We Might Be Closer Than You Think

170327094145-jared-kushner-march-15-2017-full-169

Get ready, because I’m going to be discussing some dates in this article—not as any sort of “thus saith the LORD” or prophetic prediction, but merely as speculation based on some puzzle pieces that are suddenly and seemingly fitting together in some unexpected ways.  So if that easily offends your sensibilities, please see this article and see yourself to the closest available safe space.

No one knows (Mt. 24:36424425:13Mk. 13:3235Acts 1:7)?  Or, you should know (Mt. 16:324:4348–50Mk. 13:37Lk. 12:37395621:34361 Thess. 5:4Heb. 10:25Rev. 1:13:3)?

Rather than trying to argue a side, I say both are true.  God lives in the deep water, my friends, and we can follow Him without trying to place Him in the box we feel comfortable with.

And when it comes down to it, if we take God’s word at face value, the thrust of the message on this topic seems to be that trying to figure out the exact day with certainty is essentially a fruitless effort, however, we should be so acutely aware of the manifold signs that God has abundantly given that when the day does come we won’t be surprised in the least.  It will fit like a glove.  And without knowing an exact date on the calendar, we can still be confident we are in the season at the culmination of a myriad of end time signs.

– – –

 

The Age of the Earth

Based on the Masoretic Text (MT) of the Old Testament and most pre-Masoretic extra-biblical calculations of the age of the earth, we are now living extremely close to the 6,000th year from creation.  There is an ancient tradition in Judeo-Christianity that teaches that the history of the world will encompass a period of 7,000 years, mimicking the seven days of creation: 6,000 years of labor and sin, followed by 1,000 years of Sabbath, which will be the era of Messiah.  This 1,000 year “Sabbath” seems like a foregone conclusion based on Revelation 20:1–6; and the 6,000 years of labor can be strongly deduced from verses such as Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 (also notice that Psalm 90 is where we get a biblical definition for the length of a generation; Ps. 90:10).

The problem is, while there is very clear biblical evidence that the very generation we are living in is presently within a few years in either direction of the 6,000th year, there is a lot of disagreement about exactly when that will be.  According to the MT, the Flood occurred 1,656 years from creation, but beyond that, we have to rely on various secular sources to connect some of the dots, especially in the period of the Divided Kingdom.  For that reason, there isn’t exact consensus among those who accept the literal truth of Scripture.  Borrowed from Answers in Genesis, below is a chart presenting the calculations of various chronologists for the date of creation based on the LXX (#1–5) and MT (#6–32):

Note that the first five calculations are based on the Greek manuscript tradition (Septuagint/LXX), which has a variant genealogy in Genesis adding roughly 1,200–1,500 years to what the MT contains.  The MT is based on the Hebrew tradition and is what is found in the vast majority of Bibles today.

Also note that E. Greswell (#17) arrived at the same year as James Ussher, who was the most famous Christian chronologist.  The 17th century Ussher calculated creation to 4004 BC based on the best available information at the time, however, there is good evidence that creation may have been a few decades later, sometime in the first half of the 40th century BC, which is where we see the largest grouping of chronologies in any 50-year period.

A few years ago I made separate cases for the Petavius calculation (3983) and Johannes Kepler’s (not in the above list, but was 3977), however, Kepler’s calculation may have been mistranslated into English as 3977 when it was in fact 4977.

In any case, I was looking over this chart yesterday and two calculations that I had previously overlooked suddenly caught my attention—those of Becke and Klassen (3974 and 3975, respectively).  Where had I seen those dates before?

Suddenly it occurred to me that in the months leading up to September 23, 2017, when we were diligently studying to find out if an alignment similar to the Revelation 12 Sign had ever occurred before, I had discovered that the next closest match in all of history was in July of 3974 BC.

I marked the pregnancy as “No”, but only because it included Mars in Virgo’s womb and it wasn’t quite as “perfect” as the 2017 alignment.  In retrospect, maybe that was significant.  Mars has always represented judgment and war.  Could this have been the Fall of Mankind when enmity (war) began between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent?  Furthermore, Saturn (representing satan) formed one of the twelve stars of the crown and was near Regulus (the king star)—perhaps representing satan, via the deception in Eden, gaining dominion over the earth by swindling Adam and Eve.  He tried to set his throne above the stars of God (Isa. 14:12–15Ez. 28:12–19).

In the alignment of 3974 BC there was also a very symmetrically-arranged crown of twelve stars, a 9–10 month retrograde of Jupiter in Virgo’s womb, and the sun and moon in their proper places.

Consider for a moment the possibility that this was in fact a sign given by God at or near the Fall of Mankind when He gave the prophecy of Genesis 3:15–16 foretelling the age-long battle between the Messiah with His people (seed of the woman) and satan and the unbelievers (seed of the serpent).  The imagery of a woman, serpent, and male child would form the very basis for all future prophecy, culminating with the final showdown in Revelation 12.

Given that biblical years always overlap two Gregorian years and the Fall didn’t occur immediately at creation, might Klassen and Becke have both been right?  They came to extremely similar conclusions.  Perhaps creation was in 3975, followed by the 9–10 month retrograde of Jupiter culminating with the Fall, heavenly sign, and Genesis 3 prophecy in 3974 BC.

If that’s the case, then the 6,000th year from creation would be 2026 AD (3,975 + 2,026 = 6,001 years; you then subtract one year since there is no year ‘0’ on the Gregorian calendar).  2019 is seven years before that.

Let’s take a look at the alignment of July 28, 3974 BC.  This will blow your mind.

1. Saturn (satan) attempting to raise his throne above the stars of God (see Isa. 14:12–15; cf. Ez. 28:12–19).

2. A crown of 12 stars.

3. Virgo clothed in the sun.

4. Mars (enmity, war, judgment) befalling mankind.  Consider also God’s judgment on Eve of painful labor!  Mars may have entered Virgo’s womb as the judgment was given (Gen. 3:16)!

5. Jupiter in a similar location to September 23, 2017 following a 9–10 month retrograde within Virgo’s womb.

6. The moon is under Virgo’s feet.

Another Interesting Coincidence: In February 2017 I identified a possible astronomical sign in 2321 BC that may have signified the Great Flood.  You can read about that here under the section on Aquarius.  That date is surprisingly close to when the Flood would have to occur if creation was in 3975 BC.  As a matter of fact, 1,656 years after 3975 BC would be 2319 BC, roughly two years after the sign, just as the Revelation 12 Sign may have been roughly two years before the beginning of the next global cataclysm (2019?).

– – –

 

Modern Signs

I have to give credit to brother Paul from RevelationChapter12.com for spotting some of the details in this next section.  This will also blow your mind.

Think back to the 2014–15 Blood Moon Tetrad.  It had been observed that a similar pattern of total lunar eclipses on Passover-Tabernacles-Passover-Tabernacles marked both Israel’s reestablishment and the conquest of Jerusalem.  Israel’s rebirth was the ultimate end times sign, possibly marking the starting point of the Fig Tree Generation, which will survive to see all of the end of the age events fulfilled.  A generation is 70–80 years according to Psalm 90:10.  That means all Tribulation events may occur sometime within the 2018–28 range.  We must be awfully close.  Israel turned 70 on May 14, 2018 and will exit its 70th year on either May 10th (Iyar 5 on the Hebrew calendar) or May 14th of this year.  Consider that for a moment.

In 2017 we pointed 70 years back to the U.N. mandate to divide the land, but that was faulty significance.  The U.N. mandate failed to divide the land, and the very next year Israel became a nation, but a Palestinian state has never since come into being, thus the land has not yet been divided.  “Palestine” has only been an idea—a concept in the mind of unbelievers.  They haven’t yet pulled the trigger.

Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, but the very next day a coalition of Arab enemies declared war on the fledgling country.  Would Israel survive?  The war was bloody, lasting nearly a year, and 1 out of 100 Israelis were killed in the fighting.  But with God’s miraculous intervention, the country survived with major fighting ending on March 10, 1949.

The next month, precisely on Passover, the final ceasefire of the war came into effect, signifying Israel’s victory and the fact that Israel was now here to stay.  The fig tree had put forth leaves.  This was April 13, 1949 and it also happened to be the date of the first Blood Moon in the first Blood Moon Tetrad in modern times.  The first heavenly sign following the rebirth of Israel.

70 years later is April 13, 2019, seven days before Passover.  Note that Israeli elections are scheduled for April 9th and President Trump and Jared Kushner have said the “Deal of the Century” will not be unveiled until shortly after Israeli elections.

Passover 1949: The fig tree put forth leaves

Side Note: Considering the significance of 9/23/17 being the date of the greatest heavenly sign foretold in the Bible (Rev. 12:1–2), I find it fascinating that the British Mandate for Palestine, finally securing a Jewish homeland, and triggering the Fourth Aliyah, began on September 29, 1923.  Furthermore, Israel’s War of Independence lasted exactly 9 months, 2 days, and 3 weeks.  Clearly God controls history (Acts 17:26).

– – –

 

The Ultimate Deal

Why was the greatest heavenly sign in 2017?  Perhaps it was a roughly two-year warning, but consider this: the Daniel 9:27 covenant is what triggers the Day of the LORD, because it is a breaking of the everlasting covenant.  God judges all the nations for dividing the covenant land (Joel 3:2; read more about this here under “What’s Next?”).  The Trump-Kushner peace initiative is a very likely candidate for the deal, or at least the basis for a further strengthening by the antichrist once the Church is removed.

The Trump-Kushner peace initiative began on August 20–22, 2017 when Jared Kushner and other U.S. officials traveled to the Middle East to present ideas to key Middle East leaders and solicit feedback.  They left for the Middle East on Sunday, August 20th, and met with Crown Prince Salman on the 22nd (their first meeting).

What’s significant about those dates?  Right in the middle was the Great American Eclipse on August 21st, 33 days before the Revelation 12 Sign.  Perhaps God was marking the occasion: “You know, this little jaunt to the Middle East that no one is paying attention to is ultimately going to lead to the Day of the LORD.”  See my article The Divine Message of the August Eclipse.

– – –

 

Conclusion

Am I offering you a specific day or hour for the rapture or the signing of a covenant or any other major event?  Absolutely not.  All I’m saying is that the pieces of the puzzle are in place and we are remarkably closer than most in the world (and Church) realize.  The April-May 2019 timeframe is well worth watching.

