By: Eric C. Wheeler
(written from 12/27/99 through 9/20/00)
In the spring of 1995, God gave me a vision of the Second Coming of Christ. Instead of being an actual event, He showed it to me in terms of the sweeping changes that will shortly take place in Christianity and in the preaching of the Gospel.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27)
The vision began with a Guide (the Lord or an angel) taking me up onto a high mountain that overlooked the entire Holy Land and the surrounding areas during the time of Jesus’ First Coming. I could see from the River Jordan all the way to the Island of Patmos in the Mediterranean Sea. All of the land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, to Asia Minor lay before me. As I stood there in a state of wonderment, I noticed a little hill that seemed to stand out in the midst of all the land. It was the Temple Mount at Jerusalem! I eagerly took note of the Temple. It was a rigid, firm building, with strong, stately walls, much like a well-respected and aged institution. It seemed to proudly convey an existence of much pomp and highly-regarded tradition. As I watched it intently, I noticed that there were many people clothed in religious apparel and robes going to and fro with such purpose and dedication, that I marveled at how busy the place was. It was so busy with activity that I remembered thinking, as I looked down from my heightened perspective, that it reminded me of an anthill with all the busy ants clamoring to and fro to carry out their responsibilities.
As I watched I began to notice that even though it was such a busy place, there was absolutely no work being done! Nothing was being accomplished! I marveled at how much seemingly-important activity there was, and yet nothing was being done. No fruits or productivity whatsoever! Only busy activity! Another thing that struck me as odd about the Temple was how dry it was! In fact, all of Jerusalem and the surrounding regions of Judea and Samaria were like a desert. The ground was sun-baked and hardened with no water or green grass anywhere to be found.
As I stood there watching, I began to realize that the Temple represented the institutionalized Church and organized religion! As I stood there dumbfounded staring at the Temple, the Guide who was with me (whose face I never saw) turned my face with His hand and re-directed my attention to the left of the Temple Mount. As I looked out across the dry, barren, flat land, out across a desert wilderness, way beyond Jerusalem, I noticed a small little river flowing through the desert. I recognized it as the River Jordan. Standing on the banks of the river, was a dingy-looking man with disheveled hair and shaggy clothes, yelling out, “Repent! Make straight the paths of the Lord!” I said to myself, ‘This is John the Baptist!’ It was then that I noticed that the heavens had been opened above John’s head, and a steady stream of water was pouring down upon John. And it was by the power of this water that John the Baptist spoke his message! In direct contrast to this, everything else was dry especially the Temple area!
I was amazed! Instead of the heavenly water coming down upon the Temple Mount [the institutional Church], and from there gushing down over the Jews [representing the people of God], the Holy Spirit came down upon some “apparent nobody” out in a desert place in the wilderness! I noticed how John didn’t go into the city of Jerusalem (or any other city for that matter) preaching, but rather as the Scripture says, “And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and all the region round about Jordan…” (Matt. 3:5; Mark 1:5). I marveled at how John the Baptist didn’t advertise or set-up huge revival meetings from city to city, but rather something (or more correctly, Somebody) drew the people to him!
It was at this moment while I stood there pondering this that I heard a booming voice ripple across the sky saying, “Just as I drew those animals which were to be saved to the Ark, so will I cause those out of every people which are to be saved to hear My voice! Behold those which hear the voice of the Lamb!” For the first time in my life, I noticed all the different denominations and classifications of men and women in the Bible that were led out into the wilderness by the Spirit of God to hear the voice of God and the instructions of God spoken through John the Baptist! Luke 3:7 describes the people which were drawn to John the Baptist as “a multitude”! There were Jews and Israelites, Pharisees and Sadducees, lawyers, publicans, soldiers, priests, Levites, prostitutes, rich people, poor people, and many others that went out to hear John preach the instructions of God and become convicted. It is interesting to note here that He told them all to repent! All of them – from the religious to the non-religious! John’s job was to “turn the people of God to the Lord their God!” (Luke 1:16).
As I saw little handfuls of people coming from every different walk of life, and every different tribe and circumstance imaginable, coming from far and wide unto John, I was amazed. They had nothing in common. They didn’t look alike. They didn’t dress alike. And they didn’t speak alike. But nonetheless, they all came. United by one thing. They all individually heard the voice of the Lamb calling them to John! And when they got to John, He (God) told them to repent because the Lord was coming soon!
In the vision, as well as in Scripture, the only ones that I saw John the Baptist rebuke were those that came down from the Temple (the institutional Church). They were the ones wearing the religious robes known as the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He rebuked them for the same reason Jesus did – for they trusted in themselves that they were righteous and therefore, refused to repent! By not choosing to communicate through those at the Temple, but rather choosing to speak through John in the wilderness, God clearly made it evident to me that He is at odds with the “Institutional Church” (the Temple), and that He calls for the Pharisees and the Sadducees (the leaders of the Temple) to repent!
” . . . and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
After I saw the people come from all different walks of life, and different tribes (fellowships) of men unto John to hear him speak by the power of God, I saw each man and woman who listened to him light up like a torch with a flame of fire above their heads. This happened to every one of them. The only exception to this, of course, was the Pharisees and Sadducees in their religious robes who were not invited by God to be there in the first place! Their religious robes symbolized pride and self-righteousness. And as God says in His Word, He “resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). As it says in the Scriptures, I saw John rebuke them by saying, “O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?! Bring forth fruits showing that you are of a repentant heart!” (Matt. 3:7-8). It was interesting in the vision to note that the only reason that the Pharisees and Sadducees were there was to observe, discredit, and eventually oppose the Work of God. Jesus even said about them that they were “willing for a little season to rejoice in his [John’s] light” (John 5:35), but eventually, they would reject him altogether.
As each believer was “lit-up” by the preaching of John, I saw them turn and leave. They did not form a “click” or “church” around John, but rather they went out across the countryside carrying this light with them, back to their own communities. As they went out across the land, the whole land began to turn a golden yellow. This glorious golden-yellow glow began to spread like wildfire wherever they went. Curiously, as they left the Jordan River all lit-up, and reached Jerusalem, I saw a handful of others join them who had not heard the preaching of John but who were also lit-up. Together, they set-out across the whole countryside headed towards Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and all of Asia Minor spreading the light wherever they went. I recognized these “other lit-up ones” as the disciples and followers of Jesus during His life on earth. However, there was no mention or reference in the vision to the birth, death or ministry of Jesus at all! This struck me as very odd at the time, but little did I know, this was one of the most important points of the message which was going to be revealed to me at the end.
As I watched the believers multiply and the golden light increase over all of the land before me, I heard a thunderous voice proclaim, “As it is written, ‘And you shall be my witnesses, beginning at Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8; Luke 24:47-48). I also heard the voice say, “And as it is written, ‘They turned the whole world upside down!’”(Acts 17:6). Needless to say, I was amazed. Here I was witnessing the first evangelistic campaign, as described by the Gospels and the Book of Acts, and God described it in the vision as having happened to the whole world, not just in the Holy Land and Asia Minor. I was perplexed as I watched it unfold before me.
