The Abraham Accords — What You Need to Know

No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you.

[Genesis 17:5-6]

On September 15, 2020, leaders from the United States, Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates signed an historic peace accord that will begin the normalization of relations between Israel and her surrounding Arab nations. Initiated by President Donald Trump and his administration, The Abraham Accords represent an unprecedented move toward establishing peace in the Middle East.

Now another Muslim-majority nation in North Africa — Morocco — has normalized ties with Israel, and most geopolitical experts believe there will be more Middle Eastern nations to come.

So how did we get here and where are these Abraham Accords going?

How will the Abraham Accords transform the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East, and more importantly, will these unprecedented accords lay the groundwork for what many believe to be the last days and the time of Jacob’s trouble?

To find out, we first must look back before we can understand the way forward. We start by going back 4,000 years to the man known as the “father of faith.”

That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.

[Romans 4:16]

Father Abraham

The three most significant monotheistic religions on earth claim Abraham as a patriarch of the faith. Jews, Christians, and Muslims all trace their origins back to the life and witness of father Abraham. Granted, Abraham had many sons, which eventually grew into many great people groups that settled in the ancient Near East.

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty. Walk before Me and be blameless. 2I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.” [3]Then Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4“As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5No longer will you be called Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6I will make you exceedingly fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you.

[Genesis 17:1-6]

The Covenant

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

[Genesis 12:1-3]

The Nation

Abraham did indeed father many nations, but according to the testimony Biblical record — which is the true account of history — the LORD God Almighty only established His covenant of promise with one of Abraham’s descendants. God chose Isaac, not Ishmael, as the son of promise. This is significant because Ishmael’s descendants largely represent the Arab populations of the Middle East, which are now represented as Muslim-majority nations.

Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He shall father twelve princes, and I will make him into a great nation. 21But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.”

[Genesis 17:17-21]

God’s covenant with Abraham and Isaac was then continued through Isaac’s son, Jacob, the twin brother of Esau [Edom]. The LORD would reaffirm His covent with Jacob by changing His name to Israel — as he would become the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. Esau would later join himself to the tribes of Ishmael becoming perpetual enemies of Israel.

And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 

[Genesis 32:27-29]

The Promised Land

God’s covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [Israel] included some very significant promises. First God promised Israel a land, the boundaries of which were clearly established by the LORD [see Genesis 15:17-21]. This is the Promised Land that was given to Israel after 400 years of bondage in Egypt. As long as Israel loved and obeyed the LORD, He promised to bless and protect and provide for them in the land, but He warned Israel that rebellion and idolatry would result in being expelled from the land.

After you have children and grandchildren and you have been in the land a long time, if you then act corruptly and make an idol of any form—doing evil in the sight of the LORD your God and provoking Him to anger— 26I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live long upon it, but will be utterly destroyed. Then the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you.

[Deuteronomy 4:25-27]

The people of Israel were indeed expelled from the land in three separate invasions and exiles. The Assyrians exiled the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. The Babylonians exiled the southern kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C., and the Romans destroyed Jerusalem once again and removed whatever remnant of the Jewish population from the land between 70 and 140 A.D.

Amazingly, just as the Bible predicted, God did not completely destroy His chosen people Israel and after nearly 1900 years of exile, the nation of Israel was reborn in the land against all odds.

But if from there you will seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice. 31For the LORD your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers, which He swore to them by oath.

[Deuteronomy 4:29-31]

Of course, the repatriation of the land by the modern state of Israel in 1948 is not the final fulfillment of God’s promise of restoration for Israel. It is, however, a significant prophetic sign of the end of the age that had to be fulfilled in order for God’s prophetic word to be fulfilled in the last days.

The Son of Promise

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 

[Galatians 3:16]

To be clear, the greatest promise of all to Abraham was the coming of the “seed of the woman,” the promised Messiah and Savior of the world [see Genesis 3:15]. All nations of the earth have been blessed with the free gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins through the person and work of Jesus Christ, the son of Abraham, the son of David. This is why Gentile believers all over the world also identify with Abraham as the father of faith.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

[Galatians 3:28-29]

Peace in the Middle East

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.

[1 Thessalonians 5:2-4]

So will there ever be peace in the Middle East?

The answer is … yes!

But before true peace can be established by the coming Prince of Peace — Jesus Christ — there must be a time of trouble such as the world has never seen before nor ever will again.

The Abraham Accords, in my estimation, are both good and bad.

It is a noble cause to broker peace among enemies and try to normalize relationships among neighboring nations that historically have lived in hostility. I do believe that these accords can create more opportunities for trade, commerce, diplomacy, and the general welfare of all nations involved.

At the same time, I also can see the Abraham Accords laying the groundwork for the coming “covenant with many” — spoken of by the prophet Daniel — and the coming 10-king alliance that will be used by the coming Antichrist to form his Middle Eastern Beast empire.

In other words, whatever “peace” is established among Israel and her neighbors in these last days will only be a temporary peace, leading to a false sense of security.

Daniel identifies this coming evil ruler in the following way.

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.

[Daniel 9:27]

For ships of Kittim shall come against him, and he shall be afraid and withdraw, and shall turn back and be enraged and take action against the holy covenant. He shall turn back and pay attention to those who forsake the holy covenant. 31Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. 32He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.

[Daniel 11:30-32]

It is very possible that the Abraham Accords are normalizing relations in the Middle East in order to prime Israel’s neighbors for a future covenant that will set the stage for the emergence of the “little horn” — aka the Beast.

We also know that the Beast will assume power over a ten-king coalition and turn against Israel in the end, leading one final invasion of the holy land and one last exile of God’s people.

“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,

There shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
and it shall devour the whole earth,
and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
24As for the ten horns,
out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
and another shall arise after them;
he shall be different from the former ones,
and shall put down three kings
.
25He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.

[Daniel 7:23-25]

And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. 14They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

[Revelation 17:12-14]

The prophetic word has told us the end of the story. It has been written.

These new developments should give us pause to ponder the coming of the great tribulation, pray for the people of Israel and her neighbors, and put our hope in the coming King!

Most of all, as more pieces of the prophetic puzzle fall into place, we must remain unshaken in our resolve and unmovable in our faith in Jesus Christ.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus. Come!

The World is Not Worthy of Us

They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

[Hebrews 11:37-38]

If there is one consistent thread that runs throughout all of church history, it is the thread of suffering for the sake of Christ. From the very first generation of believers who were driven out of Jerusalem leading to the death of the Apostles, the story of God’s people has been the story of martyrdom.

Of all the promises that God has given to the saints, the promise of suffering is the most sobering of all. As followers of Jesus Christ living in the West, the concept of persecution and tribulation is mostly abstract and largely absent from our lives. But for the overwhelming majority of Christians throughout history and among those alive today, the call to follow Jesus Christ is the call to come and die.

The price to follow Jesus Christ in many parts of the world is costly, and the Lord told us as much. The plague of prosperity preaching has infected the church like a cancer, leading millions astray into a pseudo Christianity that does not reflect the true teachings and mission of Jesus Christ.

