The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 10 : The Revelation (Commentaries on the Revelation)

[Chapter 7-2] (Revelation 7:1-17) Let Us Have Faith That Battles

(Revelation 7:1-17)
 
Christians of today must know the truth of the Bible correctly. In particular, through the Word of Revelation, we must have a proper understanding of the rapture of the saints and live with proper faith.
First of all, we must realize that the rapture will happen at the midpoint of the Great Tribulation, slightly past the first three and a half years of the seven-year period. The churches and the saints must therefore have a battling faith in the end times, to fulfill the will of God to deliver the mankind from sin and give eternal life as He has planned in Jesus Christ.
God permitted the activities of the Antichrist to fulfill this will of His. The period during which the Antichrist will be active is the first three and a half years of the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation. God allowed the Antichrist to vigorously pursue his ends during this period. Why? Because to fulfill His great purposes planned for us, God must bind Satan in the bottomless pit, and to do so the Lord Himself must return to this earth in person. This is why our God permitted the Antichrist to powerfully carry out his activities during the first three and a half years of the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation.
God gave everyone His Word of deliverance from sin and of eternal life, and to fulfill this Word He planned the Great Tribulation. In the main passage, it is written, “I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.” God has also planned to deliver 144,000 of the people of Israel from their destruction, for He had promised to Abraham that He would be his God and the God of his descendants. To fulfill this promise, God will bestow His grace of salvation on Israel and deliver 144,000 of Abraham’s descendants in the end times.
To give the saints His Millennial Kingdom and the eternal New Heaven and Earth, God will certainly permit the Great Tribulation to come to this earth. After allowing the era of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation, God will then seize Satan and shut him up in the bottomless pit. The reason why God allows the appearance of the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation is to fulfill His promise of saving Israel and to bestow His grace of giving eternal life to the Gentiles, who will be clothed in white through the Great Tribulation.
As such, the Great Tribulation and the reign of the Antichrist are the stages that we must infallibly go through. We must realize that all these things that God has allowed are a part of His plan to save all of us and clothe us in His grace of eternal life in the Kingdom of Christ. We must therefore clearly discern exactly in what era we are now living, and ask ourselves what kind of faith we must have to live on. Our faith, in short, must be clear and certain.
We believe in the Word of God. And we also believe that this Word will all be fulfilled, both physically and spiritually. Today’s era is an era that is running toward the end times. When the Antichrist and his many followers emerge in the end times, we must fight against them to defend our faith, even at the cost of giving up our own lives in martyrdom. This era is fast approaching us. If we believe in the Word, we must fight against the Antichrist, the great enemy, and his followers. This is the faith that battles.
Battle means to fight. But by fighting, I do not mean physical violence, hitting and smashing. Rather, battle here means to defend faith without capitulating under the Antichrist, the servant of Satan who will stand against the gospel of salvation that the Lord has given us, and who will persecute the believers. Those who are martyred in the end times are the ones who have the testimony of Jesus and who have kept the Word of God. What they testify is Jesus who came through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
To battle is to defend the faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. To defend this gospel, those who were born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord must unite with the other born-again saints in the born-again churches of God. And we must be resolved to bravely enter the battle with an unbending determination to spread our faith to others and save their souls. To be completely battle-ready means to defend our faith and to also save other souls; this faith of the church is the road to victory that pleases God. The servants of God and His saints must always keep their battling faith.
How is today’s era, in which we must live with battle-ready minds and faith? The present era is clearly going through many changes. Many “theories” on the rapture and the second coming of Christ have appeared and disappeared, and along with them people’s faith have also been changing accordingly.
Before a new theory of rapture was advocated in the early 1800s, everyone believed in and preached the doctrine of post-tribulation rapture, which argues that Christ will return after the saints go through all of the Great Tribulation, and that their rapture and resurrection will happen at this time of Christ’s return. But the theory of pre-tribulation rapture, which gradually gained its currency in the early 1800s, completely overturned the theory of post-tribulation rapture.
The theory of pre-tribulation rapture argues that the believers in Jesus will be lifted up to heaven before the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation begins. Although this theory was initially rejected by many, now virtually everyone has ended up believing in the theory of pre-tribulation rapture, with only a few exceptions. But the theory of pre-tribulation rapture not only does not fit with the Word of God at all, but it even renders God’s Word and His plan meaningless. Yet in the thoughts and the minds of those who are ignorant of the Bible, this theory of pre-tribulation rapture has already been firmly planted.
The apostles of the old times divided God’s eras into two eras. These were the first era of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, and the second era of the Great Tribulation that follows the passing of the first era. Today’s scholars say that while they understand the first era of salvation by faith in Jesus, the second era of the Great Tribulation, the era of the return of Christ and the rapture of the saints, is too difficult to comprehend.
Most Christians who believe in the theory of pre-tribulation rapture in their ignorance of the times cannot but have wrong faith. Pretentiously predicting their own day and time of Christ’s return, or letting their faith stagnate idly thinking that they will be raptured before the Great Tribulation—these are all the result of believing in this theory of pre-tribulation rapture. So many Christians have fallen into spiritual indolence, thinking to themselves, “Who cares if the world faces hardship? I’ll be raptured long before the Great Tribulation comes, and so everything is just fine.” All this confusion has been brought by their lack of the exact, biblically sound knowledge of the rapture.
