Revelation 1:9-11

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I saw something interesting in Revelation 1:9-11.

I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book….

In a manner of speaking, John was in the tribulation because he saw it and wrote about it.  He says, “your brother,” which I think  is another reference which implies that Christians will go through the tribulation.  Otherwise, why would he be saying, “your brother and partner in the tribulation” if Christians weren’t going to be there?

Disclaimer:  I do not believe Christians will be here for the full 7 years.  Rather, I believe we will be raptured at the end of Revelation 6, when the tribulation ends, and the wrath of God begins.  (This means I believe in a pre-wrath rapture.) Please click the ‘End Times’ category on my sidebar for more information on this topic.

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The Doctrine of the Nicolaitans

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The Doctrine of the Nicolaitans

I have taken an interest in studying the churches mentioned in Revelation because I think they represent the churches of the end times. I believe there is much we can glean from them to help us navigate through the perilous times in which we are living. As I was reading in Revelation 2:12-16 about the church in Pergamos, I wanted to know more about the Nicolaitans because Jesus said He hates their doctrine. Those are some very strong words! If He hates their doctrine, He is repulsed by it and wants nothing to do with it.

I discovered that their doctrine was one of compromise. They saw nothing wrong with mixing pagan, occultic practices in their worship services. This intermingling is false teaching. Why? Because it doesn’t hold to the true Word. It takes some worldly practices, not condoned in scripture, and tries to make it ‘holy.’

In looking at what is taking place in our churches today, I see this transpiring today. Sadly, it is very prevalent. However, many people do not even recognize it. Why is that?

It is because the only way for people to recognize false teaching is to be intimately familiar with the Word of God. Most of the church today is biblically illiterate, and that ignorance of scripture causes them to accept as ‘holy’ things which are nothing more than compromise with the world. Now this may not seem like a great concern, but when we go back and look at what Jesus said about this church, it becomes clear that there is grave danger in accepting this worldly compromise. Jesus said in Revelation 2:15 that He hated their doctrine – meaning He wants nothing to do with it! These are strong words!

You may be wondering what kind of compromise I am seeing in the church today. For the sake of time, I will only address a few. There is the obvious one of homosexual marriage and ordaining homosexuals.

There are many churches who are ‘seeker-friendly,’ meaning they don’t want the message of the gospel to offend anyone, so they preach a watered-down doctrine, refusing to make people come face-to-face with their sin and their deep need for a Savior. Yet, I find nowhere in scripture where Jesus held back on His words so that He didn’t offend anyone. He boldly spoke the truth, and He did so in love. Too often, churches have truth or love, but not truth in love. When we fail to preach the truth in love, we preach a false gospel. We either make God look like a harsh, condemning Father, or we make Him look like He will accept everyone without expecting their lives to be radically changed by the power of His Word.

Another area where I see a lot of compromise with the world is in the area of music. “Worship” services look more like rock concerts – not just by the type of music, but by the way the musicians are dancing around on stage, not to mention their ratty jeans with holes in them, which is very worldly. John 4:24 tells us we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Many worship songs today sound like love songs. However, God is not my boyfriend! Singing these types of songs is false doctrine!

Many churches no longer preach a gospel of repentance. Yet, when you read the Word, you will find the first words John the Baptist and Jesus used for salvation were REPENT! Failing to preach the doctrine of repentance is preaching a false doctrine.

I challenge you to read and study your bible faithfully. You won’t be able to spot the deception and false doctrines unless you know your bible well. I believe we are in the end times, so it is imperative for us to have the Word of God in our hearts and minds so we do not get led astray by smooth-sounding doctrines that are nothing but false doctrines, wrapped up in a pretty bow, appealing to our senses.
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

Children of the Harlot – Jacob Prasch

This message is very applicable for what we are seeing taking place in many churches these days.

God is A God of Order

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God is a God of Order

We are told in 1 Corinthians 14:33 that God is a not the author of confusion. He is a God of order, and we can see this in His Word. For instance, in the days of creation, He didn’t start with day 5, then go to day 7, then day 1, etc. Genesis describes those days in the order they happened.

Another example of this is Isaiah 61:1-2 and Luke 4:18-19. Jesus didn’t quote all of Isaiah 61:1-2. The last line of verse 2 mentions the day of vengeance. Jesus only quoted the previous parts of those verses because that is what He was fulfilling in His first coming. That last part will happen when the Lord pours out His wrath on the earth, starting at the end of Revelation 6.  Again, you can see He is a God of order.

In Matthew 24, the disciples wanted to know the signs of the end times. Since God is a God of order, I fully believe Jesus answered their question in the order of how things will happen.

Verses 4-5: He warns of deception and admonishes us to take heed so that we aren’t deceived. He tells us many will come in His Name and deceive many. This means that many false teachers are going to enter churches and teach doctrines which are not sound. This is already happening in many mega churches. They are accepting a doctrine of unity with all faiths (including Muslims, Mormons, and Catholics), and saying we are all one. Many churches are ordaining homosexuals. This is clearly against scripture.

Verses 6-7: We are warned of wars and rumors of wars, but also famines, pestilences, and earthquakes.

Verse 9: Jesus tells us we will be delivered up and killed because of Him. Please notice that He does not say He comes back to deliver us before this happens. There is nothing to indicate a rapture happening before this occurs. (That comes later in this chapter, so hang on, we will get there.)

