I will talk more about this at the end of this reading. Because of the extensive symbolism the apostle John uses in his writings of what the LORD allowed him to see concerning the end of time, "Revelation" is one hard book of the Bible to understand. It gets even more confusing because he skips around a bit as well.
You must remember, though, that John wrote Revelation, after his visit with the Lord, while a prisoner on the island of Patmos, in the Aegean Sea. Understand as well that John was seeing things way into the future, so describing what he saw was a real problem. Though he had limited mail privileges, he had to sort of "code" everything so it would get past the "sensor" guards, to his 7 churches. Only those elders could understand his writings and then pass them along. This was instructed by the Lord. The following is a simplified version of all that, which makes it much easier to understand.
In doing so He did not force any of his creations , people or angels, to abide in Him, He gave all a choice. Of the apparently seven Archangels He created to sort of oversee things Michael, Gabriel, and Lucifer whose names most of us know , Lucifer was the only one that felt he could do things better his way.
This appears to be the beginning of "Good versus Evil. Knowing that Lucifer would grow bolder and bolder in his dealings with the people that would also eventually be there as well, the Lord allowed for a warning for all, through His apostle John, that a show down would finally have to take place. Hence, we the people of earth will be caught up in that final struggle between Good and Evil. Because the Lord loves us so much, remembering that the Bible says He knew us before we were born, in the end of times He is more than willing to bend over backwards to allow us the choice to continue on with Him.
That is what Revelation is all about from our perspective, that of His children. In Revelation He lets us know what is to come through His prophesy to John, and He does such twenty-one times before the very end. That prophecy could only have begun with the forming of Israel as a country in and of itself in The next indication that the final phase of the Lord's disdain with Lucifer and the evil he has spawned has begun, will be the calling back to heaven of all those that believe in Him and His son Jesus as the risen Christ , and the ones either too young or incapable of making such decision between good and evil.
That is referred to as " The Rapture ". Just prior to the instantaneous calling of His believing flock to heaven He will be giving all those on the edge of decision chance after chance to come under His wing. Because after the calling, those left behind will be facing extremely trying times, the price for their folly. Could we now be seeing that one last chance to decide in the rise of religion, in persons such as Billy Graham and his son and others like the Van Impe's on Sunday morning TV, constantly warning of what appears to be just around the corner?
If one looks at what is now happening around all of us, with the greed of some of the rich and powerful and those that kill without remorse in the name of religion, it becomes easy to see why the Lord might not be very happy with what He sees down here. There comes a time when a cut off date must be set in order to proceed with what is to be. That time is called "The Rapture" and the bible says it will come in an unknown instant, like a thief in the night leaving just one's clothing and such in their place.
Though the "Left Behind" book series has the Rapture as a silent happening, I believe that the " thief in the night " part of that only implies as to the surprise of the event and not the sound or sight of the event. For that part of the Rapture, we go to Paul in First Thessalonians 15, commenting on the end of times. Paul says that when the "caught up" later referred to as the Rapture occurs, the LORD himself will descend with a shout, with the voice of an archangel probably Michael , and with the trumpet of GOD.
That particular section does not say he sets foot on the earth, only that he descends to call up first those already dead in Christ, and then those that are believers at that time. I do believe those three noises, world wide shout, the voice, and the trumpet will get everyone's attention as it will be world wide. He lets us know though when it is near through the converging of all kinds of calamities. The Prophets and John were told that countries and people world wide would be in perplexed.
The only requirements for this to begin was for Israel to be a nation again and that it control Jerusalem, which has come about. Not only have religious shows taken over Sunday Morning TV, but all kinds of "specials" of religious nature are now being seen all over cable and even on the major networks. Some follow the bible and others try to tear it down, hoping that because it is on TV, you will believe their version of things.
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There will be much deception in the last days intended for people to buy into it. The book "The Da Vinci Code" tells you right on the cover that it is a NOVEL made up yet people don't talk of that; they talk of what the author has supposedly found inside. Remember, Satan has had thousands of years to plant all kinds of seeds of deception that will sucker in all kinds of people seeking to stand out in their fields without having to do all the necessary background work needed to be a true professional in any given field.
