THE GREAT TRIBULATION
Before writing The Great Tribulation, Brendan brought up a number of matters that needed to be addressed, many of which have been covered here. Yet there are some matters that could not be addressed. The purpose of this writing has not been to try to address everything related to this subject, but to begin making progress in the right direction, revealing vital introductory truth.
One of the matters he noted that had to be demonstrated was the actual occurrence of the abomination of desolation, thereby setting forth the proof as to when the great tribulation indeed began. This we have done and seen. By way of summary, following are the fourteen points of proof regarding the abomination of desolation and the great tribulation.
1. Daniel 12:11 tells us that the abomination of desolation occurred 1,290 days after the regular sacrifice was abolished – on the seventh day after Yahshua departed, the apostles stood in His place and cast lots for Judas’ replacement.
2. Attesting to the church, Antiochus IV Epiphanes desolated the temple and Jerusalem for three years, concluded by the acts of a Judas.
3. As it was written, the first Remnant fled when they saw Stephen stoned and the garments of the false witnesses were placed at the feet of Saul.
4. Christianity began in Antioch under Saul/Paul, the very city founded by Antiochus.
5. The forty years of the great and terrible wilderness speak of the great tribulation of the forty-Jubilee-waiting-period time of the church in the wilderness.
6. As stated in Malachi 4:5-6, Elijah comes in the time of the great and terrible day of Yahweh, in the 3,000 year period of the church, the great tribulation, in order to cut those days short to 2,000 and Yahweh not smite the church with utter annihilation.
7. The New Testament itself abundantly evidences that the period of the church is the period of great tribulation.
8. As evidenced by Revelation 2:20-23 and 1 Kings 19, “the woman Jezebel” immediately impacted the church, causing it to go into the great tribulation, the great and terrible wilderness.
9. The Elijah second Remnant identified in Revelation 7:9-12 come out of the great tribulation, cutting its duration short from 3,000 years to 2,000 years.
10. The contradiction riddle of Matthew, Mark, and Luke attests that the abomination of desolation, as well as the great tribulation, takes place in the first Remnant and Christianity, whereas vindication/justice comes about with the second Remnant.
11. The Scriptures following Yahshua’s life do not support a climactic event as popularly taught, but that the antichrist and man of lawlessness have been in the church from the beginning, will increase all the more in the end, and will be exposed at Yahshua’s appearance.
12. Matthew 24:37-41 and Luke 17:26-37, as well as 2 Peter 2:1-10, attest that Yahshua’s promised baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire comes to stop the desolation of the church that has taken place for 2,000 years.
13. The three woes promised relative to the fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpets, the great tribulation, were cut short to two; and the third woe was replaced with the Millennial reign.
14. In related testimony, mystery Babylon is identified three times as being the “woe, woe,” two woes – the 2,000 years of the great tribulation.
Another matter Brendan said needed to be addressed was to give the reason why all of the affliction of the great tribulation over the last 2,000 years had to take place. Was its purpose just to afflict kingdom man or to punish him? Not at all! To seek to explain this would be the same as explaining why Yahweh afflicted Job in the same way, and even in the same pattern as the church. Was Job’s affliction just to torment him? No, but rather to effect the entire testimony for his life, and to bless him in the end. So it is with the church.
Anytime Yahweh does something, its purpose is multifaceted. On the one hand, as we read regarding the purpose of the great and terrible wilderness, which Christianity is, its testing was to effect that which was written in Deuteronomy 8:16:
“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.”
But that which Brendan most takes hope in regarding Yahweh’s affliction of Christianity is the fact that as the body of Christ, they suffer for the sake of the world. Even as Yahshua was afflicted at the hands of the world, so the body of Christ has been afflicted. The body of Christ has equally had their eyes bound so they cannot see. The cares of this world have been a crown of thorns upon their head. They have been beaten to an extent by Satan that Yahshua’s appearance is not even recognizable. And a scarlet/purple robe has been placed upon them and a reed placed in their right hand and they think they are ruling, when they are not. But rather, they are afflicted!
