Tuesday, December 9, 2014

He Cometh With Clouds, And Every Eye Shall See Him


The Return of Christ in the Clouds of Heaven

Now we beseech you, brethren,
By the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And by our gathering together in Him.
That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled,
Neither, by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us,
As that day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means;
For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first;
And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,

Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped;
So that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God
.


Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity does already work:
Only he who now lets will let, until he be taken out of the way.

And then shall the wicked be revealed,
Whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth,
And shall destroy with the brightness of His coming,
Even Him, whose coming is after the working of Satan

With all power and signs and lying wonders.
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;
Because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion,
That they should believe a lie:
That they all might be damned who believe not the truth,
But had pleasure in unrighteousness.

(2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)



And I [John] saw another Mighty Angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire. (Revelation 10:1)

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple:
And His disciples came to Him for to shew Him the buildings of the temple.
And Jesus said unto them,
"See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you,
There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately,
Saying, 'Tell us, when shall these things be?
And 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;'
And shall deceive many.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars:
See that ye be not troubled:
For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."

"For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
And there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows."

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you:
And ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations;
And then shall the end come."

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation,
Spoken of by Daniel the prophet,
Stand in the holy place,(Whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, 
Such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:
But for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."

"Then if any man shall say unto you, 'Lo, here is Christ, or there;' believe it not.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,
And shall shew great signs and wonders;

Insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

"Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you,
'Behold, He is in the desert;' go not forth:
'Behold, He is in the secret chambers;' believe it not.
For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west;
So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together."

"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,
And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,

And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
And they shall gather together His elect from the four winds,
From one end of heaven to the other
."

"Now learn a parable of the fig tree;
When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, 'This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.'"

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as in the days that were before the flood,
They were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,
Until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away;
So shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."

(Matthew Chapter 24)

And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
And He said,
"Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God:
But she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."
And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts,
He said,
"As for these things which ye behold, the days will come,
In the which there shall not be left one stone upon another,
That shall not be thrown down."

And they asked Him, saying, 'Master, but when shall these things be?
And what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?'

And He said,
"Take heed that ye be not deceived:
For many shall come in my name, saying, 'I am Christ;'
And the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified:
For these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by."
Then said He unto them:
"Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences;"

"And fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
But before all these
,
They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you,
Delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons,
Being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.

And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom,
Which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents,
And brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends;
And some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.

But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
In your patience possess ye your souls."

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies,
Then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains;
And let them which are in the midst of it depart out;
And let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
For these be the days of vengeance,
That all things which are written may be fulfilled
."

"But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days!
For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword,
And shall be led away captive into all nations:
And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles,
Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars;
And upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;
The sea and the waves roaring;
Men's hearts failing them for fear,
And for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:
For the powers of heaven shall be shaken."


"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads;
For your redemption draweth nigh."

And He spake to them a parable;
"Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
When they now shoot forth,
Ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass,
Know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand
."

Verily I say unto you,
"This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time
Your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life,
And so that day come upon you unawares.
For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always,
That ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass,
And to stand before the Son of man."

And in the day time He was teaching in the temple;
And at night He went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.
And all the people came early in the morning to Him in the temple, for to hear Him.

(Luke Chapter 21)



The Sixth Seal, the Seven Trumpets, and the Return of Christ

And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal,
And, lo, there was a great earthquake;
And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair,
And the moon became as blood;
And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth,

Even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together;
And every mountain and island were moved out of their places
.
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men,
And the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man,
Hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
And said to the mountains and rocks,
'Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne,
And from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?'
And when He had opened the seventh seal,
There was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
And I saw the seven angels which stood before God;
And to them were given seven trumpets.

And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer;
And there was given unto him much incense,
That he should offer it with the prayers of all saints
Upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints,
Ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar,
And cast it into the earth:

And there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
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.
 

And the second angel sounded, 
And as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:
And the third part of the sea became blood;
And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died;
And the third part of the ships were destroyed.

And the third angel sounded,
And there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp,
And it fell upon the third part of the rivers,
And upon the fountains of waters;

And the name of the star is called Wormwood:
And the third part of the waters became wormwood;
And many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. 
And the fourth angel sounded,
And the third part of the sun was smitten,
And the third part of the moon,
And the third part of the stars;
So as the third part of them was darkened,
And the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise
.

And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven,
Saying with a loud voice,
'Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of
The other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!' [the fifth, sixth and seventh trumpets]

(Revelation 6:12-17; 8:1-13)

The first four seals in the Book of Revelation describe death of 1/4 of the earth by war, scarcity, famine, diseases, plagues, etc. At the opening of the fifth seal, the souls in heaven ask: "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" They are told: "Rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled."

Following the cosmic disturbances of the sixth seal (great earthquake, sun turns black, moon turns blood red, stars fall to earth, sky rolls up like a scroll, every mountain and island moves), there is silence in heaven about 1/2 hour before the seventh seal is opened.

The seventh seal in the Book of Revelation reveals itself as the seven trumpets, described as "the wrath of the Lamb." The first four trumpets will bring destruction upon the earth (1/3 of trees burned up, all green grass burned, 1/3 of sea turns to blood, 1/3 of sea creatures die, 1/3 of ships destroyed, 1/3 of waters poisoned, 1/3 of sun and moon and stars darkened).

When the fifth trumpet is sounded, Satan will be released from the bottomless pit to rule over his earthly kingdom (his one-world government and religion). He will stand in the holy place showing himself that he is God, and he will promise peace and security to a world in desperate need of grand solutions to profound problems. Satan, deceiving many with his signs and wonders, will reign as king over this earth for five months, during which time (sixth trumpet) 1/3 part of man will be killed (most likely Christians and others who refuse to worship "the beast" and to receive his "mark" in their right hand or forehead).