As more and more earth changes take place, as diseases get out of control, as computer hackers disrupt things, and nations go to war with each other, we get closer and closer to that time when the LORD calls his church home so those remaining will have to reap what they have sown. Remember that it's the Rapture that immediately brings on the really hard times prior and during the Tribulation period that follows. Either way, the people that are left will begin to pay an unbelievable price for their folly. Many will do "hard" time as some might say, while others will have it much easier.
The key to doing hard time or easier time lies in how soon one accepts Jesus as their savior.
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The coming 21 judgments to befall the earth, as all prophesied, clearly show that it now is the Lord's time and each judgment is there to more or less persuade each of those left to make his or her own decision to join the fold or remain outside the fold. Some will see the light in the first few judgments while others will take in most of the judgments before they too see the light. For the rest though, their arrogance will doom them to unfathomed misery for eternity. The bible gives us no time table between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation period, though most imply that the Tribulation period begins almost immediately after the Rapture.
It makes sense that for those left behind, the passing of the rapture will bring in chaos like never before. With all those people gone, business as we know it will come to a virtual standstill, so you better get your money out of the bank ASAP. The paper money flow will be forced to a trickle, which in turn means a lot of people will beout of work, and worse yet, the people relying on government funds will not be getting their money.
Those people with all their riches tied up on paper will more than likely find themselves broke as broke can be while those with tangible assets will find the going much easier. The loss of all those believers also means that the percentage of unscrupulous people willing to " put-it-to" the less fortunate will be greatly increased. There may not be many sympathetic businessmen and such left, which in turn means some stand to reap a windfall, such as mortgage foreclosures.
With so many people out of work, goon squads should be relatively easy to come by for eviction purposes. Remember there will be quite a few less police officers around as well and that should mean crime will become rampant.
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In a very short time bartering, especially after the great upcoming earthquake, will become the means with which to acquire things you need. Now empty homes and stores will be ransacked. The bartering system all this spawns will be the means, which will allow people to survive in the Tribulation period. Remember as well that most of the farmers will probably be gone too and will that ever put a kink in the food supply system. Right after the rapture, for a while at least, there should be a whole lot less people attending church.
The church-goers that will be left will then, shamefully, find their way to church once again because they realize what has just happened and, though embarrassed as all get out, will wish to get right with the Lord and will be looking for a way to do that. It will be at this time that a few will find it in themselves to become true believers and begin leading the way for others to be saved as well. As the word gets out that the Bible foretells all this and what is yet to come , more and more people looking for answers will search out the church.
This is the time when most will see the light and realize that what the Bible says is true and has now begun. This time and the time just after the coming tremendous earthquake that is predicted, are the times that most of the remaining souls will be won over. The churches will be packed. After the Rapture things will be in chaos for quite a while, and it is during this time that the Antichrist begins his climb to his intended throne.
He can not make his move, though, until after the Rapture, or people will see right through him; he needs the calamity the Rapture produces for him to begin his thing. It may be several months or even several years before he steps forward though. Because the Antichrist is one heck of a slick talker and because of his exceptionally smooth ways, he will be swept into power. He is a person that has been groomed by Satan from birth. The vast majority of earth's people will have no idea the Bible warns, of not only of him, but of what will come and why the rapture has happened in the first place.
After he signs that treaty with Israel, the first four of the seven sealed judgments the four horsemen will now begin. John was told that the identification of the Anti-Christ was in the number The bible says; Rev Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: If you look up on the Internet, you can spend a lifetime going over all the different variations the number crunchers have come up with for that number.
There are also sites that dig deeply into the spiritual realm of what could mean. Then again there are also quite a few sites that make the Pope out as the bad guy here. As a child I always thought of it as a tattoo or hidden birthmark that would identify the man. Find that tattoo or birthmark, kill the man, and the world would be saved. If you did that, you would be killing the wrong man because prophecy says he WILL come into power.