Though all of this is to the ruin of the body, in the end it will work for their good and for the salvation of the world, even as it was so with Yahshua. Therefore, just as Satan’s rights to test Job created the breach of affliction, as it is written in Deuteronomy 8:16, it will indeed be good for the church in the end, as well as for the world.
The matter that prevails on my own heart the most in this writing is that which is addressed in section/page 6. Here we saw that the man of lawlessness who takes his seat in the temple of God, in our body, is none other than kingdom man becoming lawless. In Matthew 7:22-23 we read: “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
What is lawlessness? Lawlessness is following a course or actions ordered by one’s own will and feelings and forsaking Yahweh’s clear instructions, His laws. It is the failure to have unchanging standards that are based on Yahweh’s righteous mandates. He is the lawgiver; and when we violate His laws, we are being lawless. As it is written in 1 John 3:4, “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” This lawlessness is the way of man, even kingdom man, and is certainly the exceeding practice of men today – the apostasy!
It is quite interesting how Satan calls evil good, and good evil. For example, in Yahweh’s ways, 666 is good. This is the Remnant who ascend alive. But in Satan’s eyes, would this event be good? Absolutely not! For men to ascend alive would mean that Satan would lose the power of death that he has had for 6,000 years. Therefore, in Satan’s eyes, 666 is evil; and he has caused men who see things through his eyes and his ways to see it the same way.
Likewise, people think 777 is a lucky and good number, when in fact it is the three parts, or 3,000 years, of the mark of the beast, and thus – “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Once again, this demonstrates how people look at things through the eyes of Satan, calling evil good.
This is the same practice demonstrated by the religious Pharisees who desired the things and recognition of this world. They too were looking at things through the eyes of Satan, desiring that which was temporary and afforded fleshly pleasure, that which was of this world. Addressing them, Yahshua said, “for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). What an incredibly revealing and relevant statement!
Today, people are lawless, desiring pleasures by looking at things through the eyes of Satan, and not through the eyes of Yahweh. And this is true with both the world, as well as kingdom men and women. By such perception, they prove that they are lawless. Immediately after Yahshua said this about the esteemed things of man being detestable to God, He immediately added:
“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail. Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:16-18).
And just before stating that which He said concerning the outcome of those who practice lawlessness, Yahshua also stated, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is narrow and the way is (lit.) afflicted that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
In this regard, another flaw of men is that they do not look at the long-term effects of what they are doing. They do not look at the big picture. Almost all people today live for the moment, wanting that which will satisfy them at any given time, living according to the pursuits and pleasures of the world, which is detestable to Yahweh. They do not look at what the long-term effects will be.
Given these two errors of lawlessness and failing to look at long-term effects, man, the family, the church, society, and civil government, are all in a state of miserable failure. People divorce, women vote and occupy the places of men, people disregard the essential distinctions in the appearances of men and women and abandon modesty, godly family and civil government is not preserved, people take in entertainment that is unwholesome and destructive, families and individuals and even our nation live undisciplined and wantonous lives and pile up debt, all because of the failure of lawlessness and not looking at the big picture. If these two items alone were properly regarded, everything and everyone around us would be different, and that for the good.
We now close this writing with a most important and relevant question: Given that the great tribulation began four days before Pentecost when the apostles cast lots for the office of the twelfth apostle, and has transpired unrestrained for essentially 2,000 years, desolating the kingdom of heaven and taking kingdom men to death, how can this destructive fate be reversed? Is there a solution; and if so, what is it? Here is our hope.
When the eleven apostles stood in the place of Yahshua and cast lots for the twelfth apostle, they set into motion a curse on the church that was attested in other like fates. In equal regard, when lots were cast on the troubled sea, the result was that Jonah was cast into the sea and swallowed by the great fish. In like testimony, when lots were cast by Haman, the result was that the Jews were to equally go to the sea of death at the hand of their enemy.
Each of these speak of what took place in the church when, upon casting lots, the apostles effected the abomination of desolation. The church was thereby devoted to death; it went into the belly of Leviathan. So what is the solution? The account in the book of Esther affords the clear answer to this fateful dilemma.
