Hanukkah Approaches

Thanksgiving is now behind us and the last month of the year is closing in.  There is so much to be thankful for.  This past year many have come to a saving knowledge of the truth.  Many eyes have been opened and stone-hearts softened.  Many who were trusting in themselves are now trusting in Christ, having finally understood the message of the gospel.  We have heard many testimonies, stories of deliverance, and healings from friends of our ministry and members in our community.  God has richly poured out His blessings on all of us.  Most of all—He has not withheld revelation.

My prayer for all of you who are following along is that you realize your incredible place in God’s story here at the very end of the age.  Just as there were magi that followed the star to the King at the opening of the age, so too there are magi at the end of the age who are observing, discerning, and following the signs to the King once again.  But this time, the King is not lying in a creaky manger inside a dank cave, but is clothed in glory, seated at the right-hand of God.  And He knows we’re on His trail.  We’re getting closer by the day.  The numerous signs and once-in-history milestones, including the greatest heavenly sign described in the Bible, which have all occurred in just the past couple of years, were certainly not for nothing.

When exactly do we make our exit, caught up to God as a newly born male child to experience with fresh eyes the reality of Heaven?  No one knows with certainty the day or hour, but we can see the day approaching.  As long as we are eagerly awaiting for Christ’s return, we will not be caught by surprise.

This Sunday begins Hanukkah, the eight-day long celebration that the Bible calls the Feast of Dedication.  It’s the last festival of the year and was originally celebrated as a postponed Feast of Tabernacles since Jews were in hiding during the civil war against Antiochus IV Epiphanes during the regularly scheduled Sukkot.  Once they regained their independence they celebrated Sukkot in Kislev.  Hanukkah has never really been on my radar, but the possible timing of the unveiling of the Trump-Kushner peace plan during this time has peaked my interest.

As a reader recently pointed out, the peace plan’s unveiling has been a very on again/off again situation.  Last week reports were circulated that the plan had been postponed until February, but just this morning U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman denied the postponement (although it still remains unclear when exactly the plan will be released).

David M. Friedman

@USAmbIsrael

Reports of my meetings in DC about the peace plan have been wildly inaccurate. The U.S. remains committed to sharing its vision for peace with Israel, the Palestinians & other regional and intl stakeholders at the appropriate time. My full statement here: https://bit.ly/2Sfq9dO 

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Ambassador Friedman’s Statement on Recent Meetings in Washington on the Peace Plan | U.S. Embassy…

Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and I had a very productive meeting last week in the Oval Office with President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo and Ambassador Bolton in which we…

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Notice that the Trump-Kushner peace plan includes not only Israel and the Palestinians, but also “other regional and international stakeholders.”

He will strengthen a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’  In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

I have no idea if the plan will be revealed in the next few weeks and I have no idea if the week of Hanukkah could be our exit, but with all that’s happened (and happening) I’m sitting on the edge of my seat.  My eyes are peeled.  I believe a very reasonable case can be made that the rapture will occur within the next 1–3 years based on many indicators including The Parable of the Fig Tree and even the timing of the Jubilee when Christ’s earthly ministry began (circa 28 or 29 AD).

It also seems very plausible that the seven good years followed by seven bad years (Tribulation) pattern-theory that some, like Daily Crow, have suggested may prove true after all.  If you think back to 2014 when the first of four consecutive blood moons occurred, we all marveled that from the beginning of that day to the very end of the Revelation 12 Sign, was 1260 days.  And since the sign of the woman was placed inside a primarily mid-trib chapter in Revelation, it seemed likely that 2017 would be the middle of the Tribulation.

But these signs were pointing forward, not backward, and not to the present.  Like John the Baptist over 2,000 years ago, they were preparing the way, not recalling the past.  In a year that many had thought would be halfway into the Trib, Donald Trump became president and major world economies experienced a surge.  The Church was given respite in many ways, as well.

