THE GREAT FALLING AWAY IN THE LAST DAYS
The Holy Bible has much to say regarding the LAST DAYS of man’s rule on earth, and the coming GREAT FALLING AWAY of society before God ushers in the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ with ‘Peace on Earth, Good Will to All Men’. It has been 2000 years since Jesus Christ came to earth to save us from our sins, and from hell and eternal damnation. While the shepherds were tending their flock at night, an angel appeared with a multitude of the heavenly host praising God saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men’ Lk2:14. But the irony of this great and precious message is ‘where is this peace and good will toward all men’, and when will it come? Today, our world is in great turmoil, morally, spiritually, culturally, financially, and economically.
Today, the nations of the world are running on ‘fumes’ due to the printing of enormous amounts of unbacked paper money to fuel their high living standards and to support their expensive military and destructive war machines. This is particularly so with the major nations such as the US, China, Japan, Russia, England, and the Eurozone countries. The world is also embroiled in wars and rumours of wars, conflicts of nation against nation, particularly in the Middle East. The world is heading for an unprecedented economic collapse greater than the Great Depression of the 1930s. In America, since 2014 began, the Eastern US has experienced relentless Arctic blasts of winter storms with extreme cold and snowfall. An incipient severe drought and water shortage is also developing in the Western US, and in many other parts of the world. This will cause sharply rising food prices, buying panic, food shortage, and even prolonged famines. A global stock market crash is highly probable and if so, will exacerbate the world’s economic and monetary situation even further.
JESUS prophesied that there will be ‘famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’ and false prophets and teachers arising to deceive many as the ‘sign of his coming and of the end of the world’ Mt24:3-8,11. There will be no peace until JESUS CHRIST ‘The Prince of Peace’ establishes His kingdom on earth Is9:6,7. But before this happens, there will be a GREAT FALLING AWAY of mankind in abject rebellion against God, and great depravity of the human soul, giving rise to THE ANTICHRIST, who will then rule over the world in the most terrible period ever for mankind, described by JESUS as the GREAT TRIBULATION Mt24:21.
The COMING GREAT FALLING AWAY
The GREAT FALLING AWAY refers not only to the APOSTASY of the endtime churches and lukewarm believers, but also to a general worldwide breakdown in society of morality, ethics, and character. The apostle Paul wrote ‘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’ 2Th2:3. Paul said ‘This know also, that in the LAST DAYS perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce- breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof..’ 2Ti3:1-4. It will be the wholesale breakdown of society, nations, governments, military, institutions, marriages, churches, universities, and public morality, leading to the coming ANTICHRIST, the One World Government and the GREAT TRIBULATION. The GREAT FALLING AWAY will be ubiquitous, affecting everyone in the world.
In America, the FALLING AWAY is readily apparent as we witness the great moral failings of our political leaders and society, and the major economic and financial problems facing us: the recision of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ in Sep. 20, 2011 allowing for open homo- sexuality in the US Military, the defeat of DOMA- (marriage between a male and female) through the legalization of Same-Sex Marriage by the US Supreme Court on June 26, 2013, the recent legalization and/or consideration of marijuana use by many other states, and the US insurmountable runaway national debt. America is financially broke. Churches must soon decide whether they will perform SSM. If they refuse, they will be charged with discrimination, and one day may lose their tax exempt status. As God warned Israel 3500 years ago, ‘Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the INIQUITY thereof upon it, and the land itself VOMITETH out her inhabitants’ Lev18:24,25, so shall it be with America!
The COMING ANTICHRIST
The apostle Paul succinctly described the coming of THE ANTICHRIST in the LAST DAYS: ’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.. now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that WICKED be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the WORKING OF SATAN with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.. 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’ 2Th2:3-12. In just 10 short verses, Paul has succeeded to prophesy what will happen in the LAST DAYS!
THE ANTICHRIST will be the incarnation and embodiment of SATAN, the DEVIL LUCIFER, revealed in an individual. As SATAN entered into Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus Lk22:3, he will so enter into that MAN OF SIN, the SON OF PERDITION. The WICKED ANTICHRIST will do ‘the WORKING OF SATAN with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish..’ 2Th2:9,10. He will have great supernatural powers to deceive, and ‘..by peace shall destroy many’ Da8:25. God will allow THE ANTICHRIST to deceive MANY, because they love not the truth, that they might be saved. The apostle John warned that there are many antichrists, but THE ANTICHRIST will be revealed in the last days. John wrote ‘as ye have heard that ANTICHRIST shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is THE LAST TIME’ 1Jn2:18.
SATAN’s Obsession For Worship and to Be Like God
The Bible reveals that SATAN desires to be worshipped, to steal God’s glory, and supplant Him. The ‘5 I wills’ of LUCIFER, aka SATAN, are revealed in Is14:12-14: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I WILL BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH’ . Worship belongs only to God, who commanded Moses ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before ME’ Ex20:3. The Bible states ‘Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: WORSHIP the LORD in the beauty of holiness’ 1Ch16:29. But SATAN, in his obsession for worship, has succeeded to deceive MANY people to worship him through his promise of pleasure, prosperity and power.
So besides his desire to destroy all of us, SATAN also desires worship from us. He once offered JESUS all the kingdoms of the world if He would just fall down and worship him. JESUS replied ‘Thou shalt WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, and him only shalt thou serve’ Mt4:10. In the Endtimes, THE ANTICHRIST, the persona of SATAN, will ‘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’ 2Th2:4.The Bible tells that an image of THE ANTICHRIST will be made and given life, and‘many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed’ Re13:14. Here we also see that the TEMPLE OF GOD will be rebuilt in Jerusalem for the Jews to worship in, fulfilling what Jesus said ‘When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place.. Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains’ Mt24:15,16. This will all happen during the coming GREAT TRIBULATION.
GROWING OPEN SATANIC WORSHIP TODAY
It is undeniable that there is an increasing OPEN WORSHIP of SATAN today. It is very apparent in the lyrics of the songs and dances, in print, movies and on TV, on the radio and Internet, and during many recent mega-events like the 2012 London Olympics, and the 2012, 2013, 2014 NFL Super Bowls featuring Madonna, Beyoncé, and Bruno Mars (song- Locked Out of Heaven) all glorifying the devil. The costumes and dances of the two women were lewd, occultic, and vulgar, but viewed and enjoyed by over 100 million people in the US, and billions elsewhere.
