THE 5 FOOLISH VIRGINS?

Is the church today the 10 virgins in the parable?

The parable of the 10 virgins is one that generated so much confusion as many have tried to fit it to our timeline and used it for today’s church and related it to a future coming rapture.

As I have previously written in a former post, read here, to understand the parable of the ten virgins given in Matthew 25 one must appreciate the fact that the parable does not stand out on its own. The eschatological discourse would be seen when you read in context from Matthew 22.

Jesus gives his audience important information that they needed to embrace as it would to events that were to happen in their time and age. These events would totally reshape their entire Jewish world and scope of life. These events when it occurred would make an undeniable impact on their state of affairs. The route to these things being fulfilled would involve the judgment of the Jewish religious leadership, Roman-Jewish conflict, persecution of Christ followers and subsequent destruction of the temple and land.

Matthew 24 is commonly recognized as the Olivet discourse that unveils the greatest prophecy given by Jesus that signaled the end of that (Jewish) age though it is wrongly translated as “world” in the KJV. This has caused many to make predictions of endless coming Antichrists, raptures, global tribulations etc. As I would like to call it, Matthew 24 is the obituary of the Old covenant world.

As Matthew 24 transitions in 25 it is very important to take note of the first verse;

THEN the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.”

Notice the word “Then”?

This suggests that the events given in the parable would follow that of the previous chapter;

After the destruction of the city in judgment comes the wedding feast.

The warning of the parable is not to be muddled by drawing too many spiritual deductions of symbolism of the oil, the sleep, the vessels, and the lamps. The essence of the parable is that of readiness for the bridegroom’s coming. The parable is not addressed to those who have made no preparation for the Lord’s coming but to those who have not made sufficient preparation.

Why were some virgins regarded as foolish? What was it that made them foolish? They were foolish because they were not prepared. The coming of the bridegroom was not to be in a separate generation from those virgins who expected his coming.  This clearly refers to those of the first century were unprepared for the Lord’s coming because they were turning back to the Jewish law system.

The persecution and trials in the first century was leading some to fall away from holding to the Apostles teaching. As they turned back to the Jewish system and were in danger of being destroyed in the Jewish war that was looming on them.

If the door was shut, it would look exactly like the story of Noah when the Ark’s door was closed. If they did not flee Jerusalem at the approach of the Roman army, they would all opportunity to escape.

The word used in Matthew 25 for foolish is the Greek word moros. It means dull or stupid. This same word is used in Titus 3.

But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. 10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned. Titus 3:9-11 NKJV

What is referred to as foolish here is the teachings of those who still upheld that circumcision was still relevant in the new covenant. These Judaizers were constantly demanding that the believers keep the Jewish law. Paul dealt much with this subject in the letter to the church Galatia. The Galatians were acting foolish in turning back to the law.

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Yeshua the Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Galatians 3:1-3 ESV

Jesus had told his disciples that he would come in their lifetime, but they did not know the day or hour, so they were to always be watching (Matthew 24 covers that). Those who were wise would be prepared for His coming and would escape the destruction of the city, thus avoid the judgment on that Old Covenant world. If they were foolish and not watching, they would not discern his presence as it be manifest unexpectedly and they would suffer great pain as the city was destroyed. Being foolish would cost them their lives.

You are not the foolish virgin in the direct application of that parable. This is the 21st century and this event has been fulfilled in the first century. The lesson to learn is to be watchful on the promises of God by being occupied with whatever he gives into your hands and not be entangled with anything that will cause you to walk with the former elements of the old covenant.

 

 

 

Refuting The Thirty-One (31) Silence Facts About The Rapture

I remember reading a forwarded message on Whatsapp having to speak on a Rapture that was dawn upon us. I went through the 31 facts about the rapture that the author penned down and reviewed them in the light of scriptures and decided to blog this so that we can also see if this line with God’s plan or a man’s fables.

To be honest, I was quite shocked with some of the assertions written as most of it is just simply aimed at producing fear and uncertainty in the hearts of people and also get them prepared with moral works to earn and keep salvation.

Now I will post his statement and my rebuttal to every point he raised. I hope you enjoy this.

 

  1. It is going to be the next greatest event that will shock all the continents of the world.

Response: The greatest expectation is the spread of the knowledge of the glory of God all over the earth. The conditions of earth fully mirrors that of heaven.

 

  1. It is going to take place suddenly, abruptly, unexpectedly, without warning and without prior notice.

Response: The expansion of the kingdom is already on even beyond what we can fully measure as to its impact.

 

  1. There shall be no second version of the event.

Response: There will also not be any first version of the future rapture.

 

  1. A greater percentage of Christians may be taken unawares.

Response: A greater percentage of Christians have already been deceived expecting it to happen.

 

  1. Careless Christians who miss the event will have no other similar gracious opportunity.

Response: The gracious opportunity of salvation is available for all living.

 

  1. The event shall have no regard or respect for ecclesiastical titles or church leadership positions.

Response: The only thing that has no respect for such is the grace of God. All are grace mates.

 

  1. It shall be a day when the sheep shall be separated from the goats.

Response: That judgment was between the Israel of the flesh and the Spiritual Israel in the ad70 destruction of Jerusalem in ad70.

 

  1. The day shall differentiate between the Broad Way Christians from the Narrow Way Christians.

Response: The broad way that Jesus talked about was for the Jews who held on the law as against the few Jewish Christians who embraced Christianity.

 

  1. The day shall separate sincerity from hypocrisy.

Response: None of them proves who is saved. Our sincerity was not good enough for our salvation.

 

  1. The day shall differentiate between those who harbour secret sins from those who abhor secret sins.

Response: There is no Christian who understands how he received forgiveness in Christ through the grace of God who would enjoy living a sinful life.

 

  1. The day shall separate those whose lives are hidden in Christ from those who are hiding in the church.

Response: Those whose lives are hidden in Christ is based on the finished work and not based on denomination or affiliation.

 

  1. The day shall show a glaring, clear, conspicuous, demarcation between Christians who walk on the path of holiness from those who walk on the path of worldliness.

Response: Outward show of holiness or other forms of morality can still be achieved without knowing God.

 

  1. It shall be a day of double emotion: joy for some and unimaginable, indescribable, uncontrollable regrets for others.

Response: Those moments will only surface when people make wrong decisions about their lives on earth.

 

  1. It shall be a day of surprises- some “Big names” may miss the flight while some “Less known” may be on board.

Response: There’s no flight of such nature programed by God to distinguish status.

 

  1. Another surprise may be that a man or woman who had faithfully served the Lord for many years may defile his or her garment a few minutes before the sound of that summoning trumpet and miss the flight while a notorious sinner may surrender his or her life to Jesus within the same time frame and go to heaven.

Response: How can anyone defile the free gift of righteousness when his/her “sinnerhood” could not stop the work of salvation.

