…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matt. 16:18)
Jesus spoke of His Church for the first time the moment God revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Christ, and Peter spoke the revelation of Christ forth. Jesus called THAT a massive rock upon which He would build His Church (making a play on words, for Peter means little rock).
In the very same breath, Jesus declared that the ruling powers of darkness will not overcome His Church. May our Father in heaven cause every member of His Christ to KNOW this, BELIEVE it, and STAND FIRM upon it, that He may be glorified therein. May He also give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation as we set aside sufficient time to press into the Scriptures in order that we may better know Him and His end-time purposes for us, His blessed overcomers. Amen.
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Now, The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work (1 John 3:8b). Having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. (Col. 2:15). It is finished! (John 19:39). So why are the devil and his authorities still here and the world situation worsening, with the antichrist yet to appear in the very near future?
As covered in Part 3, Psalm 8 and Hebrews 2 tell us God’s purpose for man is to glorify Him by exercising dominion over His creation; that includes exercising dominion over all angelic beings, both fallen and pure. Paul expresses it this way in this key Scripture, Ephesians 3:10:
[God’s] intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God would be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We, His overcomers, are the very Body through which the manifold wisdom of God is to be made known to Satan, the antichrist, and the other rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms! In His infinite wisdom, the God of peace has determined that Satan will be crushed under our feet – for we sinners redeemed by the blood of the Lamb are now Christ’s seed (see Gen. 3:14-15, Ro. 16:20).
Praise God for His wisdom! Praise Him for His sovereignty!
Now, consider how a plant seed functions: the outer husk of a seed must die in order for the inner germ to be released into the soil (John 12:24). That is one of God’s seed principles: life only comes THROUGH death (see also these two profound passages: 2 Cor. 4:10-12; Phil. 3:10-11). THAT is the divine design; it is THROUGH death that Life overcomes death (Satan / this fallen world / our fallen selves). Resurrection power comes through Christ’s death: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55; see also Heb. 2:14-15).
Notice that once Jesus announced that He would build His Church and that it would NOT be overcome, he began to explain to his disciples that he must… suffer many things… and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. (Matt. 16:15-27). This suffering He explained and then modeled for us is that eternal life comes through dying to self and to the world (Gal. 6:15).
But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps… When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:20b-23).
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. (1 Peter 4:1).
However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear the name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God… (1 Peter 4:16-17a, emphasis added).
Now that we’ve established the necessity of sharing in Christ’s sufferings, we are ready to address some key components of God’s plans for His Church overcomers in these end times. Please pay close attention and press into the Lord, for many Scriptures are about to come together. Keep in mind when reading them that throughout all His dealings with Israel in the OT, God always preserved a faithful remnant…
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A brief synopsis of some key components of God’s end-time plans for His Church overcomers
As explained in Part 3, the extent to which we share in Christ’s glory is the extent to which we share in His sufferings (~Ro.8:17); If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also (John 15:20). The persecution that the Church has suffered throughout the world in the past two millennia will spread tremendously in these tumultuous end times. Persecution is the primary fire through which God purifies and fortifies His people (e.g. the Book of Acts), and He is purifying His Church of its present lukewarm Laodicean character, leaving a remnant of persevering Philadelphian overcomers (see Rev. 3:7-22).
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God (1 Pet. 4:17a)… When God executes judgment, the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes. (Isaiah 66:14).
Behold and rejoice over what Jesus promises the patient Church remnant of Philadelphian character after enduring persecution: I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. (Rev. 3:9-10)
Jesus is assuring His Church remnant that their sufferings are NOT part of the great and terrible Day of the Lord that the rest of the world will have to experience, just as Paul assured the godly Thessalonian believers that the sufferings they were enduring were NOT indicative of it in the key second chapter of 2 Thessalonians (please discern whether the Lord is leading you to review it today).
See, the antichrist (called “the man of lawlessness” therein) cannot be revealed UNTIL the restraining power of the Holy Spirit (that’s us – the Church!) is removed as the Bridegroom comes to seize His Bride up to be with Him in His Father’s house (2 Thess. 2:6-7; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; John 14:2-3; see also Part 4: The Bride of Christ). (Be assured that the omnipresent Holy Spirit remains, enabling the sealed Jewish remnant and elect Gentiles to receive Christ after Christ’s overconers, His restraining function, is removed from earth.)
