Quo Vadis (Where are you going?)
Here is the transcript of Rev Mar’s sermon last April 5th’s online worship service. PDF here: Quo Vadis
Also, here is Rev Mar’s sermon last Feb 2020 Evangelistic Fiesta which he mentioned to refer to during his April 5th sermon : Speedup Endtimes
Aside from questions on how governments are responding to the corona virus issue, one question that is often asked is, “Where will we be in 6 months, a year, ten years from now? What is the corona virus pandemic saying to us? Will life go back to normal as it used to be?
Those questions are difficult to answer because, first of all, I am not a prophet. But to be able to plot where we are headed and know where we are in the prophetic timeline of the Lord, we have to look at His word, the Bible, to guide us in what the Lord is saying about our times. The Bible says the Lord is God, there is none like Him, “declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
To set the timeframe of our discussion, let me preface it with the word of God that tells us that the world we are in, is in a period called the Church Age. (refer to Figure 1). The book of Acts details the beginning of the church and its miraculous spread through the power of the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon 120 disciples of Jesus who waited and prayed (Acts 1:15; 2:1–4). At the end of the Church Age is an event called the Rapture of the Church, at an unknown time, only the Lord knows, when He comes to fetch His Church so “that where I (Jesus) am, there ye may be also.” (cf. John 14:1-3).
When the Church is taken out of this world, the Restrainer (Holy Ghost dwelling in believers) is also taken out of the way, then a charismatic but wicked man of sin, aka, the antichrist, is revealed. (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-10). The word “antichrist” means not only as one who is against Christ but one who tries to supplant the true Christ, i.e., the Lord Jesus. The antichrist will be revealed when he confirms (strengthen, improved) the “covenant” with many (Israel and other nations) for 7 years which would result to a false and temporary peace not only in Israel but in the world. (cf. Daniel 9:27; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). The Jews will be allowed to make offerings and oblations in their Temple (still to be built because, presently, Israel has no temple). This assumes that the “covenant” will allow the Jews to build their temple in the Temple Mount which, at present, is politically impossible because of the two Muslim structures on the mount called the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Three years and a half after the signing of the covenant, the antichrist will put an end to the temple offerings and oblations of the Jews (Daniel 9:27). He will enter the temple (Matthew 24:15) and he will mouth “haughty and blasphemous words against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle.” This man of sin was “allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months” (3 ½ years) or the second half of the 7-year covenant and “power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” For anyone to be able to buy or sell items during this time, he/she must receive the mark of the antichrist. (cf. Revelation 13:1-8, 17). The Lord Jesus described this period as the “great tribulation such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21). At this time, the nation Israel will be greatly persecuted but it will be kept safe in the wilderness. At the end of the Tribulation period, the Lord Jesus shall come in His glory with His saints (the church) to smite all the nations against Him with a sharp sword from His mouth with the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (Revelation 19:15). He shall then set up His reign for a thousand years and shall rule the nations with a rod of iron. (Revelation 20:6).
Where are we at this point in time? Looking at Figure 1, we are almost at the end of the Church Age.
- Why do I say this? My answer: In Matthew chapter 24 (The Olivet Discourse), Jesus gave signs before His second coming which He called “birth pains”. These are the coming of false Christs and false prophets who shall deceive many. We will hear wars and rumors of wars for kingdoms shall rise against kingdom and nations against nations and there shall be famines and pestilences. And there shall be earthquakes in diverse places. But Jesus said the end is not yet. These signs are likened to birth pains of a woman about to give birth which would increase in frequency and intensity as the birthing nears. So are the signs before the Lord’s second coming. The signs become more frequent and intense as the world nears the second coming of Christ. (cf. Mark 13, Luke 17and 21, Revelation 4-19).
- Why do I say that we are almost at the end of the Church Age about to be raptured by the Lord to the Father’s house. We have been experiencing these, so called birth pains for quite some time already. What makes them different now? Answer: The frequency and intensity of these events have been escalating through the years. (This subject was presented in the sermon “Speedy Convergence Of Prophetic Events In The Last Days” during the Evangelistic Fiesta last February 2020 which I have asked the Team to post for your reference.)
