(Part 28) End Time is one contiguous event –

In the previous 27 articles on End Time issues, we have touched upon several items of End Time consequences and rewards. There remains an abundance of END TIME information we have not covered in this series but is available in scripture. The question remains, why worry or fret about a 7-year Tribulation that believers will either miss or to some degree be protected from its scourges up to the 3 1/2 mark? One might assume that during the 3 1/2 years of the Two Witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11:1-14, people (particularly Jews) will become believers and receive the Mark of Christ mentioned in the Bible. To think this is speculation. Some things were sealed up according to the Book of Daniel and Revelation.

Perhaps thousands will become believers from the witness of these two witnesses found in Revelation 11:1-14 [cf. Acts 2:17-21 & Joel 2:30-32]. This could also be one of the catalysts for the antichrist (Satan) to try and destroy the Tribulation believers beginning 3 1/2 years into the Tribulation. His anger or desperation against God’s creation will likely become even greater when what he thinks he has killed (the two Jerusalem witnesses) return to life 3 ½ days of being dead on a street in Jerusalem, then they rise, fully recovered, are taken up to the heavens in full view of Satan’s followers.

A confusion causing theologian disagreements is the placement of and who receives the mark of the beast or the mark of Christ. There are multiple times this is mentioned in scripture. The forehead is pronounced. When one looks into the eyes of another, the forehead is in clear view. Any mark on it is difficult to “not see”. Catholicism practices an ash or charcoal mark applied to the forehead. The 144,000 (12,000 from each Tribe of Israel minus the Tribe of Dan) are characterized by having the seal of God on their foreheads, according to Revelation 7:3; 14:1.

Something very significant is in the wording of Ezekiel 9:4: “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.Note well, this passage of scripture identifies Jerusalem, not the church. Why? Because believers have already been redeemed and raptured.

AHAMOMENT: During our research for this article, we ran across Mark 1:1. Now one can know that the first gospel was not the Book of Matthew, but the Book of Mark. Why? Because it says so. Why study such things as end time if the Rapture has already occurred? Look at 1 Peter 3:15.

In Ezekiel’s vision, we read that the saved are marked. This does not necessarily mean on the forehead, but they are marked. In Revelation 3:5 we find a mark being a “robe of white” with his or her name written in the Book of life. This is a “mark” of one’s faithful devotion to Jesus as Messiah. One who wears the armor of God (Ephesians 6) reveals their mark to the world. John 13:35 finds Jesus instructing how others will recognize a Christian believer.

One can find many references as to being or how to be recognized as “marked for Christ”. However, being marked with the seal of Christ means being marked on the forehead in the end time Tribulation, not identified by the clothes one might wear. This is a rebellious world that refuses to be told what to do. These people are the ones, besides the descendants of Israel (we call them Jews today), that Satan deceives and hates for refusing his mark. They refuse to bow a knee to him or his statue.

One who calls him or herself a believer during the Tribulation may be comfortable volunteering for public events or being kind to others, but will be nervous about sharing one’s faith, the consequence that has a price tag for not grasping Matthew 12:2.

We conclude this overview series with a section of scripture that is seldom preached or explained. It is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-17. There is a well written article that addresses the questions raised in 2 Thessalonians 2:6 & 7. Let’s conclude by doing a verse-by-verse review of 2 Thessalonians 2:6-12. Understanding this passage is a personal giant step forward in one’s grasp of the end time.

And now you know what is restraining him [from being revealed at this time]; it is so that he may be manifested (revealed) in his own [appointed] time.

(Commentary) There is debate as to who this restrainer is. Because Paul does not identify him (it?) we might conclude that the Thessalonians already know about the restrainer. What is being restrained? Satan’s ruthless being, his antichrist status, and the false prophet. Being so, he could be on earth today but yet to be revealed.

For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way.

