Christian Internet Evangelism: Outreach of BIBLE TRUTH MINISTRY INC. by Evangelist Larry Wolfe

" The Preparation for The Apocalypse"

In this the year of our Lord 2011, the prophetic signs of God’s working in the nation of Israel are abundant. His people are being gathered into their land and have become a recognized nation once again. The prophetic Scripture is abundantly clear concerning these major Biblical events:
“And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shall possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:5)

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people…And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcsts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:12)

“Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in My anger, and in My fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be My people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear Me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make and everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with My whole soul.” (Jeremiah 32:37-41)

“For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you and heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.” (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

“Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O My people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel…Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:12, 21, 22)

The Jews continue to return to their land illustrating that God is definitely not finished with them just yet, for as the above Scriptures indicate, in due time He will perform His supernatural work of cleansing them and giving them “a new heart” at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel:
“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord…And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob” (Isaiah 59:20; Romans 11:26)

However, before the Lord comes to redeem the nation of Israel at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel, He will continue the preparation of His people as indicated in the following twelve prophecies which are necessary for the completion of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel and the Coming of Jesus the Messiah:

  1. The Jews have become a "people" (Daniel 9:24)
  2. The Jews are in their "own [promised] land" (Deuteronomy 30:1-18; Ezekiel 36: 24-26, 37:21ff)
  3. The Jews are occupying their "holy city" Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24)
  4. The "prophet Elijah" will be sent "first" to revive/restore before the Apocalypse/Day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12)
  5. The "holy covenant" will be restored (Daniel 11:28-32)
  6. The "temple of God" will be rebuilt (II Thessalonians 2:1-4; Revelation 11:1, 2)
  7. The “holy place” included (Matthew 24:15)
  8. The “regular sacrifices" will be offered (Daniel 8:11, 12, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11)
  9. The Jews will worship in "the temple of God” (Revelation 11:1, 2)
  10. "The Sabbath" will be honored (Matthew 24:28)
  11. The sending of "prophets" to the Jews will occur (Malachi 4:5, 6: Revelation 11:3-17)
  12. The tribal system will be restored as the twelve tribes of "the sons of Israel" (Revelation 7:3-8) will eventually be recognized and sealed.
In addition to these twelve prophecies the following pattern is now in process as the Lord continues His preparation for the 70th Week of Daniel, the Second Coming of Jesus the Messiah and the Apocalypse of the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 8-19) which is called the Day of the Lord which is the most prophesied event in Scripture:

The Pattern of Events Prior to the First Coming of Jesus the Messiah

  1. The Destruction of Jerusalem/Temple-586 B.C. (II Kings 25:1ff; Jeremiah 29, 52)
  2. The Dispersion of the Jews-722 B.C./606 B.C., 597 B.C., 586 B.C.
  3. The Jews return to the Promised Land-536 B.C. Zerubbabel/458 B.C. Ezra/445 B.C. Nehemiah
  4. The Holy City Jerusalem was controlled by the Jews-516 B.C.
  5. The Temple of God was rebuilt-516 B.C. (Ezra 3:8-6:22)
  6. The Restoration of Priesthood/Sacrifices/Temple Worship occurred-516 B.C. (Ezra 3:1-7)
  7. The First Elijah-like Prophet (John the Baptist) was sent 29A.D. (Matthew 3:1-12)
  8. The First Coming of Jesus the Messiah occurred 29A.D. (Matthew 3:13ff)
  9. The Lord’s 3-1/2 Year Public Ministry came to pass 29-32 A.D. (Four Gospels)
  10. The Judgment of Jews for Rejection of their Messiah-70 A.D./Multiple Holocausts-Present

The Pattern of Events Prior to the Second Coming of Jesus the Messiah

  1. The Destruction of Jerusalem/Temple-70 A.D. (Matthew 24:2)
  2. The Dispersion of the Jews-70 A.D. (Luke 21:21-24)
  3. The Jews Return to the Promised Land-1948 A.D. (Daniel 9:24)
  4. The Holy City of Jerusalem is controlled by the Jews-1967 A.D. (Daniel 9:24)
  5. The Temple of God Rebuilt-???? A.D. (Matthew 24:15; II Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 11:2)
  6. The Restoration of Priesthood/Sacrifices/Temple Worship will occur???? A.D. (Daniel 8:11, 21, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11; Revelation 11:1, 2)
  7. The Second Elijah-like Prophet Sent-???? A.D. (Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12)
  8. The Second Coming of Jesus-???? A.D. (Matthew 24:30, 31; John 14:3; I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
  9. The Lord’s 3-1/2 Year Presence/Intervention/Last Half of the 70th Week of Daniel (Micah 5:5ff)
  10. The Apocalypse/Judgment of the World for Rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 8-19)
It is evident that the Lord is bringing to pass the same conditions that prevailed during the first sixty-nine weeks of the seventy weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24) in order to complete the remaining week or seven years. This future time period (Daniel 9:27) which is called the 70th Week of Daniel is just over the prophetic horizon. It requires the Jews to be in their land, as a nation, in control of Jerusalem.