After this earthly reign by Satan for "a little season" and his persecution of the followers of Christ, Christ will return in the clouds of heaven with great power and glory (seventh trumpet) to deliver up His people to the kingdom of heaven. He then will destroy by fire the kingdom of "the beast" and create a new heaven and a new earth over which He will reign with His people for eternity.

"And I will bring the third part through the fire,
And will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried:
They shall call on my name, and I will hear them:
I will say, 'It is my people:' and they shall say, 'The Lord is my God'."
(Zechariah 13:9)

* * * * * * *

Sixth Seal - This is what precedes Satan's "reign" over his earthly kingdom, the one-world government and religion. Notice that the events revealed by the sixth seal are very similar to some of the events which immediately shall precede the return of Christ in the clouds of heaven (the seventh trumpet).

Great earthquake
Sun turns black
Moon turns blood red
Stars fall to earth
Sky folds up like a scroll
Every mountain and island moved out of their places

Seventh Seal - Reveals itself as the seven trumpets

Silence in heaven about the space of half an hour

First Four Trumpets

1/3 of trees burned up and all the green grass burned
1/3 of seas, sea creatures and ships destroyed
1/3 of waters poisoned
1/3 of sun, moon, stars darkened

These events could be the aftermath of a Nuclear World War, which most likely will originate in the Middle East, or they could be caused by the cosmic events of the sixth seal, which world leaders will likely blame on a fake alien invasion.

Fifth Trumpet - Satan released "a little season" to deceive the nations. Satan, the false messiah, will stand in the holy place, Jerusalem, promising peace and security to a world in desperate need of grand solutions to profound problems. Showing himself that he is God, Satan will deceive many with his signs and wonders. The world will worship the beast, this one-world power.

'Locusts' torment men without the seal of God for five months (a 'little season')

Sixth Trumpet

1/3 part of man killed

Seventh Trumpet - The Return of Christ in the Clouds of Heaven (The Day of the Lord)

Witnesses of Christ, lying dead in the streets, ascend to heaven in a cloud
Great earthquake
Voices from heaven
Temple of God opened in heaven
Lightning, voices, thunder, earthquake, great hail
A cloudy and dark day
Sun darkened
Moon darkened
Stars fall from heaven
Heaven and earth shaken

And I [John] saw another Mighty Angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon His head, and His face was as it were the sun, and His feet as pillars of fire. (Revelation 10:1)

For the Lord Himself shall 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 which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Behold I show 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 shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:51)

"For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." (Mark 13:22-27)

Jesus said unto him, “Thou has said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64)

Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, “I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Mark 14:61-62)

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” (Mark 13:26)

“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:27)

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight… Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven. (Acts 1:9,11)

"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, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:29-30)

"Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen." (Revelation 1:7)

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit,
Whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool:
His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him:
Thousand thousands ministered unto Him,
And ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him:
The judgment was set, and the books were opened.
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake:
I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away:
Yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
I saw in the night visions, and, behold,
One like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven,
And came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him.
And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,
That all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him:
His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

(Daniel 7:9-14)

The Day of the Lord

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. (Hebrews 9:27)

The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live… Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:25,28-29)

He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead. (Acts 17:31)

"Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand;
It shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:
And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them;
They shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth:
They shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
Behold, the day of the Lord cometh,
Cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate:
And He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light:
The sun shall be darkened in his going forth,
And the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity;
And I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease,
And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place,
In the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger."

(Isaiah 13:6-13)

Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. (Revelation 18:10)

For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off. (Revelation 18:17)

And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. (Revelation 18:19)

A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (Joel 2:2)

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.” (Joel 2:31)

The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim.” (Joel 2:15-18)

The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. (Joel 3:15)

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come. (Acts 2:20)

"For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen." (Ezekiel 30:3)

"As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day." (Ezekiel 34:12)

The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. (Zephaniah 1:14-18)

Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord GOD be witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple. For, behold, the Lord cometh forth out of His place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be molten under Him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place. (Micah 1:1-4)

But now is Christ risen from the dead,
And become the firstfruits of them that slept.
For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
But every man in his own order:Christ the firstfruits; 
Afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming.
Then cometh the end
,
When He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father;

When He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is Death.
For He hath put all things under His feet.
But when He saith all things are put under Him,
It is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him.
And when all things shall be subdued unto Him,
Then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him,
That God may be all in all.


(1 Corinthians 15:20-28)

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:8-10)

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine… Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:1-2,8)

This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;
In both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,
And of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers,
Walking after their own lusts,

And saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?
For since the fathers fell asleep,
All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.'

For this they willingly are ignorant of,That by the Word of God the heavens were of old,
And the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store,
Reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men
.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,
That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness;
But is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
But that all should come to repentance.


But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;
In the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,
And the elements shall melt with fervent heat,
The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up
.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,
What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,
Wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,
And the elements shall melt with fervent heat
?

