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February 2011 Issue

A World Government and a World Church
Feb 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier

Satan has two ambitions that drive him today and have driven him since his fall from grace. His desire to rule and he desire to be worshipped. These ambitions are clearly seen in Isaiah 14:13-14. “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

In Ezekiel 28:16 we are told that Satan was the, “Covering cherub.” Satan hovered over the throne of God in this office and beheld God’s glory and the worship that was accorded to Him. He beheld the majesty of God as He ruled over angels in heaven and men on earth. He evidently said in his heart, “I want to rule as God rules and I want to be worshipped as God is worshipped.”

By the permissive will of God, Satan was given the opportunity to attempt to replace God. He set out to lead a rebellion of angels and men against God. His first attempt to consolidate his kingdom was the attempt at Babel. We see in that failed attempt, an effort to bring men together in order to facilitate his rule over them. We also see an attempt to unite the people in a single program of worship. A single program of worship would also facilitate Satan`s attempt bring the whole world to worship him.

Today we are watching as Satan is now making another attempt to bring world of men and women to worship him and to facilitate his rule over them. The goal of Satan has not changed. He wants a world religion and a world government in order to facilitate his ambition of bringing the world to worship him and to facilitate his rule over the world.

In Revelation 17, we read about this last day’s scenario, and we find the world government and the world church. Revelation 17:3, “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” The beast is representative of Antichrist and his world government and the woman is representative of the world church (see verses 1-2) which is in a union with the world government of Antichrist.

The church is called a harlot. A harlot is a woman who is unfaithful to her husband. The harlot church is Christendom; it is a church which professes to follow Christ but in reality has entered into a union with the world.

For nearly a hundred years now men have been trying to establish both a world government and a world church. Their best efforts have been frustrated, but the effort to establish both of these entities is now reaching a crescendo.

Carl Teichrib on his website “Forcing Change” lists a number of meetings planned in 2011. A listing of these meetings reveals how the efforts to establish world government and a world church are gaining momentum and are becoming like an avalanche.

Though it may seem tedious, I will list just some of these meetings to give you a sense of how close we must be to the coming of these two entities.

1. The One World 2011 Conference: is being organized as a massive interfaith event, bringing together Islamic, Christian, and Jewish leaders. The purpose is to bring the Western and Muslim world closer in the quest for global peace.

2. The G8 World Religions Summit: is to be held in Paris France. One of the subjects will be how to strengthen and implement global governance for the future.

3. Rivalry and Partnership: is to deal with the Struggle for a new Global Governance Leadership and how institutions like the United Nations, G8/G20, and International Monetary Fund must change to become effective international managers.

4. Session III of the Global Governance 2020 Program: in Washington D.C. The Global Governance 2020 Program is a trilateral endeavour that brings together 24 GG202 Fellows – eight from China, Germany and the USA – in a yearlong exercise to strategize and create scenarios for global governance by 2020.

5. The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland: This event has become

the world’s premier forum for global re-thinking and visioning, with leaders from every corner of the planet seeking to create a new international system of governance.

6. United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week: On October 20, 2010 the United Nations passed a resolution establishing an interfaith harmony week, to be celebrated on the first full week of February. This initiative, which was kick-started by Jordon’s King Abdullah and Jordon’s Prince Ghazi, was founded on prior UN interfaith activities and the Common Word program – a Muslim call to bridge-building with the Christian community. Christian leaders, in turn, responded with a document calling for greater connections with Islam and equated the God of the Old and New Testaments with the Koran. Signers to the Christian response, titled Loving God and Neighbour Together, included Rick Warren, Bill Hybels and Jim Wallis. Leaders from many seminaries and Christian-based organizations also signed, including members of the National Association of Evangelicals, World Vision, and the Mennonite Central Committee.

7. National Preach-In on Global Warming: Initiated by the organization, Interfaith Power & Light, the weekend of February 11-13 is to be set aside as a Global Warming “preach-in.” Hence, clergy connected to local affiliates of Interfaith Power & Light will preach sermons on global warming, the need to change lifestyles, and the quest to find “global solutions for global problems.”