By the time that the voice had finished these statements, all of the land and the sky above the land were glistening with a bright golden light. It was the most glorious illumination that I had ever seen. In fact, I had to shield my eyes from it at one point when it reached its fullness over the land. But strangely, almost as quickly as it had built-up, culminating into this magnificent shining, it suddenly changed and began to wane. As the golden light began to dim, I suddenly looked up into the sky to try to see why the light was disappearing. I noticed that way out in the sky, a dark black veil was coming towards the earth, blocking out the sun which was evidently causing the golden light with its reflection. As the ominous veil reached the earth, I noticed that it set-up like an iron curtain just beyond the Island of Patmos where an old man sat writing by candlelight. By this time, there was no light, except for the single candle by which this old man was sitting at a small table writing.
The Guide moved me in closer to look over the old man’s shoulder to see what he was writing. I saw the words, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” on the top of the page. With amazement, I remarked, “It’s the Apostle John!” As I watched, the old man finished his writing, ending with the words, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Amen.” After he wrote these words, he laid the pen down and drifted off to sleep. The light of the candle then went out, and I was left standing there in the dark because the black veil had completely stamped out the light of the sun. I stood beside the veil which by this time had become a huge towering iron curtain. It became an impenetrable wall, behind which I could not see. I heard horrific screams coming from inside the wall, as if the people there were held in bondage with great distress and much torture and suffering. Their cries chilled me to the bone, and I thanked God for not showing me the things behind the curtain. At that moment, the visual part of the vision ended. And I found myself standing in complete darkness, as if I were in a darkened theater and the curtains had just closed.
I stood there wondering what I had just seen. Right before my eyes, I had literally seen John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness at the River Jordan; I had seen the Temple Mount and all of the seemingly religious fervor and activity surrounding it; the commissioning of the disciples and the acts of the Apostles; the spreading of the Gospel to the whole known world; and the writing of the Book of Revelation. As I stood there in the dark pondering the meaning of all of this, I heard a great majestic voice boldly proclaim, “Behold! See my First Coming!”
I couldn’t believe it! Jesus had just declared that everything that I had just witnessed that happened in the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation was considered by Him as His First Coming! According to what He had just shown me in the vision, that meant that His First Coming actually took place over a period of roughly one-hundred years. It began with the coming of John the Baptist and ended with the death of the Apostle John. I had never thought of it this way before! Jesus’ First Coming was therefore not a singular event in history as I had always considered it to be. It would be more accurately described as a process or an unfolding that occurred over a certain period of time! It became apparent to me, after the Lord had showed me this, that Jesus’ First Coming actually occurred in stages. It occurred much the same way that the Book of Revelation describes His Second Coming as — like the peeling away of seals on a scroll with many different culminating layers. Just like an onion, a scroll has many layers which need to be peeled away and revealed. And even though it has many layers, we still would only consider it to be one onion or one scroll. The same is true about the First Coming of Christ!
Perhaps, the most startling and astounding revelation of all is what the Lord said to me next! I heard Jesus say, “Now know this! My Second Coming will be like unto the First, only bigger and more glorious! Everything that you have just seen will happen again, only bigger than it did the First time! My First Coming was just a scaled-down model of My Second!” When the Lord had finished speaking, the Holy Spirit began opening my mind and showing me the meaning and the depths of what Jesus had just said. The Spirit continued, “Whereas you saw one John the Baptist, there will be numerous John the Baptists. Instead of one Peter, and one Paul, there will be many Peters and many Pauls. Instead of three-thousand souls added to the Church in one day, there will be th___ souls added to the Church in one day.” I don’t know if He said “thirty-thousand, three-hundred thousand, three million, or thirty-million”. His voice diminished for a split second in that spot so that I could not hear or comprehend the actual number. Obviously, I wasn’t supposed to. But I knew in my spirit that it was a large number. As I pondered this, the ramifications of this revelation became astounding.
Perhaps the best way to relay this unfolding process of the Second Coming as it was given to me is to describe it in terms of “phases”. In reading this, please understand that I did not receive this terminology from the Lord, and it should not be misconstrued as being anything other than a fallible human being’s shallow interpretation of a divine revelation. My only goal in sharing this is to strengthen and encourage my fellow brothers and sisters, and perhaps, impart some measure of understanding of the magnitude and providence of our calling.
” . . . the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.” (Luke 3:2-3)
The first phase of the Second Coming, I will call the “John the Baptists phase”. Jesus told us that John the Baptist was the “Elijah” that was prophesied to come before His First Coming. And Jesus said that “Elijah” will also come again and restore all things before His Second Coming (Matt. 17:11). John the Baptist fulfilled the office of “Elijah” the first time. But, Jesus’ Second Coming will be more glorious and bigger than the First. Therefore, the work of the “Elijahs to come” will also be more glorious and far-reaching.
I was shown that just as the Work of God was being done by John the Baptist under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit in the “wilderness”, apart from the Temple or its organized membership, the same will be true in the future. It will not be one worldwide organization or church heading up the Work of God or serving as the mouthpiece of the Holy Spirit. But rather, individuals ordained by the Spirit of God, and not ordained by men, who will serve as witnesses and messengers. God is going to speak, and now is speaking, to His people everywhere through them “to prepare a people for their God”. These people will be called by God out of every nation, church, organization, race, and background. They will become “a people which were not a people” (I Pet. 2:10). And God Himself will teach them, as was begun with the preaching of John the Baptist and culminated into the ministry of Christ and the Apostles.
Before John the Baptist, it had been approximately 430 years since the last word from God – that is, that we have record of in the Bible. After the prophecies of Daniel and Malachi, during what is known as the Inter-Testament Period, it appears that there was a “famine of the word” as was prophesied in Amos 8:11. Then, at the time appointed for the First Coming, God sent the Archangel Gabriel to tell Zacharias that the time had come that God would once again visit His people. God would give Zacharias a son, which he was to name John, who would “go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people… and to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:76-79).
It is interesting to note here that the people of God (children of Israel) were described by God as “sitting in darkness”. It was prophesied that John would “turn many of the children of Israel [people of God] to the Lord their God” (Luke 1:16). Notice that John’s primary responsibility was not to address the Gentiles (those outside of the House of God), but rather to call those who were Jews and Israelites (inside the House of God) to repentance. When the word of God came down upon John the Baptist in the wilderness, he began to preach to the people of God the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Luke 3:2-3). When Jesus came down from heaven as the Word of God, He too, began His ministry by telling the people of God to “repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). And when the Holy Spirit came upon Peter and he began to preach to the people of God, he told them to “repent, and be baptized… For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38-39). Notice, in every case, that when the word of God came down, it was telling the people of God to repent! In other words, the very people who should have been right with God, and who even thought that they were right with God, weren’t! For as Jesus said, they “trusted in themselves that they were righteous” (Luke 18:9).
“When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority. But whatever He hears He will speak. And He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14)
The Spirit of God revealed to me through the vision that everything that was done the first time has its modern-day counterpart in these last days. Consequently, the Jews and Israelites of Christ’s day represent Christians and “all who wear His name” today. The land of Israel and Judea represent all of the Christian places were the people of God fellowship and congregate together (i.e. colleges, seminaries, church properties, etc.) As was already mentioned, the Temple is symbolic of “the institutional Church” and its organized religion with all of its ceremonies and sacraments, hierarchies, and traditions.