Nevertheless we, according to His promise,
Look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Therefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things,
Be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;

Even as our beloved brother Paul also,
According to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things;
In which are some things hard to be understood,
Which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest,
As they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before,
Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,

Fall from your own stedfastness.
But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

(2 Peter Chapter 3)

The Resurrection to Life: the Delivering Up of the Chosen Ones to the Kingdom of Heaven

In the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him. (Ephesians 1:10)

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)

Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house: and His disciples came unto Him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, “He that sows the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom. But the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:36-43)

Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy has done this. The servants said unto him, Is it thou will then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let them grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:24-30)

“I will accept you with your sweet savor, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.” (Ezekiel 20:41)

Thus saith the Lord God; “Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you? And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?’ Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; ‘Behold, I am against your pillows wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly. Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Because with your lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life. Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 13:18:23)

For thus saith the Lord God, “Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be. There shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.” (Ezekiel 34:11-16)



The Resurrection to Damnation: the Raising of the Ungodly Dead for Final Judgment

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29)

The Lord hath made all things for Himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. (Proverbs 16:4)

Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. (Joel 2:9-14)

“But I say this unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36)

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me, and said unto me, “‘Speak;’ thus saith the Lord; ‘Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.’” (Ezekiel 11:5)

Therefore thus saith the Lord God: “Woe to the bloody city! I will even make the pile for fire great. Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed. She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou was not purged, thou shall not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee. I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee,” said the Lord God. (Ezekiel 24:9-14)

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Jesus Says to Watch for the Signs and Prepare for His Return

"Take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things." --Mark 13:23
"Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." --Luke 21:36

"Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching." --Luke 12:37

"If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." --Revelation 3:3

"Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." --Mark 13:33

"What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God." --2 Peter 3:11-12

"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." -- Matthew 25:13
"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." --Matthew 24:42

"Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, 'Watch'." --Mark 13:35-37

"And He cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, 'What, could ye not watch with me one hour'?" --Matthew 26:40

"And He cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, 'Sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour'?" --Mark 14:37

"And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast." --Revelation 17:12

"Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come'." --Revelation 18:10

"For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off." --Revelation 18:17

"And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate'." --Revelation 18:19


And as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples saith unto Him,
Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!
And Jesus answering said unto him,
"Seest thou these great buildings?
There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

And as He sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple,
Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately,
Tell us, when shall these things be?
And what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

And Jesus answering them began to say,
"Take heed lest any man deceive you:
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled:
For such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
And there shall be earthquakes in divers places,
And there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

But take heed to yourselves:
For they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten:
And ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up,
Take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate:
But whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye:
For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son;
And children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake:
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet,
Standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,)
Then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:
And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house,
Neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:
And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.
But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

For in those days shall be affliction,
Such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.
And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved:
But for the elect's sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the days.

And then if any man shall say to you,
'Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there;' believe him not:
For false Christs and false prophets shall rise,
And shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds,
From the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Now learn a parable of the fig tree;
When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:
So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man,
No, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
Who left his house, and gave authority to his servants,
And to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore:
For ye know not when the master of the house cometh,
At even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all, 'Watch'."
--Mark Chapter 13


This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;
In both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,
And of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers,
Walking after their own lusts, and saying,
'Where is the promise of His coming?
For since the fathers fell asleep,
All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.'

For this they willingly are ignorant of,
That by the Word of God the heavens were of old,
And the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store,
Reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing,
That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness;
But is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish,
But that all should come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;
In the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,
And the elements shall melt with fervent heat,
The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,
What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,
Wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,
And the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Nevertheless we, according to His promise,
Look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Therefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things,
Be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation;
Even as our beloved brother Paul also,
According to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things;
In which are some things hard to be understood,
Which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest,
As they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before,
Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,
Fall from your own stedfastness.
But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
--2 Peter, Chapter 3

The Parable of the 10 Virgins and the Lamp Oil

The key to the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25 is the link with the previous chapter in which Jesus describes what shall be the signs of His return. The parable in chapter 25 is talking about the end of times -- Jesus' return -- and how we should prepare.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps,
And went forth to meet the bridegroom.
And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you:
But go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came;
And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country,
Who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one;
To every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying,
Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant:
Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:
Enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

He also that had received two talents came and said,
Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant;
Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man,
Reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant,
Thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers,
And then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance:
But from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him,
Then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations:
And He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats:
And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand,
Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat:
I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me:
I was sick, and ye visited me:
I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying,
Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand,
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat:
I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me not in:
Naked, and ye clothed me not:
Sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Then shall they also answer Him, saying,
Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Then shall He answer them, saying,
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
--Matthew 25

Be Prepared

The End Times Forecaster
June 12, 2010

Many years ago, I had the wonderful experience of being a Boy Scout. I learned many important skills and character traits through the Scouts. One of the first things I learned was the Boy Scout motto—“Be Prepared.” There is nothing worse than being faced with an adverse situation and not being prepared. In the Scouts, we were taught to think ahead about situations that we might encounter while camping and prepare accordingly.

Many difficulties that we face in life, likewise, can be overcome if we think ahead and plan and prepare accordingly. In this chapter, we will think ahead to what difficulties we will face in the 70th Week and I will suggest ways that we can plan and prepare accordingly. By the time you read this book, even though I am writing it before the 70th Week starts, you may already be in it. Even if that is the case, it is still not too late to prepare.

In endeavoring to prepare for this time, you must first realize that many people will be deceived and will not recognize the signs of the prophetic times in which we live. For as the Apostle Paul said, Christ’s return to the clouds and the rapture will catch many people off guard and will come upon them as a thief in the night:
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (1 Thess. 5:1-3)
When the rapture happens, the people of the world will pretty much be going about their daily routines. Even though the 70th Week will have started and the first five seals will bring about much death and destruction, the majority of the people will be so deceived that they will not be able to recognize the prophetic times in which we live.
[Editor's Note: The word 'rapture' does not appear in the Bible; it is a modern-day term used to describe the return of Christ in the clouds of heaven to deliver up His people to the kingdom of heaven.]
But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Matt. 24:37-42)
So we see that, even though the first five seals will be opened, and tribulations and sorrows will be experienced by the world, the vast majority of people will not recognize that we are in this prophetic time period and will be caught off guard by the Day of the Lord because they will be deceived by the devil and his cohorts.