8. UNEP Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environmental Forum: in Nairobi, Kenya. Top level staff from the United Nations Environment Programme, other UN agencies and offices, and national ministerial/secretariat leaders will converge to discuss international environmental directives.

9. Prophets Conference: Palm Springs, California. This is a gathering of prominent New Ages and occult-based futurists, including Barbara Marx Hubbard, who are seeking a new “vision of the future” and a “new world.” Themes will include the coming “alien visitation,” “Native American prophetic teachings, and earth changes.

10. China/Global and Regional Governance: in Singapore. There’s no question that China is an international player with enormous regional influence. Hence, this conference will explore China’s growing role in world governance and regional management, including global security issues such as arms control, international peacekeeping, global financial systems, regional security in East Asia, China’s involvement in maritime security in East Asia, and the development of global and regional Free Trade areas that will gravitate around China’s economic energy. 

11. Global Governance: with the topic, Political Authority in Transition, to be held in Montreal. This year’s theme for the annual convention of the International Studies Association is “Global Governance: Political Authority in Transition.” The big questions to be explored are: Where is political authority moving? Is global governance good? And can global governance be improved and reformed?

12. Left Forum: Toward a Politics of Solidarity in New York City. Each year the Left Forum brings hundreds of activists from around the world to discuss options for socialism. Moreover, as socialism grows as a political force with deep, grassroots connections, activists are seeking to expand their reach, producing “tighter forms of world-wide solidarity” in a “global world.”

13. Exploring Human Enhancement: in Richardson, Texas. This technical symposium will explore transhumant themes, including human perfection, human enhancement for military uses, the politics of trans-humanism, designer babies, and the ethics of changing human biology. Technical papers will be presented and a number of workshops held.

14. Earth Day: Each year, thousands of city, regional, and national Earth Day events are convened on April 22. Viewed as a day to celebrate and embrace the Earth, millions of people attend interfaith, environmental, and peace celebrations with an emphasis on Earth-first principles – to the point where often times it is difficult to differentiate between actual environmental concerns and the literal worship of Earth as a deity (known as Gaia). Throughout this global gathering, the constant theme of “world unity” is advanced, making this day a special time to swing personal allegiances towards global governance ideals and “world citizenship.”

15. Toward a Science of Consciousness: in Stockholm, Sweden. What is consciousness? How can it be enhanced? Do religious experiences change human consciousness? These and other themes will be explored in Stockholm, in an event that’s sure to be the talk of the scientific community: Toward a Science of Consciousness. As science and technology is being positioned to change humanity in fundamental ways, philosophers and technical experts are now wrestling through the meaning of consciousness – how it interacts with the universe, what role does spirituality play, can it be made to interact with artificial intelligence…? The list goes on. This multiday conference, hosted in part by New Ager Deepak Chopra, will attempt to wrestle through some of these questions, with the hope that someday soon our consciousness can be connected into a global intelligence.

16. Earth Systems Governance: Crossing Boundaries and Building Bridges, to be held in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Earth Systems Governance conference will discuss global environmental systems, the problems of environmental management, adaptive solutions, and the connections between government, economic systems, and environmental governance. Water resources, climate issues, and food systems will be explored in a global context.

17. World Week for Peace in Palestine Israel: It’s Time for Palestine: Sponsored by the World Council of Churches, this one-week event is to be a time for churches around the world to lobby on behalf of the Palestinians in an effort to bring a political settlement to the region. The direction is clearly aimed at largely promoting one side of the issue; its’ Time for Palestine. Watch as churches this summer will be called to increasingly side with the Palestinian cause – and by default the geostrategic agenda of the Arab League – in an effort to bring “justice” and “peace” to the region.

18. International Security Forum: in Zurich, Switzerland. A world premier event, the International Security Forum brings together leading politicians, military personnel, strategic planners, and global security contractors. The main question for 2011: “Can the world find a new blueprint towards collective action in order to resolve global, regional and national challenges…?”