Scofield advocated the theory of pre-tribulation rapture, and the results was that the minds of those who believed in this theory have ended up drifting in the direction of their own comforts, thinking, “We’ll be raptured before the Great Tribulation comes to this earth, and so let’s just try to live as comfortably as possible for now.” Their faith has thus become idle.
But what does the Bible say about the Great Tribulation and the rapture? The Bible speaks of mid-tribulation rapture. It tells us that both the Gentiles and the Israelites who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus will also suffer persecutions from the Antichrist as they go through the first three and a half years of the Great Tribulation during the era of the pale horse.
It tells us that after the first three and a half years of the Great Tribulation, the Antichrist will kill the saints—that is, the saints will be martyred. It tells us also that all the saints, both those who were martyred and those who were not, will be resurrected into glorious bodies, and simultaneous to their resurrection, they will be lifted to the air in rapture. When the saints are raptured in the middle of the Great Tribulation, this world will come to its end with the pouring of the plagues of the seven bowls. The Lord will then return to this earth to judge Satan, the Antichrist, and his followers.
Revelation 13 tells us that those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will all surrender to the Antichrist and his idols. Only those whose names are written in the Book of Life, in other words, will not yield to the Antichrist and his followers. Those whose names are not written in the Book of Life by refusing to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in their hearts will all end up worshipping and surrendering to Satan and his idols.
This is why the Bible tells us that the saints will remain on the earth during the Great Tribulation, and that slightly past the midpoint of the Tribulation, they will all be lifted up to the air with their rapture. Those who surrender to Satan and receive the mark of the Antichrist during the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation will all be cast out into the lake of fire and brimstone, but those whose names are written in the Book of Life and who did not surrender to the idol will be raptured in the middle of the Great Tribulation.
The true rapture will happen slightly past the midpoint of the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation. Detailed biblical cross-references for the time of rapture will be addressed in this book's second volume to follow. Yet there are plenty of people who, scheduling the rapture too soon, speak of pre-tribulation rapture, or otherwise schedule it too loosely and speak of post-tribulation rapture. Scholars talk of the theory of pre-tribulation rapture even when they themselves are not convinced of its merit, and yet many churchgoers hold fast onto this theory and believe in it. Some people even donate all their possessions to their churches, or wait in fanaticism for the arbitrarily determined date of the supposed return of Christ.
A while ago, members of a certain denomination once picked a date and believed that Christ will return on this date of their choosing. So they all climbed up a mountain, tied their bodies together with ropes, and waited for their rapture into the midnight. Time went by, but no matter how eagerly they waited, Jesus did not return. So they finally gave up, freed themselves of the ropes, and climbed down the mountain in shame. This kind of fiasco, unfortunately, has now become quite common in the Christian world. Such absurd events are not limited to only Korea, but they frequently occur all around the world, in Europe, America, Asia, everywhere.
What we must know precisely, therefore, is that God will expressly allow the Great Tribulation even to His saints of faith. This is God’s plan. The reason why God permits the Great Tribulation to the saints is to fulfill all His promises—to throw, through the Tribulation, Satan into the eternal fire, to change this earth into a new world by establish the Kingdom of Christ for a thousand years, where the saints will reign with Him, and to grant the New Heaven and Earth to the believers in Jesus. This is the will of God that has allowed the Great Tribulation to come to us on purpose.
The seven-year period of the Great Tribulation has not begun yet. If we assume that the natural disasters that we have suffered so far can be compared to the run-of-the-mill fires that the firefighters can easily extinguish, the disasters that await the world in the Great Tribulation are extraordinary, comparable to the fire that would burn down a third of the world’s forests.
To not be shaken and to persevere when such disasters and plagues strike the world, the servants and saints of God must all have faith that battles. Because we will remain on this earth until the middle of the Great Tribulation, we must live the end times with the kind of faith that never surrenders to the Antichrist and his followers. With the determined heart of a solider entering a battle, you must preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit all over the world to save one more soul, including your own family.
The world will not always be this peaceful. But even when confusion reigns the world and hardship abounds in our lives, we must always live in faithfulness, believing that God will protect us until the very last day. The religions of the world and Satan deceive people with all kinds of coaxing words, stealing from them and ultimately plunging their souls into hell.
Even as now, countless people and those who belong to big denominations believe in Scofield’s theory of pre-tribulation rapture, leading many others astray to their wrong faith. Those who believe that they will be raptured before the Great Tribulation see no need to prepare their faith to persevere through the Great Tribulation. They think all that they have to do is just be faithful in their present lives and simply be lifted up to the air when the Lord calls. But the rapture of the saints will in fact happen past the first three and a half years of the Great Tribulation, and so they must prepare their faith for the Tribulation regardless of when Christ makes His return. We must believe that God will save the people of Israel and many of the Gentiles during the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation.
Verse 14 tells us, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” This refers to martyrdom. Martyrdom means dying for the righteous work according to one’s faith. The most correct faith for the saints who have been delivered from sin is to believe in the gospel, that the Lord has made all our sins disappear, and to keep this faith. But Satan always tries to tear down the saints’ faith. We must therefore wage a war of faith against Satan. 
If we surrender to Satan in this fight, we will be thrown into hell along with the Devil as his servants, but if we fight and defend our faith even at the cost of our own lives, we will be martyred and enter the Kingdom of God by this faith of martyrdom. Because we are waging this war of faith to defend our faith, our death will be righteous and glorious.
We must, therefore, have the faith that fights for the righteous works. We must believe that we are engaged in a battle for the sake of others to save their souls, and we must defend our faith until the end and triumph in this war to send these souls to Heaven. Until we receive the crown of victory, we must overcome Satan in our battle against him with the sword of the Word of our Lord.
