I’m Coming Mimi!


As I was spending time in prayer this week, I felt the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit tell me to write about the return of Jesus.

While there are differences of opinion among our family members as to when Jesus’ return will happen, the key point that we must focus on is that He is coming!!!

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thess. 4:16-17

When Jesus returns, there will be a shout, and the sound of a trumpet, and the emptying of graves and the flight of the believers. No fear of heights! No need for wings! Jets will have to move out of the way to prepare a pathway to the reunion of the righteous! Get out of the way stars! Get out of the way sun and moon! The victory parade of the righteous is happening!

I grew up with people who believed in Jesus and I heard about His return all my life. My grandmother used to talk about something called, “The Rapture”. She would say, “Parkey, you have to be ready! Jesus is returning for those who are His!”

What is this “rapture”?

Rapture – the Latin word for “caught up, to seize, to carry off, to snatch away”.

My grandmother told me that we need to be busy while we are on the earth to minister to others, yet her focus was always upon this “Rapture”. Everything she did revolved around the certainty of this singular event.

Jesus talked about this event; angels talked about this event; the apostles talked about this event – the return of Jesus Christ is the central event of all Christianity!

 Jesus talked of His return over and over. In the book of Revelation, Jesus says:

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 22:12

Believers in Jesus need not fear hell. Jesus has taken their punishment upon Himself. Yet, a sobering and wonderful thought lies in the fact that each of His children will stand before the Lord to receive our reward. The seat of reward is called, “The Bema Seat”.

The concept of the Bema Seat comes from the ancient Olympics, where a judge would sit on the Bema Seat at the finish line. The judge’s purpose was to determine what position the runners came in-first, second, and so on-and then to give out the appropriate rewards. That is the imagery behind what is known as the Bema Seat. 

Also known as the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Bema Seat is described in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15

 “If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”

Your gold, silver, and costly stones are works done for the glory of God, with the right motive, and in dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Each of us who are believers will have this appointment with Christ.

The Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ are separate events.

The Rapture occurs when Jesus returns for His church. 1 Cor. 15:51-52

The Second Coming of Christ occurs when Jesus returns with His church to defeat the Antichrist and begin His Millennial Reign. Rev. 19

When will this rapture occur?

But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Matt. 24:36

Many have tried to predict, and up to this point, all have been wrong!

People are still trying to predict the time of Jesus’ appearing. While He gave us signposts to know it is near, prediction is not to be our focus. Look at what Jesus said to His disciples upon His departure:

Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time, restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8

This is a word for you and I. We are to focus on being His witnesses not trying to figure out His return. If you’re ready, you’re ready whenever He comes!

For those who are not living in view of His return, the day WILL catch them unaware.

But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:48-51

What are they going to say when the church is gone?

That a cataclysmic leap in evolution took place? That the “weakest” of society were suddenly destroyed to make room for the survival of the fittest? That the sky rolled back and those who were stuck in the past were abducted by aliens?

I don’t know but you don’t want to be here while they try to explain it.

But, for those who live with His return at the center of their existence:

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen!”

Then one of the elders answered saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.”So he said to me, These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:9-17

Can you see yourself in that gathering? If not, how do you get there? 

I see my grandmother there! “I’m coming, Mimi, just like you told me!”

 

 

 

 

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The Sword of the Lord


At the beginning of every new year, many attempt to get a word that characterizes that year – what God has in store for that specific time. I myself try to get alone with the Lord and find out what He is saying to me and to the church I pastor at the close of each year and before the beginning of a new one.

I believe that God has His own calendar that He works within. Many people believe He works within the Jewish calendar since it is the one that God instituted. I have no problem with that line of thought. The Jewish New Year begins at Rosh Hashanah which usually occurs the first or second week of our month of September. This year, because of Leap Year, the Jewish New Year began in early October – the second to be exact. I usually hear the word the Lord has for me and the church around the time of Rosh Hashanah. I’ve already heard the word for the upcoming year.

Many folks try to ascertain what God is saying or going to do by looking at where we are on the Jewish calendar. Again, I have no problem with this view. I do believe the Jewish feasts play a large role in the prophetic purposes of God. Every significant event that surrounded the first coming of Christ happened on a Jewish feast day. Why would it seem strange that His second coming would also happen on corresponding Jewish feast days?

Ok, back to my exact point.

At the beginning of each Jewish New Year, those who believe God fulfills prophecy according to the Jewish calendar seek to find out what is in store according to factors surrounding the new year. This is done through a combination of biblical numerology, prophecy, signs in the heavens, etc. Too much to cover today.

