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The Antichrist, the Restrainer, and the Remnant


Dearest brothers & sisters...this is another long one. Grab a fresh cup of coffee!

I wanted to share a Scriptural study on how we can rest assured that we, the body of Christ, will not face the beast and direct persecution from the antichrist. There are many other biblical reasons why, but for this study I've primarily focused on Revelation 12 and 2 Thessalonians 2. As we grow closer to the day when Jesus redeems His purchased possession, I know it can be wearisome and our faith can waver when we see all that is happening in the world and all of the different theories, doctrines, and beliefs that get tossed around...not to mention, our own trials and difficulties. I hope this article blesses & encourages you. Hold fast....our Lord is coming soon!

The Antichrist, the Restrainer, and the Remnant

“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” Rev. 13:6 

 “Them that dwell in heaven.”

Who are they? Revelation 12 tells us clearly:

 “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.” (Rev. 12:5)

The one who rules all nations with a rod of iron is Jesus and the church who overcomes (see Rev. 2:24-29, Rev. 19:15). So here we see a reference to a Child caught up (harpazo) to heaven. Continuing, we read...

 “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:7-11)

This describes the overcoming Church, which is shown here in heaven, as “our brethren” who “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” v. 12



These verses clearly tell us that the overcoming Church is NOT present on earth or the sea
when the devil & his wrath have come down. The rest of the passage tells us that, in his wrath, the devil persecutes the woman who then flees to the wilderness. In his resulting anger, the devil persecutes the remnant.

 “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.” Rev. 12:17

I explain here that there is a difference between these two groups of people:

 “Our brethren” = the overcoming Church who is accused before God day & night, who “overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Rev. 12:10-11

Compared to:

 “The remnant of her seed” = those who are NOT part of “our brethren,” or the overcoming Church, but rather those who the dragon persecutes on earth who “keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Rev. 12:17

But who exactly is this remnant? Daniel & Jesus tell us plainly that they are those “of understanding” who see the abomination of desolation:

 “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” Matt. 24:15

 So let’s see what Daniel has to say:

 “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.” (Dan. 11:31-35)

Those of us who are of the brethren, the overcoming Church, are already purified & made white by the blood of Jesus. This is the GOSPEL. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all our sin. We are not purified or made white by enduring trials...our faith can be strengthened through them, yes! “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) But these things do not save us. We who believe are already saved, sealed and washed clean by the blood of Jesus.




We are the overcomers

The time of the abomination of desolation, the beast, the image of the beast, the mark of the beast, and the wrath of the devil described in Rev. 13 are not appointed to the Church. The passages about those who are persecuted by the devil are not describing the Mystery of the Church that was revealed by Jesus to the Apostle Paul. It is very important to discern this. We are hidden IN CHRIST. We are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. The enemy accuses us before God day & night, but we have the authority of Jesus in us. We are to take up the whole armor of God and there is NOTHING that can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:10-12) 

 “Who is he that condemneth? [The one who condemneth is the accuser of the brethren, who accuses us before God day & night.] It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors [same Greek word for overcomers] through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:34-39)

The devil accuses the overcoming Church before God, but he will make war against the remnant saints and overcome them.

 “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Rev. 13:7 

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. [The same group seen in Rev. 12:17 after the brethren were found in heaven, the devil cast to earth, and the woman fled into the wilderness.] And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” Rev. 14:12-13

It’s possible that at the time of the harpazo (the catching away of the body) we might see the man of sin who is to become the son of perdition. But a careful reading of 2 Thess. 2 shows us that he has not been revealed yet because the restrainer is still restraining. When the restrainer is taken out of the way, THEN shall the evil one be revealed.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [restrains] will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” 2 Thess. 2:7-9



Notice that these verses (2 Thess. 2:7-9) are a deeper explanation of 2 Thess. 2:2-3: “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. 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;”

Let’s reverse-engineer the order here:

3. Day of Christ
2. Man of sin / son of perdition revealed
1. A falling away first / Restrainer taken out of the way

Day of Christ

There are many theories about what this means. Some make a distinction between “day of Christ” and “day of the Lord” (and I’m not disagreeing here) but I believe that Scripture interprets itself and we are shown exactly what Paul means with this phrase. In just one chapter prior, Paul writes,

 “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. (2 Thess. 1:6-10)

In that day. 

Remember the passage in Isaiah Jesus read only part of? This is the day He will conclude it. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;” (Is. 61:1-2)

The day of Christ, in which Jesus is revealed from heaven and takes vengeance on His enemies, is the Day of Vengeance which Jesus will fulfill at the time of the end. Of course the original manuscripts didn’t have chapter breaks, so we could read it this way:

 “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. [.......] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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. 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;” (2 Thess. 1:10, 2 Thess. 2:1-3)

 Paul is comforting them. With TRUTH. 

 What kind of comfort would it be if he said...

“And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.” (Dan. 11:33) 

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome [kill] them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev. 13:7)

 “...Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Rev. 12:12)

Paul gives the TRUTH. But notice that not even once does Paul proclaim a woe regarding the Church in the last days. Paul never once gives the messages from Daniel...because they do not apply to the brethren, the Church. They apply to someone else... the remnant saints, to whom Paul was not made a minister (because he was given the mystery of the Church & the gospel of grace in this age of grace; see Eph. 3:1-10) and remnant saints, of whom WE are not.

It is interesting to note that in 2 Thess. 1:6-7, there is a dual purpose in the Day of Christ: 1) to repay with tribulation those who trouble the brethren, and 2) to give those who are troubled rest. This dual purpose is also reflected in 2 Thess. 2:1 as Paul talks about 1) the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and 2) our gathering together to Him. It indicates a beginning and an end of this Day. There is a blessed day when the brethren will be gathered to the Lord, and Paul told us about this in 1 Thess. 4:14-18 and in 1 Cor. 15:50-58. Every single context is encouragement and comfort. And there is the time of the end, where the Lord will return to earth, feet on the ground:

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives... (Zech. 14:4)

 “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. 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; 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.” (2 Thess. 2:2-4)

 So let’s go back to our reverse-engineering of the order here.

3: Day of Christ / day of vengeance
2: Man of sin / son of perdition revealed
1: A falling away / Restrainer removed

 The man of sin be revealed 

“Revealed” is key here. It means to be unveiled, come out of hiding, be seen, be made manifest, to appear. The Greek word here is apokaluptó and comes from the roots “apo” which means “away from” and “kalypto” which means “to cover.” The away-from happens first and the man of sin is uncovered. This is especially fascinating when we look at what Ezekiel wrote in Eze. 28:14-16...

 “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”

He is describing Lucifer who was “the anointed cherub that covereth.” We learn more in Exodus 25:18-22, where God is instructing Moses how to build the mercy seat which is on top of the Ark of the Testimony. The cherubim covered the mercy seat, where God would meet and speak with Moses, providing a covering for God while He gave His commandments for Israel. This is how close Lucifer was to God, before “iniquity was found in thee.” (Eze. 28:15)

Isaiah, Daniel and John the Revelator tell us that he exalts himself in his heart above all that is called God. (See Is. 14:12-15, Eze. 28:17, Dan. 8:11, Dan. 11:36-39, Rev. 13:3-6) And Paul is saying in 2 Thess. 2 that before the Day of Christ, which is the day of vengeance, the covering cherub is uncovered & the son of perdition revealed. The “son of perdition” is the devil, the dragon who is cast to earth in Rev. 12:9. He possesses the man of sin to become the Beast, the ultimate Antichrist of Revelation 13.

 Revealed, then...how? To whom? When? 

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” Matt. 24:15

We know that right now, blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in. (Rom. 11:25)

I believe that the eyes of Israel are opened, or begin to open, when Israel sees the man of sin / son of perdition standing where it ought not (Mark 13:14). This is when those in Judea are told to flee, and I believe this lines up when the woman of Rev. 12 is persecuted by the dragon and then flees to the wilderness to her place prepared by God.

(Notice this is AFTER her Child is caught up to God & to His throne, and AFTER the brethren are dwelling in heaven: Rev. 12:5-6, 8-17)

After she flees, the enraged dragon makes war with the remnant of her seed (Rev. 12:17), and Revelation 13 describes how. The remnant of her seed, the remnant saints, are the ones who will face the wrath and persecution of the beast who exalts himself in his heart and kills all who will not worship him or take his mark.