But that is not to be the case for the believer. The believer, as Jesus says, is to watch:
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Matt. 24:42-44).
The Apostle Paul also echoes the same idea and further tells us that the Day will not overtake us as a thief:
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thess. 5:1-6)
Note what it says in reference to the Day of the Lord, that it will not overtake the brethren as a thief. Why? Because any serious student of the Bible will recognize the signs of the times and, more specifically, will probably be able to know that the 70th Week has started and will be able to discern the occurrences of the seals. Thus, after seeing the signs, they will know that the Lord’s return is imminent. Hopefully, you will be walking close enough to the Lord that you can recognize His pending return and prepare many years in advance for the difficulties that lie ahead.

The most important consideration in getting ready for the Lord’s return is to make sure you are prepared spiritually. Jesus told a parable that teaches the importance of being spiritually ready for His return:
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matt. 25:1-13)
Are you ready for the bridegroom?

Spiritual PreparationThe starting point for being spiritually prepared is to make sure that you are a Christian.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves…” (2 Cor. 13:5a)
Becoming a Christian is a very simple yet profound process. There are four things one must know in order to become a Christian:

1. We are sinners. As the Bible says;
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Sin is falling short of God’s perfection. Everyone has sinned many times in life. We have all lied, or stolen, or cheated, or done something wrong at some time in our lives.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).
2. We deserve Hell. Realize that there is a punishment for being a sinner, and that punishment is death.
For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).
The punishment for sin is not just physical death, but also spiritual death. The place of spiritual death is Hell.
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rom. 21:8).
We all have sinned and we all deserve the punishment of Hell for our sin.

3. Jesus died for our sins.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
Jesus willingly went to the cross, shed His blood, and died for our sins. On the cross Jesus paid the price for our sins, He suffered the punishment that we deserve, He suffered Hell for us. Hell is a place of total separation from God. When Jesus was on the cross, God the Father separated Himself from God the Son. That is why Jesus cried out “with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” While Jesus was on the cross He was experiencing separation from God the Father. In other words He was suffering Hell. He was suffering the Hell that we deserve. While on the cross Jesus paid for all the sins of mankind, past, present, and future.

4. We must receive Christ by faith. In order to receive the forgiveness of our sins and become a Christian it is not enough to know that we are sinners, that we deserve Hell, and that Christ died for our sins, but we must receive Christ by faith.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8,9).
Notice that that verse tells us that we cannot earn our way to heaven. We obtain salvation through faith, not by works. Faith basically boils down to placing your trust in something or someone. If you are sitting down while reading this book, you are placing your faith or trust in the chair that you are sitting upon. Faith requires more than just an intellectual belief; it involves an action of your will. For example, if there were a pond covered with ice, and there were people standing around saying that the ice could hold them up, but they were not willing to walk on the ice, then they would only be demonstrating an intellectual belief and not faith. If they stepped out onto the ice, they would be demonstrating faith.

One can place their faith in Christ by simply calling out to Him in prayer, for the Bible says,
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
I placed my faith in Christ by sincerely praying a prayer like this:
“Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. I deserve Hell. Thank you for dying for my sins. Save me. Come into my life. Make me the kind of person that you want me to be. I thank you that you have and that you will take me to heaven when I die. Amen.”
If you sincerely pray that prayer with all your heart, then the Lord Jesus will come into your life and forgive your sins, and save you from an eternity of Hell. If you were to die tomorrow, you would go to heaven. Not because you are good enough to get there, but because you have received the payment of your sins. It is that simple.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (Jn 5:24)
So the first thing that one needs to do in order to get ready spiritually for the Lord’s return is to make sure that you are a Christian. I would encourage you, if you are not sure of your eternal destiny, to take a moment right now and bow your head and sincerely pray the prayer listed above and place your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once you are saved, nothing can separate you from the love of God. For more on the security of your salvation, see the article “Eternal Security” at http://www.thecomingepiphany.com/.

Righteous Living

The next step in being spiritually prepared for the Lord’s return is to make sure that you are living a righteous life — that is, a life without offence toward God and man. There are serious consequences for the believer who is not living in obedience to our Lord’s commands.
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1 Cor. 11:30-32)
These verses suggest that the disobedient Christian will be subject to problems, sickness, and even death for their disobedience. You certainly do not want to be in a disobedient state when the Lord returns.

How do you live a righteous life? Righteous living is summed up in just two commandments:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt. 22:37-40)
Thus, the two most important things for a Christian to do is to love God with all his heart and love his neighbor as himself.

How does a Christian love God? Jesus answered that question succinctly:
If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (Jn 14:15)

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. (Jn 14:21)
Jesus told us the way that we love God is to keep the commandments.

There are some Christians who say to make a list of items that you should obey is legalism. No, to not have a list of things a Christian should obey is licentiousness. Legalism is when you say that one must obey a list of “dos and don’ts” for salvation. To have a list of dos and don’ts from the Bible to show love to God is godly living. Those who say the Christian is free or at liberty to do as they wish are not free. Rather, they are enslaving themselves to sin at the dictates of their misguided imaginations and fleshly desires. If someone is legalistic in saying, in order to love God you must keep the commandments, then Jesus was legalistic when He commanded us to keep them. We know that this was not the case. Therefore it is not legalism to obey God.

