Friendship with Jesus: The End Times Key
One of the questions I hear most often concerning understanding the Book of Revelation and the End Times is, “How can anyone understand this?” I know this because I wondered the same thing when I became a Christian. I read the Left Behind books and was so taken in by the events that unfolded and seeing God work in mighty ways and seeing him protect the righteous and vindicating them that I put down the series kinda bummed out in the end. I wondered why if the church was going to be vindicated and protected in the eyes of the wicked were we going to be taken out? I mean everything that we have waited to see is happening right before our eyes!
When I started studying Mike Bickle and the Bridal Paradigm I was amazed. Because I have never found something this awesome and so totally biblical. I was revolutionary to me. It also was my first argument against a Pre Tribulation Rapture in the sense that Jesus wants a pure and spotless bride and the best way to purify something is through fire. God will use the Antichrist and Satan’s powerless rage to purify the church and aid the release of signs and wonders through the hands of his bride. Persecution always brings revival or vice versa. It always brings to people the severity of the decision to follow Christ to a completely different level. Making a decision for Christ is truly making a decision against your comfort and your life. You could die for this, but it’s too real to deny. Eternity becomes a issue on your heart and you are forced to know this man Jesus and partner with him not only in the signs and wonders and the greater works (John 14:12) but you are almost automatically thrust into partnering with him in the fellowship of his sufferings (Phillippians 3:10). It’s not what we are so common to see here in the west where to know Christ means health and wealth and comfort and a free ticket out of here when things get ugly. That’s a mindset I see NOWHERE in the Scriptures. I mean NO-WHERE.
So with that mindset, the next question comes, “If I’m going to be here during the tribulation, How do I prepare?” I mean what do you do? Do you stockpile canned goods and ammo and form a resistance against the Antichrist? Do we start banding together in the mountains and start going back to the Jewish roots of our faith and sacrificing bulls? Do we start remodeling our homes to include underground communities so we won’t be affected by the judgements and to hide from the oppressive government of Antichrist?
The answer to this is a resounding ABSITIVELY POSILUTELY NO!!!! If we read the Bible we find that one, if we really believed what Jesus said about the end times we could understand it. John 15:15 says that I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know what his master is doing, but I have called you friends because everything the Father has told me I am telling you. Most people look at this as a verse of identification and rightfully so. But, this verse has more of an end times reality than most people realize. That everything we need to know about the end times Jesus has told us. Daniel and Revelation in the Bible are meant for us to know in our time and to add to the revelation of Jesus Christ is to place yourself under the judgement in the book (). Everytime someone has a new theology about the end times based on one verse without looking at the whole of scripture is walking dangerous ground simply because the bible is made subject to their theology instead of the other way around. Jesus has told us everything we need to know without any outside refrence. If the earth hasn’t come to an end and we aren’t ruling and reigning with Jesus on the earth, that means that there is still unfulfilled eschatological prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled. If we truly knew God as a God that doesn’t lie or repent we would see that many of the things that were prophesied about Jerusalem in the Old Testament have yet to happen to her which should be a clear indicator that it hasn’t come yet.
What’s the best way on how to take God at his word? What’s the best way to know his heart concerning what he will allow Antichrist to do to Jerusalem for 42 months? What’s the best way to know what the Father is doing in the end times? You guessed it… FRIENDSHIP. Intimacy with Jesus is the only way that we as a church will make it in the end times. Not only do friends know what the Father is doing, but the Father trust his friends to testify of him in truth, and to testify of that truth will be the power of the word made manifest in signs and wonders. Jesus will have a pure and spotless bride at the end of the age, not behind him, but beside him. Working with him, going where he goes, and doing what he is doing completely in love with him and desiring what he desires.
Jesus gives the summary of the end times in Matthew 24, and he continues his talk in Matthew 25 with his parable of the ten virgins. 5 were wise and 5 were foolish. They all had lamps (which symbolizes ministry) but 5 had oil (which symbolizes intimacy) and 5 did not. People will have their ministries, they will be working for God and doing the works of the kingdom. But that will not preserve them when the Bridegroom comes. Preparation for the end times will not be in what can visibly be done, but how well you know the man sending the judgements. Intimacy with Jesus is the key to preparing for the end times. For when the Bridegroom comes, only those with oil will be ready to meet him. Those without will try to buy and not have the time to do it. Their offense with Jesus and what he’s doing will prevent them from doing so. Go buy oil while there’s time. For when the rain starts falling it’s too late. Antichrist and the Beast and the Harlot Babylon will make themselves known in due time, the important thing is to buy oil, get to know Jesus, it’s the only thing that will keep you from offense and it’s the only thing that will keep you when you are faced with the choice of having to suffer and die for your faith in him.