And now to the final point as we go backwards in this timeline (which actually makes it the first): the falling away / Restrainer is removed.

 3. Day of Christ
 2. Man of sin / son of perdition revealed
 1. A falling away first / Restrainer taken out of the way

 The falling away + the Restrainer is removed 

In this passage, Paul makes “the man of sin be revealed” completely dependent upon “the falling away.”  The falling away happens first and the man of sin is revealed. It’s a “this happens, then that happens” sort of thing. “...that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” (2 Thess. 2:3)

I’ve already gone into the Greek with “revealed,” that it comes from “apo” which means “away from” and “kalypto” which means “to cover.” The “away from” happens first and the man of sin is uncovered.

However, in the context, this “falling away” is the Greek word “apostasia” preceded by “the.” So while it is connected to the part about “man of sin be apokalupto,” or “man of sin fall away from the covering,” it could also be something else.

 The Apostasia: “The” Falling Away, not “a” falling away 

Greek 646 apostasía (from 868 /aphístēmi, "leave, depart," which is derived from 575 /apó, "away from" and 2476 /histémi, "stand") – properly, departure (implying desertion); apostasy – literally, "a leaving, from a previous standing.” (From Helps Word Studies)

I’ve previously believed this means a departure from the faith as described in 1 Tim. 4:1, but 2 Thess. 2:3 suggests that the apostasia is a specific, definable event rather than something that happens over time.

I do believe that a general departure from the faith is underway these days as deception grows, but it is happening over a period of time, while there are MANY whose faith is actually growing! In fact, the Church will keep growing until that last soul comes into the body and the Father tells His Son those blessed words, “Now,” (or His equivalent). We know that those who are sealed by the Holy Spirit are sealed until the redemption of the purchased possession (Eph. 1:13-14), and no one can snatch us from the Father’s hand (John 10:28-29). Even if we are faithless, He abides faithful. (2 Tim. 2:13) So a general departure from the faith could be on a social or political scale, but Scripture is clear that individual saved backsliders are still under the blood of Jesus.

So looking deeper at a specific, definable event that means “a leaving, from a previous standing,” we see that “The Falling Away” or “The Apostasia” is as specific as something like “The day of Pentecost,” or “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)

This is an EVENT. It wasn’t a gradual thing that happened over time. It was an event that marked a moment, possibly THE exact moment a new dispensation began.

 The Holy Spirit falls upon... 

 “Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)” Acts 8:15-16 

“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 10:44-45

Could perhaps The Holy Spirit “fall away” or leave, from a previous standing?

If the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit or the Spirit-filled body of Christ, I believe so. The falling-upon of the Holy Spirit is a different meaning in Greek and comes from the word "epipipto" which means to press upon, light upon, come over... and in the context of the filling of the Spirit, to seize or take possession of. So while the words are different, the power of the Holy Spirit can act in a way consistent with both a harpazo and 2 Thess. 2:6-8:

“And now ye know what withholdeth that he [the son of perdition] might be revealed [apokalupto, or away from his cover; uncovered] in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [same Greek word as restrains] will let [restrain], until he [the restrainer] be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”

The word “withholdeth” is the Greek word for “is restraining,” or katechó. It means “to hold fast,” “hold back, bind, restrain,” or “to hinder.” Forgive the repetition here, but I believe this verse is saying: The Restrainer will continue restraining until The Restrainer is taken out of the way. By definition, the Restrainer is holding back or hindering something. Being taken out of the way results in something not being hindered or held back anymore.

What is this, and why? The answer to that is the WHOLE POINT of this chapter. 

Paul is writing to comfort and reassure the Thessalonians, who were afraid (shaken in mind and troubled) that the Day of Christ had come. In fact, he describes many things to be troubled about...

 · The wicked one being revealed, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
 · All deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
 · Strong delusion, believing lies, being damned
 · The day of vengeance

He is making a strong contrast between “they” and “you,” in order to comfort and correct. Remember his first letter? “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” I agree with Pastor Robert Breaker, who remarked, what an interesting statement from the Apostle Paul! “You yourselves know perfectly.” He's saying, Thessalonians, it's not about you!

“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. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.” (1 Thess. 5:1-5)

This very thing Paul brings up in his second letter. “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth [restrains] that he might be revealed in his time.” (v. 5-6)

And then he contrasts everything with words of encouragement and hope:

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” 2 Thess. 2:13-17



The falling away first, and the Restrainer being taken out of the way, are synonymous. 

We are children of the Day, the brethren who are accused by the accuser before God day and night. We are of the Restrainer, not of the Remnant. We are appointed to salvation, and Scripture puts the brethren in heaven before the dragon goes after the remnant saints. The remnant saints, not the Church, will be the ones Daniel speaks of when he says,

“And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. [...] And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.” (Dan. 11:33, 35)

This appointed time is coming soon. There is still time to be a child of the Day! The gospel is so simple, and God freely gives eternal life to all who believe that His Son Jesus paid for our sins with His own blood. If you believe from the heart He did this for you, you are appointed to salvation and will dwell with the brethren in heaven in the everlasting presence of God.

"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" (1 Cor. 15:3-4) 

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) 

"That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." (Eph. 1:12-14)

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:4



I am not a teacher, but the Holy Spirit is. (1 John 2:27) This is the fruit of my own studies, but please search the Scriptures, pray & listen to the Holy Spirit.


Post A Comment

102 comments :

  1. Great post and thank you for sharing the Gospel at the end.

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    1. Thanks for reading, Tony! To God be the glory. Maranatha!

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    2. Yes, an excellent post and well timed. Thank you, Hillary!

      Blessings,

      PR

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    3. Thanks for reading, Richard! Maranatha!

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    4. I hope you are right - and I think you are - and I think we will find out soon -
      https://www.vercalendario.info/en/sun/israel-23-september-2017.html
      this link shows that the daylight minutes in Jerusalem was 12 hours 6 minutes and 35 seconds - 726 minutes and 35 seconds - the only day in 2017 with 726 minutes - God is good!

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  2. Beautiful, Hillary!!! Thank you! As you stated in the beginning of your article, I don’t know why, but it’s very easy to get discouraged and disheartened right now. We must stay in the word and immerse ourselves in teaching and encouragement like this wonderful study of scripture. God bless you!

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    1. What a blessing to read your words, Deekabee! Thank you for reading this and may God bless you too, especially in these days. So many are really going through tough times. Hold fast! Take up that shield of faith, stand in TRUTH and watch & pray. The Lord is near!

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  3. Wow! What a pleasant surprise to get on and see this posted! Great article.

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    1. Thanks, Gary. Always a blessing to share here. Thank you for what you do at Unsealed. God bless you & your family!

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  4. Great article Hillary! :)

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  5. Terrific article Hillary - very well done. I particularly liked your focus on the "leave, from a previous standing", for when we are "changed" necessarily the way in which the Holy Spirit interacts with us changes "to a different standing". I had never looked at it from that angle before! Excellent. Blessings - Sherry

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    1. I'm glad this stood out to you & blessed you! It's amazing to consider. We do see through a glass darkly and I can only imagine what our new perspectives will be once we're on the other side of things. Come, Lord Jesus!

      God bless you, Sherry! Thanks for reading.

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  6. I am excited to see an article from you, Hillary! I haven't started to read it yet.
    I do appreciate all your hard work Gary and Jeff. 😊

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    1. Thank you, Cathi! I pray this study encourages you in some way. God bless you!

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    2. Hi Alla! God bless you & Maranatha!

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  7. Great article! I recently read about how the coming peace summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un on June 12 will have an extremely large worldwide audience tuning in. Perhaps there will be a LOT of people saying "peace & safety." Does that remind anyone of 1 Thess 5:3, 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.

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    1. It's such an interesting time! I'm sure you've seen the "world peace" medallion released in honor of this peace summit, which features a dove and an olive branch? It's very surreal to be in these times. Sometimes I can't even believe that we were chosen to be alive NOW when we could have been here at any point in history. May we serve the Lord with faithfulness!

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  8. Wow! Thanks Hillary.
    Fantastic article and on the heels of Gary’s equally fantastic article on The Day of the LORD!!!
    You guys hit two home runs in a row. Very well done.

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    1. Thanks for reading, J! And Gary is truly a blessing. I'm humbled by your kind words. To God be the glory! Maranatha!

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  9. Thank you for all your hard work and effort, Hillary!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Andrea! May the Lord Jesus bless you!

