Saturday, August 30, 2014

THE 24 ELDERS: SYMBOL OF THE CHURCH IN HEAVEN AFTER THE RAPTURE.

How do we know they are THE CHURCH, the "ekklesia", the "called-out assembly" whom Jesus CALLS OUT of the earth in the Rapture, shouting "Come up here"?

19 times in Revelation 1 to 3, this "ekklesia" is named, the Church, the Church, the Church...and in Revelation 4, the word "ekklesia", the Church is conspicuously absent. Why?

The Church is revealed in heaven by a TYPE and then a SYMBOL, first observed in Revelation 4. THE TYPE is the CATCHING UP of the Apostle John in Revelation 4:1:

"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne."

Compare to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

Also compare to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52:

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

What are THE PARALLELS that make this A TYPE (as recorded in Revelation 4:1-2)?

1. Jesus IS the door (John 10:7-9), and THE DOOR is "opened in heaven" (Revelation 4:1). To the Church of Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) who is promised to be "kept out of the very time" of the Tribulation (Revelation 3:10), an OPEN DOOR is promised (Revelation 3:8)--an OPEN DOOR to share the Gospel, and at the Rapture, a DOOR will OPEN IN HEAVEN, through which Jesus will SHOUT to those who will be CALLED UP, and "called-out" of the earth--His ekklesia.

2. The Apostle John, as a representative of the Church, IN TYPE, heard a trumpet call to Him, the TRUMP OF GOD, the very VOICE of God Himself (Exodus 19:19), and the very VOICE of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:10-11). (These VOICES are the FIRST trump of Exodus 19:19, and the LAST "Trump of God" in 1 Corinthians 15:52.)

3. Jesus will SHOUT, His voice like a TRUMPET, saying, "Come up here." The Church, the "called-out ekklesia", will hear this shout and trumpet at the Rapture.

4. Those who are ALIVE at the Rapture (like John was ALIVE in Revelation 4:1-2) will be instantly CHANGED and CAUGHT UP. To be CHANGED is to INSTANTLY "cast off mortality" and "to put on immortality", as seen in 1 Corinthians 15:53--"and this mortal must put on immortality." Another parallel to those being ALIVE at the Rapture is found in Hebrews 11:5--"By faith Enoch was translated that he should NOT SEE DEATH; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." "TRANSLATED" is defined in the dictionary: "to be removed from earth to heaven WITHOUT passing through death." Enoch was TRANSLATED, and that makes him A TYPE--or a PICTURE OF the translated, Raptured Church--those who are ALIVE and who remain until Jesus calls us out of here.

5. All those who died (while having faith in Jesus) during the age of the Church (from Ephesus to Laodecia--the picture, AND PROPHECY--of the Church Age in Revelation 2 and 3), will be resurrected, as is seen in both 1Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:51.

6. John was CAUGHT UP and immediately was IN THE SPIRIT in heaven. The "ekklesia" will be CALLED-OUT--and BE CAUGHT UP (Raptured) into heaven. Our bodies will be GLORIFIED. (Also seen in Romans 8:23--"...but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.")

WHY IS THE CHURCH NOT NAMED AS SUCH IN REVELATION 4:1-2? And WHO IS THE CHURCH, as seen--and SYMBOLIZED--in heaven in the remainder of Revelation 4 and 5?

The Rapture is A MYSTERY, according to 1 Corinthians 15:51--"Behold, I shew you A MYSTERY..." The Church is also A MYSTERY, as seen in Colossians 1:26--"Even THE MYSTERY which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but NOW is made MANIFEST (revealed) to His saints: To whom God would MAKE KNOWN what is the riches of the glory of THIS MYSTERY among the Gentiles; which is Christ IN you, the hope of glory:" A "mystery" is something which was not OPENLY SHOWN in the Old Testament, but which was OPENLY REVEALED in the New Testament--to the "ekklesia", the Church.

Therefore, WHEN the Church is REMOVED from earth to heaven in the Rapture (TYPIFIED in Revelation 4:1-2), God returns to using "the Old Testament MYSTERY form"--and the Church is therefore shown AFTER the Rapture IN SYMBOLISM and TYPE.

We covered the TYPE in detail after detail. Now, let's look at THE SYMBOL for the Church RAPTURED into heaven, living in GLORIFIED BODIES, and having ALREADY been REWARDED AT THE BEMA SEAT OF CHRIST. (See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 and 1 Corinthians 924-27 for the BEMA SEAT, a judgment upon WORKS which are done by Born Again Christians--works that will GAIN REWARDS of "stephanos crowns" or which could SUFFER LOSS--receiving no crowns.)