19. ACUNS Annual Meeting: in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The Academic Council on the United Nations System is a worldwide body of academics, policy makers, and individuals dedicated to empowering the United Nations. This group has gained considerable clout over the past number of years, and has become a strong voice for global governance.

20. World Future: 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Sponsored by the World Future Society, the conference will bring approximately 1000 philosophers, scientists, and futurists to Vancouver. The purpose: To explore the major social, technical, political, and cultural trends that are shaping and changing the world.

21. World Crisis; Revolution or Evolution in the International Community: In Porto, Portugal over 1,000 scholars, experts, and political practitioners will gather to discuss governance “beyond the state,” world order options, questions of sovereignty, and international justice. To this end, the overriding theme centers on the question of world order by evolution or as an outcome of revolution. The host body for this event is the World International Studies Committee, which is connected to a large network of professional academic organizations, including the International Studies Association.

22. World Peace Festival: in Berlin, Germany. Billed as the “biggest peace event in history,” the World Peace Festival is expected to draw 1 million participants and be viewed by over 1 billion on television. It’s expected that this event will be globally “transformative.” In other words, it’s meant to guide civilization toward a break-through – assisting humanity in becoming one-world.

23. International Day of Peace: in New York City and other locations Peace organizations, interfaith groups, and United Nations supporters mark September 21 as the “International Day of Peace.” This one-day, UN-sponsored global celebration and campaign is geared to uniting humanity around the theme of world peace.

24. Global Alliance Summit for Ministries and Department of Peace: which is to be held in Cape Town, South Africa. This conference is part of a worldwide movement to create an official “Department of Peace” at the national level in countries around the world. Currently, three countries have a Department of Peace, and there’s a move to create a similar government agency in the US. Although such an agency sounds benign, it must be understood that the philosophies underlying this move are based on a global vision of political correctness, and the desire for international government.

25. Global Economic Symposium: The Global Economic Symposium is an annual event focusing on the international financial architecture and the challenges of developing a global economy, including the exploration of active solutions. World leaders in business, economic governance, and high-level policy players will attend.

These are only a few of the hundreds of meetings planned to force a global agenda on the world. These meetings will include such organizations as the World Bank, the IMF, the EU, NATO, the UN many other NGO’s. All of these meetings are designed to push for global transformation which is preparation for world government.

We have been warned repeatedly that another global economic crisis, greater than the last one, is on the horizon. I believe these men, some knowingly and some unknowingly, are preparing to seize that opportunity to advance the cause of world government. I do not necessarily believe world government will spell the end of national governments, but that rather they will be brought under subjection to the world authority. They will be provinces of the new order.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28). “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thess.5:4). “ can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3) “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Are you ready for the rapture to take place? Are you saved?

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Darker and Darker
Feb 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier

Just when Israel’s situation seems as dark as it can get, new clouds appear on the horizon. The possibility of a Hezbollah takeover in Lebanon is now a real danger. Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt said that he would throw his party's support behind Hezbollah, as factions in Lebanon scrambled to build a new coalition government.

Hezbollah and its supporters currently number 57 of the 128 members of the Lebanese parliament, only 8 short of the 65 needed to elect a new prime minister. If all 11 members of Jumblatt's party follow their leader's track, a Hezbollah-backed candidate would indeed be selected as the country's new prime minister. (As I write this, the report has come in that Hezbollah has indeed chosen the next Prime Minister, effectively taking  over the country).

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Silvan Shalom, expressed grave concern Saturday over the real possibility of an Iranian-controlled Hezbollah regime taking control in Lebanon in the coming weeks. Hezbollah “will no longer be merely a terrorist group operating with Iran's backing, but a terrorist group in control of the country,” Lebanon will in fact become Iranian territory. Israel’s greatest enemy will have a base right on her northern border.