(Commentary) The world does not accept the deity or even the existence of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Remember that the New Testament is an appeal to all individuals within this world. This is the mystery of lawlessness. How can a rational person NOT accept this fact? The Apostle Paul points out that a restrained Satan by the Holy Spirit has an end. When the restrainer is removed from the earth, what next? (ans) The restrainer is removed so the lawless one (Satan) can be revealed.

And then the lawless one (the antichrist) will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring him to an end by His appearing and second advent.

(Commentary) Scriptures tell us that antichrist’s identity is revealed for who and what he is at the mid-point of the Tribulation [Revelation 13]. This happens when the promise of 7-years of peace in Israel is revoked by antichrist. Satan will then set himself up on the throne within the rebuilt Temple of Israel. He will declare himself as the god. The image made of him will be given the power to speak and will condemn to death all who refuse to worship Satan/antichrist. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8

The coming [of the lawless one, the antichrist] is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of [pretended] miracles and signs and delusive marvels—[all of them] lying wonders

(Commentary) Even the supposed death of the Antichrist [Revelation 11:7-9] is just that…supposed. This is the course of the deep deception of end time.

10 And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome (accept) the Truth but refused to love it (so) that they might be saved.

11 Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error, and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false,…

(Commentary) …Romans 10:17 may have something to do with verse 11 of 2 Thessalonians. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”. What could cause a greater delusion than there no longer being any hearing of the Word of God during End Time? Instead, the false faith given by hearing the words of Satan (antichrist) is all they hear. Recall that the two Jerusalem witnesses will have left earth by this time. We must not forget that the two witnesses and the 144,000 are witnesses of God.

12 In order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe in [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely on] the Truth, but [instead] take pleasure in unrighteousness.

(Commentary) Verse 12…explains Romans 10:17. “that all may be judged who do not believe is self-evident. Man will still have a personal choice to accept Christ or not, but the other possible restrainer, the Word of God, is no longer being preached. Might this be true of many churches today where their emphasis is upon social and political issues, musical talent, dinners, church activities, and great speeches, but not a word is mentioned of the need for faith and salvation?

Rev. Dr. Jstark

PS: We at ahabiblemoments.com believe the restrainer to be the most obvious…the Holy Spirit. Once he is removed the one who is convincing sinners of a need for Jesus to gain salvation is no longer present. Mankind will now be on personal recognizance. That of itself is not much of a shield against the influence of Satan. Possible? Yes. Likely? No.

PSS: Do not lose thought that this 7-year end time is also the 70th week of Daniel’s 70-7’s prophecy. As Daniel prayed, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and gave him a vision of Israel’s future. No mention is made of the church [Daniel 9:24,25].

PSSS: One should also recall Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s Statue Dream. The feet of this statue (End Time Tribulation) will be a mixture of iron and clay…these elements make it weak [Daniel 2]. One should note that such a mix does not hold together meaning the antichrist’s end time rule will also NOT hold together from the start of it.

(Part 27) End Time is one contiguous event – Matthew 23:37-39

Here are three stand alone verses about End Time in Jerusalem to which one might not but should pay much attention. This is a passage that reflects all the past, present, and future wrapped into it. Jesus laments Jerusalem. Why? He knows what this city in Judah/Israel was, is, and will be shortly before the end of current events of today and the world as we now know it. It is a lament about how Israeli secular and religious leaders have been, and continue to be. This passage includes their history and future attitudes ever since their appointment as God’s chosen people. The lament explains why Israel had problems before and will continue to struggle with national enemies until the end of the 7-year Tribulation.

Backing up a few verses one finds the primary issue in this chapter. Jesus in verses 37-39 is, in a sense, comparison of how a good intending parent has a vested interest in their children. After many attempts to give guidance to their children, the kids still walk off in the wrong direction. Just as do these parents, Jesus laments Jerusalem with a similar “sigh” of a parent or woe of parents. Five times in this chapter we read that Jesus addresses his chosen with woe to you. He supplements these five “woes” by calling Israeli leaders “fools and blind.”

