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 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.

The Rapture


Are we truly in the last days of our world? How do we know we are? If so, what can we expect to happen in the days to come?

The Bible gives us signs that identify the period known as the “last days”. Last time we were together, I wrote about some of those signs.

We found according to scripture, that the last days actually began upon the birth of Jesus. The book of Hebrews begins by telling us that the last days began with the appearance of Jesus to His creation. Although the appearance of Jesus was an event that occurred nearly two thousand years ago, the apostle Peter in 2 Peter 3:8-10 teaches us that God counts time more in opportunities to repent than in days, weeks, months, and years. Suddenly, just as in the days of Noah, the end will come as a thief in the night with Jesus returning for His church and those left behind will encounter tragedy and pain like no other period in history.

In the last blog, we looked at some characteristics of the last days; attitudes and happenings that will be signs of the prophesied spiritual condition of those days.

Today, I want to look at another event of the end times: an event known by the church throughout history as “the rapture.”

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 details the event we have come to know as “the rapture.” It is interesting to note that the word, “rapture” is not in the scripture. But, neither are several words we use to describe biblical realities like the words, “Trinity” or “missionary.”

The word “Rapture” in Scripture is taken from the Latin “rapio” for the two words “caught up” used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “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.”

A day is coming when a shout shall come from heaven followed by a trumpet blast and the graves of all those who knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior will arise from the dead and those who are still alive will be “caught up” with them; flying like Mary Poppins without the umbrella and we shall be united together with the Lord in the air never to be separated from Him or one another again!

The word “rapture” is used to describe:

An intense feeling of pleasure or joy.

The book of Titus describes the appearing of Jesus for His children “the blessed hope.” The birth of Jesus started the beginning of the last days. The rapture of the church will signal the beginning of the end times.

Just like many doctrinal positions, the rapture of the church is an event that has several viewpoints.

I want to share those quickly with you now.

  1. Partial Rapture

Belief in this view is that those who are saved and sanctified (living an obedient life) will go to be with Christ while saved, yet unsanctified Christians will remain behind to be purified through the Tribulation. I have problems with this view due to our salvation being a work of Christ alone and the fact that the body of Christ is to be undivided.

  1. Post Tribulation Rapture

Belief in this view is that Christians will go through the Tribulation to receive their inheritance at the end. While I can see why some people believe this, I have some problems with this view. The Tribulation has a purpose: to judge the world and reveal the wrath of God.

1 Thessalonians 5:9: “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Revelation 3:10: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

The Old Testament story of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt which according to 1 Corinthians 10 is a type of what is to come shows the Israelites protected from the judgments of Egypt. At this point, I believe we will not go through the Tribulation.

  1. Mid Tribulation Rapture

Again, while I can see why some believe this view, I don’t believe it for the same reasons I don’t believe in post Tribulation Rapture.

  1. No Rapture

There are some that believe that the church will become so victorious that it will usher in the Millenial Kingdom of Christ.

2 Timothy 3:12-13: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

2 Timothy 3:1: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come..”

In Matthew, chapter 24, Jesus gives His disciples a glimpse of the events of the end times and of His coming. War, persecution, offense, false prophets, apostasy…….these are the events foretold by the One who knows the end from the beginning! Sounds slightly different from what is known in church circles as “Kindgom Now.”

  1. Pre Tribulation Rapture

In this view, Jesus will return for His church and that event will usher in the beginning of the Tribulation.

When you are studying the rapture of the church, there are several things you need to keep in mind. First of all, the second coming of Christ is in two parts, separated by a period of seven years. 

The first part is sometimes referred to as the “Rapture” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1 Corinthians 15:52-58). The second part occurs when Christ physically, bodily returns to this earth on the Mount of Olives from which He ascended. The interval between these two events, known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation, is divided into two, three-and-a-half year periods each. The seventy weeks described in Daniel 9:24-27 speaks of this period as well. The term “week” meaning a seven year period.

The Great Tribulation is the “wrath to come” from which the believer is delivered by the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). The children of God, “because they have kept the word of His patience, will be kept from that hour of trial.” (Revelation 3:10).

I believe that the Scripture teaches that Christians will not be judged with the world when God pours out His wrath in the day of the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” Scripture teaches us to look for the Lord’s return, not for the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1:10 and Titus 2:13).

Whatever God has in store for us, it will be for His glory and could happen at any moment!

Jesus said regarding His second coming, “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” We should live like Jesus is coming today. As we saw through looking at the characteristics of the last days, we are closer than we dare dream!