 

  1. This event may happen now, today, this week, this month, this year or next year!.

Response: Don’t bother speculating. It will never happen.

 

  1. Wise Christians, like the five virgins that took extra oil, are expected to get ready, yes, to get prepared.

Response: The virgins were the Jews who were not prepared to enter the kingdom as they remained with their knowledge of the old covenant.

 

  1. After the event, all those who are bitter against one another, malicious, unforgiving, jealous, arrogant, haters, hypocrites, drunkards, fornicators, adulterers, adulteresses, murderers with weapons and murderers with tongue etc, shall have enough time to continue in their trade.

Response: Sadly the scriptures never describe this to happen in the kingdom age. We are told that the kingdom will increase in glory and not gory.

 

  1. When the event is over there shall be revival among those who have chosen to stay behind not because there will be a second chance, no, but because the reality of the event would have struck them like a thunderbolt. But they will have to pay with their own blood.

Response: If our blood has to be used to pay for our salvation then it means the new covenant will also be replaced still it wont be eternal. Oh wait! Hebrews says it is eternal.

 

  1. When the event is over, those who are left behind shall no longer be safe to worship in their gigantic, fanciful and multi-billion Dollars/Cedis cathedrals. Instead they shall seek safety in caves, bushes and abandoned and dilapidated but hidden structures.

Response: The Jews were the ones who had to hide in caves when their city was leveled down by the Romans.

 

  1. When this great event is over, each time those who will miss their flight manage to gather for worship, they will pay attention to only one sermon- whether they gather in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America; the sermon will only centre on “How to Meet the Divine Standard and Join the Other Saints”.

Response: Jesus is no longer the focus of the message. This proves it to be a hogwash.

 

  1. It is also worthy to note that those who will be left behind will never have any business with comedians at their altars anymore. No! There shall no longer be gatherings for entertainments. Whenever, they manage to gather, it shall always be for serious religious business only.

Response: If you have any problem with comedy then stay at home and pray.

 

  1. The prayer pattern of those who will be left behind will also undergo a radical change. They will not be praying for things anymore. They will only be praying for strength to withstand the tortures of the Anti-Christ and die bravely to join the other saints. None will be praying for jobs, marriages, etc.

Response: The principles of prayer is centred on the relationship that we have with the Father who knows all our needs and through his grace has made everything available for us.

 

  1. It is equally worthy of note that some of those who will miss their flight will not be able to endure the torture of the Anti Christ. They will receive the mark of the beast and thereby be doomed forever.

Response: I will spend more time here.

There is not even one scripture that describes the personality of a man known as the Antichrist. As for the mark of the beast, you should probably calculate and know that it is summed up in a man’s name. John the revelator used what is known as Gematria. Many scholars have recognized the consonants of “Neron Caesar” in Hebrew add up to 666. That is why he asks for wisdom on this.

To understand the term antichrist, we must first understand the context of John’s writings. During the time of the first century Church, there was a cult system called Gnosticism. They taught that the spirit was good and the physical/emotional realms were evil, therefore Jesus could not have come to earth in an actual physical body. They taught that Jesus came to earth only as an ethereal spirit being. This teaching is heretical because it negates the truth of Jesus shedding His human blood for the remission of sin. The Gnostics gained so many followers and was a threat to the foundation of the early church.

This why John writes;

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world (1 John 4:1-3).

Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist (2 John 1:7).

Any person who denies that Jesus came in the flesh, which is what the Gnostics of the first century were doing, is operating in the spirit of antichrist. The antichrist isn’t a person; it is a belief system, that is known as Gnosticism.

 

  1. When the ready saints are gone, all our denominational walls of partition will collapse. The man or woman who use to worship in The Redeemed Christian Church of God, for instance, will hide in the same place with those who worship in Christ Embassy, Church of God Mission, Deeper Life. Assemblies of God, Word Aflame, Action Chapel, Winners Chapel, Lighthouse Chapel etc and nobody will remember to claim superiority anymore because then they will be facing a common enemy.

Response: The walls of denomination only fall away when the gospel of grace is embraced and we get to see each other through the unconditional love of the Father.

 

  1. When this event is over, each time believers who will miss their flight manage to gather anywhere for worship, there will be an atmosphere of sobriety. This rowdiness we witness today shall be no more.

Response: Sincere worship is simply new testament worship. This is against the backdrop of the Old Testament where lambs were slain at the altar with an earthly priesthood.

  1. There shall also be a radical change in the attitude of those who will miss their flight towards Bible study. What we have now is an attitude characterized by a high degree of nonchalance and indifference, but when the ready saints are gone, those who will be left behind will begin to take their bible study seriously.

Response: If the fear of death is the motivator towards Bible study what do you think people would learn when they sit down? Do you honestly think that they will learn how to be established in the grace of God then if it were to happen?

 

  1. All the teens and youths who come to church to please their parents will repent after this great event; yes, they will begin to seek God for themselves.

Response: Actually they should learn to do so now. Many are already trapped because they cant find Jesus in the covens of religions where they find themselves.

 

  1. When the event is over, all those who will do any form of business in the schools, hospitals, banks, etc, will have to bear the mark of beast (666) or be hunted down and killed like common criminals.

Response: The mark of the beast is the number of a man. It was a way of calculating his name that John was telling the church of the first century. This was fulfilled as there are numerous records to prove the severe persecution of the first church in the days of Emperor Nero that fits the description as given by John.

 

  1. One of the gains of this reminder is that there may be someone reading this piece today who will take a firm decision to ensure that he/she gets on board that celestial flight travelling to glory.

Response: One of the positive for someone reading this is to rethink this man-made theory and go back to what God wants; For us to be established in the grace of God and present ourselves to our world as the lights shining in the darkness that surrounds them.

 

  1. However, one of the greatest tragedies of this reminder is that there may be someone too who is reading this piece today but who will see no need to heed this warning. A tragedy indeed!

Response: Sadly there may also be someone who will read this and insist that the rapture must happen even without a clear scriptural stand on it. Hopefully someone else would consider if this piece is written in honesty and has challenged his/her thinking in this direction to rethink this “rapture” thing and rediscover the kingdom.

Who is The Man of Sin?

The apostle Paul told the Thessalonians that the destruction of Jerusalem would not come until the rebellion had occurred and the leader of the rebellion, the “man of lawlessness,” was revealed. He then told them what types of things this rebel leader would do.

He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

Remember that this is a letter written to an actual church who needed to heed his warnings as at that time. The case for audience relevance cannot be overemphasized here.

The scripture above is a clear indicator of who could and could not be the “man of sin.

Whoever this person is, he would have to be a person who would have physically been able to stand in the Temple and proclaim himself God.

