030915 – Iranian Extremism

John 8:32 New King James Version (NKJV)

32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

” he had to witness 6 fellow prisoners being beaten and taken to be executed (hanged) that day”

http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-saeed-shaken-as-iranian-authorities-execute-his-six-fellow-prisoners-135320/

On November 4, 1979, an angry mob of young Islamic revolutionaries overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 60 Americans hostage.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/general-article/carter-hostage-crisis/

CNN – The Rapture and the Return of Jesus Christ

A promise for believers in Jesus as their Lord and Savior is contained in the following two passages of scripture. The verses tell the same story. The key is to not be left behind when the rapture, the catching up of the saints of Christ, takes place. Those who are left behind will face the judgment of God on a sin-filled world. It will also be a time that God will use to draw unbelieving Jews to a belief in Jesus as the Messiah. These two passages do not relate to the second coming of Christ to the earth, but to the coming of Christ in the air to “catch up” his saints.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:50-54 New Living Translation (NLT)

50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.

54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

The second coming of Christ to the earth to establish His Millennial Kingdom is described in the following verses.

Zechariah 14:1-5 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Lord Will Rule the Earth

14 Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! 2 I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city.

3 Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south. 5 You will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal. Yes, you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.

Consider “all His holy ones with Him” in verse 5. Those are the saints who were raptured prior to the tribulation.

Revelation 19:11-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Rider on the White Horse

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. 12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. 13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. 15 From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. 16 On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. 18 Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.

Consider “the armies of heaven” in verse 14. Those are the saints who were raptured prior to the tribulation.

Jesus is the “bridegroom of bridegrooms.” He loved His bride, the church, “so much,” that He gave His life for “her, the church.”

Ephesians 5:25 New Living Translation (NLT)

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her

The “bridegroom of all bridegrooms” will not place “His bride” in the tribulation, which will be a place of the worst of times, and much more severe than any times past, present or future.

Matthew 24:21 New King James Version (NKJV)

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

God does not have a problem with those of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, and have been given a regenerated spirit that is as perfect as the Spirit of Christ. Such people who have “born-again spirits” will not have to be present at anytime during the tribulation. God’s problem is with sin. Those who have not been born again will still have their sinful spirits within them, which have not been changed to be as pure as the Spirit of Christ; their spirits will not be allowed to indwell the Spirits of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Those who have not been born again, and who are alive at the time of the tribulation, will be present during the tribulation and will be subjected to all of the horrible things that will take place as God judges sin and attempts to draw the Jews to accept Jesus as their Messiah.

John 3:3-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

John 14:16-17, 20 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

2 Corinthians 5:17 New International Version (NIV)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

The “old that has gone” is the sinful and unregenerate spirit which prevents such a person from being spiritually, “in Christ.” The “new which is here is the cleansed, regenerate and born-again spirit that is as perfect as the Spirit of Christ and now indwells His Spirit.

Colossians 1:27 New Living Translation (NLT)

27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

For to have Christ living in us (we who are believers in Christ) is to have His “bridegroom protection” over us. Consider the severity of the tribulation. Read Revelation chapters 6-19 and ask yourself if you really think that “the bridegroom of all bridegrooms” would submit “His bride,” she, for whom he gave His life. Notice that Jesus, who is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, is enacting punishment, judgment and justice upon a world of sinners, those of whom which have not been born again. The judgments come in the forms of Seal Judgments, Trumpet Judgments and Bowl Judgments, which become more severe as they are poured out on the sinful world of humanity that has been “left behind.” The seven seal judgments occur during the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. The seven trumpet judgments and seven bowl judgments occur during the last 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. The seal judgments will be shown, as follows.

Revelation 6:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Lamb Breaks the First Six Seals

First Seal – The Conqueror

6 As I watched, the Lamb broke the first of the seven seals on the scroll. Then I heard one of the four living beings say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked up and saw a white horse standing there. Its rider carried a bow, and a crown was placed on his head. He rode out to win many battles and gain the victory.

The rider of the white horse is the Anti-Christ. God uses the Anti-Christ as a tool of judgment, but God is still in charge (Psalm 103:19).

Revelation 6:3-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

Second Seal – Conflict On Earth

3 When the Lamb broke the second seal, I heard the second living being say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse appeared, a red one. Its rider was given a mighty sword and the authority to take peace from the earth. And there was war and slaughter everywhere

Revelation 6:5-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

Third Seal – Scarcity On Earth

5 When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, “Come!” I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, “A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.”

Revelation 6:7-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

Fourth Seal – Widespread Death On Earth

7 When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living being say, “Come!” 8 I looked up and saw a horse whose color was pale green. Its rider was named Death, and his companion was the Grave. These two were given authority over one-fourth of the earth, to kill with the sword and famine and disease and wild animals.

Revelation 6:9-11 New Living Translation (NLT)

Fifth Seal – The Cry Of The Martyrs

9 When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of all who had been martyred for the word of God and for being faithful in their testimony. 10 They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them. And they were told to rest a little longer until the full number of their brothers and sisters—their fellow servants of Jesus who were to be martyred—had joined them.

These are the people who were left behind, but have come to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. They will become martyrs of the Anti-Christ during the tribulation.

Revelation 6:12-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

Sixth Seal – Cosmic Disturbances

12 I watched as the Lamb broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake. The sun became as dark as black cloth, and the moon became as red as blood. 13 Then the stars of the sky fell to the earth like green figs falling from a tree shaken by a strong wind. 14 The sky was rolled up like a scroll, and all of the mountains and islands were moved from their places.

15 Then everyone—the kings of the earth, the rulers, the generals, the wealthy, the powerful, and every slave and free person—all hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to survive?”

Revelation 8:1-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

Seventh Seal – Prelude To The Seven Trumpets

The Lamb Breaks the Seventh Seal

8 When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour. 2 I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets.

3 Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. 5 Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth; and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake.

Consider the severity that will come when God causes the earth to be tormented by thunder, lightning and an earthquake.

For those who believe that “the bride of Christ” will be present during any part of the tribulation, there needs to be a greater understanding of the significance of the “Bridegroom of all bridegrooms,” in relation to His bride, who is the church, and the severity of the events that will take place during the tribulation. It is inconsistent for us to think that God will submit His bride to such punishment, especially since He is the instrument of that punishment.

Here is the key. “Don’t be left behind!”

John 3:7 New Living Translation (NLT)

7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’

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