Since Sep 7, 2008
With deep sadness a month after celebrating our 45th anniversary, my loving wife passed away. She fought off not only cancer but a multitude of other health issues for many years but God called her home to be with Him in heaven and suffer no more. I will, someday, be with her again in heaven and share the glory of eternal peace and joy that she found.
I do believe we are in the mist of a war being waged between good and evil in heaven right now. It has been prophesied in the Bible that these things will come to past in the end times and I believe you and I are living in those last days.
Question: "What is the Rapture of the church?"
Answer: The word "rapture" does not occur in the Bible. The concept of the rapture, though, is clearly taught in Scripture. The rapture of the church is the event in which God removes all believers from the earth in order to make way for His righteous judgment to be poured out on the earth during the tribulation period. The rapture is described primarily in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 describes the rapture as God resurrecting all believers who have died, giving them glorified bodies, and then departing the earth with those believers who were still alive, who have also been given glorified bodies. "For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
The rapture will be instantaneous in nature and we will, at that time, receive glorified bodies. "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
The rapture is the glorious event we should all be longing for. We will finally be free from sin. We will be in God's presence forever. There is far too much debate over the meaning and scope of the rapture. This is not Gods intent. Rather, in regards to the rapture, God wants us to encourage each other with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:18).
Who are the four horsemen of the apocalypse?
Revelation chapter 6: 1 to 8 - 'The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse'
Answer: The four horsemen of the apocalypse are described in Revelation chapter 6, verses 1-8. The four horsemen are symbolic descriptions of different events which will take place in the end times.
The first horseman of the apocalypse is mentioned in Revelation 6:2, "I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." This first horseman likely refers to the antichrist, who will be given authority and will conquer all who oppose him. The antichrist is the false imitator of the true Christ, as He will return on a white horse (Revelation 19:11-16).
The second horseman of the apocalypse is spoken of in Revelation 6:4, "Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword." The second horseman refers to terrible warfare that will break out in the end times.
The third horseman is described in Revelation 6:5-6, ...and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine! The third horseman of the apocalypse refers to a great famine that will take place, likely as a result of the wars from the second horseman. Food will be scarce, but luxuries such as wine and oil will still be readily available.
The fourth horseman is mentioned in Revelation 6:8, "I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." The fourth horseman of the apocalypse is symbolic of death and devastation. It seems to be a combination of the previous horsemen. The fourth horseman of the apocalypse will bring further warfare and terrible famines along with awful plagues and diseases. What is most amazing, or perhaps terrifying, is that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are just precursors of even worse judgments that come later in the Tribulation (Revelation chapters 8-9 and 16).
ARE YOU READY FOR THE RAPTURE?
The last generation of 70 years that started in 1948, came of age 30 years later and in 1980 declared Jerusalem as capital city without giving any recognition to the Messiah. Israel is now in the 40 years of accountability because of their continued rejection of the Messiah. As a result, they will conclude a covenant with the false messiah, which will be the formal starting point of the 70th year-week of Daniel (the tribulation of seven years). Before this seven year period begins the Lord Jesus will snatch away the true believers (Luke 21:36; John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:16-18).
As far as the true Christians are concerned, we will be delivered from the dark days of the seven year tribulation period by way of the rapture. We will, therefore, not be on earth for the full duration of the last generation before the Second Coming as we will be with the Bridegroom in heaven for the last seven years. In the traditional Jewish marriage the bridegroom secretly took his bride away, after which she spent seven days with him before she was revealed at the wedding feast to all the guests. This week prophetically refers to the year-week (seven-year period) between the rapture and the public appearance of Christ and His bride. This week will be a particularly dark time on earth as the unsaved Israel as well as the unsaved nations will have tribulation under the false messiahs reign of terror, while also being judged by God (Matt. 24:21).
There are various signs of the times that have a bearing on this awesome time of tribulation, so the people of that time should know that God judges them because of their sin and unbelief, but also that Christ will return to earth to destroy the powers of darkness. God wants them to fully realise the seriousness of their situation, to reject the Antichrist and his number, and to turn to God the Father through Jesus Christ. However, most of them will be spiritually so hardened that they will not repent (Rev. 9:20-21; 16:9,11,21).
