End Times: Some Reflections [Updated]

jesus christ end times prophecyOver the last decade, I’ve heard so many different ideas on what will happen in the end times that I don’t know what to believe anymore. I do believe those times are upon us though.

Some people think a great worldwide revival is coming that will usher in the kingdom of heaven upon earth. They think this revival will welcome the second coming of Christ as he judges the world. I want revival. I want Jesus to judge the evildoers. Yet where do Christian persecution, the “great tribulation,” and rise of the anti-Christ fit into this scheme? It’s not biblical.

Others think the church won’t go through any sort of revival [since the world is too far gone spiritually] or persecution [that’s only for the unbelievers in the “great tribulation”]. Instead, the rapture will take place first and they’ll miss it all. Rapture yes, the other no.

I believe in a pre-millennial, pre-tribulation rapture. But I also believe the church must suffer first. She’s not ready for heaven and the marriage supper of the Lamb. That preparation will come through simultaneous persecution and revival worldwide. And that persecution won’t be like the “great tribulation” that follows it. We’ll be purified for final salvation in heaven, not judged for final destruction in hell.

history linear cyclicalChristians say world history is linear, with a definite beginning and end. Alfred, Lord Tennyson phrased it this way at the end of In Memoriam, “One God, one law, one element, / And one divine event to which the whole creation moves.” That event is the second coming of Christ.  However, Jews say world history is cyclical, i.e. events repeat themselves. Do they believe history has a goal? I don’t know. But both theories are true. History is both cyclical and linear.

How does the wheel of a car travel in a circle as the car travels in a straight line? How does a ball roll in a circle as it travels straight down a hill? [I think Einstein’s theory of relativity explains something of this.] Why do we have biblical types and Christ the anti-type? Why are certain events a shadow (foreshadowing) of things to come? Why all this repetition?

WHEEL-WITHIN-WHEEL jesusThe Bible contains three great truths on world history. First, God has “declar[ed] the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:10). Second, natural foreshadows spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:46). Third, “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). King Solomon elaborates: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done.” I believe we must take these statements literally. History repeats itself, whether or not we forget it. Such repetition points to the Trinity. Jesus Christ is the “wheel in the middle of a wheel” (Ezekiel 1:16), symbolized by the sun in the center of the revolving planets (Malachi 4:2).

There are also three divine events in world history: creation, the death and resurrection of Christ, and His second coming. The first event foreshadows the second one, which fulfills it; and the second event foreshadows the third one, which will fulfill it. So the second coming of Christ is the culmination of world history, foretold from creation.

joseph egypt genesisGenesis, beginning of the Bible and of world history, tells us much about the end times. Joseph told Pharaoh that seven years of feast, then seven years of famine, would arise in the known world. If she prepared, only Egypt would have grain. The same events will happen again.

In the Bible, Egypt symbolizes the world, sin, and death. Spiritual grain (bread) is the word of the Lord. So in the end times, the church will have seven years of a spiritual feast, a revival of the Word, while suffering persecution in the world. A second Joseph will come to her rescue, bringing divine favor from a heathen ruler (as Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, and Cyrus favored God’s people in Babylon – another Egypt). Then the church will be raptured as the world endures the final seven years of history – seven years of spiritual famine, with divine judgment in the latter half. Amos prophesied a famine not of bread or water “but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11).

The final prophetic words of Genesis are ominous: “Joseph … was put in a coffin in Egypt” (50:26). Physical death in the spiritual Egypt of this world will end the church age, for those not raptured. Christ is the head of the church, his body. After 3.5 years of ministry, that “head” suffered crucifixion on Golgotha (the place of the skull). Jesus was then buried and rose again. I think the same events will happen in the end times. After 3.5 years of divine feast and favor, the church as a body will symbolically die on a cross through great persecution. But resurrection is coming.

There’s more. Throughout Israel’s history, some Gentiles believed in Yahweh (Jehovah) while many Jews rejected him through idolatry. The best examples are Rahab, Ruth, the Ninevites, and Nebuchadnezzar. This “great exchange” came to fruition during Jesus’ earthly ministry and the early church. Gentiles flocked to Jesus in great numbers while the Jews, most notably the Pharisees, rejected him as a people. The natural olive branches were cut off (Romans 11).

christian marriageI believe the same thing will happen again. At the end of the church age, many on the “inside” will reject Jesus while those on the “outside” will embrace him. Another “great exchange” will take place. People will come to Jesus whom both the world and the church will reject. [The best examples of this in film are “Courageous” (2011) and “Hatfields and McCoys” (2011).]

