The following post is provided as food for thought for those who desire to share the truth of the gospel of Christ with those who may not have come to saving faith in our Lord. Additional information is shown that will help to comfort those who are concerned about the uncertainty of the end of times tribulation.
Fishing For Saints – The Great Commission – Saints are the born-again body of believers, who are the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, per the Words of Our Lord, “I will build My Church,” (Matthew 16:18).
The Great Commission
Matthew 28:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Acts 1:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
In Philippians 1:1-2, we see the composition of a church, which is the body of Christ: the saints, those who have been born again; the deacons, those who assist the pastors (the overseers), those who have the overall responsibility for the conduct of a church. An overseer is also called a pastor, shepherd and elder. There is no scripture that shows that any other official in a church has authority over a pastor. The biblical example of church leadership is shown, as follows:
Acts 14:23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
Notice that each church/congregation had a plurality of elders (overseers, pastors, shepherds). Notice, also, that the local church did not have a super structure governing it. When the question of Gentiles in the church arose, notice the order of the Church meeting in Jerusalem that discussed that matter.
Acts 15 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
(Notice, vs 1-2, that the authority was “the apostles and elders.”)
1 And certain men who came down from Judea taught the brethren and said, “Unless ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”
2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
(Notice, vs 3, that the church sent Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem. No mention was made of deacon or trustee authority.)
3 And being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
(Notice, vs 4, that there was the church (the body of Christ), the apostles, and the elders. No other official was mentioned; neither a deacon nor trustee.)
4 And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and by the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
(Notice, vs 5-6, the apostles and elders considered the matter. There was not a church vote, or the inclusion of a deacon or trustee).
5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees who believed, saying that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses.
6 And the apostles and the elders came together to consider this matter.
(Notice, vs 7, that Peter testified. No mention was made of his addressing a board of deacons or trustees.)
7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up and said unto them, “Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the Word of the Gospel and believe.
(Notice, vs 8, Barnabas and Paul testified. No mention was made of their addressing a board of deacons or trustees.)
12 Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul as they declared what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
(Notice, vs 13, that James, who was the brother of Jesus, took control of the meeting. He had become the leader of the church at Jerusalem, and may be described as being the lead pastor or senior pastor.)
13 And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, hearken unto me.
(Notice, vs 22-23, that the apostles and elders, and the “whole church,” decided to send men to Antioch to tell of their decision. No mention was made of a board of deacons or trustees being involved.)
22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, together with the whole church, to send men chosen from their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely Judas surnamed Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren.
23 And they wrote letters to accompany them in this manner: “The apostles and elders and brethren send greetings unto the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
The purpose of this discussion of the council of Jerusalem was not to criticize deacons, or trustees. But, it is important to notice that “trustees” are not mentioned in scripture. Deacons are servants, and serve to assist pastors. Deacons have no scriptural authority to lead a church or to have authority over a pastor. The text authority for deacons is found in Acts 6, where they were needed to act as servants of the local church, under the authority of the apostles (Acts 6:1-4). A plurality of elders, by way of Associate Pastors/Elders, is a way that a congregation can have unbroken pastoral leadership in the event that the pastor/lead pastor should leave such a congregation. It is important to understand that a deacon is not a pastor, and can not serve as a pastor. It should also be understood that there are deacons who are qualified to be ordained as a pastors.
Philippians 1:1-2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
(Notice that saints are “the body of born again believers in Christ.”)
1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider those who are responsible for church leadership. Notice that deacons and trustees are not identified as being church leaders. Pastors are responsible for the overall mission of the church, which is to “equip the saints.” Pastors may enlist the talents of deacons, and other saints, but the responsibility for the conduct of the church is assigned to pastors.
Consider the Body And Bride Of Christ. Consider, to the extent, that Christ loved His bride, the church of Christ, by dying for her. Christ is the Bridegroom of all bridegrooms. The church of Christ is the bride of all brides.
Ephesians 5:21-33 The Message (MSG)
21 Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.
22-24 Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands.
25-28 Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.
29-33 No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become “one flesh.” This is a huge mystery, and I don’t pretend to understand it all. What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats the church. And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.
Colossians 1:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Colossians 1:24 New King James Version (NKJV)
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,
Consider The Equipping Of The Saints
Ephesians 4:11-12 – New American Standard Bible
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
Daily equipping is necessary. Believers in Christ can not be equipped if they receive teaching for only one hour a week. No pastor can properly “equip the saints” if the time of teaching occurs only one hour each week. Detailed study is needed frequently.
Consider key scriptures. Develop a philosophy of scriptural belief.