People are born once and they die once. No matter how much progress medical sciences have made, everyone eventually dies. Whether people die at the age of 10 or 80, they will all face the judgment of sin from God. Those who die without having believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord while on this earth will meet their judgement and be condemned to be cast out into the eternal fire. Though all their sins were washed away by the water and the blood of Jesus, making them as white as snow, because their sin of not believing in this truth was not forgiven, these unbelievers will be judged for all the sins that they committed before God and men while on this earth and pay their price.
To avoid being condemned to the fire of hell before God, we must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Jesus that redeems us of all our sins. The gospel of the water and the Spirit that atones us for all our sins is different from the gospel that believes only in the blood of the Cross. I have always preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit, whether in ordinary times or otherwise. Only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can we receive the Holy Spirit and be bestowed with the blessing of becoming God’s children. When we believe in Jesus, we must stay away from and not believe in the false gospel made of only the blood of the Cross.
The Old Testament speaks of the true gospel by the laying on of hands and the laver. In the New Testament, the Word of God tells us that our sins were passed onto Jesus all at once through the baptism that Christ received. The laver of the Old Testament and the baptism of the New Testament both refer to the same faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has saved us from all our sins—through the baptism of Jesus that handed over all our sins onto Him, His death on the Cross, and His resurrection. No one can be saved but by this gospel of the water and the Spirit.
We must continue to live by our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit until we reach the middle of the Great Tribulation. We must discern this age, and live these last few remaining days as God want us to, preaching the Kingdom of God and bringing good news to all. The Lord told us that many people would be saved even during these last days.
Few plants can survive in a desert, as there is no water, but only sand and burning sunlight. But even in this desolated desert filled by only hot and dry dust and sand, when rain brings water, plants can sprout, flower, and bear fruits in just a week. All that the desert lacks is water; the seeds buried underneath the sand, though unable to sprout yet, are not dead but still alive, waiting for rain. And when moisture makes its way to these dry seeds, they sprout immediately. The seeds sprout in a day, grow the next day, and flower and bear fruit in the third day. And in their last day these plants drop their seeds on the ground, and the hardened seeds once again hide beneath the sand.
Just as plants in a desert that seems impossible to sustain not even a single tiller or sprout can still manage to grow when water is supplied, we believe that in the end times, there will also be souls around the desert-like world that will sprout, blossom, and bear fruits if they come into even the slightest contact with the water of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We believe that when the plagues of the seven trumpets actually materialize, many who heard of the Great Tribulation before through the Word will realize the gospel planted in them, keep it, and in no time grow the faith of martyrdom.
As such, when you and I are martyred to defend our faith, there will be many other people of faith, rising like the desert plants that instantly grow even on dry grounds, who will join us in our martyrdom for refusing to receive the mark and worship the idol. This gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are spreading now will enable many people to grow their faith in a short period of time to embrace martyrdom, and turn them into the workers of God who will fight on.
From children to the elderly, we are all soldiers in the army of the Lord. Always preparing our hearts for battle, we must live with the right faith, undeceived by any lies, as the people of Christ. To those of us who win the battle, God will give us the crown of victory and unspeakable rewards. We must therefore live our lives serving the righteous works of God, with the faith that fights against Satan, all His lies, and all the evilness of the world.
 
 
God Will Give Us Bold Faith in the Time of Tribulation
 
When the era of the pale horse arrives, God will give us its signs. Verse 1 says, “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.” The wind here refers to the wind of tribulation that God will raise. Revelation 7:1-8 tells us that to save the people of Israel, God will seal them and thus hold the wind for a short while. But when the time comes—that is, when the era of the black horse, the era of famine among the seven eras of God, passes—God will open the era of the pale horse. The four winds of the earth will then be raised, bringing the wind of tribulation to the world.
When it is time to open the era of the pale horse, the fearful wind of tribulation will begin to blow, and many Israelites will be killed, and many Gentiles, including us, will also be killed. When this era of the pale horse comes, the era of tribulation will infallibly begin.
Because now is the era of the black horse, the wind of famine is blowing around the world. When this era is over, the era of the pale horse will begin, raising the wind of tribulation. The wind of tribulation marks the full-scale beginning of the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation. When God brings the Great Tribulation to this world for the first time since His creation of the universe and the beginning of human history—that is, when the wind of tribulation blows with the opening of the era of the pale horse—everything will end, and everything will also be renewed and start again.
We must realize that when the era of the pale horse comes, the era of tribulation also opens. As the rulers around the world unite, certain politicians will seize absolute power, and those who do not obey their command and rules will be thrown into tribulations and death. People will find it very hard to live through the era of the pale horse as they will be facing great difficulties from the natural disasters unleashed by the plagues of the seven trumpets, but compounding this hardship will be the political circumstances of the time that will also be very threatening. But even in this situation, God will continue to work among the people, leading a countless number of the Gentiles to their salvation.
When the wind of tribulation blows in the era of the pale horse, hope can be found in only one place. As the Word tells us, that “salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb,” this only hope is found in our God the Father and Jesus Christ. When the fearful wind of tribulation is raised, the Antichrist will emerge on this earth, uniting not only the political sphere of the world but also all social spheres, from economy to culture to religion, in global integration. Tribulation means going through terrifying persecution. This is the wind that will be raised. And all these things will happen all of a sudden.
