by Bill Somers
The following is a synopsis of a "word" the Lord has shown me progressively throughout 1992 and into 93. This is a word that has been sweet to the taste; because it provides answers I have long sought. Yet this word has been bitter in my belly, in a very real physical sense because it consists of an UNTHINKABLE ALTERNATIVE to traditional teachings.
From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. Matthew 16 21-22.
Here Peter is speaking for the disciples in shock and disbelief. What Jesus was telling them, that he must be killed, was unthinkable! Even after his death they could not accept it. Notice how he rebukes them on the road to Emmaus.
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? Luke 24 25- 26
Today we need to ask: Ought not the Church suffer these things and to enter into her glory? Even though, we his disciples of today, know that 'these things are written for our instruction' we are slow to believe what is written in scripture. We will continue in our unbelief till we overcome this stumbling block. Just as the idea of Christ dying is a stumbling block to the Jews, the idea of the Church dying is a stumbling block to us. It's our unthinkable alternative.
The church is not going to be caught away in a pre-tribulation rapture as so many teach. She is going to be here during 'the tribulation'. And at the end, she will undergo martyrdom.
Why do I believe the traditional teachings to be wrong? Firstly, for two simple scriptural reasons. One, the books are sealed till the time of the end, (see Dan. 12:4) and 'the people shall be willing in the day of his power' (see Ps. 110:3). This means we have not been able to understand the prophetic scriptures, except through man's wisdom, till now. The books have been closed. Their meaning has been concealed because it was not the 'time of the end'. It was not time for the age to come to a close and so, as the great theories of eschatology were formed in years past, they were formed without the illumination of the Holy Spirit. And therefore these teachings could only be guesses at best.
Now what about the second scripture? There is a principle in understanding the will of God, that He only reveals his will insofar as we are willing to obey Him. "The Day of His Power" is a reference to 'the time of the end'. This verse is saying that there is something that we His people will be willing to do in that day. That there is some word of his that we will willingly obey. It also means that until that day, we will not be willing to obey it.
So what's the connection? Here it is. This tells us why the books are sealed! Because they contain an expression of God's will for the Church that she is presently unwilling to obey. And He does not reveal his will to the unwilling! So what is this thing we are presently unwilling to obey? And why will we be willing to obey it then? We shall get to that shortly. The second reason I believe that the traditional end time teachings are wrong is simply that the Lord has shown me otherwise. The church is not going to be caught away in a pre-tribulation rapture as so many teach. She is going to be here during the tribulation. So what's so unthinkable about that? Well to many, that's bad enough, but there's more. The typical post trib teaching runs something like this. The Church will go through the last x number of years of tribulation as God's chosen instrument to bring in the final harvest of the nations. She will be raptured out at the end when the harvest is in and before the final pouring out of the bowls of Wrath. And of course we will suffer a certain moderate amount of martyrdom, but for the most part we will go through it under a seal of divine protection from the things coming on the earth. Now here's the Unthinkable Alternative: At the end of this tribulation period, when the harvest is in and before the pouring out of the final bowls of Wrath, the Church will suffer almost total martyrdom by the enemy forces. We will lay down our lives, and do so willingly, knowing and trusting in the Resurrection to shortly follow.
What saith the scriptures?
Well the justification for this word can be seen in Revelation, and in Daniel. There the prophetic scriptures speak directly of the
End Times. Consider the following verses.
But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. Daniel 7 18
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Daniel 7:21-22
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. Daniel 8 23-24
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled. Revelation 6 9.-11
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. Revelation 13 7-8. Believe The Bible
It is our reluctance to Believe The Bible. Our unwillingness to take the bible to mean what it says in these passages that has given rise to the theory the Rapture. Especially of Pre-Tribulationism. And indeed this reluctance gives birth to the whole house of Dispensationalism. To put it another way, all eschatology up to now has been fraught with plain old UNBELIEF! Unwillingness to face up to what these scriptures are saying to us in very plain terms, has led us into erroneous rapture theories. And these doctrinal errors have become some of the best fortified strongholds the enemy has in the Church.
