End Time Events

March 20, 2012

I’m about to share some things regarding events that are soon to be upon us. This is not done out of a desire that my theological insights be praised, but out of concern that many people are being misled. If they are, their belief could cost them dearly in the days ahead. I encourage you to study these matters for yourself, and then to help get the word out, if you come to the same conviction.

Let me clarify some terms I’ll be using here.

First is trib or tribulation: As used here, it denotes the seven-year period of the beast’s (antichrist’s) reign, marked by 3.5 years of persecution, followed by 3.5 years of God’s wrath.

Next, the beast, or antichrist: The world ruler who will violently oppose all that is of God, whom Jesus will destroy at His second-coming.

I’ve been ruminating on end time events for several years now. In doing so, I came to believe things, independent of others’ views, that are contrary to what I was taught as a child, which was the Pre-Trib Rapture theology. Imagine my surprise to find later, that others had come to the same conclusion, that being, the persecution of the Bride, followed by a Mid-Trib Rapture.

The Scripture makes it clear that “all of those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus, will suffer persecution.” Because of its wealth and prestige, the Church in the Western world has for some time, felt itself above it all. It’s about to get a rude awakening.

In the book of Daniel, we are told that the king who is to come, i.e. Antichrist, will wage war with the saints and will overcome them.

Dan 7:25
“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
and shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
for a time and times and half a time.

In Revelation 11, we see the two witnesses, the two lamp-stands, the two olive trees, who torment the earth with the testimony of Jesus and demonstrations of the power of God. At the end of the first 3.5 years of the reign of the beast, he kills them. After 3.5 days of the world’s drunken boasting, God raises them from the dead and calls them with, “Come up here!” The unbelieving world is gripped with terror and on the cusp of God’s wrath.

Dan 12:7
“Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was
above the waters of the river, when he held up
his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and
swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be
for a time, times, and half a time; and when the
power of the holy people has been completely
shattered, all these things shall be finished.”

OK… my thoughts…

I believe the two witnesses to be believing Israel, and believing Gentiles: the Bride of Christ, the Church… the natural olive tree, and the wild one grafted-in. At this time, she has been purified by the Lord to the extent that His power in her is unmistakable. She opposes the beast and all that he stands for. She is persecuted by him, even to the point of a worldwide slaughter, that wipes out the power of the Body of Christ (see Dan 12:7 above).

Jesus asked His disciples this question, “Is the servant greater than his master?” Just as His power was crushed at the cross (seemingly), so too will the Bride be shamed and put to death by the beast. Immediately afterwards (3.5 days), the “rapture” occurs. (This is why Paul wrote by the Holy Spirit, “…we who are alive and remain…”) And just as Jesus was raised in triumph over the enemy, so too will the faithful-unto-death Bride be accorded that honor. The table is turned once again… for all time.

So, if you believe that the Church is to be taken out of the world before the antichrist appears, you may want to dig a little deeper. Yes, we will escape the wrath of God… but, we will not escape the great persecution.

Lest you believe I’ve jumped the tracks, please know that this is not solely my take on these events. Many other saints see it this way.

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10 Responses to “End Time Events”

  1. kenstewart Says:

    Johnny,
    I agree about suffering persecution. I’ve heard that one thing the Chinese say they have regretted is the teaching of the pre-Communist Christians about escaping persecution–and they found out the hard way. The ones who know this don’t want Christians coming in today with those same teachings.
    I do question how you arrive at your conclusion about the two witnesses being a symbol, rather than being literal human beings, two men who are actually killed in front of 24/7 news reporting… Why interpret the Bible symbolically here rather than literally? (Of course, in the final analysis, it is not anywhere nearly as important as having a personal relationship with the Father a la Jesus, rather than just a head full of knowledge or theory.)
    Thanks for bringing this train of thought into discussion.
    Ken

  2. Johnny Says:

    Thanks for your comments, Ken. As to my seeing the two witnesses symbolically, I already see symbolism attached… the two olive trees. In addition, it just fits with every other scripture related to the Rapture, and even, in the case of what Paul wrote regarding, “…we who are alive and remain…”, opens up additional insight. In my mind, it ties it all together into a coherent whole… as opposed to pre-trib theology, that leaves me questioning what to do with such references as I shared about the beast waging war on the saints. So, it isn’t simply one thing that takes me there, but several. Not the least of which, is seeing in the world today, the vein-popping hatred that’s currently coalescing into a tsunami of vitriol being spewed out against the Bride and Israel.