The wind of economic integration is blowing throughout today’s world. There is a strong movement toward free trade, eliminating tariff walls among the member countries of various trade organizations. Under a protectionist trading system, it used to be difficult for the products of one country to maintain their price-competitiveness in another country, because tariffs imposed during the export and import processes would raise their prices higher, regardless of how low the initial prices of the exports might have been.
But such tariff walls are falling down. A good example can be found in Europe, where tariffs have been phased out. Among the member countries of the European Union (EU), for instance, there is no tariff anymore. This is the beginning of a greater integration to come, indicating the rise of political and cultural unity. This is an amazing development. Without tariffs, a country can sell its products in any other country. This is a groundbreaking transformation of the global economic environment. If the EU successfully completes its economic integration, global economic integration will also accelerate even more.
Recently, Korea, China, and Japan reached an agreement to provide emergency loans to each other in the event of a future financial crisis in Asia, like the one that engulfed the region in 1997. In the Asian crisis of 1997, financial support was provided by the United States. But with this agreement, the three countries involved have pledged to provide financial support to each other if a signatory country faces a currency or economic crisis. This means forming an economic alliance. Just as the European countries have eliminated tariffs and pursued economic integration through the EU to seek greater prosperity for its member countries, the three countries of the Far East are also pooling their resources together. Such integration of individual countries and its organizational development will eventually lead to political integration.
Economic integration through tariff removal means de facto integration of individual countries into a supranational entity. When natural disasters of the seven plagues strike and chaos runs rampant throughout the world, the representatives of such international organizations and institutions will unite to select an absolute leader. They will try, in other words, to bring order to the chaotic world by organizing the world into a single political entity and raising a ruler with absolute power.
The wind of tribulation will blow in the midst of this process. Instead of respecting individual rights, trampling on the rights of the few for the sake of the greater majority will become not only acceptable, but expected. This wind will blow when the era of the pale horse comes. The groundwork for such events is laid during the era of the black horse, and their actual realization will come in the era of the pale horse.
When Korea was struck by the financial crisis of 1997 and subjected under the tutelage of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), it was engulfed in devastating economic calamities. Real estate prices plunged, people lost their jobs over night, and the middle class was pushed out into the streets. Such economic catastrophes have become so common throughout the world that hardly a day goes by without hearing about yet another financial crisis in yet another country. This wind is the wind of famine. We are in this era of famine, the kind of era when your life becomes worthless if you have no money. In the near future, this wind of famine will shortly be followed by the full-blown wind of tribulation.
God held the winds of the four corners of the earth for a while and sealed 144,000 among the people of Israel. After preventing any harm to them, He then released the wind of tribulation. When this wind of tribulation leaves the hands of the angels, the wind of the Great Tribulation will blow. The wind of tribulation will unite the world, which, with the rise of the Antichrist, will wholly become Satan’s dominion, and go through the seven-year period of great natural disasters from the plagues of the seven trumpets. These plagues of the seven trumpets will then be followed by the plagues of the seven bowls.
During this era of the Antichrist’s tyrannical rule and of the disappeared freedom of faith, famine and starvation will reach the worst level, forcing people to survive only on government-distributed food. Everyone in the world will face this era. The Word of Revelation 7 provides us with an overall picture of such things to come.
What else awaits us in this era? The era of the pale horse will also be marked by the countless martyrdom of both the Israelites and the Gentiles. When the Great Tribulation comes, there is only hope left. Verse 10 tells us, “and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” Our salvation, in other words, is found only in our God who sits on the throne, and in the Lamb. As we can see from chapter 4, which tells us that a throne was prepared for Jesus Christ, the One who sits on the throne is Jesus Christ, not as a weak, but as the Son of God, the Almighty God, and the Judge of all. God the Father still sits on His throne. So when we speak of the Triune God, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all the same God. Our actual salvation thus belongs to our God and the Lamb—Jesus Christ, in short.
Where could we find hope when the fearful Tribulation comes? When the Antichrist rises during the Great Tribulation, he will make an image after himself, and threaten to kill all who refuse to worship the image, as well as all who do not receive the mark of his name on their hands or foreheads (Revelation 13). 
In terms of the environment, the natural conditions will also reach the worst level possible, as fire and hail rain from the sky, earthquakes strike, and other plagues follow. No place in this earth will remain untouched by the plagues. In this worst environmental situation, where the earth splits open with quakes, the sun, the moon, and the star lose their light, and the seas and rivers die from the plagues, the political situation of the time will also be the worst of its kind. The Antichrist will reign with the most tyrannical rule possible, as he assumes absolute power and subjugates all other leaders of the world under his domination.
 
 
Why Does the Antichrist Emerge?
 
Because Satan will briefly give his power to the Antichrist in an attempt to fulfill his last wish—that is, to satisfy his desire to be called as God by the people to be raised above the true God. But Satan himself knows that this wish will not be fulfilled. Yet for the last time, he will still try to be glorified through the mankind, killing all those who do not obey him. Such is the worst of all woes that will befall on the saints. At this time, the saints will have no other choice but to die, because the only One in whom they can trust and place their hope is the God of our salvation, Jesus Christ our God, who has saved us through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We can rely only on this God, and only by believing in Him can we be delivered from death in the midst of these horrible plagues and tribulations.
In these last days, our only hope belongs to “our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb of God.” By believing in our God, the saints will be martyred, and by their faith in Him, they will be delivered from the terrifying plagues and death. Revelation 7 thus provides us with the contours of all that will happen during the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation.