If this pattern holds, then it may be that the Tribulation occurs at the very end of the possible range of a biblically-defined generation as it pertains to Israel’s reestablishment (73–80 years).  Wouldn’t that be like God to wait until the last moment?  He’s patient that none should perish.  He’s never late, but rarely early.  His timing is perfect.

But it is exceedingly important for me to point out that though the Tribulation may run from 2021 to 2028, the Church is hidden away before that period.  We don’t know exactly how long before.  From all of my research, I see a gap between the rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation.  Several major prophetic events occur within that gap.  We don’t know how big that gap is.  Months?  Years?  Either way, that’s why I still see strong evidence that this present biblical year (Spring 2018 through Spring 2019) is a time of major high watch.  Until April 5, 2019 we’re still within the biblical year that witnessed the restoration of Israel’s Jewish identity and also Part II of the Revelation 12 Sign.

Moving on to some other topics now, I want to briefly address a few issues that I believe the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart:

 – – –

 

Emmanuel Macron


2 Thessalonians 2 very clearly tells us that the man of lawlessness will not be revealed until after the restrainer (the Holy Spirit-indwelt Church) is removed.  There is simply no getting around that.  Until that time we can [carefully] speculate, but it remains speculation.

That being said, Macron fits disturbingly well.  Perhaps he is just a type or foreshadow of the real one to come, but either way, it behooves me to tell you that this person who “desires to govern like Jupiter” has carefully positioned himself as the world’s chief globalist and the political savior of Europe.  Earlier this year he called for a European army and a European military confederation outside of the preexisting structures of the E.U.  His new confederation called the European Intervention Initiative (E.I.I.) just came online.  And it has 10 members.  Exactly.

The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.  They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.

Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frederic Macron: 36 (6 x 6 characters) in his name.  He was elected with 66.06% of the vote in France.  His name is even a prophetic and messianic inversion:

Emmanuel – “God with us”

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Jean – “John”

The author of the Book of Revelation in which the antichrist is revealed. The same author who coined the term “antichrist”.

Michel – “Michael”

The angelic prince of Israel who casts satan out of Heaven.

Frederic – “Peaceful ruler”

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.

Macron – “Mark”

It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Now here is something chillingly unique about Emmanuel Macron: Revelation 13 tells us “the mark… is the name of the beast.”  To buy or sell everyone must have either the name of the beast or the number of that name.  Coincidence or incredible play on words?

Again, we won’t know for sure while on earth, and, at the moment, Macron is embroiled in a political fight for survival all of a sudden as hundreds of thousands of French have taken to the streets in protest against him.  That being said, he has major globalist world leaders like Angela Merkel practically begging him to take her country’s power.  France on its own isn’t much of anything militarily, but France + Germany + the U.K. + Brussels + various other European states would be a nuclear and military power on par with the United States and Russia.

– – –

 

Rightly Dividing

This idea of “rightly dividing” Scripture is being discussed a lot right now by many dear brothers and sisters in Christ.  The basic premise comes from 2 Timothy 2:15:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Many modern translations mistranslate the word ὀρθοτομοῦντα as “handling”, but the word is derived from temnō (“to cut”).  There is little doubt that Paul was communicating to Timothy his intention that he handle God’s word correctly, but the emphasis here is on properly dividing the Bible.  Older translations (KJV, YLT) and some more literal translations get this right, while the NIV, ESV, and others are more assumptive in the translation.

Either way, the basic idea is completely sound.  Many, many Christians read the Bible as if all of it applies to them (as of first instance).  They interpret Scripture as a sort of hodge-podge word stew and in so doing come away with some very twisted teachings that are in fact leading millions astray (e.g. the Hebrew Roots movement, works salvation, NAR, second baptism, partial-rapture, etc).  But God’s word is not a soupy, homogeneous mixture.  It is an ornate, diverse, discernible collection of truth.

When we say “rightly dividing”, we’re not saying ignore, cut away, or destroy.  To the contrary, we are saying read the Bible literally.  Take it at face value.  Interpret it as it interprets itself.  Stop putting yourself at the center of the story.  The story is about Christ, from beginning to end.  He has dealt with billions of people in many different ways over the course of these past 6,000 years.  And in each eon/age (which we call dispensations), His dealings are different, although He remains perfect, sinless, and completely faithful.

