. 279.

6 Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter “The Reunion of Christendom” (dated June 20, 1894) trans. in the Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: Benziger, 1903), p. 304.

7 Catholic National, July 1895.

8 R. Allen Anderson, Unfolding the Revelation, p. 137.

 

The angel told Daniel that the prophecies of this book would be sealed until 1798, the time of the end.

The angel told Daniel that the prophecies of this book would be sealed until 1798, the time of the end.

 

9. Wasn’t Daniel told to seal up his book until “the time of the end”? (Daniel 12:4) When will Daniel’s prophecies be opened to our understanding?

Answer:   In Daniel 12:4, the prophet was told to seal parts of the book till “the time of the end.” In verse 6 an angelic voice asked, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” Verse 7 says, “It shall be for a time, times, and an half.” The angel assured Daniel that the section of the book dealing with end-time prophecies would be opened after the end of the 1260-year period of papal control which was, as we learned earlier in this Study Guide, 1798. So the time of the end began in the year 1798. Obviously, the book of Daniel contains crucial messages from heaven for us today. We absolutely must understand it.

 

All religious teachings must be compared with Scripture to determine their accuracy.

All religious teachings must be compared with Scripture to determine their accuracy.

 

10. Many Christians today have been tragically misinformed regarding the Antichrist. To believe an untruth about the Antichrist could easily cause a person to be deceived and lost. What should a person do when new Bible teachings are encountered?

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11.

Answer:   When a new Bible teaching is encountered, the only safe procedure is to compare it carefully with Scripture to see if it is in harmony with God’s Word.

 

11. I am willing to follow where Jesus leads, even though it may be painful?

 

 

11. I am willing to follow where Jesus leads, even though it may be painful?

Concluding Remarks

Many momentous prophecies from the Bible books of Daniel and Revelation will be featured in upcoming Amazing Facts Study Guides. God has given these prophecies to:

A. Reveal earth’s closing events.

B. Identify the participants in the final phase of the battle between Jesus and Satan.

C. Clearly reveal Satan’s sinister plans to ensnare and destroy us all.

D. Present the security and love of the judgment God’s saints will be vindicated!

E. Uplift Jesus, His salvation, love, power, mercy, and justice.

Major Participants Will Appear Repeatedly

Key participants in the closing war between Jesus and Satan will appear repeatedly in these prophecies. These include: Satan, Jesus, the United States, the papacy, Protestantism, and spiritism. Jesus repeats and expands His messages from the prophets to make certain His warnings of love and protection come through with clarity and certainty.

Answer:   

 

Thought Questions

1. I always thought Antichrist was a person rather than an organization. Am I wrong?
Antichrist is an organization–the papacy. The words “eyes of man” in Daniel 7:8, however, do point to a leader. Revelation 13:18 speaks of man with a number being involved. In Daniel
chapter 8, Greece is represented by a goat and its leader, Alexander the Great, is symbolized by a horn. The same is true of Antichrist. The organization is the papacy. The pope in office is its representative. The prophecy of Daniel chapter 7 is not saying that popes are evil and that Catholics are not Christians. There are many warm, loving Catholic Christians. The system, however, is called Antichrist because it has usurped Jesus’ authority and attempted to change His law.

2. Do you think it is wise or Christian to pass laws to enforce Christianity?
No. The Bible is clear that all should have freedom to choose the direction they wish to go in matters of conscience (Joshua 24:15)–even if they choose to deny God and be atheists. God permitted Adam and Eve to choose to disobey even though it hurt both them and Him. Forced worship is not acceptable to God. Forced worship is the devil’s way. God’s way is loving persuasion. History shows that virtually every time the church passed laws to enforce its beliefs, persecution and murder of others resulted. This is a lesson we can learn from the Middle Ages history of the little horn.

3. Perhaps I have misunderstood, but my concept has always been that Antichrist would be an evil being who openly opposed God. Is this concept incorrect?
We usually consider the word “anti” to mean “against”. But in “Antichrist” it means “in the place of” or “instead of”. Antichrist is guilty of assuming the prerogatives of God. It claims:

A. Its priests can forgive sins which only God can do (Luke 5:21).

B. To have changed God’s law by dropping out the second commandment (on worshiping images) and splitting the tenth into two parts. God’s law cannot be changed (Matthew 5:18).