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  10. Great article. I just wrote an article on this very subject matter.
    https://endtimesdarknessdescending.wordpress.com/2018/06/03/in-the-twinkling-of-an-eye-decimating-the-mid-and-post-tribulation-rapture-views/

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    1. TY for the link, I just had a look into and have a question about your interpretation of the virgins parable: How can these virgins be Jewish and wait for the same "bridegroom" that John the Baptist was testifying and announcing as the Son of God all over 2,000 years ago when the Jews IN GENERAL completely reject the idea that exctly this "bridegroom" Jesus Christ could be their true Messiah? Just a question from inner scriptural and historical logic here. MARANATHA!

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    2. Interesting. Perhaps these are the Jews that recognize that Jesus is the Messiah post-AOD, but the shutting door analogy could connect to those Jews who wisely flee (and are invited in) versus those who choose to stay in Jerusalem and Judea. Idunno.

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    3. Hi Annabel. The Jews, particularly orthodox, are still awaiting a messiah. They do reject Christ, so they are still awaiting his first coming ... thus the five virgins with no oil who are waiting for their Messiah who get shut out.

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    4. ...but the IMAGERY of a Messiah "bridegroom" to be awaitened, is this really JEWISH imagery when you quote JOHN THE BAPTIST as a forerunner of the CHURCH age yourself? And is 'Jacobs TROUBLE' in fact a period of time when "falling asleep" can be said of the virgins? (If Jesus said to the Jews they would accept any person coming in his own name, whom should those also be waiting for?) And when during tribulation should there be a "Midnight cry" to wake them all up (during constant chaos and life threatening turmoil?) with time left for some to go and "buy oil"? I mean, did you really have a closer look onto the scenario described and how it can relate to a period like Daniels 70th week AT ALL?

      In fact, I just wanted to test if you or anyone could plausibly explain to me how the virgins parable can truly relate to the Jewish tribulation saints. No you can't. Because it's the CHURCH that it refers to.

      The "buying without money" picture is btw taken from Isaiah 55:1-3 so the word of God and the Holy Spirit (oil) is ALWAYS "bought without a price".

      Blessings to you!

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    5. Well, well Annabel, you sly one you ... lol. It's nothing to do with the church, but everyone is welcome to believe what they wish in the end. Meantime, I'm just gonna take names and chew bubble gum until the trumpet sounds. Hooooorahhhhh!!!!!

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    7. Once upon a time, I alluded to the virgins representing the church but I was told that the church is represented as a bride and not bridesmaids so this parable was not representative of the church. I'm not 100% convinced of that, but it does make sense.

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  11. Thank you for a very thorough and inspiring article. I came from very catholic country and didn't have any theological background in many issues, including all eschatology and Old Testament stuff. I've read up a lot since getting saved 6 years ago, both Bible and various pastors and teachers, but it always helps to broaden and ground my understanding! By the way, I understood parts of Revelation before "getting" Gospel - makes you sleep not very well!

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    1. Well we are very glad to have you here! God's Word is an ocean of truth and there is still much to uncover. These two pages below walk through theology if you are interested in gleaning are perspective:

      General Theology / Salvation: http://www.unsealed.org/p/get-answers.html

      Prophecy: http://www.unsealed.org/p/what-is-going-on.html

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    2. Praise the Lord for bringing you to salvation! Like Gary said, we are so glad to have you here and I pray you are blessed by what you read on this site. May the Lord give you wisdom as you continue growing in Him. God bless you!

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  12. Great work, Hillary! You gave a clear and creative presentation, and it was very encouraging.

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    1. I appreciate that, Jeff! Thank you.

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  13. Hillary, wonderful teaching, thank you. Refreshingly calm handling of such a collection of hot iron topics, esp. now. As we have become Strong's Champions now and better understand the subtleties in original languages, your audience can follow and your lead is gentle, thorough and Scripturally encouraging, Maranatha!

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    1. You are a blessing, Jimboni. I know this article covers some basics but as you say, they are also hot iron topics. Thank you for reading & adding your encouragement!

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  14. Thanks Hillary! I believe we are seeing the falling away from the faith with the efforts of the Catholic Church to bring Protestant denominations back into the fold along with other religions. Over 30 volcanoes erupting and over 2,000 earthquakes in last week. This is why the resurrection of Christ is so important. As belivers we have overcome the 2nd death Revelation 2:11 . Love you all, many blessings.

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    1. Good point, Brent. The Pope's ecumenism seems to definitely have an effect on faith in general. "Chrislam" is a thing, too. So very sad.

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  15. Luke 21:46 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.

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  16. Hi Hillary,

    “This is the fruit of my own studies, but please search the Scriptures, pray & listen to the Holy Spirit.”

    Indeed my personal searching yielded something too. I would like to thank you for writing such a long article. “Apostasia” can also mean abandonment of Faith. But I agree with your interpretation too. It can have a dual meaning depending on its application.
    Anyway, I would just like to address a few sections that raises concern.

    “We are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption. The enemy accuses us before God day & night, but we have the authority of Jesus in us. We are to take up the whole armor of God and there is NOTHING that can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    True that we can choose to put on the armor(or not), but if NOTHING can separate us from God, why would the enemy even bother accusing us in the first place? Wouldn’t he realize that he’s just wasting time if nothing is getting through anyway? Is the enemy stupid? Ignorant maybe? How cunning would he be then? Hmmm, and what would he be accusing us of? Right, accusing us of “present” sins. So sins CAN separate the believer from God. A believer who’s not walking in righteousness falls back under the same condemnation of the LAW (Heb 10:26-29)

    Firstly, you quoted “We know that those who are sealed by the Holy Spirit are sealed until the redemption of the purchased possession (Eph. 1:13-14)”

    In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Eph 1:13-14

    Earnest is not a Guarantee, arrabōn 'down-payment, pledge', of Hebrew origin, word used in trade for money that exchanged hands in pledge of a future purchase. The Gift of eternal life is in Christ and all those who ABIDE in Christ have the Gift abiding in them by the Seal of the Holy Spirit. Abide: 'Remain, not to depart, Continue, dwell, endure', 'If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. Jh 15:6, 'IF', Subjunctive mode, something that may or may not occur depending on circumstances. The 'Seal does not guarantee the Gift, the gift is held in 'Earnest' unto the Day of redemption, when we finish the race, endure to the end. 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith 2Tim4:7

    Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 1Cor1:22
    And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto (toward) the day of redemption. Eph4:30


    Just as the modern Bible translators have changed 'Earnest to Guarantee' (in most newer versions) and have made the Hope of eternal life an Assurance, based on the finished work of Christ, instead of your faithfulness to the end, so to we have masses of Professed Christians who have placed their confidence in something they do not possess; for God will not place His Seal (of earnest) on a defiled Vessel. How can the 'hope of eternal life be in someone who is not Pure and dwelling in Christ?

    The HOPE of eternal life is NOT the Assurance of it, 'That being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Tit3:7. It is YET to be Reaped, Gal6:9, in the AGE to Come.


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  17. Secondly, you quoted “and no one can snatch us from the Father’s hand (John 10:28-29)”

    But sadly, you left out the very important preceding verse, which says,

    “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW me.” – John 10:27

    Keyword here is FOLLOW. It is a condition. We must not just confess a simple “BELIEVE”, but also FOLLOW & be OBEDIENT. There is a condition attached. So how do we do that?

    If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. – John 14:15

    When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this:Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man. - Ecclesiastes 12:13

    Thirdly, you quoted “Even if we are faithless, He abides faithful. (2 Tim. 2:13)
    but Scripture is clear that individual saved backsliders are still under the blood of Jesus.”

    What does that even mean? Does that mean He will give us heaven even if we no longer follow Him?

    Again, sadly, you left out the very important preceding verse, which says,

    If we endure, we will also reign with him.
    If we disown him, he will also disown us; - 2 Tim 2:12

    See how the whole context changes completely if you read verses 12 & 13 continuously? It means that He will surely discard us, if we no longer remain faithful to Him. Verse 13 acts as a warning that He WILL carry out what He intends to do, for God cannot lie.

    The Holy Spirit guides us as our Comforter, 'Paraketos', but we are Made Holy by what we DO in His Name, holiness and righteousness is NOT transferable! It is an absolute Imperative that we remain Faithful to the end to receive the Prize of eternal life!