New Testament synagogues are representative of the individual Christian churches, buildings, and places of worship today. The different Jewish sects mentioned in the Bible such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, lawyers, Herodians, etc. represent the different denominations of Christianity today, all varying to some degree on their individual doctrines and beliefs, but nonetheless, all of them considered to be the people of God holding to the same basic tenets.
Another parallel that the Holy Spirit revealed to me is that the Sanhedrin, along with the Pharisees and Sadducees, symbolize the growing spiritual wall of religious opposition that will arise from the hierarchies within the House of God [institutional church] against the true Work and workers of God. This opposition will occur much the same way that the Sanhedrin and their councils came against Peter and John, and the other apostles, Stephen, and the Apostle Paul. In the beginning, during the preaching of John the Baptist, the self-righteous leaders merely observed and speculated. However, when Jesus and the disciples began to spiritually “feed” the hungry and “deliver” the captive people of God, then the religious leaders quickly tried to discredit them, and finally, violently opposed them. The same will be true today.
Right now we are at the beginning of the Second Coming of Christ, and once again, the Holy Spirit is coming down from heaven as it was prophesied. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit… And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they will prophesy [speak with the voice of God]” (Acts 2:17-18). In other words, just as it was the first time, at Jesus’ First Coming, God poured out His Spirit upon John the Baptist first, and then later the Apostles, and they began to preach as witnesses. Even so, now at the beginning of His Second Coming, which shall be more glorious than His First Coming, God has once again sent messengers to bear witness of the Light, and to also be burning and shining lights themselves, just as John was. As was mentioned before, the self-righteous leaders at first rejoiced in John’s light for a season (John 5:35). But later they rejected the true Light that John bore record of. For it is written, “He [the True Light – Jesus] came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:11-12). Likewise, the self-righteous people today, who trust in themselves that they are righteous, will come face to face with the Spirit of God in these witnesses, and consequently, either be revealed as children of light or children of darkness. Notice, that they are called “children” and not “adults“! That is, they have not yet matured, and it has not yet been made known what they will grow up to be! But the Spirit of God knows the future, and the Word of God “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb.4:12). And in due time, it will be revealed who and what they are.
Jesus told them that they were willing to put up with John the Baptist for a little while, but they ultimately refused to do what he said, that is – repent! And later, when Jesus preached to them, they as children of darkness endured Him for a little season trying to discredit Him, and then later their hate grew into conspiring against Him to destroy Him, and then finally when God allowed it, they killed Him! Thus, they as children became adults of darkness as they matured in their wickedness, refusing to repent! It started out as pride, envy, and self-righteousness. Jesus was taking away their numbers, threatening their positions, releasing their captives, and rebuking them for their hypocrisy! He spoke the truth, not caring about what men thought or who or what men esteemed. He didn’t rise up through their organizations or receive His education from their seminaries! Where was His degree or master of divinity?! Who gave Him a title or ordained Him to preach?! Why doesn’t He hold to the same traditions and sacraments?! Who does He think He is?! And by what authority does He teach and do these things?! These are the thoughts that went through the religious leaders minds early on, until finally, as Jesus said, “When I was daily with you in the temple, you stretched forth no hands against me, but this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:53). And they took Him and killed Him! And Jesus tells us that “the servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20). “Yea, the time is coming that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service” (John 16:2).
“But you shall be named the Priests of the Lord; men shall call you the Servants of our God . . .” (Isa. 61:6).
The Holy Spirit revealed to me the prophetic parallels between the First Coming and the Second Coming in terms of phases which will take place in a consecutive order. Firstly, God will send “John the Baptist types” who will tell all of those who have ears to hear to repent! These “John the Baptists” will tell the people of God to “make straight the way of the Lord” because the Lord is about to come to the world through them! These repentant Christians are actually going to be the very paths upon which the Lord chooses to come! That is why the original John the Baptist said to the Jews of his day, “Prepare you the way of the Lord, and make His paths straight. Every valley [lowly and humble person] shall be filled [lifted-up and exalted], and every mountain and hill [hierarchy and individual that exalts himself instead of God] shall be brought low [humbled]; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:4-6). These “John the Baptist types” will turn the people of God back to the Lord their God, while rebuking those religious leaders who refuse to repent and who continue to hold their congregations captive.
These John the Baptist types will be like “plowmen” who are sent-in to plow-up the hardened soil and turn-over the sun-baked desert land for the “planting of the Lord” (Isa. 61:3). They go into the “Master’s chosen fields” (symbolized by the Judean desert and the area surrounding the Jordan) and level the land, making it smooth and ready for planting. “Give ear and hear my voice,” God says, “Listen and hear My speech. When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually? Does he keep on breaking up and harrowing the soil? When he has leveled the surface, does he not sow caraway and scatter cummin? Does he not plant wheat in its place, barley in its plot, and rye in its field? His God instructs him and teaches him the right way” (Isa. 28:23-26). After these plowmen (“John the Baptist types”) have done their jobs, they will be taken away, and next will come those who scatter and plant the seeds. “Now after John [the Baptist] was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God” (Mark1:14). In Matthew chapter 13 it is revealed that the seed that is sown is the message of the Kingdom of God. This “scattering and planting of the seed” began with the ministry of Jesus and was continued by the Apostles. This begins the next phase in the “process” of the Second Coming of Christ which I will call the “Apostle Peters phase”.
When John the Baptist was taken away and put in prison, Jesus came along and began scattering and planting the seeds of the Kingdom, and teaching His disciples to do the same. It is interesting to note here that Jesus’ first recorded sermon was given to the great multitudes of people that followed Him “from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan” (Matt. 4:25) Notice that these are the same people that went out to hear John the Baptist speak (Matt. 3:5). They were Jews and Israelites. Jesus told them that they were “blessed” if they were in a state of “brokenness and humility”, and if they indeed realized that they were spiritually “poor” and “hungry”. Because as He told them, they were about to be filled, comforted, and lifted-up by Him! (Matt. 5:1-12). But how did they get to be in that state of brokenness? Obviously they were convicted by the preaching of John the Baptist! They were “broken” and repentant! And now Jesus had come to “preach the gospel to the poor [in spirit], bind up that which had been broken, preach deliverance to those who were held captive, give sight to them which were blind, and set at liberty them which were oppressed” (Luke 4:18). This same Scripture continues in Isaiah 61:2 “. . . to comfort all who mourn; to console those who mourn in Zion; to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified” (Isa. 61:2-3).
As was mentioned before, I saw in the vision those that were convicted by the preaching of John the Baptist “light-up” and go forth from the River Jordan area carrying the light of the Gospel and the anointing of the Holy Spirit with them. As some of them approached Jerusalem, I saw a group of other “lit-up and anointed ones” join them in their march across the land. I recognized them in the vision as the disciples and apostles who had been with Jesus during His lifetime on earth. Surprisingly though, throughout the entire vision, I didn’t see Jesus’ birth, ministry, or resurrection. In fact, it seemed strange to me that this visual revelation would completely “skip-over” any part of Jesus’ earthly life. I never even saw Him! I found it strange that in revealing the parallels between the First Coming and the Second Coming, such as the work of John the Baptist, the commissioning of the Disciples, and the evangelizing of the continent, that the Holy Spirit didn’t even mention the life and death of our Savior. I wondered why. But the Holy Spirit has since made it known to me. It was because Jesus only had to come once in the flesh to die for us (Heb. 9:24-28), and to show us the way by being our example – that is, to be “the Firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29). Contrary to what some people might believe, Jesus will not be coming back to this earth in the flesh again! Clearly, there are some things in the First Coming that will not be duplicated in the Second.