- Though we may not know the exact day and hour of the Lord Jesus’ coming for His Church, yet He gave us signs prior to His second coming; I repeat, signs before His second coming, not signs prior to the rapture. We are not waiting for prophetic signs to happen prior to the Rapture. Jesus wants us to be able to discern the signs of the times (Matthew 16:1-3) because He commanded us to watch and be ready (Matthew 24:42, 44). The convergence of these signs and the escalation of their frequency and intensity prognosticate the second coming of our Lord Jesus as if to say, “The Lord Jesus’ coming is not only near; it is here.”
- Parenthetically, I would just like to make a clarification about the Olivet Discourse. The 24th and 25th chapters of the Gospel according to Matthew is not about the Rapture of the church but the events surrounding the Tribulation period immediately prior to the Second coming of Jesus. The difficulty in interpreting Matthew chapter 24 arises when we try to fit in the Rapture into Matthew 24.
- Some reasons why in Matthew 24, Jesus is talking about His second coming and not the Rapture:
- The church is not involved in the Tribulation period because the Tribulation period as described by the Lord to the prophet Daniel, is the last week (of years) of the 70 weeks of years the Lord deals with the nation Israel and the city Jerusalem. (cf. Daniel 9:24-27).
- Matthew 24 or the Olivet discourse happened two days before the feast of the Passover. when the Lord was betrayed and crucified (Matthew 26:2). The foreshadowing of the Rapture was made later in the upper room (John 14:1-3) on the night before Jesus was betrayed, arrested and on the next day crucified. The disciples would not have understood the discourse if Jesus was referring to the Rapture which was still foreign to them during the Olivet discourse. He has not yet mentioned anything about it in the Olivet discourse. Jesus was not discussing here the rapture but the signs of His return at the end of the age of the period when Gentiles ruled Israel and trod down Jerusalem. The disciples were anticipating the coming of the Lord Jesus for Him to establish His kingdom as the Son of David.
- The following Chart differentiates the Rapture of the Church from the Lord’s Second Coming:
|Rapture takes place in a twinkling of an eye, suggesting that the world will not witness it. Only the saints or the church will be involved. (1 Thess. 4:16-18; 1 Cor. 15:52; Jn. 14:1-4)||Glorious appearing of Jesus will be visible worldwide, every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him, every kindred will wail when they see Him. (Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:27)|
|Rapture is a blessing (1 Thess. 4:18) and salvation from the wrath of God (1 Thess. 1:9-10; 5:9; Rom. 5:9; 2 Pet. 2:9; Rev 3:10)||The glorious appearing of Jesus is to judge the earth and the nations (Rev. 19:11-21; 25: 31-46; 2 Thess. 1-12; 2 Pet. 2|
|Christ comes for His church. Saints (dead in Christ and living) are caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-18)||Christ comes with His church. Saints (armies of heaven) follow the Lord Jesus, the Word of God, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, to make war on earth to defeat satan, the beast and the false prophet and those who received the mark of the beast (Rev. 19:11-21)|
|Christ descends from heaven but only in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-17)||Christ comes to earth. His feet touches the earth. (Zech. 14:4)|
|Christ’s coming is not preceded by signs in heaven.||Christ’s coming is preceded by heavenly signs sun darkened, moon does not give light, stars fall and powers in heaven shaken (Matt. 24:29-30)|
Far-reaching repercussions of COVID-19. COVID-19 has been more than a birth pain. It did not just spread disease and death but it has extended ripple effects all across the earth, through the whole cross-section of our society striking fear in the hearts of men causing local and worldwide panic. Doctor Luke has succinctly described it in Luke 21:26 when he wrote, “men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” The fear has had far-reaching effects on governments, churches, societies and economies.
- To control the rapid spread of disease, governments of many countries have issued strict implementation of quarantine measures and social distancing even to the point of closing down of governmental, educational and religious institutions, even commerce, industries, businesses and agriculture. And one country followed suit another.
