Victor Mike-Omole is the author of numerous books and conference resource materials, including The Rapture, When? And Second Chance.
He is the senior pastor of Our Saviour’s Chapel Ministries and President of an Outreach Ministry with the primary objective of Equipping and Preparing the Church for the Rapture and Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Future Event Movement.
He is a conference speaker and anointed bible teacher with signs and wonders following.
Victor Mike-Omole holds a PhD from the prestigious International Center for Church Renewal in Lagos and Fresh Leadership Seminary, New York, U.S.A. In this interview with Church Times Nigeria, he gives insight into the endtime issues. You will find it illuminating.
Why is the discussion and preaching on end time seasonal? Today you hear Jesus is coming soon, tomorrow the discussion shifts to other issues. It’s like a wave. How will you react to this?
You are correct in the sense that preachers talk about it based on certain happenings in the world. But it should not be so. Issues about end of age should be treated like any other subject in the Bible. What I observe however is that a lot of people who teach on eschatology (heaven, hell, judgement second coming) sound alarmist. They see some events and use those events to cause panic among their listeners. Some go to the extent of setting a date when Christ would come back. And when nothing happens on that day the expectation and the tension die down. It then now appears as if eschatology teachings should be seasonal.
In the Bible we found out that Jesus spoke a lot about His second coming. 75 percent of Jesus’ parable are on His second coming. So, the teaching on Jesus’ second coming should not be seasonal. It should be an everyday teaching. If there is any other reason why we are here; it is to get prepared for the second coming of Jesus.
But we have been talking about end time for ages. It was mentioned in the Bible days and we are still talking about it. What is the end time phenomenon about?
The church needs to understand that the end time is more of a dispensation. It is a long period of time. Joel 2v8 talks about the end time. On the day of Pentecost, Peter referred to Joel’s prophecy. So we can infer that that the end time began with the experience on the day of Pentecost. It is also called the last days. It was when the Holy Spirit was poured forth. But some believe that the end time actually began when Jesus died and rose from the dead. So we can also say the New Testament era is the end time.
Can we say it is the time of grace?
If we say it is the time of grace we will not be mistaken. Just as we don’t know when grace will elapse we don’t know when the end time will elapse.
The apostles acted as if the end was going to happen in their days. What is your take on the anxiety that characterised the life of the apostles on the second coming?
I will not say the disciples were anxious. If we limit their actions to anxiety we may not be painting the right picture of their disposition towards Jesus. What I can say is that the kind of love the early church had for Christ was unparalleled. We don’t have such love today. They lived for the Lord. They were ready to forsake everything for Christ. When Christ told them about the second coming in Matt 24 they did not see it as an event that will take thousands of years from that time he made that statement. When he said to them that this generation will not pass until the end will be fulfilled, they took it literally.
He said in verse 32-33 “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.”
Jesus used the sign of the fig tree to announce the second coming. We must not forget that it was not until the Holy Spirit was poured on the disciples before they began to understand what Jesus was saying in Matt 24. So when Jesus said this generation will not pass he was actually referring to the generation that witnessed the budding of the fig tree in Matt 24. It is that generation that will not pass away before the end would come.
Ten points to note about this interview
- If there is any other reason why we are here; it is to get prepared for the second coming of Jesus
- The New Testament era is the end time.
- When Jesus said this generation will not pass he was actually referring to the generation that witnessed the budding of the fig tree in Matt 24. It is that generation that will not pass away before the end would come.
- The Jews came together for the first time in 1948 as a nation and the gathering of the Jews is still on now. The prosperity of the Children of Israel is the budding of the fig tree.
- The rapture will take place between the falling away and the revealing of Christ. The falling away is the deviation from the true gospel which will be of great magnitude.
- The unity we are clamouring for will be in different forms and this will give rise to the falling away Paul talked about because unity at the expense of truth is apostasy. Love at the expense of truth is apostasy. Compromise at the expense of truth is apostasy.
- There would be three events that would happen in succession. The falling away which can be described as the time of apostasy, then the taking away of the saints which will be followed by the tribulation period and then culminate in the millennia reign before the great white throne judgment and then eternity
- In the period before the revealing of Christ there will be 7 years of tribulation. The first half of the 7 years is the tribulation and the second half is called the great tribulation. The anti-Christ will torment people during the great tribulation. There will be one world government, one religion and one economy. Globalization will be fully implemented by this time.