DEFINING THE SYMBOL OF THE 24 ELDERS: (We do this by comparing their DESCRIPTION to other scriptures, which ALSO DESCRIBES the Church).

Revelation 4:4--"And round about the throne were four and twenty seats [Thrones]: and upon the seats [Thrones] I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold."

FACT NUMBER ONE: The 24 Elders in Revelation 4 and 5 are REPRESENTATIVE of a Raptured and glorified Church. They ARE the Church as seen in THEIR DESCRIPTION.

FACT NUMBER TWO: The 24 Elders CANNOT be angels. Angels DON’T WEAR crowns. Angels DON’T sit with God to rule and reign. We MUST define the 24 ELDERS by their SPECIFIC descriptions.

THREE: Elders is "a term" used for Church leadership. We see this all over the New Testament. Grab a concordance and look it up.

FOUR: Elders, in the Greek, means “presbuteros.” This is "Church terminology"--the “Presbytery.”

FIVE: WHY are there 24 Elders? Let's look at he number 24. In 1 Chronicles 24:1-31, King David divided the Priesthood into 24 COURSES because they’d grown so large. When 24 LEADERS of the COURSES met BEFORE David’s throne, the WHOLE PRIESTHOOD was REPRESENTED. The 24 ELDERS represent the ENTIRE CHURCH before God’s throne. This is a picture of the Church as PRIESTS.

SIX: The number 24 (part 2). The Church is composed of BOTH Jews and Gentiles. 12 tribes of Israel. 12 apostles of the Church. This offers a total of 24.

SEVEN: The Elders SIT on thrones. This is a picture which shows that the work of the Church on earth in “the age of God’s Grace” is done. WE SIT. The job on earth is finished.

EIGHT: The Elders sit on THRONES--the Church is seated on THRONES as KINGS. Compare to Revelation 1:6--"And [Jesus] has made US "kings" AND "priests" unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."

NINE: The Elders wear “SPECIFIC” WHITE RAIMENT. The Church is promised white garments. Revelation 3:4-5. Revelation 3:18. That our garments (and ourselves) are to be washed and spotless are seen in Ephesians 5:26-27, Titus 3:5, 1 Peter 3:14. Jude 1:23 and Revelation 1:5. We will be dressed in glorious WHITE RAIMENT.

TEN: The Elders wear "CROWNS", which are "STEPHANOS CROWNS", those given for OVERCOMING and GAINING A VICTORY (for finishing the race). These are the very same kind of CROWNS promised to the Church. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20. 2 Timothy 4:8. James 1:12. 1 Peter 5:4. Revelation 2:10 b. Revelation 3:11.

ELEVEN: The Elders wear crowns OF GOLD. Gold shows KINGSHIP. This shows the Church, reigning as KINGS with Jesus. Revelation 1:6.

TWELVE: In Revelation 5:1-14, the Elders sing a NEW SONG of THEIR REDEMPTION (as seen in the King James Version--which is translated from a MORE RELIABLE old manuscript). The Elders sing of being SAVED by the blood of Jesus.

THIRTEEN: The Elders are saved “out of” (“called-out of”) every kindred, tongue, people and nation on earth. The Church is predominantly Gentile, “called-out of” the world, also known as "the called-out assembly", the "ekklesia".

FOURTEEN: By contrast, in Ezekiel and Daniel we find SIMILAR DESCRIPTIONS of heaven as shown in the Revelation--EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. The Old Testament prophets did NOT see 24 Elders! Why? The Church is a MYSTERY which was NOT clearly revealed in the Old Testament.

WHAT IS THE CHURCH ACCOMPLISHING IN REVELATION 4 AND 5?

Revelation 4:10-11--"The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 'You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created."

FIRST, we are in a powerful state of worship at the Throne of God in heaven. We have ALREADY been REWARDED at the BEMA SEAT, because we have CROWNS, the "Stephanos"--given for OVERCOMING, gaining a VICTORY, and for FINISHING our race upon earth. We will LAY those CROWNS at the feet of Jesus.

SECOND, we acknowledge that God has CREATED all things. These created things (including the animal kingdom) were created by God for His pleasure and joy! What a powerful WORSHIP service this will be. Our joy will be complete. And from deepest reverence, we lay the REWARDED CROWNS at Jesus' feet, because it was THROUGH HIM that we even gain those rewards!