“For as the earth brings forth its bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations” (Isa. 61:11).
Speaking of the soon-coming time when all of the true believers [the Church] will be “lit-up and anointed” to be His witnesses, God says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn” (Isa. 60:1-3). This prophecy, as well as many others, will come true during the second phase which I have termed the “Apostle Peters phase” of the Second Coming. For it is written, “The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the rose, it will burst into bloom. It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way. Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, and do not fear, your God will come. He will come with vengeance, with divine retribution He will come to save you’. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs. In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow. And a highway will be there. It will be called the Way of Holiness. [This is the straight and narrow path that John the Baptist talked about.] The [spiritually] unclean will not journey on it. It will be for those who walk in that Way. Whoever walks this road, even if he is a fool, he will not go astray. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast go up on it. It shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there, and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isa. 35:1-10). And again, speaking of this same time, God promises, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground. I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring. They will spring up among the grass like willows by the water courses” (Isa. 44:3-4).
During this time that I have termed the “Apostle Peters phase”, many of the people of God (redeemed Christians) both men and women will be used to witness throughout their communities the glory of God and His salvation. They will go from house to house breaking bread and fellowshipping with one another daily. It will literally be a replay of the New Testament where it says, “And all the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:44-47). Their joy and jubilation will be so contagious and exciting that it will cause great euphoria and awe in all of those that see them, mainly the Gentiles (the un-believers). Those that have never known God or His greatness will be drawn to this great Light which will come-up from His servants, both male and female. “And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:18-21).
The Lord showed me how quickly the light of His Gospel will spread like wildfire across the land. While watching this in the vision, He reminded of when He spoke the parable about the Kingdom of God and how He likened it to yeast that when a woman takes it and mixes it into a large amount of flour, it quickly spreads and permeates the dough (Matt. 13:33). I watched in amazement at what started out as single individual lights quickly grew into a huge fire lighting up the countryside spreading as far as I could see. It literally seemed like it happened overnight! I saw scores of people coming from afar to see the glory of the Light and to be joined unto it.
During this time of unprecedented growth, the “Apostle Peters phase” will quickly graduate into what I call the “Apostle Pauls phase”. In other words, the main focus of the Gospel witness and the evangelistic campaign will quickly shift from the House of God [Christendom] to the unbelieving world, known in the Bible as “the Gentiles”. It is important to understand that just like in the New Testament, the work and the ministries of the “Peters” and “Pauls” will overlap as they are/were contemporaries. Remember that the Scripture says that “Peter was an apostle to the Jews, and Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles” (Gal. 2:7-8). That does not mean that Peter did not preach to the Gentiles at all, or that Paul did not preach to the Jews. The Scriptures are quite clear that both of them did indeed. However, their commissions and primary ministries were to two entirely different categories of people.
Since the Second Coming will be like the First, it is important to consider the details that the New Testament gives us. For example, after their training, the eleven disciples, along with Matthias who was added in Judas Iscariot’s place, were ordained by God to be “apostles” (Acts 1:25-26). The word “apostle” means “one sent forth”. These twelve Apostles were specially chosen by God and sent forth to preach the Gospel and to testify of Jesus (Acts 10:41-42). But notice that Jesus specifically instructed these twelve apostles “not to go among the Gentiles or enter into any city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Mat. 10:5). Even Jesus said at the beginning of His earthly ministry that He was not sent unto the Gentiles, “but unto the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Mat. 15:24). This is significant because salvation is offered to “the Jew first, and then to the Gentile” (Rom. 1:16; 2:9-10; Acts 13:46). Remember the Scriptures say that “He came unto His own” first (John 1:11), and “judgment must begin at the House of God” first (I Peter 4:17). In other words, God is going to clean-up His own yard first, and then clean-up the neighborhood
” . . . a prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house” (Mat. 13:57).
As was explained earlier, God showed me His Second Coming in terms of phases. The first phase is that of the “John the Baptist types”. These individuals will be in most cases lightly-esteemed and not highly-regarded by men. They will be considered by the established Christian community as “nobodies” – that is, for the most part they will be uneducated, poor, odd, lacking titles and degrees, the wrong skin color, strange, socially-unacceptable, and societal outcasts. Remember that the Scriptures describe John as being “clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of skin about his loins” and that his food was locusts and wild honey (Mark 1:6). He was not dressed in fine linen or kingly attire (Luke 7:24-28), and he was considered by some to be a social outcast and/or demon-possessed (Luke 7:33). He was also considered to be somewhat of a “wildman” – that is, he did not conform to the religious leaders’ idea of what an anointed prophet of God should be like or look like (Luke 7:28-30; Mark 11:27-33). Like their predecessor, these modern-day “John the Baptist types” will also be kept “in the deserts until the day of their showing unto Israel [the Church]” (Luke 1:80). That is, they will be totally without honor and recognition amongst the people of God until the day that God reveals them.
After John is taken away, those who “come in the name of the Lord” – that is, “those whom the Lord sends”, will come preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14). It is interesting to note here that since Jesus’ own people “received Him not” (John 1:11), Jesus prophetically warned them that they would not see Him again until they said, “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord” (Mat. 23:39). In other words, until His own people (Christians) stop rejecting those that the Lord sends, they will in no way see Him! For He dwells in those that He sends! That is why it is written, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent unto you. How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, you shall not see me henceforth until you shall say, ‘Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord” (Mat. 23:39). Remember, Jesus is the Lord! He is sending His servants, the prophets, unto His people [Christians] right now, and they are not accepting them! Jesus even prophesied that He would once again send His people prophets, wise men, and scribes, and that they would cause some of them to be put to death, scourged in their churches, and persecuted from city to city (Mat. 23:34).
Those “who come in the name of the Lord” will be those whom the Lord sends – in other words, “prophets and apostles”. They will come preaching the “good news of the Kingdom of God” and will have the “testimony of Jesus” which is the spirit of prophesy (Rev. 19:10). For God told us that His servants would prophesy in the last days (Acts 2:18). The first wave of apostles that He will send will be like Peter and the rest of the eleven original apostles, only greater in number. They will be sent into the “cities and villages throughout all Judea” beginning at Jerusalem. Remember, as was stated before, Jerusalem and Judea spiritually represent all of the lands and places where the people of God or “Christians” congregate and dwell. Remember that it says that Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood up with the eleven on the day of Pentecost and said, “You men of Judea, and all you that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you and hearken to my words… For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:14-39). This is how and when the “second phase” will begin. The coming “Apostle Peters” and other apostles will be “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49), and then released upon the earth so to speak. That is why Jesus said, “And you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This coming witness will once again begin at Jerusalem (spiritually speaking), and from there permeate around the world to all peoples as a witness (Luke 24:47-48), and then will the end come (Mat. 24:14). It should be mentioned here that Jerusalem serves as a spiritual type. In God’s Word, first comes the physical, and then comes the spiritual (I Cor. 15:46). Instead of one physical Jerusalem as in the First Coming, there will be many spiritual “Jerusalems” all over the world during His Second Coming. In light of this, it is also interesting to note that Jesus said to His apostles that they “would not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Mat. 10:23). Obviously, this prophecy wasn’t fulfilled during His First Coming!
