Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Jesus Reveals the Future to the Apostle John - by pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2020/11/jesus-reveals-future-to-apostle-john.html
1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:1-3)
Based on my last sermon on the Book of Revelation, that I called the “Book of the Apocalypse” which is another name for this most confusing book (to some), that the Lord has led me to write in detail of what each of these chapters represent. The messages are designed as a learning tool for those who find this last book of your Bible somewhat intimidating and read right over the words and don't have a grasp of what our Lord Jesus was using this book to reveal, as it is called Revelation of Jesus Christ, as our Lord is doing the revealing to His servant John to tell us in vivid detail what is coming upon the earth. So let us take a closer look at the passages and explain in more detail what the Son of God, the God of the Old Testament has had written down for our own enlightenment when Jesus will come for His church, and when the judgment on the rebellion of mankind will begin and how it will conclude.
THE PURPOSE OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION
Remember, that the coming Tribulation of which this book is about, has two purposes. First, the time of the tribulation is called “Jacob's Trouble” for good reason, as the nation of Israel is the focus that God has turned His attention to solely, as the Gentile church has been completed, and the ship of the ark of salvation has left port and will return at the end of the Tribulation to set things as it was in the Garden of Eden after all rebellion is extinguished by just a Word from our God . That first reason for the tribulation is to refine Israel as silver is refined in the fire to accept her Messiah after so long a time in unbelief, and to remove the dross so that the Lord may see His image in her (Malachi 3:3). Second, the purpose of the Tribulation is to remove the rebellion of mankind that has rejected His gift of grace and mercy through the sacrifice that Jesus paid for nigh 2000 years ago, and revel in their unrighteousness even to take a blasphemous Mark of the Beast and worship a false god. Let us begin with the introduction and work our way through a few of these first few chapters found in this much maligned book of what is coming upon the earth.
THE APOSTLE SETS THE STAGE
As the Bible records it, the Apostle John was on the Isle of Patmos which is an island southwest of Ephesus off the western coast of what is now Turkey where the Caesars banished those in their empire that caused too much trouble. It was a quarry where John being in advanced age, probably did not enter much into manual labor because of him being physically unable. But his exile effectively removed him from the presence of the citizens of Rome and the surrounding landscape. In the beginning of this book, John tells us that while he was here, he gives the testimony of who our Lord Jesus is and what the purpose of this written Word is designed for:
4 “John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:4-7)
John makes clear Who is speaking with him, and Who is directing this prophecy of what is coming upon the earth, by identifying our Lord in the next few verses, as being the God of the Old Testament, known to all at that time as YAHWEH or Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” (Revelation 1:8-11)
Note in v. 10 that John refers to the “Lord's Day”...this was not a Sunday, but a definition of the beginning of the wrath of God upon the earth, that the prophets spoke of in Joel, Amos and others at the end of the Old Testament.
30 “And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” (Joel 2:30-32)
By using the terms that are found in the Old Testament of Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, it identifies Jesus our Lord as the God of the Torah, and the Major and Minor Prophets, all which are found in the Old Testament. As John makes this introduction, he relays what he heard and what he begins to see. The voice of Almighty God is the sound of a Trumpet, most likely the same that Moses heard and the children of Israel heard at the foot of Mt. Sinai in the Arabian desert. It scared the Hebrew children so much, that they begged Moses to speak to God, as they feared Him greatly. John hearing the same sound, and seeing what he saw, if it were me, I would have had the same response.
12 “And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Revelation 1:12-18)
This long introduction by John wants to be sure that his readers—the members of God's church—realize, not only who is revealing the future to the church, but also just how special and important He is to us now. In a way, the apostle is adding a final chapter to his gospel, showing us the awesome glory, power, and eternal nature of our Savior in His present role as High Priest and Head of the church.
When John turns "to see the voice" he beholds "One like the Son of Man" standing among seven golden lamp stands, later explicitly identified as the seven churches. John sees a glorious Being who resembles his dear friend and Master, Jesus of Nazareth, but this Person is far beyond human. He is God, in many respects just as the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel describe Him from their visions (Daniel 10:5-6; Ezekiel 1:26-27). The vision he sees of our Lord and Savior is more than his mortal body can stand and he falls face first and lays as a dead man. I can only imagine that it was similar to what Paul saw on the road to Damascus and it blinded him, but here our Lord wants John to see everything He wants to show him, and He puts out His hand to bring him back around to full consciousness.