Let’s continue with the events that the wind of tribulation will bring. Verses 9-10 tell us, “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” When asked who this multitude of all tribes and tongues clothed in white and praising the Lord were, one of the 24 elders answered, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
This tells us that a countless number of people will be saved in the midst of the Great Tribulation, when innumerable martyrs will rise from the people of all nations, tribes, and tongues. There will be, in other words, a flood of those who believe in God as their only Savior from all the tribulations and plagues of the time. It means, in short, that salvation is found only in the God of Trinity.
Because God gave us the gospel of the water and the Spirit that has saved us from our sins, and because we believe in this gospel, when the Antichrist appears and demands us with threats to surrender to him and call him as God, we will not yield to him. Moreover, even if some of us were to surrender to the Antichrist, there would be no guarantee for their survival, for they will have to go through the disastrous plagues and the last-ditch fanaticism of Satan. Nothing is guaranteed at this time.
We thus have no other choice but to believe in God who has saved us. We will boldly embrace our martyrdom by believing in God, who will give us His Millennial Kingdom and the New Heaven and Earth, for He will raised us again from the dead, rapture us, and give us all the glory and blessing of the New Heaven and Earth. This is why there will be so many people who are clothed in white robes washed in the blood of the Lamb.
There will truly be many martyrs who die for their faith in God. The saints and all those who are martyred during this time, from every nation of the world, will give up their lives for their faith in God. Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that we are now preaching will embrace their martyrdom by believing in God, that He will deliver them from all the horrors of the tribulations and plagues of the time. Only God can deliver us from these terrifying plagues.
I am telling you all the significant events that will happen during seven-year period of the Great Tribulation. When the wind of tribulation blows in this world, there will be no hope left on this earth. The world as we now know will no longer exist, with heaven and earth disappearing as a scroll is rolled up.
God will then create a new earth on this earth, have the martyrs of faith reign over it for a thousand years, and when this millennium is over, move them to His eternal Kingdom. There is only our God who has delivered us from our sins, who will save us from the death and destruction of the Great Tribulation, and who can give us hope. When the time of martyrdom comes, you and I, as well as the people all over the world who heard and believed in the gospel, will be bravely martyred for believing in God who has saved us from our sins. We will embrace our martyrdom with our bold faith and in hope. The One who will deliver us from the terrifying plagues and tribulations is our God who sits on the throne.
As such, we cannot be martyred without believing that God who has saved us from our sins is also God who will deliver us from these terrifying plagues. The martyrs of this time are those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb. But no one whose name is not found in the Book of Life will be able to be martyred.
This gospel will infallibly be preached throughout the whole world, and everyone around the world will surely hear and know it. Because we are ceaselessly spreading this gospel now, the gospel of the water and the Spirit is being testified throughout the world. There are many souls in this world who, when the Great Tribulation comes, will place their hope only in the Lamb, believe in God even at the risk of their own lives, and be able to embrace their martyrdom. And the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which enables its believers’ names to be written in the Book of Life, will continue to be preached.
Those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will be martyred in the end times. Revelation 13:8 tells us, “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” It is the absolute truth that everyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life will surrender to the Beast, without any exception.
Only Jesus Christ and God His Father can deliver us from the Great Tribulation of the last days. The Holy Spirit now dwells in our hearts. I believe that we are saved by God, and even if we are put to death for His sake, God will raise us from the dead again, lift us up to the air with rapture, renew every and all things on the earth, and allow us to live in His Millennial Kingdom.
This era of the pale horse ravaged by such wind of tribulation is fast approaching us. The era of the black horse is running fast. When it runs its course, the pale horse will appear. From then on, the whole world will enter into the seven-year period of the Great Tribulation. Lasting no more and no less than seven years, this period of the Great Tribulation will certainly be fulfilled, for it is God’s plan.
Let’s assume for a moment that the Great Tribulation has indeed begun. Trees and grass around us and throughout the world are burning, the sky is filled by smoke, the sun is hidden behind thick smog clouds leaving the world in darkness even during daytime, people are dying everywhere, and we even hear the voice of people who are pursuing us. Whom would we trust? Would you trust in God, who has saved us from all our sins, and who has promised to make the martyrs who did not surrender to the Antichrist live again, to return to this earth again to resurrect and rapture us, and to take us to His New Heaven and Earth, or would you rather not trust in Him? Of course we would trust in God! God alone is our only hope! Neither adulation of the Antichrist nor reliance on ourselves can deliver us; nor would hiding in caves, nor even leaving the earth and escaping to a space station—nothing, but nothing will ever deliver us but God!
When comets hit this planet, all the debris will fall on the earth, destroying the whole planet. Everything that God first created will be destroyed. True hope will then spring up in our hearts. Whom can we place our hope in such a desperate situation? God is the only One whom we can look toward and seek help from, no one but God has saved us!
Because we have been saved by believing in the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, we thank and praise God for this salvation. But when the Great Tribulation comes, we will thank and praise God with everything we have for also delivering us from the terrifying plagues and death. Only God can deliver us from the hands of the Antichrist. There is no one else but God. Because we place our faith and hope in this God, and because we believe and hope that God will resurrect us and allow us to live in the Millennial Kingdom and the New Heaven and Earth in eternal happiness, we can withstand and overcome all the tribulations to come.
The time will come when the Antichrist will drag us before his image, demanding, “Bow before this image, and call me God. Jesus is not God. I am God, and I am the one who will save you.” When the Antichrist thus demands us to worship him, we may be terrified, but none of us who have been born again can ever bow before his image. Why? Because after forcing us to take his mark, the Antichrist will make us into his slaves, use us to kill people, and in the end kill us also.