P.S. A dear sister in Christ named Lisa Leenie passed away on September 28, 2015, the date of the final Blood Moon over Jerusalem in the 2014–15 Blood Moon Tetrad.  I vividly remember discussing the LORD’s return with her back in the old RITAN days (Rapture in the Air Now).  She was gracious, full of the Spirit, and trustworthy.

In September 1988 she had a vivid and powerful dream in which an angel handed her a scroll.  On the scroll was written the numbers 11192.  She was told the numbers were a date.  We don’t know much beyond that, but 11,192 days from September 1988 when she had the dream brings us precisely to the April-May 2019 timeframe.

God is not the author of confusion.  Eventually all of these signs will lead to what we’re longing for. (Click to Source)

Further Reading:

Major Prophetic Milestones

The Ultimate Sign

The Celestial C-Section

The Day of the LORD

The Parable of the Fig Tree

God and His Fig Tree

The “Ultimate Deal” is Ready

Get online and get completely recovered! We are a Biblical Online Recovery Program that is life changing and empowering. We are Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and have integrated the world famous Teen Challenge PSNC curriculum for the most healing fusion of elements for your recovery. VRM is breaking the chains of addiction for a lifetime! Check us out!

24/7, 365 access to a board certified medical doctor, by phone or video. One low monthly cost of $12.95 for an individual plan or $19.95 for a family plan. No extras! No added consult fees! All inclusive! Visits are anytime, day or night and holidays. Cancel anytime. No one should ever be without this plan and everyone can afford it. This special pricing is for my readers here.

BREAKING: The “Ultimate Deal” Is Ready

dsfd

According to multiple media sources, the Trump-Kushner Middle East peace plan has been finalized and is ready to be unveiled—probably shortly after Israeli elections, which are less than eight weeks away.  Only five people have access to the plan, but Kushner will soon be traveling to the Middle East to preview the deal to regional Gulf partners.

Details are scarce, but it is widely expected that the plan will divide Jerusalem and the Holy Land by establishing the nation of Palestine within the biblically-defined territory of Israel.  If this “Ultimate Deal”/”Deal of the Century” is agreed to, it will undoubtedly trigger the final series of events leading up to Daniel’s 70th Week.

JERUSALEM – The Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan is finished and President Trump has been briefed on its contents, two senior administration officials told Fox News on Sunday.

The final draft of the administration’s “Deal of the Century” is 175 to 200 pages long — and fewer than five people have access to the complete document, sources told Fox News.

“The plan is done… [the president] is happy with the parameters of the deal,” a senior administration official said.

It is looking increasingly likely that this peace plan will be revealed to the world while Israel is still 70 years old, before the nation’s 71st birthday.  Go figure—the deal that may trigger the 70th Week, unveiled while Israel is 70 years old by a modern day Cyrus who was born 700 days before Israel’s reestablishment during a blood moon, was 777 days old when Israel was 77 days old, was 70 years, 7 months, and 7 days old upon inauguration, and celebrated the two year anniversary of his inauguration in Israel’s 70th year during another blood moon.

If the Tribulation was Christmas, the removal of the Church from the earth would be akin to Thanksgiving.  Since we’re now seeing all the Christmas decorations going up, including the monumental Revelation 12 Signand virtually everything needed for construction of the Third Temple, we should really stop to think about the seriousness of it all and what we and the ones we love are about to experience momentarily.  And how could it be anything but Divine orchestration that Trump-Pence (“Trumpets”) would be the administration in place over the world’s chief Gentile nation and the very administration unveiling what may be the prelude to Daniel 9:27as all of this unfolds? (Click to Source)

Be ready.

– – –

Further reading:

God and His Fig Tree

The Parable of the Fig Tree

Major Prophetic Milestones

Seven Major Prophecies Converge

The Ultimate Sign

The Day of the LORD

The Olivet Discourse

As it Was in the Days of Noah

Get online and get completely recovered! We are a Biblical Online Recovery Program that is life changing and empowering. We are Teen Challenge Certified Teachers and have integrated the world famous Teen Challenge PSNC curriculum for the most healing fusion of elements for your recovery. VRM is breaking the chains of addiction for a lifetime! Check us out!

 

The Pre-Trib Rapture Is Solid Biblical Truth. Here’s Why.

martin-adams-759265-unsplash

As I’ve shared before, most of my life I believed in what is known as the “post-trib rapture.” 

“Why should we escape?” I would ask. (In today’s vernacular, it might sound like, “Why are we such special snowflakes?”) While I turned this part of me off for several years, I still believed the Church would be tested during the seven-year tribulation, face the mark of the beast, have to endure to the end to be saved, and should prepare to hide in the woods with extra jugs of water, first-aid supplies, and well-preserved food.

(The movie The Road illustrates what I imagined this apocalyptic time to be like. Interestingly, it came out in 2009 and was set ten years in the future.)

Before I go on, it’s important to say that when I talk about the “before” and “after” of my doctrinal transformation, I do so with humility. I’m not sitting here thinking I’m more enlightened or wise than those who believe differently, and I hope this is evident in my words. I pray that sharing what the Lord has shown me through Scripture will provide a fresh invitation, if needed, to re-visit this topic, re-evaluate beliefs and doctrine, and seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I believe that most who take this seriously are, like me, more concerned with truth than with “being right” and have probably studied this intensely for years. I respect that and am sure there is much I can learn from you.

Truth and comfort

I also want to offer a simple and clear message of comfort. Many in the body of Christ are anxious about world events, confused about prophetic timelines, uncertain and afraid. My hope is to present a Scriptural study that the Lord will use to settle the hearts and minds of those who need it.

Many are excited right now about this upcoming Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets and Israel’s New Year. It will occur around Sept. 10-11, 2018. The Apostle Paul tells us that the Lord’s appearing will be “at the last trump,” and traditionally, the Feast of Trumpets is the feast that “no man knows the day or hour” because it is based on the sighting of the New Moon by two witnesses in Israel. If the sky is cloudy and the New Moon is not seen, the feast is not declared yet. If God delays the New Moon, or somehow does not allow the witnesses to see it, the feast is not declared. I’m not an expert on the feasts and do not know if the Lord will appear to receive us to Himself during the Feast of Trumpets or another time, but I don’t know that He won’t, either. So as always, I watch.

I love studying prophecy. I am passionate about eschatology, but I’ve come to realize that the more I know, the less I know. So I come humbly, knowing for sure only Christ Jesus and Him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:2) When it comes to prophetic things, we see through a glass darkly. There is so much we simply won’t or can’t know until world events continue to unfold and the Holy Spirit confirms the prophetic fulfillments through Scripture. With that said, I do believe Scripture is clear on what will happen to the Church in these last days. We may not know exactly when, but we know it is very soon—mere moments or mere days away.

Not a salvation issue

As I move forward, I want to be clear about this. While I firmly believe that a “pre-tribulational rapture” is the clear teaching of Scripture, it is not a salvation issue and I love and respect my brothers & sisters who believe differently. I hope this article encourages you and gives you something to bring to the Lord in prayer, but we need to remember that the most important thing to get right is the gospel. We are saved because Christ died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:1-4) and gave us the free gift of eternal life. We believe Him and put our trust in His blood. This is THE most important message of all, more so than rapture timelines. We can lovingly disagree on the interpretation of prophecy, but the gospel is another matter. I am full of fierce love for it and will humbly contend for it as long as I live. Believing the true gospel is literally a matter of life and death, but not so with eschatology.

I love how Scripture is full of prophecy and that it pleased God to furnish us with wisdom and revelation about the last days. This is not an exhaustive study, and there are many more passages that support this, but the Scriptures I share below have been strongly on my heart. In the interest of space, I do not always include the full verses so please get your Bible and read them along with the context.

So with that, I want to define terms.

1. Tribulation 

When I talk of the tribulation, I am referring to the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7) and Daniel’s 70th week (Dan. 9:24-27), which I shorten to “D70.” This time period of 7 years concludes with the Second Coming Of Jesus (Rev. 19:11-15Zech. 14:3-4).

This might be a minor point, but the “time of Jacob’s Trouble” and “Daniel’s 70th week” are more accurate terms than the word “tribulation.” The word “tribulation” means trial, trouble, and distress. Jesus promised that in the world we would have tribulation, but to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world. (John 16:33). Tribulation, in and of itself, is not something we can avoid. We live in a fallen world and times are hard. No one is exempt from tribulation, but we have the victory of Christ and the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit to sustain and guide us through it.

Jesus described the last half of D70 as a time of Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:15-21). This phrase describes the harrowing nature of the suffering and distress that will come upon the earth during the last 3.5 years of Jacob’s Trouble.

2. Rapture

This happens when Jesus descends from heaven to receive the Church in the air, but does not actually return to the earth (1 Thess. 4:16-17).

The word “rapture” is not in our English Bibles. It comes from the Latin “rapiemur” and means “caught up,” just like the same word in 1 Thess. 4:17. The Greek word for rapture / caught-up is “harpazo,” which means “seizing, catching up, catching away.” It describes a forceful snatching out of danger. It is not the same word used for ascension, which implies a gentle floating up. Harpazo is what you do when your child is running into the street and a car is barreling down on her. As a watchful and loving parent, you harpazo her.

Scripture also describes this event as the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” Titus 2:13

 

“Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:8

Paul wrote to Timothy,

“…keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” (1 Tim. 6:11-15)


And then we have this magnificent verse: 

“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:” (2 Tim. 4:1)

This is stunning. Paul mentions judgment:

a) for the living and the dead (two different groups)
b) at His appearing and His kingdom (two different times)

This may be the clearest distinction between the rapture and the second coming. The living are those who are born again, even if they are “asleep in Jesus,” or dead in Christ. The Living are judged at the Judgment seat of Christ, where Jesus will offer rewards based on our works. Writing to believers, Paul tells us:

“For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:7-10)

 

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Cor. 3:11-15)

 

Now compare the following two judgments which happen after Daniel’s 70th week and bookend the millennial kingdom:

A. At the beginning of the millennial kingdom: the judgment of the remnant saints who died during the time of Jacob’s Trouble:

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, [faith] who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands [works]. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4-6)

B. At the end of the millennial kingdom: the judgment of sinners, also known as “the dead:”

“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Rev. 20:11-15)

3. Pre-trib rapture, pre-wrath rapture, post-trib rapture 

Pre-trib rapture is the term most people use and understand regarding the doctrine of the pre-Daniel’s-70th-week harpazo of the Church. I don’t consider it an accurate term for reasons cited above, but I use it when needed for clarification. Pre-wrath rapture, or mid-trib, refers to the theory that the Church will go through the first half of Daniel’s 70th week but will be raptured prior to the second half, which contains the bowls of wrath that are poured out onto the earth. Post-trib is the idea that the rapture occurs at the very end of Daniel’s 70th week.

