In The Coming Great Worldwide Tribulation Part I, it was discussed ‘What is Tribulation‘, How long is ‘the Tribulation‘, and what is the ‘Great Tribulation‘? It was also mentioned that ‘the Tribulation‘ will be worldwide and is synonymous with the term ‘Great Tribulation‘. It will not be 7 years long as many believe (See Part I), but only 3½ years as revealed in the Holy Bible, particularly in the book of Revelation.
Revelation chapters 6 through 16 reveal that there will be 21 specific judgments to affect the whole world which will be the wrath of God ‘poured’ upon the earth on a sinful and rebellious people. The judgments will include the world’s greatest war, drought, famine, persecution, storm, disaster, pestilence, epidemic, scorching, plague, and earthquake to come; all never ever experienced before in intensity and in magnitude. It will be the most fearful and demoralizing time to be living on the earth. Lk21:26-28 state
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.
The Redemption mentioned here is the Rapture of the Saints, that God has provided as an escape for faithful believers, for all those that are In Christ. This is now discussed here in Part II.
THE COMING RAPTURE of the SAINTS before the GREAT Worldwide TRIBULATION Part II
The concepts of the coming Rapture and Great Tribulation are intimately connected, with the Rapture occurring before the Great Tribulation takes place! The Bible bears this truth out in many places. The word Rapture is a commonly used term to describe an escape from the coming Great Tribulation. It comes from the Latin word ‘rapiemur’, which means to be ‘snatched up’, ‘caught up’, ‘raised up’, ‘to be seized’, or ‘to be translated‘ into heaven such as Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus were in the past! Paul wrote:
‘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. Also, ‘In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed’ 1Co15:52.
Jesus has provided an escape when He will secretly come only for those ready for Him in the Rapture. Only faithful believers In Christ, who are watching and praying, looking for His return, obeying His Word, and readying themselves by being pure and holy, will escape the coming wrath of God in the Rapture, and not go through the Great Tribulation. Here are some Tribulation and Rapture scriptures that substantiate this point:
Ro1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men..
1Th5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Re3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
1Th1:10 ..wait for his Son from heaven.. even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Lk21:28 ..when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Lk21:36 Watch ye.. 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.
Heb2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation..
1Co10:13 ..God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape..
Ep1:13 ..after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your Salvation.. ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise..
Ep4:30 ..grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Jn14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
2Co6:17 ..come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
1Jn2:28 ..abide in him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
1Jn3:2 ..now are we the sons of God..we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Mt16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Re22:12 ‘..behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according to his works shall be.
Tit2:13 ‘..Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ..’
(In the King James Version (KJV) Bible, there are key words or phrases that are repetitive, which often help in giving revelation and deeper understanding of the scripture verses. For example the words WRATH, SALVATION, REDEMPTION, ESCAPE, SEALED, RECEIVE, and REWARD are repeated in several of the scriptures above. Likewise there are phrases such as ‘COME TO PASS‘, and ‘WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR‘ that are also repeated. Often times, these repeated words and phrases are related in meaning, and when searching for them, the Bible gives a clearer picture of what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us. Jesus said ‘Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me‘ Jn5:39.)
Here are the explanations of the scriptures above: The Bible states that the WRATH OF GOD is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness Ro1:18. There is a coming WRATH OF GOD upon all mankind (GREAT TRIBULATION), but not upon faithful believers 1Th5:9. The GREAT TRIBULATION is also called the HOUR OF TEMPTATION which will try all that dwell on the earth; but we are to wait patiently for Jesus Re3:10, who shall delivered us from the WRATH to come 1Th1:10. Jesus then said when these things begin to COME TO PASS (before the GREAT TRIBULATION), look up, lift up your heads for your REDEMPTION (the RAPTURE) draws near Lk21:28. Jesus then said to watch and pray that we may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these thing that shall COME TO PASS (the GREAT TRIBULATION), and stand before Him (the RAPTURE) at His coming Lk21:36.
Lk21:36 and Heb2:3 both describe the RAPTURE as our great ESCAPE and great SALVATION. Ep1:13 and Ep4:30 both state that believers are ‘SEALED with the Holy Spirit of Promise (the RAPTURE)’, unto ‘The Day Of REDEMPTION (the RAPTURE)’. The Promise of the RAPTURE was also given by Jesus when He said ‘I go to prepare a place for you.. I will come again, and RECEIVE you unto myself (the RAPTURE); that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:2,3. Paul also wrote that if we separate ourselves and be holy, God will RECEIVE us (the RAPTURE) 2Co6:17. The apostle John said to abide in Jesus; that, WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR, we may have Confidence, and not be ASHAMED Before Him At His Coming (the RAPTURE) 1Jn2:28. This verse also suggests that some people will be ASHAMED before Him at His Coming; they were NOT READY! Also WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR (the RAPTURE), we shall be like Jesus for we shall see Him as He is 1Jn3:2!
