Tag Archive: persecution


The Tribulation is NOT what Hal Lindsey or the ‘Left Behind’ books would have you believe.  The Tribulation is NOT the Seven Seals and the Seven Trumpets–although those things will be happening at the same time.  Instead, The Tribulation is the time spoken of by the prophet Daniel.

 

‘I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.’  (Dan. 7:21-22)

 

and by John the Revelator:

 

‘And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.’  (Rev. 13:7)

 

The words ‘tribulation’ is also translated ‘persecution’.

 

Here are two passages relating to the same events.  Both say ‘persecution’ in the KJV–but one of the passages uses the same Greek word [G2347]  that is translated as ‘tribulation’ in Matt. 24.

 

‘Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution [G2347] that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.’  (Acts 11:19)

 

‘And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution [G1375] against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.’  (Acts 8:1)

 

Two different Greek words (G1375 and G2347)  are used to describe the same event, that we would call a ‘persecution’.  But one of the words (G2347) is also translated ‘tribulation’ in other places (primarily Matt. 24).

 

Now that we have confirmed that G2347 (thlipsis) means both ‘tribulation’ AND ‘persecution’, where else is the word used?

 

‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted [G2347], and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.’  (Matt. 24:9)

 

Then they shall deliver you up to be PERSECUTED, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  Then they shall deliver you up to TRIBULATION, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

 

‘For then shall be great tribulation [G2347], such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.’  (Matt. 24:21)

 

For then shall be great PERSECUTION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

 

‘Immediately after the tribulation G2347 of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:’  (Matt. 24:29)

 

Immediately after the PERSECUTION of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

 

The Tribulation / Persecution is NOT God’s judgment.  THAT comes AFTER The Tribulation / Persecution.

 

‘And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth JUDGE AND MAKE WAR.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.’  (Rev. 19:11, 13)

 

‘Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?  I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the DAY OF VENGEANCE is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. . . . And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.’ (Is. 63:2-4, 6)

 

‘For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS SERVANTS at her hand.’  (Rev. 19:2)

 

When the last martyr has died, the Lord will come and avenge the blood of all his servants, at the hands of the wicked.  That is ‘The Day of The Lord’.  It comes at the END of ‘The Tribulation’, which is the time of worldwide persecution of Christians and Jews.

 

‘And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

 

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

 

And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.’  (Rev. 6:9-11)

 

‘The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the DAY OF VENGEANCE of our God; to comfort all that mourn;’  (Is. 61:1-2)

 

‘For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for HE WILL AVENGE THE BLOOD OF  HIS SERVANTS, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.’  (Deut. 32:40-43)

 

We need to understand that persecution is coming, and we are not going to be ‘Raptured before it comes.  Those who are not prepared to face persecution . . . according to Jesus . . . will fall away.  He warned His disciples ahead of time, so that they would not be offended.  I hope this note will  help to  prepare you, so that persecution will not catch YOU unawares and cause YOU to fall away.

 

‘But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.’  (Matt. 13:20-21)

 

‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.’  (Matt. 24:9-10)

 

‘Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. . .

These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

 

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. . .’  (John 15:20-21, 16:1-4)

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The Proof

These two verses are absolute PROOF that the pre-Trib rapture is a false doctrine.

Immediately after Satan is thrown into the abyss for 1,000 years . . .

‘And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. THIS [IS] THE FIRST RESURRECTION.’ (Rev. 20:4-5)

 

Here is why the pre-Trib ‘rapture’ doctrine is false:  because we are told that the ‘rapture’ happens immediately AFTER the resurrection.

 

THIS passage describes the resurrection & ‘rapture’:

‘For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord SHALL NOT PREVENT* THEM WHICH ARE ASLEEP.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.’ (1 Thess. 4:15-17)

*precede, go before

(Also, compare this passage with Matt. 24:29-31)

 

The resurrection does not happen until the LAST DAY (but hold on, there’s even more absolute proof coming . . .).