Isaiah 55:8 King James Bible (We may not always understand the ways of God, but they still are the ways of God.)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
Psalm 103:19 King James Bible (Nothing is beyond the control of God.)
The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
1 John 4:8 New American Standard Bible (Regardless of the situation, always know that God is “love.”)
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
John 10:28 King James Bible (Once you’re born again, you can’t be unborn again)
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Consider key word meanings, “Hebrew and Greek.” (numbers here relate to Greek)
Hebrews 4:12 – New American Standard Bible
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart
12. Soul – 5590; Spirit – 4151
Romans 8:28-30 (NASB)
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
28. called – 2822; purpose – 4286
29. foreknew – 4267; predestined – 4309; to be conformed – 4832b; to the image – 1504; of His son – 5207
30. predestined – 4309; called – 2564; justified – 1344; glorified – 1392
Consider Key Terms:
Jeremiah 30:7 – Jacob’s Trouble (Tribulation)
Luke 21:24 – Times Of The Gentiles (The era from Israel’s captivity to Babylon (586 B.C..2 Kings 25) to Her restoration in the Kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6/Millennium/For God’s Purpose)
Joel 3:10 – Beat Your Plowshares Into Swords…(Tribulation-War)
Isaiah 2:4 – Beat Your Swords Into Plowshares… (Millennium-Peace)
Consider The Special Born Again Body And Bride Of Christ.
1 John 1:5 – John 1:1-13 – Light vs darkness (See those verses below.)
John 1:9 New King James Version (NKJV) – The Calling/The Courting Of The Holy Spirit Of Those In Darkness (it doesn’t stop).
9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
John 3:3-8 – The Cleansing By The Holy Spirit – This is a spiritual cleansing of our spirit, and not water baptism.
John 3:16 – The Response Of The Prospective Bride; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (A forever relationship)
John 3:17 – Peter 3:9 – Not One Misses The Calling
John 3:17:For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. (The purpose of Jesus is to save His prospective bride from eternal separation from God.).
2 Peter 3:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (Jesus doesn’t give up on His prospective bride)
John 3:18- Romans 8:1 – The Consummation Of The Relationship
John 3:18 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (A belief in Christ seals the relationship between the prospective bride of Christ and the Bridegroom, Christ. The bride will never “not be” the bride.)
Romans 8:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (The intimate relationship of “the bride in Christ” will never be annulled.)
John 3:19 – The Rejection Of The Calling, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” ( There is no desire for darkness to come to a relationship with light. Those in darkness would rather stay in that darkened state. That is why John 1:9 is so very important to this discussion.)
John 3:20 – The Natural State Of Those In Darkness: “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (Selfish pride may be a reason for some to not come to faith in Christ.)
Without darkness being enlightened, those in darkness will never make a move toward the light. That is the teaching of John 1:1-13. Just as a pursing and prospective bridegroom tries to gain the favor of an alluding and prospective bride, Jesus pursues those whom He desires to be His bride, which are all who come into the world…and, He never gives up! Without the ever pursuing light, those in darkness will stay in darkness. Their life is only temporary, and will last for only about 70 years; but Jesus will give them life, eternal life, if they will receive Him, who is “The Light.” Those who were darkness, but become light, will always be light; they will never be darkness again; they are eternally light; they are eternally secure in Christ. Here is proof of light extinguishing darkness. Take a flashlight with you into a totally dark room. Stand in the middle of the room and point your flashlight in any direction. wherever your light is pointed, darkness will be replaced by light, and will not come back as long as the light is shining. Jesus is the everlasting light. He is called “the light of the world” in John 8:12. His light is eternal and always shining on those who have received Him as their Lord And Savior. Consider the teaching of John 10:28: “Once you’ve been born again, you can’t be unborn again.” “Once you’re in the light, you’re always in the light (of Christ).
Consider those who are “in darkness;” – Rev 3:10 – Rev 11:10 – Rev 13:8; they miss the rapture..
Revelation 3:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 11:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 13:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
Notice that in each of the three above scriptures, the reference to those who are present during the tribulation are those who,”dwell on the earth.” They have no born again relationship with Christ. They can be called, “darkness.”
Consider those who are “light” – Philippians 3:20 – Important! They are caught up in the rapture.
Philippians 3:20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ;
Compare Rev 3:10 with Philippians 3:20.
“Dwellers of the earth vs Citizens of heaven”
The State Of Those “In Light”
John 3:21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
Consider sin, and its relationship to the world.
