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Archive for August, 2020

“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 shortly take place. ‘And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book’” (Revelation 22:6-7 NAS).

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 NAS).

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF APOSTACY?

Scripture tells us there will be three signs before those last seven years begin. God said a great falling away or departure or apostacy from truths the Church has followed and believed since the resurrection of Jesus—truths handed down from the beginning according to the words of Christ Jesus.

Today we see a falling away of enormous magnitude; a twisting of words like Isaiah and Jeremiah spoke of—a time when people call good evil, and evil good. Jude warned about “those who’ve crept in unnoticed among us…” And factions within the leadership of our own Southern Baptist Convention have joined other denominations casting out and distorting the truth of scripture.

The evening news leaves us aghast at the march of evil stampeding across America, but according to The Word it is going to become much worse. Why? Lawlessness. When? When the restrainer is taken away.

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WHO OR WHAT RESTRAINS EVIL?

In conjunction, the second thing to understand is whatever or whoever restrains this man of lawlessness will be removed in order for Satan to earn his full reward.
But is the restrainer still at work today? Yes, even now some of the churches in America, in China, and other parts of the world, are standing firm in the Word.

THINK WITH ME—WHAT HAPPENED AT PENTECOST?

“And gathering them together, He commanded them “not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4-6 NAS).

“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself’” (Acts 2:38-39 NAS).

We see when the Holy Spirit was given. To whom was He given? To those who believed in and trusted what Jesus did at Calvary to save them. The Holy Spirit was given to those believers…to the Church. Given to the heart and mind of each believer. He is God’s down payment or His promise of our future salvation. There is only One! The Holy Spirit of God has been and is the restrainer of the evil one!

Now, do you believe for one-second God would rip His promise, His Spirit, His down-payment out of the hearts of His children, leaving us to face Anti-Christ, the Beast, and the False Prophet alone? Absolutely not…when the Holy Spirit departs, He will take the true Church (all believers) with Him! Scripture has verified this fact.

Sunset in Crandall

Again, remember what Jesus said about adding to or taking away from His Word. There are consequences—like the inability to discern truth when you choose to reject His Truth.

As a brief side-note, is there historical biblical proof of people being caught up to be with God before they physically died? Absolutely…four of them mentioned in the Word. Can you name them?

“Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed (those who are still here on earth). For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53 NAS).

As you look back through Old Testament history, when did the trumpet sound for God’s people?

1. Warning God’s people to break camp and move
2. Calling God’s people to the tent of meeting to worship
3. A call to battle
4. Warning them of coming danger

Scripture says this will be the last time this trumpet will sound. We will never have to break camp again. We will be in the presence of God the Father and His Son, our King, Jesus Christ. There is only one battle left. No fear. We will be with our Commander and Chief—”King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.”

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THE BEST COMMENTARY OF SCRIPTURE IS SCRIPTURE:

“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him (Jesus) those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with our Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 NAS).

The Greek word “caught up” or “snatched up” means to seize, catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force) that word is harpazo. This Greek word translates to the Latin Vulgate as “rapturo” from which we get the English word “rapture.”

At the sound of this last trumpet and the archangel shouts, Jesus comes for His bride and we will meet Him in the clouds. He doesn’t return to earth…YET!

THE MAN OF LAWLESSNESS REVEALED:

Then this man of lawlessness himself will be revealed, marking the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. God’s escalating wrath will be poured out on a world gone rogue for the seven final years of this age. No doubt he will bring short-lived peace and a temporary brightness…you know why…what you want to believe, because the truth is too horrifying to deal with. But through escalating throngs of demonic evil—you can see—you can feel. But most of those left behind will be unable to see truth because of the deluding spirit God will send upon those who’ve rejected Him.

Can people accept Jesus and be saved during this terrifying period of Tribulation? Absolutely, but they must refuse to take the Mark of the Beast, which refusal will lead to their beheading.

But remember, if a person takes the Mark of the Beast in his forehead or on his hand, there will instantly be eternal separation from Christ—No do-overs!

Black and White Clouds

As God pours out the fullness of His wrath on mankind, through Seals, Trumpet and Bowl judgments, men and women will curse Him. Is it any wonder God is angry? His Son went to the cross to pay for the sins of ALL mankind; but these men and women will thumb their noses at His Son and our Savior—they will reject God’s mercy and curse His name. It’s all written in the Book of Revelation.

THE HERE AND NOW:

For years we’ve watched men, women, and young people thumb their noses at law and order, commit heinous crimes, curse God, and the Lord Jesus Christ. And Satan has boldly upped the ante. This week Bible burning has been added by this enemy of God. We’ve watched members of Congress lie and pitch their support with the perpetrators of evil as they attempt to overthrow our Republic and shred our Constitution. Could it be Daniel’s 70th week is about to begin?

Are you listening for that last trumpet blast and the shout of God’s archangel? If it’s in accord with Jewish wedding customs, perhaps the angel will shout “BEHOLD THE BRIDEGROOM COMETH!”

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Are you longing to be part of that great transformation in the skies? Are you living to be clothed in wedding garments furnished by your King according to your works; as we all gather for that long-awaited marriage supper of the Lamb of God to His bride?

“And the Lord utters His voice before His army; surely His camp is very great, for strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, and who can endure it? Yet even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping, and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil’ ” (Joel 2:11-12 NAS).