Some believe that the current Jewish year 5777 carries significance. There are a lot of reasons for this but this to something I want to bring out.

In the Hebrew culture, each letter of the Alpha Bet has deep meaning. Each letter also corresponds to a number according to its numerical place in the Alpha Bet order. The number “7” corresponds to the Hebrew letter “zayin” which is the seventh letter in the Hebrew Alpha Bet. One intrinsic meaning of the Hebrew letter “zayin” is “sword”. The letter itself even looks like a sword. The Hebrew year we just entered has 3 “sevens” or “zayins” in it. In the Bible, seven is often used as the number to signify “completion” or “perfection”. The number “5” corresponds to “grace” or “salvation”. In Revelation, we see that the number of man is “666”. Therefore, the number of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is 777.

Many see this year as the end of the time of grace and the beginning of the time of Christ’s return and judgment. Again, this conclusion comes from more factors than just numerology. Most of these same folks believe that three “sevens” or “zayins” in this year also signifies the appearance of the “sword of God’s judgment”.

In my spirit, I have heard the Lord speaking of the sword.

I do believe we are going to see the sword of the Lord go forth this year. This is great news for true believers and not such good news for those who are on the fence or unsaved. The primary instrument that corresponds with the sword of the Lord in the Bible is the Word of God.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

In the book of Revelation, we see Jesus speaking a word and the word becomes a sharp sword that destroys His enemies.

The Lord told me at the beginning of this election cycle: “When I am done with my work in this season, you will know who everyone really is because I am in the process of revealing the deep things and uncovering the hidden things.”

I believe this has come to pass. We have had new revelations almost daily in this election – new revelations regarding what those running for office and in positions of authority have done. Due to the unconventional nature of this election and the candidates running, I have learned things I didn’t know about leaders who used to be in positions of authority in this land (Romney, Bush, etc.). This is revelation is going to continue into the year 2017.

The word of the Lord is going out to reveal who is really His and who is not. This year could also contain some serious judgments against people or things lined up against the will of God.

Could Jesus return this year?

I believe that is a possibility. I know many have tried to pin this time down and have failed. I am not going to definitively say it is, but many things are lining up prophetically as never before.

The prophecy shown above was given by a rabbi in the 1200’s. While this is not a prophecy found in the Bible, every event has taken place exactly as said so far! How interesting!

Are you ready for the year of the sword? If not, please, please make Jesus lord of all. The sword will divide, sever, and reveal. If you are under His lordship, it will reveal that. If not, it will reveal that as well.

This could be the best year of your life! You are one decision away from seeing the reality of what God has for you!

 

Second Coming of Christ


Today, I will write what I believe will be the next to the last blog in the current series about the last days. In these blogs, I’ve presented what I consider to be an overview of what will happen at the end of this age. Some topics we’ve looked at up to this point include characteristics of the last days, the rapture, and the tribulation.

Now, let’s look at the Second Coming of Christ and the events leading up to His return.

At His first appearance, Christ came as a baby. He grew into a man with His purpose being to redeem humanity back to God. The next time He comes will be different from the first. Jesus will not come as a baby but as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will be coming to destroy the forces arrayed against God and to deliver His people.

In order to get a good grasp upon His second coming, let’s take a look at the events leading up to His appearance.

Before Christ’s return, the world will be in a terrible period called “The Tribulation.” Terrible judgments from the hand of God will be poured out upon the earth during this period. As we said last time, one of the most terrible judgments will be the rising of a satanic leadership team which will rule most of the known world. Known biblically as the Antichrist and the False Prophet, these two men will seek to change the laws of the world under the guise of peace.

In the middle of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will come up with a plan to put a stop to the Jewish sacrifices that are being offered in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. Whether this is a response to animal activists demanding the stop of animal sacrifices or for another reason, the Antichrist will enter the Temple, stop the sacrifices and declare himself to be God.

Daniel 11:31-32: “And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

 While this is happening on earth, there will be a war in heaven. Michael and his angels will defeat Satan and his angels, confining them to the earth. (Revelation 12) This is the beginning of the three and one-half years in when Satan will persecute Israel and the true church of Jesus Christ. Jesus said of this period of time:

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matt. 24: 15-21

During this period, God will send two witnesses who will prophesy, perform miracles, smite the earth with plagues, and destroy any who try to stop them. At the end of their ministry, the Antichrist will kill them. Their bodies will lie in the streets of Jerusalem for three and one-half days. At the end of these days, the Lord will raise them from the dead and call them up to heaven.