Finally, I hope and pray that in these end times God raises up godly couples, of all ages and races, to show an unbelieving world what a true Christian marriage looks like – a testimony to Jesus Christ and his bride the church (the spiritual fulfillment of Adam and Eve).

I probably screwed up many details. I don’t have it all figured out yet. But I firmly believe the final chapters of Genesis and Jesus’ earthly ministry give us many clues to the end of the church age and of world history. Who has the patience and wisdom to understand it?

UPDATE [April 3]

I don’t know what’s going to happen during that first seven-year period – a simultaneous Christian persecution (not tribulation) and revival. But I am certain of the following things.

Isaiah 60:2 says “darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the people.” That day is almost here. As bad as cultural immorality is right now (re: homosexuality and abortion), it will get much worse. The anti-Christian regime wants to do horrible things to our children – and it is ALL about corrupting the children. God brings men and women together so he can have a godly seed (Malachi 2:15). However, the devil wants this seed. Read these stories so you’ll know what’s coming.

This regime will punish those who speak out against evil or refuse to participate. I’ve heard fact-based rumors about concentration camps and the American government buying up millions of illegal ammunition, which they plan to use against citizens. The oil may run out and worldwide panic may spread as a result. Who knows what life will look like without that oil?

Will we be forced to take the mark of the beast or bow to the anti-Christ? No. I don’t think this person and his mark will be revealed unto after the rapture, during the second and final seven-year period. Still, great persecution for Christians is coming – soon. The church will experience much worse things than the Holocaust. However, those who “know their God will be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32). Lambs will become lions.

And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. ~ Daniel 11:33-35

Here’s my final message to the church. Men and women, boys and girls, cowboy up!

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17 thoughts on “End Times: Some Reflections [Updated]

  1. [Greets, TSG. Please check out the following article that I found on the net.]

    PRETRIB RAPTURE STEALTH !

    Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
    Many don’t know that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!). Google “Walvoord Melts Ice” for more on this, and also Google “Pretrib Rapture Pride.”
    Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).

  2. Lot of good points here.

    “We’ll be purified for final salvation in heaven, not judged for final destruction in hell.”

    We will be purified. That is 100% Biblical.

    History is linear. Events do seem to repeat themselves because human nature never changes and the human reaction to temptation, sin and redemption never change.

    “The Bible contains three great truths on world history. First, God has “declar[ed] the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done” (Isaiah 46:10). Second, natural foreshadows spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:46). Third, “there is no new thing under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). King Solomon elaborates: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done.” I believe we must take these statements literally.”

    Agreed 100%. I absolutely agree with Amos 8:11 also.

    Isaiah 60:2 says “darkness will cover the earth and gross darkness the people.”

    Amen. Isaiah 60 also tells us to “Arise, shine!” and be a “light to the Gentiles.”

    You are right: it’s going to get a lot worse. We’re in a calm period before the storm.

    Oil will not run out as it is not fossil-based as is taught. Oil is very plentiful; gasoline should cost about 50 cents a gallon. However, oil can artificially be made to appear short and likely that will happen. Events will be purposely horrific at the beginning (to herd those of little faith).

    “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” [Proverbs 29:25] Nowhere will this be more evident than when the end times kick off in earnest. Fear will be a snare and a crowd control mechanism. It will also be fanned (as it is now) by the media for that purpose.

    Here’s my final message to the church. Men and women, boys and girls, cowboy up!

    That’s a great message!

    • Rev 7 says 144,000 of God’s servants will be sealed on their foreheads, which echoes Ezekiel 9:3-11 (and which God once told me). All those not sealed will be judged with death, physical and spiritual. Do you know what this seal is or who the servants are? I think they’re Jews, the ones left here after the rapture. God’s seal is very different from the mark of the beast!

      So how do you define rapture? 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says the dead in Christ will rise first; then the living will meet Jesus Christ in the air. Jesus and Paul’s end-times teaching came from the Old Testament (OT), not oral tradition or their imagination. So there must be OT foreshadowing. Read Psalm 50:3-6. Revelation 12:14 echoes Noah’s ark, Lot’s sojourn in Zoar, and Isaiah 26:20. They convey safety in hiding (where unknown). Isaiah 26:19-21 seems apocalyptic.