The truth is that God has not promised to bless His people with riches, comfort, pleasure, and popularity in this life. No! On the contrary, God has promised that all who identify with Jesus Christ and seek to live a godly life will suffer persecution in this world — our rewards being stored in heaven for the day of judgment.

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

[2 Timothy 3:12-13]

Just this week, over 100 farmers — most of them Christians — were slaughtered by the Muslim militants, Boko Haram, in Nigeria. Unfortunately these headlines seem to be more and more common in this evil age. Our brothers and sisters all over the world are being targeted and killed for one reason and one reason alone — faith in Jesus Christ. Whether it be in China, North Korea, Africa or the Middle East, the demonic rage against God’s people is growing more and more intense in these last days.

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.20Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 

[John 15:18-20]

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

[1 Peter 4:12-13]

Preparing for the Great Tribulation

Jesus Himself promised His followers that in this world, we will suffer tribulation [John 16:33]. This promise has held true for nearly 2,000 years and seems to only be getting worse. If tribulation and suffering is guaranteed for God’s people of every generation, then it only stands to reason that the last generation of believers will be forced to go through the time of great tribulation as well.

The great tribulation is that unprecedented time of trouble and distress that will encompass the whole earth just prior to the return of Jesus Christ and the Day of the LORD. The Bible makes a distinction concerning this period of immense suffering as being unlike any before or after it. It will be the final 3.5 years of this present, evil age, and God’s people must be prepared to face it and go through it just as every other generation of Christians has gone before us.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved … For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be22And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.

[Jesus Christ — Matthew 24:9-13, 21-22]

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne10They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

[Revelation 6:9-11]

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months6It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

10If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

[Revelation 13:5-10]

Despite what many Christians have been taught, the great tribulation will be the most comprehensive and systematic persecution of God’s people the world has ever seen. The great tribulation will reveal the final generation of true witnesses and faithful followers of Jesus Christ and lead to the greatest display of martyrdom in human history. In other words, it is impossible to have the great tribulation without God’s people because the great tribulation is the final refining and testing of God’s people!

As a pastor and preacher of the gospel, it is my obligation and responsibility to prepare the church for what is coming. Anything less would be cruel and cowardly. We must wake up to the reality that the days are evil and the time is at hand. Tribulation is already here for many of our brothers and sisters around the world, and the great tribulation is coming.

We must be ready.

We must remain faithful.

We must endure to the end.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

How to Rise Above the Coming Hive Mind — Part 1

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.

[Jesus Christ — Matthew 24:24-25]

Let’s be serious for just a moment. We have reached a pivotal juncture in human history when our rediscovery of technology has finally caught up with our wildest science-fiction fantasies — even exceeding them. The mythos is becoming mainstream. Yesterday’s dream has become today’s reality with no end in sight. No longer must we imagine a day when man would be integrated with machines, uploaded with artificial intelligence and recoded with genetic modification, even pushing the boundaries of what it means to be human.

The next frontier of human “evolution” is here — so they say. Can we overcome the laws and limitations of this present reality and usher in the new age? The new mankind. The quest for immortality. It’s time for the upgrade, and the stage is set.

And yet the irony is that there is nothing new under the sun. What’s been done will be done again. What has been will be. Seems like we have seen this somewhere before.

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.

[Genesis 11:5-6]

So the next phase in human evolution is to scrap human 1.0 and upgrade to version 2.0. Trans-humanism at it’s core is the ancient, alternative pursuit of mankind to achieve immortality and godhood by reintegrating all knowledge (science) and power (natural and supernatural). This is man’s chance to cheat death and ascend to the heights of the gods. This is man’s moment finally to make the universe in his own image for his own vain glory.

Trans-humanism is the same ancient lie of the devil — Satan — the prince of darkness. He was the first to promise man another path to godhood by seducing Adam and Eve with divine knowledge, supernatural power and perfect beauty. The lie of the enemy has always been to worship and serve that which is created rather than the Creator, who is forever to be praised. The lie of the devil is … be thy own god and do thy own will by any means necessary.

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. 

[Genesis 3:4-5]

The devil says, “I’ll give you what you want now,” all the while knowing he will destroy you in the end. He promises instant gratification that never satisfies but only makes you a slave to sin. When the devil goes down, untold millions are going down with him. His path always leads to one place — destruction.

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’

Matthew 25:41

The Battle for the Mind

The devil is the deceiver of the whole world and the father of lies. So his most effective tactic is to manipulate the mind, keep us blind to the truth and take hold of our thoughts. It only stands to reason that the enemy is using any and every means possible to cast darkness and corrupt the minds of mankind.

On the one hand, we see the exponential advances in technology, science, medicine, artificial intelligence, cybernetics, robotics, quantum physics, virtual and augmented reality, and genetic engineering, which unfortunately are being used for unholy and ungodly purposes. On another front, there is a universal, spiritual deception from the supernatural forces of darkness manipulating mankind through principalities and rulers over the nations, through the power of sorcery [drugs], occult knowledge, black magic, pagan idolatry, sexual immorality, world mystery religions, naturalistic evolution, counterfeit Christianity, eastern mysticism, and new age theosophy.

Don’t forget the collective dependency of the modern world to be fed information through powerful and biased search engines, state/secular education, mainstream and social media outlets, movies, games, and entertainment, and the so-called scientific authorities. There is not a sector of human society that is not under the sway of the evil one.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

[2 Corinthian 4:3-4]

This collective deception is what I’m calling the hive mind, and its ramifications are tragic for our reality. The world is primed and ready. Only those who are sealed with the Holy Spirit and possess the mind of Christ will be able to resist this mass deception and remain faithful to Jesus Christ and His gospel. God’s faithful remnant will never believe another gospel, whether it comes from the tongue of an angel of light or from the spiritual powers on the other side or an ancient alien from outer space.

There is only one true path to everlasting life and only one way to immortality. There are no original ideas with the devil. God has already promised and provided everything we could ever need, ask or imagine. Jesus Christ was born the Son of God so that we could be born again as sons of God. The Son of God became a man so that the sons of man could become sons of God.

We cannot ignore the mass deception and powerful mind manipulation that is taking place all over the world in these various capacities, and it’s only getting worse. It will be so bad in the end that if it were possible, even God’s elect would be deceived.

Primed for the Hive Mind

Super technologies and the advent of AI present one of the biggest threats to mankind as we know it. Mind-integrated machines are being developed at an exponential rate. We already have an entire generation who has never known the world without being dependent and connected to technology.

Elon Musk [Tesla] is just one of the many tech moguls perfecting mind integration devices that connect our neurons to a 5G network that can send and receive digital messages and turn parts of the brain on or off. Like most new technology, Musk is promoting his Neuralink device initially as a medical miracle-worker, but his intentions go far beyond healing the body. These devices are meant to integrate the mind with machine and propel mankind faster toward the singularity with Artificial Intelligence.