Paul McGuire, a Christian writer and popular radio host said ‘At the Grammy Awards there were open practice and worship of SATAN, the vilest forms of demonic and perverse sexuality where orgies, S and M (sadomasochism), sex with fallen angels or demons, witchcraft and the occult enacted with lyrics to confirm it. Rock artists performed open ceremonies worshipping of SATAN’. This really excites SATAN very much as he relishes in these black magic witchcraft rituals, especially before a great worldwide audience honoring him as the ‘god of this world‘ 2Co4:4. Satanic worship is increasing sharply in these LAST DAYS, and will culminate in the UNIVERSAL OPEN WORSHIPPING of SATAN and THE ANTICHRIST during the GREAT TRIBULATION, replacing the worshipping of ALMIGHTY GOD and our LORD JESUS CHRIST!
SATAN- The Author of the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY
How SATAN has succeeded over the past 6000 years of mankind to subtly, secretly, and mysteriously infiltrate the world using evil men and women, immoral rulers, leaders and corrupt politicians to subvert society, and false prophets and false teachers to corrupt the Gospel of Jesus Christ is called the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY 2Th2:7. The Bible speaks of the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY that is working mysteriously pervading and penetrating the whole world, with most people oblivious to what is or why it is happening, and why the world is in such a deplorable and desperate state of moral decline.
INIQUITY means evil, wickedness, lawlessness, sinfulness, immorality, perversion, drunkenness, greed, lust, theft, adultery, homosexuality, murders, etc. With regards to the Church, heresies and false doctrines have been planted by evil men influenced by seducing and demonic spirits. The apostle Paul wrote ‘Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the LATTER TIMES some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to SEDUCING SPIRITS, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS’ 1Ti4:1. The apostle Peter said ‘But there were FALSE PROPHETS also among the people, even as there shall be FALSE TEACHERS among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction’ 2Pe2:1. SATAN has long ago infiltrated the churches and is using MANY people today to spread his INIQUITY, especially in these LAST DAYS.
The MYSTERY OF INIQUITY will culminate in the final GREAT FALLING AWAY of most people in society, including those attending churches that have gone into complete APOSTASY. Paul said ‘For the MYSTERY OF INIQUITY doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way’ 2Th2:7. Some Bible scholars interpret this verse as the RIGHTEOUS BELIEVERS must first be taken out in the RAPTURE, before the GREAT FALLING AWAY will be allowed to begin. What we now see is the lining up of events before THE ANTICHRIST is revealed in the NEW WORLD ORDER- a One World Government, a One World Economy, and a One World Religion. Paul wrote ‘because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.. 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’ 2Th2:10,11. Sadly, it is because of their own INIQUITY, immorality and sin, MANY people will be DAMNED forever!
THE GREAT FALLING AWAY- INIQUITY SHALL ABOUND
In describing the END of the world to His disciples Mt24:3, Jesus said ‘..because INIQUITY shall abound, the love of MANY shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the END, the same shall be saved’ Mt24:12,13. This has direct implications against the churches, and LUKEWARM Christians, who have backslidden and are no longer saved. They were once followers, but have become lukewarm to God’s precepts and commandments, and have left their first love Re2:4. Jesus said ‘So then because thou art LUKEWARM, and neither cold nor hot, I will SPUE thee out of my mouth’ Re3:16. This fact is very apparent today, as many denominational churches are not warning their members about Christ’s return, the RAPTURE, Satan, sin and hell, and eternal judgment, but have compromised the Word of God.
For many years now, the media has been rife with news of widespread pedophilia, homosexuality, and pornography among clergy, pastors, and ministers, with some denominations even allowing ordained Gay or Lesbian ministers to serve. So far, the Catholic Church in America alone has paid out over $2.5 billion in child sex abuse settlement over the past decades. Jesus had a special warning to ministers: ‘Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the WILL of my Father which is in heaven. 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’ Mt7:21-23.
How MANY ministers who thought they were serving Jesus, will learn that He had disavowed ever knowing them? Re20:15 warns ‘And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire’. In the END, INIQUITY shall abound and MANY who turn away from God will perish- priests, pastors, politicians, and people alike!
THE GREAT FALLING AWAY- Choose Whom You Will Serve Today
As Paul stated in 2Th2:3-12, THE RAPTURE shall come, then the FALLING AWAY will ensue, and the MAN OF SIN will be revealed, the SON OF PERDITION aka THE ANTICHRIST, who will then rule the world for 42 months Re13:5 during the GREAT TRIBULATION, spoken by Jesus Mt24:21. Then JESUS will return to earth and ‘destroy (THE ANTICHRIST) with the brightness of His coming‘ 2Th2:8, Re19:15,20.
God is warning us through His Word to decide whom we will serve today and where we will spend eternity! Will you choose GOD or SATAN, JESUS CHRIST or THE ANTICHRIST, good or evil, righteousness or sin, life or death, blessings or curses, heaven or hell, eternal life or eternal damnation? Jesus said ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and FEW there be that find it’ Mt7:13,14. As the world is literally falling apart in increasing sin and shame, one can either continue on the broad road to destruction like MANY are already on, or take the narrow road to eternal life, with only a FEW on it now.
It is not necessary for anyone to perish in the lake of fire, because Jesus already paid the price for our sins Jn3:16. But we all need to REPENT and RETURN to God, and REMAIN with Him! Jesus warned ‘except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish’ Lk13:3. The KEY to our SALVATION and ETERNAL LIFE is REPENTANCE, and accepting JESUS CHRIST as our personal SAVIOUR! Amen!
THE COMING KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST
When Jesus began his ministry 2000 years ago, He declared ‘The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the Gospel’ Mk1:15. Then Jesus said ‘..seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you’ Mt6:33. But where is this kingdom of God that Jesus declared was at hand and where do we go to seek it? Is it in Israel or somewhere else? One needs to know where to look because everywhere else we look, the earth is covered with darkness, ‘and gross darkness the people‘ Is60:2.
So where is this kingdom that Jesus spoke of? The kingdom of God can be found in two places only- in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and only within us. When the religious Pharisees, who despised Jesus, demanded when the kingdom of God should come, Jesus said ‘the kingdom of God cometh not with observation.. for behold the kingdom of God is within you’ Lk17:20,21. God’s kingdom is not now a visible one, but exists only in His Word, and only within us spiritually. But one day soon, the kingdom of God, that is the kingdom of Jesus Christ, will be fully established on earth. Then we will be made kings and priests unto God Re5:10, to reign with Jesus over the nations for a 1000 years Re2:26,27,20:4.