As Martha said:

‘ . . . I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’ (John 11:24)

and Jesus promised:

‘And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.’ (John 6:39, also 6:40 and 6:44)

 

The resurrection happens at the LAST DAY. The dead in Christ rise first, then those who are alive at His coming are ‘caught up together with them in the clouds’ (what people call: ‘the rapture’). Therefore . . . the ‘rapture’ happens, AFTER the resurrection, AT THE LAST DAY

Therefore (and this is the proof), when John says he saw those who were beheaded for not taking the Mark of the Beast . . . AT THE (first) RESURRECTION . . . that is proof that the (first) resurrection does NOT take place until AFTER the great persecution (Great Tribulation) and the Mark of the Beast.

Therefore, since the ‘rapture’ comes AFTER the resurrection, and the resurrection comes AFTER the Mark of the Beast, we can absolutely prove that THE ‘RAPTURE’ DOES NOT HAPPEN UNTIL AFTER THE MARK OF THE BEAST!

  1. The Great Tribulation (great persecution) and the Mark of the Beast
  2. The (first) resurrection
  3. The ‘rapture’

 

For some of you, this will finally open your eyes–but it will come as a horrible shock.  Brothers and sisters, start reading the word.  You will find that this change of perspective does not negate the promises of God . . . it only wipes the slate clean of many lies that you have been taught.  Take refuge in God.  Set your house in order.  Begin to walk in holiness . . . without which NO ONE will see God.

‘But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you . . . ‘ (1 Peter 4:13-14)

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit, when I’ve read this I’ve thought: ‘he’s crazy’. I’m definitely not yet at the place where Peter was when he wrote this. It makes no sense to my carnal mind.

But I believe the Lord has given me insight into this passage.

We best know the ‘peace of God which passeth all understanding’ when we are in the midst of trials and tribulations, don’t we? That peace is part of the strength and comfort He gives us. (And let us never forget that the Holy Spirit is called ‘The Comforter’–and He is well able to comfort us, no matter WHAT we may be going through.)

Likewise, I believe that when we ‘partake of Christ’s sufferings’, the Holy Spirit will pour upon us even more abundant comfort and strength, and that the peace of God will overflow within us until we are full of the JOY of the Lord!

This happiness, gladness, and joy that Peter speaks of is clearly not a reaction of our flesh to persecution and suffering. It HAS to be the provision of God as we walk in the Spirit. Whatever we have need of friends, His grace is sufficient to provide it for us.

‘ . . . for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’ (Nehemiah 8:10)

The ‘handwriting is on the wall’ for us (American Christians) now . . .

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’ (Matt. 24:9-14)

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against [their] parents, and cause them to be put to death.

And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.‘ (Matt. 10:19-22)

‘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.’  (Jesus, John 16:33)

I PRAY NOT THAT THOU SHOULDEST TAKE THEM OUT OF THE WORLD, but that thou shouldest KEEP THEM FROM THE EVIL. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. SANCTIFY THEM through thy truth: THY WORD IS TRUTH.’  (from Jesus’ prayer to the Father on behalf of Christians, John 17:15-17)

‘ . . . But they said, We will not walk [therein].  Also I set watchmen over you, [saying], Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.’  (Jer. 6:16-17)

And it was given unto him* TO MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.’  (Rev. 13:7)

*’The Antichrist’

‘ . . .  the words [are] closed up and sealed till the time of the end. MANY SHALL BE PURIFIED, AND MADE WHITE, AND TRIED . . . ‘  (Dan. 12:9-10)

‘After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne . . . And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they WHICH CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, AND HAVE WASHED THEIR ROBES, AND MADE THEM WHITE IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB.‘  (Rev. 7:9, 13-14)

Have you ever stopped to wonder how the American/ Laodicean, last-days, lukewarm Church goes from their condition in Rev. 3:17 . . .