In another news item we read, “Less than 24 hours after the breakdown of its nuclear dialogue with the six world powers in Istanbul, Iran announced plans Sunday, Jan. 23, to send a fleet of warships, including a home-made destroyer, on operational and intelligence-gathering missions to the Red Sea and on to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. Parts of the fleet will in fact be deployed in the three waters around Israel's southern and western shores.” Iran is determined to destroy Israel, and she continues to work furiously to develop a nuclear bomb to do it. Iran is not about to let the nations dissuade her from her purpose.

In Israel’s long history there have been times without number when Israel’s situation has appeared to be beyond hopeless. God has seemingly, delighted to place Israel’s back to the wall and then to demonstrate His power and grace in delivering her. That very scenario has played out in Israel’s three major wars since 1948. And that same scenario will unfold in the three wars that Israel is prophesied to yet face. I think that Israel’s enemies ought to tremble when think they have Israel in a hopeless situation.

Remember when the Philistines were as the sand on the sea shore for number and Gideon had 300 men with only a lamp and a trumpet. The route of the Philistines was total. Remember when the same Philistines with the same numerical advantage came against Israel again. One man, Jonathon, with a sword and his armour bearer utterly defeated them again.

We read in Ezekiel 39 about a future battle in which Israel will be on the brink of destruction. God will once again intervene on behalf of His people Israel. We read in Ezekiel 39:3-4 about God’s intervention, “And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.”

We see God’s purpose in His intervention on behalf of Israel. Verse 7, “So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel....” We need not despair for Israel no matter how dark the situation seems to be. God will fulfill His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God will also win their hearts back to Himself.

Some day Zechariah 13: 8-9 will be fulfilled. “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

I remind you believer that God has pledged Himself to you, He has promised to preserve you and bring you into His presence, and bless you forever. When the clouds come into your life, remember that God is behind the clouds and He will work out His purpose and bless you out of that situation. He has designed that situation to glorify His great name through you. Rejoice in the Lord.

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The Church of the Last Days
Feb 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier

The church of Laodicea represents the church at the end of the church age. The church of Philadelphia and the church of Laodicea are contemporary immediately prior to the rapture. The age of the church of Philadelphia is now past and the church of Laodicea is now in the ascendancy, this is the Laodicean age, though Philadelphia is still in the world as a remnant.

The transition from the era of Philadelphia to the era of Laodicea appears to have taken place in the 1950’s. The transition; was from the era of fundamentalism, to the era of new evangelicalism. In the late 1940s new evangelicalism was born. It was conceived in compromise. The decision was made to discontinue contending for the faith, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Instead of contending the new approach would be to dialogue with those liberals who were denying the essential doctrines of the faith. Instead of separating from the world, an effort would be made to be more accommodating to the world. An effort would be made to impress the world in order to win the world; this effort would replace separation from the world.

This new approach would be manifested in ecumenical evangelism, also in the methods that came to be known as the church growth movement (using the world’s methods to get people into the church). Eventually the world’s music was brought into the church. This was first done by using the Lord’s music in a worldly way until eventually the world’s music was incorporated.

This whole transition was a slow process, just an inch at a time. Few were willing to contend for an inch and the inch became a mile.

This movement was very deceptive because it was all done in the name of evangelism. Who can fight against evangelism? Here again, we in retrospect, can look back and see more clearly, that the evangelism of this new evangelical church was, and is, a counterfeit evangelism. It is the evangelism of easy-believism which cannot save. Easy-believism makes counterfeit Christians, and fills the church with pseudo disciples of Christ. Genuine salvation involves more than merely saying that you receive Christ as your saviour. It involves genuine repentance, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). It involves a willingness to forsake all to follow Christ, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33).

Easy-believism is an add on to the life, salvation is a total surrender of the life to Christ.

The word Laodicea means rights of the people or the people ruling. The church of Laodicea has ridden on the coattails of the human rights movement. The head of the church, Jesus Christ, no longer holds all authority in the Laodicean church. This Laodicean democratic church is ruled by the people not by Christ.

