The Incredible Art of the late Rick Griffin
The Last Days- Part III
Titus 2:11-15… For the grace of GOD that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and Glorious Appearing of our great GOD and Savior Jesus Christ,
who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with authority. Let no one despise you.
This is the third in a series of posts dealing with the Last Days scenario that we are all entering into worldwide. Although in my study I believe that the end is not as near as many proclaim, but rather that we have about two decades before the fulfillment of these Last Days events- it is up to each individual to make up his or her own mind concerning these very grave matters. We still have much to do; America still has an awesome Destiny to fulfill, and the Greatest Harvest of souls in the history of mankind is on the immediate horizon!
My previous two essays The Day of Christ-and the Day of the Lord and the troubling The Tribulation- the Great Tribulation need to be read in sequence, so that this post as well as the one that will follow will make complete sense. I will therefore assume that you will take the time to read and study those two essays first with your Bible in hand, so that you in all humility, will be genuinely awed and blessed by the knowledge of the future reality of His Glorious Appearing.
I am of the opinion after careful study of GOD’s Word that the Day of Christ refers to the Rapture of the church, while the Day of the Lord deals chronologically in sequence in the future with the Wrath of GOD and the judgment of the nations being poured out into finality. This is followed subsequent to the final battle campaign of Armageddon, with the Lord Jesus Christ establishing His Millennial Kingdom on earth from Heaven- reigning with the overcomers for 1000 years. Then the ultimate transformation of the entire universe will happen, resulting in a new heavens and a new earth- that will be His headquarters for the Universal Empire in both the physical and spiritual realms- where the Triune Yahweh will rule and reign.
In my prior Tribulation post I showed the clear biblical evidence for what the Bible teaches about the tribulation period and the wrath of GOD. The pivotal Scripture in this discussion is Paul’s clarification of when the Rapture would occur, what events must precede it, and what the children of GOD must anticipate: increasing suffering and persecution at the hands of wicked mankind. We shall experience the wrath of satan and the wrath of man… but not the Wrath of GOD! That was laid on Christ at the Cross, Praise His Holy Name! We are and will be more than conquerors through Him who loves us!
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5… Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together unto Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled… Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called GOD or that is worshiped, so that he sits as GOD in the temple of GOD, showing himself that he is GOD.
As laid out in the prior posts these events will be experienced by all who are alive at that time, including all the saints who suffer increasing persecution. We will be trained for battle-both in the arena of prayer, as well as in the physical realm for I firmly believe that we will be called to resist the hordes of the seed of satan, as we declare allegiance to our Risen Lord- and win souls to His Kingdom when the veils of deception are stripped away from the eyes of many. We must still be here to lead them to Christ… in sincere repentance, confession, and crying out to the Lord for forgiveness, healing, and deliverance. That is our mission- we will not be taken out of the world, until it is fulfilled at the opening of the sixth seal.
There will be 2 years and 10 months between the true rapture of the church, and Armageddon- the final phase of GOD’s Wrath being fully poured out on an unrepentant world. Revelation Chapter 7 deals with the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will be sealed and set apart to win the children of Israel back to their Messiah. Chapter 8 then unveils the opening of the 7th seal which releases the 7 trumpets and 7 bowls- all of which deal with increasing measure, the full-blown Wrath of GOD being poured out. I will go into much greater detail regarding this nearly three year period with clear biblical evidence in the final post of this series.
Matthew 24: 29, 30… Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light… and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
As we have seen up to this point, the Lord Jesus in his great prophecy called the Olivet Discourse gave clear indication as to the sequence of events that would precede His return. I have shown that Matthew 24 correlates with Revelation 6 in seamless parallels. The pivotal transition is the verses quoted above, and…
Revelation 6:12,13… I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of Heaven fell to the earth.
In review, as Jesus and His disciples were leaving the Temple, He made His remarkable statement about the approaching destruction of Jerusalem by His startling references to this Temple- all of which would occur in 70 A.D. His prophecy evoked two questions from the disciples: “When shall these things be?” and “What shall be the sign of thy coming?” The answer to the disciples’ first question is not found in either Matthew or Mark’s Gospels, but only in the gospel according to Luke 21:20-24. This account in directly dealing with the desolation and destruction of the second Temple in 70AD, states that at that time the inhabitants of Jerusalem ‘shall be let away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’
Now let us consider the disciples’ second question. They asked, ‘…what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the age?’ Please note that the disciples did not ask for signs [plural] but rather sign [singular]. The Greek word for sign is semeion which means “a wonder, remarkable event, or extraordinary phenomenon.” Therefore we see that a sign calls attention to the thing which is signified by the sign. A good example is the token or sign of the covenant God made with Noah. Yahweh confirmed His promise not to destroy the earth again by flood, signifying the covenant with the rainbow.