Finally, Jesus will REWARD us at His coming, according to our works Mt16:27, Re22:12. Thus, the RAPTURE is our ESCAPE and our REWARD– to be saved from the coming GREAT TRIBULATION! The RAPTURE is also our REDEMPTION and SALVATION, and our BLESSED HOPE. Paul told us to look for that BLESSED HOPE (the RAPTURE), and the GLORIOUS APPEARING of our Great God and Saviour, the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ Tit2:13!
In conclusion, there is a GREAT TRIBULATION coming soon upon the earth as prophesied by Jesus in Mt24:21 and in the book of Revelation! Presently, the earth is going through tremendous convulsions with nations rising against nations. There are wars and rumors of war, great earthquakes, droughts, famines, and great natural disasters. Add to this the great economic woes and the slowing down of the world’s economies especially in America and Europe, both in near collapse due to extreme indebtedness. The GREAT TRIBULATION of 3½ years may be sooner than later, and perhaps right around the corner. The recent destabilization of the Middle East and the further isolation of Israel by the United Nations in granting Palestine non-member status by a vote of 138 to 9, are also sure signs of a great war coming in the last days.
But all this is necessary, for all Bible prophecies must be fulfilled before the establishment of the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ on earth. The AntiChrist will arise up during the GREAT TRIBULATION, and ‘destroy wonderfully’ Da8:24. He will put the entire world under his diabolic rule in a NEW WORLD ORDER- a One World Gov’t, One World Economy, and a One World Religion. Then the people of the world must either worship the AntiChrist as their god, or be beheaded. Re20:4 tells ‘..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..’ (A word of caution- if anyone worships the Beast or his image, or accepts his mark 666 Re13:16-18, he will be doomed and tormented in fire and brimstone forever Re14:9-11).
Surely you will never read about this in the NEW YORK TIMES, but there is a coming GREAT TRIBULATION to try every living soul on the earth! Thus, we must be watching and praying, be pure and holy, and be ready to escape in the RAPTURE! The RAPTURE is an ELECTIVE EVENT, meaning only you can decide to be TAKEN by making yourself READY. Otherwise, you will be LEFT BEHIND; ‘For many are called, but few are chosen‘ Mt22:14! Paul admonished us ‘..work out your OWN SALVATION with fear and trembling’ Php2:12. Amen!
What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden- The SONSHIP Message
God’s Great Love For Us- the Gift of His Glory
1Jn4:8 tells us ‘.. God is love’. God is the personification of Love. God’s love is perfect. Love is conveyed through words and actions. We express our love by giving to others- our families, friends, and those in need. Even more so with God! The measure of God’s great love for us is proven by His dying on the cross for us in the person of Jesus Christ Jn3:16!
Here is a also another very important aspect of God’s love: Because God is love, He wants to share all of His riches and glory with us Ep1:18. But because God is also Holy and Just, He is constrained to give His glory only to those who He deemed are worthy; only to those who are pure and holy, who have been tested and proven. Peter wrote ‘..the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ’ 1Pe1:7.
Paul wrote ‘The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. 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’ Ro8:16-18. Jesus expressly prayed the Father saying ‘And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them..’ Jn17:22. 1Th2:12 states ‘That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory’. Paul wrote ‘Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ 2Th 2:14’.
God gave us His Spirit to change us from glory to glory into the same image as Jesus Christ 2Co3:18. God’s desire is that we become like Jesus, so He can give us all things. Re21:7 states ‘He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son’. In short, this is the SONSHIP message- God wants more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ. But SONSHIP is only for those who know of this great plan that God has for us. It would require faith and a desire to be like Jesus on your part for it to be fulfilled in you. Without these virtues, faith and desire, SONSHIP will be unattainable to you!
The SONSHIP Message- God’s Eternal Purpose in Christ Jesus
Jesus came to earth so that God could have more sons and daughters like Him. By His coming, Jesus left us an example to follow. Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it’ Mt16:24-25. He2:10 states ‘it became God.. in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings’.
1Jn3:1-3 declare ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the SONS of GOD.. when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure’. Ro8:29-30 state ‘for whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His son, that Jesus might be the firstborn of many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified’.
Php3:21 states God will ‘change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body‘. Paul wrote ‘That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus’ Php3:10-14. Paul’s goal and our goal should be the same- to become like Jesus Christ. This is what the SONSHIP message is all about! God wants more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ so that He can give them all that He has- EVERYTHING that He has Re21:7.