“Musk opened Friday’s event by emphasizing the wide variety of spinal and neurological conditions — including seizures, paralysis, brain damage, and depression — that Neuralink technology could help treat … But it’s worth highlighting that Musk wants Neuralink to do far more than treat specific health conditions. He sees the technology as an opportunity to build a widely available brain-computer interface for consumers, which he thinks could help humans keep pace with increasingly powerful artificial intelligence.”

[Vox, 08/2020 — Read Article Here ]

And then there is the internet of things — iOT — that is the next phase of upgrades will be to augment our own DNA and integrate our minds with the collective “cloud” of information and connect to the hive mind. You can read more about 5G and iOT in one of my earlier posts here.

It is point of perfect harmony and uniformity of a colony to be fully expressing the will and thoughts of the queen bee. It’s just we aren’t dealing with an insect population. We are talking about all of humankind being controlled by the prince of demons — the prince of the power over the air!

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind

[Ephesians 2:1-3]

So this virtual network, this internet of things [iOT] is powered and purposed by AI to unlock a new frontier of entertainment, escape, pleasure, creativity, power, knowledge, immortality, and eventually … godhood. Some already are beginning to upload their “cognitive personality” into a virtual data base, attempting to keep oneself “alive” after death in some interactive state of consciousness in the cloud.

Along with the common quest for the acceleration of knowledge and exponential growth of mental processing power (AI), however, technology also creates a two-way bridge, or doorway, to your brain, leaving you susceptible to mind control and behavior modification/manipulation. Anyone who opens themselves up to this technology will be taking the risk of giving themselves over to the powers of darkness and losing their very soul.

As you will see in my next installment [Part 2], the hive mind will be one of the devil’s most powerful weapons of spiritual warfare in these last days to keep the minds of unbelievers blinded from seeing the gospel of Jesus Christ and so be saved.

Jesus Christ Does Not COEXIST

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

[Jesus Christ — Matthew 10:33-34]

Whether Buddhists or Hindus or Mormons or Muslims — pagans or heathens or atheists or agnostics. They have one thing in common. They neither know, love, nor worship the One True Living God and His Son Jesus Christ. Every cult and false religion and heretical denomination in this world are at odds with the Word and Truth of God — Jesus Christ.

That’s the thing about truth — it is by definition exclusive. For something to be true, it must be at the exclusion of all other options. There can be only one truth — not many. Truth must be objective, not subjective. Otherwise it ceases to be truth. Truth is outside our time domain. It is the standard that by necessity transcends our own vain imaginations, limited knowledge, and biased perspectives. It is immovable, immutable, and infallible. Truth is not defined. It must be discovered.

So that becomes the test. Of all the different belief systems, world religions and so-called “paths” to God, which one is true? Are they all true? Which one conforms to reality? Which one passes the test of authenticity? We have billions of people claiming to have discovered the true way and the enlightened path — even if that path is their own. We have a million ways of looking at God and reality, yet there can only be one true God and one true reality.

That is the absurdity of moral relativism and religious syncretism. In the pursuit of inclusiveness, you cut objective truth off at its legs and replace it with that which is right in your own eyes. You deny the Maker who gave you life and at the same time create a vain god in your own image.

Yet when it comes to the Person, work and teaching of Jesus Christ, we discover a man who claims to be God in the flesh and self-identifies as the Creator and Savior of the whole world. We discover a man who validates His claim through His manifest miracles, wisdom, power, and authority, and ultimately through His glorious resurrection from the dead.

We discover Truth is not just a virtue, it is a Person — embodied in Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Neutrality is not an option. Either He is who He claims to be, or Jesus is a lying religious fraud who was mentally deranged for claiming to be the God of Israel incarnate and the Savior of the whole world.

The implications are paramount.

If Jesus Christ is NOT Lord of all, then at best He is a lying lunatic and at worst a deceitful devil from hell. If He lied about who He is, then why should anything He says ever be trusted? Why would anyone follow a dead charlatan?

Yet if Jesus Christ is who He claims to be, then He is Creator and Lord and therefore has designed all of reality and defined all true morality and has set the terms of eternity and ultimately judges the hearts and intentions of humanity.

His name — the name of Jesus — is ABOVE every name that is named and could not possibly be equal to any other name.

Let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

[Acts 4:10-12]

In short — Jesus Christ is not an equal among peers. Jesus isn’t just another religious leader like Buddha or Mohammed or Darwin. He is the Wonderful Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

For this reason, I cannot and will not validate or associate with the modern COEXIST movement and mentality because in doing so I am reducing my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to a status far below His true, eternal nature. Jesus is no mere man, offering one of the many paths to God. He is God, offering the one and only gift of eternal life.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

[Philippians 2:9-11]

Let’s consider the COEXIST mentality, then. The idea that all faiths can unite for a common cause, putting our obvious differences aside for the common good. This is part of a broader world-wide interfaith movement. On the surface it sounds commendable and progressive, but there is one glaring problem for those who know and love Jesus Christ.

He is the only guest who isn’t invited to the table. Sure, some perverted, compromised version of Jesus has been included, but not the historical Jesus. Not the Biblical Jesus. Not the exclusive Jesus. Not the true Jesus Christ.

This is why it is so dangerous to see mainline Christian denominations and the Roman Catholic Church compromising the true gospel of Jesus Christ in the name of tolerance and the universal brotherhood of man.

Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Council

Does the true Jesus coexist on the same level as other gods and prophets? Does Jesus belong in the same category? Does Jesus stand on equal footing?

According to COEXIST philosophy, He does.

According to Jesus and His gospel, He does not.

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep …

“I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, 26but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30I and the Father are one.

[Jesus Christ — John 10:7-11, 25-30]

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

[Jesus Christ — John 11:25-26]

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me … I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.

[Jesus Christ — John 14:1, 6-7]

Jesus Christ belongs in a category all by Himself — God of gods, Lord of lords, King of kings, Creator and Judge. He doesn’t coexist alongside other gods. He is highly exalted above everything in all creation!

I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength, 20which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God put everything under His feet and made Him head over everything for the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all

[Ephesians 1:18-22]

I cannot in good faith affirm the COEXIST mantra because Jesus Christ does not affirm it. By affirming COEXIST I am fundamentally denying my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is contrary to His nature and His gospel. He provides no other option.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

[Jesus Christ — Matthew 12:30]

Jesus Christ is not a way of life. He is the Way of Life. He isn’t just another religious option. He is the One and Only Son of God and Savior of the World.

He did not come to bring peace but a sword because He will not share His glory with another. All who reject Him and refuse to bow the knee to Him are condemned already and remain under the wrath of a Holy God. Only by exclusively acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and believing in Him as Savior can anyone make peace with God and receive the promise of eternal life.

There is no other way, which is why Jesus Christ and His gospel cannot coexist with anything or anyone contrary to Him. For in the end, what does light have to do with darkness.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

[2 Corinthians 6:14]

May the name of Jesus Christ forever be exalted to the praise of His glory. Amen!

