Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Great Tribulation

The last three and one-half years left on the Time Line are going to be the most devastating years ever seen in the history of mankind. The first spirit, God the Father, has been very patient with his creatures’ disobedience throughout the Time Line. The only other time in history that God intervened and turned his wrath on earth was during the great flood back towards the early part of the Time Line. He did it to save the purity of the human race, but that is another study for later.

This last few years of earth’s existence as we know it are called the Great Tribulation because during this time God is going to throw great hail, fire and what are described as comets down onto earth to destroy the vegetation, the water, and pretty much everything that man needs to survive. These final judgments total 14 in all: 7 trumpet judgments and 7 bowl or vial judgments. The final trumpet judgment opens the first bowl judgment.

The first 3 trumpet judgments destroy a third of all vegetation on earth, then turning a third of the oceans into blood, and finally a third of the fresh water is turned into blood. If you read the book of Revelation chapters 8 through 10, it gives a graphic description of what will happen during these judgments. The fourth trumpet judgment snuffs out a third of the light from the heavens including the sun, moon and stars, which will make things night and day a third darker.

The final 3 trumpet judgments are called the Woe Judgments (Revelation 8:13) because of their terrible nature which begins even more deadly judgments. The fifth trumpet takes up half of Revelation 9 and describes the demonic beings that are given free rein to torment those people left alive on the earth. People will want desperately to die, but they won’t be able to. That completes the first Woe. The sixth trumpet takes up the second half of Revelation 9 and describes assembling the armies of the east, given power by the hand of Satan, to cross the river Euphrates and march to war, killing a third of the people left on earth. Verse 17 describes fire, smoke and brimstone coming out of their mouths which is a great description of tanks today. The Chinese army is the only army in the world that can fulfill the number of soldiers described in Revelation 9. And I recently read a news post that with the new dam on the Euphrates River, the flow of water can be shut down and dry up the river bed. And they had already done it as a test.

The final trumpet judgment opens the way for the bowl judgments. Revelation 15:5 describes the temple in Heaven opening and 7 angels are introduces who hold the last 7 judgments. The first angel pours out the first bowl and all of the people who took the mark of allegiance to the one world government and its leader are affected with terrible sores. When the second bowl is poured out the remainder of the sea coagulates like blood and all the creatures in the oceans die. The third bowl turns all rivers and all fresh water into blood, so no one will have anything to drink.

When the fourth bowl is poured out the sun scorches men with fire. That sounds like our sun going super-nova. Several years ago I read a little article in the back of our newspaper about things happening to our sun and that the scientists were worried. I wish I would have clipped and saved it now, because I have seen subtle changes in the level of light and sunspots in our sun.

The fifth bowl caused darkness over the headquarters and territories of the one world government. We don’t know exactly how that darkness will be caused, but it could be erupting volcanoes as some scholars have suggested. The sixth bowl causes the river Euphrates to completely dry up for the Chinese army to march on Israel and start their military attack. That begins the campaign of Armageddon, the final great battle on earth. The remaining countries bring their armies to the Valley of Megiddo in Israel where they will fight against Israel to completely wipe the nation and its people off the face of the earth. Satan has empowered these armies to do his bidding, lead by the one world leader, and this is his final fight to the death. The only way out for Israel is a direct intervention from God.

At that point the final judgment of the Great Tribulation is poured out with the greatest earthquake that earth has ever experienced, and with huge hailstones thrown down on mankind. A voice from the temple in Heaven said, “It is finished.” Then the second spirit of God, Jesus, came down from Heaven on a white horse followed by the armies of Heaven and destroyed the armies of the earth and kept them from totally destroying Israel. He threw the antichrist (the one world ruler) and his false prophet (who tried to turn all religions into a one world religion) into imprisonment into the one place in all of creation where God is absent. It is called the lake of fire.

