THE LAST DAYS OF BABYLON Part 6, THE WRATH

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"Then they will hand you over to be tortured and put to death; and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name." ---Matthew 24:9

CHAPTER 24

The Seven Churches in Flight

"From a land of horror -- a harsh vision has been shown to me -- the plunderer plunders, the destroyer destroys. 'Go up Persia, lay siege Media.
I am putting an end to groaning.' I am too distressed to hear, too afraid to see.
My heart flutters, dread makes me tremble,
the twilight I longed for has become my horror."
Isaiah 21:1-4

_____________

Christianity has been eagerly awaiting the conclusion of the harvest and the final events of history ever since the first days of the Church.

Described in recent literature as 'the rapture', this event is thought by many to culminate the harvest of God's people in a grand and triumphant exodus, leaving the earth populated only by those who have been rejected.

But scripture shows us a scenario quite different. Much of the rapture, it tells us, will occur unrecognized amid all the chaos surrounding the second war.

"Pray", Jesus said, "that your flight will not occur in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great distress such as, until now, since the world began, there never has been, nor ever will be again. "

"And if that time had not been shortened, no one would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen."
(Mt.24:20-22).

The final event of the rapture -- the rescue of the Jews -- cannot occur until Michael enters Jerusalem and calls out the command. There can be no sky event, therefore, until the Jews repent; and scripture shows that this will not happen until after the Rebel has died and all the tribulations have ended. (Dn.12:7).

The twilight of this world will be a time of violence for the Church, not peace. "We were hoping for peace -- no good came of it! For the time of healing -- nothing but terror!" (Jer.8:15). This is because so many people at the end will withdraw from the Church and reject Jesus Christ.

The wrath is the product of apostasy. We would not see Christians fighting Christians in the last days if the spirit of Satan's anger had not replaced their faith and driven them to acts of rage and violence.

The beast's war against God in the last days proves that God's people will be drawn up to heaven during this time of turmoil in exactly the same way that the Christians were in the days of Rome. By violence.

Christ's decree that the kingdom of heaven will be subjected to violence (Mt.11:12), will not change in the final days. It will actually intensify -- bringing the millenium of Christ's peaceful rule in this world to a very savage end.

"Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!" (Mt.24:19). This is the time of the wrath -- the distress all of scripture has warned about.

"So when you see the disastrous abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains..." (Mt.24:15-16)

As the balance of power in the world shifts back to Satan, the western world will reject its Christian interlude, making these final days a time of horror on earth -- just as the days of Christ became a horror for the Jews when they denounced him at the beginning.

"Trouble for those who are waiting so longingly for the day of God! What will this day of God mean for you? It will mean darkness, not light, as when a man escapes a lion's mouth, only to meet a bear..Will not the day of God be darkness, not light? It will all be gloom, without a single ray of light." (Amos 5:18-20).

Scripture shows that God will return to a world cloaked in darkness, covered by the smoke of mankind's own fury.

Since the mass rapture of scripture cannot occur until after the Jews repent, it will not occur until after the Revolt has ended and all the warfare of the last days has been concluded.

Before that day arrives the rapture will continue one by one, just as it has since the beginning, but the numbers will increase dramatically during the final war.

The second war of the end will be just like the first one which saw Christians in great numbers murdered by the Caesar's of Rome; only it will be more violent at the end than it was at the beginning, and as its days progress there will be fewer and fewer conversions.

It will be just the opposite of the persecutions of the Roman empire when Christian ranks swelled as the persecutions raged.

At the end Jesus will have few spokesmen. This is the true nature of the wrath that all the prophets have been predicting, and, according to John, only one out of the seven churches will escape it. (Rv.3:10).

As the violence of the second war increases, fewer and fewer people will bow in submission to Jesus.

The darkness that covers the earth during the turbulent events of the last days will signify that most of the world's people have turned their backs on a Gospel which could have saved them.

The people who remain in Babylon will search in vain for the word of God just as the Jews searched in vain for the Messiah after they denied Jesus.

Speaking of these final days Jesus said "But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?" (Lk.18:8). Christ's words indicate that most of the populations of the earth will have joined the Revolt and sided with Satan at the very end.

It was the same when Moses came down from the mountain -- he came to a people in revolt. They had gotten Aaron to make a golden calf for their worship and were preparing themselves to return to Egypt.

