THE BOOK OF REVELATION - THE END TIMES - PROPHECIES OF THE FUTURE
A LOOK AT REVELATION AND SOME OF THE MORE INTERESTING PROPHECIES THAT MAY ACTUALLY BE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IN OUR LIFETIME... -John Benjamin
AN OVERVIEW: This amazing revelation of the end times was given to John the Beloved around 95 A.D., according to some; and from 70 - 95 A. D. according to other sources. It was given during a great persecution of the Church ,when John had been exiled to the Isle of Patmos; a sort of "devil's island" or penal colony of the day from which prisoners could not readily escape. He had apparently refused to "boil in oil"...not because he wouldn't go into the boiling pot; but because when they kept dipping him, instead of coming up a boiled "bag of bones" like everybody else, he kept coming up alive and praising God. Ha! The Romans, not being totally stupid; scared, and recognizing that something of a highly spiritual nature was going on; but yet realizing that they still had to get rid of this guy somehow; sent him to this island hoping for the best. Little did they know that on this very island, in captivity, he would receive the greatest revelation ever given to man, by the Lord Himself; that would inflict more damage on the wicked Roman Empire, and reach the world with the message, than anything else John could have ever possibly done in his life. This amazing revelation has won millions to Faith in Jesus Christ; foretelling world events to the very end; encouraging us all by the incredible and stunning outcome!
THE PATTERNS OF SEVENS: 1) The 7 churches in Asia 2) The 7 seals 3) The 7 trumpets 4) The 7 vials of wrath: I will try to hit the high points in each of these:
The vision opens with John being visited by the Lord Himself in His glorified form, with a message to the 7 churches in Asia. Yet the message is also to all peoples down through time concerning world events until the very end. Some believe that each church also represents a church age down to modern times. I would only draw your attention to chap 3: 7-22, and the churches of Philadelphia and Laodicea. Philadelphia seeks the Lord with all their heart and is blessed and spared from the tribulation, or "that hour." Some see this as the rapture, others; as Jesus said in John 17:15, as -NOT- being taken out of the world, but still being kept from the evil. I would also call your attention to the Laodiceans who were not so highly thought of because of their apparent lust for riches and materialism, and lack of sharing with the poor. Sound like any of the many televangelists you've heard lately on TV or radio, mainly out of the Dallas area? Jesus challenged them to "buy of Him gold." How do you get heavenly riches? As Jesus said in the Gospels; by giving of what you have on this earth to the poor. Jesus makes some people rich because they try so hard to out give Him, and find out that they cannot. He HEAPS it back on them as per Luke 6:38; like Job. Yet we should never seek these things as our main objective. (See Matthew 6, and 1st Timothy 6.) Yet the Lord still loved them and called them to repentance in Rev 3:20.
AN INTERESTING INTERPRETATION OF CHAPTER 1 VERSE 10: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day..." In the original Greek, the word "on" could have just as well been translated "in;" and the phrase "Lord's day" could have also been translated "the DAY OF THE LORD." In the books of the Old Testament Prophets, the "Day of the Lord" was the terrible time of the end in which the Lord returns to meet out His wrath on the unbelieving and wicked world who had persecuted many of His children all down through time, and to rescue His Church. Since the Book of Revelation deals specifically with this very same end time scenario, and the time periods spoken of in Daniel; (i.e.: the last 7 years, the last 3 1/2 years, 1260 days, or 42 months;) some prophetic writers think that this should have been translated "I was taken off into the Spirit to view the coming Day of the Lord." ...rather than being interpreted as John having just been blissfully sitting around on a Saturday or Sunday Sabbath; all glowing and happy, and "in the Spirit," and suddenly he has this incredible vision of the future!? Who knows? Guess we'll find out? Probably isn't that big of a deal...
THE 7 SEALS, 7 TRUMPETS, AND 7 VIALS: Many believe the Book of Revelation to have been given in a chronological order; unbroken to the end. I do not follow this line of thinking. It is apparent, after much study, that it is both chronological AND broken in sequence; stopping in the middle of certain events that are going along chronologically, and then dropping back in time to give a more detailed view of something that wasn't mentioned; or to give a different perspective, or piece of the puzzle, regarding the tribulation period, that needed to be addressed. Examples of this are chapters 12, 13, and 14, that come in between the blowing of the last trumpet of tribulation, and the pouring out of the vials of wrath, which seem to run in a chronological order in their respective chapters.