At that point Jesus binds Satan and his followers for a thousand years so that they cannot tempt, deceive or harm any person left living at the end of the tribulation. Jesus sets up his throne in the city of Jerusalem to rule the world for a thousand years (called the Millennium). During that time there will be people born on earth who will be disobedient to God and at the end of that thousand years, Satan will be set free for a period of time to test the people to see if they would stay true to God or follow him. The ones who choose to follow Satan will be destroyed and Satan and his followers will be bound forever in the lake of fire.

Then future eternity begins. All the people who wanted God in their lives will be able to live in his presence. Those who rejected God will spend their final phase of life – eternity future – in the one place where God is absent, the lake of fire. God recreates the earth and heaven and creates a new mini-planet/moon called the city of New Jerusalem where those who were part of the church will live. All others who believed God throughout the rest of the Time Line will live on the new earth for eternity future.

Next installment we’ll look at what’s going on in Heaven during these 7 years.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Middle of the Tribulation

As promised, I will elaborate on the middle of the Tribulation period (three-and one-half year mark), during the Seventh Seal Judgment. But first we’ll have to go back to before the Time-Line and the creation of our universe to catch us back up to what is really going on in Heaven and why this one world leader will be taken over by Satan.

Way back in eternity past, before God created his universe and earth, he created messenger spirits. These spirit beings are what we call angels. God had angels that stood around his throne and sang to him and worshiped him. The head worship angel was called Lucifer and was gifted with a voice and the knowledge of music. It was his job to lead the worship around God’s throne. Unfortunately, his talents gave him what we call “the big head” or a bad dose of pride, and he got jealous that the angels weren’t worshiping him. He decided he wanted to be like God and wanted to take over God’s place. At that point, he was kicked out of his place, but not before he spread his discontent among at least a third of the others, and they left with him. I can’t imagine any being, knowing what Heaven and God were like, would turn their backs on all of that and walk away, but he did.  (Isaiah 14: 12-19)

When God created the earth, and then created the first two people, Adam and Eve, Satan figured he could get them, and all their descendents, to follow him instead of God. When Eve listened to Satan, who disguised himself as a snake (the Bible calls him a serpent) and disobeyed God, which was the first sin or act of disobedience to the few laws that God had set up for mankind. The one law that Eve disobeyed was eating a certain fruit in the Garden they lived in – the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Satan deceived her into eating it. But Eve went to Adam and Adam listened to Eve and not God, which was blatant disobedience. God had set it up that Adam was to take care of the garden and his wife and keep Satan out, which he didn’t do very well. The rest is history – they were both kicked out of the Garden before they could eat of the other special fruit of Eternal Life. God was merciful when he kicked them out because they would have lived eternally like Satan and the angels he took with him – without ever having a chance to make it right with God and spending eternity without him.

When God kicked the first couple out of their Garden home, he told them that there would be one coming that would destroy Satan. Of course, Satan heard it, and he has tried to destroy mankind ever since. When God chose Abram to be the head of a new chosen people, the Jews, Satan realized that the chosen one would come out of that race of people, so he has tried his best to destroy them down through the centuries. And when Satan found out that God’s second spirit was born in the nation of Israel, he caused the king of the area to kill all babies that would be around the age that Jesus would be. God had told his step-dad Joseph to run to Egypt so Jesus wouldn’t be killed. Satan thought he had it made when Jesus died on the cross, but since God raised him from the dead, Satan has resumed his fight against Israel and used dictators and armies to kill as many Jews as he could. And when the church was formed, he started in on the people of the church, and has done so ever since.

All these millennia, God has allowed Satan to have an appointment in God’s throne room and allowed him to accuse God’s people. This is going to stop and Satan and all his followers will be permanently kicked out of Heaven right in the middle of the seven year Tribulation. He will be furious, and will put himself inside the world leader and use him as a puppet to rule the world and destroy as many of God’s people as he can. And he is going to use the body of the one world ruler to have the people of the world worship him, just as he wanted to be worshiped before the beginning of time.

Next post – that most terrible time of great tribulation.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Seal Judgments

Shortly after the disappearance of a large number of people, God will begin to deal with Israel’s unbelief in his Son Jesus, and with the rest of the people left on earth. These people either outright rejected God, or didn’t bother to give it a thought and have found themselves left behind in a world that will soon resemble a blockbuster disaster movie for seven years.

