Goodnews Christian Ministry
"Rebellion is at work already, but in secret,
and the one who is holding it back has first to be removed before the Rebel appears openly."
2 Thessalonians 2:7.
The age of the pagans began when the Holy Spirit distributed the Word of God to the pagan world. The prophecies of Daniel and John in the Book of Revelation divide it into three segments, two wars separated by a period of troubled preaching during which the ruins of Jerusalem are spiritually rebuilt in Christ (see Dan.9:25-27 and Rev. 19:11-21 through Rev. 20:1-10). The age of the pagans began with the 300-year war fought by the Roman Empire against the burgeoning Church. That war officially ended when Constantine issued his famous Edict of Milan in 313 A.D., a treaty that made offical peace between Rome and the people of Christ.
A few years after Constantine, the Roman emperors Theodosus and Galerius issued decrees making Christianity the offical religion of the western world. What followed was a 1600-year period during which Christ was preferentially offered to the world by the rulers of the West. The result was a period of time we, as Christians, refer to as the "millenium" the predicted thousand-year rule of the Church in the world.
Today that preferential relationship has been cancelled. During the last hundred years every western nation has officially broken its governmental relationship with Jesus in the interests of secularism.
Prophecy predicted this cancellation. Paul called it the "Great Revolt" (2 Thes.2:3). It will usher in the final war, a 1260-day period of violence and chaos called the "Wrath" during which the power of the holy people will be crushed by a demon-ruler in the Eastern Hemisphere bent on world conquest a man scripture terms "the Beast" (2 Thes.2:4-7). . The Beast is a servant of the dragon, Satan.
Lined up against Satan's forces Christ has instituted His "two witnesses" (Rev. 11:1-13) Peter and Paul. They have been preaching to the world in the sackcloth of scripture during this entire period.The central figures in the preaching of Christ's Gospel to the world, they spring to work for Jesus every time any Bible on earth is opened.
Their work is spiritual. It is conducted from heaven in association with the temporary rule of the Lamb on earth in keeping with the prophecies of Rev. 20:4-6. This is a reign intimately associated with God's thousand-year incarceration of Satan (Rev.20:1-3), a prison sentence virtually doubled, extended to almost 2000 years by the mercy of Jesus (Joshua 10:13-14).
These two apostles (Peter and Paul) have fulfilled the roles structured in the Mosaic template, occupying the offices prefigured for them by Aaron and Moses. In this respect, Paul is the author of most of the New Testament and Peter is the head of Christ's Church on earth.
The sackcloth they preach in is the traditional black sackcloth that covers most Bibles and the black garb worn by preachers since the earliest days of the Church. Their confrontation with the Antichrist can be seen in the preaching of the Gospel across the world (Rev.11:1-6).
When Zechariah defined the offices that would govern the New Covenant, he named only two: the high priest (which we now understand to be Peter) and the temporal leader (i.e., Paul). These he called the two olive branches that stand before the Lord of the whole world (i.e., before Jesus). Zechariah named them "Cornerstone" ('Peter', of course, means 'Rock'), and "Tent-peg" (Paul was a tentmaker) The tents he made reflect the churches he started across the world with his preaching (Zech.10:4; see also 4:1-14; 6:11-14).
These tents fulfill the vision of the tent-dwelling days the wandering Israelites had to endure during their 40-year trek from Egypt to the Promised Land, tents later honored by the Hebrew festival known as the "Feast of the Tabernacles", a festival the people celebrated by living for seven days in shelters made of branches (Lev. 23:42-43).
This celebration tied together the tents of the Godly in the wilderness, their association with the harvest of God and the branching out that structured the tents into a single Church of many parts.
Zechariah gives Paul the prophetic name "Branch". Jeremiah, in chapter 23:5 of his writings, prophesied that "where he (Jesus) is, there will be a branching out". We can see this reflected in Zc.3:8 and 6:12-13.
The branching of churches brings us into the seven-church framework (Rv.1:20) defined by John and the other Apostles. Jesus defined the limits of this "branching out" when He said that wherever two or more are gathered in His name, there He would be as well. The seven churches, a metaphoric number, is represented prophetically, not only in the Book of Revelation, but also by the seven streams Isaiah said God had divided the River into as a pathway for His people (Is.11:15), and by the seven pillars of the house of God invisioned in the Book of Proverbs:
"Wisdom has built herself a house, she has erected her seven pillars, she has slaughtered her beasts, prepared her wine, she has laid her table." (Proverbs 9:1-3).