This would require a person to be alive before AD 70, when the temple was destroyed, because at no time since AD 70 has there been a Temple for the man of sin to stand in. There are those who have been proclaiming a rebuilt temple. It is quite unfortunate that there is no New Testament verse that predicts a rebuilt Jewish Temple.

It is necessary for a temple had to be standing for the man of lawlessness to stand in it. This helps us understand the timeframe.

One thing is certain, which is that this man would cause the destruction of the temple. Based on historical records, one man fits the bill. The main rebel who caused the destruction of Jerusalem was John Levi of Gischala.

Josephus The Jewish historian wrote of how John Levi was a selfish, unscrupulous man with persuasive powers who convinced many that he was sent by God to liberate them. Further, John Levi took over the Temple, set himself up in the Temple as the Jewish savior (as God), looted the vessels of the Temple for their gold, and caused the daily animal sacrifices to cease. He also plundered the people, even burning their storehouses of food and causing the great famine that starved tens of thousands to death, and he enlisted aid from the Idumeans, who killed 8,500 of the Jews, including the priests.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 speaks of counterfeit signs being performed by this man. It would interest you to know that John Levi declared that he was God and would deliver the people from the Romans. He commanded the storehouses of food to be burned in faith that He would miraculously deliver them from their enemies. Instead they starved to death because nothing spectacular happened.

Even when the Roman General Titus pleaded that John Levi leave the Temple, so that it wouldn’t be destroyed in battle, John completely refused. If not for this stubborn position the Temple might have been spared, as the Romans considered it as one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Paul goes on to explain more about the man of lawlessness:

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him backso that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:5-7).

John was not only a rebel leader, but also a false messiah. He claimed godhood by taking over the temple, and the only person who stood in his way was the Jewish Chief Priest, Ananus. Ananus was known for his great diplomatic skills as he had been able to negotiate peace treaties with Rome many times before.

Ananus the high priest was literally able to restrain the full-scale rebellion that John Levi was aiming to accomplish. That is why Paul referred to the one who restrained, who must be taken out of the way.

Even Josephus noted that once Ananus the high priest (the one who restrains) was killed, then the destruction of Jerusalem began. The death of Ananus was the beginning of the destruction of the city and the ruin of her affairs.

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). 

When the “coming of the Lord” occurred with the destruction of Jerusalem, John Levi was finally dealt with. He was the cause of the rebellion, which led to the attack by the Romans. He also set up his militia in the Temple, murdered all the priests, and caused not only all of Jerusalem to be destroyed, but even the temple, which the Romans didn’t want to harm.

History proves the writers of the new testament texts to be true. From the prophecy of Jesus to all the apostles wrote about, there seems to be a very consistent narrative that played out in the judgment upon the old city that symbolized a world that was made obsolete by the cross.

It would be error of mighty proportions to take that same texts apply them to our timelines to justify doctrines that herald a rapture and revelation of an antichrist.

There are many teachings that suggests that the man of sin or lawlessness is the antichrist that would be revealed in our current dispensation. From comprehensive studies on prophetic texts, they fail to reach wholesome conclusions but what can only serve to justify a narrow perspective that seeks to bring the world to an end.

To understand the term antichrist as we used by John, we must first understand the context of his writings. During the time of the first century Church, there was a cult system called Gnosticism. They taught that the spirit was good and the physical/emotional realms were evil, therefore Jesus could not have come to earth in an actual physical body. They taught that Jesus came to earth only as an ethereal spirit being. This teaching negates the truth of Jesus shedding His human blood for the remission of sin. The Gnostics gained so many followers in the early Church (about a third of the first century Church) that John wrote his first epistle in response to their heresy.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ (1 John 1:1-3).

John was writing to prove, as an eyewitness, that Jesus was not a ghost, but a real physical person. John was the disciple who leaned his head upon Jesus’ chest, and he knew that Jesus was not merely a spirit. He even remarked in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

The apostle’s writings were targeted to those who had fallen into the first century Gnostic doctrine. John explained further in his epistle, to say that those who claimed Jesus didn’t have a physical body were actually antichrist.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world (1 John 4:1-3).

Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist (2 John 1:7).

Any person who denies that Jesus came in the flesh, which is what the Gnostics of the first century were doing, is operating in the spirit of antichrist. The antichrist isn’t a person; it is a belief system, specifically, Gnosticism.

John further mentions the antichrist spirit as something that the early believers had already heard of:

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming… (1 John 2:18 NASB).

First, it is important to note that certain Bible translations have inserted a word that is not in the Greek manuscripts; this has led to much confusion we see today. These translations capitalize the word antichrist in First John 2:18.

The reason for the capitalization is because the translators inserted the word the before the word antichrist, thus making antichrist into a proper noun, which requires capitalization.

The early Church had heard that antichrist (false teaching) was coming, but they had not heard that the Antichrist (a one-world ruler) was coming. The insertion of the and the capitalization of Antichrist was added 1500 years later by the translators.

So many teachings link this together and expect the so-called Antichrist to be revealed as the man of sin/lawlessness which coincide with the time of the rapture or physical return of Jesus to pick up the church.

None of these falls into the true narrative of the prophetic view of the early apostles who were expecting some events to happen in their time and among their contemporaries. Hence the need to write and admonish them to be prepared as the events playing out in their time was to herald a soon-coming judgement upon that old covenant world that was ready to pass away.

Now we live in the age of the increasing kingdom which will brighter and brighter in splendor and glory. This is where we are no matter what happens in our world today. Jesus has the victory and it will resound throughout the earth eventually.

 

End of the World or End of the Age?

Reading the scriptures just based on our timeline, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion that the disciples were now asking about the end of the world in Matthew 24. But when you look at it closely in context from chapters 21 through 25 you will discover that there is no sensible explanation for why the disciples would have recovered from the long open rebuke of Jesus to the Pharisees and declaring the destruction of the Temple.

It just doesn’t make sense that they would be suddenly changing topics mid-sentence to ask about something completely unrelated like the end of the world. Therefore, it only fits that the disciples were still asking questions about the current discourse. When they asked about the “end of the age,” they were not asking about the end of the world.

This is just a simple solution when you look at the from the original languages. In Greek, the word for “world” is kosmos, whereas the word for “age” is aion. The disciples asked Jesus about the end of the aion. They did not ask about the end of the kosmos.

It is clear from the context even through the parables that Jesus was going to come and bring destruction to Jerusalem and the Temple; therefore, if the Temple was destroyed, it would mean the end of sacrifice. With no temple there would be no more sacrifice, which would mean no more priesthood and rituals. This would be the end of an age which we might we might call, the end of an era. The disciples were asking when the end of the Age of Moses, which Jesus had just prophesied, would happen.

Because many have taught that Jesus was talking about the end of the world, the understanding of many other related verses has also been distorted. By appreciating that the disciples were asking about the end of the Age of Moses, we can clearly understand many verses that are scattered throughout the New Testament.

