Some sincere Christians say:
Matthew 24:14 states that the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come.
Since there are some tribes who have not yet heard, Jesus Christ cannot return. Such people have their signs in the wrong place, because the Rapture is a signless, timeless event. Let's investigate this statement further.
None. Are you shocked?
The Rapture is only an evacuation of believers before the great judgment of the Tribulation hour.
It is a meeting in the heavenlies and not Christ's return to the earth.
Since His first coming was to earth, His second coming must also be to earth.
The Rapture, then, is not a coming to earth, but a meeting in the clouds. Seven years later we return with Him, and all the signs point to this coming when He returns to earth.
Watch the simplicity of this next statement unfold. Take two Bibles and place them side by side.
The inescapable conclusion?
They are identical!
The texts are practically the same.
The signs, then, are post-Rapture and pre-Revelational. In other words, they are fulfilled after the Rapture and before the Revelation-after Christ calls His saints home to heaven and before He returns with them to earth.
Not one sign needs to be fulfilled prior to the Rapture, because all the signs point to the Revelation, or the revealing of Christ to the earth. Thus, there is a period of seven years following the Rapture during which every sign can be adequately fulfilled. This, of course, is the Tribulation hour, after we Christians have been raptured.
At this point every believer should praise the Lord, because the next statement is utterly fantastic. Since the signs point to Christ's return to earth, and since we believers return with Him, then the logical deduction is that all signs point to our return with Christ. Presently the signs are casting their shadows.
They are all beginning to be fulfilled. Imagine! The prophecies that take place after we believers are gone and which indicate that we will return with Him are already beginning.
If the signs indicate that we are coming back with Jesus soon, and we are still on earth, how very, very soon must the Rapture then occur to take us out of this earth so that, seven years later, we can return with Him!
Presently a number of the sealed judgments contained in this chapter deserve special emphasis.
Each will be discussed thoroughly later.
First, in verse 2,9)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%3A2&version=ESV we discover a rider on a white horse.
This coincides with Jesus' statement in Matthew 24:3-5, when His disciples asked Him,
What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said 'unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ.
This rider on the white horse, depicting the first seal judgment, is a counterfeit. Satan always attempts to do everything that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to do.
The Lord is seated on a white horse in chapter 19, verse 11,10)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11&version=KJV when He returns with you and me to the earth. Thus, seven years before Christ returns, the Antichrist also mounts a white horse.
This event is identical to the sign of Matthew 24:3.
Next one should note
This is the second sign Jesus mentioned: that there would be wars and rumors of wars (see Matthew 24:6).
This is a picture of mass starvation and agrees with Christ's third sign:
There shall be famines (Matthew 24:7).
The fourth seal judgment agrees with Christ's statement: [There shall be] pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places, destroying thousands, yea millions (Matthew 24:7).
The sixth seal is the sixth sign Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24:29: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven.
Thus, it is evident that Matthew, Mark, and Luke contain the same signs as the Book of Revelation. However, one must realize that each sign is completed or fulfilled after chapter 4, verse 1,11)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV where the Church is called to heaven in the twinkling of an eye through the phrase, Come up hither.
As previously stated, these signs that are to be fulfilled after we are gone are already transpiring. We see them before our eyes daily in world events.
Today's "Bible Headlines" indicate that you and I will soon return with Jesus.
However, we must first go home via the Rapture in order to return soon.
Surely this momentous event is at the door! I think you know that the foregoing discussion of prophetic signs in relationship to the Rapture and the Revelation has given us a panoramic view of chapter 6.12)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6&version=KJV
Now let's delve into this portion of God's Word more deeply.
In chapters 6 through 18,13)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C18&version=KJV we witness firsthand the events which take place upon the earth during the Tribulation. The presentation occupies nearly two-thirds of the Book of Revelation-a total of thirteen chapters.
One should also note that three additional Bible verses graphically describe this hour of horrendous judgment:
(1) Jeremiah 30:7: Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it;
(2) Daniel 12:1: And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book; and
(3) Matthew 24:21: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
These texts inform us of the fact that the Tribulation will constitute earth's bloodiest hour. There will not have been anything in past centuries to equal it, neither will there be any event in the future to match the judgment unleashed upon our planet.
The catastrophic calamities arrive through a series of twenty-one judgments which are described as seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven bowls.
At the breaking of each seal, the blowing of each trumpet and the outpouring of each bowl, a new judgment is released.
The seal judgments are found in Revelation 6:1 through 8:1.14)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C18&version=KJV
The first six are located in chapter 6. Chapter 715)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%2C7&version=KJV is a parenthesis, and the seventh seal judgment takes place in chapter 8, verse 1.16)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A1&version=KJV
At this command, the apostle sees the One who is worthy to take the book and open the seals thereof, the blessed Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus, beginning the work of judgment.
Immediately John hears the noise of thunder-a sign of impending catastrophe-as well as one of the living creatures (angels) saying, Come and see
The words, come and see, are not in the original, just the word Come. It is a command given to the rider on the white horse, the infamous Antichrist. His time has arrived!
Satan has always tried to duplicate the works of God.
Back in the day of Moses, the demon-possessed magicians of Pharaoh were able to accomplish the same miracles as Aaron. This has always been Satan's ploy. He is not the creator-God is. All he can do is imitate or fake the works of the Almighty.