    Now having said all of that, I’m open to being corrected, should it prove Biblically unsound. And I’ll make myself even more vulnerable here, by sharing something publicly, that I’ve only ever shared with a couple of close friends. A few days after being filled with the Holy Spirit in 1982, I had an unmistakable witness in my spirit, that I was one of the two witnesses. I shared that with a friend who told me that the same thing had happened to him upon his conversion. He believed at the time, that we were both mistaken/being tempted to deception. I believe now, it truly was God, bearing witness to the truth. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone else comes forward with a similar story.

  3. Johnny Says:

    An additional thought came to me today. Since Jesus came, it’s all been about Him and the Bride. It seems out-of-character, that God would ever again put such focus on individuals.

  4. Johnny Says:

    Ken, I may have mis-read your comment. You asked about why I interpreted the two witnesses symbolically, rather than “literal human beings”. I wasn’t crystal clear in my response, as a result of missing that phraseology.

    I am interpreting them as literal human beings, just as a larger group than two individuals. I hope that helps.

    Additionally, we are told that everyone who refuses the mark of the beast will be killed. Could it be, that the AC will issue an ultimatum in the form of a deadline? I think it highly likely. Is this the event that precipitates the slaughter of the Bride? It very well could be.

  5. kenstewart Says:

    Johnny, I am still not sure that I understand your response. How can it be both two individuals and be more at the same time? I know that is true of us being part of the Bride of Christ, etc., just like Levi was “in” Abraham’s loins when he sacrificed to Melchizedek (as Hebrews tells us).

    My thinking–and I don’t have a real basis for this that is defendable by any means–is that the two witnesses are actually returns of Enoch and Elijah, the only two people in history who have never died. My thinking here is that this completes and fulfills the scripture that says, “It is appointed to man once to die, then comes the judgment.” Not sure if I read that somewhere (most probably) or came up with it myself. Just my thinking, as I indicated, for quite a long time.

    Thanks for continuing to process my earlier comment.

  6. Johnny Says:

    Ken, I’ve heard that same teaching about Enoch and Elijah in the denomination that we both were raised in. That may be where you got it.

    I’d commend to you two additional scriptures to consider. The first is where Jesus replied to his disciples questioning, with the statement that John the Baptist was Elijah returned, in fulfillment of prophecy.

    The second is, “No flesh can look upon God and live”, which says to me, that although Enoch and Elijah may have left alive in the flesh with some angels, they’d of had to transition through the veil of physical death, in order to enter God’s presence.

    So, my view is that, it isn’t two individuals that we see in Rev 11, but two people groups. Just because we’re told they’ll lie dead in Jerusalem, doesn’t mean that there won’t be others in other places.

    I love this type of dialog… thanks for engaging.

  7. Maggie Says:

    Great insights Johnny. Thanks……
    Ken: there are many places in scripture where there is a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning.

  8. Johnny Says:

    I’m sorry… just realized that Enoch was taken by God Himself. But come to think of it, does the Bible say that he never died… or is that just more of man’s interpreting?

  9. Johnny Says:

    Thanks for reading, Maggie. But go ahead and jump in… the water’s fine… LOL!

  10. kenstewart Says:

    I agree that the source for my idea about E&E is probably the denominational teachings I was partaker of. As for Enoch’s not dying, here’s what Wikipedia says: “…suggesting he did not experience the mortal death ascribed to Adam’s other descendants…The 3rd century translators of the Greek Septuagint rendered the phrase ‘God took him’ with the the Greek verb metatithemi… meaning moving from one place to another. The Sirach [an apocryphal book which carried some weight but not as much as Scripture] 44:16, from about the same period, states that ‘Enoch pleased God and was translated into paradise that he may give repentance to the nations.’ In the time of the Septuagint and Sirach, paradise was conceived to be a garden of God at the ends of the earth; subsequently Paradise was transferred to heaven.” There are also 3 apocryphal books with deal with Enoch and are named after them, also summarized briefly in this Wikipedia article. (I won’t comment on this…just read it if it interests you).

    I also understand the idea that things in Scripture can stand for more than one thing, in symbolic and allegoric ways, but I’m still not convinced that these two witnesses are more than simply 2 men. I’ll have to pray about that one. Thanks for at least sparking my thinking on it…


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