I’m sure you have heard the world’s politicians talk about a new world order. Even George W. Bush spoke of it, and started NAFTA, which would put the United Stated grouped with all of north and central America. In the Book of Revelation at the end of the Bible, that would be one of the 10 kingdoms spoken of. In order for one person to rule the whole world, it would have to be divided in larger groups than it is now. Many countries must be grouped together – like the European Union – in order to manage the people, wealth and resources more efficiently. With the invention of the computer and the RFID chip (you’ve seen them in the packages you’ve brought home from the store), anyone can be tracked anywhere in the world today. The technology is already in place. The RFID chip emits a radio signal that can be tracked – in the stores it must be deactivated once the product is paid for or else the receiver at the door will sound an alarm when you leave. The technology is already in place to have that chip – the size of a grain of rice – implanted into people. That is how people will be tracked.

There are 7 Seal judgments which make up the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation period on earth. You’ve heard of the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse? This is where they came from. They are images of 4 things that will happen at the beginning of the Tribulation period. The first horse depicted is a white horse with a rider carrying a bow with no arrows. That means that a leader will arise (a white horse signifies conquest and generals like Napoleon rode them into battle) who will come to world power through peaceful means. That world leader is alive now and waiting in the wings to be revealed. The disappearance of many people (the church) will cause the already unstable world markets to go over the edge and probably cause a cascade effect in the banking system. We all know that many countries, the US included, is printing money in their efforts to keep their monetary systems stable. This catastrophic disappearance will likely trigger a great world stock market crash. This leader will come up with ways to fix these systems, though temporarily, and the people left on earth will demand he be their leader.

Of course, the second horse/seal judgment is the horse of war. There will always be someone who can’t be pleased, and there will be countries that won’t like the solutions, so they will go to war. Probably an escalation of war in the Middle East against Israel will be part of that war.

With war comes famine – the black horse or the third seal judgment.  Even now there many parts of the world under severe drought like the state of California. Food prices here have skyrocketed because of it. Once the bombs start dropping the the tanks start rolling all over the countryside, there will be very few crops left to feed the world’s population and many will starve.

This brings us to the 4th Seal judgment, or the 4th horse of death, the pale horse. Between the wars and the lack of food, many will starve to death and die of diseases on a scale never before seen in history. These judgments are natural judgments which come from man’s actions.

The 5th seal comprises of the saints (those who have given their lives over to Jesus) being killed for their faith. The one world leader will have his own religion and it doesn’t involve God. As I see the rapid rise of the Muslim religion and their demands that one must either accept that religion or die, it makes perfect sense to me that this would be the religion of the world leader and his religious leader.
The 6th seal is made up of turmoil in the heavens and a great earthquake. Revelation chapter 6 and verses 12-17 describe it pretty well.  The great earthquake comes at the same time that the sun turns black and the moon turns red. Stars fall from the heavens – which may be meteorites. The whole effect is so catastrophic that the rich and rulers will hide in the caves and dens, and know in their hearts that it is God’s doing. This is in preparation to the second half of the Tribulation, which is also called the Great Tribulation, when God pours his wrath down on planet earth.

The final seal judgment is two-fold. There is silence in all of Heaven because of the realization of what is to come, and it also starts the first Trumpet judgment, when God intervenes and begins to destroy the earth, one segment at a time. This will cause the death of millions of people, Jew and Gentile alike, who refused to believe God. The people who remained true to God will also be killed, since these final judgments will be worldwide.

At the very center of the 7 years two things happen. Here on earth, the world leader shows his true character. He travels to the temple in Jerusalem, which has been built in the past few years, and demands that all the people of the world worship him as a god. At this time Satan is cast out of Heaven for good, and enters into the soul of the world leader, which the Bible calls the Beast, or Antichrist.

