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New Wine for the End Times
Chapter 24
The Greatest Revival of All Time

The very first sign that Jesus performed was the changing of water to wine.  Jesus did this at the request of his mother Mary.  At first, Jesus objects to doing the miracle.  He said, “My time has not yet come” (John 2:4).  Of course his time was at least very soon to come because he had already begun to get the twelve disciples to follow him.

What did Jesus mean when he said his time had not yet come?  The ministry of Jesus was during a 3 ½ year period, leading up to the crucifixion.  Obviously this was the time to which Jesus refers.

Jesus did so many miracles that the disciples could not write them all down (John 21:25).  The miracles of Jesus, over time, grew more and more spectacular.  At first, the miracles were in healing the diseases of the poor.  The rich do not pay much attention to the poor.  Then it progressed to the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:16-21), and the feeding of the four thousand (Matthew15:32-28).  The word of Christ’s miracles got around, because they were so many.  However, it was when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, that the rich rulers actually took action to have Jesus killed (John 11:46-53, 12:9-19).  

Lazarus was buried in a rich man’s tomb.  How do we know this?  The poor were not buried.  They were cremated.  Also Mary, the sister of Lazarus, poured a bottle of expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus (Luke 7:38, John 11:2, John 12:3).  This family was not poor.  The raising of Lazarus could not be hidden.  This event resulted in the people of Jerusalem honoring Jesus as the Messiah as he rode in on a donkey.  There was no longer any doubt that Jesus was the Messiah.

Jesus did many great things. But he promised that the Holy Spirit will do even greater miracles for the Church.

John 14:11-14 NIV Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. (12)  I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing . He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (13) And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. (14)  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

There have been many miracles done for the Church over the centuries.  But they have been mainly for the poor.  They have not been recognized by the world.  They have never escalated to the public level of awareness as the raising of Lazarus.  Yet Jesus promised we will be doing even greater things than he.

What is the problem?  What will it take for the world as a whole to recognize that Jesus is the Messiah?  What will it take for the Jews in Jerusalem to recognize that Jesus is the Messiah?

If there have been people raised from the dead, then why has the world been able to ignore it?  Could it be that our time has not yet come?  Jesus did the miracle of changing water to wine.  But his time had not yet come.  Miracles have been done for the Church.  But our time has not yet come.  Today, even if someone were to be raised from the dead, right out of the casket at the grave-side funeral, the news media would probably not believe it, and would probably not report it.  It would not change the world, as did the raising of Lazarus.

I believe the time of the elect will be during the first half of the seven-year period of Christ's return.  I believe it will start with the appearing of the New Jerusalem in orbit around the earth.  The news media will not be able to ignore it.  That will be the time of the elect.  That time will be so strong that it will bring about the greatest tribulation of all time.  And then Christ will appear in the clouds.

Many people know about the great tribulation (Matthew 24:21), a time of great suffering for Christ’s people, which is to come prior to Christ’s return.  However, what many do not realize is that this is also a time of great revival.  This is a time when all people will be forced to completely trust and obey Christ, or to reject Christ altogether.  There will be no middle ground.

The first half of the seven-year period of Christ's return will be more characterized as a great revival.  The second half will be more characterized as a great tribulation.  There will, however, be some aspects of both in either half.  In this chapter, we will look at some of the Scriptural evidence of the great revival.

24.1)  The Sealing of the 144,000

Many people, including myself, look at the daily news and see signs of the end times.  Some observe that things are getting worse, and try to use these signs as a way to measure or speculate how long it will be until the start of the seven-year period of Christ's return.  But what if God’s timeline waits for just the opposite?  What if the time comes when God’s people are ready for a world-wide revival?

In chapter 18 of this book, we discussed the fact that Church is Israel.  How does this apply to the 144,000 of Revelation 7?  Dispensationalists, who believe Israel is a distinct body of believers separate from the Church, generally say the 144,000 are all Jews.  The Jews who returned from Babylon, however, were predominately from the tribes of Benjamin and Judah.  Also, there were some who were of Levi.  The northern kingdom of the ten tribes had already been dispersed to Assyria many years prior.  The northern kingdom was never re-gathered.