This paper is written in the context that man’s kingdom and government is about to end, and be replaced by the kingdom of God. Man’s 6000-year rule since Adam has been abysmal, filled with gross corruption, violence, immorality, killings, and wars. Today, we also have the ability to destroy ourselves with nuclear weapons, chemical and biological warfare. God, who knows the end from the beginning, prophesied by His prophets, the end of man’s rule on earth, and the coming of His kingdom. Basically, this relates to questions that the disciples asked Jesus before he was crucified: ‘what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of end of the world’ Mt24:3. At the end of this world, Jesus will return to establish his millennial kingdom on earth.
To understand the kingdom of God message, we must understand that Satan is ‘the god of this world’ 2Co4:4, who rules this world. There is an ongoing spiritual battle between God and Satan for our souls involving demonic spirits and evil men. This is why the apostle Paul said ‘Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ Ep6:12.
The Mystery of the Kingdom of God
Jesus said ‘..Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God..’ Mk4:11. Before creation Jn1:1-4, God desired to dwell on earth with man, in a kingdom to rule in, and where His name Jesus would be honored and glorified Php2:11. To jumpstart His plan, God first had to create the heavens, the angels, the earth, and then man. At first, God gave dominion of His kingdom to Adam and Eve. But through deceit, Satan the devil, stole the kingdom from them, and has since put all men under sin, slavery, and death. God then came to earth in the person of Jesus to save us from our sins Mt1:21, and one day, God will restore His kingdom on earth.
1Ti3:16 states ‘great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory’. This verse speaks of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose name God wants to be known by, to be worshipped and to be glorified Php2:9. God has also chosen Mt. Zion in the city of Jerusalem to one day establish His kingdom where He will reign from. David, wrote ‘For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it’ Ps132:13,14. King Jesus will one day rule over the nations from Mt. Zion, and many people will come to be taught ‘of his ways, and we will walk in his paths..’ Is2:3.
God’s Kingdom on Earth- Stolen By Satan
In the beginning Ge1:26, God placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and gave them dominion over all the animal and plant life Ge1:26. This kingdom of God was a simple one with Adam solely in charge. There were two, possibly only three people in this first kingdom- Adam and Eve, and the serpent. The serpent was like a man because he could reason and speak, and stood upright Ge3:1. In the beginning, there was only One law in God’s kingdom:‘thou shalt not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ Ge2:17.
Because God is Good, good always existed. But evil was introduced into this world when Adam and Eve sinned. Ro5:12 states ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’. Only after their fall, the earth began to be populated, beginning with Cain, who later murdered his brother Abel. Satan stole God’s kingdom from Adam and Eve, and he now rules the world. But God’s redemptive plan for man’s salvation, and the recovery of His kingdom also began.
Satan’s Kingdom- 6000 Year Rule on Earth
Since Adam, Satan ruled the earth through evil men. After 1500 years of man’s existence, the earth became exceedingly corrupt, and filled with violence; ‘GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually’ Ge6:5. Things got so bad that it grieved God to have created man. God said ‘..I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth’ Ge6:7. This happened in the days of Noah when untold millions perished in the Great Flood, and only 8 people survived. All the earthly kingdoms then were totally destroyed.
But the earth was replenished again with people through the progeny of Noah’s three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Their wickedness, corruption, and violence continue even worse today. This will cause God to destroy the earth again. 2Pe3:10 tells ‘..the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.. the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also..’. Ps46:6 states ‘The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted’.
That all the kingdoms of the world belonged to Satan can easily be proven. When Jesus began his ministry, he was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for 40 days and nights. In one temptation, Satan took Jesus up into a high mountain and ‘shewed him all the kingdoms of the world’ Mt4:8. The devil said ‘All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve’ Mt4:9,10. By these verses and by all the evil, immorality, and atrocities all around us, we see that all the kingdoms of the world still belong to Satan. But God will soon wrest the kingdom from Satan, when Jesus Christ returns to do battle with Satan’s forces in the final battle of Armageddon Re16:16,19:19,20.
The Kingdom of God- A Most Important Message
The kingdom of God message is the most important message given by Jesus. After his death and resurrection, Jesus spent 40 extra days on earth to proclaim God’s kingdom. Ac1:3 states ‘..being seen of them 40 days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God’. In other words, Jesus was not finished preaching the kingdom of God message, but needed more time to reveal it. This message reveals God’s desire, plan and purpose on earth for mankind.
The kingdom of God message is all the sayings of Jesus Christ (highlighted in any red-lettered Bible), and all His deeds. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ- what He said, what He did, and what He told us to do. It is also revealed in the Book of Acts- what the disciples said and did, and amplified in the 21 epistles of the New Testament- what we should do! Lastly, the kingdom of God message is hidden, but crowned in the depths of the Book of Revelation, which is the Revelation of Jesus Christ Re1:1.
John wrote ‘the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever’ Re11:15. Jesus said ‘this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come’ Mt24:14. Nowhere in the Old Testament is the phrase the kingdom of God mentioned. Only after John the Baptist came, did Jesus preach and reveal the kingdom of God Lk16:16.
When we study the kingdom of God message, we gain insights into God’s endtime plan and purpose; what He wants for Himself, and for us. The kingdom of God has to do with kingdom living and kingdom principles under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God deals with our relationship with God, and with one another. Jesus gave us a new commandment- to love one another as He loved us Jn13:34. Though Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God was at hand 2000 years ago, we can see the kingdom of God is still not fully here yet. But one day soon, the kingdom of God shall be fully restored.
The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven Are Synonymous
Though some Bible teachers try to explain, there is no difference between ‘the kingdom of God’ and ‘the kingdom of heaven’. They are the same! Matthew is the only gospel writer that used both phrases ‘the kingdom of heaven’ (32 times), and ‘the kingdom of God’ (5). All the other writers- Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, used only the phrase ‘the kingdom of God’, found 69 times in the New Testament. For example, the parable of the Sower: It is found in three of the Gospels- Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. While Matthew spoke of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, Mark and Luke both spoke of the same parable as the mysteries of the kingdom of God. When quoting Jesus, Matthew wrote ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ Mt4:17, while Mark said ‘the kingdom of God is at hand’ Mk1:15.
The Kingdom of God Is Within Us By the Baptism With the Holy Ghost
Lk17:21 states ‘The kingdom of God is within you’. Jesus instructed us; ‘After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven’ Mt6:9. Jesus said to pray for God’s kingdom to come, and His will be done in earth. God’s kingdom has not fully arrived yet, but Jesus said to pray that it comes in us, and His will be done in us.
Today, God’s kingdom is only within us by the Baptism with the Holy Ghost that Jesus said He would send Jn16:7. Jesus said ‘For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence’ Ac1:5. This was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when 120 disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with tongues in Jerusalem Ac2:1-4; and the Baptism with the Holy Ghost continues in us even today, in these last days Ac2:16,17.