We won’t expand on it here, But Jeremiah 3:14 states…”Return, faithless people [Israel] ,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband“.

Look at verses 25 and 28. How similar this is to both the modern-day Godly and seemingly Godly churches. This is not the church building itself that addresses those within it who religiously attend church and activity events. They have particular and notable ways of conduct that make them appear godly, but they are only being religious. So often their conduct and appearances change according to which crowd they are trying to mimic. At times, verse 28…“even so you outwardly appear righteous to men… includes dependable pew dwellers who don’t even try to appear righteous when outside of their church setting. Last week’s article covered “The Book and the books” mentioned in Revelation 20. There are no deeds or thoughts a person can commit that will not be found recorded in The Books.

Be careful. God defines sin as sin. To him and broadly speaking, all sins are equal to God in that all sins are by definition “unrighteous” and “imperfect.” Man tries to self-protect by identifying sins as having different levels of wrong. We do this in justice systems, but different systems cannot agree on the punishment levels of wrong. One often tries to make his or her sin less punitive. In God’s eyes, a sin is a sin (reference James 2:10). This by itself should prove that mankind makes his own rules of wrongs, rights, and consequential punishments. God created man and only HE can set the boundaries of right and wrong.

In 2014 Billy Graham stated… It is always difficult and dangerous to attempt to list sins according to their degree of seriousness. In one sense, all sins are equal in that they all separate us from God. The Bible’s statement, For the wages of sin (singular tense) is death …” It matters not the magnitude of the sin. (Romans 6:23), applies to all sin, whether in thought, word, or deed. NOTE: Billy Graham died four years later in 2018.

 Since today’s reference is but three verses, we write them out. The reader will find commentary inserted within these verses. The verse is in italisized and the commentary is weaved into each of the three verses in black.

Matthew 23:37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [repeated twice for the reason of absolute emphasis. This is the same emphasis as when a verse starts with “verily, verily”] the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I [God] wanted to gather your children [this is the “her” in those who are sent to “her”] together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! [Again, this shows that God allows free will]

Matthew 23:38 See! Your house [both Jerusalem and the Promised Lands] is left to you desolate; [desolate to those who were originally given this land by God to be a nation of light onto other nations and peoples]

Matthew 23:39for I say to you, you shall see Me no more until you say, ‘BLESSED is HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’

You shall see me no more…This is the time between when this verse is stated and the end of End Time i.e., Tribulation. Israel will find itself so surrounded and overwhelmed by enemy forces, even the irrational mind will concede that there is no way out. This is also one reason the timid, but antisemitic will willingly and eagerly join the nations aligned against Israel. They want to have part of both the anticipated victory and the plunder. People blindly and by choice join the forces against ISRAEL. Just like fans at a sporting event join the cheering of the fans around them. Not one of them did anything to help win but all wish to share in the glory. Tin comparison, it is similar to when a team’s lead seems insurmountable. Somehow in the last moments of the game, they lose. This will be true of Jerusalem at the ending of the 7-year Tribulation. The odds against their very survival will seem like it is a given.

 Rev. Dr. Jstark

PS; The United States is not mentioned in scripture by name. To Include them requires speculation, something we at ahabiblemoments hesitate to do unless we preface the statement with a JIV (Jim’s Introspective View). The following is one of those JIV moments but given thought and consideration. United States is a leading country. It is rapidly going down a path of self-destruction. We will not list the abundance of poor decisions being made as a nation with all of these cancel culture idioms. People are being deceived by lies, half-truths, misleading speeches, social media, main line news casters, church pulpits that offer false religious statements but stress social positions, ignorant or empty Bible lesson content, political hacks and those who fail to follow the laws and constitution they were sworn to protect. All of this and more is what scripture means by kingdom against kingdom.

Perhaps the reason the United States is not mentioned in scripture is because the word “united” no longer applies.