In order to understand the sequence of events to come, it is important to have an overall perspective of the book of Acts. For example, the book of Acts explains in inspired-detail how the work of God systematically progressed during the First Coming, and how the Gospel was ordained by God to deliberately and methodically move across the land in an inspired order. The Scriptures are clear that God does all things decently and in order, and nothing of God is haphazard or left to chance. Afterall, He is the Master-Builder and Great Creator! He is very careful and deliberate in when and where the Gospel is preached and how it is revealed and witnessed to the world. This is very easy to see in the Scriptures. For instance, when Paul and Silas tried to enter Bithynia to preach the Gospel there, the Holy Spirit did not allow them to (Acts 16:7). The Holy Spirit also refused them to preach in Asia, re-directing them instead to preach in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10). This meticulousness of God in regards to the preaching of His Gospel will also be apparent in these last days.
The “Apostle Peters”, as well as the other eleven Apostles, will be sent to the “Jews” [modern-day Christians], while the “Apostle Pauls”, “Barnabases’” and “Timothys” will be mainly sent to the Gentiles [those who aren’t Christians]. Just as the outpouring of the Holy Spirit began in the middle of the land of the Jews [Jerusalem], so will it happen right in the middle of the people of God again! God will once again pour out His Holy Spirit upon His servants, both male and female, in a mighty way on that appointed day (Acts 2:18). It’s important to notice in Scripture however, that this outpouring of the Holy Spirit didn’t happen all over the place. It began only at Jerusalem, and from there spread across the world as God permitted it. Likewise, when this second dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit begins again, it will only initially fall upon the congregation of true believers that will be dwelling amongst those who call themselves the people of God. For instance, when the Holy Spirit came upon the one-hundred and twenty people [true believers] who were gathered together in the upper-room on the Day of Pentecost, this occurred right in the heart of the capital city of the people of God, that is, at Jerusalem. This was by divine command! God wanted it to be a witness to all of the people of God (Jews/Israelites) that bore His name, but didn’t truly believe on Him (Jesus). That is why Peter stood up with the eleven other Apostles and said, “You men of Judea, and all you that dwell at Jerusalem… You men of Israel, hear these words… Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:14-36).
Upon hearing these convicting words of Peter, Scripture states that these same men (Jews and Jewish converts) were pricked in their hearts, and they asked Peter and the other Apostles what they should do. Notice that Peter instructed the “people of God” to repent! And about three-thousand of them did! These people were all Israelites and Jews — the very people of God who wouldn’t receive Him and rejected Him at the beginning (John 1:11). Notice that now these new repentant Jewish believers were continuing in the teachings of the Apostles, eating and praying with them, fellowshipping with them, and daily meeting with them in the Temple! (Acts 2:41-47). Remember that it wasn’t but a few short months earlier these same Jews were some of the very ones who were trying to have the Apostles arrested along with Jesus (see Mark 14:50-52; John 18:10-27). But now, by the mercy and power of God, they have been converted!
A short time later, after this initial miraculous outpouring and witnessing of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter and John healed a lame man at the Temple and all of the people of God saw it (Acts 3:8-12). Afterwards, Peter again said, “You men of Israel… the God of our fathers has glorified His Son Jesus whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate… Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out… For you are the children of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers… And unto you first God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away everyone of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:12-26). Notice that about five-thousand more Jews and Israelites then repented and believed! (Acts 4:4). Again, on the very next day, Peter filled with the Holy Spirit said, “You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel… be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel…” (Acts 4:8-10).
Notice that for the first eight chapters of the Book of Acts, no preaching of the Gospel was done outside of Jerusalem. There was good reason for this! It’s very clear from the Scriptures that God wanted this witness of the Gospel to first begin at Jerusalem, right in the very midst of the people of God, those very ones who are called by His name! Just as He declared He was going to do by the mouths of His holy prophets. He humbled them! He surprised them! Yes, He confounded them in their own self-righteousness! For God had declared through His prophets that He was going to do this, saying: “Behold, you scoffers! Wonder and perish! For I will work a work in your days, which you will not believe, even though a man declares it unto you!” (Hab.1:5; Acts 13:40-41). The people of God (Jews/Israelites) didn’t even recognize that God had been working in their midst! And in their blindness and hardness of heart they killed the very One that God had sent unto them to give them life! In fact, God did such a thorough job in confounding and witnessing to His own people, that it’s interesting to note what the Jewish rulers and the chief priests unknowingly confessed regarding this incredible beginning witness. They said, “What are we going to do with these men? Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it!” (Acts 4:16). And again they unknowingly professed, “Did we not straightly command you [Apostles] that you should not teach in this name [the name of Jesus]! Behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us!” (Acts 5:28).
“Jesus said to her [the Samaritan woman], ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father” (John 4:21).
After this initial surprise witness in Jerusalem to His own people, and the subsequent repentance of “those who are to be saved” (Acts 2:47), it will be time for God to continue His witness throughout all of Israel, both Judea and Samaria (all of Christendom). As was mentioned before, Israel spiritually represents all of the places where Christians around the world fellowship and congregate. This is not as much referring to the geographic locations and lands, as it is to the different specific places and denominations where Christians dwell and fellowship together. In Jesus’ day, the southern part of Israel was known as Judea. It was the area in which a great number of zealous Jews lived, and was considered by its inhabitants as the land of the “true chosen people of God”. Jerusalem was its capital city, and it was considered by the Jews and Israelites that lived there as the place where the “pure” people of God dwelt. These staunchly orthodox Jews and Israelites worshipped God according to the strict traditions of their forefathers, and were very zealous towards the keeping of the Law that Moses gave them. They despised all other non-Israelite inhabitants in their land such as the Romans and Greeks, and considered such intruders as spiritually and ethnically “unclean”.
Although the Jews and Israelites for the most part hated foreigners to be in their land, no other group of individuals was more despised by them than the “Samaritans”. The Samaritans were considered by the Jews to be “counterfeit Jews” or “pretend Israelites”. The Samaritans were the inhabitants who lived in the land of Samaria which was formerly the name of the capital city of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, but by Jesus’ day, had become the name of the entire northern region itself. To properly understand the prophetic meanings of the many references in the New Testament to “Samaria” and “Samaritans”, as well as the spiritual identity of the “Samaritans” today, it is first necessary to understand a little bit of the history given to us in the Bible about the Samaritans and their peculiar relationship to the Jews.