C. That the pope is God on earth.

Satan’s Original Plan
Satan’s original plan (in heaven) was to assume God’s position and authority. His aim was to oust God and rule in His place. (See Study Guide 2.) When Satan was ejected from heaven, his aim did not change, but rather intensified. Through the centuries he has endeavored (using various human agencies) to discredit God and take over His position.

Antichrist Appears to Be Spiritual
Satan aims to replace God in these last days by deceiving people into following Antichrist, who appears spiritual and holy. The main purpose of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation is to expose Satan’s traps and strategies and lead people to anchor in Jesus and His Word for safety.

Antichrist Will Deceive Many
Most people will follow the Antichrist (Revelation 13:3), thinking they are following Christ. Only the very elect will be safe (Matthew 24:23, 24). They will be safe because they test every spiritual teaching and leader by Scripture (Isaiah 8:20). Religious deception is everywhere today. We cannot be too careful.

4. Doesn’t the Bible say in 1 John 2:18-22 that there are many antichrists?
Yes, there have been many antichrists down through history who have worked against the kingdom of God. However, there is only one entity that specifically fulfills all the prophesied characteristics of the Antichrist. In Daniel chapters 7 and 8 and in Revelation chapter 13, you will find at least 10 identifying traits of the Antichrist. These 10 identifying marks can be fulfilled in only one entity, the papacy.

5. In prophecy, does the symbol “beast” mean “beastly” characteristics?
Not at all. God uses the symbolism of a beast to signify a ruler, nation, government, or kingdom. It is His way of depicting governments in prophecy. We do this ourselves to some degree: We have depicted Russia as a bear, the United States has an eagle, etc. The symbol “beast” is not a demeaning, disrespectful term. It is synonymous with “animal” or “creature”. Even Christ is portrayed as a Lamb by John the Baptist (John 1:29) and the apostle John (Revelation 5:6, 9, 12, 13). The term “beast” is utilized by God to give us a message about nations and leaders, good and evil.\

This is taken from the amazing facts website.

There is no doubt who the anti christ is after this post.

May God keep you.

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Photographer + Professor + Himalayas = Collaborative Book

13 Oct

wow

La Paz Group

The blurb is enough to get our attention, but the images on the book’s website (click the image above to see) make the journey palpable:

The Eastern Himalaya—land of Gods, of ancient mountain kingdoms, of icy peaks and alpine meadows—is like no other place on Earth. The life and landscapes of the region are as diverse, spectacular and fragile as the mountains themselves. Even today, these mountains hold many mysteries: unnamed species, primeval cultures and the promise of magical cures to heal all of humanity. Himalaya—Mountains of Life takes us on a journey of biocultural discovery, from the great canyon of Yarlung Tsangpo and the Siang Gorge in the east to the Kali Gandaki Gorge in the west. Along the way, Himalaya demonstrates through breathtaking imagery and words, why the preservation of this heritage is so important—not just for us, but for the future of all life on Earth.

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Not To Us

13 Oct

Amen

Theres not going to be a secret rapture

13 Oct

Many of you have  read the Left Behind series i have read the series over and over again i was so facinated that i couldnt put the books down its a brilliant series but teaches false doctrine about the end times and how things are going to come to an end.

There is not going to be a secret rapture that wil take pla ce thats just one of the many deceptions to get people away from the truth.

In this post we are going to be looking at what the BIBLE says about the Second Coming that is so close.

Here is 8 BIBLICAL facts that prove there wont be a secret rapture:

 1. Not a Secret
 
Will there be a rapture? Yes. Will it be a secret? NO!Rapture means “to be carried away with power,” and it is true that when Jesus comes the living righteous will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17). But many have come to believe that this rapture will take place quietly – that faithful Christians all around the world will suddenly disappear and that life here on earth will continue for a seven-year period of tribulation. During this time, they say, many will be converted and have a “second chance” at salvation before Christ’s final coming. Although the secret rapture scenario may appear comforting at first glance, there is absolutely no scriptural support for it. The Bible plainly teaches that when Jesus comes again, every one of our senses will be bombarded with evidence!

