Saturday, June 3, 2017


by Pastor Mike Taylor

1”And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
(Revelation 13:1-2)

For centuries what comprise the True Church of the Living God, mankind has wondered who and what would be the beast found in Revelation chapter 13. Many have hypothesized the identity of the dreadful beast that rises out of the sea. I have myself, explored possible scenarios and possible candidates apart from the popular views of evangelical Christianity, as it is shrouded in mystery, but as we draw closer to the time of the end of days of man's rule upon this earth, the details draw more and more clear.

In the past, I have made references to three possible candidates, that being the pope in Rome, the 12th Imam of Islam, and the President of the USA, as we just got through with the apostate Obama and replaced him with someone, (we pray) will bring us out of the debauchery that this country is drowning in right now.

But let us take a journey in exploring this chapter and make some statements that may come to pass, or may not, as only God knows the end result. We just stay focused on God's Word and keep our hearts and minds in tune with His Holy Spirit.

In the first verses, noted above we see a beast rise out of the sea. This beast is similar to the dragon that was mentioned in Revelation chapter 12. They both have “seven heads and ten horns” as noted again in Revelation chapter 17. The bible identifies seven consecutive world powers, or earthly governments that Satan used to persecute God's Church, His faithful church not necessarily the ruling church of the Middle Ages. The dragon is Satan working through pagan religions, the occult and spiritualism, while the beast symbolizes Satan working in disguise, using the corrupted Christian church to do his work. In verse 5 we see that the beast continues “forty and two months” . This is the exact number of years if you convert those months into years of 1260 years that Papal Rome had dominion over the whole known world. In verse 7, it makes “war with the saints” persecuting Christ's true followers who stuggled to maintain the truth of God's Word. This beast is none other than the Papal Church system that ruled with terror for all those years. It arose as predicted amongst the populated European nations, symbolized by “the sea” and the “ten horns”. But note that Papal authority has since diminished from the time of her dominance, but she will rise again. Prophecy has an inerrant ability to repeat itself in a duality of events during these last days. Papal Rome ruled with an iron fist from 538 AD-1798 as noted in Verse 2 of this chapter.


This beast has the characteristics of a leopard, a bear and a lion, the same beast powers mentioned in Daniel chp. 7 being the leopard of Greece, the bear of Medo-Persia and the lion for Babylon. This beast represents the Papacy, the same religious-political power portrayed by the little horn of Daniel 7.

The dragon gave the beast “his power, and his seats, and great authority”. Pagan Rome gave all these things to Papal Rome, and a pagan “christian” institution of the time, had the means to persecute and destroy God's faithful people for hundreds of years to over a thousand years.

3 “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 17:3-4)

In 1798, the French General Berthier under the commands of Napoleon took the Pope prisoner and attempted to completely eliminate the Papacy as an institution. It seems to the world that the Papacy was “wounded to death.” However, the prophecy says that the wound “was healed.” In 1929 the Papacy regained its civil power with the creation of the Vatican State, and the wound began to heal. At some point in the near future the Roman Catholic Church system will completely recover her former glory and will have more power and prominence than ever before. “And the entire world wondered after the beast.” See also vs. 8.
Note that even as I type this message, the Roman Pope Francis wields much political power, that even leaders, prime ministers, and presidents give this man great audience to influence their decisions on what we call the “New World Order” He started it in the United Nations with Sustainable Development and Agenda 2030, which will govern and control every man, woman and child on this planet to do their bidding. It will be total control and even population management that will be genocide of useless people who do not contribute in their mind to the New World Order. That is the focus of the NWO, to depopulate the earth to a “sustainable level” and if millions, or even billions die, then it for the “good of the planet”.
Only recently, has our USA President had the courage to go against this nefarious scheme to the outrage of the NWO proponents. For how long will it last? It seems the world is against putting America first, but our POTUS is trying to change what was nearly destroyed by the last Dictator in Chief, who can't stand that his legacy is in peril. The liberal “lame stream media” and the liberal democrats in Washington DC are in survival mode and may resort to acts of treason and violence to preserve their dream of a One World Government.

