The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (2 Cor. 13:14).
When Jeff received the call of God for Chronos Ministries, he was told to teach God's people about Christ's return, and to do so with a message of comfort, hope, and victory. We have comfort because we have communion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, our Comforter. We have hope because we know the depth and width and height of Father God's love for us. We have victory through the finished work of Jesus, by grace alone, and not our works.
What a beautiful position we have in Christ. Yet our Father "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2;4). Think about that for a moment. What does the world need to hear? The love of the Father. The victory and authority available in Christ. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit. How do they experience this trinity of truths? By being "in Christ." Is this what they are hearing from the Church? Is this what they are seeing in believers?
This is not meant to send us on a guilt trip. I suspect that most of us, in our hearts, want to share our faith more. But we're unsure of how to do it. Or we feel inadequate when it comes to the questions people ask or the arguments they present. We may even feel intimidated by the cancel culture running rampant in these times.
Don't be discouraged. Peter and John, along with the rest of the disciples, probably had these same concerns. Acts 4:23-31 tells us how they reacted to the intense persecution of their day, when they were told to stop talking about Jesus as the resurrected Lord and Savior.
"Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge." [Acknowledging the authorities with respect in accordance with Romans 13.] "For we cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard." [For we are not ashamed of the Gospel concerning Christ's finished work in accordance with Romans 1:16.]
Then Peter and John returned to their companions, and they all praised God in one accord. They recognized from Psalm 2 that this was the time when the nations would rage and the people would plot a vain thing. They knew the kings and rulers of the earth would set themselves against the Lord and His Anointed Christ to break God's bonds in pieces. In their rebellious pride the rulers would cast away the cords of the Creator. "God is dead," they would declare.
Understanding the times in this way, they had comfort, hope, and victory. Hear their declaration: "Look on their threats and to Your servants that with all boldness we may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus."
See the result: "And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness."
We need to be so assured of our Father's love, so confident in the authority we have in Christ, and so filled and solely empowered by the Holy Spirit, that we can go forth in boldness. Not to condemn the world, but to speak the truth of God's grace through the blood of Jesus. When we do so, God will confirm the preaching of His Word with signs and wonders following.
We’ve seen that the first 3½ years of Christ’s millennial reign brings God’s wrath and vengeance against evil—particularly the Antichrist and his coalition of forces coming against Israel. A vision of this coalition is recorded in Daniel 2. It is known as Nebuchadnezzar’s statue of the times of the Gentile empires. Only Daniel, an Israelite captive in Babylon, was able to interpret the king’s dream of the statue. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made know to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days (Daniel 2:28).
The head of the statue represents the then current kingdom of Babylon. Despite being the head, it would not reign for long. It would be replaced by empire after empire—the Medes and Persians (torso and arms), the Greeks (thighs), and the Romans (legs, representing the western and eastern empires). The feet and ten toes represent the modern-day extension and final manifestation of the fourth empire in the image. It represents the Antichrist and His coalition that comes to power near the end of the age this age (end of the 6th Day). It is the last stage of the Gentile kingdoms that is described in Revelation 12 as the Beast.
Thankfully, that is not the end of the vision. Daniel goes on to explain, “You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
The stone cut out of the mountain without hands is “the Man”—Christ the Head with the Church, His Body, “called out” in the rapture from the nations. Together we are the stone, the one new Man, that strikes the image. The “Stone” then becomes a great “mountain” and fills all the earth (Micah 4:1-2). In case you haven’t guessed, this is Christ’s millennial reign, the 7th great Day, the Day of the Lord.
This is part of our heavenly calling as the General Assembly and the Church of the Firstborn before the throne of God (Hebrews 12:23). Notice that the vision cannot be fulfilled until the Stone is complete on the last Day. This is further confirmation that the rapture occurs as the last great Day, the Day of the Lord, dawns.
Notice, too, that our reigning begins with judging. Our declarations before the throne bring justice to the earth. So even though the counterfeit kingdom of this world appears to be winning through their deceptions, calling evil good and good evil, we have a sure word of prophecy. Revelation 19:10 reminds us that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” He is our sure foundation. When we build upon this rock of revelation, we need not be shaken.
Understanding the times means we recognize the events that must take place, yet we know what follows. We don’t have to succumb to confusion, fear, and the “fog of war.” Instead, we can stand firm in the comfort, hope, and victory that is ours in Christ.
We’ve seen that the Last Day, the 7th Day in God’s prophetic great Week, is the Appointed Day, the Day of the Lord. We commonly know it as Christ’s millennial reign, for He reigns over the earth for that 1,000-year Day. As joint-heirs, the Body of Christ reigns with Him, the Bridegroom and the Bride fully united as one at the rapture.
We’ve seen that the first 31/2 years of this reign coincides with the Wrath of that Day and God’s vengeance against evil. Our righteous rulings bring judgment to the earth and the one-world order of the Antichrist and his evil forces. This treading of the enemy was foreshadowed in the Old Testament when God raised up Judges to deliver Israel from her enemies, and then bring righteous rule to the kingdom.
What looks like World War III to the world is what we like to call Operation Consume and Destroy (2 Thessalonians 2:8). On the earth, as a result of Israel finally accepting Jesus as the Messiah, the latter rain outpouring of the Spirit empowers them to become mighty men of valor.
They are backed up by our heavenly intercession and declarations of God’s will. For out of our mouths comes a two-edged sword that strikes the nations. The 7 angels with 7 trumpets “sound” upon the earth with God’s vengeance. For the King of kings and the Lord of lords will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (Revelation 19:15-16).
The rest of chapter 19 describes the mop-up operation, known as the Supper of the Great God. The beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet are captured and thrown into the lake of fire. Satan is bound in the Pit, a compartment of Hades (Hell) for the time being. More on that later.
The war is over. Israel is restored as the natural head of the nations. We continue to reign with Christ over the earth, ruling with a rod of iron. Iron means strength, for the people of the earth still have a fallen nature, unless they have received Jesus as their personal Savior. It is always a matter of faith.
Does this ending of the war surprise you? You may have been taught that it ends at the Battle of Armageddon instead of the Supper of the Great God. That idea comes from one reference in Revelation 16, just before the 7th bowl judgment is unleashed.
The BibleStudyTools.com website explains that Armageddon is a Hebrew word, although it does not occur in the Old Testament. Its meaning is not exactly clear, but it is best taken to mean Mount Megiddo, since "Har" in Hebrew means mountain and "Mageddon" is the place-name of Megiddo. The passage in chapter 16 describes it as the staging area for the Antichrist’s armies.
That one verse has been taken out of context and has become a man-made momentous event that is not scriptural. Why does this matter? Because this non-battle is said to be the marker for the equally unscriptural views of the end-times sequence of events.
It’s time to let God’s Word determine the sequence. It’s time to be in the know.