Next post I will elaborate on these two.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Time Line at the End of Time

In the last installment I wrote that God set Israel aside for awhile and created the church. Some people think that God just threw Israel away, but he didn’t. The church and Israel are like 2 sets of dishes. Some you use for everyday and some you use for special company. The church and Israel are like those 2 sets of dishes. God had one set out of the cupboard for awhile, now he has the other set out of the cupboard, but they’re both in the house and being used, not thrown away. During this time that the church is out of the cupboard, people of the nation of Israel can still give their lives over to Jesus, accepting his sacrifice for their disobedience, and be part of the church. God didn’t throw them in the trash can!

The church has been called a mystery because nothing like it had ever been created before Jesus went back to be with God. The extra kicker in this mystery is the work of the third spirit called the Holy Spirit. Since this super intelligent being called God created the whole universe to run so smoothly, he can also be everywhere at once through his third spirit. When some of God’s people alive during the earlier part of the Time Line needed extra help, they would call out to God and he would help them with the Holy Spirit. Now that the church is in operation the Holy Spirit, that third spirit of God, somehow marks the members of his church once they have turned their lives over to Jesus. The spirit also lives in the hearts of those who have turned their lives over to Jesus to help them learn and to live to please God.

When the last person on earth who will be part of the church turns their lives over to Jesus, then it will be time for all members to be taken to the place where God dwells. The Bible says that those who have died will be called up first, and raised from the dead with new bodies that will be able to withstand the different atmosphere of Heaven – bodies that will never die. The next group to be called will be those who are alive who have turned their lives over to Jesus. They, too, will be given new bodies that will never die. When all the believers (people who have believed in the sacrifice of Jesus and turned their lives over to him) have left earth, that means the third spirit of God has been taken back to Heaven with them. Not only had the Holy Spirit helped the believers, but he kept the bad in the world from getting out of hand.  More on that later.

The Tribulation graphic chart begins with the snatching away (the rapture) of the believers into Heaven to be with God the first spirit (the Father), his second spirit (the Son Jesus) and the third spirit, the Holy Spirit. It’s like God washed the set of church dishes he was using and put them in the cupboard, and started using the Israel dishes again. The time of the church is over which is called the age of grace, when God in his grace called out people from earth to become his children. Now God’s dealings with people on earth, and Israel, will be like it was in the old days – much earlier on the Time Line.

The one thing that will be different is that the enemy of God, called Satan, will not be restrained like he used to be, and he will do everything in his power to kill off all the people of Israel and anyone who has turned their lives over to God during this time. Unlike the age of grace – the church age – people won’t have the Holy Spirit living in them and marking them for Heaven. They will have to work for their souls to make it Heaven. If they believe in the work of Jesus, then decided to turn away, it will have been like they rejected God all along. The people of Israel will go back to the old ways of sacrificing animals to cover their disobedience, their sins. Only those alive and still believing at either their death or the end of these 7 years of tribulation will make it into Heaven.

The chart shows 2 different time lines – events in Heaven, and events on earth. I am not a Bible scholar, just a lay person, but I have studied for the past 30-plus years and most of that study was in the field of Eschatology – or the study of end-times events. I have always wanted to know what to look for and what will happen around the end of the Time Line. There are several great teachers whose works I have studied along with the Bible, and I have watched our understanding of Biblical prophecy unfold as things near the end of the Time Line. I have set this time line chart up using the knowledge I’ve gained over the years of study. If, God forbid, you are here after a large number of people have suddenly disappeared you will need to know what will happen during the 7 years of the literally hell on earth that awaits you. If no one’s disappeared, it means we are still in the age of grace, the church age, and this should give you a glimpse of what you can miss if you turn your life over to Jesus. If you have already done that, you will see what will await you in Heaven during this time.