Since the Church is Israel, I believe all the 144,000 are members of the true Church, which is the true Israel.  They are both Jews and Gentiles.  The New Jerusalem has twelve gates.  Each has a name of one of the twelve tribes.  There is no gate for Christian Gentiles.  I believe that each of us who are elect, who are given the right to enter the New Jerusalem, are members of one of the twelve tribes.

Revelation 7:3 tells us the harm to the land, sea, and trees will not happen until the 144,000 are sealed.  Harm to the land, sea, and trees is described in the first two trumpet-plagues (Revelation 8:7-8).  In other words, the sealing of the 144,000 happens very early on in the seven-year period, or perhaps just before it begins.

To be sealed is to receive the promise of spiritual bodies and eternal life by receiving the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30).  However, far more than 144,000 believers have already received the Holy Spirit.  The sealing of the 144,000 is much more likely to be the actual and literal receiving of spiritual bodies and eternal life; not simply the promise of it.

Revelation 14:1-5, tells us more about the 144,000.  Verse 4 says they are firstfruits to God and the Lamb.  What does it mean to be firstfruits?  The Resurrection of Christ was on the feast of firstfruits.  In 1 Corinthians 15:20,23, Paul says Christ’s resurrection was firstfruits.  This means that the major part of the harvest is to come.  The resurrection of Christ was the firstfruits to God.  Thus, the sealing of the 144,000 is the firstfruits to God and to Christ (the Lamb).  The 144,000 will get their spiritual bodies before the first two trumpet-plagues.  Later, there is more to come with the harvest of the rest of the elect on the last day.

This strongly suggests that the 144,000 will have their spiritual bodies at the start of the seven-year period.  Paul said that Gentiles had been given salvation in order to make the Jews envious (Romans 10:19, 11:11, 11:14).  Could the same thing be happening with the 144,000?  Most believers are not ready for Christ to return.  Most believers are still enslaved to sin.  The 144,000 receive their spiritual bodies for the purpose of being a wake-up call to the rest of the Church.  The purpose of the sealing of the 144,000 is to bring the greatest revival of all time.

24.2)  Paradise, the New Jerusalem

In Part One of this book, we discussed the New Jerusalem.  It is also called Paradise.  We discussed the idea that the New Jerusalem could appear in orbit around earth on or before the start of the millennium.  Refer back to section 2.16, titled “What is Paradise Anyway?”  Also, refer back to section 3.13, titled “What Does It Mean To Literally Enter the Kingdom?”  

Only people with spiritual bodies can enter the New Jerusalem.  If the 144,000 are given spiritual bodies at the start of the seven-year period, then it would also be logical that the New Jerusalem would appear at or before the start of the seven-year period.  This would also serve the purpose of making the rest of the Church envious.  The 144,000 could report on what it’s like inside the New Jerusalem.  Perhaps they could even take pictures.

The spiritual bodies of the 144,000 will give credibility to the New Jerusalem, and the New Jerusalem will give credibility to the 144,000.  Only those who do not believe the Bible to be true, or who have very selfish motives for promoting their own interpretation of the Bible, will deny these two works of God.

24.3)  The Two Witnesses

Revelation tells us very little about the 144,000.  Will they make public appearances?  It’s my guess that the 144,000 will appear in churches quite often, but will not appear publicly very often.  On the other hand, Revelation 11 tells us about the two witnesses.  They are probably part of the 144,000.  However, they seem to be described as being more public.

 The two witnesses prophecy for 1260 days.  At the end of the 1260 days, they are killed and lie dead in Jerusalem for 3 ½ days.  Then they are resurrected.  During these 3 ½ days, the world celebrates their death by exchanging gifts.  In other words, the world hates the two witnesses, but they can’t be ignored.  Anyone who just appears in churches, even if they have spiritual bodies, can be ignored by the world.  The world would simply say they don’t believe it, or it’s a trick.  

However, the same is not true about the two witnesses.  During these 1260 days, the trumpet-plagues are poured out.  Revelation 11:6 says they have the power to turn water into blood, and to strike the earth with every kind of plague, as often as they desire.  No doubt the two witnesses will be blamed for the trumpet-plagues.  The world will truly hate them and will greatly want them dead.