5”And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7And 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.” (Revelation 13:5-7)

Note that the characteristics of this beast parallel very closely the ones in Daniel 7:20-21, 25 and 8:10-12. Have we ever seen a time in our recent history where a leader of a religious-political institution has been blantant with changing or contradicting the clear Words found in our Bibles. Pope “Francis” has been about political shenanigans and using his office to draw all religions into a One World Religion and changing even the moral and spiritual definitions of being a Christian as has never been done before in our modern era. Clearly his goal is a New World Order with the RCC at its center for power and control. Pope Francis is actively courting all religions of Protestantism, Islam, or any other “-ism” and trying to bring them “Home to the Mother Church”.

8 “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.
9If any man have an ear, let him hear.” (Revelation 13:8-9)

In the last days, nearly the whole world, those “whose names are not written in the book of life,” with “worship” this beast. The day is coming soon when the majority of humankind will obey a few supporting the authority of the Papacy above the commands of God, and will thus worship the beast. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s “Book of Life” will stay true to God. This book records the names of all the saved from every generation of Earth’s history. Revelation 20:12, 15. It will be a daily test of their faith and endurance to stay true to their calling by God's Holy Spirit. It will not be like it was in the Church Age, when those who embraced Jesus as Lord and Savior were given a deposit, a sealing of God's Holy Spirit of their future glorification. No, they must guard it daily and not be deceived, as the delusions that God will send them to cause them to be damned will be strong because of their lust of the flesh and demonic powers will have full sway over most of humanity left after the Church is “snatched” from this earth.

10 “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Revelation 13:10)
This verse prophecy was fulfilled when the Pope was taken into captivity and received a deadly wound, as Napolean sought to destroy the Papacy.

How did this happen? If you look at history and note what I just told you that in 1929, the deadly wound that was inflicted by Napolean's army in 1798 began to heal. The Roman Catholic Church has had to change her image from a wolf, to a a lamb that wouldn't hurt anyone. But I submit, she is a wolf in sheep's clothing and when the time is right, she will expose herself and reveal her true nature.


11 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15And 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 13:11-15)

Thus begins the part of the chapter that gives me the most distress, as this describes another beast coming up out of the earth. She begins as a lamb, but is transformed into speaking as a dragon. The identity of this beast, could be, and I emphasize, COULD BE, the United States of America. Are you shocked? I know I am, but let us talk about the reasons that I say that the USA COULD BE this second beast.


First off, the USA came to power about 1798, just as the Papacy is going into captivity and receives her deadly wound. The USA declared her independence in July 4th, 1776, and by 1790 has ratified her Constitution, with it's Bill of Rights, and was coming up as a “youthful nation” and was quickly drawn into the political arena and today is the lone Superpower on earth. Many are challenging her, and the forces to depose her are all around, but she remains a power to be reckoned with.

Second, The “sea” represents “multitudes and nations.” Revelation 17:15. The beasts that arise from the sea usually do so amid the strife of war. By contrast, this one comes “out of the earth," representing a relatively peaceful emergence in a comparatively unpopulated area. This is exactly the manner in which The United States came to power. We are called a great melting pot, that has nearly every nationality and race represented within her borders. So we abound in “multitudes and nations” that are represented in our states.

Third, this beast that has “two horns like a lamb” depicts and represents a nation of youth, innocence, and gentleness, which is based on our God given principles of libery in religious and civil affairs. (“For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”). At its beginnings, the USA had the strength to form a government based on the principles found within the Ten Commandments. Republicanism and Protestantism were the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. It is strong because the government and the church are separate, without one controlling the other. She has put her faith in Almighty God in the past, but that is eroding with each passing day, as the nation is in upheaval, as she is being stressed from within.

Fourth, it is noteworthy to note that this beast does not have any crowns. She has been a servant of the people, and has not ruled over them, but they control her. Hence our democratic principles of voting those to represent your interest. The USA has never had a king to rule over government, or a pope to rule over the religious freedoms of its citizens, which allowed freedom of worship and expression. To this point we have kept religion and the state separate, as we disdained a religious theocracy, as was found in Papal Europe.