Here are some of the many things that the Lord, either directly or by application of principle, commands Christians to do:
  • Pray and read the Bible daily
  • Be baptized
  • Attend church
  • Give tithes and offerings
  • Love our neighbor as our self
  • Share the gospel
  • Obey authorities
  • Forgive others
  • Dress modestly
Here are some of the many things that the Lord, either directly or by application of principle, commands Christians to not do:
  • Lie
  • Steal
  • Cheat
  • Cuss
  • Covet
  • Murder and commit acts of violence
  • Hate
  • Harbor unforgiveness
  • Fornicate
  • Commit adultery
  • Listen to rock and rap music
  • Look at unwholesome things
Unfortunately, many Christians have swallowed—hook, line and sinker— the lie of the devil that a Christian is free to live as they please. This philosophy is contrary to the teaching of scripture. I have worked with Christian young people for 20 years, and I have seen a steady progression of worldliness and unrighteousness in the lives of the children and their parents. And sadly enough, many of these young people have fallen into grievous sins and brought great destruction to their lives. For more information on how to live righteously, see the article entitled “Living Righteous” at http://www.thecomingepiphany.com/.

>Remember we obey God, not for the purpose of earning salvation, but because God has saved us from a terrible hell and we out of love for the Lord want to glorify Him by abstaining from sin and living a Godly life. Let us not use our liberty in Christ as a license to sin. The Apostle Paul gives us a strong admonition if we continue in sin:
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (Eph. 5:1-7)
Dear Christian, as we see the Day of the Lord approaching, let us sincerely examine ourselves before the Lord with a humble and contrite heart to make sure that we are in the faith and that we are living a life that is pleasing to Him. Let us all strive to hear the words
Well done, thou good and faithful servant enter into the joy of thy master” (Matt. 25:21).
Do not try to claim that you love the Lord if you do not obey Him. Jesus said;
He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” (John 14:24)
This may seem difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone. The power and ability to live the Christian life comes through the controlling and empowering of the Holy Spirit. In scripture, this is referred to as walking in the Spirit or being filled with the Spirit.
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 5:17,18)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (Gal. 5:16)
How can a Christian be filled with the Spirit? Colossians 2:6 answers that question:
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”
This verse is basically saying that in the same way that we received Christ, we should also walk in Him. How does a Christian receive Christ? Through faith, thus, we are to walk in Him by faith or be filled with the Spirit through faith. So in order to be filled with the Spirit, we must first desire to be filled. Then we must make sure that we have all sins confessed — for God will not fill a dirty vessel — we must also present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice to be used any way that He may wish, and ask to be filled and believe by faith that we are filled.

Here is a suggested prayer to be filled with the Spirit:
“Dear God I present myself to you to be used any way that you desire. Fill me with your Spirit, direct me, control me and empower me. Live your life through me. I thank you that you will. Amen.”
Mental PreparationIn order to be ready for the return of the Lord, we must not only be spiritually prepared, but we must also be mentally prepared. To do this, we need to have a good working knowledge of prophetic truths. The Lord admonishes believers to not be asleep in regards to prophetic matters:
But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is…Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (Luke 13:32-37)
Here, Jesus warns believers of being asleep at His return. I believe He is specifically referring to being mentally and spiritually asleep, or unaware of the prophetic times that we live in, and the pending sorrows and tribulations that Christians are going to have to endure during the 70th Week. This description would probably classify the vast majority of sincere Christians that, due to a lack of fervency in seeking after the truth in relation to end times prophecy, have blindly adhered to what their well-respected, but erring pre-trib teachers have taught them.

So I say, wake up, Christian, know that we are very close to entering the 70th Week of Daniel, and by the time you read this we may already be in it. Do not remain asleep to the pending trials that are going to come upon the world with the opening of the seals. Christians who remain asleep and do not prepare spiritually, mentally and physically for those trials will be subject to extreme difficulties and hardships. After the Abomination of Desolation, the antichrist will require all to take the mark in order to buy or sell.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Rev. 13:16,17)
What are Christians who have not prepared for those times going to do when they are faced with the choice of not being able to buy or sell unless they take the mark? And yes, it will be a choice, and will not be forced upon anyone as was depicted in the popular, but scripturally inaccurate, Left Behind series. Many misinterpret Rev. 13:16, which says,
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads,” to read “And he forces” instead of “And he causeth.”
The Greek word in question here is poieo. Strong’s Greek and Hebrew dictionary defines it as “to produce, construct, form, fashion, to be the authors of, to make ready, to prepare.” The word in no way means, “to force.”

It will be a choice that all alive at the time will have to make, and I fear some nominal Christians will choose the mark, undoubtedly reasoning it away somehow, especially when they are faced with not being able to buy or sell. Some may even be faced with a choice of taking the mark or being put to death. Unfortunately, the threat of death will, along with the many deceptions and persecutions, will be part of the reason there will be a great falling away from the faith. Scripture even indicates that many nominal Christians will fall away to the point where they will even betray family members.
Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Mark 13:12,13)
If somebody takes the mark are they really doomed to hell? The answer is found in Rev. 14:9-12:
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
So yes, those who take the mark are doomed to hell. Do not let any fantasy series convince you otherwise. The Left Behind series portrayed an individual who was forced to take the mark and who later was saved. This is in contradiction to the scripture above. Taking the mark will be an eternal choice with clear ramifications.

Physical Preparations

Along with making spiritual and mental preparations for the return of the Lord, one must also make physical preparations. Preparing for the future is a basic life principle.
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Prov 6:6-8)

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.” (Prov 22:3)
These verses make it clear that a Christian is to prepare for the future. So how can a Christian prepare physically for the 70th Week? We must first consider what we are likely to be faced with. As already discussed, Christians will be faced with living through the first five seals.

