The bible calls it:
The End of the Age

What?  The end of the world?

No, the “End of the Age,” also called the “Church Age.”

    *** And it’s closer than you think! ***

This (the Church Age) refers to the 2,000+ years period since Jesus Christ was born, was crucified on the cross, and was resurrected into Heaven.

2 Peter 3:8 (NKJV) 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The number “7” denotes “spiritual perfection.”

God created the earth in 6 days and rested on day 7 (denoting perfection).

Here is a basic understanding of church history.  There are “seven dispensations” (time periods) in church history:

Dispensation of Innocence:
-Adam and Eve
-The Fall of Man (Genesis Chapter 3).

Dispensation of Conscience: 
-From the Fall to the Flood (1656 years).
-From Adam to Seth and Enoch.

Dispensation of Civil Government:
-From the Flood to the Tower of Babel (429 years).
-From Noah to Abraham.

Dispensation of Promise:
-From Abraham to Moses (430 years).

Dispensation of Law:
-From Moses to the Cross of Christ (1524 years).

Dispensation of Grace:
-From the Cross to the Rapture (1970+ years).
-Also called the “Church Age.”

The Millennial Kingdom.
-From the “Second Coming” of Christ to Eternity (1,000 years).

This breakdown was taken from “Charting the End Times,” by Tim LaHay & Thomas Ice.

There are Bible teachers that say that each dispensation represents a “Day” in time, therefore:

From Adam to the Flood (days 1&2) is approximately 2,000 years.
From the Flood to the Cross (days 3&4) is also approximately 2,000 years.
From the Cross to the Second Coming (equivalent of 2 days) is approximately 2,000 years.

This is also the basis for most Bible teachers to say that the earth was created about 6,000 years ago.  Another is in reference to the 6,000-year lease to the earth given by God to Adam. Due to Adam’s Fall as a result of sin, Adam relinquished the lease to Satan who in turn was called “the god of this world.”
If this is even close to true, it would appear that we are definitely at the “end of the age”—the “Church Age”…and then the Bible says “the Wrath is to come.”  It is believed that this is referring to the seven years of “tribulation.”

The number “3” in the Bible denotes “Divine perfection.”

Divinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Resurrection: Three days in the grave.
God: Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent.
Time: Past, present and future.
Human capability: Thought, word and deed.
Matter: Mineral, vegetable and animal.
Space: Height. Width and length.
Man: Spirit, soul and body.

Now consider, three ruling spirits on the earth:

Spirit of God.
Spirit of man.
Spirit of anti-Christ (Satan’s spirit).

We all have some knowledge of the first two.  But we in America have little if any knowledge of the anti-Christ spirit; and what’s more, those who have even a little knowledge in this area—DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT—let alone learn or embrace any truth about it!

Guess what?  It is our own worst enemy—but we westerners turn a blind eye.  We would rather tolerate it (if in fact it is real) rather then confront it and defeat it.

Just as there is a God and “the Spirit of God” all around us, there is a Devil and a “spirit of anti-Christ” creating havoc all around us and all over the world.  These two spirits are in a war for your soul and you seem unaware or don’t really seem to care all that much.

So we have become “lukewarm (a tepid response) in the things of God, more concerned about being politically correct, tolerant of all religions, abortion, same-sex marriage, and the status quo.  We need to wake up!  The spirit of anti-Christ is dominating the world around us in each category above.

Let me share a cold, hard truth with you.  That anti-Christ spirit you are TOLERATING is going to manifest itself as a man one day soon.  The number of his name is 666!  

Revelation 13:16-18 (NKJV) 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. 

Some of you have witnessed people that have been demon possessed, have you not?  I’m not just talking about Hitler, or a serial killer in your state prison.  Mental hospitals and jails have many such people in them.  The Bible says that Satan will possess “a man” with an anti-Christ spirit and he will become known to the world as THE Antichrist (666).  He will be a man of great charisma--most all the world will follow him.  He will come as a man of peace.  He will gain worldwide power.  Most won’t know that they are following such a man UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE!  What if I told you that this man is alive today!  He may have little idea who he is about to become.  What if I told you he is a Muslim?  And what if I told you that most of the people on the earth right now will likely see him?  The Bible says,  “Study to show yourself approved.”  If you show no interest in studying and learning about this enemy you are and WILL be deceived about the information I’m sharing with you.

What I am going to say next is going to put me into one of three categories with you: A) a truth teller, B) you think I’m going overboard, or C) that I’m a heretic (crazy).  But I am going to go there nonetheless as I truly believe I’m telling you the truth.

There are three dominant Religions in the world today:

Islam (Muslim)

Which one is determined to kill the other two?  Is that question too difficult for you to embrace?  Is it truth or fiction?  Are you afraid to speak the answer? 

Nobody is afraid of Christians or the Jews—they are readily mocked by most of the world.  They may be hated (the Bible says they will be), but feared?  Are you kidding?