    Fourthly, you quoted “"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) “

    Again, sadly, you left out the very important subsequent verse, which says,

    For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Eph 2:10

    There’s a condition attached to our Salvation. Yeah, DO GOOD WORKS + Believe. Obey His commandments. Endure til the end. Walk righteously. Persevere. Salvation is a synergistic relationship. That’s why it’s called a covenant.

    James says there is a dead faith which doesn't save & there’s also a living faith coupled with action that does.

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    1. Hello, Chinese Christian! Thank you for reading and for diligently seeking the truth and wisdom that comes from Scripture and the Holy Spirit.

      You've brought up many points and out of them all, what I want to address the most & believe is most important is the truth of the gospel. It's imperative that we rightly divide, because God has made it very clear how we are saved today, and it is by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ (His death FOR US on the cross, and His resurrection), not by works. (See Romans 3, 4, 5, and 6)

      Yes, we are created unto good works. But we are saved 1st. We do good works as already-saved believers...not in order to become saved, or stay saved, but because it is our reasonable service as those who have been bought with a price. The Apostle Paul gave us the gospel clearly in 1 Cor. 15:1-4. Moreover he said that if ANYONE, even an angel from heaven, brings a different gospel, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:1-12)

      Unfortunately today, we see many that do bring a different gospel...one of faith plus works. However, we are in the age of the dispensation of grace (see Eph. 1:1-10).

      I encourage you to read and study 1 Cor. 3:9-15. This passage is so clear that salvation, according to the gospel that Jesus gave to Paul, cannot be lost. Rewards, however, can. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. He can hurt our witness, cause us to lose hope, live in defeat, and so much more. We may even *feel* separated from God. There are consequences to our sin. Read 1 Cor. 5:1-5. The man in a horrible sin was to be delivered to satan for the destruction of his flesh SO THAT his spirit might be saved. There are consequences, which could include an early death!

      Jesus describes salvation as being born again. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Once you are born of the flesh, can you ever be unborn? It is literally impossible. When you are born of the spirit, you become a new man. You cannot become unborn. This is why Paul exhorts us to walk in the Spirit so we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh (the old man) but instead, to reckon ourselves as dead to the flesh. Flesh & blood cannot inherit eternal life. But the new man, the one born of the Spirit, is saved eternally.

      I wanted to share some resources with you that I pray will bless you.

      This incredible book made freely by the author: Religion Vs. Jesus by Preston Greene

      This incredible message by Pastor Ralph Yankee Arnold: What Every Christian Should Know: The Two Natures

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    2. ^^ If the link to the book does not work for you, try copying and pasting this link:

      https://redeemingmoments.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/free-book.pdf

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    3. Beautifully said, Hillary.

      Furthermore, some more articles on salvation (under the heading "Articles about salvation"):

      https://www.unsealed.org/p/get-answers.html

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    4. Grace is not conditional, that being said, none of us can judge and realize that God is longsuffering beyond what we can comprehend ergo how can you say someone has backslidden and determine their salvation or otherwise? You cannot. Grace is unconditional yet those saved by grace will act and do works, that's just how it is. God will prompt it and those who love Him will respond accordingly. Let's stop assuming how God will judge in a dogmatic way and just let Him do it. It's pointless to argue over hypothetical people that may or may not exist...

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    5. Chinese Christian, here is another message that explains the saving work of Jesus. The Gospel is SUCH good news, and you can have full assurance!! Be blessed!

      Do You Question Your Salvation?

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    6. Hi again Hillary,

      I've read & listened to the links you posted.

      May i also suggest a reading of Dan Corner's

      www.apostasia.net/images/Daniel_Corner-The_Believers_conditional_Security.pdf

      It's packed with very good info compared to the e-book you sent me.

      Also maybe :

      https://christianchat.com/bible-discussion-forum/lets-put-faith-works-doctrine-to-bed-for-good.60882/#post967419

      and

      http://standingthegap.org/Repent%20&%20Faith.htm



      Now to my questions :

      "There are consequences, which could include an early death! "

      Were you referring to Ananias & Sapphira? You said sinning Christians get killed early? So how many people have died in your church up til this point for being disobedient 'carnal' Christians? How long before the Lord had had enough before He decided to smite them?

      It boggles my mind to think that God will 'punish(reward?)' a sinning Christian by taking him/her to Heaven earlier for being disobedient. Your argument lacks common sense.

      You need to understand whenever Scripture says 'die', it means spiritual death. It is a warning to Christians that they can die a spiritual death if they continue in willful sin after they first believed. Why? Because EVERYBODY dies a physical death whether believer or unbeliever bar-none! So it's definitely not talking about physical death. Also, an unbeliever is by default already spiritually dead! So why would they feel threatened in the first place?

      2) I do not believe in PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE sins are forgiven. There's no such thing! Your PAST sins are forgiven up til the point that someone becomes a believer. From then on, we will have to ask for forgiveness if we mess up & turn away(repent) from sins. God lives outside of time. We don't. Otherwise, why even bother praying after the moment when we first believed, since all our future sins are already forgiven? Might as well sin till kingdom come since there are no longer repercussions & consequences. Do you not see the logic?

      Why would there be so many warnings in the Bible about ship-wrecking our Faith & pigs returning to their vomit? (2nd Peter etc) Are these not warnings for Christians to live Holy Lives, otherwise they'll also suffer the same fate as those of unbelievers?

      3) Finally, the guy who says we have 2 natures is somewhat confused. While we have inherited our bodies from Adam after the fall, we did not inherit a sin nature! The flesh itself has no ability to sin! It is the will/our mind/our wicked heart that decides to sin & orders our flesh to act upon it!

      It is NOT because we continue sinning because we are born sinful by default & can't help it!

      Ooops! Too long! Thank You & God Bless!

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  18. So you think you can live sin free? Anyone who truly accepts Christ's sacrifice for their sins are therefore saved, sealed, set apart. No one sin can seperate you from God .... in God's eyes all sin is the same....sin is sin. We cannot help but to sin but we are forgiven already from Jesus on the cross.
    The reason the enemy still accuses us to ruin our witness....also because he detests what is Gods!

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    1. We do good works because we are saved, unless we are religious white washed tombs. Isaiah said our good works are like dirty rags. Yes works is part of being a follower of Christ, but it means doing it with the right heart. We were purchased with a price. Belief in Christ as the savior and his resurrection is key. Good works doesn't get you to heaven it is Christ alone, that's it. John 14:6 MARANATH!

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    2. Amen, Nan and Brent! God bless you!

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    3. Not all sins are the same in terms of 'weightage'.

      And nobody is advocating sinless perfection. Get that out of your head.

      However, i do agree that all sins are detestable in God's sight for He is Holy.

      Some sins are unto death(spiritual). Some aren't. It's in your Bible.

      Perhaps a deeper study of Hamartiology will help you see the difference.

      Also, the problem with your thinking (and many like yourself unfortunately) that we can't live sin free, has caused many to succumb to temptation more easily. Do you think cussing when you accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer will send you to hell? Or do you think a 'Christian' living in fornication with his gf will go to hell?

      Are all sins equal in magnitude? What does the Bible say about the sexually immoral?

      The Bible says always to keep a clear conscience.

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    4. To Brent,

      Good works are NOT filthy rags for the believer. It's considered filthy rags for the unbeliever because they think that their good works will get them into heaven without Jesus Christ. That is what it means. Works Salvation. For us, it's not.

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  19. Wow, Hillary! Thank you so much. That was very uplifting and faith-strengthening!

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    1. I'm so glad this encouraged you, Stephen! I am so in love with our beautiful Savior! He is coming soon!

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  20. Hey Hillary, nice to see you back and with a great article. Well done. You may not think of yourself as a teacher but I'd say others may disagree with you on that one! : )

    Before saying one point, I want to commend you on your grace / Christ centered answer to our friend above who seems to think that eternal life is a future reward at the end if we are faithful enough. While true Christians want to be faithful and have good works (and this is important), which of us (if we are honest) could say that we have been 'faithful enough' to inherit eternal life? That would be called eternal insecurity. Thankfully, as you know, we have a Lord who said He will lose NONE of those that the Father gives Him and true believers have eternal life now as a gift (John 3:36, 5:24, 1 John 5:11-12). So I appreciated your answer there.

    Anyway, one small point to go along with what you stated in your study. When I was a young Christian I read a book called 'The Pre-tribulation rapture' by A. Beechick and two points remained with me from that book.