Paul wrote ‘Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?’ 1Co3:16. He said ‘For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost’. Here we see the importance of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost, and for us to have righteousness, and peace, and joy in our lives. Ac17:24 states ‘God that made the world and all things therein.. he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands’. We are the ‘temple of the Holy Ghost’ 1Co6:19 (not made with hands); for ‘the kingdom of God is within (us)’ Lk17:21.
Jesus Came Preaching the Kingdom of God
Jesus preached the message of kingdom living called the Beatitudes or the Sermon of the Mount in the hills of Capernaum, Galilee. In the Beatitudes, Jesus said the kingdom of God belongs to the deprived and distressed, those suffering hardship, the humble, they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those persecuted for righteousness sake, and those reviled and persecuted for serving Him Mt5:3-12. Jesus said we will be blessed and rewarded accordingly one day.
Jesus also taught other important kingdom living principles: love one another, have kindness, holiness, faith, honesty, pray, seek God rather than money, do good, judge not, forgive others, serve others, etc. Besides our personal salvation, the kingdom of God also includes healing, deliverance, miracles, and provisions, those things that Jesus did when preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. Paul wrote ‘the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power’ 1Co4:20.
How To Inherit the Kingdom of God- Repent and Believe the Gospel
Jesus told us what we must do to inherit the kingdom: ‘repent ye and believe the Gospel’ Mk1:15. What is repentance, and what is the Gospel? Repentance means to turn away from our sins, and turn to God! The Gospel is the good news of the coming kingdom of God and of the salvation of our souls. Jesus said ‘..Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God’ Jn3:3,5. We must be ‘born again’ to understand the things of God, and except we are water and Spirit baptized, we cannot enter into God’s kingdom. Ga3:27 tells ‘For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ’. When we put on Christ, the kingdom of God is within us, and we can then enter into His kingdom!
Paul wrote ‘Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God’ 1Co6:9,10. Re21:8 adds ‘But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone..’. To not inherit the kingdom of God means to be doomed forever in the lake of fire.
The only way to inherit the kingdom of God is to repent, ask God for forgiveness, and to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. 1Jn1:9 states‘If we confess our sins, (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. This is the Gospel of Christ Ro1:16- repent of our sins, and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour in order to have a part in His kingdom.
The Rise of the Antichrist Kingdom
Before Jesus returns, the kingdom of the Antichrist will be in full force for 42 months during the Great Tribulation. The Antichrist, the incarnate of Satan, will rule the earth in the New World Order and through his false religion. The false prophet, the surrogate of the Antichrist, will cause the world to worship him, and to take the mark of the beast, in order to buy or sell Re13:11-18. The coming Antichrist kingdom is known as ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS and ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH’ Re17:5. ‘For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies’ Re18:3. Jesus will then return to battle and cast the Antichrist and the false prophet into a lake of fire Re19:20; and also bind Satan for a 1000 years Re20:2.
The Soon Coming Kingdom of Jesus Christ
The coming kingdom of Jesus Christ is the kingdom of God Jesus first mentioned. After man’s 6000-year rule, Jesus will finally establish His own kingdom on earth. This prophecy made by Isaiah 700 years before Christ will then be fulfilled: ‘For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.. to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever..’ Is9:6,7.
Jesus ‘shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more’ Is2:4. People will live to a ripe age, build homes, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them Is65:20,21. ‘The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw, like the bullock..’ Is65:25.
Jesus said ‘.. it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’. Jesus will give the Overcomers Re2:26,27, power over the nations, and together ‘they shall rule them with a rod of iron..’ Re19:15. King Jesus will say ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ Mt25:34. The Overcomers Re3:21 will also sit on thrones to judge the nations; and they ‘lived and reigned with Christ a 1000 years’ Re20:4. Jesus will reign from ‘Mt. Zion.. the city of the great King‘ Ps48:2; ‘And of his kingdom there shall be no end’ Lk1:33. AMEN!
Jesus Christ~God With Us
As we celebrate this Christmas season, it is very important for us to know the reason for this season- to celebrate the first coming of Jesus Christ. Who is this Jesus that we so honor and who we so praise? There is a tendency for many to forget who Jesus really is, so thus this paper. Jesus Christ is ‘God With Us’ Mt1:23.
Since the creation of the first man Adam, and throughout the 6000 years annals of mankind, there has never been a greater and more nobler person than Jesus Christ that ever lived, in example of humility, service, love, and compassion, and in dignity, wisdom, majesty, authority and power! Jesus is our Saviour, the Miracle Worker, the Great Physician, the Prince of Peace, the King Of Kings, and the Lord Of Lords, our Great God and soon coming King. Truly, of the billions of people that ever graced this earth, Jesus Christ is the greatest person that ever lived. So great that the apostle John once hyperbolized ‘..there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written’ Jn21:25.
The apostle Paul succinctly described Jesus: ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ Php2:6-11.
Songs of Praises to Jesus
There are many beautiful songs of worship and praises to Jesus sung throughout the world. One such song is ‘Down from His Glory’ composed by William E. Booth-Clibborn in 1921. The words magnificently epitomized the humanity and divinity of Jesus Christ in an articulate fashion, sung to the tune of O Sole Mio. (Here is a beautiful rendition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmZnXQt_Ato&feature=related )
♫ Down from His Glory, Ever living story, My God and Savior came, and Jesus was His name, Born in a manger, To His own, a stranger, A Man of sorrows, tears and agony.
What condescension, Bringing us redemption, That in the still of night, Not one faint hope in sight. God, gracious, tender, Laid aside His splendour, Stooping to woo, to win, To save my soul!
Without reluctance, Flesh and blood His substance, He took the form of man, Revealed the hidden plan. Oh glorious myst’ry, Sacrifice of Calv’ry, and now I know Thou wert the great “I Am“.
refrain Oh how I love Him, How I adore Him, My breath my sunshine, My all in all, The great Creator became my Savior, and all God‘s fullness dwelleth in Him. ♫
When we listen to and meditate on these profound and powerful lyrics, a succinct description of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, we can begin to appreciate that it was the Holy Spirit who inspired Booth-Clibborn, the grandson of the founder of the Salvation Army William Booth to write this song. Jesus said ‘The Holy Spirit shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shew it unto you’ Jn14:26. The apostle John wrote ‘We love Him because He first loved us’ 1Jn4:19. The more we learn about Him and what He did for us, the more we should love Jesus Christ, the greatest person that ever lived, such as the refrain of the song goes ‘Oh how I love Him, How I adore Him’!