Laying His right hand on John (Revelation 1:17), perhaps in healing or in blessing, Jesus tells the aged apostle not to be afraid because "I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death"
Our God, who is alive at the right hand of the Father, Jesus in His glory wants John to write a letter to the seven churches that are in Asia Minor, which are real historical churches that God wants to send a warning to about what is coming upon the earth, in their time, and in the far distant future, which is written not to them only, but to us, those who live at the end of this Age of Grace, or the Church Age. Jesus identifies them at the end of the 1st chapter of this book.
“The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” (Revelation 1:20)
As noted, these seven churches although real churches at that time the Apostle was alive, they are also believed to be seven different dispensations of what the church has been down through the ages of time for the last two millenniums. In these next two chapters, our Savior gives a breakdown of these churches accomplishments and their failures that must be corrected, or as He warned, “or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelation 2:5)
This was not only for these literal churches, but the warning was for each church period that has come and gone, save the ones we are in and are heading for the end of this age, which we refer to as the Age of the Church, or the Age of Grace.
A short breakdown of the times of the ages of the church begins with the church at Ephesus, which was the age the apostle was now living in, but below is the time periods of each age.
a. Church at Ephesus.....AD 30 to AD 100, as John wrote this in about AD 95
b. church at Smyrna ….AD 100 to AD 313 or the time of Roman persecution
c. Church at Pergamum....AD 313 to AD 600, the Age of Constantine and beginning of the Catholic Church and it's rule.
d. Church at Thyatira, AD 600 to AD 1517, The Dark Ages of the “Holy Roman Empire”
e. Church at Sardia...AD 1517 to AD. 1648, or the Reformation and the splitting of the Roman Church into Protestant branches.
Then we come to the sixth church and she stands out amongst all of the churches up to this age...The sixth letter was written to the Church of Philadelphia, often called, "the Missionary Church." Of the Church of Philadelphia, Jesus writes,
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” (Revelation 3:7-9)
Now where have we heard the expression, “an open door”...hint: I will cover that later in this message.
In plain English, Jesus is telling them “Look, I will force those who belong to Satan's synagogue--those liars who say they are Jews but are not--to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.” Those who have persecuted this church will bow down and give them honor, because they will be ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ for a 1000 years in the coming Millennium.
Note, if you have followed any of my messages, that I conclude that there is an overlap between this above church, and the final church that is represented by the luke-warm church, or the church that goes into apostasy. Each are mingled together, much as the wheat and the tares of the parables that Jesus gave His apostles in Matthew 24. One is the true church, and one is the tares or not really a church at all, save they have the title. One will be glorified, and one will be thrown into the oven to be burned. And brother, the Tribulation is a burning oven that will refine Israel and burn up the tares, unless they repent.
The Church at Philadelphia which came alive in the 17th century and has been preaching the Gospel worldwide for now nearly 400 years. This phase of the churches will be concluded when this church that Jesus had no warnings for, but with praise for what she has been steadfast and immovable in the time of great temptation, holding fast her confession of the Lord Jesus Christ and have not denied His Name, will be removed from this planet that I will show in the coming parts we will discover in this message.
But focus in on the promise that our Lord makes to this church and to her alone? She is promised something that no other church has received, because she is the church that comes up to the coming Tribulation. Many overlook this passage and I know I am repeating it again, but to drive home the point, as you can't talk about this Age we are living in, if you don't understand what has been promised..
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.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Revelation 3:10-11)
To get a clear meaning of the passage, you must go to Koine Greek, which is the original language that the New Testament was written in. Many debates have been made for the Greek interpretation of this promise that was given only to the Church of Philadelphia. The debate centers on a Greek word that John uses multiple times in this book which above in verse 10 of this chapter, is the phrase “will keep thee from”...which in Greek is the word (εκ [ek] ) which literally means to be “taken out of or separated from the event.”
A large body of discussion attends this phrase. The debate centers on whether from (εκ [ek] ) here denotes out of or through. Is the promise to keep the church out of the trial or to preserve it through the trial?
Proponents of the kept through view observe other passages where εκ[ek] can have this meaning. They also observe examples in Scripture where God’s people are protected in the midst of God’s judgment:
On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark. (Genesis 17:3)
Proponents of the kept from view point to the fact that the most natural use of εκ[ek] indicates out of and that if the alternate meaning were in view, another more suitable preposition would have been used. They too can point to passages which support their view—where the faithful are removed prior to God’s judgment:
Example: And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:24) Enoch, a symbol in the Old Testament of the rapture of the church before the Great Flood of Noah's day.
Another Example: And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?” . . . Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” (Genesis. 18:23-32)
Note that the above examples show that God being a merciful God desires that no one perish, but He is just, and if His wrath begins to fall on this earth, will He not remove His people out of the way?