And, as the history of the world unfolds, God’s eye continues to be upon His people the Jews and their holy city Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24). Even though it might look as though He failed to accomplish His goal of redeeming His earthly people when He died on the Cross, His plan has not changed nor has He failed for He is coming again (John 14:1-3) to fulfill the prophetic Scripture and bring full redemption to His Church and His earthly people the Jews (Isaiah 59:20; Romans 11:26)!

In addition to the Lord’s Preparation of the nation of Israel and the present-day Pattern unfolding in Messianic prophecy, the Plan the Lord gave to His disciples concerning His Second Coming and the End of the Age in Matthew 24:3-31 is systematically progressing before our very eyes:

  1. Focus: Global Overview of the End of the Age (Matthew 24:4-14)
    1. The Beginning of Sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8)
      1. False Christs [Influx of major Christian cults-19th Century]
      2. Wars and rumors of wars [World War I & II-20th Century]
      3. Famines, Pestilences and Earthquakes in diverse places [21st Century] But the End is not yet…All these are the beginning of sorrows.
    2. Christian Persecution Escalates (Matthew 24:9) [Great Tribulation]
      1. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted
      2. And shall kill you
      3. And ye shall be hated of all nations [Including the U.S.A.] for My names sake
    3. Christian Defection Occurs (Matthew 24:10-12)
      1. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another
      2. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many
      3. And because iniquity shall abound the love [agape] of many [saints] shall wax cold
    4. Christian Deliverance by Rapture (Matthew 24:13, 14)
      1. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved [delivered/raptured]
      2. And this gospel/kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations
      3. And then shall the End come. [The End=The Apocalypse/Day of the Lord]
  2. Focus: The Holy Land (Matthew 24:15-28) [Last Half of the 70th Week of Daniel]
    1. The Holy City of Jerusalem [Temple of God] (v.15)
      1. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation
      2. Spoken of by Daniel the prophet
      3. Stand in the holy place
      4. (Whoso reads let him understand)
    2. The Land of Judea (v.16-22)
      1. Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains
      2. Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house
      3. Neither let him which is in the field return back to take any of his clothes
      4. And woe unto them are with child, and to them that give suck in those days
      5. But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day
      6. For then shall be great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world…
      7. And except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be saved
      8. But for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened
    3. The Jews Clamor for the Christ/Messiah (v.17-26)
      1. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ/Messiah, or there; believe it not
      2. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
      3. Behold I have told you before.
      4. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold He is in the desert; go not forth.
      5. Behold He is in the secret chambers; believe it not
    4. The Coming of the Son of man/Messiah Described/Illustrated (v.27, 28)
      1. For as the lightning comes out of the east and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [Illustrating the global manifestation of the Lord’s Coming]
      2. For wherever the carcase is, there will the eagles [vultures] be gathered together. [Illustrating the absolute certainty of the Lord’s Coming]
  3. Focus: The Sign/The Apocalypse/Day of the Lord & The Coming of Son/man (Matthew 24:29-31)
    1. The Sign of the Apocalypse/Day of the Lord (v.29; Joel 2:31)
      1. Immediately after the tribulation of those days
      2. Shall the sun be darkened
      3. And the moon shall not give her light
      4. And the stars shall fall from heaven
      5. And the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
    2. The Sign and Coming of the Son of Man (v.30, 31)
      1. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:[Shekinah Glory]
      2. And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn [Global Manifestation/His Coming]
      3. And they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power/great glory.
      4. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet
      5. And they shall gather together His elect [Rapture] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Notice the unfolding chronological sequence continuing through all three sections highlighted by the words that are underlined in bold print. The Lord, first of all, gives a Global Overview of world conditions before “The End [Day of the Lord]” (v.4-14).

Then, He focuses on the Holy Land (v.15-28) beginning at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel, for Israel/Jerusalem will be the epicenter of end time events. Finally, He zeroes in on the global effects of the sign of the Day of the Lord and His Second Coming which begins with His rescuing the saints by Rapture (v.29-31). Then “The End” Day of the Lord/wrath of God will begin!

These two events, the Rapture and the sign of the Day of the Lord which indicating the beginning of the Apocalypse/God’s judgment, will occur “the same day” as the Lord taught in Luke 17:26-30:
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

Just as the Lord rescued His own when He brought cataclysmic judgment to the earth in times past, so will He rescue the saints “the same day” He begins judging the earth in that future day which is the most prophesied event in Scripture “the coming of the great and dreadful Day of the Lord” (Malachi 4:5).

We are presently living in the “beginning of sorrows…days of Noah…days of Lot” when a business as usual attitude prevails among most citizens of the world including many Christians. Iniquity abounds as open homosexuality is flaunted, slaughter of the innocents continues to increase, varying degrees of public nudity has become the norm and the world is ‘Going to hell in a hand-basket’ as the saying goes.

We are definitely nearing the end of ‘the beginning of sorrows’ (Matthew 24:7, 8) teetering on the brink of increasing Christian Persecution. The most unreported story of the 20th Century was that more Christians died for their faith during that century than in ALL of the previous nineteen centuries combined! But, martyrdom/persecution of Christians will increase substantially after the Antichrist reveals himself when the Abomination of Desolation occurs at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel.