Now, combine the preaching of the two witnesses and the trumpet-plagues, with the 144,000 and the New Jerusalem in orbit around the earth.  If you are not in love with Christ, and if you do not consider the return of Christ to be real, and of great benefit, then these items on the daily news would make one very fearful.  Christians have been saying for 2000 years that Christ will return and rule the world.  As long as comments like these are considered to be religious in nature, nobody gets upset.  But when comments like these start being perceived as being literally about to happen, worldly people will do anything to stop Christ from returning.

At the battle of Armageddon, all the nations of the world will send their armies to surround Jerusalem.  This seems to be a strange reaction.  To think the armies of the world are any match for Christ is crazy.  But people with this level of reality thrown in their faces will do crazy things.  It’s much better to simply give your life to Christ, and to anoint Him as King of Kings.  Many, however, will not do so.  Their names will be marked out of the Lamb’s Book of Life.  That’s because rejecting Christ in the face of this level of proof about Christ is the unpardonable hardening of one’s heart against Christ.

24.4)  Building the Temple of God

 Theologians from the amillennial side, and perhaps some theologians from the premillennial side, believe that to build the temple again would be an abomination against Christ.  The Church, collectively, is the real temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:21.)  (All of our bodies collectively form a single temple, according to these verses.)  Also, the old stone-structure temple was a place for animal sacrifice.  Theologians believe that to begin animal sacrifice again would be an abomination against Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  Yet there are several passages of Scripture which indicate the temple will be rebuilt before Christ returns.  

2 Thessalonians 2:4 says the man of lawlessness will set himself up in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.  This was written before the old temple was destroyed.  Therefore, the author and his audience would naturally assume this temple to be the physical temple made of stone, standing on the Temple Mount.  This is given as a sign, by Paul, to take place just prior to the coming of the day of the Lord, and our being gathered unto Him (verse 1).

Amillennial theologians try to interpret this verse as being in reference to the spiritual temple, which is our collective temple-body.  This is done regardless of the fact that audiences of that day would never have interpreted it as such.  The Holy Spirit resides inside our collective temple-body.  That’s the only reason we are God’s temple.  Only a spirit can reside inside a body.  Likewise, only the Holy Spirit can reside inside the collective temple-body.  A man of lawlessness cannot reside inside our temple-body as the Holy Spirit does.  Therefore, amillennial theologians must re-interpret the spiritual temple, as least for this verse, as being an earthly church organization.

Another verse that indicates a literal rebuilding of the temple, just prior to Christ’s return, is Revelation 11:1-2.  John is given a measuring rod, and is told to measure the temple.  A measuring rod, and the task of measuring the temple, gives it a very physical interpretation.

Closely associated with this physical temple is the 1260-day prophecy of the two witnesses.  It’s during this time of prophecy that the real spiritual temple will be built.  People from every nation, tribe, people, and language will commit themselves to Christ, to overcoming sin, and to getting ready for Christ to return.  In verse 19, we see something about the spiritual temple.  John sees God’s temple in heaven open, and the Ark of the Covenant is seen within his temple.  I’m not sure whether this is literal or just symbolic.  In either case, the meaning is clear.  The Ark of the Covenant represents God’s law.  For the Ark of the Covenant to be seen in the temple means that God’s law is finally written on the hearts of all who are in the Church.  

I believe the physical temple will be rebuilt during these 1260 days.  This will literally happen.  However, the literal temple is only symbolic of the spiritual temple.  At the same time that the literal temple will be rebuilt, the spiritual temple will be built.  The Bride will make herself ready (Revelation 19:7).

Philip Brown

If you find this book to be of interest, please send an email with a link to this website to all your Christian family and friends.  You could even include one to your pastor.

Philip Brown     Click to email me.

If you find this book to be of interest, please send an email with a link to this website to all your Christian family and friends.  You could even include one to your pastor.

Philip Brown     Click to email me.

If you find this book to be of interest, please send an email with a link to this website to all your Christian family and friends.  You could even include one to your pastor.

Philip Brown     Click to email me.