10 “And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come”. (1st. Thessalonians 1:10)
9 “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” (1st Thessalonians 5:9-10)
There may not be as many Christians on this planet as it once was, but the Bride of Christ is a significant force for good in our world, that God will not change how He has dealt with those who follow Him in this instance, as He has done also in the past of Ancient History.
Today's Christian world is the salt and light of this world, and sending His people through His wrath, goes against what the word in Greek denotes that He will remove “out of and separate” His people from His coming wrath. Only thing a person has to do is decide when the wrath of God actually starts to fall on this world and we will discover that in the next part of this series. But let us now look at the last Church that Jesus has harsh words for.
CHURCH OF LAODECIA, THE APOSTATE CHURCH
But notice , what I call the tares, that Jesus speaks of great warnings for this last church? The Church of Laodecia has risen in the last 100 years, as the apostasy has grown more perverse and departing from the Words of our Lord and His commandments in our day.
14 “ And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
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:” (Revelation 3:14-17)
These are those in the so called “modern churches” that rely on another gospel, and traditions of men, instead of what the Bible teaches and contradict with their doctrines and rituals. Those who go to their church and warm a pew for an hour or so (maybe) on one day of the week. Or they go to their church and do rituals that mean nothing to grow them as a “christian” in name only. But notice what our Lord tells them to do..and frankly, they are going to need it:
18 “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” (Revelation 3:18)
These are the bench warmers that I see sitting in their local church, being all bored with what the preacher is saying, when like a video I saw, a clap of thunder is heard and the preacher's bible falls to the floor, as they come awake and realize that the church that was filled with people is now suddenly near empty, save for them and a few more and they fall in recognition of what just happened...and this is inside the church. Those outside will know that chaos has come to a neighborhood near you, as the TV and radio is blaring for the disappearance of millions of people in an unexplained fashion.
This church, this luke-warm church that Jesus said makes Him sick, will be thrown head long into the coming trial, the last trial of mankind and the final blow to the government of mankind and they will be refined as gold is refined in the fire, (chp. 3, v. 18 just above). Jesus makes a further promise of those who overcome.
12, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”( Revelation 3:12)
But only the ones in the true church of the Living God that follow Him as shepherd and imitate Him in all things that He teaches us will receive this promise.
The Tribulation will last 7 years, give or take a few years or months...Why do I say that? As we will probe our journey through Revelation, it is hypothesized that there is a “gap” of time between Revelation 4:1 and Revelation 6:1...How much time, we don't know. Could be a few days, a few months, or even a few years. As there is no time in God's realm...an hour to God is noted to be 7 years.
12 “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” (Revelation 17:12)
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall magnify himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human hand.” (Daniel 8:23-25)
In this part, we have quickly covered the first three chapters of Revelation, and we are on the cusp of John being transported into the spirit world, and standing in the throne room of Almighty God. What does He see? Most of the symbolism just clouds the mind of the biblical babe in Christ or the unbeliever who for some reason, could care less...Oh, but they will care, when the visions presented are fulfilled in real time and they are living in a horror they wish they could wake up from, for it is truly a nightmare beyond the imagination of anyone who cares to study what is coming.
But let us note what the first verse of this passage speaks of. “behold, a door was opened in heaven”...now where did we hear about a door being opened, as I hinted to that earlier of this journey we are taking? Remember what our Lord said to the church at Philadelphia at near the end of chapter 3?
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” (Revelation 3:7-8)
The Lord Jesus has the key of government and authority in and over the church. He opens a door of opportunity to his churches; he opens a door of utterance to his ministers; he opens a door of entrance, and opens the heart. He shuts the door of heaven against the foolish, who sleep away their day of grace; and against the workers of iniquity, how vain and confident soever they may be. But here a door is opened to the church at Philadelphia and I see a connection between this door mentioned to only the Philadelphia church at the end of chapter three and of the age having a door opened unto them which we see in the beginning of the next chapter quoted in the opening verses.
CHAPTER FOUR, THE THRONE ROOM OF GOD
The apostle John is whisked away in the spirit, much like Paul was taken to the third heaven and God showed him mysteries that had not been revealed in the preceding centuries of Biblical prophecy. (2nd Corinthians 12:2) Here John has just been writing about the last two churches on earth, which as we discovered, the Church of Philadelphia will be those who are taken up, snatched away by force, which is the meaning of “harpazo” that Paul spoke of in his epistles to the Corinthians (1st Corinthians 15:52) and the Thessalonians (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17). As our Lord has the key to unlock the door to those who belong to Him, and the key of government for the coming ages, John enters the very throne room of God, and the description of what he saw makes this old minister reel with awe in my mind of what it must have looked like. This is similar to what the prophet Daniel saw when he saw the Lord of Glory.