It all doesn't really matter, because it will be after the fact that those left behind will actually find out. The fact is he WILL come into power and all does is confirm that. Prophesy will be prophesy. Now I have always had a problem understanding the Bible where it says "ALL" nations will come against Israel in the latter days. How could the U. Where I went wrong in my thinking was that I was assuming the U. The fact is, that because we live in such a religiously free country, many more of us will be taken in the Rapture than in other super power countries like Russia and China.
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Our numbers will be decimated and that includes our military as well. While industrial based economies like ours falter, the agriculture based economies that are still prevalent in some countries will fare much better.
It won't take long before they figure out the tables have sure turned, and now there is no one to confront their evil ways. We will be but a paper tiger and they will surely take advantage of that. After the rapture some time is needed while the people left behind try to figure things out and begin to screw things up even more.
The period between the rapture and the Antichrist coming to power will more than likely take several years.
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This is because the Prophet Ezekiel foretells of a future prophecy that has yet to be fulfilled. The Prophet Ezekiel foretells that the nations to Israel's north will attack her with a massive force Ezekiel but the Lord will intercede and not one person in Israel will be hurt in the attack. This defeat more than likely lays the groundwork for the Antichrist to mediate the 7 year peace pack with Israel and its enemies. The day this peace pact is signed is the exact day that the 7 year timetable to the last day, when Jesus returns as foretold, begins. Several years, though, will be needed in order for this prophecy to be fulfilled.
After then the ttwenty-one biblical judgments begin, with the first of those judgments being the four seals pertaining to the Anti Christ's coming to power. The First Seal the white horse deals with the Antichrist coming to power on a platform of "peace". That is why he is depicted as being on a white horse with a bow but no arrows. The Antichrist is to be a person of European descent with ties to the Romans. A short time later, a second person religious in nature is brought into power and he is referred to as "The False Prophet.
Both will be given the power to do miracles by Satan and will use such in their attempt to convince earth's remaining people that he, the Antichrist, is the one real savior. The Second Seal the red horse deals with the start of WW3 as various countries resist his takeover.
It is at this time that people begin to pay with their lives, and if they die without becoming a true believer, they will not be with the Lord. People who die from then on and have become believers will be called "Tribulation Saints," and will immediately be taken to heaven and be given a white robe, there to wait for the end of times, just a short time down the road. The Third Seal the black horse deals with soaring prices for goods in very short supply.
People will work a full day for just enough food for one person. This will force many into acquiring the things they need to survive in a different or less horrible manner. Many will not make it through this time. The Fourth Seal the pale horse deals with the world wide death that will come about due to famine and plague. With supply chains still in dismay, much needed products like food and medicines will no longer be readily available.
The remaining three seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls all bring harder times, but each in turn allows those left to see the truth. As each of the above punishments - as you might call them - come about, more and more of the non-believers will see the light and become believers. Why does the Lord give those remaining so many chances? I think it is because the alternative is far too gruesome just to let go of even one of his creations just like that; it is his way of bending over backwards for us.
There are many levels of ignorance and arrogance to be overcome, and more than likely the last ones to be saved during the very last of the judgments will be those of deep religious belief that just happen to have someone other than Jesus as the mainstay of their religion.
Some religions keep their followers naive about other religions out there with the threat of severe consequences should one wish to stray. Many people have only heard of the Bible in passing and know nothing of its content. Word will get out though for those willing to question the calamities happening around them and some will reason or figure out they were in the wrong religion.
The protected , will have a lot to do with showing those that have been kept naive by their religions, the true path. I don't believe the Lord is asking all to form one religion as the Antichrist will do. The Bible says He has many flocks and believing in Him and His son Jesus as the savior is the key to salvation. The strictness of some religions will prevent that and it looks like those people will be lost for all time. The Fifth Seal , the acknowledgment of those already slain because of the word of GOD, the cries of the martyrs is more or less the separation point between what man brings upon himself and what GOD then brings upon man.
Their cries are heard and it is at this time that all those who gave their life for the LORD are given immaculate white robes and told to wait just a while longer as a multitude of others are about to join them. The Sixth Seal , a massive world wide earthquake and its aftermath, comes about very shortly after the appearance of the Antichrist has put the world in dire turmoil. The earthquake will be felt by all the people on earth and it will bring about massive destruction.