4. Church 

Distinguished from the remnant saints who come to Christ during the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Church is the body of Christ. It is made of all believers, Jews and Gentiles in the age of Israel’s partial blindness, who are saved by grace through faith, not of works. Our faith is in the blood of Jesus who paid for our sins on the cross. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit and our salvation is secure. The Church has NOT replaced Israel.

5. Israel 

God’s chosen people with whom He has an everlasting covenant. He will forgive them and save them. (Rom. 11:25-32)

6. 2nd Coming

The Second Coming is when Jesus returns to earth with His body, feet to the ground, after Daniel’s 70th week. He will fight His enemies at Armageddon and set up His kingdom. (Rev. 1:7Zech. 12:10-14Rev. 19:11-21)

The rapture: a mystery revealed to Paul 

The rapture of believers and the resurrection of the dead in Christ comes from the teaching of Paul. Here is what the Lord revealed to him, and here is where we receive the doctrine of the catching away of the body of Christ, otherwise known as the rapture:

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Cor. 15:51-52)

 

“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up [Greek: harpazo] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thess. 4:15-18)

People debate the timing of the rapture, not necessarily that there is one. I would say that most Christians, if not all, agree that there will be a rapture & resurrection of believers. This is super clear in Scripture. Where we disagree is primarily in the timing. Is the rapture of the Church before Daniel’s 70th week? Is it 3.5 years into it? Is it at the end, after the antichrist rules & the mark of the beast occurs? Does it really matter?

Yes. Scripture puts the harpazo of the Church before the time of Jacob’s Trouble. The rapture is how the Lord removes His body from the earth prior to Daniel’s 70th week, because the Church can’t be part of the time of Jacob’s Trouble. (More on that below.)

Furthermore, a lot of the misunderstanding around the timing of the rapture comes from an evil root: replacement theology. This satanic doctrine falsely teaches that the Church has replaced Israel—a lie from the father of lies which results in (or at least supports) deception around the rapture. I believe the confusion or disagreement can be decreased or eliminated when we understand the purpose of the Church and grasp the distinctions between the Church and Israel.

Recognizing these two distinct groups, Israel and the Church, is key to this discussion.

In the age of grace  (Eph. 3:1-11), the Church is made of everyone (Jew and Gentile) who trusts that Jesus paid for our sins with His own blood on the cross. We are saved by grace through faith alone in the finished work of the Lamb. The purpose of the Church is two-fold: to be the body of Christ, and to provoke Israel to jealousy.

We know from Scripture that Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah, was sent only to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 15:24) Paul the Apostle was chosen and sent by God to the Gentiles after Israel rejected Jesus. As one of my favorite teachers, Robert Breaker, explains, Israel had three chances before this happened, but they rejected God all three times:

  • They rejected God the Father when they did not believe His testimony about His Son (1 John 5:10);
  • They rejected God the Son, Jesus the Messiah, when they crucified Him;
  • They rejected God the Holy Spirit when Stephen testified of the truth (Acts 7:51-54).

Because Israel so wholly and wholeheartedly rejected God, God turned to the Gentiles:

“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul. Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ” Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:45-48)

 

“Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” (Acts 28:28)

God did this to provide salvation to the ends of the earth (bless the Lord, oh my soul! And all that is within me, bless His holy name!) and by doing so, to provoke the Jews to jealousy. (Rom. 10:19-20Rom. 11:11-15)

We need to understand something. If Israel had received the Messiah when He came the first time, the Church as it is today would not exist!

God’s mysteries and plans not withstanding, if the nation of Israel had not rejected Him, there would be no need for this conversation. We the body exist because God wanted to provoke the Jews to jealousy. Think about that!

Despite Israel’s rejection of Christ, we know that all Israel will be saved. (Rom. 11:26) Today, Jews and Gentiles are saved by grace through faith. We call this the age of grace. It is the age of the Church and it’s also the age of the partial blindness of Israel. But this age will come to an end. Scripture tells us plainly that Israel will not always be partially blind. At the moment, the only thing that matters to Israel is that the followers of Yeshua do not try to proselytize. When does Israel actually become jealous? What happens? What monumental event opens their eyes? How will the transition happen?

And what about the gospel? Revelation clearly describes those who keep the commandments of God (works), have the faith of Jesus, and the everlasting gospel (Rev. 12:17Rev. 14:6-7Rev. 14:9-13). This is not how we are saved today (Eph. 2:8-9Eph. 1:12-14Acts 15:8-9Acts 26:17-18Rom. 3:20-30Rom. 11:20), so in light of the gospel, how does one age end and the other begin?

[See also: Is it Faith Alone in Every Dispensation? // Are There Christians in the Tribulation? // The Tribulation Gospel // The Tribulation Gospel is NOT the Same as Paul’s Gospel ]

Why the rapture of the Church must happen before Daniel’s 70th week

Scripture is full of shadow-types and examples of how God punished Israel for their sin. They wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. As of now, Israel has wandered a spiritual wilderness for about 40 Jubilees. One day God will pick up where He left off; He has an everlasting covenant with Israel and will forgive them and restore them. Take a look at these Scriptures. Read them slowly and compare them to each other. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and speak to you as you read.

Thousands of years ago, the partial blindness of Israel and provoking them to anger and jealousy was prophesied by God through Moses:

“And He said: ‘I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, children in whom is no faith. They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.” (Deut. 32:20-21)

Paul echoed these words when he wrote:

“But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.” But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.” (Rom. 10:16-21)

Paul went on to say,

“For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The Deliverer will come out of Zion, [see Rev. 19:11-15Zech. 12:7-14]
And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
For this is My covenant with them,
When I take away their sins.”

Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.” (Rom. 11:25-32)

 

“Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; Thenthe remnant of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.” Micah 5:3

 

Notice a similar message in these two verses:

“…blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (from Rom. 11:25)

 

“Therefore He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth;” (from Micah 5:3)

Here we see a temporary setting-aside of Israel that comes to a clear and definite end. God has not hidden His face from Israel forever; in fact, He tells us plainly when He will return to them and restore them: when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and when she who is in labor has given birth.

This is why Rev. 12 is such a crucial chapter during these times. Last year, on Sept. 23, 2017, we witnessed a celestial alignment that matched Rev. 12:1-2 and pointed us to the striking imagery of a woman in labor who gives birth. It was like a huge pin on a map: YOU ARE HERE. In the months since, the unfolding convergenceshows beyond a doubt that we are nearing the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Look at Isaiah:

Before she was in labor, she gave birth; Before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.” Is. 66:7-8

Zion is the heavenly Jerusalem. Paul spoke of her when he said, “for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Gal. 4:25-26) This is us! Saints, WE are the birth that comes before the labor; we are the children of the free woman, the children and heirs of grace, of those who have “an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)

“Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman [symbolized by Hagar / the law] and her son [Ishmael / the flesh], for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.” (Gal. 4:30-31)

So while the rapture is for the Church, it’s really about Israel and Jerusalem.

To recap what we’ve covered so far, Scripture teaches that God revealed the mystery of the Church and the salvation of the Gentiles to Paul. The reason? To provoke the Jews to jealousy. But God has an everlasting covenant with Israel and WILL return to them. The question is, how and when will all of this be achieved? I believe the Bible reveals that the birth-before-labor is the pre-Daniel’s-70th-week rapture, and the labor is none other than the time of Jacob’s Trouble. (Jer. 6:24Isaiah 21:2-3)

Daniel’s 70th week is for Israel and has a specific purpose. Very clearly, the angel Gabriel revealed this to the prophet Daniel:

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people [Israel] and for your holy city [Jerusalem] To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.” Dan. 9:24

 



Reconciliation, Wrath & Destruction

The first sixty-nine weeks were fulfilled 2000 years ago. The last one, the seventieth, and where we get the phrase “Daniel’s 70th week,” remains. The Church wasn’t part of the first sixty-nine and according to Scripture, won’t be part of the last one.

Let’s go back to harpazo. It is a sudden and quick snatching out of danger. When does this need to happen? Paul explains clearly:

“For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath [the day of destruction], but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.” (1 Thess. 5:2-10)

 

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Rom. 5:8-10)

Pardon the English lesson here, but sudden destruction comes upon “them.” “They” shall not escape. “You” is not the same as “them” or “they.” How do you escape from inescapable sudden destruction that will come as a snare on ALL those who dwell on the face of the whole earth? 

You are harpazo’d. Snatched out quickly.

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day [the day of the Lord] come on you unexpectedly [Paul: overtake you as a thief]. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

Look what Jesus says to the faithful church:

Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.(Rev. 3:10)

How will Jesus keep the faithful church from the hour of trial, the labor, which is to come upon the whole world? According to Scripture, He harpazo’s them.

“Yes, but we are only promised to escape the wrath.”

This statement comes from those who believe the wrath of God begins halfway into Daniel’s 70th week, presumably because the bowls of wrath are poured out near the end. Since we are not appointed to wrath, this theory concludes that the Church will be raptured halfway, taken out before the wrath begins.

A couple points about this. Scripture is clear that the wrath of God comes at the beginning of Jacob’s Trouble (Eze. 38:18-19Rev. 6:16-17). Before the trumpets begin, the 144k are sealed on their foreheads to save and protect them (Rev. 7:2-3) because they were not raptured and remain on earth during this time. This shows that a serious change has taken place. Saved people during the age of grace are sealed by the Holy Spirit in our hearts (Eph. 1:13-142 Cor. 1:21-22), so this describes a different age than the one we’re in now.

Furthermore, I say with humility that it is eisegesis (reading into the text) to say that 1 Thess. 5:9 is speaking only of God’s wrath. God is not the only one with wrath during the last days. Rev. 12:12 clearly shows the devil’s wrath: “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”

 

“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12:17, kjv)

Wait. Remnant?

This sounds just like what we read in Micah 5:3.

“Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.”

Back to wrath: I believe that the entire seven years is about wrath. It gets progressively worse, but wrath is another way to say “the Day of the Lord.” Consider Paul’s reminder that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. He equates the Day of the Lord with sudden destruction. However, “God did not appoint us to wrath,” he says, “but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Salvation is the counterpoint to wrath here. We are not appointed to sudden destruction, and the passage equates salvation with escape. It is very clear. As a particular section in a Daniel’s-70th-week timeline, “pre-wrath” is a man-constructed concept. The only true pre-wrath rapture is the pre-tribulation rapture.

