Martyrdom

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“Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” (Revelation 6:11 NKJV).

The entire history of this age will soon be written. While many attempt to pacify the fearful, the wise are taking note of God’s signs. Modern pastors reassure their unsettled flocks with the promise Jesus will return “prior to” Antichrist’s appearance. “Peace and safety” are implicit. Their sheep repeat: “Great Tribulation is coming, but thank God I won’t be around to see it!”

Satan has deceived many so-called “Bible-believing” Christians into declaring “any moment Jesus will come and we’ll escape.” Can Christ come on any given day or will he arrive on a set day with accompanying signs in the sky? Does resurrection occur, as they say, while we are taken up in the rapture? And what of all the unfulfilled signs?

There are definite signs for which we need to look. In 2nd Thessalonians, we have lots of signs. Paul reminded his former students what he had taught. As a fellowship they had swallowed the false teaching the Day of the Lord had come and gone. The Apostle was clear: This day cannot come until the apostasy (the falling away or rebellion) occurs (cf. Matthew 24:10) and the man of sin is revealed (2:3). The man of sin or son of perdition will take his seat in the temple of the LORD claiming to be God (2:4) (In Part 1, we discussed this sign’s fulfillment at the 70th week’s midpoint.)

We learn in Revelation 13 that at the 42-month mark, the Antichrist will be revealed by demanding universal worship. Those who resist him will be forced to take the beast’s mark. This sets the stage for our sign of the end.

God’s people will stand firm in their resistance. Those remaining true despite the beast’s power are spoken of in Revelation 12:11“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (NIV).

God’s resisters are a major sign of the end. Saints always oppose the beast, even to the death. For some, their refusal to take the beast’s mark will cost their head (Rev. 20:4). These martyrs are the souls heard under the altar when the 5th seal is opened (Rev. 6:9). Together they appeal for vengeance (i.e. the Day of the Lord’s Judgment). They are comforted with a promise that God will bring the wicked to justice, but only after the full number of their brothers are likewise slain (Rev. 6:10-11).

This will be a sign of Christ’s coming. Once the last martyr sheds his blood, then the beast’s power will be broken. The beast’s last publicly guillotined saint will set off a series of prophesied signs that directly precede Jesus’ coming in the clouds.

In 2015 a live video feed picked up radical black-clothed Muslims beheading faithful Christians. This is a “can’t miss sign”. It presents evidence of how close we are to the end. Those serving Antichrist will make an example of elect martyrs. Those who hold to the testimony of Jesus and obey God’s commands are already being decapitated.

Prepare now. When the full number of the faithful lose their heads, then look to the east. Redemption will be drawing nigh. EJ.

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