Chapter 12 drops completely back in time from the last trumpet, and deals with the beautiful "wife of God," his darling Church, who has a crown of 12 stars on her head and the moon under her feet. She gives birth to Jesus Christ who is then taken to heaven out of reach of the clutches of the great red dragon who stands to devour Him. Then she flees into the wilderness to be protected, fed, and cared for, for 1,260 days...the very length of the tribulation given also in Daniel. Since this seems to come immediately after Christ being taken to heaven, this may be why the reform era fathers like Luther, Calvin, Huss, Tyndale, Wyciffe, and others all thought that the church was going through 1,260 YEARS of the tribulation instead of actual DAYS. They all believed; as did the early Church fathers, that the Church would go through the tribulation period, but not the final wrath. They just had the timing wrong, and thought the Lord was using the "day / year principle" in prophecy as He had done before in Ezekiel...a day for a year. They all thought that the wicked Popes of Rome were the Antichrist, and that the church would go through 1,260 years of tribulation under their successive reigns. We'll discuss more of this later when appropriate; but after the study of other areas of Scripture dealing with the same time period and events, as well as Church history, and failed prophecies such as William Miller and the Adventists, in the 1800's; it becomes clear that this is more probably dealing with actual "days" and not years in the end time and tribulation period.
Chapter 13 also drops back in time to the beginning of the tribulation, and gives a very concise and shockingly ugly view of the Beast or Antichrist, and the great red dragon, and precisely what they do during the tribulation period. This is one chapter I'd like to dwell on, as it is very possibly happening right now before our very eyes with the modern invention of the micro-chip identification system and banking system. 2,000 years ago John saw the Beast or Antichrist cause people to receive a "mark" in their right hand or forehead without which they can not buy or sell or shop. They are pushing hard to go to electronic currency and have even started experimenting with chipping some families in Florida and Oregon, and some military higher ups; where they can pay for their groceries or store bought items by flashing their hand over the scanner. Vera Chip and other companies are all competing to come out with better and better technology to do this. In the military a debit card was issued to troops in the late 90ís which they could use at the base facilities which was even called, "the MARC card!?" Like...WOW!!! That's getting pretty testy! So the technology for this is certainly in place and being perfected even more every day; and is something we should all be watching carefully.
In view of the present banking debacle, and possible coming hyper-inflation, and ultimate "dumping" of the American dollar as the world's leading currency; the European Bankers may indeed go to this new electronic system, or a pre-cursor to it. We may in fact be being pushed towards this collapse to bring about this very thing. The crash of 29 started out as a deflationary depression, just as we are in now...and quickly changed to an inflationary depression and final banking "bust" that was only bailed out by World War Two. As the presses rolled, printing new money day and night, this finally came about. They are doing that again right now. Also remember the Weimar Republic in Germany, that went through the same thing... hyper-inflation that devalued the German Money to the point of worthlessness, until the old joke became common about the woman pushing a shopping cart full of German Dollars to the store to buy a loaf of bread; when she was suddenly robbed by thieves who promptly dumped out the worthless dollars or "marks" and STOLE THE SHOPPING CART! HA! We may be approaching this point in the next several to ten years. But Revelation 13 is one of the most important chapters you could ever read or memorize, as it so dramatically speaks right to us about what is coming very shortly on the horizon; proving that the Bible is the truth!
Chapter 14 speaks of the tribulation saints and their final victory over the beast of chapter 13, and ends with the grim reaper taking his harvest of the wicked. Then the vision goes back into sync with the 7 trumpets, and turns to the pouring out of the 7 vials, or bowls, of wrath. So Revelation should never be taken to be just in chronological sequence totally. It drops back in places to give a better view of things that show the events of the tribulation period from a different angle or to give new information needed that wasn't shown before. Another example of this is found in Revelation chapters 16-19. At the end of Chapter 16 comes the battle of Armageddon and the final destruction of Babylon the Great. Then chapter 17 stops the progression of the vision to drop back and give you a birdís eye view of just who mighty Babylon has been down through time in world history, and chapter 18 gives a very graphic description of who she is in the very end of time and to give the fine details of just exactly HOW she will be destroyed back at the end of chapter 16. Then chapter 19 picks up and takes off, once again, where chapter 16 left off; with the battle of Armageddon.
Now; instead of doing what I should do; that is, of going to the seals, trumpets, and vials; in order; and trying my best to explain what I think is going on; I would like very much to do that which some feel you should never do. I would like to go straight to the back of the book; almost to the end; to the very last vial of wrath, and show you something amazing that the Lord showed me years ago, that helps identify the Antichrist's possible homeland or country of origin...OR...that of perhaps his top military commander. The reason, once again, is because this is something we are possibly watching the beginning stages of form RIGHT NOW on the news. We are RIGHT NOW watching the chief characters in these amazing prophecies come onto the world stage, making their presence known, forming alliances, and getting ready to take their place in Biblical, and world history.