This branching out of the Church into seven parts allows the seven 'eyes' of God (Zc.5:10) to search the entire world for all the people taken captive by Satan, so that they can be rescued by Jesus from the farthest recesses of the devil's dungeons.The two offices are closely associated in the Christian Church. The priesthood of Peter brings all of us into the unity of God's priesthood, while the churches structured in the writings of Paul guard us from falling away and sinking back into sin.
The Book of Revelation shows that the two witnesses are to be assassinated at the pinnacle of their preaching. There is good reason to believe Fatima's third prophecy is strongly related to the death of these two witnesses, as well, bringing to the prophecy actual events that overlie and reinforce the symbolism.
As camera's watch, their sudden resurrection and glorification point to the reward of faith, and to the ultimate victory of Christ's saints that the prophet Daniel has promised. Once the "three-and-a-half years" have passed, Jesus will return with all the angels in great glory and majesty, bringing with Him the time of peace that has been promised.
Evangelical Christians term this restoration the "Rapture", assigning to it a set framework of one-thousand years still to come in which Jesus will physically on our current planet. Traditional Christians, on the other hand, see the thousand-years as the age of the Church a time of preaching that will end in tribulation. They see the peace that follows the 3-1/2 years of persecution as eternal.
Prophecy agrees with the latter, showing Christ rearranging all elements (2 Peter 3:9-13), completely transforming this existance into an infinite and timeless peace in a brand new eternal heavenly city which scripture terms the "Bride".
"Come here and I will show you the bride that the Lamb has married'. In the spirit, he took me to the top of an enormous high mountain, and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond." (Rev.21:9-10).
"The ban will be lifted. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in its place in the city; his servants will worship him, they will see him face to face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. It will never be night again and they will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will be shiing on them. They will reign forever and ever." (Rev.22:3-5).
Intimately associated with these two witnesses is a prophetic period of time defined as "a time, two times and half a time" in scripture. It is also expressed, as we have seen, in the prophetic terms "42 months", "1260 days" and "three and a half years".
All of these are different expressions of persecution, all relating to the same period of time. They have to do with the Christian era on earth. The outer court of the temple has been handed over to the pagans who will trample on the holy city for "forty-two months" (Rev.11:2-3). The bodies of the two witnesses are to lie in the street for "three-and-a-half days" (Rev.11:11). God made a place of safety for the mother of the male child for her to be looked after in the "twelve hundred and sixty days" (Rev.12:6). The reign of the beast is to last "three-and-a-half years" (Dan.12:11).
This time period can be traced back in scripture to the time of Elijah the prophet when heaven remained shut for a period of "three years and six months" when no rain fell, and a great famine raged throughout the land (1 K.17:1; 18:1, 42; James. 5:17; Luke 4:25).
The Christian era is structured into three time periods. These are: 1., the first war; 2, the incarceration of Satan which produces the time of the conversion of the world, and finally, 3., the second war, in which the conversion of the world collapses and brings the era of the pagans to an end.
All three relate to persecution. In the expression "a time, two times and half a time", the first "time" represents the first war at the beginning of the religion when Christians were fed to the lions in the Roman arena's. The "two times" represents the 2000-year era of the Christian Church on earth. It is expressed as "two" times because it is a period extended (almost doubled) by the mercy of God, for it represents the time of atonement and the salvation of many. The date January 1, 2001 ushered in the "half-a-time", scripture's "third day", the time of the end which brings the second war against the Church the tribulation.
This time of wrath will end with the Return in glory of Jesus Christ, and eternal life for all who have made His word their home.
The assassination of the Pope is THE critical event in prophecy, It ushers in the 3-1/2 year war on global Christianity (most times in scripture are metaphoric, but in this case I don't think so) and terminates in two fiery bombardments of the earth, one by the forces of the Madman (Daniel), and another either followiing or interrupting it with a rain of "hail" by God from the cosmos (Revelation). It is the "grand finale" that darkens the skies of the earth and brings the Return of Jesus. Paul referenced this assassination in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. Daniel spoke of it in his verse 9:26, and there are other references as well.
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