Always a Remnant

In the same way, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

[Romans 11:5]

As committed followers and faithful believers in Jesus Christ, it is easy to feel alone and outnumbered in this world — like a soldier trapped in hostile territory and surrounded by the enemy. As believers, we are forced to navigate in the world but are not of the world, remembering that if the world first hated Jesus, then it will hate us too.

Following Jesus in a wicked world means swimming against the strong current of the mainstream that leads to destruction and walking the narrow road that leads to life, however difficult or lonely it may be. Learning to live in the minority is one of the essential callings of the committed Christian. As followers of Jesus and children of God, we have been “set apart” by God from the rest of the unbelieving world.

Christians are called to be distinct, different, holy, and contrary to the world. We are a peculiar people saved for a peculiar purpose. Jesus reminds us of this in John 17.

I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world15I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

[John 17:14-19]

This has been God’s plan from the beginning. No matter how wicked the world or how evil the age, God always has and always will preserve for Himself a believing remnant — a people for His own possession. This was true in ancient times and is true today. Consider how many times God saved a remnant in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation.

  • God kept Noah and his family of 8 through the flood
  • God kept Jacob and his family of 70 through the famine
  • God kept Moses through Pharaoh’s slaughter of the Hebrew children
  • God kept Joshua and Caleb through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness
  • God kept Elijah and 7,000 who refused to bow the knee to Baal
  • God kept Daniel and the exiles through the Babylonian invasion
  • God kept Esther and Mordecai through Haman’s murderous scheme
  • God kept Ezra and Nehemiah to return to the land
  • God kept 120 faithful in the upper room waiting for the Spirit on Pentecost

You get my point.

And it is no different today than it always has been. God is faithful to preserve a faithful remnant in the face of overwhelming odds and outright hostility. The call to follow Jesus is the call to overcome — the call to endure and remain faithful to the end.

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.

[2 Timothy 2:10-13]

Although the days are evil and we are living in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation, we must not lose heart. We are not alone. We belong to the remnant. Although our numbers be few, our faith is growing stronger. And even if we have to stand alone for what is right and true, then so be it.

To follow Jesus means to shun the world. To follow Jesus means to be hated by the world. To follow Jesus means to be outcast from the culture. To follow Jesus means to be mocked and ridiculed and reviled and persecuted for His sake. To follow Jesus means to be unpopular.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

[James 4:4]

As the days grow increasingly evil, it will become more and more difficult to follow Jesus. We should expect to be mistreated, abused, and falsely accused. We should be prepared to suffer for sake of Christ and His gospel, but at the same time we can trust God to provide more grace to all of His people, knowing that difficult days are ahead.

Do not fear Christian. Do not be discouraged, O child of God. Do not let your hearts be troubled. May the words of our Lord and Savior provide comfort to us all, as we continue to walk the difficult road of faith and swim boldly against the current of the world.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

[John 16:33]

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

The Big Reveal

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence.

Isaiah 64:1

Reality consists of two worlds — two realms — separated by a veil. The physical dimension here on earth is but a shadow — a dim reflection of the spiritual realm — and in this present age we are unable to see behind the veil. Although the heavens are the true substance of things to come, they remain hidden from us — invisible to the naked eye.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

Fortunately, the Bible provides some interesting glimpses into heaven when the veil is partially lifted and man is able to peek behind the curtain, as it were.

Think of Jacob and the stairway to heaven [Genesis 28]. Ezekiel, Isaiah, and John and their visions of the LORD on His throne [Ezekiel 1, Isaiah 6, Revelation 4-5]. Elisha and his servant surrounded by the armies of heaven [2 Kings 6], and Stephen’s vision of Jesus as he was being stoned to death [Acts 7:54-56].

As intriguing as these glimpses into heaven may be, they were limited in scope and vision, but one day that will all change.

This day is what I like to call the Big Reveal!

This is the revelation of Jesus Christ. The day of God’s visitation. The arrival of the King. There is coming a day when the heavens will be ripped open and the Lord Jesus will come down in all His power and glory and every eye will see Him for who He truly is.

It is a singular day — the culmination, crescendo and climax of history. It is the end, the finale. That is why the prophets always refer to this unique day as “the” revelation of Jesus Christ [see Luke 17:28-30, 1 Peter 1:5-7, 13, 4:13]. It is a day like no other.

The return of Jesus is THE BIG REVEAL! For believers … it is the moment we all have been waiting for. For the rest of the world, however, it will be the most dreadful day imaginable.

So how will this Big Reveal go down?

Let’s see what the Bible says.

The Veil will be Torn

Instead of thinking of the heavens as empty “space,” we must understand that the heavens consists of some form of material substance, though invisible to us. This what is known as the very fabric of space. The Bible repeatedly describes God the Creator as the One who “stretches out the heavens” like a tent or a curtain. [see Job 9:8, Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 40:22, 42:5, 44:24, 45:12, 48:13, 51:13, Jeremiah 10:12, 51:15, Zechariah 12:1]

So if heaven can be stretched out like a tent or curtain, then it stands to reason that it also can be rolled up like a scroll or torn apart. That is precisely what will happen during God’s big reveal. The veil between heaven and earth will be ripped open to reveal the LORD Jesus, and He will at that moment come down in all His power and glory.

Consider the overwhelming testimony of Scripture that describes this unique moment when the veil is torn and Jesus comes down from heaven to earth and treads upon the wicked in judgment.

Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down,
that the mountains might quake at your presence—
2as when fire kindles brushwood
and the fire causes water to boil—
to make your name known to your adversaries,
and that the nations might tremble at your presence!

Isaiah 64:1-2

In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.

7Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

Psalm 18:6-12

Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down! Touch the mountains so that they smoke! 6Flash forth the lightning and scatter them; send out your arrows and rout them!

Psalm 144:5-6

Hear, you peoples, all of you; pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. 3For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. 4And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.

Micah 1:3-4

Draw near, O nations, to hear, and give attention, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it. 2For the LORD is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter. 3Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. 4All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree.

Isaiah 34:1-4

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

Revelation 6:12-14

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

Revelation 19:11

Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 24:29-30

There will be no mistaking God’s Big Reveal when the veil between heaven and earth is ripped open and the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth in all His glory!

If that weren’t enough, here are a few more supplemental details that help put this monumental event into perspective.

The Angel Armies will Descend

Once heaven is opened and the veil is lifted, the entire host of heaven will be exposed for all to see.

[God will] … grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

2 Thessalonians 1:7-8

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne

Matthew 25:31

It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones.”

Jude 1:14

And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.

Revelation 19:14-15

The Nations will Mourn

There will be collective wailing and mourning by all who have rebelled against the God of heaven on that day.

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

Revelation 1:7

The great Day of the LORD is near— near and coming quickly.  Listen, the Day of the LORD!  Then the cry of the mighty will be bitter. 15That day will be  a day of wrath,  a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, 16a day of horn blast and battle cry against the fortified cities, and against the high corner towers. 17I will bring such distress on mankind that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.

