Hope To The End ,,,,......................., ARTICLES
In the Book of Revelations Chapter 13, it tells us that
the Beast) will "make war with the saints and OVERCOME THEM". Rev. 13:7
"And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake.
But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
In your patience, possess ye your souls" Luke 21:17-19
This situation occurs during the time of the Great Tribulation....the last 3 1/2 years
of this age. We are now on the eve of that time (see Addendum..)
We are in the sunset of history---the Midnight Rapture is about to take place---
and then Satan will rule over the earth through his man, the Beast.
The beast, and the False Prophet, will require an embedded mark in your right hand
or forehead, without which you cannot buy or sell or eat. Rev. 13:15-18.
The consequences for not taking the mark is that one would be killed. (v.15)
In other words, if one does not make it in the Midnight Rapture, one faces starvation, death and martyrdom. (Unless surviving to the Cockcrowing Rapture,
or surviving to the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ....both are possible,
but the odds are slim).
THE MULTITUDE THAT NO MAN COULD NUMBER
Suppose you are left behind after the rapture. Suppose you have not taken the mark
of the Beast and have lived in the wilderness, or whatever, for several months.
Then the day comes. They find you, they capture and imprison you, and you await
your execution. Suppose you are about to be beheaded, as it says in Rev. 20:4 .
How do you face certain death? Will fear overwhelm you? What Scriptures will sustain
you, as you face martyrdom?
One imagines: "How can I actually go through this"? It's too painful. The thought
is more than I can bear."
At first glance, all of these emotions seem true. But putting all of this in perspective builds up one's faith to the point that one can boldly go forth with his or her face like flint before the executioners.
"For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded:
therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."
That is the example Christ gave us, an example that we are able to follow.
"We are more than conquerors". (Romans 8:37)
LORD OF ATOMS (MOLECULAR STRUCTURE)
"Through Faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." Hebrews 11:2
When our thoughts are focused on the physical aspects of martyrdom, whether it be
by beheading or ANY other form of martyrdom, we experience fear. When we focus
on the Lord of this Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, who created all the elements
of chemistry and physics, and by whom all things consist (Colossians 1:17), then
our faith overcomes fear.
"And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith" First John 5: 4
Our faith and our focus not only overcome fear, but our faith overcomes the physical world, as God so wills. The physical MUST submit to the spiritual when God intervenes. Is anything too hard for the Lord?
Genesis 18:14; Daniel Chapter 3 (power over fire) and Daniel Chapter 6 (power over beasts) Acts 28: 3--6 ( over venomous snakes etc.)
We know that the spiritual world is far greater than the physical world because Christ proved it to us when He walked on the water in Matthew 14:25; Mark 6:48 and John 6: 16.
In that narrative, Jesus had just finished the miracle of the loaves and fishes. It was late evening. Jesus commissioned his disciples to get into a boat and cross over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Kinneret). Jesus preferred to stay with the crowd, and then to disperse them. He would meet his disciples the next morning on the other side.
After the disciples left, and after the crowd went away, Jesus stayed in this location, going up to a mountainous area to pray. He must have prayed for about 6 hours, for the narrative picks up from there to about 3:OO in the morning. It was about this time that Jesus, being full of the Holy Ghost, had a word of knowledge (a picture flash in His mind)........
"And He saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the Fourth Watch of the night He cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.
(Jesus patiently waits till we call upon Him).
"But when they saw Him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit,
and cried out:
For they all saw Him and were troubled.
And immediately He talked with them, and saith unto them,
"Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid." Mark 6: 48-50
"And Peter answered Him and said,
"Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.
And He (Jesus) said, "Come".
And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, "Lord, save me".
And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him" (natzal)
The lesson Christ is teaching us here is: when our faith and focus are on Him, we need not realize the physical aspects of our surroundings.
While Peter had his eyes solely on Jesus, he defied the laws of gravity and walked on
the water. When he got his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink. His faith cried out
"Lord, save me" and the focus drew him out and above the waters. Peter should have drowned.
Peter should have died. He experienced neither drowning nor death.
What point is being made here?
This is the point. Martyrdom can rise above it's circumstances.
If one is to be beheaded, and one's focus is on Jesus, that one may undergo the guillotine, but not feel the dregs of death. One may not feel anything.
"to bring to naught things that are" I Corinthians 1:28
It is believed by oral tradition that John the Revelator was thrown into a pot of scalding, boiling oil and never suffered
from it at all. The three Hebrew children were thrown into a furnace 7 times hotter
than normal, and didn't singe their hair, nor was the smell of smoke upon them.
" Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?"
They answered and said unto the King, "True, O King"
He answered and said, "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire,
and they have no hurt; and the form of the Fourth is like the Son of God".