Final thoughts on the post-tribulation rapture theory

Let me reiterate that I am not making light of the beliefs held by other brothers and sisters in the Lord. Speaking for myself, this theory was mostly held together by one question: why should I escape? It didn’t make sense that the Church would be exempt from the seven years of trial that is coming upon the world. At the very least, it wasn’t fair. Going deeper, I believed that suffering made me more holy, so I viewed it as an honor. I hoped I would become a martyr for Christ. (Oh, the self-righteousness! The pride!)

My beliefs were bolstered by a lack of understanding the differences between Israel & the Church. But worst of all, I didn’t understand the gospel. And this was the root. Again, speaking for myself, there was no room for the gospel of faith alone in my post-tribulational-rapture theory. And there is no room for a gospel of faith plus works in the pre-tribulational rapture doctrine, because a pre-trib rapture is all about grace. And mercy. And the lovingkindness of our Savior. You mean, we get to rest? We get to be snatched out of danger by a watchful and loving heavenly parent? We are worthy to escape because we rest in what Jesus did for us? We get to be in the glorious presence of Yeshua while God restores Israel?

While this is not a salvation issue, what you believe about God and the gospel will influence your rapture doctrine. I gently and urgently plead with you, beloved. If your doctrine of the rapture does not agree with removing the Church before Daniel’s 70th week, I’m not gonna ask you to change your mind. (I hope you do, but it needs to come from the Holy Spirit guiding you and confirming it through Scripture.) But I will ask you this: will you stop right now and pray and examine what you believe about grace? Will you re-visit the gospel you believe? Will you make sure, like extra extra sure, that the gospel you believe is the one that saves us today? During this age of grace? During this time of the partial blindness of Israel?

I say this as humbly as I can, but the post-tribulation-rapture theory falls apart not only when encountering a myriad of prophetic Scriptures, some of which I’ve shared above, but also many other points. Here are a few:

  • In a post-trib view, when do we go to heaven? John 14:1-3 makes clear that Jesus is making rooms for us in His Father’s house (using the precious symbology of traditional Hebrew wedding customs) and will come again to receive us to Himself. But after Daniel’s 70th week, Christ is coming to rule and reign upon the earth for 1000 years. Believers will rule and reign with Him.
  • The rapture is clearly described in Scripture, so if it happens at the end, as the post-trib view teaches, what are we rescued from? The worst is over, but the word harpazo, and Paul’s teachings, confirm that the rapture is a sudden snatching out of destruction and danger. He actually talks about “sudden” destruction (1 Thess. 5:3), not a gradually worsening destruction, which would necessitate a sudden snatching away.
  • The purpose of Daniel’s 70th week is the restoration of Israel and judgment upon God’s enemies. As the body of Christ, we are not God’s enemies nor are we of national Israel, nor do we need restoration. We were formed for God’s good pleasure (Eph. 1:3-14) and to provoke the Jews to jealousy. What purpose would the Church serve during the tribulation?
  • The gospel preached during Daniel’s 70th week (Rev. 14:6-7) is not the gospel that is preached today (1 Cor. 15:1-4). Paul tells us that if anyone, even an angel from heaven, preaches a different gospel than what we have received, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:6-12) Is the angel of Rev. 14:6-7accursed? Why or why not?
  • Why is the Church saved by grace through faith alone, not of works (Eph. 2:8-9), but during Daniel’s 70th week, remnant saints are saved by faith plus works? (Rev. 12:17Rev. 14:9-13) And how can these co-exist during this time? How would we share our gospel, which is clearly faith alone, and wouldn’t it cause confusion? If we had to suddenly begin sharing a different gospel, how will we know the exact moment to stop preaching faith alone and to start preaching faith plus works? What if someone accidentally shared faith alone, but it was five minutes into the time of faith plus works? Is there a period of transition?
    • I understand how pre-wrath proponents explain 1 Thess. 5:9, but for the post-trib theory, how does going through all the years of vengeance and wrath, which we were promised to be kept from (Rev. 3:10Nahum 1:2, etc.), reconcile with the rest of Scripture?

 

    • How does the post-trib view explain the promise to believers vs. unbelievers in Rom. 2:5-10?

 

  • What if God really does want the body of Christ to escape all these things? What if He is truly that kind, that gracious, that merciful?
Of course, I believe He is. Am I worthy to escape all these things? Not in a million years on my own. In my flesh I am chief of sinners, evil, wicked, worthless and depraved. Nothing I can do makes me worthy. But isn’t that the point? If avoiding the tribulation is based on me being good enough, then why did Jesus have to die? And if going through the tribulation is because I need to atone for my sin, tell me: did I out-sin the blood of Jesus? Was His death not enough? These two options are the only logical conclusions for this theory.

Thanks be to God for His salvation! Yeshua my Saviour has saved my soul from hell and He saves me from the wrath to come. What He did for me makes me worthy, and I have put my faith in Him who is able to keep me from stumbling and to present me faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (Jude 1:24)

For those of us in the body of Christ today, a pre-Daniel’s-70th-week catching away is the only valid theory presented to us in Scripture. To understand it, we must study the mysteries revealed by Jesus to Paul, the purpose of the Church, the differences between the Church and Israel, the everlasting covenant that God made with Abraham (the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable), the purpose of Daniel’s 70th week, and we must believe the good news of the gospel.
The goodness and kindness of God is beyond human comprehension. I urge you to believe the truth of the nature of God who reserves His wrath for His enemies (Nah. 1:2) but shows mercy to thousands (Deut. 5:10). I humbly believe that many who hold to a post-trib (or pre-wrath) view might not have fully grasped the depth of God’s sweet grace. Grace is what we do not deserve. When we truly comprehend it, our only honest response is thanksgiving, obedience, abundant love and joy.
In closing, I do not believe in a “pre-trib rapture” because I’m afraid of the antichrist or getting my head chopped off or living without hot running water, fresh coffee, or electricity.

I believe in a pre-trib rapture because it is Scriptural truth. Even if you believe otherwise, if you are saved, you are going in the rapture anyway. But during these final days leading up to the glorious appearing of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, the comfort and joy of having this hope to hold onto is such a sweet mercy the Lord has given us.

One last-last thought.

Jesus is coming quickly, beloved. And Paul tells us that He will give the crown of righteousness to all who love His appearing.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8)

If you do not believe this appearing is when Jesus comes to receive His body to Himself, vis-à-vis the pre-trib rapture, there remains this:

“Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.” Amos 5:18

So do you love the day of the Lord’s appearing, or is it woe unto you? Are we children of light, or of darkness? (1 Thess. 5:5)

It is simple to harmonize these passages. The day of the Lord’s appearing is the rapture of the body of Christ. The day of darkness is the time of Jacob’s Trouble.



For discussion:

  • What is the most compelling biblical case you’ve found for a pre-trib rapture?
  • If you hold a pre-wrath or post-trib view, what passage of Scripture anchors you in this belief and keeps you from embracing the pre-trib teaching?
I may not be able to respond to every question or comment below, but I’m hopeful that as the body of Christ we can encourage one another, exhort one another, and do so according to 2 Tim. 2:23-25 with humility, gentleness and respect. (Click to Source)

An Overview Of Things To Come

The earth is wobbling like a top ready to spin out of control.

spinning-top-inception

We are rapidly approaching the point of no return, where humanity’s actions will tip the scales of God’s wrath.  Life as we know it will come crashing to a cataclysmic halt. Christians know it, other religions know it, secular observers know it. “The Apocalypse” is almost upon us. It will be a time of intense chaos, destruction, and confusion.

Fortunately, God has not left us in the dark about what is to come. God’s prophetic tapestry is woven through like threads in both the Old and New Testaments. Close up, the intricate designs can seem confusing and even contradictory. God has intentionally designed a pattern that is complex. He leaves for us a trail of puzzle pieces, not unlike the parables Jesus told, and exactly like at His first coming. It is only through rigorously searching and praying through the Scriptures that keys emerge, pieces fit together, and the big picture is revealed.

Over the course of history, God has dealt with humanity in a few different ways. These distinct periods of time are known as Dispensations.  In the garden of Eden, God met with Adam and Eve in human form. Here, the very first prophetic word was uttered by God – “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) After the fall of humanity, God continued to speak directly to the early patriarchs. This continued through Noah and the global flood until the time of Abraham. The nations had been dispersed at the tower of Babel, and God selected one man, Abraham, to seed the nation of Israel – His nation, His people.

Israel’s purpose was to be set apart, to be a beacon of God’s light in the world and draw the nations back to Him. Israel, for the most part, failed miserably. God could rely only on Himself. Thus, in the fullness of time, God became as one of us in the form of Jesus. Jesus succeeded where Israel had failed, and set in motion the reclaiming of the nations unto God. Israel expected this to happen all at once, but the mystery was that this reclaiming would now be done through the “church” – a body of Jews and Gentiles called by God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 11:25). The church was now set apart as God’s salt and light in the world.

The time is very quickly approaching when this mission of the church will suddenly end. 
 