Now Muslims are another matter.  Even moderate Muslims fear “the Muslims.”  We have police officers that are afraid to go into Muslim communities in some of our big cities because they are operating under Sharia Law.  Yes, in the United States.  It is even more prevalent in England, and other European countries.  

Think about this.  Walid Shoebat, an ex-Muslim terrorist and now converted to Christianity) writes in his book, “God’s War on Terror,” that all of the nations in the Old Testament that God brought His Judgment against have now (in our present time) become Muslim Nations.  Their leaders openly state that their goal is to annihilate Israel.  Their ultimate goal is to kill all Christians and Jews unless they accept (bow down to) the Islam Religion.  Their primary method of killing it appears is “by the sword” and “beheading.”  

Another startling set of facts that again demonstrate how close we are to the end times clock is that Israel’s last former allies in the Middle East have abandoned her in the past couple of months (summer/fall 2012).  They include Eygpt, and Turkey who have presently been taken over by Muslim leaders; and it appears Jordan may be falling away as well.  Add to that, the United Nations (last week in November 2012) sided with giving their support to the Palestinians over Israel.  So the last vestige of support is America.  But the truth of the matter is that while Barak Obama speaks words that sound like support for Israel, his actions don’t line up with his words.  Behind the scenes he has continued to put pressure on Israel to do what he wants instead of what they feel they need to do.  In other words, the truth is that they are on their own.  Every former President has pretty much made it clear that “if you mess with Israel you will deal with us.”  Israel always has believed that we would always be there for them if they needed us.  The current President has given Israel the cold shoulder, and they know that they are all alone in their survival.  America is and will be judged for this.  God made a serious statement to Abraham, the Father of the Jewish Nation:

Genesis 12:2-3 (NKJV) 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." 

This not only applies to our nation but to us individually.  It is a serious mistake if we are not praying for Israel.

Walid’s book is a must read for all westerners.  In it he also explains a soon coming figure called the “Mahdi” whom all Muslims are looking to appear just as Christians are looking for Jesus to appear.  He goes on to say that on page 52 of his book, “the shock to me was that while a character identical to my Mahdi was seen throughout the pages of the Bible, this character was not “the Mahdi,” but rather the Antichrist.”  To Muslims he is called “the lord of the age.”

This is exactly what the Bible calls Satan in II Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV) 3 But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 

Walid spends 126 pages (Pg 55-181) of his book showing 43 of the most important parallels between the Biblical Antichrist and the Islamic Mahdi.

I’ve tried to paint you a word picture that shows we are in the very end of the 6,000+ year lease and about to enter into the last 1,000 year Millennium (the 7th and last day).  But there is a seven-year period called the Tribulation that completes that 6,000+ year time frame (6th dispensation).  The 7-year Tribulation is broken into two 3- 1/2 year segments with the last segment being more severe than the first.

It is the Tribulation that ushers in the Antichrist himself.  He comes as a peacemaker, which will endear most of the world to his charismatic personality.  At some point Satan enters (possesses) this person and he becomes what the bible calls “Antichrist.” Exactly when this happens is still unknown, but he will change from a peacemaker to a ruthless and evil person that is called the “Beast” in scripture.  

We must remember that Satan still wants to usurp God’s Place and Throne.  Satan is called the “deceiver” and he counterfeits every truth of God in one way or another.  In God we have the Trinity.  With Satan we have a “counterfeit trinity” made up of Satan, Antichrist and the False Profit.  The person of the Antichrist becomes the political and economic figure and force that brings in the One World Government.  The False Prophet is the religious leader that ushers in the One World Religion (ecumenism).  When you hear these terms BEWARE!

Those who know Jesus Christ and have walked out God’s Plan for their life will be caught up to meet Him in the air.  This is what is referred to as the “Rapture of the Saints.”  Those “so-called Christians” (in name only) will have a last chance to truly seek Jesus as their Lord and Savior during the Tribulation.  