You can’t say you believe in the gospel, yet also say “but you better be living a holy life if you want to be saved.”  That’s hypocrisy.  That’s double-minded.  You either believe in the gospel or you don’t.  You either believe you are saved (at least in this age) by God’s grace through the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ or you believe you are saved by your own “righteousness”.  You can’t have it both ways.  Should you live a holy life?  Absolutely.  But if you are living that holy life to be saved then you’re clearly not saved because you don’t understand the gospel.  True holy living comes from gratitude for unmerited kindness received, not from obligatory work demanded.  And that is one example where we must rightly divide, because while there are 100+ Scriptures that indicate salvation is through faith/belief, there are about two dozen that indicate works are involved.  You can’t ignore those works verses.  There is a contradiction and that’s what is so important to understand.  Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians plainly contradict James 2.  You can’t solve the contradiction by simply mixing it all together or simply trying to compromise (a little words and a little faith).

You solve it by rightly dividing.

Who was James’ letter written to?  Hint, hint: Jas. 1:1.

Who were Paul’s letters written to?  Hint, hint: Rom. 1:7Gal. 1:2Eph. 1:1.

Were Paul and James of the same mind about faith and works?  NO.  At least not initially (see Acts 15 and Gal. 2:11–21).

Did they eventually agree?  YES.  See Acts 15 where Paul and Barnabas confront Peter and James over this very issue.

Which side won the debate?  Paul and Barnabas (the sola fide camp).  Peter agreed and repented of his works righteousness.

There are many other such issues that can be resolved by rightly dividing and accepting the plain words (prima facie) of Scripture.

All that said, I do want to raise one concern with some who are promoting the Scriptural idea of rightly dividing.  Some are coupling this truth with KJV-onlyism and I have very serious qualms with that.  The Bible was not written in 17th century England.  It was written in the Mediterranean region in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek over a span of about 1,600 years.  Those original writings are what were God-breathed.  The original writings were infallible and inerrant, but translations are not.

The King James Bible is a very good translation, no doubt, and better than many, but it still has issues.  For one, it is not a literal translation.  In just the first two chapters of Genesis I could show you numerous differences with the original Hebrew.  But again, it’s a good translation.  Substantially better than the NIV and several others, I just ask that you recognize God’s word is bigger than the English language and far predates it.  Be a God’s word-only Christian, not a KJV-only (or Cepher-only or Hebrew-only) Christian.

– – –

 

A Partial Rapture?

 

Lastly, I want to again address the partial-rapture theory.  I won’t hold back on this: it’s bunk, bogus, and in some instances heretical.  It actually stifles holiness because the belief forces many to go back to the Law thus causing some to fall from grace.  The incredibly tragic irony is that if you believe your salvation and rapture are dependent on your performance/works/perfection/fill in the blank then it is likely you have never come to a saving knowledge of the truth and will find yourself outside of the Ark when the floods come.

Don’t be deluded about how good you think you are.  You’re not.  Only God is good.  Jesus is the only One who ever did (or can) fulfill the whole Law and He did it for you.  Believe the good news, receive the Holy Spirit, and be saved.

All believers are going in the rapture because it is the actual salvation event for the corporate Church.  If you truly believe the gospel and trust in Christ then you have been invisibly baptized in the Holy Spirit and will be going in the rapture.  the Body of Christ will not be divided.

However, not all Christians are going in the rapture.  2.4 billion people on earth use that label.  How many of those actually understand that Christ died for their sins and there isn’t anything they can do to save themselves accept believe in the One God has sent (Jn. 3:14–186:28–29)?  If you call yourself a Christian yet don’t understand or believe in the gospel, Paul would tell you that, for you, it’s as if Christ died in vain (Gal. 2:21).  And when Christ comes to receive His own (those sealed for the day of redemption by the Holy Spirit) you will find yourself on the outside, pounding on the door, “Lord, let me in!”  He never knew you.