 

God’s timeline for humanity proceeds right on schedule. The end of this age will come abruptly to a halt with the noisy, not-so-secret rapture of the church. The dead in Christ will arise, and the invisible body of Christ will be transformed in the blink of an eye (cf 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18). Together they will be snatched away from what is coming on the earth, safely hidden in heaven (cf Isaiah 26:19-21). A parable of this can be seen in the ritual of the Jewish Wedding. We may not know the day or the hour, but there are definite clues to the season. We can watch for the signs to occur that point to this event.  You may agree or disagree with some of these signs, but what prophecy scholars agree on is that there is a convergence of signs:

  • The Fig Tree Sign – Jesus tells His disciples that when they “see the fig tree leaf out”, they would know that the time of His coming is near.  Many prophecy scholars agree that this sign refers to Israel’s rebirth in May 1948.
  • Israel Reborn – Regardless of whether or not the fig tree refers to Israel, Israel’s rebirth as a nation after 2000 years of not being one is a flashing neon light!  The Kingdom of Heaven is near!
  • Jerusalem Recaptured – Jerusalem features heavily in end times prophecy.  The 6 Day War of 1967 was very significant prophetically!  It’s possible that war fulfilled Psalm 83; alternately, the complete fulfillment of Psalm 83 may be yet future.
  • Jewish Aliyah – Along with the re-establishment of Israel as a physical/political nation, God’s chosen people are foretold to return to the Promised Land.  This has been slowly but surely occurring over the last 120 years or so.  Within the last month, there have been several articles from Israel that state the majority of the world’s Jewry is now (July 2018) living in Israel.  According to Jewish tradition, conditions are set for prophets to appear when at least 50% of the world’s Jews are located in Israel.
  • The Third Temple – We know from the book of Daniel, the gospels, and Revelation that there will be a functioning Jewish Temple during the “70th Week of Daniel”.  While the Temple has not yet been built, the plans are complete, Levite priests are trained, and Temple equipment/furniture has been made.
  • Apostasy in the Church – It seems that as we approach the time of the end, churches will fall away from preaching sound doctrine.  Instead, they will focus on a social gospel that “tickles men’s ears” (tells them what they want to hear to feel good).  Sexual immorality will be tolerated.
  • Immorality in Society – Society will move further and further away from God and His laws/morals.  We see this most clearly in the last several decades through Abortion (1.5 billion abortions since 1980), Homosexuality (general worldwide acceptance in non-Muslim nations), and Human Euthanasia (legal in some nations, including Canada).
  • As in the Days of Lot – Society will be marked by violence, homosexuality, and sexual immorality.  Interestingly, the LGBTQ community has adopted the symbol of God’s promise “in the days of Noah” as the symbol of their pride.
  • As in the Days of Noah – Society will be marked by violence, DNA manipulation, and sexual immorality.
  • Knowledge Will Increase – In the latter days, people will travel “to and fro” and knowledge will increase.  We are approaching a “technological tower of Babel” situation!
  • The Gospel Will Be Preached to All Nations – While there are still unreached people groups within nations, the gospel has been successfully taken to all nations around the globe.  The gospel will continue to be preached during the coming times of tribulation by the 2 Witnesses, sealed 144,000 Hebrews, and an angel from God.
  • A Great Sign in the Sun, Moon, and Stars – It appears God may be announcing the imminent rapture of the church and the nearness of His second coming through a great sign in the sun, moon, and stars described in Revelation 12:1-2.  This great sign appeared in the sky on September 23, 2017.  Interestingly, satan also seemed to think September 23 was an important date.
  • The Great Pyramid – The Great Pyramid in Egypt seems to have been specifically designed to point to the First and Second comings of Jesus Christ.
  • The Feasts of God – God has appointments on His calendar. He calls these His “moedim”, or appointed times. The next appointments on His calendar are the Fall Feasts. There is some question, however, if the late spring feast of Pentecost has fully been fulfilled…
  • “Balaamic Prophecies” – Secular society can’t help itself but advertise that the “end is near”
  • Nonspecific Signs – God may be issuing His final warnings via nonspecific signs (i.e. August 21,2017 solar eclipse, “Planet X“)

A summary of some of these signs and more can be seen in this article:  Top 20 Signs of the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ.


The Path Diverges

A great divide exists; there are two tracks that humanity will take. Those who took the narrow road will be a part of the heavenly track: the body of Christ will be in heaven for the time of “tribulation” on the earth. They will participate in the Day of Christ (judgment for rewards). Meanwhile, the Day of the Lord is the track on earth for those who were on the broad road leading to destruction.

Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

God’s judgment will be poured out in full force on a wicked and Christ-rejecting world. However, God will not leave the world without witness. He will call forth Two Witnesses who will function similarly to the Old Testament Prophets.  Additionally, with the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit in the church complete, the Holy Spirit will move to supernaturally seal 144,000 specially chosen Hebrews. God will use these witnesses to call forth His elect – a third of Israel along with many “gentile” followers.

Prophesied Wars

Before we go any further, there are several prophesied wars involving Israel that will occur in the future. The timing of these is broadly in “the latter years”. Several of these may occur before the rapture of the church (Nation Rising Against Nation – WW3; The Destruction of Damascus; Arab-Israeli Promised Land War). One of these may occur during or shortly after the removal of the true church from the earth (Gog and Magog War – many nations rising against Israel). These wars may blur together and occur in a short span of time.

Regardless of the exact timing, God Himself will intervene to save Israel in these wars.  As a result, Israel will want to re-institute their Temple worship of God with Old Testament-style sacrifices. The person (or ‘being’) who arises and takes credit for winning these wars won’t be God, but he will end up claiming to be. It is certain that one war will occur approximately seven years after the rapture of the church, in which this god-imposter will be destroyed (The Battle of Armageddon).

The 7-Year Tribulation Begins

With the body of Christ safely tucked away in heaven, let’s go over what’s going to happen on earth. When Jesus rose from the dead, great power was released in some type of nuclear transformation event. This triggered a great earthquake. When the dead in Christ rise, it is possible that this event will trigger similar earthquakes on a global scale – wherever the dead in Christ lie. The earthquakes will then trigger volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. The sun will be darkened and the moon appear blood red from smoke and ash in the air (I believe this is the prophetic “blood moon sign”). In a short span of time, 25% of humanity will die from famine, war/murder, disease outbreaks, and wild animals (emboldened by severe food shortages) – the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Throughout the church age, followers of Christ have been indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit. When these true believers are removed from the earth, the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence over evil and the powers of darkness will be removed. At this time, a cosmic war will erupt between the holy angels and the fallen angels. Satan (the name given to the fallen spirit-being opposing God), represented as a dragon and a serpent, and his demon horde (fallen angels) will be defeated and lose their access to heaven. They will be granted authority by God to deceive humanity, for the sake of accomplishing His divine purposes. We are not told exactly what this involves but we do know that satan has been hard at work preparing for it. He knows the time is close.

The combination of the removal of living believers to heaven and the disasters of the Seven Seals will leave the world reeling. A great power vacuum will exist in the world as social and economic structures collapse under the burden of disaster. A man or being will rise to power quickly, to bring “peace” and “unity”. This man is known in the Bible as “the lawless one”, “the antichrist”, “false christ”, “false messiah”, and “the beast”. The “antichrist” will participate in ushering in a new world order. Wars will be involved as nations and leaders try to sort out a semblance of order and power.  There are several opinions as to how this might play out, but I will give my understanding here.

A New World Order

First, shortly after the rapture, it appears that either the “antichrist” or the “false prophet” will enter into a covenant with Israel. The covenant may be made for seven years (peace agreement), or it may be presented as eternal (a “new messianic covenant”). It is also possible that God reconfirms His Abrahamic covenant with Israel through supernaturally protecting them from annihilation at this point. The confirmation of this covenant, whatever it turns out to be, will start an event known as the 70th Week of Daniel.  This 70th Week pertains directly to the nation of Israel and ethnic Hebrews, and is generally known as the “7 Year Tribulation”. The Third Temple will be built in Jerusalem (or Shiloh? or the city of David?) at this time.

Concurrently, the world will first be divided into four parts (“kingdoms”). Two kingdoms may be ruled by singular rulers. One kingdom will be ruled by 4 “kings”. The fourth kingdom will be ruled by 10 “kings”. In this fourth kingdom, three of these 10 kings will be quickly displaced by the man who will become the “antichrist”. This fourth kingdom, led by the antichrist, will take over the other 3 kingdoms over the next few years.  While people often talk about the antichrist ushering in a “peace treaty” and “false peace”, I personally don’t see the first half of the “Tribulation” as peaceful at all.  World leaders will be posturing and fighting trying to both rise to power and establish control and organization following the massive destruction of the opening of the Seals.

By the midpoint of the “Tribulation”, the antichrist will have successfully achieved world rule.  This antichrist (“beast”) kingdom will then be granted global rule by God for a period of 1260 days. God will oversee and allow this as part of Israel’s purification.

The “antichrist” will be supported by a “false prophet”. The false prophet may identify himself “Elijah”. These two, and their entourage, will be extremely convincing and will be accompanied by all kinds of miraculous signs and wonders. They will be empowered by none other than satan – forming an “unholy trinity”.

At some point, the “antichrist” will likely identify as the Jewish messiah. He may also identify as the messiah for other religions as well, explaining that everyone had different understandings of the same thing. He may encourage Old Testament-style worship of God… at first. I believe that some of Israel (up to 2/3) will embrace this man as their anticipated messiah, here to usher in the messianic kingdom. They will believe the events that will have already transpired (wars in which they survived, the building of the Third Temple, sacrifices restarting) have fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. They will believe that a time of peace and prosperity for Israel, the millennial kingdom, is nigh.  In reality, their time of testing is just beginning.

The First Half – God’s Witnesses

Meanwhile, right after the church has been taken to heaven, God will have sent witnesses to declare the gospel. There will be two special prophets for God who will proclaim truth. They will speak out against the “antichrist” and his deception. There will also be 144,000 Hebrews who come to faith in Jesus Christ. These 144,000 will be sealed by God and protected from some of the cataclysmic events that take place.

Remember the four horsemen?  The effects of the opening of the seals will be playing out upon the earth during the first half of the “Tribulation”.  Cataclysmic disasters will continue and supernatural beings will appear. There are seven specific “Trumpets of Judgment” that will take place. The first four involve death of trees and green grass, contamination of the oceans, contamination of fresh water, and dimming of the sun, moon, and stars (possibly from atmospheric contamination). These four possibly occur very shortly after the rapture of the church. Trumpet #5 involves a 5-month long torment of humanity by a demonic army, where people will seek death (suicide) but it will not be found.

The truth of the gospel will not be popular, and the Two Witnesses will be killed after 3.5 years of ministry (42 months / 1260 days) by the “antichrist”. Most on the earth will celebrate their deaths by giving gifts. This is the only celebration mentioned in the book of Revelation.  The 144,000 may also be killed around this time.  Trumpet #6 involves another demonic army that begins at some point after the 5 month torture ends. This army kills one-third of humanity over a period of time ending when the Two Witnesses of God are resurrected from the dead – 3.5 days after their deaths.

In total, over 50% of humanity will have now been killed (over 3 billion people), by the midpoint of the “Tribulation”.  The “Great Tribulation” – that period of time when the antichrist is given global rule for 1260 days and is allowed to persecute and kill those who do not worship him – will have not yet begun!  The massive death tolls from war, famine, plagues, wild animals and demonic armies, will focus much of humanity’s efforts on mere survival.

The Second Half – Antichrist’s Rule

Near the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week, the “antichrist” will be killed. It is likely that the he will die via a head wound.  He will miraculously rise from the dead with God’s permission.  His first course of action will be to kill the Two Witnesses. At some point (likely upon their death), the “antichrist” will set himself up in the Jewish temple, proclaiming to be “god”. He will stop all sacrifices to God and desecrate the altar. This is the trigger for Jews who know their Tanakh (Old Testament) to flee to the wilderness. The warning is given both in the books of Daniel (OT – Daniel 9:27) and Matthew (NT – Matthew 24:15-21).