‘Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art WRETCHED, and MISERABLE, and POOR, and BLIND, and NAKED . . .’  (Jesus, Rev. 3:17-19)

. . . so disgusting to the Lord that He promises to spew them out of His mouth in verse 16 . . .

‘ . . . I will spue thee out of my mouth.’  (Rev. 3:16)

. . . to being in white robes, washed in the blood of The Lamb in Rev. 7:14?  There are two ways it can happen, verse 19 explains:

‘As many as I love, I REBUKE AND CHASTEN: BE ZEALOUS THEREFORE, AND REPENT.’  (Rev. 3:19)

Some will heed the call to be zealous and repent.  The rest will be rebuked and chastened.

How does a Christian get into such an awful condition, but by neglecting to study and live by God’s Word?  The Word WILL SANCTIFY those who know it AND LIVE IT, but I believe that those in these last days who refuse to be sanctified by The Word, will be sanctified by persecution and tribulation instead.   All of us must, by whatever means, be sanctified (made holy).

The preTrib Rapture doctrine is false.  As we can see, the American portion of the Church (where this deception thrives) is anything BUT ready to make their entry into the presence of God in Heaven.  So, what’s YOUR motive for believing this false teaching?

‘Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.’  (Luke 17:33)

While you’re believing a lie, you’re busy missing the truth.  And you’re also missing the comfort and increased faith that the Lord is giving to those who ARE willing to accept the truth.  The irony is, your fear of facing tribulation and persecution may be the VERY thing that puts you in the position of having to go through it.  Walk in faith instead, knowing that God is able to deliver those who put their trust in Him.

But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.’  (Hebrews 11:6)

Adopt Paul’s attitude:

‘Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ,’  (Philippians 3:8)

Take Jesus’ words seriously:

‘And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.’  (Matthew 10:38)

And remember

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.’  (John 12:25)

‘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)

At the end of it all, we win!

‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.’  (Rev. 12:11)

‘And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’  (Daniel 7:27)

‘Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  (Luke 12:32)

Lately, I have been hearing another interpretation of 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4:

‘Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.’

The theory goes, that there is not ONE Antichrist, but many . . . that the temple is one’s body . . . and that ‘man’ and ‘son’ signify a multitude of people.  1 John 2:18 is used to support this theory:

‘Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.’

While I don’t deny the plain meaning of 1 John 2:18 . . . and even the potential alternate interpretation of 2 Thess. 2:3-4, I still hold to the traditional interpretation, that there will arise a global leader who is THE consummate Antichrist.  I believe there is plenty of Scripture to support that understanding.

Here this person is described in Daniel and Revelation. Notice how close the descriptions are.

Daniel describes this king as a ‘little horn’.

‘And the TEN HORNS out of this kingdom [are] TEN KINGS [that] shall arise: and ANOTHER shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.‘ (DANIEL 7:24)

‘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)

‘And the ten HORNS which thou sawest are ten KINGS, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.’ (REVELATION 17:12)

He ‘speaks great things’.  He will reign for three and a half years (forty two months).

And there was given unto him A MOUTH SPEAKING GREAT THINGS AND BLASPHEMIES; and power was given unto him to continue FORTY [AND] TWO MONTHS. And he opened his mouth in BLASPHEMY AGAINST GOD, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.’ (REVELATION 13:5)

”And he shall SPEAK [GREAT] WORDS AGAINST THE MOST HIGH, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until A TIME AND TIMES AND THE DIVIDING OF TIME.’ (DANIEL 7:25)

‘And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall SPEAK MARVELOUS THINGS AGAINST THE GOD OF GODS, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.’ (DANIEL 11:36)

He is given permission to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.

And IT WAS GIVEN UNTO HIM TO MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth SHALL WORSHIP HIM, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ (REVELATION 13:6-8)

‘I beheld, and the SAME HORN MADE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, and prevailed against them‘ (DANIEL 7:21)

He will be responsible for the desecration of the sanctuary/holy place.