Those overcomers alive at the time will be caught up to meet all the resurrected dead saints and our Bridegroom in the air – that is, they’ll be translated in a moment, the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet (1 Cor. 15:50-58). The Greek word for “caught up” in 1 Thess. 4:17 is “harpazo”: it means to seize or snatch suddenly. (The Latin Vulgate translated it “rapturo”, from which the English term “rapture” is derived.) This is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13): that our heavenly Bridegroom is coming to snatch His Bride up to heaven to consummate the marriage, delivering her from the coming wrath (1 Thess. 1:10), described by Jesus as great tribulation, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. (Matt. 24:21).
As mentioned in Part 4, the Jewish wedding supper was celebrated for seven days. This corresponds with the seven years of Daniel’s 70th “week” that the Jews and Gentiles will experience as soon as the Church is removed from the scene (Dan. 9:20-27, espc. v.27). The first 3 1/2 years of that 7-year period, the antichrist deceives people that he is the Christ, because the troublesome restrainer until that point has been removed. Then the antichrist abolishes the daily sacrifice and offering and stands in the Holy temple, setting up the abomination that causes desolation (Dan 9:27; Matt. 24:15). This sets off the great tribulation, which is the second 3 1/2 years of Daniel’s 70th “week”.
Do you see how these Scriptures come together? * Isn’t God astounding?
Lastly, I leave a key for unlocking some of the mysteries of one of the most symbolic chapters of end-time prophecy, Revelation 12. The Greek word “harpazo” also appears here in verse 5: She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. There are many linguistic subtleties in the Greek regarding “a son, a male child” that we won’t address, but we will simply say that the Church overcomers are the male child, snatched up to meet Him in the air, precipitating the war in heaven in v. 7. Perhaps more on this another time when we’ll discuss what the overcomers will be doing during that time, God willing. [Ed: It is addressed in Part 10: The Male Child Caught Up to God and to His Throne; see also Part 11: Displacing the Devil from the Heavenly Realms – Operation Footstool]
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So, it is vital that we know that the Church overcomers will not be overcome by Satan or his antichrist (also called the beast, the man of lawlessness, and the little horn). Jesus assured us this in the very same sentence in which He announced that He would build His Church (see opening Scripture). The apostle and seer John reiterates this important point three times in his first epistle:
You, dear children, are from God, and have overcome them [the antichrist and all evil spirits – past tense!], because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one [past tense!]. (1 John 2:13, and again in v.14)
The first and most important reason why we must know that we overcoming saints will NOT be overcome by the powers of darkness is so that we can endure our godly sufferings, rejoicing knowing our blessed hope! Remember from Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Darby).
The second reason is so that we properly understand the end-time prophecies (see Part 1). See, both NT and OT end-time prophecies mention saints being overcome by the antichrist, but they are Jews and Gentiles who come to receive Christ during the great tribulation.
In The Revelation of Jesus Christ we are told that He [the beast] was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. (13:7).
In Daniel we are told As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom… [Daniel was then given this explanation]: …He [the little horn] will speak against the Most High and oppress His saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time [3 1/2 years]. But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him. (Daniel 7:21-22, 25-27, emphasis added).
* Please read the comments below regarding the Thessalonian epistles being KEY to revealing there are two phases to Christ’s Second Coming, and links to two charts you may find very helpful on two different Biblical websites.
25 thoughts on “Part 5: The Overcomers”
I just completed the teachings on this series. I loved 1-4. I just don’t understand how you concluded with the church being taken up prior to the tribulation??? It doesn’t seem like concrete evidence that this is what the Lord is meaning. I will pray on it and do some studying on the scriptures you provided and reread these. Thank you so much for your dedication to teachings!
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Thanks for letting me know so that I may help. The Lord WILL reveal His truth to those who truly ask, seek, and KNOCK; by studying the Scriptures He had me cite and praying, it’s guaranteed!!