Today, false prophets appear countless as they breathe forth their deception and money-begging on the air waves and pulpits of the world using the name of Christ for gain which is in reality lustful money-worship as good people are taken in with their Satanic deception and religious rituals.

And, with the present-day [2011] global financial uproar, the world appears to be near total economic collapse and continuing globalization. Knowing the world-wide hatred of the U.S.A. it would not be surprising if a new one world currency and an actual one world government [U.N.] should arise!

Recently, there has been a call by prominent world leaders for a man to head up a global governing body and a one world currency in order to ‘organize and clean up’ the present-day financial crisis which may well be the beginning of the end…this is where we are according to the Lord’s chronological unfolding of the end of this age in Matthew 24!

So, as the Church sleeps, the world is looking for a man. They are preparing for the rise of the Antichrist onto the global stage. However, God is preparing for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

So, ‘Turn your eyes upon [God’s Man] Jesus’ for He has all the answers and holds the future in His hand…always in control of the outcome regardless of the devil’s working in the world…give Him all the praise and glory…for He most certainly is coming again, just as He promised…Hallelujah and Amen!

However, there is much work to be done by the Church as we wait for the Lord to return. Although the majority of preparation for the Lord’s Coming focuses upon Israel, there is a group of young men who will come out of the Church of Jesus Christ and that group is the 144 Thousand Sons of Israel.

Because it can be proven with great certainty that they are redeemed before they are sealed [See: “The Priesthood of the Apocalypse], it follows that they will be called, redeemed and prepared during the closing days of the Church Age which continue into the 70th Week of Daniel. Therefore, winning “Souls for Jesus” must be our battle-cry…”to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)!

This transition period from the Church Age into the 70th Week/Day of the Lord will bring with it unique and exciting events including the redemption and preparation of this heralded group of “servants of our God” (Revelation 7:3) who will come from “the twelve tribes of Israel”.

During this time God will continue to unfold His plan as outlined above. The Old Covenant emphasis/environment/atmosphere is clearly evident in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as John is introduced to the magnificent vision of the Lord in chapter one with the sound of a trumpet.

This trumpet blast signals the very presence of Deity similar to the days of Moses at Sinai (Exodus 19:19) when he received the initial Revelation from God. Notice, John was given the final Revelation from God initiated by a trumpet on two occasions (Revelation 1:10, 4:1) signaling the presence of Deity.

The blending of the New Covenant given to the Church and the Old Covenant given to the Jews is in view in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. The New Covenant will also be given to the Jews as a nation at the end of the Seventieth Week of Daniel according to the promise of God (Hebrews 10:16).

Therefore, beginning with the fourth chapter the environment immediately changes to the Old Covenant as John hears the trumpet the second time initiating the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel. He is spiritually translated into heaven to receive the remainder of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

This transition to the Old Covenant while the New Covenant is still in effect will continue until the Church is rescued by the Rapture also called ‘the blessed hope’ (Titus 3:5). The last Elijah-like prophet will ‘restore all things’ (Matthew 17:11) which focuses on the Old Covenant (Daniel 11:28-30).

The Lord indicates this transition by the textual indicator “After this [these things]” (Revelation 4:1) which verifies the change from one sequence or timeframe to the next. The following outline develops the effect of this significant textual sign-post showing the Lord’s intention of dividing the Revelation of Jesus Christ into a specific chronological order.

Textual Divisions of the Book of the Revelation:

The brief but definitive phrase ‘After these things’ is found in the prophetic section of the Revelation, (4:1-22:21) six times. The first and second occurrences are in the very first verse of chapter four:
‘After these things I looked, and, behold, a door standing open in heaven; and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me; said, Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’ (Revelation 4:1) NASV

John is given the first sequence of the prophetic vision in (4:1-7:8) with the events occurring in heaven and earth divided by a similar phrase ‘After this’ (7:1) which is used to divide the events in heaven (4:1-6:17) from the events occurring on earth (7:1-8) within the first section.

‘The things which shall be hereafter’ (1:19c), indicates this prophetic section (4:1-22:21). It is divided into five major sections by this key phrase: ‘After these things’ developing the following outline:

  1. The Events of Earth’s Preparation for The Day of the Lord’s Wrath (4:1-7:8)
    1. The Throne Room Scene (Chapter 4,5)
    2. The Six Seals Opened (Chapter 6)
    3. The 144 Thousand Sealed (Chapter 7:1-8)

  2. The Events of The Day of the Lord’s Wrath to The End of The 70th Week of Daniel (7:9-15:4)
    1. The Saints of the Ages in Heaven/First Resurrection (Chapter 7:9-17)
    2. The Seventh Seal Opened/The Beginning of the Day of the Lord (8:1-5)
    3. The Six Trumpet Judgments/The Little Book/The Two Witnesses (8:6-11:14)
    4. The Seventh Trumpet Judgment/The World Kingdoms become the Lord’s/End 70th Week (11:15-19)
    5. The Interlude-Events of the Last 3-1/2 Years of the 70th Week (Chapter 12,13,14)
    6. The Heavenly Prelude before The End of the Day of the Lord (15:1-4)