The Paramount Reason Why God Created Man- For SONSHIP
In conclusion, the paramount reason why God created man is to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ (SONSHIP), in order to share His glory with them! This is the same glory that Lucifer wanted to extort from God and was cast out of heaven; the glory that belonged only to Jesus and reserved for those later that will become sons of God. Lucifer’s desires can be found in his 5 ‘I wills’- ‘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’ Is14:13-14. Lucifer was defeated in his rebellion against God, and was cast down to earth Eze28:17,18, Lk10:18, Re12:9.
After Lucifer fell, some untold years later God jump started His great SONSHIP plan for mankind, when He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden which was 6000 years ago. God allowed Satan and the tree of offense, the no-no tree, also to be there. Adam and Eve partook off the fruit of that evil tree, thereby sin and death came into the world. Because of Adam and Eve sin, we needed a Savior; Jesus had to come to die for our sins. And because of Jesus, we now have the Bible, and we can now know of God’s great love and plan for us, and of His inheritance that He intends to give us.
God sent Jesus Christ to be the perfect example for us to follow. Ep4:13 states ‘Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ’. We are nearing the time of perfection when the Rapture will soon occur. 1Jn3:2 states ‘..when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is’. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. Ro8:14 tells ‘As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 2Co3:18 states we ‘are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’.
Ro8:19 tells ‘For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the SONS of GOD’. This is the ‘eternal purpose which God purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord’ Ep3:11 and the paramount reason why God created us- for SONSHIP, to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ in order to share all His riches and glory with us for all eternity. And it all began in the Garden of Eden!
This concludes What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden! Amen!
What Really Happened In the Garden of Eden- God’s Eternal Purpose Revealed Part II
The Garden Scene/The Garden Sin
Adam and Eve may have lived in the garden for many years before they gave in to the serpent’s temptation. They were carefree, were asexual and had no children, and were in daily communion with God. They had no hunger, no sweat, no sorrow, no pain, no bondage, no lack, no strife, no problems, no violence, no sickness, no disease, no sin, no evil and no death! They were vegetarians or fruitarians, who ate the fruit of all the trees except one in the garden. They were healthy and would have lived forever. Prior to sinning, Adam and Eve were clothed with glory. The Bible said that the serpent was very subtil and wise Ge3:1, and perhaps very attractive. The serpent stood upright and could talk like a human. The serpent may have befriended and encountered Adam and Eve many times. But he laid a trap for them one day, even as he can for all of us 2Ti2:26. This is what temptations are all about- traps of the devil! The devil was a murderer from the beginning and is the father of lies Jn8:44. Satan seeks to steal, kill and destroy Jn10:10. Adam and Eve believed the serpent’s lie about becoming as wise as gods Ge3:5, disobeyed and broke God’s only law and became wise, knowing good and evil, and also became perverted and corrupt. Their eyes were opened and they realized their nakedness and sinfulness. Ro5:12 states by Adam, sin and death entered into the world, and was passed on to every man!
God’s Life for Our Life; God Knew He Had to Die For Our Sins
It can be proven that God knew that Adam and Eve would sin. The Bible states Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world Re13:8, not just 2000 years ago. Ep1:4 states that God has chosen us in Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before God in love. Why do we need to be holy and without blame if there was no sin? 2Ti1:9 states that God had saved and called us with an holy calling before the world began. Ac2:23 declares that it was ‘by the determinate counsel andforeknowledge of God’ that Jesus would be crucified and slain’. Why did God want to pay such a great price for us? It was God’s plan to die for our sins. It was the choice of a sovereign God before the world began, to come down to earth as the man Jesus to give His life to save us; to die for our sin and to effectuate His great plan for us. The prophet Isaiah spoke of the death of a suffering Messiah 700 years before it happened, which described what happened to Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53). Salvation is all about God’s great love for us, and God’s grace toward us!
God’s Life for Our Life- To Bring Forth His Eternal Plan in Christ Jesus For Us
So why was God willing to pay the ultimate price, His life to save us Jn15:13? What was God’s motive? It was His prerogative and choice to die for us! Knowing that man would sin, God gave His life for our life. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, came to earth to die for us. Here are some reasons why Jesus came to earth: 1.To teach and preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, to heal every sickness and disease Mt4:23, 2. To save sinners 1Ti1:15, 3. To make us free Jn8:36, 4. To destroy the works of the devil 1Jn3:8, 5. To give us an abundant life Jn10:10, and eternal life Jn3:16, and 6. To taste death for every man He2:9. But the most important reason why Jesus came was to redeem us so that God can have more sons and daughters like Himself. Tit2:13,14 state ‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works’. 2Co6:17,18 declare ‘.. I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty’. This is the Sonship Message! This is all about Sonship- God’s eternal plan to have more sons and daughters like Jesus Christ- a people like Jesus Christ!
End of Part II. To be continued…