As most students of the Bible know, the nation of Israel was divided in two after the death of King Solomon in approximately 930 BC. The ten northern tribes seceded from the union to form an independent nation known in the Bible as the Northern Kingdom or “Israel”, while the two remaining tribes became known as the Southern Kingdom or “Judah”. The capital of the Northern Kingdom was Samaria, and the capital of the Southern Kingdom remained Jerusalem. Because of their continual national sins, the Northern Kingdom of Israel was taken away into slavery by an invading Assyrian army around 721 BC. The Assyrians commonly used a military tactic of “transplanting captives” from one conquered land to another. Thus, the surviving Israelites of the Northern Kingdom were carried out of their land and scattered throughout all of the lands and nations that the Assyrian Empire had conquered never to return again. This is how the Northern Kingdom became known in history as the “Lost Ten Tribes of Israel” or the “Diaspora” (“dispersed”).
After the Northern Kingdom of Israel was taken away, the Assyrians brought other captives in from different pagan nations to inhabit and re-settle the northern land of Israel which by this time was being referred to as Samaria after its original capital city. Upon entering the land, these new settlers were attacked by lions that God had sent against them because “they didn’t fear the Lord” (II Kings 17:25). Therefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, and he commanded that one of the captive Israelite priests be sent back to teach these new inhabitants of Samaria (the “Samaritans”) the way to worship the true God of Israel. But as the Bible states, “They worshipped the Lord, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought. To this day they persist in their former practices” (II Kings 17:33-34). The Bible goes on to explain in II Kings chapter 17 how the Samaritans mixed their pagan idolatrous practices in with the true worship of God. It explains how they didn’t keep the Law of God or His commandments, statutes, and ordinances, as God had delivered them unto His people Israel, but rather, worshipped God according to their own pagan practices, traditions and customs. This kind of “tainted-worship” by the Samaritans towards the God of Israel was abhorred by the Israelites from the Southern Kingdom of Judah, who were now called “Jews”.
About 135 years later, around 587 BC, the Southern Kingdom of Judah was taken into captivity by the Babylonians because of their national sins. The Lord kept them in Babylon for seventy years as slaves just as He said He would do by His holy prophet Jeremiah. Afterwards, God raised-up Cyrus, the King of Persia, to authorize and commission the re-building of the Temple at Jerusalem which had earlier been destroyed by the Babylonians (II Chron. 36:14-23). When the Jews began re-building the Temple at Jerusalem by the decree of King Cyrus, the Samaritans came down from the north and said, “Let us build with you, for we seek your God as you do. And we have been sacrificing to Him since the time of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, who brought us here” (Ezra 4:1-2). But the Jews rejected them saying, “You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord, the God of Israel” (Ezra 4:3). Upon hearing this, the Samaritans became offended, and from that day forward continually tried to thwart and obstruct the building of the Temple and its subsequent worship therein. This conflict and resulting hatred would exist on both sides all the way down through history until the time of Jesus Christ and His Jewish Disciples over five-hundred years later.
After reviewing the above given history, it is relatively easy to see why Jesus’ Disciples were amazed that He, being a Jew, would stop and talk to a Samaritan woman (John 4:27). For as the Scripture says, “the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans!” (John 4:9). By Jesus day, this contention and hatred had become so great on both sides that when Jesus as the Jewish Messiah was headed for Jerusalem to be crucified, He had to pass through a Samaritan village, but the Samaritans there rejected Him simply because He was headed to Jerusalem! Consequently, two of His Jewish disciples, James and John, straightway asked Jesus if they could destroy the Samaritans in the name of God (Luke 9:51-56)! It is also interesting to note that Jesus speaking to a Jewish leader purposely portrayed a “Samaritan” in a better light than his Jewish counterparts in a parable about loving your neighbor as oneself (Luke 10:25-37). Surely, this must have been a startling and offensive concept for this Jew to consider! Needless to say, there was much “bad-blood” between these two religious groups of people that both claimed to be truly worshipping the same God of Israel. And as we shall see, this conflict between the two “Houses of Israel” is both prophetic and relevant for our day.
In John chapter 4 a remarkable revelation and prophecy is given by Jesus to a Samaritan woman regarding this difference in worship between the Jews and the Samaritans. After having just received a personal word from Jesus, the woman exclaimed, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet!” (John 4:19). Immediately after proclaiming this, the Samaritan woman proceeded to address the obvious issue and question between them regarding this conflict and competition between their two peoples in their particular worship towards God. She said, “Our [Samaritan] fathers worshipped in this mountain [Mt. Gerizim in Samaria]. But you [Jews] say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship” (John 4:20). Jesus then gave her an astonishing reply and prophesy. He said, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You [Samaritans] worship what you don’t know [or have knowledge of]. We [Jews] know what we worship. For salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:21-22). As was mentioned earlier, the Samaritans worshipped God; however, not according to knowledge. They didn’t understand the plan of God or His ways as revealed in the Law of Moses through the sabbaths, holy days, sacrifices, offerings, and statutes. When it came to worshipping God, they didn’t worship Him according to the commandments, ordinances, customs and traditions that God had set in place in the Law of Moses, but rather according to their own pagan customs and practices.
Herein lies the revelation of the Lord to me concerning the Jews of Judea and the Samaritans of Samaria: Collectively, they represent all of Christendom today. The Judean Jews represent Christians who seek God according to the keeping of the Law. That is, through the works of the Law. They practice the Law of Moses and/or legalism to one degree or another out of a genuine zeal towards God. However, by doing so, they clearly go about trying to establish their own righteousness by works, and consequently, “have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” which is by faith (Rom. 10:1-5). Because of their zealous obedience to the oracles of God given to Israel, they, like the Jews of Christ’s day, completely misunderstand the supremacy and role of Jesus Christ. They, in a sense, begin serving days, sabbaths, rules, regulations, and rituals, instead of serving Christ; which in itself can become a form of idolatry. Jesus Himself said, “Follow Me!” He did not say, “Follow the Law or the commandments that I gave to Israel in the Old Testament”. In fact, the strict observance of the Law can become an end unto itself, instead of a means to an end, which was the Law’s original intent; to point-out to its adherents that they needed a Savior to come and save them from their sins! For as the Bible says, “Sin is the transgression of the Law” (I John 3:4) and “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Therefore, all are condemned to die, because “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). These “Jewish Christians” forget that the Bible clearly states that “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believes” (Rom. 10:4). They also do not understand that it is by grace that we are saved (Eph. 2:8), and not by what we do or don’t do.
The Samaritans, on the other hand, represent the majority of Christians today who worship God by faith, but not according to His Word. They pollute their worship of God with idolatrous practices and vain customs of men. A clear example of this, would be the celebrations of Easter and Christmas. As most historians know, these two “holidays” [holy days], as well as many others like them, do not have Christian or Biblical origins, but rather have their roots in paganism. Both of these celebrations were originally observed in honor of the sun by the idolatrous pagans. Politically-motivated “religious” men in the fourth-century A.D. “christianized” them in order to increase the number of converts from paganism to Christianity for political reasons. Rather than appear to be “Judaizing” by celebrating the God-ordained holy days instituted in the Bible (see Lev. 23), these contemptible “church leaders” simply took widely-popular pagan celebrations and re-named them in “honor” of Christ. Most Christians today simply don’t realize that Christmas trees, Easter eggs, yule logs, hot-cross buns, Easter bunnies, sunrise services, and the like, are all just the modern-continuation of these ancient pagan customs that God hates (Deut. 12:29-32). The Scriptures say that God is holy, and that we who worship Him must be holy also (I Peter 1:15-16). And He insists that there be a clear distinction between that which is holy from that which is unholy (Lev. 10:10).
