The Lord Comes with Our Reward

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Revelation 22:12

Much of the New Testament warns those who follow Christ and serve Him about the difficulties that will occur in this world. Undoubtedly a genuine servant of Jesus Christ will face tribulations on this earth. From the beginning, the vast majority of His disciples were martyred. Others, like Juan, died in a natural way, but not before suffering jail, exile and persecution. And you might ask, is it worthwhile then to continue and serve Christ? Well look what Revelation 22:12 tells you and you will see that it is worth it.

When carrying out a task, it is valid to expect some kind of reward. In the exercise of a profession or trade, we generally offer our time and effort in exchange for a salary or some other economic remuneration. Amateur athletes, who do not receive money for their work, train and compete to win a medal or trophy. Many people volunteer at non-profit institutions and, although they do not receive money, their reward is the recognition of society for their services.

God is always willing to reward those He loves, believe in and serve Him. From the very moment he was called by God, Abraham, who was then known as Abram, received the promise of a reward from God. Genesis 15:1 says, After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” God fulfilled His promise to Abraham, whose reward is to be called a friend of God and father of the faith and the chosen people of God.

Already from the Old Testament the Bible speaks of a reward. In Psalm 58:11 we read, So that men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely He is God who judges in the earth.” And certainly we are justified by grace, through faith in Jesus, the Son of God, and our justification brings with it a reward. Also Proverbs 11:18 speaks of a reward, The wicked man does deceptive work, but he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. We see a certain similarity of this proverb with Revelation 22:12.

Our Lord never promised a rosy path for His disciples and those who would believe in Him. Many times, He warned what was waiting for them, but He also gave words of encouragement and promises, as Matthew 5:11-12 says, Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

So to work for Christ will not be without reward in the heavens and His coming. But it is necessary that we take care of that reward. 2 John 1:8 says, Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward. The time of our reward is closer every day. Revelation 11:18 says, The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth. Let us prepare for His glorious coming. God bless you.

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Keeping Prophetic Words

Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:7

17 of the Old Testament books are prophetic. However, only one of the New Testament books is considered prophetic. And in Revelation 22:7 we read, Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book. This verse is warning us that we must take the words written in the last book of the Bible very seriously. It is not a joke or the script of a science fiction movie, it is the words that God has revealed to mankind for this final time.

Virtually the entire book of Revelation is full of prophecies and many of them are yet to be fulfilled. Let’s take a look at the prophecies contained in chapters 17 and 18 of this book. Revelation 17:1-2 says, Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

The whole chapter 17 gives a clear and detailed description to identify, without doubt the great harlot. In verse 3 it says, So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And verse 4 it says, The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And it says a name in verse 5, And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

In verse 6 it says, I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. In verse 9 it says, Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. Verse 15 says, Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.” Finally, verse 18 says, And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. The great harlot is therefore a city that reigns over the kings of the earth and is built on seven mountains, no doubt that city is Rome.

In Rome lies a supranational power, which since the year 313 of our era has ruled over all nations of the earth. It is a religious and political power that has individuals who give it loyalty all over the planet. Although some people feel alluded to and think that I am offending them with this, I remind them that I did not write Revelation, so take their complaints to God. But I advise you to do more to do what Revelation 22:7 says: keep the words of the prophecy of this book.

Chapter 18 tells what will happen to the great harlot, that is, Rome and what she represents. Revelation 18:2-5 says, And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”  And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” God warns His people to get out of there, are you going to stay? God bless you.

Many Will Fall Away

At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.

Matthew 24:10

Jesus made it very clear to all who believed in Him that we would have tribulations and persecutions because of His name. He also prophesied that not all would endure trials without wavering, but many will stumble, surrender their brethren in the faith, and hate them. In fact, Jesus Himself lived it in His own flesh: Judas gave Him, Peter denied Him and the rest of His disciples fled when they crucified Him. The Scripture only mentions John and some women who stood at the foot of the cross, the others stumbled.

When we realize that the final tests are going to be the strongest of all, we can understand why many will stumble and run away. It is somewhat similar to what happens when a university career is about to end, the exams to which the students are subjected are by far the most difficult. In addition, in some cases, they require the submission of a thesis that must be evaluated by a very demanding committee. That is why we see many deserting their studies before concluding them.

The Lord was well aware that there would be deserters when he said this: many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Those who hope to be safe before the antichrist comes and the great tribulation are likely to be part of those who will fall away. Since they were not prepared to suffer because of Jesus Christ, they would try to save the skin by denying their faith. Even some will be able to cooperate with the persecutor by giving away to his brothers, whom they will hate by blaming them for the persecution.

What are the consequences of those who fall away? The best answer is given by the Lord Himself in John 12:25: He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. The one who stumbles is because he loves his life and thinks that denying his faith before the beast is going to be saved; but what he does not know is that, by agreeing with the antichrist, he is choosing the same final destiny as this, that is, the lake of fire and sulfur. Whoever does such a thing, has decided to renounce Christ and all that he represents, therefore he has renounced eternal life.

