BY RUSSELL AND MARINA STENDAL
Yesterday, I returned to Bogota from Brazil where I spoke at the annual Religious Liberty Partnership (RLP) consultation held for the first time in Brasilia, South America. The RLP is a partnership of leaders and top executives of several dozen important worldwide organizations dedicated to religious freedom and advocacy. Last year, the Gallup Poll, after considering many factors, declared Brazil to be the number one country in the world for religious freedom. Our Brazilian hosts (ANAJURE, the Christian lawyers association) were excellent and we were taken seriously by many of the top leaders of the country including the President, cabinet officials and members of the congress and senate. My testimony regarding Colombia was well received. I also learned some very impressive and startling information from other speakers and participants who came from all over the world:
Another view is that the seven heads of the beast represent all the heads of the governments and organizations of man that belong to Satan (the antichrist) even while they fight among one another (Jesus said, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation). In light of the above apparent failure of so many gifted prophecy teachers and “prophets,” we would do well to examine, before the Lord, everything else that these same people have taught so that we will not be caught unaware at His coming.
As I digest the above information, many questions are going through my mind. There are fifty-five references to tribulation in Scripture and almost all of them have to do with the time (or days) of the Church Age. Could these be the “days” that are shortened? (Matthew 24:22) Is this happening now? Are we entering into the time described as, “immediately after the tribulation of those days…”(Matthew 24:29) Are we now approaching the time, “then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn…” (Matthew 24:30)
Time will tell. Keep tabs on the statistics I mentioned above. The next to the last mention of tribulation in Scripture is regarding what will happen to “Jezebel.”
“Behold, I will cast her into a bed and those that commit adultery with her into great tribulation. And I will kill her children with death …” (Revelation 2:22,23) This reference to “great tribulation” appears to be linked to the return of Jesus Christ. The righteous judgments of God described in the Book of Revelation are vastly different from the tribulation that the Devil has continually launched against Christians over the past two thousand years. The righteous judgments of God and the Revelation of Jesus Christ at the end of this age are “great tribulation” to the lukewarm and to the wicked (and particularly to those like Jezebel who misrepresent God and persecute his true prophets). God never destroys the righteous along with the wicked. All of the true servants of God are sealed (and protected) prior to His end time judgments (Revelation 7:3).
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. Then there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of the heaven shall be shaken. And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near (Luke 21:24-28).
In this year of 2017, most likely the 70th year of Jubilee since the Book of Leviticus was written, as we are in the midst of a flurry of signs in the heavens (first the blood moons and solar eclipses followed by the sign describing Revelation 12:1,2 happening now in the heavens between Dec. 23, 2016 and Sept. 23, 2017) this is likely the prophesied time for us to look up and lift up our heads. Remember that when the star of Bethlehem appeared, followed by the wise men, the real fulfillment of that star was the baby in the manger who is also identified as the Morning Star (Revelation 22:16). The real fulfillment of the heavenly sign this time will be the brightness of the light of God’s clean heavenly people upon this earth who form the bride without spot or wrinkle that Jesus will soon return for. In the mean time, let us diligently be about the work of our Heavenly Father. Let us wisely invest our time and resources according to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we may have eternal treasure in heaven.
Never miss a prayer alert, click on the button below to join our email list.