It may come as a surprise to many Christians that we are fast approaching the 2000th year of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. What is even more curious is that, as we approach this milestone, the church has lost its influence worldwide.
In conjunction with this loss of influence, the world is now degenerating to a point that has been unseen since the time of Canaan, as described in Leviticus. At that moment in history, there was widespread incest, adultery, child sacrifice, homosexuality, and bestiality. Then, the territory had become so corrupt that God informed Moses that the land would soon vomit out its inhabitants.
In this country, which was once a Christian nation, our own Supreme Court has codified abortion (child sacrifice), adultery, and homosexuality. They may overturn the ridiculous abortion ruling of 1973 (assuming they have the moral fortitude to follow through), but the damage of this foolishness has already been done. It is now a widespread practice. Once SCOTUS gets around to codifying bestiality and incest, the land should be ready to vomit us out as well.
It appears people worldwide have lost interest in the word of God and have surrounded themselves with false teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. What they want to hear is about how they can be happy and prosperous in the world. Popularity does not typically come to those who proclaim the Gospel due to societal rejection and accusations of extremism. Therefore, this is very low on the list of ‘Christian’ priorities. Most people have no interest in hearing about repentance and the forgiveness of sins in the name of Jesus, and they certainly have no intention of announcing it to the lost. There’s no money in it.
The preachers of today seem far more interested in pacifying those who love evil than standing firm with the faithful. They have shown a willingness to change the Gospel message to curry favor with the wicked rather than obey the righteous King.
This alteration of God’s Word has helped these preachers and their followers to avoid persecution for the short term, but they will need to make many more compromises with the wicked if they want to remain in their favor. Evil does not have a ‘live and let live’ mentality. It forces its will on those who are weak in their faith until it has drained every ounce of devotion to God from their souls.
God’s word has a great deal to say about the end times, and much of what we are seeing today is what we would expect to see before the soon return of Christ. We are not told how long the church age would last, but we do know that it will come to an end at some point.
Keeping this in mind, how close are we to the 2000th year of the ministry of the Holy Spirit?
When Jesus pronounced the seven woes against the false teachers of his day, he was letting them know that their time was short. In fact, Jesus informed them that it was that generation that would be held accountable for the faithlessness of the nation of Israel.
“Truly, I say to you, all these things [the seven woes] will come upon this generation” (Matthew 23:36).
That statement brings us a little closer to determining when the Holy Spirit would come to indwell his church and when the 2000-year countdown would begin.
These seven woes would fall upon the city of Jerusalem and upon the temple that would be demolished. When the disciples asked Jesus for clarification, he explained to them that there would not be left here one stone upon another (of the temple) that would not be thrown down.
“For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:43-44).
We know that this prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when Titus invaded the city of Jerusalem to put down the rebellion of the Jews.
Since we know the year when this prophecy was fulfilled, we can assume that Jesus had in mind a generation as being 40 years. There are other biblical references that seem to indicate that a generation is, in fact, 40 years, such as Numbers 32:13; Psalm 95:10; Hebrews 3:8-10.
The same faithlessness that led to the crucifixion of Christ was the same infidelity that plagued the ancient Israelites in the wilderness. When Israel showed great faithlessness in the desert, “…the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the (spiritual) wilderness for 40 years, until the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was gone.” The evil that this generation of Israelites had done was far worse than the lack of faith they showed in the wilderness. This generation would pay even a greater price for the crucifixion of Christ.
Since Christ’s prophecy was fulfilled in 70 A.D., this leads us to the conclusion that Jesus was crucified some time between 30 A.D. and 33 A.D.
We also know that the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples 50 days after the resurrection of Christ. This fact also places the birth of the church somewhere between Pentecost 30 A.D. and 33 A.D.
When Jesus informed his disciples of why the Holy Spirit would come, he stated:
“But because I have said these things to you [that I am going to the Father], sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper [the Holy Spirit] will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me [faithlessness]; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer [and the Holy Spirit will take my place until I return]; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world [Satan] is judged [at the end of the tribulation]” (John 16:6-11).
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, the church was born. At this time, the Holy Spirit would guide the disciples into all truth. Through the church, He would glorify Christ and proclaim his great victory on the cross for the sins of the world. Then Christ would return and put an end to the works of Satan and usher in his millennial kingdom.
As we approach the 2000th year of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we should begin to take note that the church does not seem to be fulfilling its mission any longer. The most popular churches have deviated far from the Gospel and now appear more interested in teaching self-centered nonsense. There seems to be very little convicting of sin going on as the world has begun to degenerate into Godlessness and evil.
We were given numerous warnings that this would happen in the end times. Jesus warned us that the true church of the end times, the church of Philadelphia, would have little strength. He told us that many would be led astray and would fall away from the faith while betraying and hating one another.
Paul was very clear that the Antichrist would not come until there was a great falling away in the faith (II Thessalonians 2:3). He told us that the restrainer, who is the Holy Spirit that works through the church, would continue to restrain until he was taken out of the way. After the church is removed, Christ will bring the Antichrist to nothing and judge the earth.