Jesus Christ- Both God and Man
That Jesus was both God and man is an astounding fact that defies imagination. God Almighty came to earth to reveal Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, ‘Emmanuel, God with us’ Mt1:23. John wrote ‘No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him’ Jn1:18. We know about God only to the extent we know about Jesus Christ! We know of God’s great love by what Jesus did for us in his ministry, death, and resurrection. We also know of God’s hidden plan and inheritance from the writings of the Apostles and Prophets. Jesus said ‘I and the Father are one’ Jn10:30. He said ‘..ye believe in God, believe also in me.. if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him’ Jn14:1,7.
God humbled himself and came in human flesh to die for our sins, so we would not perish but have everlasting life Jn3:16. By studying Jesus’ humanity and divinity, we learn of the great inheritance that God has in store for us Ep1:11. The greatness of Jesus Christ can be found in who He is, why He came to earth, what He did for us, what His promises are to us, and how they will come to pass! Only when we know Jesus, will we know God the Father!
Jesus- the Man
The Bible tells that Jesus, ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us..’ Jn1:14. Jesus was sent by God to save the world. JESUS means ‘for he shall save his people from their sins’ Mt1:21. Jesus had a normal childhood and was in every aspect a man. He was fathered by the Holy Ghost and born of the virgin Mary Mt1:20. Jesus’ birth was a very humble one. He was born in Bethlehem, laid in a manger, a feed trough for animals. Before Jesus was 2 years old, King Herod sought to kill Him. Joseph, warned by an angel in a dream, took Mary and the child Jesus, and fled at night into Egypt Mt2:14, about 200 miles away. Four years later after Herod died, they returned to Nazareth, Galilee Mt2:23.
Jesus was raised as the eldest son of Joseph, a carpenter, and was likely a carpenter too, until he began his ministry at age 30 Lk3:23. Jesus had four half-brothers and at least two half-sisters Mt13:55. The 1st quote of Jesus in the Bible was ‘I must be about my Father’s business’ Lk2:49, at age 12 in the temple at Jerusalem. ‘Jesus increased in knowledge and stature and in favor with God and with man’ Lk2:52.
Upon first seeing Jesus, John the Baptist exclaimed ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world’ Jn1:29. When Jesus began his three-year ministry, he said ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’ Jn4:34. Jesus had like passions as all of us, being tempted yet without sin He4:15. He hungered and thirsted; he suffered, felt pain and agony, and he also wept Jn11:35. Jesus had strong emotions of love, friendship, and even disgust. He had a special love for the apostle John Jn20:2, and Mary Magdalene, whom He had cast out seven devils Mk16:9. He hated the phony religiosity of the scribes and Pharisees, rebuking them for their pride and hypocrisy Mt23. ‘Jesus of Nazareth was a man approved of God among the Jews by miracles and wonders and signs which God did by Him’ Ac2:22.
The Ministry of Jesus Christ
Jesus came to earth to proclaim the kingdom of God, telling people to repent, and to believe the Gospel Mk1:14,15. He came to do God’s will and to finish His work Jn4:34. God sent Jesus so that by believing in Him, we would not perish in hell but have everlasting life Jn3:16. Jesus came to save us from our sins Mt1:21. Unlike any person who ever lived, Jesus also had supernatural powers. He did many miracles, healed, and delivered many people with evil spirits Mk1:32,34; multiplied the food and fed the multitudes Mt14:21,15:38. He walked on water Jn6:19, and calmed the stormy sea Mk4:39. He even raised the dead Lk8:55, Jn11:44. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day Mt23:13-16, inciting them to eventually kill him.
Amazingly, Jesus earlier foretold of his own death and resurrection to his disciples ‘..how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders.. chief priests and scribes.. be killed, and be raised again the 3rd day’ Mt16:21. Being dead for three days, Jesus was resurrected back to life again Lk24:6. Though Jesus did not travel more than a 100 miles radius in his ministry, his influence and power are known and felt worldwide, even today, and will be forever! There was no man ever like Jesus in power, but also in love and compassion for mankind. God came to earth as the man Jesus, and will soon return one day in the Rapture for those who love and obey Him.
The Resurrected Jesus Christ- More Than Human
When reading the Bible carefully, we learn that Jesus had other super-human qualities. After Jesus resurrected from the dead, He had another body. His visage and body was no longer badly beaten and grotesque, except for the nail prints on His hands and a hole in his side Jn20:27! He could morph (change) his looks such that his disciples would not recognize Him at first. The first time was at the empty burial tomb when Mary Magdalene was looking for his body, only to be talking to Jesus whom she thought was the gardener. She then recognized his voice Jn20:15-16. Another time was when Jesus translated himself nearly 8 miles from Jerusalem to join two disciples as they were walking on the road to Emmaus Lk24:15. At first they did not recognize him, but later their eyes were opened, and they knew him. He then quickly vanished from their sight Lk24:30,31.
On two occasions, though the door was shut, Jesus was able to enter the room, as the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews Jn20:19,26. Jesus literally passed through the walls. Also, the one thing Jesus left back physically on earth before he ascended into heaven, was His precious blood, when a soldier pierced his side and it gushed out Jn19:34. The blood of Jesus is CRUCIAL for the forgiveness and cleansing of our sins He9:22, 1Jn1:7, and to overcome the devil. Re12:11 states ‘..they overcame (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb..’.
A little known fact is that after His resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven TWICE. Jesus told Mary Magdalene ‘Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God’ Jn20:17. This was the 1st time Jesus went to heaven, but then came back. Then eight days later, Jesus told Thomas ‘Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side..’ Jn20:27. Jesus remained on earth for 40 more days, teaching of things pertaining to the kingdom of God Ac1:3. He was seen by over 500 people at once 1Co15:6. Then after the 40 days, Jesus ascended into heaven the 2nd time Ac1:11, and sat on the right hand of God Mk16:19. Ten days later on the day of Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to abide in us Jn14:16, to teach us of all things Jn14:26, guide us into all truth, to show us things to come Jn16:13, and to empower us to witness Him in all the world Ac1:8.
Jesus Christ- Our High Priest and the Perfect Sacrifice
Jesus became ‘the High Priest of our profession’ and also the human sacrifice for our sins He3:1,9:26. He took upon Himself ‘the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men’ Php2:6. He learned ‘obedience by the things He suffered’ He5:8. And because He suffered being tempted, he is able to help us that are tempted He2:18. Jesus ‘humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross’ Php2:8.