2. His Coming Will Be Literal

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

Heaven-sent messengers told the disciples that Jesus would return to this earth in the same manner He left. Christ left in the clouds, and He will come back in the clouds. He was visible when He left, and He will be visible when He comes again. He had a real body when He left, and He will return in the same way

 
3. His Coming Will Be Visible

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him”. (Revelation 1:7)

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:27).

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” (Matthew 24:30).

When Christ comes, it will not be merely a local sighting or an isolated event. It will be visible across the entire world.

4. His Coming Will Be Audible

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

“The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall
mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout.” (Jeremiah 25:30).

“Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” (Psalm 50:3).

As you can see from the preceeding Scriptures, Christ’s second coming will be loud! There will be shouts and trumpets and all kinds of noise. No one will accidentally miss it or be able to read about it in the newspaper the next day

 
5. His Coming Will Be Emotional

“Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:26, 27).

“And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9).

When Christ returns, it will be an emotional day for the wicked and righteous alike. The lost will experience indescribable fear and anguish, while the saved will experience the perfect joy of eternal salvation.

6. His Coming Will Open the Graves

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40).

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:22, 23).

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

This is the Bible’s description of the rapture. The dead in Christ will rise by His power and will meet Him in the air. Afterward the faithful who are still alive will also be caught up. It will not be a secret!

7. His Coming Will Destroy the Earth

“The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.” (Isaiah 24:19, 20).

“And the heaven [sky] departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.” (Revelation 6:14).

“And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” (Revelation 16:18-20).

This world will be uninhabitable by people after Christ comes. His coming will shake the very foundations of the earth.

8. His Coming Will Mean Final Judgment

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” (Matthew 16:27).

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12).

It is at Christ’s return that we will receive our final reward. Each person’s decision will have already been made; there will be no second chance to convert. The time to make a decision to follow Christ is now!

 

IF THERE IS SO MUCH BIBLICAL PROOF HOW COME MANY STILL BELIEVE IN THE SECRET RAPTURE?

Basis for Confusion
With so much evidence in the Bible as to the manner of Christ’s coming, how did people get the idea that the rapture will be a secret event?As with most deceptions, the secret rapture theory is based on a few texts that have been taken out of the context. Two main concepts in Scripture have been used to substantiate a “secret” rapture.

The primary one is that Jesus will come as “a thief in the night.” The secret rapture theory assumes this means that Christ will come secretly to steal away the righteous and carry them quietly to heaven.

Christ’s coming is described as “a thief” several times throughout the New Testament. Let’s look at one of these passages and see if it describes a secret rapture. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10). That doesn’t sound like a secret event, does it?

In describing His return as a thief, Christ did not intend to show that it would be quiet, but that it would be sudden and unexpected – that the wicked would be taken by surprise. He said, “If the goodman 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. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not”. (Luke 12:39, 40). Likewise, Paul told the Christians in Thessalonica, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:4). God does not want His followers to be surprised. He wants us to be watchful and ready.

To further illustrate this truth, Jesus said,”No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house” (Mark 3:27, NKJV).

Can you picture a homeowner being oblivious to a robbery if the thief just broke into the man’s house, tied him up and threw him in a closet, and then ransacked the place while searching for valuables? Of course not!

In the same way, the day and hour of the second coming is a secret, but when the glorious event transpires, all will know!

The second concept used to support a “secret” coming is found in Luke 17:34-36: “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.” Secret rapture proponents say this passage proves that the saints will suddenly disappear from the earth when Jesus returns. But let’s take an honest look at the evidence and see what these verses actually teach.

In Luke 17:34-36, Jesus employs some of His favorite symbols to illustrate a simple point. At the end of time, there will be just two groups of people living upon the earth – the lost and the saved.

“Two Men in One Bed.”
A bed generally connotes sleep, and Jesus used sleep as a symbol of death. He said to the disciples, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.” “Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.” (John 11:11, 14). In the resurrection at the last day, there will be two kinds of people sleeping in the grave – the lost and the saved.