  3. The Events of the Day of the Lord’s Wrath after The 70th Week of Daniel (15:5-17:18)
    1. The Preparation for the Seven Vial Judgments (15:5-8)
    2. The Seven Vial Judgments (16:1-21)
    3. The Preparation for Judgment of Babylon the Great Whore (17:1-18)

  4. The Event of Emphasis: The Judgment of Babylon the Great Whore (18:1-24)
    1. The Destruction of Babylon the Great Whore Announced (18:1-8)
    2. The Kings of the Earth Lament Her Destruction (18:9, 10)
    3. The Merchants of the Earth Lament Her Destruction (18:11-17a)
    4. The Merchants of the Sea Lament Her Destruction (18:17b-19)
    5. The Destruction of Babylon the Great Whore Occurs (18:20-24)

  5. The Events of The End of the Day of the Lord, The Millennium, Eternal (19:1-22:21)
    1. The Rejoicing in Heaven over the Destruction of the Babylon the Great Whore (19:1-6)
    2. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (19:7-10)
    3. The Lord Jesus Christ’s Victory at Armageddon (19:11-21)
    4. The Binding of Satan (20:1-3)
    5. The Millennium/ First Resurrection (20:4-6)
    6. The Final Rebellion (20:7-10)
    7. The Great White Throne/The Second Death (20:6, 11-15, 21:2-8)
    8. The New Heaven, Earth & Jerusalem Described (21:1, 21:9-27-22:1-5)
    9. The Heavenly Conclusion (22:6-21)

The material in the first part of the vision/prophetic section is viewed by John from the vantage point of heaven very similar to chapter one when he also was ‘in the Spirit’ (Revelation 1:10):
‘After these things I looked, and behold a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things. Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne.’ (Revelation 4:1, 2 NASB).

John is then given the most descriptive panorama of heaven’s throne room and its inhabitants ever recorded in Scripture. His vision is similar to the vision of Ezekiel 1:4-28, but John provides much additional information as he sees not only the four beasts around God and His throne, he also includes the magnificent introduction and coronation of the Lord Jesus Christ as ‘The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (5:5)…The Lamb as it had been slain’ (Revelation 5:6) including the powerful, unparalleled worship scene that follows (Revelation 5:7-14).

The title of ‘Lamb’ for the Lord Jesus Christ is found here the first time in the book of the Revelation. However, it is the preferred name for the Lord Jesus throughout the Revelation as it is used a total of twenty-eight times emphasizing the Bible’s central theme of redemption from an Old Testament viewpoint (Exodus 12).

Moreover, John’s view of the throne room also introduces and describes ‘The four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold’ (4:4), ‘Seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God (4:5), ‘And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal’ (4:6) giving heavenly details never before revealed in the Word of God.

Chapter six begins the activities of the 70th Week of Daniel ending this first section which contains the Lamb’s opening of the first six seals preparing the earth for the coming Day of the Lord judgment when God will pour out His wrath upon an unbelieving world in the process purifying a remnant of His earthly people the Jews.

‘After this...’(7:1) indicates an important time division setting off a major event occurring on earth which is only eight verses long (7:1-8). The sealing of the 144 Thousand is one of the most significant events in the Revelation. Here, the Lord seals His servants taken from the twelve tribes of Israel thereby providing His most necessary priesthood and continuing witness on earth during the catastrophic judgments of His coming Day of the Lord .

This group of faithful Jews is the first people group mentioned on earth and is distinguished from ‘The woman’ (12:1-17). She represents the faithful of Israel who will be protected in ‘The wilderness’ during the last 3-1/2 years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week (12:14).

She will not be effected by the Day of the Lord’s wrath, but, the 144 Thousand will be protected in the midst of God’s wrath (Revelation 9:4) for they appear a number of times after this time of unprecedented judgment begins:
‘And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Zion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His father’s name written in their foreheads.’ (Revelation 14:1)

‘These [The ten horns/kings] shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called and chosen and faithful. (Revelation 17:14)

The 144 Thousand are seen with the Lamb at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel (Revelation 14:1) and at the end of the Day of the Lord (Revelation 17:14) when the Lord comes on His white horse to end this time of judgment at the battle of Armageddon!

These 144 Thousand soldiers of Christ along with ‘the armies which were in heaven’ (Revelation 19:14) will go forth with the Lord to do battle against the ten horns/kings/nations who are part of ‘the kings of the earth and of the whole world’ (Revelation 16:14).

The third group of Israelites are those who will be purified during the Day of the Lord eventually being redeemed (Isaiah 59:20; Zechariah 13:7-9; Romans 11:25-27) at the end of Daniel’s 70th Week when ‘The fullness of the Gentiles be come in.’ (Romans 11:25, 26c) ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion’.

However, the earthly focus of this division of the Revelation is the 144 Thousand ‘Servants of our God’ (7:3) who are at this point in history: ‘Sealed...servants...sons of Israel’ (7:3, 4). Therefore, they have already been redeemed, for the Lord would never seal depraved men by writing His name upon their foreheads (14:1).