3 “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.” (Revelation 4:3-6)
Note the symbolism of “He who sat” on the throne? The stones it speaks of are the jasper and sardine which in color are a fiery red, which speaks of what Paul said about our God.
28 “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
29 For our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)
Although God the Father is a Spirit, many places in the Bible describes His power as a burning fire. The Prophet Daniel which meshes with what John saw, describes our God also as a consuming fire.
9 “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.
10 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.” (Daniel 9:9-10)
A most powerful description of the Creator of the Universe, who has a rainbow and the color of emerald surrounding His throne. The latter half of this verse shows us these surrounded by the emerald-colored bow, the evident symbol of the divine mercy. The allusion to the bow in the cloud given to Noah after the flood (Genesis 9:12-16) is obvious; the bow completely encircled the throne, as mercy encompassing judgment.
But notice verse 4 of this chapter?
4 “And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” (Revelation 4:4)
I covered this in my first sermon in this chapter, in the “Book of the Apocalypse”, but it must be covered here to make a point of who these elders are. The description of these elders give them away. Recall that the Church of Philadelphia was spoken of in terms of God's government, and that Jesus has the Keys of David, His earthly ancestor? As John enters the throne room of God, those who surround the throne of our ABBA Father, are signs of rulers, elders which is another word for those who have been given authority. They number 24 which is multiple of the number 12 (12x2) with 12 being in biblical numerology the sign of government. Note their description as being seated on thrones round about God's Throne, so being seated they are at rest. They have finished their work. They have crowns on their heads which is spoken of in other pages of your bible. Given most likely at the Bema Judgment seat of Christ for things done for Jesus Christ on earth. (1st Corinthians chp. 3)
12” Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12)
8” Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”(2nd Timothy 4:8)
They are clothed with white raiment, which in the pages of this book, is a sign of the saints. When speaking of the church, she is also clothed in white raiment but goes even further to describe the clothes she wears.
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.:(Revelation 19:8)
So the description fits the details of the Church of the Living God who has been taken through the open door, and now sits on thrones, clothed with white raiment, with crowns of righteousness on their heads. No angel has ever had the honor of sitting with God on thrones and given the description that these elders are given. No angel has ever been called an elder, but minister of fire that serve the heirs of salvation...that would be us, the Church of God glorified and entirely human but now an everlasting spirit of flesh and bone, just as Jesus was described when He came to His apostles. John sees the government of God in His throne room.
Further, the descriptions of the beast that surround the throne are analogous what what the prophet Daniel saw with their six wings, but here describes them with faces of an eagle, an ox or calf, a lion, and a man. These are the same faces that were the symbols used for the Hebrew children in the wilderness when they camped with 3 tribes each to the north, the south, the east, and the west of the Temple or Tabernacle of God in the wilderness. A picture on earth, what was seen in heaven in eternity. Twelve tribes, twelve apostles, the Old testament and the New Testament represented here and another sign of the church glorified.
The Throne room is all about giving God glory and praise for what He has done for us. Whenever the beast cry aloud:
“Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,
10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:8b-11)
We and all those who surround the throne of God give Him glory, honor and praise, for He is worthy of all adoration. Such is the scene that John saw in chapter four, that sets up the coming of the Messiah into the presence of God the Father.
Next time, we will see our Lord Jesus come and take the title deed to His creation preceding the beginning of the Tribulation and the revealing of the Anti-Christ. Destruction will begin and will increase exponentially as we go along....but how do you miss what is coming?
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19)
8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”(Romans 10:8-13)
Do not put off what I am describing, as the horror of the coming Tribulation that I will describe in the next part, is so horrific, that no one who is sane would want to go through...Admit you are a sinner, that Jesus died for you, rose again to live forevermore..then repent of your sins, accept Jesus as Lord of your life and turn and follow Him as is mortally possible this side of the rapture....
2 “(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”(2nd Corinthians 6:2)
Join us next time, as we explore further into this book that these horrific details you must avoid, but is written for our time and for our salvation....As God, our Savior gives this Revelation to John and to us...
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you come to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus and avoid the destruction of your body and possibly your soul in the coming Tribulation....if you have question, need prayer, or just a friendly listening ear, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless you all,
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Where Do We Go from Here? - By Alice Childs - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/11/12/where-do-we-go-from-here-by-alice-childs/
Well, in 2020 it certainly seems like the hits just keep coming, don’t they? The latest one in the eyes of the Remnant Church, of course, being not just the personages involved in this election, but the vastly differing worldviews that are clashing head on – worldviews that are at the very heart of what this nation stands for.