Recall from Part 1 how we noted the Jews didn’t understand that two advents had been prophesied for Christ, that they only saw His glorious Second Coming as Messiah? Well, likewise, many Christians don’t see two parts are prophesied regarding Christ’s Second Coming: 1st He comes FOR His Bride in the air with a loud shout, snatching her up to His Father’s house with Him (just as in the Jewish wedding custom at the time),* delivering her from the coming wrath (Jacob’s trouble/Daniel’s 70th week). 2nd, At the end of the 7 years, He will come WITH His Bride from heaven to be on earth (Rev. 19), which is (part of) the great and terrible Day of the Lord. It will be followed by the Millennium, which has redeemed Israel on board…
Paul’s letters to the godly Thessalonians were the key that brought me the primary revelation. Know this as you delve into them: (1) Paul was only with these baby Christians 3 weeks (Acts 17), and wrote them the first epistle in 52AD, which is before any of the gospels were written (thus they did not have Jesus’ Olivet discourse of Matt. 24), and long before John wrote Revelation; (2) the Lord had Paul tell them in 1 Thess. 4:16-18 that He would be coming for them (to deliver them from the coming wrath as 1:10 states) – you and I additionally have Jesus’ words to us in John 14:2-3 and Rev. 3:10, and Paul’s words in 1 Cor 15:50-58 concerning the “harpazo” to add to that. (3) Paul wrote 2 Thess because someone had deceived them to believe they were experiencing the Day of the Lord already because of all their godly sufferings (that’s what 2:1-3a explains). He then goes on to explain in vv 3-12 that the Day of the Lord can’t come until the antichrist is revealed first, and THAT can’t happen until Jesus has come FOR them (“harpazo”), for they, the Church, are the restrainer – their presence on earth restrains evil.
I’m only touching on this, of course…
Know that I was pressing into these Scriptures for years before He brought me to this point. Also, I experienced the revelation in stages. You may recall that when you and I met in January, I was of a very strong Post-Trib understanding. It was realizing the situation with the Thessalonians which brought me the eureka moment.
* Here is a link to a helpful chart of the Jewish wedding custom and the pertinent Scriptures: http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/revelation/related-topics/the-jewish-wedding-analogy.html
Please keep me posted. Our dialogue here may be a blessing to many others.
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P.S. Here is a link to a website that has helpful charts and tremendous details (more than most of us can absorb) on both phases of the Second Coming of Christ:
(Oddly enough, it is another retired Texan pathologist on fire for Jesus that the Lord has constructing this website!)
I will keep you posted : ). Thank you for explaining it even further. I will restudy and ask for Gods wisdom.
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How does all of this tie in with the situation in Revelation. Satan first goes after the woman who I think is the bride taken to the wilderness in Jerusalem, unsuccessful Satan goes after the remaining ones of her seed, I thought that was us? I thought we had to suffer the first 3 1/2 of tribulation, won’t many, many more repent during this time and don’t we need to be here for them. Revelation 7 those who come out of the great tribulation can’t be counted they are so many. I just can’t see a pre-trib ascent unless it’s only for the woman, 144,000 seen on mount zion with Christ. Can you explain what’s going on here in Revelation as regards the woman and her seed?
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Hi Paul. Thanks for asking. I expect to address more of Rev 12 after addressing our exalted position as “the court” in Daniel 7.
Until then, I can’t leave you hanging on such important issues (!), so I refer you to T.Austin-Sparks’ writings. http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/000925.html Then also see Chapter 1 of the same book. I do not agree with all his beliefs expressed here (the woman with all the symbolism is Israel from Joseph’s dream, for example, and not the Church), but I want to give you something for the time being until I am given more to write.
Regarding others repenting during the 7 years the Church is in our Father’s house with our Bridegroom, remember what I wrote about the Holy Spirit being omnipresent: HE is still on the earth for the “Tribulation saints” oppressed and slain by antichrist!!! They are the sealed 144,000 Jewish saints and the multitude of Gentile saints. They are also the saints of Rev. 6:9-11 and 13:7, whereas we are those “in heaven” whom antichrist is slandering in Rev. 13:6.