Let us re-examine again what the first five seals entail:
  1. First seal (white horse): Establishment of the world religion and or government through deception.

  2. Second seal (red horse): War and or anarchy on the earth.

  3. Third seal (black horse): Famine due to crop failures and or a worldwide economic collapse.

  4. Fourth seal (pale horse): Death of one-quarter of world’s population by various means, possibly culminating from the first four seals.

  5. Fifth seal: Persecution and martyrdom of Jews and Christians.
The first five seals will span a length of time from at least 3.5 years to a maximum of six years in total duration. See the charts entitled “The Afflictions of the 70th Week” and “The Three Sevens ‘777’” for a pictorial representation of this data.

Things will become more severe upon the opening of the fifth seal, which starts after the 3½ year point. That time period is called the great tribulation and is when Christian and Jews will be persecuted and no one will be able to buy or sell without having the mark of the beast. Even though the first four seals present many difficulties, the fifth seal will be the most difficult to withstand. This is the time that Christians will need to concentrate on preparing for.
[Editor's Note: Preventing those without the mark of the beast from buying or selling does not occur until the very end (Revelation chapter 13), when Satan sets up his throne in the holy place, claiming to be God. In Revelation chapter 9, this period of time, when the devil incarnate shall reign over his one-world kingdom, is described as "a little season." The Lord tells us, more specifically, that is will be the last "five months" before Christ's return not 2½ years.]
Realizing the great tribulation, as already discussed, will most likely last from ½ to 2½ years, thus Christians will probably be faced with up to a maximum of 2½ years of time where they will not be able to buy or sell and will have to prepare for. In considering how to prepare for those times realize that saving money for that time will most likely be of no help, for with the initiation of the mark the world will be under a cashless monetary system and money will be obsolete and become worthless. Thus to prepare one should concentrate on making preparations which will allow you to make it through those times without money.

The first and most important necessity for life is water. Unless you have vast economic resources, and large amounts of storage space, you will not have the ability to store several years’ worth of water. In my opinion the best way to provide for your water needs would be to obtain a good water filter that will remove all harmful materials. With a good filter, you could use rainwater, pond water, and or stream water and, after filtering it, you could use it for whatever you wanted. I prefer gravity filters, which use silver impregnated ceramic “candles” to filter out the impurities and pathogens. Missionaries have used these for years. You can take muddy pond water and pour it in the top and you will get out clean water. The replaceable filter elements are good for a couple thousand gallons. These units cost about $200 to $300. They are well worth the investment.

The next most important preparation is food. If Christians will not be able to buy or sell for up to 2.5 years then ideally you should try to have that much food stored. Since we do not know when the 70th Week will begin you want to buy foods that will keep for extended periods of time. Thus, we are talking about dried or canned foods. There are many companies that sell freeze-dried foods and also offer package deals on case lots. Or you could gather the foods yourself from local businesses and package them for long time storage.[1]

At present many foods suitable for long time storage can be obtained quite inexpensively. Rice, pasta, flour, dried beans, oatmeal, dried soups, canned vegetables, nuts, chocolate, raisins, sugar, dried potatoes, dried milk, etc. There are numerous grocery stores and wholesale centers that offer bulk quantities of food at reasonable prices. You want to make sure that you cover all the basic food groups, the greater the variety the better. To fulfill your protein needs, freeze-dried meats are available, but they can be a little costly. Vegetable proteins, such as beans, are also an excellent cost effective source of protein. Also having a supply of seeds and knowing how to grow vegetables would be another good idea. One could grow large amounts of fresh vegetables or obtain them from a farm and can them. There are whole books devoted to emergency preparedness, and it would be a good idea to consult them to become more knowledgeable in this area.

It would also be helpful if one learned how to hunt and fish. Being able to harvest fresh meat would be a good addition to any diet. To be able to hunt or fish would necessitate purchasing hunting and fishing equipment. Rods, reels, lures, line, guns, ammunition, bow and arrows, hunting clothes, and skinning knives are all needed to help gather fresh meat. And do not naively think that just owning those items makes you a hunter or fisherman. It takes practice.

The next concern we should consider is shelter, which includes housing and clothes. Most of us probably have enough clothes to make it through a couple of years. But if you have smaller children that will be growing, you may want to make sure that you have some bigger size clothing pre-bought for them. As for housing, it is unclear exactly what will transpire. From what we have previously discussed about the seals, we know that there will be a severe economic collapse. Whether people will be able to keep their houses without paying their mortgages is unknown. Most likely, they will not. Also those who pay rent will not be able to do so either after the mark comes about. We will consider some possibilities of what one can do about this later in this chapter, but in case all else failed it wouldn’t hurt to have a tent.