I would like to draw your attention to the following Scriptures: Revelation 19:17-21, and Ezekiel 39:17-21. Please look them up and closely read them, if you have time, and get your mind blown. This is something I have never seen in print yet by any end time teacher or author. The Lord showed me these things back in 1998 in a very dramatic fashion; actually speaking to me several times and telling me Scriptures to look up, and then even having me actually open directly to them in my Bible, afterward; proving that it was really of Him, and miraculous. Notice that they have the exact same verse references in both places? There is a reason for this I think; to match them together as one and the same. Both of these areas of Scripture describe the final BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON; and speak in graphic detail of how the armies of the world will come against Israel in the end time, and are destroyed by an act of God, and fall on the hillsides of Israel, and are eaten by the birds. They almost read word for word in places! Well, even more interesting than the fact that they have the same verse references, and read almost identically; is that they tell WHO the infamous Antichrist may be; or at least who his top military commander may be, and what countries he is associated with in his reign as the world's last wicked ruler; as well as who sides with him in his attack against Israel, and quite possibly America too!
Revelation 19:17-21 states that the leader of this great battle on Satan's side is the Beast, or Antichrist, and his false prophet, while back in Ezekiel 39:17-21 is makes it plain that the leader of this great battle is a certain "Gog", of Magog; the Chief Prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. Well folks; the same battle must have the same leaders! Right? This "Gog", or whoever he possesses for Satan, must either BE the Antichrist himself, or at least working closely with him in some capacity. Ezekiel 38:17 even says, "Art thou HE of whom I have spoken in old times by my servants the prophets, that I would bring against my people in the end time?" WOW! Is this a marking sign? Maybe, and maybe not. We'll see. But who are these people, and who is this guy Gog? Well in history, Magog and Meshech were brothers and sons of Japeth. They and their offspring migrated far north to the Black Sea area. They later migrated even further north into modern day Russia. Meshech was the ancient name for Moscow; and to prove it, there is still a field outside of Moscow called "the field of Meshech." Tubal became known as Tobolsk; also in Russia. Josephus, the famed Jewish historian said that the Hebrews called these people "the Rosh," while the Greeks called them "the Russ." (Russians) During the time of Josephus, he said they dwelled in Cappadocia, which bordered the Black Sea on the bottom. They lived in two principal cities at that time called "Mazaca" (Moscow) and "Tblisi." (Tubal) Mazaca became known as Caesarea. Tblisi is still there, in what is now Georgia. In Georgia the names Gog and Gogi are as common as John and Jim in America. The people in these cities moved north when they needed to expand, going in long boats up the corresponding rivers to present day Moscow and Tobolsk. The Russians also pioneered much of Scandinavia, and Queen Christina of Sweden can trace her lineage of succession of Kings through the Russ to Magog! Also the Rurik dynasty, who founded modern Russia were of the Russ; Rurik, possibly being an earlier name for Eric or King. Rurik was a Viking in the 900's. For millinea, they travelled up and down those rivers in Russia and northern Europe in long boats identical to the Vikings; some with carved "crested water dragons" on the bows of their boats, and oars and shields on the sides.
And also, there are forces that join with these Russians named in Ezekiel 38:4-6. It specifically mentions Persia, which is modern day Iran. Have you seen anything on the news lately about Russia forging alliances with Iran? YES! They are helping them build nuclear reactors and arming them with weapons and advisors. It is their chief nation they help and ally with! The minute President Bush challenged Iran with our Naval vessels, Russia came right to their aide, with Putin going down there and speaking with Pres. Ahmedinejad; shaking hands with him; making a deal. Putin then told Bush, "don't worry, we will see to it that all the plutonium they produce will be taken up into Russia for safe keeping." Doesn't that make ya just feel all fuzzy and warm and totally relieved?" Ha! Libya is then also mentioned. Back in the 70's Mohammar Ghaddafy made a 12 billion dollar arms deal with the Russians. After being attacked by us during the Reagan administration, he had been more moderate of late, until the Russians recently steamed into Venezuela and Cuba, promising to build naval bases and help them. Now Ghaddafy has just recently began to become very vocal again against the West. Then it mentions Ethiopia, which back then meant all of Africa. Well today almost all of Africa has fallen to Communism and Russian / Cuban help; or is Muslim, and quite often both. The godless Russians don't seem to have a problem with the religion of Islam, as it is becoming increasingly antagonistic towards the West. They will use our natural enemies against us as they always have. Then it mentions Gomer and all his bands, and the house of Togaramah of the far north, and all his bands. In history, the offspring of Gomer (the son of Japeth) ; the Gomerians or Cimmerians (with a "K" sound, not a "C.") peopled most of western Europe as the Gauls; in Italy, France, Wales, and Germany. The ancient Welsh language was even called "Gomeraeg." Gomer's son Togaramah at first dwelt in Turkey. Hence many Bible scholars claim Turkey to be the nation mentioned in this prophecy. This is totally false, I believe. Back in the days of the Genesis Table of Nations of Genesis 10, they WERE in Turkey, but they kept going North! The name "Thrugramma" (Togaramah) can be found in the names of the ancient Scandinavian Kings. So Togaramah of the "far north," and all his bands are people who also occupied Scandinavia, along with the Russians, and Goths, (Geats-of Beowulf fame) and others of the northern tribes and sons of Gomer. So these people fit right in with the prophecies of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 of western Europe becoming part of the Antichrist's empire in the end time. In fact, most Bible scholars like Hal Lindsey, Tim La Haye, Jack Van Impe, etc... only see western Europe as being in the Antichrist's "revived Roman Empire."