This rider appears at the outset, or beginning, of the Tribulation period. There can be no such hour without him.
Since he is the master counterfeiter, who is he imitating? The answer is found in chapter 19, verses 11 through 16,17)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+19%3A11-16&version=KJV which describe Christ's return at the conclusion of the Tribulation.
The fake begins it and the Saviour ends it.
John says, And I saw heaven opened. This is the second time an opening appears in heaven (see Revelation 19:11)
To provide an exit for Christ and His bride as they return to earth.
As heaven is opened, John beholds a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
This is the coming of the true Christ.
Since our Christ is God, the Antichrist also proclaims himself as God.
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
We will study this hypocritical creep later. Presently let's just skim the surface.
The Antichrist comes to power through an international peace pact (see Daniel 9:27). This is why the horse's rider has a bow but no arrows.
The Antichrist conquers through diplomacy as a king, hence, the crown. In fact, when he takes control over the nations via a world government, power [is] given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (Revelation 13:7).
The Antichrist is rapidly followed by three additional riders of judgment. Together, these four horsemen of the apocalypse bring heartache upon the globe such as has never been experienced in the annals of history.
The Antichrist is called the Beast because of his character (chapter 13, verses 2 and 3),18)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+13%3A2%2C3&version=KJV because he ascends out of the abyss (chapter 17, verse 8)19)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+17%3A8&version=KJV and because he receives his power, his throne, and his authority from Satan (chapter 13, verse 2).20)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+13%3A2&version=KJV
The Antichrist's ascendancy to world leadership signals the unleashing of the remaining twenty judgments.
The peace that was made by the first rider is broken by the one who mounts the red horse. This, of course, is in harmony with the first rider's-or Antichrist's-program. Daniel 9:27 outlines the peace package as well as its failure: And he [the Antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.
When peace is confirmed, the Jews will feel at ease to conduct sacrifices without fear of war. However, in the midst of the week, or literally in the middle of the heptad, the contract is broken. The term heptad in the original means "seven years." As decade means "ten years" in English, so heptad means "seven years" in Greek.
Now we understand more fully why the Tribulation covers a timetable of seven years-simply because Daniel 9:27 states that the Antichrist will make his proposal for a heptad-seven years-and then break it in the midst of the heptad, or after three and one-half years.
One of the nations that marches during this period of time is Red Russia. How interesting that a rider on a red horse takes peace from the earth!
Could Red Russia play such a major role during this hour?
Rosh are mentioned in connection with a march to the Middle East for the battle of battles, before Armageddon.
Listen to the message God gave Ezekiel: Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him (Ezekiel 38:2).
Each of these names can be located within the present-day Russia.
Tobolsk, historically the eastern capital of Russia, is the ancient "Tubal" mentioned in the text. It is southwest of Siberia on modern maps-the place where U2 pilot Gary Powers was gunned down years ago.
Meshech is Moscow.
The historical names for Moscow begin with: "Meshech," then "Moshoch," then "Moschi," then "Moscoty," then "Moscovy" and finally, Moscow. "Rosh" is Russia herself.
This "great bear" invades Israel from the north: And thou shalt come up from thy place of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes (Ezekiel 38:15,16).
Russia is directly north of Israel and moves against her in the latter days (see Ezekiel 38:8).
The attack centers around the Holy Land. In fact, the name Israel is used eighteen times to identify the nation being invaded in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39.21)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%2C39&version=KJV Such information attests to the divine inspiration of the Bible, for there was no nation in modern history called Israel until 1948.
This war of the future undoubtedly occurs close to or during the Tribulation hour because the facts presented in this Book of Revelation tie in harmoniously with Ezekiel's prophecy. In fact, the eighth and ninth22)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%2C9&version=KJV chapters contain two unusual predictions concerning the woes of the Tribulation hour which point to such a mid-East war. Chapter 8, verse 7,23)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A+7&version=KJV mentions the burning of one-third of the earth as the first angel sounded.
I quote: The first angel sounded, And there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
In turn, Revelation 9:18 depicts the extinction of one-third of the world's inhabitants, for, by these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
The Life Pictorial Atlas, which lists land areas and population figures for every country of the world, contains shocking proof that these prophecies and astronomical figures are capable of being fulfilled at the present time.
According to this statistical survey, Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America incorporate a total of 56,889,581 square miles.
Dividing this figure by three, one arrives at the sum of 18,963,194 square miles-the amount of land area that will burn during the Tribulation period according to Revelation 8:7.
Comparing this figure with the combined land areas of the nations predicted to align themselves for the Middle East confrontations [Daniel chapters 2, 7 and 11,24)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+2%3B7%3B11&version=KJV and Ezekiel 38 and 39]25)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%2C39&version=KJV, one discovers that the two sums are identical-one-third of the globe to the exact mile, believe it or not! Is this startling?
Let's go one step further.
The Atlas also lists the population figures for the nations of earth.
The same alignment of pro- and anti-Russian nations for the war of wars totals one-third of earth's inhabitants! Revelation 8:7 and Revelation 9:18 could become factual events, fulfilling verse 426)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%3A4&version=KJV very, very soon!
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
First Published Feb 26, 2014 | Re Published February 15, 2016
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