- The closing down of industries and manufacturing has disrupted among and between countries and regions the supply chain of raw materials and intermediate products in coming up with the finished products. This may result to the closing down of companies. Every country, every region, every manufacturing company are all inter-related. The closing of one in the production chain will disrupt the operation of each company and all those included in the supply chain of raw and intermediate products and finished products. This will ripple down to lowering the earnings of salaried and wage earners, blue and white collar workers, and even affecting social interaction and movement. There is now the possibility of an economic recession and, hopefully, not an economic depression of national or global scale.
- Now, it is feared that the lowering of earning capacity of people plus a long disruption of farming and agricultural activities may result to famines due to reduced food production or the unequal distribution of food produce.
All these primary and secondary effects of COVID-19 are pointing towards the second coming of the Lord Jesus.
A Global-Approach to deal with COVID-19. The world is coming to the thinking that the fight against the spread of this disease and its repercussions cannot be dealt with by countries on an individual basis. A fragmented program would not bring the desired end of the virus and recovery from its socio-economic repercussions. There seems to be an imbalance in the availability of medical and technological knowledge, facilities and supply between the advanced countries and the growing countries. Seeing the helplessness of governments to tackle the spread of the virus and its unavoidable propensity to crash economies due to locking down of communities and the cessation of economic activity, countries are now talking of an integrated global campaign in dealing against the corona virus and coming up with sustained economic recovery program to minimize the occurrence of recession and totally avoid economic depression. For example, look at the following headlines:
- Saudi Arabia leads G20 efforts to unite the world in coronavirus response. (AlArabiya)
- We will overcome’ coronavirus crisis, vow G20 leaders after video meeting. (France24)
- (The Guardian) Former UK PM Gordon Brown calls for global government to tackle coronavirus. The more you intervene to deal with the medical emergency, the more you put economies at risk,’ says Gordon. He is calling world leaders to create a temporary form of global government, health experts and the heads of the international organisations to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is not something that can be dealt with in one country,” he said. “There has to be a coordinated global response.”
A New World Order in the making. By all its looks, COVID-19, and its far reaching repercussions, has started to usher in a New World Order for leaders to come together under one government, one economy and one religion (ecumenism) to come up with solutions to tackle the problems of this world. (Incidentally, this is in line with what the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have been promoting in governments for some time, i.e., to attain the Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and build shared prosperity in a sustainable manner by Year 2030.)
- Who will head the new world order?
- The rise of the antichrist. The Bible says that in the last days, the antichrist will rule the earth. The word antichrist does not only mean against Christ but a supplanter of Christ. This is the last attempt of satan to reign on earth after the fall of Adam and Eve. Israel, a nation the Lord has chosen for Himself, should be ruled by the Lord God and from where the Lord will rule the whole world. At first, the Lord ruled through His prophets, kings and priests. But Israel has become a stubborn and rebellious generation. Eventually, because of their hard-heartedness, the glory and the presence of the Lord left Israel from their temple. From thereon, Israel, Judea and Jerusalem was just part of the Gentile kingdoms. In the Book of the prophet Daniel, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream which only the prophet Daniel can interpret. The king dreamt of a great statue made of different materials from head to toe. Daniel interpreted his dream as the Lord showing the different Gentile kingdoms that should rise starting with the Babylonian kingdom. The head of gold is the Babylonian kingdom; the silvery arms and chest is the Medo-Persian empire; the thighs of bronze is the Grecian empire; the two legs of iron is the Roman empire and the feet and toes were made of dissimilar materials, iron and clay, that would not cleave together, some weak and some strong. This series of empires, the next one conquering the previous, but history tells that the Roman empire was not conquered by another.
- So, what could the feet and toes represent? They represent the Revived Roman Empire. This will be the kingdom the antichrist will use to rule over the earth. The Bible tells us that this kingdom and its king will be revealed shortly in this coming New World Order of one-world government, one-world economy and one-world religion. It is a continuation of the unconquered Roman Empire. It is a future kingdom that will rise in these last days. This will be headed by what is known in various parts of the Bible as the antichrist, man of sin, son of perdition, the beast, the lawless one, the prince that shall come. (Daniel 9; Matthew 24; Revelation 13; 2 Thessalonians 2; 1John 2 and 4; 2John)
- This coming world leader shall be mistaken by Israel as their Messiah. Israel to this time is waiting for their Messiah for they rejected (John 1:10) and missed the coming of the one and only true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43). Israel will mistake the antichrist as their Messiah.