Fifth, in order to rule the world, the Papacy had to have sway over a standing army. To influence and order a national army to do it's bidding, on pain of excommunication in the past, so she must have a superpower to enforce her edicts of religious authority even today. To force anyone to worship the beast or its image, it must be a power that would enforce, on pain of death, the desires of the Papacy.
This beast will speak “as a dragon” and exercise “all the power of the first beast before him.” The “first beast,” as an agent of the dragon, used its “power” in state affairs to enforce religious laws, resulting in the persecution of the “heretics” who would not submit. For America to do this and “give life unto the image of the beast” it would have to abandon the principles of religious freedom, repudiate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and discard the fundamental beliefs that have made this great nation what it is. When America uses its power to enforce religious laws and persuades other governments to do the same, it creates an “image of the beast” and it gives life, reflecting the intolerance and persecutions of the medieval Papal Church.

Right now, Chrisitians in American prayed for a reprieve from the debauchery from the “idiot in chief” that left office in January of 2017, but how long will that reprieve holdup? The forces of darkness are rearing their heads and doing all in their power to thwart any “draining of the swamp” which is the liberal base in Washington DC. What will be their attempt to hasten the NWO they so desperately want and envision? Only God knows what lengths they will go to, to realize their “utopian” idea of man's rule on earth. I fear, in the near future, that the next adminstration will speak like a dragon and impose religious laws enforcing the worship of the first beast, Papal Rome.

Protestants in America that represent part of the apostate church system will reject God’s law, and His power will be withdrawn from the churches and His protection from the nation. Society will become increasingly evil and violent, and at the same time the judgements of God will descend on the United States and on the world. Instead of embracing repentance and inward heart change, Protestant America will demand that the government enforce religious laws to “bring this nation back to God.” or at least the deceived idea of what “returning to God” is even about. There will be some type of religious edict that will force all who worship the “beast” of Papal Rome to take a mark of loyalty, either in their right hand or their forehead.

6 “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,” (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-9)

The United States will deceive the world into making “an image of the first beast” through the use of “great wonders” and “miracles.” In Revelation 19:20 this beast is called “the false prophet,” and in Revelation 16:13, 14 he is said to work these miracles through “the spirits of devils.” Matthew 14:23-27 indicates that false Christ will add such strength to those deceptions as to make them very nearly overpowering; 2 Corinthians 11:14 adds that Satan himself is capable of masquerading as “an angel of light.”

16 “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:16-18)

Now the identity of the coming Anti-Christ has not been revealed. It is conjecture, even on my part to name the man, as I believe we will never know for sure, as the church, the True Church of the Living God, will not be on earth when he is revealed, but let me share something with you that many of you may or may not know that gives “hint” of who the man is.

The mark of the coming Beast power and its dictator, the Anti-Christ, will require a mark as mentioned on each person's body, either in the forehead and in their right hand. It's not so much as a economic sign, as it is sure that, for without it, you can't participate in the economy, whatever form it is in that sad time called the Tribulation. But what it is more importantly, its a sign of worship, of allegiance to the supreme ruler of your lives. The man will reveal himself at the mid-point of the Tribulation, and the nation of Israel will know that the treaty they signed with him 3.5 years ago, was a pact with the devil.

But of this mark, a mark of worship...God’s seal is His name, character and law written in His people’s hearts and minds and is seen in His laws which are found in your Bible. Those laws, and the sacrifice of His only Son, identifies who our God is, and who created each of us. Those who resist the mark of the beast are those who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” and will not bow the knee or worship at the first church of the Anti-Christ, or the church of Satan.

But what is the significance of the number 666? I believe we know that the beast, whose number this is, may symbolize the Roman Papacy, and that it’s “the number of a man.” One of the pope’s titles is said to be Vicarius Filii Dei, “Vicar of the Son of God.” In Latin, the language of Catholicism, some of the letters double as numbers, and the numerical value of Vicarius Filii Dei adds up to 666, and a great many Bible scholars believe that this is how 666 is to be interpreted.