Also, regarding your thought that we would have to suffer the first 3.5 years of Daniel’s 70th week, please read my comments to Lana above your comment – they include noting that 2 Thess explains we must be removed from the scene before the antichrist (“man of lawlessness”) can be revealed, and he is revealed at the beginning of the 7 years (or prior to it) as evident in Daniel 9:27.
Thank you Deanna for your quick reply, I followed the link you gave me but these preachers and ministers don’t make a lot of sense to me, they seem to get bogged down with doctrine. I had another look at 2 Thess to see if I could grasp, but still I’m not feeling the Holy Spirit as on other occasions, for some reason I’m not getting it,
The Man of Lawlessness
2 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,[a] 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness[b] is revealed, the son of destruction,[c] 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Are we the restrainer, how do we know that? Paul says you know the restrainer, no I don’t, I’m missing something here. If we are taken early and everyone else is left to face the deception, a deception which is so convincing that even the elect may be deceived, the days are cut short on account of the chosen, this sticks with me quite strong. My long rampling question is this, how are a countless number of people surrounding the throne of God who have come out of the great tribulation, if they are subject to the deception mentioned in 2 Thess. vs 11. I’m not suggesting your wrong, you’ve clearly done a lot of study, but for me the peaces don’t fit. I believe there is hope for humanity right up to the point that God calls for a half – hour silence in heaven, after this comes God’s full wrath. I thought the whole point of the tribulation was to bring humanity to repent and be saved right up to almost the end of the tribulation. He who endures to the end is the one who will be saved. Thank you again for getting back to me.
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Hello again! I empathize with you in our trying to apprehend all our Lord is telling us! I must always resist the temptation to pursue what I call “soulish head knowledge” about His word (our pursuit of eschatology can epitomize this, can’t it?), and REST knowing our relationship with the Lover of our souls is key.
Regarding the identity of the restrainer in the key Scriptures you included, the following may or may not help (it is rather pedantic), but the Lord used it to shed light on the matter for me. It is this: the Holy Spirit had Paul use the neuter term “what” in verse 6, and the personage terms “who” and “he” in verse 7! Is the restrainer a “what” or a “whom”?! God’s word uses both! He is a person of the godhead living in the Church functioning as a restrainer therein, and Paul’s use of the neuter word “what” and the personage terms “who” & “he” helps us in understanding this. The man of lawlessness is restrained UNTIL the Bridegroom seizes us up – the omnipresent person of the Holy Spirit remains on earth and in heaven as always.
Regarding your longer question, “how are a countless number of people surrounding the throne of God [Rev. 7:9-17]… if they are subject to the deception mentioned in 2 Thess. v.11?” Your answer is in v.10 with the phrase “deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to believe the truth and so be saved.” In other words, the great multitude are those who eventually, during the Great Trubulation, came to believe the truth and so were saved (at the last minute) – they do NOT perish, praise God!!
I thank you for your questions, for the Lord is always teaching me – in this case, what to present and how to present it in these upcoming writings. 😊
Have you seen the charts yet on this amazing website of another Texan pathologist in Christ?
Rejoicing that He enables us to patiently endure and overcome the deception so that we may know Him and His purposes for us better! Loving the fellowship as we press into Truth together!
…”until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the WHOLE MEASURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST (Eph. 4:13, the keynote verse of this blog)!
Thank you again Deanna, you are clearly more educated than I and have a deeper understanding of God’s word. I live in the UK with a poor working background, I’ve believed in Jesus Christ since being a child and I’m now 57. I don’t study the bible deeply because you have to rely on man’s input which could be wrong as in certain footnotes, instead I read the bible daily and hope to receive the Holy Spirit for doing so, and sometimes I do. I understood what you explained about Paul’s writings in 2 Thess concerning the neuter, very clever, to be fair though, Peter didn’t understand Paul and he knew him face-to-face. By-the-way I didn’t include the scriptures to be confrontational, I included them to help me with my reply. I read the bible as is and don’t look for hidden meanings, I know some calculate numerals and look for hidden keys, I wouldn’t know where to begin, there are many things in the bible I don’t understand, maybe this is why I’m not a teacher. However, I have never had any dificulty talking to others about Christ on a one-to-one basis, no matter who they are or what they believe. Some seem to appreciate it while others walk away in disgust. It’s difficult to comprehend how we will become rulers in God’s Kingdom as heirs with Christ, however this is God’s will, so we will. As regards timing, I will trust the Lord and keep looking for Him.
