Tag Archive: tribulation


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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NO living Christian will be ‘raptured’ until ALL the dead in Christ are first resurrected.

 

‘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.’ (1 Thess. 4:15)

 

*prevent = go ahead of

 

The Bible tells us that the ‘Rapture’ is a dual event . . . it includes (first) the resurrection of all Christians who have died, then the CHANGING of all Christians who are still living. (See 1 Cor. 15:51-52, and 1 Thess. 4:13-17)

 

Included in this First Resurrection are ALL Christians–including those who would not submit to the Son of Perdition or the Antichrist. (See Rev. 13 where it tells about the ‘beast’, his image, and his Mark.)

 

‘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;’

 

. . . This is the first resurrection.’ (Rev. 20:4-5)

 

The only resurrection for Christians is the FIRST Resurrection. (The Second Resurrection is for the wicked.)

 

The First Resurrection includes EVERY dead Christian. The Rapture includes EVERY living Christian.

 

No Christians will die after the First Resurrection/Rapture.

 

Every Christian–alive or dead–will leave Earth at the time of the First Resurrection/Rapture.

 

————————————————————————-

 

The First Resurrection happens AFTER many have died refusing to take the Mark of the Beast or worship him or his image.

 

The time when the Mark of the Beast takes place is called The Tribulation.

 

So this means that the First Resurrection happens AFTER The Tribulation.

 

The ‘Rapture’ happens IMMEDIATELY AFTER the First Resurrection.

 

Thus these two passages should be taken literally:

 

1. ‘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;’ (2 Thess. 2:3)

 

That day–the First Resurrection/Rapture–shall not come until there has been a falling away and the Son of Perdition has been revealed (he is revealed during The Tribulation).

 

And, as Jesus Himself explained:

 

2. ‘IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

 

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.

 

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ (Jesus, Matt. 24:29-31)

 

There is no pre-Tribulation Rapture.

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.

Surfing

Do you remember how, in school, you would listen while the teacher explained something, then you would get sent home with HOMEWORK to practice and perfect your skill?

Serving God is the same way. The Bible is full of instruction. Then, God sends trials and tribulations so that you can practice and perfect doing the things He has told you to do.

If there were no trials and tribulations, you would get no practice. Without practice, you would never make the transition from being a ‘hearer of the word’ to being a ‘doer of the word’.

No one learns to surf without waves.

Many preTrib Rapture teachers have TERRIFIED Christians with horrible descriptions of what they believe things will be like during the Tribulation. They paint a picture of a desolate, hopeless existence where God has withdrawn His Spirit from the Earth and any who come to Him are pretty much left to fend for themselves.

Nothing could be further from the truth! God is a loving Father and He will not abandon us in our hour of greatest need.

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

‘The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.’ (Psalms 34:22)

‘But the salvation of the righteous [is] of the LORD: [he is] their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.’ (Psalms 37:39-40)

‘And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the PEOPLE THAT DO KNOW THEIR GOD shall be strong, and do [exploits].’ (Daniel 11:32)

‘The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.’ (Nahum 1:7)

Most of those that preach a (false) preTrib Rapture do not understand the wickedness they do. Not only do they create false hope in an escape from tribulation, which is contrary to God’s will . . .

‘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.’ (Jesus, John 17:15)

. . . but these false teachers create terror and a certainty of being abandoned by God, for those who find themselves still here during the Tribulation. Because of their false teachings, MANY will despair and fall away from the faith.

Please understand their teachings are false, and take heart:

‘ . . . and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.’ (Proverbs 18:24)

‘ . . . for he hath said, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.’ (Hebrews 13:15)

If I understand Bible prophecy right, there is a fantastic event coming, even in the midst of the darkest hour the world has ever, or will ever, endure.  No, it’s not the Rapture . . . it will happen before that.  It is an event that no one talks about, that I believe has been hidden from our understanding–hidden in plain sight, for all the prophets talk of it.  That event is the revealing of the identities of those who are descended from the ‘missing’ ten tribes of Israel.