The real issue here is that we are in the final seconds of the last days right before Jesus raptures out His Church and the juggernaut of God’s judgment descends on this depraved, demonic, utterly Satanic world via the onrushing Tribulation. We keep reminding ourselves that the Holy Spirit, writing through the Apostle Paul, told us explicitly how people would behave and how events would be during these last days. The Apostle John addressed the Remnant Church in the last days in Revelation 3 when Jesus revealed to him the “little strength” of the last days true Church vs the rising colossus of the false “church,” within whose midst Jesus Christ was outside the door, not even within the midst of that false harlot Church.
Even Jesus Himself, in the Olivet Discourse, when speaking to Israel who will be here during the coming “Time of Jacob’s Trouble,” warned them (and those of us living on the cusp of that time just before the Church is taken out) that “these things MUST happen. We are now living right smack in the middle of those “perilous times” about which the writers of the New Testament warned. We are witnessing, indeed, LIVING through them as they grow worse and worse while the world moves further down the road to the judgment-bound return of the days of Noah and Lot. We are not headed there; we’re there already!
So, with all that has already occurred in 2020, and with the further results of this election and the next year looming over us promising even greater peril, what does this mean for our freedom to continue to operate unfettered and uncensored? And what does it mean for our personal ability to worship, share the gospel, to be free to continue on with the mandate God has given us to remain faithful and “occupy” until He comes?
This is what I want to address here. I want to let you know what COULD lie just over the horizon with regards to freedom on social media – what our response should be as Christians to remain faithful to our calling so that no matter what comes our way, we may each, like Paul, be able to say “I have run the race; I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.”
First off, with regards to Christian groups we’re in and our own personal pages on Facebook, we have already been seeing much more restrictive policy changes with regards to censorship. We must expect that to not just continue, but to increase exponentially should God allow the Democrats to gain control of the government, as certainly appears to be the case in His omniscient, omnipotent, plan. In the coming days, weeks, and months, we will very likely lose much of our ability to speak the truth of scripture and/or have what we’ve already shared removed. Unless the Lord intervenes and preserves our freedom, we expect this to happen.
So, what will happen to our groups and personal pages should Facebook censorship become even more draconian than it already is? The answer to that is this:
Should we get to the point where God allows Facebook to begin to actively censor, remove, restrict, or attempt to change our content; should Facebook attempt to force us to compromise the purity of the gospel and sound doctrine, then we should leave Facebook rather than allow the gospel to be curtailed or censored. We should not compromise the verity of the gospel, nor move one millimeter from the foundational doctrines of God’s holy Word.
For as long as we are free to speak forth the non-negotiable gospel here in this venue, we should continue to do so. However, if/when the time should come when we are no longer free to do that, then we will have completed what God placed us here to do. So, unless or until that time, should it ever come, before we are snatched out in the rapture, we can remain right here praying for each other, encouraging the brethren, teaching sound doctrine, and sharing the gospel.
Now, as for each of us personally, I’d like to give us all a few tips on how to help us have peace in the midst of all the chaos that will certainly be growing worse the closer the world reels toward the horrific judgment of the coming Tribulation. As believers saved by the grace of God alone, the Holy Spirit is sealed within us, and we of all people know and have utter peace and complete joy in Christ – even in the midst of dark and evil days. What we need to do now is to focus steadfastly on WHO God is – His character and nature as revealed to us through His holy Word, and to focus on His great Plan of the Ages that is right now being brought to pass.
None of what is happening now or what will happen next week, next month, or next year is taking God by surprise – not one thing. God has ordained the end from the beginning. All that He has ordained will unfold exactly according to HIS plan. His plan for the redemption of the ages, for “whosoever” is willing to believe in Him by faith, is right on track. We simply have to trust Him and remain obedient to what He has called us to do.
Following are some tips and things that we can do to keep our focus where it should be and keep our hearts and minds from becoming weighted down with depression or our lives paralyzed by fear.
(1) DON’T stay glued to the news! I don’t mean don’t stay abreast of what’s going on, but DO NOT DWELL on the news in any venue 24/7. All that does is depress us and causes us to fear. Constant news watching takes our focus away from God outworking His plan, and puts our focus onto those who THINK that they are in control. Remember, Jesus told us that these things MUST happen. God is in complete control. He always has been; He is now, and He always shall be. He is God.
(2) Spend more time in the Word! Read the Psalms. Read the books of the New Testament that pertain to the Church. Read chapters 4-5 of Revelation and truly grasp what we will soon be seeing and doing once we are caught up to worship Almighty God around His emerald-encircled throne in Heaven! Set aside time each day to meditate on God’s promises. Don’t look at scripture in light of the news, but look at the news in light of the sure prophetic Word. Focus on our blessed hope, not on any situation we may find ourselves in at any given moment.