Zephaniah 1:14-17

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?

Revelation 6:15-17

And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Luke 21:25-27

Fire will Consume the Wicked

The final outpouring of God’s wrath is always associated with an all-consuming fire to be poured out on the wicked.

For behold, the LORD will come in fire,
and his chariots like the whirlwind,
to render his anger in fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire
.
16For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment,
and by his sword, with all flesh;
and those slain by the LORD shall be many.

Isaiah 66:15-16

Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him.

Nahum 1:6

When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly … But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed … waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn

2 Peter 3:7, 10, 12

The Lord Jesus will Come Down to Wage War

God’s Big Reveal culminates with the Lord Jesus coming down from heaven to earth in bodily form to crush the Beast and his armies in the war to end all wars!

Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east … Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

Zechariah 14:1-3, 5

And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. 14They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.

Revelation 17:12-14

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:8

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh

Revelation 19:19-21

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

Simplifying the Second Coming of Christ

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

Matthew 24:3

Over the last century, a majority of Christian churches in America have taught that Jesus Christ can come at any moment for His church — otherwise know as the rapture. But is the rapture the same thing as the 2nd Coming? Well, apparently it depends.

Few would argue that the 2nd Coming of Christ is one of the most essential, non-negotiable doctrines of the Christian faith. Christ has come. Christ will come again. Sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately, because of a man-made doctrine — namely dispensationalism — the 2nd Coming of Christ has been distorted into a convoluted belief system that unnecessarily complicates the clear teaching of Scripture. For example, when dispensationalists say “second coming” they don’t really mean second coming. What they mean is that Jesus can “come” at any moment to rapture His church back to heaven, but also that He will “come” again to judge the earth.

In other words, the dispensational belief system has to divide the coming of Christ into two “phases” or “stages” in order to make sense of it all. Taken to its logical conclusion, there are not two “comings” of Christ, but rather … three!

Having been raised on the dispensational doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, I once affirmed this man-made system without question.

But then one day … I started reading the Bible for myself.

What I discovered was that the Scriptures did not align with dispensational theology, especially the notion that the church would be whisked away to heaven before the great tribulation. Nothing could be further from the truth!

I began to see that the Scriptures plainly teach that the “coming” of the Lord immediately follows the great tribulation at the end of the age on the Day of the LORD [see Matthew 24:27-31, Mark 13:24-27, Luke 21:25-28]. In other words, there is only one 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. The 2nd coming of Christ is one event, one advent. Not one verse in all of Scripture presents the Second Coming of Christ in “two phases” or “two stages.” Once I came to that very important conclusion, the Scriptures began to make perfect sense.

Since dispensationalists refer almost exclusively to the writings of the Apostle Paul to support their view of a pre-tribulation rapture of the church, I thought it would be worth some print to demonstrate how the Apostle Paul actually destroys the pre-tribulation argument in his epistles.

Using only his letters to the church in Thessalonica, I will demonstrate how Paul understood and taught the essential doctrine of the 2nd coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Parousia

The Greek word used predominantly in regard to the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ is the word — parousia [παρουσία] — which means “coming, presence, arrival, advent.” Jesus Himself used this word to describe His return, as did Peter and John, but Paul used parousia more than any other New Testament writer.

For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.

Jesus Christ — Matthew 24:27

By using this very specific and technical term as a thread in Paul’s letters to the church in Thessalonica, all the unnecessary confusion about the 2nd Coming of Christ becomes crystal clear. Let’s take a closer look.

1 Thessalonians

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10

Paul’s message to the saints in Thessalonica was one of encouragement and hope due to the intense persecution the church was suffering at the time. Here in the first chapter of his letter, Paul commends the church for turning from idolatry to the “living and true God,” and he encourages them to wait for His son “from heaven.” Although parousia is not used here, clearly Paul is referring to the 2nd Coming of Christ when He returns from heaven to earth. Notably, it is at this time that Jesus will deliver the saints from the wrath to come.

For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? 20For you are our glory and joy.

1 Thessalonians 2:19-20

Paul first uses the term parousia here in chapter two. He says that the church has become his crown of boasting, which he will present before the Lord Jesus “at his coming.” Paul invokes the very same imagery in his second letter to Timothy, when he says, “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. [2 Timothy 4:8]

So Paul is expecting to receive his reward from the Lord “on that day” — the Day of the LORD and of His appearing.

May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 13so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13

The next time Paul uses the word parousia he provides more detail. He says that the coming of Jesus is “with all his saints” — or holy ones. The 2nd coming of Christ is often characterized by the heavenly host, dressed in white robes of righteousness, coming with Jesus to earth. [see Matthew 25:31, Jude 1:14-15, Revelation 19:11-16]

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

The passage above has been branded as the “classic” rapture passage in all of Scripture, and while it certainly describes the catching up [Greek harpazó] and gathering of believers to meet Christ in the air, we interpret this event within the context of the passage. This “rapture” event is connected to the parousia — the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ [see 1 Thessalonians 4:15]. This is the visible, public, glorious return of Jesus Christ from heaven to earth with loud shouts from heaven and the sound of the trumpet of God.

Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night3While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

Staying consistent with the theme of his letter, Paul finishes by encouraging believers that the parousia — the coming Day of the Lord — will NOT take believers by surprise! As children of light and of the day, true believers will be ready in hopeful expectation and will be aware of the signs and seasons preceding the coming of the Lord.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Paul concludes his letter by reminding us that our complete redemption will take place “at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” which includes our “bodies” to be resurrected on the last day at the end of the age.

Before we move to 2nd Thessalonians, let’s recap Paul’s teaching about the second coming.

  1. Jesus is coming from heaven to earth.
  2. Jesus is coming with his reward.
  3. Jesus is coming with the saints.
  4. Jesus is coming down visibly on the clouds.
  5. Jesus is coming with loud shouts from heaven and the voice of the archangel.
  6. Jesus is coming with the trumpet blast.
  7. Jesus is coming to raise the righteous dead.
  8. Jesus is coming to gather all believers who remain alive until His return.
  9. Jesus is coming like a thief in the night to surprise those in darkness.
  10. Jesus is coming to judge the wicked.

2 Thessalonians

Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica picks up right where it left off in his first letter, emphasizing the coming of the Lord Jesus and the Day of the LORD. We can begin to complete our list of details with Paul’s words.

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— 6since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels 8in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

Paul opens his letter by providing one of the most comprehensive accounts in all of Scripture of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says that God ultimately will grant relief to believers when “the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire!” No one can dispute that this is the second coming of Christ. He goes on to describe both the judgment of the wicked and the triumph of the saints “when he comes on that day.”

Up until now, Paul has been speaking about the same singular event when Christ comes in glory — the day of the Lord. This is the parousia — the very same coming that Jesus Himself predicted. The language only allows for one event, and Paul will drive the proverbial nail in the pre-tribulation coffin in the next chapter.