In that same Matthew 24 Jesus gave the timeline when the prophecy of the end of the age would be fulfilled.

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:34-35).

To the Jewish people, a generation is forty years, not 80 and 100 many have claimed. This is clearly seen in the fact that a “generation” died in the wilderness during the forty-year journey (Deut. 29:5 gives more details). Therefore, Jesus was saying that this prophecy would happen before forty years had gone by. Jesus said this in AD 30, and the entirety of His Matthew 24 prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70. The Jews wondering in the wilderness was a shadow of a coming reality in the advent of the New testament which was the true promised land in Jesus.

The New Testament is filled with exhortations that a near eschatological event was on the horizon for those living at that time. Here are some scriptures to prove that the end of the age was upon that first century church and not in our time:

“The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12)

“But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none” (1 Corinthians 7:29).

“Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11).

“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5).[5]

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Hebrews 1:2).

“[Jesus] would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9:26).

“[Let us not forsake] our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
“For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay” (Hebrews 10:37)

“Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure! (James 5:3)

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door” (James 5:7–9)

“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer” (I Peter 4:7)

“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18).

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John” (Rev. 1:1)

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3).

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.” (Rev. 3:11)

“And [the angel] said to [John], ‘These words are faithful and true’; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place” (Rev. 22:6)

“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.” (Rev. 22:7)

“And [the angel] said to [John], ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near.’” (Rev. 22:10)

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Rev. 22:12)

“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20)

It’s is impossible to turn the above time indicators into an “any-moment rapture” or prolonged periods of prophetic history. This would be to arrogantly disregard the authority of scriptures and make it fit for us without context. The Kingdom of God is growing, and we are not looking for a future “falling away” of the Church. We are looking forward to the explosion of God’s grace upon the earth until His glory covers the earth.

 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The Mark of The Beast? What You Should Know

The first question is this…

 

WHO WAS THE BEAST?

 

Revelation 17:9-10 John tells us:

“Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.”

 

Do you know that the “seven mountains” correspond to the seven hills of Rome (Do a google search into history). However, did you know that the seven kings also point to Nero as “The Beast”? They do. Because John tells us that: “Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come and when he comes, he must remain a little while.”

 

According to Josephus, the Roman historian, Julius Caesar was the first king, followed by August, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. The sixth king was Nero. So, he is the “one (who) is”.

The seventh king – the one who followed Nero – was Galba, and as John prophesied, he reigned for a short time (about seven months).

 

Nero, as the sixth king of Rome, was the first to persecute Christians in the First Century. He started persecuting them in November of 64 AD and ended on June 8, 68 AD when he killed himself. That was 42 months of persecution. Notice what John says about “The Beast”:

“And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for FORTY-TWO MONTHS was given him.” (Rev. 13:5)

 

Coincidence? No. Clearly John is going out of his way to let his readers know that “The Beast” had a name that, in the Hebrew, added up to a number (666) and that he was the sixth, and current king of Rome, and that his persecution would last exactly 42 months. Could it not be clear than this to the original audience?

 

Extra-Biblical Evidence

Nero was also called “The Beast” by contemporary pagan writer Apollinius of Tyana, who said of Nero:

“In my travels…I have seen many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs…. And of wild beasts you cannot say that they were ever known to eat their own mother, but Nero gorged himself on this diet.”

 

Nero murdered his own parents, and his brother, and his pregnant wife, in addition to several other family members.

 

We also have evidence from the Romans that Nero enjoyed dressing up as a wild beast and raping male and female prisoners.

Consider that all of the earliest Church Fathers from Irenaeus in the First Century, all the way through to St. Beatus in the 8th century agreed that “The Beast” was Nero.

 

The Buying and Selling?

Roman citizens were required to publicly claim allegiance to Caesar by burning incense in his honor and proclaiming that “Caesar is Lord”. Those who did this received a document that allowed them to buy and sell in the marketplace. The main market place was known as The Agora. Without it, no one could purchase anything. Therefore, the “Mark of the Beast” – or the document that showed your allegiance to Nero as Lord – was required to buy and sell if you lived during the time when John wrote his epistle to the seven churches.

 

None of those Christians who read Revelation were confused about what John meant by this. It was already happening to them.

 

The Mark of the Beast is not a microchip, vaccine and it is certainly not a barcode. It is not your credit card or an implant. The Beast was Emperor Nero. The Mark of the Beast was “the number of his name” which added up to 666. We’re told that The Beast would reign in terror for 42 months and Nero’s persecution of the Church lasted exactly 42 months.

 

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

What many may have missed is this… It is not triple 6 like 666.

It is Six Hundred and Sixty Six. It is counted.

 

John said “Let him who has understanding CALCULATE the number … his number is Six hundred threescore and six”

 

The number is based on summation and not coding. The Jews had a system of counting names with numbers, it’s called Gematria.

 

It is not a physical chip or implant.

 

John says “for it is the number of a man”

Vs 17 John says

“And that no man might buy or sell,” except in one of 3 ways:

  1. He that had the mark, or
  2. The name of the beast, or
  3. The number of his name.

 

To clear the confusion that may arise he tells his audience (the church of the 1st century living in Asia Minor”

 

Use wisdom to calculate the number of his name.

Unfortunately today’s church is checking for chip or vaccine.

 

Don’t forget that John was told from the first chapter he was given visions and things were signified.

 

John used a puzzle called gematria in which numbers are used to represent certain letters. John used this puzzle to reveal Nero without actually writing down his name. Remember, the early churches were being persecuted during this time not only from the Jews, but also from the Romans. The numerical values of the Hebrew letters in Neron Kesar.

 

Nero Caesar fits the gematria code number “666.” Using this code, his name would be rendered as “NRWN QSR.” (NRWN QSR). The number values are:

N = 50
R = 200
W = 6
N = 50
Q = 100
S = 60
R = 200

which, when added together, equals 666. The fact that Nero fits the description of the “beast” is well documented.

It’s time the Church do some study and see things in a holistic perpective. Nothing happening now in our world correlates to the book of Revelation.

 

Seven times in the book of Revelation, John was told that the events would happen soonest.

Soon is the same in meaning anywhere in the English language and even on the pulpit. We cannot be expecting the mark of the beast or the number of his name 2,000 years after the scrolls were written to specific churches to take heed and make necessary preparations.

That age is gone. We are now living in the kingdom age. Jesus is Lord, His victory will be our song and His grace our specter.

 

5G, Coronavirus and The Antichrist

Recently there has been quite a stir and debate about concerns about the deployment of 5G, its health concerns and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is coming against the background of major voices in the religious circles pointing how it may be leading us to the Armageddon mentioned in the book of Revelation. It seems as it is postulated to be a conspiracy to get people in a position that would make it easy for the Antichrist to exercise his dominion.