The message of the book of Esther is – the revelation of the hidden bride and the deliverance she thereby effects. But let us first set the scene. The one who planned and implemented this death was the Agagite, Haman. Who were the Agagites? They were the descendants of Agag, the king of the Amalekites whom Saul was supposed to have utterly destroyed (1 Samuel 15:1-9). Obviously he did not accomplish this, and equally obvious Haman had a vendetta against the Jews.
Haman’s name is quite interesting, in that it has more than one meaning. On the one hand in the Persian language it can mean “magnificent.” In Hebrew it can mean “turmoil.” But also in the Hebrew, it can literally mean “the manna,” or “HaMan.”
What we find in these various matters is that they speak of the period of the church.
But there is much more to this similarity, and bears dramatic and important relevance. In the truly incredible writing, A Lesson From Intercession, page 4, we see how Esther’s bold appearance before the king, his extending her the golden rod, her touching the head of the rod, and her two wine banquets, all speak of that which must take place today in order to effect our deliverance. This amazing account affords the answer to the question we have asked regarding how the destructive results of the abomination of desolation can be reversed.
The desolation that began when the apostles cast lots, and the desolation that was to take place when Haman cast lots, are parallel events. Where we stand in time now, we cannot look into the future and see what it takes to reverse this desolation. But, by examining the parallel account in Esther, we can indeed see the much needed solution. And as addressed in A Lesson From Intercession, page 4, three things are necessary – a golden rod, an Esther, and a second wine banquet.
From what we learned in that writing, there has already been the first golden rod – Yahshua. The first Remnant indeed touched His head and gained the truth they needed to receive the first wine banquet – “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, which," He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’” (Acts 1:4-5).
But their wine banquet, like Esther’s first banquet, did not reveal who it was who was to kill them, nor did it secure their deliverance. It did not reveal the plan of the Haman. Also, their promised baptism was simply the baptism “with the Holy Spirit.” As we learned in section/page 7, the baptism promised to the second Remnant is the baptism with “the Holy Spirit and fire.” Therefore, what is needed today is the second golden rod, to touch its head, and gather for the second Haman-revealing wine banquet and have Haman sent to his own fifty-cubit gallows – fifty being the number of Pentecost and Jubilee.
This is indeed the very hope we have as this writing comes to completion. Our hope is that when the Bride meets on Tabernacles Pentecost, January 2-4, 2008, that it will be the much needed second wine banquet, the promised Pentecost gallows for Satan. Read “The Legal Rights To Ascend Alive” and the latter half of “Hurricane Ophelia – the Helper” to better understand the hope-filled promise of Tabernacles having its own Pentecost, a body, giving Tabernacles life. Also, this is the third observed gathering for this feast; and if the passing over principle is in effect here, we will receive the promise.
We see then that Purim bears the very hope we so desperately need in reversing the death consequence of the casting of lots by the eleven apostles, the abomination that made desolate.
In like manner, it seems evident that all that has to happen to reverse the curse of falsely attempting to place Matthias in that office, is for Yahshua to now place His timely choice in that office and displace Satan. In the testimony of the Esther account, this is to take the signet ring from Haman and give it to Mordecai. Mordecai can then write and seal the decree that reverses the curse of the casting of lots.
One final note on this. You will notice that though Mordecai’s decree gave the Jews the right to plunder the spoil of their enemy (Esther 8:11), they did not do so – “they did not lay their hands on the plunder” (Esther 9:15). One cannot help but notice that there could well be a tie between the command that Yahweh gave Saul regarding destroying the Agagites and that they were not to take the plunder, and the fact that the Jews did not take any plunder when Haman the Agagite’s decree was nullified. It makes one wonder what will take place regarding the plunder of this world with the establishment of the second Remnant and with Yahshua’s return.
We will watch and see regarding all these matters. But for now, we do see that there is hope for reversing the abomination of desolation that caused the great tribulation in the church for 2,000 years. May Yahweh fulfill the hope-filled promises of the book of Esther and reverse the curse.