The time will come when this Antichrist will stand to declare himself as God. It is not too distant of a future when the Antichrist will build huge images after himself, demand everyone throughout the world to call him God, and build choirs to sing praises to him. If peace exists in this time and the natural environment is healthy and beautiful, one may even think that a new world has opened. But with the forest burnt down, the sun disappeared and the earth in darkness, people screaming as they die, and garbage and half-burnt corpses littering the streets, none of us can ever obey the Antichrist’s command to bow before his image and call him as our God. Every born-again believer will know at this time, that he is the Antichrist prophesized by the Word of God.
The Holy Spirit also teaches us. He gives us hearts that never surrender. He give us bold hearts, the kind that says, “Kill me if you must, but if I die the Lord will avenge my death on you, and He will resurrect me for sure!” We believe that just as our Lord rose from the dead in three days, we, too, will also be brought alive again. And the Lord will rapture us without fail.
 
 
The Righteous Will Never Surrender to the Antichrist
 
Those who heard this Word of promise, that God will destroy the first world and build the Millennial Kingdom in its place to let the righteous reign in it for a thousand years, and are born again by believing in it will never surrender to the Antichrist, for as the Holy Spirit dwells in their hearts, they will know everything. But those who have no Holy Spirit will beg for their lives and surrender to Satan, fearing that their lives would be lost if they refuse to follow the dominant flow of what might first seem like a whole new world. When everyone thus fears death and becomes a slave to it, only the born-again will be free from this fear of death and boldly embrace their martyrdom, in an act as bright as the rising sun.
The born-again can do so because they have the hope that they will be resurrected into new bodies. This is why those dwelt by the Holy Spirit will not only have no fear of death, but they will actually stand against the Antichrist and throw him off his balance with the bold words flowing from the Holy Spirit. They may be timid now, but those who are sealed by the Holy Spirit by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will, through the Holy Spirit, speak the words that their enemies cannot answer at all. We believe in this Word of God.
The Antichrist will be upset as the saints declare to him, “How dare you call yourself God! You were driven out of heaven, and soon you’ll be driven off the earth also! Your days are numbered now!” Not just a few, but a countless multitude from all the nations of the world will rise and stand against the Antichrist. The Antichrist will then kill them all. At this time, the saints will never be servile even as they are put to death. As the Word of God tells us, that “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!,” we will die in hope and great conviction of our faith flowing from the Holy Spirit.
As the Book of Acts bears witness, when Stephen was stoned to death, he looked up to heaven and saw in a vision the throne of God, and Jesus standing at His right hand waiting to receive him. Even as he was dying, Stephen prayed for the forgiveness of those who were stoning him, just as Jesus asked for the forgiveness of the people who crucified Him.
Just like Stephen, the martyred saints of the end times, being full of the Holy Spirit, will not waver but be bold. Though they may now seem timid and their faith weak, all those who hear this Word now will have the faith of boldness when this time comes.
Do not fear. There is nothing to fear, for all these things, from the rise of the Antichrist to the wind of tribulation, will happen only by the permission of God and within His plan as manifested in Revelation 6.
Martyrdom does not come by our own strength of the flesh. Martyrdom is possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit and our faith in the truth. We can be martyred, in other words, by believing in God, in His Word of promise, and in the fact that the Almighty God is our God.
You must realize now that the martyrdom that God has permitted us within the seven eras of His plan is the providence of God. Let us not think of our martyrdom, a part of God’s plan for us, at our own whims, but instead believe it in our hearts according to the Will of God. Let us believe in the Word of God, that when the time comes for our martyrdom, God will give us more than enough strength to face it.
In every world there is an absolute ruler. The born-again are ruled by God, while those who have not been born again are ruled by the spirit of Satan. When the end times come, the born-again, being ruled by God, will receive the strength from Him to bear with all trials and tribulations. In contrast, those who are ruled by Satan will have no choice but to follow his will, whether they want to or not, for they are under the dominion of Satan.
But whose power really is greater? Whether we are blessed or cursed is determined by whose power is greater between God and Satan. Who is ultimately saved in the end times is decided by whom we believe and follow, in whose words we trust. Those who have believed in God and His Word will be protected, blessed, and given eternal life by His almighty power and authority forever. But those who heard the words of Satan and surrendered to him will be thrown into hell along with him, who is powerless to deliver them from hell. This is why God gave His Word through Revelation 1-7.
From chapter 8 and on, Revelation records in detail what will happen during the era of the pale horse. First of all, the plagues of the seven trumpets will descend on the earth. Of these seven plagues, let’s turn to the first plague found in verse 7: “The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.” With the plague of the first trumpet, hail and fire mingled with blood will rain on the earth. This will not be the first time that fire would rain down on the earth, since the planet earth has been hit by meteors or comets on several occasions already.
So far, none of them has been catastrophic enough to bring devastation to the whole world, but when the era of the pale horse comes, the full-blown wind of tribulation will rage through the earth. When this wind rises as a tornado and sweeps away the nature, fire will rain on this earth and burn down a third of the trees and all grass, and everyone will rush out to put out the raging fire.