We come to Revelation 5, and again, the 24 Elders (we, the Church) play a part in this SPECTACULAR scene.

We WITNESS Jesus being declared as WORTHY to take a seven-sealed scroll and START the time of God's judgment upon the earth (the seven-year Tribulation). Jesus HIMSELF will OPEN that scroll--it is called "the WRATH of the Lamb"--opened by the One who was crucified, sacrificed on the cross for the sins of the world. Jesus is the KINSMAN REDEEMER, God Himself, in the flesh of a MAN. As A MAN Who committed NO SIN, Who died--and rose again to LIFE triumphant, Jesus is FOUND WORTHY to take the scroll of judgments and release it upon a world who rejected Him (the Gentile nations), or who did NOT receive Him as their Messiah (Israel).

We, the Church, as SYMBOLIZED in the 24 Elders will SEE an awesome scene, and we will SING A NEW song in heaven.

Revelation 5:8:

"And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints....

[Added note: Our prayers are present at the Throne of God in heaven,even now...and in God's "perfect timing" those prayers WILL BE ANSWERED!!! This is why I believe that our prayers for LOST loved ones, who ignore our pleas now, will be answered--even if those loved ones find themselves left behind in the Tribulation. This is a great part of my hope as the end times grow darker, and people ignore my warnings.] Back to Revelation 5:9-10:

"And they [the 24 Elders] sung a new song, saying, 'You [Jesus] are WORTHY to take the book, and to OPEN the seals thereof: for You were slain, and have redeemed US to God by Your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation [from Gentile nations, worldwide]; And hast made US unto our God kings and priests: and WE shall reign on the earth....

[Added note: WHEN Jesus sets His Kingdom upon the Throne of David in Jerusalem, Israel for the Millennium, we, Church, will RULE AND REIGN WITH HIM, assisting in the government of the Kingdom.] Now for Revelation 5:11-14:

"And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.'

"And EVERY CREATURE which is IN heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, 'Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

"And the four beasts said, 'Amen'. And the four and twenty elders [we, the Church], fell down and worshiped Him that lives for ever and ever."

WHAT A GLORIOUS TIME OF WORSHIP AWAITS US! WE WILL WITNESS THE NEXT EVENTS OF REVELATION 6, AS JESUS OPENS THE SEALS, AND THE JUDGMENTS OF THE SEVEN-YEAR TRIBULATION BEGIN TO FALL UPON THE EARTH.

THE FIRST SEAL: the Antichrist will CONFIRM the covenant with Israel, according to Daniel 9:27. The final week of Israel's APPOINTED TIME will then occur, ending with these following things fulfilled in and through them:

Daniel 9:24--"Seventy weeks are determined upon your people [Israel] and upon your holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

At THE END of the final seven years, everlasting righteousness will be [upon the earth in Jesus' Millennial Kingdom], the vision will be sealed and finished [all end time prophecies accomplished], and the most Holy will be anointed [when Jesus is appointed as KING over Israel, and upon the earth.]

Since we, the Church, SYMBOLIZED by the 24 Elders, will be at the Throne of God, with our CROWNS already REWARDED, in Revelation 4 and 5 BEFORE the Tribulation starts, I see an AMOUNT of time will need to elapse--BETWEEN the Rapture and the START of the Tribulation.

How long?

In order to have time to REWARD all those in the Church, the ELAPSE of time BETWEEN the Rapture and the START of the Tribulation will be MORE than just weeks. It could be MONTHS--or even a YEAR or more!

That would also give TIME for the end time wars [such Gog/Magog of Ezekiel 38-39] to be fulfilled, TIME for the final development of the 10 regions of the New World Order [which will be given to the Antichrist when he appears], and TIME for the FULLNESS OF INIQUITY to develop--the world MORE THAN RIPE for God's final declarations of judgments to fall.

BUT THE TIMING IS ALWAYS IN GOD'S OWN PERFECT COUNSEL....

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A WORD OF COMFORT AND EDIFICATION FOR THIS HOUR

The Spirit says to my spirit: Even if the threat of all-out war in the Middle East should momentarily ease, even if disease and disaster should momentarily withdraw, DON'T THINK that Jesus DELAYS the Rapture. He could come even today, maybe in the very NEXT INSTANT.

Keep this at the front of your mind each day: NEVER HAS THE RAPTURE BEEN ANY CLOSER!