These men have already attained the stature of ‘servants’ placing them in an elite Biblical category along with men like Abraham, Moses and the prophets, David, John, Peter, Paul, James and Jude, willing to ‘Follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes’ (14:4). This same word is also used to describe the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:18; Philippians 2:7)

They are the first to be sealed for protection from the coming judgment (Revelation 9:4) thereby providing the Lord with a group of faithful servants who will be the continuation of the believer priests unto God during the Day of the Lord.

They will minister to those Jews and Gentiles who will be saved during the Day of the Lord including the Jews who will be redeemed at the end of the 70th Week (Isaiah 59:20; Romans 11:25, 26). Revelation 9:4 indicates the Lord’s method of keeping His own from the effects of His Day of the Lord wrath:
‘And it was commanded them [the locusts] that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.’

This clearly shows that those who receive the ‘Seal of God in their foreheads’ will not experience the wrath of God which is specifically designed to punish an unbelieving world and purify those Jews whom God will redeem at the end of the Seventieth Week of Daniel (Zechariah 13:8,9; Romans 11:26).

I Thessalonians 1:10 & 5:9 underscore this precious promise of God:
‘And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come....For God hath not appointed us to wrath; but to obtain salvation [deliverance] by our Lord Jesus Christ.’

Although the earth will experience the fiery judgments of the Lord, and chaotic conditions will ensue across the globe, God will continue to use prepared men as His servants to bring others to a saving knowledge of ‘The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (John 1:29).

This is one of the first purposes for those who receive the seal of God. The 144 Thousand will be directly involved in instructing those who will be saved during the end of this age (Daniel 11:32-34, 12:3) and the Day of the Lord

These select servants of God will ‘Follow the Lamb whithersoever He goes’ thereby becoming His end of the age soul-winners: ‘Come ye after Me and I will make you to become fishers of men’ (Mark 1:17) during the 70th Week of Daniel and the Day of the Lord.

The 144 Thousand are also called ‘The first-fruits unto God and the Lamb’ (14:4) indicating that they are the first to be ‘Redeemed from among men’ during the Lord’s 70th Week harvest of souls from the twelve tribes of Israel, the first of the many who will be redeemed including those who will be called when He appears at the end of the 70th Week to redeem that great multitude of Jews mentioned above.

The physical sight of their loving Messianic Redeemer, the Lamb of God (Revelation 14:1) will be the final event that turns the hearts of this most significant group of Jews [1/3 of the nation] (Zechariah 13:8, 9) to their Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ Who will continue to be ‘The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world…‘The Way, the Truth, and the Life’ (John1:29, 14:6)

Then, in Revelation 7:9 the Scripture records the next occurrence of the key phrase “After this”. The results of the Rapture are now seen in heaven as the Great Multitude representing the resurrected saints of the ages and the raptured saints out of the great tribulation stand before the throne of God.

The Lord continues His preparation of the earth for His Day of the Lord wrath by bringing the living saints home to heaven before His wrath which will begin after the Seventh Seal is opened at the beginning of chapter eight revealing the Day of the Lord events (Revelation 8-19) within the scroll.

However, the following events will occur before the Day of the Lord begins:

  1. The Sending of Elijah (Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:11)
  2. The Rise of the Antichrist (Daniel 11)
  3. The Revival of Hearts (Malachi 4:5, 6)
  4. The Restoration [Old Covenant] Things (Daniel 11:28-32; Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12; Acts 3:20, 21)
    1. The Jews will be in the land (Deuteronomy 30:5; Daniel 9:24; Matthew 24:16)
    2. They will control Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24)
    3. The third temple will be built (Daniel 11:31; I Thessalonians 2:1-4; Revelation 11:1, 2)
    4. The holy place included (Matthew 24:15)
    5. The regular/morning and evening sacrifices will be instituted (Daniel 8:11, 12, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11)
    6. The Sabbath will be honored (Matthew 24:20)
    7. The two witnesses/prophets will be sent to God's people (Revelation 11:3-17)
    8. The twelve tribes of Israel will be recognized, organized and sealed (Revelation 7:3-8)
  5. The Awareness of the Believer (Matthew 24:32, 33; I Thessalonians 5:1-10)
  6. The Signing of the Covenant (Daniel 9:27)
  7. The Opening of Six Seals (Revelation 6)
  8. The Falling Away (Daniel 11:30; II Thessalonians 2:1-3)
  9. The Man of Sin Revealed (Daniel 11:31; Matthew 24:15; II Thessalonians 2:1-10)
  10. The Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 8:11,12, 9:27, 11:31,12:11;Matthew 24:15; II Thessalonians 2:3, 4)
  11. The Great Tribulation (Daniel 11:31-12:1, 2, 10; Matthew 24:15-28; Revelation 13:1-18)
  12. The Heavenly Wonders (Joel 2:31; Isaiah 13:10; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24, 25; Luke 21:25, 26; Revelation 6:12)
  13. The Sealing of The 144 Thousand (Revelation 7:1-8)
  14. The Last Trump (Joel 2:1; Matthew 24:31; I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16)
  15. The Second Coming of Christ to Rapture the Saints (Matthew 24:29-31; I Thessalonians 4:13-18)
  16. The Great Multitude [Raised/Raptured Saints of the Ages] in Heaven (Revelation 7:9-17)
  17. The Seventh Seal Opened (Revelation 8:1a)
  18. The Silence in Heaven (Revelation 8:1b; Zephaniah 1:7)
  19. The Seven Trumpet Judgment Angels Prepare (Revelation 8:2, 3a)
  20. The Prayers of All Saints Offered before the Golden Altar (Revelation 8:3b)
With the Lord’s preparation complete, His Day of the Lord judgment begins in Revelation 8:4 as He initiates His cataclysmic and wrath-filled intervention upon earth. It continues through the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ ending in Revelation 19 with the Battle of Armageddon.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that He spoke unto them of John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17:11-13).