Am I saying the Pope is the Anti-Christ? He very well may be and he may not. As I said, we won't know for sure. But believe you me, the RCC will be at the table of power in the last days and she will reclaim her position of power to even a greater degree than what she had in the Middle Ages of her 1260 years of ruling over mankind. Problem for her is, it will be a small, temporary rule that will find her either destroyed by the Anti-Christ if she be only the False Prophet, or be destroyed by Jesus Christ, our Living God when He comes to set up His reign and rule for a 1000 years.

16, “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
17, For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:16-18)

These verses would identify the False Prophet along with its Harlot Church as being destroyed by the Anti-Christ. But what if the Pope is the AC himself?
He will destroy all religions, including the Roman Catholic Church in favor of worship of himself. Remember what Paul wrote in 2nd Thessalonians?

4 “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)

IF THE POPE is the AC, then he will destroy all religions in favor of worship of himself, as Satan desires worship, as he has entered the man.

For you have said in your heart: "I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:13-14)


So there you have it, my reader. My hypothesis of what may happen in the last days coming very soon. I pray those found in Jesus Christ will not witness one iota of the coming carnage that will transpire on this earth when the lawless one is revealed. I am believing that the Roman Catholic Pope will either be the false prophet promoting a false religion to worship of the RCC with the USA as the state army to enforce his will. OR be the Anti-Christ himself and will destroy the Roman church in favor of worship of himself. And this man will be destroyed by Jesus Christ Himself, as His coming to rule and reign for a 1000 years by the brightness of His coming.

8 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8-10)

The analogy of the coming One World Church with the RCC as receiving all worship towards her, and the USA as its enforcer, will be on the scale of when Charlemagne was enforcer of Papal Rome in the Middle Ages. It will be as it was then. To have this even take place, one other event must happen first.

6 “And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:6-7)

Understand, my reader, this could happen at any given moment. As I've mentioned in the past, I will be acutely aware and listening for a trumpet this coming fall, or the next fall, or the next, as that is the Feast of Trumpets which is the next chronological order of the Feast of God that He has fulfilled to the letter in the past...I have covered this extensively in the past, so if you missed it, then it's on my blog for the interested reader.

As you should know, if you read any of my past messages, the personal pronoun in the verses directly above points to a only ONE power that has the ability to withhold evil in this world, and that is God's Holy Spirit. And since God told us He would never leave us or forsake us, when God's Holy Spirit is removed, so shall His church and all who dwell in an instant.

51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1st Corinthians 15:51-55)

Time is fast running out for those who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to the “ark of safety” when the Tribulation comes upon the earth. Those who miss receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, will be thrust headlong into a time that words cannot justify the horror that will be experienced by those who miss the greatest event this side of Jesus resurrection. Some call is the “Rapture'...called harpazo in the Epistles of Paul, and identified as a snatching away, by force of those who are taken. It will happen in a flash. Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell upon the earth during that time, as they will see tribulation so great that no flesh would be saved, if Jesus did not shorten the time. It will be that that much destruction and carnage of all life on this planet. Don't make that mistake and think you have all the time in the world. Your time could run out in the next few seconds.

16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17, God sent not His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)

And as it is written, if you desire to be with Jesus Christ, the above verses and the ones below will lead you to a prayer of repentance.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

Receive Jesus our Lord, today and be filled with God's Holy Spirit and a guarantee you will not see what I have just described...

This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying you make that decision for Jesus Christ right now... if you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly, listening ear, email me at, .So come Lord Jesus..God bless you all.



Are we saved by grace, or by works? Ask a Roman Catholic and you'll get the wrong answer.