Isa53:2 tells that Jesus had ‘no form nor comeliness; no beauty that we should desire Him’. At Calvary, He bore our grief and our sorrows Is53:4. ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed’ Is53:5. When oppressed and afflicted and led to death, Jesus did not complain. Yet it pleased God to bruise Jesus for the propitiation for our sins, because God wanted to save us by dying for our sins 1Jn4:10.
Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because now once in the end of the world ‘He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself’ He9:26. Jesus was made perfect through his sufferings He2:10, ‘and being perfect, became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him’ He5:9. Jesus was a perfect man Ep4:13; holy and undefiled He7:26. Jesus never sinned, ‘neither was there guile found in His mouth’ 1Pe2:22. Jesus knew no sin but God ‘made Him to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus’ 2Co5:21. ‘God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’ Ro5:8.
Jesus was ‘..the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world‘ Jn1:29. He is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world’ Re13:8. Jesus is ‘the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me’ Jn14:6. By the shed blood of Jesus heaven was opened and the throne of God made accessible to us He4:16. ‘For by offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified’ He10:14. Jesus Christ gave ‘himself for us an offering and a sweet smelling sacrifice to God’ Ep5:2, for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins He9:22. ‘The life of the flesh is in the blood.. for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul’ Lev17:11.
The Divinity of Jesus Christ Revealed
The apostles and prophets referred to Jesus as God. Here are some of their descriptions of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the ‘brightness of God’s glory and the express image of God’s person’ He1:3, ‘by whom also he made the worlds’ He1:2. Jesus Christ, ’who being in a form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.. wherefore God hath highly exalted him..’ Php2:6,9. Jesus ‘..is the image of the invisible God’ Co1:15. Jesus Christ is God ‘manifest in the flesh’ 1Ti3:16. ‘Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ Php2:10. Jesus is ‘the Lord of Glory’ 1Co2:8. Jesus Christ is ‘..the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God’ 1Ti1:17. Of Jesus Christ, ‘the whole family in heaven and earth is named’ Ep3:15. ‘In Jesus dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily’ Co2:9. ‘For it pleased the Father that in Jesus should All fullness dwell’ Co1:19.
Jesus is above every name that is named Php2:9. Jesus Christ ‘..is the blessed and only Potentate, the KING of kings, and LORD of lords’ 1Ti6:15, Re19:16. Jesus Christ ‘..is the faithful witness, the first begotten of the dead and the Prince of the kings of the earth’ Re1:5. Jesus ‘..is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending’ Re1:8, ‘..the first and the last’ Re1:11. Jesus is ‘Faithful and True’ Re19:11. Jesus is the Word made flesh Jn1:14, ‘the Word of God’ Re19:13. In all things, Jesus ‘might have the preeminence’ Co1:18. Jesus is the Great I Am Jn8:58, ‘My Lord and My God’ Jn20:28. Of Jesus‘ kingdom, there will be no end Lk1:33. As we meditate on these scriptures, we can readily see and appreciate who Jesus is, God Almighty!
Jesus Declared His Divinity- 10 ‘I Am’s in the Book of John
The gospel of John lists 10 ‘I Am’s Jesus used to describe Himself. It is the same term ‘I Am’ that God used when He revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush. In Ex3:14 ‘..God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM.. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you’. The Jews regarded the term ‘I Am’ as sacred, referring to God alone.
Jesus told the multitude, ‘before Abraham was, I Am’ Jn8:58. This infuriated the Jews, who took up stones to cast at Him, but Jesus passed through their midst. In Jn6:35, Jesus said ‘I am the bread of life’; in Jn9:5, ‘I am the light of the world’; in Jn10:9, ‘I am the door’; in Jn10:11, ‘I am the good shepherd’; in Jn10:36, ‘I am the Son of God’; in Jn11:25, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life’; in Jn14:6, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’; in Jn15:1, ‘I am the true vine’, in Jn19:21, ‘I am King of the Jews’. All of these ‘I Am’s revealed Jesus’ divinity, and His power to bring forth blessings, spiritual growth, salvation and eternal life for us. These are the 10 ‘I Am’s in the Book of John.
John also wrote ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’ Jn1:1-3. Then ‘the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us’ Jn1:14. Jesus is ‘the Word of God’. Without Jesus, nothing was made that was made Jn1:3. Without Jesus, we would not know the way to God, the Father Jn14:6. Jesus said ‘ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he..’ Jn8:24. Jesus is the ‘Great I Am’, Almighty God who came to earth as a man to die for our sins Jn3:16. Jesus said ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away’ and ‘All POWER is given unto me in heaven and in earth’ Mt24:35,28:18.
In summary, Jesus had all the attributes of a man, but also that of God, being Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent: Almighty, All-knowing, and Everywhere! BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOUT JESUS CHRIST IS, ‘WHAT WILL YOU PERSONALLY DO ABOUT HIM?’
The Bible states ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..’ Ac16:31. ‘He that believeth not shall be damned’ Mk16:16. What you do with Jesus will determine where you will spend eternity. Jesus said ‘For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ Mt16:26.
It is not necessary for anyone to perish, but sadly, the Bible states many will perish in hell Mt7:13. If you believe that Jesus died for your sins and accept Him as your personal Saviour, it will be to your eternal blessing. If not, it will be to your eternal damnation. Here is a simple prayer which you can pray to accept Jesus Christ, or to recommit yourself to Him:
DEAR JESUS, I AM A LOST SINNER AND WANT TO BE SAVED. FORGIVE ME OF ALL MY SINS. COME INTO MY HEART RIGHT NOW AND CLEANSE ME IN YOUR PRECIOUS BLOOD. I ACCEPT YOU AS MY LORD AND SAVIOUR. THANK YOU FOR DYING ON THE CROSS FOR ME, AND THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY SOUL! AMEN!
Truly, Jesus Christ is ‘The Greatest Person That Ever Lived’! GOD BLESS YOU!
THE DAY OF THE LORD- THE END OF MAN’S RULE ON EARTH
The Bible speaks of the end of man’s rule on earth, and the coming day of the kingdom of God under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. One can easily see that the world we live in is literally falling apart. An excellent point is the once great America is now under great financial and economic distress, bankrupt ready to collapse. The other economic superpowers China and Japan are also facing similar problems themselves, and the Eurozone countries are not doing much better. For 6000 years since Adam, because of gross corruption and wickedness, man has proven incapable of ruling over himself and his fellowmen! Thus, the end of man’s gov’t will herald in the beginning of the God’s kingdom on earth.