      What is the source of your views on the end-times revival, i.e. that it’s part of the whore church’s program? I don’t read my Bible this way…

      • There is a lot in your comment.

        “Do you know what this seal is or who the servants are? I think they’re Jews, the ones left here after the rapture. God’s seal is very different from the mark of the beast!”

        The Bible (at least that I can find) does not tell us what the seal is. I believe it is the mirror image of the beast’s mark–which is one reason I never thought 666 to be a microchip. The beast’s mark has to do with worship–as does the sealing of the 144,000.

        YES! God’s seal is very much different.

        “So how do you define rapture? 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says the dead in Christ will rise first; then the living will meet Jesus Christ in the air.”

        I think the rapture is the physical catching away. I think Paul is very specific in Thessalonians. Jesus was very specific as well in Matthew 24:29-31.[Also Mark 13:24-27]

        Both Jesus and Paul’s accounts square.perfectly. Also John 6 tells us when the dead shall rise and it tells us four times [John 6:39,40,44 and 54]. That too squares with all of the other rapture Scripture. The dead rising is the timing mechanism of when the rapture takes place. Paul told us that in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. There were people in my church who believed in “multiple raptures.” But I asked them, “Which one does the raising of the dead take place?”

        They didn’t like that very well.

        I think you are correct on your Scriptures. The rapture taking place on the day of the Lord (when Jesus comes back in the clouds, when the dead are raised), it will be–we’re told [1 Thessalonians 4:17 also]–that “Then we which are alive and remain” will be raptured. I don’t believe many look very hard at that phrase “we which are alive and remain.”

        To be among those who are alive and remain, God will have to shelter you. He says he will shelter some. Jesus said that to others who remain faithful unto death, he will give eternal life and a crown of life. [Rev 2:10].

        There are five crowns mentioned in the Bible as rewards given to believers. I remember thinking (a while ago) that I wouldn’t be able to get a crown of life because that goes to martyrs. My thinking has changed on that point. But the martyring is but a moment while the crown of life lasts for eternity!

        LASTLY

        “What is the source of your views on the end-times revival, i.e. that it’s part of the whore church’s program? I don’t read my Bible this way…”

        My source on end times revival? There are at least a dozen Scriptures describing the condition of the end times church. Jude speaks of “certain men who have crept in unawares, false teachers who “were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude later speaks of mockers in the last days.

        Paul speaks of a falling away in 2 Thessalonians 2, but also in 1 Timothy 4:1. Paul is very specific about how the last days church will look. Will revival come from ungodly people?

        2 Peter 2 (the entire book of 2 Peter actually) is about false teachers among the church. Peter continues in chapter 3 by saying that in the last days, scoffers will arise (these are from within the church).

        Peter, Jude, John, Paul and Jesus were pretty clear that the last days church would be a mess. How is revival to come from wolves and those pretending to be Christians? I don’t see any Scripture encouraging me to believe in a last days revival. Not one. However, I read plenty by men who encourage me to believe that.

        The falling away will be worldwide. It wasn’t “a” falling away but “the” falling away-a very specific worldwide, churchwide condition.

        This falling away will be all of the pretend Christians running to the whore church. The lukewarm will be convinced that the whore church is the place to be (and they will be convinced by the “miracles,” “signs and lying wonders.”) They will be convinced that they are serving God.

        However, this will be a “falling away.” This will be the “fence-sitters” (there is no fence) making their final choice. The rush into the whore church will be of such magnitude, that it will look like a great end times revival.

        And all of that is being taught now all across America by the fastest-growing segment of Christianity. They teach it all:

        1- That the Church will take dominion over the earth (it will, but it will be the whore church).
        2- That the Church will be enabled to do great miracles and wonders (It will, but it will be the whore church).
        3- That there will be great end times revival sweeping the whole earth (there will be, but the Bible calls it the falling away [of people into the whore church]).

        The Dominionists are very, very biblical–just not in the way they are leading people to believe.

        Do you have any verses that refer to a great revival occurring before Jesus comes back? I’ve been looking for over a year because the people in my church kept praying for “revival.” Never for repentance–and without repentance there can be no revival–always for revival.

        I believe these people will see their great worldwide revival without repentance. The Bible calls it the great falling away.

        Sorry about the length, but you raised a number of points that I myself was raising only about 18 months ago. Raising those points (particularly those about the rapture) led directly to me being ostracized and leaving my church.