For a time the moon will turn red and the sun will turn black, and people will think it is the end of them all. This earth wide earthquake may be considered the first of the judgments induced by the Lord, whereby the first four judgments were attributed to the Antichrist and the fifth judgment being up in Heaven, with the calling for revenge by those believers taken to date. After this massive earthquake, the Lord does something special for those who have become true believers. He provides for a seal on the forehead of all true believers that only other true believers can see, though one can not see his or her own seal.
This seal is to be the sign of the cross and it will prove the immediate presence of the Lord. Having this seal is the Lord's way of making things easier for those that are true believers and to protect them from some of the ill effects of judgments yet to come. As the judgments proceed, the seal will only be awarded at the exact time one becomes a true believer in Jesus the Christ.
From that time on they will be assured a place in heaven though many will only get there as martyrs for the Lord. Dying with the seal gets you straight into heaven, where you will be given a white robe and told to wait with the others until their numbers reach the point only known to the Lord. For many, their only choice will be to die now for the Lord and then live again forever, or live a few more years under and as part of the reign of evil and then join Satan in the lake of fire for all time.
At about this time the Lord brings about , witnesses who will go throughout the world and proclaim his teachings. They will come from the 12 Jewish tribes of Israel, which originally settled the Holy Land. Each will have a definable mark on his forehead that will provide them safety as they proceed to win those left over to the Lord. They will be a real "pain-in-the-butt" to the Antichrist, but he can't do a thing to them because they are protected by the Lord. First, though, a special angel hurls to earth thunder, lightening, and an earthquake, which may be the warning that bad times are ahead.
The seven trumpets, which will take place over the next twenty-one months and take the lives of one-third of the remaining people, are then allowed to take place. The angel holding The First Trumpet is then allowed to hurl down upon the earth hail and fire, mixed with blood, which burns up one-third of the earth. Because ALL the grass is also burned up, this catastrophe seems to cover the entire earth.
A certain amount of time then passes by, intended to let the judgment sink in to those close to becoming believers while the Antichrist turns the devastation around for his advantage. The second angel then sounds The Second Trumpet , and something similar to a huge mountain that is ablaze is hurled down and crashes into the sea, turning one-third of all the seas to blood, which in turn kills one-third of all the sea creatures and one-third of all ships are destroyed.
Because this is a single item, I do not believe this will happen in an area that will involve the Americas to a great extent.
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The people there will learn about it soon enough and surely take it in heed. I believe the LORD will put it right smack in the middle of the ocean area of earth that has the most non-believers of Christianity and Jesus, and that would probably be the Indian Ocean. The religions and beliefs in that part of the world run very deep, and those folks will more than likely be the last to see what is happening and why. Those people will probably be the last to convert. The Lord then again gives those who are left time to decide their fate while the Antichrist again tries to turn what has happened to his advantage.
The third angel then sounds The Third Trumpet and that angel then sends a blazing star known as "Wormwood" to the earth. Wormwood puts a bitter taste in one-third of the rivers and springs of earth, such that many will not drink of such or became gravely ill and even die from the bitterness. Here again a single item is hurled to earth but this time, because the rivers and springs are effected, it sure sounds like it hits land. I am but a simple lay person with a deep desire to educate those who are honestly seeking the truth.
I do this to be faithful to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ as He told us in Matthew 28 verse 19 to go out and teach all nations In case you don't already know, the nations mean the people - everyone. He is telling us that we are to proclaim His gospel to not only our friends and neighbors, but also to those throughout the entire world. What greater a place to do that than on the world wide web that can be seen and read by people virtually everywhere. Book of Revelation Starts Here. Much time has been devoted to the gathering of the enclosed information.
Those seeking the truth will find God's written Word, the Bible, to be the final authority, in all that they seek. As for Salvation issues, there should be no conflicting views contained here. There will be differences of opinion about exactly what and the timing of events that take place in the Book of Revelation. Those events are subject to interpretation but they are not a salvation issue. Some will interpret the how, what, and even the timing in the book of Revelation differently depending on their method of interpretation.
Christians should be able to discuss those differences without fighting over their meanings.