- When Jesus died he went to hell (1Peter 3v9-10) to minister to those in the grave and I believe some of them were saved. From the time he rose up till now we know there are people who have not heard the gospel and have died. We will be wrong to judge them. God will find a way of dealing with them. He knows how to deal with the human race.
- When somebody says some people are already burning in hell, I have a feeling some are seeing dreams or having hallucination
So what does the budding of the fig tree mean?
The budding of the fig tree was actually referring to the prophetic illustration of the prosperity of the children of Israel beginning from the rebirth of the nation of Israel to their becoming a nation. The Jews came together for the first time in 1948 as a nation and the gathering of the Jews is still on now. The prosperity of the Children of Israel is the budding of the fig tree.
Paul gave us a clearer picture of what will happen before the day of the Lord in 2Thess 2v1-8. But we also have to explain the Day of the Lord because it is a concept that is being misunderstood by the church. People call the day of the Lord so many things. But that is not what we are talking here. Many of the apostles were afraid the day of the Lord was almost going to happen in their time thus necessitating their preparation for the coming of the Lord.
One of the reasons is that the church was severely persecuted. So they saw that it was better to be with the Lord than to stay on here on earth.
So can we say their expectations were misplaced?
It was not misplaced except that they did not have a clearer understanding until later in their walk with God when they had the Holy Spirit. They failed to realise that the day of the Lord will not come until there will be a falling away and the revealing of the anti-Christ. But then the church is the body that is restraining the anti-Christ from being revealed. The rapture will take place between the falling away and the revealing of Christ. The falling away is the deviation from the true gospel which will be of great magnitude.
In 2Thess we are made to know that the mystery of iniquity will be revealed before the second coming. But the irony is that the deviation from faith started from the days of the apostles. That accounts for the errors that are creeping into the church from time to time. The sequence is that the falling away will lead to one world religion which will ultimately be led by the false prophet. Today we are now experiencing apostasy talked about in Rev 17.
There is never a time when you see Christians clamouring for unity than now. The unity we are clamouring for will be in different forms and this will give rise to the falling away Paul talked about because unity at the expense of truth is apostasy. Love at the expense of truth is apostasy. Compromise at the expense of truth is apostasy. When you call different denominations to come together as one and they say they have one faith without addressing doctrinal issues there is no way we can attain to the unity of faith. The signs of falling away has always been there and it will keep increasing until the rapture takes place but the church will not see the anti-Christ that is why we should not bother our head on who the anti-Christ will be.
If some will be left behind after the rapture. How do we place those people?
There will be some people who will be left behind. These would be people who did not know Jesus but we thought they had a relationship with Him. The true saints will not see the anti-Christ. But then those who will be left behind are those we may term unbelieving believers. They know the truth but did not obey the truth. Romans 8 puts it succinctly. If we are in Christ we should walk by the spirit.
Now let us talk about the sequence of event that would culminate in the white throne judgment?
If you look at the order as stated in 2Thess you will see three major events in sequence. First there will be the falling away, then the taking away and finally the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord is actually a period of time and also a specific day. The day of the Lord is the day of the battle of armagadeon and it also refers to when Christ will return. It is also viewed as a period of time which is also the time of the great tribulation.
But some also call Sunday the day of the Lord?
Sunday is the Lord’s day not the Day of the Lord. They are two different things. The Day of the Lord means a day of wrath, a day of judgment. The Lord’s day is the day Jesus rose from the dead. The day of the Lord under the Old Testament is called the day of vengeance. Tribulation era, the day of the battle of armageddon which is also the day the Lord is returning.
You were talking about the sequence of events before the great white throne judgment?
Yes. Like I said earlier there would be three events that would happen in succession. The falling away which can be described as the time of apostasy, then the taking away of the saints which will be followed by the tribulation period and then culminate in the millennia reign before the great white throne judgment and then eternity. Some believe the rapture will take place in the midst of tribulation, (mid tri) after the rapture the anti-Christ will be revealed. But in the period before the revealing of Christ there will be 7 years of tribulation. The first half of the 7 years is the tribulation and the second half is called the great tribulation. The anti-Christ will torment people during the great tribulation. There will be one world government, one religion and one economy. Globalization will be fully implemented by this time.
Towards the end of the great tribulation as stated in Matt 25 if the days were not cut short the very elect (the Jews and the saints from the tribulation) will be deceived. Prophet Amos made reference to the shortening of the time. We may not have seven years exactly.
