Suppose you’re standing on a street corner waiting to cross the street when some burly looking man leaps out of a car carrying a huge automatic gun which he then starts firing in all directions while he shouts a bunch of angry words at the top of his lungs. When you later describe this scene to a friend, what words do you use to describe the man’s behavior? Loving? Gracious? Controlled? Not hardly. Raving lunatic is more like it. If someone were to suggest that the man’s actions were motivated by his deep love for the human race, would you believe them?
During the end times, the Holy Spirit is often going to behave in ways that you naturally associate with hostility, hate, and a lack of self-control. God knocking some huge skyscraper down onto the heads of pedestrians just doesn’t translate into “I love you” for us humans. This is why it is so important for you to seriously ponder the concepts we are going to discuss in this post. As a Christian, God does not want you to be cowering in fear the moment He starts His end time terrors. Instead, He wants you to understand that He has very positive motivations for making the end times such a dramatic period.
The Holy Spirit is God Almighty, not some weenie looking dove. The Holy Spirit could speak this entire universe out of existence with a single word. Obliterating this planet is child’s play. Given His awesome power, His jealous nature, and the fact that He is a huge fan of His enemies roasting in Hell, why is the Holy Spirit going to drag the end times out for so long? Why pound the planet for years instead of going for an instant wipe out? Why fuss with strategic strikes that cripple nations without entirely devastating them? Why interface with us through a human prophet who is going to be constantly arrested, assaulted and mocked? The answer is incredible grace.
Before He drowned the world in an epic flood, Yahweh’s general attitude towards mankind was, “You people thoroughly disgust Me. I’m so over this place.” Noah and his family were the only human survivors of that mass extermination, and Noah was the only one that Yahweh noted as being pleasing in His sight. The implication was that the population of Hell spiked like never before as the waters covered the earth. We could hope that other souls were saved if Yahweh hadn’t spoken so grimly of the spiritual condition of the planet. But according to Him, Noah was the only one not willfully defying Him on the entire planet. That’s a very sobering thought.
Now though Yahweh was thoroughly disgusted with the human race back in the days of the Flood, He decided that He wasn’t done with making more of us. So He preserved Noah and his family and used them to repopulate the world. Thousands of years later, here we are: billions of souls living on a planet that our Creators have finally decided They are done preserving. This time there won’t be any continuation of the human race on earth. We have finally come to the last chapter of this place, and soon we will all be mass transferred onto eternity. But the world we live in today has a different spiritual climate than the world that existed at the time of the Flood. When Yahweh looks over this world, He sees plenty of souls who are willfully defying Him, but He also sees many souls whose defiance could be changed to obedience if they were put under enough pressure. Instant wipe out in the current spiritual climate would result in the loss of many souls who would have earnestly sought salvation if they had been forced to face a few key truths. Two options now become clear. Either bring the world to a swift and terrible end and silence all the blaspheming mouths at once, or drag the final chapter out a while and strategically hammer the place with the tools that never fail to turn the human focus onto eternal matters: terror, suffering, loss, and desperation.
It is because of Their great love for us that our Gods have decided to make the end times a drawn out affair. They certainly have plenty to gain from obliterating this place in a single moment and silencing all of our griping. Why should They extend one more ounce of grace to us after the way we have treated Them? Since the revelation of Jesus and the Holy Spirit as two more Creators, our maltreatment of our Creators has intensified a thousand times. Back in the Old Testament, the Jews were doing everything they could to express their hatred of Yahweh by stuffing His sacred Temple with demonic idols. Back then, there was no Jesus to mock, no cross to make fun of. Today there is. Today we know all about how Jesus endured our hands on abuse and allowed us to publicly express our hatred of Him using the cruelest tools available to us at the time: flogging and crucifixion. Today we look back on that ultimate act of grace, love, and sacrifice and utterly mock it. We make movies and plays that specifically attack and degrade our only hope of salvation in the crudest possible ways. Christians and non-Christians alike buy tickets to support those who delight in dragging our Savior’s Name through the mud and spitting on the grace He offers us.
To deny our Gods under the New Covenant is a far more serious thing than to deny Them under the Old Covenant. Jesus warned us that greater illumination will result in a harsher judgment in eternity. The New Covenant extends the bounds of grace by offering us a permanent salvation which will not be revoked despite our lack of faithfulness. But it also brings a much harsher judgment for those who refuse to align with Yahweh’s demands. Those who reject salvation as they stand in the shadow of the cross will find their experience of Hell to be far worse than those who rejected Yahweh before Christ was even a theological possibility. Just as Jesus warned three towns in Israel that their personal exposure to Him made them eligible for a far worse eternal judgment than the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah who died with far less spiritual illumination, both Christians and non-Christians today who are treating the cross with contempt will find themselves suffering consequences regardless of which side of eternity they end up on (see Inequality in Hell).