Now the above passages are as I have said speaking to us in plain terms. They cannot be said to have been sealed. We simply have chosen to down play, explain away or ignore them.
Since the time of the end is near at hand, other passages have been unsealed which confirm this unthinkable alternative. These are mainly to give us understanding of certain types and allegories, but their understanding really nails down this thesis.
For example: the Death and Resurrection of the Church is shown typically, with Samson as a type of the church, Elisha as a type of the end time church, Jesus 3 and 1/2 year ministry as a pattern for the end time church and Paul as a type of the church. Romans 15 speaks of it as the 'offering up of the Gentiles'. In Exodus, the passage through the red sea, seen as a type of baptism. It is of course 'baptism into His death' and therefore a type of the death and resurrection of the Church.
If we are willing to face up to the meaning of these certain scriptures, then we can see that this is indeed what shall come to pass
When I shared the first draft of this paper with my associate pastor. He had two reactions. "Boy I sure hope you're wrong about this!" and after reading more he said "But Why?"
Well the why part is what's exciting about all this. Its for the Glory of God. If we can see the Lords purpose in this, which I believe we can, then we can confidently go forward into it. We can do it with our face set like flint, as Jesus did, knowing the glory that is to follow.
This general martyrdom of the church serves a two fold purpose of the Lord. One is the redemption of Israel. The second is the judgment of the wicked at the return or the Lord. These two are closely linked.
The first purpose is the redemption of Israel. We know that blindness is come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. This fullness is accomplished by completing the Great Commission. When the gospel is preached through out all the world, then the end comes. The martyrdom of the end time church marks the completion, and the harvesting of the Gentiles. Then the blindness can be removed from Israel.
In fact it is the very martyrdom of the church that allows, or causes if you will, the blindness to be removed. And the willingness (Ps. 110:3) of the church to suffer this martyrdom is what will bring Israel into the body of Christ. This is seen typically, in the death of Samson (Judges), in Romans 11, and in Romans 15, where Paul's trip to Jerusalem speaks of the second coming of the Lord. When the blindness is removed, Israel will see her true condition and repent. (Joel, Jeremiah, Zechariah, Ezekiel). Then she will call upon the Lord. He will hear and He will answer, and He will be Glorified. And since the Bride of Christ is thereby completed, He will return! So the 'grafting back in' of Romans 11 produces 'life from the dead', namely the resurrection!
The resurrection of the church will follow after a very brief interval; along with the 'rapture' of those alive and remaining on earth. The story of Daniel in the Lions Den, the passing of Israel through the Red Sea, the voyage and shipwreck of Paul are all typical of the death and resurrection of the church.
The first purpose is mercy.
"Through your mercy they may obtain mercy." (Rom. 11:31; 12:1) See also Psalm 116:15. The second purpose is judgment.
The Lord's immediate cause for bringing judgment on the enemy is because of what the enemy has done to 'his people'. That is to both the Church and to Israel. This is seen in Joel, Zechariah and Revelation.
It is also seen typically in the return of Jehu as a type of the second coming of the Lord in 2 kings. (Judgment comes to the House of Ahab, and to Jezebel, to avenge the blood of the prophets and because, specifically, he slew Naboth and took his vineyard. The vineyard speaks of the church and "Naboth" means fruit. (2 Kings 9:7,27) The passages in Exodus and Daniel mentioned above also feature this judgment. Also the judgment at Belshazar's feast in Daniel 5 shows this.) [Also see The How and the Therefore and The Precious by Bill Somers]
(So why does the enemy destroy the church and nearly destroy Israel, if doing so means the end of his kingdom? For the same reason he crucified Jesus. Selfishness. By nature selfishness will always chose short term gain even in the face of long term pain. Selfishness is the opposite of Wisdom. It is self destructive.)
The first purpose is mercy. The second purpose is judgment.
In these two we find the very nature of God. We behold both His kindness and His severity. And in the DAY OF HIS POWER we will offer ourselves willingly, for His Glory! To be fully conformed to Christ is to be obedient unto death.
For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. Psalm 48:14 Back to: HOMEPAGE or FILELIST of
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