When Jesus came and revealed Himself to be God after 3.5 years of ministry, Israel killed Him. When the “antichrist” reveals himself to be “god” 3.5 years into Daniel’s 70th Week, it appears that Israel embraces him. This is foretold by Jesus in John 5:43 – “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.”



While the “antichrist” is celebrating his victory, the two bodies of God’s witnesses will lay in the streets of Jerusalem. 3.5 days later, they will rise from the dead and God will call them up to heaven. A great earthquake will result and 7,000 people will die. This ends the 6th Trumpet judgment (the “second woe”).  The 7th trumpet blows at some point after the “antichrist” declares himself to be god.

The “antichrist” will establish world rule at this time, merging religion, economy, and power. He will set up an economic system which requires taking his mark or pledging allegiance to him to be able to buy or sell. Will this mark alter DNA in some manner? An angel will warn mankind not to take this mark – this is the final warning before God out-pours the final Seven Bowls of His wrath. True salvation is still possible up until taking the mark of the beast. Choose wisely, your eternal soul is at stake!

Once the mark system has been set up, at some point the Seven Bowls, which complete God’s wrath, will be out-poured. These judgments involve painful sores appearing on people who have taken the mark of the beast; the entire sea turning to blood and all sea creatures dying; all rivers and springs becoming blood; scorching by the sun; the kingdom of the beast being plunged into darkness; the Euphrates river drying up to allow humanity to assemble for a final battle against Jesus; and finally, the greatest global earthquake ever will resurface the planet, accompanied by a severe thunderstorm and 100-pound hailstones.

The Ending is Decreed, It Will Come to Pass

As the 6th Bowl of wrath is poured out, the “antichrist” will send deceiving spirits to gather the world for a war against Jesus Christ. My guess is that he will state that this is the final battle before humankind’s evolutionary transformation can be completed… but that is speculation… Once everyone is gathered, they will prepare for the Battle of Armageddon. It appears that God will provide a final escape route for those dwelling in Jerusalem via the Mount of Olives splitting, before the Battle of Armageddon ensues. The battle will occur 1,260 (or possibly 1,290) days after the “antichrist” declares himself to be god and sets up the “abomination of desolation” on the Temple altar.

The ending is decreed and it will come to pass – Jesus Christ will appear with His heavenly armies (angels and human followers who were taken at the beginning of this tribulation). It won’t be a battle though, Jesus will simply open His mouth and defeat all who are gathered by a Word. All the armies gathered against Him will be defeated in one big wallop by the sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.

The beast (“antichrist”) and the false prophet will be thrown alive into the lake of fire. All humans opposing Jesus Christ will be killed. It’s not going to be a good death – “And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other.“ (Zechariah 14:12-13). Satan will then be thrown into the abyss and chained for 1,000 years – the duration of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom.

This completes the Day of the Lord and the 70th week of Daniel.

The Millennial Kingdom and Eternity

Once the Battle of Armageddon is complete, humanity will be judged on whether or not they can enter the Millennial Kingdom. This is known as the “Sheep and Goats Judgement” and the separation of the “Wheat and Tares”.  Believers during the “Tribulation” will not be sealed by the Holy Spirit and will be responsible for ensuring they remain in the faith until the end.  They also are required to demonstrate their faith through good works.  True believers, the “sheep” and “wheat”, will be ushered into the Millennial Kingdom.  Unbelievers, or those who lost their faith, the “goats” and “tares”, will be killed and sent to hell to await the Great White Throne judgment.

The true Messianic Kingdom will then be ushered in by Jesus, and will last 1,000 years. During this period of time, the Earth will be restored to near-Eden-like condition with most aspects of the curse reversed.  Longevity will be restored.  Only the “sin nature” will remain.  Remarkably, even under the direct rule of Christ, humanity will still be filled with rebellion.  A number too high to count will rise up at the end of this time period when Satan is released for a “little season”. They will gather against Jesus, yes, again, and the Last Battle will ensue. Humanity still hasn’t learned that you can’t beat God, and they will all be destroyed with no actual fighting.

This form of heaven and earth will pass away, followed by the Great White Throne Judgment.  The Great White Throne judgment will see the resurrection of all humanity from the dead to face the living God. This does not include those who participated in the “first resurrection” – all those in Christ prior to the Millennial Kingdom. Followers of Christ (from the Millennial Kingdom) will enter eternal life; those who rejected Jesus will be cast into the eternal Lake of Fire.

Once judgment is complete, Eternity ensues. Humans are eternal – our souls never die. Where your soul will spend eternity is completely up to you, but it can only be decided while in your physical body.

There is only ONE road that leads to life, and that is through Jesus Christ. Those who have not had their sin debt paid by the blood of Jesus will face God’s wrath and judgments. Please consider carefully if your heart has truly been transformed (“born again”). There is a difference between religion (including intellectual knowledge and the traditions of man), and relationship with God!   Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read The Gospel and The Five Part Gospel.

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? Matthew 16:26

 

We urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:1-2

(Click to Source)
CBD logo

The Countdown to the Vernal Equinox

 

February 24, 2018

 The countdown to the Vernal Equinox expanded.

 Here we have 70 years from Equinox to Equinox based on the Market number of 2-2-18 that was 25,520 and in days spans from the Equinox in 1948 to 2-2-2018.

 2520 Days from David Wilkerson’s death, the super tornado breakout, and Obama releasing his birth certificate due to pressure from Donald Trump. David Wilkerson’s book predicted the downfall of America.

 1260 Days from the second blood moon.

 The middle of the Tetrad to 3-20 is 360pi+40, but is also linked through four Shevat 24’s utilizing 360pi, 354, and 777.

 The Vernal Equinox eclipse on 3-20-15 was between the 2nd and 3rd lunar eclipse of the Tetrad. The next solar eclipse was the Great American Solar Eclipse, which occurred 153 degrees away from Pisces and in Leo next to Regulus. The sun returns back those 153 degrees on 3-20-18.

 999 days after the gay marriage ruling of the Supreme Court and the rainbow lighting of the White House comes 3-20-18. 9 refers to judgement and here we have a trinity.

 The next step is the chain of 490/pi days and 490 days. It begins with Pentecost on 6-12-16, which is also the day 50 were killed in Orlando. Pentecost was the conception of the Church. 490/pi days later was the Conception Comet C/2017 E1 that visited the womb of Virgo before Jupiter entered three days later. Continuing on another 490 days comes to 3-20-18. 490 is the seventy sevens of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and Pentecost is the seven sevens. How fitting that the final seven may then begin timed after conception and the birth of the completed Body and Bride of Christ.

 537 days matches the year BC when Israel returned after the 70 year Babylonian captivity. Here we are completing 70 years since the return of Israel.

 430 is the amount of time Israel spent in Egypt and Canaan before entering the Promised Land. 430 was also the time found in Ezekiel 4 and with 70 years fulfilled, 360 years remained. If multiplied by seven due to non-repentance according to Leviticus, that resulted in 2520 years and in 360-day years that came to 1948 from 537 BC.

 The Revelation 12 Sign comes half circle from Equinox to Equinox and also half a lunar year at 177 days. The period of 177 days has been repeated in the Tetrad and Earthquake Tetrad.

 From the end of the earthquake tetrad of 7+ earthquakes spaced at 177 days and hinging off of open Jewish worship on the Temple Mount on 7-17-17, we have 70 days to 3-20-18. Another ode to the 70 years and the 70 years from Christ’s birth that the Temple now in ruins still lies.

 42 Jews ascended the Temple Mount and worshipped regardless of the law. 9 weeks from this day is 3-20-18. The Jews will need this Spirit to thrive and survive in the 70th Week. 42 Days from that day is also Purim on 3-1-18.

 Tu B’Shevat on 1-31-18 comes 7 weeks before 3-20-18. Tu B’Shevat 2018 was linked by phi to the Tetrad and was the first blood moon since. It fulfilled 70 years since the great Supermoon since 1-26-1948.

 The seven and forty days seem to match the flood numbers, but more importantly it appears that from a lunar based year instead, we have been afforded 40 more days as a time for repentance.

 The last item is Billy Graham who died 21 days from Tu B’Shevat and one month before the Equinox. His death comes at intersections of 153—the 2 dimensional triangle number equivalent to the 3 dimensional number of Methuselah—969. Billy Graham’s death bookends the ministry of David Wilkerson and his death seven years before. Many other significant pastors and teachers have died in between. Grant Jeffery even died 4 x 490 days before the Feast of Trumpets 2017. This number span was even in one of his breakout books, Armageddon: Appointment with Destiny!

 The appointment looks to be here. It’s the final countdown. (Click to Source)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK HERE or the finest faith based personalized and compassionate addiction recovery program – right from the comfort of your home.

CLICK HERE for the finest organic and non-gmo foods and supplements. All are lab tested for purity and safety.

Zephaniah 2:1–3: A Promising Pre-Trib Prophecy Hidden In Plain Sight

falloutshelter

A few years ago, back in the 2012–13 range, I distinctly recall asking the Lord for further confirmation of the Pre-Trib Rapture, specifically in passages of the Old Testament. Afterwards, I remember landing on Isaiah 26:19–21 one day and was overwhelmed with excitement. Maybe you know the feeling—that sudden burst of joy springing up from your innermost being the moment you discover a precious gem hidden deep in the minefields of Scripture.

Well, time has passed since then, and the discoveries of Pre-Trib truth tucked away in the OT haven’t ceased. If you’ve been tracking with us at Unsealed for a while, then you may have noticed that even more passages in the OT have opened up since the amazing discovery of the Revelation 12 sign and its connection to the Rapture of the Church.

For example, Gary posted an article back on September 12, 2017 entitled “Blood Moons, Births, and Babies.” Toward the end of that post, he cited one of the lesser-known OT prophets, Zephaniah, and highlighted the possible future fulfillment of Zephaniah 2:1–3 as applicable to the Church—the male-child of Revelation 12:5who is born [resurrected to glory] and snatched up to God’s throne.

While the timing of the Rapture of the Church in Revelation 12 as it relates to the onset of the Tribulation period isn’t all that clear, other passages such as Isaiah 66:7–8 make the timing as clear as day (for a more detailed analysis, see my previous post “The Birth of a Nation: Part I“).