One of the most prevalent characteristics of Scripture is its simplicity.  Indeed, it is addressed to ‘the simple’.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalms 19:7)
“The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.” (Psalms 116:6)
“When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.” (Proverbs 21:11)
"Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him.” (Proverbs 9:16)
Yet there are entire libraries filled with complicated volumes explaining the simplicity of the Scriptures. For every Scriptural doctrine there is somebody who has a revised doctrine they’ve managed to glean from the Scriptures that nobody else ever found.  
Usually it is something that tends to complicate something that would be otherwise pretty simple.  The doctrine of eternal security is a good example.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Ephesians 2:5)  
That is about as simple as it gets.  The statement asks and answers all the questions necessary: 
Q. How are we saved? A. By Grace.  Q. How do we receive grace? A. By faith.  Q. Where does it come from?  A. From God.  Q. What role do I play?  A.  I receive the gift.
“And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” (Romans 11:6)
This is also pretty simple. If I am saved by grace and works, then grace isn’t grace anymore.  It is grace plus works -- which nullifies both.  If works count, then grace doesn’t.
It cannot count.  Grace comes from God.  Works come from you. Are you judged according to your worthiness?  Or Christ’s?  How can anybody be judged according to both?  
“Well, Jesus was good enough. . . but you weren't. . . ”    
“Therefore it is of faiththat it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:16)
So simple a caveman could understand it.  It is of “faith that by grace the promise might be sure” because if one relies on the combination of faith in God’s grace and faith in one’s own works, the promise is not sure. 
Conversely, if I am relying on the combination of my faith in God’s grace coupled with my own works, it is now up to me to judge whether I am good enough to go to heaven.  (Or whether someone else is.)
“Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?”  (1st Corinthians 10:29-30)
But if it is so simple, then why is eternal security derided as OSAS (Once Saved, Always Saved)?  I don’t know, to tell you the truth.  I’ve heard a lot of arguments but none that don’t redefine the entire concept of grace in the process.
“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)
As a question, Hebrews 6:4-6 is a hard one -- it says that if somebody is saved and then falls away, they have lost their salvation.  Doesn’t it?  
Well, it does when judged against Paul’s standard that either grace nullifies works or works nullifies grace.
It is impossible to renew someone to repentance because the Blood of Christ is sufficient payment for ALL sin.  If it were not, then Christ would have to be crucified again and again, exposing Him to “an open shame” before His enemy.
Can that mean that a person who was saved and then fell away could never come back? He is lost forever and without hope, no matter how much he later begs for forgiveness? 
That all depends on how one defines the word impossible.  If you define it as meaning “maybe” then Hebrews 6:4-6 contradicts eternal security.
If you define it as meaning impossible then it can only mean that it is impossible to lose one’s salvation by one’s own works, since it would expose Christ to ridicule before the enemy He claimed to have defeated.
As a question, the Book of James seems kind of difficult. James writes;
“Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. .” (James 2:18)
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:19)
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.” (James 2:24)
This may sound scandalous to some, but hang on.  All of the Bible is written for us, but not all of it was written to us.  That is part of the whole process of ‘rightly dividing’ the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
The Old Testament was written for all mankind, but written directly to the Jews.  There are doctrines in the Old Testament that do not apply to Christians.
The New Testament is a collection of 27 letters, or books, divided according to their intended audiences. 
The four Gospels speak of it in the future tense, but during the Gospel period, there was no Church, no Christians and no Great Commission.   
The second division is the Book of Acts.  During this time, the New Testament Church was born, people began to get saved, the Gospel began to be preached, churches started to spring up.
After the churches are established come the Epistles (letters) to the various churches of the Gentile world.   The Pauline Epistles are written to the Gentiles unfamiliar with the Law of Moses. 
The books of Peter, Hebrews, James and Jude are primarily addressed to converted Jews that are already steeped in the Mosaic Law.  The Mosiac Law emphasized works. 
The Gospels make reference to flight on the Sabbath Day -- but the Sabbath Day restrictions apply to Jews, not the Church.   Peter makes reference the Mosaic Law on unclean animals. (Acts 11:8)
James is addressing grace versus works to people steeped from birth in the traditions of the Mosiac Law. James wasn’t equating works with salvation, he was equating works with fruit.   
Abraham was justified by the ‘work’ of believing God, not sacrificing Isaac. His faith was ‘made perfect’ by God’s grace in providing an alternative sacrifice. 
Rahab was justified by faith that if she helped the spies they would spare her.  By her works, the Israelites were saved from defeat at Jericho.  Her faith was ‘made perfect’ when the Israelites kept their promise.
We are saved by our faith that the Blood of Jesus Christ is sufficient to cleanse us from all sin and that He has already kept His Promise.
“Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” -(James 2:22)
James doesn’t equate works with salvation, he equates it with faith.   I’m assuming we’re all Christians here.  I’m also assuming we’ve had similar experiences.  (Assuming can be problematic, but I’m taking a long chance.)
Is your faith sometimes stronger than it is other times?  I admit that mine is.  There are moments when I’m ready to charge hell with a bucket of ice water and times when I wonder how a dirtbag like me could ever be saved.  
Think about it.  Do you ever find your faith wavering, even for a few moments?  Think about the circumstances when it does. 
I bet you will find some relationship between how strong your faith is and what ‘works’ you happen to be engaging in at the time.    
Salvation and faith are not the same.   We are sometimes more faithful than other times, but there is no time when we are more or less saved. 
We tend to view our lives in the moment -- we view where we are at that moment as determining where we stand with God.  To some degree, that is true, since all any of us has is this moment.
But while we see our lives in momentary slices, God exists outside of time and space. We can only see to the next horizon, God looks down at us in our totality.  God either sees the Shed Blood of Christ or He does not.
Our faith is demonstrated by our works, and our works play an important role in how faithful we are, but salvation comes by grace through faith [and that not of yourselves, lest any man should boast.] (Ephesians 2:8-9)
There are those who say that the doctrine of eternal security is a license to sin.  The fact is that man doesn’t need a license to sin.  Sin is what man does.
The most simple theme of Scripture, the one for which there is the least objection, is the theme that man is incapable of living a sinless life on his own. 
Man is incapable of good works.
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  (Jeremiah 17:9)
“They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:12)
As Christians, we are enjoined to live a Christ-like life because we are saved, not in order to become saved or in order to remain saved.
“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 12:10)
Don’t let the enemy steal your victory. You are worthy to carry the banner because He has made you worthy. 
Is your faith weak?  Go out there and get into the fight. 
“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6)