God bless you and your dear one’s
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Thanks so much for sharing all this, Paul. I am glad you brought to mind that Peter didn’t understand all the revelation God had given Paul in prison there in Rome. You know, one of only two times I crossed the Atlantic, I saw the prison in the Roman forum where Paul had been, and I cannot express how overcome I was! I was at the spot on earth where God revealed such glorious mysteries about who WE are in Christ to one of us, our brother Paul. God takes His great apostle and evangelist Paul and puts him in a Roman prison so that he could truly appreciate and therefore apprehend such glorious truth! Hallelujah!
Please know that the Lord’s home-schooling of me has not only been direct, but through great lovers of Jesus who have gone before us, including Watchman Nee (from China, the strongest influence on me aside from the Holy Spirit Himself), T.Austin-Sparks (a Brit!), and Andrew Murray (Dutch/South African). Also, a contemporary brother of ours, Doug Riggs, who pastors Morning Star Testimony Church in Syracuse, NY; the Lord has had me spend well over 100 hours listening intently to his extremely Scripturally-detailed podcasts on the Church and the end times. He trained at Dallas Theological Seminary, knows the original Greek and the Hebrew, AND, like ourselves, has much experiential knowledge of the Lord via fiery trials causing him to depend on Jesus like a little child.
God bless you, brother. Please pray for me that I hear Him clearly and write only what He has for me to write and disseminate here. Thanks!
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Hi Deanna. I’m a little confused on the removal of the Restrainer; the Holy Spirit. The anti-christ comes when God removes Holy Spirit from this world and we; those indwelt with Holy Spirit will go too; of course this is the rapture. But, when God removes the Restrainer then how are those in the tribulation going to be able to come to God? I’m just confused on how Holy Spirit is going to convict those left for the tribulation if God removes Holy Spirit.
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Hi Greg! Thanks for taking the time to write – this matters!
God is omnipresent; the Holy Spirit is always on earth and in heaven, and He will be here for the tribulation saints (Dan. 7:25; Rev. 13;7, etc.) once we’ve been seized to the air up by Christ (1 Thess. 4:16-17). The Church restrains evil (Matt. 16:18) – the Church is the restraining FUNCTION of the Holy Spirit.
As explained in a comment to PaulJ above yours, this is rather pedantic, but 2 Thess 2:6 says “And now you know WHAT [neuter article] is holding him back so that he may be revealed at the proper time.” Verse 7 says, “For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one WHO [person] now holds it back will continue to do so until HE [person] is taken out of the way.” I believe the Holy Spirit had Paul write it this way for this reason, pointing us to this function but not the entirety of the Holy Spirit. Make sense?
So it’s the Church that’s keeping what peace, so to speak, in this world through Holy Spirit. It’s becoming clearer now why the world persecutes the Church and wants us gone. The world wants the light gone so their darkness can reign. Then, at God’s chosen time, He will give the world their wish. However, God ensures there is a remnant and He will ensure this during the tribulation. Come Lord Jesus. Thanks Deanna.
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Yes! Precisely! Darkness hates the light, “but whoever lives by the truth comes into the light…” (John 3:21).
Something I had difficulty understanding at first is that most of those who worship Satan (the Illumanati, the witches, the highest degree Freemasons, etc.) call him Lucifer, and TRULY believe he is worthy of selling their souls, sacrificing babies, sodomizing their children, etc.; the deceit, the delusion, is THAT great.
The Lord has subsequently shown me that ALL those worshiping/idolizing ANYONE other than Him are deceived. These include not only those of other recognized religions such as Hindus, Buddists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, New Agers, etc., but most capitalists (those loving money and pursuing it over pursuing Jesus), those seeking fame, those seeking to please others more than Him (is that convicting?), AND (get this) Christians who “don’t give up everything” they have (Luke 14:33).