The event He is referring to when He said: “Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things” is recorded in the last prophecy of the Old Testament:
“Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”(Malachi 4:5, 6)

The next major event on God’s prophetic agenda is the sending of this last Elijah-like prophet. He will be given a two-fold ministry. First of all, he will be an integral part of the Lord’s preparation of His people, turning hearts of both Jew and Gentile but with a definite focus upon the Jew.

His preaching will be revival-like in nature as he will be responsible for paving the way for the Lord’s Second Coming just as John the Baptist was the forerunner of the Lord Jesus before His first coming. He will preach to those 144 Thousand who will be the first Jews to be converted during the 70th Week of Daniel which is indicated by their title “the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb” (Revelation 14:4).

The second facet of his ministry will be to “restore all things” pertaining to the “holy covenant” (Daniel 11:28-32) because the first (69) weeks of Daniel were under the Old Covenant, therefore, Elijah will be responsible to not only revive the hearts of God’s people but also to restore those necessary Old Covenant “things” prior to the 70th Week of Daniel as spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ.

He will be sent before the climactic and unparalleled time of judgment of the earth and its population called the Day of the Lord which begins during the last half of the 70th Week of Daniel. Therefore, his ministry must begin some time prior to the mid-point of the 70th Week when the “abomination of desolation” occurs stopping the regular sacrifice. This regular sacrifice will have begun earlier (Daniel 8:14) through the “restore all things” ministry of this last Elijah-like prophet.

Indeed, the Lord will, once again, be sending prophets to His people the Jews. However, these prophets will not just be affecting the land of Israel as in Old Testament days for, like “the two prophets” of Revelation 11:3-14, this last Elijah, who eventually becomes one of those two prophets, will have a worldwide ministry during his end time tenure as he ministers to the hearts of God’s people.

It would not have been necessary for the Lord to send this last Elijah-like prophet had the Jews received John the Baptist, as the Lord Jesus Christ indicated:
“For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John [the Baptist]. And if ye will receive it, this is Elijah, which was for to come.” (Matthew 11:13, 14)

But, they did not receive him, if they had, the Lord would have continued with His day of the Lord program as already spelled out in the Old Testament. Instead their rejection of him and the Christ he was heralding, has brought Jew and Gentile alike to this very time in the plan of God!

During the end of this age and before the beginning of the day of the Lord, God will surely send this last Elijah to “restore” those things that He requires which “restitution” Peter also spoke of in his second sermon:
“And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:20, 21)

Here, Peter indicates the return of the Lord Jesus Christ will not occur “until the times of restitution of all things” confirming that the Lord Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will not occur until this last Elijah-like prophet restores those necessary things and is ministering to the hearts of men!

This word “restitution”, a noun only used this one time in the New Testament, contains the Greek root of the verb “restore” the Lord Jesus used in Matthew 17:11 meaning “To restore to its former state” indicating the restoration of certain things which appears to be the “things” concerning the Old Covenant (Daniel 11:28-32)

This same Greek root is found in the word translated “shall turn again” of Malachi 4:5: “And behold I will send to you Elias the Thesbite, before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes; who shall turn again the heart of the father to the son, and the heart of a man to his neighbor, lest I come and smite the earth grievously.”

This verse is found in the Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament, a translation of the Hebrew which was the people’s Bible before and during New Testament times and is still actively used by certain orthodox Christians in eastern Europe.

Over 90% of the Old Testament quotations in the New Testament find their source in this translation which the Lord Jesus Himself utilized when He spoke of Elijah’s future ministry of restoration in Matthew 17:11 which will occur:

  1. Before the Return of the Lord (Acts 3:20, 21)
  2. Before the Day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5, 6)
Yes, the Lord will send His prophet, the Elijah mentioned above, who will definitely “restore all things” indicating his ministry will not be unlike the first Elijah who in God’s wisdom set the stage for the coming of the second Elijah, John the Baptist, who in like manner has accomplished the same for the third.

He, like the first and second Elijah, will be directed by the Holy Spirit of God, knowing and announcing God’s plan as it unfolds. The first Elijah knew with absolute certainty exactly what, when and where God was planning in order to accomplish His will for His people as he gave the now famous ultimatum to king Ahab concerning the 3-1/2 year drought (I Kings 17:1).