Then and only then can the Church return with King Jesus when the skies split and roll back like a scroll—members of His royal Court—dressed in fine linen—following Him as the sword from His mouth renders appropriate judgment to all who’ve rejected His Word, His Name, and His great gift of love and salvation.

Or will you be among those who have chosen to remain for the worse-than-horrid seven years…alone…on your own? Now is the time to reconsider, before the trumpet and the angel break the silence of that night’s sleep—when dawn will reveal the tragic, warned-about-reality of God’s truth to those left behind.

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end…I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22:12-13, 16-17 NAS).

Next week in this series:
WHAT ABOUT ISRAEL? WHERE ARE THEY DURING THESE SEVEN YEARS?
AND WHAT DID GOD SHOW YOU IN REVELATION 5? ANSWER TO THE FOUR MEN CAUGHT UP: ENOCH, ELIJAH, JESUS, AND PAUL!

DiANE N. GATES
http://www.amazon.com/DiAne-Gates/e/B01MXYR4AS

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“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 shortly take place. ‘And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book'”(Revelation 22:6-7 NAS).

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ABOUT END TIMES PROPHECY:

Though I’ve studied prophecy for years, writing about it is something I’ve only done once—in an article for Crosswalk Online Magazine. However, when someone posed a question on FB about heaven last week, I responded from the Word about the signs of the times, events happening, and events that are sure to come.

A blistering response exploded on my screen—there is no such thing as a rapture. I know you got that out of Thessalonians. That’s a lie. There is no rapture. I only allow truth to be spoken on my page. No rapture!

I sat stunned, asking God for guidance. Then gasped as my eye caught the woman’s profile at the top of her page—she advertises being a Christian counselor. Oh Father, escaped my lips as words of our pastor Sunday a week ago replayed in my mind.

“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19 NAS).

And the Old Testament admonishment:

“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2 NAS).

THE WORDS FALSE PROPHET WHISPERED IN MY HEART:

Oh Lord, do I confront her? Do I try to reason with her? And there was another lady who asked this question, “I don’t see why there’s a second coming any way, our dead loved ones are already with Jesus? What’s the point?”

LET ME BE CLEAR:

This woman knew enough scripture that if she’d been of a mind to search for Truth, God would have corrected her wrong thinking…I pray He will. But what about the lady who didn’t know the Word? Undoubtedly repeating fragments she’d heard…not the Word. And the Spirit stirred my heart write a blog post about this situation. And I wondered…

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How many church members don’t know truth about the signs of the end of this age?
How many haven’t read Father, that You said we were not made for Your wrath?
How many don’t realize the Old and New Testaments talk about the end of the age?
How many haven’t a clue nor care about anything other than their here and now?

“Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come” (Thessalonians 2:1-2 NAS).

False prophets told these persecuted believers of Paul’s days, Jesus had already come and they’d been left behind. Left to suffer the wrath of God…much like some today…saying there is no rapture…repeating to others they’ll be left on earth ‘til after God pours out His wrath during the final seven years of the Tribulation. Then what? How would that line up with the rest of God’s Word? Satan’s lies do not line up or blend with God’s Truth.

WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE SAY:

“Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7 NAS).

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore, encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 NAS).

BUT HE NEVER SAID WE WOULD NOT BE TESTED:

Does God leave us any clue as to what signs to look for? Does He tell us what’s to come? Oh, my yes! Three major events are on God’s calendar, in 2 Thessalonians and in 1 Corinthians. He gives us a countdown and tells us to watch and be ready.

THE GREAT APOSTASY COMES FIRST:

“Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thessalonians 2:3 NAS).

Paul never participated in one of my edit groups…’cause I always ask…who or what is “it?” Remember these Christians thought they’d been left behind. “It” refers the Second Coming of Christ. So, let’s jump out of sequence and take a quick peek at the second coming of our Lord Jesus to put us in context. When studying the Word, remember two things:
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1. Begin with what you know. What Scripture clearly states.
2. God’s Word is the best commentary on His Word.

So, let’s begin with the event that is set out in great detail as to the who, what, when, and where questions.

THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD:

“And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire, and upon His head are many diadems; and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh, He has a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16 NAS).

THIS IS THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS—TO THIS EARTH—
TO BRING JUDGMENT:

He first came to the manger in Bethlehem. The second time He will come to rule and reign right here on earth. But who are those armies clothed in fine linen, following Him on white horses? How did they get there? Where did they come from? They are not angels.

As I studied in preparation to write this post, I found an interesting and eye-opening account tucked in the 5th Chapter of Revelation. Please read verses 1-5, then 6-7, then 8-10, drawing a mental picture of what John sees. You might even want to take pencil and paper and sketch what he describes in each of these scenes. I prefer the New King James Version.

Now, ask God to give you understanding as you read verses 11-14. Watch the word “then” in the NKJV. In the NAS or KJV the word is “and.” This is a time phrase. It might be helpful to mark every use of “then” or “and” in these four verses and record what God shows you in this passage that you’ve never seen before. Watch descriptions and tenses in the “four” separate scenes God showed John and is now showing you. Rehearse and think about the scriptures so far and make your own list of who and what they are, and what they’ve told you so you don’t need someone to remind you what they think scripture says.

We’ll pick up right here this coming Wednesday morning with Part Two of THE TRUMPET AND THE ARCHANGEL.

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