Friday, June 2, 2017


By Greg Laurie

According to Webster's dictionary, "tribulation" means "a state of great trouble or suffering." The Tribulation is a period of time set aside for two purposes; the judgment of a Christ-rejecting world and the national redemption of Israel.
I've searched the Scriptures on this particular topic and nowhere can I find a third purpose that could involve the Church.

The twenty-one judgments of Revelation are the culmination of the Edenic curse; there are environmental judgments against the earth and sea, judgments against animals and fish, and judgments against those whom the Apostle John says "dwell upon the earth."

Uniquely, Revelation uses this curious phrase "dwell upon the earth". John is carefully distinguishing those that "dwell upon the earth" from those that are 'dwelling' elsewhere.

The word "dwell" means 'to inhabit' in the sense of a physical home and came to Old English from the Middle Dutch word "dwellen" which means "to stun or perplex" according to the on-board dictionary that comes standard on a Mac.
(I'm not doing an ad for Mac here -- I want to be clear that my source here is an ordinary dictionary which has no point to make)

The phrase "they that dwell upon the earth" is used in Scripture exclusively within the framework of the Tribulation Period.

Revelation 3:10 draws a distinction between those who dwell upon the earth and those the Lord will keep from the trial specifically designed for them:
"Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."

I've heard every possible refutation of that verse as it pertains to the Church and the Rapture. However, one cannot explain away the fact the Lord is drawing a distinction -- those that dwell upon the earth will undergo a period of 'trial' whereas, somebody else will be kept from it.

In Revelation 6:10, the martyrs slain for the Word of God ". . . 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?"

Again, we have a distinction between the martyrs for Christ and those that dwell upon the earth. The phrase "them that dwell on the earth" is used to describe those responsible for shedding the blood of the martyrs.

They "that dwell upon the earth" are identified in Revelation 11:10 as rejoicing over the deaths of the two witnesses;

"And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth."

