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.
Christians 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?
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. 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.
Genesis, 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).
I 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.
- Rense: The Communist Takeover of America – 45 Declared Goals
- Daily Mail: Should we take eggs from aborted babies?
- Life Site News: Planned Parenthood Official Defends Post-birth Abortions (infanticide)
- Queerty: Can we please just start admitting that we do actually want to indoctrinate kids?
- TFP Student Action: Equality’s Next Victim: Transgendering our Children
- Victims of Gay Bullying: Scott Rose Demands Death Penalty for Traditional Marriage Supporters
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!