And arms shall stand ON HIS PART, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the ABOMINATION THAT MAKETH DESOLATE.’ (DANIEL 11:31)

‘When ye therefore shall see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, spoken of by DANIEL the prophet, STAND IN THE HOLY PLACE, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains’ (MATTHEW 24:15-16)

‘And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he* had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that THEY SHOULD MAKE AN IMAGE to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

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.

And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads . . . ‘ (REVELATION 13:14-16)

* The second Beast

(It would seem apparent that this image of the beast is the abomination of desolation that Daniel spoke of.)

And now for the traditional view of the ‘son of perdition’ . . .

‘Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the SON OF PERDITION Who opposeth and EXALTETH HIMSELF ABOVE ALL THAT IS CALLED GOD, or that is worshipped*; so that he as God SITTETH IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, shewing himself that he is God.’ (2 Thess. 2:3-4)

Compare this description with the descriptions of ‘The Antichrist’ above, and below . . .

‘And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall EXALT HIMSELF, and MAGNIFY HIMSELF ABOVE EVERY GOD, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.’ (Daniel 11:36)

Although Daniel 11:36 doesn’t specifically say he will sit in the temple, the verse is clearly parallel to the passage from 2 Thessalonians 2.  Daniel makes it clear that he will pollute the ‘sanctuary of strength’ and be responsible for placing the ‘abomination that maketh desolate’ there, so he definitely can be connected with the temple:

‘And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily [sacrifice], and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.’ (Daniel 11:31)

And we know that he will be present in the holy land . . .

‘He shall enter also into the glorious land . . . ‘ (Daniel 11:41)

‘And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain . . . ‘ (Daniel 11:45)

Because of the other strong correlations between his description in Daniel and Revelation (outlined earlier in this note), we make the assumption that he (‘The Antichrist’) seats himself in the temple of God, as part of his campaign of blasphemy.

Now understand, the term ‘the son of perdition’ is used one other time in Scripture: to describe Judas Iscariot.

‘While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the SON OF PERDITION; that the scripture might be fulfilled.’ (John 17:12)

What else does the Scripture tell us about Judas?

‘And after the sop SATAN ENTERED INTO HIM. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.’ (John 13:27)

Then ENTERED SATAN into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.’ (Luke 22:3)

Because this unusual term (‘son of perdition’) is used only twice, we wonder if there is a parallel. The situations are very similar, thus we make some assumptions . . . Judas was referred to as ‘the son of perdition’ AFTER Satan had entered into him. In parallel, we suppose that The Antichrist will be a man whom Satan (or another evil spirit) enters into.

Now we go to Revelation, where we find out just who that spirit is.

‘And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.  And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power . . . And they had a king over them, [which is] the angel of the BOTTOMLESS PIT, whose name in the Hebrew tongue [is] Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath [his] name Apollyon.’ (Revelation 9:1-3,11)

(Revelation 9:11–the release of the spirit of The Antichrist from the bottomless pit–is the reason why the numbers 9-11 have significance for the occultist elite.)

Why do we assume this spirit is the one that indwells The Antichrist? Because Revelation 11:7 . . .

‘And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT shall MAKE WAR AGAINST THEM, AND SHALL OVERCOME THEM, and kill them.’ (Revelation 11:7)

repeats the wording of Revelation 13:7 . . .

‘And it was given unto him to MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, AND TO OVERCOME THEM . . . ‘ (Revelation 13:7)

which echoes the wording of Daniel 7:21 . . .

‘I beheld, and the same horn MADE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, and PREVAILED AGAINST THEM‘ (Daniel 7:21)

I hope this helps you understand the traditional view, and see the Scriptural support for this soon-coming global leader: a man possessed of the angel that has been imprisoned in the bottomless pit.  A man whom we often refer to as: ‘The Antichrist’.

The beginning of sorrows includes the first four seals.  Afterwards begins the time of great tribulation.  The first four seals:

‘And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals [the first], and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.’