His preparation for this notable day caused him to have earth shaking faith as he immersed himself in the Word of God thereby receiving the Holy Spirit’s understanding that the Lord was about to bring a period of drought upon the earth in response to the idolatrous conduct of His people. (Deuteronomy 11:16, 17) He later made another great ultimatum to Gods people:
“How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” (I Kings 18:21) followed by the contest between God and Baal (I Kings 18:22-40).

His mighty prayer is recorded near the end of this great contest: “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have done all these things at Thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that Thou art the LORD God, and that Thou hast turned their heart back again.” (I Kings 18:36, 37)

This brought down the all consuming fire of God from heaven eliciting the submission and worship of the people. This Holy Spirit filled prayer by God’s servant was what it took for God to turn their hearts which in like manner is what it will take at the end of the age when the last Elijah will accomplish his service to God.

John the Baptist, the second Elijah, after preaching repentance preparing the hearts of God’s people, announced the arrival of God’s Lamb when Jesus approached on the banks of Jordan the day He was made known publicly at His baptism: “Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

In the three days, recorded in John 1:19-36 John the Baptist would experience the culmination of his ministry when the first day he was asked by the unbelieving Jews: “Art thou Elijah?” and the second day saw “Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world” and the third day “And looking upon Jesus as He walked, he said, Behold the Lamb of God!”

John knew who Jesus was, and exactly what He came to do for all of mankind long before the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross of Calvary for our sins. He was completely accurate in his proclamations concerning the Christ, the Jewish Messiah, Who came to save His people, and the rest of the world (I John 2:2) from their sin!

It was John, like Elijah before him, who preached repentance to God’s people, turning their hearts, preparing them for the coming of the Lord. In like manner, this last Elijah-like prophet will follow the example of the two Elijahs before him preaching repentance to the people of God!

So, with two Elijahs now past, some conclusions can be drawn from the Biblical record concerning the third and last Elijah. This powerful Hebrew prophet will come during the end of the age, before the coming of Christ/Day of the Lord to “restore all things” in the spirit and power of his two predecessors.

And, if God continues to be “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) this prophet’s ministry will multiply in a progressive manner. The scope of his ministry will increase from being strictly to the Jews in the land of Israel to include all the saints of the existing Church worldwide.

In addition these (12) Characteristics of John the Baptist’s ministry in Matthew 3:1-12 provide valuable insight into the future ministry of this last Elijah:

  1. He stood in a difficult place and time (v.1)
  2. He preached an unpopular message (v.2)
  3. He stood alone (v.3)
  4. He was a Biblical separatist/non-conformist (v.4)
  5. He had God-given magnetism (v.5)
  6. He got results in his ministry (v.6)
  7. He spoke out against God’s enemies (v.7)
  8. He was confident in his life changing message(v.8)
  9. He denounced religious tradition (v.9)
  10. He proclaimed God’s judgment (v.10)
  11. He announced the coming of Christ (v.11)
  12. He described the ministry of Christ (v.12)
    [Sermon: Pastor Al Dickerson]

Therefore, we can look to the Scripture with strong confidence and great expectation concerning this mighty prophet of God, for he, too, will:

  1. Call God’s people to repentance
  2. Confront the political leader, the Antichrist.
  3. Condemn the false religious leader, the false prophet
  4. Call a group of disciples: [The 144 Thousand]
He definitely will be the instrument God uses to restore the “holy covenant” (Daniel 11:28-32). He will also be the leader of those who will evangelize the Jews (Daniel 11:33, 12:3) as “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26) when their Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ, will “come to Zion (Isaiah 59:20) to “bring in everlasting righteousness” (Daniel 9:24) at the end of the 70th Week of Daniel.

And, restoration/revival of the nation of Israel, will be the focus, like the day when they said:
“The LORD, He is the God; The LORD HE is the God.” (I Kings 18:39) in response to God’s all consuming fire! The revival of God’s people which was the result of the first and second Elijah’s ministry will also be one of the primary goals of this last Elijah.

Therefore, the Lord’s sending of the third Elijah spoken of in Malachi 4:5,6; Mathew 17:11; Mark 9:12 appears to be on the very doorstep of His prophetic plan which must occur during “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:4-8) and prior to “the great tribulation” (Matthew 24:9-28) when the faithful of the nation of Israel will be scattered (Matthew 24:15-28) during the Antichrist’s global war with the saints (Daniel 7:21-25; Revelation 13:1-18) while Satan’s primary focus will be centered upon the faithful Jews in the nation of Israel (Daniel 11:21-12:1) and “the remnant of her seed” who are scattered throughout the world. (Revelation 12:17).

Like the successful evangelists of old and his two forerunners [Elijah, John the Baptist] whom the Lord sent to His people, his emphasis will be upon repentance providing the Lord with the opportunity to “turn the hearts” of His people, the Jews and Gentiles, within the Church, the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

But, exactly when the restoration of the “holy covenant” (Daniel 11:28-32) takes place is not clearly specified. However, it will be part of the ministry of this prophet to “restore all things” which will have to take place prior to the last 3-1/2 years of the 70th Week of Daniel and is likely to be in effect before the beginning of the 70th Week as the Antichrist’s involvement with the “daily sacrifice” begins after he makes a covenant with the Jews at the beginning of the 70th Week and continues 2300 days or “evenings and mornings” (Daniel 8:14).

