Why is it that many pastors don't know Bible prophecy? Why is it that many pastors who do know Bible prophecy are scared to teach it to their congregations? Why is it that many Christians--or at least, professing Christians--have no interest in learning or hearing about Bible prophecy? Why?
All the study of Bible prophecy (a.k.a. biblical eschatology) is designed to do is...remind the church that it has a very wonderful and distinct title, one not given to any other group of people--not even the Jews: the church is known in Scripture as the Bride of Christ (Revelation 19). That's right! You heard it! Bride.
God has a bride. And we're not talking about the kind that Mormonism teaches. Mormons believe that God, Jehovah, was a flesh and blood man who evolved into God, and found Mrs. God, got busy, and then produced a bunch of baby gods (Jesus and Lucifer being two of them; hence, in Mormon theology, Jesus and Lucifer are blood brothers). There's a reason why Mormonism and Christianity are not compatible; are not the same thing: they teach two totally different things. No, God doesn't have a celestial wife somewhere in a celestial kitchen in heaven baking up Manna-cakes for litter of crying, whining baby gods. God doesn't need a wife in that sense. When the Bible talks about the bride of Christ, it's describing the union of Christ with His church. The church is the bride of Christ. The significance of the term "bride" denotes that we, Christians, are one with Christ; we are inseparable from Him; we share the same essence, the same DNA, the same Spirit. This is somewhat symbolic language, and it has nothing to do with sex. God and angels don't need sex; humans do...because, in order to increase our population and ensure the survival of the human race, we must "procreate" and "replenish" the earth; and the only way to do that is through sexual means. (Hence, sex takes on a deeper meaning than just pleasure; it has a job, a task, a responsibility provided by God Himself in the earth. What I'm getting at here is...two men can't have a baby.)
Now that we have laid an important foundation--that God has a bride, and that that bride is the church--we need to explore the question captured in the title of this post: Does God beat His wife? What do you mean by that question, you ask. I mean: Is God a mean-spirited, insecure brute who takes pleasure out of seeing His church suffer at His own hands? Does God desire to rain down His wrath on both the wicked AND the righteous?
Dr. Chuck Missler, in a statement exposing the hilarity of the post-tribulation theory of the rapture of the church (the belief that the church will go through the Great Tribulation, and then be raptured by God...at the end of the 7 year Great Tribulation period rather than at the beginning of it) which he gave during a presentation he gave on the topic of the rapture, said,
"There are people that believe that the rapture will occur at the end of the Great Tribulation, and that puts the Lord (Bridegroom) in this kind of program: 'Come. We're going to get married. Then I'm going to beat the living daylights out of you. And then we'll go have dinner. . . . Comfort one another with these words."
Dr. Missler was referencing Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 where he told the church to prepare to be "harpozo" ("caught-up; snatched-up") by the Lord to meet Him in the air while still alive; and, therefore, "comfort one another with these words" (vs. 18); also, he was referencing Revelation chapter 19 where John describes Christ and the church celebrating their marriage together during a great banquet feast in heaven...just before returning to earth together to put an end to the antichrist and his army. This shows that the post-tribulation theory doesn't add up: how can the church be in heaven marrying the Lamb while on earth experiencing the tirade of the antichrist at the same time? Also, from an ethical standpoint . . . why would God choose to beat the living daylights out of the church (His bride) just before...inviting her to dinner in heaven with Him? From that standpoint, any woman that gets beat-up by her fiance just before their wedding ceremony ought to be worried concerning the days ahead. If he'll beat the living daylights out of you and you're not even officially married yet, what do you think he'll do once the marriage has become official? Eat the cake, Anna-May.
It is for this reason that I pointed out the fact that the topic of the rapture is one of ethics, of morals, of character; and it's also for this reason that I outlined in part 1 that God hates spousal abuse. For God to pour out all of His wrath and fury on His own bride is just plain evil. It can only be summed-up in one statement: If God allows the church to go through the Great Tribulation period, He has no problem with beating His own wife.
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Now, I must clarify something for you. Too many people (preachers and laymen) are actually clueless about what the Great Tribulation really is. Let me explain. The Great Tribulation described in the book of Revelation (from chapters 4 through 19) is a 7 year period in which God is going to pour out His wrath and judgment upon the earth as a form of punishment for the sins of man. Get that? God is the one bringing the pain. God is the one who brings the plagues, diseases, who unleashes the demons from the bottomless pit (chpt. 9), who withholds death from men so that they may suffer for several months, who causes the food shortages and droughts, who allows a demented figure known as the antichrist to bring mankind to the brink of extinction through war and genocide, and who inflicts revenge on the harlot (false church) which led the nations into idolatry in Revelation 18. God is doing this. This is the side of God rarely preached in church. God is loving (which, by the way, doesn't mean accepting of sin and perverse lifestyles), patient and kind, but His patience can also run out as shown repeatedly in the Bible. Hebrews 10:25-27 warns us against continually playing with sin "while having the knowledge of the truth" and causing God to go from longsuffering to wrathful towards us.