(3) UNPLUG from the news AND from social media AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE! Begin to wean yourself off of it all. Social media is highly addictive! Get OFF the news sites, OFF YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, et al and spend more time actually doing something relaxing to mind, body, and soul. Bake cookies with your little ones. Take a walk if you’re able, sit out in the sun if it’s warm or by the fire if it’s not. Relearn how to have a conversation one on one with family and friends. Turn OFF the TV and put down your cell phone, tablets, iPads etc. Take the time that you’re not on social media to prepare your “left-behind” boxes. Ready your home so that if the Lord allows, those left behind will be able to find not just food and clothing in your home, but a treasure trove of Bibles, teaching materials, and books that will help them.
(4) Listen to hymns. Put on some soothing instrumental music or find some great old hymns of the faith and sing along. If you like, play some classical music or go out as you are able and just enjoy nature if it’s warm enough to do that where you live. Do things that calm your nerves and fill your senses with the wonder of God’s creation. Ponder on what it will be like when Jesus returns to earth to set up His PEACEABLE KINGDOM.
(5) Set aside time each day where you are alone with God to pray. Pray, of course, for the lost, but pray too for our brethren worldwide and for God’s faithful pastors and watchmen. Pray for the protection and deliverance of the babies and children. Pray for the strength of the Remnant Church. Pray for Israel. Pray for those who will come to belief AFTER the Church is raptured out – those who will become believers during the Tribulation who will have to face death for their faith. Pray for the 144,000 Jews from each of the 12 tribes of Israel whom God will seal as His witnesses once the Church is gone and the Tribulation begins.
Pray for the salvation of ALL who are in leadership – even if, ESPECIALLY if, they are our enemies. The vast majority of them are most likely reprobates already having been given over by God, but only He knows the hearts of every individual, so pray for them. Pray that God will bring in the fullness of the Gentiles soon so that the Church – Christ’s body – may be complete. Pray that the rapture happens soon without delay!
(6) As long as you are able, take every opportunity to share the gospel on social media. Should the time come when we are no longer free to do that here or elsewhere online, then buy or make some gospel tracts and leave them everywhere you can: in grocery carts, in public restrooms, with your tip at a restaurant if you’re in a place where you can still get out and about. And what if those freedoms too are taken away in another lockdown? Well, NO ONE – not Satan nor every devil of Hell can stop the prayers of the Saints!
In closing, I want to encourage us all to keep our eyes, our minds, our hearts, on Jesus ALONE. We know that we are most likely facing dark, unprecedented times. We must prepare ourselves and our loved ones to face the possibility that we may be called upon to go through even darker waters before our Deliverer comes to catch us out. Perhaps, in His mercy, God will keep us from that, or perhaps not. Still, we must face the possibility, should that be part of God’s will for us. Yet, never forget that HE IS COMING, and His coming can be at any time!
Don’t focus on all that is wrong and getting “wronger.” Focus instead on the immutable truth that all these things are what MUST happen so that we, the Remnant Church, can be raptured out before God’s judgment begins. God is getting ready to judge this wicked, sin-loving, God-hating world in order that His thousand-year kingdom can be inaugurated on a restored and renovated earth – after which ALL sin will be forever banished, and we will dwell with our God and Savior Jesus Christ throughout eternity.
Keep looking up! MARANATHA!
From This Day On I Will Bless You – Jack Kelley - https://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/spiritual-life/from-this-day-on-i-will-bless-you/
Seek His Kingdom
On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai: “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says: If a person carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ ” The priests answered, “No.”
Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”
“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.” Then Haggai said, ” ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the LORD. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.
Note: Jack wrote this in 2008 during the great recession. For many of us, this year has been much tougher than it was 12 years ago, but no matter our current situation, the principles he talks about here are timeless. I’m also comforted by Jack’s reminder that as believers, we’re not held captive to the fate of our nation like the Israelites were. ~Samantha
” ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on —consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD’s temple. When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,’ declares the LORD.
‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. ” ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ “ (Haggai 2:10-19)
After returning from the Babylonian captivity the Jews had faced a lot of resistance in trying to rebuild their Temple. Finally they gave up, wrongly deciding that perhaps it wasn’t God’s timing. When they did, they faced another kind of trouble as well. They lost the Lord’s favor, and from then on no matter how hard they worked they weren’t successful. Each time they thought they were getting ahead, they discovered they were actually getting further behind. Even their offerings weren’t pleasing to Him.