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. For the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:23).
As was stated before, Judea and Samaria represent the whole of Christendom today. In other words, on the one hand you have the “Judean Christians” who have the proper form of worship, but who do not necessarily have faith in God through Jesus Christ. They, for the most part, have the “form” (truth), but lack the “substance” [spirit]. In fact, they tend to know more about the Law of Moses and the works of the Law than they do about Jesus Christ and the justification that we receive by believing in Him. These “Jewish Christians” need to remember the words of the Apostle Paul when he said to the Jews of his day, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins. And by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39). On the other hand, you have the “Samaritan Christians” who believe in God and the Lord Jesus Christ and worship Him in faith from their heart. However, they worship Him in ignorance of His holy ways, substituting their own pagan practices and traditions in place of the ordinances that He gave to us in His Holy Word.
The Apostle Paul does speak of an advantage that the “Jewish Christians” have over the “Samaritan Christians” in that they have the oracles of God and the heritage of Israel (see Rom. 3:1-2; Rom. 9:4-5). In other words, they have the priceless supernaturally-revealed knowledge and righteous judgments of God that He gave to His people Israel. For as it says, “For this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations which shall hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely, this great nation is a wise and understanding people’. For what nation is there so great, who has God so near unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for? And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this Law which I set before you this day?!” (Deut. 4:6-8). As one of these “Jewish Christians” who served the Law for most of my life, I can honestly say that the Law has given me an understanding and appreciation of the overall plan of God as revealed in the keeping of His holy days, His sabbaths, and the Old Testament laws, that I don’t believe most of my “Samaritan” brothers have today. However, like the Apostle Paul, I too, was guilty of fighting against the Lord Jesus and not submitting to the righteousness of God, by going about trying to establish my own righteousness by keeping the Law. And I now realize, like Paul, that “there is none righteous, no, not one. There is none that understands. There is none that seeks after God. We have all gone astray. We have all together become unprofitable. There is none that does good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10-12). For God has concluded all under sin (Gal. 3:22).
Herein then is the meaning of Jesus’ prophecy to the Samaritan woman regarding the “true worshippers that the Father seeks” (John 4:23). Today, both sides of His House (Judea and Samaria – hence all of Christendom) think that they are right with God, and that they specifically are worshipping the God of Israel correctly. This is exactly the same issue and argument that the Samaritan woman set forth to Jesus regarding worshipping at Mt. Gerizim or worshipping at Jerusalem. Remember that worshipping at Jerusalem was commanded by the Word of God (Deut. 12:1-14), but that the worship at Mt. Gerizim was substituted by the Samaritans because they wanted to worship God, but were rejected by the Jews because they mixed-in paganism. Therefore, Jesus in a sense said this to the Samaritan woman: “The Jews worship God in truth, according to the Word of God, but they do not have a heart for God. They do not worship Him because they want to, but rather because they have to, because He commanded it! You Samaritans, on the other hand, worship God because you want to, for you have a heart to worship Him. However you do not worship Him according to Truth. For God’s Word is Truth (John 17:17)! Your words and your ways are not the truth. But His Words and His Ways are Truth! Behold, the time is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers of God will worship Him both in spirit [from the heart] and in truth [according to the Word of God].” Yes, there is coming a day when the people of God will again indeed worship Him in both spirit (by faith) and in truth (according to His Word)! It is also important to notice here that Jesus said that this would happen twice. The first time was during His lifetime (His First Coming) when He said, “and now is”, and the second time is yet in the future (His Second Coming) when He said, “the time is coming”. Again, the Holy Spirit is revealing what God is going to do in these last days. He is going to cause both sides of His House to once again worship Him in spirit and in truth!
In these last days, God is going to again visit His people – that is, all of Christendom. And He is going to thoroughly straighten us all out, both Jew and Samaritan! For it is written, “And the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His Temple [His people], even the messenger of the covenant whom you delight in… but who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears?… He shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come near to you to judgment. And I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers… Even from the days of your fathers you have gone away from my ordinances and have not kept them. Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, says the Lord of Hosts” (Mal. 3:1-7). Just as it happened to His people the first time, God is going to show-up again in a way that His people don’t expect and thereby confound them and humble them, and might I dare say, convert them!
An example of this surprise visit by God upon those who called on His name and their subsequent conversion and healing is relayed in a story given to us in the Bible. When you read it closely the spiritual weaknesses being discussed here of both the Jews and the Samaritans become apparent. But in this true story, only the Samaritan overcame his spiritual weakness and was healed. In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus passed through the regions of Samaria and Galilee [Northern Israel] headed south on His way to Jerusalem. As He traveled, ten lepers called out to Him to be healed. Nine of the lepers were Jews and/or Israelites, and one of them was a Samaritan. Jesus, testing them, said, ‘Go show yourselves unto the [Jewish] priests’ as was commanded in the Law of Moses (Lev. 13:2; Lev. 14:2). Obviously, the Samaritan would have naturally had a problem with this because the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. But as the story states, they all, including this Samaritan, obeyed God’s Word, and were healed. This action of obedience to the Word of God must have been a “big step” for the Samaritan to have taken, but nevertheless, he faithfully did it.
On the other hand, to the Jewish/Israelite lepers, who don’t have any problem obeying the Word of God especially when it comes to keeping the Law of Moses, would not have had a problem with this command at all. However, notice that when they were healed, only the Samaritan fell down and thanked God for His grace, that is, His free gift to them. Only the Samaritan recognized that it was the free undeserved gift of God that healed him, and not his obedience to the Word of God! The other nine Jews/Israelites didn’t feel like they owed any thanks to God for their healing. Because afterall, they earned it by their obedience to the Law! This is the “Jewish Christian’s” biggest problem! They feel as though God owes them eternal life because they earned it! By keeping the Law. It’s not a free gift! Salvation isn’t by the grace of God, they think! It’s earned by the works of the Law and by their obedience to it, or so they think! Like their Jewish counterparts in the New Testament, they don’t need Jesus Christ to save them! They have the Law! And if they keep the Law, then God is obligated to save them! They don’t need Jesus. “For to him that works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation – something owed to him!” (Rom. 4:4). “However, to the man who does not work, but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). And notice that this is exactly what Jesus said to the Samaritan: “Arise and go your way. For your faith has healed you!” (Luke 17:19).
“For they are not all Israel who are of Israel” (Rom.9:6).
After the Lord visits and humbles His own House first (the whole House of Israel), that is, the House of Judah and the House of Samaria, He is going to then proceed to visit and humble the rest of the world (Gentiles). For as it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Rom. 14:11). And “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6).
It is written that when the number of disciples in Jerusalem was multiplied (Acts 6:1), God scattered them throughout all of Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1). When this was accomplished, God then began to open the doors of the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 14:27). However, as was mentioned before, the Gospel only went into each country and place when and where God determined that it was time to do so. Eventually, it says that the disciples “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6). God showed me that this will happen again. Only this time it will happen to the whole world, not just Asia Minor! This begins what I have termed the “Apostle Pauls phase”, when literally the whole earth will receive the witness of God. Once again the Lord will send forth His “Apostle Pauls, Barnabases, and Timothys” with power and authority to witness to the whole world, and then the end will come (Matt. 24:14). Many Gentiles will be grafted-in and added to the “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16) virtually overnight. This worldwide witness will occur in a very short time. For it is written, “Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant shall be saved. For He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness. Because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth” (Rom. 9:27-28). And again, it says, “This generation [that sees these things] shall not pass until all these things be fulfilled” (Matt. 24:34).