They have raised concerns that it high health risks associated coming with radiation properties. Some even allege that the essence of the lockdown is instal the 5G network behind public notice.

Perhaps what is needed now is clarity as there is so much confusion on social media that has left many confused and living in fear. It is not uncommon for people to attribute such trying times like to be the endtimes and connect it to the appearance of a coming antichrist, rapture and end of the world. This I believe should be an opportunity to reconfirm the truth.

Firstly we will first look at what 5G is?

5G is the fifth generation of wireless communications technologies supporting cellular data networks. It is basically an upgrade from the more common 4G and is aimed at enhancing connection not only between people but also between machines, objects and devices — think advancements in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and so on.

The “G” usually associated with cellular networks stands for generation. More than 4G and other previous generations, 5G is expected to expand the capacity for mobile networks, making it possible for more devices to use the network than ever before.

According to Verizon, 2G has a maximum speed of about 50kbps (kilobytes per second) and allows basic operations like calls, SMS and MMS. 3G networks reach up to 2mbps (megabytes per second) when stationary.

4G, which is the current standard, is 500 times faster than 3G and supports more advanced activities like HD video streaming and video conferencing with speeds of up to 100s of Mbps.

The main way 5G differs from all of the previous generations is in its peak capacity and reduced latency, which is the time between when information is sent from a device until it is used by a receiver.

5G is not “owned” by any one person or government. Just like with previous generations, companies can own patents in the technology, in essence earning royalties from implementers.

According to a 2019 Wall Street Journal report, Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE Corp. have put forth vastly more proposals —and are among the biggest owners of key 5G patents. This simply because they had a beginners start in developing its framework.

In addition to bringing accelerated Internet speed, 5G is said to fast-track the mass adoption of technologies that rely on Internet connectivity, from connecting self-driving cars and drones to virtual reality, remote surgery and Internet of things.

According to a discussion with a telecom service engineer, with 4G already installed in telecom sites, 5G devices (small cells) will be installed within short distances of each other as determined by user needs.

Hence, it appears 5G will be integrated into the existing Internet framework such as the fibre backbone, telecom masts and 4G technology, and will serve as an upgrade to improve wireless connections.

Now to the main issue…

Does 5G cause harmful radiation and is it more dangerous than 4G and 3G?

Before the coronavirus outbreak, there were already discussions regarding 5G effects on people’s health due to its higher frequencies and the type of radiation it emits.

Unlike electromagnetic radiation which can cause cancer, 5G produces a form of radiation that is not thought to penetrate and damage human cells and although 5G frequencies are a bit higher than that of 4G and 3G, the World Health Organisation has made this to statment about the new technology.

“To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies. Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum and provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.”

Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says “a large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk (and) to date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”

According to the European centre for disease control, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that circulate among animals and sometimes humans. The COVID-19 virus is a new strain that has previously been undiscovered in humans. This pandemic is actually the first to occur in this way.

According to WHO, the Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

There is currently no research linking the coronavirus and telecom technologies such as 5G.

 

5G AND THE LAST DAYS

Does the scriptures actually give us the pointers that we are living in the last days? On second thought, you will discover that there are strong evidences that we are not living in the last days and neither is that term meant for our time and generation.

Let’s see what the Bible says about the “last days” and see if we can come to an understanding of the meaning. Firstly it would be common to see that most Christians would agree that the last days had begun by the time Christ came into the world:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Hebrews 1:1-2 NASB

 

The writer of Hebrews says that they (first century Christians) were in the last days. The big debate is however when do the last days end? How is it supposed to last? Hopefully, our article will help us answer that question.

In order to understand the term “last days,” let’s look at how the phrase was originally used in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Bible’s first use of the phrase “last days” is found in Genesis:

Then Ya`akov called for his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the acharit-hayamim. Genesis 49:1 CJB

 

The “acharit- hayamim” is the Hebrew for the “last days.” Consider carefully to whom the phrase “last days” is primarily addressed. Jacob is talking to his sons (the twelve tribes of Israel), and he pronounces the general evil that would come upon them. So, clearly, Israel is the subject of the last days, and the last days concern Israel:

 

‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the command of the LORD, either good or bad, of my own accord. What the LORD speaks, that I will speak’? 14 “And now behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come.” Numbers 24:13-14 NASB

 

The CJB has here “acharit -hayamim.” The KJV says, “in the latter days.” And YLT says, “in the latter end of the days.” Here again the vision is concerning the Jews. It was concerning what would happen to Israel in the last days. It was something far ahead in their future. We must respect the fact that the entire scripture was penned over the course of two thousand years.

 

Isaiah wrote about these “last days” as well:

The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Now it will come about that In the last days, The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. Isaiah 2:1-2 NASB

 

The vision was concerning Judah and Jerusalem. This is speaking of the New Covenant that was inaugurated in the “last days.” Nowhere is the phrase “last days” used to refer to the physical planet, but, rather, it is referring to the “last days” of the nation Israel.

Moses confirms that the “last days” of national Israel would be evidenced by devastation and their ultimate scattering:

“And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the nations, where the LORD shall drive you. Deuteronomy 4:27 NASB

“When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. Deuteronomy 4:30 NASB

 

He continues this idea toward the end of the book:

“For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the LATTER DAYS, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 31:29 NASB (Emphasis Mine)

 

Moses says, “…evil will befall you in the latter days…” Moses was leading the company of Israel. There is no reference to Gentiles being the subject of these latter days:

 

Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the LORD. “They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, “You will have peace”‘; And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’ “But who has stood in the council of the LORD, That he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened? “Behold, the storm of the LORD has gone forth in wrath, Even a whirling tempest; It will swirl down on the head of the wicked. “The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last days you will clearly understand it. Jeremiah 23:16-20 NASB

 

Throughout the book of Jeremiah God condemns the Jewish false prophets. Here Jeremiah predicts that when these last days come, the people of Yahweh will understand what He will do to the nation in destroying it and punishing it for its wickedness.

God, through Ezekiel, warns Israel (My people) of their destruction by the hand of foreign nations:

and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the LAST DAYS that I shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.” Ezekiel 38:16 NASB

Michael, the archangel, spoke to Daniel associating the latter days with Daniel’s people:

“Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the LATTER DAYS, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.” Daniel 10:14 NASB

The phrase “your people” is referring to Israel. Israel is Daniel’s people. The time of this writing is about 536 B.C. He says that the vision of what will happen to Israel in the latter days is a long way off, “…the vision pertains to the days yet future.” So, in Daniel’s time, the “last days” were a long way off.

 

If you then move into the New Testament, you will see this truth can verified. In the book of Acts we find a profound statement made by Peter (a Jew) to a multitude of Jews out of every nation:

But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy. Acts 2:14-18 NASB

 

Who is Peter talking to? The answer is: men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem. “When did Peter say this?” He said this in the first century.