You could ask me, where have God’s forgiveness, mercy and love remained? I answer you with another question: do you think that God must repay you with forgiveness, mercy and love after you have betrayed Him? Brother, let’s not play with fire, look what Romans 11: 21-22 says: For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

Anyone who stumbles over his brother to be martyred becomes responsible for his blood. That makes him a criminal sinner and, as such, has despised grace, the undeserved gift. Whoever does such a thing has voluntarily rejected Jesus Christ, is a deserter of His army, can no longer pretend that his name remains in the Book of Life. Only he who stands firm to the end, no matter that he has risked his own life, will be counted among the elect. Let us see, then, and stand firm, clinging to Christ, without stumbling to be found worthy to receive Him in the clouds when He comes. God bless you.

Delivered to the Tribulation

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

Matthew 24:9

We love receiving good news, but we hate to give up. Many people come to Christ’s feet burdened with problems and are hopeful that they will tell Him that He is the key to changing their lives on earth, to be happy, to lack of problems and to prosperity. That is why it is not very frequent to listen to a sermon on things like those that says Matthew 24: 9: Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and they will kill you, and you will be hated of all the nations for My name’s sake. Jesus Christ did not hide the truth about what would happen to those who follow Him and we are no one to prevent this from being known today as well.

Contrary to what is often taught, being a Christian does not come with the guarantee of lacking problems, quite the contrary. And now that the last times are near, it is an act of utter cruelty to take people to the feet of Christ by hiding these biblical truths. Whoever becomes Jesus Christ must know the whole truth and not just things that look beautiful. Without a doubt that we will be delivered to tribulation, many will be killed and people will hate us because of the name of Jesus.

The preachers of the gospel, like the doctors, are called to give all the news, the good and the bad. And as that doctor who without hesitation communicates to his patient that the cancer has metastasized in his body and, therefore, his days are numbered, we have to tell the believers that at some point, before the coming of the Lord, there will be persecution against us which was never before. A patient with a terminal illness can become depressed or enjoy his last days, the Christian will be with Christ no matter what happens.

Why Christians will be delivered to tribulation? It is written that the whole world is under the wicked one; but before the coming of the Lord the manifestation of the man of sin, the antichrist, the beast, will occur. If we already walk by a minefield, imagine how the world will be when the beast has it under his control. The name of Christ will be vetoed and anyone who calls on that blessed name will be persecuted without mercy. The Christian will be made to choose between denying his faith or dying.

There are those who comfort themselves saying that before that happens the Lord will come secretly and take His chosen ones, who will suffer absolutely nothing of the terrible things that will happen. I have carefully reviewed the entire New Testament several times and found nowhere to say that we will be raptured or rescued from the Tribulation. What I have found are things like these: Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

You will then say that you made your worst mistake by becoming a Christian because, instead of giving up on problems, you are going to have bigger ones. Well, I tell you, it was not a mistake, but the wisest decision you ever made. Do not think that those who persecute you or those who are saved from persecution will be better off than you. With Christ you have the guarantee of eternal life, that even if you are dead you will live because He is the resurrection and the life. Without Christ, it would expect a safe place in hell for you, perpetual torment. To live is Christ and to die for Him is gain. God bless you.

Principle of Birth Pains

For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains.

Matthew 24:7-8

What Matthew 24:7-8 says is something that makes anyone tremble. And this biblical passage prophesies global wars, diseases, famines, and earthquakes all over the world. All these phenomena alone involve major catastrophes that would bring death and destruction everywhere. But the worst news would be what verse 8 says: All these events are the beginning of birth pains. This statement makes it clear that wars, diseases, famines and earthquakes are hardly the beginning of worse events. But not only that, but such events will cause pain to humanity.

Let us see what beginning of birth pains consists. The first thing the Lord said is this: For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Between 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, the world suffered the two world wars. During World War I battles were fought in Europe, Africa, Middle East, China, the coasts of America and the islands of the Pacific Ocean. More than 70 million soldiers fought in it and the number of victims is estimated at about 40 million.

In the first war, the side of the central powers were: Austro-Hungarian Empire, German Empire, Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, among others. The allies were: France, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, British India, New Zealand, South Africa, Newfoundland, Russian Empire, Italy, United States, Belgium, Japan, Greece, Serbia, among others. At the end of the war, four empires saw their end: Austro-Hungarian Empire, German Empire, Ottoman Empire and Russian Empire.

In World War II fought almost on all continents and oceans, especially in Europe, Africa, Far East, North Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. On one side were fighting the Axis powers: Germany, Italy and Japan, to which they were also associated: Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Of the side allied fought: France, Poland, the United Kingdom, Commonwealth countries, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland, Greece, Yugoslavia, Soviet Union, United States and China. The total number of victims is estimated at 55-70 million.

In the two world wars of the twentieth century fought nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom. That is just what will happen again, just as the Lord prophesies in Matthew 24:7-8. If the total number of victims of both war amounts to 100 million people, can you imagine how many will die in the next global conflict? Today, more lethal armaments are available than in the past, and it is no longer necessary to invade a territory to attack and destroy it, it is enough to use hypersonic ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads.