    1) The reality of what 'The winepress' is... Might be a bit OTT to say I'm still traumatized by that chapter but the reality for unbelievers was pretty full on for this young Christian!

    2) His thoughts on 2 Thes 2 and how Paul introduces the thought of the departure in 2 Thes 2:3 and reinforces it in 2 Thes 2:7-8 (as you said above). From memory (or what's left of it) he pointed to:

    Verse 3 has:
    1) that day will not come until the rebellion/departure occurs
    2) and the man of lawlessness is revealed
    3) the man doomed to destruction

    Reinforced in verses 7&8 which have:
    1) only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way
    2) then that lawless one will be revealed
    3) whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end

    So in all three points verses 7&8 lay out the exact same pattern and reinforce the initial thought of verse 3. Meaning, as you stated, the removal of the restrainer is related to the departure of verse 3 that has to occur before the Antichrist can be revealed.

    Probably stating the obvious but it clearly points to a pre-antichrist-revealed rapture as you stated. Thanks once again for a well thought out article : )

    God Bless.

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    1. PS Thanks for the link to Religion Vs. Jesus, Do vs Done by Preston Greene
      https://redeemingmoments.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/free-book.pdf

      Only read the first couple of chapters but dang... that guy is honest! And through his honesty with God he has found a beautifully profound simplicity and rest in the Gospel, the good news!!!

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    2. Elgordo, thank you so much for sharing the points from A. Beechick's book! I will look for that book because it sounds like a good one. I hadn't heard anyone else talk about the second portion of the passage explaining the first, but I remember when I first put 2+2 together it opened it up so clearly for me. At first it almost sounds contradictory, but Paul goes to great length to explain it. And once you see it, you can't unsee it. God is so good! Thanks so much for sharing this with me, and I'm glad you're getting a lot out of Preston Greene's book. He is a blessing to the body!

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  21. The apostasy is already happening. Has anyone noticed the turn from Bible based teaching to feel good teaching and encroaching eastern religion and practices into the church, yoga and whatnot; Quantum particles and entaglement, the universe being alive and all this non-sense?

    Supposed church leaders honoring the Vatican and the Pope and praying over him leading people away from the simplicity of the Gospel for a unity of people who don't agree or believe the same Gospel. I'm not sure what people have seen concerning the Pope and what he's said but the man is definitely not saved by Grace, does not believe in Yeshua Hamashiach as his LORD and Savior, but believes in unity of all religions and power under the guise of peace and what's the new buzzword...inclusivity.

    People are going to another gospel that isn't the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, it's a false Jesus, a man made religion that is simply put 'Build-A-God' akin to the build-a-bear. It's such a joke what it's become! This is the apostasy Paul warned about that even Christians are falling for or are ignorant of! The new feel good church. David Wilkerson preached about this a while back, simply amazing sermons concerning apostasy. I pray that the brethren on this website do some research on how watered down the church has become as of late which has made me want to avoid church period. I know that's wrong as in Hebrews there's a warning against those who have departed from fellowship but I can't stand lies, falsities, and watered down Gospel/Bible. I loathe that and those who push it under the guise of inclusivity and peace and love.

    Love without Truth is fake.

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    1. This here, THIS is fellowship. This is assembling together. This counts; this satisfies the commands given us regarding "going to church". How could it not? Was church ever brick and mortar in the new testament? I don't think so brother. PS I do actually go to a brick and mortar church, but that is just an extra thing I do. I hope this makes sense and doesnt muddy the waters. I just wanted to add my two cents. Bless you brother.

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    2. So agree with you Miguel. Indignation I feel your heart. Father has had me out of the buildings for about 3 years now and focusing solely on sermons on-line from Pastors I know to be truly rooted and grounded in the Word. He has had me in in-depth study and so "play-church" was not a consideration. My husband is younger in the faith than myself and some of the things they say get him completely confused and it takes longer to untangle it. Now he is really, really aggravated with them because he can "see" the error. It's like putting an olympic swimmer in the kiddy pool with floaties and expecting them to be happy. He's grown so much now it drives him nuts. He'd turn around and look at me and say, "What was that?" I know there are really good churches, because I listen to them onine, but they are farther and farther apart. As Miguel so accurately points out, I learn more from this and other fellowships online and in books than I did in 60+ years in a brick and mortar building. I am forever grateful for those who faithfully come here to teach our little flock! Blessings - Sherry

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    3. @Anyone,

      I get your frustration and perhaps there is something at work here that you (any of us) can be a part of? What if we (any of us) started going out and knocking on doors to meet our neighbours? And by meeting them, or perhaps you already know them...what if we (any of us) started asking if there was anything we (any of us) could pray about for them? What if we (any of us) started hosting a monthly prayer meeting in our home or a neutral location where we (any of us) could, well, just pray!

      What if we (any of us) started tending the soil of our neighbourhoods and planting seeds in the hope and expectation that the LORD will bring an increase?

      This is good old fashioned, grass-roots, church planting. Prayer groups grow into small groups grow into missional groups grow into churches. They don't have to but they can.

      And who will lead?

      Why not you?

      (You, meaning any of us!)

      Not pointing fingers and not naming names. Only offering as a trigger and food for thought. Perhaps that empty space you feel in the church is the hole made for you to fill?

      G-d knows!

      Blessings,


      Pastor Rich

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    4. Sherry that's exactly how I feel a lot of the time at churches...Everyone is so happy with the milk of the Word and nobody wants to move onto the meat...

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    5. Well, interestingly, Pastor Richard the Spirit of the Lord has urged me to do exactly that and we are now on moving to our fourth week of a Bible Study on Revelation at my house. It is completely astounding at how little they know, seem to be hungry, yet skip & just unaware. It's taken us 3 weeks to get to the 5-7 Churches in Chapt 3. No historical background to speak of & completely unaware of and oblivious to what is happening. It's a real shocker, but doing my little 8 person to 1 person depending upon the week & sending the summary of the lesson on Sunday to, hopefully, keep them engaged. One said last week, "There's so much to study" and I've tried to keep it just bare bones. There is really no way to do this (for me at least) in a large group because everyone is at such different points of understanding. Pray for our "little flock". Blessings All - Sherry

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    6. Awesome! You can count on my prayers Sherry! Sometimes the smaller the better. It's easier to be personal and relational.

      PR

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  22. This bears watching in my humble or not so humble opinion. For good or ill. And I do not necessarily mean this specific vid. https://sidroth.org/television/tv-archives/mark-taylor-mary-colbert/

    And how it may or may not relate to this.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Thessalonians+2%3A1-3&version=KJV


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    1. I admit this may be premature, but I couldn't even get to 5 mins. The automatic handwriting he described is often used in the occult and other than Jesus writing in the dirt with his finger, there is no biblical precedent for what he described. Can you summarize the video or share what you find important about it?

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  23. Very well worded; I totally agree with you. Yes, they sure do push it under the guise of inclusivity, peace and love. I'd like to implore believers to please check out who they listen to using the criteria that you've mentioned; being united as one (ecumenical) as top priority over and above the Truth of the Gospel. Gal 2:5 but in order to keep the truth of the gospel safe for you, we did not give in to them for a minute.

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  24. Hi Hillary – I would like to address two points you made in your article, and if you have time, it would be great if you could reply to my questions.

    1) You indicated that the one who RULES all nations with a rod of iron is Jesus and (only) the church who overcomes. This is one of the main reasons you are claiming that the child who is caught up to heaven before the 7-year tribulation is the church in Revelation 12:5.

    Can you please then explain why scriptures specifically say that the so-called “tribulation saints” are going to rule with Jesus? Revelation 20:4-5 says those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image and had not taken his mark came to life and REIGNED with Christ for 1000 years? These saints are people who overcome and do his will TO THE END and God gives them authority over the nations just like is stated in Revelation 2:26-27.

    2) According to your post, which also includes the Facebook link, you imply that “ye who dwell in heaven” has to apply either to a) God, the angels, and Jesus, or b) God, the angels, Jesus AND those Christians who are raptured before the 7-year tribulation. You then allege how it has to be the 2nd choice.

    What about the souls of those who belong to God who are currently dead? Aren’t they in heaven with Jesus right now? Why can’t they be included as a possibility when interpreting these verses? Don’t you believe that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8)? There are many scriptures that confirm that once we die, we go directly to be with Jesus in heaven. A few of them that come to mind are Luke 23:43 which mentions that the thief on the cross next to Jesus is promised to be with Jesus today in paradise; Paul’s contemplation and desire about being with the Lord right away instead of living out his life as addressed in Philippians 1:21-24; and the story about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31 which purposes that once we die our souls are immediately sent to be with the Lord or in hell.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my comments and questions and allowing for opportunity to reason together.