On the day they they turned back to the construction of the Lord’s house, this all stopped and He restored their blessings. What was the lesson? He wanted them to put His house first, especially in times of persecution.
The Lord’s depletion of their stored up goods is a model of today’s losses, first in the decline of the dollar and now in the decline of property values. The dollar has lost much of it’s previous value in the world markets, making the foreign made products we buy, or those made of imported materials, more expensive. (Try to find something on your shopping list that doesn’t fit into one or the other of those two categories.)
In most of the US the average home is still worth less than it was a few years ago. Since most people didn’t have a lot of equity in their homes to begin with, that means the average home owner still owes more on his or her property can it can be sold for. Estimated losses for the Real Estate market are counted in billions of dollars. Retired Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan called this situation a “once-in-a-century” financial disaster, and it’s impacting financial markets all over the world.
The blight, mildew, and hail of Haggai 2 are models of the natural disasters that are also afflicting us now. As it was with the Israelites, the fruits of our labors are disappearing, and our offerings are not pleasing to the Lord.
Things that were external and physical in the Old Testament often become internal and spiritual in the New. In the Old Testament the Temple was a building in Jerusalem, but in the New Testament we are the Temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16) and things aren’t national anymore, they’re personal. The good news is that as believers we’re not held captive to the fate of our nation like the Israelites were. In 2 Chron. 7:14 the Lord promised the Israelites,
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
This was a promise to the Jewish people that if as a nation they would return to their covenant relationship with God he would restore His blessings on the Promised Land. The New Testament application of this promise for the Church can be found in Matt. 6:31-33.
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This is a promise to each of us personally. We’re not to worry about how we’ll get by. We’re to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given us as well. The Lord’s feeding of the multitudes (Matt. 14:13-21, Matt. 15:29-39) was meant to teach us that He is able to provide when we’re willing to let Him. The feeding of 5,000 is the only one of His many pre-resurrection miracles that’s described in all four gospels, which means that except for the Resurrection it was His most important one.
Now that doesn’t mean we can sit back like baby birds with our mouths open crying, “Feed me.” Paul said that he who will not work shall not eat. (2 Thes. 3:10) But it does mean that we are to put our trust in Him to take care of us regardless of the circumstances, to do the work He gives us no matter what it is, and concentrate on coming closer to Him.
Let’s Get Personal
The time is coming soon when every Christian family in America will either have a personal experience of miraculous survival in the face of financial disaster or will know of one who has. In each case the story will be the same as it was for the Jews of Haggai’s day. As soon as they stopped worrying about their own lives and turned back to the business of building the Lord’s Temple, His blessings were restored. As soon as we stop worrying about how we’re going to survive the potentially difficult days ahead and focus our lives on Him we’ll experience the same result.
Please don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not talking about some external application of legalism. I’m not talking about mindless obedience to rules and commandments while our hearts are in rebellion. I’m talking about an inner reliance on the Lord, about restoring our faith in both His ability and His desire to provide for us.
There’s no prophecy we can point to for assurance that the Lord will save the United States. Applying Old Testament promises meant for Israel to the US is just another form of replacement theology. This is not a national issue. This is a personal one, and each one of us will determine the outcome for our own lives.
The very day that Israel decided to resume building the Lord’s House He restored their blessings. This is a part of the prophecy you can claim for yourself. The very day you determine in your heart to place your life in His hands He will begin blessing you.
That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll all get to keep everything we now have. Some of our possessions are actually the cause of our problems, both because we’ve over spent to get them and because they’ve taken our focus off the Lord. Some of them have even enslaved us, and were much more fun in the getting than they are in the having. Many came with ongoing ownership costs like interest or other fees that eat away at our resources.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God (2 Cor. 9:11)
The Lord will show you what, if anything, has to go. And don’t worry about incurring losses. If He tells you to get rid of something and you obey, then over time He’ll restore your losses. How do I know this? Three reasons. One, He wants you to store up treasure in Heaven. (Matt. 6:19-21) Two, He’s promised that if you follow His direction you’ll be made rich in every way so you can be generous on every occasion (2 Cor. 9:11). You can’t do either of these if you’re taking huge losses. And Three He promised to repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2:25) That means when you turn back to Him He’ll give you joy in return for the misery you’ve caused yourself.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Luke 6:38).
But don’t think He’ll restore your fortunes just so you can keep all your toys, or get them all back. That’s the failure of the so-called prosperity gospel. The Lord’s promise is that we’ll be made rich so we can be generous, not so we can be irresponsible or selfish. It’s in being generous that we store up treasure in Heaven, where no form of property or currency devaluation can do us harm. Generous people are also the happiest people. See how it works?
