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" The 'Starting Gun' "

"A Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave to Him to show to His slaves things which must occur quickly." (Rev1:1)

"And likewise, as it was in the days of Lot, they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; but on the day Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from the heaven and destroyed all. Even so it will be in the day the Son of man is revealed. (Lk17:28-30)

As the new year rolled past the various time zones I noticed three things, as observed from TV coverage: Trepidations about Y2K computer glitches and terrorists, Expensive fireworks displays and rock concerts, and Religious observances.

Millions upon millions of people 'celebrating'. Public TV showed an interesting perspective that the main networks didn't. All the little tribes and ethnic groups all around the world...worshiping. Worship dances, symbolic candles/torches, and... marriages. In one case, 12 couples, a couple each from 12 different countries, jointly participated in Egypt in marriage and worship to the gods of Egypt "as the pharaohs did 5000 years ago".

The main thing I'd like us to observe from all this, compared to the opening Scriptures, is that all these festivities were -about- and -for- 'MAN'. And the biggest concerns, the Y2K computer glitch, something which -man- had created, and they hoped -man- had solved. Otherwise, this glitch was prophesied to bring untold calamity upon the whole world.

Thing is, this Y2K glitch is nothing new. For decades man has worried that -man's- ingenuity would destroy mankind from the face of the earth, with the atomic bomb. That hasn't happened.

We continually talk about end-time events. Things preparing and lining up for the 70th week. And many people look to all the preparations and progress of -man's- activities as a 'time-piece' as to 'when' the 70th week will begin. Trouble is, all these perspectives focus on 'MAN'.

Thing is... the "starting gun" has not yet been fired. The track team dash runners spend all their time preparing. They arrive at the field, they change into their athletic attire. Then, go through their warm-ups. They even get their starting blocks set up and are in position. But that 'timed event' does not begin until the official fires the starting gun. As we see that He is "at the doors" (Mt24:33) we have only heard the "On your marks...! Get set...! ..." But the gun has not yet been fired.

What is the starting gun?

One of the characteristics of the 70th week is the "lawless one" who is to be revealed. (2Th2:8) He won't be revealed, and the "covenant" won't be "confirmed" (Dan9:27) until that which is "holding back..comes out of the midst". (2Th2:7) These days are likened to the Days of Lot, and also the Days of Noah. In the days of Noah, God said, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man, in his erring he is flesh." (Gen6:3) The reason all the events of doom are not yet happening is because God's Holy Spirit is keeping them from getting underway. But just like in the days of Noah, a certain point is going to come where God says, This is the Time! And He will withdraw His Holy Spirit from being in the world in the way it is now. And how is that?

When Jesus left, He promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to the Believers. (Jn14:16-18) That is a prime characteristic of the Church of Jesus Christ. The indwelling Holy Spirit. In fact, if a person does not have the Holy Spirit, he is not a Believer (Rom8:9), by definition.

If the 'restraining' Holy Spirit "comes out of the midst" (2Th2:7b), what else comes? That which is an integral part with the Spirit, the Church. The 'starting gun' is that event often called the Rapture.

It -must- be so. The 70th week, while being a time of doom and judgment upon the world, is so much more. It is a time when Jesus Christ is 'revealed' to all of creation. The book of "Revelation" is actually, "The Revelation OF JESUS CHRIST". All the events that unfold during that time are the process of Jesus being revealed to the universe as the KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS. (Rev19:16) He is that "stone/mountain" cut without hands. His kingdom is the one which "the God of Heaven shall set up.." (Dan2:43) Not man. He will wrench away satan's rule and it will be proclaimed with loud voices at the seventh trumpet, "The kingdoms of the world became our Lord's, even of His Christ; and He shall reign to the ages of the ages." (Rev11:15b)

The 70th week will begin when, and -only- when God says so. He will announce it with a trumpet, as He lifts Christ's Church from out of the world. The 'day' the Son of Man is 'revealed' is just like the day Lot was taken out of Sodom and Gomorrah -before- they were judged. The Rapture -is- the 'starting gun'.

Dear Believer... Creation is on the starting blocks, and the official has already called out, "On your marks... Get set..!" Are you ready to meet your Lord, unashamed?

"But we know that if He is revealed, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone having this hope on Him purifies himself even as that One is pure." (1Jn3:2-3)

Amen!


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