The Word of God tells us that after the forests of the world are burnt down by the first plague, a great mountain burning with fire will fall into the sea—most likely to be a comet. This is elaborated further with the third plague: “Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water.” A comet, in other words, will collide with the earth. As in the movie Deep Impact, where a comet falls into the sea and raises huge tidal waves, the third plague will bring a similar disaster. The plague may not be as catastrophic as in this movie, but the meteors striking various places of the earth will bring significant damages to the planet earth. The tidal waves will kill off a third of the living creatures in the sea and destroy a third of the ships.
When such wind of tribulation begins to blow, we will recognize the arrival of the era of the pale horse. In the future, when you see breaking news flashing across your TV telling you that fire is raining from the sky and that a third of the world’s forests are burned up in smoke, you should realize that what was due has finally come. When governments mobilize everyone from kids to the elderly to put out the fire, you should most certainly recognize that the beginning of the end has come at last.
For those of us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, the hope of salvation that will deliver us from these terrifying plagues is found only in the Almighty God. When the Antichrist kills us, we will be martyred since we have no earthly power to match him, but we will nevertheless be martyred in great joy. The Almighty God will resurrect those of us who embrace martyrdom in the midst of this horrendous Tribulation in faith, and the Lord will become our Shepherd and lead us to the river of the water of life.
Having built the Kingdom of God, where we will never again suffer from fire, nor from thirst, nor from the harms of the sun, God will take us there. The Word tells us that God will live with us in this Kingdom, comfort us, wipe away our tears, and allow us to live in glory forever, so that we may never suffer again.
 

Stand Firm on the Word of Promise
 
When I dwell on the Bible, my heart gets filled by the Holy Spirit in hope, and I realize that God alone can deliver us from these terrifying plagues. “Come, Lord Jesus!” I believe in our Lord. I believe that He will deliver me from the horrible Tribulation, just as He has delivered me from all my sins. I believe that He will deliver my fellow saints as well. I believe that my salvation, even before the advent of the last days, belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, and I believe that your salvation, too, is found in God.
The world will soon be filled by plagues and disasters as the Great Tribulation arrives. But regardless how difficult this world turns, I believe that our God will deliver us from the tribulations and plagues of the time and the persecution of our enemies, for God has delivered us from all our sins, given us the right to become His children, and made us so.
Those who are not born again are far more wretched than us. How miserable would it be to have no God to place absolute trust, when everything is burning down and chaos runs rampant? Some people will no doubt hold desperately on to their own religion, whether be it Buddhism or Islam, but they will find no hope in them. Only despair and frustration will await them. There will be many people who end up facing their demise in such desperation. We, too, will face the same chaos and the same difficulties as these people. But our hearts are different from theirs. We who are preparing our faith now are different from the rest, for God has made us sinless through the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
John 1:12 tells us, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” God has sealed us, in other words, with the right to become His children, telling us, “You are My children.” He has given us this great and glorious right. We are God’s children. When we believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, is there any sin still left in our hearts? Of course not! Of all things, have we not become the children of God? Of course we have! If the children of God lack the knowledge of the Scripture and has many shortcomings, does this then mean that God would not protect them as their Father? Of course not! Just as parents devote more attention and care on their children who lack knowledge, God gives more strength and more protection to those of us who are weak.
When chaos runs rampant with the arrival of the time of the Antichrist, God will keep His children strong through the Holy Spirit, and give them faith, hope, and boldness. Because He will give us boldness, we will have no fear. There is nothing to fear except fear itself rising in our hearts. People can avoid what happens around them by escaping from it, but fear in their hearts cannot be shaken off no matter where they turn. Neither by hiding in bedrooms, nor in basements, nor in bomb shelters can they run away from this fear that grapples their hearts.
The hearts of the saints, in contrast, have no fear but only boldness, and they can thus face their martyrdom with courage, saying to themselves, “What was due has finally come. It’s time for the Lord’s return! He’ll soon take us away!” This is when the rapture will happen—not in just a normal day like today, but when a third of the world is burning up in smoke. But before the Tribulation gets even worse, God will lift up the saints to the air.
Do you now believe that God has indeed set seven eras for you? Revelation 6 tells us that He did. As He has set, God will bring everything to bear on the saints exactly as is written. As such, those who have been atoned for their sins are greatly blessed, but those who have hesitated and not believed in the gospel are ill-fated, to end up in hell. God tells us that horrendous plagues will come in the future, and when these plagues are over, those who are not born again will be thrown into the lake of eternal fire and brimstone. This is why God has given us a peaceful world now, and why He has entrusted us with His gospel in such a peaceful time.
God came to this earth about 2000 years ago in the flesh of a man. For our sake, He received baptism to take upon all our sins and died on the Cross, delivering us from all the sins of the world. As our Savior, He saved us. He bestowed us with His blessing that has allowed us to be saved by believing in God and His salvation. This is the grace of God. This is the gospel that has delivered us from all our sins and the judgement of God, by sending God’s only begotten Son to us, passing all our sins onto Him, and judging His own Son in our place. By believing in this now, we become clothed in God’s grace and receive eternal life from Him. Because we believe in this, we have become God’s children, and because we have now become God’s children, He will call us up and protect us when the Tribulation of the last days turns into its most severe stage.
At this time, the children of God and the children of Satan will be clearly distinguished from each other. Their unmistakable differences will stand out obviously. This will be elaborated further with a more detailed discussion later on. What you must remember for now is that when the Great Tribulation comes to us and we are martyred, we will be resurrected and lifted up before God. It does not matter whether one believes in it or not; this will happen regardless, for God said that He will raise the winds and so bring all these things to pass.
