We will begin at the start of the Tribulation again, but this time we will follow the events as one with the terrible fate of remaining on earth after the Rapture has taken place. There are several possible sequences and scenarios, as we step into prophecies concerning these last days. Many facts and events are spelled out concretely; some are not to be fully understood until they are fulfilled. We will walk through the chronological sequence of the Book of Revelation, and fit the many Old and New Testament details of each event into place as we go…
Some people may question why such a loving God would want to destroy the entire planet, and all of the people he supposedly loves so much—this is a fair question, but one that proves God's love for His children and His Holiness, not a question that proves His callousness. In the last several decades we have watched our world change immensely, and not for the better. There is fast approaching a time of, "Critical Mass" in the world. ["Critical Mass": When the world is irreversible in its spiral to death, disbelief, pain and self destruction, and there is no hope remaining. At this point, it would become unfruitful to allow the pain and suffering to continue, because there is no more good to be had within its turmoil.]
Revelation 4:1-6: Notice the voice sounded like a trumpet; many believe this is a reference to when Christ calls us Home with the Voice of a Trumpet—either way, this is a moment just before the beginning of the Tribulation. This description goes in depth. Then One sitting on the Throne, reveals to all present: Revelation 5:1-12: the Scroll of Judgments that are to come to all the earth; sealed with seven seals (seven represents perfection and completion in Scriptures). The message is powerful: the time is complete—God’s perfect, just and final Judgment has come. The contents of the Scroll is the wrath of God Himself—that is why only Jesus is worthy to open it. He alone gave His own life to redeem those that love Him from this wrath to come; He alone gave them everything, in desperate hope to save them; He alone, is the One who has been rejected by those left—Who has seen His loved people hurt and tortured by those left; Who has given mercy and love, as He waited for those left; Who has heard the cries from His redeemed to avenge them.
Just before the first Seal is broken, we are called home in the incredible event known as the Rapture. We need to briefly see this event from the perspective of those left on earth, instead of those being taken home. A great place to examine this event is through the eyes of the Thessalonians. Some of them thought that they may have been among those who missed the rapture of the Saints. Listen to Paul's answer: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8. The Tribulation begins with a great falling away from God; followed by a taking away of the Holy Spirit (meaning the believers leave), to make way for the proceeding appearance of the antichrist into the world scene. We all can see the amazingly progressive hostility towards God and Christians all around us today--a recent news report stated Christians are the most persecuted group across the globe in 2016. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12: Paul says that Satan will deceive the world because they didn’t want the truth. We see this all around us today. People that hear and see God's Truth constantly, but, because it doesn't agree with their attitude or what they want to do, they choose not to believe it. How quickly this mentality has turned our whole culture away from Christ. Paul says in their desire not to love God, they will believe, not a lie, but the lie. Most probably, the lie that Satan has been trying to pass since the first day he appeared in Eden; the lie that is much easier and better for him to spread than not believing in God; the lie probably says “God is NOT good"; “God is holding out on you"; "God simply wants to hold you down and keep you from being what you deserve to be—what you were meant to be. " [Is this not exactly why society hates Christ and true believers today?] Maybe the antichrist will not have to, "explain away the disappearance of True Christians" as we somehow imagine; perhaps he will simply say that these, "haters, and troublemakers that have kept our world from reaching true acceptance and peace have been judged by God. " Or maybe even that, "God has taken away His judgmental followers, and now, we can be rid of, 'Him and them' once and for all.” There will be vast numbers of people who see quickly and clearly, the Hand of God and they will turn. But remember, the majority of those remaining at this point knew the Truth, and wanted no part of it; and Scriptures say that Satan will literally have this group which has been left in the world, armed and ready, to "Wage war against God Himself in the end.” Revelation 19:19. There will be others, (as we've just said) which have not heard, or which have never trusted in Christ, but now can clearly see the Truth, and want to live for Him. Or who were a big part of the church, but suddenly find they are alone; in a world that is hostile towards them, and facing the fight of their lives to survive.
As each Seal on God's Scroll of Judgment is broken at the beginning of the Tribulation, things progressively get worse and worse: "As birth pangs" (Matthew 24:8); and as the final Seal breaks, God's wrath pours out. The First Four Seals of the Scroll are spoken of in sequence, almost as if together. These Seals seem to be in a series of connected incidents that start everything in motion. They seem to be the origin for much of what we see in the first half of the Tribulation, and they are well known, by even many casual readers of end time prophecy as, "The Four Riders of the Apocalypse." Seal #1 - Rider on a White Horse: speaks unmistakably of the Antichrist making his entrance onto the world stage, which Paul told the Thessalonians, would be one of the first events to occur after the falling away and the Rapture: Revelation 6:1-2. He comes as a leader who has a bow, but no arrows; a leader that has a show of power, but no real strength as Christ does. Daniel 9:27: "one week", meaning a set of seven. (This was a common way of saying seven years in Scriptures.) This is at the very beginning of the Tribulation; the antichrist is not yet a leader of world proportions over his ten nation empire, but here it seems he steps up in whatever country or capacity in which he is leading, and makes a covenant with Israel (to whom this prophecy was written). [The word, "covenant" here in Hebrew, means a pact, confederacy or a league.] The antichrist will sign an agreement with Israel that involves, “many”, and is so strong, it seems to bring peace to the Middle East, bringing him much notoriety and strength. The whole world will be against Israel in the last days: Zechariah 12:2-3. [To put in perspective—check out the news reports on the United Nations and Israel from Christmas 2016]. The antichrist's Covenant or Pact with Israel, may include the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in Old Jerusalem; this has been a major issue to the Israeli's since they were reborn as a Nation; (they are prepared to begin); and we know the Temple must be rebuilt, because it is in use 3 1/2 years later when a major event takes place there halfway through the Tribulation: 2 Thessalonians 2:4. The task of building the Temple will not be easy or short, therefore it must begin somewhere close to the beginning of the Tribulation, if not before. Another almost immediate sign will be the appearing of two men in Jerusalem, who claim to be prophets for God: Revelations 11:3-12. They will be the first two people that begin to tell the world about Jesus Christ again, since the removal of the true church. They will be easy to spot, because they will dress in sackcloth (a symbol of mourning) [these men are in mourning for the judgment to come, and for the lost that do not know Him yet.] It is interesting that there are two prophets that come down from Heaven in the last days, who eventually will die and resurrect in front of the whole world [God said it is appointed unto man, once to die (Hebrews 9:27).] [There are exactly two prophets from Scriptures that were taken away to Heaven without dying—meaning they are yet to die once—Enoch & Elijah.] They come with the Power and protection from God over them, and anyone who tries to hurt them, they have power to kill. They are a thorn in the antichrist’s and world’s side; everyone grows to hate them. These men are used to bring knowledge of Christ, and bring a show of his Power by bringing plagues to earth during this terrible time; they stop the rain from falling during their time of prophecy—bringing sever draught. They turn water to blood, and bring other plagues to earth. They are on the earth causing havoc in front of satellite Television and YouTube for the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation...
What if you’re still here for this? These signs will occur very near the beginning of the Tribulation, and will let you know that God's Word is real—that you MUST choose Christ…
Next week, we will see the incredible nightmare begin to unfold, and see the unbelievable evidence all around us—that these things are at the door even now.
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