The king then calls the three young men forth from the fiery furnace.
Daniel Chapter 3:24-27
Then the king and all his men:
"saw these men, upon whose bodies THE FIRE HAD NO POWER, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them."
Stephen was mercilessly stoned to death and he never saw the stones. He only saw Jesus standing, ready to receive Stephen into the Kingdom.
"But he being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven,
and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.
And said, 'Behold, I see the heavens opened,
and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."..........
And they stoned Stephen calling upon God, and saying, "Lord Jesus receive my spirit.
And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice,
'Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.'
And when he had said this, he fell asleep"
It was as if there were no interim experience. It was the focus... and then heaven.
"I AM the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live"
"Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
John 11: 25, 26
The only righteous One to have ever tasted death is Jesus. He took our sins upon Himself, and the wages of sin is death. He drank that cup to its dregs.
"that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man" Hebrews 2:9
"the Just for the Unjust" 1 Peter 3:18
It is an amazing fact that the only one in Heaven that will have undergone death is the Lord Jesus Christ. He spared us all so that we could passover, under His blood covering.
Let's look at some particulars of the scene wherein Jesus and Peter walked on the water in the Gospels. Both Matthew and Mark tell us that this event took place during the Fourth Watch of the Night, when a horrendous storm brew at sea. The Fourth watch is the last watch of the night, between 3 and 6 am. The Fourth watch is also a phrase indicative of the last part of the Great Tribulation. Luke 12:38 relates the 2nd and 3rd watches as deliverance from the great Tribulation, not deliverance THROUGH the great Tribulation as is the 4th watch).
This boating incident then , being in the 4th watch, speaks directly to "the multitude
that no man could number" ( Rev. 7:9 ).... those left behind in the great tribulation and who undergo martyrdom. This passage is expressly for them.
John's version of this incident adds a line not found in the other 2 accounts and it is this:
"Then they (the disciples) willingly received Him (Jesus) into the ship; and immediately the ship was at the land wither they went."
This sentence emphasizes the fact that there was no interim experience between the ship being in the midst of the sea, ( 30 furlongs, a sizable distance ) and then being safely at shore....home with the Savior on our eternal shores. We cross over unscathed, though the head is severed. (or whatever form of martyrdom transpires)
Can I say this with conviction? Yes. My own personal testimony relates to God overtaking the physical. I was in a terrible car accident. I was sitting in the back seat, in the middle of 2 other persons. I was the least candidate to be thrown forcibly out of the automobile, yet thrown I was, at great velocity. That meant that I had to crash through closed (locked?) doors of the automobile. Being unconscious, I hit the highway pavement (about 20 feet away) at full force, with none of my limbs breaking the fall. Smack. Full-facial hit.
It was before dawn, pitch-black, and I was wearing black. A perfect situation for a semi-truck or other vehicle to run right over me in the middle of the highway, never seeing me.
The four other people, had multiple injuries, one eventually succumbing to her injuries a few years later. The wounded hurried to warn oncoming cars and to get flares. I was left alone on the cement highway. It was a cold day in December (pre-dawn), and as I breathed, the breathe turned to moisture on the pavement, and the dampness woke me up. ( All this by the grace of God ).
(like a cold towel on my face). I got up without a scratch, abrasion or bruise. I walked over to the car lying in the ditch with the motor still running, and turned the engine off.
The two persons in the car were unable to move (one with a broken back). The other 2 persons were returning from attempting to stop cars. They looked at me as if they were seeing a ghost. All of them had to be hospitalized. The car was totaled.
The doctors knew that I had to have had a concussion to have suffered the blow on the pavement (I was 'out'), but all their x-rays came up with nothing. Two days later I was back in the classroom teaching, while one remained hospitalized for a long time and the others were wrapped in bandages with torn ligaments etc.
Finally, four days later, a huge shiner (black eye) appeared on my face proving to everyone who asked that , yes, I truly was in the accident. It is my belief to this day that only the intervention of God kept me from death and injury that day. I have witnessed scene after scene on television news with identical circumstances, where people did not walk away. So this was not "luck". This is the faith in God that I carry with me wherever I go, and as I said my morning prayers for a safe journey that cold December day long ago. Our God is sovereign over the physical world. All matter must obey Him.
"Thou art worthy O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power;
for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure (Thy will)
they are and were created." Rev. 4:11
Why did God give me that experience? So that I would know once and for all, that He is Lord over the physical universe. That, just as he reversed the sundial---and the sun---for Hezekiah, (turning back the sun 2 Kings 20: 9-11)
God stopped the sun and the moon in the sky for Joshua and time stood still. Joshua 10:12-14.
God does whatsoever He will with the elements of the Universe. He is their Creator and Stipulator.