Verses 10-11: He speaks of betrayal which will happen, many false Christs will arise to deceive many. Lawlessness will abound, resulting in the love of many growing cold. Mark 13:12 warns us that brother will betray brother. I believe this warning can also refer to brethren in the church. Since there will be so many false teachers/false Christs arising, deceiving many, it only makes since that we will be betrayed by our own church family – the ones who have fallen for the deception. John 16:2 tells us there is coming a time when those who kill us will think they are offering a service to God.

Verse 13: We are told those who endure to the end will be saved. It is quite possible that the ‘end’ may be giving our lives. Now you may be thinking, “But we aren’t appointed unto wrath!” Yes, you are correct. As I stated above, the wrath of God is not poured out until Revelation 6:16-17. However, in verses 9-11 of that chapter, you can see where there are martyrs crying out to the Lord to avenge their blood.

Verse 15: Jesus mentions when we see the abomination of desolation. Why is He telling believers “when you see,” if we are not here? After all, the disciples were asking how they could tell when the end of things was coming? If believers were gone at this point, why would we need to know this bit of information?

Verse 21-22: Jesus warns that great tribulation is coming, and for the sake of His elect, He will shorten those days. Again, if the rapture had already taken place, why would the elect need those days shortened? We would already be gone. However, this is proof again, that the rapture has not taken place.

Verse 27: He tells us that His coming will be as lightning flashing across the sky. Everyone can see lightning. It brightens the sky. He is pointing out that all will see His coming. It is not a private rapture, where we just disappear, leaving everyone wondering what happened to us. Revelation 6:16-17 confirms that all eyes will see Him when He comes to rapture His church. The unbelievers will try to hide from His glorious presence and His wrath.

Verse 29: This verse gives critical information to help us know when to expect Jesus. It tells us immediately after the tribulation, the sun and moon won’t give off their light, and stars will fall from the sky. This event actually happens in Revelation 6:12-13.

Verses 30-31: Jesus will appear in the clouds and all tribes will see Him. With the great sound of a trumpet, He is going to gather His elect. Now you may be thinking this is His coming at the end of the seven years. However, if we compare this verse with what happens at His coming at the end of Revelation, we can see it is two different things:
Matthew 24:30:

He comes on the clouds, He blows a trumpet, He comes with angels, and He comes to gather His elect.

Revelation 19:11-16, 19:

He rides a white horse, He has a sword coming from His mouth, He is followed by His saints on white horses, and He comes to destroy the anti-Christ.

Scripture compared against scripture — it is VERY CLEAR that these are two different events.

I know this information may be entirely foreign to what you’ve been taught over the years. However, we are to be like the Bereans, searching out what the scriptures say, rather than just accepting what we are taught from the pulpit or books.

I will be honest, when my eyes were first opened to this concept, it was incredibly difficult for me. It happened around the time when ISIS was doing so much beheading. I began to have panic attacks and was so depressed. However, I prayed through it. It wasn’t easy. It took months for me to wrap my head around all of this. And I will still admit – I hope I am wrong! If ever I was wrong about something, I want it to be on this issue!! However, I don’t think I am.

So that being said, my thinking has become, “I would rather be prepared for the tribulation and surprised by the rapture than to be prepared for the rapture and surprised by the tribulation.”

This concept has become a passion of mine, and why so many of my devotions are devoted to motivating people to spend time in the Word of God. It is the ONLY way to get prepared spiritually for the days ahead of us. The church is not prepared for what is to come! I fear many will fall away when they realize they were taught a pre-trib rapture, and it doesn’t happen. It breaks my heart and has caused me to shed many tears over the last few years. It is out of love that I share this hard concept with you.

May the Lord open your eyes and help you to navigate in the days ahead.
© 2018, Stacy R. Miller

 

Revelation Deciphered

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I just finished reading this book.  It took me months to finish it.  Granted, the book has over 530 pages, but that isn’t why it took me so long to read it.  Was it because it was boring?  Nope.  Not that either.  In fact, it was very interesting.  I jotted down a lot of notes as I read the book, and I do plan to read it again, making a lot more notes.  I didn’t agree with everything he said, but some of his insights and thoughts were very eye-opening and interesting.  It is a worthy read — one to be savored and read a little at a time because of all of the topics he covers.

 

So what was the real reason why it took me so long to read it?  After all, I love to read.  I always have.  The real reason is because over the last four or five years, I have been reading the Word of God, rarely touching anything else.  Now that I have truly tasted and seen the Lord is good, I just find it incredibly hard to read anything else.

 

There was a time in my Christian life where I read a lot of “Christian” books.  I would buy them at the bookstore, online, or else borrow them from the library.  Frequently, you could find me reading two books at once.

 

After spending the last several years reading the Bible in depth, I’ve come to realize that a lot of the books out there that are called “Christian” aren’t Christian at all!  Many are nothing more than how-to programs.  Others push that false prosperity gospel, while others push a social gospel, which isn’t biblical at all.  And there are others which push nothing more than a spiritual, emotional experience which has no depth to it.  There are others, pushing the false doctrine of the New Apostolic Reformation.  Many of these false teachings are very hard to recognize.  However, when you get the true Word of God in you, it’s much easier to spot false teachings.

 

It’s kind of like those who investigate counterfeit money.  They don’t teach them to study the counterfeit.  Rather, they teach them all about the real thing.  When they come across a counterfeit, it’s obvious that it is fake!

 

Now that I’ve spent the last four or five years really digging into the Word of God, I have fallen in love with that Book.  Nothing else holds a candle to it.  In fact, it has become a passion of mine to encourage others to really get into the Word of God.  After all, Jesus warns us multiple times in the latter days that deception will abound.  So I ask you — Do you know enough about the real thing to spot a counterfeit?

The Apocalypse Part 6

The Apocalypse Part 5

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