But the pain principle is not limited to a globalized war, but the Lord also announces that there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. Illness and hunger can come as a result of war. Earthquakes today are becoming more frequent than before. Many people do not want to hear about these things; but it would be a grave error not to preach about it. Our Lord will come, and before His coming, very terrible things will happen and it becomes necessary that all of us be warned and prepared. God bless you.

Wars and Rumors of Wars

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Matthew 24:6

The second sign before the end is in Matthew 24:6: And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. There are active conflicts in various parts of the world. In addition to rumors of wars in others. Some of these rumors of wars, if materialized, are frightening to many people because they would involve the potential use of nuclear weapons. The Lord tells us to remain calm in the face of wars and rumors of war because both must happen before the end.

At present, the main active war fronts are concentrated in Africa and the Middle East, but the threat of wars looms anywhere on earth. A new form of war keeps all humanity in check: terrorism. The places where terrorists operate and the weapons they use make all citizens of the world unsafe. From using planes to crash buildings in New York to using an ax on German trains or a truck in the streets of France, everything is a deadly weapon in the hands of terrorists.

The worst rumors of wars go beyond fearing that soulless terrorists will sweep innocent lives into a market or a stadium. There is a real risk that nuclear-armed powers will face each other. On the one hand, the development of weapons of mass destruction by North Korea is of concern. It is not ruled out that this country fulfills its threats and attacks its neighbor to the South or to Japan. But it is not ruinous that the United States initiates a nuclear attack against North Korea, as a preventive measure.

In either scenario, there is a likelihood that both China and Russia will be involved, taking into account that both nations have borders with North Korea. On the other hand, there are tensions between these two nuclear superpowers and the United States that could lead to a war of fatal consequences. China insists on its claims in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. In both cases, the interests of allied countries of the United States are threatened.

In the case of Russia, the US media are campaigning that this Eurasian country threatens to invade US allies in Europe. There is great tension, especially in the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, where military exercises have been carried out to prevent Russians from invading Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland or Ukraine. The truth is that such exercises are done in the noses of the Russians, who obviously see it as a provocation.

Finally, there is always the rumor of a war in which Israel is involved. We cannot overlook that the people of God are surrounded by enemies. It is public knowledge that thousands of missiles are aimed at Israel from various territories and can at any time be fired. That would be answered firmly by the Israeli armed forces, which could lead to a large-scale war. Christians should be alert to wars and rumors of wars, especially those that affect Israel. But, in no time we should lose the calm. God bless you.

Many Will Come in His Name

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.”

Matthew 24:4-5

The first sign before the end is indicated by the Lord in Matthew 24:4-5: Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. That sign has begun to be manifested since individuals have appeared that they are the Christ. Probably the number of people deceived still is not very numerous; but no doubt that, as the day of our Lord’s return draws nearer, many more false Christs will appear.

In the Hispanic world, perhaps the most well-known false Christ is Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, on April 22, 1946, he was a religious preacher and entrepreneur based in Miami, United States. He was known with the alias of Apostle, Doctor, Dad, God, and especially Jesus Christ Man and Papi. De Jesus was the founder and leader of the Creciendo en Gracia (Growing in Grace) religious sect, based in Miami, Florida. He claimed to be both resurrected Jesus Christ and the antichrist, and displayed a tattoo with the number 666 on his forearm.

De Jesus was raised in the poverty of the streets of Ponce, Puerto Rico, son of Antonio De Jesus and Ana Luisa Miranda. He said that during his adolescence he became addicted to heroin at age 14 and was arrested for robbery on several occasions. In his youth he tried different religions: Catholicism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventism and finally Pentecostalism. In 1986 he founded his church in Puerto Rico, although years later moved his headquarters to Miami. At first he referred to himself as “man Christ Jesus.”

In early 2007 he claimed that he was the antichrist. He said the term is appropriate, because people should no longer follow the “Jewish teachings” of Jesus of Nazareth, but rather follow the teachings of the apostle Paul allegedly manifested through De Jesus. According to him, “antichrist” means “not following the Jesus of Nazareth who lived in the days of His flesh.” His followers were tattooed on their bodies with the symbol 666. Jesus said that 666 is not a sign of the devil, is the number of the Antichrist. They also tattooed the letters SSS, which represent the motto of their sect “Saved Always Saved” (Salvo Siempre Salvo, is Spanish).

After the death of De Jesus, on November 16, 2013, the “Growing in Grace” sect is renamed “King of Salem” and a new “dispensation” has been presented in which his wife, who now calls herself “Christ Lisbeth,” “the reincarnation of the archangel Michael” and the “mother Jerusalem” is the new goddess. The sect now claims that those who believed that De Jesus Miranda would not die fell into a deceptive power sent to them by the same “god” José Luis De Jesus Miranda, who could fall into a “seduction that he took in his flesh” and that now the new truth is with his consort mother Lisbeth.

As we pass into the countdown of the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the number of false Christs will increase. Let us be alert so that we are not part of the deceived group. Let us hearken more to what the Word of God says than to what we hear say to “prophets” and “apostles” of these times. The Bible is the only truth. God bless you.