Another consideration is electricity. Most likely, at some point we will be without it. This may be a result of natural disasters, wars, and or not being able to buy or sell. As a matter of fact, Iran has claimed that it has the ability to destroy our power grid and take out all items with computer chips, including modern automobiles, using electromagnetic pulses.[2] Lt. Col Thomas E. Bearden (retd.), who has done extensive research in scalar weaponry, asserts that hostile forces will conduct an asymmetrical war against the U.S. in the future and will eventually take out the power grid and collapse the economy.
Selected portable weapons of such types are to be inserted ¾ probably some have already been inserted ¾ into the U.S. and used internally by the Yakuza in its coming destruction of our centralized electrical power system… the loss of our national electrical power system is intended to evoke the catastrophic collapse of the entire U.S. economy, followed by the fall of other Western nations’ economies like toppling dominoes.[3]
Whether God allows this to occur is yet to be seen but the possibility of being without electricity in the near future is real. Being without electricity presents a problem for most of us because we rely on it for heat, refrigeration, cooking, and much more.[4] So with the possibility of losing electric, we have to make a choice of whether to generate it ourselves or live without it. If you choose to generate it yourself, solar and or wind power is probably the way to go. Generating power with a fossil-fuel-driven engine would necessitate storing huge amounts of fuel and would be impractical. The downside of solar or wind power is the cost, these setups can be quite expensive. If you have unlimited resources, solar and or wind would probably be the best way to provide electricity during the 70th Week. And if you could not afford a solar set up to power your whole house you could maybe just get a big enough one to power essential appliances like your refrigerator and or freezer.

The other choice is to prepare to live without electricity. With no electricity, to meet your heating and cooking needs, all you would need to get is a wood stove. If you have a large house, you may have to get a second one. Wood is a readily available source of fuel that one would be able to collect themselves. Solar ovens are also a good way to cook food.

The next consideration would be for necessities such as but not limited to: Bibles, soaps, toothpaste, toilet paper, medicines (including herbal remedies), diapers, candles, solar charger, disposable lighters, camping equipment, flashlights, batteries, crank-up radio, first aid kit, baking soda, salt, hydrogen peroxide, sun screen, vitamins, tea tree oil, personal hygiene items, and tools.

I believe that it would be wise to purchase and learn how to use a gun for defense purposes and or hunting. The best type of gun for home defense is a shotgun. They are relatively easy to use and easy to accurately fire. In an attack, you would probably not have to even use the gun. Just showing it will send most criminals running. Some Christians feel that it is wrong to protect themselves and that guns are evil or bad. This is far from the truth. The use of weapons for protection against criminals, and or in war is promoted in scripture. The most famous example was when David slew Goliath. He used a slingshot, a weapon, to defend Israel and fight the Philistine giant, and then he cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword. Thus, weapons for self-defense, guns included, are not bad, only the improper use of them is wrong.

When food and money become scarce, the “have-nots” are going to seek out the “haves,” and some will stop at nothing to get what they want. Thus, Christians should be ready to fight off criminals if necessary to protect their families. Of course deadly force should only be used as a last resort in the face of imminent danger. Another consideration is that you should not let anyone know about any of your preparations, even your relatives. Be very discrete about all that you do. Keep all stores in a safe and secure place, if you can hide them, all the better.

During the 70th Week there will be places in the world that will be more dangerous to live than others, and these places should be avoided. The troubles of the 70th Week, as we know, will include various distresses at various places. The Bible indicates that several places will be hotbeds for destruction, including but not limited to Jerusalem, Damascus, and end-times Babylon. Other areas that will probably be most prone to troubles will be the big cities. Not only are they targets for mass destruction, but also when things get tough, riots could break out, making them very dangerous. Thus rural areas would more likely be less dangerous. Also, the farther a rural area is from a big city, the better. For instance, if a nuclear bomb exploded in a city, or a plague hit, you would want to be far enough away so that you were not directly affected. Also in case of widespread nuclear fallout you should have some potassium iodide on hand.[5]

So if one wanted to move to a less dangerous location during the 70th Week, where should they go? God has a perfect will for all of us. Go to Him and ask Him what it is, and when the time comes, If it is His will for you to move He will show you what you need to do. Something to keep in mind and pray about is that after the opening of the fifth seal, and the persecution of the antichrist begins, God commands Israel to flee into the wilderness and He may want you to do the same.

During the beginning of the 70th Week, plagues and diseases will be unleashed upon the land. As already discussed many Bible scholars feel that the fourth seal contains plagues:
And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Rev. 6:7-8)
What can one do to protect themselves against plagues? Many think that a daily intake of colloidal silver will prevent one from getting certain diseases. Jerry Golden has written an article entitled “Learning to Survive an Attack! Colloidal Silver!”[6] which discusses this possibility. In light of this information a colloidal silver generator would also be another item one would want to purchase. A substance that has been proven to be effective in fighting viruses is Sambucol, which is made from elderberries.[7]

Another great defense against viruses is taking large doses of vitamin C. Bird flu has been in the news in recent years and could be one the viruses that could afflict the population in the future. Vitamin C is very effective against this virus.[8] Let me also mention that many feel that vaccinations will offer little or no protection against future pandemic viruses because the viruses spread and change so rapidly.[9] Some also think that during this time evil forces may use some vaccinations to spread disease.[10]

Financial Preparations

One must also make wise financial investments. As already discussed, the third seal will probably entail an economic collapse.[11] Believe it or not, there are groups out there who would love to see such a collapse happen, including a secret occult group called The Illuminati, which has had plans in the works for years. [12]

I am not a financial advisor, and the suggestions herein are not to be deemed as financial advice, but if the economy does collapse, I believe it’s important to be debt-free. The banks will come collecting their loans. If you are not able to pay, they will foreclose. So make it your goal to get out of debt. If you have a home mortgage and cannot pay it off before the coming collapse and the mark of the beast is instituted here is an idea that could possibly work; try to anticipate the timing those events, and if possible, pre-pay — by whatever righteous means you can — a couple years worth of mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and utilities. If you rent seek to do the same. To do this, you need to concentrate on saving as much money as possible now.