God did not specifically show me the order in which the cities and nations will be witnessed to. However, He did show me how fast and how thorough it would be. Just like it happened the first time, the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles will flourish in the mouths of God’s anointed. “For so has the Lord commanded us saying, ‘I have set you to be a light of the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.’ And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region” (Acts 13:47-49).
” . . . and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book” (Dan. 12:1).
After the entire world receives this undeniable witness of the Gospel through the apostles’ preaching and the incredible miracles that will follow, the witness of the Gospel and the glorified Church will quickly subside and all but disappear from public view. This brings me to the end of the vision where I saw a great dark veil begin to descend over the earth, blocking-out the light of the sun, and set-up as a large impenetrable iron wall upon the earth shortly after the death of the Apostle John. In another similar vision that I was later given which seemed to expound upon this first original vision, I again saw a dark veil come towards the earth. Only this time it did not set-up as an iron wall upon the earth, but rather, it completely covered the whole earth as an iron blanket. Immediately after the whole earth had turned into a shining ball of glorious light, just as it had reached its full climax by and through the preaching of the disciples and apostles, it quickly began to wane, as this dark veil began to cover the whole earth completely stamping out the glorious light. It was a dark and ominous veil which completely smothered the earth and all of its inhabitants. Those trapped under the veil began to scream in horror and torment. The black veil held a tight firm grip upon the entire earth. Then thankfully, after a short time, I saw what looked like a clear smooth stone come from the Heavens like lightning and strike the oppressive iron veil and immediately it was smashed into pieces (see Dan. 2:28-45).
The Holy Spirit revealed to me that the oppressive veil that I saw in this latter vision was the same dark veil that I had seen in the earlier vision following the death of the Apostle John after he finished writing the Book of Revelation. The only difference was that this latter veil was a lot bigger, and it didn’t set-upright as an impenetrable wall like the first one had, but rather, it covered the whole earth smothering it like a blanket. As most Biblical scholars know, shortly after the deaths of the original apostles, false teachers motivated by greed and political gain “crept in unawares” and perverted the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (Jude 3-21). They, along with their spiritual descendants, set-up a kingdom which lasted 1260 years (Rev. 13:5). It called itself holy, but God called it the “synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9). It ruled over the lives of men and women and compelled them to bow down to a government which was not of God, and caused them to commit spiritual fornication and idolatry. This kingdom, pictured as the dark veil in my first vision, became an imprisoning wall which instituted a system of compelled religion, void of faith and truth, masquerading and promoting itself as the House of God. But in reality, it was really the church of Satan. It completely stamped-out the light of the true Gospel, and caused the true Church of God to go into hiding for 1260 years as was prophesied to happen (Rev. 12:6). The reason that this veil was presented as a iron wall in my first vision instead of an iron blanket (like my latter vision) was that it did not cover the entire earth, and it spiritually imprisoned men and women and held them in as captives.
Just as this first satanic kingdom drew its initial momentum and authority from counterfeiting the true apostolic Gospel witness of the First Coming, so the second satanic kingdom will do likewise. Notice in history that the Holy Roman Empire only set-up its authority over those lands and places where the Gospel had first been witnessed. It did not control the whole known world! It only established its power over those places that had originally received the Gospel witness and the Word of God during the First Coming! Likewise, this latter veil will do the same thing. However, it will not be a retaining wall like I saw the first time, but rather, it will become an iron blanket which will cover the whole earth. Why? Because the whole earth will have received this Gospel message right before it happens! “And this gospel of the Kingdom [of God] shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24:14). This is why the Holy Spirit refused to let the original Apostles preach the Gospel in Asia the first time. It wasn’t time for them to receive the witness of God. So Satan didn’t have to establish his counterfeit “holy empire” there either!
After God clearly witnesses His awesome saving power (salvation) and mercy (forgiveness through Jesus Christ) to all that will repent throughout the whole world, then Satan will be allowed to set-up this counterfeit “holy empire” once again. Notice it says, “And I beheld another beast [kingdom] coming up out of the earth. And he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. And he exercised all the power of the first beast [the Holy Roman Empire] before him, and caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, who’s deadly wound was healed. And he will do great wonders, so that he will make fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and he will deceive them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he will have power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword, but now lives. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Rev. 13:11-15).
Once again, God’s “two witnesses” (the prophets and the apostles) will be sent to declare the judgments of God before many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings (Rev. 10:11; Rev. 11:3). Revelation Chapter 11 explains that this great witness will last for three and one half years. During this time of unprecedented supernatural anointing, God will give His servants power and authority over the elements. Like Moses and Elijah, they will be able to turn water into blood and stop the rains from falling on the lands (Rev. 11:6). After their testimony is finished, however, Satan will then be allowed to raise-up his dark veil (or image of the beast) which will then cover the whole earth for another three and one half years. This is referred to in the Bible as the “time of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24). This will begin a time of intense persecution and martyrdom for the saints (Rev. 11:7-10).
Satan will once again use the excitement and overall sense of euphoria generated by the true witnesses of God to begin his deception. Just as Jannes and Jambres used their satanic powers to duplicate some of the miracles of Moses, Satan’s ministers will once again transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, thereby deceiving many (II Cor. 11:13-15). Jesus even warned that their demonstrations of power would be so spectacular during this time that even the saints themselves would be deceived if God allowed it (Matt. 24:24). All of this is according to the Word and plan of God. For it is written, “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him… don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For the day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s Temple, proclaiming himself to be God… And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the splendor of His Coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe a lie, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (II Thes. 2:1-12).
After this allotted satanic “time of the Gentiles” has run its course, God the Father will quickly send Jesus Christ in the visible fullness of His glory to put down all of the kingdoms of this earth and to set up His Holy Kingdom which will never end (Dan. 2:44). “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn as they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:30-31). “For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:16-17).
“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge . . . For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged” (I Cor. 14:29-31).
This concludes what the Lord showed me in this vision and the subsequent revelations by the Holy Spirit concerning its interpretation. I humbly submit this to my brothers and sisters in Christ, with both fear and trembling, realizing that our God is an awesome God, who alone knows the end from the beginning. As is true in communicating any revelation from God to others, we must remember that He alone is perfect, and we are fallible. Therefore I ask you, as the reader, to prayerfully and carefully consider these words. I have sincerely tried to relay this message both accurately and boldly. And yet, at the same time, I realize that we as humans “see through a glass darkly” (I Cor. 13:12). I believe that God reveals to us these things by the Spirit so that we can all have hope and confidence that He indeed is in charge of all things, and that our individual callings are by His design and command. I would remind all who read this and consider its message to do as the Bible admonishes us, “to receive the word with all readiness of mind, and search the Scriptures daily to see whether those things are so” (Acts 17:11). May God be with us all.
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