The Pre-Trib timing is made crystal clear in Isaiah 66:7, most notably, because of the repetitive use of the temporal preposition “before.” Likewise, Zephaniah 2:1-3 appears to be yet another confirmation of the timing of our deliverance in relation to the start of the 70th week.

Here’s a quote from Gary’s article mentioned above that I’ll use as a launching pad for this post:

Most importantly, according to Zephaniah 2:1–3, this group who seeks righteousness is gathered together before a certain decree takes effect (the 7-year covenant of Daniel 9:27?) and is hidden away before ‘the day of the anger of the Lord.’ These ancient Old Testament prophecies are coming to light like never before and they seem to be painting an increasingly pre-trib picture” (emphasis his).

Indeed, the picture is coming into focus. It’s not just one text or passage in isolation that illuminates the portrait of a Pre-Trib deliverance for the Church. Like a mosaic or impressionist painting, it’s the composite pieces and individual brush-strokes seen together that reveal the whole.

So, put your fine-art glasses on [i.e. Holy Spirit lenses] and walk with me through the gallery of Scripture to view the bigger picture. As I hope you’ll see, Zephaniah 2:1–3 is an integral piece of the Pre-Trib portrait. Therefore, the aim of this study will be to shore-up Gary’s initial hunch about the relevance of this passage for the Church today.

Seeking Shelter Before the Storm (Hiding in Yahweh’s Doomsday Bunker)

Zephaniah had a tough message to deliver to the people of his day. Most likely, he was not a favorite guest preacher in the synagogue circuit, and he definitely would not be first on the list to speak in the preeminent pulpits of our churches today.

It’s not that he’s a false prophet or anything like that. No, far from it. It’s just, well…he’s all doom and gloom, and nobody wants to hear that. Most people want to hear about how great tomorrow will be. Tell me something good. Tell me that God’s going to prosper me and keep me healthy, wealthy, and happy. Ah, but that’s not reality, and the truth is a hard pill to swallow.

The truth is that the Day of the LORD is near and rapidly approaching (Zeph. 1:14). It’s a day of darkness and gloom, destruction and desolation (Zeph. 1:15). This isn’t merely a local judgment, either. It’s global and worldwide in scope (Zeph. 1:2–33:8).

Ok, ok, so do I need to build a bunker in the ground? Gather supplies to outlast my neighbor through the Tribulation? No, listen to Zephaniah. He offers a glimmer of hope to a specific nation, a people who are living in the days right before God executes His judgment on earth:

Gather yourselves together; gather together, undesirable nation, before the decree takes effect and the day passes like chaff, before the burning of the LORD’s anger overtakes you, before the day of the LORD’s anger overtakes you. Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth, who carry out what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be concealed on the day of the LORD’s anger” (Zeph. 2:1–3, HCSB, emphasis mine).

A play on the prophet’s name embedded in 2:3 underscores the opportunity for a certain, humble nation to be hidden away and concealed before God’s judgments take effect. Clarifying the connection between the prophet’s name and his message, Old Testament scholar, Ronald B. Allen, writes in his book, A Shelter in the Fury:

The name Zephaniah…is built on two Hebrew words, a verb meaning ‘to hide’ and the proper name of God, Yahweh. Zephaniah means ‘Hidden by Yahweh” (pgs. 19–20, emphasis mine).

Thus, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, this passage in Zephaniah is truly a hidden gem. Amidst all the “doom and gloom” in the surrounding context, this window of opportunity is a welcome sight for anyone in right standing with Yahweh who is living on earth before the final judgment begins.

To really grasp the full effect of this passage, however, we need to examine the original Hebrew text. Paraphrased translations have their place, but there is a reason why a more literal translation such as the KJV should be consulted in this instance.

For example, a survey of the English translations for Zephaniah 2:1–3 shows a couple of minor discrepancies that are relevant to our study, especially verses 1 and 2:

First, is the gathered nation of verse 1 shameless, or undesirable/unwanted? Does the answer help us to further identify these people who are hidden “on the day of the LORD’s anger”?

Second, is “decree” the right word choice in verse 2? If so, what is this decree that is linked so closely with the Day of the Lord and its horrific judgments?

We’ll address these questions next.

Which Nation? What Decree?

By now, many of you who have studied the Bible for some time know that the Hebrew language is really flexible. Certain words like ruach have a wide semantic range with possible meanings of “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit.” Therefore, not only is the immediate Old Testament context crucial for interpretation and understanding, but we must also consider the New Testament’s use of the Old to see how prophecy functions in God’s economy.

In many instances, we discover that Old Testament prophecy can have multiple fulfillments as time and revelation progress. Perhaps the most striking and surprising example comes from Matthew’s use of Hosea 11:1 (see Matt. 2:15). The historical context of Hosea 11:1 reveals God’s son to be the nation, Israel, who is called out of Egypt during the Exodus. However, as time and revelation progress, Matthew is later moved by the Holy Spirit to latch on to this particular text. As a result, the referent shifts from the nation of Israel to Jesus, God’s Son, who is protected in Egypt until it is safe to go back to Israel again. Wow!

Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming “Day of the LORD” are similar in that they establish a pattern, or template, which the Holy Spirit can later appropriate to another time and place for fulfillment. Dr. Darrell Bock confirms this critical point on the New Testament’s use of the Old:

Although ‘day of the Lord imagery’ is fulfilled in certain events within the OT (e.g. parts of Joel 2), the nature of that fulfillment looks forward to the decisive period of such fulfillment (the ‘day par excellence’). In all these examples, the imagery is such that an aspect of the passage demands fulfillment beyond the short-term event and thus points to the presence of pattern. The prophetic character of the text resides in this ‘needs to be fulfilled’ feature in the pattern” (“Scripture Citing Scripture,” in Interpreting the New Testament Text, pg. 272, emphasis mine).

After marinating on Zephaniah 2:1–3 for a while, I now strongly believe that this passage fits the bill for the prophetic pattern previously described. For some, you will have no problem with this because you rightly discern the distinctions between Israel and the Church (for a study on an OT precedent for the continuity and discontinuity of Israel and the Church, see my previous post “Birthday Break-away“).

For others who wish to blur the lines where they should not be blurred, I pray that you understand that the “nation” in Zeph. 2:1 isn’t limited to ethnic Israel. In fact, as I will demonstrate below, the nation who fulfills Zeph. 2:1–3 in the future cannot be national Israel.

First, a word about the nation of Zeph. 2:1—are they shameless, or undesirable? The Hebrew text reads literally, “…gather together nation who is not longed for [Heb. kasaph].” For various reasons, rather than translating kasaph in its usual sense of “to long for; seek after,” some scholars have decided that “shameless” fits the context better and justify their decision by pointing to a related Arabic root word.

Given that kasaph is never translated this way in the four other OT usages (see here), it seems best to keep the sense of “longed for” in Zephaniah as well.

All right, so a nation not longed for is told to gather together—and this is when we are hit with a barrage of before’s:

1) Before the decree takes effect…
2) Before the burning of the LORD’s anger…
3) Before the Day of the LORD’s anger…

Whenever you see repetition in Scripture, pay attention! The purpose of repetition is to emphasize something very strongly, especially a three-fold usage of a term like terem (Heb. “before”) in Zephaniah 2:2 (note also the three-fold repetition of “seek, seek, seek” in 2:3).

There is a minor textual issue in that the Septuagint (LXX) reads very differently in 2:2 and does not have the word “decree.” The weight of evidence, however, favors the Hebrew (MT) and the other ancient versions that all contain “decree” (the Latin Vulgate has a solid translation of our passage too, see here).

Since this is a critical juncture of our study, we need to examine this “decree” [Heb. choq] and its implications (see the nuanced meaning of this term especially in Ps. 2:7 and Isa. 24:5here). The King James Version renders 2:2 quite well, “[gather together]…before the decree bring forth…” This is how the Hebrew reads literally and could even be translated, “…before the decree gives birth [Heb. yalad, a word also found in our major “woman in labor” passages such as Mic. 5:3 and Isa. 66:7].

When you survey the English versions, you’ll find that most have paraphrased the Hebrew to read something like, “…before the decree takes effect…,” or as the NLT renders it, “Gather before judgment begins…” These are all faithful translations that communicate the message of God’s prophetic word: The call goes out for a nation not wanted (not desired) to gather together before the the Day of the Lord strikes—before the decreed judgments of the end-times take effect. This nation who seeks the LORD at this time will also have the opportunity to be hidden and concealed while judgments from above rain down on the earth below (2:3; cf. Isa. 26:19–21).

At this point you should take note of the intentional ambiguity (or flexibility) of Zeph. 2:1. This prophetic offer from the LORD was available to the nation, Israel, right before the Babylonian invasion and exile (Zeph. 1:1; cf. 2 Kgs. 23:24–27). However, as we near the final Day of the LORD, Jacob’s trouble, and the 70th week of Daniel (7-year Tribulation period), this offer of a “Pre-Decree” escape is not for Israel anymore—it’s for the Church.

In the next section, I’ll demonstrate from key parallel passages how Zephaniah 2:1–3 applies to the Church (who was once an undesired nation: Deut. 32:21Rom. 9:24–261 Pet. 2:9) and cannot be fulfilled by national Israel (or Tribulation saints, to cover the bases).

Before the Decree Takes Effect (The Pre-Decree Resurrection/Rapture of the Church)

Are there other passages in the Bible that speak of a “decree” and also confirm its connection to the end-time judgments of the 7-year Tribulation period? Overwhelmingly, yes!

Let’s check ’em out:

 
If you haven’t already, take the time to read through this passage in its entirety. As noted in a previous post “Gimme Shelter,” we have in this pivotal text the “rulers of Jerusalem” cutting a deal with “Death and Sheol [Hell]” (vv. 14–15, 18). This passage reveals the LORD’s anger toward Israel for their agreement [covenant] with the Antichrist and his alliances. Now take a look at verse 22:

So now, do not mock [Israel], or your shackles will become stronger. Indeed, I have heard from the Lord GOD of Hosts a decree of destruction for the whole land” (HCSB, emphasis mine).

 
Thus, we have here one of the earliest hints of “peace and safety.” Also, there is a strong word correspondence between Isa. 28:15 and Zeph. 2:3: The Hebrew word satar “to hide, conceal” is found in both texts. What irony! Israel seeks covering and shelter in a “peace” covenant with Gentile powers, but instead she will be “terrorized” and “trampled” (Isa. 28:18–19). Meanwhile, another nation (the Church) has found true security in Yahweh’s hiding place on high (Zeph. 2:1–3; cf. Isa. 26:19–21).
 