Some will say, “I’m so far in debt even if I started today it would take 10 years to get out.” I say, “How much debt will you have in 10 years if you don’t start today? The way I see things shaping up, you can either downsize voluntarily and do it the easy way, or you can wait till you’re forced to and do it the hard way.
Now I know better than anyone that the rapture could come any day now and spare us all these things. But if you’re part of the 90% of believers with a secular world view, the longer He waits the more time you’ll have to finally start storing up treasure in Heaven, where it will benefit you forever. When you know you’re moving to a different city soon, you begin thinking about your new home and what your life will be like there. Take my word for it, you’re moving to a different city soon, so you’d better start thinking about it. Remember, our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil 3:20).
I used to pray for more money so I could pay the bills on my outrageous lifestyle. I didn’t get it. Now I live on less than one third of what I used to spend and in every sense I’m wealthier than I was. Now I pray for more money so I can give more to His work, and He always sends it. You think maybe there’s a lesson in there somewhere?
Daily Jot: Top Dems complained about Dominion Voting Systems errors–Today Silence – Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
On December 6, 2019, leading congressional Democrats wrote three private equity companies seeking information on their interests in “secretive and “trouble-plagued companies,” responsible for manufacturing and maintaining voting machines and other election administration equipment, that “have long skimped on security in favor of convenience,” leaving voting systems across the country “prone to security problems. Named in the letters were ES&S, Hart InterCivic, and Dominion Voting Systems, which the letter said provide voting machines and software that “facilitate voting for over 90% of all eligible voters in the United States.”
The letters of inquiry were signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and US Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI), none of which are currently supporting the investigations into Dominion Voting Systems. The letter states: “In 2015, election officials in at least 31 states, representing approximately 40 million registered voters, reported that their voting machines needed to be updated, with almost every state “using some machines that are no longer manufactured.” Moreover, even when state and local officials work on replacing antiquated machines, many continue to “run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.”
“In 2018 alone “voters in South Carolina [were] reporting machines that switched their votes after they’d inputted them, scanners [were] rejecting paper ballots in Missouri, and busted machines [were] causing long lines in Indiana.” In addition, researchers recently uncovered previously undisclosed vulnerabilities in “nearly three dozen backend election systems in 10 states.” And, just this year, after the Democratic candidate’s electronic tally showed he received an improbable 164 votes out of 55,000 cast in a Pennsylvania state judicial election in 2019, the county’s Republican Chairwoman said, “[n]othing went right on Election Day. Everything went wrong. That’s a problem.” These problems threaten the integrity of our elections and demonstrate the importance of election systems that are strong, durable, and not vulnerable to attack.”
Today, Democratic leaders are silent about Dominion Voting Systems, which is demonstrating the very same issues raised in the letters. If these voting systems were a threat to the integrity of US elections in 2019, they are no less a threat today. For the good of our nation, Democrats and Republicans alike should demand election integrity and work together to get to the bottom of this election’s fraud. But that will not happen because political power and the riches that accompany it await the victor. This is like the Biblical dispute between two women who claimed the same baby. In 1 Kings 3 King Solomon was to divide the baby in half with a sword. The true mother said allow the child to live and in verse 26, the other mother said, “Let it be neither mine or hers, but divide it.” And hence, you see which is determined to destroy a nation.
Daily Devotion: A Change of Heart - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. —Titus 3:5
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/a-change-of-heart/ - Listen
In Paul’s day, the religious Jews were turning to legalism. They thought because they practiced such things as circumcision, they were right with God. Now, God had commanded circumcision for Jewish males, so it was an important rite.
But the apostle Paul called them out when he said, “In fact, uncircumcised Gentiles who keep God’s law will condemn you Jews who are circumcised and possess God’s law but don’t obey it” (Romans 2:27 NLT).
The “uncircumcised Gentiles” Paul referred to were essentially nonbelievers who came to faith in Christ. Paul was saying, “If they’re doing what the Word of God says, then they’re better off than you who have been circumcised and aren’t doing what God’s Word says.”
In other words, doing outward things won’t save us.
Paul went on to say, “No, a true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law; rather, it is a change of heart produced by the Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks praise from God, not from people” (Romans 2:29 NLT).
In our day we might say, “I was baptized” or “I was raised in the church” or “My parents are Christians.” I’m glad to hear that. And I’m glad your parents are Christians. But those things don’t make you a Christian.
In fact, Jesus criticized the Pharisees for publically doing spiritual things so they would receive applause from other people.
It’s never about the things we do that make us right with God. Rather, it’s about what God has done for us. God sent His Son to die on the cross in our place and make us acceptable to Him, not through what we’ve done, but through what Christ did for us.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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