It is interesting that 2 Baruk says that HAMASHIACH (the Messiah) shall BEGIN TO BE “REVEALED”. The wording makes one think of the Book of “REVELATION”. I know that when I was a young Christian, I could not help but focus on the many horrors that the Book of Revelation “revealed” would occur during the tribulation period (i.e. wars, famine, disease, the antichrist, etc.). However, in actuality the MOST important “revelation” in the Book of Revelation is the revelation of our LORD Jesus Christ…in HIS CHURCH!
First, the Apostle John describes Jesus as He appears in his glorious celestial body.
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 1:11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
Rev 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 1:13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
Rev 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
Rev 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
Rev 1:16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, FEAR NOT; I am the first and the last:
Rev 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
This personage that greets John is no doubt the risen Jesus Christ. Nobody else was dead and resurrected, and also holds the keys of hell and of death. When John is paralyzed by fear and falls at His feet as dead, how characteristic of Jesus that he tells John to “FEAR NOT”! I wonder how many times John had heard those exact words before from Jesus, while he lived and traveled with the LORD during His ministry on earth?
The description hearkens back to the “transfiguration” when John, as well as his brother James and Peter, also fell on their faces afraid.
Mat 17:5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
Mat 17:6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
Mat 17:7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and BE NOT AFRAID.
Despite all the trials and tribulations that we might go through, we have a protector and a savior, Jesus will not allow us to be tested beyond our limitations. Also, I am confident that there will be a vast difference between the saved and unsaved during the tribulation period. We see the allegory of Israel in the land of Egypt during the Exodus period:
Exo 8:22 And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth.
Exo 8:23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.
When I tell people that the Church is going through the tribulation period, I invariably hear that “Christians are not appointed to wrath”! I agree, but does that mean God MUST take us to heaven to protect us?
God protected Noah and his family in the flood, God protected Daniel in the lion’s den, God protected the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, and God protected the children of Israel living in Egypt during the ten plagues. However, for some reason people do not think God can protect His people during the great tribulation?
Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Not only can God protect us, but I foresee that the tribulation period might be the greatest times of our lives…if we LISTEN to God. I believe that during the great tribulation there will be more (and greater) miracles than at any time in history, including the time of Moses and even during the time of Jesus’ ministry!
Most important of all…God wants to transform His Church into the image of Jesus Christ!!!
More important than our glorious celestial body, which we will receive at the resurrection, is the transformation of our INNER MAN! OUR INNER MAN MUST BE TRANFORMED INTO THE IMAGE OF CHRIST! Unfortunately, this “metamorphosis” of our inner man requires SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD. Most of us, me included, know that we should be praying more, and meditating on the WORD more, and fasting more, but the cares of this world always seem to get in the way. The spiritual growth that we should be experiencing in just a few years takes most of us a lifetime.
God has a solution for our “love of the world problem”, I will call it God’s “accelerated growth program”. God is going to separate His Church from the world and give us all His personal attention during the 1260 day “Christian Exodus”. Just like Jesus spent three and one-half years of intimacy with His disciples, God will spend three and one-half years with His people during the “Christian Exodus”.
However, I believe a lot of the Church will simply refuse to leave the world…they will either die a martyr’s death or they will take the mark of the beast (in which case they were actually false Christians, “tares” hiding in the wheat).
Let me clear up a serious misconception that most people have about the Book of Revelation, and evil in general…God does not cause evil or all the horrors listed in the Book of Revelation, He is simply reporting the natural consequences of our rebellion against Him before they happen. Listen to what the Apostle Paul tells the Church in Corinth about how to deal with a fornicator in the Church:
1Co 5:2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
1Co 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
1Co 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Co 5:5 To DELIVER such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
DELIVER: G3860, paradidōmi
1) to give into the hands (of another)
2) to give over into (one’s) power or use
2a) to deliver to one something to keep, use, take care of, manage
2b) to deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death
2c) to deliver up treacherously
2c1) by betrayal to cause one to be taken
2c2) to deliver one to be taught, moulded
If we read the first part of the sentence, we would think to ourselves that the Apostle Paul is being overly harsh…but when we finish the sentence, we see that there is a purpose behind allowing Satan to have “custody” of an apostate Christian… THAT THE SPIRIT MAY BE SAVED IN THE DAY OF THE LORD JESUS.
It is similar to the story of the prodigal son…the son asks his father for his inheritance early, so that he can live a reprobate and hedonistic lifestyle away from the constraints of his father. At the end of the story the son comes to his senses and realizes that the freedom from his father that he so desired was leading to his own destruction.
Luk 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
What a common occurrence it is for children to think that their parents are overly harsh and restrictive, when in truth the parents are simply trying to protect their children from the dangers of the world. However, eventually there comes a time when every parent must allow their children to learn about the world first hand…the LORD willing, they will all eventually “come to their self” and return to the FATHER!
Therefore, there is a reason that God will allow Satan to have “custody” of the world for a season. Eventually, the people of the world will either return to the FATHER, or they will be destroyed.
IF EVERYTHING WAS GREAT, THE ISRAELITES WOULD NEVER HAVE LEFT EGYPT!!!
If you think about it, you will realize that God must allow the tribulation to come to pass or the Church will continue in a perpetual state of constant “luke warmness”, always having one foot in the “spirit” and one foot in the “world”.
I was baptized when I was thirteen years old, and I have been a confessing Christian for over forty (40) years, but I will confess that my spiritual growth has been moving at a snail’s pace at best…and more growth is needed! However, God has only appointed a certain amount of time for Satan to have jurisdiction over this earth, and that time is running out.
Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
The world does not have forty (40), or thirty (30), or even twenty (20) years left, in order for all Christians that are alive now to grow into mature saints of God. The Church MUST go through an accelerated growth program! If you study the Bible to determine how many years there have been since the fall of Adam and Eve, you will realize that we are very, very close to six-thousand (6,000) year mark.
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY IS WITH THE LORD AS A THOUSAND YEARS, AND A THOUSAND YEARS AS ONE DAY.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The epistle of Barnabas lays out God’s general timeline of redemption:
Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days. He
meaneth this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all
things to an end; for the day with Him signifyeth a thousand years;
and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold, the day of
the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six
days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end.
And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son
shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall
judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon and the
stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.
I will be the first to admit that my calculations might be off by a handful of years, but there is no way that my calculations are off by another one-hundred or one-thousand years…JESUS IS COMING BACK VERY SOON!!!
I have written previously, that the two witnesses mentioned in the Book of Revelation will probably appear around Passover, 2026.
Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Rev 11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
These two men will be very hard to miss. First of all, they will be witnessing AGAINST the beast system. The beast and the false prophet, spoken of in the Book of Revelation, will nourish a violent hatred towards them. However, the beast system will not be able to harm them for 1260 days, until they have finished their testimony.
Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
I suspect their testimony will concern mainly three things: First, they will be pronouncing God’s judgments upon the earth.
Rev 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
Second, I believe they will be announcing the RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST!
Isa 40:3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Finally, they will be warning the Church to separate from the world in order to avoid God’s judgment.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Rev 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
It will be very important to listen to what these two witnesses will tell the Church, and to flee when they say flee. It may not only be the difference between life and death, but it may be the difference between eternal life and eternal damnation.
God’s WORD is established forever, it is true whether we believe it or not. However, our faith in God will save us, and it will condemn the world.
Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
*** I believe there will be one more part to this article and then it will be done…THE LORD WILLING!