Compare with Jesus’ words:

‘And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:

and there shall be famines,

and pestilences,

and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.’

(Jesus, Matthew 24:4-8)

We are already having the earthquakes, and hearing of wars and rumors of wars.  The white horse appears to have gone forth.  Revolutions are happening, and nations are preparing for war against one another.  The red horse appears to have gone forth.  We are experiencing a serious drought, and grain prices have gone up.  Soon the price of many foods will rise.  Because of shortages of food and/or the inability to afford food, famine will spread further.  We can see the third horse now.

The fourth horse will bring pestilence and death.  According to Jesus’ words, and John’s vision (in Revelation), it will be coming next. After it will come great tribulation . . . severe persecution.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.‘  (Jesus, Matthew 24:9-13)

‘But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten. . . Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against [their] parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.  And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.‘  (Jesus, Mark 13:9-10, 12-13)

‘And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled.’  (Revelation 6:9-11)

For most of us, this comes as terrible news.  We worry and wonder how we will be able to endure.  But we need to understand that God has a purpose for this persecution.

‘ . . . and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. And the gospel must first be published among all nations.’  (Mark 13:9)

God will give us power, for what He calls us to do:

‘But when they shall lead [you], and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.’  (Mark 13:11)

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.‘  (Acts 1:8)

We have to trust, that as well as giving us the words to speak, the empowerment by the Holy Spirit will enable us to endure to the end, through whatever we may suffer at that time.  And indeed, MANY are called to be His witnesses, and will endure to the end:

‘After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,  Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, [be] unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.  They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.  For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.‘  (Revelation 7:9-17)

Trust in Him.  He will not abandon you in your darkest hour.

‘ . . . and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.’  (Matthew 28:20)

‘ . . . Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine. When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  For I [am] the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour . . . ‘  (Isaiah 43:1-3)

‘ . . . Thou [art] my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’  (Isaiah 41:9-10)

If you look at where this verse is placed . . .

‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.’  (Matthew 24:14)

. . . in the midst of Jesus answering His disciples about the end of the world, you will see that this verse is referring to the witness that Christian martyrs will give to the world, at the end of the age.   ‘ . . . And then shall the end come’, Jesus explained.  And, sure enough, following the fifth seal are the signs in the heavens, and on the Earth, that Jesus said would precede His return:

‘And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.’  (Revelation 6:12-14)

‘And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 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.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.‘  (Jesus, Luke 21:25-28)

This has been God’s plan from the beginning.  This is not a mistake, or a sign that the enemy is prevailing.  It is God’s plan.  As much as it was a mystery that the Messiah should come to die on a cross, it is a mystery that multitudes of His people should suffer and die to overcome Satan.

‘I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened . . . and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.   And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed . . . I beheld, and the same horn* made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.‘  (Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, 21-22)

‘And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.‘  (Revelation 12:10-11)

*  the horn = ‘The Antichrist’:

‘And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.’  (Daniel 7:25)

‘And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’  (Revelation 13:5-8)

Add this to the list of reasons I hate the ‘easy grace’ and ‘preTrib Rapture doctrines’: because of them, people become offended at the truth.

‘For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish [it], all that behold [it] begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. . . So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. ‘ (Luke 14:28-30, 33)

This false gospel does not tell people what’s really required to be a Christian. It doesn’t prepare them for persecution . . . or to die for their faith. It’s not just a matter of being mocked if you turn away from the Lord . . .

‘For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. ‘ (2 Peter 2:20-21)

If they turn away from the truth, where will they go?

‘From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’ (John 6:66-69)

And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.’ (2 Timothy 4:4)

‘ . . . them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.’ (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

This is why it is said:

‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.’ (Galatians 1:8-9)

Paul couldn’t have condemned it any more strongly. As the Jewish tradition was, he stated it twice to convey how adamant he was.  If you are preaching a false gospel, or false doctrine–STOP!!