God’s grace is incredible, free, and complete.  It’s for you.  Believe the good news!

The truth of God is revealed in Jesus Christ.  The truth that Jesus revealed is that He is the propitiation for our sins.  He is the door.  He is the Way.  Because He died for our sins and rose again we can enter Heaven sin and guilt-free through Him.

The legalists and lawless reject the gospel at the same point: the atonement.

Lastly, I want to briefly cover three small points pertaining to the partial-rapture theory:

1. The Parable of the Ten Virgins.  There is a growing consensus that this passage specifically pertains to Jews within Daniel’s 70th Week.  Scholars like Jack Kelley are masterful defenders of this interpretation and I won’t argue with them.  That said, even if there is some applicability to the Church in this passage it is not supporting a partial-rapture.  There are several key symbols of the Holy Spirit in Scripture.  Two of those are anointing oil and fire.  In the Old Testament, there are examples where oil was poured on someone and the Holy Spirit came upon them.  In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon the Church as fire (see Acts 2).

In this parable, the wise virgins who make it in have 1. Jars for oil, 2. Oil, and 3. Lamps burning (fire).  The foolish virgins have 1. No jars, 2. No oil, and obviously 3. No fire.  The wise were saved the foolish were note.  And interestingly, parts of this parable are uncannily similar to Matthew 7 in which those left outside offer their works as the reason Christ should let them in.

The long and short of it is this: If you believe the gospel and trust in Christ then you have the Holy Spirit.  If you have the Holy Spirit then you make it in.  So get the Holy Spirit!  He is a free gift (Acts 8:9–25)!

2. The harvest cycle.  Some have argued that since the resurrections at the end of the age mimic the harvest cycle then many believers must be left behind or else there couldn’t be gleanings.  Not only is this unnecessary, but it actually misinterprets the harvest cycle.

The harvest begins with barley.  This is the first fruits harvest.  Christ is the first fruits of the dead.  We are one with Him.  We are his body.  And guess how barley is often harvested?

By throwing it into the air.

The wheat harvest comes later.  Harvests are violently threshed with the tribulum.  Likewise, unbelievers who come to believe during Daniel’s 70th Week will be threshed in the midst of the Tribulation.  They will be killed for their faith, but their souls will be gathered in Heaven and at the end of the Tribulation they will be resurrected into new bodies.  Now the interesting thing about gleanings is that the Old Testament prophets indicate some natural-bodied Gentiles will survive the Tribulation to populate the earth.  These constitute the sheep that survive The Sheep and Goats Judgment.  They are “leftovers” so to speak.  They will pledge their allegiance to Christ, but their resurrection isn’t mentioned (we can assume they will be given immortal bodies at their death sometime during the Millennial Kingdom or at the Millennium’s end).

The final harvest is the grapes.  Grapes are smashed into a mess of red juice.  All of those who remain unbelievers and take the mark during the Trib are the grapes.  Don’t be a grape.

3. Blotting names out of the Book of Life.  There is only a single verse in the Bible about names being “blotted” out of the Book of Life and strangely, some are taking this positive promise to the overcomingbeliever and turning it into a negative.  Here’s the verse:

The one who is victorious [overcomes] will, like them, be dressed in white.  I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.

Now the author of Revelation himself defines overcoming as having faith in Christnot works!  That’s what it means to overcome.  And in this verse Christ makes an irrevocable promise to the overcomer that their name will never be removed from the Book of Life.

Do you see the problem?

Some are taking a beautiful promise of once-saved-always-saved to the Christian with genuine faith and turning it into a hideous and twisted negative:

If you don’t do enough, perform enough, act good enough, then God’s going to cut you off.

Far be it from the LORD of all the earth, the God of justice, to cut off His own children!  May it never be!  His children are the safest and most secure creatures in the entire universe.  He will not lose even one (Jn. 6:3910:2818:9Rom. 8:31–39)! (Click to Source)

~ MARANATHA ~
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