After the great tribulation, the battle of Armageddon will follow. This will not last for more than one day and the devil will be bound and the false prophet would be locked up and Jesus would come for the second time and rule for 1000 years with the saints. Jerusalem will be the capital. Saints will go to Jesus in Jerusalem to go and worship
The saints are to rule and reign with him. At the end of the 1000 years Satan will be released for a short period and he will deceive some more people that are not saved. The free will of man would still be there so he could still decide for God or against God. When they now approach Jerusalem to make war with it, fire will come from heaven and they will be cast into the lake of fire. By that time all those that have died would come alive to face the great white throne judgment which will usher us to eternity. A new heaven and new earth will emerge. What we must take from this is that the Second coming and rapture are two different events. The rapture announces the second coming of Jesus.
During the millenia reign would buildings be relevant?
Yes. The buildings would be relevant. But don’t forget that there would be the third world war. When the third world war takes place we don’t know the extent of the damage to the buildings. But certainly there would still be some buildings. There are some sects that are actually marking houses saying they will be owner of those houses during the millennia reign.
Let’s talk about heaven. Is it a place where we have buildings like we have here on earth. Some argue that it is more of a metaphorical place than physical?
Heaven is not metaphorical. It is as real as the earth. The book of Genesis makes it clear that in the beginning the Lord created the heavens and earth.
The argument is that we are all going to be in God. The John 14 scripture where Jesus says in my father’s house there are many mansions is contentious. Some translations say “in my father’s house there are many rooms”
It is also believed that since Jesus said he was going to prepare a place for us he was talking about his death which would usher us to be with him. It is believed we are already in seated with God in heaven. What do you think?
John 14 from 1-4 opens our understanding to God’s reward system. Jesus clearly talks about going to prepare a place for us. In the real sense a house is not as big as a mansion but the house can also be bigger compared to a mansion. We have to take our minds back to Moses when Jesus made comment about Moses being faithful in all his house which was the entire nation of Israel. He was faithful in all his house. It was the entire nation of Israel. The word house is referring to the New Jerusalem because he will descend from heaven as beautiful bride. It is the New Jerusalem that is the house of the Lord. So I don’t see how Jesus’ statement that he was going to build a place for us is not literal.
But how do we interpret the Ephesians scripture that says we are seated together with Christ in heavenly places?
One challenge we have is that we interpret scriptures based on our understanding. Until we all agree there is no error in the Bible then we would have difficulty solving some of these problems. When we put Jesus words in perspective there is no way it correlates with the interpretation of the place not being physical. Jesus said he would come and take us back to himself.
It is believed that had been fulfilled already with the coming of the Holy Spirit?
It is right to say the Spirit of Christ is the Holy Spirit. But from creation the Holy Spirit had always existed. God is a dispensational God. One of the functions of the comforter is not to take us home. Jesus specifically said he will return to come and take us home. He is our advocate. He is our standard. We need to understand that he was not talking about the Holy Spirit in John 14 he was talking about his departure and his coming back. But from the book of Ephesians, geographically speaking we are here; at the same time seated with Christ. We have the privilege of living in both heaven and earth. Ultimately we will be with him with him with immortal body
So are we still going to be eating and live in duplexes as some have claimed since our bodies will be immortal? What do we need houses with kitchen and toilet for?
I have never been to heaven. So, I will not dwell on what people talk about and their out of body experiences. I limit myself to what the Bible says. There will be no hunger in heaven. So I do not see us eating in heaven. But the Bible talks about the streets of gold. In that regard I believe there will be streets and there will be gold in heaven.
There are interpretations which says the gold meant purity?
Read also: It is heresy to call tithe, firstfruit and offering seeds- Rev. Ladi Thompsonhttps://www.churchtimesnigeria.net/it-is-heresy-to-call-tithe-firstfruit-and-offering-seeds-rev-ladi-thompson/
To avoid error we must first interpret what we read in the Bible literally. When the Lord talked about the beauty of the New Jerusalem he actually meant streets of gold. Gold may mean purity but in the context with which the Bible talked about it, it is real gold. It is like the tree of life which had existed in the Garden of Eden. It is a physical tree.
There are scriptures that says the trees clapped. Does it mean the Bible is referring to physical tree? Tree represent human beings. We also read statements like the mountains roar. How do we reconcile all these?
We must understand that Psalm is a poetic book. It uses idiomatic expressions and also plays on word. We need to understand the mind of the writer and the mind of the author. In prophetic book we have the use of symbols. Even at that the use of symbols depends on the prophet and the cultural milieu of the prophet. We must put that into perspective. Everything in the Bible is not symbolic. We have more literal representation in the Bible than symbolic.
