THE END OF THE AGE

THE END OF THE AGE Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

We are approaching the end of an age, an age that might be termed The Adamic Age. We are approaching a new age, an age we have named The Kingdom Age. Mankind has set up its own kings during the Adamic Age. Soon the Lord Jesus will return and establish His saints on the thrones that govern the earth.

THE END OF THE AGE

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3)

We are approaching the end of an age, an age that might be termed The Adamic Age. We are approaching a new age, an age we have named The Kingdom Age. Mankind has set up its own kings during the Adamic Age. Soon the Lord Jesus will return and establish His saints on the thrones that govern the earth.

Notice in the above passage that the disciples asked the Lord three questions: when will the Temple be torn down; what will be the sign of the Lord’s return; what will be the sign of the end of the age.

In the twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Matthew, after speaking of various calamities the Lord referred to the verses in the Book of Daniel that speak of the abomination that produces desolation.

It seems to me that the Temple will be rebuilt. Then Antichrist will sit in the Most Holy Place between the wings of the cherubim of glory, declaring he is God.

He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (II Thessalonians 2:4)

Also Antichrist will construct on the highest point of the Temple some kind of statue, most likely the figure of a man—perhaps a representation of himself.

He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing (possibly pinnacle) of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (Daniel 9:27)

It appears to me that Antichrist, not being satisfied with sitting on the Ark of the Covenant in the interior of the Temple, will want a statute that represents himself so people can see how important he is. This is always the way with the self-seeking individual.

The Lord Jesus warned His disciples that when they see this abomination "standing in the holy place" to flee to the mountains. Man making himself a god always produces desolation. In this instance the abomination is so vile it will bring on the great tribulation.

The great tribulation will be cut short for the sake of God’s elect, both Jews and Gentiles, who are on the earth at that time.

After announcing the great tribulation the Lord Jesus answered the second and third questions posed by His disciples.

Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. (Matthew 24:29)

These signs were prophesied also in the Old Testament.

The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. (Isaiah 13:10)

Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger. (Isaiah 13:13)

Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? (Joel 2:10,11)

We are speaking now of the signs that will announce the return of the Lord Jesus to the earth. The reference is to the Day of Wrath, the great and terrible Day of the Lord.

These galactic events in the universe will probably take place over a relatively short period of time, maybe a few weeks. Such unbelievable power has not been demonstrated since God through Christ spoke the earth and the stars into existence.

You can imagine the terror of the peoples of the earth when these massive catastrophes take place.

The heavens will tremble. We know God is going to shake the spirit heavens in the last days, but I think the above passages are referring to the physical heavens.

What would it take to shake the physical heavens? Are the stars and planets embedded in some sort of matrix that the entire mold can be shaken at once? I think this is not unlikely.

I do not understand how the stars can fall from the sky but I certainly believe such will take place. The stars, being enormously larger than our planet, cannot fall to the earth. Where they will fall to I have no idea, but they assuredly shall fall!

The earth will shake from its place, meaning that it will be removed from its orbit. This alone would be, for mankind, the ultimate catastrophe.

The darkening of the sun and moon may not be such an awesome event, unless we are speaking of something other than an eclipse.

On top of this, the inhabitants of the earth are faced with the sight of Christ at the head of His army of saints. They are coming to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.

They shall be resisted, as we know from the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation. But one might as well attempt to stop an earthquake as to prevent the return of Jesus Christ and His saints.

The important thing to remember in all of this is that the only people who will rise to be with Christ in this day are those who live by feeding on His flesh and blood. Where the slain Lamb is, there will be the true saints who have turned aside from their sinful nature that they might live by His body and blood.

Blood will call to blood and flesh to flesh, in the great and terrible Day of the Lord. Correctness of doctrine will mean absolutely nothing. He who eats the flesh of Christ and drinks His blood has eternal life, and Christ will lift him up in the Day of the Lord.

By this time the peoples of the earth will be totally disoriented, mourning because they know they have not served God as they should have. But no repentance is possible at this point. The events will move too swiftly and too terribly to permit a change of behavior. The five foolish virgins without the inner life of the body and blood of Christ, the only true eternal life and light, will not go to be with the Lord. This is true no matter how accurately they have participated in their religious practices.

Orthodoxy of religious doctrine and practice will make no difference in the Day of the Lord. Only those who live by the slain Lamb will be removed from the awful scenes of Divine wrath.

Now will appear in the sky the sign of the Son of Man. I cannot say what this sign will be but I imagine it will be a great cross surrounded by angels. Throughout Church history, from Christian organization to Christian organization, the cross has been the symbol of Jesus Christ.

Can you imagine how people will feel when the entire universe is in chaos, the sky above them and the ground under their feet are shaking, and then they look up and see a cross?

Every year in America we have the Rose Bowl Parade. I have often thought that to keep matters in perspective there should be in the middle of that parade a solitary figure carrying a cross—perhaps a cross festooned with flowers.

It is not going to happen. Instead we would have Mickey Mouse leading the parade or being glorified in it before we ever would have a man carrying a cross.

Yet in the Philippines, whose people are certainly as important to God as is true of Americans, they have believers nailed to crosses that are displayed during religious observances. Crosses appear also in Central and South American religious festivals.

