Introduction: Throughout my study, I have
become more aware that there are many who have accepted some popular myths
(heresies) and rejected God's truth. Some of the misconceptions that have
permeated church doctrines proclaim that there is no distinction between
Replacement Theology: A Heresy, which says that since
I will make you a great nation.
In Genesis 12:7 and
13:4, the Lord makes a promise to Abraham's descendents for the land. In
Genesis 15:18-19, the Lord confirms the covenant to Abraham and his
descendents. He does so again in Genesis 17:4.
Genesis 28:13 And
behold, the Lord stood above it and said: "I am the Lord God of Abraham
your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you
and your descendants." (Covenant
The Church Prerequisites
Atonement - Without the shedding of Jesus' blood, we would
not have atonement for our sins.
hadn't been necessary for God to choose out the nation of
We Are Saved By Grace
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
We Are The Body of Christ
1 Corinthians Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
We Have The Gifts of The Spirit
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.
We Are The Bride of Christ
2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
We Will be Caught Up to be With Him
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
We Have a Blood Covenant With Jesus, the Son
Luke 22:20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."
Jesus said that the gates
of hell would not prevail against His church. This is a promise
specifically made to the church, not to
Matthew -18 " And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.
This detail, which is sometimes overlooked, is so important for us to remember, especially in light of the events John is witnessing in Revelation. This scene takes place soon after the Antichrist is unleashed upon the world.
Revelation 6:8-9 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
In the above verse, Death and Hell were given power over the people of the earth and to prevail against them. Jesus already promised us that Hell would not prevail against His church, so the exciting news for those of us who belong to the church that Jesus built is that we aren't the souls under the altar. These souls, who accept Jesus during the tribulation, don't become a part of His church (the Church Age will have already ended); but they will be called "tribulation saints", and they will be able to live and reign with Christ a thousand years (Rev. 20:4).
Matthew records what Jesus' initial mission was, and what He requested of His disciples.
Matthew 10:5-6 These
twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do
not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the
Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of
He repeats this in Matthew 15:24.
But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of
As prophesied by
Daniel, Jesus was to make His triumphal entry into
Daniel 9:25 Know
therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O
Jesus knew the exact
date that the prophecy should be fulfilled. When His own brothers encouraged
Him to make a public appearance prior to that day, He told them, "My time has not yet come." But when
His time was right, Jesus personally orchestrated the events of that day.
He told his disciples that they would be going up to
Luke 19:41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it.
There were multitudes of people in the city of
Luke "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation."
held them accountable to know the prophecies in the Old Testament, but they
From that moment on,
He will hold
We saw In Matt. that Jesus had informed His
disciples that He would build His church, but it wasn't built yet (they
would have to wait until Pentecost - 50 days after the His
ascension). The discourse that takes place in Matthew 24 begins as
His disciples were admiring their temple, the absolute pride and symbolism of
their Jewishness, and what follows is a confidential
briefing between Jesus, as a Jewish rabbi, and His Jewish disciples. His
words of warning regarding the signs of the end times are for the benefit of
the Jews and the nation of
In Matthew 24:15
Jesus tells them to pay attention to what the prophet Daniel spoke of. He
wants them to pay attention to what's going on with the daily sacrifices.
On this side of the world, we probably wouldn't even know when the sacrifices
started up again, let alone when they are ceased. This is only a clue to
the Jewish people, particularly those who will still be observing the Jewish
traditions and will be involved with temple rituals and daily sacrifices.
These sacrifices will be taking place in the new temple in
Jesus tells them in
verse 16 that those who are living in
Isaiah 33:16 He will dwell on high; his place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; bread will be given him, his water will be sure.
If you happen to be
Micah 2:12 I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; they shall make a loud noise because of so many people.
Revelation mentions this wilderness “hiding place” where the Lord will keep His remnant safe during the last 3-˝ years. The church won't need to make a run for it; we'll already be gone.
Revelation 12:6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
The Lord returns to save His remnant in Revelation 19:13 when He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
Isaiah 63:1 Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, the One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength? - "I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save."
Isaiah 63:2-3 Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? "I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes."
Another Jewish clue is in verse 17. The homes in that part of the world are constructed so that the tops of their homes are level with the ground. They use them as their patios. Jesus is saying, if you're on your housetop, don't even bother to go downstairs to get your coat, just run! Once again, here is a clue that would be absolutely meaningless to those of us on this side of the planet.
Verse 20 is also talking to Orthodox Jews, as their law strictly prohibits traveling on the Sabbath. The church has no such restrictions regarding the Sabbath.
God is not finished with
Seventy weeks has
been determined for God to deal with Daniel's people,
Luke 4:18-19 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,"
Aren't you glad He stopped there? That comma has lasted almost two thousand years. The next part of the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, but it will happen soon.
Isaiah 61:2b and the day of vengeance of our God;
The Old Testament prophets wrote about future times not yet fulfilled. Here's one example:
Zechariah 14:12 And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.
Not a pretty
picture, is it? It won't be a good time to make travel plans to
The Church is NOT
Those who teach that
the church will go through any part of the tribulation don't understand
God's purpose of the 70th week of Daniel, nor do they understand the
I can't help wondering how it breaks my precious Savior's heart when He sees that those whom He poured His blood out for would rather be included in the Judgment that is coming than to receive the gift that He has already provided.
God's time line
In light of the
above distinctions between the church and the nation of
Although 'no one knows the day or the hour' right now, I think we will know it when the day arrives, just like Elijah knew it the day he was leaving. We must be careful not to fall into the same hypocrisy as the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The "wise" religious teachers were only wise in their own eyes! Jesus called them hypocrites!
Matthew 16:1-3 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, "When it is evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red'; and in the morning, 'It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.' Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times."
Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for not discerning the times in which they lived. Had they searched the scriptures and the prophecies, they would have marked the very day of Jesus' arrival on their calendars. They would have been shouting, "The Messiah is coming!" We too, are called to discern our times and not be in darkness.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-5 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Jesus has some strong words for the folks who are willfully ignorant of their Master's return.
Matthew 24:48-51 "But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
The church is never told to watch for the Antichrist, the mark of the beast, or persecution and martyrdom. We certainly can't be looking for the Antichrist and the real Christ at the same time! Which one is going to dominate your lifestyle? We are repeatedly admonished to watch for and await His glorious appearing!
Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
Will you love His appearing, or will He return at a bad time? Will you be relieved - or embarrassed?
1 John And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
2 Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
If you ever want to know
where we are on God's time line, just take at look at what's going on in
But if you hear of peace and safety, then you will know that we are on the threshold to a period of time that is spoken of in the Bible more than any other time in history; including the days that Jesus walked upon the earth.
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
for the peace of
|Has the church
|by Linda Vegh|