“Two Women Grinding Together.”
In Bible prophecy, a woman is a symbol of a church (Jeremiah 6:2). Grinding grain represents working with the Word of God. When Christ comes in glory, there will be two kinds of churches – the false and the true. Both will be outwardly doing the same thing, but only one will be redeemed. “Two Men in The Field”.

The field represents the world (Matthiew 13:38). When Jesus comes again, there will be two kinds of missionaries laboring out in the field – the false and the true. This is why He said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:22, 23).

 
Not Left Behind
Another common misconception contained in the secret rapture theory is that people will continue to live here on earth for several years after Christ’s return. However, the Bible clearly teaches that when Jesus comes next, there will be no one left alive on this planet.For example, in his prophecy about the end of the age, Jeremiah wrote: “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by his fierce anger” (Jeremiah 4:23-26, emphasis added).

In another place he declared, “And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground” (Jeremiah 25:33).

The prophet Isaiah describes the same dismal conditions in his prophecy of the state of the earth following the second coming. “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth aboad the inhabitants thereof.” “The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled:for the Lord hath spoken this word” (Isaiah 24:1, 3 emphasis added).

Last but not least, consider the following passage of Scripture: “And as it was in the days of Noe [Greek for ‘Noah’], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:26-30 emphasis added).

Notice that the wicked were destroyed on the same day that the Flood came to Noah and on the same day that the fire came to Sodom. Jesus emphasizes at both the beginning and the end of this passage that these earlier judgments, which destroyed all of the wicked, were examples of what would happen at His second coming. The Bible is crystal clear that life on earth does not continue for either man or beast after Jesus comes.

Through the Tribulation With Christ
The idea that the righteous will all be raptured out of the world just before the time of trouble and that only the wicked will be left behind to endure seven years of tribulation can be very appealing. Perhaps that is why this doctrine has gained such widespread acceptance. But the Bible clearly teaches otherwise.The phrase “seven years of tribulation” does not appear anywhere in Scripture. However, Jesus did say that a terrible time of trouble would come upon the world just before His return and that it would be more intense than any other in the history of this world. In His great prophetic discourse on the Mount of Olives, Jesus made the following statement: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:21, 22).

If the elect were not in the world during the great tribulation, they would not need the days to be shortened!

All throughout Scripture we see examples of the Lord saving His people through tribulation, not from it.

  • Noah was not saved from the Flood, but through it.
  • Daniel was not saved from the lions’ den, but through it.
  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were not were not saved from the fiery furnace, but through it. In fact, Jesus went through it with them, and He will go through the great tribulation with us, as well!
  • The children of Israel were not saved from Egypt before the plagues fell, but afterward. God demonstrated His love and power by preserving them in Egypt through the 10 plagues. In the same way, the righteous will be in the world when the seven last plagues fall (Revelation chapter 16), but God will preserve them.

God never promises that our lives will always be easy. Christ prayed to His Father for His disciples, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil [one].” (John 17:15) Likewise, in 2 Timothy 3:12 Paul declares, “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Paul also told a group of disciples that “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22).

In His parable of the two home builders, Jesus taught that the storm comes to the wise man who builds on the rock just a surely as it comes to the fool who builds upon the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). The storm comes to all.

The good news is that God’s children will survive the coming tribulation. They will endure by practising some of the same survival skills used by the Great Basin bristlecone pine. Believed to be one of the oldest living trees on the planet, it can live more than 4,000 years. Found on lonely mountaintops, some of these ancient evergreens have weathered thousands of years of intense freezing wind, pounding rain, scorching sun, and violent electrical storms.

How do they manage to survive such harsh, adverse conditions? They send their roots deep, wrap them tenaciously around a solid rock, and hang on.