But the Lord showed me years ago that they forgot to include the prophecies of Daniel 2 in this equation. If you know anything about Daniel 2 and the great image Nebuchadnezzar saw. Rome was symbolized by TWO legs. Not one. One was eastern, and one western. One was ran out of Rome and became Catholic, while the other was ran out of Constantinople, and became Orthodox. As each leg grew the Catholic side eventually took in all of western Europe, with Germany even calling their leaders Caesar, or "Kaiser." Well, seemingly unknown to most modern Bible scholars, the eastern leg also grew to eventually take in all of Russia for the Orthodoxy, who also called their leaders Caesar, or "Czar!" WOW! (The Beast that was and is not and yet is!) The Russian ruling dynasty was known as the "Romanovs," meaning "of Rome." How much more clear can you get, than to see that modern Russia is probably going to be heavily involved with the coming, so-called, "Revived Roman Empire" of the Antichrist? Here is the clear evidence that puts Ezekiel 38 & 39, Revelation 19, Daniel 2, and Daniel 7 together. If you don't know much about these areas of Scripture yet, you can probably find out plenty by going on the internet and simply typing in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 on a search engine. You'll learn the basics, but you probably won't find my revelations on Russia in there yet. I'm working on that though, and have bounced these ideas and revelations off several major Christian book authors and newsletter writers, as well as talk radio hosts; who almost all agreed I should write a book on all this. Pray for me to be able to, if that indeed is God's will here.
So folks; BE WATCHING; as Jesus said, for the signs of the times. Be watching for the micro-chip implementation program to come to the fore in a new world-wide economic system; and be watching RUSSIA to make overtures toward western Europe; mainly Germany and France; to forge, at first, economic alliances, and finally a federation! It will probably be broken up into 10 regions, with 5 on the Catholic side, and 5 on the Orthodox side; although they are both predominately atheist right now. This division has nothing to do with former religious beliefs, but is geographical in nature. Medvedev has already called for a global currency ran and based out of Europe, and has been cozying up to France and Germany with promises of lots of cheap oil and other things. So WATCH RUSSIA! It is a main power player in end time prophecy! Keep your eyes and ears open and watch the news.
You might wonder why atheistic Russians would have anything to do with a God or spiritual things such as the coming Antichrist!? Well, they have learned, of late, that 90 % of the world that they are trying to win believe in a god of some sort. They were just not winning very many over with the wonderful doctrine that there is no God, and when you die M thatís it! It just didnít make people feel fuzzy and warm. "Here; we are now sharing the wonderful wealth we promised you." "Here is an acre of ground, a bag of seeds to plant, and a pig!" Ha! "You can make your own vodka Mand arenít you thrilled? Just think, when you die you will be even more happy!" "You will enter into eternal nothingness forever!" "Oh what a joyous occasion!" "Donít you just want to fight and die for Communism now?" Obviously, this approach wasnít working, so they had to bring about their revolutions in each country by force of arms, and threat of death. Millions of Christians and others perished in the terrible gulags or concentration & death camps, under Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, for refusing to renounce their faith in Christ and join the Communist system. Now theyíve learned that maybe the "God" idea isnít so bad after all; for these "superstitious peoples of earth." At least, this is their thinking. They have learned to work with some Muslims and Catholic "liberation theologists" in Latin America. Will they perhaps "invent" a god for the world in this coming Antichrist? Just a thought M Probably not. Most likely Satan will come on the scene in his "son of perdition" and totally awe them into following. Weíll see. But it is very interesting to note some of the recent things Putin has said: In a speech recently he promised to return Russia to her former glory, and called Russia "a righteous nation," "a HOLY nation!" WHAT? A HOLY NATION? After all the killing of Christians and teaching of atheistic Communism? Perhaps the "former glory" he is speaking of is the Russia of old under a more religious Orthhodoxy, to fool the world into believing that they are more like the West. I believe that he chose Medvedev to be his "President" to copy Dick Cheney and George Bush...to make it look to the world like they are just like the West in politics and in every other area; so why not side with them? I believe this is their thinking. So again: WATCH RUSSIA!