But never in America. Why is this? It is because we have turned away from God. We can talk about separation of church and state all we want to. The truth is, we have turned away from God!

When Christ returns the entire universe will be shaken by the hand of Jesus Christ and His sign will appear in the sky. How will proud Americans react in that hour of Divine wrath?

I know it is being taught that if we take the "four steps of salvation" we will not be here during the great tribulation, much less during the Day of Wrath.

The truth is, the elect, both Jews and Gentiles, will be here throughout the days of the great tribulation. It also is true that only the victorious saints will rise to meet with the Lord so they can descend with Him and establish the Kingdom of God on the earth. The rank and file of believers will not rise to meet Him when He appears. They are not obeying Him today, having been taught that they are saved apart from any effort on their part.

The purpose of the great tribulation is to save as many as possible of the indifferent believers by bringing suffering upon them. Once the suffering of the tribulation begins, the careless believers either will begin to serve God as they should or else they will continue in their sinful ways until wrath falls upon them.

All Christians go through tribulation. This is part of the normal Christian life.

But God has not called us to wrath. Yet we indeed shall suffer wrath if we do not take up our cross and follow the Lord each day. The lukewarm believers will be vomited from the mouth of Christ. They shall be removed from the Vine, from Christ. Where they shall go from there depends on what Christ decides in each individual case.

The Lord will come on the clouds with power and great glory. The trumpet will be blown. The angels will gather His elect from every place in which they have been waiting, most of them in the spirit realm, a handful still living on the earth.

Those who are teaching a special, secret coming in advance of the return of the Lord described in Matthew 24:30,31 have gone outside the Scriptures and are following a "special revelation" given in the nineteenth century. It is a deception designed to keep the believers from preparing themselves to stand in the evil day that is at hand.

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:30,31)

Remember, the disciples asked the Lord what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age. If there were to be a special "secret rapture" prior to His return in power and glory, He certainly would have said so.

Now the Lord begins to point us toward the end of what I have termed "the Adamic Age." What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?"

The Lord began to speak of the fig tree. I don’t believe the fig tree has anything to do with Israel becoming a nation. Rather, the Lord is saying that when we see the great signs in the sky we know the end of the Adamic Age is at the door.

Before this, when speaking of deception and of wars and rumors of wars, the Lord has said not to be alarmed for the end is still to come.

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. (Matthew 24:6)

The signs in the heavens are the sprouting fig tree. They are the green leaves that herald the end of the Adamic Age.

Even so, when you see all these things, you know it is near, right at the door. (Matthew 24:33)

Now comes a verse that is difficult to understand.

I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. (Matthew 24:34)

Certainly the Lord did not mean the people He was speaking to at the time would live to see everything He had mentioned come to pass. So we must look for another meaning.

The key word here is "generation." What is meant by "generation"?

The Greek term is genea (ghen-eh-AH). The root meaning of genea is people coming from a common ancestor.

The same word is used as follows:

In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants (genean)? For his life was taken from the earth. (Acts 8:33)

The term also can be translated family, or origin.

My suggestion is that Jesus is referring here to the entire Adamic race, for we all are descended from the same parents.

It is possible that the Lord meant the end of the Adamic Age will follow so closely after the signs in the heavens that the same generation of people that saw the signs would be present at the end of the age, that is, the events would take place within 40 years or so. Or, He could have meant that the Jewish race would endure until the end of the age.

However, I like to think the Lord meant that mankind would not perish from the earth until all the Lord said had taken place.

Remember, there was a danger during the great tribulation that all of mankind would be destroyed from the earth!

If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:22)

I think the Lord is saying the generation of mankind will not pass away until "all these things have happened."

Consider the enormity of the change that will take place as we pass from the Adamic Age into the Kingdom Age.

All sin will be removed from the earth. Satan will be chained and hurled into the Abyss. Antichrist and the False Prophet will be thrown into the Lake of Fire.

Prior to this time, Satan and his angels had been driven from the thrones in the heavens and forced to dwell on the earth. As I understand it, these thrones, which are located in the air, will be occupied by the Lord’s victorious saints. I think this is why they are caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

The Lord will return at the head of an army of victorious saints. They are clothed in the white raiment of their own righteous deeds, righteous deeds proceeding from the Nature of Christ who has been formed in them.

This is the army described in Joel, Habakkuk, Micah, Isaiah, Jude, and the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation.

It is my point of view that the removal of all the demonic influences in the people who have survived the outpouring of God’s wrath will require a period of time, and will be accomplished by Christ’s soldiers as they move in His Spirit. All the works of Satan and of self-willed people will be destroyed. I think this is what the opening verses of the second chapter of Joel is describing.

They rush upon the city; they run along the wall. They climb into the houses; like thieves they enter through the windows. (Joel 2:9)

Now, just picture life after all of the evil has been judged and forced from the earth. Christ will be sitting as King in Jerusalem. His saints will be governing the various nations. The Spirit of God will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea. The wild animals will dwell in peace with the tame animals. Little children will play with all of the animals without danger. Nothing will cause harm or destruction.