        I hated to go, but it got to where I hated to go to church and have my spirit grieved. Hating to go to church was totally foreign to me as I had dedicated my time since becoming a Christian to it.

        Very sad but very necessary.

      • I don’t know what the beast’s mark is, other than 666. I don’t know that it has to do with worship, per se. People just can’t buy or sell without it. It’s required for entering the marketplace and making transactions. Thanks to the microchip, we’re basically there.

        You ask good questions on rapture and revival. And yes, true revival is repentance. I guess the only real inkling I’ve had is a myriad of dreams: people I know who aren’t saved now but will be later. I’ve “seen” them preaching and bringing back people back from the dead (spiritually). I know something great is coming. I just don’t know what it will look like or when it will come.

  3. “Why would God single out Jews like this, other than the passages in Romans 9 and 11?”

    You pose a wonderful question!

    THIS QUESTION would take a lot of space to answer correctly. (A lot of it would be informed speculation,) Ask it again when I haven’t taken up so many pixels on your site!

    “I guess the only real inkling I’ve had is a myriad of dreams: people I know who aren’t saved now but will be later. I’ve “seen” them preaching and bringing back people back from the dead (spiritually). I know something great is coming. I just don’t know what it will look like or when it will come.”

    Extremely interesting.

    In my opinion, the dreams and visions that people I know are getting seem to be from God, but upon closer inspection, I fear they are not. It’s interesting your brought up raising the dead (spiritually).

    One person I know very well had a very disturbing, very clear vision of someone we know being killed by the forces of the first beast system and being raised from the dead.

    I would ask him, “Are you sure this was from God?” He said yes, but had no reasons for his answer.

    “Raising the dead” is now a particular ministry (there are schools purporting to teach Christians how to do this) among the Dominion Theology/NAR fake apostles and profits crowd. I believe there will be people raised from the dead or at least appear to be raised from the dead. I don’t know which.

    But I don’t believe these will be from God. These will be used to establish the bona fides of the workers in the whore Church. Many in the New Age/Occult are reporting that “something big is about to happen.” Actually, they were certain it was going to happen 12/21/12. I believe something big IS going to happen.

    But that something big will be something deceptively big. I don’t trust anything until I see Jesus Himself come back (and that’s after the fake one shows up and deceives most of the world).

    Very interesting.

  4. You had the dreams: I misunderstood.

    Still, very interesting. I read your FB page. Again, very interesting.

    Tilda Swinton, huh?

    For some odd reason, I was doing some research into her just a few days ago.

    This is all very interesting. And these were all dreams, right? No visions?

      • I went through a period where I had visions–very, very short ones, like on a loop, usually about 3-4 times each–but I never could determine if they were from God or not.

        Eventually, I determined that if I didn’t know after four of them, then they weren’t from God. I rebuked the next one in the name of Jesus (didn’t know if that would be effective or not). But they stopped.

      • I had a dream in August 2009. Something inside told me to ‘test’ it. Then phrases from Daniel and Habakkuk popped into my head, ones that applied to this dream. I decided then that ‘something’ was the Holy Spirit.

  5. I have never had a dream like that.

    I know someone who had dreams all of the time. She just assumed they were from “the Lord.” But I’m not so sure. I look at where she is now and it’s not such a hot place, so perhaps they weren’t.

    I did have an odd one-time occurrence about a year ago. I woke up and I had this feeling of–JUDGMENT, very final judgment is the only way I can describe it. It wasn’t for me, but it was so, so…FINAL that it shook me up. I had 3 chapters in my head, there wasn’t a voice, just these 3 chapters (Jeremiah 7, Ezekiel 6 and 9). I got up and came over to my desk and wrote them down so I wouldn’t forget them. I knew I was supposed to give them as a message to a particular person.

    After reading the chapters, I didn’t want to do give them the message. It seemed very harsh. But I kept remembering the awful feeling of judgment and I began to get a burden–and the last thing I want to do is be disobedient.

    Anyway, I prayed for confirmation. About an hour later, I was somewhere else and someone was talking. They stopped suddenly in mid-sentence and said, “Sometimes God gives people messages. If you have a message for someone from God, you better give it to them.” Then they went back to talking about whatever it was they were talking about before the interruption.

    I looked up to the ceiling and said, “Okay, good enough.” So I delivered my message that evening.

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