Let's now go back to the beginning, and information I'd like to share on my take of the 7 seals, trumpets, and vials: I believe that the 7 seals describe what happens all at once during the tribulation; ending with the event Jesus said would signify His immediate return in Matthew 24: 29-31; that is; the sun and moon being darkened. (the 6th seal) The four horsemen of the apocalypse could be: 1) The white horse and rider with a "bow:" This may possibly signify the Antichrist and his false religion. (The Council on Foreign Relations, headquartered in New York, is thought by many to be a subversive organization with global objectives that will help facilitate the rise of this Antichrist. The logo on their quarterly journal "Foreign Affairs" is symbolized by a rider on a white horse with a bow.) Jesus would most likely have a sword, as is seen later in Revelation. Yet some consider this to be Jesus. 2)The red horse: Obviously the spirit of war that has wrought so much bloodshed down through time, and will go WILD in the tribulation, especially with the Russian alliance formerly talked about here. (Oh! I forgot to mention that the Russians are also backing the Iranian Hezbollah and Republican Guard, which a recent female NSA agent said on Glen Beck, have been crossing our southern Mexican border, and paying the drug cartels billions in money and weapons to smuggle them across. The week before, the former head of the CIA over watching the southern border said that he and his men also watched Alqueda crossing the border for years. He said no one in the Presidency, or Pentagon, or Congress would pay any attention to them; they were so caught up in making money and the almighty dollar. So he resigned in disgust and wrote a book called, "The Coming Hellfire." So the Russians are backing the coming terrorism in America also; while at the same time pretending to be our friend helping fight terrorism!) 3) The black horse: very possibly the spirit of merchant materialism that brings famine and starvation to so many, especially in the poor countries of the world. (See who the government just blessed? The big bankers! Not the poor they promised to bail out. There's a perfect example for you, that the rich rob the poor, bringing famine and starvation. Some may argue this, but I really believe they have black hearts, and not our best interests in mind. Sorry.) 4) The grey horse of death: Considered by most to be the plagues of disease that ravage the planet; especially more-so in the tribulation.
The fifth seal obviously represents the martyrs of the Lord who have died for Him. According to history, and the 12th chapter of Revelation, symbolized by the woman; God's wife or Church, fleeing into the wilderness where she is fed and protected by God; the vast majority of the Lord's Church is spared from martyrdom; yet some are called to such a glory. This can also be seen in Revelation 12 where the dragon is wroth with the woman, because he cannot get at her, and returns to make war with the remnant of her seed "which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." And as you may remember from Revelation 13, the Beast makes war with the Saints and overcomes many of them. (Don't worry though; I have been assured by most Churches that we will somehow escape all this. In fact I don't think you're even supposed to mention it...sorry!) (Oh, and don't read Revelation 7: 9-17; about those from every tongue, tribe, and nation having come out of the GREAT TRIBULATION and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb...obviously THEY are not made aware of our present modern teachings, or they wouldn't got through this terrible time either...) (Just kidding here...I don't mean to offend anyone; but some of our modern teachings have become very "comfortable" teachings that do not fit with many of the Scriptures that teach contrary.)
The 6th seal is the darkening of the sun which Jesus said would immediately precede His Second Coming; and then the seventh seal opens the blowing of the 7 trumpets. Here is where I believe the first drop back in chronology starts. The Seals represent a picture of what happens during the tribulation from beginning to end, in false religion, war, famine, and plagues of death, plus martyrdom of the saints, and the darkening of the sun preceding Christ's immediate return. Then the seventh seal drops us back in time, to the beginning of the tribulation, to show a more concise view of what transpires during the tribulation period by the blowing of the 7 trumpets. The first 6 trumpet judgments are all physical in nature, with destructive things coming upon the earth; but only to the people that have the mark of the Beast; not the Lord's protected ones who have His Seal. Many sound like asteroid impacts and one comet impact. One asteroid is so large it cracks the earth's crust and causes a third of the sky to be darkened. Some of the astral bodies that either impact earth or come close by, also drag "space trash" with them in the form of smaller meteorites, probably from the meteorite belt, that make it appear that the stars are falling. This is probably what the Lord and the Prophets of old were describing by the "stars falling from heaven." I counted the vision of the sun and moon being darkened and stars falling or not shining, 11 TIMES from Isaiah through Revelation. It is THE principle sign of the Lord's imminent return. Since many churches have become so spiritually "blind" on such matters, and hardly teach anything on the end time; most folks don't even know about these coming asteroid and comet impacts in Revelation chapters 8 & 9. So the Lord has to raise up Hollywood producers like Speilberg and others to make movies like Asteroid, and Armageddon, to wake people up and get their attention; even though they do not follow the Bible's predictions of exactly what will happen, at least it makes people think.