In Revelation 13:8 they are identified as the unsaved who will worship the antichrist:

"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."
The Scripture says specifically that 'they that dwell upon the earth' during the Tribulation are those against whom the Two Witnesses prophesied, which is why they that dwell upon the earth during the Tribulation will rejoice.

It also links "all that dwell upon the earth" to the antichrist and says that their names are NOT in the Book of Life.

In Revelation 13:14 John says the False Prophet:

". . .deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live."

Those that dwell upon the earth will be universally deceived by the means of miracles and will worship the beast as a god.

Meanwhile, Revelation 14:6 further identifies they that dwell upon the earth as those in need of salvation . . .

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people."

Note also that while 'them that dwell upon the earth' are in need of the Gospel, there appears to be nobody around to preach it to them. That job has been assigned to an angel.

Revelation 17:8 provides further insight into both the Beast and who they that dwell upon the earth might be.

"The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."

I believe John is identifying the Beast in all its forms, political, religious and systematic; Political Rome was, but then collapsed, went 'underground' so to speak, transferring power to the papacy temporarily -- until the political Beast reemerges as leader of the revived Roman Empire.

John identifies "they that dwell upon the earth" once again as being those whose names are not in the Book of Life and who will join the Beast 'in perdition'.


It is fairly obvious from these Scriptures that they that dwell upon the earth during the Tribulation Period are not Christians. Those who are Christians are pictured in heaven.

Those who get saved during the Tribulation, whether through the 144,000 evangelists of Revelation 7 or the angel of Revelation 14 cannot be included among those "that dwell upon the earth" because they will be executed.

". . . cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. " Revelation 13:15 says. That is another way of saying "all" -- although John gets more specific on that point in the next two verses.

"And he causeth ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

And that NO man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." (Revelation 13:16-17)

That seems pretty inclusive. One can find within this structure those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, those who by taking the mark will have their names blotted out and those who are killed for refusing the mark.
But those who are killed are NOT those that 'dwell upon the earth' -- they are the ones dwelling with John in heaven.

In 2009, a crowd estimated at 1.7 million marched on Washington to protest the government plan to impose health care. Can you imagine the protest that would come if the millions of Christians in America were given the ultimatum of denying Christ and worshipping Obama?

However, if those millions suddenly vanished into thin air and Obama claimed credit for it, them 'that dwell upon the earth' would line up to get their mark as quickly as they lined up for Cash for Clunkers.

If one begins from the perspective that the Church is not uniquely exempt from judgment by virtue of being saved, then it isn't really too hard to find verses in Tribulation that might be interpreted as the Church. Tribulation saints easily become born-again Christians in this view.

But if one begins from the perspective that judgment for sin means sins both forgiven and unforgiven, then again, it might be possible to argue that the Church qualifies for the twenty-one judgments of the Tribulation.

But if one simply tries to figure out who John is referring to when he speaks of "them that dwell upon the earth" it is abundantly clear that the one thing they ALL have in common is that their names are not found in the Book of Life.
And according to the Scripture, they are the only ones dwelling here. The Church is present with John from the moment that John hears a voice from heaven saying "Come up hither" in Revelation 4:1.

It would be a simple matter to delve into Revelation and interpret a few verses a bit differently and build an argument for a pre-wrath or post trib Rapture -- I am anticipating getting a few in response to this column.

What is not so simple, however, is coming up with verses that suggest the indwelt Church is numbered among "they that dwell upon the earth" during this period.

And if the Church isn't among those dwelling upon the earth, then where is it dwelling? There is only one answer that fits both the Scriptures and the chronological and logical narrative presented by Revelation.

"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 which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. . ." (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

". . . .And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming." (2nd Thessalonians 2:8)

The Tribulation is specifically set aside for "them that dwell upon the earth". "Them that dwell upon the earth" are specifically identified as the unsaved whose names are not in the Book of Life.

The Church is not there. The Church left, along with John in Revelation 4:1.
"Wherefore, comfort one another with these words."