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Once again, Paul wants the believers in Thessalonica to make sure there is no confusion concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus and the rapture of the church — “our being gathered together to him.” Paul is adamant that believers will not be deceived or surprised at the coming of the Lord because there are several clear signs that must take place before the day of the Lord and the rapture of the church.

Paul could not be more straightforward. He says, “for that day will not come, unless the rebellion (apostasy) comes first, and the man of lawlessness (Beast) is revealed.” The reason believers will not be deceived or surprised is because we will know that the Lord will not come until these two major signs take place. First there will be a great falling away from the faith in the last days and then son of destruction — aka the “antichrist” — will be revealed and will enter the temple to set up the abomination that causes desolation [see Matthew 24:15].

And if that weren’t enough, Paul ties a massive bow on his teaching about the 2nd coming of Christ by giving us the precise element of timing. That’s right. Paul tells us exactly when Jesus is coming back — speaking of the parousia.

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:8

Jesus Christ will destroy the lawless one — the son of destruction — how and when?

Jesus will kill the Beast with the “breath of his mouth” by the “appearance of HIS COMING!

It could not be more clear. Paul builds His entire case of the singular event — called the coming of the Lord — and he provides as many possible details connected to this singular event to help believers understand the key elements of timing that accompany the return of Jesus and the day of the LORD.

The final detail Paul provides is the most telling. Jesus Christ will destroy the Beast when He comes on that Day in flaming fire with His mighty angels to be glorified in His saints!

Case closed! This happens at the end of the great tribulation, which means that there is no “pre-tribulation” or “mid-tribulation” rapture of the church. The rapture of the church coincides with the 2nd coming of Jesus, which is precisely when Jesus kills the antichrist by the breath of His mouth.

The book of Revelation describes this very even in more detail, which again supports the timing of the post-tribulation rapture of the saints during the 2nd coming of the Lord at the end of the age.

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army20And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

Revelation 19:19-21

Types and Shadows — The Long Day of Joshua

At that time Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

“Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”


13And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 14There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel.

Joshua 10:12-14

When it comes to typology, the character of Joshua emerges as one of the most pronounced figures of the Messiah in all of Scripture. Not only does Joshua share the very same Hebrew name as the Lord Jesus (Yeshua), but he is the commander of the armies of Israel who is commissioned by God to conquer His enemies and lead His people into the land of promise.

Joshua deserves several separate posts in and of himself, but today I want to focus on just one of his exploits that directly provides one of the clearest foreshadowings of the day of the LORD and the return of Jesus Christ.

I am speaking of the day the sun stood still — Joshua’s long day.

An Evil Alliance of Kings

Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it.

Joshua 10:5

Upon entering the Promise Land, Joshua and the Israelites had been tricked into making a covenant with the Gibeonites, which placed them on terms of peace. It wasn’t long before the wicked kings of the Amorites made an alliance and declared war against Gibeon, forcing Joshua to honor his commitment and to come deliver Gibeon out of their hands.

I find it fascinating that the leader of this evil alliance was Adoni-zedek — King of Jerusalem. When we consider that the final end-times Beast also will form a Middle-Eastern alliance of 10 kings and lead a brutal campaign against Jews and Christians (Revelation 13:1-10, 17:12-14), the typology cannot be denied. Furthermore, the final Antichrist will invade Jerusalem and will set up his throne in the Temple, declaring himself to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, Matthew 24:15). In this final act of defiance, the Beast will claim to be the king of Jerusalem.

Joshua’S Surprise Attack

So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. 8And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” 9So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal.

Joshua 10:7-9

The next distinct similarity is found in Joshua’s surprise attack. By marching all night up into the mountains, the army of Israel caught the Amorites off guard, as they weren’t expecting such a sudden response. You could say that Joshua slipped up on the Amorite kings like a thief in the night. The element of surprise, of course, is one of the primary characteristics of the Day of the LORD.

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:42-44

Unfortunately, many have misinterpreted the “sudden” coming of Jesus like a thief in the night to mean that no one can know when the return of the LORD is near. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The Scriptures are clear that the sudden destruction of the Lord’s return will come upon the ungodly and wicked, who remain blinded in spiritual darkness. Those who belong to Christ, however, are children of light and will not be surprised at His coming but rather will be fully aware of the signs preceding His return (see Matthew 24:32-35).

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

1 Thessaloninas 5:2-5

The Signs in the Sun and the Moon

And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day14There has been no day like it before or since, when the LORD heeded the voice of a man, for the LORD fought for Israel.

Joshua 10:13-14

One of the most distinct signs of the Day of the LORD and the return of Jesus will involve celestial anomalies in the sun and moon. There is no mistake that exceptional cosmic activity accompanied Joshua’s campaign against the Amorites. This has become known as the long day of Joshua. The extra daylight distinctly allowed Israel to route its enemies, making a full end of their armies.

For a fascinating theory on the celestial mechanics of Joshua’s long day, I highly recommend Chuck Missler’s presentation. You can access his teaching here.

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 

Joel 2:30-31

Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. 10For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be dark at its rising, and the moon will not shed its light.

Isaiah 13:9-10

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,

Revelation 6:12

The Outpouring of God’s Wrath

And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword.

Joshua 10:10-11

Once again, many fail to understand what God’s word means when it says that His people are not destined to suffer His wrath. In no form, shape, or fashion will believers in Christ Jesus experience the wrath of God, but that does not mean that God’s people must be removed from the earth during God’s judgments. This episode of Joshua’s long day is a perfect example.

Joshua and the army of Israel attacked the kings of the Amorites in battle, but it was the LORD Himself who did the most damage by directly casting large hailstones upon the enemy armies, while at the same time protecting Israel from His wrath. God is quite capable of directly targeting the wicked and ungodly in wrath, while at the same time removing, sheltering, and preserving His own.

How else can one explain the precision of these massive hail stones that were cast from heaven on Israel’s enemies? Surely both armies were fighting hand-to-hand and in close proximity to each other, and yet only the Amorites were crushed by the stones.

Severe hail is another primary sign of the coming Day of the LORD, and just like the long-day of Joshua, the LORD will shelter His people from His wrath while directly targeting the Beast and his armies.

But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, my wrath will be roused in my anger19For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. 21I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord GOD. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

Ezekiel 38:18-23

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. 21And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.

Revelation 16:17-21

Hide us from the Wrath of the Lamb

“These five kings fled and hid themselves in the cave at Makkedah. 17And it was told to Joshua, “The five kings have been found, hidden in the cave at Makkedah … And when they brought those kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.” Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. 25And Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.”

[Joshua 10:16-17, 24-25]

Finally, we see the fate of these evil Amorite kings once confronted with the wrath of God Almighty. Not only did they hide themselves in the caves to try and escape the wrath of God, but by placing his feet on their necks, Joshua was symbolically putting the seed war on display.

As we know, the very first prophetic passage in Scripture is Genesis 3:15, where the LORD promises a coming Savior who ultimately will crush the head of the Serpent and tread His enemies under the winepress of His wrath.

