Thursday, May 21, 2015

Is The Great Tribulation Close At Hand?

The scriptures make reference to “The AntiChrist” in different texts, he’s referred to as “The Lawless One” and “The Man of Sin.” There are a number of people who would fit those descriptions today but the individual in the bible is characterized as one who goes to Jerusalem (City of “God’s Peace”) and magnifies himself and denies the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob proclaiming himself to be the incarnation of the Almighty. (This part is pure speculation on my part but most likely it will be the moon god Allah in the person of Al Mahdi. A majority of Shiite Muslims traditionally believe that the “12th Imam” Islamic religious leader, born in 868 A.D., was placed by God into hiding (known as occultation) until the day of judgment. Many Shiites also refer to the 12th Imam as the Mahdi, an Arabic word that generally references an Islamic messiah.

“The rabbis as a whole consider that the desecration of the temple was perpetrated by the erection of a statue of Zeus in its sacred precincts by Antiochus Epiphanes” according to the Jewish Encyclopedia.

This same abominable type of act will signal the commencement of a great tribulation initiated by antichrist to purge the earth of all Jews and Christians. That time will be accompanied by a falling away by those nominal believers, who being fearful for their lives will deny their faith in the one true God. This is “the rebellion” referred to by Christ in His Olivet Discourse and again by Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians.

(Matthew 24:15 - 21) “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.

(2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12) Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Tribulation may also come to the lives of believers through world wide economic disaster. Recalling (Genesis 11) concerning the tower of Babel and how mankind was united under one tongue and had striven to attain the heights of God by building the ziggurat. God tore it down and scattered the people confuting their language. This was an early image of the later civilization known as Babylon, a great city and culture that had swallowed up other nations and tribes uniting them again under one language and one ruler Nebuchadnezzar, who later commanded all to worship an idol he had set up as he magnified himself in his heart above God.(Daniel 3: & 4:) 

(Isaiah 14: 12 - 14) In reference to Lucifer: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will make myself like the Most High.’

Fallen man is driven to emulate Lucifer’s mindset, reaching for the stars in space programs while many nations had converged under one language in the twin towers of the World Trade Center where the kings of the world calculated and controlled the world’s wealth. Is there any wonder that God allowed those demon worshippers to destroy this modern day ziggurat as a once great nation goes into economic decline and eventual obscurity?

(Revelation 17:1 - 2) Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 

(Revelation 14:8 - 12) Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of her impure passion.” 

(Revelation 18:9) And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and were wanton with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come.”

(Revelation 14: 9 -12) And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If any one worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also shall drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up for ever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.”
Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

It may be that those believers still alive will endure untold hardship and deprivation rather than disobeying God’s command concerning this economic number. The Lords Prayer that is rattled off so mindlessly will then take on much greater meaning in the lives of many.

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