There are several scriptures that point us to how we are supposed to see the end of our time with mortality – the FINISH.
And the Spirit and the bride say, come! And let him who hears say, “Come! Revelation 22:17
The bride has made herself ready! Revelation 19:7
Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:13
And that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. Acts 3:20-21
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:24-26
Looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God … 2 Peter 3:12
Practically every one of these scriptures (and much more) emphasizes our being actively involved in a process of collaborating with God in stewarding the end. The end, which God is bringing His creations (especially the church) into is not vague, it is well defined, and He will not come short of that end in any conceivable way. The process of collaborating with God in stewarding that end is equally not vague. Therefore, it is not correct for us to expect that we will suddenly be at the destination if we are not strategically engaged in the process. It is equally not correct to expect that God will simply ignore the absence of the indices that indicate this end and wrap up time just like that. The scriptures above do not constitute a wish list.
These are prophetic intents that express the very desire of the heart of God Almighty. Therefore, the Church must engage in vast strategic operations in collaboration with the Holy Spirit in actualizing these desires. This is what constitutes accurate church activity today, and we obviously have a lot of useless church activities that do nothing but delay the second coming of the Lord.
For as long as the END is projected as an escape (and a narrow escape in some instance); for as long as our exit is not tied to complete and superb execution of all of God’s purpose in the earth in the very presence of the worst of darkness; for as long as it is not seen as a glorious and triumphant homecoming, then I must make bold to submit to you that those are inaccurate eschatological positions. The END is not being driven by the devil; God is piloting the END!
And they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witness; and loving not their lives they freely gave themselves up to death. Revelation 12:11
And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. Revelation 15:2
These will make war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because he is the Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with him are named, marked out, and true. Revelation 17:14
The above scriptures validate our current position that victory over the worst of darkness is guaranteed. IT WILL BE A TRIUMPHANT HOME-GOING as it was a TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM! It was not triumphant because Jesus Christ rode on top of a donkey and people were hailing HIM; it was triumphant because He confronted and defeated the worst of DARKNESS.
These scriptures equally contain relevant and valid postures of our faith that we must come into for us to triumph convincingly over the devil. Our Lord said to the Church in Smyrna, ‘Be faithful until death’! Our concept of life whereby death is considered as defeat needs to be reviewed in the light of the book of Revelation. The content of a faith that is so afraid of death is not Christ-like at all, and it cannot stand up to the spiritual conflicts that are ahead of us.
The words witness and martyr are translated from the same Greek word, martus. A martyr is a witness that testifies to truth with his life and if need be, he can testify to that truth by his death. If our faith is not worth dying for, then it is not worth living for.
Daniel 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, sixty cubits high and six cubits wide: he put it up in the valley of Dura, in the land of Babylon. … 4 Then one of the king’s criers said in a loud voice, to you the order is given, O peoples, nations, and languages, 5 That when the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all sorts of instruments, comes to your ears, you are to go down on your faces in worship before the image of gold which Nebuchadnezzar the king has put up: 6 And anyone not falling down and worshipping will that same hour be put into a burning and flaming fire. 7 So at that time, all the people, when the sound of the horn, pipe, harp, trigon, psaltery, and all sorts of instruments, came to their ears, went down on their faces in worship before the image of gold which Nebuchadnezzar the king had put up.
… 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.”
Why do you think this event was recorded in the Bible? Why are we so afraid of Revelation 13? If you read that chapter alone without reading the above scriptures and other passages in the book of Revelation on how the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet were destroyed, then you did yourself a disservice. The ‘Movie’ did not finish in Chapter 13, did it?
Subsisting eschatological positions projects fear in the heart of the average believer instead of faith, courage, endurance, hope, joy, and excitement as we look forward to and hasten the coming of the Lord. It espouses a position of escape instead of occupying, win, prevail and exit triumphantly. And worst of all, it projects God as One who cannot finish; One who is just waiting for the most auspicious time to cut His losses and end time. It presents a picture of end-time events where the average believer is at the mercy of the devil, and that cripples us internally. Today, some American believers are stockpiling tissues and foodstuff with long shelf life just in case the Antichrist shows up and tells them they can no longer buy groceries except they receive the mark of the beast. Why are we so afraid of the Antichrist, I ask again?
Apostles are reestablishing correct eschatological position to the church as they prepare us for our ordained final and ultimate clash with the darkest of evil powers. Any position that espouses escape is erroneous; our ordained clash must result into a resounding defeat of the devil and then we will have a triumphant exit from mortality.
A Laodicean self-indulgent and self-pampering church developed an eschatology that is equally self-indulgent and self-pampering. We want the best of two worlds – live as closely to the world as possible and then snick into heaven at the last day. That explains the unhealthy fears over the Antichrist. Overcomers of the deadly beast systems will not love their lives unto death; they will be faithful unto death. They may not necessarily have to die physically, but the default position of their faith is that if death ever confronts me, I will ride it like a horse into glory.
Our fixation over the beast of Revelation 13 and over the mark of his name and number is equally misplaced. Scores of books have been written to decipher who the ‘anti-Christ’ is or will be or where he will come from. While others are worried about the mark of the beast in Revelation 13:18, some Bible verses are very explicit and tell us what we should concern ourselves with, namely the seal of God.
Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. – Revelation 7:3. They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. – Revelation 9:4. 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. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. – Revelations 22:4
The scripture did not leave us in doubt as to what the seal of God is; it is the very person of the Holy Spirit.
Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Cor 1:22. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee 2 Cor 5:5. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 1:13. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30
Speaking in tongues is not the seal; but the full control and unchallenged authority of the person of the Holy Spirit over our lives is. Growing more and more into His complete control and command over our lives should be our fixation and not the command and control of the beast system. As we fast track into the last days of the planet, standing in between will become impossible; it is either the Holy Spirit (our seal) has complete command and control over every facet of our lives or the beast system will take over. The mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Many are already neck-deep into the principle and practice, the value system, and pursuits of the Beast (Babylon) system and yet are ignorantly waiting for a physical mark, which they believe they will reject in the future. Selah!
The splitting of hair over pre-rapture, post-rapture and mid-rapture positions are totally unnecessary because regardless of what we believe, resurrection and translation and being caught up will still take place anyway. You could become adept in all these theological wranglings and still be so unprepared for His coming like the five foolish virgins.
Feeling very ‘deep’ talking about Armageddon, the White Throne judgment, the Millennial reign of Christ, the Second Death, and the New Jerusalem etc. does not actually make us deep and does not necessarily make us ready like the five wise virgins. Making sure your garment remains unspotted and your head lacks no ointment, making sure your vessel has enough reserve oil is all that counts. Being sure-footed in the present truth unfolding purposes of God is what guarantees our readiness.