Most of the Body of Christ recognizes having been taught, that the return of our Lord Jesus Christ has two manifestations: His Glorious Appearing to His saints at the genuine Rapture of the church, and His Glorious Return with the angelic hosts of Heaven including His transformed saints for the final battle campaign called in Scripture: Armageddon. This will be clarified in the next installment, while here we will focus on our gathering together unto Him.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18… But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so GOD will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of GOD, And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Matthew 24:31… And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
As we have clearly seen because the darkening of the sun and moon at the opening of the sixth seal is coincident with the rapture taught in Matthew 24:29-31, the sealing of the 144,000 described in Revelation 7 must occur after a post-tribulation rapture. This is alluded to by Paul in:
Romans 10:25,26… blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob…”
The 144,000 Jewish evangelists will not be raptured with the elect as described in Matthew 24:31 at the darkening of the sun and moon, for they are not called servants and sealed until after the opening of the sixth seal. Furthermore, if the 144,000 were saved before the coming of Christ in the clouds (Matthew 24:30), they would be part of the church, and would have been raptured with the church… right?
Revelation 7:1-3… And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living GOD: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our GOD in their foreheads.
The 144,000 are sealed at that time for protection from the Wrath of the Lamb that is about to fall upon those who have received the mark of the beast. Therefore the sealing of the 144,000 will occur after the Seventieth Week ends, and after the opening of the sixth seal.
There are several things that we should notice about the coming of Christ in the clouds with great power and glory. First, it is not a secret coming:
Matthew 24:30… for 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…
Second, when Christ comes in the clouds, there is no mention of a white horse, and no mention of an army on white horses coming with Him. Third, the coming of Christ in the clouds is not His coming to the earth, for the Scripture says He comes in the clouds, in the air. His coming to earth on the white horse will occur at the end of the period of judgment in the great Day of His Wrath, in the Day of the Lord. This will be amplified in detail in the final post.
Therefore, the coming of Christ in the clouds is not the coming of Christ for the Battle of Armageddon. Armageddon will occur after the seventh seal is opened, and after the seven trumpet judgments, and after the seven vial judgments are poured out, and after the whore of Revelation 17 and 18 is destroyed. Then and not until then, will Christ descend on a white horse with His army dressed in white for the Battle of Armageddon, which is detailed in Revelation 19:11-20.
The Bible reveals plainly and irrefutably where the elect will be taken when they are gathered together at the coming of Christ in the clouds. The elect will be taken to the uttermost part of Heaven. The word to in the Greek is heos and in this verse is a preposition of place or location; it denotes the place to which the elect are gathered together. That place is clearly the uttermost part or extremity of Heaven.
John 14:3… I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
The church will remain with Christ there until He returns for the Battle campaign of Armageddon. During this time, the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will take place. While we are there, planet earth will be experiencing 2 years and 10 months of unrelenting and consecutive judgments in the pouring out of GOD’s great wrath. I look forward to that Day of Christ- of our catching away, and meeting all my eternal brothers and sisters as we partake of our inheritance and rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and are finally wed eternally with our Betrothed King of Glory at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb! Praise His Majestic and Holy Name!
A true ‘Berean’ student (Acts 17:10, 11) will ‘…test all things, hold to that which is true…’ (1 Thessalonians 5:21). To that end, all four parts of ‘The Last Days’ series MUST be studied with your Holy Bible in hand in order to ‘… rightly divide the word of truth…’ (2 Timothy 2:15). The Fuel Project Video Series completes the study at the end of Part IV. For convenience all 4 essays are linked here:
- The Day of Christ… and The Day of the LORD ‘Does the Holy Scriptures reveal a distinct and exclusive difference between the two?’
- The Tribulation… The Great Tribulation ‘Does not the Hebrew as well as the Greek original texts of the Old and New Testament specifically and exactly make a distinction between ‘Tribulation’ and ‘The Wrath of GOD’?
- His Glorious Appearing ‘What is ‘the sign’ of the LORD’s coming that is given by Jesus Christ Himself both in Matthew 24:29-31; and confirmed in the Book of Joel 2:30-32…(Note the word‘BEFORE’), and the Book of the Revelation 6:12-17?’
- The Great Day of GOD’s Wrath ‘When does the Whole Counsel of GOD reveal in numerous places in Scripture, does the actual Wrath of GOD commence, and to what extent does the Bible reach to make this terrible period of Judgment upon the whole earth clear to all who prayerfully study His Holy Word?’
For deeper insight into how GOD the Father sees His children; to better understand the elementary principles of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-3); the ‘mysteries’ of Christ’s Kingdom; and our individual and corporate calling, commission, and empowerment- please review my first published book and the Table of Contents on the Amazon website linked here via Book Title: “Thy Kingdom Come- Here and Now!”
I am Not Ashamed- Hillsong United