When Jesus came to Jerusalem, he came to a people in revolt against the Roman empire. They wanted war, and so they rejected the peace Jesus offered them.

The people of the world did the opposite. They believed what was preached to them, and converted. "You deliver me from a people in revolt, you place me at the head of the nations, a people I did not know are now my servants..." (Ps.18:43).

This is why the pagans became the heirs to the New Covenant. "So I will give their wives to other men, their fields to new masters, for all, least no less than greatest, all are out for dishonest gain; prophet no less than priest, all practice fraud." (Jer.8:10).

At the end, however, the descendants of these new tenants will rebel and leave the way Jesus marked out for them, as well. When the people of Babylon revolt against God and reject the words of Jesus, they will then be no different than the Israelites who revolted in Sinai or the Jews who rejected the peace of Jesus to pursue a war with Rome.

The same kind of darkness that came to the Jews and the same kind of fire that swallowed up the rebels in the Sinai will descend on the people of the world. This is why the prophecies once aimed at the Jews also apply to the people of Babylon. These divine warnings apply to anyone who leaves the path of God and joins the Apostasy.

Those who revolt at the time of the end are going to bring the disaster down on all people, good and bad alike. Just as the drunk driver who plows down the highway carries with him a sin that impacts everyone around him.

The wrath and the judgment are different from one another and the two should not be confused. The judgment comes from God but the wrath comes from the Law.

The judgment only applies to those who did evil, but the wrath happens to everyone.

God has set aside a day for judgment and no judgment will occur until that day arrives. Since that day has not yet come, none of the effects of evil we have ever seen on earth have anything to do with God's judgment.

The same is true of the wrath.

The terrors that precede the day of judgment come from the Law, not from judgment. Like a hot stove that burns to the touch, the rules of the Law which God has built into the universe never change and they always affect our behavior.

When a drunk driver crosses the median and kills a car full of innocent people, the disaster he precipitates is not a measure of God's judgment -- God had nothing to do with it at all.

It was a wrath that came from evil.

The warnings about behavior in the Bible, then, are like the barricades along the freeway. They are there not only to lead us to eternal life, but are designed for our protection in this world as well.

If we cross the fences and go running around on the freeways we are going to experience a type of wrath, but it is not the wrath of God. It comes from natural law.

It is the same with much of the Bible -- especially the Old Testament. It describes natural law. God has structured creation in such a way that human behavior interracts with the natural laws of its composition.

How this happens is unclear, but whenever the laws of scripture are broken, an aura of disaster surrounds the one who broke those laws, and it covers everyone around him or her as well.

This puts us at the mercy of each other.

AIDS not only strikes the adulterous homosexual, for instance, it reaches out beyond him to hurt the innocent who are touched or transfused with his blood. The same processes apply to a city or a nation or the entire planet.

The Bible says that even the universe has been programmed to join in this reaction. The more extensive the evil, the greater the catastrophe's and the larger the sphere of their influence.

The judgment will be selective, but not the wrath -- the wrath comes down on everyone, good and bad alike.

The reverse is true as well. When God's rules are kept, a sphere of righteousness surrounds those who are obedient and the peace and harmony that result from its presence also impacts everyone in the vicinity.

This is why prayer and faith are so powerful in blocking the wrath. Righteousness brings an aura of peace and order on good and bad alike.

All this relates to the promises of the Bible. Wrongdoing brings to fruition every disaster predicted for it; righteousness brings the rewards.

The Bible is true and God sees to it that its words will be kept. God has structured creation so that all this will happen naturally.

The wrath, then, happens everywhere, and has since the beginning, and so the catastrophe of the last days is different only in its dimension. Virtually the entire population will end up playing on the freeway of disobedience.

The resulting disaster will reflect the size of the apostasy -- the extent of the Revolt. "For this is the time of vengeance when all that scripture says must be fulfilled." (Mt.21:22). This vengeance is the impact of the Law when broken, it is not the vengeance of judgment. Yet that, too, will follow.

Jesus could not stop this time of disaster, but he showed us how to defer it, and how to keep safe from its effects.

As the era of Revolt intensifies and most of the people in the world shift their loyalty to Satan, the harvest will draw to a close "The harvest is over, summer at an end, and we have not been saved!" (Jer.8:20).