 
Seventy weeks are “decreed” for Israel (Dan. 9:24). Need I say more? Ok, one more thing needs to be said in order to shore-up the link between the “decree” of Zeph. 2:2 and Dan. 9:27. The decreed judgments of the Day of the LORD and Daniel’s 70th week are explicitly connected in this monumental end-times text:

He will make a firm covenant with many for one week [7 years], but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering. And the abomination of desolation will be on a wing of the temple until the decreed destruction is poured out on the desolator” (HCSB, emphasis mine).

But one may object: The “decree” of destructive judgments from God [His wrath] may only apply to the latter half of the Trib, so the Church is not guaranteed an escape from the entire 70th week, perhaps only the trumpet or bowl judgments.

Hopefully, these next two passages will seal the deal for you. As the prophecy in Zeph. 2:1–3 clearly states, it’s a “Pre-Decree” gathering and hiding away for the Church. Daniel 9:24 informs us that specific periods of time are “decreed” for Israel alone, and 9:27 reveals that a certain end-time covenant signals the start of the last seven years—these are reserved judgments for the nation of Israel and the rest of the world that are allotted by divine decree!

So, here’s the last question to be answered: Does the New Testament confirm the 7-year duration of the “decree” in Zeph. 2:2 ?

 
 
Right before chapter 5, we have a command for the dead in Christ to rise and gather together (1 Thess. 4:16), and don’t forget the Rapture (4:17)! Immediately following this revelation for the Church, Paul then discusses the issue of timing:

For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. When they say, ‘Peace and security,’ then sudden destruction comes on themlike labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in the dark, so that this day would overtake you like a thief” (HCSB, emphasis mine).

 
Ok, let’s trace the logic involved in these passages covered so far: The Isaiah 28 passage links “sudden [decreed] destruction” with Israel signing a covenant with Satan, essentially. Daniel 9:27 hammers it home that the Tribulation “week” (7 years) kick-starts when the Antichrist enters into a covenant with Israel, and destruction is “decreed.” Furthermore, Paul explicitly reveals that the gathering of the Church [i.e. Rapture] occurs immediately prior to the time when “they” [Israel and the world] say “peace and safety” (also, don’t forget the “birth before labor” in Isa. 66:7).
The phrase “peace and safety” is code for the covenant of Isaiah 28 and Daniel 9. When this covenant is signed, sudden destruction takes effect [i.e. the decree of Zeph. 2:2].
Whew! Take a breath. In summary, the “decree” of Zeph. 2:2 entails the entire Tribulation period, not merely the trumpets or bowls—but the seals too! This point will be made most explicit in the book of Revelation.
Before we venture on to the final frontier, first a quote from Arnold Fruchtenbaum:

This decree of destruction [Isa. 28:22] is the same as the Seven-Sealed Scroll of Revelation five…with the breaking of the seals, there is massive destruction of the earth. But this decree of destruction will be issued only when the covenant [Dan. 9:27] is signed. So then, the same point made in Daniel 9:27 is made by Isaiah. The Tribulation begins with the signing of the Seven-Year Covenant between the leaders of Israel and the Antichrist. Once that covenant is signed, the Tribulation begins and a decree of destruction is issued by God Himself” (Footsteps of the Messiah, pgs. 200–201, emphasis mine).

 
 
As Dr. Fruchtenbaum stated above, the “decree of destruction” issued by the LORD himself is the same as the seven-sealed scroll that only Jesus is worthy to open (Rev. 5:576:1). This decree of judgments written on a scroll (Rev. 5:1) is designated for Israel and a Christ-rejecting world. Among those who are excluded from this hour of the decree—a fully glorified Church (Rev. 3:104:45:9–10)!
*If you haven’t already, please take the time to read Greg Lauer’s articles: “The 24 Elders Revisited” and “A Missing Piece.”  These well-researched and thought-through studies are a one-two punch confirming the Pre-Tribulation Resurrection and Rapture of the Church.
 
What Zephaniah previews in 2:1–3 is now a reality in Revelation 4–5. An unloved/undesired nation has been shown mercy and is now gathered and hidden in a most unexpected place—the throne room of God (Rom. 9:24–29Rev. 12:5). This all take place before a single seal is broken from the “decree” of Tribulation judgments.

Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, ‘Come!’ I looked, and there was a white horse. The horseman on it had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a victor to conquer” (HCSB, emphasis mine).

 

The opening of the first seal coincides with Israel proclaiming “peace and security” after covenanting with the Antichrist, “…by peace [he] shall destroy many” (Dan. 8:25); and the rider on a white horse (counterfeit Christ) carries a “bow” and is given authority to conquer (the “bow” here could represent a counterfeit of God’s own peace treaty that He created in the days of Noah; see Gen. 9:12–17 for God’s “bow,” a sign of the covenant).

The Day of the Decree is Drawing Near

According to God’s word, the Church will not spend one nano-second in the coming 7-year Tribulation period. This time of trouble for Jacob (Jer. 30:7) is just that—the time of Israel’s darkest hour. Rather than getting the anticipated peace and security from their covenant with the nations, the woman [Israel] will instead go into labor and be chastised with covenant curses (Lev. 26Deut. 31:17; cf. Rev. 6:3–8). The flood of the end will continue unabated until Israel comes under the everlasting protection of the New Covenant, and, instead of saying “peace and security,” the Prince of Peace will come when they say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD” (Ps. 118:26Matt. 23:39).

All Israel will be saved, but it will first be wittled-down to a purged remnant (Isa. 10:20–23Zech. 13:8–9Rom. 11:25–27). Israel will be given a hiding place, but not before the “decree” of destruction takes effect (Rev. 12:614).

In this study we affirmed the prophetic principle of an OT prophecy applying to more than the original, historical referent (e.g. Hosea 11:1 and Matt. 2:15). The text of Zeph. 2:1–3 was established, key issues were examined, and overall, the prophecy was shown to be flexible enough to apply to a future “nation” other than Israel. Finally, we traced the thread of the “decree” in Zeph. 2:2 to other key passages that cemented the doctrine of a Pre-Decree [Pre-Trib] Resurrection and Rapture of the Church.

Be encouraged, brothers and sisters in Christ! We are not appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9), and that “wrath” includes the full seven years of the seven-sealed scroll! Let’s keep watch and eagerly wait for our rescue and escape. It won’t be long now. Before the decree takes effect, you and I will effectively be gathered and hidden.

In closing, I’ve got three, nay four, words for you: Pre. Trib. Rapture. Amen!

CLICK HERE for Silver Sol – the natural alternative for stealth immunity protection from sickness and viruses.

Transhumanism Is Not Libertarian, It’s an Abomination

Eugenics? Immortality? This is a non-starter.

untitled-design-3-2

Last week in TAC, Zoltan Istvan wrote about “The Growing World of Libertarian Transhumanism” linking the transhumanist movement with all of its features—like cyborgs, human robots and designer babies—to the ideas of liberty. To say Mr. Istvan is mistaken in his assessment is an understatement. Transhumanism should be rejected by libertarians as an abomination of human evolution.

We begin with Mr. Istvan’s definition of transhumanism:

… transhumanism is the international movement of using science and technology to radically change the human being and experience. Its primary goal is to deliver and embrace a utopian techno-optimistic world—a world that consists of biohackers, cyborgists, roboticists, life extension advocates, cryonicists, Singularitarians, and other science-devoted people.

The ultimate task, however, is nothing less than “overcoming biological human death” and to “solve all humanity’s problems.” Throughout much of Mr. Istvan’s work on this issue, he seems to think these ideas are perfectly compatible with libertarianism —self-evident even —so he doesn’t care to elaborate for his befuddled readers.

While most advocates of liberty could be considered, as Matt Ridley coined it, “rational optimists”—meaning that generally we are optimistic, but not dogmatic, about progress—it is easy to get into a state in which everything that is produced by the market is good per se and every new technology is hailed as the next step on the path of progress. In this sense, these libertarians become what Rod Dreher hascalled “Technological Men”. For them, “choice matters more than what is chosen. [The Technological Man] is not concerned with what he should desire; rather, he is preoccupied with how he can acquire or accomplish what he desires.”

Transhumanists including Mr. Istvan are a case in point. In his TAC article he not only endorses such things as the defeat of death, but even “robotic hearts, virtual reality sex, and telepathy via mind-reading headsets.” Need more of his grand ideas? How about “brain implants ectogenesis, artificial intelligence, exoskeleton suits, designer babies, gene editing tech”? At no point he wonders if we should even strive for these technologies. (Click to Site)

The Divine Message Of The August Eclipse

ring_of_fire

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the entire contiguous United States, beginning in Oregon and ending in South Carolina.  Incredibly, the eclipse will actually begin shortly after the sun rises on the West Coast (the sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west, but eclipses travel in the opposite direction – see here).  In other words, people will witness a black sun rising over the United States.  It has also been noted that another total solar eclipse will cross the United States at an opposite angle seven years later in 2024.

Note: Before you continue reading, please realize that this is not an end of the world prediction.  We actually believe the world will never end.  Neither is this a prediction that the rapture or second coming will occur on August 21st or in 2017.  We simply believe that God may be communicating a message through this eclipse about the general nearness of the rapture of the Church and Christ’s return.  In other words, we believe that these prophetic events will occur soon, but we don’t know the day or hour on which they will occur.  There are many other signs that indicate the world is drawing near to that time.

The amount of prophetic meaning behind these eclipses is simply overwhelming and I dare not attempt to interpret it all.  I’ll simply share with you a few of the discoveries I and others have made and you can interpret it for yourself:

1. The August eclipse occurs exactly 33 days before the Revelation 12 Sign, beginning in the 33rd state(Oregon), and ending in South Carolina at the 33rd parallel.  The eclipse occurs on the 233rd day of the year, which is 33 weeks and 2 days into 2017.  It occurs 133 days before the end of the year, takes 1 hour and 33 minutes to cross the nation, and ends on the 33rd second.  I’ve personally verified each of these details (see herehereherehereherehere, and here).  Can you really chalk up the significance of this to pure coincidenceor confirmation bias?  It’s been noted that an eclipse like this hasn’t happened in 99 years.  That would be 3 x 33 years.  What might God be communicating?  One of our readers noticed Ezekiel 33:

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’ “

Another reader noticed Revelation 3:3:

Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.

map_usa_2017_2024

(Click to Site)