The Bible says the Kingdom Age (Millennium) will endure for a thousand years. Whether this is a literal thousand years or is merely a specific time is difficult to ascertain. But it will be long enough for God to bring the weaker members of His Church to the level of maturity where they are able to descend with all saints from the new heaven as the new Jerusalem.

At the end of the Kingdom Age Satan will be released from the Abyss and will go forth to deceive the nations. He will succeed and they will march against the elect. But God will destroy them with fire from the heaven.

Again, we have come to the end of an age, this time the end of the Kingdom Age. The earth and the sky will flee from the Face of God. The peoples of the earth, except for the royal priesthood which will be raised when Jesus comes again, will be judged. Those worthy of eternal life will be brought into the new age, the Eternal Age. The remainder, hopefully few in number, will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be with the wicked of all ages.

After assuring us that the race of mankind would survive on the earth until His return, the Lord went on to say that only the Father knows when the end of the present age will come.

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36)

Throughout Church history there have been several instances in which fervent believers have prepared themselves for the end of the age. The reason for this may be as follows: when the Holy Spirit speaks to us we get the feeling what the Spirit says will take place immediately. But the spirit realm does not operate under the constraints of time as we do.

For example, two thousand years ago the Lord stated He was coming "quickly." Our idea of quickly is not two thousand years, but in the spirit realm it is as two days.

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; And they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37-39)

Notice that in the days of Noah the problem was one of occupation with the ordinary things of life in the flesh. Obvious sins are not mentioned, only the sin of ignoring God and His will.

The victorious saints will not be caught by surprise because they are not totally occupied with the ordinary things of life in the flesh.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness so this day should surprise you like a thief. (I Thessalonians 5:4)

The Book of Hebrews warns us Christians that we will not escape the anger of God if we neglect our salvation. We in America, being surfeited with material goods and with numerous other distractions, make a minimum commitment to Christ and then proceed with our daily interests. There is no way in which we are going to escape punishment in the future. We shall indeed be taken by surprise because we are not living as children of light.

You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. (I Thessalonians 5:5,6)

We Christians must always remain alert and self-controlled. If we do not, Christ will come to us at the moment we least expect and demand an accounting of our life.

So it will be in the Day of the Lord. Because of the rule of Antichrist people will be exclaiming, "Peace and safety." They will not notice that their cultural surroundings are in chaos, just as the American people cannot perceive their cultural surroundings are in chaos. Because they think they still are guaranteed their freedoms by their Constitution and the Bill of Rights they imagine they are in the best of all worlds and are endeavoring to convince the other nations that American-style democracy is the best form of government.

They remain in this delusion until their daughter or wife is raped and mutilated or their son or husband is arrested for murder. Then they wake up to the fact that they have been believing an image presented by the wealthy and the politicians, who are enjoying themselves as God is driven from the land and the demons are flooding in.

This blindness will remain true throughout the great tribulation, as people seek to solve the accumulating problems by means of money, science, and education. "Let us all work together to make a better world," they will cry. But they will not turn to God, and so all their efforts will crumble into dust.

"But," as someone stated, "it is better to rule in Hell than to serve in Heaven."

The philosophy of America stresses the right of people to do what they want, without reference to God. This is the cruelest bondage of all. It is the flame that comes from the inmost being of Satan and keeps consuming him and all others who follow their self-will.

"Peace and safety" will be heralded while the environment is being destroyed, until suddenly the heavens and the earth are shaken and the great cross is displayed in the sky. Then will people cry for the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from the face of the Lamb.

The trumpet of God will sound and those who are living by the body and blood of Christ will be caught up to the Lamb in the air. The shaking of the creation plus the sight of the saints of every age being caught up together with the saints left alive at the time, all shining like thousand-watt bulbs, will cause terror on the part of the onlookers.

But this is only the beginning of their sorrows.

Satan and his followers will harden their hearts when the world is in ruins, just as did Pharaoh of Egypt.

Then the mighty army on the white war stallions will hurtle from the sky. They will be clothed and shielded with invincible Divine power. Antichrist and his followers will attempt to mount a resistance, but their folly soon will be revealed.

All the armies that followed Antichrist will be scattered over the ground. Here is an enormous banquet that God has prepared for the birds of the air.

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great." (Revelation 17:18,19)

The point of all we are stating in this essay is as follows: we have been lulled to sleep by the teaching of the "rapture." Whether pre-or post-tribulation, it does not matter. For the purpose of the catching up of the saints is not to lift the believers into Heaven so they may escape trouble. Rather it is the catching up of the victorious saints into the air so they can meet Christ there and then descend with Him and fight the Battle of Armageddon.

Woe unto those who desire the Day of the Lord! It is a day so terrible that Habakkuk trembled. It will be out of the frying pan and into the fire for numerous believers in our country.

Let us immediately turn to the Bible, ignoring the traditions which have lulled us into complacency. Having found the true nature of the Day of the Lord, let us without delay present ourselves before the Lord as those who are willing to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him wherever He leads.

We must in the present hour, offer our body as a living sacrifice to God.

If we do not, the time may come when we offer our body as a feast for the birds.

The choice is ours.