It is not hard to determine whether a present day church is Laodicean or Philadelphian. The Philadelphians have a burning white hot love for Christ. They are devoted to discovering what Christ would have them to do, and to do it with all their might. They would rather die than compromise the Word of God. They love the lost, but they are happy to separate from the world and all it stands for (Revelation 3:8-10). They have no love for the world, or the things of the world, their focus is on the things above. Philadelphians stick out like a sore thumb; they don’t fit in with this world. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).

Laodiceans cannot stand to be different; they cannot bear to not be accepted by the world. They blend in with the people of the world, you can scarcely tell the difference. They use every opportunity they can to persuade the people of the world that they are really no different from them. Their whole lifestyle is one of conformity to the ways of the world. They mistakenly think that by being like the world they can win the world. The contrast between Laodicea and Philadelphia is most clearly seen in the contrast of Philadelphian white hot burning love for Christ and the lukewarmness of Laodicea. It is seen in the zeal of the Philadelphians to discover and to do the will of Christ and the contrasting lukewarmness of Laodicea.

The philosophy of the user-friendly, purpose driven church has permeated a very large section of the evangelical church. It has even penetrated many who would insist that they are fundamentalists, in fact much of the fundamentalist church is moving rapidly into Laodiceanism.

New Evangelicals set out to win the world for Christ, but they departed from the plan laid out in scripture to accomplish it. They thought they could bring the world into the church and a change would result. A change did come, but it was the church that changed, not the world. Instead of the church winning the world, the world won the church.

Out of this departure from scripture there has spawned a great and growing apostasy. The fate of the Laodicean church is found in the words of Jesus, “I will spew thee out of my mouth.” The fate of the Laodicean church is to be cast out into the tribulation period and be incorporated into the Harlot church of Revelation 17. We sadly see that many evangelicals are even now moving in that direction.

Hear the exhortation of the voice from heaven in Revelation 18:4, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”

The ministry of Sound the Trumpet was in response to what we believe was the voice of God calling us to cry out against New Evangelicalism.

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The New World Order
Feb 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier

New World Order, is a term used to describe the joining together of the world's superpowers to bring about and maintain global peace, safety, and security. Synonymous with the term New World Order are the terms one world government, global governance, and globalization. All these terms are used interchangeably and at different times to communicate to different audiences. They all mean the same thing. This new world order is identified in the scriptures as the coming kingdom of Antichrist. It will introduce the Mark of the Beast and totally dominate the whole world.

World leaders are excited at the prospects of the New World Order and the hope for a new era of peace and security. The New World Order agenda is detailed in documents from the Council of Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, Club of Rome, United Nations, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. These groups represent the real power in the world.

Former Soviet Prime Minister Michael Gorbachev, in commenting on the prospects for world peace stated, “Further global progress is now possible only through a quest for universal consensus in the movement towards a new world order." President H.W Bush declared optimistically some years ago, "If the nations of the world, acting together, continue as they have been we will set in place the cornerstone of an international order more peaceful than any that we have known." In a statement to the United Nations Business Council in September 1994, David Rockefeller said, "We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the new world order."

By the time George W. Bush came into power, the next step in the process necessary to accomplish the global transformation Rockefeller referred to, was to convince Americans that it was necessary to abandon the freedoms they were accustomed to in exchange for security. The events of 9/11 in conjunction with radical Islamic terrorism; are the crisis used to accomplish this.

Satan needs a dictatorial form of government to rule over the world. Regardless of what we call it, this new world order is now being slowly implemented by governments through legislation and in the churches with the new spirituality. It is my conviction that the real power in the world is slowly being transferred into the hands of a group of elite intelligent politically-connected religious-minded people. I believe that this small group of powerful elite are working quietly below the radar screen, secretly manipulating world events to promote their agenda. I believe this power will be transferred into the hands of Antichrist at the mid-tribulation point. Satan has always worked through deceived men to bring about his purposes.