Then the people who are left will find themselves in the same predicament that Jesus prophesied for those who defer their conversion and wait until the end: "Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself knocking on the door, saying, 'Lord, open to us' but he will answer, 'I do not know where you come from'." (Lk.13:25).

Since God never does anything without first announcing His intentions through the prophets, the prophecies of scripture stand as our own warning today.

This mass exodus from the ways of Christ is called by Paul, 'the Great Revolt', and it stands as a graphic warning to those who follow Christ today, because it tells us of a time when Christians, mesmerized by the glitter of this world, abandon their faith in God by leaving the Way He preached.

Because this Revolt has already started, all those pronouncements in scripture once meant for the Jews, now belong to us. "

Sound the trumpet in Zion, give the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the country tremble, for the day of God is coming, yes, it is near. "

"Day of darkness and gloom, day of cloud and blackness. Like the dawn there spreads across the mountains a vast and mighty host, such as has never been seen before or will not be seen again. "

"In their van the fire devours, in their rear a flame consumes. Arrows fly, still they press forward, without breaking ranks. They hurl themselves at the city, they leap onto its walls, climb the housetops and make their way through windows like marauders. "

"As they come on, the earth quakes, the skies tremble, sun and moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brilliance."
(Joel 2:1-11).

Warnings such as these are the scriptural fences surrounding the freeway of human life. The terrors they envision describe natural laws that lurk on the other side of scripture's rules. Like the fact that fire is hot and should not be touched.

Both Christians and Jews will come under attack by the beast during the last days; and not only Vatican City but a part of Jerusalem as well will fall to the power of his forces.

The destruction raining down on the Christian Church and the synagogues of Judaism by the forces of the Rebel of the End will be so devastating that few people on earth will be able to understand why God has allowed it to happen.

Most people will not see these events with the understanding that the harvest has come to an end -- and that God has kept all the promises of scripture.

It will be inconceivable for almost anyone to understand that this grotesque assault on the Church is the mechanism of the rapture. "Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm." (Mt.11:12).

The violence of the last days will be the most intense of all.

"Pick your steps over these endless ruins: the enemy have sacked everything in the sanctuary. They roared where your Assemblies used to take place, they stuck their enemy emblems over the entrance, emblems we had never seen before." (Ps.74:1-23).

Setting up his headquarters in the Vatican and usurping the throne of Saint Peter for himself, the Beast will replace all that was dedicated to Jesus with the emblems of his own world reign. He will erect there the Abomination Daniel described.

"Axes deep in the wood, hacking at the panels, they battered them down with mallet and hatchet; then, God, setting fire to your sanctuary, they profanely razed the house of your name to the ground. Determined to destroy us once and for all, they burned down every shrine of God in the country."
(Ps.74:1-23).

Powering their way into the cathedrals and churches of Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, the horde of eastern forces plundering the earth under the flag of the Beast will purge Christianity, determined to destroy forever every remnant of Christ on earth.

Christians will be hunted down and murdered without mercy. This is the time of flight when escape is the only path left. Every cave in the Eastern Hemisphere will become a place of hiding.

Jesus warned that there would be so much distress during these times, more than ever before in the history of mankind, he said, that we should pray that our evacuation not occur in winter or on a sabbath.

Obviously sunday's during these horrendous days will see hordes of troops searching for Christian services, and massacring those found attending them.

"And if that time had not been shortened, no one would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen."
(Mt.24:20-22).

Chanting blasphemies and filled with the frenzy of a furious rage, the minions of the Rebel will carry out the murderous orders given to them by their crazed and satanic monarch as he carries out against the Church his war with God. It is in this savage atmosphere that the heart of the rapture will be concluded.

"Deprived of signs, with no prophets left, who can say how long this will last? How much longer, God, is the oppressor to blaspheme? Is the enemy to insult your name forever? Why hold back your hand, why keep your right hand hidden? "

"Remember the enemy's blasphemy, how frenzied people dare to insult your name. Respect the covenant! We can bear no more -- every cave in the country is the scene of violence! Rise God, say something on your behalf, do not forget the madman's day-long blaspheming..."
(Ps.74:1-23).


The Last Days of Babylon


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