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    1. Dear Tracy please take some 8 minutes of your time to check out this little but very enlightening video by Blessed Hope 2018 YT channel (Steve Sewell) entitled "Our death is the rapture - Gods cosmic surprise through the ages" = https://youtu.be/v7UrZagswXE

      You have to forget about the dimension of time when entering (or reasoning) eternity...

      Besides, not only 'tribulation saints' are promised to reign with Christ but EVERYONE who participates in the first resurrection. (Revelation 20:6)

      Blessings to you!

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    2. Hi Tracy! Regarding your first point, I am simply going with what Scripture says about the one(s) who rule with a rod of iron. The other saints who are raised in the first resurrection are definitely said to reign, but nothing is said of this group about ruling with a rod of iron. This doesn't necessarily mean they won't, but it's not as conclusive. Are "reign" and "rule with a rod of iron" the same thing or different? I think the answer to this may shed light on the answer to your question. Another question to ask is: are the remnant saints also of the *body* of Christ? I lean towards no, but this isn't something I've gone with depth into. The reason I bring it up is because I believe "body saints" have different functions / roles than those who will be left behind at the rapture but will later come to the faith.

      As to your second point, of course I believe that "to be absent from the body is present with the Lord." I understand that you are pointing out that because the dead in Christ are with the Lord in heaven, they could be the heaven dwellers mentioned in Rev. 12:12 while the rest of the still-alive Christians are on earth reaping the effects of the devil's wrath. I could be wrong, but I still believe there is a significant and very important distinction given to us to tell us who these folks are: one group "overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." And the other group is "the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."

      Two points from this: 1) to have a remnant, especially as described here, you have a left over. In the context of the passage, it does not seem to be contrasting the present-day (still living) Church against 2000-years worth of believers who have died and gone to be with the Lord. 2) If you look at how we are saved today, it is also clear that the gospel for the Church age does NOT describe the group in Rev. 12:17. This indicates a different group / different dispensation.

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    4. Tracy,

      I'll second Annabel on Steve Sewell at Blessed Hope 2018. They do have some interesting research and have learned a lot along the way since before the R12 Sign.

      Hillary/All,

      If to consider "a remnant" my heart is turned toward considering Israel and the tribulation saints.

      First the 144,000 of the tribes of Israel,


      4 "And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed." (Revelation 7:4 NKJV)

      The tribes of Israel represented here are: Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin. These are those who had been "sealed". (Note that the tribe of Dan is missing and replaced by the son of Joseph being Manasseh - yet another story)


      1 "Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads." (Revelation 14:1 NKJV)

      Here "sealed" is akin to the mark, "tav" as given in Ezekiel. See (Ezekiel 9:4 NKJV). The "mark" or "seal" refers to the symbol or (tav) "ת" being the 22nd letter of the Hebrew alephbet and it is written on their foreheads. We may recognise this ancient Hebrew character as being like the letter "x" but it is more appropriately understood as being a cross.

      See, "http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/files/alphabet_chart.gif" for an excellent chart showing modern-to-ancient Hebrew characters.

      There is an interesting modern intersection of this concept in the form of the Tefillin. See, "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tefillin" for an introduction to this observant tradition. Those familiar with the Mezuzah will recognise the "mark" or "sign" of the name of G-d being the Hebrew letter (shin) "ש".


      3 "They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth." (Revelation 14:3 NKJV)

      I believe that the new song being sung by these Jews is their faith in Christ. New wine in new wine skins as it were. This may be a good point for study.


      4 "These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being first fruits to God and to the Lamb." (Revelation 14:4 NKJV)

      These 144,000 are first fruits to G-d, first believers from out of the children of Israel who bear faith in Christ. They "follow the Lamb wherever He goes." (Revelation 14:4 NKJV) They are the new song sung to the LORD.


      5 "And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God." (Revelation 14:5 NKJV)

      I am reminded of Nathanael when he was introduced to Jesus where, "Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him 'Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!'" (John 1:47 NKJV)

      Here is a point of study. May we understand Nathanael to be a foreshadowing of the 144,000? Representative of the kind and quality of those yet to bear the mark and seal of the LORD? I believe the answer to that question is, "Yes!"

      A snap-shot of the remnant that is the 144,000 children of Israel.

      ...will break this into two parts...

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    5. ...continuing second part...

      6 "Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth -- to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people" (Revelation 14:6 NKJV)

      The gospel is preached to all the gentiles (people) of the earth from which will come the remnant being the tribulation saints. These too are the seed of the woman...the seed of Abraham.


      7 "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water." (Revelation 14:7 NKJV)

      On the heels of our introduction to the 144,000 called out of the children of Israel, another angel (messenger) comes forth with a calling and the warning. Everything is about to get REAL! Revere and worship G-D as creator of heaven and earth.


      9 "Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand," (Revelation 14:9 NKJV)

      10 "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God..." (Revelation 14:10 NKJV)

      The seal/mark of G-d is contrast with the seal/mark of the beast. There is no middle ground. One accepts either the one or the other.


      12 "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." (Revelation 14:12 NKJV)

      13 "Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, 'Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' 'Yes,' says the Spirit, 'that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.'" (Revelation 14:13 NKJV)

      Blessed are the dead who die in the Name of Jesus in this time. Their works follow them. A fact confirmed by the Holy Spirit directly to John in (Revelation 14:13 NKJV). One may think that this is starting to sound like a works based faith? Follow closely and think back to Abraham and his faith...


      We see them again...

      9 "After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands," (Revelation 7:9 NKJV)

      These are the gentile nations who have welcomed the Christ into their hearts and lives just as Jerusalem had turned-out to welcome Jesus on His entry into the city (Matthew 21:8, Mark 11:8, Luke 19:36, and John 12:13 NKJV) by lining the streets with their clothes and palm branches.

      Who are these people?

      One of the elders tells John,

      14 "...'These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'" (Revelation 7:14 NKJV)

      Their works follow them. They washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.


      3 "For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.'" (Romans 4:3 NKJV)

      5 "But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness". (Romans 4:5 NKJV)


      Reading further into Paul's letter to the Romans we see mentions of the "sign" and "seal" of the righteous through faith.


      13 "For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." (Romans 4:13 NKJV)

      The righteousness of faith is what I would submit as being the works that are accredited to the tribulation saints and the basis on which the Holy Spirit credits them rest from their labors. This is not an exhaustive review but a primer and invitation to regulars and newcomers alike in this space to study and dig deep for yourself.

      Grace and peace to you,


      Pastor Rich

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    6. A Footnote:

      I still have many questions and hope to learn something new from the LORD every day. It's my hope that the scriptural pin-points above help illustrate the who's who in the end days.

      May the Holy Spirit be our guide as we consider the great mystery which is the unfolding prophecy of the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      PR

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    7. Hi Hillary – Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. While I appreciate your response, the trouble I have is the huge divide that is being proclaimed by you and others on Unsealed between people who are supposedly raptured prior to the 7 year tribulation and the people who are going through the tribulation. The Body of Christ/Church vs the Saints/Remnants; both Christian groups yet somehow not part of the same brethren of believers and not part of the same dispensation. When I read scriptures, I just don’t see this divide.

      Based on what’s being presented, one of the MAIN differences you and others are asserting is that the two groups of people are very different in their attributes, titles, and descriptions. Therefore, because of these differences, the claim is made that the groups of people are going to have very different roles in end times.

      Using scripture, I would like to share why I believe that these group of people are not divided by these things, but are in fact all part of the same Body of Christ who will be raptured/resurrected at the end of the 7 year tribulation when Jesus returns and the Day of the Lord commences with the Bowls of Wrath.

      As you referenced, the believers who go through tribulation are called Saints (Daniel 11:31-35) and the remnant (Revelation 12:17). They are also called the elect based on Matthew 24:31. As many people have already mentioned, the elect refers to all of God’s chosen people, whether Jew or Gentile, and whether pre or post-tribulation. But did you know that throughout the OT and the NT there are many times believers in Christ are called Saints? Some of my favorites are Matthew 27:52, Colossians 1:12, Daniel 7:18, Daniel 7:22, Ephesians 1:18, Ephesians 1:1, and Psalms 16:3. Here the Saints are recognized as believers in God, members of the church, named as people in whom God delights, and designated as people who are majestic and will inherit the kingdom forever. There are also many other bible references about the Saints (1 Corinthians 1:2, 1 Timothy 5:10, Romans 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, 2 Corinthians 8:4, Psalms 34:9, Romans 16:15, Romans 8:27, Philippians 4:21-22, 1 Corinthians 14:33, and Ephesians 5:3-4). Therefore, the title of Saints or Elect cannot be a distinguishing attribute between these groups of people.