There has never been a time when all the peoples of the world have been found crying out for peace and safety as they are today. This is the fertile climate, in which the peoples of nations will readily accept the belief that a world government can establish world peace and prevent a nuclear holocaust. They will conclude that a world government could not be considered to be evil.

I believe, that the efforts of the elite group that are today planning and scheming to bring about the new world order, is described in Matthew 24:11, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” We are now living in that environment. I believe we are seeing men, in so called evangelical pulpits, leading people into this deception. I believe we have a description of their work in 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

The following is a quote taken off the internet. “A New World Order has been a long time in the making, its pieces fitting into place from divergent realms and with many different players. Believing what they are doing is for the benefit of mankind, many of the players are compartmentalized and do not necessarily understand their role in developing a system that will ultimately enslave the people of the world and condemn them to eternal suffering.

Acting largely behind the scenes and outside of public view is a small group of satanic inspired elites secretly manipulating world events to advance the nefarious agenda the Antichrist will use for his own wicked purposes.”

The final outcome of this coming world government is described in scripture; it will involve the total enslavement of the entire world. “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:15-17).

The true agenda of the coming new world order is revealed in the scriptures. It is a two-fold agenda; the first part of this agenda involves the economic control of the world. We see the preparations for this now unfolding. The second part of the agenda of Antichrist is a world religion to control the hearts and minds of men. The ultimate end of this religious agenda will be to cause all men to worship Satan through the worship of Antichrist.

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The Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church
Feb 1st, 2011
Art Sadlier

The scripture clearly teaches that the church, the body of Christ, will be caught up to meet Christ in the air and be with the Lord forever. (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-52).

The scripture also teaches that this catching up, this rapture, will take place prior to the tribulation period.

Paul teaches us about the pre-tribulation rapture in 1 Thessalonians chapter five. The context of this chapter is the coming Day of the Lord, or the tribulation period, and the wrath of God that will accompany it. We see this context in verses 2-3. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” Paul says that some will not escape this time of tribulation and wrath. In the succeeding verses (4-8) Paul gives an exhortation to believers to be alert and to be watching for this coming day of the Lord’s wrath. It is in that context that Paul immediately says in verse 9, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” That is unmistakeably teaching the pre-tribulation rapture of the church.

This is confirmed in the very next verse (10) where he says, “Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.” The phrase, “whether we wake or sleep,” is a clear reference to the preceding chapter (verses 13-17) where the topic is the rapture of believers, both those awake (alive) and those who sleep (dead). Paul could not have been clearer; he teaches the pre-tribulation rapture of the church.

In 1 Thessalonians 2 Paul continues to teach the pre-tribulation rapture of the church. The context in verse 1 is undeniably the rapture, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.” Paul has established in 1 Thessalonians the concept of the rapture and the saints being gathered unto Christ. 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-16 is clearly referring to the rapture, verse 17 refers to our gathering unto Christ, “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” So we are reminded again that the topic of 1 Thessalonians 5 is the rapture.

So then the topic of 1 Thessalonians 2:1 is the rapture. In verse 2 it seems that some had spread the word that the rapture had already taken place, they even went so far as to say that Paul himself had stated that. “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

In verse 3 Paul says that is not true, the rapture has not yet taken place. Then he proceeds to give a reason as to why the rapture could not have taken place at this point in time. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” Paul says that before the day of the Lord can come, something has to take place first. That something is, “Except there come a falling away first.” The words falling away can also be translated apostatize, the word means to depart from a present position or place. We relate this to the rapture because the context in verse 1 is the rapture, “Our gathering together unto him.” Therefore Paul is teaching that the day of the Lord cannot come until after the rapture has taken place.

There is a great falling away or apostasy that is to come. That great apostasy takes place after the coming of Antichrist. We see this in verses 9-11 of this chapter, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.”

This great apostasy is brought on by the Antichrist himself with the help of God who gives deception to those who have turned away from the truth. The falling away in verse 3 is the rapture, the falling away in verses 9-11 is the great apostasy, departing from the truth.