To understand what will happen, we need to know what the Bible says about the coming Day of the Lord! However, whenever the Bible mentions ‘The Day’ or ‘That Day’, it is often describing one of two main events in God’s calendar, so we need to distinguish which one is which. It could be referring to the Day of the Rapture of the Saints- the Secret Coming of Jesus Christ or the Day of God’s Wrath- the Public Coming of Jesus Christ. Proper understanding of ‘What’s In a Day?’ in God’s timetable will guide us on how to live, and how to be prepared for that Day! If not, many will be LEFT BEHIND to face the coming dire Great Tribulation, and even death!
THE DAY OF THE LORD! WHAT’S IN A DAY?
The term ‘Day of the LORD’ is found 29 times in the Bible. It often refers to the Great Tribulation in the Endtimes prior to the return of Jesus Christ. It is described as the Day of God’s Destruction and Wrath Job21:30. It is the Day of the LORD’s Fierce Anger Is13:13, and Vengeance Is34:8. It is a Day of Darkness Am5:20; ‘the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD’ Joe2:31. ‘That Day is a Day of Wrath, a Day of Trouble and Distress, a Day of Wasteness and Desolation, a Day of Darkness and Gloominess, a Day of Clouds and Thick Darkness’ Zeph1:15. However, the Day of the LORD is also used to describe the Day of the Rapture 1Th4:16,17, the Day of Escape and Salvation Heb2:3, the Day of Redemption Ep4:30, the Day of our Reward Lk6:23, Re22:12, and the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1Co1:18, ‘the Perfect Day’ Pr4:18.
THE RAPTURE DESCRIBES A FORTHCOMING BIBLICAL EVENT
The word Rapture is Not Found in the Bible, but is used to describe a forthcoming significant event. Like the Rapture, there are many other terms that are not found in the Bible such as Trinity, Sunday School, spiritual warfare, denominations, seminary, and even the word Bible, but are accepted and understood. The word Rapture is commonly used to describe an ESCAPE from the coming Great Tribulation Lk21:36, Heb2:3, Mt24:21. Rapture comes from the Latin word ‘Rapiemur’, which means ‘to be snatched up’, ‘to be raised up’, ‘to be taken up’, ‘to be seized’, ‘to be CAUGHT UP in the AIR’, ‘to be translated into HEAVEN’ such as Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus were in time past! Paul said ‘By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was NOT FOUND, because God had translated him..’ Heb11:5. God took Enoch Ge5:24, Elijah 2Ki2:1,and Jesus Ac1:10, alive into HEAVEN as examples of the forthcoming Rapture that will happen in the endtimes!
Before Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions.. I go to prepare a place for you.. I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:1-3. Jesus promised to take us to where He is, to HEAVEN, in the Rapture. Paul said ‘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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words’ 1Th4:16-18. Sadly, there are many who don’t comfort others with these words, don’t warn of the Lord’s soon coming, and don’t believe in, but speak against the Rapture, and often contradict the Word of God!
Jesus repeatedly warned us to ‘Watch and Pray’ so that we wouldn’t miss out on the day of His return for us Jn14:3, the Day of Visitation 1Pe2:12. Jesus said ‘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’ Lk21:36. Watch what? Pray for what? Be worthy to ESCAPE what? What things shall come to pass? Stand before whom? Here Jesus was exhorting us to be ready for His return by being found worthy to ESCAPE the great distress of nations, with perplexity and great fear coming upon the earth Lk21:25-26. We shall then stand before Jesus, ‘which delivered us from the wrath to come’ 1Th1:10.
Jesus said ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the Day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh’ Mt25:13. The Day Jesus told us to ‘Watch and Pray’ for is the Day of His Appearing 2Ti4:8, 1Pe5:4, the Day of the Rapture of the Saints 1Th4:16,17, the Day of Our Reward Re22:12. It is the approaching Day of His Return Heb10:25. Hosea said ‘After two days will he revive us: in the 3rd Day he will raise us up, and WE shall live in his sight’ Hos6:2; the 3rd Day being 2000 years after Christ, when He will Raise us up. Pr4:18 states ‘..the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the Perfect Day’. The Day of the Rapture is the Perfect Day when WE will be glorified in Jesus 2Th1:10. John said ‘..WE know that, when he shall appear, WE shall be like Him; for WE shall see Him as he is’ 1Jn3:2.
JESUS SECRET COMING vs JESUS PUBLIC COMING- TWO DISTINCT COMINGS
In the New Testament, the Day of the Lord is used 5 times to refer to the return of Jesus Christ to earth. The fact that Jesus will bring either Reward Mt16:27, Re22:12, or Judgment, logically speaks of two different Comings. The Secret Coming of Jesus is when only those looking for Him and are ready, will See Him, and ‘be CAUGHT UP.. to meet the Lord in the AIR’ 1Th4:16,17. Jesus said ‘Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for they shall See God’ Mt5:8. John wrote ‘..when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall See Him as He is.. every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is Pure’ 1Jn3:2,3. Only the Pure in heart shall See God. Without Holiness, no man shall See the Lord Heb12:14.
The Day of Jesus Secret Coming will be the Day of ESCAPE from the Great Tribulation Lk21:36, Heb2:3. Jesus said ‘..behold, I come quickly; and my Reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be’ Re22:12. David asked ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a Pure Heart..’ Ps24:3,4.
The Day of Jesus Public Coming will be at the end of the Great Tribulation, ‘when Every Eye shall See Him.. and all kindred.. shall wail’ Re1:7. For those not looking or unprepared for Jesus return and missing ‘..the Blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ’ Tit2:13, they will not be taken in the Rapture, but go through the Great Tribulation- the worst period ever in mankind’s history ‘such as never was or ever will be’ Mt24:21. It will be a terrible, horrific, painful, miserable, and most fearful time in history. Jesus said ‘..except the days should before shortened, there should no flesh shall be saved..’ Mt24:22.
THE DAY OF JESUS SECRET COMING- ONLY FOR THOSE LOOKING AND READY
The Day of Jesus Secret Coming will be a surprise to most people for He will come as a thief in the night 1Th5:2, secretly and swiftly. Jesus said two would be in the field and one taken; two women grinding at the mill and one taken Mt24:40,41; two in bed and one taken Lk17:34. Jesus told us ‘But of that Day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels, but my Father only’ Mt24:36. ‘That Day’ is the Secret Coming of Jesus; it will be a surprise for no man knows when. What is our Hope? It is to be ‘in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Coming’ 1Th2:19. This is called ‘the Blessed Hope’ Tit2:13.
Paul said ‘For God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. But we must be blameless on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ 1Co1:8. Paul wrote God ‘..which hath begun a good work in you shall perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ’ Php1:6. Jesus promised to raise us up at the Last Day. Jesus said ‘..every one which Seeth the Son, and believeth on him.. I will Raise him up at the Last Day’ Jn6:40. For those ready, the Last Day will be the Day of the Rapture- the Day of Jesus Secret Coming! Ep4:30 states ‘..grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby, we are sealed unto the Day of Redemption’. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of Jesus Secret Coming. It is the Day of Redemption!