The signs indicating the seven years of tribulation will already become evident before that time on a smaller scale, while increasing in intensity as the tribulation approaches. They will serve the purpose of a clarion call to the bride to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom, and also to the unrepentant world not to continue shunning the grace of God (Heb. 2:3). When the signs that indicate the tribulation period only begin to become evident (Luke 21:28) we must lift up our heads because our redemption draws near. What are these final signs that indicate the nearness of the Second Coming at the end of the seven year-long tribulation, of which the early beginnings point to the nearness of our escape before the tribulation? Among them are the following:
Natural disasters. There will be great earthquakes in various places (Matt. 24:7; Rev. 6:12; 16:18-20). The sea and waves will roar because of these earthquakes and cause severe panic among millions of people (Luke 21:25). There will also be cosmic signs and disasters that will strike the world from outer space. Among these will be meteor showers and asteroids that will cause devastation on earth (Rev. 6:13; 8:8-9). Furthermore, there will be unequalled heat waves and hailstorms (Rev. 16:8-9,21).
Wars. And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (Matt. 24:6-7). The situation will aggravate until a time when armies from all nations will be mobilised in the Middle East for the great war of Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:19; Zech. 12:3; 14:12-13).
Famines, pestilences and polluted water. The Lord Jesus said: And there will be famines and pestilences (Matt. 24:7). People will need their entire income just to buy the basic foodstuffs that they need (Rev. 6:8). Serious disease epidemics will break out and water resources will be so polluted that many will die from drinking the water (Rev. 16:2-6).
Spiritual and ideological deception. Christ seriously warned against this: Take heed that no one deceives you For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders (Matt. 24:4,24). After the rapture the whole deceived world will marvel and follow the Antichrist, and also worship him (Rev. 13:3-4). He will be the political and religious head of all nations (Rev. 13:7-8).
We are living in the last half of the last generation a generation of which the Lord Jesus Himself said that it will not pass away till all things leading up to His Second Coming are fulfilled. We have all reason to shortly expect the secret coming of the heavenly Bridegroom for His bride. The signs that are so evident in the world are like the shadows of night that convey the ominous message of the impending darkness of Gods judgements that will soon be poured out upon a deceived, unrepentant world in which false religions are rife, while most of the believers in the traditional Christian world only have a form of godliness.
When these judgements are poured out and the whole world is delivered to the dictatorship of the Antichrist, all true believers must be away from planet earth: For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:9). By way of the rapture, the Lord Jesus will deliver us from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10). But we must be made worthy for this escape by way of repentance and sanctification (Luke 21:36).
The last seven years of tribulation will be the dramatic climax of the last generation. These awesome days will be terminated by the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus (Rev. 19:19-21). He will come with His saints, who will be revealed to the rest of the world together with Him (Zech. 14:5; Col 3:4; Rev. 19:11-14) and reign with Him in His millennial kingdom (Rev. 5:9-10; 20:6). But we must be blameless in holiness to be presented to the Bridegroom in His ivory palace at the beginning of this seven-year period (1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23-24; Heb. 12:14; 1 John 3:3; Ps. 45:8-15).
The Lord did not reveal to us the day, hour, month or year of His secret coming but He did refer to the last generation within which it will occur. We know for sure that this generation will not pass away till all things have been fulfilled. We do not know which event will be the last clarion call before the coming of Christ (Matt. 25:6). It may be that a few hours or a few days before the time something special may happen to indicate the imminence of Christs coming. It may even be the Russo-Arab invasion of Israel, from which the Antichrist could arise as a false prince of peace.
Whatever this cry may be, we do know it will be so close to the rapture that it will not allow the nominal and carnal believers enough time to prepare for the heavenly Bridegrooms coming (Matt. 25:8-10). We should live in a state of continued holiness for this wonderful meeting.
Onward, Christian Soldiers
My Tag Line
Composed by Sabine Baring-Gould, 1834-1924
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe; forward into battle see his banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.
At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee; on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory! Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise; brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise. (Refrain)
Like a mighty army moves the church of God; brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided, all one body we, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity. (Refrain)
Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane, but the church of Jesus constant will remain. Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail; we have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail. (Refrain)
Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng, blend with ours your voices in the triumph song. Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King, this through countless ages men and angels sing. (Refrain)