UNDERSTANDING THE END TIMES 2
In our last article, we saw that the end-time has three periods: the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in AD 70; the signs of His coming which we are in now, a time of wars, famine, pestilences and earthquakes; and finally, the end of the world.
We will be looking at this last period in some detail this week.
The last period: the end of the world will start after the man-child church is ‘caught up’ or raptured:
Revelation 12:5 KJV: And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
The anti-Christ spirit has been in operation (1 Jn. 2:18, 4:3) since the early church in the first century, but its full manifestation has been hindered by the presence of the man-child perfect Zion church. However, once the man-child church is ‘caught up’ or raptured, the anti-Christ spirit will come into its full manifestation through a man controlling the political, economic and religious lives of the nations of the earth.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 NIV: Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (4) He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (5) Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? (6) And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. (7) For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. (8) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
The man-child is the one who is holding back the full manifestation of the anti-Christ, but once he is taken out of the way (or ‘caught up’ to heaven or, raptured) then the anti-Christ will emerge. It is instructive to note here that man-child perfect church here is referred to in the masculine gender, while in other places (Eph. 5:27, Rev. 19:7) it is referred to in the feminine gender. This is because in this context, the church has a militant combative role against the anti-Christ spirit.
Satan, through the anti-Christ will now persecute the rest of the church, typified by the woman and the remnant of her seed.
Revelation 12:13 KJV: And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
Revelation 12:17 KJV: And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
This shows us that some of the church, typified by the woman and the remnant of her seed, will not be ‘caught up’ at the same time as the man-child. This is why we should endeavor to be a part of the man-child company now:
Isaiah 8:18 KJV: Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
Luke 21:36 KJV: Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
The man-child company that is ‘caught up’ will escape all the things of the great tribulation caused by Satan through the anti-Christ.
During the great tribulation, briefly summarized by the Lord Jesus in Mt. 24:15-31 and then described in more detail by John in Rev. 6-19, as revealed in the seven seals, trumpets and vials, many Christians who did not get ‘caught up’ as part of the man-child, will die physically during this time and go to heaven; but they would have suffered the loss of the reward of manifesting the glory of God as part of the man-child and also of obtaining a better and more glorious order of resurrection (1 Cor. 15.22-23, 41-42).
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 KJV: For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (12) Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (13) Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. (14) If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. (15) If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
So, it is crucial now we all endeavor to press in to be a part of the man-child company, which will be pioneered from beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (Is.18:1-7, Zeph. 3:10-20) but will spread into all the earth and be available to all Christians.