In other words, although it clearly varies in degree, deceit is universal in this world. BUT, the good news is that so long as we continue pressing full throttle into Christ our Lord, He is faithful to continue raising His Body higher and higher above the deceit. Hallelujah!
Hey Greg! Regrading how unbelievers will hear the gospel after the Philadelphian overcomers (the wise virgins) are raptured, I was just reminded of Revelation 14:6, which addresses the first of three angels speaking in loud voices during the tribulation: “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.” (NIV). So this gospel-proclaiming angel is in addition to the omnipresent Holy Spirit.
Thanks for sharing your understanding with us. I am also glad to see that though you held a strong view once, you were not inflexible to change it when you gained more insight.
I was taught to believe a mid-trib rapture, quite strongly actually. However, my interest in end-time prophecy has dwindled, because I don’t believe Jesus or Paul or Daniel told us these things to be anxious and worried, but to be assured and set our minds on Heaven.
I have heard it said that the Olivet prophesy has been fulfilled, through the destruction of the Jewish temple…and thus, for such a great tribulation to reoccur (considering Jesus also said that it would be “unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again” (Matt 24:21)), would be that it is a double-fold prophesy, which some attest to, because evidently, Christ didn’t come at the destruction of the temple (at least, it was not the end of the world, if He did come at that time!). However, I still wonder on this verse:
“Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened.” (Matt 24:34).
Someone once explained that Jesus was saying that the generation that saw ALL the signs He mentioned would not pass away until it was all fulfilled…and that it wasn’t about their generation at the time of the prophesy. But, I’m not sure how acceptable or believable that is. I don’t know why Jesus would want to be confusing about something so important to His disciples. Clearly the disciples and Apostles believed that He meant their generation, and they all lived like He would be coming for them any day now. 2000 years later, we are still on this expectation…
I think there’s lots of stretching that comes with understanding Bible prophecy (e.g the 70 weeks prophesy, being 70 x 7 years, and then also having an immeasurable gap, which we are still in, until the last week begins), and I’m thinking maybe we really don’t have all the pieces as we believe, but that God have given us enough to be warned and comforted, but not to figure out everything.
What use is it to know all that will happen during and after the tribulation, if indeed, we would be raptured before it… and when we are raptured, God will enlighten us on any point of darkness or contention while with Him in Heaven? And if we were to believe that we might face the hardship of the tribulation, but still be delivered by God, would it weaken our faith, or encourage us to strengthen our relationship with God, ensuring that we have cultivated the act of obedience and not complacency?
These are my thoughts at this time. Please, if you have an explanation for Matt 24:34, I would love to hear how it fits, and how the Oliviet discourse was meant for both the Jewish Temple destruction AND the end of the world (Second coming of Christ).
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Hi Sister! Read on! Many of your questions are addressed in Parts 6 & 7. I am in the midst of something time consuming presently, but I will get back with you. Please read and digest the remaining parts first! God bless you, lover of Jesus!
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Hello sister! I hope now, having read through Part 7, you are seeing an answer to your question, “What use is it to know all that will happen during and after the tribulation, if indeed, we would be raptured before it… and when we are raptured, God will enlighten us on any point of darkness or contention while with Him in Heaven?”
One key point of this whole series is that we know this: only the remnant Philadelphians are to be seized up by our Bridegroom to His Father’s house before the tribulation and BE His Bride. The unwise virgins, the Laodiceans, lack sufficient oil – intimacy with and utter dependency on Christ – to BE so delivered; they will NOT get to be enthroned as members of “the Christ,” and will NOT get to judge the antichrist.
We haven’t covered the book of Revelation yet, but I will tell you this now. Instead, these unwise virgins will have to endure the great tribulation with the Jews, and so will come to the door of the wedding banquet and say, “Lord, Lord, open the door for us!”(please see Matt. 25:11-13). If they do not seek to preserve their lives by receiving the mark of the beast, they will be the multitude in white robes in Rev. 7; they will be the “tribulation saints” overcome by the antichrist (the martyrs) seen in Rev. 13; those slain under the altar in Rev 6:9-11!