In the same way, the saints will have to sink their roots of faith deep into the Word of God and cling tenaciously to the mighty Rock of Ages. Remember that even though God does not always provide an escape from tribulation, He does promise to give us the power and strength to get through it. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Times of Trouble
As we discuss the great tribulation to take place just before Jesus returns, keep in mind that there have been several other “times of trouble” for God’s people in the past.For example, the children of Israel endured 400 years of tribulation just before the Exodus (Acts 7:6). The early Christians also passed through a time of trouble immediately after the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1). From A.D. 303-313, during the era represented by the Smyrna church (Revelation 2:10), God’s people suffered a 10-year period of tribulation. But perhaps the most notable time of trouble was the 1,260 years of intense persecution waged against true Christians during the Dark Ages. “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

“And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child” (Revelation 12:6, 13). As dark as each of these times was for God’s people, none will compare with the final, great tribulation that is yet to take place. The great tribulation corresponds with the time during which the seven last plagues of Revelation chapter 16 will fall. “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God” (Revelation 15:1).

God’s wrath will be directed against the ones who disobey His law, distort His truth, and oppress His people. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18).

The great tribulation also coincides with the Battle of Armageddon. Both take place immediately before Christ’s second coming. “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done” (Revelation 16:16, 17).

It is my belief that the great time of trouble will last only a month or two. Here are a few Scriptures that indicate it will be a short period of time.

Revelation 18:8 tells us, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day.” A “day” in Bible prophecy represents one literal year (Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34; Luke 13:32). So when Revelation says that “her plagues come in one day,” it means within, or less than, one year’s time.

Furthermore, the very nature of the seven last plagues – the rivers and seas turning to blood and the planet being scorched with great heat – would render it impossible for the human race to survive more than a month or two. This is why Jesus said, “And unless those days were shorened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matthew 24:22 NKJV).

Just Before the Plagues
Since the experience of the children of Israel just before the plagues fell on Egypt is a type, or symbol, of what will happen to God’s people before the seven last plagues described in Revelation chapter 16, let’s examine that story more closely.After 400 years of slavery, the Israelites had become influenced by the religion of Egypt and had lost sight of God’s law. So before Moses and Aaron met with the Pharaoh, they first met with the leaders of Israel to encourage a revival of commitment to God’s law – including the Sabbath of creation (Exodus 4:29-31). The people responded wholeheartedly, which is why the Pharaoh got angry and said to Moses and Aaron, “You make them rest from their labor!” (Exodus 5:5, NKJV). Remember that the children of Israel knew the Sabbath was part of God’s law before they ever came to Mount Sinai (Exodus 16:22-28).

Likewise, before the onset of the great tribulation, special attention will once again be called to the subject of worship and the Sabbath commandment. In Revelation 14:7, an angel calls God’s people to “worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” The angel is clearly quoting from the Sabbath commandment, which says, “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11).

A widespread rediscovery of the law of God, including the Sabbath truth, will be the alarm that wakes the dragon to fury. The devil hates the Sabbath because he knows that all love relationships are built upon time. If he can destroy the day that was set apart for God’s people to spend quality time with their Creator, he can destroy the relationship. We see this happen over and over again between husbands and wives or between fathers and sons. If two people stop spending quality time together, soon the relationship will fall apart.

When the children of Israel responded to God’s call to keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy, the Pharaoh became furious. He knew that as long as the people focused only on work, work, work, they would have no time to think about freedom. The devil is using the very same strategy today. His goal is to keep people so busy with work and so preoccupied with the cares of this life that they have no time to worship their Creator. He knows that if he can cause people to neglect the Sabbath rest, they will never have time to think seriously of salvation.

Looking down through history to the end of time, the Lord knew that His faithful people would keep the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. That is why, in connection with the tribulation, Jesus advises His followers to “pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day” (Matthew 24:20).

Another way in which this small time of trouble will resemble the period of time just before the plagues fell on Egypt is that God’s people will be called upon to endure a period of bitter hardship. In Moses’ day, the angry Pharaoh tried to turn the hearts of his Israelite slaves against their God by forcing them to produce the usual quota of bricks without providing the necessary straw.

In the same way, before the tribulation the government will use political and economic sanctions to pressure God’s end-time people into receiving the mark of the beast. During this time the saints will be called upon to share their faith in the face of stiff social, political and religious opposition. “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:17).

When this fails to deter the people of God from obedience, there will be a final death decree. The Bible says, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Revelation 13:15). At this time, the great tribulation begins and the seven last plagues start to fall.