But then something very special happens at the blowing of the 7th and last trumpet! Two things: 1) Time shall be no more (for the Lord's saved). and 2) It signifies the Lord's return to earth to take over and raise the dead to judge them and reward his Prophets, Servants, and Saints, both small and great, for their meritorious service to Him down through time. Revelation 11: 15-19 speak of this great event. You see, for years now folks have thought that the whole Book of Revelation was the "wrath of God," and since 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says that we are not appointed to this wrath; or even around at this time, many teachers have taught that the Church will be raptured out before the Book of Revelation even begins. This is simply not true according to MANY Scriptures. They have confused the two time periods of the TRIBULATION and the WRATH as being one and the same. The tribulation is a partial wrath, where only 1/3 of everything is destroyed on earth; and is symbolized by the blowing of the 7 trumpets. The wrath period follows AFTER the trumpets and AFTER we are raptured out. Then during the wrath period, everything is nearly destroyed; like all the sea is turned like blood instead of only 1/3rd....all the sky is darkened, instead of only 1/3rd. We are not here for the total wrath, -AND- during the tribulation period we are protected, as I said before; and only the people who have received the mark of the Beast are hurt by these trumpet judgments. This is WHY the Lord made these two time periods distinct and different by symbolizing one with trumpets and one with vials or bowls; to SHOW that they are TWO DIFFERENT TIME PERIODS!
The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15: 51,52, that we are raised from the dead and resurrected at the LAST TRUMP. Interestingly enough, nothing remotely resembling a resurrection happens at any of the other trumpet judgments until you get to the 7th. (See Revelation 11: 15-18) When I first discovered this, I thought I was the only one who had seen this. Ha! "What a silly little man!" I then found the writings of Dr. James McKeever (now in heaven) of Omega Ministries. (You can still find this ministry online under his wife Jeanni, & Omega ministries) He was also teaching this, along with Dave Macpherson; a noted author of 8 Christian books; The Rapture Plot being the most infamous; and there are others. In fact, I used to have a list starting with the reform era fathers and great evangelists of the 1600's through the 1800's, as well as the modern people who believed this way on the rapture. It was quite shocking. I remember Spurgeon being mentioned, as well as Pat Robertson, Demos Shakarian, of the Full Gospel Businessmen; Corrie Ten Boom, the great saint of the movie, "The Hiding Place," who housed Jews during Hitler's time, and was sent to Ravensbruk Concentration Camp for it; as well as a HOST of other great Christian leaders of the past. It even has a name, and is referred to as "Last Trumpet Theology." You might wonder how Paul could have known about a "last trumpet" resurrection, when Jesus and others never mentioned it in the Gospels? Well in Acts 1:3 it says that the Lord stayed with His disciples for 40 full days teaching them things pertaining to the Kingdom of God before He ascended to heaven; but it does not specify exactly what He taught. This could have been one of the teachings, or He could have simply have revealed it to Paul. But it is a very valid argument and has much Scripture to support it, as I will show. Revelation 10: 6 & 7 state that the blowing of the 7th and last trumpet also signifies that "time shall be no more." Jesus said in John 6: 37-40 That He would RAISE US UP at the LAST DAY. Wouldn't that fit also with the blowing of the 7th trumpet signifying the raising of the dead on the LAST DAY when TIME WOULD BE NO MORE?