I am going to list some verses in I Thessalonians that apply to this thought, (and will imbed some helpful commentary from the Swaggert Expository Bible, which will be in parentheses and be underlined) as I just did to help you better understand the verses:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NKJV) 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep (refers to Believers who have died), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (This concerns those who do not know the Lord who will have no part in the First Resurrection of Life and, therefore, no hope for Heaven.) 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again (the very Foundation of Christianity is the Death and Resurrection of Christ; it is the proof of life after death in a glorified state for all Saints in that life, which incidentally will never end), even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (This refers to the Rapture of the Church, or the resurrection of all Believers.  At death, the soul and the Spirit of the Child of God instantly go to be with Jesus [Philippians 1:2], while the physical body goes back to dust.  At the Rapture, God will replace what was the physical body with a Glorified Body, united with the soul and Spirit.  In fact, the soul and the spirit of each individual will accompany the Lord down close to this Earth to be united with the Glorified Body, which will then make the Believer whole.) 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord (presents the Doctrine of the rapture of the Church as the “Word of the Lord”), that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord (all Believers who are alive at the Rapture) will by no means precede those who are asleep. (This refers to the fact that the living Saints will not precede or go before the dead Saints) 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout (refers to “the same Jesus” which the Angels proclaimed in Acts 1:11), with the voice of an archangel (refers to Michael, the only one referred to as such in [Jude, Vs. 9], and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first (The criteria for being ready for the rapture is to be “in Christ,” which means that all who are truly Born-Again will definitely go in the rapture). 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (Raptured) together with them (the Resurrected dead) in the clouds (clouds of Saints, not clouds as we normally think of such), to meet the Lord in the air (The Greek word for “air” is “aer,” and refers to the lower atmosphere, or from about 6,000 feet down; so, the Lord will come at least within 6,000 feet of the Earth, perhaps even lower, with all the saints meeting Him there; but He, at that time, will not come all the way to the earth, that awaiting the Second coming, which will be seven or more years later). And thus we shall always be with the Lord. (This presents the greatest meeting humanity will have ever known 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (This pertains to the future of the Child of God).

So, the big question is not what, or when, but WHO will qualify for the rapture?  Perhaps the first twelve verses of this chapter will give you pause:

1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 (NKJV) 1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God (pertains to the whole manner of living); 2 for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus (This is a command to be Holy that can only be carried out by a constant and abiding Faith in Christ and the Cross, which gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work). 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification (the work of making one Holy, which can only be done by the Holy Spirit): that you should abstain from sexual immorality (refers to all forms of immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel (the physical body, which is the Temple of the Hoy Spirit) in sanctification and honor, (morally clean, which can only be done by Faith exhibited constantly in the Cross of Christ), 5 not in passion of lust (evil passions and desires in the thought life), like the Gentiles who do not know God (speaks of the gentile world which walked in darkness before the advent of the Gospel; 6 that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter (refers to anything regarding fraud, ), because the Lord is the avenger of all such (presents the fact that the judgment of God upon all impurity, as we also forewarned you and testified. (This presents the possibility that sexual misconduct could have been a besetting temptation for the Thessalonians. 7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. (God has called us from “uncleaness,”i.e., “sexual impurity,” unto Holiness.) 8 Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, (treating the words of men lightly is one thing; treating the Word of God lightly is something else altogether), who has also given us His Holy Spirit. (The Holy Spirit is given to believers in order that we might live a Holy Life, which is done by us evidencing a constant Faith in the Cross of Christ. 9 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, (presents the Apostle with customary tactfulness beginning in a complimentary manner and then proceeding to the admonition): for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;   10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia (for the Macedonians, Macedonia was home; if we cannot love those at home, how can we love others far away?). But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; 11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life (is the opposite of aspiring to be prominently seen and heard), to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, (work; don’t steal, and don’t sponge off others); 12 that you may walk properly (honestly) toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing. 

Is the Holy Spirit working in your life to sufficiently qualify you for this most important event?

Only the most authentic born-again believers appear to be those who will be “taken up” to meet Jesus in the air and are preceded by those in the gravesites who were authentic Christians before they died.  Both groups will get “glorified bodies,” the same as Jesus had when he was resurrected from the grave.

The dead that were buried without accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior will end up in Hell for eternity.  Those that fail to make the “rapture” will have to face the 7-year tribulation. The Antichrist will be a man that will require ALL to give their allegiance to himself, and will require everyone else to deny Christ at the risk of losing their lives.

Very few churches are teaching the Biblical truth about exactly “who” we are.  The Bible says that we are 3-in-1 (where have you heard that before?):

We are a spirit.
Who has a soul.
That lives in an earth-suit (body).
God is a Spirit and he said:

Genesis 1:26 (KJV) 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: 

So we are in reality a “spirit.”

Putting it all together then:

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (KJV) 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What it the significance of this?

Well, our body (what I previously called an earth-suit) is the only part that will ever die!

You were an eternal being when you were born and are currently living in eternity right now.  When our earth-suit wears out—IT DIES and is buried.  

BUT your spirit and soul live on forever.  So, when your body is buried (or cremated) where does your spirit and soul end up?  I’m glad you asked! There are only two choices, Heaven or Hell.  And you will be making that choice ultimately.

What you may or may not be aware of is that you are currently making that choice by the way you live.  If you are choosing to live your life for the Lord Jesus Christ you will end up in Heaven with Him.  If you are not living “that life” you are on your way to eternal damnation (Hell).
The Gospel is the “Good news.”  It teaches you the way to live “your life for Christ.”  Heaven is “UP.”  Remember the scripture I previously quoted in Thessalonians where it says we are “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air?

So, what’s the bad news?  Living your life for “yourself” will get you eternity in “the Lake of Fire.”  

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