Those who don’t know Jesus will end up in the lake of fire. There are people who never heard about Jesus and they died. Is it there fault? How do we reconcile this with Bible position that Jesus is the only way to God?
Jesus is the only way through which we can be saved. That is the position of the Bible and I believe it. I think God has been benevolent enough with the way he has been dealing with man. When Jesus died he went to hell (1Peter 3v9-10) to minister to those in the grave and I believe some of them were saved. From the time he rose up till now we know there are people who have not heard the gospel and have died. We will be wrong to judge them. God will find a way of dealing with them. He knows how to deal with the human race.
But then what is your position on those who claimed to have been to hell and heaven?
I have read a lot about people who claimed to have died and come back to earth. But my reference has always been the scripture. There was the story of some who said they saw a servant of the Lord burning in hell. They claimed that some people were already burning in hell because they palmed their head. Is that written in the Bible?
But there are many things that re not written in the Bible that are not right like smoking?
Smoking is abuse of our body. The Lord did not permit us to abuse our body. If we know cigarette damages our body it would be a sin to smoke because we are damaging God’s temple.
But palming the hair is also manipulating God’s product?
Why then do we wear dresses?. We should go naked because we were created that way.
But don’t you see abuses in a lady palming her hair piercing holes in her body?
There is no area of life we don’t find abuses. When we say abuse it means there is a use. Somebody pierce his ear that is not abuse. When she now pierces many spots then we know something is wrong
It could be relative. Some pierce their nose which is not accepted in some cultures while some others accept it?
I agree we must not rule out the culture of the people. When Rebecca in the Bible was being married he had rings in her nose.
So we can’t pin this to a rule. If God tells me not to do anything and I disobey does that not make it sin. Can we then say sin is relative?
Sin is not relative. The Bible tells us what sin is. If you have disobeyed specific instructions you will suffer the consequences but that does not mean you have sinned. Jesus was smuggled out of Israel in obedience to God’s instructions. It was personal instruction. When you get a specific instruction and we disobey we suffer consequences. The young and old prophet example is crucial now. God gave the young prophet instruction but he did not follow it to the letter. He suffered the consequence. When you look at the dealing of God, we need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. But the bottom line is this he will not guide you contrary to the written word of God.
The apostles had at the torah..But today what we call the word of God is all inclusive of several other words including the word of the devil and the word of man. What exactly is the word of God?
The entire Bible is the word of God. That we have the words of the devil in the Bible does not reduce the fact that it is still the word of God. God instructed the word to be written down; that is why it is called the word of God. The Bible is the word of God. The early church had more than the Torah. They had the Psalms. They had the prophets. In Luke 4 Jesus confirmed this. Jesus era gave birth to the four gospels the New Testament. How do we attest to the fact that it is the word of God? If it the Bible is not the word of God it will hide many of the information we read in it. The scripture is open so we can learn. That is why Paul said all that were written were for our understanding. God opened up everything in His word.
So what is your word for those who claimed to have been to heaven and come back? Are they genuine?
I don’t want to judge them. But when somebody says some people are already burning in hell, I have a feeling some are seeing dreams or having hallucination. We should not go beyond the written word. I have read how some of them describe heaven but the book of revelation have also described heaven for us. If I happened to have seen the vision of heaven I will not talk about it in such commercial way that people are doing. Paul had a visitation to heaven but he was silent about what he saw. What I see in the stories of some people who claimed to have been to heaven and hell is that the devil is trying to weaken the faith of the church. Somebody saying a servant of God is already burning in hell. What is the faith of those who are just coming up when they hear such story? What that person is saying in essence is that we serve a wicked God.
But don’t you think it is possible to be a great man of God and still end in hell?
You are correct. Eli, Moses are clearly two examples people that were great before man but before God they were not. Moses was not even allowed to enter the Promised Land though he was saved eventually from what we read in Jude. Our greatness in the sight of men is not the same before God. If we stay committed we will enjoy his goodness unfortunately many live hypocritical lives.
So what final word do you have concerning those who claim to have been to heaven?
I think we should not trouble ourselves with testimonies, revelations and books written by those who claimed to have been to heaven and hell that have no bearing with the revealed word of God. The Bible already makes the story of the end clear to any discerning reader. 2 Thess 2 gives us a picture of how the end will look like and Paul even warned us not to believe fables in this regard.