At the end of the final three and one-half years of the Tribulation, the seven final plagues or judgments of God are poured out upon the earth. The sixth judgment is the gathering of the armies of the Antichrist together to invade Israel. The battle will be joined at the Plain of Megiddo, a place biblically known as Armageddon.

It appears, according to Zechariah, chapters 12-14 that Israel will fight valiantly but lose ground. The IDF will make its final stand in the city of Jerusalem; possibly even losing half of the city in the battle. With defeat appearing certain, the seventh judgment will be poured out upon the earth; Jesus will appear at the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). When His feet touch the mountain, a great earthquake will occur splitting the Mount of Olives in two, killing seven thousand people in the process. Israel will recognize their Messiah and receive Him as Lord and God, fulfilling the word of the Lord given by Paul in Romans 11:25-26 – “and all Israel shall be saved.”

During this time, great hailstones will fall from the sky with each hailstone weighing approximately 75 LB. With the armies of heaven with Him, Jesus will but speak a word and the entire army of the Antichrist will be destroyed. Revelation 14:19 tells about the extent of the victory:

“So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside of the city and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses’ bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”

One thousand six hundred furlongs is approximately 200 miles!

Then comes the end of the Tribulation.

The Antichrist is captured, along with the False Prophet. They are cast alive into the lake of fire. And the rest of the Antichrist’s army is killed with the sword from the mouth of Jesus.

The final event of the Second Coming is the captivity of the devil.

An angel comes down from heaven with a great chain in his hand. He binds the devil and casts him into the bottomless pit until the end of the millennium.

This ushers in the final period of the End Times called the Millennial Reign of Christ. This we will look at next time.

The Satanic Leadership Team


For the last three times we have been together, I have been writing about the end times.  If you are new, this is intended to familiarize you with the events that are prophesied to occur at the end of the age. So far, we have:

Discussed the signs that let us know we are in the last days.

Studied the rapture: what it is and when it will occur.

Defined the Tribulation and the signs of its arrival.

This time, we will take a look at some significant people and events of the Tribulation.

The Tribulation will be the most traumatic period in the history of the world. During this period, God will pour out His wrath upon the earth in a series of judgments which are described at length in the book of Revelation.

Satan will be unusually active during the Tribulation and his work will center around two individuals.

  1. Antichrist

The Antichrist is a man who will be given enormous power by Satan. He will use this power to become the dominant leader of the world.

Revelation 13:1-2: “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. Verse 7-8: “And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

The book of Revelation, as well as most prophetic literature is written in figurative language. Each description of the Antichrist details a feature of his nature or dominion. In Revelation, he is called, “the beast.” In Daniel 9:26, he is called, “the prince who is to come.” Whatever the description, this man will be enormously powerful and deceptive. He will not only rule over the world politically but will also use his power to become the object of the world’s worship. Yet, the worship of this man will be more than the worship of a man; it will be overt worship of Satan himself.

Revelation 13:4: “So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast.”

The Antichrist will probably initially appear on the scene as a man of peace. He will guarantee peace for Israel and the Middle East by brokering a seven year peace treaty. It appears that this treaty will include the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. After this, he will begin to assert his power. He will initially have power over one nation. He will then conquer three more nations and then, assume authority over a ten nation federation which will lead to his power over the entire world.

His plan for world domination (probably described as “world peace”) will include three tenets:

One world currency

One world government

One world religion

His society will be cashless with every transaction electronically monitored. He will accomplish this by each person receiving a mark on their right hand or on their forehead which will be necessary to buy and sell.

How can a man rise to such authority?

Possibly by emulating the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Revelation 13:3: “I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.”

In response to rebellion, war, or even the prophetic ministry of the two witnesses of God in Jerusalem, the Antichrist will go to Jerusalem and stop all sacrifice to anyone other than himself and will declare himself to be god. He will persecute Israel and those who are Christians. His maniacal reign will only be stopped through divine intervention of the Lord Himself.

  1. False Prophet

The False Prophet will assist the Antichrist by performing miracles which will cause the entire world to worship the Antichrist and Satan. This demonic religious man will even be able to make an image of the beast “come to life” to deceive the people. He will make fire come down from heaven and will be a major part of the deception of promoting the Antichrist as God. It is through the False Prophet, that the plan for one world currency and religion is conceived and enforced.

Revelation 13:11-17: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire to come from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

At the end of the Tribulation, the Antichrist and the False Prophet will be defeated in war by Jesus in the presence of His followers and they will be locked away in the lake of fire forever.

Next time, I’ll write a little about the Second Coming of Christ.