Let's look at some other Scriptures that have this "trumpet blowing in them." Look at 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18: This is the main rapture chapter for everyone; pre-trib, post-trib, mid-trib...you name it. It has these three principle things: 1) The Lord returns. 2) A trumpet is blown. 3) We rise to meet the Lord in the clouds, in the air. (the dead rise first, and then those which are still alive follow) Well now lets look up Matthew 24: 29-31. These Scriptures ALSO have these same three things mentioned: The Lord returns, a trumpet is blown, and we are all gathered to meet Him in the sky. Wouldn't you say that links these two areas of Scripture together? Also Mark 13. Well in Matthew 24: 29 it makes it very plain that this "gathering" or "rapture" occurs AFTER the tribulation; not before... "What?" "You mean we'll be around during the Antichrist's reign and persecution?" "I thought Dr. Schofield had made it plain that would only be the Jews?" "Why this is just terrible!" "I had hoped to be raptured out on flowery beds of ease before any trouble of any kind." Never mind the fact that in every single century the followers of Christ have suffered, and some even been killed for the Lord. But then, some Churches do not teach Church history because of this very fact; and because it flies in the face of much of the modern teaching on the end time. I really do not wish to offend anyone here; and I hope I have not offended you, if you have been raised, or cut your teeth on such modern teachings. But as one who is trying to follow Jesus Christ with all his heart, I simply cannot stand idly by and not say anything when I see what I believe to be false teachings deceiving the Lord's people and not preparing them for the things that are coming. We should not dwell on these things, or face them with fear, as Christ has promised to protect us; but we should be aware of them. Jesus taught them. See Matthew 24:9. But I really believe that great deception has entered most of the modern Church, to put them to sleep spiritually, so that these things come upon them unawares. Jesus also predicted this in Matthew 24:4 & 5. This does not mean that each and every dear man or woman of God who teaches these things is a deceiver, or false teacher. Most are just teaching what they have been taught all their life in innocence. But the guilty parties before the Lord will be those who first introduced these ideas without checking them against the other Scriptures, such as the ones I've mentioned in this study. Paul did say that the time would come in which the Church would not endure sound doctrine; but would heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and that they would be turned to hearing FABLES...or false teachings. I honestly believe that this is just what is happening.
Folks; the Church is going to be around during the reign of the Antichrist. Look at 2 Thessalonians chapter 2: 1-10: It starts out by speaking of the coming of the Lord in which He "gathers" us unto Himself, just as we have read in Matthew 24. (That would be the Rapture!) Then it goes on in verses 3 & 4 to state very plainly that this will NOT happen until the Antichrist, or "son of perdition," as he is called here, comes FIRST, and sits in the temple claiming to be God, causing a great falling away from the Christian faith in the world. Then in verse 8 it makes it very plain that when Jesus finally does come; to "gather" us unto Himself; He DESTROYS the Antichrist by the brightness of His coming. How then could this wicked leader rule the world then for another 3 1/2 or 7 years as is taught by so many? But most modern teachers blindly ignore these verses, even with verse 3 saying that people who teach otherwise are DECEIVERS! WOW!!! You'd think that would scare the daylights out of anyone trying to teach that it will happen any other way. The only verse out of this whole chapter that is taught by the vast majority of today's Church is verse 7 that implies that a restraining force steps aside or is taken out of the way to let the evil one come forward. Folks, nothing is mentioned about a rapture or resurrection here specifically; -OR- the Holy Spirit either. Perhaps this restraining force are the huge warring Angels of God who come in the power of the Holy Spirit, and hold back Satan's forces; but to assume that this is the Holy Spirit leaving the earth, and us going with it in the rapture is an awful lot to read into this one small and very "cloudy and nebulous" verse. People; we should build doctrine on rock solid verses that cannot be taken any other way than to mean exactly what they say in plain black and white. We should never build doctrine on verses that could possibly mean something else. This is like building your house on sand as Jesus said. Can verse 3 be taken any other way than to mean, "that day SHALL NOT COME until the man of sin comes and sits in the temple claiming to be God?" To believe otherwise, like in pre-trib teaching, you would have to go back and change this verse to read "that day SHALL come before the day of the evil one," instead of "that day shall NOT come." Any way you cut it! Plain and simple.
Look now at Revelation 20: 4-6: It makes it VERY PLAIN that believers are here during the reign of the Antichrist; who refuse to accept the mark of the Beast, and are beheaded for it. Then it says that they take part in the FIRST RESURRECTION, and are rewarded by the honor of serving as kings and priests with the Lord for such an act of gallantry. Sounds a bit out of sync with the present teaching that they are rebellious Christians who are left behind and suffer for their rebellion. Priests and Kings reigning with Jesus and God? Hmnnn! Sounds more like a reward for heroes. There is a "left behind" but it does not come until the 7th trumpet is blown, we are raptured, and the vials begin to be poured out. This ties in also with Daniel 7:7-14, where the judgment comes and the dead are raised and Jesus comes in the clouds to claim His own. It speaks of Judgment being given here in these passages also, just like Revelation 11:15-19, which is describing the same event. The first resurrection. It's not just Old Testament Saints, it's also these folks who lived during the Antichrist's reign and refused his mark, as well as Christians all down through time. IT SAYS SO! Read the verses again. The rapture in Revelation 11:18 speaks of everybody, small and great. The one here speaks of those who gave their lives as martyrs as RULING with Christ; a very special privilege. But everyone in his own order as it says in Romans 5:18. There will be many jobs serving the Lord. Not all of us are called as martyrs. Only a few by comparison to the whole of the Church. Likewise, few rulers and kings and priests, compared to the greater majority it takes to fulfill the role of ministrations for these kings and priests under the Lord's rulership.