Also realize that a financial collapse would also involve a collapse of the stock market far worse than what happened in 1929. At such a time most stocks would lose their value. Again I am not a financial expert but if such a collapse of the stock market were to occur during the third seal then it would be wise to move investments to “safer” investments before the collapse occurred. Safer investments could possibly include sector funds, and commodities like grains, oil, and precious metals.[13] Though no investment is guaranteed to be safe these are probably less risky and those sectors are likely to rise in value. One sure investment is wheat, after the third seal a measure of wheat will cost a days wages! (Rev 6:5,6)

But also realize that all money will become worthless after the antichrist takes control and establishes the mark. Thus, any money you have just prior to the 3.5-year point should be used to purchase necessities to make it through the great tribulation. Any other medium of exchange may have some value after the mark comes about, but it would be limited to being used to barter with private individuals.

In regards to when you should make physical preparations; Realize that it is possible that the 70th Week may start this year, it is also possible that it may not start for another 30 years or more, though things are looking like it will be sooner than later. You should make this a matter of prayer, but to be on the safe side preparations that may take a longer time to complete such as saving money, learning to hunt and fish, etc can be started now. Food storage can also be started now as long as you buy foods that can be stored for a long time without perishing.

It is unclear when things will first start to “get bad.” All kinds of things could happen before and at the beginning of the 70th week. Some locales may experience troubles before others. For instance what if God allows the American Hiroshima—the threatened nuking of 10 or more American cities—to occur[14], which would be catastrophic for the United States. If it occurs it may occur before the 70th week or could be part of one of the seals. Also there could be severe economic downturns in various places leading up to and at the beginning of the 70th week.

More than one financial expert has predicted that the United States will suffer a severe economic downturn before the end of 2008.[15] If any of these scenarios develop life could become very difficult for many. So to be on the safe side it would be better to make preparations sooner than later.

In God’s Hands

Of course, these are just examples. I have presented a general outline of how I am attempting to prepare and some ideas for how others might prepare, as well. However, these things should be used as a guideline. Your situation may be different and require different preparations. Some will never be able to prepare. What about the senior citizen living from check to check? What about children living in a home where their parents are not saved? Or what about someone who does not get saved until they actually see the mark of the beast come about? People in these situations will not be able to prepare at all.

What can people who cannot prepare properly do (or, for that matter, what can any of us do, for none of us can prepare totally for what lies ahead)? The answer is to do the best you can and trust God for the rest. Believers should attempt to prepare as best they can with the resources that God has given them. Due to financial constraints, I have not even been able to prepare to the full extent that I have recommended, but as the Lord provides, I will seek to do those things. Also, do not let me give the false impression that if you prepare you will be guaranteed to have “smooth sailing.” Even if you prepare to the fullest you may still face great difficulties during the tribulations of the 70th Week.

At the same time, let me encourage those with means to prepare for and take care of their brothers and sisters in the Lord who do not have the means to take care of themselves:
Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:17-19)
Our first responsibility in life is our relationship with God. Then our responsibilities are to others, which starts with providing for our family.
But if any provide not for his own, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (I Tim 5:8).
After we provide for our family, then we are to minister to others and try and meet their needs. You may be the one that God wants to use to meet the needs of that senior citizen in your church living from check to check. We will need to all pull together and help each other make it through that time. It would also probably be advisable to form groups of true believers that can work together to provide for the needs of the group. During the trying times ahead wise pastors would do well to organize their church into such groups.

Prayer will be our most important asset during this time, and Christians should gather together as often as possible to pray about that time and to pray against the plans of the NWO and the antichrist. We can pray even now that the damage, destruction, control, etc of the antichrist and his NWO forces would be kept to a minimum and that their plans would be frustrated. We should also pray for the salvation of the many that will be deceived during these times. We can also pray now that we would be spared from persecution and that we would be left alone to live a life glorifying the Lord till we are raptured.

Let me also remind you that Christians are to never trust in their preparations or weapons to protect them and or deliver them from the tribulations that lie ahead:
There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. (Ps 33: 16-22)
At the same time, however, trusting in the Lord does not negate proper preparation. If you knew a hurricane was coming your way, would you be “lacking in faith” by preparing for it, and even evacuating if necessary? Or would you stay in harm’s way and be washed out to sea and claim that you were trusting Jesus? We are all supposed to trust Jesus. However, I do not feel one can say, I am not going to prepare because I am trusting in God. We must do all that we can and trust God for the rest.

Was it wrong for David to get five stones out of the brook to prepare to fight Goliath? Or should he have gone out there with no stones and said I am just going to trust God? No, he would have been just dead by his own fault because he did not prepare. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and told Pharaoh that a seven-year famine was looming in the future. Joseph instructed Pharaoh to prepare, and you know the rest of the story. He did, and many people were saved from the famine. In one of his sermons, Dr. Bob Jones Sr. said,
God will not do for you what He has given you strength to do for yourself.”
Do all you can trusting in God’s power and guidance to prepare for the 70th Week.

What if you are in no financial position to prepare at this time? Pray to God and ask Him to provide for you. Remember the Word of the Lord;
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14,15).
We know that it is God’s will for us to have food and shelter. Remember the wonderful promises of God. “The Lord is our shepherd and we shall not want.” Do all you can to get ready, but trust in Him to see you through the difficult times that lie ahead.

Prepare yourself spiritually by making sure of your salvation and removing evil practices from your life. Draw close to the Lord through prayer, Bible reading, and fasting. Prepare yourself mentally by studying prophetic truths so you know what to expect and can make educated decisions based on fact and not panic. And, finally, prepare physically by making sure, as much as is possible, that you have enough necessities to make it through the trials and tribulations ahead. And in all, remember to trust in the Lord. My prayer for you is this:
“And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints (1 Thess. 3:12,13).
Be a good scout; be prepared!

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