The time of trouble begins with the wrath of the devil against God’s obedient children (Revelation 12:17) and ends with the wrath of God against the ones who obey the beast (Revelation 14:9, 10).

No Second Chance
The main reason this last period of time will be so intense is because it will come after probation closes for the lost. God gave the very first prophecy about it to His servant Daniel, who wrote, “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book” (Daniel 12:1). Notice that when the great tribulation begins, the cases of all people will have been forever decided.The door of salvation and grace will close for the world – just as the door on the ark closed seven days before the Flood began. At that time Jesus will declare, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:11, 12).

For the first time in the world’s history, God’s Spirit will be completely withdrawn from the lost. The unsaved will be given wholly over to demonic control. The saved will be forever sealed and the lost forever lost. No more changing teams!

God on Trial
If no one is converted by the plagues, then why does the Lord allow them?For thousands of years God’s Spirit has worked in the hearts of men. But He has warned that this would not always be so (Genesis 6:3). Satan must have an opportunity to demonstrate what a world that is completely under his power would be like. And so God will finally allow the winds of strife to blow unhindered – but not before His servants are sealed (Revelation 7:1-3).
The great tribulation will prove to the universe that nothing – not even the worst conditions in the history of the world – would change the characters of those still alive upon the earth. God’s people will trust Him no matter what, and His enemies will rebel against Him no matter what.

Sometimes adversity brings a lost soul to repentance, but as the seven last plagues are being poured out, the wicked will reveal that there are no longer any redeemable threads in their fabric. The following three verses prove this point:

“The fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory” (Revelation 16:8, 9).

“They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds” (Revelation 16:11 NKJV).

“Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great” (Revelation 16:21).

No Need to Fear
Perhaps your picture of the great tribulation has always resembled this terrifying recipe:

“Pour the entire contents of Armageddon into a pressure cooker, then slowly mix in the seven last plagues with one full bottle of Jacob’s trouble and one whole crushed Babylon. Next, evenly stir in two full boxes of wrath – one from God and one from Satan. Cover securely and cook on high.”

We all seem to conjure up frightening images when we think of the coming tribulation. Do yourself a favor; try this instead. Picture Jesus in a fragile little boat on a dark sea, with the waves mounting and wind roaring. Mark 4:38-40 records the scene: “He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Then Christ said to them, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” Jesus rested with the peace of a baby because He lived by faith in His heavenly Father. One message He delivered repeatedly throughout His ministry was “Fear not.”

In John 16:33, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

God does not want us to live by fear, but rather by faith. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

During the world’s darkest hour and greatest trial, God will supply the greatest peace and faith. We need only to remember that Jesus is in the boat with us. Though the furnace be heated seven times over, we can pass safely through it if Jesus is at our side.

The ninety-first Psalm contains special promises for those living during the last great tribulation. It says, “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked” (Psalm 91:5-8, NKJV). The Psalmist makes it clear we will be in the midst of the world during the plagues, yet remain untouched, if God is our refuge. “No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling” (Psalm 91:10, NKJV).

Rescue From the Skies
On Friday, June 2, 1995, Captain Scott O’Grady was flying his F-16 over Bosnia when the jet was cut in two by Serbian anti-aircraft fire. He quickly ejected and parachuted to the ground. Suddenly he found himself in a different, hostile world with the entire Serbian army combing every inch of ground in search of him.For six days he prayed, often hiding with his face in the dirt to avoid being seen by enemy soldiers passing within a few feet. For six long days he survived – cold, wet, tired, hungry, eating bugs and drinking dirty water, calling every night on his little radio for help from above, running from enemies, and hiding under bushes.

Then came a daring rescue from the skies. Forty airships, hundreds of soldiers, satellites, and the combined technology of all NATO were all engaged to rescue one hunted soldier.

Will God do less for His people? When Captain Scott O’Grady returned to the United States, he was hailed as a hero. Why? Because he had come out of great tribulation. We too may have to endure a brief time of trouble, but it will fade into insignificance when compared with the glorious moment when Jesus comes crashing through the skies with His angelic armies to rescue His children.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

 
After  reading this post would you still believe in the secret rapture?
 
Please do not  be shy to comment or ask a question 🙂
 
 
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