Peter explicitly says, “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel.” He then explains that what this multitude of Jews was experiencing was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel. Peter is telling this multitude that they (first century Jews) were in the last days. Beyond this, he goes on to describe what would take place during these last days:

‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE. ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME. Acts 2:19-20 NASB

 

Notice how this corresponds to what Jesus said in the Olivet discourse:

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29 NASB

 

Jesus spoke these words in answer to the disciples’ question as to when the end of the age would come:

Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:1-3 NASB

 

Their question was two-fold. First they ask, “When will these things be?” The “these things” refers to the temple’s destruction in verse 2. In verse 1, the disciples point out the temple buildings to Jesus.

 

In verse 2, Jesus says, “All’ ‘these things’ shall be destroyed.” It should be clear that they are asking, “WHEN will the temple be destroyed? When will our house be left desolate?” After all Jesus had just said about judgment on Jerusalem (Matthew 23), and then about not one stone being left upon another, the disciples’ response is, “When?” It would be odd to think they were asking about the end of the physical planet as at that time. Don’t you think so?

The second part of their question is, “What will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age.” If you compare all three synoptic Gospel accounts, you will see that the disciples considered His “coming” and “the end of the age” to be identical events with the destruction of the temple:

“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” Mark 13:4 NASB

 

Notice in the first part of the verse, he says, “When will these things be?” –referring to the temples’ destruction. Then in the second half, he asks, “What will be the sign when all ‘these things’ will be fulfilled?” 

 

The sign of His coming and the end of the age was the same as the “these things,” which referred to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year AD 70. The disciples had one thing, and only one thing, on their mind, and that was the destruction of the temple. With the destruction of the temple, they connected the coming of Messiah and the end of the age. Their question was, “When will the end be?” Jesus told them quite clearly that the end would come in “This generation”:

“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Matthew 24:34 NASB

 

The word “generation” means: “those who are contemporaries, or live at the same time.”

So, the age that was to end was the Jewish age. It would end with the destruction of the Jewish temple and the city Jerusalem. It was not the “last days” of planet earth or the “end” of the world; he is talking about the “last days” or “end” of the age of Judaism, the Old Covenant Age. The disciples knew that the fall of the temple and the destruction of the city meant the end of the Old Covenant Age and the inauguration of a New Age.

All the predictions for the end of the physical planets by many public-figure prophets will only give them popularity that they seek and possibly lead people into deception. It is good to test all things by the written word especially based on diligence required to study it. We are in the age of the ever-increasing splendor of the kingdom of God and not the last days. The last days are far behind us. 5G and the Coronavirus is not leading into the end of the earth. This is not the first time that we as humans would face a pandemic, this will not be the last time that humanity will see power of God move in ways to grant us victory.

Live in the peace of God!

 

 

 

Is The Coronavirus the Judgment of God?

In many Christian circles, there are talks that the recently WHO declared pandemic COVID-19 could be a judgment from God on the nations of the world as a result of sin, homosexuality and probably high level of immorality.

 

The alarming rate of the Coronavirus has led many to believe that God intends to do a purge on all unbelievers using this plague. They rely on examples of cases in the scriptures where it was recorded that God used plagues or disasters to judge people with evil.

 

The million dollar question is this? Does a good God use evil to kill people?

 

If there is any person that best reflects the nature of God to know if he does such, we need to see Jesus. The scriptures tells us that Jesus is the best replication of God’s character.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being..” (Hebrews 1;3b)

Jesus told his disciples in John 4 that if they had seen him, they had also seen the father. A close look at the ministry of Jesus, one would see that one major aspect of his teachings was to put proper light on the nature of God as father.

The journey from the old testament shows us that disasters and plagues were attributed as acts of God. One significant place is in the book of Job, where the main character stated “…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)

 

Now we have read that book and we all know what Job didn’t see behind the scenes. God blessed but God didn’t take away anything. The accuser and enemy did. Job didn’t know that. This concept has on its own formed many doctrines bothering on the nature of God in connection to unfortunate events.

 

The concept of the wrath of God as found in the new testament had a strong connection to the expressions of curses found in the old covenant. In the book of Deuteronomy 28-32 we see Moses calls out the curses on Israel and spoke about a generation that would see catastrophic events play out.

For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.

O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! (Deuteronomy 32: 28-29)

 

When Jesus arrived on the scene, he merely told the Jewish people of his time that those events prophecied by Moses and other prophets was due upon that generation that didn’t recognize his visitation to them. They rejected the messiah sent to them for their deliverance.

 

For the days will come upon you when your enemies will barricade you and surround you and hem you in on every side. They will level you to the ground— you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.” (Luke 19:43-44)

 

The Apostles recognized the times that they were living in and preached the good news of salvation to as many Jews possible within a short time to get them out of a worship system that was doomed to fail. They rejected Jesus, his disciples and the messages that was God’s rescue plan for them.

 

Paul in one his letters expressed his frustrations realizing what was ahead of the Jews.

I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my [a]countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.  

What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31 but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law [d]of righteousness. 32 Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, [e]by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone. 33 As it is written:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

(Romans 9:1-5, 3-33)

 

Relating the “wrath of God” to the same Jews, he writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:

For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, 16 forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.”

 

Clearly we see the “the wrath” was to come upon, following the timeline of the writing of that book. This is a confirmation to the prophecy of Moses and others that a time would come when Jerusalem would be destroyed. It has nothing to do with people 2,000 years after. This was fulfilled when the Romans attacked and destroyed Jerusalem in ad70. God’s salvation was to get them out so that they would not be objects of that catastrophe. John’s revelation followed same theme. This theme of “judgment” is same throughout the entire new testament.

 

None of it involves God sending Bird flu, Ebola or Coronavirus to existing nations on the earth to underscore God’s anger. As James rightly puts it,

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17 NIV)

 

Jesus faced death-threatening situations like tempest on sea. He calmed the waters, knowing it was not God’s plan to kills his disciples. He healed the sick because He knew that God would have them healed. It would be absurd for us to this as the act of God while humanity battles the act of God.

 

The Spanish Flu from 1918-1919 infected 500 million people and killed as many as 50 million. Yet humanity moved on with a solution and conquered that virus.

 

It is important for us to know that this is not setting up an arrival of an “Antichrist” or the end of the world. With the gift of inspiration mankind will record another victory because God loves humanity. God has given us the victory in Christ.

 

Let us be guided in the faith of Jesus and not the fear of the enemy. As Paul wrote:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

God has given us the victory in Jesus!

 

 

 

 

Are We Living in the Last Days?

For most Christians this is a no brainier. Surely with the events happening on the globe we must surely be at the cusp of the end of the world. With tensions boiling in the middle-east connecting President Trump and Iran there are suggestions of an Armageddon about to happen.