Therefore, the time leading up to the 70th Week of Daniel will be occupied by Elijah’s ministry of restoration including:

  1. The revival of Gods people
  2. The restoration of all things regarding the “holy covenant”
  3. The recruiting of his disciples

The Antichrist will rise to power during this same time frame, confirming a covenant with the many of the nation of Israel (Daniel 9:27) at the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel. Then, after 220 days, the host and regular sacrifice will be given over (Daniel 8:12) to the Antichrist lasting for the next 1040 days during which time many of the Jews fall away forsaking “the holy covenant” (Daniel 11:28-30) aligning themselves with the Antichrist.

Then, the Antichrist reveals his true identity at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel. His forces will stop the regular sacrifice and pollute the sanctuary by setting up his image in the holy place for the remaining 1260 days of the 70th Week which is the renowned “abomination of desolation” indicated by the Lord (Daniel 11:28-30; Matthew 24:15; II Thessalonians 2:4).

The sending of Elijah to “restore all things” (Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12) will also include:

  1. The building of “the temple of God” (II Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 11:1,2)
  2. The “the holy place” included (Matthew 24:15; Revelation 11:1)
  3. The restoration of the “holy covenant” (Daniel 11:28-32)
  4. The institution of the “regular sacrifice” (Daniel 8:11-13, 9:27, 11:31, 12:11)
  5. The implementation of “the Sabbath” (Matthew 24:20)
  6. The recognition of “the twelve tribes” (Revelation 7:3-8)
  7. The “turning of the hearts” of the people of God (Malachi 4:5, 6)
He will make ready a people prepared for the Second Coming of the Lord:
“That He [The Lord Jesus Christ] might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:27)
“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.” (I Thessalonians 5:23)
”For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:12-14)
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” (I John 3:3)
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 24, 25)

Although the above verses are filled with exhortations for God’s people to live holy lives in the present day, they also imply the condition of God’s people when He returns, for, in like manner, this last Elijah will preach repentance/revival as the two Elijah’s before him and thereby make ready a people prepared for the return of the Lord!

God’s sending of this mighty Elijah-like Hebrew prophet is the next event on the Lord’s prophetic horizon and will take place in due course as a necessary prerequisite for the unfolding of His plan during the 70th Week of Daniel when He will once again deal with Israel as a nation.

At this present time [2011] there are thousands of orthodox Jews worldwide who are waiting for the appearance of Elijah as they set a place for him at the table the first day of Passover during the ritual feast called the Seder, expecting him to return just as it is recorded in Malachi 4:5, 6

This real expectation among the Jews is preparing hearts for his arrival even though when he comes his message will not be what they expected for he will turn hearts to their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, the Lord continues to work in the hearts of His people preparing them for Elijah’s arrival.

In addition to his ministry of restoration/revival, this mighty Hebrew prophet will turn his message to judgment after the abomination of desolation when the Antichrist’s image is set up in the holy place of the 70th Week Temple in Jerusalem at the mid-point of the 70th Week of Daniel.

As one of God’s two mighty prophets (Revelation 11:10) his service to the Lord will continue throughout the 70th Week until he and his companion are killed by the beast, the Antichrist. But, this is not the end of the story for the Lord will miraculously resurrect His two prophets:
“And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither, And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand, and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Revelation 11:11-13)

Their death at the hands of the beast/Antichrist parallels the death of John the Baptist while their exit from earth is similar to Elijah’s rapture into glory! Although the parallels to Elijah and John the Baptist are manifold, the ministry of these two prophets takes on a much greater Biblical significance when the following parallels to the Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry are considered:

  1. They will be anointed by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18; Zechariah 4:14; Revelation 11:3a)
  2. They will proclaim judgment to God’s enemies (Matthew 23; Revelation 11:5, 6)
  3. They will minister on earth 3.5 years (Length of the Lord’s (4) Gospels ministry; Revelation 11:3b)
  4. They will complete their work on earth (John 17:4; Revelation 11:7)
  5. They will die at the hands of their enemies (Matthew 27:19-53; Revelation 11:7)
  6. They will die in Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8; Matthew 27:35ff)
  7. They will remain dead for similar time period (Matthew 16:21; Revelation 11:11)
  8. They will be miraculously resurrected (Matthew 28:1-20; Revelation 11:11, 12)
  9. Their resurrection will be accompanied by a great earthquake (Matthew 28:2; Revelation 11:13)
  10. Their resurrection/ascension will be seen by many (Acts 1:1-4,I Corinthians 15:6;Revelation 11:11ff)
  11. They will ascend to heaven in a cloud (Acts 1:8; Revelation 11:12)
  12. They will bring great glory to God (John 17:1, 4, 5; Revelation 11:13)


Rev. Larry Wolfe--Evangelist
3015 Pelzer Hwy
#16
Easley, SC 29642

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