This apostasy is detailed in verse 4, “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” The world is deceived into accepting the claims of Antichrist, that he is actually Christ (that is the great apostasy). That apostasy cannot take place until Antichrist appears on the scene.

This apostasy is not taking place at this time. What we are seeing is the preparation for this great apostasy. We are seeing a great departure from sound doctrine which is setting the stage for the coming of Antichrist. We tremble as we see those who formerly held to sound doctrine now departing from it. The words of 1Timothy 4:1 are now being fulfilled, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

How tragic, to know the truth and to fall away from it. The warning is to those who are involved in churches where this process of neglecting doctrine is taking place. Come out of such places as fast as your feet can carry you.

In Revelation 3:10 John teaches the pre-tribulation rapture. “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” John is definitely speaking about the tribulation period here. This is not referring to the great white throne judgment, the great white throne judgment is a place where individuals stand before God and are sentenced by God. This not referring to the sheep and the goat judgment, here again individuals stand before Christ and are sentenced.

This judgment is clearly a judgment that falls on men while they are living on the earth. “Which shall come upon all the world,” this is a judgment like the past judgment of the flood, it is to come on all the world. “To try them that dwell upon the earth,” this could be no other than the tribulation period. This is not the wrath of judgment that sends men into hell, though that may well happen when this judgment is over. This is a wrath that is poured out on men on the earth, with the intent to try or test their souls. The implication is that some may pass the test, for example the tribulation saints. A test always implies the possibility of passing the test.

This promise is given to the church of Philadelphia, which is the last-days church that is contemporary with the Laodicean church, also of the last days. It is given to the church which will be in the world when the rapture takes place.

We have another indication that the rapture will take place prior to the tribulation period, it is found in Luke 21:28. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

In Matthew 24 Jesus gave the signs that would precede the tribulation period and His second coming. He lists some signs which He calls the beginning of sorrows or the beginning signs (verse 8). After the beginning signs the events of the tribulation period unfold.

That sheds light on our Lord’s words in Luke 21:28, he says to believers, when you see the beginning signs you will be redeemed or rescued. Believers have already have had their souls redeemed. Christ is here talking about redemption from the tribulation judgment on the world. The tribulation is the context and topic of Luke 21. When you see the beginning signs, not all the signs completely fulfilled, just the first ones. The rapture will take place.

Today, as we see the foreshadowing of the events of the coming tribulation period, we know that the trumpet is soon to sound.

Further evidence for the pre-tribulation rapture of the church is found in the teaching of the scriptures concerning the fact that there yet remains two comings of Christ.

In the first of those two comings Christ will come to the clouds of the sky, where He will catch us up to meet Him in the sky, and return to heaven with Him. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1Thessalonians 4:16-17). We have the same promise in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

We have also presented in scripture another coming of Christ to the earth which is separate and distinct from the rapture. This second coming is at a different time and in a different manner. Instead of coming to the clouds and returning to heaven with the believers, He will come to the earth and His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south” (Zechariah 14:4).

The second coming will be with a different purpose; in the second coming He will come to destroy the enemies of Israel. In the verse preceding verse 4, we see that different purpose, “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zechariah 14:3). (See also Revelation 19:11-21). Jude also tells us about the second coming, he describes the Lord coming to earth with the saints, and he reveals one of the purposes of that coming. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14-15).

We find that in Old Testament, there was given no specific verse that directly spelled out the two yet comings of Christ. It was simply taught by implication. The two comings of Christ are indicated by the two different descriptions of His comings. In Isaiah 53 He is described as coming in meekness and humility to die. In Isaiah 9 He is seen coming in power and glory to rule and reign over the entire world. The Holy Spirit uses the same method in the New Testament in dealing with the two yet remaining comings of Christ.

The signs all around us indicate that the rapture is near at hand! Are you ready? Are you saved? Believer, are you living a life that pleases God or will you be ashamed at His coming?

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