 

The recent fire outbreak in Australia has led some to even believe that God is venting our judgment on nations for turning their back on him.

 

Does the scriptures actually give us the pointers that we are living in the last days? On second thought, you will discover that there are strong evidences that we are not living in the last days and neither is that term meant for our time and generation.

 

Let’s see what the Bible says about the “last days” and see if we can come to an understanding of the meaning. Firstly it would be common to see that most Christians would agree that the last days had begun by the time Christ came into the world:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. Hebrews 1:1-2 NASB

The writer of Hebrews says that they (first century Christians) were in the last days. The big debate is however when do the last days end? How is it supposed to last? Hopefully, our article will help us answer that question.

 

In order to understand the term “last days,” let’s look at how the phrase was originally used in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Bible’s first use of the phrase “last days” is found in Genesis:

Then Ya`akov called for his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the acharit-hayamim. Genesis 49:1 CJB

The “acharit- hayamim” is the Hebrew for the “last days.” Consider carefully to whom the phrase “last days” is primarily addressed. Jacob is talking to his sons (the twelve tribes of Israel), and he pronounces the general evil that would come upon them. So, clearly, Israel is the subject of the last days, and the last days concern Israel:

 

‘Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything contrary to the command of the LORD, either good or bad, of my own accord. What the LORD speaks, that I will speak’? 14 “And now behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come.” Numbers 24:13-14 NASB

 

The CJB has here “acharit -hayamim.” The KJV says, “in the latter days.” And YLT says, “in the latter end of the days.” Here again the vision is concerning the Jews. It was concerning what would happen to Israel in the last days. It was something far ahead in their future. We must respect the fact that the entire scripture was penned over the course of two thousand years.

 

Isaiah wrote about these “last days” as well:

The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Now it will come about that In the last days, The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. Isaiah 2:1-2 NASB

The vision was concerning Judah and Jerusalem. This is speaking of the New Covenant that was inaugurated in the “last days.” Nowhere is the phrase “last days” used to refer to the physical planet, but, rather, it is referring to the “last days” of the nation Israel.

 

Moses confirms that the “last days” of national Israel would be evidenced by devastation and their ultimate scattering:

“And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you shall be left few in number among the nations, where the LORD shall drive you. Deuteronomy 4:27 NASB

“When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. Deuteronomy 4:30 NASB

He continues this idea toward the end of the book:

“For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the LATTER DAYS, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.” Deuteronomy 31:29 NASB (Emphasis Mine)

 

Moses says, “…evil will befall you in the latter days…” Moses was leading the company of Israel. There is no reference to Gentiles being the subject of these latter days:

 

Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the LORD. “They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The LORD has said, “You will have peace”‘; And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’ “But who has stood in the council of the LORD, That he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened? “Behold, the storm of the LORD has gone forth in wrath, Even a whirling tempest; It will swirl down on the head of the wicked. “The anger of the LORD will not turn back Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last days you will clearly understand it. Jeremiah 23:16-20 NASB

 

Throughout the book of Jeremiah God condemns the Jewish false prophets. Here Jeremiah predicts that when these last days come, the people of Yahweh will understand what He will do to the nation in destroying it and punishing it for its wickedness.

God, through Ezekiel, warns Israel (My people) of their destruction by the hand of foreign nations:

and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the LAST DAYS that I shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.” Ezekiel 38:16 NASB

Michael, the archangel, spoke to Daniel associating the latter days with Daniel’s people:

“Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the LATTER DAYS, for the vision pertains to the days yet future.” Daniel 10:14 NASB

The phrase “your people” is referring to Israel. Israel is Daniel’s people. The time of this writing is about 536 B.C. He says that the vision of what will happen to Israel in the latter days is a long way off, “…the vision pertains to the days yet future.” So, in Daniel’s time, the “last days” were a long way off.

 

Hosea talks about how the elect remnant will turn to Yahweh in the “last days”:

Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days. Hosea 3:5 NASB

This is talking about Israel trusting their Messiah Jesus. Also we see that in Micah, the Prophet states that the last days involves the destruction of physical Israel, and the establishment of the true Israel:

Therefore, on account of you, Zion will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, And the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest. Micah 3:12 NASB

 

If you then move into the New Testament, you will see this truth can verified. In the book of Acts we find a profound statement made by Peter (a Jew) to a multitude of Jews out of every nation:

But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: “Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. “For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: ‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS; EVEN ON MY BONDSLAVES, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, I WILL IN THOSE DAYS POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT And they shall prophesy. Acts 2:14-18 NASB

 

Who is Peter talking to? The answer is: men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem. “When did Peter say this?” He said this in the first century.

 

Peter explicitly says, “This is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel.” He then explains that what this multitude of Jews was experiencing was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel. Peter is telling this multitude that they (first century Jews) were in the last days. Beyond this, he goes on to describe what would take place during these last days:

‘AND I WILL GRANT WONDERS IN THE SKY ABOVE AND SIGNS ON THE EARTH BELOW, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOR OF SMOKE. ‘THE SUN WILL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE GREAT AND GLORIOUS DAY OF THE LORD SHALL COME. Acts 2:19-20 NASB

 

Notice how this corresponds to what Jesus said in the Olivet discourse:

“But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29 NASB

 

Jesus spoke these words in answer to the disciples’ question as to when the end of the age would come:

Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:1-3 NASB

Their question was two-fold. First they ask, “When will these things be?” The “these things” refers to the temple’s destruction in verse 2. In verse 1, the disciples point out the temple buildings to Jesus.

In verse 2, Jesus says, “All’ ‘these things’ shall be destroyed.” It should be clear that they are asking, “WHEN will the temple be destroyed? When will our house be left desolate?” After all Jesus had just said about judgment on Jerusalem (Matthew 23), and then about not one stone being left upon another, the disciples’ response is, “When?” It would be odd to think they were asking about the end of the physical planet as at that time. Don’t you think so?

 

The second part of their question is, “What will be the sign of Your coming and the end of the age.” If you compare all three synoptic Gospel accounts, you will see that the disciples considered His “coming” and “the end of the age” to be identical events with the destruction of the temple:

“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” Mark 13:4 NASB

Notice in the first part of the verse, he says, “When will these things be?” –referring to the temples’ destruction. Then in the second half, he asks, “What will be the sign when all ‘these things’ will be fulfilled?” 

 

The sign of His coming and the end of the age was the same as the “these things,” which referred to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year AD 70. The disciples had one thing, and only one thing, on their mind, and that was the destruction of the temple. With the destruction of the temple, they connected the coming of Messiah and the end of the age. Their question was, “When will the end be?” Jesus told them quite clearly that the end would come in “This generation”:

“Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Matthew 24:34 NASB

The word “generation” means: “those who are contemporaries, or live at the same time.”