      The other characteristics associated with the so-called “trib saints” found in Daniel, Revelation, and the gospels are that they hold on to the testimony of Jesus, have the word of God and understand it, obey/keep God’s commandments, and instruct many about God. We are told that they don’t worship the beast or his image and they resist his mark. The fall by the sword, go into captivity, and are beheaded because of the name of Jesus. The gospels also describe believers who are in the tribulation as people who are persecuted for his name, who when delivered up are given words to say by the Holy Spirit (Mark 13:11), and who are not deceived by false prophets and teachers. These believers will be part of the 1st resurrection and will reign (i.e., hold a royal office in order to rule) with Christ 1000 years.

      So I ask you: are these believers really any different based on faith & works and qualities & characteristics form those who belong to the Body of Christ/Church? Are the trials and tribulations God places on them really any different than what He places on the Church?
      Continued...

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    8. While you may think… "yes, there are differences because we are saved by faith alone and there is too much emphasis placed on works and deeds during the tribulation period for believers to have to endure,” a careful study of just the 7 letters written to the 7 CHURCHES in Revelation 2 & 3 proves otherwise.

      The letters written to the CHURCHES place a very high level of importance on DEEDS, WORKS, and PERSEVERANCE in order for members to overcome and receive eternal life and various rewards. The 7 churches are acknowledged by Jesus as having the following good things: deeds, hard work, perseverance, affliction, love, faith, service, and persistence. They remain true to his name, do not renounce their faith, DO more now than they did before, keep his word, and KEEP his command to endure patiently. AND, depending of the church, they are told they need to still DO things differently in order to overcome. They are told to DO THE THINGS they did at first, suffer persecution, be faithful UNTO DEATH, repent, stop following false and wicked teachings, stop practicing immorality, OBEY what they have received and heard, have complete deeds in sight of God, and hold on what they have so that no one WILL TAKE their crown.

      Therefore, the description of the Saints in the tribulation period are actually the same as the description of the people of today’s Church/Body of Christ.

      Furthermore, John 14:15 says, “If you love me, keep my commands.” John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life (see Revelation 2:10) that God has promised to those who love him.”

      In regards to the “remnant,” in Revelation 12, you will notice that the remnant (the rest of Israel’s offspring) is not pursued until the last half of the 7 year tribulation. As such, by this point in time, the people who are left from the believer group are those who haven’t yet died during the first half of tribulation or who haven’t fallen away.

      While I am sure I won’t convince many people of the post-tribulation rapture based on just this response, I pray that people will consider these things and continue to study what I have mentioned. I believe that we who belong to Christ are all members of one body. What God asks of us now is not different from what he asks of the “tribulation saints.” God wants us to give testimony of Jesus, to know and understand his word, and to keep His commandments. Please don’t separate yourself from this because you feel these deeds, works, and professes of faith are only for the so-called “remnant.”

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    9. Tracy..That post of yours really needs to be printed up and saved for future reference. You so eloquently showed there is no difference and or split in the body of Christ.

      The only difference I see are the levels of rewards some will receive during the millennium.

      We saints that are resurrected or raptured without being martyred will receive thrones of judgment they will have as their reward for being in the first resurrection. We in this group will be given authority as immortals to judge the mortal millennial masses. Revelation 20:4 spells this out in the first part.

      But notice in this same scripture after the colon:...John continues on saying.."and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of J esys, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands, and they lived and REIGNED with Christ a thousand years."

      Whoaa..that is a special group of saints, paying the ultimate price, their own lives , because of their total commitment to Christ, so much so being martyred for their faith in Christ.

      Mark 13:11 clearly shows the holy spirit is just as prevalent as ever, maybe even more so.

      But back to where this special group has paid the ultimate price with their lives, they are to live and REIGN with Christ a thousand years. REIGN and rule are two different levels. To REIGN is to be as Kings or Queens as they use their higher status roles to then rule over the millennial masses right along with Christ! Look what these martyrs and Christ have in common...they paid the ultimate price, their own lives. They will now REIGN together. What a glorious honor for such glorious people.

      Thank you Tracy for further clarifying to me this total body of Christ will be one group resurrected together,with the only separation being the "common" saints that the majority of us will be in being given thrones of judgment as our reward for having been there, done that, and now wearing that shirt or in this case robe....and the special group of martyred saints that EARNED their EXTRA reward of being honored to REIGN with Christ a thousand years! I would say it doesn't get any better than that, but it does. After the millennium, Satan goes on his final rampage as he is released from his 1000 year bondage, but Christ quickly defeats him and he is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone him forever to burn. Revelation 20:14-15 is the final nail in the coffin of death. This final enemy "death" is destroyed as 1Corinthians15:26 declares!

      Now this completes the bundles of Tares to be gathered to be burned as Matthew 13:30 shows.

      Please notice where this verse says something that I thought was a translation error. It says..." gather ye together FIRST the tares" say what?? as I pondered why it says the Tares are gathered FIRST!! should it not be last?? But through careful study of God's word, these Tares above after the millennium and Satan's final battle is over, the bundles of Tares are now bundled and burned as Revelation 20:14-15 declares is the second death. Very interesting that the very next two verses which start out the 21st chapter have new Jerusalem coming down from heaven. This IS our BARN that us wheat will be gathered into and this happens AFTER the Tares were gathered to be burned, thus explaining why the Tares are gathered FIRST.

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    10. Speaking for no one but myself, there is but one body of Christ but that body has many parts. I believe we all get that. The question (for me) is more about who is who and what *part* of the body are they? Is there a dispensational quality for each part?

      You have brought that out so very well here Stan in regards to those martyred for the love of G-d in Christ. A brilliant observation!

      We gentiles are *grafted* into the olive tree. A wild olive branch grafted into a cultivated olive tree. (Romans 11:17-24 ESV)

      And who is the cultivated olive tree?

      Even the children of Israel, the natural branches of the olive tree may be broken-off, thrown down, picked-up, restored and grafted to the tree again! (Isaiah 1:2-20 ESV)

      So we have two types of branches, the natural (native) cultivated olive and (alien/strange) wild olive branches. One from cultivated orchards while another in the wilds. Both sharing a common nature that allows their grafting into a single *new* body or creation.

      The term "abide" comes to mind about now. (John 15:5-6 ESV)

      One Tree, different fruit yet all abiding.

      In this I see no inconsistency and no divide, just different branches and the One who husbands, cares for and cultivates the tree.

      The divide I see comes at the end. The division of the living (saved and lost). This is the time that I have been contemplating, this and the role of the Holy Spirit during the tribulation as compared to His role before Christ breathed the Spirit unto the Apostles...before G-D sent Him to the new Church that Pentecost so long ago.

      To that end I am dedicating devotional time to prayer and study.

      Blessings,

      PR

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    11. Pastor Rick....Thank you for your kind comment about my observation. I guess that saying that even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile... Alsi, I can't thank you enough about your unceasingly praying comment awhile back. We do have common ground here. God's blessing to you.

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    12. Stan,

      Well if a blind squirrel can find a nut then once in a while I might actually catch what the Spirit is saying and actually record it here. As my wife and I say, "We divide our time between saying stupid things and doing stupid things."

      It is a privilege to share this time and this fellowship with you. All of you. That the LORD uses us in this way is beyond words. He can use any of us to encourage and to inform and will speak through whomever He pleases.

      Thank you for your encouragement, prayers and blessings. They really mean a lot!

      PR

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  25. A PIN-POINT:

    https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/176754-180609-china-hosts-russia-iran-for-summit-as-us-tensions-rise

    China hosts Russia, Iran for summit as US tensions rise


    Quoting the article, "Armoured vans lined the streets of Qingdao for the SCO's 18th annual gathering."

    Hmm, 18th annual gathering eh? 18. That's 9-twice (9 meaning a time of judgement, perhaps even twice judged or a double portion of judgement if you get my drift) or 6+6+6=18 or 6X3=18 anniversary gathering of the SCO nation states.