‘Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great [shall be] the day of Jezreel.‘  (Hosea 1:10-11)

Long ago, God divorced the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom, also known as ‘Israel’ (the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah–today’s ‘Jews’).  The prophecies of Hosea tell of the day when God forgives Israel and brings her back to Himself.

‘For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and [without] teraphim:  Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.’  (Hosea 3:4-5)

Prior to that day (and on the horizon now) is the day that the eyes of the Jews will be opened:

‘And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.’  (Zech. 12:9-10)

‘In that day’ is referring to the time of the Psalms 83 war, when the enemies of the modern day nation of ‘Israel’ will make war against her and take her land.  Although they will at first prevail against her, God is going to somehow, supernaturally, intervene and turn things around.

‘Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.‘  (Zech. 12:2-4)

But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.‘  (Hosea 1:7)

Then ‘Israel’ will actually have her borders enlarged!

‘In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even] in Jerusalem.’  (Zech. 12:6)

All this is in preparation for the day of ‘Jezreel’.  This will be an event of momentous importance–so much so that God named a place in the Promised Land, in anticipation of that future day . . .a day that many of us will live to see, and some may even be a part of!

‘Jezreel’ means ‘God sows’.  What does God sow?

‘ . . . and they shall hear Jezreel.  And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.’  (Hosea 2:22-23)

First Israel, where she lives now, will be punished, purged, and cleansed.  Then the remnant will be returned to the Promised Land.  ‘Jezreel’ will be a day of great rejoicing!  It is the day of forgiveness and restoration . . . of the remarriage of Israel to Jehovah God!!

‘And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.’  (Hosea 2:19-20)

For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all  countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do [them]. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.‘ (Ezek. 36:24-28)

I believe this complete, reunited Israel is the ‘woman’ spoken of in Revelation 12:6 and 14 . . .

‘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 to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.’

”Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. . .

 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and [with] the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.’* (Hosea 2:14-16, 18) 

*Compare this to Ezekiel 34:25 and 28 . . .

‘And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods . . . And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make [them] afraid.’

Read the following passages for context, to confirm that they’re related and that this understanding is correct: Hosea 1-3, Ezekiel 34 (and 36-37), and Jeremiah 23:1-8.  They all foretell this grand event! I’ve only hit the highlights of what’s contained in these passages.

Let us stop living in fear of what The Antichrist is going to try to do to us, and know that God has a wonderful plan in store!  Even in a time of gross darkness, there will be light and rejoicing, provision and protection for His children.

‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.’ (Psalm 23:4-5)

‘And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.  And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.  And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.’  (Rev. 12:14-16)

Let us live with abandon, and put our faith completely in Him.

‘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)

‘If it be [so], our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’  (Daniel 3:17-18)

Faith is the oil for your lamp.  If you hope to be one of the ‘wise virgins’, you must build your faith NOW, by reading His Word.

‘So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’  (Romans 10:17)

I cannot impart my faith to you–not now, not later.  Only the Holy Spirit can fill you with faith, and that comes by prayer and reading His Word.  Don’t neglect these things now, while you still have time.

It is also through the Word that we are taught how to walk in righteousness, and our minds are cleansed and renewed.  You cannot walk in the Spirit without prayer and reading your Bible.  If you are not walking in the Spirit, then you are walking in the flesh.  When you walk in the flesh, you don’t grow spiritually or bear spiritual fruit.  You are also choosing a very dangerous path–especially in these days of great deception.

You must walk IN THE SPIRIT for the promise of ‘no condemnation’ to apply to you:

‘[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’  (Romans 8:1)

If we hope to be part of the remnant, then we must ‘walk worthy’ NOW.

‘For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him. . . ‘  (2 Chronicles 16:9)

‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.’  (Luke 21:36)

The exodus from Israel was a foreshadowing of what is soon to happen.  There is a great and exciting event on the horizon!  Let the hope of this day encourage you through the trials, testings, and persecution that are to come.  Never give up hope.

‘Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.  In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;  But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.’  (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

(What I’ve learned and shared with you today is further confirmation, for me, of what I wrote some time ago: Worthy to Escape

‘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)

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)