Verse 1 tells us, “After these things I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, on the sea, or on any tree.” God is withholding these winds so that they would not blow now. Put differently, this means that when God permits, these winds will blow from the four corners of the earth. When allowed by God, the angels of God will release these winds and usher in the era of the pale horse. When the wind of the Great Tribulation thus begins to blow, bringing natural disasters and wars to everywhere in the world, everyone will be right in the middle of the whole calamities. But thus far, God has withheld these winds steady.
Countries around the world are investing heavily in arms production. Time may come when the great powers might have to devote as much as 30 percent of their GNP on military spending. Even as now, huge amounts of resources are being channeled to military spending in an effort to develop massive amounts of new, more deadly weapons, i.e., weapons of mass destruction. Whenever the economy recovers, its surpluses are spent in expanding military expenditure.
The United States, for instance, is now pushing to develop a missile defense system dubbed as the “Star War Plan.” When this system is fully developed, war will be fought not only on the earth, but in the space as well, with armed satellites shooting down air-born ballistic missiles with its own missiles outside the atmosphere. Air war will take on a whole new meaning then. Thus the question now being raised is who will be the first to develop extra-atmospheric weapons and dominate the space for military use.
Looking at such developments, we can feel that when God allows, and when the terrifying plagues descend on the earth, the prophesized ruler with absolute power will soon emerge.
All these things, however, can happen only when God permits them. No matter how difficult the world turns, we believe that God will become our Shepherd, guide us to the living fountains of water, and wipe away all tears from our eyes. This is why the saved are so abundantly blessed.
When you believe in Jesus, you cannot believe in Him in whatever way that you might feel like. The true faith is the faith of those who believe in the Word of God.
Revelation 7:14 tells us, “And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’” By “washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” it means that they were martyred for their faith in the Lord. Be careful in interpreting this verse; this does not refer to being saved by believing only in the blood of the Cross.
Rather, what you must realize is that those whose hearts are not dwelt by the Holy Spirit are not the children of God, and that those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the ones who do not believe in the gospel at all. Only those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit can embrace their martyrdom, overcome the Tribulation, and thus give great glory to the Lord.
Because we believe in God, when the time of great hardship and suffering comes, we will not lose our faith, nor surrender to Satan, but boldly embrace our martyrdom with the strength received from God. We will then be resurrected by the Lord and protected by Him. The Lamb will become our Shepherd and wipe away all tears from our eyes, and we will neither hunger anymore, nor thirst, nor be harmed from heat, nor suffer from anything else at all. Why? Because God will eliminate suffering forever, as we would have already gone through the Great Tribulation. This is how wonderful God’s world called Heaven is. Because it is such a wonderful place, people call it Paradise or Heaven, as the epitome of all that is good.
Paradise is a place of endless joy. In Buddhism, paradise is reserved for only those who have become a god, a Buddha. But is there really anyone who can turn into a Buddha, anyone who can become a god? Of course not! Siddhartha himself said on his deathbed, “Become a god; only by becoming a god can you escape from all the horrors of the world.” But it is simply impossible for anyone to escape from sin and overcome its fatal horrors on his/her own. Siddhartha himself failed to escape, and so has everyone else. As the Word tells us, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Our salvation is given only by God, Jesus Christ who created the universe and us. This truth, that Jesus Christ is the Savior who will also deliver us from the terrifying plagues, is what God is teaching us through the Holy Spirit.
Heaven is the most wonderful place. Do you want to live happily forever in honor and glory? Do you want to be recognized as precious and live in eternal happiness? Do you want to live in perfection and abundance, and lack nothing? The place that God will call us to live is such a place. It is Heaven. It lacks nothing, and no shortage can ever be found. You will never be ill again, nor be harmed from heat, nor shed any more tears.
When Jesus was crucified, He told the robber who was crucified at His side, “today you will be with Me in Paradise.” “Paradise” literally means a garden of joy. It is a place where one can delight in all joy and happiness. What makes us happy and rejoice on this earth are all overflowing in this place, where God will call us to live in. Believe in it, and make this Heaven, this Paradise, this Kingdom of God yours. The Kingdom of God is perfect and good, for no imperfection of the kingdoms of this earth can ever be found in it.
Because God is almighty, He will give us this Kingdom. Because our Lord is the Almighty God, He will deliver His people and make them never again shed any more tear, nor suffer from anything. He will lead us to the fountains of living water. He will guide us to live in the midst of eternal life, eternal happiness, and eternal joy. All these things are possible, I believe, because His power is almighty.
If God who has saved us were powerless, then we would also be powerless. But God who has delivered us has the absolute, almighty power. He has made us sinless with His absolute power, and thus we are called His saints.
It does not matter what kind of life we have on this earth. Because we are God’s children and have the power of the King of kings, even if our lives are worse off than those who are not born again for now, when the era of the pale horse comes and the Lord returns, He will surely call us up and let us live in His Paradise. We will lack nothing and reign with absolute power, where even the angels will be our servants. The saints will forever live in all splendor and glory.
The saints will never die again forever. This is what all religions dream of—to live eternally, to reign, and to enter Heaven. This blessing is not just for me, but God has equally bestowed it on you as well.
When the time comes, I believe, God will raise the wind of tribulations, and when this wind of tribulations blows, He will strengthen us to stand against the Devil, and ultimately take us away. And I also believe that He will let us live forever in happiness.
Did God not promise us all these things? Of course He has! He told us, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3). This is what our Lord has promised us. All the Word of God in Revelation 20-22 is His Word of promise for us.
Halleluiah! I give all my thanks to God.