REMEMBER, this: The SIGNS and the UNFOLDING OF Bible prophecy declares "THE DAY OF GOD'S VENGEANCE" draws near; yes, the TIME of God's judgment HOVERS at the door.

Therefore, the RAPTURE will happen at ANY GOD-ORDAINED SPLIT-INSTANT, within the "same time period" as when these SIGNS are developing and increasing. The SIGNS themselves DON'T ANNOUNCE the Lord's appearing--BECAUSE HIS APPEARING WILL COME UPON YOU SUDDENLY, IN A TIME YOU ARE NOT EXPECTING...maybe BEFORE dinnertime, IN the middle of the night, or WHEN you are busy doing any number of daily chores or activities.

You will be OCCUPYING, doing those things placed in front of you, or sleeping soundly in your bed. The Lord will FLASH into the air, SHOUT with a loud voice--personally calling you, "Sharon (Mary, Bill, or whatever your name might be)"..... "_____COME UP HERE", and the TRUMPET will sound. In a micro-instant, you'll BE CHANGED into a glorified body and find yourself in the presence of Jesus. He will escort you TRIUMPHANTLY into the COURTS of heaven.

ZIP, FLASH, WHOOSH...the earth is behind you (how empty and unimportant it will seem as you see the BRIGHT SHINING of My face...ONLY I will fill your vision). YOU ENTER ETERNITY IN MY PRESENCE. All the splendor of the heavenly city lies resplendent in front of your wondering eyes. You can never KNOW the SPECIFIC MOMENT when I will descend...but know this, I STAND AT THE DOOR....I'M READY, AND SO ARE YOU, because My blood has covered you, and the rags of your sins have been replaced by a bright, white garment, given when you accepted the sacrifice I made for you on the cross.

DRAW NEAR TO ME IN SPIRIT...do not neglect such a POWERFUL SALVATION, because I have given you ALL that you will ever need. SEEK MY PRESENCE DAILY. TRUST ME. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN MY PROMISES. You have provision for your present earthly plane. Plus, THINGS THAT YOU CANNOT COMPREHEND await you IN MY PRESENCE when I shall gather you unto Myself.

But, in THIS HOUR, when wars and rumors of war rage, when men's minds dwell upon evil continually, when pestilences, and violence surround you and threatens to drain you...REMEMBER THIS, "I SEE. I KNOW. I COME QUICKLY. EXPECT THE CHANGE AT ANY MOMENT. I AM COMING.... LOOK FOR ME."

"And to WAIT for [Me], His Son, FROM HEAVEN, Whom He has raised from the dead, EVEN [I], JESUS, which delivered you FROM THE WRATH TO COME." 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

"The great day of the Lord is near, IT IS NEAR, and hastens greatly, even THE VOICE of the day of the Lord: the mighty men shall cry there bitterly." Zephaniah 1:14.

"For the day of the Lord IS NEAR upon all the heathen: as you [heathen] have done [wickedly], it shall be done unto you: your reward shall return upon your own head." Obadiah 1:15.

But to My Church, My chosen ekklesia: "For God has NOT appointed you to wrath, but to obtain salvation [deliverance] by [Me], your Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:9.

"For [I] the Lord, Myself, shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God [THE VOICE of My Father, as revealed in Exodus 19:19]: and the dead in Christ shall rise first [leave their burial places RESURRECTED]: Then you which are alive and remain [at this Rapture] shall be CAUGHT UP [harpazoed, snatched off the earth by force] together WITH them [who have been resurrected--and you shall be lifted off the earth] into the clouds, to MEET ME in the air: and so shall you be with Me [forever]. Wherefore COMFORT one another with these words." 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

THE TIME IS ANYTIME. I AM COMING....

[MY ADDED COMMENT: I began this exhortation by describing HOW the Spirit has been talking to me in my spirit, and as I typed, the words SWITCHED to a DIRECT MESSAGE from the Lord, AS SEEN BY "the change" in pronouns. I leave it this way.

Jesus relays His truth to us, based upon His eternal WORD, the Bible, and even pointing out specific scriptures.

I do NOT know any specific dates, but the emphasis is to be constantly expecting Jesus, even as we continue our day by day activities. I know we can't be consciously thinking of His coming at every moment of every day (but I'm getting quite close to that ). But sometime, someday, and soon, I think, as we go about our daily activities, HE WILL COME. That's His promise.]

BE ENCOURAGED....