Please see the Book of Job, Chapters 38--41.
God did not intervene miraculously in my case because of anything special in me....there isn't.
(Christ died for us while we were yet sinners Romans 5:8 ).
But God has allowed me an opportunity to pass on the testimony of His power
over the physical world. It is my belief that all of our testimonies are to be passed on.
"They overcame him (Satan and the system) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY and they loved not their lives unto the death".
The other 4 in the accident also have their testimony....whatever it is that they gleaned from that experience.
"My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness"
2 Corinthians 12:9. I too have had that testimony many atime in my life. It is God's prerogative and plan that determines our events. Yet it is my firmest conviction that when it comes to martyrdom, a special gift of translation occurs. I believe that the name of that gift is "The Crown of Life" (Rev. 2:10). The crowning of our life here, in martyrdom, is to escape the dregs of death, and to thus pass over immediately into the arms of our Savior. What mercy!
PEACE LIKE A RIVER
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee:
because he trusteth in Thee" Isaiah 26:3
It is also my belief that prior to overwhelming circumstances, God gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding. Philippians 4:7
In the nano-second before the accident that I was in, I was fully conscious of what was about to take place; and yet rather than choosing to fear, I chose to "accept", thus letting my frame go limp. I'm sure the angels of God took over from there.
( Cats survive many falls because they do not get rigid, but "absorb" the impact. That is why they are said to have '9 lives'.)
Corrie Ten Boom tells us that the graces God gives us are like train-tickets....given only at the time they are needed. I cannot muster up courage, resolve or fortitude now for an event in the future, though I may practice those virtues to build up my faith. But, at the time of execution, it is my belief that peace like a river overtakes the one going home. We see this in the phrase:
"And He went up unto them into the ship; and the wind (torment, fear) ceased"
This was evidenced in Christ's martyrdom (He rose from Gethsemane resolute)
"No man taketh it (My life) from Me, but I lay it down of Myself". John 10:18
That same calmness and peace was found in the execution of Paul :
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6)
Here we find out that we not only receive a Crown on this side of life
(immediate translation into the kingdom),
but that also on the other side, in eternity, we immediately receive a Crown of Righteousness for having died trusting in the precious Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thus the martyr begins eternity immediately with two crowns....the Crown of Life,
and the Crown of Righteousness for having put our total trust in Jesus.
"Hold that fast which thou hast that no man take thy crown."
The Apostle Peter also spoke forthrightly of his coming demise.
In 2 Peter 1:14-15, the Apostle says, "knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (tent-body), even as Our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me."
Jesus had prophesied to Peter many years earlier (shortly after His resurrection)
that when Peter was older, "thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee wither thou wouldst not. This spake He, signifying by what death (crucifixion) he should glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He saith unto him, "Follow Me" John 21:18,19
Peter could carry that knowledge all down through the years, knowing the miraculous power Christ had over certain consequences...such as at the time when Peter walked on the waters of Galilee. For the believer, there may be suffering (always buffered by His Grace), but actual "death" is a translation.
"Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." 2 Peter 1:15
The 2 witnesses of Revelation Chapter 11 have known for 2 thousands years that they too will die a martyr's death. Does that make them any less willing to fulfill the plan and purpose of God in these Last Days? No. They know fully well of God's miraculous provision. "Even so, Come Lord Jesus". Rev.22:20
And even in our present modern-day America, we know of 3 women who faced death saying" Yes", calmly and decidedly. (to their everlasting credit). These 3 women were focused on Jesus. "Thy face Lord will I seek". They are Karla Faye Tucker,
Cassie Bernall, and Rachel Scott. (see also Torchgrab) and Littleton, Colorado Spiritual Warfare)
God will deliver some people out of the great Tribulation (rapture)
and God will deliver some people through the great tribulation (unfathomable, miraculous Grace. )
Some will be martyred, holding God's hand.
"Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I WILL FEAR NO EVIL FOR THOU ART WITH ME......
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Psalm 23
"and IMMEDIATELY the ship was at the land wither they went" John 6:21
DYING ? ....by Bishop Brent .........(from Sharon's Safe Harbor)
Martyrdom by Tom Stewart
More on Spiritual Crowns:
The following sites teach on the 7 Crowns:
of Life, of Righteousness and of His Appearing, of Glory, of Rejoicing, of Victory and of our Incorruptible Crown. It is good to keep these in mind as they ever spur us on to excel for our King.
A Crown for All Those Who Love His Appearing
Will There Be Any Stars in my Crown? by Tom Stewart
Salvation and Eternal Rewards by Robert Wells
The Promise of Crowns by James P. Dawson
Spiritual Crowns of Reward by KIM
Earning Eternal Crowns by Dr. Dan Cheatham
Reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ by SDM