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5.4  THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST and 666: ARE YOU READY?

Jesus said... 

"Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come." 

(Matthew 24:44)



Jesus said "Be Ready"

This subchapter will help you to be ready. The previous two subchapters, 5.1 and 5.2 are also part of your preparation. If you have not read those sub-chapters, I prayerfully admonish you to do so... and take heed. If you prepare and don't go through the Great Tribulation, at least you will be better prepared for the suffering that you will be faced with in this life. But if you don't prepare... you will suffer the consequences of not preparing. Jesus was speaking to believers in Matthew 24:44 when He said "be ready". And some events of the end times have been purposefully been concealed by God. John was not allowed to write for us the message of the seven thunders which are contained in the text of the sixth trumpet (Revelation 10:1-7). Scripture is clear that all believers will be surprised at the timing of His coming, by God's design.  


Now, I will repeat the passage for your convenience:

  • Jesus said... "Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come." (Matthew 24:44)

Jesus called Himself the Son of Man. So, Jesus is saying that He will come at a time that we don't expect. This passage is part of the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24... It contains prophesies about the current age and the end of this age. It is tightly connected with and provides some of the framework for correctly hearing the book of Revelation. I will that explain later. 


As I said before, Matthew 24 contains prophesies about the current age and the end of this age. So does the book of Revelation. And I do suggest that you prayerfully read the entire book of Revelation because there is a promise of blessing for those who read, hear and "keep the things that are written in it" (Revelation 1:3). 


But if you are expecting the book of Revelation to remove surprises from your future, you will will be disappointed. Matthew 24:44 tells us that Christ will come when you don't expect Him. I will repeat the passage again:

  • "Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come." (Matthew 24:44)

The book of Revelation does not alter, bend, modify or contradict Matthew 24:44. 


But, if you know the book of Revelation... And if some of the prophesies in that book occur in your life... you will know what has happened and where you are in each of God's revealed steps as He rips the rule of the earth out of Satan's hands and establishes Christ's rule forever.  I will repeat the verse 44 again along with the next two verses:

  • "Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes. " (Matthew 24:44-46)


Our instructions are to be ready. How shall we be ready? The passage plainly tells us. We are to be giving food to the household of Christ. Jesus was not saying we will be ready if we are involved in physical food preparation and distribution. Jesus said "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work" (John 4:34). He is talking about spiritual food. So, to "give them their food" in Matthew 24:45 is to distribute God's will and work to the household of God. I will repeat the passage again:

  • "Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes. " (Matthew 24:44-46)

So, "give them their food" is talking about giving spiritual food. It is talking about making disciples. We will "be ready" if we are making disciples. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus told the disciples to "make disciples of all nations... teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you". This command to "make disciples" is one of the commands that they were told to teach all nations to observe. So, all disciples are supposed to make disciples. And all Christians are disciples (see subchapter A5 in the appendix). 


Don't worry. It's easy. Jesus said that it is... and it is. You repeat the words of the Father and pray. To learn more, read subchapter 2.3 titled, "The Easy Yoke of Christ". 


Now I will repeat the same passage again, along with the next verse:


Jesus said, 

  • "Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come. "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes. Most certainly I tell you that he will set him over all that he has." (Matthew 24:44-47)


Do you see the reward for being a disciple maker? He will set you over all that He has. 



666

This number only appears in the book of Revelation:

  • "no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six" (Revelation 3:17-18).


By the way, the antichrist is never mentioned in the book of Revelation. Not once. There is no scripture which proves that the 666 of Revelation represents the antichrist. Not one. Even though the beast known as 666 could be the antichrist, we should not be more specific that God has been. We should not presume to know (1 Corinthians 8:2). We should speak and think using the words and symbols which God has given. We must "learn not to think beyond the things which are written" (1 Corinthians 4:6, subchapter 1.5). 


In a later subchapter we will be able to easily understand the mystery of 666. We will see 666 as a calculation, of the number, of the name, of the "beast", because that is what the book of Revelation says it is.  I will repeat the passage:

  • "no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six" (Revelation 13:17-18).

We shall also see the beast as a SIGN, because that is what the book of Revelation says that it is.  So, the beast is figurative, not literal... because scripture says that it is figurative. 