We see this identical language once again in the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?

[Revelation 6:15-17]

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 19:15-16

What an amazing foreshadowing of the coming Day of the LORD! May we not be surprised like those in darkness, but as we begin to see all these things take place, may we lift up our heads for our redemption is near!

Maranatha!

The Seat of Satan’s Throne

And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.’

Revelation 2:12-13

In 1864 a German engineer and explorer, Carl Humann, was excavating the ancient ruins of Pergamum and discovered the colossal altar dedicated to the Greek god, Zeus. The pagan altar was perched atop the highest point in the ancient city as the centerpiece of the greater temple complex. Stone by stone the altar was unearthed and relocated to Berlin to be reassembled and put on display in its own museum.

The Great Altar of Zeus at the Berlin Museum

By the 1930s, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party dominated Germany, yet they had much bigger ambitions. In order to increase national enthusiasm with Nazi propaganda, Hitler commissioned his chief architect, Albert Speer, to design the parade grounds for party rallies in Nuremberg. Speer spared no expense, and using the ancient altar of Zeus as inspiration, he designed Hitler’s own Zeppelin tribune as the grandstand for his most mesmerizing speeches. Most of Hitlers rallies took place at night under what was known as the “Cathedral of Lights.”

Hitler’s Grandstand the Zeppelin Tribune in Nuremberg

As we know, Hitler eventually would lead Germany and the Axis of Evil in an attempt to conquer to free world, murdering an estimated 11 million civilians, including 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. Hitler’s irrational bloodlust for Jews and Christians was so insatiable that by the end of WWII he re-concentrated most of his resources and manpower to the Nazi death camps, murdering as many as possible before his defeat.

Today, there is another superpower rising in the Middle East with identical ambitions of Nazi Germany. Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has emerged as the most dominant and dangerous threat in the Middle East. Erdoğan unapologetically has expressed his desire to resurrect the Islamic Caliphate and the glory of Ottoman Empire that dominated the region for over 600 years (1299–1923 AD).

In just over a decade under Erdoğan, Turkey has expanded its military reach and influence into Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Kurdistan, and now Qatar. In a speech just last week, Erdoğan publicly claimed Jerusalem as “our city,” which echoes the anti-Semitic rhetoric of Hitler’s day.

In this city that we had to leave in tears during the First World War, it is still possible to come across traces of the Ottoman resistance. So Jerusalem is our city, a city from us.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, October 1, 2020

Hatred of Jews and Christians has always been at the heart of Islam and its teachings, since Mohammed beheaded 600 Jews at one time in one of his terror campaigns.

According to Ibn Ishaq, “The apostle went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of the Qurayzah] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches.” Ibn Ishaq puts the number of those massacred at “600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900.”

(Ibn Ishaq 464) Ibn Sa’d says “they were between six hundred and seven hundred in number.” (Ibn Sa’d, vol. II, 93)

Muhammad said: “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.”

Sahih Muslim 4366

Those who reject (Truth) among the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) and among the Polytheists, will abide in hell-fire, they are the worst of creatures.

Quran — Sura 98:6

Since Hitler’s Nazi Germany, no ideology has posed such a clear threat to God’s people than the radical teachings of Islam, and Erdoğan is leading the way in the resurrection of a Middle Eastern Islamic Empire. And if it weren’t strange enough that both Hitler and Erdoğan share similar ideology and hatred for Jews, they also share an uncanny physical resemblance.

Adolf Hiter and Tayyip Erdoğan

The Throne of Satan

What are the chances that the dominant power in the Middle East is emerging out of Turkey? Well, students of Bible prophecy aren’t surprised to discover that the Bible predicted that the final end-times empire of the Antichrist would be Turkey (Javan). The prophet Daniel was shown a vision of the “latter days,” when the “little horn” would emerge out of modern-day Turkey (Javan) as the king of the north [see Daniel 8 and 11].

Furthermore, Ezekiel provides prophetic details about this evil end-times enemy of Israel named Gog of Magog, which also is modern-day Turkey [see Ezekiel 38-39]. For a more in depth study of Gog of Magog, you can read my series on the profile of the antichrist here.

To cap it all off, the Lord Jesus tells us precisely where the “throne of Satan” is. In His letter to the church in Pergamum, Jesus gives us a literal geographic location of Satan’s throne. Pergamum is “where Satan dwells.” And where is ancient Pergamum located?

You guessed it … modern-day Turkey.

The Bible informs us of the evil supernatural principalities and powers working behind every world government and empire, and it seems that Satan has concentrated his influence in Turkey. The same spirit of antichrist that was behind Hitler’s Germany is now behind Erdoğan and his emerging Islamic Caliphate. This should get our attention. It is no coincidence that Turkey is emerging in these last days as the greatest existential threat to Israel.

Now for the record … I DO NOT BELIEVE that Erdoğan is the final end-times Antichrist, but I do believe that he is one of the pivotal political leaders that Satan has in place to set the stage for the Beast kingdom. As we know, once the 10-headed Beast kingdom is established, all authority will be given to this one man — Satan’s superman, as even Satan himself will give his throne to the Beast.

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 

Revelation 13:1-2

And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. 13These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast14They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

Revelation 17:12-14

As Satan maneuvers and schemes to deceive the whole world and attempts to establish his final kingdom here on earth, God’s people must pray without ceasing, preach the gospel without fear, and prepare to face the worst time in human history. And above all we must remember that Jesus will return on that Day to destroy Satan and his Beast and to establish His everlasting kingdom on earth.

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.

Revelation 2:26-27

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

Types and Shadows — The Plagues of Egypt

So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived. 

Exodus 10:22-23

One of the greatest mistakes many people make is trying to study the book of the Revelation of the Jesus Christ without being well read and rooted in the Old Testament. Every image, symbol, pattern and event in Revelation already has been established for us in the Scriptures. This is the key to understanding the prophetic word.

When it comes to understanding the end-times events described in the book of Revelation, one of the first places to begin is the Exodus. The parallels are astonishing. Let me show you what I mean.

The Primary Players on the Stage

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”

Romans 9:17

The Exodus account is filled with prophetic typology, starting with the main characters at the heart of the story. Notice the obvious similarities to the players who will be involved during the great tribulation.

Pharaoh is a clear type of the Beast, or antichrist

Pharaoh was an evil pagan king over a Middle Eastern empire but also with world-wide influence. He was a defiant tyrant and cruel master over God’s people. The Egyptians historically recognized their Pharaohs as a one of the “gods,” which is precisely what the end-times ruler, the Beast, will claim to be.

Moses and Aaron represent the two witnesses from Revelation 11

We like to give Moses all the credit as the deliverer of Israel, but we often forget that his brother Aaron was right there with him the entire time. Actually, Aaron was the main one doing the talking on behalf of both the LORD and Moses when confronting Pharaoh. God’s testimony is always established upon the testimony of two or three witnesses. Furthermore, Moses was given supernatural powers by God to perform signs and wonders, as will the two witnesses during the great tribulation.