- It is interesting to read in one of Israel’s newspapers this headline: “Israeli Health Minister said the cure for COVID-19 is the soon coming Messiah.” The Health Minister further said, “I am sure that the Messiah will come by Passover (8-16 April 2020) and save us the same way God saved us during the Exodus and we were freed. The Messiah will come and save us all”.
- After the Rapture when the Holy Spirit that is restraining the coming revelation of the antichrist will be taken out of the way, the antichrist will then be revealed when he signs/confirms the 7-Year peace pact with Israel and many other nations (Daniel 9:27). But this is a false peace because in the middle of the 7-year peace pact, the antichrist will break his covenant and declare himself as God and decree that everyone should worship him. This is what the Bible is saying, “when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” ( 1Thessalonians 5:3)
- At that point, the world that will receive the antichrist will not just feel the beginning of birth pains but the pains of a woman with travail at birth for when the antichrist will proclaim himself as God, that will be the time when the Lord will pour out His last set of judgment, the 7 bowl judgments (Revelation 16:1-21), the most dreadful wrath of God poured out upon a rebellious and unbelieving world. This is what the Lord said, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matthew 24:21)
- How will the antichrist govern the New World Order? How will he keep track of those who are sick (like COVID-19), where have they been and who have they been in contact with? How will he monitor the network of people on a global scale and keep track that only those who owe allegiance to him by receiving the mark of the antichrist or those who worship him can legally transact business within the New World Order? Answer: By vaccine. It is interesting to know that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has developed what is known as ID2020. They use immunization (maybe the same or similar to COVID-19) as a platform to inject digital IDs. Tied to vaccinations is the set up of a tracking system.
- What system of communication will be used to process such massive data? 5G technology or better. Simply said, 5G is believed to be smarter, faster and more efficient than 4G which is the present technology. 5G promises mobile data speeds that far outstrip the fastest home broadband network currently available to consumers. With 4G speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, 5G is set to be as much as 100 times faster.
The Second Coming of Jesus is near but the Rapture is here (at the doorstep). What we are seeing now are not just the convergence and intensification of preliminary birth pains (deception, wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes in diverse places) but the Lord Jesus said, “but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6) What we are seeing now is the setting up of events leading to the start of the Tribulation period. If we see the stage being set up for the Tribulation period, how much closer are we to the Rapture knowing that the Rapture happens before the Tribulation period?
- Signs of Jesus’ second coming on the horizon. Jesus said, “And when these things (signs of His second coming) begin (Jesus said begin, the early start of the signs), to come to pass (when they start appearing and showing the end), then look up, lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28). The Lord’s second coming is near, but the Rapture of believers is here. 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 say, “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefor comfort ye one another with these words.”
- Rapture is sooner. Can you discern the signs of the times now? Are you Rapture ready? If not, this is the opportune time for you to commit your all to Jesus that you may be saved. If you stay around for the Tribulation and you finally realize that the word of God is true, there will be two options to choose from: first, if you want to live so you save your life by receiving the mark of the beast (antichrist), the Bible says that all those who receive the mark of the beast or the antichrist shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. Second option, you believe in the Lord Jesus and be martyred and beheaded by the antichrist but you will live and have eternal life. It is much better to commit your life to Jesus now. You should do it now. The grace of the Lord allows you to come to Him.
- The appeal of the Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus is trying to catch our attention. Jesus is saying, “Behold I come quickly.” (Revelation 22:20). Don’t be left behind and unnecessarily go through the horrendous events of the Lord’s wrath as it is poured out upon this rebellious and intransigent world against the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Jesus is saying, “Come (commit your all to Him believing that “…He is able to keep that which you have committed unto Him against that day,” 2 Timothy 1:12) unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (salvation is not by works but by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ).” (Matthew 11:28).
- When you hear the Lord JESUS call, the Father is also faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9). The Father is saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17:5).
- “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion…’” (Hebrews 3:7-8). So why don’t you commit your all to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is your Savior. He is your Lord. He is your everything. Everything that you need the Lord provides.
The Lord’s Message: April 5, 2020
Leave a comment