So, now that we understand what is meant by the Great Tribulation, let me also explain this: When we see all of the terror and persecution waged against the church today, understand that this is not done by God. God didn't send ISIS into Mosul to persecute Christians. God didn't raise up Boko Haram in Nigeria and instruct them to kidnap and rape over 200 Christian girls, as well as slaughter countless other Christians. God didn't raise up Kim Jung Un in North Korea to slaughter and torture Christians. God didn't even authorize the Catholic Church in times past to slaughter over 50 million Protestant Christians simply because they wouldn't bow and worship the Pope over Christ. That wasn't God's doing. No!!! Jesus talked about the wolves masquerading as sheep. Jesus told us in Matthew chapter 24 that "the world" will hate and persecute the church because it first hated Him. God revealed in Revelation chapter 12 that Satan, knowing that he has only a short amount of time left before his end, has come down having "great wrath" and is held bent on killing Christians, Jews . . . and basically all of mankind. Satan loves no one. He wants everyone to burn in the lake of fire with him. Today, there are miracles and there are tragedies; however, when a Christian does get killed, they experience the benefit of going to heaven. It's like what Paul said: "To live is Christ, and to die is GAIN." There's nothing greater than gaining heaven. We must all pass through the corridors of death anyway; why not make sure you're heaven-bound rather than hell-bound? I can't understand God's wisdom in every matter; that's why I'm not God--thank God. But, as far as Christians go, God is still performing miracles on our behalf, still healing sick bodies, still raising the dead, still rebuking the spirit of death off of our lives, still saving our lives, still working things out for us, still opening doors for us that we couldn't open ourselves, still meeting our needs, still using us in extraordinary ways to get the gospel out to the lost, still blessing us, keeping us, strengthening us, encouraging us, holding us in His arms even during our storms, etc. BUT . . . Jesus promised us one thing: He said that God's blessings would also be met with "persecution" in Mark 10:30. That means, the world will hate you just as much as God is blessing you. So, if you're not ready to gain a crew of haters and persecutors, then don't step off of the sidelines and ask God to use you and bless you. Jesus said the "world" will hate you . . . for His name's sake.
Some take out their anger on God while forgetting three things: He's just, He's sovereign, and He's benevolent. As being just, He can't forgive us if we don't forgive others, and He must judge sin (or else he'd have to beg the forgiveness of men like Hitler and Ted Bundy for sending them to hell for their sins). As being sovereign, God is the only individual in existence who has the right to do what He wants when He wants with whom He wants. But because of His benevolence, God stated in 1 Peter 4 that He doesn't desire to see "anyone" perish and go to hell (though He knows people will choose to go there), and also that He desires that we prosper and be in good health even "as our souls prosper" (3 John 1:2). God desires to bless us and move in our lives, but as James chapter 4 reveals, "you kill and desire to have, but still can't obtain because you ask not." Oh what needless burdens and pains we bear all because we do not take it to the Lord in prayer. Some things we would have and some things we would avoid if we only obeyed God's word and spent time with Him in prayer and lived according to His word. Don't blame God for an affliction you're suffering as a result of your own stubborness and disobedience. God didn't put a pistol in your hand and tell you to rob a store. And now that you're doing the time, don't blame God for it. He didn't tell you to drop your drawwws and get in bed with a stranger. And now that you have HIV, don't say that was God's will. He told you not to fornicate. You ignored His warning and reaped the consequences. God isn't the cause of the suffering in the world today; sin is; and who gives sin the right and authority to do what it does in the earth? Humans. Satan can only work where man gives him authority to do so. If you hate God, God's people, God's word, God's rules, and everything that God stands for, it's because you choose to do so, not because God destined for you to be that way. The problem lies with you, not God. We (man) created this mess; God is simply trying to clean it up; trying to scrub clean our filth with His Son's own blood.
The Great Tribulation period is God beating the hell out of sinners. The persecution you're experiencing now is "the world" trying to beat hell into you so that your soul will be paralized with the same virulent and venomous hatred towards God that it has towards God. The world hated/hates Jesus the Christ and wants you to turn your back on Him too...and end-up in hell. They call you "lame" for being a Christian because...they simply hate Christ. That's just a part of the package. You can't have both God liking you and "the world" liking you at the same time. And you can't serve two masters either. If I were you, I'd take Jesus' advice in Matthew chapter 10 when He said,
"And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (vs. 28).
Better to be liked by God and hated by men than liked by men and be on God's bad side.
Will God beat His wife in the upcoming days (during the Great Tribulation)? Nah. That's not His character, His style, His nature.