THE DAY OF JESUS PUBLIC COMING- EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM AND WAIL
The Bible tells of the Day of Jesus Public Coming ‘when EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM’ Re1:7. Jesus will then return ‘after the tribulation of those days.. with power and great glory’ Mt24:29,30. Jesus shall ‘..gather His Elect together from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other’ v31. Notice here that His Elect shall be gathered together from HEAVEN. They were already raptured to HEAVEN, and will be returning with Jesus to Earth. Jude 14 states ‘..Behold, the Lord cometh WITH ten thousands of his saints’.
That Day of the Lord will be the Day of the Wrath of the Lamb Re6:16,17; the Day of His Fierce Anger Is13:13. Peter said it is the Day of Judgment 2Pe3:7; the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, when the heavens and the earth will pass away with a great noise and in fervent heat 2Pe3:10. On the Day of Jesus Public Coming, no one needs to watch for EVERY EYE shall see Him, and they shall mourn and wail because of Him. Jesus will come to judge all on the earth Jn5:22, Ps96:13. The Day of the Lord will be a Day of Destruction and Desolation, great and terrible; a dreadful Day Mal4:5; the Day of Vengeance of our God Is61:2,63:4. It is the Day of the LORD’s Wrath and Anger Zep1:18, 2:3. Nothing will be secret about this coming Day, for EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM and WAIL Re1:7!
THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE- BREAKING OUR APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH
While the Bible states ‘.. it is appointed unto men once to die..’ Heb9:27, the Day of the Rapture will be a very special day when faithful believers will break their Appointment With Death! Ps79:11 states God has the power to ‘.. preserve thou those that are appointed to die’ and Ps102:20, ‘to loose those that are appointed to death’. Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever Liveth and Believeth in Me Shall Never Die. Believest thou this?’ Jn11:25,26. A parallel scripture, 1Th4:16-18 state ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from HEAVEN with a shout.. 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Clearly we see that Jesus will come down from HEAVEN to take those living, along with the dead ‘in Christ’, up to HEAVEN.
In Jn11:26, Jesus asked do we really believe this, and in 1Th4:18, Paul said we need to encourage one another with the words that Jesus is coming for us in the Rapture. Paul said that ‘..God hath not Appointed us to wrath, but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. Paul states that we have an Appointment with Jesus, not to die, but be taken alive to HEAVEN. The apostle John said if we have this hope in Jesus to be like Him, we must purify ourselves, even as He is pure 1Jn3:3. Thus, we have a Divine Appointment with Jesus on the Day of the Rapture- to meet Him in the AIR; never to die, but to be with Him forever! Faith is all about believing what God said He will do! NO FAITH, NO RAPTURE!
THE DAY OF OUR CHANGE, THE DAY OF REDEMPTION
Both King David and righteous Job referred to a Day of being CHANGED, that is to have a Glorified Body like Jesus. David looked forward to being crowned with glory and honour Ps8:3.He said ‘As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy LIKENESS’ Ps17:15. Likewise, Job also alluded to becoming like Jesus. He said ‘If a man die, shall he live again? all the Days of my Appointed time will I wait, till my CHANGE come’ Job14:14. The apostle Paul said we ‘have the firstfruits of the Spirit.. waiting for the adoption, to wit, the Redemption of Our Body’ Ro8:26. Jesus said ‘And when these things Begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your Redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of the Redemption of Our Body!
The Day of Redemption relates to the Day of Our Bodily Change, when our bodies will be redeemed fully from corruption into immortality. Paul wrote ‘Behold, I shew you a Mystery; We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be CHANGED, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.. the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be CHANGED. For this Corruptible must put on Incorruption, and this Mortal must put on Immortality.. then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ 1Co15:51-55. Paul said ‘..by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men..’Ro8:12; but also ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death’ 1Co15:26. On the Day of the Rapture, we will receive an Incorruptible, Immortal, and Glorified body just like Jesus Christ. We will BE CHANGED ‘to be conformed into His Image’ Ro8:29!
THE DAY OF THE LORD- THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE vs THE DAY OF GOD’S WRATH
In summary, when speaking of the Day of the Lord, the Bible speaks of two significant, but contrasting events in the Endtimes. The first event is the Day of the Rapture, and the other event is the Day of God’s Wrath. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Day of our Divine Appointment with God- our Escape, our Adoption, our Redemption, our Resurrection, our Reward, our CHANGE, our Immortality, and our Glorification. The Day of Judgment is the Day of God’s Wrath, God’s Vengeance, the Day of His Fierce Anger, the Day of Destruction, the Day of Darkness, the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD.
One can only prepare for the Day of the Rapture, but never for the Day of God’s Wrath and the Great Tribulation! Jesus repeatedly warned us to Watch, Pray, Be Ready, Be Pure, Be Holy, to Look for His return, in order to Escape the things which shall come to past in the Endtimes! If one does not believe in, or is not ready for the Rapture but is LEFT BEHIND, he will never be able to prepare for the atrocity that will occur during the Great Tribulation, a most terrible, horrendous, miserable, hopeless, painful, and grievous 42 months period of hell on earth Re13:5,7! Jesus said ‘..except those days be shortened, there should NO FLESH be saved..’ Mt24:22. This means if it were to continue, literally everyone would either die or be killed! There will be wars throughout the world, thermonuclear explosions, great natural disasters, famine, droughts, pestilence, and disease wiping out millions upon millions of people! Everyone would be helpless while living through it. Also if one does not have the FAITH to believe the words of the Lord, ‘I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that were I am, there you may be also’ Jn14:3, then for sure, there is no other ESCAPE, but to be LEFT BEHIND to suffer in the Great Tribulation!
Finally, on the Day of the Rapture- the Day of Jesus Secret Coming, Jesus is coming FOR HIS SAINTS in the AIR. On the Day of Jesus Public Coming- His 2nd Coming, Jesus is coming WITH HIS SAINTS back to earth to rule and reign. Re19:14 states ‘..the armies which were in HEAVEN followed Jesus upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean’. Jude 14 tells ‘Behold, the Lord cometh WITH 10,000 of his Saints’. This is ‘What’s in a Day’. In the Holy Bible, THE DAY OF THE LORD describes Jesus coming back twice- the 1st time FOR HIS SAINTS, and the 2nd time WITH HIS SAINTS! AMEN!