    Wikipedia shares this on the SCO,

    The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003. These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996 in Shanghai. India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. It is the largest regional organisation in the world in terms of geographical coverage and population, and is one of the world's most powerful organisations.

    Source: "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Cooperation_Organisation"


    Take one SCO member state, China for example. What is their official position on the Gospel of Jesus Christ? China has decreed that government sanctioned Christian churches teach from government approved "bibles". You cannot buy a Bible online in the public marketplace any more. A little digging online can find various articles on the topic. CNN ran this report earlier in the year with some interesting links,

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/05/asia/china-bible-online-christianity-intl/index.html
    Bibles pulled from online stores as China increases control of religion

    Interesting to me is that the SCO is,

    "the largest regional organisation in the world in terms of geographical coverage and population, and is one of the world's most powerful organisations."

    per Wikipedia. (Take that for what you will and I invite you to do your own research)


    Ironically it is Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, that proclaimed,

    "Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, or language which speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed Nego shall be cut in pieces"

    (Daniel 3:29 NKJV)


    And what was it that Daniel said of the king of Babylon?

    37 "You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory;

    38 "and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you rule over them all -- you are this head of gold." (Daniel 2:37-38 NKJV)


    I will add this as well so that we all know who's who in this story...

    47 "The king answered Daniel, and said, 'Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings and a revealer of secrets..." (Daniel 2:47 NKJV)

    Thus said the great king of Babylon.


    PR

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  26. Pastor Richard, they are about to find out who is God of gods and Lord of Kings and the revealer of secrets. It will not be pretty. The fires of judgement are already burning hot. Blessings - Sherry

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  27. What about Michael being the restrainer?

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    1. Hi Dallas,

      Consider this from the opening chapter of Job,

      12 "And the LORD said to Satan, 'Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.' So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD." (Job 1:12 ESV)

      Here we have a marvellous image of the restraint of Satan by the LORD G-D and the limitations put upon him. Contrast that to this image recorded by Jude,

      9 "But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you.'" (Jude 1:9 ESV)


      Get out your Bible(s) and/or dig online for original languages in parallel and differing versions. (Check-out "http://biblehub.com/" if you don't already have a preferred resource)

      Pray before you study and ask the Holy Spirit to give you sight in your spirit to see the greater and deeper things of His word. Ask Him to teach you all wisdom and open your eyes and heart.

      Ask Him, "What about Michael being the restrainer?" I myself don't think so but don't take my word for it. We have a Great Teacher to lead us in all truth! Then come back here and share what you have found!

      Perhaps you will have been blessed with more questions?

      And if I'm preaching to a choir who knows this tune already, please forgive me and allow that this message was written with another saint in mind!

      Happy hunting!

      Pastor Rich

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    2. Love your response here, Richard! Thank you! Wise counsel, indeed. I know that I have learned more from some gentle guidance pointing me to pray my questions directly, and prayerfully study Scripture & the words, rather than from someone directly answering with their opinion or interpretation. Although, that can be a blessing too.

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  28. The article has some very insightful points regarding the restrainer, the remnant and the antichrist. You seem to be equating /conflating the Day of Christ with the Day of the Lord. The article started out well, and then sadly, it went downhill with the unnecessary and divisive topic of the apostasy - the Falling Away. It's one of the explicitly clear signs of the end days - before the rapture, and the notion that the Falling away is an event is eisegesis, and contrary to the clear teaching of scripture.
    - What we are seeing is a gradual progression, and increased rate of false teachers and false doctrine around the world - over the last 20 years with the rise of LGBT agenda, and abortion, replacement theology and prosperity gospel - it's all around us, and it's being getting worse at an alarming rate - It's not an event.
    It's totally fine to give your opinion. But the fact is that scripture give multiple and explicitly clear examples of names of people, and churches who 'fell from grace', turned aside after Satan, 'departed from the faith', 'abandoned the faith' and this is even the theme for multiple parables and the entire book of Hosea. Christ said about the Prodigal son that he was "dead and lost" - clearly not a saved condition - and Christ said he was "Alive again". Paul said about some in the church at Galatia - that they had fallen from Grace. Paul said in 1 Tim 4:1 "[ Apostasy] But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons." 1 Tim 4:1 It's explicitly clear in this passage that it's some people - not the entire corporate church, and it's also explicitly clear that it's not the entire body of Christ being raptured/ Paul said the love of many will grow cold, and the people will give heed to doctrines of demons. To imply that this is 'corporate but not individual' apostasy, or the notion by some that this is another meaning of the plain word [that apostasy is referring to Christians being removed] is shredding hermeneutics and it is eisegesis - reading something into scripture which is neither written or implied.
    Christ rebuked the church in Revelation and said that because they were lukewarm - neither hot or cold - that he would vomit them out of his mouth. Any who would imply or suggest that this is a reward is disingenuous. Christ said that every branch "in him, that does not produce fruit' would be cut off and cast into the fire and burned. That, my friends is not a reward.
    Regarding Christ's words about who his sheep are, the conditions are abiding in Christ, - present progressive tense - they are hearing his voice, and they are following / obeying him. As Gary and many other watchmen have confirmed, there are many converging signs and prophecy is being fulfilled, from the Revel 12 sign, to the 70th anniv of Israel, to the alliance of Turkey, Russia and Iran, and one of these many converging signs is a great apostasy - [falling away from the faith] To deny this is tantamount to replacement theology/ saying that the passages about Israel being a nation and passages about the rapture are all allegory.

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    1. "To deny this is tantamount to replacement theology/ saying that the passages about Israel being a nation and passages about the rapture are all allegory."

      What say we tone down the bluster a notch or two, RR7. Hillary has a perfectly valid point. IMHO, the Greek is quite plain and straightforward--Paul is not only referring to highly specific event, but judging from the context he's apparently talking about a highly specific event *THEY ALREADY KNEW ABOUT*. And they sure knew about the Rapture, didn't they?

      I don't have the time or the inclination to argue with you...just my two shekels.

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    2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, RedRanger7. Until not very long ago, I too upheld a definition of apostasy as a falling away from the faith, so I understand your passion about it and your argument. As I pointed out in this article, 1 Tim. 4:1 was my primary supporting verse for this. I am not here to change your mind (this is the realm of the Holy Spirit, if it's necessary) but a couple thoughts:

      I don't think that 1 Tim. 4:1 is mutually exclusive with 2 Thess. 2. In fact, the last half of the chapter describes a lot of what we see in 1 Tim. 4:1 (interestingly, also what we see in Rom. 1:18-32 can apply, too). In other words, I think we can still have a departure-from-the-faith apostasia (re: 1 Tim. 4:1) AND a departure-as-in-rapture apostasia (re: 1 Thess. 4:16-17).

      Also, Paul himself was dealing with people leaving the faith in his day. "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:1-3) This is just one example, but we know that he also contended with those who forged a letter in his name, (and who knows what that said!) as well as others who fought against his work.

      This suggests that faith-based apostasy / departure was an ongoing issue, compared to a specific rapture event, i.e., "The Apostasy" (note the noun usage of the word), like "The Crucifixion," etc.

      I'm not trying to wrestle words to make them fit, but at the same time, this passage indicates something different than general or gradual defection. I very well could be wrong. May God give us both wisdom & understanding of His word.

      Delete
  29. Nice work, Hillary. I too have long viewed the "apostosia" or the "falling away" Paul mentions as none other than the Rapture, rather than some nebulously defined falling away from the faith. We seem to be in the minority, however. =:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your insights, Greg L! It took me a long time to get here, but now I can't "unsee it," if you know what I mean. I appreciate your comments. God bless you!

      Delete
  30. After some digging I see your point on "apostosia". Very interesting! It leads me to ask if Paul indicated a double or triple-meaning in the use of the word? The meaning of the word being positional upon the individual?

    So much to study, so little time...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "So much to study, so little time..." Man, I hear you on this! There is so much more to dive into. Would be interesting to hear how your study re: "apostasia" unfolds.

      Delete
    2. I had looked at this question once before and was pleasantly surprised to find there was more to it than I thought. I thought. That's the problem! What I think.

      I'm hip deep in searching out timing of the rapture through Revelation right now so this question can gel right into that. I'm heavily relying on the Spirit for this study and not spending too much time in reviewing the works of others outside of the Bible.

      Would be happy to share provided there is anything worth sharing!

      Delete


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