So it is CRITICALLY important that EVERY Christian know this, that they heed Jesus’ repeated admonitions in the Olivet discourse (e.g. Matt. 24:42,44; 25:13) to BE READY! That they heed His repeated warnings in Rev. 2 – 3 to repent! It’s an extremely different outcome: being raptured before the tribulation and marry Christ in heaven, and be enthroned with Him, judging antichrist versus being unwise virgins left behind to finally suffer death to self (as the wise virgins already did before the rapture of their own accord) at the hands of antichrist as tribulation martyrs.
I ask all persons reading this comment to “like” it if you understand the importance of UNDERSTANDING such momentous truths.
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I appreciate what you are saying, and I’m looking to finish the series so I can get a proper grasp of all you are saying.
So far, you haven’t spoken about the 144,000. Is that the number that will be raptured? Do you know who they represent?
I appreciate the explanation you’ve given for why it’s important to be ready… It is important to be ready because Christ already told us to be ready and watchful, and that we must bear fruit, and that we must also endure to the end. If we are obedient, then if the rapture is pre-tribulation, we will be taken up with Him (whether or not we thought it was pre or mid or post-trib), and if we are disobedient, or even complacent (thinking we will be among the select few raptured)…we may not only suffer physical death at the hand of the antiChrist, but also spiritual death!
My issue is the need to know everything before we take heed of what is already clear. Before He ascended, it is recorded that:
“they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1: 6-8).
No matter how much we think we know on this topic, we already know the most important thing, that Jesus is the Way, and we ought to follow Him, and for that we will truly suffer as He did, and we must bear our crosses until He comes.
Love the discussion! The 144,000 are described in Rev 7 as the Jewish remnant. Regarding what you expressed after that question, the Body of Christ has come into existence since Jesus said that! MUCH has changed, we have grown deeper in the corporate knowledge of such things. I agree with your last paragraph, BUT know that His people perish from lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).
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I think it’s written for a lack of vision, but knowledge is important to vision. Ultimately we need wisdom to rightly apply whatever knowledge we gain.
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Here is Hosea 4:6 in multiple versions for study: http://biblehub.com/hosea/4-6.htm
Amen to your last sentence! That is KEY: without the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, all we have is “soulish head knowledge” like the “Hebrew of Hebrews”, the Pharisee Saul of Tarsus had! Without Him we ARE nothing and have nothing, amen? Love you!
Well I’m reading Deanna! So let me get this right. The 144,000 is the Jewish remnant and these will NOT be raptured but face the great tribulation. 2. The Gentile elect are these the lukewarm laodiceans these too will NOT be raptured as the bride….but face the great tribulation and possible not make it at all…… the BRIDE are those who have NOW forsaken everything to follow Christ, the wise virgins …. obedient children, these are those will escape the great deception, delusion and the full onslaught of the anti-christ and man of lawlessness…….What of the saints of old are they the ones who are asleep who too shall be raised up with the Bride? What of those who were disobedient in the past? Are they now lost forever? just my brain trying to work it out. ….. Also so those ‘gentile elect’ ‘lukewarm’ christians are NOT the true Church is that right?
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Yes, you do understand! See?! Praise God!
I would add that many of the Gentile elect will come to Christ during the great tribulation (since they are not yet in Christ, they are not Laodiceans). Rev. 7:9 indicates that the great multitude of Gentiles saved during the tribulation is so great no one can count them! Praise God, but so sad they did not die to self of their own will BEFORE the great tribulation!
Yes, the saints of old are resurrected just before the “harpazo” of those who are alive at the time the trumpet of God is sounded (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-52). This is the first resurrection
of Rev. 20:5-6 – they rule and reign with Christ. I believe this is what Hebrews 11:35 is referring to.
Those who were disobedient and have died will be resurrected at the second resurrection, which is after the millennium, and they will be judged accordingly at the great white throne judgment (Rev. 20:11-15).
Regarding your very last question, yes, Christ will spit the lukewarm Christians out of His mouth IF they do NOT repent in time and open the door of their hearts to Him before He opens the door to heaven (His Father’s house) for His Bride (Rev. 4:1).
I would not call ALL those who do not repent before this the Gentile elect; only those who will refuse the mark of the beast and die martyrs will be the Gentile elect of Rev. 7:9-17.
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