Regarding the removal of the church, Christ stated, “In my Father’s house [heaven] are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you [those who believe in me]? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again [at the rapture] and I will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
The Scripture really cannot be any clearer as to what is going on here. At the time of the end, the church will hardly be fulfilling its mission to convict the world of sin and unrighteousness. The salvation of souls will be reduced to a trickle. When the full number of Gentiles has come in through the church age, the Holy Spirit will withdraw, and Christ will remove his church and judge the earth.
Jesus was very clear when he explained what would be going on near the time of the rapture. He stated:
“For as were the days of Noah [a preacher of righteousness who was removed before God’s judgment], so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days [of great wickedness and violence] before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage [maintaining daily routines], until the day [of the Lord] when Noah entered the ark [to escape God’s judgment] and they were unaware [of God’s pending judgment] until the flood came [seven days later] and swept them all away [in judgment], so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then [prior to the day of the Lord] two men will be in the field; one will be taken [in the rapture] and one left [to go through tribulation]. Two women will be grinding at the mill [prior to judgment]; one will be taken [in the rapture] and one left [to go through tribulation].”
I understand that many Bible scholars of good repute deny that this is a rapture passage. However, there is more than sufficient evidence that it is addressing the rapture. After all, life will not be going on normally during the bowl judgments prior to Christ’s return; life will be going on normally prior to the rapture. There is also the issue that the above interpretation matches the chronology of Noah offered in Genesis. God removes his people and then executes judgment on those who are left. The chronology of events as offered in Genesis should take precedence when interpreting the chronology of this passage.
This society and the world are now experiencing greater violence, as in the times of Noah, because our leaders are losing the moral fortitude to enforce the law. Most societies are degenerating into lawlessness as the wealthy globalists strive for wealth and power at the expense of the rest of us. We are entering a time of great lawlessness because there is so little faith on the earth.
After all, Jesus did ask the question, “When I return, will I find faith on the earth?”
Jesus further explained that there would be outrageous sexual perversion engulfing the world at the time of the end.
“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot [extreme sexual perversion]; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded [everything going on normally]; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom [removed from judgment at God’s command] it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day [of the Lord] when the Son of man is revealed” (Luke 17:28-30).
There is no need to point out all of the sexual perversion going on in society today. We have witnessed more than enough deviants explaining to us their ‘social constructs’ regarding sexuality that have no basis in reality. Mindless idiocy, like gay marriage and ‘transgenderism,’ is now part of the vernacular of the world. While people’s lives are being destroyed by this folly, most churches sit idly by and make no effort to call these sinners to repent and be forgiven in the name of Jesus.
Worse still, many churches are quickly becoming enforcers of the new Godless sexual ethic. Jesus addresses these false teachers, doomed to destruction, in his Olivet Discourse:
“But if that wicked servant [false teacher] says to himself, ‘My master [Jesus] is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants [faithful pastors] and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites [hell]. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24: 48-51).
With the above Scripture in mind, it seems that the end times prior to the rapture will be a time in which there is a serene decline into faithlessness. This will result in anarchy as violence and sexual perversion dominate the world. There will be relative prosperity given the fact that the Laodicean Church is very wealthy and has need of nothing. Apparently, this church has been bought off by the wealthy Globalists. To return that favor, the Laodicean Church must enforce the orthodoxy of the elite, which is contrary to the Gospel, to keep the money flowing.
It is hard to imagine, based on reading the Scriptures that address the rapture, that there will be a terrible persecution as there was between 303 and 313. If there is, it may be enforced by the dead- and Laodicean ‘churches,’ with the help of corrupt governments, that will be zealous to stamp out the faith.
It seems more likely that lawlessness and perversion will be the order of the day. This lawlessness and perversion will then evolve into the tyranny of the Antichrist after the rapture.
So, with the above in mind, let us continue to consider this question. Is the fact that the great falling away at the time that we are approaching the 2000th anniversary of the Holy Spirit’s ministry merely coincidence?
At this point in history, it seems doubtful that there will be another revival. If there is one, it will probably be very brief.
The church age is not like the previous age of the law and the prophets. There is a much higher standard for this generation than there was, for example, for Nineveh at the time of Jonah. As the apostle John wrote in Acts:
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
The times of ignorance ended with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which occurred around Pentecost 33 A.D. The church is held to a much higher standard than were the Old Testament saints. After all, those who are called by the name of Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit Himself.
Those churches who took the name of the Lord in vain by preaching a different Gospel will need to be held accountable for their error, as will their congregations.
“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come [Christians], and then have fallen away [from the faith], to restore them again to repentance [there is no second chance at faith], since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt [You can repent of sins, but you cannot re-faith]. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles [See John 15:1-6], it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned [in the lake of fire]” [Hebrews 6:4-8].
To conclude, we are in the midst of a great falling away while, at the same time, we are quickly approaching the 2000th year of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Is this just another transitory occurrence as there has been in the past in various nations, or are we only 8-11 years away from the rapture? Has the Lord allotted 2,000 years for the church age before he executes judgment?
It could just be a coincidence. We will find out soon enough.
June 13, 2022