So, the age that was to end was the Jewish age. It would end with the destruction of the Jewish temple and the city Jerusalem. It was not the “last days” of planet earth or the “end” of the world; he is talking about the “last days” or “end” of the age of Judaism, the Old Covenant Age. The disciples knew that the fall of the temple and the destruction of the city meant the end of the Old Covenant Age and the inauguration of a New Age.

 

All the predictions for the end of the physical planets by many public-figure prophets will only give them popularity that they seek and possibly lead people into deception. It is good to test all things by the written word especially based on diligence required to study it. We are in the age of the ever-increasing splendor of the kingdom of God and not the last days. The last days are far behind us.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Prepare For The Rapture

As soon as you perceive that the time for the rapture pls do the following in context with Matthew 24 since we must maintain our scriptural foundation.

  1. Locate the nearest mountain, if you are in Nigeria then you are in trouble – “Let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains”
    2. Leave your country of residence – “Let those in the city get out”
  2. Be very careful because you may not make it alive – “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you…”
    4. If you are a foreigner don’t return back to your country – “Let those in the country not enter the city”
    5. Make sure you live upstairs – “Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house”
    6. Don’t have children or give birth to one – “How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!”
    7. Pray it happens in the summer – “Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.”
    8. Make sure you are a farmer that can abandon his crops – “Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.”
    9. Don’t attend any marriage ceremony or organize one – “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage…

But most important you have to predate your human existence back almost 2,000 years from now because Jesus said it will happen;

“ Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened” (Matthew 24)

 

According to my good friend Jordan Hardgrave this part of his blog will help.

 

Look in Luke’s account at one of the last examples Jesus uses to prepare his followers for the soon coming judgement.

“On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:31-32)

 

What happened to Lot’s wife?

Genesis 19:22-26

“By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land.But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”

 

Jesus is following the same train of thought the entire narrative. He is giving them a warning about the consequences of going back to or remaining inJerusalem when it was destroyed, and uses Lot’s wife looking back as Sodom and Gomorrah was being destroyed and turning into a pillar of salt as a warning that the same thing would happen to them if they also looked back.

 

Now that we have this understanding, let’s finally look at these verses and I think you will see with perfect clarity what Jesus is saying.

“Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”(Matt. 24:40-41)

Let’s use Lot and his wife as an example of two people who were in a field, one taken and one was left.

Lot’s wife looked back and was “taken”, because instead of continuing to run away from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as she was instructed, she looked back, and was taken/destroyed by the fires of destruction.

Lot was “Left behind”, was spared, and continued to live.

Lot did not look back, he kept fleeing when Sodom and Gomorrah was being destroyed, Lot’s wife did not.

“These verses are describing a RESPONSE NOT a rapture EVENT.”

These verses are describing a response that two different people will have once they observed the signs.

 

I hope that by now you would have put everything in place to make the rapture according to Matthew 24. Like they say it could happen any moment even now. Be sure to have your kit in place or better study for yourself and realize that this place was not addressed to you. You are the first century Jewish Christian who needed to escape Jerusalem before the great fall of the city and temple in AD70.

 

Identifying The Second Horseman In The Book Of Revelation

I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder,“Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.

When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword. – Revelation 6 (NIV)

 

In my precious blog I explained how the book of Revelation is more like an expanded form of the prophecy found in Matthew 24 but in more prophetic language. This chapter in particular gives a rundown of how the judgment would take place.

 

The first four seals the lamb opens are the four horsemen, and each is released from heaven to usher in various judgments on the land translated as earth. Strong’s defines the Greek word the (ge) means contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe (including the occupants in each application):–country, earth(-ly), ground, land, world.

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon also defines it “a country, land enclosed within fixed boundaries, a tract of land, territory, region”

 

Now we will examine the second rider and its horse.

 

Now it will be worthy to note that in Matthew 24 that Jesus also gives a sequence with regards to fulfillment of those events that shaped the end of the old covenant age.

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24 NKJV)

It is of no surprise that after the first rider, the next rider comes with a sword to take away peace. Wars and rumors of wars confirm the sequence of events.

The word “nation” here is the Greek word ethnos, which means, a race.

Did the disciples see nation rising against nation? Yes! Josephus writes that , “At Caesarea in AD 59 the Jews and Syrians contended about the right to the city, and twenty thousand Jews were slain.” At Scythopolis, over 13,000 Jews were killed.

 

Thousands were killed in other places, and at Alexandria 50,000 were killed. At Damascus, 10,000 were killed in an hour’s time. Jesus is speaking about the conflicts between Gentiles and Jews, which began to take place shortly after this time, and continued to the beginning of the great Jewish war with the Romans.

 

It is remarkable how these events fit into the timeframe that Jesus and how largely in the church many are unaware of them.

 

According to historical records, in the fall/winter of 67 AD a brutal civil war broke out in Jerusalem and Judea between the revolutionaries and those who wanted to maintain peace with Rome. Jerusalem was eventually divided into three factions led by [1] Eleazar, the leader of the Zealots [2] John of Gischala, who was over the Galileans, and [3] Simon, who was over the Idumeans. It remained this way until the city and temple was destroyed.

 

The Jewish people lived under terrible conditions. In one night 8500 people were killed, and their bodies were cast outside of Jerusalem without being buried. The outer temple was “overflowing with blood” and the inner court even had pools of blood in it. It was a massacre!

 

Steve Gregg, in his book “Revelation: Four Views (A Parallel Commentary),” quotes from J. Stuart Russell, who stated in (p. 106),

The Jewish war, under Vespasian, commenced at the furthest distance from Jerusalem in Galilee, and gradually drew nearer and nearer to the doomed city. The Romans were not the only agents in the work of slaughter that depopulated the land; hostile factions among the Jews themselves turned their arms against one another, so that it might be said that “every man’s hand was against his brother.”

 

These were the sights Jesus could see in his foresight while on earth. He saw that the people would be thrown into a sea of blood knowing that majority would reject the covering of the new covenant.

41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” – Luke 19

It is indeed a sad thing to look into history and see how those events played and realize that it was something that which was preventable if they had embrace the new covenant. They rather preferred to hold on to the old covenant and its system of worship.

 

What is personally disturbing for me is to see modern end-time preachers preach that these horsemen are still coming forth in our time. They keep putting the prophecies of Revelation of out context to justify their uncanny abilities to stream together bible passages and tie them to modern news events.

 

In our generation we have witnessed conflicts and wars in various places and at various times. We have seen terrorist activities take place that has left some at loss in the wake of the disaster and it cannot be dismissed. The only problem is then taking these events into our timeline and declaring the nearing end of the world.

 

Our Lord’s prophecy was in relation to the end of that Jewish age which the disciples questioned him about. The presence of God’s kingdom has actually being finding expression though some have not realized some truth in this regard. We will experience the glory of the kingdom and peace will eventually reign over the earth.

 

 

 

 

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