Ok! So now we come to the first and second resurrections. As you see, the first one comes AFTER the reign and persecutions of the Antichrist, and includes, I believe, every one who has gotten saved up till the end, and Christ's return. I've heard about the Old Testament Saints thing, and I am aware of the Scriptures in Matthew which state that "many of the Saints which slept arose" at Christ's crucifixion, and the rocks rent and the graves opened, and these Saints walked through the streets of Jerusalem appearing to many. I believe they went to heaven with the Lord, as does everyone who is saved presently does when they pass on. John 11:25,26 and John 8:51 both state plainly that if you receive Jesus as your savior, you will NEVER DIE or see or taste of death! Paul said, "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." Also, 1 Thessalonians 4: 13, & 14 says that the Lord will bring with Him those who have passed away and gone to heaven, when He comes, to rescue the living who have not yet died, and we will then receive our new spiritual bodies. The dead in Christ will rise first and then we which are alive and remain.
So I'm not sure these Old Testament Saints have their new resurrection bodies yet, but may be in spirit form awaiting the first resurrection with us. I don't know. I -DO- know that Revelation 20:4-6 makes it plain that the first resurrection comes AFTER the evil reign of the Antichrist and after many were beheaded, and probably also killed in other ways too, for not accepting the mark of the Beast which comes during the end time. Then comes the millennial reign of Christ followed by the great white throne judgment at the end, and finally the glorious coming of the new heaven and new earth. The new heaven and new earth are also talked about in Isaiah 65:17, and 66:22. Also the wedding supper of the Lamb is spoken of in Isaiah 25:6-9. The beautiful foundational stones, of many varied colors, are talked about in Isaiah 54:10-14.
The tribulation period is described in detail also in Joel 2:28-32, and 3:14-16, (actually the entire Book of Joel), and Zechariah 14:1-4, and 12. Joel 14:12 sounds like nuclear war. There is so much I could go into detail about; out of Revelation, and the books of the Prophets, but the time fails me to do so here and now. I've tried to give you some things to chew on. If you have time, here are some areas which describe the Antichrist and his coming reign and characteristics so you can watch for him: Daniel 2:44, 7:7-14, 7:21-27, 8:9-14, 8:23-25, 11:21-24, 11:31-39.
Basically, these indicate he comes to power through deceit and intrigue, promising peace. He comes in like an angel of light and a savior, but soon turns to a man with a fierce countenance, who breathes out slaughter and blasphemy against the Lord and His people, as well as every god; and exalts himself above all gods. He especially speaks great words against the Most High God. Our God. He does not honor the God of his fathers. Some think he'll be the Pope. (old 7th day Adventist teaching) If so, he will not honor the Catholic Faith. Some think a Muslim. If so, he will not honor that faith. It says he worships a new god called "the god of forces!?" Sound like nuclear power, or modern technological power, lazers, whatever? This may be more scientific than some think--yet spiritual too. He kills many who do not receive him or his mark, but the people of God do great and mighty exploits, and do mightier miracles than this false god, to win people to Christ. So we come out the winners here folks. Even if some of us die as martyrs, it only frees us to be a greater threat to him than we were on earth. Jesus said that some of us would be killed for His sake, but yet not a hair of our heads would perish!??" Huh? How can that happen? I know, as I've heard testimonies of it. Sometimes the Lord takes you before you even feel any pain. Go to the Bible bookstore and order Don Piper's, "90 Minutes in Heaven." You'll then understand too. The devil can't win, and soon he'll be "toast." Don't forget, that we are not to fear death, as the Lord said, and we shouldn't focus on these things; but rather on the positive and wonderful things the Lord is going to do through us helping bring people to Christ during this coming period; and helping the poor. Jesus will take care of us marvelously; and then take us to Himself when it's time. He loves us, and it is all much more positive than negative. Hope you've enjoyed this oversized manuscript. It was like trying to pack a tiny suitcase with ten times more clothes than could possibly fit. God bless you all and thank you.