Part 4. “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.”(1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)
The Truth about the Church, whose gates of hades will not overcome!
One of the most disturbing and Biblical prophetic scholars have debated much, agreed and disagreed about is if the true Christian believers will experience the events of the tribulation or not. Do Christians really have anything to worry about in the final end-time events? No! We are living in a period when Israel is already a Nation although they have not acquired all of their Promised Land. But much of the end-time prophecies of Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 and others from Daniel and Ezekiel have already been fulfilled. The historical developments in the Middle East are moving toward the final drama. The actors are setting their positions; therefore, what we are waiting for is the curtain removal.
When and how will the curtain be remove? We do not know the day or the time. But one thing we all need to know is that the curtain will be removed when the Church is taken away. We already know that the Holy Spirit who is working in and with the Church is the one who is holding back the final drama, and that the apostasy of the Church and the secret power of the lawlessness are already at work (2 Thessalonians 2-7-8).
Jesus promised that he would come and take Christians to himself. This will happen before the revealing of the Anti-Christ at the beginning of seven year of tribulation. Scriptures prove that only the apostate Church and non-believers will experience this global ordeal. During the rapture, Christ will descend to the earth but will meet the true Church (those born again) in the air. The Bible says clearly,” According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” I (Thessalonians 4:15-17). The dead believers will resurrect to life and then the living believers will be translated in fulfilment of the prophecy in John 14-2-3. Jesus spoke these words to his disciples, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 15:2-3)
After the rapture and the Judgement seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:9-12) everyone will be examined so that the Lord may give reward to those who have fully discharged their services for him. The plain truth is that those who brag about having a spectacular ministry, rather than having a sincere heart before God and those concerned only about getting ahead in this world, will be revealed as false prophets. This is what the Bible study says, “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” (2 Cor. 2:17) Those who were preaching the Good News (Gospel) for money, power, or popularity, and were not concerned with eternity for their congregations will have their motives tested and judged. This judgenent will only involve Christians (born again) and no other judgement awaits them. True believers will not be judged together with the non-believers and ‘religious’ apostates.
After the Judgement of the believers (judgement of works), there will be marriage of the lamb: the Church (the bride) will be presented to Christ (the groom). The bible says in Jude 24, “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—“The Greeks technically used the word “to present” for the presentation of the Bride to the bridegroom. The father of the bride would present his daughter to the father of the groom who then presented the bride to his son by placing her hand on the groom’s hand, becoming his wife. How long will it take for the events of the Judgement of the believers and the marriage of the lamb to be accomplished? We do not know, but this must be before the second coming of Christ to usher in the millennium.
Let’s get back to where we had learned about Russia and her allies attacking Israel. What will happen when they attack Israel? We need to understand first the events associated with the antichrist who will be revealed after the Church is taken away (Rupture) and the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. Today it is true that Israel wants to rebuild the Temple on the original site.
The timing of this accomplishment brings us to the question of the relationship of the Temple to the Church rapture. One truth we know is that King Solomon built the Jewish Temple and Jesus Christ built the Church. In the New Testament, the church of Christ Jesus is referred to as a holy temple with foundation and built of faithful disciples into a dwelling of God: “…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:20-22; see 1 Peter 2:5).
Another truth is that when Jesus died on the cross, the curtain in the Temple was torn into two symbolizing that Jesus death and shedding of his blood was sufficient sacrifice for the atonement of the sins. The access to the holy of holies (God) was open to both Jews and Gentiles. Before Jesus crucifixion, he predicted the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. When Jesus died, the veil was torn into two. That symbolized that God’s presence in the Temple holy of holies and the entire Jewish religious rituals and systems had no meaning at all (Acts 17:24). The Temple was destroyed in A.D 70 (Luke 13:35). Therefore, the presence of the Temple signifies continuation of the Old Covenant which had passed away with the eternal sacrifice of Jesus on the cross initiating a new covenant for a new age. (Hebrew 9:8-9 and Hebrew 8:13)
Note this very carefully. When the veil in the temple was torn, God was done with the Temple. Therefore, the rebuilding of the Temple is again is a prophecy, but God did not order or require that the Temple be rebuilt after A.D 70. Remember that the Jewish had rejected the Messiah they had been waiting for when he came to them for the first time. The church was to be removed because the Temple cannot co-exist with Christian worship. In the letter to the Church at 2Thessalonians 2:4 the Temple that the Jews will rebuilt will be subsequently followed by being occupied by a man of sin. This verse is our only biblical interpretation that The Jewish Temple must be rebuilt.
This Temple cannot be rebuilt before the rapture of the Church. And it cannot be occupied by the antichrist, who will be the head of the federation of states of Europe until three and a half years after the Church has been raptured (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; 2 Cor. 15:15-52). Shortly after the rapture, the leader of the European federation will make a covenant with Israel for 7 years. In the prophecy of Daniel, the word of God says, “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Daniel 9:27). Thi man will be elected to his position. It was revealed to John that “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Rev.17:12-14).
Can we learn from the events leading to a federation in Europe, A federation that will usher the revealing of the antichrist, and his covenant with the Jewish nation?
Follow the next issue and get the answer to the above question
To be continued…
By Rev Andrew Mugo and Pr. Peninah Kariuki