Our Gods warn us that They will not be mocked. But while They refuse to let us defy Them without consequences, They also go to great lengths to give us the opportunity to align with Them. Jesus didn’t have to walk among us on earth in human form. He could have informed us of His reality in a far less personal way. The Holy Spirit doesn’t have to raise up some human being to be His spokesperson during the end times. It was for the benefit of the Israelites that Yahweh chose to speak to them through Moses—a human being who they could relate to. It is for our benefit that the Holy Spirit will be interfacing with us through a human during the end times. Will we treat His end time prophet with the same hostility and disdain that we treated Jesus and all the other prophets who came before Him? Of course we will, it’s what we do. The Holy Spirit knows what ungrateful little beasts we are, yet He is still choosing to go the route of grace and drag this period of destruction out for the sake of those who will turn to Him.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” We find this statement made several times in the Bible, but what does it mean? The fear of the Lord is another term for reverence. Reverence is a fear-based respect for God which is the natural result of being confronted with the reality of His awesome power. Without reverence, no one can be saved, because it is impossible to not revere God once you really understand who He is. The fear that makes you stay back from a humming electric fence is a form of reverence. The way you suddenly feel so small and frail when an earthquake starts rattling the walls of your house is a form of reverence. We experience reverence anytime we are around power that is greater than ourselves—a snarling grizzly bear, a rumbling volcano, a tidal wave, a loaded gun. When we recognize that the Source of that power is a cognizant Being with a will of His own which we cannot control, our reverence increases exponentially. What will be the Holy Spirit’s motivation for terrorizing the globe with supernatural feats which are clearly being carried out by a purposeful Being of infinite power? To fill us all with reverence. Why is reverence so important? Because it is impossible to please God without it, and God wants us to choose the route of pleasing Him so that our souls can experience His best in eternity. Filling us with reverence is the critical first step in driving us back into alignment with our Makers. It is because He wants us to thrive that the Holy Spirit will be terrorizing us. It is because He is in a rush to arm every soul on the planet with the illumination they need to get into a right relationship with their Creators that the end times are going to be so filled with drama.
In the normal scheme of things, the Holy Spirit illuminates us all at a different pace. There is no rush, because He can extend our lives out to be as long or as short as He wants them to be. We need to realize what a unique thing it is to be coming up on the global expiration date. The end times create a unique challenge for the Holy Spirit, since He is the One who is tasked with illuminating our souls with truth. He is up to the challenge, of course, because He is infinitely capable, but it is important for us to understand how unique this situation is from His perspective so that we can properly interpret His behavior. We aren’t used to our Gods slamming us with negative miracles. We can read about the ten plagues in Exodus, but we can’t really get our minds around them because we’ve never come close to experiencing such epic destruction in our lifetimes. This is how God wants it, for He wants the end times to be as shocking as possible. That shock is going to be the thing that saves many souls from Hell and drives them to deal with truths which they have been avoiding up until now.
There is no salvation without reverence. There is no salvation without sincere submission to our Creators, and we won’t submit to Them until we are convinced of Their supremacy over us. A big faceful of our own frailty is what we need to motivate us to align with our Creators. That, and an understanding of how utterly dependent we are on Them for all things. By flaunting His control over every aspect of our existence, and demonstrating what a simple thing it is for Him to save or destroy the things we care about, the Holy Spirit will force us to acknowledge that we are completely at His mercy. How do you not fear a Power who can make your hands drop off, rearrange your internal organs, or cause the sidewalk to liquefy beneath you and then freeze hard again so that you are caught in cement up to your waist? The kinds of miracles the Holy Spirit will be performing during this time will utterly astound us. He will intentionally break all the laws we think we have discovered about the way things must work in this world. How do you explain a city street morphing into molten lava? How do you explain a prophet who can walk off the edge of a skyscraper without plummeting downward? Are we theologically prepared to witness God demonstrating His absolute control over every aspect of this Creation, or are we just playing games when we sing about Him being “The Lord of All”?
The Holy Spirit does not want you cowering in fear during the end times. Why should you? If you really believe that your infinite Gods created everything from nothing, why should you be terrified by Them turning some things back into nothing right in front of you? People turning into plaster mannequins that topple to the ground and shatter—are we ready for these kinds of images in the news? Are we going to be responding to God in our hearts with the awe that is due Him in such moments or are we going to act like spiritual idiots by pretending we don’t understand what is happening? You need to start preparing today to honor your magnificent Creators during the end times by giving serious thought to just how powerful They are. Infinite Gods cannot be bound by what we call the laws of physics. The Holy Spirit will find it more than a little insulting when the same people who have sung countless choruses of “Our God is an awesome God” stand around acting shocked and confused when one of their Gods starts demonstrating the truth of that statement in new ways. It is hardly honoring to God when we act like “The Creator of All Things” can’t possibly turn whole cities into ash that blows away in the wind. Just what is our definition of an “Almighty God” if it is not a God who can manage such basic feats?
We were created by Beings with infinite power, wisdom, and ability. We need to go into this period expecting to see fresh evidence of those traits. We also need to remember that the same Gods who came up with the concept of Jesus dying on a cross for ours sins are going to be terrorizing the globe for the specific purpose of driving souls into alignment with Them. When we are confronted with evidence of God’s awesome power, we begin to revere Him. When we are forced to face how frail and powerless we are, we begin to understand our absolute dependency on our Makers. The concepts of reverence and dependency help drive us to the kind of submission that is needed for salvation. People crying out “God, save us!” when they see some tornado barreling down on them does not constitute sufficient submission. To acquire salvation under this Covenant, we have to be receptive to the Holy Spirit educating us about certain truths and then we need to sincerely agree with those truths in the privacy of our own souls (see Understanding Salvation: How We Find the Real Gods & The Irrelevance of Titles).
There are many unsaved souls in this world who will refuse to think about God unless He gets in their faces. There are many rebellious Christians who will refuse to get back in alignment with God until He makes their lives a living hell. It is far more important than we realize to leave this planet in a state of alignment with our Creators. To go out kicking and screaming in rebellion is only going to result in negative consequences on the other side. It is not just the unsaved that the Holy Spirit will be trying to help in the end times, but the saved as well. Christians who are currently steeped in rebellion need to re-discover the meaning of reverential submission. Christians who are pleasing their Creators now will be given the chance to get that much closer to Them before they leave this planet. There will be enormous ramifications in eternity for how we used our time down here. The Holy Spirit is beyond gracious to drag this period out and give us time to respond to Him in a way that will affect the rest of our eternal journey. If we are wise, we will ask Him to prepare us now to honor Him in the end times and to help us grow as close to Him as possible before we leave this earth.