John 1:29 New King James Version (NKJV)
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
Jesus came to take away the sin of the world. It is obvious that sin remains in the world, but the sinful spirits of us, who have been born again, have been made to be as pure as the spirit of Jesus once we have been born again, born from above. As was seen in the scriptures, John 3:3-8, the new birth/birth from above, is a spiritual cleansing. The result is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Consider the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
John 14:16-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
2 Corinthians 5:17 New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Colossians 1:27 New King James Version (NKJV)
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Consider the requirement to indwell the Spirit of God.
1 John 1:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Notice that in order for us to be “in God” we can not be “darkness,” or “sin.” When we were born again, sin and darkness no longer filled our spirits.
Consider our prior spiritual conditions before we were born again.
John 1:1-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Notice that darkness (sin) was the state of all mankind before Jesus came into the world as a sinless infant. Because we were born again, “of God,” we became children of God. So, as it relates to John 1:29, Jesus was successful in removing this particular “sin of the world”(from our spirits).
Consider two key purposes of the tribulation.
Daniel 9:24 English Standard Version (ESV)
24 “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.
We won’t discuss the period of the “seventy weeks” in this session; that will take place later. The final “seven weeks” will be the time of tribulation (Matthew 24:21, “(ESV) 21. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.”) The purpose of the tribulation is:
(1) Finish the transgression: bring to an end of Israel’s course of apostasy and sin and dispersion; the restoration of Israel.
(2) Put an end to sin: bring to judgment; shut up in prison; seal up; removed out of God’s sight.
(3) Atone for iniquity: a picture of the cross on which Christ reconciled Israel, as well as the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:19). To cover, to wipe out, to nullify, to make as harmless, non-existent, or inoperative, to annul, to withdraw from God’s sight.
(4) To bring in everlasting righteousness: Jesus will reign as king, and deal wisely, and execute justice and righteousness in the land. Israel will be saved, and will dwell securely.
(5) To seal both vision and prophet: the termination of usual direct revelation by means of vision and oral prophecy. No more is to be added, and that which has predicted will receive divine confirmation in the form of actual fulfillment. Once a letter is sealed, its contents are irreversible.
(6) To anoint a most holy place: The anointing of the Holy of Holies in the millennial temple, which will be the center of worship in Jerusalem.
To summarize these six events, the first three are fulfilled in principle at Christ’s first coming, and in full at His return. The last three will be complete at his second coming. The purpose of the time of tribulation will be two-fold. (1) deal with sin. (2) deal with Israel’s unbelief in Jesus as Messiah. As believers in Christ, those of us who have been born again, have had the sin issue taken care of. We are “without sin,” as it relates to our spirit. Those who have not been born again, to include the Jews and Gentiles, who are alive when the rapture takes place, will be left behind because their sin issues will not have been dealt with. During the tribulation, the judgments of God upon the sinful earth (seal, trumpet, bowl, Rev 6-18), will be used to draw the world (all who are left behind) to accept Jesus as Messiah, Lord and Savior. But, not all will come to faith in Christ, and will spend an eternity in the lake of fire. In the following scriptures you will see those who will stand before the Great White Throne Judgment. They are the people who have not been born again; those who didn’t have their sin debt paid by Jesus. Their names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Revelation 20:11-15 English Standard Version (ESV)
Judgment Before the Great White Throne
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them,according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and have been born again, have been saved from the Great White Throne Judgment. Our sins will not be held against us, because Jesus made us to be righteous, with our spirits being as pure as the Spirit of Christ. At the cross, Jesus became sin, so that we can be the righteousness of God. Jesus did not becomes a sinner; he became sin so that he could take sin’s judgement for those who have trusted in Him for salvation.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 English Standard Version (ESV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore,we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Revelation 21:1-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
The eternity, that has been prepared for those of us who have been born again, is described below.
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
1 John 5:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
We who are believers in Christ have become “overcomers” (Rev 21:6) through our belief in Him.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
As believers in Jesus, as our Lord and Savior, we have been commissioned by Him to share the message of the gospel, which is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. We know from the teaching of John 1:1-13 that unbelievers have no particular desire to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. So, it is the responsibility of those of us who have been born again, and have a personal saving faith relationship in Christ, to witness to unbelievers so that they will know the meaning of Romans 10:13.
Romans 10:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
It is not our sole responsibility to tell others of the promise of eternal life in Christ. We also need to let them know that they can be spared “the wrath to come” that will take place during the coming tribulation, if they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
Revelation 6:16-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
Let’s consider the time of tribulation as we view an introductory video of the movie, MEGIDDO: The Omega Code 2. Following the video will be the full length movie that has been provided, courtesy of the courtesy of TBN, The Trinity Broadcasting Network.
MEGIDDO: The Omega Code 2 – Video
MEGIDDO: The Omega Code 2 – Full Length Movie