I am not saying that the beast has nothing to do with the shedding of blood... real blood. But, we will keep every detail of the SIGN of the beast, so that we will receive God's blessing... AND at the same time, we will  "learn not to think beyond the things which are written".


666: The beast will kill Christians...

  • "It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him" (Revelation 13:7).
  • "It was given to him to give breath to it, to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn't worship the image of the beast to be killed" (Revelation 13:15).
  • "no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name" (Revelation 13:17).


So, the beast will make war with the saints, overcome them, starve them and kill them. Everyone who doesn't worship the beast will be killed.


The result of taking the mark of the beast is damnation:

  • "Another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, "If anyone  worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or on his hand, 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever" (Revelation 14:9-11a).


No Neutral Ground:

In all of mankind, those who take the mark are damned. Those who don't take the mark will be killed... unless the rapture takes them before the beast kills them. 


Who is the beast? 


Scripture tells us how to identify one called 666. Click here to open the subchapter titled, "The Beast of Revelation 13:18: Who is 666?"

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Faithful to the Death

  • "Don't be afraid of the things which you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested; and you will have oppression for ten days. Be faithful to death, and I will give you the crown of life" (Revelation 2:10).


Yes, dying for Christ may be God's will for you. The crown of life is granted to those who are faithful to death. This is not a granting of eternal life to those who die for Christ. It is a crown. A crown indicates authority as a ruler. Perhaps it is called a crown of life because it is authority granted in the eternal state because of the life that was relinquished for Christ. Perhaps it refers to a crown that will be worn through all of the life to come... eternally. 


James 1:12 mentions the "crown of life" being granted to those who show love for God through endurance. In the parable of the ten menas, Luke 19:11-27, authority over more cities was granted to the one through whom God's gift was more multiplied  (verses 17 and 19). Revelation 22:3-5 reveals that all slaves of Christ will reign over the earth in the eternal state (all saints will reign). But evidently, some will reign at a higher level than others. And by the way, the book of Revelation was written to the slaves of Christ (Revelation 1:1). Slaves is a translation of the Greek word doulos. Various translations render it as slaves, bond-slaves or servants. It refers to Christians, saints, disciples (terms that mean the same thing).  So, all slaves of Christ, also known as Christians, saints or disciples, will reign. But some will reign at higher levels than others.


Being faithful to death may seem impossible for you. Being unafraid may seem impossible. It is. But, if you ask God to multiply your faith and love, He will do it in you. There is no time as good as now to ask. Continue in this prayer. The Endorsed Prayer of Faith is discussed in micro-subchapter 4.3a.



Making Disciples: Faithful to Death

  • "They overcame him because of the Lamb's blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn't love their life, even to death" ( Revelation 12:11). 


They overcame the beast by the blood of Christ and their testimony. The blood of the Lamb paid the penalty of their sin because of only one criteria: Faith (Ephesians 2:8). To all that God is and has done, they testify... even to death... at the cost of their lives. By our testimony we make disciples. 


All of this page comes together here. 


Do you remember how to be ready for the return of Christ?

  • "Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come. Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes. " (Matthew 24:44-46)


We will be ready for His return if we are making disciples when He comes. We do this by giving them their spiritual food in due season. It's easy. Jesus said that it is easy and it is (subchapter 2.3). We repeat the words of the Father and pray. And yes, God does expect us to do this, even if it cost us our physical lives. 



The Rapture: A Question of Timing

At the second coming of Christ, those saints who are alive at His coming will ascend to meet Christ in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-52). This rising to meet Christ in the air at His second coming is called the rapture. The timing of the rapture raises a very important question: 


Will the rapture occur before or after the beast comes to power?


IF the rapture occurs before the beast comes to power, then today's saints can say: I won't be here... so it doesn't matter. 


But if the rapture occurs after the beast comes to power... then anyone who lives long enough to see the beast come to power will actually be faced with death at the hands of the beast...


What scripture says that the rapture occurs before the tribulation?


What scripture says that the rapture occurs after the tribulation?


To find the answer to those questions, read the next subchapter titled, "Will the Rapture Come Before the Tribulation?"

"Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come."

Matthew 24:44

Have a question or want to share how this book has impacted your life?