The Egyptian magicians are a shadow of the false prophet(s)

Just as the false prophet will exercise the authority of the Beast in the last days, Jannes and Jambres acted on behalf of Pharaoh. These magicians were able to reproduce some of the signs of Moses using their occult arts, just like the false prophet will come working great signs and wonders to deceive the whole earth. Just like the Egyptian magicians contested with Moses and Aaron, the false prophet will contest with the two witnesses during the great tribulation. This will be a supernatural showdown.

The Egyptians represent the Wicked Inhabitants of the Earth under the system of the Beast

Just as ancient Egyptians submitted and worshipped Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt, so shall it be during the great tribulation. Those who are deceived will worship the dragon (Satan) and the Beast.

The Israelites represent God’s people

God’s people Israel were enslaved and oppressed in Pharaoh’s kingdom, as the saints and Jews will be persecuted under the Beast kingdom. Eventually Pharaoh pursued Israel with the intent of total annihilation, and the Beast will attempt to kill all Jews and Christians in the great tribulation.

The LORD God Himself is the primary player involved

Yahweh is the One who ultimately brings judgment upon Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt and also redeemed His people in power and great glory. So shall the Lord Jesus return in power and glory to destroy the Beast in the end and at the same time save His people.

God’s Wrath is Poured out in Judgment

The LORD sent 10 devastating plagues upon Pharaoh and the land of Egypt, directly pouring out his wrath on the earth. In the very same manner that Egypt was the target of God’s wrath, the Beast Kingdom will be the target of God’s wrath during the great tribulation. Of course the bowl and trumpet judgments described during the great tribulation will be on a much broader scale, but the plagues of Egypt provide the necessary context to understand God’s wrath in the last days.

Many of the plagues correspond directly to the trumpet and bowl judgments of Revelation.

  • Plague #1: Blood — Just as Moses turned the waters of the Nile to blood, God will repeat this plague on a greater scale during the great tribulation. The 2nd Trumpet (Rev. 8:8-9) the 2nd Bowl (Rev. 16:3-6) along with the powers of the two witnesses (Rev. 11) include this sign. [Note — I do believe Moses himself will be one of the two witnesses.]
  • Plague #2: Frogs — The 6th Bowl judgment (Rev. 16:13-14) refers to the three “frogs” coming out of the mouths of the dragon, beast and false prophet, which is a direct appeal to the foreshadowing plague in Egypt. These frogs are “unclean spirits” going out to deceive the kings of the earth.
  • Plague #5: Pestilence — Not only does the 4th Seal provide the general overview of pestilence and death (Rev. 6:8), but also the two witnesses are given the power “to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire” [Revelation 11:6].
  • Plague #6: Boils — The 1st Bowl judgment corresponds to this plague, as “harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image” (Rev. 16:2).
  • Plague #7: Hail and Fire — Hail and fire are two of the most prominent signs of God’s judgment during the great tribulation. The 1st Trumpet judgment is described as “hail and fire, mixed with blood, and these were thrown upon the earth” (Rev. 8:6-7). Furthermore, the language used between Exodus and Revelation is nearly identical.
    • So there was hail, and fire flashing continually in the midst of the hail, very severe, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.” [Exodus 9:24]
    • 7th Trumpet — “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” [Revelation 11:19]
    • 7th Bowl — “And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. 21And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.” [Revelation 16:20-21]
  • Plague #8: Locusts — Not only does the prophet Joel describe the devastating locusts associated with the last days, but also the 5th Trumpet judgment mentions the demonic locust army coming up out of the abyss to torment those who have not been sealed by God. (Revelation 9:3-4)
  • Plague #9: Darkness — All of Egypt was cast into darkness for three days (except the land of Goshen!), which corresponds directly to the 5th Bowl judgment on the Beast. “Its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.” [Revelation 16:10-11]
  • Plague #10: Death of the Firstborn — Just as the final and most severe plague was the death of all the firstborn in Egypt, the final judgment of God upon the earth will be death to the Beast and all who are aligned with him. [see Revelation 19:20-21]

God’s People were not Removed from Egypt but were Protected from His Wrath

Perhaps the most telling typology of all when studying the plagues of Egypt is the fact that God was able to directly administer His wrath and judgment on Pharaoh and the land of Egypt, while at the same time protecting and preserving Israel from His wrath. This one example is enough to encourage all of God’s people that He is able to protect the godly from suffering the direct effects of His anger, but you may be surprised to discover that the Scriptures are full of other examples, including the book of Revelation.

Of course the righteous are not destined for wrath, but that doesn’t mean that the righteous must be removed from the earth in order to be protected from God’s wrath. It simply means that when the judgments begin, God is very capable of specifically targeting those under His wrath, while at the same time sheltering His people.

This is precisely what we see during the plagues in Egypt. God makes a clear distinction between His people and those under His wrath. Notice how all the plagues affected the land of “Egypt,” while the land of Goshen was spared.

But on that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, where my people dwell, so that no swarms of flies shall be there, that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. Thus I will put a division between my people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall happen.

Exodus 8:22-23

Behold, the hand of the LORD will fall with a very severe plague upon your livestock that are in the field, the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing of all that belongs to the people of Israel shall die.

Exodus 9:3-4

Only in the land of Goshen, where the people of Israel were, was there no hail.

Exodus 9:26

So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived. 

Exodus 10:22-23

And of course, the final plague did not take the life of the firstborn in Israel because they obeyed the LORD’s command to cover their doorways with the blood of the lamb so that the angel of death would passover them. They were saved by faith from God’s wrath.

So as we can see, God is able to pour out direct wrath without destroying His own people in the process. And when we look at the book of Revelation, guess what we discover? THE VERY SAME THING! God makes a distinction between the righteous and the wicked.

  • During the 5th Trumpet, the demon locusts are allowed to harm “only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads” [Rev. 9:4].
  • During the 1st Bowl Judgment, painful sores came upon only those who had received the mark of the beast and who worship it. [Rev. 16:2]
  • During the 4th Bowl Judgment, the sun only scorches those who curse God and refuse to repent. [Rev. 16:8-9]
  • During the 5th Bowl Judgment, only the kingdom of the Beast is plunged into darkness. [Rev. 16:10-11]
  • During the 6th Bowl Judgment, only the wicked kings of the earth are deceived and gather for battle against Jesus. [Rev. 16:12-16]
  • During the 7th Bowl Judgment, Jesus comes in glory to pour our wrath upon the Beast and his armies in flaming fire.

Many believers refuse to accept the fact that the saints will remain on the earth through all the judgments of God during the great tribulation because they misunderstand what it means for God’s people not to suffer His wrath. They believe that if God’s wrath is being poured out on the wicked inhabitants of the earth, then believers can’t still be on the earth at the same time, but the Exodus account demonstrates clearly that this is not the case at all. God doesn’t remove us from the earth, but He does supernaturally shelter and save us from His wrath.

Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!

Revelation 16:15

Maranatha!