Next time, the Seal Judgments. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Time-Space Continuum

In the early segment of the Time Line (below), God reached out to a man named Abram. God told this man to leave his home and country and travel where God told him to go. Since this man obeyed God, he was considered as the head of a people God called for himself. These people were the Jews and the nation that God formed was Israel. God worked closely with this nation for centuries, guiding them, correcting them, and blessing them as he wanted them to be his children. At that time there were only 2 types of people on Planet Earth as far as God was concerned – the Jews and the Gentiles. Never mind that the “Gentiles” were comprised of many different races and countries of people. In God’s eyes there were just the two. Those Gentiles who believed God could become as Jews – or his children – through certain rituals but they couldn’t be God’s family apart from that. And every time any of them disobeyed God, they had to kill an animal to pay for their disobedience, because this creative being God was not only loving, but he couldn’t stand disobedience. He created rules for his creation to run smoothly, and that included the people. Just like a parent corrects a disobedient child, God used animal sacrifices as part of correcting his children.

About 2,000 years ago, God decided to do away with those animal sacrifices and provide a final, big sacrifice so that people, if they accepted that sacrifice, could do away with killing animals once and for all. I won’t go into the details at this time, but this creative being God is made up of 3 spirits and the ancients called him Elohim (God plural). God the first spirit sent the second spirit to become born of a pure human and walk this earth to understand first-hand what it was like to be human. It also gave him a direct line to communicate with us. Have you ever so desperately wanted to be able to talk to your cat or dog when you had to take them to the vet? I did when my cat Junior had bone marrow cancer. I wished I could communicate with him and tell him that I was trying to help him, but I couldn’t. That’s how God felt about communicating with us. The second spirit that was born as a human was named Jesus. He was God and man at the same time. He was born for one purpose and that was to become the final great sacrifice to completely pay for our disobedience against God. The animals that were killed could only cover up that disobedience (called sin in the Bible). Jesus’ sacrifice, since he was also God, was able to take it away forever for those who accepted that gift. And God showed Jesus that his sacrifice was accepted when he was raised from the dead.

Jesus stayed on earth for 40 days before he left because he was waiting for the leaders of the nation of Israel to accept and believe him. When they didn’t, he went back to what we call heaven – where God dwells beyond the universe – and will be back at the end of the Time Line.

Now that God’s children of Israel had officially rejected his gift of his son’s sacrifice, God decided to set them aside for a little while and open the door to all people of every race and every nation to accept this gift of his. He started what we call today the church. In the Bible it’s called a mystery, meaning it had never been revealed before. Now this church is a special entity for a certain period of time, then God will deal with his children Israel once again. That graphic chart shows what will happen to God’s nation of Israel – and the rest of the world – during that time right before the Time Line is finished.

God knows everything from start to finish. He loves his creation very much, which is shown in written works – the Bible and other historic works. He has continued to pave a way for human beings to be his children all through the Time Line so that we could spend that final phase of life – future eternity – with him where he lives in great splendor.  He knows who will accept his gift of forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice, and he knows who will not, but he keeps trying anyway and will give each person continual chances throughout their lives. There will be only 1 place in all of creation in the future eternity where God will be absent, and that is the place where those people who hated him will be sent when they die. They rejected them when they were alive in this phase of life, so he will allow them to spend the final phase of life without him, just as they wished.

This church that God formed in the first century AD on the Time Line will be supernaturally called out of the Time Line shortly before its end. Israel has been the” bride” of God (the first spirit, or Father), and the church which was formed later is the “bride” of God’s son (the second spirit), Jesus. If you read about the Jewish wedding tradition, you will see what will be in store for the church at the end of its Time Line. The bridegroom usually comes for the bride when she least expects it, and snatches her and her wedding party away with him to join his wedding party at his father’s house, where the two will be married. So, when the last person (that God knows will accept his great sacrifice of Jesus’ death for their disobedience) turns their life over to him, then Jesus will call his bride - the church - away from earth to his father’s house! Most Christians call that the rapture of the church. The word rapture comes from the Greek meaning to snatch away, like a raptor such as an eagle snatches a fish out of the water and takes it away. After that happens, God the father begins to deal with Israel to refine his bride for eternity future. We call that the Tribulation.

Next time we’ll start with the Tribulation graphic.